A photographic food adventure

Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

Thai Green Curry

YAAAAYYYY Semester One is finally over! 🙂

Now that I’m on holiday for a little while, I figured I should take this time to do a bit of posting before I’m thrown back into uni! And also to apologize for being so slacker, but as Tory said, we post when we can! This holiday should be interesting, ideally, I’d like to do lots of baking, but we’ll see how that pans out.

Hope you enjoy this Thai Chicken Green Curry. What you’ve heard, if anything, about Thai Green Curry is true, its not for the faint-hearted, but I encourage you to give it a go!! Train yourself, spicy food is awesome!

400g chicken breast, cubed
half an onion, diced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic [or 2-3 cloves garlic]
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 cup frozen veggies of your choice [you could use a mixture of fresh vegetables as well if you’d rather. Frozen is just easier, and cheaper]
1 packet Thai Green Curry Paste [or 2-3 tablespoons if it’s from a jar]
1 small tin (200mL) coconut cream
1-2 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper to taste

Thai Green Curry (6)
[ignore the giant bottle of coffee in this picture… aaaaallllllll mine muahahaha]
Fun Fact: I hate that chopping board. I am going to buy us a new one when I get the chance/money.

In a wok, heat up some oil on high heat and fry the onion for a minute or two
Add the chicken, ginger and garlic [I’ve learned the hard way that if you add the bottle ginger and garlic with the onion it tends to splatter into your face way more than it does if you add it with the chicken…but risk it if you dare. I don’t think it makes that much of a difference..]
Fry for approximately 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is well cooked [you can never be too careful with chicken. even when you think it’s cooked, cut a bigger piece to double check that it’s not pink on the inside]
Thai Green Curry (8)

Add the frozen veggies and cook for a couple of minutes [doesn’t matter if they are not completely thawed, because you’ll be simmering it later anyway and it will be well cooked by then]
lThai Green Curry (13)

Now’s the time to add the green curry paste, whether you are using it from a jar or from a packet. If you’re using the packet, add all of it, and if you’re using the jar, guesstimate as to how much you’ll need depending on how must spice you can handle. Mix this in well with the chicken and vegetables, and let it cook for a couple of minutes, you’ll know it’s doing its job when your entire kitchen smells amazing.
Thai Green Curry (16)

After about 2-3 minutes, pour in the teeny tiny can of coconut cream [you can get a 400mL can, but i’d rather use the smaller can with a bit of milk for two reasons: 1) its healthier, because coconut cream is high in fat, and 2) coconut cream has a distinct flavour so using a smaller amount ensures that the spices in the green curry paste isn’t overpowered.]
Because some of the coconut cream will still be at the bottom of the can, and we hate waste, use two or three tablespoons of milk to rinse the can and pour it in. Don’t use too much milk because again, the flavour will get weaker the more you use. Mix this well and lower the heat.
Thai Green Curry (18)

Simmer for about 7 or 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to make sure that everything is well cooked and thawed and flavoured and whatnot. Salt it and pepper it to taste, and you’re done!
Thai Green Curry (22)

Serve with rice
Thai Green Curry (25)

Enjoy! 🙂
Maybe I’ll do a Thai red curry sometime. It’d be interesting to see what the differences are. Watch this space!



Simple Pepper Beef Stirfry

Hello hello! This recipe is exactly what it is, kinda like chinese black pepper steak but for the people who have random items in their pantry [and who doesn’t have pepper. I LOVE PEPPER]

As you know I love stirfry, its just so easy, especially on nights like tonight when I was rushing around trying to have dinner before a meeting. I was so speedy that I managed to cook, eat, have dessert AND do all the dishes within an hour [and ten minutes] BE IMPRESSED.

So here we go.

