Cheesy Kimchi Pancake


Date Published: Sept 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: Sept 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, snacks, appetizer, easy
Serves: 2 large pancakes | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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Yum. I love a good kimchi pancake, especially when there’s cheese! If you’re unfamiliar, kimchi is pickled cabbage and its a staple in Korean food. I’ll admit, I didn’t like kimchi initially, but over the years it grew on me. I still don’t love it enough to have cravings or want to eat mouthfuls of it on its own, but I LOVE it in a kimchi pancake. The batter ingredients tones down the bold flavour of the kimchi and the cheese mellows it out.

These pancakes are very quick and easy to make. They’re slightly crispy on the edges and soft on the inside laced with cheese. I’ve based the original recipe from My Korean Kitchen but I’ve put a twist on it and adapted it with some extra add-ins (read: cheese). The dipping sauce isn’t necessary, but it does give the pancake some extra flavour. You can also serve it up with some curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

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:

  • Batter:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 cup (~220g) Kimchi, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp Kimchi liquid
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil for cooking

Directions:

Make the batter: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and water. Then add in the egg, spring onion, kimchi, kimchi liquid and cheese. Refrigerate to firm up the batter until ready to use.

Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix: soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a skillet or wide pan on MEDIUM heat. Add a drizzle of oil and swirl the pan around until it coats the bottom well. Pour half of the batter into the centre of the heated pan and swirl gently to spread out the mixture for even thickness. Cook until browned on both sides. Use your spatula to press down the pancake to make it crispy. When finished, remove from heat onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Slice into small pieces to serve. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Cheesy Kimchi Pancake

Date Published: Sept 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: Sept 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, snacks, appetizer, easy
Serves: 2 large pancakes | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Batter:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 cup (~220g) Kimchi, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp Kimchi liquid
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil for cooking

Directions:

  1. Make the batter: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and water. Then add in the egg, spring onion, kimchi, kimchi liquid and cheese. Refrigerate to firm up the batter until ready to use.
  2. Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix: soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pancakes: Heat a skillet or wide pan on MEDIUM heat. Add a drizzle of oil and swirl the pan around until it coats the bottom well. Pour half of the batter into the centre of the heated pan and swirl gently to spread out the mixture for even thickness. Cook until browned on both sides. Use your spatula to press down the pancake to make it crispy. When finished, remove from heat onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  4. Slice into small pieces to serve. Enjoy!

Chicken Lychee Thai Red Curry


Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This recipe was inspired by my favourite roast duck red curry from Nakorn Siam, a Thai restaurant in Balwyn where we used to live. Funny enough we’ve never actually eaten in the restaurant before. I was craving Thai food one day afterwork and Toby and I were too tired to cook or pick up food after long shifts so we decided to get delivery. I can never pass up a good Thai curry and even harder to ignore when there’s roast duck and lychee involved! Within half an hour our food had arrived and the aroma of the duck curry was amaaaaazing. I never would’ve thought to put lychee in a curry (or anything, really!) but it was SO GOOD. The creamy coconut milk cooked in the aromatic and slightly spicy red curry paste was everything I expected, but the sweetness from the juicy lychees was next level. I kept craving this dish and probably ordered it 4 more times within the month. We sadly never got to dine in at the restaurant because that was about the time COVID hit Melbourne but they were always so friendly when we would pick up our food. If you’re ever in the Balwyn area, I highly recommend you get the roast duck red curry!

This recipe is an homage to my beloved roast duck curry, minus the duck because I’m not quite that adventurous yet to attempt a roast duck, so I’ve used chicken. I’ve used my homemade Thai red curry paste for this recipe because in my opinion you just can’t beat fresh curry paste with fresh ingredients. This homemade paste isn’t as red as the canned versions so your curry won’t turn out very red but I promise it will be every bit as flavourful! This recipe is easily customizable and you can put in or take out whatever vegetables you like, but you should definitely keep the lychee in or substitute it for pineapple if you can’t get any lychee. I also love the crunch of the bamboo shoots in this curry so keep that in too 😜.

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:

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g chicken thighs, diced
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • Veg:
    • Handful of snow peas, washed
    • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, diced or sliced
    • 1 can (560g) bamboo shoots, drained
    • 1 can (567g) lychees, drained and roughly chopped
    • + anything else you like!
  • 3 Tbsps fish sauce (or more to taste)

Directions:

In a non-stick skillet or wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic for a minute until fragrant.

Add in the chicken and cook until the outside becomes white/light brown. Don’t worry about fully cooking the chicken, it will finish cooking in the curry later. We just want them seared on the outside for now to lock in the juices. Remove from pan and set aside.

Clean your pan if there are chicken bits leftover, otherwise lower the heat to MED and add half a tablespoon of oil (if there is a lot of oil leftover from the chicken, skip the oil). Add the red curry paste and sauté the paste until aromatic and a little dry (~2-3 mins).

