Are you a foodie ?? Passionate about good food,  reading about good food, making good food ? Shopping for good food? or just Eating good food ?

Then here’s my final question “Have you read Gourmet ??”  It’s a monthly publication published by ITP  and it’s one of my monthly buys in terms of my foodie input.  Written by foodies for foodies of all descriptions, it’s a great read and somewhere I always go for monthly food news and views, recipe inspiration, trends and new food finds in Dubai amongst other things.  As well as inspiring me in all sorts of foodie ways, they also run some great competitions with amazing prizes for their readers.  One of the prizes recently was a  a cooking Masterclass at Blue Jade a contemporary pan asian restaurant in Ritz Carlton in Jumeirah Beach Resort.    I was invited along too and met a number of real passionate foodies on the day, including one lady who had won the competition by sending her recipe to the Gourmet team and was ecstatic to have been chosen to attend.

The Masterclass, held just before Ramadan, took us on a journey through the East where we were invited by Chef Ta Van (from Vietnam) to cook and eat some great food.  We were treated to a really interesting masterclass where we got the opportunity to get our hands dirty and to make Dim Sum, Sushi and the Sea bass dish and just as importantly to taste it at the end.  On the menu we had Chicken Dim Sum, Tempura Maki, Ginger Lotus Sea Bass and a dessert of Banana Sago.

I’m delighted to share with you three of the recipes Tempura MakiChicken Dimsum and Banana Sago which looked and tasted great and we got to try our hand at making too.

Tempura Maki (serves 6 pieces)

Ingredients :

  • 100g Shrimp (shelled)
  • 30g Tempura flour
  • 30g Sushi rice
  • 10ml Sushi Vinegar
  • 50g Cucumber (cut into sticks)
  • 1 sheet of noori 
  • 10g Shisho Leaf (julienne)
  • 5g Tobiko – these are  bright orange flying fish eggs
  • 80g Avocado (cut into sticks)
  • 10ml Japanese mayonnaise
  • 20ml Soya Sauce
  • 20g Picked Ginger
  • 10g Spring Onion
  • 5g Sesame Seed
  • 5g Wasabi

Instructions 

  • Marinade the shrimps in salt & pepper then deep fry them in tempura flour until crisp
  • Cook the sushi rice in a rice cooker for approximately 30 minutes then mix in the sushi vinegar and set aside until it reaches room temperature
  • Spread the sushi rice onto the noori sheet and then place all the remaining ingredients on the sushi rice and roll – shaping into a square shape if possible
  • Cover the roll with sesame seeds and the red tobiko
  • Cut the roll into six pieces and garnish with mayonnaise
  • Serve with picked ginger, soya sauce, shredded spring onions and wasabi

Chicken Dimsum (serving 5 pieces)

  • 100g Chicken thigh (minced)
  • 30g Shitake mushroom (finely chopped)
  • 10g Spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 10g Corriander (chopped)
  • 15g Shallots (finely chopped)
  • 30g Bok Choy (cut small)
  • 20ml Soya Sauce
  • 5ml Fish Sauce
  • 3g Sugar
  • 2g Salt
  • 30g Wonton sheet
  • 3g Garlic
  • 2ml Oyster Sauce

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl mix the minced chicken with all the chopped vegetables and seasoning (salt, sugar, fish sauce, garlic & oyster sauce) for at least 3 minutes or until the ingredients are well mixed
  • Set mixture aside to chill for 15 minutes in the fridge
  • Take a wanton sheet and place 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture in the centre, wrap the wanton up and around the sides of the chicken to form a wonton
  • Place wontons in the steamer
  • Steam for 10 minutes
  • Serve with sautéed bok choy and soya sauce to dip

Ginger Lotus Sea Bass – Chef Ta Van is passionate about his vietnamese heritage and shared with us the restaurants signature dish which he learned from his grandmother. I love how food can transport you back to a time and a place, and as Chef patiently sautéed then stirred the ingredients for the sauce, the kitchen was filled with an amazing aroma and his face came alive with memories of his childhood and cooking with his family.  Once cooked the sauce was ladled into the bottom of a lotus leaf, topped with sea bass fillet and then expertly wrapped into a pretty square shape to be baked in the oven and presented at the table with many a ‘oooh and ahh’ as we delighted in the both the looks of the dish and the amazing aromas.

My foodie friend who writes at IshitaUnblogged has covered the art of making Ginger Lotus Sea Bass on her website so please do take a look.

Banana Sago

Ingredients

  • 150g Banana
  • 50g Sugar
  • 30g Sago
  • 30g Pandan Leaves
  • 50ml Coconut Milk
  • 50g Pandan ice cream

Instructions

  • Add sago to boiling water and cook for 5-10 minutes, then strain and set aside
  • Melt 25g of sugar into a hot pan until caramelised and add the banana and cook until soft
  • In a separate pan, boil the coconut milk with 25g sugar and add the sago.  Boil for 3 minutes then set aside
  • In a food processor, blend the pandan leaves and extract the juice.  Mix the juice with the coconut milk mixture

To Serve – pour the coconut mixture into a cold bowl,  Top with carmelised banana and pandan ice cream.  Drizzle the sauce on top and serve with jasmine rice.

The final part of our day, and always the best part, was that we got to sample the fruits of our labours, or should I say the well polished, perfectly executed and flavourful dishes which Chef Ta Van and his team had produced for us.

Bon Appetit

PS You can probably get most of the ingredients in the ‘around the world’ or ‘ethnic’ or ‘asian’ sections of your supermarket, for those harder to find ingredients then I’m told that a trip to Sunflower Thai Grocery in Karama is worth the trip (though I’ve not gone there yet).  It’s located on Street 12D (off Kuwait Road) Tel : 04 396 4611

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