How To Make a Basic Japanese Ramen Noodle Soup

Ramen is one of my family’s favourite Japanese dishes. In a city like Edinburgh where it’s almost always wet and/or cold, ramen (along with hot pots) are the perfect dishes for warming yourself up.

A good ramen is one of the most rewarding dishes you can eat, full of noodles, meat, eggs and with a really thick delicious broth but it does take a long time to prepare and there are a lot of procedures. So be aware, this recipe is kind of long but don’t be afraid, as long as you prepare all the ingredients, such as the ramen eggs, char siu pork and stock a day before then on the day it’s pretty quick to prepare.

I personally spent around two hours making the stock for this dish. I didn’t want to simmer it for too long simply because of time constraints but in really good ramen restaurants it’s not unheard of stock be cooked for half a day to a day or even more. As with most stocks, the longer you cook, the better they taste and ramen is true of this.

A good example of preparing the ingredients in advance as I mentioned above is the stock. Quite often I’ll cook a LOT of stock then I’ll separate it into small portions and store in a freezer. You can do the same thing with char siu pork as well.

Some cooking tips:

  1. If you like the egg quite runny then set your timer to 3 minutes. I like to cook them for 3 ½ minutes but some recipes online say 4 minutes but personally I think this is a little too long.
  2. I always cook a couple extra eggs for two reasons. The main reason is just in case the egg shell breaks during cooking, if this happens you may end up with only 3-4 beautiful boiled eggs and the others will look alien. The other reason is the eggs taste so good and my husband has sticky fingers so inevitably a couple/few eggs go missing during cooking.
  3. Please consume these within 2-3 days and always use fresh eggs!
  4. I used red onion in this recipe for making the char siu pork but you can also use white onion. I just use the ingredients I had at home.
  5. I used a banana shallot in this recipe which is really quiet big in size so I only used 1. If you use a normal sized shallot, use 3 cloves.
  6. As mentioned before, if you have any extra stock you can separate into small portions and store in a freezer for another dish or meal. Stock can be stored for up to 1 month in a freezer.

I will also keep the char siu pork sauce and ramen egg sauce in the freezer so I can use for another time. You can keep them in the freezer for a month and re-use them for 2-3 times.

ramen recipe

 

ramen
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Ramen

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 2 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Ingredients for ramen eggs

  • 6 large fresh eggs

Seasonings for ramen eggs

  • 120 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar caster or demerara
  • 120 ml mirin
  • 200 ml water
  • 100 ml sake
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic

Ingredients for ramen stock

  • 800 g pork ribs
  • 20 g katsuobushi also known as bonito flakes
  • 15 g kombu
  • 1 onion cut into half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 ltr water

Ingredients for char siu pork

  • 2 kg pork belly skinless and boneless
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 banana shallot sliced thick
  • 1 spring onion slice into half
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic

Seasonings for char siu pork

  • 200 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 100 ml mirin
  • 200 ml sake
  • 1 ltr water
  • 3 tbsp honey

Instructions

Ramen Eggs Procedure

  1. Add all the seasonings into a saucepan and bring it to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the fire and leave to cool down.
  2. Place 8 eggs into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring it to a boil and once it’s boiling set a timer to 3-3.5 minutes. Gently stir the eggs while cooking so the egg yolk will be in the middle.
  3. When the timer has stopped, immediately cool down the eggs under running cold water.
  4. Gently peel the eggs and marinade the eggs with the sauce from step 1. You can store the eggs with sauce in a freezer bag or container and leave them to marinade for 1-2 days.

Ramen Stock Procedure

  1. Cut kombu into small pieces (3cm long) and place into a stock pot with 3 litres of water for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, place step 1 on a stove and use medium-low heat to cook for 10 minutes then turn the fire to highest temperature and bring it to a boil.
  3. Blanch the ribs and wash with cold water. Leave it aside.
  4. Add Katsuobushi into step 2 and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off fire and leave it to cool down.
  5. Pass through the stock with a sieve and keep the katsubushi and kombu on the side.
  6. Put the stock back into the stock pot and add ribs, onion and garlic. Bring it to a boil first then simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  7. Pass through the stock with a sieve and leave it aside.

Char Siu Pork Procedure

  1. Roll the pork belly and use cling film to wrap it very tight. The pork belly should resemble a cylinder shape. Freeze it for few hours.
  2. Take the pork belly out of the freezer once it has turned hard. Remove the cling film and use string to tie it up.
  3. Heat up some oil in a frying pan or skillet and pan-fry every side of the pork until it’s golden brown in colour. Leave it aside.
  4. Use the same frying pan and the oil left over to fry red the onion, shallot, spring onion, ginger and garlic until it’s aromatic.
  5. Put all the seasonings apart from the honey into a big stock pot. Place step 4 and the pork belly into this stock pot.
  6. Bring it to a boil first then add honey and simmer for 1 ½ hour or until the pork belly is tender. Leave it to cool down.
  7. Place pork belly and remaining sauce into a container and store it in the refrigerator over night. Slice it before serving.

Final Preparation

  1. Cook the ramen noodles by following the cooking instructions on the packaging.
  2. Heat up the stock in a saucepan and put the miso in a small bowl then mix with a little bit of warm stock evenly. Make sure there are no lumps and pour this mixture into the stock and bring it to a boil. Season the stock with salt and pepper. Turn off the fire.
  3. Place the ramen noodles in a big bowl and pour the hot ramen stock from step 2 into the bowl.
  4. Garnish with char siu pork, spring onion, seaweed and eggs. Ready to serve!

Recipe Notes

Notes about serving ramen: 250ml ramen stock per person ½ tablespoon miso per 250ml stock 3-4 slices of char siu pork 2 slices of seaweed Some julienned spring onion 1 ramen egg, cut into half Some salt and pepper to taste

ramen recipe

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

buttermilk fried chicken sandwich

I’ve always been a big fan of fried chicken but recently I kept seeing “buttermilk fried chicken” on both the internet and menus in local restaurant. I rarely have  a chance to visit restaurants and if I do I usually go for sushi/Korean/burger, those kinds of things, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how good the texture and taste of buttermilk fried chicken will be so I decided to give it a go myself.

Also because I’m not working for about.com anymore where I was publishing dozens of articles about just East Asian food I’ve decided to become a bit more adventurous with my food blog and that’s why if you compare my website recently to say a couple years ago there’s more diverse food.

Why am I doing this? Well sure I’m from Taiwan, my grandparents were from China etc etc and I have a lot of knowledge about Eastern food but I studied Western cooking at food college and I worked in Western restaurants for many years so I do know a lot of Western style recipes. I also like to eat out and try different cuisines when I can. Who knows I may end up doing some Indian curries at some point.

I’ll certainly go back to cooking some of my favourite Taiwanese, Chinese and other East Asian foods in the near future but right now I’m on an inspired food journey and I’m having lots of fun on it.

Today’s dish is a completely new dish to me and while I’ve cooked lots of fried chicken at home and in professional kitchens, I’ve never made buttermilk fried chicken before so I researched a good few buttermilk fried chicken recipes online and in the end I came up with this recipe that I think tastes delicious (my husband and daughter definitely approved!).

I’m a big fan of paprika so I put some paprika in the chicken marinade. In fact one of the favourite simple dishes in my home is chicken marinated in paprika and finely chopped garlic served with roast vegetables. My husband loves roast garlic which amuses my daughter when he tells her “it’s to keep away the vampires”.

So I put a decent amount of paprika in this dish but you can adjust the amount of seasonings in this dish to suit your own taste.

I also made some pickled vegetables and a sriracha mayo to accompany the buttermilk fried chicken in the sandwiches which I made. If you think there are too many ingredients then you can leave them out. As with a lot of East Asian dishes and especially my own cooking, seasonings are entirely adjustable.

A bit of sweet and sour pickled vegetables contrasts perfectly with the greasiness of the fried chicken and makes the whole dish more balanced. If you have some pickled vegetables left over you can store them in a clear container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days. If you want you can make the pickled vegetables and sriracha mayo the day before you make this dish to save time, although this is a pretty quick dish to make.

buttermilk fried chicken sandwich
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Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 sandwiches

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken breast cut into long strips
  • 1 cucumber peel it like a long ribbon
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 1 carrot peel it like a long ribbon
  • 6 raddish slice
  • 2 long baguettes
  • 650 ml oil

Ingredients for chicken marinade

  • 180 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients for pickled vegetables

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lemon grass
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 250 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for spice flour

  • 170 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp butter milk

Ingredients for sriracha mayo

  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Marinade chicken overnight with all the ingredients for the marinade. If you can’t marinade overnight marinade at least 1 hour before cooking. The longer you marinade the better the taste.

  2. Mix all the ingredients for the pickled vegetables into a small sauce pan. Bring it to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. 

  3. Put the sliced radish, sliced shallot, ribbon cucumber and ribbon carrot into a container or bowl. Pour the step 2 sauce into the bowl and gently mix it evenly. Leave it for at least 30 minutes. 

  4. Mix flour, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, baking powder evenly in a bowl then mix with buttermilk. You will see the flour will look a bit lumpy but that’s ok. 

  5. Heat up oil in a saucepan or deep skillet. The oil temperature should be 180 c. 

  6. Coat the chicken with the spice flour from step 4 and leave it for a couple minutes. 

  7. To check if the oil is the right temperate, you can put a piece of the spice flour crumb into the oil and if the crumb immediately bubbles and floats on the oil then the temperature is perfect for frying the chicken. 

  8. Deep-fry the chicken until golden brown. 

  9. Slice the baguettes 12cm long and slice horizontally. 

  10. Spread some sriracha mayo first then put a couple slices of fried chicken and some pickled vegetables into the sandwich. Make sure to drain the vinegar from the vegetables before you put them in the sandwich or otherwise the sandwich will be soggy. 

buttermilk fried chicken sandwich
buttermilk fried chicken sandwich

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

It’s February and pretty cold here in Scotland but today we had our first really nice day’s weather of 2017 so it made me think that we all need a bit of love and caring in this kind of weather but with a spring twist. This blood orange and seared tuna quinoa salad is a perfect spring’s salad dish but is also perfect for boosting your immune system.

I always remember the first time I tried blood orange was when I travelled to Paris with my friends and they served blood orange in a restaurant we went to. I immediately thought “wow, this is a huge orange” and I loved it’s beautiful ruby colour but I had no idea what it was. After I took a bite I loved it’s taste and when I went back to Taiwan I only found out the name.

So what does blood orange taste like? It’s not sour at all and the taste is somewhere between an orange and grapefruit but it’s naturally sweet. My husband won’t touch fruit at all but he tried a little blood orange today and he loved it.

I love to scan through websites like Pinterest and Food Gawker for ideas for new things to try and if I ever pop into Marks and Spencer’s or Waitrose I’ll pick up one of their food magazines. It seems everywhere I look blood oranges are in fashion so I wanted to try blood orange here. Remember the same fruit in one country can taste completely different in another country. Dragon fruit is a perfect example, in China and Taiwan it tastes amazing but in the UK not so.

I also came down with a cold recently so eating a little extra vitamin C isn’t a bad thing.

So I made this “Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad” for my lunch. It seems blood orange is pretty hard to get hold of here but thankfully Waitrose sold them (Waitrose is really good for buying fruit). If you can’t get hold of blood orange then you could use a grapefruit or orange instead.

In my previous blog post I also mentioned I live really close to possibly the best fishmonger in Edinburgh, Eddie’s Seafood market, so I bought several pieces of really beautiful tuna from them. I also found a “white, black and red quinoa seed mix” in Waitrose. Compared to regular quinoa, black quinoa is a little chewier so there’s a real combination of textures when you mix the tuna with three different types of quinoa, pomegranate, feta cheese and the blood orange.

I decided to coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds so this dish is incredibly healthy. It’s full of energy, protein and a lot of nutrition. If you don’t like or can’t eat tuna (pregnant for example, you can replace the tuna with over kinds of dish. Examples could include sea bream, pan-fried seabass etc.

So here’s my winter warming, spring thinking, blood orange and seared tuna quinoa salad.

blood orange
blood orange
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
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Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Course Salad
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 155 g quinoa
  • 310 ml water
  • 500 g tuna
  • 2 blood oranges peel and slice
  • 4 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 handful salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 5 mint leaves fresh and chopped finely

Marinade for Tuna

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mirin

Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 blood orange

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients for marinading the tuna into a deep plate or bowl and mix evenly. Place tuna into the bowl and gently coat the tuna with all the marinade. Leave it to marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Occasionally turn the tuna while marinading so the flavour will be even on every side of the tuna. 

  2. Coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds and wrap in cling film individually and leave in the freezer for 20 minutes to set. 

  3. Cook the quinoa by following the instructions on the packaging. 

  4. Mix the seasonings for the dressing in a small mixing bowl. 

  5. Mix 2 tablespoons of dressing with quinoa and check the seasonings. If you like a strong flavour then add more salt or pepper. 

  6. Remove the cling film from the tuna and heat up some oil in a skillet or frying pan. Sear the tuna 40-50 seconds on each side and remove from the pan. 

