Saturday, May 29, 2010

Crispy Soy And Ginger Chicken Wings

This is my Chinese style Crispy Soy And Ginger Chicken Wings recipe. I marinated the chicken wings with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and ginger juice. The chicken wings were then dipped into a bowl of beaten egg and subsequently, coated with sweet potato flour. The chicken wings turned out crispy, with just the right amount of saltiness from the soy sauce and with lots of ginger flavor. Delicious!

Crispy Soy And Ginger Chicken Wings
(Printable Recipe)


12 (about 950 g) Chicken Wings, tip off
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
60 g Fresh Ginger, pounded for juice (about 3 to 4 Tbsp)
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt


Marinate the chicken wings for about 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Pour at least 5 cm (2 inches) of oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Heat until the oil is hot. Dip the chicken wings into the beaten egg and coat them with the sweet potato flour to coat it on all sides, making sure that all the nooks and crannies are covered.

Add the chicken to the hot oil and fry until it is crispy and golden. It is important that the chicken is cooked right through to the bone - use tongs to turn the pieces over a couple of times until you are satisfied that they are deep golden and cooked through. Lift out onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Braised Pork Shoulder With Mandarin Pancakes

I did this Braised Pork Shoulder in a slow cooker for about 7 hours! The result was fabulous, the meat was fork tender and delicious. I served it with some homemade Mandarin Pancakes, topped with cucumbers, scallions, chilies, and some sweet and fragrant sauce. The wonderful sauce was derived from the residual liquid from the braised pork, which had to be reduced for another 40 minutes. I have included the Mandarin pancakes recipe here too. Try it and enjoy!

Braised Pork Shoulder With Mandarin Pancakes
(Printable Recipe)


1.2 Kg (about 2 ½ lbs) Pork Shoulder, blanched
½ Cup Dark Soy Sauce
120 g Rock Sugar
10 g Cassia Bark
4 Star Anise
45 g Ginger, unpeeled and smashed lightly
5 Scallions, cut into 3 segments
4 Cups Water
Sea Salt to taste

Mandarin Pancakes
425 g Plain Flour
A pinch of Sea Salt
300 ml Boiling Water
1 tsp Peanut Oil
Roasted Sesame Oil

2 Cucumbers, cut into fine strips
3 Red Chilies, seeded and cut into fine strips
3 Scallions, cut into fine strips
Reserved Sauce


Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Set the timer for 6 or 8 hours on high. Braise the pork in the slow cooker until the meat is very tender and easily falls off when prodded with a fork.

Transfer the meat to a platter, and then pull the meat with a fork. Add a little sauce to the meat. Reserve the remaining sauce and transfer into a saucepan.

Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat. Let simmer for about 40 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Make the pastry: Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Bring the water to the boil, remove it from the heat to let is stop bubbling and then pour it on to the flour. Mix quickly with the handle of a wooden spoon and add the oil. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a work surface and knead to a smooth dough. Cover with a damp towel and set aside for 30 minutes.

Make the Mandarin Pancakes: Working on a lightly floured surface, break the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each one out into a long cylinder, and then cut each cylinder into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten them into a disc with the palm of your hand. Dip one disc with sesame oil and put another disc on top. Using a rolling pin, roll the flattened pair of disc into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.

Heat a cast iron pan or frying pan over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low and place the prepared pancakes. Once the brown spots appear on the underside, turn over and cook the second side. When the pancake is cooked, lift the pancake out and carefully peel them apart. Cover the pancake with a damp towel and set aside. Steam the pancakes on moderate heat for 10 minute. Serve warm.

To serve, place some meat in the center of a pancake, add a few strips of cucumbers, scallions, and chilies and spoon some sauce on top and roll up the pancake. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fish And Chips

I made some Fish and Chips (commonly known in the UK), using some fresh Halibut fillets and fresh cut potatoes. The batter that coated the fish fillet was light, crunchy, and flavorful. Like all fried food, it’s also a tad oily; but, can’t be helped I supposed. As for the chips/french fries, they were soaked in cold water for at least an hour or overnight to remove the starch so that the fries will be crispier. The fries are then done using a two stage-fry method: the first, fried at 340˚F and the second stage, fried again at 390˚F. They were fantastic, best eaten immediately to enjoy the fries’ maximum crispiness.

