The Spice Trade

Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients

Tag Archives: thyme

Recipe: Homemade Ketchup

french fries and homemade spices ketchup

This is a recipe for homemade ketchup using fully ripened tomatoes. I hope you will like them 😀 Tips: (1) Please have your sterilized clean glass jar ready before making this. (2) If you don’t mind bumpy texture, you can omit the use of blender. (3) Each tomato differs in its acidity and sweetness. Please adjust the amount of vinegar and sugar to your taste. (4) You can also add chopped carrots or celery into the tomato mixture. Recipe: Homemade Ketchup Yield: About 1 cup Ingredients 1kg fully ripened tomatoes 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp garlic granules 3 tablespoon sherry vinegar … keep reading

Recipe: Creamy Thyme Cottage Cheese

Creamy Dill Cottage Cheese

About five years ago, I was working as an interpreter for a client based in Switzerland. When I met this client for the first time, this gentleman presented me with home-made Swiss cheese. He said they were made by his neighbor and showed me a picture of a cow which belonged to his neighbor. The cow looked sort of funny in the picture, but the cheese! The cheese was superb. In Hong Kong, cheese we see in a supermarket are usually imports. I do not recall seeing made in Hong Kong cheese in a nearby store. But I have seen milk which … keep reading

Recipe: Herby Pizza Crust

Herby Pizza Crust

This easy-to-make pizza crust is ideal for busy Hong Kong people or anyone who want to minimize the cooking time but still want to enjoy a nice hot home-made pizza with toppings you fancy. If you already have tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, then you can make margherita pizza at home in 30 minutes. You can also make pesto pizza by using basil pesto instead of tomato sauce and top with cottage cheese or any cheese you like. (In my next article, I will share with you how to make tomato pizza sauce at home) Tips: This recipe skips the dough-rising … keep reading

Recipe: Herb Korokke

Herb Korokke

When my mother was still a student attending junior high school, she used to stop by at a local korokke shop on her way home. She said they were so cheap and served as a good snack for teenagers. Korokke is a deep fried dish usually filled with minced meat and potato. When western dish of croquette was introduced to Japan, the name got twisted and became known as korokke, or so I heard. Korokke is commonly served at a family dinner table. There are many variations of korokke and creamy corn korokke is my favorite. Today, I present you a vegetarian version … keep reading

Health: Basil as Painkiller

Sweet basil

Since I shared a recipe using sweet basil last time for delicious tomato bisque, I want to talk a little bit about properties associated with sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) this time. When I was a sophomore in university, I needed to make ibuprofen for a weekly organic chemistry lab experiment. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is commonly used as pain-killer. I had holes in my jeans around my thighs because synthesizing organic chemical like ibuprofen required the use of concentrated hydrochloric acid, and when I did an experiment without wearing a lab coat, some spilled on my … keep reading

Recipe: Tomato & Basil Bisque

Tomato & Basil Bisque

When I was living in Japan, I used to love making and eating rice balls (onigiri) using Japanese basil. So when I moved to Hong Kong, I missed them. But then I saw Thai basil being used popularly in restaurants in Hong Kong, and I saw Italian basil in a pot that was on sale at a nearby flower shop. Huurah! My sweet Italian basil, you are coming home with me. I’m going to make one of my favorite dish with you. Tomato & basil bisque. I have made this over and over. Many recipes use canned tomatoes, but I prefer using fresh … keep reading

Recipe: Jambalaya Rice

tasty spiced jambalaya rice

Jambalaya is not one of the first things people think of when cooking a pot luck meal in Hong Kong. Yet it’s full of flavour, and the perfect recipe for success if you’re out to feed an army. This highly nutritious dish will have you set for 2 or 20, and you can customise it with any fillings you like. There’s a lot of ingredients going in, and that means a lot of exciting flavours with each mouthful. So even though it’s just one dish, Jambalaya tastes like a dozen all jam-packed together. A word of warning though… like all … keep reading

Recipe: Fettucine Alfredo with Blackened Chicken

blackened chicken fettucine with spices

This one’s a good recipe to have some excitement in the kitchen while keeping the meal comfort food. It takes about 30-40 minutes from start to finish, but you’ll be well rewarded with one of the best evolutions to a classic favourite. The Blackened Chicken is packed with a lot of spices, the creaminess and heat makes this dish super addictive! If you want to make your version less rich, substitute half the cream for milk… but when you’re a foodie, who cares about calories! Recipe: Fettucine Alfredo with Blackened Chicken Serves: 4 Ingredients For the Alfredo Sauce – 3 … keep reading

Regency explores the spice blend Ras El Hanout

ras el hanout whole spices

One item that’s recently caught our attention is the Moroccan spice blend Ras El Hanout. It’s used throughout North Africa as a popular spice blend (not to be confused with Berbere, a similar looking but altogether different blend). Being a blend, it’s susceptible to many impurity problems that are widespread in the spice trade. Traders often blend in cheap ingredients that otherwise they would be ashamed to sell whole, as we illustrated in our research of garlic powder dilution. Ras El Hanout is even more susceptible, because it’s a blend of many spices. Not only can poor quality items be … keep reading

Cooking with Sumac! Zaatar (Recipe)

zaatar-flatbread

Sumac is one of those elusive spices that most people could easily go a lifetime without noticing. Yet, the moment someone is introduced to it, they will always keep wanting more of it. Sumac is a spice with an extremely unique taste – very citrusy, which we liken to lime and berries. The best variety we’ve uncovered thus far comes from Lebanon, arguably one of the biggest consumers. It’s also a country that has a long-standing history with Sumac. You can read more about Sumac here, for now let’s discuss cooking! Sumac can be used in a variety of ways, … keep reading