November 19, 2012

Fishcakes (from leftover tuna rice salad)

I made a giant bowl of tuna rice salad for a BBQ this weekend and had a lot left over...what to do? Instead of eating the same thing several meals in a row, I was inspired by risotto cakes and fish cakes to make: Tuna cakes!

Tuna rice cakes - a simple Monday night dinner


  • leftover tuna rice salad, risotto or fried rice
  • 1 egg (or 2 if you have a lot of leftovers) to bind
  • Parmesan or other shredded cheese
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • olive oil or neutral oil for pan-frying

  1. Beat the egg(s) in a bowl.
  2. Add to the leftover tuna rice salad and mix well.
  3. Stir in the shredded cheese
  4. Add in a bit of salt and pepper (put less if your original tuna rice salad was already well-seasoned/salty). 
  5. Using a large spoon, shape into patties.
  6. Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil into your frying pan.
  7. Scoop the patties onto the oiled frying pan and flatten slightly with your spatula.
  8. When the bottom is crispy and golden brown, gently flip the cakes and brown the other side.
  9. Remove from pan and serve immediately. 
These rice cakes go well with a simple green salad. 

November 14, 2012

Orangettes (candied chocolate orange peel)

I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen's orangettes and decided to try making some of my own:

Peeling the oranges... 

Blanching them in boiling water to get rid of the bitterness. 
Do this 3 times. I added cinnamon and 
fresh ginger to add a little spice. 

Simmer in simple syrup (1:1 sugar-water ratio) for 1 hour.  
I used vanilla sugar but plain white sugar works too. 

Let dry - this can take more than 24 hours 
if you live in a humid climate like I do!

Dip in melted dark chocolate, then let 
dry...and try not to eat them too quickly! :)

April 3, 2012

Gingerbread cookies

Just getting around to uploading some old photos. I made a LOT of gingerbread cookies for parties and as presents for friends and family in December 2011 - January 2012. I made them in Christmas trees, hearts, and Miffy shapes. I became quite good at them, if I say so myself. :)

Miffy for the young and young at heart.

Classic rounds for the grown ups.

Stars for Christmas.

I even made mince pie tarts. 

Sunday roast lamb with rosemary and garlic

Actually I cooked this several months ago, but only just got around to uploading the pictures to my laptop. It's a rosemary and garlic New Zealand lamb shoulder, with gravy, roast potatoes and veggies. A traditional British-style Sunday roast. It was a large joint of meat and we had a lot of leftover meat for pasta, sandwiches, etc. 

February 12, 2012

Bacon cheese bread (no-knead method)

Recently I've been dabbling with making bread, mostly with the water roux (tangzhong) method to make soft, fluffy, Japanese-style bread (more on this in another post), but this no-knead bacon cheese bread came out so well, it was devoured by during a craft beer tasting that we had last night in Hong Kong.

It's a crusty, chewy country bread that has a hit of salt from the bacon and cheese, and a hint of zing from the herbs and flaked red pepper. I adapted the recipe from Jim Lahey's book My Bread (of Sullivan Street Bakery and New York Times' Mark Bittman no-knead bread recipe fame). His recipe is itself inspired by traditional Italian lard/ciccioli bread. (Lard might sound scary, but it really makes for a lighter crumb and richer bread, similar as to the use of lard in pie crusts.)

This strong-tasting bread goes well with beers or ales. Recommended with North Coast Pranqster (a Belgian-style golden ale) or Baird Beer Numazu Lager.

Side note: Both of these beers were at the beer tasting I attended, and if you're in Hong Kong, you can get these beers and more through Hop Leaf, the new craft beer distributor that I'm involved in. (end promo!)

A few people have asked me for the recipe for this bread - I guess the combination of bacon and cheese is always a winner. If you're vegetarian (but not vegan), simply omit the bacon to make an equally delicious cheese bread. In the same vein, if you're lactose-intolerant, you can omit the cheese and keep the bacon.

Here's the recipe. It sounds a bit convoluted and troublesome, but if you break it down into steps, it's actually extremely simple and there's very little actual work involved. Mostly it's just waiting, as it uses the long-rise/no-knead method.