About

About

Welcome to my blog! I am a writer, photographer, food stylist and film maker. You can find recipes, photos, blog posts, films and videos here.

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Food Styling & Photograhy

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Supper Club

Supper Club

The supper club is held in my home in London Fields, Hackney. It is like a dinner party in the tradition of a Vietnamese feast with homemade Vietnamese food.

Classes

Classes

Vietnamese food is about the balance of flavours, of sweet, salty and sour – there is no measuring device that can ever match your own taste buds.

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Pork belly braised in coconut milk & fish sauce with ginger, chillies & cavolo nero

Written for Waitrose Magazine. I am so pleased that so many have written to say that they have been using this recipe again and again . Its one of my favourites!

Serves 6

Prepare 20 minutes

Cook 1 hour 30 minutes

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, sliced into quarter rings

3 garlic cloves, crushed

30g fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1kg pork belly, skin removed

1 tbsp chilli flakes (more or less, depending on how hot you want it)

400g can coconut milk

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp honey (optional)

200g cavolo nero or kale, tough stalks discarded and sliced into 2.5cm pieces

1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic over a medium heat for about 6 minutes, until softened; tip onto a plate and set aside.

2 Meanwhile, slice and prepare the pork belly, trimming off any excess fat but leaving some for taste and texture. Cut into 2.5cm chunks and add to the pan to brown off on all sides, about 10 minutes in total (you may need to do this in batches). Return the onions and garlic, add the chilli flakes, mix well and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

3 Add the coconut milk and simmer to reduce for 30 minutes. Then add fish sauce and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

4 When ready to serve, mix through the honey (optional), season with plenty of black pepper, and add the cavolo nero. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid on, then serve with steamed rice.

Phở  Xào

Phở  Xào
Adapted recipe, originally written for Guardian Feast.
‘Phở’ means flat rice noodles. ‘Xào’ means to fry.  You can use an array of vegetables that are available to hand or in season. Here I am using Jerusalem artichokes and sugar snap peas but you can use any crunchy vegetable, sliced not too thick and not too thin. If you can’t get celery leaves or not a fan, please use Thai basil or coriander instead.
The photo recipe is without beef. The written recipe is with beef but please feel free not to use beef.
If you are, please try to use grass fed, free range beef only as I feel really strongly against industrial corn fed beef farming. (Cows are not meant to eat corn, they are supposed to eat grass. When they eat corn, they are really sick and yet this is how we produce industrial beef) If you can not get hold of it, please don’t use beef and substitute with tofu or leave them both out.
Ingredients
Serves 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • For the Stir Fry
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 250 g free-range, grass fed sirloin or rump or rump tip sliced into 1cm thick strips
  • 100 g sugarsnap peas, sliced lengthways (or mange tout, courgette slices)
  • 50g celery leaves and tips
  • 70g Jerusalem artichoke, peeled, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 ladles of pho stock, white wine, beef stock or water
  • 2 pinch of black pepper
  • 3 garlic clove, sliced
  • 400 g fresh rice noodles, separated or rehydrated dry noodles, cooked aldente
  • 80 g beansprouts
  • Thai basil garnish (optional)
  • Coriander garnish (optional)

METHOD

  1. Slice the beef and marinade with 1 tbs of oyster sauce and 1 tbs of soy sauce, black pepper and garlic. Prep the vegetables.
  2. Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat until very hot, then fry the steak for a minute before adding Jerusalem artichoke, sugar snap peas and celery leaves. Add 1 tablespoon of the oyster sauce, 1 tablespoons of the soy sauce, a dash of leftover pho stock  for a couple of minutes or until the steak is cooked as you like it. Season with black pepper.   Transfer the contents of the pan onto a plate and allow to rest.
  3. Heat another dash of oil in the same pan again, then stir-fry the onion for a minute. Add the noodles and the remaining oyster and soy sauces. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the beansprouts and a dash more leftover pho stock. Stir-fry for a further minute. Transfer onto serving plates with the beef and vegetables. Serve immediately with Thai basil or coriander garnish.

If you are using tofu, slice into 1.5cm x 3cm cubes, gently fry in a shallow oil with a pinch of salt until golden on each side then marinade as above.

For more Pho recipes, visit The Guardian – here are 6 of my best Pho recipes

Above photography by for The Guardian by Uyen Luu, Food Styling by Joanna Resiak. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins

Soy aubergines with spring onions and chillies

Steam the aubergines and make the sauce in advance then this only needs to be fried when you are ready to serve. These are great with rice, on top of rice vermicelli, cold with ciabatta. And of course, a delicious side dish. You can adjust the heat accordingly, add your favourite herbs and spices and create a different aubergine dish every time. Just follow this basic recipe and next time adapt!
If you get Cyprus aubergines, it has purple and white stripes, they are extra extra extra good!
(Originally written for Waitrose Magazine)
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 large aubergines
30g butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 large red chillies
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
30g butter
Sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbs chilli sauce
1 garlic cloves, finely
2 tsp maple syrup
You will need
Steamer
Large frying pan or wok
Method
Cut the aubergines into one inch cubes and fit in a boiling steamer for 5 minutes. Set aside and repeat if necessary.
Prepare the sauce by stirring all the ingredients in a bowl or shake in a jar.
Make sure the pan or wok is very hot on high heat, add butter, shallots, chillies and garlic. Cook for about a minute then add the aubergines to stir fry for about 4 minutes, charring the edges. Then pour over the prepared sauce and mix in all the spring onions and continue to stir fry and cook for a minute.
Serve immediately.

Video Recipe: Steamed Pork, Prawns & Jerusalem Artichoke, Cabbage Dumplings

Cabbage dumplings with pork and King prawns

Serves 3/4

Makes approximately 36 rolls

Ingredients

6cm ginger, peeled, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 spring onion, finely sliced

200g minced pork

75g Jerusalem artichoke, peeled, finely chopped (optional)

150g king prawns, peeled, chopped 1 cm

Pinch of pink pepper or black pepper

Pink of sugar

Pinch of saltRead More

Recipe: Vegan Pho

As featured in The Guardian Feast March 2018 – readapted here

Pho is loved by the Vietnamese and people all over the world. Vegan pho is really popular because it basically has that “pho hit” without any meat which isn’t really missed here and takes half the time. The monks missed their pho so created the vegan kind.

This recipe is an example of what vegetables you can use and the quantities have been measured for this amount of water for the stock. I love to use aniseed flavour vegetables such as fennel and celeriac to bring out the flavour of “pho”. By using sweeter root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots can help you use less sugar in the broth. You can make the broth much richer by charring some of the vegetables first.

You can use whatever vegetables you have available but it is really important to char the ginger and onion, this really adds to the marvellous flavour of pho and this step should never be missed.Read More

Olive’s Carrot and Olive Oil Cake with Honey Icing

Baking has become a favourite is our household because everyone loves cake and Olive loves a good tea party and giving slices to her nursery teachers and neighbours.This is a very light and fluffy recipe, quite low is sugar too so I let her have her own slice of cake.Its really easy to make because it just involves putting everything in the bowl and mixing it and baking it. She loves sprinkling sprinkles when we are decorating.
Ingredients 

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar or brown sugar
  • 300ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 350g grated carrots

For the icing

  • Tub of cream cheese
  • Good squeeze of runny honey

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two round cake tins (20-23cm).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and sugar. Add the oil and eggs.  Mix together, then stir in the carrots. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two prepared tins.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. A stick inserted into the cake should come out clean. Cool cakes on wire racks before removing from tins.
  4. To make the icing: In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and honey. Use to fill and ice the cooled cake layers and decorate as you wish.

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