What I Love | eatmeetswest edition

This is the last post for 2014!

I’d like to take a second to thank every single one of you for stopping by and lending me your ears. Or eyes. I’m not sure how this works.

In the interest of reflection, here are the things I’m particularly grateful for in 2014:

  • The email I got from my blog-host thing (I don’t really sure how that works either) informs me that I’m read in 90 countries, which might have made me cry a little bit. I can’t even name 90 countries, so this blows my mind.
  • I’m grateful to have had the chance to travel to Brisbane for Eat Drink Blog this year (where I followed Sarah from The Sugar Hit around like a creep and she was very nice about it), where I got to eat some really cool stuff and hang out with my blogger buddies. Always a great time.
  • Also super grateful to my beautiful friend Natalie for letting me use her home in Melbourne as a base while I stalked the city for doughnuts.
  • Those of you who visited Jus Burgers to try my Cubano burger! There will be a post next year with the recipe, if you want to make them yourselves. Thank you Laura for teeing it up x
  • Friends, family, and anyone who’s prepared to share a meal with me (and lets me sneak photos in even though they’re starving). You let me do what I do.
  • You. Yes, you. You’re looking particularly smashing today, just in case no one has told you. Keep that up.

 

So, I guess it’s time for me to answer the questions I put to so many others this year! Whelp.

What I Love – eatmeetswest edition

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Who are you/what do you do?
I’m Bri and I write this here blog. eatmeetswest is three(!!!) years old, which blows my mind a little bit.
I also sling crumpets for Mr Drummond’s Foods at the Subi Farmers Markets on a Saturday morning, where I’m also responsible for Hole Food Doughnuts.
 
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My Cubano at Jus Burgers

Why Perth?
Oh my god, why not? Perth is almost unrecognisable to what is was 5 years ago. There’s room for improvement, as there is anywhere, but I’m so proud of how far it’s come and the badass people who are making things happen here.
I love Perth’s beaches and laid back atmosphere, and that those things probably go hand in hand.
I love that if you drive 3 hours in any direction, you’re almost in another universe.
definitely love our world class produce (and that I get to eat it).
I love the pelicans that sit on top of the street lights on the freeway when I drive home to Freo. They make me happy.
I think it’s fantastic that we call our sea breeze The Doctor, because it makes everything better on a hot day.
I love that so many activities around town are dog friendly, because it means I get to cuddle puppies. A LOT.
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CBD Sunsets

 What inspires you?
I know that this is something that everyone says, but I’m incredibly blessed to be surrounded with extraordinary people, determined to make a change, or just showcase the amazing things that WA has to offer that we’ve simply overlooked.

On a personal level, I’m particularly inspired on the regular by Jacqui, Ai-LingMax VeenhuyzenMax Brearley and David; their passion for the things they do is nothing short of incredible, and I can’t believe they even know my name.

I’m also one of those people who spends waaaay too much time on The Internet. That helps with the inspiring and distracting in equal measure. If it wasn’t for the internet, how would I know about Katherine Sabbath?
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Sophie Zalokar at the launch of her book, Food of the Southern Forrests


Your dream food day?
For starters, it probably kicks off at 11am, because I like a bit of a sleep in!
Breakfast would be either banana crepes from Toast in East Perth, or breakfast panna cotta from Mrs S in Mayland.
Morning tea would be Mac-clairs from The Flour Factory, nursed by coffee from Addison & Steele (the espresso tonic is spectacular. Thanks Toby and Michael!).
Lunch is definitely dim sum at Northbridge Chinese Restaurant, because I would eat xiao long bao until the end of days. I LOVE DUMPLINGS. I’d probably need a nap after that.
Dinner would be a home-cooked affair. I have some friends who are seriously talented with a smoker, so it’s likely to be a Texas barbecue style thing, lost of ribs and slow cooked meats, a lot of sharing. I’d offer to do the dishes, being as how I didn’t cook!
If it’s a dream food day, then I’m probably heading back to Singapore’s 2am Dessert Bar for another hit of their dish Yellow, which was made up of corn, in 5 different ways. It was amazing. If you’re out that way, I definitely recommend you visit!
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Cocktails at Darling Supper Club

