Recipes - GONZALES

Julie and Joe Gonzales
Julie and Joe Gonzales
Julie and Joe Gonzales
Julie and Joe Gonzales
Title
Go to content
Recipes
We don't use recipes - mostly. However when someone asks us "how did you make that?" we don't mind writing it down for them, but we don't profess to be good recipe-writers. So here are just some of our cooking "notes". As always, try, taste, experiment. A good tip is to add a small quantity of a spice you think will work to a teaspoon of what you are making. If it tastes good add the spice to the main dish - but always go sparingly as "less is often more".
Index
Hokkien Noodles
We love a Chinese stir-fry. We love both egg and rice noodles. What could be better than these monster Hokkien egg noodles? The trick with authentic Chinese stir frys is to get the balance of salty, sweet, sour and umami tastes right. We always use a combination of "soy" sauces. We use Light Soy, Soy, Dark Soy, Sweet Soy (Kecap Manis) and Oyster sauce. We like to make our sauces from scratch using chillies, Sichuan pepper corns, fermented black beans, peanuts etc, depending on the type of sauce. We use a spoon of corn flour to thicken the sauce. Sometimes we make them separately, to taste. It is very important not to stew the stir-fry ingredients in the sauce as they will lose their crunch. We always add the sauce at the end, just before serving.

Preparation:

  1. Slice chicken thighs, skin-off, 3mm thick and marinate in a little soy sauce
  2. Pour boiling water over the Hokkien noodles in a bowl just to separate them without breaking
  3. Get all of the ingredients below ready (mise en place) for quick stir-frying

Add the following, in order, to the wok and stir-fry:

  1. Sliced half a red capsicum
  2. Sliced large red onion
  3. Julienned knob of ginger
  4. Sliced clove of garlic
  5. Fermented soy beans (about 20, optional)
  6. Sliced red chilli
  7. We like to add a few whole dry chillies for presentation. They don't add much heat if left intact.
  8. Sliced chicken thighs
  9. Hokkien noodles
  10. Soy sauce
  11. Oyster sauce
  12. Sugar to taste
  13. Corn flour (mixed into a smooth paste in a little water) only if required to make thicker, but still runny sauce

Garnish (to taste):

  1. Chopped Coriander
  2. Roasted crushed peanuts
  3. Thinly sliced red chillies
Curry Paste
Most Indian and some Thai and Malaysian recipes are based on curry - a gravy made from a dry spice mix, often called Garam Marsala, together with root vegetables. After making many different curries from scratch, we realised that we could save time by combining all the common ingredients into a curry paste, which we could keep ready in the fridge, and then we could just add the specific ingredients required to make different types of curry. For example, to make the following curry sauces, we use the our curry paste and then we add the following ingredients:

To make:

  1. Marsala - Add nothing
  2. Rendang - Add Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass
  3. Laksa - Add Fish Sauce and Chilli Oil
  4. Thai, Seafood - Add Coconut Milk, Tamarind and Lime Juice
  5. Tikka, Tandoori - Add Yogurt
  6. Korma, Pasanda - Add Yogurt
  7. Vindaloo, Madras - Add Chilli
  8. Rogan Josh, Jalfrezi - Add Tomato Paste
  9. Saag - Add Pureed Spinach and Paneer Cheese

Of course, each type of curry recipe involves a different process, depending on the protein (Chicken, Lamb, Goat, Beef, Fish, Cheese or None) used. Note also that the name and the precise recipe for each type of curry can have significant regional differences.

When using our curry paste, we first marinate the protein in it in the fridge for an hour or overnight. We then lightly brown the protein in a saucepan to seal it and to toast the spices. We then add any specific vegetable ingredients and cook it either slowly in a slow-cooker or quickly in a pressure-cooker (with a slow cool-down cycle, after which the gravy may need to be reduced separately). We stir in the additional fresh curry sauce ingredients, as shown above, to the final dish. Do not boil the yoghurt or it may split.

To make 250ml of curry paste:

1. Finely grind the following hard spices the in a spice grinder:
50 cardamon pods - remove the husks
20 black peppercorns
4-8 dried red chillies, as you like
6 cloves
2 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mace
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp black and/or white mustard seeds

2. Transfer the ground spices to a mixing bowl and add the following powdered spices:
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt

3. Blend the following chopped root vegetables, in a blender, with a little water to make a fine paste:
3 large red chillies
1/2 lemon - juiced
1.5 inch ginger
1.5 inch galangal
1.5 inch turmeric
4 cloves garlic
6 curry leaves
2 red onion

4. In a saucepan, on medium heat, cook the following ingredients for about 10 minutes to make a dark, thick paste:
toast the dry spice powder for 1 minute
add 100ml vegetable oil
add the wet root vegetable paste
add 2 tbsp crushed palm sugar

5. Cover the paste with oil and refrigerate.


Chicken Biryani


OK, this is the tastiest and least unhealthy version of Chicken Biryani! If you want the least unhealthy version, just leave out everything, except the water and mint leaves. If you want the most unhealthy version, use ghee instead of oil and chicken thighs with the skin on! If making money is only your tertiary objective: Add ½ tsp of saffron stamens to the yoghurt.

You can do the final cooking of this dish in one of two ways:
Option 1: Quickly, in a microwave rice cooker (Serves 2)
Option 2: For one hour, in a dough-sealed casserole dish, in the oven (Dum biryani - Serves 4)

If you choose option 2 you should double all the ingredients below.

Marinated chicken:
In a spice grinder, finely grind hard spices:
5 black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 star anise
3 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ - 1 dried red chilli, seeds removed
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
Transfer to the mixing bowl. Add spice powders and chicken:
2 tsp corn flour
1 tsp cardamon powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp turmeric
3 chicken thighs, skin off, cut in to 4 large pieces
Mix to coat the chicken. Cover to marinate 1 hour or overnight.

Par-boiled rice:
In a microwave rice cooker place:
1 cup basmati rice
1½ cups cold water
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
5 green cardamon pods (or ½ tsp cardamon powder)
Cook for 4 minutes on high, 4 minutes on low. The rice will not have absorbed all the water and still be firm.

Crispy-fried onions:
In a mixing bowl, add:
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1 tsp corn flour
1 tsp salt
Toss the onions to coat them in cornflour and salt
Fry in 8 tbsp vegetable oil, in a frypan, on very high, stirring continuously, for up to 30 minutes, until the moisture in the onions evaporates and they turn crispy and very lightly brown. Do not let them turn dark-brown.
Spread the onions out on a large plate to cool, leaving the oil in the frypan.

Garnishes:
Finely shred 1 cup mint leaves.
Toast 2 tbsp sliced almonds.

Final assembly and cooking:
In a frypan, on high, quickly seal and brown the marinated chicken in 8 tbsp vegetable oil. Just until the spices are fragrant.
De-glaze the pan: Add 1/2 cup water to make a gravy. Stir until the gravy is thick.
Transfer the chicken & gravy back to the mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup thick yogurt to the chicken and mix quite hard until the yogurt turns yellow.
For option 1: Remove the par-boiled rice from the rice cooker to another mixing bowl.

Create the following layers in the rice cooker or the casserole dish:
  1. Marinated chicken in yogurt
  2. Par-boiled rice
  3. Crispy onions
  4. Mint leaves
  5. Par-boiled rice
  6. Marinated chicken in yogurt
  7. Par-boiled rice
  8. Crispy onions
  9. Mint leaves

Option 1:
Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, then on low for 10 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Invert the rice cooker on a serving plate to make a mound of layered rice.
Option 2:
Mix 1 cup of plain flour with sufficient water to make a stiff dough.
Form the dough into a long roll and use it to line the top rim of the casserole dish.
Cover the casserole dish with the lid and cook at 120 degrees in the oven for an hour

Sprinkle the biryani with toasted almonds slices and mint leaves.
Serve with cucumber Raita.
Warn guests not to eat the whole spices in the rice, or remove them.
Chicken Fried-Rice Biryani
While the above recipe is more authentic, it is time-consuming and tricky to get the right amount of moisture in the rice. Sometimes the rice can be under or over cooked. The following recipe is dead easy. If you like Chinese fried-rice you will love this: Succulent morsels of Indian spiced chicken in perfectly cooked fried rice.

