Tag: Asian recipes

Our guide to Korean fried chicken (with recipe)

korean fried chicken

Korean fried chicken is essentially crispy fried chicken in a sweet chilli sauce. There are actually several variations of this popular snack yet outside of Korea we tend to focus on the sticky sweet/spicy version.

What is the difference between Korean fried chicken and regular fried chicken?

Korean fried chicken is known for its light and crunchy crust with soft tender meat and moreish seasoning. It is the polar opposite of the thick (often greasy) crust and heavy handed approach of its southern counterpart. Everything about Korean fried chicken has a lighter touch, right down to its side serving of pickled radish and cold frosted beer.

So, what makes Korean fried chicken so different?

Korean fried chicken is best made with small chickens, for soft tender meat. The whole bird is used, cut into small pieces that are left on the bone. The best place to get chicken like this is actually your local halal butcher; ask for whole baby chicken, skin on, in pieces.

Any marinade is kept to a minimum, and the chicken is dipped in a thin batter then double fried at a relatively low temperature. Any bits of batter and bubbles in the crust are shaken off, for a smooth crackly crust.

Although it can be served plain, there are sauced varieties. The sauce is brushed, like a thin glaze, onto the hot crust. Think subtle seasoning as opposed to soaking.

Considered a snack, rather than a meal (karaoke and chicken lounge, anyone?) Korean fried chicken is a thing of glorious contrasts. Served with cold beer and crisp cubes of pickled radish, it is both hot and cold, sharp and sweet, crunchy yet soft. Salty and spicy, it really is finger licking good.

How Korean fried chicken is made

Outside of Korean communities, when we talk about Korean fried chicken we generally mean the sticky sweet chilli version known as ‘yangnyeom’. We’ve tried dozens of the best recipes (each one of them different) and come up with what we feel is the definitive Korean fried chicken recipe.

The chicken

The best and most authentic way of cooking, as we saw earlier, is with a small chicken cut into pieces of no bigger than a few inches. This is not however the most accessible route so most people stick with wings. Skin is non-negotiable, and breast is pretty much a no-no unless it part of the whole bird approach that remains on the bone. Wings work well because they have the bone inside that helps them cook, and a complete covering of skin. If only wings had a slightly larger ratio of meat. You could also use chicken thigh with the skin intact but the bone removed.

The marinade

Simple is the way forward here. Subtle enhancement if you will. You don’t want the whole buttermilk/entire spice rack combo that southern fried chicken demands. Some recipes go for a dry seasoning, whilst others prefer a wet marinade. In Korea, they may brine the whole chicken for a couple of days first. The common denominator is ginger. Salt and pepper. Possibly a touch of rice wine, or a little vinegar.

Our favourite was a dry (ish) rub of fresh ginger, salt and pepper. However, rubbing the grated ginger from the chicken after the marinade time was up was a bit of a chore to say the least. We decided to use our organic ginger powder instead. You don’t get the sharp citrus bite of fresh ginger, yet it plays its part in the recipe well.

The crust

Then there’s the coating. Many recipes use a wet marinade followed by a dry coat of seasoned flour. In Korea they use a wet batter, which needs a very fine dry coat first in order to stick. This approach naturally lends itself to a dry seasoning. The sweet spot for the batter seems to be a mix of cornflour and plain wheat flour, with a touch of baking powder. Some like to add a touch of garlic powder, but we prefer to leave this out.

The fry

It goes without saying that deep frying requires several inches of oil in a large sturdy pan. A good quality wok is ideal. Groundnut oil is ideal for deep frying, or corn oil works well. Vegetable oil is fine.

The general consensus is an initial fry, then a final fry, with the latter at a slightly higher temperature. Feel free to ‘wing’ it but a thermometer or guage for accuracy is preferable. Temperatures varied widely, but a 15C difference between the two was standard. We think that 170C for the initial fry, increased to 185C for the second fry is ideal.

In between cook A and cook B, put the wings in a sieve or fryer basket and give them a vigorous shake. This gets rid of unwanted gnarly bits and gives that all important smooth glass-like shatter on the crust.

The sauce

Again, variation abounds. Chilli paste is the defining factor. Gochujang is a Korean fermented chilli paste but you can use an alternative. Ketchup featured heavily in many of the recipes, largely for its sharp sweet flavour profile that we feel can be best achieved in other ways. Soy sauce is a must. As are sugar and honey (brown sugar for its caramel, almost bitter, depth and honey for its nuances). Garlic also appears in every recipe we tried. The aim is a balance of sweet, sour, hot and savoury. A touch of sesame oil seems like an excellent addition.

