Asian

Japanese Quinoa Patties

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Here’s a quick healthy lunch that can be made ahead and frozen, ready to reheat when the pangs of hunger strike! They are low in calories, high in protein, low carbs, gluten free and most importantly – super tasty! This recipe will make a large enough batch that you can freeze half and have the rest in the fridge. They go great with any type of noodle, leafy salad or even a wrap or burger. They will last 1 month in the freezer and 2-3 days in the fridge.


Japanese Quinoa Patties


Ingredients

2 tablespoons soy sauce *

2 tablespoons oyster sauce*

1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 cm piece (knob) ginger, grated using a micro plane

2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped

1/4 cup cornflour

100 g kale or baby spinach, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

500 g chicken mince


  1. Place soy, oyster, chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander and cornflour into a large bowl, mix thoroughly to ensure cornflour is absorbed and there is no lumps.  Add the kale or baby spinach, lightly beaten egg, cooked quinoa and chicken mince, stir all ingredients until well combined.
  2. The mixture will be quite wet, that is why they are so moist once cooked.You can store the mixture in the fridge until ready to cook.
  3. To cook, heat a large sized fry pan over med heat, spray with oil and using two spoons, scoop the mixture up and using the other spoon push the mixture off into the frypan and just lightly push the pattie down with the back of your spoon. They will take about 3 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your patties, continue this process with the rest of your mixture, place in a pre heated oven to keep warm or cool in the fridge and then freeze between sheets of baking paper.

 *Ayam brand offer gluten free soy and oyster sauce. You could use Tamari also, just adjust the quantity.

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Thai Curry and Homemade Paste

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I’ve struggled with a name for this curry paste, so I’m just going generic “Thai Curry “. Its the colour of a yellow curry, with flavours of a green curry and a laksa mixed in. Ive kept the paste very mild in the heat department, so if you like it hot,  double the chilli’s or use a couple of birds eyes. I use this paste for fish cakes, roast chicken, chicken meatballs, pork and quinoa patties and soups. The paste will last 3 weeks in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.


Thai Curry Paste

( makes about 1 cup )


Ingredients

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons shrimp paste

12 dried long red chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 mins or fresh, roughly chopped

5 cm piece of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped*

300g asian shallots or golden shallots

2 tablespoons oil

4 lemongrass stems, white part only, smashed and chopped*

12 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped

100 g coriander , roots and leaves, roughly chopped*

6 kaffir lime leaves, chopped*

zest of 1 lime*

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground tumeric

1 teaspoon paprika


 Method
  1. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan constantly, 2-3 minutes.Place the toasted spices and peppercorns into a mortar and pestle, pound until finely broken down.
  2. Wrap the shrimp paste in a small piece of foil and place under the grill, about 3 mins, turning twice. You will be able to smell it.
  3. Place ground spices, shrimp paste and chopped chilli’s into a food processor , pulse a couple if times. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a paste forms. You will need to scrape down the sides every 30 secs.
  4. Store in jars with a layer of oil on top.

* I buy all these ingredients in bulk or when on special and store them in my freezer.


Thai Curry

( serves 4-6 )


Ingredients

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 onion, sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons of homemade curry paste

500 g chicken breast or thigh, chopped

400 ml coconut cream or milk

500 ml chicken stock or water

6 kaffir lime leaves, left whole

200 to 300 g vegetables of choice

15 g thai basil, roughly torn

2 tablespoons fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 to 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar

Garnish with roasted peanuts, shredded kaffir lime, thai basil and sliced fresh chilli

Brown Rice to serve


 Method
  1. Place a large wok over medium heat and fry off the onion in the peanut oil until translucent, add the curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant.
  2. Pour in coconut cream/milk, stock and kaffir lime leaves, increase heat and bring to the boil, reduce heat to med, add chicken and vegetables and summer until cooked.
  3. Lastly add basil, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar, adjust to suit taste.
  4. Serve with brown rice and garnishes.

Momofuku Style Pork Steam Bun

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I have always wanted to try these little pillows of goodness ever since my brother had told me of eating them in New York, I think he paid $8 for 2 tiny ones. With this recipe you will be able to stretch the dollar A LOT further.

The sweet fluffy buns, succulent juicy pork and the freshness  of the pickles will leave you wanting more and more and more….I do have to mention that I cheated on the buns and bought a pre packaged Banh Bao Flour Mix from my local asian supermarket, I didn’t even know they made it pre packaged like this – heaven sent!  The hard work isn’t done for you though, you will still have to knead the dough, let it rest and knead again and roll out. The buns can be made and steamed ahead of time, store in the fridge for 1 day or in the freezer for 2 months. I was lucky enough to have some Pork Belly already poached sitting in the freezer, just defrosted it, sliced into pieces and shallow fried-done! You could also use Char Sui Pork or Peking Duck.

This recipe would have to be one of my favourites, right up there with the Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing.


Momofuku Style Pork Steam Buns


Ingredients

1 package of pre mix Banh Bao flour mixture*

1.5 kg Pork Belly, poached in masterstock, sliced into 5cm pieces

1/2 jar hoisin sauce

1 spring onion, finely julienned or sliced

Cucumber Pickle

2 lebanese cucumbers, thickly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt


Method

  1. To pickle cucumbers, add the salt, sugar and cucumbers to a container or jar, shake to cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Its amazing, as the salt and sugar draw all the moisture from the cucumbers and the jar fills up with a beautiful sweet/salty liquid. They will last 1 month in the fridge.
  2. Start the pork buns per packet instructions. I decided to shape mine like envelopes (momofuku style) I have made them the traditional way before and I found this way alot easier “always like easier”. It makes about 12-16 buns. Divide your dough up, roll into circles about 1/2 cm thick, place onto a piece of baking paper, spray the bun and using a chopstick, fold the bun over the chopstick and then remove. First time I did these they stuck together, so the oil should prevent this from happening. Place buns into  a large steamer, be sure not to place them too closely together as they will expand . Buns should take about 10 minutes. Cover the cooked buns with a tea towel and continue with the rest.
  3. Heat enough oil in a large frypan or wok to shallow fry the pork belly, will take about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  4. To assemble, brush the buns with hoisin, layer with  the pork belly, pickled cucumber and  garnish with spring onion.

Pan Seared Tuna and Soba Noodle Salad with Ponzu and Wasabi Dressing

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 I love it when friends and family give me fresh produce to cook with, they must think I’m a foodie of some sort – haha- who me?!?

I was given a beautiful fresh piece of tuna, I kept the flavours simple, added some different textures and only lightly seared the tuna. WOW… is the only word to describe how amazing this dish was. The recipe was adapted from a Valli Little (of course, my fav) recipe.


