Monday, 28 July 2014

Pork & Chinese Chive Dumplings with a Beetroot Wrapper

har gow, ha gao, pork dumplings, dim sum, yum cha



These cute little dumplings are perfect party appetizers: gorgeous to look at, perfectly sized and most of all delicious. This recipe is an adaptation of my Har Gow Dumpling recipe. As with the spinach dumpling recipe, I wanted to use a natural food colour to make these, so this recipe uses beetroot which gives a warm red colour to the wrapper once cooked, and contrasts nicely with the spinach dumplings. The filling in this recipe is pork and Chinese chives, with some water chestnuts for added texture. Tie them up with spring onion (scallion) ribbons for a pretty finish.

*Watch the Beetroot Dumplings Recipe Video*




Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5-6 minutes
Makes approximately 20 dumplings

Filling ingredients

120g pork fillet minced
2-3 Chinese chives, finely diced
3 water chestnuts, finely diced
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of salt and white pepper to season
Potato flour mixed with water

White wrapper ingredients

56g wheat starch
47g potato starch
5g olive oil
150ml boiled water

Beetroot wrapper ingredients

56g wheat starch
47g potato starch
5g olive oil
150ml boiled water
1 beetroot, sliced

Method



1. Combine the filling ingredients together and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes whilst you make the wrappers

2. Add a 1/3 of the potato starch to the wheat starch. Mix together then add the olive oil and the boiled water (which must be boiling hot). Stir quickly and then add the remaining potato starch. Knead with your hands until it becomes a smooth dough. Cover with foil to keep warm and set aside.

3. For the beetroot wrapper repeat the process above with the potato starch, wheat starch and olive oil. Add the beetroot slices and boiled water in a blender and blend together. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any bits.

4. Add the beetroot water gradually to the potato and wheat starch. It took me many times of creating this recipe to realise you don't need the same amount of water. When the dough is still sticky add the remaining potato starch and knead until smooth.

5. Dust your surface with wheat starch, divide the white dough in half and roll into an inch wide cylinder. Set aside

6. Take half the beetroot dough and roll flat until it is the same length as your white dough roll and roughly 2mm thick (see the video if you need a demonstration of this).

7. Place the white dough on top of the spinach dough and roll it up. Cut off any excess dough from the ends and then cut into inch long pieces. Repeat this process for the remain dough.

8. For each piece, flatten it with your hand and then use a rolling pin (I use a dumpling rolling pin which has sloped ends) to roll into a flat circle, roughly 2mm thick. The edges need to be a bit thinner so use the rolling pin to achieve this or pinch them down with your fingers.

9. Place a small spoonful in the centre of the wrapper, fold the sides up into pleats and pinch at the neck (again, the video has a clearer demonstration of this).

10. If you want to freeze the dumplings for later you should do this now before you cook them.

11. Place each dumpling on parchment paper and steam for 5-6 minutes, until the filling is thoroughly cooked.

12. Cut long, thin lengths of spring onions (scallions) which you will tie around the dumpling's neck once they have finished cooking. 

Chicken & Spinach Dumpling with a Spinach wrapper


har gow, chicken dumpling, spinach dumpling, green dumpling, dim sum

These cute little dumplings are perfect party appetizers: gorgeous to look at, perfectly sized and most of all delicious. This recipe is an adaptation of my Har Gow Dumpling recipe. I wanted to make these dumplings with no artificial colours so spinach provides the elegant green colouring for the wrapper. The red dumplings pictured are pork & Chinese chives dumplings with a beetroot wrapper. Tie them up with spring onion (scallion) ribbons for a pretty finish.

