Tag Archives: asian

Spicy, salty, sweet and ever so flavourful beef salad

A great little appetizer that can be made ahead and looks, as well as tastes, fabulous.

I have made it for summer parties, Asian-themed dinners and most recently for a thanksgiving celebration (It was the earth in between the abundance of the sea and the heavens.)


(only slightly altered from the recipe collection ‘The Picnic Hamper’)
Serves 6 as a starter

1 red chili
80ml ketjap manis
60-80ml lime juice
1 tbsp sesame oil

250g beef (steak)
2 cucumbers or 12 wonton cups

1/2 stick of lemongrass
40-60ml lime juice
1 red chili
20g mint
20g coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce

  1. Deseed and chop chili. Place into a zip-lock bag or a non-metallic dish.
  2. Add ketjap, lime and sesame oil.
  3. Cut beef into strips and add to the marinade. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  4. Allow the beef to come to room temperature before continuing.
  5. Heat a frying pan and briefly flash fry the beef on a high heat. Make sure not to over-cook the meat.
  6. If using cucumber: Cut the cucumbers into 12 slices (about 3cm each). Using a spoon or melon scooper remove some of the core to shape them into little cups. (If making a little ahead keep them upside down on kitchen paper in an airtight container.)
  7. Finely grate (or chop) the lemongrass.
  8. Deseed and chop the chili.
  9. Combine the fish sauce with the lemongrass and chili.
  10. When you are ready to serve chop the mint and coriander.
  11. Mix the dressing and herbs with the beef.
  12. Spoon a little of the beef into each of the (cucumber) cups.


Tips & Variations

The beef salad as well as the cucumber / woton cups can be prepared ahead. The salad looks fresher if you add the herbs at the last moment, but this is not a must.


Healthy, delicate tuna tartar

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I am grateful for any occasion that reminds me to be appreciative. And so to me Thanksgiving is an invitation to think about all that I am thankful for: my family, my friends, myself, the life I lead and just plain everything (summarizing here…)

I was reminded of just how much I am thankful for, when I was invited to a pot-luck thanksgiving dinner last weekend. The theme, of course, was showing thanks; it took me days to decide what to cook. Such a struggle to settle on one dish when you can only think of more and more things you are thankful for.

So I decided to show my appreciation for abundance by bringing a little bit of EVERYTHING: the sea, the land and the skies.;  little cups flowing over with either Tuna Tartare, Spicy Beef or Asian Chicken.

For a glance at the other recipes at this special Edible Europe Dinner click here.

Below the recipe for the tuna tartar. Recipes for the beef and chicken will follow as an instruction on how to make little wonton cups


(based on Ina Gartner’s recipe from the Food
Serves 4-6

250g sushi quality tuna
1 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1/2 lime
juice of 1/4 lime
1/4 tsp wasabi (powder)
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 chopped spring onions
1/2 red chili
1 avocado (can be left out)
Optional: 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Combine oil, lime zest and juice, wasabi, soy, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
  2. Cut tuna into very small dice. Add to the marinade.
  3. Discard the seeds and chop the chili as well as the spring onion very fine. Save some of the spring onion as garnish. Add remainder to the fish.
  4. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Cut the avocado into small cubes. Combine with the fish. Spoon into the wonton cups. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Decorate with reserved spring onion.

 Serve with

  • a cracker or toast. Choose a neutral flavour that will match the delicate Asian taste of the tartar.
  • shallow fry a sheet of wonton in some oil, allow to drain and use it as a “cracker”
  • make little cups out of wonton sheets


Silky aubergine salad with a spicy kick

When I pass the aubergines in the supermarket, I  casually look the other way. I will admit: they frighten me a little. Most of my attempts to cook them have ended up in a tasteless and soggy mush.

Until now I really only enjoyed aubergine in Jamie Oliver’s Aubergine Lasagna. That is until I tried this recipe.

Smooth, silky  slices of aubergine are combined with sharp, spicy chilli and then sprinkled with fresh coriander. Simple, tasty, healthy – what more could you ask for.


(from the blog ‘The perfect pantry)

Serves 4 as a side dish

500g aubergine (preferably the skinny asian version)
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 chopped (bird’s eye) chilli
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onion
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1-2 (bird’s eye) chilies for decoration



  1. Bring some water to the boil in a steamer pot or wok with a rack.
  2. Cut the aubergines into 5cm (2 inch) pieces. Do not peel them.
  3. Put the aubergines on a heatproof plate (alternatively line the steamer with greasproof paper).
  4. Over a low heat, steam the aubergines for 30-40 minutes until they are very soft.
  5. Remove and allow to cool.
  6. For the sauce heat a wok or small pan. Add sesame oil when smoking hot add the chopped chilli and garlic. Stir fry for 40 seconds.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir fry for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  8. (The aubergine and sauce can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Bring back to room temperature before combining and eating.)
  9. When ready to serve, pour the sauce evenly over the aubergines and toss well.
  10. Sprinkle with coriander (decorate with chili) and serve at once.


Tips & Variations

The original recipe uses chili oil instead of the chopped chili, personally I prefer the lip-tingling punch of the fresh chili

Another milestone for my new kitchen: the first time making dinner with friends. 

Test passed with flying colours!

Salmon avocado sushi

Sushi is such a great meal to prepare with friends: whilst you assemble your dinner you sip sake, nibble on the sashimi and eat all the ends you cut off the sushi rolls. No time pressure, no juggling of tasks, just a fun diy project.

The only thing to prepare in advance is the rice:

3(-4) servings

500g Sushi rice
0,9l water
5 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp Japanese Sake
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt


  1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  2. Bring the water to the boil.
  3. Add the rice and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir the rice. Then turn the heat as low as possible and let the rice cook dry for about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot with a tea towel or kitchen paper and the lid. Let the rice stand for 15 minutes.
  6. Make the dressing by heating the rice vinegar in a small pan. Do not allow to boil.
  7. When the vinegar is warm add the sake, sugar and salt. Stir until all is dissolved.
  8. Once the rice has sat for 15 minutes spread it on a large flat dish. In Japan a wooden hangiri is used for this. (Avoid plastic or metal.)
  9. Allow the dressing to return to room temperature and then sprinkle it over the rice. Mix the rice carefully using a wooden spoon.
  10. Let the rice to come to room temperature before assembling your sushi.


  • The secret to good sushi rice is not to rush making it.
  • The rice can be prepared in advance, but preferably not more than one day.
  • Wet the wooden plate and spoon slightly to stop the rice from sticking too much.