Salsa roja

There’s nothing like a traditional home-made Salsa roja, a classic Mexican salsa you’ll always find on the table in any Mexican house, any restaurant, any taquería, you name it. The degree of their spiciness varies depending on the type of chili that is added, and on the family recipe that was handed down for generations. It’s an absolute ‘must try’ in my opinion!

Super simple for a starter let’s go with a classic recipe! I may go for some more elaborate versions in the near future, after consulting with my queridos amigos 😉


  • 6 plum or heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeño peppers (1 if you prefer less spicy salsa)
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste



  1. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in quarters.
  2. Cook them with a bit of water in a pan or pot so they release their juice. Add just enough water so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or pot, not more.
  3. Now add the garlic cloves (unpeeled), the jalapeño peppers, and some salt and cook for about 5 minutes with the tomatoes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down a bit before fishing out the garlic cloves, removing their skin, and grounding the entire mix either classically in a mortar with a pestle, or more ‘modernised’ in a food processor or blender. I don’t have a mortar large enough to contain the quantity so always use a food processor to whizz it all up.
  5. Optional step: Strain the salsa through a sieve to remove any seeds or tomato skin, if you wish.
  6. Now you can mix in the finely chopped coriander and some more salt to taste, and serve this salsa either still warm, or chilled down after about 30-60 minutes in a fridge.

This salsa is fabulous with any veggie dish! On a toastie, a spoonful in a salad dressing, on rice, on a sandwich or in a sandwich wrap – the options to spice up your dishes is endless!

¡que aproveche! 🙂

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No fish sauce

Traditional to most Asian cuisines like the Thai or Vietnamese, we need a version of fish sauce that is fish-free to add umami to bring a depth of flavor and savoriness to the dish that is typical. Curious how to? Here’s an unexpected version that comes very close to the original.

No fish were harmed in the making of this No fish sauce!

INGREDIENTS – lightly flavoured  No fish sauce

  • 1/8 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp raw turbinado or muscovado sugar
  • 1/8 cup fresh or canned 100% pineapple juice
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
  • Add salt to taste


  1. Stir the water and sugar together in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Add the pineapple juice and light soy sauce and mix well.
  2. Allow at least 1 hour for the fermentation process to kick in. It can take up to 3-4 days , even when placed in the fridge. Ensure that you check regularly that there is not too much pressure building up in the glass/jar. Open regularly.
  3. Refrigerate in a glass container or place it in the freezer, which shall stop the fermentation process. 

I used this first, lighter flavoured version for the Black Rice Mango Orange & Peanuts Salad. Delightful!!

INGREDIENTS – deeper flavoured No fish sauce 

  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs Aminos
  • around 10gr or 4-5 whole dried shiitake mushrooms 
  • 3 large sheets of nori seaweed, shredded
  • around 6-7g or ¼ cup wakame seaweed or the same amount of kombu kelp or a combination of both
  • 1 shallot or small onion, roughy chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, smashed with skin
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp miso
  • ¾ tsp sea salt


  1. Put everything into a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer on low for 20 minutes to extract all of the flavors out of the ingredients.
  2. When done, you’ll want to clarify the liquid, as it will have become slightly cloudy. Pour all through a fine cheesecloth and let the liquid drip through. You can help it along by squeezing the solids gently in the cloth.
  3. After it is all drained, transfer your homemade No fish sauce to an airtight glass jar or bottle and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Because of the high salt content, it lasts in the fridge.

Gochujang sauce

Gochujang sauce


  • 3 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 3-5 Tbsp korean chili flakes or chili powder (if you don’t want to buy extra Korean chili flakes or chili powder, use the one you already have)
  • 2 tsp sweet organic miso paste (white)
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp rice flour
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or nutribullet. Start with 3 Tbsp chili flakes / powder. 
  2. Don’t forget to taste it, and adjust according to your prefererences. If you want more of a kick, increase the quantity of chili flakes / powder 😉 
  3. Whizz up until you get a smooth chili paste.

To change the consistency of your chili paste:
Want it “thinner”? You can add more water or some rice whine vinegar.
Want it “thicker”? Add a little more rice flour.

Gochujang is normally not used straight up but is used as a base to marinate, or to spice up stews and soups. It’s usually thinned with rice wine vinegar. You may want to try some in a vinaigrette?

I used it for my delicious Bibimbap.

Or how about a Gochujang Bloody Mary, anybody?

Gochujang Bloody Mary

It’s the spices of life that makes every day exciting!

Are you looking for any other spice mixes or sauces? Please leave us your request in the comments below.


Gingerbread spice

It’s the time of the year where making fresh gingerbread spice comes in very handy, as I’ll use it in many of my winter cakes and cookies. 

Let’s not waste our precious time and get to it!


  • A  35gr ground cinnamon 
  • B 2gr ground star aniseed (optional)
  • C 2gr ginger powder
  • D 1gr ground mace
  • E 1gr ground fennel seeds (optional)
  • F 2gr ground green cardamom
  • G 2gr ground coriander
  • H 1gr ground aniseed (optional)
  • K  9gr ground cloves
  • L  2gr ground allspice
  • M 1gr gound nutmeg

Preparation – it doesn’t get easier than that!

  1. Place all ingredients in a small glass jar. Screw on the lid and shake and mix well.
  2. DONE!

Punjabi Garam Masala

When it comes to cooking exotic dishes with fragrant herbs and spices I like to prepare the spice mixes from scratch. A freshly toasted and ground spice mix bursts in intensity of flavour, and is a blessing to every dish!

For my veganized Punjabi Dal Makhani, I need my Punjabi Garam Masala. Shall we?


  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
  • 3 bay leaves, broken up
  • 3 cinnamon sticks or cassia bark, broken up

Now the prep

  1. Toast all ingredients in a small pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes unil they’re golden and fragrant. Don’t overcook the ingredients or allow the mix to get brown as it can spoil the aroma of the finished spice mix. If in doubt, undercook. 
  2. Take the pan off the heat and allow the toasted ingredients to cool down before tansferring them into a grinder / spice blender. 
  3. Grind all cooled down ingredients in the grinder / spice blender. If necessary, turn off the grinder / blender every few seconds and check for remaining larger pieces, shake the mix, and continue grinding until you will have a fine powder. 
  4. Transfer into small glass container(s) with a tight fitting lid, and store in a dark cool place. It’s most aromatic within the first 3-4 weeks but will last longer if needed. 

Mixed Spice

Mixed Spice is the British twin of the famous pumpkin pie spice that is used in the United State. 

Mixed Spice a mix of fragrant sweet spices, and is also called ‘pudding spice’ because of it’s warm, spicy, and sweet faroma. It’s traditionally used in baking, adding a delicious flavour to cakes, biscuits and puddings. You can use it generously.


  • 1 Tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger

and store in a sealed jar away from daylight.