Friday, April 12, 2013


Gourmandism is an act of judgment, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality.
- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Pleasure is the only thing to live for. Nothing ages like happiness.
- Oscar Wilde 
As an incorrigible gourmand/gourmet, food enthusiast and hedonist*, I am a adorer of all things beautiful (not in the narrow sense) and palatable. I constantly need to be stimulated by my environment and delighted, inspired as well as awe struck by what I see, eat, smell, touch, hear, feel and experience, hence my existence pretty much revolves around the pleasing and tiltillating of the five senses. My inner artist and intellect simply crave bedazzlement, novelty, grandeur, decadence, magnificence and refinement.

Emotional stimulations are my life force and it is for this reason that I cannot stand callousness, neutrality, déjà-vu and lack of good-taste (unless it is expressed in an artistic manner). If my soul's strings are not tugged on a regular basis, then my well-being is at stake and just like a flower which is deprived of sun and water, I starts to wither.

So, when I choose a cookery book, I make sure that its contents will keep me captivated, entertained and fulfilled. Texts, recipes and pictures (photos or illustrations are not always a must, though) have to reach my standards and be on the level of my expectations. Therefore, I am extremely finicky when it comes to buying such items as I don't want to purchase a dust-catcher that will neglectfully sit on the corner of a shelf and be of no use to me.

Rare are the cookbooks that literally steal my heart, but everytime I get my hands on one that ticks all my boxes you can be guaranteed I'll never let go of it. Good and useful manuals are precious and accompany you through life.

* Call me what you want, even the controversial title "foodie" if you believe it suits me. I won't get irritated, I promise! After all, I am a "bonne vivante" and I am not ashamed to be an "amateur" who enjoys quality grub...

At the moment it is very trendy to despise this word. Anyway, I am an unfashionable misfit and I hate snobism or categorizations, so I don't give a damn about the insignificant, childish and fascist-like debates surrounding this denomination. I'm above that.

What makes cookbooks interesting is to find out about the people and the culture that invented the food.
- Vincent Schiavelli
Speaking of which, Leemei Tan's "Ginger And Lemongrass" definitely belongs to this category as not only does it offer a remarkable selection of well-detailed, accessible, pluri-ethnic, sense-awakening, colorful, mouthwatering, hunger-igniting and authentic recipes (over 100 of them), but it also contains a warming foreword, clean and vibrant pictures that breathe simplicity, elegantly evocative introductions and informatively clear explanations.

With its seven chapters, each dedicated to a different country or style of cooking (Japan & Korea, China, Philippines & Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam, India & Sri Lanka) and basics section comprised of a techniques category and glossary, this excellent and somewhat zen publication takes us on a fantastic and exhalirating culinary voyage/adventure through the mysterious East.

Although a majority of the savory and sweet courses presented within the pages of this manual are popular classics which have already been published in numerous gastronomic magazines or compendiums before ("Thai Papaya Salad", "Indian Saffron Chicken Pilau", "Chinese Prawn and Pork Wontons", "Maki Sushi", "Sweet And Sour Pork Belly", "Penang Assam Laksa", "Sri Lankan Sour Fish Curry", "Bibimbap", Dan Dan Noodles", "Mapo Tofu", "Beef Rendang", "Thai Green Curry Chicken", "Pho", "Spring Rolls", "etc...), Leemei definitely did a great job
revisiting and modernizing them by adding her personal twist to each of them. Thus, the specialities she shares with us are all incredibly appealing, imaginative, refreshing, enticing and delectable (rich in aromatic spices, herbs and flavourings).

"Ginger And Lemongrass" is perfect for people who are just starting to tackle Asia's fantastic, aromatic, seductive and diverse cuisine as well as for competent cooks who want to fall in love again with the art of handling the wok. This exquisitely produced object is worth checking out!

Selecting a recipe to showcase here on Rosa's Yummy Yums wasn't an easy task as the entire book is chock-a-block-full with fares which speak to me and meet my eclectic taste. It took me a while to make up my mind, but after a few days of intense hesitating I finally found what I was looking for.

Pork, mushrooms, noodles and soy sauce being some of my favorite ingredients, it is quite naturally that I decided to execute a simple, homely, yet succulent Southern Chinese stir-fry called "Bak Chor Mee" and which is not only highly appreciated in the land of dragons and emperors, but also in Malaysia and Singapore.

As expected, those "Noodles With Minced Pork And Shiitake" turned out marvelously well and we feasted on them with intense pleasure. Actually, it was so scrumptious and moreish that we had seconds and thirds (in our defense, on this very Saturday we were starving like lions in a cage because
we had no breakfast and lunched minimally).

An all-star piece de resistance which is light, laden with comely and harmoniously balanced
flavors, a no brainer to put together, budget-friendly and looks really appealing. The kind of dish you want to prepare over and over again without ever getting tired of seeing it appear on your table month after month.

LTan_P2-2 About the author:
Leemei Tan is an award-winning blogger, freelance recipe writer, food stylist and photographer who was born in Malaysia (the most multifaceted land in Southeast Asia) and has spent most of her years there before she flew off to Australia to complete her degree. After having graduated, she spent 3 years in Kuala Lumpur before quitting her job to travel and work around Europe.

Good food has always been important to her and while growing up, she has spent a lot of her time in the kitchen watching her mother cook. Her attention to details and great determination have naturally led her to be well equipped with essential cooking knowledge and skills. She is passionate about making it, writing about it, photographing it, and of course eating it!

Nowadays, she lives in London, travels extensively and shares both her recipes and experiences as a globetrotter on "My Cooking Hut", her personal food blog, which has been attracting a lot of visitors from all around the planet since its creation in 2007.

This passionate and talented youg woman has been interviewed by the New York Times and was featured in Grazia Magazine as one of the best female food bloggers in the world. And to top that, her recipes have been published in a few UK food magazines and she contributes to several publications, including to the Southeast Asian edition of Flavours Magazine.

Noodles With Minced Pork And Shiitake
Recipe slightly adapted from Leemei Tan's "Ginger And Lemongrass" coobook.

Serves 4.

Ingredients For The "Sauce":
3 Tbs Runny honey
5 Tbs Light soy sauce
2 Tbs Dark soy sauce
1 Tbs Sesame oil
4 1/2 Tsp Balsamic vinegar
Ingredients For The "Noodles":
1 Tbs Peanut oil
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
30g Dried shiitake, quickly rinsed, then soaked, drained and sliced (reserve soaking water)
350g Pork mince
150g Mung bean sprouts
300g Chinese noodles, cooked/warm (cook as specified on the package)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Chives, cut into thin matchsticks
Sambal oelek, for serving (optional)

Method For The "Sauce":
1. In a medium bowl, mix together all the  ingredients for the sauce and add 2 Tbs water. Pepper to taste and set aside.
Method For The "Noodles":
2. In a wok or frying pan, heat the oil at medium-high temperature.
3. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for another 1 minute.
5. Add the minced pork and stir-fry for a minute before pouring 5 Tbs of the soaking water (shiitake).
6. Pepper to taste and continue stir-frying the meat for 5-7 additional minutes.
7. Remove from the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid (too keep its contents warm) and set aside.
8. On a medium pan, bring water to the boil and blanch the mung bean sprouts for about 20 seconds.
9. Arrange the warm noodles on the plates and sprinkle with the sauce.
10. Add the meat and then the blanched mung bean sprouts. 
11. Sprinkle with the spring onion and add a dollop sambal oelek in each plate.
12. Serve.

You can replace the shiitake by porcini or wood-ear mushrooms and the chives by spring onions or leeks (white or pale green part only).

Serving suggestions:
Serve warm with green tea (jasmine or genmaicha) or ice cold beer (pale lager).

Nouilles Au Porc Haché Et Aux Shiitake
Recette adaptée du merveilleux livre "Gingembre Et Citronnelle" par Leemei Tan de "My Cooking Hut" (voir info).

Pour 4 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour La "Sauce":

3 CS de Miel liquide
5 CS de Sauce de soja légère

2 CS de Sauce de soja foncée
1 CS d'Huile de sésame
4 1/2 CC de Vinaigre balsamique
Ingrédients Pour Les "Nouilles":
1 CS d'Huile d'arachide
2 Gousses d'ail, hachées
30g de Shiitake séchés, rapidement rincés, puis trempés, égouttés et tranchés (réserver l'eau de trempage)
350g de Porc haché
150g de Germes de soja (haricots mungo)
300g de Nouilles chinoises, cuites/chaudes (voir emballage pour les instructions de cuisson)
Poivre noir fraîchement moulu, selon goût
2 Ciboules, coupées dans la langueur en fines lamelles
Sambal Olek (facultatif)

Méthode Pour La "Sauce":
1. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger ensemble tous les ingrédients de la sauce et ajouter 2 cuillères à soupe d'eau. Poivrer selon votre goût et réserver.
Méthode Pour Les "Nouilles":
2. Dans un wok ou une poêle, faire chauffer l'huile à feu moyennement fort.
3. Ajouter l'ail et le faire sauter pendant 1-2 minutes.
4. Ajouter les champignons et les faire sauter pendant 1 minute.
5. Ajouter le porc haché et le faire sauter pendant une minute avant de verser 5 cuillères à soupe d'eau de trempage (shiitake).
6. Poivrer selon votre goût et continuer de sauter la viande pendant 5 à 7 minutes supplémentaires.
7. Retirer la poêle du feu, la couvrir avec un couvercle et la réserver au chaud.
8. Dans une casserole moyenne, porter l'eau à ébullition et faire blanchir les pousses de soja pendant environ 20 secondes.
9. Disposez les nouilles chaudes sur les assiettes et assaisonner avec la sauce.

