Taiwanese Sweet Mayonnaise 沙拉醬


Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: 2 cups | Prep time: 2 mins | Make time: 10 mins

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I was SO excited when I learned how to make Taiwanese sweet mayonnaise. It’s the back bone and not so secret sauce to so many classic Taiwanese dishes (usually snack foods): pineapple shrimp balls, breakfast triangle sandwiches, burgers, salads…etc. I’m actually not 100% sure if this originated in Taiwan but anecdotally I’ve only seen Taiwanese brands of this mayo and I’ve never been able to find it outside of Taiwan nor have I seen it used in any dishes outside of Taiwan so therefore I’m dubbing it Taiwanese – prove me wrong!

This mayo is a common staple in many Taiwanese households and it usually comes in a tube-shaped plastic bag where you snip a corner off and squeeze it out over your dish. Taiwanese people don’t eat many raw veggies such as a traditional leafy greens salad but instead we tend to cook our veg (usually blanched or boiled) and in Taiwan you’ll commonly see them squeeze this mayo over the plain veggies for a quick “salad”. Sometimes there’s more mayo than actual veg (I’m looking at you, grandma 😂). I’ve had it over boiled potatoes, asparagus, bamboo, carrots, boiled eggs…etc, all served cold. The direct translation of the common name for this sauce is literally “salad sauce/dressing” (but lots of people call it mayonnaise as well). In fact, when you talk about mayonnaise in Taiwan, most people will think of sweet mayo rather than the tangy version Western countries are used to.

There are only a few ingredients to this recipe and it’s pretty straightforward, but it will help immensely if you’ve got a stand mixer or an electric whisk. It takes a little patience to ensure the sauce doesn’t split but it’s worth it! This recipe makes about 2 cups (which is a LOT), feel free to halve it but it also stores really well in the fridge.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

I’ll be posting some recipes where you can use this mayo, so keep your eyes peeled!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 80g sugar
  • 4g salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 400ml neutral oil
  • 3-5 tsps lemon juice (or more to taste)

This makes roughly 2 cups of sweet mayo which is actually quite a lot! It stores well in an air tight container for about a month but feel free to halve the recipe to make a smaller portion. I find it easiest to halve an egg by whisking it first then weighing it out and divide the weight by two.

Directions:

In a stand mixer bowl, add the sugar, salt and egg. Whisk on high speed until it’s combined with small bubbles (see photo above). You can use a hand mixer as well but it’ll take some coordination when you drizzle in the oil.

Continue to mix on high speed and drizzle in 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil has been incorporated, then start drizzling the rest of the oil VERY SLOWLY with the mixer on HIGH speed the whole time. When I say slow, I mean painfully slow where you’re pouring in a very thin stream (almost drops). If you’ve ever made hollandaise sauce before, you’ll recognize this pain. If you pour the oil too quickly, it won’t combine properly and your sauce will end up being a separated oily mess. Better to pour the oil too slow than too fast! If you see your mixture thickening and no separation of oil, you’re on the right track!

As you continue to add the oil, you’ll get a thicker and thicker smooth sauce. Once you’ve finished adding the oil, drizzle the lemon juice while still whisking on high speed. Once it’s all incorporated, stop the mixer and taste. You should have a smooth sweet mayo with a tang from the lemon. Add more lemon juice if needed since different lemons can vary on their sourness. Done!

Store in an air tight container (ie glass jar) for a few weeks to a month!

