Sesame Noodles

1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 – 2 Tbsp Asian sesame oil
2 tsp Makrut Lime-Leaf Infused or Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup
1 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 lb spaghetti
3/4 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
3 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Put the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, and maple syrup in a blender and pulse until blended.

Boil a pot of water and cook the spaghetti until just al dente. Drain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking then combine with the sesame sauce.

In a smaller pot, blanche the asparagus by cooking in boiling water for two minutes then removing them to a bowl of ice water. Drain and add to pasta.

To serve, put room-temperature noodles and asparagus in a bowl and top with scallions and extra sesame seeds. Serve extra soy sauce on the side to taste.

*Adapted from a recipe for Peanut Sesame Noodles, Gourmet, June 2002

Shrimp, Snow Pea and Grapefruit Salad with Smoked Maple Vinaigrette

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Runamok Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mesclun lettuce mix for 4
12 medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into small segments
Toasted cashews
10 uncooked snow peas, rinsed and sliced

Make the vinaigrette by placing the mustard, maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and whisking vigorously.

Put the mesclun greens and sliced snow peas in a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette, making sure to coat evenly. Taste for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground pepper accordingly.

Place dressed greens on four individual plates then top with three shrimp each and a few segments of grapefruit. Sprinkle some cashews on each salad and serve.

Beet, Arugula, Citrus, and Feta Salad with Ginger-Maple Vinaigrette

2 – 3 beets
Bunch of arugula
1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
2 oz feta cheese

Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp Runamok Ginger Infused Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp walnut oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Prepare the beets by scrubbing off any dirt and trimming the tops and bottoms but leaving the rest of the skin on. Put them in boiling water for about ten minutes or until fork tender then remove from the water to cool. The skins should come off very easily at this point and once they are peeled, dice them into chunks and set aside.

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking all of the ingredients together and tasting for salt and pepper.

Toss the arugula and beets in some vinaigrette and arrange on a plate. Top with bite-sized pieces of orange and a sprinkling of crumbled feta.

Otsu (Soba Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing)

Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.

Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.

While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about ? cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6.

PRINT RECIPE
JULY 19, 2004

Soba Salad with Rhubarb-Ginger Tahini

(adapted from Otsu Recipe on 101 Cookbooks)

Dressing (makes more than what you need for the recipe, but nice to keep around):

1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons (or more;) Brooklyn Delhi Rhubarb Ginger Achaar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini paste

Soba noodle salad
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 oz baked tofu or 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed (directions below)
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 scallion, green and white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in half lengthwise then cut across into thin half-moons.
sesame seeds
more cilantro for garnishing

If using extra firm tofu: Add tofu to a large non-stick skillet without any oil and toss over high heat until all water has evaporated. Add canola oil, reduce heat to medium-high and fry, tossing frequently until tofu is firm and bouncy. Drain over paper towels.

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients. Blend well. Add tahini and blend together.

In a large mixing bowl combine drained soba noodles, cilantro, scallions, cucumber. Slowly add dressing and toss Add more dressing to your taste. Arrange salad in center of large plate and top with baked or fried tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs. Serve with more dressing on the table just in case!

Shrimp and Dragon Fruit Salad (with Variations)

1 dragon fruit, any varieties will work
8 Large shrimp unpeeled, deveined
3 cups Spring salad mix

Sesame plum dressing:
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp water
Fresh herbs and aromatics:
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/4 red onions peeled and thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the dragon fruit in half and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into large cubes. Set aside and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare other things.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Steam the shrimp with the shells on, on high heat for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Peel off the skin after they have cooled down a little bit. Steaming the shrimp with the shells on is to prevent the shrimp from curling. It’s really just for presentation and makes the shrimp looks bigger.

Assembling the salad:
Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.

Add sliced red onions.

Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Add the cooked shrimp.

Add dragon fruit pieces.

Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad

Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Add some roasted peanuts.

Give the salad a gentle toss to mix everything.

Serve immediately.

