Category Archives: Global Eats

How to Make Traditional Chinese Congee From Scratch

This recipe stems from my mother’s kitchen, where a bubbling pot of congee is a near constant presence, ready to be doled out as a breakfast, family lunch or late-night snack. Forms of congee can be found on tables around the world, from arroz caldo in the Philippines to India’s kanji. Whether you enjoy congee as a creamy porridge or more of a rice soup, it is the ultimate comfort food that doesn’t require any special equipment to make. Although some rice cookers have a congee setting, you can just as easily cook this recipe in a heavy pot. Be sure to get the bottom of the pot when you stir, because as my mother always says: “there’s nothing worse than burnt bits, which are distressing.” Take her advice and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon making this simple, yet restorative fix for your loved ones’ flagging spirits as the cold weather drags on. 

Congee

Traditional Chinese Congee

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients:

1 cup short grain jasmine rice (although there is some leeway in terms of rice choice, there are some outliers — parboiled rice will cook too quickly to achieve the right consistency, wild or brown rice cook more slowly and may be too chewy in the finished product)
10 to 12 cups cold water
1 2-inch knob ginger
7 cups boiling water (to be added as needed)
2 tsp salt
1 to 1.5 cups store-bought or homemade chicken broth
500 grams of pork shoulder or chicken thigh, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
1 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp rice wine or sake
8 king oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
3 green onions, separated into white and green parts (cut the white parts into larger 2-inch chunks, as they will be cooked, whereas the green parts should be chopped finely, as they’ll be used for garnish)

Note: while this recipe uses chicken broth and slices of pork or chicken, it could easily be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the eggs and meat and using water, vegetable or mushroom broth.

Congee ingredients

Directions:

1. Rinse rice three times or until water runs clear. Drain rice. Place rice in heavy bottomed large pot and pour cold water over rice.

2. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Stir with a rice paddle, thick spatula or heat-resistant silicone turner.

3. Add ginger. Bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour, topping up with hot water so that it doesn’t boil down. Adjust the heat to keep it just below a rolling boil, but not so high that it boils over (it boils over very fast, so do not leave it unattended). You may need to lower the temperature between the lowest setting and medium.

Related: How to Cook a Perfect Pot of Rice on the Stove

4. At the one-hour mark, the congee will start to thicken and become creamy as the rice begins to break down. Add salt and broth.

5. Marinate the chicken or pork with the cornstarch, sea salt, oil and rice wine or sake. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes to marinate.

6. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add marinated pork or chicken slices, as well as the king oyster mushrooms and the white parts of the green onions.

Chicken slices

6. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve warm with crispy you tiao (savoury fried crullers) and topped with rousong, pei dan (century eggs) or soft-boiled chicken or duck eggs, thin slices of raw fish, chopped cilantro, green onions or peanuts. Most of these add-ons can be found at Chinese markets.

Like Leslie’s congee? Check out her tips on how to make a soup creamy without dairy and how to make homemade hot sauce.

How to Make Vietnamese Bun Cha, The Rice Noodle Salad Your Lunch Bowl is Craving

This vibrant rice noodle salad boldly features Vietnamese-spiced pork patties, thin rice noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs, spring rolls and a salty-sweet sauce. It’s the lunch bowl you’ll be returning to again and again. The best part? You can meal prep all the components on the weekend, pack them up and enjoy throughout the week. You’ll be the envy of your co-workers!

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Pork Patties
1 lb ground pork (use regular or lean for the most flavour, not extra-lean)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lemongrass paste
1 Tbsp honey

Nuoc Cham Dressing
½ cup warm water
¼ cup honey
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup fish sauce
1 small red chili pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced

Noodle Bowl
Approx. 4 cups cooked rice noodles
4 large (or 8 small) cooked spring rolls, cut into small pieces
1 lettuce head (like Boston), with some leaves intact, some shredded
1 large red pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 large English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
approx. ½ cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
large bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish
large bunch fresh mint, for garnish
limes, quartered, for garnish

Directions:

Pork Patties
1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mix to make sure ingredients are well combined.

2. Use a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop to make 16 patties, flattening them slightly with your hands.

3. Place patties on a plate, covered in the fridge, until ready to cook.

4. Pre-heat a non-stick frying pan (preferably one with griddle marks) over medium heat.

5. Cook patties until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads 160˚F.

6. If not using straight away, set patties aside to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Nuoc Cham Dressing
1. Whisk all ingredients in a small jug until combined. Some honey will produce a dressing that’s a little cloudy – that’s fine! Set aside until using (can be refrigerated).

Noodle Bowl Assembly 
1. Gently reheat pork patties and spring rolls in a slow oven or microwave.

2. Line the bowls with one large lettuce leaf each.

3. Add shredded lettuce, cooked noodles, vegetables, pork patties and spring rolls.

4. Sprinkle over peanuts, cilantro and mint.

5. Serve with the lime quarters and dressing on the side and allow people to season with these to taste.

Tip: You can prepare all ingredients in advance and simply assemble when you’re ready to eat. For an amazing desk lunch, pack separate containers with noodles, vegetables, dressing and pork patties/spring rolls, and simply assemble for a meal to remember.

Here, we reveal the healthiest meal-prep lunches that won’t get soggy, plus our best no-heat lunch ideas to avoid that dreaded office microwave line.

Kedgeree With Flaked Smoked Trout Will Be Your New Favourite Dish

Kedgeree, an East Indian dish composed of lentils, rice, fried onions, spices and ginger, was promptly adopted (and adapted) by the English in the 18th century and transformed into what is now a popular British breakfast. Here, we’ve swapped the traditional English smoked haddock in favour of tender, flaky smoked trout, and we swear by this recipe for brunch, lunch or any dinner occasion.

The Perfect Kedgeree: Smoked Fish With Rice, Fried Onions and Eggs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes (includes rice cooling time)
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice
3 cooked eggs, shelled and quartered (see tip)
3 Tbsp ghee or unsalted butter or vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp medium curry powder or mild curry powder
1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1 tsp each cumin seeds, kosher salt and turmeric)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 ripe tomatoes, quartered, seeded and chopped
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
190g hot smoked trout or salmon, flaked into chunks (1 ½ cups)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup torn cilantro leaves
lemon wedges (optional)

Directions:

1. Wash the rice in a bowl covered with cold water, swishing with your hand, or until the water runs clear.

Tip: For the fluffiest grains of rice, wash and drain the rice 3x then cover with cold water for 20 minutes or until the grains are pearly white. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and continue with the recipe.

2. Combine rice and two cups water to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes; fluff with a fork and spread on a large platter or baking sheet. Let cool.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter to melt. Add onions and cook, stirring until almost softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, salt and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring until softened, 2-3 minutes.

4. Crumble in half of the cooled rice and all the peas. Stir just enough to incorporate the rice; stir in remaining rice, and cook until flavours are combined and just hot. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro.

Related: I Cooked With 6 Trending Spices to See if They’re Actually Worth the Hype

5. Scrape onto a serving platter and top with quartered eggs and lemon wedges for squeezing (if using).

Tip: To cook eggs, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Using a spoon, gently drop the eggs and cook over a medium boil for 9 minutes. Drain and immerse under cold running water until cool. Remove shells and set aside.

Try these 25 Indian Recipes That Are Even Better Than Takeout or these 20 Healthy Mediterranean Recipes to Bookmark Right Now.

How to Make Momos: South Asian Steamed Dumplings Filled With Chicken and Shrimp

We first fell in love with momos while travelling through Nepal. Momos are steamed dumplings traditionally from the Nepal and Tibetan regions. They’re warm, light, extremely flavourful and very filling (especially when you eat a ton of them, which you inevitably will). Here, we wanted to bring out the punchy Asian flavours that work on all the taste receptors: salty tamari, sweet sesame oil and honey, spicy ginger and sour rice wine vinegar. By combining shrimp and chicken as the filling, you achieve a lighter texture with a stronger depth of flavour.