What’s the best thing you ate recently?
 I’m pretty crazy about Gusto Gelato in Leederville right now. I was all for the Gutso (peanut butter), but I’ve just discovered the Brittle Sweet Symphony, which is almond brittle and honey gelato, and I can’t get enough of it. I fucking love ice cream.
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Ice cream in Brisbane

Where do you love to go to eat? 
There’s no bad day that dinner at Lalla Rookh can’t fit with bone marrow and pasta. This is a scientific fact.
My ultimate comfort food is BBQ pork wanton noodle soup from Viet Hoa in Northbridge. Cheap, fast and more food than I can comfortably eat (though I do it anyway).
My favourite, super low-key breakfast can be found at Ley St Cafe. I first heard about Adam’s milkshakes on Reddit, and can confirm (as a milkshake junkie) that they’re some of the best in Perth. Adam makes all of his own flavours from scratch, no bought syrups here! Also, the maple bacon and eggs on today are consistently fantastic.
Russell Blakie on cocktail duty at Must Winebar

Russell Blakie on cocktail duty at Must Winebar

Where do you love to hang out?

Varnish on King. I love a whisky sour almost as much as I love manager Jamie Passmore’s dance moves. Also the bar’s mascot is a stuffed beaver named Justin, of which the jokes just write themselves.

My girlfriends and I recently had our pre-Christmas catch up at The Flour Factory, where I drank 3 of their lemony cocktails, and I’d quite happily drink 300 more.

Freo always calls to me when I want to be somewhere that feels like home. This year, I loved The Banker, Lenny the Ox, Little Lefroys, The Mantle and Bread in Common.

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Scott Bridger, head chef at Bib & Tucker

What’s your favourite thing right now?
 Netflix. What?! I’m a girl of simple pleasures. Those simple pleasures include watching Stephen Amell do chin-ups on Arrow.
I love paddle boarding. I’m pretty keen to get out on the water again, who wants to come?
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What are you looking forward to?

I just bought Mr Hong, which is a bit of a must-have cook book for lovers of dude food or the Australian food scene. My first goal for next year is to master one of his signature dishes, Stoner’s Delight, so, you know, God help me.

The Perth Fringe World Festival!

Getting down south to visit Taste of Balingup (Katrina Lane is a genius) and Foragers Kitchen (so is Sophie).

More doughnuts. Always more doughnuts.

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Kane at Dapper Jack

Thank you again for all of your support this year, and I can’t wait to make you fried cheese pie in 2015!

Stay safe, happy and awesome xx

Don’t forget, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Say hey!

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Classy as f*ck

Sometimes, you just want a fucking taco.

Make no mistake. The weekend that I just spent in Margaret River was unbelievable.

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I ate marron and truffle in a chandelier lit marquee on the not-out-of-place-in-an-English-palace gardens of Voyager Estate, listening to the wisdom of the chef one of the world’s best chefs.

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I ate marron on the shores of one of Yallingup’s most secluded and spectacular beaches, served by two of Australia’s best young chefs and was served wine by one of Australia’s most prominent wine makers. Actually, I ate more marron that weekend than I have in my whole life to date. It was a tiny bit amazing. Super fancy. Why couldn’t every day be like that?

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After a weekend of pure excess, I spent the drive home asking myself the kinds of important questions about my new life as a purveyor of the finer things. Wagu? Oysters? Where does one get Russian caviar in Perth on a Monday afternoon? Do I own a champagne flute? (the answer to that is no)

As I aimlessly wandered through the supermarket, I happened across pâté. Yes. Fancy people love pâté! I then considered what to have with said pâté. Crisp bread? Cheese? And then BAM. Lightning. Banh mi was the only answer.

