According to google and facebook it was officially winter in New Zealand (NZ) the 21st of June! Winter means Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) and I’m excited to be a guest chef for an amazing WOAP winter food, cooking and styling masterclass in the country along with international stylist and florist Yvette Edwards for The Creative Table, there may be a few tickets left – just saying!
Winter lends itself to comfort food and drink. And even though it doesn’t feel as cold as most winters here in Wellington (touch or knock on wood), the lack of light at the beginning and end of the day definitely reminds you that it is.
Last week at Makaia Carr’s The Business Edition, I had the pleasure of meeting Alex and Amber of Goodbuzz brewing Co – although I forgot to tell them, even in winter, I’m becoming a booch a day person. In fact sometimes, I have three!
I always find it fascinating how people have different go-to foods or drinks for certain moments in their lives or even times of the day morning. I’m a “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” person. I’ll be pleasant as my partner and the MasterChef New Zealand contestants that lived in the house will know but I definitely don’t want a conversation.
If I’m feeling like an extra boost it’s a Coffee Booch®, but if I’m feeling under the weather it’s a hot Hakanoa Ginger first! For food, winter is all about porridge, bagels, hot rice breakfast bowls or omelettes with Be Nourished Sauerkraut, quinoa pudding and pancakes which are for anytime of the year, really.
When I was working in an office I was a ‘morning tea’ girl (morning snack) muffins and scones but I’m more of a – morning Booch® girl now, after a walk with the dogs.
Lunch, I’m often busy in the kitchen, so I’ll be tasting along the way. But when I do get a chance to sit down winter is definitely the time for leftovers or hot lunches. Dinner, yes, I occasionally go for those stodgy pasta or potato meals of winter but my ultimate comfort food is Asian.
Now when I say Asian, I mean all of Asia, every ethnicity and anytime of the day, even breakfast! Cerry and Mel used to make the most AMAZING breakfast noodle soup bowls in the MasterChef NZ house, just thinking about them is making me want to get up from the computer and make one! If you’re in Auckland though, you may be able to get one from Cerry herself at Cerry Kitchen just tell I sent you!
One of my go-to lunches is leftover Lo Mein from the night before, it’s a Chinese-American dish and when I think Chinese, I think of green tea so what better Booch® to match than Goodbuzz Brewing Co Jade Dew Booch®.
We used to go out for Chinese once a month maybe until mum decided to learn to make it at home. Lucky to live close Joyce Chen’s Oriental Market, we’d not only leave with ingredients, we’d leave with cooking tips and recipes from the Chens.
Lo Mein is still one of my favourites. And it’s a great way to breathe life into left over pasta and vegetables for dinner or for a warm winter’s lunch!
250g Spaghetti or fresh Asian noodles (4 big handfuls) ~ San Remo have a fantastic GF version
2T Rice bran oil
3 Garlic cloves ~ approx 15g
Chilli ~ optional
1 bunch Spring onions
6T (90ml) Oyster Sauce ~ Ayam is good Gluten Free and non GMO brand
2T (30ml) Soy sauce ~ Kikoman is my go-to Gluten Free non GMO soy sauce
1t Sugar ~ totally optional
3‐4 cups of vegetables ~ suggestion of other veggies in TIPS section at bottom
1 Carrots (sliced or julienne)
1/8 Red cabbage (sliced or julienne)
½ bag Mung beans
4-6 Jade Dew Booch®
The prep takes longer than the dish itself. If you’ve got everything ready including cooked pasta, it only takes 5minutes to cook!
Mince garlic and slice chilli then set aside. Mix together oyster sauce and soy sauce then set aside.
Slice spring onion and vegetables into similar sized pieces and set aside.
On med/high heat add rice bran oil to wok. When hot sweat garlic and chilli.
Add spring onions then liquid. Stir through until sauce starts to bubble then add vegetables – except mung beans!
When vegetables are almost cooked to your liking add noodles by stirring though then take off the heat. Add mung beans.
Serve with a garnish of spring onion, chilli and a squeeze of lemon and a cold Jade Dew Booch®. Serves 4-6.
This can be enjoyed ANY time of the year. Let me know what you think!
TIPS & TRICKS
- If using rice noodles, use 180g, cover in boiling water then cover with plate letting it sit 5-10mins, drain & mix through some rice bran oil.
- Want some protein?!?! Try using tempeh, chicken, pork, or prawns – 500g.
- Prefer more vegetables? Add sliced broccoli stalks, bok choy, baby corn, bamboo shoots etc
- Adding a little squeeze of lemon can really lift a dish.