*Watch the Spinach Dumplings Recipe Video*

har gow, chicken dumpling, spinach dumpling, green dumpling, dim sum




Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5-6 minutes
Makes approximately 20 dumplings

Filling ingredients

120g chicken breast meat, minced
Handful of spinach, finely diced
8-10 bamboo shoot slices, finely diced
3 water chestnuts, finely diced
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of salt and white pepper to season

White wrapper ingredients

56g wheat starch
47g potato starch
5g olive oil
150ml boiled water

Spinach wrapper ingredients

56g wheat starch
47g potato starch
5g olive oil
150ml boiled water
Handful of spinach 

Method



1. Combine the filling ingredients together and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes whilst you make the wrappers

2. Add a 1/3 of the potato starch to the wheat starch. Mix together then add the olive oil and the boiled water (which must be boiling hot). Stir quickly and then add the remaining potato starch. Knead with your hands until it becomes a smooth dough. Cover with foil to keep warm and set aside.

3. For the spinach wrapper repeat the process above with the potato starch, wheat starch and olive oil. Add the spinach and boiled water in a blender and blend together. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any bits.

4. Add the spinach water gradually to the potato and wheat starch. It took me many times of creating this recipe to realise you don't need the same amount of water. When the dough is still sticky add the remaining potato starch and knead until smooth.

5. Dust your surface with wheat starch, divide the white dough in half and roll into an inch wide cylinder. Set aside

6. Take half the spinach dough and roll flat until it is the same length as your white dough roll and roughly 2mm thick (see the video if you need a demonstration of this).

7. Place the white dough on top of the spinach dough and roll it up. Cut off any excess dough from the ends and then cut into inch long pieces. Repeat this process for the remain dough.

8. For each piece, flatten it with your hand and then use a rolling pin (I use a dumpling rolling pin which has sloped ends) to roll into a flat circle, roughly 2mm thick. The edges need to be a bit thinner so use the rolling pin to achieve this or pinch them down with your fingers.

9. Place a small spoonful in the centre of the wrapper, fold the sides up into pleats and pinch at the neck (again, the video has a clearer demonstration of this).

10. If you want to freeze the dumplings for later you should do this before you cook them.

11. Place each dumpling on parchment paper and steam for 5-6 minutes, until the filling is thoroughly cooked.

12. Cut long, thin lengths of spring onions (scallions) which you will tie around the dumpling's neck once they have finished cooking.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Singapore Noodles




Singapore noodles are a really popular dish, and no wonder as they are flavourful, quick to make and very easy to adapt. Add your favourite meat, seafood and vegetables, and dial up the heat by increasing the amount of chilli powder.

*Watch the Singapore Noodles Recipe Video*

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes two generous portions

Ingredients

Rice vermicelli (enough for two)
Bean sprouts
1 small red onion, sliced
8-10 king prawns, cooked
1 chicken breast, cooked
1/2 of one red and one green pepper, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tbsp chill powder
1 fresh chilli, finely sliced
Small piece of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Soy sauce, pinch of salt and white pepper to season


Method



1. First fry the eggs, when they are around 80% cooked remove from the pan and set aside

2. Heat some vegetable oil to a high temperature in a clean wok, then fry the onion, fresh chilli and ginger.

3. Add the bean sprouts and the chilli powder, continue to fry. Then add the rice vermicelli, king prawns, chicken, a pinch of salt and a good dash of soy sauce.

4. Toss the noodles and other ingredients. Add the oyster sauce, egg, spring onion and peppers. Fry for another 1-2 minutes. Finally season with sesame oil and white pepper.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Chinese Egg Tarts (Dan Tat) 蛋挞



Hong Kong egg tarts, egg custard tarts

A dim sum favourite, Chinese Egg Tarts should have a flaky, melt-in-the-mouth pastry with a light, sweet egg filling. They're best enjoyed soon after cooking, so follow this recipe to make your own heavenly tarts. (Also known as Hong Kong Egg tarts).