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Sweet Mayonnaise 沙拉醬

Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: 2 cups | Prep time: 2 mins | Make time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 80g sugar
  • 4g salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 400ml neutral oil
  • 3-5 tsps lemon juice (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, add the sugar, salt and egg. Whisk on high speed until it’s combined with small bubbles (see photo above). You can use a hand mixer as well but it’ll take some coordination when you drizzle in the oil.
  2. Continue to mix on high speed and drizzle in 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil has been incorporated, then start drizzling the rest of the oil VERY SLOWLY with the mixer on HIGH speed the whole time.
    • When I say slow, I mean painfully slow where you’re pouring in a very thin stream (almost drops). If you’ve ever made hollandaise sauce before, you’ll recognize this pain. If you pour the oil too quickly, it won’t combine properly and your sauce will end up being a separated oily mess. Better to pour the oil too slow than too fast! If you see your mixture thickening and no separation of oil, you’re on the right track!
  3. As you continue to add the oil, you’ll get a thicker and thicker smooth sauce. Once you’ve finished adding the oil, drizzle the lemon juice while still whisking on high speed. Once it’s all incorporated, stop the mixer and taste. You should have a smooth sweet mayo with a tang from the lemon. Add more lemon juice if needed since different lemons can vary on their sourness. Done!

Store in an air tight container (ie glass jar) for a few weeks to a month!

Sweet Chilli Eggplant


Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, asian, easy, quick, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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Australians really like their sweet chilli sauce. I had no idea until I moved here nearly 6 years ago. It’s most commonly used as a dip for deep fried foods (especially with chicken salt potato wedges and sour cream – YUM) and it’s also widely available as a condiment in many takeaway shops. Sweet chilli sauce isn’t a very common ingredient in Chinese cuisine so I didn’t have much exposure to it growing up but since moving to Australia I’ve increased my sweet chilli intake by 200% 😅.

This recipe came from my good friend Anita. We had dinner at her place one day back in the vet school days and she wanted to recreate a dish she had at a restaurant with eggplant steaks. After a dash of this and that, she concocted a delicious sweet and savoury sauce that the eggplant steaks were bathed in. It was SO good. There wasn’t a written recipe since she didn’t measure anything (like a true OG Asian cook, eh?) so I’ve recreated it based on the ingredients she used and the result is bang on. I know the serving size says 4, but I could seriously eat a whole plate of this myself over a bowl of rice. I actually wasn’t a fan of eggplants until that day, surprisingly, and now I can’t get enough of it! I’m currently working on a few more eggplant recipes at the moment so keep an eye out!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
    • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
    • 2 Tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (I like the Chinkiang brand)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps neutral oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced in roughly 4cm pieces (I just use regular eggplants but you can use the Chinese variety if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sweet chilli sauce, cooking wine, kecap manis, soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on MED-HIGH heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and swirl around to coat. Add the eggplants in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan, only sear one layer of eggplant at once) and sear them until the centres are soft and the skin blisters or wrinkles.

The eggplant will absorb the oil right away so don’t worry if your pan looks dry because the eggplants will release some oil and liquid as it cooks. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the sauce. Stir-fry the sauce for 30 seconds, then scoop out a couple tablespoons into a bowl and mix it with the cornstarch then add it back into the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer and bubble for a minute and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be gloopy, similar to sweet chilli sauce). Taste and adjust flavours as needed.

Pour the sauce over the eggplants and mix. Done! Serve immediately.

Tip: You can make these into eggplant steaks by slicing the egg plants into 3cm thick slices and follow the recipe exactly the same way and pour the sauce over before serving.

Summarized Recipe:

Sweet Chilli Eggplant

Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, asian, easy, quick, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
    • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
    • 2 Tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (I like the Chinkiang brand)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps neutral oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced in roughly 4cm pieces (I just use regular eggplants but you can use the Chinese variety if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sweet chilli sauce, cooking wine, kecap manis, soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet on MED-HIGH heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and swirl around to coat. Add the eggplants in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan, only sear one layer of eggplant at once) and sear them until the centres are soft and the skin blisters or wrinkles.
    • The eggplant will absorb the oil right away so don’t worry if your pan looks dry because the eggplants will release some oil and liquid as it cooks. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the sauce. Stir-fry the sauce for 30 seconds, then scoop out a couple tablespoons into a bowl and mix it with the cornstarch then add it back into the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer and bubble for a minute and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be gloopy, similar to sweet chilli sauce). Taste and adjust flavours as needed.
  4. Pour the sauce over the eggplants and mix. Done! Serve immediately.

Tip: You can make these into eggplant steaks by slicing the egg plants into 3cm thick slices and follow the recipe exactly the same way and pour the sauce over before serving.

Classic Basil Pesto


Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, easy, quick, < 15 mins
Serves: makes 1.5 cups | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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Of all the herbs out there, basil is my absolute favourite so it’s no surprise that I’m obsessed with pesto. I would have an entire veggie patch of just basil if I could, but sadly growing basil has always been my achilles heel when it came to gardening. Basil on its own is so bright and flavourful, best when paired with a bocconcini and sun dried tomato with some fresh ground black pepper in my opinion mmmm. It’s also great on top of a pizza or pasta to freshen it up. Pesto opens up a whole new ball game and is so versatile – you can use it as a rub, marinade, sauce, dip…etc. I love using it as a pizza sauce with some garlic and olive oil brushed onto the dough or stirred through a creamy pasta sauce for a quick dinner. Ohh boy I could go on forever on all the ways I would use pesto. I’ll probably ramble on more about my love of pesto in future posts on how to use it (of which I’m sure there will be many) so keep your eyes peeled for pesto recipes! Here is my version of a classic basil pesto. It’s insanely easy and you don’t even need to do any chopping. If you can press a button, you can make pesto. Presto pesto!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic (you don’t need to chop it)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

If you haven’t already, toast the pine nuts until golden brown. You can either toast it on a dry skillet on medium heat or in the oven at 220˚C until golden brown.

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Done! Easy, eh?

Storage:

  • Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze them in ice cube trays or a bag.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Basil Pesto

Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, easy, quick, < 15 mins
Serves: makes 1.5 cups | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. If you haven’t already, toast the pine nuts until golden brown. You can either toast it on a dry skillet on medium heat or in the oven at 220˚C until golden brown.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Enjoy!

Storage:

  • Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze them in ice cube trays or a bag.

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵 (Liang Mian)


Date Published: August 7th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 7th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 mins + time to cook noodles

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If you’ve ever been to Taiwan in the middle of summer, you’ll know that not only does it get hot, it gets HUMID AF. What’s better on a hot sticky day than a refreshing bowl of cold noodles? This dish is commonly found everywhere in Taiwan – you can even pick them up from most convenience stores, pre-packaged in a lunch box and ready to eat – just add the sauce! The direct translation of “liang mian” is “chilled” or “cold” noodles and it’s served as a bowl of cold white noodles mixed with a savoury peanut sauce and topped with cucumber and carrot slices, occasionally a sliced egg. It’s delicious, filling and crazy easy to make! It’s also a great lunch to pack to eat on the go or to avoid the microwave queues at work or school 😉.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps crunchy peanut butter (smooth is okay too but crunchy gives it better texture)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 Tbsps warm water (or more)
  • White Noodles (any brand you like)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned

Directions:

Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together except for the water. Once combined, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time to the sauce and mix until you get a thin runny sauce but not overly watery (only add as much water as you need).

Make the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cooled. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and mix it around so they don’t stick together.

Assemble the noodles by adding the sauce to the noodles with the cucumber and carrots. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. If you’ve made too many noodles (as I always do because I’m terrible at judging how much noodles to cook), make more sauce for the noodles until you’re happy with the intensity of the flavours. Serve cold!

Tip: If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest you pack the sauce separately and pour it on the noodles when you’re ready to eat to avoid the noodles getting too soft from sitting in sauce for too long.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵 (Liang Mian)

Date Published: August 7th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 7th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 mins + time to cook noodles

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps crunchy peanut butter (smooth is okay too but crunchy gives it better texture)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 Tbsps warm water (or more)
  • White Noodles (any brand you like)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together except for the water. Once combined, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time to the sauce and mix until you get a thin runny sauce but not overly watery (only add as much water as you need).
  2. Make the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cooled. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and mix it around so they don’t stick together.
  3. Assemble the noodles by adding the sauce to the noodles with the cucumber and carrots. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Serve cold!
    • If you’ve made too many noodles (as I always do because I’m terrible at judging how much noodles to cook), make more sauce for the noodles until you’re happy with the intensity of the flavours.

