Delicious gluten-free recipes

Uncle Katsuyuki’s Japanese Fried Chicken [gluten free]

I love fried chicken, especially when it’s done right. My favourite is the Japanese twist on the dish, known as karaage. I’ve wanted to do this recipe on the blog for a while: the soy sauce marinade gives it a wonderful flavour, and it goes perfectly with a nice cold beer.

Gluten free karaage japanese fried chicken

Unfortunately, his version contains soy sauce, wheat flour and shaoxing wine, all containing gluten. I’ve adapted my recipe to be gluten free, and honestly? Not that much difference flavour. If anything, it tastes better. Being gluten free means you have to be creative with your ingredients, and it’s been fun discovering what works and what doesn’t. In this case, I substituted the flour for potato starch. Potato starch, known as katakuriko in Japanese, is what is usually used to coat karaage in Japan: just not in my family – until now! And once again, I can sing along to this classic by Ms. Peachez:


For a piece of my fingerlickin’ Japanese fried chicken, you’ll need:

Uncle Katsuyuki's Japanese Fried Chicken [gluten free]
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Serves: 4 portions
  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 3 tsp tamari (gluten free) soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sherry
  • 1tsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine, available at most supermarkets)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp potato starch (I used Encona)
  • kitchen roll
  • lemon to serve
  1. First, trim the thighs and discard any skin and excess fat, and cut into cubes.
  2. I would really recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe.
  3. It’s cheaper than breast meat, and almost always more moist and flavourful.
  4. Put the thighs in the bowl, and add the tamari, mirin and crushed garlic.
  5. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour – for extra flavour, leave it overnight.
  6. After the hour, remove the chicken from the fridge and set to one side.
  7. Heat up enough oil in the pan on a high temperature so the cubes will be at least half submerged.
  8. While the oil is heating, wipe off each piece of chicken lightly with some kitchen roll and dab dry. This ensures that the marinade doesn’t drip, and removes the crushed garlic.
  9. Pour the potato starch on the plate, and lightly roll each chicken piece until coated.
  10. Try putting a wooden spoon or chopsticks in the pan of oil: if it bubbles around it, it’s ready.
  11. Start frying the chicken until brown and crispy.
  12. Once the chicken has fried, pop the pieces on a plate covered in kitchen roll to catch the oil.

Encona potato stach gluten freePotato starch japanese fried chicken karaage blue platepotato starch japanese fried chicken karaage recipegluten free japanese fried chicken karaage recipejapanese fried chicken karaage gluten free recipe

Serve with a squeeze of lemon. Mr. A and I had it ours with some miso soup and rice, but they work perfectly as an appetizer too!

gluten free japanese fried chicken recipeestrella damm daura gluten free beer

And as for the cold beer? I’ve discovered Estrella Damm Daura gluten free beer – was expecting the worst, and was so very pleasantly surprised. No difference in taste, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to my version of Uncle Katsuyuki’s famous dish!

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Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies [gluten-free]

I’ve begun to experiment more with gluten-free baking, and with Japanese ingredients in particular, which I’ve found are usually low in gluten anyway. Kinako is a Japanese roasted soybean flour, frequently used in Japanese confectionery. I’d never used it for baking before, but as it’s gluten free I thought I’d have a go at a cookie recipe.

kinako flour (gluten-free)

Kinako has a nutty flavour, with the texture of icing sugar or flour. The taste is subtle, and reminiscent of maple syrup or peanut butter. Kinako, which means ‘yellow flour’ in Japanese can be made fairly easily: if you are lucky enough to have a thermomix, you simply blend roasted soybeans into a light powder. For those of us who don’t, you can get your hands on it here in the UK, and on Amazon in the US (here).

One of my favourite ways of eating kinako is ohagi, which is a Japanese dessert. I’m also a massive fan of mixing kinako with vanilla ice cream. For breakfast, my grandmother occasionally eats plain yogurt topped with kinako powder, dried blueberries and a brown sugar syrup. This was my inspiration for these cookies, and I think they turned out really well!

They have a soft, crumbly texture, similar to Russian teacakes. This recipe makes 12 cookies.

Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)

Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies [gluten-free]
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These kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies are a gluten-free tea-time treat, perfect with a cup of green tea.
Recipe type: Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: Dozen
  • 100g salted butter
  • 50g muscovado sugar
  • 5g sesame seeds
  • 25g dried blueberries
  • 130g kinako (roasted soybean) flour
  • 2tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 25g icing sugar
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees (celsius).
  2. Whip the butter and sugar until creamy, then fold the egg in gently.
  3. Add the kinako, baking powder, blueberries and sesame (saving some of the seeds for later).
  4. On a lined baking tray, separate the batter into balls, and top with the remaining sesame seeds.
  5. Pop the cookies into the oven for 15 minutes, until the sesame seeds have toasted.
  6. Place on a baking tray to cool, but be careful as they are very crumbly!
  7. Once the cookies have slightly cooled, top with icing sugar.
Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)Kinako cookies topped with sesame seeds (gluten-free)Kinako cookies (gluten-free)Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)

Serve with a cup of hojicha (roasted green tea), or a pot of English Breakfast!

Kinako, blueberry and sesame cookies (gluten-free)

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Fabulous fish tacos & Mexican grilled corn

There’s been a bit of a chill in the air these past few days, but I’m not ready to let summer go just yet. Here’s hoping that we get another bout of good weather, so you can cook up the perfect summer feast!

fish tacos

I absolutely love cod, and this fish taco recipe feels really indulgent. Luckily it’s full of lots of lovely things with all sorts of good fats in. For the fish tacos, you will need:


Fabulous fish tacos & Mexican grilled corn
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This recipe could be brilliant for a barbecue, as it involves making a delicious guacamole to fill the tortilla wrap. By grilling the fish with some lemon juice over the BBQ, I bet the results would be divine! Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on my side so I had to make do with kitchen stove.
Recipe type: Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 portions
  • A fillet of cod (per person)
  • Two avocados
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander
  • Lemon
  • Cup of plain flour
  • Two eggs
  • Pepper and chilli powder
  • Oil
  • Tortilla wrap
  • One onion
  • Fresh chillies
  • Cheese (I used parmesan)
  • Dollop of soured cream
  • Lettuce (chopped)
  1. To prepare the guacamole, chop the onion, cherry tomatoes and chillies (as many as you dare). Toss them lightly, and scoop out the contents of your avocado pears.
  2. I recommend chopping the avocados first into segments, and then into large, chunky cubes.
  3. Take a spoon, and stir the avocado into the mixture gently – don’t mash anything.
  4. Add the lemon juice, and set to one side, so the flavours develop.
  5. While your guacamole is getting tasty, start preparing the fish.
  6. Dip the fillet into a bowl of raw egg, and then onto a plate of flour, seasoned with pepper and chilli. Let the fish rest a minute, and heat up some oil in a frying pan.
  7. (If you want to be super healthy, skip the fish batter and bake the fish with a squirt of lemon juice).
  8. Once you’ve heated the oil, fry the fish until delicious and golden brown.
  9. Because we’re working with a flaky white fish, it might disintegrate a little but that’s okay!
  10. Make sure you get the crispy bits, and let the pieces drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
GuacamoleFish tacos

Now it’s time to build the beast! On a lightly heated tortilla wrap, spoon some of that guac, as well as some fish and line with lettuce, a dollop of soured cream and a small shaving of cheese. Spicy, fresh, delicious.

fish tacos

Accompanying my fish taco was another favourite – Mexican grilled corn. Again, this one would be perfect for a barbecue! The first time I had this in a restaurant I refused to eat anything else, it was that good. I hope I can do it justice….

For the spicy corn, you will need:

Corn on the cob

100ml soured cream

50ml mayonnaise

Chilli powder (to taste)


Parmesan (grated)


First, mix together the soured cream, mayo and chilli powder. Taste as you go, and be sparing with the chilli powder. I tend to go overboard with spice, and it was a bit too much for the others! Let the marinade develop, and pop the corn under a grill for 20 minutes, turning every five minutes or so, until each side has darkened a shade or two.Mexican corn marinadeMexican corn marinadeMexican corn

Once the corn is cooked, coat in the chilli marinade, and sprinkle some parmesan on top. Serve with a squeeze of lime, and a chilled glass of white wine or beer!

Mexican corn

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Simple Korean-style BBQ Recipe

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, usually made with fermented cabbage. I lived in Seoul from the age of 1 to 3, and so this deliciously spicy and sour dish has always been a staple in my family – our fridge is rarely without it. Kimchi is low in calories and full of fiber (a winning combination), and has the added bonus of being addictively delicious. The first time I made this meal for Mr. A, I woke up in the middle of night to find him raiding the fridge for the leftovers – it’s that good.


Despite having lived in South Korea, the only words that still remain with me (besides the first word I ever spoke, which was 고양이, the Korean word for ‘cat’) are off a menu. If you have never tried Korean food, you should – get yourself down to a restaurant and get yourself an order of kimchi, with pajeon (a Korean seafood pancake) and Bulgogi (Korean marinated beef). I’d recommend those dishes for a newbie – but definitely not for a first date, as Korean cuisine is very garlic-heavy!

As with all my recipes, this isn’t a strictly traditional recipe for Korean BBQ. In my family, we usually have this for Sunday lunch – it’s perfect for eating family style, and can get quite messy.

Simple Korean-style BBQ Recipe
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As with all my recipes, this isn’t a strictly traditional recipe for Korean BBQ. In my family, we usually have this for Sunday lunch – it’s perfect for eating family style, and can get quite messy.
Recipe type: BBQ
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: One Portion
  • Some steak, or good-quality beef
  • Sesame oil
  • Coarse salt (I use kosher salt)
  • Lettuce
  • Rice
  • Tongs
  • Frying pan and camp stove, or hot plate
  • Kimchi (one packet)
  • A lot of napkins
  1. You really can’t get more simple than this – prepare all the trimmings.
  2. Cook the rice, wash the lettuce, decant the kimchi into bowls.
  3. Put sesame oil in a small dish with a small heap of the coarse salt (around 5 tablespoons of oil).
  4. Once you are ready to eat, turn on the hob to a high heat and start frying the beef.
  5. There’s no need to oil the pan, and I recommend cutting the beef into small, bite-sized strips.
  6. Take a lettuce leaf, and fill with a small spoonful of rice and some kimchi.
  7. Once the beef has cooked, pop that in as well, and wrap it up into a deliciously crunchy bundle.
  8. Dip the parcel into the salty sesame oil, and enjoy the different textures and flavours.
Korean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQ

It’s fresh, but also feels indulgent – and is a fairly fuss free meal, too! Perfect for having friends round, as everyone can take part, and is a great for a dinner party, especially if the guests don’t all know each other.

Korean BBQServe with a nice red wine, or even some sake or soju!

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Cambodian Mango and Coconut Cupcakes

Despite the title, this recipe isn’t Cambodian – but it was inspired by my time in Cambodia, and contains Cambodian ingredients and flavours. The mango jam I used in this recipe is homemade, made by my stepmother who is currently living in Cambodia, and I’ve done a Khmer twist on the usual cupcake mixture by adding palm sugar instead of caster. I also made a coconut cream cheese icing, but I’m not sure if you can get good quality cream cheese out there – I definitely wouldn’t recommend these for a Cambodian garden party at any rate. But for our English summers I think they do quite nicely – I took them along to a barbecue last weekend and they went pretty quickly.

Palm sugar

Cambodian Mango and Coconut Cupcakes
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This recipe was inspired by the ingredients and flavours I encountered when I was in Cambodia - the palm sugar, mango and toasted coconut I found and fell in love with when I was over there.
Recipe type: Baking
Cuisine: Cambodian
Serves: Dozen
  • 250g butter
  • 250g palm sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 185g self raising flour
  • 60g plain flour
  • 185ml milk
  • 300g cream cheese
  • 60g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of dessicated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. For the cupcakes, whip the butter and sugar together until it has a light and fluffy consistency.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients – remember to sift! – and pour into the cases.
  4. I made 18 cupcakes by filling the cases ⅔ full.
  5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the cakes are golden brown.
  6. For the icing, whip the butter and cream cheese.
  7. Slowly work in the vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar until it has achieved the desired consistency. Place in the fridge.
  8. Once the cupcakes are done, place them on a cooling rack while you complete the topping.
  9. In a small saucepan or frying pan, add the palm sugar and dessicated coconut to toast it lightly.
  10. This step is one you have to keep an eye on – once the coconut has turned brown pop it into a bowl.
  11. Add a dollop of mango jam on top of every cupcake once they have cooled.
  12. With a piping bag, pipe the cream cheese frosting over each cupcake before sprinkling the coconut.
2014-06-07 13.43.58dessicated coconutmango jam

And there you have it – creamy, fruity and summery cupcakes, perfect for a garden party or a BBQ!

coconut mango cupcakescoconut mango cupcakescoconut mango cupcakes

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