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
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My Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)

Tom Kha Gai_a little bit of soy

When I eat out and find something tasty, I always think how I can recreate it at home using easily accessible ingredients.

Tom Kha Gai was one of the dishes. I always loved this spicy and creamy Thai Chicken Coconut Soup and wanted to make it at home. The problem was galangal and lemongrass, which are not really common here in Australia. I tried a few attempts using common ingredients, which were “Good”, not “Delicious”.

And, a couple weeks ago, I suddenly made the “Delicious” version of Tom Kha! I seriously do not know what happened, but it came out really GREAT!

In this recipe, I use lemon rind and ginger instead of lemongrass and galangal.

This Tom Kha Gai has a lot of veggies, so that a bowl of this soup becomes a complete meal.

Hope you enjoy this super easy Tom Kha Gai.

 

Ingredients (Serving 4):

For Chicken:

1 Chicken Breast – cut into chunks

1 teaspoon of Cooking Sake (or White wine)

2 teaspoons of Fish Sauce

A pinch of Sea Salt

For Broth

900ml Water

50ml Cooking Sake (or White wine)

1 Lemon and the Rind

1 leaf of Kaffir Lime

15g of Ginger – peeled and cut into julienne

2 cloves of Garlic – finely chopped

1 bird’s eye chili-  finely sliced (remove seeds if you prefer not hot)

A pinch of Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce

270ml good quality Coconut Cream

5 leaves of Basil – sliced

For Vegetables – any veggies left in the fridge will be fine! These are what I used;

1 Onion – sliced

6 Mushrooms – cut into 4

100g Green Beans

8 Okra – trim the head and cut lengthwise into half

1/2 Red Capsicum – cut into strips

6 Brussel Sprouts – cut into half

250g Beansprouts

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, marinade chicken breast with cooking sake, fish sauce and a pinch of sea salt for about 20 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, place water, cooking sake, lemon rind, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, garlic and chili. Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat once it is boiled and simmer it for 20 minutes to make the broth fragrant.
  3. Add the marinaded chicken (Method 1) including the liquid into the pot. Cook it for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all vegetables (except beansprout) into the pot and a pinch of sea salt. Cook it for about 10 minutes or until the brussel sprouts are cooked.
  5. Remove the lemon rind, kaffir lime leaves. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, coconut cream and basil leaves. Squeeze 1/4 of lemon and simmer it for another 5 minutes.
  6. Place 1/4 beansprouts in each serving bowl. Pour the Tom Kha Gai over the the beansprouts. Serve while hot with lemon wedges.

 

 

 

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.

Spiced Carrot and Coconut Soup

Carrots, Onions and Potatoes are probably the most common vegetables to have in your kitchen. This Carrot Soup recipe can turn these “normal” veggies into a bit of a fun and exciting dish. I think that it is good to have this kind of dish in your repertoire.

It is getting cold here in Australia. This soup hopefully help you and your loved ones to warm up.

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Ingredients: (Serving 4-5)  

5 Carrots – roughly chopped

1 Onion – roughly chopped

1 Potato – roughly chopped

1 clove of Garlic

1 Bay Leaf – bend in half

700ml of Vegetable Stock

¼ Teaspoon of Cumin Powder

¼ Teaspoon of Turmeric Powder

¼ Teaspoon of Nutmeg

140mlof Coconut Cream

A pinch of Sea Salt

1 bunch of Coriander – roughly chopped

 

Method:

  1. Place carrot, onion, potato, garlic, bay leaf and vegetable stock in a pot. Heat it over medium heat and bring it to the boil. Once it is boiled, reduce the heat to low/medium and simmer it for about 30 minutes, or until the carrot becomes very soft and is breakable with a fork.
  2. Remove it from the heat and puree it with a hand mixer.
  3. Reheat it over a low heat. Stir cumin, turmeric and nutmeg into the puree. Add coconut cream. Season with sea salt. If the soup is too thick, add a little bit of water to make the soup your desired consistency.
  4. Top with coriander and serve while warm.

Healthy! Tuna Spread – without mayo

We do not store mayonnaise at home as we do not often use it. However, I sometimes feel that it would be convenient if there were one in the fridge.

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The feeling came to me last week. It was Easter Weekend and I was making some nibbles for a platter. I just thought that something with mayonnaise flavour would add variety to the platter. And then, this idea came to me – why not using Yogurt instead! That would be much healthier!

My new Tuna Spread without mayonnaise can be served as part of a platter, served with crackers, veggie sticks, or can be used for sandwiches. Even  though there is not mayonnaise involved, I guarantee it still has richness. It is super easy to make as well, so it will be a good recipe to have in your hand. Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients:

1 tin of Tuna in spring water (185g) – drain the water

2 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt

1/2 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard

1 Pickled Onion – finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon of  the liquid from a jar of pickled onions

A pinch of Sea Salt and Black pepper to season

1 small spring onions – finely chopped

Method:

In a small bowl, mash the tuna with a fork. Add all other ingredients to the tuna. Mash and mix all together until it becomes very smooth. Season it with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

 

Note: If you do not normally have picked onions in your pantry, you can use a small amount of capers instead. 

 

 

The Easiest Ever “MY”Brownie – Gluten Free

I think I found my basic brownie measurements! I am writing down the recipe here before I forget.

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I am a chocolate lover – especially good quality dark chocolate. This brownie is super rich and full of chocolate, but not too sweet, just as I like it.

This brownie is also very versatile. You can mix nuts, dried fruits and/or chocolate chips in it. If you bake in a round tin and arrange some toppings on it (such as strawberries, mascarpone cream or frosting), this will be a gorgeous rich chocolate cake. This time, I have put salted caramel sauce on top (see photo). The saltiness of the sauce and the richness of the brownie are just perfect. The choice is endless.

In addition, it is super easy to make. All you have to do is just keep adding ingredients one by one. Gluten free is certainly a bonus. If you need a chocolate fix, this is the perfect brownie for you. Hope you like it.

Ingredients (20cm square cake tin): 

120g Unsalted Butter – room temperature

180g good quality 70% Dark Chocolate

2 Eggs -room temperature

70g Dark Sugar

100g Cream

50g Almond Meal – shifted

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 170 ºC. Line a cake tin with baking paper. Break dark chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Place the dark chocolate and unsalted butter in a saucepan. Place it over a low heat and allow them to melt, while stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat once they become a smooth chocolate sauce. Put it aside.
  3. Place 2 eggs and dark sugar in a bowl. Whisk them together until it looks thick and creamy. I recommend using a hand mixer. It takes about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chocolate sauce (Method 2) and cream into the egg mixture (Method 3). Gently combine them together.
  5. Add almond meal into the mixture. Combine them gently until they are homogenised. Do not mix, otherwise the cake will be dense.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared square tin. Bake it for 20 minutes or until it is just cooked (until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean).
  7. Take it out of the oven and cool it down in the tin. Once it is cooled down, remove the cake from the tin carefully (the cake is very fragile when it is warm). Cut into small squares. You can keep them in the fridge.

 

Mapo Tofu “ish” – Quick and Easy

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Mapo Tofu is one of the popular Chinese dishes in Japan. The dish contains Tofu and meat (normally beef or pork mince) quickly simmered in a spicy sauce. It originated from Sichuan province, from which you can easily imagine that the dish is very hot and spicy! Although the Japanese version is much milder, it still has some kick and we love eating it with rice.

It is very easy and quick to cook, well…, if you already have the 2 important ingredients in your kitchen – Doubanjang (fermented broad been and chilli paste) and Dou-chi (fermented black bean paste), which make this dish “Mapo”.

Yes…, I know some Asian stores sell them…, however if you are like me and do not cook much Siuchuan food, these 2 jars will be sitting and doing nothing in the kitchen cabinet for a next 3 months… So I asked myself “Can I replace them with something that I already have to make Mapo Tofu- ish dish??”.

The Answer is YES. In this recipe, I use very common Japanese ingredients – Miso, Soy Sauce, Cooking and Chilli, which gives a depth and spiciness to the dish. I also add a lot of vegetables, so that this will be a complete dish especially when you serve it on rice (like me serving it on brown rice in the picture).

For meat, I like using Kangaroo mince as I love its leanness and sustainability in Australia, but you can use any meat you like. Beef or pork mince will be lovely. Same with vegetables. Although I recommend Daikon Radish (or normal while radish) as the freshness and crunchiness works in this dish well.

If you need something quick, easy, and something different, please try this recipe. Hope you like it.

 

Ingredients (Serving for 4):

350g Kangaroo mince (or any meat you like, such as beef or pork mince)

1 clove of Garlic – minced

1cm cubes of Ginger – minced

1 Red eye Chili (or as many as you like) – minced

1 Onion – diced

1 Zucchini – diced

½ Red Capsicum – diced

200g Daikon Radish – about 10cm long – diced

200g Silken Tofu – cut into about 2cm cubes

1 Teaspoon of Corn Starch or Potato Starch

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

2 Spring Onions – finely chopped

 

Sauce A – combined all together

1 Tablespoon of Miso

½ Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

½ Tablespoon of Sugar

½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder

 

Sauce B – combined all together

150ml Water

1.5 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 Tablespoon of Miso

 

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ list above) on medium/high heat. Stir- fry kangaroo mince, garlic, ginger and red eye chilli, while breaking up the mince with a spatula or wooden spoon. In order to bring the kangaroo’s best flavour, please stir fry it very well. When the mince starts becoming brown, oil from the mince will come out. Even though the mince has become brown and looks cooked, please keep cooking until the oil has disappeared.
  2. Add Sauce A and cook all together for about 1 minute or until the mince is well coated by the sauce. If the sauce starts burning in the frying pan, add s splash of water to it (not included in the ingredients’ list above).
  3. Add onion, zucchini, capsicum and daikon radish to the frying pan. Stir fry them for about 2 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  4. Add Sauce B to the frying and and bring it to the boil.
  5. Place the tofu into the frying pan. Stir and cook the tofu gently in the sauce. Please work gently not to break down the tofu. Simmer it for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Take 3 tablespoons of the sauce out from the frying pan to a small bowl. Add corn starch to the bowl and whisk it until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Add the mixture back to the frying pan and mix it into the sauce gently. Cook it for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce becomes thickened. Turn the heat off and add sesame oil.
  7. Top with spring onions and serve while hot. You can serve it on your choice of rice.