Tip: If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest you pack the sauce separately and pour it on the noodles when you’re ready to eat to avoid the noodles getting too soft from sitting in sauce for too long.

Curry Tuna Salad


Date Published: August 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, <15mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

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This is by far my favourite version of a tuna salad. The addition of dill and curry with the crunch of the pickle all infused into the creamy mayo brings this to the next level. You’ve got to try it. It’s packed with flavour and so easy and quick to put together for a quick snack or lunch. Serve it in a sandwich, in a tuna melt, or even as a dip with some crackers. (Recipe adapted from Allrecipes with changes to ingredients and proportions.)

If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 200g (~2 cans) tuna in springwater , drained very well (the drier the tuna the better, otherwise you’ll have a sludgy tuna salad)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup mayonnaise (depends on how creamy you prefer it)
  • 3 Tbsps parmesan cheese
  • 5 Tbsps (36g) pickles, finely chopped (or 3 Tbsps sweet pickle relish)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion flakes (optional)

Directions:

Mix everything together and taste. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. If you prefer a creamier tuna salad, add more mayonnaise. If you want it crunchier, add more chopped pickles or even some cucumber or red bell peppers/capsicums.

Chill for 20 minutes before serving to let the flavours infuse. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Tuna Salad

Date Published: August 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, <15mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • 200g (2 cans) tuna in springwater , drained
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise (depending on how creamy you like your tuna salad)
  • 3 Tbsps parmesan cheese
  • 5 Tbsps (36g) pickles, finely chopped (or 3 Tbsps sweet pickle relish)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion flakes

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together and taste. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. If you prefer a creamier tuna salad, add more mayonnaise. If you want it crunchier, add more chopped pickles or even some cucumber or red bell peppers/capsicums.
  2. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving to let the flavours infuse. Done!

Serve in a sandwich, as a tuna melt, or with crackers!

Creamy Dill Tartar Sauce


Date Published: August 5th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 5th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces
Serves: makes ~1.5 cups | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds

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You’ll never buy tartar sauce again after trying this recipe! Have it on fish and chips, tuna patties, crab cakes, fish fingers, chicken tenders…etc. The possibilities are endless! Just chop up some ingredients and mix it all together. Easy peasy! Add a can of tuna to this recipe and you’ve got yourself a fancy tuna salad!

I’ve recently conjured up this recipe to make a tartar sauce to go with our fried tuna patties (recipe coming soon) since we don’t usually keep any at home (I’m more of an aioli gal). After multiple taste tests, this recipe was the result and it is sooooo good! I may be jumping ship to team tartar.

The best thing about making our own tartar sauce is that we’ll never need to buy bottled sauce again and have it expire before we finish it and we can make as little or as much as we need. Also, we’ll never need to pay 50cents for a packet of tartar sauce at the fish and chips shop again (which is the real winner)!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Summarized Recipe:

Creamy Dill Tartar Sauce

Date Published: August 5th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 5th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces
Serves: makes ~1.5 cups | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 cup (180g) pickles, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried dill)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar (or more to taste)
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.
  2. Refrigerate for half an hour before serving for the flavours to infuse. Done!

Tip: If you want a thinner runny sauce, you can pulse everything in the food processor. To keep it thicker, chop all the ingredients finely and mix it by hand.

Sriracha Mayo


Date Published: August 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, asian, < 15mins
Serves: 1/2 cup | Prep time: 1 minute | Cook time: 30 seconds

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If you can scoop mayonnaise out of a jar and squeeze sriracha out of a bottle, this recipe is for you. This 30 second sriracha mayo is your new go-to sauce. Think fries, burger, fish and chips, fritters, prawn toast, tuna salad, chicken salad…etc. Pretty much anywhere you use mayo you can substitute it with sriracha mayo for an extra kick!

