Pak Choi with Almond Garlic Chilli Oil

January 19th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

This hot and bold flavoured chilli oil goes great with stir-fried / steamed vegetables, plain rice or plain tofu. It spices up meals.


— Pak Choi with Almond Garlic Chilli Oil (Serves 4) —

800g pak choi

Some vegetable oil for frying


– for Almond Garlic Chilli Oil –

4 tablespoons sesame oil

2 cloves garlicm, minced

2 tablespoons onion, minced

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2 teaspoon paprika powder

1&1/2 tablespoons light say sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 salt

20g toasted almond flakes


Place the sesame oil, minced garlic, minced onion, chilli flakes and paprika powder in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until the onion and garlic became golden.

Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. Add the say sauce, sugar, salt and almond flakes and mix well. Set aside.

Cut the very ends off the pak choi and separate the leaves.

Heat some vegetable oil in a large frying-pan or wok, stir fry the pak choi for about 3 minutes until it’s lightly cooked.

Transfer the stir fried pak choi to serving plates and drizzle with the almond garlic chilli oil.

Spinach Risotto

January 15th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I trust the power of spinach.


— Spinach Risotto (serves 2) —

200g fresh spinach, washed

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

180g arborio rice

100ml white wine

500ml chicken stock

A pinch of grated nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon butter

40g parmesan cheese, grated

Some grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add washed spinach and cook about 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Gather up the spinach and squeeze out excess water. Chop the spinach into small pieces. Set aside.

Heat the chicken stock in a pan and keep it gently simmering.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan, add the chopped onion and garlic, stir-fry for about 5 minutes over a medium heat until the onion has softened.

Add the arborio rice, stirring until all of the rice is coated in the oil. Add the white wine and boil for 1 minutes.

Add the simmering chicken stock a ladleful at a time, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. When the rice is almost ready, stir in the spinach and butter.

Remove from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Season with salt, if needed.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Baked Avocado

December 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Baked avocado has a delicious nutty flavour.

Drizzle with lovely honey mustard soy sauce .


— Baked Avocado (serves 2) —

1 large avocado

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon honey


Cut the avocado in half, remove and discard pit.

Mix the olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey in a small bowl.

Place the avocado on a baking try, cut side up. Drizzle the sauce over the top.

Preheat broiler, cook the avocado under the broiler about for 10 minutes until slightly golden.

Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

December 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I love this Vietnamese style tofu dish.

The crispy cubes of tofu are simply seasoned by lemongrass, a pinch of chilli and salt. Very simple dish but it has a beautiful flavor and aroma.


— Spicy Lemongrass Tofu (serves 2) —

400g firm tofu, drained

3 tablespoons corn flour

Oil for deep frying

1 tablespoon vegetable oil for stir-frying

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tender part only, very finely chopped

1 small chilli, very finely chopped

A pinch of salt

some coriander lives, finely chopped


Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes and pat dry with kitchen papers and lightly coat them with the corn flour.

Heat the oil to 340F/170C and deep fry the tofu until light golden, place them on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

Heat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying-pan, add the lemon grass and chilli, stir-fry for 2 minutes over medium heat.

Add the deep-fried tofu and season with the salt, stir-fry everything together for 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle with the chopped coriander leaves.

Deep Fried Aubergine with Sweet Miso

November 30th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a classic Japanese dish.

The combination of sweet & savoury miso sauce and silky textured aubergine is just so delicious.


— Deep Fried Aubergine with Sweet Miso (serves 2) —

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 aubergine

Oil for deep frying

3 tablespoons miso paste (mideum-coloured)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1&1/2 tablespoon sake (rice wine)

Some chives, finely chopped


Roast the sesame seeds in a dry frying-pan over medium-low heat until golden. Grind the roasted sesame seeds roughly in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

Place the sake in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the miso paste and sugar , stirring occasionally until the sauce is smooth and thickened.

Cut the aubergine into 1 inch thick slices.

Heat the deep-frying oil to 340F/170C, deep-fry the sliced aubergine for about 2 minutes each side until the aubergine becomes tender. Drain the excess oil on kitchen papers.

Spread the sweet miso sauce on the top of aubergine, sprinkle with the grounded sesame seeds and garnish with the chopped chives.

Mushroom Rice

October 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Mushroom season.

This is a popular Japanese seasonal dish made of rice cooked with a variety of wild mushrooms and dashi stock.

Enjoy the aroma and flavour of autumn.


— Mushroom Rice (serves 4) —

450g Japanese rice

250g mixed mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, oyster mushrooms)

450ml dashi stock (see how to make dashi stock)

3 tablespoons rice wine (sake)

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon butter

Some chives, finely chopped


Wash the rice in a strainer under running water. Set aside.

Trim off the bottom of the mushroom stems. Broil the mushrooms until lightly browned. Make the mushrooms into bite sized pieces (slice the shiitake mushrooms, separate the shimeji mushrooms and tear the oyster mushrooms).