For our sauce we use a few simple ingredients from our Asian organics range.

Recipe for Korean fried chicken

Serves 4

1 small chicken (as described) or 1kg of wings

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tsp organic dried ginger

For the batter (and dredge)

1/2 cup cornflour

1 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

For the sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp organic chilli paste

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

  1. Rub the chicken with the salt, pepper and ginger powder. Leave to marinade overnight.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients for the batter together and set aside half. Mix the remaining half with the water to make a thin batter.
  3. Pat the chicken dry and toss in the dry mix, shaking well to remove any excess.
  4. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small pan and heat gently to combine.
  5. Heat the oil to 170C.
  6. Working in small batches, dip the chicken in the batter and fry for 6 mins. Remove from the oil, transfer to a wire sieve, and shake vigorously to smooth away any lumps and bumps. Place on a wire rack. Make sure the oil reaches 170C before moving on to the next batch.
  7. Once all of the chicken is fried, increase the temperature to 185C and fry again for 5 mins. Again, work in small batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
  8. Place all of the chicken on a wire rack to cool slightly, brushing lightly with the sauce to serve.

Explore our range of Asian groceries, available to buy in bulk at wholesale prices…

 


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Asian Sauces suppliers”.
See original article:- Our guide to Korean fried chicken (with recipe)

 

 

Simple Japanese kani salad recipe

kani salad

The latest Japanese dish to dominate our Insta-feeds is kani salad.

Super quick and easy to make, it is the ideal starter or side dish. Sandwiched within a crisp baguette, in a sort of banh-mi fusion mash up stylie, it will transport you to lunchtime heaven.

What is kani salad?

Kani salad is a Japanese shredded crab salad. You can use fresh crab meat (kani in Japanese) but there are times when imitation crab sticks (kanikama) are way better than the real deal. Surimi may not have the flavour of fresh crab meat but its ability to shred into strips is a textural joy.

At its simplest, and we think possibly best, kani salad has just three ingredients. Shredded cucumber, shredded crabsticks, and Japanese style mayonnaise. But you can add other crisp shredded vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, or radish. Asian slaw anyone? Mango is not unheard of, and many restaurants like to add a little flourish with fish roe or even panko breadcrumbs.

Kani salad dressing

Japanese mayonnaise is more similar to homemade mayonnaise. It is made with egg yolks, mustard, rice vinegar and oil. Rice vinegar is ideal for making mayonnaise, with its subtle sweetness and lack of harsh acidity. If you can’t get Japanese mayo, use the best shop bought you can find.

A few drops of sriracha sauce added to the mayonnaise excites the palate with a little moreish heat. You can find out more about sriracha sauce in this article. Other subtle flavour additions such as lime juice and soy sauce enhance the flavour of the dish without overpowering its innate simplicity.

How to cut cucumber for kani salad

Cucumber is the star of the show in kani salad. Cool and refreshing, it is the perfect pairing for those shredded strips of surimi. Yet for such a simple ingredient, cucumber can be deceptively hard to work with. The high water content means it soon loses that crisp texture and it can leak out into a soggy mess. The skin is often bitter and indigestible. To combat this, peel the cucumber using a speed peeler. Then, slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the centre bit with the seeds.

Chop into lengths the size of the crabsticks. Slice lengthwise into 3mm slices, then slice the slices into 3mm strips.

Here are a few tips for getting the best from your kani salad.

  1. Use cold cucumber and shred as close to serving as possible. It won’t sit well.
  2. Same with the crabsticks.
  3. Mix your dressing ahead of time so the flavours combine.
  4. Toss the ingredients and dress the salad immediately before serving.

Japanese kani salad recipe

Serves 2, as a side or sandwich filling

6 crabsticks, shredded

1/2 large cucumber, shredded

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tbsp rice vinegar

A squeeze of fresh lime

1 tsp Japanese soy sauce

1 tsp sriracha

  1. Shred the ingredients and toss together.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients.
  3. Mix together and serve immediately.

Try a kani crab salad sandwich

Try adding kani crab salad to a warm crisp baguette with shredded cabbage, carrot, and radish, plus fresh coriander, mint and parsley.

