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.

Butternut Squash Tacos with Apple Chutney, Kale and Tzatziki

Another veggie taco but will fall flavors. For the apple chutney, I added a bit less sugar than you would normally do because I wanted it to still have some tang. I also added chili flakes for some heat and kept the cooking time short because I wanted the apples to still hold their shape. I massaged the kale in a simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar and salt. The fritters are super simple but crunchy on the outside because of the corn meal. And the tzatziki sauce just makes it all come together and adds some freshness to the dish. Make sure to get all the toppings in one bite.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the tzatziki sauce:

1 cucumber, shredded (except for the core and seeds) and squeezed

1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the butternut squash fritters:

2 cups of shredded butternut squash, squeezed

½ cup of yellow cornmeal

½ cup of all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

A good pinch of salt

A good pinch of onion powder

Cayenne to taste

For the apple chutney:

4 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes

Juice of 3 oranges

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 white onion, finely chopped into cubes

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 a tablespoon of chili flakes (or to taste)

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of honey

For the Kale salad:

6 cups of shredded kale

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Salt

Extras:

12 small tortillas

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

Vegetable oil for frying the fritters

 

Start by making the apple chutney, you can also do it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge covered. Just place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook it for about 17 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated but the apples still hold their shape. Stir from time to time so the bottom doesn’t burn. Transfer it to a bowl to cool down.

To make the tzatziki sauce, make sure to squeeze the cucumber as much as you can, otherwise the sauce will become too watery. Mix the squeezed shredded cucumber with the Greek yogurt, mint, dill, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

To make the butternut squash fritters, mix the shredded squash with the rest of the ingredients.

Pour about 1/4 of a cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. To make the fritters, pour about 1 tablespoon of the batter into the hot pan. Do it in batches. Cook until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes. Place the fritters on the plate lined with parchment paper.

To make the kale salad, place the shredded kale in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Massage it with your hands so that it gets evenly coated in the dressing.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve each taco with some kale salad, apple chutney, a couple of fritters, tzatziki sauce and some pomegranate seeds. 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.

Oven Fries with Feta, Preserved Lemon & Oregano

Processed with Snapseed.

I am a sucker for fries. I wanted to try a new method for making them crispy. So the other night, I tried the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for oven fries. The result was super crispy fries with a bit less guilt since they are baked. Her trick is to boil the potatoes first and then roast them at a high temperature. Easy, peasy!

But I wanted to make something a bit different to top the fries. So, I sautéed fresh oregano, finely chopped preserved lemon, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Just for a bit until the oregano became aromatic. Then I mixed it with the crumbled feta. This turned out to be delicious! Not only on fries, but also on toast or crackers. So please give it a try!

This recipe serves 2.

For the fries:

½ kilo of potatoes (that will hold its shape like Russet), scrubbed and thinly sliced.

About ¼ cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the feta topping:

200gr of crumbled feta

1 preserved lemon, very finely chopped

Leaves of 4 fresh oregano stems, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Cayenne to taste

A pinch of salt (optional, but not too much because the feta is already salty)

3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

 

Thinly slice the scrubbed potatoes, and boil about 2 litters of water.

Preheat your oven to 230C/450F.

Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot and add the boiling water. Let the potatoes boil for 7 minutes.

In the meanwhile, line your baking tray with aluminum foil and pour the ¼ cup of olive oil into the tray. Swirl it around so that all of the surface of the tray is coated with olive oil.

Place the tray in the oven to heat up.

Drain the potatoes. Then place them in a single layer on the hot baking tray. It is important that they are in a single layer. Don’t over-crowd them, otherwise they won’t get crispy. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Roast them for 20 minutes. Then toss them, and finish roasting them for an extra 10 minutes.

To make the feta topping, place two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the oregano, preserved lemon, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then remove it from the heat and add it to the crumbled feta. Mix well. Taste for salt.