Pâté belongs in a roll with pickled vegetables, coriander, some kind of protein and cheap, fluffy white bread. It’s just pure mouth magic. It’s French, it’s Vietnamese, it’s easy, it’s street food. There is nothing fancy about it, and I realised that there is very little fancy about me. I love street food. Probably too much, which is why there’s a lack of truffle in my diet. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

And so home I went. I cooked. My boyfriend, housemate and I ate off a chopping board on the floor of my lounge room with our hands. And it was equally, if not more perfect than anything else I’d eaten that weekend, because sometimes, you just want a fucking taco. And I was happy.

Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi Taco

Adapted from Gourmet Traveller

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 red chillies, thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced
¼ cup fish sauce
40 gm grated palm sugar or brown sugar
800 gm piece of skinless pork neck, cut into 6cm thick pieces

Good quality pâté
Pickled carrots
Coriander leaves
Sliced jalapenos
Japanese Mayo
Sriracha

Blitz the garlic, chili and lemongrass in a food processor until a paste forms. In a large bowl, combine the fish sauce and sugar, add the lemongrass paste, stir to combine, then add the pork and coat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.

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Heat some oil in a fry pan over medium high heat and cook the pork in batches until cooked through.

When you’re ready to serve, spread a tortilla with pâté, then top with pork, pickles, coriander, mayo and sriracha, and a squeeze of lime.

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Notes: Banh mi is traditionally made as a roll, however, due to the lack of appropriate bread at my local supermarket, I went with the tiny tortilla option, which was pretty damn fantastic.

The pickled carrot recipe is so stupidly easy, that I have to insist that you give it a go. If you can’t be bothered, julienne carrots are fine, but it’s really worth the extra step. Promise.

What I learned

Have you ever tried throwing a party for 80 strangers? And it’s not just any party. It’s like you’re having to try REALLY hard to impress these strangers, because you’ve kind of talked up how awesome your house and snacks are, and if it all falls in a heap, then well, these strangers have paid a lot of money and traveled a really long way to come to this party. IMG_8577 Last weekend, a group of blogger friends and I hosted a conference for some food bloggers. As you do. IMG_8548 Eat Drink Blog is an annual event, where we gather in a city (this year, Perth) and get really excited about pastries, among other things. This year, the organizing committee sat down and really thought hard about what we wanted to say about the state of play in Perth and blogging and food. IMG_8587 Ultimately, it wasn’t a hard choice at all. We all love and strongly believe in our local food scene. And while we were showcasing locavore, in all it’s Perthy goodness, the information we were sharing was universal. Love your local produce. From garlic and tomatoes, to wine and cake mixes, as much as you can – buy from your local producers and then tell your friends to get them to follow suit. IMG_8585 We took this theme and laced it through everything we did – the sponsors we sought, the food we served, the gifts we imparted on our guests; there was no way of disguising how much we love Perth and everything that comes with it. And I think that’s what made us successful – what brought all of us to that room was love: of food, of writing, and a drive to want to do and be better. IMG_8590

Among our inspiring presenters was Adam Roberts. We, along with Experience Perth, brought Adam over from LA to impart his bloggy wisdom upon us, having successfully blogged for many years and published two books. Adam was the perfect choice; he was funny and generous with his experiences, utterly fearless, and patient with so many people wanting his time.

Today’s food blog conference made me feel like Mick Jagger if Mick Jagger surrounded himself with people who take pictures of pastries.

After a day of talks about writing, photography, ethics and PR, general story swapping and far too many pictures of food, came the after party.

IMG_8614 I was horrendously busy during the street food style pop-up dinner, so please allow me to direct your attention to the beautiful Rachi from Le Bon Viviant and her great post detailing all the fuds. While my experience of Eat Drink Blog was very different to that of the delegates, (check out what they have to say here) it was still an incredible thing to participate in. The things I’m taking away from this weekend are:

  • Learn the power of asking. As a community, not for profit event, everything at Eat Drink Blog was sponsored or donated, and given to us freely. People wanted to help, and be apart of something great. And to those people, thank you.
  • Danishes are the food of the gods.

