Chilli Soy Sauce and Dipping Sauce

Our garden features several well-bearing chilli bushes, and we do a number of things with them. Firstly, we freeze some, whole, for use during winter. We use them in our cooking of course, especially Indian dishes. Some red ones are dried for use as dried chillies in Indian food during the year. Chilli jams, sauces and pastes are made. And we pretty much use them in everything else.

Today’s recipe is a very simple, Asian condiment, which soaks fresh chillies in soy sauce, to be drizzled over, well, pretty much everything. I love a good stirfry and rice, and with abundant amounts of this condiment to drizzle and to dip. Imagine dipping some deep fried tofu in this sauce! Also good over noodle dishes and vegetables. Try it with samosas, or Chinese Scallion Pancakes.

Similar recipes include Preserved Sweet Chillies, Balinese Sambal Iris, Tomato and Chilli Jam, and Chilli Pastes. Also try Onion Jam, and Zhug.

Browse all of our Chilli dishes and all of our Sauces and Condiments. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sticky Kaffir and Tamarind Tofu

Sadly, many people believe tofu is boring. Perhaps recipes like this one are secret, locked away from view unless you have the password or know the secret phrase to say. An easy dish to make, the tofu is marinated in tamarind, kaffir leaf and lemongrass with sweet soy sauce for half an hour, and then sauteed until it forms a crust on the outside. The marinade is reduced to a sticky sauce which coats the seared tofu.

Similar recipes include Black Pepper Tofu, Baked Marinated Tofu, and Deep Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes and all of our Asian dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Sweet Chilli Sauce

This is a simple and easy recipe for Sweet Chilli Sauce, a sauce that can be used in so many ways – with noodles or over vegetables, in a stir fry, as a dip, or as a condiment. Use it in sandwiches, add some to pasta sauces, and spread over grilled tofu or haloumi. You will find a million ways to use it.

The recipe’s heat content depends on the chillies that are used. For mild chillies, add more. For firey chillies, stay with 3 or reduce to 2. My latest batch of sauce, made with 3 ripe chillies of the purple cayenne variety, is quite sweet with a delightful mild-medium heat perfect for a dipping sauce. If you like real HEAT, add more chillies. You can also boost up the amount of garlic should you prefer a garlic twist to your chilli sauce.

Similar recipes include Preserved Sweet Chillies, Chilli Soy Sauce, Sweet Chilli JamGreen Chilli and Coriander Paste, Chilli Jam, Chilli Paste, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Browse all of our Chilli recipes and all of our Sauces. Our Asian dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

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Baked Marinated Tofu

There is a magnificent Asian grocer near us, their shop is so large it goes on and on. And, well, it has inspired me to play more with tofu. They have every variety from Five Spice Tofu to Deep Fried Tofu, to the hardest firm Tofu to the silkiest Silky Tofu.

For this recipe, I used really firm tofu. It is first marinated then baked for a delightful snack or summery side dish. It is a perfect dish, sticky and dark. Eat with a green mango salad. Or a crunchy, herby, green Asian Style Salad.

You might like to try some other Tofu dishes: Sticky Tamarind and Kaffir Tofu, Peach Salsa with Marinated Tofu; Hou Hod (Deep Fried Tofu with a Sweet Peanut Sauce); and Black Pepper Tofu.

You can browse all of our Tofu recipes here, and our Snack recipes. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Early Summer Recipes.

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Glass Noodles with Spinach

Glass Noodles are wonderful – silky, soft and translucent, they are great in salads, soups and stir fries. Other names for these noodles include Cellophane Noodles, Chinese Rice Vermicelli and Chinese Vermicelli. They don’t take much to prepare – stiff like wire when you buy them, they soften with a short soak in hot water, and within about 5 minutes they are ready to toss with other ingredients. But don’t mix them up with Indian rice Vermicelli, that is vermicelli of a different type.

This salad takes some fresh, younger spinach and wilts it with sesame oil before tossing with the glass noodles. You can sprinkle with some sesame seeds to complete the dish.

Similar dishes include Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad, Indian Vermicelli Payasam, and Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji.

Browse all of our Spinach dishes, and all of our Vermicelli dishes. Our Asian dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipe collection.

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Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame

If you are like me, you love a plate of greens now and again. And if they are straight from the vegetable garden, there is nothing better. This is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.

The recipe can be made with just the leaves, or, if you have an abundance of stems, it is also good made with just the chopped stems. But mostly, I mix the two.

Similar dishes include Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji, Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse our Chinese dishes and our Asian recipes. Our Spinach dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipes.

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Very Quick Radish Pickles | Japanese Radish Pickles

Simple Pickled Radishes

Lucy Nourish Me is in love with the flavours of the orient – shoyu, tamari, mirin, rice wine vinegar, rice vinegar, kombu and much more more. She uses them with aplomb. Right now I am exploring radish recipes, and Lucy has a couple that remove the tangy peppery flavour and make the radishes a great vehicle for the flavours of Japan.

Lucy adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver, and of course (can’t help myself) I have adapted it again. What a nice chain we make, linking recipe to person to recipe to person over time and space.

This is the quickest and simplest of radish recipes, honestly. I love the peppery tang of radishes, but these recipes from the East are a nice change.

Similar recipes include Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours, and Slightly Pickled Cucumber and Red Radish Salad. Also try Slightly Picked Mushrooms with Tamari and Sesame.

Explore our other Radish Recipes and our other Quick Pickles. Try our Japanese dishes. Our Late Spring recipes are all here.

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Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours

Radishes without their peppery tang

The little red radish is so easy to grow that kindergartens grow them to introduce children to the joys of gardening. It takes only 3 days for green shoots to appear, and a few weeks later they are ready to pick, these little red or white ping pong balls. The flavour is tangy, a little on the peppery side with its sharp pungency that pleases adults, especially with a sprinkling of sea salt. Perfect for nibbling, they also make such a pretty addition to salads. They are a bit peppery for kids, though.

Not surprisingly, they say that radishes have health giving properties – it clears the sinuses and soothes sore throats.

This beautiful recipe comes from Kylie Kwong via Lucy Nourish Me who adapted it from the original. I have altered it again. This recipe diminishes the level of radish’s sharp tanginess. It is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty. Use as it is as a side dish, or with a bowl of beautiful rice. Toss them in salads or into sandwiches. Lucy says that thinly sliced carrots also work very well with the radishes in a salad with some lettuce leaves.

Similar recipes include Japanese Quick Pickled RadishesBraised, Raised Radishes, French Buttered Radishes, and use this recipe to pickle radishes.

Also try Asian Style Greens with garlic and Sesame.

Explore our other beautiful Radish Dishes, and other Quick Pickles. Our Salads are here. And browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes | Coriander and Chilli Pancakes | Fenugreek and Ajwain Pancakes

A classical Chinese dish with a twist

Scallion Pancakes are classic Chinese fare – crisp, flaky and chewy, made with layers of dough and sesame oil – they are surprisingly easy to make. You can also pre-make the dough and pop it in the fridge to make later. The pancakes can even be rolled out prior to cooking and kept with layers of baking paper between until you are ready to cook.

The traditional filling is Spring Onions (aka Scallions in the US), but indeed any filling can be used. Today, I have made 3 different ones:

  • Fenugreek Leaves with Ajwain and Cumin Seed
  • Coriander Leaves and Green Chilli
  • Spring Onions with Grated Orange Zest and White Pepper

Are you looking for similar recipes? We have some Indian chickpea flour “pancakes” here, and try some Indian dosa.

Check out our Chinese and other Asian recipes. Or explore our easy Winter dishes.

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Steamed Thai Eggplants with a Sesame Soy Garlic Dressing

Eggplants come in all shapes and sizes, colours, tastes and textures. Sadly, we only get to cook with a few varieties through our Green Grocer and 1 or 2 more through our Asian Grocers.  Thai Eggplants are a particular favourite, a little crunchier in texture than the European variety, and a real affinity with Asian flavours such as toasted sesame and soy.

Similar dishes include Kerala Eggplant in Coconut; Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onions, and Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini.

Browse all of our Eggplant Recipes, our Thai recipes, and all of our Asian recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.

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Green Guava Salsa | Raw Guava Salad

It was the beautiful, welcoming assistants at my local Asian Grocery who put me on to Green/Raw Guava. Totally unaware as I was about Guava, except for the occasional ripe on at a friend’s place, she chose one that would be perfect to try raw. If they are lighter green in colour they have a little more sweetness than one totally green. Smaller ones have smaller seeds. And so it goes.

