Chicken Teriyaki with Miso Roasted Eggplant, Spinach and Rice

chicken teriyaki, miso roasted eggplant, spinach and rice

chicken teriyaki, miso roasted eggplant, spinach and rice

This recipe brings together three of our favourite Japanese dishes into one little bowl of goodness. We serve this as an easy weeknight dinner and take leftovers to work the next day, or you could bulk the meal up with some edamame, sashimi or tempura to create a Japanese dinner party for friends.

We have adapted these recipes from Adam Liaw’s wonderful books The Zen Kitchen and Asian After Work. This recipe serves 4 people.

Teriyaki Sauce:

  • 125ml soy sauce
  • 100ml mirin
  • 100ml sake
  • 40g caster sugar

Mix together all ingredients in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then set aside until cool. You will have enough sauce for many meals, store in a bottle or jar in the cupboard until ready to use.

Miso Roasted Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplants, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt

Miso Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • 2 Tbsp water

Heat the oven to 220°C. Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast the eggplant for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is beginning to brown. Mix together the miso dressing ingredients, and pour over the eggplant. Stir well to ensure the eggplant is evenly coated and then continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the dressing becomes less watery and the eggplant begins to caramelise. Remove from the oven and set aside.

miso roasted eggplant

miso roasted eggplant

Teriyaki Chicken:

  • 1 small brown onion
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Teriyaki Sauce

Finely slice the onion and set aside. Slice the chicken thighs into small wedges and toss in the cornflour. Heat the oil in a non-stick frypan over high heat, then add the onion. Cook until the onion begins to brown, then add the chicken. Continue frying until the chicken is browned on all sides, but not cooked through. Add the Teriyaki Sauce and toss the chicken and onion to coat. Cook until the sauce reduces to a glaze and the chicken is cooked to your liking, then set aside.

chicken teriyaki

chicken teriyaki

Soy Spinach:

  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

Wash the spinach in cold water and leave to soak for around 10 minutes. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then using chopsticks or tongs, hold the root and stems of the spinach in the water. After 10 seconds push the leaves of the spinach plant into the water as well. Cook for one minute then remove and drain in cold water. Once the spinach is cold, squeeze out as much of the water as possible, remove the roots and slice the spinach into 5cm lengths. Pour over the soy sauce and set aside.

To serve:

  • Medium grain white rice
  • Bonito flakes
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Toasted black and white sesame seeds

Add a little rice to each bowl, place some teriyaki chicken beside it, then some spinach, and finally some of the miso roasted eggplant. Sprinkle a pinch of the bonito flakes on the spinach, and scatter some sesame seeds and the spring onions across the chicken, eggplant and rice. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Chicken Asado

Chicken Asado

Chicken Asado

On our recent trip to The Philippines, we spent a week visiting Patrick’s family. As everyone knows, nothing tastes better than your mother’s cooking! We were treated to homemade sinigang, adobo, caldareta and Mommy’s famous Chicken Asado. This recipe is our attempt to replicate the experience of eating your mother’s home cooking, but with modern plating. If you’ve never tried Filipino cuisine, this is a great place to begin. It’s an easy but tasty dish with no challenging ingredients. Let us know if you enjoy it!

This recipe serves 6 people. Serve with rice.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml soy sauce
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 6 whole chicken legs (Marylands)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 85g liver spread or chicken paté
  • 300g tomato passata
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 green chillies, whole
  • salt to taste
  • parsley and sorrel leaves, to garnish

Method:

  1. For the marinade, combine soy sauce and lemon juice in a large bowl and add the chicken legs. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
  2. Cut half of the carrot into matchstick shaped batons approximately 3cm by ½cm. Slice the remaining carrot and the potatoes into ½cm thick slices. Using a 4cm cookie cutter, cut the sliced vegetables into rounds. Then, using a 2.5cm cookie cutter, punch a hole through the middle of the carrot circles, to create a carrot ring and a smaller circle.
  3. In a pan, heat the oil and then shallow fry the potato and carrot until tender and brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the liquid. Fry the chicken in the same pan, browning both sides but not cooking all the way through. Remove and set aside. Once the chicken cools a little, french the bone by cutting through the meat around the bone 1 inch from the base of the leg. Remove the skin and flesh by pulling it from the bone. Clean the bone by scraping away any remaining meat with a knife.
  5. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until slightly brown, then add the liver spread or paté and continue to sauté until this has browned as well.
  6. Add the tomato passata, brown sugar, pepper, water and marinade. Mix together and add the chicken pieces back to the pan. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Add the bay leaves and chillies and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Strain the sauce through a fine metal sieve into a large bowl, and use a stick blender to emulsify the sauce. Wipe out the pan and return the sauce, then return the pan to a medium heat, reducing the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

