Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Supper Club

Calling all ghosts, ghouls, witches and vamps in Bangkok! Mango Ginger is delighted to reveal the menu for this Saturday's Halloween Supper Club (27th October). Brace yourselves for an  evening of devilishly good food and fun, where the where the blood runs cold and the curries hot. This is our largest event so far with 16 guests.

The event is now fully booked. Those of you with a seat at the table will be sent an email with directions to the secret location in the next couple of days. After dinner, those who would like can join the creatures of the night out on the town. If this is your first supper club, please read up on the event here before you come. There are no strict rules but it's good to understand how and why we do things.
Dress: Spooky, surreal and comedy fancy dress is strongly encouraged – fangs, blood, cloaks…whatever turns you on!
Price: 500 THB. BYO drinks. There is no corkage fee. Please bring plenty to drink. You'll stay for longer than you expect and probably drink more than you thought you would. You are welcome to take it home if you don't finish it. Please don't rely on us or other guests to make sure there is enough.
The Feast
To Welcome

 A potent potion

To Start:

Steak through the heart
Cubes of delicately Indian spiced beef steak in a tangy tomato chutney
(aubergine version for veggie guests)

Thai’d up Bloody Mary prawn cocktail
Red prawn salad with a spicy Thai bloody mary sauce
(mushroom version for vegetarians)

Dragons’ claws
Sugar snap pea tempura with a soy and spring onion dipping sauce

Main Event

 Devilled Malaysian seafood wands
Minced prawn, flounder and salmon kebabs with Malaysian curry spices, coconut and lime and a crunchy peanut dipping sauce

Fiendishly good butter chicken
Rich, spicy Moghul Indian curry
(tofu version for vegetarians)

Jack’o lantern curry
Pumpkin Thai red curry

Jeweled chucumber salad
Cooling cucumber, lime and coriander salad with pomegranate

Cauldrons of cardamom rice

Bitter Sweet Ending

Death by chocolate
Small cauldrons of spiced chocolate mousse served with a potent chocolate martini shot

All of our curry pastes, marinades and sauces are made from scratch. Don’t recognize some of the dishes? Because many are originals, designed just for you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Supper Club 4 - September 2012

August's supper club will be taking place on Thursday 13th September at 7:30pm. Eight lucky diners will be treated to an exciting Asian Fusion feast - dishes you won't find anywhere else in Bangkok. A Supper club is a social even that combines eating great food with making new friends in Bangkok and the rare treat of home cooking. Here's where you can learn more about supper clubs  - everything you need to know to be the perfect supper club guest.

Following the success of August's Supper Club, I will be teaming up with fellow Bangkok-based food blogger (and former Supper Club guest), Ramya aka the Mistress of Spices. She is a lot of fun, her food is amazing and I'm addicted to her blog. Between us we combine South and South East Asian flavours.

After dinner drinks (and more drinks) at August's supper club

As ever, it's a fixed price (500 THB) for a cocktail and three courses and it's BYO drinks. There are just eight seats around the table so get in there fast if you'd like one! Please contact me or Ramya to book your seat and we'll send you all the details. And here's the feast we have in store for you:

To Welcome & Unwind:
Tamarind Martini

To Start - Glamorous Asian Fusion Trio:
Duck summer rolls with hoisin and cashew dipping sauce (mushroom for veggies)
Chana masala bisque shots
Japanese salmon, sesame and wasabi spoons

Main Event - Curries & More
Better than restaurant palak paneer
Seafood and pineapple Thai curry
Singaporean chicken satay and cucumber relish (tofu for veggies)

Sweet Ending from India
Mango lassi ice-cream

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Slow Cooked Massaman Chicken Curry

I am trying to embrace a slower pace of life. I put it down to my German upbringing that I am always set to ‘high efficiency’ mode. Even when I am having a Thai massage, I find myself going through a mental checklist of all the things I’ll do when I’m done. When I cook, I am simmering, chopping, searing, seasoning several different dishes or components at once. But I know that life as a high-speed muliti-tasker will eventually take its toll on my body and soul. So I am trying to learn from the saffron-robed monks that I often see near my office, serenely going about their day with a gentle pace and smile.

