Thursday, 18 April 2019

Stir fried Morning Glory (Pak Boong Fai Dang)

One of my favourites is this Thai style stir fried Morning Glory. 
Very quick and healthy, but most important very tasty.

1 bunch of Morning Glory (Water Spinach) , cut into 1 inch pieces, leaves and stalks separate 
5 gloves of Garlic, sliced
2 long red Chillies, sliced
2 tsp fermented Soybean paste
1 tsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Thai Fish Sauce
1 tbs Water
1 tbs vegetable oil

Prepare all the ingredients beforehand, ready to wok. 
Make a sauce from the water, fish sauce, soy sauce and soybean paste. 
Heat the wok, then add the oil, garlic and chilli.
Stir fry for a moment just to soften slightly then add the stalks of the Morning Glory. 
Stir together then add the sauce.
Heat through before adding the leaves at the last minute, just to let them wilt. 

Serve with steamed rice.
I also added a Thai style omelette to complete my meal. 
Bon Appetit! 

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Dim Sum - Daikon Cake - Lo Bak Go

So today I am making one of my favourite Dim Sum. Called by different names in English, like Turnip Cake, Radish Cake etc. 
I decided to call it by it’s actual ingredient that I’ve used, which is Daikon. 

The Daikon I got is fairly small, so I’m using two. But they come in all kinds of sizes, so you’ll have to adjust the recipe to suit your amount of Daikon.
Daikon is a kind of radish by the way, in case your not familiar with it. 
Instead of Chinese sausage I am using a nice smoked bacon, not only because I haven’t got any Chinese sausage, but also because I think it tastes nice. 
The cake needs to be sautéed, cooked, steamed and fried. So there are many steps to follow. But none are difficult. 
Here goes:

First the ingredients

2 Daikon shredded or grated
3 thin slices of smoked streaky bacon, chopped (or 1 small Chinese sausage]
2 dried Shitake mushrooms (soaked for 3 hours, starting with 150ml hot water) stem discarded and then chopped
1 heaped tbs dried shrimp (soaked for 3 hours together with the shitake) (keep the soaking water) and chopped a little smaller
100g Rice Flour (I used brown)
1 tbs Tapioca Starch
100ml water
1tsp of Salt and a pinch of white Pepper
2 tsp Sugar

Once all the ingredients are prepared we are ready to start cooking. 
Start by frying the bacon on a low heat to release all their oils or fats.
Add the mushrooms and shrimp and sautéed a little more.
Add the shredded Daikon and let it wilt and settle in the heat. 
Season with salt, white pepper and sugar, then add 100 ml water, put a lid on, 
and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile mix the soaking water, taking care that there is no grit in it, with the rice flour and tapioca starch.

After 10 minutes the Daikon should be soft and the starchy slushy is ready to be added. 
Stir everything well until it thickens into a paste. Turn of the heat.
Now to steam the Daikon Cake. 
Line a cake tin with cling film, leaving some excess over the edges, to be folded over later. 
Transfer he Daikon Paste mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top.
Fold over the cling film, to prevent drips from the steamer lid falling onto your cake.
Place into your steamer basket and steam for 1 hour.
Leave to cool before removing and be careful of the steam. 
Cool completely in the fridge. 
Remove from the tin and cut into thick slices.
Fry in a little oil until nice brown edges have developed.
Or be a rebel like me and fry it all like a frittata.
Serve with soy and chilli dipping sauces. 
Bon Appetit! 


Saturday, 29 December 2018

Surf and Turf P.F. Chang‘s style

So I had this dish at P.F. Chang’s in Fort Lauderdale once and loved it. Ever since I’ve been trying to recreate it. There are some copycat websites, but non seemed to have the recipe for this one.
This is my version. It has no lobster, but don’t let me stop you from adding a tail or two.
My recipe has ribeye instead of filet mignon. But it’s a part of the dish that can be changed to your liking. I can imagine Venison or even Kangeroo making a great substitution.

Surf and Turf Ingredients
Prepare all these ingredients separately and put aside, together in a bowl.

