Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This super easy brown butter mushroom recipe was something I whipped up in the spur of the moment today when I was making a goat cheese stuffed chicken breast for lunch. I LOVE mushrooms and lucky for me I had some spare in the fridge as well as thyme in the garden. Something about thyme and mushrooms just makes a perfect combination and even better when cooked in a beautiful aromatic nutty brown butter. I’d recommend slicing them thick like the photos below for maximum absorption of the delicious brown butter!

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:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).

When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms.

It’s important to lay the mushrooms in a single layer and not crowd them in the pan. You need space to let the liquids evaporate or else they’ll boil in their own juices and result in soggy mushrooms. If you don’t have a pan large enough to fit all the mushrooms, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme from the pan and cook the mushrooms in batches.

The mushrooms will initially absorb all the brown butter and your pan will look dry but as it cooks it will start releasing a little liquid. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.

When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Note: Do not add salt before the mushrooms are done or else they’ll dehydrate the mushrooms and release liquid into the pan.

Summarized Recipe:

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).
  2. When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms. Do not crowd the pan. If your pan is too small, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme and cook the mushroom in batches.
  3. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.
  4. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Classic Greek Salad


Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

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I love Greek salad. It’s so refreshing and easy to make, perfect for a hot summer’s day or paired with a delicious roast lamb. The dressing only takes 3 ingredients to make and the salad components are easily adjustable to whatever proportion you like. Toby’s not a big fan of olives so I tend to go easy on them when I’m making this salad but feel free to double or even triple the amount of any of the salad ingredients. This salad is healthy (if you don’t go crazy on the feta) and so delicious. If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest holding off on the dressing until right before you serve it because the salt content from the dressing will draw out water from the veg and you’ll end up with a soggy salad.

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:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.

Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

*Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Greek Salad

Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy, healthy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
    • *Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Sweet Chilli Eggplant


Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, asian, easy, quick, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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Australians really like their sweet chilli sauce. I had no idea until I moved here nearly 6 years ago. It’s most commonly used as a dip for deep fried foods (especially with chicken salt potato wedges and sour cream – YUM) and it’s also widely available as a condiment in many takeaway shops. Sweet chilli sauce isn’t a very common ingredient in Chinese cuisine so I didn’t have much exposure to it growing up but since moving to Australia I’ve increased my sweet chilli intake by 200% 😅.

This recipe came from my good friend Anita. We had dinner at her place one day back in the vet school days and she wanted to recreate a dish she had at a restaurant with eggplant steaks. After a dash of this and that, she concocted a delicious sweet and savoury sauce that the eggplant steaks were bathed in. It was SO good. There wasn’t a written recipe since she didn’t measure anything (like a true OG Asian cook, eh?) so I’ve recreated it based on the ingredients she used and the result is bang on. I know the serving size says 4, but I could seriously eat a whole plate of this myself over a bowl of rice. I actually wasn’t a fan of eggplants until that day, surprisingly, and now I can’t get enough of it! I’m currently working on a few more eggplant recipes at the moment so keep an eye out!

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:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
    • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
    • 2 Tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (I like the Chinkiang brand)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps neutral oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced in roughly 4cm pieces (I just use regular eggplants but you can use the Chinese variety if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sweet chilli sauce, cooking wine, kecap manis, soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on MED-HIGH heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and swirl around to coat. Add the eggplants in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan, only sear one layer of eggplant at once) and sear them until the centres are soft and the skin blisters or wrinkles.

The eggplant will absorb the oil right away so don’t worry if your pan looks dry because the eggplants will release some oil and liquid as it cooks. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the sauce. Stir-fry the sauce for 30 seconds, then scoop out a couple tablespoons into a bowl and mix it with the cornstarch then add it back into the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer and bubble for a minute and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be gloopy, similar to sweet chilli sauce). Taste and adjust flavours as needed.

Pour the sauce over the eggplants and mix. Done! Serve immediately.

Tip: You can make these into eggplant steaks by slicing the egg plants into 3cm thick slices and follow the recipe exactly the same way and pour the sauce over before serving.

