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)

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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.

Sriracha Butter Apple Grilled Cheese


Date Published: July 21st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, quick and easy, < 15mins
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Jump to recipe |

Grilled cheese (or toasties in Australia), are THE ultimate comfort food. It’s quick, easy, and indulgent. Nothing beats the ooey-gooey cheesiness of a good crisp grilled cheese. Nearly a decade ago I came upon an article on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches – this was before I had an interest in cooking and was still in the world of processed Kraft cheese for my toasties. My world was forever changed when I read about the different types of cheeses and flavour combinations that people use with sweet and savoury ingredients. It amazed me how many different ways you can make a grilled cheese! I’ve since been experimenting with different ingredients for different types of grilled cheese and also stumbled across some really great recipes.

Making 4 grilled cheeses for lunch!

Since being in lockdown (thanks to ‘rona), Toby and I have been making lunch everyday for ourselves and his parents. Last week after a few big laborious cooks, we decided to take it easy and make a simple lunch with grilled cheese. Of course knowing me, if given the opportunity I always like to go all out and make everything ‘extra’. So instead of a quick and easy lunch, we ended up making 4 different flavours of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches served with a roasted pumpkin soup (which also turned out amazing and I should remind myself to post the soup recipe later). We all stuffed ourselves silly, but there’s no room for regrets when eating grilled cheese.

We made:

Don’t worry, I’ll be posting the recipe to all 4 grilled cheeses above – just give me a little time :). Our grilled cheese marathon made me think that I should have a separate section on this website just for grilled cheeses because there’s no doubt going to be a lot recipes on them here – thoughts?

Sheldon stalking us in hopes of some food falling on the floor

Unlike my other recipes, I didn’t make a video for these sandwiches since the instructions are fairly straightforward (let me know in the comments if you’d like me to make a video). I was also a little too excited when making these sandwiches and forgot to take some photos of the process 😅. I’ll update this post with more photos the next time I make them again (which probably won’t be long).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! I’m starting off with the sriracha butter apple grilled cheese because it’s the easiest (and my favourite) out of all 4 of them and you can quickly put it together.

This grilled cheese is one of my favourite and most frequently made fancy grilled cheeses because not only does it packs a punch, it’s also so easy with minimal “cooking” required. The heavy cheese and kick of the sriracha butter is offset by the refreshing crisp apple to balance it out. If you’re a fan of sriracha and grilled cheese, you’ve got to try this sandwich!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp (14g) butter, softened – you can use melted butter as well, but be sure you toast the sandwich soon after or else the bread might get a little soggy
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce – or to taste. I aim for a 1:1 ratio with the sriracha and butter, but occasionally I like a stronger kick and will ramp it up. Make it to your preference.
  • Mayonnaise for spreading – this is the secret to a crisp golden grilled cheese! Mayo gives a nicer crisp and colour compared to butter.
  • 4 slices of white bread (I like to use sourdough, but whatever white bread you’ve got works)
  • Cheddar cheese – shredded or sliced (I prefer a stronger tasting cheese in this sandwich like an aged cheddar or parmesan so it’s not lost amongst the other strong flavours in this sandwich compared to a lighter tasting white cheese like mozzarella)
  • 1 apple, sliced and cored – I usually slice them into 2mm thickness so I’m not overwhelmed by too much apple crunch vs cheesiness.

Directions:

Make the sriracha butter: combine the butter and sriracha together. Adjust to your taste, but I prefer a 1:1 ratio. Add more sriracha if you want a stronger sriracha flavour in your sandwich. If you’re unsure, you can also add sriracha to your sandwich after you make it. Set aside.

Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread (this will be the outside of the sandwich that you will toast to get that crisp golden colour). Spread the sriracha butter on the other side of the bread.

Assemble your grilled cheese with the mayonnaise side facing the outside and sriracha butter on the inside. Layer with cheese, then sliced apples, then more cheese, then your other slice of bread. (Incase that sentence was confusing, your layers should be: mayonnaise + bread + sriracha butter + cheese + apples + cheese + sriracha butter + bread + mayonnaise).

