Korean Chilli Chicken

Succulent chicken marinated with a fabuliciouz depth of flavour leaving a  wonderfully warm mouth tingle.

DSC_0001.JPG

This wee number has absolutely impressed hubby & I with it not just being about blow your head off heat, but rather a real layering effect of flavour.

Grab yourself a bowl & bung in 500g of stir fry chicken strips before seasoning well with salt & ground black pepper.

Next, whack in the juice of a lime & 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of Korean Chilli Paste – this is our new discovery at the local Asian grocer & it’s seriously good stuff!

Make sure you give it all a jolly good mix to coat that chook really well then set aside for half an hour to marinade. The lime juice will start to ‘cook’ the chicken so this is not one to leave for too long.

Get your wok to a stonking hot heat with a wee splash of oil & toss the marinated chicken through to cook.

It’s really that easy!

Japanese Karaage Chicken

Asian fried chicken that’s sure to be a big hit!

DSC_0004.jpg

Karaage Chicken is Japan’s answer to one of our Western favourites & these juicy wee nuggets have been fried to a delicious golden crunch. I just love how easy these are to prepare!

Grab a mixing bowl & bung in 5g of freshly grated ginger, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce & 1 tablespoon of cooking sake. Give that lot a jolly good whisk then add in 4 plump chicken thighs which you’ve diced into lovely bite sized pieces. Coat the chook well in the marinade, cover & pop in the fridge for half an hour.

When time is up, simply drain off any excess liquid before adding in 1/4 cup of potato starch & making sure that you get all those nuggets coated. Now if you can’t find potato starch, just use gluten free flour.

Get your oil nice & hot (about 180c) so that when you sprinkle a wee bit of flour in, it sizzles.

Fry off small batches of the nuggets so that the oil temperature stays high before whacking onto a wire rack to drain whilst you carry on with the rest.

Serve these fabuliciouz nuggets with Japanese Mayonnaise & rice.

Spiced BBQ Chicken Thighs

This amazing marinade brings a fabuliciouz taste of the Orient into your backyard barbie!

DSC_0010

 This is a super quick & easy marinade that is sure to spice up your next BBQ! Team it with chicken, pork, lamb or fish for something a wee bit different to the standard snags & burgers.

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of your favourite curry paste (I use Paeneng), 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of salt, the juice of 2 limes & 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. Give that lot a jolly good mix then whack in your meat to coat & pop in fridge to marinade for about an hour (remember that the lime juice is going to start the cooking process so you don’t want to leave it too long).

Hand them over to the man at the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ) to cook on a medium heat with some tender flame kisses.

Sushi Rolls

They’re quick, they’re healthy & they’re fabuliciouz!

Whipping up this Food Court favourite at home is easier than you may think!

DSC_0003.JPG

Start with the rice – you’ll need to bung 1 cup of cooked rice into a nice shallow bowl before popping over 3 tablespoons of Sushi Seasoning, you can find this in the Asian section of your local supermarket these days! Use a wooden spoon to gently fold the seasoning through the rice before allowing it to cool to room temperature. This sushi seasoning is the secret ingredient! You know how when you buy these rolls at the shops there’s always that certain special taste that you can’t quite put your finger on???? Well this is it! It also gives the rice that absolutely essential sticky consistency too.

Next, you’ll need a bamboo sushi mat, also readily available in the Asian aisle of supermarkets these days.

Lay your bamboo sushi mat flat on your bench before taking out a sheet of Nori Seaweed (how good is it now that we can get all these wonderfully exotic ingredients so easily?!?!). Lay the Nori sheet with the shiny smooth side down against the matt as this will be your outer presentation side so you want the rough, dull bit on the inside.

Spread the sticky rice in a layer all over the Nori sheet but make sure you leave a 2cm gap at the end furthest from you.

Next comes your fillings! This is where you can let your imagination run wild or simply take inspiration from the menu at your local take out.

In a narrow strip, closest to you, start layering. Just use a couple of ingredients, as the Japanese do, which work really well together. In the picture I have used curried egg & chicken, but also think about avocado, cucumber, tuna, wasabi, ginger, duck – all the classics!

Then you need to use the bamboo mat to lift the fillings end, which is the closest to you, up & over ensuring a nice tight roll. Wet your fingers to moisten the 2cm strip you’ve left at the far end of the nori seaweed & lift up & over again with the mat to seal your roll. Squeeze to ensure a nice tight roll that won’t fall apart.