Notes: This salad is highly customizable. You can change up the dressing, the toppings, the type of greens and veggies you want on the salad, the protein. Here are some suggestions:

Protein: Leftover chicken meat, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, seared scallop, seared ahi tuna.
Topping: Avocado cubes, tortilla strips, crispy chow mein noodle strips, wonton strips.
Dressing: Any vinaigrette dressing, sweet balsamic vinegar.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tamarind Dressing

2 large heirloom tomatoes
2 cups cherry tomatoes
4 thai chili peppers, red and yellow color
2 tablespoons whole cilantro leaves, fresh
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground + extra if needed
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons dark brown sugar or jaggery crushed
1/4 teaspoon toasted coriander powder, freshly ground (see notes above)
100mL cup water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes

Thinly slice the heirloom tomatoes and arrange them on a serving platter. Add the cherry tomatoes over them.
Slice the chili peppers lengthwise in half and arrange them over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves over the tomatoes.

Take a 500mL mason jar or glass jar with a lid. Add all the ingredients from the tamarind to the olive oil. Close the jar tight with its lid and then shake vigorously until it forms an emulsion. Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper.
Drizzle enough dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the Maldon sea salt flakes and/or pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

Kalay Chanay (Black Chickpeas with Poppy Seeds and Onions)

500 grams uncooked dry black chickpeas
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp white poppy seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1 -2 red onions, cut into fine rings
100 ml tamarind chutney – you can use ready made tamarind chutney, or make your own, combine tamarind pulp, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp dry roasted cumin, 1/2 tsp black salt (kalanamak) or chaat masala

To garnish:

Coriander leaves
Chopped green chillis
1 chopped tomato
Raw red onion rings

Soak the black chickpeas overnight in tap water. Drain and boil in water (enough to cover them) until soft – note these don’t get as soft as regular chickpeas and retain a slight texture.

In a saucepan, heat the oil, add the cumin, nigella and poppy seeds for about 1 minute until they pop. Now add half the red onions and cook until just slightly soft, allow them to retain a little crunch. Now add the boiled black chickpeas and stir through.

Turn off heat and add the tamarind chutney and garnish. Serve warm or cold. Keeps well in fridge covered for unto 7 days.

Potato and Dill Chaat

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt
150g full fat Greek yoghurt
1/2 clove garlic
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshly dry roasted cumin seeds, ground by hand
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp chopped dill
2 largepotatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch squares, boiled until cooked
1 tin chickpeas, drained
Handful of sev
Handful of chopped cilantro
1 sliced red chilli

Start by fermenting the red onions, in a non-metallic bowl. Add thinly sliced red onions, red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar and toss. Keep aside but keep mixing every few minutes until the onions turn bright pink.

In another bowl, mix all the yoghurt, tahini, paprika, salt, dill, cumin and add half a garlic clove (to add a hint of garlic flavouring, remove later when mixing together).

Now, add the boiled potatoes, chickpeas and all the spiced yoghurt together and mix. Top with chopped coriander, crushed sev, red chilli, and fermented red onions. Serve at room temperature.

Chinese Banged Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers (japanese or english type)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 clove garlic, smashed (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

Wash your cucumber thoroughly. Cut off the tips on each side. Holding one end, carefully bang on cucumber with the flat of your cleaver until the cucumber splits and flattens out. It will be a little mushed up which is what you want. Once the whole cucumber is flattened, chop into bit sized piece. (We like to chop at a diagonal.) Do the same to each cucumber.

Add 1/2 tsp salt, mix and place into colander. Let cucumber drip juices out for 15-20 mins in the fridge. Squeeze cucumber lightly to remove most of the juice.

Mix together the chopped cucumber, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Taste. It should be equal parts salty, sour and sweet. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour, stirring once or twice, before serving. The longer the marination, the tastier.

Daging Masak Kicap (Malaysian Soy Sauce Beef)

8 oz beef flap meat cut into pieces
2 shallots sliced thinly (or 1/4 onion, sliced)
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons kicap/kecap manis sweet soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or to taste

Rinse the beef with water and cut it across the grain into pieces. Pat dry and set aside.