If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Summarized Recipe:

Sriracha Mayo

Date Published: August 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, asian, < 15mins
Serves: 1/2 cup | Prep time: 1 minute | Cook time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125g) mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha chilli sauce

Directions:

  1. Mix the mayonnaise and sriracha together and serve! Easy, huh?

Spring Onion Ginger Oil


Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: ~1 cup (enough for 4 ppl) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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This is hands down my all time favourite dipping sauce. It’s a common dip served in many Asian restaurants usually alongside a poached chicken. It’s a flavour BOMB and you only need a few ingredients to make it. This sauce is quite salty eaten on its own and along with its strong flavours, it will overpower most things, thus it really only goes well with lightly flavoured food. My favourite dish to use this sauce is with Hainanese Chicken Rice but I’d also happily drizzle this sauce over a bowl of plain white rice and an egg. Oh baby!

I’ve tried making this sauce since forever but never got the proportions right until now. I nearly uprooted all the spring onions in the garden to make this sauce! I’m seriously OBSESSED with the flavours in this sauce.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)

The recipe makes roughly 1 cup of sauce which is enough for our family of 4 when served with Hainanese Chicken but feel free to adjust as you need.

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil on MED-HIGH heat until it JUST starts to lightly smoke.*

Add in all your ingredients (ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt) and quickly stir for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients continue to steep in the hot oil until cooled.

*Note: If you let your oil become too hot, it will splatter when you add in your ingredients (be careful!) – just take the pan off the heat for a minute to let the oil cool then add your ingredients. I find that the flavours aren’t as strong when the oil is too hot. It tends to deep-fry the ingredients rather than let the flavours infuse out. Just take the pan off the heat for a minute to let the oil cool down then add in your ingredients.

Done! Serve when cooled.

Summarized Recipe:

Spring Onion Ginger Oil

Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: ~1 cup (enough for 4 ppl) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil on MED-HIGH heat until it JUST starts to lightly smoke. Add in all your ingredients from step 1 (ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt) and quickly stir for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients continue to steep in the hot oil until cool. Done!

Click here to learn how to make Hainanese Chicken Rice to pair with this sauce!

Smoked Salmon Salad with Roasted Sesame Dressing


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salad, healthy, quick and easy, <15 mins, asian
Serves: 1 person as a main, or 2-3 as a side salad
Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds to toss the salad

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I love this salad. It’s so flavourful, satisfying, and best of all it’s really easy and quick. You can easily customize it too. I came up with it one morning while trying to make a quick lunch for the fam and at the same time clearing the fridge of ingredients – I never expected it to turn out so good!

This recipe sounds fancy smancy but it’s the quickest most ridiculously easy salad to put together as long as you have roasted sesame dressing on hand. You can make the dressing yourself from scratch (the recipe is on my to-do list to upload, I swear), but often times I let the good people at Kewpie do the hard work for me especially if I’m in a rush or just feeling extra lazy. Kewpie does such a fantastic job with this dressing that Toby and I like to keep a 1L bottle in the fridge and use it on SO many things as a dipping sauce – I highly recommend picking up a bottle next time you’re at an Asian grocer.

Roasted sesame dressing is commonly seen in many Japanese restaurants served on their side salads in bento boxes. It’s a creamy dressing that’s packed with roasted sesame flavour. It elevates the most basic salads to another level, including this one. While you can use this dressing with virtually any salad ingredient, I found that when you pair it with smoked salmon, something absolutely magical happens. The heavy savoury smoked salmon paired with the dressing is balanced out by the fresh crisp veggies that results in a refreshing salad with a heap of flavour.

Next time you’re in a rush to pack lunch but still want something delicious and healthy, think of this salad! Or better yet, next time you’re inviting people over for a dinner party but you’ve exhausted all your energy on the main dish, you can quickly whip up this salad as a starter or a side dish to impress.

I’ve written this recipe with veggies I commonly have in my fridge as a staple in most of my salads (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers/capsicums, and cucumbers) but of course you can change it up to whatever veggies you like such as grated carrot, radishes, spinach, red onions…etc. This recipe is so easily customizable. The only thing I don’t usually pair with this dressing is cheese. I find that the creaminess of the dressing tends to overpower most cheeses so why bother adding it in – fewer calories, amiright?

