Tag Archives: ginger

flamboyant guavas poached in ginger

flamboyant guavas poached in ginger

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At work I have this amazing colleague, Niaz. He brings me a surprise every now and then … some times a bouquet of curry leaves and then other times some of his special firebrand chillies (these are HOT!). The other day he was generous enough to bring a huge bag of guavas to the office and told everyone to just help themselves. They were still completely green – so I took 5.

The green guavas lay in the fruit bowl on my kitchen for about a week like sunbathing pensioners on a cruise ship. One day after work I came home and the quavas had ripened and their intoxicating aroma permeated the kitchen. I realised then it was time …

Guavas for me are just so very flavoursome but it is rather difficult to pair them with something because of their distinct and sometimes overbearing flavour (…in a good sense that is…) and taste. You see some fruits are subtle to the palate and others somewhat flamboyant. Well, these guavas were flamboyant and juicy, all dressed up in their natural skins with nowhere to go. I peeled them and poached them in a lovely ginger syrup. The ginger works so delicately and perfectly with guava (*put in mind to remember this) – it gives a bit of heat that’s just intoxicatingly delicious. To round of this pairing I added a little touch of mint.

I served it with a scoop of ice cream. Flamboyant with a capital F is perhaps the only way I could describe it.

guava

ginger poached guava

ginger poached guava

 

flamboyant guavas poached in ginger
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 200 g Guavas peeled
  • 250ml (1 cup) Water
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) Sugar
  • 1 Thumb of ginger– thinly sliced in matchsticks
  • A few mint leaves
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients in a pot and poach the guavas on low heat for about 10 minutes and allow the guavas to rest in the ginger infused syrup until luke- warm. Add a sprig of mint to the syrup and a generous dollop of the best full-cream ice cream you can find.

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roasted chicken curry = frindian chicken

roasted chicken curry = frindian chicken

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It’s winter and its time to cook something that will help keep the chill of winter at bay. For this, there is nothing better than a wonderful curry.

I was very fortunate to spend a weekend with renowned Chef, Reza Mahammad a month or so ago and he told me about the new trend that he had started – “Frindian cuisine” – yip Frindian … this is where you combine classic French cooking techniques with the wonderful variety and diversity of Indian spices.

This is a not an easy task but Reza, the genius, makes this work so brilliantly.

Back home I decided to try my own Frindian chicken – by roasting a chicken the French way { the technique I always use is from the book “Le Cordon Bleu at home”} and using my own Indian spice mix – this dish was such a hit around the table there were only a few bony morsels left. This is the kind of dish where you need to get stuck in with your hands and eat this with gusto – it’s delicious, tasty and extremely alluring. Not only does the dish dress up to impress, but the taste is hot and complex. The flavours seem to just stitch two continental food styles in seamless fashion and so worth the effort.

On how to truss a chicken click here.

Frindian Chicken

 

 

roasted chicken curry = frindian chicken
 
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Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 Chicken – about 2 kg’s
  • 3T Butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1T Vegetable oil
  • My spice mix – mix all the ingredients below together.
  • 1T Grated fresh garlic
  • 1T Grated fresh ginger
  • 2t Chillie flakes – you can replace these with 1 or 2 chopped strong red chillies depending on your individual taste
  • 2T Masala mix [strong curry powder]
  • 1T Cumin seeds
  • 1T Coriander [fine]
  • ½t Cinnamon [fine]
  • Fresh coriander for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Loosen the skin on the topside of the chicken and take the Marsala mix and try to massage it under the skin – make sure you rub it all over the chicken. Do it carefully and take your time. You don’t want to break the skin at any point. Even try and get some Marsala into the little legs and wings. Rub the spice on the inside of the chicken as well.
  4. Now season the cavity with salt and pepper.
  5. Truss the chicken.
  6. Then rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the chicken on the side in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes.
  8. Then turn the chicken onto its other side and roast for another 20 minutes.
  9. Finally turn the chicken with the breast side-up, add a ½ cup of water to the pan and roast till the juices run clear – about another 20 – 30 minutes.
  10. Let it rest for 15 minutes covered with aluminium foil. The juices will be absorbed into the meat and it will be far easier to carve.
  11. While resting the chicken, bring the remaining juices in the roasting tray to the boil on top of the stove – scrape to release any cooked meat that is still at the bottom of the tray. Add a bit of water and reduce till ⅓. Spoon this over your meat at the table.
  12. Remove the twine, carve and enjoy your Frindian chicken with your bestest friends.

