Thai Spiced Nuts

Inspired by our lasted trip to Thailand, I created this spiced nuts recipe. When I travel, I always like to visit the local markets and supermarkets to see and try what they have to offer. I could spend hours browsing through each isle or stand. Pieter actually got tired of waiting for me on our last supermarket trip there while I was examining the information on the packaging of every snack I found interesting.

These nuts are sticky and they have a sort of umami taste. I just used the Thai basil for decoration but you can add it freshly chopped right before serving. And it’s done in 20 minutes with minimal amount of cooking. I was generous with the spice measurements. If you like it spicy, you can always add for chili powder or cayenne.

Ingredients:

150grs of unsalted cashew nuts

125grs of unsalted almonds

80grs of unsalted pumpkin seeds

For the Sauce:

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 ½ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder

1 teaspoon of lemon grass powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 ½ tablespoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

 

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

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk so all the spices get dissolve into the water. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. It’s ready when most of the water has evaporated and it has become a syrup.

Add the nuts and mix well to coat them. Spread them in a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 15 minutes. Stirring half way though the cooking time.

Once they come out of the oven, allow them to cool. Then try to separate the nuts into smaller chunks.

If you want, add freshly chopped Thai basil right before serving. Enjoy!

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Peanut & Ginger Zoodles with Thai Styled Mango & Carrot Slaw

Some meatless Monday inspiration. A very fresh salad packed with a lot of crunch since I kept the zoodles raw. If you don’t like them raw, you can always sauteed them in a pan and make this into a lukewarm salad. The Thai styled mango and carrot slaw balances out the richness of the peanut & ginger sauce. I love peanut butter, but it was only since I moved to the Netherlands that it became part of my diet. I love to add some to my porridge during winter.

Calve peanut butter became a staple in my pantry. It’s the brand my husband grew up eating, so it made sense for him to introduce it to me. Ever since, I haven’t looked back. So I’m very happy to have partnered with them to create this recipe, using their original peanut butter. If you love peanut butter, stay tuned because I have a snack recipe coming soon. Pieter and I were in London for the weekend, so more pictures and hotspots are coming to the blog soon too.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

For the zoodles:

4 zucchini

For the mango & carrot slaw:

3 carrots, shredded (I used rainbow carrots)

1 mango, julienned

5 tablespoons of chopped coriander

For the Thai styled dressing:

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

Juice of 1 lime

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

For the peanut & ginger sauce:

2 tablespoons of minced ginger

130grs of Calve smooth peanut butter (1/2 a cup)

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup (or honey)

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of chili bean sauce

Pinch of garlic powder

To make the zoodles, I used a mandoline with the julienne attachment. I stopped when I got to the core. You can also make them with a spiralizer or a potato peeler. If you use a potato peeler, just slice it into ribbons and then using a knife, cut it into julienne. You can also buy the zoodles at the supermarket if you don’t feel like making them. Set them aside.

To make the Thai styled dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Close it and shake it until it emulsifies. Set it aside.

For the peanut and ginger sauce, place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Right before serving mix the carrots, mango and coriander for the slaw with the dressing (remember to give it a good shake before adding it to the slaw).

Divide the zoodles between 2 or 3 bowls. Add the peanut & ginger sauce. Finish it by adding the slaw. Eat right away. Enjoy!

I like the zoodles raw since this is a cold salad. But if you don’t, you can always sautéed them in a pan for about 1 minute with a little bit of olive oil.

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Kale, Mango & Spinach Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

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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!

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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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Pork & Ginger Wonton Soup

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The other day I was craving wonton soup like the ones I ate in my childhood. In Peru, it would always come with quail eggs. It is such a simple thing to make at home, if you really think about it. I used the same recipe as my pork and ginger potstickers, just this time I shaped them into wontons and boiled them, instead of pan-frying them. The other wontons you see in this picture, I served them in the same dipping sauce as the potstickers. I just added some chili oil.

This recipe serves 3

Ingredients:

For the wontons:

18 wonton wrappers

250 grams of ground pork (don’t get the lean pork, the fat gives flavor)

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

1 spring onion, sliced very finely (white parts included)

½ tablespoon of sesame oil

½ tablespoon of soy sauce

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

Extras:

3 quail eggs, boiled for 2 ½ minutes

3 baby bok choy

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1 red chili, thinly sliced

Soy sauce for serving

Extra sesame oil for serving

Chili oil for serving

 

First leave the frozen dough out for a few hours to thaw.

In a bowl, mix the ground pork with the ginger, spring onions, sesame oil and soy sauce.

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

Place about 1 teaspoon 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 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 bok choy to the soup and let it cook for about 3 minutes.

Then divide the soup with the bok choy among 3 bowls, add the wontons and quail eggs. Serve with soy sauce, chili, chili oil, sesame oil and spring onions on the side.

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Quince, Pear & Ginger Pie

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I made this pie last week; it was quite relaxing to just spend time making all the small and tiny leaves for the top crust. I made the filling by poaching quince, pear & ginger, and then adding ginger syrup & ginger jam.

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This recipe is enough for one 23cm pie and 2 mini pies.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust:

3 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

¾ teaspoon of salt

340gr of cold butter, chopped into pieces (I used salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter)

10 tablespoons of cold water

For the filling:

For poaching:

700gr of quince (peeled, cored and chopped into big pieces)

700gr of pears like Bosc (peeled, cored and chopped into big pieces)

1 piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (total of about 3 tablespoons)

½ cup of sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

Rest of the filling:

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons of ginger jam

Juice of 1 lemon

1 ½ teaspoon of cornstarch

To finish the pie:

Egg wash

Granulated sugar for sprinkling on top of the pie crust

 

Start by making the pie crust, you can make it in the food processor, or in the stand mixer. I used my stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the cold butter pieces, mix it with a spatula. Then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the cold water. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until you have an even dough.

