Sichuan Peppercorn Lamb and Green Bean Stir Fry


Cooking through the three sauces in One Culture Foods line was a true pleasure. It is very rare to find a bottled simmer sauce that vastly improves a meal, gives authentic flavor and is truly as simple to use as the label indicates. One Culture Foods has three of these sauces. Earthy Spicy Tingly was our last sauce to cook with and it paired perfectly with lamb. This recipe was one of Hansen’s inspirations and we were thrilled with how easily it came together and how the sauce married itself so perfectly to the ingredients. The bite of the peppercorns, crunch of the charred green beans and flavorful seared lamb all blend wonderfully with a sauce that matches each component of its name: earthy, spicy, tingly.


Sichuan Peppercorn Lamb and Green Bean Stir Fry
Serves 2 large portions

5 tablespoons high smoke point oil (grapeseed, safflower, avocado), divided
3/4 lb green beans, cleaned and cut into 1 – 1 1/4 inch pieces
Sea salt
1/4 white onion, sliced thinly (1/2 cup)
1 lb lean lamb sirloin, fat removed and sliced on a bias (1 1/4 inch long 1/4 inch wide)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Fresh cracked black pepper
5 tablespoons of Earthy Spicy Tingly
White rice for serving


1. In a large frying pan on high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of oil for 3-5 minutes until green beans sizzle when added to the pan. You can test with a green bean or two. Beans should be hissing and popping. Once the oil is heated, add all the green beans and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. The goal is to get nice char spots on the outside without overcooking the inside. Season with salt and set beans aside in a small bowl.

2. Add the onions to the heated pan and cook 1-2 minutes. You just want them getting some color and softening slightly. Set aside in a separate bowl.

3. Add remaining oil then add the lamb to the pan. Make sure every piece is making contact with the bottom. Sear 1-2 minutes then flip and cook till both sides are nicely browned (about 3-4 minutes total). Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

4. Lower the heat to medium and add back in the onions. Add in Earthy Spicy Tingly and cook about 2 minutes, tossing and allowing the sauce to thicken.

5. Add the green beans and start stirring/tossing vigorously. The goal is to get the sauce to cling to the beans. Cook for 1-2 minutes more until the sauce is mixed in with the ingredients.

6. Transfer to a plate and garnish with cilantro. Serve with white rice and eat immediately.

Trumpets with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta


Pasta is a subject I take very seriously – probably too seriously. I have very strong opinions on which shape to choose for which sauce and am a complete snob when it comes to certain brands. Sorry Barilla, but you will never darken my door. We all try to eat local as much as possible but I never thought I’d see the day when I wouldn’t need to buy pasta imported from Italy. That was until I discovered Sfoglini Pasta Shop making pasta that ticks all the boxes from flavor to texture.


To launch them on the shop, I thought I’d share one of my favorite new sauces and had fun deciding which of their shapes would best suit it. A wholly inauthentic carbonara with caramelized brussels sprouts, it gives the illusion of healthy eating and the trumpets are perfect for capturing all the deliciousness and hiding the naughty bits in their folds.


Trumpets with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Serves 4


1 lb Trumpet pasta

1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and then sliced thinly, lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lb pancetta, cubed

3 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish



1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet.

2. Meanwhile in a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the pancetta until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the frying pan and then add the brussels sprouts and cook on medium heat. You can flatten them with the back of a wooden spoon and leave for a few minutes before turning them all over. You want them to get a nice char.

4. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, cream and parmesan.

5. Drain the pasta, retaining a cup of the salted water.

6. Add the drained pasta to the frying pan with the brussels sprouts, return the bacon and then pour in the cream mixture. Mix well and add some of the retained salted water if the sauce is too thick. Top with additional Parmesan and serve immediately.


Huevos Rancheros with Roasted Chiles


The best thing about doing the Vanderbilt Holiday market this last December was meeting new producers. There was a fair bit of down time, so we all got to know each other and sample lots of incredible foods. I loved hearing everyone sharing their experience proving once again that cooperation, and not competition, is the new way forward. I met Nate Cotanch of Zia Green Chile Company there with his fiery roasted green and red chiles which I’m so excited to be selling on Many Kitchens. I couldn’t wait to try them on some Huevos Rancheros – they added just the right amount of heat and smokiness to a favorite brunch dish.


Having just got back from Mexico, I made them again wanting to transport myself back to the beach and town that I have grown to love so much. Every year, I worry that Tulum has been written about so much that it will be overrun with tourists pouring out of tour buses and every year, it’s as heavenly and perfect as a vacation can be. In the past year, the only thing that has exploded is the number of extraordinarily good new restaurants. No more reason to wait in line at Hartwood which has now become so famous it has its own bestselling cookbook. New restaurants like Kitchen Table and Arca are equally impressive with their open kitchens and wood burning fire places delivering mouthwatering dishes from local produce in a relaxed jungle setting. I’m counting the days till next year! Till then I’ll have to transport myself with the flavors that I crave like fire roasted tortillas and roasted chiles.



Huevos Rancheros

Serves 2


Olive oil for frying

2 eggs

2 small corn tortillas

4 heaped tablespoons of refried beans

2 teaspoons roasted red chiles

2 teaspoons roasted green chiles (Medium or Hot)

2 tablespoons chopped avocado

Cilantro leaves for sprinkling

Queso fresco for sprinkling



1. Fry the eggs the way you like them. I think they are best crispy around the outside with the yolk still soft which is achieved by frying them in hot oil and spooning the hot oil onto the whites until the egg is cooked.

2. On a medium flame, using tongs, heat the tortillas till the edges just begin to brown and flip. About 30 seconds on each side. You’ll see the tortillas bubbling and slightly smoking before you flip. Don’t go so long that you scorch them.

3. Place a tortilla on each plate, divide the refried beans between the two and then top each with a fried egg.

4. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients, adding more or less to your taste and serve immediately while hot.

Sesame Noodle Salad with Chili Oil



I’ve been working on a TEDx talk about community and as a result thinking a lot about what that word actually means. It is impossible to think of community without thinking of food. The story behind this recipe embodies my feelings about the true meaning of community and how generous and giving a group of people can be.


My great friends Camille and Josh were married in upstate NY before I met them, so sadly I didn’t get to experience their wedding first hand but tales of it are legendary! In lieu of wedding presents, everyone pitched in for the meal. There were BBQ aficionados doing meat, Vietnamese beef sticks from the groom’s sister, platters of vegetables and dips from the groom’s parents and even the cake was made by a hobbyist baker friend. It was essentially one large feast and the happiest of communal meals.


Hilary, knowing how much Camille loved her sesame noodles, made it for over 100 people at the wedding and it was a fast favorite among all the guests. It has since become one of Camille’s signature dishes and for the happy couple, this dish has come to symbolize people coming together to celebrate. In their typical generous style, they now make it for a large party every year on July 4th.



Sesame Noodle Salad with Chili Oil

Adapted from: The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison

Serves 4-6



14 oz of noodles (I used wholewheat soba noodles)

1 cup of snow peas, julienned

1/2 lb of bean sprouts

1 carrot, peeled and julienned

2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds (to roast, add to a pan on medium heat and cook till color turns, about 2 minutes)



2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons sliced scallions



4 tablespoons of dark sesame oil

4 tablespoons of soy sauce

4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons of Brooklyn Wok Shop’s Chili Oil

1 heaped tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 bunch of scallions (cut off two inches from the green end and discard. Thinly slice the rest.)

2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro



1. In a large bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients together. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

3. Pour the noodles into a colander and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

4. Add the well drained and cooled noodles to the bowl with the marinade. Mix well to distribute the marinade.

5. In another pot of boiling water, blanch the carrot strips and snow peas for 30 seconds before adding the bean sprouts. Continue cooking for 30 seconds more, then pour the contents into a colander and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch.

6. Add the blanched vegetables and half the sesame seeds to the noodles and mix well.

7. Garnish with the remaining sesame seeds as well as the reserved cilantro and scallions.

8. Serve at room temperature. Recipe can be made the night before as flavor improves over time.

General Tso’s Chicken


I don’t think it was until I moved to America from London that I realized all my favorite Chinese dishes weren’t actually Chinese but an Anglicized version. And I don’t think it was until I finally visited China that I realized that dishes found in most American Chinese restaurants weren’t authentic either. In fact, they weren’t just inauthentic but didn’t even exist; the best example being the ubiquitous General Tso’s Chicken and fortune cookies which are both entirely absent in China yet found in an estimated 50,000 restaurants across America.


A couple of weeks ago, in the name of “work”, I decided to go to a morning viewing of the new documentary “The Search for General Tso”. It was an absolutely brilliant film which not only solves a mystery but gives a fascinating history of the evolution of Chinese food in America. The film finished at just about lunchtime and it will be no surprise what my gurgling stomach was screaming out for. The exact opposite of subliminal advertising, I had been hypnotized by images of that sticky, sweet dish and nothing else would do!


As usual though, after the initial gratification, came the slightly sick feeling and desperate thirst that comes with takeout. I wanted to see if I could make a version at home that would satisfy my next craving. It was shockingly easy to put together and you can adjust the sweetness and spiciness to your own taste. So just in time for Chinese New Year, here’s my version of General Tso’s Chicken using Brooklyn Wok Shop’s addictive Chili Oil.


General Tso’s Chicken

Serves 4


For the chicken:

1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 large egg, separated

1/4 cup of cornstarch

1 or 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces

Canola, peanut or vegetable oil for frying


For the sauce:

1 tablespoon canola, peanut or vegetable oil

1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1 strip of orange peel

1 teaspoon Brooklyn Wok Shop’s Chili Oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

A few dried chile de arbol, cut in halves (optional)


For serving:

Steamed rice, steamed broccoli and thinly sliced scallions



1. In a large bowl, mix sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, corn starch and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. The consistency should be thicker than pancake batter – add another tablespoon of orange juice if too thick.

2. Add chicken pieces to “batter”, stir and leave to sit for about 20 mins.

3. For the sauce, add the tablespoon of oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir constantly for about 1 minute.

4. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pan and keep stirring until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken. About 10 minutes. It should coat the back of the spoon. Cover and keep on a low heat to keep warm.

5. Time to fry the chicken! Heat 1/2″ of oil in a large heavy non stick or cast iron frying pan. When the oil is shimmering, begin adding the chicken and make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Turn after 2 or 3 minutes when brown and crispy. Be sure to use a splatter guard and be careful of spitting oil.

6. Transfer the chicken pieces as they are ready to a plate lined with paper towel and continue until you’ve used up all the chicken.

7. Add all the chicken pieces to the sauce and coat to cover before serving with steamed rice, steamed broccoli and cover with sliced scallion. You can spoon more sauce from the pan over the dish as well.

Chicken with Broccolini and Black Bean Sauce


This week we heard that One Culture Foods’ Chinese Fermented Black Bean sauce is a finalist for the 2016 Good Food Awards. I couldn’t be happier for Hansen or less surprised. When you’ve had a crazy day and can’t quite think about what to make, Hansen’s sauces are a god send. I can pick up a protein and a vegetable and have dinner ready 10 minutes after getting home. As with the shrimp stir fry we posted a few weeks ago, I’m almost embarrassed to write this recipe out. It’s that easy.


The ease and versatility of this sauce aside, it is the distinct taste that is garnering these well deserved accolades. Complexly balanced Chinese-inspired flavors and well sourced natural ingredients come together to reveal the genius of its name. Sweetness from pineapple and brown sugar, Savory from fermented black beans and spicy from green jalapeño. It’s just a phenomenal sauce.


Chicken with Broccolini and Black Bean Sauce

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

1 lb broccolini, cut into bite sized pieces (stalks included)

3/4 cup Chinese Fermented Black Bean



1. Boil some water in a saucepan and add the broccolini. Cook for 3 minutes, then drain.

2. While the broccolini are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes on high, stirring regularly.

3. Add the broccolini and Chinese Fermented Black Bean sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

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.

Savory Lamb Baklava


On a recent trip to London I had a taste of this pie that was so utterly delicious as well as completely original, I begged its creator, Louise for the recipe. The minced lamb filling is full of spices and the crispy phyllo is brushed with honey and sumac giving it that wonderful sweet and savory flavor that reminded me of a Moroccan B’stilla. A whole new take on a meat pie and one that I will be making again and again.


Savory Lamb Baklava

Serves 4


1 lb minced lamb
2 large onions, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 sticks of celery, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 can whole peeled plum tomatoes (14 oz)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons chopped mint
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon honey, softened for brushing
1 tablespoon sumac
8 sheets phyllo pastry, divided
4 tablespoons melted butter for brushing



Preheat the oven to 350. In a large frying pan on medium high heat, cook lamb until brown (about 5 minutes). Add in onion, diced carrots, chopped celery and garlic and cook until onion has softened (8-10 minutes). Increase heat to high and add spices, pepper, tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The filling should be moist but not too wet. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Take a 10 inch square baking tin (I used a 8×12″ baking dish) and brush with a thin layer of butter and then place a sheet of phyllo in the bottom. Brush the sheet with more butter and place another sheet on top and brush with butter (you can cut or fold the pastry to fit the tin if necessary).

Stir the chopped mint and parsley into the cooked lamb mixture, then spoon the mixture into the baking tin lined with phyllo. Layer six sheets of filo pastry on top, brushing each layer with butter. Brush the top layer with warmed honey and sprinkle with sumac. Using a knife cut through the layers to form diamond or square shapes. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.