Yelly Eats

Food tripping in Colchester

Food tripping in Colchester today.

We went to try a relatively new Taiwanese food street place named Honey Bear (cutesy, I know! But you’ve gotta love a bit of kitsch, eh?). I had I had a taro milk tea with black pearls (black sago) and egg pudding. Alan had the fresh milk oolong tea, which was okay, but it was certainly very milky.

For lunch I had a I had a traditional Taiwanese breaded and deep fried fillet of chicken beaten until it’s thin and about twice its size. It comes as a “bento” – and I use the quotation marks because, strictly speaking, a bento meal is Japanese. My deep fried chicken was served with fragrant rice, curry sauce, spring rolls, pickled veg and a fried egg. Alan chose a dish from the chef’s recommendations board which was beef brisket served with steamed rice and a lot of carrots!

There was a lot of food and I must admit it was better value than I expected. I couldn’t finish the rice! I did love the pickled vegetables and wished there was more than what was served in the bento.

The taro milk bubble tea was okay, if a little too milky, but the egg custard pudding in my taro milk tea tasted the way I remembered it from bubble tea drinks in the Philippines. I could probably eat a whole glass of just the pudding completely on its own quite happily!

Whilst it’s good to know that there is a “specialist” bubble tea place accessible in Colchester, to be quite honest, I might be happier waiting for my next trip to Chinatown in London to get my bubble tea fix! 🤭🤔

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Yelly Eats

Mango and sago pudding

This dessert is mostly Chinese, or more specifically, Taiwanese, I think. Alan and I first had this at Cafe TPT in Chinatown in London. At the time, I could still have grapefruit, so the variant we got was mango, grapefruit, tofu and sago. It was so yummy! Cafe TPT has quite an extensive dessert menu and I think one day, I’m going to have to just go and have all the cold desserts! It’s well worth the trip!

This dessert is so simple but so yummy. It’s basically mango pulp with sweet bean curd and sago. I love the bean curd because it’s silken texture reminds me of taho (I think it actually is taho!)- a silken fresh soy bean curd street food that most Filipinos will have at breakfast.

But because going to London involves a 90-minute train journey from Harwich to Liverpool Street station, and then a 20-minute tube ride (with at least 1 change), I told myself that it was necessary for me to learn how to make a version of this that I was happy to eat to tide me over in between London Chinatown visits. I’ve made this several times now and am happy with the result each time, so I’m finally happy to share this with you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 850g can of mango pulp (or you can blitz up the same amount of mango flesh — use ripe Pakistan or Alfonso mangoes, or if you’re lucky enough to live in Southeast Asia, ripe mangoes)
  • 100g mini sago cooked according to instructions
  • 2 247g cans of peach slices (don’t use canned mangoes, better to use fresh if you can)
  • 1 410g can of evaporated milk
  • 2 349g packs of silken tofu diced.

It’s so easy to put together. First drain the juice from the canned peaches. Then in a appropriately sized container, mix the mango pulp and the evaporated milk. i don’t usually feel the need to add any sugar because I find that the mango pulp is already sweet enough. However, if you are using freshly made mango pulp, it might be necessary to switch the evaporated milk with condensed milk, or if you don’t want it to be too rich, use sugar to sweeten. Add the drained peach slices and gently fold in the tofu cubes. As the sago will absorb as much liquid as it possibly can, I usually store them in cold water in a separate container. I spoon the appropriate amount of sago in the bottom of my dessert bowl and top it with the mango pulp-peach-tofu mixture.

Et voila! Now you can enjoy mango sago pudding as much as you want at home.

Let me know if you try the recipe and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you!

Yelly Eats

A slow (cooking) kind of weekend

I love being able to just put a rub together and putting it on a joint of meat and then just leaving it to cook in the oven low and v-e-r-y slow.

I wanted to do something TexMex inspired and I think I might have hit on something amazing. I saw a carnitas recipe that I tried to replicate. I think it just needs less salt and more of all the spices and a heck of a lot more sugar!

My next thing to do is to write down the recipe!

Is anyone up for another wet rub recipe?

Yelly Eats

A hidden gem a stone’s throw from The Secret Annex

Originally posted on my TripAdvisor Account

With so many things to see and do in Amsterdam, one can be forgiven for opting to settle for the familiar internationally known fast food brand names. But as with every trip we do, we like to eat “where the locals eat”.

Sefa BBQ and Grill restaurant hasn’t actually come up in any of the searches we did while we prepared for the trip and researched food places to try. But, as luck would have it, most of the places we wanted to go to weren’t evening meal-type places. When we searched for cheap eats in Amsterdam, this came up. We loved a good mixed grill and the reviews were good. It was a a stone’s throw away from Anne Frank’s house, and this was a plus as we wanted to get our bearings because we were going to visit the Secret Annex the following day.

We got off the tram and only had to cross the street to get to Sefa. We were greeted with smiles and were seated right away. We looked at the menu. We chose our dishes from the grill section and chose the Kip Sis (chicken) Schotel and Isgara Kofte (minced lamb meat koftas) Schotel. The dish comes with bread and rice or chips (you can also choose to have half chips and half rice, or all rice or all chips), and a serving of salad.