Recipe adapted from The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook by David Rosengarten with Joel Dean & Georgio DeLuca

Fish And Chips
(Printable Recipe)

2 Pieces Halibut Fillets, halved
Sea Salt
All-Purpose Flour

¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour
¾ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
¼ Cup Milk
¾ Beer
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Melted Butter

French Fries/Potato Chips
6 Large Russet Potatoes, peeled
1 quart Vegetable Oil for deep-frying
About 1 cup Cornstarch for light coating
Coarse Salt


Chips/French Fries: Trim the potatoes in the shape of a rectangle. Cut into ¼ inch slices and then cut into ¼ inch fries. Put in a bowl of cold water and soak for at least 1 hour or preferable overnight.

When ready to fry, heat oil in a deep, heavy, straight-sided pot to 340˚F. Add a small batch of potatoes straight from the water. (Stand back as the oil will splatter. Make sure to separate the French fries from each other, with a fork, right after you add them to the oil.) Fry the potatoes, in small batches, for about 3 to 4 minutes, until they look blistered on the surface. (This step essentially blanches the potatoes, so there should be very little color on the potatoes.) Remove to a sheet tray lined with paper towels.

When ready to serve, heat oil to 390˚F. Place the once-cooked potatoes in a large colander, and toss lightly with cornstarch. Fry potatoes, again in small batches, for about 2 minutes, until French fries are deep golden brown and remove to a sheet tray lined with paper towels and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Serve immediately with for maximum crispiness.

Fried Halibut: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, add the milk, beer and egg, whisk the mixture until smooth and whisk in the melted butter.

Then whisk the beer mixture into the flour, whisking until smooth. Let rest for 1 hour.

When ready to cook, dry fish well, salt and coat lightly with flour, and then dip in the batter. Let excess batter drip off, and then fry the fish in 360˚F vegetable oil until golden brown outside, just cooked within. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pizza Margherita

I used ready made pizza crust and prepared tomato sauce to make this simple and yet delicious Pizza Margherita as an after school snack for my kids recently. I used fresh mozzarella and added a few slices of fresh sweet heirloom tomatoes to the pizza. These fresh ingredients made all the difference here, what do you think? It certainly made this express pizza look and taste better I think. Try it, your kids will love it! :-)

Pizza Margherita
(Printable Recipe)


1 (9 inches) Pizza Crust
5 Tbsp Prepared Italian Plum Tomato Sauce
4 (Medium Size) Fresh Mozzarella, sliced thickly
1 Heirloom Tomato, sliced
5 Fresh Basil Leaves, torn or shreds
1 tsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Spread the tomato sauce evenly on the pizza crust.

Arrange mozzarella slices on top of the sauce. Then arrange the tomato slices on top of the mozzarella. Drizzle the olive oil and scatter some basil leaves. Sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake the pizza for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter extra basil leaves over the pizza. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prawn Cakes

Here’s a fantastic Prawn Cakes recipe I’d like to share with you. Golden crunchy panko on the outside, the inside is tender and chock full of goodness! The magic mixture here is the chopped prawns, mashed potatoes, coriander, scallions, and Serrano chilies which are all seasoned with fish sauce, sea salt, and some freshly ground white pepper. Sounds good? Even better, it tastes great. I hope you will try making these prawn cakes. Enjoy.

Prawns Cakes
(Printable Recipe)


454 g (1 lb) Frozen Peeled Prawns, thawed and tail off
3 Medium Yellow Flesh Potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
3 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander
2 Stalk Scallions, finely sliced
2 Serrano Chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 Thai Bird's Eye Chilies, finely chopped (optional)
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
½ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Freshly Ground White Pepper
6 Tbsp Panko (Japanese Bread crumbs)
1 Large Egg

Panko (Japanese Bread crumbs) for coating
Peanut or Vegetable Oil for frying


In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Gently shape the mixture into 24 portions of 1 ½-inch ball. (About the size of a golf ball) Roll in breadcrumbs and flatten each ball to make a round flat cake.

