Tonkatsu Sauce


Date Published: August 1st, 2020 | Last Updated: August 1st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, asian
Serves: 1/3 cup (enough for 4 tonkatsu dishes) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 2 mins

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Here’s a recipe for an easy peasy tonkatsu sauce so you’ll never need to buy bottled sauce again (especially if you live ages away from the nearest Asian grocer like me). As the name suggests, tonkatsu sauce is most commonly used drizzled over a tonkatsu (a pork cutlet coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried). It’s a tangy flavourful sauce that gives tonkatsu its iconic flavour and it only takes a minute to make. This recipe makes enough for 4 tonkatsu dishes. You can double or triple the recipe and store it in an airtight container for a couple of weeks in the fridge. If you’d like to learn how to make a katsu, follow the recipe here.

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsps ketchup
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 1/4 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 1/4 tsp sugar

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Done!

Tip: if you fine that the sauce us a little grainy from the sugar, you can warm it up in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir until the sugar melts.

Summarized Recipe:

Tonkatsu Sauce

Date Published: August 1st, 2020 | Last Updated: August 1st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, asian
Serves: 1/3 cup (enough for 4 tonkatsu dishes) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 2 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps ketchup
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 1/4 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 1/4 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl until smooth. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Done!

To make a katsu to pair with this sauce, follow the recipe here.

Tip: if you find the sauce a little grainy from the sugar, microwave it for 20 seconds and stir until the sugar dissolves. Serve when cooled.

Spring Onion Ginger Oil


Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: ~1 cup (enough for 4 ppl) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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This is hands down my all time favourite dipping sauce. It’s a common dip served in many Asian restaurants usually alongside a poached chicken. It’s a flavour BOMB and you only need a few ingredients to make it. This sauce is quite salty eaten on its own and along with its strong flavours, it will overpower most things, thus it really only goes well with lightly flavoured food. My favourite dish to use this sauce is with Hainanese Chicken Rice but I’d also happily drizzle this sauce over a bowl of plain white rice and an egg. Oh baby!

I’ve tried making this sauce since forever but never got the proportions right until now. I nearly uprooted all the spring onions in the garden to make this sauce! I’m seriously OBSESSED with the flavours in this sauce.

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)

The recipe makes roughly 1 cup of sauce which is enough for our family of 4 when served with Hainanese Chicken but feel free to adjust as you need.

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil on MED-HIGH heat until it JUST starts to lightly smoke.*

Add in all your ingredients (ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt) and quickly stir for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients continue to steep in the hot oil until cooled.

*Note: If you let your oil become too hot, it will splatter when you add in your ingredients (be careful!) – just take the pan off the heat for a minute to let the oil cool then add your ingredients. I find that the flavours aren’t as strong when the oil is too hot. It tends to deep-fry the ingredients rather than let the flavours infuse out. Just take the pan off the heat for a minute to let the oil cool down then add in your ingredients.

Done! Serve when cooled.

Summarized Recipe:

Spring Onion Ginger Oil

Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: ~1 cup (enough for 4 ppl) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil on MED-HIGH heat until it JUST starts to lightly smoke. Add in all your ingredients from step 1 (ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt) and quickly stir for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients continue to steep in the hot oil until cool. Done!

Click here to learn how to make Hainanese Chicken Rice to pair with this sauce!

Thai Green Curry Paste


Date Published: July 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: 1 large bowl, enough for ~4-5 curries (at 4 portions each)
Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 5mins

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Thai curries. They’re fantastic. They’re amazing. They’re so flavourful that I can never pass it up when I visit a Thai restaurant. The actual process of making a good Thai curry isn’t all that complicated as long as you have the curry paste, which is where most of the flavour comes from (and also the most effort). You can buy packaged Thai curry pastes from pretty much any supermarket these days and for pretty cheap too, but if you’re like me and have the need to conquer seemingly complex recipes, then this is the recipe for you!

Thai curries come in a wide variety, but the most common ones you’ll see are red and green curries. Traditionally the main difference between these two are the colour of the chillies that are used. The red curries are usually spicier by using red chilli peppers and chilli powder whereas the green curry colour comes from the more mild green chilli peppers and other green ingredients like kaffir lime leaves, coriander/cilantro and sometimes basil.

Brace yourself. There are a BUTTLOAD of ingredients that go into this Thai green curry paste (17 to be exact) but it’s packed with flavour and beautiful aromas. It does takes some time to gather and prep all the ingredients, but the end result is a wonderfully fragrant and flavourful paste that’s well worth the effort. Since this paste does require a bit of effort and time, I’ve adjusted the recipe to yield a large portion so you only need to make this once and be able to use it again and again. ✌🏻

The actual process is pretty simple – just chop and blend, but the sheer number of ingredients required to make this paste takes time. If you don’t have access to an Asian grocer, it may be pretty challenging to gather some of these ingredients.

