Ginger Chicken Meatballs in Miso Broth

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chick 20/06/2017

Ginger, lemongrass, chicken meatballs and pak choy in miso broth make for a light, healthy and seriously satisfying soup. This soup is bursting with flavour and freshness.

You can use chicken or turkey mince. I would use one with a mix of white and brown meat for more flavour. Add rice noodles for more substance.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Chicken or Turkey Mince
  • 1 Cup Plain Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves Garlic, divided – 1 minced and 1 peeled and smashed
  • 1 small onion – peeled and sliced
  • 1 TBSP  Soy Sauce
  • Ginger , divided – 2 tsp freshly grated + 1 (1’’ piece) sliced
  • 8 Spring onions – white and green part, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 TBSP Fish Sauce , divided
  • 1 TBSP Lemongrass , white part only – minced
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Coriander – roughly chopped
  • 5 Cups Chicken Broth , divided
  • 1 Cups Water
  • 1 Thai Chili – sliced (optional)
  • 2 TBSP Miso (I used white)
  • 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  • 2 heads Baby Pak Choy , quartered into wedges (can substitute 1 regular head)
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes , plus more for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste

Instructions:

  1. Make the Meatballs: In a large bowl combine the chicken/turkey, panko, minced garlic, soy sauce, grated ginger, half the spring onions, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, lemon grass, coriander and 2 tablespoons of broth. Gently mix, just until combined. Use your hands to scoop out about a tablespoon and form mixture into (1’’-diameter) meatballs. Transfer to a plate or clean work surface lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all meatballs are formed. I had 22.
  2. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine remaining broth, water, Thai chili, smashed garlic, onion, sliced ginger, 1 tablespoon fish sauce and remaining scallions. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove solids and discard. In a small bowl combine miso with 2 tablespoons of the broth and whisk to combine. Add the miso mixture to the pot of broth. Stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add meatballs to the pan (in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan) and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove and transfer to a clean plate.
  4. Add the pak choy and crushed red pepper flakes to the broth. Simmer until pak choy is almost tender, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the meatballs and bring broth back to a simmer. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Taste broth and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve garnished with spring onions and crushed red pepper flakes.
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Miso Baked Cod

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miso 19/06/2017

The rich, umami flavour of miso in this sticky Japanese-style marinade is a perfect pairing for fish.

The fish is wrapped in a foil parcel and baked in the savoury juices resulting in meltingly tender flesh with a satisfying flavour that is so easy and quick to create.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp shiro miso
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 30g fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 sustainable cod fillets (around 150g each)
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
  • Handful fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish

To serve:

  • Steamed rice and griddled pak choi
  • Lime wedges

misoo

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Mix together the miso, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger in a small bowl.
  2. Lay each piece of cod on a piece of foil large enough to enclose it, then spoon half the miso mix on top of each. Add the spring onions and coriander, then tightly seal to make parcels.
  3. Put the 2 parcels into a baking dish, transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Divide the rice and pak choi between 2 plates. Unwrap the parcels, lift out the contents and serve the fish on top of the rice, with extra coriander and spring onions on the side. Add lime wedges for squeezing.

Omurice

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omuu 27/05/2017

Take the flavours of the classic comfort food to new heights with this omurice with crab and curry sauce. Omurice is a Japanese favourite consisting of omelette covering a bed of fried rice slathered in sauce. This particular version involves a generous dose of rich and flavourful curry sauce that works perfectly with the fluffy omelette and veg and crab-filled fried rice inside.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 crabsticks, chopped
  • 50g cooked, cold jasmine rice
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1 cube curry roux
  • 150ml hot water
  • Chives, chopped

Method:

  1. Fry the onion and mushrooms in a small saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, crabsticks and soy sauce. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Remove from the heat.
  3. Make the curry sauce by mixing the roux with hot water in a mug then microwave for 1-2 minutes until thickened to your liking. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs and mirin together in a small bowl.
  5. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. When the pan is hot, pour the eggs into the pan and quickly spread to cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Lower the heat and put the fried rice on top of the omelette. Fold both sides of the omelette toward the middle of the rice to cover.
  7. When the eggs have cooked, cover the frying pan with a plate and carefully flip over to place the omurice on the plate. Serve the curry sauce over the omurice and sprinkle with chopped chives.

omu

Chicken Katsu Curry

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kk 25/05/2017

I recently went to a Japanese restaurant in London with my best mate and haven’t been able to stop eating Japanese food since. This is a recipe for a Japanese crispy fried chicken with a sauce made from a curry roux. This is an incredibly easy dish and an incredibly satisfying one with silky sauce to accompany crispy, juicy chicken.

