Mongolian Beef, Slow Cooked

The meat in Mongolian Beef is usually thinly sliced, but the chuck steak I bought was already cubed. Undeterred, I pressed on with my plan.

This is an occasion when I tried to imitate a commercial sauce. I used a little Xanthan gum in the recipe. I don’t believe it made any significant difference, and can be left out. Most recipes call for quite a lot of brown sugar. I used considerably less, for the flavour, not the sweetness, and included a non-standard dollop of sweet soy. Ordinary dark soy and brown sugar is fine.

Other vegetables such as capsicum, carrot, beans can be added towards the end of cooking time if desired. I did not have them on hand.


  • 400g Beef, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1Tbsp (slightly heaped) cornflour
  • 1Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1Tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy)
  • (1/8 tsp Xanthan gum) optional?
  • 2cups Beef stock
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp crushed or grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Ground black or Szechuan pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced vertically into segments
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil


  1. Mix the beef, cornflour and rice wine vinegar and leave to marinate an hour or two
  2. Heat the oil and brown the meat.
  3. Add half the stock and as soon as the sauce starts to thicken, transfer to the slow cooker
  4. Deglaze with the other half of the stock, and rinse the pan into the slow cooker
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir
  6. Cook 4-6 hours.

Serve with Jasmine rice.

Posted in Beef, chilli, Chinese, Con-fusion cooking, fusion, sauce, slow cooker, spices | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken and Cheese Meatball Fettuccine



I’m counting calories now. After weighing and measuring, Googling and consulting MyFitnessPal I worked out this recipe makes three servings of about 2000 kJ each.


Sufficient for three serves.


  • 400g Chicken mince (lean)
  • 1chicken sausage
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 1Tbsp Italian herb mix
  • 1Tbsp milk (Into the breadcrumbs first)
  • 1tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs plus more for coating the meatballs
  • A splash or two of Worcestershire sauce
  • Oil for frying


  1. Remove the sausage meat from its casing and mix with all the other ingredients  until consistent in texture. 
  2. Cover and stand in the refrigerator for an hour or so
  3. With clean hands roll into about 18 balls and roll in breadcrumbs
  4. Fry in oil until brown and cooked through
  5. Put aside until sauce is made then return to the sauce to reheat.


  • 1tin (345g) tomato purée
  • 1Tbsp chopped basil
  • 1small onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/4 green capsicum, chopped
  • 2Tbsp sun dried tomato
  • Oil for frying
  1. Start cooking the fettuccine until al dente
  2. Wipe out the frying pan with a paper towel
  3. Fry the onion in oil until translucent
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer
  5. Return the meatballs to the pan and heat through
  6. When the fettuccine is done, there you are.

Serve garnished with basil and/or Parmesan.

Makes three servings.

NOTE: I have found that adding a little sausage meat to meatballs is the best way to ensure they bind well.

Posted in chicken, fusion, Italian, Mince, Pasta, sacred food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Garlic Prawn Stir Fry


Continuing my search for good meals for one to that are quick and simple to prepare, preferably in only one pan, in a caravan. And in furtherance of my determination to eat good healthy food, but not have heaps of leftovers.

  • 200g raw prawns shelled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 small onion peeled and sliced vertically
  • 1/3 red capsicum sliced
  • 1/4 head of broccoli sliced to bite size with the stump cut into slivers
  • 1 tsp arrowroot or cornflour
  • A splash of fish sauce
  • A dash of sweet soy (kecap manis)
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 cup water with a Tbsp rice wine for cooking
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • A squirt of sesame oil
  • A knob of butter or margarine
  1. Prepare the vegetables
  2. Heat the oil in your wok or large frying pan
  3. Quickly stir- fry the prawns with the garlic for a minute or so then toss in the vegetables and stir fry a bit more
  4. Add the butter
  5. Mix the remaining liquid ingredients with the parsley and arrowroot, pour into the pan.
  6. Toss the veges and prawns until they are well coated and the sauce thickens.
  7. Add pepper to taste
  8. Serve

Serve as is, or with rice or noodles.

Posted in Chinese, Con-fusion cooking, oil, prawns, sauce, seafood, vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kate’s Dalai Lama Soup.

In honour of the Dalai Lama, Kate created this delicious soup from homemade vegetable stock, onion, turmeric, pumpkin, carrots and orange sweet potatoes, and from purple sweet potatoes, beetroot, red onion and carrot. The colours represent the robes of the DL.

This is a vegan dish.

Kate will not talk recipe, but she did list the ingredients for me. More or less. This is a creation. A work of culinary art.

I know she took a lot of trouble over the stock. It had the usual vegetables, celery, carrot etc and fresh homegrown herbs, onion, garlic and some left over bean salad I made the day before. Cooked and strained. When it was divided in two for the different coloured soups she then took great care to ensure the consistency of both halves matched. Without mains power, she did not use a blender wand, which I would recommend if you are trying this. only fresh vegetables and homegrown herbs and turmeric were used, plus salt and pepper.

I can see lots of spicy chilli or curry variations on this using dahl and other ingredients, even changing the colour scheme by using tomato and spinach, or leek with cauliflower combined with broccoli and asparagus. Or herbs such as turmeric and paprika. There is no reason not to use commercial stock or not to introduce creative additions such as coconut cream, sour cream, lentils,

The yin/yang plating out is done using silicone egg rings, thus:

Just remove the rings and sprinkle on some herbs and pepper.

Posted in Con-fusion cooking, entree, fusion, soup, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken And Capsicum Fajitas the easy way.

When you live in a caravan, it is time to simplify.

For example I halved this recipe.


  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, sliced thinly
  • I packet of proprietory fajita spice mix
  • 2 chillies
  • 1/2 each red and green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • Ready made salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Oil for frying (chilli oil)
    Brown the chicken in hot oil with the chillies
    Add the onion and spice mix
    Stir fry until fragrant
    Add the capsicum and stir fry until the chicken is cooked
    Serve on warmed soft tortilla with salsa, sour cream and coriander

Posted in chicken, chilli, Con-fusion cooking, Cream, Mexican, spices | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chilli oil

This one is easy.

Remove the stems from dried chillies and split them.

Add them to 500ml olive oil in a saucepan and heat gently until the chillies begin to sizzle. Remove from the heat, cool and bottle.

The oil and chillies can both be used in cooking.

Posted in chilli, condiment, oil | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicken Tarka

My poultry adaption of Tarka dahl, the traditional Bengali vegetarian dish of Chana Dahl, gram and cumin.

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 200g chana dhal (yellow dried split peas)
  • Water for cooking the dahl
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, mashed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 or 3 red chillies
  • 2 or 3 curry leaves or a bay leaf
  • a thumb of ginger chopped finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Cook the dahl (split peas) in salted water until soft.

Rinse and drain

Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices except the garam in oil

add the chicken and fry for a few minutes more

Add the Dahl, mashed chickpeas, stock and tomato

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 mins, or until the mixture has thickened sufficiently, stirring now and again

Taste, add salt and pepper as required then stir in the garam.

Simmer a little more then serve with rice or naan.

Posted in curry, Indian, slow cooker, Traditional, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment