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While fusion food has gotten a bit of a bad rep over the years from many restaurants that came up with dishes that were neither here nor there, I still always applaud those who dare to imagine and come up with something different from the ordinary. Sometimes it is done by mixing ingredients from different parts of the world, other times by turning traditional recipes upside down. Either way, it is one way to ensure that culinary art does not stay stagnant and only look backwards.

glorious miso grilled hake steak with spicy mussel soup
glorious miso grilled hake steak with spicy mussel soup

Several days ago I received some fresh ingredients courtesy of the Zealand Trade Enterprises, and as part of the challenge, we were supposed to use them and come up with dishes worthy of sharing. Since cooking is one of my many hobbies, here goes!

For dinner last Friday, I decided to make grilled hake (or any cod, really)  with miso marinate & vege, while the wife came up with spicy mussle soup as a companion dish. Both seafood ingredients were New Zealand products.

Hake steak from New Zealand, miso as main marinate ingredient
Hake steak from New Zealand, miso as main marinate ingredient

I will be sharing the hake steak recipe here:

Ingredients:

  • Hake steak (or any white fish, such as cod) 250-300 gram per pax
  • asparagus & mushroom (sliced)
  • a few gloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil

Ingredients for marinate:

  • 2 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cooking sake
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

asparagus and mushroom as sides
asparagus and mushroom as sides

Cooking instructions (fish):

  • mix marinate in a bowl and apply generously on fish, let marinate for at least 15-30 minutes
  • heat up the oven to 175 C
  • pan fry the fish for 2-3 minutes
  • bake fish in oven for 10 minutes

fish: pan fry before oven, vege: sauteed
fish: pan fry before oven, vege: sauteed

Cooking instructions (vegetable):

  • heat up frying pan with cooking oil
  • fry garlic till fragrant
  • add mushroom & asparagus and saute for 2 minutes
  • add leftover marinate to the vege and continue to saute for another 2 minutes

Time your cooking of vegetable to coincide with the fish so that they’re both served hot. Enjoy!

spicy New Zealand mussel soup made by Haze Long
spicy New Zealand mussel soup made by Haze Long

Since we lack tomato puree or white wine, the spicy mussel soup involved the use of sake, ketchup, New Zealand mussels, and black magic. My wife made it, so I don’t think I’m qualified to know enough of the recipe to share it here.

Happy cooking! #

I remember one of the dishes I really like as a kid involving squid is the one with some sort of thick dark sauce mom made, so naturally when I discovered that we still had some squid in the fridge, I tried to replicate the dish at home. After a bit of exploring on the web, I think I finally nailed down a version that came up pretty good.

squid with dark soya sauce
squid with dark soya sauce

Here’s the simple stir fry squid with dark soya sauce recipe, give it a try if you love squid like most of us do!

To be honest, the recipe uses more than just dark soya sauce, naming is just for simplicity sake.

soya sauce, dark soya sauce, squid, garlic, ginger, salt, brown sugar, and pepper
soya sauce, dark soya sauce, squid, garlic, ginger, salt, brown sugar, and pepper

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 squids, cleaned (if you want to get fancy, stuff the head back into the body and “stitch it up with a toothpick”)
  • an inch of ginger, cut into strips
  • half a bulb of garlic, chopped in chunks
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil

start with ginger, garlic, then the rest
start with ginger, garlic, then the rest

Cooking instructions:

  • marinate the squid with sugar, salt, dark soya sauce, soya sauce, and pepper for 30 minutes
  • heat up cooking oil
  • fry ginger for a 30 seconds, then add garlic until fragrant
  • add in squid in medium heat without pouring all the marinate
  • cook for 5-6 minutes, then add the rest of the marinate
  • serve while hot (add a bit of parsley for photo op!)

It is really a rather simple recipe, I hope you try it. Happy cooking!

Today I want to share a very simple recipe, and with an ingredient that you can probably plant on your garden, or even in a pot on your balcony at home – basil!

Remember the home made ghetto sous vide solution? Well, we made more beef from the session than we can eat and kept them in fridge, so the natural thing to do for the next day was to use it to cook something instead of having cold steak, enter fried beef with basil.

beef with basil recipe
beef with basil recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 200 gram beef – thinly sliced (raw beef is fine too)
  • one bunch of basil leaves
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, chopped
  • pepper
  • chili padi (optional)

3 types of greens from this pic were from our garden
3 types of greens from this pic were from our garden

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic till fragrant
  • throw beef and basil, stir, and then all other ingredients, stir for a couple minutes
  • the end

This is literally one of the simplest recipes, tastes great and goes really well with steamed rice. Have fun cooking, and get started on growing some of your own food! In the picture above, the radish, long bean, and basil were from our garden.

One of my favorite canned food is the stewed canned pork. It is basically savory heaven contained within a can that can be unleashed upon in the kitchen at your convenience throughout the clock. If I had to build a nuclear bunker, this will definitely be one of the stocked up item for me.

Today, I’m going to share with you one of the easiest ways to make use of this godsend ingredient – by making canned stew pork with potato dish that goes very well with steamed rice.

cooking potato with canned pork
cooking potato with canned pork

Ingredients:

  • one canned stew pork (big)
  • 3 potatoes, cut in 1/2 cm thick slices
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce (optional)

potato with stewed pork
potato with stewed pork

Cooking instructions:

  • boil the potato until soft
  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic until fragrant
  • add canned pork, add potato
  • add dark soya sauce (optional)
  • mix well and serve while hot

This dish can be prepared in less than 20 minutes, super simple and positively delicious. Give it a try if you like some of those homey cholesterol laden taste.

Happy cooking!

While we’ve been cooking more at the new house, I’ve been somewhat neglecting updates on writing about the food we’ve been cooking. Well, here’s one that I made several weeks back that should be easy for anyone who knows how to light the stove – a simple mushroom and prawn fried rice dish.

home cooked mushroom and prawn fried rice
home cooked mushroom and prawn fried rice

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of rice (cooked & cooled)
  • 6-8 medium prawn, peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • half a yellow onion, chopped
  • a handful of mushroom, sliced
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil
  • half a clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soya sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chili & some basil (optional)

fry the ingredients one by one, and eggs last
fry the ingredients one by one, and eggs last

Cooking Instruction:

  • prepare all ingredients and place on the side
  • heat 2 tablespoon cooking oil and fry garlic and onion till it starts to fragrant
  • add mushroom, then prawns a minute later
  • add rice once prawns starts to cook, stir and add sauces
  • part the rice in the center, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then add eggs
  • stir everything till egg is cooked
  • add greens on top and viola, you have a plate of awesome fried rice!

This is a complete meal in a dish, add sambal for extra kick.