Melanzane Parmigiana_Recipe

Aubergine/Eggplants Parmigiana – a Classic Veggie Bake

Whatever the season, here’s a classic Italian veggie bake: Aubergine Parmigiana. As usual with typical dishes, this is a homemade tradition 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 know how to make parmigiana, you have no charm!” – this saying, applicable to men and women alike, illustrates how big a staple of the Italian kitchen this recipe is. Continue reading “Aubergine/Eggplants Parmigiana – a Classic Veggie Bake”

Rou_Gan_Dried_Meat_Pork_Recipe

Chinese Dried Meat – Rou Gan

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 not minced, you can always put it in a blender.

Bear in mind though that the end result is usually better if you have a cut with a high fat percentage, as the “drying” process will make the lean meat too hard. You can try and add a little vegetable oil to the mince mix if your meat is too lean – feel free to experiment, as this is more of a method than a recipe.

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Carbonara – the Italian Recipe

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 simplest pasta sauces there are to make. However, you still find some recipes that get it completely wrong, by adding extra ingredients that are not necessary at all for this recipe. It is definitely a winner at dinner parties with Anglo-Saxon friends – who will wonder at how magically you pulled together their favourite breakfast ingredients in a dinner dish. Serves two people.

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Stuffed Squid Chestnuts, Mushroom and Rice (Ikameshi)

I’m a fan of Ikameshi (a Japanese dish from Hokkaido made from whole squids stuffed with glutinous rice), but as it’s part of a regional cuisine, it’s very difficult to find in restaurants here. There are many amazing recipes for Ikameshi, and this version I’m sharing is by no means the most authentic. I wanted to make it without using my rice cooker or pressure cooker, and more importantly, wanted to make the stuffing much heavier on elements other than rice.

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Sinigang_Knorr_mix_Ribs_Recipe

Sinigang soup from Knorr Mix – a Filipino Sour Soup

Having a sour soup can be very refreshing for the summer, and you will find the Knorr Sinigang Mix from most Asian supermarkets. The sourness comes from tamarind, and other essential ingredients include tomatoes, a meat of some sort and, often, green beans. In this version of the recipe using the Knorr Mix, we are going to use pork ribs, and to make them extra tender, we’ve included cooking it with an electric pressure cooker. Continue reading “Sinigang soup from Knorr Mix – a Filipino Sour Soup”

Three Chinese Summer Cold Dishes – Tomato Cucumber and Wood Ears

When you think of summer food, salad usually comes to mind (got to love a good summer salad). They are, actually, just as common in Chinese cooking, although instead of having a mix of different leaves, Chinese veggie cold dishes are usually made from a single ingredient. These are all very easy to make, so here are three salads with different flavours! They can all be prepared in advance and left in the fridge for dinnertime – no need worry about wilting leaves. Continue reading “Three Chinese Summer Cold Dishes – Tomato Cucumber and Wood Ears”

Tofu and Chinese Cabbage

Tofu and Chinese Cabbage

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 tofu and the cabbage leaves into boiling water to remove the slightly odd taste that tofu sometimes has when you just unwrap it, and will need to wilt the cabbage a little so that you don’t need to stir vigorously once it’s in the oil pan – so as not to break the tofu apart. Continue reading “Tofu and Chinese Cabbage”

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 of mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms, although it would be best to slice them thinly, as enoki mushrooms are naturally so thin and absorb the flavours easily. Continue reading “Steamed Enoki Mushrooms with Garlic – a ‘Cooked Salad’ Recipe”

Corn and red kidney beans

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 be a little richer than white rice in vitamins, and offers more fiber. To make up for the lower protein content in corn (which is also an issue, if not more so, with rice), this porridge/congee is usually balanced with red kidney beans, and you can also add peanuts to the mix. Continue reading “Corn and Red Kidney Beans – a Staple Food from Northern China”

Steamed Eggs, Tofu, Fish and Prawns – a Protein-Rich Recipe

Egg whites, tofu, white fish and prawns – it’s a protein fix! This recipe is inspired by Chinese steamed eggs, which every child with Chinese parents has probably had. I’ve made this many times, and used to make the consistency a lot smoother by increasing the number of eggs used compare to the fish and prawns, for example, but really prefer this firmer version. Also, this is a steamed recipe, and the taste is a lot lighter and more subtle compared to stir-fries and stews, so I really recommend using some Japanese ingredients such as tsuyu soup stock and mirin. Continue reading “Steamed Eggs, Tofu, Fish and Prawns – a Protein-Rich Recipe”