Good Olde Asian Stir Fry

I've been going through Asian food withdrawal since leaving Toronto (where I was spoiled with days of home cooked Asian food, thanks to Mama Tran), so decided to do a basic Asian stir fry using the contents of my kitchen. Here's my detox vegetarian stir fry:

1 package of rice vermicelli
1/2 cup of dried chinese mushrooms
handful of green beans
handful of tenderstem broccoli 
1 onion, julienne
2 cloves of garlic, mince
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp of vegetable oil
cilantro & mint 

4 Tbsp of oyster sauce
1 Tbsp of soy sauce
1 Tbsp of chili garlic sauce

1. Rinse the dried mushrooms well and then soak in hot water for 10-20 minutes. Dry on a paper towel. 

2. In a pot of salted water, blanch broccoli and beans. Drain and set aside. 

3. In a large pot, bring water to boil. Cook vermicelli for 6-8 minutes and then rinse and drain well.

4. Julienne onion, green onion and mince garlic. Take the mint and cilantro and give it a rough chop and set aside for garnishing. Now you're ready to finish off the dish

5. Heat a large pan or wok on high heat, add oil and saute onions, mushrooms and garlic together, until softened. Add sauce ingredients, oyster sauce, soy sauce and chilli garlic. Add cooked vermicelli, beans and broccoli, toss until well combined. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro.

Verdict: this was fast, from start to finish took 20 minutes (excluding the hydrating the mushrooms part). Next time think I will add some bean sprouts and carrots just to add some more texture and colour to the dish. This is an easy dish to meat-ify as well, the BF opted to add some grilled beef, but pork, chicken and shellfish would all work.


This is officially day two of my detox and so far my BF and friends have largely mocked my detox plans, as I am pretty much a hard core carnivore by nature. However a trip to the grocery store strengthens my resolve as my stomach basically churns at the site of butter, meat, cheese and foie gras. 

Decided to celebrate my 24 hrs of detox at a champagne bar with my BFF (hey 24 hrs of being a vegetarian is a landmark for me, don't judge)....but alas that is when things got a bit derailed. You see, there is only one person I've ever met who is more of a carnivore than I am, which is my BFF. She has the appetite of a 16yr old linebacker, yet is a petite Asian women - I know, it's really unfair. 

Whilst we sipped on champagne and raw oysters, I somehow agreed to embark on a little ramen food tour to see if London's ramen food scene was as good as the recent articles and blog reviews suggest. Now ramen, for those of you unfamiliar with it is basically a really rich pork broth with fresh ramen noodles, simmered pork belly and egg. Not exactly detox friendly, right? 

Well after one night with the BFF, here was the damage: 6 oysters, 1 bowl of pork ramen (@Tonkotsu - review to be posted soon), 1 bowl of pork ramen with extra fatty soup (@BoneDaddies - review to be posted soon), 1 moon cake, purchased instant ramen and snacks at Asian grocery store, and 1 glass of champagne. Will definitely need to go back to my detox tomorrow.

Detox, Day 2

Detox Day Two

Woke up at 2pm, I'm going to blame this on the time change and lack of sleep on the red-eye flight. Still no meat cravings...strange for me. Decided to fix a quick, no cooking required breakfast.

Ingredients, 2 serving

1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup of Muesli
1 granny smith apple, grated or diced.
1/4 cup of mixed nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of dried fruit or fresh fruit, as desired. 
1 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup

Mix together and eat! Sorry no photo, as I was starving! Feel really impressed at my 24 hrs of vegetarianism, BF remains skeptical of my detox diet, he opted to have a chorizo omelette, which I was untempted by.

Updated November 14th - okay felt back about my lack of photo, so went back measured everything and took a photo before diving into my breakfast. It's a flexible recipe, that can be adjusted to your taste, but it is definitely one of my go to easy breakfast recipes.

Try it out and let me know what twists you make on this!