*Watch the Chinese Egg Tart Recipe Video*

Preparation time: 1.5 hour + chill time in fridge
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Makes around 25 Egg Tarts

Water dough ingredients
300g plain flour
112g butter
38g sugar
150ml water

Water dough ingredients
300g plain flour
170g butter
300g lard

Tart filling ingredients
6 large eggs
150g caster sugar
300ml water
150ml milk
2g vanilla essence
2 heaped tsp custard powder

Notes:
  • I always use organic eggs to make my egg tarts. Their yolks are a much brighter yellow than normal eggs resulting in much brighter filling.
  • Most recipes suggest you use evaporated milk, however, I have found this makes the filling more dense and a bit stodgy so I use normal milk which will give your tarts the same delicate texture of tarts you get in restaurants and at Chinese bakeries.
  • The cooking is the key to perfect Chinese Egg Tarts, you need to time it like a military operation. This recipe assumes you are using a fan assisted oven, but adjust according to your own Cooker's manual if you don't use fan assisted.
  • Aluminium egg tart cases are best to use as you don't need to grease them, the tarts should slip out after they have cooled (you may need to prod one side with a knife first).

Method



1. Combine the water dough ingredients and mix using a stand mixer, or with your hands and then an electric whisk. The dough should be sticky, but firm enough to form peaks.

2. Spread the dough on a large piece of baking parchment paper and leave to firm in the fridge for 3-4 hours

3. Repeat this process for the oil dough.

4. Once both doughs are firm remove from the fridge and leave to warm for a few minutes at room temperature. This will prevent the dough from breaking if they're too firm. Place the oil dough on top of the water dough and fold into three layers (watch the video for more details).

5. Dust the dough with flour and roll until flat.

6. Fold the dough again into three layers and roll flat

7. Finally fold into four layers and roll flat until the dough is 3-4mm thick. Then leave the dough in the fridge for a good 6 hours or overnight if possible.

8. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out with a pastry cutter. I use an 88mm cutter which fits perfectly into my tart cases.

9. Place the dough into the tart cases and press firmly down on the bottom and all sides. Put them back in the fridge to firm up again while you make the filling.

10. For the filling whisk the eggs. then add the sugar, custard powder, vanilla essence, water and milk. Whisk again until all the ingredients are incorporated into the mixture and strain through a sieve to remove any bits. Let the mixture sit for a while to remove any air bubbles (help it along by gently tapping the bowl down so the air bubbles rise to the top).

11. Fill the pastry cases until they're around 80% full.

12. Preheat the oven to 240°C (fan-assisted) then cook the egg tarts for 8 minutes (set a timer!)

13. After 8 minutes lower the temperature to 110°C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until they're 90% done. Turn off the heat and leave to sit for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Chinese Steamed Egg


chinese steamed egg

Requiring only eggs, seasoning and water, Chinese Steamed Egg is the epitome of a simple dish, but is really tasty with a silky and smooth texture. Serve with rice and vegetables and you have a complete, healthy meal. 

*Watch the Chinese Steamed Egg Recipe Video*


The slow cooking of the egg is what will ensure you get the tofu-like texture. If you're in a rush just pop the egg in the rice cooker. It might not look as pleasing but it will still taste as good.

chinese steamed egg


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup of water
Pinch of salt
Spring onion to garnish


Method

1. Beat the eggs and then add the water, vegetable oil and salt. Beat again until the mixture is fully incorporated.

2. To ensure a smooth final dish, strain the egg mixture through a sieve into the serving dish. Cover the dish with foil.

3. Bring water to the boil in a large pot. Place the egg dish in the pot on a rice stand and lower the heat to a simmer. Steam for 15-20 minutes.

4. Remove the dish and check that the egg is cooked all the way through.

5. Serve with spring onion and soy sauce.




Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) Dim Sum 蝦餃

har gow

Bite sized shrimp meat wrapped in a delicate, pleated wrapper, Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) 蝦餃 are one of the most popular dim sum dishes. Make your own Har Gow with Mama Wok's version of this delectable dish.

