Category Archives: Asian


Rendang Spice Paste

Rendang Spice Paste

3/4 cup grated coconut
15 dried chillies
10 shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
20g fresh ginger, sliced
1 tsp turmeric
2 stalks lemon grass, bashed and sliced
4-6 bird chillies, optional for extra heat

Beef Rendang

500g rump steak, sliced into 12-15mm (half-inch) cubes
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Place the coconut in a wok over a medium heat and dry-fry until golden brown. Cool slightly before grinding finely in mortar and pestle, or in food processor.

Snip chillies into 25mm lengths. Soak in hot water until softened. Discard half the seeds and place the chillies in electric blender jug with shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric and lemon grass. If you want a hotter rendang, add bird chillies. Add 1/2 cup water and grind to a paste- but not too finely.

Place spice paste, beef, coconut milk, and water in a roomy wok. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat, stirring now and then until mixture is well reduced and thick and oil surfaces—at least 45 minutes.

Add ground toasted coconut, kaffir lime leaf, salt, sugar. Cook another 5-10 minutes, taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve with rice.

Smoked Fish Pakoras

Made earlier in the week these are smoked Fish Pakoras. While the name comes from India chickpea flour has been used for centuries in Italy so this is a blend.

2/3 cup (100g) chickpea flour (besan)
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour
2 level tsp ground Mrs R’s ground turmeric
200ml sparkling water, chilled

Combine the chickpea flour, cornflour and turmeric in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper (I also add some lemon pepper seasoning sometimes and leave out the straight S & P) then whisk in sparkling water until smooth. The batter needs to look like thin cream. You can add some chilli powder if you like.

The mix for the filling was 250g smoked fish (shredded) in a bowl with 1/2 cup of thin sliced red onion and 1/2 cup of grated carrot that had been patted dry.

I pour the batter into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and mix through. I repeat this until I get an even coating over the fish mix and then deep fry tablespoon lots.

You can also replace the fish with grated vegetables of choice

Mini Fish Bites

Mini-Fish-Bites-webThis recipe is so versatile as you can make mini-fish cakes or patties for kids or flavour it up for adults.


500g baking potatoes or sweet potato
1 leek or large brown onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter, plus 2 tbsp for frying
200g frozen peas
300ml milk
300g firm white fish, smoked fish is also great
4 spring onions, chopped (or chives …or both)1 tbsp
fresh thyme, ½ dried thyme. I love lemon thyme in this recipe
2 tbsp grated parmesan
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil, for frying

Additions for adult version

2 tbsp fish sauce
1 chilli, seeded and chopped fine
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

For the coating

4 tbsp plain flour
2 free range eggs, beaten with a dash of milk
8 tbsp fine dried crumbs or polenta


Wash the potatoes well, but leave the skins on and put in a pan. Cover with cold salted water, bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the leek/onion in a shallow pan in the butter for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Tip into a bowl and mash roughly so some of the peas break up.

Drain the potatoes well. Allow them to cool a little in a colander so that the excess moisture escapes as steam. When you can handle the potatoes, remove the skin with a small knife – it should scrape off easily.

Pour the milk into the same pan that you used for the leek/onion, thyme, (aduly flavours if using) and place the fish fillets in the milk. Bring to a simmer, then turn the fish over when the milk comes up to the boil. Turn down the heat and cook for a further minute before removing from the heat.

Mash the potatoes roughly, or pass them through a potato ricer. Add the pea mix.

Flake the fish flesh into the potato-pea mix along with 2 tbsp of the cooking milk. Err on the side of a drier mix to ensure that the cakes do not collapse when you fry them.

Add the spring onions and parmesan, then fold all the ingredients together with a spoon. Season well with salt and pepper.

Allow the mix to cool thoroughly and shape into small balls or fishcakes with floured hands – they can be as big or as small as you like.

Arrange the coating ingredients in 3 separate bowls, starting with flour, then the egg-milk mix and finally the breadcrumbs.

Coat the first cake or ball in the flour, then transfer to the egg mix and finally, coat carefully in breadcrumbs or polenta. Place the finished fishcakes on a tray and refrigerate until needed. Make sure they are good and cold. This will also stop them collapsing.

