Vegetarian Banh Mi-Style Nachos

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I’ve been craving nachos lately so I made these banh mi-style. I made quickly pickled carrots, but you can also add daikon if you want. Instead of tortilla chips, I used spring roll wrappers which I cut into squares and then deep fried. And for the sauce, I made a Greek yogurt and Sriracha sauce with lime juice.  These “nachos” are slightly sweet, sour, spicy and very crunchy. A very addictive snack!

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

125gr of square frozen spring rolls wrappers for frying (I got the small ones of about 10x10cm), thawed

1 litter of vegetable oil

1 red chili, thinly sliced

A handful of coriander leaves

For the quickly pickled carrots:

1 cup of shredded carrots (you can also make it with half carrots and half daikon)

½ cup of vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

For the Greek yogurt – Sriracha sauce:

1/3 cup of Sriracha

1/3 cup of Greek yogurt

Juice of ½ lime

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

Salt to taste

 

The night before, place the frozen spring roll wrappers in the fridge to thaw.

In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar and salt to pickle the carrots. Add the carrots and mix well. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve (Let it pickle for at least 15 minutes).

I find that just one sheet of the spring rolls is too thin, you can do it like this but I prefer to leave 2 sheets sticking together because they hold the toppings better. I used kitchen scissors to cut each double sheet into 4 squares. Repeat until you are done with all of the wrappers.

Pour the oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, start frying the wrappers in small batches. Fry them until they are golden. Then place them in a large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all of them are fried.

To make the Greek yogurt-Sriracha sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Add salt to taste. Pour it into a zip lock bag.

Drain the pickled carrots.

To serve, place the fried wrappers on a large plate. Spread the pickled carrots all over. Then slice off the tip of the zip lock bag with the sauce, and drizzle it over the nachos. Finish it by adding fresh coriander leaves and finely sliced chili. 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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Crispy Onion Rings

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These onion rings are super crispy because of the panko and cornmeal coating. They are so addictive. I posted this picture about a month ago on my Instagram account and since some people asked for the recipe, I thought of just placing it here. I made them again today as a topping and side to the burger below which I made for lunch. It has wasabi arugula dressed in a simple vinaigrette, a beef patty, Chili Gouda, chimichurri, a fried egg and topped it with the onion rings. It was so good!

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Ingredients:

2 medium white onions cut into about 1cm slices

1 cup of Panko

1/2 cup of cornmeal

A good pinch of paprika powder

A good pinch of onion powder

A good pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Salt

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 litter of vegetable oil

 

In a medium bowl, mix the panko with the cornmeal, paprika powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with some salt. Have another bowl ready with the beaten eggs. Have a large cutting board ready to place the onion rings and another one lined with paper towels.

Dip each onion ring in the flour, then in the beaten eggs and finally coat it well in the panko mixture. Repeat for all.

Heat up the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the onion rings in batches until they are golden. Then place them in the prepared cutting board to absorb some of the oil. Enjoy while still warm.

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Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Matcha-White Chocolate

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Cookie season is coming soon and these chocolate thumbprint cookies make perfect edible gifts or you can just eat them yourself of course. I made the filling with just white chocolate and matcha. But if you would like a softer filling, you can make it into a ganache by adding about 75ml of cream when you are melting the chocolate over a water bath.  These cookies are quite fudgy and I find them nicer if they are not too big, so try to use not more than 1 tablespoon of cookie dough per cookie.

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You can use the leftover matcha-white chocolate to make hot chocolate milk.

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This recipe makes about 15 cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 cup of self-rising flour

113grs of butter at room temperature

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 egg yolk

½ cup of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of milk

For the matcha filling:

225gr of white chocolate, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons of sifted matcha

Extra:

50grs of dark chocolate, melted

 

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

In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla and the egg yolk. Then add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until combined. Finally add the milk and mix only until combined.

Make small balls with about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space in between. With your thumb press a bit with your fingers to flatten them. Using the handle of a wooden spoon; press gently in the middle of each cookie to create an indentation.

Bake them for 10 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, press each cookie again with the handle of the wooden spoon as the indentations lose definition while baking. Allow them cool completely.

Once the cookies have cooled down, start making the filling. Melt the white chocolate over a water bath. Once it has completely melted, slowly start adding and mixing in the sifted matcha.

