Archive for the ‘Asia Recipes’ Category

For Easter I decided to do two lamb shanks recipes this one and a second that I will publish later in the week. There are other versions of Rogan Josh Lamb Shanks but this is my version.

To get the best from this recipe you need to slash the lamb shanks a few times to allow the spices to penetrate.

Like all lamb shanks meals this one needs a long cooking time to tenderise the meat.


  • 2″ piece of ginger, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp water
  • vegetable oil
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • ½tsp of peppercorns
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 250 g plain yogurt
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 lamb shanks, depending on how many you are cooking for


  1. Blend together the ginger, garlic and the 4 tablespoons of water.
  2. Put the inner pot on a medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the lamb shanks and brown all over 2 at a time. Then put them to one side while you prepare the sauce to cook them in.
  4. Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorn and cinnamon in the inner pot and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic mixture and stir for 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the yogurt and mix well.
  8. Slowly add the rest of the yogurt and the tin of tomatoes  stirring as it is added. Cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Place the shanks into the sauce making sure that they are cover. If the sauce does not cover them add a little water.
  10. Bring to the boil before turning down to a simmer.
  11. Put on the lid and simmer for 10 minutes before placing the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  12. Shut the lid and thermal cook without power until the shanks are tender. This will be 5 to 6 hours.
  13. Serve with rice and nan bread.

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I just love Thai food so tonight I thought that I would make a yellow curry.

I would normally use prawns for this dish but as I had bought some beef meatballs I thought that I would give them a try.

I used a ready made paste for the curry. Blue Elephant Yellow Curry Paste is one of my favourites so I used that make.





  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 ready made beef meatballs
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 70g of yellow curry paste
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 6 – 8 small potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 big red chilli, cut in half
  • 30 g cherry tomatoes. I used tined ones but fresh are probably better
  • Salt


  1. Add the oil to the inner pot over a medium heat.
  2. Brown the beef meatballs in the oil.
  3. Add the onions and let them cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Stir in the yellow curry sauce and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk.
  6. Add he fish sauce and sugar and stir gently to avoid breaking up the meatballs.
  7. Add the potatoes, tomatoes and the chilli. Stir very gently, you are trying to keep the tomatoes whole.
  8. Bring to the boil and put on the lid.
  9. Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container and shut the lid.
  10. Thermal cook without power for a minimum of 1 hour.
  11. Check and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve with Thai sticky rice which you can cook in the top pot if you have one.

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The first time I tried chicken adobo was when some Filipino friends in Abu Dhabi made it for me. I then went on to learn that there is no defined recipe as every mum in the Philippines seem to have their own version. The basics of garlic, soy, and vinegar stay the same but the balance of these ingredients are altered to suit each person who makes it. There are even one or two who add coconut milk to the dish but as far as I can see this is not acceptable to many.

The History:
Adobo is Spanish for sauce, seasoning or marinade used in Latin American- and Southwest U.S.-style cooking. In Filipino cuisine, adobo refers to a common cooking process indigenous to the Philippines. When the Spanish took administration over the Philippines in the late 1500s through Mexico City, they found an indigenous cooking process that involved stewing with vinegar. They referred to this method as “adobo.” Over time, dishes prepared in this manner came to be known by this name as well.

(historical references from Wikipedia)


  • 1 kg chicken pieces thighs and legs
  • 250ml rice vinegar
  • 125ml light soy sauce
  • 75ml dark soy sauce
  • 75ml of Sprite
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 birdseye chiles, two left whole 1 chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put some cold water (to cool it down)  in the insulated outer container and shut the lid and leave to stand in a cool place for about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash the chicken pieces well and put the in the inner pot.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Put on the lid.
  5. After removing the water from the outer container put the inner pot in and shut the lid. Keep in a cool place for a minimum of 2 hours.
  6. When ready to cook the adobo, remove the inner pot and leave the lid of the outer container open so that it can warm up as you are going to use it next for cooking.
  7. Bring to the inner pot to the boil.
  8. Once boiling skim off any impurities that have formed on the surface and then turn the heat down to a simmer.
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on before placing the inner pot into the outer insulated container. If the outer container still feels cold, warm it with a little warm water (not boiling) before putting the inner pot in.
  10. Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 3 hours.
  11. Serve with rice which you can cook at the same time as the adobo in a top pot if you have one.

NOTE: you can marinate the adobo in the fridge prior to cooking if you prefer.

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This is a great risotto for those who like Thai flavours. You could substitute or add prawns and the addition of peas would be nice.


  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp of Thai green paste
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 225g of risotto rice
  • 600ml of chicken stock
  • ½tsp of fresh ground pepper 


  1. Put the oil and butter in the inner pot.
  2. Heat over a medium heat until the butter melts.
  3. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is soft. Don’t let it colour.
  4. Add the chicken and Thai paste.
  5. Cook stirring for 1 minute until the chicken is sealed.
  6. Add the rice and stir well.
  7. Add the stock, fish sauce and pepper. Stir and bring to the boil.
  8. Once boiling turn down to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Give the mixture a stir before putting on the lid and transferring the inner pot to the insulated outer container.
  10. Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 1 hour.

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Over the next few weeks I will be publishing here various stocks that can be made in a thermal cooker.
Stocks are the perfect thing to make in a thermal cooker. Once made they can be frozen in batches and then are there ready for use with soups, gravy or risotto.
The method of making them is the same. Once you have added the ingredients, brought them to the boil simmer for ten minutes then put in the thermal cooker and left for up to 6 hours. It is important to make sure the cooker inner pot is filled at least up to 3/4 to retain the heat for the longer cooking.


To make this stock you need to keep your vegetable trimmings for a few days. Keep them in the fridge in a bag until you are ready to make the stock. Don’t keep them too long though.

  • 3/4 fill your inner pot with water.
  • 1 tbls of black peppercorns.
  • 4 star anise.
  • 6 cardamoms.
  • 1 cinnamon stick.
  • 1 piece of blade mace.
  • 6 cloves.
  • 1 tbls cumin seeds.
  • 1 tbls coriander seeds.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 4 curry leaves.
  • 1 stick of celery.
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • 5cm of ginger chopped. No need to peel.
  • 1 onion chopped.
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed.
  • A selection of vegetable trimmings chopped roughly.


Bring to the boil. simmer for 10 minutes and then put into the outer insulated pot for up to 6 hours. Once ready strain and either freeze or keep in the fridge until ready for use.

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This recipe is really easy and the ideal meal make when you are on the road. It comes from a very old book that I have, produced by Bisto and uses bisto gravy powder. I have used granules as they are easier and were all I had in the cupboard.


  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped. Use less if you don’t want it too hot
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp of Madras curry powder
  • 500g of lamb shoulder, cut into cubes
  • 3 tsp of Bisto or other gravy powder
  • 500ml of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Put the inner pot on a medium heat and add the oil.
  2. When the oil is up to temperature (not too hot) add the onion, green pepper, chillies and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes until the onion just starts to soften.
  3. Add the curry powder and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring all the time to stop it sticking to the base of the pot.
  4. Add the meat and keep moving it around until it starts to brown.
  5. Mix the Bisto with a little water to make a smooth cream. You won’t have to do this if you are using granules.
  6. Add the rest of the water, tomato puree and lemon juice  to the inner pot and stir well.
  7. Stir in the Bisto and bring to the boil.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  9. Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  10. Leave to thermal cook for at least 2 hours. Longer will be better.
  11. Check seasoning and adjust before serving with rice and Nan bread.

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Our guest writer Bee Yinn Low

For some time I have been a great fan of two site authored by Bee Yinn Low
I am therefore thrilled that she has allowed me to publish one of her recipes Chai Buey.
With very little change in the method, this recipe will work very well in a thermal cooker.
To see more recipes from Bee Yinn Low why not visit her sites Nyonya food and Rasa Malaysia
If you like Asia cooking they are certainly worth a visit.

Copyright - Bee Yinn Low

While I am always excited about the reunion dinner and the many courses of traditional Chinese New Year dishes, I have to confess that it’s the leftover that really tickles my taste buds. Yes, I am talking about chai buey, or 菜尾, literally meas “leftover.” In Penang, especially in my Nyonya family, the day after the first day of New Year is when we make a huge pot of chai buey—a soup or stew concocted with all the leftover ingredients from the reunion dinner. It’s generally consisted of meat (chicken, roast pork, duck), vegetables (preferably fresh “mustard green/gai choy/ 芥菜” or kiam cai/picked salted mustard green), and all the other leftover from the reunion dinner, including steamboat (hot pot). The chai buey is infused with tamarind juice, bean paste (taucheo), some dried red chilies, with some peeled assam keping (optional). You then stew the chai buey over low heat to bring out all the flavors of the leftover ingredients, and the end result is a pot of mouthwatering, appetizing, and utterly delicious stew that I can eat for days…

This is my chai buey that I made a couple of days ago with some leftover roast pork, mushrooms, and other leftover Chinese New Year dishes. The great thing about chai buey is that it just gets better overnight or days later as the flavors break down and continue to develop with time. My late mother would keep chai buey for up to 3-4 days, while she kept adding fresh mustard greens to the soup. Everyone in my family loves this dish—the soup goes so well with steamed white rice and sambal belacan, and the dish is full of hidden treasures, if you are willing to dig in and find the goodies.

As chai buey is made of leftover foods, there is really not a proper recipe to create the dish. It’s really flexible and you can use your taste buds to create your own version of chai buey and use the key seasoning ingredients below to bring out the flavors:

  1. Tamarind juice—soak a golf-ball size tamarind pulp in 4 cups of water and extract the juice
  2. Yellow bean paste or taucheo—this gives you the earthy and salty taste in the stew/soup
  3. Dried red chilies—remove the seeds of the dried chilies and dump them into the soup. A great chai buey should be slightly spicy.
  4. Mustard green or gai choy (芥菜)—we love this vegetables in chai buey, nothing can replace it. In Hokkien, it’s called “kua cai.”
  5. Water—since this is a soupy stew, you should add water because the best part is sipping the sour soup!

For the perfect balance of flavors, use some salt and sugar (optional) to achieve your desired taste.

Note: Chai Buey can also be found at the many economy rice stalls in Malaysia, and some chicken rice stalls also serve chai buey. I have to warn you that it’s not the most appetizing and photogenic looking stew/dish, but once you try the flavor, I am sure it will win you over. Enjoy!

Written by Bee Yinn Low and taken from her site at Nyonya food .

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