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Friday, December 30, 2011

Mushroom Dried Scallop XO Sauce
香菇瑶柱XO酱



My husband had to go China every month for their company's new project and half a year ago, one of their partners in China gave him a big pack of Dried Scallop and Dried Shitake Mushroom each.


Dried Mushroom                             Dried Scallop   

One of the stuff I have been experimenting using them is the XO sauce. It's an great condiment to have. We love it with fried rice and I add it to some of the dishes I ate for dinner too. As much as I like ready-made XO sauce, they are either to spicy or too strong for the kids to handle. It's best if you can made your own XO sauce adjusted it to your own taste.


There isn't any hard and fast rule on my homemade XO sauce. If you prefer it more oily (ingredients will be softer soaked in oil), add more oil during cooking. If you want it hotter, add more Dried Chilli.

I'm using the Happy Call Pan to do this. You can use a regular non-stick pan too. The biggest difference is that the HCP cooks faster and is more moist. I used the HCP to steam cook the dried scallops too. If you do not have the pan, you will have to soak the dried scallop and steam it for an hour before you can shred them.

Ingredients:
  • 60g Dried Scallops, soaked with 4 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dried Shrimp, soaked to soften and chopped
  • 3 Red Chilli (replace with Dried Chilli if you want it spicy)
  • 3 tablespoon Chopped Garlic
  • 3 tablespoon Chopped Shallot
  • 5 Dried Shiitake Mushroom, soaked to soften and chopped
  • 5 Dried Shiitake Mushroom, soaked to soften and sliced
  • a dash of Pepper
  • Sugar or to taste (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon Oil

How to do it:
  1. Pour dried scallops with water into the pan after soaking it for 15 minutes.
  2. Close pan and cook it in medium low heat for 4 mins or till water is almost dry.
  3. Use the back of the spoon to press the dried scallops. They should be soft enough to break into pieces. If not, add a bit more water and cook longer.
  4. Remove the dried scallops, tear into smaller shreds if necessary or give it a pause in the blender and set aside.
  5. Heat oil in the same pan in medium low heat but not smoking.
  6. Add in the garlic and shallot and saute till fragrant.
  7. Add in the rest of the ingredient except shredded dried scallops.
  8. Saute till fragrant by covering and shaking for 2 minutes.
  9. Add a tablespoon of mushroom water.
  10. Cover and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  11. Add in shredded dried scallop.
  12. Stir-fry till mixed well.
  13. Cover and continue cooking for 4 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent burning. I open the pan occasionally to give it a good stir too.
  14. Add pepper and sugar to taste if necessary, stir-fry to mix well.
  15. Dish and store for later use.
Note:
  • The dried scallops I used are very small (pls refer to photo above). Hence, it's easier and faster to steam and shred it. If you are using larger one, you might need a longer time to soak and soften it.
  • The mushroom I used are slightly larger than a 50cents coin. If you are using larger one, you might want to reduce the number of mushroom.


My simple fried rice with homemade XO Sauce for extra flavours


Friday, December 23, 2011

Cupcake with Buttercream
奶油小蛋糕


It was winter solstice yesterday and incidentally it was my birthday too. :P Nope, obviously I'm not 4 years old but 10 times older. ;)

I decided to bake myself cupcakes and make buttercream (for the first time) to top it. I will have to practice piping more to do it better. Other than that, both the cupcake and butter cream was a successful.

Ingredient:
  • 125g Butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 60ml Milk
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 125g Butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Milk

How to do it:
  1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
    Add vanilla extract.
  2. Add one egg at a time and continue beating.
  3. Add in flour and beat well till mixture is smooth and pale.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin cup.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes in preheat oven at 180C.
  6. Turn cupcakes top-side up on wire rack to cool.
  7. Meanwhile prepare the Butter Cream.
For Vanilla Buttercream
  1. Beat butter and vanilla extract till pale.
  2. Gradually beat in half the icing sugar.
  3. Add in milk and continue beating.
  4. Gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar.
  5. Add in a drop or colouring if you like.
  6. Use it to spread on the cupcakes or put into a piping bag with star nozzle to be used.

