Concrete and play.

Piaget was a child psychologist. He was very much in vogue in the seventies when I was making my first abortive attempt at getting into school teaching. He advocated a set number of stages in child development. Roughly speaking they are sensory motor, intuitive concrete operations and formal reasoning; the final stage coming between the ages of ten and twelve.

Making the transition between the final two is very much the job of the year six teacher. Obviously we can delve deeper into this framework and find all sorts of variants and sub levels. For instance a late developer may feel that he or she is being left behind and………..Oh wait, if I’m going to go into all of this I may as well do a thesis and get a Phd.

No, the point I want to make is all about the concrete thing. Concrete operations; learning through hands on physical experiences. Counting with physical aids, calculating with multibase, creating stories through a sequence of pictures and other practical activities are at the core of primary learning.C4S-47oWcAQtwrE

So is concrete play.

We’ve all seen the Facebook posts which tell us that the children of the sixties/seventies played outside all day making dens and exploring derelict buildings. They played cowboys and indians or shot at each other with toy rifles and sticks.

This is a Johnny seven. The coolest ever street toy

They knew when to go home because it was getting dark and they could hear the sound of their name echoing around the streets as Mum called their names. Once, when I lived in Fazakerley, we followed a path from the bottom field. It went on for ages and came out on the East Lancashire Road.

Today’sEast Lancs Road. Not like the old days eh?

Then we walked nonchalantly along this busy highway, the main trunk between Liverpool and Manchester. We waved happily at the thundering lorries and the occasional coach packed with day trippers returning from wherever; Blackpool perhaps. It was a thrill to experience it first hand rather than through the windows of a bus. We arrived home exhausted and excited, telling our parents about the seven mile adventure. I was six years old. My mum expressed some concern about the East Lancs Road, advocating that future adventures could possibly avoid such desolate screaming highways. We did many such concrete adventures for many years.

One Summer holiday, our Street gang; Seacombe this time, decided to get a bus and visit Bidston Hill. For us it was urban countryside, visble from the streets that surrounded it. At dusk, I would marvel at the lonely silhouettes of the windmill and the observatory.

19601009476_a00876b107_b I elected to stay around and borrow my mate’s bike. Well I went over to Birkenhead actually and had my own escapdes, fleeing from the little scallies who wanted my bicycle pump; very much currency for that era. Coming back over the four bridges,

810f8fd6e13b2475cdf0356d5a57f872--the-four-liverpoolI learned that bicycles tend to flip over when they get caught in tram tracks. As I tumbled inelegantly to the cobbled fIoor I heard the sound of braking tyres as mororists tried not to embed their chrome bumbers into my skull. I was always falling off that damed bike! More concrete interaction than adventure. But my cuts and bruises would heal; no need for germoline and sticking plaster.

When did it all change? When did concrete play develop into virtual play? Home from school and straight onto the play station. Or straight onto the phone for fingery chat on social media:

“Mum, can I play out in the street?” Mum responds with a gasp before explainning about the dangers of the outside world. She ends up breathing into an organic brown paper bag.

What does your average seven to eleven year old do in the long holidays these days? Days out with mum? Holidays? Massive shopping centres? Fast food outlets? My guess would be that the above suggestions would be seen as relief from constant console therapy. The play stations and X boxes of the nation glow red with the virtual activities I did for real.

Why go outside to play games with your mates when there are universes to conquer and autos to grandly thieve? In 1974, I remember the first virtual game. It was ping pong in the Queens Arms pub.

hqdefaultSpace invaders came next preceding the massive explosion of arcade games and computer Pac Men. I was a frog hopper fan. Well it would last for about five minutes before the concrete urges returned.

Is the junior school playground now the only real stage for concrete play?


Are the streets, parks and town centres now reserved for pouting teenagers or the odd feral minikin? I specifically taught communication skills by dint of expressive language. I covered practical writing skills including advertising and presenting an argument. Is the meme and the smiley simply bundling it all out of the way?

Despite it all, I think Piaget still rules.

Thank you for reading.


The heart of the matter

By the time I publish this, I will have been to Pembury hospital for tests and scan stuff for a mysterious lump. I’ve just corrected lump for limp. There’s no mystery about my limp. One quite perceptive boy at school observed that I had one leg shorter than the other. I corrected him on this, thus being my first work place revelation of the bastard beast. In fact I no longer have a limp. I just can’t walk.

I have tried to hide my disability for so long but now I go everwhere in a wheelchair, the secret may be out. At least people don’t think I’m pissed any more. But I have spent the last ten years trying to describe my condition. Many responses allude to direct treatment for specific symptoms. This is not the beast however. Have you ever seen “The Exorcist”?

The-Exorcist-699635Well MS is on the exorcist road. Early in the film, there are references to the death of a priest’s mother. This is followed by the pathetic sight of Regan, lying alone in a treatment room as the barbarous scanning machine dances back and forth above her.

Towards the end of this disturbing film, we get an image of the demon itself.

though-not-named-in-the-film-the-demon-is-pazuzu-photo-u2That’s MS. The two priests had spent the majority of the film screaming at the beastly abomination. It was to no avail. This is also MS. I often burst into fits of Shakespearean pathos if I get as much as a snotty nose. I would willingly sit at my front door soliliquising about the injustice of life as the stressy motorists fly by.

“You bastards,” I shout as people look the other way.

Well, the snotty nose has developed into a lump on my left tit. According to the lovely Doctor Slattery, it’s a rare thing for men. But I know enough. I liked the way she respected my intelligence as we reasoned about the vagaries of chronic conditions. My body and my heart is now in a constant battle with the enemy.

Let me refer to another film: Terminator 2. That is also MS. The robot takes on various forms; all of them sinister. It’s ruthless.

At the risk of entering into some maudlin state of self pity I would like to remember what I used to do. There was Birkenhead and there was Chester.

Fountains_Roundabout_Chester2From Woodside to the fountains roundabout is just under sixteen miles. I used to cycle there and back just for fun. I once cycled to Penymynydd. No, I can’t say either without spraying my laptop with saliva. That’s twenty four miles and includes the Queensferry hill.

I used to meet a similar hill going to Yeadon from Leeds university. That particular term was a bit of a last hurrah. I was ignoring my illness, telling myself to battle on and get through it. But like Mahler’s eighth symphony, the finale went on for ever. Twelve months later, I cycled from Muswell Hill to Hitchin. After thirty miles I knew my cycling days were over.

It wasn’t long before I became affected by balance issues. The final swim was in Southgate pool. The last mountain was Snowdon; I made it as far as the upper lake.

It breaks my heart not being able to do this. The grand old lady has given me so much.

The last tennis match was in Broomhill Park. In 2000, I had to have an automatic car. And the last ski was a flipping yoghurt.

Now what do I mean by the title of this post? Well I’m deep into this condition. I feel as though I’m battling at its core. (Core blimey)

This morning I was picked up by patient transport and whisked off to the jungle. That’s my little pet name for the Tunbridge Wells hospital.

Maidstone Tunbridge 1_0And I was not disappointed. It teemed with wildlife. People sat poised in neat rows of chairs scouring the screen for their name. The wanderers were up and about circling like predatory owls. They were silent as their wide eyes gawped at every available sign. It was just like Euston Station. But no-one was smiling. In the background of silence was a sombre sincerity. No-one wanted to be there but people felt duty bound to attend their appointments.

I knew that some of them were going to part from that hospital with devastating news. I expected to be one of them. I’d been given an urgent appointment so it looked rather ominous. After some intrusive inspection, the consultant looked me in the eye:

“We’ll do a scan but I’m not expecting anything serious to show.”

A trickle of hope? Half an hour later the sister said the scan was clear. They took some blood and I was picked up by two hilarious young girls for a death ride back home.

I don’t want a repeat of the last few days. I may even sleep tonight.

Thank you for reading.

Seymour and Monica

At the age of 61, not far off 62, I can say that I’ve met a lot of characters who grace our world. I have met lots of people. Some were fantastic, some where treacherous, some were pathetic and some were worthy of respect. Recently I met Monica. The first visit was awesome. Monica arrieved with two daughters and a grand daughter who proceeded to make a huge fuss of Seymour. He loved it. Monica herself came with a list of questions and an element of excitement. She left in total love with Seymour. Who wouldn’t? The boy’s a total tart. He’s been such a good pal to me. But things move on and I need to move to a catless community. It’s no problem for me. I have always loved my cats but I am pragmatic. Seymour neeed to go to a loving home where he could luxuriate in the best of flattery and adoration. So far I’ve had a few “where’s the bloody cat” moments but I’m happy to know he’s in a good place. But I’m so pleased to have met Monica. As I said, I’ve met a lot of people but the absolute pleasure of meeting her has left me both up-lifted and enlightened. She is the same age as my dad (88) and has raised a beautiful talented family. She is proud of them. She is also full of amusing little annecdotes. I love her honesty and sincerity. Monica will be a brilliant servant to the boy and I’m now looking forward to visiting in the near future just to tickle his chin and stroke his tummy. I’m already learning about his curiosity but I feel honoured to know Monica. I feel the same, if not more about my dad. It’s a hell of an age.

