Saturday, 24 July 2010

Cabbage Rolls

These cabbage rolls are a low fat version. I adapted this recipe slightly from Australian Women’s Weekly Low Low Fat.

Note: I used a small bamboo steam and only fit in 2-3 at a time. Please ensure that you make sure the water level in the saucepan or wok below does not boil dry. My first lot of steaming worked out perfectly. However, the second lot I put in were ruined, because I forgot to add more water and I boiled the pan dried AND set fire to my bamboo steamer....Let me tell you,a smouldering/burning bamboo steamer stinks!!!!! Lesson learnt, and one bamboo steamer down....


6-8 large cabbage leaves, trimmed
¼ tsb olive oil
1 large carrot, grated coursely
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g pork mince
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground allspice (I didn’t have allspice and used ¼ nutmeg, ¼ cinnamon, ¼ more cumin)
2 cups cooked long grain rice

Tomato sauce

1 ½ cups of passata
½ cup chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs flat leaf parsley, sliced finely


Boil cabbage leaves until pliable, rinse under cold water and drain. Pat dry with paper towel.

Heat oil in frying pan, cook carrot, onion, celery and garlic, stirring until onion softens.

Add mince and paste, cook until mince is brown.

Add spices and cook until fragrant (a couple of minutes).

Add rice and heat through.

Let mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

Divide mixture between cabbage leaves and roll up like an envelope.

Place a single layer in lined bamboo steamer (or any steamer) and steam for about 10 minutes.

To make tomato sauce

Combine all ingredients except parsley, bring to the boil and turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in parsley.
Serve cabbage rolls with sauce.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Garlic Prawns

What to do with a massive tub of peeled garlic cloves. But I had a couple of recipes in mind. Garlic prawns was one of them. Buttery, garlic infused succulent prawns, sopped up with bread (the second serve the next day I had it with mashed potato, to soak up the garlic sauce). Hey I was getting sick with a cold and that is what I felt like. It was good and sinful! Also the garlic did nothing for the cold!

Garlic prawns feature on many mediterranean/european/mexican tables, each dish slightly different. I went with the french version.


24 large green prawns
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 small red chillis, finely sliced
250ml olive oil
60g butter
2 tbs of parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 220°c.

Peel and devien prawns, leaving the tails on.

Sprinkle the garlic and chilli into 4 individual ramekins (or cast iron dishes). Divide the butter and oil into the dishes.

Place dishes on a baking tray and put in oven for about 6 minutes, or until the butter has melted and heated.

Take tray out of oven and divide prawns into the dishes. Place back in the oven for about 7 minutes or until prawns are pink and tender.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Hainese Chicken

I have eaten Hainese chicken many times. I have found in Australia this is usually on a menu as Chicken Rice. A dish that is originally from Hainan Island comprising of chicken, rice and soup with green onion or chilli sauce the dish was taken to Singapore by Hainese immigrants and has become a Singapore classic. It is a meal in itself. There are a few variations found in Thailand and in Malaysia where it is typically served with rice balls. However, I tried to stick to the classic recipe.

I found the chicken succulent and the spring onion and ginger sauce was awesome. Salty, gingery and I could eat with by the spoonful!


1.2kg chicken
2 spring onions cut into 5 cm lengths
5 coriander sprigs
¾ tsp salt
4 slices of ginger, smashed
¼ tsp black peppercorns
Spring onions , finely sliced
Dipping Sauces
2 spring onions, sliced
1 tbs finely grated ginger
1 tsp salt
3 tbs oil
3 tbs light soy sauce
1-2 red chillies sliced


Remove the fat from the cavity and around the neck of the chicken. Remove the parson’s nose (the bum). Rinse the chicken.

Place the chicken in a large saucepan with spring onion lengths, coriander, salt, ginger, peppercorns and enough water to cover the chicken.

Bring to the boil and then reduce to a very low simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off and leave the chicken for a further 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the chicken.

Skim off the scum from the liquid and strain the liquid (this makes the soup).

To make the dipping sauces

For the first sauce, combine the spring onion, ginger and salt in a heat proof bowl. Heat oil in wok and heat until smoking. Allow to cool slightly and then poor over the mix (be careful as it may splatter).

For the second sauce combine light soy sauce and chilli.

To serve, cut chicken through the bones (Chinese style) and arrange on plate. Put stock into serving bowls scattered with spring onions. Serve with steamed rice and dipping sauces.