- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ⅓ cup chicken fat, warmed, or vegetable oil
- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 8 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus more for brushing
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Whisk 2½ cups flour and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Mix in sesame oil and 1 cup boiling water with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover; let rest at room temperature 1 hour.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces. Working with one at a time, roll out on a lightly floured work surface as thin as possible (each should be approximately 10″ in diameter). Brush about 2 tsp. chicken fat on dough and top with about ¼ cup scallions; season with salt. Roll dough away from you (like a jelly roll) into a thin cylinder, then, starting at 1 end, wind roll onto itself to create a coil (like a cinnamon roll). Cover and repeat with remaining dough. Let rest at room temperature 15 minutes.
- Working with 1 coil at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 5″ round (keep other coils covered). Repeat with remaining dough and stack as you go, separating with parchment or lightly greased foil brushed with vegetable oil.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-low. Working with one at a time, cook pancake, turning frequently to prevent scallions from burning, until golden brown and crisp on both sides and cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer pancakes to a wire rack and let rest about 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.
- Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil, sugar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Serve alongside pancakes for dipping.
Dumpling is a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling, or of dough with no filling. The dough can be based on bread, flour or potatoes, and may be filled with meat, fish, cheese, vegetables, fruits or sweets. Dumplings may be prepared using a variety of methods, including baking, boiling, frying, simmering or steamingand are found in many world cuisines.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (500 g)
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 ¼ cups warm water (300 mL)
- 2 cups red cabbage (200 g)
- 2 cups green onion, sliced (300 g)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ½ lb ground pork (225 g)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup mushroom, diced (55 g)
- ¾ cup carrot, diced (90 g)
- ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (225 g)
Recipe: Dipping Sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce (60 mL)
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (60 mL)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the warm water and mix until well-combined.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
- Roll out 1 piece of dough into a thin log and divide into 6 or 8 pieces, depending on the size of dumplings you want. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.
- Lightly flour the dough pieces and roll out 1 piece into a thin circle roughly 4-inches (10 cm) in diameter.
- Keep the dumpling wrappers separated with a small piece of parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Combine the cabbage, green onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a medium bowl and mix until well-incorporated.
- For the pork filling, combine the ground pork with the remaining teaspoon of salt, the pepper and 1 cup (125g) of the cabbage mixture and stir until well-incorporated.
- For the veggie filling, combine the mushrooms and carrot and microwave for 3 minutes, until soft. Add 1 cup (125g) of the cabbage mixture and stir until well-incorporated.
- For the shrimp filling, combine the shrimp with 1 cup (125g) of the cabbage mixture and stir until well-incorporated.
- To assemble the dumplings, add roughly 1 heaping tablespoon of filling to the center of a dumpling wrapper. With your finger, lightly coat half of the outside of the wrapper with water. Fold the moistened half of the wrapper over the filling and, using your fingers, pleat the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining fillings and wrappers.
- Heat the oil over medium high in a large skillet and add a few dumplings, cooking them in batches. Once the bottoms of the dumplings start to brown, add a splash of water and cover with a lid. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked and the water has evaporated. Transfer the cooked dumplings to a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess moisture or grease.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper flakes and stir to combine. Serve the dumplings immediately with the dipping sauce.
Popiah is a Fujianese/Teochew-style fresh spring roll. Popiah is often eaten in the Fujian province of China (usually in Xiamen) and its neighbouring Chaoshan (and by the Teochew and Hoklodiaspora in various regions throughout Southeast Asia) and in Taiwan (due to the majority of Taiwanese being Hoklo), during the Qingming Festival. The origin of popiah dates back to the 17th century.
- 1 kg turnip, cut into strips
- 25 spring roll skins
- 300 gram fresh prawns, shelled, reserved shells for stock
- 1/2 tsp salt, marinate prawns
- 4 cups water, for prawn stock
- 3 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tbsp brown bean paste, ground
- 300 gram meat, diced
- 1/2 tsp salt, marinate meat
- 2 firm beancurd, fried, cut into strips
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lettuce, wash and drained
- 300 gram bean sprouts, tailed and blanched
- 1 cucumber, finely shred
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten, to make omelette
- 1/8 tsp salt, seasoning for eggs
- 1/8 tsp pepper, seasoning for eggs
- 150 gram peanut, roasted and ground
- 150 gram shallots, sliced and fried crisp
- Choose turnips that are smaller in size with unblemished or smooth skin that are firm to the touch and heavy for their size. Larger turnips tend to be woody and rough-tasting. Small to medium size turnips are sweetest.
Wash and clean thoroughly the skin before peeling. Peel the skin off the turnips with a vegetable peeler or small paring knife. Always wait until you’re ready to cook the turnips before you peel them. Otherwise the turnip flesh may spoil.
Cut the turnips into strips. It is preferred to cut the turnips into strips rather than shred or grate it so that you can experience the bite and taste the crunchiness of the turnip. Cut them in half and place the flat end of each half facing down for a steadier hold before cutting into strips.
Place the strips of turnip in a coriander. This will allow excess fluid from the turnip flesh to be drained before cooking.
2. Popiah “skin” wrappers take centre stage for this dish.
These can be homemade or store-bought. Try to buy them if possible. However, if you have problem getting these popiah wrappers, you can substitute with the frozen store-bought Lumpia wrappers.
A popiah “skin” wrapper is a soft, thin paper-like crepe or pancake made from an extremely elastic batter of flour, water and salt. The batter is held on one hand and then quickly “rubbed” against a hot steel plate in a circular motion and lifted. Through this process, a very thin layer of the wet dough will form on the hot steel plate and begins to cook. It is then peeled off the hot plate before being removed.
3. Prawn stock can really enhance the overall flavour of the filling as it’s simply flavourful.
To boil some prawn stock, first bring the shells with water added to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
Strained the prawn stock and set aside.
Season the shelled prawns with salt.
Also marinate diced meat with salt and pepper.
Beef noodle soup
Beef noodle soup is a noodle soup made of stewed or red braisedbeef, beef broth, vegetables and Chinese noodles. It exists in various forms throughout East and Southeast Asia. The clear broth beef noodle soup was allegedly invented by the Hui people during the Tang dynasty and is commonly known as Lanzhou beef noodle soup. The Sichuan beef noodle soup or red-braised beef noodle soup (紅燒牛肉麵), was first created by Kuomintang veterans in Taiwan this variation became commonly known as Taiwanese beef noodle soup.
Recipe: Beef noodle soup
- 1 pound cubed beef stew meat
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup beef bouillon granules
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 5 ¾ cups water
- 2 ½ cups frozen egg noodles
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, saute the stew meat, onion and celery for 5 minutes, or until meat is browned on all sides.
2. Stir in the bouillon, parsley, ground black pepper, carrots, water and egg noodles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Ramen is a Japanesenoodle soup. It consists of Chinese wheat noodles served in a meat or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori (dried seaweed), menma, and scallions. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, such as the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu and the misoramen of Hokkaido. Mazemen is a ramen dish that is not served in a soup, but rather with a sauce.
Recipe: Ramen Noodles
- 700ml chicken stock
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 4 tbsp soy sauce, plus extra to season
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice
- pinch of chilli powder
- 1 tsp white sugar (optional)
- 375g ramen noodles
- 400g sliced cooked pork or chicken breast
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 100g baby spinach
- 4 tbsp sweetcorn
- 4 boiled eggs, peeled and halved
- 1 sheet dried nori, finely shredded
- sliced green spring onions or shallots
- sprinkle of sesame seeds
- Mix 700ml chicken stock, 3 halved garlic cloves, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, a sliced thumb-sized piece of ginger, ½ tsp Chinese five spice, pinch of chilli powder and 300ml water in a stockpot or large saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins.
- Taste the stock – add 1 tsp white sugar or a little more soy sauce to make it sweeter or saltier to your liking.
- Cook 375g ramen noodles following the pack instructions, then drain and set aside.
- Slice 400g cooked pork or chicken, fry in 2 tsp sesame oil until just starting to brown, then set aside.
- Divide the noodles between four bowls. Top each with a quarter of the meat, 25g spinach, 1 tbsp sweetcorn and two boiled egg halves each.
- Strain the stock into a clean pan, then bring to the boil once again.
- Divide the stock between the bowls, then sprinkle over 1 shredded nori sheet, sliced spring onions or shallots and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Allow the spinach to wilt slightly before serving.
Chilli crab is a Singaporean seafood dish. Mud crabs are commonly used and are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato-and-chilli-based sauce. It is listed at number 35 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods list compiled by CNN Go in 2011. Chilli crab has been promoted by the Singapore Tourism Board as one of Singapore’s national dishes, and can be found in seafood restaurants all over the island. It is traditionally eaten with bare hands as a means to savour the juicy crab meat with its sweet and spicy chilli sauce. Restaurants often provide wet towels or a washing bowl with lime in order for diners to clean their hands after their meal.
Recipe: Chilli Crab
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 4 green (uncooked) blue swimmer crabs
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 fresh long red chillies (or 1-2 fresh red birdseye chillies for extra heat), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 60ml (1/4 cup) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 6 green shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/2 cup firmly packed coarsely chopped fresh coriander
- Steamed jasmine rice, to serve
- Select all ingredients
- Prepare the crab by removing the base flap, then pull off the head and clear out the cavity. Keep the head in a bowl. Moving to the body of the crab, remove the gills, which are an opaque brown colour on both sides of the crab. Using a sharp knife, cut the crab in half down the middle, then divide into six parts. Using the knife, crack the crab legs open to allow the flavours to enhance while cooking. Add to the bowl with the head then set aside.
- In a food processor, add shallots, ginger, red chillies, garlic, ketchup, and shrimp paste, then pulse until it comes together and forms a paste.
- Heat oil in a wok over medium heat, then once it comes up to temperature fry add the chilli paste and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the crab pieces into the wok and stir until they are fully coated. Give the crab time to start turning orange, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and palm sugar, then stir until completely mixed. The crab should be fully orange by now. Add a lid on top and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the crab legs and head, and plate up on a shallow dish.
- Add butter, spring onions, and egg. Let the egg sit for a minute before stirring, then give the sauce a quick stir. The sauce should thicken up quickly.
- Pour the sauce on top of the crab and garnish with a few sprigs of coriander.
Takoyaki or “octopus balls” is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus (tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger (beni shoga), and green onion (negi). The balls are brushed with takoyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce) and mayonnaise, and then sprinkled with green laver (aonori) and shavings of dried bonito (katsuobushi).
Yaki comes from yaku , which is one of the cooking methods in Japanese cuisine, meaning ‘to fry or grill’, and can be found in the names of other dishes in Japanese cuisine such as okonomiyaki and ikayaki (other famous Osakan dishes).
- Eggs. Eggs make up the majority of the batter and help it get crisp.
- Flour. Flour binds everything together into a very loose batter.
- Dashi powder. Dashi powder is what gives the batter it’s flavor – it’s a simple shortcut way of incorporating dashi (Japanese soup stock) into the base. You can buy dashi powder in the Asian grocery store or online. It adds a bunch of flavor and umami.
- Soy sauce. This is just to add some extra flavor.
- Octopus/tako. The reason why we’re here! You can buy already cooked tako at the Asian grocery store in the seafood section. Cut the tako up into cubes.
- Green onions. These add a bit of freshness to the takoyaki.
- Tenkasu. Tenkasu is tempura bits! They add texture and aroma. If you don’t have any (they sell them in bags at the Asian grocery store) then you can sub in rice krispies.
- Takoyaki sauce. A thick brown sweet and savory sauce.
- Kewpie mayo. This is essential to finishing off your takoyaki. Gives takoyaki that iconic look.
- Bonito flakes. These flakes are what make your takoyaki look like it’s dancing! They are delicate, paper thin shaved dried fish that wave around from the hot steam of the takoyaki. They are super savory.
- Seaweed. A little green sprinkle of powdered seaweed.
Most Japanese people buy their takoyaki sauce at the store and I do too! Takoyaki sauce is a thick brown sauce that’s similar to Worcestershire sauce but more fruity and thick. It comes in a handy squeeze bottle with a cute octopus on it. It’s really similar to okonomiyaki and tonkatsu sauce, so if you have those in the fridge you can use them too. Takoyaki sauce is sold online and in Asian grocery stores. If you need to make a sub at home, make this easy takoyaki sauce: mix together 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Mix. Mix the batter up with a whisk making sure there are no floury bits.
- Prep. Prep all of the fillings. Cut up the octopus, slice the green onions and make sure you have everything at the ready: a little dish of oil, all your ingredients, some skewers to flip the balls, and a plate to serve on. Heat up the pan.
- Pour and fill. Generously oil the pan with a brush or a paper towel dipped in oil. Give the batter a whisk then pour into the individual compartments all the way up to the top. It’s okay if they overflow a bit. Add in the fillings and let cook until the edges start to look more solid and opaque.
- Flip. Use your skewers to turn the takoyaki 90 degrees. If they don’t easily move, they need more time to crisp up. Once they’re at a 90° angle, pour in a bit more batter to ensure a super round ball. Let cook, stuffing in any excess batter that’s outside the ball, then turn again. You should have a round ball. Cook until the balls are crispy and brown, moving the balls around from mold to mold to evenly cook (this is because most pans will have uneven heating). As the balls crisp up, it will be easier to flip them.
- Sauce. When the balls are golden and crisp, pop them on a plate and brush with takoyaki sauce and squeeze on some mayo.
Top. Finish with a sprinkle of bonito and aonori. Enjoy!
LABB MOO Salad
A fiery minced pork salad stir-fried with shallots, coriander and mint leaves and plenty of chilli heat. While famous in Thailand’s Northeast Region (Isaan) this much-loved salad originated in Laos where it comes well matched with the Lao staple of sticky rice. A chewy alternative is ‘Nam Tok Moo’ with grilled pieces of pork.
Recipe: Labb Moo Salad
- 1.5 Tbsp white glutinous rice or jasmine rice *
- 2 Tbsp water
- 250 g/9 oz ground meat or crumbled firm tofu
- 3 Tbsp finely sliced shallot
- ¼ cup mint, rough chopped if leaves are large
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, rough chopped
- 1 Tbsp green onion, chopped
- 2-3 leaves sawtooth coriander, rough chopped
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Chili flakes to taste
- Serve with sticky rice and fresh crunchy vegetables such as long beans, cabbage and cucumber.
Make toasted rice powder: Put glutinous white rice or jasmine rice in a dry sauté pan and cook over medium high heat, moving it constantly, until a deep brown colour develops. Grind with a coffee grinder or in a mortar and pestle into a sand-like texture.
Cook the pork in a small pan with 2 Tbsp water, stirring constantly until it’s fully cooked. Remove from heat.
Using the pot as your mixing bowl, add shallots into the pork and stir to break up the rings and lightly wilt the shallots.
Add the fish sauce, lime juice, 1.5 Tbsp of the toasted ground rice, chili powder, mint, cilantro, sawtooth coriander and green onion into the pot and stir to mix. Taste and adjust to your liking.
Feel free to garnish with some mint leaves and fried dried chilies. Serve with some fresh crunchy vegetables and sticky rice
Tteokbokki or stir-fried rice cakes is a popular Korean food made from small-sized garae-tteok (long, white, cylinder-shaped rice cakes) called tteokmyeon or commonly tteokbokki-tteok. Eomuk (fish cakes), boiled eggs, and scallions are some common ingredients paired with tteokbokki in dishes. It can be seasoned with either spicy gochujang (chili paste) or non-spicy ganjang (soy sauce)-based sauce; the former being the most common form, while the latter is less common and sometimes called gungjung-tteokbokki (royal court tteokbokki).
Today, variations also include curry–tteokbokki, cream sauce–tteokbokki, jajang-tteokbokki, seafood–tteokbokki, rose-tteokbokki, galbi-tteokbokki and so on. Tteokbokki is commonly purchased and eaten at bunsikjip (snack bars) as well as pojangmacha (street stalls). There are also dedicated restaurants for tteokbokki, where it is referred to as jeukseok tteokbokki (impromptu tteokbokki). It is also a popular home dish, as the rice cakes (garae-tteok) can be purchased in pre-packaged, semi-dehydrated form.
- 350g / 12 ounces Korean rice cakes, separated
- 150g / 5.3 ounces Korean fish cakes, rinsed over hot water & cut into bite size pieces
- 2 cups Korean soup stock (dried kelp and dried anchovy stock), use this recipe
- 60g / 2 ounces onion, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp raw sugar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml
1. Unless your rice cakes are soft already, soak them in warm water for 10 mins.
2. Boil the soup stock in a shallow pot over medium high heat and dissolve the tteokbokki sauce by stirring it with a spatula. Once the seasoned stock is boiling, add the rice cakes, fish cakes and onion. Boil them a further 3 to 5 mins until the rice cakes are fully cooked. Then, to thicken the sauce and to deepen the flavor, simmer it over low heat for a further 2 to 4 mins.
3. Add the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and green onion then quickly stir. Serve warm.
Japanese Pizza (Okonomiyak)
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients in a wheat-flour-based batter; it is an example of konamono (konamon in Kansai dialect, referring to flour-based Japanese cuisine). The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “how you like” or “what you like”, and yaki meaning “cooked” (usually fried). Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region. In Tokyo, there is a semi-liquid okonomiyaki called monjayaki.
Recipe: Japanese Pizza (Okonomiyak)
- 1/8 cabbage or two good handfuls finely sliced
- 1 spring onion white part thinly sliced (reserve the green part for garnish)
- 1 free range egg
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- Oil for frying
To serve, your choice of:
- BBQ sauce
- Kewpie mayonnaise
- Kecap manis
- Spring onion greens finely sliced
- Crispy shallots
- Nori finely sliced/shredded
- Put cabbage, spring onion, egg, soy sauce, flour and water in a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Heat a frypan over a low to medium heat and add a splash of oil for frying.
- Tip the okonomiyaki mixture into the pan and use a spatula to form it into a round pancake about 2cm thick. Take your time cooking it – it’s thick and you don’t want raw mixture in the middle. When golden brown on the bottom, carefully flip and cook the other side until golden too. It’s not essential, but I find it helpful to put a lid on the frypan for some of the cooking time to help it cook through.
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately, or keep warm in a low oven while you cook more pancakes.
- Top with your choice of condiments, slice into wedges and enjoy!