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Showing posts from 2012

Salt and Pepper Squid Recipe

There's nothing wrong with succumbing to the occasional takeaway, and I've recently been craving a lot of Chinese food. Our usual order includes Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls (for him) and Salt and Pepper Squid (for me).

The thing is, with seafood particularly, the portions can be rather parsimonious, so sometimes I'll crack out my wok and make a massive batch of my beloved S&P Squid just for me ...

Salt and Pepper Squid Recipe 

Serves 2-4

2 large whole squid, cleaned and prepared, cut into rings, or into triangles and then scored in a diamond shape, plus tentacles 3 tbsp cornflour 3 tbsp plain flour 2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed 2 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp five spice1 egg white Groundnut or other flavourless oil for frying
4 spring onions, thinly sliced at an angle (keep white and green parts in two separate piles)4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced2 Thai chillies, preferably red, de-seeded and then thinly sliced at an angle
Dipping sauce 

1 shallot, diced 1 Thai chilli, …

Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas This Weekend

If you have even the slightest leanings towards being an otaku ie Japanese geekdom, you absolutely have to go to Hyper Japan Christmas this weekend.Even if you haven't, it's a wonderful day out anyway.

I went to the Spring Hyper Japan event in February, and it's the closest I've come to feeling like I was actually in Tokyo - the clothes (and that includes the visitors), the shops, the food, the games. 

There are street fashion shows, martial arts and technology displays, sushi workshops, sake tastings, music and film showings and even a cosplay parade.

Hyper Japan definitely tends towards the trendy side of Japan, although there is also traditional food, drink and even beautiful pottery.

The pictures I took will explain better. Just go and immerse yourself in Japanese culture!

Meemalee on the Good Food Channel; Woman & Home's 100 Best Food Blogs

Some nice bits of news to share with you all:

Firstly, I've been invited to join the chefs on the Good Food Channel website, so stay tuned to see more of my recipes there. 

This is a massive honour - I'm rubbing shoulders with the likes of Michel Roux Jnr and Nigella Lawson, and I've also joined my friend Uyen Luu, the Vietnamese chef, supperclub host, stylist and writer of Leluu.

Secondly, I've been picked by Woman & Home magazine as one of their 100 Best Food Blogs
There are so many other wonderful blogs on the list, so I'm very proud to be there in their International category.

Lastly, I'm delighted to be part of the first Blog Carnival on the marvellous Betty from author of The 52 Seductions, Betty Herbert - the theme is "Sex, Love and Relationships" ...

Marbled Tea Eggs Recipe

I've not been able to eat soft-boiled eggs recently, so I've been trying to find ways to pimp hard-boiled ones to make them more interesting.

One of my favourite methods is to turn them into Tea Eggs (aka Marble Eggs and Tea Leaf Eggs) - a classic snack throughout Asia which probably originated in China, where eggs are hard-boiled, cracked gently, and then simmered in a mix of tea, soy and spices to achieve a beautiful crazy paving effect all over - and a flavourful kick.

Tea eggs are easy to make and it's incredibly satisfying to see the cobweb patterns appear.

Marbled Tea Eggs 6 eggs2 tbsp black tea leaves or two black tea bags - I like Lapsang Souchong for smoky flavour, though Pu-Ehr is more usual2 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tbsp light soy sauce2 tbsp sugar 4 star anise 2 cinnamon sticks1 tsp five spice powder1 tsp of cracked black peppercorns
Hard boil the eggs in a saucepan of water that's just big enough to fit them, and then drain. As soon as the eggs are cool enough to …

Phil Howard of the Square - Chef MasterClass

The Square in London has been around since 1991 and, during that time, it has built a reputation for understated excellence, earning two Michelin stars along the way. 

This is in no small part down to its chef and co-owner Philip Howard - one of the few "named" chefs who can still be found in the kitchen.

Howard was recently voted Chef's Chef of the Year at the National Restaurant Awards, and I was pleased to play a small role in The Kitchen Foundation from the Square - his Masterclass series where he shares culinary tips, tricks and secrets which he has gleaned and developed over the years.

These videos are to celebrate the Square's 21st Birthday and also to promote Howard's new cookbook The Square Cookbook - Volume 1 - Savoury - a real labour of love, documenting over 100 savoury recipes from the Square. 

I have just been given a copy and it's been a while since I've seen such a stunning (and hefty) tome. 

Volume 2 - Sweet comes out from Absolute Press in Ju…

EAT. and the Rise of the Culinary Travesty

I work in the City. Lunch options are scanty - throw a stone and you'll hit an identikit franchise serving variations on the same inedible theme - Pret, EAT., Chop'd, Tossed, Crussh.

Bitter experience should have taught me that whenever one of these places launches a new dish, it won't be any good, yet foolish hope springs eternal and on occasion I will return.

More recently I've come across instances of what might even be called cultural insensitivity.

EAT. are by far the worst culprit - here are just three examples of how their R & D department are completely rubbish.

Exhibit 1: Their "Udon Ramen". Udon Ramen. UDON RAMEN.

Udon is one type of Japanese noodle. Ramen is an entirely different type of Japanese noodle. This dish of theirs actually comprises a vague stock plus udon noodles. So it's udon. Not ramen.

It's the equivalent of a restaurant serving a dish called Rice Pasta, or Spring Roll Cannelloni.


Exhibit 2: Their "L…

Easy Kimchi Recipe

Kimchi. Practically the national dish of Korea, this potent pickle is pungent, sour, spicy and unnecessarily delicious.

It works well as a condiment or side dish, in stews and curries, with rice and noodles, and even in a sandwich or bun - in fact, a kimchi hotdog seems to be de rigueur these days.

Till recently, I've been lazy and got packets or tubs of the stuff from Oriental supermarkets, but I discovered that it's both cheap and easy to make yourself. This is a good thing as I recently had to make a shed-load for my Momofuku tribute dinner Lunchy Peach.

The recipe looks long but I wanted to show you all the steps - it's really straightforward.

And you can tweak the flavours (saltier, sweeter, sourer) so it tastes even better than shop-bought.

(Burmese) shrimp paste, similar to belacan, is my secret ingredient for extra umami - other recipes add chopped-up oysters, dried shrimp or squid, but you could do without and just ramp up the fish sauce.

I've gone for tradit…