Soto Ayam

Back before the Second World War, when Indonesia was called the Dutch East Indies and moving abroad was still the decision of a lifetime, my great grandmother put on her ‘naughty shoes,’ as we say in Dutch, and went. She bravely moved around the world by herself, fell in love with the country and her…

Kung Pao Chicken

Several years back I had a Chinese roommate who taught me how to make Kung Pao Chicken, a dish that I’d never had before. I didn’t know this dish is one of North America’s favourite take out dishes, or as my current Chinese co-worker informed me “the whitest Chinese dish around”. Chinese take-out in Holland,…

Weekday Okonomiyaki

The word okonomiyaki can be translated as: grilled ‘whatever you like’. Japanese comfort food at it’s best, these savoury pancakes can be whipped up easily for a nice weekday meal with the do-it-yourself component of adding the toppings at the table. There are several versions of Okonomiyaki, originating in different areas of Japan. Most famous…

Bourani Banjan

The first time one of my Middle Eastern friends cooked me dinner I could’ve sworn she made an entire bottle of olive oil disappear into the dish. To be honest I expected it to be greasy, heavy and unpleasant, but none of that was the case. In my culinary upbringing, we were conservative with fats…

Tomato chutney

Chutney is the sweet and sour flavour bomb served as a condiment at any Indian meal. This tomato chutney is tangy and sweet and carries a spicy punch. If you like spicy, add some dried chilli flakes to up the ante. Next to serving it with the traditional curry and rice spread, chutneys are great…

Bannock

Although the word ‘bannock’ was brought to North America by Scottish settlers, many versions of this flat bread may have been part of the First Nations diet since pre-contact times. Back then made with ground roots, dried fruits and natural sweeteners, it can be served as a starch component of any meal, as a snack,…

Nepalese Red Lentil Dal

Because of its remote location in the Himalayan mountains and her valleys, the cuisine of Nepal uses mainly locally grown produce and lean meats. Like any nation, its dishes resemble those of neighbouring countries but with a particular national twist. Nepalese classics include steamed dumplings, noodle soup, pilau and a version of the warming lentil…

Japanese Onigiri

Japan holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve had the privilege to travel to this intriguing country several times, the first of which lasting a full summer, staying with a Japanese family when I was 15. Since the Japanese food that is most famous all across the world (sushi, ramen, sashimi, teppanyaki) is…

Simple feijoada

Feijoada (fay-zwah-da) is one of those dishes which my Brazilian friends assured me that every grandmother has her own recipe. It’s enjoyed throughout the vast country, making it arguably Brazil’s national fare. Adding any bit of pork you can get your hands on and using whichever beans you like, you can easily make this spiced…

Grandfathers in maple syrup

As a still fairly fresh immigrant to Canada, French Canadian cuisine is new to me. Two years ago I’d never heard of things like poutine, sugar shacks, tourtière pie and pizza-ghetti. And even though poutine has since found its way into my midnight-snack regime, today I’ll share with you a lesser known treat from traditional…

Squash and goat cheese risotto

Stormy autumn weather calls for hearty home made food. Italians know how to put the season on your plate; try this squash risotto with goat cheese on a typical Vancouver rainy day. Making a risotto does not take as much time as you might think, but it does require attention and a lot of love.…