Tag Archives: asian

five minute asian #mussel pot

five minute asian #mussel pot

This easy Asian-style mussel recipe combines fresh mussels with a pungent coconut cream sauce consisting of fresh ginger, garlic, chillies and lemon. The whole process is so speedy that the total cooking time may be less than 5 minutes, depending on how fast your mussels cook!

asian mussel  recipe

Five minute Asian mussel pot
Serves: 2
Cooking time: 5 min

250ml coconut cream
1 large thumb fresh ginger, grated
1 big clove or two small cloves of garlic, grated
2 green chillies, chopped
½ T freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ t salt
400g fresh mussels (I used the Woollies frozen mussels and just defrosted a bit under warm water)
Handful of fresh coriander

Method
Bring coconut cream, ginger, garlic, chillies, lemon juice and salt to a boil. Add the mussels and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve hot.

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes = blissful + whimsical combination

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes = blissful + whimsical combination

lemony pork and garlic scapes

Sometimes life just stumps you.  Such was the case when these absolutely, incredibly, beautiful and delicate garlic scapes found their way into my kitchen and onto my plate. A friend of mine, Daleen gave me a bunch of these green little wonders and said that I needed to cook something with it. But there I was, utterly stumped.  What was I going to do with these culinary flowers?  They belonged in a pretty flower vase on the window sill surely?  At first I thought the little buds on these slender green shoots were “onion flowers” and then with a wicked smile, Daleen informed me that they were actually garlic scapes or garlic flowers. I had never seen these little miracles before …Clearly, I need to get out more… Anyway, these flowers were just so fragile and perfect – long leafless stems with the little closed flowers on the top – and inside the flowers were the seeds of the garlic plant.  It was another wonder of creation.

garlic scapes, garlic flowers

But how and what could I do with these edible creations?  As always my weekly food journey starts with the world’s greatest encyclopedia, the internet. I read that the flower of the garlic plant is sometimes eaten and that it has a much milder flavour than the actual garlic bulbs. I read further that these seeds were mostly consumed while immature and still tender. This seemed to make some sense as the bottom part of the stem was rock hard. These stalks will be great in soups and stews.

inside of the garlic scapes, garlic flower

I don’t know why but my mind took me to Asia when I saw them … a dish of greens and pork. That is what I eventually decided to do…. My secret for this recipe was to keep everything simple.  The idea was to let the subtle garlic scapes infuse with lemon and then just let this flavour the greens and the pork.   The delicate simplicity of the flavours makes this a genuinely blissful, if not whimsical combination. Garlic scapes are available in stores at the moments – so please try it – it’s both fun and delicious.

lemony pork and garlic scapes

 

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the pork
  • 300g Pork fillet
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1T Soya sauce
  • Black pepper for seasoning
  • Salt – if you need extra seasoning
  • Oil for frying in pan
  • For the garlic scapes
  • 4-6 Garlic scapes (keep some whole and have some cut in halves) - use only a small piece of the stem and the flower
  • 2T Butter
  • Fresh juice from ½ lemon
  • A bit of white wine - +- 50ml
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For the Asian greens
  • Asian greens for two people - I went to the Chinese market and got a variety of greens i.e. bok choy
  • 1-2T Soya sauce
  • Oil for frying
  • Fresh juice from one lemon
  • Lemon infused olive oil to drizzle over your dish when cooked
Instructions
  1. For the pork: Add the oil to the pan and sear the fillets.
  2. Then add your seasoning - pepper + lemon juice + soja sauce - fry the pork fillets on medium high heat till done.
  3. Make sure your fillets are properly cooked through - but do not over cook. Add a bit of salt if you like.
  4. For the scapes: Add butter to a medium hot pan.
  5. Braise the garlic scapes till soft in butter and wine. This will take about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper for seasoning.
  7. For the other greens: Heat a wok until it is very hot – add the oil and then the greens.
  8. Flash fry the greens for a few minutees and add the soya sauce + lemon juice + pepper.
  9. Taste for seasoning.
  10. To serve: Add the greens to the plate.
  11. Cut your pork and put that on top of the green.
  12. Drizzle the juices of the pan over the pork + drizzle some lemon infused olive oil over the whole dish.
  13. And then place some garlic scapes on top.