Recipe adapted from Women's Weekly Cupcakes & Cookies



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pearl Balls
珍珠圆


Winter Solstice 冬至 falls on every 22 December of the year, except for the year where there are 29 days in February, which happens every 4 year. If that happens, Winter Solstice will be on 23 December instead.

On this day, Chinese like to prepare Glutinous Rice Ball 汤圆. it's usually cooked in a water with Chinese brown sugar, ginger and pandan leaves.

This year I have plans to do something different and try to replicate a 'seasonal' promotion item from 鼎泰丰. It's like 汤圆 except it's steamed and rolled on dessicated coconut to give a subtle aroma. However, I find it more 'Q' (chewy). Due to it's slight opaque outlook. I suspect it might have Wheat Starch, those used to my Chinese Dim Sum, Har Gow 虾胶.

My replica is definitely not as good as the original but I glad I could still get it out successfully. It's very chewy. Only regret is that I'm not able to make the Pearl Balls thin with more fillings. Hopefully, I'll be able to improve on the recipe and my skills further.

Meanwhile, if you would like to try my recipe for Winter Solstice 冬至 tomorrow, here it is. And have a Happy Winter Solstice, 冬至快乐!


Ingredients:
  • 300ml Water 水
  • 70g Caster Sugar 糖
  • 65g Wheat Starch 澄面粉
  • 315g Glutinous Flour 糯米粉
  • Desiccated Coconut 椰仁干
  • Ground Peanut Powder 花生粉

How to do it:
  1. Bring water to a gentle boil.
  2. Add sugar and melt it.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add in wheat starch and glutinous flour.
  5. Mix well till dough become smooth.
  6. Divide into balls of 25g - 30g each.
  7. Flatten the ball and put some peanut powder in the middle.
  8. Fold and roll the dough back into a ball.
  9. If your dough is not smooth and is with 'crease' lines, wet the surface with a drop of water and roll.
  10. Place peanut dough on a oiled dish.
  11. Prepare your steamer or boil water in the wok.
  12. When the water starts to boil, place your dish of prepared peanut dough in.
  13. Steam on high fire for 10 mins.
  14. Remove immediate and roll on desiccated Coconut.
  15. Best if served while hot.
Note:
  • When mixing the dough, use a spatula first. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, use your hands to mix and knead it.
  • When removing the steamed peanut ball from the steamer, remember to wet your hands or utensils, otherwise it will stick.

Have breaking several dough filled with peanuts, I decided to steamed plain dough balls and sprinkle peanut powder after it's steamed instead.






Wheat Starch &
Glutinous Flour
Desiccated Coconut Ground Peanut Powder


The prepared dough

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clams in Miso
味噌炒蛤蜊


My original plan was to make spicy clams but realised I had some ingredients short. Hence, I decided to tweak the recipe a little.

I had some miso left. I save a little to use on this dish after using some of it to make miso soup my kids.


My husband  could tell I used miso and thought it tasted a little like fermented bean bean but like it anyway.

Ingredients:
  • 1 kg Clams, cleaned and soaked in salted water for 20 mins
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 2 tablespoon minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Miso
  • 2 tablespoon Mirin or Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 Red Chilli, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Corn Flour Mixture

How to do it:
  1. Heat wok with oil and stir fry garlic and chilli till fragrant.
  2. Add miso and sugar and contine to stir fry for another minute.
  3. Dish everything out.
  4. In the same wok, add in the clams and mirin.
  5. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in the miso seasoning made earlier.
  7. Stir fry and cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
  8. Remove clams that did not open.
  9. Thicken the sauce with corn flour mixture.
  10. Dish and serve immediately.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lemongrass Infused Roasted Chicken
香茅烤鸡


I love the aroma of lemongrass and have been experimenting a few dishes using it. This dish got to be one the favourites. My husband love it.

It's similar to (Singapore) Roast Chicken (which I'm updating a revised recipe to be posted soon),  except I did change some seasoning and bake it instead of oil fry it. There's some amount of work required making this but it's worth it.

I was a bit upset when I was making this dish as my new neighbor came visiting unexpectedly, during the last 10 minutes of my cooking. I turned off my oven but I didn't remove the chicken. The skin of the chicken become over browned and wasn't as nice looking as I want it to be. It tasted great nonetheless.

