Tag Archives: Asian food

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

10 Jun

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

I  seldom make fried chicken. Not because I don’t like it (I do), and not for health reasons either. It’s the time it takes, the mess it makes (all that spattering oil)… The end result never seemed to justify the hassle.

But that was before I encountered Vietnamese fried chicken (or VFC as we now call it) at a music festival.

Maybe I was influenced by the band that was playing (Noah and the Whale), or the unexpected blessing of sunshine, or the mellow party atmosphere, but that chicken was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted.

The moist and flavourful meat, the growing kick of chilli heat, the coating that was more crackle than crumb. Fried chicken this good was definitely worth the hassle. Continue reading

Kimchi grilled cheese sandwich

23 Apr

Kimchi grilled cheese

Kimchi and cheese probably seems  an odd combination to most people.

Even today, I doubt the average Korean family eats much cheese, and kimchi is hardly a store cupboard staple in Britain (though it certainly is in this British home).

But in this global world, these two unlikely ingredients have met and fallen in love. Kimcheeze anyone? Sorry…

In an attempt to raise the tone, I quote the famous gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin:

The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.

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Asian chicken noodle soup

19 Apr

Asian chicken noodle soup is less of a recipe than an idea.

When I find myself with a pot of chicken stock in the fridge (from making chicken tinga tacos, perhaps), one of my favourite things to do with it is to make what we call Asian chicken noodle soup.

Stock simmered with Asian aromatics is ladled over freshly cooked noodles, shredded chicken and thinly sliced vegetables, then garnished with fresh herbs. Continue reading

Double happiness beans

5 Apr

Easy to make, pretty to look at, tasty to eat – this dish could be called triple happiness beans.

I assume the “double” refers to the two types of bean involved – Chinese black beans and fresh green beans.

These are not the same black beans that feature in Mexican recipes like sweet potato and black bean tacos, but soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt.

Pungent and intensely salty, Chinese black beans should be soaked before use to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.

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Thai meatball noodle soup

1 Aug

Thai meatball noodle soup

Meatballs are always a safe bet with my girls – as are noodles – and we all enjoy Asian flavours, which makes this Thai meatball noodle soup is a no-brainer.

I’ve been making versions of this soup for years, and don’t follow a recipe as such. I just add the elements of a Thai broth – lemon grass, lime leaves, fish sauce and so on –  then adjust the balance of flavours until I hit on something that will suit our four palates. Continue reading

Tea eggs

8 Feb

Tea eggs

We love to celebrate Chinese New Year in our house with a special Chinese meal. The menu varies from year to year, but we always start things off with edamame, prawn crackers and these tea eggs.

Carefully cracked hard-boiled eggs are simmered in their shells in a mixture of tea, soy sauce and spices, then left to steep until flavourful. When peeled, the cracks in the shell create a beautiful marbled effect.

Gung hay fat choy! Continue reading

Kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap)

5 Feb

Kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap)

One big positive of having a ready supply of kimchi on hand, is the possibility of turning last night’s leftover rice into a bowl of delicious kimchi bokkeumbap for lunch.

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