I still have a way to go before I find myself spending hours in the lotus position, or address my unhealthy relationship with my outlook calendar. But I’m making small changes, including experimenting with slow cooking. Slow cooking is a great metaphor and advert for the slower life. The depth of flavour and the gentleness of texture that you get from cooking something over a low heat for a long time cannot be achieved through a fiery flash in the pan. And Massaman (an under-celebrated hero of Thai cuisine in my opinion), with its unusual combination of herbs and spices, lends itself to the method perfectly.  I don’t own a slow cooker because I like to keep my kitchen appliances to a bare minimum. Instead I use a good heavy casserole dish and a conventional oven on a low heat.

I served this at my last supper club and ever scrap was eaten. It’s a great dinner party dish. All the work is done hours before your guests arrive, leaving you to enjoy the company and relax.


4 chicken legs and 4 thighs

3 tbsp massaman curry paste (you can buy this from good supermarkets, or make your own using the recipe here)
2 large cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
400ml coconut milk
200ml good quality chicken stock
4 small potatoes
1 onion
2 inch knob ginger
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar (or palm sugar if you have it)
2 tbsp tamarind paste (if you can’t find this, mix together lime juice and a little tomato ketchup)
1 tsp salt
100g salted peanuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 120°C.
  2. Finely shred the ginger. Chop the onion into small chunks. Set both aside.
  3. In a pan, dry roast the cinnamon and cardamom a until you can start to smell them toasting. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In the same pan dry roast the peanuts also for about 2 minutes until they are slightly browned and smell roasted. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and then coarsely chop or grind.
  5. In a casserole dish, heat a little vegetable oil and add the chicken. Gently brown for about 2-3 minutes on each side and then remove from the heat. In the same pan, add the curry paste and fry for about 2 mins in the oil left in the pan, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the stock, coconut milk, dry spices, tamarind, fish sauce, salt, sugar, onion and ¾ of the peanuts. Stir well and continue cooking over a medium heat for about 3-4 mins, stirring often.
  7. Remove from the heat, and return the chicken to the pot. Add the potatoes and make sure everything is submerged in the sauce. Put the lid on and put in the oven.
  8. Cook for about 4-5 hours, or until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked all the way through.
  9. Serve with cardamom rice and garnish with the remaining peanuts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Supper Club 3 - August 2012

August's supper club will be taking place on Thursday 16th August at 7:30pm. Eight lucky diners will be treated to the best home-cooked Asian Fusion food that Mango Ginger has to offer. A Supper club is a social even that combines eating great food with making new friends in Bangkok. Here's where you can learn more about supper clubs.

And things just got even more exciting. This month I will be teaming up with fellow Bangkok-based food blogger (and former Supper Club guest), Ramya aka the Mistress of Spices. She is a lot of fun, her food is amazing and I'm addicted to her blog. I couldn't pick a better partner in crime.

Here's the menu for the evening:

To welcome:
Thai Sangria

To start:

Green mango, mint and seafood salad
Chilli paneer spring rolls
Spiced roasted eggplant dip and pita chips

Main event:
Slow-cooked Massaman chicken curry
Mirchi Ka Salan (bell peppers in a peanut-sesame-tamarind sauce)
Pomegranate jewelled chucumber salad
Cardamom rice

Sweet ending:
Mango ginger and coriander cheese cake

Bring your own alcoholic or soft drinks to enjoy with dinner. No corkage charge.
All for a bargain 400 THB per person.

If you would like to join us please email Ramya or I via our blogs or facebook pages. There are only eight seats at the table so book your place quickly! We look forward to supper clubbing with you :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Salmon Tom Yum Soup

Holidays, good food and friends are, in my humble opinion, the key to happiness. The second I am on a beach with a belly full of seafood, I instantly relax and all my troubles drift of to sea.

Last week I got back from another long trip to Bangladesh and needed urgently to recharge the batteries. For me, when I feel this way, I autopilot down to Railay – the most wonderful of Thailand’s beaches in Krabi province. It’s my happy place. I lived there, I learned to rock climb there, I got married there and have many good friends there. At the risk of turning this blog into a Railay tourism promotion piece, I strongly advise anyone holidaying on the Andaman coast to visit.

And it just got a little bit better because my favourite restaurant which closed last year has returned with a vengeance. A lady called Sao serves up some of the best Thai food I have eaten in Thailand from her shack marked simply, ‘Local Thai Food’. There is no fancy décor – just wooden tables and plastic crockery. The key to her success is simple. It’s all about quality ingredients (the biggest prawns, freshest vegetables, wholesome brown rice), big portions and low prices. Even in low season, there is often a queue.

Behind the scenes in the kitchen

Her tom yum soup is the most flavoursome I’ve tasted so I just had to get the recipe. This is a classic Thai dish, a hot and sour soup packed with tasty herbs. Sao makes hers with prawns, which is the classic way the dish is served.

Tom Yum cooking in the wok

I was very privileged to be allowed behind the scenes and learn some of Sao’s secrets – she cooked, I watched, learned and took notes.

Learning from the master!

When I got back to Bangkok I recreated the dish using salmon which was so tasty. This is easily my favourite soup ever.

Time: 30 mins
Rating: super easy
Serves: 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter

2 salmon fillets
2 lemongrass sticks
2 inch knob of galangal or ginger
8 kaffir lime leaves
Handful of mushrooms (I used black fungus - any variety will do)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
8 spring onions
2 tomatoes
Bunch coriander
2 tbsp chilli paste
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp lime juice (about 4 limes)
8 tbsp coconut milk
2 small red chillies (optional)
800ml water


  1. Remove the skin from the salmon and cut into large chunks.
  2. Then prepare the herbs. Slice the lemongrass diagonally about half a centimetre in thickness. Slice the galangal or ginger into thick slices – no need to peel it. Thickly slice the garlic.
  3. Cut the onion into chunks about 1cm in size. Trim the spring onions and cut into pieces about 3-4cm in length. Cut the mushrooms into quarters. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and coarsely chop the coriander.
  4. Bring the water to the boil. Add the chilli paste, sugar and salt and stir well. Add the lemongrass, galangal/ginger, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the lime juice and stir well. Then add the spring onion, tomato, coriander and coconut milk and stir well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. If you would like the dish spicy, bruise the small red chillies and add these to the pot now. Taste the liquid – the flavours are yours to adjust. Add more salt, sugar, lime or chilli according to your tastes. Then add the salmon and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring gently until the salmon is cooked.
  6. Remove from the heat and serve in large bowls either on its own or with steamed rice. The lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves are only for flavour – don’t eat these as they’re very tough!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Luxury Thai Veggie Stir fry

Here is the standard conversation I have when I tell people I have a food blog and/or that I host supper clubs:

Me: “I have an Asian fusion food blog called Mango Ginger. And I host supper clubs where I cook the recipes”
Random person: “Really? How interesting. Why?”
Me: “Why what?”
RP: “Why do you do it? Do you make money from it?”
Me: “No, not really.”
RP: “Do you want to open a restaurant?”
Me: “No. I already have a job. I just like food. And I like other people who like food.”
RP: “Oh. How interesting [or other such baffled or dismissive remark].”
Me: Sighhhh [with the air of a misunderstood artist]

But it makes perfect sense to me. And it makes perfect sense to my new friend Ramya. I met her online (as all the kids are doing these days), sharing recipes on a food bloggers’ forum call Food Buzz – she has an awesome blog called Mistress of Spices, check it out. It turns out that in addition to our shared food obsession and similar day jobs, we both live in Bangkok. So we have also met up in real life and Ramya was a guest and reviewer at my last supper club. And that, my friends, is why I blog – because it’s a passport into a world of passionate an interesting foodies.

Anyway, Ramya is a veggie and I realised when I was making her tofu dish for the supper club that I have neglected my inner vegetarian of late. It’s a common misconception that Thai food is veggie friendly – most dishes contain meat or at least fish sauce or dried shimps. But the good news is that it’s not hard to make a few tweaks and substitutions to come up with a meat-free delight. As a former veggie, being served this would have made me leap up and hug the person who had cooked it.