Heat up a wok with the oil. When the oil is heated, add the shallots and stir fry until aromatic or when the shallots turn light brown. Add the beef into the wok and stir for a few times. Add the sweet soy sauce and soy sauce and stir to blend well with the beef. Cook for a few minutes or until the beef is cooked through. Dish out and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
You can add a few bird’s-eye chilies or some cut red chilies if you want it spicy. You can also add a lemongrass (white-part only, pounded) to make it extra aromatic.

Malaysian Coconut and Chili Bean Sprout Salad (Kerabu)

1/2 red onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
2 1/4 cups bean sprouts
1/2 red chili seeded and finely chopped
1 small handful mint leaves roughly chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons sugar
1- inch piece gingerroot peeled

To make the dressing, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar together in a large bowl. Grate the gingerroot into the bowl, discarding the fibrous bits, and mix well.

Scatter the onion over the dressing and mix well, then set aside 5 to 10 minutes. This takes the rawness out of the onion.

Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring continuously, ?30 to 40 seconds until the coconut turns a lovely golden brown. Tip it onto a plate and ?set aside.

To assemble the salad, add the red pepper, bean sprouts, red chili and mint to the ?onion mixture and toss until all the ingredients are well coated. Transfer to a serving bowl, scatter the roasted coconut over the top and serve immediately.

Asian Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Pork or Chicken)

12 oz ground pork or ground chicken
1/2- inch piece peeled ginger finely minced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes ground white pepper
Pinch of salt
Oil for pan-frying
1/2 small onion quartered

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine the ground pork or chicken with ginger, garlic, five-spice powder (if using), sesame oil, pepper and salt. Stir to combine well. Wet both hands with some water and shape into 24 meatballs. Set aside.

Heat up a wok or skillet with some oil, pan-fry the meatballs until they turn light to golden brown. Drained them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Clean the wok or skillet. Heat it up with a little bit oil. Add the onion and do a few quick stirs. Add the sweet and sour sauce and cook it until it’s thickened, then add the meatballs. Stir to coat well with the sauce. Dish out and serve immediately.

Asian Chicken Meatballs

1 lb. boneless skineless chicken thighs
1/4 small onion diced
3-4 small garlic peeled
1 egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 dashes black pepper
10 cilantro leaves roughly chopped
Mashed green peas optional
Finely diced carrots optional
3 dashes cayenne pepper
Oil for shallow frying

Blend the chicken, onion, garlic, egg white, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor until well combined.

Transfer the ground chicken out in a bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro leaves.

For kids and toddlers friendly meatballs, fold in the the mashed peas and diced carrots. Add the cayenne pepper. Stir to combine well.

Ayam Pelalah (Balinese Shredded Chicken)

400 g chicken breast

Aromatic herbs:
2 salam leaves Indonesian bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves daun jeruk
2 stalks lemongrass , bruised and tie into a knot
Juice from 3 limes limau, optional

Spice paste:
10 red chilies deseeded and sliced
6 bird eye chilies sliced
10 shallots sliced
5 garlic chopped
3 cm fresh turmeric root sliced
½ teaspoon toasted shrimp paste terasi/belachan
1 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
Oil for frying
Salt and sugar to taste

Preheat the oven 180 degree Celsius. Rub the chicken breast with the olive oil or coconut oil and season with salt. Place the chicken on a baking tray and roast until done, about 40 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, combine chilies, shallots, garlic and turmeric, grind to a smooth paste. If you using a blender, make sure to add a little bit of water or cooking oil to blend the ingredients.

Heat 5 tablespoons of the cooking oil in a wok, add in the spice paste, lemongrass, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves, stir-fry until fragrant. Season with salt and sugar to taste. Add in another tablespoon of cooking oil if you want. Remove from the heat and transfer into a bowl, set aside.

Back to the chicken in the oven. When it’s done roasting, remove from the oven and let cool. Discard the skin and deboned, shred the meat into medium-thick strips. Take a spoonful of the spice paste, combine with the chicken meat with the spice paste, toss well until the chicken until the chicken is perfectly coated with the spice paste. Add another spoon of the spice paste if not well coated. Serve the remaining spice paste as a side or as sambal.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, place half of the chicken and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, repeat the same for the remaining chicken. (I did this step because I found that the shredded chicken meat was a bit wet after being mixed with the spice paste so by doing the quick stir-fry, the texture is what I wanted, a slightly dried up shredded chicken that I love. If you use charcoal to grill the chicken, coal-grill, other than oven grill/roasting, I don’t think of this step is required.)

