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yongfook

Japan

about me:

I made OSF. lols.

Simple Absorption Pasta

Simple Absorption Pasta

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (26)

Being something of a socially-reclusive agoraphobic, it satisfies me greatly when I create a delicious meal entirely from pantry items and thus can be recreated over and over without me ever needing to leave the house. This is a hearty pasta dish that uses simple things you should already have lying around (apart from the pork chop) and it uses the "absorption" method of cooking pasta where raw, dried pasta is added directly to the sauce and simmered until cooked. It creates a luxurious, silken texture that you never get with the traditional boil-drain-dress method. I find that for dishes like this, cup-shaped pasta works best (although visually they might look unfashionable) as the little cups will help catch the thick sauce as you lift them to your mouth :) Serves 2 for supper or one greedy person for dinner, with seconds (ahem).

Broccoli Soup with Japanese Wild Mushrooms

Broccoli Soup with Japanese Wild Mushrooms

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (23)

This dish was amazingly delicious. A perfect dish to come home from work to cook - it takes absolutely no time (about 10 mins), tastes wonderful and is very healthy. This is based on Gordon Ramsay's broccoli soup recipe, but he serves his with crispy bacon and almonds. I tried that yesterday and found it to be quite bland and today discovered that the soup goes much better with some delicious, flavoursome, earthy mushrooms. The crispy bacon and almonds combination serves my asparagus soup much better (come on, asparagus and bacon? that's a no-brainer). In a nutshell, I have a better palate than Gordon Ramsay. *pumps fist in air* Serves 1.

Shrimp Gyoza & Pomegranate Ponzu

Shrimp Gyoza & Pomegranate Ponzu

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (17)

This recipe includes a video on [How To Make Gyoza](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spsGbDWauf4) - please watch the video if you are unsure about how to use gyoza skins! This one was a bit experimental and to be absolutely honest, I only made the pomegranate ponzu because I had a pomegranate that I wanted to get rid of :) However! It's an interesting combination - and it was quite delightful how when you put the crisply fried gyoza dipped in the wine-coloured ponzu into your mouth, you taste pomegranate for the first couple of seconds which then give way to the more robust flavours of chilli, shrimp and chive. Quite yummy.

Instant Ramen

Instant Ramen

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (15)

This is one of the tastiest ways of dressing up your instant ramen and was a staple for me during university. I still like to make it from time to time for reasons of nostalgia or having blown all my money on booze that month.

Teochew-style Rice Porridge

Teochew-style Rice Porridge

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (14)

Teochew-style rice porridge (congee / jook) is a little different to the more common Cantonese version. Whereas Cantonese porridge requires a very long cooking time and results in a more liquid-like texture, Teochew-style is quicker to make and has a much firmer texture. This super-quick version uses cooked rice.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (14)

If using tinned pineapple, drain it of all the juice and be prepared for a much sweeter, less fragrant dish than when you use fresh pineapple. My photo shows Japanese rice (since that's easiest for me to get here) but obviously it will work much better with Jasmine.

Chocolate Tacos

Chocolate Tacos

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (14)

This is a really basic recipe that gives a decent base for tacos.  The chocolate was experimental but worked well.  It is added at the end of the cooking process - like you might do with a knob of butter - to give the sauce a nice richness and to ever so slightly sweeten the meat; just enough to create a little bit of interest on the tongue.  I think it tasted great. One thing that I tried to do in this recipe is make sure that even though the recipe is simple, you try to get the most flavour out of what you have.  This means pre-browning the meat separately to caramelise it nicely (chucking it in with the veg to cook all together will just boil the meat) and toasting the cumin seeds beforehand.

Pork & Apple Sandwich

Pork & Apple Sandwich

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (13)

Pork and Apple are a fabulous taste combination. Try seasoning your pork with a little cumin to bring out the meat flavour, which adds to the overall taste contrast.

Pork & Blueberry Meatballs

Pork & Blueberry Meatballs

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (13)

This is a really simple mixture that can be served as meatballs (interesting topping for pasta), made into meatloaf or even used as a wicked, fusion-style gyoza filling if you add some chopped savoy cabbage. **This recipe works much, much better with cranberries. I didn't have a pic of the cranberry mixture handy though - will update the title and pic when I do!**

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Wild Mushrooms

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Wild Mushrooms

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (13)

This was more an experiment in using the curry salt method of seasoning fish than a real recipe. Gordon Ramsay suggests using "curry salt" to season fish when pan-roasting or frying, because cooking fish quickly like this doesn't give it enough time to take on any colour. Curry salt gives the fish a deliciously appetising, warm golden glow and it doesn't taste of curry at all - it just tasted like perfectly-seasoned fish. I'll be adopting this little tip for all my pan-roasting of fish from now on!

Luxurious King Prawn Spaghetti

Luxurious King Prawn Spaghetti

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (12)

This is an adaptation of Gordon Ramsay's signature "Lobster Spaghetti" dish. It's not really practical to buy lobsters often unless you are particularly affluent or entertain lots, so I'm using fresh King prawns here. This dish is all about timing - you need to cook the prawns just before you make the sauce, so once they are done it's all systems go.

Basil-Wrapped Salmon and Zucchini Pesto Tagliatelle

Basil-Wrapped Salmon and Zucchini Pesto Tagliatelle

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (11)

I made this "zucchini pesto" because I had a leftover zucchini, but actually it tasted pretty good. Wrapping the salmon in basil is a really healthy method of poaching the fish whilst giving it a flavour kick.

