A. Wong The Cookbook by Andrew Wong

I love Chinese food – Cantonese food in particular. Har gao. Siu mai. Char siu steamed buns. I am obsessed with beautifully crafted dim sum bursting with flavour. Other Cantonese food favourites include steamed fish with ginger and spring onions, and the sweet custard egg tarts that were inspired by English custard tarts and Portuguese pastel de natas. Andrew Wong’s cookbook teaches you how to make these heavenly delights and more. Here are some of the recipes I have tried from the book. Get it here.

Xi’an City Pulled Lamb Burger with Sesame and Peanut Sauce

This recipe uses lamb breast, but I substituted it for leftover roast lamb and cooked it in the sauce. Whilst Wong makes his own bread, I used shop-bought burger buns for a quick and easy dinner. Wong recommends serving it with his Sesame and Peanut Sauce also featured in the book, and the two recipes complement each other divinely.

Har gao

These prawn dumplings were surprisingly easy to make, though they did take a few hours. The dough came out perfectly, exactly what I was hoping for, very similar to the dough I love in dim sum restaurants. The shape could do with some work but I was very happy for a first attempt!

Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onion

Another great recipe in the book is Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onion. Sea bass wasn’t available at the fishmongers, so I used sea bream instead and it was delicious. The gentle cooking method resulted in fragrant, delicate, succulent pieces of fish that went perfectly with jasmine rice.

Gong Bao with Egg Fried Rice

This recipe features tender, juicy chicken bathed in a sweet spicy sauce which goes well with Egg Fried Rice. The air-dried chicken skin adds texture and a wow-factor.

Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast

I love this book because it’s packed full of delicious vegetarian recipes that are so good that even the biggest carnivore you know won’t have any complaints. Here are some of the recipes I have tried. Get it here.

Crisp aubergine with sweet spiced yoghurt and pomegranates

Succulent slices of aubergine make the perfect bed for fragrant yoghurt, whilst ruby pomegranate seeds add a tangy sweetness. This is perfect as a starter or a side dish.

Juhu Beach pau bhaji

This is an indulgent, flavour-packed recipe that is perfect for a weekend brunch. It consists of a spicy, buttery mash of potatoes and other vegetables such as peas and tomatoes, spread onto buttered toasted bread. You can buy ‘pau’ bread, make your own, use normal burger buns, or use brioche buns as I did for extra indulgence. Anand suggests buying the pau bhaji masala but I made my own using this recipe, replacing the black cardamom with green cardamom as that’s what I had to hand.

Goan egg balcho

This is a delicious dish in which sweet caramelised onions form the basis of a thick tangy sauce that complements the richness of soft-boiled eggs. You can adjust the cooking of the eggs to your preference.

Rasoi: New Indian Kitchen by Vineet Bhatia

Rasoi: New Indian Kitchen by Vineet Bhatia is one of my favourite cookbooks. It features a range of delicious recipes for chutneys, curries, biriyanis, desserts and more. Here are some of the dishes that I have made along with my photos. Purchase it on Amazon.

South Indian-style chicken masala with curry leaves

This dish is extremely comforting thanks to the coconut milk and aromatic spices. The chicken is cooked until tender in a fragrant sauce which can be mopped up with Indian flatbread such as roti or naan, or with rice.

Raan mussallam

This is a recipe for a leg of lamb that I made for Easter and I would definitely recommend it. It involves marinating the lamb twice with two different marinades, the first a simple ginger, garlic and chilli marinade and the second with yoghurt, tomatoes and spices. The result is beautifully spiced, tender meat.

Spicy chickpea masala & cumin and turmeric tempered potatoes

These are two separate recipes in the book that go very well together. The tangy, fiery chickpea masala is balanced perfectly by the deliciately spiced potatoes. The chickpea recipe contains a lot of chilli so perhaps reduce the amount if you don’t have a high tolerance for it.


Prawns poached in chilli, coconut and lime-scented sauce

The subtle heat, fragrant lemongrass and creamy coconut milk make this dish very satisfying. The prawns are cooked only for a few minutes so that they are tender and juicy.

Roast chicken with chicken sauce

This roast chicken is perfect for a Sunday roast. The tender chicken with its crispy skin and umami-rich sauce is unbeatable. The chicken is browned in a pan before roasting to give it extra flavour from the Maillard reaction.

The first few steps of this recipe involve making a chicken stock to make a chicken sauce. This is a time-consuming but worthwhile step because homemade chicken stock is superior to shop-bought stock and you will have some bones spare from the preparation of the chicken. If you don’t want to make your own stock you can use 1 litre of shop-bought chicken stock.

Serves 4

1 onion, peeled
2 celery sticks
2 carrots, peeled
3 sprigs of parsley
2 small chickens
Olive oil
2 bulbs of garlic, broken up into cloves
8 rosemary sprigs
75ml double cream

1) Make a chicken stock for the chicken sauce by chopping the onion, carrots and celery sticks into large chunks. Place them in a large saucepan with the parsley. Cut the backbones out of the chickens using kitchen scissors and remove the wingtips, and place these all in the large saucepan with the chopped vegetables.

2) For the roast chicken, cut each chicken into four pieces – 2 leg pieces and 2 breast pieces – and generously season all over with sea salt. Place in the fridge and take it out one hour before you brown the chicken.

3) For the stock, cover the ingredients in the saucepan with cold water, bring it to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for three hours, skimming occasionally to remove any impurities. Strain and set aside.

4) Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line two roasting tins with foil, drizzle with olive oil and scatter over the rosemary sprigs and the garlic cloves. Wipe the salt off of the chicken over the sink and dry the chicken well with a paper towel to achieve a crispy skin once it’s cooked. Heat a large frying pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and when it’s hot, brown the chicken over a medium-high heat without overcrowding the pan. Once browned, place into the prepared trays, along with any fat from the pan, season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 200°C and roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to the grill setting for 5 minutes or until the skin is very crispy. Ensure that the chicken is cooked by checking that the juices run clear when a knife is inserted.

5) Deglaze the frying pan with the chicken stock, reducing it by boiling it over a high heat until it is thick.

6) Transfer the reduced stock to a small saucepan and place it over a low heat.

7) Remove the chicken from the oven, pour the roasting juices into the small saucepan and finish the sauce by whisking in the double cream until the sauce is smooth and glossy.

Enjoy!

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