Simple Pork Dumplings
Simple Pork Dumplings

These Simple Pork Dumplings are perfect for those beginners to dumpling cookery who would like to try their hand at making Pot-Sticker Dumplings entirely from scratch, but who are not quite ready enough to tackle any difficult folding techniques with the wrappers. If you follow along here, you can learn a Chinese trick or two for preparing a delicious dumpling filling, as well as the easiest way to make and roll a home-made dumpling dough.

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Spicy Fried Alligator Bites
Spicy Fried Alligator Bites

Spicy Fried Alligator Bites

This little appetizer is my own rendition of the way I have most commonly been served Alligator in restaurants, that is to say, deep-fried with Cajun seasonings. Sometimes, this consists chunks of Alligator meat that are battered, but I much prefer them when they are very lightly breaded, as I have done here. The process is quick and simple, and the result is very nice indeed.


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Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer
Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer

Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer

Lamb Chops tend to be the focus of a Main Dish serving in most Western households. Here however, nice plump loin chops are marinated in a tangy Mint Sauce, Grilled with Yoghurt, Garlic, and Rosemary, then served atop a bed of Sweet Bell Peppers sautéed with Sherry. They make a lovely appetizer, and could just as easily be served as one dish in a Tapas style meal.


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Sweet Pepper Parsnips
Sweet Pepper Parsnips

Sweet Pepper Parsnips

This dish was originally created as a side dish for a Beef Roast, but it also works very nicely as Spanish Tapas style dish, rather along the lines of Patatas Bravas. The difference here, of course, is that I have substituted the sweetness of Roasted Red Peppers for the usual tomato-based sauce, and have added just enough chili to make it ‘sparkle’ rather than burn.


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Deep-Fried Scallop Clusters
Deep-Fried Scallop Clusters

Deep-Fried Scallop Clusters

The technique used in the preparation of these little appetizers is very much like the Japanese ‘Kakiage’ style of Tempura. However, I have departed very slightly from strictly Japanese roots a by combining chopped sweet scallop meat, not only with shredded Wakame seaweed, but also some finely diced Chinese Preserved Sausage.


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Five-Spice Cabbage Salad
Five-Spice Cabbage Salad

Five-Spice Cabbage Salad

The Five-Spices mentioned in the title of this recipe has nothing to do with the 5-Spice Blend in Chinese cuisine that most people have heard about, rather, it means the five-spice blend from Bengal known as ‘Panch Phoron’. The recipe itself is not actually Indian in origin, and actually represents a fusion of cookery techniques, but it is still very much Bengali in spirit. It Is easy to put together, and makes a great accompaniment for Tandoori-style dishes, or at any meal featuring a selection of curries.


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Sichuan Style Dressed Cucumber
Sichuan Style Dressed Cucumber

Sichuan Style Dressed Cucumber

There are countless dressed Cucumber preparations, both in Western and Eastern cuisines. A particular variety involving salted Cucumber pieces is especially popular in Asian cookery, particularly in Japan and Korea. This bold and quite fiery version has its roots in Western China, and is pungent with scorched chili, Sichuan pepper, and the tang of Black Vinegar.


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Pulled Pork Samosas
Pulled Pork Samosas

Pulled Pork Samosas

Samosas come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, with many different types of wrappers and fillings. These ones contain Pork, which is not especially common in India where Samosas originate, but it works very nicely here and is a convenient way to use leftovers from a pulled-pork roast. The wrapper is a plain flour and water dumpling dough, and the folding technique is about as easy as they come.


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Clams and Pork with Basil
Clams and Pork with Basil

Clams and Pork with Basil

Clams and Pork may sound like an unlikely pairing to some but it is actually a pretty popular combination in the cuisines of both China and Portugal. Likewise, Basil may seem like an odd addition for a Chinese preparation but in fact Basil is quite well known in that nation, most notably by the Hakka people, who sometimes use it in very large quantities in a single dish. Here, in this recipe, I have also used soy and rice wine among the flavorings here so, ethnically speaking, we have pretty much taken a left turn at Portugal and headed straight on to China…


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Gamja Jorim - A Korean Potato Banchan
Gamja Jorim – A Korean Potato Banchan

Gamja Jorim – A Korean Potato Banchan

This Korean Banchan, or side dish, consists of potato pieces seasoned with garlic and chili, then braised with soy sauce and syrup until the medium reduces to a lovely sweet glaze. It is commonly eaten cold, but it is also delicious served hot. It keeps for a long time in the fridge so a large batch can be made ahead of time and served at a succession of meals, or in bento-style lunches, or alone as a snack.


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