Explore our range of organic Asian groceries or head straight to our selection of Asian sauces.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Online Asian Wholesale Grocer”.
See original article:- Super Simple Japanese kani salad recipe

How to make teriyaki chicken like a Japanese restaurant

japanese teriyaki sauce

If you have ever had teriyaki chicken in a Japanese restaurant then you will know it is a far cry from the over-seasoned, over-thickened sauces of the supermarket and the all-you-can-eat international buffet.

Whilst there is nothing actually wrong with these commercial staples (there is a time and a place for everything, after all) the real deal teriyaki is a subtle surprise. Flavour and texture in perfect harmony; as most Japanese food is.

 

What is teriyaki?

Said to be a centuries old Japanese cooking technique, although there are many who would argue that fact, teriyaki is a grilled dish with a glossy sauce. In Japan it usually features fish, but the favoured version in the West is chicken. Closely followed by salmon. The root of the word is ‘-yaki’ meaning grilled, whilst the prefix ‘teri-‘ denotes the shine created by the sugar in the sauce.

What is teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce, known as ‘tare’ in Japanese, does not need to be thick to be glossy. Teriyaki chicken in a Japanese restaurant is more of a shimmering glaze that barely clings to the meat. It manages to be ethereally subtle whilst still packing a umami punch. Something which appears to be the secret to all Japanese food.

The ‘tare’ is not confined to teriyaki. As a marinade it forms the base flavours of Japanese fried chicken. Yakitori, the ubiquitous grilled skewer, also features the flavours found in teriyaki. ‘yaki’, as we have seen, means grilled. ‘tori’ means bird, usually chicken when used in a culinary sense. Yakitori is always chicken, always on skewers, and always grilled over an open flame. The skewers are grilled, dipped in sauce or brushed, and grilled some more. This is repeated until the chicken is cooked and coated in a gloriously caramelised coating. Same but different.

Teriyaki sauce is a simple blend of equal parts Japanese soy sauce and sake or mirin. Sugar is added in equal parts if using sake; much less is needed with the thicker, sweeter, mirin. Ginger, although not always used, adds another subtle layer of flavour.

How long do you marinate chicken in teriyaki sauce?

Actually you don’t. Both teriyaki and yakitori are cooked in sauce but not marinated. Marinating the chicken would affect the texture and therefore the way that it cooks. The entire crucial balance of the dish would be knocked out of whack.

How to make teriyaki chicken

Chicken thigh is the only way to make teriyaki chicken like a Japanese restaurant. If you want to use chicken breast then you are best making teriyaki chicken stir fry, which is another thing entirely. Why? Because chicken teriyaki is all about the skin. In fact it is all about soft soft meat, with crispy crispy skin. Which is a job that chicken thighs do really really well.

Despite ‘yaki’ meaning grilled, the best way to make teriyaki chicken is in a frying pan. One that has a lid, or at least something you can cover it with. Briefly. The aim is to render the fats out of the skin, making it really crisp, and then keep the meat soft with a shot of savoury steam. Makes sense, right?

Ideally, you want boneless thigh of a decent size, with the skin intact. It is easier that way, and they also tend to flatten it out a bit when sold this way. It may cost a little more. Or, you buy whole chicken thighs and get comfortable with prepping them. If you buy skinless boneless thighs then you clearly haven’t heard a word we have said. To prepare a chicken thigh you need to turn it over, skin side down, and carefully remove the bone by cutting the flesh around it. You can trim off the bit of excess skin. For best results, you should open the thigh out to make it flatter; a process known as butterflying. But as long as you can get the bone out, you are doing just fine.

Lay your now bone-free chicken thighs skin side up and poke several holes in them with a skewer.

Making the sauce

You could make up a teriyaki sauce with 1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce, 1/4 cup mirin, and a tablespoon sugar. Heat it together in a small saucepan so that the sugar dissolves and it reduces just a little. Grate 1 inch fresh ginger, and squeeze only the juice into the sauce. Or, you could just use our organic Japanese teriyaki sauce to make life much easier.

Cooking the chicken

Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the thighs, one at a time, skin side down. Pressing each one with your fingers for a minute or so helps to keep them flat and prevents bunching up. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

Once all the thighs are in the pan, cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for a few minutes more. The skin should be golden brown and crispy, with all the fat rendered into the pan. Pour this fat away, turn the thighs over, and add the sauce. It should cover the base of the pan, with the chicken meat immersed, but not the skin. Put the lid on, or cover the pan, and allow to steam through for one minute.