Summarized Recipe:

Sweet Chilli Eggplant

Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, asian, easy, quick, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
    • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
    • 2 Tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (I like the Chinkiang brand)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps neutral oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced in roughly 4cm pieces (I just use regular eggplants but you can use the Chinese variety if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sweet chilli sauce, cooking wine, kecap manis, soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet on MED-HIGH heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and swirl around to coat. Add the eggplants in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan, only sear one layer of eggplant at once) and sear them until the centres are soft and the skin blisters or wrinkles.
    • The eggplant will absorb the oil right away so don’t worry if your pan looks dry because the eggplants will release some oil and liquid as it cooks. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the sauce. Stir-fry the sauce for 30 seconds, then scoop out a couple tablespoons into a bowl and mix it with the cornstarch then add it back into the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer and bubble for a minute and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be gloopy, similar to sweet chilli sauce). Taste and adjust flavours as needed.
  4. Pour the sauce over the eggplants and mix. Done! Serve immediately.

Tip: You can make these into eggplant steaks by slicing the egg plants into 3cm thick slices and follow the recipe exactly the same way and pour the sauce over before serving.

Spicy Garlic Miso Green Beans


Date Published: August 9th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 9th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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I love cooking with green beans. They’re a common ingredient in a lot of Asian cooking and there’s so many ways you can make them. The flavour of green beans are relatively subtle so I find them fantastic when paired with a bold and flavourful sauce, like in this recipe! These beans are steamed to tenderize, then sautéed in a miso, ginger, and garlic sauce to pack a punch. This recipe is super easy and makes a great quick side dish to pair with a salmon (like my popular maple salmon recipe – click for recipe ) or steak. It only takes 15 minutes to make with minimal clean up :).

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:

  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1/2 Tbsp miso paste
    • 1/2 Tbsp chilli pepper flakes (makes it medium spicy)
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 600g fresh green beans, trim off ends

Directions:

In a bowl, make the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, miso paste, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger. Set aside.

In a dry pan on medium heat, add the sesame seeds and toast it until light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and add in the green beans. Stir-fry for a couple minutes then add in enough water to cover 1cm of the pan. Put the lid on and steam the beans until they’re tender (~5 minutes).

Once tender, remove the lid and bring the heat up to MED-HIGH and continue to stir-fry until the beans are lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the toasted sesame seeds and the sauce to the pan. Stir quickly to combine. The residual heat from the pan should cook off any liquids. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Garlic Miso Green Beans

Date Published: August 9th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 9th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1/2 Tbsp miso paste
    • 1/2 Tbsp chilli pepper flakes (makes it medium spicy)
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 600g fresh green beans, trim off ends

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, make the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, miso paste, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
  2. In a dry pan on medium heat, add the sesame seeds and toast it until light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and add in the green beans. Stir-fry for a couple minutes then add in enough water to cover 1cm of the pan. Put the lid on and steam the beans until they’re tender (~5 minutes).
  4. Once tender, remove the lid and bring the heat up to MED-HIGH and continue to stir-fry until the beans are lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the toasted sesame seeds and the sauce to the pan. Stir quickly to combine. The residual heat from the pan should cook off any liquids. Serve!

Parmesan-Crusted Cauliflower Steak


Date Published: August 8th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 8th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: vegetarian, mains, sides, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 38 mins

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Ohhhhh boy. Get ready to have your mind blown. I had never heard of cauliflower steak before until a few weeks ago when the whole family was trying to eat a little lighter. After a couple hours of googling for some food inspo, I came across this recipe from Epicurious and I instantly knew we had to make it. The result came out fantastic albeit a little salty (and I usually love my salt so that’s saying something!). The crunchy parmesan panko crust with the dijon mayo ontop of the roasted cauliflower was so delicious and adds warmth to a miserable cold day (much like today). This easy recipe is definitely a must-try! It’s going straight up to my top 20 dishes to make! I’ve adjusted the recipe to lessen the salt and made some adjustments to have this as a standalone dish with any sides of your choice.

