Entrees (Asian)

Fried cactus flowers, with Chinese five-spice and fried green shallot (gluten free)

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The cactus flowered again this year, yielding 2 single strikingly beautiful flowers, with pink and pearl like colors.

Cactus flowers

Cactus flowers

Last harvest I made a soup with the flowers. This year I fried them with some egg and corn flour, flavored with Chinese five-spice and green shallot.

Fried cactus flowers, gluten free
Fried cactus flowers

Method is as follows:

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Wonton salad with XO Sauce

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Do you know that 28% of the Australian population was born overseas?

For Harmony Day this year, a few lovely ladies at work organized a ‘bring-a-culture-dish’ morning tea event. I made a large dish of wonton ‘salad’. It was distinctively Cantonese with a HK style XO sauce, and distinctively not Cantonese as it was served lightly chilled, a style used frequently by Northern China called ‘liang ban’.

This wonton salad is also fantastic for school fetes.  A few years ago I made a massive plate of wontons for my boy’s school fete – it sold out within 20 minutes. I am planning to make it again for this year’s fete.

I used lots of ingredients for the wontons, as I had them readily available in the pantry. If you can’t find some of the ingredients, feel free to skip some of them. I have marked all the ingredients you can skip with ^ below.

A video on how to wrap wontons is also attached below.

Wonton salad with XO sauce

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Prosperity toss (‘yee sang’ 捞生) for Chinese new year (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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One of my best friend’s late mother, whom I dearly called Auntie Wong, was an exceptional cook. A Chinese woman migrated from Malaysia, she could make beautiful meat-bone soups, aromatic curries and many different type of chili pastes.  During Chinese New Year, she made ‘yee sang’, an elaborate salad with sashimi salmon and a plum sauce. We made wishes as we mixed the salad with our chopsticks, shared a few giggles and enjoyed the delicious feast.

In Chinese, ‘yee’ means fish, a symbol of plenty. ‘Sang’ shares the same pronunciation of 升, means uplifting. With a name like that, no wonder ‘yee sang’ is one of the most popular dish for Chinese New Year around Singapore and Malaysia.

My father and sister were travelling in China and only arrived yesterday, which was the Chinese New Year’s Day. To welcome them home,, I made my own version of ‘yee sang’ with tuna, salmon, fennel, carrot, capsicum, cucumber and a strawberry salad dressing.

I didn’t make any wishes as I mixed the salad – I already have everything I could have wished for. Although life is busy and demanding, I have a lovely family, good friends, a home with a double garage full of cooking equipment. I am happy.

Prosperity Toss / yu sang / yee sang /lo sang (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follows:

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Pan fried spring rolls with vegetables and shrimp shells

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As school fete fast approaching, I am trying out different ways to cook a large amount of finger food within a small amount of time. I am running an Asian Food stall for the school fete.

Spring rolls had always been a favorite at the previous fetes. Deep frying food at the fete makes me nevous, especially there are so many little kids around with their balls. So I am trying out pan frying the spring rolls.

The result was brilliant – they were better than the deep fried ones as I don’t have to roll them too tightly, so they are beautifully crispy.

The filling for my spring rolls today were mung bean vermicelli, wood ear fungus, cabbage, carrot, leek, shrimp shell, bamboo shoot and fried shallot. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it.

Pan fried spring rolls with cabbage, carrot, leek, bamboo shoot, fried shallot, mung bean, wood ear& shrimp shells

Filling for spring roll
Spring roll filling

Recipe is as follow:

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Chinese north-west style lamb kebabs ‘羊肉串’ (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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When I was in Beijing many years ago I visited a night market with hundreds of food stalls. About half of them sell lamb kebabs with a Xinjiang origin. Xinjiang is region located in North West China  where Chinese Muslims and Uyghur people live, bordering many countries including Mongolia, Russia, Pakstan and India. I tried the kebab and was fascinated by the spices – it was the first time I tasted cumin.  The meat, although, was dry and chewy – we have much better quality meat back in Australia.

Here is my version of lamb kebabs with cumin, Sichuan pepper, chili flake, coriander seeds, sesame seeds and  sesame oil. I first marinated the lamb in cumin, salt and sesame oil. Then I made the kebabs and cooked them on the BBQ. Finally I added additional spices and sea salt to the kebabs.  The kebabs were juicy and spicy.

Lamb kebab with cumin, sichuan pepper, sesame seeds and sesame oil (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Spice mix for lamb kebab - cumin, sichuan pepper, sesame seeds and coriander seeds
Spice mix for lamb kebab – cumin, Sichuan pepper, chili flake, sesame seeds and coriander seeds

Recipe is as follow:

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Pan fried whiting nori roll (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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I read it on Sydney Morning Herald this morning that Neil Perry was closing the original Rockpool restaurant.

In late 1990s I was working for an investment house in Sydney. The finance sector had plenty of money and big entertainment budget those days. We were taken to Rockpool for lunch where I enjoyed a wonderful dish of fried whiting fillet wrapped in nori sheet. I still remember it today.

Here is my FODMAP friendly version of whiting nori rolls. The rolls are also gluten free. If you prefer, you can serve it with an oyster sauce based dipping sauce – the sauce is FODMAP friendly but it is not gluten free.

Whiting nori rolls with cabbage and coriander


Whiting nori roll #FODMAP #GlutenFree

With any left over ‘off cuts’, we can make a yummy whiting seaweed soup.

Recipes are as follows:

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Egg and seaweed rolls (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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It is difficult to sharing these with friends – too tasty you’d like to enjoy them all by yourself.

Egg and seaweed rolls, fodmap friendly, gluten free

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »