Teriyaki Burgers: Red Tractor Week Blogger Challenge

Here’s yet another Japanese recipe for Red Tractor Week – just because the produce is British, doesn’t mean the recipes have to be! I’m taking part in a challenge to share my favourite recipes containing Red Tractor products, and I picked up some beef mince from Lidl with the Red Tractor logo so I could share this recipe with you. The Red Tractor logo on your food means that the product has reached the standard set out for animal welfare, food safety, traceability, and environmental protection. Plus, it can be traced back to British farms! (See the website here for more info.)

I love making these little burgers using pork and beef mince, although you can just use beef if you prefer. As you can see, they work really well in bento or lunch boxes, but equally you can have them for dinner. I like to serve them with rice, but you can also serve them with potato wedges for a more western-style meal.

Hamburger and pepper egg

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Spooky Swampy Green Thai Curry Recipe for Halloween

If you have some guests coming over for Halloween and you want to serve something in the spirit of the celebration, then have I got a recipe for you! There are loads of foods themed for children, but this is a slightly more subtle recipe that takes an old classic and gives it a little tweak to make it suitable for All Hallow’s Eve!

Spooky Green Thai Curry

Spooky Swampy Green Thai Curry Recipe

This recipe makes enough for 10-12 people, when served with rice.

Spooky Green Thai Curry

Ingredients text

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 6lb pork shoulder, diced
  • 4 tbsp green Thai curry paste
  • 3 cans light coconut milk (400ml each)
  • 3 cans full fat coconut milk (400ml each)
  • 2 sticks lemongrass
  • 40 dried lime leaves
  • 60ml fish sauce
  • 6 tsp sugar
  • 200g frozen chopped spinach
  • 2tsp green food colouring
  • 1kg frozen broccoli
  • Coriander to garnish
  • Rice to serve

Spooky Green Thai Curry

Method text

  • Fry the pork in batches until browned, and set to one side.
  • With your last batch of pork, add in your curry paste and cook for a minute.
  • Add a splash of water to the pan to bring up any juices stuck to the base.
  • Gradually add in your coconut milk, stirring well to remove lumps.
  • Add in the lime leaves and lemongrass, and return the pork to the pan.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is cooked.
  • Add in the fish sauce and sugar.
  • Add in your spinach and food colouring, then test for seasoning.
  • Now, if you’re making this overnight, allow to cool and place in the fridge, so you can remove excess coconut oil when it has solidified. Or, you can skim the oil from the surface with a ladle.
  • Around 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the frozen broccoli, and then cook until piping hot. Alternatively, to keep the broccoli’s colour, parboil, then refresh under cold running water, then run it under boiling water and add to the pan at the last minute.

Spooky Green Thai CurryYou can also read more about other Halloween food from past years here!

Square logo initials

Green bean, sweet potato and soy and balsamic vinegar chicken bento

I love the penguin pick in this bento. I bought it from J-List in a pack of sea-creature food picks, but I think the penguin is my favourite.

Inside this bento is a mixture of different recipes I was trying out for the first time. I think the sweet potato was a recipe from Wagamama, and included a honey and lime juice dressing. I’m not big on sweet potato, to be honest, and this one didn’t really sway me to the cause. This bento picture was actually taken over two years ago, and as you can see, I’d still not really perfected the art of packing onigiri… Ah well.

The orange bento box is from Daiso, and even though it’s one of the cheapest ones around, it’s still my favourite because it’s such a nifty oval shape. The front tier contains soy-balsamic chicken and spicy green beans, both adapted from Harumi’s Japanese Cooking – both of her English cookery books are great, although I prefer the second one!

Green bean, sweet potato and balsamic chicken bento

Spicy green beans


INGREDIENTS

  • 150g green beans
  • 75g minced pork
  • 1 tbsp garlic oil (or use olive oil and some garlic puree)
  • Pinch dried chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

METHOD

  • If making for the bento, trim your green beans (or French, or fine…whatever you call them!) into halves or even thirds, so they can be picked up easily by chopsticks.
  • Boil for about four minutes, then drain and refresh quickly in very cold water. This is to retain their colour. Drain again, and shake off excess water.
  • Heat the garlic oil in the pan and add the pork, stirring to break up. Now add the chilli pepper and stir well to coat, then add the soy sauce and sugar.
  • Mix well, ensuring the sugar has dissolved, and then serve the beans with the mince on top.

Note

You can increase or decrease the chilli powder according to your tastes, just ensure it’s all mixed in well or someone will be getting a surprise in their bento box…

Soy and balsamic vinegar chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • Six chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil

METHOD

  • Mix the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a pan, then simmer. Allow to cook for several minutes, reducing the sauce until itโ€™s thick and glossy.
  • Now wash and dry your chicken thighs, and place them in a hot pan with the oil, and allow to brown on one side. Turn them over and pour over the sauce, then cover and cook for five minutes, taking care not to let the sauce burn over too high a heat.
  • Remove the chicken and test itโ€™s cooked by slicing a piece in half. Return to the heat if it needs longer.
  • For a bento, allow to cool before slicing and dressing with some extra sauce.

Note

You will need about one or two chicken thighs, depending on size, per person for a bento lunch.

These recipes originally appeared in 501 Bento Box Lunches, published by Graffito Books.