Tag Archives: Leek

Rich White Chicken Ramen

(serves 3)
This is a relatively easy way to make an impressive rich chicken stock for Ramen, on par with those in Ramen restaurants. You won’t need to grind bones and slave over the simmering stock for hours, simply by using soy milk as the secret ingredient. A lazy man’s Torikotsu Ramen if you will. The Chicken Chashu and Caramelized Leek used in this recipe give this Ramen its own character.  


  1. Chicken Wings (8)
  2. Chicken Breast (2 halves)
  3. Ramen Noodles (3 servings)
  4. Bacon (3 slices)
  5. Soy Milk (1.5 cups)
  6. Eggs (3)
  7. Leek (1)
  8. Hon Dashi
  9. Soya Sauce
  10. Chicken Stock Cube (1)
  11. Sesame Oil
  12. Sesame Seeds
  13. Coriander Seed Powder

The Night Before 

  1. Rinse the wings, they must be whole, not just the mid-joint. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Place the wings into the boiling water together with 3 slices of bacon.
  2. Cut the leek into half. It should be at least 1 inch in diameter, or else use more than 1 leek to compensate. Place the top half with the leafy portion into the pot and retain the lower half for later use. Keep the pot on a very low simmer for an hour and then leave covered overnight.
  3. Brine the 2 pieces of chicken breasts in a solution of 4T salt and 4t soft brown sugar dissolved in 4 cups of cold water. Make sure all the meat is submerged and keep them in the fridge overnight. (refer to the link in the notes below if you haven’t done this before)
  4. Boil some water in a different pot and place 3 eggs in the boiling water for 7 minutes and then straight into iced water. This is to get the yolks runny but the whites cooked, the so-called Ajitama style egg. Shell the eggs carefully and soak them in a solution of 1T of soya sauce and 0.5t of soft brown sugar in 1 cup of water. Keep them in the fridge overnight as well. (again refer to the link in the notes if you haven’t done this before)

The Next Day

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer again. Boil until the volume is reduced to about 3 cups. In the meanwhile…
  2. Rinse the brined chicken breasts thoroughly and marinate in 2T sesame oil, 1t Chinese Wine, 1t coriander seed powder and 2T sesame seeds.
  3. Take the boiled eggs out of the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature.
  4. Julienne the remaining half of the leek. Pan fry the leek in 4T of oil until they are light brown. The leek should continue to darken for a while after your turn off the fire.
  5. Pour the stock through a strainer to remove any sediment, discard all the solids. Pour the filtered stock back into the pot. Add 1 chicken stock cube, 2t of Hon Dashi and 0.5t of sugar, followed by 1.5 cups of soya milk. Bring to a simmer again.
  6. Remove and reserve half the crispy leek from the pan for later use as garnishing. Add some of your chicken soup to the pan with the other half of the crispy leek, stir and pour everything back into the soup pot.
  7. Arrange the sesame seeds in the marinade onto the chicken breasts like a crust. In a toaster oven, cook the chicken breasts for 10 minutes at 150oC followed by another 10 min at 200oC. Alternatively you can roast them for about 13 minutes in a regular oven preheated to 180oC. In either case the chicken is done when it begins to shrink. Check visually to make sure you don’t over cook.
  8. Allow the breasts to rest and when at room temperature slice them as shown below. Deglaze the baking tray with some of your chicken soup and pour everything back into the soup pot.
  9. When the soup has been reduced to 3 cups again, skim off any film that has formed on the surface and it is ready for use. Check for taste and add a bit of water or salt as needed; remember that Ramen soup has to be more salty than regular soup.
  10. Cook the raw noodles in a separate pot of boiling water. Strain the noodles and separate them into 3 large bowls. Add boiling soup and top off with the chicken slices, the crispy leek and the eggs sliced in half.


  • If your chicken breast came with the breast bone, cut this out carefully and boil it with the wings. In fact any chicken bones you have on hand can be added to the stock pot. They will increase the gelatin content of your stock. 
  • Your soya milk should not be of the sweetened variety. It’s the type some people add to their coffee in place of creamer.
  •  If you are unfamiliar with brining, you can refer to this page (but ignoring the poaching part).
  • If you are unfamiliar with making runny yolk eggs, you can refer to this page (but ignoring the optional part).
  • Use whatever type of noodles you like but if you want to be authentic and can’t find real raw ramen noodles, you can make ramen noodles out of spaghetti following the procedure from this page.

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Flourless New England Clam Chowder

(serves 10)
New England or Boston Clam Chowder, the ultimate blending of seafood and vegetables in a hearty soup. When you are making 
America’s most famous soup there are a few things you want. Thicken the chowder without any taste of flour, make the chowder faster without having to wait an eternity for the potatoes to disintegrate, give the chowder rich layers of flavour. After a lot of trial and error, I think I have come up with just the right recipe to achieve all these things. 

Ingredientsclam chowder 1000

  1. Canned Clams in Brine (3 x 184g)
  2. Bacon (6 slices)
  3. Canned Anchovies in Oil (50g wet weight)
  4. White Wine (0.5 cup)
  5. Potatoes (5 large)
  6. Leek (1 stalk)
  7. Onions (2)
  8. Scallion (10 stalks)
  9. Mascarpone (125g)
  10. Bread (4 slices)
  11. Hon Dashi
  12. Sherry
  13. Dill Weed

Preparation Part I

  1. Cut the crust off 4 slices of bread and leave in the fridge to dry overnight.
  2. Peel the potatoes. Boil 3 (not all 5) of them in a large pot with 10 cups of water.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, cube the bread into 1cm pieces and crush them into crumbs in a plastic bag with a mallet. Toast the bread cubes lightly if they are not crispy enough to be smashed.
  4. Dice 5 slices of semi frozen bacon and allow them to thaw.
  5. Fish the potatoes from the pot after boiling them for 20 minutes. Keep the water on a low simmer and put the bread crumbs in.
  6. Julienne the onions. Partially open a tin of anchovies and pour its oil into a pan. Fry half of the onions on low heat in the pan, stirring occasionally.
  7. In the meanwhile dice the remaining 2 potatoes into 1cm cubes. Julienne the scallion and the leek. Don’t add them to the pot just yet; you can put the cut vegetables with the raw onion bits.
  8. When the onions have become limp and translucent, mash the anchovies in the tin itself and add to the pan. Stir fry for a minute to mix the anchovy into the onions, turn up the fire and then deglaze the pan with half a cup of white wine. Bring to a boil and after a minute pour the contents of the pan into the simmering pot.
  9. Next, stir fry the bacon bits in the same pan. When the bacon fat has rendered and the bacon begins to brown add the brine from the clams, reserving the meat for later use. After a minute after it reaches boiling, again pour the contents of the pan into the (still simmering) pot.
  10. When all the breadcrumbs have melted, mash the 3 cooked potatoes and add the mash to the pot followed by all the vegetable bits. Add 1T of Hon Dashi pellets, 1T dill weed and 1t sugar. Top up with water such that everything is submerged. Continue to simmer for another 40 minutes stirring occasionally, then leave the pot covered on the stove to cool.
  11. When you are about ready to serve your clam chowder, bring the pot back to a boil and add the clam meat. Place 125g of mascarpone in a bowl with some hot liquid from the pot. Mix until all the lumps are gone and pour back into the pot.
  12. Add 3T of sherry and 1t black pepper, simmer for a further 5 minutes and then add salt (and sugar) to taste. Serve with oyster or other similar type of unsalted crackers


  • If you have fresh clam meat you can add that to the chowder in step 10, but you still need to use the canned clams, for the clam brine.
  • Yes I did not use any celery in my recipe, its not essential in my opinion. If you insist on adding some chopped celery, fry them with the onions in step 6.
  • If you are using waxy type potatoes, you can keep the skin on the diced potatoes if you prefer. Depending on the size of your potatoes you may need more than 5; I’ve assumed the use of large ones. For a thinner chowder, mash only 2 potatoes.
  • If you don’t have any Hon Dashi, you can substitute in any kind of seafood-type stock cube.
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Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Recipe, Seafood, Soups


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Cod Liver on Leek Amuse-bouche

(serves as 3 appetizers or 6 amuse-bouche)
This is a delicate combination of smoked cod liver, leeks and sesame seeds that will go perfectly as an amuse-bouche. While the ingredients are inexpensive, this dish will still score high on the novelty factor. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t cod liver fishy? Not in this case. It’ll be like seafood flavoured faux foie gras. This dish is served chilled and you can prepare it ahead of time.

note: please refer to my Smoked Cod Liver post before proceeding.


  1. Smoked Cod Liver (1 tin)
  2. Leek (3/4 cup julienned)
  3. Sake (3/4 cup)
  4. Sesame Seeds (3t)
  5. Woustershire Sauce
  6. Mint Leaves (1t chopped)
  7. Coriander Seed Powder


  1. Two hours ahead, decant the oil of the smoked cod liver into a bowl for later use, then soak the cod liver pieces in 3/4 cup of sake. 
  2. Slice the leek into half lengthwise first and then proceed to julienne it diagonally to get long strips.
  3. Its now two hours later. Stir fry the leek in 4T of the cod infused oil under a low flame until the leek softens and just begins to brown. Put aside the cod liver pieces and add the sake to the leek in the pan.
  4. As the sake boils down slowly, add 0.5T woustershire sauce, 0.5t corriander seed powder, 0.5t suger, 1t of chopped mint leaves and a pinch of salt. Turn off the heat when the sake is about a fifth of its original volume. Allow to cool.
  5. After everything has cooled, prepare a bed of leek on each serving dish. Spoon over all the liquid from the pan as well. Evenly, sprinkle 3t of sesame seeds on the leek beds.
  6. Cut the liver pieces to the appropriate size as shown in the photo. You should make the cuts such that a cut surface faces up for each piece where possible. These have a reddish hue which makes for a much better appearance. You’ll notice that we at no point applied heat to the smoked cod liver, that’s the way its meant to be.
  7. Finish off with a light sprinkle of black pepper. Refrigerate until the point of serving.


  • What happened to the fishy taste? Smoking the cod liver had removes some of it and soaking it in sake neutralizes the rest. I’ve experimented soaking it from half an hour to overnight and I think 2 hours leaves you with just the right residual taste.The beauty here is we are not masking the fishiness with an overpowering smell like garlic, but removing it using a chemical reaction.
  • The accompanying picture is of an appetizer portion. If you are doing amuse-bouche, one of the best ways to serve this is in oriental porcelain spoons. Its just the right size for a mouthful.

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Dry Poached Salmon, with Leek Custard

(serves 6)
This is a dry poached recipe, that is to say the salmon is placed in zip-loc which is then boiled. This results in wonderfully tender pieces of salmon. The meat is then smothered in a mild custard which makes the tasting experience smoother than ever. Finally the dish is topped off with a wig of crispy fried leek, which lends just the right touch of  savoury bitterness.

Main Ingredients

  1. Salmon Fillet (500g)
  2. Large Leek (1)
  3. Custard (Bird’s) Powder (1T)
  4. Butter (50g)
  5. Milk (1 cup)
  6. Dill Weed (1T)
  7. Cumin (1t)
  8. Vegetable stock cube (0.5)
  9. Cognac (1T)
  10. Oil for deep frying


Preparation – Custard

  1. Make some instant stock using half a stock cube, one cup of hot water, 1t of cumin and 1T of dill weed (I also substitute/add chopped taragon or cilantro depending on my mood).
  2. Mix 1T of custard powder with 2T of cold milk  and 1t of sugar in a mixing bowl while heating up 1 cup of milk in the microwave till it is hot but not yet boiling. Slowly add the hot milk to the concentrated custard mixture while stirring. Lumps form easily if you do this too fast, and if you do discover lumps, force the whole mixture through a fine strainer.
  3. Cut the bottom one third of your leek into rings which are as thin as you can manage (see photo).  Put the thin rings aside for deep frying later. Cut the rest of the leek lengthwise and proceed to julienne the remainder of the stalk into thick half rings.
  4. Pan fry the half rings in some butter till they soften. Turn the fire down to minimum and add the custard, then lighten the custard by slowly stirring in your pre-prepared stock. Add 1T of cognac and some pepper,  taste and use additional seasoning if required. When the mixture is at the right consistancy, remove from heat and allow to cool. Sprinkle in some chopped parsley for a better appearance if you fancy.

Preparation – Salmon

  1. Start by putting a large pot of water to boil.
  2. If your salmon still has skin attached, cut that off first. Its alright to retain the strips of dark meat under ths skin. Next, cut the salmon into pieces which are 1/4 inch thick . Keep in mind how you wish to arrange the dish before proceeding with this step. For the example shown I used a campfire style arrangement to better house the custard, so I poached my salmon in 3 inch wide pieces, before cutting them into fingers at the end.
  3. Brush each piece of salmon on both sides with some melted butter. Arrange the fish inside one or more zip loc bags such that each piece of salmon has contact with both sides of the bag. Use thin bags, not the freezer type. Press out all the air before zipping up.
  4. Cook the fish by immersing the zip loc bag(s) in water at full boil. For best results, poach one bag at a time, making sure there is at least 10x more water than fish. Cover and turn off the heat immediately after the bag goes in. Leave it in for about 5 minutes (this really depends on the size of your fish pieces) and thereafter set them aside to cool, unopenned.
  5. Deep fry the thin leek rings till they start to go from yellow to brown. They will continue to darken even after you turn the fire off so don’t over do this. Cool in a strainer and not the oil itself or they won’t be crispy.
  6. Finally, retrieve your salmon from the zip loc(s) and cut/arrange as required. Spoon generous amounts of custard onto the fish and top off with the crispy leek. You can serve this dish refrigerated or at room temperature.


  • Why do I use the dry poach method for this recipe? I’ve tried poaching in water, poaching in court bullion, poaching in bacon and milk. In normal poaching, the liquid leaches away the taste and natural oils of the salmon unless you poach the entire fish with skin intact. On the other hand, if salmon is cooked with direct heat, like in a pan, the high heat will over harden the salmon flesh. Dry poaching is the best way by far.
  • If the campfire is too tedious, you can also try a lasagna style with the custard sandwiched between the salmon.
  • For poached fish, its paramount that you use fish that has never been frozen.Buy cuts of salmon fillet which are rectangular slabs (i.e. not the type with bone and stomach cavity. )  
  • On the stock. The best option actually would be to use Hon Dashi pellets (bonito flavour) but since not everyone knows where to get it, I’ve substituted a vegetable stock cube in the recipe. BTW, its ok to use a chicken cube too, but not beef, lamb etc.
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Posted by on May 19, 2010 in Appetizers, English, Seafood


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