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SPIRAL FOODS

In 2004 I took what seemed like an obvious step and shifted my Billy Kwong menu from conventional to locally grown, organic and biodynamic ingredients. Apart from committing to sourcing only sustainably produced and harvested meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables, this shift also included ridding my cupboards of all commercially produced condiments - this is when I began my friendship with Spiral Foods because I started to use their superior products on a daily basis in the restaurant. Spiral adheres to the principal that food has to be good for the earth, as well as good for the people. To this end Spiral supports growers who appreciate their craft and whose main motivation is to feed people the very best food they possibly can. For the last 14 years I have used Spiral's stunning organic range of: Tamari, Brown Rice Vinegar, Sesame Oil, Miso and Rice Syrup. As a cook and restaurateur I only ever want to offer you the most delicious and nutritious food. This is the best way my staff and I can show our deep respect and care for this planet and its people. Integrating Spiral’s authentic, traditional and wholesome products within our cooking allows us to express this genuine love, in every single one of our dishes. I am so excited and proud about being Spiral Foods Ambassador and I look forward to continuing to share all of these life-giving foods with you. Thank you James, Kim, Raphaelle and the entire Spiral Foods family for your long-lasting, generous friendship and support 🌱🍃🌿 

 Image - Penny Lane

Image - Penny Lane

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MAD MONDAYS - 16 July

Our upcoming Sydney MAD Monday on 16 July at Carriageworks is all about resilience. The discussion on the night is part of an ongoing conversation about collaborations between cooks, servers, farmers and community leaders that contribute to a more resilient future for climate, cities, businesses and diverse communities. Our speakers for this special evening are; Caroline Baum, Josh Niland of Saint Peter, Paddington, Kuku Yalanji woman, Lydia Miller of Australia Council for the Arts, Reverend Graham Long of The Wayside Chapel and Indira Naidoo. For all those attending, MAD Australian Project Manager Bella Napier and I can’t wait to see you there. Thank you SO much to our amazing partner Lisa Havilah of Carriageworks for helping us make this all happen!🌱🌿🍃🌾 If you didn't manage to get a ticket to the event, videos of all talks will be available online following the event.

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#COOKFORSYRIA

 Image - Nikki To

Image - Nikki To

" SO EXCITED to be a part of this extremely important #COOKFORSYRIA, Unicef Australia   Fundraising Dinner again this year on Monday June 18. Apart from loving the spirited collaboration with my amazing colleagues, it is also really important for my staff and I to continue to assist those in need and who are most vulnerable in our local and global community. Being a cook or a chef goes way beyond the plate doesn’t it? " KK X

Join some of Australia's most exciting chefs at #CookForSyria Fundraising Dinner

Billy Kwong, Firedoor, Bert's, Hartsyard, Momofuku Seiōbo, LP's Quality Meats, Three Blue Ducks, Saga, Oakridge Wines, Africola, Biota, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, NOMAD, Saint Peter, Chat Thai, as well as Syrian sister chefs, Sharon & Carol Salloum from Sydney's Almond Bar will all create an unforgettable dinner, serving signature dishes with a Syrian-inspired twist.

#CookForSyria | Three Blue Ducks, Rosebery | Monday 18 June 6.30pm | $280 pp plus booking fee. Includes canapés, a shared Syrian-inspired feast and wine. 

To book click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World Restaurant Awards

"SO EXCITED to be a part of this new World Restaurant Award initiated by Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini of Gelinaz. I really feel the intention of these awards comes from the ‘right' place, with the aim to celebrate and promote: gender-equality, diversity on all levels, transparency, community and collaboration. With ‘good seeds’, great things grow and bloom. Read all about the awards in this Delicious Article by Joanna Savill.” KK X

 Image courtesy of Delicious

Image courtesy of Delicious

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SYDNEY MAD MONDAYS

"Tonight was totally and deliciously ... MAD! MAD is a non-profit organization that brings together a global cooking community with a social conscience, a sense of curiosity, and an appetite for change. Thank you SO MUCH René Redzepi for inspiring and educating the cooking community to find creative solutions and make a difference in their restaurants, communities, and the world at large. Thank-you so much to the amazing speakers at our first Sydney MAD Mondays; Palisa Anderson, Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, Gayle Quarmby and Nicole Watson which we held this evening at Carriageworks. Thank-you also to Lisa Havilah for your unstinting support and commitment and to everyone who put their heart and soul into tonight and all of our volunteers!" KK X. For more information on our next Sydney MAD Mondays event on 16 July event visit Carriageworks.

