Cooking

Smoked BBQ beef ribs

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On the weekend we went to a large extended family lunch. We made some smoked beef ribs to enjoy with the family.

It was a very simple dish – beef ribs marinated with BBQ sauce, tomato sauce & sriracha chili sauce; added a little cumin and garam masala. Then I smoked & cooked the beef ribs on the gas BBQ for 2 hours on low heat, with a lighted Amazen pellet smoke tube inside the BBQ.

I serve the beef ribs with a sauce made with left over marinate and apricot jam – simply combine the sauce and jam and cook gently in a sauce pan for a few minutes until the apricot jam is ‘melted’ into the sauce.

Beef ribs being smoked in the BBQ with an Amazen pellet tube

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Pan fried pumpkin with a miso sauce (gluten free, vegan)

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I found it difficult to create pumpkin dishes – pumpkin is so beautifully tasty already, I don’t want to ruin its natural goodness.

Because pumpkin is so sweet, a bit of saltiness will enhance its flavor. Miso and pumpkin actually work quite well. It is also a very simple dish to prepare.

Pan fried pumpkin with a miso sauce (gluten free, vegan)

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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 vegetables and shrimp shells

To wrap a spring roll

Recipe is as follow:

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Salt and pepper chicken (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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I work in an unremarkable looking building in the city that was built in the 70’s. When I started working there 12 years ago, the food court were ordinary but cheap. Then the landlord renovated the food court and increased the rents. Now the food is still uninspiring, but expensive.   I had a salt and pepper chicken there last week – and it ended up in the garbage bin.

With an unsatisfied craving for salt and pepper chicken, I made my own today.

Salt and pepper chicken (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Ginger pork with soy sauce and sesame oil (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Recently our family visited Tokyo to spend our school holiday there. We enjoyed shopping at countless hobby shops, toy stores and rides at Disneyland, Disney Sea and Tokyo Dome.

My husband and I love noodle soups. Nearly everyday we went to a nearby noodle shop for lunch. Our little boy is a fussy eater who has Vegemite sandwiches for school lunch since the kindergarten year – he refused to have noodle soup. So we gave him a bowl of rice and the toppings from our noodles.   Ginger pork was his favorite. Luckily, noodles with ginger pork was available in nearly every noodle shop.

Here is my version of ginger pork. I served it with some saute Chinese greens with ginger.

 

Ginger pork with soy sauce and sesame oil (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Asian inspired Paella with miso & wasabi (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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One of my friends and her 2 gorgeous children came over for lunch today. She has really good taste with food and wine, previously ran an restaurant in Italy while she was married to an Italian young fellow who cooked beautifully. Now a single mum, things are not as easy, and she is also having a difficult time at work. So I decided to cook her a heart warming meal to cheer her up – a dish with chicken, salmon, prawns, mussels, baby octopus sounded just like the perfect dish. To make it a bit more special, I gave the paella an Asian twist with miso, wasabi and Korean pepper.

 

Asian inspired Paella with miso & wasabi (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Lightly smoked rainbow trout fillets (gluten free)

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The local fish shop had some beautifully fresh rainbow trout fillets. I cooked them on the BBQ with a a-maze-n smoke tube filled with apple wood pellets.

I first lighted the a-maze-n tube of pellets and let it burn for 10 minutes before I placed it inside the BBQ.

While the pellets was burning, I rubbed the fish fillets with some sesame oil and a little sea salt. I don’t brine my fish – it is just too salty for my taste. I put the fish fillets on a rack, over a tray, on the BBQ with the lowest setting. I then closed the lid and let the smoke and the BBQ do their jobs. The fish was ready in about 25 minutes.

I served the smoked fish fillets at room temperature, with a sauce of sour cream, dill and lemon juice.

Lightly smoked rainbow trout fillets (gluten free)

 

 

 

 

Simple Korean chili chicken

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My first restaurant meal in Australia was a Korean BBQ at a quaint little restaurateur at the back of Potts Point, an fringe suburb of Sydney filled with eateries, bar and clubs. It was an amazing experience for me – BBQ meat with rich flavors and  endless little side dishes.