PS: Try to get the biggest cauliflower you can find because I could eat two of these in one sitting! Or make smaller steaks and serve this as a side dish.

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 heads of cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Parmesan Crust Topping:
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • Zest of 1 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
    • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 6 Tbsps olive oil
    • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 220˚C (425 F).

Remove the outer leaves of your cauliflower heads and keep the core intact. If the bottom of the core is thick and fibrous, you can trim it off. Cutting along the widest part of the cauliflower (so you get the biggest slices), cut the cauliflower in half then slice one 3cm thick cuts from each half. Reserve the rest of the cauliflower to be used another day. Repeat for the second cauliflower.

Gently rub olive oil over and black pepper to both sides of the steaks and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side at 220˚C. You want the cauliflower to be tender and browned on the edges.

While the cauliflower is baking, combine the mayonnaise, dijon mustard and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In another bowl combine all the ingredients of the parmesan crust in a bowl except panko (garlic, lemon zest, parsely, parmesan, olive oil) and set aside. Don’t add the panko to this mixture until your cauliflower has cooked and you’re ready to use it, otherwise the panko can get a little soggy sitting in the bowl.

Once the cauliflower steaks have cooked on both sides, take it out of the oven and spread the mayonnaise/dijon mixture over each steak. Add panko to the parmesan crust mixture and combine then spread it ontop of the steaks. Bake the steaks for another 5-7 minutes until the panko crust is lightly browned. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Parmesan-Crusted Cauliflower Steak

Date Published: August 8th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 8th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: vegetarian, mains, sides, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 38 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads of cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Parmesan Crust Topping:
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • Zest of 1 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
    • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 6 Tbsps olive oil
    • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 220˚C (425 F).
  2. Remove the outer leaves of your cauliflower heads and keep the core intact. If the bottom of the core is thick and fibrous, you can trim it off. Cutting along the widest part of the cauliflower (so you get the biggest slices), cut the cauliflower in half then slice one 3cm thick cuts from each half. Reserve the rest of the cauliflower to be used another day. Repeat for the second cauliflower.
  3. Gently rub olive oil over and black pepper to both sides of the steaks and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side at 220˚C. You want the cauliflower to be tender and browned on the edges.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, combine the mayonnaise, dijon mustard and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. In another bowl combine all the ingredients of the parmesan crust in a bowl except panko (garlic, lemon zest, parsely, parmesan, olive oil) and set aside. Don’t add the panko to this mixture until your cauliflower has cooked and you’re ready to use it, otherwise the panko can get a little soggy sitting in the bowl.
  6. Once the cauliflower steaks have cooked on both sides, take it out of the oven and spread the mayonnaise/dijon mixture over each steak. Add panko to the parmesan crust mixture and combine then spread it ontop of the steaks. Bake the steaks for another 5-7 minutes until the panko crust is lightly browned. Serve!

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵 (Liang Mian)


Date Published: August 7th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 7th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 mins + time to cook noodles

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If you’ve ever been to Taiwan in the middle of summer, you’ll know that not only does it get hot, it gets HUMID AF. What’s better on a hot sticky day than a refreshing bowl of cold noodles? This dish is commonly found everywhere in Taiwan – you can even pick them up from most convenience stores, pre-packaged in a lunch box and ready to eat – just add the sauce! The direct translation of “liang mian” is “chilled” or “cold” noodles and it’s served as a bowl of cold white noodles mixed with a savoury peanut sauce and topped with cucumber and carrot slices, occasionally a sliced egg. It’s delicious, filling and crazy easy to make! It’s also a great lunch to pack to eat on the go or to avoid the microwave queues at work or school 😉.

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:

  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps crunchy peanut butter (smooth is okay too but crunchy gives it better texture)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 Tbsps warm water (or more)
  • White Noodles (any brand you like)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned

Directions:

Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together except for the water. Once combined, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time to the sauce and mix until you get a thin runny sauce but not overly watery (only add as much water as you need).

Make the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cooled. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and mix it around so they don’t stick together.

