Seafood and chicken ramen

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As you would assume after my short visit to Singapore I had to introduce an Asian recipe. I really liked the local laksa- coconut soup with sea food and noodles. However I want to make it authentic as possible and for this I need to prepare two different chili and shrimp pastes. Till I find time to prepare it I made this classic ramen. Since I couldn`t decide chicken or fish I made both.

Preparing ramen is easy but it takes time as all the ingredients need to be prepared separate. I got some really cool products from 1004 Mart in Al Barsha-like miso paste, seaweed and noodles. The variety of Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese products is huge and I am definitely going there again.

Going back to the recipe you can try different stocks- from vegetable to chicken or seafood. I made mine vegetable as not everyone at home likes fish, but you can add your favorite meat if you fancy. Get creative with the toppings as long as they are fresh and finely sliced, so the hot broth will cook them in couple of minutes.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

For the stock:

– 1 l water

– few stalks spring onion

– handful of coriander

– 1 carrot chopped into big chunks

– 2 tbsp miso paste

– 1 tbsp black beans paste

– 1 tbsp soy sauce

– 1 tsp sugar

For the toppings:

– 300 g shrimps

– 200 g crab sticks

– 2 chicken breasts

– 1 tbsp honey

– 1 tbsp five spices

– 1 tbsp sesame seeds

– 1 tbsp oil

– 1 sliced carrot

– handful of coriander

– 2 soft boiled eggs

– handful beans sprouts

– handful seaweed cut into strips

– noodles – I used 4 small packages

– baby corn

Preparation:

1. Boil the water with the stock ingredients. Once ready, strain the liquid to have clear broth.

2. Boil water and cook the shrimps and crab sticks for 3-4 minutes.

3. Boil water and cook the baby corn for 5 minutes.

4. Season the chicken breasts with honey, 5 spices, salt and sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Cut into stripes.

5. Cook the noodles as per their instructions and strain the liquid

6. Assembly your ramen by starting with the noodles. Add the hot broth and carefully arrange the rest of the toppings.

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Philippine chicken adobo

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I start my first post for 2015 with this super easy, but interesting and delicious recipe. Chicken adobo is Philippines all time favorite. I tried it few months ago and like it ever since. It has slightly vinegary taste and the reach aroma of bay leaves. The recipe itself is easy to prepare and doesn`t require any special skills. Traditionally adobo chicken is served with steamed white rice and vinegar and soy sauce on a side for extra dip. If you fancy something different today- try adobo.

Ingredients:

– 4-5 chicken thighs

– 1/2 cup white vinegar

– 1/2 cup soy sauce

– 3-4 bay leaves

– 1 tbs chopped ginger

– 4 gloves garlic (crashed)

– black pepper

– 1 tsp sugar

– oil for cooking

– rice for serving

Preparation:

Marinate the chicken with the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper and ginger for 1 hour. Preheat the oil and let it cook (with all the liquid) for 30 mins or until the liquid is reduced. Add the sugar (optional). Note: Avoid adding salt as the soy sauce is salty enough. Serve over steamed rice and garnish with spring onion and red chili.

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Chicken skewers with pineapple and homemade BBQ sauce

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Friday night  we decided to stay in for dinner. For those who like combination of fruits and meat this can be a good option. The meal itself is very quick and doesn’t require advanced skills. Everything is made from scratch and you don`t need to worry about calories. As an addition I made salad with mixed greens, lots of coriander and seasoned with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients: (for 8 big skewers)

– 300 g chicken breast

– 200 g pineapple cut into cubes

– 1 red bell pepper

– olive oil, salt flakes and black pepper for seasoning

For the BBQ sauce:

– 100 g ketchup

– 1 tbs mustard

– 1 tbs soy sauce

– 1 tbs honey

Preparation:

Mix the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a hot pan and stir well for few minutes. Cut the chicken meat into cubes and thread together with the pineapple onto the skewers. Finish every skewer with red pepper. Brush the skewers with the sauce, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven and bake the skewers for 30 minutes or until ready. Take them out of the oven and brush with BBQ sauce again. Serve with fresh green salad of your choice.

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Pad Thai with rice noodles and tamarind sauce

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If I say that I was following a recipe for this dish I would lie. I wasn`t even in a cooking mood last night. I know that Pad Thai is originally made with thick noodles but I wanted to keep it light and fresh. I made Pad Thai sauce with a lot of lime and sweet tamarind. I liked the idea of mixing sweet and sour as this is how Asian food taste to me. If you are pro active and multitask you can have this dish ready in no time. Limited number of ingredients but a great result. I even ate eggs! And I usually don`t 🙂 I wasn`t sure if mom (who is here for a short visit) would like it, but I must say it was a winner and she even served herself a second portion. No more talks- all you need here is 30 minutes time and the recipe below.

Ingredients:

For the sauce (prepare it in advance or together with the chicken)

– 5-6 tamarind pods- extract the meat of it

– 2 tbs water

– 3 tbs white vinegar

– 3 tbs fish sauce

– 1 tbs soy sauce

– 3 tbs brown sugar

– 2 tbs lime juice

– pinch of salt

For the Pad Thai

– 600g chicken breasts

– 1 pack of rice noodles

– 4 eggs

– spring onion

– 50g peanuts

– 1 tbs ginger

– 3 gloves garlic

– 1 red chili  pepper

– 1 tbs soy sauce

– 2 tbs lime juice

– 3-4 tbs oil

– 1 tbs corn starch

– salt and pepper for seasoning

Preparation:

Cut the chicken into cubes. Season with salt and pepper and add the corn starch. Preheat the oil and add the ginger, chopped garlic and red chili pepper. Add the chicken and 1 tbs soy sauce. Cook until its ready. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the sauce into a casserole and boil together for few minutes. Let it rest and set aside. Boil water and pour it over the rice noodles. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, make a hole in the middle of the pan and add the eggs. Scramble for a minute and then mix with the chicken. Add 4-5 tbs from the Pad Thai sauce and then the noodles. Cook slightly add the lime juice and more from the sauce if you wish. Chop the spring onion and add half of it. Cook for another 5 minutes (or even less) and serve by sprinkle fresh onion, crushed peanuts and lime.

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Sticky chicken glazed with balsamic sauce

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I love food that can be eaten with hands only. Finger-liking chicken is the recipe I am presenting you today. It require some time, but skill wise is very easy. You can use wings, but in this recipe I used thighs as you can enjoy more of the crispy skin. Then you gently brush them with sweet balsamic sauce and the heat will help to absorb the flavors deep into the meat. I garnished with vegetables and noodles and to add some freshness I sprinkled lime juice. Craving some Asian flavor for dinner or friends gathering? Give this recipe a try!

Ingredients:

– 1 kg fresh chicken thighs (you can substitute with wings or any other chicken parts)

– oil for frying

– 200ml balsamic vinegar

– 3 tbs ketchup

– 1 tbs brown sugar (white sugar will do the same job)

– pinch of salt

– sesame seeds for decoration

Preparation:

Preheat the oil and fry the chicken until you have nice golden color and crispy skin. I didn’t do any seasoning as the sauce will do its job later on. During that time you can prepare the balsamic sauce. In a hot pan mix the vinegar, ketchup, sugar and salt and stir gently until it gets thicker. Once the chicken is ready, brush the sauce all over. Make sure you do this part while the chicken is still hot so the sauce can soak into the meat. Top with sesame seeds and serve with your favorite noodles and freshly cut lime.

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Slow cooked chicken with vegetables and mix of Arabic spices with garnish of cous cous and baked eggplants with sea salt

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I wish I could have more time to cook. I wish I could have time during the day, so I can take the advantage of the day light and make some good photos! I currently work to achieve this two targets so fingers crossed and wish me luck 🙂 Last night I was inspired to prepare a dinner with Arabic flavor. The beauty of the Middle East is the variety of the spices you can find on the markets. During my first weeks here in Dubai I was spending hours just to observe what is in the near by mall. The stands with fruits and vegetables was so colorful, but at the same time so new for me that I felt like I was living on a different planet before.  And the spices…. Oh the spices! Hundreds of them, from North Africa, India and Asia. Yellow, orange, red, spicy, dried, fresh, everything you need, or you don`t need. And then is the time to try all this beauty in your kitchen. I love spicy food, so I enjoyed to try different curries from India and Thailand. I wasn`t brave enough to try cooking Arabic food myself. You need the right meat, the right combination of flavors and plenty of time. I started with the traditional Mezah (starters) like salads and dips. My family likes all of it. My brother became a huge fan of the eggplants because of the dips I made. Aside of the starters though, few times I cooked some slow cooked meat with veggies and you have my guarantee that it is really delicious. The recipe that I am presenting you today is for a slow cooked chicken with vegetables in reach tomato sauce with Arabic spices. To add some Moroccan twist I made cous cous as a garnish. And just because I love eggplants and I had some in my fridge I decided to baked them with sea salt. This recipe is not spicy, but feel free to add some red chili peppers if you feel to. For seasoning I used ready mix from nutmeg, cardamom, cumin and garlic. My advise is if you use this spices separate to be very careful with the quantity as you want to feel the taste of the veggies and just to have this Arabic note in the dish. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

– One whole chicken cut on peaces

– 2 small zucchini

– 2 red onions

– 1 red bell pepper

– 4 gloves of garlic

– spring onion

– 200 g fresh mushrooms

– 2 carrots

– 5-6 small eggplants

– 3 tbsp sea salt

– handful parsley

– 1 cup cous cous

– 450 ml tomato puree

– 1 tsp sugar

– 1 tsp mix spices

– olive oil for cooking

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to gas 10. Place the eggplants into a baking tray and season with the sea salt. bake until they are cooked and soft. Boil the chicken with some salt for about 20 minutes. Cut all the vegetables and start cooking with 4 tbsp olive oil. Cook until softened. Add the spices and the chicken. Cook for another 30 minutes. Add the tomato puree with the sugar and 60 ml of  warm water. Reduce the heat and cook until the sauce reduce its water. Place the cous cous in a big bowl and add boiling water. Cover it for few minutes and add some more oil and salt. Serve the chicken stew on a bed of the cous cous and garnish with eggplants. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy.

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Roasted chicken with garlic butter, lemon and thyme

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My Sunday roasted chicken it turns to be a huge success! I cooked two chickens actually as we had guests for dinner and I was hoping that I can make something with the leftovers. Well there was no such! That really made me happy and everyone appreciate the good juicy chicken with a garnish of parsnips, carrots and celery. In addition I made mashed potatoes. I was hoping to have some home made french baguette on the table as well, but the time out a pressure on me and I will leave a door open for this recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

– 2 whole chickens – mine was about 1 kg each

– 2 lemons

– fresh thyme

– 1 bulb garlic

– 60 g softened butter

– salt, pepper and olive oil

For the baked vegetables:

– 2 sticks celery

– 4 big carrots

– 3 roots parsnips

– 1 bulb garlic

– salt and olive oil for seasoning

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to gas 9. Start with the preparation of the garlic butter. In a small bowl mix the butter, two chopped gloves of garlic and salt. Gently rub the butter between the skin and the chicken breast. Cut the two lemons on halves and separate the garlic without peeling it. Stuff the chicken with the lemons, garlic and theme. Cut all the vegetables into a sticks and place on a baking tray. Season with salt, pepper and some olive oil. Place the two birds on the bed of vegetables. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and olive oil. Reduce the heat to gas 6 and cook for around an hour.

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