Mock Duck Noodle Soup (v)

There was a bit of a shopping fail this week, as I’d planned to make fake chicken noodle soup for lunch on Sunday but upon opening the freezer realised that we had no quorn chunks left, d’oh. I did however remember that there was a tin of mock duck languishing in the cupboard where it had lain for months. It made for an excellent and very tasty soup. So now I need to buy another tin to replace the one I used!

For three portions you need
1 tin mock duck (available from larger supermarkets or Asian/Chinese grocers), gluten sliced into bite sized pieces
3 nests noodles
1 litre vegetable stock plus the sauce/liquid from the mock duck tin
1 onion, halved and then sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
125g closed cup mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 inch ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp soya sauce

To garnish
3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
chilli flakes, tabasco sauce and soya sauce to serve

Place the stock into a large pan and add the noodles, onion, garlic and ginger. Season with soya sauce and the chinese five spice powder. Add all the other ingredients, apart from the pepper and mushrooms, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are done. Add the mushrooms and pepper and heat through for a further two minutes. Serve in large bowls garnished with the coriander and chillies to taste. Delicious.

Indian Salad (v)

I’m sure I have blogged this before, but blogger and google are coming up blanks for it, so in case I haven’t, here it is… This is the perfect accompaniment to a fiesty curry. It’s tasty, cooling and delicious. Thanks to my mum for the recipe! (the salad is in the top right of the very full plate!! The other recipes are aloo curry and chickpea, red lentil and vegetable vindaloo. And Geetas lime pickle and mango chutney cos a curry isn’t a curry without those!).

For 3-4 portions you need
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 cucumber, finely sliced
large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped (no need to skin and deseed)
juice of half a lemon
2 tsp dried mint
pinch salt

Place everything in a bowl and mix. That’s it!

Three Good Things: Cucumber, Coriander and Yogurt Raita (v)

Another three good things recipe here, this time a simple raita to complement the bhajis. Take half a cucumber, diced, and add to 1 cup of plain yogurt along with a large handful of chopped fresh coriander. It’s the perfect thing to balance the spice of a hot curry or a nice cooling dip to contrast the crispy, crunchy bhajis. Nom.

Three Good Things: Onion, Coriander and Cauliflower Bhajis (v,gf)

My lovely boyfriend made us a lovely curry over the weekend and I rustled up these to stave off the hunger pangs and to use up some of the stuff languishing in the bottom of the veg box. Based on River Cottage’s three good things principle, they showcase three yummy ingredients perfectly and are, I have to say, the bestest bhajis I have ever made *polishes halo*.

For 10-12 bhajis you need
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cauliflower, the florets cut into thin slices
2 large handfuls of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 cup garam flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
water to mix the batter
Oil for deep frying

Place the garam flour, baking powder and salt and pepper in a bowl and add enough warm water to make a batter with the consistency of fresh custard (you should be able to run your finger through it and it not fill back up again iyswim…). Toss in the veg and mix thoroughly.

Heat the oil and fry teaspoonfulls of the batter in the oil until golden brown. Turn over half way through to ensure even cooking. You can make larger ones if you want, but I find they tend to be a bit underdone in the middle and prefer the canape approach.

Serve with chutney or raita or whatever else you fancy. Leave some space for the main course! They keep well and are nice cold the next day for a packed lunch or you can reheat in an oven for about 10 mins.

Hoisin Glazed Tofu with Rice Noodles, Carrot & Coriander Salad

This photo got picked up by VeganFoodShare on instagr.am, go me! It really does taste as good as it looks, promise, and is a very easy quick after work recipe to create too.

For four people you need

Tofu
1 pack firm tofu, drained and cut into strips as per pic
1 bottle hoisin sauce

Salad
2 large carrots, coarsely grated
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 red onion, sliced
Juice of one lime
1-2 red chillies, sliced (add more or less depending on how hot you want it!)
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Noodles
4 bundles rice noodles

Method

Begin by marinating the tofu in the hoisin sauce. This can be done in advance and left in the fridge (for up to 3 days). If you don’t prepare ahead of time, leave it to marinate for 15 mins or so.

Place the noodles in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave to soak.

Put all of the salad ingredients, reserving a little of the chopped coriander for a garnish, into an bowl and mix gently.

Place the marinated tofu in a shallow pan with a little oil and pan fry over a medium heat until the outside is sticky and glazed and the inside is hot.

Once the noodles are soaked, drain and refresh in cold water. Place on a plate and top with the salad. Put the cooked tofu on top and add a little extra of the hoisin marinade. Decorate with some chilli slices and coriander and then scoff. Delicious, healthy and so so tasty!

Thai Cucumber Salad (v)

Every good Thai dish deserves something refreshing, cleansing and tasty to compliment it. And this delicious cucumber salad does just what it should. There’s a sour hit from the vinegar but this is tempered with the syrup that sits alongside it. If you don’t like your chillies to kick a HUGE punch, then let the salad sit for a while to reduce the fearsome heat. My mouth went numb when I ate this, but that was the idea so it was all good. Sooooooo gooooooooood!

For 2-3 servings you need:
Salad:
1 whole cucumber. cut into quarters, lengthwise, and deseeded, then cut into chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
2 large handfuls coriander, roughly chopped
3-4 bird’s eye chillies, sliced finely

Dressing:
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water
pinch salt

Bring the dressing ingredients to the boil and simmer till the sugar has disolved. Leave to cool. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Allow to infuse. Eat. Wonder that you could create something so healthy and delicious and easy. Feel smug.

Kai Look Kuoy (son-in-law eggs)

I remember my mum making this for her Thai son-in-law when he came to visit after the birth of his son. And I remember just how delicious they were too. But it’s taken me over a year to make them for myself (and my boyfriend ;-)). And OMG how awesome they are! Made with quails eggs, they make a lovely canape; or else serve 3-4 per person as a starter with a selection of other yummy Thai bites.

For 12 portions you need:

To serve:
12 leaves from little gem lettuces, washed and dried.

For the eggs:
12 quails eggs
vegetable oil for deep frying

For the topping:
6 shallots, sliced thinly
6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander

For the sauce:
2/3 Barts spice jar of tamarind paste
2 inch chunk of ginger, finely grated
2 thai chillies, sliced thinly
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp ground cumin

Begin by mixing everything together for the sauce. Leave to one side to allow the flavours to develop whilst you do the other stages.

Semi hard boil the quails eggs in simmering water for 3-4 mins. Refresh in cold water and then *carefully* peel the shells away (if the eggs are very fresh this will be tricky so take your time!).

Heat vegetable oil in a shallow pan to a depth of about 2cms. Deep fry the shallots and garlic and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the eggs, frying until they become crispy and golden brown all over.

Place the lettuce leaves on a serving dish and place a dessertspoonful of the sauce in each one. Top with an egg and then the shallots and garlic. Finish with some fresh coriander. Sigh in pleasure as you eat. Totally and utterly delicious!

Laab (v)

If you are veggie/vegan then substitute the fish sauce for mushroom soya sauce and some rice vinegar. Do not stint on the chillies. You need this to make your mouth dance and burn from the heat. Make sure you serve it with some plain jasmine rice to cool your mouth tho!

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 tbsp fish sauce (yes really) or 2 tbsp mushroom soya sauce and 1 tbsp rice vinegar
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
2 tsp hot chilli powder
2 thai chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp toasted rice (buy ground rice and toast till golden brown)
1/2 pack marinated tofu

Place everything apart from the tofu in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Heat the tofu through until hot and add to the bowl. Mix thoroughly. Serve with jasmine rice to temper the heat from the delicious sauce.