Tiger Prawns with Sweetcorn & Chilli – a recipe from Ching He Huang

It’s going to be the Year of the Rooster in 2 more days,and as food is the main way to celebrate Chinese New Year, we tried out the Emmy-nominated TV chef Ching He Huang‘s tiger prawns, sweetcorn and chilli recipe. It’s a classic stirfry dish – very quick to prepare and cook – and really adds colour to the dinner table! In Ching’s words, “Prawns symbolise happiness as they are homonym for ‘laughter’ and their reddish colour is synonymous with ‘luck’. The yellow colour of the corn resembles small nuggets of gold symbolizing ‘wealth’.”

The prep time is only 5 minutes, as is the cooking time. It’s Ching’s ethos to use fresh ingredients, but all the fresh tiger prawns were sold out (probably in the scramble to buy prawns for Chinese New Year), and we had some leftover frozen sweetcorn left, so we’re cooking these from frozen, using 100g in total. You’d ideally need to defrost these before use, but when stirfrying, the ingredients such as sweetcorn can be added to the wok frozen – just add an extra minute to the cooking time. Continue reading “Tiger Prawns with Sweetcorn & Chilli – a recipe from Ching He Huang”

Chinese Steamed Fish – a simple recipe using sea bream

Chinese New Year is just a week away, and fish is a must on the menu (年年有余), so we’d like to share this simple yet eye-catching steamed fish recipe. Fish cooks really quickly in the steamer, so once you’ve done all the prep work, it only takes 5-10 minutes before it’s done! Not only so, you won’t get all the oil splatters you’d get from stir-frying.

The “must” ingredients are fish (sea bream here, but you can also use other types of smaller fish with white meat such as halibut, pike, sunfish and carp), loads of ginger, spring onions and all the seasoning/sauce ingredients. The carrot, luncheon meat, shiitake mushroom and chillies are optional. However, if you decide to go without fresh chillies, then you can also add a little chilli sauce into the sauce at the end. The amount of chilli included here will make a very spicy version, so please tone if down as per your own taste!

We’re using seafood soy sauce here – you can usually find it with a green label. If you don’t have it, then use a light sauce sauce and add an extra teaspoon of oyster sauce, then 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Continue reading “Chinese Steamed Fish – a simple recipe using sea bream”


The Just Eat London Food Fest

It was early evening and we were amongst the first in the cue at Red Market in Shoreditch, to attend the Just Eat Food Fest last night. The weather couldn’t have been more inviting, the sun was coming down leaving us in a warm atmosphere, made only better by the dj playing, the food-loving chilled crowd and a gorgeous selection of food stalls to select from. We were there to try it all (or most) – and I would like to say it was for your sake, but I would tell a lie: I enjoyed every single bite of it. Also with £4 for one token (which buys you a full portion of any food form the stalls) and £8 for three tokens, what can go wrong? But let’s start the food talk.

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Madrid: a culinary city break

When I told friends that the city break in Madrid was quite a culinary one, they said that, well, every time I go on holiday it ends up being a culinary trip! But what better than food to tell you the story of the place you are visiting? Out of all the curiosities travelling might trigger, this one is undoubtedly the most satisfying. Knowing what people eat is like entering into their everyday life, inside their habits, their most familiar thoughts. At Blender and Basil we represent two of the most traditional cuisines in the world, where eating is so important that every life event is discussed or celebrated around the table: decisions and compromises, promises and arguments, hellos and good byes. In Spain, too, it goes just like that, so I did my best to taste some of the most traditional dishes in the country.

La Daniela

Can you have a whole banquet inside a croqueta? At La Daniela I learned you can. We visited this wonderful restaurant at our arrival in Madrid and on an empty stomach. Once sat at the bar and chatting away with the most pleasant waiter, we definitely got carried away with the orders. Croquetas de Cocido, Croquetas de Jamon, Callos (tripe), Salmorejo soup with aubergines, Russian salad and, on the house, Ropa Vieja (another Cocido derivate dish). The highlights of our quite extensive menu were definitely the Croquetas de Cocido and Callos. Both rich on the palate and heavy on the stomach, these dishes are very representative of the city. The former, a derivate dish of the cocido madrileño, in croquetas the heart of all cocido tastes mixed with beshamel sauce. The latter can be a tricky one to get right, as tripes are very fat: but this one had just the right mixture of elements to make it irresistible. Just like their personelle, who made us feel at home and let us stay a little later after closing time to chat away and finish our vino.

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