Tuesday, January 30, 2007

California Roll

I have not make sushi for a long time. We went to Jin Tai Fung for Xiao Long Bao on Sunday so I took the chance to go (super-market) shopping for sushi making ingredients. It's sushi for dinner yesterday!

  • Rice mixed with Japanese sushi vinegar
  • Japanese Cucumber, cut in strips - length wise
  • Tobiko
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Nori
  • Prepared Radish, cut in strips - length wise
  • Japanese mayonnaise
  • Crab stick, cut in strips – length wise

How to do it:
  1. Scoop cooked rice into a bowl.
  2. Wait for the rice to cool before adding the vinegar.
  3. Fold in the vinegar. Do not smash the grain.
  4. Use a damp cloth to cover when not in use.
  5. Wrap your bamboo mat with clipwrap.
  6. Lay rice over the mat.
  7. Place a piece of nori on top of the rice.
  8. Place on the nori, cucumber, radish, crabstick, avocado and mayonnaise.
  9. Now start to roll. Squeeze slightly as you roll.
  10. When the roll is formed, spread some tobiko on the side on the mat.
  11. Now gently roll to let the tobiko ‘stick’ to it.
  12. Cut the roll into equally pieces.
  13. Serve.

California Temaki

  • Rice mixed with Japanese sushi vinegar
  • Nori
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Tobiko
  • Japanese mayonnaise
  • Japanese Cucumber, cut in thin strips - length wise
  • Crab stick, cut in strips – length wise

How to do it: 
  1. Cut the nori in to half.
  2. Put nori on your palm.
  3. Spread half of the nori with rice.
  4. Place cucumber, crabtick, avocado and mayonnaise diagonally on the rice.
  5. Now close in your fingers to let the nori fold in together (ie, joining 2 side of the rice together.
  6. Now roll in the rest of the nori so it looks like a cone.
  7. You can use a grain to ‘stick’ the nori to the cone.
  8. Sprinkle some tobiko on top.
  9. Serve.

    Assorted Sushi

    • Rice mixed with Japanese sushi vinegar
    • Nori
    • Tobiko
    • Japanese Cucumber, cut in strips - length wise
    • Prepared Radish, cut in strips - length wise
    • Crab stick, cut in strips – length wise
    • Prepared Dried Gourd

    How to do Tobiko Gungan Nigiri (top left):
    1. Grab a palm full of rice in your hand,
    2. Squeeze it to a rectanglar shape.
    3. Cut a piece of nori which in slightly higher than the rice ball.
    4. Wrap the nori around the rice ball.
    5. Scoop some Tobiko on the rice.
    6. Serve.

    How to do Crabstick Nigiri Sushi (top right):
    1. Grab a palm full of rice in your hand.
    2. Squeeze it to a rectanglar shape.
    3. Place a piece of crabstick on the rice ball.
    4. Cut a thin piece of nori.
    5. Wrap over the crabstick and rice ball.
    6. Serve.

    How to do Assorted Maki (bottom):
    1. Place a piece of nori the bamboo mat.
    2. Spread rice on 2 third of the nori.
    3. Place either cucumber, prepared radish, crabstick, or prepared dried gourd
    4. *You can also put all the ingredients together. Then it will become Futo Maki.
    5. Now start to roll. Squeeze slightly as you roll.
    6. Cut the roll into equally pieces
    7. Serve.

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Soft-shell Clams in Spicy Tomato Sauce

    I love to eat cockles, clams, mussels, etc. I only cook them once a while because my family doesn’t really enjoy it. I have been having this craving for soft-shell clams lately. Every time I pass by this stall (the only stall) in the wet market selling clams, I would quickly walk pass it to stop myself for having a second look. Last Friday, I couldn’t resist the temptation and bought home 1 kg. We had it as supper.

    • Soft-shell clams, soaked in salted water for them to ‘split out’ the sand and brushed to clean the dirt on the shells
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • 3 tablespoon tomato sauce
    • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce (I use Hommaid Brand - Nyonya Crispy Prawn Chilli Sauce)
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
    • 1 egg
    • Salt for tasting
    • Oil for frying
    • Corn flour with water (thickener)

    How to do it:
    1. In a pot, stir-fry garlic in oil till fragrant.
    2. Add in the clams and stir fry till the shells open.
    3. Add in tomato, tomato sauce, chilli sauce and cooking wine.
    4. Let it simmer for about 7 minutes or till the clams are cooked.
    5. Add salt for tasting.
    6. Slowly stir-in the corn flour mixture.
    7. Now stir-in the beaten egg.
    8. Serve.

