When you regularly read someone else’s blog, you begin to feel like you know that person. Isabella King’s Coriander Queen blog was one which I followed avidly, struck by the charm of her writing and beauty of her profile picture, not to mention the delicious sounding recipes, illustrated with tempting photographs.
I was lucky enough to become Facebook friends with her, and we were both part of a food blogging community who chat daily about our blogs, but also our lives outside of blogging. Although she was fighting cancer, it never defined her in our group, and instead she shared photos with us from her wedding, and asked for recommendations for places to visit on her honeymoon and holidays, and shared her expertise on a variety of subjects. We chatted about working with brands, what recipes she was developing, and we all enjoyed her virtual company.
So it was with incredible sadness that we found out Isabella had recently died of cancer at only 29 years old. Our group feels her loss, and so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Isabella’s family and friends.
As a group we wanted to do something in memory of Isabella, and as well as donating to the fundraising page her friends have set up to raise money for Cancer Research UK, we all agreed to recreate and share a recipe of hers – going live at 11am on Sunday 23 April, the month which would have seen her reach her 30th birthday.
I chose her chicken ramen recipe – a comforting hug in a bowl (Isabella said she was comforted by noodles during her cancer treatment in 2015), perfumed with the pungent herb which the Coriander Queen named herself for. The original recipe is here, and I urge you to visit the Coriander Queen blog to read Isabella’s beautiful prose and see why I and so many others were such fans. I adapted the recipe just a little to increase the portions as we had some friends over for dinner when I made this, and used some veggies which were already in the fridge, but it’s essentially the same recipe as her original.
At the bottom of this post are recipes which have been recreated by the rest of our group – I hope that for Isabella’s friends and family this little space of the internet gives an indication of how well regarded and admired she was amongst us.
RIP Isabella, the Coriander Queen.
Coriander Queen’s chicken ramen – serves 4
- For the stock: 8 chicken drumsticks, 1 carrot, 1 leek, 1 onion, 1tsp lazy garlic, 1tsp lazy ginger, stalks from a bunch of coriander, 1 chicken stock cube, 1/4tsp chilli flake
- For the glazed chicken: 2 chicken breasts, 1tbsp tom yum paste, 1tsp lazy garlic, 1tbsp soy sauce
- To serve: 2 packs noodles (ramen, udon or whatever you have to hand!), handful spinach, 1 red pepper, handful sweet corn kernels, handful of frozen edamame beans, 5 spring onions, bunch of coriander leaves
Firstly prepare the stock by putting all of the ingredients in a pan full of water (about 1 litre) bringing to the boil and simmering for 30-40 minutes. Skim any scum off the top of the stock, then strain it into a bowl. Reserve the chicken drumsticks and when they are cool enough to handle, strip the meat off and add to the stock. Prepare your noodles according to the cooking instructions and add them to the stock (I used ready cooked udon noodles so just added them straight to the stock from the packet).
Whilst the stock is simmering, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare the chicken by mixing the tom yum paste with the garlic and soy sauce and spreading it over the chicken breasts, which should be placed in a shallow baking tray. Bake the chicken breasts in the oven for 25 minutes.
When the chicken is ready, add the red pepper, spinach and sweet corn to the broth and heat through for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls, making sure the noodles and chicken drumstick meat is shared out evenly. Top with some sliced chicken breast and sprinkle with plenty of coriander. Serve with dimsum for a more substantial meal.
Read some more of Isabella’s recipes recreated by fellow food bloggers below:
Easy 5 ingredient pesto tomato tart on Amuse Your Bouche (vegetarian)
Globe artichoke with balsamic dip on Natural Kitchen Adventures (vegan)
Cider, apple and sausage casserole on Farmersgirl Kitchen
Chocolate orange oat bars on Veggie Desserts (vegan)
Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies on Tin and Thyme (vegetarian)
Arancini (risotto balls) on Coffee & Vanilla (vegetarian)
Rich coffee cupcakes on BakingQueen74 (vegetarian)
Gingerbread cupcakes with orange buttercream on The Veg Space (vegan)
Marmalade and ginger loaf cake on The Crafty Larder (vegetarian)
Ginger and oat cookies on Kavey Eats (vegetarian)
Amatriciana pasta on Kitchen Sanctuary
Treacle tart on Patisserie Makes Perfect (vegetarian)
Crispy fried halloumi on Supper In The Suburbs (vegetarian)
Chocolate fridge cake on Jo’s Kitchen (vegetarian)
Chocolate almond butter cookies on Rough Measures (vegetarian)
Eggless chocolate chip cookies on Simply Sensational Food (vegetarian)
Boozy decadent hot chocolate on Fab Food 4 All (vegetarian)
Easy no bake blackberry cheesecakes on Casa Costello (vegetarian)
Best coriander / cilantro recipes on Fuss Free Flavours (some vegetarian)
Easy gingerbread popcorn snack on Celery & Cupcakes (vegetarian)
Elderflower and vodka cocktail slush on The Hedgecombers (vegetarian)
Fruit flapjacks on The Petite Cook (vegan)
Roasted spiced pumpkin seeds on Hungry Healthy Happy (vegan)
Lemon drizzle loaf cake on Penne For Your Thoughts (vegetarian)
Stuffed Nutella cookies on Munchies And Munchkins (vegetarian)