Dan Hong's prawn toast

Dan Hong's prawn toast

Dan Hong's prawn toast

Don't be daunted by the list of ingredients and steps for this recipe. Each step doesn't take long to complete and it ended up being quite a simple recipe to execute in the end. I cheated with the yuzu mayo though and I used red cabbage instead of mint leaves to give the dish more colour.

When I saw the recipe used both nuoc cham and yuzu mayo I considered foregoing one of them because I thought there might be too many flavours going on. I'm glad I didn't because the nuoc cham seasons the herb salad delicately.  The freshness of the salad marries perfectly with savoury crunchiness of the prawn toast and the yuzu mayo adds that unexpected pop of flavour. Genius!


1 large sourdough loaf

sesame seeds for sprinkling

vegetable oil for deep frying

Prawn mousse

600 g uncooked prawn meat

1 egg white

1 T sesame oil

3 t caster sugar

2 t fine salt

2 T thinly sliced coriander stems 

Yuzu mayonnaise (my cheat’s version)

1/3 c Japanese mayonnaise

yuzu juice to taste



Nuoc cham

70 g sugar

70 ml white vinegar

70 ml fish sauce

3½ t lime juice

Herb salad

1 small handful of coriander leaves

1 small handful of round mint leaves

1 small handful of Vietnamese mint leaves

2 spring onions, thinly sliced


For prawn mousse, put ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a coarse paste. Resist the urge to make it too smooth because you want texture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm up.

For yuzu mayo, whisk ingredients together adding yuzu juice to taste. Set aside.

For the nuoc cham, whisk together ingredients and 70ml water until the sugar has dissolved. This sauce can be kept in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

To prepare the prawn toast, cut the ends off the bread and slice it into 8mm slices. Spread the prawn mousse in a 1cm layer on the slices with a butter knife. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Fill a heavy-based saucepan to a third full with oil and heat to 180C or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 15 seconds. Fry each piece of toast separately until golden and prawn mousse is cooked (3-5 minutes). Check if the mousse is fully cooked. If not, deep-fry the toast for another minute or two. Drain on paper towels, then cut each toast into 4-5 slices.

For herb salad, mix the herbs and spring onions in a bowl, then dress with 2½ tbsp nuoc cham (reserve remainder for another use).

To serve, top each piece of toast with yuzu mayonnaise and garnish with fresh herb salad.

Serves 6 as a snack.

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crispy skin salmon and quinoa salad

crispy skin salmon & quinoa salad

This dish was inspired by Lola Berry's recipe in the the latest Nourish magazine. She makes healthy dishes look so appetising! I just added my own twist to it to give it more flavour. 


 2 x 200 g salmon fillets, skin on

1 c quinoa

1 ½ c chopped kale

2/3 c chopped broccoli

2/3 c small cubes of butternut pumpkin

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 t white miso paste

1 t sesame oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T vegetable oil





Take salmon out of the fridge 30 mins before cooking to bring it to room temperature.

Heat oven to 220°C. Toss pumpkin cubes in 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread out on a foil-lined baking tray and roast until golden brown, about 25-30 mins.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Place quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse. Set aside.

In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together 1 T olive oil, sesame oil, miso paste, lemon juice, zest and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place 2 cups of water in a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to the boil. Add 1 T olive oil and stir in quinoa. Turn heat down to low and cover and simmer for 15 mins. Add kale and broccoli and cook uncovered until quinoa is cooked, about 5 mins.  The quinoa is done when the kernels look like they’ve popped open. Remove from heat and allow to rest so that all the liquid gets absorbed.

Heat 1 T vegetable oil fry pan to medium-high heat. Fry salmon fillets skin side down for about 4-6 mins, depending on how you want your salmon done. Turn over and cook for a further 2-4 mins. I also like searing the sides of the salmon for about 30 secs on each side so you get a nice golden brown colour all around. Transfer to a plate and rest for 3 mins.

Add pumpkin to quinoa mixture and toss with dressing. Place some quinoa salad on a plate and top with the salad. Enjoy!

Serves 2.

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Dan Hong's steamed fish with egg fried rice and shiro dashi sauce

Dan Hong's steamed fish with egg fried rice and shiro dashi sauce


6 x 150 g pieces of hapuku fillet, skin off, pin-boned, or other mild-flavoured fish like snapper or grouper

3 eggs

3/4 c uncooked short grain rice

1 t chicken powder

1 sea salt flakes

1 t caster sugar

1/4 t ground white pepper

3 shallots or spring onions, finely chopped

1/2 lemon

1/3 vegetable oil

coriander leaves for garnish

shiro dashi sauce:

1/3 c shiro dashi*

4.5 T light soy sauce

3.5 T sugar syrup (Bring 3 T caster sugar and 3 T water to a boil in small sauce pan then simmer gently until it thickens slightly, about 5 mins.)

7 T water

1 T kuzu root starch*



Cook 3/4 c rice a day ahead if possible.

Make shiro dashi sauce by combining dashi, soy sauce, sugar syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Combine kuzu root starch with just enough water to make a paste, about 1-2 T. Only add kuzu paste when dashi comes to the boil. Add the paste a little at a time, whisking constantly, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Steam fish in a steamer or work for about 6-7 mins, depending on thickness, until a thin skewer can be inserted easily.

Heat a large wok over high heat. Add oil and when it starts to smoke, add eggs and cook for about 35 seconds, moving them around. Add rice and stir-fry until heated through and no clumps of rice remain. Add chicken powder, salt, sugar, pepper and shallots. 

Plate rice with the fish. Reheat shiro dashi sauce, stir in lemon juice (to taste) and spoon over fish. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serves 6.

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*You can buy kuzu (arrowroot) starch and shiro dashi from Japanese groceries.

*You can buy kuzu (arrowroot) starch and shiro dashi from Japanese groceries.

Filipino ginataang prawns

Filipino ginataang prawns by Bent Street Kitchen

I think Filipino cuisine is quite unique and it gives me pleasure to share one of our tasty dishes today. We do use coconut milk/cream like a lot of other Asian countries but we flavour it differently. My niece Nina is a wonderful chef and I love her "ginataang kuhol" or snails in coconut milk. This is her recipe but I've used prawns and added spinach leaves instead.

Try to avoid using shelled prawns. The head and shell of the prawns, like most shellfish, provide a lot of flavour.


1 dozen whole prawns, trimmed and deveined, head and shells intact

 1/2 c finely chopped red onions

1 T minced garlic

1/2 c finely diced roma tomatoes

1 thumb-size ginger, julienned

1/8 c fish sauce

1/2 - 1 t sugar, to taste

3/4 can of 400 ml coconut cream

2 handfuls of English spinach leaves, roughly torn into large pieces

2 T vegetable oil

hot green or red chillies, optional and to taste



Heat oil in a wok to medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and fry for 2 minutes until onions become translucent. Add ginger and fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit and the mixture is caramelised.  

Add fish sauce then the prawns. Fry for 1 minute, allowing both sides of the prawns to cook evenly. Add coconut cream and sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and cook until leaves are wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Serves 2-3 or 3-4 as part of a banquet.

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Nina's ginataang kuhol

Nina's ginataang kuhol

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Filipino toyomansi prawns

Filipino Toyomansi Prawns by Bent Street Kitchen

Filipinos love using soy sauce ("toyo") and "calamansi", a citrus fruit we tend to use instead of lemon, in everything. We use it to marinate our barbecued meats and seafood, stewed meats, cured meats and if that's not enough we also use it as a dipping sauce (aka "toyomansi").

Whenever I go home to Manila and have had more pork than I usually consume in a month, which happens within a matter of days, this is the dish I have to help me "detox." Well, sort of. I think detoxing in Manila is next to impossible until you physically fly out of the country. Filipinos love to eat and show their love by relentlessly offering you all manner of temptations around the clock.

I don't really know if there's a proper name for this dish because, as I said, Filipinos use soy sauce and calamansi on so many things. I figure describing the dish as accurately as I can is the way to go in naming it

This dish goes well with some simple sauteed snow peas or green beans.


1 dozen whole king prawns, heads and shells intact, about 440 g

1 T chopped garlic

4 T light soy sauce

1/2 t dark soy sauce

2 T fresh lemon juice

freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

3 T olive oil


Using a small sharp knife, make a slit along the back of the prawn and remove the dark vein. If you want to butterfly the prawns, you can cut all the way through the belly side of the prawns. I've left the heads intact because they add a lot to the flavour of this dish.

In a small bowl, combine garlic, soy sauces, lemon juice and some freshly cracked pepper. Place prawns in a shallow non-metallic tray and drizzle with marinade, making sure all the prawns are well coated.  Marinate for 10-15 minutes. Drain.

Heat 1 T of olive in a large fry pan over medium heat. Fry half of the prawns about 1 minute on each side. Add some oil if the pan looks dry. Place prawns in a serving dish. Repeat for remainder of the prawns.

Optional: drizzle prawns with extra virgin olive oil or melted butter; or, if you love garlic like the Filipinos, fry about 1 T of chopped garlic in some olive oil or butter until they're golden brown and drizzle it over the prawns.

Serves 4.

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