Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry


Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, quick & easy, healthy, low calorie, <30 mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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Get ready for a quick and easy, healthy, low-calorie, and flavourful stir-fry! Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile – you can add just about any veggies you want to this dish, perfect for clearing out the fridge at the end of the week. The flavourful sauce is just oyster sauce but when cooked in all the released juices of the chicken and the liquid from the veggies, it becomes damn delicious and magical. Serve over a warm bed of rice or toss in some noodles.

You can easily change the amount of spiciness of this dish. This recipe is suited for a mild to moderate amount of spice, but feel free to kick it up a notch by adding more chilis or use a spicier type of chilli instead. A good chilli oil would do well in this dish 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:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 long red chillis, sliced and deseeded (feel free to use a stronger chilli if you prefer it spicier)
  • 1 medium onion, diced to 2cm squares
  • 6 chicken thighs (~600g), deboned and skinless
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 300g (3 cups) white button mushrooms
  • 1 can of baby corn (fresh is fine as well)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 handful (~2 cups) of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan/wok on MED-HIGH heat and sauté the garlic, chilli, and diced onion for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the chicken, sugar, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the outside of the chicken turns white (don’t cook through the chicken completely, just the outside).

Add the mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, and oyster sauce to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. (The veg should be done at the same time as the chicken.)

At this stage, your sauce should be runny/watery. Take out a few spoonfuls of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and mix everything around for a couple minutes. Your sauce should now be thicker.

Feel free to add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer your sauce thicker – just don’t go crazy or else your dish might be goopy.

DO NOT add cornstarch directly to the pan or else it will form clumps. You must dissolve it in a separate bowl first!

Once the sauce is the right consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry

Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, quick & easy, healthy, low calorie, <30 mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced and deseeded
  • 1 medium onion, diced to 2cm squares
  • 6 chicken thighs (~600g), deboned and skinless
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 300g (3 cups) white button mushrooms
  • 1 can of baby corn (fresh is fine as well)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 handful (~2 cups) of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan/wok on MED-HIGH heat and sauté the garlic, chilli, and diced onion for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the chicken, sugar, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the outside of the chicken turns white (don’t cook through the chicken completely, just the outside).
  3. Add the mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, and oyster sauce to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. (The veg should be done at the same time as the chicken.)
  4. At this stage, your sauce should be runny/watery. Take out a few spoonfuls of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and mix everything around for a couple minutes. Your sauce should now be thicker.
    • Feel free to add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer your sauce thicker – just don’t go crazy or else your dish might be goopy.
    • DO NOT add cornstarch directly to the pan or else it will form clumps. You must dissolve it in a separate bowl first!
  5. Once the sauce is the right consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Chinese Lettuce Wraps (My version of a San Choy Bow)


Date Published: Feb 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, healthy, quick and easy, sides, mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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If you’ve never had a san choy bow (aka Chinese lettuce wraps), you’ve been missing out on life, my friend. It’s a boldly flavourful stir-fry of minced veggies and ground pork served with a bowl of lettuce leaves where you DIY the wraps yourselves. The mince stir-fry is meant to be on the salty side and when paired with the crisp lettuce leaves it balances out the saltiness perfectly. The bold sauce is the heart of the dish – in fact, you can change up whatever veggies you want or substitute the protein for whatever you want (even tofu) and it won’t make too much of a difference as long as the sauce is right. It’s often made with oyster sauce, but I’ve chosen Hoisin sauce as my base because Hoisin is life. You may also see water chestnuts in many recipes for that extra crunch, but I struggle to find it nearby in my grocery stores so I use diced celery instead for the crunch and a little extra flavour. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add in some puffed rice noodles in it as well.

San choy bow is a pretty common dish in Chinese restaurants either served as a side dish or as a main – either way, there’s no neat way to eat it. Be prepared to have sauce drizzle down your hands no matter how careful you are. The first time I had it was at a Chinese restaurant in Brampton as a secondary dish to our peking duck – the first dish was the typical crispy duck skin wraps and the second dish was the meat of the duck stir-fried with Hoisin sauce and served in lettuce wraps. It was heaven. This recipe is my version of a san choy bow and its an homage to the dish I’ve loved for so long.

Not only is this dish delicious, it’s actually also pretty healthy, low-carb, gluten-free, and best of all really easy and quick to make! You can make everything in about 20 minutes and its also easily customizable and a great way to sneak veggies into the diet.

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:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sticks of celery (or 3 medium ones), finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely diced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • Iceberg lettuce for wrapping
  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps Hoisin sauce
    • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar

Directions:

Finely dice all of your veg. Tip: if you’re feeling lazy you can put it in the food processor and pulse it until you get small pieces. If you’re using dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 mins until soft.

In a wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add in the celery and carrots to the wok and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Put a lid on the wok, turn the heat down to MED and let the veg steam for 5-10mins until they’re soft enough to break with a spatula. Stir occasionally to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. If the veg seems a bit dry or is burning before it softens, add a tablespoon of water and stir it around then put the lid back on to continue steaming.

While the veg is steaming, you can dice your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, discarding the hard stems and wash the lettuce leaves. You can also trim the lettuce leaves to shape them like cups if you’re feeling fancy. I usually just eat them whole, but will put in the extra effort to trim them if I’m serving it out to friends.

Make the sauce by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.

Once the veg has softened, add in the pork mince and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry on MED-HIGH heat until the pork is cooked. Then pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and stir until combined. Done! Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping and lots of napkins for the inevitable sauce to drip down your hands 😜.

Summarized Recipe:

Chinese Lettuce Wraps (My Version of a San Choy Bow)

Date Published: Feb 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, healthy, quick and easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sticks of celery (or 3 medium ones), finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely diced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • Iceberg lettuce for wrapping
  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps Hoisin sauce
    • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Finely dice all of your veg. Tip: if you’re feeling lazy you can put it in the food processor and pulse it until you get small pieces. If you’re using dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 mins until soft.
  2. In a wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add in the celery and carrots to the wok and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Put a lid on the wok, turn the heat down to MED and let the veg steam for 5-10mins until they’re soft enough to break with a spatula. Stir occasionally to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. If the veg seems a bit dry or is burning before it softens, add a tablespoon of water and stir it around then put the lid back on to continue steaming.
  4. While the veg is steaming, you can dice your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, discarding the hard stems and wash the lettuce leaves.
    • You can also trim the lettuce leaves to shape them like cups if you’re feeling fancy. I usually just eat them whole, but will put in the extra effort to trim them if I’m serving it out to friends.
  5. Make the sauce by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
  6. Once the veg has softened, add in the pork mince and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry on MED-HIGH heat until the pork is cooked. Then pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and stir until combined. Done! Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping and lots of napkins for the inevitable sauce to drip down your hands 😜.

Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef & Carrot


Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15mins | Cook time: 15mins

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I don’t tend to buy many pre-made sauces because I want to limit the amount of half opened jars in my fridge and also I haven’t found many pre-made sauces that I haven’t been able to re-create or liked enough to keep around. UNTIL my mom introduced me to the Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce. She learned this recipe from one of her church friends. My mind was blown the first time she ever made this for us. I could eat this dish all day, everyday, the saucier the better! I always hoped she would double the recipe every time she made it. There were never any leftovers. This dish goes so well over rice or sautéed with some thick noodles. Mmm mmmm. You can even change it up and stir-fry it with some onion and bell peppers if you’re not a huge fan of carrots.

Because this recipe is based on a pre-made sauce, it’s incredibly easy and cooks up quickly – perfect if you haven’t got much time.

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:

  • 1kg (~3.5 cups) steak, sliced into strips (any stir-fry steak will do: rump, flank, skirt)
  • 1.5 tsps cornstarch
  • 6 cups (~4-5 large) carrots, julienned (or thickly grated to save time)
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the steak strips and cornstarch together until combined.

In a wok, over medium-high heat, sear the steak strips until they’re browned on the outside (~1-2 mins). Remove the steak into a bowl and set aside.

In the same wok, still over medium-high heat, add the carrots and stir-fry it with the leftover oil from the steak for 4-5 mins until they’re slightly soft.

Turn down the heat to medium and add in the steak and black pepper sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined for another 2 mins. Taste and add more black pepper sauce if needed or some water if too strong. If you have too much liquid or if you prefer the sauce to be thicker, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from the wok into a small bowl and mix in half a tablespoon of cornstarch then add the mixture back into the wok and stir it until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, noodles or as a side dish. Enjoy!

You can also try stir-frying it with noodles instead of serving over rice

Summarized Recipe:

Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef & Carrot

Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15mins | Cook time: 15mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg (~3.5 cups) steak, sliced into strips (any stir-fry steak will do: rump, flank, skirt)
  • 1.5 tsps cornstarch
  • 6 cups (~4-5 large) carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the steak strips and cornstarch together until combined.
  2. In a wok, over medium-high heat, sear the steak strips until they’re browned on the outside (~1-2 mins). Remove the steak into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same wok, still over medium-high heat, add the carrots and stir-fry it with the leftover oil from the steak for 4-5 mins until they’re slightly soft.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium and add in the steak and black pepper sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined for another 2 mins. Taste and add more black pepper sauce if needed or some water if too strong. If you have too much liquid or if you prefer the sauce to be thicker, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from the wok into a small bowl and mix in half a tablespoon of cornstarch then add the mixture back into the wok and stir it until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, noodles or as a side dish. Enjoy!

Taiwanese Ground Pork with Pickled Cucumbers 瓜子肉 (Guā Zǐ Ròu)


Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 10mins | Cook time: 30mins

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Gua zi rou 瓜子肉 is a ridiculously easy dish my mom made quite often when I was growing up. It’s a Taiwanese dish in origin similar to the ever popular Lu Rou Fan (marinated pork over rice) but requires way fewer ingredients and is so much faster to make. It’s not a dish that you’d see commonly sold in Taiwan and I’m not sure why – my guess is that the Lu Rou Fan outshines it and it is also such a simple dish to make yourself at home 🤷🏻‍♀️. I didn’t even know how easy it was to make until recently when I was suddenly craving it and called up my mom for her recipe. I always thought it took her hours of effort due to the delicious rich umami flavours, but it’s as easy as opening up a can, chopping, and simmering. Best of all, it can all be done in one pot for easy clean up!

Gua zi rou directly translates to “melon/cucumber meat” which is exactly what this dish is made of: minced pork and Chinese pickled cucumbers (jiang gua/醬瓜). These two ingredients are simmered over half an hour and you end up with a salty mix of meat and slightly crunchy cucumber in a rich liquid sauce to drizzle over a warm bed of rice.

There is no doubt many brands out there, but the brand of Chinese cucumbers I’ve grown up with since a child is pictured below. Don’t ask me what the difference between the brands are, but this is the one I most often see at the shops and the one our family has been buying for ages – it just feels wrong to buy any other brand now. We call them jiang gua/醬瓜 and commonly eat it as an accompaniment to congee. They’re essentially pickled cucumbers (pickles), but instead of marinating it in vinegar as is common in the Western world, these are marinated in soy sauce, sugar and vinegar to make a salty/sweet/slightly tangy bomb of flavour.

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:

  • 500 ground pork
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 jar of Chinese pickled cucumbers (jiang gua/醬瓜)
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked rice – for serving (optional)

Directions:

Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with the ground pork. Set aside.

Strain the jar of pickled cucumbers, reserving the liquid. Finely dice the pickled cucumbers (you can use a food processor here to save some time).