Time: 30 mins
Rating: Easy. Luxury doesn’t have to be hard work.
Serves: 2


100g shitake mushrooms
100g oyster mushrooms
1 carrot
100g sugar snap peas
150g tofu (either firm or deep fried)
40g macademia nuts
1 clove garlic
1 small red chilli
½ red onion
1 tbsp tamarind paste (if you can't find it, mix lime juice with a little ketchup)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar


  1. Finely slice the red onion and garlic. Finely chop the chilli.
  2. Then prepare the vegetables: cut both kinds of mushroom into large chunks. Trim the sugar snap peas. Cut the carrot into thin slices.
  3. Cut the tofu into large chunks.
  4. Heat a little oil in a wok over a high flame. Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry for about 30 seconds stirring constantly. Add the tamarind paste, soy sauce and sugar and stir well. Next add the tofu and stir till coated. Continue frying for about a minute.
  5. Add the remaining vegetables. Continue to cook stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened a little but not soggy. Add the nuts and cook for another minute.
  6. Remove from the wok and serve with steamed rice.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lemongrass Chicken Wings

Chicken wings have had some bad press. They have been hijacked by the greasy late-night fried chicken joints, where they have been served dripping in oil, claiming to contain secret herbs and spices (often so secret that you can’t taste them behind all the salt), and served with soggy fries and budget coleslaw.

This recipe transforms them into an exciting starter. There is something inherently inelegant about them – you must abandon cutlery, pick them up and nibble away. But this also makes them fun and informal. And they’re packed with flavour, they don’t dry out like chicken breasts can, and they’re a super cheap cut.

Lemongrass is one of my favourite ingredients in South East Asian cooking. Not only is it distinctly and powerfully fragrant, but it also has therapeutic properties as a diuretic, antiflu and antimicrobial agent – an all-round anti oxidant and heeling herb. So you can actually feel smug about tucking into these chicken wings! This is an awesome starter and I’ll definitely be serving it at one of my supper clubs.

Time: 1 hour plus marinating time
Rating: Super easy
Serves: Makes 16 pieces – serves 4 people as a starter

8 chicken wings
1 small hot red chilli
2 garlic cloves
4 stalks lemon grass
1 inch knob ginger
5 tbsp coconut milk
Juice and zest of lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
Generous pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. First prepare the marinade. Finely chop the chilli including the seeds. Finely chop the ginger, garlic and lemongrass, discarding the tough outer stalks. Turn the ingredients into a thick paste, either using a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Take time to do this properly so you have a smooth paste.
  2. Add the lime juice, zest, fish sauce, coconut milk, salt & pepper, sugar and oil. Stir well until all the ingredients are well-combined.
  3. Prepare the chicken wings. Using a sharp knife, remove the small outer part of the wing (the small pointy section) and discard. Cut the remaining part of the wing in two along the joint.
  4. Put the wings in a large bowl and cover with the marinade. Toss so that they’re evenly coated. Put in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least half an hour, several hours if possible.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the wings in a roasting dish, leaving a little space between each one. Bake in the oven for about 40 mins until they are nicely browned and sticky.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Crispy Bacon Thai Flavour Bombs

Whenever I am asked what I miss about London, my answer jumps out without a moment’s hesitation: my friends. No matter how wonderful the people I meet along my travels, there is a big part of my heart which is reserved for the friends with whom I have over a decade of shared history. We have seen one another at our best (celebrating graduating, weddings, new jobs) and our worst (monster hangovers, heartbreaks, wardrobe malfunctions). I spent the last night of my recent trip to London with one such gang. And what better way to show them how much I love them than with a Thai-inspired feast?

Miang Kham is a Thai snack which is usually served on a betel leaf. The components (which include some but not all of those I have used here and usually dried shrimp) are assembled onto the leaf, wrapped up eaten in one go. The first time I tasted one, my heart skipped a beat. The flavours are so intense, exciting and unexpected. The more you chew, the more the different layers of flavour make themselves known – sweetness, sourness, salt, and spice. This is one of my favourite ever canapés and was a huge hit with the girls. Nothing says I love you like a Thai-inspired flavour bomb!