Next, add in the chicken stock and coconut milk and let it come to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered then add in peas, capsicum, bamboo shoots, and chicken pieces and cook covered for another 5 mins until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are done.

Add fish sauce to the pot and mix. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Turn off heat and stir in the lychees. Done!! Serve with a side of jasmine rice.

Summarized Recipe:

Chicken Lychee Thai Red Curry

Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g chicken thighs, diced
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • Veg:
    • Handful of snow peas, washed
    • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, diced or sliced
    • 1 can (560g) bamboo shoots, drained
    • 1 can (567g) lychees, drained and roughly chopped
    • + anything else you like!
  • 3 Tbsps fish sauce (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. In a non-stick skillet or wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic for a minute until fragrant. Add in the chicken and cook until the outside becomes white/light brown. Don’t worry about fully cooking the chicken, it will finish cooking in the curry later. We just want them seared on the outside for now to lock in the juices. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Clean your pan if there are chicken bits leftover, otherwise lower the heat to MED and add half a tablespoon of oil (if there is a lot of oil leftover from the chicken, skip the oil). Add the red curry paste and sauté the paste until aromatic and a little dry (~2-3 mins).
  3. Next, add in the chicken stock and coconut milk and let it come to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered then add in peas, capsicum, bamboo shoots, and chicken pieces and cook covered for another 5 mins until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are done.
  4. Add fish sauce to the pot and mix. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Turn off heat and stir in the lychees. Done!! Serve with a side of jasmine rice.

Taiwanese Breakfast Burger


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Taiwanese, Asian
Serves: 6 patties (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per patty

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Toby enjoying a Taiwanese breakfast burger feat. the triangle sandwich!

Taiwanese people love breakfast food. When I say breakfast food, I don’t mean scrambled eggs, pancakes or eggs benedict. I mean Taiwanese breakfast food that can include dan bing (cheese crepes), oil sticks, white triangle sandwiches with pork floss, noodles and even breakfast burgers (yes, burgers for breakfast!) – all often served with a side of hot or cold soya bean milk or milk tea (always my preference). I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t often order burgers for breakfast in Taiwan because A) I always tend to sleep in when I can and miss breakfast and B) it’s just way too much food for me early in the morning. When Toby visited Taiwan for the first time in 2019, he saw someone order one and it looked so delicious that he wanted to try it himself. This burger BLEW. HIS. MIND. It was his new favourite breakfast item, even surpassing my personal favourite cheese dan bing. I forgot all about this burger until recently when I came upon on Lady&Pups blog while looking for some recipe inspo for this week’s menu. Despite her rant on Taiwan, she makes a mean breakfast burger, which is where this recipe originally came from. I’ve tweaked it a little and simplified the directions with some added personal notes on my experience with this recipe.

What makes Taiwanese breakfast burgers different from regular burgers? The construction of the burger is pretty similar: burger bun, lettuce, tomato, ketchup…etc., but the difference is all in the burger patty. These patties are packed with flavour and often made with ground pork or beef with carrots, onion and soy sauce. It kind of reminds me of the filling of a dumpling but with more intensity and grilled. It’s also commonly topped up with sweet mayonnaise and a fried egg. This recipe comes together pretty easy and quickly. Just chop, mix, form the patties and you’re good to start grilling! Stack the burger however you like and add or takeaway anything you fancy.

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:

  • Burger patty:
    • 500g ground pork or beef
    • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped or grated
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
    • 2 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsps cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1/4 tsp five spice powder
  • Oil and butter for frying
  • Condiments:
  • To assemble:
    • Large eggs (1 per burger)
    • Hamburger buns
    • Lettuce
    • Cucumber
    • Thinly sliced tomato
    • + whatever else you prefer

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients for the burger patties in a bowl and mix until combined.

Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal balls (or 4 for larger patties) and flatten them to create patties. Use your thumb and make an impression in the middle of each patty (this helps the patty keep a flat shape and stops it from puffing up in the middle).

Heat a skillet on MEDIUM heat (or a grill) and add in a couple of teaspoons of oil and a small teaspoonful of butter. When the oil and butter starts sizzling, lower your patties into the pan and cook until both sides are browned (~3-5 mins on each side).

Remove the finished patties from the pan and use the leftover oil to fry the eggs.

