Bean Sprout & Coriander ‘Kimchee’

So, this isn’t technically a Kimchee, but it’s where the foundations of this recipe came from. Bean sprouts are one of the items that supermarkets simply don’t sell in small portion sizes, they also perish very quickly and the lack of a desire to eat stir-fry 5 nights in a row, forced me to come up with some other options for the short-lived bean sprout.

I found this Recipe, on the excellent blog Beyond Kimchee, a blog dedicated to Korean food, and as this was my first foray into a Kimchee creation, what better place to start?

Now I didn’t have all the ingredients to follow this recipe, but below is an example of how recipes can be used as a base and adapted to cater for items you do have in stock:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 x Shallots
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • Handful of coriander
  • 300g bean sprouts
  • 2 tsps chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Squeeze lime

METHOD

Steam bean sprouts for 4 minutes

Toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for 2 mins, until they start to ‘pop’

Allow hot ingredients to cool

Chop all other ingredients and combine in a bowl

Once cool, add the bean sprouts and toasted sesame seeds

Eat immediately or allow to marinate and ferment in the fridge over night

TIPS

Some more specialized ingredients may be hard to find in supermarkets, it’s always worth searching online for cheaper, more readily available substitutes

Fish Sauce, sesame oil and vinegar (rice wine or white wine) are what I consider to be cupboard staples if you’re a fan of Asian cooking as they form the base of many Asian sauces and dressings

The bean sprout kimchee is a great accompaniment for many meat/fish dishes, particularly salmon for which I have a complimentary recipe for Sweet chilli salmon here.

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Sweet Chilli Salmon with Asian Vegetables

Salmon is one of my midweek time saving meals. It’s quick to cook, can be served with pretty much any side and gives rise to a huge variety of optional flavour mix ups; from simple lemon and parsley to teriyaki salmon or something more unusual, such as sweet chilli.

The idea for this dish was again down to leftover ingredients mentioned in my No Shop Week blog, which included fresh salmon fillets that I’d frozen alongside carrots and green beans.

The vegetables screamed stir-fry at me and Asian flavours are so easy to achieve with a few stock cupboard essentials.

If you’re a fan of Asian food, I’d recommend always keeping in store soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and; a new discovery on my part; ginger paste (although only buy this if you will use the paste regularly as it does have a shortish self life when open). In terms of flavour, I prefer fresh ginger but I like the fact that keeping paste in stock, opens up the opportunity to throw together a huge variety of Asian sauces without having to visit the shop.

I’m a flavour junky and I knew I wanted to stir fry the vegetables with sesame and soy but I didn’t want the salmon to be bland so I coated it in sweet chilli sauce, covered it in foil and baked in the oven for 15 mins. Whilst the salmon was cooking I prepared the veg, chopping the baby carrots and green beans into long thin slices.

In a wok, I heated a tbsp of oil and fried a clove of crushed garlic with a tsp of ginger paste for a minute, before tossing in the veg. I then added a tbsp of sesame oil and 2 tbsps of soy sauce and stir fried for a further few minutes before serving with the salmon. And that’s how to quickly make great Asian style side.

(Again I’m not one for measuring, as a guide two to one of sesame vs. soy is a good start. Sesame oil is very strong flavoured so I tend to start small and adjust as I taste)

If you fancy some carbs, this dish will be great with rice or why not flake the cooked salmon up and stir fry with the veg and a portion of egg noodles.

 

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Turkey Soup – Asian Style

I mentioned in my Too Much Turkey? post that I’d received some beautiful Japanese ramen bowls as a gift from a very kind sister. So with left-over turkey and some new bowls to use a, turkey ramen seemed like a must make.

The best thing about making this was that I didn’t even need to pop to the shops as christmas leftovers and store cupboard items granted me all the ingredients needed.

My boyfriend has decided to get in on the whole food waste thing and he had made a delicious stock from the turkey bones the previous day. To make stock, simply chuck all the turkey (or any meat bones) in a large sauce-pan with a carrot, onion and a couple of celery sticks (the veg is fine-cut into big chunks, and there’s no need to peel the carrot). Top with water, bring to boil, pop on a lid and simmer for a few hours, skim off any scum that collects on the top of the pan during the process. Once the liquid has reduced by about a third, sieve into a container or another pan and hey presto homemade stock.

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Now I didn’t follow a recipe for the ramen but I cook a lot of Asian style food where the base commonly contains ginger, garlic and chilli, all of which I had in stock. Heating a tbsp of olive-oil in a large saucepan I fried the garlic, chilli and ginger up for a couple of minutes, before adding the leftover turkey. This is a great recipe for getting rid of some of the darker, tougher meat as it adds more flavour and the turkey softens slightly as it flakes up in the soup.

After about 3-4 minutes I added in the pre-prepared turkey stock and gradually brought to the boil. I’m never sure on how much simmering time to allow but as my stock was already marvelously rich and the turkey already cooked, I figured 20 minutes of a low simmer would be plenty of time to allow the flavours of chilli and garlic to infuse into the stick.

Normally in an Asian soup I’d add in vegetables such as bean sprouts and Pak choi but my Christmas leftovers consisted of baby carrots and fine green beans so in they went.

I chopped the chantry carrots into lengthways slices and added into the simmering stock for 5 minutes before adding the fine green beans in  for the last two minutes. The final step of the stock was to add in a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and a dash of white wine vinegar to taste.

Whilst the stock was simmering I separately boiled  and de-shelled two eggs (medium/hard-boiled – about 6-7 mins) and some fine egg noodles which were tossed in soy sauce before being added to the soup. The outcome was an absolute delicious and refreshing soup which made me forget I was eating turkey for the 4th day in a row.

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If you fancy recreating a similar soup yourself, it will work well with most leftover meats, especially chicken and pork. If you don’t have the bones or the time available to make your own stock, shop bought stock will do just fine. Also any vegetables can be added, whatever’s left over in your fridge, just adjust the cooking time for however many minutes that particular veg takes to cook.

The ingredients I used in my ramen can be found here for inspiration but why not get soupy and go create your own.

 Ingredients

1 x tbsp vegetable oil

1 x clove of garlic

2 x chillies

1x tsp grated ginger

1 x onion

2 x handfuls of cooked turkey

750ml turkey stock

Handful baby carrots

Handful green beans

2 x blocks of fine egg noodles

2 x eggs

Soy sauce

White wine vinegar