The assistant recommended Green Guava with Lime Juice, Chilli and Salt, a la Green Mangoes that are eaten the same way. And she is definitely correct – they are quite wonderful eaten this way.

You can also try them in the similar Indian way of eating fruits with Chaat Masala, an Indian Crudite if you wish. So good.

I have no doubt that there are quite a few uses for green guava, including cutting into julienne for salads, and making syrups and molasses. But today, we made a great Green Guava Salsa, which I am sharing with you. By the way, Guava can be eaten raw, semi ripe or ripe. Such a versatile fruit! Some prefer it ripe, others have a definite preference for raw guava.

We don’t have other Guava recipes yet, but check back here at any time, just in case…

Are you after similar recipes? Try Pomegranate Salsa, Green Tomato Salsa, and Pawpaw Salsa.

You can browse all of our Salsa recipes, or explore our collection of Mid Winter dishes for more inspiration.

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Kombu and Carrot Quick Pickle

An Asian flavoured Quick Pickle

Quick pickles are the go when time is rushed and there are no pickles ready at hand. They can be made in a matter of minutes but do take an hour or three to pickle and develop their flavours. They are wonderful mixed in the morning and eaten for lunch or in the evening.

This pickle is unusual as it combines kombu, that salty seaweed from Japan, with crispy carrots. It is pickled in a mixture of sake and rice vinegar, sweetened with mirin and salted with soy sauce. It is allowed to pickle for a few hours before being ready to serve.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Japanese Quick Pickled Radishes, Quick Carrot Pickle, Celery Quick Pickle, Onion Quick Pickle, and Cucumber and Radish Quick Pickle Salad.

Have a look at our other Pickles, and our Chutneys too. You might like to browse our Asian recipes, and explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant (Turkey Berry) Salad with Herbs and Tamarind Dressing

A salad that comprises all of the tastes.

Sometimes you come across something so good, it becomes your chief meal for a week. I quite love herby salads – see this Lebanese one, and of course, Buddha’s Bowl  to which I add heaps of Asian soft herbs – but in the past it was a lot of work to get Asian herbs.

However, things have changed. With a huge Asian supermarket “just down the road”, life is so much easier in the Asian department. Pomelos, green mangoes, pea eggplants, herbs of every nationality, and so much more, at my fingertips.

So on one of the first Sunny, warm days of this Spring, this salad came together. Not quite Thai, but it definitely has some overtones of Thai food. I do hope that you enjoy.

This salad is fresh and herby, crispy from the vegetables, with crunch from peanuts and shallots, sour from the pomelo, tamarind and green mango, bitter from the witlof, hot from the chilli, sweet from the dressing, salty from the soy. It has all of the flavours built into one dish.

Are you looking for more Pomelo recipes? Try Three Citrus Salad with Green Chilli, Ginger and Almond Salsa, Pomelo with Avocado, Pomelo and Carrot Salad, and Pomelo with Asian Flavours.

Or what about Green Mango? Try Jicama and Green Mango Salad, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.

For Pea Eggplants, try Sundakkai Sambar, an Indian dish with fresh Pea Eggplants. We have other Pea Eggplant recipes planned, so check back here in the future. You might like Steamed Thai Eggplants with Sesame Soy Dressing.

Browse our Thai recipes and our Salad recipes . You might like our general Eggplant recipes, all of our Pomelo dishes. and all of our Green Mango recipes. Or simply explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Spicy Celery Salad

Celery sort of misses out in the salad stakes. There are not so many salads that feature celery as its core ingredient. This salad changes that, it at least puts a stake in the Celery Salad map. Asian style in flavours with a little heat, it will be a classic at your place once you have tried it.

The original recipe was inspired by The Back Yard Lemon Tree, and she credits Lottie and Doof as her inspiration.

Are you after Celery recipes? Try Celery Salad with Sour Grapes and Burrata, Quick Pickled Celery with Chilli, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Celery and Avocado Cold Soup, Nashi Pear and Celery Salad, and Simple Celery Salads.

Or try these Salads – Jicama and Green Mango Salad, Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad, and Sweet Red Pepper Salads.

You might see our other Celery Salads. Or browse all of our Salad recipes here and here. All Celery dishes are here. Or explore our easy Mid Spring recipes.

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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, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea, and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea. Enjoy your tea with some Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes.

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

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