Regular random: five minutes with the makings of a great dressing

Close up shot of garlic, ginger, coriander, lime ... some of the ingredients in Sarah Tiong's Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Garlic, ginger, coriander, lime … some of the ingredients in Sarah Tiong’s Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with food programmes on television. I liked quite a few of the old-school “celebrity-chef-cooks-for-the-cameras” shows — especially those involving Rick Stein and the late Keith Floyd. I also loved Two Fat Ladies, with Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright, and anything with Anthony Bourdain — but that was never about the cooking.

I don’t like talent-quest TV and programmes that require a commitment to regular viewing, so shows like MasterChef pose a dilemma. Will my love of food overcome my reluctance to a) watch competitive cooking and b) buy-in for the duration?

Close-up shot of fresh coriander. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I spy … fresh coriander all ready to use. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

With the current series of MasterChef Australia at episode 24 in NZ — and not even half way through — I’m at the stage of dipping in on the nights when the contestants are making original dishes as individuals, rather than team challenges and replications of guest chefs’ creations. These are the episodes that offer the most interesting food ideas.

Which is a very roundabout way of saying that my Five Minutes of Random this week were spent with the ingredients for a fantastic Asian Vinaigrette that I saw Sarah Tiong make a couple of weeks ago on MasterChef. She served it with Pan-fried Barramundi and Bok Choy. (recipe here).Β It looked so yummy!

… And tasted fantastic, though I replaced the barramundi with tofu because it was raining so hard I really didn’t feel like going shopping.

And though this is not strictly a #RegularRandom shot — here’s my completed dish.

Pan-fried tofu with braised bok-choy and Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Pan-fried tofu with braised bok-choy and Asian Vinaigrette. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), is hosted by Desley Jane atΒ Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.


37 thoughts on “Regular random: five minutes with the makings of a great dressing

    • Thanks Jude. I had a flatmate once who made tofu, and it was really delicious. The stuff I buy isn’t as good as that, but does have some flavour, and of course, it absorbs the all the flavours of the dressing really well.

      Liked by 1 person

        • πŸ˜• the texture is definitely a challenge.

          I’ve shifted from firm to soft tofu. Tossed in rice flour and fried, the texture is actually nice; crisp outside and soft centre. But I can see how it can be very hard to like. Perhaps stick to the barramundi πŸ˜ƒ

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow Su, what a gorgeous series of shots. So soft and yet vibrant. Love the scattering of black and white, love the cut limes and that last shot with the knife is fantastic. I adore Asian food and would love this vinaigrette. I have the same issue with shows like Masterchef. I’ve stopped watching it, but will channel surf sometimes and find it on (when is it not lol) and watch for a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. Tofu and broccoli is one of my go-to quick dishes too. I guess I cheat by just crushing peanuts with chilli and garlic instead of making actual sauce πŸ˜ƒ


  2. I think I can almost smell it! Looks very yummy indeed! And the pics are wonderful, love especially the B/W ones, they look so classy! And Anthony Bourdain, eh? πŸ˜‰ My mum and I loved to watch his shows too together, for maybe the exact same reason as you πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sarah. I found some old episodes of ‘A Cook’s Tour’ on Netflix recently and have been watching them again. I don’t find him particularly attractive (except for his voice), but I love his irreverence and approach to food. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That looks delicious and such fabulous photos. Thanks for watching for me and providing the recipe. I’ve occasionally dipped into Masterchef but I can’t take the competition side. It can make a fun drinking game though. Just take a swig whenever anyone says ‘dream’, ‘journey’, ‘my life is about food’ or whenever anyone cries. Makes it a bit more bearable. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ™‚ a drinking game!!! Now there’s a thought. We just drive each other nuts by saying things like “you’ve brought us a delicious plate of food” and “that’s just yum” in our best George Calombaris voices. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So pretty and tasty looking. Funny that you call coriander what I call cilantro – I know they are the same and I have coriander in my spice cupboard that looks, tastes, and smells nothing like fresh cilantro (or fresh coriander depending on where you live).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post – thank you for sending me here. You have given me good ideas on how to proceed with my savoury food shots … one thing is for sure, I need to plan better: to maximise light and to catch the ingredients at their best at each step of prep & cooking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you; I hope it helps. Photographing food has been a real eye-opener. It seems so straightforward, but the more shots you take, the more you see how things could be better. One thing I forgot to mention is looking through food magazines for images or particular photographers you like. And it’s a great excuse to look at food pics πŸ‘πŸ‘


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