To cook heat up the butter and oil in a large shallow frying pan. Having a mix of butter and oil will stop the butter burning. Carefully place each cake in the pan and fry over a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. They can be served straight away or transferred to a low oven until serving.

I serve with a sweet chilli sauce. Sweet and sour sauce is also great.

Crispy Duck Breast over a Red Thai Curry Sauce

Duck-red-curryInspired from a dish I have eaten many times, street food, in Thailand when I was living there.

Key feature to the dish is the crispy skin of the duck breast. (This is the thing that so many people get stressed about with duck, we can show its not hard at all to do).

Personal note:

This dish has a slight fusion, Chinese, Thai, Pacific

Serves 2


2 Skin-on duck breast
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh peppercorns (ground)
4 fresh green chilli, seeded and chopped very fine
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 ½ cups coconut milk
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock, water can be used if there is no stock
4 tablespoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 green seedless grapes
½ cup pineapple pieces
10 cherry tomatoes

for the garnish
2 green or red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Thai basil, sliced
2 leaves kaffir lime leaves, sliced into fine slivers


Mix the Chinese five-spice powder with the salt and rub the duck breast on all sides.

Place duck skin down onto cold, un-greased and oil-less pan. Turn up the heat to high and allow duck skin to crisp. Do not touch, move or flip duck until meat is cooked half way and skin is crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Flip duck to cook other side for an additional 5-6 minutes. Once underside is cooked, angle pan to cook the edges of duck.

Remove duck from the pan to a warmed plate and allow to rest. Don’t cover as the skin will absorb the steam and will loose the crispy texture. It will rest easily for 10 minutes.

In the hot pan sauté the red curry paste, peppercorn, garlic and chili with duck fat for 30-45 seconds and add coconut milk and stock/water to pan and bring to a boil.

Once its come to a rolling boil add and stir in the grapes, pineapples and tomatoes. Add sugar and fish sauce. As soon as curry sauce starts to boil again, stir in bell peppers and remove from heat. Stir in the Thai basil and sliced kaffir lime leaves.

Add the sauce evenly to two warmed bowls. Slice the crispy duck breasts and place on top of curry sauce. Drizzle coconut milk onto duck and serve (optional).

Can be serve with steamed jasmine rice as a side or as it is.

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Legs


1/2 cup honey, warmed

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoon GF soy sauce or coconut aminos for paleo

16 (2kg) chicken drumsticks

¼ cup fresh mint leaves 


Combine warm honey, five spice, garlic and soy sauce in a jug. 

Place chicken in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add honey mixture, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 200°C (400F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. 

Place chicken in a single layer on the prepared tray. 

Place in the oven and cook chicken, basting with reserved marinade halfway through cooking, for 40 minutes or until chicken is golden and cooked through. 

Add the mint leaves when basting ½ way through the cooking 

Serve with desired sides.

Oh So Slow On The Bone Beef Stew


1kg (2.2lb) beef short ribs

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 chopped onion

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp sliced ginger

4 spring onions, chopped

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup olive or coconut  oil

chilli flakes to taste

beef stock, 3-4 cups, may require more


Season ribs with salt and pepper. Over a medium high heat sauté ginger, garlic and onion in oil in a cast iron casserole. Add short ribs and continue tossing the meat until well coated with the mixture.  Add the bay and cover with water (just enough to cover the ribs) and once simmering reduce the heat to low and cover. 

Simmer for 2 hours checking from time to time and add more beef stock as required to maintain the water level so the ribs are just covered. 

After 2 hours remove the lid and simmer until meat starts to fall off and the sauce has been reduced to half of the original amount. 

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve hot.

Chicken Tikka Drums

indian-drumbs-webServes 4 



8-10 chicken drumsticks

1 cup thick Yogurt

1 tsp Garam Masala

1 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

2 tsp Corriander powder

Salt, to season

1tbsp Ginger-garlic paste

Juice of 1 lime 

For cooking 

3 -5 tsp olive or coconut oil 


Pat the chicken drumsticks dry well. Then make 1-2 deep cuts on each on both sides. In a bowl add the lime juice and salt to the chicken pieces, coat on all sides and leave it aside for 10 minutes. 

In a large bowl add all the spices with the yogurt and mix well, taste when mixed and adjust the salt seasoning to taste. 