    You might like to add more chilli if you are using sweet chilli sauce like Maggi Brand. I didn’t add water because you will get quite a bit of sauce when you stir-fry the clams. So water isn’t necessary.

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Kuih Dadar

    I didn’t want to waste the pandan juice I had, so I made some Kueh Dadar as snack.

    • 100g Plain flour, shifted
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon Pandan juice
    • 150ml Water
    • Gula melaka (plam sugar)
    • Grated coconut
    • Salt
    • Pandan juice

    How to do it:
    1. Boil gula melaka with water till it melt.
    2. Add in the grated coconut with a pinch of salt.
    3. Cook till the mixture is fairly dry.
    4. Set aside to cool.
    5. Mix flour, water, egg, pandan juice and a pinch of salt till you get a smooth batter.
    6. Using a non-stick pan, pour in some batter.
    7. Let the batter spread into a thin pancake.
    8. Turn it over and remove when both sides are cooked.
    9. Remove and set aside to cool.
    10. Put some coconut on the pancake.
    11. Roll up like a spring roll.
    12. Serve.
    You can use green food colouring instead of pandan juice. I would encourage you to use pandan juice because it will look and taste better

    Tri-colour Roll

    My friend told me this recipe she made for her kids. Her was just dual colour. I add in ham to make it a tri colour. Hehehe! Seriously, I doubt my son will eat it without ham. I don’t want to waste my effort.
    • 100g Plain flour, shifted
    • 2 eggs
    • 150ml Water
    • Ham, sliced in strips
    • 1 tablespoon Pandan Juice (depending how thick your juice is)
    • Salt to taste

    How to do it:
    • Stir in water to flour slowly.
    • Add in 1 egg.
    • Add pandan juice to make the batter green.
    • Add a pinch of salt.
    • Using a non-stick pan, pour in some batter.
    • Let the batter spread into a thin pancake.
    • Turn it over and remove when both sides are cooked.
    • Using the same pan, slowly pour in ½ beaten egg.
    • Let the egg mixture spreed into a thin egg 'skin'
    • Turn it over and remove when both sides are cooked.
    • Place the egg on the cooked batter (pancake).
    • Put ham strips on one side and roll both egg and pancake together.
    • Cut into smaller pieces and serve.
    I prefer the pancake and the egg to be thin so it’s easier to roll and eat. If you prefer thicker ones, add more batter. If you have older kids, you can try adding cooked chicken strips instead of ham. If you don't want to use pandan juice, you can use green food colouring instead.

    Pandan Juice

    This is a colour enhancer. The food you make will have a very nice pandan aroma. You can use green good colourings instead but the food will look a bit ‘fake’. Not so nice lah.

    • 6 pandan leaves
    • ½ cup water

    How to do it:
    1. Grind the leaves with the water.
    2. Remove and put into a strainer bag.
    3. Squeeze the water out of the bag.
    If you need more juice, just add in a bit more water. Otherwise just grind more leaves.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Rickshaw Noodles

    I have been very lazy to think of what to cook. I asked my hubby if there’s anything he wants to eat and for once he gave me an answer other than “Anything lor” He suggested the noodles soup my mother used to make.

    Ahh! That reminds me of my primary school days. An “Ah Pek” will carry a big aluminum pot of noodles to sell near some housing blocks. We skimpily call it Sek Mee Teng (in teochew) at home. Translated as Cooked Noodles Soup, more commonly know as Rickshaw Noodles or Kan Chia Mee

    Why was this called Rickshaw Noodles? My understanding was in the 60s, the Rickshaw puller had this practically everyday as lunch!


    How to do it:
    1. Blanch the prawns.
    2. Remove shells and slice prawns in half.
    3. Blanch the noodles to get rid of excess ghee.
    4. Boil your broth.
    5. Add in your vegetables and noodles.
    6. Add salt to taste.
    7. Serve with prawns when noodles are cooked.

    • This dish is meant to cook when ready to eat. You can't ‘keep’ the noodles in the soup as it will turn soggy and the soup will have the taste of ghee.
    • You can use stock cubes if you don't want to make home-made broth.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Chrysanthemum Squid

    My son told me he like his rice with Furikake. So I mix some to his rice today and I added some “Chrysanthemum” on it too. This is not all that he is eating. There are other side dish lah. Cannot be without vegetables.

    • Squid, clean and skin removed
    • Baby corn, diced for garnishing
    • Salt
    • Butter

    How to do it:
    1. Cut squid into 4cm thick ring.
    2. Slice thinly on 3cm of the ring.
    3. In a pot of boiling water, add 1 teaspoon of salt.
    4. Blanch the squid for about 5 minutes or till cook.
    5. Drain and set aside.
    6. In a pan, add a teaspoon of butter.
    7. Sauté the baby corn and Squid (for flavouring).
    8. Remove.
    9. Place a piece of babycorn in each squid.
    10. Serve.

