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Traditional hungarian goulash…

17 Jul

Today I am cooking an Hungarian recipe, the national Hungarian recipe to be more precise – goulash. It’s a spicy, hearty stew made from meat (there are lamb, pork, veal and horse goulash recipes) in combination with paprika and onions. It originated from Hungary and found its way into many countries, most likely via the Austrian army that used to cook this dish for its soldiers in the beginning of the century. The German army took this habit from the Austrians and used to cook this goulash soup on its stoves for its soldiers. From this the Germans derived the expression “Gulasch Kanone” = goulash canon, that still exists in the Germany language ever since. The recipe is easy to make, tasted hearty and the ingredients are easy to find in China, so its a no brainer that I cook this dish rather frequently. Here is a picture of my version and the translated my favorite recipe, which I found on this web site (the author got the recipe from his Hungarian co worker and it is my favorite goulash recipe so far):


1 kg Beef (the meat from the neck works best for me), 1 kg onions, 3-4 red chili pods (hot) cut in small pieces, Salt and pepper for seasoning, Red wine, Paprika powder, 3 diced bell peppers (my addition), ca. ½ liter Meat stock (you need enough of it to cover all the ingridients)

Goulash seasoning:
Marjoram, Cumming, Lemon zest, 3 cloves of garlic

Cut the meat in cubes, the onions in stripes. Now you heat up oil in a pan and fry the onions in it until they are golden brown, then you add the chili pods (if you like it spicy, add the seeds inside the pods, if you cannot eat too spicy, maybe you want to reduce the amount of chili to two pods). Now you add the meat cubes, season them with salt and pepper and let them brown from all sides equally. Doing this the meat will emit juices, don’t throw them away but continue to cook the meat until the juices are completely reduced and the meat is starting to fry again. In the meantime we prepare the Goulash season by grinding the marjoram, Cumming, lemon zest and garlic. Now we are adding the diced bell peppers, a generous dose of paprika powder and the goulash seasoning to the meat. Let everything fry up shortly (don’t let it fry for too long or it will turn bitter) and right after we deglaze it with a generous portion of red wine. We stir everything in the pan, especially everything that sticks to the bottom of the pan so that it can cook now evenly with the red wine. We let the red wine reduce now before we are adding the meat stock up to the level so the whole meat is submerged in the broth.
Now we let everything simmer on small heat for 1.5 to 2 hours (the longer you cook it, the better and richer the sauce will be). I even think that the taste is best when I reheat the goulash on the second or the third day after cooking it. You know that everything is cooked through at the moment when you are able to split the meat effortless with a spoon, without having to add too much pressure, which is when the meat is ready. Serve the goulash with Spätzle, Noodles or Bavarian style dumplings. Enjoy…


spicy shredded fusion chicken balls

15 May

This recipe has its roots in Bali, Indonesian islands of gods as well as in Germany. The German part roots from my favorite meatballs in a white roux, also called meatballs Königsberg style (Königsberger Klopse). I only discovered the Indonesian part of this recipe when I first visited Bali. There, next to a the most beautiful island in the world, I was able to discover new spices and unknown but inspiring tastes and smells. The spiciness of the food first gave my European pallet as well my European stomach a great challenge to overcome at first, but in the end, when I got used to it, I think it was well worth it. The spiciness is something that was completely new to me but that I would not miss it any more. I surprise myself more and more often putting chili paddies into my European recipes. Anyhow there was this dish, it was a fried shredded chicken recipe where the shredded chicken had a coating / marinade with all kinds of different roots, which the locals like to use for their cooking (there was ginger and galangal, I am sure there was some turmeric but I guess there were many others as well), lots of chili paddies that gave the dish a healthy red color and some kind of crust, I guess it must have been a breadcrumb or flour based coating.
Anyway, the dish was so rich in flavors so it inspired me to recreate the dish with a twist. As I try to avoid frying as cooking method (I don’t like to use too much oil as I am never can sure were the oil is actually coming from – I will write more about this in another blog post about food scandals in China, later) I tried to make this recipe fried meatball style but it was too dry. Then, after I successfully tried to make it “Königsberger” style and added some of the European flavors (such as capers…) and rounded everything off with a rich, silky textured roux that binds all the flavors together and gives it a creamy wetness, I had a real winner on hand. This dish came out full of flavors, I can find most of the ingredients easily in China but be warned, it’s not something for the fainted hearted and quite spicy for some. If you are European and you would like to try this recipe, I suggest you half the chili content of this recipe.

