Monthly Archives: February 2014

Kitchen news – 13th February 2014

Week 3 and we were settling in nicely to a term of delicious cooking until the dreaded lurgy struck in Casa Moore and select Kitchen classes had to be cancelled… My sincere apologies to all the classes affected and I promise I will make it up to you with even more fabulous recipes in the weeks to come.

So those who got stuck into the Banquet Menu for Chinese New Year had a great time parcelling up Vegetable spring rolls with our homemade and easy Sweet chilli sauce (no need to buy the gloopy stuff ever again!), squashing gow gee wrappers for Chicken and shiitake dumplings with chilli and black vinegar sauce (and veggie versions too),  squishing slimy cucumber slices together for Kylie Kwong’s Chilled cucumber salad, using the iceblock-cooling method for Cold spicy sesame noodles, whisking our freshly laid eggs for Stir-fried eggs with tomatoes and chilli soy, and also preparing Perfect rice and the all-important Jasmine tea with which to Yum Cha! A banquet fit for an Emperor, Empress or indeed Principal…!

We used the slightly under-ripe long green chillies and also some baby yellow capsicums in the recipes, and the chilli oil was one we made last year (Sean’s recipe)… but rest assured, the children ate it all – heat or not! Don’t be scared to add a little chilli at home as the children found it fun – and they definitely know to wash their hands after preparing chillies!

Thanks to everybody who has pledged volunteering support so far, we couldn’t do it without you! If you haven’t yet and are keen to help, and are able to commit to a session every week or fortnight for a term in the kitchen and/or garden, please drop me a line here or see me at school and I will forward on some info and the term’s schedule.

Cheers and happy cooking – and don’t forget subscribe here if you don’t want to miss any recipes!

Categories: Kitchen Garden, News | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Vegetable spring rolls with Kylie K’s sweet chilli sauce

This classic and popular dish is traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year.

Fresh from the garden: spring onions, beans, tatsoi, bokchoy, carrots, coriander, chilli
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on & sauce from Kylie Kwong
Makes: 20 spring rolls


  • Bowls – large, small
  • Colander
  • Scissors
  • Small heavy-based saucepan
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • Peeler
  • Salad spinner
  • Scales
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • A wok
  • Slotted & wooden spoons
  • Measures – jug, cup, ½ cup, ¼ cup, tablespoon
  • Serving plates & sauce bowls

  • 1 packet of frozen spring roll wrappers
  • Rice Bran oil for deep-frying

Sweet chilli sauce

  • 250ml white vinegar
  • 165g white sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 large red chilli

For the filling

  • 1 cup glass noodles
  • 3 or 4 spring onions
  • A handful vegetables (green beans,tatsoi, bokchoy, carrots)
  • 1½ cups bean sprouts
  • A small handful coriander
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt to taste

What to do:

  • Remove the frozen wrappers from the freezer and defrost for 30 minutes.
    • Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot tap water for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and then using scissors, cut noodles into finger-long lengths and reserve.

For the sauce:

  • Meanwhile, place vinegar and sugar in the small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until liquid is reduced by almost half and slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then stir in fish sauce and chilli. Divide among little sauce bowls.

For the filling:

  • Wash, shake dry and prepare the vegetables, peeling if needed. Chop finely to yield about 3 cups.
  • Wash and drain the bean sprouts. Wash and spin the coriander dry, then finely chop the stalks, reserving the leaves for garnish. Wash and trim the spring onions and chop into small rounds to yield 2 cups.
  • Heat the oil in a wok on a high flame till it smokes. Add the spring onion, the vegetables and bean sprouts and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, and then add the drained and chopped noodles, the chopped coriander, soy sauce and salt and sauté on a high flame for another 2 minutes.

To assemble and cook:

  • Fill a little bowl with water and clean and dry the surface in front of you.
  • Peel a wrapper from the pile and lay it down. Place a portion of the filling on the edge closest to you and fold the filled edge over once so it is covered.
  • Fold the left and the right side of the pancake in order to get a rectangle.
  • Roll the pancake upwards, tightly sealing the ends securely with a dab of water from the bowl, to make the spring roll.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients to finish the wrappers.
  • Heat enough oil in the wok and deep-fry in batches, turning over, until they turn light brown in colour.
  • Rest on paper towel to soak up any oil and to cool.
  • Cut each roll into half and divide among serving plates with the bowls of sweet chilli sauce on the side.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly after coming in contact with chilli, as the capsaicin (the oil within the chilli) burns when it comes in contact with your eyes or sensitive skin.