Kyie-Kwong-MAD-Mondays-Sydney

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Egg noodle salad with Chinese barbecue pork and pickled carrots

This dish is inspired by a Chinese noodle salad my uncle Jimmy brings to Kwong family gatherings. The Chinese barbecue pork pieces and pickles are my addition. My uncle uses freshly made thin egg noodles, which I prefer for this recipe because they are delicate in texture and not so filling. But feel free to choose your favourite, including Hokkien or Shanghai noodles. Look for fresh thin egg noodles in the refrigerated section of the Asian grocer.

Serves 6 - 8 as part of a banquet

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Ingredients

2 large celery sticks, finely sliced on the diagonal

1 tbsp vegetable oil

500g fresh thin egg noodles

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp light soy sauce

250g Chinese barbecue pork, warm or at room temperature, finely sliced

90g (1 cup) bean sprouts

60g (½ cup) drained pickled carrots* (recipe below)

80ml (⅓ cup) liquid from pickled carrots*

50g (½ cup) fresh black fungus

2 tsp sesame oil

Method

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch celery for 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. Refresh under cold running water and drain well. Pat dry.

2. Add vegetable oil to same pan of water and bring back to the boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain thoroughly and place in a large bowl.

3. Heat sugar and soy sauce in a nonstick frying pan until sugar has dissolved. Add pork and heat through for 45 seconds or until slightly sticky.

4. Add pork and remaining ingredients to noodles and toss well using your hands. Arrange on a platter to serve.

Tip: I always have a bit of barbecue pork in the freezer. It's fantastic not only for a quick, flavoursome fried rice, but also great added to noodle dishes or finely sliced and added to wonton soup.

If you don't eat pork, you could add fried egg ribbons and fresh Asian herbs to make this a substantial vegetarian dish or swap the pork for cooked tiger prawns.

*Remember to make the pickled carrots a day ahead (recipe below).

 

Chinese pickled carrots recipe

When I was growing up, Mum used to buy Chinese pickles in Chinatown that gave instant depth and character to dishes. But these days I like to make my own – they are easy and fun to make, and enhance dishes instantly. Add these pickles to other dishes or serve alongside any meal as a condiment.

Makes: 300g (about 2½ cups) drained

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Ingredients

3 carrots (about 300g in total)

1 tbsp salt flakes

5cm x 2cm knob (20g) ginger, thickly sliced

1 whole star anise

¼ tsp Sichuan peppercorns

Pickling liquid

1 litre (4 cups) white vinegar

295g (1⅓ cups) white sugar

Method

1. To make the pickling liquid, combine vinegar and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered and without stirring, for about 30 minutes or until reduced by one-third and slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

2. Meanwhile, peel each carrot and cut in half crossways. Cut each piece into slices two millimetres thick, then into matchsticks. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. The next day, drain the liquid from the carrots, squeezing well with your hands. Place carrots in a 1 litre capacity airtight jar or container, pour pickling liquid over to cover, add ginger, star anise and peppercorns. Refrigerate for one day to allow flavours to develop before using. The pickled carrot will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

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CELEBRATING AUSTRALIAN-CHINESE NEW YEAR

SO EXCITED about celebrating our family’s ‘Australian-Chinese New Year’ beginning this Friday 16th Feb! Thank you so much to Good Food for capturing the spirit and energy of my beautiful mother Pauline and the delightful and charming stories relayed to me by one of my favourite aunties, ‘Aunty Connie’ and our friend Jeanette Cumines in today's article. Such rich family memories and deep tradition which my enormous extended 'Kwong and Fong Kee Clan’ can all hold onto forever and cherish. It is such a pleasure to be able to share my family with yours, enjoy this story and see my recipes below which I will also be offering at Billy Kwong as of this Friday 16th for two weeks, throughout the Lunar New Year Festival. Happy Australian-Chinese New Year everyone, KK! XX

  Photo: Anna Kucera

Photo: Anna Kucera

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Chinese New Year good luck salad (yee sang)

This salad is also known as yee sang. The higher you toss this salad, the more good luck you'll have for the New Year!

Serves 6 as an entree as part of a banquet

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS

65g dried glass noodles

120g sashimi-grade ocean trout, sliced finely (or use sashimi-grade kingfish or snapper)

2 lebanese cucumbers, julienned

1 small carrot, peeled and julienned

100g white radish, peeled and julienned

40g munyeroo (native purslane), leaves picked (or use coriander leaves)

30g Bower spinach, picked (or use baby English spinach leaves)

10g pickled ginger, julienned

½ cup roasted macadamia nuts, finely crushed in a mortar and pestle

100g fresh black fungus

70g fresh bean sprouts

1 large red chilli, finely sliced

3 tbsp freshly squeezed finger limes (or use cheeks from 2 fresh limes)

300ml ginger and tamari dressing (see recipe below)

METHOD

1. Make the ginger and tamari dressing (see below)

2. Soak noodles in boiling water for 15 minutes, drain thoroughly.

3. Arrange all ingredients on a large round platter in separate piles, with the noodles in the centre, and the sashimi slices arranged on top of the noodles.

4. To serve, place platter in the centre of the table, make sure all guests have a pair of chopsticks, and pour 300ml of the dressing over the salad. Everyone must reach into the salad to mix and toss it with their chopsticks, saying very loudly "loh hei" (literally "to move upwards"). The higher you toss the salad, the better your New Year luck.

Serve alongside my recipes featured on goodfood.com.au; crab and ginger dumplings and deep-fried duck as part of a Chinese New Year banquet.

 

GINGER AND TAMARI DRESSING RECIPE

This versatile dressing is perfect with salads, steamed greens, roast chicken and grilled or barbecued seafood. It keeps for about three days in the fridge.

Makes about 730ml

INGREDIENTS

175ml malt vinegar

125g brown sugar

50ml water

175ml tamari

2 tsp sesame oil

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp finely grated white onion

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

METHOD

1. To make the dressing, pour vinegar into a heatproof bowl. Place sugar and water in a small pan and bring to the boil then turn the heat down to medium and allow sugar to caramelise until it is dark brown (about 2-3 minutes).

2. Just before caramel begins to smoke, remove from the heat, quickly pour into the vinegar bowl and whisk well. Add tamari and sesame oil and whisk well. Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, whisking continuously, then stir through onion and ginger.

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Spanner crab and ginger dumplings with Sichuan chilli oil

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Serves 4 as part of a banquet

INGREDIENTS

about 160g fresh picked spanner crab meat

2 spring onions, finely sliced

5cm x 1cm knob (15g) ginger, finely diced

1 tsp light soy sauce

½ tsp white sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

16 fresh round or square wonton wrappers (about 8cm across)

Sichuan chilli oil (see recipe below) 

10g picked native sea blite leaves (or use fresh dill)

pinch of Sichuan pepper and salt (see recipe below)

For the Sichuan pepper and salt

1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns

3 tbsp sea salt

For the Sichuan chilli oil

2 tsp dried chilli flakes

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp hot water

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsp white sugar

pinch of Sichuan pepper and salt (see recipe above)

METHOD:

To make the Sichuan pepper and salt dry-roast peppercorns and salt in a heavy-based pan. When peppercorns begin to "pop" and become aromatic, take off the heat. Allow to cool, then grind to a powder in mortar and pestle or spice grinder (makes four tablespoons; store in an airtight container).

To make the Sichuan chilli oil place chilli flakes in a heatproof bowl. Heat oil in a small heavy-based saucepan until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Carefully pour hot oil over chilli to release the heat and flavour. Stir to combine and set aside for at least 30 minutes to cool.

Strain cooled oil mixture over a bowl through a fine sieve and discard chilli flakes. Stir in remaining ingredients, including a pinch of Sichuan pepper and salt, to combine and set aside. 

To make the dumplings

1. Place all the dumpling ingredients (except wonton wrappers, Sichuan chilli oil and Sichuan pepper and salt in a bowl and combine well.