10 King Prawns, cooked
1 Filet Steak, cubed into 2cm pieces, quickly seared on all sides
5 asparagus spears, cut into 1inch length and steamed for 3 minutes, then refreshed in icecold water
5 Shitake mushrooms, sliced thickly and fried quickly
2 medium potatoes, diced and fried until golden

The butter glaze
Mix together
1 tbs oyster sauce
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbs shao shing rice wine
2 tbs water
2 tsp honey
1 the butter
1 tsp cornstarch
1 star anise
3 slices ginger
1 sliced garlic clove

Bring this sauce to a simmer. Then leave to cool and remove the whole spicings.
Now the preparation or mise en place is complete.

When ready to serve the dish, heat a wok as hot as it gets and throw all the surf and turf into it.
Quickly stirfry to heat everything through, add the sauce, let it bubble and coat/glaze everything. Serve right away garnished with chopped spring onion and coriander.
Bon Apetit.

PS, if you know another good version, please let me know :)

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Jellied Eel

As per repeated request I am posting this recipe which stems from my mother and her mother before that. 
Eel is caught in the lake of my hometown in Germany by the local fisheries. 
I was very happy to see their van/stall parked outside the supermarket. As I walked towards it, I was saying Eel, Eel, Eel repeatedly in my head, wishing it to be there. 
And yes! He had just two lovely and fresh Eels there, just waiting for me. 

This recipe is ever so easy and even considered old fashioned and unpopular. But before it gets lost, I am writing it down now. My mum is old now and doesn’t remember any receipts. 
So here it is the way I recall it. 
The measurements are not in stone, so you have to add little and taste, use your judgement and creativity, and sometimes I think a bit of luck, and a bit of magic.     

Here is picture, but it’s not mine. Mine wasn’t very pretty, so I put it at the end...


1large Eel, 1kg ish,  cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Onion, roughly sliced
1 Carrot, sliced
5 Peppercorns
3 Cloves
2 Bayleaves 
2 tsp sea Salt
2 tsp Sugar
2 tbs White Vinegar

Add the Eel, salt, carrot, onion, pepper, cloves and Bayleaves to a pot and add water 
literally to just cover everything.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. 
Leave to cool slightly, then season with sugar and vinegar to taste. 
Your looking to achieve a good picking type liquid or brine, which will become the jelly, but also flavour the fish.

Once cooled to room temperature place the fish and liquid into its glass or ceramic serving dish, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. 
In the morning you will have Jellied Eels! The liquid yellifies all by itself. 
Eat with some rye bread or toast or steaming hot boiled potatoes and horseradish sauce. 
Bon Appetit, 

Ps: Eel are not sustainable everywhere, so make sure you get it from a sustainable source.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Shashlik with Letcho

I’m sure you’ve heard the word Shashlik before and maybe in your tradition is actually is a kind of meat on stick dish. The one I’m presenting here is the kind of Shashlik (actually spelled Schaschlik. Where I’m from) I remember from childhood BBQ’s in North Eastern Germany. 
Much of our cuisine was highly influenced by Hungarian dishes, and this one is a prime example. 
Meat on sticks covered with a tangy Paprika and tomato based sauce. Fond memories....

For the Schaschlik any kind of meat or sausage can be used, but tradition had it, that 
Diced Pork Fillet
Thick sliced of bacon and diced pork liver
Or pieces of liver rolled in bacon
Sliced pickled cucumbers and 
Onion segments
were used to make up the sticks. 

Nowadays I like to add more things. Meatballs, bratwurst, peppers, mushrooms and whatever else I can think of. The more variety to more fun to eat! 

The Letcho sauce is made by 
Sautéing Bell peppers or similar and onions in bacon fat or olive oil, then adding fresh tomoatoes, preferably skinned or tinned or passata. I like passata as it’s nice and smooth and makes an attractive sauce. 
Simply add salt, pepper and paprika powder to taste and a delicious sauce awaits. It’s lovely hot, but I actually really like it fridge cold. 

The traditional Schaschlik Recipe:
1 Pork Fillet, diced into 1inch pieces
400g chicken livers, cut into equal size pieces to the Pork 
4slices of streaky bacon cut in half and used to roll around the chicken livers
1 onion, quartered, then the segments separated. 
1 large gherkin, thickly sliced
Salt, pepper and paprika powder mixed together to make the seasoning 

Alternate the ingredients onto your skewers and bbq, grill or shallow fry on a medium heat until cooked through, while turning frequently. 

