Spaghetti Bolegnase, Photo by PH Morton
Noodles for Longevity
I was watching an episode of Father is Strange last weekend when there was a scene where the family insisted Joon-Young, who finally passed his civil service exam after many tries, to slurp the whole of the noodle strands rather than biting into it.
I was intrigued enough that I googled what it meant. 🙂
Apparently it is a Chinese tradition (or superstition), which seems to have a widespread effect that neighbouring countries had adapted it. I know in the Philippines, eating noodles is a must during birthdays. The long strand means longevity of life. I was not aware though that you had to slurp the whole thing into your mouth and then chew, rather than biting a bit of it as you chew.
Anyway, it is encouraged to slurp the strand in all its length so that one does not cut off one’s span of life.
Thank goodness, this superstition is applied only on birthdays and other milestone celebrations.
I couldn’t be going to restaurants, especially posh ones, and slurping my pasta down my throat. It would be unethical and extremely embarrassing. LOL
Chilli Garlic Crab Recipe, photo by Arnold Gamboa
Chilli Garlic Crab Recipe
- 3 tablespoons sriracha chilli sauce (make your own by carefully pulping 4 bird’s eye chillies and 2 cloves of garlic using a mortar and pestle, do not touch your eyes while doing this, then stir the pulped chillies and garlic into 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 tsp of sugar.) 🙂
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 cup chopped shallots
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced finely
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 medium crabs, cleaned and split
- 1 egg, beaten
- spring onions and red chilli for garnish
All the ingredients must be prepared ahead of cooking, which will be fast and involved high heat!
- Prepare the crabs by through scrubbing to remove all grits, take of the main shell, pluck out the claws and crack them slightly. Cut the legs into two pieces. Then set aside.
- Now make up the sauce; heat the wok over high heat. Add the oil.
- Fry the garlic and ginger until sizzlingly fragrant and golden but ensure not to burn the garlic as it would leave a bitter taste.
- Add the sriracha chilli sauce, soy sauce, sugar, rice-wine vinegar, tomato paste, and sesame oil in the wok and stir, lower the heat.
- Mix the cornstarch in a 2 tablespoons of water. Add this runny cornstarch mix to the sauce to thicken it.
- Check the seasoning to taste. Add a tad more salt if required.
- Drop in the crabs and coat with the sauce. Cook until the crabs change colour to red and this would normally takes less than 10 minutes.
- Arrange in a large serving platter. Pour in the sauce and decorate with chopping spring onions and red chillies.
Serve hot with slices of toast or steamed rice.
Tiramisu, photo by JMorton
Tiramisu is that indulgent taste of great pudding. It has that liqueur taste that would satisfy a decadent palate.
Below is a recipe which is courtesy of Gino D’Acampo for the BBC Food.
- 3 cups of strong black coffee, preferably espresso, cooled
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 6 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
- 2 eggs, separated
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 250ml whipped cream
- cocoa powder, to dust
- 1 packet sponge lady finger biscuits
Place the cold coffee in a bowl, add three tablespoons of the Amaretto and put to one side.
In a separate bowl beat together the egg yolks and sugar for about three minutes until thick and pale.
Add the mascarpone and beat until well mixed.
Fold in the whipped cream gently with a metal spoon.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites quickly but gently into the cream mixture. Add the remaining liqueur, taking care not to loosen the volume.
Dip each biscuit into the coffee liqueur mixture for about two seconds on each side and shake of the excess.
Cover the bottom of an eight individual 8cm/3in dessert glasses. Spread some of the cream mixture over the biscuits and then repeat the process again, using up the biscuits and finishing with a cream layer.
Smooth the surface and dust the top with the cocoa powder.
Refrigerate for about two hours or until firm. The longer it is left, the more the flavours will develop.
Raspberry Sorbet, photo by JMorton
Raspberry Sorbet Recipe
It is officially summer in the UK. Though there is still the occasional nip in the air, well that is UK weather for you, it can now get really hot and some cooling is needed.
What is better than a tasty chilling raspberry sorbet?!!!
Below is a recipe that can be followed easily. The recipe is from Kenwood. And it shows two ways of making the sorbet. First is rather manual and with more steps to follow, though not that hard to do, and second is by using an ice-cream maker.
Either way you’ll have a refreshing raspberry sorbet.
500g fresh raspberries
200ml cold water
125g caster sugar
- Put the raspberries into the blender with half of the water and mix until smooth on a medium speed. Strain through a fine sieve into a deep bowl.
- Put the remaining water into a pan with the sugar and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Allow the syrup to cool.
- Stir the syrup into the raspberry purée then pour into a container. Cover and freeze for 45 minutes, then scoop the mixture back into the blender jug and give a few pulses to break up the crystals.
- Repeat twice then leave to freeze solid.
- About 30 minutes before serving, transfer the sorbet to the refrigerator so the sorbet can be scooped easily.
- Alternatively, if you have an ice-cream maker, you can make the sorbet in it without having to blend it during the freezing stages.
Tuna Belly Ceviche, photo by Arnold Gamboa
Tuna Belly Ceviche Recipe
This a delicious fish recipe considering there is no ‘cooking’ (application of heat) required. It is a good starter served with fresh green salad.
1/2 kilo Tuna belly fillets
2 cups vinegar
1 cup Kakang-gata (coconut milk), optional
2 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
1-2 Lemons, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Thinly sliced cucumber to decorate
Method of preparation:
Clean, remove the skin and debone the tuna thoroughly, then cut into bite-size cubes.
Put the tuna in a large platter and douche with a cup of vinegar. Stir to ensure that every piece is drenched in vinegar. Cover the platter with cling film or a lid and leave to marinate in the acidity of the vinegar in the fridge for at least an hour.
Drain all the vinegar from the tuna, use a spatula to press the tuna to remove as much vinegar as possible. 🙂 The vinegar serves as a ‘wash’ for the fish to remove the fishy smell (lansa).
Pour the rest of the vinegar into the drained tuna, add the coconut milk (if using any), sprinkle the bird’s eye chillies (you can add more or less according to how spicy you like i t:) The addition of ginger also helps to remove the fishy smell. Add the garlic and spring onions for piquancy. Lemon or calamansi goes well with fish.
Finally season with salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper.
Give it a good mix.
Cover once again and return it in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
Serve it cold decorated with slices of thin cucumber.