Add the chicken to this turning them in the mixture and cover the bowl with a lid or cling film. Refrigerate for 8 hours or more, best to leave it overnight. 

The next day take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. 

Pre-heat the oven grill (Broiler) to 225 C (435 F). 

Line a baking tray with foil and lay the pieces of chicken leave sufficient space between the pieces. To this drizzle some oil on top and coat the oil on all sides of the chicken. 

Now set the tray under the grill in the center and let it cook for 20 minutes check and turn the pieces over after 10 minutes. Make sure that it does not burn too much. 

Serve hot with onion rings and mint sauce. 

Mint Yogurt Dipping Sauce/Chutney 


2 medium bunches of fresh mint, cleaned and leaves separated

Fresh coriander leaves – a few strands

4 Green chillies, slit in the center and de-seeded

Salt, to season – to taste

3-4 tbsp thick yogurt

Fresh ginger, 25mm (1 inch) pealed and chopped fine

1 tsp oil 


In a skillet/ pan heat oil and once it turns hot add the ginger and stir wait for the raw smell to go, now add the mint leaves and sauté for 2 minutes and then add the coriander leaves. Keep sautéing till the leaves shrink to 1/4 of their original volume. 

Add the green chilli and salt, stir and then remove from the heat. Let it cool down well. 

Transfer the mix to a food processor, add only 1 tbsp yogurt and blend until fine and smooth, now add the remaining yogurt and blend again. 

Serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

Leftover Seafood Salad Brunch

Seafood-Salad-webThere are times when we have been entertaining and the fridge is stocked with leftovers. This recipe uses cold seafood leftover and can also include cold chicken (smoked is great) and turkey meat. 

You can use salad greens of choice for the base and also wilted asian greens for a difference. 

This recipe is per serve 



1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp blue cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


1 head fancy lettuce, chopped or asian greens that have been wilted (steamed for 1-2 minutes)
1 small bunch watercress, some of the stems trimmed, chopped
200g (6 oz) cooked lobster or prawn meat, chopped (mix of both is good)

100g (3 oz) smoked chicken, shreaded
100g (3 oz) blue cheese, crumbled
2 medium tomatoes, seeded, and diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 6 slices
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Optional additions – Sliced hard boiled eggs, cooked bacon (crumbed)


Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, blue cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. This can also be done with a whisk, blending until creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This can be done a few days in advance, and the flavours do improve with time. Be sure to whisk before using. 

Toss the lettuce or wilted asian greens and watercress in a large bowl. 

In another bowl combine the cold meats with the dressing. 

In a serving bowl arrange a layer of the greens and then place a severing of the seafood mix. Arrange the sliced tomatoes and avocado around the edge. Season with a little salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Jimmys Chilli Mussels

mussels-chilli-webThis recipe is a blend of flavours from several countries that I have lived in over the years. Its in general Indian flavours and is a wonderful way to cook and serve mussels as a starter. The recipe is easy to scale.

Serves 2 as a starter 


10 shelled mussels
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
Fine sea salt to season
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil


6 Shallots
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp white vinegar 


Clean and wash the mussels making sure all of the beards are removed.

In a blender, put all the paste ingredients and wiz into a fine paste.

Place the cleaned mussels in a medium sized bowl and mix in the marinate/pate the red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well to combine so the spices and the paste cover the mussels evenly. Cover and rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Remove the mussels 20 minutes before you are wanting to cook them. Heat the oil in a pan and shallow fry the mussels over a medium heat. Stir and turn the mussels for 2-3 minutes and remove from the heat. Rest for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Garlic Honey Chilli Lime Prawns

grilled-shrimp-webI leave the prawn shells on in this dish as they are going to be placed on a hot grill plate and the shells help stop the soft prawn flesh from burning. 

Serves 4 

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

1 long green chilli, seeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp lime juice

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to season

16 raw king prawns, shells left on

Bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 2 hours

Lime wedges, to serve 

Place the garlic, honey, chilli, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a large non-metallic bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the prawns and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. 

Heat a barbecue grill plate to high. Remove prawns from marinade and thread 4 onto  bamboo skewers. I use 2 skewers to ensure that the prawns can cook evenly on the grill plate and are easier to handle. 

Grill prawn skewers for 2 minutes each side or until prawns are cooked through and golden. Serve skewers with lime wedges and seasonal fresh salad of choice.