News: Cooking with tempeh demonstrations, 26 March

News: Cooking with tempeh demonstrations, 26 March

As advertised in my previous blog, I am holding tempeh cooking demos at the end of the month. Please let me know as soon as possible if you’d like to come.

There is a slight change to the previous announcement. I’m still giving two demos, but because some people can’t make the daytime they will both now be on the Monday, the 26th of March: the first for lunch, starting at 1030, the other dinner, at 1830.

I will be showing you how to prepare three dishes, each using tempeh. If you’d like to remind yourself what a super-food tempeh is, take a look at my earlier post. After the demonstration we will be eating the dishes I’ve been showing you how to cook, with a nice glass of wine.

If you have been to one of my cooking demos before you’ll know that they are cosy and very informal. But quite informative I hope! Numbers are limited, so please contact me soon, to avoid disappointment. Send me a message via the contact form, or if you know my other contact details, call me, text me, or message me. Just let me know your preferred session and I will confirm with details.

Chayote: another healthy food

Chayote: another healthy food

Stop Press. Tempeh cooking demos Monday, 26 March. Morning and evening.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was planning to hold a session. These are the dates I’ve decided on. Book now! Space is limited. Send me a message via the contact form, or if you know my other contact details, call me, text me, or message me. Just let me know your preferred day and I will confirm with details. 


I keep coming across a vegetable called chayote in Latin American recipes.

It’s also used in Cajun cuisine (they call it mirliton), and by a huge variety of different names throughout south and east Asia. In Malaysia it’s called, weirdly, ‘English gourd’; in Indonesia we call it labu siam, which means ‘Thai squash’. Whatever it’s called, I love it!

Chayote (pronounced chay-o-tee) is a member of the gourd family, so related to squash and pumpkins, melons and cucumbers. Its flesh looks a bit cucumbery, but firmer—and you normally cook it. It has a very delicate—some might say nondescript—slightly sweet flavour, and a beautiful soft but crispy mouthfeel, which makes it ideal for adding to a stir-fry or a soup or stew.

And here’s the big thing about chayote: it’s packed with folate (vitamin B9), and contains zero cholesterol and saturated fats. It also has useful amounts of vitamin C, other B-complex vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and fibre. Quite a nutritional powerhouse!

You can find chayote in most Asian supermarkets in the UK—see ‘Where to find ingredients’ in my blog on Sambal.

labu siam 180223-009

The photos show a very simple one-pan Indonesian dish that I put together in about 20 minutes (most of which is prepping the ingredients). In the first picture, above, clockwise from top-left: chayote, coconut milk, dried shrimp, tempeh, shallots and garlic, galangal, dried salam leaf (bay leaf can be substituted), tomato, and of course red chillies.

labu siam 180223-014

Basically, chop everything up, and soak the dried shrimp.

labu siam 180223-018

In a large frying pan (ideally a wok) gently fry the tempeh in vegetable oil to soften it, then add all the other ingredients except the chayote, tomato, and coconut milk. After a few minutes add the chayote and carry on frying until it’s soft (about another five minutes). Finally add the coconut milk and tomato, and salt and pepper (don’t be stingy) for the last couple of minutes. Serve with rice. If you’d like a more detailed recipe do let me know. I’ll be happy to let you have one.

Enjoy! And think of all the goodness.

labu siam 180223-021

Happy New 2014!

Happy New 2014!

Well it’s been a while. I have to admit that a very busy autumn has led to the sad neglect of my blog. But new years being what they are, it seems only right to start this one with a resolution. Which is, of course, to try and update it more often.

I do have quite a lot of news to tell you about, but I thought for now I’d at least make a start by wishing all my friends and customers a very happy new year. I hope to see you during the next twelve months; meanwhile here are just a few pictures from the last twelve. (Click on one to see them bigger, in a carousel.)

I’ll be back soon. I promise!