    You can add batter and fry the squid instead of blanching it. Because my son is eating, I prefer to blanch so it’s not tough.

    Tuesday, January 9, 2007

    Deep-fried Bean Curd

    Bought a piece of tua kua wanting to cook deep fried tofu cubes but realized I don’t have vinegar at home. Don’t want to have it with chilli or tomato sauce. I got some left over minced pork bought to make my daughter’s porridge. Hmmm. Can try this instead.

    • Tua kua, smashed
    • Chinese mushroom, soaked to soften and chopped finely
    • Minced pork
    • Spring onion, diced
    • 1 egg
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil for deep-frying

    How to do it:
    1. Mixed all ingredients together.
    2. Scoop some of the mixed ingredients using spoon and slide it into the hot oil to fry.
    3. Remove when golden brown.

    You can use onions instead of spring onions. I just use whatever ingredients I can find in my fridge. In this case, I had spring onions. No onions.

    Monday, January 8, 2007

    Bear Rice with Furikake

    I bought some rice shapes makers sometime back and they were in the cupboard collecting dust. Finally got some ideas what to make for my son using them.

    • Cooked rice
    • Crabstick, sliced
    • Baby corn, sliced
    • Carrot, cut (using cookie cutter)
    • Luncheon meat, cut (using cookie cutter)
    • Furikake
    • Seaweed for decorations
    How to do it:
    1. In a bowl, place in the following order, Baby corn, Crabstick, Carrot, then Luncheon Meat.
    2. Steam for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Mix rice with furikake.
    4. Put some rice into shape maker.
    5. Use seaweed to decorate the rice.
    I did not use any salt. I place the side dish in that order of steaming so every item can get some flavour from each other.

    Mango Popsicle

    I bought a mango that was not very sweet and with a hint of sourness. It was a waste to throw it away so I decided to use it to make Popsicle for my son instead.

    • 1 mango, skinned and stoned
    • Sugar to taste
    • 4 cups of water

    How to do it:
    1. Blend all the ingredients together.
    2. Pour the mixture into mold and freeze.

    Saturday, January 6, 2007

    Dao Suan

    Made this last night and made my hubby eat with me. After that we still ate fried chicken wings! He said I cause him to get fat while I’m still skinny!

    • Mung beans aka Split Green Bean
    • Rock sugar
    • Potato flour with water (thickener)

    How to do it:
    1. Wash mung beans till the water is clear.
    2. Soak it for 10 mins.
    3. Drain the water and steam the mung beans for 20 mins.
    4. In a pot of water, add in the mung beans and cook till it soften.
    5. Add rock sugar to taste.
    6. Slowly stir-in potato mixture to the desire thickness.
    7. Serve.
    Soaking and steaming cut down the cooking time required. If you want a better taste, add in pandan leaves. Boil pandan leave first. Remove before adding the mung beans. Serve with you tiao 油条

    Friday, January 5, 2007

    Kung Po Chicken

    One of my favourite dished is Kung Po Chicken 宫堡鸡丁. I have been practicing for some time and I have yet to master it. I still think some thing is missing. My hubby said I have improved a lot on my latest version. It’s the best so far. What an encouragement!

    • 2 chicken drumstick; deboned and cut into cubes
    • 20 dried chilli; soaked and cut into sections
    • 1 onion, cut into small pieces
    • Oil for frying
    • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
    • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoon corn flour
    • 3 tablespoon Black Vinegar
    • 2 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 tablespoon water
    • Corn flour mixture (thickener)
    How to do it:
    1. Marinade chicken for at least an hour.
    2. Dust chicken with corn flour.
    3. Deep-fry till they turned golden brown and set aside.
    4. Heat oil and fry onions for 1 minute.
    5. Add dried chilli and fry till fragrant (about 30 seconds).
    6. Add all seasoning except corn flour mixture.
    7. When the sauce boils, gradually add in the corn flour mixture till the sauce thickens.
    8. Add in the chicken and coat evenly.
    9. Dish and serve.
    Note:I use ChinKiang Vinegar 镇江香醋. I think this vinegar taste the best for this dish.

    ABC Soup
    ABC 汤

    This is a very common and simple soup. It’s the very first soup I make. Everyone has his or her version of the ABC soup. The ingredients defers slightly. This is my version.

