Chinese Style Orange-Sesame Sauce

I have been playing around with this sauce recently. It is quite rich and dark in flavour – a current obsession of mine in the kitchen. Wintery flavours. This sauce is orangey with the depth of soy and a hint of sesame. It has sweet overtones. It goes well with anything deep fried – tofu, cauliflower, pakoda – or grilled items – eggplant slices for example – or roasted or stirfried veg – broccoli, cauliflower etc.

Use it as a coating sauce, dipping sauce (although it is quite thick) or spread the sauce on a plate and place ingredients on top of the sauce. I love roasted slices of eggplant and deep fried tofu on the sauce, scattered with tons of spring onions (scallions).

Today I made some deep fried cauliflower and coated them in the sauce for a delicious snack.

Similar recipes include Miso and Ginger Dressing, Orange Star Anise Sauce, and Chilli Soy Sauce.

Browse all of our Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce

At some point during Winter we long for congee because of its warming and nourishing nature, and because it is the sort of dish that can be eaten from dawn until after midnight. Only the toppings will vary. My first introduction to congee, so many years ago, was through an Asian friend who would take me for mid night bowls in Sydney’s China Town. It was quite a ritual.

Today we make congee cooked with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, and topped with king oyster mushrooms, bean curd bows and a chilli-black bean sauce. We describe the best way to cook congee and make congee bowls here, so have a look before you make today’s recipe.

In our Chilli-Black Bean Sauce we use a Lao Gan Ma Sauce. You can read more about these amazing sauces here.

Similar dishes include Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, How to Make Congee Bowls, and Black Glutinous Rice Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and our King Oyster Mushroom dishes. Or browse our Mid Winter recipes.

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Congee with Crispy Garlic Shallots, Crispy Ginger and Butternut Pumpkin

Although the first inhabitants of our country in some locations call the second half of Winter as Pre-Spring, here in Adelaide it still feels like Deep Winter. There is nothing better than congee when Winter blues hit.

Today we make congee cooked with butternut pumpkin and ginger, and topped with king oyster mushrooms, chilli jam, yoghurt, crispy fried garlic shallots and crispy fried ginger. The butternut melts into the congee as it cooks. We describe the best way to cook congee and make congee bowls here, so have a look before you make today’s recipe.

A word about Butternut – we call it Butternut Pumpkin, in the US they call it Butternut Squash. In Australia it is one of our most loved pumpkins and we use it almost exclusively at our place. The pumpkin I grew up with – the Queensland Blue – is so hard it almost needs an axe to cut and is less popular these days.

Similar dishes include Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry, Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce, Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, How to Make Congee Bowls, and Black Glutinous Rice Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and our Butternut/Pumpkin dishes. Or browse our Mid Winter recipes.

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Chilli Salt Tofu with Salad of Greens

Do you need a chilli hit? This is the dish for you then. The recipe is from my old flatmate, Chris Manfield, in her book Stir but over the years it has had a little altering in our kitchen. It is a dish that will wake you up. Mind you, it is a bit Ottolenghi-esque, with four or five different processes in the recipe. It will take you about 30 mins to make.

The dish sounds like a firey chilli heaven or hell, depending on your viewpoint. However it is not as hot as it seems. The chilli salt is moderated with the rice flour. You can add as much chilli as you prefer to the dressing, but I like it spicy. Use your loved chilli sauce or jam to garnish the salad. Don’t skimp on the sugar or vinegar/lemon juice elements as both of these help to moderate the impact of the chilli heat.

I adore deep frying tofu – it is so much better than the deep fried tofu squares you will find in Asian shops. Crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy in the middle. You might like to read How to Use Deep Fried Tofu. In this dish, the tofu is coated in a chilli-pepper crust before frying. You will think of a thousand ways to use this even without the salad.

Similar dishes include Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Broth, Sticky Makrut and Tamarind Tofu, and Black Pepper Tofu.

Browse all of our Tofu dishes. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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King Oyster Mushrooms with Special Miso Sauce

A wonderfully surprising dish.

In this dish the King Oyster mushrooms have been sliced quite finely, although they can be sliced thicker. They are marinated in our Special Miso Sauce and pan fried with the marinade. It is a deeply flavoured and delicious dish, perfect with rice and a green salad.

The Special Miso Sauce can be made any time prior to the mushrooms. It stores well in the fridge or freezer.

King Oyster Mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms or Eryngii. 

Similar recipes include Miso Soup with Dried Shiitakes and Noodles, Caramelised King Oyster Mushrooms, Risotto with Mushrooms, Pasta with Porcini Mushroom Sauce, and Mushroom Curry.

Check out our collection of Miso recipes here.

Feel free to browse all of our mushroom recipes. Or explore our Early Summer dishes. Continue reading “King Oyster Mushrooms with Special Miso Sauce”

Baked Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms

A wonderfully surprising dish.

How do you use King Oyster Mushrooms? We love them – they are easily purchased in Asian shops if you can’t find them in your regular grocery. Slice these giant beauties and marinate them before cooking –  forming a heavenly caramelisation of the marinade. The stems, how cute they are when sliced, and they look amazing placed on a plate on their own.

I have had a dish similar to this in Thailand, where the mushrooms are served on blocks of the softest tofu you can ever imagine.

King Oyster Mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms, Trumpet Royale and Eryngii. 

Similar dishes include King Oyster Mushrooms with Special Miso Sauce, Risotto with Mushrooms, Pasta with Porcini Mushroom Sauce, and Mushroom Curry.

Feel free to browse all of our mushroom recipes, or check out our Salad recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes. Continue reading “Baked Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms”

Sesame – Chilli – Soy Dipping Sauce (with my favourite Chinese Vegetable Dumplings)

I do love a good dipping sauce. Think – steamed vegetables, fried vegetables, dumplings, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, summer rolls, sizzling rice squares. The perfect sauce will lift your dish to new heights.

There are many varieties of dipping sauce, and the Japanese or Chinese style ones have their respective core set of ingredients. For Chinese it is soy, toasted sesame oil, Chinese vinegar perhaps, and some ginger and spring onions. Today’s dipping sauce is another variation on that theme. So very very good.

The sauce is perfect with these vegetable dumplings that I get from the Asian grocery in the freezer section – I put them in a flat pan with a little water and a little oil, and cover the pan. As the water simmers, the dumplings defrost and steam, and when the water evaporates they crisp on the bottom. Flip them over if you wish for a nice crispy top. They are also delicious steamed or even very gently microwaved.

Similar recipes include Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Rice Squares in Dipping Sauce, and Chilli Soy Dipping Sauce.

Browse all of our Dipping Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Our Late Autumn dishes are here.

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Barley, Millet and Mung Congee

Congee is made from slow and long cooked grains and lentils. Chinese rice congee is the best known around the world, but Korea and Japan also have congees, and India has kanji. The macrobiotic movement adopted congee as a delicious and nourishing dish, easy on the digestion. It can be eaten at any time of the day and is very popular for late night snacking and for breakfast. They say that the longer congee cooks, the more powerful it is.

You want to cook congee on the lowest possible heat, so it is barely simmering. Use a heat diffuser, especially for the second half of cooking, otherwise it may stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. I prefer to cook it in a Chinese clay pot – I believe the flavour is superior, and I keep my pot for congee only.

Similar dishes include Rice and Raisin Porridge, Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce, Congee, Congee with Butternut and Ginger, Red Rice and Adzuki Congee, and Quinoa Porridge.

Browse all of our Barley recipes and all of our Congee dishes. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Ginger Scallion Noodles

Oh those nights in the various China Towns of the world, eating noodles and congee and salt and pepper tofu, and wonderful silky eggplants. Simple dishes are tasty and elegant, in a way that sometimes we forget. Paring back to basics gives such good dishes.

For this dish you will need a basic Ginger Scallion Sauce (we call them Spring Onions, but it doesn’t sound as good). The sauce is useful in the kitchen and is one of my pastes, purees, powders, stocks and sauces that commonly grace my quiet kitchen bench. It is useful in so many ways – into soups and broths it goes, over rice with some deep fried tofu and shredded vegetables, drizzled onto bok choy with or without noodles, smeared on sandwiches.

Once you have the sauce, all you need for this recipe is some noodles and some veg. That’s it. And variations are endless. Make it as simple or as fussy as you like.

Similar recipes include Sesame-Chilli-Soy Dipping Sauce, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes, our Dipping Sauces and all of our Asian recipes. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Curly Kale with Ginger and Garlic

Occasionally the urge for green vegetables hits, usually when you are tired, overworked, stressed or anxious. How wonderful a large plate of greens looks, smells and tastes at those times. Don’t worry, we have your back, try this kale dish. It combines the great Asian flavours of garlic, ginger, spring onions (scallions) and a little soy. Quick to make, it is just a few minutes from stove to table.

Similar dishes include Spinach and Sweetcorn Bhurji, Chickpeas and Beetroot Greens with Chilli, and Orzo with Wilted Spinach.

Browse all of our Kale dishes, and our Spinach/Greens recipes. Our Asian dishes are here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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