Monday, September 18, 2017

Cold Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion

I'm currently obsessed with cooking from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop. Each recipe I've tried is delicious. Almost all of the recipes are simple and doable, with easy to find ingredients. She has provided some alternative ingredients for some of the recipes, which is really helpful. This dish, Cold Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion is such a simple dish but very tasty. We love this dish!

Best used deboned chicken thigh, but I have used a mixture of  chicken breast  and thigh meat. This is made with cold cooked chicken. If you do not have any, you can poach the chicken in water with a piece of smacked ginger and a few spring onion whites, simmered for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. I added some salt to the poaching liquid. Remove the chicken and rinse in cold running water. Then allow to cool. I used the poaching liquid (which is very tasty!), to make a simple tofu soup.

Cut the chicken meat into small bite-sized pieces and arrange on a serving plate. Scatter with chopped ginger and chopped spring onion. Heat some cooking oil until sizzling hot and spoon it over the ginger and onion. The sizzling sound is essential! If it doesn't sizzle, then the oil is not hot enough. Have some soy sauce diluted with some water and pour this over the chicken. Serve.
This method is similar to the one she used to cook steamed fish, which I've made here.

We had this with rice and there's no leftovers. Delicious!

The recipe can be found here.
Or get the book, Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop, on page 50.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #21 hosted by 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Green Bean and Potato Curry

This month's featured ingredient/dish at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) is Potatoes! I'm visiting the recipes from Madhur Jaffrey this week, and made her Green Bean and Potato Curry. Madhur Jaffrey describes this dish as "This is a simple curry to be served with rice, pickles and chutneys"

There's some Sri Lankan Raw Curry Powder used in the recipe, but not to worry, she has included how to make this curry powder at home. It is really simple and does not take up much time at all.

The toasted spices

The spices used : coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fresh curry leaves, desiccated coconut, raw rice and brown mustard seeds. I have all the ingredients in my pantry and the curry leaves from my garden pot. These spices are supposed to be put into the oven at low temperature for one hour. But I have toasted them in a saucepan over the stove until fragrant and the curry leaves are dry and crispy, which takes about five minutes. Let the spices cool, and grind as finely as possible in a dry mill. 

Grind as finely as possible. It smells really good.

To cook the curry, the cubed potatoes are first boiled in some water which is added a pinch of turmeric, for a few minutes until the potatoes are almost done. I have skipped this part, and added the potatoes along with the green beans during cooking. Also I have added some hard-boiled eggs, peel and add to the curry along with the veggies. Other ingredients used ; chopped onions, garlic, ginger, fresh green chillies, cinnamon stick, lime juice and coconut milk.

This is a simple and mild curry. Both the hubby and son thought that this curry is tasty. We ate this with rice, and I'm glad I've added the hard-boiled eggs. 

Green Bean and Potato Curry
(adapted from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey)
2 medium potatoes (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
15 fresh curry leaves (substitute fresh holy basil or basil leaves for a different but equally interesting flavour)
1 cup very finely chopped shallots or red onion
3 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 small fresh hot green chillies, cut crosswise into fine rings
3/4 pound green beans, cut to 1" lengths
4 teaspoons Sri Lankan Raw Curry Powder **
1 cup canned coconut milk (shake the can before using)
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I use 1 teaspoon)
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled (my addition)

In a medium pot, combine the potatoes, enough water to cover them well, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn the heat down a bit, and cook until the potatoes are almost done but still hold their shape well. Drain. (I have skipped this step, adding the potatoes along with the green beans).
Put the oil in a large saute pan or frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the curry leaves. Ten seconds later, put in the shallots, garlic, ginger, and green chillies. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Put in the green beans (and potatoes) and saute for another minute. Put in the curry powder and stir once. Now put in the coconut, 1 cup of water, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, cinnamon stick, salt and potatoes (and eggs). Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook about 15 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. Add the lime juice and stir it in.
Remove the cinnamon stick and serve.

Sri Lankan Raw Curry Powder
(This curry powder is perfect for all vegetable curries)
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
1-1/2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon whole fenugreek seeds
3 whole sprigs fresh curry leaves (about 60), if available (or a small handful of dried ones)
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
1-1/2 teaspoons raw rice
1/2 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds

Preheat the oven to 150F, or the lowest temperature setting.
Spread the seasonings out on a tray and put them into the oven for 1 hour. Cool. Transfer to a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder and grind as finely as possible. Store in a tightly lidded jar away from heat and sunlight.
(I toasted the spices in a dry saucepan over the stove on a low heat until the spices are fragrant and the curry leaves are dry and crispy).

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Potatoes !


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #21 hosted by 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pork With Cumin

Originally, this recipe is Beef with Cumin, but I have replaced the beef with pork fillet. This is a simple and quick stir-fry. 

The meat are sliced into thin bite-sized pieces and then marinated with Shaoxing wine, salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and potato flour. The pork slices are then stir-fry briskly in some hot oil in a  wok over a high flame until the pieces separated, then remove to a plate and set aside. I stir-fry until the meat are cooked.

Heat some oil in a wok, add the chopped garlic and ginger, stir until they are fragrant, then add the sliced red and green peppers, continue to stir-fry until hot and fragrant. Return the meat slices to the wok, give a good stir, then add the cumin and dried chillies, When all is sizzling and smells delicious, toss in the chopped spring onions. Remove from heat and stir in some sesame oil. 

This is a delicious dish! So fragrant from the cumin and so very tasty! We really like this dish, delicious as part of a meal with white fluffy rice. 

The recipe can be found here
(or get it from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop, pg106)

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #21 hosted by 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Double Cheese and Chive Loaf

This is another fabulous bread from master baker, Dan Lepard, taken from his wonderful book, Short & Sweet. A fantastic book with bread, cakes, cookies, desserts recipes. I have made several recipes from this book and have great results. 

Double Cheese and Chive Loaf recipe is one of the variations from his basic White Farmhouse Tin Loaf recipe, where he has added Parmesan and Cheddar cheese, with some chives, to make an entirely new bread, resulting in this fabulous tasty loaf. He has other variations which you can find from .

Instead of kneading the dough like you usually would, Dan Lepard uses his easy method of fold, push and turn, which is repeated at 15 minutes interval, thrice. A good idea  to get this book to learn about his simple method and other tips, plus tons of fabulous recipes!

I reduce the salt to half teaspoon, taking into account of the salty cheeses used. For the chives, I have used Chinese garlic chives from my garden pot. 

The bread bakes to a lovely golden brown and rises beautifully.

With moist, soft crumbs and tastes just fabulous, good to eat on its own. We had this loaf as a sandwich bread with slices of ham.

The holes where the diced Cheddar has partially melted. Nice!

The recipe can be found at, with some other variations as suggested by the author.

Double Cheese and Chive Loaf
(Short & Sweet, by Dan Lepard)
For the sponge :
225ml warm water
1 teaspoon fast action yeast
175gm strong white flour

For the dough :
175gm strong white flour, plus extra for shaping and dusting
1 teaspoon fine salt
25gm unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
50gm grated Parmesan
200-250gm Cheddar, cut into 1cm dice
a small bunch of fresh chives, snipped into 1cm lengths
oil for kneading

Get the sponge ready by pouring the warm water into a mixing bowl, stirring in the yeast and adding 175gm flour. Stir it together, cover the bowl and leave for 2-4 hours, or even overnight. When you're ready to make the dough, put the second batch of flour into a bowl, add the salt and rub the butter through until it vanishes, so there are no little lumps floating around. Add the grated Parmesan, diced Cheddar and chives. Pour in the yeast batter, mix the whole lot up into a big sticky clump of dough, then scrape the bits off your fingers, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave for 10 minutes. Knead the dough (fold, push and turn method), repeating after 15 and 30 minutes, then cover and leave for a further 30 minutes.
Butter and flour a large deep loaf tin, about 19cm long. Lightly flour the work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 2cm thick that measures (from left to right) slightly less than the length of the tin; roll it up tightly and place seam-side down in the tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave until increased in size by half.
Heat the oven to at least 220C/200C fab/425F/Gas 7, thouogh if you can get it 20C hotter even better. Steam the oven if you like , dust flour over the dough with a small fine sieve or tea-strainer, slash the loaf down the centre about 1cm deep with a sharp blade or sharp serrated knife, and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200C/fan 180C/390F/Gas 6, and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until the crust is the colour you like.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #21 hosted by 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cabbage, Carrot and Caraway Broth

Theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), is Slide Into September ! As our friends in the US and some other parts of the world is entering into fall, with the summer season ending soon, it is time to use up the extra produce from the summer harvest. I am not familiar with which veggies are grown in each season,  I googled for info and read that cabbage is a late summer-early fall harvest. As we are in the tropics, our cabbages and other veggies are grown whole year round, mostly in the highlands, where the weather is cooler. So our cabbages and other veggies are available throughout the year.

This is a simple, easy, affordable and quick soup to make. It is light and tasty. We do love veggie soups like this. I have cooked veggie soups like this often and most of the time with stock made from simmering dried anchovies. But for this, I have used Rapunzel organic veggie broth cubes. For the cabbage, I have used our local Chinese cabbage (Napa Cabbage), which is sweet and great in soups. I have never used caraway seeds in a soup before, and was surprised to see it being used in this recipe.  I find that I like it very much. The other ingredients are chopped onions and sliced carrots. 

I made this soup for dinner as part of a meal with white fluffy rice, a vegetable stir-fry and a chicken dish. We like to end our meal with a bowl of clear, light veggie soups such as this.

Cabbage, Carrot and Caraway Broth
(River Cottage Light & Easy, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
serves 4
1 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots (about 150gm in total), peeled and sliced about 5mm thick
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
300gm cabbage, such as Savoy, core removed, leaves roughly chopped
1 litre hot vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil, to finish

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt, cover and sweat gently over a medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until translucent and softened.
Add the carrots and caraway seeds to the pan and stir until well combined. Cook, covered, for a further 3 minutes or so.
Add the cabbage, stir well and then pour over the veg stock and season with pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the carrots and cabbage are both tender. Taste and add more salt and pepper as necessary.
Ladle into warmed bowl, making sure everyone gets a share of the caraway seeds, which tend to drift to the bottom of the pan. Give each bowlful a swirl of extra virgin oil and serve.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Slide Into September!


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #21 hosted by 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary, Garlic and Potatoes

I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) is having a Potluck this week. I've made Nigella Lawson's, Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary, Garlic and Potatoes, from her book "Simply Nigella". In the book, she says that "I am back to familiar territory with this ; the smell of chicken roasting with lemon, rosemary, and garlic has always seemed to me the essence of all that is comforting. But this version is so sprightly and robust that I feel it uplifts as it soothes; it is good-mood food, and good-mood cooking, too. You just throw everything in the pan with brio  and let it roast away merrily".

Instead of roasting a whole chicken, I have cut the chicken into eight quarters. And I've used dried rosemary. I've used two lemons as indicated in the recipe, but the next time I will use only one, as I find that the lemons makes this roasted chicken a little too sour. And I've used two heads of garlic instead of one. 

This is one super easy meal to prepare, just put everything in the pan and let the oven do the work!

Overall, this makes a nice roasted chicken meal. Moist, tasty tender chicken and always a favourite in our house, potatoes.

Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary, Garlic and Potatoes
(Simply Nigella,by Nigella Lawson)
Serves 6
1/4 cup regular oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary needles, plus more to serve
1 head of garlic, separated into (unpeeled) cloves
2 leeks
2-1/4 pounds waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, washed if necessary, but unpeeled
2 unwaxed lemons
1 medium chicken (approx 3 pounds), preferably organic
sea salt flakes or kosher salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F. Get out the biggest roasting pan you have, and pour all but a teaspoon or so of the oil into it. Throw in the chopped rosemary needles and the garlic cloves.
Trim the leeks and cut each in half lengthways, then slice into half-moons and drop these leek curls into the pan, too.
Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch slices, then cut each slice into 4, or just halve them if the potatoes are small, and add these to the pan.
Quarter the lemons, then cut each quarter in half, take out as many pips as you can without exerting yourself unduly, and toss the lemon quarters into the pan. Now schmoosh everything to mix, and then make a space in the middle of the pan for the chicken to sit in.
Untruss the chicken, place it in the reserved parking space, pour the tiny bit of remaining oil on top of it, and sprinkle sea salt flakes on top of the chicken only. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, and if the juices of the chicken run clear when you push the tip of a knife into the joint where the thigh meets the body, remove the chicken to a board to sit, letting the juices from its cavity spill back into the pan as you do so, then put the potato mixture back in the oven for 10 minutes until soft and golden. If the chicken needs longer, keep everything in the oven until the chicken's cooked.
When it's ready, and the chicken has rested, either carve it or cut into joints as wished - I find the chicken goes further if carved. If you don't want to serve the lemony, garlicky potatoes from their pan, transfer them to a serving plate or dish and sprinkle with 1/2 a teaspoon or so of finely chopped rosemary needles and sea salt flakes to taste.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
August 2017 Potluck !


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #21 hosted by 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tomato and Black Olive Bread

The book, Make Ahead Bread, is filled with recipes for breads which allow you to prepare the dough the day before, and bake the next day. Most of the prepared bread dough are first allowed to rise, then deflate, and left to slow-rise in the refrigerator overnight. Great if you do not have enough of time to spend on making bread on one single day as it could take hours to make a loaf of bread or almost the whole day depending on the type of  bread you are making.

I've made this fabulous loaf, Tomato and Black Olive Bread, but did not refrigerate the dough overnight. I mixed the dough and let it rise, both times on the kitchen counter, and bake on the same day itself, since I am not rushing for time. It turned out fine. 

The recipe given below is for two large loaves, so I have scaled down to half to make only one loaf. The olives are very moist even though I've used some paper towels to pat them dry. I use the stand mixer to mix the dough, then remove it and hand-knead gently when I added the olives, as the olives are quite fragile and breaks easily. The dough is quite sticky, so I've added more flour. It will still be a little sticky, but will firm up on the second rising. Just dust the working surface lightly with flour and your hands too, when handling the dough.

The dough after the final rising.

The bread bakes up with a lovely golden brown crust.

This is one fabulous bread. With moist, soft crumbs and very tasty from the tomato juice and the black olives. Makes a nice sandwich bread and also good with stew.

Tomato and Black Olive Bread
(Make Ahead Bread, Donna Currie)
makes two 12-inch round loaves
1 cup room temperature water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
5 to 5-1/2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
1 cup tomato juice
1-1/2 tsp teaspoon kosher salt
One 6-ounce can pitted sliced black olives, drained well
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Cornmeal, for the pan

On Prep Day
  1. Combine the water, yeast, sugar, 5 cups of flour, the tomato juice, and salt and knead by hand (mix first in a large bowl, then turn out and knead) or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, until the dough is elastic.
  2. Add the olives and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue kneading until the olives are distributed throughout the dough. If the olives were very wet and the dough becomes very loose after adding them, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be soft, but not stioky. The dough will firm up a bit during refrigeration.
  3. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag; place the dough in the bag and massage the dough a bit to coat the dough with the oil. Zip the bag closed and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours

On Baking Day
  1. Remove the bag from the refrigerator, and sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal.
  2. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and divide the dough in half. Form each half into a large ball. Hold one of the balls of dough with both hands, with the bottom of the dough resting on the counter. Turn the dough - clockwise or counter-clockwise, your choice - as though the dough is a large lightbulb and you're screwing it into the countertop. You'll feel the "skin" on the outside of the dough ball begin to tighten as you do this. When the outside of the dough ball and place it on the baking sheet, leaving room between them to rise. You can also opt to bake the loaves on two separate sheets to make sure they absolutely don't touch during baking.
  3. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and set the pan aside until the dough has doubled in size and whenyou poke the side with a fingertip, the indentation remains or fills in slowly, about 45 minutes in a warm room, depending on how cool the loaves were when you finished working with them.
  4. About 30 minutes before the dough has finished rising, heat the oven to 350F.
  5. When the dough has risen, remove the plastic and bake the loaves until they are nicely browned and the internal temperature reaches 195F on an instant-read thermometer, about 35 minutes. Let the loaves cool completely on a rack before slicing.

