Pork Miso Ramen

As I’ve said before, I love Asian food but I do find it hard to replicate authentically and after a long day at work. I bought the Itsu 20 minutes meals cook book and it is fantastic. I haven’t cooked many recipes in it, but I love that it makes Asian cooking accessible and easy. The meals definitely take longer than 20 minutes though. So this meal below isn’t one of my own, as much as I would love to take the credit. However, I thought I would show it anyway as it looks good and I’d recommend the book. The ramen isn’t as good as in Bone Daddies or Gyoza Bar but it’s pretty good considering it isn’t a 20 hour broth. I added extra vegetables and changed the meat to pork but kept the ingredients the same for the broth.

Sea Bass with Chorizo Sweet Potato Mash and Greens

Sea bass is one of my favourite white fishes and now it’s on Ocado for £1.90 a fillet which I think is pretty good so I plan to cook with it more. This recipe is really healthy and balanced with a bit of a treat in the chorizo.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 100g chorizo cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 lemon, quartered (save 1/4, slice in half to garnish)
  • frozen peas, as many as you’d like
  • green beans, as many as you’d like
  • 2 handfuls spinach

Method

  1. To make the mash, boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes depending on how large the cubes are
  2. Meanwhile fry the chorizo cubes and garlic for a few minutes just to heat through, then set aside in a bowl. Keep the pan for the fish
  3. When the potatoes are soft, mix in a splash of milk (start small as you can always add more), and a large knob of butter (you can never have too much!). Season and mash together. Mix in the chorizo, saving a few cubes to garnis
  4. Using the chorizo pan heat to a medium heat adding a little extra oil if needed. Place the fish skin side down, season and squeeze 3/4 of the lemon on top. Fry for 8 minutes or until just cooked through
  5. Meanwhile also microwave the veg in a large glass dish. Put the beans on for 5 minutes, adding the peas after 2
  6. To serve add a handful of spinach to each plate, spoon the sweet potato on top. Lay the veg next to the potato and place the sea bass on top. Scatter the remaining chorizo cubes on and garnish with the lemon

Vietnam

Apologies for the lack of posting, I have just returned from a two week trip in Vietnam. It was incredible – the culture, the scenery, the things to do, the people and of course, the food! So instead of posting recipes today, I’ll will picture some of the meals I tried to show the different flavours from the other side of the world.

The following are all main meals; my breakfasts there consisted of a vietnamese iced coffee (made with condensed milk) and a chocolate and banana pancake, almost every day!

I cannot recommend visiting Vietnam more. In fact I would love to move to Hanoi and keep planning when I can next go back to visit. But, back to the food as this is a food blog after all.

Their local food consists heavily of meat and fish depending on the proximity to the sea. Usually, with either rice or noodles. Contrary to this, one of their most well-known dishes is called Bahn Mi, which is pork, pâté, carrots and daikon in a baguette – a sandwich. It came about as a result of the French colonisation of Vietnam and is a blend of both countries. This is not pictured below however I felt it deserved a mention and if you are out and see it, I would recommend trying a Bahn Mi. Although I would get it without the pâté.

Anyway, look further below for some Vietnamese food inspiration…

This was our first meal in Vietnam. It’s called Bun Cha and consists of cold vermicelli noodles, crispy vegetable spring rolls (which were divine, much nicer than the Chinese ones, and I had in or as a side to almost every meal), pork and various sliced vegetables.

 

Next up is pho. You’ve probably heard of this and the one in Hanoi was about £1!

 

Next, another feast, in Sapa. Consisting of a coconut curry and steamed rice for Toby, sweet and sour chicken for me and a side of morning glory which is a popular vegetable out there.

 

More pho and spring rolls. This was part of a set menu and it was around £5 for 4 courses. It’s really hard not to get really fat in Vietnam.

 

Now these aren’t something I’d recommend but maybe that’s because I was too scared to try them. We saw it a lot in the markets. I think it was dried shrimp. It did not smell good. The brown stuff at the end of the photo is shrimp paste. This also didn’t smell appetising.

 

I’m not sure what this was called but it was delicious and I’ll try to make at home. It was pork cooked on a lemongrass stick which you pulled off of the lemongrass and wrapped with salad in rice paper then dipped in this flavoursome chill sauce.

 

Just to mention some great seafood we had on an almost deserted beach. We had prawns and squid barbecued with a spicy coating with steamed rice to mop it all up. A simple meal made tasty with the fresh ingredients and uncomplicated seasoning.

 

Onto one of my favourite meals I had. This was in Hoi An at Morning Glory. It is crispy roast pork belly with a creamy red rice risotto and a beansprout pickle. I will have to try and replicate the red rice risotto!

 

This was one of the other dinners in Hoi An. It was at this indoor street food market in the centre of town. If you’ve ever been to any of the Street Feast Markets like Dinerama, it’s basically a Vietnamese version of that. “A safe way to try street food”, as the guide book puts it. So, in standard Toby and my style, we get everything on the menu and leave a stone heavier. Pictured here is just our two sides and my meal. We shared shrimp and prawn savoury pancakes and minced beef wrapped in betel leaves. I had a delicious prawn wonton soup with pork and as it’s not in this photo I cannot remember what Toby had! Although I do remember he wanted mine more.

 

The last meal to mention is the Cao Lau. This dish is native to Hoi An and make up of thick noodles, roasted pork, mixed greens, a delicious combination of fresh herbs and spices and some sort of fried crunchy thing. It was delectable like everything else!

So that rounds up a taste of the food I had in Vietnam. There were obviously far more meals however they must have looked so good that I devoured them straight away without taking a photo. One of the meals not pictured here was a BBQ your own meal. A miniature coal BBQ was brought to our table along with a plate of pork and chicken, spiced and seasoned which we barbecued ourself.

Last thing I want to show is just a mention of the food in Thailand. On the way to Vietnam we stopped off in Bangkok for the night. I’ve been the Thailand before, spent 1 month eating my way around the country and came back far heavier. The food in Vietnam is really good, the food in Thailand, might, be even better. On our one night in Bangkok, I went traditional with a Pad Thai which is my favourite Thai dish, closely following by a Massaman curry which Toby actually had with sticky rice. He couldn’t believe how good it was.