In a wok over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the white part of the green onion for 30 seconds until fragrant (optional). Then add in the ground pork, diced pickled cucumbers, and the reserved pickled juice. Mix it all up, put a lid on the wok and let it gently simmer for half an hour, intermittently stirring.

(While you’re waiting for the pork to simmer, you can cook your rice now. Your pork should be done when the rice is cooked.)

After half an hour, taste and adjust saltiness as needed. If it’s too salty, add some water. If it’s not salty enough, add some soy sauce (I usually don’t add anything additional, but to each their own taste). Serve warm over rice. Enjoy!

*Remember: the pork and the sauce is supposed to be salty and meant to be eaten over warm rice to dilute out the salt, so keep that in mind when adjusting the saltiness!

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Ground Pork with Pickled Cucumbers 瓜子肉 (Guā Zǐ Ròu)

Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 10mins | Cook time: 30mins

Ingredients:

  • 500 ground pork
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 jar of Chinese pickled cucumbers (jiang gua/醬瓜)
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked rice – for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with the ground pork. Set aside.
  2. Strain the jar of pickled cucumbers, reserving the liquid. Finely dice the pickled cucumbers (you can use a food processor here to save some time).
  3. In a wok over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the white part of the green onion for 30 seconds until fragrant (optional). Then add in the ground pork, diced pickled cucumbers, and the reserved pickled juice. Mix it all up, put a lid on the wok and let it gently simmer for half an hour, intermittently stirring.
  4. (While you’re waiting for the pork to simmer, you can cook your rice now. Your pork should be done when the rice is cooked.)
  5. After half an hour, taste and adjust saltiness as needed. If it’s too salty, add some water. If it’s not salty enough, add some soy sauce (I usually don’t add anything additional, but to each their own taste). Serve warm over rice. Enjoy!

*Remember: the pork and the sauce is supposed to be salty and meant to be eaten over warm rice to dilute out the salt, so keep that in mind when adjusting the saltiness!

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!

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

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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!

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

Jump to recipe |

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.

Radish/Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 (Luo Buo Gao/Lo Bak Go)


Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, sides, snacks
Serves: 1 large plate | Prep time: 1 hr | Cook time: 1 hr

Jump to recipe |

Om nom nom I love radish cake. I know it originally in Mandarin as ‘luo buo gao’ which actually directly translates to ‘carrot cake’ because the common Mandarin name for a daikon radish (or Chinese turnip) is a ‘white carrot’ which it kind of looks like – don’t you think? You may see it more commonly called ‘lo bak go’ in dim sum restaurants, which is the Cantonese name. Whatever name you call it, it’s still delicious. I grew up with it in Taiwan as a common breakfast item or side dish. The best is when it’s fried until it’s lightly crispy then served with some garlic soy sauce paste and a garlic chilli hot sauce. It’s also really good when stir-fried in XO sauce (I’m literally salivating writing this).

I always thought luo buo gao was this impossibly complicated dish and never even thought about attempting to make it until I came upon the Woks of Life recipe. After a quick read through, it was definitely doable, but it does take a little effort and time – but hey, in pandemic times all I’ve got is extra time. Now’s the time to experiment! The first time I made this the texture was perfect and I was surprised how well it turned out. The flavours were spot-on, but I wanted more of it so I’ve tweaked the recipe to give it more of a boost so you can enjoy it with or without 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 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 daikon radish (~600g)
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chicken powder
  • 1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups (130g) rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Directions:

Soak the dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms in a few cups of warm water until softened (~10-15mins).

While the shrimp and mushrooms soak, rinse and grate the daikon radish on the largest grater hole.

Toby’s mom has the sumo grater (see photo above) which is an as-seen-on-tv product that actually surprisingly works REALLY well at grating things super quickly and easily. I don’t trust many TV products, but I’d definitely get one of these when we move out.

Add the grated radish to a wok or large pan with 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder and simmer until the radish is cooked and soft (~10-15mins). Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Once the radish is cooked, scoop it out into a large bowl and measure out the remaining leftover liquid. You should have about 1 cup left – if not, add more water until you get 1 cup. Add this liquid to the radish bowl and set aside.

While the radish cooks, chop up the soaked shrimp, mushrooms, sausage and spring onion (make sure you keep an eye on the radish and keep stirring every few minutes). Make sure you remove the tough stem of the mushrooms.

Clean your pan from the radish and over MEDIUM heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the shrimp, mushrooms, and sausage for 5 minutes and fragrant. Stir in the oyster sauce and spring onions then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Add rice flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar and white pepper to the cooked radish bowl. Mix until everything is incorporated, then mix in the sautéed shrimp/mushroom/spring onion mixture. Set this batter aside for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, prepare your steamer and grease a heat-proof pan (make sure it fits in your steamer and ideally square shaped). I didn’t have a square pan in the house so I used a round cake tin instead. Stir the batter one more time and pour it into the greased pan. Steam over MED-HIGH heat for about 1 hour until your batter resembles the radish cake texture. The radish cake is pretty forgiving when it comes to cooking times so you don’t need to worry too much about over-cooking – just don’t go overboard and cook it for three hours 😜!

Remove from the steamer and let it cool for about 30mins. If you’re making this ahead of time you can leave it in the fridge overnight and fry them when you’re ready.

Once the radish cake has cooled, slice it into squares and you’re ready to fry! Heat a non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Fry the radish squares until golden brown and lightly crispy on both sides (~3-5 mins per side). Done!

Dust a little ground white pepper over the squares before serving with a side of soy sauce paste, garlic chilli paste/sriracha, or oyster sauce. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Radish/Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 (Luo Buo Gao/Lo Bak Go)

Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, sides, snacks
Serves: 1 large plate | Prep time: 1 hr | Cook time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 daikon radish (~600g)
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (130g) rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Directions:

  1. Soak the dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms in a few cups of warm water until softened (~10-15mins).
  2. While the shrimp and mushrooms soak, rinse and grate the daikon radish on the largest grater hole.
  3. Add the grated radish to a wok or large pan with 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder and simmer until the radish is cooked and soft (~10-15mins). Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Once the radish is cooked, scoop it out into a large bowl and measure out the remaining leftover liquid. You should have about 1 cup left – if not, add more water until you get 1 cup. Add this liquid to the radish bowl and set aside.
  4. While the radish cooks, chop up the soaked shrimp, mushrooms, sausage and spring onion (make sure you keep an eye on the radish and keep stirring every few minutes). Make sure you remove the tough stem of the mushrooms.
  5. Clean your pan from the radish and over MEDIUM heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the shrimp, mushrooms, and sausage for 5 minutes and fragrant. Stir in the oyster sauce and spring onions then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  6. Add rice flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar and white pepper to the cooked radish bowl. Mix until everything is incorporated, then mix in the sautéed shrimp/mushroom/spring onion mixture. Set this batter aside for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, prepare your steamer and grease a heat-proof pan (make sure it fits in your steamer and ideally square shaped). Stir the batter one more time and pour it into the greased pan. Steam over MED-HIGH heat for about 1 hour until your batter resembles the radish cake texture.
  8. Remove from the steamer and let it cool for about 30mins.
    • If you’re making this ahead of time you can leave it in the fridge overnight and fry them when you’re ready.
  9. Once the radish cake has cooled, slice it into squares and you’re ready to fry! Heat a non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Fry the radish squares until golden brown and lightly crispy on both sides (~3-5 mins per side). Done!
  10. Dust a little ground white pepper over the squares before serving with a side of soy sauce paste, garlic chilli paste/sriracha, or oyster sauce. Enjoy!

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

Jump to recipe |
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

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.