Chilli Tamarind Rabbit

I love rabbit but I know that a lot of people just see them as pets and think it’s cruel to eat them. Funny how they don’t bat an eyelid when they are happily munching on other animals that are not traditionally kept as pets but hey-ho, each to their own.

This recipe is mainly based on Thai cuisine with influence from other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia but it was entirely created in my Frightful kitchen. Rabbit is not eaten in Thailand, except for perhaps in high-end westernised restaurants, but the flavours in this dish really go well with the gamey taste of rabbit.

If you have any qualms about rabbit you can easily use chicken or any other meat instead.

Ingredients

1 whole rabbit (approx. 1kg), cut into pieces

5cm fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic

1/2 lemongrass stalk

3 Thai chillies

1 Tbsp. Shrimp Paste (I used Indonesian Belachan but any type will do)

Approx. 80g seedless tamarind block (can use 5-6 Tbsp of store-bought tamarind concentrate)

White pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. black soy sauce (see ew dum ซีอิ๊วดำ) or Kecap Manis

1 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce

5 kaffir lime leaves, bruised and torn

1 Spring onion, sliced

Method

1 Make a ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli paste in a mortar and pestle and then add shrimp paste. Combine well and reserve for later. chillitamarindrabbit12 Soak tamarind block in enough hot water to slightly cover and soak for 15 minutes. Using your hands squeeze the pulp and then use a sieve to make 5-6 Tbsp of tamarind. N.B. Store-bought tamarind concentrate works perfectly fine too just make sure it is from Thailand as Indian Tamarind for example is completely different. P.S. Excuse the photos of the tamarind; yes, I know exactly what it looks like… chillitamarindrabbit23 Marinade rabbit in 5-6 Tbsp of tamarind, white pepper, honey, black soy sauce and fish sauce. Leave to marinade for 30 minutes or preferably overnight. chillitamarindrabbit34 Fry the paste in some vegetable oil for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and then add the rabbit and mix well with the paste. Fry the rabbit for a few minutes until the flesh is no longer translucent and then add cold water until it is just covering the rabbit. Bring to a boil, add kaffir lime leaves and then braise on low for 30 – 40 minutes. chillitamarindrabbit45 Add spring onion and serve with Thai jasmine rice. chillitamarindrabbit8

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Pork & Shiitake Wonton Soup

The base of this soup utilises the leftover stock from my Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly.

First you need to make the wontons and then you can either boil them in the leftover stock like in this recipe, make a fresh batch of stock or fry in oil and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice such as Nuoc Cham.

Pork and Shiitake Wontons

Ingredients

Wonton skins

250g pork, minced

5 Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2cm fresh ginger, minced

1 spring onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Method

Mix together all the ingredients except the wonton skins.

Place a small amount of the filling in the centre of a wonton skin. Moisten the edges with water. Fold over and then using a chopstick gently press the centre of the filling inwards bringing the two sides together. Pinch the sides together to close (use a little water to help the ends stick together). Repeat process. You can also scrunch the sides together to form moneybags fold them into simple triangles or form into a myriad of different shapes.Pork & Shitake Wontons

For the Pork and Shiitake Wonton Soup

Ingredients

Leftover stock from Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

1 Tbsp. Chinkiang Vinegar

Pork and Shiitake Wontons

2 handfuls bean sprouts

1 Carrot, julienned

1 spring onion, sliced

Method

1 Heat leftover stock. If the stock is too concentrated and intense you can water it down with some water.

2 Add wontons cook for 5 minutes or until they have floated to the top of the soup.

3 Add carrot and spring onion and cook for 1 minute if you like crunchy vegetables or longer if you don’t.Pork & Shitake Wonton Soup

Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

I absolutely hate wasting food and therefore love recipes that make use of something that most people would probably mindlessly chuck away.

This recipe uses the stock left over from boiling pork belly from my Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly recipe. I normally use this stock to make a wide range of different soups but you can also use it to make a chinese style risotto or perhaps in my Shiitake Fideua recipe.

Ingredients

Leftover stock from Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

3-4 cups plain water (Optional, depends how intense you want the soup)

4 chicken wings

1  carrot, julienned

1 courgette, julienned

2 gem lettuces, separated

2 handfuls bean sprouts

Rice noodles

1/2 calamansi or lemon, juiced (optional)

Method

1 Poach chicken wings in the leftover stock and extra water for 10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

2 Add carrot, courgette, gem lettuces, bean sprouts to the soup and cook for 2-3 minutes. I prefer my vegetables to have a good crunch.

3  Remove soup from the heat and add the rice noodles. Cover with a lid and rest for 5 minutes.

4 Ladle soup into a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over the soup.Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

Pork belly, when done correctly, can be a melt in your mouth experience. This recipe requires gently boiling with plenty of aromatics and then glazed and finished off in the oven.