The recipe serves 3 as I was raving about it so much that a couple of mates wanted in on the action too but the quantities are easily adjustable.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
  • 50g Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 chunks of curry roux (I used S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix)
  • 500ml water
  • Sunflower Oil for frying
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cooked Jasmine Rice and chopped chives to serve

Method:

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts, cover with a sheet of cling film and flatten them out using a rolling pin until they’re about 1cm thick. Season both sides of each breast with salt then coat all over in the flour.
  2. Beat the egg in a shallow dish and tip the breadcrumbs into another. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg then coat in breadcrumbs. Leave to one side whilst you make a start on the Katsu Curry sauce.
  3. Add a tsp sunflower oil to a small pan and sweat the chopped onion until cooked through.
  4. When the onions are cooked, add in the curry roux and a little bit of the hot water. Stir to dissolve the roux then gradually add the rest of the water and cook over a medium heat until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, heat some sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. (Just short of enough to coat the base). Be a little patient with this, if you put your chicken in and the oil isn’t hot enough, the panko crumbs will likely go soggy.
  6. Carefully add the prepared chicken into the pan and fry for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. Remove from the pan onto a plate lined with some paper towels.
  7. Now all your components are ready, it’s time to serve. Plate up some cooked rice, slice up the chicken and place on top. Then pour over as much of the katsu curry sauce as you like! You could even sprinkle over some chopped chives.

k

Sushi

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IMG_20160118_165803[1] 14/02/2016

Sushi is so easy to make, tastes way better than the poxy, expensive stuff you buy in shops and you can tailor make it to include your favourite fillings or whatever you have to hand.

Ingredients:

For the rice

  • 300g sushi rice
  • 100ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar

For the Japanese mayonnaise

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sauce

For the sushi

  • 25g bag nori (seaweed) sheets
  • choose from the following fillings: cucumber strips, smoked salmon, white crabmeat, canned tuna, avocado, spring onion

To serve with all styles of sushi

  • wasabi (optional – and fiery!)
  • pickled ginger
  • soy sauce

Method:

  1. TO MAKE THE SUSHI RICE: Rinse the sushi rice in cold water until the water runs clear, then soak roughly two parts rice to three parts cold water in a saucepan for 30 minutes.
  2. Next, bring the rice to the boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the water and is tender. Check the packet instructions for exact timings.
  3. Stir through the rice vinegar and sugar.
  4. Cool the rice down as quickly as you can by spreading it onto a baking tray and covering with a slightly damp tea towel.
  5. Dampen your hands to prevent sticking when handling the rice.
  6. Brush your knife with rice vinegar to prevent sticking and cut the roll into neat rounds.

 

  1. TO MAKE SUSHI ROLLS:Pat out some rice. Lay a nori sheet on the mat, shiny-side down. Dip your hands in the vinegar water then pat handfuls of rice on top in a 1cm thick layer, leaving the furthest edge from you clear.
  2. Spread over some Japanese mayonnaise.Use a spoon to spread out a thin layer of mayonnaise down the middle of the rice.
  3. Add the filling.Top the mayonnaise with a line of your favourite fillings – here I’ve used smoked salmon and cucumber.
  4. Roll it up.Lift the edge of the mat over the rice, applying a little pressure to keep everything in a tight roll.
  5. Stick down the sides like a stamp.When you get to the edge without any rice, brush with a little water and continue to roll into a tight roll.
  6. Wrap in cling film.Remove the mat and roll tightly in cling film before cutting the sushi into thick slices then unravel the cling film.

IMG_20160118_165726[1] IMG_20160118_165658[1]

  1. TO MAKE PRESSED SUSHI:Layer over some smoked salmon. Line a loaf tin with cling film then place a thin layer of smoked salmon inside on top of the cling film.
  2. Cover with rice and press down.Press about 3cm of rice over the fish, fold the cling film over and press down as much as you can, using another tin if you have one.
  3. Tip it out like a sandcastle.Turn block of sushi onto a chopping board.  Cut into fingers, then remove the cling film.

 

  1. TO MAKE SUSHI BALLS:Choose your topping. Get a small square of cling film and place a topping, like half a prawn or a small piece of smoked salmon, on it. Use damp hands to roll walnut-sized balls of rice and place on the topping.
  2. Make into tight balls.Bring the corners of the cling film together and tighten into balls by twisting it up then unwrap and serve.