kitchen flavours notes :
made half a recipe for 1 loaf of bread with the following adjustments ;

  • the dough was rather sticky, so I've added a little bread flour. I used in total, 3 cups of bread flour.
  • use scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • the rest of the ingredients, scaled down to half  to make only one loaf 

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fruity Muffins

Say Moo! At I Heart Cooking Clubs, "Time to get out the milk and/or cheese and SAY MOO!". That's our theme for this week, Say Moo !

It has been a pretty busy week for me, so I've made a simple tea time snack, Muffins. Originally, this recipe is Lemon Curd Marble Muffins, from HFW's book River Cottage Everyday. I've made one of his variations which he calls as Fruity Muffins, using frozen blueberries, as I've recently bought a big pack of frozen wild blueberries. 

Just like any other muffins, these are easy and quick to make. 

Moist with tender crumbs, bursting with blueberries, and these are not too sweet, which is really a plus for me, as I tend to reduce the sugar for most bakes, but there's no need for these. Delightful with a cup of tea.

Fruity Muffins
(River Cottage Everyday, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
makes about 12
225gm plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a good pinch of sea salt
100gm caster sugar
1 medium egg
125gm plain yoghurt
125ml whole milk
75gm unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
75gm blueberries

Put 12 large paper cases into a muffin tray. Put the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl and whisk lightly to aerate and combine.
Mix the egg, yoghurt, milk and melted butter together in a jug. Pour them into the dry ingredients and mix lightly, stopping as soon as everything is combined - it's essential not to over-mix or you'll get dense, cakey muffins.
Stir the fruit into the mixture lightly and quickly.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, to three-quarters fill them.
Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Eat on the day you bake them, ideally while still slightly warm.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Say Moo!


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Steamed Garoupa With Ginger And Spring Onion

A typical Chinese style steamed fish dish that is very commonly cooked in a Chinese household. This recipe is from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop, a dish that is served in China, though the cooking method is typically Cantonese, as the author mentioned. This is very similar as to how we cooked it over here too. 

To cook this dish, get the ingredients ready, the spring onions and ginger are sliced and cut into thin fine slivers of equal length. Put these aside while you prepare the fish. Make some diagonal cuts on both sides of the fish. Rub the inside and out with some salt and Shaoxing wine. Smack a knob of ginger and some spring onions and put them into the belly cavity of the fish. Leave to marinade for 10-15 minutes, then pour off any liquid, pat the fish dry. Arrange some spring onions on the steaming plate and place the fish on top. Steam over high heat for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked. 
Meanwhile, dilute about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce with 2 tablespoons hot water and keep aside.
When the fish is ready, carefully remove it to a serving plate, discard the ginger and spring onion from its belly. Arrange the spring onion and ginger slivers on the top. Heat some cooking oil till smoking hot, then carefully drizzle over the ginger and spring onion silvers. There should be a sizzling sound, if not, then the hot is not hot enough. Pour the diluted soy sauce all around the fish and serve immediately while still hot.

This is very much how we cook our steamed fish over here too. Though sometimes I would use shallot oil, with a drizzling of sesame oil at the end. A lovely, delicious and popular steamed fish dish that is served both at home and in Chinese restaurants.

Note : The recipe in the book has used sea bass, but I have used garoupa for this dish, though any other fish that is great for steaming would be good, just make sure that the fish is fresh.

The recipe can be found here
(or get it from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop, pg 136)

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Olive Oil Cake With Fresh Apricots

This month, at The Cake Slice Bakers, the four recipes selected from the book World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey, which we are currently baking from are ;

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches
Hummingbird Cake
Oliver Peyton's Strawberry and Majoram Cream Tart

Members can choose any of these cakes to bake, and my choice is Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches. But instead of peaches, I've used fresh apricots.

