5-Ingredient Coconut Tom Yum Soup

this soup is as easy as combining 5 ingredients in a pot and waiting for 10 minutes! I highly recommend tracking down tom yum paste as this is the base of your flavour. plus, you’d need even more ingredients to substitute it in order to find the right balance. tom yum paste should be available in the international aisle of your major supermarket or at your local east/southeast asian grocery store. if you’re looking for a quick, and I mean rrreeaallyy quick appetizer with not much effort and all the gain, you’ll win with this one. add a little rice vermicelli to make it more filling, or a lot to make it a full meal. we all deserve an easy fix sometimes!

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Laksa

this version of laksa is one of my favourite noodle soups in the world. my day is instantly better with a bowl of this laksa in front of my face. it’s like a hug for your soul, and belly! traditionally made with fish stock, some versions can be quite fishy. I tried to find a balance of just the right amount of fishiness (from the shrimp paste) with just enough spice, tang, and richness. once you have this laksa, you won’t be able to live without it. I definitely wouldn’t want to. even if we are just 2 people, I usually make the full batch for 4 since you can freeze the leftover broth for a quick meal!

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Tom Yum Coconut Salmon

I have to pay homage to the thai-viet restaurant I worked at in montreal for this one, restaurant hà. this salmon is so damn flavourful, you’ll be shocked at how incredibly simple it is to make. the main ingredient is store bought tom yum paste (yes, I actually cheat sometimes), which you can usually find in the sauce or canned goods section of an asian market, or in the international aisle of a larger grocery chain. the salmon is even a bit forgiving when overcooked (but it won’t be!) as the decadent and luscious coconut sauce pairs beautifully coated on the fish. it’s a stellar contrast between vibrant and delicate flavours all in one bite!

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Chicken Adobo

I didn’t grow up eating chicken adobo, but it feels like I’ve been eating it forever. there’s just nothing like a bowl of tangy, soy-saucy chicken on a bed of white rice. adobo is traditionally made with vinegar and soy sauce, but the added coconut milk in this version gives it a rich, southeast asian twist. with just a handful of ingredients, you’ll be able to whip this one up in no time - all you really need is to buy the chicken. feel free to sub the chicken with fried eggplant or tofu for a vegetarian version. must serve with white rice.

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Chicken and Squash Penang Curry

your mind will be blown the first time you make fresh curry paste. pounding each ingredient in the mortar and pestle and smelling the wafting perfumes that are released is absolutely intoxicating. even if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, the satisfaction of making fresh curry paste from your food processor, blender, whatever it may be, is well worth the effort. your curry will turn out more fragrant, flavourful, and luscious, plus, you can freeze portions of it for a quick weeknight meal! this does require some ingredient hunting, but most of it can be found at your local asian market. if you’re okay with store bought paste, skip to part 2 of the recipe for instructions. serve with steamed white rice, or try our coconut rice for some extra richness.

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Massaman Curry

Massaman curry is one of my personal favourites. It's a go-to recipe when I host private dinners for larger groups, or have a free Sunday to spend cooking. It is rich, complex, and packed with SO much flavour, and I get giddy when I smell the paste frying. The aroma that fills the room is INCREDIBLE. After leaving it for a while to bathe and bubble in its own deliciousness, you're left with a magical, golden curry with beautifully tender chicken or beef. Damn, I'm mouthwatering again. This recipe definitely takes time 'sans aggression', but trust me, it is well worth it. 

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Pandan Kaya

We first encountered this unbelievable, spreadable, heaven-in-a-spoon through Jannell's good friend Meagan, who brought a jar of it back from Singapore. After trying it, Jannell couldn't stop talking about how good this was. It's essentially a pandan flavoured coconut custard, but since most of us have never encountered pandan before, that description really doesn't do it justice. It's sweet, rich and has this incredibly unique grassy flavour that comes from the pandan leaves. Please just trust us. You want this in your lives. It goes great on toast, on gf crackers as a snack, or our personal favourite application, as a replacement for maple syrup on waffles or pancakes.

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Buddha Bowl

I first made this for the family I've been personal chefing for the summer. I drew inspiration from multiple recipes online and combined them to achieve the ultimate buddha bowl! If you're body is craving a hearty and healthy meal, this is a great option. If you care for more protein, sautéed shrimp is a nice addition. 
 

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Coconut Rice

Gluten Free Coconut Rice

I struggled for a long time with coconut rice. I loved the concept, but it always turned out a bit gloopy and mushy. finally, I stumbled upon andrea nguyen's technique, which is to use the coconut water found at the bottom of coconut milk cans rather than the cream. In order to separate the cream and water, make sure you buy a good brand of coconut milk that doesn't contain any emulsifiers. 

note that this recipe still works fine if you don't have a rice cooker. use the same cooking method as usual, but for the liquid use all of the coconut water you get from the can and top it up with water to reach the right rice-liquid ratio.

Serves 4 hungry rice eaters or 6 normal rice eaters

Special Equipment

Rice cooker

Ingredients

1 (400 mL) can of coconut milk
3 rice-cooker-cups of jasmine rice (2 1/4 US cups)
6 Kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Water

Instructions

Refrigerate the coconut milk for 24 hours to ensure separation of the cream and the water.

Skim the solidified coconut cream from the top of the can, leaving the clear water and any milky liquid. Reserve for another use.

Measure out the rice into your rice cooker and rinse until the water runs clear.

Pour in the coconut water and kaffir lime leaves. Top up with water until you reach the "3 cups" marker on the side of the bowl.

Cook the rice in the cooker. Serve.

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Whipped Coconut Cream

Gluten Free Whipped Coconut Cream

whipped coconut cream is really easy but it requires a bit of planning and careful purchase of the right brand of coconut milk. a lot of coconut milk is made with guar gum so that it doesn't separate, but that separation is integral to the process of making whipped coconut cream. we typically buy Aroy-D branded coconut milk since we've had typically good results with it, but any pure coconut milk will do. next, in order to get the best separation possible and to ensure the cream will whip properly, you'll need to put the can of coconut milk in the fridge for about 24 hours. it might be possible on a shorter time frame, but we've always done it overnight for dinner the next day.

Ingredients

1 can or tetrapack of pure coconut milk (no guar gum or xanthan gum)
1 tbsp white granulated sugar (optional)

Instructions

Refrigerate the coconut milk for 24 hours to ensure separation of the cream and the water.

Open the coconut milk and scoop out the cream that's floating on top. Ideally this will be almost ice cream textured. Reserve the coconut water and any thin coconut milk for another use.

Place the coconut cream and sugar (if using) in a metal bowl and mix with either a stand mixer or a hand mixer on medium high until the cream is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Serve.

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