*Watch the Har Gow Recipe Video*

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes around 25-30 Har Gow

Filling ingredients
250g king prawns (washed, deveined and chopped)
50g bamboo shoots (diced)
50g water chestnuts (diced)
1/2 spring onion (finely sliced)
1 teaspoon shaoxing wine
1/2 egg white
Dash of sesame oil
Salt and white pepper to season
1 teaspoon of potato flour (or corn flour)

Wrapper ingredients
112g wheat starch
95g potato starch (available in most Asian supermarkets)
10ml vegetable oil
300g boiled water

Notes:

  • Traditional har gow have prawns and bamboo shoots or water chestnuts only with seasoning. 
  • You can mince the filling in a blender if you wish, however, the texture is much better if you chop larger pieces by hand.
  • Keep the dough moist by covering with a hot damp cloth whilst you're forming the dumplings.


Method

1. Add the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and spring onion to the prawns. Mix and then add the shaozing wine, sesame oil, egg white and season with a generous pinch of salt and white pepper. Then add the potato starch. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2. For the wrapper mix the wheat starch with half of the potato starch. Then add the water which must be boiling hot. Stir together quickly and cover with cling film, leaving to cool only for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the rest of the potato starch and the vegetable oil and knead together until you get a smooth dough.

4. Roll out the dough into a long cylinder and cut into square inch pieces. Flatten each piece with your hand to make a thick circle and roll flat with a pin. The thinner the dough the more translucent it will be after cooking. However, too thin and it may fall apart. It's easy to do some trial and error as the dough can easily be reformed again if you make a mistake.

5. Place a small spoonful of the dough in the centre of each wrapper and form the pleats with one hand and pinch and seal the top with the other (watch the video for a demonstration!)

6. If you want to make a batch for later use, freeze the uncooked har gow at this stage.

7. Cook the har gow by steaming over a high heat for approximately five minutes

8. Enjoy with a sweet soy sauce or chilli oil

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Shelled King Prawns with Garlic Dipping Sauce

Shelled King Prawns with Garlic Dipping Sauce are super fast to make (5 minutes!) and look impressive served as an appetiser. 

Shelled King Prawns with Garlic Dipping Sauce


*Watch the King Prawns with Garlic Dipping Sauce Recipe Video*

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
20 raw king prawns with shell on
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Spring onion, finely sliced
1 small chilli, finely sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Small piece of ginger, peeled and halved
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
Pinch of salt


Method

1. Wash the king prawns. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the ginger and a teaspoon of oil. Add the King Prawns and cover. The prawns take 2-3 minutes to cook. Don't overcook them or they will lose their flavour. Once the prawns are nicely pink and opaque, remove and dry on a piece of kitchen towel.

2. To make the sauce place the spring onion, chilli and crushed garlic into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pour over boiling hot olive oil. Take care not to burn yourself as the oil will spit. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce.

3. Serve the prawns with the sauce. This dish is a great finger food to share with family and friends, so get stuck in and enjoy!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Steamed Flower Buns (Hua Juan)

Fluffy, sweet and moreish, steamed custard buns are a popular dim sum dish that are easy to make at home. 

hua juan, flower buns, dim sum

*Watch the Steamed Flower Buns Recipe Video*

Serves: Approximately 15 buns
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Dough ingredients
225g plain flour
60g sugar
8g yeast
1 egg white
22g lard
1/2 tsp white vinegar
100ml warm water

Glaze
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Spring onions, finely sliced
Salt and pepper to season

Method
1. Make the dough by stirring the yeast into the warm water. Set aside.

2. Combine the plain flour, sugar, egg white, lard, white vinegar and yeast and water mixture. Stir together until it forms a rough dough, then transfer to a well floured surface and knead for a good 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth. Place in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1.5 - 2 hours.

3. Once the dough has doubled in size, knead it gently into a cylinder and cut into small pieces and shape these into balls. Cover with damp kitchen towels and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

7. Roll the balls lengthwise until is about 3-4mm thick. Starting 1-2cm from the top slice the dough into either wide or narrow strips, depending on your own preference. 