The lovely Nat, Anna and Ailsa, about to tuck in

12-16 baby gem lettuce leaves
1 stick lemongrass
2 small shallots or ¼ red onion
Small handful coriander leaves
Small handful mint leaves
1 inch knob ginger
1 lime
2 small red chillies
3 tbsp grated or (unsweetened) dessicated coconut
3 tbsp peanuts
6 rashers bacon

For the sauce:
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
Juice 1 lime


Time: 30 mins
Rating: So easy
Serves: Makes 12-16 canapés

  1. Firstly prepare the sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients
  2. Then prepare the coconut. In a pan, dry roast the coconut until it is light brown. It can burn easily so stir constantly and don’t take your eyes off it. It will keep cooking once you take it off the heat, so take it off when it’s a little lighter than you want.
  3. Then dry roast the peanuts in the same way till a little darkened all over. Allow to cool and then finely grind in a food processor or a mortar and pestle.
  4. Dice the ginger and shallots into small chunks (but not minced).
  5. Finely slice the lime and then chop into small chunks – including the skin (really!). This needs to be chopped as finely as possible because big chunks of lime rind will taste bitter.
  6. Roughly chop the mint and coriander.
  7. Very thinly slice the lemongrass.
  8. Finely chop the chillies. Keep the seeds in if you want it spicy, remove them if not.
  9. Cut the bacon into thin slices width-ways (about half a centimetre). In a pan, cook the bacon over a high heat until crispy.
  10. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and combine. Pour the sauce over and mix again.
  11. Spoon a little of the mixture into each of the lettuce leaves – don’t overload them, they should be small enough so they can be easily picked up as a canapé.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mango Ginger Supper Club 2

Last Thursday I hosted the second Mango Ginger Supper Club. The eight places filled up almost as soon as I posted the event, which I think reflects three good reasons why the Supper Club model works in Bangkok:

Firstly, Thai people (and people who live in Thailand) are obsessed with food. It’s such a big part of culture and life here that foodie events will always be a big hit. Secondly, it is far cheaper to eat out than cook, so it is a rare treat to be invited over to somebody’s place to eat home-cooked food and bring your own wine. And finally, Bangkok is a cosmopolitan city, home to people from all over the world, from all walks of life, doing every imaginable job. It is near impossible not to have fun and interesting people at the table.

Thursday night was no exception. My eight wonderful guests (and  my lovely helper – a guest from the last event) ate, drank, talked and laughed until well into the night. One of my guests, Ramya, a fellow food blogger and all-round awesome chick wrote up a lovely account of the evening on her blog – check out what she made of it and while you’re there, some of her delicious vegetarian recipes right here.

Watch this space for the next Supper Club dates in August!

Here’s what I served in July:

 To Welcome
Thaijito Cocktail

To Start
Asian fusion mezze of:
Miang Kam – little gem lettuce flavour bombs with crispy bacon (or veggie)
Bangladeshi-style butternut and red lentil hummus
Mina’s Thai Island fish cakes 

Main Event
Spiced crispy duck breasts with ginger and orange sauce
served with sesame noodles and Chinese greens

For vegetarians: spiced blackened tofu served as above

Sweet Ending
Creamy mango and cardamom mousse
with soft pistachio cookies

Fragrant Bombay Fish Curry

When I first got into the humanitarian line of work, one of my first work trips was tp India. I was visiting projects in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for a small NGO and squeezed in a couple of days in Delhi and Mumbai (or Bombay as it was still ok to call it back then). Wide-eyed would be an understatement. I was so madly excited by everything – by India, by my job, by all the people I met. And of course, by the food. That trip sparked my life-long love affair with Indian food. There is one dish that stands out from that first trip and it’s a fish curry that I ate on my last night in Mumbai. I can’t remember where I ate it or what it was called but I remember being bowled over by it.

Over ten years on, I had to find a way to recreate it. Given how much time has elapsed since, I had to summon some amazing Proustian powers of sensory recollection to recall the flavours and figure out the ingredients…and then revert to the more modern day technique of googling. It turns out that there is such a thing as Bombay fish curry. I made it according to the recipes I found but it wasn’t quite right. It needed tweaking to get to the taste combination that has stayed on my lips all these years – more tamarind, less chilli (just a little heat), a touch of sugar, and fresh ginger. This version is it. When I  tasted it, I was suddenly ten years younger and back in Bombay.

There is something magical about this dish. It’s light but so fragrant – the cinnamon and cloves are powerful  and make it taste of lands far far away. The tamarind gives a bit of a punch and the coconut mellows everything out. I would be proud to serve this at any dinner party.

Fish curry cooking in my wok

Time: 30 mins + 30 mins marinating time
Rating: A little effort for the paste, the rest is super easy
Serves: 4


800g white fish fillets (I used flounder but cod, haddock, or barracuda would do)
300ml Coconut milk
1 small onion
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

For the paste:
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves
1 inch knob ginger
3 small green chillies
1.5 tbsp tamarind paste
3 tbsp oil

Small bunch fresh coriander to garnish
Basmati rice to serve


  1. Start by making the paste. In a pan dry roast the dry spices (the first 5 paste ingredients) for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until they smell fragrant. Grind all the spices in a grinder or mortar and pestle.
  2. Cut the fish into large chunks about 2 inches long, remove any bones and place in a dish. Coat the fish with about half of the paste and rub it in evenly using your fingers. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. If you are serving with rice, put the rice on as you are taking the fish out of the fridge so it will be ready at the same time as the fish.
  4. Once the fish has marinated, heat a little oil in a pan and fry the pieces in batches so gently browned – about 30 seconds on each side.
  5. Remove the fish pieces from the pan once browned, and set aside on a plate.
  6. Finely chop the onion and fry in the same pan used for the fish, adding a drop more oil if needed for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the remaining paste and then the coconut milk, salt and the sugar and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Gently add the fish, making sure all the pieces are covered with the sauce. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the fish is flaky but not tough.
  8. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander to garnish and serve with basmati rice.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Japanese Salmon Fish Cakes with Ginger Wasabi Mayo

For years I was a faux-vegetarian. I didn’t meat but I ate fish and seafood in abundance. I was well aware of the hypocrisy of this, and under no illusion that fish was any more a vegetable than pork. But it was as large a compromise as I could make, between my inner foodie and inner hippy. In the end, years of working in rural parts of Africa made vegetarianism nutritionally, logistically and culturally unviable. So that was the end of that and meat was back on the menu.

During my fish-eating vegetarian years, friends and caterers didn’t know what to do with me and they’d skip straight to the safe bet of a fillet of salmon, baked or grilled. Salmon became the most boring and predictable food to me…until I moved to Thailand, where it is imported, expensive and a rare treat. So on my trip back to London I was excited to pick up some fresh Scottish salmon. This recipe is a far cry from the drab fillet. It is rich, luxurious and exciting.

Time: 40 mins
Rating: Easy – requires careful handing during the frying stage
Serves:  makes 9 fishcakes


700g skinless, boneless salmon fillets
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 spring onions
1.5 tbsp pickled sushi ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Plenty of vegetable oil for frying

For the mayo
150 ml mayonnaise
1 tbsp pickled sushi ginger
½ tsp dark soy sauce
½ tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp wasabi paste

To serve: large bag of spinach, drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil
A shredded spring onion to garnish


  1. Very finely chop the salmon into small chunks about half a centimetre in size. You can use a food processor but I think small chunks of fish makes for a juicier fish cake than a paste.
  2. Very finely chop the ginger and add to the fish. Cut the spring onions in half lengthways and then finely slice width-ways. Add to the salmon, along with all the other fish cake ingredients. Stir well and put in the fridge while you make the mayo.
  3. For the mayo, very finely chop the pickled ginger. Place in a bowl and add the remaining mayo ingredients. Stir well, taste and adjust the flavours to your preference.
  4. Heat about half a centimetre of vegetable oil in a pan until the oil is very hot. Using two tablespoons, spoon out the mixture and drop it into the oil. Use the spoons to neaten the edges. Don’t over-crowd the pan – only do a couple at a time.
  5. After 2-3 minutes very carefully turn the cakes over and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. Turn again and cook for a further minute on each side.
  6. Remove from the oil and place on a plate with some kitchen roll to absorb excess oil. Cover with another piece of kitchen roll to keep warm. Cook the remaining salmon in batches.
  7. At the last minute cook the spinach. In a large wok heat a splash of water and a little soy sauce. Add the spinach and cook on a high heat, mixing constantly, until the spinach is wilted but not soggy. Remove from the heat and drizzle with sesame oil.
  8. Serve the fish cakes on a bed of spinach with a helping of the mayo and garnish with the shredded spring onion.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mango Ginger and Coriander Cheesecake

In my quest to improve my dessert-making skills I have been following a fantastic baking blog, Sweet2EatBaking. The wonderful Lisa posts amazing sweet dishes which leave me in awe. And she very kindly allowed me to make a guest post of my newest cheesecake recipes.

It's my most creative ever dessert and I think it's the perfect ending to an Asian fusion dinner. And it's super simple to make - no baking required!

Please visit Lisa's blog for the recipe, and while you're at it, take time to check out her amazing work.

Read the full recipe on Lisa's blog right here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spiced Duck Breasts with Ginger and Orange Sauce

I have just returned from a weekend in Paris where I ate and ate and ate. I can still feel the red meat, cheese and wine coursing through my veins. My poor body is crying out for something green, something that crunches other than the crust of a baguette. But I’m choosing to ignore those cries for now.

On the Eurostar home I was thinking about duck. I ate some delicious duck in Paris – both a confit and smoked in a salad. It was lovely but I am more convinced than ever that no one does duck justice like the Chinese. And after less than a week in Europe, I already find myself hankering after the Asian flavours waiting for me back in Thailand. China town is the place to go for a duck fix – they are hanging everywhere, spiced and slow cooked.

Roast duck in Bangkok's China Town

In honour of my renewed conviction that this is the only style in which to cook duck, I have come up with this dish. It’s a modern day Asian-fusion twist on the eighties classic, duck a l’orange. The spices, the crispy skin, the little acidity in the sauce are a perfect marriage. This is awesome dinner party fare.

Time: 40 minutes
Rating: Easy
Serves: 2

2 plump duck breasts
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder

For the sauce:
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
2 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
180ml good quality orange juice
180ml glass chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 whole star anise
½ tsp corn flour
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Egg noodles and steam vegetables to serve


  1. If you’re going to make your own Chinese five spices rub, start with this. The recipe for this is the same as I used for an earlier tofu recipe.
  2. Then prepare the ingredients for your sauce. Very finely chop the onion and mince the ginger and garlic. Stir the corn flour into a little cold water to form a smooth paste.
  3. Next prepare your duck breasts. Score the skin of the duck breasts several times with a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut into the flesh. Sprinkle over the Chinese five spice powder, and salt, then rub into the skin.
  4. Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan over a low-medium heat – duck contains lots of fat so you won’t need much. Place the duck skin-side down in the pan slowly fry for 10-12 minutes. Cooking the duck slowly for a while in this way will produce a lovely crispy skin.
  5. While the duck is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan and cook the onion until softened. Add the ginger, garlic and vinegar and sugar. Cook until the vinegar has almost cooked away. Stir in the star anise, soy sauce, stock and orange juice. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer. Add the corn flour paste and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Back to the duck - turn the breasts over and cook for a further 10 minutes or so. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the duck you’re using and how pink you like it. It should still be a little pink in the middle but not bloody.
  7. Once the duck is done, remove it to the pan and leave it to rest. This will prevent the juices from spilling out onto the plates. While the duck is resting, keep the sauce warm and prepare some egg noodles according to packet instructions and steam some vegetables (I used broccoli and mushrooms).
  8. To serve, carve the duck into thick strips and carefully place the slices on a layer of noodles, with one star anise on top. Place the vegetables around the duck and then gently pour the sauce over the plate.

Cooking ahead? You can prepare the duck breast in advance and leave them in the fridge with the spices already rubbed in. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated.