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

Jump to recipe |

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!

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

Jump to recipe |

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!

Flavour Bomb Beef


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

Jump to recipe |

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

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

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized Recipe:

Flavour Bomb Beef

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Taiwanese Breakfast Burger


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

Jump to recipe |
Toby enjoying a Taiwanese breakfast burger feat. the triangle sandwich!

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

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

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Breakfast Burger

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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


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

Jump to recipe |

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

Image courtesy of mecocute.com

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

Bull head brand Sa-cha sauce

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

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

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized Recipe:

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Pesto-Crusted Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Jump to recipe |

Pesto. Panko. Goat cheese. Spinach. Garlic. These are a few of my favourite things and make me salivate just by reading them out loud. We’ve been cooking with a lot of chicken breast lately mainly by breading them to make a katsu or katsu parma, or adding them to salads like my favourite apple goat cheese salad. I was doing some research for meal prep and stumbled across a stuffed chicken breast recipe. This immediately made my mind go into a million different possibilities of what I could put in a chicken breast. After a whole day of thinking about it (seriously), I settled on a pesto-crusted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and garlic spinach. I was SO excited to make this dish and hoped it would be everything I had imagined it to be. Sadly I didn’t actually get to make this dish until 2 painful weeks later because during pandemic times, we only do grocery shopping once a week and I kept missing all the ingredients I needed. The first week we didn’t have enough basil for pesto, then the next week we didn’t have enough spinach. Bah! I FINALLY got to make it today and I’m happy to report that everything turned out fantastic and this dish was definitely worth the wait! It got rave reviews at the dinner table. Everything came together so quickly and it was so easy, I was looking for more things to do in the kitchen (I ended up making two side dishes to go with it: brown butter thyme mushrooms and bacon mashed peas). The panko with the pesto made a crunchy little crust on top of the breast with gooey melted goat cheese and spinach in the middle of the chicken. The goat cheese mixture actually kept the chicken really moist while baking so it came out perfectly cooked!

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 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups (200g) fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup (150g) soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied (click to see tutorial)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup pesto (you can make it yourself with my recipe here or use store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

Warm a skillet on MEDIUM heat and add in a drizzle of oil (~1/2 tablespoon). Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant then add in the spinach leaves and sauté until the leaves are just wilted (~3-5 mins). Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool. Discard any excess liquids.

While the spinach is cooling, rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts and butterfly them (click here for tutorial). Sprinkle black pepper and salt over the breasts. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (~400˚F).

Once the spinach has cooled, mix it with the goat cheese, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Spoon and divide evenly the goat cheese spinach mixture amongst the 4 chicken breasts. Only put the mixture on half of the breast, then fold the other half over to enclose it. Use a few toothpicks to secure the breast closed.

As the chicken cooks the meat will shrink and open up the breast which is why the toothpicks are necessary to keep them closed and maintain their shape.

Mix the pesto and panko together then evenly divide the mixture amongst the 4 breasts and cover the top of each breast.

Bake in the preheated oven at 200˚C for 20-25 minutes. The pesto crust should be golden brown and the chicken juices run clear. Carefully remove the toothpicks then serve immediately. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Pesto-Crusted Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups (200g) fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup (150g) soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied (click to see tutorial)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup pesto (you can make it yourself with my recipe here or use store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

  1. Warm a skillet on MEDIUM heat and add in a drizzle of oil (~1/2 tablespoon). Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant then add in the spinach leaves and sauté until the leaves are just wilted (~3-5 mins). Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool. Discard any excess liquids.
  2. While the spinach is cooling, rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts and butterfly them (click here for tutorial). Sprinkle black pepper and salt over the breasts. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (~400˚F).
  4. Once the spinach has cooled, mix it with the goat cheese, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Spoon and divide evenly the goat cheese spinach mixture amongst the 4 chicken breasts. Only put the mixture on half of the breast, then fold the other half over to enclose it. Use a few toothpicks to secure the breast closed.
  6. Mix the pesto and panko together then evenly divide the mixture amongst the 4 breasts and cover the top of each breast.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven at 200˚C for 20-25 minutes. The pesto crust should be golden brown and the chicken juices run clear. Carefully remove the toothpicks then serve immediately. Done!

