Shrimp Wonton Soup

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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.

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Korean-Style Pork Meatballs with Stir-fried Noodles

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This is an Asian version of spaghetti and meatballs. Juicy meatballs are coated in a sauce made with Korean chili paste, grated pear and other Asian ingredients. Because of the thick sauce for the meatballs, I kept the stir-fried noodles very simple.

This recipe makes about 19 meatballs and serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

500gr of minced pork

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

¾ cup of panko

Salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the Korean-style sauce:

1 tablespoon of Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

1 pear, peeled & shredded

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of hoisin

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of salt

For the stir-fried noodles:

200gr of noodles of your choice (I used glass noodles)

3 ½ tablespoons of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, you can use some minced ginger and some honey, or make a simple syrup infused with fresh ginger)

Extras:

Chopped chives

Sesame seeds

 

Start by making the meatballs. In a bowl, mix the minced pork with the spring onion, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, panko and salt. Then using your hands, shape the mixture into meatballs. This will make about 19 meatballs; just don’t make them too big otherwise they will take longer to cook.

Place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the meatballs. Try to brown them evenly.  Then transfer them to a plate and set them aside. Don’t clean the pan.

Blend all of the ingredients for the Korean-style sauce until smooth. Pour the sauce in the same pan where you browned the meatballs over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring carefully so each meatball is evenly coated in the sauce.

Cook the noodles as instructed on the package. Heat up a pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, spring onion and ginger syrup. Stir to mix it and then add the noodles. Stir-fry it for 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide the noodles among 3 plates. Then add the meatballs and the sauce. Finish it with some chopped chives and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Breakfast Ramen with Kimchi & Avocado

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I made this ramen with a very simple pork stock but you can adjust it to your liking. If you want a creamier consistency, you can add chopped pigs trotters. I prepared the stock the night before so for breakfast there was not much to be done. I love avocado on tortilla soup so why not on ramen? I topped it with wasabi Furikake to keep the Asian flavors going.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

250grs of ramen noodles

1 avocado, thinly sliced

½ cup of kimchi

1 egg

For the pork stock:

1 kilo of pigs ribs, chopped into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 piece of ginger, about the size of your thumb

1 white onion, peeled and cut in half

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 litters of boiling water

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

To serve:

Wasabi Furikake

Chopped chives

Black sesame seeds

Sesame oil

Soy sauce

Chili oil

Lime wedges (optional)

 

Place the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pig’s bones and brown them. Then add the garlic, onion, ginger, carrot. Stir for 1 minute and then add the boiling water. Let it simmer for about 1 hour, removing the foam from time to time. Strain the stock and discard of the solids. Let it cool down before covering it and placing it in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, remove the stock from the fridge. I like to scoop out the fat from the top and discard of it. Then heat up the stock in a saucepan.

Cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Then drain them.

Place the egg in a saucepan over medium heat and add boiling water. Boil it for 7 minutes. Remove the shell and slice it in half.

To plate up, divide the ramen noodles in between two bowls. Add the stock, avocado, kimchi and egg. Sprinkle some wasabi Furikake over the avocado, and some black sesame seeds and chopped chives over the soup. I like to serve it with sesame oil, soy sauce, chili oil and a wedge of lime on the side.

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Thai-Inspired Steak Salad

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On the weekends, I prefer to keep my meals simple and not time-consuming. It’s not always the case but I try. And a steak is always welcome, it cooks quiet quickly and both my husband and I go gaga for it. It’s not something we could eat everyday but when we do, it is really a treat. And lately our favorite way to eat it is in a salad. This time I made a Thai-style dressing. And I added Thai basil, coriander and mint to the salad. So you have all these mini explosions of flavors in every bite. I used a mandoline to slice the carrots and cucumber into thin ribbons, but you can just shred the carrots and thinly slice the cucumber with a knife.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the steak:

500gr of Flank steak

Vegetable oil for brushing the steak

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

½ cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

1 medium purple carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

8 Thai basil leaved, finely chopped

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

About 100grs of a lettuce mix of your choice (I used lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach, baby Swiss chard and baby red tatsoi)

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 big lime

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of minced ginger

1 small clove of garlic, minced

Optional:

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

½ red chili, thinly sliced

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Cover it and shake it. Set it aside until ready to use.

Prepare all your veggies.

To cook the meat, heat up a large pan over medium heat. Brush the steak with some vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper on both sides.

Once the pan is hot, place the meat and cook it to your liking. For medium rare, it takes about 5 minutes per side but it will also depend on the thickness of the steak. My steak was a bit thick in the middle so it took about 1 extra minute.

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

Once the steak is done and sliced, place all the vegetables and lettuce in a large bowl. Give the dressing another shake and add it to the salad. Mix it well so everything is well coated, I just used my hands.

Serve the salad and then add the steak slices. Sprinkle some of the sliced spring onion and chili over the steak. Finally pour the remaining dressing from the bowl on top of the steak. Enjoy!

