Showing posts with label Spicy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spicy. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


If you are not a tofu lover, this dish will turn you into one. It was love at first taste for me.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


You'd think that warm climes would equate to cooling food but it is quite the opposite. When in Asia, we eat hot food even in the sweltering heat.

It was love at first taste the moment I tried beef rendang. It is a Malaysian stew that is spicy and aromatic yet with a fresh twist. If there is one dish that would resonate the Malay culture, in my opinion, this is it. It is so vibrant in colour, flavour and aroma.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


Bulgogi has been listed as the 23rd among World's 50 most delicious foods readers poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011. It is usually made with beef but pork or chicken is equally good made in the same recipe.

I tend to lean towards pork because pork has a subtle taste that absorbs seasonings well. It is so delicious especially when barbecued.

Thursday, 8 August 2013


General Tso's chicken is a Chinese dish that is probably more popular in Western countries than in China. It has been speculated that it is probably a Western invention as it is unknown in its supposed country of origin.

It was in fact introduced in New York City as an example of Hunan cuisine. The difference from the original dish is the addition of sugar to make it more appealing to the Western palate.

It is very similar to a lot of Chinese dishes; it has the characteristic sweet and tangy taste that is so desired in Chinese cuisine. A slight twist, the addition of hoisin sauce, gives it a slightly different flavour. 

The most distinct feature is the amount of heat in both spice and temperature. This gives it an exciting edge that makes one want more of it. Aside from chilli paste or oil, dried chillies are added to the glaze. The former gives a uniform heat to the dish while the dried chillies gives spurts of extra heat and spice. General Tso's chicken is very appetizing and only needs steamed rice to make a satisfying meal.

Adapted from Apetite for China's recipe for General Tso's Chicken.

Ingredients for the chicken and marinade:

1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 egg white
1 tsp. corn flour (corn starch)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 c. corn flour (corn starch)
cooking oil for frying


Mix the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, egg white and 1 tsp. of corn flour in a mixing bowl. Add in the chicken pieces and mix well.

Leave aside for 10 minutes. Prepare the rest of the ingredients in the meantime.

Dredge the chicken pieces in the corn flour.

Heat up a frying pan and add oil for shallow frying (about 1 1/2inch deep). Fry the chicken pieces, a few at a time until crisp and golden, about 4-5 minutes. 

Ingredients for the sauce:

1/4 c. chicken stock or water
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. of hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. of chilli paste (or chilli oil)
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsps. of honey
1 tsp. of corn flour (corn starch)


Mix all of the ingredients together and set aside.

Stir fry ingredients:

1 tbsp. chopped garlic
2-4 dried chillies, halved
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsps. sliced spring onions (green parts only)


Heat up a clean wok and add in 1 tbsp. of oil (you may use the oil previously used for frying the chicken). When hot, add in the garlic, chillies and fry for a few seconds.

Add in the sauce mixture. Bring to a boil while stirring until thickened.

Add the fried chicken pieces and toss until all the pieces are coated with the sauce.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.

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Monday, 3 June 2013


As a Filipino, I thoroughly connect to the taste of Jambalaya. Apart from the herbs and spices, it could have been a Filipino dish. We like all-in-one rice dishes like this because all the ingredients contribute to making the rice very flavourful.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Mongolian beef, despite what the name suggests did not originate from Mongolia. It is a product of Western commercial cuisine geared towards creating an taste experience that is suited to their taste but recreates the flavour of a foreign cuisine. Although the traditionalists and the purists will shake their heads, I find nothing wrong with that. I who tweaks and twists my recipes actually like that sort of thing. 

A recipe is like a rumor. It changes as it is passed around. We hear what we like to hear, read what we like to read and how we interpret things is much affected by what we read between the lines. As I searched for a recipe of Mongolian beef, I was amazed at how different each one was. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013


Sriracha has become a condiment embraced by everyone and sits at the table top  aside ketchup and mustard. Do you remember your first encounter with sriracha? 

Monday, 1 April 2013


Tiramisu is an Italian dessert which simply means "pick me up" or metaphorically "make me happy". This name cannot be more very apt because the creamy trifle is perked up with strong espresso and Marsala wine. I love tiramisu and have plowed through a lot of recipes to find THE one for me. Some recipes have uncooked eggs in them and that bothers me a lot. Some have no eggs and and although that takes away the worry of eating raw eggs, I think the richness that the eggs give the recipe is totally necessary.

Monday, 28 January 2013


It is time to prepare for the Chinese New Year and I want to use up the leftovers from the Christmas past. Frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen ham, frozen prawns spell fried rice. I would have made yang chow fried rice but we happened to have a pineapple so I decided to make pineapple fried rice for a change.

