Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Hello Everyone! Today’s post will be a simple one – well at first before even tackling the recipe, I thought it’d be a complicated and labour-intensive process. Actually, it took a while to finely chop up the garlic, onions, galangal, and ginger as I did not have a food processor to do it all for me in a jiffy; nonetheless, it helped me improve on my chopping skills (probably not really).

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Tom Yum is one of the first Thai dishes that I learned to love, and it was probably from this dish that I slowly started to love chillies and the kick of spice it gave to my palette. In fact, Chicken Tom Yum was the very first Thai dishes that I learnt to cook from my auntie, who is Thai; but at that time I still used pre-packed tom yum paste from the supermarkets. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that I wanted to learn how to make my own tom yum paste – and quite a success I might add! The flavours were obviously tastier and had more kick than store-bought paste, and very easy to make as well! The opportunities are endless with this paste; you can use it to make a tom yum broth to accompany various meats such as chicken, pork, prawns, fish, and mixed seafood’s including clams and squid, or you can use it as a seasoning to various dishes. The original recipe can be found at Pickyin.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | MAKES 40 TBSP (approx.)*

*What I normally do is place about a tablespoon of the paste in small plastic bags and place them into the freezer. Each time I make a dish that requires Tom Yum Paste, I defrost a bag (or two) depending on how many I need. This is how I keep my batch on Tom Yum Paste without the need for additives or preservatives to keep them on the shelf/fridge.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g chili paste (from soaked, deseeded and blended dry chilies)**
  • 20g shrimp paste (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup tamarind pulp water
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 inches ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 inches galangal, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp ground coriander

**I couldn’t be bothered to deseed each and every dried chilli, so I ended up adding the seeds in. I’m not sure if you can buy already deseeded dried chillies in stores, but I could not find any myself. I mean, if you want the heat then by all means leave the seeds in – caution though, very hot!

METHOD

  1. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a medium-sized frying pan, and then add in the onions, garlic, galangal, and ginger. Sauté until softened and slightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside, leaving the remaining oils in the pan.
  2. In the same pan, add the chilli paste, kaffir lime leaves, lemonsgrass, coriander, shrimp paste, fish sauce, tamarind water, and brown sugar. Cook until the mixture slightly thickens before adding the other fried ingredients into the chilli mixture.
  3. Continue frying until the paste is thick and the oil starts to separate from chilli and surfaces. Set aside to cool down before sealing them in jars/cans. The paste can keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for a few months.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Masala Chai Tea with Soy Milk Ingredients

Masala Chai Tea with Soy Milk

Hello Everyone! So on Tuesday I posted a recipe for homemade soy milk. The first thing I thought after making having made the soy milk was what other things could I do with it to make another delicious drink. So today’s recipe uses the soy milk that I made to make a masala chai tea. I mean, you can always use store bought soy milk, or any other milk for that matter.

Masala Chai (literally translated: ‘mixed-spice tea’) is basically a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Nowadays, it is a very popular and feature drink in many coffee and tea houses. Chai is traditionally prepared by brewing green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn together with black tea leaves. Most retail versions of this tea includes tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates. I used tea bags for mine only because I could not find any loose black tea leaves in stores.

I love chai tea. In fact, I ordered it almost every time I went to a café, aside from a café latte that is. I was surprised that it was that easy to make when I came across a recipe online on how to make you own chai tea.

Masala Chai Tea with Soy Milk Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS | SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup homemade soy milk (or any other type of milk)
  • 1/4 cup loose black tea leaves (or about 5 tea bags)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 inch of ginger root, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Several peppercorns

Other optional spices that you can add to your chair tea inlaced: vanilla, almond, nutmeg, bay leaves, star anise, or fennel and allspice; I added star anise to mine.

METHOD

  1. Combine the water, spices, and tea in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let it boil for a further 5 minutes and then turn the heat off. Let the mixture steep for at least 10-15 minutes.
  2. Strain the tea mixture and discard the spices. Add the soy milk and sugar to the strained tea mixture and stir well. Then reheat the tea until piping hot.
  3. Enjoy! Serves about 4 cups of tea.

Masala Chai Tea with Soy Milk

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Honey & Lime Wings with Corn Salsa

Honey & Lime Wings

Hello Everyone! So I made this dish two days back and I must say, it was finger-licking good that I just wanted to devour everything in one go! Note that I made enough for at least 3 meals so downing all of them in one go is actually a lot to eat! Oh well, at least I can enjoy this scrumptious meal for another 2 days.

Anyway, I think you can gather from previous posts that I love me some chicken wings! I don’t actually have much recipes for wings up my sleeves, so for today’s recipe I had to do a little bit of research, to find something new that I hadn’t really had before. I then came across this recipe from allrecipes for honey lime chicken wings. A few of the photographs on the recipe uploaded by others who tried out the recipe looked different, but nevertheless, I stuck to the original recipe and just added an extra step to the cooking process. I also served this dish with a lovely fresh corn salsa on the side (which again the recipe for will be posted separately from this the next day). So much yum!

Honey & Lime Wings Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 12-15 MINS SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 15 pcs chicken mid-wings, washed and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup Capilano honey and ginger blend
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the honey and ginger blend, lime juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Coat the chicken wings with a flour, salt, and pepper mix. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat and fry the chicken wings until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes per side). Once golden, transfer to a lined baking tray and finish off in the oven for another 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Place the cooked wings in the honey/lime mixture one by one and toss to coat well. Serve immediately with a side dish of your choice, in this case I served it with a nice serving of a fresh corn salsa.

Honey & Lime Wings

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Honeyed Dutch Carrots

Honeyed Dutch Carrots

Hello Everybody! If you read yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned that I would be posting the recipe to these lovely honeyed Dutch carrots separate from yesterday’s recipe – so here it is now! Don’t worry, I’m not going to write another long-winded post as I have no back story to this. I just wanted some vegetables to go with my steak au poivre yesterday and I looked up some ways that I could make my Dutch carrots a little more fancy than just having them just steamed.

I came across Julie Goodwin’s recipe for honey carrots and they are just divine! Instead of using just regular honey, I decided to go for a fusion by Capliano which is a blend of honey and ginger (recently getting into these honey fusions, if you remember from a few posts I used a honey and maple syrup a couple of time in various recipes). Also, apparently these carrots are in season in Australia around July time (though I am one week into August already), but if you do want to keep on your budget, you can make do with ordinary carrots, just remember to cut them into small batons to cook through well.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 12 MINS SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 bunch baby Dutch carrots, peeled and tops trimmed to 2cm
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp Capilano honey and ginger blend
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Steam (or microwave) the carrots for 3 minutes until tender but not soggy.  The time will depend on how big that carrots as smaller ones may need even less than 3 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium frypan over medium-high heat. When it starts to froth, add the carrots and cook for about 1-2 minutes, browning the carrots slightly before adding the honey in. Then toss in the pan for 5-6 minutes or until the honey becomes a lovely dark brown in colour.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately as an accompaniment to any dish. In my case, I served with yesterday’s Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine dish.

Honeyed Dutch Carrots

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Stir-fried Gravy Beef with Chilli, Ginger & Shallot

Stir-fried Gravy Beef with Chilli, Ginger & Shallot

Hello Everyone! I actually wasn’t planning on photographing and posting today’s dish as I kind of made it up on the go. I usually plan ahead the dishes that I want to make for the week to ensure that I have all the ingredients that I need for the upcoming week – saves me time of having to go back and forth the grocery shops if I forget one or two ingredients. I actually don’t have much in the fridge right now (in terms of accompanying ingredients for my meat).

Last night I took my beef shanks out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge overnight but still not knowing what I was going to make until later on the next day. I still had the pantry essentials, such as chillies, ginger, onions, and shallots – so I decided to whip up a beef stir-fry! I also had all of the ingredients to marinade the beef in so that was good! I kind of eyeballed the measurements though so forgive me if this recipe is too bland or salty; I’m just going to go off by remembering how much of each ingredient I added to the marinade, feel free to adjust though!

Stir-fried Gravy Beef with Chilli, Ginger & Shallot Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade:

  • 300g beef shank, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp shaoxing rice wine
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks spring onion, cut into 1-inch long strips
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp Sunflower oil

METHOD

  1. Add all the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized bowl and mix together until combined. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let the beef marinate for at least an hour before cooking.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a medium-sized frying pan over high heat. Add the green onions and ginger. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Then add in half of the chilli slices and onions, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the beef shank slices and toss to combine. Cook for a further 5 minutes, adding a little bit of water to loosen the sauce a bit. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Garnish with the remaining chillies and serve with steamed rice and asian greens.

Stir-fried Gravy Beef with Chilli, Ginger & Shallot

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce

Hello Everyone! A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I bought 2 whole snapper for just 15 dollars. Well I thought that today I should cook up a delicious meal with the other – same ingredients to dress it up, but probably a little less healthy than the steamed snapper since it’s pan-fried, but obviously the flavour and texture changes when cooked differently.

As I was having it for lunch this afternoon, my housemate Marissa walked into the dining area and I asked her to try some. She loved it and said “did you take a picture of this?” knowing that I am one to definitely blog about it – I mean, of course I took a photo! She also asked me if I followed a recipe, and I said no, I just whipped this up with the ingredients I had in the fridge. It is actually a dish that my Mom makes very often, but with pompano fish – and dressed with just dark soy, calamansi (small round lime, green on the outside and with a centre pulp that is orange in colour), and a little bit of the fish oil that it was pan-fried in. Deliciously lip-smacking! Also often served with steamed rice and stir-fried kangkung in belacan. The simplicities are always the best.

