A quick and easy Beef Stroganoff with a creamy mushroom and onion sauce. Sometime last year, I was diagnosed with an iron-deficiency. I had thought that my constant state of lethargy and penchance for afternoon naps was merely due to raising two young children, when it was in fact due a seriously low level of ferritin in my body. The diagnosis surprised me and made me instantly worry about whether my whole family
A totally delicious Satay Chicken Stir Fry which will rival any Chinese restaurant! In the past 12 months or so, I have been on a mission to declutter our home. I have long aspired to have a minimalist home (I blame Pinterest) but I always felt that minimalism was incompatible with raising children. Even if I aspired to a home filled with monochromatic and Nordic-designed wooden toys, there is no avoiding the many
Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy is the perfect accompaniment to any roast meat. When it comes to roast dinners, I think the gravy can make or break the meal. And as someone who needs lashings and lashings of hot gravy with her roast potatoes, I take no chances in this department and always try to make my gravy ahead of time. I am definitely not one of those people who can make a
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken that you can make at home. No need to order Chinese take-away anymore! Recently, my son’s kindergarten teacher asked me if I cooked sweet and sour chicken at home. At first blush, I thought she was asking me (you know, the only Asian mother at a very traditional Swiss school) for a recipe. But it transpired that the cook had prepared sweet and sour chicken for the childrens’
A classic recipe for Cheese Soufflé which is much easier than you think! This post has been prepared in collaboration with Kenwood Swiss AG, but the content and opinions are my own. My husband’s great-aunt, whom we call Marraine, is a spritely 93 years old who still loves to cook and bake for the family. At the top of her list is a Cheese Soufflé which, to most ordinary people, is a rather
How to make raclette, a traditional Swiss dish, at home with a raclette grill. Cheese has featured quite a bit on my blog lately, and for good reason – we are coming into winter here in Switzerland! As soon as the nights start to become a bit chilly, the Swiss can be seen tucking into a bubbling pot of Cheese Fondue or sharing a raclette dinner with friends.
Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce, served with a fresh gremolata. It’s no secret that I love slow-cooking. With two young children to entertain, I find it easiest to do the sort of cooking that requires a leave-it-and-forget-it approach. But I hardly need the children as an excuse; if I happen to be working from home, I find it easiest to organise my day by preparing dinner during my lunch break,
Meltingly tender Asian Beef Short Ribs, perfect for entertaining or a comforting family meal. As meat is very expensive where we live, I am always on the lookout for cheap cuts, and my recent discovery has been beef short ribs. There’s an old saying that, “the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat”, and what is particularly marvellous about beef short ribs is not only the tender chunk of meat on the
Follow this easy and straight-forward recipe for golden and crispy Fried Lambs’ Brains. When the folks at Cathay Pacific asked me to cook, style and photograph fried lambs’ brains for an upcoming edition of Discovery, their in-flight magazine, I was somewhat nervous. And that was before they disclosed that the accompanying article would be written by Umberto Bombana, the head chef at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, the only Italian restaurant outside
A healthy and delicious Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowl, full of fresh and bold flavours. Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram will know that I shop at the farmers’ market in Zurich quite regularly – three times a week, in fact. We are very lucky to have the beautiful farmers’ market near our home every Tuesday and Friday, as well as a much smaller one down the street every Thursday.
Deliciously sweet, sticky and spicy cocktail sausages. Perfect for entertaining! As an expat living in Switzerland, it is hard to ignore comments about the cost of living here and how everything is extraordinarily expensive. Indeed, when you compare the cost of some products sold in neighbouring countries, the same product can sometimes be triple the cost in Switzerland.
A delicious and simple recipe for a Chinese-restaurant classic which you can make at home. One thing I miss about living in Australia is being able to visit the local Chinatown, whether it be for a traditional Dim Sum breakfast, a browse through the colourful aisles of the Vietnamese grocer, or a visit to the Chinese bakery for their light and fluffy cakes. Something I deeply miss are the restaurants where you can buy one of
An easy and authentic recipe for making a classic Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry at home. There used to be a Wagamama’s restaurant in Zurich which we really enjoyed visiting, often to satisfy my cravings for ramen, but mostly because they had a great kids’ menu and a little play area for the children. It was one of the few places in Zurich where we could go and enjoy our meal without the fear of
Like most busy mothers trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry, I’m always trying to find shortcuts wherever possible. For me, this has been one of the biggest adjustments since becoming a mother; I am someone who used to make absolutely everything from scratch – bread, noodles, pasta – and this cooking style was bound to go out the window once our children came on the scene.
