Fuji Hiro – Easy Gyoza

easy-gyoza

Leeds has a best kept secret; Fuji Hiro.

It’s a small, tucked away hiding place reminiscent of an 80’s style Japanese equivalent to a greasy spoon. The chairs and tables are crammed in and basic, and instead of ketchup, salt and plastic cloths on the table, it’s soy sauce, chilli flakes and wooden chopsticks, you know, the ones that are stuck together‚ that everyone instantly has to satisfy their urge to break apart.

I was introduced to Fuji Hiro by an ex-boyfriend and since then have been on a number of dates & dinners and it is undoubtedly always a talking point, and consistently good. It’s stark but intimate and even plays host to various hipster celebs‚ Corine Bailey-Ray was my last spot!

The menus haven’t changed over the last 7 years I have been visiting, apart from the odd tippexed out price, and neither has my order: yasai gyoza and a yaki soba. Having sampled many other dishes off the menu, via other people’s plates this is always a safe but really tasty choice. Their gyozas are incredible, better than any others I have tasted at Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Little Tokyo etc. They are steamed to be extra soft but somehow keep the crispy bottom and are so well sealed that they ooze liquid as soon as you bite into the corner, so when you dip into the soy and chilli dipping sauce, the skin fills up and creates a really intense flavour & texture combo.

Gyoza is a dish which I have always been a little bit afraid of trying to make myself, I find Asian snacks and starters in general quite hard work. They seem to require a multitude of ingredients, labour intensive shaping and formatting and careful frying – needless to say that finesse in the kitchen isn’t my strong point. However, these delicious little parcels couldn’t be easier to make.

TOP TIP: Gyoza skins can be purchased from any decent Asian or Chinese supermarket – try Wing Lee Hong in Leeds, it has a great selection of produce. The packs of skins can be big so split them up and freeze in batches of 10, they defrost within minutes when you’re ready to use. Don’t attempt to use spring roll wrappers as they are not as robust and wont steam as well.

For the filling

1 x tin canned water chestnuts, drained

50g white cabbage, roughly chopped

1 small carrot, roughly chopped

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

1 celery stick, roughly chopped

25g cornflour

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

pinch of white pepper

 

Add everything into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.

 

To assemble

Spoon around 2 tsp of the mixture into the centre of a flat gyoza skin (don’t over fill), then brush ½ of the circular pastry with water. Fold over the other half and seal into a semi-circle shape.

To cook 

In a wide flat pan place 4-5 parcels at a time in some vegetable oil and fry for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat for 1 minute and carefully, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan (mind you don’t set it on fire). Put the pan back on the heat and cover with a lid. Steam the gyoza for another 3-4 minutes. And serve with…

 

The dipping sauce 

Mix 3 tbsp soy sauce, chopped fresh chilli (with seeds) and about 1tbsp rice wine vinegar.

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Jubilee BBQ Party Recipes

jubilee-bbq-recipes

Over the last couple of years whilst I’ve been taking food a bit more seriously, I’ve built up quite a big collection of magazine cut outs, supermarket recipe cards, cook books and scribbled down recipes stolen from friends so when it comes to looking for some inspiration for what to make for the Jubilee festivities this weekend, it didn”t take me long to pick out a few recipes.

These are some ”stand up, eat with your fingers and share with your friends” ideas I think will be perfect for milling around at your local street party or neighbours garden BBQ.

Heston Blumenthal for WaitroseSticky Sweet Chilli Chicken

Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute mealsSausage Rolls

Morrisons – Curried Fish Kebabs

800g fresh white fish fillets (coley would be good)
4 tbsp apricot jam
1 x red & 1 x green finely chopped chilli
2 tbsp medium curry powder
handful of fresh chopped coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
lime juice
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges

Cut the fish into bite size pieces.

In a glass bowl, mix the jam, chillies, curry powder, coriander, olive oil & lime juice.

Add the fish & marinate covered in the fridge for as long as you can – overnight if possible.

Skewer the fish pieces, with the tomato wedges with soaked wooden skewers and grill on the BBQ for around 8 minutes, turning occasionally.
My friend Beccy’s goat’s cheese and red pepper tart

Extra virgin olive oil
2 x red onions (cut into wedges)
3 x roasted red peppers (sliced)
1 x packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 x egg
goats cheese log
3 sprigs of thyme

Fry the onion wedges.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Add the sliced pepper to the pan.

Unroll the pastry onto a greased baking sheet and score a border with a knife.

Brush the pastry border with the beaten egg and place the onions and pepper into the middle.

Add slices of the goat’s cheese log and sprinkle with thyme.

Cook for 15 minutes and slice into pieces to serve.

 

There are so many great ways to spice up your Jubilee BBQ party, have a look through your recipe card collection and see what you can as sharing plates or finger nibbles!

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Sea Bass Saturday

seabass

I haven’t written a blog for ages, but today I’m feeling particularly inspired. For over two years now I have been trying to get my other half on board with fish. No one fish in particular, just fish in general.

Despite so many knock backs with a definitive NO to my continuous requests – “darling just try a bit of this salmon”… “just try a tiny bit of this mackerel” – I have refused to believe that anyone can not like something they haven’t at least tried once! And so…during my weekend trolley dash at Morrisons yesterday, I decided to sneak in a fillet of sea bass and see if I could make another attempt to change his mind.

I did.

Maybe it was a bad experience from his youth, which is how most of us develop dislikes to certain foods. But now I know what it takes: fresh off the ice counter, I chose the meatiest, shiniest fillet of sea bass, which I consider to be a fairly subtle flavour.

I made a foil bag and placed the fish flat in the middle. A drizzle of extra virgin, squeeze of lime, salt, black pepper, small handful of basil, 2 slices of ginger and 2 dried kaffir lime leaves later, I sealed the foil and placed in the bamboo steamer for about 15 minutes.

It was so tasty, flaked and melted off the skin and had soaked up all the gorgeous Thai combination of flavours. Not only did he love it, I now have a great new recipe which I will use for a variety of fish types over the next few months until I have got him asking if we can have fish for dinner every week!

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