Italian Wedding Soup


Date Published: April 17th, 2022 | Last Updated: April 17th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 45 mins

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Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty Italian soup made with little beef meatballs and little pasta. The name refers to the “marriage” of the flavours in this soup (rather than a dish served at a wedding).

This soup brings back major nostalgia for me back to my early university days. Before I learned how to cook, I would buy a lot of ready-made soups to have between classes. Specifically, I’d get the Campbell’s “Soup at Hand” brand because they were conveniently packaged in handheld cups and all you had to do was microwave the cup and you’re ready to sip it on the go. I’ve always loved soup and I think I must’ve tried almost all of their flavours back in the day, but Italian Wedding Soup stood out to me. At that time, I had never heard of this soup and what was even more intriguing was the little tiny meatballs and pastas that were in the soup that had to fit out of the small sippy hole of the cup. I actually forgot all about this soup until a couple weeks ago when it suddenly popped into my head while I was trying to decide on what to cook for the week. I’m not sure what originally led me to think about it, but I’m glad I did. It took a couple weeks of testing out different soup and meatball recipes to get it just right (we seriously actually had it for lunch for 2 weeks straight until I was happy with it). I’ve never been to Italy nor have I ever had this soup at an Italian restaurant, so I cannot attest to the authenticity of this recipe, but it’s pretty damn good. This soup is also great to make ahead. It keeps well for the week and it tastes even better the next day – the perfect meal-prep soup!

Tiny Meatballs and Tiny Pasta?

This soup is traditionally made with small meatballs and tiny pasta which is what makes it so unique and fun to eat! Without the tininess, the soup is actually kind of similar to a chicken noodle soup in terms of flavour. You can make these meatballs as big or as little as you want. I prefer to keep them small around 2cm wide so they’re bite-sized and more fun to eat. You can also use any type of pasta you like but it’s traditionally made with smaller pastas such as acini di pepe or risoni, both of which remind me of rice but with a chewy pasta texture. Smaller pasta also adds more starch to the soup and gives it that classical thicker consistency.

The soup is technically easy to make but it is pretty time-consuming to make the little tiny meatballs. To pass the time faster, I’d recommend grabbing a chair and streaming something in the background while you form the meatballs or recruiting other people to make it with you.

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:

  • Meatballs:
    • 500g extra-lean ground beef
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely*
    • 1/2 medium onion, minced finely*
    • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely*
    • 1/4 cup basil, chopped finely*
    • 2 Tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • *Make sure you chop these FINELY since your meatballs will be very small. If too large, your meatballs will fall apart easily.
  • Soup:
    • 3 Tbsps olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1.5 medium onion, diced
    • 2 medium carrots, diced
    • 6 stalks celery
    • 6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock
    • 4 cups (1L) beef stock
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 pinch of dried thyme
    • 1 cup risoni pasta (or acini di pepe if you can find it)
    • 4 cups (2 large handfuls) spinach, washed and roughly chopped
    • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the meatballs: mix all the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl (ground beef, eggs, panko, garlic, onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper). Roll them into 2 cm small meatballs.

This is a time-consuming process. I make it quicker by squeezing small amounts from my fist and then rolling it – sounds confusing, see photos above. (You can make them as big or as small as you like. I tend to make them about 2cm.)

Fry off the meatballs (optional but adds more flavour): In a large pot on HIGH heat, add a small amount of oil and fry the meatballs in small batches for 10-15 seconds until browned. You don’t want to cook the meatballs fully, but only enough to sear the outsides to lock in the flavour. Place the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Repeat until all the meatballs are fried off.

Once all the meatballs are fried off, in the same large pot, turn the heat down to MED heat and sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and cook until the onion is transparent (~5 mins). Add in the celery and carrot and continue cooking until soft and easy to break apart with a spoon. (You can quicken this process by adding on the lid but be careful not to let it burn.) Next, add in the chicken stock, beef stock, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Bring the soup to a boil then turn the heat back down until a light simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 mins, add in the risoni pasta. Boil for 5 minutes then add in the fried meatballs. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the risoni is cooked and the meatballs are no longer pink inside. Turn off the heat and add in the spinach. Stir the spinach into the soup until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve! (Tip: This soup tastes better the next day once the flavours have infused a little more)

Summarized Recipe:

