Sautéed Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet

September 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I don’t like hot weather, I can’t swim, I hate mosquitos.

But, still I feel a bit sad at times when the summer is coming to an end.

This tropical summerly dessert is the last stand against Autumn.


— Sautéed Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet (serves 6) —

— for coconut sorbet —

170g sugar

150ml coconut milk

50g grated or desiccated coconut

1/2 lime, squeezed


— for sautéed pineapple —

1 medium pineapple, peeled and cored

3 tablespoons butter

30g brown sugar

3 tablespoons dark rum


— to make coconut sorbet —

Place the sugar and 200ml water in a pan. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk, squeezed lime juice and grated coconut. Transfer the mixture into a freezer container and freeze for 1 hours.

Take the sorbet out from the freezer and beat it until smooth and creamy. Return to the freezer and continue to freeze until the sorbet is frozen.


— to make sautéed pineapple —

Cut the pineapple crosswise into six 3/4 inch-thick slices.

Melt the butter in a frying-pan over medium heat. Sauté the pineapple, 1 minute each side. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the pineapple, turning over occasionally and cook until golden. Pour the rum and cook for about one more minute.

Transfer the sautéed pineapples to plates and serve with the coconut sorbet.

Nectarine Tart

August 6th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Nectarine is in season and so delicious right now.

This is a cute rustic nectarine tart, very easy to make!


— Nectarine Tart (7 inch round)—

100g apricot jam

50g unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

300g shortcrust pastry

3 tablespoons ground almond

3 large nectarines (550g)

1 tablespoon melted butter (for brush)


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the apricot jam, butter, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, melt together over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface board into a round about 8 inch diameter.

Place pastry round on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the ground almond evenly over the pastry, leaving 1.2 inch border.

Cut the nectarines (no need to peel), arrange the nectarine in ring on the pastry, leaving 1.2 inch rim around the outside. Roll the rim up around the nectarine.

Brash the rim with melted butter. Drizzle the apricot jam mixture on the nectarine evenly.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.


August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Okonomiyaki is a very popular Japanese savory pancake.

The name “Okonomiyaki” means “cook what/as you like”. The base ingredients are usually flour-batter and cabbage, then your favourite toppings (meat, seafood and vegetable etc.) are blended into the batter. I chose vegetables and cheese for my Okonomiyaki this time.

It’s a hot summer day in London today, almost too hot for me, my head is spinning around, and the sauces are spinning around on Okonomiyaki too.

Spinning around round round.


— Okonomiyaki (serves 4) —

— for the batter —

150g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

200ml dashi stock (about dashi, vegetarian dashi)

50g yam, peeled and grinded (option)


4 eggs

700g cabbage

100g spring onion

8 dried shiitake mushrooms

4 tablespoons red pickled ginger (beni-shoga)

100g cheddar cheese

Vegetable oil for frying


— for the sauce —

*Okonomiyaki-sauce is available at Japanese grocery store, or you can make the similar sauce; mix the following ingredients

4 tablespoons brown sauce

1 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar


Some mayonnaise

Some green nori-seaweed sprinkle (aonori)


Mix the flour, baking powder, the dashi stock and grinded yam in a bowl. Cover with cling film and rest the batter for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile, prepare the toppings; soak the dried shiitake mushrooms for 15 minutes into warm water, remove stems and chop into finely. Cut the cabbage into 0.2 inch pieces, finely chop the spring onion and finely chop the red pickled ginger and cut the cheddar cheese into 0.3 inch cubes.

To make 1 set of okonomiyaki, place 1/4 amount of the batter in another bowl, add 1/4 amount of the chopped cabbage, spring onion, shiitake mushroom, red pickled ginger, cheddar cheese and 1 egg. Stir and mix everything together.

Heat the oil in a frying-pan over medium-low heat, pour the batter in the pan and make a round shape, around 0.8 inch thick.

Cook for around 5-7 minutes, carefully flip over and cook on the other side for a further 5-7 minutes.

Transfer the okonomiyaki onto a plate, pour the okonomiyaki-sauce and mayonnaise, sprinkle green nori-seaweed over the sauce.

Brandy Snap Cigars

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Sweet cigars for me.


— Brandy Snap Cigars (makes 20) —

100g butter

100g granulated sugar

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons honey

100g plain flour

A pinch of salt

3 tablespoons ground ginger

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon brandy

50g dark chocolate


Preheat oven to 340F.

Put the butter, granulated sugar, golden syrup and honey in a pan and heat gently until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, salt , ground ginger, lemon juice and brandy and mix well.

Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet, spaced well apart each one as they will spread out.

Bake for about 8 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minutes before rolling.

Roll them carefully around the handle of the wooden spoon and leave on a rack to cool.

Melt the dark chocolate in a small cup and dip the brandy snaps, leave them on a baking sheet until they are set.

Store in an airtight container.

Vegetables with Black Bean Sauce on Crispy Noodles

July 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Thick black bean sauce goes perfectly well with crispy noodles.

My body is happy with a lot of green vegetables today.

This recipe is suitable for vegans.


— Vegetables with Black Bean Sauce on Crispy Noodles (serves 2) —

160g thin dried chinese noodles

1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

4 shiitake mushrooms

300g Oriental stir fry vegetables (such as baby corn, bok choy, spring onion, tenderstem broccoli,  mangetout, chilli etc.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoons sesame oil

1 & 1/2 tablespoon black bean sauce

300ml vegetable stock soup

1 & 1/2 tablespoon cornflour (mixed with 3 tablespoons water)

Vegetable oil for deep-frying


Cook the rice noodles (follow the package directions), drain and rinse under cold water, and drain well again. Set aside.

Heat the deep-frying oil to 360F. Devide the noodles into 2 portion and deep-fry a portion at a time until they became crispy. Place them on kichen paper to remove excess oil.


— how to make vegetable with black bean sauce —

Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying-pan over medium heat, add the vegetables, ginger and garlic, stir-fry about for 3 minutes.

Add the black bean sauce and in the frying-pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour over the vegetable stock soup and bling to boil.

Add the corn flour (mixed with water) to thicken, then add the sesame oil.


Serve fried noodles on plates and pour the sauce over.

Carrot & Cheese Crackers

June 24th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Crackers are blooming.

Carrot and cheese flowers.



— Carrot & Cheese Crackers —

150g plain flour

100g carrot, grated

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Mix the flour, grated parmesan cheese and salt in a bowl.

Add the grated carrot and vegetable oil in the bowl and mix all together.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and roll out about 2mm thick.

Cut out with cookie cutters  and Prick each crackers with a fork. Lay them on a baking try lined with baking paper.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Spicy Mango Soup

June 21st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I had a beautiful mango soup at a Thai restaurant when I was having a short break in Berlin over the last weekend.

I made a similar soup today. I wanted to make it before I forget the flavour.

This soup is sweet and a bit sour, creamy and spicy, it has a subtle charm just like Berlin city.


— Spicy Mango Soup (serves 2) —

1 ripe mango, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot (about 150g), chopped

300ml vegetable stock

300ml coconut milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon curry powder

Some dried mint leaves for garnish


Melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion for 3 minutes until slightly softened.

Add the chopped carrot and chopped mango and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to boil, reduce the heat to low, stir in the curry powder and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth.

Return the soup to the sauce pan, stir in the coconut milk and season with a little bit of salt and pepper, and warm through over low heat.

Sprinkle with dried mint leaves.

Soba Noodles with Vegetable Tempra

June 16th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

This is also a very traditional Japanese dish and it’s suitable for vegans.

You can make dashi stock from dried shiitake mushrooms too. It’s very easy to make; just soak them in lukewarm water for an hour, and then, here is the umami-rich dashi stock.


— Soba Noodles with Vegetable Tempra (serves 4) —

400g soba noodles

Some spring onion, finely chopped

Vegetable oil for deep-frying


— for noodle soup —

6-7 dried shiitake mushrooms

1200ml lukewarm water

50ml soya sauce

50ml mirin


— for vegetable tempra —

90g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

150ml water

2 ice cubes

4 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed

100g red pepperr

100g butter nut squash

8 fine beans


— to make noodle soup —

Shiitake soup stock: Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in the lukewarm water, leave for 1 hour at least, strain with a fine meshed sieve (if you don’t have a time, boil the dried shiitake mushrooms once and leave for 10 minutes).

Place the shiitake soup stock, soya sauce and mirin in a pan and bring to the boil, turn down the heat to low and  simmer the noodle soup about 2 minutes.


— to make vegetable tempra —

Heat the oil in a deep pan to 340F.

Cut the red pepper and butter nut squash into bite-sized slices.

Combine the flout and baking powder in a bowl.

Place 150ml water and 2 ice cubes in another bowl, add the flour mixture, mix together very lightly with chopsticks.

Lightly dip ingredients in the butter and immediately deep-fry them until crisp.

Drain excess oil on kitchen papers.


Cook the soba noodles in a large pot of boiling water until cooked (follow the package directions) and drain.

Place the cooked soba noodles in a deep bowl, sprinkle chopped spring onion, pour in the hot noodle soup, arrange the vegetable tempra on top.

Agedashi Tofu

June 13th, 2011 § 6 comments § permalink

This is a very traditional and popular Japanese dish. Deep-fried tofu with dashi-based sauce.

Dashi means ‘Japanese soup stock’, and it’s the most important element of the authentic Japanese taste and many Japanese dishes include dashi.

Classic dashi is made using dried kelp and dried bonito flakes, and it’s not difficult to make, but I guess it quite difficult to get right ingredients for dashi in the UK.

Ummm, let’s take it easy, and get instant dashi powder this time! (I’ll write how to make authentic dashi another day)

Instant dashi powder is available in most oriental grocery shops, and if you are vegan “konbu dashi” is also available (konbu means kelp seaweed).

Usually, 1 teaspoon of dashi powder is used for 2-3 cups (400ml to 600ml) of hot water.

So, if you know what is dashi, then you can make miso soups and so many kind of Japanese dishes.

Itadakimasu (“bon appetit” in Japanese).


— Agedashi Tofu (serves 2) —

1 pack of medium firm tofu (about 300g)

2 tablespoons corn flour

Oil for frying

Some chives, finely chopped

Some ginger, grated

Some mooli (daikon) radish, grated


— for the sauce —

100ml dashi

2 tablespoons soya sauce

2 tablespoons mirin* (*sweet cooking alcohol; available in oriental grocery shops)


Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel or some layer of kitchen papers, and place a heavy thing (such as a pan) on top of it to force out excess water, then leave it for about 20 minutes.

To make the sauce: place the dashi, soya sauce, mirin in a small pan and heat gently. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.

Cut the tofu into 6 even blocks and coat them with the corn flour.

Heat the oil to 340F, and deep-fry the tofu until light golden, place it on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

Place the deep fried tofu on a plate and pour the sauce over and garnish with finely chopped chives, grated mooli radish and grated ginger.


June 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A massive hangover… I need to get rid of this headache from hell.

Gazpacho to the rescue!

This is the greatest natural remedy for hangover.


— Gazpacho (serves 2) —

5 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled and deseeded

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 small green chili, chopped (optional)

1 slice of white bread, crust removed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon wine vinegar

A pinch of salt


— for the garnish —

Red onions, finely chopped

Cucumbers, finely chopped

Red pepper, finely chopped

Green pepper, finely chopped


Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out the water.

Place the bread, tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, garlic and chili in a blender and process until combined and smooth.

Add the olive oil and wine vinegar, season with a pinch of salt and mix everything.

Refrigerate until cold.

Serve with the finely chopped vegetables.