Place the matcha-white chocolate in a piping bag or zip lock bag. Pipe it into the center of each cookie. Allow the chocolate to harden. You can place the cookies in the fridge to speed up the process.

Once the chocolate has hardened, decorate each cookie by drizzling melted dark chocolate over each one. Once the dark chocolate has hardened, keep them in an airtight container.

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Spicy Apple Chips

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When I was younger and still living with my parents I used to make apple chips more often. That had to do with the fact that they had two large ovens so I could make big batches in one go. Now with a small oven, It just takes longer so I don’t make them as often as I’d like. They are such a great snack. Recently I got a craving for a Mexican lollipop a friend of mine brought me back from Mexico some years ago. They were apple lollipops with a spicy citrus flavor similar to the flavor of Tajin seasoning powder. I used to have that powder in my pantry but I was out. So I added sumac for the citrus flavor and cayenne for heat. It’s a very addictive snack.This recipe makes a small batch.

Ingredients:

For the simple syrup:

2 cups of water

2 cups of sugar

For the chips:

2 apples, thinly sliced with a mandoline (I used one Granny Smith and one Royal Gala)

Cayenne

Sumac

 

Preheat the oven to 110C/230F. Line a baking tray or more with parchment paper.

To make the simple syrup, just place the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Once the simple syrup has cooled down, place the apple slices in the syrup. Let them sit there for 1 minute. this will help make the apple chips very crispy. Then strain them and spread the slices over the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle with some cayenne and sumac. A little cayenne goes a long way here; you can be a bit more generous with the sumac.  Bake them for 1 ½ hours or until crispy.  I like to lift each chip from the parchment paper and move them about an hour into the baking, so they are less likely to break once you take them out and they are complete crispy. They are best when eaten right away, otherwise allow them to cool down and store them in an airtight container till the next day. They are so light and crispy, it’s hard not to finish them in one go.

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Sweet Potato & Lentil Sliders on Homemade Mini Pretzel Buns

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I have been craving a veggie burger lately. I am a sucker for small food so I made sliders. Since my husband doesn’t love lentils, I made these with red lentils which don’t hold their shape. This makes it easier to mix them with other ingredients, therefore hiding them a bit. I cooked the lentils in vegetable stock to add more flavor. A panko coating makes this sliders super crunchy. The result was a delicious treat. My husband loved them. I only told him about the lentils afterwards.

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It’s hard to find good sliders buns here, so most of the times I just make my own. I used my Soft Pretzel Twists to make these mini pretzel buns. The ingredients are the same; there are just a few different steps.  Once the dough has risen, divide it into 16 equal pieces.  Then form each piece into a ball. Place the balls in the baking soda/water bath for 30 seconds. Then place them on a prepared baking tray (lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with vegetable oil).  Cut a cross in the middle of each bun, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bake for 8 minutes at 230C/450F. For the recipe of the pretzels just click here.

This recipe makes 14 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the sliders:

600gs of sweet potatoes

½ cup of red lentils

2 cups of vegetable stock

40grs of grated Parmesan

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of pepper

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the breading:

1 ½ cups of panko

½ cup of breadcrumbs

¼ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon of Celery salt

¼ teaspoon of Paprika

For the lime mayo:

7 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

Celery salt to taste

Extras:

2 avocados, sliced

A handful of frisse

Garden cress

Olive oil for pan-frying the sliders

 

Roast the sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 180C/350F.

While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, start cooking the lentils. Place the lentils and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, stirring from time to time. This will take about 15 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and let them dry out in the saucepan for 30 minutes.  Once the 30 minutes are up, mash them with the back of a wooden spoon.

To make the lime mayo, mix the mayo with the lime juice and celery salt. Set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are done, peel them and place them in a large bowl. Mash them with a fork. Add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients for the sliders. Mix well.

Mix all of the ingredients for the breading in a bowl.

Grab about 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture and form it into a ball. Coat the ball in the breading. Apply some pressure so it sticks. Repeat for all of the mixture.

Pour about 6 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place 7 balls in the pan. With the help of a spatula, press each ball a bit to create a hamburger shape. Cook until they are evenly brown on each side.  Repeat for the rest of the sliders.

Serve on the mini pretzel buns, with some frisee on the bottom and top them with avocado, lime mayo and garden cress.

