All posts filed under: Gluten Free

Braised Aubergine Ramen in Spicy Blackbean Sauce recipe

Braised Aubergine Ramen in Spicy Black Bean Sauce

I have the most vivid memory of my mother making this black bean sauce, she would mash the fermented black bean with the end of the knife handle together with crushed garlic, she would work on it patiently until it was well mashed and combined. After that, she added soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and mix it into a thick glossy paste. The aroma of the umami black bean and the strong pungent garlic filled our tiny kitchen. I have no idea why I remember so well with her making this particular sauce since I had learned so many other homemade sauces from her. But whatever reason it might be, it remains one of my favourite sauces to make if I crave for a taste of home as it will always remind me of this picture, in which my beloved mother and I stood in our kitchen together, making dinner for the whole family. When I was planning this week’s recipe, I wanted to make something Chinese, not because I was homesick (yes I do miss …

Roasted Beetroot Blood Orange and Feta Cheese Salad recipe

Roasted Beetroot, Blood Orange, Snow Pea Shoots and Feta Cheese Salad

I am always fond of beetroot, one of the few root vegetables I cook regularly. I don’t like so much the ready cooked type which mostly wrapped in plastic vacuum bag, although my first taste of beetroot was one of those cooked one soaked in vinegar, packed in plastic; laying somewhat out of place among other fresh vegetables on the supermarket shelves. But in the past years I have learned how to cook it from raw and I have never looked back since. I prefer to buy the one that still has its greens intact as it is more flavourful (usually can be found in farmer market). The beet greens are surprisingly delicious and only requires minimum cooking. My favourite way to cook them is add them to a skillet with crispy chorizo, fry for a few minutes and then drench the mixture with beaten egg, good pinch of salt and pepper then baked in the oven until the egg is set. Serve the frittata with crumbled feta and chopped fresh parsley, an amazingly tasty …

Brazilian Cheese Bread recipe

Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pão de Queijo

These Brazilian cheese bread are crispy on the outside, cheesy and gooey on the inside, almost elastic, such texture reminds me a little of Mochi (a type of Japanese rice cake which is made with glutinous rice flour), one of my childhood favourites. Technically, they are not really ‘bread’ as it requires neither yeast, nor proofing which normally a must for bread making. The recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and it takes about half an hour to three quarters of an hour to make. These little fluff balls are light as feather, freckled with golden brown spots from the cheese, are best served warm straight from the oven. Slather a couple of them generously with velvety butter and a pinch of flaky sea salt, that’s exactly the way I like to eat them! Alongside with a cup of warm matcha latte and a good book (or a Netflix series!) would be a real treat for me. I imagine it will be absolutely delicious if served with a hearty soup or stew where …

Miso Tahini Dressing recipe and Styling Project

Miso Tahini Dressing and My Food Styling Projects

Happy New Year my dear readers!! Hopefully this year will be an exciting one for everyone! It will certainly be one for me! I have been so eager to tell you about the food styling project I worked on for the last couples of months, until now, I can finally show you what I have done and what I have achieved so far! This styling project was for an advertising campaign of a well known Japanese food company – Ajinomoto, who specialises in frozen ready made Japanese food products, seasoning and Asian cooking sauces. So far I was involved in two of their projects entailed recipes writing and food styling using their products, in this case a selection of their frozen gyoza. The first one was a video project in which I created a few recipes for their campaign – a salad dressing recipe (which features here) and a selection of dipping sauces for their gyoza. Then I was responsible to style the scenes and demonstrate the recipes in videos. There are three videos in …

Roasted Butternut Squash, Chestnut Miso Soup recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash, Chestnut Miso Soup served with Crispy Sage

I do love a heart warming bowl of soup seasoned with warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, tastes festive like Christmas in a cold winter night. I know everyone has at least one winter squash soup recipe up their sleeves, but this one I made is a little different from the others – with a subtle umami flavour. The addition of dashi stock and miso paste which not only gives the soup another layer of flavour but also balances out the sweetness of butternut and chestnut. You can of course replace dashi stock with water or vegetable stock if you want to make it vegetarian. Note: If you don’t have the time to roast the butternut squash, you can skip the roasting bit and just peel and chop the squash and add to the onion fennel mixture and pour enough stock to just cover the vegetables. I love the nutty and intense flavour of the squash after roasting though, so give it a try if you have some spare times in hand. But I …