Spices:
In a spice grinder, finely grind these spices:
5 black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 star anise
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 dried red chilli, seeds removed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamon powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder

Chicken:
  1. Prepare 3 chicken thighs, skin off. Cut each into 8 large pieces.
  2. Sprinkle over the powdered spices, mix to thoroughly coat the chicken.
  3. Cover to marinate 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.

Rice:
In a microwave rice-cooker place:
1 cup basmati rice
1½ cups cold water
1 tsp chicken stock powder or 2 cubes
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
5 green cardamon pods (or ½ tsp cardamon powder)
  1. Cook for 4 minutes on high, 6 minutes on low. The rice will have absorbed all the water.
  2. Turn out the rice onto a large, greased plate or baking tray.
  3. Spread it around and turn it a few times to release the steam.

Onion:
Dice 1 large red onion

Wok:
  1. Place a clean wok on a gas stove or wok burner.
  2. Use kitchen paper to add a thin coat of vegetable oil to the wok.
  3. Turn on the range-hood fan.
  4. Heat the wok on a high flame until it is smoking hot.
  5. Add the rice, but do not stir it for a minute or it will stick.
  6. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and ½ tsp salt to taste.
  7. Gently stir-fry the rice with a wok shovel for a few minutes, reducing the moisture in the rice.
  8. Keep the heat very high. It is OK if the rice has some burnt spots. This is wok-hei - The breath of the wok.
  9. Transfer the rice to a large, warm serving plate.
  10. Add the diced onion to the wok and stir-fry until it is browned.
  11. Transfer the onion to the large, warm serving plate, on top of the rice.
  12. Add the chicken to the wok, but do not stir it for a minute or it will stick.
  13. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and ½ tsp salt to taste.
  14. Gently stir-fry the chicken with a wok shovel for a few minutes until it is cooked right through.
  15. Turn down the heat to low.
  16. Add ½ cup thick yogurt.
  17. Stir to gently to coat the chicken and heat the yogurt, but do not boil it or it will split.
  18. Transfer the chicken to the large, warm serving plate, on top of the onion and rice.
  19. Sprinkle the biryani with toasted almonds slices and mint leaves.

Serving:
  1. Transfer the layers of chicken, rice and onion to small serving plates.
  2. Serve with cucumber raita.
  3. Warn guests not to eat the whole spices in the rice.
  4. Fried-rice is always better refrigerated overnight and gently reheated the next day.
Char Siu
  1. Place pork fillets in into a large zip-lock bag. Cut them to size, if necessary, instead of folding them.
  2. Add a tablespoon or so of bright-red food colouring
  3. Massage the food colouring into the meat
  4. Seal the bag and marinate overnight in the refrigerator
  5. Next day, mix and add a few tablespoons of the following to the bag:
    1. For Japanese style: Dark soy sauce, mirin, sake and honey to the bag
    2. For Chinese style: Soy sauce, hoisin sauce, shaoxing, Chinese five-spice and brown sugar to the bag
  6. Sous-Vide the bag for 1 to 4 hours at 63°C
  7. Remove the meat to a saucepan and save the marinade
  8. Blowtorch the meat to add some surface charring and set aside to rest
  9. Add the marinade to the saucepan
  10. Simmer the marinade for 15 minutes
  11. Pass the marinade through a sieve to remove any white pork protein then return the marinade to the saucepan
  12. Reduce the marinade to a thick glaze
  13. Slice the meat into medallions, 3 to 4 mm thick
  14. Serve the medallions, layered on the glaze, beside some steamed rice.
Quick Rice
This technique avoids the lengthy process of thoroughly washing the rice (for sushi rice), precise liquid measurements and cooking times, and having to keep the rice overnight (for fried rice). By carefully monitoring the moisture content of the rice, it will make perfect rice every time.

