Christchurch Night Noodle Market

Last night I went to the CHCH night noodle market with my momma and later, my sister and brother-in-law joined us. Being CHCH, I also bumped into one, two, three friends. I had fun. In all honestly, the food was average (yeah, yeah food snob) but the ambience was great! I absolutely love CHCH in the summer. The market is on until Sunday, prices range from $5 to $15, and you can find more information HERE.

Speaking of noodles/Asian food, pretty please with a quail egg on top check out my new Savvy Tokyo article, 8 Japanese Films for Foodies HERE.
So I asked for two chicken and one eggplant/tofu BAO but I got given a duck instead. Now tell me, since I’m not a BAO enthusiast, is the bread supposed to taste like cake (it was super sweet)? Looked better than it tasted (oh no she didn’t!). image-1
These however were real good. Maybe a little dare but I think totally worth it. Not too sweet, very natural tasting and chic, too! Double win.
Yummy but served warm/cold. More on the cold side. But tasty regardless. As you can see, I did my best to abuse the DIY topping station. In all fairness, the dumplings were generously filled to the brim with plump shrimp and prawn. image
Mama says: peace!

A Healthier Potato Salad and Cheesecake

Both recipes inspired by Petite Kitchen 

Potato Salad:
3 large potatoes of choice
1 small-medium cucumber
2-3 medium gherkins/pickles (chopped small)
A handful of dried blackcurrants
1/2 cup of raw pistachios (chopped small)
A large handful of fresh mint (roughly chopped)
Juice of one lemon
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Scrub potatoes well then cut in to small cubes. Place in a large saucepan, cover with salted water and bring to the boil. Then simmer, uncovered until just cooked. Be careful not to overcook!

When ready, strain potatoes and set aside to cool.

Once cooled, combine and toss all ingredients in a large bowl.

6 free-range eggs
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 cup of mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup of almond meal/almond powder
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence

Note: alternatively, you can use 100% store-bought fruit jam. 
1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup of water

Silvered almonds and flowers

Preheat oven to 180C

Grease a round cake tin then line with baking paper -grease that a little bit too.

Combine all cake ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined. Since my blender couldn’t fit/handle all the ingredients at once, I managed this part by blending in batches at a time.

Pour batter into a cake tin and bake for about 45-50 min or until set. Note: batter will be very runny, this is normal.

Keep a good eye on the prize, if the top starts prematurely browning because your oven is shit like mine, use a sheet of tin foil to cover the top.

As your cake bakes, add all topping ingredients to a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until juicy and thick- set aside to cool.

Once both topping and cake have cooled, bring the two together in the most perfect union using the back of a tablespoon..

Decorate with silvered almonds and small flowers. Last but definitely not least, Instagram it.

A big shout out to Daniel and Mariko for having me over, listening to all my Japan problems and giving me kind brotherly and sisterly advice and my tummy, vegetarian gyoza and perfectly cooked brown rice!

I f%#$ing love Chinese food!

“Unlike its counterparts in Yokohama and Nagasaki, Kobe’s Nankinmachi sets itself apart as being the most colorful and foreign-looking Chinatown in all of Japan” (From Wikipedia). What does that mean? I don’t know. But what I do know is that every single thing we ate was delicious. Which doesn’t usually happen, does it? Usually there are one or two things that turn out to be kinda ave; not as good as they looked/smelt/the huge line indicated. But not here. Everything was delish!

Must eats outside of Chinese food include famous Kobe croquettes and for non-veggo readers: Kobe BEEF.

dim sumbody say gyoza?

Last night, my Chinese friend Wendy served us the dumpling feast of all dumpling feasts. I had my own special dumplings filled with mushroom, celery, tofu and egg whilst the others ate COW! Just kidding, sort of. I asked Wendy and her Japanese mother-in-law the difference between Chinese and Japanese dumplings and was told that essentially, both are quite similar except that the Chinese prefer theirs boiled and dunked in chili whilst the Japanese prefer grilled and served with soy and/or vinegar. I VOTE CHINA!! I love boiled dumplings.. they taste much healthier than those fried in oil. And CHILI. How can you eat anything without chili? Side note: Japanese food seriously lacks heat. I need heat (in more ways than one). Anyways, back to dumps, Wendy says the hardest part is chopping the filling ingredients but once you’ve done that, all you have to do is place just under a tablespoon of it in the center of a pre-made circular dumpling wrapper, rub a little water around the circumference, fold it in half and press the edges together. The latter step can be done 2-3 times to make sure the dumplings are shut tightly and that no fillings are going to sneak out. Last step is placing them in a pot of boiling water. According to Wends, initially the dumpling will sink to the bottom but later, when ready, rise to the top.

“The dumpling will let you know when it’s done” – Wendy-san.

Oh and one last last step, after removing the dumpling from the hot water, either run it under cold water or dunk it in a bowl of cold water before placing it on a plate – this stops the dumplings from sticking together and merging into one big delicious one – actually, wait what?

SERVE WITH CHILI cos soy/vinegar is only fit for a CHILD.

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