Tag Archives: chicken

Tasty and tender Dak (chicken) Bulgogi

Tasty and tender Dak (chicken) Bulgogi

Finger-licking good. What a fabulous discovery this dish has been. Each bite is like a little trip to some exotic and far-away land.

Bulgogi (불고기) is Korean and literally means “fire meat”. It usually consists of  marinated beef that is grilled, sometimes with the addition of green peppers or mushrooms.

The first time I made this recipe, I enjoyed it so much I had to indulge myself and prepare it again the next day. The list of ingredients might seem a bit daunting at first, but the preparation takes no time at all. You just mix a few spoon full of this, a dash of that and then you allow the chicken meat marinade for a while. When you are ready to eat, just cook some rice or make a little noodle salad. Then just toss the meat under the grill for a few quick minutes. Within no time you are wrapping delicate lettuce leaves around juicy pieces of meat. A fabulously exotic and light meal. Added bonus: you get to eat with your fingers.

And for those of you that own a table grill or raclette set: this is a great little dish to spice things up for your next evening of table top cooking.

(hardly apated from the blog ‘Spontaneous Tomato‘)
Serves 3-4

500-700g chicken fillet or thighs (or beef or pork)
3tbsp light or kikkoman soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar (at a pinch you could use apple cider vinegar)
1/2 tbsp cooking sake (or if you do not have any you could use mirin, Chinese rice wine or sherry)
optional: a few pinches of chili flakes
optional: pinch of sugar
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger
3-5 spring onions
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 head of butter lettuce leaves (this is the soft lettuce not the ice berg)
2 tsp roasted sesame seeds


  1. Cut the chicken into wide, flat slices. Place in a zip-lock bag or wide bowl.
  2. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and sake to the meat.
  3. If using add chili flakes and sugar.
  4. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger and add.
  5. Reserve one of the spring onions for decoration. Chop the rest and add to the meat.
  6. Combine all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate 30 min (or up to 3 hours).
  7. (Prepare your side dish – some steamed rice, cooked noodles or noodle salad)
  8. Allow the grill in your oven to heat up.
  9. Line a wide baking dish or tray with aluminium foil. Spread out the chicken and pour over the remaining marinade.
  10. Place the chicken under the grill. Stir after about 4 minutes. Usually it takes around 8 min for the chicken to cook. Cooking time can vary a lot and depends on the amount of chicken and type of dish. Note: do not overcook the chicken, it will not brown but stay quite pale.
  11. (Alternatively you can cook the chicken on a non-stick skillet.)
  12. Cut the remaining spring onion into thin rings.
  13. Sprinkle the chicken with the spring onion and sesame seeds. Serve with lettuce leaves and rice or noodles.

Serve with

  • steamed rice or
  • soba noodles or
  • vermicelli noodles mixed with fresh chopped mint and coriander with a splash of sesame oil, lime juice and fish sauce

This post was added to Easy to Cook Meals blog. Please join us in Cunning Ladies’ Friday Party.

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Some of the health benefits of butter lettuce

  • Vitamin A and beta carotenes. Just 100 g of fresh, raw-lettuce provides 247% of daily vitamin A, and 4443 µg of beta-carotene (Carotenes convert to vitamin A in the body; 2 µg of carotene is considered equivalent to 1 IU of vitamin A). These compounds have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin, and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Vitamin K. Which has a potential role in the bone metabolism where it thought to increase bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone cells. It also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
  • Folates and vitamin C. Folates require for DNA synthesis and therefore, vital in prevention of the neural tube defects in-utero fetus during pregnancy. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • Zea-xanthin (1730 µg per 100 g), an important dietary carotenoid in lettuce, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and filter UV rays falling on the retina. Diet rich in xanthin and carotenes is thought to offer some protection against age-related macular disease (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It also contains good amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for red blood cell formation.
  • It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavins.
  • Regular inclusion of lettuce in salads is known to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases, ARMD, Alzheimer’s disease and cancers.
    (Source: Nutrition and You)
Advertisement cheese....

Cheese…hot cheese….

Halloumi is a cheese that makes the most endearing squeak with every bite. Squeak!

On the practical side:  it is an unripened cheese from Cyprus that can be kept in the fridge for months, as long as the package is unopened. It has a much higher melting point than other cheeses which makes it excellent for grilling or frying. It is quite salty and works wonderfully in salads with deep flavours like lentils and asparagus or fresh fruit like watermelon or strawberries.

With all its saltiness and squeak Halloumi is not an elegant food. This is the fare of casual garden parties and family dinners. At the same time it will turn the simplest quick meal into a little feast.

This recipe is impressively simple; or should I say simply impressive. The original recipe uses preserved lemons but well, as I have never ever made preserved lemons before, I just skipped them.