Assemble the burger: bottom bun + lettuce + cucumber slices + beef patty + fried egg + dusting of white pepper + ketchup + sweet mayonnaise (spread on the top bun) + top bun. Feel free to take away or add more ingredients to your liking! Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Breakfast Burger

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Taiwanese, Asian
Serves: 6 patties (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per patty

Ingredients:

  • Burger patty:
    • 500g ground pork or beef
    • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped or grated
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
    • 2 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsps cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1/4 tsp five spice powder
  • Oil and butter for frying
  • Condiments:
  • To assemble:
    • Large eggs (1 per burger)
    • Hamburger buns
    • Lettuce
    • Cucumber
    • Thinly sliced tomato
    • + whatever else you prefer

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the burger patties in a bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal balls (or 4 for larger patties) and flatten them to create patties. Use your thumb and make an impression in the middle of each patty (this helps the patty keep a flat shape and stops it from puffing up in the middle).
  3. Heat a skillet on MEDIUM heat (or a grill) and add in a couple of teaspoons of oil and a small teaspoonful of butter. When the oil and butter starts sizzling, lower your patties into the pan and cook until both sides are browned (~3-5 mins on each side).
  4. Remove the finished patties from the pan and use the leftover oil to fry the eggs.
  5. Assemble the burger: bottom bun + lettuce + cucumber slices + beef patty + fried egg + dusting of white pepper + ketchup + sweet mayonnaise (spread on the top bun) + top bun. Feel free to take away or add more ingredients to your liking! Done!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: appetizers, snacks, Asian
Serves: 12 spring rolls | Prep time: 20 mins mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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I don’t love deep-frying things at home, but I sure do love spring rolls, especially with a good dipping sauce or tossed in a bùn bowl (Vietnamese vermicelli salad) with a good nuoc mam. Mmmmmm… This spring rolls recipe is adapted from Sarah Tiong’s cookbook: Sweet, Savoury, Spicy – you might’ve seen me mention her book before in a couple other posts. Sarah was my favourite Masterchef AU 2020 contestant and I encourage you to check out her book – it’s full of amazing recipes. Girl’s got a talent for packing in big bold flavours!

The original recipe called for rice paper wrappers which creates a slightly crispy but also chewier texture compared to the regular spring roll wrappers that are much crispier. I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I included both methods in this recipe so you can choose for yourself 😜. Toby prefers the original spring roll wrappers but I’m still torn.

These spring rolls call for the classic pork and prawn combo, but feel free to change it up to a different protein of your choice or add in some rice noodles or black fungus to bulk it up. This recipe seems complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy. Just chop and mix everything up in a bowl and you’re ready to wrap! I actually really love wrapping spring rolls. I find them more fun and less room for error than dumplings 😂. Toby actually wrapped these ones in the photos – pretty pro, eh?

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:

  • Filling:
    • 8 fresh large prawns (140g), shelled, deveined, tails removed and meat coarsely chopped
    • 250g fatty ground pork (more fat = juicier spring roll)
    • 2 large red Asian shallots or 1 small brown or yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsps (30 ml) fish sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tbsp (9 g) cornstarch
  • Wrappers:
    • If using rice paper wrappers:
      • 12 rice paper wrappers
      • 1 cup warm water
      • 2 tsps sugar
    • If using spring roll wrappers:
      • 12 spring roll wrappers
      • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Mix all of the filling ingredients into a bowl until combined: prawns, pork, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, salt, egg, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Assemble the spring roll:

If using rice paper rolls:

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and pour it into a large bowl. Dunk a sheet of rice paper in the sugar water and quickly remove it, shaking off any excess water. You only want to wet it. It will get softer and softer as you wrap your spring roll.

Place the rice paper on a plate then place 2 tablespoons of the filling centred in the bottom third of the wrap. Fold in the left and right sides over the filling then fold up the bottom edge over the filling, tucking the bottom edge under the filling. Roll upwards until you reach the top. Repeat until all the filling has been wrapped.

Let all the spring rolls air-dry for 15 minutes (you can use paper towels to soak up any excess moisture). You can also fold these a few hours in advance and refrigerate for a few hours until they dry out.

If using spring roll wrappers:

Place a spring roll wrapper on a flat surface diagonally with a corner facing you. Add 2 tablespoons of the filling near the corner closest to you. Fold the left and right sides in over the filling. Brush the top third of the wrapper with the beaten egg then start rolling the wrapper with the filling from the bottom upwards. The egg helps seal the spring roll wrapper together.

Fry the spring rolls:

Fill half a saucepan with a neutral oil and heat it to 175˚C. Fry a few spring rolls at a time to not crowd the pan until golden brown and turning occasionally (~2-3 mins for rice paper rolls, 3-4 mins for spring rolls). Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Serve.

Summarized Recipe:

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: appetizers, snacks, Asian
Serves: 12 spring rolls | Prep time: 20 mins mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
    • 8 fresh large prawns (140g), shelled, deveined, tails removed and meat coarsely chopped
    • 250g fatty ground pork (more fat = juicier)
    • 2 large red Asian shallots or 1 small brown or yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsps (30 ml) fish sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tbsp (9 g) cornstarch
  • Wrappers:
    • If using rice paper wrappers:
      • 12 rice paper wrappers
      • 1 cup warm water
      • 2 tsps sugar
    • If using spring roll wrappers:
      • 12 spring roll wrappers
      • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the filling ingredients into a bowl until combined: prawns, pork, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, salt, egg, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the spring roll:
    • If using rice paper rolls:
      • Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and pour it into a large bowl.
      • Dunk a sheet of rice paper in the sugar water and quickly remove it, shaking off any excess water. Place the rice paper on a plate then place 2 tablespoons of the filling centred in the bottom third of the wrap. Fold in the left and right sides over the filling then fold up the bottom edge over the filling, tucking the bottom edge under the filling. Roll upwards until you reach the top. Repeat until all the filling has been wrapped.
      • Let all the spring rolls air-dry for 15 minutes (you can use paper towels to soak up any excess moisture). You can also fold these a few hours in advance and refrigerate for a few hours until they dry out.
    • If using spring roll wrappers:
      • Place a spring roll wrapper on a plate diagonally with a corner facing you. Add 2 tablespoons of the filling near the corner closest to you. Fold the left and right sides in over the filling. Brush the top third of the wrapper with the beaten egg then start rolling the wrapper with the filling from the bottom upwards. The egg helps seal the spring roll wrapper together.
  3. Fry the spring rolls:
    1. Fill half a saucepan with a neutral oil and heat it to 175˚C. Fry a few spring rolls at a time to not crowd the pan until golden brown and turning occasionally (~2-3 mins for rice paper rolls, 3-4 mins for spring rolls). Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Serve.

Taiwanese Stir-fry Lamb with Water Spinach 炒羊肉 (chǎo yáng ròu)


Date Published: August 23rd, 2020 | Last Updated: August 23rd, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: taiwanese, mains, asian, sides
Serves: 1 large plate (enough for 4 ppl as sides) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

Shihlin is home to the largest and arguably the most popular night market (士林夜市) in Taiwan. Lucky for me our home was only a 5 minute walk from the famous night market and it was almost a nightly ritual to have supper there after closing time of my dad’s vet clinic. The night market is full of the best street food Taiwan has to offer. The food stalls are always bustling with the sound of sizzling oil, the scraping of woks, and shouting across the room from servers that hastily take your order.

Image courtesy of mecocute.com

Over the many years we’ve lived in Shihlin, we’ve seen many food stalls come and go and many food trends suddenly appear then disappear, but the old school stalls where the locals know and love always stay right where they are. Same location, same time, rain or shine. 士林炒羊肉 (Shihlin Stir-Fry Lamb) is one of these OG stalls. This place actually started off in a shop across the road from my dad’s vet clinic on DaDong Road over a decade ago. The shop was run by a man and his family. In the morning they’d serve traditional breakfast items like soya bean milk, oil sticks, sandwiches…etc. I remember buying breakfast for my family at the start of the work day. Then at night he’d open late and serve stir-fry lamb. My dad would often work until 11-midnight and we’d head over to his place for a late night supper after closing. I don’t ever remember it being that crowded, but then again we’d always go really late at night. I’m not really sure of the reason for their move (perhaps the rent was getting to expensive, perhaps the man had health issues, or maybe he just didn’t want to run the business anymore 🤷🏻‍♀️), but I remember returning back to Taiwan one summer and my parents told me he closed his shop and now his daughters run a food stall at the Shihlin night market serving only the stir-fry lamb we know and love. They opened up the stall in a small alleyway just off of the main road of the night market where exposure was limited, but surprisingly over the years they’ve built up their business pretty well and always seems to be busy despite of the location. Their place used to be one of our go-to locations when we visit Taiwan, however they’re not open as often anymore with seemingly random operating hours which makes it hard to plan for and their prices have gone up drastically as well ($150NT for a plate is quite expensive for Taiwan street food). However on those nights when the stars have aligned and we happen to catch them while they’re open, we indulge ourselves and order a plate of stir-fry lamb each. My mom doesn’t usually eat lamb, but this is the only place she’ll ever have it. Stir-fry lamb is a common dish across many street food/hole in the wall restaurants in Taiwan, but this places makes it different. I’m not sure what it is, but their sauce just seems more rich and creamy than the other places.

Bull head brand Sa-cha sauce

If you’ve never had stir-fry lamb before, it’s thin-sliced lamb that’s cooked in sa-cha sauce (Chinese bbq sauce) with water spinach and garlic. If you’re a fan of sa-cha sauce, then you’ll love this dish. It’s funny that it’s translated as bbq sauce because I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use it for barbecues. I see it most often used in stir-fries or eaten as a dip with hotpot or dumplings. The most famous brand is the “bull head” brand and it’s really the only brand I’ve ever known. The sauce is oily and pasty, mainly made of shallots, garlic, and dried shrimp. I don’t quite know how else to describe this since there aren’t any other sauces that is quite like this one (or at least none that I know of).

As you may already know, I’ve been trying to cook more Taiwanese/Chinese foods lately to get back to my roots. Now that we’re all in a pandemic, international travel is out of reach for probably another 6 months (or likely longer) and it will be a long time before I’m able to see my family or visit Taiwan again. Trying to recreate my favourite childhood foods is a way for me to reconnect with home from so far away. This recipe is my copycat version of the stir-fry lamb from the Shihlin night market. It’s still not as good as the night market version, but I suspect that’s due to the lack of MSG in my recipe. I hope you enjoy it anyway as much as I do!

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:

  • 375g lamb, thinly sliced (Slice it as thin as you can manage. It may be easier to freeze the lamb for half an hour first before you slice it. You can use sliced hotpot lamb as well.)
  • Marinade:
    • 1 medium egg
    • 2 tsps Chinese BBQ sauce 沙茶酱 (Bull head brand), try to avoid the excess oil
    • 2 tsps black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
    • 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup Chinese BBQ sauce 沙茶酱 (Bull head brand)
    • 1 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie ShaoXing Wine or rice wine)
    • 1 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp ground peanuts (or substitute with 1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter without sugar)
    • 1/2 Tbsps white sugar
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 large serrano red chilli (for mild spiciness – feel free to add more!)
  • 1 large bunch of water spinach (also called Kang Kong or 空心菜)
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (ie Shao Xing Wine or rice wine)

Directions:

Make the marinade by mixing all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl (egg, bbq sauce, black vinegar, cornstarch, vegetable oil). Add the lamb slices to the bowl and mix. Set aside to marinate for about 15mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Make the sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside (bbq sauce, soy sauce, black vinegar, peanuts, sugar).

Prepare the water spinach by first washing and trimming off the ends of the stems that may be discoloured or hardened. Discard these pieces. Next, separate the leaves from the stems by chopping the bunch in half (it doesn’t have to be too exact, just eyeball the halfway point). Chop the stems into 4-5 cm pieces and set aside in a bowl. Put the leaves in another bowl.

In a non-stick wok or a wide base pan on MED-HIGH, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the marinated lamb for a couple of minutes until just brown (doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through). Remove the lamb from the pot (strain it if there’s a lot of oil) and discard the rest of the oil from the pot except for 1 tablespoon.

I used hotpot lamb slices for this recipe which happened to be a fattier cut so I had a LOT of oil in my pot. Try to use a leaner cut or be prepared to strain out all the oil!

Add in the garlic and chillies and stir-fry in the leftover oil until fragrant (~30 seconds). Add in the spinach stems and stir-fry for another couple of minutes until it starts to soften.

Then add in the lamb, water spinach leaves and 1/4 cup cooking wine. Do not stir the pot and put on the lid to let the veg steam for 1 minute.

We’re not stirring the layers at this point because we want to keep the tougher spinach stems on the bottom to cook more while the leaves on the top layer steams as the cooking wine evaporates.

Remove the lid and stir everything together. Add in the sauce and stir-fry until it’s evenly mixed through. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Turn off the heat and add a drizzle of sesame oil before serving.

(Optional: If you find that your cut of lamb is too fatty and there’s too much oil in your dish, you can strain out the oil before serving.) Done! Serve as a main dish with some rice or as a side.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Stir-fry Lamb with Water Spinach 炒羊肉 (chǎo yáng ròu)

Date Published: August 23rd, 2020 | Last Updated: August 23rd, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: taiwanese, mains, asian, sides
Serves: 1 large plate (enough for 4 ppl as sides) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 375g lamb, thinly sliced (You can buy it already sliced usually in the hotpot section at the Asian grocer, or just buy regular lamb and slice it as thin as you can manage. It may be easier to freeze the lamb for half an hour first before you slice it.)
  • Marinade:
    • 1 medium egg
    • 2 tsps Chinese BBQ sauce 沙茶酱 (Bull head brand), try to avoid the excess oil
    • 2 tsps black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
    • 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup Chinese BBQ sauce 沙茶酱 (Bull head brand)
    • 1 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie ShaoXing Wine or rice wine)
    • 1 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp ground peanuts (or substitute with 1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter without sugar)
    • 1/2 Tbsps white sugar
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 large serrano red chilli (for mild spiciness – feel free to add more!)
  • 1 large bunch of water spinach (also called Kang Kong or 空心菜)
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (ie Shao Xing Wine or rice wine)

Directions:

  1. Make the marinade by mixing all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl (egg, bbq sauce, black vinegar, cornstarch, vegetable oil). Add the lamb slices to the bowl and mix. Set aside to marinate for about 15mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Make the sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside (bbq sauce, soy sauce, black vinegar, peanuts, sugar).
  3. Wash the water spinach and trim off the ends. Next, separate the leaves from the stems by chopping the bunch in half. Chop the stems into 4-5 cm pieces and set aside in a bowl. Put the leaves in another bowl.
  4. In a non-stick wok or a wide base pan on MED-HIGH, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the marinated lamb for a couple of minutes until just brown (doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through). Remove the lamb from the pot (strain it if there’s a lot of oil) and discard the rest of the oil from the pot except for 1 tablespoon.
  5. Add in the garlic and chillies and stir-fry in the leftover oil until fragrant (~30 seconds). Add in the spinach stems and stir-fry for another couple of minutes until it starts to soften.
  6. Then add in the lamb, water spinach leaves and 1/4 cup cooking wine. Do not stir the pot and put on the lid to let the veg steam for 1 minute.
  7. Remove the lid and stir everything together. Add in the sauce and stir-fry until it’s evenly mixed through. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Turn off the heat and add a drizzle of sesame oil before serving. Done! Serve as a main dish with some rice or as a side.
    • (Optional: If you find that your cut of lamb is too fatty and there’s too much oil in your dish, you can strain out the oil before serving.)

