Chinatown KitchenFrom Noodles to Nuoc Cham. Delicious Dishes from Southeast Asian Ingredients.


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.

Lizzie Mabbott is an Anglo-Chinese self-taught cook and award-winning food writer. Her Twitter account @hollowlegs has over 15,000 followers. In 2011, Lizzie was one of Red Magazine’s “20 Women Under 30” and in December 2014 she was featured in Elle Magazine’s “Inspire List”.

 Lizzie Mabbott’s blog Hollow Legs (http://lizzieeatslondon.blogspot.co.uk) has been featured in the Telegraph’s “Best Food Blog” top 10, Time Out’s “Favourite Food Blog” top 10, and was highly commended at the OFM Awards 2012. It generates 20,000 page loads per day (15,000 unique page views).

Udon CarbonaraChinatown_Udon_Carbonarra

serves 2

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 scallion
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.