Sorry for the hiatus – it’s been a crazy time at both work and play, I realise I still haven’t written any posts on our UK/Spain trip or had the time to even read my favourite foodie blogs (you know who you are). Things are thankfully winding down as the year draws to a close so I really need to dedicate some time to catch up.
A quick post on a GENIUS idea for making Vietnamese rice rolls. I love these – the herbs keep the rolls so light and add a fresh punch of flavour to each bite.
The genius idea is from Gordon Ramsay. I’ve made these rolls before and meticulously had plates and bowls lined up so that I could individually add each ingredient before rolling them up. It a fiddly affair and always ended up taking a really long time and making a mess, which meant that I made them less than I would have liked to.
Ramsay’s tip was to make a huge bowl of noodle salad with all the ingredients, so it’s just a matter of taking a small handful of the noodle salad, placing that in the rice roll and rolling it up. Simple. Why hadn’t I thought or realised this before ??
This recipe is very adaptable – add more or less of anything to your taste.
Ingredients makes about 12 rolls
- 12 round rice paper sheets
- 50g dried rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in hot water until soft, then drained
- 50g raw prawns, cooked in a small amount of water – reserve the cooking liquid
- large red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
- large handful shredded iceberg lettuce
- large handful coriander leaves, chopped
- handful mint leaves, chopped
- handful of basil leaves (Thai basil if you can find it) chopped
- 1 – 2 tbls fish sauce
- splash sesame oil
- juice of small lime
- 100g bean sprouts
For the sauce:
- 4 tbls hoisin sauce
- few teaspoons of the reserved cooking liquid from the prawns
- 1/2 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
- 1 tsp peanuts, lightly toasted and crushed
- Mix the noodles, prawns, lettuce, chilli and herbs together
- Mix the fish sauce, sesame oil and lime juice and dress the noodle salad
- Dip the round rice paper sheets in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds until you feel it soften
- Add a small handful of the noodle salad along with some bean sprouts lengthwise and roll – the rice paper will continue to soften and become “sticky” which makes it easier
- Set aside on a plate – don’t keep them too close together or you run the risk of the rice paper sticking to each other and tearing
For the dipping sauce:
- Mix the hoisin, prawn cooking liquid and chilli together, top with the crushed peanuts
Scallop and salmon gunkanmaki
A colleague recently took me to Makoto in Sydney. It was the perfect plan. We were both a bit frazzled from being in a full-day meeting, so the intent was to grab some quick sushi, which we both love, then back to the hotel.
What I didn’t plan on was just how delicious the sushi was – which made us stay a lot longer than we originally planned to.
Soft-shelled crab handroll
Makoto has got to be one of the best sushi trains I’ve been to. The sushi trains you get here in Singapore don’t even compare. OK, Makoto has the benefit of fresh seafood from Sydney, but it really ups the ante with “regular” dishes like lobster or abalone gunkanmaki where the rice is wrapped in seaweed and the topping is placed on top, and dishes like soft shelled crab handrolls use beautifully crisp, lightly battered crab that you can actually see – not the usual soggy oily mush you get in Singapore sushi trains. I
I left all the ordering to my colleague and why not, the dishes kept coming, each one of them a delight.
Get there early though – we did, and nabbed the last two seats at the counter. An hour later there was a queue outside the door, and Liverpool street is not a very nice place to stand.
Makoto Sushi Bar
19 Liverpool Street (World Tower, corner Liverpool and Pitt)
Tel: (02) 9283 6767
Mon to Fri 11:30am – 2:30pm
Sat to Sun Noon – 3pm
Mon to Sun 5:30pm – 10pm
Cooked large king prawns
Such a famous name, such a fantastic array of fresh seafood, so disappointingly “grotty” – the only word I can think of to describe the place.
I do love walking around the Sydney Fish markets, looking at the amazing selection of fresh seafood, but I’d highly recommend taking away and eating it in the comfort of your own home, or taking to a picnic somewhere more scenic (of which there are plenty of options in Sydney).
Sydney Rock and Pacific oysters
Australia Day in Sydney was last Wednesday and I went with my dad to pick up lunch before I flew back to Singapore.
We kept the selection simple – fresh cooked large king prawns, a dozen Sydney Rock oysters and another of Pacific oysters, tuna and salmon sashimi, with some fresh damper rolls, lots of lemons and salad ingredients to make a fresh salad of avocado, roma tomatoes and cucumber on a bed of mixed leaves, dressed simply with a good squeeze of lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil.
Our deliciously simple salad
Nothing to cook (Pete did make his own seafood sauce of mayonnaise, tomato sauce, lemon juice and salt and pepper), just simply plated up and served with a nice cold bottle of prosecco for us to enjoy the sweet sweet flavours of the sea in front of us. Happy Australia Day !
I received a recipe for a delicious looking baked cheesecake the other day and it inspired me to make the much easier and equally delicious (in my mind) unbaked lemon cheesecake.
A reliable recipe that works every time:
250g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
70g melted butter
zest of one lemon
1tsp lemon juice
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
250g sour cream
2 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp gelatine, dissolved in 2 tbs warm water
Mix all base ingredients together and line the base and sides of a 20cm springform tin, using the base of a tumbler to press the mixture down. Put in the fridge to set while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, cream the cheese and add in sour cream to mix. Add in lemon juice, sugar and mix well. Add the gelatine. Fill the base and chill for a few hours until set.