Category: Starter/Finger Foods

Egg Rolls Recipe

I have been seeing lots of egg rolls as a side dish in many Korean and Japanese drama.  It looks so good that I thought I should try making some.

It is fairly easy to make and quite quick as well.  Just remember to cook these under very low heat to give you a chance to manoeuvre the egg pancake into a fairly neat roll without burning it.

Egg Rolls Recipe

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green part of spring onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, beat in the milk and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Whisk until combined and no lumps are left, otherwise run into a sieve to remove any remaining lumps.
  2. Add in the carrot, onion and spring onion and stir until combined.
  3. Lightly oil a medium size frying pan or a pancake pan over a low heat.
  4. Pour in half of the egg mixture into the pan, when half-way cooked, slowly and carefully fold the omelette into a roll using a flat spatula and a pair of chopsticks (if available) and push it into the left side of the pan. As a space is created from the omelette roll, pour in half of the remaining egg mixture to it.  When the consistency starts to set, connect it by rolling it to the first batch, thus creating another layer.  Finally pour in the remaining egg mixture; do the same, roll in to make a stack.  Just imagine making a Swiss Roll. 🙂
  5. Transfer to a chopping board and slice into bite size pieces.


Chinese Crab Claw Recipe

Chinese Crab Claw Recipe

Chinese Crab Claw Recipe, iphone photo by JMorton

Chinese Crab Claw Recipe



  • 6-12 tail crab claw
  • 420g cod or haddock
  • 1 can water chestnuts (can be bought at any Oriental foodshop)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dill, chopped (optional)
  • oil for deep frying


Method of preparation


  • Drain the water chestnuts, washed and crushed
  • Clean and Rinse claw crab,
  • Chopped the cod or haddock and place in a bowl.  Add the cornstarch, salt and pepper (also add the finely chopped dill if using any).
  • Add the pulped water chestnuts, mix well.
  • Coat each of the crab claws with the fish mix, forming a ball around the claw.
  • Dip the claw balls on the flour and then into the beaten egg.
  • Heat enough oil in a frying pan, put crab claw and deep fry till golden brown, all over.
  • Drain using kitchen paper.
  • Serve with a sweet chilli sauce.


Avocado Canapés

Cross section of Avocado - JMorton

Cross section of Avocado – JMorton

Avocado Canapés

Party season is coming up!  Avocado Canapés is delicious finger food or something for the buffet table.  It is easy to make and rather exotically healthy.

For the buffet table:


1/2 packet of loaf thick white bread

2 ripe avocados

1 tbsp English mustard

1 lemon



Method of preparation:

You can really use your imagination with the bread by using seasonal cookie cutter such as Christmas tree shape, sledge or any pretty cutter in your cupboard.  Cut the bread slices with abandon :0

Cut the avocados and remove the stones.  Scoop the flesh using a spoon.  Put the flesh into a food mixer together with  mustard, juice from the lemon and salt.  Blend until smooth.

Spread generously the avocado mixture over the shaped breads and lightly sprinkle with paprika.


English Onion Soup

French Onion Soup, photo by JMorton

English Onion Soup, photo by JMorton

This onion soup recipe is an English version, and pretty similar to the traditional French Onion Soup.  The recipe below uses chicken stocks rather than beef stock.  It also uses sage for extra flavouring.

English Onion Soup


50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
4 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml dry white wine
1½ tbsp sages, chopped
1.3l hot chicken stock (6 chicken oxo cubes, dissolved in hot water)

Method of Preparation:

Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-based pan.

Add the onions and fry over gentle heat for 10 mins or until soft.

Sprinkle the sugar over and cook for a further 20 minute, stirring frequently, until caramelised.

(Ensure that the onions are juicy rather than burnt!)

Add the garlic for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well.

Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock.

Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.

Really delicious served with toasted cheese baguette.


Creamy mushroom sauce


Creamy mushroom sauce


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g/½oz butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 225g/8oz button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
  • 150ml/5fl oz crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook the onion until softened but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are soft but have not released their juices.
  3. Add the wine and reduce by half.
  4. Stir in the crème fraîche and parsley and heat through.
  5. Season to taste.

Smoked Salmon Rolls a la Sushi

Smoked Salmon Rolls, Photo by PH Morton

Smoked Salmon Rolls, Photo by PH Morton

Smoked Salmon Rolls a la Sushi

These was so delicious.  I have to admit, I am not quite partial to fishy dishes but these recipe is really good.  I felt spoiled eating them.  A real party fare.


