Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add to your repertoire. Bon appétit!
Wai Lin Coultas, Singapore
“Being married to an Australian, I thrive on cooking a mix of ethnic recipes. This beef noodle stir-fry dish works equally well with different types of noodles, but I tend to use bee hoon or vermicelli.”
Beef Noodle Stir Fry
• ½ packet dried noodles, soaked in boiling water till just al dente
• 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 500g chuck tender, very thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 4cm piece of old ginger, minced
• 250g French beans, thinly sliced diagonally
• 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
• 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
• 2 large red chillies, thinly sliced and soaked in a little light soy sauce
• handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
For the sauce, mix the following:
• 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
• 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons sherry
• 1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot water
• 2 teaspoons caster sugar
1. Toss the al dente noodles in the sesame oil and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil in a wok. When the oil is hot, stir fry the beef slices until browned and just cooked through. Set aside the beef.
3. Heat the other tablespoon of oil in the same wok and stir fry the garlic, ginger, French beans, carrots and onions until softened.
4. Add the sauce and cooked beef to the wok and stir fry for one or two minutes to slightly reduce the sauce.
5. Turn off the heat, toss in the noodles and mix well.
6. Serve garnished with a sprinkle of chilli and coriander.
Colin O’Shea, Irish
“This recipe was used for our wedding cake and we make it regularly. The Guinness gives a deliciously moist depth to this chocolaty cake.”
Chocolate Guinness Cake (Serves 10)
• 300ml Guinness
• 100g 70-percent dark chocolate, broken into pieces
• 150g unsalted butter
• 100g caster sugar
• 100g muscovado sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 150ml sour cream
• 275g plain flour, sieved
• 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
• Sprinkle of icing sugar to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Butter a 23cm spring-form tin.
2. Put the Guinness, butter, dark chocolate and sugar into a saucepan. Heat gently and mix until all the ingredients have melted and mixed.
3. Add the sour cream and beaten eggs and mix. Keep the heat low.
4. Add the flour and the bicarbonate of soda and mix again.
5. Pour the mixture into the tin and let it settle for a few minutes.
6. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes.
7. This is a moist cake, so leave it to cool completely on a rack before removing the cake from the base.
8. Sprinkle icing sugar on top. Great served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This story was first published in Expat Living Singapore’s March 2015 issue.