Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup

The stock in this soup is an explosion of flavors, from roasted garlic and onions, to clove, cinnamon, chilies and the umami that miso brings. If you have time, make the stock the day before so the flavors can infuse overnight. The lime juice balances the heat nicely. For the toppings, you can add any vegetables that you like. I just choose these to have different textures in one bite. The fried wontons strips and sliced sugar snaps give it a nice crunch. For the noodles, I used rice flakes. It was the first time I saw them at my Asian store so I gave them a try and I liked them, but you can use whichever noodle you prefer.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the spicy vegetable stock:

1 head of garlic

2 red onions

Vegetable oil

2 cloves

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

1 tablespoon of red miso paste

1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

3 tablespoons of chili bean sauce

1 bay leaf

½ a teaspoon of ginger powder

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of celery salt

3 litters of boiling water

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup or honey

Toppings:

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

100grs of sliced sugar snap peas

100grs of fried wonton strips

100grs of rice noodles or the noodles of your choice (I used rice flakes)

1 cup of frozen shelled edamame

2 baby paksoi, leaves separated

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

A handful of Enoki mushrooms

Sesame seeds for serving

2 soft boiled eggs (7 minutes)

 

You can make the stock in advance. I made it the night before to let all the flavors infuse. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Do the same for the 2 red onions. Roast them for 1 hour at 180C/350F. Once they are roasted. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the shell. Peel the roasted onions and chop them.

Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the roasted garlic, roasted onions, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, miso paste, Sichuan pepper powder, chili bean sauce, bay leaf, ginger powder, brown sugar, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and ginger syrup. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes. Then add the boiling water. Give it a good stir so that there is nothing sticking at the bottom.

Lower the heat to the lowest and let it simmer for 1 and a half hour.

It you have time; once the stock is done, covered it and let it infuse overnight. If not, just pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Set it aside.

To fry the wontons, I just thinly sliced them into strips using a pair of scissors. Then pan-fry them in vegetable oil until golden.

For the rice noodles, I cooked them according to package instructions in a different pot.

Once you are ready to serve, reheat the stock over medium heat. Add the lime juice and sesame oil.

Add the sliced sugar snaps, paksoi and frozen edamame. Stir for about 1-2 minutes and then divide it over 3 bowls. Add the rice noodles and top with some spring onions, sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs, Enoki mushrooms and fried wontons. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Char Siu Cauliflower Tacos with Cabbage, Carrot & Green Papaya Slaw

Processed with Snapseed.

I love Char siu bao and the Char Siu sauce that you can find at any Asian store. My mom would use it often for chicken wings on the bbq while I was growing up. We would dip them in a mixture of lime juice, salt and Chinese five spice. It was great to balance out the sweetness of the sauce. So I thought why not make a veggie version? I love cauliflower and the result is crunchy caramelized goodness. For the slaw, I kept the Asian vibes going but with a more Thai-style slaw.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos. You’ll have enough slaw to eat on the side or you can also make a second batch of cauliflower.

Ingredients:

For the Cabbage, Carrot & Green Papaya Slaw:

3 cups of finely shredded purple cabbage

1 ½ cups of shredded carrot

3 cups of shredded green papaya

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

1 small red eye chili, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it just add an extra tablespoon of honey)

For the cauliflower:

1 medium cauliflower chopped into small florets (about 6 cups)

1/2 cups of Chinese BBQ sauce (Char siu sauce)

1 tablespoon of chili bean sauce

¼ cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of honey

Extra:

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for the pan

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

1 tablespoon of chopped chives

12 small tortillas

 

To make the slaw, just shred the green papaya, carrot and purple cabbage. Place them in a large bowl along with the chopped coriander.

To make the dressing for the slaw, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. And shake it till it emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix well. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the char siu cauliflower, first mix the Chinese BBQ sauce, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey in a large bowl. Then add the cauliflower florets and mix until they are evenly coated.

Place one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cauliflower and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes till it caramelizes. Toss it or stir from time to time so it doesn’t burn.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. To assemble the tacos, just place some of the slaw and then the char siu cauliflower. Finish it by sprinkling some sesame seeds and chopped chives. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

Salmon Poke Sushi Tacos

IMG_1671

Gimme sushi any day and I am a happy woman! Okay, so this is not really a taco, but it’s a fun way to serve sushi. If your rolling skills are not very good or you don’t have the patience for it, this is an easier way to serve it. You will just need a 9 cm mold to make the round nori sheets. To the salmon poke, I added a bit of chili oil and a sprinkle of togarashi for some heat.

FullSizeRender

This recipe makes 16 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the sushi rice:

2 cups of sushi rice

2 cups of water

¼ cup to ½ cup of sushi vinegar depending on your taste

For the salmon poke:

460grs of salmon, sliced into small cubes

¼ cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of chili oil

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons of white sesame seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons of black sesame seeds

Extras:

16 nori sheets

Togarashi, to taste

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

300gr of Wakame salad

 

Start by making the sushi rice. Place the sushi rice in a strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water comes out clear.

Place the rice and 2 cups of cold water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

Then transfer the sushi rice to a large bowl, add ¼ of a cup of sushi vinegar and mix. Taste it and add a bit more sushi vinegar if you want. Keep stirring until all the sushi vinegar is absorbed. Allow it to cool down to room temperature before making the tacos.

Once the sushi rice has cooled down, start making the salmon poke. Just mix the salmon with the rest of the ingredients and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Place a nori sheet (or 3 stacked on top of each other) on a cutting board. Place a 9cm round mold on top of the nori sheet. With a sharp knife, cut the nori into a round shape. Repeat until you have 16 round nori sheets. Don’t discard the remaining nori pieces, you can keep them in a Ziploc bag and use them later for a stir-fry, or to add it to soup.

To assemble the tacos, place one round nori sheet underneath the round mold. Then add a thin layer of sushi rice, pressing with the back of a spoon so it sticks to the nori. Repeat for all 16 nori sheets.

Then add a bit of the wakame salad and then the salmon poke (don’t over fill them, otherwise you won’t be able to fold them into tacos). Sprinkle some togarashi and chopped chives. Serve right away. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Black Rice, Bimi & Pineapple Stir Fry

IMG_8820

I had been eating this stir fry for two days in a row. I made two large batches to eat throughout the day. It is so easy to make and black rice is so healthy. I am trying to make simpler recipes at the moment since we are busy with the renovations of the new apartment and we need to start packing. We need to leave our current rental apartment at the end of the month and now time is ticking. So easy meals like this one, which I can just reheat in the microwave are a life saver.

This recipe serves 2 -3 people

Ingredients:

¾ cup of black rice

4 cups of vegetable stock (hot)

½ of a pineapple, cored and chopped into pieces

2 sticks of lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

2 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1/3 cup of cashew nuts, chopped

200grs of bimi, chopped

4 tablespoons of oyster sauce

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

 

Start by rinsing the black rice under cold water. Then place it in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock and let it cook covered for about 45 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked. Then turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

Place the sesame oil and vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the lemongrass, chili and ginger. Cook for a minute and then add the bimi, pineapple and cashew nuts. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the bimi is cooked. Then add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and black rice. Stir fry it for a couple of minutes. Then adjust the seasoning to your liking. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Steamed Buns with Crispy Calamari & Korean Sauce

IMG_8223

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!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Kale, Mango & Spinach Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

IMG_7672

This is a super easy and healthy salad with Asian flavors. If you want to make the avocado rose and you don’t know how to do it, you can check out my video here. Today I am taking over the Instagram account of Broste Copenhagen, an interior brand. They have beautiful products and I have been using them for a while now. All the tableware above is from them. If you would like to follow along, you can check out their Instagram page.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 large mango, julienned

1 avocado, thinly sliced

200grs of baby spinach

100grs of baby kale

1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons of minced ginger

2 teaspoons of red miso paste

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

2 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

 

Start by making the dressing. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until everything is combined. I didn’t add any salt because the miso paste is already quite salty.

Place the baby kale, baby spinach and mango in a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix well.

Divide the salad among 2 plates, sprinkle the black sesame seeds and then add the avocado. If you want, also add some edible flowers. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Tunes Bar (Conservatorium Hotel)

pic

This has been a very exciting week for us. On Wednesday, we got the keys to the apartment we bought and yesterday we finalized the papers for the remodeling we are going to do. Today we had a bit more time to ourselves and that meant, finally time to celebrate.

FullSizeRender (1)

We went out for lunch and cocktails at the Tunes Bar. It is known for its Asian tapas, sushi and Gin tonics. I’ve come to this hotel to eat a few times already, and the food has always been great. So I am always looking forward to coming back and trying new items from their menus.

FullSizeRender (2)

We started with the edamame with an aji amarillo dip which I love, and 2 gin & tonics. One Gin Mare with Indian tonic, basil and orange. And the other one was with Geranium dry gin, elderflower tonic and edible flowers. A great way to start the weekend!

IMG_7121

We also ordered the daikon roll salad. Veggie rolls served over a wild ginger sauce. So light, crunchy and delicate. Then we got the tuna tataki and the soft shell crab roll. We pretty much inhaled them, they were so delicious!

FullSizeRender (4)

FullSizeRender (6)

For our final round, we ordered the tuna sashimi, Scottish salmon nigiri and the salmon avocado roll. All the Asian tapas here are served with freshly grated wasabi which has the heat without the harshness.

IMG_7122

FullSizeRender (8)

If you are looking to have some drinks in Amsterdam and you like sushi and Asian dishes, this is the place to go. It doesn’t hurt that the service is always impeccable.

Tunes Bar at the Conservatorium Hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes and more of Amsterdam, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Cucumber “Noodle” & Radish Salad with Miso Salmon

IMG_5174

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!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Terpentijn

FullSizeRender

Located at the Rokin, this French-Asian inspired restaurant is open for lunch, street food and drinks. I had been there once before for drinks and assumed that the first floor was the whole restaurant. When we arrived this time, we realized that there is a second floor where you can have dinner. It is a cozy restaurant with many plants, funky art and books decorating its walls.

We started the evening with the lady boy oysters which were one oyster with lychee, mirin & pink ginger, and another one with soy, sesame & spring onion. And for drinks, we asked for one of their signature homemade ice teas with elderflower & mint, and their Blue Goose cocktail with vodka, lavender & lemon. Both drinks were refreshing without being overly sweet or too strong. The oysters were delicious and the one with pink ginger was really the eye catcher.

FullSizeRender (6)

For the first course, we got the fish in a cookie and the surf & turf. The fish cookie were very crunchy fish cakes served with a crème de foie gras. Yum!

FullSizeRender9

The surf & turf was a beef tartare with deep fried baby squid, smoked sriracha mayo and a quail egg. So good! And the sriracha lime mayo was an excellent touch!

FullSizeRender (2)

For the main course, we ordered the pork belly roast and the king boletus. I love pork belly and this one was cooked perfectly. It had a nice caramelization and it was juicy inside. It came with a silky pumpkin cream. The king boletus was a vegetarian dish with mushrooms, tofu beignets, parsnip, Romanesco, black garlic and ginger foam. It was a wonderful blend of flavors and textures.

FullSizeRender (1)

Unable to decide on the desserts, we ordered three. I know piggy us! We got a raspberry mousse which was the special of the week.

FullSizeRender (4)

We also got the go bananas and roasted pineapple. A slice of banana cake with banana ice cream, chocolate truffle and cacao beans.

FullSizeRender (3)

And the roasted pineapple came with vanilla ice cream, sticky rice and salted caramel.

FullSizeRender (5)

We left the plates pretty clean.

If you like Asian-French fusion, this is worth checking out. We left with very happy bellies!

 

Terpentijn

Rokin 103, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Shrimp Wonton Soup

shrimp wonton

I could live off dumplings. These are also nice fried. You can just fry them in a pan till golden without having to use too much oil. This soup is super simple to make, this time I added choy sum but you can add any veggies that you like.

This recipe makes 12 large wontons and serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

For the shrimp wontons:

250gr of shrimp, (peeled and deveined)

½ cup of finely chop Napa cabbage (green part only)

1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

12 wonton wrappers

For the soup:

8 cups of stock of your choice

1 small piece of ginger

3 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

The white part of the Napa cabbage left over from making the wontons

Extra:

1 small bunch of choy sum, cleaned and leaves separated

Soy sauce for serving

Spring onion for serving

Chili oil for serving

 

 

Mince the shrimp and then mix it with the rest of the ingredients for the filling.

Have a small bowl with cold water ready, use it to seal the edges of the wontons.

Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the cold water and draw a line over the edges of the wrapper. Then fold it in half, forming a triangle. Press to seal it with your fingers, make sure there are no air bubbles. Then grab the two opposite corners and press to seal them together. Repeat for all.

To make the soup, just simmer the stock for 10 minutes with the ginger, sesame oil, spring onion, soy sauce, Napa cabbage and rice wine vinegar. Then remove the piece of ginger.

In a different pot, boil some water. Once the water is boiling, cook the wontons in batches. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Once they start floating, they are cooked. The only reason to cook the wontons in a different pot is because if you cook them in the soup, they will cloud the stock because of the starch in the wrappers. If you don’t mind it, you can just boil them in the same pot as the stock.

Then add the choy sum to the soup and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Serve with some soy sauce, chili oil and spring onions on the side.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.