Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Asian inspiration

I adore Asian flavours, no matter what direction it goes in, some of my favourites are Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Malaysian. I love the fresh flavours and the fact that often, cooking this way is light and nutritious. One of my favourite standybys for lunch in winter is my hybrid laksa/tom yum/noodle soup which is never the same, but always starts with some chicken or vege stock.
I found some lovely Asian greens at a local vege market and gathered together an array of veges plus some prawns and I had the makings of a gorgeous meal.

The basics

Sesame oil
Fresh ginger, grated
Curry paste (be it green, laksa, red or another curry paste, get a good quality one)
Spring onions
Fresh coriander
Noodles cooked first (I use udon, but any egg based thin noodle would work)
Soy sauce
Brown sugar
Fish sauce
Lime juice

I don't even consider making this unless I have these ingredients- maybe the lime juice could be substituted for lemon or a splash of rice wine vinegar.

The variations include:

sliced mushrooms
thinly sliced carrot
thinly sliced capsicum
Asian greens, such as bok choy
green beans
nori (seaweed)
coconut cream(I am sure I will think of more variations once I have published this post!)

The quantities are all pretty changeable, depending on whether you are cooking for one or many more. I tend to make this for two (large) servings, and save one for lunch the next day too!
I am not even going to estimate quantities, as that would require too much thinking, and I hardly ever do the same one twice. I do know that the mix of all these ingredients together ALWAYS tastes fantastic and is such a filling meal. The general method is to cook the noodles first. Add sesame oil into pot, quickly fry the garlic, ginger and curry paste. Add in stock, veges (cut so they all cook at once). Season with soy, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Add in seafood or chicken to cook for the final few minutes(you would add in coconut cream here if using), then serve scattered with sliced spring onions and coriander.

Another two staples are fried rice and egg foo young. They are great store cupboard type recipes which are kid friendly. I am not going to tell you how to make fried rice (!) but the egg foo young recipe can be found here
I serve this yummy, quick and easy meal with sweet soy (kecap manis)


Olga said...

This looks great! And I love how you cook without a particular recipe in mind: that's exactly what I do.

Shari said...

I love your photos of the vegies! Beautiful and colorful!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Chibog in Chief said...

your photos are all droolworthy, i couldnt help but salivate here :-)

Chibog in Chief said...

btw, i would love to invite you at recipe muncher, the community would be happy to welcome your delicious blog!