Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Asian Adventures and Perfect Pancakes

I have always liked Asian food, but since my family and I watched The Hairy Biker's Asian Adventure, we have seriously gotten into it. While I was at home, I made dim sum and sushi; not the easiest sounding things, but much simpler than I thought. That isn't knocking the specialised sushi chefs of course, who have to train for years!

I made dim sum especially for my dad, as he is a big fan, but where I live it isn't very easy to get. I filled mine with char sui pork (also made by moi), and served it with a Gok Wan recipe- Egg Not So Fried Rice! It's basically a healthier version of egg fried rice, and it was really nice. The dim sum also turned out really well. They did stick together a little in the steamer, so I couldn't get a very pretty photo, but it certainly didn't detract from the taste.

As soon as my dad saw the episode where The Hairy Bikers made sushi, we went and got the ingredients straight away and I made it the next day. I was a bit nervous to make something with raw fish, but nobody was ill afterwards so my fears, luckily, proved to be unfounded. I made two types of sushi, maki (the filling and rice encased in a seaweed roll), and nigiri (a piece of raw fish fixed onto a ball of sushi rice with wasabi). The fish I used were salmon, tuna and sea bream, all of which worked well. I did take some photos on my ipad, but I have yet to figure out how to get them from ipad to blog... if I ever figure it out, then I will certainly post them!
This is the sliced fish, ready to assemble with the rice. I was rather impressed with how thinly I managed to do it!
When I came back to university, I continued with the theme. Last night and the night before, I had Pad Thai. After watching the programme, I really noticed the four traditional Thai flavours- sweet, salty, sour and hot. I like knowing about a food before I eat it, having a little bit of knowledge definitely makes me appreciate it more. It was a delicious jumble of rice noodles, beansprouts, garlic,, ginger, chilli and onion, and the sauce was made from fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind paste and a little water. The noodles really absorbed the sauce, making it very flavoursome. I also made the topping of an omlette cut into strips.
Tonight and tomorrow I have Curried Singapore Noodles. I hate to lower the tone of something so nice, but if you are a Pot Noodle fan, then this is the one for you. All I did to cook the noodles was to pour boiling water over them and leave them to soak while I made the rest of the dish, which took no time at all. I made another omlette to top, then saute├ęd some onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Then I mixed that together with the noodles, and some curry powder and beansprouts. I think this would make a very good school/work lunch, as you can put noodles, thinly sliced vegetables and curry powder in a little jar, then just pour over boiling water and soak for a minute or two. Quick, delicious, and healthy, what's not to like?! I have plans to do this with an empty plastic peanut butter jar- which wouldn't be too heavy to carry. If you're that bothered, you could always use the jar and throw it away once you're done!
The Curried Singapore Noodles. The Pad Thai looked very similar to be honest...
And finally, pancakes. Not Asian, but just as delicious. As a treat, the day before I came back to university, me, my mum and dad had Scotch pancakes for lunch. With ALL the toppings. I made them to the Nigella Lawson recipe, which my mum and I couldn't believe we had never tried. They were very very successful, so safe to say the first time we made them won't be the last!
I think they disappeared in about 10 minutes... And this was a double batch... sugar rush indeed.
I nearly forgot, a quick little extra. I have written about Nigella's Quick Calabrian Lasagne before, and I made it again for my last proper evening meal at home. I think it was sliiiightly better this time, as I spread the sauce all the way over the top layer of lasagne sheets so there were no hard bits aroung the edge. There were crispy bits, the yummy kind...

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