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sand + sunburn + salmon salad = happy family easter memories

sand + sunburn + salmon salad = happy family easter memories

salmon salad

I think for me Easter has always been different to the somewhat traditional religious Easter festivities, you know the Friday fasting, the curried fish, chocolate eggs and Easter Sunday feast….

You see, my father was the station master at Wepener in the Free State for many years and once a year the South African Railways would give its employees and their families a free rail ticket. So every year, my mom, dad, three brothers and me would take the train down to Durbs for our Easter school holidays. It was such an adventure for us because Durban was fun … there was sun + beaches + sand. It was singing on the stages trying our best to win prizes, fighting with my brothers, building sandcastles in the sand with dad, swimming in the ocean with mom and losing ourselves in the summers of our youth.

salmon salad

For the short few days we spent there we lived on ice cream and sandwiches during the day, but at night when we were all sunburnt and after a long soak in a soothing bath, my mom used to make us fresh fish and salad for supper. The fresh salmon salad I made today is a dedication to the happy memories of those Easters past and to my folks for affording us this once a year seaside adventure.

salmon salad

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Apart from the salmon and the avocado, I got all the ingredients for the salad out of my garden. Instead of placing the salmon on top of the salad as it is usually served I decided it would be more fun to put the salad on top of the salmon – and I must say I think it looks amazing! It would be unfair for me to dictate the quantities of salad ingredients you should use as this is best left to your own discretion and mood.

Salmon Salad

I also like my salmon somewhat rare, so I prepared it that way. But the thing that really adds to the overall pop-up-flavour is the rather delicious lime and soya Asian dressing. So here’s to family, Easter, lasting memories and fresh food. Blessed Easter everyone!

sand + sunburn + salmon salad = happy family easter memories
 
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 x 200g Fresh salmon steaks
  • For salad
  • Avocado – sliced into small blocks
  • Baby tomatoes – halved and then in three
  • Cucumber ribbons – I take my potato peeler and run it over the cucumber
  • Spring onions – finely sliced
  • Radishes – sliced into thin slices
  • Fresh coriander
  • Chillies
  • Salad dressing
  • 50 ml Soya sauce
  • Juice of one to two small limes
  • 1t Sesame oil (optional)
  • 2t Grated ginger
  • 1t Fish sauce
  • 1T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • ½t Chillie flakes
Instructions
  1. Fry your salmon for three minutes with the skin side down in a non-stick pan till skin crispy - say about 5 minutes - don’t turn it around and don’t season at this stage and let it stand to rest. The intention is to serve it luke warm not piping hot.
  2. Chop up all your salad ingredients and make your dressing by mixing everything together.
  3. Now just place this beautiful cut of fish on a plate. Place the salad on top and put the dressing on the side.
  4. I don’t add any salt at this stage and leave it to the guests to decide how much salt they need because the dressing is quite salty.

 

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cooking paupillette of lemon sole + saffron sauce with reza mahammad

cooking paupillette of lemon sole + saffron sauce with reza mahammad

‘don’t get overwhelmed by the list ingredients – read the method first – then you will find it easy to cook my recipes’ – reza mahammad

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As the African sun set over the great Sundays River, I had to pinch myself… the situation was surreal, almost sublime. There I was deep in the Kwazulu-Natal bush at the Esiweni Lodge on the Nambiti Private Game Reserve … just the day before I was at my desk doing my regular duties as communications head at a leading architectural firm, dhk Architects.

For the next 48 hours, I was to be a captive in this wilderness, a captive to my senses. It wasn’t the Big 5 wild animals that roamed the reserve that were making me nervous but the prospect and sheer excitement of meeting world renowned TV Foodie and chef, Reza Mahammad. You see, he is one of my all-time food heroes and by some stroke of sheer good fortune I spent the weekend with him on what I could only describe as a culinary safari of sorts. It was such a fabulous opportunity that I could hardly contain myself. I was there representing Food24 but the truth be told I was more excited than a little girl on big red school bus venturing off to class for the very first time.

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Reza Mahammad

The lodge had embarked on a series of culinary safaris where guests would be invited to cook and share the food of well-known chef’s and personalities. It is a good formula and offers an enchanting yet educational break from the humdrum of our daily lives.

Reza Mahammad joined us later the Friday evening jetting in from Cape Town where he was promoting his new TV series. In his latest series, Reza’s African Kitchen, he explores African cuisine, from the spicy Indian influences of Zanzibar, to the indigenous dishes of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa. Reza goes on horseback safari, tiger fishing, gets friendly with ostriches, herds sheep, snorkels and more all in an unsatiable endeavour to uncover the diversity of flavours and fabulous ingredients which populate the food heritage of Southern Africa. Back in his own breath-taking African kitchen, Reza uses his travels as inspiration to create his own delicious dishes with a spicy Indian twist!

But now back to the Friday night at the lodge – I was anxious, apprehensive and excited – the spirit of this man and his culinary talents preceded him. Yet, it was odd, I loved the work of this chef before I had even met him…But after spending two days as an apprentice-like food groupie of sorts, I was hanging around his apron tails for the better part of two days … I think I can call him friend. What an individual! What a down to earth talent and yet of such humble and generous spirit. Reza is exactly the way he is on television – open, full of laughter fun and excitement – but what strikes you almost immediately is his dedication and enthusiasm for his work his passion and his food. He started in the kitchen at 6am with Damon (Esiweni chef) in the morning to prep for our workshops – and finished that evening with dessert just before 9.45 pm. To say he is a workaholic would be somewhat of an under exaggeration. Where the energy and passion comes from can only be put down to his deep love of his craft. A craft of which he is a master. He is so proficient – even almost belligerent in the best of ways, he never uses any measuring equipment – it is just a dash of this, a sprinkle of that a few spices here… and there you go – another Reza creation. There are neither airs nor a graces about this man, he preps, cleans and chats and somewhere in-between these masterful dishes just seem to appear.

Through it all we laughed till our bellies were sore, we chatted about food and tips and his new ventures and adventures. We sipped on this, savoured that and let ourselves get lost in this wilderness of food, flora and fauna.

reza mahamma - esiweni lodge

Esiweni Lodge

My lodgings for the next two days was an opulently furnished suite perched high above the meandering Sunday’s river. It was a citadel in the sky, luxurious and just too beautiful all at the same time. My cliff-top chalet had its own private deck with just the most magnificent, sprawling views. I need’nt have gone anywhere and could have sat for the entire weekend sipping endless G&T’s in the rim-flow pool taking in the breathtaking vista and just talking to myself and the animals. I would have done so if it were not for the scheduled game drive which took us into the veld to explore God’s beautiful creatures in the cool of the setting sun.

There were elephants, birds, strange sounds and nature-filled silences, the rustle of bushes and fluttering heartbeats. From the exotic to the unusual – these wild and wonderous creatures seemed to linger in balance around the environs of the lodge. There were no doubt many more creatures wandering around the greater reserve. But the most amazing thing of the lodge was its people – their motto is you come as guests and you leave as friends – it’s so true. The managing couple Natie and Magda are such an engaging and exceptional couple who exude the finesse and hospitality that brings the real charm to this natural hideaway.

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Food

I learnt loads of interesting things which I will share in future in my future blog posts. But for now, one of the workshops that we did with Reza on the Saturday is what I want to share ….it is this amazing dish called Paupillette of Lemon Sole with saffron sauce. This dish epitomises Reza’s love for the “Frindien” cuisine, combing classic French food with an Indian twist. This is a not an easy task but this genius does it so brilliantly – this dish not only looks elegant and refined, but the taste is subtle yet complex. The white fish contrasts beautifully with the yellow sauce. This is a perfect dish to impress the best – without having to slave for hours in the kitchen. Don’t be alarmed by the list of ingredients because the preparation is actually quite straightforward. As Reza said – “ don’t get overwhelmed by the ingredients – read the method first – then you will find it easy to cook my recipes’.

