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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

My hubby had very kindly changed the tv channels subscription last month after seeing me so happily engrossed in watching the masterchef Australia. He subscribed for more cooking channels for me which he has now slowly started regretting doing so since it is at expense of not being able to watch his favorite sports channels at times.

I have learnt and gained more exposure by watching some of these cooking shows. And I have also tried cooking what I learnt from these shows. These are some that I came out with during the recent weeks.

1. Pizza – learnt from masterchef Australia

 

2. Fougasse – learnt from Laura Calder

My first time in bread making. Dear Zachary was very amazed by those holes in the bread and was using them to play ‘peek a boo’.

 

3. Chicken Stew With Fermented Soya Bean – learnt from chef Wan

My first time using the fermented soy bean paste which really adds lots of unique taste to peranakan dishes.

This is really a very aromatic dish. My only regret was not watching the pot diligently. The liquid which was a lot at start was reduced to quite minimal and hence not as much yummy sauce as I would like to have.

I have a colleague who only recently realized that she is actually a nyona. She has asked for this recipe from me and told me that she hopes to learn how to cook peranakan dishes. So, am attaching here the recipe to share with all.

Recipe from chef Wan:

Ingredients

1 kg / 2 pounds / 3 oz Chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces
3/4 cup / 6 fl oz Vegetable Oil
30 Shallots (Red Onion), well pounded
15 Garlic cloves, peeled and well pounded
1/4 cup / 1 oz fermented Soy Bean Paste (Taucu or Tao-cheo), pounded
2 Tbsp / 1 fl oz Light Soy Sauce (Salty Soy Sauce, Kicap Cair)
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce (Kicap Pekat)
2 cm / 1 inch Ginger, sliced
4 Cloves
2 Star Anise
10 dried Black Shitake Mushrooms, soaked in hot water until soft
3 Potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cups / 24 fl oz water
2 Red Chilies sliced
2 Green Chilies sliced
2 Tbsp / 1 fl oz sugar
1 tsp grounded Pepper
Coriander (Cilantro, Chinese Parsley or Ketumbar) for garnish

Method

Heat oil in casserole dish, sauté the Shallots, Garlic till fragrant.

Add in Star Anise, Cloves and Ginger, and mix them well.

Add in Chicken and mix them well.

Add in Dark Soy Sauce, Light Soy Sauce, and fermented Soy Bean Paste (Taucu or Tao-cheo).

Add in water, Mushrooms, Potatoes and Coriander Leaves; add sugar and pepper to taste.

Mix well and stew chicken for half an hour.

Add in Red and Green Chilies, sugar and pepper and once again bring to boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for a further 20-25 minutes or till Chicken is tender and gravy is thick.

Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve.

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Some recipes to share

I am so so behind in my posting lately. Lots of drafted posts but just no energy to log on when home especially so when I am chasing after the masterchef australia and desperate housewives serials. Plus my laptop battery is spoilt. Ok, no further excuses and please let me share with you some food I made the past month.

The first one is this sesame crusted salmon with honey soba. Found this recipe from a local food blogger. Check out her blog for all the wonderful recipes she shared. Her yam cheesecake was been featured on newspaper too.

I really love the cold honey soba. Sweet and tasty. Sesame crusted salmon was also a combination that I tried for the first time; not bad at all.

Recipe extracted from maameemoomoo blog:

Sesame Crusted Salmon with Cold Honey Soba
(serves 4 small eaters)
300g soba
1 tsp sea salt
3 – 4 x 150g salmon fillet with skin on
1 tbsp white sesame seed
1 tbsp black sesame seed

(A)
5 tbsp soy with dried bonito extract
3/4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tbsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp honey

To serve
fried nori, optional
wasabi, optional
nanami togarashi, optional

Method
1. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Drain, return to the saucepan with ingredient (A) and toss to coat.
2. Refrigerate noodles for at least an hour.
3. 15 minutes before meal, marinate salmon with sea salt for 10 minutes.
4. Place the sesame seeds on a tray and mix to combine. Press salmon, skin-side down, into the sesame seeds to coat.
5. Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium heat and cook the salmon, skin-side down for 3 minutes or so. Turn and cook for a further 2 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
6. Top noodles with fried nori, salmon and scallions.
7. Serve with wasabi and nanami togarashi immediately.

Note : if you dislike your noodles cold, just skip the refrigerating bit and you’ll have warm noodles with your salmon.

And the second recipe to share here is the osmanthus jelly. I have been in love with this dessert when I tried it in Hong Kong this time. So since I came back, I started finding out how to make it. It is a truly very refreshing dessert and has very nice osmanthus fragrance.

Recipe:
10g Konnyaku Jelly Powder (I used Red man brand)
210g sugar (per  instruction of the powder packet)
950ml Water (per  instruction of the powder packet)
2-3 teaspoons dried osmanthus flowers
Wolfberry (optional)
Steps:

  1. Add osmanthus flowers to water. Using medium heat, wait for it to boil.
  2. Combine 210g sugar and 10g Konnyaku Jelly powder in separate bowl. Leave aside.
  3. When water is boiling, switch to a lower heat and drain approximately half of the osmanthus flowers (Do not discard, leave aside).
  4. Add in blended sugar and jelly powder gradually into the water and stir constantly to prevent lumps.
  5. When the entire portion of blended sugar and jelly powder dissolved, keep stirring till water boils again.
  6. Remove from heat and add in the flowers (that was removed in step 3 earlier on) and stir for a while.
  7. Put some wolfberry at the base of jelly mould if you like. (remember to soak them in water for around 20 minutes before use).
  8. Pour the mixture into mould.
  9. Wait for it to cool down a little before transferring into fridge.

And lastly, Heng Hwa Bee Hoon. I got the recipe from ‘Food and Travel Magazine’ may 11 issue. The extremely thin bee hoon and dried seaweed shreds are bought from ‘Pu tien’. I really love this dish although standard of which is still far behind that of ‘Pu tien’. If you are cooking up this, be mindful how much liquid these bee hoon will soak up.

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Hi hi, like to share with you a recent dish that I cooked. This dish was inspired by one I ate at a vegan store at Beach Road. I loved the dressing on the green soba noodle they used. I thought I tasted peanut and miso when I ate it and so I researched via internet to learn about dressing that used miso and peanut. This recipe that I am sharing here comes very close to what I have tasted earlier. And I added chicken slices and green veg to go with the dressing and the buckwheat noodle. Yummy and healthy food. 🙂

Peanut miso dressing

2/3 cup chicken stock

2/3 cup peanut butter

3 tbsp miso

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp ginger

1tbsp garlic

pinch of white pepper

Place all ingredients in food blender and blend for about 1 minute to form a smooth dressing. Can store in fridge for about a week and can use it for salad dressing too.

Also, like share with you a mini bento box I prepared for Zachary during his school excursion to the zoo. This is a snack bento. You can get most of the stuff I used here from Daiso.

The Japanese really love doing  bento box for their kids but I guess in Singapore, bento making is not common and seriously, I doubt I can find time to make these for Zachary to bring school. But it is really rewarding to see his happy face when he received this bento box

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Kueh Kosui

 Recently,  i made another Malay Kueh, Kueh Kosui.

Love the Gula Melaka taste. I made this huge lot of kueh on the day of my mother-in-law’s birthday and they were almost all eaten up by her friends during the dinner. I am so glad that they enjoyed the kueh a lot.

Here’s the recipe. Have a try; they are really nice. I have searched and found several recipes and decided on this one adapted somewhere from internet but unfortunately, I have forgotten the link.

Ingredients:

(A)

50 g sugar + 3 tbsp water
500ml water
250 g Gula Melaka
1 tbsp santan powder
2 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces

(B)

100g tapioca flour
160g rice flour
20g glutinous rice flour
500ml water
1 tsp alkaline water

(C)

1/2 freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

1. Put sugar and water to caramelize. Add in the 500 ml water as soon as the sugar turned brown. (Be careful here as there would be splattering of the very hot liquid; I have experienced that; so try not to use too shallow a pot for obvious reason)

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients in (A ) and bring it to a boil to dissolve the gula melaka. . Strain for any lumps and leave aside to cool.

3. Mix everything in (B) together till a smooth batter is formed.

4. Add in the gula melaka syrup and cook over low heat till the batter is slightly thickened. (Make sure you must stir constantly)

5. Pour batter into mould and steam over boiling hot water for about 40 minutes (for the big bowl I used) and about 15 minutes (for the small chew kueh mould I used).

6. Cool the Kueh Kosui before you cut into pieces .

7. Coat them with the steamed coconut and serve.

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Jap Chae

Last weekend, we had home-cooked korean cuisine. The main course made was this Japchae. Very appetizing dish and I really love the texture of the Korean starch noodles (you can purchase them from the Korean supermarket).

This is an easy dish but it takes up quite a lot of time as you need to prepare and cook almost each ingredient separately before mixing them together.

And here’s the recipe:

Japchae  (Serves 4)

Ingredients:
250g Korean starch noodles
150g Minced pork meat
1 big bunch of Spinach

1 packet of ‘jin zhen gu’ mushroom
6 shitake mushroom

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 eggs

Seasoning:
2-3tbsp Soya Sauce
1tbsp Sesame Oil
1-2tbsp Sugar
1-2tbsp Roasted black sesame seeds

Method

  1. Blanch spinach and wash with cold water. Squeeze out the water and cut the spinach into 2 inches length and mix it with 1/2 tbsp soya sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil.
  2. Fry onion slices (cut into thin slices) till soft.
  3. Fry egg and cut into thin strips
  4. Fry chopped garlic, mushroom and mince meat together with some a pinch of salt and ½ tsp pepper. I used truffle oil to fry for this one.
  5. Boil the noodle for about 3 min till soft. Drain. (No cold water washing)
  6. Add the seasonings into noodle and mix quickly.

Mix in all other ingredients cooked.

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Happy valentine

Happy Valentine day to all of u here.

Would like to share with you here the Valentine Day present I made for my hubby this year.

I have finally dug out my long-bought printer tray for this project. Also, I have used mainly Prima products for this. I am truly captivated by the huge range and variety of the new Prima CHA releases especially the vintage trinkets.

I bought the chain and flower base plate and notions from local jewellery findings shop and then happily attached the trinkets and the new range of Prima flowers and also the photo mat with the beautiful dollies packaging backing from Prima.

Have distressed the tray with brown stazon for a vintagy look and go round the borders with lace.

A simple project that took me just 4 hours but I am so glad with the results because I really love all the trinkets especially the heart padlock and birdcage. Talking about birdcage, my hubby asked me why the obsession with birdcages (as he saw most of my projects carry them like a trademark). 😛

I am hoping to find some time to make a key charm, bracelet and necklace with these beautiful trinkets and flowers. Haha, time to dig out all my jewellery stash in the storeroom.

Other than this present, I made him the pig trotters bee hoon for lunch yesterday which is something that we both like. My first time making it. Thought it was little too salty.

Recipe from buttermoon blog:

Fried Bee Hoon with Canned Pig Trotters

Ingredients (serves 4)

200g Bee hoon or rice vermicelli (soaked in cold water)
1 can Braised pig trotters (chilled)
Half a Cabbage (cut into thin strips)
3 cloves Shallots (chopped)
3 cloves Garlic (chopped)
1.5 cups Water
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Salt

Preparation

    1. Soak bee hoon in cold water till it turns from translucent to opaque white.
    2. Chill the entire can of braised pig trotters. Let the layer of oil in the sauce harden and turn white. Remove the hardened oil. Remove the bones of the pig trotters. Place the meat and the sauce in different bowls. (I skipped the step of removing the oil; sinful me :P)3. Mix pig trotter sauce, water, oyster sauce, soy sauce and salt in a bowl.

Method

  •  
    1. Fry shallots and garlic till light golden brown.
    2. Add de-boned braised pig trotters and fry with the shallots to draw out the fragrance from the pork.
    3. Add cabbage, bee hoon and water-oyster sauce mixture and turn down fire to let it simmer. Allow bee hoon to absorb the liquids (takes about 5 minutes).

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CNY Goodies Part 2

And during the few days of the New Year, I made some New Year dishes. On the first day, I made the Japanese New Year dish which is basically a chicken stew. Usually, the Japanese will use Konnyaku, lotus,bamboo shoots but I have none of these at home. So, I used carrot, potato and shitake mushrooms. The sauce was made of mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

And on second day, I made dan dan mian for lunch. I love the sauce which has rice vinegar and home made chilli oil in it.

And then on the third day, I made this cabbage with mushroom and ‘fa cai’. I invented the recipe for this one. I love the gingerly taste of the cabbage and the oyster sauce taste for the mushroom and fa cai.

Here’s the recipe:

  •  
    1. Blanch the cabbage slightly to soften it a little.
    2. Fry ginger slices and garlic with oil and later add around 200ml chicken stock, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp sugar.
    3. When boil, add cabbage and simmer for around 1 minute.
    4. Take out the cabbage and add shitake mushroom and fa cai to the remaining stock.
    5. Add 1 tbsp oyster sauce mix with 2 tbsp water and fry the mushroom. Add some cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken the sauce.

And on the fourth day, I made the mango sticky rice to bring over to my friend’s house. I am glad that they like the rice.

Am really happy to meet up with friends and some of the relatives during this festive season and also to be able to find some time to cook for my family and friends during these few days amidst these new year visits.

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