Vietnamese-style Roasted Duck

Ingredients

1 teaspoon minced garlic
2-3 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 quarter portions duck (2 breasts and 2 legs)
1 cup coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
watercress, to serve
coriander sprigs, to garnish

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix garlic, shallots, five-spice powder, sugar, vinegar, fish and soy sauces.
  2. Add duck pieces and leave to marinate for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat oven to 220ºC (425ºF).
  4. Remove duck portions from marinade and place, skin-side up, on a rack in a baking tin and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, without turning or basting.
  5. Remove duck and keep warm. Heat the marinade with the drippings in the baking tin, add the coconut milk, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then pour sauce into a serving bowl.
  6. Serve duck portions on a bed of watercress, garnished with coriander sprigs.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Vietnamese Cooking

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Thai-style Steamed Pork and Vegetable Curry

Ingredients

7 oz lean ground pork
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 dried Kaffir lime leaf, soaked for 10 minutes and finely sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
12 oz Chinese cabbage, spinach or leeks (any combination)
4 tablespoons thick coconut ‘cream’, skimmed from top of canned coconut milk before it’s shaken
2 tablespoons fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, curry paste, lime leaf and fish sauce and mix well. Taste to see if a pinch of sugar or extra fish sauce is needed, as once you begin steaming you can’t stir in more flavours. The sauce should be sweet, spicy and a little salty.
  2. Mix in pork to the sauce.
  3. Line a baking dish that will fit inside a steamer with aluminium foil or banana leaves.
  4. Place washed and drained vegetables in the bottom of the dish. Cover well with pork and sauce. Place coriander sprigs on top.
  5. Place in steamer and steam for 20 minutes until pork is fully cooked.
  6. Serve with coconut cream spooned over the top, and more coriander leaves, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Thai Cooking

Nyonya-style Coconut Golden Cake

Ingredients

15 g yeast
110 ml warm water
80 g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
4 pandan leaves
350 ml thick coconut milk
30 g butter
260 g sugar
120 g tapioca flour
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch of salt

Method

  1. Mix yeast, warm water, 1 tsp of sugar and plain flour in a bowl. Stir till batter is smooth. Cover with a piece of cloth and leave it in a warm place for 50 minutes.
  2. Cook pandan leaves, coconut milk, salt and vanilla essence over low heat. Stir in butter and leave it to cool.
  3. Line a 8″ round baking tray with baking paper. Grease the baking paper with coconut oil on the bottom and sides of the tray.
  4. In a mixing bowl, pour in the batter from step (1) and sugar. Beat briefly. Add tapioca flour and eggs. Beat at low speed for a while and lastly add coconut milk mixture from step (2). Pour into tray and prove for 2-1/2 hours.
  5. Bake in a preheat oven at 170°C for 15 minutes. Then switch to 150°C and bake further till the cake is cooked.

Makes one 8-inch round cake.

Source: Delicious Nyonya Kueh and Dessert

Lamb and Beetroot Curry

Ingredients

l kg boneless lamb from the leg, cut into 5-cm pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaped tbsp panch phoran (see note below)
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp tamarind paste
400 g (about 4 medium) raw beetroot, peeled and grated
400 ml water
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  2. Brown the lamb in two batches in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, using half the oil for each batch. Make sure the pieces are browned on all sides. Transfer to a large flameproof casserole dish.
  3. Lightly crush the panch phoran and cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar.
  4. Add the spices to the lamb along with the ground coriander and chili powder, then place the casserole over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the palm sugar, tamarind paste, grated beetroot and water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, checking occasionally and adding a little more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Note: Panch phoran is a Bengali spice mix made up of cumin, fenugreek, mustard, fennel and black onion seeds. I bought it once because I loved the name, but if you don’t have it in your cupboard, just use any spices from this list that you do have.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Sophie’s Family Kitchen

Thai-style Fried Noodles with Seafood

Ingredients

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp small chilies – finely crushed
2 cups fresh rice noodles
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1/3 cup whole shrimp
1/3 cup squid, cut into squares
1/3 cup fish fillet, sliced
1/3 cup scallops
1/3 cup straw mushroom, each cut into 4 pieces
1/3 cup cherry tomato, quartered
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 cup basil leaves (garnish)

Method

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in the wok. Add the garlic, chili, and saute until flagrant.
  2. Add all the seafood and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice noodles, dark soy sauce, straw mushrooms, cherry tomatoes. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the noodles are heat through.
  4. Season with sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Toss to combine.
  5. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nipa Thai Restaurant