Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea

Longan Berries are warming, according to Chinese philosophy. So this tea is great for warming the toes on cold nights, or perfect for when a cold is coming on or you just feel cold. Enjoy this by the bowlful.

Longan are sold fresh and dried. For tea, it is much more convenient to use dried. They are loved by the Chinese and used commonly across China. They are used to flavour many dishes – winter sweets, sweet Chinese soups and congee. Great for snacks on their own if freshly dried, or mix with raisins and other dried fruits, and walnuts and other nuts.

It is easy to find them. Wander the aisles of your local Asian/Chinese shop until you find the dried fruit section. Sometimes you will find them sold in bulk. Choose ones that are soft, like raisins, and avoid the harder dried ones. Store them in a jar in your pantry, keep them in the fridge, or even freeze them to preserve them well.

In China this tea would be called a sweet soup. Serve it with the berries in the tea. You can strain them out if you prefer, but they are lovely left in and munched on as you sip. Longan are very relaxing and good for the memory as well.

Are you after other Teas? Try Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea (Ayurvedic CCF Tea), and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

Explore all of our Teas, and our Chinese dishes. Or take some time to browse our warming Early Winter dishes.

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Tofu and Chilli Salad

Sichuan Pepper and chillies mix with tofu in this interesting salad.

This salad layers different chilli flavours with tofu that has been pressed, so it absorbs its dressing very well. It is a playful, delightful salad.

Would you like to browse other Tofu recipes? Try Peach Salsa with Marinated Tofu, Thai Deep Fried Fresh Beancurd with Sweet Nut Sauce, or Ottolenghi’s Black Pepper Tofu.

Or perhaps you are looking for a salad with a difference. Have a look at another Tofu salad – Asian Lightly Pickled Cucumber and Tofu Salad, or Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil, or even Wombok  (Chinese Cabbage) and Red Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes here and here, and our Salad recipes here and here. We have a collection of Bittman Salads here. Or be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

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Kimchi, Vegetarian Style

It is possible to make excellent vegetarian kimchi. Here is how.

I love subtle dishes as much as full flavoured ones. Not so subtle is Kim Chi, that Korean staple!

Kimchi is not traditionally vegetarian, but you can still make a great vegetarian version. It can be made at any time of the year, from a whole range of vegetables including cabbage, daikon radish, watermelon radish, turnip, carrot, fennel, cucumbers. Mix and match.

Grab some ko choo kah roo (Korean chilli flakes) for a more authentic taste and colour. It does make a difference.

You might also like to try this alternative Kim Chi for Vegetarians. Or browse the Pickle recipe collection here and here. We love an Indian Quince Pickle and Pickled Ginger. Explore our Korean recipes too.

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Black Pepper Tofu | Ottolenghi

With all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

Ever since I saw the Black Pepper Tofu in Ottolenghi’s Plenty, I have wanted to make it. It has all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

You might like to try Tofu, Spinach and Miso Napoleons or What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu. Or browse the tofu recipes here and here. Explore other Ottolenghi recipes. Or you might like other recipes from Asia here and here.

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Pawpaw Salsa

Enjoy this very simple but delicious summery salsa with the tropical flavours of pawpaw, ginger and a touch of chilli.

Enjoy this very simple but delicious summery salsa with the tropical flavours of pawpaw, ginger and a touch of chilli.

You might also like to try Salsa Verde. Browse all of our Salsas here and here. Explore our Dips here and here, and our Salads here and here.

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Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms | With an Asian Twist

A wonderfully surprising dish.

How do you use King Oyster Mushrooms? Slice these giant beauties and marinate them before cooking  in a heavenly caramelisation of the marinade.

You might also like to try Pasta with Porcinin Mushroom Sauce, or Vic’s Mushrooms. All our mushroom recipes are here and here, and our Salads here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here. Continue reading “Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms | With an Asian Twist”

Kimchi, my style | Vegetarian Kimchi

It is a special and easy thing to make Kimchi.

It is a special and easy thing to make Kimchi – soaking the vegetables in brine, then mixing them with chilli, garlic, ginger and onion, adding a sweetener to feed the fermentation and add complexity to the flavour.

The final result is a tart, salty, hot pickle with a hint of sweetness that can be eaten on its own, mixed in to dishes such as rice or soup, or cooked into a recipe. I mostly eat it as an accompaniment to a meal, although I have been known to stand at the fridge with a pair of chopsticks and have a mid night or mid afternoon snack.

Try our other kimchi recipe also. Browse all of our pickles here and here, and our Cabbage recipes here and here. Find inspiration in the Spring recipes here and here.

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Lemony Sago in Coconut Milk | Sabudana | Sago Coconut Payasam

Sago is back in fashion!

Sago is back in fashion! It is wonderful when it is paired with enough lemon juice that it is tangy, and enough jaggery that it is sweet, and swimming in coconut milk. A truly delicious and cooling dessert, just made for hot weather. It can be served hot, cold and at room temperature.

