24 thin spring roll rice paper wrappers (Vietnamese or Thai, not the Chinese ones used for egg rolls)
Choice of fillings:
Rice vermicelli noodles
Red peppers (capsicum)
Fresh herbs (I recommend a couple mint and/or basil leaves per roll)
Thin strips of lightly-fried tofu or seitan
½ cup creamy natural peanut butter (or almond/cashew/sunflower butter)
½ cup soy or coconut milk
1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup (agave would work too)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
½ tsp chili powder (or 1 tsp crushed red chili pepper)
¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce except the chopped peanuts, set aside.
Prep all your veggies so that they are thinly sliced, and shorter than your wrappers by about 5-6 cm. (My wrappers are 16 cm wide, so I cut my veggies about 10 cm long.)
If using rice noodles, decide how much of the noodles you will need based on the quantity of rolls you’re making and how many ingredients you plan on using. You can break the noodles off or use scissors to gently cut them away from the bigger piece. Fill a pot with just enough hot water to submerge your noodles. Regular hot tap water should be hot enough – it doesn’t need to be boiling. Let the noodles sit in the water until they are soft and edible, about 2 minutes. Remove the noddles, shaking them to remove excess water, and set aside.
Wet a clean tea towel, ring it out and lay it flat on your counter top.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Transfer the water to a large bowl and let cool a couple minutes. drop a wrapper into the water, and let it soak for 30 seconds – any longer and it will begin to get too soft and/or tear. It should be transparent and pliable. Remove wrapper from the water and gently shake it to remove any excess water. Lay the wrapper flat on your tea towel.
Place your mint and basil leaves near the top of the wrapper, as per diagram. Take some noodles and fold them back so that they fit within the top of the wrapper, as shown. Add 2-3 pieces of each vegetable on top, keeping everything tight and in a nice elongated pile. Tightly fold the top of the wrapper over the ingredients, and then fold-in each side. Continue rolling the wrapper onto itself to form the roll. Continue with remaining ingredients.
Before serving, add the chopped peanuts on top of the peanut sauce that you plan on serving. If desired, cut rolls diagonally with a sharp knife before serving.
To make the nuoc cham, place the fish sauce, chilli, garlic, water, lime juice, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Place the noodles and mushrooms in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Drain. Use your hands to squeeze out excess liquid from the mushrooms. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
Use clean kitchen scissors to cut the noodles into short lengths. Combine the noodles, mince, carrot, shallot, garlic, crab meat, fish sauce, sugar and pepper in a large bowl.
Soak 1 rice paper sheet in a dish of warm water until soft and pliable (don’t soak the sheet for too long or it will tear). Transfer to a clean work surface. Place 1 heaped tablespoonful of the noodle mixture along the centre of the sheet. Fold in the sides and roll up tightly to enclose the filling. Place, seam-side down, on a baking tray and cover with a damp tea towel. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets and noodle mixture.
Add enough oil to a large heavy-based saucepan to reach a depth of 10cm. Heat to 180°C over high heat (when the oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden brown in 15 seconds). Add 5 spring rolls to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Use tongs to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat, in 3 more batches, with the remaining spring rolls, reheating the oil between batches.
Cut each spring roll in half crossways, if desired. Serve with the nuoc cham, lettuce and mint leaves.
Luke Nguyen shares a spicy salad recipe, with the bold Thai flavours of chilli, garlic, dried shrimp and fish sauce, pounded together using a mortar and pestle, with fresh snake beans, tomatoes and crunchy grated green papaya.
Using a large wooden mortar and pestle, pound the chilli. Add the garlic and pound. Add the snake beans and bruise slightly. Add the tomatoes and pound. Add the lime juice and dried shrimp. Continue pounding, gradually adding the palm sugar and fish sauce. Add the papaya. Continue gently pounding while mixing with a spoon for 1 minute.
Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with crushed peanuts to serve.
5 secrets anyone can pick up and you’ll soon be on your way to making fabulous fried rice.
Use cold, leftover cooked rice. Left in the fridge overnight, the rice grains will firm up, making it easier to separate and decreasing the chances of your fried rice turning out mushy. If you can’t wait, air freshly-cooked rice to remove moisture and refrigerate the rice for a few hours before cooking.
Use medium to long grain rice, not short grain sweet/sushi rice or glutinous rice. Medium grain jasmine rice is my choice for fluffy, sturdy grains that don’t clump or fall apart when fried. Short grain rice tends to be softer and to stick together.
A blazing hot wok (a wok is ideal but a large pan, skillet, or Dutch oven will do) and an adequate amount of oil will ensure your ingredients don’t stick to the surface. That’s how restaurants achieve the smoky, “burnt” flavor in their stir-fried dishes. Your home stove probably doesn’t have the same BTU strength (unless you have a commercial Viking or Wolf range *JEALOUS*) but just remember to preheat your wok before adding ingredients.
