Shrimp and Scallion Shumai


When the woman outside NYC’s hottest new Dim Sum place, Tim Ho Wan, told us the wait would be 3 hours, I actually thought she was joking. Going for Dim Sum on a weekend is one of the joys of living in the city but nothing is worth waiting 3 hours for! Learning to make my favorite dishes at home has been a goal of mine and I’m always surprised at how simple it is. We added just a teaspoon of One Culture’s Southwest Asian Sweet Chili sauce to the filling and I couldn’t believe the extra flavor it gave each dumpling. Give them a try for Chinese New Year!


Shrimp and Scallion Shumai

Makes about 24 


1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 lb. uncooked shrimp

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/3 cup roughly chopped scallion whites, chop the greens for garnish

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon Southwest Asian Sweet Chili plus more for dipping

1 package of wonton wrappers (found in the freezer section at Asian supermarkets)

Savoy cabbage for lining the steamer basket



1. In a food processor, puree garlic, ginger, half of the shrimp, soy sauce and scallions until it forms a smooth paste.

2. Dice the remaining shrimp and combine in a bowl with the paste.  Mix in the rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.

3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and fill a small finger bowl with water.

4. To assemble the shumai, fill each wrapper with a dessert spoon of shrimp filling. Bring the sides of the wonton wrapper to the center, pleating them together as you go and pressing to the filling until the sides come together. The shrimp mixture should peak out of the top. Flatten the shrimp top and repeat until filling is used up.

5. Freeze or refrigerate shumai for 1 hour.

6. When ready to cook, steam in a cabbage lined steamer basket for  8-10 minutes until the exposed filling turns pink and the wonton wrappers are tender.

7. Serve shumai with extra Southwest Asian Sweet Chili sauce for dipping.

Prawn Curry with Eggplant Relish


Gone are the days of using jarred sauces and hiding them from guests out of shame. No more pretending that we made every last morsel from scratch. Now we shout proudly, “can you believe how good it is? And straight from a jar!”. The ingredient labels on these “next generation” jarred sauces list foods we fully recognize, sourced from the freshest ingredients and made in small batches so that conceivably, we could have made them ourselves. We’re so lucky to offer a slew of these fantastic sauces on Many Kitchens which take us across Europe and over to Asia. We’re so pleased to be adding Akka’s products to this category. Made from Lawrence Dass’ great grandmother’s recipe, Akka’s Eggplant Relish was a Good Food Award winner and the Curry Paste was a finalist – the two together make for an exceptional and exotic dinner with just the right amount of sweet and heat. And all ready by the time your rice has boiled!


Prawn Curry with Eggplant Relish

Serves 2


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/2 jar of Akka’s Curry Paste

1 can of coconut milk

1lb of fresh prawns, peeled and deveined

Akka’s Eggplant Relish for serving



1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onion for approximately 5 minutes until soft.

2. Add the curry paste, stir well and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add the prawns and cook through – approximately 4-5 minutes.

5. Serve with Basmati rice, nan and Eggplant Relish

Jerk Shrimp Sandwich


For this post, Aurora and I set about constructing our perfect summer sandwich. We wanted to create a recipe from scratch and really think about each ingredient. We wanted bright colors, refreshing flavors and complimentary textures. We took inspiration from the unforgettable Jerk Chicken Fajitas I had 12 years ago in Jamaica as well as the Louisiana Po’Boy. The result was everything we hoped for and more. Marinating the shrimp in Baron’s International Jerk Sauce gave us the heat we wanted. Spreading the brioche bun with Victoria Amory’s Classic Lemon Mayonnaise gave us just the right amount of tang. The mango and red pepper relish along with some arugula filled in the missing sweetness and extra bite. We hope you’ll make them for your next picnic and enjoy them us much as we did.


Jerk Shrimp Sandwich

Serves 2


1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup Jerk Sauce

2 brioche style buns

Classic Lemon Mayonnaise to taste

1/4 cup arugula


Mango Relish:

1 cup finely diced mango

1/2 cup finely diced red pepper

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lime, juiced

Sea salt to taste



1. In a large bowl, cover shrimp with jerk marinade, toss and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight.

2. In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the relish and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with sea salt.

