Salt and Pepper Prawns (椒鹽蝦)

How to win friends and influence people? Serve this dish up! It’s a guaranteed winner for anyone who loves seafood and you’ll have all your guests fighting for the last one on the plate. The only complicated thing about making this dish is buying the prawns and deveining. Living in a city miles from the sea, frozen prawns are my only option. Look for size 21/25 … Continue reading Salt and Pepper Prawns (椒鹽蝦)

If only I had a garden…

Last Saturday was hot and humid. Not ideal weather for a 2½ hour drive from southeast London to the Fletching Glasshouses in Lewes, Sussex. But in spite of the heat and traffic, it was worth the long journey…the first Changly’s Kitchen field trip! The glasshouses are rarely opened to the public and for a good reason. This is a family run working nursery not an ornamental one, and … Continue reading If only I had a garden…

Plain food transformed by three sauces…

Here are three very different styles of sauces to serve with plain poached chicken. (In my cookbook, they all appear on Day 9 as London Chicken Rice!) Why three sauces? Well, different strokes for different folks: a choice of three means something for everyone. BUT you can also serve these sauces with fish, or use them to dress plain ol’ cooked noodles – that’s how versatile … Continue reading Plain food transformed by three sauces…

Vietnamese Dressing, Dipping Sauce …or Nước chấm!

Vietnamese food without this dressing/sauce is like Luke Skywalker without a lightsabre: lame! It’s a vital and versatile condiment that can be used in many ways. You’ll find this sauce served in every Vietnamese restaurant worldwide. It’s especially great with the recipes on Day 13: Old Saigon Spring Rolls, Day 28: Squidgy’s Patties, and Day 6: Smoking La Lot Beef Wraps. OR just use as a … Continue reading Vietnamese Dressing, Dipping Sauce …or Nước chấm!

Sometimes, it’s all about the sauce…

When my maternal grandparents fled China in 1949, and resettled in southern Vietnam, they brought with them many unique food traditions from the Teochew region of Guangdong province. One of these traditions was to make a special rich and aromatic braising brine to cook goose and duck. What’s special about it? Versatility. Yes, goose and duck is traditional, but chicken and pork work too. Even boiled … Continue reading Sometimes, it’s all about the sauce…

Quick guide to faking it as a wine critic…

Ever been given a glass of wine, and worried about what to say while your host waited expectantly for your ‘tasting notes’? Here’s my Cheat Sheet!!! The next time you pour a glass of wine, take a closer look at the wine and take note of the following three points, the last being the most prominent. Appearance – colour Nose – smell/flavours Palate – taste … Continue reading Quick guide to faking it as a wine critic…

The awesomeness of Chinese flatbreads

The humble Chinese spring onion flatbread. Crispy flaky skin with a salty and savoury filling. Deliciously moreish eaten just off the pan. What’s not to like? They’re commonly known as pancakes BUT are really more like flatbreads – China’s equivalent of a yeast-free bread, and very similar to the Indian Paratha. Eaten as a breakfast item or a street snack, they’re more prevalent in northern China … Continue reading The awesomeness of Chinese flatbreads