Remove the roll from the mat by simply opening the bamboo mat up again before transferring the roll onto a cutting board. Finally, because the rice is so sticky, you will need to wet a very sharp knife to slice the roll into bite sized pieces.

It’s Chompin Time!

Sweet & Sour Sauce

An absolutely classic Asian sauce that’s easier than you may think to whip up at home!

DSC_0001.JPG

This is another one of those master sauces to keep firmly stashed in your culinary arsenal. The versatility of these perfectly balanced flavours mean you can team it up with just about anything! From rice to fish to chicken to pork & anything else your creative mind can conjure up!

Grab a saucepan & whack in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of raw sugar & a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar then you can start to thicken the sauce by blending 2 tablespoons of corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water ( so equal quantities guys) & adding to the sauce. Just keep that reducing down over low heat until you get it to the right thickness for you.

How revolutionary easy is that?!?!?

Fish Balls with Sweet & Sour Sauce

A crunchy exterior gives way to fabuliciouzly smooth fish that’s sure to put a smile on the dial of any seafood lover but dunk it in this well balanced Asian classic sauce & you’re on a WINNER!

DSC_0004.JPG

Start by popping 500g worth of fresh fish fillets into a blender & turning into a creamy mince. Bung it into a mixing bowl then add in a well beaten egg, 1 tablespoon of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice & a good pinch of salt. Mix that lot up really well & form into balls. Now the mixture is quite sticky & just a wee bit tricky to work with so they’re not going to be perfect, go for the rustic look 😉

Chill the fish balls in the fridge for half an hour whilst you crack on with the sauce.

Grab a saucepan & whack in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of raw sugar & a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar then you can start to thicken the sauce by blending 2 tablespoons of corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water ( so equal quantities guys) & adding to the sauce. Just keep that reducing down over low heat until you get it to the right thickness for you.

To finish off the fish balls, simply coat them in corn flour & shallow fry them off in hot oil until they’re a lovely golden colour & cooked through.

Thai Prawn Curry

A fabuliciouzly flavour packed curry that can be on the table in half an hour!

DSC_0002.JPG

This is going straight into my post ballet quickie file! Juicy prawns, fresh veggies & wonderfully fragrant coconut curry soup – what’s not to love?!?!?!

Start by trimming the ends off a solid handful of green beans before chopping them in half & popping into a bowl. Then slice off two sides of a red capsicum to dice up & whack that on top of the beans. Next, drain a 400g tin of corn kernels, giving them a good wash & rinse & setting those aside separately.

Bung a good splash of peanut oil into a wok (or fry pan if you don’t have one) to heat before throwing in the beans & capsicum along with 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste. Cook those for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat keeping it all moving.

Add in the drained corn & a 400ml tin of coconut milk then reduce the heat to simmer away for another 5 minutes.

Chuck in 500g of raw green prawns (peeled & cleaned – no poo tubes please!) & stir until the prawns have turned a blushing pink to indicate they’re cooked through.

Finally, freshen it all up with the juice & zest of 2 limes & season with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Ladle over bowls with prepared rice noodles already in them.

It’s Chompin Time!

 

Roasted Chinese Pork Belly with Creamy Mushroom Risotto

The aromatic headiness of Chinese 5 Spice lifts succulent pork belly into another stratosphere, whilst teaming perfectly with the earthiness of mushrooms.

This is a meeting of cultures not to be missed!

DSC_0001.JPG

Let’s start with that oh so drool-able ingredient of pork belly! You want about a 1kg piece with no bone in there. Take it out of it’s packaging & ever so gently give it a pat down with paper towel to dry the skin.

Next, ensure that the skin has already been scored, if not, then just run a sharp knife across the skin to cut deep into the fat but not all the way through to the meat.

Slather your pork with an ever so generous amount of salt & then sprinkle over a teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice. Give that lot a jolly good rub into that luscious piece of meat. Drizzle over some oil & bung it in a roasting dish.

Whack the pork into a 250c oven for 20 minutes before turning the heat down to 150c for another 10 minutes, then simply drizzle another wee bit of oil over it & roast for another 30 minutes or until it’s cooked through.

Meanwhile, get cracking with that fabuliciouzly creamy mushroom risotto to serve alongside.

Now, the biggest trick to making a great risotto is all about what pan you use! Forget a deep saucepan, what you need is a large flat deep sided frypan! This ensures that all the rice cooks evenly which is the secret to getting that creamy texture.

The first thing to do is to stick 1 litre of chicken stock in a pot on the back burner to gently heat through.

Then you’ll need to heat a blob of butter in your flat frypan to sauté off 250g worth of sliced mushrooms (my fam-bam prefer Swiss Brown) before setting those aside in a bowl.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of butter in the same flat frypan & this time sauté 1 finely diced onion along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic until they’re nice & soft. Bung in 2 cups of rice (traditionally you’d use Arborio but I use Jasmine) then toss through the butter mix until it’s lovely & translucent.

Next, ever so slowly start adding the warmed chicken stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Just make sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding in the next lot. This takes time so make sure you have a drink handy. Once all the stock is incorporated (takes about 30-40 minutes) throw through 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, stir well & pop those mushrooms back in. Mix it all thoroughly & serve immediately  with the sliced up pork belly.

Gingerbread

Fabuliciouzly Festive Gingerbread in just 3 easy steps!

dsc_0001

Did you know it was Genghis Khan (1162-1227) who introduced the West to Gingerbread way back in the 10th century?!?! Well, it wasn’t exactly what we’d recognise today as Gingerbread, but was more of a spiced honey bread that his troops had included in their rations. It gained popularity in Arabia & eventually caught the attention of the Crusaders & badda bing badda boom, next thing ya know it’s all the rage in England!

These days we have 2 types of Gingerbread – the crisp dough we use to make biscuits & houses along with the soft cake which is what this recipe is I’ve baked for you.

Step 1 – grab a saucepan & bung in 1 cup of milk & 1 cup of treacle. Stir it over a low heat to combine well before setting aside to cool slightly.

Step 2 – grab a bowl & beat very well 1 cup of softened butter with 1 cup of caster sugar until they’re light & creamy. Then add in 3 eggs, 1 at a time, giving a jolly good beat after each one.

Step 3 – grab another bowl again & in goes 3 cups of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of bi-carb soda, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice & 2 tablespoons of ground ginger. Mix it all up thoroughly.

Now it’s just an easy case of combining it all into a luscious batter. Start with your butter mixture bowl in front of you, add in the dry mixture bowl & stir together before pouring in the milky mixture & simply beating it all together until a nice smooth batter forms.

Pour the batter into a 20cm square cake tin that you’ve lined with baking paper & whack in a 180c oven for 1 hour.

Now the trick is to let the cake cool in the tin once you’ve pulled it out of the oven before turning out onto a board & slicing into squares. I also like to give them a quick dust with icing sugar, just for that wee extra Christmassy touch.

Festive Asian Rolls

Tis the Season to Party!!!!!

Whether you’re hosting a Fabuliciouz Summer BBQ, a Wintery Northern Feast or the Family Christmas Dinner, these wee rippers are sure to get the festivities started on an unusual note.

img_20161116_075124

Start by heating a good glug of oil in a frypan & cooking off 500g of Turkey mince, remembering to season it well with salt & white pepper. Add in a generous handful of cashew nuts (my all time weakness!) along with some dried cranberries. Fry all that lot off until you see those wee red jewels begin to puff back to life & the nuts have an absolutely glorious sheen to them.

When it’s all good & crispy, drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of honey. That adds a gorgeous shine to the whole dish as it glazes everything. Remove the frypan from the heat & let it cool down enough to handle.

Next, you wanna find some good quality dried rice paper for rolling. All the supermarkets have the export quality now so should be easy enough, but remember there are Asian groceries about too if you have trouble.

The trick to using rice paper is to know that the rough side is what you want facing up to put your filling on so the lovely smooth side is what you see later.

Using a bowl of water, gently place the rice paper circle in for a few seconds dunking before lifting out onto a clean tea-towel. Work quickly now! Pinch up some filling mix out of the frypan & drop it along the side closest to you, just off from the edge. You want to make sure you don’t overfill rice paper rolls or they’ll split. Gently tuck the filling into bed with the small edge you’ve left by lifting it up & over the filling, next you need to fold in each side. You’re filling is now encased in it’s blankie. Then it’s a simple case of rolling it up to the end.

Line up all your rolls in a dish or on a tray as you complete each one, being very careful not to let them touch as they will stick together.

Now, it’s a textural thing of whatever floats your boat. Some people prefer to eat them just like this with a dipping sauce for the chewiness of the rice paper rolls at this stage. My fam-bam prefer to take it to the next level.

The secret trick to this one is to whack them in the fridge for a few hours to dry out so they don’t explode!

Heat some oil in a frypan to shallow fry the rolls until they turn delightfully golden & crispy on each side before draining off & It’s Chompin Time!