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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

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

We’ve just had Halloween which used to be one of my favourite holidays as a child in the United States. Although the roots of the event lie in Ireland, North Americans have taken to idea and run with it. From the beginning of October lots of spooky and fun things start appearing in shops, on TV, in the press and pretty much everywhere. Since Halloween coincides with autumn harvests, there are lots of lovely veggies … Read entire article »

Filed under: United States, Vegetarian

Rugby World Cup 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011

Go the mighty All Blacks! And woo-hoo to New Zealand for hosting! … Read entire article »

Filed under: Inspired by...

Vegetarian Black Beans and Rice

Vegetarian Black Beans and Rice

I have not been to Cuba, but I have lived in South Florida, which has  a sizeable Cuban community, where you can get the most delicious black beans and rice ever. Well, OK, maybe not ever since I’ve already mentioned that I haven’t actually been to Cuba. Tucking into a steaming bowl of black beans and feeling the crunch of fresh onions on top is something I could do just about any day of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Child-friendly, Narrative Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy Onigiri: Japanese rice cakes

Easy Onigiri: Japanese rice cakes

What I loved when we lived in Japan was that on the days I didn’t feel like making my lunch, I could stop by the local コンビニ, “conbini”, or convenience store, on the way to work for much nicer food than we’d find in our own equivalent shops. I’d park my bike out front in the bike park and then walk in to hear a loud “いらっしゃいませ!” or “Irasshaimase!” (Welcome, we are happy to serve … Read entire article »

Filed under: Child-friendly, Drinks and Snacks, Featured, Japanese, Vegetarian

Feijoa Chutney

Feijoa Chutney

The first time I saw a feijoa I thought it must be some kind of guava because it looked like a small farang (ฝรั่ง), a Thai guava. Incidentally, farang is also what Thais call foreigners. What do us non-Thais and a tropical fruit have in common? Well, not much except that the fruit version was reportedly brought to Thailand by the Portuguese and so was therefore labelled as farang, meaning foreign thing. There is more … Read entire article »

Filed under: Condiments, New Zealand, Vegan, Vegetarian

Kim-chee, Bean and Peanut Salad

Kim-chee, Bean and Peanut Salad

I am starting a new category on Five Flavours called “Inspired by” because so much of what I eat is inspired by the amazing ingredients I’ve learnt about from all over the world, but doesn’t exactly fit under any authenticity labels. This salad is inspired by Korean kim-chee, a wonderful probiotic, and Indian bean salads. This is the kind of salad I discover by accident when I am searching the kitchen for something I can make … Read entire article »

Filed under: Healthy, Inspired by..., Vegan, Vegetarian

Chocolate Almond Smoothie for Fair Trade Fortnight

Chocolate Almond Smoothie for Fair Trade Fortnight

Smoothies are meant to be healthy, but there is nothing to say that they can’t be chocolate is there? I don’t think there is a rule book anywhere. Whatever. I’ll chance it. Not only is this smoothie chocolate AND good for you, it has also been made with Fair Trade ingredients. You may not be aware, but it is Fair Trade Fortnight which I think is a great time for us to take stock of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Breakfast and Brunch, Drinks and Snacks, Healthy, New Zealand, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Soup: A Kiwi Favourite

Pumpkin Soup: A Kiwi Favourite

We have a lot of gorgeous pumpkins in New Zealand. And they are really cheap and nutritious so they verge on being one of the Kings of Vegetables, but I didn’t always know this. The first time I had pumpkin soup I was not convinced I would like it. I thought it would be sweet because I tend to think of things like pumpkin and kumara (sweet potatoes) as sweet vegetables and, when I’m hungry, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Child-friendly, Narrative Recipes, New Zealand, Vegan, Vegetarian

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