Stir fried prawns on a bed of brown rice soba noodles

For all you prawn and Chinese food lovers here’s a simple recipe for some delicious jumbo prawns with healthy brown rice soba noodles.  We had it for supper last night with some stir fried vegetables dressed with garlic, soya sauce and Shaohsing wine.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 20 prawns de-veined, washed and patted dry
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 2 handfuls of brown rice soba noodle boiled and drained (keep in cold water to keep them separate)

For the marinade

  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp spiced black rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp Shaohsing wine
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • Dash of salt

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

First mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the prawns and allow to marinade for a couple of hours in the fridge.  Heat the wok and stir fry the prawns till cooked through.   Garnish with spring onions and add the cooked noodles.  Give it a good toss and serve in bowl.

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Vietnamese vegetable summer rolls

Tonight was a journey into the unknown as we prepared a Vietnamese inspired summer roll for dinner.  The dish is  a blend of South East Asian flavours (primarily Chinese) wrapped in a rice paper roll.  We came across the rice paper on one of our shopping trips to Wing Yip (a large Oriental supermarket in Croydon) and finally got to use it tonight.  We are hooked and will experiment a bit more with different fillings – we think once you have tried Vietnamese style rolls you will reconsider traditional fried spring rolls.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 6-8 closed cup mushrooms
  • 50 gms sweet corn
  • 1 small courgette
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaosin wine
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp spiced black rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Small handful of chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

For the garnish

  • Small handful of basil finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 4-5 leaves of lettuce shredded
  • 8 Vietnamese rice papers
  • Thai sweet chilli sauce to taste
  • Chinese red chilli sauce to taste

How much will I make?

8 summer rolls

How do I make it?

Chop all the ingredients into even sized pieces.  Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic and crushed red chillies.  Stir fry for 30 seconds before adding the peppers, onions and celery.  Cook for 5 minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.  Cook till done and then add the soy sauce, rice vinegars, rice wine and toasted sesame oil.   Adjust the seasoning and then add the chopped coriander.   Switch off the heat and keep mixture aside.

Soak the rice paper in warm water for a couple of seconds and once soft layer with lettuce, a pinch of the basil, spring onion and a tablespoon and a half of the cooked mixture.  Drizzle a little Thai sweet chilli sauce and Chinese red chilli sauce – wrap – enjoy.

Stir fried choi sum and mushrooms

Last night we had a Malaysian meal of chicken Rendang with brown rice soba noodles – the ingredients for the Rendang came pre-packaged but the simplicity of the dish has inspired me to make it from scratch next time.  I served the Rendang with some stir fried choi sum and mushrooms which was relatively quick and easy to make.   Both of us enjoyed the vegetable accompaniment so we have decided to share it with you.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 bunches of choi sum – washed and chopped to 3 inch pieces
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili
  • 1 tsp spiced black rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2 generous portions

How do I make it?

Heat wok and add vegetable oil.  Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds before adding the crushed red chili and repeating the process.  Add the sliced onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms.  Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the choi sum and cooking for another five minutes.  Adjust the seasoning and drizzle the spiced black rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Serve hot.

 

Chinese stir fried vegetables

I absolutely enjoyed pulling together a stir fried vegetable dish for lunch today.  As previously mentioned there are a few cupboard essentials when wanting to make Chinese food taste slightly more authentic (rice wine, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil) and today I want to add another one to the list – spiced black rice vinegar.   I was in my local Waitrose earlier today and was browsing the specialty oils and vinegar aisle when I spotted three combinations I haven’t come across before – apple balsamic vinegar, apply & cranberry balsamic vinegar and black rice vinegar.   I picked up all three and used the black rice vinegar in the stir fry.  I am looking forward to using the other two in a salad vinaigrette soon.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Handful of green beans cut in half
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 green pepper cubed
  • 2 carrots chopped into wedges
  • 6 large closed cup mushrooms quartered
  • 8 florets of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of choi sum (each stalk cut into 3-4 pieces)
  • 3 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chili
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Handful coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 tsp Shaosin wine
  • 3 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tsp spicy black rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
  • Dash of salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4 as a side dish

How do I make it?

Heat wok and pour oil in once hot.  Add ginger and garlic mince and stir for 30 seconds before adding the crushed red chili flakes.   Stir for another minute before adding green pepper, celery, carrot, beans, mushroom and broccoli.  Stir for five to eight minutes before adding the choi sum (choi sum only takes a couple of minutes to cook).  Then add the rice wine, vinegar, soya sauce and white pepper.  Adjust the seasoning before garnishing with spring onions and fresh coriander.   Serve hot with rice or noodles.

Chinese style pan fried fish

We’ve been pretty quiet for the last week and have not had time to  put pen to paper or keys to computer in this case 🙂  A couple of nights back I pulled together a wicked marinade which works incredibly well with either salmon or trout.  There are a few cupboard essentials that help bring out amazing Chinese flavour to dishes – rice wine vinegar, Shaohsing wine (rice wine), good quality soya sauce and toasted sesame oil.  Here’s a recipe that has worked well on the hob and now waiting with bated breath for good weather to try it on the barbecue.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 fillets of salmon or trout
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1″ ginger skinned and grated
  • 1 red bird’s eye chili chopped finely
  • 2 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • dash of black pepper
  • pinch of salt (optional)

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Wash and pat dry the fish fillets.  Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and place fish fillets in and ensure that the marinade is covering the fillets evenly.  Keep refrigerated for an hour minimum and allow the fish to get to room temperature before cooking.  Heat pan  in high and place fillets with marinade skin side down and cook for 6-8 minutes before gently turning over and cooking till done.  Serve with egg fried rice or salad of your choice. On this occasion I made a simple red pear and baby leaves salad and dressed it  with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Nikhita’s 19th birthday dinner

Cannot believe my little niece has just turned 19 – I can still remember holding her as a baby when I first got to Bahrain back in 1994.  Anna and I selfishly offered to host a dinner for her birthday and invite a couple of her closest friends so as to ensure she was with us on her birthday.  Nikhita fancied a Chinese meal and our challenge  to create a cohesive menu began.   We finally decided that it was going to be an all vegetarian affair as the majority and more importantly the birthday girl are vegetarians.  Anna also made a wicked mocktail which looked pretty as a peach and tasted even better.  I know chocolate cake is not exactly classified as a Chinese dessert but what’s a birthday party without cake!

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Starter

  • Vegetable spring rolls (store bought from Wing Yip)
  • Singapore Fling Mocktail

Main Course

  • Spicy tofu with vegetables (recipe from The Ultimate Chinese Cookbook by Linda Doeser)
  • Mushroom manchurian (recipe from http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/)
  • Stir fried Chinese greens
  • Stir fried noodles
  • Spicy egg fried rice

Dessert

Here are a couple recipes if you are interested in trying them out.

Singapore Fling Mocktail!

What do I need to make it?

  • 1/2 tall glass of cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 tall glass ginger beer (root beer if you are American)
  • 1 tsp Rose syrup (Roohafza)
  • Crushed ice
  • Strawberry cut into little pieces
  • Sprig of mint leaf

How do I make it?

Place crushed ice on the bottom of the glass and pour rose syrup over it.  Pour the cranberry juice first followed by the ginger beer.  Garnish with chopped strawberries and mint leaf.

Spicy egg fried rice

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 cups cooked rice cooled (used Basmati which surprisingly works well)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • 2 sprigs of green onions chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red chillies flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4-6

How do I make it?

Heat the wok till its hot.  Add oil and garlic and stir rapidly (don’t want the garlic to burn and leave a bitter taste) for a minute.  Add the red chilli flakes and stir for 30 seconds before adding the beaten eggs.  Scramble the eggs and then add cooled cooked rice.  Add salt, pepper, soy sauce and sesame seed oil and mix well.  Add the spring onions and mix through.  Switch off and serve hot.

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