Melanzane alla parmigiana – a classic Italian recipe

As January comes to an end, we propose a classic Italian veggie bake: Aubergine Parmigiana. As usual with typical dishes, this is a homemade classic and every family has their own method and ingredients to make it. My friend Gianfranco from Puglia always says “You can be as beautiful as ever, but if you don’t…

Chinese dried meat (rou gan) – a simple recipe

What do you do with left over minced meat? Try this rou gan recipe and turn your meat into a jerky-like snack! It’s saved a lot of expiring meat for me. I’m using minced pork here, but it also works for other types of meat, and of course if you have some leftover meat that’s…

A Classic: Spaghetti alla Carbonara

I won’t dwell too much on the name origin of this Italian classic recipe, for which many are the presumed stories , but none of them sure. What is certain is that this classic recipe from Lazio was popular only after the Second World War, it is one of the most famous recipes in the world, and also one of the…

Courgette pancakes – using a simple Hu Ta Zi recipe from Beijing, China

Summer has brought courgette spaghetti/noodles onto the shelves in some supermarkets here, so yes, this is another courgette recipe! If you can’t buy courgette spaghetti, then just spiralise a normal courgette. Hu Ta Zi is a snack from Beijing, and is originally made with calabash (bottle gourd), but as that’s difficult to buy in many…

Tofu and Chinese cabbage – a quick and simple recipe

Just home from a trip to Kyoto, the city of tofu, I’ve been thinking more about easy home-cooking tofu recipes, and this tofu and Chinese cabbage combo is a typical one to make at home. It’s not quite a completely stir-fry recipe, so I haven’t called it as such. You will need to drop the…

Steamed enoki mushrooms with garlic – a ‘cooked salad’ recipe

In hotter weather, salads are a go-to food. This enoki mushroom recipe is a Chinese cooked salad, which means that like last week’s aubergine recipe, the mushroom is steamed before the sauce goes on, and the mushrooms soak up the flavours as it cools with the sauce. You can also look into using other sorts…

Corn and red kidney beans – a staple food from northern China

When people think about the staple food in China, white rice usually comes to mind, but this is actually not true in Dongbei, the north east of China. Maize (corn) is the traditional staple there, and the most well-known version is a porridge made from maize kernels: Da Zha Zi. Nutritionally speaking, corn tends to…

Peperonata, more than a side dish

I love this dish because it requires few ingredients and provides a lot of flavour. It is a great side dish to present at a dinner party – but I love it solo or with a naughty slice of cheese on top – just like how I’m making it today, with my favourite smoked provola…