Remove the lid and let the sauce simmer for a few more minutes until it has reduced enough to cling softly to the chicken. Turn the thighs once, so the skin gets coated in sauce. The sauce should only be thick enough that it can cling. No thicker. Like thin gravy.

Set the chicken aside to rest for a few minutes and slice. Pour over the remaining sauce to serve.

Teriyaki chicken bowl

There are a few ways you could serve your teriyaki chicken. One is with a pile of crisp refreshing Japanese slaw, like this one. Or you could serve it with sticky rice and crisp green veg such as lightly steamed broccoli and asparagus spears. Or what about some Asian greens?

If you pile the rice in a bowl, top with the chicken, pour over the remaining sauce and add the vegetables, then what you have is teriyaki chicken don. That’s teriyaki chicken over rice in a bowl, and it is a really pleasing way to eat it. The sauce should be super thin; just enough to wet the rice a little. You could add a few pickles, like the ones in this post about Asian slaw and salads, or a simple flourish of spring onion. This is comfort food. Asian style. Good for your body as well as your soul.

 

We have plenty more organic Asian sauces to inspire you, and all of our South East Asian spices and condiments are available to buy in bulk.

 


This article was reproduced on this site only with permission from our parent co. operafoods.com.au the “Gourmet Online Wholesale Grocer”. See original article:- How to Make Teriyaki Chicken like a Japanese Restaurant

 

Quick and easy Asian pork meatballs. Maximum flavour for minimum effort.

Asian pork meatballs

Meatballs. Praise to the gods of comfort food. Add in a few Asian spices with a hint of Eastern flair and you’ve got a double dose of heaven. We have a few ideas for Asian pork meatballs. Quick and easy to make, using some store cupboard short cuts. And super tasty.

But first, a few meatball basics.

 

How to make meatballs

From Italy to China, through Sweden and over to Vietnam, most countries of the world have a traditional meatball recipe. A way of stretching meat, they are relatively quick, easy and cost effective to make. Some use egg, some use breadcrumbs, and many use both. Many cover them in sauce whilst others dip them. Some like them completely naked. Others come in the guise of meatloaf or they are often impaled on a stick. All of them spring from one basic recipe. One simple technique.

One thing all these nations can agree on is that a good meatball is soft and tender. If you can arrange for it to be a little juicy in the middle too, then its all good in the hood.

Meatballs are softer when made with lamb and beef, due to a high proportion of fat and a more open textured flesh. Turkey and chicken are leaner and more compact so tend to dry out easily. Pork, if you use a fattier cut like shoulder or belly is ideal. Most of us use shop bought mince to make our meatballs, and standard pork mince sits at around 10 to 20 percent fat. This makes for a rich, soft meatball that takes on Asian flavours particularly well.

What makes meatballs stick together?

Strictly speaking you don’t need a binder as meat, when mixed really well, will stick to itself. The best way to achieve this is by mixing in a food processor to break down the meat fibres. Turkish kofte, for example is made in this way. The usual binder is egg; an egg yolk in your meatball mix will act as a binder and add extra richness.

Breadcrumbs are more of a filler than a binder. They add texture to the meat, and absorb fat, juices and flavour. Often soaked in milk beforehand, breadcrumbs do make a meatball softer and round out the flavours. You can leave them out, but take care not to overcook your meatballs.

A meatball can be as simple as ground meat mixed together with salt and pepper, shaped into balls and cooked. Spices and herbs may be added. As may the aforementioned egg and crumb. They are best mixed gently by hand so as not to overwork the mixture which will make it tough. Pork is quite robust and has a higher fat content so there is a more of a margin for error.

How to cook meatballs

Asian meatballs

Meatballs can be fried, or baked, or both. They can be cooked and served without sauce or with a dipping sauce. Frying seems to make for a softer meatball, with a browned crust and a juicy tender middle. They can also be finished in a sauce, or a glaze, either in a pan or in the oven.

The best way to cook meatballs is to fry them. Stick to balls of about 1 inch diameter, which is roughly a generous tablespoon of mix. Shallow fry them in a little oil for about 15 minutes, turning regularly. They are ready when the meat is no longer pink in the middle and the juices run clear. They should still feel soft to the touch. If you want to bake the meatballs they will take about 25 minutes at 180C.