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Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Orange & Pecans

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It’s been a while since I made cookies and now that the weather has turned, I feel more like baking sweet things. I added chopped dark chocolate, orange zest and salted pecans to the cookies. If you don’t want to use salted pecans, just add a good pinch of salt to the cookie dough. These cookies are soft and chewy. It’s impossible to eat just one!

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This recipe makes around 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup of granulated sugar

½ cup of brown sugar

226grs of butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

¾ teaspoon of baking soda

2 eggs

2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour

100grs of dark chocolate, chopped

Zest of 1 orange

½ cup of salted pecans, chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Place both sugars in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and mix until it’s soft and fluffy.

Add the vanilla essence, baking soda and eggs. Mix it for a few seconds. Then add the flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated into the cookie dough.

Finally add the dark chocolate, orange zest and pecans. Mix just until everything is combined.

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and place it on the prepared tray. Make sure to leave enough space in between the dough because the cookies expand quite a lot.

Bake for 9 minutes, until the edges start to get golden. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

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Chocolate & Matcha Popcorn

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I love popcorn and always keep in my pantry for those times when I feel like a snack and don’t want to leave the house. Today is one of those days. It’s cold and rainy, and I am hungry! I drizzled a mixture of white chocolate, coconut oil and matcha on the popcorn. And then drizzled a bit of dark chocolate melted with coconut oil. Snack attack satisfied!

Ingredients:

For the popcorn:

1/3 cup of popcorn kernels

1 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil

Salt

For the white chocolate:

100gr of white chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of Matcha

For the dark chocolate:

30grs of dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

 

In a large pan with a lid, melt the coconut oil for the popcorn over medium heat. Once it has completely melted, add the popcorn kernels. Cover with the lid, and keep shaking the pan until all the kernels have popped. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl, add salt and set aside.

You can melt the white chocolate with the coconut oil in the microwave for 30 second intervals at a time, stirring in between.  Or you can melt it over a water bath.

Once the white chocolate has completely melted, add the matcha powder and mix until everything is combined. Drizzle it over the popcorn and toss it to combine.

Melt the dark chocolate with the coconut oil. Once it has completely melted. Drizzle it over the popcorn. Toss to combine.

Spread the popcorn over a tray lined with parchment paper and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes until the chocolate becomes hard again.  Then break it into smaller chunks, serve and enjoy!

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Korean Style Nachos

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Last month I tried Korean fried chicken for the first time and I was amazed by the sauce it is covered in. I was talking about it with my friend Kaile who has more knowledge about it and she was telling me how this sauce goes well on pretty much anything. I was so excited when she brought me a pot of it when she came over for cake the other day. I couldn’t wait to try it. Nachos have been on my cravings list for a few weeks now and I finally made them for dinner yesterday. It was also the perfect day to make them as I actually didn’t feel like cooking at all. But since it is such a simple and quick recipe, I just went for it.

By the way, Kaile has her own blog about beauty and fashion. I really love her style and her photography is really a treat for the eyes. It is called Kaile Chung. You can check it out by clicking here.

This recipe serves 2 (for dinner).

Ingredients:

For the beef:

400gr of minced beef

2 tablespoons of chopped ginger

¼ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 ½ tablespoons of sesame oil

4 tablespoons of Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

1 tablespoon of honey

Vegetable oil for cooking the meat, about 2 tablespoons

For the rest:

1 large bag of tortilla chips, about 200gr

200ml Sour cream

200gr shredded cheese, I used Gouda

2 jalapeños, thinly sliced

2 red chili peppers, thinly sliced

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

 

First cook the meat, add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the minced meat, ginger, onion and garlic powder. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the sesame oil, Korean chili paste and honey. Keep stirring until the meat is cooked through. This will only take a few extra minutes. Then turn off the heat and add the sesame seeds and stir until they are mixed through. Here you should taste for salt; I didn’t think it needed any so I skipped it.

Set your oven to broil.

Arrange the tortilla chips in an oven dish or cast iron skillet. Spread the cheese over the tortillas, and then add the minced meat. I added a bit more cheese on top of the meat. Then place it in the oven until the cheese melts. This will only take a couple of minutes, check it so it doesn’t burn.

Once the cheese has melted, remove the nachos from the oven. Top with some sour cream and finally add some slices of jalapeno, red chili pepper and spring onions.  Eat right away.