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This super easy brown butter mushroom recipe was something I whipped up in the spur of the moment today when I was making a goat cheese stuffed chicken breast for lunch. I LOVE mushrooms and lucky for me I had some spare in the fridge as well as thyme in the garden. Something about thyme and mushrooms just makes a perfect combination and even better when cooked in a beautiful aromatic nutty brown butter. I’d recommend slicing them thick like the photos below for maximum absorption of the delicious brown butter!

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:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).

When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms.

It’s important to lay the mushrooms in a single layer and not crowd them in the pan. You need space to let the liquids evaporate or else they’ll boil in their own juices and result in soggy mushrooms. If you don’t have a pan large enough to fit all the mushrooms, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme from the pan and cook the mushrooms in batches.

The mushrooms will initially absorb all the brown butter and your pan will look dry but as it cooks it will start releasing a little liquid. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.

When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Note: Do not add salt before the mushrooms are done or else they’ll dehydrate the mushrooms and release liquid into the pan.

Summarized Recipe:

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).
  2. When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms. Do not crowd the pan. If your pan is too small, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme and cook the mushroom in batches.
  3. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.
  4. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Bacon Mashed Peas


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 4 (makes one big bowl) | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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I’m going to be the first to admit that this is a pretty ugly dish and it was a challenge to photograph to make it look delicious 😂. After about 15 mins trying different angles on the small patio table outside, it was still a pile of green mush. Despite its appearance, these mashed peas are so yum and makes a great side dish for almost anything. It’s also a great way to use up that half opened bag of green peas that’s been sitting in the back of your freezer for the past year.

I’m not a huge fan of peas on their own. I find them kind of tasteless and boring. They always seems to be served the same way: boiled with salt and pepper as a filler on a plate. No one really loves eating them but we do anyway because it’s veg, and our mothers have engraved in our brains that we must have a serve of veg with every meal. Welp, I’ve taken those boring peas and put my own spin on it sautéed with onions, garlic and bacon then simmered in beef broth and blended (not mashed unlike the title suggests). Peas are actually quite sweet in their nature and when you blend it all up it enhances the sweetness and you end up with a kind of sweet pile of green mush with bits of salty and savoury bacon. Full disclaimer: this dish still tastes very much like peas so if you actually dislike the taste of peas then this recipe is not for you. Toby has been a lifelong hater of peas and although this isn’t his favourite dish, he did say this was the best peas he’s ever had (but he still doesn’t like peas). His father however loves peas and had multiple servings. I’ll take that as a double win!

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:

  • 4 cups frozen peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 strips of “streaky bacon”, diced (or 3 slices of rasher’s bacon, diced)
    • Streaky bacon is the typical North American bacon that’s higher in fat and crisps up when cooked.
    • Rasher’s bacon is the typical Australian bacon that’s leaner and essentially like ham.
    • I prefer streaky bacon for this recipe because it gives it an extra crispy texture and the bacon flavour is more prominent however it’s not always easy to find in Australia (especially in a pandemic) so I’ve used rasher’s bacon for the photos.
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Defrost your peas by placing them in a bowl filled with room temperature water. Keep replacing the water every 15-20 mins until completely defrosted then drain. You can alternatively defrost them the night before.

Dissolve two beef stock cubes in 1 cup (250ml) of warm water. Set aside.

Heat a skillet or pot on MEDIUM heat and sauté the garlic, onion and bacon together until the onions are tender and the bacon is browned (and crispy if using streaky bacon).

You shouldn’t need to add any oil because the fat from the bacon should melt and provide the oil needed, however if you’re using a leaner cut of bacon like rasher’s bacon, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.

Remove half of the bacon/onion mixture from the pan and set aside. Add the defrosted peas and beef stock to the pan and stir. Let it come to a simmer then take the peas out and transfer it to a blender or food processor (leave excess liquid in the skillet). Pulse it a few times until you get a thick paste. Add a few spoonfuls of the liquid in the pan if your paste is too dry and difficult to pulse.