Italian Wedding Soup

Date Published: April 17th, 2022 | Last Updated: April 17th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • Meatballs:
    • 500g extra-lean ground beef
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
    • 1/2 medium onion, minced finely
    • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/4 cup basil, chopped finely
    • 2 Tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Soup:
    • 3 Tbsps olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1.5 medium onion, diced
    • 2 medium carrots, diced
    • 6 stalks celery
    • 6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock
    • 4 cups (1L) beef stock
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 pinch of dried thyme
    • 1 cup risoni pasta (or acini di pepe if you can find it)
    • 4 cups (2 large handfuls) spinach, washed and roughly chopped
    • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the meatballs: mix all the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl (ground beef, eggs, panko, garlic, onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper). Roll them into 2 cm small meatballs.
    • This is a time-consuming process. I make it quicker by squeezing small amounts from my fist and then rolling it – sounds confusing, see photos above. (You can make them as big or as small as you like. I tend to make them about 2cm.)
  2. Fry off the meatballs (optional but adds more flavour): In a large pot on HIGH heat, add a small amount of oil and fry the meatballs in small batches for 10-15 seconds until browned. You don’t want to cook the meatballs fully, but only enough to sear the outsides to lock in the flavour. Place the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Repeat until all the meatballs are fried off.
  3. Once all the meatballs are fried off, in the same large pot, turn the heat down to MED heat and sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and cook until the onion is transparent (~5 mins). Add in the celery and carrot and continue cooking until soft and easy to break apart with a spoon. (You can quicken this process by adding on the lid but be careful not to let it burn.)
  4. Next, add in the chicken stock, beef stock, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Bring the soup to a boil then turn the heat back down until a light simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 mins, add in the risoni pasta. Boil for 5 minutes then add in the fried meatballs. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the risoni is cooked and the meatballs are no longer pink inside. Turn off the heat and add in the spinach. Stir the spinach into the soup until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve! (Tip: This soup tastes better the next day once the flavours have infused a little more)

Taiwanese Style Beerhouse Clams (台式九層塔炒海瓜子)


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, Asian, easy, mains, sides
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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This was one of my all-time favourite dishes growing up in Taiwan. My brother once got mad at me when we were kids when I ate them too fast, lol. The sauce is SO good, you MUST serve it over white rice to soak up all the delicious flavours. This recipe is commonly found in the beerhouses of Taiwan or seafood shops.

The clams that are traditionally used are called hai gua zi (海瓜子) which roughly translates to ‘ocean melon seeds’ – I think it has to do with the oval shape of them that resembles melon seeds? 🤷🏻‍♀️ They’re small oval clams with a patterned shell that are commonly found in the region. Any small species of clams can be used in this recipe as long as they’re fresh! I actually had a bit of a hard time finding fresh small clams for this recipe in Australia – even the local seafood shops didn’t have them. Surprisingly they were available at the Costco in Adelaide, SA however were a bit pricy at $20/kg for pipis (it was totally worth it though 😜).

Note the patterned shell and the oval shape of the hai gua zi –>

Image source: https://inf.news/en/nature/b6dd63ea2ba851d1cda05f356fb35732.html

What is a Taiwanese Beerhouse (啤酒屋)?

A Taiwanese beerhouse is a place where locals like to go afterwork to unwind, drink beer and eat hot stir-fry dishes. They’re not breweries, they’re just a place to drink and eat. If you’re a foreign visitor to Taiwan, chances are your host wouldn’t bring you to one of these beerhouses. They’re usually noisy, loud with drunk people, and no doubt lots of cigarette smoke. It’s frequented by people of lower socioeconomic classes and call girls as well as the average working man with their coworkers. It’s kind of like taking a guest to a rowdy grungy bar – it’s not for everyone, but the food is usually damn good. These beerhouses are becoming a dying culture and it’s getting harder to find them in Taiwan – possibly due to an attempt to elevate the social status of the area or maybe from the years of economic downturn and less availability of disposable income, or maybe it’s from Westernization 🤷🏻‍♀️. I remember my dad taking us out afterwork when I was a kid and getting out of the cab to see a long street of back to back beerhouses lit up with flashing neon lights (although in hindsight, beerhouses definitely aren’t the best place to bring children 😅). The last time I visited a couple years ago there were only two left on the street – the food was still just as good though!

What is beerhouse-style food?

Taiwanese beerhouses usually serve food that is made quickly over a high heat that packs a ton of flavour. These dishes are commonly very salty and/or spicy which goes great with a bowl of rice and a bottle of cold beer. Common dishes you’ll find are “three-cup” based recipes, which involve the triple threat for a lip-smacking combination: soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine. It is often sautéed with ginger, garlic, and Thai basil – the basis of classic Taiwanese beerhouse flavours. This clam recipe doesn’t diverge far from the beerhouse basics.

Thai Basil vs Italian Basil?

There are no substitutions for basil in this recipe. You MUST use Thai basil which is a lot stronger in flavour. Basil is a key component of this dish and without a good strong basil, the flavours just won’t be right. You’d have to probably at least double the amount of Italian basil to get similar results.

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 fresh small clams (ie. Pipis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2-3 long Thai red chilis, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie. Shaoxing)
    • 1 Tbsp of black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 3 tsps white granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 LARGE handful (~3 cups) of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil for drizzling

Directions:

*This recipe cooks QUICKLY on HIGH HEAT! Make sure all your ingredients are chopped, prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

Rinse the clams thoroughly under running water. Optional: soak in salty water 15mins before.

Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.

In a wok on HIGH heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 2-3 mins until fragrant.

Add the clams to the pot and sauté for 30 seconds then drizzle in the sauce ingredients: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Mix around and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes then put the lid on. Let the clams steam for 3-4 minutes or until they all open up. Careful not to steam them for too long or else the clams will get tough and chewy.

Once the clams have opened up, add in the basil leaves and drizzle the sesame oil over the clams. Sauté for another minute and turn off the heat. Serve! Best served over white rice.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Style Beerhouse Clams (台式九層塔炒海瓜子)

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, Asian, easy, mains, sides
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg fresh small clams (ie. Pipis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2-3 long Thai red chilis, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie. Shaoxing)
    • 1 Tbsp of black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 3 tsps white granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 LARGE handful (~3 cups) of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil for drizzling

Directions:

*This recipe cooks QUICKLY on HIGH HEAT! Make sure all your ingredients are chopped, prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

  1. Rinse the clams thoroughly under running water. Optional: soak in salty water 15mins before.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a wok on HIGH heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
  4. Add the clams to the pot and sauté for 30 seconds then drizzle in the sauce ingredients: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Mix around and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes then put the lid on. Let the clams steam for 3-4 minutes or until they all open up. Careful not to steam them for too long or else the clams will get tough and chewy.
  5. Once the clams have opened up, add in the basil leaves and drizzle the sesame oil over the clams. Sauté for another minute and turn off the heat. Serve! Best served over white rice.

Green Curry Fish Soup


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups, vegetarian, easy, healthy, low-cal
Serves: 6-8 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 45mins

Jump to recipe |

I love a good Thai green curry but making the curry paste from scratch is always time-consuming since there are so many ingredients involved, however the end result is ALWAYS worth it so I always make a big batch of it and keep it stored in a large ice cube tray in the freezer. I freeze them in 1/4 cup portions so it’s easy for me to measure out and defrost when I need it. Since I always make a large amount, I’m constantly looking for new creative ways to use it. This recipe uses my homemade Thai green curry paste. It’s so easy and quick to whip up a large pot with enough portions to pack for lunch for the week!

Homemade Curry Paste vs Pre-made curry paste in a can?

I will always choose a homemade curry paste over one that comes in a can. The flavours of a homemade paste is so much fresher and more pungent compared to one in a can. You’ll find that in many recipes that use a canned paste, you always have to add aromatics to it such as ginger, garlic, or galangal to “freshen” it up and bring out the flavours of the paste first before you add in your main ingredients, however when you use a homemade paste, you don’t need to add in anything extra. You can just start sautéing it in the pan and add in your veg, protein…etc. Although it’s more time consuming to make the paste at the start, I found that it ended up saving me so much more time when I’m trying to whip up something quick.

A Healthy Green Curry?

Nearly all Thai green curries use coconut milk in the recipe which has a high saturated fat content – something I try to avoid as much as possible due to high cholesterol running in the family. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good Thai curry with the creamy coconut flavour, however for the sake of my health I’ve experimented with alternatives to make it healthier and still satisfy my green curry cravings. This recipe uses soy milk or oat milk as the replacement which is low in calories, no saturated fats, and overall healthier! You don’t get the coconuttiness however the flavours of the green curry still shine through.

A great recipe to clean out the fridge!

The vegetables I’ve chosen in this recipe are the common veg I usually have in the fridge but feel free to change it up to whatever you like. I’ve thrown in leftover cabbage, carrots, potatoes…etc. I’ve also chosen fish as the protein for this soup due to health reasons, but you can easily substitute with chicken, beef, pork, or even no protein at all and keep it vegetarian.

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:

  • 1/2 cup homemade green curry paste
  • 4 cups (1L) unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (concentration of 1 cube = 1 cup)
  • Vegetables: *feel free to substitute with whatever vegetables you like*
    • Butternut pumpkin – 2 cups
    • 1-2 zucchinis, diced
    • 1 roasted eggplant, diced
    • 1 can bamboo shoot slices
  • 600g white fish fillets (~3 fillets) (ie barramundi, ling fish or any white fish that won’t disintegrate easily in a soup)
  • 2-4 Tbsps fish sauce to taste

Directions:

Sauté the green curry paste in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil over MED heat until the paste dries out a bit and turns slightly brown.

Add in the soy milk, chicken stock, and chicken stock cubes. Mix it around and bring the heat up to HIGH until the liquid boils, then turn it back down to LOW-MED. Make sure there are no clumps of curry paste.

Add in the pumpkin and zucchinis. Let the soup simmer with the lid on until the pumpkin is cooked, then add in the roasted eggplant, bamboo shoots and fish.

Let the soup come to a boil again and turn the heat off once the fish is cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Green Curry Fish Soup

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author:
Abby | Category: mains, soups, vegetarian, easy, healthy, low-cal
Serves:
6-8 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 45mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup homemade green curry paste
  • 4 cups (1L) unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (concentration of 1 cube = 1 cup)
  • Vegetables: *feel free to substitute with whatever vegetables you like*
    • Butternut pumpkin – 2 cups
    • 1-2 zucchinis, diced
    • 1 roasted eggplant, diced
    • 1 can bamboo shoot slices
  • 600g white fish fillets (~3 fillets) (ie barramundi, ling fish or any white fish that won’t disintegrate easily in a soup)
  • 2-4 Tbsps fish sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté the green curry paste in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil over MED heat until the paste dries out a bit and turns slightly brown.
  2. Add in the soy milk, chicken stock, and chicken stock cubes. Mix it around and bring the heat up to HIGH until the liquid boils, then turn it back down to LOW-MED. Make sure there are no clumps of curry paste.
  3. Add in the pumpkin and zucchinis. Let the soup simmer until the pumpkin is cooked, then add in the roasted eggplant, bamboo shoots and fish. Let the soup come to a boil again and turn the heat off once the fish is cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve!

Lamb and Onion Dumplings


Date Published: Dec 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, < 30mins, mains
Serves: 100 dumplings | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

Every time Toby and I travel, we’re always looking for the best local eats with the highest reviews. We might be stingy on hotel rooms, but we never skimp on good food. When we were exploring Alice Springs, a local dumpling house came up on our radar called Confucius Palace Dumpling Restaurant. I always question the authenticity of Chinese restaurants especially when they’re in a rural setting with very few Asian people around and even more skeptical when most of the reviews were posted by non-Asian people. I didn’t hold my breath because I’ve been let down too many times, but we were both pleasantly surprised! We ordered a few different types of dumplings, but our favourite was the lamb and onion (their chicken and corn wasn’t bad either). I had never had lamb in a dumpling until now and it was delicious! It went straight to my list of things to recreate when I got home and here it is! This recipe took a little trial and error, but I think I’ve got it pretty close to what it was in the restaurant. The filling is surprisingly basic and contains minimal ingredients. Most dumpling fillings include a lot of chopping, but not this one! You can whip up the filling in as quick as 15 mins and the rest is just wrapping. If you’re ever in Alice Springs, I’d highly recommend trying out that dumpling place!

You can pan-fry them or boil them (scroll to the end to see instructions on how to do either). I find boiling is best with this type of filling. They’re best served hot and eaten straight away. They’re not quite as good when microwaved.

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:
    • 2.5 cups onions diced (1 large or two small)
    • 1kg lamb mince
    • 6 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 3 tsps white pepper
    • 1/2 cup shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • Dumpling wrappers (2 packs = ~100 wrappers)

Directions:

Sauté the onion in a pan with a drizzle of oil until the onion becomes translucent and softened. Then turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a mixing bowl: lamb, soy sauce, white pepper, shaoxing wine. When the onion has cooled, add it to the bowl and mix everything together. You’re ready to wrap!

After wrapping them, you can either cook them straight away (see instructions below), or freeze them. When freezing, arrange the dumplings neatly in a tray and try not to let them all touch or else they’ll stick together when frozen. Once the dumplings are frozen, you can place them in an airtight container or bag.

How to Cook Dumplings:

Check out this post on detailed step-by-step instructions.

How to Cook Dumplings – 2 ways!


In this entry, I’m sharing the two ways I cook my dumplings: pan-fried and boiled. I find boiling is best for dumplings that have a filling with a stronger flavour. Pan-frying is better in fillings with a lighter flavour where you can notice the extra fried toastiness.… Continue reading →

Summarized Recipe:

Lamb & Onion Dumplings

Date Published: Dec 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, < 30mins, mains
Serves: 100 dumplings | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
    • 2.5 cups onions diced (1 large or two small)
    • 1kg lamb mince
    • 6 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 3 tsps white pepper
    • 1/2 cup shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • Dumpling wrappers (2 packs = ~100 wrappers)

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onion in a pan with a drizzle of oil until the onion becomes translucent and softened. Then turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a mixing bowl: lamb, soy sauce, white pepper, shaoxing wine. When the onion has cooled, add it to the bowl and mix everything together. You’re ready to wrap!

Check out post above on how to cook dumplings

Vegetable Dumplings


Date Published: Dec 16th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 16th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, vegetarian
Serves: ~100 dumplings | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

These veggie dumplings are a mix of carrots, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and chives. The slight crunch of the veggies with the umami soft mushrooms make these my go-to dumplings to make! They’re also great to bring at parties when you don’t know everyone’s dietary preferences. I think they’re best pan-fried but you can also steam or boil them too.

Warning: this recipe makes a buttload of dumplings (~100), but don’t worry, they last ages in the freezer and is perfect for those days when you don’t feel like putting in any effort to feeding yourself or if you just want something quick and easy. This is pretty much the rule of most Asian households when it comes to making dumplings. You either make a ton of dumplings for yourself and cram it in the freezer to slowly eat them throughout the next year or gift them to friends and family. When you break it down, on average I’ll eat about 15 dumplings per meals (20 if I’m really hungry), which only results in 6-7 meals.

Fun story: at the start of the COVID pandemic when everyone was raiding all the supermarkets, Toby and I bought a ton of minced pork and made 500 dumplings in one night incase there actually was a food shortage or if the pandemic became too out of control and we couldn’t safely leave the house to buy groceries. From memory the pork wasn’t too expensive, but the napa cabbage we used was like $10 😐.

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!

Recipe adapted from: Woks of Life

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsps minced ginger
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms*, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 cups carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 cups garlic chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps sesame oil
  • 6 Tbsps Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 4 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 packages of pre-made dumpling skins (~100 skins) (follow the original recipe if you want to make your own skins instead)

* You can use either fresh shiitake mushrooms or the dehydrated ones and rehydrate them by soaking in hot water for 10 mins. You’ll have to cut off the hard woody stems before chopping. I find the dehydrated mushrooms to have better umami flavour than the fresh ones.

Directions:

Over MED heat, cook the minced ginger in some oil until fragrant (~30secs). Then add the onions to the pot and stir-fry until translucent.

Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook until tender.

Add the cabbage and carrot to the pot until veggies are tender and the released liquids have been cooked off. Transfer the entire mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl: chives, white pepper, sesame oil, cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and salt to taste (the soy sauce is usually enough).

Mix all the ingredients together. You’re ready to wrap! (If there’s too much liquid, you can add some cornstarch to thicken the liquid, but some liquid pooling at the bottom will be inevitable due to the salt drawing out the fluids from the veggies.)

After wrapping them, you can either cook them straight away (see instructions below), or freeze them. When freezing, arrange the dumplings neatly in a tray and try not to let them all touch or else they’ll stick together when frozen. Once the dumplings are frozen, you can place them in an airtight container or bag.

How to Cook Dumplings:

Check out this post on more detailed step-by-step instructions.

How to Cook Dumplings – 2 ways!


In this entry, I’m sharing the two ways I cook my dumplings: pan-fried and boiled. I find boiling is best for dumplings that have a filling with a stronger flavour. Pan-frying is better in fillings with a lighter flavour where you can notice the extra fried toastiness.… Continue reading →

There are a few methods to cook dumplings, but my favourite way is to pan-fry them for that extra crunch. If you prefer to be a little healthier, then boiling them would be the way to go.

A. Pan-frying

You’ll need a flat wok or pan with a lid for this method. The method is essentially first steaming the dumplings with a bit of water and oil. The steam from the water cooks the filling and the skin of the dumpling, then the remaining oil cooks the bottom of the dumplings for crispiness. 👌

  1. Heat up a flat wok or pan on MED heat. Add a drizzle of neutral oil and place the dumplings fat side down on top of the oil. Try not to crowd the dumplings so they don’t stick together and makes it easier to flip.
  2. Add 1 cm of water to the pan and put the lid on.
  3. Once all of the water evaporates, remove the lid and continue cooking the dumplings until the bottoms are toasty golden brown. Then flip the dumplings over and cook the other side of the dumplings until it’s golden brown. You can add a little extra oil into the pan to help the other side brown. Serve!

B. Boiling

This method is a lot more straight-forward. You’re essentially boiling the dumplings until the insides are cooked. Make sure your dumplings are sealed well, otherwise the filling will fall out in the boiling process. Try not to over boil it, or else the skin will become too soggy and break apart. If your dumplings are stuck together from the freezing process, just throw them in the pot altogether. Do not try to break them apart of else the skin will break. They will naturally separate in the pot.

  1. In a large pot, fill 2/3 of the pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling (we want a big boil where the water is moving vigorously, not just a simmer), gently add in the dumplings.
  3. When the water starts boiling again, add in a cup of cold water.
  4. When the water starts boiling again, add in ANOTHER cup of cold water.
  5. When the water boils a fourth time, the dumplings should be ready. The dumplings should be floating and you’ll see little pockets of air under the skin to signify the inside is cooked. If not, boil them for a little longer.
  6. When the dumplings are cooked, strain them from the pot to a plate and add a drizzle of sesame oil (or neutral oil) and mix it around to prevent them from sticking together. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Vegetable Dumplings

Date Published: Dec 16th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 16th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, vegetarian
Serves: ~100 dumplings | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps minced ginger
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms*, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 cups carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 cups garlic chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps sesame oil
  • 6 Tbsps Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 4 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 packages of pre-made dumpling skins (~100 skins) (follow the original recipe if you want to make your own skins instead)

* You can use either fresh shiitake mushrooms or the dehydrated ones and rehydrate them by soaking in boiling water for 10 mins. You’ll have to cut off the hard woody stems before chopping. I find the dehydrated mushrooms have better umami flavour.

Directions:

  1. Over MED heat, cook the minced ginger in some oil until fragrant (~30secs).
  2. Add onions to the pot and stir-fry until translucent.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook until tender.
  4. Add the cabbage and carrot to the pot until veggies are tender and the released liquids have been cooked off. Transfer the entire mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl: chives, white pepper, sesame oil, cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and salt to taste (the soy sauce is usually enough).
  6. Mix all the ingredients together. You’re ready to wrap! (If there’s too much liquid, you can add some cornstarch to thicken the liquid, but some liquid pooling at the bottom will be inevitable due to the salt drawing out the fluids from the veggies.)

How to Pan-Fry Dumplings:

  1. Heat up a flat wok or pan on MED heat. Add a drizzle of neutral oil and place the dumplings fat side down on top of the oil. Try not to crowd the dumplings so they don’t stick together and makes it easier to flip.
  2. Add 1 cm of water to the pan and put the lid on.
  3. Once all of the water evaporates, remove the lid and continue cooking the dumplings until the bottoms are toasty golden brown. Then flip the dumplings over and cook the other side of the dumplings until it’s golden brown. You can add a little extra oil into the pan to help the other side brown. Serve!

Beef Rendang


Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 6 hours

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Beef Rendang is a beef curry that originated from Indonesia and has been widely popularized across southeast Asia. It’s so damn good that it’s considered one of Indonesia’s national dishes! It’s a beef curry that is cooked down over a few hours until it is super tender and the rest of the curry sauce simmers down to an aromatic paste that coats the beef.

I absolutely love the complex flavours of a good beef rendang, however it is very time consuming to make so I recommend either making it the night before or very early morning. Set aside 4-5 hours for this dish. The prep time only takes about 15-20 mins but the time it takes for the beef to tenderize can be up to 3-4 hours. Don’t rush the process. Trust me, it’s worth the wait! The flavours actually taste better the next day once all the spices marinate a bit more, so if you’re serving this for a special occasion, I’d recommend making it the day before – which spares up free time for you for other preparations.

Although there are quite a lot of spices and ingredients in this recipe, the actual process of making it isn’t difficult at all. The amazing results were worth me doubling my spice rack. I picked up most of the ingredients from the local asian supermarket, where I find the spices much cheaper than regular grocery stores.

This version of a beef rendang is adapted from Sarah Tiong’s cookbook Sweet, Savoury, Spicy. I used to make my rendang a much different way that was way more time-consuming, but since stumbling upon her recipe, it has been much easier with fewer steps, spices, and the flavours are just as good! Definitely recommend checking out her book for more awesome recipes.

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:

  • Paste:
    • 4 large red Asian shallots
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 4cm piece of fresh ginger (or galangal), peeled and sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemon grass (white parts only), finely sliced – you’ll need another 3 later on = 6 total
    • 2 Tbsp of a neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (ie. canola, vegetable…etc.)
  • 650g (~1.5lbs) chuck steak cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Rendang Spices:
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 star anise
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 8 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried), stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemongrass, bruised/lightly pounded
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1 cup (240ml) full fat coconut cream
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
  • Serve with steamed rice or flatbread – or both! Also goes well with sambal.

Directions:

Make the paste by blending together: shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and oil. Blend until a thick paste forms. Set aside.

In a wok, heat the 1/2 cup oil on medium-high heat. While the oil is warming up, dust the beef cubes in the flour. When the oil starts to smoke, sear the beef cubes in batches (careful not to overcrowd the pot – you may need to do this in two batches) until you get a dark brown crust on both sides). Set aside the beef.

Use the remaining oil in the pot to stir-fry the paste (made in step 1) for 5 mins until caramelized and aromatic.

Add the spices to the pot: cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Then add in the chilli powder, brown sugar and seared beef cubes. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

Add the water, coconut cream and salt to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and bring it to the simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15mins.

(Toast the desiccated coconut in this time if you haven’t already.)

After 15mins, add the toasted coconut and stir thoroughly. If everything seems too dry at this time, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and mix. Cover the pot again and reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2 hours or more until the beef is “fork-tender” and easy to break down and the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll notice that the curry is a pale brown colour for most of the cook, but once the majority of the sauce cooks down, the oils separate and it becomes a reddish-brown colour. Serve with rice and a good sambal or chilli paste.

Tip: Flavours taste even better the next day!