Place the rice wine and light soy sauce in a bowl and toss with the bite sized mushrooms.

Place the washed rice and dashi stock in a heavy sauce pan.

Pour the mushrooms and sauce in a bowl in a pan and put the butter on the top. Cover with tight-fitting lid.

Bring to the boil over hight heat and let cook for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to the lowest and simmer (always cover the pan with a lid) for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, still covered, and leave the pan for another 10 minutes.

Open the rid, mix gently with a wooden spoon. Garnish with finely chopped chives.

Thai Banana Fritters

October 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I had a bad news today and I felt blue.

But, sometimes you realise some very important things when you are having a problem.

I had a nice coffee,

I heard a very funny Santa Claus story (maybe he does exist),

walked in the refreshing clean & crisp autumn air,

I’ve got some lovely sweets.

I’m fine now. A big hug.


— Thai Banana Fritters —

3-4 unripe bananas

40g rice flour

30g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

40g sugar

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

200ml coconut milk

Oil for deep-frying


Sift the rice flour, plain flour and baking powder together in a bowl.

Add the sugar, salt, sesame seeds and coconut milk into the bowl and mix everything well.

Cut the banana half, and slice lengthwise into 4 slices.

Heat deep-frying oil.

Dip the banana slices in the batter, fry until golden and crispy. Drain excess oil on kitchen paper.

Sichuan Fried Aubergine

October 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a popular Sichuan vegetable dish (suitable for vegan).

The spicy and bold flavour makes me feel vibrant.

Serve with plain boiled rice or noodles.


— Sichuan Fried Aubergine (serves 2) —

400g aubergines

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoon chilli bean sauce (available at oriental grocery store)

100ml vegetable stock

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon corn flour blended with 1 tablespoon water

Oil for deep-frying

Some spring onion for garnish, finely chopped


Cut the aubergine lengthways into 2/3 inch wide by 2 inch long strips.

Heat the deep-frying oil to 375F/180C. Deep fry the aubergine for about 3 minutes until slightly golden. Drain excess oil on kitchen papers.

Heat the sesame oil in a frying-pan, add the garlic, ginger, chilli bean sauce and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the deep-fried aubergine and vegetable stock and then simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar, then add the blended corn flour and stir to thicken the sauce.

Garnish with the spring onion.

Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli

September 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I got drunk and passed out on the couch last night.

I was waken up by Mika (my cat, 5 month-old boy) pawing my face in the late morning.

I still feel groggy, but started to make ravioli. Because I don’t want Mika to think I’m lazy.

This ravioli is simple comfort food, and I’m sure the spinach does cure this hang over and I’ll be really strong like Popeye soon.


— Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli (Serves 2) —

100g plain flour, plus extra for flouring

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon olive oil

A pinch of salt

1 beaten egg for brushing

Some parmesan cheese for garnish


— for the filling —

120g spinach

100g ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon double cream

A pinch of grated nutmeg

A pinch of salt and pepper


— for the sage butter sauce —

30g butter

4 sage leaves


Place the flour, salt, beaten egg and olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Knead the dough about for 5 minutes until it’s smooth and shiny. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Cook the spinach in a pot of salted boiling water until tender. Drain the spinach, squeeze out the water and chop finely.

Place the spinach, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, double cream and nutmeg, and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll out the dough as thinly as possible on a floured board.

Cut the pasta sheet in half, place teaspoonful of the filling on to a pasta sheet, keeping a small bit of distance between each dollop.

Brush the beaten egg between the fillings. Place the other sheet of pasta on top and press down around the filling to seal it.

Cut around the filling with a cutter or knife to make raviolis.

Place the ravioli into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 2-3 minutes until al dente.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the sage leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.

Transfer cooked ravioli on serving plates, sprinkle with the sage butter sauce, garnish with shaved or grated parmesan cheese.

Baked Apples

September 13th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

If I choose a boyfriend from the fruit kingdom, I’ll choose Mr. Apple.

Mr. Lemon is too fresh,

Mr. Banana is too soft.

Mr. Pineapple seems a little too frisky,

Mr. Kiwi is too hairy.

But, Mr. Apple, he is solid, sweet and sharp, very reliable.

Today’s dessert is baked apples. it makes me feel warm and cozy.

I made the right decision choosing Mr. Apple.


— Baked Apples (serves 4) —

4 cooking apples, such as Bramleys

40g walnuts, chopped

50g raisin

1 tablespoon butter, softened

50g brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

30g butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 360F/180C.

Wash the apples, remove the cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom.

Combine the chopped walnuts, raisin, 1 tablespoon of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a bowl and mix well. Stuff the mixture into the apples.

Place the apples in a roasting try, brush the top of apples with melted butter. Pour a few inches of hot water into the tray and bake for 40-50 minutes until the apples are very tender.