Monday, March 29, 2010

Stir-fried Asparagus with Belachan

This is a 'personal dish' because everyone at home hates belachan. So I eat it alone. :(

Belachan is made from fermented ground shrimp and the smell of belachan is very strong. I have to use 3 ziploc bags to store it to minimize the smell. My daughter says I cook 'smelly' vegetables each time I use belachan. And each time after cooking any dish with belachan, I have to open all the windows and spray air-freshener so my husband will not make too much noise when he returns from work. =_="

I guess Belacan is the durian in cooking. The smell is so pungent that you either hate it of love it. And I love it. :P

Ingredients (for one person):
  • 6 Asparagus, skinned and sliced
  • 2 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Shallot, sliced
  • 1 Chilli, seed and julienned
  • 1 teaspoon Belachan, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Ground Dried Shrimp, previously soak to soften before grinding (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cooking Oil

How to do it:
  1. Saute garlic and shallot in oil till fragrant.
  2. Add in chilli, belachan and dried shrimp, if using.
  3. Stir fry for about a minute.
  4. Add in asparagus and stir fry quickly till cooked.
  5. Dish and serve immediately.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quick Shroom

This dish takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and less than 5 minutes to cook. You can't get any quicker than this.

  • 12 Fresh Button Mushroom (I used Brown-cap here), sliced
  • 6 Fresh Shitake Mushroom, sliced
  • 2 clove Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • A handful of Spinach or other Leafy Veggie (optional)
  • A squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste

How to do it:

  1. Add oil and garlic into wok.
  2. Saute till fragrant but not brown.
  3. Add in all the sliced mushroom.
  4. Stir-fry quickly till mushroom are all softened.
  5. Add in Spinach if using.
  6. Season with lemon juice, ground black pepper and salt.
  7. Toss it quickly to mix well.
  8. Serve immediately.

  • Do not heat the oil first before adding the garlic. This way, the garlic won't get burn so easily, making it bitter.  It can also bring out the flavour and aroma of the garlic better.
  • The quantity of each mushroom used depends on individual. Use only one type of mushroom only if you like.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Steamed Cod with Lily Bulb 清蒸百合鳕鱼片

The only fish my kids eat, Cod. I buy so much cod till the fishmonger always reserved the (tail) part I always buy for me. My kids know the differences if I bought other parts. :P I usually ask the fishmonger to debone for me and sometimes, slice for me too, just like for this case. I won't be able to do it myself. :P

  • 8 - 10 slices Cod
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • 5 slices Ginger, julienned
  • 8 slices Lily Bulb
  • 2 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar 
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cooking Oil

How to do it:
  1. Place cod in a dish.
  2. Drizzle Chinese cooking wine and sesame seed oil on it.
  3. Top with ginger shreds and lily bulbs.
  4. Steam for 8 minutes, longer if cod slices are thicker.
  5. Remove and drain away the liquid.
  6. Heat cooking oil, light soy sauce and sugar together.
  7. Pour the hot soy sauce and oil over the fish.
  8. Serve.
Add additional 1to 2 tablespoon if water in step 6 if you like to have more sauce.  Season to taste.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cream of Cauliflower 花椰菜奶油浓汤

One of the easier soups to prepare. And it's nutritious too as cauliflower can help prevent cancer. My daughter loves this soup and she can finish a whole bowl on her own. That makes 2 of us. :)

  • 300g Cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium Red Onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Butter or Olive Oil
  • 75ml Whipping Cream or 50ml Thicken/Heavy Cream
  • 500ml Chicken Broth
  • Additional water (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to do it:
  1. Add butter or olive oil in a pot.
  2. Saute onion till soften and fragrant.
  3. Add in cauliflower and broth.
  4. Cook till cauliflower softens.
  5. Transfer to a blender and blend till smooth.
  6. Return the mixture to the pot.
  7. Add some water if you find the mixture too thick.
  8. Bring to a simmer and gradually stir in the cream.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

5-Spice Roast Chicken 五香烤鸡

I'm back from a long blogging break, again. I have been so busy and tired caring for my family that I didn't feel like doing anything when I take a break. Maybe just to do virtual gardening in Facebook. ;)

Just last week, I finally went to the ENT to get my nose checked again. If you didn't know, I had been having nose bleeding problems for 3 years. This late follow-up is to make sure that these weekly nose bleeding is not because of Cancer. Thank God, it isn't and during the check up, the specialist spotted a mass of blood vessels waiting to explode and I decided to have it cauterized. I'm not sure if the bleeding will stop from now on though.

Anyways, I just finished harvesting and it's going to be another 17 hours before my next harvest so I thought I'll do a quick update. ;) It's Asian flavour Roast Chicken, shown here, served with Chicken Rice and  Xiao Bai Cai.

  • 1 Chicken
  • 100ml Light Soy Sauce
  • 100ml Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 100ml Water or Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5-Spice Powder
  • 1 stalk Spring Onion, sliced
  • 3 clove Garlic, minced

How to do it:
  1. "Butterfly" chicken or use as it is.
  2. Combine all ingredients together.
  3. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag with the marinade.
  4. Leave it to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours. I left it overnight.
  5. Place chicken in a oven proof dish, covered with foil.
  6. Roast at 200C for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Bast the chicken with the sauce from the dish frequently.
  8. Remove foil and continue roasting at 180C for 20 minutes, till the skin is browned.
  9. Brush on additional honey and sprinkle on additional sliced onion after removing the foil, if you like.
  10. Once the chicken is cooked, remove and cover it loosely with foil.
  11. Served with rice and vegetables.

  • I "butterfly" the chicken by cutting the breast in half so the meat can be in contact with the basting sauce. The meat will be tastier. 
  • If you want the chicken to look nicer and also easier to eat, "butterfly" instead by cutting and removing the backbone. The breast meat will then be in the middle, between with wings and thighs.