zaterdag 10 december 2016

Bun Chay (Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad)

I experienced this interesting fresh Vietnamese salad at a friend's dinner and wanted to know how they made the sauce. As I'm vegetarian I can't use garlic. The dish is called Bun Chay. They said to mix vinegar, sugar and soy sauce.

So I started to make it and it first tasted horrible as I didn't know how to make it. Then another friend told me you need to use the right portions. The 1:2:3 rule she calls it.

1: Sour/Salt
2: Sugar
3: Water

Basically you want to have a small amount of sour and salt, then more sugar to balance out the sourness and then a lot of water to dilute it.

So I tried that with the following recipe for the sauce and it's pretty ok.

1: sour/salt
- 2 large limes (or about 4 table spoons)
- 4 table spoons soy sauce
- 1 table spoon rice vinegar
- some chili
- some shredded carrot
- lemongrass

2: sugar
- 8 table spoons granulated sugar (you can use less if you don't like sugar, you can use more if you don't like sour taste)

3: water
- 12-50 table spoons hot water (Some people don't like the strong sauce and want it to be diluted more. I use 30 table spoons.)



As for the vermicelli and salad, it's very easy. Just cook some vermicelli and add cilantro, Thai basil, mint, peanuts, lettuce, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, tofu, fried spring rolls, vegetarian meat, whatever you like.


zaterdag 3 december 2016

Pizza

This is not about making pizza, it's about making pizza dough. Every recipe on the internet says: "Mix all the ingredients, let it rise and it's done." But that's the way a dummie would do it. Which is what I am. I did it like this multiple times and didn't get my result. The dough tastes sour every time I make it. Even with different recipes it is still sour and the bubbles are tiny, like I'm making bread.




Well, I've just found out the secret about making real pizza dough with better flavours. It is called cold fermentation.

This post explains it perfectly. This pizza expert lays out how you should make the pizza.

So I made the dough, let it ferment 4 hours at room temperature and put it in the fridge for 3 days and it looks like this when it came out. I let it come to room temperature again, so I needed to wait 4 hours.






I separated it in two pieces and I knead it a bit to form two nice balls.





Wrap it in olive oil, wait another 2 hours and then the pizza dough is ready. Just roll it out and put your toppings on it.



The crust is very crusty and there are little holes and bubbles in it. It's perfect! The dough was very stretchy, so I could make it very thin.








I'll post the recipe here in case the page is deleted.

Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • 500 grams (17 ½ ounces or about 3 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast (can do 1 gram or ¼ teaspoon if you have time for a longer ferment)
  • 16 grams (2 teaspoons) fine table salt (you need more if you use course or kosher salt)
  • 350 grams (1 ½ cups) water
For the Sauce:
  • 1 small can of crushed Italian plum tomatoes, OR a 2 cans of well-drained whole plum tomatoes that you mash up well.
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • optional - 1 finely minced/pressed garlic clove
  • optional - chopped fresh oregano and/or basil
  • optional - ½ teaspoon of sugar and teaspoon of red wine vinegar to "intensify" the sweetness and acidity
To Finish and Serve:
  • 350 grams of mozzarella should be sufficient for 4 pizzas
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Directions
For the Dough:
  1. Mix your dry ingredients well so that the yeast and salt are well distributed
  2. Add the water a bit at a time, stirring each time to incorporate the water
  3. When all the water is added, mix until there is very little remaining dry flour. It should be a fairly sticky and "ragged" lump of dough. Cover it well - with either a tight-fitting lid and/or plastic wrap
  4. If you want to use it later that day, let it sit out for a minimum of 8 hours, and a maximum of 18 hours. Otherwise, let it sit out for 6-8 hours and then put it in the refrigerator for anywhere between 2 and 5 days. Take it out of the refrigerator at least 4 hours before you plan to use it so that it can come to room temperature.
  5. When ready to use, dump out the dough onto a well-floured surface and cut into 4 equal-size portions. Take each of these and knead for about 1 minute until smooth.
  6. Make smooth balls of dough using the inside-out pull and pinch on the bottom technique. Leave them on the counter, dusted with flour, for a minimum of 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel. 1-2 hours is best.
  7. To make the dough rounds, flatten the dough ball with your fingers. Use a little pulling and gravity to get the round about 50% larger. Stretch it the rest of the way by laying the dough on the backs of your hands, making fists, and stretching the outside of the dough round more and more, rotating it along the way.You want a fairly uniform thinness in the middle of the round, with a thicker ring going around the outside. (For a smoother (and still very good) final product without the irregular bubbles, you can also roll it out with a rolling pin. It really is fine this way (though perhaps less authentic and fun), and you are more likely to have a round pizza of uniform thickness that doesn't tear.)
For the Sauce:
  1. Just before cooking the pizza, mix together the sauce ingredients and leave by the stove.
To Finish and Serve:
  1. Put a large, oven-proof pan on your largest burner on high, and get it as hot as it can get - about 10 minutes. A drop of water should dance like crazy and evaporate in about 10 seconds.
  2. Turn on the broiler ("grill") of your oven and put the rack as high as it will go with your pan sitting on it.
  3. When the pan is hot, put your dough round right in it and cover it with sauce, shredded mozzarella (go easy with the cheese, you should see plenty of sauce through the cheese), and a little dribbling of olive oil.
  4. When you see that the dough has puffed up a bit (after about 1 minute), place the entire frying pan in your oven under the grill. Take it out when the top is as browned as you would like it to be.
  5. Add some fresh basil if you'd like, and/or some dry aged cheese like Parmesan or Romano.
  6. Allow the pizza to cool on a wire rack for 3-4 minutes. Don't just put it on a flat surface, or the crust will lose its crispness from the trapped steam.
  7. Cut with a pizza cutter or scissors, and enjoy!

dinsdag 12 april 2016

Vegetarian Squid

Ever wonder what you can do with Enoki Mushrooms? Well, you can make vegetarian squid.


Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

This is a very easy dish to make and very delicious.

You just need to mix together:
- Fried tofu
- Dark soy sauce
- Hot bean sauce
- Chili oil
- Oister sauce
- Quorn
- Sesame oil
- Thickening agent (maizena)


vrijdag 5 februari 2016

Vegetarian Char Siu

Here is how to make vegetarian char siu pork belly.




You only need:
- 1/2 kilo self raising flour
- 1 kilo wheat gluten powder
- water
- red rice yeast
- honey/maltose/brown sugar
- tomato concentrate
- (dark) soy sauce
- ketjap/ketchup
- mushroom flavour
- salt
- red fermented bean curd (which I didn't have in house)

Part 1:
Add water to the flour (self raising flour + wheat gluten powder) and let it sit.
Boil the red rice yeast for 15 min.


Part 2:
Wash the dough.
Steam the dough for 20 min.
Fry the dough.



Part 3:
Make the honey sauce from the red yeast sauce and add ketjap, sugar, salt, tomato paste, soy sauce.


Part 4:
Presentation.