Use the biggest pan available in your kitchen and don’t crowd it with ingredients. Don’t try to cook for your spouse, son, twin daughters, and grandma and grandpa too. You’ll have rice and peas flying everywhere! Ideally, you should cook 1 to 2 servings at a time. My recipe below makes enough for 3 moderate appetites. When you have too many ingredients, the wok doesn’t get hot enough and your ingredients will get soggy causing the rice to clump together. If you prefer, cook each ingredient individually (raw vegetables or meat, egg) and remove to separate plates. Return all the ingredients to the pan at the end for the final mixing and seasoning.
Don’t overdo the saucy seasonings like soy sauce or oyster sauce. I add just a few tablespoons of my chosen sauce for flavor and then add salt for saltiness and savor. Too much sauce will make your rice mushy.
Kujolpan is a Korean court delicacy, which is prepared by putting nine kinds of colorful food in a wooden bowl divided into nine sections. (Small plates can be used instead of a bowl serving Kujolpan.)
You eat ingredients wrapping them in a peace of pancake and dipping it in sauce.
Kujolpan restaurants are found in different parts of Korea. Korean people serve it on happy occasions. Let’s try!
Place tomatillos and jalapenos in a baking pan (with sides), and place in a 425* oven for 15 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally so that all sides start to brown. Remove from oven and place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and puree until all of the ingredients are chopped small. Place in jars and store for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Red Salsa Makes about 4 quarts
3 32 oz. cans high quality tomatoes (diced or crushed)
1 large white onion, cut in eighths
1 bunch (about 2 cups packed) cilantro
12 cloves peeled garlic, smashed
Fresh whole jalapenos**, stem removed, cut in 1 inch chunks
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup sugar
½-1 cup lime juice
Add all ingredients to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or blend in batches in a blender), blend the mixture until smooth with only very small pieces remaining. Adjust seasoning and add more lime juice if needed. Pour into jars and store in fridge for up to a week.
**one jalapeno for mild, 3 for medium, and 4 or more for hot
½ cup very finely minced red onion
4 cloves very finely minced garlic
1-2 very finely minced Serrano peppers (depending on your preference for heat)
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
4 large ripe Haas Avocados
My recipe is simple…..put avocado in a small bowl, add freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic and oil and blend all..taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with oil and paprika. Serve with home made Naan.
Naan.….plain flour and warm water..mix, knead, and roll until soft and pliable. Leave about 30 mins.
Take piece and roll into flat naan…cook over hot pan or grid until bubbles form. Turn over and cook.
Shuck the corn, remove the silk, and cut off the stem end so the cob has a flat surface. Then stand each ear up on a cutting board and scrape off the kernels with a chef’s knife. Transfer the kernels to a bowl as you work.
Put the corncobs and 4 cups water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently. Cover and cook, checking to make sure the cobs are always covered with water, until the liquid is quite cloudy, about 30 minutes. Discard the corncobs and transfer 3 cups of the broth to a medium bowl or saucepan. (Save the rest if you like; no need to wipe out the pot.)
Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the butter. When it melts and foams, add the white parts of the scallions and the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 1 minute. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to turn golden and the flour no longer smells raw, just a couple of minutes. Then add the cheese and stir until it just starts to melt, less than a minute.
Add the reserved corncob broth and milk and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir or whisk constantly until the flour is dissolved and the soup starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add the corn kernels and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the soup bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender and the soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Add a little more milk if you like a thinner soup. Taste, adjust the seasoning, garnish with the scallion greens, and serve.
6 ears fresh corn
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped
2. Heat the ghee in a pot on medium heat and roast the garam masala for a few seconds, being careful not to burn it.
3. Add the chopped onions and let them brown slightly. Then add the chilli, ginger, turmeric and curry powder.
4. Chop the tomatoes into big chunks and add them to the spices. Once the tomatoes start to sweat, add the chard, stir well, add a little bit of water and cook on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.
Once done serve hot and add salt, pepper, and ground coriander to taste.
This chard tastes great with the Spicy Waffles, but it also makes a nice side-dish to go with casseroles, most grains dishes and curries, and even chicken or fish.
Spicy Waffle Ingredients:
2 cups Barley Flour
1 cup Whole-wheat Flour
1 cup Mung-Dal, ground
1/2 cup Chickpea Flour
1 1/2 cups Warm Water
1 cup Mineral Water
6 TBSP Yoghurt
2 tsp Ghee
2 TBSP Parsley, fresh
1 TBSP Fennel Seed
1 TBSP Coriander Seed
1 tsp Rosemary
2 tsp Ajwan
2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Fennugreek Seed
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
1 pinch Raw Sugar, Salt to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let the batter sit for 15 minutes.