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A Splash of Soy: Everyday Food from Asia

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Australia, she says, has always explored playful interpretations of the dishes introduced by the country's immigrant communities. Accordingly, A Splash of Soy is not a homage to authenticity but features recipes that retain traditional flavour combinations with simplified technique and fun twists. If there are only a couple of us I will still make cake – it makes a pleasing weekend breakfast bake. Spring cabbage, prawns and lime (pictured above) Toast the coconut in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until golden. Transfer the coconut to a plate. This book builds on her breakout debut Indonesian cookbook, Coconut and Sambal, to explore the incredible contrast of sweet, salty, umami, sour and spicy flavours across Asia. Heat another tablespoon oil in the wok or pan, still over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chillies and cook, stirring continuously, for 3–4 minutes, until the chillies have softened and are starting to wrinkle.

For the gooseberry compote, top and tail the gooseberries, then put them into a stainless-steel saucepan with the honey. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the berries are soft and swollen. Dessert will be a yoghurt cake, soft like a sponge but with a nod to cheesecake. There will be berries too, cooked with honey to spoon on top. The gooseberries are finally here and to be celebrated with any form of dairy (fool first, crumble and cream next, then as a compote with yoghurt). With tales of heritage and culture woven into every recipe, A Splash of Soy transports readers to different parts of Asia, sprinkled with the Australian influence of Lara's upbringing. It is a book for foodies and beginner home cooks everywhere, showing you can make a memorable, delicious meal with steps as simple as adding just a splash of soy. To make the caramel, melt the golden syrup and sugar together in a small heavy-based saucepan on a medium-low heat. Swirl the ingredients in the pan together, rather than stirring them. Once the sugar has dissolved and the caramel starts bubbling, continue cooking on a gentle simmer until it begins to bubble and foam, about 3–5 minutes in total.

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Also included in this cookbook are beautiful, professional photographs of most of the recipes, making it difficult to decide which recipe to prepare next. There are so many good, mouthwatering recipes that cooks who have a taste for Asian dishes will stay busy cooking for months. Replace the pork with 300g firm tofu (patted dry and crumbled), and increase the mushrooms to 300g. Cook the tofu and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons oil on a high heat until lightly browned, and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil and cook the shallots, carrots, garlic and ginger on a medium-high heat, stirring, for about 4 minutes.

In addition, there are a lot of sections at the end of the book including necessary pantry items, kitchen tips, knife skills, types of soy sauce, chilies, rice wine, and sourcing, storing and substituting ingredients. There is also a glossary. The recipe list is followed by lists of vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. There is an Index.

Put the sugars, mashed bananas, oil, eggs and salt in a large bowl and whisk them together with electric beaters for 2–3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Warm the oil in a wok or wide, shallow pan. Add the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chillies and spring onions and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the garlic starts to colour. Take care not to let it burn. Keeping the heat high, introduce the prawns. As they turn opaque and colour slightly add the lime juice, nam pla and sugar. When all is sizzling, add the shredded cabbage, turning the leaves over as they start to darken and wilt. For a more intimate summer lunch, I shall stand at the kitchen table and chop lemongrass and garlic, spring onions and soft, green spring cabbage, then toss them with fat, wild prawns in a very hot pan. A splash of soy and fish sauce, this is the sort of special dish that always seems better when cooked just for two. The prawns, fat and sweet, are a rare treat. Sprinkle with the ginger, if using, and leave for 10 minutes to soak up the sauce. Carefully lift the cake out of the tin and cut it into squares. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and an extra drizzle of the remaining Soy Sauce Caramel.

Layered with unique flavours, each spoonful invites a new taste; on one chew it’s the gooey ripeness of banana, on the next bite it’s soy and buttery caramel, then it’s the gentle warmth of ginger or the subtle hint of spice. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm gently on a low heat. Stir the ingredients together once the butter has melted, and contiune to cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving jug or store in an airtight container in the fridge.Wipe out the pan and heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the prawns in a single layer and cook for 1–2 minutes each side, or until they are just cooked through. Remove and set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper. We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. For more details, please consult the latest information provided by Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin. Sift in the flour, ground spices and baking powder and fold them into the mixture with a spatula until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the sponge is just firm and springy to the touch (a skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre). A Splash of Soy may not be a bible to culinary tradition but its vibrant, colourful Asian-western mash-ups would offer great inspiration for chefs considering a pop-up or themed day.

Written in Lara Lee's signature voice and style, with gorgeous color photographs of her life and her food, A Splash of Soy is the must-have guide to easy, mouthwatering Asian-inspired cooking.It is the simplicity and usefulness of soy that this book is named after, an ingredient so impressive it can transform a meal with just a splash. What a treat it was to get this book. The picture of the author on the cover, is a breath of fresh air, and the illustrations in the book are mouthwatering invitations to food. Preparing these recipes will be fun, not work! From the first recipe for Tom Yum Bloody Mary to the glossary at the end, the book leaves no stone unturned. This cookbook has the worst structure I have ever encountered. Bizarrely, the ingredients list rarely comes at the beginning of a recipe, but things get worse. For example, this is the sequence for Kimchee Pancakes with Sriracha Bacon: first an introduction (there is one for each recipe), then a list of ingredients for the bacon, then instructions for mixing a dipping sauce, instructions for mixing the pancakes, how to make it vegan (omit bacon and eggs), cooking time, ingredients for the dipping sauce, ingredients for the pancakes, instructions for cooking the pancakes, instructions for cooking the bacon, instructions for cooking eggs (note that the eggs are listed with the pancake ingredients, so it looks like they are part of the batter), assembly instructions. Who has the patience to try to cook from that? Maybe read this book for the descriptions, and then if anything really appeals to you write out the recipe yourself. Make the marinade by mixing the softened butter, miso, 1 tablespoon of the gochujang, garlic, chilli flakes, vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey together in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Peel the ginger and grate it finely. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Remove the outer leaves of the lemongrass, then very finely slice the inner leaves. Finely chop the chillies, removing the seeds if you wish. (They will add a little extra heat if left in.) Shred the spring onions finely.

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