To Serve:

Swirl 3 tablespoons of sauce in a circular pattern across each plate. Place a chicken leg on one side of the plate, and pour another tablespoon of sauce on top of the chicken. On the opposite side of the plate, arrange the potato and carrot circles and batons according to your preference. Finely chop some of the parsley and use it to garnish the chicken leg. Decorate the plate with some sorrel and parsley leaves. Sarap!

Traditional Asado

If you’re curious to try a more traditional Asado, or just can’t be bothered with fancy plating, simply change a few steps above.

At Step 2, slice all of the potatoes and carrots into 1/2 cm thick slices.

At Step 4, there’s no need to french the bone.

At the end of Step 8, return the chicken, potatoes and carrot to the pan, stir well and serve immediately with rice.

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

image1If you’re one of the few people who is yet to discover Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, you probably think vegetarian food is bland or boring. This book was a revelation for us when we bought a copy many years ago, and we’ve been fans of Ottolenghi ever since. These recipes are deceptive in their simplicity, in that Ottolenghi allows each featured ingredient to shine, but with a subtle complexity of flavor that enlivens the senses and encourages you to reach for a second helping. Try any of these recipes and you won’t be missing the meat.

Ian’s favourite vegetable is eggplant (aubergine), so the eggplant section in our copy of Plenty is well-thumbed and a little sticky, as all good cookbooks should be. Of all the eggplant recipes we know, this is the prettiest! Served with some chunky sourdough or pita bread, this makes a great entrée, or you could serve it as a side dish.

A note about Za’atar: This Middle Eastern term can refer to the herb thyme, or a blend of thyme, sesame, sumac and salt. We enjoy making our own blend and have listed the ingredients below, or you could simply substitute thyme leaves or buy a pre-made za’atar spice mix. If you make the spice mix, you will have much more than you need for this recipe, but it can be used to season anything from bread or potatoes to roasted or grilled chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tss za’atar spice mix
  • sea salt and black pepper

Sauce:

  • 140ml buttermilk
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil, plus a little drizzle to finish
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of sea salt

Za’atar Spice Mix:

  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.
  2. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting through the green stalk. Using a sharp knife, make a few incisions in the cut side of each eggplant without cutting through the skin on the other side. Repeat the incisions at a 45-degree angle to create a diamond shaped pattern.
  3. Place the prepared eggplant halves cut-side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush them with the olive, continuing to brush until all of the oil has been absorbed. Sprinkle over the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper, and garnish with a few of the lemon thyme sprigs.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft and brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pomegranate and sauce. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl with the cut side against your palm, and bash the skin of the pomegranate with a rolling pin or wooden spoon. The seeds should start falling out through your fingers, continue bashing more forcefully until all the seeds are in the bowl. Sift through the seeds to remove any pieces of white skin or membrane.
  6. For the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  7. To serve, spoon a generous amount of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks (the stalks look pretty, but do not eat them!) Sprinkle za’atar and pomegranate seeds across the top and drizzle with some olive oil.

Popcorn Tacos

20180501_212942One of our favourite cookbook authors is Anna Jones, whose vegetarian recipes are imaginative, tasty and versatile. We have cooked this recipe a few times, and it’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, or a relaxed dinner with friends. We love the way corn is used three ways in this recipe; the spiced popcorn, caramelised corn salsa and corn tortillas. The cayenne pepper adds a nice warm glow to the dish without overpowering the flavours, and the crunch factor of the popcorn makes these tacos extra special. It’s also a fun novelty to serve and always impresses our friends, eve though it’s so easy to make.

We have adapted this recipe from Anna Jones’ “A Modern Way To Eat”. It serves 2 hungry people as a main, or 4 people if you’re serving some appetisers as well.

Spiced Popcorn:

  • olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp popcorn kernels
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Caramelised Corn Salsa:

  • 4 corn on the cob
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
  • 100ml natural yoghurt

To Serve:

  • 2 avocados
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 8 small corn or wheat tortillas, or 4 large tortillas
  • 100g feta cheese, drained and crumbled
  • a bunch of coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. For the popcorn, place a pan on low heat and add a little oil and the popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and shake the pan every now and then to stop the kernels from burning. After a few minutes, the corn will start to pop. Continue shaking the pan every minute or so until the popping stops. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while you mix together the popcorn spices and honey in a small pan. Warm and mix over a low heat. Toss the honey mixture with the popcorn until it is well coated. Set aside.
  2. Cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and fry the kernels over a high heat until they become charred and caramelised. Add the salt and pepper, lime zest and juice, and the cayenne and chilli. Remove from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of the yoghurt. Set aside, covering with aluminium foil to keep the corn warm.
  3. Remove the flesh from the avocados and place in a small bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice and mash together.
  4. Warm your tortillas in a dry frying pan.
  5. To serve, fill each tortilla with some avocado, corn kernels and a dollop of yoghurt. Top with some crumbled feta, a pinch of coriander and a scattering of popcorn. Fold up in your hand and enjoy!

 

 

 

Spinach crepes with goat’s curd and zucchini and pea salad.

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This week’s recipe would be a great dish for a lazy weekend brunch, or an easy midweek dinner. We have adapted these crepes from a recipe by Donna Hay, whose food is always easy but delicious, and who is a master of food styling. We love the freshness of the zucchini and pea salad, contrasted with the creaminess of the goat’s curd and the acidity of the lemon juice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 200g goat’s curd
  • lemon slices, to serve

spinach crepes:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (500ml) almond milk
  • 3 cups (75g) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. To make the spinach crepes, place the flour, eggs, milk, spinach, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Using a hand-held stick blender, blend until smooth. Heat some of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat, then add 80ml of the mixture, swirling to coat the base of the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the pan and set aside, keeping warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.
  2. Place the zucchini, peas, watercress, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Divide the crepes between plates and top with the goat’s curd, salad and lemon slices. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to serve.

Soba noodles with sesame tofu and crunchy cabbage.

 

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This week our recipe is an easy midweek dinner for two, but it’s still packed full of flavour! We adapted this recipe from the wonderful book A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones, which is full of great vegetarian recipes. You won’t miss the meat here, as there is so much interest in the textures and flavours of each component in this dish. We particularly like the quick pickled cabbage which also works well as a side dish for other meals. Best of all, this meal will be on the table in under 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 200g soba noodles
  • ¼ small red cabbage, finely shredded
  • sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • olive oil
  • 200g tofu (smoked tofu if you can find it), cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of toasted sesame seeds
  • small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the broccolini. Cook just for a few minutes, until the broccolini is no longer raw but retains its crispness and colour.
  2. Remove the broccolini with a slotted spoon, keeping the water on the heat. Set aside the broccolini and add the noodles to the pan. Cook according to the packet instructions, or until the noodles are soft with a little bit of bite. Drain, then refresh the noodles in cold water.
  3. Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Mix well with your hands, scrunching the cabbage firmly. Set aside.
  4. Set a non-stick frypan over a medium-high heat and add a splash of oil. Add the tofu and brown it evenly all over. Toss in the sesame seeds and stir to coat, then take the tofu out and set aside.
  5. Return the frypan to the heat with another splash of oil. Add the spring onions and cook until softened. Add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice. Stir and allow to reduce until the mixture becomes a thick, sweet sauce.
  6. Add the drained noodles to the frypan and toss to coat them with the sauce.
  7. Divide the noodles between two bowls, and top each bowl with half the tofu and broccolini, a handful of cabbage, some of the chopped coriander and a scattering of toasted sesame seeds.