Monday, 3 October 2011

Smoked Salmon with Capers Pizza

Homemade pizza has become a regular for me on a Friday. It is quick, light and tasty and very easy to prepare after a long week.  All you need is a few ingredients, on a pizza base, you can either make the base or like me, buy one from the supermarket, which is cheap and easy. I love making my own dough, it is fun and fresh but also time consuming, especially on a Friday after a hard week. The great thing about homemade pizza is you can use any topping you like. I find 2-3 good quality toppings is the key.
My personal favourite is Smoked salmon with capers, which is delicious and healthy. I add some red onion, pepper and coriander. Why would you pay for take-away pizza?

Ingredients (serves 2)
200g Smoked Salmon (get local produce)
3 tsp of baby capers
250g Tasty Cheese grated
5 Tbsp tomato puree
1 large thin bread pizza base
½ sliced red onion
¼ sliced red capsicum
Fresh dill
One handful of Fresh Coriander or baby Rocket (as your choice)
1/2 Lemon wedge
2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt & black paper

1.       Preheat oven to 180 degree.
2.       Slice red onion, red capsicum & fresh dill to your liking
3.       Place the pizza base on pizza tray or stone and spread tomato puree on it evenly using spoon.
4.       Place grated cheese, onion, capsicum and smoked salmon evenly on top. And then   spread drained capers and chopped dill.
5.       Place into oven and cook for about 10-12 mins.
6.       Add some more cheese and grill about 3 mins.
7.       Drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter with fresh coriander or rocket.
8.        Serve with a lemon wedge.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Pan-Fried Curried John Dory

This recipe has become one of my favourites. It is so simple to prepare, quick and tasty. Originally, I got the idea from one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes but I have modified it using my own ingredients. The curry powder I use in this recipe is Korean Ottogi curry powder. You can use any other curry powder, for example, Japanese or Indian works fine.  I like to use Korean curry powder, because it’s milder and sweeter. It is similar to Japanese curry but colour is much more yellow. No sauce is needed with this recipe as the curry from the fish will complement the rice.
I find John Dory is a great fish for this recipe. Its firm and keeps its shape when frying plus when you buy fillets, it has little or no bones. It is a great fish for kids. For my convenience, I normally buy small size fillets and keep them in a bag in the freezer and defrost them a day before. 

Prep Time: 10mins
Cook Time: 20mins
Serves: 2

4 x 150g small size of John Dory fillets
100g Ottogi Curry powder (you can get it Korean shop)
1 Tbsp Fresh dill, finely chopped
1 bag Fresh baby Rocket
1 Lemon
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/ 4 cup sunflower oil or Vegetable oil
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup Jasmine Rice

1.       Wash rice and cook in rice cooker (if you don’t have one, get one of those. It is the easiest way to cook rice).
2.       Chop dill finely and mix it with curry powder and a little bit of crack black paper on plate. Cover dory fillets with the mixed curry powder.
3.        Turn on the heat on a good size frying Pan with sunflower oil (enough to cover the pan) until hot enough.
4.       Fry the dory for 3 minutes each side.
5.       Dress baby rocket with Lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper
6.       Serve the fish on the steam rice with rocket salad and a lemon wedge.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Left over Meal Solution

Kimchi is one of the most versatile Korean foods. It has very strong ingredients and flavors
which includes garlic, ginger, chilli and fish sauce. I love to eat kimchi when it is fresh. It has crunchy texture and is mild and spicy. However, kimchi can be cooked as a soup, stir fry, dumpling or pancake. As it gets mature, it gets softer, sour with a stronger flavor. Because kimchi is fermantate vegetable pickle, it ages like a cheese. 
When I was a kid, my mum often cook soup with tinned tuna, tofu & potato using  kimchi. It was great comfort food for cold weather. However, the quickest and easiest way is to make Kimchi fried rice. All you need is left over rice any vegetables or meat you can find in the fridge or freezer.
My left over Kimchi Fried Rice 

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 cups of left over rice (or you can cook rice)
1/2 cup of Aged kimchi ( if you keep the kimchi for 1~2 week in fridge, perfect for cooking)
1 Red onion & Spring onion
left over chicken, pork, bacon or a tin of tuna
1/3 cup of Frozen peas
choice of your vegetable ( capsicum, carrot and zucchini )
1 egg per person 
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Salt and Black pepper 
Olive oil
Toasted sesame seed for garnish 
Coriander for garnish ( option )

1. Preparing vegetable: chop the red onion and spring onion to small pieces. The other vegetable can be chopped to a similar size. Cut your choice of meat to the same size as the vegetable. If your meat is raw, it should be cooked before, for example, bacon should be fried and set aside.

2. Kimchi: Put your kimchi in a bowl and chop them to small pieces using scissors. I recommend avoiding  wooden chopping board in this process, because of the smell and red colour given off by the Kimchi, this will leave a smell and stain on your lovely chopping board for a couple of days (Remember that kimchi is fermentated vegetable with garlic, ginger, fish sauce and chilli combination) but plastic chopping board is ok.

3.  Turn on the gas to full heat add your Wok with a lug of vegetable oil.  Stir fry onion, vegetable and meat for 2~3 minutes and set aside. Then Cook the kimchi with 1 teaspoon of sugar for 3 minutes. Add back in Stir fried vegetables and meat along with the left over rice to the kimchi. Stir fry them a further 2 mins or until well mixed.

4. Make a space in the middle of the wok and add egg(s) with dash of oil. Fry the eggs slowly breaking up york and white with wooden spoon. Mix all together.

5. Serve in a bowl with fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Korean Happy New Year Meal

Happy Korean New Year! I decided to cook a very Korean dish. My mum used to say to me, that I can get one more year on life when I have DuckGuck (Rice cake dumpling soup). This is a very typical Korean New Years breakfast meal. Depending on family it can vary. My mum uses beef stock and not anchovy broth. As a child I hated not only anchovies but also seafood. Seafood looked unattractive to me and I found some seafood difficult to eat because of bones.

How funny! In fact, now I love seafood the most. I can eat one dozen Oysters by myself. So, I am using anchovy broth for this dish. Actually, making anchovy broth is much quicker than making stock out of beef, because it only takes 10~15 minutes (Beef would normally take between 30 to 60 minutes). Also, anchovy broth is full of flavor and much healthier.

This year, is the year of Rabbit, which makes me a Rabbit! Hopefully it should be a happy & lucky year for me.

Best luck to all Rabbits!

DuckGuck ( Rice Cake Dumpling soup)

Ingredients for 2~3

Sliced Rice Cake
Pork Dumpling (any dumpling fine)
2 Eggs
Red Capsicum
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Spring Onion
Stock - Dried Anchovy and Kombu (seaweed used for stock in Japan and Korea)
Roasted seaweed paper

1. One handful of dried anchovy goes into the pot with 4 cups of cold water and boil for 10 minutes. Add a couple of slice of Kombu for the last 3 ~5 minutes. Drain out the stock and set aside.

2.Koreans love colourful decoration. Preparing this garnish is labor intensive but you will be rewarded & delighted when the meal is on the table. Separate the egg white and yoke into separate bowls. Add a pinch of salt and whisk lightly. Next, make crepes from the egg white first then yoke using a frying pan. Rest them on chopping board and when cold, role them up and slice them into thin strips.
Red capsicum (you can also use fresh chili if you like it hot). Slice them into strips and cook lightly using a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
Roasted seaweed paper. You can get these in your local asian shop, they usually come ready packed. Just cut them into strip using scissors.

3. Boil up the broth again and add rest of ingredients, which is the sliced zucchini, chopped spring onion, washed rice cake and dumplings.

4. When the rice cake and dumplings is cooked, serve it in a bowl and final touch decorate garnish which was prepared earlier (2.) on top of the soup.

5. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve! If you like, enjoy with cold Kimch!