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan or non-stick pan until hot. Lower the heat to medium and shallow fry the prawn cakes for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels and serve warm. Serve warm.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Momofuku's Shortcakes

This is a sweet and salty Strawberry shortcakes recipe that I had adapted from the Momofuku’s cookbook. I just did a minor tweak to the recipe. I used 1 tsp instead of 1 Tbsp of salt to the mixture. A good decision as the shortcakes turned out perfect, with the right amount of saltiness and was just great with the macerated strawberries and whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from Momofuku by David Chang And Peter Meehan

Momofuku's Shortcakes
(Printable Recipe)


1 Large Egg, beaten
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (I used 1 tsp)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
8 Tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
¼ Cup Vegetable Shortening, at room temperature
About ½ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
Macerated Strawberries
Whipped Cream


Add the beaten egg into a small measuring cup and spoon off half of it. (Reserved for other use or discard them) Add enough heavy cream to the egg to make ½ cup. Stir briefly, and then put the mixture in the refrigerator to chill.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment and stir them together. Add the butter and shortening and turn the mixer on its lowest setting. Mix the fat in until the batter is gravelly, with pea-sized lumps everywhere, which shouldn’t take much more than 4 minutes.

Once you have got grainy short batter together, grab the cream mixture from the refrigerator and stream it into the batter, stirring it in with the machine still on its lowest speed. Mix until the liquid is barely absorbed and let the dough rest in the mixer bowl for 10 minutes.

Scoop the batter into little balls, using about 2 Tbsp for each (you can assist their shaping lightly with your hands) and line them up on a baking sheet. You should have 8 balls and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and as long as overnight.

Heat the oven to 350˚F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Pour the confectioners’ sugar into a wide shallow bowl. Roll each of the shortcakes through the sugar to coat very lightly, tap off excess, and place the dusted cakes on the prepared baking sheets, with enough room between them allow them to double their footprint while baking.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cakes will spread and then rise-the baking powder in it will give them a final, poofy kick and the confectioners’ sugar on the outside should crackle when they’re ready. Over baked is preferable with these cakes. If their centers fall after you pull them from
the oven, bake them for another 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

Serve with macerated strawberries and generous dollop of whipped cream.

Macerated Strawberries: One or two hours before you intend to serve them, gently toss 4 cups of hulled strawberries with ¼ cup of sugar; the sugar will draw out the juices from the strawberries. Serve cold or at a room temperature, allotting about ½ cup of strawberries per serving. Use the macerating liquid as part of the dish-pour it over the shortcakes and strawberries.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fragrant And Hot Chicken

This is the 3rd and the last recipe using the salted chilies for my Hunan recipes series. I have tweaked this particular dish a few times. The original recipe from the cookbook wasn’t what I had envisaged. The meat turned out too dry and bland. So, here is my version of Fragrant and Hot Chicken recipe. My family enjoyed this dish very much. I think you will like it too. Do try the recipe and please send your feedback. Thanks.

Fragrant And Hot Chicken
(Printable Recipe)


1 lb Chicken Legs, boneless, skinless
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Ginger
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp Chili Bean Paste
1 Tbsp Chopped Salted Chilies
¼ Cup Water
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Scallions, finely sliced
Peanut Oil


Cut the chicken into bite-size cubes. Place the chicken cubes in a bowl and marinate with soy sauce and wine.

Heat enough oil for deep-frying in the wok over high heat. Fry the chicken pieces until golden in color. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour off all but 3 Tbsp of the oil, and return the wok to a medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, chili bean paste, and chopped salted chilies and stir-fry until the oil is fragrant. Add the water and dark soy sauce and bring to a boil.

Mix in the chicken pieces and then cook over a high heat to reduce the sauce, stirring constantly. Season the chicken with salt, if necessary. Serve immediately with some scallions.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Steamed Halibut Cheeks With Chopped Salted Chilies

I made this Steamed Halibut Cheeks With Chopped Salted Chilies especially for my daughter. She doesn’t like steamed fish at all because she dislikes the “fishy” smell, even fish fresh from the tank! Since Halibut is in season now and there are plenty of halibut cheeks available, I decided to have a go at making this to entice her to add some fish to her diet. The cheeks have a delicate white meat with a pure mild flavor and its not fishy at all. So, guess what, she loves it!

Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop

Steamed Halibut Cheeks With Chopped Salted Chilies

(Printable Recipe)


350 g Halibut Cheeks
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
¾ inch Fresh Ginger, unpeeled and smashed
1 Scallion, smashed
½ tsp Black Fermented Black Beans, rinsed
1 ½ tsp Finely chopped Fresh Ginger
4 Tbsp Chopped Salted Chilies
2 Scallions, green part only, finely sliced
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil


Marinate the halibut cheeks with wine and set aside. Place the smashed ginger and scallion in the middle of a deep heatproof plate that will fit into the steamer.

Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises, then add the oil and swirl around. Toss in the black beans and chopped ginger and stir-fry briefly until fragrant.

Drain the wine and juices from the halibut cheeks, and then lay it over the ginger and scallion. Cover the cheeks evenly with the chilies, and then scatter with the beans and ginger from the wok.

Put the plate in the steamer and steam over a high heat until just cooked, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve on the steaming plate with a scattering of sliced scallion.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

YueYang Hot-Dry Noodles-yue yang re gan mian

Okay, this is YueYang Hot-Dry Noodles recipe. Yueyang is located in northeast Hunan Province on the eastern shore of Dongting Lake, and it’s China’s second largest freshwater lake. One of their popular street food is this dry noodle and I love it because, it’s so easy to prepare and taste really good too.

Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop

YueYang Hot-Dry Noodles-yue yang re gan mian

(Printable Recipe)


1 lb 6 oz Fresh Chinese Noodles or 7 oz Dried Noodles
1 Tbsp Chopped Salted Chilies
4 tsp Sesame Paste
1 tsp Crushed Garlic
2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Chili Oil with sediment
2 Tbsp Preserved Mustard Tuber in slivers (or replaced with chopped peanuts)
4 tsp Finely Sliced Scallions
4 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds


Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft and supple and drain well.

Put the noodles in a large bowl. Add in the chopped salted chilies, sesame paste, garlic, soy sauce, and chili oil and mix well.

Divide the mixture into 2 serving bowls and scatter with mustard tuber (or peanuts), scallions, and sesame seeds. Stir with chopsticks before eating.

Serves 2

Hunanese Chopped Salted Chilies-duo la jiao

Well, over the next few days I will be sharing some Hunan cuisine recipes with you. I had adapted the recipes from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook (Recipes from Hunan Province). According to the Fuchsia, the brilliant red Chopped Salted Chilies is one of the most characteristic colors of Hunanese cooking. The chilies are used in many stir-fried and steamed dishes. So, I thought I should start with this easy preserve chili recipe and an easy noodle recipe using the salted chilies.

Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop

Hunanese Chopped Salted Chilies-duo la jiao
(Printable Recipe)


1 lb Fresh Red Chilies
¼ Cup Sea Salt


Wash the chilies and pat dry. Cut off their stems and chopped coarsely with the seeds. Place the chopped chilies in a bowl.

Add 3 ½ Tbsp of the salt to the chilies and mix well. Place in a glass jar and cover with the remaining salt. Seal with a tight fitting lid. Leave in a cool place for a couple of weeks before using, then store in the refrigerator once opened. The chilies will keep for months.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chocolate Truffles

This is a super easy Chocolate Truffles recipe that my daughter made for me on Mothers Day. She said she learnt how to make them from a Japanese cooking website. There is no cooking involved here, apart from melting the chocolate. Make sure you use the best or your favorite chocolate for this recipe. Have fun making them.

Chocolate Truffles
(Printable Recipe)


200 g Dark Chocolate, any flavor
6 Tbsp Whipped Cream
2 tsp Vegetable Oil
Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder, for coating
Boiling Water


Pour the boiling water in a large mixing bowl. Then place a medium-mixing bowl on top of the boiling water. Add the cream and warm thoroughly. Mix in the chocolate, and stir until melted. Then add the oil and stir until smooth. Cover and freeze just until firm enough to mound in a spoon, about 40 minutes.

Line the bottom of a baking sheet with a plastic wrap. Scoop out the filling by tablespoonfuls and drop onto the sheet, spacing them evenly. Cover and freeze until almost firm but still pliable, about 30 minutes.

Spread the cocoa on a flat plate. Place each chocolate mound into a piece of plastic wrap and roll in between your palms into a smooth ball, then roll in cocoa powder to coat evenly.

Makes 20 Chocolate Truffles

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pandan Jelly

This is a recipe for Pandan or Pandanus Jelly dessert. The enticing light green color of the jelly is made from the essence of pandan leaves. Again, it’s a very light and refreshing agar agar (meaning jelly in Malay) based dessert. If you like the pandan fragrant, then, I am certain you will enjoy this jelly very much.

Recipe adapted from Malaysian Cakes and Desserts by Rohani Jelani

Pandan Jelly

(Printable Recipe)

500 ml (2 cups) Water
3 tsp Agar-agar Powder
120-150 g Sugar
100 ml Pandan Juice
120 ml Coconut Milk (preferable 100% coconut milk)


Pandan Juice: Rinse 8 Pandan leaves and, cut into 2 cm lengths. Blend the pandan leaves with 150 ml (2/3 cup) of water. Strain the pandan juice and discard solids.

In a medium saucepan, combine water, agar-agar powder and sugar and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until agar-agar and sugar completely dissolves, about 10 to 15 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the pandan juice and coconut milk. Then pour into the simmering agar-agar mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture come to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, take the pan off the heat immediately and pour contents into a shallow glass dish of cake tin measuring approximately 16 cm (6 ½ inches) across. Set aside to cool before chilling in the refrigerator. Cut as desired and serve chilled.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

It’s here again, tomorrow is Mothers day. So, I guess a very “Happy Mothers Day!” greetings is in order here for all you wonderful moms out there! Have a great day with your family! :-)

So, using the same grilled chicken recipe that I posted yesterday, I made some Grilled Chicken Quesadillas served with guacamole. The quesadillas are filled with the grilled chicken, grilled corn kernels, and topped off with Monterey Jack cheese. Just remember to lightly brush the tortillas with oil before grilling. The quesadillas will turn out just fantástico and delicioso! :-)

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas
(Printable Recipe)


6 (about 7-8 inches in diameter) Fresh Tortillas
3 Pcs Grilled Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced
3 Ears Fresh Sweet Corn, husked
300 g Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
4 Tbsp of Marinate (mixed with 2 Tbsp of Peanut Oil)

Grilled Chicken Breast
3 Pcs (about 530g) Chicken Breasts, boneless

3 Tbsp Lime Juice (2 Limes)
2 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Mint Leaves
3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Cilantro
1 ½ Tbsp Fish Sauce
¼ Cup Peanut Oil, or Vegetable Oil


In a medium bowl whisk all the marinade ingredients until emulsified. Reserve about 4 Tbsp and set aside. Place the chicken pieces in a large resalable bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade and refrigerated for about 4 to 5 hours.

Preheat the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Grill the corn with the lid closed for about 10 minutes or until the corn is browned in spots, turning as needed. Remove from the grill and allow the corn to cool, then cut the corn kernels off the cobs.

Grill the chicken with the lid closed for about 5 to 6 minutes each side. Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to cool slightly before slicing.

Make sure the cooking grates are clean and remain at direct medium heat. Lay the tortillas on a work surface, evenly fill with chicken slices, grilled corn kernels and top with Monterey Jack cheese over half of each tortilla. Fold the empty half of each tortilla over the filling and press down firmly. Brush the tortillas lightly with the oil from the reserved marinate mixture.

Grill the quesadillas for about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and cut into half. (2 wedges) Serve immediately with the guacamole.

Serves 4

Friday, May 7, 2010

Grilled Spicy Chicken Sandwich

The weather here in Vancouver was just perfect recently, not too cold and lots of sunshine. So, I jumped on the opportunity to fire-up the outdoor grill that’s been sitting idle and cooked up a flavorful Vietnamese inspired grilled chicken. Grilled chicken is fantastic on it’s own or as topping for salad, pizza, etc. Today, I'm using it for a Grilled Spicy Chicken Sandwich recipe. The “spicy” here comes from the mango salsa and not the chicken meat. So, just reduce the amount of chilies in the salsa recipe to suit your taste bud. FYI, I will be posting another recipe idea using grilled chicken tomorrow, check it out!

Grilled Spicy Chicken Sandwich
(Printable Recipe)


3 Potato Baguette (halved) or 6 French Sandwich Rolls, split horizontally
3 pcs Grilled Chicken Breast, slice thickly
1 Large Green Leaf Lettuce
Mango salsa
A handful of Cilantro leaves
Sea Salt and Black Pepper, or to taste

Grilled Chicken Breast
3 Pcs (about 530g) Chicken Breasts, boneless

3 Tbsp Lime Juice (2 Limes)
2 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Mint Leaves
3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Cilantro
1 ½ Tbsp Fish Sauce
¼ Cup Peanut Oil, or Vegetable Oil

Spicy Mango Salsa
4 Medium Ripe Mangoes, peeled, pitted and finely diced
½ Medium Sized Red Onion, finely diced
1 ½ - 2 Lime, juice
2-3 Red Chilies, seeded and finely chopped
10 Tbsp Orange Juice
4 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro
¼-½ tsp Ancho Chili Powder, or to taste
Sea Salt and Black Pepper or to taste


In a medium bowl whisk all the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken pieces in a large resalable bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade and refrigerated for about 4 to 5 hours.

Make the mango salsa: Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Preheat the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Grill the chicken with the lid closed for about 5 to 6 minutes each side. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Make the sandwich: Lightly grill the rolls, cut side down over a direct medium heat for about 40 seconds. Place one or two pieces of lettuce leaves on the bottom of each roll, chicken and top with some spicy mango salsa and cilantro. Serve immediately with extra salsa on the side.

Serves 6

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crash Hot Potatoes

I love these Crash Hot Potatoes. They are so easy to prepare, all ready to be served in less than 30 minutes. I adapted this recipe from Jill Dupleix’s website. I would usually follow Jill’s recipe and bake the potatoes in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes until crisp and golden. But, since I had intended to prepare these potatoes for breakfast, I tweaked her recipe a little and decided to cook them in the same skillet with the rest of the ingredients. All it needed was about 3 to 5 minutes to cook the potatoes. Great express breakfast treat! Well, I will leave it to you to decide which method you prefer to cook them, enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Jill Dupleix's website.

Crash Hot Potatoes

(Printable Recipe)


16-18 Small Potatoes (Preferably Yellow Flesh), skin on
Salted Water
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Fennel or Caraway Seeds
1 Tbsp Thyme or Rosemary Sprigs


Preheat the oven to 230-250˚C (450-480˚F). Add the potatoes to a large pot and fill with salted water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for around 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just about cooked, without being too soft. They will take a skewer without much resistance.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and arrange on a lightly oiled baking tray or sheet. Use a potato masher or a spoon, squash each potato flat, until it is twice its original diameter.

Brush the tops with olive oil, and scatter with sea salt, pepper, fennel seeds and thyme or caraway seeds and rosemary sprigs.

Bake on top shelf of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Serve hot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spicy Cucumber Salad

This is Spicy Cucumber Salad. The salad looks very simple; but, it tastes really good. It’s a perfect side dish with any Chinese meals, a little spicy to tingle your palate and it’s very refreshing.

Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop

Spicy Cucumber Salad
(Printable Recipe)


2 Medium Sized Cucumbers
3 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
8 Long Dried Chilies or 16 small Sichuanese Chilies, snipped into 3 cm sections
2 tsp Whole Sichuan Peppercorn
3 tsp Sesame Oil


Cut the cucumber into 6 cm sections and quarter lengthwise. Remove all the seeds and pulp with a spoon, and then cut evenly into batons the size of potato chips. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt, mix well and set aside for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours or more, to draw out some of their juices. Then drain well and press lightly to get rid of as much water as possible. Pat the cucumber pieces dry with paper towels.

Heat a large over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the peanut oil and swirl around to cover the base of the wok. Turn the heat down to a medium and then add the chilies and Sichuan pepper. Stir these swiftly for a few seconds until the smell deliciously spicy and the chilies are turning a darker red color. Take great care not to burn the spices.

Toss in the cucumber pieces and stir for about 10 seconds to coat them in the flavored oil. remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and stir thoroughly before tipping the cucumber on to a serving dish. The cucumber should not be cooked through, just swiftly heated so that it absorbs the flavor of the spices. Allow to cool before serving

Serves 4

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Penne Bolognese

I can’t even recollect how many versions of Bolognese sauce I have made thusfar. Well, my kids just love this classic Italian pasta sauce and so, here goes another one. :-) This Penne Bolognese recipe was adapted from Patsy’s Cookbook-Classic Italian Recipes. I think it’s among one of the best Italian cookbooks out there. It’s filled with simple and flavorful recipes which are accompanied with easy to follow instructions. Some of you may notice, I have tried and posted many of her recipes here.

Recipe adapted from Patsy’s Cookbook-Classic Italian Recipes

Penne Bolognese
(Printable Recipe)


6-8 Medium White Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
½ lb Lean Ground Beef
1 16 oz Can Plum Tomatoes, with juice
2 Bay Leaves
¼ Cup Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ Cup Beef Broth
Pinch of Oregano
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 lb Penne, cooked al dente


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onions for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and ground beef, and continue to cook and stir for 8 to 9 minutes, until the meat is browned.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add with their juice, the bay leaves, wine, beef broth, and oregano. Bring the beef mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves. Add the butter and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve over the cooked pasta.