Easy Asian Salad Dressing

I just made this up last night! Man, I should totally go on Iron Chef.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon light soy
juice from 1/2 small lemon
drop or two of sesame oil (careful)
about 6 grinds black pepper
1/2 teaspoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce

Shake well in a jar. Best served chilled.

It makes about 1/4 cup. If you don’t have mirin you could probably use some dissolved sugar. I was surprised this actually emulsified; it must be the soy.

It might be nice over cold soba noodles, too. Maybe with double the soy.

Try Our New McMeh Burger!

Today, I finally caved in to McDonalds’ latest marketing campaign and tried the NameIt burger. I would have McDonalds about once every two months – that’s about how long it takes me to forget how crap their food is. The idea is that you try this burger and then submit your name for it on the McDonalds website. It’s obvious to me this is just a shameless market research campaign designed to gobble up the personal information of unsuspecting customers. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to come up with names.

McMeh takes the grand prize because it sums up the burger quite well. Nothing to write home about and definitely very forgettable. Runners up included:

  • McFallApart – because mine did, literally. Then I proceded to fall apart emotionally at the prospect of mending my deconstructed burger
  • McRemoveableCheese – because you can remove the cheese. It’s not that plastic cheese that melts everywhere but some kind of imitation genuine cheddar I suspect
  • McFresh – this is my attempt at satire. Mine tasted like it was made at least two hours before
  • McBowelCancer – I can feel the cells refusing to die already…
  • McShit, McArse, McShitArse, McButtocks, McToilet – need I elaborate? 😉

All I can say is I wish this Subway that’s under construction would hurry up and open.

Lisa’s Chai Recipe

I ran out of chai teabags recently, but then realised I can make it from scratch :-) Here’s the recipe I use, courtesy of Lisa Young. EDIT: 15/07/07 Made some corrections.


freshly grated ginger (about the size of a thumb)
3 good sized bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick, broken
cloves & cardamon pods (8-12 of each, smashed)
5 grinds black pepper
2 star anise, smashed

3 dessert spoons black tea (Madura is best and definitely no teabags!)
3 cups soymilk (preferrably Bonsoy)

The Real Method

I have to say, no powdered ingredients please, and the ginger must absolutely be fresh. And smash the cloves, cardamon & anise like you mean it 😉

Boil all spices in 5-6 cups water for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, add tea and bring back to boil. Switch off and let brew for 3-5 mins.
Then add soymilk and reheat until almost boiling but do NOT boil.
Strain and add honey to taste.

Dukkah Version 1.1

1.5 cups smoked almonds
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1.5 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sesame seeds, lightly roasted
1/2 teaspoon salt flakes
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

You can really taste the sesame seeds now, maybe too much. The chilli is noticeable but not overpowering. More nutmeg is good but any more than this would probably ruin it. The five spice seemed to add nothing. The smoked almonds probably made it taste different but this wasn’t a side-by-side comparison with version 1.0 so it’s hard to tell. I’d give this one a 7.5/10. It doesn’t get 8/10 due to the dominance of the sesame seeds. So probably not best to roast them, or if you do, use less.