Aninka “Jovi” Zigal
Creator, Earth Fawn
Everyone should try experimenting with fusion cuisine! Combining elements from different traditional cuisines can make food extra special—and with cultural diversity being every bit as exciting in cooking as in other aspects of life, I find it incredibly satisfying to experiment with different ingredients and flavors in the kitchen. Ginger is particularly underused. It can be included in so many different ways to lift a dish to a whole new level. That and wild mushrooms, plus cinnamon in savory dishes—and never underestimate a dose of fresh cracked black pepper! My biggest food secret is learning how to prepare, marinate and cook tofu properly. If you can look at tofu like a blank slate—a carrier of flavor, if you will—the possibilities are endless. Tofu is my blank canvas, where I can paint whatever I wish. Discover hedgehog mushrooms. I had the pleasure of trying them for the first time during a recent trip overseas. They were deep-fried and delicious. The texture was new and quite sensational. They were absolutely incredible, and I can't wait to experiment with them in the future.
Baked Middle-Eastern Sweet Potato
2 sweet potatoes
1 tin chickpeas
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cucumber, diced
1 cup parsley
Salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder
Black sesame seeds
½ lime, for garnish
¼ cup tahini
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup water (or more if you prefer a thinner sauce)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place both sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. When slightly softened, take them out and slice them in half. Pop them back in the oven for another 30-40 minutes or until cooked. While baking, rinse your chickpeas and mix with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and put in oven underneath the sweet potato. Bake for 40 minutes or until they have crisped up. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Slice cherry tomatoes in half, dice cucumber and pluck parsley for your garnishes. When everything is ready, assemble your dish. Fluff the centers of your sweet potatoes and place on the plate. Drizzle sauce over them, toss your chickpeas around and add your garnishes of cucumber, tomato, parsley, half lime and black sesame seeds to finish.
A Russian-blooded Hong Kong native currently residing in the Australian subtropics, Aninka concocts dinner-style fusion dishes influenced by her Asian upbringing. Earth Fawn was born a few years ago as she started becoming more aware of the unethical treatment of animals and her passion for veganism first began.