Category: Vegetable

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Crispy Seaweed

Peter and I love crispy seaweeds.  We always order it as one of our starters when we dine out in Chinese restaurants.

There is something about its crispy texture that is rather pleasing to the tastebuds.

Of course we are well aware that this seaweed is not really seaweed as we know it.  It did not come from the sea. 🙂  In fact it is made from finely shredded spring green cabbage.

Peter asked me why is it then called a seaweed?!!! To hazard guest, I think because it does look like a seaweed when it is being prepared and cooked. Its corrugated crispy texture is like seaweed.

Anyway, as I have said, it is quite delicious and here a recipe for it.

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 250 g Spring green cabbage (Kale is a good substitute)
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp shrimp powder (optional)
  • Oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the spring green by washing it completely and ridding it of grits and little insects, you never know!  🙂 .  Trim off the tough stalks that run through each leaf.  Drain the leaves thoroughly with kitchen paper towels.
  • Using a good chopping board and an equally good and sharp knife, sliced the leaves into thin ribbons.
  • Spread them in a flat surface for 10-15 minutes to allow them to completely dry.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a deep-fat fryer.
  • To cook the finely shredded cabbage evenly, they must be done in batches.  Carefully lower a bit of the spring green shreds into the hot oil.  When they have been cook they would crinkle and float.  Remove them with a slotted ladle and put them over kitchen paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Do the same thing with the rest of the batch.
  • For the topping, mix the the sugar and salt with the shrimp powder and sprinkle over the cabbage.
  • Serve immediately as a starter.

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Our good friend and close neighbour Mick regularly supplies us with fresh vegetables grown on his allotment located across the road from us.

Mick has had his allotment for over fifty years, planting vegetables and even fruit trees.

One of my favourite vegetables he grows for harvesting each autumn time are beetroots. Mick grows a popular type called ‘Boltardty AGM’. Boltardy seeds can be sown at various times during the growing year and in most types of soil. It does not have excessive ‘bolting, a gardening term, which means premature sprouting of stalks flowering stem(s). Bolting can divert resources & nutriment from the beetroot and reduce it’s quality.

All Photos By PH Morton

After harvesting, Mick then produces jars of delicious slightly sweet pickled beetroot for his family and us. We save a jar for Christmas time. Beetroot is perfect to accompany Christmas meals.  This year, Mick invited me to harvest some of his beetroot. He then showed us how to make his ‘signature’ pickled beetroot. I took various photos from harvesting to our jars filled with delicious picked beetroot. Under Mick’s tutelage and help, Jean & I enjoyed producing our own jars of this delicious vegetable. Making pickled beetroot is quite simple & straightforward. 🙂

If using home grown beetroots from garden or allotment etc., a good time to harvest is from 50 to 70 days after planting. Avoid letting the beetroot get too big. A hand or tennis ball size is ideal. Do not let the stalks/stems bolt or grow above 6 inches (15cms). Dig around the beetroot and pick up avoiding breaking the stalk/greens from the beetroot.

Thoroughly clean & wash the dirt off and trim the stalks/stems short. Again do not pull out the stems, as water can get into the beetroot and damage it when boiling prior to pickling.

Harvested fresh beetroot can be stored in a refrigerator for about seven days.

Depending how many beetroots you are pickling, you will require:-

  1. Pickling /preserve jars with airtight lids. The normal size is around 500ml, or as large as you want. Most hardware stores will supply.
  2. Pickling vinegar, which comes in 1.4 litre size. Most larger supermarkets etc supply.
  3. Brown or white sugar granules to sweeten the vinegar taste to your choice.

Place the beetroots in a suitable sized saucepan(s) and cover with water.

Boil for two hours.

Carefully strain off the water and either allow air cooling or running cold water over the beetroots then dry.

Completely remove remaining stalks/roots etc.

The boiled soft skin of the beetroot does not need to be peeled with a knife as can be easily removed by hand.

Cut or slice the beetroot to whatever size you prefer.

Pour in small amount sugar, then add a small measure of the pickling vinegar, enough to cover the first layer of the slices of beetroot into the bottom of the jar.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar (to taste) then add another layer, pour pickling vinegar, then another layer, sugar, pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar.

