I love the way amazing food can conjure up vivid memories. I first tasted satay years ago at my mate Woody's 18th birthday party - his wonderful Malaysian mum had made chicken satay skewers. I can remember thinking that it was possibly the most delicious thing I had EVER eaten.
I just love the fresh vibrant flavours of a noodle salad, a riot of textures and flavours - brought together with a zingy, aromatic dressing. Year-round versatility, you can incorporate whatever fresh veg or salad happens to be in season at the time, or lurking in your fridge and needs using up.
Khao Soi is a noodle soup from Northern Thailand, packed full of flavour. It's spicy, it's fresh, it's fragrant, there is so much going on - you'll love it. The base of the soup is pretty similar to a red curry so to keep things simple, I've just used our brilliant Thai red curry paste.
The key to making this salad great is to have a variety to textures and flavours all wrapped up an amazing peanut satay dressing. We are incredibly lucky to have the amazingPing Coombeson our doorstep, the winner of Masterchef in 2014. Ping is such a talent in the kitchen and a brand ambassador for Jimmy's Sate Sauce...
There is a fantastic chef called Samin Nosrat who talks about the basic elements of cooking - check out her book "Salt Fat Acid Heat" - it's won loads of awards. At the heart of good cooking lies good decision making and the primary decision regarding heat is whether to cook slowly over gently heat or quickly over intense heat. Cooking food over charcoal or wood on a BBQ can be a combination of both, the skill lies in deciding the perfect moment to start cooking. It is a brilliant way to introduce an extra layer of flavour...
Vietnamese cuisine is a real melting pot of flavours. It's heavily influenced by the French who occupied the country during the 19th Century so you'll see ingredients like French baguettes and pate commonly being eaten. Mix those up with more traditional South East Asian ingredients like noodles, chilli and coconut, add in wonderfully fragrant herbs and you have something remarkable. Vietnamese food is about fine-tuning your tasting skills to balance out sweet, sour, salty, umami, bitter and hot flavours. It's also about combining perfect textures, crunchy vegetables and silky meat or fish to create the perfect harmony of taste.
Gyozas are little, half moon shaped dumplings made out of a hot water, wheat flour pastry and stuffed with pork, duck, chicken and vegetables. They are generally steamed before being crisped up in a pan and served with a dipping sauce. We think of Gyozas as being Japanese, in fact they actually originated in China but were adopted by the Japanese as they are soooooo good.
Although it’s the national dish of both Malaysia and Singapore, Laksa can be found right across South East Asia, it’s basically comfort food. The fragrant, noodle soup has hundreds of variations but it’s always so popular and my version is really quick to whip up on a busy midweek evening.
Great flavour bread and you can really taste the different grains. Absolutely delicious. One of, if not the, best flours I’ve ever used for making my own bread. Would definitely recommend you give this one a try and I’m sure it will become one of your favourites too.