3. Heat your griddle or grill pan on high.

4. Dress buns with mayonnaise and top bottom buns with arugula.

5. Grill the shrimp on a grill pan till just pink about 1-2 minutes per side. Repeat until all the shrimp are cooked.

6. Divide your shrimp between the two buns and top with mango relish. Eat while shrimp is still warm. Enjoy.

Lobster Mac and Cheese


This is one of those recipes that you can’t believe actually works until you try it. The ratio of cheese to pasta (2:1) had me very wary. No pre-boiling of the pasta? No roux? Surely these were typos. Having been assured by my friend Leigh that it was the best mac and cheese she’d ever eaten, I had to give it a try. Absolute genius! And incredibly easy to boot. I added the lobster to make an already decadent dish extra special. After years of trying different recipes, I’ve found the ultimate and am a convert for life.


Lobster Mac and Cheese

Adapted from The New York Times

Serves 6 to 8


1 tablespoon butter

1 cup cottage cheese (not low fat)

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Pinch cayenne

Freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound sharp cheddar, grated

1/2 pound dry macaroni

2 (8oz) raw lobster tails, meat removed from shell and chopped

3 tablespoons of chopped chives



1. Heat oven to 375°F and butter a 9″ square baking dish.

2. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper until very smooth.

3. Reserve 1/2 cup of grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining cheese with milk mixture and dry pasta.

4. Pour into buttered baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the upper third of the oven.

5. Remove foil, mix in the lobster so that it’s below the surface of the dish and sprinkle reserved cheese. Bake uncovered for a further 30 minutes until browned.

6. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with chives and serve.

Saffron and Seafood Chowder


In a couple of weeks I’ve got my first beach weekend of 2016. In typical fashion, I’ve already started planning the meals. A chowder with a twist seemed like an ideal lunch after a potentially blustery morning walk on the beach. The test run was a hit and an astoundingly easy but unique chowder was born! The saffron and cream made the hearty soup seem decadent and all you need is a freshly baked baguette to complete the meal.


Saffron and Seafood Chowder

Serves 4-6


2 tablespoons butter

1 Leek, fully cleaned and finely chopped (1 ¾ cup)

1 cup finely diced yellow Onion (about 1 onion)

Sea salt and white pepper

24 oz. Clam juice

Pinch of saffron (1/2 g)

¼ cup minced chives, plus extra for garnish

1 cup frozen sweet corn

1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces

½ cup heavy cream

1 lb white snapper, cut into bite sized pieces

½ lb small shrimp, peeled and deveined



1. In a large soup pot or cast iron, sauté leeks and onions in butter on medium-high, stirring several times, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.
2. Add in clam juice, 1 cup water, saffron, chives, corn and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on medium-low, 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. If you want a thicker consistency, puree the soup briefly with an emersion blender. 
3. Stir in cream.
4. Season seafood with salt and white pepper and add to chowder. Simmer for 8 minutes on low until just cooked through. The fish should flake and the shrimp be a nice pink color.
5. Garnish with chives and serve warm.

Shrimp Stir Fry with Baby Bok Choy


Why do we always think we’re cheating when we cook with sauce from a jar? Hansen Shieh of One Culture Foods is on a mission to make authentic Asian flavors accessible to the home cook. He has created 3 incredible sauces that are named based on their flavor profile where every ingredient he uses is not only recognizable and pronounceable but thoughtfully sourced. The result is utterly unique sauces. You cannot pigeonhole them to any one particular region in Asia although there are clearly influences from Hansen’s childhood home of San Gabriel Valley to his new home of Chinatown, NY.


I met up with the incredibly charming Hansen this week for a tour of Chinatown and his favorite spots.



He introduced me to Wendy Lian, owner of Spicy Village (and Li pictured below) whose Dapanji (Big Tray Chicken) he is addicted to and a large influence in his Earthy, Spicy, Tingly sauce.



We explored the underground Deluxe Meat Market on Elizabeth Street between Grand and Hester filled with everything from alligator to turtle that felt like a parallel universe. Then on to the impossibly fresh (and cheap) fish market, Aqua Best (276 Grand Street).