Notes: Why do you need to wash your hands if handling chill? What does sauté mean? What other Chinese dishes can you name? What does fish sauce smell like?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cold spicy sesame noodles

The secret to this dish is the balance of flavours in the sauce: spicy, salty, sweet, savoury.

Fresh from the garden: spring onions, ginger, garlic
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Diana Lampe on
Serves: 6 at home or 24 tastes


  • Peeler
  • Microplane grater
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Garlic press
  • Heavy frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sieve
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Scales
  • Measures – tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Large saucepan and lid
  • Slotted spoon
  • Colander
  • Teaspoons
  • Serving bowls


Ingredients:For the salad

  • 2 generous handfuls (about 200g) fresh bean sprouts
  • A 450g packet of fresh noodles
  • 2 teaspoons peanut or Rice Bran oil
  • 2 or 3 large spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sesame sauce:

  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang black rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chilli oil
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil

What to do:

  • For the sesame sauce: Peel and finely grate the ginger to yield 1 tablespoon. Peel and squeeze the garlic cloves through the press. Pick through the Sichuan pepper, removing any gritty black seeds and small twigs. Toast in a heavy pan over low heat until fragrant and beginning to smoke, being careful not to scorch it. Grind the seeds while hot with a mortar and pestle. Sieve through a fine strainer and discard the pale bits left behind.
  • Mix together these and the remaining ingredients for the sesame sauce. Taste and make any adjustments you like. It will be quite spicy but will be less so when mixed with the noodles. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  • For the noodles: Boil a large saucepan of water and add salt. Have a bowl ready of cold water with some ice cubes. Throw the bean sprouts into the boiling water for a few seconds, then lift them out and plunge into the iced water. Drain and chill.
  • Add the noodles to the boiling water & stir to separate. Cook for the time suggested on the packet until tender. Drain the noodles & tip into the cold water. Drain & toss with the oil to stop them sticking and spread out to dry on the tray, and chill in the fridge until needed.
  • Wash the spring onions, trimming and removing the first layers if needed and finely slice into thin rounds. Toast the sesame seeds gently in the frying pan until lightly coloured.
  • To serve: Divide the bean sprouts between your serving bowls, then place the noodles on top. Scatter the spring onions and sesame seeds, then pour the sesame sauce over the noodles and mix through.
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken and shiitake dumplings with chilli and black vinegar sauce

Jill says, “Black-rice vinegar and chilli oil are sold at Asian food stores (Lee Kum Kee’s Chiu Chow chilli oil is very good). Round wonton wrappers are often called gow gee wrappers.”

Fresh from the garden: spring onions, ginger, garlic, chilli, egg
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Jill Dupleix on 
Makes: 30 dumplings


  • Stockpot and lid
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Microplane grater, peeler
  • Measures – jug, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Scales
  • Fork or whisk
  • Tea towels
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving plates

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 250g minced chicken
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 mild chilli
  • A thumb-sized knob of ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 30 round wonton wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons black-rice vinegar

What to do:

  • Soak the mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Set a large pot of water to boil & then turn it down to simmer.
  • Drain the mushrooms, discard stalks and finely dice.
  • To make the dumplings: Peel and microplane the ginger to yield 2 tablespoons. Wash and trim spring onions. Chop 2 finely and julienne the remaining spring onion.
  • Carefully slice the chilli in half, scrape out the seeds and membrane and julienne. Reserve the julienned chilli and spring onion for the garnish.
  • Combine chicken, mushrooms, chopped spring onion, ginger, one tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a bowl, then beat the egg and mix and mulch it in well into the chicken mixture with your hands until combined.
  • Clean down and dry your work space. Lay one wonton wrapper down per person, then place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each wrapper (don’t overfill!) and brush edges with a clean finger dipped in a bowl of cold water.
  • Bring three sides of each wrapper up to meet the centre, then press together to seal the edges to form a tricorne. Press again at the ends of each point and in the centre. Continue until you finish the dumplings.
  • To make the dressing: peel and finely grate the garlic. Whisk the chilli oil, garlic, remaining soy sauce and black-rice vinegar in a medium bowl.
  • Cook dumplings a batch at a time for about two minutes in simmering water until they float to the surface.
  • Drain and divide among the serving plates. Spoon the dressing generously on top, scatter with the reserved chilli and spring onions and serve.
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: