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Hoisin glazed Meatballs with tamarind, ginger and garlic seasoned beef and a simple, sweet hoisin sauce glaze. Those gluten free round bites goes well as an appetizer, on noodles or rice.hoisin sauce meatball glaze

Hoisin glazed meatballs

Mini beef meatballs with an Asian flair are great and polyvalent. They go well as an appetizer or main meal and simply divine paired with some crunchy carrots, cucumber, scallions and a few peanuts. Also a fast and easy way to make a last minute meal, simply cook a bunch up and keep some frozen for later.

Experimenting with meatballs

I used a chickpea flour this time to replace the “usual breadcrumb” to soak up all the moist from the meatballs and bound them good. This way it make them “gluten free” and gives the meat an extra protein boost. I didn’t use any egg since they were holding great without! I guess eggs are used for bigger sized meatballs, it makes them hold better, but in this case the meatballs are so small and won’t break. The seasoning for the meat is a simple one; ginger, garlic and a bit of tamarind paste. I saw a beef stew recipe, last week, from the Middle East which use tamarind paste. It triggered my curiosity… Knowing that it’s also the main ingredient for the Worcestershire sauce which is often a magic ingredient in meatballs… it turned out wonderful! Of course, the tamarind paste isn’t ketchup… not everyone have it in the fridge. So no worries if you don’t have any, just use a touch of worcestershire sauce instead.

So the meat ball have a spicy element with the ginger, the sour element with the tamarind paste, the salty element with the soy sauce and the umami with all that meat. Just missing one thing to complete the perfect Asian balance: a sweet element. No better sweet sauce than Hoisin which is slightly modified to coat to perfection those small meatballs.

Adaptable

Hoisin glazed meatballs

As I’ve pointed out earlier, either use these as an appetizer or main meal. For appetizer you could add them to a “fondue” pot on low heat, add extra water in the hoisin sauce and let people pick the meatballs from the hot pot. Or simply make a “crunchy lettuce leave bite, with some pickles carrots and cucumber, this way your guests won’t have to make their hands dirty. Plus the salad give a nice crunch.

Hoisin Meatballs

Or for a main meal, I’ve added the meatballs on a simple rice vermicelli with carrot, cucumber, scallions and peanuts. So simple and yummy! Add a little splash of grilled sesame seed oil, lime and soy sauce to the vermicelli and voila!

So let’s make those little bites!


Hoisin glazed Meatballs

Makes 20 small meatballs | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 20 minutes

Ingredients
MeatballsHoisin glazed meatballs
  • 450g (1 pound) of ground beef
  • 2 tbsp of chickpea flour or breadcrumbs
  • 15g (1 tbsp) ginger grated
  • 20g of garlic finely minced
  • 1 tbsp of tamarind paste or worcestershire
  • 1 tsp of soy sauce/tamari
  • 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
The hoisin glaze
  • 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
Directions
  1. Start by mixing all the ingredients from the meatballs and make small balls with it
  2. Add to a baking sheet, spray a little oil on them and cook at 180°C (350F) for 15 minutes
  3. During that time, add all the ingredients for the glaze in a pan and mix, bring to low heat, just to warm it up
  4. Add the cooked meatballs directly in the pan with the glaze and serve

Serve as an appetizer or on rice noodles. Enjoy!

Hoisin glazed meatballs

A detox soup bowl filled with colorful veggies and a few noodles to detox from all that gravy and sweets we’ve had over the holidays. Simple, healthy and yummy!healthy holiday soup

Rainbow Noodle Soup Bowl

Rainbow Soup is a great way to give a break to our stomach after all the holidays excess. The idea here is mainly to eat a big bowl of soup filled with vitamins and easy on the stomach. I’ve used udon noodles but it could be a rice noodle (Banh pho). It’s an Asian soup idea, although the flavors are not, it’s mainly just the format that is asian. You can use the veggies leftovers from your fridge, for mine, I’ve used a mix of red cabbage, carrot, scallions, zucchini and pepper. None of the veggies are pre cooked, this way they keep all their vitamins intact and give a nice crunchy bite to the soup.

