Eat the World – Part 13

Week 5 – Japan

ETW 05 Japan

This savoury pancake is a mix and matcher’s dream – it’s all about DIY toppings. The name itself comes from the word okonomi, which means “what you want”. Okonomiyaki is available throughout Japan, with toppings and batters changing across regions.

This pancake is so easy to pull together and tastes amazing! Go nuts on the toppings and discover a textural wonder, with flavours battling it out the whole meal through. This is a new kitchen staple…

Okonomiyaki

Ingredients

Meat

• 100 gr pork mince
• 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon mirin

Pancakes

• 100 gr plain flour, sifted
• 100 ml water
• 1 egg
• ¼ Chinese cabbage, shredded finely
• 2 spring onions, chopped finely

Otafuku sauce (I used Adam Liaw’s recipe for Otafuku sauce, available here)

• ½ tomato sauce
• ¼ Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon mirin
• 1 teaspoon caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon English mustard

Toppings (choice of)

• 2 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise
• Cucumber, thinly sliced
• Bean sprouts
• Nori seaweed, torn in little pieces
• Pickled ginger
• Dried bonito flakes
• Tempura flakes
• Toasted sesame seeds, crushed

Method

1. For the meat, cook mince until it browns then stir through soy and mirin. Set aside.

2. For the pancakes, make a well in the flour and whisk in water and egg. Once combined, add cabbage and onions and stir through.

3. For the Otafuku sauce, combine all ingredients.

4. In a pan, heat some oil over a medium to high heat. Pour enough batter to create your desired pancake size. When underside is cooked and beginning to brown, add a layer of pork to the top (wet) side of the pancake, then flip to finish cooking through.

5. Top with Otafuku sauce and any combination of the listed toppings.

Week 6 – Korea

ETW 06 Korea

Bibimbap bibimbap bibimbap… The more you say it, the more fun it gets! Like Japan’s Okonomiyaki, Korea’s bibimbap a joyous mixture of everything. It’s about creating a new mouthful every time you go back the bowl throughout your meal. It’s fun to say, it’s fun to make and it’s fun to eat!

…What’s not fun is being stuck behind this guy with no chance to overtake on the way home from Queenscliff…

ETW 06 Korea bibimbap

Bibimbap is a big surprise, too. Looking at the recipe, the simplicity of preparation might raise an eyebrow – where’s all the flavour at? But somehow, it works – really well. My preference was for a runny egg to coat a lot of the rice, along with loads of chilli sauce!

Bibimbap

Ingredients (for 4 people)

• 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
• 3 teaspoons of sea salt
• 1 ½ cups of baby spinach
• 4 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds
• 1 cup bean sprouts
• 2 cups sushi rice
• 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 carrots, matchsticked
• 400 gr beef mince
• 4 eggs
• Chilli sauce, to serve

Method

1. Place cucumber and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl together. Cover with cold water and set aside for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain.

2. Blanch spinach and bean sprouts, separately, in hot water.

3. Combine spinach, sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon of salt. In a separate bowl, combine bean sprouts with remaining salt, seeds and sesame oil.

4. Cook rice as per packet instructions. Set aside to keep warm.

5. Heat vegetable oil in pan over medium heat. Cook carrot for 2 minutes, remove and set aside. Add mince to pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until browned, remove and set aside. Crack egg into pan and fry until cooked to your liking.

6. Divide rice among bowls and top with beef, carrots, spinach, sprouts and egg. Serve with chilli sauce.

Week 7 – China

ETW 07 China

Get ready for spice! Sichuan cuisine takes its name from its home province in southwestern China and is heavy on Sichuan pepper, spice and garlic.
This is a really quick and easy introduction to Sichuan, but doesn’t compromise on impact. It’s also full of colour, too; and you know that’s good for you! The Sichuan itself doesn’t pack a punch (although its flavour is very distinct), but the level of chilli paste you choose to add will heat things up to your liking.

Sichuan chicken

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon Sichuan/Szechuan peppercorns
• Salt
• 2 chicken fillets, pounded flat and sliced thinly
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
• 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
• 1 cup onions, sliced thinly
• 1 cup broccoli florets
• ¼ cup each of green, red and yellow capsicum, each sliced thinly
• 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• ¼ cup dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon chilli paste
• ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced

Method

1. Heat a saucepan and dry roast the Szechuan peppers until fragrant. Remove and grind in a mortar and pestle. Season chicken with crushed pepper and set aside.

2. Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add ginger, garlic and onions and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken, broccoli, capsicum, mushrooms, soy sauce, sherry and chilli paste. Cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, tossing the wok regularly. Add scallions and cook for 1 minute.

3. Serve with rice.

Week 8 – Vietnam

ETW 08 Vietnam

Vietnamese food is a celebration of flavour – sweet, salty, sour, spicy, bitter, fishy and zesty… This Vietnamese beef and noodle salad brings a lot to the table with minimal effort and time. Make lots – you’ll want more and more.

Vietnamese beef noodle salad

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 teaspoon fish sauce
• 1 teaspoon caster sugar
• 400 gr beef rump steak, sliced thinly
• 250 gr rice vermicelli
• 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed, thinly sliced
• 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
• 1 carrot, cut in matchsticks
• ½ cup Thai basil leaves
• ½ cup Vietnamese mint leaves
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• ¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly crushed
• ½ cup fried shallots

Dressing

• 1 red birdseye chilli, roughly chopped
• 1 clove garlic
• ¼ cup fish sauce
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 3 teaspoons caster sugar

Method

1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind peppercorns, lemongrass and garlic into a paste. Combine with fish sauce and caster sugar. Cover beef with mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Dressing: Using a mortar and pestle, grind chilli and garlic to paste and combine well with fish sauce, lime juice and caster sugar.

3. Pour boiling water over noodles. Cover for 4 minutes, then drain and run under cold water to cool completely. Transfer noodles to a large bowl and top with cucumber, lettuce, basil and mint.

4. Heat oil in wok over high heat and cook beef in batches, tossing once or twice, for 2 minutes. Add beef to salad, pour over dressing and top with bean sprouts, peanuts and fried shallots.

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Rice Bonanza – Part 1

In 2016, running concurrently and somewhat as part of Eat the World, I present: Rice Bonanza!

This is a celebration of all the wonderful rice dishes the world has to offer and I’m going to attempt throughout the year to build a hefty swag of rice recipes and share them all here.

Rice Bonanza ties in with Eat the World because rice is truly the global food! From Asian fried rice to Middle Eastern pilafs, Indian biriyani to Cajun Jambalaya, Spanish paella to Greek avgolemono, Japanese sushi to Italian arancini… The list, and variations within the list, are endless!

If you happen to like the recipes, share them. And feel free to throw me suggestions!!

The first edition of RB sees an Indonesian favourite, nasi goreng; one of my kitchen regulars, stovetop risotto; a fishy texture mash in kedgeree; an Indian take on a classic via biryani snag rolls; very herby and cheesy stuffed tomatoes; and colourfully sweet pineapple rice.

 

Recipe 1 – Nasi goreng (Indonesia)

RB 01 Nasi goreng

Ingredients

• 1 cup of long grain rice
• 2 tablespoons of kecap manis
• 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon sriracha
• ¼ cup peanut oil
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
• ½ teaspoon shrimp paste
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
• 1 brown onion, chopped
• 1 carrot, diced
• 1 small chicken breast, cut to 1cm pieces
• 12 green prawns, chopped in thirds
• 2-4 spring onions
• ¼ Chinese cabbage, shredded
• Dried shallots and fresh chillies, sliced (for serving)

Method

1. Cook the rice, wash under cold water immediately and refrigerate, covered, overnight.

2. Combine kecap manis, dark soy sauce and sriracha.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, cook egg in a thin layer, remove from heat and slice thinly.

4. Heat remaining oil, then add sambal oelek, shrimp paste, garlic, brown onion and carrot and cook for 1 minute.

5. Add chicken, cook for 1-2 minutes, until chicken starts to brown.

6. Add prawns, cook for 2 minutes until pink.

7. Add spring onions, Chinese cabbage and sauce mix. Cook for 4 minutes, or until chicken and prawns are cooked through and everything is heated.

8. Serve topped with dried shallots and chillies.

 

Recipe 2 – Pumpkin and tomato stovetop risotto

RB 02 Risotto 1

Ingredients (enough for 4-5 people)

• 1 quarter of a good sized Jap pumpkin, chopped into 2cm pieces
• 6 large Roma tomatoes, diced
• Olive oil to lightly coat pumpkin and tomatoes + 2 tablespoons
• 1 brown onion, diced
• 1 small red capsicum, diced
• 6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 cup Arborio rice
• ½ cup dry white wine
• ½ cup ginger beer
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 3-4 tablespoons butter
• Large bunch of sage, leaves picked
• ½ cup parmesan or pecorino
• 4 spring onions, finely sliced, to serve

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C, lightly coat pumpkin with oil, season and roast for 40 minutes or until tender and browning. Lightly coat tomatoes with oil, season and roast for 20 minutes.

2. Heat remaining olive oil in a heavy based pot over a high heat. Add onions and capsicum and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add rice, mix well and cook for 1 minute.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add wine and ginger beer to pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until most liquid has absorbed. Add one cup of stock and stir frequently until mostly absorbed. Repeat with final cup of stock. If rice is still firm, add a little water until it’s done.

4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a new pan and cook all the sage until it turns crispy.

5. When rice is cooked, stir through remaining butter and cheese until melted. Serve in bowls, topped with sage and spring onions.

Recipe 3 – Kedgeree (India)

RB 03 Kedgeree

Ingredients (enough for 2 people)

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• 3 cm piece of ginger, grated
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
• 6 curry leaves
• ¾ cup basmati rice
• ½ cup milk
• 1 cup chicken stock
• ½ cup peas (if frozen, thaw them out)
• 100 gr smoked salmon or trout
• 2 eggs, hard boiled to your liking and quartered

Method

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions for 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, curry powder and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute. Season.

2. Stir through rice and cook for 1 minute. Add milk and stock, scrape sides and bottom of saucepan. Bring to simmer, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

3. Stir through peas and salmon to heat through. Serve in bowls topped with egg.

Recipe 4 – Lamb biryani rolls

RB 04 Snag rolls

The recipe for the sausage rolls is adapted from delicious online.

Ingredients (makes 15 8cm rolls)

• 1/2 cup (100g) basmati rice, cooked and cooled under cold water
• 2 eggs, each lightly beaten in separate bowls
• 400g lamb mince
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• Pinch of ground cardamom
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
• 2 ½ sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed, halved
• 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
• Mango chutney salad, to serve

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220C and line tray with baking paper.

2. Combine 1 egg with lamb, spices, onion and ginger. Season and mix well.

3. Cut each slice of puff pastry in half (to create a total of 10 long pieces). Divide meat mixture evenly and spread as a log along each length of pastry. Brush the outer edge of the pastry with the second egg and roll to enclose. Cut each length into three 8-10 cm pieces.

4. Brush the tops of each roll with remaining egg and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Cook for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Mango chutney

Ingredients (enough to fill a little over 1 regular jam jar)

• 2 mangos, flesh removed and diced
• 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
• 3 spring onions, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon grated ginger
• 3 small chillies, finely chopped (I used birdseye and used the seeds, but you can adjust as you like)
• Pinch of salt
• ¾ cup of packed brown sugar
• 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Method

1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add mango, apple, onion, ginger, chilli and salt. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until apple just starts to soften.

2. Add sugar and vinegar, reduce heat slightly. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chutney has thickened. It will thicken more when cooling down.

3. Transfer chutney to sterilised jam jar and store in fridge.

Recipe 5 – Rice-stuffed tomatoes

RB 05 Rice toms

These are very versatile and can incorporate any kind of rice or flavouring ingredients you like. My recipe is heavy on the herbs and loaded with double cheese. Consequently, it packs a lot of flavour! These are great as a side to a roast, or any meal really.

Ingredients (makes 8 tomatoes)

• 8 large vine-ripened tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely diced
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• ½ cup brown rice
• ½ cup vegetable stock
• ½ cup parsley leaves, chopped
• ½ cup basil leaves, chopped
• 2 tablespoons dill, chopped
• ¼ cup crumbled feta
• ¼ cup grated pecorino
• ¼ cup grated mozzarella

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Slice the tops off each tomato (about 1 cm) and scoop the pulp into a bowl. Mash pulp.

2. Heat oil in saucepan and cook onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add rice and stir to coat. Stir in mashed pulp (with any liquid) and stock and bring to simmer. Cover until rice is almost tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove from heat and stir in herbs and cheeses. Top with a little bit of cheese (whichever you like), place tomatoes on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, at which time the tomatoes should be tender.

 

Recipe 6 – Pineapple rice

RB 06.2 Pineapple rice

Ingredients (makes two servings in pineapple halves, and 2 additional servings)

• Whole pineapple (preferably with top)
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 red capsicum, diced
• 6 spring onions, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tablespoon grated ginger
• 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
• ½ cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
• 2 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 2 teaspoons chilli sauce
• 1 teaspoon caster sugar
• 1 lime
• Coriander leaves, to serve

Method

1. Cur pineapple in half, top to bottom. Remove the majority of flesh, retaining the skin as a bowl. Chop pineapple flesh and set aside.

2. Heat ½ tablespoon oil in wok over high heat. Pour in eggs with a pinch of salt and swirl the wok to create a thin omelette. Flip, cook through and remove from wok. Once slightly cooled, tear omelette into small pieces.

3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok and add chopped pineapple and capsicum. Cook until any liquid released has evaporated and pineapple starts to caramelise (about 5 minutes). Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for half a minute. Add tomato and egg, mix and remove from wok.

4. Add remaining ½ tablespoon oil to wok. Add cashews and stir constantly for half a minute. Add rice, stir and cook for 3 minutes.

5. Add pineapple mix to wok with rice to warm everything through. Combine all sauces with sugar and juice from half the lime. Pour over rice and stir to combine. Transfer rice to pineapple halves (bowls) and top with coriander leaves.