Tag Archives: recipes

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

Sweet Chilli Salmon Skewers

We’ve blogged loads about our love for south-east asian flavours – especially chilli and lime (we have recipes for Thai-style Sea Bass, Thai Noodle Soup with Crispy Tofu, Thai Green Curry… you get the idea!). This recipe for sweet chilli salmon skewers couldn’t be easier, but it’s impressive and the flavours really pack a punch! We’re getting a bit of help from Mr. Vikki’s Chilli Jam here, which we got for Christmas from Fats’ parents. You can use any sweet chilli sauce though, or even make your own!

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 1 tbsp Chilli Jam/Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 100g tenderstem broccoli
  • 1 pak choi, thickly sliced
  • 100g sugarsnap peas
  • 500ml jasmine tea
  • 180g white rice

Chilli Jam and Jasmine Tea

Start with the marinade by mixing together the chilli jam, lime and 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a bowl. Cut the salmon into chunks and coat it well with the marinade. Leave for at least 20 minutes or so. When they’ve finished marinading, skewer your salmon cubes and prepare them for a grilling – we did this by resting the skewers over a roasting dish lined with kitchen foil – the foil should ensure that the salmon gets cooked from both sides.

This was taken pre-foiling of the roasting dish... Don't forget! Looks good though, right?
This was taken pre-foiling of the roasting dish… Don’t forget! Looks good though, right?

Make your jasmine tea (brew for about 5 minutes in a jug), and add to a pan (being sure to sift out any leaves!), topping up with water as necessary. Bring to the boil and add the rice, cooking for about 12 minutes. Put your salmon skewers under a hot grill at the same time – they should take about 12 minutes too.

Mix together the oyster sauce and the soy sauce in a bowl, and heat the rest of the oil in a wok. Add your veg to the wok, keeping aside the green parts of the pak choi, and cover in your sauce. Toss to coat the veg and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

Stir-frying veg

If you’ve timed it right, everything should come together at the same time. Plate it up with an extra wedge of lime to squeeze over and enjoy!

Salmon Skewers Done

Posh Sardines & Tomatoes on Toast

This will be our first ever breakfast/brunch post! We’re always posting pictures of our delicious brunches on our instagram, so we thought we’d share some inspiration with you. It doesn’t take much effort to make sardines on toast quite special! It’s also healthy and nutritious and pretty cheap. We served ours on fresh home made bread, using our usual recipe, with some added Three Malt and Sunflower Seed flour – delicious.

Three Malt and Sunflower Seed Bread

For 2 servings:

  • 4 slices of bread, toasted (I’m sure you guys can figure this out!)
  • 200 g cherry/baby plum tomatoes
  • 1 60g tin sardines (in tomato sauce/olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Handful of fresh basil (optional)

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Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Half the tomatoes and add to the pan, and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until they are starting to soften, and then add a splash of water and the balsamic vinegar. Once they’re nice and soft and have started to form a sauce, add the sardines, making sure that any bones have been removed. Chop the basil and add it to the pan, if you want to. Heat through for a couple of minutes and then serve on top of the toast.

Sometimes the simple things are the best

This is probably one of the shortest recipes we’ve ever posted. But sometimes all you need is a bit of inspiration! This is delicious with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, or just a nice cup of tea.

Cranberry, Orange and White Chocolate Muffins

Just a quickie here, these mini muffins were whipped up for Bird to take into work for her belated birthday cake and they all disappeared very quickly! There is still a hint of the festive with the cranberry and orange combination, but cranberry and white chocolate is a classic that takes some beating. This recipe made 22 mini muffins (fairy cake sized cases) and would probably make 12-14 standard sized muffins.

Ingredients

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (not essence!)
  • 200ml milk, we used semi-skimmed
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped into small squares
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • zest of half an orange

White Chocolate, Orange and Cranberry

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar. In a jug mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the bowl and mix together being careful not to overmix. Add the melted butter, again mix gently and then fold in the chocolate, cranberries and orange. And that’s the mix done! Easy peasy.

Muffins in Cases

Spoon the mix into cake cakes in a muffin tin (or use 2-3 cases inside each other on a baking tray if you don’t have a muffin tin) and place into the oven. Ours took around 15-18 minutes to be light golden on top and baked through but if you’re making these full size then they will take longer, around 25 minutes probably. Take them out, leave them to cool and then dive in! Or if you’re saintly like us, feed them to your colleagues while they complain about January dieting. The perfect antidote to the worst Monday of the year!

That'll be what, 2 servings?
That’ll be what, 2 servings?