Summarized Recipe:

Beef Rendang

Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 6 hours

Ingredients:

  • Paste:
    • 4 large red Asian shallots
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 4cm piece of fresh ginger (or galangal), peeled and sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemon grass (white parts only), finely sliced – you’ll need another 3 later on = 6 total
    • 2 Tbsp of a neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (ie. canola, vegetable…etc.)
  • 650g (~1.5lbs) chuck steak cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Rendang Spices:
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 star anise
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 8 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried), stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemongrass, bruised/lightly pounded
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1 cup (240ml) full fat coconut cream
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
  • Serve with steamed rice or flatbread – or both! Also goes well with sambal.

Directions:

  1. Make the paste by blending together: shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and oil. Blend until a thick paste forms. Set aside.
  2. In a wok, heat the 1/2 cup oil on medium-high heat. While the oil is warming up, dust the beef cubes in the flour. When the oil starts to smoke, sear the beef cubes in batches (careful not to overcrowd the pot – you may need to do this in two batches) until you get a dark brown crust on both sides). Set aside the beef.
  3. Use the remaining oil in the pot to stir-fry the paste (made in step 1) for 5 mins until caramelized and aromatic.
  4. Add the spices to the pot: cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the chilli powder, brown sugar and seared beef cubes. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
  6. Add the water, coconut cream and salt to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and bring it to the simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15mins.
  7. (Toast the desiccated coconut in this time if you haven’t already.)
  8. After 15mins, add the toasted coconut and stir thoroughly. If everything seems too dry at this time, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and mix. Cover the pot again and reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2 hours or more until the beef is “fork-tender” and easy to break down and the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll notice that the curry is a pale brown colour for most of the cook, but once the majority of the sauce cooks down, the oils separate and it becomes a reddish-brown colour. Serve with rice and a good sambal or chilli paste.
    • Tip: Flavours taste even better the next day!

Mom’s Savoury Pork & Cabbage Congee 鹹稀飯


Date Published: Nov 8th, 2021 | Last Updated: Nov 8th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy, healthy, soups, Taiwanese
Serves: 4-6 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Jump to recipe |

This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly!

This recipe is near and dear to me. My mom used to make it for us when I was a kid and I don’t think I properly appreciated it until I moved out from home. I had to get a dental procedure done a couple months ago and was instructed not to eat any hard foods for a day or two and the first thing I thought about making was mom’s salty congee. I called her up in Canada on the way home from my procedure and she gave me the rough instructions and ratios for me to figure out (she never writes down recipes and just eyes the ratios when she cooks). I picked up the ingredients before heading home and made it that night for dinner. It was surprisingly super easy and it turned out just like mom’s. It was amazing, nostalgic, and brought me right back to my childhood. I ate 3 bowls in one sitting!

Now I crave this every time I’m sick (Toby has amazingly learned how to make this dish for me for when I’m unwell 😊). It’s so warm and comforting, kind of like the effects of a chicken noodle soup. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 350g pork mince
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 7 cups (1.75L) water
  • 4 cups of cabbage, chopped to 2cm squares 
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the pork mince and cornstarch together (this may be easier to do by hand). Set aside.

In a large pot, add in the rice, water and pork. Break up the pork into smaller pieces when adding it to the pot and stir. Turn the heat on HIGH and bring it to a boil with the lid on.

Once the water boils, add in the cabbage, salt and chicken stock powder. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer with the lid on until the congee is to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure your congee doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

I like my congee thick and porridge-y consistency so I let it simmer a bit longer. If you prefer your congee more watery and soupy, turn off the heat earlier.

When the congee is to your liking, turn off the heat and immediately add in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs into the congee until they are cooked (a few seconds). Mix in the white pepper and sesame oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Mom’s Savoury Pork & Cabbage Congee 鹹稀飯


Date Published:
Nov 8th, 2021 | Last Updated: Nov 8th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy, healthy, soups, Taiwanese
Serves: 4-6 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 350g pork mince
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 7 cups (1.75L) water
  • 4 cups of cabbage, chopped to 2cm squares 
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the pork mince and cornstarch together (this may be easier to do by hand). Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, add in the rice, water and pork. Break up the pork into smaller pieces when adding it to the pot and stir. Turn the heat on HIGH and bring it to a boil with the lid on.
  3. Once the water boils, add in the cabbage, salt and chicken stock powder. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer with the lid on until the congee is to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure your congee doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
    • I like my congee thick and porridge-y consistency so I let it simmer a bit longer. If you prefer your congee more watery and soupy, turn off the heat earlier.
  4. When the congee is to your liking, turn off the heat and immediately add in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs into the congee until they are cooked (a few seconds). Mix in the white pepper and sesame oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. Serve!

Leek & Potato Soup


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, mains, soups, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Jump to recipe |
Oct 2021: 8 leeks for $1 at the Canning Vale clearance market!!!

It’s the weekend which means once again Toby and I headed to our favourite clearance market this Saturday for some incredible deals. We’ve only got a couple weeks left in Perth so I tried not to go too crazy, but when I saw this bundle of leeks for $1, I just had to! That’s right, for only ONE DOLLAR, I got 8 big beautiful fresh leeks! I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with them all, but the first thing that came to mind was the classic leek & potato soup. Luckily they also had a 4kg bag of potatoes for only $2.50 😄.

If you’re unfamiliar with leeks, it’s a vegetable that looks like a giant spring onion. It’s part of the onion/garlic family and has a more subtle onion flavour with a hint of sweetness. Just like an onion, it’s a pretty versatile vegetable. You can throw it in pretty much anywhere you would use an onion. They are notoriously known for trapping sand and dirt in their layers, so make sure you wash the layers thoroughly before using it.

This creamy potato leek soup is so easy to make and cooks up quickly. The base recipe is good on its own, but if you’re looking for something more indulgent, then check out the suggested toppings. Stay tuned for more leek recipes!

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 large leeks (or 3 regular sized ones) – you want about 5 cups chopped
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1kg (~4 large) yellow/Yukon gold potatoes, diced into cubes
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Extras for serving if you’re feeling fancy and indulgent (optional):
    • Grated cheese
    • Croutons
    • Bacon bits

Directions:

Prepare the leeks: Cut off and discard the roots and the fibrous leaves (see photo). Slice the remaining stalk in half vertically and wash the dirt and grit away from in between the layers. Slice the leeks and set aside in a bowl.

In a large pot over MED heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic and leeks together until the leeks are soft (~5 mins).

Add in the potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir. Cover with a lid and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are very soft (~15-20mins).

Once the potatoes have softened, remove the bay leaves and fresh thyme and use a stick blender to emulsify the soup. (You can use a blender as well if if yo don’t have a stick blender.)

*Tip: if you prefer a chunky soup, reserve some of the potatoes and leeks prior to blending and then add them back into the soup afterwards.

Add cream to the soup and bring it to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper according to taste. If the soup is too thick, a little more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, continue to simmer until it thickens. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Leek & Potato Soup

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, mains, soups, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks (or 3 regular sized ones) – you want about 5 cups chopped
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1kg (~4 large) yellow/Yukon gold potatoes, diced into large cubes
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Extras for serving if you’re feeling fancy and indulgent (optional):
    • Grated cheese
    • Croutons
    • Bacon bits

Directions:

  1. Prepare the leeks: Cut off and discard the roots and the fibrous leaves (see photo). Slice the remaining stalk in half vertically and wash the dirt and grit away from in between the layers. Slice the leeks and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a large pot over MED heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic and leeks together until the leeks are soft (~5 mins).
  3. Add in the potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir. Cover with a lid and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are very soft (~15-20mins).
  4. Once the potatoes have softened, remove the bay leaves and fresh thyme and use a stick blender to emulsify the soup. (You can pour the soup into a regular blender as well for a smoother texture).
    • *Tip: If you prefer a chunky soup, you can reserve some of the potatoes and leeks prior to blending and add them back in the soup afterwards.
  5. Add cream to the soup and bring it to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper according to taste. If the soup is too thick, a little more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, continue to simmer until it thickens. Serve!

Hearty Mexican Rice


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 18th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Jump to recipe |

Update Oct 2021: This recipe has been updated with slightly different ingredients to make it easier to make and even more flavourful!

Mexican rice is a flavourful rice typically cooked with tomatoes and spices and often served as a side dish. It kind of reminds me of a paella. Traditionally, white rice is used but I’ve decided to use a mix of brown and black rice for the extra health benefits. I’ve also further deviated from the traditional form and added ground beef and roasted red peppers to make it more hearty and filling so it can be served as a main dish as well. This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly. You can serve this on its own or as a side, topped with some sour cream and extra grated cheese. It’s also fantastic as a filling in a stuffed red pepper.

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 onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 4 Tbsps taco seasoning, or:
    • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
    • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (410g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.

Next add in the spices: taco seasoning (or cumin, coriander, onion powder), and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the tomato paste and stir for another minute.

Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking.

Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Hearty Mexican Rice

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 18th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 4 Tbsps taco seasoning, or:
    • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
    • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (410g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.
  3. Next add in the spices: taco seasoning (or cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, onion powder), and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the crushed tomato and stir for another minute.
  4. Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking. Turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Curry Zucchini Soup


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Jump to recipe |

This curry zucchini soup is quick, easy and healthy. The bulk of the soup is just zucchinis so its also low in calories as well. This is the perfect weekday meal with minimal effort. Serve it with some croutons, bread, or even toss in leftover shredded roast chicken or vegetables.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).

(A yellow onion will be fine. I only had red onion on hand at the time.)

2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.

3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).

4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Zucchini Soup

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).
  2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.
  3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).
  4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!