Creamy & Tangy Vs. Fragrant & Savoury: a Battle of the Soba NoodlesBy Yun Zhang JohnI must confess, my favourite food in the world is probably noodles. I grew up eating noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner…and snack! Whatever the variation, whichever flavour, as long as it’s in the carbohydrate family, I’m down! But as I got older, carbs from wheat got less and less enthusiastic with me. Often feeling bloated after a gluten heavy noodle meal, I began searching for an alternative.
Along came Soba
A recent addition to my regular noodle rotation, it satisfies my cravings without leaving me feeling sluggish. A quality traditional Japanese Soba is made of 80 to 100% buckwheat and that’s what I look for when buying them at the store. Buckwheat is a good source of fibre, antioxidants, essential amino acids and plant-based protein. And when cooked just right and paired with the right sauce, it is so tasty. For me, soba is best at room temperature or chilled.
Same noodle, different tastes
Here, I’ve come up 2 different ways to enjoy Soba noodles. One, with a classic Chinese fragrant scallion oil sauce and the other with a less classic creamy sesame based sauce. Both packed with flavour…both easy to make…both take less than 10mins to put together…these are my takes on Chinese and Japanese fusion cooking.
If you are searching for a refreshing, flavourful and healthy way to curb your noodle cravings, look no further!How to Make Ultra Succulent Authentic Gong Bao Chicken 宫保鸡丁By Yun Zhang JohnGong Bao Chicken or Gong Bao Ji Ding or Kung Pao Chicken or 宫保鸡丁or Le Poulet impérial…etc is a world famous chicken dish that originated from Sichuan. Whatever name you call it though, the sweet, sour and tamed aromatic “ma la” taste characterises its flavour profile.
A popular Chinese take away dish
This is a great chicken dish to add to your family table because of its mass appeal and great mix of contrasting flavours and textures. And making authentic Gong Bao Chicken in your own kitchen is not hard as you think. Using tried and true meat tenderising techniques found in traditional Chinese kitchens, I will show you my tips and tricks in making this classic stir-fried dish.
3 Easy, Fruity and Flavourful Salads That Will Make You Want to Eat More Salads AgainBy Yun Zhang JohnI think we can all agree that salads are a wholesome, healthy and good way to add more nutrition to ones diet. Eating more vegetables & fruits in their natural state is absolutely fantastic for your health. The vitamins and minerals…the fibres and micro-nutrients…But I don’t think we can all agree that salads taste nice. Some of us, myself included, steer away from salads unless it’s smothered with creamy dressings and high fat toppings like nuts and cheeses.
But my mother-in-law loves salads, so whenever she visits, there’s always a salad with each meal. For her, I came up with a trio of delicious salads that satisfies the taste buds as well as our health consciousness. Each with only 3 main ingredients, they are easy to make and keeps in the fridge really really well.
Cheap and easy to make
A great combination of very humble and inexpensive items, these salads give you both savoury and sweet notes. Great as a side dish or add in some protein and make it into a meal in itself. Vegan friendly and delicious, I dare any salad skeptics to give these a go!Wild Garlic Knife Cut Noodle Soup 野蒜刀削面By Yun Zhang JohnI discovered Wild Garlic, aka Ramp, aka wilder Knoblauch, aka Ail Douce...etc by chance during a walk through the forest one early spring day. The scent, although mild, of garlic is unmistakable as you walk by these seemingly plain grass.
They grow in clusters, often in shaded areas around trees and bushes. I love foraging for wild ingredients & this one, fascinates me! It’s great for marinating meats & makes an excellent pesto for pasta & sandwiches. A garlic lover’s dream, you get the flavour without the burn and the unfortunate garlic breath. And its fleeting growing season make it just that much more special.
Easy Handmade Noodles
Here, I’m giving it a Chinese twist by making them into handmade noodle soup. Don’t be daunted by the words “handmade noodles”, I’ll show you a technique that is foul proof & takes only minutes to do. Whether you find them in the wild or in your supermarket, I hope you can give it a try before they’re gone.Ooey-Gooey Sesame Steamed Baos 黑芝麻包By Yun Zhang JohnSteamed baos or buns are super versatile in Chinese cuisine.
You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack
You can fill them with meat, vegetables, noodles or sweets.
You can shape them in a million different ways…it’s one of those perfect food packages, at least for me!
One of my favourite variation is sesame filled steamed buns with a ooey gooey centre. The soft white steam bread exterior is a complete contrast from the runny sticky black sesame paste interior. These buns go great with a cup of tea, eat them for breakfast or as a snack...just eat them warm out of the steamer!
You only need 3 or 4 ingredients for the filling, the key is the method. Simply follow the instructions and in the right order and you can also make these hard-to-resist buns at home. All you'll need are time and a willingness to get your hands dirty.How to Make the Ultimate Silken Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐By Yun Zhang JohnMapo Tofu or 麻婆豆腐 is probably one of the most well known dish from the Sichuan region of China. And for good reason! It's complex and deeply spiced. It's hearty, comforting and so easy to eat. In fact, not too hard to make either, here I show you how I make my version with silken tofu that will you leave deeply satisfied.Sweet Potatoes + Red Beans = a Healthy-ish Snack That’s Sure to PleaseBy Yun Zhang JohnEasy to make and easy to eat, these yummy little snack balls are a cross between a donut and a mochi. Fill it with different things but here I make them with sweet red bean paste....sweet potato and red beans in one snack? It's got to be healthy, right?Melt in Your Mouth Chilli Oil Wontons 红油抄手By Yun Zhang JohnThe 3 Ingredients, Instant, Vegan Chocolate MousseBy Yun Zhang JohnThe other day, I discovered this SUPER EASY yet SUPER DECADENT dessert because I wanted to use up some coconut cream left over from making Thai Green curry. Normally, I buy coconut milk to make my curries but I had sent my husband out for the task and he came home with coconut cream…which is just the ultra thick top part of a can of coconut milk minus the liquid. However, this part is PERFECT for whipping up into a mousse. So let me show you how easy this is to make. The 3 ingredients you’ll need are: Coconut Cream Cocoa Powder Powder Sugar Shaved chocolate (optional but highly recommended)