Tag Archives: coriander

Ching-He Huang’s Roast Duck Noodle Soup

We’re avid fans of the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live (isn’t James Martin such a pro?) and have been loving the re-runs of Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang’s Exploring China recently – we missed it the first time around. They’re such an enthusiastic pair, and so passionate about Chinese cuisine – its impossible for their excitement not to rub off on you. So we were delighted when we stumbled across Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy book in a North Street charity shop for £3 (plus another book free!). We snapped it up and this was the first recipe we made from it.

We love duck, though don’t cook with it very often as it can be quite expensive. Fats’ parents are lucky enough, living out in the country, to have neighbours occasionally drop by with a freshly killed duck or too – though his mum doesn’t always see it that way when the garage is full of them… This recipe makes a little go a long way, as the breast is sliced really thinly – in fact we adapted the recipe so it only uses one breast. We’ve also replaced a few of the harder-to-find ingredients with stuff that you can pick up in a supermarket (you should be able to find the rest in a Chinese food store, if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby). The result is still pretty authentic!

So for 2 people, you’ll need:

For the duck and marinade:

  • 1 duck breast fillet, skin on
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

For the soup:

  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 80 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 100 g cabbage, sliced
  • 200 g cooked noodles (we used udon, our favourite!)
  • 1 spring onion, chopped diagonally
  • 40 g bean sprouts
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and place in a plastic food bag with the duck breast and seal. Wiggle it around so that it all gets covered, and put it in the fridge for anything between 20 minutes and overnight – as always with marinades, the longer the better.

Duck breast - after marinade. Lovely colour!
Duck breast – after marinade. Lovely colour!

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the duck from its bag and pat it dry with some kitchen roll. Heat a pan over a high heat, and when it is scorching hot place the duck breast in the pan, skin side down, and cook for 1 minute. Turn it over and cook on the other side for a little longer – the breast should turn a nice golden brown – and then transfer to a baking tray, skin side up, and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

The duck crisps up a bit after frying
The duck crisps up a bit after frying

To make the soup, heat the chicken stock, soy sauce and rice vinegar in a pan. Add the mushroom and cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes, before adding the noodles to cook for a minute, and finally the spring onion, bean sprouts and chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Duck Soup Ingredients

Meanwhile, your duck should have finished in the oven – remove it and rest for a minute, to let it suck up all its juices. Carve into slices as thin you can – you should be able to get plenty of slices to feed 2 out of a decent-sized duck breast.

Duck Post Oven

Duck Sliced Thinly

Place the duck on top of the soup and sprinkle over a few coriander sprigs before serving.

Duck Soup

We thought this meal was pretty awesome – we’ve dabbled in Chinese food before but generally have stuck more with Thai flavours. Needless to say we can’t wait to get stuck in with the rest of Ching-He’s book!

Ching-He Huang

Brazilian Seafood Stew

We’ve been crazy for seafood recently! We can’t stop cooking up great fish recipes. We’re also really into South American flavours – lime, coriander and tomatoes are some of our favourites – and this dish brings them all together. This recipe for Brazilian seafood stew – or Moqueca – is taken from Allegra McEvedy’s Around The World In 120 Recipes – we can really recommend it, it’s got tons of amazing and varied recipes – we cook from it all the time! The recipe has a lot going on, but it’s pretty relaxed – the first part of it can be prepared well in advance, and there’s no need to rush at all. We’re cooking it with haddock fillets instead of halibut steaks, they’re a bit easier to come by in Bristol…

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 2 haddock fillets
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed with a good pinch of salt
  • 2 limes
  • A handful of coriander
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 tin (200ml) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 6 raw peeled king prawns
  • White rice, to serve
  • Salt and pepper

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The first thing to do is to marinate the fish – put your fillets into a bowl or other container with the garlic, the juice of the lime, most of the coriander and some salt and pepper, and leave for an hour (or longer) in the fridge.

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Put half of both types of oil into a pan and fry two-thirds of the onion slices – you want them to slightly caramelize but not burn, so don’t have the heat higher than medium. This should take around 10 minutes, after which point you can add half of the tomatoes and half the peppers and leave these to soften up for a few more minutes.

