Corn Egg Drop Soup (玉米蛋花湯)


Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, soup, healthy, vegetarian, easy, <15mins, appetizers, low calorie
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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Egg drop soup is a Chinese dish commonly served in restaurants as an appetizer or a side with your meal. The Chinese name translates to “egg flower soup” because the way the egg disseminates in the soup makes beautiful swirls that resemble a floral pattern. The english name relates to the fact that the egg is “dropped” into the soup at the end to make the swirls – a little less poetic, eh?

The most basic version of the soup is just the swirly egg and broth. You’ll probably see this version most often in Asia because it’s a quick and cheap addition to a meal. Another common version (and my favourite) has added corn for extra crunch and sweetness. Some places will bulk it up with chopped ham, tofu or even chicken to make it a full meal.

This soup is so ridiculously quick and easy – all you need are a few basic ingredients and 15 minutes to whip this up. It’s also super cheap and satisfying if you’re cooking on a budget. The egg-laced chicken broth based soup with the fresh sweet crunch of the corn makes this one of my favourite classic Asian soups!

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:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper (or more to your liking)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 can (420g) of corn kernels, drained (or kernels cut off of 2 husks of corn)
  • 4 Tbsps cornstarch
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, chopped for garnish

Add-ins to consider: ham, chicken, tofu

Directions:

In a pot on MED heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer then add in sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and corn. Let it come to a simmer again, then taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed, salt & pepper to taste.

Take out a few ladles of soup into a bowl and add in the cornstarch. Mix it around until smooth then drizzle it into the soup while stirring continuously (if you don’t stir, the corn starch will clump together). Feel free to add more cornstarch if you prefer a thicker consistency (remember to mix it with soup first in a small bowl, never add cornstarch directly into the soup or else it will clump).

Once the taste and consistency of the soup is to your liking, turn off the heat.

Scramble the eggs in a separate bowl, then slowly add it to the soup while stirring. The faster you stir, the more disseminated the eggs will be. The slower you stir the soup, the bigger egg pieces you’ll get.

Serve garnished with spring onions on top. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Corn Egg Drop Soup (玉米蛋花湯)

Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, soup, healthy, vegetarian, easy, <15mins, appetizers, low calorie
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper (or more to your liking)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 can (420g) of corn kernels, drained (or kernels cut off of 2 husks of corn)
  • 4 Tbsps cornstarch
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a pot on MED heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer then add in sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and corn. Let it come to a simmer again, then taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed, salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Take out a few ladles of soup into a bowl and add in the cornstarch. Mix it around until smooth then drizzle it into the soup while stirring continuously (if you don’t stir, the corn starch will clump together). Feel free to add more cornstarch if you prefer a thicker consistency (remember to mix it with soup first in a small bowl, never add cornstarch directly into the soup or else it will clump).
  3. Once the taste and consistency of the soup is to your liking, turn off the heat. Scramble the eggs in a separate bowl, then slowly add it to the soup while stirring. The faster you stir, the more disseminated the eggs will be. The slower you stir the soup, the bigger egg pieces you’ll get.
  4. Serve garnished with spring onions on top. Enjoy!

Malaysian Satay Sauce


Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sauces, <15mins, quick and easy
Serves: ~1.5 cups | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 7 mins

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This recipe is from Sarah Tiong, one of my favourite contestants on Masterchef Australia. I’d strongly recommend everyone to check out her cookbook which is full of amazing flavourful Southeast Asian dishes.

What is Satay?

Satay is a very popular dish in Southeast Asia (especially Malaysia and Indonesia) made of skewered meat marinated and grilled in a savoury peanut sauce. The flavourful sauce is what makes the dish and there are so many variations of it. In its essence, the sauce base is made of ground roasted peanuts and the mix of different spices and aromatics are what takes it to the next level.

This recipe uses curry powder and tamarind paste for its robust flavour. It’s quick any easy to make, with minimal ingredients. You can use this as a marinade or dipping sauce for whatever you like. I’ve even tossed this sauce with some roasted cauliflower for a quick savoury side dish!

If you’re a fan of satay, check out my other satay recipe that uses red chilli paste and coconut milk: Red Curry Satay 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 cup (150 g) roasted salted peanuts, finely ground or blended
  • 1 Tbsp (9 g) curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (14 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water (or more if you want a runnier sauce)

Directions:

Heat a dry small skillet or saucepan over LOW heat.