The resulting stock from cooking the pork is perfect to use as a base for any asian inspired soup such as Pork and Shiitake Wonton Soup or Asian Style Chicken and Noodle Soup.

You can decide to remove the top layer of fat and skin after boiling the pork in order to make pork crackling or leave it as it is.

To cut down on cooking time you could use a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

1kg pork belly

4 garlic cloves, bashed

6cm piece ginger, peeled and bashed

2 whole star anise

2 Tbsp. Chinese Five Spice

3 spring onions

4 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine

2-3 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

Glaze

4 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2cm fresh ginger, finely diced

1 Tbsp. Chinese Five Spice

2 tsp. red chilli powder (optional)

Method

1 Place pork belly, garlic, ginger, star anise, Chinese Five Spice, spring onions, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. Boil water in a kettle and pour over the pork until it is completely covered. Once boiling, simmer on a low heat for 2 hours. During this time turn the pork every half hour and add extra water if the pork is not submerged in liquid throughout the cooking process.Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly 12 Remove the pork from the pan and remove the top of layer of fat. This step is optional but I prefer it so I can then make pork crackling.

3 Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients together and then pour over the pork. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated oven for 20-30, turning over often and basting the meat with the glaze every now and again.Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly 2Suggestions: Serve with a Egg Fried Rice and Asian Style Gem LettuceChinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly 3

Asian Style Gem Lettuce

Ingredients

4 gem lettuces

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing

1 Tbsp gochujang

3 Tbsp light soy sauce

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp sesame oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2cm fresh ginger, minced

1/2 spring onion, sliced

Method

1 Cut the ends of the gem lettuces and pull apart the individual leaves. Place in a steamer basket and steam for 5 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a serving dish.Asian Style Gem Lettuce 12 Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and then pour over the lettuce. Mix well and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.Asian Style Gem Lettuce 2Delicious hot or cold. 

Asian Chicken & Rice Noodle Soup

I’m a bit obsessed by soup and trying to eat healthily at the moment. Gotta make some room for all that food I will undoubtedly gorge on during Christmas and my visit back to Blighty; gotta take full advantage of the foods (mostly unhealthy) I miss from the other homeland.

This is just a simple Asian inspired chicken noodle soup rustled up in a jiffy.

Ingredients

2 chicken drumsticks

2 chicken wings

5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated

Shiitake dashi (liquid from rehydrating the shiitake mushrooms; make sure you sieve it before using)

1 star anise

½ stick cassia

3 thick slices ginger

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

2 handfuls mung bean sprouts

1 large carrot, diced

Rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 2 minutes and drained (or according to package instructions)

Sesame oil, to taste

Lime juice, to taste

Method

1 Place all ingredients except for the mung bean sprouts, carrot and noodles in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, skim off impurities and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.

2 Adjust seasoning to taste and then add mung beans and cook for 5 minutes.

3 To serve: place noodles at bottom of bowl and then pour over the stock and chicken. Add raw diced carrot and season with lime juice and sesame oil.

Asian Chicken & Rice Noodle Soup

Asian Chicken & Job’s Tears Soup

My smug face of finding pearl barley in the Chinese Supermarket was soon wiped off my face when I realised the Chinese pearl barley I bought is completely unrelated to actual barley! Arghh and I was so looking forward to making a lovely Turkish salad with pearl barley and pomegrantes…

Oh well, gotta look on the bright side of life and make it work! I googled this mysterious grain and to my surprise I seem to have stumbled upon an extremely healthy ingredient which is used a lot in traditional Chinese medicine. These grains come from a grass native to South-East Asia and are also known as Yi Yi Ren, coixseeds, hato mugi, adlai and a plethora of other names.

I had no clue as to what to do with this mysterious grain so I chucked a few things in a pot and prayed to the Chinese pantheon of gods. The result was satisfying and I have taken quite a shine to these grains which I can only describe as nutty.

Ingredients

1 chicken carcass

2 chicken wings

2 chicken drumsticks (alternatively use a whole chicken)

5 thick slices unpeeled ginger

1 onion, quatered

6 whole garlic cloves

1 carrot, large chunks

1 turnip, quatered

1 daikon, large chunks

4 handfuls Job’s tears, soaked overnight and drained

3 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

2 star anise

½ stick cassia

4 cloves

Salt & pepper, to taste

10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & halved

Shiitake dashi (liquid from rehydrating the shiitake mushrooms; make sure you sieve it before using)

2 – 3 bok choy, roughly chopped

2 handfuls mung bean sprouts

Method

1 Place all ingredients except for the bok choy and mung bean sprouts in a large stockpot and cover fully with cold water. Bring to a boil, skim off impurities and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.Chicken & Job's Tears Soup_collage2 Adjust seasoning to taste and then add bok choy and mung bean sprouts. Cook for 5 minutes and then ladle into bowls to enjoy. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top if you like, as I do.Chicken & Job's Tears Soup