asian

Turkey and Kale Thai Cakes

IMG_3114

Kale is becoming such a regular in my kitchen that I’m using it in everything.

By using turkey breast mince, these Thai cakes are a leaner option to replace the humble beef pattie – don’t get me wrong I love beef patties, but I don’t want to turn into one!

Turkey breast mince is high in protein and amino acids, low in calories, is carb free and low in fat.

No need to cook the Kale before hand, just finely chop, add to the turkey mince along with all the other ingredients and shape into the desired size you like. Rest them in the fridge until ready to cook, they can  be frozen at this stage or even after cooking. They are  gluten, grain and dairy free.


Turkey and Kale Thai Cakes

Serves 4-6


Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp Thai curry paste, I used yellow this time

1 egg

1-2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp preferred sweetener, I use palm sugar

Juice and zest of 1 lime*

1 tbsp cornflour

2 cups kale, removed from stems and finely chopped

500g turkey breast mince

2 spring onions, finely sliced

4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced **

Rice bran oil for cooking


Method

  1. Mix curry paste, egg, fish sauce, sweetener, lime juice and zest, once combined whisk in the cornflour, removing any lumps.
  2. Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well- time to get your hands dirty. Shape into cakes or balls, cover and rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
  3. Place a large fry pan over med heat with 2 tbs oil, cook for 4-7 mins each side, depending on the thickness of the cakes. I place a lid on my fry pan to cook them quicker, totally optional. You could also cook them in the oven at 180c fan forced for 10-15mins, turning once. They just don’t caramelize as much in the oven.

Notes

To recreate the burger:

buns of choice, peanut satay sauce, Asian salad-mint, coriander, spring onion, thai basil, lime juice and vegetables of choice.

* If I have no fresh limes, I will defrost them from the freezer, 30 sec increments in the microwave.

**I’m lucky enough to have  a Kaffir Lime tree, but you can buy them already sliced in a jar in the asian section of your supermarket or fresh from the herb section and store the unused leaves in the freezer.

Asian Salad with Poached Chicken

IMG_3180

This quick and easy salad can be prepared ahead of time and will last a couple of days in the fridge. It’s gluten free, low calories and a good source of protein. The salad can consist of any vegetable you have in the fridge – it’s the dressing and herbs that pull it all together.


Asian Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken

Serves 4


Ingredients

200g vermicelli noodles, cooked and place in cold water
1 carrot, julienned
1 Lebanese cucumber, julienned
1/2 capsicum, julienned (didn’t use in the photo, didn’t have any)
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup mint and coriander
2 tbsp thai basil leaves ( optional)
6 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed and finely sliced
2 tbsp cashews or peanuts
200g poached chicken, steamed or cooked in broth

Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup preferred sweetener ( coconut , Palm or caster sugar)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1 small red chilli, finely sliced

To serve, chilli and lime wedges


Method

  1. To make dressing place the sweetener, water , white vinegar and fish sauce in a sauce pan and bring to the boil, then take off heat, add the chilli, taste and adjust if needed ( it will be sweet). Place in fridge to cool.
  2. Combine the cooked noodles, carrot, cucumber, capsicum and spring onion in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Shred or slice your chicken, combine with the noodle salad, add a little of the dressing at a time ( about 1/4 cup) toss and taste.
  4. Assemble salad in a bowls, garnish with the fresh herbs, nuts and extra chilli and wedges of lime.

Notes

Ive made this salad before with pork belly, thai chicken cakes, salt and pepper calamari and bbq prawns, its such an adaptable salad.

Tom Kha Gai

IMG_0187

I’ve made this soup a couple of times using a few different recipes, this time I combined the recipes and I found the flavour that works best for me. It’s such a simple soup, no blending, minimal cooking and so rich and flavoursome . With all the health benefits from coconut milk, it’s a great low carb and gluten free recipe.
I like to add flat rice noodles to cut down the richness.
Also a little tip I picked up along the way when choosing your brand of coconut milk/cream check the ingredients on the back and it will tell you ho
w much coconut is really in the product. You will be surprised.