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(adapted from Donna Hay’s recipe)
Serves 4

Ingredients (8 skewers): 48 oregano leaves* – 9 oz (250g) halloumi, cut into 24 cubes of 2 cm – 2 chicken breasts cut into 2 cm cubes – 1 tbsp olive oil – 1 tbsp lemon juice – salt and pepper

8 skewers (wood or metal)
2-3 chicken breast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
oregano leaves (how ever much you like 16,24, 28)
250g (9oz) halloumi
salt and pepper


  1. If using wood skewers soak them in water for 15 min.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into 24 cubes.
  3. Combine oil, lemon with chicken cubes. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 min.
  4. Cut halloumi into 24 cubes.
  5. Skewer chicken, oregano leaves and halloumi.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat a (non-stick) pan. And cook the skewers for about 2-3 min each side until the chicken is just cooked through.

 Tips & Variations

  • add pieces of preserved lemon to the marinade
  • add chopped garlic to the marinade
  • instead of using oregano leaves you could sprinkle the finished skewer with chopped mint

Serve with


Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy Lunar New Year and welcome to the Year of the Wooden Horse!

Eggs for prosperity - the state of flourishing, thriving and good fortune

Eggs for prosperity – the state of flourishing, thriving and good fortune

I do not know anything about Chinese astrology, but I read that “Horse energy is free spirited, wild, willful, and independent. Horse has a refined instinct that acts fast, on the spot. (….) The Wood Horse year is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Decisive action, not procrastination, brings victory. But you have to act fast in a Horse year. If you are not 100% secure about a decision, then don’t do it. Events move so quickly in a Horse year that you don’t want to gallop off in the wrong direction.” (Source: Susan Levitt)

Whilst I was googeling info on the Year of the Horse I (re)discovered that apparently I am a horse, and it is going to be quite a ride for me this year. (Actually the predictions vary from an excellent year, to dramatic ups and downs, to a down-right challenging year 🙂 ).

Whatever it may bring, to ring in this New Year a little Asian dish that I like to prepare ahead for a quick weeknight dinner. Although the recipe looks long, this meal is not a lot of work. The meat does need to marinade so I like to throw it together the day before. After a long days work, I just pop it in the oven and have a feast ready in just over half an hour.

If you are looking for a speedy dinner, just steam a little rice and stir-fry some (oyster) mushrooms with spinach as a side. This chicken is also lovely with vermicelli noodles mixed with a lot of fresh herbs. Or cold soba with mango and spring onion. The variations are endless; just keep in mind that the dish comes without sauce so it is important to serve it with something fresh and crunchy or something juicy.

By the way, I have made this dish with quail eggs (special), with regular eggs (nice) and without any eggs (fabulously fuss-free). Another festive variation is to serve the chicken with some Marbled Tea Eggs. They are not much more work but take a little more time to prepare.

Wishing you peace and good health in the Year of the Horse! (馬年安康)


(found on the blog ‘Cooking in Sense‘)
Serves 3-4

For the chicken

5 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp sake (or Chinese rice wine or dry sherry)
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
4 garlic cloves
a piece of ginger as large as 2 garlic cloves
1 mild green chilli
8-9 chicken drumsticks (2-3 a person)
spring onion
sesame seeds

Optional: For the eggs
9-12 fresh quail eggs or 3-4 regular eggs
6 garlic cloves
1/2 red chilli
1/2 green chilli
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar


To prepare the chicken:

  1. Make a marinade by combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar in a freezer bag or bowl.
  2. Slice the garlic, ginger and chili into slices and add to the marinade.
  3. You can leave the skin on the chicken, I prefer to remove it (loosen the skin with your fingers. Pull back over the leg. Grab the skin with a piece of kitchen paper to pull it off easily.)
  4. Wash and dry the chicken and add to the marinade. Refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.

Optional: To prepare the egg:

  1. Cook the eggs (quail: 4 min, regular: 10 min)
  2. Remove the eggs from the water. Keep the water. Rinse the eggs under cold water and allow to cool until you can peel them.
  3. Add soy sauce, mirin and sugar to the hot water.
  4. Place the peeled eggs into the sauce. Simmer for 15 min.
  5. Halve the garlic cloves and add to the water.
  6. Slice the chili and add.
  7. Simmer another 5 minutes.
  8. The eggs can be served warm or at room temperature. They can be made the day before and stored in the liquid in the fridge.

To finish the dish:

  1. Remove chicken and eggs from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for 15 min.
  2. Heat the oven to 200C (390F).
  3. Line an oven dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Place the chicken in the oven dish.
  5. Roast for 20 min. Turn and roast another 15-25 min.
  6. Cut the spring onion into thin rings.
  7. Plate the chicken with the eggs (cut regular eggs in half) and sprinkle with spring onion and sesame seeds.


Tips & Variations

For a simpler meal leave out the eggs, for a more special dish make some Marbled Tea Eggs the day before

Serve with

  • Stir-fried (oyster) mushrooms with spinach and steamed rice.
  • Cold salad of vermicelli with chopped herbs and red capsicum (bell pepper, DE/ NL: paprika) with a dressing of fish sauce, lime and chili and a sprinkling of cashew.
  • A cold salad of soba noodles with mango and spring onion and a dressing of sesame – and chili oil.
The comfort of home in a bowl of chicken soup

The comfort of home in a bowl of chicken soup

I have to admit something: I do not understand soup. Yes, I enjoy a delicious small drop in an amuse glass, but anything else seems like a waste of an opportunity to eat something ‘proper’ – I want to bite into my food; not drink it.

But here I was cooking soup…and you know how I got there?

Well, despite the fact that I live in a big city, it is more like a village sometimes.
Let me explain:

When I walk through town I might have to dodge hordes of tourists,  but as soon as I get close to home I recognize, and greet, the old lady walking her dog; I catch a glimpse of my neighbour through the window and he waves at me; I chat to the guy next door as she we let ourselves in the house.

I might live in the center of a buzzing city full of distractions, but my little neighbourhood is a quiet, friendly and warm community. We know each other by name and we take care of each other.

So when I go food shopping I sometimes take a list from the elderly lady down-stairs. When I make a special treat, I take some if down stairs for her. But then, when she is ill, she does not like to eat. It becomes unbearable to watch her shrinking even further… so I had to bring out the big guns and resort to my mother’s secret weapon: Chicken Soup.

….and my neighbour got better……

So, although I might not like soup, how could I not share the recipe for this miracle cure for all ailments – a common cold, a nasty flue, a hangover and even the blues.


1 organic chicken (preferably a soup chicken, but a regular one will do)
250g of mixed soup vegetables (onion, carrot, leek, celery, parsley)
optional: 1 potato
1 cube of chicken stock
100g crème fraîche
2 tbsp flour
optional: cooked spagetthi or vermicelli


  1. Put the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Chop and add the vegetables (and potato if using).
  3. Cook for about 60 min for a soup chicken or 30 min for regular chicken.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow the meat to cool enough to handle.
  5. In the meanwhile pour the stock through a sieve into another pot.
  6. Rub the vegetables trough the sieve into the stock.
  7. Add the stock cube.
  8. Add the flour to the crème fraîche and blend.  Then stir in a few tbs of the stock at a time until the crème fraiche is smooth and runny (this is to avoid lumps when you add it to the stock).
  9. Stir the crème fraiche into the stock.
  10. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10-15 min, until there is no taste of flour left.
  11. Optional: cut the spaghetti or vermicelli into small pieces and carefully reheat in the soup.
  12. Pluck the chicken meat off the bone (resist nibbling on it).
  13. Add the meat to the soup.
  14. Chop the parsley and stir most of it into the soup.
  15. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley.
Tender chicken - one pot, no effort

Tender chicken – one pot, no effort

Every year I am surprised that there are so few hour of light there are in a winter’s day. Inevitably I start dreaming of luxuriant sunshine and far away lands

A tropical paradise the Philippines

The Philippines a tropical paradise

I wanted to bring some of those exotic flavours into my cozy, candle-lit winter home. At the same time the cold winter weather is making me crave hearty and rich foods. How to combine these two worlds? Chicken Adobo!

Adobo is  cooking method from the  Philippines that takes me back to my travels through that beautiful country.  This simple chicken stew is full of deep and earthy aromas. Granted it is not sophisticated or refined, but its dark flavours with a hint of sweet and an edge of acidity make for perfect comfort food.

This dish must be the easiest recipe ever. Basically you just throw all the ingredients in a pot and allow it to simmer for at least an hour.  You can make it ahead; the stew actually tastes even better the next day. In my eyes this makes for a just about the perfect weekday dinner.


(a found on the blog ‘Chinese Grandma‘)
Serves 2-3
4-6 chicken drumsticks
3 onions, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
3 bay leaves
70 ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce
70 ml (1/3 cup) apple cider vinegar
70ml (1/3) cup water


  1. Remove the skin from the chicken and place it into a large pot. (In the original recipe the skin is left on.)
  2. Slice the onion and add.
  3. Mince the garlic and add.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients. Sugar, pepper, bay leaf, soy sauce, vinegar and water.
  5. Cover and cook for 30 minutes up to 1 1/2 hours depending on how much time you have. Stir once in a while. The longer it cooks the more tender the chicken becomes.
  6. Towards the end of the cooking time check the thickness of the sauce. If you find it too runny take of the lid and allow the liquid to reduce.

Serve with

  • Rice
  • Vegetables like green beans or pak soi
  • A salad of cucumber, cherry tomatoes and bean sprouts with a oil and apple vinegar dressing.