Easy Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

About two offices ago (what do you mean that’s not an accurate way to measure time?), I got introduced to Itsu and its dangerously addictive coconut chicken noodle soup.

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

Needless to say, it became my lunch of choice for those days when I was too lazy/late/disorganised to pack lunch (or I just really, really wanted something warm, spicy, comforting and full of rice noodles for lunch).

Time passed, offices moved and suddently, there was no Itsu nearby for me to get my coconut chicken noodle soup fix.

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, it turns out it’s really easy and quick to make, taking only about 15 minutes from start to finish.

It’s barely any work at all, and yet it delivers a punch of warming, complex flavours. Rich, spicy, tangy, funky all at once. Plus it’s a one pot sort of dish. Less washing up = always a winner in my book.

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

I know it sounds too good to be true, but you definitely want to give it a try, because it’s all pho real!

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup (serves 1)
Ingredients:
  • 100g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 spring onions, white cut into bite-sized pieces and green thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • small garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • tiny piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 3 tbsp canned chopped tomato
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 200ml chicken broth or water
  • fish sauce to taste
  • 50g rice noodles, prepared according to packaging instructions
  • lime wedge to serve
  • salt, pepper
Method:

1. In a saucepan or wok, heat up the sesame oil until it just starts smoking. Add in the red curry paste, grated garlic and ginger and curry powder and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes.

2. Add in the chicken and spring onion white pieces and cook for a few minutes.

3. Pour in the coconut milk, chopped tomato and chicken broth, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with fish sauce, salt and/or pepper accordingly.

4. Place the prepared rice noodles in a bowl. Top with the coconut chicken broth. Garnish with spring onion greens and a lime wedge and serve immediately.

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Easy Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

‘Eat Like A Brit’ quiz night at Roast restaurant

Anyone that has ever met me will tell you: I can speak about food for hours. Days. Probably even more.

So when Hotjoint invited me* to battle out in an evening of fierce food quizing alongside some of London’s greatest food minds, I simply couldn’t say no.

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Coined “Eat Like a Brit”, this evening of drinking, eating and tougher than you’d think culinary questions was held at British restaurant Roast.

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Famous for its British-focused, refined cuisine and incredible views over the Borough Market, it’s hard to imagine a venue more suited for a night of mind-fencing and foodie-friend making!

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by this all-nose-no-tail (yet rather charming) chap!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

And wine.

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky 'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Loads and loads of wine!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

After greating a few known faces, being introduced to as many friendly new ones and a healthy dose of animated chatter (‘where have you been eating lately?‘ ‘oh, was that good?‘… You know how it goes!), it was time for us all to check if we knew our Stilton from our Stichelton & our teacakes from our crumpets!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

But then again, with the bribe of amazing British-ingredient-led canapés coming alongside each question, getting us started really wasn’t too hard!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

There was Rare roast beef, horseradish cream and beer pickles

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Queenie scallops in shell with braised ox cheek and carrot mustard (this one was my fave, and not only because I knew which UK island is famous for its scallops!).

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

We wandered around the Beef Carpaccio with beetroot and mustard seed yogurt for a while, pondering what ‘beeturia’ was (and secretly hoping we could get our hands on seconds of the canapés!)

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Before moving onto Feta & Olive skewers with cucumber and mint

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

And finish of beautifully with Bread from BreadAhead Bakery and School.

There was also some Neals Yard cheese and mini pudding, but well…

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

… my interest was clerly somewhere else!

And by that, I totally mean wondering where the ‘Rhubarb triangle’ was (as well as debating where in London to find the best Mexican food).

In the end, my team didn’t win, but we all went home with plenty of food trivia to wow our friends with. And -more importantly- a few new friends that will actually want to listen/share your dedication and queue for a long while for a plate of Padella‘s pasta!

Want to join the fun next time? All you have to do is email Hotjoint info@hotjoint.co.uk and tell them to keep you in the loop!

*I attended the ‘Eat Like A Brit’ quiz night as a guest of HotJoint but all words, pictures and unconditional love for sourdough my own.

‘Eat Like A Brit’ quiz night at Roast restaurant

Lemon Drizzle Porridge

Nothing beats cake for breakfast.

But this lemon drizzle porridge comes a close second, especially on chilly winter mornings.

Lemon drizzle porridge recipe | Cake + Whisky

Inspired by one of my favourite cake, it’s a dreamboat of a breakfast treat.

Lemon drizzle porridge recipe | Cake + Whisky

You see, the thing is, it’s packed-full of super healthy stuff (oats! lemon! almonds! blueberries) and yet, it actually tastes like cake.

Lemon drizzle porridge recipe | Cake + Whisky

I kid you not, having it for breakfast is pretty much the same as liking clean the lemon drizzle cake batter bowl. Or the blueberry muffin one.

Expect much better for your waistline, obviously.

So if life gives you lemon (and it’s breakfast time), you know what to do!

