The Easiest Ever – Simplified Easy Ponzu Dressing

If you have ever been to a Japanese restaurant, I am sure that you have heard of this sauce called “Ponzu”.

Easy Ponzu Dressing _ a little bit of soy

Ponzu, which is a citrus based sauce, is commonly used in Japan as a condiment. How common? It is REALLY common.

Ponzu is tangy, fresh and yet quit round. In my opinion, it goes well with everything! AS a condiment, you can use it on a light flavoured dish (e.g. Salad, Tofu, Nabe Hot Pot) to give a bit of excitement, or you can use it for fatty proteins (e.g. fatty salmon, beef steak) to give a bit of refreshment.

The Standard recipe of Ponzu sauce is combine Soy Sauce and your favourite citrus (Yuzu and Sudachi Citrus are common in Japan), and then soak a piece of dried kelp and bonito flakes in the juice to make the sauce softer and sweeter. It is ready to use after resting it in the fridge from overnight to a week.

Today, I would like to introduce my super easy version of it.

Here we are in Australia in the busy environment. If you are like me, do you feel that you cannot be bothered searching for some special Japanese ingredients and waiting for another day to taste it?

In this Ponzu recipe, I made it as Ponzu “dressing” rather than “sauce”, therefore, it is still good to use on the day it’s made. Of course you can make a big volume and store it in the fridge too, just like a normal Ponzu recipe.

I use Lime here, but if you wish, you can mix with lemons and/or oranges and make your own citrus flavour!

If you would like to use up your citrus from your garden and/or try something different on your salad, please try this ponzu dressing. Hope you like it.

Ingredients:

150ml Lime Juice
50ml Soy Sauce
2.5g Dried Bonito Flakes (Japanese Katsuo bushi)
Method: 

Mix all ingredients
You can use it straight away or it can be stored in the fridge for a week to make it rounder. 
My easy Ponzu on Salad – a little bit of soy
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Bocconcini Salad with Strawberry Dressing

At this moment, I do not have access to my pots, pans or to my pantry as we are currently in temporary accommodation. What I have is only some essential things such as soy sauce (of course!!), dashi powder, cooking sake and sugar, which I think allows me to cook decent things.

And…, my boss (the kind one) gave me a packet of Shio Koji.

As I have written about it in my blog previously, Shio Koji is one of my “super foods” – which is not only for its nutrition but also for its versatility (please see here for more detail).

That made me cook something different from the usual suspects, and even allowed me to come up with this new salad idea!

This strawberry dressing is a little bit sweet as well as a little bit savoury – as the result of a touch of Shio Koji. It is a perfect salad for hot summer days!

Since Shio Koji can be purchased in the Japanese shops in Perth, I assume that it can be found in other cities. If you have a chance to find it, I recommend you to get and try it 🙂

Ingredient: 
For Salad
200g Salad Leaves
210g Traditional Bocconcini- cut into 4
1 Lebanese Cucumber -diced
1/2 Onion - finely chopped

For Strawberry Dressing
250g Strawberries - washed and hulled
1/2 tablespoon of Shio Koji
1/2 tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 tablespoon of Lemon

Method :
For Strawberry Dressing
1. Place all of the ingredients for dressing in a small pot. Heat the pot over medium heat with the lid on. Once it is boiled, reduce the heat to low.

2. Keep cooking for about 15 minutes or until the strawberries become very soft, while stirring and mashing the strawberries occasionally.

3. Remove it from the heat. Place the dressing in a clean container and cool it down in the fridge.

For Salad
In a salad bowl or plate, place salad leaves, bocconcini, cucumber and onions nicely. Just before serving, pour the strawberry dressing over the salad.

Healthy! Wasabi Prawn Cocktail – NO MAYO

This is a super easy and super yummy recipe – A Classic British with a Japanese Twist – Wasabi Prawn Cocktail (This may be called “Modern Australian cuisine”? I guess?).

Wasabi Prawn Cocktail No Mayonnaise_a little bit of soy

 

A hit of spiciness from wasabi matches with the rich and creamy avocado which makes this dish interesting! A slight sourness from lemon and saltiness from soy sauce harmonise the flavours. I have to say that this is QUITE yummy….

