Yelly Eats

Sunday lunching

It’s nearly 6pm on a Sunday and I’ve had a busy day.  I woke up after sleeping in, made mushrooms on toast for breakfast for Alan and me, chatted to my mum, sister and dad via FaceTime, cleared some of the mess in the kitchen and then batch cooked food for the week.

I’ve got bolognese slow-cooking on the hob right now but Alan and I have had lunch already.  I had smoked haddock leftover from when I made fish pie so we thought it would be a good idea to have kedgeree.  We wanted a fish meal as we’d been having so many meat meals and we, well, maybe me, more than anything else. wanted a fish meal.  So I dusted off my kedgeree recipe (I wrote it over 2 years ago now!) and cooked kedgeree.  It was lovely and comforting and always so photogenic (aided by a strategically placed sprig of coriander).

If you’d like to try your hand at cooking kedgeree, please try my version of it – the recipe is here.  And if you do, please let me know how you get on!

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Yelly Eats

Kedgeree

A few weeks back I finally started making kedgeree.  I remember seeing cooking shows in Manila talking about kedgeree.  The idea of a curried rice dish appealed to my very Filipino palate.  We have rice with everything.  Plus, in the shows, it looked like a very easy dish to do.  I never got around to making it.

So when Alan announced we should try to make kedgeree, I was excited.  I’d seen the Hairy Bikers and the Spice Men (Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh) do their versions and I always end up wishing I could try it myself.  So I searched for a relatively easy looking recipe.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work but I was hoping it would.

And it did!  And it was good!

KedgereeSo after making it once, I made notes, tried to remember what my thoughts were on improving the taste (mostly add more salt!).  I’ve done it a few more times but this time, I think I’m brave enough to share my version of how to make a quick and easy version of kedgeree.

Ingredients:

  • 4 fillets of smoked haddock (can be just 2, I just like a lot of fish in my kedgeree)
  • 500ml water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (I used medium)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground dried coriander
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g basmati rice
  • 500ml water
  • 25g flat leave parsley, chopped finely
  • 25g coriander, chopped finely
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, quartered (optional)

Directions:

  • In a saucepan, heat up 500ml of water and add bay leaves.  When the water starts simmering, add smoked haddock fillets.  Allow the water to come to a boil and turn down the heat to medium and allow the haddock to poach until it turns a light colour.  Poach for 10 minutes.
  • Once the haddock has poached, drain water and allow the fish to cool.  Once cool to touch, peel off the skin and flake the fish into large flakes.
  • In a pan, heat up the vegetable oil and add the onions.  Allow onions to become translucent and slightly brown around the edges on medium heat.  Add curry powder, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and dried coriander and heat until spices become aromatic.  Add the lemon juice to form a paste.
  • Add rice and mix until the rice grains are coated with the spice-lemon paste.

Rice and spice!

  • Add salt to spice and rice mixture.  Mix until everything is well-incorporated.  Pour 500ml of water and mix slightly.  Cover pan and allow water to boil.  Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and allow rice to cook and absorb the water.  Cook covered for 10 minutes on low.
  • Once rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed, stir in flaked fish and chopped parsley and coriander.
  • Top with hard boiled eggs and serve.

Kedgeree my wayMy recipe has a bit more spice, a bit more salt.  But that’s to my taste.  Feel free to customise to your taste.  If you try the recipe, I’d love to know how you get on!  I have fallen completely in love with this beautifully spiced rice comfort dish.

This recipe will serve a greedy 4 or 6 average eaters.

Yelly Eats

Mackerel and vegetables

One of my current favourite supermarket buys is mackerel fillets.  I am thankful that Iceland has frozen fillets for £4 for a pack of 5 or you can buy 3 packs of frozen fish for £10.  It’s a brilliant buy because fish is always healthy.  This isn’t an advert for Iceland mind you.  I thought it would be nice to share my supermarket find!  I used to poo-poo buying things from Iceland but now that they’ve expanded their offerings and the food range is so much better, I always go by Iceland to see what I can get!

Back to the fish, a quick way of prepping the fish is to rub olive oil over the frozen fillet, salt and pepper it and grill for 7 minutes on each side.  I usually have the fish with leftover roasted veg and sometimes, when I want some carbs, I have a few pieces of baby new potatoes (also roasted!).

Mackerel and roasted veg

Yelly Eats

Sweet and sour fish!

I few weeks ago, I finally managed to go to Hung’s in Chinatown in London, upon the recommendation of  London foodie, Helen Pang.  Helen has never recommended anything that has disappointed.  She was the one who introduced me to Gelupo Gelato and Gelupo is now a mainstay of my London trips–whatever the weather.  So when Helen recommended Hung’s, I made a mental note to try the food there.  I’m still, sort of, mourning the loss of Tai Ka Lok and I was still sort of looking for a restaurant to replace it in my list of absolute London Chinese restaurant maintstays.  The first visit to Hung’s was so amazing that when we went to London again a few weeks later, it was a definite must-go-to.

We had a lovely supper: braised mushrooms and pak choi, a portion of crispy pork, sweet and sour fish and boiled rice.  The sweet and sour fish was absolutely divine!  The fish was lovely and sweet and it kind of melted in your mouth!  I’ve been dreaming of Hung’s sweet and sour fish that I had to do something similar at home.  It was a pretty good idea because I had frozen basa fillets lounging in my freezer!

My mom used to make sweet and sour sauce from scratch, Filipino style, but I wanted to see if  I could make something closer to the Chinese style of making the sauce.  I googled it and found a recipe that was so similar to my mom’s that I knew it was going to taste really nice.  You can find the instructions for the recipe here.  It cooks in 5 minutes and you can add anything you want to it.  You just put together all the ingredients and cook it until it’s as thick as you want it to be.

  • 1/3 cup white or rice vinegar (Note: rice vinegar gives better results)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water

I breaded the fish before I fried them.  I sort of love breading anything really.  I do a little conveyor belt of the elements bowls of  seasoned flour (or cornstarch), beaten egg and breadcrumbs.  Depending on what you’re making, seasoned flour to me usually just means salt and pepper mixed in with the flour.  One tip I learned from either Nigella or Ina Garten (it was so long ago that I can’t remember!  It might even be Giada de Laurentis!) was to use just one hand so that you kept the other hand clean because breading things can be quite gluggy!

After breading the fish, I fried the fish to a crispy, lovely golden brown.  Make sure that you rest them on kitchen paper so that the excess oil is absorbed.

Then while the fish was cooling, I cooked the sweet and sour sauce.  Instead of adding the cornstarch right away, I added sliced onions and chopped red and yellow bell peppers and allowed them to cook slightly.  I added a few cubes of pineapple out from a tin.  A slight variation from the recipe, instead of using 4 teaspoons of water, I added 4 tablespoons of the pineapple syrup from the tin to dissolve the cornstarch and added that to the cooking sauce.

Once the sauce is at the thickness that you want it to be, you can assemble your dish.  To keep the fish lovely and crispy, I suggest just pouring the sweet and sour sauce over it.  And voila!  You have sweet and sour fish!