Tag Archives: Asian

M & S’s random Asian soup

Nope not Marks & Sparks but mine and my friend’s dinner tonight (I’m S).

So the plan tonight was chilled evening. Laid back… dinner at M’s (we’d cook), trash movie, and catch up. All three accomplished… šŸ™‚ Dinner was soup, movie was Leprechaun (which was so so so bad it was awesome), and catch up was clearly taken care of.

On to soup….

M just got back from Croatia and I just got back from eating 2 brownies and 4 slices of pizza (!!!!) at lunch, so we both wanted healthy vegetable filled food. The decision was soup. Random wander around Waitrose resulted in: udon noodles, tofu, bok choy, ginger, and chilies. We figured we could create from that easy peasy… it was easy peasy! šŸ™‚

Get back to M’s and pour ourselves large glasses of wine (ahem). Now M’sĀ specialtyĀ (aside from popcorn) is soup and I (shamefacedly admit) didĀ commandeer the knives and chopping board… so this was a collaborative effort. The following was what happened and according to me, M, and E (who came later) it was DELISH.

M&S’s anything goes soup

Broth ingredients: red chilies, garlic, ginger, veggie stock cube, asian seafood flavouring, star anise, random dried chinese plum, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and fish sauce

Soup contents: dried noodles, fresh udon, tofu, mushrooms, string beans, bean snaps, baby corn, bok choy, and green onions.

First start with your boiling water, add the ginger, garlic and chilies (to quantities you desire) to the water… let it boil. Then flavour with stock cubes + seafood seasoning, star anise, dried plum and dashes of: soy, sesame oil, vinegar, and fish sauce (to taste).

Once boiling add your dried noodles and mushrooms. At a later stage add the rest… it will cook quickly and season to taste.

We made enough for 3 people having two bowls each and the way M and I described the taste was: complex but balanced. And it was perfectly balanced. Yum.

But it really was an “anything goes” soup… the conversation about making the soup went: “what about this?” “what is it?” “don’t know, smell it.” “mmmmm… could work, put ONE in.” LOL

IĀ apologizeĀ for lack of photo but this was totally ad hoc as was this post. But I promised I would blog this “success,” and though it was jokingly, a promise is a promise and I’m still good to type now… I’m busy all day tmw and Saturday, so 3am on Friday morning is my only time to do this. There you go M, if you read this post I blogged our recipe!! hee. xx

edit: quick Google search reveals that the “random dried chinese plum” may actually be jujubes (red dates) but not entirely sure, however, M’s description of them being used for medicinal purposes fits.


Thai Prawn Curry

So this is just a mix-match of different Thai flavours, not really a red, green or yellow curry, but taking the bits I like and making my own curry. Its pretty easy stuff: marinade the prawns and tofu, create a base, and cook veggies, prawns, and tofu in coconut milk. Add noodles.

Prawn Marinade

Get some raw and cleaned prawns in a bowl and marinade with: soya sauce, chillies, garlic, ginger, lime juice, lime zest and a paste mixture of: shallots, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, lime juice and chillies. Marinade for half an hour or so. Also marinade the tofu in a separate bowl with same mixture. I also added some chilli oil from a jar.

Regarding the paste mixture: the shallots are the base, but quantities of each element will depend on your taste. I (roughly) have in order of decreasing quantity: shallots, coriander, lemon grass, chillies, galangal, and lime zest. Blend all together with a little sesame oil and soya sauce – till its all mushy and smooth.Ā (I think a Tom Kha paste would be the closest approximation… MSG (ugh) aside)

Assorted Veggies

In my curry I had: straw mushrooms, water chestnuts, baby corn, and green onions. All of these I just cooked off in the coconut milk in the end.

The curry

Add some of the base mixture (shallots, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, lime juice and chillies) into a pan, cook off with a little soya sauce and then add in the coconut milk. Also add about half the volume of water. Let it simmer.

In the mean time, pre-grill your prawns and tofu a little. The prawns should not be cooked all the way through. Then add in the tofu and veggies (aside from green onions) to the coconut curry. Let it cook. Towards the end, add in rice noodles, prawns, and green onions. Let cook until noodles and prawns are done (two mins or so) and then top with coriander and serve.

Enjoy x

Spicy sesame beef in lettuce cups

Why lettuce cups? Well, because… healthy and no washing up = winner to me! Also, they look sooo pretty!! Even prettier to use a red lettuce.

Spicy Sesame Beef

Get some beef, I bought tenderloin. Now for the FUN part… if you have any stress in your life, douchebag ex or boss etc, this is for you. Stick the chunk of beef into a ziplock bag and bash the hell out of it (or at least until its about a cm thick). Then cut the beef into strips and marinate in a bowl with grated ginger, redĀ chili, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, sushi vinegar, and a little lime. Only need to marinate for about 10-15 mins.

Cucumber salad

While the beef marinates, dice cucumbers finely and toss together with coriander, ginger, and lime juice. Season with salt.

Back to the beef…

Stir-fry your steak, I cook for about 3-4 mins. The pan needs to be really hot so that the meat browns quickly and the sauce gets sticky.

Lettuce cups!

Then make your “cups.” Take a lettuce leaf and into the middle spoon in some of the cucumber mixture. Top with the seared beef, and a little more cucumber salad.

Sit back, possibly with a beer or some white tea with ginger, reflect on how “good” you’re being and enjoy!Ā x