soy sauce

Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts

SS and I just celebrated 5 years of being together, in Hong Kong. I mention this because while exploring Soho one sleepy Sunday, we stumbled upon a store called Pantry Magic, which transported me back to any good European or American kitchenware stores (picture a Williams Sonoma meets Divertimenti) – from where I took home the pictured gorgeous wok, perfect for cooking up Asian fare at home, without taking up too much space in my already congested pantry cupboard! Now, one Sunday after that purchase was made, I decided to use my Clean Foods cookbook (for much needed detox after last night’s revelry and general HK indulgences!) and repeat this Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts which I previously made with some pak choi, but this time left it out.

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Sushi Rice Bowl with Miso Glazed Vegetables

In the last decade, I’ve made sushi a few times, the bulk being predominantly in college (and once, not so long ago). One Saturday in my third year, the Japanese society was holding a sushi-making workshop in a heavily (food & safety) regulated part of campus, and the fact that there were no open flames (rice cooker for the rice was the shortcut), just knives and raw fish (and some vegetables for the likes of just me), seemed to pass their safety standards agreeably. The afternoon that ensued was great, learning the tricks that have been passed down from generation to generation, not the chef’s secrets, but honest home versions of a world-famous Japanese favourite. The most intriguing part for me was the precision and linear way in which each filling was cut and prepared. One of the most essential tips that have stayed with me till now (even though I didn’t take any pictures or notes there) is the specific urgency in which the rice vinegar is fanned while being added and mixed into the hot sushi rice – it’s what makes all the difference and successfully elevates the sushi rice.
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Hoisin Glazed Tofu in Miso Broth with Soba Noodles

Never underestimate the strength and benefits of local produce. Although I have in the not so distant past rambled on about the gorgeous ingredients I picked up at the vegetable market, I do not restrict this concept to fresh ingredients, but even to pantry staples. A lot of times, we tend to pick certain imported brands or products that we are familiar with, rather than its local counterpart or substitute, often because we focus on authenticity in flavour.

In the last few years, there has been an amazing growth of local brands selling stellar products not traditionally available here, ranging from perfectly portioned healthy snacks, freshly grated parmesan, fresh tofu, sparkling passionfruit juice, dried herbs and seasonings, freshly roasted coffee beans, you get the gist!

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Vietnamese Ricepaper Rolls

Traditionally Vietnamese Goi Cuon  are made using seafood or pork, but these vegetarian ones are gaining great popularity world over, specially as the summer months approach. These are time-consuming, but worth it, so enlist some help while assembling these little babies. You won’t regret it. Adapted from Easy Vegetarian, makes 12. Ingredients:                    1.            12 […] Read more…

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