Transfer the chicken onto a a serving plate and squeeze the juice of the lime before serving.

Recipe Notes
The limau lime (jeruk limo/nasnaran Mandarin), or jeruk sambal is used for enhancing the flavor of sambal and sauces. It’s commonly used in Balinese cooking. The fruit is small with a smooth skin surface, it releases an aromatic and citrucy smell when it’s touched and squeezed.

Char Siu Chicken

1 lb 450 g bone-in chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic minced

Char Siu Sauce:
2 pieces Chinese fermented red bean curd optional
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing wine or rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
3 1/2 oz 100 g/8.5 tablespoons sugar

Debone the chicken thighs and keep the skin on. Click here to learn how.

In a bowl, mix all the Char Siu Sauce ingredients together. Stir to mix well. Add the garlic, chicken and the Char Siu Sauce together. Stir to coat well. (You may use half of the Char Siu Sauce to marinate the chicken and save the other half).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the skin is nicely charred. Slice the chicken into pieces and top with sesame seeds. Save the dripping and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Spicy Korean Chicken

1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs

Marinade:
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Korean chili paste gochujang
1 teaspoon Korean red chili powder gochugaru or regular chili powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1- inch piece ginger peeeled and minced
3 cloves garlic minced
Salt to taste

Slice the chicken thighs horizontally to make thinner pieces of meat. Slice each piece of chicken thigh (depends on its thickness) into 2 or 3 horizontal pieces. Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients in the Marinade in a bowl, whisk it to make sure the Korean chili paste (gochujang) is completely dissolved. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or best for two hours.

Grill the chicken until slightly charred and completely cooked through. You may also pan-fried the chicken on a skillet or pan, or bake in the oven at 400F for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Mandarin Chicken

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
Oil for pan-frying
Chopped scallion for garnishing

Sauce:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
3 slices peeled ginger

Heat up a skillet and pan-fry the chicken on both sides until cooked. You may grill the chicken or pan-fry using a cast-iron grill pan. Cool off and sliced into pieces, set aside.

Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat up on medium heat until the sauce slightly thickens. Discard the ginger slices.

Drizzle the Sauce on top of the chicken and garnish with the scallion. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

1 1/2 s lb skin-on deboned chicken thighs
Lime wedges for garnishing
Chopped cilantro for garnishing

Marinade:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems and leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 heaping teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.

Whisk all the Marinade ingredients together in a big bowl, mix well. Add the chicken into the Marinade, stir to coat well. Marinate for 15 minutes but best for 2 hours.

Heat up a skillet and pan-fry the chicken with the skin-side down until slightly browned. Turn over and pan-fry the other side of the chicken until slightly browned.

Transfer the skillet into oven and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken and the Marinade residual (after baking) to a serving platter (discard the oil), squirt some fresh lime juice and garnish with cilantro, serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
Make sure you use an oven-safe skillet or pan before baking the chicken in the oven. You may also grill the chicken. For the chicken, you can use boneless and skinless chicken breast/chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs.

Chili Lime Chicken

2 – 2.5 lbs skin on chicken thighs or breasts

Marinade:
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons fresh lime zest
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped finely
2 jalapeño chopped finely
4 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste

Rinse the chicken thighs, remove the bones, leave the skin on, and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

Get a big bowl, mixing all the ingredients of the Marinade together using a whisk. Make sure the Marinade is well combined together.

Add chicken to the Marinade, make sure to stir and coat the chicken evenly. Marinate for 2 hours.

Fire up the grill, brush a little bit of oil on the surface. Add a little bit of the garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno from the Marinade on top of the chicken and grill them until they turn golden brown and charred on both sides. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
You can make this chili lime chicken with a cast-iron grill pan or regular skillet, or bake in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F and bake it for about 20-25 minutes or until the skin becomes brown and charred. You can also use skinless and boneless chicken thighs or breasts.