Fusion style shredded chicken balls

3 parts recipe:

  1. The soup and the chicken:

½ onion, 1 carrot, 1 strung of celery, 1 leak, 2 big chicken breasts

Heat up ¾ liter of water, put all the ingredients and let it cook on medium heat for 45 minutes

  1. The broth and the roux

Table spoon full of capers, 1 – 2 table spoon of vinegar (up to your pallet), salt and pepper to season off, 1 tea spoon of paprika powder, 3 small hot chili

Now you filter the veggies from the broth, squeeze out all veggies to get the juices, put the clear broth back on medium heat, all the above ingredients and let everything cook on medium heat so the tastes can blend nicely in and you have a tasteful roux later

  1. The chicken balls

Grated zest of one lemon, the juice of half a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, ½ big diced onion, 1 table spoon of paprika powder, salt and knorr fondor base to season, 1 tea spoon of Cumming powder,  1 tea spoon of dried coriander, one thumbnail sized piece of turmeric and ginger, chopped fine, 4 red small hot chili chopped, 2 cups of bread crumbs, 1 egg

Now you take the tender cooked chicken breasts and start to shred them. After you shredded to chicken to small pieces, fry the onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chili in a pan, fry them fast and hot. The onions can turn transparent colored, which is exactly when you take the pan off the heat. Now you add all of the above mentioned ingredients together in a bowl and mix them well. Best is if you have a good hour where you can let everything marinade through, but that is not necessary if you are in a hurry and very hungry. Now you form nice sized chicken balls out of the mix, after rolling them, press them well together so they stick together and won’t fall apart in the broth. Now you place the chicken balls in the hot broth and cook everything together for 15 – 20 minutes on medium heat, so the chicken balls will be cooked well through. Now you can filter out the broth and start making a roux, using this rich flavored broth. Don’t make the roux to watery, stop adding broth when the roux is nice, creamy, rich and silky.

Chilli con carne – caramba

19 Apr

Chili, maybe among my top ten of favorite dishes. Easy to make, great flavors getting better the longer you keep it. Actually the very best is to eat it only a day after you first made it, the flavors will really have developed so much more in the dish, you won’t stop eating it But make no mistake, this dish is not for the fainthearted. It only is really good if it’s hot and spicy. So don’t go too easy on the hot stuff in this dish (I usually take 4 or 5 fresh small red chills, the hot ones)

Actually, I always make a HUGE pot full of it, it lasts us at least a few days after i made some. The only downturn, once the pot is empty, you want to go immediately about making another one :). Ay caramba, a nice chili with a cold beer from the fridge, it’s the cheapskate version of a trip to Mexico indeed. There is no one source original recipe for the chili con carne, but without doubt it is made out of beef cubes or chopped beef instead of minced meat. I am too lazy bum to stroll around for some good beef, but I always have some stock of minced (mixed) meat in the fridge so I will use that instead, tastes just as nice I tell ya.

Chilli con carne


500g minced meat, 3 big onions, 500 g. tomatoes (the ones from the tin, the pizza ones, got just more flavor), 500 g. kidney beans, 1 tin of corn, 3 bell peppers (red would be best for the color  but green / yellow works just as fine) – diced, some oil, cayenne pepper, 3 dice (I do not have a press but if you have one, press it rather then dicing it) garlic cloves, chili powder / 3- 5 fresh diced chills, 500 ml beefstock 1 tea spoon of paprika powder, cumming, salt and pepper to season

how to make it?

Put oil in a stock pot or a fire proof casserole and heat it up. Add diced onions, diced bell pepper and the garlic and simmer everything till its starting to get soft, now the casserole should be pretty hot already. Then you add the meat and cook everything on high heat until the meat lost all its juices and starts to get a bit brown. Add the stock, and everything else, exept the pepper and salt. Now cover your casserole and let the whole thing simmer for about 90 – 120 minutes on low heat. Don’t forget to season to taste before serving. Again, i cook it a day before I actually eat it, all the flavors will mix nicely and the hotness will get into every piece of the chili.

Best served with rice or even pure with a few pieces of bread… Enjoy