Sticky Pork Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a traditional Korean rice dish which is just so tasty! I always thought it would be complicated to make but having given it a go at home it’s actually quite simple. It is a little faffy as you need to cook all the ingredients one by one, one after another but even so – it’s rather quick to do. I marinated my pork for a few hrs before cooking, but if you don’t have time to do that, just prepare the marinade first and marinade the pork while you are preparing and cooking the rest of the ingredients. I got the recipe from an old issue of Delicious magazine and have ever so slightly adapted it in places. Hope you enjoy!

You can get Gochujang paste (it’s a Korean chilli paste) from most Asian supermarkets.

More with Gochujang: Japanese inspired tuna burgers and togarashi fries

Sticky Pork Bibimbap


Serves 4 | Prep 30 mins| Cook 30 mins
A little effort | Dairy Free

You’ll need:

  • 400g boneless pork belly, skin removed, chopped to bite size cubes;
  • 1-2 tbsp rapeseed (or vegetable oil), plus extra for frying the eggs;
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks;
  • 3 medium onions, sliced;
  • 150g beansprouts;
  • 150g oyster or shiitake mushrooms, sliced;
  • 200g spinach;
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil;
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce;
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey);
  • 400g short-grain rice;
  • 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally;
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced into thin strips;
  • kimchi, to serve;
  • white and black sesame seeds, to serve.

For the Gochujang sauce:

  • 4 tbsp gochujang paste;
  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame oil;
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce;
  • 2 garlic cloves;
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup (or honey)

First mix the gochujang sauce. Mix all sauce ingredients together and add around 3/4 of the sauce to a large bowl, reserving the rest. Add the pork and stir to coat well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for a few hrs or while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.

To cook the bibimbap, heat 1 tbsp of the rapeseed or vegetable oil in a large wok. Stir-fry the carrots until they begin to soften. Add 1/2 tsp of each the sesame oil, soy sauce and agave syrup/honey. Cook over a high heat for 1 minute, then transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Then one vegetable at a time, cook the onions for 2 minutes and  beansprouts, mushrooms and spinach for 1 minute each, each time adding 1/2 tsp of the sesame oil, soy sauce and agave syrup/honey. Add more rapeseed oil as you go if needed. Set aside in separate bowls.

In the same wok, stir-fry the pork in its sauce for 20 minutes or until  cooked through. The gochujang sauce should reduce and caramelise a little to intensify the flavour. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.

Finally when the pork and rice are ready, heat a little oil in a clean frying pan and fry the eggs to your liking (should take about 3-4 minutes for a runny yolk). While the eggs are cooking, start assembling your bimbibap.

Divide the warm rice between 4 bowl evenly, then divide the onions on top. Add the remaining cooked vegetables, pork, cucumber and kimchi into little piles around the bowl. Finally top with the fired egg. Sprinkle over spring onions and sesame seeds and serve straight away.


Adapted from a delicious magazine recipe “Jina’s Bibimbap” issue June 2013, no longer available online.



Peas with bacon and onions

These buttery and sweet peas make a fantastic side dish to go with meat or fish, or your Sunday Roast dinner. This dish is very much inspired from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe I saw in Feast magazine and I hope you will like my take on it. If you prefer to make this vegetarian, simply ignore the bacon and add a bit more olive oil when cooking instead.

More with peas: Pan Seared Duck Breasts with Braised PeasEntertaining: Spring Menu for 10 – Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more

Peas with bacon and onions


Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Gluten-Free

You’ll need:

  • 100g bacon or pancetta, diced;
  • 30ml olive oil;
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter;
  • 2 onions, finely chopped;
  • 500g frozen peas, defrosted;
  • 10g chives, finely chopped.

Heat half the oil in a large saute pan and add the bacon. Cook on a high heat until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.

Add the butter, alongside the chopped onions to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until softened and browned, stirring regularly. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and add to the bacon.

Add the peas, 350 ml water, the remaining olive oil and plenty of salt to the pan. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes over a medium heat, until nice and tender. Stir in the chives and transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Top with the bacon and onions and serve.

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Peas and Onions recipe, available online here.

Leftovers “Shepherd’s” Pie

If you often find yourself with leftover roast meat this recipe is a great way to use it up. Felicity Cloake’s original Shepherd’s Pie recipe on which this is very much based on/inspired by, calls for roast lamb meat or lamb mince (as per tradition), however, I wanted to use up some of the rabbit we had leftover from a roast and it will work with any meat. I hope the fact I’m re-purposing a British classic, such as the mighty Shepherd’s pie, will not cause too much upset with my British friends…

I used a combination of roast meat and cooked lentils to make the filling and it really worked out quite well, so I hope you will forgive me…

This recipe is based on Felictiy Cloake’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe from The Guardian’s Feast magazine. I’ve made several changes to the quantities, order of cooking and cooking times which worked quite well. Link to the original recipe is below.

More with leftovers: Leftovers Pie“Use up your Christmas leftovers” Pizza

Leftovers “Shepherd’s” Pie


Serves 4 | Prep 20 mins | Cook 1hr 15 mins

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil;
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped;
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped;
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped;
  • 1 sprig thyme;
  • 350g leftover roast meat or game, chopped (if you have a smaller quantity of leftover meat, add a pack or can of cooked lentils to make up to 350g);
  • 0.5 tbsp flour;
  • 200ml lamb or beef stock;
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree;
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce;
  • 750g floury potatoes, peeled and halved;
  • 50g butter;
  • 50g cheddar, grated (optional)
  • 1 tbsp whole milk.

