Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Dukkha? What is that?

Apparently there's this nice blend of spice and nuts that Egyptians consume for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, supper or any other meals they have. What they like to do is to dip their crusty crispy breads or pita breads on extra virgin olive oil, then they will dip on this spice and nut blend known as Dukkah.

The ingredients can be easily found in Indian shops or supermarkets. The recipe I saw requires hazelnuts but research shows that Egyptians used peanuts originally. I'll just substitute it with nuts that are cheaply available in Brunei.
1/2 cup peanuts or cashew nuts
1/4 cup coriander seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add the hazelnuts, and dry-toast until slightly browned and fragrant, being careful that they don't burn. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Repeat the procedure with each of the seeds and the peppercorns. Allow each of them to cool completely.
Place the nuts and seeds, along with the mint and salt, into a mortar and pound until the mixture is crushed (Preferred method). Or pulse in a food processor to a coarse consistency; do not allow the mixture to become a paste.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 month, or keep inside a fridge for several months.

Besides a good dipping agent for your breads, this can also form a good crust for coating chicken or fish fillets~~ YUM!

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Tuna Tartare

I decided to go to Jerudong Fish Market and saw a few huge fishes on the table of one of the stalls. I looked at one of the cutlets and it's bright pinkish in colour. I then checked out the fins of the huge fishes and noticed they're yellow. Could this be yellow fin tuna? Fresh yellow fin tuna in Jerudong market?

I bought 1.5 kg straight away and proceed home to prepare it. They say the best way to eat tuna (fresh ones - make sure it's fresh) is to eat it raw. Usually people will sear it for less than a minute per side and slice it. Another way to eat it is to diced the tuna into bite sizes and toss it with some salad dressings.

Here's a recipe for Asian Tuna Tartare.
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound sushi-grade tuna
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (coriander or daun sup)
  • 1 minced small chili
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onions(small red ones)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus half a lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tomato--peeled, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • 20 best-quality potato chips
  1. In a bowl, combine the corn oil and ginger and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Strain the oil.
  2. With a very sharp knife, cut the tuna into 1/8-inch dice. In a large bowl, combine the tuna with 3 tablespoons of the ginger oil, 3 tablespoons of the coriander and the chili, wasabi, sesame seeds, scallion and lemon juice. Mix gently and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stand a 1 1/2-inch-tall and 2 1/4-inch-round mold or a biscuit cutter in the center of a salad plate. Fill the mold with tuna tartare, pressing gently. Lift off the mold. Repeat with the remaining tartare.
  4. Drizzle the remaining ginger oil around each tartare and sprinkle with the tomato, the remaining tablespoon of cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stand 5 potato chips in a circular pattern in each tartare and serve immediately.
Note: If you don't have a mold, it's okay to serve it as it is, but it looks a ton cooler when you use them.

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