Monday, July 04, 2011

New Shanghai, Ashfield

With only a 20 minute lunch sojourn in Ashfield, C and I knew we had to go to New Shanghai for dumplings. As always, the pan fried pork buns and dumplings were doughy, yeasty, juicy, soupy, salty and fatty, all the things I crave from a Shanghainese dumpling. We always ask for La Jiao Jiang (Fermented Chili Sauce) because it makes the perfect pre-vinegar dip for the dumplings.. Although today for the first time when we went to eat them they were a bit cold. We sent them back, to our suprise instead of sending new ones they just bunged them back on the hot plate to reheat, so they were a little dry. Don't worry New Shanghai, I still love you even though you are such a tight ass! The noodles were delicious, slippery and very chewy. The pan-fried pork buns are not photographed, because in my excitement we scoffed the lot before I had a chance. Snap.

New Shanghai
273 Liverpool Rd
Ashfield NSW 2131
PH: (02) 9797 7284

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Ingredients (serves 8)

600g Chocolate (60%+)
450 mL Pure Cream
4 tsp Rum
75g Glacée Chestnuts* in Liquer
1 Vanilla Pod
200g Digestive Biscuits
1 cup Rice Bubbles
1 cup Corn Flakes
100g Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Granulated Salt


1. Prepare a 25cm springform tin by placing a sheet of baking paper on the base before locking in place.
2. Process chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.
3. Heat cream and split vanilla pod in a small saucepan until steam appears, but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat, discard bean pod and add rum, or the liquer syrup from the glacée chestnuts.
Immediately pour the cream onto the chocolate, gently stirring until a homogenous, smooth mixture has formed. Set aside to cool.
4. Place the butter, cut into cubes, in a microwave container and heat for 1 minute or until fully melted.
In a large bowl, combine the rice bubbles, cornflakes and chunky digestive crumbs. Add 3-4 chopped glacee chestnuts, sprinkle over the salt and the butter, stir to combine.
5. Pour 1.25 cups of the chocolate ganache mixture into the Cereal Base and combine. Spread into the lined tin and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
6. Pour over the remaining chocolate ganache and return to the fridge to set for a minimum of 6 hours.
7. To serve, use a blowtorch around the sides of the pan before unlocking. Use a cake spatula to transfer to a platter, garnish with double cream and chestnuts, with a little of the liquer syrup drizzled over the top.

*If Glacee Chestnuts in Liquor cannot be obtained, replace with Caramel Coated Hazelnuts, and use Frangelico in place of the chestnut syrup or rum.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Long Melon at Little Bangladesh

Before a visit to the Bangladeshi strip in Sydney's Lakemba, I thought I was an open-minded foodie, whisk and cleaver at the ready for any culinary adventure to stumble into my path. What I encountered there would stump any home cook or keen-nosed beagle for that matter. When I saw two gentlemen heaving enormous bundles of edible plant material out of an unmarked van and into this shop (which will remain nameless), I just knew I had to find out what it was.

The mass of curly-cue vines, white spongey flowers and soft velvety leaves belong to the plant of the Long Melon, or fuzzy melon. What I was not prepared for, was the stench. After bringing home a large raft of the unruly flora I began to unfurl it out of the bag- which I imagine is like the plant equivalent of gutting a pig. Every tendril I extracted from the bag produced a stronger and more foul aroma than the previous, smelling like a combination of burning rubber and a decomposing roast dinner.

The odor was so much so that the whole lot ended up on the grass in the backyard so I could think of what to do with it. Sadly I made the decision to bin it, despite the tasty recommendation the shop owner offered. I hate to waste food but this is one exception, for the need not to stink my house out. My hat is off to whoever is game enough to cook and eat this. For anyone interested the shopkeeper suggested cooking it with spices,onion,ghee, and prawns and adding it in at the last minute like a stir fry. She also mentioned you are not supposed to cook the stalks, just the leaves.

Obviously the friendlier component to the plant is the melon itself, which I have cooked and enjoyed on a number of occasions. most notably as an item at the table for szechuan hot pot.

