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For many years now I read the weekly column of Mark Bittman “The Minimalist” in the New York Times. It was there that I saw the recipe for ginger fried rice, which was originally conceived by chef Jean-George Vongerichten.

It is a simple, very tasty, very nutritious and low cost dish. It is called fried rice but the technique is much easier and less time consuming than the original chinese fried rice.


Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 cup thinly sliced leek

2 cups cooked rice (BASMATI or JASMINE)

2 large eggs

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soy sauce


Fry the minced garlic and ginger carefully until they become golden crisp and keep aside.

In a wok or a deep pan fry the leeks until they soften and then add the cooked rice mixing well the two ingredients.

Seperately fry 2 eggs sunny side up .

You are ready: put  on  the bottom the rice and on top the fried egg and fried ginger and garlic, drizzle with sesame oil and soya sauce and serve!

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I am a huge fan of this kind of food, but i enjoy it better when I make the burger buns, the mayonnaise, the ketchup and of course the burgers myself.

For the burgers I use a mixture of minced beef sirloin steak and beef flank in equal quantities.

In the burger mixture I add some sautéed onions, pepper, coriander and cumin powder.

I don’t add salt because I want the burger to retain its meaty texture.

Each individual portion weighs approximately 200 gr and it has a round and flat shape and a slightly larger diameter than the burger bun (when the burger is cooked it shrinks by about 20-30%).

I cook the burger in a flat pipping hot cast iron pan, on a layer of  thick salt. The time of cooking depends on the thickness of the burger and on the way we enjoy eating the burger (medium, rare ! etc).

In my opinion the quality of the burger bun is an essential element of this dish, in addition to the other things (lettuce, tomato, pickled cucumber etc) that we use  to serve it with .

Therefore, I will give you the recipe of the burger buns which are very easy to make and far more healthy than the ones that we buy at the supermarket.



(for 8-10 buns of approximately 90 gr  each before cooking)

500 gr strong (bread ) flour

50 gr butter (not very cold)

3 gr sugar

3 gr salt

1 egg

20 gr fresh yeast

200 gr tepid water

sesame for garnish

1 egg for brushing before putting the buns in the oven


Dissolve the yeast in the water together with the sugar.

In another container mix the flour and the salt.

Then mix all the above with the rest of the ingredients and knead the dough untill you have a nice, silky dough that doesn’t stick.

Make small balls of 90 gr each, give them a flat shape and put them in a baking sheet lined with bakeproof  parchment paper.

Let them double in size, brush with the beaten egg add sesame and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for appr 30 minutes untill done.


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Thessaloniki is my hometown, and koulouri, a small sesame seed-covered ring bread, one of its famous delicacies. The smell of a fresh baked koulouri brings back a lot of memories of when I was little and used to dip it in milk or later, during my University years, when I used to wait for the first koulouri to come out of the bakery oven in the early morning after a long night out.  It is  a street food that you can eat either for breakfast or as an all day-long snack.

It is made from a yeast dough and is covered with sesame seeds before it is baked and you can eat it as it is or with cheese. I personally like to make very tasty croutons with it to accompany soups or salads.


(Υields 4 sesame rings 60 gr each)


120 gr strong flour

30 gr high-gluten flour

6 gr margarine

3 gr salt

9 gr sugar

5 gr fresh yeast

appr 90-100 gr tepid water


Mix all the ingredients to make a dough. Be carefull so that the salt doesn’t come in contact with the yeast.

Knead  the dough for 5 minutes.

If you use a standing mixer choose the hook to knead the dough. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place untill it doubles in size.

In the meantime, dillute 50 gr of sugar in 500 ml water.

When the dough is doubled in size make 4 balls  (of app. 60 gr each) and roll each one into thin sausage-like shapes, about 40 cm long.

Dip them in the sugar-water mixture and roll them in sesame seeds before pressing the two ends firmly together into a ring. Preheat the oven to 230 C, lay the sesame rings on a baking sheet topped with greaseproof paper and bake for 15 minutes until done.

Sesame seed-covered bread rings are delicious warm as well as cold.