Coconut oil has been a buzz word in food and health for a while now. It's good for your hair, teeth, skin, digestion, blood, brain, weight.... Just about everything really! I've been using coconut oil in my cooking for the last couple of years, but am quite selective about when and how I use it. I know lots of people who use it instead of oil or butter in nearly every recipe they make and claim that it doesn't alter the taste of food, but I personally do find it tastes of coconut (!!) so pick and choose what I use it in. Cakes and sweets - mostly yes, a fry up - definitely not. However it is great to use in Asian inspired dishes, and anything with a bit of savoury spice. Lucy came over for dinner on Monday and I wanted to cook us something light and healthy that was still super tasty, so I made a miso and chilli broth and then added chicken to poach, and as many vegetables as I could fit in there, having been vaguely inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Serves 2, with leftovers

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 finely chopped white onion
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tbsp hatcho miso paste
1 tsp sambal
2 tsp sriracha
Mixed rehydrated mushrooms (I got mine from France but you can use any dried mushrooms you like - morels, porcini, shiitake)
1 litre chicken stock (homemade if possible)
2 finely sliced skinless chicken breasts, or raw prawns would work well if you prefer
Half chopped savoy cabbage
Pack of finely sliced chestnut mushrooms
Pack of baby spinach
2 finely sliced spring onions
Pickles or kimchi to serve
Chilli oil to serve

Soak the dry mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes. 

Put the onion and coconut oil in a saucepan and fry over a medium heat for around five minutes, stirring to avoid the onion burning. Add the ginger, garlic, miso, sambal, sriracha, rehydrated mushrooms and their liquor and the chicken stock. Stir, cover and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, cabbage and mushrooms to the broth and cook for a further 3-5 minutes depending on how thin you've sliced your chicken.

Layer the bottom of each serving bowl with a handful of raw baby spinach leaves then spoon the broth, chicken and vegetables over the top. Finish with a sprinkling of spring onions, a drizzle of chilli oil and anything pickled you have to hand! Kimchi would be excellent, though I had pickled radishes in the fridge so used these. If you want to bulk it out then quinoa, wild rice or noodles would do the job, but it's delicious just as it is.


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