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Five flavours » Ingredients

Yin Tsai- Edible amaranth

Yin Tsai- Edible amaranth

    Have you been wondering what that beautiful purple and green leafy vegetable is in the shops at the moment? I’d hate for you to miss out so I thought I’d better get these photos up quick smart before it all disappears. The season’s quite short, and you may have to go to an Asian shop to find it, but it’s called yin tsai* or amaranth or “edible amaranth” as some sources call it. Don’t worry. Everything … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ingredients, Multicultural, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Dashi of This and a Dashi of That

A Dashi of This and a Dashi of That

Dashi is the stock most used in Japanese cooking. The ingredients are simple, seaweed and shavings from a block of the dried fish known as bonito, and the method could not be simpler. Much of Japanese food is approachable like this and it’s a shame that so many people think that you need some sort of superskills in order to prepare Japanese food. Oh yes, there are Japanese masters! But there are also students who … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ingredients, Japanese

Microwave Thai Sticky Rice

Microwave Thai Sticky Rice

Rice is rice is rice…or is it? There are thousands upon thousands of varieties of rice and hundreds of ways  to cook them all. I really prefer eating the most appropriate rice I can get for each dish that I cook, and when I go Isaan, that often means steamed sticky rice.  Let’s be clear about this, the term ‘sticky rice’ in any context does not refer to regular rice that sticks together because you’ve … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ingredients, Thai, Vegan, Vegetarian

All about ginger

All about ginger

Some things in life are just a wee bit awkward. Whenever I read or write a recipe, I’m always perplexed about what to do about the ginger. People often describe the amount needed as, ‘a thumb-sized piece’ or ‘a 5cm piece’ or ‘6 thick slices’. But that doesn’t sit well with people who don’t like variables. How big around is this piece? What about the little nobules (Yes, I made that word up.)? Do I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Drinks and Snacks, Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian

Furikake: Japanese rice seasoning

Furikake: Japanese rice seasoning

Furikake ふりかけ is Japan’s answer to zaatar or dukkah. Whereas those middle eastern condiments are mainly associated with bread, furikake is associated with, you’ve guessed it, rice.  Although some types of furikake are delicious on salads or vegetables, you’ll most often come across this savoury mixture on top of a bowl of steaming rice, or in onigiri. The flavourings vary with ingredients such as bonito (a type of fish shavings), nori, sesame seeds, dried egg, salmon … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ingredients, Japanese