I made half a recipe and bake in a 5" cake pan, and it bakes up like a giant cupcake! Maybe I should have used a 6" cake pan instead. This is a simple cake with all the basic ingredients, instead of butter, it uses olive oil.

The cake has moist, close crumbs and I thought that this is just an ordinary cake, nothing special that would make me want to bake it again. I prefer the Danish Apple Cake which I baked months ago from the same book, maybe I have always prefer using butter in my cakes instead of oil.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tempura Spring Veg With Sesame Dipping Sauce

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is Dippity Do Dah!, such a catchy theme! We are to make any dip or spread using any recipe from our current featured chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

I've made Tempura Spring Veg With Sesame Dipping Sauce, from HFW's fabulous book, River Cottage Light & Easy, a gift from a lovely friend.

HFW made the tempura using spring veg, I have however used our local veggies which are available the whole year round. 

The veggies I've used are pumpkin, sweet potatoes, French beans and brinjals. I have made some changes to the batter. In the recipe, Hugh has used only two ingredients ; white rice flour and chilled sparkling water. I do not have any sparkling water, so I have used ice cold water. And I have added one teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt to taste. (thus, I have omitted the sprinkling of salt on the fried tempura at serving time). The batter was quite thin and did not really coat the veggie when I dipped some veggies into the batter for test-frying. So I have added another 2-3 tablespoons of rice flour. 

For the dipping sauce, mix the ingredients together ; toasted sesame seeds, grated ginger, grated garlic, tamari (or soy sauce), lime juice, and honey. I've used soy sauce, so I have added 1-2 tablespoons of water to dilute the taste of soy sauce a little, as the dipping sauce I've tasted at Japanese restaurants are always so light yet so tasty.

The batter coats the veggies beautifully without being too thick or too thin and fried to a light crispiness. The tempura veggies are delicious, crispy and tasty!

And we love the dipping sauce. So good with the crispy fried veggies! Yum!

I will definitely be making this again!

Tempura Spring Veg With Sesame Dipping Sauce
(River Cottage Light & Easy, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
Serves 2-4
a selection of vegetables, such as asparagus, small radishes, baby carrots
and spring onions (I've used pumpkin, sweet potato, French beans and brinjals)
sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
sunflower or groundnut oil, for frying
fine sea salt

For the batter :
100gm white rice flour
160ml chilled sparkling water (I've used chilled plain water)
1 teaspoon baking powder
added a large pinch of salt to taste

For the dipping sauce :
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
To prepare the vegetables :
Slice and cut the veggies to the same uniform thickness, making sure that they are not too thick so that they can cook quickly.
To prepare the batter :
Mix the ingredients together and used immediately.

Pour a 5cm depth of oil into a deep, heavy-based saucepan and heat to about 180C.
Use a cook's thermometer to check the temperature of the oil, or drop in 1/2 teaspoonful of batter - it should fizzle enthusiastically and just start to colour in about 1 minute.
Dip the vegetables, a few at a time, into the batter, dunking them down to the bottom of the bowl so they get a good coating. Then lift them out, briefly letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl, and swiftly drop them into the hot oil. Fry for about 2 minutes until crisp and very lightly golden. Don't let the vegetables clump together in the oil or the batter won't cook properly - it helps to drop them in one at a time.
Tansfer the cooked veg to a plate lined with kitchen paper, and, while still sizzling hot, sprinkle with a little salt. Serve as soon as they are all cooked, with the dipping sauce.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
Dippity Do Dah!


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 

Thursday, August 17, 2017


This week at Tuesdays With Dorie, selected recipe from Dorie's Cookies, is Crash-O-Cookies. It has been awhile since I last baked with the group.

These cookies has my favourite ingredients, raisins and oats. And there's chopped milk chocolate. They are chewy and soft and lovely with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

I reduced the sugar to 80gm for both the caster sugar and brown sugar, and thought that these cookies were sweet enough. I mixed the dough in the morning, keep covered in the fridge, and baked the cookies at night. So I have baked them a little longer as the dough is cold from the fridge, about 20 minutes. They are a little crispy around the edges when still warm but turned soft and chewy when they have cooled down completely. 