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Stir in the tomato purée so that everything is coated, and follow up with half the coconut milk. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes or so, then blitz to form a nice creamy sauce – we used a stick blender, but you could use a food processor (we have one but don’t agree with washing up).

Now put the rice on to cook, and heat up the rest of the oils in a wide saucepan on a high heat. Cover the fish fillets in the seasoned flour (we find it easiest to sift the flour with some salt and pepper onto a plate) and fry for 2-3 minutes each side – fillets will take a little less time to cook than thick steaks. Put these aside, and add the rest of the onions, peppers and tomatoes. Cook this lot for 5 minutes or so, before adding the pre-prepared blitzed mixture and the rest of the coconut milk.

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Add the fish fillets back to the pan, cover and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the prawns and a load of chopped coriander and cooking for another minute or so (we don’t think prawns need very much time at all to cook!).

Serve on a hearty bed of rice, topped with chopped coriander and served alongside a good wedge of lime – a perfect, comforting yet fresh meal.

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You can find a video of Allegra herself cooking this meal on lovefood.com – check it out!

Spicy Pork Medallions with Sweet Potato Wedges

This recipe has some of our favourite spices in it, slathered generously over meaty chunks of pork and served alongside some delicious sweet potato wedges and crunchy salad. Pork medallions are a great way to serve pork – they are really lean and healthy, and a little goes a long way! If you cook them properly, like we do here, they are also juicy and tender. We really recommend buying pork loin and slicing the medallions yourself (or getting your butcher to do it for you) – we have found pre-packed pork medallions can be a bit dry. We managed to freeze half of the pork loin we bought, so you can be sure we’ll be doing a similar recipe again soon.

For 2 people, you’ll need:

  • 180g pork loin (you can get twice this amount and freeze half, we did!)
  • 2 tsp each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Large handful of breadcrumbs
  • 100g mixed-leaf salad
  • Vinaigrette (we made our own with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar and a bit of sea salt)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 glasses of cider (sort of optional, but not really!)

Start off by making a marinade for the pork, by toasting the spices and crushing with a pestle and mortar along with the mustard, a pinch of salt and about a tablespoon of olive oil – just enough to make it into a smear-able paste. Slice your pork loin into medallions about 1-2 cm thick (we managed to get 8 medallions out of ours), and coat the medallions in the spice mixture. Put aside while the rest of the dish is cooking.

These spices look AMAZING! Loving the lens on my camera! - Fats
These spices look AMAZING! Loving the lens on my camera! – Fats

Spices in pestle & mortar

Pork with Spice Marinade

Heat the oven to 180ºC. Slice your sweet potato into wedges, and parboil by covering them with water in a pan and just bringing to the boil. While this is happening, put a couple of tablespoons of oil into a large roasting dish and heat in the oven at about. Once the sweet potatoes are parboiled, take the dish out of the oven, and throw in the chilli flakes along with a bit of seasoning, swiftly followed by the sweet potato wedges. Toss around a bit to make sure that everything gets coated, and put back in the oven. These should take about 45 minutes to cook, with occasional turning – put your feet up with a cider! (To our American friends, that’s the alcoholic version…)

Sweet Potato Wedges

When the wedges are about 15 minutes away from being nice and crispy, retrieve the pork. Prepare your breadcrumbs by spreading over a plate with a bit of seasoning, and heat about a tablespoon of oil in a griddle or frying pan over a high heat. Cover the pork medallions in breadcrumbs, and add to the hot oil. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side so that they turn nice and golden. While this is happening, you should just have time to knock up a vinaigrette. Dish it all up and enjoy with a nice glass of cider! Are we starting to sound obsessed? It’s because we are a bit…

Pork cooking in griddle pan

This recipe is great and really flexible – we’re thinking of trying it again soon, maybe a french version with rosemary, thyme and oregano, or perhaps a spanish version with smoked paprika and chilli.

Spicy pork medallions done