8. Glaze the dough and taking a hold of both ends, twist the dough around, then curl one end inwards and underneath. Then curl the remaining end underneath.

9.  Add additional spring onions if needed. Place the buns on parchment paper and leave in the warm steamer with the heat off for 10 minutes. Turn the heat on and cook for around 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Steamed Custard Buns (Nai Huang Bao)

Fluffy, sweet and moreish, steamed custard buns are a popular dim sum dish that are easy to make at home. 


*Watch the Steamed Custard Buns Recipe Video*

Serves: Approximately 15 buns
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Dough ingredients
225g plain flour
60g sugar
8g yeast
1 egg white
22g lard
1/2 tsp white vinegar
100ml warm water

Filling ingredients
75ml condensed milk
60g cornflour
40g custard powder
20g plain flour
2 eggs
50g butter
150g sugar
1/2tsp vanilla essence
300ml water

Method
1. Make the dough by stirring the yeast into the warm water. Set aside.

2. Combine the plain flour, sugar, egg white, lard, white vinegar and yeast and water mixture. Stir together until it forms a rough dough, then transfer to a well floured surface and knead for a good 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth. Place in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1.5 - 2 hours.

3. To make the filling combine the plain flour, cornflour, custard powder and sugar and mix together. Then add the eggs, vanilla essence, condensed milk and water and stir. Bring water to a soft boil in a saucepan then reduce the heat and place the bowl of custard filling on top and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth and silky.

4. To cook the filling you can continue to heat over water, but this may take a long time. A simpler option is to pour the filling into a deep plate and steam for 10-15 minutes. It's important when steaming this way that you have it on a medium heat, as it is easy to overcook the filling, and it will become hard and difficult to work with. (See the video for a clearer explanation).

5. Once the filling is fluffy and moist, remove from the steamer and allow to cool. When it is still warm and malleable, break it up and shape into small balls either by hand or by spoons (which I prefer as it's quite oily).

6. Once the dough has doubled in size, knead it gently into a cylinder and cut into small pieces and shape these into balls. Cover with damp kitchen towels and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

7. Roll the balls into flat circles and place a custard ball in the centre and pinch the edge together to seal the bun.

8. Leave in a warm (not hot) steamer for 10 minutes, then turn on the heat and steam for 10-15 minutes on high.

9.  If you don't want to eat the buns right away, after cooking you can freeze them and reheat them again, and they should be just as good. 


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Chicken Stir-fry on Crispy Noodles


chicken stir fry on crispy noodles

*Watch the Chicken Stir-fry on Crispy Noodles Recipe Video*

Serves: Approximately 2 portions
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 Chicken breast, diced
Thin egg noodles
1 pepper, sliced
Baby corn cobs, sliced
Handful of mange tout
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, sliced
Small piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
Pinch of salt
1 heaped teaspoon of cornflour
Dash of Shaoxing wine

Method
1. Marinate the chicken by adding the sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine and cornflour. Mix together and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes

2. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan. The pan needs to be super hot, so wait until the oil smokes before adding the egg noodles. Fry, while flipping the noodles over, until both sides are nicely crisp and brown. Set aside on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.

3. In a clean pan heat the ginger in some vegetable oil and add the marinated chicken and sauce. Then add the carrots, onion and baby corn cobs. Fry for a short while before adding the mange tout. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the spring onion and pepper, stir then cover again for 1-2 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through serve on top of the noodles.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

New lunch bentos and flask + Daiso haul

Lunch can be a drab affair, especially with modern working where, if you're like me, you can probably be found hunched over your desk during your break, trying to squeeze in some e-mails and probably failing to not spill food over your keyboard.

Japanese bento lunch boxes are one way to avoid the monotony of lunchtime. I've found the process of creating and then unpacking a bento lunch box, even if you don't have fancy fillings inside (I rarely do), makes you much more appreciative of your lunch. I reviewed some of my lunch boxes before, but thought I'd review two new lunch boxes that I've been using a lot recently.