If you want to add a glaze, such as teriyaki sauce, add a few tablespoons to the frying pan with the meatballs and cook over a moderately high heat until it has reduced. To finish them in a sauce, fry them for about 10 minutes and before they are completely cooked drop them into a saucepan with the sauce. Heat through for a further 5 minutes or until fully cooked. This keeps the meatballs nice and soft.

If you want to bake meatballs in a sauce in the oven we recommend browning them first. You can then bake them in the sauce at 180C for about 25 minutes or until fully cooked.

Basic meatball recipe

Serves 4

500g minced pork (at least 10% fat)

50g fresh, soft breadcrumbs

3 tbsp milk

1 egg yolk

1/4 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for a few minutes.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, including the wet breadcrumbs, and knead together with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Divide the mixture into tablespoons and roll into balls. Dipping your hands in water occasionally will help to prevent the mixture sticking.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  5. Add the meatballs and fry gently for about 15 minutes, turning regularly. You may need to do this in batches as they need at least 2 inches space between them.
  6. Serve with a simple dip such as sweet chilli sauce.

Asian pork meatballs with sweet and sour

Try finishing off the basic meatball mix with a generous glaze of sweet and sour sauce.

Thai meatballs

Add a few teaspoons of our South East Asian spice blend to your meatball mix, with a handful of chopped fresh coriander. Take it one step further and finish in a fragrant sauce of red curry paste and a can of coconut milk.

Chinese meatballs

Try using 1 tsp of grated ginger, 1/2 cup chopped spring onions, and 3 tbsp of soy sauce in your mix. After browning in the frying pan, cover and turn the heat low. Let them steam through for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Vietnamese pork meatballs

Mix in a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, a tablespoon of fish sauce, and plenty of chopped fresh coriander and mint. Serve in lettuce wraps, or even in baguette with lots of crisp vegetables as a twist on the classic Banh Mi.

 

Hopefully you are inspired to try some different styles of Asian meatballs. Why not see what you can come up with using our organic Asian sauces and spices? There is also wholesale organic food at our online store.

 

Using organic Asian sauces and spice pastes. Shortcuts to superb Asian dishes.

Title shortcuts with Asian sauces

Let’s face it, who always has the time or energy to cook full-on Asian recipes? Many of our favourite Asian sauces and spice pastes have a long list of ingredients that involve much grinding, crushing or both.

But nothing else will do. You want fragrant heat. Something sharp and spicy with creamy coconut. The thought of lemongrass and lime leaf just will not let go.

That’s when you need a shortcut to fast food.

Quick and easy recipes with organic Asian sauces

Shortcuts with Asian sauces

Quick and easy hot and sour soup

Serves 2

The organic Thai chili paste is hot, sweet and sharp with palm sugar, garlic, shallots and tamarind. So all the work has been done for you. Don’t be put off by the dried lime leaf, lemongrass or galangal. These organic powders retain their sharp fresh qualities and there is nothing there that a Thai cook would not use.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp organic Thai chili paste

1/4 tsp organic lime leaf powder

1/4 tsp organic galangal powder

1/2 tsp organic lemongrass powder

2 cups chicken stock

3 tbsp fish sauce

10 king prawns, shelled and deveined

Juice of 2 limes

To garnish

Fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the Thai chili paste and the spice powders.
  2. Cook for 1 minute, and add the chicken stock with the fish sauce.
  3. Simmer for about 3 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
  4. Drop in the prawns and cook for about 1 minute until they are opaque.
  5. Squeeze in the lime juice and serve into bowls.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander.

 

Quick and easy Singapore black pepper chicken

Serves 2

A simple stir fry supper to serve with rice or noodles. The flavours are already in the sauce for you, but you can add a pinch of our organic ginger powder for an extra kick.

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 chicken breasts, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

200g fine green beans, topped and tailed, and cut into 2 

1 tsp organic ginger powder

200g jar of organic black pepper sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a wok.
  2. Add the chicken, pepper, onions and green beans.
  3. Stir fry until the chicken is golden and the beans are tender crisp.
  4. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the black pepper sauce, stir to combine, and cook for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

 

Quick and easy Thai red fish curry

Serves 2

Thai red curry is more spicy and robust than Thai green curry and is perfect for the firm flesh of monkfish or the richness of salmon. Serve with steamed rice and some Asian greens.