1 small piece of beef steak [the stir fry kind I guess? schnitzel could do also, but there is not a lot i know about meat to make that kind of judgement.]
half an onion
1 tsp crushed ginger paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
pepper to taste [depends on how much you like pepper. i put PLENTY in]
soy sauce

Slice the onion thinly, slice the beef into strips or chunks. [ignore the things in that picture that don’t belong…like the coffee. all mine. muahahaha]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (14)

Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil first [as you probably noticed, i start all my dishes like this.. and I am not even kidding, its how the dish tastes so good. Onion and garlic and ginger as a base make things ridiculously deeeeelish!!]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (2)

Turn down the heat [had a discussion about this with the flatmates the other day, i tend to start off cooking things on high and then lower the heat before they burn. Not quite sure why, but it works for me!]
Add the beef strips and brown [if they are thinner than what i had then you may need to cook them for a little longer]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (3)

Add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add a tiny amount of water if it is too dry. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (4)

Add the soy sauce [and maybe more pepper] and continue frying until the beef is cooked through [or how you like it]

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (12)

Serve on rice or noodles [and more pepper in my case] and enjoy!

Black Pepper Beef Stirfry (1)

Note: If i had any red capsicum, or any capsicum for that matter, i would totally add that in there. Feel free to add any vegetables you like into the stirfry, or on the side. I didnt actually bother with veggies today. Bad omnivore, Nurul!]


Chinese-style Poached Fish with a Summer Salad

Hey guys,

I’m a vegetarian who eats fish so today I thought I’d show you a really nice, easy poached fish recipe I always enjoy.

A piece of fresh (or frozen) fish (if frozen, defrost beforehand)
Garlic, crushed
Fresh ginger, chopped
Soy sauce
Lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
Chilli flakes
Spring onion

Summer salad with vinegarette
Cherry tomatoes
Spring onion
Cucumber (if you have or want it)
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil (I don’t usually like vinegarette but I recently went to the Martinborough fair and bought myself a nice olive oil from one of the local olive groves and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It made SUCH a difference to the vinegarette, it’s very much worth it if you can find a high quality olive oil. If not, extra virgin olive oil will be fine but I really recommend a high quality oil, mine was only $6 for a small bottle of Molive Gold at the fair).


Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

In a bowl, add 5 tablespoons of soy sauce. (More may be added later, this recipe is all about flavour balance so it’s important to taste with every new flavour you add to ensure the flavours complement each other perfectly and nothing overpowers anything else.)

Next, add a tablespoon of honey and mix it til it’s incorporated into the soy sauce. Add lemon. Taste to check the flavour balance. If it tastes too sweet, add more soy sauce, if it’s too salty, add more honey.

Add garlic and ginger, stir. Taste again. (Doesn’t have to be a big taste, I usually just dip a finger in and that gives me the general idea.)

Add chopped spring onion and chilli flakes. Stir. You know the next step: TASTE.

Grease tin foil with butter. Place the fish onto the greased tin foil.

Spoon the marinade over the fish. You don’t have to use all of it, try and use most of the garlic/ginger/spring onion but it doesn’t need a lot of liquid. (If you’re making more than one piece of fish, wrap each piece individually in it’s own tin foil package with marinade.)

Fold the tinfoil over the fish. Fold the long parts first then the short folded on top.

I folded mine wrong, as you’ll see in the pictures but just take my advice, fold the long sides then the short sides otherwise some of the juice spills out.

Put your fish package on a baking tray and into the oven.

The cooking time is SUPER important so listen closely. Use a timer or stopwatch or clock, or whatever. Cook for 5 minutes. Take the fish out of the oven and unwrap the package.  If the fish is white and falls apart easily when touched with a knife, it’s done. If it’s a thicker piece of fish, it may need more time (it may still be pink). Give it another 2 minutes if that’s the case. 8 minutes should be the very very limit the fish will need to cook for. You do NOT want to overcook the fish, it will be dry and disgusting (the flavour will still be amazing though!)

Meanwhile, (But don’t lose track of time!) it’s time to make your side salad.

Chop your lettuce, tomatoes and spring onions.

Add one part vinegar to three parts oil into a bowl (for example, I used one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to three teaspoons of Molive Gold olive oil). Whisk til the mixture has emulsified (or the vinegar and oil have combined, but fair warning, if you leave the mixture too long, it will separate again and you’ll have to whisk it again). Taste, then add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.

Place your salad onto the plate and drizzle a few teaspoons of vinegarette over it.

