Lemon Butter Sauteed Clams

Woohooo It’s starting to feel a lot like spring!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so ready for the change in season! Awaken your taste buds with this lemony dish after winter’s heavy meals.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lb littleneck clams, scrubbed and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat up a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add the butter and saute the garlic until slightly browned.
  3. Add the clams into the skillet, and quickly toss around.
  4. Add the wine and cayenne pepper. Cover the skillet and let cook for 1 minute, or until the clams are all open.
  5. Add the lemon juice and parsley, stir to combine well. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

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Under the Tassie Sun

Happy year of the rooster everyone!

After the non-stop family gatherings and reunion meals over the past three days, my life seemed to go back to normal. I finally have time to sort out all the photos from my Tasmania trip. I feel a growling rumble in my stomach while going through the films, and it wasn’t because I haven’t had enough of turnips cakes, my all-time favourite…

Just like any other wanderluster, I have an constant yearning for new tastes and discoveries. “Under the Tassie Sun” summarized my adventure from the North to the South of Tasmania. Starting in Launceston, Tasmania’s second’s city that has forever been locked in rivalry with Hobart, but to me somehow has the zestier food scene, to the humble but charming seafood shack in Freycinet. Up long winding roads and down farm tracks, through blazing sun and misty rain, I visited producers and local shops that are fighting the big corporations and creating artisanal products to sell with pride. I fell in love with the delicious giant oysters and all the colourful dishes that radiated the true spirits of summer (and don’t get me started on the affordable but very flavoursome wine).

At the end of the trip, I returned home with my suitcase laden with all the edible souvenirs like jasmine infused honey, whisky marmalade, but most importantly a grateful heart to all the people who welcomed me into their farms and shops, shared with me their passion for food. I hope u like my photos and enjoy Tasmania as much as I did. Bon Voyage!

Fantastic sauces to sample that have been made on site using only fresh local ingredients. I’m amazed by all kinds of sauces they came up with, an excellent variety from sweet to savoury, with Whisky Seville Marmalade being my personal favourite.

You can buy their products in HK at Feather & Bone.

Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company: 174 Leighlands Rd, Evandale TAS 7212

Longford- a country town full of colonial charm.

Evandale’s Sunday market is one of the highlights of the trip. Unlike most food markets in the states or in Europe, where the selection is excellent, but resellers run most stands. In Evandale the producers (farmers) run the majority, you really get to interact with each and everyone of them and listen to all their stories about starting up a local business.

Breakfasts on the road usually means a cup of black coffee plus a flaky croissant at best. In Evandale’s Sunday Market I enjoyed some extremely scrumptious homemade baked goods thanks to Anabel! I’m already missing her orange loaf cake which had an unapologetic burst of citrus flavour.

Evandale Sunday Market: Falls Park, Logan Road, 7212 Evandale                                              (open every Sunday from 8am to 1:30pm)

A charming restaurant with an interesting fusion menu. I seldom go to the same restaurant twice when I travel but I made an exception for this one. With great expectations when i returned for breakfast and it didn’t disappoint. Loved the rye waffles and the omelette made with slow cooked pork and kimchi!

Stillwater: 2 Bridge Rd, Launceston TAS 7250

Highly recommend Black Cow Bistro, another establishment by the Stillwater team, which serves some pretty solid steaks. My wagyu filet was melt-in-the-mouth perfection!

Black Cow Bistro: 70 George St, Launceston TAS 7250

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All things lavender from the jam to the scones to the cookies! Since when did I become so girly?!

Bridestowe Lavender Estate: 296 Gillespies Rd, Nabowla TAS 7260

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Sheffield- a picturesque town, in literal sense, is effectively Tasmania’s outdoor art gallery. There are more than 80 murals adorning its buildings.

Situated on the Main St of Ross, the Ross bakery Inn, is a heritage building from the early 1800’s which was once a horse-drawn carriage stop. Along side the Inn is the famous Ross Village Bakery. By all means try their vanilla slice and scallop pie, totally worth a detour!

Ross Bakery: 15 Church St, Ross TAS 720

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A nice joint to stop by for a quick seafood taste before heading to the wineglass bay. Highly recommend the oyster trio as you get to eat them in various ways instead of just having them with lemon.

Freycinet Marine Farm: 1784 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215

Love everything about this modern farm! Tim and Jane and their family dogs, Billy and Sandy are super friendly. As weird as it sounds, I had the best scones in my life there… The clotted cream made by Jane gives an unique decadent consistency and a wonderful flavor.  It’s quite thick and spreadable, and when you slather it on a freshly baked scone there is no better thing in the world.

Curringa Farm: 5831 Lyell Hwy, Hamilton TAS 7140

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Fruit always tastes better when you pick it yourself!!

Sorell Fruit Farm: 174 Pawleena Rd, Sorell TAS 7172

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See you soon Tassie! ❤

Baked Oysters with Miso-Mayonnaise

I am a real party animal, house parties, to be exact. Nothing beats sharing hearty laughs and intimate conversation with your closest friends in a cozy environment. The truth is, I approach house parties with the same mix of excitement and apprehension you might feel before a first date—what if my home looks messy? What if I get an elaborate menu planned, and then they cancel at the last minute? And obviously you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard… To ease off the pressure of hosting a house party, every hostess should have a few quick, easy recipes up her sleeve for any event on the calendar.

Made this very simple dish with the leftover miso from last week, this serves as a great snack or party appetizer, taking next to no time or effort to do. Add this dish to your arsenal and you won’t regret it, I promise!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ Dozen oysters
  • ¼ Onion (minced)
  • 1 cup Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Paprika (for garnishing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the miso and mayonnaise into a smooth paste; set aside.
  3. Heat up butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, sauté the minced onion until they turn transparent.
  4. Divide the onion evenly into shells and top off thickly with the miso-mayonnaise mixture, make sure to completely cover everything in the shell with the mixture.
  5. Place oysters in the oven on the top rack and bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be a nice dark brown when done.
  6. Remove oysters from the oven, garnish with paprika and serve!

 

Sous Vide Miso Maple Salmon

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a year is always a good time for me to review my resolutions and take stock of what I have done over the past year. In 2016, I ditched Korean fried chicken for the Chairman’s smoked pigeons, feasted on numerous macarons and cupcakes, and let countless meals go cold in the search of photographic perfection. As I loosen my belt and take a look at the culinary fads that flooded my social media feeds in the past year, including superfood sensation (kale chips? really?), sweet-savory creations and an array of pimped up ice-cream sundaes crowned with egglettes, I wonder how many of these gourmet trends can stay in the scene.

2016 was also a year for upgrading my kitchen gadgets- I owned my very first sous vide machine!! Sous vide cooking was developed in the mid–1970s by chef Georges Pralus at the Michelin Three-Star Restaurant, Troisgros, in Roanne (still remember this place?) initially as a means of cooking delicate foie gras. In the last two decades, sous vide cooking has become the secret of top chefs at major restaurants around the world. This alternative method of cooking promises incredibly succulent meats without having to worry about overcooking, charring, timing. Unlike the aforementioned culinary fads, I’m sure this gadget will be something I swear by for the years to come.


Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 12-ounce skinless salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Set the water bath to 104ºF (40ºC).
  2. Place the salmon in a large zipper lock bag. Add the miso, mirin, and maple syrup. Seal the bag tightly.
  3. Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, gently remove the salmon from the bag and discard any remaining cooking liquid.
  5. Heat up oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the salmon and sear until well-browned on top and bottom, about 1 minute total.

 

 

Scallop Carpaccio with Mango and Dill

We all love carpaccio, don’t we? Delicious, traditional beef carpaccio is available in every single Italian restaurant and I am more than happy about this fact. The term carpaccio can also be used for any preparation made with thinly sliced raw meat, fish or vegetables. I have seen zillion combos of carpaccio over the years… octopus with tomato, zucchini with feta, beef with pomegranate… I guess the most important thing in creating your own version of carpaccio is to let your imagination run wild, and this is basically what cooking is all about.

Back to today’s recipe, last weekend was gorgeous and summery, so I prepared a lovely carpaccio of scallops for dinner, which I teamed up with some mango and a tangy lime dressing. It only took a few minutes to assemble the dish and the lime juice adds a tinge of crispy freshness to this fabulously simple starter.

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Ingredients (Serving for 2):

  • 8 scallops (sashimi quality)
  • 1/2 mango (ripe)
  • 2 limes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh dill

Directions

  1. Thinly slice the scallops, and arrange them nicely on a serving plate.
  2. For the marinade: squeeze the lime.
  3. Add an equal amount of olive oil to the juice.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Stir with a fork.
  5. Cut the mango into dices. And add the diced mango into the marinade preparation.
  6. Add one tablespoon of finely chopped dill. Combine well.
  7. Coat the scallops with the marinade; make sure the mango dices are evenly spread.
  8. Finish by sprinkling a few sprigs of dill. The dish is best served cold!

Steamed Clams with Chorizo

Summer has always been my favorite season since I was a kid. During the year, the slight thought of summer instantly has me imagining the beach, tan skin (more like a ghastly white complexion with a few more freckles for me), and having no cares in the world. I still love summer a lot even though I no longer have summer vacation as an adult. When I list all of the reasons I love about Summer- beach days, a gateway or two, a wardrobe full of colorful, breezy sundresses… there is one very important fact that I cannot skip: FOOD!!

Summer is so much more than sipping Rosé and binge eating on ice cream. It is the season when harvest is at its peak- the zucchinis are plentiful, berries are everywhere and peaches are starting to ripen. It’s at this moment that you should be running to the kitchen to take advantage of the most bountiful time of year.

Clams are a great summer treat. Sunshine and a glass of chilled white wine are great partners for their delicate flavor. While clams with herbed cream are the classic combo, I prefer them cooked the Spanish way. The spicy kick of chorizo always wakes up my slumbering taste buds in the hot summer weather.

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Ingredients (serving for 2):

  • 4tbs olive oil
  • 200 gram Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • Half an onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 dried hot chili, broken up
  • 3/4 cups white wine
  • 30 littleneck clams
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Black pepper

Directions:

­1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo, cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the oil is colored.
2. Add the onions and cook until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
3. Next, add the garlic, paprika and crushed chili, cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Add the clams into the broth. Cover and cook until the clams open up, 5 to 6 minutes.
5. Discard any clams that don’t open up.
6. Turn off the heat; add the lemon juice, chopped herbs and black pepper.
7. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all the delicious broth!


 

Authentic homemade crab cakes

Meeting boyfriend’s parents for the first time is surely a daunting experience, while meeting your boyfriend’s best buds can be as tricky. I have dated my husband long enough to have forgotten how the experience felt like and I’m blessed to have become friends with most of them over the years.

Somehow I can still remember vividly the first time meeting D, whom my husband often referred as multitalented- DJ, chef (who has worked in nearly all the top notched restaurants in town) and committed gourmet. When we first met 8 years ago, instead of the awkward silence for new acquaintances, he started his unapologetic talk on pasta and their different sauces… I knew we would be friends instantly!

Last night while I was patting my crab cakes in the kitchen and wondering how the two of us can finish a dozen of crab cakes, D called my husband. 1hr later he came to our rescue -with a 21 year old Japanese whisky in hand!

Moist and flavorful, crab cakes are perfect as appetizer, lunch, or light dinner! I can eat them on a sandwich, between crackers or just plain with my favorite sriracha mayo!

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As Julia Child said,  “It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about — enjoying things.”

D left the whisky at our place afterwards, for that I’m sure we will be having him with us a lot more in the future!


Serving: 10-12 palm sized crab cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1pound canned crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup crushed Ritz cracker
  • 2 spring onions ( using both the green and white portions), finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Oil for frying
  • Favorite dipping sauce (sriracha mayonnaise for me)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and oil.
  2. Mould into patties and then dust with flour.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  5. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, another 4 minutes
  7. Serve warm with preferred sauce.