Tom Kha Gai

Serves 4


Ingredients

2 cups coconut cream

1 cup chicken stock

2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, bashed and cut 1-inch lengths

Thumb size piece of galangal ( can use ginger at a pinch) thinly sliced

2 to 3 asian shallots, roughly chopped (pink ones)

10 to 12 small chilies, leave them whole for less spicy or slice in half for super spicy

2 cups of straw mushrooms ( optional-I’m not a fan)

1 to 2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced

2 to 3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste

3 Kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and finely sliced

1/2 cup coriander , roughly shredded

2 to 3 tbsp lime juice, to taste

2 spring onions, chopped


Method

  1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine coconut cream, chicken stock, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, chilies, and mushrooms.
  2. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15mins, stirring occasionally .
  3. This next step is optional , but I like to strain my soup, traditionally you would leave all ingredients in the soup and push the fibrous ingredients to one side ( lime leaf, galangal and lemongrass), it’s a personal preference.
  4. Add the chicken and simmer for 6 mins, then add fish sauce and lime leaves, return to the boil, add half the coriander and take off heat.
  5. Stir in lime juice, garnish with spring onion and remaining coriander and if strained, add some finely sliced chilli.

    NOTES
    For less rich soup replace the coconut cream with equal quantity of coconut milk.

Honey Soy Salmon with Soba Noodles

IMG_2864

Quick and speedy dinners is all I have time for these days and this recipe has it all .

It can be ready in under 20 mins.

I swapped the traditional hokkien noodles for more nutritional Soba noodles, as they contain higher protein, minerals and vitamin B. They are as high in carbs as spaghetti, but they will keep you fuller for longer, being made from buckwheat flour and having a higher fibre content. No need to tell you about the health benefits of  salmon, it’s just down right so good for you!

 


Honey Soy Salmon with  Soba Noodles

Serves 4


Ingredients

1/3 cup honey (90g)

80ml light soy sauce

1 long red chilli or birds eye (if you like it hot), seeds removed, finely sliced

4 pieces of salmon, skin on

1 tbsp rice bran oil

2 tsp sesame oil

Bunch of Buk Choy or any preferred asian green, ends trimmed

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

300g  Soba Noodles, cooked in boiling water for 4 mins, rinse


Method

  1. Combine the honey, soy and chilli in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Season the salmon, both sides with sea salt and ground pepper.Heat a fry pan over med-high heat, add 2 tsp oil and 1 tsp sesame oil, cook the salmon skin down for 3-4 mins, until nice and crispy. Turn over and cook for a further 2-3 mins, depending on how pink you like it. Take off heat and add half of the dressing.
  3. Meanwhile heat a large wok with the remaining oil and sesame oil, add your greens and ginger, stir fry for a couple of minutes, pour in the rest of the dressing, add the noodles and take off heat.
  4. To serve place the noodles and greens on a plate and place the salmon on top, pouring anything left in the pan, over the top.

Notes:

I usually make this recipe for 2 people and keep the remainder sauce in the fridge. It will last about a week and is great tossed through brown rice or quinoa, poached chicken and vegetables.

This recipe was adapted from Delicious Magazine- Valli Little.

 

 

Poached Chicken in an Asian Broth with Konjac Noodles

IMG_1889It’s very simple to make a low-calorie lunch when using  Konjac Noodles, with only 10 calories per 125g.

They have a unique texture, similar to rice noodles. I find they are best eaten with Asian style flavors .

This dish comes in under 150 calories, low carb, low-fat,high fibre and great source of protein.

I created this recipe as I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet, it’s a great lunch or dinner option.


Poached Chicken in Asian Broth with Konjac Noodles

Serves 1 /  120 calories


Ingredients

Broth:

250 ml salt reduced chicken stock

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1 red or green chilli, stem removed and left whole*

2 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife

knob of ginger or galangal, roughly chopped*

2  kaffir lime leaves, left whole*

30 g chicken breast

50 g broccolini

30 g pak choy

125 g knojac noodles-

Sauce:

juice of 1/2 lime*

1/2 teaspoon stevia or sweetener of choice, adjust calories accordingly

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

To serve fresh coriander, Thai basil and shredded kaffir lime leaves.