Get a pan on the stove on medium heat and once your pan is heated, place your sandwich in the pan (you don’t need any oil in the pan because the mayonnaise on the outside of your sandwich will act as your oil base).

Toast your sandwich until the bread is a beautiful crisp golden brown and the cheese is melty (~3-5mins), then carefully flip your sandwich over and toast the other side. (Tip: if your sandwich is quite tall, you can gently flatten your sandwich as your cheese melts. This will help compact your sandwich and make it less messy to eat.) Once your second side is toasted and your cheese is melted, repeat with your second sandwich and serve immediately! Enjoy!!

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 Butter apple grilled cheese

Date Published: July 21st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, quick and easy, <15mins
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp (14g) butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce – or to taste
  • Mayonnaise for spreading
  • 4 slices of white bread (I like to use sourdough, but whatever white bread you’ve got works)
  • Cheddar cheese – shredded or sliced (or any strong cheese – see notes above)
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced to 2mm thickness

Directions:

  1. Make the sriracha butter: combine the butter and sriracha together. Set aside.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread (this will be the outside of the sandwich that you will toast to get that crisp golden colour). Spread the sriracha butter on the other side of the bread.
  3. Assemble your grilled cheese with the mayonnaise side facing the outside and sriracha butter on the inside. Layer with cheese, then sliced apples, then more cheese, then your other slice of bread (again mayo side facing out).
  4. Get a pan on the stove on medium heat and once your pan is heated, place your sandwich in the pan. Toast your sandwich until the bread is a beautiful crisp golden brown and the cheese is melty (~3-5mins), then carefully flip your sandwich over and toast the other side. Once your second side is toasted and your cheese is melted, repeat with your second sandwich and serve immediately. Enjoy!!

Spicy Asian Tuna Salad


Date Published: July 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides/salads, <15mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10mins | Cook time: 5mins

Jump to recipe | Watch the video

Last weekend Toby’s dad took us deep sea tuna fishing with a fishing charter in Portland, Vic. My fishing experience is fairly limited but thankfully the charter set up all the rods for us, so all we had to do was wait until a tuna caught on and we take turns reeling them in. Luckily mine didn’t put up too much of a fight but Toby’s gave him a good workout. There was a limit of two tuna per person. We drove around for hours and caught some here and there, but alas we were two fish short of our max. We were on the boat for roughly 6 hours total. We took 4 fish home in total, ranging from 10-15kg (good thing Toby’s parents have a big freezer back on the farm). We youtube’d how to fillet a tuna and we filleted one tuna that night and have been eating it ever since. I’ve been scrambling to find some good tuna recipes and came upon some asian-inspired ones and played around with them. This recipe is the result of it! (I also used up some tuna in the salmon chowder recipe and subbed out the fish type – turned out delicious!)

This recipe has asian-inspired flavours. Some ingredients aren’t very traditionally asian (like the cranberries and raw carrots), but they have their role to play and I promise the overall flavour packs a punch! You end up with a mildly spicy, kinda sweet, crunchy, sesame tuna salad in the end. This recipe is easy and comes together quickly! You can watch the video below to guide you through the recipe.

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:

  • Dressing:
    • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsp light soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp asian chilli paste or sambal (I like to use the Lao Gan Ma crispy chilli oil (drained), but any chilli paste should do – you may want to adjust the proportions if your chilli sauce is very spicy). You can even use sriracha.
    • 1 1/2 tsp honey
    • 1/2 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 200g cooked or canned tuna, flaked and drained well
    • You can use canned tuna, but for my purposes I was trying to use up the tuna fillets from our fishing trip so I quickly cooked the tuna in the oven at 180˚C for 10mins and flaked it for this recipe.
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp green onions, chopped (~2 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

I was quite conservative with the spice level in this recipe – just spicy enough to leave your mouth with a slight tingle. You can choose to omit the chili powder altogether if you’re not into spicy or even double it if you’re a spice fiend. The spiciness of your chili paste will also determine how spicy your tuna salad is.