Thank you for reading.

Lamb curry

Once more the intrepid kitchen adventurer sallies forth on his great quest for innovative creative culinary concoctions. Cue some appropriate music:

Can you believe that real musicians go into studios and record this. It must be a hoot; getting paid for drivel. But this post is not about politics or late night advertising channels. I’ve been trying to branch out from the more tradition socks blowing Friday night tradition of the drunken dunkin’ of naan breads into a fiery sea of grease filled madness. My favourite post Chelsea Reach destination was The Rani.

Oddly enough I’m using lamb. The enclosed photo does show little pools of cold fat. I don’t think it’s enough to worry about as it’s not a complete carapace of slimy grease. If you’re a purveyor of the fat means flavour mantra it’s fine but if you prefer, the delicate use of a small spoon could remove the more prominent layers of blatant guilt. It’ll disappear into the general unctuous mass when it heats up again anyway. Ever since the discovery of tamarind, the sour element has been a source of great fascination. It can come from a wide range of ingredients. There are some suggestions in the ingredients list. Whatever you use it will go well with the traditional heady spices. And then you can actually call the recipe your own. Please avoid the highly irritating phrase that starts with “this is my take on….” Now I’m trying not to think of Nigel Slater in one of his indignant “you don’t have to follow recipes” rants. To which I reply:

“Keep your hair on Mabel, Delia’s precision based sciences are a great starting point. Now get back to your market garden and stop referring to ‘your fishmonger’ I don’t have a bloody fishmonger. The nearest one is ten miles away on a street with double yellow lines. And as it’s by a bend in one of the town’s busiest roads it would be too dangerous to park there even with my blue badge.”

….and it’s on a slope with a tiny pavement. It’s wheelie impossible.

I’ve kept the method as simple as possible.


2 lamb neck fillets cut into rounds or 1lb of diced shoulder

1 onion roughly chopped

3 cloves of chopped garlic

A long thumbful of shredded ginger

Whatever chilli you feel like (I used mild because the actual flavour sings out without the robustious punch of a hottie.)

7 mangosteen berries-also called kokum (available from Asian grocers or online specialists. These can be substituted by a good teaspoonful of tamarind paste and lime juice. It’s the sour element so you can be creative here. Fresh mango is a possibility too.)

Teaspoons of ground coriander turmeric fenugreek powder cumin

Big squeeze of tomato puree

Tin of chopped tomatoes and a tinful of water. Seasoning.

Method. Fry the onions and meat for colour then put everything into a slow cooker or a heavy casserole dish and cook on low for at least six hours. When serving, fight off the advances of the ravenous family or friends with a large ladle. Make them sit down and wait.

Serve with rice or naan bread or chapatis. (Or any combination thereof.) I added some salt during cooking at a bit more at the end. If you like, sprinkle some garam masala over 20 minutes before the end. If you like it creamy, add 2 healthy tablespoons of thick Greek yogurt as well.

As a flourish before serving top with fresh coriander. Sit back and hear your diners gasp. article-2190173-1498C17D000005DC-406_634x335

Thank you for reading.

What are results?

Oh take me back to the old days. At around ten past five every Saturday I always made sure I was by a television set. It was usually outside a TV shop in Liscard with many other desperate souls watching the Grandstand tele-printer churn out the afternoon’s football results.

coldAnd that was it. Results were something you saw on a Saturday afternoon as the pale winter light was fading into the dark bleak evening on a wet day near the end of October. The weather had turned. The wind had developed a chill and you wouldlook forward to the warmth of the living room fire and the comfort of a weekend tea. By the time you were home, the characterless, toneless, Scottish drawl of a rotund Sam Leitch was summarising the day’s football.

Today we have the shouting men and woman (just the one) if you watch BT sport.

Phil Thompson showing a new level of constipation

Yes there is a second woman but she talks about the fantasy football aspects of stuff. BBC’s Final Score tends to be a more sedate affair if you can get past the incredulous sight of the ballooning Garth Crooks.

nintchdbpict000235596672They’re all ex-players; still slavishly following fashion and showing few signs of intellectual development. My point? These were concrete statistics. Burnley scored more goals than Newcastle so they won. That’s one hard indisputable fact. The implications of such an outcome are another thing.

What about results in education-especially junior education? It would appear that it’s all about SATs, rates of progress, percentages and comparisons. Is that the point of school? One mild sunny day in late April, the anxiety of a colleague burst through:

6800560133a4f34f86a4edab2a81cec1“What’s the answer? What have we got to do with those four children who’ll miss their targets? I’ve tried booster classes, extra homework, extra consultations and sessions with the educational psychologist.”

I could have responded with some wise words about a rift between parental and teacher expectations. Who has the bigger sway on pupl motivation and how it impacts on the child’s attitude to education in general. And that if I was missing art to have the same old same old beaten into my poor frazzled brain in a variety of cunning ways, I’d not actually give a toss. But I steered away from that course because, despite my vast experience and knowledge (I had significantly more classroom hours than any other member of staff), that view was not seen as acceptable; certainly not since the chief inspector had been at pains to point out the “brilliant” way he’d turned rouns a “failing” school on some sprawling estate.

Ah, the good old days

No he felt it his mission to bully anyone he interacted with into believing that he had the magic key. Did he? No! Education is not an institution with finite inputs and outcomes. The smallest of factors can have a huge impact on outcomes.

In education we can do general things. Imagine I’m the farmer and the teaching assistant is my raithful Border Collie. On some grey windswept hillside I would be working in tandem to corral those sheep into their pen. it would take its time. Hours of constant instructiion, cajolement and reward would be spent as the wind picked up and the rain began to lash our faces. Eventually they would all go in.

w1200_h678_fmaxThere would always be the last few stubborn buggers who needed that extra bit. And that’s it. Most of the herd played ball but there are always the rogues. We know sheep like to follow but what about the black sheep?

We cannot expect every child to hit their optimum in a silent hall, watched over by stern faced teachers on a particular day in May.

downloadThose small factors really count. Is the child worrying, rushing or freezing in their desperation to do their best? What was the last thing their parents said to them? Now this is what some, and it is only some, fail to understand. Parents are part of the team too. It’s not just one man and his dog. Parents need to be respected as a member. Like the children, parents are as diverse as the universe itself. I’ll avoid any reference to vacuums.

I remember the mother of three daughters. These girls were generous, polite down to earth young people. They had respect for everyone around the. The mum’s philosophy was simple but brilliant.

“Yeah, it’s a pain (sitting in that sterile hall) but don’t worry, you’ll be all right. The best thing I could follow that with was “unfortunately you’ll be examined a lot more in your next school. This is your first go. If you mess things up there’ll always be more chances.”

In fact I am a living breathing example of that second chance. I messed up my first degree; three years with nothing to show. I took my second chance with the Open University. It was long and difficult but I wasn’t going to blow it.

Now, back to my response to the rather anxious colleague:

“Well, I neither know nor care.” There was an outburst of muffled exasperation. “I go home knowing that I’ve done my best.” Oh dear, what a selfish I’m all right jack attitude to have. The thing is, if the well reasoned articulate answer I wanted to give was to be poo pooed because some crisp suited bully at OFSTED didn’t agree with it, I would take on the attitude of the poor child deprived of art because they found fractions confusing.

Here is a crisp suited bully. I hope that’s libellous

I continued:

“Yes I know there are people with big stcks hovering above us but the sticks aren’t real and the worst thing that can happen to me is being taken away from the western front to teach in another year group.”

This brings me to a little aside: For the majority of my teaching years, I’ve taught year six. But I had one year with a combine three and four class. I learnt so much that year in terms of delivery and relating knowledge. And we had a great time.

Since retirement the key stage two curriculum has changed.

If you follow the link, you will see how the qustions have the potential to be confusing. Do you think it’s a disgrace or are you in favour of such detail? I think it’s a disgrace.

Just imagine all the hours of tedium needed to even begin to understand the finer points of English grammar.