I will be making this again very soon! And I shall try to prefect it then. :)


Ingredients:
  • 1 Chicken, cleaned and pat dry (I'm using a 1kg chicken)
  • 4 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 12 talks Lemongrass, crushed
  • Oil enough to cover the lemongrass
  • A dash of Pepper
  • 2 Calamansi

How to do it:
  1. Rub chicken outside and in the cavity with oyster sauce and pepper.
  2. Leave it in the fridge uncovered for half an hour, to marinate and dry.
  3. Place lemongrass on oven-proof dish and have enough oil to just cover it.
  4. Place the chicken on top and cover.
  5. Roast chicken in preheat oven at 190C for 1 hour.
  6. Baste the chicken with the lemongrass oil every 15 minutes.
  7. After half an hour, turn the chicken around.
  8. Continue to baste the chicken with lemongrass oil every 15 minutes.
  9. During the last 10 minutes of roasting, remove cover.
  10. Increase the temp to 220C, baste the chicken with lemongrass oil.
  11. Roast the chicken for 10 minutes.
  12. Turn the chicken over, baste with lemongrass oil and continue to roast for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove chicken and place in a dish.
  14. Drizzle chicken with juice of 2 Calamansi and serve .

Note:
Check if chicken is cooked by piercing a toothpick in the thigh. If the liquid that comes through is clear, the chicken is done.


A bouquet of unwanted part of lemongrass in a vase
to brighten my kitchen for a day. :P

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ika Teriyaki
日式照烧烏賊


Another easy recipe using the Happy Call Pan. ;)

I did my own teriyaki sauce here but you can always get ready-made ones from the supermarket for less hassle. I like to make my own sauce, though it may not be authentic, as I can adjust the taste. Furthermore, I don't use teriyaki sauce that often. So making it when I need it makes more sense to me.

You may do this using a regular non-stick pan if you don't have a Happy Call Pan. Just add in 2 - 3 tablespoon of water when you are cooking it as the regular pan (covered) doesn't not generate as much liquid as the HCP.

Ingredients:
  • 2 medium Squid, innards removed and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon Sake
  • 3 tablespoon Mirin
  • 3 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 2/3 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Oil

How to do it:
  1. Marinate for half an hour.
  2. Place squid in the pan and pour the marinade into pan too.
  3. Grill with pan covered for 4 minutes in medium low fire.
  4. Grill on the other side for another 4 minutes.
  5. Open cover and slit the squid by using a scissor.
  6. Continue to grill on medium low for 1-2 minutes with cover opened, to thicken sauce.
  7. Turn the squid in-between grilling to get the colour even.
  8. Remove from pan and spoon some thicken teriyaki sauce over.
  9. Serve.


Sake                                            Mirin

Monday, December 12, 2011

Steamed Winglets with Herbs
药材蒸鸡翼

Another dish done using the Happy Call Pan. I have all steamed dishes for tonight's dinner. I had 2 dishes in the steamer and wanted the 3rd dish to be done at the same time too. Hence I decided to try using the HCP.

I did the same dish twice, once for the kids and me and the 2nd time for my husband when he return late from work. I used slightly different methods to steam the dish. Both turned out great. If you don't own a HCP, you can still steam using the normal way.


Ingredients:
  • 6 Chicken Winglets or other parts
  • 10g Condonopsis 党参 Dang Shen, steamed for 10 mins
  • 15g Wolfberries 枸杞子 Gou Qi Zi
  • 2 slices Ginger, shredded
  • a pinch Salt 
  • a dash Pepper

Seasonings:

  • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese Rose Wine 玫瑰露酒 or Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar

How to do it:
  1. Marinate winglets with salt and pepper for at least half an hour.
  2. Place the marinated winglets with the rest of the ingredients and seasonings in a piece of foil.
  3. Add 6 tablespoon of water.
  4. Seal the foil and place in HCP with water filled about 3/4 of the lower pan.
  5. Close pan and steam at medium low fire for 30 minutes.
  6. Check in-between to make sure there is still water in the pan. Mine is just enough for the whole process.
  7. Remove and serve.