 

 

12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

On Spring Day I found myself reading an article posted on the Independent Traveler site written by Lori Sussle – “12 International Foods to try before you die” – it’s kind of like a “food bucket list” for us ordinary people [see the full list below].

The first item on the list was Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls. Spring Rolls are normally associated with the freshness and vitality that comes with the onset of Springtime and are versatile, healthy and easy to make.

You can prepare either vegetarian Spring Rolls or add seafood or even meat and eggs, whatever your heart delights – but the most important thing for me when serving a fresh spring roll … is the dipping sauce. The sauce needs to compliment the ingredients inside the roll – you can make peanut sauce, soy based sauce or sweet and sour sauce etc. I decided to make spring rolls with ricotta cheese and my own dipping sauce – yip – I think the foodies will tell you that it is somewhat of a no-no to fuse Italian with Eastern cuisine. Well it worked – East meets West … its delicious and the ricotta adds a lovely creaminess to the roll.

In my recipe I cannot specify the quantity of ingredients you will need as this depends on how many Spring Rolls you would like to make or how “fat” you would like to make them…but I have included a list of suggested ingredients with a link to a YouTube video which shows you how to make your own fresh spring rolls. Try my dipping sauce – its fresh, salty, sour and sweet all at once and adds just another dimension to eating this Eastern treat.

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

An accidental tourists’ culinary bucket list ….

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed pope mobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” — Anthony Bourdain

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls – fresh spring rolls is a Vietnamese delicacy known as gỏi cuốn. Depending on the region, spring rolls are made in different manners with different ingredients.
2. Gnocchi – come in various shapes and guises and are soft dumplings made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato and egg.
3. Meze – is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans as either a breakfast, lunch or even dinner – with or without drinks (I prefer it with drinks… ). In Levantine cuisines and in the Caucasus region, meze is served at the beginning of all large-scale meals.
4. Lobster Roll – a traditional lobster roll that contains the fresh cooked meat of a lobster, tossed with mayonnaise and served on a grilled hot dog bun or similar roll, so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side.
5. Churros and Chocolate – a churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, it is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux-based snack. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche.
6. Kangaroo meat – is a meat from any of the species of kangaroo. It is produced in Australia from wild animals.
7. Saag Paneer– is an Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of spinach and paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach.
8. Ćevapčići – is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe.
9. Poutine – is a French Canadian dish, made with French fries, topped with brown gravy and curd cheese.
10. Completo – is a hot dog variation eaten in Chile, which, is usually served with ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. It is normally a lot larger than the American type of hot dog we have come to know.
11. Queso Helado – is reminiscent of frozen rice pudding flavored with cinnamon. Some say it’s like creamy shaved ice. It’s made from sweet milk with a touch of coconut or cinnamon.
12. Ktefa – traditional Moroccan dessert made by layering fried or baked warqa pastry with sweetened fried almonds and custard sauce flavored with orange flower water.

Source: Info from various internet web pages

 

asian fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 60ml Sweet chillie sauce
  • 2t Fish sauce
  • 1t White vinegar
  • 1t Chillie flakes or one fresh green chillie chopped
  • 3T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 80ml Water
  • Spring Roll
  • Rice paper wrappers – soaked in luke warm to warm water until soft. Don’t soak for too long as it will break easily
  • Vermicelli – soaked in boiling water till soft
  • Carrots – julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Cucumber - julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Spring onion – finely sliced in +- 6cm length
  • Avocado slices - +- 6cm lengths
  • Bean sprouts
  • Ricotto cheese
Instructions
  1. Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Spring Rolls: Youtube video

 

the simplicity of mince meat + eggs + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven

the simplicity of mince meat + eggs + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven

the simplicity of mince meat + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven

When I arrived at home on Friday night there was a huge red gift on my kitchen table from my loving husband. It was a huge, huge bag of red chillies – do you perhaps think he wanted to tell me something? Anyway, seeing these beautiful chillies took me back to Thailand – and my dear friend Pierre (kitchenbabble.com) in Bangkok. In 2010 I was privileged enough to spend a week in Bangkok where we shared the most wonderful times preparing all sorts of Thai dishes and specialities … but back to the chillies … chillies can be found in nearly every Thai dish or element of Thai cuisine – and rightfully so. I left Bangkok with the most fantastic memories and loads of recipes … but this one –  is my ultimate favourite – I gave the Grapua Moo Sub a bit of a twist.  Its easy to make and soooo tasty! Just so you know though … I added a bit of lemon juice and black pepper to the dish. Its heaven when that yellow of the egg breaks and spills over the cooked mince and rice.