Pan Seared Tuna and Soba Noodle Salad with Ponzu and Wasabi Dressing


Ingredients

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

400 g centre-cut sashimi-grade tuna, available at your local fish market

1/4 cup  white and black sesame seeds

200 g buckwheat soba noodles

1 cup frozen soy beans (edamame), blanched and then placed in cold water*

1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into long thin slices

1 punnet snow pea sprouts, trimmed

1-2 avocado, sliced

4 spring onions, sliced on an angle, only the green part

Dressing

2 teaspoons caster sugar

1/2-1 teaspoon wasabi paste, I used 1/2 teaspoon and it was plenty for my palate

1/3 cup (80ml) ponzu (citrus soy)*

2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)*

2 teaspoons fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

optional

enough oil to deep fry in

1/2 cup lotus roots*


Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frypan over high heat, sear the tuna for 15 secs each side, continuously turning. Allow to cool slightly.Combine sesame seeds on a clean board or plate and roll the cooled tuna in the seeds to cover.Wrap tuna tightly in cling film, twisting ends to secure. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or till ready to serve.
  2. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a  jar, shake and set aside.
  3. Cook the noodles and beans together, will take about 5 minutes, drain and place in cold water.
  4. This step is optional. For the lotus root crisps, I found that I had to twice cook them to get them crispy. I defrosted them in some warm water, patted them dry with paper towel, deep fryed them in a wok or saucepan @165c for a couple of minutes, removed  and  drained. Increased the temperature of the oil to 185c, ready for when I’m about to serve.
  5. Meanwhile, remove tuna from fridge and slice 5mm thick. Toss noodles and soy beans with the half the dressing, divide among the plates or a large platter then place the cucumber, sprouts, avocado, spring onion on top, lay the tuna over the salad and finish with remaining dressing. Lastly, quickly deep fry your lotus root crisps @185c for 1 minute, till light brown, drain and arrange on plates or platter.

*endamame beans and lotus root can be found in the  frozen section at your asian supermarket. Mirin can be found in your local supermarket, asian section and the ponzu (citrus soy-thats what is written on my label) will be in found in a asian supermarket.

Atlantic Salmon with Wasabi Soy Dressing

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I cannot believe I have only been eating salmon for 2 years, what have I been missing out on!?!I love asian flavours with salmon,  it keeps the flavour fresh and lets the salmon shine. The soba noodle salad can be served warm or cold and you could use  salmon with the skin on. This dish would also work well with brown rice or quinoa.



Wasabi Salmon with Noodles



Ingredients


2 spring onions
4 x pieces of salmon
2 tsp oil
250 g somen or soba noodles, cooked per packet instructions

asian greens, steamed

Dressing
1/2 to 3/4 tsp of wasabi paste
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or sake
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp black  and white sesame seeds


Method

  1. Finely slice your spring onion length ways and place in a bowl of cold iced water and set aside.
  2. Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
  3. Heat the oil in a fry pan and cook salmon to your liking.
  4. To serve, place noodles on a plate, top with salmon, pour over dressing, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with the curled spring onion.

*Limes can be quite expensive, I try to buy mine in bulk whenever possible and then freeze. Just microwave 30 secs and slice in half till ready to use.

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns

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Quinoa crazy at the moment. This little grain is the superfood of superfood. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, has twice as much fibre as most other grains, high in iron, rich in magnesium, high content of manganese (which is an antioxidant), high in Riboflavin (B2) and the obvious Paleo, gluten free, low fat and low carb.
Inspired by Asian flavours, I wanted to create a salad with the sweet, sour, salty balance. My best friend did not have faith in me that these flavours would work well with Quinoa, I proved her wrong – HA! This dish can be made a couple of days ahead, would be great for a bbq lunch or just a simple starter. 

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns


Ingredients
3/4 cup quinoa (cooked per packet instructions)
1 med carrot , julienned and diced or grated
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and finely diced
1 small capsicum, finely diced
1 small asian shallot
Dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 to 3 tablespoon of palm sugar
1 small chilli, finely chopped , de-seed to reduce heat
Chilli Lime Prawns
1 kg fresh prawns, deveined and heads removed, threaded onto a skewer if you like
Juice of 2 limes
6 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 large chilli sliced, 3 if you like it hot
4 tbsp oil

 Method
  1. Cook quinoa per packet instructions. I always cook mine in chicken stock, adds more flavour.
  2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  3. For the salad, place the quinoa and salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss, add the dressing. Place in the fridge. Salad can be made a couple of days ahead.
  4. Combine the prawns and marinade, place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  5. To cook prawns, heat a oiled frypan or bbq and cook until golden. They wont take very long, as they have been tenderising in the lime juice.
  6. To serve, place quinoa salad on a plate, top with the prawns, thai basil, kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped) and a lime wedge.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing

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Here’s another drool worthy dish, Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing. You can view this recipe and more here.Its from The Spirit House, Yandina, Queensland, an award winning restaurant.
The ingredients list is long, but hooray, there is no skill required and all of the components can be frozen. I always double the amount of pork belly, poach it and then freeze both the pork belly and masterstock seperately. The master stock can be re-used for chicken, duck, quail or spatchcock. With any cut of meat once its been cooked it can be frozen again.
The Citrus Caramel Dressing can be frozen also, it makes alot.