Method

  1. Place all the broth ingredients into a sauce pan, bring to the boil and add the chicken breast, simmer for 5 minutes and turn the heat off and place lid on, leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from broth and strain liquid, place the broth back onto low heat with the broccolini and pak choy, simmer until done to your liking. The veggies will absorb some of the broth, so you can add more water if you wish.
  3. Place the sliced or shredded chicken, konjac noodles and sauce ingredients  into the broth, cook until heated through.
  4. Serve with fresh coriander, Thai basil and kaffir lime.

Notes

*all these items are stored in my freezer.

 

Thai Beef Salad

 IMG_1263

 

 

 Everyone has their own method for doing a Thai Beef Salad and this is mine. This Thai Beef Salad is gluten-free, dairy free and grain free. I’ve listed  just the basic salad ingredients,  you could also add finely sliced capsicum, julienned carrots, snow pea sprouts, bean sprouts, rice noodles and fresh chilli. All can be prepared ahead and will take 15 mins to cook.


Thai Beef Salad


( serves 2-4 )

Ingredients

Juice of 2 limes*

2 cm pice of ginger, grated on a micro plane or pound in a mortar and pestle *

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon  palm sugar or soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce **

Pinch of white pepper

500 g rump, porterhouse or scotch fillet steak

100-200grams mixed lettuce leaves

1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon mint, coriander and Thai basil, roughly shredded

1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

 


Method

  1. Mix the lime juice, ginger, garlic, sugar, oil, fish sauce, soy and white pepper in a jar and shake to combine.
  2. Take 2 tablespoons of dressing and marinate the steak for at least an hour or overnight.
  3. Start arranging the salad, place mixed lettuce, cucumber ribbons, cherry tomatoes, mint, coriander, Thai basil on a large platter.
  4. Heat a BBQ or fry pan over high heat, cook steak to your liking, rest the steak, then slice across the grain into thin ribbons.
  5. Scatter the steak over your salad, pour over the reserved dressing, garnish with peanuts and fresh chilli.

*I have these items stored in freezer. Grate ginger straight from freezer and microwave limes at 30 sec increments till defrosted.

** can use Tamari, just halve the quantity.

Pork Gyozas

IMG_0869

I have been using this same recipe for years, simple ingredients – equals simple flavours! You can cook them like Gyozas (pan fry one side and then steam at the end), steam, boil, add to soup or broth, or deep fry for something naughty. I’ve tried them every way and they are delicious! The recipe is very adaptable if you wish to add chilli or use chicken mince, prawn or a mix, just be adventurous. They can be frozen once assembled and will last in the freezer for 2-3 months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.

Lastly serve them with a Japanese Soy Dipping Sauce or if deep fried Okanami Sauce and Japanese Mayo – oh so very sinful!


Pork Gyozas


Ingredients

500 g pork mince

1/2   wombok (Chinese cabbage), core removed from each leaf and finely shredded

3 green onions/shallots/spring onion, white removed and finely chopped

2 garlic clove, crushed

4 teaspoon light soy sauce

4 teaspoon shoaxing wine

2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon caster sugar

Pinch of ground white pepper

48 gyoza or gowgee wrapper, 2 packets

2 – 4 teaspoon peanut oil

1/4 cup (60ml) water

Japanese soy sauce, to serve


  1. Combine the pork, wombok, green onion, garlic, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, caster sugar and pepper in a medium bowl, mix all together with your hands.
  2. Place gyoza wrapper, about 6 at a time on a clean surface, put a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each one, wetting the edges as you go, fold over to make a half moon and pleat the edges together. Its a bit fiddly the first time, but you will get the hang of it. Repeat this process until all filling is used. If you have filling left over, it can be frozen. You can also freeze the gyozas at this stage, make sure they dont touch each other and separate the layers with baking paper.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a large frying pan over high heat until just smoking. Remove from heat. Arrange dumplings over the base of the frying pan. Return to the heat and cook for 2 minutes or until the base of the dumplings are golden. Sprinkle water evenly over the gyozas. Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until gyozas are cooked through and the water evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes.Place on a serving platter. Serve immediately with soy sauce or a Japanese dipping sauce.

Japanese Quinoa Patties

IMG_1128

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.

Thai Curry and Homemade Paste

IMG_1209

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

IMG_0564

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.