Bunching up the momos into little packages is also half the fun. You can make your own dough, but for this recipe, we opted for pre-made wrappers from the grocery store. We find wrapping the dumplings to be a fun social experience if done with friends and family, or it can be quite meditative if you’re cooking alone. Achieving the perfect fold may take a few tries, but you’ll get there. For an easier alternative, make the classic crescent moon shape by folding the wrapper in half. Here, we went a little fancy and created a round version secured together with cinched pleats. Go ahead and try out these petite parcels of perfection for yourself!

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Shrimp & Chicken Ginger Tamari Momo Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Wrap Time: 1 hour
Steam Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 45 momos

Ingredients:

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
½ small red onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
½ cup shiitake mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (cooked or uncooked)
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
45 momo/dumpling wrappers

Directions:

1. Turn on your food processor, and as it’s running, toss in the ginger, red onion and garlic through the feeding tube.

2. Once these aromatic ingredients have had a few spins, add in the cilantro and mushrooms. Pulse until well chopped, then add in the shrimp until it’s minced into pieces.

3. Take out the mixture and place it in a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken.

4. Whisk the egg on one side of the bowl, or whisk separately and pour into the food processor.

5. Then pour in the sesame oil, tamari, rice wine vinegar and honey. Now begin combining everything so the entire mixture is well seasoned.

6. Take out the momo wrappers and cover with a damp cloth to keep from drying out.

7. Hold one wrapper in the palm of your hand. Have a bowl of water nearby, and wet the perimeter of the wrapper with your finger.

8. Place one tablespoon of filling into its centre. Slowly pinch the dough together, moving around in a circular motion, until the wrapper is securely closed into a parcel shape. Dip your fingers back in the water and pinch the top together.

9. Repeat the above steps for each momo. The first few dumplings may look messy, but practice makes perfect! *If you prefer to prep ahead, freeze the momos at this step, prior to steaming.

10. To steam, you’ll require a steamer basket, steamer pot or bamboo steamer. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Brush the steamer with oil, or if you’re using a bamboo steamer, line it with parchment paper or cabbage leaves, and brush with oil.

11. Place the momos inside the steamer. Don’t overcrowd them or they’ll stick together. Place the steamer onto the pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 15 minutes.

12. Take out the dumplings and repeat until all the momos are steamed. Enjoy with tamari or your favourite hot sauce.

Still hungry? These Indian recipes are even better than takeout. You’ll also love these healthy dishes from around the world, and a must-try coconut shrimp taco recipe (trust us, it’s cheaper than taking a vacation).

Forget Salt: I Cooked With 6 Trending Spices to See if They’re Actually Worth the Hype

When it comes to food trends these days, there’s a plethora of constantly evolving options to test out, whether you’re heading to your favourite local haunt or whipping up a meal at home.

From za’atar to sumac, spices are essential to many international cuisines – and bringing different blends to your own kitchen can lend a certain authenticity to your dishes and provide more inspiration (not to mention bragging rights if you nail a new recipe).

According to Forbes, the average American home kitchen in 1950 contained only 10 spices, seasonings and extracts on average. Today, that number is more than 40. Considering we’re neighbours, I would imagine that number rings true for Canadians as well.

It speaks volumes as to how far we’ve come in North America when it comes to branching out and trying new foods. Where once we might have expressed reluctance, we’re now at the stage where we’re looking for fresh, healthy and exciting ingredients to add to our favourite recipes, expanding both our horizons and our palates.

Related: 15 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices

For this experiment of sorts, I kept an open mind. I looked into some of the most popular spices being searched online with the intention of trying them all. Some, such as baharat and asafoetida, proved elusive and difficult to track down while others – *cough* saffron *cough* – would have put a significant dent in my wallet. In the end, I found a solid list of six spices to test out at home.

With the exception of turmeric,  I hadn’t tried any of these trending spices before. And, considering how much I love a meal that quite literally sets my mouth on fire, I didn’t want to leave a world of flavour untapped by missing out.

So, if you’re building a chef-worthy pantry of dried spices, start with these top trendsetters. Here’s why.

1. Shichimi Togarashi

Brief history: This popular Japanese spice medley dates back to the 17th century when it was originally produced as a tasty condiment by herbalists in what is now modern day Tokyo. It’s a seven-spice blend that typically contains ground red chili pepper, sansho powder, roasted orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, ground ginger and nori seaweed. Other variations may substitute certain ingredients for poppy and/or hemp seeds instead.

Health benefits: Clear some space in your spice cabinet because, in addition to its great taste, Shichimi Togarashi packs a hefty nutritional punch. Thanks to its salt-free blend of various ingredients, it contains both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, fibre, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, C and E.

Common uses: Sprinkle this versatile condiment over steamed rice, vegetables, udon noodles, grilled meats and soups or use to season popcorn, crackers, dry rubs or salad dressing.

The dish I made: Rice Bowl with Shichimi Togarashi-Spiced Sesame Chili Oil

Taste: I love spice – it was one of my favourite things about eating my way through Thailand a few years back. So chalk up my complete surprise at the hotness level of Shichimi Togarashi to my arrogance. I dipped my index finger directly into the finely ground blend to better give me an idea of how much to include in the recipe. Granted, I may have ingested too much at once: it was HOT. Since it had more of a kick than anticipated, I opted for a recipe where it was mixed in with a few other ingredients to help temper the level of spice. I wanted something that allowed Shichimi Togarashi to be the star of the dish without overpowering everything else in the bowl. In the end, I chose wisely, because mixing the store-bought blend with minced garlic, finely chopped shallots, slivered roasted peanuts and freshly grated ginger made for one unexpectedly addictive chili oil dressing. When I’m really hungry (which is most of the time), I still find myself thinking about it.

Not sure which additional spices to add to your pantry? Try these must-have kitchen spices.

2. Sumac

Brief history: The vibrant reddish-purple sumac shrub (one of about 35 species of familial flowering plants) is native to the Middle East and parts of Africa, and boasts gorgeous deep red berries that are dried and ground up into a coarse powder. In the past, sumac was commonly used to treat a variety of physical ailments. While the jury is still out on whether it actually worked for medicinal purposes, sumac definitely has plenty of health benefits.

Health benefits: Sumac has a reputation as an antioxidant powerhouse, above even fellow champion spices like oregano and cinnamon. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it can help prevent heart disease and treat osteoarthritis in addition to lowering blood sugar levels. Sumac, when juiced, is also high in vitamin C.

Common uses: Mixes well with other spice blends, dry rubs, marinades and sprinkled over salads. It pairs best with chicken, fish and vegetables. Thanks to its deep red hue, it also adds a beautiful pop of colour to any dish.

The dish I made: Sheet Pan Sumac Chicken Thighs with Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli

Taste: With its tangy, lemony flavour, I’m convinced sumac can pair nicely with just about any dish. I found it so surprisingly rich in lemon flavour, in fact, that I sprinkled it generously over both the chicken thighs and the roasted potato and broccoli side combo. It was like a mini citrus heaven. Less tart than an actual lemon, it’s a great substitute for those who have a citric acid intolerance like my husband. I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried a new spice or herb in a recipe only to find its flavour gets overpowered by other items on the plate. My next experiment will involve sprinkling sumac over fish to see if it really can provide the same great taste as lemon zest. If so, I’ll never have to worry about being out of lemons again.

Looking for a delicious sumac-flavoured side dish for your dinner main? Try this Grilled Corn on the Cob with Sumac Butter.

3. Za’atar

Brief history: Throughout history, housewives in the Middle East and North Africa concocted their own variations of za’atar. Therefore, much like Shichimi Togarashi, there can be a variety of blends to choose from. In fact, there are so many ways of mixing together all the herbs and spices that make up this popular condiment that a definitive origin mixture has proven illusive to historians and chefs alike. What we do know, however, is that it has been a staple in Arab cuisine since medieval times and only continues to increase in popularity worldwide.

Health benefits: Za’atar contains various properties that can help soothe inflammation, increase energy levels, clear the respiratory tract and can also be added to food as a preventative if you feel a head cold coming on – so keep it in stock during winter’s dreaded cold and flu season.

