Japanese croquettes come in all varieties including beef and potato, creamy crab, vegetable etc. I particularly like the vegetable only croquettes such as pumpkin and sweet corn so I made these croquettes with a melt in the mouth garlic butter mash and sweet corn.
- 75g garlic butter
- 250g canned sweet corn (drained)
- 1kg potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- plain flour
- Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- 2 cups cooking oil for deep frying
- Japanese kewpie mayonnaise (for serving)
- Japanese worcestershire sauce (for serving)
- Boil the potatoes in a large pot until they are cooked and then mash them in a bowl.
- Mix the garlic butter (this can be homemade or bought) throughly with the mash and then add the sweet corn and mix well.
- Take about 1 heaped tablespoon of the mash and use your hands to form it into a small patty. Repeat until all the mash has been used up.
- Dip a patty into some plain flour so that it is lightly dusted and then dip it in the beaten egg and then coat with the panko breadcrumbs. Repeat for each patty.
- Heat the oil in a small pot on a medium heat.
- When the oil is hot enough, deep fry the croquettes until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown (this should take around 4 minutes).
- When they are cooked, place them on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve hot with Japanese worcester sauce and kewpie mayonnaise.
I just came back from an amazing holiday in Bangkok and Phuket, still with the appetite for Thai food, so I whipped up these Thai sweetcorn fritters which is my absolute favourite Thai appetizer. This recipe makes around 12-16 fritters and can be made in less than an hour.
- 1 large egg
- 55g plain flour
- 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
- 5 tbsp coconut milk
- 400g canned sweetcorn (drained)
- 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
- 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander (chopped)
- vegetable oil
- Thai sweet chilli sauce (for serving)
- Put the egg, flour, red curry paste, coconut milk and half the sweetcorn in a food processor and process until a smooth, thick batter forms.
- Stir the spring onions into the batter with the remaining sweetcorn, coriander and basil. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan and drop in tablespoonfuls of the batter and shallow fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn a golden brown colour.
- Serve the fritters hot with Thai sweet chilli sauce.
I’ve recently been craving risotto so have been trying out different recipes and ingredients. When it comes to Italian food I usually prefer a tomato base for pastas and pizzas so for this risotto I used passata to give it a mild tomato flavour and basil to complement the tomato. You can use any type of mushrooms for this risotto so choose your favourite one!
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion (chopped finely)
- 12 garlic cloves (chopped finely)
- 400g passata
- 30g basil leaves
- 150g mushrooms (sliced)
- 150g arborio rice
- 40g unsalted butter
- grated parmesan cheese (for serving)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the chicken or vegetable stock in a pot until it almost reaches boiling point and then simmer over a very low heat.
- In a large saucepan fry the onion in the butter until tender. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a couple more minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and stir fry until tender and then stir in about two-thirds of the basil leaves.
- Add the arborio rice and mix well. Fry for 1-2 minutes until the rice is translucent.
- Pour in one-third of the stock and all of the passata, stir well and simmer gently on a low heat until nearly all the stock and passata has been absorbed.
- Keep adding more stock a little at a time until the rice is al dente.
- Season the risotto with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with grated parmesan cheese and the remaining basil leaves.
This is a recipe from my mum, she always used to fry me up a batch when I was a child whenever she had some overripe bananas. It is absolutely delicious served fresh, piping hot and crispy. A teaspoon of dessicated coconut can also be added to the batter if you like.
Ingredients (makes around 10 fritters):
- 4tbsp water
- 4tbsp self-raising flour
- 1tbsp castor sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large ripe banana
- vegetable oil
- Mash the banana in a bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Heat some oil in a pot and put spoonfuls of the mixture in the oil.
- Deep fry the fritters until they turn brown.
- Drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel on a plate and then serve hot.
This yummy Thai dessert is super easy to make and literally takes 20 minutes to whip it up and then bake it for 20 more. It is a delicious and light way to end a homemade Thai meal ❀
- 1tsp butter (at room temperature)
- 6 medium eggs
- 400ml coconut milk
- 175g brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4.
- Grease the inside of a 19cm (or similar) square baking tray that is about 4cm deep.
- In a large heatproof bowl, beat the eggs together with the coconut milk, brown sugar and salt.
- Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir for around 15 minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Pour the mixture into the baking tray.
- Bake the coconut custard in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until just set (may still be slightly wobbly in the centre).
- Allow the coconut custard to cool completely so that it firms up (it can be refridgerated).
- When the coconut custard has cooled, cut it into squares and serve (a cookie cutter can be used to cut pretty shapes out of the coconut custard instead of cutting into squares).