I baked only half the batch of the dough and store the other half in the freezer. That will be for another day.

Though I am partial to crispy cookies, I do enjoy these chewy soft cookies.

The recipe for these cookies can be found at Dorie's website.

To see the other bakers review on these cookies, drop by Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD) blog roll.

Friday, August 11, 2017

French Beans With Tomatoes

I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) is cooking with tomatoes this week, as the featured ingredient/dish for this month of August is Tomatoes! I've decided to cook with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, our current featured chef at IHCC. Made his French Beans with Tomatoes.

A simple and easy dish to cook, with just minimal ingredients ; chopped onions, chopped garlic, canned chopped tomatoes and French beans. For the tomatoes, either canned or fresh tomatoes can be used. I have one last can of chopped tomatoes in my pantry which I wanted to clear, and seems perfect for this dish. 

Does not takes much effort at all to cook this dish, the only thing is to stir every now and then, to avoid the bottom from sticking to the pan. I did add a little water just to keep the sauce moist and nice. 

This is a delicious dish. There's the usual slight sourness from the canned tomatoes, but at the same time, you can taste the sweetness from both the onions and the French beans. Very tasty. My son seems to be taken with this dish, he loves it. At first, he thought that I have added some sugar to this dish. Well I did not, the sweetness are naturally from the onions and French beans! We had this dish with rice and a few other dishes. No leftovers!

French Beans With Tomatoes
(River Cottage Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
serves 4
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400gm tin of chopped tomatoes, or 1 kg fresh tomatoes, blanched, skinned,
deseeded and roughly chopped
500gm French beans, topped, tailed and cut into 4-5cm lengths
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan, add the onion and sweat for at least 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook gently for another minute or two, then add the tomatoes and stir well. Stir in the beans, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and season well. Turn down the heat, partly cover the pan and cook very gently, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes, until the beans are fully tender. If the mixture seems to be in danger of sticking, add a splash of water or stock. Serve warm or cold.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
August Monthly Featured Ingredient/Dish Challenge : Tomatoes !


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Braised Pork with Potatoes

Another delicious recipe from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop. The author describes this as a heart-warming stew, one of those you find on display outside Sichuanese restaurants specialising in braised dishes. This stew uses just a few ingredients, the main ingredient that gives the lovely red colour and delicious flavour, is the Sichuan chilli bean paste.

I have used wavy potatoes instead of floury. As suggested by the author, carrots or other root veggies can be used instead, whichever we prefer, or a mixture of root veggies. The next time I would use daikons, one of my favourite root veggies in stews.

The Sichuan chilli bean paste makes a delicious flavourful stew with the pork braised to a soft tender texture. With a bowl of hot fluffy rice, makes a satisfying meal.

The recipe can be found here
(or from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop, pg 100)

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Marinated Cucumber with Mint

I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) is going raw this week, with the theme, In The Raw! There's certainly not short on recipes for this theme. There's tons of recipes using fresh raw veggies in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage series of cookbooks.  I've made Marinated Cucumber with Mint from HFW's lovely book, River Cottage Veg every day! I love cucumbers, especially when eaten raw.

A very simple, easy and quick salad to put together. Sliced cucumber are tossed with cider vinegar, sugar, salt, olive oil, black pepper and leave to marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 

A refreshing salad indeed! Especially with the chopped fresh mint.

Marinated Cucumber with Mint
(River Cottage Veg Everyday, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
serves 3-4
1 medium-large cucumber
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil or rapeseed oil
a good handful of mint, finely chopped
a pinch of sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel the cucumber, halve it lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice into thick half-moons. Place in a dish with the cider vinegar, oil, mint and a pinch each of salt, sugar and pepper. Toss together thoroughly.  Leave for 15-30 minutes, toss again and then serve.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
In The Raw!


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #20 hosted by 


Related Posts with Thumbnails