Note:
  • If you have a shallow dish, you can use that instead of using the foil. However, do not add water (in step 3) to the ingredients as the steaming will add water into the dish.
  • If you don't have Chinese Rose Wine 玫瑰露酒, you can use any other Chinese Cooking Wine, like 绍兴花雕酒 Shao Xing Hua Diao Jiu. The difference other than the alcohol level is that Chinese Rose Wine adds a much pleasant aroma to the dish.  However, both helps to bring out the flavours of the dish.
  • To better bring out the flavours of the herbs, you may want to steam it for 15-20 mins, seal with foil.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hotate Mentaiyaki
明太子焗扇贝


Those who has been to some Japanese Restaurants might be familiar with Hotate Mentaiyaki. It's scallop baked with fish roe in mayonnaise. Well, at least that's what it taste like to me.

I have attempted to replicate it and was a success!

I bought my half shell scallops from the supermarket. It came with scallop roe too. You can use regular scallops and baked them in a oven proof dish. It's so easy (& tasty), you got to try it yourself!



Ingredients:
  • 4 Scallops, clean and pat dry with paper towel
  • 1 slice Cheese, cut into 4 squares
  • 3 tablespoon Tobiko aka Flying-fish Roe
  • 4-5 tablespoon Japanese Mayonnaise
  • Dried Parsley & Parmesan Cheese for toppings (optional)

How to do it:
  1. Mix Mayonnaise with Tobiko together.
  2. Place scallops in the shells or baking dish.
  3. Top each scallops with a piece of cheese each.
  4. Cover the scallops and cheese with Mayonnaise mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 210C for 12 minutes.
  6. Remove carefully and serve immediately.

Note:
  • The amount of mayonnaise used depends on the size of scallops. The one I'm using is about 5cm in diameter.
  • You can use Ebiko aka Shrimp Roe instead of Tobiko.
  • Do not add seasoning as the mayo, cheese and tobiko already give the seasoning it needs.
  • The amount of time needed to for baking depends on the size of the scallop. Shorter time for smaller scallops. It should be done when you see the mayo toppings bubbling gently.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oven Roasted Maltose Ribs
烘烤麦芽糖排骨


I love ribs but every time I make them at home, I have to eat them fast as they tends to turn harder when they start to cool down. This is largely due to the sugar used. Of course you can use honey to replace sugar but I dislike the taste of honey. I find it over-powering.

I have some maltose left from my roast chicken, I decided to use that on my Caramelized Pork Rib recipe. As I didn't stock up my pantry, I have many missing ingredient :P Hence, I also replace the Chinese Cooking Wine aka Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chiew with Mirin. I didn't add vinegar or apple cider here too. Therefore, there isn't any vinegar based sauce to make the meat 'melt in your mouth'.

Although, the meat did not slip of the bones this time, it's still tender enough. I love how the maltose caramelized but without turning hard when the ribs cooled. And it doesn't make the ribs over sweet too.

My husband commented that this is the best ribs I have made so far. ;) I can't wait to make it again for the Christmas get-together at my place. I hope my friends will like it too. :)


Mirin                                          Maltose

Ingredients:
  • 700g Meaty Prime Ribs, slightly fatty preferred

Marinade:
  • 5 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 4 tablespoon Maltose
  • 3 tablespoon Mirin
  • 2 tablespoon Tomato Sauce
  • 40ml Water 

How to do it:
  1. Place marinade and ribs in a zip-loc bag and marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Place ribs, with meaty side down, in a deep baking dish with the marinade.
  3. Roast at 200C for 1 hour.
  4. Bast with sauce in-between roasting.
  5. Turn rib over after 1 hour, bast with sauce and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove and place on dish and serve.




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy Pizza
简易比萨饼


It has been raining non-stop recently. The kids are stuck at home most of the time. I decided to let them make pizza for dinner to pass time.

They get to have some fun and I get to make them eat what they made. ;p My kids don't eat pizza. Hence I told them if they want to make it, they will have to eat it too. I'm glad my plan worked because the elder one finished almost the whole pizza and the younger one finished half of it.


