Bang Bang Chicken Salad

Bang bang chicken is a spicy shredded Chinese chicken salad that we first tasted at the humble but iconic “Chinese Noodle Restaurant” in the Prince Centre in Sydney’s Chinatown. As well as their delicious handmade noodles, their shredded chicken salad is always on one of our menu choices when we visit. It’s been a family favourite since the early 90’s!

Over the years I have also tried to recreate it at home. It’s a great weeknight dinner which can be served with lettuce cups, steamed greens and some jasmine rice if you like, or just delicious on it’s own.

It has the name “bang, bang” because it was traditionally banged with batons to loosen the chicken fibres before shredding. I use a mallet to do this and it works a treat!

Add chopped steamed green beans and lots of cucumber to add a bit more bulk to it as a meal in itself! It’s a great for lunch the next day too.

  • Ingredients
  • 2-3 poached chicken thigh fillets
  • Glad wrap and a meat mallet
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese chilli oil (I use Chiu Chow style)
  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan pepper crushed
  • 1 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger pounded to a paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced spring onions
  • 1 cucumber sliced and cut into chunks

Method:

1. Place glad wrap over poached chicken laid flat on a chopping board. Use mallet to lightly flatten, then shred into long strips into a bowl.

2. Whizz or pound Szechuan pepper in a spice grinder to a (not too fine) powder, place in bowl, mix with sesame oil, vinegar, chilli oil, sugar and soy sauce.

3. Add spring onion to chicken, then dress, mix well, taste to see if you want to add extra chilli oil or Szechuan pepper, or soy sauce if not salty enough.

4. I add the cucumber last and lightly toss.

#Booji Breakfast: spicy Indian scrambled #eggs

A favourite Indian breakfast and famous street food which is just as good for a quick lunch or dinner. There are lots of different versions and you can experiment by adding chopped bacon bits, tomatoes or even finely diced boiled potato.

I made this today for Father’s Day breakfast served with crunchy sourdough toast and sausages.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion very finely diced
  • 1 large mushroom finely diced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic smashed to a paste
  • 2 green birdseye chillies finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 2-3 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon diced coriander
  • 3 large eggs beaten

Method:

1. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a non stick frying pan over medium heat.

2. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves if using. Heat until fragrant.

3. Add onions and cook slowly over gentle heat until translucent, then add garlic and sauté for a minute.

4. Add turmeric, cumin and chilli powders and sauté until cooked into onions, about 1.5 minutes. Then add green chilli and mushrooms or other ingredients you may choose to add, like cooked bacon bits or finely diced boiled potatoes. Add a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

5. Add the other tablespoon of butter, add eggs and scramble until egg is cooked to your liking.

6. Toast bread and pile on booji, garnish with coriander and enjoy!

Durban-style Fish and Potato #Samosas #crispy

Fish filled samosas are a great alternative to Mince and Pea Samosas.

This recipe teams white fish fillets with finely diced potato and herbs for a delicious light filling, that truly shines when dipped in a zesty mint, garlic and chilli sauce.

Fish and potato samosas with zesty lime dipping sauce

The crispy pastry, using spring roll pastry, which is substantially different to the thicker crusty version of Indian samosas is light and adds just the right amount of crunch to these delicious taste parcels.

Ensuring the triangles are firmly sealed with no “gaps” or “holes” to prevent the hot oil to be absorbed into the parcels, then shallow frying rather than deep frying makes for the least oily version possible.

These samosas freeze really well, so you can make ahead and impress guests when they arrive or have a stash to treat yourselves at your pleasing.

Prep time: 2 hours (including making filling) Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 -10 sheets spring roll pastry (thawed to room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 200 g white fish fillets such as flathead, diced into small chunks
  • 1 small potato diced finely
  • 1 onion very finely diced
  • handful of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger pounded to a paste
  • 1-2 small red chillies finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced coriander
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and then 1 cup of vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon and 2 pinches Salt
  • 1/2 cup or so of water
  • Handful of mint, coriander, 1 cloves garlic and 2 chillies
  • Juice of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

Method

1. Boil finely diced potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 5 minutes

2. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan. Add mustard seed, fennel seeds and curry leaves and heat until fragrant.

3. Add onion and cook slowly until transparent.

4. Add ginger and garlic paste add mix through onions, then add fish, salt and white pepper and 1/4 cup water.

5. Simmer until water has totally evaporated and the fish is sealed, just turning white.

6. Remove from heat add potato, chilli and coriander and mix through, slightly break up potatoes and fish as you do, but do not mash. Taste to see if extra salt required.

7. Allow mixture to cool.

8. Mix flour in a small bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of water, adding slowly to create a thick flour “glue”.

9. Take 2 sheets of the spring roll pastry, keeping rest between dampened tea towel to avoid drying out. I have discovered that using a double layer of the pastry creates a more robust case and crispier casing for these samosas.

10. Place each sheet neatly aligned on top of each other, then cut into 3 even strips.

11. Starting at one end, place 1-1.5 teaspoons of mixture on the pastry and then turn pastry over to create a neat triangle. Ensure there are no gaps when you turn the pastry – use the glue to seal openings or gaps between the 2 sheets of pastry as you go. This will ensure the oil doesn’t enter the package when you fry it and make your samosas less oily.

Making fish and potato samosas with spring roll pastry

12. Repeat process until all mixture is used up. Makes about 12-15 samosas.

13. Samosas can be frozen at this point and shallow fried directly from the freezer when you require. They freeze really well.

14. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan over high heat, add 3-4 samosas, allowing oil to come back to temperature, then lower heat to medium and cook until samosas are golden and filling is hot.

15. Finely dice mint, coriander, garlic and chilli – I used a mandolin. Place in a small bowl. Add healthy pinch of salt, add lime juice a dash of oil to create a zesty dipping sauce.

16.serve samosas with lime dipping sauce and other sauces as suits.

#Samosas for Xmas Parties

Xmas is coming. We are preparing for small covid safe gatherings here in Sydney. Thought I’d organise myself by making extra of the filling for samosas tonight …and then make the actual samosas tomorrow night.

So i doubled the filling from Samosas and served with Red lentil dhal with rice and salad.

Mince and pea for samosa filling
Red lentil dhal

Now tomorrow I will use the rest of the filling to make the samosas, and freeze them so I have a supply to freeze up for drinks and gatherings over the weekend.

Durban style Samosas

#Durban style #lamb and #cauliflower #curry with #fenugreek

I haven’t made this curry for ages. Not sure why because it is very delicious, especially with the addition of the sweet, nutty flavour of fenugreek seeds which is strangely reminiscent of maple syrup.

The sweetness of the cauliflower is enhanced by the fenugreek and spiced up by the curry flavours of the sauce. A great alternative to using potato in Lamb and Potato Curry

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 lamb chump chops, fat removed and diced including bones
  • 4 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger pound to a paste in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 large brown or white onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 whole red chillies (optional)
  • 1 tomato cut into large chunks
  • 1 tspoon cummin powder
  • 1 tspoon turmeric
  • 1 tspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon bark/1 quill
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Handful of curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 tspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tspoon salt
  • coriander to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

1. Heat vegetable in a large casserole pot on medium heat, add cummin seeds, cinnamon bark and curry leaves if using. Cook for just a minute until fragrant.

2. Add onions and cook slowly until transparent.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through onions.

4. Add cummin powder, turmeric, salt, chilli and mix through until just heated through. Take care not to burn.

5. Add lamb and stir until it’s sealed. Add a bit of chicken stock to stop the lamb sticking if needed. After about 10 minutes, add the fenugreek seeds and enough stock to cover the lamb, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 35 minutes until the lamb is starting to get tender.

Lamb and cauliflower curry with fenugreek seeds

6. Add cauliflower and tomato and simmer for another 15 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and the sauce is reduced.

7. Garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice and or naan and salads.

Durban style Lamb and cauliflower curry

Vietnamese Beef Stir Fry with watercress

Inspired by Karen Martini’s recent recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald, I used ingredients I had at home to do a version of this simple but delicious stir fry.

Bit of chopping, marinating and grinding involved but worth it for the very tasty outcome.

  • Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Ingredients:
  • 500g rump steak, fat removed and cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 red or green chillies sliced lengthwise into thin “batons”
  • 1 small red or green capsicum sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1/4 bunch dill, thick stalks removed, chopped into 3cm lengths
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions white and some green parts sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons palm sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons roughly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

1. Slice beef, place in bowl.

2. Finely dice 4 cloves of garlic, crush 2 cloves into paste, add garlic to beef.

3. Add pepper and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to beef and set aside to marinate for at least half an hour.

4. Heat a small pan and add rice to pan to toast. Keep shaking pan to brown rice but make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Prepare fresh ingredients. Trim and clean watercress, dice onions, cut capsicum, spring onions, dill, and chillies. Scatter watercress on a large serving platter and set aside.

6. grind rice to a rough powder in a mortar and pestle.

7. Mix palm sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and mix to combine and dissolve palm sugar in a amsl bowl and set aside.

8.Heat the oil in a wok on high for 4 minutes until smoking.

9. Carefully add beef to wok and spread so as much of beef surface on one side is in contact with wok. Reduce heat slightly but leave beef undisturbed for 2 minutes.

10. Stir beef to expose other side to wok, add capsicum, diced onion and chilli and cook for 3 minutes or so until onion softens.

11.Add spring onion, dill and the sauces mixture. Mix through and cook for a minute or so until sauce has heated up.

12. Tip beef over watercress. Pour lime juice over the beef, then sprinkle roasted rice powder over beef and serve with jasmine rice.