Steamed Buns with Crispy Calamari & Korean Sauce

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Fried calamari is one of my favorite summer meals. And it is very cheap and easy to make at home. I must admit that cleaning squid is not favorite cooking activity but it doesn’t take very long and the finish product is well worth it. If you don’t feel like doing it, you can always buy them cleaned. The cornmeal and panko coating make the calamari rings extra crispy, just how I love them! For the buns, I just got them frozen at my local Asian store. Just 5 minutes in the steamer since they are quite small and I was done. No need to thaw them.

For the sauce, this time I went for Korean. For some freshness, I added a cucumber and radish salad in a sesame dressing. It is such a great combination with the crispy calamari. My hubby and I finished everything in no time.

This recipe makes 10 small sandwiches.

Ingredients:

10 small steamed buns, I get the frozen ones.

500grs of squid, about 8 small ones (cleaned)

For the coating:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of panko

1 cup of cornmeal

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Salt

4 eggs, beaten

For the Korean sauce:

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of Korean chili paste

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of honey

1/3 of a cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

For the cucumber and radish salad with sesame dressing:

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

10 radishes, thinly sliced

¼ of a cup of sesame oil

1/3 of a cup of white vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, just add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger)

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds

1 teaspoon of white sesame seeds

Extra:

1 litter of vegetable oil

Coriander for garnish

 

Start by making the sauce. Place the sesame oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the minced ginger, garlic and Korean chili paste. Cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Then add the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce and white vinegar. Stir until everything is well mixed and the sugar has dissolved. Once the sauce is ready, set it aside in a bowl.

To make the cucumber and radish salad, whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing until evenly combined. Then add the sliced cucumber and radish and mix well. Set it aside.

Then start to prepare the squid. You can ask your fishmonger to clean them for you or you can do it yourself. If you have never cleaned a squid before, start by slicing the tentacles off. Just slice it below the eyes. Reserve the tentacles but discard of the beak.

Then holding the body, pull out the head and the inner parts. Also remove the flaps. What I like to do is pull the squid inside out so I can rinse it properly under cold water, don’t forget to also rinse the tentacles. Then pull it back to normal and peel the thin skin so that you are left with only white meat. Pat the squid dry with some paper towels and then slice it into small rings. Repeat for all.

Once all your squid are cleaned, start making the coating. In a medium bowl, mix the panko, cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Have another bowl ready with the beaten eggs and another one with the flour.

Dip each squid ring and tentacle in the flour, then the eggs and finally in the panko/cornmeal mixture. Repeat for all. Once all the calamari is well coated, place it on a tray in a single layer and keep it in the fridge until ready to fry.

In the meanwhile, start prepping your steamed buns. I got them frozen and they went into my steamer for 5 minutes without thawing. The time will depend on the instructions in the package.

Then place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry he calamari in batches until they are golden. This will only take a few minutes per batch. Just make sure the oil is not too hot that it burns them quickly.

Serve each bun with some of the cucumber and radish salad, calamari and drizzle some of the Korean sauce. Serve straight away. Enjoy!

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Peruvian Rice with Clams & Prawns (Arroz con Mariscos)

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This morning I had to go to the Peruvian embassy to vote so I thought, might as well have a Peruvian lunch.This is my version of the classic Arroz con Mariscos., a Peruvian rice with seafood. It usually also has fish, octopus, squid and scallops. Mine is a simpler version with just prawns and clams. It is like a seafood risotto with chilies, coriander and lime. For this recipe you need 2 kinds of Peruvian chili paste. You can usually find them at Latin American stores or online.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

7 cups of cooked rice

500grs of clams (I used cockles)

400grs of large prawns

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

½ red onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of aji panca (a type of Peruvian Chili paste)

2 tablespoons of aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili paste)

½ cup of white wine

1 cup of fish or seafood stock (you can also use any stock you like)

1/3 cup of tomato puree

250ml of cream

¾ cup of frozen peas

20grs of grated parmesan

½ cup of chopped coriander

Salt to taste

Juice of ½ a lime

Extras:

More chopped coriander for decoration

Lime wedges for serving

 

Cook the rice. Once it is cooked, start with the rest.

Rinse the clams under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

In a large pan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until translucent.

Then add the garlic, aji panca and aji amarillo. Cook for 1 minute while stirring.

Add the prawns and cook until they turn pink and are cooked through. This will only take a few minutes, depending on their size. Remove the prawns from the pan and set them aside.

Add the white wine, clams and stock to the same pan where you cooked the prawns. Cover it with a lid until the clams open. Once the clams are cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside. Discard of any that didn’t open.

Add the tomato puree to the same pan. Stir to mix it well and then add the cooked rice. Stir and add the cream, Parmesan, peas and coriander. Stir until the peas are cooked. Add the juice of ½ a lime and salt to taste.

To plate up, place the prawns and clams on top of the rice. Add extra chopped coriander and serve with lime wedges.

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Cucumber “Noodle” & Radish Salad with Miso Salmon

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I love to making oven-roasted miso salmon. This miso sauce adds so much flavor and I love to pair it with a cucumber and radish salad. This time I made the cucumber into noodles by using my mandoline with the julienne attachment. A very easy and flavorsome meal.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the salmon:

320 grs of Salmon, pin bones removed and sliced into 2 fillets

2 tablespoons of red miso paste

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

¼ cup of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of peeled and grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 teaspoons of white sesame seeds

For the cucumber noodles:

3 cucumbers, washed

10 radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds

For the sesame dressing:

¼ of a cup of sesame oil

1/3 of a cup of white vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, just add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger)

Juice of 1 lime

 

To prepare the cucumber and radish salad. You can use a mandoline or a spiralizer. I used my mandoline with the julienne attachment. I sliced the cucumber into noddles, but I stopped when I got to the seed part (discard the core). For the radishes, I just thinly sliced them.

Place the cucumber noodles in a large sieve with a bowl underneath to catch all of the water. Let it stand like these to loose the moisture until ready to serve.

To make the vinaigrette, place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, seal it and shake it. Set aside.

To prepare the salmon, whisk the vinegar, miso, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger in a bowl until combined.

Put the salmon on a plate and add the miso sauce. Make sure to coat the salmon pieces well in the marinade. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove the salmon from the fridge and place it on an oven dish lined with parchment paper. Pour some of the sauce on top and cook for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn on the broiler on for about 2 minutes. Check constantly so it doesn’t burn. It should be a bit browned.

Remove the salmon from the oven.

Press on the cucumber noodles to try to get most of the moisture out. Then place the cucumber noodles in a bowl, add the radishes, black sesame seeds and the sesame dressing. Mix well.

Divide the salad among 2 bowls and add the roasted salmon. Sprinkle some white sesame seeds over the salmon. Enjoy!

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Clam Chowder

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I love how filling and flavorful chowders can be. They also bring back good memories for me since they remind of the times when I lived in the States. I love the mix of flavors of the clams, smoked bacon, corn and potatoes. Some of my favorite things together in one bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

600grs of clams, scrubbed

7 slices of smoked bacon

Kernels of 2 corns on the cob or about 1 cup of frozen corn

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup of white wine

1 leek, finely sliced (white part and light green part only)

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

500gr of potatoes (not the kind for mashing), peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock

250ml of heavy cream

Celery salt

Pinch of onion powder

Extras:

Fresh thyme leaves

Chopped chives

Crusty bread

 

Rinse the clams under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

Bring the stock to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the clams and cook them until they open. This will only take a few minutes.  Then remove the clams with a slotted spoon, discard of any that haven’t open and set them aside to cool down a bit.

In the meanwhile, transfer the stock to a large bowl. Be careful if there is a bit of sand left from the clams at the bottom, make sure if there is not to transfer it to the bowl.

Remove the clams from the shell and chop them. Keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

Cook the bacon slices in a large pan with no oil over medium heat. Cook until crispy and reserve the fat. Chop the bacon slices into small pieces and set it aside.

In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the leek and shallot. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until they become a bit transparent and soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the onion powder, celery salt and white wine. Stir until half of the wine has evaporated. Add the potatoes and the stock. Cook for about 25 minutes.

Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Then add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add the clams and let them warm up for an extra minute.

Adjust the salt to your liking.

Serve the chowder among 3 bowls. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces, chopped chives and a few fresh thyme leaves. Eat it with some crusty bread slices.

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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sugar Snaps Peas

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This flavorsome meal with store bought curry is perfect for a weeknight. Easy and ready in under 30 minutes. I added sugar snap peas to have an extra crunchy texture in the curry.

This recipe serves 3 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

50grs of red curry paste

1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar or palm sugar

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

600ml of coconut milk

1 sweet pepper, finely chopped

250grs of shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Juice of ½ a lime

For the sugar snaps:

150grs of sugar snaps

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Salt

Extras:

Cooked white rice

Coriander leaves

Lime wedges

 

Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the sugar snap peas and cook them for about 1 minute, while stirring. Add salt and set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Cook for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. Then add the sugar, curry paste and fish sauce. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the coconut milk, mix it well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat until it thickens.

Then add the sweet peppers and shrimps. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. This will take about 3 to5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the sugar snap peas and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.

Serve with white rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

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Salmon Burgers Glazed with Carrot Miso Butter

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I am so done with winter now. I’m looking forward to warmer days and to see more colors/produce at the markets. And burgers remind me of summer, so I made this salmon burger in anticipation of the months to come. I cooked the patties in a reduction of carrot juice, miso, butter and ginger syrup. I find it such a great combination. The sugars in the carrot juice and ginger syrup make the salmon caramelize nicely in the pan.

This recipe is for 5 small patties but you can easily double the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

300gr of salmon, skinless and boneless

1 egg yolk

1 spring onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Salt

Pepper

¼ cup of panko

2 tablespoons of cornmeal

For the carrot miso butter:

1 cup of carrot juice

1 tablespoon of red miso

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

For the wasabi mayonnaise:

5 tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of wasabi paste, or more to taste

Extras:

5 buns, my store was out of round ones so I used mini pistolets

Wasabi arugula

 

 

To make the wasabi mayo, just whisk the wasabi paste with the mayonnaise. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Mince the salmon with a knife, about the size of finely chopped onions.  Mix it with the egg yolk, spring onion, sesame oil, panko, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Mix well. Grab about 1/3 of a cup of the salmon and shape it into one patty. Repeat for the remaining salmon. Cover them with plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the carrot miso butter; place the carrot juice, miso, butter, sesame oil and singer syrup in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Let it reduce for 10 minutes while stirring, until it becomes a thick sauce.

Take the salmon patties out of the fridge and carefully place them on the pan with the carrot miso butter. Brush the top of the patties with some of the sauce, and let them cook for about 2 minutes per side until it caramelizes. I made the patties small so it didn’t take very long for them to cook.

Besides the wasabi mayo, I like to serve them with some wasabi arugula dressed in olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

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Mini Poke Ramen Cups

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I was going through my food pictures a couple of days ago and saw a pic of two sushi bowls (or poke) that I made last month and I started to crave fresh tuna again. I thought of making it into appetizer sizes, perfect to share at a dinner party. I seasoned some ramen noodles with sushi vinegar and wasabi Furikake. And made it into tiny cups, by baking them in a muffin pan. They turned out so good, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Just make sure to not make them too thick and use parchment paper as muffin liners to prevent them from sticking to the pan. I tried greasing the pan, parchment paper and cupcake liners. Parchment paper worked the best. Thank you to Vanessa from Pickmeadaisy.com for giving me the tip to add pomegranate seeds to my poke. It goes really well with the tuna!

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This recipe makes 12 mini cups.

Ingredients:

For the ramen cups:

120grs of ramen noodles

1 egg

2 tablespoons of sushi vinegar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of wasabi Furikake

1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil

For the tuna poke:

400gr of fresh tuna, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

5 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of togarashi

1 avocado, cut into very small cubes

1 teaspoon of lime juice

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

2 teaspoons of yuzu powder

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

 

Start by making the ramen cups; cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Then drain them and place them in a bowl with the sushi vinegar, Furikake, salt and vegetable oil. Mix well. Allow it to cool down for 5 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with parchment paper squares in each cup. If you only grease the muffin pan with oil, the ramen will stick to the pan, so better use parchment paper as muffin liners.

Then place the noodles in the food processor and add the egg. Pulse a few times to get it chopped and mixed through. Don’t over chop it as it is nice to still be able to see that it is ramen noodles.

To make each ramen cup, place about 2 ½ tablespoons of the ramen mixture into each muffin cup, press well to try to create a cup. Repeat for all 12.

Bake them for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.

To make the poke, just place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl except for the avocado and mix well. Once everything is mixed through, add the avocado and mix it carefully. Especially if the avocado is very ripe, so it keeps its shape.

Spoon some of the poke into each ramen cup and enjoy!

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Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

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I’ve had shrimp on mine mind for the last week and finally decided to incorporate them into a taco recipe. Coconut and panko crusted shrimp with a pan-roasted pineapple salsa. So good and fresh, it was hard to stop eating them before taking pictures.

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This recipe is for 12 tacos:

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

For the shrimp:

300grs of shrimp, peeled

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of panko

1 cup of shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

1 tablespoon of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

1 ½ cups of vegetable oil for pan-frying the shrimp

For the pineapple salsa:

½ of a pineapple, chopped into small pieces

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of cayenne

1 tablespoon of sugar

Salt

Pepper

1 small red onion, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Chopped chili to taste

 

To make the pineapple salsa, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the pineapple, cayenne, sugar, some salt and pepper. Cook it until it caramelizes, this will take about 7 minutes. Stir from time to time. Once the pineapple is done, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the shrimp. Separate the ingredients for the coating. Place the flour in one bowl. Have the beaten eggs in another bowl. And in the last bowl mix the panko, coconut, salt, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. First coat each shrimp in the flour, then the egg and finally in the panko/coconut mixture.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, start frying the shrimp in batches. They will take about 2 minutes per side, just make sure that the oil is not too hot, otherwise they will get brown without being cooked through. Place the fried shrimp on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Have a taste and sprinkle them with some salt if you wish.

Once the shrimp are done, the pineapple should already have cooled down. So mix the pineapple with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, red onion, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix well.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan and serve it with the shrimp and pineapple salsa. Enjoy!

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Crab Salad Buns

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I have a soft spot for crab and today I decided to satisfy my craving for it with these crab salad buns.

This recipe is for 12 buns.

Ingredients:

For the buns:

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

7grs of dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

For the crab salad:

700gr of crab meat, I used canned crab meat

3 celery stalks, chopped very small

1 granny smith apple, chopped very small

Juice of 1 lime

8 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of mustard

Celery salt to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup of chopped chives, plus more for decoration

Extras:

Poppy seeds

Egg wash

To make the buns:

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes are up, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and grease it with a bit of vegetable oil.  Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured working area and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls in an oven tray lined with parchment paper, leaving some space in between.

Grease with some vegetable oil, one large piece of plastic wrap. Cover the buns with it, greased side touching the buns (this will prevent them from sticking to the plastic). Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before the buns are done rising, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle them with some poppy seeds. Bake them for 15 minutes or till golden.

To make the crab salad, just mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a cut along the top of each bun, without going all the way down. Stuff each bun generously with the crab salad and decorate with some chives. Enjoy!

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Asian Tuna tartare

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I love making tuna tartare. It is so easy, quick and full of flavor. This one takes a bit longer just because I wanted to serve it with some sushi rice, otherwise it would just take 5 minutes to make.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

200gr of fresh tuna, diced

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

½ teaspoon of wasabi paste

1 tablespoon of freeze dried yuzu

1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds

For the avocado:

1 avocado, diced

Juice of ½ a lime

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

For the wasabi mayo:

2 tablespoons of mayo

½ teaspoon of wasabi paste

Extras:

2 nori sheets, cut into rounds the same size as the mold that you are using to serve the tartare.

½ cup of sushi rice, already cooked and seasoned.

Decoration:

Red shiso

Chives, chopped

 

For the dressing, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Do the same for the wasabi mayo.

Mix the diced avocado with the lime juice, olive oil and salt. Mix the tuna with the dressing.

To plate it, you will need a circular mold. Place the nori sheet at the bottom; add the sushi rice pressing firmly so it sticks to the nori. Then add a layer of avocado, and finally add half of the tuna. Remove the mold carefully. Decorate it with a few shiso leaves and chopped chives. Serve with some of the wasabi mayo on the side and sprinkle a bit of yuzu powder over the mayo. Repeat for the second serving.

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