All posts filed under: Salads

Grilled shrimps, figs and summer squash salad recipe

Grilled Prawn, Fig and Summer Squash Salad in Harrisa Yogurt Dressing

I love the feeling of my teeth sink into a cold, plump fig from the fridge every late summer morning, the chill does a better job of waking me up than my strong Oolong tea. Beside that I feel especially nurtured eating them first thing in the morning, nothing too overwhelming for the empty stomach, just a hint of sweetness with the most delicate texture, and most importantly, it is packed with nutrients and a good source of fibre. I also love to add a few slices in my yogurt with honey and toasted coconut, or on my crispy toast with a spread of salty goat cheese and a drizzle of honey; bake them in buttery puff pastry with berries jam, or lay them on top of cake batter, bake until they turn dark burgundy and bursting with heavenly sweetness. I especially fond of adding them to salad, with torn mozzarella cheese and dry-cured ham, or with crumbled goat cheese and peppery rocket. So here it is for today, a humble experiment turns into a wonderful salad recipe. The fig provides a subtle sweetness for …

Roasted za'atar carrot with goat cheese, pistachio and promagranate dressing recipe

Roasted Za’atar and Sumac Carrots Salad

These carrots are roasted to perfection, flavoured with za’atar and sumac; a combined taste of tangy sweet and yet earthy and savory. Za’atar is a spice blend that originates in Middle East countries, such as Lebanon, Israel, Jordon, Palestine and Saudi Arabia; and also popular in some north African countries such as Morocco and Tunisia. Every country has their own blend of spices. The one I have (and I use here) is from Israel, it is a blend of dried oregano, white sesame, thyme, sumac, dill and salt, it has an intense earthy flavour with a hint of licorice note. It gives a wonderful taste to almost anything, I love to sprinkle it on egg of all kinds, or rub the spice on chicken and lamb then put straight onto the grill; scatter it on homemade hummus and baked pitta bread, to say the few examples. The other spice I use here is called Sumac, it is also native to the Middle East; a red coarse powder made from ground sumac berries. It has a floral …

Wakame Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing recipe

Wakame Avocado Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing

Sesame sauce is hugely popular in Asian countries, I grew up eating steamed wobbly rice rolls topped with flavoursome sesame sauce for breakfast, one of my absolute childhood favorites. The other of my beloved dish is hand-torn chicken and julienned cucumber served with silky, sweet sesame sauce. In fact, I love everything with a toasted sesame flavour, so sesame oil becomes my definite pantry item, a drizzle here and a drizzle there, a natural flavour enhancer. I was at my daughter’s school summer fair the other day and I was helping out at one of the food stalls. A fellow mother made summer rolls with a sesame dipping sauce which were so delicious that they sold out almost within just an hour. I was definitely spellbound by the smooth, delectable sauce that I didn’t hesitate to ask her for the recipe. She has given me the list of ingredients but I have to work out the quantities myself. So here is my version of the sesame sauce which I serve here as a salad dressing, and I hope you will like it and will make …

Thai Steak Salad Recipe

Memory of The Significance (with a recipe)

I remember vividly when Patsy opened the black lacquer painted door when we (my Korean friend and I) were standing in front of her tall Georgian terrace house in London Islington fifteen years ago. She had a big smile on her face. My then future landlady is tall with fair skin and thick blond hair, she has a friendly face with a confident voice, “come on in!” she said. We walked into the light drenched hallway where a massive golden framed mirror hung on one side, and at the end of the hallway, a small potted palm tree stood at the bottom of the stairs. We were immediately leading up the stairs laid with dark blue carpet, all the way to the top of the house. We went into a room to the left of the landing which was small but flooded with light. There were a bed, a desk, a wardrobe stood next to a wooden shelf all arranged neatly inside the room. An unusually large sash window (in relation to the room) next to the bed, overlooking to the back garden and the …

roasted asparagus, lemon, chorizo and feta recipe

Macau – Food Journal Part II (with recipe)

Although it was only in the beginning of March, the evening was warm but exceptionally pleasant. We (group of eleven people) were gathering in the front of a high-rise building, where we were going to have dinner at a supper club runs by a Macanese lady, Maria Couto at her home in the old part of Macau city, not far from my parent’s apartment where I grew up. She is a native Macanese whose mother is Cantonese and father is Portuguese. She is a home cook specialises in traditional Macanese cooking. Karen and my other sister Lily had been to Maria’s private dinner and they both impressed by her cooking. So they thought it would be special for us to enjoy some ‘home cooking’ instead of going to a restaurant as usual. Like many other who heard of Maria, who was also featured in editorial in several local newspapers and magazines regarding her supper club, would reserve an evening there, dining privately with splendid homemade Macanese food. Mixed feelings flooded in when I stepped into that very building where I used to frequent as …

roasted root veggies, avo and buckwheat salad recipe

Roasted Root Vegetables, Avocado and Buckwheat Salad served with Pistou

The first time I encountered buckwheat was about 2 years ago when I decided to take on a wheat-free diet. Since then I learned so much about cooking with gluten free ingredients, in fact so many ingredients especially whole food, are naturally gluten-free. At home, we eat a lot of brown rice, lentils, rice and bean noodles as oppose to bread and pasta. I won’t lie to you that I don’t miss having a pizza or a crusty sandwich, I do, and whenever I walk pass a bakery particularly when I am hungry, I wish I could get a straight-out-of-the-oven, feather-light buttery croissant and devour it right there and then. But I learned to adapt to a new eating habit which has improved my health remarkably. All these bloating, stomaches, eczema symptom have gone and I am thrilled that one relatively small decision I made had opened up a whole new world of new ingredients for me, and to have the chance to explore and experiment with these wonderful alternatives, not only in general cooking, but also in …

grilled portobello mushroom, blood orange and kale salad recipe

Grilled Portobello Mushroom, Blood Orange and Kale Salad with a Carrot, Miso, Ginger Dressing

There is another longer post I have been working on since a week which is a round up of what I did for a catering job last week with a couple of recipes I would like to share. But my hope of publishing the said post online today isn’t possible as I have been caught up with several work commitments and couldn’t manage to do so. Yesterday, a craving of mushroom and salad led me to writing this post incidentally, and the salad was so good that I must share this recipe with you today instead. More about the post I have been working on later. Whenever I see Portobello mushroom in the market, I will end up bringing home a big bagful. I love the giant button shape, the earthy colour and pattern of Portobello. It is heavy, it feels substantial to the touch. When cooked, it holds its shape beautifully. Some say it tastes like beef, it doesn’t in any way in my opinion, but the lovely texture and the earthy, with an almost sweet undertone taste are enough reasons to …

Watermelon Bacon Salad and A Happy Announcement

Just a quick and short post to share a happy news with you, I got an email last week from The Foodstand (an online global food community based in New York) that I have won their competition #RedEats!!! I was stunned by the news and it took me a while to really believe it! Anyway, I am going to receive some goodies (fresh food) from Marley Spoon next month as a prize and I am already so excited and looking forward to the delivery! Sharing the winning dish on this post alongside with the announcement will only be natural, and I would love you to make this salad, it is just so simple to make and really really tasty. One of the ingredients for this dish is watermelon, it represents summer with its vibrant colour and refreshing taste. Especially when it has been chilled. I remember when I was a child, eating watermelon was a fun business: in hot summer days, my mother and I (sometimes with my sisters as well) would sit on the balcony …

Strawberry and cucumber salad recipe

Strawberry and Cucumber Salad with Feta Cheese and Hazelnut

Somehow I still can’t really get used to the spring weather in Berlin, sunny and relatively warm one day then gloomy and cold the next. The rain shower comes in between sunny spells has become an usual scene on a daily basis. I was shivering standing in our local playground yesterday while my daughter was practicing cycling on her bike, even though I had my waxed jacket and scarf on. I really can’t wait for the summer to come, my favorite time of the year, and Berlin Summer is beautiful. Today is one of those days again, overcast and quite chilly. I feel like adding some colours to my day, to feel alive and motivated. Nothing better than having a colourful, healthy and luscious meal that would lift your spirit up a bit on a grey, bleak day. This strawberry and cucumber salad is just the ticket – the sweetness of the strawberry pairs very well with the salty feta, the crunchiness of the cucumber and hazelnut give the whole dish a great texture. On top of …

spicy shrimp and peanut topping recipe

Spicy Shrimp and Peanut Topping (for a colourful salad)

One of my sisters – Karen who lives in Macau, gave me a pack of really good quality dried shrimps when I was visiting a couple of weeks ago. I have been ‘day dreaming’ about creating a new recipe with these beautiful little shrimps ever since we came back from our holiday. I am glad I did eventually, and because of this recipe, which reminds me how much I used to love this flavorsome ingredient when I was a little girl. I remember my mother would cook them in soup with mung bean vermicelli and Chinese courgette, steamed them with egg, used them to ‘spice up’ the otherwise bland cabbage stew, and the list goes on. Now I am just happy that I rediscover this amazingly versatile ingredient and looking forward to extend my cooking repertoire with the help of these little guys! Dried shrimp is full of flavour, aromatic and has a chewy texture that survives even in a long cooking process. It is a natural ‘flavour enhancer’, which in my opinion, is equivalent to anchovies in Italian …