  1. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan
  2. Add medium grain or sushi rice to the saucepan
  3. For fried rice, add some slices of dried shiitake mushrooms to the saucepan
  4. Boil for 12 minutes or just until the rice no longer has a hard centre and becomes chewy
  5. For fried rice, remove the shiitake mushrooms to a chopping board.
  6. Strain the rice
  7. Pour over an extra cup of fresh boiling water
  8. Allow the rice to drain completely
  9. Spread the rice to cover a large flat plate
  10. Microwave the rice on high for three minutes, opening the microwave door every minute to allow steam to escape
  11. Remove the plate from the microwave and allow the rice to cool, at least until it stops steaming
  12. The rice may be used immediately for sushi rice or egg fried rice
Sushi Rice
  1. Transfer the rice to a stainless steel bowl
  2. Dissolve one part of sugar to two parts of rice wine vinegar in the microwave
  3. Add the sweetened vinegar to the rice as required for the desired sushi rice taste. Do not add too much.
  4. Mix the vinegar into the rice using a rice spatula in a chopping motion
  5. Spread the rice around the sides of the bowl to allow it to cool. Accelerate the process using a fan or by partly immersing the bowl into cool water.
  6. Use the rice for sushi when it reaches room temperature
Egg Fried Rice
  1. Whisk an egg in a bowl
  2. Heat some oil in a large, flat-bottomed, non-stick frypan. You can use a wok, but it will be harder to toss.
  3. Add some of the egg to the frypan, sufficient to create a very thin round crêpe
  4. Flip the crêpe once, when cooked on one side, and then remove it to a chopping board
  5. Repeat if there is more egg
  6. Slice the egg crêpes into thin ribbons, about 1cm long
  7. Slice and dice the shiitake mushrooms into small pieces
  8. Slice, and finely dice, one spring onion
  9. Transfer the rice to the frypan
  10. Toss the rice with a little oil on medium heat
  11. Use a blowtorch to slightly blacken the top layer of the oily rice, simulating the “wok hey” flavour and appearance
  12. Fry the rice on medium heat, tossing continuously.
  13. Keep reducing the moisture content of the rice until it is the right fried rice chewy consistency
  14. If necessary, add just a little more oil to make the rice glisten. Do not make the rice too oily.
  15. Add the egg ribbons, spring onions and shiitake mushrooms
  16. Toss for another few minutes
  17. Take off the heat and rest for 10 minutes before serving
Cherry Amaretti Bites
These are bite-size amaretti with a whole cherry on top! Great with coffee or on ice cream.

In a mixing bowl, mix and combine:
400g almond Meal
200g castor sugar
60g egg white powder (½ packet of Pavlova Magic)
1 tsp almond essence
100ml water

Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour
Roll into a long round log, 15mm in diameter, on the cling film cut into equal 15mm slices
Wet hands and gently roll each slice into a ball
Place each ball on a silicone mat (or backing paper)
Press down each ball to form a biscuit.
Push a whole glace cherry (or whole almond) into the centre
Refrigerate 1 hour
Bake at 160 degrees Celsius, fan forced, for 40 minutes, turning the tray every 10 minutes, until biscuits turn very light brown.
Cool for 10 minutes, before peeling the amaretti off the silicone mat. Transfer to a wire rack.

Microwave Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding
Pudding Mix:
2 tbsp Margarine
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp White Sugar
2 tbsp Hot Chocolate Powder
350ml Milk
1 Egg
Mix all the above in a microwave rice cooker with electric beaters on high.
Switch to low and add 4-8 tbsp Self-Raising Flour or until it forms a thick cake batter.
Beat on high to aerate until the mixture is a lighter colour.
Sprinkle 2 tbsp Hot Chocolate Powder and 2 tbsp Brown Sugar over the top of the batter.
Pour in 350ml Boiling Water over the back of a spoon.
Microwave on the lowest setting for 20 mins.
Serve with vanilla icecream.
Golden Syrup Pudding
Pudding Mix:
2 tbsp Margarine
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp White Sugar
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
350ml Milk
1 Egg
Mix all the above in a microwave rice cooker with electric beaters on high.
Switch to low and add 4-8 tbsp Self-Raising Flour or until it forms a runny cake batter.
Beat on high to aerate until the mixture is white.
Microwave on the lowest setting for 25 mins.
Keep in the microwave rice cooker until ready to serve, so the pudding does not dry out when hot.
Heat 4 tbsp Strawberry Jam or any sauce like Butterscotch or Lemon etc in a microwave-proof bowl.
To serve: Invert over a serving dish. Pour hot sauce over the top.
Serve with Vanilla Custard and/or Ice-Cream.
Chilli (American Style)
Add each of the following prepared ingredients to a microwave-proof deep dish (or microwave rice cooker):
1 can of beans: Baked beans or kidney beans - your choice.
1 can of diced Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp Mexican chilli powder - more or less to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 red onion, finely diced and browned in oil in a saucepan on the stove.
500g lean mince beef, browned in oil then blended to a paste using a stick mixer in a saucepan on the stove.
Stir, cover and microwave on the lowest setting for 20 mins
Serve with corn tortilla strips
Perfect Pesto
Bunch Fresh Basil
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
70g Pine Nuts
100g Parmesan Cheese (Grana Padano)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cream basil in Mortar & Pestle with lemon juice
Lightly toast pine nuts in frypan on medium heat (toss continuously)
Cool nuts and Grind in M&P
Grate in Parmesan cheese and add olive oil
Minestrone Soup
In a saucepan add:
2 tbs Olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Onion, 1 Carrot, 1/3 Capsicum, 1 Potato, 1 Zucchini, 1 large Mushroom, diced
1 can of Borlotti beans and Chickpeas, including liquid
Real chicken stock to just cover vegetables
Gently simmer for 25 minutes
Add chopped Spinach, Parsley, Basil
Gently simmer for 5 minutes
Remove 1/3 of the chunky vegetables and set aside
Puree remainder with stick mixer - but not too fine
Recombine chunky vegetables
Serve with coarsely ground salt and grated Parmesan cheese
You can add tomato, but we prefer greens
Tastes even better when reheated the next day
Saikyo Miso Salmon - Tetsuya’s
Marinate Salmon in Saikyo Miso overnight
Remove most of the marinade
Skewer and Grill
Tomato, Ginger and Wasabi Salad
Slice tomatoes
Add Japanese Ginger in Syrup
Mix Wasabi in Ginger Syrup to make a dressing
Sprinkle with Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese red chilli spice mix)
Tuna Cruskets (Japanese)
Tuna in oil
Lemon juice
Ginger and syrup
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese red chilli spice mix)
Spread on Crusket biscuits over a slice of cheese
Egg Noodles (Lo Mein/Ramen)
1 Egg
1 cup Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baked bi-carbonate of soda
Knead, rest, roll and cut in pasta machine, dry
Soy Sauce for Egg Noodles
Kecap Manis
Fried Shallots
Fried Garlic
Sriracha
Chicken stock powder or fresh chicken stock
Ramen
Egg Noodles (above)
Soy Sauce for Egg Noodles (above)
Fresh chicken stock
Garnish with Sliced Pork, Shinachiku Root, Sliced Fish Cake, Nori
Miso soup
Shiro miso
Wakame
Fried tofu with Shichimi Togarashi
Chicken stock or Bonito broth (Dashi)
Tuna Cruskets (Mexican)
Tuna in oil
Lemon juice
Black Pepper
jalapeños
Gherkin Spread
Spread on Crusket biscuits over a slice of cheese
Tortilla Chips
10 Old Mini Flour Tortillas
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Salt
Cut tortillas into chips
Sprinkle with oil and salt
Bake
Seafood Chowder
Roux:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp margarine
250ml milk
1 tsp chicken stock powder or 2 cubes
1 tsp Genuine Old Bay Seasoning or
1 tsp of this recipe:
4 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder

Mirepoix:
1 cup carrot
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup red capsicum
2 Bayleaves

Seafood:
250g Marinara Mix

Method:
This entire recipe can be cooked in a microwave-proof bowl in the microwave, or in a saucepan on the stove.
Cook Mirepoix in 1/2 cup water with the stock powder or cube
Use a stick-mixer to puree the Mirepoix
Transfer the Mirepoix to a separate bowl
Melt the margarine, then add the flour
Whisk-in enough milk to make a runny sauce with no lumps
Add the Mirepoix back into the Roux
Add the Seafood
Cook for 2 more minutes
Pad Thai
Surprisingly, this recipe has been the hardest for us to get right over the years; even after we spent a day together cooking at the Blue Elephant school in Bangkok, the results were always inconsistent. Of course, Thai street food vendors can knock it up, perfectly each time, in just minutes. However, with more time now to think about it and practice it, we think we have finally perfected it.

It is quite a technical dish, despite it being called “stir-fry”. It requires very organised 'mise en place'; getting the frypan at the right temperature; quickly adding new ingredients and constantly moving other ingredients to the side to fry each one to perfection.

The pressure points are getting the noodles soft, but not falling apart and getting the sauce to the right runny consistency before the noodles soak it all up. The final sauce should not split, but have that “wok hei” from a blast of heat just at the end of cooking. Pad Thai must be garnished and eaten immediately.

Pad Thai recipe

Sauce:
1 tsp Tamarind purée
2 tsp Fish sauce
3 tsp Palm sugar
4 tsp hot Water
Mixed together in 1 Small bowl

Noodles:
1 handfull of Pad Thai (thin rice) noodles in
1heatproof Bowl
1 kettle warm water
1 Strainer

Stir fry:
In separate small bowls:
1 tbsp Dried shrimp chopped
1 Egg slightly beaten
1/2 block Firm tofu chopped
8 Prawns
1/2 Chicken breast thinly sliced and marinated in 1 tsp Soy sauce
40 Bean sprouts
8 tbsp Peanut oil
1 large frypan
1 heatproof bowl

Garnish:
In separate small bowls:
5 tsp Coriander stems finely chopped
2 tsp Peanuts roasted and finely chopped
1 tsp thinly sliced chilli
2 Lime wedges

Method:
Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with warm water for 10 minutes or until just flexible.

In a dry frypan roast the peanuts until just coloured and then set-aside in a small bowl. Add the dried shrimp to the frypan and roast until fragrant. Add 4 tbsp of the oil. Move the dried shrimp to one side. Add the egg and lightly scramble it. Break up the egg and move it to one side. Add the tofu. Fry the tofu until golden. Add chicken and fry until just browned. Add the prawns and fry them until just pink. Add bean sprouts. Quickly stir all the ingredients together then empty them into a large heatproof bowl.

Add 4 tbsp of the oil to the hot frypan. Drain noodles and add them to the frypan. Add the sauce to frypan. Stir the noodles with a fork until they absorb some of the sauce and become quite soft (not al dente) and sticky. Add some more boiling water to thin the sauce to a runny consistency. Return the stir-fried ingredients to the frypan. Toss to mix all the ingredients on high heat. Add more boiling water if the mixture is too thick and sticky. Empty the ingredients into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the garnish, serve and eat immediately.
Beef Rendang
Dry Spices:
Grind in mortar and pestle
1 tbsp fennel seeds
5 star anise ground
5 whole cloves
1/4 cup cashews, peanuts or macadamia nuts
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cardamon powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp salt

