Exotic Spices: Part Three

We are half way through our Exotic Spices series and for this instalment we are exploring spices from the Far East. This range of colourful spices will enhance the scents and flavours of oriental themed dishes.

Origin and recommended cooking method…

Singapore Noodles

This Malaysian spice mix is used commonly to season noodle dishes. Fry the spice with onions, add stock, fresh or cooked egg noodles and simmer with prawns, pork and loads of Asian vegetables to create a tasty all-in-one noodle dish. You can also use it to season any Asian inspired noodle stir fry dish.

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Malaysian Mah Mee

Ingredients:

225g noodles

A small amount of vegetable oil

170g bean sprouts and shredded cabbage

1 tsp green ginger, shredded

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 onion, finely sliced

1 tsp Singapore Noodle spice

1 tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

140g beef, thinly sliced into ‘chips’

140g pork chips

140g mushrooms

140g prawns

Chicken stock cube in 150ml water

Soya sauce to taste

2 eggs to be made into omelette

Garnish: use the omelette half, the prawns and some watercress

Method:

Bring water to a boil and cook noodles for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
Heat wok and add vegetable oil. Sauté onions, bean sprouts, cabbage, ginger, garlic, spice, salt and sugar. Remove from wok and set aside. Sauté beef, pork, half of the prawns and set aside with cooked vegetables. Coat noodles in sesame oil, heat for a few minutes, and return cooked vegetables and meat to the wok. Pour in stock and soya sauce. Cover and braise for 2-3 minutes.

Tip:

Place on a serving dish, sprinkle shredded omelette on top and garnish with the remaining prawns and watercress.

Bahmi Nasi Goreng

This is one of the most well known spice blends in Indonesian cuisine, used as a noodle or rice dish seasoning. Fry your chosen meat, ideally pork/ chicken and prawns, with the spice mix, onion, garlic and chopped vegetables. Add sweet soy sauce and fresh cooked egg noodles or steamed rice and fry until well coated. Garnish with spring onion, fried egg or omelette strips.

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Bahmi Goreng noodles

Ingredients:

300g fresh egg noodles

2 eggs, lightly beaten

60ml soy sauce

1tsp Bahmi Goreng spice

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

60ml peanut oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced

100g pork fillet, thinly sliced

12 green prawns, peeled, veins removed, tails in tact

80g Chinese cabbage leave, coarsely torn

3 long red chillies, cut into wedges

4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally

60ml chicken stock

60ml kecap manis

Garnish: fried shallots, kecap manis and chilli sauce

Method:

Bring water to a boil and cook noodles for 1-2 minutes, until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. To make omelette rolls, combine eggs and 1 Tbsp soy sauce in bowl and season to taste with Bahni Goreng spicee, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a quarter of the egg mixture. Swirl to coat pan and cook for 1 minute or until egg is just set. Transfer to plate and roll into a cylinder. Repeat with remaining egg mixture.

Heat remaining oil in a wok or large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, pork and chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add prawns, cabbage, chilli, green onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until prawns change colour. Add stock, kecap manis, remaining soy sauce and noodles. Toss to combine and cook until noodles are warm.

Tip:

Divide among bowls, top with an omelette roll, scatter with fried shallots and serve with kecap manis and chilli sauce passed separately.

Japanese Togarishi

This Japanese 7 Spice is widely used in Japanese cuisine. Sprinkle over tuna or salmon tartar to give it a flavoursome kick, or use as a garnish for Japanese soups, salads and noodle dishes. Create a delicious marinade with the spice, soy sauce, sake and sugar to coat chicken kebabs for traditional yakitori. Use to flavour spicy tuna filling for maki or hand rolls.

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Seven Spice Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients:

60ml reduced-sodium soy sauce

60ml mirin

60ml sake

1 Tbsp sugar

30g Japanese seven-spice powder

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into 12 strips

12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least one hour

Method:

Stir together the soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in a bowl. Add the chicken strips and marinate for at least 2 hours (up to 8 hours). Preheat the grill and line a baking sheet with foil. Thread each strip of chicken onto a skewer and place on the baking sheet. Baste with the marinade and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the skewers. Baste again with the marinade. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Brush one more time with marinade, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the oven. While the chicken is warm, sprinkle with Japanese seven-spice powder.

Tip:

Serve warm or at room temperature.

We hope you enjoy experimenting with these oriental flavours and ingredients. Let us know which dish you enjoy most, and what other creations you come up with. Look out for our next instalment in the series in 2013, which will be Exotic Spices from the Americas.

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