Southeast Asian food made easy – by award-winning food blogger Lizzie Mabbott.
Southeast Asian food is more popular than ever before, but what ARE all those mysterious ingredients in the southeastern section of the supermarket – or, even more so, in your nearest Southeast Asian market? Lizzie Mabbott identifies key ingredients, explains the differences between the 77 types of noodles (not counting “Pot”) and tells you how to use them. AND she provides all the recipes you’ll need to cook your own delicious meals at home using the tastiest ingredients from China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Japan and all across the region. So tuck in to the authentic (from Grilled Aubergines with Nuoc Cham to Chinese Chive Breads and Korean Summertime Noodles) or the inventive and absolutely delicious (Kimchi Toasted Cheese Sandwich, Tempura Soft-Shell Crab Burgers and Chinese Spag Bol), and cook your way around the Asian supermarket.
South-East Asian food is more popular than ever before, but what ARE all those mysterious ingredients in the South-Eastern section of the supermarket – or, even more so, in your nearest South-East Asian market or supermarket? Lizzie Mabbott identifies key ingredients, explains the differences between the 77 types of noodles (not counting “Pot”) and tells you how to use them. AND she provides all the recipes you’ll need to cook your own delicious, pan-South-East Asian meals at home.
This is an enormous bastardization of the classic Italian carbonara. Traditionalists will wince, Italians might issue death threats, but I am pushing on with—dare I say it—fusion. Udon is the perfect noodle for this; thick, wormlike, chewy and slippery; it is much more satisfying than spaghetti. The creamy, cheesy sauce clings to each strand like a sexy hug. I’ve Asian-ed it with the addition of scallion and toasted nori, the latter of which adds another whack to an already umami-packed dish.
4 strips of bacon, chopped into small pieces
½ sheet of nori (see page 188), toasted under the grill until crisp
1 small head of purple sprouting broccoli or any other dark leafy green
1 fat garlic clove
2 handfuls of shredded Parmesan cheese
2 free-range egg yolks
2 x 7 oz blocks of vacuum-packed or frozen udon
freshly ground black pepper
Fry the bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon is starting to get crisp.
While the bacon is frying, crush the nori in your hands into a bowl so that it becomes large flakes/dust. Separate the broccoli into small florets, trimming away any tough parts. Separate the white part of the scallion and shred finely. Mince the green part and reserve for the garnish.
Crush the garlic, add to the bacon in the skillet, and fry gently on low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the whites of the scallion, then immediately remove from the heat.
Whisk the Parmesan with the egg yolks in a large bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook the broccoli or leafy greens for 1 minute, then add the udon and cook following the package instructions (usually about 3 minutes, or until the blocks have loosened and untangled). Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water, then drain the noodles well and add to the egg and cheese mixture. Add the bacon mixture and toss well with the reserved cooking water. The egg and Parmesan mixture will emulsify into a sauce, coating the udon strands as you keep tossing. Garnish with the scallion greens, toasted nori, and plenty of black pepper. Serve immediately on warmed plates.