Spice Paste:
Blend in food processor
2 blocks palm sugar
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cm piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cm piece galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
5 fresh red chillies, seeds and membrane removed. Soak if dried.
4 tbsp coconut milk, or enough to blend
Pressure Cooker:
1 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
2 Red onions, finely chopped - Fry until caramelised
Add dry spices - Fry until fragrant
Add spice paste - Fry until dark brown, stirring continuously for 5 min
Add 1kg oyster blade or chuck steak cut into 4 cm cubes, stir to coat
Add remainder of 1 can of coconut milk
Pressure cook for 40 mins. Cool under cold water.
Remove excess oil with ladle
Remove meet pieces to serving plate - cover with cling film
Simmer to reduce sauce until thick
Pour sauce over meat and serve.
Labneh
1 kg Tub Farmer's Union Thick Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Salt
Muslin Cloth (or clean, large, white hanky)
Mix in salt, place in cloth
Suspend cloth in plastic container, using tight-fitting lid to hold yogurt off the bottom
Place in fridge over one or two nights. Drain daily.
Replace labneh in original yogurt tub
Chestnut Pate
20 Chestnuts
1 tbsp Margarine
Coarse Salt
Boil chestnuts for 1 hour
Split while hot and scoop out meat with teaspoon
Add margarine and salt
Great filling for tortellini
Chorizo Pate
2 Cured (not fresh) Chorizo Sausages, skinned
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Port wine
Skin and Chop sausages roughly
Place in high-walled plastic container
Blitz with stick mixer until smooth
Great filling for tortellini
Harissa Sauce
Olive oil
1 red capsicum
1 red onion
Turmeric powder
Cumin powder
Cardamon powder
1 Chilli powder
Paprika
Chicken stock powder
Sugar
Tomato purée
1 lemon
Satay Sauce
Satay sauce is a sweet, spicy, peanut-flavoured sauce perfect for pouring over satay sticks or adding to in stir-frys. Kashmiri chilli powder provides that authentic red, shiny finish, without too much heat. Use finely diced onions for a chunky sauce or blended onions for a smooth sauce.

Ingredients
Wet ingredients:
  • 3 tbs of oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced or blended
  • 1 tsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 4 tbs water
  • 3 tbs of coconut cream
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbs smooth peanut butter
Dry ingredients:
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method
  1. Add oil to a small saucepan
  2. Fry onions for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly, until likely browned
  3. Add ginger & garlic paste
  4. Continue frying for 1 minute, or until fragrant
  5. Add dry spices
  6. Continue frying for 1 minute, or until fragrant
  7. Reduce to low heat
  8. Add 4 tbs of water
  9. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until oil separates
  10. Add coconut cream, soy sauce and peanut butter
  11. Continue cooking, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes, or until oil separates.
  12. Adjust consistency by adding water
  13. Adjust taste by adding salt or sugar   
Sweet Chilli Jam
Olive oil
Onions
Chillies
Sugar
Caramelise onions in olive oil
Add chillies and sugar
Tomato Salsa
  • 400g diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp diced jalapeños
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix together and serve. Add more chilli to taste.

Tomato Salsa Ingredients

Tomato Salsa and Corn Chips
Vietnamese Bahn Mi - Bruschetta style:
Inspired by the famous Vietnamese sandwich in a French baguette, this version is easier to serve and eat.