  • 120g plain flour
  • 180ml milk
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • butter
  • 150ml crème fraîche
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 sprig of basil, chopped
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 2 large eggs



For the wrap make a basic pancake:

  1. Put the flour, eggs, milk and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 mins.  The resting period would make the starch molecules to do their work, ergo, will give a uniform and thinner pancake.
  2. To cook the pancake, heat a pancake/crepe pan or a large frying pan over a medium heat. Drizzle the surface with oil and use a kitchen paper towel to wipe off surplus oil. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.

Using a cling film, about 40cm x 15cm, lay two pancakes on it side by side, slightly overlapping.

Spread them with a thin layer of crème fraîche, lay most of the chives and basil on top, season well with pepper and place a layer of smoked salmon over the top.

Use the cling film on one of the long sides of the rectangle to roll the pancakes up tightly like a Swiss roll.

Re-wrap in cling film and leave for at least half an hour in the fridge to firm up before slicing into inch lengths and serving with a dip made from the rest of the oil, the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with any remaining chives and basil before serving.

Banana Chips

Banana Chips

Banana Chips

This is a recipe that  is delicious and can be easily made at home.

Perfect for watching the television, sharing with friends and part of a grazing diet.  Just make sure that the chips are drained thoroughly.

The Ingredients:

20 unripe bananas (still fairly green and firm to the touch) peeled and sliced thinly. (see above photo)

1 cup brown sugar (demerara sugar)

1/3 tsp salt

Cooking oil for deep-fat frying

Method of preparation:

The sliced bananas should make 3 cups, to these, add the sugar as well as the salt.

Ensure that the sugar covers all the slices of bananas.

Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or a high side frying pan.

Carefully drop the banana slices and cook until golden all over.

Take the slices out and separate the sticking pieces.  You have to be careful as a boiling sugar can be quite dangerously hot.

Drain and cool using suitable non-stick containers.

Enjoy, treat yourselves, it is the weekend afterall. 🙂

Steamed Crabs

Steamed Crab, photo by JMSteamed Crabs

When what you are cooking is the freshest, you do not need much ingredients and only need the simplest procedure to cook them.

The above crabs were so fresh that all we had to do was to steam them for a few minutes until they change their colours into bright orange.

They were lovely and deliciously meaty.

Dilis Ukoy (Anchovy Fritters)

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

This is so delicious and the cook must be warned that whilst still cooking, one might be tempted to taste and taste the hot fritters.

Dilis Ukoy (Anchovy Fritters)


1lb fresh Anchovies
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup plain flour (All purpose flour)
1/4 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
4 stalks spring onion, chopped fairly finely
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil for deep fry


1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, egg in a cup of water. Stir thoroughly until a smooth batter has been achieved.

2. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Mix in the chopped spring onions.

4. Wash the anchovies and then drain. Tip into the batter.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, large frying pan or a deep-fat fryer.

6. With a large ladle scoop a large portion of anchovies with the batter and let sizzle in the hot oil. Be careful.

7. Fry until crispy and golden at both sides. Fish 😉 out and let it drain in paper towels.

8. Continue cooking the rest of the anchovies by repeating the above procedures.

Serve this delightfully filling anchovies fritters with your chosen sauce or dip.


Roasted Asparagus With Parma Ham

Roasted Asparagus with Parma Ham

Roasted Asparagus with Parma Ham

Roasted Asparagus With Parma Ham

One word, delicious!!!

This starter is super yummy.  A real treat to the palate.  By the way, asparagus reminds me of a childhood favourite called taro or gabi runner.  It has the same bite to it.

Anyway the recipe for the asparagus follows below:


2 tbsp olive oil or Spanish oil

6 slices Parma ham (Serrano ham is also most suitable)

12 asparagus spears

freshly ground black pepper

Aioli (garlic mayonnaise) or standard mayonnaise as dip

Quick method of preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

In a baking tray, swirl in a tablespoon of oil to cover the base of the tray.

Halve the ham and trim the asparagus spears.

Wrap each of the asparagus with the ham.

Place these ham wrapped asparagus in the baking tray in single layer.

Drizzle the rest of the oil over the ham and asparagus.

Then season with a good shake of freshly ground black pepper.

Roast for 10 minutes or until the asparagus had soften but not completely limped.  It is a finger food after all. 😉

Serve with aoili or mayonnaise with lots of freshly baked bread.