Furikake Devilled Eggs

Around the holidays, sometimes I like to make a few things to nibble on rather than a normal ‘meat’ and 3 veg meal. I clearly was taken with Asian food this year considering the Korean pinwheels and these Japanese flavoured devilled eggs. In case, like me, you were wondering why they’re called devilled eggs, to save you a google search, devilled was a word to describe anything highly seasoned back in the medieval times and the normal recipe does usually contain cayenne pepper or paprika. This version’s a bit more of an interesting take on the classic devilled eggs containing furikake and Kewpie mayonnaise which is a Japanese mayo and is well worth taking the trouble to find over normal mayonnaise. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning with a mixture of different things such as seaweed, dried fish and sesame seeds. I honestly can’t really tell the difference between this and togarashi so if you have that, use that instead. If you don’t have it, it’s also well worth finding as it makes anything you sprinkle it on delectable. I saw the recipe on BBC Good Food, I didn’t have wasabi so I subbed it with miso paste.

Makes 12 egg halves

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp pickled ginger (I unfortunately had to omit this due to lack of stock at my local supermarket)
  • 3 tbsp furikake

Method

1.) Boil some water and pour into a deep pan. Put the eggs into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until hard boiled.

2.) Leave to cool or put in some ice water if you want to speed up the process.

3.) Peel the shells off the eggs and chop the eggs in half.

4.) Scoop the egg yolks out with a spoon into a bowl. Slice finely the spring onions and add to the bowl. Measure in the mayonnaise, miso, sesame oil and ginger.

5.) Mash everything with a fork until you get a paste.

6.) Spread the furikake seasoning onto a plate and press each egg half lightly onto the seasoning so that it sticks. Sprinkle the egg yolk holes with the remaining seasoning.

7.) Spoon the egg mixture into the recess where the yolk was (or pipe if you want to be fancy and you don’t have 8 Harry Potter films to get through over your holiday break).

Tofu Yaki Soba

Here’s another vegan recipe in honour of Cop 26. I had a vegetarian noodle dish just this weekend at the Fawlty Towers Dining experience. Their food wasn’t great but it wasn’t about the food. The actor playing Basil Fawlty was not impressed that I’d chosen the vegetarian option, though I was expecting a comment of the sort. Apologies for those who don’t know of Fawlty Towers but it’s an absolute classic in England the equivalent of Seinfeld. It’s hard to separate the nostalgia from the actuality of the show now but the experience was certainly very fun. It would be interesting to watch similar things belonging to other countries. This recipe here is a vegetable noodle dish too with a punchy Asian dressing and crumbled tofu. I have scaled up the original recipe to make a few more servings than the below.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 140g firm tofu
  • 5cm ginger
  • 1 small chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 spring onions
  • 200g shitake mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 100g noodles
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 100g beansprouts
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Unwrap the tofu and place on some kitchen roll on a plate. Top with more kitchen roll then put something on the top (e.g. a tin of spiced parsnip soup and a jar of capers) to weigh it down and squeeze out the water. Leave for 10 minutes.

2.) In the meantime, slice the spring onions into thin slices and wash the shitake mushrooms. Peel the carrots and use a peeler to peel them into ribbons. Peel the garlic and ginger and finely chop the garlic, grate the ginger. Finely chop the chilli, Slice up the red pepper.

3.) Put the noodles in a small pan, add boiling water, cook until soft.

4.) Dry fry the shitake mushrooms and spring onions in a wok until starting to soften. Then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.

5.) Add the sesame oil and maple syrup. Crumble up the tofu and add to the pan and let it brown for 2 or 3 minutes.

6.) Stir and add the red pepper, beansprouts, carrot and hoisin sauce and fry for a few minutes until the veggies are starting to soften.

7.) Add the drained noodles to the wok, stir to combine and heat everything up.

8.) Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Tom YUM Goong

Tom Yum derives from the Thai word for the boiling process ‘Tom’ and ‘Yam’ – mixed. Everyone loves a Thai rice noodle dish and this one is fairly quick to put together once you’ve sorted out the curry paste which could be done in advance and even frozen. I have a Kenwood mixer plus spice blender attachment but I had to split the ingredients into smaller portions to get them to blend properly. Once you’re done you have a vibrant green paste which is very appetising. Don’t be tempted to add any more shrimp paste than stated in the recipe, the smallest amount of that overpowers everything. This was supposed to be a soup but for me ended up more like a noodle in sauce dish which was just as tasty. This was another recipe from ‘Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite’.