Assemble the noodles by adding the sauce to the noodles with the cucumber and carrots. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. If you’ve made too many noodles (as I always do because I’m terrible at judging how much noodles to cook), make more sauce for the noodles until you’re happy with the intensity of the flavours. Serve cold!

Tip: If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest you pack the sauce separately and pour it on the noodles when you’re ready to eat to avoid the noodles getting too soft from sitting in sauce for too long.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵 (Liang Mian)

Date Published: August 7th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 7th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 mins + time to cook noodles

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps crunchy peanut butter (smooth is okay too but crunchy gives it better texture)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 Tbsps warm water (or more)
  • White Noodles (any brand you like)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together except for the water. Once combined, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time to the sauce and mix until you get a thin runny sauce but not overly watery (only add as much water as you need).
  2. Make the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cooled. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and mix it around so they don’t stick together.
  3. Assemble the noodles by adding the sauce to the noodles with the cucumber and carrots. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Serve cold!
    • If you’ve made too many noodles (as I always do because I’m terrible at judging how much noodles to cook), make more sauce for the noodles until you’re happy with the intensity of the flavours.

Tip: If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest you pack the sauce separately and pour it on the noodles when you’re ready to eat to avoid the noodles getting too soft from sitting in sauce for too long.

Thai Green Curry (Chicken, Beef, Fish or Veg)


Date Published: August 5th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 5th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, asian, < 30mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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I can never pass up a good curry no matter the cuisine. I just love the creaminess and the intense flavours. Thai curries hold a special place in my belly, especially the green curry. The green colour comes from the use of the milder green chilli pepper, kaffir lime, cilantro/coriander and sometimes basil. I love the aroma and the fact that I can pack it full of veggies and have it all swim around in the aromatic coconut sauce.

Although the flavours are complex, making a Thai curry is actually really straight forward and simple as long as you have the green curry paste, which is where most of the flavour (and effort) comes from. I was surprised how quickly it all came together when I made it for the first time. You can buy pretty decent 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, you can make your own with the green curry paste recipe. I’ve written this recipe for the intention of using the homemade curry paste, however if you want to use the canned pastes, you’ll have to “freshen” it up by sautéing in some garlic and ginger to bring the flavours out.

This recipe is easily customizable with any veggies and protein you like and in any proportion. I’ve written it based on my favourite veg to put in this curry but feel free to change it up to your liking. The beauty of this curry is that because of its strong flavours, you can also put in whatever protein you like. I’ve colour-coded the recipes so it’s easier to follow if you want to make chicken, beef or fish. The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s all done in one pot so there’s minimal clean up!

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:

  • 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Meat of choice: (optional)
    • Chicken: 400g (~4) skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breast), diced into bite-sized pieces or sliced thinly (depending on how you like it)
    • Beef: 400g, sliced thinly. Any steak cut will be good.
    • Fish: 400g, diced into chunks. Use whatever fish you like. I tend to like using salmon or a white fish.
    • Vegetarian: no need for meat, just add more veggies!
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup homemade Thai green curry paste (click link for recipe)
    • Please note: this recipe was written to be used with the homemade Thai green curry paste. If you want to use canned Thai green curry paste (Maesri is the go-to brand), you’ll need to “freshen” up the paste to bring out more flavour by sautéing one can (114g) it in 3 cloves of garlic and 2 Tbsps of minced ginger. I do recommend making the curry paste yourself if you’ve got time – it’s so much more aromatic.
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 800ml (2 cans) coconut milk
  • Any veggies you like in your curry. I’ve written this recipe based on my favourite veg, but feel free to change it up and do you. Just keep in mind their proportions to the chicken, otherwise you may end up with a veggie curry (which is fine too if you prefer less chicken). These are what I usually add:
    • 1 1/2 cups King oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed and snapped in halves
    • 1 cup baby corn
    • 1 1/2 cups eggplant, diced and seared first for extra flavour
    • 1 1/2 cups red bell peppers/capsicum, chopped
    • 10 Thai basil leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • Sea salt + black pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Directions:

Prepare your protein (if using):

If using chicken:

In medium pot on MED-HIGH heat melt the coconut oil and add in the chicken pieces (you may have to do this in batches if they’re too crowded – see tip*) and cook until lightly brown on the outside. Don’t worry about it cooking all the way through – it will finish cooking in the curry.