Divide the dough into 3 parts, one part a bit larger than the other 2. Pat them down with your hands, forming a circle with each piece. Keep the larger piece on a floured working area. Wrap the 2 remaining pieces with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 1 hour.

Roll out the piece of dough that you left on your working area. Dust with enough flour so it doesn’t stick. Roll it big enough to cover the bottom of the large pie mold. Place the dough on the bottom of the pie mold, press with your fingers so the sides stick and trim the edges. Repeat for the mini pie molds, if you make them. Refrigerate them until the time for the other pieces of the dough that you placed in the freezer is up.

In the meanwhile, start making the filling. Poach the quince, pears and ginger with the sugar and cinnamon sticks until tender. About 20 to 30 minutes.

Then discard the ginger and cinnamon sticks. Chop the quince and ginger into smaller pieces, I prefer them very small, especially since I also made mini pies.

Place the chopped quince and pear in a large bowl; add the ginger syrup, ginger jam, lemon zest, lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix well and set it aside.

Once the hour is up for the dough in the freezer, take the pie molds out of the fridge. Spoon the filling into the pie crusts.

Remove the dough from the freezer and start by rolling one out on your floured working area. This is where you can be creative and make any design that you want. You have enough dough to play around. I really wanted to make leaves. Since I didn’t have any leaf shaped cookie cutters, I just used a paring knife to make them. For 1 mini pie, I made a tree design by making the tree trunk first and then adding small leaves to the branches.

Once you are done decorating your pies, place them in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180/350F.

Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the pies from the fridge. Brush the dough with some of the egg wash and sprinkle some granulated sugar. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden. For the mini pies, it took from 35 to 45 minutes.

I like to eat this pie warm with some vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

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Banana & Candied Ginger Bread

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I love banana bread, the smell of the house when it’s baking and its texture. It’s one of those recipes where I have no self-control over eating it. I have eaten it plain for most of my life. My mom would make it very often when I was a kid and it never lasted very long in the house.  I like it because it’s not overly sweet.  I’ve made a few variations over time, like adding chocolate chips and hazelnuts.  I made this variation with candied ginger yesterday and it turned out pretty good. It had a Christmas feel to it. I made half of the recipe and by the end of the night it was all gone.  You can also make it into cupcakes.

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

125gr butter, melted

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

5 teaspoons of milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

For the candied ginger:

200gr fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced

200gr sugar plus more for coating

For the glaze:

2 ½ cups of icing sugar

¼ cup of ginger syrup

Drops of lime juice

Water

 

To make the candied ginger:

Boil the sliced ginger for 30 minutes.  Then drain it and return it to the saucepan. Add the sugar plus 1 cup of water. Cook on medium heat until most of the water has evaporated and it has become a thick syrup.  Reduce the heat and start stirring constantly until it is almost dry.  Remove from the heat. Spread the pieces of ginger on a parchment paper and allow to cool down.

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Once the ginger is cold, separate 2/3 of it to go inside the bread and chop it. Coat in sugar the remaining 1/3 of the ginger.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease a loaf pan.

To make the bread, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and add the ginger that wasn’t coated with sugar.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (About 50 minutes for a medium pan).  Set aside and allow cooling down.

Chop the sugar coated ginger.

Once the bread has cooled down, start making the glaze. Whisk the icing sugar with the ginger syrup and a few drops of lime juice. Add a few drops of water until it has become a pourable glaze. Glaze the bread and sprinkle on top the chopped candied ginger.

Pork & Ginger Potstickers (Gyoza)

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I love potstickers. They are so easy to make and the combination of fillings is just endless. When I first started making these, I would make them completely from scratch by making the hot water dough to form each wrapper. But that is too time-consuming, so nowadays I just buy the wrappers. Pork and ginger is still my favorite filling for these dumplings.

This recipe makes about 35 pot stickers.

Ingredients:

For the Pot stickers:

1 pack of Gyoza wrappers (these are the round ones, but if you can’t find them, wonton wrappers will do), about 35 wrappers.

500 grams of ground pork (don’t get the lean pork, the fat gives flavor)

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger

2 spring onions, sliced very finely (white parts included)

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Vegetable oil for frying

For the dipping sauce:

½ cup of soy sauce

Juice of one lime

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

Half of a spring onion cut very finely (white included)

1 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger

A tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

1 small chili cut very finely

 

First leave the frozen dough out for a few hours to thaw.

To make the dipping sauce, just combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

In a bowl, mix the ground pork with the ginger, spring onions, sesame oil and soy sauce.

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

I find it easier and faster if I work in a small assembly line. So in my cutting board I place 6 wrappers. Using my finger, I brush a bit of water on the edges of the wrapper. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper.

Once that is done, fold the wrapper in half to form a half moon shape. Starting on one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying not to get any air bubbles.  Do this for all of them.

Once they are all folded. Over medium heat, pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan with a lid. Place the pot stickers in the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden. Have the lid ready. Then add 1/4 of a cup of water and cover the pan right away. Be careful because it will splatter. The water will steam the pot stickers. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and allow the bottoms of the potstickers to crisp up again.

Serve and enjoy!