Fish, Prawns, Soup

Spicy, warm and filling soup!

So I already decided on Thursday that we where going to have a warm lovely soup on Friday. It ended up being a Chinese style soup, even though, it was meant to be a Japanese inspired soup but I didn’t fancy egg or pork. I already had taken up the Stock which was a Chinese hotpot based stock (ill cover this later down), I had tofu in the freezer and some lovely Chinese dried mushrooms, noodles and spring onions.
All I needed to buy were some lovely prawns as we were out of them. I always find Prawns in Sainsbury’s are extremely expensive. It’s the same in any of the big supermarkets, especially if they are kingprawns and uncooked, froozen or fresh they are expensive. Sainsbury’s does Raw Jumbo King Prawns 225g for £4.50. However, I found that in my local Londis which got a huge asian department they sell frozen king prawns 1 kg for £8.45, which is so much cheaper. The quality is top notch as well.

Per 100 grams of Sainsbury’s prawns you pay £2.00

Per 100 grams of Londis prawns you pay £0.85p

So remember it is always worth checking out your local shops for good offers. For once, I won’t calculate the price of the meal totally on Sainsbury’s price as most of these products come from the Asian stores or Londis. Really the only thing from here that I think you could buy in Sainsbury’s is the Prawns/Spring onions and Pak Choi.

The recepi is actually based on the aftermeal we often have had after eating Chinese Hotpot with friends.

Chinese hotpot is a very special experience, and I will hopefully be writing a post about this next week as this bank holiday weekend we are suposed to have one.

My Spicy, warm and filling soup! 

Good for colds or too warm you up on misserable cold and wet days

Serves 2-3


500ml, Hotpot stock (this is spicy)

100g frozen prawns around 9 (3 each, if cooking for three)

15g black dried fungus (small handfull)

250 g firm tofu, cut into 2 x 2 cm squares (if not firm it is best if it is frozen, cut it into squares first drain of water and freeze, even firm tofu is better like this).

3 spring onions

2 Medium sized pak choi

100 g noodles

I normally always would have some of the stock frozen, as I use it to slow cook chicken wings/drumsticks in. Then take them out and freeze indivdually for Nando style chicken wings at another point. Then I would freeze the stock in individual boxes normally 4, 500 ml boxes. However, if you want to make this directly from packet, just throw it all in a pot with at least 1l of water and boil for good 10 minutes to get the taste proper released. I would recommend to split up this stock as if you use it all it may be rather spicy. But adjust to taste.

1. Soak the black fungus in cold water for 30 minutes (or according to packet).

2. Defrost your prawns

3. Cut your Pak choi into 2 cm pieces.

4. Cut all you spring onions fine.

5. Cook your noodles according to the packet, when done, run under the cold water and set aside.

6. Now add your stock to a big pot and add 1l of water to it. Bring it to the boil. When boiling, you add the Fungus and the tofu, cook at least until Tofu is defrosted and until the Fungus is easy to eat around 10minutes. The more you reduce the stock the spicier it becomes.

7. Then add your Pak choi and boil for another minute before adding the prawns. When the prawns are done 5 minutes, take the pot of the heat.

8. Add a small amount of noodles to two bowls; add the soup, making sure to get all things into it. Then in the end put on the spring onions. Extra chillies could be added if you wish. But taste first as this stock is spicy in it self.

9. Serve straight away and enjoy.

 Bon apetit

This soup is very forgiving, if you fancy, you could add chicken/pork, more or less vegetables etc. It’s really up to you.

At one point or another I will try and make the stock myself.

Mr Blip loved the tofu, which I was really suprised about; he also had 1 prawn, loads of noodles, a bit of pak choi. So I was pleased.

Hotpot stock (£2.65/4)=£0.66 (little sheep hotpot)

Frozen prawns = £0.85 (Londis)

Dried fungus (£2.55/100g) x 15g = £0.38

Firm tofu (£1.35 / 1100g) x250g = £0.31

Spring onions (£0.45 /6) x 3 =£0.23 (Sainsbury)

2 Medium sized pak choi = £1.20 (Sainsbury)

Noodles (£1.20 / 390g) x 100g = £0.31p (Sau Tao Plain Noodles)

Total cost £3.94 Per Person £1.31

The good thing about this recipe is that you can easily make it stretch further, a bit more noodles a few more prawns and just more water in the stock and it doesnt get much more expensive.

