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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Homemade sushi- step by step

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I have a secret to share with you. I was a bit too much scared to try making sushi at home. I relate sushi with great effort and years of practice. I got a bit nervous as I wanted  to make sushi with respect to the Japanese traditions. I went to buy the best tuna and salmon available in Market and Platters and it was the best choice. The fish was brilliant and so delicious.

I am not sure if this recipe needs introduction as most people tried sushi before and loved it. In order to make it you would need to get yourself few things such as sushi mat, sushi rice, good wasabi and the most important- crazy sharp knife. I got mine from Tavola several weeks ago and it feels like I made an investment :D.

I tried to get as many photos as possible and hopefully they are clear enough so you can try it. I made tuna- avocado rolls, salmon hand rolls, and classic salmon sushi.

Ingredients- I live the quantity to you so you can have as many rolls you want:

– 2 cups sushi rice

– 1 tsp sugar

– 1 tbsp white vinegar

– Nori sheets

– Japanese mayo

– wasabi

– pickled ginger

– soy sauce

– tuna

– salmon

– avocado

– cucumber

– sesame seeds

Preparation:

1. Start with the sushi rice. Wash your rice few times until the water is clear. Boil the rice until ready and season with sugar and vinegar. Let it cool.

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The rice should be sticky and cool before you start making the rolls

2. Get your ingredients ready and your knife sharpen.

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Choose authentic and fresh ingredients for best results

3. See the steps for making two kinds of rolls

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Cover your mat with clean foil so you can use it multiply times. Place a sheet of nori to get started
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Spread the sticky rice and carefuly cover each corner of the sheet
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Place sliced avocado
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Add cucumber
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Add Japanese mayo
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Place slices of tuna
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Roll carefully, but keep the mat firm
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Use a bit pressure to form the rols
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Your roll is ready
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For even sliced rolls cut into two and then slice into the desire size

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The ready rolls

4. For California style rolls :

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Repeat the step with the rice and sprinkle some sesame seeds
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Turn the sheet upside down and then add the tuna, avocado, cucumber and mayo
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Roll as previously showed and cut the same way
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For the hand rolls simply roll all the ingredients into Nori sheet. For the salmon sushi form the rice with your hands and cover with thin slice of fresh salmon.

5. Serve the sushi with wasabi, dark soy sauce and pickled ginger

Classic fish and chips

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Living with a British man makes me more curious about their food. I now know how to cook lamb, how to make the perfect gravy and Yorkshire puddings. I also learned that “Tea” means dinner and “Pudding” means dessert of any kind. I really love their hearty food as also remind me of my home. “Bulgarian moussaka is just a twisted version of Shepard`s pie”- said Tom when tried it.

The recipe today is for classic fish and chips with mushy peas. There is nothing complicated in it. Forget about soggy batter or tasteless mushy peas. Tom actually ate  all his peas and he usually avoid it.

Note the tips I mentioned below and you will have crispy fish, warm mushy peas and hot chips.

Ingredients (for 3 servings)

– 3 ready to cook white fish fillets

– smoked salt flakes

– black pepper

For the batter:

– 330 ml beer (you can use non alcoholic as well)

– 250 g white flour

– 3 tsp baking powder

For the mushy peas:

– 2 cans organic peas

– 3 tbsp butter

– 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

– sea salt

For the chips:

– 3 potatoes with the skin

– seal salt

Preparation:

1. Prepare your batter by mixing all the ingredients and whisk well.

2. Cut each fish fillet into two and season with smoked salt and pepper

3. Dip each fillet into the batter and deep fry until golden. NOTE: fry your fish in a very hot oil to keep it crispy

4. Meanwhile preheat your butter and add the peas and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Blend the peas and add the lemon juice.

5. Cut your potatoes into thin slices and deep fry in very hot oil until golden. Season with sea salt flakes.

6. Serve two fish fillets, mushy peas and chips and sprinkle some sea salt.

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Tuna ceviche with grapefruit, coriander and lime

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Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish that won its popularity worldwide. You will never believe how easy is to get this master peace done at home. We loved it. It`s fresh, spicy and delicious. Don`t be afraid to surprise your guests with this winning starter. I am warning you though- use only fresh fish and the one that is sushi grade. This is very important as such fish has been already frozen to the required temperature and the bacteria are killed. If this step is completed then you are ready to go with the super simple seasoning.

