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Fast Chinese Recipes

If you’re looking for quick and spicy dishes to celebrate Chinese New Year, we have the likes of kung pao chicken, ma po beancurd, XO pipis with Chinese broccoli and plenty more fire and crunch here.

Noma Australia: the first review

Curious about the hype surrounding Noma Australia? Pat Nourse heads to lunch and delivers the first verdict...

Fast and fresh summer recipes

Fish in a flash, speedy stir-fries, ripe and ready fruit – magic dishes in moments. Here's a preview of the recipes in our February 2016 issue.

Stir-fry recipes

A centrepiece of stir-fried lobster with garlic stems or Neil Perry’s stir-fried beef with Sichuan peppercorns and sweet bean sauce? Whichever you choose, our online collection of 22 wok-tossed recipes is bound to cause a stir.

Lebanese-style snapper

"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

Green salad with vinaigrette

"Our seven-year-old, Arwen, has been making this vinaigrette since she was five - she tastes it as she goes," says Levy Redzepi. "It's fresh and acidic and as good as the leaves. Frillice lettuce is crunchy but it's thin so it's like a perfect mix of cos and iceberg."

Prego rolls

"This is a Mozambican specialty and one of the foods that changed my life in terms of African cuisine," says Duncan Welgemoed. "The best spot to get a prego roll in South Africa is the Radium Beerhall. It's run by my godfather, Manny, and is the oldest pub in Jo'burg. The meats are grilled out the back by Mozambican staff and are still done the same way today as they were 30 years ago." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the beef.

Homemade white bread

"Not multigrain, not gluten-free, nor rye or whole wheat - classic white bread is the only acceptable canvas for your delicious passion project, the brisket," says Curtis Stone. "Texas barbecue sides are supposed to be minimalist, but minimalist done right. Baking soft, fluffy bread from scratch is doing it just right (and then some). Plus, stuffing brisket into a slice of bread means you can eat with your hands, the way it ought to be." Makes 2 loaves.

September: Kiwi


You'll need

4 butternut biscuits 2 green kiwifruits 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt To drizzle: honey 2 gold kiwifruits

Method

  • 01
  • Coarsely crush butternut biscuits and spoon evenly among four 1 cup-capacity glasses. Peel and cut kiwifruits into 1cm pieces and place over biscuits, then spoon ¼ cup of thick Greek yoghurt over each and drizzle with honey. Top glasses with gold kiwifruits, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces, and serve immediately.

It’s been an amazing journey for this furry fruit, transplanted from the mountains of south-west China to be commercially cultivated in New Zealand (such is its connection with that country, that, according to Larousse Gastronomique [Hamlyn], New Zealanders eat kiwifruits “at every meal, fresh as a dessert, or in a salad”).

Originally known as the Chinese gooseberry, it was probably rechristened kiwifruit for marketing purposes. The father of the commercial version was Auckland nurseryman and horticulturalist Hayward Wright, who selected the current green breed in about 1930. Known as the Hayward variety, it’s hardy, with a long shelf life, making it an ideal export fruit.

The kiwifruit has gone on to travel the globe, and is now also grown in California, Chile, Japan, France, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Italy. The largest producer is actually Italy, followed by New Zealand, while Australia is a relatively new producer. Harvested mid-winter, the kiwi is full of vitamin C, containing more than 100 per cent of the recommended daily intake. For most, the kiwifruit is an omnipresent part of pavlova; its popularity rose to great heights in the late 70s and the 80s on account of nouvelle cuisine, then became unfashionable in restaurants by the 90s. The fruit has seen a revival in recent years, thanks largely to the introduction of the Zespri gold variety.

Varieties
There are more than 50 known types of kiwifruits growing in the wild, with the fruit ranging in size, colour and sweetness. New Zealand’s HortResearch is developing new varieties for commercial production, after the success of the Zespri gold and baby kiwifruits (also known as the arguta).

The green Hayward variety commands market share. Oval-shaped with a furry brown skin, the fruit’s emerald-green flesh is firm and slightly tart in taste. It is particularly popular in parts of Asia where green is considered a spiritual colour. Green kiwifruits are harvested from June to December.

The new kid on the block is the Zespri gold with its smooth light-brown skin and pointy crown. The bright golden flesh is sweet with some tropical nuances. The Zespri gold season is slightly shorter than that of the green, starting in about June and running until September.

The arguta, or baby kiwifruit, is only in the early stages of introduction to the market. Its light green, grape-like fruit is often referred to as a berry, because of its small size. It has a smooth, edible skin and limited availability – from February to March.

To buy, store...
A kiwifruit’s robust skin keeps its flesh well protected. Choose firm fruit with no soft or mushy patches (they indicate bruising and over-ripeness). The green Haywards are best when left to ripen and soften slightly at room temperature before consuming, while the gold variety are a little more fragile than the green and are best eaten while firm. The fruit can be successfully stored in the refrigerator to prolong its shelf life.

And cook
Cooking kiwifruits destroys the delicate flavour and increases their tartness, so fresh is the way to go. Pavlova isn’t a bad idea; the tartness of the fruit is a perfect foil to the meringue and accompaniment of sweetened cream. Kiwifruits also respond well to freezing and are great in a simple granita or sorbet. A marinade is another way kiwifruits can be used in cooking as they contain the enzyme actinidin, a chemical meat tenderiser. The same enzyme also breaks down the gel in gelatine, so if you want to make kiwifruit jelly, the fruit (as with pineapple) must first be poached.

*For a kiwifruit granita, peel and purée green or gold kiwifruit flesh in a food processor until smooth, add sugar syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste and pour into a shallow freezer-proof container. Freeze for 1 hour or until it is just starting to freeze around the edges, then stir


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

 

ALSO IN SEASON

Fruit and nuts

Cumquats, grapefruits (pink and yellow), Lady William apples, lemons, mandarins (Ellendale and murcott), oranges (blood and Seville), papayas, pawpaws, pineapples (smooth-leaf), tangelos.

Vegetables

Globe artichokes, Asian greens (bok choy, choy sum, gai lan, wombok), asparagus (green and purple), avocados (fuerte, hass, sharwill), beans (broad and green), broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, green peas, leek, onions (salad and spring), pumpkin, rhubarb, silverbeet, spinach.

Seafood

Australian salmon, black bream, coral trout, John Dory, ling, mackerel, mirror Dory, silver trevally, snapper, spanner crab, yellowfin tuna, whiting (school, trumpeter, sand).

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