Eating My Way Through Toronto:Pan Asian Flavours Around The City

Toronto has a plethora of Pan asian joints ranging from Chinese takeouts, street foods, ramen bars, food trucks and fine dining fare serving up some great exotic cuisine.It has now become a serious foodie destination.Looking for quality asian restaurants could turn into quite a daunting task as each neighbourhood focusses on specific cuisine, given the multi cultural diversity. The Chinatown neighbourhood around the city does offer a spectacular fare spanning across Vietnamese, Dim sum, Japanese and Cantonese. While the mid town and places up north too quite easily match upto some great dining experiences.

Each year the food scene in Toronto seems to be getting increasingly interesting with new eateries opening up and lending a vibrant and eclectic vibe around the city. Whilst some focus  on the classic traditional menus ,others twist it around to cater to the modern new age or Asian fusion cuisine, alluring younger un-conventional palettes.Either ways there is a lot of extraordinary cuisine on offer and to fit every budget.

I’m a glutton for good food, and it goes without saying will track down the best in each city and write about it ofcourse. I’ve rounded up a few of my my favorite places, some new and some good old ones.These are primarily around the North York, Richmond Hill and Downtown area’s of Toronto. They have soon become our most frequented jaunts as they are a burst of wonderful flavours and aromas that delight the taste buds with a creative and delicious twist.

So if you are hankering after some good Burmese bowls, spicy chilli chicken or even hot and fiery Indo-Chinese  style hakka cuisine, do pop by any of the ones that listed below and you I can assure you that you will be soon be coming back for more.

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Travel Diaries:Bangkok Revisited & A Thai Recipe Too

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return…

Leonardo da Vinci

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Our vacations most often are pre planned with a lot of thought into the destination,food,sight-seeing etc.However, I love it when a travel plan happens just out of the blue,spontaneously,sort of an impromptu one so to speak.Well the dear husband had work related travels to Singapore and suggested that my son and I come along and we could club it with a short trip to Bangkok too he said.

It’s always fun travelling to the Far East,for one the travel time is fairly short, and of course the food,night life and shopping,admittedly make it an alluring proposition,albeit revisited.We have travelled to  both cities a couple of times, Bangkok several years ago.The city has changed and modernised is what I heard from friends who travelled there recently.So yes of course, I jumped at the idea of a quick family vacay. Our time in Singapore was short and I  spent it  mostly catching up with some friends.  Of course the highlight was being able to watch the Broadway production of Les Miserables,which was a spectacular performance and a houseful one that too.

Our flight to Bangkok was a short one.My husbands colleagues recommended  staying around  the Ploenchit – Sukhumvit area as it is  quite accessible to shopping malls and easy to get around to various sight-seeing spots around the city. So we booked ourselves into the Novotel hotel.The location turned out to be just perfect as it had a Metro right outside and a short walk to most of the malls and areas of interest.

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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp: 30 Minute Meal

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My blog seems to be forming a pattern ,or so I think.

I tend to write-up a post that takes you on a food journey of sorts,perhaps a culinary trail,a visit to an exotic land coupled with a food demo and a recipe.These posts are then followed by a tried and tested recipe that I  have experimented with in my kitchen.Well I quite like this format as it gives the reader a variety and my aim of course is to take you down some parts unknown with a guide to some unique culinary attractions.

Now there is a section that I had been meaning to start off for sometime now and well here it is.I want to add-on some fuss free,easy to cook up,ready in 30 minute meals that have less prep time and aim at making weeknight less stressful for all of us.So here we go with the first of the recipes.This is my to go Curry in a hurry for times where the family is craving a good quick fix Asian delight.It is a meal by itself as I serve this up with some sticky Jasmine rice and if time permits a quick raw papaya salad to go along with it.

I’ve chosen to use a ready Red Thai Curry paste for this recipe.There are various brands available,all though I do make up a mean curry paste from scratch,which stays well once refrigerated. This curry has an assortment of fresh vegetables and do feel free to add some of your own choice.The baby aubergines are optional,all though they do add a great texture and bite to this Thai curry.The use of fresh Thai basil is quite important here as it highlights the flavour very well.Another key ingredient that balance’s out this dish really well is the Thai Fish sauce.Take care to measure the sauce out before adding it into the curry as it is quite strong. Last but not the least is a squeeze of lemon juice that adds some zing to the curry.You may even use chicken for this recipe. Continue reading

Zucchini Noodles: Loving My Spiralizer

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All right I may as well admit it.I’m an absolute and out right gadget freak.More specifically a Kitchen gadget freak.Travelling does that some how.An incessent and obsessive need to browse through home and kitchen stores,walk down endless aisles of supermarkets,on the look out for some kitchen gadget or house ware that would make cooking a lot more interesting.That, I do not have any more shelf space  is another story all together.Amongst the stuff that I’ve been amassing over the years are hordes of  Bakeware, Cookware,Gizmos and  various other kitchen memorabilia collected over numerous travels ,making the insides of my pantry  resemble a well stocked Kitchen-ware store.No,I’m not complaining,just overjoyed at my stash.After all having the right equipment makes all the difference.

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Pan Seared Wasabi Fish with Pea Puree

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Here is another quick dinner idea for you. We all look for easy to put together meals where you would rather spend more time with your family than in the kitchen.

I have been cooking fish a lot more these days. This easy recipe for a pan seared fish is great dinner option when time is short and yet one would like to put a nutritious and healthy meal together. I’ve used a fillet of John Dory that I found locally here in Mumbai. However you may substitute it with any other firm white fish if you like. This pairs really well with the pureed peas and the mint Labaneh. I’ve tried to recreate a fusion of Asian flavors with a mild middle eastern twist and it was well appreciated by everyone. The refreshing Mint Labaneh balances off the creamy texture of the Pea Puree really well.

I’d like to call this my weeknight wonder as it gets done under Thirty  minutes and tastes great too.

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For The Fish:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Fish Fillets ( John Dory,Cod or Basa)
  • 2 teaspoons of Mirin (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of Wasabi paste
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Directions:

  1. Mix the Mirin,Wasabi paste salt and pepper and the grated ginger well.
  2. Marinate the fish fillets in the above mixture for about 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a skillet and brush with some Olive oil.
  4. Place the fish fillets on the pan.
  5. Sear on either side for about 7 minutes or until the fish seems cooked.

 

 

Pea purée

20g of Onions (Preferably White and  chopped)

1 tbsp of Olive Oil

400g  peas

200ml of milk

Salt to taste

Dash of pepper

Directions: 

  1. Saute the onions till soft and just translucent
  2.  Add the peas salt and milk and simmer for about 10 minutes
  3.  Drain off the milk  and pour the peas into a blender.
  4. Blend into a puree for 2 minutes until  smooth.
  5.  Add some milk back to make a  thickish purée.
  6. After blending, cool as quickly as possible as the colour will begin to fade fairly quickly

Mint Labaneh:

  • Take about 2 cups of Full fat yogurt and place in a thin Muslin cloth.Keep this over a large bowl over night.
  • You should have a thick creamy Labaneh the next morning.
  • Add some salt and pepper and some minced mint leaves for flavouring