Tagged: chilli

Vegetable Satay and Fried Rice

Vegetables? Yes, as an ex butcher and committed carnivore I have no problem with vegetarian food. My biggest problem however are those people who think that a meal must contain meat. They, like their vegetarian counterparts, are denying themselves some of the beauty that all forms of food can give. Also as a committed peanut butter addict this dish just oozes flavour and texture from the off.

So what do you need? Well, Vegetables are a good start and some flavourings.

From bottom left I used Ginger, a good fat inch, Celery, Red Pepper, Carrot, Onion, Broccoli, Garlic and Mushrooms. This isn’t set in stone, this is just what I had hanging round and needed using up.  You need to finely chop the ginger and garlic.

With the vegetables prepped, I started on the rice. To make a good fried rice you need to start early by cooking the rice as usual and letting it cool right down and fluff it up. Once you’re ready, add a glug of vegetable oil to a frying pan and gently fry the rice. Add a splash or two of Soy sauce for some flavour and keep warm.

Now for the Satay sauce. You will need 1/4 of an onion finely chopped or a shallot if you have one. A couple of chillis a squeeze of lemon a teaspoon of brown sugar,  3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter and a splash of soy sauce again. Fry the onions and chilli, add the peanut butter, lemon, soy sauce,  sugar and some water. Heat it all up together and you will find that it all changes from sepeerate ingredients to a lovely silky smooth sauce. Add more water if you think it is a little thick. keep this warm or reheat when ready.

Now you’re ready for the veg. Get a wok or a large frying pan if you don’t have one, add a glug of vegetable oil. Normally I always use olive oil but with stir fry’s stay clear of olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and ginger first then add the vegetables in any order you like. Keep frying until the veg have given up their rawness but still have a satisfying bite to them.

Put the rice on a plate top with the veg and add the sauce over the top.

Unlike a satay from your local Chinese, this has flavour and no MSG. And totally fresh.

I’ve been making this for years now, sometimes I add shredded beef for a different texture, sometimes I just use celery and onion as I love the crunch  so much. This is a dish that lends itself to a nice lager to quaff with it as you would if you’d bought it as a take away.

Enjoy, Mugsie.

Eel with Salad and Crispy Onions. (Not one of my best)

I got given an eel by Frank, yes, a whole eel minus the head. Well what the bloody hell do I do with that then?

I slept on it, not literally, but I pondered and trawled the web, there’s not much there unless you’re Japanese.
So I decided to fillet it. I first rinsed it in lots of water to get rid of any slimy goo and then I dried it with a towel so as I could get a grip on it to fillet it

Once I had filleted it I marinated it with the juice of a lemon, juice of a lime, a teaspoon of chilli flakes and an inch of ginger finely chopped, I left the eel to marinate for 6 hours while I still decided how I was going to cook it. I thought about frying after dusting with flour but in the end decided to grill it to try to ensure I got a nice crispy skin


I put the eel under the grill with the skin side up and gave it a long slow grill, I didn’t want to burn it. I had seen that the Japanese grill it twice as it’s a fatty fish. While it was cooking I made some crispy onions

I very finely chopped an onion and dropped the onions a little at a time into some hot oil

No need to coat in flour. Just watch the onions while they fry so as not to burn them and then take them out and put on kitchen paper to dry. They will stay crispy.

I then dressed a salad with an olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar dressing. I wanted a slight sweetness to the salad to go with the marinated eel. I put the eel on top of the salad and topped with the crispy onions

The verdict? I wouldn’t willingly eat it again. The skin was rock hard and the meat had the texture of wet bread. I know why eel is grilled twice now, but I thought that if you did that, there wouldn’t be much left to eat. I did finish the dish, the salad dressing was nice but Carol could only manage to eat 1 eel portion. I can also see why jellied eel or smoking it is the only way people eat this stuff, but it’s not for me. The eel that Carol didn’t eat is awaiting Chloe, next door’s cat, whose owners have gone on holiday. Chloe seems to stay here as she doesn’t get looked after by their 18 year old son who still hasn’t taken in the milk which was delivered on monday. It’s now thursday.

It did give me an excuse to make some crunchy French baguettes and get out the cheese for later on though. That was top notch.



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