Japanese Spinach Ohitashi; Spice Temple's Chinese Stir-Fried Pork with Green Onions; Thai Pork Pad Kra Pao with Fried Egg

It's always a joy to cook Asian dishes in Australia. Australia has the freshest and best produce and by combining that produce with Asian cooking techniques we are having the best of both worlds.

"How often do I cook Asian dishes in a mixed cultural marriage?", you may ask. Mr J has lived in Malaysia for over two years and has travelled extensively across much of Asia. So, he is no stranger to different Asian cuisines and he truly enjoys them. I try to expose Miss C to different cuisines from a young age, but an Asian dinner is still my favourite. I would say 60% of our dinners consist of steamed rice with a variety of delicious Asian dishes and 40% of pasta, soup, roast & 3 veges kind of dishes.

Here are three extremely easy but flavourful Asian dishes that I hope you will cook and enjoy as much as I do.

Spinach Ohitashi Recipe

Serves 4 as a side dish

You gotta love Bill. Not only for the brilliance of his recipes but also for the fact that they are often not complicated to cook. He is a huge fan of Japanese food and I was delighted when I spotted this Japanese side dish in the Delicious Magazine. 4 ingredients and with only one cooking step which is to blanch the spinach! What's not to love?


1 bunch English spinach with tie intact
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds, dry toasted
Bonito flakes, to serve

  1. Discard roots from the spinach and wash, still tied in a bunch. Blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute. If serving cold, refresh under cold water. If serving warm, omit this step. Squeeze to remove excess moisture, then slice the bunch into 5cm lengths. Stand cut lengths in a serving dish, top with soy, sesame and bonito.

Spice Temple's Stir-Fried Pork with Green Onions Recipe

Serves 4 as part of an Asian banquet

Believe me, every Chinese family has their own stir-fry method. Some like to marinate the meat before stir-frying, some don't. Some like to stir-fry each ingredient separately and then mix them together at the end, some like to fry them all together. And the sauce, there can be so many different mixes of stir-fry sauces. Some of the common ingredients are light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, cooking caramel sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, black bean sauce, sweet bean sauce, ginger, garlic, salt, white pepper, shaoxing wine. That's the beauty of stir frying, there is no hard and fixed rule. Do what you like.


60 ml (1/4 cup) peanut oil
600 g pork shoulder meat, cut into 3mm-thick slices
5 cm piece ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2 tbsp sweet (soy bean) sauce (Note: Neil Perry uses Fu Chi Sweet Sauce, a Taiwanese brand of soy bean sauce, available from Asian food store)
3 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) chicken stock
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Steamed rice, to serve

  1. Heat 50 ml oil in a wok over medium-high heat until smoking. Stir-fry pork, in batches, for 1-2 minutes or until browned. Set aside. Add remaining oil, stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant, add onions and stir-fry for 1 minute or until nearly softened. Remove from wok, combine with pork.
  2. Add bean sauce to wok, cook for 30 seconds or until bubbling, then stir in soy, sugar, stock and sesame oil. Stir in pork mixture until well coated and warmed through. Serve with rice.

Pork Pad Kra Pao with Fried Egg

Serves 4

"If you are not sure of the Asian dish you are going to serve, top it with a fried egg, sunny side up. It will make your dish look appetizing and taste amazing." You better believe in this saying because it is so true! When I was young, on days that mum was busy, we were delighted to have only a fried egg on a big bowl of steaming hot rice drizzled with soy sauce. This made such an impression on our dinner table that none of us made a fuss about it.


90 ml vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
600 g coarsely minced pork
100 g snake beans (about 1/2 bunch), cut into 2 cm lengths (I used green beans)
4 Asian red shallots, thinly sliced
1 tbsp roasted chilli paste
70 ml fish sauce, or to taste
1 1/2 tbsp each dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce, or to taste
1 tsp caster sugar, or to taste
3/4 cup (loosely packed) Thai basil (If Thai basil is unavailable, substitute regular basil)
4 eggs
Steamed jasmine rice and thinly sliced long red chilli, to serve

  1. Heat 60 ml oil in a wok or deep-sided frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and pork, stir-fry until beginning to brown (2-3 minutes). Add beans, shallot and chilli paste, stir-fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes), add fish sauce and soy sauces and cook until pork is cooked through and liquid is reduced by half (3-4 minutes). Season to taste with sugar, fish sauce, soy sauces and freshly ground pepper, remove from heat, stir through basil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat half the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, crack two eggs into pan and cook until eggwhite starts to brown around edges (1 minute), cover, cook until yolk is cooked to your liking (1-2 minutes for soft yolks), transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and eggs.
  3. Serve pork mixture and steamed rice in bowls, topped with a fried egg and thinly sliced chilli, with extra fish sauce to taste.

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Lavender Cream

I love the smell of lavender but I don't often work with it as a dessert ingredient. It's a tricky ingredient to work with because lavender can easily overpower a dessert, resulting in the dessert tasting and smelling like a potpourri.