*Tip: You want to put the chicken pieces in the pot in a single layer to sear the outside. If you overcrowd the chicken or are overlapping them, you will likely have too much liquid released and end up boiling the chicken. Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to cook it in 2 or 3 batches.

After you’ve browned all the chicken pieces, remove them from the pot and set aside.

If using beef:

In medium pot on MED-HIGH heat melt the coconut oil and add in the beef pieces and quickly cook for a few minutes until lightly brown on the outside. Don’t worry about it cooking all the way through – it will finish cooking in the curry.

After you’ve browned all the beef pieces, remove them from the pot and set aside.

If using fish:

You don’t need to do any cooking beforehand. Just have it cut up in bite-sized pieces and add it later on with the veggies.

In the same pot still on MED-HIGH heat, discard any excess liquids and melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Add the green curry paste and stir for a few minutes to toast the paste. When the excess liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a semi-dry paste (see photo above), add in the chicken stock and coconut milk. Reduce the heat to MED, put a lid on and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in your veggies and chicken, beef or fish and continue to cook the curry without the lid for another 5 minutes or until all your protein and veg have cooked. Add in the fish sauce. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. If not salty enough add more salt, add sugar if not sweet enough. Serve!

Tip: If you want to turn this into a soup, add in 1 extra cup (250ml) of chicken stock. Feel free to add in some noodles too!

Summarized Recipe:

Thai Green Curry (Chicken, Beef, Fish or Veg)

Date Published: August 5th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 5th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, asian, < 30mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Meat of choice:
    • Chicken: 400g (~4) skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breast), diced into bite-sized pieces or sliced thinly (depending on how you like it)
    • Beef: 400g, sliced thinly. Any steak cut will be good.
    • Fish: 400g, diced into chunks. Use whatever fish you like. I tend to like using salmon or a white fish.
    • Vegetarian: no need for meat, just add more veggies!
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup homemade Thai green curry paste (click link for recipe)
    • Please note: this recipe was written to be used with the homemade Thai green curry paste. If you want to use canned Thai green curry paste (Maesri is the go-to brand), you’ll need to “freshen” up the paste to bring out more flavour by sautéing one can (114g) it in 3 cloves of garlic and 2 Tbsps of minced ginger. I do recommend making the curry paste yourself if you’ve got time – it’s so much more aromatic.
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 800ml (2 cans) coconut milk
  • Any veggies you like in your curry. I’ve written this recipe based on my favourite veg, but feel free to change it up and do you. Just keep in mind their proportions to the chicken, otherwise you may end up with a veggie curry (which is fine too if you prefer less chicken). These are what I usually add:
    • 1 1/2 cups King oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed and snapped in halves
    • 1 cup baby corn
    • 1 1/2 cups eggplant, diced and seared first for extra flavour
    • 1 1/2 cups red bell peppers/capsicum, chopped
    • 10 Thai basil leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • Sea salt + black pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare your protein (if using):
    • If using chicken:
      1. In medium pot on MED-HIGH heat melt the coconut oil and add in the chicken pieces (you may have to do this in batches if they’re too crowded – see tip*) and cook until lightly brown on the outside. Don’t worry about it cooking all the way through – it will finish cooking in the curry.
        • *Tip: You want to put the chicken pieces in the pot in a single layer to sear the outside. If you overcrowd the chicken or are overlapping them, you will likely have too much liquid released and end up boiling the chicken. Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to cook it in 2 or 3 batches.
      2. After you’ve browned all the chicken pieces, remove them from the pot and set aside.
    • If using beef:
      1. In medium pot on MED-HIGH heat melt the coconut oil and add in the beef pieces and quickly cook for a few minutes until lightly brown on the outside. Don’t worry about it cooking all the way through – it will finish cooking in the curry.
      2. After you’ve browned all the beef pieces, remove them from the pot and set aside.
    • If using fish:
      • You don’t need to do any cooking beforehand. Just have it cut up in bite-sized pieces and add it later on with the veggies.
  2. In the same pot still on MED-HIGH heat, discard any excess liquids and melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Add the green curry paste and stir for a few minutes to toast the paste. When the excess liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a semi-dry paste, add in the chicken stock and coconut milk. Reduce the heat to MED, put a lid on and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in your veggies and chicken, beef or fish and continue to cook the curry without the lid for another 5 minutes or until all your protein and veg have cooked. Add in the fish sauce. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. If not salty enough add more salt, add sugar if not sweet enough. Serve!

