Recent Blog Posts

Pulled Pork Spring Rolls

Pulled Pork Spring Rolls

My daughter in law Gao Shan and I have a good thing going on now that she’s my neighbour down the road in Bray. At least once a week she cooks a meal for us in her house and at least once a week I cook for her, Shane and Dermot. While I experiment with Chinese variations on western recipes, she cooks wonderful Chinese meals for us and increasingly tries her hand at preparing western dishes. Meanwhile Dermot wanders around under all our...

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Shan’s Yunnan Barbecued Lemongrass Fish – 云南香茅烤鱼

Shan’s Yunnan Barbecued Lemongrass Fish – 云南香茅烤鱼

My daughter Claire sent me a random morning thought from Sydney earlier this week. It read “Most people’s first word of the year is ‘happy'” – a cheerful notion evoking images of clinking glasses and reminding me of our celebration of the arrival of 2015 in Australia and, more recently, of Shane, Shan and Dermot’s first Chinese New Year in Ireland. On those rare occasions when I’m in Australia at the...

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What’s bred in the bone – Shan’s Tingling Fragrant Chicken – 麻香鸡

What’s bred in the bone – Shan’s Tingling Fragrant Chicken – 麻香鸡

When I was young one of our favourite Sunday drives was from our home in Wexford town to Hook Head. My three brothers and I would pile into the back of the car, all elbows and knees and arguments about who would have to sit “in the middle”. Released from the car we would race around the headland and clamber over the rocks as the fierce water surged, going as close to the edge as we...

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Visiting Sydney with a Small Boy – it’s all happening at Taronga Zoo

Visiting Sydney with a Small Boy – it’s all happening at Taronga Zoo

I love the way little people define their world. It reminds me of how we used to say our night prayers when we were small, listing off like a mantra all those we loved. I was listening to Dermot tonight as he chatted away happily to himself in a sing-song voice in the next room, reciting “MaMa, DaDa, Claire, Mikey, NaiNai, YeYe, NaiNai… and then, after a pause,  huati (slide), che (car), huo che (train), haishui (the sea),...

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Kaffir Lime Chilli Prawns – a taste of Asian Fusion

Kaffir Lime Chilli Prawns – a taste of Asian Fusion

It was the Friday night before Christmas, the fire glowing in the grate, the Late Late Show on in the background. An ordinary pre-Christmas Friday night, except that for us it was not. It was to be our last night in front of the fire this Christmas, unless you count barbecues. The following day we set out for Sydney to visit our daughter Claire and her husband Mike and to meet up with our son Shane, Shan, Dermot and Shan’s MaMa who had...

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Ringing the changes with some simple Chinese stir-fries

Ringing the changes with some simple Chinese stir-fries

Around about this time last year I was preparing for a very unusual twelve days of Christmas as we awaited the arrival of my daughter in law Shan’s family from Urumqi in Xinjiang Province, China to celebrate her and Shane’s wedding and Dermot’s christening at the end of December. My daughter Claire and her husband Mike came home from Australia to join us, making last Christmas a special time and, with the benefit of...

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Chinese Chips – French (Bean) Fries with a Chinese Twist

Chinese Chips – French (Bean) Fries with a Chinese Twist

The last time I visited China Sichuan Restaurant in Sandyford, Dublin the owner Kevin Hui gave me a book. Now it takes a special kind of restaurateur to know his clients so well that he can surprise them with something they will treasure. For this is no ordinary cookbook. It’s “Hunan – a lifetime of secrets from Mr Peng’s Kitchen”. Mr Peng is the owner of a restaurant called Hunan in London that opened in 1982....

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