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 handfuls of lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 handful of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful of red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced – you can use smoked trout as well which I find is usually cheaper and tastes very close to smoked salmon
  • Kewpie roasted sesame dressing to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Feel free to customize the ingredients to whatever you like or whatever you’ve got in your fridge. The bold flavours of the salmon and the dressing makes this salad pretty forgiving with whatever veggies you want to chuck in it.

Directions:

Mix everything together in a large bowl and toss with as much dressing as your heart desires. Done!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do. Let me know how yours turned out in the comments! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Summarized Recipe:

Smoked salmon salad with roasted sesame dressing

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salad, healthy, quick and easy, <15 mins, asian
Serves: 1 person as a main, or 2-3 as a side salad
Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds to toss the salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 handful of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful of red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced
  • Kewpie roasted sesame dressing to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl and toss with as much dressing as your heart desires. Done!

Classic Simple Guacamole


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Jump to recipe |

I love guacamole. LOVE. Seriously. The creaminess of the avocados with the freshness of the tomatoes and lime juice is pure happiness in a bowl. I could easily devour a whole bowl of it myself while binge-watching something. It’s quick and easy with no actual cooking required – just chop some ingredients and mix it all up. Try to make it a little ahead of time because it tastes so much better after a few hours in the fridge to let the flavours infuse. Trust me.

Avocados are quite fatty by nature so the bad news is that the calories tend to stack up when you have too much. However the good news is that it’s good fat and has numerous health benefits so it’s actually quite good for you (as long as you don’t pair it with too many chips 😅).

My favourite way to eat guacamole is to simply have it as a dip served with tortilla chips. It’s a simple, quick and filling snack – but of course it goes amazingly on so many other things such as nachos, fajitas, tacos, burritos…etc.

I think my guacamole obsession started back in my university years in Canada with my old roommate Taryn. We’d frequently go to Gryph’s Sports Lounge/Campus Bar above the hockey rink and always order nachos with a side of guacamole. I don’t know what they put in their nachos, but it was so simple and satisfying. No fancy meats or sauces – just good ol’ nachos, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Even after we graduated we met up a couple times at Gryph’s just to get the nachos and catch up (although from memory the last time we went there they had changed their nachos 😞).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy Cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 large hass avocados – a tip on how to choose avocados: gently squeeze them. You want them to be firm but with a slight give. If they squeeze in too much then they’re over ripe. If you don’t plan on using them for a while, then buy them more firm and leave it out on your counter to ripen. Hass avocados work best in guacamole.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion (~1 medium onion), diced – you can use regular yellow onions instead but the red ones give a bit more sweetness
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste) – different limes will have different sourness, so taste as you go and add more if you need (if you accidentally go overboard, add some sugar or more salt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste) – salt enhances the flavour of the ingredients. If you’re not sure whether you need more salt, I’d recommend letting the guacamole sit in the fridge for an hour after the flavours marinate together and then taste it to adjust flavours
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional for a bit of heat)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl. I find it easiest to mash avocados by using a whisk as a masher. If you prefer your guac more chunky, stop mashing when you get to your desired consistency.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients to the mashed avocados (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. I find that different limes have different degrees of sourness, so start with a small amount (like half a tbsp) and then add more as needed – I’ve had to add up to 2 Tbsps of juice before. It’s better to start with a small amount rather than overdo it. If you’re having some trouble adjusting the flavours, you can let it chill for a few hours first to let the flavours blend together and season it afterwards.

Ideally refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving (overnight is better) to let the flavours marinate together, then taste and adjust ingredients as needed. The difference between letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight vs serving it right away is night and day. Trust me.

Enjoy! Serve on the side of burritos, fajitas, nachos, or even just with some chips and crackers as a snack.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Summarized Recipe:

Guacamole

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large hass avocados
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

  1. Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Ideally refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to let the flavours marinate together then taste and adjust flavours again as needed.