Post Food Extravaganza...detox

I've been away from London on a food tour of Montreal, New York and Toronto, to do some food research and get some new culinary inspiration (yes, yes, it's a tough life). I can honestly say that after a month of eating like it could be my last meal, my body is officially starting to rebel against me. The first omen was when I walked away from a street food truck in Toronto offering free poutine tasting....clearly if my stomach could not be enticed by free poutine, something was wrong. So I vowed once I returned to London, that I would do a little detox and eat slightly healthier, but still delicious food. Also, I've been reading up on vegetarian food and thought this would be a great chance to out some vegetarian recipes! 

Day One of Detox

After a trip to the East Street Market, picked up some lovely fresh herbs and veggies and decided to do a Morrocan Style Nicoise Salad. 

1 Avocado
2 Tomatoes (or sun dried tomatoes)
2 Eggs
1 Green Onion
1 Pomegranate
Handful of French Beans or Green Beans
1 Bag of your fav leafy salad greens
1/2 jar of Morrocan Black Olives Za'atar (Middle Eastern Spice Mix of salt, sumac, sesame seeds and spices) 
Some Mint 
Some Cilantro

1 Lemon1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic 

*FYI - if you don't want to make your own dressing, you can omit the lemon, dijon and olive oil bit and just use a good quality olive oil dressing, but making dressing is super easy. In fact the BF can even make it, that's all I'm saying*

Now, the key to cooking is to be organized. The salad from start to finish took me about 20 minutes and that includes me deciding to roast my tomatoes in the oven to be fancy (if case you are feeling adventurous - cut tomatoes, slather in olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, garlic and oregano and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes. 

1. In a small pot, add two eggs and cover with water. Cook on high heat. I like my eggs runny, so I bring the water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 3-4 minutes. At the same time put a small pot of salted water to blanch your green beans. 

2. Ah..Pomegranates, they are delicious but a bit tricky to get out. But a fellow chef taught me this trick to prevent the seeds from flying everywhere - cut it in half and submerge in water, in a large bowl. Then you can use your fingers or a spoon to de-seed them. 

3. Blanch the green beans, cook for a minute or until desired (I like my green beans al dente) and then drain and rinse in cold water. 

4. Cut avocado ,tomato and green onion as desired, I just diced the avocado and julienned the green onion. Chiffonade (fancy kitchen speak for cut up finely) the mint and cilantro.

5. Prepare dressing. Mince garlic clove, put into a small container with a lid. Add mustard, olive oil and 1/4 of the lemon squeezed (hold the seeds). Shake with vigor until emulsified. Yup easy, right. 

6. Assemble salad and eat. 

Conclusion - I love vegetarian food when it is fresh and flavourful and not trying to be meat.


London is a city infamous for many things, ridiculously high real estate prices, eccentric high street fashion, and its somewhat bleak food. The food scene is evolving and while bangers and mash and Cornish pastries are still bountiful, international flavours, such as Thai and Indian have become quickly become entrenched in the country's cuisine. However, London's reputation as an expensive place to live definitely extends to its dining scene where a forgettable mid range meal for two could easily run you £100.

While I have yet to be convinced that the food scene here rivals that of NYC, I am determined to seek out all of its hidden gems. Here's what I've found so far:

Brixton Market - For me this is the next best thing to Brooklyn, because it has the same spirit. This is a neighbourhood, that is evolving, where people believe in the community, in entrepreneurship, in community and delicious food. It was maybe the first place in London, where I was really excited to eat AND it didn't break the bank.
In the ambling Brixton arcades, you will see fishmongers, butchers, and product stands alongside gourmet pizza shops, artisan coffee shops, and authentic restaurants from Thai, to Columbia, to Pakistani, to Japanese street food. 

The restaurants are tiny, but incredibly charming. Mismatching tables and chairs line the arcade lanes, where passersby can ogle the food on their plates. 

There are always new restaurants popping up by some of my favourites are: 
KaoSarn - FYI, you need reservations here, this place gets packed 020 7095 8922; 
Franco Manca ( and Agile Rabbit - are great pizza options at either end of the pizza crust spectrum (doughy crust vs thin crust)
The Brick Box ( - my idea of a prefect light breakfast. Strong coffee, warm bread, and a retro toaster on your table to boot. Just enough food and fuel to help be barter with the fishmongers and butchers. Check out more: