Grated Carrot Salad – Carrot Rapee

French Grated Carrot Salad (Carrot Rapee) by a little bit of soy

It is cheap and versatile. These are the reasons why a bag of carrots is always in my fridge. I probably cook carrot every day. I put it in soup, simmer it in stew, stir-fry it with Asian sauce and just cut it as a veggie stick… For me, it is a kind of vegetable which is always there, therefore I do not pay much attention to.

However, today, I would like to introduce a salad featuring carrot, my French Grated Carrot Salad – Carrot Rapee.

In this salad, carrot beautifully plays a leading role. The orange colour look really vibrant on a table. The well balanced dressing is so right with the carrot’s earthy flavour. A secret is definitely cumin powder, which gives a bit of excitement to the salad.

If you would like to make it a little bit fancier, add some walnuts, cranberries or Italian parsley (all of them or some of them – as you like!).

This grated carrot salad is really easy to make, looks great and is tasty to eat. Hope this colourful salad makes your table brighter…

 Ingredients: 
2-3 Carrots

<Dressing>
1 Teaspoon of Honey
1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
50ml of Lemon Juice
100ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Teaspoon of Cumin Powder

<Optional>
2 handfuls of Walnuts
A handful of Dried Cranberries
A handful of fresh Italian Parsley - chopped 
Method:

1. Grate carrots. 

2. Make dressing. Combine all of the ingredients until it is homogenised. 

3. Pour the dressing over the carrots and combine. If you would like to make the salad fancier, add your choice of the optional. 
Advertisements

Healthy! My Easy Laksa Soup – without paste, without oil!

Healthy Easy Laksa by alittlebitofsoy

I love Laksa. Hot, Creamy and Rich… It is perfect for the cold weather as well as the hot sweaty summer. I love the fact that there are so many different varieties across Southeast Asia. It is fun to compare each Laksa in each region/country.

There are a few places that serve Laksa in Perth as well. Some are pretty good, some are not so good. What I have realised is they are quite often too oily for me. I am sure that the richness and creaminess can be achieved without this oil floating on the surface of the beautiful yellow soup…

So! I made my version of Laksa by keeping only what I like.

Difficult? NONONO! My recipes are never difficult!

My easy Laksa is:

  • No store-bought Laksa paste required
  • No need to make Laksa paste separately
  • No stock required
  • Not oily at all as no oil is used

Most of the ingredients (except cooking sake or white wine) should be found at the normal supermarket, therefore you can make it at home easily!

Most important tip for this Laksa recipe is how to cook the vegetables. I use a cooking method called “Mushi-yaki” in Japanese (or “Etuver” in French), where you cook the ingredients while they are steaming in their own juice. All you need to do is add salt to the vegetables and keep cooking on a low heat. That is all. This method is a wonderfully easy way to bring out the flavour of each ingredient. It is almost like making vegetable stock instantly in the pot.

This Laksa is one of my regular dinner repertoires, and my husband loves it too. Hope you add my Easy Laksa onto your regular menu and enjoy it as much as we do 🙂

Ingredients (Serving for 4)

For Chicken
1 piece of Chicken Breast (300g-330g) - cut into small pieces
1/2 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake or White Wine
1/2 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce
A pinch of Sea Salt

For Vegetables (There are just some examples. You can use any veggies left in your fridge!)
1 Onion - sliced
1 Carrot - diced
1 Capsicum - diced
3 heads of Bok Choy - roughly chopped
300g of Cabbage

Ingredients A
1 Tablespoon of ground Turmeric
1/2 Tablespoon of ground Coriander 
1/2 Tablespoon of Galam Masala
1 Teaspoon of ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
3 cloves of Garlic - finely chopped
20g of Ginger - julienne
1 Red Chili (or your choice of chili) - chopped

Ingredients B
900ml of Water
1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake (or White Wine)
1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1 Bay Leaf - bend into half

Ingredients C
270ml of Coconut Cream
1 Teaspoon of Fish Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Topping
Fresh Coriander - chopped (as much as you like)
Method:

1. For Chicken, combine the chicken and all of the other ingredients in a small bowl. Put it aside. 

2. In a large pot, place all of the vegetables and 'Ingredients A', and combine them all together. Make sure that the vegetables are nicely coated with the spiced. 

3. Place the pot over a low heat with a lid on. As juice from the vegetables comes out, let them cook in their own juice. If the spices have started burning on the bottom of the pot, add 1 tablespoon of water into the pot. Stir occasionally. Keep cooking for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables become soft and tender. 

4. Once the vegetables become soft and tender, add the chicken including liquid (from Method 1) and ' Ingredient B' into the pot. Increase the heat to medium. Once the soup has started evaporating, reduce the heat to low and simmer it for about 20 minutes. 

5. Taste the soup and season it with sea salt if necessary. Turn the heat off. Add all of 'Ingredients C' into the pot and stir well. 

6. Top with fresh coriander and serve it while hot. 

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

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.

 

 

 

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.

2018-01-02_17.56.50

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.

Mapo Tofu “ish” – Quick and Easy

2017-09-20_09.23.08

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.