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp organic Thai red curry paste

400g monkfish fillet, cubed

300g coconut milk

Juice of lime

To garnish

Fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a wok or saucepan.
  2. Add the curry paste and cook for 2 mins, stirring.
  3. Now add the fish and stir to coat with the curry paste.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, bring to the boil, and then simmer for about 3 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
  5. Add the lime juice and serve.
  6. Garnish with the fresh coriander.

Check out our range of Asian groceries and condiments or enjoy wholesale prices from our online Asian grocery store.

 


This Article was reproduced with permission from Opera Foods  article:- “Using organic Asian sauces and spice pastes. Shortcuts to superb Asian dishes.”

 

Asian greens. What they are and how to get the best out of them.

Guide to Asian greens

Asian greens are quick and easy to cook, super good for you, and take on all those vibrant, Asian flavours really well.

If you feel like some light and healthy food that still packs a punch in the flavour department, then getting to grips with Asian greens is a good place to start. From soft and tender bok choy in fragrant noodle soup, to the garlic tones of Chinese chives in your chicken dishes, you are sure to discover your new favourite thing.

 

Guide to Asian greens

Top 5 Asian greens

There are many different types of Asian greens available at Asian grocers, but the ones below are the most widely accessible and some may be found at the supermarket or greengrocer. Whilst they are largely related and play very similar roles, each is unique and brings a different dimension to your dish.

Bok choy

Bok choi asian greens

Also known as pak choi, bok choy is a member of the brassica family, related to broccoli and cabbage. It has the iron rich green flavour of spinach or kale and is sold when small, young and tender as well as larger, mature, and more fibrous. The smaller bok choy can be cut into halves or quarters before cooking. When bigger, the stem is best cooked separately from the leaf. Not typically eaten raw, bok choy is best for stir frying or braising.

Try this…

Add halved bok choy to fragrant noodle broth for 5 to 8 minutes or until tender

 

Chinese broccoli

Chinese broccoli asian greens

Chinese broccoli is very similar to the long stemmed varieties of broccoli such as purple sprouting or Tenderstem. Drop into boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes until a knife inserted into the stem has just a little resistance. You could then simply dress it and serve, or stir fry for a minute with some garlic and ginger.

Try this…

Blanch in salted water for 3 minutes and stir fry with a few tablespoons of our organic black pepper sauce for a fragrant, spicy side dish.

 

Chinese leaf

Chinese leaf asian greens

Somewhere between a lettuce and a cabbage, Chinese leaf is also a member of the brassica family. Used both cooked and raw, it has a sweet nutty flavour and remains surprisingly crisp when cooked. Blanched in stock before stir frying, Chinese leaf soaks up all the flavour of the stock but without going soggy.

Try this…

Use as a crunchy fresh base for this Thai Beef Salad.

 

Choi sum

Choi sum asian greens

Choi sum is somewhere between bok choy and Chinese broccoli. It has the soft leaves of bok choy, with long tender stems. The flavour is mild and the texture like spinach. Eaten cooked, it can chopped and stir fried. or added to broth for a few minutes before serving.

Try this…

Stir fry with strips of fresh ginger and season with a splash of Japanese soy sauce.

 

Mustard greens

Mustard greens asian greens

Related to choi sum, mustard greens are shaped like a romaine lettuce but has frilly edges like kale. You can use mustard greens pretty much like kale. Slice or shred and drop into fragrant soup, or blanch in boiling water for a few minutes before stir frying.

Try this…

Blanch or stir fry until tender and drizzle with dressing made from 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, and 1 tsp sugar. You could add a dash of chili sauce to turn up the heat.

 

Some useful additions to Asian greens

Whilst not really greens, these green vegetables can add colour, texture and flavour to your Asian food and offer more ways of bringing a bit of green to your plate.

Snake beans

Found in Asian grocery stores, these are long green beans. Similar to french beans (aka green beans), they can be cooked in the same way. Drop into a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender crisp. Serve simply tossed in soy sauce, or stir fry with aromatics such as ginger or chili. Conversely, if you find snake beans in a recipe, you can switch them out for green beans.

Sugar snap peas and mangetout

Essentially varieties of peas that are eaten with the pod, sugar snap peas and mangetout are great for stir fries as they cook so quickly whilst retaining their crunch. They have a lovely sweet flavour, with a slightly bitter edge of green.