Add the ground peanuts and curry powder to the pan and stir together for 1 minute until fragrant. Mix in the tamarind paste, brown sugar and water and let it simmer for 5 mins or until it reduces to a thick sauce. If you prefer a runnier sauce, add more water. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sauces, <15mins, quick and easy
Serves: ~1.5 cups | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 7 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (150 g) roasted salted peanuts, finely ground or blended
  • 1 Tbsp (9 g) curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (14 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water (or more if you want a runnier sauce)

Directions:

  1. Heat a dry small skillet or saucepan over LOW heat.
  2. Add the ground peanuts and curry powder to the pan and stir together for 1 minute until fragrant. Mix in the tamarind paste, brown sugar and water and let it simmer for 5 mins or until it reduces to a thick sauce. If you prefer a runnier sauce, add more water. Done!

Not KFC: KBC – Korean Baked Cauliflower in a Sticky Sweet & Spicy Sauce


Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides, main, snacks, vegetarian, healthy, appetizer, asian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 60 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

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In an attempt to eat healthier, I stumbled across this recipe by Chez Jorge. Toby has an undying love for Korean Fried Chicken so of course we had to try this recipe as soon as we saw it. The recipe turned out fantastic and the flavours were just like classic Korean fried chicken except we felt guilt-free eating the whole batch in one sitting. Even Toby’s parents were raving about it and asked for the recipe. I’ve made this a handful of times since and always find I run out of the breading ingredients way too early, so I’ve adjusted the recipe to double the coating, but the main recipe is essentially the same. I’d recommend checking out Chez Jorge’s original recipe and the beautiful food photography.

This recipe is on the spicy side so if you’re not a fan of spice, either get a mild gochujang or lessen the amount of it in the sauce. You can serve this as a side dish or eat it as a main with a small side of rice or cold noodles to break up the bold flavours.

I will warn you, this recipe does take some time to prepare and you’ll probably get really tired of breading all the cauliflower florets, but I promise it’s worth it! This recipe is also air fryer-friendly so you can get in a little extra crunch!

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 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsps potato starch or corn starch
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 3 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsps white sesame seeds, to finish (optional)
  • Buttermilk Brine
    • 3 cups milk or any non-dairy milk (ie. soy milk, almond milk)
    • 3 Tbsps lemon juice
    • 3 tsps cayenne pepper
    • 3 tsps white pepper
    • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
    • 3 tsps garlic powder
    • 3 tsps fine sea salt
  • Sticky Spicy Sauce
    • 2 tsps sesame oil
    • 1.5 tsps ginger, grated
    • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 cup mirin
    • 1/4 cup sriracha
    • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 4 tsps rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

Directions:

Make the brine: In a large wide-based bowl or pan, mix all the ingredients for the brine (milk, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, white pepper, ginger powder, garlic powder, salt) and add the cauliflower florets in and mix it around. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Place the raw almonds in a food processor and pulse until you get small coarse almonds pieces (do not blend – you don’t want it too fine or else you lose the crunch). Transfer the almonds to a bowl and mix with panko and set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.

Make the sauce: In a medium skillet on medium heat, fry the garlic and ginger in the sesame oil for 30 seconds then add in the rest of the ingredients (mirin, sriracha, light soy sauce, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, gochujang). Simmer for a few minutes or until the desired consistency. You should have a sticky sauce. Tip: Don’t make it too thick or else it will be hard to evenly coat all the cauliflower.

Preheat oven to 215˚C (420˚F) and prepare two baking trays lined with parchment paper. You can also do this in an air fryer at 180˚C for 15 minutes.

Bread the cauliflower: Separate the cauliflower from the brine. Bread your cauliflower in this order, making sure to cover all sides:

  1. Dip into the flour/cornstarch mixture. Shake off excess.
  2. Dip into the brine. Shake off excess.
  3. Dip into the almond/panko and gently press it into the cauliflower to help it stick.

Place the breaded cauliflower on the baking trays and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top. Bake at 215˚C for roughly 30mins or until golden brown. You can also do this in an air fryer at 180˚C for 15 minutes.

When the cauliflower is almost done, heat up the sauce until it’s hot and immediately toss the cauliflower in the sauce when it comes out the oven. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Not KFC: KBC – Korean Baked Cauliflower in a Sticky Sweet & Spicy Sauce

Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides, main, snacks, vegetarian, healthy, appetizer, asian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 60 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsps potato starch or corn starch
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 3 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsps white sesame seeds, to finish (optional)
  • Buttermilk Brine
    • 3 cups milk or any non-dairy milk (ie. soy milk, almond milk)
    • 3 Tbsps lemon juice
    • 3 tsps cayenne pepper
    • 3 tsps white pepper
    • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
    • 3 tsps garlic powder
    • 3 tsps fine sea salt
  • Sticky Spicy Sauce
    • 2 tsps sesame oil
    • 1.5 tsps ginger, grated
    • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 cup mirin
    • 1/4 cup sriracha
    • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 4 tsps rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