First, start with the filling. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium sized sauce pan or a deep frying pan. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery stick and thyme sprig. Cook on a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened but not browned.

Add the chopped leftover roast meat and fry for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Pour a little of the stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to get any stuck on bits. Stir in the tomato puree, followed by the remaining stock and Worcestershire sauce. If using, add the lentils at this point. Turn up the heat and bring to a simmer.

Once simmering, lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, simmer for another 5-10 minutes – watch that the filling doesn’t dry up too much here. Set aside.

While the filling is cooking, prepare the mash for the topping. Put the potatoes in a pan of well-salted water, bring to a boil and cook until tender (roughly around 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain and put back into the hot pan to steam dry.

Roughly chop the butter. Mash the potatoes, then add the butter and milk and work through until you have a smooth mash. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Spoon the filling into an ovenproof dish and top with the mash. You can do this by scattering large dollops of the mash around the dish and the flattening it so it’s fairly evenly distributed. Drag a fork down the length of the dish to create ridges in the potato. If using cheese, scatter over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden on the top.

This is based on Felicity Cloake’s recipe from The Guardian’s Feast, available online here. I’ve made several changes to the quantities of various items and cooking order/times.

Warm chipotle steak and grain salad

This blog post is a perfect illustration of my love of food/eating it over photographing it. However, as I also love sharing really good recipes with everyone so even if I forget to take a proper photo of something… I really think you will enjoy this though, so here we go!

You can use your preferred cut of steak. I used sirloin while the original recipe used bavette. I’d also use rump, just make sure you adjust the timing to cook it to your liking. Sirloin and rump will need a couple of mins on each side while a bavette will need a few minutes. I marinated my steaks for about 6 hours – the longer you can leave them the better (up to 24 hrs), though even if you don’t have time, it will still be delicious.

More with steak: Quick Beef RamenSteak Sandwiches with Sweet Potato FriesSteak & Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Warm chipotle steak and grain salad


Serves 2 | Prep 15 mins + marinating time | Cook 15 mins
Easy | Gluten and dairy-free

You’ll need

  • 2 sirloin steaks;
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste;
  • ¼ red cabbage (about 250g), finely sliced;
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt;
  • 2 limes, zest of 1, juice of both;
  • 1 tsp olive oil;
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped;
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped;
  • 250g pouch wholegrain red rice and quinoa (or similar);
  • 1 large ripe avocado;
  • ½ x 28g pack coriander, leaves roughly chopped, plus extra to serve.

Put the steaks in a bowl, coat with the chipotle paste, season and set aside. If you have time, leave them to marinate for up to 24 hrs in a fridge.

Put the cabbage in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, plus the zest and juice of 1 lime. Massage the cabbage with your hands for 30 seconds; set aside to tenderise.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy-based frying pan until smoking hot. Cook the steaks for 4-7 minutes, turning halfway. Transfer to a board to rest for 5 minutes, then slice. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the oil. Add ¾ of the onion and chilli, then fry until soft (about 3 minutes). Add the grains with 1 tsp water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Mash the avocado in a bowl with the coriander leaves and remaining lime juice, onion and chilli. Divide the grain mixture, cabbage and avocado mixture between 2 plates, top with the sliced steak and scatter over a few extra coriander leaves to serve.

Original recipe from Waitrose Magazine, issue April 2020, available online here.



Quick braised red cabbage, sausages and apples

What are apples doing in what is essentially a sausage casserole, you ask? Well, as it turns out – it’s a pretty decent combination. Everything about this dish says ‘Autumn’ to me, but the dull colours and flavours of late February/early March definitely could do with a bit of brightening up. This is really quick to put together too, which makes it a perfect mid-week meal. I made mine veggie, using vegetarian/vegan sausages. If you do that, I recommend using a little more oil as there is usually less fat in a vegetarian sausage.

I used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages and they worked well in this dish, which are suitable for vegans as well – they worked well with the dish.

This is a Waitrose & Partners recipe, which I’ve slightly modified to make vegetarian by swapping the sausages. I also used a red onion instead of white as I felt the sweetness will work better with the cabbage.

More with sausages: Rachel Roddy’s Sausages with red onions and grapes 

Quick braised red cabbage, sausages and apples


Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 25 mins
Easy | Vegan version if you substitute sausages for vegan/veggie sausages | Dairy-free

You’ll need:

  • 2 tsp sunflower or vegetable oil;
  • 8 Sausages, Vegetarian/Vegan if you prefer;
  • 2 Waitrose & Partners Jazz Apples, cut into about 12 wedges each;
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, plus 1 tsp;
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced;
  • ½ red cabbage (about 450g), cored, quartered and shredded;
  • 1 tbsp dark maple syrup (or 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp water).

Heat 1 tsp oil (or 1 tbsp if using vegetarian sausages) in a wide non-stick frying pan or shallow casserole dish, then brown the sausages for 5 minutes, until golden in places. Transfer to a plate.

Toss the apples in 1 tsp red wine vinegar, then add to the pan along with the onion and remaining 1 tsp oil; cook on a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the onions start to soften and the apples take on a little colour.

Tip in the cabbage and sausages, season, then splash in the maple syrup (or sugar and water) and 2 tbsp red wine vinegar. The pan will seem full but don’t worry. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring now and again as the cabbage wilts. By the end of cooking, the cabbage should be glossy and tender, and the sausages cooked through.

Serve with English or Dijon mustard and mashed potatoes an crusty (or garlic) bread.

Original recipe by Waitrose & Partners magazine, available online here.