Lemon and lime Rooibos iced tea.

A friend introduced me herbal Rooibos tea few months back then and I love it since. Rooibos tea, also called red bush tea, is a herbal tea derived from the leaves of the rooibos plant. Though consumption of the tea was once confined to the South African regions in which the plant grew, rooibos tea is becoming more popular in Western countries due to its robust taste and numerous health benefits. You can find them easily in the health shops in bag or lose tea. It's the perfect tea for making iced lemon tea and I came up with this recipe:


5 cups water.
3 Rooibos tea bags.
2 lemons.
1 lime.
4 or 5 table spoons sugar.

Boil 2 cups of water and add in the tea bags. Leave the tea bag to brew and let it cool for few hours or over night will give it intensive taste. Sometimes I use the left over tea and it's still perfect.

Extract juice from lemon and lime, add in sugar and 3 cups of water to dissolve the sugar.

Mix in with Rooibos tea and serve with ice.

Homemade seasoning salt instead of stock cubes.

Since my two son are diagnosed with autism, I make sure they won’t eat anything I think contains artificial ingredients. One of the essential ingredients in my house is spiced seasoning salt. I use this salt to replace stock cubes that contain a lot of artificial ingredients.  I always make them in big batches to ensure sure I never run out.
The idea of this spiced salt come from a very famous roasted dried shrimp salt in Vietnam called Muối Tây Ninh. This salt is a combination of roasted salt with dried shrimp and spices like black peppers, garlic, dried and fresh chili that have all the elements to satisfy your taste buds with strong umami flavour. I replace the shrimp with more spices in my recipe to keep the authentic flavor. 
The roasted salt has wonderful flavour which make any dish taste stronger.  You can add it to soup, roasted potatoes , it also could be used for both vegan and  meaty dishes.


1/3 cups sea salt flakes and Himalayan salt.
1 table spoon whole black peppers.
3 cloves garlic ( ginger, onion optional). 
1 small chili.
1 table spoon mixed seeds ( Linwoods brand).
1 and 1/2 table spoons brown sugar.
1 tea spoon ground nutmeg.
1 tea spoon mustard powder.


Crush the chili and garlic together, the finer the better ( if you like onion flavor then chop them finely and add into the salt mixture 3 minutes after roasting). 
Combine the salt, chili, garlic, black peppers, and place on pot or frying pan( avoid using the nonstick pot and pan because the salt will damage the coating).
Roast on medium heat for gas and low heat for electric cooker. Toss the mixture constantly.
After 8, the garlic and chili turn dried add in the mixed seeds, mix well for 2 minutes. You will find the aroma is released and the salt turns brown.
Quickly transfer into a mortar and use the pestle to crush all the mixture together.
Transfer back to the pot, add in sugar, mustard and nutmeg powder and roast for another 1 minute to make sure all the spices are infused together.
Keep in a airtight jar and it will last as normal salt.

Chinese chefs often make their own seasoned salt. In this video chef Lupe Liang  makes his which used in Chinese cooking. 

Chef Andrew shows you how to make seasoned salt  using fresh Western herbs 

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Fruits market in China town, Sai Gon ( Vietnam trip, part 4).

On a trip to Saigon by bus from my parents house in the country I stopped by a fruit market in China town. It's located right next to the bus station in Mekong Delta routes. The fertile soil of Mekong Delta is not only famous for producing rice but also yields some of the sweetest, most delicious tropical fruits. The fruits at the market are fresh and cheap as they are carried by bus which is very inexpensive for locals. We always carry fruits with us when we travel for something to eat, to kill time, to socialize. Fruits is part of everyday life in Vietnam and you will find them everywhere and all year round. 

A young man making pork patties for his stuffed Banh Mi, making joke with his neighbour fruit sellers. The place is colorful and full of laughter and joy.

Chinese grilled chicken wings ( serve 3).

Summer is coming and I have this recipe for BBQ which is very simple and flavorful.  It goes nicely with any kind of salad and some lemonade. 

Vietnamese chicken cabbage salad ( serve 4).

Cabbage is cheap and it has so many health benefits. Head cabbage and Chinese cabbage are two common cabbages used in Vietnam.  The French brought cabbage into Vietnam in the 19th century along with other Western ingredients such as: potato, broccoli, cauliflowers, artichoke, strawberry, coffee beans, rubber tree and many other plantations from Brazil and Africa. French influence shows the most in our Banh Mi ( French baguette) that is one of famous Vietnamese sandwich. 

There are so many health benefits from fresh cabbage like detoxing, cleaning and healing your body. In Ireland, I've heard in the past time, the Irish would use cabbage juice to heal many illnesses and coleslaw is the most beloved salad dish along side with bacon and cabbage. I make this Vietnamese cabbage salad very often to clean my body after consuming too much meat or I feel a bit heavy in my stomach. My daughter also loves it and we wrap it with rice papers to make it more enjoyable. Dunnes is selling Vietnamese rice papers and it's so handy to make this dish and turn it into spring rolls.

Mekong Delta Reclamation buffet theme in SaiGon ( Vietnam trip part 3).

There is a saying in Vietnamese: it's more important who you dine with than what you dine. I want to have both so  I met up with my best friend Naomi for a buffet to spend a day together with good food before I headed home to my parents house with my kids in the afternoon. Naomi has been living in Saigon for 16 years and she is a food lover and an excellent cook just like most of Vietnamese women. There are many choices she asked me to pick : 300 dishes buffet, Western buffet, Korean or Japanese buffet, vegan buffet. I was so surprised to hear that many options and finally we decided to check out this lunch buffet place in Binh Quoi , a park along side Saigon river. The buffet takes place every Saturday with MeKong Delta reclamation theme for the price  11/person.