2. Next, fill and shape the dumplings by placing a rounded teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wrapper. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Gently lift one side of the wrapper and fold in half over the filling to the opposite side. Lightly press around filling and along edges to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Set the 16 dumplings aside in a single layer on a tray lined with baking paper.

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Drop dumplings into the water a few at a time and boil for 2½ minutes or until cooked and wrappers are translucent. To test that the dumplings are ready, remove one and cut into it with a sharp knife to check that the filling is hot. When dumplings are ready, remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto a plate.

4. Arrange dumplings on a platter and serve immediately dressed with Sichuan chilli oil, garnished with the native sea blite and sprinkled with the Sichuan pepper and salt.

Serve alongside my recipes featured on goodfood.com.au; deep-fried duck and good luck salad as part of a Chinese New Year banquet. 

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STIR-FRIED ASPARAGUS WITH GARLIC

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a banquet

The season of spring at Billy Kwong always calls for an asparagus stir-fry, sliced and cooked very lightly and quickly. It is interesting to use salt sometimes as the flavour enhancer, rather than using soy. This method is also great with fresh snowpeas, zucchini flowers, bok choy or Chinese white cabbage.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches green asparagus (about 500g)

2 tbsp peanut oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp salt flakes

2 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

⅓ cup vegetable stock or water

1 tsp sesame oil

METHOD

1. Wash asparagus, trim and discard woody ends. Peel lower parts of stems, if necessary, and slice stems in half on the diagonal. Wash and drain well.

2. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add garlic and salt and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add asparagus and stir-fry for one minute. Add wine or sherry and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Pour in stock and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds or until asparagus is just tender. Lastly add sesame oil and serve immediately.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STIR-FRIED SCALLOPS WITH SNOWPEAS & GINGER

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a banquet

I usually try to source Queensland saucer scallops for this dish, with their firm-medium, flavoursome flesh. Be sure to pat the scallop meat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before cooking and only cook this dish "a la minute" – the scallops should be rare and the snowpeas bright green and crunchy. You could of course substitute fresh green prawns for the scallops. If you are allergic to peanuts, use vegetable oil.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp malt vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp peanut oil

24 scallops, removed from their shells (about 240g scallop meat)

120g snowpeas, topped and tailed

3 spring onions, cut into 7cm lengths

4 ginger slices

2 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

METHOD:

1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add scallops to wok, in two batches if necessary, and sear for 30 seconds on one side, then turn over and sear the other side for 10 seconds so they are nicely caramelised. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Add snowpeas, spring onions and ginger to wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add wine or sherry and cook for 10 seconds.

4. Return scallops to wok, add soy sauce mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

CHILLI SALT & PEPPER SQUID WITH FRESH LIME

Serves 4 as a starter

This dish is best cooked "a la minute" so make sure you have all of your ingredients prepared, your serving plate with lettuce cups and fresh herbs ready to go, and your guests seated before you begin frying the squid. It only takes a few minutes to cook and is so delicious eaten piping hot.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

500g squid

1 ½ tbsp  cornflour

1 ½ tbsp plain flour

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp crushed Sichuan peppercorns

vegetable oil for deep-frying

4 small iceberg lettuce leaves, chilled

2 limes, halved

handful coriander sprigs

handful mint leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

1. First, clean and score the squid (see step-by-step guide below).

2. In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, chilli powder and Sichuan pepper. Add squid and toss to coat, shaking off any excess flour.

3. Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the squid and deep-fry for about 1½ minutes or until just tender and beginning to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat process with remaining squid.

4. Arrange chilled lettuce cups on a platter and top with squid. Serve immediately with lime halves and fresh herbs.

How to clean and score squid

1. Gently pull the head and tentacles away from the body and discard the entrails.

2. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. Reserve the tentacles and discard the head.

3. Remove and discard the fine, purplish-black membrane from the body.

4. Trim the side "wings" from the body and set aside.

5. Pull out the clear "backbone" (quill) from inside the body, then rinse body, tentacles and wings thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen paper.

6. Cut squid down the centre so that it will open out flat.

7. Using a sharp knife, score shallow diagonal cuts in a crisscross pattern on the inside surface, taking care not to cut right through the squid. Scoring squid makes it curl on contact with hot oil, while also allowing flavours to penetrate into the squid.

8. Cut the scored squid in half and then into four-centimetre strips.

9. Trim the reserved "wings", then cut in half.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

CHICKEN AND HOKKIEN NOODLE SOUP RECIPE

You can use any type of noodles in this soup, including fresh rice noodles, thin egg noodles and Shanghai noodles. Serves 4.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Ingredients:

½ bunch (about 200g) bok choy

450g pre-cooked Hokkien noodles

6 cups rich Chinese chicken stock (see recipe below)

3 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp ginger, cut into matchsticks

1 tsp white sugar

400g free-range chicken thigh fillet, cut widthways into 1cm slices

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup spring onions, cut into matchsticks 

2 large red chillies, finely sliced on the diagonal

Method:

1. Remove cores from bok choy, cut crossways into four, then wash thoroughly and drain.

2. Place noodles in a colander and rinse well under hot running water, then drain. 

3. Bring stock to the boil in a large heavy-based pot. Add soy sauce, ginger and sugar and stir to combine.

4. Reduce heat, add drained noodles, and simmer gently for 30 seconds. Add bok choy and chicken and simmer for a further two minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in sesame oil, then remove pot from stove.

5. Ladle soup into large bowls. Place spring onion and chilli in a separate bowl and serve alongside the soup.

This dish goes with Kylie's 'Rich Chinese Stock' (below). 

RICH CHINESE STOCK

I like to use a whole free-range chicken to create an intense, richly flavoured and textured stock. Strained and lightly seasoned with soy and infused with ginger, this soup is clean-flavoured, sustaining and a great meal in its own right, or you can use it in other dishes. 

Ingredients:

1 x 1.8kg free-range chicken

4 litres cold water

10 spring onions, trimmed and cut in half crossways

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

10 slices ginger

10 garlic cloves, crushed

Method:

1. Rinse chicken and trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity. Cut chicken into about 10 pieces and place in a large stockpot, along with all the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, skimming the surface with a ladle to remove any impurities.

2. Turn down heat until surface of the stock is barely moving and cook for two hours, skimming as required.

3. Remove stock from stove and remove chicken pieces. (You can remove the chicken meat from the bones and reserve for later use in fried rice, even if the chicken may be a little dry at this point.)

4. Strain stock through muslin (or a clean Chux) and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

EVERYDAY FRIED RICE

This classic Chinese dish is practical, affordable, quick and easy to make. Although it is "simple" in its ingredient list and technique, it is a fantastic dish to learn some very important and basic Chinese cooking skills.

Serves 4

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

4 free-range eggs

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 tsp diced ginger

1 tsp diced garlic

2 tbsp finely sliced coriander roots and stems

2 rindless bacon rashers, finely diced

2 tbsp shao hsing wine, or dry sherry

4 cups steamed rice

⅔ cup finely sliced spring onions

1-2 tbsp light soy sauce

¼ tsp sesame oil

coriander leaf to garnish (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

1. Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Heat half the oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Pour beaten eggs into the wok and leave to cook on the base of the wok for 10 seconds before folding egg mixture over onto itself with a spatula and lightly scrambling for about one minute or until almost cooked through. Carefully remove omelette from wok with a spatula and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

2. Heat remaining oil in the hot wok and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic, coriander roots, stems and bacon for one minute. Pour in wine or sherry and stir fry for one minute.

3. Add rice to the wok with spring onions, soy sauce, sesame oil and reserved omelette and stir fry for two minutes or until well combined and rice is heated through. Use a spatula to break up the omelette into smaller pieces while cooking. Transfer rice to a bowl and serve garnished with coriander.

TIPS:

■ Fried rice is a great dish to make from leftover rice. Freshly cooked rice is also fine to use when making fried rice. Fried rice is also delicious when eaten cold! I love the subtle scent of Jasmine rice and I like to use medium-grained rice. Yet any rice is fine for this recipe.