Close the jar, gently shake it then turn it upside down and leave for about 30 minutes. This will allow the vinegar and sugar to seep through the beetroot. Top up with the pickling vinegar if needed to completely cover the sliced beetroot in the jar.

If you want you can label the jar with day & month of pickling.

Home made pickled beetroot can be kept for 6 weeks to 3 months, refrigerated.
In practice, it can be longer.

But if you store them beyond 3 months and you’re worried, check for signs of spoilage (rising bubbles, cloudy liquid, unnatural colour) and don’t eat or taste.

Chow Mein with Seasonal Vegetables

Chow mein, photo by JMorton

Chow Mein with Seasonal Vegetables

Today is my son, James’s birthday.

There is Asian tradition to serve noodles on birthdays for long life.  Added to this, I saw in a Korean drama that one must eat the first spoonful or chopstick-ful of noodles without chewing or biting on to the strands so that one life span is not cut short.  🙂

James said that he might choke on the noodles if he swallowed them whole.  🙂  He’s got a point but I told him I have got my mobile phone ready to call an ambulance and while waiting for them to arrive, I will give him the Heimlich manoeuvre.

🙂

To report, he was fine and had a good time at his birthday dinner.

Ingredients

  • 500g egg noodle (miki)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, peeled, julliened
  • 125 g bean sprouts
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, julliened
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
  • 125 g baby corn, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the noodles.  Cook it according to the packet’s instruction.  Drain and run it under cool water to prevent it from cooking further.  Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil using a large pan or better yet a wok over high heat.
  • Stir in the onions and then the carrots and baby corn. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper, cabbage, bean-sprouts and the noodles.
  • Tip in the soy sauce, sherry, salt, sugar, cornflour and sesame oil.
  • Stir-fry until the seasoning has been mixed in thoroughly.

Serve hot!  Enjoy!

 

Minted Mushy Peas Recipe

Battered Fish, Mushy Peas & Roasted Sliced Potatoes, photo by JMorton

Below is a very easy recipe that will delight the family.

Minted Mushy Peas Recipe

Ingredients

  • 500 g Frozen Peas
  • 25 g butter
  • 3 sprigs of mint, chopped finely
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt

 

Method of Preparation:

  • Bring a large pan of water to a boil.  Add the peas.  the peas can also be steamed.  Cook until softened.
  • Drain using a sieve.
  • Put in a sturdy bowl.
  • Add the butter and mint
  • Mash with a potato masher and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Kilawing Puso Ng Saging (Banana Heart Ceviche)

Kilawing Puso Ng Saging by Rosie Reyes- Barrera

Kilawing Puso Ng Saging (Banana Heart Ceviche)

This recipe is one of my favourite.  It slight sour taste makes for a good hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana blossom (a can of banana blossom from Asian supermarket)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (fresh or canned)
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 50 g of cooked pork, sliced into thin strips (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the banana blossom (if using the fresh sort) by removing and discarding the tough outer layers.  Then slice thinly crosswise.
  • Soak the slices in salty water for 10 minutes.  Then squeeze until most of the liquid had been drained out.  The procedure is to remove any bitter taste from the banana heart (if only you can also do this with the human heart 🙂 lol)
  • Rinse the banana heart slices in cold water and then set aside to drain.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan.
  • Saute the garlic until aromatic and golden brown, please do not burn, otherwise it will leave a bitter taste.
  • Add the onion and the tomatoes to the garlic and allow to cook for 3 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and the onion translucent.
  • Stir in the banana blossom as well as the pork (if using)
  • Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the vinegar and leave to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk.  Give it a stir and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with freshly boiled rice.

 

Easy Buttered Vegetables

Green Veg, Photo by PH Morton

You can never do wrong with fresh green vegetables.  And to top that, there are a lot of easy and uncomplicated recipe that has a top notch taste.

Below is such recipe.