Roast Lamb with Garlic Rosemary Rub


Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 90 mins

Jump to recipe |

A few months ago Toby’s parents came home with a big leg of lamb and challenged us to cook it. We haven’t made many roasts before because it’s always too much food when it’s usually just the two of us and I had little to no experience cooking big hunks of meat because it’s not something I grew up with eating in a traditional Asian household. Toby was excited for the challenge and found an amazing recipe for a lamb roast from Damn Delicious – which is exactly where this recipe has been adapted from. This lamb is SO damn good and it came out perfectly the first time. We were all blown away by it and have since made it 3 more times! The flavourful garlic rosemary rub works so well with this lamb and even better when paired with this creamy mint yogurt sauce.

Making a roast lamb is so much easier than we thought. Just massage the garlic rosemary rub all over the lamb and pop it in the oven and wait. Done! The only thing I would definitely suggest getting is a meat thermometer if you don’t have one. It’s a fantastic tool to check the doneness of your meat without having to slice into it and let the juices escape as well as having a prettier presentation when serving. They’re inexpensive and costs around $10-15 for a decent one. The original recipe calls for bone-in lamb but you can use a boneless lamb roast and have the exact same results (you may need to adjust the cooking time a little).

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:

  • Garlic Rosemary Rub:
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbsp salt
    • 2 tsps ground black pepper
  • 2kg lamb roast without bone or 2.5-3kg leg of lamb bone-in
    • If you’re using a smaller or larger lamb, make sure you adjust the amount of rub you use accordingly so you don’t end up with an overly salty smaller lamb or an under-seasoned larger lamb.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180˚C.

Make the rub: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the rub: garlic, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, dijon, salt and pepper. (If you’re feeling lazy you can alternatively combine it all in a food processor and blitz to save time on chopping.) Set aside.

Rinse and pat your lamb dry. Use a sharp knife to shallow score the top of the lamb (this helps the rub seep through).

Place the lamb (fat side up) in a roasting pan lined with a baking mat or aluminum foil. Rub the rosemary garlic rub all over the lamb, getting into the crevices. You do NOT need to use the whole rub if you have a smaller lamb (it may become too salty).

Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack until the internal temperature reaches 58-60˚C (135F) for med-rare to medium doneness (place your thermometer in the centre of the lamb at the thickest part or near the bone to measure). If you don’t have a thermometer, slice your lamb at the thickest part to check for doneness. It will take roughly 1.5 hours to cook, depending on the size of your lamb. Baste the lamb in its juices every half an hour. If you find that the outside of your lamb is starting to burn before you reach the designated internal temperature, lightly cover the outside of the lamb with some aluminum foil to protect from the heat while the rest of the lamb continues to cook.

Once it’s done, take out the lamb and let it rest for 15 mins to let the juices redistribute before slicing. The lamb will continue to cook another 5˚C while resting.

Slice and serve immediately!

P.S. Slice up any leftovers and store it with the remaining juices and make a delicious wrap the next day! In this photo I’ve served the lamb over homemade flatbread with leftover mint yogurt sauce and some cooked quinoa mixed with dill.

Summarized Recipe:

Lamb Roast with Garlic Rosemary Rub

Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 90 mins

Ingredients:

  • Garlic Rosemary Rub:
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbsp salt
    • 2 tsps ground black pepper
  • 2kg lamb roast without bone or 2.5-3kg leg of lamb bone-in
    • If you’re using a smaller or larger lamb, make sure you adjust the amount of rub you use accordingly so you don’t end up with an overly salty smaller lamb or an under-seasoned larger lamb.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Make the rub: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the rub: garlic, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, dijon, salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse and pat your lamb dry. Use a sharp knife to shallow score the top of the lamb.
  4. Place the lamb (fat side up) in a roasting pan lined with a baking mat or aluminum foil. Rub the rosemary garlic rub all over the lamb, getting into the crevices. You do NOT need to use the whole rub if you have a smaller lamb (it may become too salty).
  5. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack until the internal temperature reaches 58-60˚C (135F) for med-rare to medium doneness (place your thermometer in the centre of the lamb at the thickest part or near the bone to measure). If you don’t have a thermometer, slice your lamb at the thickest part to check for doneness. It will take roughly 1.5 hours to cook, depending on the size of your lamb. Baste the lamb in its juices every half an hour. If you find that the outside of your lamb is starting to burn before you reach the designated internal temperature, lightly cover the outside of the lamb with some aluminum foil to protect from the heat while the rest of the lamb continues to cook.
  6. Once it’s done, take out the lamb and let it rest for 15 mins to let the juices redistribute before slicing. The lamb will continue to cook another 5˚C while resting.
  7. Slice and serve immediately!

Baked Chicken Katsu Parma


Date Published: August 15th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 15th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Jump to recipe |

This past week we’ve been using more eggplant in our cooking, a vegetable that we previously never really touched. We’ve actually made some pretty tasty dishes with eggplant including sweet chilli eggplant and a few more dishes that I’ll be posting soon. I found a popular recipe for an eggplant parmesan from Jamie Oliver and decided to give it a go. Toby LOVES a good parma, so you can imagine his disappointment when he thought an eggplant parmesan was a chicken parma with eggplant on top, rather than an eggplant-style lasagne. In the end our eggplant parmesan turned out well, but I felt bad that Toby never got the parma he was so excited for so we put parma on this week’s menu. We decided to use the baked chicken katsu recipe to make it a healthier (and crunchier) alternative and topped it off with our own marinara sauce. It was SOOOOO good. Toby said it was one of the best parmas he’s ever had, especially with the homemade marinara.

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 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsps Italian seasoning (or dried oregano)
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • A few slices of mozzarella cheese per parma
  • Basil leaves (for garnish)

Directions:

Cooled toasted panko with parmesan and Italian seasoning

On a pan on medium heat, toast the panko with the olive oil. Stir to combine and toast until golden brown. Then put your panko in a large bowl and set aside to cool. Once cooled mix in parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.

Preheat oven to 200˚C.

Rinse your chicken and pat dry. Butterfly the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Follow the photos above to butterfly the breasts or click here for a more descriptive tutorial.

In two large bowls or plates, place flour in one and beaten eggs in the other.

Now bread your chicken in this order:

  1. Dunk the chicken breast in the flour bowl to cover both sides. Shake off any excess flour.
  2. Next coat it in the beaten eggs.
  3. Finally coat it in the toasted panko parmesan mixture, pressing the crumbs in slightly to help them stick.

Place the katsu onto a wire rack over an oven tray. Bake for about 20-25 minutes on the middle rack until the chicken is no longer pink inside. If you have an oven thermometer, your chicken should be about 74˚C.

When the chicken is cooked, put a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce over each katsu then top with mozzarella cheese. Put it back on the oven and broil on HIGH until the cheese is bubbly and melted (~1 minute).

Top each parma with a few slices of fresh basil and serve immediately. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Baked Chicken Katsu Parma

Date Published: August 15th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 15th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsps Italian seasoning (or dried oregano)
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • A few slices of mozzarella cheese per parma
  • Basil leaves (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. On a pan on medium heat, toast the panko with the olive oil. Stir to combine and toast until golden brown. Then put your panko in a large bowl and set aside to cool. Once cooled mix in parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
  2. Preheat oven to 200˚C.
  3. Rinse your chicken and pat dry. Butterfly the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper on both sides (click here for tutorial).
  4. In two large bowls or plates, place flour in one and beaten eggs in the other.
  5. Now bread your chicken in this order:
    1. Dunk the chicken breast in the flour bowl to cover both sides. Shake off any excess flour.
    2. Next coat it in the beaten eggs.
    3. Finally coat it in the toasted panko parmesan mixture, pressing the crumbs in slightly to help them stick.
  6. Place the katsu onto a wire rack over an oven tray. Bake for about 20-25 minutes on the middle rack until the chicken is no longer pink inside. If you have an oven thermometer, your chicken should be about 74˚C.
  7. When the chicken is cooked, put a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce over each katsu then top with mozzarella cheese. Put it back on the oven and broil on HIGH until the cheese is bubbly and melted (~1 minute).
  8. Top each parma with a few slices of fresh basil and serve immediately. Done!

Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)


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

Jump to recipe |

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized Recipe:

Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Apple Chicken Goat Cheese Salad


Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins, mains
Serves: 4 as mains, 6-8 as side salads | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Jump to recipe |

This is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE SALAD. Seriously. Back in Canada I used to go to Montana’s a lot with my friends and I almost never order salad when I’m eating out because I always think it’ll never be as good as a warm cooked meal and not way could it be as flavourful. One night I wasn’t particularly hungry and I was trying to be a bit more healthy since I was training for a marathon so I decided to browse their salads section and ordered the ‘Apple Harvest Salad’. I only chose this one because it had goat cheese in it (and I LOVE goat cheese). When the food arrived, my salad portion was HUGE with dressing served on the side. I was skeptical, but ohhhhh boy was I wrong. That salad changed my world and it actually became my new favourite thing on their menu (other than the goat cheese stuffed chicken breast and Kapow Shrimp). I’d actively go to Montana’s just to get this salad – which doesn’t sound like me at all! Now that I live in Australia, there’s no Montana’s in sight and I decided to recreate it myself! I’d say I did a pretty good job because this salad is FANTASTIC. If you love goat cheese, this is the salad for you! The juicy crisp apple pairs so well with the warm nutty toasted pecans and the creaminess of the goat cheese all tied together in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

I’ve only ever eaten this salad as a main dish because it’s THAT good and there’s no way I could eat it as just a small side dish so I’ve categorized this in both the mains and sides section. If you want to serve it as a side, you might want to consider skipping the chicken so your meal isn’t too bulky. If you’re packing it for lunch, keep the salad dressing separate and pour it on when you’re ready to eat.

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:

  • Salad:
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 4 cups cooked chicken breast or thigh, chopped to bite-sized pieces – you can use leftover chicken from a roast or make it fresh the way you prefer (see my preferred method to cook chicken breast here)
    • 12 cups of lettuce or mixed greens (enough for 4 main salads)
    • 1 red bell pepper (aka capsicum), sliced (I ran out of peppers in the house and used cherry tomatoes instead in the photos)
    • 1 large apple, sliced
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • 140g goat cheese, crumbled
    • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp honey
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toast the pecans: Preheat oven to 180˚C (~350˚F) and bake the pecans on the top rack for 5-10 mins and flip over and continue to bake until fragrant and toasty darker brown (another 5 mins). When done, set aside and let them cool then roughly chop.

Optional step: if you haven’t made your chicken breast, you can pop them in the oven with the pecans (see my preferred method). When cooked, slice into strips or bite-sized pieces and let cool.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients together: pecans, chicken, lettuce/mixed greens, red pepper, apple, cranberries, goat cheese, and fresh ground black pepper. If you want to be fancy you can place the ingredients on top of the salad and serve the dressing on the side.

Make the balsamic vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, honey, salt and pepper) in a bowl and whisk until you get a homogenous mixture. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing as needed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Apple Chicken Goat Cheese Salad

Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins, mains
Serves: 4 as mains, 6-8 as side salads | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • Salad:
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 4 cups cooked chicken breast or thigh, chopped to bite-sized pieces – you can use leftover chicken from a roast or make it fresh the way you prefer (see my preferred method to cook chicken breast here)
    • 12 cups of lettuce or mixed greens (enough for 4 main salads)
    • 1 red bell pepper (aka capsicum), sliced
    • 1 large apple, sliced
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • 140g goat cheese, crumbled
    • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp honey
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Toast the pecans: Preheat oven to 180˚C (~350˚F) and bake the pecans on the top rack for 5-10 mins and flip over and continue to bake until fragrant and toasty darker brown (another 5 mins). When done, set aside and let them cool then roughly chop.
  2. Optional step: if you haven’t made your chicken breast, you can pop them in the oven with the pecans (see my preferred method). When cooked, slice into strips or bite-sized pieces and let cool.
  3. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients together: pecans, chicken, lettuce/mixed greens, red pepper, apple, cranberries, goat cheese, and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Make the balsamic vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, honey, salt and pepper) in a bowl and whisk until you get a homogenous mixture. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing as needed. Enjoy!