Crisp tofu cooked in tomato-pepper sauce (dau hu sot ca)
"Tofu is one of my favourite ingredients", says Luke. "Fried until golden and puffed and paired with this deeply flavoured sweet and sour sauce it is simply delicious." This dish is designed to served as part of a banquet or shared meal.
Crumpets with whipped leatherwood honey butter
Homemade crumpets don’t have as many holes, and take a while to cook, but the good news is, you can make them ahead because they’re even better toasted a few days after making. You can use crumpet rings (available from good cookware stores) which will make 12 crumpets. If you use egg rings, it will make 20.
Mama’s rice bowl steamed sponge
"Among a myriad of Nonya specialties, my Grandma Yeow would always have this Chinese cake ready if she knew we were visiting. Instead of a standard cup measure, the size of the cake is determined by the size of the bowl you use to measure ingredients. The same rice bowl is filled to the rim with eggs, then the same amount of sugar and flour. The trick is to get the lining of the baking paper right, otherwise your cake will end up a disfigured specimen in the water bubbling beneath. The…
Chilli chocolate mousse
It’s a hug in a cup. This decadent mousse will satisfy all your chocolate cravings, so you can forget about a serve of guilt on the side. The chilli will warm you up from the inside-out.
Crisp silken tofu crusted in lemongrass (dau hu xa ot)
I love the simplicity of this recipe. Beautiful soft silken tofu fried and served with the crisp lemongrass and chilli. Serve with some rice as part of a shared meal.
Market vegetables cooked in a clay pot (u cu tay cam)
This wholesome Vietnamese vegetarian recipe is filled with crispy veggies, mushrooms and tofu. Cooking it in a clay pot gives it a lovely earthy flavour.
Sweet potato jellies (imo yokan)
These Japanese jellies are often made with a sweet bean paste, but sweet potato is also common. Serve as confectionery with green tea.
Bubble and squeak cakes
“These crisp vegetarian cakes would make a great accompaniment to your bacon and eggs in the morning. Alternatively, break them in half and toss through a green papaya salad with fresh Asian herbs.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom
Pandan pancakes with spice syrup and bananas
With its musky vanilla overtones, pandan works well in breakfast pancakes, crepes, hotcakes and the like. If you can’t be bothered dealing with fresh leaves here, just substitute pandan essence (either clear or green) to taste. Use honey instead of the palm sugar syrup if you’re short on time; but do try and get sugar bananas, or lady fingers, if you can. The firm texture and rich, sweet, tangy flavour of these small varieties pack way more of a punch than the regular cavendish.
Tamarind and chilli iceblocks (paletas de tamarindo y chile)
These iceblocks are a sweet, sour and spicy Mexican sweet made using just three ingredients. You will need 6 iceblock moulds and sticks.
Sesame snap candy (ggae gwa ja)
These crisp, chewy sesame snaps are a popular Korean sweet. Made with black or white sesame seeds, sugar and starch syrup, they’re simple to make and incredibly moreish. Store the candy in an airtight container for up to three months.