Using Wraps as Pizza Base


I used Wraps as the pizza base and pasta sauce for the pizza sauce. I prepared a few ingredients that the kids would like and some that they didn't. *trying my luck* They went ahead to prepare the pizza that they like.

I baked the pizza at 200C for 15 minutes and the easy peasy pizzas are ready to be eaten!





In case you are interested, I have prepared hot-dog, ham, canned button mushroom, pre-cooked bacon, tomato, bell peppers, onions and Mozzarella Cheese.


My pizza, using whatever the kids have left over and what they didn't want.
It has lots of bell pepper, onions & tomatoes. I love it! ;)





Saturday, November 19, 2011

Strawberry Ice Blended
草莓冰沙


Christmas is around the corner and one of my best friends suggested if having a Christmas 'Party' at my place this year. (We used to have random makan sessions at my (old) place.)

It wouldn't be a party, just a get-together with a few of my very good friends. Incidentally, they were also my bridesmaids too, all three of them. ;) It's going to be my 13th Wedding Anniversary soon. Hence, you might have guessed that our friendship must be longer than that. The longest being 26 years? I don't know them all at the same time but during some time of my life. However, it's great that they somehow became friends themselves too. :)

Oh! There's a torn among the roses (other than my husband) too. He is my husband's ex-co-worker, who also become all the gals' friend somewhere in time. He was also one of my husband's best-man too. In case, he reads this and I didn't mention him, he will think he is not invited to the get-together. Actually, I bet he is secretly hoping that I will forget about him. LOL

Anyway, being a kiasu, I'm already thinking what to cook and trying them out to reduce blunders on that day. No more BBQ & Steamboat this time. One of the dishes will be an Oven Roasted Maltose Ribs (more on that next time). I'll be making this very easy Strawberry Ice Blended for after meals. I can make this a day before and blend it on the day itself so there is lesser things to do and lesser clean up. I love the colours! Very Christmassy. :)

I'm looking forward to the Xmas Makan Session, that is after our makan session next week! LOL. And like what my husband said earlier today, hopefully my food wont be burned. :P

Ingredients:(serves 2-3)
  • 1 punnet of strawberries (abt 450g), hauled
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Granulated Sugar or regular sugar or to taste
  • 2 glasses of Ice Cubes

How to do it:
  1. Blend strawberries till smooth.
  2. Blend in sugar with the strawberries paste.
  3. Add in the ice cubes and blend till ice cubes are crushed and smooth.Serve immediately.

Note:
  • I'm using very small ice cubes; abt the size 15mm x 15mm. It makes blending easier.
  • The amount of sugar depends on how sweet/sour your strawberries are, so adjust the sugar contain on your own.
  • I prefer Golden Granulated Sugar but regular sugar works fine too.
  • If you intend to make it a day before, you can use water instead of ice cubes. After blending, put the mixture into ice cube tray and freeze it. You can blend the strawberries ice cubes the next day.
  • Please use a blender that is able to cut ice to do it in order not to damage the blade.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fish Paste Egg Roll
鱼胶蛋卷


Lately there's this craze about Happy Call. I decided to join in the craze partly because I didn't want my new kitchen to be oily when I fry fish. :p I didn't fry any fish after getting it; only bacon. The bacon didn't turn out crispy but I didn't care cos my kitchen was oil free and it didn't smell like bacon. LOL

Today, I decided to make the fish paste egg roll for my kids and my usual way of doing involved frying the egg and steaming the egg roll after spreading the fish paste. I decided to give the Happy Call Pan a try as I didn't want to use 2 utensils just to cook this. It's a good thing too since the Pan is rectangular shaped. A perfect shape for the egg crepe.

My verdict. Using the Happy Call Pan for this recipe makes the egg roll much juicy. Just look at the top photo! It takes a shorter time to cook. I will definitely explore more on using the Pan but don't worry, I'll still keep my wok pan. :)  I'm not used to cooking without see what's going on in the pan. :P


Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200g Fish Paste
  • 6 Crab Stick, chopped into small pieces (I used imitation snow crab stick here)
  • Chopped Spring Onion or Spinach or other leafy veggies (optional for colour)
  • 2 - 3 drops of Oil (serious!)