There comes a time during the week when I find myself with lots of bits of vegetables in the fridge, none which can be used on their own to make any meaningful meal, but it would be a shame and a waste to otherwise throw them away. Oddly enough, this fridge raid often occurs on a Monday evening, the night when I try to empty the fridge in readiness for my weekly trip to
An easy & delicious recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs, perfect for a simple dinner or as part of a Chinese New Year meal. Following on from my previous post where I shared my recipe for Chinese Turnip Cake, it seemed only fitting to also include my recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs. If you are planning a Chinese New Year lunch or dinner, or any Chinese-inspired feast, these Chinese Tea Eggs are great to
With Chinese New Year around the corner (on 28 January this year), I’m already thinking ahead to our lunch menu. Last year, we celebrated the event with some good friends at home, and my mum would have been proud of the spread which I created. The menu included spring rolls (which Americans call “egg rolls”), fried rice, Chinese tea eggs, as well as these Chinese Turnip Cakes, or Daikon Radish Cake. The latter is
Christmas is often a time for indulgence, whether it be treating yourself or loved ones to a special gift (or three), or enjoying the festivities with an abundance of good food and maybe too much champagne. After feasting on Duck Confit Parmentier and multiple serves of our favourite Chestnut Cream Pavlova for Christmas lunch, my husband asked for a simple vegetable soup for dinner later that night.
A classic Swiss Macaroni and Cheese with Applesauce (or Älplermagronen mit Apfelmus). The ski season is upon us again and I can’t wait for our annual family retreat to the Swiss alps for some downtime in the snow. Our son is finally old enough to take skiing lessons with the other tiny tots, which means it will only be a matter of time before he will be zooming down the black slopes while I
If you are looking for a show-stopping recipe which will wow your family and friends at your next dinner party, look no further than this Beef Wellington with Green Peppercorn Sauce. These photos are my latest contribution to the food column in Discovery, the inflight magazine for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.
This Vietnamese Spaghetti Bolognese is a delicious Asian twist on an Italian classic. Recently in the kitchen, I have been busy rustling up various Vietnamese dishes, including one of my favourite soups called Bun Rieu – a pork broth flavoured with crab and tomatoes, and served with vermicelli noodles and a pile of aromatic herbs. I love to make a big pot of this soup so that we can eat it over several
Most Australians will have some memory of soggy lunchtime sandwiches. When I think of the sandwiches of my childhood, they were most often sliced multigrain bread filled with lettuce, grated carrots, tinned beetroot and a slice of plastic cheese. The beetroot always left a red stain on the bread, on my hands, on my school uniforms. And they almost always made the sandwiches soggy, something which made me vow never to eat sandwiches again the moment
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love tofu. In fact, I think I like it more than meat … Salt & Pepper Tofu is one of my favourite dishes ever, especially when it is fresh and piping hot. At other times, you will often find me adding tofu to most Asian soups and stir-fries. Recently, I started experimenting with recipes for steamed tofu and I love how it can be such a simple,
A classic recipe for Bun Cha, a delicious Vietnamese noodle dish with pork meatballs. My latest contribution to Discovery, the in-flight magazine for Cathay Pacific, is currently out now on all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights. This month’s foodie feature is the classic Vietnamese dish called bun cha, consisting of grilled pork meatballs served with an abundance of fresh herbs on a bed of vermicelli noodles. A Vietnamese dipping sauce, called nouc
This year, Chinese New Year is celebrated on 8 February 2016 to mark the Year of the Monkey. The equivalent Vietnamese celebration is called Tet, one of the most important events in my family’s calendar. As a child, my mother went to great lengths each year to prepare a feast which could feed our entire neighbourhood. The menu always featured a sticky rice cake filled with mung beans and pork, a turnip cake, endless
I know all too well that planning meals ahead of time, doing the grocery shopping in bulk, and even cooking in advance, are the easiest paths to a stress-free suppertime, but being organised often takes time and time is a scarce commodity when there is a toddler and newborn in the equation. And so I often find myself at the supermarket without a clue as to what to cook for dinner, except that
If there is one thing that is getting me through the middle-of-the night feeds with the baby at the moment, it’s TV. It happens to be the only time that I get to watch TV, uninterrupted, and something which is not Peppa Pig. Lately, I have been slowly making my way through some old episodes of a few popular reality cooking shows from Australia, such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. I’m loving
As a mother of an 8-week old baby and a 2 year old toddler, there is very little time for cooking at the moment. Actually, between the feeding, back-to-back nappy changes and pukey laundry, there is very little time to do anything else. To date, we’ve been unapologetically living off take-away most evenings, interspersed with some simple home-cooked pasta dishes here and there to break the monotony. Online shopping has been a godsend,
Merry Christmas everyone! It is a rare occasion for us to celebrate Christmas in Zurich, a rather welcome change as it has given me the opportunity to cook on Christmas Day, something which might prompt fear and dread in most people but has instead filled me with glee as the Christmas season started to approach.
