Archive for April, 2010

Yes, ok, I’m fully aware that the dish photographed is actually Hokkein Si-Iew but I do normally make this recipe with the proper wide fresh flat rice noodles, I promise! As this will be on our soup kitchen menu next week I needed to test it with noodles that I can just chuck in the wok without any prior preparation besides a quick soak, and I must say that it tastes almost as good as with the proper noodles. I know this looks like a long list of ingredients but since the first 13 are just for the marinade and you make that the night before, you actually come home to a 5 minute dinner of deliciousness with the most sweetly delectable sauce. All hail the pad!


5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 spring onion, chopped

1 shallot, sliced

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 tablespoon shao xing rice wine

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 birds eye chilli, finely chopped (more…)


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Thai basil, or Holy Basil, is the most deliciously aromatic herb I have ever come across. Often served pungent and raw with Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, it is capable of making my car smell amazing for hours after transportation. I always buy this fresh on the day I’m cooking with it and choose it by smell – the Vietnamese grocer I buy it from sells many herbs, all packaged in opaque plastic and mixed up together so I’m grateful that this basil is so easy for my nose to spot with its notes of aniseed and licorice.

I’ve been looking for ages for a recipe that truly replicates the delicious gai pad graprow dish common in Australian Thai restaurants and this is it. It’s from chef Chanrat Karantna and I could eat at least the two servings that it makes all on my own. ‘Nuff said.

Serves 2

3 tablespoons peanut oil

3 large cloves garlic

1 long red chilli, seeded if you want to be cautious about the heat

200gm chicken breast, sliced

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup Holy Basil leaves

rice or noodles, to serve

cashews or peanuts, to garnish

Mix together the sugar and sauces in a small bowl and set aside. Mince or finely chop the garlic and chilli together – use a mini food processeor if you have one or finish with a mortar and pestle.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat; add the garlic and chilli mix and stir fry for 15 seconds. Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken; stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the sauce mix and stir thoroughly; add the basil leaves and stir through again until they are just starting to wilt.

Serve on rice or noodles, garnished with nuts.

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This is without doubt my favourite lamb marinade recipe – I’ve done it with chops, backstrap and best of all with a leg of lamb, boned and butterflied by the butcher. You take all the fat and skin off so the meat is lovely and lean and then grill it to medium-rare while having a wonderful charring on the outside of the meat. I cook this on our electric health grill at home – I can only imagine how fabulous it would be on a barbeque. The cooking times below are for a butterflied leg of lamb; you’ll need to adjust these if you’re using a different cut of meat. Whack the meat in to marinate at least 24 hours before cooking for best results.

Serves 4 (generously!)

1 – 1 1/2 kg leg of lamb, boned & butterflied

For the marinade:

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

1/2 tablespoon seeded mustard

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

5 garlic cloves, minced

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Trim any excess fat from the lamb; then add the meat to the marinade, massaging in well with your hands. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, turning a couple of times.

When you’re ready to cook your meat, take it out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature while you pre-heat your grill to high heat.

Grill the lamb on each side, turning once, for 15-18 minutes per side; baste it as you go with the remaining marinade.

Cover with foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes in a warm oven before carving.

Delicious served with mashed sweet potatoes, caramelized onions and pea puree.

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