Lemon drizzle porridge recipe | Cake + Whisky

Lemon drizzle porridge (serves 1)
Ingredients:
  • 30g porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 200ml water
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla syrup
  • 1 handful blueberries + a few to garnish
  • 5 almonds, roughly chopped to garnish
Method:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the oats, almond flour, water, lemon zest and vanilla syrup. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, then heat to a medium heat and cook until it reaches the consistency you like (about 5min), stirring regularly.

2. In a small saucepan, cook the blueberries until you get a rough compote (about 2 minutes). Taste and add a little bit of vanilla syrup if necessary, then take off the heat.

3. Pour the porridge in a bowl or jar and top with the blueberry compote. Garnish with the fresh blueberries and chopped almond and eat immediately.

Lemon Drizzle Porridge

Miso ramen with prawns and scallops

I’ve been on a bit of an Asian food roll lately. Sushi roll, of course, but not only.

On Monday, it was sushi, on Tuesday, miso salmon, on Wednesday, Korean pork stir fry (somewhat inspired by this recipe).

Then on Thursday, I somehow made it to the fishmonger before it closed and picked up prawns & scallops to try out this winner of a stri fry.

Souper miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

The scallops were so fresh and beautiful that I got a few extra to make myself an extra-indulgent lunch on Friday.

And extra-indulgent these miso ramen with prawns and scallops were indeed!

A treat that’s good for you, mind. Warm, comforting, filling, it’s packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of good stuff to boost your metabolism. And absolutely none of the nasties (no gluten, no dairy, no nothing!).

Miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

This easy miso ramen soup keeps for a few days, so you could easily make a batch for the week ahead and be ready to scoop, spoon ‘n’ slurp to your hearts content with a smug smile on your face come lunchtime!

Miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

Warm, comforting and utterly delicious… it really is souper!

Miso ramen soup with prawns and scallops | Cake + Whisky

Miso ramen with prawns and scallops (for 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bundle of ramen rice noodles (I used funky black rice ones from Clearspring)
  • 2 small pak choi, leaves removed and heart cut in quarters
  • 4 uncooked prawns, peeled
  • 6 scallops, each sliced in half to make 12 discs
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • a small pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • about 10g fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • light soy sauce to taste (I used about 1 tbsp)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • a couple of pinches of black sesame seeds
  • 1 small spring onion, finely sliced
  • 2 sheets of nori seaweed, finely shredded (I used those and if you haven’t tried them yet you MUST!!)
  • 2 single packs of instant miso soup (I like this one)

1. Cook your noodles according to the package. When they’re done, share in two equal portions and pop into the bottom of your bowls/lunchboxes and leave to cool.

2. Blanch the pak choi for about a minute in a pot of boiling water. Transfer into your bowls.

3. Season your scallops with salt and pepper. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan or a wok until it starts smoking, then throw in the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute or until soft.

4. Add in the prawns and scallops and fry for another minute or until your start getting colour on the edges of the scallops, then turn the seafood over.

5. Add about 1 tbsp of light soy sauce and allow to cook for a minute, then remove from the heat and pile into your bowls.

6. Boil a small pan of water, then cook your egg until soft-boiled (about 6 minutes, less if you’re using smaller eggs). Remove from the heat, allow to cool in some cold water before peeling, slicing lengthwise and popping half on top of each of your bowls.

7. Sprinkle each bowl with a generous pinch of sliced spring onion, then top with some shredded nori seaweed and a little bit of black sesame seeds.

8. If you’re making this ahead of time, seal your boxes up and store in the fridge.

9. When you’re ready to chow, boil the kettle and prep your instant miso soup according to package instructions. Pop your boxes open, pour the miso on top and leave things to re-heat for a minute. Mix it up and tuck in!

Miso ramen with prawns and scallops

Superfood salad

I’m not usually one for food fads. I like my ice cream with cream in, my cakes with butter and sugar and I’ll only consider using cricket flour when all cereals will have disappear from the surface of the Earth.

But in spite of everything, it looks like I’m currently tumbling down a superfood-shaped rabbithole.

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

I blame my on-going cupboard clearing phase, that made me realise that I must be a member of the squirrel family (the kind that socks on nuts and then forgets about it).

The consequences of this discovery being that I made a superfood salad to use up part of my stocks and pretty much anything else I had in the fridge: watercress, red cabbage, radishes, avocado, ALL THE NUTS/SEEDS…

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

A pretty healthy lot, since most of them are actually superfood and therefore pack a punch of health benefits.

Add some lovely walnut French dressing and juuuuuust a tiny bit of crunchy BACON, and what was bound to happen, happened.

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

I became addicted to said superfood salad.

So much so in fact that despite the weather doing its best to make me see sense and come back to more wintery food, I’ve had it for lunch for 3 days in a row. And I’m strongly considering making it 4.

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

Cold air? Don’t care! All I want is this (super-easy to make) colourful superfood salad!

 

Superfood? Supergood!

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

Watercress & seeds superfood salad (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (100g) watercress, rinced and pat-dried
  • 1 big handful thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 8 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, stone removed, diced or sliced
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon (for a vegetarian version, replace with 1 poached egg per person)
  • 1 tsp each black sesame seeds and pine nuts
  • 2 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I love the sweetness of this honey lil’ number)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp walnut oil
  • salt flakes, cracked black pepper (use smoked pepper if you have some!)

