Thursday, 28 August 2008

My very addictive gyoza sauce

So easy, but also so addictive..

10 tablespoons soya sauce (or alternative for vegans)
5 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon of water
1 garlic clove finely cut
1 nail sized piece of ginger finely chopped
1 bird eye chilli sliced
A few drops of toasted sesame oil

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Chicken Gow Gees

These are the first Chinese dumplings I've made, and I am proud to say, they tasted Chinese! I found the recipe in one of my Australian Women's weekly booklet which I think are great (the same recipes on their website are not as good ;) and I have taken some liberties with it to improve time and taste:
400g lean chicken
2 shitake mushrooms
5 chinese chive (or green onions if you don't have)
2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 Thumbed-sized piece fresh ginger, grated ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder 2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 egg Gyoza wrappers or Har Gau wrapper made from scratch if you fancy trying that (the recipe says wanton or spring rolls wrappers)

For the dipping sauce:
1 tablespoon of hoi sin (the recipe said char siu, but since you've already got some hoi sin there..)
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
3 tablespoons of water (adjust to liking)
6 fresh birds eye chili slices (the recipe says 2 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce)
and I like to add one table spoon of oyster sauce + a small teaspoon of golden syrup or sugar).

Mince the chicken with a knife not toooo finely. Add the finely chopped shitake mushrooms (you will have soaked them for 20 min in boiling water, and discarded the stems), chives,garlic and ginger, then the hoi sin sauce, five spice, toasted sesame oil and and the egg. Mix well with your hands. (I scrapped the breadcrumbs from the recipe - breadcrumbs especially from a packet are evil!!)

Take the wrapper as shown in the photo below and fill the middle with the mixture, pushing so that the wrapper drops a bit between our fingers to create a well, then close the wrapper by pinching it at regular (and tactical) intervals. (There, the original recipe says to roll the mix in balls with a spoon and place the balls in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes, to brush the wrapper with water and pleat it around the ball you will have placed in the middle)

Place the gow gees in your steamer - make sure to place them on one of these Teflon baking sheet that you will have cut to a round-ish shape, and leave them to cook for ten minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce by mixing the ingredients mentioned above. There you are, your gow gees are gowgeous! ;) It was long for me to write the thing down, but it takes no time in the kitchen, and I think looks impressive enough - who actually MAKES dumplings huh? even my Chinese friends buy them ready made from the supermarket.... But you know what's in these and you know they are healthy!

Source: The Australian's women weekly's 'Chinese favorites' booklet. They also have a recipe on their website, there.
And here's what the gow gees looked like in the original recipe:

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Tian with a twist

The original recipe is called a Tian and originates from Provence.I changed it a little by adding bacon and baby potatoes... So that it's now a one dish meal, light and healthy with fresh vegetables and proteins.

In a buttered and garlic rubbed oven dish, alternate vertical layers of sliced:
- courgette,
- tomato,
- onion,
- aubergine,
- baby potato and
- bacon (vegetarians omit),
and add some garlic in between.

Sprinkle with 'Herbes de provence' and a filet of olive oil.

Place in oven for 45 min at 180 degree celsius, sprinkle with fresh parmesan and place in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Very quick and easy, and although it takes a long time to cook in the oven, you are not tied up in the kitchen. Great to do when inviting friends around as it gives you more time to spend with them. And if you want to prepare a cake at the same time, it's easy too as a lot of cake recipes demand an oven at 180 degrees too, so you can bake both at the same time...

Vegetarians: don't use bacon

Vegans: don't use bacon nor parmesan

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Streetfood: voted best.....

, me

The banana pancake, a must of thai street food! The best pancakes we found (come on, of course we tried a few!!!) were made by Indian and Bangladeshi people in the street (always with mobile kitchens of course..). The pancake originates from India but spread all over Asia under different disguise. I found it in malaysia as Roti Canai, served for breakfast and with curries, but no banana in sight. It's amazing to see how different Thai and Malay foods are considering they are neighbours...
Some observations: no banana tastes or behaves like these in Europe, there is quite a lot of fats used to make them (I absolutely can't care they are too superlicious), and they are soft and crunchy at the same time owwww!. Ah, and I miss street food so much.

All is left to me in Europe is to look at this video I made when I was in Chiang Mai over, and over, and over again....

So watch out, I might try to cook it sometimes..

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Sticky rice and Mango

Sticky rice and Mango (by Christ tell)
I've wanted to try the dessert for ages before I actually could. I'd heard it was so delicious... So I tried it as soon as I could, but I've never been too satisfied with it. I suspected that I might have to hunt it at the source. So when I went to Thailand, I hunted it in the streets, and at last, found the gorgeous dessert I'd been hoping all along. I found out the secret of it as soon as I put it in my mouth, and from then was able to reproduce it. It goes like that with a lot of thai foods: it's all about balance, and when you've found it, you can't forget it.

So you'll ask, what was the secret of a gorgeous sicky rice and mango?
it is...tadaaaaa.... Salt!
Don't pull this face. yes. salt. It's a balance between sweet and salty.
For 2 people, count 100g rice per person, rinse the sticky rice with cold water - not til the water goes clear, because with sticky rice, it never will. Add a small tin of coconut milk (preferably the Chaokoh brand because it is young coconut scrapped). Addd some water. cook until the rice is soft (add morewater if needed). Add sugar, then add the salt until balance is reached.
When ready, dish the rice and add on top the best (sliced) ripe mango you can find.
That's it, a delight. Soooo easy!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Chinese BBQ ribs

I wonder how many people buy these ready made or at the take away, when they taste better at home, are cheap as chips, and so fast and easy to make...

Of course if you are not usually cooking eastern foods,you may not have the ingredients, sure. Here's the deal: making the marinade takes 10 minutes max, marinating, at least an hour (so you can prepare them in the morning), and cooking them takes about an hour in the oven, giving you time to have a life when you are back from work, and possibly preparing other foods if you have invited some friends over.

You will need:
- a rack of ribs, cut in pieces
- 1 big dash Hoi sin sauce (choose a gluten free Hoi sin sauce if required)
- 1 piece of ginger the size of your thumb gratted of cut finely
- a big dash of golden syrup (or ginger preserve, or honey)
- a dash of soy sauce (choose a gluten free soya sauce if required)
- 3 crushed or cut finely garlic cloves
- a spoonful of toasted sesame oil
- a dash of sherry or Chinese rice wine (choose a gluten free type if required)

Mix everything and massage the meat into the marinade, make sure the ribs are covered in sauce.
Leave to marinate for at least an hour.
Place on a foil sheet (very important: you don't want any dish washing, do you!) and cook for an hour at 200 degrees Celsius depending on your oven for 15 mins, turn the ribs over and cook another 15 mins.

Et voila, eat with your fingers, and lick them carefully once you're over with them....

Source: after having tasted a friend's, she mentioned the ingredients, I just put them together, and experimented with the quantities to get to this result...