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:

*Note: all of these ingredients are going into a food processor/blender, so you only need to roughly chop them to fit into the processor!

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped – I usually buy a large pack of frozen lemongrass stalks since it’s harder to come by near my area, but feel free to use fresh ones!
  • 4 long green chillies, roughly chopped (keep the seeds in for extra spiciness)
  • 5 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 7 cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps grated galangal (or sub with 2 Tbsp ginger + zest of 1 lime)
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps of coriander/cilantro roots and stems, washed – roots have a milder flavour than stems. If you prefer a stronger coriander flavour, have more stems than roots or all stems
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dry)
  • 2.5 tsps dried shrimp paste (belachan)
  • 2 Tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
  • 2 tsp palm sugar syrup (or equal amount of brown sugar or maple syrup or 1/2 tsp molasses)
  • 2-4 Tbsps coconut milk (or water) as needed to help the paste blend

Directions:

In a food processor or blender, combine all of these ingredients except the coconut milk and blend until you get a thick paste.

Tip: if any of your ingredients have excess moisture (ie. thawed lemongrass stalks), squeeze out the extra liquid before blending to prevent having an excessively wet paste.

Add in the coconut milk one tablespoon at a time to help your ingredients blend to a smooth paste.

Taste and adjust flavours. If it’s too spicy or salty, add more coconut milk. Adjust sugar and salt as needed. Remember that this is a paste to be used in recipes, so getting the perfect balance isn’t as important at this stage unless you’ll be eating this paste on its own. You can always adjust the flavours in your actual recipes later.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate: you can keep this paste in an air-tight container (I usually use a glass jar) in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • Freeze: if you’re not going to use the paste anytime soon, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and take them out as needed (roughly 1 Tbsp of sauce per ice cube). Will freeze well for several months.

Recipes that use this paste:

Summarized Recipe:

Thai Green Curry Paste

Date Published: July 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: 1 large bowl, enough for ~4-5 curries (at 4 portions each)
Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 5mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 4 long green chillies, roughly chopped (keep the seeds in for extra spiciness)
  • 5 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 7 cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps grated galangal (or sub with 2 Tbsp ginger + zest of 1 lime)
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps of coriander/cilantro roots and stems, washed
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dry)
  • 2.5 tsps dried shrimp paste (belachan)
  • 2 Tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
  • 2 tsp palm sugar syrup (or equal amount of brown sugar or maple syrup or 1/2 tsp molasses)
  • 2-4 Tbsps coconut milk (or water) as needed to help the paste blend

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of these ingredients except the coconut milk and blend until you get a thick paste.
    • Tip: if any of your ingredients have excess moisture (ie. thawed lemongrass stalks), squeeze out the extra liquid before blending to prevent having an excessively wet paste.
  2. Add in the coconut milk one tablespoon at a time to help your ingredients blend to a smooth paste.
  3. Taste and adjust flavours. If it’s too spicy or salty, add more coconut milk. Adjust sugar and salt as needed. Remember that this is a paste to be used in recipes, so getting the perfect balance isn’t as important at this stage unless you’ll be eating this paste on its own. You can always adjust the flavours in your actual recipes later.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate: you can keep this paste in an air-tight container (I usually use a glass jar) in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • Freeze: if you’re not going to use the paste anytime soon, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and take them out as needed (roughly 1 Tbsp of sauce per ice cube). Will freeze well for several months.

Garlic Rosemary Rub


Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: 1/2 cup (enough for a 2.5-3kg lamb roast)
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

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This rub is SO freaking good and PACKED with flavour. It goes fantastically on a roasted leg of lamb or as a sauce for a steak. It only takes a few minutes to put together and you only need a few simple ingredients. It’s even better if you get to pick the herbs from your own garden ☺️. You’ve just gotta try this!

This recipe is originally from Damn Delicious where she used this rub on a roast leg of lamb. The lamb was so damn good that I just had to add it to my recipe box and share it with you guys.

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp salt – cut the salt in half if you’re going to use it as a sauce
  • 2 tsps ground black pepper

Note: instead of chopping all the ingredients, you can put them all in a food processor and blitz until chopped.

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Garlic Rosemary Rub

Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: 1/2 cup (enough for a 2.5-3kg lamb roast) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp salt – cut the salt in half if you’re going to use it as a sauce
  • 2 tsps ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Done!

Note: instead of chopping everything you can put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined.
Recipe source: Damn Delicious

Classic Simple Guacamole


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

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I love guacamole. LOVE. Seriously. The creaminess of the avocados with the freshness of the tomatoes and lime juice is pure happiness in a bowl. I could easily devour a whole bowl of it myself while binge-watching something. It’s quick and easy with no actual cooking required – just chop some ingredients and mix it all up. Try to make it a little ahead of time because it tastes so much better after a few hours in the fridge to let the flavours infuse. Trust me.

Avocados are quite fatty by nature so the bad news is that the calories tend to stack up when you have too much. However the good news is that it’s good fat and has numerous health benefits so it’s actually quite good for you (as long as you don’t pair it with too many chips 😅).

My favourite way to eat guacamole is to simply have it as a dip served with tortilla chips. It’s a simple, quick and filling snack – but of course it goes amazingly on so many other things such as nachos, fajitas, tacos, burritos…etc.

I think my guacamole obsession started back in my university years in Canada with my old roommate Taryn. We’d frequently go to Gryph’s Sports Lounge/Campus Bar above the hockey rink and always order nachos with a side of guacamole. I don’t know what they put in their nachos, but it was so simple and satisfying. No fancy meats or sauces – just good ol’ nachos, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Even after we graduated we met up a couple times at Gryph’s just to get the nachos and catch up (although from memory the last time we went there they had changed their nachos 😞).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy Cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 large hass avocados – a tip on how to choose avocados: gently squeeze them. You want them to be firm but with a slight give. If they squeeze in too much then they’re over ripe. If you don’t plan on using them for a while, then buy them more firm and leave it out on your counter to ripen. Hass avocados work best in guacamole.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion (~1 medium onion), diced – you can use regular yellow onions instead but the red ones give a bit more sweetness
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste) – different limes will have different sourness, so taste as you go and add more if you need (if you accidentally go overboard, add some sugar or more salt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste) – salt enhances the flavour of the ingredients. If you’re not sure whether you need more salt, I’d recommend letting the guacamole sit in the fridge for an hour after the flavours marinate together and then taste it to adjust flavours
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional for a bit of heat)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl. I find it easiest to mash avocados by using a whisk as a masher. If you prefer your guac more chunky, stop mashing when you get to your desired consistency.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients to the mashed avocados (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. I find that different limes have different degrees of sourness, so start with a small amount (like half a tbsp) and then add more as needed – I’ve had to add up to 2 Tbsps of juice before. It’s better to start with a small amount rather than overdo it. If you’re having some trouble adjusting the flavours, you can let it chill for a few hours first to let the flavours blend together and season it afterwards.

Ideally refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving (overnight is better) to let the flavours marinate together, then taste and adjust ingredients as needed. The difference between letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight vs serving it right away is night and day. Trust me.

Enjoy! Serve on the side of burritos, fajitas, nachos, or even just with some chips and crackers as a snack.

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!

Summarized Recipe:

Guacamole

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large hass avocados
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

  1. Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Ideally refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to let the flavours marinate together then taste and adjust flavours again as needed.

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette


Date Published: July 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: enough for 4 big salads | Prep time: 5mins | Cook time: 30 seconds

Jump to recipe | Watch the video

Since moving onto Toby’s parents’ family farm a couple months ago, we’ve been cooking nearly everyday. They have an amazing small greenhouse here that has been booming with lettuce. As a result, we’ve been making salads nearly everyday! I usually don’t make much salad as part of our normal meals because I find it hard to keep fresh for long enough in the fridge and I also find it hard to pack for lunch and dinners when you have to keep the dressing separate (but maybe that’s just an excuse). Now that we have so much time off, I actually quite enjoy experimenting with different salads and toppings.

This balsamic vinaigrette is my go-to salad dressing. It’s super easy and comes together very quickly. The only real effort you need to put in is to mince a garlic clove (unless you’ve got a garlic crusher). The rest of the work is just to mix it all together which takes less than 30 seconds. The beauty of this recipe is that you probably have nearly all the ingredients at home already and you can tweak it to your liking depending on what kind of salad you’re making (ie. if you have sweeter ingredients in your salad like fruit, you can increase the amount of vinegar to offset the sweetness and vice versa if you have saltier or sour ingredients, you can increase the amount of honey). You can also make this dressing as fancy as you like by whisking in other ingredients (ie. crushed raspberries). My favourite variation is to mix in a tablespoon of softened goat cheese. 🙂

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! You can watch the video below to guide you through 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 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Remember, this is enough dressing for 4 big salads. If you’re making small side salads, I’d recommend halving the recipe.

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients together until combined. Done!

Drizzle over your favourite salad. You may not need the full amount depending on how big your salad is. Taste as you mix until it’s enough. As mentioned above, you can tweak any of the ingredients to suit the flavours of your salad to make it more sweet, sour or salty.

Watch the Video Tutorial!

Summarized Recipe:

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Date Published: July 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: 4 big salads | Prep time: 5mins | Cook time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients together until combined. Done!