Thai Curry coconut soup with Aubergine and Kale recipe

Thai Curry Coconut Soup with Aubergine and Kale

I lost count of how many times I have made this soup and I am not sure why I have never thought of putting the recipe up on the blog.  This soup is so easy to make and the type of curry – Masaman is mild (compares to the more popular green and red curry) but yet full of flavours. I love to add lots of fresh herbs such as coriander, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaf, chilis and Thai basil when cooking this curry as all the lovely flavours from the herbs will be infused into the soup, every spoonful becomes a delight to the taste buds! I always use shop bought curry paste as there are really good quality ones on the market (I use this one, only handful of ingredients without any additives, MSG etc). But of course if you want to make your own, I am sure you can find hundreds of recipe online for masaman curry paste. As for now, I am sticking with the quick and convenient way and I …

Tamari Peanut Tofu with Courgette Ribbons recipe

Crispy Tamari Peanut Tofu served with Courgette Ribbons

I know tofu is not everyone’s cup of tea, some insist that it is bland and flavourless, but if you cook it right, tofu is wonderfully delicious and pack full of protein.  The key is to pair it with a sharp and well-seasoned sauce/dressing and it will absorb all the flavours like a sponge.  This recipe here calls for firm tofu and my favourite way to cook it is to dust it first with seasoned corn starch or potato starch, then pan-fry it until crispy and golden brown, follows by coating them generously with the silky and flavourful Tamari Peanut sauce just before serving.  The second you sink your teeth into a piece of these luscious jewels, you will change your mind about tofu forever. Ingredients: Serves 2 200g Organic Non-GMO firm tofu 3/4 – 1 cup Potato starch (or corn Starch) 1-2 tsp. garlic powder 1 medium courgette Sesame seeds (for garnish) Vegetable oil for frying For the peanut sauce: 2 tbsp. pure peanut butter 1 tbsp. tamari or regular soy sauce (if gluten …

chicken karaage served with Sriracha Mayo recipe

Chicken Karaage served with Sriracha Mayo

This Japanese style fried chicken dish has been one of my favourites for many years, the perfect karaage is crispy on the outside and tender, juicy and full of flavour on the inside. The important step is to marinate the meat for at least an hour or even overnight, which ensures that the meat soaks up all the lovely flavours; and it will take on a nice golden colour when fried. Before frying, the meat should be at room temperature so that it won’t cool down the oil while placing in, in another word, the meat will be cooked quicker instead of sitting in the oil longer to wait for the temperature to raise up again, which also means crispier! The size of the meat matters, the smaller the cut, the faster they cook. I find the perfect size is a ‘2-bites’ size, which mean a piece that can be eaten in two bites. Chicken thigh is commonly used for Karaage, but I use breast here and it is equally juicy and finger licking! Note: I didn’t …

Braised Yuba with Mixed Mushrooms and Asparagus recipe

Braised Yuba with Mixed Mushrooms and Asparagus

The other day when I was writing a family story about how my father mastered cooking after my mother passed away, there I mentioned his specialty dish – ‘buddha vegetables’ –  a vegetarian dish that was made with at least seven different types of fresh and dried vegetables and mung bean noodles braised in a fermented beancurd sauce.  I realised while going through my notes that I had forgotten to include one particular ingredient in the description – Yuba – is also known as ‘tofu skin’, a very popular ingredient in Chinese cooking.  It is a food product made from soy beans, as a result, it shares a similar taste with soy milk and tofu.  But unlike tofu, it doesn’t made with added coagulant.  While soy milk is being boiled, a film is formed on the surface of the liquid, and the film will then be collected and dried in sheet or stick form.  Since Yuba retains its shape and texture after cooking, therefore it is widely used for stir-fried, as a wrapper for dim sum, for braising or for slow-cooked dishes.  Yuba is easily found in …

teriyaki king oyster mushroom recipe

Teriyaki King Oyster Mushroom with Snow Peas

This wonderful teriyaki sauce is one of the easiest sauces to make, it is deliciously piquant and so versatile that it can be used on nearly anything: meat, vegetables, noodles or grains. I always turn to this sauce when I am not sure what to cook. My favourite one is teriyaki salmon or chicken served on steamy hot rice with a side of nori seaweed and green leafy vegetables. But today, I opt for a vegetarian version with my new found favourite king oyster mushroom. This mushroom has the most meaty texture with the least water content compares to all of its other contemporaries. It holds its shape beautifully when cooked which makes it a brilliant replacement for meat. In this dish, the powerful flavour of the teriyaki sauce is complimented with refreshing and naturally sweet snow peas. The snow peas are barely cooked to retain its freshness and crunchiness, it goes perfectly well with the piquant teriyaki sauce and add a lovely contrast to the tender velvety mushroom. Serve with pipping hot rice as a comforting and satisfying meal. …