Thursday, May 26, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing beats chicken noodle soup on a crisp winters day. There are a couple of steps and a couple of pots involved in this version, but it’s not overly complicated or confusing, just keeping the two stocks separate gives a cleaner flavour and lets the chicken stock reduce down and develop deep caramel flavours.

Chicken Stock
Chicken, broken down to fit in the pot.
Chili, whole dried sichuan
Bay Leaf
  • Add the chicken to a pot and cover with an inch of water, toss in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook until the chicken is done, but not falling off the bone. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
  • Strain the liquid and put back on the heat. Reduce to about a quarter of the original volume.
Vegetable Stock
Wood ear fungus (black)
Shiitake, dried
Bacon, fatty rashers
MSG (optional)

  • Add all to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for half an hour. Strain.

Building the bowl
  • Pick the meat off the chicken, and set aside.
  • Combine both the stocks, taste and season with salt, soy and sesame oil. Reduce a little if required.
  • Cook fresh noodles.
  • Portion the chicken and noodles into bowls, pour over hot broth, add spoon or so of chilli crisp (or oil), and a little bit of pickled daikon. Slurp and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hot braised pork and noodles

This is a hot dish, it’s meant to be, it looks like the fiery red pits from hell when cooked, but it’s a little deceiving, the spice hits you hard, climbs up your nose and slaps you round a bit, then the sweetness comes in, gives you a hug and lets you know everything is going to be OK, then it headbutts you and calls you its bitch, and in a daze you slurp down another noodle, scoop another spoonful of rich saucy soup into your mouth as it splashes and flicks burning dots of oily red pain into your eyeballs. But you don’t care, it’s all worth it.

Hot and spicy braised pork belly
This is a little to taste, not precise if any measurements, so trust you palette. The main ingredients are:
500g pork belly, cut into bite size pieces.
2 onions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
2 tbsp Gochujang, heaped, add more if you like
2-4 tbsp soy, sweet kicap soya*
1 tbsp Korean chilli powder, heaped, more if you want
1 tsp five spice
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large thumb of ginger, minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 cups chicken stock**
2–3 tbsp rice vinegar

* add some sugar if you have regular soy
** more if cooking traditionally.
  • This recipe is done in a pressure cooker, you could do this in a heavy based pan over a low heat simmering for a couple of hour until everything is tender.
  • Heat the sesame oil in the cooker, add a large pinch of salt, toss in the pork and cook until browned.
  • Add the Gochujang, dry spices, garlic and ginger, stir through a cook through a little.
  • Stir through the pepper, onions and soy, make sure it’s all nicely coated.
  • Pour in the stock, bring up to high pressure and cook for 60 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and taste, adjust the seasoning with salt and rice vinegar.

Serve with pulled noodles and some sprouts, wet wipes are handy too!

Hand pulled noodles
The recipe and method can be found covered in the Cheat Sheet and in more depth via couple of posts on this blog, Cumin lamb with hand pulled noodles is a good one.

The basic run down of the recipe is as follows:
  • Form a ball of dough from 5 parts flour with 3 parts water, and 1% salt by weight.
  • Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
  • Knead by rolling in to a log and folding in half and repeating for 15 minutes.
  • Wrap and rest for 60 minutes.
  • Shape into a log and cut into 1cm slices, coat in oil and place on tray.
  • Refrigerate and leave for 60 minutes.
  • Pull out of the fridge 10 minutes before cooking.
  • Stretch the noodles and cook in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Quick Cabbage Pickle

Crumbed beef with quick pickle cabbage and smoked cheddar.

A quick pickle for a quick post. I’m not sure where this year has gone, it’s May already and the little lad is almost one! Perhaps it’s because there hasn’t really been a shift in the weather, still sitting close to the 20s most days, but looking out the window now it seems that might change, with the deluge causing havoc on poor Wellingtons drainage.

Anyway, I digress, cabbage is great, pickled cabbage is better, fiery hot funky fermented cabbage is off the hook, slaw is so blah, so what do you do when you have cabbage, don’t have time to really get it off it’s rocker and don’t want to stoop to boring boring slaw? Quick pickle it! You may need to adjust the salt and sugar levels, it will taste salt after you've mixed it, but when finished you'll be loosing most of that salt in liquid anyway, up the chilli if you like it hot.

1 Quarter of a savoy cabbage
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp chilli

  • Dump the sugar, salt and chilli into a bowl, mix together.
  • Core and slice the cabbage into thin strips, put in the bowl.
  • Massage the cabbage into the salt mix, knead and squeeze for a couple of minutes.
  • Place a plate on the cabbage and weigh down, leave at room temperature for half an hour or so.
  • Squeeze all of the liquid out of the cabbage and transfer to a container. It’s ready to eat now and will keep a few days in the fridge.