Here is my simple and quick Korean chili chicken, which is marinated with Korean pepper, cooked on a griddle over a gas BBQ stove. It is really nice to eat with warm rice, or in a lettuce wrap.

Simple Korean chili chicken

Recipe is as follow:

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Smoky BBQ legs of lamb (FODMAP friendly)

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Last weekend I threw a couple lamb legs on the BBQ. I added to the BBQ a tube of wood pellets in an a-maze-n pellet tube which was lighted with a blow torch.  I rubbed the lamb legs with my favorite spices and a dash of BBQ sauce.

I slow cooked the lamb legs for 4 hours in the BBQ with the smoky tube underneath. The BBQ was placed under my recently installed white shade sails. There was so much smoke I was worried that my shade sails may turn brown.

The lamb was beautifully juicy, smoky and tasty.

Smoky BBQ legs of lamb (FODMAP friendly)

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Braised beef tendon with Asian spices (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Winter is finally here in Sydney and I am craving for something rich and hopefully it would make my skin glow again. Beef tendon is pack with collagen, low fat and no cholesterol… not 100% sure about the skin care benefits, but I am cooking a bowl for the OMG deliciousness.

Braised beef tendon with Asian spices (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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BBQ baby octopus in Asian marinate (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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It was Queens birthday long weekend. I decided to cook a few dishes that would take some time to prepare.

The local seafood shop had some nice baby octopus so I picked up a few handfuls. I first dropped the octopus and some ginger in boiling water for a minute or two; then transferred them to a bowl of ice water; I marinated the octopus with fish sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, kumquat juice, sliced kaffir lime leafs, chili, marmalade and sesame oil; I placed the octopus in the fridge to marinate overnight, then BBQ them on a hot griddle. So juicy and tender!

BBQ baby octopus in Asian marinate (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

 

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Quinoa potato hash (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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This yummy little snack has quinoa, shredded potato, capsicum, tasty cheese, coriander, marjoram, tarragon and rosemary – you can make them into balls, or flat hash browns.

Glutinous rice balls with beef and potato, spiced with cumin and turmeric (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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Glutinous rice balls with beef and potato, spiced with cumin and turmeric (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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Sydney is rainy this weekend – reportedly a month’s worth of rain over the next few days. We are stuck in the house. My husband is busy assembling some ikea cabinets for the playroom; my little boy is busy on his ipad; and I  cook in the kitchen.

Supermarket shopping does not sound like an attractive option – so I went to the freezer and the dry good pantry. There was plenty of beef mince in the freezer which I could cook something with, together with some glutinous rice… something soft, warm and tasty would be nice.

Glutinous rice balls with beef and potato, spiced with cumin and turmeric (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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

 

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

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

Recipes are as follows:

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Barramundi in an Asian spiced broth (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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Winter is finally here with chill in the air – time for a nice bowl of hot soup. This simple & light barramundi broth is gentle and tasty, perfect for a lazy lunch.

Barramundi in an Asian spiced broth (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Sesame and peanut slice

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Earlier today I made some  sweet glutinous rice balls and had some peanut, sesame & coconut coating left, so I made this simple & delicious sweet snack, sometimes found at the street market stalls around Asian.

Sesame and peanut slice

Recipe is as follow:

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Asian style kebab on lemongrass stick (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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With winter coming, I cut back a bush of lemongrass in the garden. I ended up with a huge bunch of lemongrass sticks which I used for this pork and beef kebabs.

Asian style kebab on lemongrass stick (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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

Sticky rice with Chinese sausage and mushroom

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When I was a little girl, sticky rice was such a treat – we would only enjoy it on special occasions such as weddings or festival seasons. It is probably because it takes extra efforts to fry glutinous rice ?

Sticky rice with Chinese sausage and mushroom

Recipe is as follows:

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Egg and ginger soup – Grandmother’s cough remedy (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Winter is approaching and there are a few flu and coughs going around in Sydney. Instead of using the good old cough syrups, why not try a Chinese remedy that works on the core of the illness?

My grandmother used to make me this egg and ginger soup when I had ‘cool’ coughs – referred to as dry coughs at night when the air is chill. A few bowls of this soup over a few days work like magic.

