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Papaya and coconut ice cream, sago and sesame caramel
Serves 6

800g castor sugar
400ml water
400ml Kara brand coconut cream
300ml papaya puree
1 cup of sugar
2 lemons, juiced
4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 ripe papaya, de-seeded and peeled
handful rambutans or logan fruit, peeled
100g sago, cooked in boiling water

Place the first sugar and water into a medium sized pot and bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and set the syrup to cool.

In a separate bowl combine the coconut cream and half of the syrup. Add the remaining half of the syrup to the papaya puree. Whisk the coconut mixture to combine and pour the coconut ice cream into the ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.

Remove the coconut ice cream and place into a square container. Using the back of an ice cream scoop or spoon push 6 or more deep holes into the ice cream and pop into the freezer to firm up.

Pour the papaya mixture into the ice cream machine and churn until firm and scoopable. Pop balls of sorbet into the holes in the coconut ice cream, smooth over roughly and place back in the freezer to firm.

For the sesame caramel place a heavy based pot or deep frying pan over a moderate heat and sprinkle the cup of sugar evenly into the pot. Allow to sit until the sugar begins to melt around the edge and turn a light golden colour. Stir once or twice to draw the crystalline sugar into the melted sugar. Don't be tempted to stir too much but rather allow the heat to do all the hard work.

Your job is to stir to allow the sugar to let evenly and control the heat so it doesn't colour too quickly. When the sugar begins to foam a little and take on a dark almost reddish caramel colour, turn off the heat and carefully add the lemon juice. Allow the steam to evaporate and stir to thoroughly incorporate. Pour in the toasted sesame seeds, stir and set aside.

Cut the papaya into chunks and remove the seeds from the logon fruit or lychees. Pop a few pieces into a bowl, spoon in a little sago and then a generous spoon of sesame caramel. Lastly add a ball of coconut and papaya sorbet.


Fried crab with black bean

There are so many versions of this recipe but when in Hong Kong you will see crab everywhere, in the markets and restaurants, posters at the bus stops and on the sides of trams. Chinese hairy crabs, soft shell crabs, snow crabs, you name it they'll eat it.

Serves 2

3 blue swimmer crabs
4 tbsp peanut oil
2 large shallots, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and cut to a fine julienne
1 birds eye chili, sliced thinly
2 tbsp salted black beans, soaked in cold water
2 tbsp shoaxing rice wine
1 tbsp light soy
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp corn flour, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp sugar
pinch Szechuan pepper corns, ground
small handful of gai lan leaves (Chinese broccoli)
small handful water spinach leaves
2 spring onions thinly sliced
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame oil
coriander for dressing

Place a pot 1/4 full of water onto a high heat and bring to the boil, place a Chinese steamer basket snuggly on top.

Wash the crabs then remove the hard top shell, remove the dead mans fingers and split into quarters. Tap the larger claws/legs with the back of a knife to break the shell. Place into the steamer basket and steam for 4-5 minutes or until the shell has changed colour and the meat in the shell just cooked. Remove the crab pieces and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large wok over a medium heat for 2 minutes and add the peanut oil. Add the shallots and stir-fry gently until they soften, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute to release the flavours. Add two thirds of the ginger and chili stir-frying until fragrant and the aromatics have begun to colour . Then add the strained black beans. Add the shoaxing rice wine, soy and chicken stock. Bring to the boil quickly, stirring once or twice. Add a tablespoon of corn flour mixture, stirring as you do it to create a smooth shiny sauce. Taste sauce, then adjust seasonings by adding sugar and Szechuan pepper to taste.

Add the crab pieces and coat well in the sauce. Add gai lan, water spinach and spring onions and simmer for a further 30-60 seconds, tossing to combine and drizzle in the sesame oil. Remove from the heat.

Finally add the lightly beaten egg and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil. Turn off the heat and toss to combine.

To serve, arrange stir-fry in a shallow bowl ensuring to coat with any excess sauce and garnish with remaining spring onions, picked coriander leaves and ginger. Ensure you have fingerbowls at the ready.