Pour the contents back into the skillet and stir together with the liquid and add in the reserved bacon/onion mixture. Simmer the peas until the liquid has evaporated and you end up with a thick pasty consistency. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Bacon Mashed Peas

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 4 (makes one big bowl) | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups frozen peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 strips of “streaky bacon”, diced (or 3 slices of rasher’s bacon, diced)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Defrost your peas by placing them in a bowl filled with room temperature water. Keep replacing the water every 15-20 mins until completely defrosted then drain. You can alternatively defrost them the night before.
  2. Dissolve two beef stock cubes in 1 cup (250ml) of warm water. Set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet or pot on MEDIUM heat and sauté the garlic, onion and bacon together until the onions are tender and the bacon is browned (and crispy if using streaky bacon).
    • You shouldn’t need to add any oil because the fat from the bacon should melt and provide the oil needed, however if you’re using a leaner cut of bacon like rasher’s bacon, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.
  4. Remove half of the bacon/onion mixture from the pan and set aside. Add the defrosted peas and beef stock to the pan and stir. Let it come to a simmer then take the peas out and transfer it to a blender or food processor (leave excess liquid in the skillet). Pulse it a few times until you get a thick paste. Add a few spoonfuls of the liquid in the pan if your paste is too dry and difficult to pulse.
  5. Pour the contents back into the skillet and stir together with the liquid and add in the reserved bacon/onion mixture. Simmer the peas until the liquid has evaporated and you end up with a thick pasty consistency. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Done!

Classic Greek Salad


Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

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I love Greek salad. It’s so refreshing and easy to make, perfect for a hot summer’s day or paired with a delicious roast lamb. The dressing only takes 3 ingredients to make and the salad components are easily adjustable to whatever proportion you like. Toby’s not a big fan of olives so I tend to go easy on them when I’m making this salad but feel free to double or even triple the amount of any of the salad ingredients. This salad is healthy (if you don’t go crazy on the feta) and so delicious. If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest holding off on the dressing until right before you serve it because the salt content from the dressing will draw out water from the veg and you’ll end up with a soggy salad.

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:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.

Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

*Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Greek Salad

Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy, healthy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
    • *Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Blue Cheese Broccoli Salad


Date Published: August 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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In many Chinese households raw vegetables are not very common – if at all. When we moved to Canada it was really strange watching my classmates eat raw carrots and celery as a snack. It was even stranger that someone would bring a platter of uncooked vegetables to a party as their contribution. To this day I’m still not a big fan of raw veg on their own but when it’s paired with a delicious creamy dip or in a flavourful salad, sign me up!…Except for celery. I still can’t eat that shit raw.

Broccoli was one of the last few veg I came to terms with eating raw. I’ve always loved steamed broccoli especially with some garlic and black pepper, but crunching on it raw just felt so wrong…until I came upon this amazing salad that a friend brought to a party a couple years ago. I was going to call this “Jess’ Broccoli Salad”, but I went with a more descriptive title instead for those of you that don’t know Jess 😜 (who’s also a super amazing baker). If you’re a fan of blue cheese, this salad is definitely for you! The bold blue cheese is offset by the sweet and tart cranberries and juiciness of the red onions, then mellowed out with crispy bacon and toasted pecans, all transported by the humble crunchy broccoli for a super flavourful mouthful.

The ingredients list seems long, but most of it is the balsamic dressing. A freshly made balsamic vinaigrette really does make a difference to tie all the flavours of the salad together, but if you’re in a rush, feel free to take a shortcut and use a store-bought version. There are also a few other shortcuts in the recipe marked as “optional” steps, but I encourage you to take the time to toast the pecans, blanch the broccoli and sauté the bacon to bring out the maximum flavours of the ingredients.

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:

  • Balsamic Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salad:
    • 6 cups broccoli, chopped (roughly 3 middle-sized broccoli heads or 2 large ones)
    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
    • 1 cup red onion, sliced or diced (personal preference)
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Make the dressing: put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic) and whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Set aside.
(Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well until all the ingredients are combined.)

Blanch the broccoli: place the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. Use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water on the broccoli. Set aside.

This step is optional but it helps soften the broccoli a little but and bring out the bright green colours. If you prefer your broccoli raw and crunchy, feel free to skip this step. You can also boil the broccoli a little longer if you prefer it softer.

Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 180˚C and toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and darker brown, then roughly chop it and set aside.

This step is also optional, but I find toasting the pecans bring out a lot more depth in the flavours of the salad.

Sauté the bacon: While you’re waiting for the pecans to toast, sauté the chopped bacon until light brown and crispy. Set aside.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients: broccoli, pecans, bacon, red onions, blue cheese, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Blue Cheese Broccoli Salad

Date Published: August 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • Balsamic Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salad:
    • 6 cups broccoli, chopped (roughly 3 middle-sized broccoli heads or 2 large ones)
    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
    • 1 cup red onion, sliced or diced (personal preference)
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing: put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic) and whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Set aside.
  2. Blanch the broccoli (optional): place the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. Use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water on the broccoli. Set aside.
  3. Toast the pecans (optional): Preheat the oven to 180˚C and toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and darker brown, then roughly chop it and set aside.
  4. Sauté the bacon: While you’re waiting for the pecans to toast, sauté the chopped bacon until light brown and crispy. Set aside.
  5. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients: broccoli, pecans, bacon, red onions, blue cheese, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)


Date Published: August 11th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 11th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups, asian, quick and easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

Khao Soi? Oh boy! If you’ve never had Khao Soi before, you’re about to have your taste buds obliterated because this dish is THE BOMB (I’ll see myself out). It uses an intense curry paste that’s similar to red curry but with the addition of curry powder (like a yellow curry paste) which is then simmered with coconut milk that results in a luxe creamy coconut curry soup with some heat. This northern Thailand dish is commonly served with egg noodles, chicken, and topped with crispy noodles. There are many variations of this dish and you can easily customize it yourself with extra veg, tofu puffs, fish cakes…etc.