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Dipping sauces are an integral part of Asian food. A simple, basic dish can be made spectacular by the sauce it is served with. 

Although some sauces go with specific dishes, there are sauces that are universal. They go with anything. One of the popular all around food perkers is chilli oil. When you get used to having chilli oil with your food, you can't go without it, no matter what you eat.

Monday, 21 January 2013


 I have been planning to make butter chicken for some time now but I never could come up with the complete ingredients. My curiosity has been piqued since I've seen it in pictures and recipes. There is a bit of a hitch though. The list of ingredients is quite long and that challenges me a bit. As regulars here have probably noticed, most of my recipes have a short list of ingredients. It is quite a big task for me to shop for a lot of ingredients, let alone use them. Also, if I were to buy a lot of different kinds of spices (which the recipe calls for) and use a teaspoon of each, the rest is bound to get thrown away as I won't need them in the recipes that I usually make.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


We've all heard about bacon jam by now and I thought I'll never catch on with the trend. My son is an avid fan of bacon and he is relentless with the hints so I had to give it a go.

Bacon jam is new fangled condiment usually made with bacon, onions, sugar and vinegar. It is of spreadable consistency and is slathered on bread as a base for other fillings. I like that but I had an idea of adding in tomatoes for a more rounded taste. I also wanted it to be a sauce rather than a spread because sauces are more versatile. They can be used as dips and condiments as well as spreads.

Monday, 3 December 2012


When my children ask me what I'm going to make for dinner, I usually give a generic answer, as in chicken or beef or pork. I am not always prepared with a meal plan, especially in the morning (which is when the question usually pops up). 

Monday, 5 November 2012


We are all still shaken by the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Even though we are oceans away, we are shocked and saddened by the tragic event. We hope and pray that recovery will be smooth and swift.

Here in London, the Siberian winds and the steady rain didn't do much to make Halloween a celebration. The trees were rushed to shed their leaves which quickly turned to mush on the wet ground. We all definitely need a warm hug, preferably in a bowl in the form of a hot and spicy soup.

Monday, 15 October 2012


Fish sauce is an ingredient that people either love or hate. The smell is a bit overpowering but the flavour, in tempered amounts, might just be the very thing that would wake up the flavour of any savoury dish. If you have yet to be converted, do read on.

The ubiquitous fish sauce is the tasty agent that sets these wings apart. Recipes that greatly vary from each other are popping up in a lot of food sites and I was just intrigued. After reading the recipe for Ike's Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings (popularized by the Pok Pok Restaurant in Portland, Oregon), I just had to make it.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


I love Kung Pao chicken and the exciting buzz it gives when eating it. Kung pao chicken is a classic Szechuan dish of chicken and peanuts in a fiery hot sauce spiked with Szechuan peppercorns and dried chillies. It is that double hit of peppers that make this dish so exciting. The Szechuan peppercorns has a citrusy flavour and a numbing effect in the mouth. The dried chillies has a hint of smokiness and distinct chilli flavour and heat. Although good with rice, I thought adding glass noodles would be a great one dish meal. 

Monday, 16 July 2012


Many, many years ago, my husband and I used to go to an Indonesian restaurant in London's West End called Bali. It was one of those cozy restaurants decorated in the style of the place the food comes from. That probably added a lot to its charms and made the food taste so exotic and delicious. My husband just loves everything on the menu and would always order a bowl of laksa plus another dish. Their servings were quite generous and much as I'd like to try everything on the menu, I couldn't forego of the chance to eat their gado gado each time. Since I couldn't manage to eat anything else aside from that, that was pretty much what I ate from that restaurant plus pickings from my husband's food.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


Food connoisseurs are predicting that fusion food will soon bow out like nouvelle cuisine did a few decades back. People will apparently get tired of this food trend and new ones will emerge in place of it.

Monday, 18 June 2012


I was in Singapore recently, very, very briefly_ as in on a stopover en route to Manila. Having five hours to spare, I was hoping that my daughter and I could join the free two hour city tour. Unfortunately, we landed there in the early hours and the first available tour started at 9 a.m. and would finish 10 minutes before we were due to board our connecting flight. So that was that, it was just the airport we got to see.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Filipino food is one of the lesser known cuisines from the Far East. It is not that it doesn't cater to popular tastes. It actually does. So people ask why, if Filipino food was actually good, are there not a lot of Filipino restaurants around? I can only surmise that it is because Filipino food takes time to cook. It is not as quick and easy to prepare as other Asian food.