Letscho German Style:
1 red, yellow and green bell pepper, sliced
1 400ml jar of passata
1 onion, sliced
1tbs lard, (I’m using olive oil, but lard was the fat of choice in olden days)
Salt, pepper and paprika powder to season

Sauté the peppers and onions in the fat until softened, the. Add the passata, season and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Serve hot, warm or leave to cool. It’s delicious at any temperature. 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Chicken Biryani

Here is my home made Chicken Biryani recipe. It is not strictly regional but a version which includes all the things I love, the way I love them. Much could be said about the subject, but Im not one for many words these days, so here it goes:

There are a few steps to Biryani. 
Step one: 
Soak 1 mug of basmati rice in cold water 
Step two: 
Make the chicken curry:
Ingredients: serves 4
The marinade for the chicken
2 skinned free range chicken thighs or legs cut at the joint
2 tbs yogurt low fat, but not fat free as this may curdle while cooking
1 chopped tomato
1 tbs ginger garlic paste
1 tbs crisp fried onion
1 tbs Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
Mix all this together and set aside

Step three:
Into a pot that has a nice tight fitting lid, goes: 
1tbs oil or ghee or a mixture of both
6 Green Cardamon pods
3 pieces of Cassia Bark or 1cinnamon stick
10black peppercorns
6 cloves
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered

Fry the whole spices and potatoes for a little while until fragrant and the potato is lightly browned on the sides. 

Add the marinated chicken to the pot and stir well together. Add just enough water to keep everything simmering without going to dry. 

Step Four:
Now cook the soaked basmati rice for 5 minutes in simmering seasoned water. 
Bring enough water to easily engulf the rice to a rolling boil with salt, a couple of cardamon pods, 2 cloves and a cassia bark stick. Carefully poor the drained rice into the water and simmer for 7 minutes. The rice will now be about half done. 
Strain the rice through a colander.

Step Five:
The chicken should now be ready for the rice to go on top. 
But first place 4 soft boiled, peeled eggs onto the chicken curry. Then sprinkle the part cooked rice gently on top of the curry. It's important to leave it fluffy instead of pressing it down. 
Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, then turn off the heat and leave to sit for a further 5 minutes before revealing your aromatic Biryani. 
Sprinkle with mint, coriander and more crisp fried onions and serve with mint and onion raita. 
Bon Apetit! 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Wonton Soup

I've been meaning to make these at home for a very long time. Today I finally found the time and have gathered all the ingredients. 

They are:
For the dumpling stuffing mixture:
300g minced lean pork
200g raw prawns, chopped roughly
1 egg
1 heaped tsp corn starch
3 chopped spring onions
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp salt
A few shakes of white pepper 
5 drops of toasted sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce 
Simply mix all these ingredients together with your hands. 

There are a lot of home cook recipes out there, that add all sorts of vegetables to the mix, but I want the most authentic Chinese restaurant taste, that I crave. So no extra veg in my mix!

I have bought dumpling wrappers from an Asian grocery. They usually come frozen. There are thin ones or thicker ones, round or square ones. The shape doesn't matter, but thinner ones are better for this purpose. 

Next it's filling the wrappers. After defrosting, gently pull a wrapper off, lay it out in one hand and with a spoon gather a small amount of stuffing and place it on the middle of the dumpling skin. Have a cup of water nearby to dip the spoon in and use the edge of the spoon also to lightly wet the outer edge of the wrapper. Then fold over and seal. You only need to wet one side, to stick it to the other side. It seems a bit fiddly at first but I promise it gets easier as you go! 

There are many ways to shape wontons, but however you do it, it's going to be the right way! As long as the filling is enclosed in the wrapper ;)

 I have tried both steaming and boiling the wontons, and both work, but boiling achieves a softer texture, while steaming a more chewy one. 
I like them both. 

As there are now quite a few wontons lying around, so I have frozen some in batches and have eaten some straight away... but to make the actual soup, I used the water that the wontons cooked in. Strained out any bits and seasoned with a little light soy and added a few chopped spring onions. To make more broth, I would use a light chicken stock to create it, seasoning with light soy and a couple of drops of sesame oil. 
The wontons are so delicious they need nothing more. 

However to make it more of a meal, Chinese cabbages, mushrooms and noodles can be added. 

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