Chinese chives and spring onions

Chinese chives are more robust than your average chive, and have a strong flavour of garlic and leek. Used as an ingredient rather than a herb, they will stand up to heat and can be blanched for a few minutes before adding to a stir fry. Often served alone simply as a vegetable, but also tossed liberally into scrambled eggs. You could add Chinese chives as a milder alternative to garlic.

 

We have all your organic Asian sauces right here, or why not head straight to our store for Asian groceries at wholesale prices?

How to make really good Chinese style sticky pork belly

sticky pork belly recipe

Pork belly. One of the best things to eat. Ever. And sticky pork belly, Chinese style, reigns supreme. Deeply savoury? Tick. Fragrant with sweet spices? Hell yeah. Sinfully salty? Uh-huh.

Soft enough to use as a pillow, with fat that melts away like clouds, well cooked pork belly is simply sheer joy.

Did we mention sticky?

Chinese sticky pork belly

Sticky pork belly is not difficult to make. As with most things the devil is in the detail. You will need thick cut strips of belly pork, at least an inch thick all round, with plenty of creamy white fat and soft pink meat. The leaner part of the belly, with darker meat and less fat can dry out easily and be a bit chewy. Cooked on the stove top, the pan you use is important. You need a heavy bottomed pan that won’t burn or weld the meat to the bottom. In other words, a good quality pan. A cast iron casserole is ideal.

The recipe calls for 1kg meat. This is a lot, but it does shrink and you will want plenty. Leftovers can be used in Singapore noodles. If they get that far. Don’t be put off by the dark colour, it is just the soy sauce and the dark brown sugar that give the dish a deep molasses flavour. Instead of using black pepper, you could try adding a tablespoon of our black pepper sauce for a deeper flavour.

We served ours with plain white rice, Asian greens, and some quick pickles.

Recipe for sticky pork belly

sticky pork belly

Servings - 4

Ingredients

1kg thick pork belly strips, cut in 2 inch pieces

1 litre water

2 inches fresh ginger, sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

4 bay leaves

3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

4 spring onions, cut in half

For the sauce

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

4 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp black pepper 

For the garnish

Spring onion, chopped

Toasted sesame seeds
  1. Bring the water to the boil in a large pot with the ginger, garlic, spring onions, and aromatics.
  2. Once boiling, add the pork, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain in a colander, keeping 1 cup of the cooking water.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat, make sure it is dry, and add the oil.
  5. Add the drained ingredients back to the pan, turn the heat to medium high, and let the pork brown. Stir occasionally. It will stick to the pot, don’t worry. Let it brown, and keep releasing it with a wooden spoon. This stage is really important, you need all that caramelisation on the meat, and the fat to render down. Don’t rush, just keep going until the meat is browned all over. Give it about 20 minutes.
  6. When the meat is nicely browned, stir in the sugar, honey, vinegar, soy and black pepper. Turn the heat to low.
  7. When the sugar has dissolved, add the reserved cooking liquid.
  8. Put the lid on and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  9. The liquid should have reduced to a glaze. If not, continue cooking with the lid off until it looks thick and sticky.
  10. Leave to stand in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.
  11. Remove the aromatics to serve, and garnish with sesame and spring onion.

We hope you feel inspired to give this recipe a go. Why not check our range of organic Asian groceries or head over to our Asian grocery store online?

 

 

Want a great Singapore noodle recipe? Creamy, spicy, fragrant AND it uses up leftovers.

singapore noodles recipe

There are a few things that define a great Singapore noodle recipe. One is curry paste or powder. That’s the kicker. Then there is the addition of eggs. More of a scrambled scenario than a sliced omelette.

And then there is the question of leftovers. Yes, Singapore noodles are great for throwing the contents of your fridge at, but there are a few ground rules. The meat should really be pork. And preferably a bit sweet/salty. And there should be prawns. So you have that pork and prawn combo thing going on.

How to make Singapore noodles

singapore noodle recipe

Versions of Singapore noodle recipes abound. Strictly speaking it is more of way of using up your leftovers than a strict recipe, so perhaps the best way forwards is to get the detail right. Stir frying is all about fast cooking over a high high heat. That somehow manages to result in deep deep flavour, whilst keeping the integral personality of the ingredients intact. In terms of taste and texture.

It is very very clever and completely underestimated.

