All posts filed under: vegetarian

Crispy Tofu with Szchuan pepper and chilli / chinese pickled cucumber recipe

Crispy Tofu with Szechuan Pepper and Chilli / Pickled Cucumber with Ginger and Chinese Vinegar

Happy Chinese New Year! Gung Hei Fat Choi! I wish you all prosperity and a healthy Year of the Dog! I used to love Chinese New Year when I was a child (I still love it but in a different way since I have been living in Europe for so long), because it is the time when the whole family will get together and spend some quality time with one another, share and enjoy wonderful traditional Chinese food, play games and watch some spectacular firework by the ocean. It is the time when everyone wishes everyone happiness and prosperity, everywhere you go is full of festive atmosphere. I do miss that feeling of being surrounded by my sisters, nephews and nieces, family time is priceless. Anyway, I hope those of you who celebrate Lunar New Year have a wonderful time and a lucky year ahead. Today, I have prepared two recipes for you. Crispy Tofu with Szechuan Pepper and Chilli, and Pickled Cucumber with Ginger and Chinese Vinegar. The crispy tofu recipe has a wonderful …

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 …

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. …

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. …

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 …

Maple Strawberry Galette recipe

Maple Strawberry Galette

There has been a constant flow of mouth-watering photos of pies, galettes and tarts going on Instagram lately, it makes me realise summer is in fact the best time to bake. Markets are abundant with local summer berries, plums, apricots, peaches, rhubarb, cherries etc., they are fresh and sweet as they are, but flavour intensify after going through treatment of heat. Especially when these fruits passed their prime, simply bake them in the oven, or stew them on the stove with a little sugar or natural sweetener, turn them into something rich and luscious. I was given two kilos of strawberries the other day and as much as we love strawberries and cream, we wouldn’t have managed to finish them before they rotted away or before we got tired of the sight of cream and strawberries. Luckily with all the inspiring pictures on social medias, I decided to make a gluten-free strawberry galette which I have been wanting to try for a while. To make a light and buttery gluten free pie crust (without the additional of special binders such …