mince meat + eggs + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 500g Extra lean mince meat
  • 2T Oil for frying
  • 8 Cloves of garlic – finely crushed - I love grating my garlic on the smallest side of the grater
  • 2T Fish sauce – I tend to use more – taste and see what your palette says
  • 3 - 4 Red chillies – chopped -I don't take the seeds out - I do like things hot
  • One nice big pinch of freshly grounded black pepper
  • A big squeeze of lemon juice
  • A huge handful of fresh basil leaves - please be generous
  • 3-4 Eggs (1 egg per person)
  • Cooked basmati rice or if you prefer normal rice
Instructions
  1. Heat your oil + add the mince - loosen the meat with your fork. It must be loose, fine and brown. Fry slowly till the meat is cooked.
  2. Now all you do is add the garlic, fish sauce, chillies and pepper. Stir it and let it cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice, taste and correct the seasoning with salt (I prefer fish sauce) and pepper.
  4. Poach or fry the eggs( if you fry your eggs make sure that these are sunny-side up and soft).
  5. To serve: Add the fresh basil to the mince. Scoop some rice into a bowl. Then add some mince to the rice. Top the dish with a soft poached or fried egg - season you egg with salt to taste. Enjoy!

 

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth=healthy hot winter warmer
I am by nature a foodie and as foodies go, we all have our foodie idols … One of my foodie idols is Chef Peter Tempelhoff – not only is he a great chef but also not too shabby on the eye – oh, who am I kidding everyone … he is hot! And if you come to my office you will see an A3 poster of him hanging next to my desk … but to my utter dismay two of my wonderful colleagues Johann and Pieter gave Chef Tempelhoff a mustache and a tattoo 🙂 … Anyway, two weeks ago I attended the Table of Peace and Unity lunch on the slopes of our wonderful Table Mountain and Peter Tempelhoff was one of the chefs responsible for the starter [miso sesame cured salmon and ginger prawn spring roll with soja jalapeno dressing]. I don’t know if it was the dish or perhaps him walking past that inspired me to do something hot with salmon. So later in the week I visited my Chinese supermarket for some ingredients and over the weekend made this really delicious, salmon in a hot and sour Asian broth. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It’s so easy … so tasty and so fresh … and cheers to the hot chef who inspired me to make this dish!

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 150g x 4 Skinless salmon steaks
  • Salt and black pepper
  • For broth
  • 1L Chicken stock (I use stock cubes for this – that’s what they do in Asia :-))
  • 2-3 Green chillies (...if you like things a little hotter, spice it up with one more ... but not too many as it will overpower your dish )
  • +-20cm piece of lemongrass – crushed with the back of your knife and cut into pieces (if you cannot find it but you do stay in Cape Town – contact me, I have a huge bush in my garden!)
  • 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
  • 1 Thumb size piece of fresh ginger – finely sliced
  • ¼ Cup of soya sauce
  • 4ml Sesame oil - just under a teaspoon (be very careful that you don’t overdo the sesame oil)
  • Juice of 2 limes (small) or 1 lemon
  • 2 Spring onions – chopped diagonally into thin slices
  • Handful of fresh coriander – roughly shredded by hand
  • Bean sprouts to garnish and to add some crunch
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan or pot add all the ingredients for the broth – except the spring onions, coriander and bean sprouts. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5-10 minutes allowing all the flavours to infuse.
  2. In a non stick pan fry the salmon until brown on both sides - +-2-3 minutes on each side should do. The salmon must still be rare inside – but you must be able to flake it with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve: Pour some of the broth through a sieve into a 4 bowls, add some spring onion and coriander. Put the salmon in the middle of the bowls and add some bean sprouts to garnish. I love fresh ginger so I always add the ginger I used for the broth in my bowl.
  4. Tuck in and enjoy!