■ Slice and dice your ingredients up as finely as possible so you end up with a whole lot of interesting, textural, tasty bits. Season your rice well, so it is flavoursome and moreish. This recipe is really like a basic fried rice – you can add to it however you like and make up your own version. Add in one tablespoon of the suggested soy sauce first, then add the rest if necessary. It will all depend on the saltiness of your bacon and your taste preferences.

■ Serve with a side of chilli: combine in a small bowl, one large red chilli, finely sliced with three tablespoons light soy and serve alongside your fried rice.

■ Stir-fry about 600 grams worth of peeled, roughly chopped king prawn meat until almost cooked through, then put this on top of your cooked fried rice.

■ Instead of using bacon, you could also use diced Chinese barbecued pork for extra flavour and caramelisation.

■ For vegetarians, substitute the bacon with one cup of fresh bean sprouts. Cook the bean sprouts at the same time I have instructed to cook the bacon, using the same method. Garnish the fried rice with one cup of finely sliced Chinese white cabbage and fresh Asian herbs (including round leaf mint, sweet Thai basil, Vietnamese mint). This vegetarian option may need more flavour, seeing we have omitted the salty bacon, so I suggest you definitely serve this version with the chilli-soy dipping sauce.

 

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

SLOW-COOKED RED-BRAISED PORK BELLY WITH CARROTS, EGGS & SHALLOTS

With a bowl of steamed rice, this Chinese casserole-style dish provides a delicious, flavoursome and substantial meal during cooler months. It can be made the day before then simply reheated to serve.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

3.5 litres red braise master stock (see below)

450g free-range boneless pork belly, skin on, at room temperature, cut into 2cm pieces.

4 free-range eggs, at room temperature

3-4 carrots, halved if large

4 red shallots, peeled but left whole

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp malt vinegar

¼ tsp sesame oil

For the red braise master stock

4 spring onions, trimmed and halved

80g ginger, thickly sliced

6 garlic cloves, crushed

4 strips (about 6cm x 1cm) orange peel, white pith removed

8 star anise

4 cinnamon quills

375ml (1½ cups) light soy sauce

250ml (1 cup ) shao hsing wine

185g (1 cup) lightly packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

3 litres cold water

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

1. Make the red braise master stock (see recipe below) in a large stockpot that will later fit the pork, eggs, carrots and red shallots.

2. Meanwhile, place pork belly in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain. This will remove any impurities from the meat.

3. Place eggs in a small saucepan of boiling water and cook for seven minutes (or eight minutes if using eggs straight form the fridge). Remove eggs using a slotted spoon and refresh under cold water. Carefully peel eggs and drain on kitchen paper to remove excess liquid.

4. When the stock is ready, return to the boil. Add pork, eggs, carrots and red shallots, cover the entire surface with a round of baking paper and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until pork is tender. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary. To check it's ready, pierce the pork with a small knife – you should meet no resistance.

5. When the pork is just about cooked, scoop out 250 millilitres (1 cup) stock from the pork and place in a small saucepan. Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes or until sauce is reduced by half and syrupy.

6. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the pork belly, carrots, shallots and braising aromatics from the stock pot and place on a large platter. Scoop out the eggs and cut in half.

7. Spoon the sauce over the pork and arrange the egg halves on top to serve.

8. Strain and freeze the master stock to use again.

Red braise master stock

1. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

2. Use as directed in recipe or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or strain and freeze to use again.

Makes 3.5 litres

Tips: Feel free to add exotic Asian mushrooms such as shiitake, shimeji or oyster mushrooms. If you do not eat pork or are a vegetarian, omit the pork entirely and add your favourite vegetables – thick slices of white radish and cauliflower florets plus chunks of zucchini, potatoes or fennel. For a less hearty version, simply omit the boiled eggs.

After cooking with the stock, you can strain it and freeze it indefinitely to use again. It will develop a stronger flavour each time you use it.

 
 

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STIR-FRIED EGGPLANT WITH CHILLI & GINGER

We Chinese cooks love to prepare eggplant in many different ways: braised, pickled, steamed, grilled, smoked, roasted or simply stir-fried, as in this recipe. Roughly sliced regular eggplants are fine to use instead of Japanese eggplants.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

400g Japanese eggplants 

3 tbsp peanut oil

5cm piece ginger, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, roughly crushed

¼ cup shao hsing wine

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp malt vinegar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 large red chilli, finely sliced lengthways

METHOD:

1. Remove stems from eggplants and cut into one-centimetre slices on the diagonal.

2. Heat two tablespoons of the peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add eggplant and stir-fry for about 2½ minutes, being careful not to let it burn.

