Tag Archives: star anise

Baked Salmon with Noodles and Bok Choy


We all love a stir fry but I don’t think that salmon is the best fish for it so instead I bake the salmon having marinaded it in stir fry flavours and then use the marinade to flavour the noodles.

The boys eat mountains of noodles, the quantity in the recipe is very high, regular appetites might be nearer the 450g mark!

For the gluten free option I use rice noodles.

Serves 5.


5 salmon fillets, boned

50mls gluten free soy sauce or Tamari

30mls dry sherry or Chinese rice wine

Large thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated to give 25g

2 garlic cloves, grated

5 star anise

60mls sesame oil

300g Bok choy, leaves shredded, stalks cut in half lengthways

4 large spring onions, white part, finely sliced

550g dry noodles, cooked


In a dish that will fit the fish snugly, grate the ginger and garlic, add the soy sauce and sherry.

Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and turn to coat, pop the star anise into the marinade.

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Take a large piece of tin foil, lay it out and top with a slightly smaller piece of baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Remove the salmon from the marinade, wipe off any excess ginger and garlic. Line the salmon fillets in the centre of the baking parchment and top with a star anise.

Bring the parchment up and over to enclose the salmon and then bring the foil up to help seal it, the fish is to bake in a mini tent.

Pop the package on a baking sheet and place in the oven, bake for 10mins, allow to sit while you finish the noodles.

Heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat, add the sesame oil, once smoking, add the marinade and cook until fragrant.

Next, add the bok choy stems and spring onions and stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the cooked noodles and bok choy leaves and stir fry for 3 mins.

Chinese Spiced Poached Chicken


I know that twenty minutes does not sound long enough to poach such a large chicken but trust me here, as you leave the chicken in the stock it continues to cook and absorb the lovely flavours.

By cooking the chicken this way, it is prepared long before you eat and the moistness of the meat is amazing although, it doesn’t look particularly attractive!

Once you have made this stock you have the bases for many meals to come, just sieve the stock to remove the lumpy bits and then freeze. When you need it again, defrost and add all of the ingredients again to re flavour the stock, it really does get better with every use!

Leftovers the next day? Cook some noodles, top with some baby spinach, leftover chicken and pour over some hot stock.


2.5kg chicken

250mls gluten free soy sauce or Tamari sauce

200mls Chinese rice wine

500mls chicken stock

1 orange, rind and juice

5 spring onions, topped and tailed, cut into 5cm lengths

4 star anise

2x5cm cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon salt



Combine all of the ingredients, except chicken in a large stock pot.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins.

Fill and boil a kettle of water.

Wash the chicken and then gently loosen the skin from the breasts and legs.

Add 500 mls water to the stock pot and stir.

Gently lower the chicken into the pot, ensure the cavity is filled with the stock too.

Cover, you may need to add more water to fully immerse the chicken,  and bring the pot up to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer gently for twenty mins only. Do not remove the lid.

Turn the heat off after 20mins and leave covered with the lid for several hours.

Remove once cool enough to handle and chop into your desired serving pieces.

Crispy Duck Pancakes with Spring Onion and Cucumber


This is my take on a restaurant classic.

The pancakes are made two at a time as you separate them just after cooking, such a clever time saving method!

The boys love the whole concept of making their own pancakes and I just use shop bought plum sauce to go with it, hoisin sauce works well too.

The long slow cook ensures you can shred the duck easily and make sure the crispy skin goes in too.

I know the pancakes have gluten in them but I serve this with some white rice and stir fried veggies for me.

Serves 4 on their own or 6 with other dishes.


2.2kg duck

4 star anise

2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder

300g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

75mls  just boiled water

1 tablespoon oil

1 continental cucumber, seeds removed, sliced into thin sticks

6 spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths and then shredded


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.

Dry the duck with some kitchen towel roll, pop the star anise into the cavity and rub the outside with the 5 spice powder, make sure it’s on the underside too.

Use a roasting tin with a rack, place the duck onto the rack and pop in the oven for 3 hours, uncovered.

After three and a half hours, turn the oven up to 220 degrees Centigrade, baste the duck and return to the oven to roast for a further 30-40 mins until the skin has crisped up. Allow to sit for 20mins and then pull off all the meat and skin, tearing into small bite sized pieces.

While the duck is roasting make the pancakes, in a bowl, combine the flour, water and egg using a fork, once it’s cool enough to handle, knead the dough for around 5mins and then set aside in a covered bowl for 30mins.

Roll the dough into a long sausage, around 3cm thick, and cut into discs, around 0.5cm thick.

Flatten a disc with your palm and wipe a little of the oil over it, pop another disc on top and using a rolling pin, roll out until very thin, repeat with the remaining dough.

Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium heat.

Place the pancakes in the hot pan, spread out with no additional oil, cook for around 1min, flip over and cook for 30secs.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little in a clean tea towel.

Once the pancakes are cool enough to handle, peel the two pancakes apart and keep in the tea towel till needed.

Serve with finely sliced spring onions, cucumber and a little plum sauce and assemble your pancakes as you go along.