Before I give you the recipe, please note that I didn`t mix the dressing with the fish. I was waiting for the moment before serving. This is because the acid from the fruits will start cooking the fish and the pink color of the tuna meat will change. The rest is easy! Enjoy 🙂

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 Ingredients:

– 200 g tuna steak

– 1 grapefruit

– 2 limes

– handful coriander

– 1 small red chili

– 1 tsp soy sauce

– 1 tsp sesame oil

– 1 tsp sugar

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients (keep the fish a side) and cool for 30 mins in the fridge. Cut the tuna steak into fine slices (the thinner the better). Arrange the fish into serving plates and cover with the coriander dressing right before serving.

Shrimp chowder

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This recipe is easy as the name suggests. Few ingredients, rich buttery flavor and creamy texture. You can experiment with different sea food or even chicken. Once you chop the veggies you won`t need more than 30 minutes to have it ready to serve.

Ingredients

– 500 g shrimps

– 1 big potato

– 1 big carrot

– half onion

– 1 can sweet corn

– 3 tbs clarified butter (I used Lurpak, but any butter will do the job)

– 50 ml olive oil

– 1,5 l fresh full fat milk + 1 cup milk for later

– 1 tbsp white flour

– salt, pepper and nutmeg for seasoning

Preparation:

Chop the veggies into small cubes (this will speed up the cooking process). Preheat the olive oil and saute the veggies and the shrimps for 10 mins. Add the milk and butter and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once cooked, whisk the remain 1 cup of milk with the flour and add the the boiling chowder. Add the corn and serve with baked bruschetta drizzled with olive oil.

Sea food stew

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These are not exactly the ingredients you would combine  in a stew. Yet you will be surprised from the hearty flavor and deliciousness. It`s  important for the great taste in any sea food meal is to have it fresh. Frozen could be an option, but there is nothing better than the daily catch (or at least this is what they claim in our local supermarket:)). Before I give you the list with the ingredients I want to underline that I did not use any salt as the recipe is with smoked herring. The fish is salty enough and it taste heavenly. If you decide to try it with fresh fish then season according to your taste.

Ingredients:

– 500 g fresh prawns

– 300 g fresh mussels

– 1 smoked herring

– 1 can white beans

– 1 can red beans

– 1 can chickpeas

– 1 can tomatoes

– 250 g Brussel sprouts

– 1 lemon

– 1 stalk spring onion

– 250 pickled gherkins

– 100 ml olive oil

– 2 garlic cloves

– 1 tsp turmeric

– black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute one garlic clove, the prawns and mussels together with the turmeric. Cut the smoked fish into slices, chop the ingredients and mix together in  a baking tray. Season well with generous amount of olive oil and black pepper (skip the salt as mentioned). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, add the prawns and mussels to the rest of ingredients and bake for 45 minutes.

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Ooh la la Nicoise

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What a great salad/meal is Nicoise! The classic recipe is lost somewhere between its origins in France and the American version of Julia Child. Classic French Nicoise have artichoke hearts, radishes, celery and fresh basil. Where the American version  remind Cob salad and the ingredients lay on green lettuce. However both versions have the beans, tuna and eggs in common. The dressing is very similar yet simple. For my Nicoise I decided to try the American version, but keep the French dressing with Dijon Mustard. It make take some time for the preparation, but a single salad can be your dinner meal as well. I will leave the quantity to you as you can customize it as per your taste. For mine I skipped the anchovies, for my brother I doubled the tuna, for my friend I skipped the tomatoes. The choice is yours 🙂

Ingredients:

– 1 lettuce

– green beans

– cherry tomatoes

– olives

– onion

– eggs

– tuna flakes in oil

– 10 anchovies

– potatoes with the skin

– capers

For the dressing:

– 3 tbs oil

– 2 tbs vinegar

– 1 tbs Dijon mustard

– salt flakes and pepper

Preparation:

Boil the potatoes cut them in halves and slightly fry them with oil salt and pepper. Boil the beans for 3-4 minutes and then wash with cold water to keep the vibrant green color. Boil the eggs for 8 minutes. Mix the dressing ingredients and plate your salad as showed on the picture or mixed in a big bowl.

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