At this shop there is a great selection of spices, fruits, veggies and other fantastic grocery items as well. I am also very impressed that they go out of their way to stock unusual ingredients and ones that they use back home, and I sincerely hope they continue to do so. This is one of 10 other Bangladeshi owned / run shops on the same block.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gooey Nut Slice

After watching Anna Olson on Sugar today with her theme ingredient of 'condensed milk' I was tempted to make this slice. Its a deliciously gooey combination between caramelized condensed milk, nuts, toasted coconut and biscuit base and is ridiculously easy to put together. Her recipe calls for a biscuit base made of digestive biscuits and butter, whereas I made a shortcake type crust with self raising flour and butter. Because I do most of my baking by eye your best bet if you want to make it is just to follow Anna Olson's recipe for Southern Squares. The topping is a combination of nuts and coconut, and the gooeyness is from the 3 tins of condensed milk that are poured over top. (The recipe calls for 2 but, what the hey) The entire concoction is then baked for around an hour and cooled for 3 hours minimum before slicing. I used walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds but next time I would probably just stick to salted peanuts as the walnuts had an overwhelming presence in the final result.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cinnamon Candied Nuts

These toasty cinnamon-scented candied walnuts, cashews and pecans make a great home-made gift for the holidays. They are super easy, just combine the ingredients and bake! They are great as ice cream toppers or even sprinkled over salad with some beautiful blue cheese, pear and rocket.

Makes 1 kg

500 g Whole Walnuts
250 g Raw Cashews
250 g Pecan Nuts
3 Egg Whites
300g Sugar
4 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Salt


Combine the nuts in a bowl.
Whisk egg whites until frothy. Add the egg whites to the nuts and coat well.
Add the sugar and cinnamon and toss to coat.
Spread loosely onto lined baking trays and bake for 10 minutes, turning once until dark golden brown and dry.
Sprinkle over salt and toss to combine.
Cool completely before packing into jars.
See notes for additional information.


These keep well for a month, place a small tea bag of rice tied with decorative ribbon in the middle to remove any moisture. This stops them from sticking together. If making ahead, shake the jars every week or so before gifting to ensure they stay separate. Store in a cool dark and dry place if possible. When baking they will brown around the edges first, try to move these bits toward the center of the tray when you turn them. Discard any that have become black. Most importantly, keep a close eye on them because once they start to brown they go dark very quickly! Top with christmas fabric squares and tie with ribbon.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Manmaruya, Campsie

Who would have believed that Campsie, home of Sydney's largest conglomeration of dollar stores and stinky old dudes, would have this hidden gem. I was there around lunch time and BOOM, the waft of fried chicken hit my nostrils so naturally i had no choice but to venture in. I ordered a Karaage Chicken Ramen with extra cha shu (Japanese roast pork) an extra hanjuku no tamago (poached egg) and some extra negi (spring onions). And yes they understood my broken Japanese. For those who don't know, Ramen is all about the extra toppingu. I'm sure I could have had menma (bamboo shoots) Niniku (grated garlic) and Baata (butter) if I had asked for it. In Japan there are more bizarre toppings than I choose to mention here today. Lets just say they involved underpants.

Manmaruya is run by some handsome Japanese boys that definately know a thing or two about Tonkotsu. (pork bone broth) It was light, flavoursome and not overly salty. The thick gooeyness of the Gumshara broth or fatty and salty soup from Ryo's Noodle go to show that every Ramen shop soup should have its own character. I didn't poke around the open kitchens this time to find a huge pot with simmering pork bones, but I will be sure to next time to confirm whether it is the real deal. In any case, it tasted pretty good. The noodles were a little on the soggy side for me- I like them to still be in rigor mortis and very very al dente. They also had a large range of the usual washoku, sushi, bento and the like. If you are in the area and are looking for a cheap and tasty feed, Manmaruyu has my stamp of approval.

193 Beamish St
Campsie NSW 2194
Phone (02) 9789 5759

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ghostie Cake & Hallowe'en

Halloween this year was truly scary on a number of levels, the costumes, the trickery, the over-50's bobbing for donuts competition. There was more skin jiggling there than at Bada Bing on a friday night. But by far the most freaky for me was rolling out some fondant to make this ghostie cake. I saw the design originally in a women's weekly cake for kids mag/book and decided that since I own a bombe mold to make good use of it. Turns out it was super duper easy, all except for keeping the blue icing UNDER the fondant and not smeared all over the virginal white exterior. Was quite pleased with the shonky but recognizable ghostie result. Also some old pics from the spooktacular feast that was halloween.

Miss Ghostie

Ghostie's yummy icing blob filling (all vanilla)

Sundried Tomato Pinwheels with Coriander Leaves AKA Pumpkins

Pre-school Stylie Mac n Cheese Swamp Monsters for the kiddies

Almond Shortbread Witches Fingers n Toes

The tomato pinwheels had a filling made of semi-dried tomatoes, cream cheese and some spices processed in a blender and spread onto sundried tomato wraps. They were wrapped over night and sliced into rounds an hour before serving. Quite fiddly but really tasty. The witches fingers were courtesy of George Calombaris' recipe for greek Kourambithes cookies, but because it was a rainy day I ended up adding more flour to the sticky and soft dough.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tetsuya's 'Secret Recipes'


A few days ago a friend and I went to David Jones' new Market Street location in Sydney to view our idol Tetsuya Wakuda make us a great feast while doing a detailed demonstration using his line of products. There were what seemed like 300 people in the audience, all pushing and shoving to hastily grab at the canapes coming from the kitchen. Luckily we squeezed in right at the side and were about 3 feet away from Tets! I couldn't take photos due to the fact that I forgot my camera if you can believe it!! But at least you have the recipes... and believe me they are amazing. They have all been corrected by the staff at Tets'. Also, from what I know these are not in his book, nor on his menu, except the truffle butter which he serves at Tetsuya's. I feel privileged!

Please visit Tetsuya's Website for his listing of products:

This range has been extended since to include Truffle Salt, among other great finds!

In no particular order:

Canape 1 - Raw Pacific Oysters

Pacific Oysters
Finely chopped chives
Ocean Trout Roe (small red roe)
Tetsuya's Oyster Dressing
Lemon Juice + Segment
Ginger Juice

Place a tbsp of this mixture into each oyster.
Serve immediately.

Canape 2 - Tuna Sashimi

Rectangular Pieces of Tuna Sashimi
Tetsuya's Oyster Dressing
Finely chopped chives
Grated Fresh Wasabi
Grated Ginger
Few drops Soya sauce
Lemon Juice

Arrange the sashimi on a platter and pour
this mixture evenly over the slices.
Serve immediately.

Canape 3 - Mushroom Risotto

Arborio Rice
Tetsuya's Truffle Salsa
Raw Cup Mushroom chunks
White Wine - Riesling

Make plain risotto, brown onions and rice until transluscent, adding chicken stock, riesling,
add raw mushroom in at the end. (It was almost raw in the final product)
Place Risotto in a bowl and mix with the truffle salsa,
butter and parmesan for a good 4-5 min until everything
has melted and blended together.
Temperature when serving is to be warm.

Canape 4 - Chicken and Egg Soup

Cooked Roast Chicken, diced
Smoked Bacon, diced
Onion finely chopped
Chicken Stock
Lots of eggs (roughly 1 L soup: 3 eggs)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Green Peas
Truffle Oil

Sweat down the bacon and onion.
Add Chicken stock and reduce 20%
Beat eggs with lots of parmesan to make a loose paste
Add chicken pieces and Peas, and bring back to the boil (cook chicken)
When boiling, Ladle egg mixture over top the soup evenly and stir gently.
Serve hot, with egg just cooked.

Canape 5 - Quail Egg

Fried Wild Rocket, finely chopped
Pinch of Parsley, Finely Chopped
Tetsuya's Truffle Salt
Olive Oil
Poached Quail Eggs- Runny Yolk

Place the chilled quail eggs (poached in the shell) in a bowl.
Coat with olive oil vinegar and remaining ingredients, being very generous with the wild rocket.
Gently toss to coat for a few seconds.
Serve on a bed of the sprinkled fried wild rocket.

Canape 6 - Tets Fries

French Fries
Tetsuya's Truffle Salt
Finely Chopped Parsely

Mix together well when hot.

Canape 7 - Tet's Restaurant Truffle Butter

160g Unsalted Butter, softened
40g Tetsuya's Truffle Salsa
25g Finely milled Parmesan Cheese

Combine ingredients and add salt to taste.
Place in a dish and refrigerate until set.
Lasts 1 week covered with cling film.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

valentines hotcakes

You will be sure to win accolades from your Valentine's with this easy breakfast in bed recipe.


3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups self-raising flour
¾ cup castor sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder (must be good quality)
1 pinch salt
3 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
Neapolitan ice cream


Place the flour, sugar, drinking chocolate and salt in a large bowl and combine well. Now add the butter in the microwave to melt. While that’s happening, crack in the eggs, add the vanilla extract and half the milk into the flour mix and give it a hit with a whisk. Keep adding milk slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Remember, the thinner the batter, the thinner the pancake and vice-versa. After the butter has cooled for a minute, whisk it in. Pour a tablespoon of batter into a well-heated, well-buttered pan until bubbles form on the top. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Keep them warm on a plate covered in aluminium foil. Serve warm with scoops of Neapolitan ice cream.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Coffee Art

The borders of food and art grow ever fuzzier with this recent revelation in the form of a coffee. Baristas make fascinating shapes and painterly images in many different ways- they jiggle the milk as they pour into the hot espresso, or use stencils for the powdered chocolate atop your mochachino. Other methods are a mystery. I like the evil one down the bottom. At 7am it would be like staring at my reflection.


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