Egg and ginger soup - Grandmother's cough remedy

 

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

10-minute chicken & seaweed soup (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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This is probably the quickest, nutritious, and the most delicious soup I could cook in 10 minutes.  The whole family loves it especially my little boy who is a picky eater.

Chicken & seaweed soup (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Scrambled eggs with garlic chive and prawns (gluten free)

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Have you ever been to a suburban Chinese restaurant that serves a prawn omelette that is dry and uninteresting? Try this simple, tasty and moist scramble eggs with garlic chive and prawns and I bet you will never look back.

Scrambled eggs with garlic chive and prawns (gluten free)
Scrambled eggs with garlic chive and prawns (gluten free)

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

Brown rice congee with salted pork & peanuts (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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For a Chinese southerner, what food can be more warm and comforting than a hot bowl of pork congee (粥)?  The humble congee is the sort of food kids get when they are sick.  It is also a popular street food and you will find it at ‘yum cha’. Coogee goes well with fried noodles, Chinese donuts and it is delicious by itself. You can eat it with the thick & bulky Chinese ceramic spoon, or raise the bowl to your lips and slurp it.

If you’d like to have a go at cooking your own congee, a pressure cooker is highly recommended, otherwise it takes hours.

Here is my lunch today, brown rice congee with salted pork and peanuts.

Brown rice congee with salted pork & peanuts (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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

Twice cooked chicken mini drumsticks

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These chicken mini drumsticks are gently cooked in a stock with with Chinese spices,  then pan fried with mushroom soy sauce. Finger licking good !

Twice cooked chicken mini drumsticks

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

Creamy seafood chowder with a hint of turmeric

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I have loved leather jacket fish since I was a little girl, such beautiful white flesh and it is not too fishy, really good for steaming. This week I walked passed a fish shop and found some really fresh leather jacket fish, but too big to fit into my steamer.  So I made a seafood chowder using leather jacket for stock. Really yummy…

Creamy seafood chowder with a hint of turmeric

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

Twice cooked pork with chili soy bean sauce (Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉)

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This twice cooked pork is aromatic, juicy and can be seriously spicy. My friends told me, as they walked down to my house for dinner, they could smell the cooking from the top of the street. This dish is so tasty and satisfying with a bowl of rice, or a few freshly steamed ‘Man Tou’ (plain steamed buns).

Twice cooked pork with chili soy bean sauce (Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉)

I have posted the ‘Man Tou’ recipe here.

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

Chinese tea infused eggs (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Eggs are precious to me.When I was a little girl, my family had very little. Every year at my birthday, instead of kids party, mouthwatering sweets, toys and other gifts, I received a hard boil egg that was colored in red. The red color was rubbed off, with a little water, from some left over cheap red paper that was used for wrapping the ‘lucky’ money for Chinese Luna New Years.

Having lived in Australia for nearly 30 years, I still love my eggs immensely.I use eggs for cooking all the time, sometimes it is as simple as cracking an egg over some boiled rice and cook it in microwave for 1 minute as a quick meal, eat with a dash of soy sauce and olive oil.

The soy sauce and tea infused eggs below is a popular street snack food across Asia. My version is FODMAP friendly and can be made as a gluten free option.

Chinese tea infused eggs (low FODMAP, gluten free)

It is very simple to make – see recipe below. Read the rest of this entry »

Asian inspired Christmas stuffing

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I saw some lovely quails at the butcher the day before Christmas. I could smell the aroma of quails baking in my oven with an Asian fusion stuffing of sultana, warm apple, leek, sliced almond, herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, ginger, garlic, thinly sliced kaffir lime leafs), spices (cinnamon, smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice), hoisin sauce, macadamias oil, sesame oil and panko crumbs  –  great to share with a few friends over a few wines on Christmas eve !

The stuffing I made was so yum, simple & versatile. The hoisin sauce harmonized the ingredients beautifully. You can use this stuffing for roast pork, turkey, chicken, and of course, quails.  For stuffing the quails, I also pan fried the quails’ livers & hearts with butter, roughly chopped and added to the stuffing.

Asian inspired Christmas stuffing

 

 

Chilled carrot soup with kaffir lime leafs, ginger, turmeric & coconut milk (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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We have a small kaffir lime tree growing in a pot next to the swimming pool. It was growing so wildly I have to give it a good trim. What can I cook with such beautiful aromatic leafs?

Chilled carrot soup with kaffir lime leafs, ginger, turmeric & coconut milk (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

For lunch we had a spicy Asian influenced carrot soup with carrot, potato, kaffir lime leafs, ginger, turmeric, coriander, chilies and spices. It was gorgeous served chilled on a hot summer day.

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

Asian inspired egg pancake with vegetables (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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This is an easy pancake with egg, rice flour, zucchini, capsicum coconut milk and a dash of fish sauce. It is suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is also tummy friendly.

Asian inspired egg pancake with vegetables (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Flaky shallot pancake (蔥油餅)

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I was chatting with Li, another school mum about a forthcoming international food festival at school.  I mentioned that I’d make some shallot cake, a traditional snack from Northern China.  There were twinkles in Li’s eyes. “For one of my birthdays,” Li said, “my mother made three pieces of those really tasty flaky shallot pancakes. I asked why there were only three pieces.  To make these pancakes for my birthday, mum used up every drop of cooking oil in the house. Those days, cooking oil was rationed in China.”

Yes, I remember ‘those days’.

An 250 gram cooking oil coupon
A 250 gram cooking oil coupon

That afternoon, I made my family a batch of shallot pancakes – flaky, oily, chewy and incredibly comforting!

Flaky shallot pancake (蔥油餅)

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

‘Salty-sweet-sour’ chicken with soy, vinegar & preserved turnip

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I bought a pack of preserved turnip from an Asian grocery store over the weekend, and decided to use this to create a salty-sweet-sour dish. It is really simple –  300g chicken sliced chicken fillet marinated with a sauce consists of a dash of soy sauce, a dash of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs of sugar, 1 tsp of potato starch mixed well with 1 tbs of water and 1 tbs wine.

The cooking method is also super simple – heat up a frying pan with some cooking oil, first add a few pieces of thinly sliced ginger, then 2 tbs of diced salted turnip, quickly stir fry for 20 seconds, and add the marinated chicken, stir fry until cooked on medium heat – you may prefer to close the lid for a few minutes which will keep the chicken juicy.  Served on a bed of rice and salad or steamed vegetables.  Really hearty and flavorsome.

'Salty-sweet-sour' chicken with soy, vinegar & preserved turnip

Chickpeas with bacon, tomato, turmeric, garam masala and cumin

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I love my ‘ordinary’ chickpeas stew with spicy chorizo. The other day, I was feeling a bit bored so I ditched the chorizo for bacon and Asian spices – nearly the same thing, right?

I first cooked the dry chickpeas, with some salt & water in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes on high.  I added some cooking oil in a frying pan, sauteed some bacon, onion and garlic before adding turmeric, garam masala and extra cumin; I added the chickpeas to the frying pan, gave it a little stir; then transferred the ingredients back to the pressure cooker with tinned tomatoes. Another 15 minutes on high, and lunch was ready with some crusty bread.    So easy and delicious.

Chickpeas with bacon, tomato, turmeric, garam masala

Simple lunch – quinoa with roasted pumpkin and herbs (FODMAP friendly, vegan, gluten free)

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Some days I just crave for a very simple meal that is refreshing and tasty. After holidaying with kid at Fiji with buffet breakfasts and buffet dinners for 7 days, I am ready for one of these days.  A cup of quinoa soaked and cooked per instruction + roasted Jap pumpkin + from the garden some parsley, sage, rosemary and mint + a dash of lemon juice and sesame oil + pinch of salt..  hmmm…..yum.

Simple lunch - quinoa with roasted pumpkin and herbs (FODMAP friendly, vegan, gluten free)

 

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Egg ‘pancake’ with Asian style meat balls, vegetables and fish sauce (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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I bought some minced pork from the local butcher early this afternoon with the intention to make some Low FODMAP dumplings. By the time I get around processing the mince with bok choy as filling, I was getting quite hungry and fancied something a bit more substantial.  So here is the afternoon snack / dinner – really nice with a Vietnamese fish sauce.

Egg 'pancake' with Asian style meat balls, vegetables and fish sauce (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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