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Broccoli and soba noodle salad

Super quick and super easy recipe for an Asian-style lunch. Few ingredients, little work and a very satisfying meal. Tenderstem broccoli go great with soba noodles and spicy dressing with soy sauce, tamarind paste and lime juice. You have to try it!

Recipe: Broccoli and soba noodle salad

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 200 g soba noodles
  • 250 g tenderstem broccoli
  • a handful coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped red chilli pepper
  • one tsp black sesame seeds
Method
  • Cook the noodles according to the package's instructions.
  • Blanch the broccoli in a boiling water for 3 minutes. Submerge in a bowl of ice water for one minute.
  • Place noodles and broccoli in a targe bowl.
  • Combine with coriander leaves, chopped chilli and soy-tamarind dressing.
  • Divide between two plates and top with black sesame before serving.

Recipe: Soy-tamarind dressing

Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • one tsp grated ginger
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • one red chilli pepper, sliced
Method
  • Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Set aside for at least 15 minutes, to let the flavours combine.

Green curry and broccoli soup

I enjoy hearty dishes in the first cold days of winter, but comes January, I start craving something lighter. This is my perfect January soup: bit spicy, warming and fully comforting, but light and green at the same time.

When you look at the recipe, it might seem like a lot of work, but it's not. The recipe is super easy and putting everything together will take a maxiumum of half an hour and that includes making the curry paste and crispy broccoli topping. And you can always use a good store-bought green curry paste and limit the toppings to fresh coriander and sesame seeds.

Recipe: Green curry broccoli soup

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp green curry paste
  • one large broccoli, divided into small florets
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 limes
  • a handful fresh coriander
Method
  • Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add broccoli florets and cook, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the stock and coconut milk, combine, cover and bring to boil.
  • Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender - 5-10 minutes .
  • Before serving, blend or process until smooth.
  • Season with lime juice.
  • Top each serving with fresh cilantro and crispy broccoli florets.

Recipe: Crispy broccoli florets

Ingredients
  • a handful broccoli florets
  • one tbsp coconut oil
  • one tbsp soy sauce
  • one tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
Method
  • Heat coconut oil in a small pan, add broccoli and fry for one minute.
  • Add soy sauce combined with honey and continue cooking, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add sesame seeds and combine.

Recipe: Green curry paste

Ingredients
  • 5 medium green chilies, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • a bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • 2 limes, juice and zest
  • one tbsp coriander seeds
  • one tsp ground cumin
  • one tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
Method
  • Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a paste.

Chinese tofu pancakes

Traditionally served with crispy duck, this pancakes make a great vegan dish as well. Thick hoisin sauce and fresh cucumber and spring onions go great with fried tofu. Perfect snack for a small gathering.

Recipe: Chinese tofu pancakes

Ingredients
  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, cut into matchsticks
  • a few branches fresh coriander
  • 1/4 red chilli pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 10 thin pancakes
Method
  • Slice tofu and combine with 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce.
  • Fry tofu slices on heated sesame oil, about one minute each side.
  • Steam the pancakes and keep them warm in a bamboo steamer or covered with foil.
  • Arrange fried tofu, cucumber and spring onion stick, coriander leaves, chilli and hoisin sauce on the table and allow everyone to help themselves.
  • Spread some sauce on each pancake and top with tofu, cucumber and spring onions. Sprinkle with coriander and chilli and roll up.

Recipe: Homemade hoisin sauce

Ingredients
  • 7-8 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • one tsp finely chopped chilli
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients in a small pot.
  • Simmer over low heat, stirring, until well combined.
  • Set aside to cool.

Vegan taco buffet

Perfect tacos: crispy, aromatic, colourful and vegan. Great for small or larger gatherings. All you have to do is prepare the toppings and ask your guests to compose their ideal snacks. I chose roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and corn, creamy cashew paste, pomegranate seeds, fresh chillies, aromatic coriander and lime juice. You can add your favourite fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Recipe: Vegan tacos

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • a bunch coriander
  • one corn on a cob
  • one cup cooked black beans
  • rosted sweet potatoes (recipe below)
  • cashew paste (recipe below)
  • 2 green chilli peppers
  • 1 small pomegranate
  • 1 lime
Method
  • Roast the corn at 180C for about 30 minutes, until tender.
  • Kut off the kernels and combine with cooked beans.
  • Deseed the pomegranate, slice the chillies and cut the lime into quarters.
  • Heat the tortillas in the oven or on a pan and cover to keep them warm.
  • Serve all the ingredients together and let everyone compose their own tacos: roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate and fresh coriander or corn and beans with cashew paste and fresh chillies. Or everything altogether :)

Recipe: Roasted sweet potatoes

Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • one tbsp olive oil
  • one tsp smoked paprika powder
  • one tsp sweet paprika powder
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  • Peel and dice the potatoes.
  • Cut the onion into eitghts.
  • Mix diced potatoes with onion, olive and spices.
  • Transfer into a baking dish and roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.

Recipe: Cashew paste

Ingredients
  • 100 g cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp plant-based milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 lime (peel and juice)
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  • Blend soaked chashews with milk, to make a smooth paste.
  • Add lime juice and peel, combine. Season with salt
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Pho soup

Delicious, aromatic and wonderfully warming, Vietnamese pho soup is a perfect remedy for a spring cold and a bad mood. As you can probably imagine, there are numerous variations and regional modifications of the recipe. The one I propose is my way of quickly making a satisfying bowl of soup.

I’ve made mine with shrimp, but you could use thin slices of beef instead. If you want your version to be vegan, go for cubed tofu. You can substitute mint and cilantro with your favourite fresh herbs and spice things up with Sriracha sauce.

It is consumed at any time of day in the North of Vietnam, whereas Southern Vietnamese usually serve it in the morning. It might seem weird to have a bowl of soup for breakfast, but trust me - it really is the best way to start your day. Especially on Mondays.

Recipe: Pho soup

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • one piece (ok. 5 cm) ginger
  • one green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 anise stars
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • To serve: rice noodles, raw shrimp, green chili, lime, fresh mint and cilantro
Method
  • Char the onion and ginger over an open flame.
  • In a large pot, dry-roast cloves, cinnamon, anise, coriander and cardamom.
  • Add onion, ginger, chili and stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for about an hour.
  • Season with sugar, soy sauce and lime juice.
  • In each bowl, place some noodles, shrimp, sliced green chillies, lime wedges, fresh mint and cilantro.
  • Top with hot broth.
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