    • 4 to 5 pieces of pork ribs; blanched
    • 1 medium sized potatoes; skinned and cut in big pieces
    • 1 carrot; skinned and cut in big pieces
    • 1 large onion; cut in quarters
    • 1 celery; sliced
    • 2 ear of corn; chopped into 8 pieces
    • Salt to taste
    How to do it:
    1. In a pot, bring water to boil.
    2. Add pork ribs and vegetables.
    3. When it starts to boil, lower the fire and let it simmer for 3 hours or longer.
    4. Add salt to taste.
    5. Serve.
    You can use chicken too. Add tomatoes at the last ½ hour of simmering if you wish.

    Thursday, January 4, 2007

    Shark's Fin Soup

    Two weeks ago, I happened to see 'Processed Shark’s Fin' in the supermarket. It was on sales so I bought home a pack to try. This is not real Shark’s Fin but imitation Shark's Fin. To compliment it, there are other ingredients like shredded Sea Cucumber and Shell Fish. Went back yesterday to buy some more but they are all sold out. Maybe, snapped up by people who wants to stock up for Chinese New Year.
    • 1 packet of imitation Shark's Fin
    • Stock or stock cubes (I use home-made chicken stock)
    • Dried Scallop; soaked and shredded
    • ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
    • Salt for taste
    • Egg, beaten
    • 2 tablespoon Potato Flour with 4 tablespoon water (thickener)
    How to do it:
    1. Drain water from the pack of imitation shark’s fin.
    2. In a pot of boiling water, steam the imitation shark’s fin and dried scallop in a bowl of stock for 10 minutes.
    3. In another pot boil the chicken stock.
    4. Add in the imitation shark’s fin and dried scallop.
    5. Add the oyster sauce and salt for taste.
    6. When it starts to boil, gradually add in the potato flour mixture till you get the right thickness.
    7. Turn off heat.
    8. Now add in the egg gradually.
    9. Serve with pepper and vinegar
      You can add other ingredients like shredded chicken, fish maw, and crabmeat if you like. If it is dried Shark’s Fin you bought, you have to soak the fin before steaming it. And you have to steam for 30 minutes over low fire.

      Monday, January 1, 2007

      Lime Juice

      We often have pot-luck sessions in the office during my 1st job more than 15 year ago. Each of us will contribute an item. There was this HR Officer, the only Male Officer we ever had, who brought Lime Juice as his pot-luck item. It’s a really nice drink to go along with fried food. My son tried it for the 1st time yesterday and like it.

      • 100g lime;
      • 1 litre water
      • 8 tablespoon sugar
      How to do it:
      1. Squeeze juice out of lime and set aside. My 100g lime yields 100cc of juice.
      2. Dissolve sugar in water.
      3. When syrup is cooled, add in lime juice and mix.
      4. Serve chilled.
      Add more sugar if you find the lime juice too sour. Add some to your coke. It taste great!

      Okra with Chilli

      I’m the only person at home who loves to eat Ladies' Finger. My father introduced me to this vegetable when I was a teenage. I was hesitant to eat it as it sticky. Looks a bit *yucks* especially when cooked without chilli. I fell in love with it after one bite. My father told me when choosing ladies' finger, use the thumb to bend the tip of the ladies finger. If it breaks then it’s ‘young’. Get these! The ‘older’ ones won’t break. These are not tender - no crunch. Leave these. An auntie method but quite true.

      I don’t have a problem with buying ladies' finger because the seller in the market here has ‘baby’ one. It’s only half the length of the normal ones. Really tender.

      • 15 - 20 pieces of ladies finger if you are using regular ones; sliced diagonally and discard the top
      • 1 tablespoon dried shrimps; soaked to soften and grind if preferred.
      • 1/2 tablespoon garlic
      • 1/4 cup water
      • Oil for frying
      • Ready-made chilli sauce/Sambal.Belacan (I use Hommaid Brand - Nyonya Crispy Prawn Chilli Sauce; something I can handle)
      How to do it:
      1. Stir fry garlic and grinded dried shrimps with oil till fragrant.
      2. Add in sliced ladies finger and stir fry till desired softness.
      3. Add in your chilli sauce or Sambal.Belacan and mix well.
      4. If it is too dry, add in some water.
      5. Serve with rice.
      I don’t add salt as I think the dried shrimp are salty enough. In case you are wondering, I added some Chinese mushrooms in the one I cooked in the picture here.
      If you want to make your own Sambal belacan, try this. Blend together the following:
      • 1 clove garlic
      • 3 red chillies
      • 5 dried chillies
      • 40g dried shrimps
      • 20g belacan (toast first)
      • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)Lime juice of 1 lime (optional)