3. Add remaining peanut oil to wok with ginger and garlic and stir-fry for one minute.

4. Add shao hsing wine and sugar and stir-fry for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further minute. Serve immediately.

This rich and intensely flavoured dish makes a great accompaniment to a more delicately flavoured dish such as steamed snapper with ginger and shallots, or alongside fried rice for a simple and quick meal. You can substitute a splash of leftover red or white wine for the shao hsing – a hint of alcohol adds depth and character.

 

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VILD MAD

Feeling SO inspired by René Redzepi and MAD's newest endeavour VILD MAD which launched recently. VILD MAD ( "wild food" ) is a comprehensive and free resource designed to help the Danish public sustainably explore and cook with wild food. Watching the VILD MAD video on the MAD Feed I felt so energised - I loved it when René Redzepi likened being in nature to being in a 'supermarket' - it instantly reminds me of a time some years ago, when 'Uncle Max' ( as he is widely known, or Max Dulumunmun Harrison, an Aboriginal Elder of the Yuin people, who lived throughout the south coast of NSW ) took a group of us on a tour of the bush, as part of a Zen Buddhist retreat which Nell introduced to me. As we walked, Uncle Max spoke about 'Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon' and pointed out all of the delicious edible native plants and seeds. In 2009, Uncle Max and photographer Peter McConchie published a special book, 'My People's Dreaming' ( Finch Publishing Sydney ). As Uncle Max conveyed to us over that amazing weekend, and as he writes; "We are not following the sun, we are following the crops. Following the cupboards or the aisles of what I call the ancient supermarkets of the bush ... It is so important to read the land, to be observant of the changing colour of the leaves, and the changes in behavior of the animals, so we become aware and recognise the messages the land is sending us." Initiatives that deepen our understanding of where our food comes from are crucial. Thank you René Redzepi and the MAD team for your meaningful work with VILD MAD and, back here on our own shores, again, the deepest bow, especially to Mike and Gayle Quarmby of Outback Pride Fresh for providing we Australians the opportunity to cook and learn about the precious native foods of this country. 📸For Australian native plant stockists head to Wholefoods House and Outback Pride Fresh.

 Image - Alfred Caliz & www.madfeed.co

Image - Alfred Caliz & www.madfeed.co

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'A MUSHROOM OF ONE'S OWN'

The MAD Feed recently posted 'A Mushroom of One's Own' by Nancy Lee, a reflection on the work of Chido Govera and her trip to Australia earlier this year.  Thank-you very much to Nancy for this great read - "MAD seeks to encourage change through conversation and nurturing ideas, but they also realize that there are practical aspects to enabling action. Chido Govera is changing the lives of women through mushroom farming. A scholarship from MAD facilitated her trip to Australia in April 2017 to share some of her work in Sydney and Melbourne. MAD hopes, with the right support, to fund more such scholarships in the future." 

Click on 'A Mushroom of One's Own' to read Nancy Lee's words on one of the most inspiring women I have ever met, Chido Govera. For more on Chido and her work head over to The Future of Hope Foundation.

 Image www.madfeed.co

Image www.madfeed.co

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

STEAMED SNAPPER FILLETS WITH GINGER & SHALLOTS

It's not unusual for me to eat seafood five times per week, so I make the most of the fresh fish we have available in this country. The wonderful smoky-nuttiness of the hot peanut oil brings this classic Cantonese recipe together, infusing the aromatic ginger, soy and sugar.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

INGREDIENTS:

4 x 100g snapper fillets

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp shao hsing wine

2 tbsp ginger julienne

1 Chinese cabbage (wombok) leaf

1/2 tsp white sugar

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1/4 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup spring onion, julienned

1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil

1/4 cup coriander leaves

METHOD:

1. Place fish in a shallow heat proof bowl that will fit inside a steamer basket. Pour water and wine over fish, then sprinkle with half the ginger. Place bowl inside steamer and position over a deep saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam, covered, for 5-6 minutes.

2. Cut Chinese cabbage leaf into four squares and slip inside steamer. Cover and steam for a further 2-3 minutes, or until cabbage has warmed through and fish is just cooked. The flesh should be white; if it is still translucent, cook for another minute or so.

3. Remove cabbage from steamer and arrange on a serving plate. Using a spatula, carefully remove fish fillets from steamer, and place on top of hot cabbage.

4. Pour any liquid left in bowl over fish, sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with combined soy sauce and sesame oil, then sprinkle with remaining ginger and half the spring onion.

5. Heat peanut oil in a small frying pan until moderately hot, then carefully pour over fish. Sprinkle fish with remaining spring onion, coriander, and serve at once.

 

 

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GOOD FOOD RECIPE

SCALLOP & GINGER DUMPLINGS WITH SICHUAN CHILLI DRESSING

This simplified version of Sichuan chilli dressing was inspired by my travels and provides a delicious combination of smoky, sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavours. This dressing is not only delectable when served with dumplings but also suitable for other seafood dishes and poultry. Of course, if you are sensitive to chilli, you can omit garnishing the dumplings with the darkened chilli flakes.

  Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

Photography: William Meppem Styling: Hannah Meppem

METHOD

For Sichuan chilli dressing

1. Place chilli in a heat proof bowl.

2. Heat oil in a small heavy-based frying pan until the surface shimmers slightly.

3. Carefully pour hot oil over chilli in the bowl to release the heat and flavour.

4. Stir to combine and stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

5. Strain cooled oil mixture through a fine sieve and reserve the darkened chilli flakes.

6. Stir in remaining ingredients, except Sichuan pepper and salt, and set aside.

Meanwhile make the scallop dumplings

1. Combine all ingredients except wonton wrappers in a bowl.

2. Next, fill and shape the dumplings (see below).

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.

4. Drop dumplings into the water and boil for 2 1/2 minutes or until cooked and wrappers are translucent.

5. To test if the dumplings are ready you will need to remove one and cut into it with a sharp knife to check that the filling is hot. When ready, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate.

6. Arrange dumplings on a platter. Stir chilli dressing well to combine before spooning over the dumplings. Serve immediately sprinkled with the reserved darkened chilli flakes and Sichuan pepper and salt.

Filling and shaping dumplings

1. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper.

2. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrapper.

3. Gently lift one corner of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half over the filling, creating a triangle.

4. Lightly press around filling and along edges to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

For Sichuan pepper and salt

1. Dry-roast peppercorns and salt in a heavy-based pan. When peppercorns begin to "pop" and become aromatic, take off the heat.

2. Allow to cool, the grind to a powder in mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Store leftovers in an airtight container

INGREDIENTS

Sichuan chilli dressing

2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp hot water

1 tbsp malt vinegar

2 tsp white sugar

pinch Sichuan pepper and salt (see at end of recipe)

Scallop dumplings

16 fresh scallops (180g), halved crossways

2 spring onions, finely sliced

5cm x 1cm knob (15g) ginger, finely diced.

1 tsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp white sugar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

16 fresh wonton wrappers (about 8cm square)

Sichuan pepper and salt

1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns

3 tbsp sea salt

 

A note from Kylie: 

I can still smell the distinctive and intense, heavenly aroma of Sichuan peppercorns from my first trip to the stunning spice markets in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. When infused with chilli oil, the haunting woody fragrance of these peppercorns becomes amplified, and when combined with the heat of chillies, the effect is simultaneously numbing and spicy.


More tips:

  • I love the versatility of the Sichuan chilli dressing and find it goes perfectly with: white cooked chicken, steamed or grilled fish, steamed or grilled prawns or grilled calamari.
  • It's also delicious as a sauce for noodles – add some freshly julienned cucumber, beansprouts and coriander to garnish.
  • The dumpling filling can be made from prawns instead of scallops.
  • Wonton wrappers are available from supermarkets and your local Chinatown.
  • Omit the chilli flake garnish if sensitive to heat
  • You can buy chilli oil already made if time poor
  • Make the dumpling filling the day before if you have to, but best to fill and roll on the day of use, to avoid soggy dumplings.

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