Blood Orange and Beetroot Salmon Gravlax 

My housemate Jenny is this incredible Svenska that has refined my tastes in life – not only in life but in the way of living. 

This one goes to you Jenny! 

What you’ll need: 

  • Whole side of salmon
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 2 whole grated beetroots 
  • zest and juice of 1 blood orange
  • Handful of chopped dill 
  • 3 tablespoons gin

Place the salmon skin side down in a large shallow roasting tray.

Rub the grated beetroot and orange rest on to the flesh. In a food processor combine salt, brown sugar, gin and orange juice and dill until it forms into a paste and place the mixture on top of the previous rub. 

Cover the tray with plastic wrap and  weight it down with another tray or any canned you have in the cupboard. Leave in the fridge to cure for at least 48hours. Once it’s ready remove the tray from the salmon and wipe off all the curing ingredients. Pat the salmon with kitchen towels to ensure its completely dry. When you’re ready to serve make sure you cut the salmon off the skin with a very sharp knife. 

I’ve served this with homemade anadama bread, avocado and a drizzle of Greek yoghurt with paprika. 


Ramen with Braised Pig’s Ears and Roasted Pork Belly

If you have not watched THE MIND OF A CHEF, please do yourselves a favour and go check it out! it’s very inspiring and educational (culinarily speaking)

Chef David Chang is an absolute junkie for ramen like me (not much choice, we got the Asian in us!)! I was inspired to make my own Japanese ramen noodles from scratch.

For the Ramen Noodles:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baked soda
  • 50ml warm tap water
  • 50ml cold tap water

    To make the baked soda, spread a a good amount of baking soda on a foil-lined sheet pan. Put it in the oven for about 1hour on 150C. You will only need 2 teaspoons for this recipe but you can store the extra in a jar for as long as you need. I read on a few websites and thought the baking soda would change colours, but that is not correct.

    We need the baked soda to change the pH levels in the water, this is what gives the ramen its texture.

    In a big mixing bowl put the warm water and the 2 teaspoons of baked soda to dissolved, then add the cold water. Lastly add the flour and mix until it forms into a dough. The mixture is quite dry and crumbly. Knead it for a full 5 minutes and wrap it in some cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes. Then knead again for another 5 minutes (very good work out). Reward the dough  in cling film and let it chill in the fridge for about 1 hour. 

    For this recipe I would highly recommend for you to have a pasta machine, the dough is not easy to hand roll and cut if you don’t have the experience. Once the dough has chilled devide it into 4 equal portions. The thickness setting on the pasta machine is to your descretion, I like mine not so thin. 

    Like Italian pasta, cook the noodles in a deep pot with plenty of water. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pasta, mine took about 3 minutes. Check the noodles regularly while they’re cooking; if they stick together, rinse them under cold water immediately after straining them from the pot to stop the cooking and rinse off any excess starch. Make sure you only cook the noodles when you’re ready to plate, you don’t want the noodles sitting around while you get the rest ready. 

    Ingredients for Braised Pig’s Ears

    • 2 pig’s ears
    • 1/4 cup Shaoxing Rice Wine, or sake
    • 3 Tablespoons dark Chinese soy sauce
    • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 star anise


      f your pig’s ears come with a few strand of unwanted hair and you don’t have a blow torch to hand, like me you can burn the hair using your gas stove – it is in no means as efficient as a blow torch, but it helps. 

      Par-boil the ears in a pot of water for a few minutes, this will help remove any dirty from the skin. 

      Remove the ears from the pot and put it in another clean smaller pot and fill it with enough water that will cover the ears, then add all the ingredients. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to simmer for 2hours30min. You will want to keep an eye on it for about every 30 minutes to turn the ears and add more water if necessary. 

      When they are done, the ears should be very soft and dark. Let it chill completely before you sliced the ears into thin strips.This dish is supposed to be served cold but is just as good hot.

      Please do not discard of the liquid used to cooked the ears, this will be used for our ramen broth base!


      For the Pork Belly: 

      • 1 Strip of pork belly cut in half
      • Salt and Pepper
      •  Chili oil 

      Use a knife to poke the rind as many holes as possible. Brush the rind with chilli oil and season it with salt and pepper. You should marinate if you have time, but if you don’t, it isn’t a problem. place it in the roasting pan lined with foil and roast it in hot oven for an hour in 200C. The skin should puff up into crackling. Remove pork from oven and allow to rest uncovered. When ready to serve, cut into 1cm slices. 
      For the Broth (1 serving) 

      • 1/2 ladle of the pig’s ears cooking liquid
      • 1 ladle of water 
      • 1 teaspoon of miso paste

      If you are not making it the pig’s ear and don’t have the liquid, you can make your broth/stock from scratch with any pork, smoked meat or chicken bones/fat – I will post a recipe for an easy broth in the next couple of days for you.

      Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring it to boil. The thing I like about the ramen broths is that is very open to taste, so you can add absolutely anything you want as it is to your taste. I like it fat and flavoursome.

      To assemble your lovely bowl of awesomeness, put your noodles in a bowl, add a few strips of the pig’s ears and a few slices of the pork belly (or whatever meats or vegetables you want to have with your ramen!) and add the broth. I have served this with a soft boiled egg and some spring onions. To create those lovely curls, cut the spring onions into thin strips and put it in a bowl with cold water, this will make the strips curl up. 

      I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did, I am definitely happy with the results, nothing tastes better than your own success! 

      Mamamia Pan Grill Pizza 

      We all love a good pizza take away! But I like my pizza crispy thin, like a cracker! So no take away pizza will ever satisfy me. This recipe is quick and too easy!

      I’ve cheated on the dough and used pizza base mix from sainsbury’s, I can make two thin crust pizzas with one pack. You will need 100ml of water to add to the mix, combine it well and leave it to rest for a bit. While your dough is resting you start on your tomato sauce. For mine I used tomato purée, olive oil, water, 1 shallot and 2 cloves of onion, some salt and pepper. Blitz it in your blender or food processor, I don’t like the the sauce too smooth, so I leave small chunks of the shallot and garlic.

      For the filling, I used smoked mozzarella and chili luganica sausage meat, but it’s your pizza so you can use whatever tickles your fancy.

      I roll out half of the dough thinly, and fold the “corners in”, spread the tomato sauce, add the grated cheese and then the meat… Then the cheese again! In a frying pan (big enough to fit your pizza), heat some olive oil and transfer the pizza to the pan once the oil is hot. Yes, we are “frying” the pizza base first.

      Once the base gets dark, take the pan off the stove and put it under the grill. Make sure you keep an eye out on the pizza, as you don’t wanna burn it.

      The cheese will start to bubble and you’re pretty much done once the meat and the crust gets a bit of colour!

      If you can get your hands on some rocket, I would definitely suggest adding at the end to give this crisp freshness to your pizza.

      Not to blow my own trumpet, but I make a good damn pizza!

      I hope you enjoy!

      Churros with Ginger and Cinnamon Sugar

      Hello lovely people.

      Today I was inspired to make churros, since I don’t have a lot of desserts on my blog! To be honest, I was watching Come Dine With Me, and a couple on the show were making churros but with chocolate to dip in.

      All you will need for this recipe is:

      For the churros:

      • 200ml water
      • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
      • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
      • 200ml plain flour
      • Extra oil for frying

      For the ginger and cinnamon sugar:

      • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
      • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      • 1 tablespoon white sugar

      In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar and the 2 tablespoons oil – I used coconut oil because it’s the only oil I really use other than sesame oil or olive oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.

      Heat oil for frying in a frying pan, or if you have a deep fryer you can use that too, but don’t ask me how because I have never used one before! If you have a piping bag,please use it to pipe the mixture into strips. I have a problem with piping bags and can’t seem to pipe anything right! For the strips, I rolled them into thin strips! Fry until golden and drain on paper towels.

      For the sugar, combine all ingredients and roll each churro to make sure they are covered. If there’s any sugar left off, sprinkle some more on top!

      You can serve this with ice cream or with melted chocolate!

      I believe (according to Wikipedia!) that the Portuguese brought churros to Europe when they returned from China (the grand Portuguese discoveries). Since I am half Portuguese half Chinese, I thought this dessert would represent my heritage the best.

      I hope you try this at home and love it!

      Ana xx

      Pappardelle Bolognaise 

      I have a bit of an addictive/perfectionist personality.. So when I attempt to make something, I want to be able to make it in my sleep… So as you can tell, it’s the second day consequetive that I’m making this pappardelle pasta.


        In this instance I have made the pasta with roughly 100gr of 00 pasta flour and 1 free range egg – the pasta was enough for 1 big portion.

      A couple of weeks ago, I went to Borough Market for the first time (it’s food heaven) and got a few different French cured sausages. For the normal Ana, I would have finished the sausages in a heartbeat, however in this occasion one of the sausages is made of donkey meat and pork.. And not knowing which ones are which, I’m playing Russian roulette with a donkey sausage.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about trying new meats, but there’s something about knowing that it’s donkey that makes me gag.. Haha

      For the bolognaise sauce, I’ve raided my freezer and found qorn minced meat, so I have added this to my bolognaise, which is just basically one onion, half of French cured (hopefully not donkey) sausage, qorn mince and a tin of tomatoes.

      I’ve cooked the pasta twice, both times for no more than 2 min, then added the pasta to the bolognaise!

      I’m definitely going to make more pappardelle, I feel like a seafood one id needed!

      Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions or give me any suggestions!

      Ana x