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.

Peruvian Aji Amarillo Sauce & Rocoto Sauce (Chili sauces)

img_3206

Aji amarillo which means yellow chili (even though it is actually orange) and rocoto (a red chili that kind of resembles a bell pepper) are the most popular chili peppers from Peru.

These two are my all-time favorite sauces for pretty much everything. They are great with fries, rotisserie or fried chicken, burgers, you name it! If you go to any restaurant or fast food place in Peru, you will most likely find these. Of course the level of heat depends on the chilies, so it sometimes varies. But most often they are not very spicy, especially the one with aji amarillo. Rocoto sauce tends to be more spicy, but the lime juice balances the heat very well. Whenever I make them, they are gone within the same day. Pieter also goes crazy for them.

You can usually find the aji amarillo and rocoto paste at any store that sells products from South America or online.

This time I served the sauces with buttermilk fried chicken and fried cassava. You can find the buttermilk fried chicken recipe here.

Ingredients:

For the aji amarillo sauce:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

85grs of aji amarillo paste

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

½ cup of mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of salt

For the rocoto sauce:

85grs of rocoto paste

2 spring onions, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

Pinch of Salt

Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

To make the aji amarillo sauce, place the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook it until it becomes translucent (don’t brown it). Then add the minced garlic and cook it for an extra minute while stirring.

Blend the onion and garlic mixture with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the salt to your liking. Transfer it to a bowl and store it covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the rocoto sauce, just mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Store it covered in the fridge until ready to use.

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.

My Festival Burger (Coconut Crusted Chicken Burger with Spicy Coriander Sauce & Caramelized Pineapple)

CravingInAmsterdam1
Summer is around the corner and that also means that festival season has started. When I first moved to the Netherlands, outdoors festivals were one thing I was very eager to experience. My husband had already talked non-stop on how good they were here. Good music, dancing in the sun with my love and of course great food. I was sold! So when Hellmann’s asked me to create my own festival burger and share it with you, of course I said yes!

CravingInAmsterdam2

I have not been shy about my love for burgers, veggie and meat alike. With festivals lasting about half a day, we would always end up satisfying our hunger with burgers. The smell of the grill would just draw us in. And what better topping to a burger than a creamy and tangy sauce that will get your taste buds going with every bite? That’s why I created this crunchy and juicy coconut crusted chicken burger served with caramelized pineapple and a tangy & spicy coriander sauce, which I made with Hellmann’s. It is summer on a bun!

Now to the fun part, you can win 2 tickets to De Parade (You can choose the location). The only thing you have to do, is write a comment under the Instagram post of this blog post telling me what your favorite festival burger with Hellmann’s would be. It can also be vegetarian. You have until next Friday July 1st to participate. I will then choose a winner and make her or his favorite festival burger into a recipe! The contest is now closed, winner was chosen on Instagram.

This recipe makes 4 burgers.

Ingredients:

For the chicken marinade:
400gr of chicken breast (about 2 pieces of chicken breast)
500ml of buttermilk
½ a teaspoon of salt
½ a teaspoon of onion powder
½ a teaspoon of garlic powder
½ a teaspoon of paprika powder

For the chicken coating:
55grs of shredded coconut, unsweetened (1 cup)
60grs of panko breadcrumbs (1 cup)
½ a teaspoon of garlic powder
½ a teaspoon of onion powder
½ a teaspoon of salt
4 eggs, beaten
115grs of all-purpose flour (1 cup)

For the caramelized pineapple:
250grs of ripe pineapple, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of sugar

For the spicy coriander sauce:
300grs of Hellmann’s
½ bunch of coriander
1 ½ tablespoons of sriracha sauce, or more to taste
Juice of ½ a lime

Extras:
300ml of vegetable oil to cook the chicken
40grs of wasabi arugula or any lettuce of your choice
4 buns of your choice
Garden cress for decoration (optional)

For this recipe, I marinated the chicken in buttermilk overnight. This is a step that you can skip but I do advise you to do it. It requires minimal effort. It will take you about 5 minutes and it is worth it. The buttermilk will help tenderize the meat and the result is a very flavorsome and moist chicken.

So the night before, I placed one piece of chicken breast in between parchment paper and flattened it with a rolling pin, especially on the thicker parts. You want the whole piece to have the same thickness so that it will cook evenly.

You can also use a meat tenderizer. Repeat for the other piece of chicken. Then slice each peace into 2 even pieces, so that you have a total of 4 patties.

Make the marinade. Place the buttermilk in a medium container or bowl. Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika powder. Mix well and add the pieces of chicken. Cover it and let it rest overnight in the fridge.

The next day, start by making the spicy coriander sauce. Blend 300grs of Hellmann’s with the coriander, sriracha sauce and lime juice. You can also put it in the food processor. Transfer it to a small bowl and keep it in the fridge covered until ready to use.

To make the caramelized pineapple, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Then add the sugar, mix it for a minute and then add the pineapple. Swirl the pan from time to time until the pineapple caramelizes. This will take about 7 minutes. Set it aside.

Then prepare the coating for the chicken. Have one bowl ready with the beaten eggs. In another bowl, mix the dried coconut with the panko, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Have another bowl ready with the flour.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade. First coat the chicken in the flour, then in the beaten eggs and finally in the coconut/panko mixture. Because I like it extra crispy, I did this twice per piece of chicken. Repeat until all 4 pieces of chicken are well coated.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken. It is important that the oil is not super hot; otherwise the crust will get dark before the chicken is completely cooked through. This will take about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Once the chicken is fried, start to assemble each burger. Place a handful of wasabi arugula or lettuce of your choice on the bottom of your bun and then place the fried chicken on top. Top it with the spicy coriander sauce, caramelized pineapple and if you want also add some garden cress. 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.