Schoolchildren bored in a classroom, during lesson.And I speak as a true lover of grammar and how tiny things can affect meaning and inference. But at key stage two? An understanding of basic sentence structure, pertinent use of punctuation and variety of form is enough to give children the tools to poduce work that is informative and engaging. I used to love taking my class on a magic carpet ride of words and the power of their meaning.

5ccc783375585b1895b5d6f98b1aceb2--personalized-books-magic-carpetOn reflection, I could have written an identical article covering maths. I probably will.

Signing out:

Stephen, teacher for 22 years; year 6 teacher for 18 of them.

Thank you for reading.


We may hear a lot about hipsters and the hipster lifestyle. The very word casts an endless array of nauseous irritating images of beardy weirdies eschewing mainstream trends for a much vaunted chic alternative to everything. They want to walk down the street imagining every passer-by admiring their cool original dress sense whilst puffing on their ostentatious Nepalese goat dung flavoured indigo vapour tubes.

I believe the term originates from the 1940s referring to young American jazz fans. The word jazz says it all for me. In the past I may well have been a hipster. I had unattended hair, old grey jackets, collarless shirts and those grand daddy type sleeveless sweaters. I drank in slightly off city-centre pubs, fogged by the constant smoking of rollies and battered old pipes rescued from the old drawer of a long forgotten relative. There was talk of workers’ rights and left-wing politics mixed with the free-flowing real ale of local or Burton based breweries. Yes it was the emergence of proper beer from the plastic gassy keg concoctions of my youth. It was the time of Marston’s Pedigree and the revival of Draft Bass.

I had a job that occupied the evenings, drifting around houses teaching the piano. I had holes in my jeans and designer stubble long before the gorgeous George Michael rocked it with his immaculately constructed eighties Buffon.

Parents would stifle yawns and feign interest in my esoteric ramblings about musical genres and obscure composers.

I had a group of musical hipster friends. We would gather in bars and flats to celebrate our love and knowledge of music and freedom. After all, none of us had a nine to five job. Financially I was always on the edge. Cars went untaxed and debts were either stalled or cleverly dodged. If we were to be pedantic we could argue that I was more of a Bohemian. Whatever; I was young.

Now, before I really start to eulogise about my past, thus spraying my spectacles various shades of pink, I have to remind myself that I was only ever a part-time hipster. All my life has been a double life. There was the musical life and the terraced working class football dedicated life. I was and stil am a huge Evertonian. How very un-hispter to follow the mainstream tribal rituals of the common football fan. I had friends who drank lager and talked of their day jobs. We got pissed on beer and terrorised lamp posts. We were loud and yobbish. Great times. To have experienced such contrasting lives gave me a unique learning curve. It was a real help when I eventually went mainstream.

What of the modern hipster? It’s something we all like to do; classify people types so we can rustle up some justified reason to sneer at them. In my view, compartmentalisation (I’ve waited years to get this word into one of my blogs) is fun. And that’s it! Dont take it seriously and don’t take me seriously. I believe the latter has always been an integral part of my image. Now this is where I use the following observations as an excuse for gentle fun. It’s not meant to be at anyone’s expense. People can be people.

The modern hipster is a social being. They may be social animals because they’re naturally friendly and convivial or they may just be after a cooing audience for their cutting edge alternative identity. Hence the Old Testament beard, the checked shirts, the old hats and the gourmet cookbook tucked under their arms. The women gather to discuss independent traders and the poor, unenlightened common housewife who can see no further than corporate retail. There are constant references to organic and “going vegan”. Himalayan knitted scarves and Patagonian bracelets are flicked and rattled as the conversation begins to deepen. There are big doses of sarcasm and any opportunity for irony will be hunted down like a dog.

Across the road to me is an electrical retailer (see recent blog Whitehill Waltz). But you won’t find hipsters in there. They sell modern convenient household goods, not coal-fired cooking ranges in ready blackened cast iron, tubs, washboards, dollies or those steam powered televisions. Besides, most of the staff nip outside in their breaks to have a quick fag.

“What?” shrieks the hipster in a flurry of quinoa and goji berry scented outraged breath. “Why are they not vaping?”

How does a hipster groom him or herself? Well blokes spend hours trimming beards to look elegantly shabby. There is frantic combing and back-combing from both genders. Neck chains, bangles, wooly hats and other things are placed just so for that crawled out of bed and went backwards through a hedge look. And this is before venturing out to face the head winds and cross winds on their electrified bicycles. Some may even have an old postman’s bike they found in their great uncle’s garage.

