Tempeh Satay Skewers

Satay Skewers wm042


2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

¼ cup of water

1-2 red bullet chillies

4 tablespoons of organic peanut butter

2 tablespoons of organic tamari or soy sauce

½ teaspoon of tamarind puree

2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

Plus another ¼ cup of water

1 x 300gram block of organic tempeh



Put the garlic and a ¼ cup of water in a small pan. Bring it to the boil. Gently simmer the garlic for 5 minutes to get rid of the raw taste. Drain and discard any of the cooking water.

Blend the garlic and the remaining ingredients together (except for the tempeh), until they form a sauce. Put a small amount of sauce aside for dipping when you serve the satays. Keep the rest to use as a marinade.

Slice the tempeh (on the shorter side), into 7 even rectangles. Then slice each rectangle in half lengthways, to make 14 thinner pieces. Carefully skewer each piece of tempeh and lay flat in a plastic container.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the tempeh skewers and turn each skewer over, so that they are coated on both sides.  Put them in the fridge and give them time to marinate for at least an hour.

Cook the skewers on a medium heat, in a large non stick fry pan. Allow a couple of minutes on each side, until they are heated through and start to brown.


Serving Suggestion: Serve with sticky rice, chopped cucumber and the dipping sauce. Garnish with crushed peanuts.

Yields: 14 skewers

Time: 20 mins preparation. 1 hour minimum to marinate. 10 minutes cooking time.

Notes: For a smoky and fiery hot flavour, you can use 1 dried chilli instead of 2 fresh chillies. Just remove the seeds and soak the dried chilli in hot water before you blend it with the sauce.

You can purchase tempeh and tamarind paste at select supermarkets and Asian grocers.

The consistency of the satay can vary depending on what brand of peanut butter you use. If it’s a little runny just add a little more peanut butter and if it’s a bit dry, simply add a little water.

Scented, Crunchy Black Rice Salad


Scented, Crunchy Black Rice SaladBlack rice is also known as “Forbidden Rice” in China because it is said to be only for emperors. It is said to be a super food that we are fortunate to have access to. Zhimin Xu, PhD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Centre is quoted to have said “Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fibre and vitamin E antioxidants…”

There are many varieties of black rise from China, Korea and I think Thailand too.

Someone asked me today what they should do with some black rice they purchased to make a salad. Having not done a black rice salad before I just made suggestions on flavours and ingredients I thought would compliment such a staple. Then I decided to see how it would turn out so I made one.

The result was an aromatic, garden scented, dish with the black rice the platform for a range of fragrant Asian favourites. The nuts, noodles and coriander roots give it a gorgeous crunch. If you want an extra kick, simply leave in the chilli seeds and/or add more chilli.



For the salad:

½ cup of black rice (I had the glutinous one)

½ small brown onion, peeled and finely diced

10 mushrooms, sliced (I used button as that’s what I had, but some Asian mushrooms would be perfect in this)

3 tablespoons of well washed and finely sliced coriander roots

1 handful of washed and roughly chopped coriander leaves

1 handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and gently sliced (as they bruise)

1 handful fresh spinach, well washed to avoid grit


For the dressing:

1 tablespoon of soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free option)

dash of sesame oil

½ tablespoon of fresh lime juice

¼  teaspoon of minced ginger

1 teaspoon of agave (if you don’t have agave use sugar but add ½ teaspoon and taste again  before adding more)

oil for cooking

1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced


For the garnish

1 small red chilli, cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and finely slice.

2 handfuls of roasted peanuts (Mine were raw so I dry roasted them in a hot pan for a minute or 2)

#optional~ a handful of “Chang’s” fried noodles



Rinse the rice under cold water. Put it in a pot of water, bring it to the boil and simmer until the rice is tender. Mine took about 30 – 40 minutes. I just pottered around and made the dressings etc while the rice cooked. I rinsed mine when it was cooked too in case there were any starches because I used the gelatinous one. Drain and set aside.

Heat a good splodge of oil in a small pan and cook the onion until it caramelizes. Add the mushrooms and cook till they are softened and coloured. Pull the mushroom and onions out of the pan with some tongs and place them on some draining paper. Set aside

Make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

Add the cooked rice and all the salad ingredient to the dressing and mix everything together.

Give the rice a good stir when you go to serve it. Sprinkle with the finely sliced chilli. Finally top it with the noodles and nuts, just as you are about to serve, so that they remain super crunchy.

Serve warm or cold.


Servings: 2 lunch size serves or serve as a side with other dishes.

Time: 15 minutes preparation. 30-40 minutes of cooking time.

Notes: Don’t be put off by a longer list of ingredients. It’s often the recipes with a lot of ingredients that are the easiest and require the least amount of skill. The result is worth it too!

Marinated Olives



1 x 900 gram bottle of Spanish Queen Olives, not pitted (picked these up from Aldi on special today)

1kg of Kalamata olives, not pitted

1 full bulb of garlic, peeled and sliced

10 tablespoons of fennel seeds

17 star anise

the rind of 3 large oranges. Make sure you remove all of the pith (the pith is the white part as it will impart bitterness)

1/2 cup of fresh rosemary leaves

5 small red chillies, sliced

4 bay leaves

1. 5 litres of olive oil



Place all the dry ingredients into a large pot over a medium heat and stir for a few minutes.

Add a few tablespoons of oil, the orange rind, chillies and garlic and sauté for another minute or so. You are not trying to colour the garlic. You just want to apply enough heat and a minute to help the oils release.

Add the olives and the olive oil and bring the oil almost to boil. Turn off the heat, let your olives cool then put them and the marinade into sterilised jars.

Give as gifts and/or serve at BBQ’s and partys.


Makes: Makes about 2kgs of marinated olives.

Time: Haven’t timed this one.  

Freezing: Not suitable.