When the dishes came out, we couldn’t believe how generous the portions were. There was a large amount of rice, a large serving of salad and a VERY generous portion of the grilled meats. We ordered fresh mint tea as our drinks (you’ll find that most restaurants in Amsterdam will have this on the menu).

The meats were beautifully cooked and seasoned well and not at all dry. It would be very easy to over cook the meats but the lamb patties were soft and juicy and the chicken pieces were grilled perfectly and succulent.

The service was quick and efficient and the food came out piping hot! Everyone was so kind and friendly. I loved that they automatically left containers of chilli and garlic sauce on the table. We didn’t have to ask for them!

The meal was excellent value for money. We paid just under €40 for our meal (including the 2 teas). They were generous with the meats and the sides, and what is most important is that the food was most certainly delicious! We are definitely going back and we will be telling our friends about Sefa!

If you see it, know that the unassuming and “usual kebab shop” front is deceiving. Go in and have something from the grill menu. You won’t regret it!

Yelly Eats

Going the full monty

Sometimes, nothing else hits the spot like a full English breakfast.

This is my idea of a full english: rashers of bacon, hash browns, sausages, eggs over easy (or sunny side up), mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and black pudding. It’s a huge breakfast but it does fortify you for the day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s yummy and it’s a massive meal, but it’s not something I’d have every single day. It’s one of those things that you get when you’re on holiday or treating yourself to a lie-in.

Everything in moderation folks!

Yelly Eats

Yamagoya ramen

We visited Yamagoya several weeks ago, and as is always the case, real life gets in the way of my writing entries in my blog (yes, excuses, excuses! I know!).

 Yamagoya has 2 branches in London that I know of, in Southwark, just across from the station, and In Shaftesbury Avenue near Chinatown. We went to the Southwark branch because we thought it would better to visit the Southwark branch because it would be less busy than the Shaftesbury Avenue one. Yamagoya had a special edition cherry blossom rainbow cake.

But we thought, since we were there, we may as well try the ramen.

It felt like we stepped into a homey mom & pop ramen-ya, or at least it was how I’d always imagined it would look like. We went to the counter and ordered the gyozas, the chicken karaage and the signature Yamagoya ramen.

It was out-of-this-world-delicious! We took forever to photograph our food (this is what happens when a group of foodie instagrammers together!) but we managed to stop and actually enjoy this hug in a bowl!

The bone broth was SO good! It was so tasty! One sip and I felt like I was enfolded in a massive hug! Every element of the ramen bowl was meant to offer you comfort. The noodles were light enough for me to finish all of them but substantial enough to make you feel like you’ve had a meal; the marinated eggs were so flavourful — I can’t put into words how pleasurable it was when that runny yolk coated my mouth; but my absolute favourite was the chashu pork! I would love to order a few extra slices and have just that and rice!

If you’re near either the Shaftesbury Avenue or the Southwark branch, do go! It is an experience not to be missed!

Yelly Eats

How to make: Chicken Karaage

I’ve been unwell and when I’m unwell my body craves comfort food.  Unfortunately, this means I have to cook said comfort food.  Not that I mind so much, because I do love to putter about in the kitchen.  It’s just that this weekend, I’ve been left with so little energy that I, almost, couldn’t be bothered.

I’ve had chicken karaage from a few places and I must say that this is probably one of my favourite versions of fried chicken (closely rivalled by Korean fried chicken — soy ginger please!).

I’ve tweaked my version of chicken karaage, and this time, I’m using mirin, instead of using Shaoxing rice wine, in the original recipe I posted, funnily enough, almost 4 years ago.  Chicken karaage uses sake, which I have never had the pleasure of tasting.  I’ve switched to using Japanese mirin to inch closer to finding out what home cooked karaage tastes like.

I do love it though and I hope you will too!  As always, if you try any of my recipes, I would love to hear from you and your cooking experience.

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into large-ish bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying

Directions:

  1. In a ziplock bag, combine chicken, ginger, garlic and soy. Carefully massage the chicken through the bag and marinade for at least 1 hour (better if you let the chicken marinade overnight though).
  2. In a bowl, mix the cornflour, flour and salt, and coat the chicken pieces with the cornflour-flour mixture until the pieces are dry to the touch.
  3. In a frying pan, heat up the vegetable oil.  When the oil is hot enough, carefully drop chicken pieces and fry until golden brown (should take about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Serve with a slice of lemon or a teriyaki sauce, on its own or over a bed of fluffy steamed rice!  Speaking of rice, I wrote a post on how to cook rice perfectly (I’ve been cooking rice since I was 11 so I like to think I know what I’m talking about – way before there were non-stick pans!).

Here’s a little recipe on sticky sauce that goes well with the karaage.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 200ml water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Once boiling turn the heat right down and allow to reduce until there is only half of the liquid, making sure that you stir occasionally so that none of the sugar burns.  This is brilliant as a little sauce to be sprinkled (sparingly) on steamed rice if you’re having friend chicken or fish.