Dumpling ground

Water chestnut, shitake and edamame dimsums with honey, garlic and chilli sauce

I’m not big on Asian food, but when I crave for certain textures and flavours, I happily give in. I believe that no cuisine does justice to the energy of lemon grass, the denseness of tofu, the woodiness of bamboo shoots and the peculiar bite of bean curd, like Asian.

One such ingredient that blends extremely well with Asian fare is water chestnut. Personally, I always end up popping them one by one, as if they were popcorn or something. The burst of sweet juice is so addictive.

Today, I stir fried them with two ingredients that I absolutely adore for their texture – edamame beans and shitake mushrooms. I stuffed them in dim sum wrappers and served it with a hot and sweet sauce.  Continue reading

Over the top cooking

Steamed and stacked vegetables with leek and saffron sauce

Although I’m not a salad person, crunchy vegetables are my weakness. Whether I’m having pasta or a chunky soup, I’m always fishing for crunchy bits of carrots, artichokes, water chestnuts, French beans, broccoli or whatever it is, that has a noisy bite.

I respect recipes that manage to bring out the perfect balance of smoothness and crunchiness in one simple dish. Considering I spend hours looking for that flawlessly, crisp piece of bell pepper or aubergine, carefully puncturing all sides to ensure firmness, I better get to eat just that.

Today, I combined a few crunchy vegetables with a creamy sauce to make that balanced-out dish. Continue reading

Making a first impression

Spaghetti in tomato and basil sauce with caramelised walnuts and mushrooms

I’m a fool for spaghetti. I love it in any form – dunked in drippy, chunky tomato sauce or simply sprinkled with exceptional parmesan cheese or gently tossed in olive oil or gracefully lying in pesto, topped with black olives. Any kind of warm spaghetti is spaghetti enough.

When I make it at home, I try to do it as differently as possible from last time. I play around with sauces, pair it with random ingredients, toss it in flavoured oils and do with it, what I wouldn’t do with penne, farfelle or any other kind of pasta. Because unlike its shapely cousins, spaghetti holds little sauce and always remains the hero of the dish.

Today, I made the spaghetti with the classic tomato and basil sauce.  To give the dish some spunk, I tossed some fresh mushrooms and walnuts in homemade caramel and served it alongside. Continue reading