Tip: If you want to turn this into a soup, add in 1 extra cup (250ml) of chicken stock. Feel free to add in some noodles too!

Za’atar Manakish (Lebanese Flatbread)


Date Published: August 2nd, 2020 | Last Updated: August 2nd, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: breads, easy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 8 (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 1.5hrs (from start of dough) | Cook time: 10 mins

Jump to recipe | Watch the video

This is mine and Toby’s go-to snack. We divide a batch of basic dough and freeze them ahead of time and when we feel like snacking, we’ll defrost it for a couple hours, roll it out then spread za’atar over it and bake. It’s so quick and simple – in under 15 minutes we have freshly baked za’atar manakish. If we’re feeling a little more indulgent, we’ll sometimes use our defrosted dough to make halloumi cheese pies out – which is also super easy (click here for the recipe)!

If you’re unfamiliar, Za’atar is a blend of Lebanese spieces that usually include oregano, sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds. It’s packed full of earthy flavours with a lemon-y acidity from the sumac. I’ll admit when I first I tried it, I didn’t think too much of it, but Toby kept buying the manakish and after a few sneaky bites here and there over time, now I can’t get enough! Lots of shops sell za’atar but everyone has their own ratios of spices so they can taste vastly different depending on the brand. Our favourite brand is called “Za’atar extra” (pictured above) where we buy from A1 bakery in Dandenong. It’s on my to-do list to try and recreate their spice mix just incase we move and can’t find this brand anywhere else (I’ll post it if I’m ever successful).

Side story: This dish has sentimental value to me. When I first started dating Toby (my now fiancé), he took me to a small Lebanese bakery shop in Werribee called A1 bakery and ordered two cheese pies and an “oregano pizza” as he called it. Between the two of us, I’m usually the one introducing him to good restaurants and new foods. This is the first place he took me to that really impressed me. The halloumi cheese pies were to die for but the “oregano pizza” was just okay for me. As time went on, we’d keep going back to the bakery and the “oregano pizza” really grew on me (which we later learned the proper name was: za’atar manakish). After we moved out of the Werribee area, we had to drive 40mins to the closest A1 bakery in Dandenong to get the cheese pies and manakish, but it was worth it. It was magical every time. At our last trip, Toby surprised me with a packet of za’atar seasoning that the bakery sold and suggested we try making it at home during quarantine for some fun. After reading through a handful of recipes online, I made a compilation of them all and combined it into this recipe. We made it for the first time a few months ago and it came out A-MAZING! We’ve made it countless times since.

Back in 2018: Toby would take me to A1 Bakery for Za’atar Manakish and cheese pies all the time when we lived near Werribee

The recipe is a bit word-y but it’s actually super easy once you make it. The dough is made from the basic dough recipe which gives it a beautiful fluffiness if you roll it out thick and a nice crispy crunchy texture if you roll it out thin. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! If za’atar isn’t your jam, you can always turn the dough into halloumi cheese pies :D.

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:

Directions:

Make one dough ball from the basic dough recipe and let it proof for 1 hour until doubled in size (click here for tips on how to proof your dough in the oven). Once risen, punch the dough and knead a couple times on a floured surface to get rid of any air pockets. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (or bigger if you prefer your manakish larger) and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

In a bowl combine the za’atar with the olive oil and mix.

After the dough has rested, knead each ball a couple times on a floured surface then roll it out to 5mm thick (or to preference – the thinner you roll it, the crispier your flatbread and the thicker it is, the more fluffy it will be). Transfer the dough onto a greased baking tray. (It’s important to transfer the dough to the tray FIRST before spreading the za’atar otherwise it may get a little messy!)

I prefer mine a little crispy so I roll it out thinner here. If you want it fluffier, roll it thicker.

Mix and spread your za’atar mixture over the dough and bake in the oven at 200˚C for 7-10 minutes until the edges are golden. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving so the olive oil gets soaked into the bread. Enjoy!

Tip: If you don’t want to make an entire batch, you can freeze the divided dough balls by wrapping them in cling wrap and just defrost the dough a few hours before you want to use it. You don’t need to rest it, just roll it out and spread za’atar over it (use roughly 2 Tbsps of olive oil + 2 Tbsps za’atar per flatbread). This makes a quick and easy late night snack!

Did you try this recipe? I’d love your feedback or any comments on what you thought! Leave a message below and follow me on facebook and instagram (@polyphagicabby). 🙂

Watch the Video Tutorial!

Summarized Recipe:

Za’atar Manakish

Date Published: August 2nd, 2020 | Last Updated: August 2nd, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: breads, easy, snacks
Serves: 8 (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 1.5hrs (from start of dough) | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Make one dough ball from the basic dough recipe and let it proof for 1 hour until doubled in size (click here for tips on how to proof your dough in the oven). Once risen, punch the dough and knead a couple times on a floured surface to get rid of any air pockets. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (or bigger if you prefer your manakish larger) and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  3. In a bowl combine the za’atar with the olive oil and mix.
  4. After the dough has rested, knead each ball a couple times on a floured surface then roll it out to 5mm thick (or to preference – the thinner you roll it, the crispier your flatbread and the thicker it is, the more fluffy it will be). Transfer the dough to a greased baking tray.
  5. Mix and spread your za’atar mixture over the dough and bake in the oven at 200˚C for 7-10 minutes until the edges are golden. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving so the olive oil gets soaked into the bread. Enjoy!

Tip: If you don’t want to make an entire batch, you can freeze the divided dough balls by wrapping them in cling wrap and just defrost the dough a few hours before you want to use it. You don’t need to rest it, just roll it out and spread za’atar over it (use roughly 2 Tbsps of olive oil + 2 Tbsps za’atar per flatbread). This makes a quick and easy late night snack!

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

Jump to recipe |

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!

Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad)


Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (20mins including cooking quinoa)

Jump to recipe |

Tabbouleh (or tabbouli) is a simple mediterranean salad mainly comprised of whole grains, tomatoes and parsley. There are many versions of this salad out there but this one is by far my favourite and simplest. The freshness from the lemon juice and veg pairs really well with a heavy main dish such as a roast lamb. It’s also pretty good as a topping in wraps!

I like to use white quinoa in this recipe for the fluffiness, but you can sub it out for a different whole grain if you like for different textures. This recipe is super simple, healthy and filling. Feel free to add in some baked chicken breast or canned tuna or salmon for an easy lunch.

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp (equates to 1 cup uncooked quinoa) – if you’ve never cooked quinoa before, it’s super simple. Just boil 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa until the liquid is absorbed. You can follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make quinoa for some guidance if you need.
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (either curly or flat-leaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 tsps lemon or lime juice
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

Directions:

Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients together (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes) and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients together (parsley, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, black beans (if using)). Add your salad dressing and toss everything together. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled in refrigerator.

Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad)

Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (20mins including cooking quinoa)

Ingredients:

  • Salad Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 tsps lemon or lime juice
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp (equates to 1 cup uncooked quinoa) – you can follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make quinoa for some guidance if you need
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (either curly or flat-leaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients together (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes) and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients together (parsley, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, black beans (if using)). Add your salad dressing and toss everything together.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled in refrigerator. Done!