This is where I proclaim that we all know hipsters. Yes, they walk amongst us but we just accept their eccentricities, feigned or otherwise, as just the way they are.  These are genuine good eggs, going about their lives undaunted by the pressures of modern trends fuelled by modern in your face media. But be wary of the plastic ones good people. Be sure they are not turning you to their twisted over-priced ways. Ask youself:

“Does a vine tomato grown in the sterile environs of Thanet Earth have equal taste, or more importantly, status as that wrinkled weeping over ripe fruit purchased at a monstrous price from the funny little woman in the farmers’ market?”

And this brings me to the hipster kitchen. It’s a pot pouris of the old and the retro; sprialisers, stove top kettles, bone handled carving knives and hotch-potch of cutlery, all set off in the vintage tones of a kitchen they once imagined.

Do you really want to sample any of their foraged goods?

Do you trust their claims of “knowing fungi”?

That unglazed bowl next to the bottles of dandelion seed oil and chilli vinegar looks like a cross section of granny’s compost heap. So when they announce the creation of a wayside and foreshore salad, are you really keen to try it?

“No, don’t wash it Gloriana,” says Abs (short for Abraham; he was actually christened Andrew but that didn’t seem coolio to him) “it’ll take the flavour away. Use this soft mushroom brush to spend the next four hours gently brushing the rabbit droppings and crab poo from every leaf.”

Am I going too far? Perhaps. Are my judgements too ridiculous? Possibly. But hang on, I haven’t finished.

Where do hipsters go on holiday? What sort of hallowed places act as the backdrop to their ever-so casual looking selfies. According to The Guardian, hipsters can be spotted in the world’s coolest cities. Havanna, Adelaide, Jo’burg, Reykjavik Manilla, Mumbai (don’t ever call it Bombay) or Buenos Aries. They seek out centres of  rustic culture. Local markets are scoured for colourful yet tasteless artisan products honed from local yak milk cheese or the fur of the urine soaked sewer rat. There will always be a visit to a street corner bench where they can devour the genuine street food created by scrawny greasy aproned men standing over yellow pan of fiery muddy oil with a curved cylinder of precarious ash protruding from the endless cigarette planted in pale wrinkled lips. No outrage about vaping here. It just wouldn’t be authentic.

On return, suitcases would be crammed with all that is useless, to be paraded at their home-coming brunch celebration before being confined to the museum room; usually a box room overflowing with the spoils of previous adventures. The one exception is the new hat. Once chosen it remains glued like a cheap wig to the scruffy pate until the next holiday.

What if the hipster runs out of cool cities? Will it be two weeks in Cumbernauld, Milton Keynes, Motherwell or Boston (Lincolnshire; statistically the obese centre of England). Will deep fried mars bars be the new cauliflower cous cous? The mind boggles. Hopefully I’ve only offended those who deserve it. To whom I say “get a grip and look around you”.

Thank you for reading.

A less than authentic recipe

It’s so tempting to wax lyrical about the traditional Asian flavours, happily combining to make a real comfort dish to have anyone from the far east pining for their old grandma’s Sunday suppers. But I can’t do that because after recently discovering miso paste I’m hooked on its salty caramel like intensity. I thought of all the ingredients I would like to have together and just made it up. I’m not sure how it compares to ready made pastes or sauces but it’s probably cheaper in the long run if you intend to do it regularly. Is it more satisfying? You bet your sweet and sour bottom.

Eastern mish-mash:

Serves two.


12 oz or more rump steak sliced in strips across the grain

1tsp miso paste

big squirt of tomato puree

1 small onion sliced

1 thumb of ginger cut into long strips

2 cloves of chopped garlic

juice of 1 lime

1 tbs sesame oil

1 tbs white wine vinegar

1 chopped green chilli

1 green pepper sliced into thin strips

2 tbs sesame seeds

1 tbs honey

1 tbs soy sauce

Put everything in a bowl mix it all up and leave for at least one hour. Fry on a medium heat until the meat is tender. Serve in bowls over sticky rice with chopsticks whilst doing a smug head wiggle.

The beef can be substituted with chicken, pork or sliced field mushrooms for a vegetarian version. You can also use tubes of ginger and garlic puree; Tesco’s £1.10 under the fresh herbs and chilli powder to make it even easier.

Below is the chicken version.

A lovely pile of glossy gorgeousness


Thank you for reading