All posts filed under: Sauces

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 …

baba-ganoush recipe

Baba Ganoush with Pink Peppercorns

I didn’t intend to be absent from the blog for so long, I had planned for a mere three weeks break but it turned out to be an ongoing journey of self- (re)discovery, and somehow I didn’t want it to stop. During the break, I returned to my drawing board, literally, and my sketch book, doing sketches of all kinds; things that surround me, people who passing by, or even just ideas in my head. And I realised that I have forgotten how much I enjoyed drawing when I was growing up. I also spent a lot of the time reading novels and writing short stories, and I met some amazing people through a fiction writing class. I hope I can share some of the stories with you soon. I haven’t stopped cooking though, as you know if you are following my Instagram account, and can’t wait to share the recipes that I have created during the break. All in all, it has been a relax and inspiring time for me and I am glad that I had made this decision. …

Stewed Plums with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon recipe

Brown Butter Maple Stewed Plums with Cinnamon – plus a note on a short autumn break

I spent the last summer day slicing up the soon-to-be last-season plums and sautéed them in brown butter, cinnamon and maple syrup. Although it is sad to know that summer finally came to an end, but this silky, sweet and sour stewed plums has left me the most beautiful memory of our glorious summer. When I finished making this somewhat comforting and warm dish, I felt like I have done my part to conclude the past summer with the most appropriate mix of flavours. The wonderful thing about this recipe is it calls for only a handful of ingredients and it takes only a little time to make. This recipe is an adaptation of Martha Stewart’s stewed plums recipe, I replaced cardamon with cinnamon as that’s what I had at home. The first time I whipped it up quite quickly as a compliment to a rich, moist chocolate cake that we brought to a friend’s at tea time the other day, and it was hit. The soft tarty plums celebrates brilliantly the intense flavour of the bitter sweet chocolate cake, …

Braised Chicken Meatballs and Fennel with Miso Gochujang recipe

Chicken Meatballs and Fennel Braised in Miso Gochujang

These chicken meatballs are tender on the inside but firm and springy on the outside, if you care enough to ground your own meat, it tastes so much better than the ready-minced supermarket type, a little effort goes a long way. For the sauce, since I want something rich and spicy, I use a mixture of my favorite pantry staples: miso paste and Gochujang (Korean chili paste), this combination delivers a sharp umami taste with a spicy kick which works wonderfully well with the meatballs. In fact the sauce itself is quite flavoursome, so it becomes amazingly versatile, it makes wonder to all food wherever it is added (I literately use it on everything: salad, stew, marinade, stir fry, even just drizzle it on rice and noodles!) and it only takes a few minutes to whip up. My ‘go to sauce’ when I crave for something hearty and spicy, especially in cool autumn days. Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables and it adapts well with various flavours without losing its own. Once cooked, its licorice taste became subtle …

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 …

Beef and Mango Summer Rolls with Coriander Dipping Sauce recipe

Beef and Mango Summer Rolls served with Coriander Dipping Sauce

It is late summer, the sun is hanging low and casting long shadows. It is the most beautiful period of summer, I love the colour of the sunlight which seems somewhat richer, deeper, it makes everything looks more mature, like a person reaches his golden age. It is the time of harvesting, a sense of gathering and fulfillment. It is also the time to bottle up jam, marmalade; bake pies and pickle the lovely summer produce. I was lucky to have given some bottles of jam and confiture which were homemade by my friend’s aunt in a small french village, so I have spared myself the time of making any this year. And I want to enjoy this brilliant time of the year, so some days I will try not to spend too much time in the kitchen. Hence today’s recipe, minimum cooking but with big flavour. Summer roll is one of the most versatile foods I know, and one of my favorites as well. It is refreshing, delicious and easy to make. One can fill the rice paper with vegetables, shell fish (the most common one), …

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 …

Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe

Hainanese Chicken Rice served with My Favorite Dipping Sauces

Hainanese chicken rice is one of my absolute favorite childhood dishes. It is a national dish of Singapore, one can find it in every restaurant, cafe and street food stalls in the country. It is even served exclusively in some restaurants! However, according to research, this dish is believed to be originated from Hainan province in China (hence the name), and apparently the recipe was brought to other South East Asia countries by the Hainanese immigrants and it then became one of the most popular dishes in places like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong). There are many different ways of cooking the chicken, usually it is poached or steamed or even roasted, served with rice, dipping sauces and a light broth on the side. My version is a little different than the traditional one by first simmering a whole chicken for a very short time, and then keeping it ‘poached/steeped’ (heat off) in the same hot fragrant broth (consists of few aromatic asian herb and spice such as ginger, lemongrass and spring onion) until cooked through. This ‘long-poach’ cooking method produces tender and …

Asparagus tempura recipe

Asparagus Tempura with Ginger Lime Tamari, Chili Miso and Gomasio

‘We are eating asparagus again? Oh, I like the white one mama, mmm… they look delicious!’ It was the first reaction from Lilly when I served these asparagus Tempura for our dinner last night. I was enthralled by the way she gobbled them up with her favorite ginger lime Tamari dipping sauce, a pure enjoyment! Nothing makes me happier to see her loving food as much as I do. I was surprisingly impressed the other day by her liking for white asparagus, when she finished off (in fact licked clean!) her very first plate of blanched white asparagus, served with boiled new potato, cured ham and Hollandaise sauce (which is the traditional German way to serve white asparagus). Since asparagus season only last for about 2 months (between end of April and end of June in Germany), I will get hold on some whenever I see very fresh ones available in the market, since they are much tenderer when cooked compare to the green ones, with a subtle sweet note accompanied by silky smooth texture. It pairs brilliantly with a …