Ingredients

Serves 4

Curry paste

  • 3 shallots
  • 3 lemon grass sticks / 1tbsp paste
  • 4cm piece galangal/ginger 1 1/2 tsp paste
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves (I used dried but use fresh if you can get them)
  • 3 chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 20g coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemongrass paste/1 stick
  • 1 cm ginger/ 1/2 tsp paste
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • 350g plum tomatoes
  • 400ml stock (Massel chicken flavour or vegetarian)
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 12 raw tiger prawns
  • 3 fillets white fish
  • salt
  • 10g basil
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • crispy shallots
  • rice noodles for 4 people

Method

1.) Make the curry paste by peeling and chopping the ingredients and crushing down into a smooth paste.

2.) Peel and finely chop the other lemongrass, ginger and garlic

3.) Heat the oil in the pan and add the ginger, lemongrass and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the paste. Cook for another 3 minutes.

4.) In the meantime, chop up the plum tomatoes. Add them to the pan and cook down for 3 minutes.

5.) Make up the stock, chop the lime in half.

6.) Boil some water, add the noodles to another pan, pour over the water and cook until soft.

7.) Add the stock to the tomatoes then squeeze in the juice of each lime half. Add the fish sauce and the kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another few minutes to let the tomatoes break down.

8.) Chop up the white fish into cubes and add to the pan with the prawns. Cook until the fish is done.

9.) Dice the herbs finely. Drain the noodles and move into the pan with the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Season with salt and stir.

10.) Garnish with the shallots and the herbs and serve.

Watermelon sushi

It seems very festive to be posting a sushi recipe on the closing day of the Tokyo Olympics. I did used to be a bit sceptical of vegetarian sushi until I had some watermelon sashimi at Vegan Restaurant ‘The Allotment’ in Manchester. I always used to have sushi for lunch when working in London with 2 Itsus and a Wasabi nearby so I have missed it a lot when working from home. Home-made sushi is infinitely better than the horrible pressed rice sushi you get at the supermarket and also infinitely more adaptable. I tend to stay away from raw fish sushi just because I’m a bit wary of using sashimi-grade fish. I have tended to opt for smoked salmon and avocado in the past but some of my favourites were tempura prawn and the tuna-mustard ongiri you get from Wasabi which also avoid using sashimi. But anyway, back to this recipe as for this I used watermelon sashimi, sriracha mayo and cucumber.

Makes about 24

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup/400ml sushi rice
  • 7 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 sheets nori sheets
  • 250ml lukewarm water
  • 100g mayo
  • 1 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1/3 watermelon
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • soy sauce and pickled ginger to serve

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 90 degrees C

2.) Line a baking tray, chop off the watermelon peel and slice up the watermelon into 1 cm slices (thinner than mine below I think works better). Put the watermelon onto the baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.

3.) Bake for 1 hr 15, flip the slices over, then bake for another 1hr 15. Leave to cool. You could do this the day before and put the watermelon in the fridge as I did.

4.) Cook the rice with about 460ml/2 cups of water. When ready, add the sugar, some salt and pepper and 3 tbsp of the vinegar and let cool to room temperature. I find that this is the most important step in making sushi, if your rice is too hot or you haven’t used sushi rice, it’s not going to work! Even though you can see below I haven’t really spread out the rice as well as I could, my sushi have still been reasonably successful.

5.) The watermelon should have shrunk down a bit in the oven but you may need to slice it more thinly.

6.) Chop up the cucumber into sticks

7.) Mix the sriracha with the mayo in a bowl

8.) Make a water bowl with the rest of the vinegar and the 250ml water. This is really helpful for working with the rice as it’s so sticky.

9.) Get a sushi rolling mat and line it with cling film. Place on a sheet of nori then add 1/4 of the rice to the middle of the sheet. Spread the rice out with your fingers leaving a 1cm margin on the far side. Clean your fingers after with the vinegar water bowl. You can see I left margins on both sides which is probably why I ended up with 6 rolls. Also go right to the edge width ways.

10.) Spoon on a tbsp of sriracha mayo down the middle of the roll. On top of this, add sticks of cucumber and watermelon.

11.) Pick up the mat from the slide closest to you, roll it over to the other side and pull out the mat slightly so that the edge of the nori folds under the other edge. The join should be at the bottom and the moisture from the rice should stick it together.

12.) Repeat with the remaining nori and rice.

13.) Use a sharp knife to slice each roll into 6 pieces, trimming off the ends if they’re a bit scrappy. Dip the knife in the water vingear bowl between slices to stop it sticking.

14.) Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger/wasabi.

Thai Konjac Noodles

I really hope this post ends up being legible. I was at a hen do yesterday so my brain is in a bit of a fog though the gym sesh definitely helped. Hungover exercising is the best as your brain is not functioning well enough to tell you you can’t get through the work out. For this recipe, I used konjac noodles which are a 0 carb very low calorie noodle made out of a kind of yam. They don’t have tons of flavour but work well for this kind of recipe where you have a punchy sauce. (They have a slight fishy smell so it’s a good idea to rinse the noodles.) Too many pub trips watching England have meant that I need to lose a few pounds hence the konjac noodles but this would be great with normal noodles too. Speaking of England, really hope it’s coming home tonight though gotta say, I’m not feeling too confident. The recipe was in Thailand – The cookbook and I adapted it a little.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 3 packs konjac noodles/1kg cooked rice noodles
  • 600ml stock (I used Massel chicken flavoured stock)
  • 2 birds eye chillis
  • 6 shallots
  • 5 thin slices galangal (I used 1 tsp paste)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks (I used 1 tsp paste)
  • 2 fillets white fish
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • coriander leaves/basil leaves to garnish
  • 1 pack pre-prepared stir fry vegetables

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees C, line a baking tray and place the fillets on the tray. Bake for around 15 minutes or according to the packet. When done, peel off the skin.

2.) While the fish is baking, crack on with the rest of the recipe. Peel and finely chop the shallots, chop up the chillis, and the galangal/lemongrass if needed. Make up the stock.

3.) Add the stock, chilli, shallots, galangal and lemongrass and sugar to the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer for 8 minutes to reduce.

4.) Rinse the konjac noodles and set to one side.

5.) Chop up the herbs for the garnish.

6.) After the 8 minutes, tip the stir fry veg into the pan and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Then tip in the noodles and cook for another couple of minutes until everything is heated through. Add the fish sauce.

7.) Flake in the fish. and sprinkle in the herbs then give everything a gentle toss before serving.

qrf

laksa

Summer may not be the usual season for laksa but Manchester has been living up to its reputation with constant rain. This really is a beautiful dish in taste if not looks. The origin of laksa is not known but it’s somewhere within South-East Asia. I’m avoiding European food until the Euros are over now – I don’t want to be posting an Italian recipe if England have just been beaten by them in the Euros – fingers crossed for tomorrow. (I still can’t get over the fact that one of the Italian players is called Immobile). I subbed some of the noodles with konjac noodles – a few too many pub trips watching the football has not been great for my waistline but konjac noodles work really well within the right recipe and the broth here is so packed with flavour you don’t notice. The recipe was from ‘Nigel Slater – ‘Tender’ ‘, my favourite British celebrity chef (not counting the actual hilarity of Gordan Ramsey’s USA Kitchen Nightmares’).

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 350g squash (I used a mixture of squash and sweet potato – ready chopped)
  • coriander and mint leaves as a garnish
  • 2 birds eye chillis (or others with a 3/5 spice rating)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • thumb sized piece ginger
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (1 tsp paste)
  • 15g coriander leaves (mix of leaves and stalks)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 600ml stock (I used Massel chicken flavoured stock)
  • 1 tin light coconut milk
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 100g noodles

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Spread the cubed squash on a baking tray, season and roast for 25 minutes.

3.) In the meantime, make the paste by peeling the ginger and garlic, chopping the chilli stalks off. Add these to a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and add the lemongrass (chopped stalks or paste) and 15g coriander. Blitz or pound to a paste – it should be vibrant green. Then add the sesame oil.

4.) Heat a crockpot, add the paste and fry on a low heat for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, make up the stock then add this and the coconut milk to the pan.

5.) Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6.) Chop up the broccoli.

7.) Add the noodles and broccoli continue to simmer until cooked. Slice the lime in half. Chop up the coriander and mint leaves.

8.) Add the fish sauce, the soy sauce, squeeze in the juice of the lime. Tip in the cubes of squash. Give it a stir then serve in bowls. Garnish with mint and coriander.