I’m going to admit something here. I’m actually pretty new to Khao Soi and only heard about it a month ago on Masterchef (when Jess made it in the ramen challenge) and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. I LOVE curries, especially Thai curries for their aromas so it’s no surprise that Khao Soi instantly made it straight to the top of my (long) list of dishes to make. Since I’ve never had Khao Soi from Thailand I can’t attest to how “authentic” my recipe is to the real thing but I can guarantee that this recipe is f*cking delicious. I ate two bowls in one sitting the first time I made it! Move over green curry, I actually think this may be my new favourite Thai curry. Since I’m a novice to Khao Soi, I came up with this recipe by reading through a LOT of highly rated “authentic” recipes and compiled all the best parts together. I’m surprised I pulled it off!

I’m a huge advocate of homemade curry paste because it just has so much vibrant flavours that you can’t get from a can without “freshening it up” with aromatics. I used my pre-made homemade Thai red curry paste for this recipe which saved SO much prep work and made this recipe infinitely easy and fast to come together (I haven’t tried this with canned paste so apologies to anyone that was hoping to use it. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!). This dish takes about 15-20 mins from start to finish. The only thing you need to chop is the chicken! So quick and easy for something SO full of flavour.

Hopefully one day when this pandemic is over I’ll be able to travel to northern Thailand and have Khao Soi to see how it compares. It’s a shame because I was actually in Chiang Mai last year for 3 weeks volunteering at an animal shelter desexing stray dogs and cats. The whole time I was there no one mentioned Khao Soi but I did have some pretty amazing green curry. Ah well, another excuse to travel! 😊

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:

  • 4 portions of egg noodles
  • Khao Soi paste:
  • 1kg chicken thighs (or breast), diced into large pieces (or to preference on how big you prefer your chicken pieces)
  • 4 cups (1 litre) reduced salt chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 600ml (1 1/2 cans) coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsps fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • Optional: any additional veg you like

Directions:

Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

In a bowl, make the khao soi paste by mixing the red curry paste, curry powder and turmeric powder together. Set aside.

Warm a pot on MED-HIGH heat, add 1-2 Tbsps of oil and sauté the chicken pieces until browned (don’t worry about cooking it all the way through – it’ll finish cooking in the soup). Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.

In the same pot, use the leftover oil from the chicken (or add more if there’s not much left) and add the khao soi paste (red curry paste, curry powder and turmeric powder). Quickly sauté for a couple minutes until the paste dries out a little and becomes fragrant.

Add in the chicken stock and coconut milk. Stir until no clumps remain from the paste. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes then add in the browned chicken pieces (and any additional veg you like). Simmer for another 5 minutes (or until veggies have cooked – if using). Add the fish sauce. Taste and adjust flavours as needed (if it’s not salty enough you can add more fish sauce or salt, if you prefer your soup creamier add more coconut milk).

Divide the egg noodles into 4 bowls and ladle the soup with ingredients into each bowl over the noodles. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

Date Published: August 11th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 11th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups, asian, quick and easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 portions of egg noodles
  • Khao Soi paste:
  • 1kg chicken thighs (or breast), diced into large pieces (or to preference on how big you prefer your chicken pieces)
  • 4 cups (1 litre) reduced salt chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 600ml (1 1/2 cans) coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsps fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • Optional: any additional veg you like

Directions:

  1. Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, make the khao soi paste by mixing the red curry paste, curry powder and turmeric powder together. Set aside.
  3. Warm a pot on MED-HIGH heat, add 1-2 Tbsps of oil and sauté the chicken pieces until browned (don’t worry about cooking it all the way through – it’ll finish cooking in the soup). Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
  4. In the same pot, use the leftover oil from the chicken (or add more if there’s not much left) and add the khao soi paste (red curry paste, curry powder and turmeric powder). Quickly sauté for a couple minutes until the paste dries out a little and becomes fragrant.
  5. Add in the chicken stock and coconut milk. Stir until no clumps remain from the paste. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes then add in the browned chicken pieces (and any additional veg you like). Simmer for another 5 minutes (or until veggies have cooked – if using). Add the fish sauce. Taste and adjust flavours as needed (if it’s not salty enough you can add more fish sauce or salt, if you prefer your soup creamier add more coconut milk).
  6. Divide the egg noodles into 4 bowls and ladle the soup with ingredients into each bowl over the noodles. Done!