This dish is one of the usual dishes that I order when I go for my weekly dim sum. It is simple to make yet full of flavour from the chinese sausage and dried shitake. It doesn’t have to be eaten as a small dim sum dish, I usually cook it as a main course for dinner. It’s a great Chinese comfort food for winter!
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 2 cups uncooked glutinous rice
- 3 dried chinese sausages
- 10 dried shitake mushrooms
- 30g dried shrimp
- 1 spring onion (finely sliced)
- 2 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- Soak the glutinous rice in water for 2-3 hours and then rinse it well and drain out the water.
- Meanwhile, soak the shitake and dried shrimp in hot water in small bowls for around 15 minutes until soft (save the water used to soak them for later).
- Chop the chinese sausages and shitake into very small pieces.
- In a large pan, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and fry the chinese sausage for a few minutes on a medium heat.
- Add the shitake and shrimp and stir fry for a few more minutes.
- Next add the glutinous rice and mix well to coat the rice with oil.
- Add a bit of the water that was used for soaking, either from the shitake or shrimp, to the rice. Mix well and spread the rice into a flat layer in the pan so that the water can be absorbed evenly.
- When all the water has nearly been absorbed, add some more.
- Repeat this process with the rest of the shitake and shrimp water and then if needed, continue using plain water until the rice is sticky and cooked. This should take around half an hour.
- Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and the light and dark soya sauce to the rice and mix well.
- Serve garnished with spring onion.
I usually try to make fresh pestos and pasta sauces if I have the time rather than using the pre-packaged sauces as the flavours are so much fresher and really pop in your mouth! This pesto is absolutely delicious and I like to heat it up in a pan first to really bring out the garlic flavour and then add some garlic butter and then toss some hot pasta in the sauce
Ingredients (makes enough pesto for around 3-4 portions of pasta):
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
- 2 small red chillis
- 12 cloves garlic
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 5g fresh parsley
- 1/2 a small red onion
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 75ml olive oil
- 50g grated parmesan cheese
- pinch of salt
- Put all the ingredients except for the olive oil into a food processor and until well processed and mixed.
- Stir in the olive oil.
Takoyaki are a popular snack in Japan and are basically small balls made out of flour and egg with a piece of octopus in the middle together with spring onion and pickled ginger. Those are the typical ingredients for takoyaki but there are many different variations and you can really put whatever you fancy in the balls. Bacon and cheese are a good filling or you can make a vegetarian version too with cabbage, mushrooms, etc.
To make the takoyaki you need a takoyaki maker which is a griddle that has half spherical molds like in the photo below.
If it’s difficult to find octopus you can substitute it with squid. I also added sweet corn to the takoyaki I made as I had some left over so thought it would be nice in the takoyaki and a good way to use it up.
Ingredients (makes around 20 pieces):
- 80g blanched octopus (chopped into pieces of around 1.5cm length)
- 1 spring onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp beni shoga / Japanese red pickled ginger (minced)
- 100g takoyaki flour or okonomiyaki flour
- 340ml water
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil
- takoyaki or okonomiyaki sauce
- Japanese kewpie mayonnaise
- aonori / green seaweed flakes
- bonito flakes
- Beat the egg in a large bowl and then add the water.
- Add the takoyaki flour and mix until you get a smooth batter.
- Use a brush to dab vegetable oil into each cup in the takoyaki maker.
- Heat up the takoyaki maker and when it is hot use a spoon to put around 1 tablespoon of the batter into each cup so that the cup is nearly full.
- Add a piece of octopus, some spring onion and beni shoga to each cup.
- After a few minutes use a toothpick to give each piece a 90 degree turn. Leave for a minute and then turn the balls 90 degrees again, stuffing the edges in as you turn.
- Leave them to cook for a minute and then rotate the pieces again. Repeat this action so that the pieces will become round.
- When the takoyaki balls are a light brown colour, remove them from the maker and top them with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, aonori and bonito flakes. Enjoy!
These sweet corn and parmesan fritters are super quick to make, takes around 20 minutes! They are great on their own, with chilli sauce or a side salad to go with it.
Ingredients (makes around 12 fritters):
- 100g plain flour
- 1tbsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 150ml milk
- 200g canned sweetcorn
- 2 spring onions (chopped finely)
- 25g parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Add the egg and mix well.
- Beat in the milk a bit at a time to form a smooth batter.
- Drain the canned sweetcorn and add it to the batter mix together with the spring onions, parmesan and soya sauce. Mix well.
- Heat up the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry spoonfuls of the mixture for about 3 mins on each side until the fritters are golden.
- Serve the fritters piping hot!