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Cover: The Gourmet Garden

Recipes with hoi sin sauce

24Jun 12

Peanut Hoi Sin Dipping Sauce

Peanut Hoi Sin Dipping SauceThis spicy, Malaysian influenced, peanut hoi sin dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to my vegetarian Vietnamese spring rolls. You can also try aubergines in peanut sauce, or substitute aubergine for your favourite veggie.  The sauce is sweet and salty and has a very intense flavour.  It’ll keep up to two or three weeks in the fridge as long as you don’t add the peanuts until you are ready to use it.  The recipe calls for sambal hot sauce, which can be hard to find, so you can substitute any other hot chilli sauce or paste if necessary.

What you’re going to need:

  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced thinly (about 65ml)
  • ½tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 125ml Hoi sin sauce
  • 85ml water
  • 1/2tsp rice vinegar
  • 65ml peanuts
  • 1tsp sambal or other hot chilli pepper-based sauce

What you have to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Spread the peanuts out evenly in one layer along the bottom of a rimmed baking tray or oven-proof dish.  The dish/tray should be just big enough for one layer of peanuts. If not, the exposed surface will attract heat and the peanuts won’t toast evenly.
  3. Toast the peanuts in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Give them a shake after 5 minutes to keep the toasting even.  When they start to smell nutty and turn golden, they’re done.  Pay close attention to the toasting as they can burn very quickly.
  4. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cool surface immediately.
  5. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add the shallots and a pinch of salt.
  6. Sauté until crisp, about 2 minutes.
  7. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Chop very fine and place in a small bowl.
  9. Chop the peanuts and add to the mixture along with the rest of the ingredients except for the sambal/chilli sauce.
  10. Season to taste with the sambal or chilli sauce.  Add just a little at a time and taste after each addition until the desired level of spiciness is reached.
  11. Serve with Vietnamese spring rolls or whatever else you want to dip, such as raw vegetables or onion bhaji.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves:  n/a, makes about 250ml

Difficulty: Medium

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04Apr 12

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Spring RollsDelicious and healthy vegetarian Vietnamese spring rolls!  Goes great with peanut hoi sin dipping sauce, which I also posted on my blog. If you like Asian cooking, you should also try these Indian vegetable samosas.

What you’re going to need:

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 400g firm tofu, cut into 1cm thick slices, brushed with 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp pepper
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced (about 70ml)
  • 1tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 350ml)
  • ½ small jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 350ml)
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into matchsticks (about 350ml)
  • 2 or 3 jalapeño chillies, seeded and thinly sliced (about 85ml)
  • 2 scallions, both green and white parts, sliced diagonally and very thin
  • 1/2tbsp hoi sin sauce
  • 16 Vietnamese rice spring roll wrappers
  • 2 heads Chinese leaf lettuce, separated and washed
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, leaves only
  • 1 bunch of coriander, small sprigs only

What you have to do:

  1. Heat vegetable oil about 1.5cm deep in a frying pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
  2. Fry the tofu until crisp on the outside, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Drain the tofu on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Let cool and then slice thinly.  Set aside.
  5. Put the frying pan over the heat again and fry the shallots until crisp and golden.
  6. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Slice thinly and set aside.
  7. Heat 1tsp vegetable oil in a sauté pan and add the carrots, jicama, peppers and 1/4tsp of salt and cook over high heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  8. Add the chillies and a tablespoon of water to keep the veggies from sticking.
  9. Cook until the vegetables start to get tender, about 2 minutes.
  10. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and mix in the scallions, shallots and hoi sin sauce.
  11. Soak one rice wrapper in cold water until it starts to turn soft, no more than 8-10 seconds.
  12. Place the damp wrapper on a clean working surface and lay a lettuce leaf or two on top.
  13. Spread 3 or 4 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture across the centre, top with a few slices of tofu, a few mint leaves and a few coriander sprigs.
  14. Roll the wrapper gently but snugly over the filling, tucking in the ends as you go.
  15. Repeat for the rest of the wrappers.

Preparation Time:  30-40 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty: Hard

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