  7. Toss the quinoa, salad leaves, pomegranate and dressing together. 

  8. Slice the tuna. 

  9. Garnish step 7 with the sliced tuna, sliced blood orange, mint and feta cheese. It’s ready to serve. 

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Prawn and Lemon Butter Pasta

prawn and lemon butter pasta

At the end of 2016 we moved to the Marchmont area of Edinburgh and one of the many great things about Marchmont are the really incredible ingredients we can buy locally. We like just two streets away from two really great greengrocers and we also have quite possibly the best fishmongers in Edinburgh; Eddie’s Seafood Market.

Eddie’s are well known in Edinburgh for supplying many of the top restaurants in Edinburgh with their seafood and yes their seafood is a little more expensive than fish from supermarkets but the difference in quality is night and day. Have you ever bought king prawns from the supermarket and thought they are tasteless? Not from Eddie’s, I popped over a couple days, bought 500g of prawns and three sea urchin’s for £10 and the prawns were stunning, so full of flavour and the texture was beautiful.

I also love going to Eddie’s because Eddie and his family run the store and they are from Hong Kong but speak Chinese so I can go there and have a chat in Chinese. They also often give my daughter free sweets so she loves going there as well.

Importantly though they have a huge selection of fresh fish available. I’ve reduced my daughter’s hours at nursery and last Friday we had a trip around Marchmont which included painting a couple pots at Doodles Ceramic Workshop, grabbing a freshly baked 10” pizza from the local takeaway (£4 I think) and a trip to Eddie’s. As mentioned above I bought three sea urchin for £1 and they might be one of the ugliest things on the planet inside but they taste absolutely amazing. I’ll pop over again next week and if they are selling sea urchin I’ll buy some and use it in a dish.

Finally Eddie’s have an old fashioned Chinese business tradition to them. I originally got to know the staff at Eddie’s when I was working at the Witchery by the Castle and Tom from Eddie’s would deliver the fish. I would often sign for it and have a chat with him. I remember when I lived in Taiwan, sometimes I went to a traditional market with my grandmother and the vegetable vendors would always give their repeat customers extra ginger, chili or spring onions, those kinds of things. I think this is just how Eastern people do business. Eddie’s often do the same, a few extra prawns here and there so they absolutely rock.

But back to the dish today.

If you’re on a diet, this is probably not the dish for use. I used a lot of butter in this dish although you can adjust many of the ingredients including the amount of butter and lemon used. This is totally fine.

If you don’t have fresh chilli then you can use chili flakes. Lemon zest is optional but I highly recommend you to put lemon zest in as it will make your pasta taste so good!!

You may have also noticed this is my first pasta dish on this website! Well I’ve decided 2017 is the going to be the year where I start cooking a lot of different cuisines for this website. Even though this website is predominately about Chinese and Taiwanese food, my culinary training and the vast majority of my “working as a chef” experience is in Western food. So even though I know hell of a lot of Eastern recipes, I also know hell of a lot of Western dishes. So keep posted for all kinds of recipes this year.

prawn and lemon butter pasta ingredients

 

prawn and lemon butter pasta
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Prawn and Lemon Butter Pasta


Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 600 g fresh prawns peeled and devined
  • 700 g cooked linguine
  • 140 g butter I used Kerrygold
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 chili remove seeds and chop finely
  • 30 g fresh parsley chop finely
  • 2 lemon just the zest
  • 1.5 lemons juiced

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 1 pinch pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peeled and devein the prawns. 

  2. Follow the packaging cooking directions to cook the linguine pasta. Once the linguine has cook to the texture you like, immediately drain the water and quickly rinse under cold water and drain. Drizzle some olive oil on the pasta and mix it up evenly. This will stop the pasta stick together. Leave it aside.

  3. Gently heat up butter in a skillet or deep frying pan at low-medium heat. 

  4. Add garlic and chili into step 3 and gently fry the garlic until it starts to turn a light golden colour.

  5. Add prawns into step 4 and once the prawns start changing their colour to pink then add the garlic powder, lemon juice, zest and pasta.

  6. Cook the pasta for a further 2 minutes and mix evenly with all the ingredients. 

  7. Add parsley and mix evenly, season with salt and pepper. Ready to serve!

prawn and lemon butter pasta
prawn and lemon butter pasta
prawn and lemon butter pasta

Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoa

Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoa

Thailand is one of my favourite countries and Thai food is easily one of my favourite cuisine. I’ve only visited Thailand once but the country, the culture, the weather and the food were all really amazing and one of my favourite dishes when I visited was Thai Steamed Fish.

So for my Sunday lunch I decided to make something out of the normal for me and had a go at recreating a Thai Steamed Fish dish I ate in Thailand but with a twist, with coconut quinoa. This dish is very easy to cook but it’s also packaged with protein and lots of energy.

I think in the recent “health food” trend, one of my favourite dishes is “quinoa”. I can’t believe how easy to cook and delicious it is but one of the most interesting things about it to me is that it’s a complete protein and contains multiple essential amino acids. It’s both very easy to cook and very fast. That it’s really delicious and has a great texture is a huge bonus. So if you don’t have any quinoa in your pantry I will recommend the next time you do a food shop grab yourself some.

I didn’t season the quinoa much and you may find depending on your taste it’s a bit plain but the key to this dish being delicious is the sauce that is used to steam the fish. It’s really delicious.

Ideally serve this dish while it’s still warm or hot. You can either serve the salmon whole or you can flake it and mix with the coconut quinoa and sauce and serve as a salad. When I made this dish I made one plate with the salmon whole and the other flaked, but both covered in sauce and both equally tasty.

You can use other kinds of fish with this recipe, it doesn’t necessarily have to be salmon. I used salmon because it’s easy to get hold of, cheap and I nearly always have salmon in my fridge or freezer. So feel free to use any kind of fish you want. From experience, sea bass, sea bream, cod, tilapia and trout all go well with this dish.

A little update of my life:

We’ve finally settled and unpacked into our new home! I love our new home because we have front and rear gardens and our neighbours so far are lovely. My daughter is going to school this autumn and the local primary school in the area we used to live is ranked on the lower end of the schools in Edinburgh. We’ve always been huge fans of the Marchmont area and that we found a property for the right place and one street away from the one of the best schools in the country is a bonus.

Now we have a garden I’m now able to use the garden to take the food photos where the light is infinitely better. If you check out my photos now and compare to photos months ago you’ll see a huge difference. We’ve also changed our style of photographing food, partly in rebellion to my cookbook publisher who always insists on strange angles.

So I have two main projects for our new home. One is to decorate it (the kitchen which also doubles up as my office (I’ll share photos soon) is well on it’s way and now we’ve found all our pictures we’re going to hang them soon. The other thing I want to do is tidy up the front garden. It’s awful and looks like nobody has touched it in years. The decorating project I’ll do now but I’ll wait until the weather improves before doing the garden.

Chris also completely updated this website and there’s loads more social media things going on. The recipes are all now formatted so search engines can index and find them easier. I’ve got an Instagram feed of which I update content for all the time. There’s also now a newsletter which for now contains content from both of my websites; Egg Wan’s Food Odyssey and Liv Wan Illustration.

As you may know I’m a real busy bee and I don’t have time right now to do separate newsletters but I’m sure you don’t mind seeing a collection of delicious recipes as well as some of my illustrations? So if you are interested in my newsletter, then you can type your email in the subscribe box on the right hand side of my site and subscribe. I will send you a newsletter periodically as well as giveaway news and some other things.

But back to this Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoa dish.

thai steamed fish with coconut quinoa
Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoa
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Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoa

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for Thai Steamed Fish

  • 3 salmon fillets
  • 30 g coriander chop finely
  • 1 chili cut into small pieces
  • 1 pc lemon grass cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled

Seasonings for Thai Steamed Fish

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Ingredients for Coconut Quinoa

  • 228 g quinoa
  • 440 ml coconut milk whole can basically
  • 125 ml water
  • 6 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

Procedure for Thai Steamed Fish

  1. Use a food processor to process the chili, garlic, lemon grass and all the seasonings. 

  2. Mix step 1 with the coriander. 

  3. Place Salmon on a heat proof plate and pour the sauce on top. Steamed with highest temperature for 15 minutes. 

Procedure for Quinoa

  1. Put quinoa, coconut milk and water into a heavy base medium size pot. 

  2. Bring it to boil first then turn to lowest heat and cover with lid to simmer it for 15-20 minutes. 

  3. Check the texture of the quinoa if you prefer al dente then simmer 15 minutes should be enough. But if you like your quinoa quite soft then add a little bit more water and simmer for longer time. 

  4. After quinoa is cooked. Season it with salt and pepper and use a fork to mix it up.

  5. You can garnish with cherry tomatoes. 

  6. Serve warm with Thai steamed salmon and the sauce from steamed fish. 

thai steamed fish with coconut quinoa

Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette

Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette. You may be familiar with another dish “Chinese Fish Fragrant Eggplant” or even “Spicy Sichuan Eggplant” but there are in fact many “fish-fragrant” dishes in Chinese cooking and to be honest they all taste delicious!

Even though this dish is called “fish-fragrant” there is no fish in this dish at all. There is a story about this dish. A long time ago in Sichuan there was a family who were really serious when it came to cooking fish. They would use ginger, spring onion, garlic, mince, doubanjiang (chili bean sauce) and other ingredients to cook their fish with. They loved their fish!

One day the lady was cooking and she didn’t want to waste any leftovers from the dish she cooked so she used the ingredients to cook another dish. She was however extremely worried that it wouldn’t taste nice and her husband wouldn’t like it.

So when her husband came home, she was thinking about how she would explain the dish to her husband. Her husband was so hungry from work he didn’t wait for dinner to start, nor did he ask what the dish was, and he took a few bites. He said to his wife “This dish is the most delicious dish I have ever had in my life, how did you make it” She told him how she cooked it and they gave the dish the name “fish-fragrant-fry (魚香炒)”. This is where the name “fish-fragrant” comes from.

Nowadays people have invented many different dishes to accompany the “fish-fragrant” title/flavour, including fish-fragrant tofu, fish-fragrant eggplant, fish-fragrant omelette, fish-fragrant julienned pork and many more.

If you have any fish-fragrant mince sauce left over, then you can also mix this sauce with some cold noodles and it’s absolutely delicious.

This fish-fragrant omelette is a quick and easy home-cooking style dish. All the ingredients are very easy to get hold of and you should be able to purchase wood ears from most Chinese/Asian supermarkets. But if you can’t get hold of these you can cook this dish without but you may want to reduce the amount of soy sauce used.

Also once the wood ears have rehydrated and softened, before you julienne them please use your hand to tear them into small pieces and remove any tough ends. You’ll see what I mean when you handle them.

For the eggs, you can fry them line a pancake or you roll it like a proper French omelette. This is entirely up to you but one thing I would recommend is don’t over cook the egg. I like to keep the eggs in this dish very soft, tender and still a little bit runny in the middle. For me at least this tastes much better.

I hope you enjoy this dish and would love to hear your feedback.

chinese fish fragrant omelette ingredients
chinese fish fragrant omelette
chinese fish fragrant omelette
chinese fish fragrant omelette

 

chinese fish fragrant omelette
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Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette

Recipe for a delicious Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette. This classic Chinese dish is quick to make and really delicious. One of my favourite omelette dishes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 280 g pork mince or beef mince
  • 1 spring onion chop finely
  • 1 chili remove seeds and chop finely
  • 2 cloves garlic mince them
  • 3 thin slices ginger mince them
  • 20 g wood ears this weight is before they are soaked in water
  • 6 large eggs beaten

Seasonings for Eggs

  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp cooking oil

Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp Doubanjiang also known as chili bean sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • 180 ml water
  • 1 tbsp potato starch water you can also use cornflour to replace potato starch. Use 1 tablespoon of water mixed with 1 teaspoon potato starch or cornflour. 

Garnish

  • 2 spring onion julienne them
  • Some coriander leaves

Instructions

Procedures

  1. Soak the wood ears in 1-2 cups of cold water to rehydrate and soften. This usually takes 2 to 3 hours but you can use hot water if you’re in a rush. This will reduce the time to only 20-30 minutes.

  2. Removed any hard “knots” of soften wood ears and julienne them.

  3. Beat the eggs with all the seasonings. Leave aside.

  4. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and stir-fry the spring onion, chilli, garlic and ginger until aromatic.

  5. Add the Doubanjiang into step 3 and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds.

  6. Add mince into step 4 and stir-fry until the mince is cooked.

  7. Add the wood ears into step 5 and stir-fry for further 30 seconds.

  8. Add all the seasonings apart from the potato starch water. Turn the fire to medium low and bring it to a boil first then cook for further 3-4 minutes.

  9. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan or skillet while the mince and sauce is cooking.

  10. Add the beaten eggs into step 9 and make it into omelette. Once cooked place on a serving plate.

  11. Mixed the potato starch water before gently stirring the potato starch water into the mince sauce (step 8). You will see the remaining sauce start to thicken, then turn off the stove and pour this sauce on to the omelette.

  12. Garnish with spring onion and omelette. Serve with cooked rice.

chinese fish fragrant omelette
chinese fish fragrant omelette
chinese fish fragrant omelette
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