When the fish is cooked, place it on the other side of the plate (presentation is EVERYTHING, guys) and spoon a little of the remaining marinade over it.



Honey and Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

So as a ridiculously poor student, I like to make things as simple as possible, but as someone who grew up eating well-flavoured Asian food i cant stand anything too bland. This recipe is super easy, yet tastes amazing! It will take you about half an hour to prepare… not kidding. So if you’re like me and have labs or tutorials that run late and you end up far too lazy to cook anything interesting, this is pretty much perfect, ‘cause you can make it quickly and then freeze the leftovers for another long day.

1 onion
5 cloves [or more] garlic
4 chicken breast pieces [omit this if you are a vego]
half a packet of frozen vegetables [i like the asian style ones… lotsa capsicum. Alternatively, you can use fresh anything, it depends on what you like. Frozen is generally cheaper and easier to deal with.]
1 can or packet of honey ginger stir fry sauce. [or to be honest, you can substitute with any other sauces you find interesting. Honey and ginger is a good place to start though.]
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onion and crush the garlic. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces or thin strips.

HoneyGingerStirFry (1) 

Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until fragrant. Add the chicken and fry until the chicken is cooked. [can’t be too careful with chicken!!] This should take about 10 minutes.

  HoneyGingerStirFry (2)HoneyGingerStirFry (6)

Add the frozen veggies and fry for another five minutes, then add the entire can or packet of sauce [as you can tell, I prefer cooking in bulk rather than 1-serving meals. Keeps me fed when I’m too lazy to cook 😉 most of my meals are suitable to be stored in the freezer.]

HoneyGingerStirFry (7) HoneyGingerStirFry (8)

Mix well and keep mixing while it fries until the vegetables are defrosted and cooked. If it is too watery, turn the heat down and simmer for a few minutes until it gets to a consistency you like.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with rice or noodles! 🙂

HoneyGingerStirFry (10) HoneyGingerStirFry (11)

Hope you enjoy it!


Sardines With a Kick ;)

Okay, I can practically HEAR you guys thinking: “Sardines?!?! Ewwwww. What the heck is this chick up to…”
But hear me out! I get that not everyone likes seafood.. but for those of you who DO, i’m sure you’ll love this one! It doesn’t even TASTE that fishy, I swear! And if you think THIS doesn’t look appealing, Google “Sardines on Toast”. Go on, I dare ya. [but not ‘til you’ve tried this. Cause it might put you off.Please?] AND SERIOUSLY, its cheap! Think about it. You’re just getting cans!

Anyway, once again, i am stealing borrowing recipes from my mother. This was probably the first thing i learnt to cook when i was 9-ish [they train us young 😉 but i am grateful for it.] and this recipe is straight from the brains of the women in our family, meaning I did not find it on the internets.

half an onion
5 cloves of garlic [or less, but i love me some garlic]
half a tsp of chilli powder [or more if you like it spicy]
1 can of tinned sardines in TOMATO SAUCE [that part is kinda important, cause i don’t know what to do if it doesn’t come with tomato sauce..but feel free to experiment. Also the tomato is what makes it less..volatile. Sardines in oil or anything else would just be STANKY.]
1 can of tomato sauce [optional…i don’t usually use it but i did in this version. it doesn’t really affect the taste]
1 small chilli, sliced [optional – i didn’t use it this time ‘cause we didn’t have any]
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onion and crush the garlic [why yes, that can of tomatoes IS upside down.]

Sardine (2)

Fry the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil until fragrant. Add the chilli powder and mix well. Fry for a couple of minutes.

Sardine (3)Sardine (5)

Add the can of tinned sardines. Try to split up the sardine pieces as best you can… [no one wants a big chunk of sardine in this dish. Trust me.] Here, if you are using canned tomatoes, add them too [Like I said, I usually don’t, but i was trying to use up leftovers. it tastes the same either way.]

Sardine (6) Sardine (9)

Make sure everything is well mixed, and your sardines are all split up, and add a wee bit of water and the chilli if you are using it. Turn the heat down, and simmer until has reduced to a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sardine (10) Sardine (11)

Serve with rice and maybe some random vegetables? It is also a good side dish to dhal-ish curries. Or, my personal fav, chuck it in a sandwich! I like to do that when I’m bored and fidgety and hungry. Gives me something to do for 30 seconds, then i get to stuff my face! Everyone’s a winner! [Actually, its just me being a winner twice.]
Oooh it could even go in a wrap? See, the world is your oyster sardine!