There is a similar recipe from the Retro Recipe Series on this site’s sister site, Heat in The Kitchen, but it has  been updated here with changes in technique. It is a bit simpler, too. The recipe appears there as part of the Retro Recipes series.

You might like to browse all Sago recipes here. Or explore all of our Dessert recipes here and here. See the complete set of Indian recipes here and here.  Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Tofu, Sesame and Spinach Napoleons | Tofu Stacks with Spinach and Sesame

A simple dish that delivers more than it promises.

This wonderful dish, full of the flavours of Japan without being Japanese, the flavours of SE Asia without being South East Asian, became an instant family success. We made it often, but somehow, as we no longer all live so close together, it has fallen from our menus. When I do make it again, I recall why we loved it so much, and give myself 2 helpings.

The first time this dish was served to the gathering family, all went silent as they ate, tasted, yet could not get the words from their tastebuds to their brain to their mouths. Silent eating, always the mark of a great dish.

It makes a great first course – or a light meal.

You might like to browse our tofu recipes here and here, or Spinach recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

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Daikon Salad | Mooli, White Radish Salad

Daikon radish, often over looked, is the star of this salad. It can be made with red radishes too.

Daikon is great in freshly squeezed juices to add a touch of spiciness, but other than that it is often left sitting abandoned in the bottom drawer of the fridge. No longer. Here is a salad to make daikon shine! Summer goodness, oh yes.

You might also like Daikon and Pumpkin Curry. All of our Radish recipes are here and here. Or try our Salads here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds

A marvellous cucumber salad, complete with poppy seeds and herbs. Join me for dinner?

A spicy cucumber salad, just in time for a wonderful, summer-on-the-balcony lunch.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi, and you can see all of our Ottolenghi recipes here. You also might like to browse our collection of Cucumber Salads and here.

This time in other years I was making Indian Cucumber Salad, Crispy Garlic and Sage, Asparagus in Pastry, Baked Peppers, Red Peppers in Olive Oil, and a Strawberry Frappe.

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Thai Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing

And Nigel Slater said eggplants can’t be steamed!

A very simple and easy recipe for a lovely snack on its own, with rice or part of a larger Thai meal. Ottolenghi has published a Japanese recipe that is nearly identical (see  Ottolenhi’s version) some years after this one post appeared. It shows how wide spread dishes can be over Asia, retaining similar characteristics with regional variations.

You might also like to cook Kerala Eggplant in Coconut, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Eggplant, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts, or Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini. Browse all of our Eggplant Recipes here and here, and all of our Asian recipes here and here.

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How to Cook Rice | Buttery Steamed Rice | Sada Chaval

A very special way to cook rice.

There is a very gentle way of cooking rice using a combination of steaming and the absorption method, using indirect heat that leaves the rice so very fluffy with a wonderful texture. The method uses indirect heat to cook rice that as been previously soaked.

Soaking allows the long pointed grains of long grained rice to absorb some water, and allows the rice to relax a little before cooking. It does make a difference, especially if you are using basmati rice.

There are other ways to cook rice, including the absorption method and oven method.

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Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame

You won’t believe that this is eggplant!

There are a couple of Japanese dishes that I make over and over again. A couple of eggplant dishes, a tofu dish and a noodle dish. This eggplant dish is quite amazing and may change your mind about eggplant all together (in a good way).

Have a look at all of our Japanese recipes here and here. We love eggplant and have a wealth of recipes for you. You can browse them here and here. They include Thai Steamed Eggplant, Saffron and Rose Scented Aubergine, and Eggplant, Sultanas and Pine Nuts with Yoghurt.

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How to Use Deep Fried Tofu

A perfect quick meal or snack!

Deep Fried tofu can either be store-bought in packets, or made at home.

Versatile Deep Fried Tofu is available from any Asian or Chinese Grocery, where it might be called Tofu Puffs, or Fried Tofu Squares. As the name suggests, it is a tofu that has been deep fried. It is quite firm in texture and therefore is easy to slice and dice, to include in wet dishes, or simply serve as it is. It is definitely a delicious way of using tofu.

An alternative is to deep fry your own tofu. The texture and taste is quite different to store-bought deep fried tofu, and is worth the effort involved. See below for instructions on how to deep fry your own tofu.

All of our Tofu recipes are here and here. You might like to browse our Asian recipes here and here, the Chinese recipes here and here or our tempting Snacks here and here. Or simply explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.

You might also like to try tofu dishes without deep frying. Try Two Marvellous Tofu Recipes (Tofu Napoleons, and Tri Coloured Stuffed Tofu), Marinated Tofu with Sweet Peach Salsa, Cucumber and Tofu Salad, Tofu, Herb and Sesame Salad, and a dipping broth for tofu.

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