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Cooking Session 32
Hot Cross Bun Loaf + Tofu Gochujang Noodle Recipe + Easter Cooking Inspiration
Hello everyone! It’s Good Friday eve and a long Easter break ahead. For all of you who are the designated cooks this weekend, I have a lot of lovely cooking inspiration. But first, a quick fly-through our Melbourne trip last weekend.
We went away for four days, our first time at the Australian Grand Prix (having F1-mad teenage boys sucks you into this whole new world which was fast, fun and exciting). Two days at the track meant many average meals during the day. Long queues for sub-standard fair food like lukewarm chips, oily fried fish and a $23 half-frozen potato pattie stuffed in pita with lettuce promised as a falafel wrap. Woe befalls anyone who is vegetarian or heaven forbid - vegan! Luckily, I am Pescatarian and despite the above-failed meals, I did have a steaming bowl of really good Seafood Paella.
But we more than made up for it by dining at Longrain - gosh this Thai restaurant has been on my bucket list for a while and their famous eggnet filled with sprouts, spicy stir-fried prawns and green tomato salad did not disappoint! We also had a delicious intimate dinner at Crossley St Cantina - crispy brussels sprouts, octopus carpaccio, salmon tartare and spicy patatas bravas! Hoo boy! Real good!
But the highlight for me was watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. A self-proclaimed Potterhead, I am one of those obsessed fans who would queue up at bookstores every time a new book was released and finish it in one-single-sitting on the same morning! Watching this mesmerizing spectacular performance was truly an experience I will forever remember.
A couple of months ago I was invited to be a part of the Walking Up An Appetite Youtube Series hosted by the lovely Lisa Goldberg of the Monday Morning Cooking Club fame. It is a great little show about walking everywhere and seeking out great things to eat. I am so excited to share the “Sexy Salads” episode that I was a part of is now live - Check it out here!
And now onto All Food Things! Today, I have an exclusive quick dinner (or lunch!) recipe for you all. So simple and packed with unbelievable flavour - Tofu Gochujang Noodles! A new recipe for a Hot Cross Bun Loaf and lots of Easter cooking inspiration! Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend with family and friends! Happr Easter!
I love hot cross buns, but the traditional kind. There is something about the fruit and spice with the citrus running through pillowy soft crumb that screams “Panettone!” to me. In my opinion, a good hot cross bun has a dark brown, glossy dome marked with a cross. It has a good amount of fruit dotting the crumb and a deep flavour - more fruit and spice than bread.
As much as I love hot cross buns, I find them really weirdly shaped for a good eating experience. How in God’s name are you supposed to toast them, if they are so rounded and too pregnant to fit in the toaster slots? I’ll tell you how!
You take your best hot cross bun recipe and bake it into a loaf. You then toast this hot cross bun slice to perfection and slather it with good butter for the most delicious hot cross bun eating experience.
My recipe is super easy - mix, prove, bake! Put this on your baking list this Easter, I bet everyone is going to love it!
I’ve got a free exclusive subscriber recipe for you further down in this email. It’s delicious! I hope you enjoy it. I also have a very unique gnocchi recipe coming up for members next week. To support my work, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Easter Cooking Inspiration
If there is only one thing you cook this weekend, try my Zuppa di Pesce. It is absolutely divine. This simple Italian Seafood Soup is maximum flavour with very little effort. The bright broth is brimming with saffron and caramelized fennel, the smoky seafood is tender and adds so much flavour. The best thing is that all the prep can be done ahead and then the final dish is put together in just 5 minutes for a really nice fancy-looking meal that goes well with good Sourdough, good wine and good company!
And here is a collection of multiple-tested, delicious recipes that will work like a charm in case you are menu planning!
Easy Easter Breakfast
Easy Easter Sides
And Sweet Things
BONUS EXCLUSIVE RECIPE
Tofu Gochujang Noodles
for the sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce
3 tbsps gochujang paste
1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
2 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
for the noodles
300g udon noodles (dry)
3 tbsps neutral oil
1 bunch spring onion, roots trimmed and white and green parts cut and separated
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
300g firm tofu, thinly sliced into 2-inch X 0.5-inch pieces
200g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
sesame seeds, to garnish
Prepare the stir-fry sauce by mixing all ingredients for it in a small bowl.
Cook the noodles as per the packet instructions. Set aside.
To prepare the spring onions, cut the white part into 2-inch long pieces. Slice them vertically to get thinner strips of the spring onion. Do the same with the green part.
Heat oil on medium-high heat in a large frying pan or wok. Add the spring onion whites. Stir fry for a minute until starting to wilt.
Add garlic and tofu. Stir-fry, tossing constantly for 3-4 minutes until the tofu starts to turn golden.
Add mushrooms and half of the spring onion greens. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the stir-fry sauce, mix well and allow to cook for a minute until tofu is coated and soft with the sauce.
Add the cooked noodles and remaining spring onion greens. Yoss and mix well. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until heated through.
Garnish with sesame seeds and serve hot.
Gochujang paste - This spicy Korean chilli paste is available in Asian aisles of supermarkets. If you can’t find it, make a tablespoon by mixing 2 teaspoons of miso paste with 1 teaspoon of Sriracha/hot sauce.
Gochugaru - This is a really delicious, mild and fragrant chilli from Korea. It has a coarse, flaky texture. The nearest substitute would be a mix of sweet paprika and a small amount of red chilli flakes.
Come Chat With Me
Today I’m announcing a brand new addition to my Substack publication: the Cook Republic subscriber chat.
This is a conversation space in the Substack app that I set up exclusively for my subscribers — kind of like a group chat or live hangout. I’ll post short prompts, thoughts (inspiration to the age-old “What to cook?” question), and updates that come my way, and you can jump into the discussion.
To join my chat, you’ll need to download the Substack app, now available for both iOS and Android. Or simply, tap the “Join chat” button. See you there!