Today’s weather was not so good; it was cloudy and cold, and I didn’t know what to do on my day off, so I went to the Turkish shop close to my home. They have their own butcher’s shop there, and their meat has good quality. I will cook noodle soup with beef and radish.
|What we need for the soup:
- Beef knuckle (500 grams)
- Dried laurel (5 pieces)
- Star anise (2 pieces)
- Cinnamon stick (1 piece)
- Fresh ginger (3 slices)
- Dried chili (3 pieces)
- Dried mandarin peels (I always keep some mandarin peels, which I put by the window to dry. In China they are used in traditional medicine)
- White radish (half)
- Chinese spinach (1 piece)
- Herbal liquor (such as Jägermeister), 1 tablespoon
|Cooking the soup:
- Cut the beef into little chunks of 4×4 cm, cut the radish in the same size
- Fill a soup pan half full of water (1.5 liter) and bring to the boil
- When the water boils, add the beef and wait 1-2 minutes. When foam appears scoop this off with a spoon
- Then add all the other ingredients except the radish and liqueur, and boil for 10 minutes
- Lower the fire and add the liqueur. Then cook slowly for 1.5 hours
- Finally, add the radish and some salt and boil 10 minutes, then on low fire half an hour more
After you’ve added the radish to the soup, you can start preparing the noodles. Well, you know how to cook noodles, right?
When the noodles are done, put them into a bowl, keep the water. Boil the vegetables in this water a couple of minutes, done. Add the vegetables on top of the noodles into the bowl, then pour the soup over it all and serve
This soup is part of a meal with 3 dishes, together with Chinese fries and Fried dumplings. Enjoy!
Dumplings are the Chinese variant of ravioli or tortellini. They are cushions of dough with meat or vegetable filling. They can be bought frozen from the supermarket, but try making them by yourself! I often make them, and bring them to work to hand out to my colleagues. This is how one makes friends! I fry them in oil so that they can be kept longer and don’t stick to each other.
- Minced beef (500 grams)
- Dried shii take mushrooms (6 pieces)
- Sun flower oil (6 tablespoons)
- Sesame oil (3 tablespoons)
- Soy sauce ‘light’ (3 tablespoons)
- Ground black pepper (2 tablespoons)
- Salt (2 teaspoons)
- Dumpling skins (1 pack)
If you like, you can make the skins by yourself using flour, but this will cost a lot of time and skill, so just buy them frozen from the Asian market. 1 Pack of 200 grams of dumpling/wonton skins is more than enough for a whole meal
- Soak the shii take mushrooms in a bowl with warm water for 1 hour, and when they are soft, chop them into very fine pieces
- Mix the mushrooms with the minced meat in a bowl, also add all the other ingredients, see photo
- Prepare a small bowl with cold water, you will need this to make the dumpling skins stick when folding
- Take one dumpling skin in the palm of your hand, place some filling in the middle (not too much! A mistake often made is putting too much filling, and then the dumpling can’t close. One or two teaspoons of filling is enough) Use a wet finger to rub the area of the skin around the filling, and then fold it closed, see photo
- Heat oil in a pan (not too much) and fry the dumplings for 1 minute on high fire
- Pay attention when the bottom of the dumplings become brown, then add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the pan and cover
- Let the dumplings steam for 3-4 minutes (the exact time depends on how many dumplings are in the pan, I have put 10. If you fry more dumplings at the same time, then count 1-2 minutes more)
Tip: why I added water? In this way the dumplings are steamed a bit, and not completely fried. The bottom will be crispy and the top nice and soft. Use a cover to cover the pan after adding water
TIP: dumplings can also be steamed. For this use a steaming basket or a sieve on top of a pan with boiling water. The dumplings will be soft, and must be eaten immediately, or else they stick and break easily
Fried dumplings are part of a meal with 3 dishes, together with Chinese fries and beef soup with radish and noodles
Last summer we have been on an unforgettable camping holiday in Croatia. With a group of 13 people we went trekking for 15 days through the beautiful Mediterranean landscape. Cooking was of course one of the most important things for me, and every night I cooked up a wonderful dinner for our hungry travelers. It was quite a challenge to cook on wood fire and without any kitchen equipment on hand, so I had to keep it simple. One of the favourite dishes of our group were my “Chinese fries”.
- 5 Potatoes
- 1 fresh red chili
- 1 fresh green chili
- 1 tablespoon of herbs for grill
These fries are stir fried, not deep fried, so they are more healthy than regular fries!
- Peel the potatoes and cut them in as thin strips as possible (thinner than normal fries). Place the fries in a bowl of cold water and wash off the starch, then throw away the water and fill the bowl again. Keep the fries under water, so that they don’t dry out and change colour
- Cut the red and green chilies into strips, same as the potatoes
- Heat a good amount of oil in a wok and stir fry the fries on high fire 1 minute. Then add the chili and grill herbs. Keep stirring
- When the fries change to a more golden colour and become transparent, after 2 or 3 minutes, the dish is ready!
TIP: Chinese fries can also be eaten cold, and will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days
TIP: Chinese fries are part of a 3-dish dinner, together with Fried dumplings and Noodle soup with beef and radish