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Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

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I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

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This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the dipping sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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BBQ Kimchi Baked Wings with Wasabi Peanuts

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Yes, I know I am on a kimchi phase. I think I’m trying to make up for all the years that it was missing from the life. This dish is inspired by my friend Chi from Pocha Factory. She made the most delicious Asian Inspired burger for the Final Burger Battle which took place last year, and which she won. Besides the kimchi and her secret sauce, she added chopped wasabi peanuts to her burger. This added a nice extra crunch and spiciness that went very well with the meat.

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This serves 3-4 people.

Ingredients:

800grs of chicken wings

For the sauce:

½ cup of BBQ sauce

½ cup of kimchi

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon of salt

Juice of ½ a lime

1 tablespoon of honey

Extra:

½ cup of wasabi peanuts, chopped

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Blend all of the ingredients for the sauce until smooth. Taste it and adjust the salt to your liking. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and add the chicken wings. Toss to coat them well.

Spread the wings on a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 1 hour until the wings are caramelized.

Sprinkle the chopped wasabi peanuts and chives over the wings. Enjoy!

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Kimchi Fried Rice

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I made this for lunch a few days ago to make use of the kimchi I had in the fridge. I got many comments asking me to post the recipe, so here it is. It is very simple and you can add pretty much anything that you have in the fridge, which is what I did.

This recipe serves 1 but you can easily double it.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked rice

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/3 cup of kimchi, chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of Korean chili paste (optional)

A handful of bean sprouts

1/3 of a cup of shredded kale

A handful of edamame, I get it frozen so I just place it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds

2 radishes, thinly sliced

1 fried egg

Other nice extra:

A handful of Broccolini sauteed in sesame oil

 

Mix the ginger syrup, sesame oil, oyster sauce, Korean chili paste and soy sauce in a bowl.

Place the vegetable oil in a pan or wok, over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the rice and kimchi. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the sauce, bean sprouts and kale, stir-fry it for about 3 minutes.  Then add the edamame and mix well.

Serve it with a fried egg, radishes and some black sesame seeds.

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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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Kimchi & Quinoa Vegetable Soup

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This is a very healthy vegetarian soup. It has the wonderful flavor of the kimchi without being too sour or spicy but add chilies if you wish, and you get your protein kick from the quinoa. It’s perfect for a weeknight since it’s very quick to make. You can also cook the quinoa in advance and just keep it in the fridge to save time.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

½ cup of quinoa

150gr of mushrooms, sliced (I used a mix of chestnut mushrooms, nameko and king trumpet)

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 ½ tablespoons of chopped ginger

2 spring onions, finely chopped (white separated from the green)

1 cup of kimchi, very finely chopped

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

3 mini paksoi

Extras:

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

Extras soy sauce for serving

3 soft boiled eggs

Sesame seeds

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain it and set it aside.

Place 3 tablespoons of sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the mushrooms in batches. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.

In the same saucepan, add the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil, ginger and the white part of the spring onions. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat while stirring. Then add the chopped kimchi and stir for another minute.

Add the stock and soy sauce. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add the paksoi and let it cook for 1 minute. Taste the soup for salt.

For the soft boiled eggs, I just placed them in a saucepan and added boiling water. I let them cook for 6 minutes over medium heat.

To serve, divide the quinoa into 3 bowls. Add the soup, mushrooms, green parts of the spring onions, soft boiled eggs and sesame seeds. I like to squeeze some lime juice over the soup and serve it with some extra soy sauce on the side.

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Taiko – Conservatorium Hotel

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I had heard a lot of good things about Taiko and I had seen many pictures of their very carefully plated dishes passing by on my Instagram, so I was really looking forward to give it a try. Taiko is the Asian-inspired restaurant of the Conservatorium hotel and it is run by Chef Schilo Van Coevorden. My husband and I went there to try their Valentine’s Day lunch. We were welcomed with champagne and oysters served with kimchi, a wonderful way to start our meal. Our first course was an Atlantic lobster, served 3 ways. In sashimi, in a sushi roll with caviar & 24 carat gold, and in a salad. A very fancy and delicate course.

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It was followed by hand dived scallops; wrapped in kataifi pastry, stuffed in a gyoza & served with a kimchi puree, and in siu mai with yuzu foam.

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After that came the black cod; which was marinated for 24 hours in miso and served with a sea salad. A caramelized lovely piece of fish.

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We were really looking forward to their Wagyu beef course and it didn’t disappoint. Thinly sliced and melt in your mouth pieces with BBQ sauce, in a very mild and flavorsome red curry and cooked in a broth and served with black truffles.

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And then it was time for the sweet course. Their rose garden was a dessert fit for the occasion, a white chocolate/raspberry mousse with almond biscuit, yuzu cream and champagne sorbet.

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Next came the dessert that was making everyone else turn to your table as it was brought to you. A chocolate cigar brought to the table covered in a cloche which had been filled with shisha smoke. And for the ladies, an edible ring. A beautifully decorated and bubblegum flavored pâte de fruit.

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Overall it was an exquisitely crafted menu and great dining experience.

 

Taiko, at the Conservatorium hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

 

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