When I saw the this chocolate panna cotta recipe at Tartelette's blog, I was intrigued by the addition of Greek yogurt into it. I immediately thought of whipping up some lavender cream to go with her slightly sour chocolate panna cotta.

Instead of using fresh or dried lavender, I used this particular lavender tea I have in my pantry and let it infuse into the whipping cream overnight before whipping it.

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Lavender Cream Recipe

Serves 6


1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup honey
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 cup Greek yogurt
200 ml pure cream
10 g lavender tea


  1. Infuse the lavender tea in the cold single cream overnight.
  2. Place the water in small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Reserve.
  3. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan placed over medium heat, bring the milk, heavy cream, and honey to a simmer. When the cream is hot, remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted. Add the reserved gelatin and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add the yogurt and whisk vigorously until well blended.
  4. Divide the mixture over the rice pudding ramekins. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving to let the cream set properly.
  5. Strain the lavender tea-infused cream, lightly whip before serving.
  6. Serve the chocolate panna cotta with lavender cream.

Chicken liver pate recipe with onion jam

Chicken liver pate recipe with onion jam

Chicken liver pate with some sweet sauce/onion jam on the side Is my favorite entree to order when we are eating out.

So one day, thanks to my little sister's birthday, I decided to try and make one on my own.

After I discovered how much butter it contains I don’t believe I will prepare it a lot, but eating a small portion on special occasion I am sure will do no harm. Any way, it tasted so great especially with the onion jam, we all just loved it.

There was a lot of onion jam leftovers and we ate it with entrecote steak over the weekend, it was Delicious!


For the chicken liver pate:

  500 gr chicken liver - trim the livers of any green bits or sinews.

  2 Large Onions finally chopped

  250 gr Butter

  1/4 cup Brandi

  Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the onion jam:

  4 large white onion -sliced

  50 gr butter

  4 Tbs sugar

  3/4 cup dry red wine 

  Freshly ground salt and pepper

How to make the chicken liver pate...

For the chicken liver pate:

1.  Melt 30 gr from the butter on a medium hit

2. Cook the chicken livers 10 pieces at a time for 3 minutes Until they are Pink in the middle, make sure you are not over Cooking them.

3. Remove the chicken livers from the frying pan and chill Until required.

4. To the same frying pan, add the brandy and scrub the bottom Of the frying pan with a wooden spoon.

5. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

6. Pour the sauce over the chicken livers.

7. To the same frying pan add another 30 gr of butter and fry The chopped onions with the thyme for 10 minutes until the onion becomes soft and transparent.

8. It is very important to let the onions and the chicken livers cool before adding the rest of the butter, because we don't want the butter to melt.

9. Now, after the chicken livers and the onions are cold enough,  place them in the food processor with 2 tea spoon of salt and a lot of freshly ground black pepper.

10. Blend until very smooth.

11. While the food processor is working add the butter (cut it to cubes) one cube at a time. taste and add seasoning if needed.

12. Line the pate pan with cling-film - leaving the cling-film Coming up over the edges of the pan.

13. Pour the chicken liver mixture into the pan and cover with cling-film edges.

14. place the pan in the fridge for the night.

How to make the onion jam...
1.  Melt the butter on a medium hit

2.  Add the onions, salt and pepper and stir for 5 minutes.

3. Add the sugar and stir the onions and sugar on high hit until you will get a golden caramelize color.

4. Add the wine and bring to a boil.

5. lower the hit and cook for another 20 minutes until the onions will get a beautiful caramelize glaze.

Enjoy the jam next to the chicken liver pate.

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Wings Recipe

This oven fried chicken wings recipe is so easy to make And taste so good, what ever you are planning to make-Double it!

If you are watching your weight, or your health than this is the perfect recipe for you.

Chinese style sweet and sour chicken meatballs

On the last weekend my girls asked for sweet and sour meatballs like we ate in a Chinese restaurant a month ago that they really loved. I tried few variations of sweet and sour meatballs, some came out inedible, but this one I believe is very close to the source.

Simple beef chop suey recipe

Step-by-step basic beef chop suey recipe on how to cook Chinese food at home for four people.  Make easy beef chop suey with this recipe in 30 minutes from start to finish.

Plum bread and butter pudding recipe

As a comfort food, bread and butter pudding has to be up there with the rest of them. I've always try various ways to improve upon this traditional recipe, and have finally come up with a twist that I'm sure you'll appreciate.

The traditional bread and butter pudding...with a twist!

Crockpot recipe - Butter Chicken Curry

If you aren't already aware, the trusty old crockpot is the one item that not only saves you time and money, but is quite forgiving if one's culinary skills aren't up to scratch. Even my cack-handed boyfriend, who, darling that he is, would even ruin a boiled egg! He has been able to knock out some real tasty dishes! (Also being a slacker, he's able to devote the least time to preparing the ingredients, and thus get back to what he does best: doing an impression of The Dude!)