Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Grilled Chicken Wings

I am getting quite sick of eating braised chiken wings. I don't feel like deep frying so I just grill them in the oven, more healthy.

I marinated the chicken wings with salt, pepper, sugar, rice wine and five spice powder.

Grill in a preheated oven at 200 degree c for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once. When cooked brush with heated honey and put back into the oven for another minute.

Hotdog Bun and Coffee Pudding Bun

Hotdog bun
Hotdog encased in elongated bread top with spring onion and salt.

Coffee pudding bun
Filling is coffee custard.

As I was decorating the bread in the kitchen, Big King passed by and said,'Wah, want to fight with fxx bread ah?'

Cheh, people just want to practice mah, so ugly how to fight, siao.......

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bargain Bodum Cups!

Bodum cups and saucers reduced from GBP25 to GBP6! Die, die, must buy!!!

Opening the box revealed 6 heavy duty glass cup and 6 individually wrapped stainless steel saucers. Very trendy look. The cup is nice to hold and handle does not get hot when you have boiling hot drink. Nice!

I cook my espresso (i like Lavazza rossa) in my trusted Bialetti percolator and serve it with warm milk and top with coffee ice cream!

Take a close up look at my favourite coffee creation!

Holding with both hands

This was taken at the start of August (4 month old) when I saw her uses both hands to hold stuff.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Mango Chicken and Sweet Corn & Carrot Soup

Deep fried chicken breast (butterflied) with mango kerabu poured over. A popular Chinese Wedding Banquet item in Brunei. It's so easy to make, cheh........

This soup requires no effort.......but delicious........Boil the water, throw in spare ribs and sweet corn and carrot and let simmer for half an hour. Can also add dried apricot kernel and peeled almond seed (南北杏) for more nutritional value.

Friday, August 26, 2005

义燒酥 Char Siew Pastry

I had some fillings leftover from my char siew pao so I decided to make another popular dim sum item 义燒酥 char siew pastry.

Take a peek inside the parcel

I used store bought ready-rolled puff pastry. I did not brush the top with egg wash, lazy beh.

Yum yum!

Stuffed Vegetables and Seaweed Soup

Stuffed aubergines and tau pok and seaweed soup

Stuffed aubergines and tau pok (deep fried bean curd) in black bean sauce

I stuff both with minced pork. You can also stuff other vegetables like bittergourd and chillies.

The stuffed vege were first steamed under a bed of chinese leaves. Cook black bean sauce and pour over vege.

Seaweed soup

Seaweed and egg in spare rib stock.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Beloved Brother

Taken at The Empire Hotel and Country Club December 2004

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Great British Food - Aromatic Crispy Duck

This I have to say is the only food I ever crave if I leave England. It's not exceptionally delicious or anything spectacular about it, it's just to my taste.

It used to be on my must order list whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant. But now, it's available EVERYWHERE. The taste and quality varies though, my favourite is the one from Sainsbury's, the taste is more authentic. Apart from the ubiquitous duck, inside the package you'll also find all the trimmings. It's so convenient and at a fraction of the price you pay at restaurant, fantastic!

Bake until crispy in the oven, about 30 to 45 minutes. Big King so kepoh (busybody) insist on taking this picture for me, ALL the shots were blur, this is the best one

Use 2 forks to tear the meat away from the bone. Too hot to handle with bare fingers.

Great British Food - Introduction

England is a foodie desert? No way!

The English may be guilty of soggy chips but the influx of immigrants has brought much variety into the gastronomic scene.

The world's best restaurant is in a small village here in England called 'The Fat Duck'. It's owner cum head chef is reputed to be the world's GREATEST cook, I couldn't agree more. If you haven't known, it's Heston Blumenthal, an alchemist chef, regarded highly by fellow peer the like of the legendary Roux brothers and Ferran Adria of 'El Buli' in Spain. He's been dubbed a genius and the future.

Among Heston's signature dish is snail porridge and white chocolate with caviar. He likes pairing unlikely tastes, grain mustard ice cream, anyone?

OK OK I have idolised him for a long time now if you haven't notice. But he's only recently been in the limelight when his restaurant was votest the world's Best Dining Room by Restaurant magazine. 14 of British restaurants managed to make it to the top 50 best restaurant in the world, how's that for a Foodie Desert?

Check out 'The Fat Duck', here.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Spaghetti Mentaiko

Spaghetti Mentaiko

This is my favourite spaghetti. It's also dead easy to prepare. Just cook the noodles and open the packet of sauce and toss. Garnish with the shredded seaweed that comes with the packet.

There are many brands on the market but I only manage to find just this one brand in Singapore. I heard S&B is best on the market. There are two individually packed sauce and seaweed inside this packet.

Homemade Lemon Curd

Recipe from Delia. I reduced the sugar and butter.

Big King said too sour but I lurveeeee.............

Spread it on cracker.................

I have used it to bake a light cheesecake.............

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Char Siew Pau 义燒包 and 生煎包 Pan Fried Pau

I made char siew again. This time using recipe from Renee of shiokadelicious! The recipe has been made very popular on the internet so I was very eager to try it out myself.

After heating up the sauce, it was with great anticipation that I tasted the sauce, hmmm, delicious, but not mind blowingly so, a tad disappointed. I somehow find the taste lacking in something..........Quickly scan through my memory, suddenly remembered an interview with local (UK) Chinese chef in a local publication, the chef mentioned about combining hoisin and ground yellow bean sauce for more flavour. So I throw in 1 tbsp of ground yellow bean sauce. Reheat the mixture and let the flavour macerate before I taste it again.

When I taste again, cor the flavour kind of explode in your head first then all over the delicious nerve sensors in your mouth, crying out this is it! The near perfect char siew sauce! Renee is a genius for coming up with her version of char siew sauce, I just tweaked here and there.

I adapted both the pau recipes from Sau.

Pau ready to be pan-fried.

Pan-Fried Pau ready in 10 minutes.

I pan-fried the pau on both sides except 4 of them to see which one taste nicer. The double-sided pan-fried win, 2 thumbs up. The pau is very soft and springy and stayed that way after being kept in the fridge for 2 days. I like eating them with shredded ginger in vinegar like you would with xiaolong.

Char Siew Pau ready in 9 minutes

The char siew pau had not come out soft as pillow because I forgot to let it rise after shaping them! But still tasty nonetheless!

Also cooked fried kway teow with the char siew.

Clean wok, only used 1 tbsp of oil!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

炸醬面 Noodles with Mincemeat Sauce and Stir-fried Asparagus with Salted Egg

This is so tasty, easy to make and 99% fat free!! It's like the Chinese version of the Italian ragu. Recipe adapted from Eupho Cafe.

Ingredients for meat sauce 炸醬:
Ground bean sauce 黃醬 (failing that miso) 6 tbsp
Sweet sauce 甜醬面 4 tbsp
Water 1 cup
Minced pork 400g
Cooking rice wine 2 tbsp
Cornstarch 1.5 tbsp
Minced ginger 2 tbsp
White part of spring onions 2 stalks
Spicy broad bean sauce 辣豆瓣醬 1~2 tbsp
Brown sugar 1 tbsp

1. Mix together ground bean sauce, sweet sauce and water, set aside.
2. Add wine and cornstarch to the minced pork, blend well. Cut the spring onions as finely as possible.
3.Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick saucepan and fry the minced pork until the colour turned to white. Add in ginger and spring onion, followed by sugar. Cook until sugar has dissolved and add in broad bean sauce. Stir until well blended.
4. Add 1 to 3 and continue to stir until mixture has thicken over a low flame.
5. Pour the meat sauce over noodles and serve it with cucumber strips or boiled greens on side.

I love asparagus! Yet another way to devour these.

I notice this is how they order it in HK traditional coffee shop 茶餐廳. Very refreshing, I love it!

Throw in a dessert just to complete the meal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Screwpine leaves (Pandan)

Obachan has mentioned she has not seen screwpine leaves before (photo below).

It is widely known as pandan and is used to flavour cakes, breads and even used in savoury dishes!

I have used it to flavour Chinese sweet soup.

Also used it in the famous Thai dish 'Pandan Chicken', recipe can be found at Kuali. I have trouble covering the chicken (I have minced the chicken) with the pandan leaves and gave up after 4 attempts (not counting those failed ones!).

Perhaps the most widely use for pandan leaves is in the making of Pandan Chiffon Cakes. I have little success with chiffon cake but planning to tackle it again soon.........Watch this space.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Okara Savoury Balls

The remaining okara after using it in my custard bun I have decided to make something savoury out of it.

I added plain flour, a pinch of 5 spice powder, grated carrot, salt, pepper, a little sugar and ⅓ tsp of bicarb to make the vegetarian balls lighter and fluffier. I never measure anything when cooking (not baking where it requires precision to the tee), it's all about experimenting with taste and texture.

Shape the mixture into balls and deep fry them. The balls were actually quite tasty not a wee bit grainy as I would expected. Big King said they tasted like potatoes.

Custard Bun

I was determined not to waste any of the nutritious okara (leftover residue from soymilk) so I googled for it's use in cooking/baking/beauty?
I have seen it incorporated into bread dough at May's (recipe is in Chinese), looks interesting so I adapted the recipe.

One of my favourite dim sum item is deep fried custard bun, it's been a long time since I came across a good one. The quality of custard varies greatly from restaurant to restaurant. I have not seen one in Brunei yet.
I adapted the recipe from Bonbon Kitchen (my favourite website hunt for great Hong Kong food recipes). What makes it different to creme patissierre is the addition of salted egg yolk in the Chinese version hence the sweet/savoury taste (very addictive).

Utterly delicious bun! I was very greedy with the filling, I almost did not manage to seal the bun! They came out gigantic! Even looking at the photo now makes my mouth saliva. Will continue my quest in searching for the best/perfect Chinese custard recipe.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Soy Milk

This is the second time I made soy milk. I used a mixture of yellow soya bean and black bean.

Big King said it tasted like the famous 'Yong He' soya milk from Taiwan. Gee not bad for second attempt.

Rabbit's way of making:-

1 cup yellow soya beans
½ cup black bean
2 screwpine leaves

1. Soak the beans for at least 8 hours, until they double in size. Change the water at least 2 times.
2. Discard the soaking water. Bring a pot of water to boil and add in the beans. Adding more water if it becomes too dry. Boil until beans are cooked. Discard the liquid.
3. When the beans are cooked, bring a fresh pot of water to boil (ratio of beans to liquid is 1:5).
4. As soon as the water boiled, blitz the beans with the hot water in batches(careful, it will splatter everywhere if you blitz too much at one time).
5. Pour 4 into a pot (do not strain for more concentrated flavour) and bring to boil quickly (this will prevent burning at the bottom). Lower the heat to simmering point and boil for at least 1 hour. Add in screwpine leaves.
6. Leave to cool before straining.

This is a lot of effort but the end result made it worthwhile.

Quick and Easy One Pot Chicken Rice

This dish can be whipped up in no time. Perfect when you are short of time.

Ingredients (serve 2):
1 cup rice, rinsed and set aside in rice pot
2 dried mushroom, reconstituted
2 chinese sausages (lap cheong), sliced thinly diagonally
1 chicken breast
2 drumsticks, deboned

1. Cut chicken meat into small cubes or strips and marinate with salt, pepper, rice wine and cornflour.
2. Heat pan, stir fry lap cheong on low heat until most fat has melted away. Discard the oil and chuck lap cheong into rice pot.
3. Heat wok until smoking and stir fry chicken and mushroom.
4. When chicken is half cooked, pour in 1 cup of water, light soy sauce, a little sugar and some salt to taste. (I never measure, just agak-agak) The liquid must be slightly saltier than normal. Bring liquid to boil. Turn off heat immediately and pour into the rice pot.
5. Cook as you normally cook your rice.

Shredded Chicken with Mung Bean Starch Sheet

Weather is hot here, time to enjoy salad dishes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fried Hokkien Mee

Fried hokkien mee

This is so tasty yet easy.

The sauce is just dark thick soya sauce and oyster sauce. Since I don't have thick soya sauce I used the ordinary dark soy. The sauce was a little soupy cos I didn't thicken it with cornflour. Lazy beh.

Yellow oil noodles or thick hokkien noodles if you can find
1 shallot
chicken cut into strips/seafood

1. Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper and sesame oil. If using seafood just marinate with a little oil and cooking rice wine.
2. Heat oil in wok (low flame) and fry shallot until crispy, remove and drain on kitchen towel. shallot will continue to colour. DO NOT burn the shallot, or else you'll end up having noodles in bitter sauce!
3. Turn up the heat to the highest setting and fry the chicken or seafood. Pour in a capful of cooking wine from the brim of the wok and swirl it round the wok (takes some skill) and let it drizzle down the sides of the wok. By the time it reaches the bottom all alcohol will have evaporated.
4. Remove the chicken and seafood and set aside.
5. Pour in soya sauce and oyster sauce (to taste) and add water, mixture must come half way upto the wok (I have a medium size wok and cooking for 2). Bring to boil.
6. Put in noodles and let it stew in the sauce. Tasting and checking the noodles are not overcooked all the time. When noodle has soaked up the flavour and cooked to the consistency you like, put in the chicken/seafood, let them simmer for another minute to let all flavours 'marry' each other.
7. Serve with sprinkling of shallots on top.

Enjoy! It's delicious! Cook it yourself, better than eating all those MSG in the restaurant!

Black Sesame Pudding

Black sesame pudding

Method is the same as my mango pudding, just skip the lemon juice and replace mango with grounded sesame. Do not ground until dust form, leave it a bit grainy for some texture.

I made a total of six so can stuff us for 3 days straight. Burp!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Jalan-jalan at Roundhay Park

Been wanting to visit this HUGE park nearby, only 5 minutes away by car. One fine day last week, Big King tucked big and small rabbit into the car and off we went to enjoy the RARE sunshine, yipee!

Chloe at lake tucked in one TINY corner in the park. We had experienced heat wave some time last month, a few teenagers went for a swim in the lake and drowned , spooky......

Another shot at the lake near the boathouse.

Mother duck and her duckings enjoying a dip in water. There were people camping and fishing?? by the lake.

Lots of children and parents at the playground area as it is summer holiday.