To serve, just top the fries with the flavored feta. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and 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.

 

Quesadillas with caramelized onions and plum, tomato & chili jam

FullSizeRender

I’ve been crazy about plums lately. Snacking on them while finishing the last season of Narcos over the weekend. I caramelized them in balsamic to top a Dutch baby. And for these, I turned them into a quick jam with tomatoes and chili. These quesadillas are a bit sweet and savory. I only added a very thin layer of the jam in the quesadillas as you don’t want them to be overly sweet. The jam pairs very well with the caramelized onions and cheese. And for something fresh, I topped them with slices of fresh figs and some cress.

This recipe makes 4 quesadillas.

Ingredients:

For the plum, tomatoes & chili jam:

400grs of plums (I used Victoria plums)

600gr of tomatoes

1 red chili, minced (you can add more or less depending on your taste, I also added the seeds)

Juice of ½ a lime

½ a cup of sugar

½ teaspoon salt

For the caramelized onions:

1 kilo of white onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Extras:

8 large tortillas

300grs of grated Gouda cheese

4 figs, sliced

Cress

Start by making the jam. Boil some water in a pot. Score the tomatoes and plums. Once the water is boiling, add the scored tomatoes and plums, and let them blanch for 30 seconds. Then removed them from the water and peel them. Remove the stones from the plums. Chop the plums and tomatoes (I included the seeds).

Place the chopped plums, tomatoes, chili, lime juice, sugar and salt in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Cook for about 35 minutes until it becomes a jam. Stir from time to time so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the caramelized onions, place the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes while stirring. Then lower the heat to low and cook for another 11 minutes until the onions caramelize. The add some salt, pepper and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 2 minutes until the balsamic evaporates. Taste for salt and transfer it to a bowl.

To assemble each quesadilla, spread a very thin layer of the jam over one tortilla. Then spread some of the caramelized onion on top. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese and cover it with another tortilla.

Heat up a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, carefully slide the quesadilla from the plate to the pan. Let it cook until it gets crispy on the bottom. Then carefully place the plate over the pan and flip the pan so that the quesadilla is on the plate again, and then carefully slide it into the pan to cook the other side. Repeat for the rest.

Slice the quesadillas into equal pieces. Serve with some fig slices and 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 my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Fresh Corn Fritter Tacos with Feta & Jalapeño/Cucumber Salsa

FullSizeRenderI love corn season and how versatile corn is. Love it in a Peruvian ceviche, love the Mexican street corn and I actually can’t think of any dish which had it that I didn’t like. This time I made it into fritters and stuffed them in tortillas. So delicious and super simple to make. This dish can be made in under 30 minutes. So if you don’t know what to cook today, give these a try. It is #tacotuesday after all!

IMG_0512

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the salsa:

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 cucumber, finely chopped (without the core/seeds)

2 jalapeños or more to taste, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the corn fritters:

Kernels of 3 corns

1/3 cup of yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

Extras:

12 small tortillas

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil for frying the fritters

100grs of crumbled feta

 

First prepare the jalapeño/cucumber salsa. Just mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set it aside until ready to serve.

To make the corn fritters, place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk them with a fork. Then add the cornmeal, flour, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix and finally add the corn kernels and chives. Mix well. Then use an immersion blender or pour the mixture into a normal blender. Pulse just a couple of times just to blend some of the corn, so that fritters are easier to shape. You still want to have whole kernels in there so don’t overdo it.

Then pour some vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it is hot, start frying the fritters in batches. I made them small, using about 1 tablespoon of batter. Fry until golden on both sides. About 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.

Once all the fritters are cooked, warm up the tortillas.

Serve the tacos with some crumbled feta, the corn fritters and the salsa. 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.

Crunchy Togarashi Zucchini Chips with Okonomiyaki Sauce

IMG_0304I made these Japanese style zucchini chips for lunch today. This crappy “summer” weather has me craving comfort food. It is so freaking cold. At least these crispy bites of goodness kept me warm. If you have never heard of Nanami togarashi, it is a Japanese chili and spice mix which is sold in most Asian stores. It contains chili pepper, orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. It is a really balanced spice mixture. I normally use it when I make sushi.

This recipe is a small batch which serves 2 people.

Ingredients:

For the zucchini chips:

1 Zucchini, sliced into 1cm rounds

2 cups of panko breadcrumbs

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons of Nanami Togarashi

1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds

Pinch of onion powder

Salt

2 eggs, beaten

For the Okonomiyaki Sauce:

½ cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Extras:

1 cup of vegetable oil for frying the zucchini

Chopped chives for decoration (optional)

 

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the Okonomiyaki sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

Have the coating ready. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Place the flour with a pinch of salt in another bowl. Finally have a bowl ready with the panko, togarashi, sesame seeds, a pinch of onion powder and a good pinch of salt (make sure to mix it with a fork).

Grab a zucchini piece and coat it in the flour, then the eggs and finally in the panko mixture. Repeat until all the zucchini pieces are evenly coated.

Pour the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully fry the zucchini in batches until they become golden. This will only take about 2-3 minutes per batch. Place them over paper towels while you fry the rest.

Serve with the zucchini fries with the Okonomiyaki Sauce and some chopped chives. I also sprinkled a bit of extra togarashi on the sauce. 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.

Harissa & Turmeric Roasted Aubergine with Cashew & Sumac Crumbs

FullSizeRender

It’s been a while since I’ve cooked with harissa so I decided to use it as the base for these roasted aubergines. For extra flavor, I added turmeric, dried oregano and celery salt. For some crunch, I made some sumac flavored crumbs with cashews and bread. A delicious and very healthy vegetarian meal!

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 small aubergines, sliced lengthwise (about 1.5cm thick)

100grs of harissa

2 teaspoons of turmeric

8 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of celery salt

For the cashew & sumac crumbs:

4 slices of crusty bread, chopped

¾ cup of chopped cashews, unsalted

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of sumac

Salt to taste

Pinch of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tablespoons of chopped chives

Edible flowers (optional)

 

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

In a small bowl, mix the harissa, turmeric, olive oil, dried oregano, apple cider vinegar and celery salt.

Brush both sides of the sliced eggplants with the sauce. Place the sliced aubergine in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes.

While the aubergine is roasting, start making the crumbs. Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped bread, cashews, sumac, salt and garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until the bread is toasted.

Place the bread and cashew mixture in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside.

Serve the roasted aubergine with some of the crumbs, chopped chives and edible flowers. I like to eat it with white rice. 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.

 

Soya Mince & Lentil Chili Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado Sour Cream

IMG_5482

The other day while browsing through a supermarket, I found a package of frozen soya mince. I have always been very curious about it and this is the first time I saw it at a store here. When I was in University, I remember there was a healthy food shop next to it that would sell lasagna with soya mince and it was so good. If you didn’t go early, you would miss it since it would always sell out. That was pretty much my whole experience with soya mince. So now that I saw it here, I had to test it out. And I am quite happy with the results. So for this taco Tuesday, I made a chili with the soya mince and lentils; and served them on tortillas along with some pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chili:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

200grs of frozen soya mince, thawed

1/3 cup of black lentils

1 sweet paprika, finely chopped

Pinch of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

Cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

250grs of tomato puree

1 litter of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

For the pico de gallo:

1 ½ red onions, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (no seeds)

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

Chopped chili to taste

Juice of 1 ½ limes

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125grs of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the chili, place the olive oil and onion in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add the garlic, soya mince, lentils and spices. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring. Then add the honey, tomato puree and vegetable stock. Stir so everything is mixed. Let it cook for about 20 minutes till most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are cooked through. Taste for salt.

To make the pico de gallo just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

For the avocado sour cream, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve with the chili, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

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