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, sesame oil, light soy sauce, asian chilli oil, honey, ginger. Set aside.

In a bigger bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients: tuna, cranberries, green onion, carrots, sesame seeds, chili powder and lemon juice. Once combined, add in the dressing and mix until incorporated. Serve!

You can serve this as a snack or appetizer or side dish. My favourite way to serve this is in some lettuce leaves as wraps. The crisp and freshness of the lettuce cuts through the heaviness of the salad. You can also have it with crackers or spread in a tortilla to make a burrito or even between some bread to make an easy tuna salad with a punch. I also like to serve it with lemon wedges for extra zing!

Watch the Video Tutorial!

Summarized Recipe:

Spicy Asian Tuna Salad

Date Published: July 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides/salads, <15mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10mins | Cook time: 5mins

Ingredients:

  • Dressing:
    • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsp light soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp asian chilli oil (I like to use the Lao Gan Ma crispy chilli oil (drained), but any chilli oil/sauce should do – you may want to adjust the proportions if your chilli sauce is very spicy)
    • 1 1/2 tsp honey
    • 1/2 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) cooked/canned tuna, flaked and drained
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp green onions, chopped (~2 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, sesame oil, light soy sauce, asian chilli oil, honey, ginger. Set aside.
  2. In a bigger bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients: tuna, cranberries, green onion, carrots, sesame seeds, chili powder and lemon juice. Once combined, add in the dressing and mix until incorporated. Serve!

Notes:

  • You can serve this as a snack or appetizer or side dish.
  • My favourite way to serve this is in some lettuce leaves as wraps. You can also have it with crackers or spread in a tortilla to make a burrito or even between some bread to make an easy tuna salad with a punch.

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette


Date Published: July 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: enough for 4 big salads | Prep time: 5mins | Cook time: 30 seconds

Jump to recipe | Watch the video

Since moving onto Toby’s parents’ family farm a couple months ago, we’ve been cooking nearly everyday. They have an amazing small greenhouse here that has been booming with lettuce. As a result, we’ve been making salads nearly everyday! I usually don’t make much salad as part of our normal meals because I find it hard to keep fresh for long enough in the fridge and I also find it hard to pack for lunch and dinners when you have to keep the dressing separate (but maybe that’s just an excuse). Now that we have so much time off, I actually quite enjoy experimenting with different salads and toppings.

This balsamic vinaigrette is my go-to salad dressing. It’s super easy and comes together very quickly. The only real effort you need to put in is to mince a garlic clove (unless you’ve got a garlic crusher). The rest of the work is just to mix it all together which takes less than 30 seconds. The beauty of this recipe is that you probably have nearly all the ingredients at home already and you can tweak it to your liking depending on what kind of salad you’re making (ie. if you have sweeter ingredients in your salad like fruit, you can increase the amount of vinegar to offset the sweetness and vice versa if you have saltier or sour ingredients, you can increase the amount of honey). You can also make this dressing as fancy as you like by whisking in other ingredients (ie. crushed raspberries). My favourite variation is to mix in a tablespoon of softened goat cheese. 🙂

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! You can watch the video below to guide you through 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:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Remember, this is enough dressing for 4 big salads. If you’re making small side salads, I’d recommend halving the recipe.

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients together until combined. Done!

Drizzle over your favourite salad. You may not need the full amount depending on how big your salad is. Taste as you mix until it’s enough. As mentioned above, you can tweak any of the ingredients to suit the flavours of your salad to make it more sweet, sour or salty.

Watch the Video Tutorial!

Summarized Recipe:

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Date Published: July 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: 4 big salads | Prep time: 5mins | Cook time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients together until combined. Done!