How to do it:
  1. Heat pan with oil with medium low fire.
  2. Pour egg, seasoned with salt.
  3. Swirl to spread the egg to cover the whole pan.
  4. Cover the pan.
  5. Carefully flip the pan after a minute.
  6. Open to check that the egg is flipped properly.
  7. Cook for another half a minute.
  8. Remove from pan and set aside.
  9. Meanwhile, mix fish paste, crab stick and spring onion.
  10. Spread the mixture evenly on the egg crepe prepared earlier.
  11. Carefully roll up the egg crepe with the mixture. *1
  12. Return the egg roll to the pan.
  13. Cook using medium low fire, covered.
  14. Turn every 2 minutes till it's totally cooked, about 10 minutes. *2
  15. Removed and sliced when ready to serve.

Note:
  • I did not season the fish paste as it's usually seasoned.
  • The egg crepe is very soft and may tear easily. So be gentle when handling it. *1
  • You can shake the pan if you like. I prefer to turn it manually so I can get it evenly browned on all sides. *2



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blanched Cockles with Garlic
蒜香伴氽烫血蚶


Blood Cockles. You either love it or hate it. Both me and my husband loves it. My son eats it too.

My father used to buy 5kg of cockles to make his famous chilled dark soy sauce cockles. Each time he made it, he will bring some over to him. I tried and tried but I just couldn't get the taste of cockles that my father made. He even bought the dark soy sauce to me once but still I just could get the right taste. His is still the best!

I had wanted to try my hands making my father's version of chilled cockles but realised I didn't have dark soy sauce with me. So change of plans. :P

This is (another) replica of what we have tried at Putien Restaurant sometime back. I shall try to conquer my father's revision another time.


* Giving the cockles a good 'body' scrub. Hate doing it but it's all worth it. *

Ingredients:
  • 350g Cockles
  • 1 Red Chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Mirin or Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1/2  tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • Chicken Powder or Salt to taste

How to do it:
  1. Prepare the garlic first by heat oil in pan.
  2. Add in chilli and Garlic and stir-fry till fragrant but not browned.
  3. Add in Mirin, Light Soy Sauce and Chicken Powder. If you are using Chinese Cooking Wine, add a pinch of sugar too.
  4. Stir to coat well.
  5. Let the seasoned garlic cool.
  6. Now, scrub the cockles clean. I used a toothbrush here.
  7. Soak clams in salted water to let it 'spit' out sand.
  8. Boil a pot of water enough to cover the cockles.
  9. When the water is boiling, turn off fire and throw in all the cockles.
  10. Drain them out in 3 seconds. *1
  11. Place them in cool water or normal tap water and drain so it's not too hot to handle. *2
  12. Remove half the shell and any dirt that maybe be there.
  13. Place some seasoned garlic on each cockles and place then on a dish.
  14. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes. *3

Note:
  • I blanched then for 3 seconds here. If the cockles you bought are bigger or if you preferred them more cooked, ie, less bloody, blanch for 5-7 seconds. Anything longer than that, it's likely that will be cooked. *1
  • Cool the blanched cockles partially is to stop it from continue cooking and also to make it less hot to while removing the shells. *2
  • The cockles taste better when chilled but if you can't wait, go ahead to have it immediately. *2

Prawn Pancake
脆皮虾饼


We love going to 鼎泰豐 and their prawn pancake is one of the dishes we will order. Here I am doing a replicate of the dish but a much meaty version of it. You be surprised how easy it is to do. Do find time to try making it yourself.

Ingredients:
  • 1 sheet Dried Bean Curd Skin, cleaned with a damp cloth to reduced saltiness
  • 500g Small Prawns
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chopped Coriander (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Corn Flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • Corn flour for dusting
  • Oil for pan frying