I was given this My Neighbor Totoro lunch box as a gift and it's probably my favourite lunch box so far. That's because I've got a weak spot for anything to do with Studio Ghibli, but also because the layout of the containers have really been well thought out and it is incredibly well-made and sturdy. There are two small containers, suitably sized for fruit and snacks, and a larger thermos bowl for hot/cold foods. I've only used it for cold pasta salads which I've found keep suitably cool by lunchtime. I haven't tried it with hot food yet but I don't think it would struggle to keep food hot for a few hours. The lunch box also comes with a super kawaii fork which is really useful if you're having pasta or salad.

This lunch box is small, so if you like a big lunch it's probably not for you, but it is perfect as a kid's lunch box.


I was also lucky to be gifted this stackable Hello Kitty lunch box. There are three sections, which you turn and lock together, meaning you can use either one, two or all three containers. The top lid has a handle which is really convenient for carrying around and flashing to other people, who may wonder what on earth a grown woman is doing with a (super cute) Hello Kitty lunch box.

This lunch box is quite small so I only really use it for fruit and vegetable snacks when travelling for work (it's not suitable for hot food) but like the Totoro lunch box it is a perfect size for a kid's lunch box.

(Similar stackable bento boxes here and here)

I used to have a Starbucks thermos tumbler for drinks at work. During one of my many clumsy moments I dropped it and it cracked open. I can be quite particular about my lunch things, and having broken my very reliable and perfectly sized tumbler, it took me a long time before I found a replacement that was:

a) the right size. Large thermoses are just too cumbersome and I don't want unnecessary weight when carrying a laptop, books and papers etc.

b) insulated enough to be able to keep drinks warm for a good amount of time

c) completely leak proof


When I say it took me a long time, I mean a good couple of months searching on the internet and browsing around stores. I stumbled across this thermos at Morrisons completely by accident. It was on sale for £3 (yes three whole British pounds!) It's the perfect, perfect size, probably about a mug and a half in volume, comfortable and easy to hold, but small enough to pop in my bag. 

It's well insulated and keeps drinks really hot for at least two hours, and it is completely and utterly leak proof with a flip-open lid. I am so happy with this flask that I went back to the store I originally bought it from and bought another at the full price of £4, as I was paranoid that if it ever broke I'd never be able to find something as good as this again. I might even go back and buy a third one as I'm still quite surprised at what a find this was and at an unbelievably cheap price, considering there are some very fancy and expensive thermoses on the market.



Mama Wok has been on holiday to Canada and always stops by Daiso when she is there (insert rant about Daiso not having a store in the UK). Apparently I have all the Bento boxes Daiso makes but she did buy some things which I'm looking forward to trying out in the future.

The mini grater is about the size of my palm and is for grating citrus fruits. I'm not sure how it would handle anything more robust like cheese as the spikes are really quite tiny. 

The vegetable cutters are three different flower shapes, much like the kind of vegetable shapes you see when you eat out at Chinese restaurants. I'll be swapping my daily carrot sticks for carrot flowers going forward.

The scooper is also minuscule and if you can see in the image above is apparently good for making fruit mushrooms (if I ever master this you can expect to see this in future Pop and Wok recipes!)

*************

We've had a bit of a break from posting recipes due to work commitments but we'll be back very soon with some new recipes and videos. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Egg and Tomato

Egg and Tomato is quick to make and requires only a few basic ingredients making it a perfect choice for when you just don't have the energy or time for anything complicated, but want a meal that is healthy and nutritious.


*Watch the Egg and Tomato Recipe Video*

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
4 beaten eggs
3 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
Half an onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
Pinch of salt
Spring onions to garnish





Method

1. Scramble the eggs in a pan and set aside once cooked.

2. In a clean pan, heat a little oil and add the onions and garlic clove and brown a little. Then add the tomatoes, salt, tomato ketchup, sugar and around half a cup of water.

3. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then add the scrambled eggs. If needed add a little cornflour to thicken the sauce. Serve and enjoy.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Squid in Satay Sauce

Satay sauce is deliciously nutty, sweet and spicy, and brings a real kick to tender squid pieces.

Squid satay sauce

*Watch the Squid in Satay Sauce Recipe Video*

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
1 whole squid
1 green, red and yellow pepper sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of salt




Method

1. Clean and prepare the squid (watch the video above for a step by step guide on how to prepare squid). Cut the squid into inch wide pieces and blanch in boiling water for approximately 10 seconds, remove and set aside.

2. Heat around a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and brown the ginger and garlic. Gradually add the red onion, a generous pinch of salt, peanut butter, satay sauce, celery, sugar, and the squid. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of water, soy sauce, oyster sauce and pepper. Stir for a moment before adding a little water if needed and the spring onions.

3. Put the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes and then serve.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Hello Kitty Vegetable/Fruit Cutters



Hello Kitty how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

I'm a sucker for Hello Kitty. Put anything stamped with a Hello Kitty logo in front of me and I'll probably squeal....and then buy it. It's a fatal flaw but one that gives me irrational pleasure.


I was recently in London for work and came across these Hello Kitty vegetable cutters at Artbox, Covent Garden. Well, I couldn't resist and they seemed like a simple way to brighten up my daily lunches with minimal effort.


I had intended to share a watermelon fruit salad recipe with these cutters but having run through the recipe a few times, on the day that I decided to film the video everything just went wrong. It was so disappointing. After an hour the light was fading and I had a load of cut up fruit just sat in one big, sad, sad pile. I almost gave up until I saw the cantaloupe melon that was just sat on the kitchen counter. I cut it in half, used a paring knife to cut a spiky edge, scooped out the soft centre, hollowed out the centre a little and piled in some watermelon, grapes, blueberries and my Hello Kitty apple slices.

To give it a bit of zing I drizzled a lime and ginger syrup over the fruit (put half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, one lime, cut into slices and a few slices of fresh ginger into a saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves and then cool and put in the fridge).

Unfortunately I did not manage to film this (though it's clearly straightforward to put together) but I did film the making of the Hello Kitty slices in the video above.

I think this would be a brilliant, healthy dish for a kids party, or even an adult party if you happen to know crazed Hello Kitty obsessives like myself. I even think they would be great for making small Hello Kitty biscuits to add to liven up a dessert which I will probably try soon.



Thursday, 29 August 2013

Tofu Stir-fry

Go vegetarian with this fresh, quick and healthy tofu stir-fry. Full of bright vegetables and with golden tofu, this dish is a perfect evening meal for meat free Mondays.

*Watch the Tofu Stir-fry Recipe Video*

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

2 fresh tofu blocks
2 pak choi
Handful of baby corn cobs
Handful of mange tout
5-6 oyster mushrooms
1 pepper, sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Cornflour to thicken
Spring onion to garnish




Method
1. For this recipe we are using quite chunky slices of tofu, but you can cube the tofu, just reduce the frying time accordingly. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the tofu carefully. Frying the tofu adds a lovely golden colour and helps to make it sturdier. Fry for a few minutes on each side, carefully turning, as the tofu is quite delicate. Once cooked, remove and keep warm.

2. For the stir-fry, heat some oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, red onion, mange tout, carrots and baby corn cob. Stir and then add the pak choi, oyster mushrooms, soy sauce, oyster sauce. Add a good splash of the Shaoxing rice wine and ginger, then the tofu and 1-2 tablespoons of water.

3. Fry for a minute, whilst stirring and then add the sesame oil. Put the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the peppers, replace the lid and simmer again for 1-2 minutes

5. Finally add cornflour if the sauce needs thickening, serve and garnish with fresh spring onions.