10. Déposer la viande par-dessus, puis les pousses de soja.
11. Parsemer de ciboules et ajouter une cuillère à café de sambal oelek dans chaque assiette.
12. Servir.

Les champignons shiitake peuvent être remplacés par des bolets ou des oreilles de bouddha et les ciboules par des onions de printemps ou même par du poireau (partie blanche ou verte pâle uniquement).

Idées de présentation:
Servir chaud et accompagnée par du thé vert (type jasmin ouz genmaicha) ou de la bière (blonde) glacée.


  1. I love the mushroom closeups! The whole dish looks so gorgeous.

  2. Oh, this cookbook sounds wonderful! And your photos are stunning, as usual. :)

  3. Wow! Noodles look so delicious! I can use chicken instead of the pork! :)

  4. I wish I had all the ingredients in my fridge cos these pictures made me very hungry indeed! The cover of the book looks lovely, I will look out for it!

  5. I am sold on that cookbook, New Year Resolutions put to rest...

    I once made a similar dish, but my husband thought it was too greasy and heavy (I kind of liked it.. :-)

    I am definitely trying your version, and now allow me to jump to (sigh)

  6. Mouthwatering noodles, I love these flavors!

  7. Je te laisse volontiers les morceaux de porc mais sache que je conserve tout le reste ! Que j'aime les saveurs asiatiques !!
    Des bisous Rosa. A bientôt **

  8. The earthy colors and contrasts are so lovely! I have a serious weakness for ramen noodles. They really are a family favorite. (Although we do avoid those packets like the plague!)

  9. Interesting post; thanks to you I am discovering a new blogger worth following and a cuisine I know nothing about! your photos enhance the exploration by the way.

  10. Love the pic of the mushroom...awesome pics as always and a lovely recipe. I might substitute the pork for chicken as we dont cook pork at home.

  11. Great flavours! The noodle looks delicious.

  12. It looks like a delightful dish! Not a very familiar one to me! Thank you for introducing Leemei Tan to us!

  13. Splendide! La photo, les recettes, un cheminement artistique original... et qui donne envie de se mettre aux fourneaux! :)))

  14. Absolutely beautiful - I could dive into a plate of those noodles right now.

  15. Vraiment l'air délicieuses ces nouilles!!!!! Et elles sont belles tes photos! Bon we!

  16. I am sure we would love this..and your presentation alone makes me want to make this dish.

  17. A beautiful looking dish!


  18. Delicious! and I adore Leemei! She is one talented blogger that is so humble and I'm glad we are both Malaysians!

  19. These noodles sound so delicious! I am definitely pinning this!

  20. Love this recipe Rosa, and love the photos, look yummy!

  21. Reading this made me wish I had all the ingredients on hand to have this for lunch right away. That won't happen today but definitely as soon as I can acquire ingredients.
    Gorgeous photos and a beautiful blog!

  22. Hi Rosa,

    Scrumptious recipe and wonderful photos, as always :) Love shiitake.

    I'm pretty sure that this Asian food book must be very interesting to read!

    All the best,


  23. Asian noodles and those mushrooms are an alien world for me. Thanks for the recommendation of this cookbook. Liebe Grüsse

  24. A wonderful mouthwatering recipe and beautiful pictures.

  25. Stunning photos and the cookbook sounds delightful as well. I agree about a cookbook having to grab you or you'll never use it.

  26. Sounds like a fabulous cookbook, Rosa. The photos you took couldn't be more enticing. Just lovely.

  27. C'est Beau Rosa ! la cuisine c'est beau et tu sais tellement la sublimer !
    bon weekend et bises

  28. This does indeed tantalize the eyes. Cookbooks absolutely give you a culture - it is its allure. Lovely review.

  29. What a flavorful dish, accompanied with stunning photos! This sounds wonderful, Rosa...I am adding this book to my wishlist!

  30. i don't get the opportunity to eat food like this very often, but i always enjoy it when i do!

  31. I cannot get over your stunning photography. Inspiring! Can't wait to see more posts :)

  32. un piatto interessante anche nei colori, bello da vedere, sarà che tu sei bravissima a fotografare...libro interessante!

    ti auguro una felice serata ed una dolce domenica <3

  33. This looks absolutely amazing, bet it taste just as good!

  34. Exceptionally strong photos in this post - several are stunning. And a great looking recipe - it sounds like it works perfectly. Interesting sounding cookbook, too - I'll have to look for that. Just a really great post all around! Thanks so much.