There are only few prawns as you get plenty of protein from the Tofu.

The following products are the ones I used for the recipe. However, you could change the noodles to any noodle you like and for the fungus I have used fresh mushrooms before. Slightly changes the taste.

Little Sheep Hot Pot Soup Base Hot (小肥羊 火鍋辣湯底料)… £2.65

Natural Tasty Dried Black Fungus Wan Yee (自然之風味一級黑木耳- 雲耳)… £2.55

Tofu King Fresh Tofu Medium Firm (嫩豆腐)…£1.35 (1.1kg)

Sau Tao Plain Noodles – Non Fried (壽桃牌陽春麵)… £1.20

Every day life posts

New Mobil App and a weird Dinner

When your mind is all muddled up, you can end up with a weird dinner.Baby brain or should that be toddler brain? I’m not sure, but I do know that my brain didn’t work proper yesterday.

I wanted to make a salad for dinner in the evening using up some of the leftovers in our fridge and really fancied a salad a bit like a Tuna Nicose. However, we didn’t have Tuna and I had a few other pieces to use up. I also think I may actually have been thinking of another Salad all together so Not Tuna Nicose at all.

I purchased salad leaves from Sainsbury’s but didn’t actually end up using them as it really didnt fit in the dish I ended up making.

What I had at home that needed using was 4 Radishes, 4 eggs lots of New Potatoes. 4 pieces of Bacon, 3 Spring onions, a handfull of aspargous and green beans. The dressing was tatare sauce with a glugg ofmMilk to thin it down to a dressing consistency.

Really the salad turned out quite nice, if unusual and not one I would do again.

I didn’t actually need all the eggs for the salad, ¾ was for mr Blip, I did offer him the whole one but he left a bit.

2 where for the salad and 1 were for lunch the next day. The husband came home very late and didn’t have his food, so he had his egg for breakfast.

Now tonight I will be making something much more interesting

Japanese inspired, kind of Ramen style soup. I will post the picture and recipe for this. I’m trying to slowly empty out the freezer.

Oh I’m using an interesting app at the moment called Spend today, it allows you to put in the budget you have for the week, then you record EVERYTHING you spend which comes from that budget. It seems to be working for me and I’m having a much better grasp of what I’m actually spending.

 Have a lovely day!!


It’s been a while!

So it has been a while since I have updated this blog. However, I have been very busy trying to settle into work again. Which in many ways were harder than I imagined. Firstly having to come home after a long working days, picking up Baby Blip, then cooking for us, feeding Blipson, cleaning up, giving him a bath and then putting him to bed and then if I got some extra energy try to clean up the house a bit. This is not really working. So our house is a “bit” of a mess. But that is an issue I’ll try and solve at another time.

Unfortunately, the husband also seems to be working longer hours and he is much more stressed which obviously means that he got less energy at home and therefore our lawn haven’t been cut since May!!

However, I still manage to cook most days and bring lunches into work and almost staying within the £25.00 a week budget. However, this does not include baby milk/wipes and other things (however, it does include most of his food)>

The other day in Sainsbury, I was lucky and found a tray of chicken wings reduced to £0.75p. So yesterday evening I made Jamie Oliver’s: Gangnam Chicken wings, however, I amended the dish slightly.

 Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Wings Gangnam-Style

Serves 3 to 4

Chicken wings

12 Chicken wings

2 heaped tsp Chinese five-spice

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

1-2 clove garlic

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp salt soy sauce (recipe says low, I didn’t have this so used normal Soy sauce)

1 tbsp runny honey

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp hot chilli sauce (this could be left out though to make it milder).

Brown rice

175- 200g brown rice

1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil

1-2 fresh red chillies (test them first; they may be hotter than expected).

2 garlic gloves

2 pak choi or Chinese cabbage

Sesame oil

1 egg



1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. 2. Make sure there are no feathers left on the wings, burn them off or pull out.

3. Stretch out the wings, cut the bingo wings-type skin in the middle, then pop out the joints to make them straight (you can poke wooden skewers through the wings to hold them like this), and cut off the end tip. I left out the whole of step 3, didn’t have the time, also I like Th wing ends and it doesn’t make a difference to the taste!

