From curries to cakes, John Torode gives us a taste of his latest foodie travels

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GET your taste buds buzzing with these fresh and flavourful dishes from curries to cakes that hail from Australia and the Far East.

Here JOHN TORODE imparts some of his knowledge and passion in these four unique dishes that are sure to get your mouth watering.

 John Torode shares his favourite dishes from Australia and the Far East John Torode shares his favourite dishes from Australia and the Far East

Crisp Fried Tofu with pumpkin seeds and pea shoots

Serves 6 (as a side salad)

 This tofu dish only takes 15 minutes to cook This tofu dish only takes 15 minutes to cook

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cals: 242

Sat fat: 2g

  • 300g firm tofu
  • 50g cornflour
  • 100ml vegetable oil, for frying
  • 50g fresh pea shoots
  • 20g pumpkin seeds, toasted

 

For the dressing:

  • 4tsp vegetable oil
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 1tsp sesame seeds
  • 4tsp light soy sauce
  • 2tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Put all the dressing ingredients into a jam jar or similar, season with salt and white pepper, screw the lid on and shake until it’s all mixed up. It’ll keep in the fridge for a few days, so don’t worry if you don’t use it all.
  2. Cut the tofu into strips the size of your middle finger. Mix some salt and pepper into the cornflour in a dish, then roll the tofu in it to coat all over.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a high heat and when shimmering, drop in a few pieces of tofu at a time and cook until the edges start to colour brown. Turn and cook for a good 5 minutes or so until crisp and brown.
  4. Remove and drain on kitchen paper, then repeat with the rest of the tofu until crisp and brown, bringing the oil back up to temperature before frying the next batch.
  5.  Mix the tofu with the pea shoots and pumpkin seeds, then drizzle over some dressing, toss to mix well and serve.

 

Pork & Bamboo red curry

Serves 6-8

 This curry can serve six to eight people This curry can serve six to eight people

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Cals: 580

Sat fat: 22g

  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1kg pork leg (skin and fat attached), cut into 8 pieces
  • 100ml fish sauce
  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 3tbsp red curry paste
  • 2tbsp palm sugar
  • 6 lemongrass stalks
  • 10 double lime leaves
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh galangal, chopped
  • 200g large bamboo shoots
  • 2 fresh red chillies, sliced
  • 2 handfuls fresh coriander
  • 100g beansprouts
  • Handful crispy fried onions, to serve
  1. In a large, heavy pan, heat the oil and seal the pork hunks really well so they have lots of colour. Don’t let the skin get stuck – if it will not come away from the pan, don’t force it, it will release itself. Add half the fish sauce then tip into a bowl while you make the sauce.
  2. Heat a wok, add the creamy top layer of the coconut milk from the tins and bring to the boil. When it splits, add the curry paste and stir. Reduce the heat and cook the paste for 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Now add the palm sugar and cook for a minute so it becomes rich and dark and red. Next, drop in all the aromatics – the lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal – and give a good stir to release their oils.
  4. Pour the pork and all the liquid that sits in with it into the paste, and stir so the pork is all coated. Add the remaining coconut milk and bring to the boil.
  5. Add 300ml water, reduce the heat to a simmer and drop in the bamboo shoots. Cook slowly for 40 minutes, topping up with water occasionally and giving it the odd stir so it doesn’t stick, but be gentle.Take the pork and slice into four, then pop back into the sauce and season with the remaining fish sauce.
  6. Mix the chilli with the coriander and beansprouts, top the curry with this and the onions, and serve with rice.

Tom Kha Gai

Serves 4-6

 This dish tastes fresh and it only takes 20 minutes to make This dish tastes fresh and it only takes 20 minutes to make

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Cals: 299

Sat fat: 20g

  • 4 stalks coriander with roots, soaked and washed
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut and bruised
  • 8 thick slices galangal
  • 10 lime leaves, torn
  • 4tbsp concentrated cooking tamarind
  • 4 small fresh green chillies, crushed in a mortar
  • 4tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced lengthways
  • Juice 2 limes
  • Fresh coriander and Thai basil leaves, to garnish
  1. Separate the coriander leaves from the stems, then crush both.
  2. In a large pot, combine the stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal and coriander stalks and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the lime leaves, tamarind and chillies, then return to the boil and add the fish sauce. It should taste sweet, sour, salty and hot. Drop in the chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Serve in big bowls with a good squirt of lime juice in the bottom of each one and pour the soup over it along with lots of herbs to garnish.

Mango & Ginger breakfast cake

Serves 4-6

 This sweet treat can be stored for up to five days This sweet treat can be stored for up to five days

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes

Cals: 226

Sat fat: 7g

For the sponge:

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 160g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1tbsp ground almonds
  • 3 eggs, beaten

For the fruit mixture: 

  • 1 small ripe mango
  • 1 piece stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped
  • 15g butter
  • 15g demerara sugar
  • 1½ tbsp golden syrup
  • 60g porridge oats
  • ¼tsp ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease a 20x30cm baking tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a bowl, cream the butter and caster sugar together – it should be twice the volume and white in colour. Now add the flour, baking powder and ground almonds and fold into the creamed mixture, slowly adding the eggs to make a basic sponge. Set aside.
  3. Peel and remove the mango seed, then finely chop the flesh. Mix the mango with stem ginger.
  4. In a pan, gently warm the butter, sugar and syrup until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, ground ginger and mango.
  5. Fold the cake and mango mixes together, then transfer to the prepared tin, levelling the surface. Bake for 30 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  6. Cool in the tin for a minute or so, then place a plate or board over the tin, turn it upside down and invert the cake onto the plate or board, making sure all the fruit comes out, too. Serve the cake warm or leave to cool completely, then cut into portions. Store any leftovers wrapped up in a tea towel for up to five days.

DRINK ME: Rekorderlig Botanicals in Rhubarb, Lemon & Mint, £2, Asda

 Sip on this in the summer sunshine Sip on this in the summer sunshine

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