Smoked salmon is, admittedly, not an everyday ingredient, but I do love to keep some in the fridge for a quick lunch with some lightly buttered white toast, thinly sliced onions, a scattering of salty capers and a good squeeze of lemon. But when I’m wanting to incorporate smoked salmon into a more substantial meal, this Potato, Smoked Salmon & Dill Tart is a lovely option.
A delicious Vietnamese recipe for Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce. My mother used to cook a lot with chicken wings when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was just because they were cheap, or if she merely enjoyed cooking them. I certainly enjoyed eating them. She would sometimes make soups and broths using just chicken wings, but often she would marinate them in lemongrass, chilli and garlic before grilling them
I have been a long-time admirer and follower of Donna Hay’s cookbooks, even as early back when she was the food editor of the Marie Claire cookbooks in Australia. Her clean and refined approach to food styling is what normally attracts the attention of readers in the first instance; food which looks so stunningly beautiful on the page, yet deceptively simple in composition, that each photo could pass as a piece of artwork.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my blog seems to feature very few Vietnamese recipes, despite the fact that I cook Vietnamese at home every second day or so. So in an attempt to rectify the situation and to bring some more balance to this blog, I hope to feature more Vietnamese recipes which are quick, easy and delicious to make at home.
There’s Chinese food, and there’s American-Chinese food. I wasn’t even aware of the latter until we were posted in Chicago for a few years where lunch with colleagues was often at P.F. Chang’s or Big Bowl, two popular Chinese restaurant chains in the US. There, the menu often featured the likes of Sweet & Sour Chicken, Honey-Glazed Chicken, and Mongolian Beef; Chinese food which is rarely eaten by the Chinese themselves but which
A classic recipe for Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup. Pho could perhaps be described as the national dish of Vietnam. But what many people don’t know is that it is predominantly a breakfast dish in Vietnam. In some parts of the world, breakfast might be a bowl of cold cereal to some. In Vietnam, however, they like to kick-start their day with an aromatic noodle broth, full of flavour and texture to awaken the
With all of the French recipes I have been posting lately on this blog, I thought it was time to change the tune a little and post one of my favourite Vietnamese recipes. But as I set about preparing this post, I realised that this particular dish is actually a Vietnamese version of a French classic. Or is it?
A simple and classic French recipe for Duck Confit, or Confit de Canard. Confit de Canard is a classic dish found in many Parisian bistros, and it is a dish which my mother-in-law likes to serve whenever we visit. After one of our trips to France late last year, I felt compelled to recreate this dish at home, primarily because I didn’t want to wait so long before eating it again.
My mother is someone who can effortlessly create a delicious three-course meal from a simple fridge raid, with an uncanny ability to never let anything go to waste. Sadly, I didn’t inherit this talent, nor did I inherit the palate to eat leftovers. There have been periods of frugality where I would re-serve and reinvent leftovers, but these moments have often been brief, especially once I would inevitably arrive at a point where
Zurich-Style Veal in a Mushroom & Cream Sauce, served with Smashed Potatoes. Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great start already to 2014. We often celebrate the New Year in Zurich and so it seems fitting to start 2014 on ELB with a classic recipe from my adopted hometown.
An easy and delicious recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese which your family and friends will love. In Switzerland, the Pasta Plausch is a favourite menu item for many. In my last job, Thursdays in the canteen was (and still is) known simply as Pasta Plausch, a day where the lunchtime menu would feature a large pasta buffet to the delight of the employees. On offer were usually a few different types of pasta with
A delicious recipe for Pearl Barley Soup, or Gerstensuppe. A trip to the Swiss mountains usually guarantees good, hearty, winter fare. After a day of heavy duty winter sports, the body is likely to crave something substantial, something loaded with calories. On a recent weekend away in the picturesque Swiss village of Kandersteg, my husband and I found it difficult to hold back when it came to mealtimes, despite the fact that neither
A little while back, I had posted quite a few reviews on recipes from Rachel Khoo’s delightful French cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. For a short time, it looked like I was cooking my way through the book, and indeed I was – just a lot of the recipes haven’t made it to my blog for various reasons. Having been distracted by some events in recent months, I’m hoping to do a little
From looking at the recent entries on my blog, you wouldn’t think that I cook a lot of Vietnamese food at home. The fact is, I probably cook Vietnamese food about 4 to 5 times a week! Of course, the frequency varies, but hardly a week goes by when I haven’t made something at least Vietnamese-inspired. After my mother, Luke Nguyen would have to be my greatest source of inspiration when it comes