So last Friday I Invited some friends over to celebrate Chinese New Year. Regular readers of Suppers From Scratch will know about my penchant for Dim Sum and my love of Chinese food in general.
As a result I pretty much always make some sort of Chinese inspired meal for the New Year celebrations. Of course this year was no different, roll on the Char Sui Buns, the Vegetable Dumplings, Edamame Beans, Prawn Crackers, Fried Noodles, Tapioca Pudding and Fortune Cookies.
Most of these foods have already made an appearance on the blog. So this year, I had sort of decided not to blog about Chinese New Year at all. However I kind of can’t help myself, because I had a bit of a food break through in the form of a sauce and a pickle that revolutionised my dishes. Good Asian food is often made fresh and served piping hot, meaning the kitchen can get busy, and it can all be a bit last minute. This year though I decided to make a few accompaniments for my feast ahead of time so I had some great extra’s to pile on top of my overflowing plates. The great thing about a sauce or a pickle is that they are even better when they are made in advance. And the real kicker is that they positively made each dish sing with an extra kick of spice and flavour. Oh what’s that you want more… well the best bit – they last for a couple of weeks so I have two flavour kings sitting in my fridge ready to transform any lazy mid week supper. There you have it Ladies and Gentlemen the From Scratch trio of awesomeness – easy to make – great flavour – multi-purpose. It doesn’t get any better.
So meet your two new flavour bombs – La sauce d’ail – or for us regular folk Garlic Water and Mango Kutcha. Both of these are classic Mauritian accompaniments for fried noodles, and other street food dishes. They are both very simple and so yummy I recommend giving them a whirl.
So let’s get down to it.
First up La sauce d’ail – I love this stuff, when I am in Mauritius I pile this on to my fried noodles and then some, it is so good and garlicy.
500ml Hot Water
1.25 tbsp Golden Sugar
100ml White Wine Vinegar
2 Cloves Garlic
2 finely chopped Spring Onions ( I couldn’t find garlic chives which is the traditional addition – so if you can why not try those instead)
- Dissolve the sugar in 250ml of hot water and stir until it has completely dissolved. Finely chop the garlic and spring onions
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir, place in a container and leave in the fridge. This is ready to add to any dish that you fancy and will keep for about a week
Next up Mango Kutcha – this was a new recipe for me but it proved sweet and hot and utterly satisfying. It also offers a great accompaniment to fish. (Want to go further? I added this to Spaghetti Bolognese the other day and guess what it was awesome!)
200g Frozen Mango Cubes
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp Turmeric
2 finely chopped Red Chilli’s
1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
2 finely chopped cloves of Garlic
30ml White Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
- Prepare your mango’s by grating with a thick grater in your food processor ( if you don’t have a food processor, buy 2 unripe mangos peel and finely chop)
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the turmeric, chilli’s, mustard seeds and garlic, fry for about a minute
- Then add the vinegar, mango and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a further 2-3 mins
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then place in an airtight container, cover with a splash of oil and keep in the fridge. This will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks
And that is it. Two simple flavour bombs, that offer you a lot of bang for your buck and will make your mid week dishes feel like weekend feasts. Happy accompanying!