  35. Trop belles, tes photos!!

    Bon, j'aimerais bien connaître le type d'appareil photographique que tu utilises?


  36. fallen in love with the Mushrooms head over heels again, after looking at your Pictures Rosa

  37. Rosa the photos in this post are so stunning. Noodles never looked prettier or more delicious.

  38. Stunning pictures,amazing dish!
    Kisses,dear Rosa!

  39. J'aime beaucoup la photo du champignon dans le bol.
    Bonne semaine!

  40. Voilà un plat asiatique des plus appétissants et assez simple à exécuter. Merci Rosa et bonne semaine chez toi!

  41. How exciting to discover this cookbook through your words. It sounds fascinating. I, too, rarely buy a new cookbook. There has to be something extremely catching about committing to a new one.

  42. I'm never going to get over how beautiful your photographs are Rosa.

  43. Such a well written post and the photos are beautiful...especially the first one. The light makes the mung beans look almost translucent.

  44. Great to see Leemei's book in print! And what a great recipe you chose - what could go wrong with a combination of pork and shiitake?? I also have serious bowl envy (the first shiitake shot)... :)

  45. Coucou Rosa!
    Thank you so much for writing this review and I am glad that you love this dish and hope that you like my book overall. ;)

  46. can i dive into plate of this noodles? stunningggggg pictures and delicious recipe Rosa

  47. lovely meal and I love all the photos, specially the mushrooms!

  48. Great review! I had no idea that she had a cookbook out but I'll look out for it :D

  49. Delicious combination, looks tempting!can replace d pork vth chicekn.nice cliks.

  50. cette assiette me donne terriblement faim !

  51. I love this post in each and everyway! The photos are so professional and the recipe is on my list of trys!

    A presto :-)

  52. probably this is the best looking mushroom in the world, Rosa! And lovely book review!

  53. Waouh! Les photos sont encore une fois superbes. Merci pour cette recette très gourmande Rosa.

  54. The cookbook sounds terrific. I'm going to have to look into it :)
    As does the dish you chose to share.

  55. I have her book and have been using quite a bit for my family dinner. I really like her recipes. Haven't made this, and oh you made it look so delicious!!!

  56. Nice photos Rosa and yes, I have been visiting Leemei and love her blog.
    The noodle looks delicious, very flavorful indeed.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  57. Just by the look of these noodles with minced pork and shiitake, I want this book! Fabulous review, Rosa!!

  58. C'est un joli plat coloré et parfumé!

  59. Rosa, love your post and once again your pics blow my mind!
    Great, the mushroom pics are my favorites!!!

  60. Hey Friend,
    looks realy great.

  61. I love cookbooks, buy them all the time, specially the old ones-) Shiitake is one of my favorite mushroom, so much flavor and aroma. Great with noodles. Thank you Rosa-) Talk to you soon.

  62. I want this for dinner TONIGHT! I have my chopsticks at the ready. ;)

  63. Rosa, your photos are amazing! The dish looks mouthwatering!

  64. Gingembre et citronelle, ça me transporte au loin ... Ton assiette me donne très très faim, j'aurai du goûter avec les enfants !
    Bon week end !

  65. Oh my, this is my comfort food really. I love it, and can eat it 3 times a day :)

  66. "My inner artist and intellect simply crave bedazzlement" Ha! Wonderful and I agree! Another beautiful and thoughtful post, Rosa, and the dish looks and sounds fabulous! I love Asian flavors. And it reminds me of an Asian cookbook I received that I have not cooked from yet! Your description of this book has me vey intrigued. And your photos just keep getting better and better.

  67. I don't experiment with different cuisines enough in savoury cooking, so this post has inspired and taught me a lot!

  68. I love the dish, but then I love Asian flavour. And the book title evokes such warmth and flavours..... I hope I get a gift of it soon (I've promised myself no more cook books!

  69. what a fine plating and photograph...
    great dish execution my friend!

  70. The aesthetics and perfection shows in your work :) so beautiful!

    Love the flavors of ginger and lemongrass. and the noodles look exquisite. Love her blog and her recipes.

  71. Always a pleasure to see your recipes. Though I rarely eat pork I could never say NO to this.

  72. Your photos are stunning and your recipes sound delectable. We would love for you to share them at The Feasting Eye is still a bit new, but I think you will like what you see :-).

  73. Tes photos rendent la recette encore plus attractive. Decidement tu fais de magnifiques portraits de champignons ;)

  74. I'm going to dream of it all day long! Happy new year cara Rosa! Pat