All posts tagged: prawn

“Shrimp grits” Congee

My family is Cantonese so I grew up with congee as a go-to comfort food. Congee or “JOOK” (rhymes with book) in Cantonese is long grain rice cooked in plenty of water until it resembles a thick porridge. Also known as rice porridge, it can be served plain or stirred through or loaded with various toppings. Being notoriously squishy and easy to digest, it’s also a common baby food, or food for the sick or elderly. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 100% comfort. I’m more than a little obsessed with American soul food. I don’t know why, but shrimp and grits is a fascination of mine even though I’ve never visited the US. Having eaten shrimp and grits in Wellington recently, I’ve had it in my mind to recreate something similar at home. Shrimp and grits was traditionally a breakfast dish but now eaten at other meal times as well. I present to you: the lovechild of congee and shrimp grits! “Shrimp grits” congee Serves 1 Ingredients 1/2 cup long grain rice, rinsed 4 …

Dumpling wisdom from a retired dumpling professional

I am a lucky girl who grew up eating home made dumplings. The dumplings we ate were stuffed with pork mince with different variations. I asked my Mum what ingredients were in the dumplings of my childhood and this post is based around her answer. 12 years ago, back when I was still a hungry design student, I worked in our family’s Chinese take-out. Since I loved dumplings so much, I helped myself to dumplings at the start of every shift. Free dumplings is a (self-proclaimed) perk of working in the family business. Dad made the filling and wrapped a hundred dumplings ahead of time and the dumplings were cooked during service. One of my duties was cooking dumplings fresh to order. So while I can’t proclaim I was a professional dumpling wrapper, I did get paid to cook dumplings. This makes me somewhat of a retired dumpling professional (see pro tips at the bottom of this post). Fast forward 12 years, my love of dumplings has grown. I don’t cook dumplings for money anymore and my …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #2

I recently took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? and was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries and going “off-piste”. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities, from the Curious Novice to the Professional and everything in between. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, recipes and appliances to make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. You can find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quick quiz here. Go on, I’ll wait. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. These recipes are more templates than traditional recipes. I’ve suggested ingredients, but in all honesty, whatever you have in the fridge can be substituted and you’ll only know if you try. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. …

Favourite Seafood Recipes

Summer in New Zealand is all about gorging on simply prepared seafood. This summer has been particularly seafood filled. Here is a collection of five my favourite seafood recipes. Just click on the images to view the recipes. Enjoy!   1. Steamed Garlic Prawns Super easy recipe for Steamed Garlic Prawns, a very popular dish at Kingsland’s Canton Cafe. Includes a handy guide to prawn sizing in New Zealand.   2. Pan Fried Flounder The most popular recipe on my blog by miles, this buttery golden pan fried flounder makes use of a whole flounder. You’ll need a flounder (or two) butter, more butter, flour, salt and pepper. 3. Raw Fish Salad I fell in love with Ika Mata (raw fish salad) in Rarotonga. Here’s my version of it using fresh tuna fillets, though you can also use any firm white fish. 4. Oysters Kilpatrick Oysters Kilpatrick are an easy crowd pleaser. Oystes, bacon, tasty sauce and cheese. What could go wrong? 5. All-in-one Seafood Stew I test out Adie McClelland’s all-in-one seafood stew from her …

One pot wonder: Chorizo and Prawn Rice

This is a great one pot wonder. Warming, with a little kick and full of flavour. Fresh chorizo sausages are popping up everywhere. Unlike the traditional chorizo which is firm and cured, fresh chorizo look like regular snags, filled with soft sausage-meat and must be cooked thoroughly. Similar to paella rice or claypot chicken, the prize in this dish is the tasty hard cooked rice at the bottom of the pan. Still delicious even as leftovers the next day. I used a stainless steel pan for this job. Avoid using a non-stick pan so that you can scrape those tasty bits to your hearts content. I happened to have saffron needing to be used up but I’m sure you could make this dish without it. Saffron isn’t exactly an economical ingredient. One Pot Wonder: Chorizo and Prawn Rice  Serves 4 Ingredients 4 chorizo sausages (500grams/1lb) 250g peeled prawns (1/2lb) 1 tablespoon capers 2 cups rice, rinsed and drained (used a mixture of red rice and white rice) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, diced 3 cups …

Autumn is the best.