cooking paupillette of lemon sole + saffron sauce with reza mahammad
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Paupillette of Lemon Sole with saffron sauce
  • Serves 4
  • 6 x 140 – 160g fillets of lemon sole, trimmed, skinned and filleted
  • 150ml dry white wine or Vermouth
  • For the filling
  • 300g raw prawns (net weight, after being shelled and de-veined)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus juice of ½ a lemon ¼ tsp roughly crushed fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes salt to season
  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) or vegetable oil1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger 1 chopped green chilli
  • ½ tsp saffron 1 tbsp. chopped coriander
  • 200ml double cream salt to season
Instructions
  1. To make the filling - Blitz the prawns coarsely in a food processor. Decant into a bowl and mix in all the remaining ingredients. Divide into six portions and set aside.
  2. Place the sole fillets, with the side that had the skin face up. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a portion of the prawn stuffing on the fillets. Roll the fillets, starting with the thickest part and finishing with the tail.
  4. Place on a roasting tray and pour the dry white wine or vermouth over the fish.
  5. Cover with a grease parchment paper and place in a preheated oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes until the fish is tender.
  6. To make the sauce - Whilst the fish is in the oven, heat the oil in a pan until hot. Add the fennel seeds and allow them to pop for a few seconds. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, ginger and finely chopped chilli. Reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Cook until the onions are soft and transparent.
  8. Once the fish has finished cooking, remove the soles from the oven and pour the juices from the roasting tray into the sauce. Set the fish aside, cover and keep warm.
  9. To the sauce, add the saffron and coriander. Reduce the liquid to half so the flavours intensify. Add the cream and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened, become glossy and coats the back of a spoon.
  10. Strain through a fine sieve, and squeeze out all the juices to maximise the flavours. Adjust seasoning.
  11. To plate up - Cut the sole into halves, allowing 3 halves per portion. Arrange on a plate with the sauce around.
  12. Serve with the glazed carrots with maple syrup and mustard seeds.

 

Esiweni Lodge: +27(0) 36-636-9002
Emails: reservations@esiweni.coza
Reza: @rezamahammad (twitter)

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goat curry + saffron egg basmati rice = a delicious indian feast

goat curry + saffron egg basmati rice = a delicious indian feast

goat curry and saffron rice

Goat and Bean Curry: People probably thought I was off my head when I decided to cook goat on Dinner Divas for national television. We have over 50 million people in this country, 11 official languages and a rainbow of cultures – I wanted to show the people of our beautiful nation that it is a healthy and delicious choice. It’s affordable too! Did you know more goat meat is eaten throughout the world than any other red meat? This is a fact!

Goat meat is a healthy alternative to beef and chicken because of its lower calorie, fat and cholesterol totals. It comprises 63 percent of all red meat that is consumed worldwide! Currently, goats make up the main source of animal protein in many North African and Middle Eastern nations. Goats are also important in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and other tropical regions across our planet.

saffron basmati rice with goats curry

Anyway, I got a shoulder of goat meat from my mom’s local butcher and decided to transform this into a delicious goat curry. You will often hear people say that goat meat is tough, tastes “funny”, poor man’s meat so to speak…this is where we are naive I think. If we are not prepared to try something and taste for ourselves we will be forever missing out on the real flavours that permeate our society and world. You have to try this goat for yourself. Take my word for it – it’s just delicious.

 

goat + bean curry
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 600g Goat (bite-sized goat pieces – softer pieces no bones for this one)
  • 2t Garlic and ginger mix - see recipe below
  • 2t Green marsala - see recipe below
  • 1t Red marsala - see recipe below
  • 11/2 t Salt
  • ½t Turmeric
  • 2t Medium marsala (curry powder)
  • 1t Cumin and coriander powder
  • 3 Medium onions chopped
  • 1T Ghee or normal butter
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 3 Cloves
  • 410g Rhodes Tomatoes Chopped and Peeled
  • 5 Curry leaves
  • 410g Rhodes Butter Beans in Brine
  • 2T Fresh chopped coriander
  • Fresh coriander for serving
Instructions
  1. Mix the goat, garlic & ginger mix, green marsala, red marsala, salt, turmeric, medium marsala and cumin + coriander powder together and set aside to marinade.
  2. Fry the chopped onion in the oil and ghee till translucent.
  3. Add the star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Fry for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the goat and brown the meat.
  5. Then add the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves.
  6. Let it simmer closed on medium heat for about 50 minutes. Stir now and then - add a little water if you see the sauce gets too dry.
  7. After 40 minutes add the beans with the “juice”- and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  8. Taste for seasoning - or if you so prefer, add more chillies.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh coriander just before serving.