Sticky Hoisin Salmon

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IMG_20160119_175529[1] 19/01/2016

I’ve been eating a lot of fish recently in an attempt to cut down on other meats and improve my diet. Salmon, in particular, is rich in omega 3 and incredibly versatile. It also happens to be on offer in my local shop at the moment so expect plenty of salmon related goodness.

The recipe below is for a gorgeous oriental style dish with a whole side of salmon that is marinated in a sticky soy marinade and delicately oven cooked for a ridiculously moist and tender result.

You could use this marinade on salmon portions but using a whole side gives really succulent results. To be honest, you could serve this sauce on a piece of scabby roadkill and it would still be amaze-balls!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole side salmon
  • coriander, finely chopped,
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Sesame seeds
  • red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped,
  • lime wedges to serve

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp each soy sauce and rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp Thai 7 spice (optional)
  • 2 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Method:

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large dish. Place the salmon, skin side up, into the dish. Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  2. To cook, heat the oven to 220C, 200C fan. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place on a foil lined roasting tray. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on whether you want it opaque in the middle or completely cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, transfer the marinade to a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until thick and syrupy. Pour half over the salmon for the last 5 minutes of cooking, then, when sticky and slightly caramelised, remove from the oven and scatter with coriander, spring onions, sesame seeds and chilli. Cut the salmon into portions and with a fish slice, serve the salmon up on plates, removing the skin as you serve. Serve with sticky rice, green veg and lime wedges. Drizzle with the remaining sauce if desired.

Inari Sushi

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IMG_20140802_095909[1] 24/08/2014

Excuse the crude picture of the inari pockets on a plastic toddler plate but I got so excited when these were ready that it was the closest thing I had to hand and I couldn’t wait to try them.

On a basic level, these are big balls of rice in tofu skins but the preparation and seasoning techniques make them a bit special. There are a few steps to go through but all are nice and simple and the end result is so tasty.

Don’t be put off if unfamiliar with any of the ingredients either. They are all easily obtainable from good Asian grocers. Alternatively, leave them out. Feel free to experiment with flavours of your own. I mixed some home-grown parsley into my sushi rice mix instead of using shiso leaves and topped with a slice of sushi ginger.  

To make the Inari-Age for the sushi (Makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Abura Age (deep fried tofu pouches)
  • 1 cup dashi stock or a good slug of fish sauce mixed with water
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. Cover the Abura Age with plastic wrap and roll a rolling pin over the Abura Age. This step helps to open the pouch.
  2. Cut the Abura Age in half if not already opened out into pockets.
  3. Add the Abura Age in boiling water and cover with a plate or lid slightly smaller than the pan so it holds the Abura Age under the stock. Boiling for 3 minutes should be enough to reduce the smell and oil from the deep-fried Abura Age.
  4. Discard the water and quickly rinse Abura Age under cold water. Squeeze the excess water out gently.
  5. In a large pot, combine dashi stock, sugar, and soy sauce and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the Abura Age in the pot and place plate or lid on.
  7. Cook the Abura Age on medium low heat for 15 minutes until the liquid is 90% evaporated and absorbed into the Abura Age. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.
  8. Gently squeeze out the liquid (but not completely) and save the liquid in a separate bowl. You use this liquid to make Inari Sushi.

To make the Inari Sushi (Makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cup cooked sushi rice (1 cup for approx 4 Inari Sushi)
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted white or black sesame seeds
  • 12 Inari-Age (seasoned deep-fried tofu pockets)
  • The cooking liquid from Inari Age
  • 12 shiso leaves
  • 12 seasoned nori seaweed
  • Sushi ginger (gari) for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Prepare sushi rice using reserved stock and top up water as needed.
  2. Add sesame seeds and mix together.
  3. Open the Inari-Age pocket so you can put rice all the way in.
  4. Moisten hands with the liquid from Inari-Age. Take a small handful of rice and make a small rice ball. Do not make it too big otherwise it won’t fit in Inari-Age.
  5. Wrap each rice ball with shiso and a piece of nori and stuff the rice ball into the Inari-Age. Close the Inari-Age and place open-end down on a plate
  6. Another method is to keep the bag open on top. Wrap each rice ball with a piece of nori and stuff the rice ball into the Inari-Age. Then place shiso on top.
  7. Tuck in the edge of Inari-Age inside the pocket so you will have nice smooth round edge. You can decorate the top as you like.
  8. Serve cold with sushi ginger.

These keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. They are also very nice dipped in soy sauce or balsamic vinegar.