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.

Continue reading “Stuffed Squid Chestnuts, Mushroom and Rice (Ikameshi)”

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”

linguine alla bottarga_pasta dish_sardinian recipe

Treasures from the sea: Linguine alla Bottarga

A classic of Sardinian cuisine, pasta alla bottarga will be one of the first dishes you will try or be offered when visiting Sardinia (or a Sardinian friend). Bottarga is the gold of Sardinia: like a parmesan of the sea, this delicatessen, made of dry fish roe, will give that extra flavour to any seafood meal, especially when we talk about risotto or pasta, it is a must to add a little as a final touch. This recipe, like all Italian classics, is open to be changed to your taste and you will find, when you speak with different Italians or Sardinians, that each of them have their own style. The puritans will tell you that the best way is to add just a drizzle of olive oil to your pasta and a teaspoon or two of bottarga and your dish is ready. I’m a garlic lover and I like to create a cream with the bottarga, so below I add butter to it: far from the tradition, which would probably favour animal fat. Also, to this same recipe you can add a crushed red chilli pepper if you like it hot, a teaspoon or two of lemon zest if you want to add aroma, or squeeze a bit of lemon juice before serving to make it taste fresher. Bear in mind, I’m using linguine for this recipe, but you can use the pasta you like, even if long pasta is recommended as the sauce sticks nicely to it.

Continue reading “Treasures from the sea: Linguine alla Bottarga”