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Recipe

FRIED TURNIP-CAKE BAO

Turnip cake (law bok gow) or more accurately radish cake, is a popular component at yum cha venues and is especially popular at Chinese New Year. Normally it would have dried shrimp and/or Chinese sausage added to the mix. Steamed then fried and served with a chilli sauce or hoisin-based sauce and eaten as is, it’s a deliciously simple dish. I thought it would be a brilliant component for a vegetarian bao.

Recipe

STEAMED TUATUA WITH CREME FRAICHE CURRY SAUCE

Mouclade is a famous – and somewhat surprising – dish from Brittany, in which mussels are first steamed then served with a lightly curried sauce. Of course, this combination works well with other shellfish too, and I especially like it with bigger tuatua.

Serve with crusty baguette as it would be in France, or you could use other types of bread; naan would be great. For more of a main course, spoon the shellfish and sauce over grilled fish and kumara puree or rice.

Recipe

TUATUA FRITTERS WITH SEAWEED MAYONNAISE

With tuatua there is nothing nicer than mixing the chopped meat with a simple batter, and frying. Here I have stretched the mix further with cabbage and potato. I use Lauraine Jacobs’ method of freezing the fresh tuatua in their shells so they only get cooked once, or use Cloudy Bay tuatua that are easy to shuck. If time is short mix the seaweed, lemon and togarashi seasoning into good-quality mayo to serve.

Recipe

HOT PIPI & TOFU SOUP

"A new take on Korean hot tofu soup that uses pipi with silky soft tofu – served bubbling hot in cast-iron bowls, it’s light and refreshing."

Korean hot tofu soup can be made with a meat base but I have based this version on my sister Meredith’s favourite soup – from the long-gone Korean restaurant at Auckland’s Mercury Plaza – which included little clams. The egg is added at the last minute and thickens the soup as you stir it through. If you are feeling hungry, double the quantity of tofu.

Recipe

CONFIT CHICKEN

Traditionally the confit process was a way of preserving meat; the meat was salted then poached in fat enabling it to be stored long term. We mostly associate duck or goose with the confit method, however the process is adaptable; fish and chicken also work well, especially when the confit uses oil. The cooked chicken can keep in the oil for up to a week, and the oil can be reused for other dishes.

Recipe

SQUID BOLOGNESE

This playful dish gives an unusual riff on the pasta and ragù theme. In fact the pasta isn’t pasta at all, but ribbons of seldom-used squid shells. For best results make the day before serving. Note that for our photo Simon added a special touch, a parsley foam.

Recipe

GRILLED PEACHES WITH ALMOND CRUMB & RASPBERRY CORIANDER SAUCE

Grilled peaches are a special summer treat, pairing perfectly with a raspberry sauce that’s lifted with a touch of coriander. A grill pan is a great way to achieve the barbecue look without the barbecue, but if you don’t have one you can use a frying pan or your oven’s grill instead.

Feel free to serve this with your favourite vanilla ice cream, but I like to serve mine with a coconut milkbased one to keep things dairy-free.

Recipe

BLISTERED TOMATO TACOS WITH CASHEW CHIPOTLE SAUCE

In this recipe, I like to play around with using regular white masa flour and also blue corn flour. Tio Pablo sells both flours at selected supermarkets and health food stores throughout New Zealand, as does Wellington brand La Boca Loca via its website and selected stores. If you’re using blue corn flour, you’ll need to adjust the water amount, as less is required. Just add enough water for a soft, not-too-sticky dough. Chipotle in adobo sauce can be found at most good supermarkets.

You’ll need to start this recipe the night before to soak the cashews.

If you forget, you can pour boiling water over the cashews and set aside until cool for equally great results.

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