1. Make the dressing: In a small jar, place the mustard and vinegar and mix until well combined. Pour the oil in, pop the lid on, then shake until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Cook the bacon in a hot pan until it’s all nice and crispy. Remove all residual fat from the pan and let the bacon cool a bit, then use kitchen scissors to chop it into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

3. On a serving plate of dish, arrange the watercress, red cabbage, avocado and sliced radishes. Sprinkle with the seeds and top with the crispy bacon bits.

4. Pour the dressing on top and serve immediately.

Superfood salad

Ahi Poke, Fitzrovia

With both of my siblings visiting back-to-back, this week is o-fish-ally the busiest ones this year.

Admittedly, it’s only the beginning of January, but I doubt it’s going to get worse than that any time soon.

Ahi Poke, LondonAhi Poke, London

The good thing about my brother & sister though is that when I offer to go here or there for lunch/dinner/drinks, they always say ‘poke-doke’!

Which is how we ended up at Ahi Poke the other day.

Ahi Poke, LondonAhi Poke, LondonAhi Poke, London

Located at the heart of bustling Fitzrovia, with colourful exteriors, bright planted filled with equally bright flowers and walls enhanced with surfboards, Ahi Poke is about as close as you’ll get to a visit to Hawaii at lunchtime.

Ahi Poke, London

The small but perfectly formed restaurant surfs on the one-item-menu trend and dishes up the most delicious bowls of poke a.k.a. the ultimate Hawaiian staple.

A tumble of sticky sushi rice, raw fish, crunchy vegetables, punchy sauces… It’s sort of like a burrito bowl, but with a sushi twist, which makes it both a comfort food and a healthy meal.

Ahi Poke, London Ahi Poke, London

Part of the fun is to mix and match ingredients to make your perfect DIY poke bowl. Which is just what we did.

Ahi Poke, London Ahi Poke, London

Half-and-half (rice & kale salad) with leche de tigre salmon with carrot, radish, red onion and crispy shallots.

If you’re lacking the time/energy to DIY, you can pick from a handful of the team’s fave pairings.

Ahi Poke, London Ahi Poke, London

Including the Heat Wave poke bowl (quinoa, salmon, avocado, kimchi cucumber, red onion, coriander, chipotle mayo).

Very Venice Beach and very, very good indeed!

Ahi Poke, London

If you’re hungry in Fitzrovia, Ahi Poke is soy the place to go!

Delicious, healthy & cheap as (kale) chips, it’s the kind of lunch that’ll for sure be maki‘ng you very happy!

Ahi Poke3 Percy St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1DF

Ahi Poke, Fitzrovia

Persimmon Salad with Prosciutto & Mozzarella

Since Christmas is over, I don’t think there’s been a day I haven’t been day-dreaming about summer.

Long, warm, sunny days, sunglasses, sundresses, day trips to the beach, barbecues and picnics in the park… I simply can’t wait for it all.

Persimmon salad with prosciutto & mozzarella | Cake + WhiskyPersimmon salad with prosciutto & mozzarella | Cake + Whisky

But one look through the window and the harsh reality settles in: those long-awaited summer days are at least 5 months away and there’s not much to be done about it.

Not much except for putting a seasonal twist on some of my favourite summer recipes, that is.

Persimmon salad with prosciutto & mozzarella | Cake + Whisky

So if you’re trying to kick the winter blues away, may I recommend you give this vibrant prosciutto, mozzarella & persimmon salad a go?

Persimmon salad with prosciutto & mozzarella | Cake + Whisky

The winter take on a summer fave of mine, with persimmon making for a surprisingly-good colder-weather substitute for melon, it’s the top way to bring sunshine (and a much needed dose of vitamins) to those dark, gloomy winter days!

And the ultimate way to rise & shine while waiting for the real (summer) deal!

Persimmon salad with prosciutto & mozzarella | Cake + Whisky

Persimmon Salad with Prosciutto and Mozzarella (serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe but ferm persimmon
  • 2 paper-thin slices prosciutto (or other air-dried ham), shredded into small pieces
  • 1/2 ball of mozzarella, teared into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh basil, leaves removed & finely chopped
  • little drizzle good quality olive oil
  • pinch mild chilli flakes (I used Espelette pepper, but Aleppo would work amazingly well too)
  • salt, pepper
  • a few drops Tabasco / balsamic vinegar

1. Wash & pat-dry the persimmon, then slice it as thinly as you can (using a mandoline if you have one). Place the slices onto your serving plate.

2. Top with shreds of prosciutto, pieces of mozzarella and chopped basil leaves.

3. Season with a good pinch of sea salt, a little drizzle of good quality olive oil and a small pinch of your favourite chilli flakes. Add a few drops of Tabasco or balsamic vinegar and some cracked black pepper if you wish and serve immediately.

Persimmon Salad with Prosciutto & Mozzarella