.Masterstock

 You will impress the pants off anyone by whipping this dish up for a dinner party or  lunch time bbq, all the hard work has been done. You will only need to defrost, slice and deep fry the pork pieces, heat up the sauce and make an asian salad …delicious!! All ingredients can be found at your local asian supermarket, local supermarket and farmers markets.


Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing


Ingredients

Masterstock Recipe

2 litres water

250ml shaoxing wine

125ml light soy sauce

75ml dark soy sauce

100grams yellow rock sugar

2 pieces tangerine peel (I just use orange peel)

2 pieces cassia bark

4 star anise

1 knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped*

4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved


Method

  1. Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a very large pot, simmer for 10 mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 200c, place pork belly in a deep oven tray,  pour over the hot masterstock, cover with foil tighly and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Once cooked, remove pork belly and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. To freeze masterstock, strain into a container, leave to cool in the fridge, then place in freezer. Will last 6 months in freezer.

Citrus Caramel Dressing


Ingredients

4 coriander roots, roughly chopped*

50 grams ginger, peeled and roughly chopped*

30 grams  tumeric, peeled and roughly chopped*

500grams palm sugar

500ml orange juice

4 kaffir lime leaves*

2 star anise

1 piece cassia bark

50mls water

1 lemon grass stalk*


Method

  1. Using your mortar and pestle, pound the coriander, ginger and tumeric to a paste (alternatively you could use a food processor).
  2. Heat a large saucepan with a little oil, fry off the paste until starting to colour, add the sugar, water and cook until sugar dissloves. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, reduce heat and reduce to a syrup like consistency. Strain and cool. Store in fridge or freezer.

 

To serve

If pork is frozen, defrost in fridge overnight. Heat oil in a deep fryer or wok to 190c, cut the pork into 4 cm pieces. In this next step I have found the pork spits when cooking, so make sure you  have a splatter screen or lid for your deep fryer or wok. Deep fry 4-5 pieces of pork  for 3-4 min, they will turn a nice golden colour. Drain on paper towel.

Arrange the Twice Cooked Pork Belly over an asian salad and drizzle with the Citrus Caramel Dressing .


* all of these ingredients I store in my freezer in snap lock bags.

Warm Duck Salad with Orange and Fennel

Warm Duck Salad with Orange and Fennel

 My days have been pretty slow, being sick puts such a downer on your mood. All it takes is some nice produce or more to the point…DUCK to get me excited, now I’m feeling slightly human.This recipe was adapted from  Curtis Stone’s Asian Duck Salad.I love the combination of orange and fennel, the sweetness of the orange cuts through the aniseed flavours of the fennel and they all come together to balance the richness of the duck. Perfect!
It will only takes 30 minutes, cook the duck (or even quicker,buy ready cooked duck breasts), prepare the salad and whip up the dressing. You could use chicken or spatchcock and the dressing will last a couple of days in the fridge.

 



Warm Duck Salad with Orange and Fennel


(serves 4)


Ingredients
4x duck breasts, cooked to liking and sliced, or precooked duck
1 Fennel, finely sliced
1 Shallot, Julienne
1 Lebanese Cucumber, cut into ribbons
2 cups of Baby Spinach
2 Segmented Oranges

Dressing
1/4 cup Fresh Orange Juice
2 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil


 Method

  1. Cook the duck to your liking , cover and set aside to rest.
  2.  Whisk dressing ingredients in a bowl or pour into a glass jar and shake to combine.
  3. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl, toss, then pour over half the dressing and toss again.
  4.  Arrange salad on serving plates, top with sliced Duck and the remaining dressing.