I felt like we’d only scratched the surface after an hour and am already planning my return. Hansen’s infectious passion had filled me with ideas for ways to use his sauces. I started with a simple stir fry using nothing more than some shrimp, baby bok choy and his Spicy, Tangy, Funky Sauce. In 5 minutes, I had a dish bursting with flavor that only felt a little bit like cheating!


Shrimp Stir Fry with Baby Bok Choy

Serves 1


2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 large garlic clove, finely sliced

4 scallions, cut into 1″ pieces

2 baby bok choy, roughly chopped

Sesame oil for drizzling

6 large shrimp, deveined, tail on

3-4 tablespoons Southwest Asian Sweet Chili



1. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a pan.

2. Add garlic and scallion and cook for 1 min on med high making sure not to burn garlic.

3. Add in bok choy stirring frequently to avoid garlic scorching and cook 4-5 till slightly wilted but still crunchy. Drizzle with sesame oil.

4. In a separate pan, heat the remaining canola oil and sear shrimp on both sides very quickly, less than a minute.

5. Add Southwest Asian Sweet Chili sauce and heat through for another minute.

6. Serve bok choy and shrimp together over a bed of rice.

Ricchi e Poveri


I didn’t think it was possible for me to be more impressed by Steve Sando and all he’s done to raise awareness of heirloom beans. That was until I found out that my culinary hero, Marcella Hazan, was not only a fan and a customer but also the inspiration for Steve to bring Marcella’s favorite bean, the sorana, to America. The two food luminaries sadly never met but Steve kept her updated on the progress of his first crop and just as he was ready to send her the first bag, he got the devastating news of her death. Now the aptly named ‘Marcella’ bean is available to us all and a wonderful tribute to the woman who did for Italian food what Steve has done for the bean.


I’ve used them here in a recipe that reminds me of summer, something I’m craving right now as the temperature drops. Ricchi e Poveri (Rich and Poor), was a staple on Italian menus in the 70’s and a dish that my mother often made for me growing up. The rich being the seafood and the poor being the beans. The seafood can be anything from lobster to a mixture of shellfish from prawns to mussels. The dressing is simple; just garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and some chopped parsley – I think Marcella would approve.


Ricchi e Poveri

Serves 4-6 as a starter


3 cups of cooked Marcella Beans (see note below), or any type of cannellini beans

1 lb. shellfish (I used a mixture of 1/2 lb. prawns and 1/2 lb. rock shrimp)

1/4 cup vermouth

1 garlic clove (smashed)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley



1. In a large pan, bring 2″ of water to a slow simmer and add vermouth. Add the seafood and gently simmer for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through. Drain immediately and add to a bowl.

2. In a large bowl, mix the garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Remove the garlic and then add the cooked beans and seafood and stir gently.

3. Add the parsley and check for seasoning. Serve warm with crusty bread.


To cook the beans:

A good heirloom bean needs little more than water and some salt. As Steve says, even though these beans are small, you should take your time and gently allow them to fully cook. They are edible quite soon after you start but the real creaminess comes with time and low, slow and gentle heat. I threw in some carrots and celery to the water because I had them on hand but they are not necessary. Cover the beans with cold water and bring to a very gentle simmer. Taste after 45 mins to see how they’re getting on – you’ll know when they’re ready.

Scallops with Mango, Avocado Relish and Basbaas


Scallops with Mango, Avocado Relish and Basbaas

Serves 4


12 large scallops

Sea salt

Canola oil

1 mango, cubed

1/2 avocado, cubed

2 tablespoons of cubed red pepper

1 tablespoon finely cubed red onion

1 tablespoon Coconut Cilantro Chutney



1. Remove the muscle on the side of each scallop and discard. Then lay your scallops on a plate lined with a paper towel.

2. In a large bowl, mix the mango, avocado, red pepper, red onion and chutney.

3. Heat a large skillet (big enough not to crowd the scallops) and season the scallops on both sides with sea salt.

4. Add enough Canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Just before it starts to smoke, add the scallops and cook until you get a beautiful brown sear – about 2 minutes per side (no more than that as they can overcook very quickly). Remove to clean paper towels.