Thai Herb Salad

Thai Herb Salad

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (10)

The picture shows the salad undressed as this was made for a picnic and I took the pic at home. Always bring your dressing separately and dress the salad at the last possible moment!

South Asian Pork Soboro

South Asian Pork Soboro

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (10)

"Tori Soboro" is a Japanese dish made with minced chicken. This is a South Asian-influenced version, made with pork. It is a comforting, sweet-savoury dish that is best served simply on top of steaming white rice. I'll admit that this is a dish I threw together mostly out of pantry ingredients...but it turned out tasty :) Makes 2 portions.

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (10)

This is another criminally simple recipe. I can't take all the credit though - it was inspired by Gordon Ramsay's Broccoli Soup, which is prepared in a similar way. However I thought that since asparagus is in season right now and it's...green...like broccoli...that it would make a good substitute. And it was! I polished off an entire baguette eating this delicious soup.

Pea and Mint Couscous with Yuzu Chicken Yakitori

Pea and Mint Couscous with Yuzu Chicken Yakitori

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (9)

Here's a dish I'll be making for a dinner party soon. The yakitori would be great done over a BBQ if you have one handy - they have a wonderful summer taste. The Couscous recipe has been "borrowed" from a certain Gordon Ramsay... Serves 1 (Couscous and approx. 3 skewers).

Pancetta-Wrapped Cod with Vanilla

Pancetta-Wrapped Cod with Vanilla

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (9)

This is a layman's version of a dish I had at a wonderful restaurant called Salt in Tokyo. There, I had a dish which was pancetta-wrapped cod with vanilla, accompanied by a roasted fig. It was absolutely, mind-blowingly delicious. I tried to recreate it at home, but for this recipe I omitted the figs as I've never cooked with them before and I totally destroyed them. What remained - the fish and the veg, was more than satisfactory, however. The secret is in the vanilla, which doesn't lend too much flavour, but scents the dish with a welcoming, warming sweet smell, and the contrast between the salty pancetta and sweet, pan-roasted vegetables. I used carrots and shallots here, but really any veg that has a natural sweetness would work well. I think this would be equally great with a pumpkin or swede mash.

Orchard Lunch

Orchard Lunch

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (8)

It looks complicated but I managed to do all this using only two pans. This is a wonderfully flavourful plate of food - juicy pork that goes great with apple (kind of a running theme in my recipes...) with a silky olive oil mash and some rustic, pan-grilled vegetables. I actually made a brandy-butter sauce from mirepoix, stock, brandy and the cooking juices which accompanied the dish excellently, but the sauce isn't pictured.

Basic Asian Dipping Sauce

Basic Asian Dipping Sauce

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (7)

This is a basic chilli dipping sauce suitable for gyoza or other little bite-size morsels such as dim sum. Try drizzling it over steamed fish, too. This sauce is just a foundation and can be sexed-up in any way you like, such as adding lime zest for a bit of zing or like in my picture, where I've added some chopped spring onions and a bit of minced ginger.

Cooling Japanese Cucumbers

Cooling Japanese Cucumbers

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (6)

This is a ridiculously simple recipe for some basic, Japanese-influenced cucumber pickles. Absolutely perfect on top of a small bowl of hot rice.

Sesame Tuna with Lime Mash

Sesame Tuna with Lime Mash

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (6)

This dish made a great summer-tasting dinner, but it was substantial enough to feel nice and full afterwards. The lime mash was something I dreamed up on the train - it works really well with the clean taste of the sashimi tuna.

Chilled Tan-Tan Noodles

Chilled Tan-Tan Noodles

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (6)

This is a cold noodle dish that is popular in Japan at Chinese noodle shops. Oddly enough I've never actually had it like this outside Japan, in Chinese regions of Asia such as Hong Kong or Singapore so I wonder if it is a dish that has been Japan-ised somewhat. The Japanese version has lots of black pepper and adds salad-style ingredients to the noodles, such as shredded lettuce, cucumber and chopped tomatoes. Serves 2.

Steak with Pumpkin Mash

Steak with Pumpkin Mash

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (6)

Another autumny dish. I'm attempting to be more seasonal in my cooking, enjoying the ingredients and flavours that the time of year brings. This pumpkin mash went beautifully with a small steak, seared on both sides for just a few minutes. I served it all with some shallots that had been pan-roasted with a bit of olive oil, whole garlic cloves and fresh sage leaves.

Thai Green Curry with Basil & Almond

Thai Green Curry with Basil & Almond

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (5)

Yes yes I'm CHEATING by using bought curry paste. However, I added a couple of things to the paste that really made it sing, and the result was too good to not share! The secret is crushed almonds in the paste. They lend the curry a lovely mild nuttiness, and also a little bit of crunch here and there. I loved it, and thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers the too (mixed it with pasta as I had no more rice - was surprisingly good!). Also, this is a QUICK curry - it's not the kind that you simmer for ages. I wanted the beans to still taste of beans and the prawns to have some bite in them still. It turned out splendidly.

Beef Stew with Pappardelle Falso

Beef Stew with Pappardelle Falso

star_onstar_onstar_onstar_onstar_on Comments (4)

This was a blatant, unashamed meal made from leftovers, which turned out wonderfully. Pappardelle is a very broad kind of fettucini, and you can simulate a similar effect in the mouth using my improvised broken lasagna pieces (careful, when you break them bits of shrapnel will fly everywhere). Of course, if you have real pappardelle, use that.

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