Detox

Rainbow Noodle Soup BowlHoliday season is always heavy on the stomach and there is no getting around it, we all gain weight during those few weeks of excess. Well this soup is a welcomed, simple and healthy break to this excess of gravy and sweets consumed during the holidays. It can also be adapted to your own taste or whatever is left in your fridge. I mean if you still have a leftover of turkey, go ahead add some to the soup, as long as you add some color and lots of veggies it’s going to be a great soup.

 

So let’s make this holiday detox bowl!

 


Rainbow Holiday Detox Soup

Makes 2 portions | Difficulty: too easy | Preparation: 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 liter of turkey brVegetable soup bowloth or oriental veggie broth
  • 200g of udon (wheat) or banh pho (rice) noodles
  • 1 carrot cut in small sticks (juliennes)
  • 100g of red cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 zucchini cut in thin slices
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • few scallions
  • salt, pepper (or fish sauce to replace salt)
Directions
  1. Cook the egg for 10 minutes in barely simmering water
  2. Cut all the veggies
  3. Pre cook al dente the noodles in boiling water, drain and pass under cold water  (this will make them hold better in the warm soup afterwards)
  4. Bring the broth to a boil
  5. Add the noodles for 1 minutes to heat them up again
  6. Add the noodles, in the bottom of pre warmed bowls, the vegetables, egg and finally the broth
  7. Add a bit of fish sauce, or salt and pepper
  8. Serve

Enjoy!

Rainbow Noodle Soup Bowl

Chinese wine beef and mushroom noodles

Stir fried beef and mushroom in chinese wine with udon noodles is so tasty, this rice wine is a bold, tasty compliment to any chinese dish. It smells way more powerful than normal grape wine and its taste is way bolder too, it’s closer to a fortified wine in taste. Without saying you need to be careful not to put too much of it.udonbeefpin

Chinese wine beef and mushroom noodlesYesterday, I went to my favorite asian market because I needed a refill of this, hard to find, vietnamese fish sauce. I can not recommend it enough, the vietnamese one is made with only fish and taste different than the thai fish sauce they sell in most stores. Once in there, I love to pick up something new, so this time, I’ve decided to experiment with this rice wine called Chen nian hua tiao Chiew. Let me say… after my first dish with it, this is going to be pleasant to make tons of delicious recipe with it. I love bold flavors, and this wine is right in my spectrum of bold flavors.

Also couldn’t resist those beautiful bowls they sell in this market. Love this place!

So let’s make this chinese wine stir fried dish!


Stir fried beef and mushroom in chinese rice wine and Udon noodles

Makes 4 portions

Ingredients
TChinese wine beef and mushroom noodleshe marinade
  • 3 tbsp of rice chinese wine (Chen nian hua tiao chiew)
  • 2 tbsp of sugar (honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp of chilli flakes in oil (or even better fresh hot peppers)
  • t tbsp of cornstarch flour
The grand finale
  • 230g of Udon wheat noodles
  • 150g of finely sliced beef  (steak, loin, your favorite)
  • 200ml of beef broth
  • 175g of your favorite muchrooms
  • 100 g chard leaves
  • 2 tbsp of peanut oil 
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch diluted in 3 tbsp of cold water
  • 1 tbsp of rice chinese wine
  • 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Start by making the marinade, by mixing all the ingredients
  2. Add to the beef and let marinate 30 minutes in the fridge
  3. Cook the udon noodles al dente in a pot of boiling water
  4. Drain and rinse in cold water (prevents them from sticking together) 
  5. Add the sesame oil to the noodles, mix and reserve
  6. In a wok add the peanut oil and mushrooms, high heat all along, and with a wood spatula stir fry them for a minute
  7. Add the beef and it’s marinade in the wok and stir fry until barely cooked
  8. Add the chard, the broth and chinese wine and let it Chinese wine beef and mushroom noodlesboil for a minute or two
  9. Add the cornstarch mix and let the sauce thickens
  10. Add the reserved noodles to the wok, cook for 1 minute to warm them up
  11. Serve with black sesame seeds and soy sauce on the side

Enjoy!

Chinese wine beef and mushroom noodles

Coco-Lemongrass chicken noodlesThis isn’t an asian meal, no curry involved here… There is some typical asian elements, like lemongrass and coconut milk but no ginger or strong curry. This way we’ll get to taste fully the coconut flavor which is often taken over by other stronger taste. The dish simple needs 1 stalk of lemongrass and coconut as flavouring, that’s it!  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE curries off all kinds, it’s just when I feel like tasting the full coconut, well I simply do this recipe instead. I’ve used asian egg noodles for this dish but it could easily be a nice rice noodle or quinoa pasta, etc. The chicken can be changed to shrimps too. It’s all up to how your tastebuds are feeling.cocolimepin

Coco-Lemongrass chicken noodlesI’ve added a bunch of cracked pistachios on top, it gives the meal a great twist, but if you prefer other kind of nuts, like peanuts or almonds they fit good in there too. It’s a fairly fast and easy meal to make, a beloved “under 20 minutes meal” , plus the little ones will love it.

I like to accommodate everyone at the table, a central plate with a few extras like an extra pistachios, cilantro, hot thai pepper, lime is a great way to make everyone happy at the table. I, personally, love a whole lot of fresh cilantro in this meal but some people just dislike this herb, so this way everyone will be happy. Especially new guests which you don’t always know their personal likes and dislikes.

Also, I’ve used a homemade salt I did last week, a lemongrass, lime zest salt. I’ve simply dehydrated the inner part of the lemongrass and a few lime zest, then blended the dehydrated ingredients and add some sea salt. So simple and tasty. But obviously you can use simple salt, or fish sauce to salt up this meal.

So let’s get that smooth coconut flavour going!


Coco-Lemongrass chicken noodles

Makes 3-4 portions

Ingredients
  • Coco-Lemongrass chicken noodles2 chicken breast
  • 400g asian egg noodles or rice noodles
  • 1 can of coconut milk 
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil (or neutral oil)
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, take off the first layer and break it in 2 places
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 hand of pistachios, cracked
  • 1 hand of coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 2 mini bok choy, finely cut
  • 2 limes
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, cracked *optional
  • salt, pepper (lemongrass, zest salt if you are adventurous)
  • Extras: hot thai pepper, limes, coriander leaves and pistachios
Directions
  1. Start by cutting your chicken into small cubes, season it with salt and pepper
  2. Cut the pepper, peel the carrot completely and wash and cut into 1 cm large pieces the bok choy
  3. Bring a wok to high heat, add the coconut oil, the chicken, lemongrass and sauté (move with a wood spatula) until light brown
  4. Add the Kaffir lime leaves and lower the wok to low heat
  5. Add the coconut milk, let simmer 4 minutes
  6. Cook the noodles during that time
  7. Cut all the extras and toppings
  8. When the noodles are almost al dente, take them out, add them to the wok with the vegetables (pepper, bok choy, carrots)
  9. Check the seasoning (add salt, pepper)
  10. Let it all warm up for 2 minutes
  11. Mix well
  12. Serve into plate and top each plate with the cracked pistachios, coriander leaves (cilantro), and a squeeze of lime

Serve with a few extras; hot thai pepper, coriander (cilantro), pistachios, lime. Enjoy!

Coco-Lemongrass chicken noodles

 

Szechuan beef and eggplant noodles

Szechuan, Sichuan, Szechwan…. No idea which one to pick… I guess the Szechuan look the best… All meaning the cuisine of the Chinese region of Sichuan, South West from the country. A place well known for it’s spicy meals, it’s famous Szechuan pepper, and it’s fermented beans paste (Doubanjiang). All good stuff to discover!sichuanpin

Living in Spain, it’s not always easy to find a good chinese restaurant, but we finally found a gem, a Szechuan gem; DaZhong. This place is filled with asians, which is a good sign although not many spaniards go there… yet… Each time I go with my husband, we order many plates, our favorite; the spicy Szechuan eggplant with pork. A pleasure for the taste buds.

Szechuan beef and eggplant noodlesThis dish isn’t exactly a traditional Szechuan dish…It’s a kind of Chinese spaghetti bolognese!  It’s all the Szechuan region flavours and ingredients…but not a traditional dish from there, but a surely a delicious one. Walking around the asian market the other day, I saw those beautiful long asian eggplants, I add to do something with them. I’ve ended up creating this dish, which at first, was supposed to be that eggplant dish… usually with pork, well… it turned into beef. I’ve originally planned on making that eggplant dish but it turned out into that asian bolognese. A lucky mistake and most importantly a tasty one too!

So let’s do this Szechuan flavoured dish!


Szechuan Bolognese Noodles

Makes 4 portions

Ingredients
  • Szechuan beef and eggplant noodles500g ground beef
  • 300g egg noodles (or asian noodles you prefer)
  • 2 long asian eggplants cut into thick pieces
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 2 hot thai red pepper finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp (2tbsp for the eggplants + 1 tbsp for the sauce)
  • 2 tbsp of peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp black bean paste (Doubanjiang)
  • 2 garlic gloves finely chopped
  • 3 cm piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of dark chinese vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp of honey (or sugar)
  • 1 tbsp of chinese cooking wine (or sherry)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of chilli flakes paste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt, pepper
Directions
The sauce
  1. Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, chili paste and 1 tbsp of cornstarch
The main meal
  1. Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp of peanut oil on the eggplants and mix until well coated
  2. In a wok, medium-high heat, cook you eggplants for about 5 minutes until light brown on each sides
  3. reserve the eggplants
  4. Add a bit more peanut oil to the wok, the onion, minced garlic and ginger cook for a minute and bring the heat to high heat
  5. Add salt, pepper to the beef meat and add to the wok, mix
  6. When the meat is barely cooked, add the black bean paste (Doubanjiang) and mix until well incorporated
  7. Add, finally, the predone sauce from step 1 to the wok, cook for a minute
  8. Add the eggplants and hot thai peppers back to the wok
  9. Cook your noodles in hot water, then drain and add the sesame oil, mix
  10. Serve the meat on top of the noodles (or rice) or fry them inside the sauce for a few seconds

Serve with a few chopped thai pepper and scallions on top! Enjoy!

 

 

Coconut chicken

Feeling like a fresh, light, summer meal? Get those rice noodles out and let’s make a simple wok dish. The coconut chicken recipe is really similar to a yellow curry sauce, but this one is for lazy people, you can use weather the yellow curry paste but I simply used the curry powder. That powder is actually a British invention to reproduce the orient flavours. The powder usually contains curcuma, ginger, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, pepper, cardaCoconut chickenmom etc. It a mix of at those asian flavours in one pot, some powders are spicier than others, the ingredients tends to change depending of the company. I use this curry powder on popcorn, with butter, it’s delicious!
Coconut meat constipate while the coconut water is a natural laxative, how perfect is that? A perfect balance within a single coconut. In the recipe, coconut milk is used, but it could be switched to coconut cream, to make it fatter,tastier and smoother.

Oh! and if you like what you see, don’t be shy to follow me on Yummly, or other nice food sharing networks to see my future recipes and more.

 


Coconut chicken noodles

Makes 2 portions

IngredientsCoconut chicken
  • 250g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2tbs curry powder
  • 2 chicken breast in small cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 kaffir (makrut) limes leaves *optional
  • 3tbs fish sauce, or salt
  • 2tbs coconut oil, or peanut, vegetable oil.
  • 1tbs sesame oil
Toppings
  • lime
  • 1 peeled carrot
  • black sesame seeds
  • basil or coriander leaves
Directions
  1. Cut your chicken into little cubes and add 1 tbs of fish sauce to marinate a few minutes
  2. Add a pot of water to boil for the noodles
  3. Cook the glass noodles, only 2 minutes, keep the hot water to regenerate the noodles later
  4. Take out the noodles, drain, and rinse in cold water (gives them that nice texture)
  5. Add the sesame oil to the noodles, mix a bit and reserve
  6. Cut all the vegetables, peel a full carrot
  7. In a hot wok, or a big sauté pan, add the coconut oil
  8. Add the chicken and sauté it until light brown
  9. Add the pepper, onion, curry powder, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk, reduce for a few minutes (about 3 minutes to high heat)
  10. When the sauce consistency is thick, add the fish sauce so salt up your dish, if no fish sauce use simply salt or soy sauce
  11. In the hot water pot from the precooked noodles, add the noodle a few second again to warm them up
  12. Serve the chicken, sauce on top of the noodles, add the peeled carrot slices, black sesame seeds and basil on top.

Serve with a piece of lime on the side and chopsticks. Enjoy!