Essentially, Singapore noodles are made of the following components…

The noodles

Usually made with rice noodles, but they can be (especially the fine ones) really hard to toss with the other ingredients and end up in a tangle. Use whichever noodles you prefer – cook and cool them before stir frying.

The vegetables

Use whatever you have to hand. Spring onion is good for flavour, and Asian vegetables such as bamboo or water chestnuts add great crunch. Add those that need the longest cooking time first.

The protein

Again, use whatever you like or need to use up. The prawn/pork combo works particularly well, especially leftover sticky pork belly.

The seasonings

Curry powder gives the classic Singapore noodle taste. Ginger, garlic and chili round it out with fresh aromatic heat.

The sauce

Soy sauce added at the end brings the requisite salty element whilst coconut milk makes it a little creamier. Using the creamy part of tinned coconut milk makes for a thicker sauce that won’t overcook the noodles.

The garnish

Keeping it old school with fresh coriander and a few slices of fresh red chili. Add an extra flourish with handful of peanuts or sesame seeds.

Singapore noodle recipe

Gather all of your ingredients together before cooking

  • Serves 4

Ingredients

The noodles

225g noodles, cooked as per packet instructions, and cooled

The vegetables

4 mushrooms, sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

100g frozen peas

6 water chestnuts, sliced

1/2 cup bamboo shoots

The protein

100g cooked ham or leftover pork, shredded

100g cooked prawns

4 eggs, beaten

The seasonings

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground white pepper

1 tbsp Madras curry powder

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 inch ginger, grated

1 tsp red chili paste

The sauce

1 tbsp coconut cream

2 tbsp soy sauce

The garnish

Fresh coriander, chopped

Red chili, finely sliced
  1. Heat the wok until smoking and add the oils.
  2. Add the mushrooms and spring onions. Stir fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rest of the veg and the meat.
  4. Add the seasonings and stir fry for 1 minute.
  5. Push the ingredients to the side of the wok, and pour the beaten egg into the space. Stir the eggs until cooked.
  6. Add the noodles to the wok and stir everything to combine.
  7. Add the sauce ingredients. Stir to combine.
  8. Serve and garnish.

Check out our range of certified organic Asian groceries or head over to our Asian groceries wholesale store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai beef salad recipe. Fast fun and vibrant food in under 30 minutes.

thai beef salad recipe title

Full of the punchy flavours that characterise Thai food, this vibrant Thai beef salad recipe can be made in under 30 minutes. The steaks are quick and easy to cook and although there is a bit of vegetable prep to do the dish is more about assembly rather than preparation.

For best results use the freshest produce available and bring the meat to room temperature before cooking.

 

Recipe for Thai beef salad

thai beef salad recipe

2 x sirloin steaks of about 250g each

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp flaked sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp ground coriander 

For the salad

1/4 head Chinese leaf, shredded

1 cup beansprouts

1 carrot, shredded

8 radishes, sliced

1/2 shallot, finely sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

1/2 cucumber, peeled and shaved into ribbons

1 small bunch mint, chopped

For the dressing

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 teaspoon chili paste

2 tsp brown sugar

3 tbsp fish sauce

3 limes, juice

1 tbsp sesame oil

To garnish

75g salted peanuts, chopped

1/2 red chilli, finely sliced

coriander leaves

 

1. Take the steaks from the fridge, remove any packaging, and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Steak for thai beef salad recipe

2. Rub the steaks with the oil and seasonings. Set aside to come up to room temperature whilst you make the salad.

Salad 2 for thai beef salad recipe

3. Begin to layer your salad ingredients on a large platter.

Salad for thai beef salad recipe

4. Note the size and shape of the carrots. It takes a little more effort to julienne them rather than grate them, but the texture will make a big difference to the eating quality of your salad.

Salad 3 for thai beef salad recipe

5. Finish the salad layers with the chopped mint.

6. Heat a grill pan or frying pan over a medium high heat. When really hot, add the steaks seasoning side down and sear for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

7. Remove the steaks from the pan and set aside to rest for a few minutes whilst you make the dressing.

8. Stir all of the dressing ingredients together.

9. Thinly slice the steaks.

Salad 5 for thai beef salad recipe

10. Layer the sliced steaks onto the salad.

Salad 4 for thai beef salad recipe

11. Finish with the dressing and a scatter of peanuts.

12. Serve the Thai beef salad whilst the steak is still hot.

 

You can buy our organic chili paste and other amazing organic Asian groceries at our Asian grocery store online online.