 
saffron egg basmati rice
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For rice
  • 1 Cups of Basmati rice
  • A few strands of saffron (if you don’t have saffron use a pinch of turmeric powder)
  • 2T Ghee
  • For onions
  • 3 Large onions
  • 2T Cooking oil
  • 2T Ghee
  • For eggs
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of hot water
  • Few strands of saffron (if you don’t have saffron use ½ t turmeric powder)
Instructions
  1. Cook the Basmati rice as per the packet instructions however add the few strands of saffron to the water and remember to also add salt before boiling the rice. Drain the rice using a sieve. Rinse with hot water. Then add the ghee and lightly mix through.
  2. Cut the onions in side lengths in strips. Fry till golden brown over medium heat in the oil and ghee.
  3. Boil the eggs. Tip: For perfectly hard boiled eggs – bring the eggs to boil and then turn the heat down and let the egss stand in the hot water for 10 minutes.
  4. Peal the eggs.Add the saffron to the water and add the pealed eggs.
  5. Let it stand for about 10 minutes to colour and flavour the eggs.
  6. To serve - Use the rice as a base in your serving dish. Cut the boiled eggs into quarters and place on top of your rice base. Sprinkle the fried, golden brown onions over the rice and eggs and serve immediately.

 
tomato salsa
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tomato de-seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ Onion finely chopped
  • 1T Coriander finely chopped
  • 100g Cucumber finely chopped
  • 1 Green chillie finely chopped
  • 1T Cooking oil
  • 1T White vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Put in bowl and serve immediately as side dish

 
garlic and ginger mix + green marsala + red marsala
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For garlic and ginger mix
  • 2T Minced or grated peeled garlic
  • 2T Grated ginger
  • For green marsala
  • 1T Garlic and ginger mix
  • 2T Green chillies finely chopped or better milled finely
  • 1t Cooking oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • For red marsala
  • 1T Garlic and ginger mix
  • Two red chillies
  • 1t Cooking oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of turmeric
Instructions
  1. For garlic and ginger mix - mix both ingredients together.
  2. For green marsala - put it all ingredients in a mortar pestle and grind together or put through a mill.
  3. For red marsala - put it all ingredients in a mortar pestle and grind together or put through a mill.

 




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20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth=healthy hot winter warmer
I am by nature a foodie and as foodies go, we all have our foodie idols … One of my foodie idols is Chef Peter Tempelhoff – not only is he a great chef but also not too shabby on the eye – oh, who am I kidding everyone … he is hot! And if you come to my office you will see an A3 poster of him hanging next to my desk … but to my utter dismay two of my wonderful colleagues Johann and Pieter gave Chef Tempelhoff a mustache and a tattoo 🙂 … Anyway, two weeks ago I attended the Table of Peace and Unity lunch on the slopes of our wonderful Table Mountain and Peter Tempelhoff was one of the chefs responsible for the starter [miso sesame cured salmon and ginger prawn spring roll with soja jalapeno dressing]. I don’t know if it was the dish or perhaps him walking past that inspired me to do something hot with salmon. So later in the week I visited my Chinese supermarket for some ingredients and over the weekend made this really delicious, salmon in a hot and sour Asian broth. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It’s so easy … so tasty and so fresh … and cheers to the hot chef who inspired me to make this dish!

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 150g x 4 Skinless salmon steaks
  • Salt and black pepper
  • For broth
  • 1L Chicken stock (I use stock cubes for this – that’s what they do in Asia :-))
  • 2-3 Green chillies (...if you like things a little hotter, spice it up with one more ... but not too many as it will overpower your dish )
  • +-20cm piece of lemongrass – crushed with the back of your knife and cut into pieces (if you cannot find it but you do stay in Cape Town – contact me, I have a huge bush in my garden!)
  • 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
  • 1 Thumb size piece of fresh ginger – finely sliced
  • ¼ Cup of soya sauce
  • 4ml Sesame oil - just under a teaspoon (be very careful that you don’t overdo the sesame oil)
  • Juice of 2 limes (small) or 1 lemon
  • 2 Spring onions – chopped diagonally into thin slices
  • Handful of fresh coriander – roughly shredded by hand
  • Bean sprouts to garnish and to add some crunch
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan or pot add all the ingredients for the broth – except the spring onions, coriander and bean sprouts. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5-10 minutes allowing all the flavours to infuse.
  2. In a non stick pan fry the salmon until brown on both sides - +-2-3 minutes on each side should do. The salmon must still be rare inside – but you must be able to flake it with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve: Pour some of the broth through a sieve into a 4 bowls, add some spring onion and coriander. Put the salmon in the middle of the bowls and add some bean sprouts to garnish. I love fresh ginger so I always add the ginger I used for the broth in my bowl.
  4. Tuck in and enjoy!

 

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