Have fun!!


Hello, With a Side of Hainanese Chicken Rice!

HELLO! My name is Nurul. As you can probably tell, I am the other half of the epic duo that is The Young and Hungry. Ironically, Tory and I met in a Food Tech [or Home Economics for you Americans] class in our first year of high school, and bonded over our passion for writing as well as our love for food.

Fast forward eight years, I find myself studying Forensic Science and Maori Studies [strange combo, i know…] at The University of Otago and therefore spend most of my year in a completely different island to my compadre. We do, however, enjoy some fantastic Wellington coffee when I am holidaying in my hometown for summer…or whenever i find the money to fly home.

Speaking of money, if you are also a student, you will be pleased to find that most of my recipes are relatively low-budget, because I’d much rather spend my government allowance on clothing that I will only ever wear once, and makeup that I don’t need.

ALSO…DO NOT FEAR fellow meat eaters, I love me some meat and so I will be providing that aspect for you guys in my recipes… though vegetarian food is often DEEEELISH too! I also enjoy baking, but don’t have much of a sweet tooth [how lucky for my friends and flatmates!].

Right, enough with the ranting, lets get down to business [“to defeat the Huns”? any Mulan fans out there?]

This recipe was my favourite meal as a child… my mum made this every year on my birthday, and she is the best cook I know. She doesn’t go by recipes [mad skillz.] so i hunted for one that was similar. I got this from The Food Network site: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/hainanese-chicken-rice-recipe/index.html and just changed it up so it suited what I had in my pantry.
So here we go!!!!!

1 (2-pound) chicken [i used 5 chicken thigh pieces instead]
1 scallion, cut into 1-inch pieces [i used a regular onion instead]
4 slices fresh, peeled ginger [or a couple of teaspoons of bottled ginger paste, depending on what you like. Bottled paste is good for the student budget, and you could also get the combination ginger-garlic paste. YUM.]
3-5 cups of water
6 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
6 to 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped [i prefer to crush mine rather than chop them but whatever suits you]
4 cups long-grain uncooked rice [To be honest, I don’t think the type of rice matters.. I used Basmati]
1 teaspoon fine salt

Slice the onion into thin pieces, and crush the garlic. Remove the fat from the chicken if you need to, and set aside.
Chicken Rice (2)

In a medium sized pot, fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onions are slightly softened and everything is well mixed.
Chicken Rice (3)

Add the chicken pieces and cook for about five minutes [it doesn’t matter if the chicken is not cooked through completely because we will be boiling it anyway].
Chicken Rice (4) Chicken Rice (5)

Fill the pot with water, until the chicken is just covered. Make sure the contents are well mixed, cover, and boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add salt and pepper to taste [i forgot this the second time i made this and it ended up really bland], and continue to boil gently until the chicken is cooked. [the chicken is cooked when it is completely white on the inside – cut it open and check if you are not sure.]
Chicken Rice (6) Chicken Rice (8)

Take the chicken out of the pot and set aside. Wash the rice and transfer it in a rice cooker pot [or regular pot, depending on how you usually cook your rice]. Pour in the chicken stock mixture [as much as you need to cook the rice, in replacement of the water that you would usually use] Make sure you add all the onion, garlic and ginger bits as well.
Chicken Rice (9) Chicken Rice (10)

Cook the rice as your normally would, then replace the chicken so it reheats with the heat of the rice.
Chicken Rice (11)

Serve with your favourite chilli sauce. [as shown below, mine is a mixture of hot chilli sauce, sweet soy sauce, and a wee bit of the stock whisked into it] I also like to pour some of the stock soup that we made onto the rice when i’m ready to eat. This dish goes well with fresh cucumber and tomatoes sliced up on the side, but i didnt have any to take pictures of…oops.

Chicken Rice (12) Chicken Rice (13)

Hope you enjoy it!