Directions:

  1. Make the brine: In a large wide-based bowl or pan, mix all the ingredients for the brine (milk, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, white pepper, ginger powder, garlic powder, salt) and add the cauliflower florets in and mix it around. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  2. Place the raw almonds in a food processor and pulse until you get small coarse almonds pieces (do not blend – you don’t want it too fine or else you lose the crunch). Transfer the almonds to a bowl and mix with panko and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  4. Make the sauce: In a medium skillet on medium heat, fry the garlic and ginger in the sesame oil for 30 seconds then add in the rest of the ingredients (mirin, sriracha, light soy sauce, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, gochujang). Simmer for a few minutes or until the desired consistency. You should have a sticky sauce. Tip: Don’t make it too thick or else it will be hard to evenly coat all the cauliflower.
  5. Preheat oven to 215˚C (420˚F) and prepare two baking trays lined with parchment paper. You can also do this in an air fryer at 180˚C for 15 minutes.
  6. Bread the cauliflower: Separate the cauliflower from the brine. Bread your cauliflower in this order, making sure to cover all sides:
    1. Dip into the flour/cornstarch mixture. Shake off excess.
    2. Dip into the brine. Shake off excess.
    3. Dip into the almond/panko and gently press it into the cauliflower to help it stick.
  7. Place the breaded cauliflower on the baking trays and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top. Bake at 215˚C for roughly 30mins or until golden brown. You can also do this in an air fryer at 180˚C for 15 minutes.
  8. When the cauliflower is almost done, heat up the sauce until it’s hot and immediately toss the cauliflower in the sauce when it comes out the oven. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!

Okonomiyaki


Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, healthy, low calorie, mains, vegetarian, sides, appetizer
Serves: 4-6 large pancakes | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per pancake

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I LOVE okonomiyaki. I can’t remember when I had my first one, but my latest trip to Japan a few years ago reignited my love for them. They’re widely available in Japan but my favourite one was in Osaka at a little hidden place called Dan recommended by our Airbnb host. There are many variations of okonomiyaki around different regions of Japan but the basic recipe is typically similar.

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake made of mainly shredded cabbage and a flour batter then topped with a variety of sauces and toppings such as kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, and bonito flakes. The pancake is cooked on a flat top and covered with a lid to steam and soften the cabbage. The result is a beautiful golden brown pancake with a slightly crunchy texture. It’s filling and satisfying as a main dish or quick snack.

You can experiment and add different toppings into your batter such as corn, ham, shrimp…etc. Just be careful not to add too many toppings and change the texture of your pancake.

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:

Okonomiyaki flour, bonito flakes and seaweed flakes/seasoning
  • 200g okonomiyaki flour
  • 300ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 cups cabbage (~1 small cabbage), sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Toppings:
    • Okonomiyaki sauce
    • Kewpie mayo
    • Seaweed flakes
    • Bonito flakes

Directions:

In a large bowl mix the okonomiyaki flour with water until you get a smooth paste. Then add in beaten eggs, cabbage and onion. Mix until everything is combined.

(See photo above for the consistency of what your batter should be. There should be enough batter mixture to cover all the cabbage pieces. It may differ depending on how thin you sliced your cabbage. Add more batter mixture if it doesn’t look like there’s enough.)

Heat a flat pan/skillet on MED and add a drizzle of oil. Ladle your batter onto the heated pan to size of your liking. You want it roughly 2.5cm thick. Flatten slightly with your spatula and push in the sides so you have a circle. Cook for 5 mins on each side covered with a lid. It should be golden brown on both sides.

Serve drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and seaweed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Okonomiyaki

Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, healthy, low calorie, mains, vegetarian, sides, appetizer
Serves: 4-6 large pancakes | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per pancake

Ingredients:

  • 200g okonomiyaki flour
  • 300ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 cups cabbage (~1 small cabbage), sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Toppings:
    • Okonomiyaki sauce
    • Kewpie mayo
    • Seaweed flakes
    • Bonito flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix the okonomiyaki flour with water until you get a smooth paste. Then add in beaten eggs, cabbage and onion. Mix until everything is combined. (See photo above on what your batter should look like.)
  2. Heat a flat pan/skillet on MED and add a drizzle of oil. Ladle your batter onto the heated pan to size of your liking. You want it roughly 2.5cm thick. Flatten slightly with your spatula and push in the sides so you have a circle. Cook for 5 mins on each side covered with a lid. It should be golden brown on both sides.
  3. Serve drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and seaweed. Enjoy!

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!