  1. Cut chicken thighs into 5mm strips
  2. Dry marinate chicken with cumin, coriander, salt, pepper for an hour
  3. Flash fry chicken in a little oil for a minute. Blowtorch it for extra colour.
  4. Allow chicken to rest
  5. Make concentrated Nước Mam Chấm:
    1. In a glass: Dissolve 5 tsp of sugar in 3 tsp apple cider vinegar using a microwave for 10s
    2. Add 2 tbsp fish sauce
    3. Add 1 tsp oyster sauce
    4. Add 1/4 tsp Sriracha
    5. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  6. Cut carrot, deseeded long chillies and cucumber into a fine brunoise. Place in a small bowl.
  7. Add to the vegetables a very fine chiffonade/dice of:
    1. Western Mint  
    2. Vietnamese Mint
    3. Thai Basil
  8. Add 1 tbsp of concentrated Nước Mam Chấm to the vegetables
  9. Slice baguette or sourdough into 1cm thin, 10cm wide ovals.
  10. Fry one side of the bread in a little olive oil until golden brown
  11. Spread each slice with a little chicken/cognac Pâté
  12. Layer the chicken on the Pâté
  13. Carefully spoon the vegetables on the chicken
  14. Drizzle with a little qewpie mayonnaise and serve
Singapore Chilli Crab
Reverse-engineered from the Long Beach seafood restaurant at the East Coast Fishing Village, Singapore. The sauce was a perfect replica. The crab used was Western Australian blue swimmer crab, raw, hand-picked frozen meet, which is not the same as a whole mud crab in the shell, but the flavour was pretty good all the same. The Mantou buns were shallow fried, not deep-fried, but pretty close to the original.



  1. Pressure Cook 4 chicken frames on high, with two glasses of water for 30 minutes.  
  2. Cool quickly and strain off the chicken stock
  3. Add 2 cups of real chicken stock with chicken fat to a frypan.
  4. Add 250 g thawed frozen crab meat
  5. Bring  the chicken stock to the boil.
  6. Reduce to a simmer for 5 min
  7. Strain crab meat and set aside
  8. Return chicken stock to the fry pan
  9. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste.
  10. Add 2 tsp of sugar
  11. Add 1 tsp of puréed, deseeded long red chilli
  12. Add 1/2 of a cup of tomato juice.
  13. Stir and reduce a little until the red oil splits out.
  14. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl.
  15. Pour 1/2 of the beaten egg, in a thin stream, into the boiling sauce while beating with a whisk.
  16. Season with salt to taste
  17. Serve the sauce in a large bowl with a ball of crab meat in the middle. Dip the buns into the sauce!
  18. Fried Mantou buns:
    1. Put a sachet of dry yeast into a mixing bowl
    2. Add a cup of warm water
    3. Add 2 tsp sugar and stir.
    4. Wait until the yeast activates
    5. Add all purpose flour, in stages, and mix with a butter knife until smooth
    6. Add 2 tbsp oil
    7. Add 1 tsp salt
    8. Add all purpose flour, in stages, and mix with a butter knife until firm
    9. Cover and allow to rise for up to 30 minutes
    10. Roll and cut the dough into thin sausages
    11. Deep fry, or shallow fry while turning, until golden
Vietnamese Bò Nướng Lá Lốt - Grilled beef (and pork) in wild Betel Leaves
Fragrant and juicy parcels of succulent meat, exploding with Vietnamese flavours, all wrapped in a charred Betel leaves



  1. Finely chop the following items in a food processor:
    1. 4 clove garlic
    2. 1 long red deseeded chilli
    3. White part of a thinly sliced lemon grass shoot
    4. 1 chopped spring onion
  2. Transfer the ingredients to a mixing bowl
  3. Add 500g mince beef (not lean)
  4. Add 500g mince pork (not lean)
  5. Add 2 tbsp fish sauce
  6. Add 2 tsp sugar
  7. Add 1 tsp cumin
  8. Add 1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
  9. Add 1/4 tsp MSG
  10. Add 1/4 tsp salt
  11. Add 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  12. Mix thoroughly
  13. Pick wild betel leaves (verify they are La Lot/Piper sarmentosum, not betel nut leaves) leaving 1 cm of stem attached
  14. Wash and dry the leaves
  15. Place the leaves, shiny side down, stem facing upwards on a clean kitchen towel
  16. Place 1-2 tsp of meat mix at the bottom near the pointy end of the leaves
  17. Tightly roll the leaves upward
  18. Use a toothpick to make a small hole in the leaf so you can insert the stem into the leaf to secure it
  19. Place the leaves, stem side down, in a warm fry pan with a little oil
  20. Fry on low heat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally
  21. Remove the rolls from the fry pan when they are very slightly charred - Do not overcook to keep them juicy
Back to content