Recipe of the week……..seafood

Seafood Hotpot

Versions of this soup can be found throughout South-Asia where it is traditionally served as a broth cooked over a gas flame at the table. Diners add their own meat, seafood, noodles and vegetables to the broth, an Asian fondue if you like. The soup is then served with piles of fresh herbs, chillies and beansprouts to scatter over each bowl of soup. This version is a simplified one.


Serves: 4 

250 g raw king prawns

2 litres water

2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped

8 lime leaves, torn

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2-5 cm piece root ginger, peeled and sliced

1 Thai red chilli, bashed

4 tbs Thai fish sauce

2 tbs palm sugar

juice 1-2 limes

350 g dried rice noodles

250 g cleaned squid tubes

250 g shelled scallops

4 tbs chopped fresh herbs – Thai basil, mint and coriander

to serve

125 g fresh beansprouts

a few fresh Thai basil, mint and coriander

A few sliced Thai red chillies

Make the broth. Peel the prawn shells and heads, wash briefly and place the shells and heads in a saucepan with the water, lemon grass, lime leaves, garlic, ginger and chilli. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain the stock and return to the pan. Stir in the fish sauce, sugar and enough lime juice to taste and return to the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain well and set aside.

Using a sharp knife cut down along the top of each shelled prawn and pull out and discard the intestinal tract. Wash and pat dry. Cut the squid tubes in half and score the underside in a diamond pattern. Trim the scallops.

Add the seafood to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the seafood is cooked. Add noodles and chopped herbs. Transfer the pot to the table for guests to serve themselves and hand around a platter of beans sprouts, herbs and chillies.

Seafood Hotpot 2

Recipe of the week……….chicken

Honey roasted chicken with lemon, olives and herbs

A great mid week meal, ready to pop into the oven in minutes. The roasted lemons infuse the chicken as it cooks and the honey is a lovely balancing of flavours. Serve with green beans or any other green veg.

Honey Baked Chicken

Serves: 4

1.5 kg chicken, jointed into 4

1 lemon, quartered

2 tbs olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbs clear honey

1 tsp Tobasco

1 tbs each chopped fresh thyme and rosemary

500 g small potatoes, scrubbed and halved

50 g pitted black olives

1 tbs chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c and line a large roasting tin with baking paper. Place the chicken pieces in the prepared tin. Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl and reserve the skins. Add the oil, garlic, honey, Tobasco, herbs and some salt and pepper to the lemon juice and stir well.

Add to the chicken with the potatoes and the reserved lemon quarters and stir well until evenly combined.

Transfer to the oven and roast about 45-50 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are brown and tender. Add the olives and roast for a further 5 minutes. Scatter over the parsley and serve with some French beans.


Recipe of the week……….cod.

Chinese-style steamed cod with ginger

After the excess of the Christmas period this is a light yet comforting Chinese steamed fish recipe. I use cod but you could use any firm white fish such as bream, snapper or ling.

Steamed Cod with pak Choi

Serves: 4

2 tbs light soy sauce

1 tsp white sugar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

5 cm piece root ginger, peeled

4 x 200 g white fish fillets, such as cod, snapper or ling

100 ml chicken stock

3 tbs Shaoxing Chinese rice wine

4 baby pak choi, quartered

4 large spring onions, very thinly sliced

2 tbs peanut oil

coriander leaves, to garnish

plain boiled rice, to serve

Combine the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil in a jug. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and set aside.

Cut the peeled ginger into thin slices and then into thin strips or julienne. Place the fish on a deep heatproof plate (an enamel plate is ideal – or use foil to shape into a bowl) set in a large bamboo steamer. Scatter over half the ginger and pour in the stock and rice wine.

Top the steamer with a lid and place over a saucepan of lightly simmering water. Cook for 5 minutes and then carefully pop the pak choi into the steamer over the fish. Cover and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked.

Place the peanut oil in a small pan and heat gently until the oil is hot and starting to shimmer.

Transfer the fish and pak choi to serving plates, scatter over the remaining ginger and the spring onions and immediately pour over the hot oil, to soften the ginger and onions. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve with small bowls of rice.