Eggplant – Szechuan Style

Stuff

  • 5 or 6 Japanese eggplant, cut in 1/2 lengthways, or 2 regular eggplant, cut into 1/6 lengthways & 1/2 sideways
  • 50 ml & 2 Tbspn vegetable oil (used separately)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cm knob ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 Tbspn shaoxing
  • 3 Tbspn hot bean paste
  • 2½ Tbspn dark soy sauce
  • 100 ml rice vinegar
  • 50g palm sugar, grated [or 65g crushed yellow rock sugar]
  • ½ tspn ground Szechuan pepper

Method

  • Heat 50 ml oil in a wok style pan – very hot
  • Fry the eggplants until golden brown – this doesn’t take that long. Discard the oil
  • Heat 2 Tbspn oil in the pan – fry the shallots, ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add the shaoxing – heat to boil.
  • Combine the chilli paste, soy, vinegar and sugar – add to the pan – bring to the boil – cook for two minutes.
  • Add the eggplants, mash them slightly so they absorb more of the flavour – cook for two minutes.
  • Turn onto a plate and scatter over some more chopped spring onions and ground Szechuan pepper

“Stolen” from Neil Perry

Smoked Salmon on Crushed Edamame’s

Stuff

  • 100 g fine slices smoked salmon, sliced approx 15 mm wide
  • 250 g shelled edamame beans
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1 Tbspn chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbspn lime juice
  • 1 tspn wasabi paste
  • 1/2 sheet nori, diced
  • 1 tspn white sesame seeds
  • 1 tspn black sesame seeds

Method

  • Put edamame beans in small saucepan with enough salted water to just cover – bring to boil and cook till tender (approx 5 minutes). Drain and mash. Keep warm

Wasabi cream

  • Combine sour cream, chopped cilantro, lime juice & wasabi paste

Topping

  • In a dry pan roast the sesame seeds and nori

Assemble

  • Lay a “strip” of mashed edamame beans (approx 100mm long x 25mm wide x 10mm high)
  • Strip of wasabi cream along the top
  • Lay pieces of salmon on top
  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame and nori

Braised Red Cabbage with Apple

Stuff

  • 2-3 onions, halved & sliced
  • 2 Tbspn oil
  • 3 apples, peeled and roughly diced
  • 1 red cabbage, shredded
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 100ml red wine

Method

  • In a large saucepan sweat the onions in the olive oil until soft
  • Add the diced apples and shredded cabbage
  • Season, stir and cover with a lid – Turn the heat down and stew for 1 hour until cabbage is tender and Apple has broken down. Check & stir every now and then – adding some water if the pan is looking a bit dry.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the soft brown sugarand red wine vinegar – cook for 10 mins until vinegar has evaporated
  • Season to taste

Vietnamese Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Very simple but effective recipe

Stuff

Marinated Tofu

  • 1 block of firm tofu, cut into 10 mm square batons
  • 1 clove garlic, fine diced or grated
  • 1 small red chilli, seeds removed & fine diced
  • 1 tblsn tamarin soya sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tspn Sriracha (or other hot chilli sauce)
  • 1 tblsn rice vinegar
  • 1 tspn kecap manis
  • 1 tspn ground ginger
  • 2 tblsn peanut oil

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 120 g roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 tblsn vege oil
  • 1 clove garlic, fine diced or grated
  • 1 small red chilli, seeds removed & fine diced
  • 150 ml coconut cream
  • 1 tblsn tamarin soya sauce
  • 1 tspn kecap manis or hoisin sauce
  • 1 tspn palm sugar

Summer Rolls

  • Rice paper sheets
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves – prepared for rolling (approx 100 x 100 mm)
  • 1 carrot, cut julienne into long strips
  • 1 cucumber, cut julienne into long strips
  • 1 zucchini, cut julienne into long strips
  • Mung beans
  • Coriander leaves, picked
  • Mint leaves, picked
  • Basil leaves, picked

Method

Marinated Tofu

  • Combine the garlic, chilli, soya sauce, Sriracha, rice vinegar, kecap manis, ground ginger to make the marinade. Pour over the tofu batons ensuring coated on all sides – marinate for about 1/2 an hour
  • Drain the tofu – retain the marinade. Fry in peanut oil until brown on all sides – when cooked pour some of the marinade into the pan and cook it off a bit.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • Chop the peanuts finely – use food processor (not too long – otherwise you will get peanut butter)
  • Heat the vege oil in a medium saucepan – Fry the garlic & chilli until the barely begin to colour.
  • Add most of the peanuts (retain 1 – 2 Tblspn for garnish) – cook until peanuts begin to weep – stir regularly
  • Add the coconut cream, soya sauce, kecap manis & palm sugar – bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3
  • Pour into serving Bowl – allow to cool
  • Garnish with the retained 1 – 2 Tblspn peanuts just before serving

Summer Rolls

  • Soak the Rice paper sheet (one at a time) in warm water for 15 to 30 seconds. Lay the sheet on chopping board
  • On the side closest to you lay an Iceberg lettuce leaf – top with tofu strips, carrot strips, cucumber strips, zucchini strips, Mung beans, Coriander leaves, Mint leaves, & Basil leaves
  • Roll up – roll from close edge 1/3 across, fold in both ends then continue to far edge
  • Lay on a serving plate to set – take care they are not touching because the are very sticky (to each other)

Copied from Amber Sturtz, Easy as Kai (Crave Cooking School March 2016)

Corn Salad

Stuff

  • 1 cob fresh sweet corn with outer husks removed, top “fur” cut off & inner 2 or 3 layers of husks left on
  • 2 cob fresh sweet corn, husks all removed and cleaned. Remove kernels & pulp with a cheese grater.
  • 2 or 3 shallots, fine sliced
  • 1 or 2 spring onion, fine sliced
  • 1/2 handful of fresh green herbs – parsley, chives, micro greens, etc, medium-fine chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, fine chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds, fried in butter till golden brown, cooled & rough chopped
  • 2 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tblspn white wine vinegar
  • 30g butter
  • 200 ml full fat milk – or 1/2 cream
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Method

Charred Corn

  • Cook corn cob over a BBQ or grill plate until charred.
  • Remove husks and discard.
  • Cut kernels from cob and place in a bowl.

Corn Purée

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan, add grated corn and cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add a pinch of salt and 200ml milk & bring to the boil. Simmer gently, stirring often for about 12 minutes until mixture thickens.
  • Blend in a bar blender until smooth

Salad Assembly

  • To the charred corn kernels add shallots, spring onion, fresh green herbs (parsley, chives, micro greens, etc) red chilli, chopped almonds – gently toss
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & white wine vinegar and season with salt & pepper – gently toss
  • Add the warm (not to hot) corn purée – gently toss to combine

Inspired by George Calombaris Masterchef “4 Textures of Corn”

8 Spice Pork Belly with Asian Coleslaw

Stuff

Spice Mix

  • 8 Star Anise
  • 1 tspn Cloves
  • ½ Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tblspn Sichuan Peppers
  • 1 ½ Tblspn Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tblspn All Spice
  • 1 ½ tspn Ginger Powder
  • 1 tspn Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tblspn Flaky Salt

Pork Belly

  • Good sized Pork Belly
  • 2 Tblspn Hoison Sauce
  • 1200ml Chicken Stock
  • 2 Thumbs Ginger, skin removed & rough chop
  • 2 Whole Chilli
  • 3 Star Anise
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

Coleslaw

  • 2 Tblspn Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 3 Tblspn Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tspn Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ tspn Sugar
  • 2 ½ tspn Wasabi Paste
  • ½ cup Canola Oil
  • ½ tspn Seasame Oil
  • 3 Handfuls Savoy Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Carrot, julienne
  • ½ Cup Spring Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Coriander leaves

Method

Spice Mix

  • Place a pan on medium heat.
  • Add the first six spices and toast for a few minutes
  • Remove, cool and grind to a fine powder. Remove and pour into a small bowl.
  • Add the ginger, chilli powder and flakey salt to this mix and store in an air-tight container.

Pork Belly

  • Pre heat your oven to 150 degrees
  • Score the pork belly skin
  • Rub 1 Tblspn of the spice mix into the cracks you have created by scoring the skin. Turn the belly over and rub the hoison sauce as well as the rest of the spice mix into the belly meat.
  • To a suitable sized saucepan, add the chicken stock, fresh ginger, fresh chilli, star anise and brown sugar. Place on medium heat and once the sugar is dissolved pour into a braising or roasting dish. Add the pork belly to the dish, skin side up. Cover with foil and Place in the oven and cook for 1 ½ hours. Check regularly after this. Once the belly meat is soft and tender, remove the foil and raise the heat of the oven to create the crackle. This should take about 20 minutes.

Asian Coleslaw

  • In a small bowl, add the sesame seeds, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and wasabi paste. Whisk together, then slowly add the two oils, whisking continuously, until the dressing is thick and combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot, spring onion and coriander. Add the dressing and mix through.

Crispy Okra

Stuff

  • 400g okra
  • 2 ½ tspn garlic paste
  • 1 ½ tspn ginger paste
  • approx 1 tspn vege oil
  • 1 ½ Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 60 g chick pea flour
  • 40 g Cornflour
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Rock Salt to garnish
  • [Chaat masala for sprinkling]
  • Chilli powder to garnish

Method

  • Wash the okra and dry thoroughly with kitchen towel. Top and tail and slice in half lengthwise
  • In a bowl, combine the vegetable oil, ginger and garlic to form a workable paste, spread the garlic/ginger all over the okra to ensure a good coating
  • Combine the  salt, corn flour , chick pea flour & chilli powder
  • Dredge the garlic/ginger coated okra in the flour mix – gently shake off excess
  • Deep fry the okra till crispy & golden brown
  • Remove from oil – place on a sheet of kitchen paper to drain
  • Sprinkle with the rock salt, chaat masala, and chilli powder
  • Serve right away

Stolen from Dishoom, London