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Anyone who’s been out late and drunk in Adelaide, has come across the legendary BBC (broad bean, bean curd chutney) at Ying Chow on Gouger St. Beloved of vegetarians, omnomnominovores alike, I’ve been searching for a version elsewhere. Having failed miserably, I’ve come up with a version which scratches the itch.

You need:

  • Peanut oil, 3 tbsp-ish
  • Pickled chinese cabbage (Ma Ling, Ming Fa, seems like they all come in yellow cans in your local asian grocer.)Good Choice Trading Inc.
  • Spicy fried tofu
  • Chillies to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • knob of ginger (maybe 1cm-ish)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Soy beans/Shelled edamame (can get frozen already shelled in most asian grocers) 300g or thereabouts. More if you like edamame
  • Chiu Chow Chilli Oil – 3 tsp of the oil and 1 of the chilli mixture
  • chilli flakes or chilli powder (optional to taste)

So take some peanut oil, 1 tbsp, and maybe 1 tsp of the chilli oil and some chilli flakes and fry up the spicy fried tofu (cut it into small, thin bits) until crisp and set aside
Take your chinese cabbage and give it a good rinse and chop it up finely and set aside
Boil the edamame (bout 3 min in salted water) and set aside

Putting it together
Then put remaining peanut oil, chilli oil and chilli oil (and chilli flakes/powder ifyou wish) mixture into your pan with finely cut garlic and ginger for a few minutes.
Once getting aromatic, chuck in the chinese cabbage and stir around for a couple of minutes
Add in the edemame and the tofu bits
Add in the fish sauce and the oyster sauce, fry up for another minute or so and then serve with steamed white rice

For the non vegetarian, a sliced duck breast is delicious with this
Get a duck breast, score the fat, rub in salt and chinese five spice into the fat and fry until desired level of done-ness. Slice thinly and drape over rice and BBC.


we were at a fancy shindig, and in the manner of students everywhere, keen to sample all the free food and grog available.
A tray of sushi was wafting enticingly around

student “Excuse me, is that vegetarian?”
waitress, after processing this and thinking mightily “I think it’s Japanese”

good. glad that was cleared up

So this is a grossly simplified and bastardised version of Simon Bryant’s dish (of Cook and Chef fame and head chef at Hilton Adelaide), which I’ve never had, but sounded nice. I probably should mention that it tastes pretty good and while probably not as nice as Simon Bryant’s version, it does take a heck of a lot less time and stuffing about.

laziness hint – good packet miso soup works fine as the broth and comes with seaweed in it. (i use the S & B ones which seem to be ubiquitous in Miso soup in australia)
you still need miso paste for the marinade though. You can get them in handy 1 use sachets which is great if you don’t make a lot of miso.

this is set for 1 portion


Piece o Fish – i used barramundi, but Kingfish or other firm meaty white fish would work
70gm Soba noodles
100ml mirin
2 tspn sugar
asian greens (i used bok choi and choi sum)
enoki mushrooms
shitake mushrooms
50gm miso paste
nori seaweed
silken tofu
chilli oil or chilli flakes
spring onion

bring 100ml of mirin and a dash of sake to a gentle boil
add in about 20gm per piece of fish of Miso paste
mix in 2 teaspons of sugar and mix well
dash of chilli oil or sprinkle of chilli flakes
leave it simmer for 5 min until it reduces a bit and is a little bit glazy

put the fish in a bowl and cover with the marinade for 30min at room temp

After marinade,
heat some oil in a pan and cook the fish so that its got a lovely caramelised glaze
about 3-5min each side

Noodle and broth
Bring water to boil, chuck in miso paste and nori seaweed
put in a sprinkle of chilli flakes/dash of chilli oil
stick in soba noodles
chuck in asian greens and cubed tofu about 2 min after noodles
chuck in mushrooms about 3 min after noodles
stir for another min.

To serve:
put in noodles, tofu and vegetables and mushrooms in a bowl (arrange as your artistic fancy takes you)
pour in broth
place the fish on top of it all
sprinkle with finely chopped spring onion

While I was in France, I had the pleasure of eating this particular entree which was spectacular. It consists of a nice chevre (goat’s cheese), cut like a sandwich with olive jam smeared through the middle. Then a green salad with sticky basalmic vinegar (i use Chris Jarman’s) topped it off. Simple delicious.