4. Place the wings in a snug-fitting roasting tray, scatter over the five-spice and a good pinch of salt and toss together until evenly coated. Cover with tin foil and cook for around 50 minutes or until tender.


5. Now cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then drain. For brown rice I use the ration 1 cup rice to 3 cups water when made in rice cooker.


6. Now peel the ginger and garlic and finely grate into a small bowl and mix with the ketchup, Chilli sauce (if using) soy sauce and honey to make a glaze.


7. When the time’s up, remove the foil from the tray, then coat the chicken wings with some of the glaze and either return them to the oven or pop them under the medium grill (and watch them like a hawk) for a final 30 minutes, or until golden and gnarley, turning and brushing with more glaze every 5 – 10 minutes to use it all up and make them super sticky.


8. Evenly sprinkle over the sesame seeds from a height after adding your last bit of glaze. (This part could be left out if you don’t fancy it.


9. Whilst the wings finish cooking, peel and slice the garlic with the chilli and pak choy (or Chinese cabbage).


10. When the chicken wings are nearly ready, add oil to a frying pan then add the Chilli and garlic, when starting to get lightly coloured add the Pak choi. Keep moving it around the pan. Then add the rice to the pan and scramble well.


11. Now the recipe states to transfer the tray of wings to the hob remove the wings to one side and pour 200ml of water into the tray. Boil and simmer for 5 minutes, scrapping up all the sticky bits from the bottom of the tray, then skim any fat off the surface and mix the sauce into the rice. I find this becomes too sweet, so I skipped this step.


12. Instead I added 2 tsp of Seasamy oil and 1 – 2 tsp of soy sauce mixed it into the rice very well. If following step 11 I would leave out the number 12.


13. Now push the rice to one side of the pan and crack the egg into the gap. Stir it around so it starts to scramble, then toss thought the rice.


14. Now season the dish, if you followed step 12 instead of 11 not much seasoning should be needed.


15. Put the rice on the table and serve with the sticky chicken wings. We added a side salad as we had some that needed to be eaten. This really isnt necessary.


Bon Apetit – As my lovely grandad often said (amazingly yesterday 24/08/15 he would have turned 90)

Costing: ​​​​​​​​

Chicken Wings 1 kg​​​​​​​ –    £2.00

Chinese five-spice £1.65 for 58g (1.65/58g) x 5g​​​  – £0.14​​(Schwartz)

Ginger (£4.00/1000) x 20g – ​​​​​​£0.08

Garlic (30p/10cloves) x 4 clove s​​​​​-£0.12

Tomato ketchup (£0.35p / 460g)x 20g ​​​​- £0.02​​ (Basic)

Soy sauce (£0.95p /150 ml) x 15ml ​​​​​-£0.09​​ -(Basic)

1 tbsp runny honey (£1.00 /340g) x 20g ​​​​- £0.06 – ​​(Basic)

1 tbsp sesame seeds (£0.85/100g) x 15g​​​​ – £0.13

Hot chilli sauce (£2.00/285g) x 20g​​​​​ – £0.14​​ – (Encona)

Brown rice (£1.30 / 1000g) x 200g​​​​​- £0.26

Sunflower oil (£3.00 / 3000ML) x 15ml – ​​​​£0.02

Red chillies (£0.60/4) x 1​​​​​​ -£0.15

2 pak choi ​​​​​​​​- £1.30

Sesame oil (£1.60 /250ml) x 30ml ​​​​​ – £0.19

Egg (£0.70 /6) x 1 – ​​​​​​​£0.12​​ -(Basic)


​​​​​Total ​​​​£4.82

Per person: £4.82 / 4 ​ ​- £1.21

All prices are based on Sainsbury’s to make it easy to compare, where nothing is mentionned after the price, it will be Sainsbury’s normal brand. Basic = Sainsbury’s Basic brand. Or whatever brand it was calculated on

As my chicken wings were only £0.75p and the one chilli £0.05p and Pak Choi £1.00, my total cost came to. £3.62 total or £0.91 a person.

The original recipe for this dish can be found in Jamie Olivers book:

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