Common uses: It makes for great seasoning on meat and vegetables or sprinkled over hummus. Za’atar is often eaten with labneh (a drained yogurt that forms a tangy cream cheese) and is sometimes served with bread and olive oil for breakfast in Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon.

The dish I made: Za’atar Roasted Tomatoes

Taste: Funnily enough, sumac is usually the star of za’atar blends. Dried sumac often makes up a significant portion of the mixture, along with toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, marjoram and salt. In reading up on it, I’ve come across references to it being called “slightly sour and nutty” in taste, which I didn’t find was the case in my experience. This could be attributed to the fact that there is no “right way” to make za’atar and, while I definitely found it to be nutty in taste (“woodsy” is what I said to my husband), I noticed a hint of lemon (albeit much more herbaceous in taste) which makes sense given the sumac connection.

Za’atar also pairs well with chickpeas, like in this Smoky Chickpeas on Grilled Toast with Poached Eggs and Za’atar recipe.

4. Moringa

Brief history: Earlier this year, I’d gotten into a conversation about moringa with the lovely lady I buy my loose leaf tea from here in Toronto, so I was thrilled to discover it’s trending upward in culinary culture as it gave me an excuse to introduce it in this experiment. Moringa oleifera, also known as a drumstick tree, is native to India, Pakistan and Nepal. It’s fragile leaves are the most popular part of the plant and can be eaten whole in salads or dried and ground up to drink as tea or used in soups, curries and sauces. According to some sources, in developing countries the leaf powder is sometimes used as soap for hand washing.

Health benefits: It’s time for kale and matcha to move over and make room for a new supergreen superstar. Moringa leaves contain significant amounts of vitamins B, C and K, as well as protein and other essential nutrients. Despite being caffeine-free, it’s nature’s natural energy booster. It’s even been likened to a “miracle tree.” According to a study from the US National Library of Medicine, moringa trees have proven to be remarkably drought-resistant, making them a “critical nutritional resource” in areas affected by climate change.

Common uses: Dried into tea leaves, or have the powder sprinkled into yogurts, juices and smoothies.

The dish I made: Moringa Tea

Taste: Although it smells like a peppery version of green tea, don’t let your nose fool you. Despite a slightly bitter taste on the first sip, it reminded me a lot of, well, salad. It’s like plucking the leaf off a tree and dropping it directly into your tea mug. My tea lady sings the praises of moringa, telling me that as a child growing up in India she would often eat the leaves as a midday mini-salad snack.

5. Harissa

Brief history: This Tunisian hot chili spice typically consists of roasted red peppers, serrano peppers, coriander seeds, garlic paste, saffron and olive oil – so it’s definitely only for those who like it hot. Harissa is sometimes referred to as “Tunisia’s main condiment” and it’s the North African country’s biggest export. It’s posited that chili peppers were first introduced to Tunisians during Spanish occupation in the 16th century, so it’s accurate to say the condiment has been a main cuisine staple in the area for ages.

Health benefits: It’s usually made with red chili peppers that are rich in vitamins E, C, K, B6, iron, magnesium and copper, which means it’s high in both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as provides relief from symptoms of rheumatism, osteoarthritis and head colds. In addition, it has been known to boost metabolism.

Common uses:  Traditionally served alongside stews and couscous dishes, harissa can also lend its spicy taste to roasted veggies, salad dressing, dry rubs, hummus or sprinkled on eggs for a fiery breakfast.

The dish I made: Harissa Chicken with Roasted Chickpeas

Taste: Every bite is like fire and garlic, and I loved every minute of it, even as my tongue felt like a flame. Fully aware that this would be considered the spiciest spice on this list – Shichimi Togarashi paled in comparison – I was cautious with how much harissa I sprinkled over my chicken. I kept the roasted chickpeas harissa-free just to give my mouth a break in between bites. I’d recommend using it only if you’re craving a hot dish. But trust me when I say it’s worth the literal sweat that will pour off your brow.

Start enjoying some of harissa’s great health benefits with this Harissa-Marinated Chicken Skewers with Couscous recipe this weekend.

6. Turmeric

Brief history: Bold and beautiful, turmeric is a flowering plant from the ginger family whose roots are used for cooking purposes. A native to India and Southeast Asia, it’s a stunning addition to any dish thanks to its deep orange-yellow colouring. Although many begrudge its innate ability to stain just about anything in its path – farewell, Hudson’s Bay dish cloth – its rich flavour more than makes up for that ruined wooden spoon or your discoloured fingertips.

Health benefits: There are plenty of healthy positives to introducing more turmeric into your diet, although it bears mentioning that it’s the curcumin (the bright yellow chemical produced by the flowering plant) in the turmeric that does all the heavy lifting, and contains significant anti-inflammatory properties and is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, including lowering the risk of heart disease, potentially helping prevent certain cancers and soothing arthritis pain.

Common uses: Toss it with roasted vegetables, sprinkle it over frittatas, add it to rice, use it in soups, sip it as a tea or blend it in a smoothie. The possibilities are endless, really.

The dish I made: Fast-Grilled Garlic Shrimp with Turmeric Rice

Taste: Despite the fact that it looks like ginger’s identical twin, turmeric tastes nothing like its relative. Its earthy-sweetness is far milder. Some have said they’ve noticed a bitter edge to turmeric, but I didn’t pick up on it even after dousing my rice in it.

Curious about trying it in a drink? Whip up this caffeine-free Turmeric Latte the next time you’re feeling thirsty.

And the winner is …

My biggest takeaway from this assignment is that even for someone like myself who enjoys a variety of spices, herbs and other flavours, I’ve merely scratched the surface as to what is available and how it can be incorporated into my weekly meal planning. If I had to choose a favourite from the six spices I recently tried, my pick would be Shichimi Togarashi for the mere fact that it blended so beautifully with the other ingredients that made up the sesame chili oil. I love a spice that you can clearly taste but doesn’t overpower all the other rich flavours in the dish.

Super Easy Ramen Noodle Bowl

If you’re looking for easy recipes, ramen noodles are probably the easiest thing to make ever! But we’ve made them fancier and you can certainly feel a little more proud than you did in college about eating this ramen noodle bowl. It’s filled with fresh veggies and fragrant miso broth that’ll warm you up any time of day.

888_ramen-noodle-bowl

Ingredients (1 large serving):
1 package of instant ramen noodles (we like Lotus Foods rice ramen)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp miso paste
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped kale
2/3 cup cubed medium firm tofu
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/4 cup dried seaweed
Sesame seeds (to taste)
Sriracha (to taste)

Directions:
1. Boil noodles in 2 cups of water as per instructions on the package. During the last minute of cooking add in broccoli and kale to cook in boiling water.
2. Take 2 Tbsp of the noodle water and mix it with 2 Tbsp miso paste until dissolved and well combined. Pour the water, noodles, broccoli and kale in your large serving bowl. Stir in the miso paste and water mixture to combine it into the soup. Add remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Easy Lentil and Vegetable Curry

Curries are a meatless-Monday staple. They’re quick to make and filling, plus it’s a great way to use up all those vegetables lying around your fridge — we like to call it the “clean out the fridge” curry! It doesn’t sound too glamorous, but it’s definitely delicious. There really are no rules when it comes to what you can add to the pot, all we suggest is starting with some fragrant spices.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

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Ingredients:
2 cups brown & wild rice mix (or basmati rice)
3 ½ cups water
1 Tbsp vegan butter
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp garam masala
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger
½ cup onion, finely chopped
6 cups chopped veggies of your choice (red pepper, carrot, cabbage, broccoli, etc.)
1 cup dried red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup frozen shelled edamame or peas
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Garnish (optional):
Coconut yogurt
Chives, finely chopped

Directions:
1. In a pot bring rice, water, and vegan butter to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile in a large, deep pan heated to medium, add 2 Tbsp of coconut oil and cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, chili flakes, and garam masala. Toast the spices for 6 minutes until fragrant.
3. Lower the heat so the spices don’t burn and add minced garlic, ginger and onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently until the onions are translucent and soft.
4. Add another Tbsp of coconut oil and all your veggies and cook for 8-10 minutes until they just start to get soft, but are still bright in colour.
5. Add lentils and stir frequently for another 5-6 minutes, allowing the lentils to toast up and absorb some moisture.
6. Bring the heat back up to medium and gradually stir in vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.
7. Add coconut milk, lime juice, sea salt, ground pepper and any frozen vegetables you want to add. Stir well to combine. Cover with a lid and cook for another 20 minutes.
8. Serve over rice and garnish with a dollop of coconut yogurt and finely chopped chives.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Soba Noodle Bowl With Garlic Shrimp and Miso Dressing

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become absolutely obsessed with composed bowls. They could be rice bowls, noodle bowls, salad bowls or soup bowls — it doesn’t matter! You can’t get tired of them because each bite has a different taste and texture. Also, they’re so gorgeous; each element is dressed and cared for individually, then arranged in a beautiful way on the serving plate. It’s like having five dishes at the same time.

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-4

This noodle bowl is light and refreshing. You’ve got components that are steamed, marinated, fresh and sautéed, all on one plate. This is a great dish to eat at room temperature but you can eat it warm as well. It’s super easy to make and take for a work lunch. The dressing is tangy and great for salads too. A great way to kick off spring!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

For the sprouts:
2 1/2 cups soy bean sprouts
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch or 2 of gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), optional

For the dressing:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1Tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil

For the soft boiled eggs:
4 eggs

For the noodles:
300 g (10.5 oz) package soba noodles
Salt for boiling water

For the garlic shrimp:
3/4 lb (340 g) shell-on shrimp (head removed)
Salt for seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the bowls:
12-15 steamed asparagus spears
2 radishes, julienned
1 avocado, sliced
Black sesame seeds, to garnish
Maldon sea salt, garnish

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-2

Directions:

For the sprouts:
1. Place the sprouts in a large bowl and season with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and gochugaru (optional).
2. Toss and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

For the dressing:
1. Combine the white miso, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, mirin and salt in a bowl and whisk.
2. While whisking, drizzle in the sesame oil and then the grapeseed oil until the dressing has emulsified.
3. Set the dressing aside in the fridge.

For the soft boiled eggs:
1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
2. With a push-pin, make a small hole on the large end of each of the eggs. This will prevent them from cracking open.
3. Slowly lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil for exactly 6 minutes.
4. Immediately transfer the eggs into the ice bath and leave them in there for 4 minutes.
5. Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.

For the noodles:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Drop in the noodles and boil for about 4 minutes until the noodles are completely cooked through.
3. Drain the noodles into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
4. Once the noodles are cool, transfer them to a large bowl and toss with 1/3 of the miso dressing. Set aside.

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For the garlic shrimp:
1. To devein the shrimp with their shell on, use kitchen scissors to cut along the back and remove the vein with a small pairing knife.
2. Season the shrimp with a generous amount of salt on both sides.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the shrimp in one layer. Do not over crowd the skillet! Do this in batches if needed.
5. Sear the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove them onto a plate.
6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic into the residual oil/butter.
7. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
8. Remove from the pan onto the shrimp.

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For plating the bowls:
1. Place the noodles into each serving bowl.
2. Beautifully arrange the steamed asparagus, radish, avocado, marinated sprouts, garlic shrimp and soft boiled egg around and on top of the noodles.
3. Drizzle some dressing over the avocado, asparagus and egg.
4. Garnish with black sesame seeds and Maldon sea salt and enjoy!

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Notes, Substitutions, and Shortcuts:
– Gochugaru is used in making kimchi. It’s a bright red Korean pepper flake. This is optional for the sprouts.
– Alternative to whisking the dressing together, you can throw all the ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth.
– You do not have to use shell-on shrimp. I like the flavour it adds while the shrimp cooks.
– Lots of this can be made ahead of time including the sprouts, eggs, and noodles.

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.