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  • Social media is really important. And frankly, live-tweeting is really hard! So, if you’ve got a room full of people tweeting, instagramming and generally loving the internet – you’re gonna need one of these set up. Trust me on this, it’s the best investment you’ll make.

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  • Most bloggers (by my completely unscientific observations and Twitter research) are introverts. I assure you, everyone in that room is just as nervous and shy as you. Therefore, don’t worry about talking to people, because they’re all worried about talking to you too!
  • Have a very clear idea of what you want your conference to be from very early on.
  • There will never be enough money or time to do everything that you want to do. Work out very early on what you absolutely must have, and work backwards from there.
  • Have passionate speakers. The talk between Phil Lees and The Food Pornographer was not only fascinating, but also great to watch because they were both so fired up. I’ve included a little editorial policy as a result of the discussion.
  • You can never have too many Sharpies. Fact.

The other thing I’m taking away from this? I’m so grateful to be part of such a gorgeously diverse and welcoming community. Food bloggers are the best people. IMG_8591

Here comes the meat sweats…

At some point, I don’t remember when, I decided that having a meat party was a great idea. I mean, there’s nothing more beautiful than bring together people you love, to break bread and share experiences over food. That bond can only be made deeper by meat sweats.

The invitations went out to my usual suspects – Pantry in Suburbia, The Skinny Perth, Lipstick Honey, Beers and Sympathy and our favourite taste tester cousins and partners. It was turning into one hell of a meaty pot-luck dinner. Look, I’m not going to lie to you, having food bloggers for friends is a tiny bit handy at times like these: roast lamb in all its glory, the most out-of-this-world buffalo wings and chorizo (because who doesn’t love chorizo?!) wrapped in flaky pastry. There might have been salads, for balance. I wouldn’t know, I didn’t eat them. I came here to party.

As with most events in my life, it was structured around a recipe. As in, I’d found one and wanted to make it so badly that I organised a dinner party just so I could. Is that a really girl thing to do? Am I the only person that’s bought a new dress/shoes/jewellery for no reason at all, then created a party/night out/breakfast just to show it off?Anyone?

Oh. Never mind, forget I brought it up.

Back to meat.

I know I posted a pulled pork recipe this year already. But it was over 6 months ago, so it doesn’t count. Plus, if I’m honest, I like this one better. It’s kind of simpler, in that there’s no brining, it’s less cooking time and a little less having to be organised. It’s certainly not a 30 minute meal by any means… But it’s worth every single second. I know the sauce looks like it’s a lot of ingredients, but 90% of it is stuff in your pantry. For the chipotle sauce, I used the sauce from a tin of chipotles in adobo sauce which I picked up from Fresh Provisions in Mount Lawley. If you see them, grab a couple of tins because they go beautifully in Mexican cooking. YUM. I used a couple of tablespoons, because it turns out I imagined the chili flakes in my pantry, and when I went to use them, they weren’t there. Clever me.

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All jokes aside, I absolutely love having a group of friends around to eat. There’s something really special about cooking for those you love, having them enjoy something you’ve brought to the table. You sit back and ask yourself why you don’t do these kinds of things more often (the answer is the bajillion dishes that took me an hour to wash the next day), but at that moment in time… It’s the definition of happiness. Good times, good food, good people. And if that’s not the meaning of life, I don’t know what is.

 Chipotle Pulled Pork Burgers

From What Katie Ate

2kg pork shoulder, bone in
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulled pork sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, very finely diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, very finely diced
2 sticks celery, very finely diced
1 long red chilli, finely diced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons treacle (I used golden syrup, honey is ok too)
2 tablespoons mustard powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup (125ml) white vinegar
1 litre chicken stock
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon chipotle sauce
1½ teaspoons cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water

Heat the oven to 160*c.

Place the pork in a roasting pan, and season really well with salt and pepper. My pork didn’t have skin, but if yours does, make sure the skin is facing upwards, then cover with foil and place in the oven for 5 – 6 hours. I left mine in for 6, and it weighted a little less than 2 kilos. Check the pork at the 3 hour mark, and if it’s looking a little dry add some water (I threw in 1/2 a cup, just to be on the safe side). Once it’s done, set the pork aside to cool a little bit, then shred using a couple of forks or your hands – it literally falls apart. It’s amazing.

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At the 4 hour mark of the pork cooking, heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until soft. Add the garlic, carrot, celery and chilli and cook until they soften, about 10 minutes. Chuck in everything else except for the cornflour paste and let simmer for 2 hours uncovered until it’s reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and then pass the sauce through a sieve to remove any chunks. Return the sauce to the pan, discarding what remains in the sieve, then add the cornflour paste and stir to combine.

Add the sauce to the shredded pork and stir to combine thoroughly.

Serve on fluffy white burger buns with coleslaw (the link has a great recipe, if you need one).

I’m sorry there isn’t more/better pictures, but it honestly didn’t last long enough to take any!

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Lezbehonest. Joey just gets it.

What makes food taste better than good?

There are things you can do that makes food taste better. I mean, better than normal.

Slow cooking, for one thing. Having someone else cook for you. MSG and salt. Being hungry – have you ever noticed that everything tastes AMAZING when you’re starving?

I’m personally of the opinion that eating with your hands goes firmly on that list. Think about it! How good are burgers, or pizza? Picnics! Hotdogs! CAKE, BECAUSE CUTLERY BE DAMNED.

Of course, Mexican and it’s various subsidiaries fall into this category too. It’s fun on three levels:

  1. Most of the names are ridiculous to pronounce. Quesadilla what?
  2. Eating with your hands is pretty much mandatory
  3. You get to make it up as you go! Personally, I like cheese and hate guac.

The other thing that’s awesome about Mexican, is that it’s stupidly quick and, if you make it yourself, fresh. Done in 30 minutes or less, this dish wastes absolutely no time getting on your dinner table, leaving you with more time for the important stuff. Like stuffing your face.

Coriander chicken with pico de gallo

Adapted from Good Taste

3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
4 garlic cloves
2 fresh jalapeño chillies, finely chopped
80ml lime juice
2 tbs olive oil
800g chicken breasts
4 tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Tortillas, warmed

Place cumin, ground coriander, oregano, salt, 1/2 cup chopped coriander, 3 garlic cloves and half the chili in a mortar or blender, and blitz until it forms a paste.

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Add half of the olive oil and lime juice. Season with pepper to taste. Pour the marinade into a bowl, then add the chicken, rubbing the marinade in well. Set aside for 10 minutes.

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Toss together the tomato, onion and what’s left of the garlic, coriander, chili, lime juice and oil in a bowl; set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan on high, then add the chicken and cook for a few minutes each side until cooked through. Slice thinly, then serve with the tortillas and pico de gallo.

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I might be wrong, so please correct me if I am, but I’m pretty sure you could even blitz up the marinade, coat the chicken and then throw it into ziploc bags to be frozen.

Did I just make this super easy dinner even easier? Uh, I think I did. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Old school

Canteen. Tuck shop. Cafeteria. School lunches hold a
special place in our hearts, for better or worse. I had the
pleasure of growing up pre-food revolution, so my school canteens
were stocked with chicken rolls, noodle cups, vegemite cheesies
(which are still a comfort food of mine to this day) and packet
soups in winter. The only thing better than vegemite cheesies, is
the treats section. Vanilla slice. Yogos. Little Petit Miam
tubs?Mars Bar slice. Anzac biscuits. My highschool made the best
hedgehog slice I’ve ever had, and I’m too scared to try them
anywhere else, least it doesn’t live up to my expectations. What’s
missing from this list? ONLY THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL. Caramel
slice is a classic, the kind of thing that’s met with very confused
faces should you admit to never having tried it. There may even be
claims of being denied caramel slice being akin to child abuse.
Don’t be offended, it’s just really that good. I made this for my
friend Jan’s birthday recently. He explained
that he loved it, but hadn’t had a good one in some time. It’s
everything you remember.

Caramel & Ginger
Slice

From Cuisine Magazine Base 1 cup
shredded coconut 190g unsalted butter, melted 1 and 2/3 cup plain
flour 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 75g crystallised ginger, finely
chopped
Preheat the oven to 180*. Gently toast the
coconut in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Combine the
butter, brown sugar and flour in a bowl, then add the coconut. Line
a slice tray with baking paper, then press the mixture the bottom
of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. IMG_6640 Sprinkle with crystallised
ginger, then set aside to cool.
Caramel 395g can sweetened condensed
milk 2 tbsp golden syrup 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 75g unsalted
butter, chopped 3 tsp ground ginger Put all the ingredients into a
small saucepan, and over low heat, cook,
stirring continuously so it doesn’t burn. Pour the
caramel over the base and then bake for a further 15 minutes or so,
until the caramel bubbles. IMG_6643 Remove from the oven and
leave to cool. Ganache 1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped Bring a saucepan of water to a
simmer, then place a heatproof bowl with the cream and chocolate
over the top. Stir the two together until smooth and glossy. Spread
the ganache over the cool caramel, then put in the fridge for at
least an hour to set. Cut into squares before serving. IMG_6650 IMG_6645 If you’re not ginger
inclined, you can leave it out entirely. Another option is to
sprinkle flaked sea salt over the caramel before you put in the
oven for a shot of salted caramel goodness. Oh. This weekend? Northbridge O-Day. It looks fantastic,
there are activities and fun and snacks. You should go, take your
friends and kids!

The one where I do something I didn’t want to.

I am a bitter disappointment to my parents.

I know! Who would be upset with a daughter who’s prone to accidental arson? But when you have parents who are excellent fisherpeople like I do, my aversion to seafood is… Regrettable.

Have you ever been squidding? It’s possibly the funniest activity under the sun that doesn’t include a bouncy castle. There is nothing more hilarious than the Russian Roulette of copping ink in the face.

There’s also the pure relaxation of a day spent cruising around on the open water, reeling in whatever is biting. So when my folks bring home their catch of the day, I’m not usually interested. On the bright side, more for them! No, seriously. That’s my mother’s mantra. There’s usually a sigh involved.

However, in the interest of eating better,I’m forcing myself to like things I wouldn’t normally. I’m learning to love fish. Salmon, to be precise. Asian flavours are a great way to mask that fish taste, if it’s not your thing. It is, of course, recommended that you buy the freshest fish you can. Make friends with your local fishmonger, they will provide you with the best, sustainably caught produce. Or catch your own! Wheeeee!

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This is a great weeknight meal, quick and so easy to throw together. While the fish marinades, you cook the rice, while the greens blanch, heat the sauce. Done, dusted with less than 30 minutes real cooking.

Booyah.

Miso-Ginger Marinated Salmon

From Serious Eats

1/4 cup miso (I used the instant packets)
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced spring onions
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl, then add the salmon and turn to coat. Marinate for half an hour, turning occasionally.

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In a frypan over medium heat, cook the salmon for 3 or 4 minutes each side. The sugar in the mirin will blacken a little bit, but its good. Trust me.

Restaurant-style Chinese Greens with Oyster Sauce

From Rasa Malaysia

Your favorite Chinese greens (I used bok choy and broccolini)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 dashes of white pepper powder

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a couple of drops of oil to the water. Add the vegetables to the water and blanch for only 20 – 30 seconds, you only want them to wilt slightly. Place them on kitchen paper to drain and then place on a serving plate.

In a wok or saucepan, heat the oil and then add the sugar, oyster sauce, water and pepper. Mix well, then  pour over the vegetables and serve immediately.

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The sauce for the greens? So. Effing. Good. I just had ground black pepper (the powdered stuff that I normally wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole) in the cupboard, so I used a couple of dashes of that instead of the white pepper used in the recipe.

I would have happily drunk it with a spoon. It’s brilliant.