A shop called Olivier’s & Co on Rue Mouffetard, 5 eme Paris, stocked a version of this olive jam which also has lemony goodness in it – its salty and sweet and has this incredible complex yumminess to it.
Unfortunately everyone in Australia looks at you strangely if you ask for an olive jam.
BUT I found an online recipe at The traveler’s Lunchbox. Check it out!

If however you are teh LAZY like me I made up a simpler version

  • Buy a nice kalamata olive tapenade – mine was a wonderful mix of kalamata olives, olive oil, garlic, pepper, dijon mustard and anchovy.
  • Boil some water with lemon zest, some slices of lemon, honey, green apple and sugar. Fiddle with proportions as you see fit.
  • (For the record I made a small container – approx 150gm of olive tapenade, 300ml water, 1/3 lemon + zest, 1 green apple, 5 teaspoons honey, 4 teaspoons sugar.)
  • Boil your mixture down a bit until the apple goes somewhat mushy.
  • Strain and squash out as much juice as you can. I keep the smooshy apple bits to put in the jam.
  • Pop the olive tapenade into a small pot, whack in the liquid and smooshy apple bits, and reduce on low heat to desired thickness. Keep tasting and fiddle – depending on how salty your tapenade is, you may want to add in a bit more sugar/honey, or a bit more citrusy lemon.

Stick in the fridge. and tomorrow you will have a fantastically tasty olive jam. Spread it on nice crusty bread or do the above recipe. I did this for PBL minus the green salad – just smear a bit of chevre onto a wafer cracker, bit o’ jam and a tiny drizzle of sticky basalmic.

Being holidays, I thought I’d try and eat proper real food before launching back into the student staple of insta noodles



Lamb Ragout with Pasta

diced lamb
dill, parsely
tomato paste
red wine
beef stock

Coat the lamb with cornflower and quickly seal in a pan. (do some garlic while you’re at it) and then whack into a big pot of tomato paste and carrots and red wine and beef stock. Let it go simmer for 1.5hrs or so, add in brocolli, zucchini, mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes

meanwhile, cook up your pasta – I used some lovely hand rolled thingys.

Chuck it all together and enjoy with some red wine.

Christmas and New Years Yummies

Pan Fried Ocean Trout with Noodle Salad

Ocean Trout fillets, skin on
Masterfoods tuscan herb mixChilli Flakes/Piri Piri seasoning
Fish Sauce
Olive Oil

Lightly coat the fish with olive oil and generously cover with both seasonings, adjust chilliness to taste.
cook the vermicelli and dunk in cold water to chill
Cut up mango and cucumber into little cubes
Toss the mango and cucumber through the vermicelli and add in some sea salt, some mirin and fish sauce
On high heat or bbq, cook the fish – mostly on the skin side, and finish on a lower heat on the flesh side. You want to make nice charcoaly crust on the skin.


Puddles’ Blue Cheese Mussels

Nice idiot proof recipe – serves 6

2kg mussels
2 small onion or 1 big un
2 stick celery
1 leek
375ml fish stock
sea salt
1 lemon
120gms crumbly blue cheese (not blue brie. I  used Bleu d’Auvergne)
baby spinach
2 cups white wine
200ml thickened cream

so cut  the onion, leek and celery, and saute with butter until tender
add in fish stock, juice of lemon, wine, crumbled cheese, cream and baby spinach.
Bring to light boil – taste the soup and salt/pepper/sugar to taste
whack in the mussels
and watch closely as its easy to overcook.
once they open you’re done!

Serve with nice baguette to dip in the chowder


porcini risotto  for 4

Aborio rice 300-400gm depending on hungriness
half a bottle of white wine
2lt of chicken or vegetable stock
45gm dried porcini mushrooms
Salt, pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion

put the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl in hot water for 20min prior to cookin

in a pan, chop up onion and garlic and saute in butter
simultaneously have the stock simmering
once the mushies are done soaking, filter the mushroom juice (it may have dirt in it) and add to stock for extra mushroomy goodness
so once the onions are soft add in the aborio rice and toss around so the grains take on some colour and get nice and toasty.
add in a ladle of stock and stir
and continue doing this for ages until the rice is to your desired texture (i like it firmish)
I alternate the stock with the wine.
About 10-15 min from the end (ie a couple of ladles of stock left) add the mushrooms in.