Longans are new to me, the result of a quick trip to the Asian grocer on the way home from work. Rather than the two things I wanted to come home with, I found jicama, longans, and such incredible young fresh ginger. Oh my!
Longan in Mandarin means “dragon’s eye”. Such beautiful names meanings Chinese words have.
Longans are sold fresh at the end of summer and, interestingly, their availability marks the end of the lychee season. They look a bit like lychees with white flesh, hard brown seed, a thin brown leathery shell that easily peels off, and they grow in clusters in tropical climates. But the flavour, texture and moisture content are completely different. Lychees are fleshy, juicy, and are light tasting, but longans have a thinner, drier flesh that is firm in texture with a honey like flavour, and which is deeply perfumed. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees.
Similar recipes include Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Jicama and Green Mango Salad, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.
You might like to browse other Asian recipes, or browse our Salad recipes. Perhaps you would like to browse our Late Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Longan and Green Mango Salad with Chilli Lime Dressing”
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.
Continue reading “Chilli Soy Sauce and Dipping 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 Jam, Green 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.
Continue reading “Sweet Chilli Sauce”
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.
Continue reading “Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame”
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 Radishes, Braised, 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.
Continue reading “Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours”
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.
Continue reading “Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes | Coriander and Chilli Pancakes | Fenugreek and Ajwain Pancakes”
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.
Continue reading “Spicy Celery Salad”
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.
Continue reading “Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea”
Parts of Asia, from China to Thailand and Singapore, even Bali, have amazing salads of the freshest of vegetables with handfuls of herbs. This salad celebrates that tradition, with ingredients from Japan, China and S.E. Asia. It is a bit of work, truth be told, but it makes such a great salad to take to a large gathering, BBQ or picnic. Not quite a Buddha’s Salad, it is so dynamic it is also wonderful eaten on its own as a course, or a light lunch, perhaps accompanied by some Chinese steamed rice.
The vegetables are all slightly pickled, the tofu is marinated, and the herbs are plentiful. Look for unusual ingredients in your local Chinese or Asian grocery shop.
This recipe is a little similar to Kylie’s Asian Herb and Sesame Salad, although they come from different sources. Both are worth trying if you enjoy slightly pickled salads. You might also like Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad, or Slightly Pickled Mushrooms in Tamari and Sesame Oil. Also try Asian Style Greens with garlic and Sesame.
Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – these are vegetarian recipes from our first blog, from 1995 – 2005. You might also like all of our Tofu recipes and all of our SE Asian recipes. All of our Salad recipes are here. Or spend some time to explore our easy Late Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Asian Lightly Pickled Cucumber and Tofu Salad”
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.
Continue reading “How to Cook Rice | Buttery Steamed Rice | Sada Chaval”
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.
Continue reading “How to Use Deep Fried Tofu”
How to eat Vegetarian Banh Cuon – Rice Rolls – Chinese and Vietnamese.
One of the typically Asian things that I love is their rice rolls. But it can be confusing – how are these lovely rice rolls used?
Rice rolls are very common in Vietnam (Banh Cuon) and in Thailand (Goi tiew lohd). It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam, or as a snack in Thailand. In our house, this dish is a wonderful summery lunch.
In Vietnamese Bánh means pastry and Cuốn means rolled, so as far as indicating its origin or how to use them, the name is quite enigmatic. The rice sheet is extremely thin and delicate. It is made by steaming a slightly fermented rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water.
You might also like What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu, Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy, Black Pepper Tofu, Asian Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame, Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes, and Spicy Crunchy Herby Salad with Asian Dressing.
You may like to browse our other SE Asian recipes, and our other Mid Summer recipes.
Continue reading “How to Cook Rice Rolls | Vegetarian Banh Cuon”