5. Divide the relish among 4 plates, spooning into the center of each plate to create height. To finish, top each plate with 3 scallops. Serve while the scallops are still warm.

A Taste of Persia: Spinach Borani and Bandari Monkfish



My education in Persian cuisine is only just beginning. Armed with books by Claudia Roden, Lousia Shafia and my new favorite cookbook, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, I’ve been trying to teach myself the basics. I’m getting closer to achieving that perfect crunchy, buttery, golden brown crust (tahdig) on my Persian rice and my culinary vocabulary is slowly growing.


I’ve also enlisted the help of Tay Tea’s founder, Nini Ordoubadi who (quite rightly) berated me for not including a Persian menu in Recipes From Many Kitchens. Nini is a third generation tea blender from Iran. Her blends are as original as Nini herself; eclectic, exotic and whimsical. A recent feast at her home in Harlem showed me her talents extend beyond the tea room to the kitchen. She kindly shared her recipe for her saffron infused spinach borani. Although traditionally served as an appetizer, I’ve paired it here with a monkfish recipe from Persiana. The mild flavored fish is marinated in a heady mix of spices, herbs and yoghurt and was the perfect accompaniment to Nini’s borani.


Nini’s Spinach Borani

Serves 4


4 cups of fresh spinach, washed and chopped

2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups drained yogurt

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon saffron, divided (1/4 teaspoon ground in a pestle and mortar and 1/4 teaspoon dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water).



1. In a pan with a tight fitting lid, cook the spinach until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain well and squeeze out any excess liquid.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet and fry the onions and garlic until lightly browned. About 10 minutes.

3. Add the spinach to the onions and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4. In a bowl, mix the yoghurt and spinach mixture well. Season with the salt and pepper and stir in the powdered saffron. Refrigerate for several hours.

5. Garnish with the saffron water before serving.


Bandari Monkfish

Adapted from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour

Serves 4


1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 fat garlic cloves, minced

2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Handful of cilantro leaves, finely chopped (plus extra for serving)

Handful of dill, finely chopped

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 monkfish tails or fillets, about 6-7 ounces each, skinned and cleaned



1. Mix all the dry spices together in a bowl and then add in the garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, lime zest, lime juice, yogurt and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir well with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

2. Place the monkfish in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the fillets. Using your hands, distribute the paste on all sides of the fish. Cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. Bring fish to room temperature before cooking.

3. Preheat a frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, drizzle in a little olive oil. Gently lay the fish in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until opaque all the way through.

4. Leave to rest for 1-2 minutes before serving. Top with extra cilantro leaves.

Salmon en Croute


The first time I made Salmon en Croute it was to impress a boy. I was 19, inexperienced in the kitchen and thought it seemed sophisticated (unlike me). I’m not sure I impressed the boy but I definitely impressed myself. I learnt a valuable lesson that day; nothing is ever as complicated as it seems in the kitchen. Surprisingly simple to put together, the flaky puff pastry and the asparagus sauce keep the fish juicy and tender. There’s not much that isn’t improved by being wrapped in pastry and salmon is no exception. Make it in advance and just pop it in the oven 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat. Served with a simple salad and some boiled new potatoes, it’s perfect for a dinner party. 


Salmon en Croute

Serves 4-6


1 salmon fillet (about 1 1/2 lbs, skinned and boned)

1 lb fresh asparagus, cut just below the tips

4 tablespoons crème fraîche

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 sheets of puff pastry (about 10″x 8″)

1 egg lightly beaten



1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Poach the asparagus tips in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain well.

3. In a food processor, purée the asparagus, crème fraîche, dill and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and lay down one sheet of the puff pastry. Lay the salmon on the pastry and season with salt. 

5. Spread the asparagus crème fraîche mixture on top of the salmon. 

6. Brush the rim of the pastry around the salmon with egg and then lay the second sheet of pastry over the salmon. Press down the edges to seal. Trim the pastry leaving a 1″ border around the salmon. Use a fork to press around the edges to ensure the layers of pastry are well sealed. 

7. Cut 3 small diagonal slits along the top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape.

8. Brush the pastry all over with the remaining egg and bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown – about 20 minutes.