Easy Buttered Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 small pointed or green cabbage, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper deseeded and sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, topped and tailed and sliced
  • 2 small courgette, peeled and sliced
  • 100g butter (or for an healthier option used 2 tbsp extra virgin oil)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Method of Preparation:

  • Cook the vegetables in a steamer.  Do not overcook, keep it still slightly crispy.  (of course, they can also be quickly boiled)
  • Drain the vegetables.
  • To soften the butter, heat in a pan under very low heat.  Do not burn.
  • Transfer the vegetables in a large bowl and coat them with the butter or olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Toss lightly and then transfer into a serving bowl.
  • Enjoy this warm salad as a side to stew, fried meat, fish and sausages.

Minted Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes
by Jean Morton

Mashed potatoes is a popular English potato recipe.  It is very versatile at it goes with so many cooked recipes such as fried meat & fish, sausages and stew.  It is also easy to make and yield delicious creamy potato dish.

Minted Mashed Potatoes

  • Using a large pan, boil the potatoes in salted water for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes have softened.
  • Drain using a colander.
  • Return the potatoes into the pan and mash with a masher 🙂 or a fork while still hot.
  • Pour in the olive oil and stir in the butter or margarine with the mint sauce.  Mix well until properly incorporated.
  • Add the nutmeg and season with salt.
  • Scatter the chopped mint leaves on top.

Serve with grilled meat, fish, stew or sausages.

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 oz softened butter or margarine
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp mint sauce
  • small pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • salt & pepper

 

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Sinangag, Photo by JMorton

Sinangag Breakfast , Photo by JMorton

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Filipino fried rice called sinangag is the easiest fried rice recipe to do.

It is so tasty because of the addition of fragrant garlic.  It gets even tastier if the oil you fry it in was from the oil you fried your meat of dried fish in as it absorbed all the tasty residue of the meat or fish.

Fried rice are better cooked from left-over rice or at least rice that has been cooked a day or night before.  A day old rice has a a better texture as it had ‘dried’ up as it sits on the fridge.  A fried rice from a freshly boiled rice tend to yield a rather soggy mess.

Sinangag cannot be simpler.  It can just be from left-over rice, onion and garlic.  This is because it is often eaten with separately cooked friend eggs, salted eggs, hot-dog sausages or the best there is – tuyo or danggit.  (See above photo.)  All washed down with a hot strong milky coffee.

Ingredients:

2 cups leftover rice, even out the clumps

4-6 garlic, peeled and chopped or minced finely

1/2 onion, chopped finely

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp cooking oil

Procedure:

Heat the oil using a wok or a large frying pan over medium to high heat.

Fry the garlic, then quickly add the onion.  Stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the rice.  Fry vigorously until the grains absorbed all the oil giving off a fragrant breakfasty aroma. 🙂

Serve immediately with any of your favourite meaty or fishy breakfast.

Enjoy!

 

Ampalaya Salad (Bitter Gourd Salad)

Halved Bitter Gourds, Photo by PH Morton

Ampalaya Salad (Bitter Gourd Salad)

This salad goes well with fried food or other very rich food and the slight bitter taste from the ampalaya will neutralise the savoury taste.

Below is a salad recipe which uses fermented shrimps or bagoong.  If this is not your taste or you have run out of it, a patis (fish sauce) is highly suitable.

 

Deliciously challenging to the taste buds.  A true gourmet delight!

Ingredients:

3 medium size bitter gourd (ampalaya)

1/2 tbsp salt

4 shallots, sliced finely

1 tbsp shrimp paste (bagoong alamang) or 1/2  to 1 tablespoon fish sauce (according to taste really)

2 large tomatoes, sliced

3 siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies)

1 lemon, juiced or 1 tablespoon of fresh juice of  kalamansi

Method of preparation:

Cut the ampalaya in half lengthwise and deseed. Cut in half rings (?).

Place the amplaya in a colander and then sprinkle the slice with the salt.  Set it aside for half an hour to give the ampalaya time to absorb the salt to counter-balance its natural bitterness.

Wash after ‘curing’ the ampalaya and drain any excess liquid or moisture.

Put the ampalaya in a serving bowl, add the shallots, tomatoes, chilies and season with shrimp paste or fish sauce and lemon or kalamansi juice.

Leave to stand for 10-20 minutes, then serve.

 

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