Asian salmon with brown rice and greens

I had some leftover cavolo nero and some salmon fillets in the freezer so I decided to make this – enough for 2:

For the salmon:Asian_salmon

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 salmon fillets

For the rice:

  • 100g brown long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped/crushed)
  • 5 leaves of cavolo nero (roughly chopped, with any tough stalks removed)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • A dash of sesame oil

Cook the rice as indicated on the packet.

Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, honey and ginger, and the coat the salmon fillets, placing them in a dish that can be used under a grill.

Heat the grill and cook the salmon fillets for four minutes on each side, until the salmon is opaque and firm.

To finish the rice, heat the 1 tbsp of oil in a wok, and stir-fry the onion, ginger and garlic. After 1 minute, add the cavolo nero and stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, together with the soy sauce and rice wine. When thoroughly hot, mix in the sesame seeds and the sesame oil.

Serve immediately, pouring any remaining liquid from grilling, over the salmon.


Stir-fry with peanuts


Enough for 2-3 people:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • A piece of ginger (c. 2cm cube – chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed/chopped)
  • 1 large pepper (cored, deseeded and sliced)
  • 100g sprouting broccoli (the heads cut-off and stems sliced lengthwise into 4cm lengths)
  • 300g bag of bean sprouts
  • a handful of salted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • A generous dash of Thai chilli sauce (exact amount depends on its strength)
  • 3 small noodle nests (cooked according to the instructions on the packet, and drained)

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the pepper and the broccoli and stir-fry for another minute.

Add the bean sprouts and the peanuts and stir-fry for another minute.

Combine the soy sauce, peanut butter and the chilli sauce, together with a small amount of water so that it is fairly runny. Stir into the vegetables. then add the cooked noodles.

Combine everything and stir until very hot.


Peanut rice luchbox


This used up some left-over brown rice.

Mixed the rice with spring onions, frozen peas and salted, roasted peanuts; and a dressing made from soy sauce, olive oil, a little hot chilli sauce, a little white wine vinegar and some grated ginger.

Also cherry tomatoes, beetroot, spring onions and carrot sticks.

Sweet and sour pork casserole


This has the taste of classic sweet and sour pork, but avoids fiddling around with deep frying the pork.

For 2 to 3 people (more with additional vegetables and more rice):

  • Oil
  • 500g diced pork shoulder
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • A piece of ginger, about 2cm square (finely chopped)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 stock cube (crumbled) – I used a mix of chicken and beef
  • Hot water
  • 2 heaped tsp cornflour
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and cut into 1x3cm pieces)
  • 8 baby sweetcorn (halved lengthways and cut into 3cm pieces)
  • 12 sugar-snap peas

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Tip the meat into the oil and stir constantly until browned. Turn down the heat and add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.

Mix together the vinegar, sugar, tomato purée, soy sauce and the stock cube in a jug. Add about 200ml of hot water. Mix well and pour over the meat mixture. Top up with more hot water until the meat mixture is covered. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes (or until the meat is nearly cooked).

In a jug combine the cornflour with a little cold water, so that it turns into a smooth liquid. Add about 5 tbsp of the cooking liquid and mix well. Return this mixture to the saucepan and bring to the boil, while continuing to stir the mixture until the sauce thickens.

Add the red pepper and baby sweetcorn and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the sugar-snap peas and boil for 3 minutes.

Serve with boiled rice.

Hoisin roast chicken noodle soup


I used these roast chicken thighs as a topping for noodle soup. I bought a pack of four chicken thighs and boned them (this is fairly simple as there is only one large bone to deal with – you just locate the bone, cut into the flesh lying over it and then cut all the way round, between the flesh and the bone, and cut the flesh away from the bone at either end).

Marinate the chicken thighs in a mixture of a generous tablespoon of Hoisin sauce and a dessert spoon of cooking oil. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Then place the chicken in a roasting dish and brush with any remaining marinade. Roast in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for about 30 minutes.

I made some stock with the bones, a carrot  (sliced), an onion (quartered) and a stick of celery (sliced), plus a little chopped garlic and ginger, and a pinch of five spice powder. Cover in water, bring to the boil and simmer for a few hours, adding more water if necessary. Then strain the liquid, discarding the vegetables and the bones.

To complete the soup for 2 people:

  • Oil
  • A piece of ginger about 2cm square (chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • Chicken stock (see above)
  • A generous dash of soy sauce
  • 4 spring onions (fairly finely sliced)
  • Green vegetables (eg a two handfuls of spinach, pak choi, or similar)
  • Other vegetables (optional) – say baby sweet corn or mange tout etc
  • Chinese noodles for 2 people (cooked in accordance with the instructions on the packet)
  • Hoi sin roast chicken thighs (see above), sliced

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Add the ginger, chilli and garlic. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and the soy sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Depending on the vegetable you are using, add them to the stock (adding the ones that take longer to cook earlier – eg if using baby sweet corn, add these about 3 minutes before the spring onions and the green vegetables). Add more boiling water if necessary.

When the vegetables are cooked, serve the soup by dividing the noodles between two large bowls. The add the soup and top with the sliced chicken.


Pork belly stir-fry


Last weekend I bought a ‘reduced to clear’ pack of tat soi (it’s a bit like pak choi, but with longer, narrower stems and the leaves are a darker green; it looks a bit like a less robust version of celery with greener leaves). I used half of this as the main component of a stir-fry, and served it with roast pork belly strips. I used half the pork belly strips in this meal and the rest together with the remaining tat soi were later used in Nasi Goreng (the tat soi replacing the peas). For 2:

For the pork:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • a slug of Thai chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 5 strips of pork belly (this is the number you get in a pack at my supermarket)

To make the marinade, mix the soy sauce, chilli sauce, vinegar, and oil together in a flat bottomed dish. Ensure that the pork belly strips are coated in the marinade. Cover the dish and allow to stand for at least 2 hours (if it’s a hot day leave this in the fridge). Then roast in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4). It should take about 1 hour, but take a look after 30 minutes and turn the meat over, sprinkling with any remaining marinade. [This is slightly different to the Pork belly noodle soup recipe, I decided that the slower cooking improved the texture of the pork.]

The meat will be cooked when it is soft and easily pulled apart. Cut half the pork into 1cm slices. Leave to rest to cool and either store in the fridge to use within the next three days or freeze.

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion (roughly sliced)
  • 1 medium red pepper (deseeded and roughly sliced)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 piece of ginger (2cm cube) finely chopped
  • a shake of Chinese five spice powder
  • 100g tat soi (chopped into 4cm lengths)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion, pepper, chilli, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry at a high temperature for about 2.5 minutes. Shake in the five spice powder and stir. At the tat soi and stir-fry for a further 1.5 minutes. Mix in the soy soy sauce and pork. Ensure that the wok contents are piping hot and serve. This could be ‘padded out’ with boiled rice.



Chow mein


This is a quick supper I made from left-overs the other day (enough for two people):

  • 2 portions of Chinese noodles (I found these in the back of a cupboard – you could use any noodles or spaghetti or vermicelli)
  • oil
  • 1/2 an onion peeled and sliced (not that thinly)
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 chilli deseeded and chopped
  • 1 piece of root ginger (about 2x2cm) chopped
  • 1/2 a red pepper (any other colour would be OK) deseeded and sliced
  • 150g fresh beansprouts
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Cook the noodles as indicated on the packaging.

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a wok. Add the onion and stir fry for about a minute. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and stir fry for another minute. Add the red pepper and stir fry for a further one minute. then add the beansprouts and stir fry for another minute.

Drain the noodles and add to the wok together with the soy sauce. Mix well and serve.