Coconut Prawn Soup


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
800 ml coconut milk
1/4 cup fish sauce
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
thinly sliced lime rind, to garnish

Curry Paste

6 long dried red chillies
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 red Asian shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger
4 fresh coriander roots, well rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander stems
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 stems lemon grass, white part only, sliced (reserve the stems for the stock)
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
I teaspoon shrimp paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


700 g raw medium prawns
4 red Asian shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic
reserved grassy ends of lemon grass stems
6 black peppercorns


  1. To make the curry paste, soak the chillies in boiling water for 20 minutes, then drain. Toss the spices and peppercorns in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Grind to a powder, then transfer to a food processor and add the remaining paste ingredients and 1 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, adding a little water, if necessary.
  2. Peel and devein the prawns, leaving the tails intact. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reserve the heads and shells.
  3. To make the stock, dry-fry the prawn heads and shells in a wok over high heat for 5 minutes, or until orange. Add the remaining stock ingredients and 1.5 litres water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, simmer for 15-20 minutes, then strain into a bowl.
  4. Heat a clean, dry wok over medium heat, add the oil and swirl to coat the side. Add 3 tablespoons of the curry paste and stir constantly over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or Until fragrant. Stir in the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the prawns and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until they are cooked. Stir in the fish sauce and garnish with coriander leaves and lime rind.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook


Vietnamese-style Spicy Chicken Wings


8 chicken wings, cut in half at joint, 16 pieces
6 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
6 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
3 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons bbq sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey

Chili Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce

4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons chili sauce


  1. Combine lemongrass, garlic and shallot in a food processor to make a paste.
  2. Add bbq sauce, soy sauce and honey to make a marinade.
  3. Mix the chicken wings with the marinade. Set aside for at least 30 minute.
  4. Remove wings from marinade and grill until well-cooked.
  5. Add chili sauce and lemon juice gradually to mayonnaise, checking for taste.
  6. Serve sauce with wings.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Streets Cookbook

Balti Beef


2 tbsp ghee or vegetable or peanut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 lb 5 oz/600 g sirloin steak, thinly sliced
fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish

Balti Sauce

2 tbsp ghee or vegetable or peanut oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 tbsp Garlic and Ginger Paste
14 oz/400 g canned tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper


  1. To make the Balti Sauce, melt the ghee in a karahi, wok, or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and Garlic and Ginger Paste and stir-fry for 5 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, then add the paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, cardamom, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let the sauce cool slightly, then remove the bay leaf and pour the mixture into a food processor or blender. Whiz to a smooth sauce.
  4. Wipe out the karahi, wok, or skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add the ghee and melt. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 5-8 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Add the red bell peppers and continue stir-frying for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef and continue stir frying for 2 minutes until it starts to turn brown.
  7. Add the Balti Sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce slightly reduces again and the bell pepper is tender.
  8. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve in a karahi, if liked.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Curries

Thai-style Mushroom and Tofu Stir-fry


1/4 cup creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
1 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 oz oyster mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb snow peas, ends trimmed and strings pulled
8 oz canned sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice until smooth. Add the water, sesame oil, cornstarch, and pepper flakes and whisk until blended.
  2. Coat a nonstick wok or a large nonstick frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the snow peas and continue stir-frying until the peas are tender-crisp, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the peanut butter mixture, water chestnuts, and tofu and stir-fry until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
  5. To serve, transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Black Sesame Cheesecake


1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1/4 cup honey
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted


5 (250 g) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
5 tbsp black sesame paste (see recipe below)
4 eggs


  1. To make the crust, in a pan over medium heat, toast black sesame seeds for 30 seconds, or until you can smell the toasted sesame.
  2. Pour toasted sesame seeds into a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. The sesame seeds should be well broken down and no big pieces are noticeable.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  4. Mix graham crumbs, sugar and butter into the food processor with sesame seeds, and press crumb mixture onto the bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. To make the filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream, sesame paste and mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix. Pour over crust.
  6. Bake for 1 hr 10 min at 325°F, or until centre is almost set.
  7. Run a knife around rim of pan to loosen cake. Let cool completely before removing the rim.
  8. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Makes 1 nine-inch round cake.

Black Sesame Paste


1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup honey


  1. Toast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until broken down.
  2. Add honey into food processor, and pulse until thick and creamy.

Source: Chef Aiko Uchigoshi