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!

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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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Popcorn with Pecans and Oven-Baked Rainbow Beet & Carrot Chips

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Yesterday I was craving a salty snack so I made this combination of popcorn, pecans and oven-baked veggie chips. I used rainbow carrots and beets to add some color.

Ingredients:

For the popcorn:

1/3 cup of popcorn kernels

1 ½ vegetable oil, or coconut oil

Salt

For the beet and carrot chips:

1 medium purple carrot

1 medium yellow carrot

2 medium candy cane beets

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Salt

Extras:

1 cup of pecans

 

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large pan with a lid, add the vegetable oil or coconut oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, 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.

Peel the carrots and beets. Using a mandoline, thinly slice them. Place the slices in a bowl. Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Using your hands, rub the slices with the oil and vinegar so they are all well coated.

Place the slices on a single layer in the prepared baking tray and sprinkle them with some salt. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip each slice. Finally bake for an extra 5-10 minutes. This is where you need to check, so they don’t burn. They might need a little less time depending on your oven and the thickness of the slices.  Then transfer them to a cooling rack. Once the chips have cooled down, mix them with the popcorn and pecans. Serve right away and enjoy!

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