Tagliatelle Alla Puttanesca

IMG_7789

It’s been such a long time since I’ve made this pasta. This is my mom’s favorite. She would make it often at home and order it when we would go out for Italian food. This is my version of it. It’s quick to make and it is full of flavor. And since this weather has me craving even more carbs, I made a caramelized balsamic onion focaccia to serve it with (and to munch on, till it was dinner time).

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

300gr of dried tagliatelle or the pasta of your choice

1 small tin of anchovies (30grs), chopped very finely. Reserve the oil.

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of onion powder

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

5 tomatoes, chopped

100gr of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried basil

Pepper

4 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano for serving

 

In large pan over medium heat, add the anchovy oil and olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the anchovies, chilies and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.

Then add the tomatoes, Kalamata, oregano, basil, onion powder and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until it becomes a sauce. I didn’t add any salt as the anchovies and Kalamata were salty enough for me.

While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

Once the sauce is done, add the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning. Then add the drained pasta and toss to coat it.

Serve with some grated Parmesan or Grana Padano. Enjoy.

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

Spicy Apple Chips

FullSizeRender (1)

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.

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

Melon Salad with Roasted Shallot & Chili Vinaigrette

FullSizeRender

Yesterday was such a beautiful sunny day that we went for a bike ride to the forest. I wanted to see the Scottish Highlands cows again. They are kept at the forest to naturally mow the grass and they are quite the attraction. They are such stunning animals and it’s a nice break from the city.

FullSizeRender (2)

 

FullSizeRender (3)

 

FullSizeRender (4)

My friend Karla introduced me to Tajin, a chili-lime seasoning, a few years ago. She would pretty much sprinkle it on everything from vegetables to fruits. I instantly loved it. I really wanted to eat a healthy salad yesterday and with the heat, the lighter the better. I made it with a mix of watermelon, melon, 2 different kinds of apples, a bit of blueberries and some arugula. For the dressing, I roasted some shallots in the oven and then blended them with the rest of the ingredients. This gives the dressing a nice creaminess. And because the Tajin seasoning goes so well with melon and apples, I added it to the dressing. It’s not a very spicy dressing, it’s subtle. The Tajin and cayenne just give it an extra kick.

FullSizeRender (1)

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 cups of diced watermelon

2 cups of diced galia melon

100gr of feta, crumbled

½ red apple, thinly sliced

½ green apple, thinly sliced

½ cup of blueberries

2 handfuls of arugula

For the roasted shallot vinaigrette & chili vinaigrette:

4 small shallots

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

¼ of a cup of apple cider vinegar

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

½ teaspoon of Tajin chili-lime powder

1 tablespoon of honey

Pinch of cayenne

Salt to taste

For decoration:

1 handful of daikon cress

 

First roast the shallots; place them in an oven tray with the skin on. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast them at 180C/350F for 45 minutes. Once they are roasted, allow them to cool down enough to touch them. Then take the skins off.

Blend the roasted shallots with the rest of the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add salt last, after you’ve tasted it because the Tajin is already salty.

Divide the arugula between two plates. Then add the watermelon, melon and apples. Add the crumbled feta and the blueberries. Finish by adding the daikon cress. Serve with the vinaigrette on the side.

 

 

Causa with Spicy tuna

IMG_0860

This is a very popular Peruvian dish. My mom taught me how to make it as a little kid. I would make it so often, even when no one else felt like it in the house. I would just make a small portion for myself whenever I craved it.

It is usually served with 2 layers of potato dough with filling in the middle.  You can make the filling with many different ingredients.  At home it is usually served filled with chicken or tuna salad. In restaurants, you usually find options with tuna, shrimp, crab or octopus.

In Peru, there are a lot Japanese immigrants which led to Nikkei cuisine (Peruvian-Japanese fusion). This dish is an example of that.

For this recipe you need Aji Amarillo paste, which is a Peruvian chili paste, and you can find it at most Latin American stores or online. In Amsterdam, they sometimes have it at Tijns’s Toko. There is also a Peruvian store in Paris called EL INTI – La Boutique péruvienne which always has it and they deliver within the European Union.

IMG_0756

Ingredients:

For the causa:

1 kilo of russet potatoes

5 tablespoons of Aji Amarillo paste

Juice of 2 limes

½ teaspoon of salt

2 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil

For the spicy tuna:

300gr of raw tuna

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise

½ teaspoon of wasabi paste, or more to taste

1 teaspoon of togarashi, or more to taste

Salt

Pepper

For the toppings:

1 avocado, diced

1 spring onion, thinly sliced lengthwise

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

 

First, boil the potatoes until they are very tender. Then peel and mash them while they are still hot. Make sure there aren’t any lumps.  You want it as smooth as possible.

Add the aji amarillo paste, lime juice, salt and vegetable oil.  Mix it with your hands. Because of the chili paste, I wear gloves.  Mix well until you have an even dough. It won’t be sticky any more. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Cut the tuna into small cubes.

FullSizeRender

In a small bowl, mix the mayo with the wasabi and togarashi. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the tuna and mix.

To plate up, take about 1 ½ tablespoons of the potato dough and form it into a small ball with your hands.  Repeat for all of the dough. Plate them and lightly press with your thumb on the middle of each ball to create a base for the tuna.  Place a few pieces of avocado and then add a bit of the spicy tuna.  Finally top with some black sesame seeds and sliced spring onion.

If you want to save time, you can also plate it the more homey way.  Just place a layer of the dough on a baking dish, then add one layer of the filling and then cover with a layer of the potato dough.  Keep it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until ready to eat.