I use plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise. If you are like me who does not have a jar of mayonnaise in your pantry, this is a perfect recipe for you.

You can serve this as an appetizer or party nibbles. Hope you like it as much as I do 🙂

Ingredients:

8 King Prawns – boiled, peeled, deveined and then medium diced

2 Avocados – medium diced

2 Tablespoons of good quality Plain Yogurt

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon of Wasabi Paste

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

Method:

  1. Put plain yogurt, lemon juice, wasabi and soy sauce in a bowl and combine well together.
  2. Add prawns and avocados into the bowl and mix them together. Wasabi Prawn Cocktail No Mayo_a little bit of soy

Marinaded Vegetable and Bean Salad

This is a super easy and super humble recipe!

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In this season, we often get a lot of lemons from our friends who have lemon trees in their garden. In addition to my usual Honey Lemon Ginger, this is another good way of using up lemons.

I made this marinade liquid tangier than normal salad dressing so that the salad keeps a bit of kick after leaving over night.

If you make a big batch, it can be stored in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

If you have a lot of lemons in your kitchen or your garden, try this recipe. Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients

1 Carrot – diced

3 stalks of Celery – diced

1 Onion – diced

1 tin (400g including liquid) of Borlotti Beans (or your favorite beans)

For Marinade Liquid

100ml of Lemon Juice (about 1.5 lemons)

100ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

Good quality Sea Salt and Black Pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for dressing.
  2. Marinade all chopped vegetables and beans in the dressing over night.

Big Salad – Larb Gai – Thai Chicken Larb Salad

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It is getting cold here in Australia. However, I still sometimes feel like eating salad…. Big Salad. Is there anyone feeling the same as me????

I would like to introduce my Thai Larb Salad recipe today for my friends who feel the same as me – feel like big salad during this cold weather. This Larb Salad is warm. Chili in the salad makes you warm too. Super simple to make as well. Healthy  – no oil involved.

Convinced? Try it. Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients (serving 3-4):

 

For Salad

1 Carrot – grated

3-4 Spring Onions – chopped

1 Onion – thinly sliced

3 stalks of Celery – finely chopped

100g of Mushrooms (about 4 mushrooms) – sliced

300g of Cabbage (about 1/4) – thinly sliced

1/2 Cucumber – sliced

1 bunch of Coriander  – chopped

For Chicken

150- 160g of Chicken Mince

50ml of Water

50ml of Cooking Sake (or any cooking wine)

 

For Dressing

4 Tablespoons of Lime Juice

3 Tablespoons of Fish sauce

2 Teaspoons of Brown Sugar

1 clove of Garlic – finely chopped

1 red eyed Chili (or any of your preferred chili) – finely chopped

Method:

  1. For Salad, place carrot, spring onions, onion, celery and mushrooms in a large bowl. Arrange sliced cabbage and cucumber nicely on a serving plate.
  2. For Dressing, mix all of the ingredients very well. Put it aside.
  3. For Chicken, boil water and cooking sake in a frying pan. Add chicken mince into it. Cook it while breaking it up with a spatula, until the chicken is cooked and the liquid has almost evaporated.
  4. Add the cooked chicken with the remaining liquid (from Method 3) into the salad bowl (Method 1). Add the dressing (Method 2) into it and mix all together.
  5. Place the chicken mince mixture on the arranged cabbage. Add coriander on top. Serve it while the chicken is warm.

Vegan & Gluten Free! Roasted Capsicum and Lupin Dip

My new recipe using my new super food – Lupin Flakes! Today I would like to introduce a new flavour of my beloved Lupin Hummus – Roasted Capsicum Version!

Roasted Capsicum Lupin Dip_a little bit of soy

Roasted capsicum dip is so tasty and I always have to try not to eat it too much, due to the amount of cream cheese used in it.

So I thought, how about replacing it with something I do not need to feel too conscious about – Lupin Flakes!

The lupin’s subtle flavour complements the sweetness of roasted capsicums. Vegan and Gluten Free is certainly a bonus too. It lasts for about 4-5 days in a fridge.

Hope this new flavour of Lupin Dip can be a new addition of your repertoire 🙂

 

Ingredients

2 Red Capsicums (about 500 – 550g in total)

100ml Lupin Flakes

1 Tablespoon of Hulled Tahini

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

2 cloves of Garlic – roughly chopped

0.5 Tablespoon of White Vinegar

0.5 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt for season

 

Method:

  1. For red capsicums, cut each red capsicum into quarters. Remove the seeds and membranes. Place them skin side up on a greased oven tray. Grill them for about 15 minutes or until the skin has blackened and blistered. Remove them from the grill and wrap them with tin foil. Leave it for 10-15 minutes to make the skin loosen. Peel and discard the skin.
  2. For lupin flakes, place the lupin flakes in cold water and bring to boil. Boil it for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the lupin flakes a few times, and then drain off the water from the lupin flakes very well.
  3. Place the roasted red capsicums (Method 1), the cooked lupin flakes (Method 2), tahini, lemon juice, garlic, white vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a food processor. Process until they become smooth (or you can use a hand mixer if you do not have a food processor).
  4. Season it with sea salt and serve it with your choice of cracker, bread or vegetable sticks.

 

Sweet & Sour! Teriyaki Chicken and Roasted Vegetables Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing

This is my new “BIG” Salad Recipe.

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I try to cook salad for dinner more often these days, since we are trying to eat less carbs than before. This is just simply due to our age. We just cannot eat the same amount of food as we did before. However I would still like to feel satisfied after each meal.

So I made this salad. It contains both meat and vegetables, therefore it is quite filling while being healthy.

This Teriyaki Chicken Salad technically has 2 dressings (1 sauce and 1 dressing if I wold like to be specific) – Teriyaki sauce and Dijon Vinaigrette. The sweetness of teriyaki sauce and the sourness of vinaigrette dressing totally balance each other. The roasted vegetables suck these 2 dressings in! The soft boiled egg topping (which is optional, but!) gives the salad richness. YUM YUM YUM.

BTW, please note that you do not need to buy “Teriyaki”sauce from the shop 🙂 Hope you like it.

 

Ingredients (serve for about 3)

For Chicken

300g Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)

Salt and Black pepper for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon of Plain Flour

For Vegetables

6 big florets of Cauliflower

1 Red Capsicum

3/4 Butternut Pumpkin (or your favorite pumpkin)

1.5 tablespoons of Olive Oil for roasting

150g of Leafy Mix

Teriyaki Sauce

1.5 tablespoons of Brown Sugar

1.5 tablespoons of Soy Sauce (Japanese one)

0.5 tablespoon of Cooking Sake

Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing

2 Limes – juiced (you can replace it with 3/4 lemon)

5 teaspoons of White Vinegar

2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard

5 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Soft boiled egg for topping (optional)

3 Eggs

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  2. Cut chicken breast and all vegetables into bite size pieces.
  3. Place the chicken into a small bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Put it aside.
  4. Place the cauliflower and the pumpkin into a roasting tray, and the red capsicum into a different tray. Coat them with olive oil. Roast the cauliflower and the pumpkin for 30 minutes until they are cooked and caramelised. For capsicum, place the tray into the oven 10 minutes after the cauliflower/pumpkin tray. Roast it for 20 minutes.
  5. In the mean time, make teriyaki sauce and Dijon Vinaigrette dressing by mixing all ingredients. Put them aside.
  6. Make soft boiled eggs for topping. Boil water in a small pot. Place eggs into the boiling water gently. Please use cold eggs from the fridge. Cook them for 6 minutes. Remove from the pot and cool them down in cold water. Put them aside.
  7. Now make teriyaki chicken. Heat a small amount of oil (which is not included in the ingredients’list above). Sprinkle plain flour over the chicken breast and mix them well.  Place the chicken into the frying pan. Pan-fry both sides of the chicken until lightly browned. Turn up the heat to high. Add the teriyaki sauce into the pan. Keep cooking it for about 30 minutes or until the sauce becomes silky and shiny, while applying the sauce over the chicken with a spoon.
  8. Now assemble the salad. Place 1/3 leafy mix on each serving place. Arrange the roasted vegetables and the teriyaki chicken on the leafy mix nicely. Pour the remaining teriyaki sauce over the salad. Place the soft boiled egg on top. Serve it warm with the Dijon vinaigrette dressing.