Autumn is the best. I relish the crisp air, warm scarves and feijoa laden trees. Green leaves turn to red. Red wine replaces cold beer. Comfort food replaces chilled food. I’ve been feeling a little run down this week and my clothes have been feeling a little taut. You know, when your skinny jeans feel a tad too skinny and you worry what might happen to the shape of your middle when you attempt to sit down. I’m sure it is just the change of season and I’ll accuse daylight savings of lighting trickery. Before we dive into comfort food territory, I think it’s a good opportunity to revisit some of my favourite blog recipes. Light and bright food porn to tickle your fancy. For those heading into spring, this should be good inspirational fodder for you too. All thumbnails jump to relevant posts.

Dumpling Wrapper Prawn Ravioli

I have an open relationship with dumplings. I adore them, but sometimes I get busy and we see less of each other but when we’re together it’s phenomenal. My maternal grandmother made dumplings for us and my parents also made them us. For most of my life, my dad owned various eateries and wontons or dumplings were always on the menu. Dumplings travel well too. No, I don’t mean fill your pockets and go for a run, but that dumplings in one form or another appear in many cuisines. The concept travels well and has wide appeal. Naturally, as an adult, I’m more curious and experimental when it comes to my dumplings. If it tastes good, authenticity is nothing. Because I never ate ravioli until much later, ravioli will always be just an Italian dumpling to me and I make ravioli using dumpling wrappers. Sure, you can make pasta from scratch, but taking this shortcut will save some time and it’s not like you’re going full lazy. There’s still at least half an hour to …

Tale of two prawns: Steamed Garlic Prawns & Super Tasty Grilled Prawns

A thing or two about prawns Prawns in New Zealand are imported raw as we have no prawn fishery. They are snap frozen at sea and can be easily thawed at home, so never buy thawed prawns because you don’t know how long they have been thawed for. Maybe it’s only been a couple of hours, but maybe it’s longer. Why risk it? If they’re snap frozen at sea and you thaw them just prior to cooking, they will be as fresh as possible. Prawn size and weight If you have bought prawns before, you may have noticed a special numbering system in place. It seems counter-intuitive, but the smaller the number, the larger the prawn. Less is more! Well, less is big. U10 or U20 means under 10 or 20 prawns per kilo. These are the biggest prawns and also the most expensive. Handy guide to prawn sizes (per kilo) Extra large 10/20 also displayed as U10 or U20 Under 10 and Under 20 prawns per kilo Large 21/30 Under 30 prawns per kilo Medium …

Pork dumplings with prawns and pasta

I always make enough dumplings to feed a gang of rowdy cats, so there is always plenty to freeze. When faced with no fresh food in the house, at least I’ll have a bag of frozen prawns, frozen home made dumplings and some dried pasta to work with. Pinch a few basil and spring onion leaves from the pots on the deck you got yourself an easy dinner.

Vientiane: Joy Restauant on the Mekong Promenade

In the city of Vientiane, the Mekong Promenade is wide, the river being very low during dry season and during the day the promenade is peaceful and quiet. You kind of wonder where is everyone? But come sunset, pop up bars and restaurants line the streets and finding a good spot to watch the changing sky is easy. Just before another pink sunset, we find ourselves at Joy Restaurant on the Mekong Promenade. The colourful display of food entices us and after a Beer Lao or two, we choose a few dishes by physicall pointing instead of choosing from the printed menu. It’s so much better to be able to select from a kitchen rather than trusting translated menus. This allows you to order dishes that look good on that day rather than picking your usual favourites. The wiggling bits coming out of the shells told me that the cockles are still alive. The prawns looked particularly plump. The Koala had never tried cockles before and it’s a novelty to get them at all let alone fresh …

Seafood roundup

I would love to live in a tiny fishing village for a while and buy fresh seafood from the fishermen as they come in from sea. Here is a collection of seafood plates I’ve whipped so far this year: What do you do when you haven’t been shopping in a while and only have cheese, potatoes, peas…and then find half a bag of prawns in the freezer? You make cheesy potato gratin with pea puree and sweet chili prawn skewers of course! Mussels in coconut cream and sweet chili sauce. Feeds 2 hungry adults for less than $5! Add a $10 bottle of red and you’ve got yourself a date 🙂 One day I’ll figure a way to avoid photographing the steam coming off hot food…without having to wait for dinner to grow cold. Creamy prawns with rice and green salad and beetroot. Easy and decadent. Saute half a diced onion and a couple of cloves of chopped garlic in some butter. When those are cooked, add enough prawns for 2 and cook until just done. …