Noodle Broth

Oriental cuisine is often renowned for being flavoursome, but a little complex. Of course, in many cases – dim sum, for instance – both claims are true. Despite this, an even greater number of dishes, which find their roots firmly planted in the soil of the East, defy the latter assumption with their simplicity and accessibility. Granted, traditional ingredients can often be tricky to come by and often require time-consuming trips to out of town Asian supermarkets, but even specialist ingredients aren’t necessary across the board. Besides, a dish needn’t be explicitly authentic for it to be considered to be from a certain region.

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Chinese Crispy Beef with Noodles

This recipe was requested by friend Gemma in order that she could forego the expense of the Chinese takeaway. Naturally, I wanted to provide for this wee Scottish lass, but the idea also tickled my frugal weak-spot since one of my pet hates is perpetual takeaway eating – as Gemma’s request suggests, it isn’t particularly cost effective. Oh and your waistline may well benefit too!

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Fish is something only very rarely eaten in our house. One reason for this is because it tends to be relatively expensive. However, one must remember that there are always cheap ways of eating most things (see my advice section). For instance, if one is looking for a fillet of succulent white fish, why not use coley instead of cod? There is always a reasonably priced alternative to that which is most in vogue. Trout is much cheaper than salmon and one must never forget the varieties that most don’t like the look of, such as gurnard. Remember, in the world of fish, it doesn’t have to look good to taste good; use the misplaced shallowness of other’s to your advantage.

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Well, isn’t this a turn up for the books? A second guest post in as many weeks – what’s happening to me? This was yet another offer that was extremely difficult to refuse. I adore Indian food and to be given a chance to write about it on a genuinely incredible Indian food blog had me a little overwhelmed! The timing of the offer was also rather perfect since I’m currently on a sort-of hiatus from food bloggery due to the fact I’m with my better half. Enjoy!

Hummus, a dip usually made with chickpeas, is by far my favourite dip. When made correctly, it has such a full and punchy flavour worthy of even the fattest cat’s mezze. As we all know, chickpeas make a truly wonderful hummus. However, with variety being the spice of life, there isn’t any harm in substituting them for a slightly different ingredient. Straying beyond the realm of the humble pulse would prove a little foolish in this case, so there we shall remain. Indeed, butterbeans make a pretty favourable choice, since they possess a particularly smooth and creamy texture. As such, this take on the Middle Eastern classic is equally, if not more, palatable than its esteemed counterpart. The use of paprika to make infused oil may appear a little frivolous on the surface, but it is an integral part to this dish. Not only does it give the hummus a rather delectable streak of colour, it also completes its flavour profile with a smoky sweetness. As for the lack of tahini, this dip really doesn’t need it.

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