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

Jump to recipe |

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!

Flavour Bomb Beef


Date Published: August 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, appetizer, Asian, sides
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Jump to recipe |

At the start of the pandemic Toby and I started religiously watching Masterchef AU 2020. Neither of us had watched Masterchef before and neither of us watch much reality television. Perhaps it was the constant ads or perhaps it was the extra time we had on our hands from the pandemic, we got sucked in. At 7:30pm, 5 days a week, we were glued to the tv. We had a few favourite contestants on this show and Kanh is one of them. His dishes always looked so good with so much flavour on the show that I couldn’t wait to get his cookbook when it came out. His book definitely didn’t disappoint (although it’s a bit of a pain to navigate through the ebook version) and as expected, it’s full of amazing recipes with hilarious personal notes. This recipe is straight from Kanh Ong’s cookbook: A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life Love Food with a few tweaks in the methods and reorganizing of the ingredients. He calls it “Shaking Beef” in his book in reference to the shaking of the pan when you make it. We’ve made at least half a dozen dishes from his book but I think this may be our favourite!

This dish is a flavour BOMB. The beef tenderloin is marinated in a sweet dark sauce then seared on a hot pan for a caramelized outside and soft melt-in-your-mouth rare beef on the inside. The bold salty flavours of the beef is best paired with the pickled red onions and dipping sauce (also included in this recipe). I was skeptical at first, but the pickled red onions really makes a huge difference and brings the beef to the next level. This dish got rave reviews with our family and there were no empty plates!

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:

  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
    • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 600g beef tenderloin/eye fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large tomato
  • Handful of leafy greens (like watercress or lettuce) – optional
  • Pickled Red Onion:
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 2 Tbsps caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) white vinegar
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsps sea salt
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice

Directions:

Marinate the beef: Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl (garlic, oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, pinch of salt and pepper). Mix and marinate the beef pieces for at least 30mins or ideally overnight.

Make the Pickled Red Onion: Mix the red onion, sugar and white vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.

Make the Dipping Sauce: Add the salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Set aside.

Cook the beef: You want to cook the beef in two batches to not crowd the pan. Heat a wok or skillet (ideally use a wok because this dish will splatter!) on HIGH heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until lightly brown then add in half the amount of marinated beef to the pan and toss for 2-3 minutes until seared. In the last 15 seconds, add in half of the capsicum pieces and sauté. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the garlic, beef, and capsicum.

We’re aiming for med-rare with these beef pieces. Remove it from the pan when the outside is just cooked and still soft on the inside.

Serving: Drain the pickled red onion mixture and discard the liquid. Serve the beef with some tomato slices, pickled red onion, dipping sauce, and some greens (like watercress or lettuce) for freshness. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Flavour Bomb Beef

Date Published: August 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, appetizer, Asian, sides
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
    • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 600g beef tenderloin/eye fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large tomato
  • Handful of leafy greens (like watercress or lettuce) – optional
  • Pickled Red Onion:
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 2 Tbsps caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) white vinegar
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsps sea salt
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Marinate the beef: Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl (garlic, oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, pinch of salt and pepper). Mix and marinate the beef pieces for at least 30mins or ideally overnight.
  2. Make the Pickled Red Onion: Mix the red onion, sugar and white vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the Dipping Sauce: Add the salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cook the beef: You want to cook the beef in two batches to not crowd the pan. Heat a wok or skillet (ideally use a wok because this dish will splatter!) on HIGH heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until lightly brown then add in half the amount of marinated beef to the pan and toss for 2-3 minutes until seared. In the last 15 seconds, add in half of the capsicum pieces and sauté. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the garlic, beef, and capsicum.
    • We’re aiming for med-rare with these beef pieces. Remove it from the pan when the outside is just cooked and still soft on the inside.
  5. Serving: Drain the pickled red onion mixture and discard the liquid. Serve the beef with some tomato slices, pickled red onion, dipping sauce, and some greens (like watercress or lettuce) for freshness. 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

Jump to recipe |

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.

Green Curry Prawn Toast


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, appetizer, Asian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Jump to recipe |

I’ve surprisingly never had prawn toast until recently. I saw a couple recipes from the new cookbooks of my favourite Masterchef contestants, Sarah Tiong and Kanh Ong and decided to give them a try. This recipe is an adaptation from Kanh’s green curry prawn toast recipe and uses the homemade Thai green curry paste. Although I’m not sure what real prawn toast is supposed to taste like since I’ve never had one from a restaurant before, but Toby and his family tells me they used to have it all the time at their old go-to Chinese restaurant and this version is much better! These prawn toasts don’t taste quite like a Thai green curry because there’s no coconut milk, but they do have the beautiful aromatics from the homemade green curry paste that really shine through with every bite. It’s even better when paired with a mayo-based dipping sauce such as curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

As long as you’ve got the curry paste made up, this recipe is SO simple and comes together quickly. You will however need to deep-fry these. I don’t frequently like to deep-fry things at home, but when I do I like to make the best use of the oil by making multiple things with it before tossing it out such as pork and prawn spring rolls! You can also make a big batch beforehand and serve it as an appetizer or a snack for a party.

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:

  • 250g raw prawn meat
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 spring onion (optional)
  • 4 slices of sourdough or regular white bread
  • Sesame seeds for dipping

Directions:

In a food processor, add the prawn meat, egg white, sesame oil, green curry paste, salt, white pepper, spring onion, and garlic. Pulse until you get a thick paste.

Divide and spread the paste equally on the 4 slices of sourdough. If the paste is runny, put it in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up.

Place sesame seeds on a plate and dip the bread (prawn side down) onto the sesame seeds.

Fill a saucepan 1/3 up with neutral oil and heat the oil until it reaches 180˚C (or when a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds). Place the prawn toast prawn side down (it might be easier to lower it prawn side up first then flip it around in the oil to minimize splashing) into the oil and fry for 2-4 minutes until golden then flip and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel.

Serve! Ideally serve with curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

Summarized Recipe:

Green Curry Prawn Toast

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, appetizer, Asian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 250g raw prawn meat
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 spring onion (optional)
  • 4 slices of sourdough or regular white bread
  • Sesame seeds for dipping

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add the prawn meat, egg white, sesame oil, green curry paste, salt, white pepper, spring onion, and garlic. Pulse until you get a thick paste.
  2. Divide and spread the paste equally on the 4 slices of sourdough. If the paste is runny, put it in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up.
  3. Place sesame seeds on a plate and dip the bread (prawn side down) onto the sesame seeds.
  4. Fill a saucepan 1/3 up with neutral oil and heat the oil until it reaches 180˚C (or when a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds). Place the prawn toast prawn side down (it might be easier to lower it prawn side up first then flip it around in the oil to minimize splashing) into the oil and fry for 2-4 minutes until golden then flip and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel.
  5. Serve! Ideally serve with curry mayo or sriracha mayo.