Anyway, this is my take on my Mom’s pan-fried pompano – as the title says, pan-fried snapper with chilli, ginger, shallot & soy sauce. Marissa asked me if you can tackle this recipe with any type of fish such as barramundi, and I honestly think that it will go well with barramundi and any other types of fishes out there.

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole snapper, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • Lemon wedge
  • Ground salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Season the snapper with ground salt and pepper. Heat sunflower oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Make sure that the pan is scorching hot before putting the fish in as this will prevent the skin from sticking to the pan. Fry the fish for 5-6 minutes per side. Remove the fish from the pan and place onto a serving dish. Drain the oil, leaving about a tablespoon behind.
  2. Add the ginger and sauté for about a minute before adding half of the chilli slices and the pale and white parts of the green onions. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the soy sauce. Mix around for a bit and then pour over the fish. Add the chilli oil and drizzle with lemon juice. Garnish with the remaining green onions and chilli slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Steamed Whole Snapper

Steamed Whole Snapper

Hello Everyone! My fridge (or should I say, my part of the fridge since I share a house with about 20 other people) has been looking a bit lonely for the past week. Nothing makes me happier than going to Paddy’s Market, and coming home with bags of fresh meat, seafood, and vegetables – and a bonus development of arm muscles from carrying heavy shopping bags, but probably not good for my back in the long run. My part of the fridge is looking happier now with all that food!

Steamed Whole Snapper

I probably bought more than 5 kilos of meat ranging from beef, chicken, and yummy pork ribs. I also got 2 whole snappers for $15, one of which will be featured in today’s post, and the other probably later in the week, as well as some prawns and salmon portions. I know that this sounds like a LOT of food for a tiny girl like me, but all this will probably last me a month or so. Paddy’s is not difficult to get to from where I live, but it is quite a bit of a trek and time consuming to go to every week to shop especially when there are a few other supermarkets close by. The reason why I go to Paddy’s at least once a month is because of their meat, seafood, and vegetables – cheaper and definitely fresher and of better quality than your local Coles or Woolies. I once got sick from meat that I got from Coles… That’s all I’m going to say.

Anyway, onto the recipe – this is a dish that my mom would always make for dinner, using a different fish of course and a different method of cooking. She usually cooks it over a charcoaled barbecue and I don’t know, there’s just something about it being cooked that way that made it so much more tastier. I obviously wasn’t going to start a barbecue for just one fish, plus, I don’t actually have a barbecue in the house (well I do but it runs on gas and I kind of blew it up towards the end of last year – don’t ask). So I stuck to steaming the fish today, but if you do want to give this a try, I highly recommend my mom’s way of cooking. Lip-smacking goodness I tell you!

Steamed Whole Snapper Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole snapper, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced

METHOD

  1. Nestle the snapper on a large piece of foil and scatter the red and white parts of the onions, ginger, tomatoes, peppercorns, and salt. Drizzle the lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil over the fish.
  2. Loosely seal the foil to make a package, making sure that there is enough space at the top for the steam to circulate while the fish cooks.
  3. Steam for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can place the parcel on a heatproof plate, or a stainless steel wire steamer rack, over a pan of gently simmering water, cover with a lid and steam.
  4. Garnish with the remaining green onions and chilli slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Steamed Whole Snapper

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Mushroom and Avocado Toastie

Mushroom and Avocado Toastie

I remember when I was living in the suburbs of Cammeray in the Lower North Shore, my previous flatmate and myself would every month visit the farmers market and get our fresh produce from there. We got what we wanted from the same stalls each month and eventually made friends with the many farmers, one of which was Margin Mushrooms. They are very friendly and would always throw in an extra mushroom or two. I even got fresh curry leaves from them one time when I was in search for some that week – not to mention for free! Their mushrooms are the best indeed! I don’t live in the Lower North Shore anymore and the closet market that they participate in that’s relatively close to me is Bondi, but have have not been since!

I also remember that they gave out mini books by Power of Mushrooms, and I came across today’s featured recipe for this blog: Mushroom and Avocado Toastie. I whipped this up for breakfast one morning and it made me such a happy person! It’s an easy and quick fix to start your day off with a bang! I didn’t change anything from the recipe in particular as it was good as it was, the only thing I probably changed was the bread that I used and portion sizes. So please do check out the original recipe on their website.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-18 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 slices of Pane di Casa from Bakers Delight
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and extra for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 250g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 large ripe avocado, roughly mashed
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Drizzle both sides of the bread slices with oil and place on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 5-8 minutes or until lightly toasted and golden. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat a large frying over high heat. Add the oil, ginger and mushrooms and cook, tossing often, for 5 minutes until mushrooms are light golden and tender. Remove from the heat and squeeze over the lime juice, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Spoon and spread the mashed avocado onto the toasted pane di casa bread slices and top with a spoonful of mushrooms. Garnish with thyme leaves.

Mushroom and Avocado Toastie

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com