How to do it:
  1. Shell and devien prawns. The shells can be retain to make stock.
  2. Retain 8 prawns and minced the rest with a pinch of salt and corn flour into paste.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Blanch the rest of the prawns to almost cooked. Plunge in cool water to stop cooking.
  5. Chop blanched prawns in 3 pieces each.
  6. Mix chopped prawns with prawn paste.
  7. Layer a piece of cleaned bean curd skin, size abt 20cm x 40cm, flat.
  8. Spread prawn paste on one half of bean curd skin with allowance at the sides for folding. 
  9. Fold the bean curd skin to cover the prawn paste.
  10. Repeat till the paste is used up.
  11. Dust the both sides of pancake lightly with corn flour.
  12. Pan fry on one side on medium low heat till golden brown.
  13. Flip over to pan fry the other side till golden brown and prawn paste is completely cooked.
  14. Dish, cut into smaller pieces and serve immediately.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dark Soy Sauce Chicken
酱油鸡


This is one of my childhood dish that I often eat at my aunt's place.  Sadly, it doesn't come close to the taste that I can recall but still acceptable. Plus point for this dish is it's fast and easy to cook. I'm using mid joint wings for this dish. You can use drumsticks chopped into smaller pieces, which is what my aunt used to do.

Ingredients:
  • 6 Mid Joint Wings or 2 Drumstick chopped into 3 pcs each
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped into chunks
  • 1 Red Chilli, de-seed and sliced into pieces
  • Oil for frying

Marinade:
  1. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  2. 1/2 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoon Corn Flour

Seasonings:
  • 1/2 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce (I use Tiger Premium Dark Soy Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 200ml Water

How to do it:
  1. Marinate chicken pieces with marinade for half an hour.
  2. Deep fry chicken till golden brown.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat wok with a tablespoon of oil.
  5. Fry onion and chilli till fragrant.
  6. Add in the chicken and seasonings.
  7. Stir fry to coat well with seasonings.
  8. Serve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baked Cod Teriyaki
日式照烧鳕鱼


Here's another easy and simple. Before I have an oven I use to make this dish using the regular pan.

The ingredients are the same. Only difference is the cooking method. The latter method requires more steps and monitoring. The flavour is more intense too.

Now with an oven, I prefer the easier and the less hassle way to do it. If you want an even easier way, use instant teriyaki sauce which can be easily found in supermarkets. I prefer to make my own marinade as it allows me to control the flavours.

Whichever way you like, this is one easy dish you have to try.

Ingredients:
  • 1 piece of Cod or Salmon

Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar or regular fine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 1 tablespoon Wine
  • 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce

How to do it:
  1. Mix the marinade.
  2. Place cod in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade.
  3. Squeeze the air out and seal the bag.
  4. Leave cod to marinate in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour.
  5. Lay baking tray with baking paper (I use Glad Baking Paper)
  6. Place the cod with a tablespoon of marinade.
  7. Bake at 200c for 15 minutes.
  8. Turn over and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or till cod is completely cooked
  9. Remove and serve immediately.
Note:
I use baking paper so the cod doesn't stick to the tray during baking.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Baked Mussels in Tomato Sauce with Cheese
帕斯塔番茄酱加芝士烤青口


I was trying to clear whatever I have in the fridge and in my store before we move house to make thing easier. This was a combination of (frozen) mussels, a can of tomato base pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese which was exactly what I had and wanted to clear.

It's an easy dish. Almost an instant dish. You could have it with pasta but I had it with bread, a la chilli crab. :P

Ingredients:
  • 10 Frozen Mussels
  • 2/3 - 1 can Campbell's Prego Tomato Base Pasta Sauce
  • 1 handful Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of Dried Parsley (optional)

How to do it:
  1. Steam mussels for 2 minutes.
  2. Drain and set in an oven proof dish.
  3. Pour Pasta sauce over.
  4. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
  5. Give it a toss.
  6. Top with Mozzarella Cheese.
  7. Bake at 190C for 10 minutes or till sauce bubbles and cheese has melted.
  8. Sprinkle on some Parmesan Cheese if you like and serve immediately with pasta or bread.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chocolate Chips Cupcakes
巧克力粒小蛋糕


I'm back, finally!

If you are wondering what's with the long absence, we have been busy looking for a new place! Renovation was hell for us as we did not engage an ID or a main contractor. We did all the planning, designing, sourcing, etc, on our own. Hence, we have different contractors for different jobs and we had to oversee and co-ordinate the whole renovation works ourselves. Thank God it's all over now and we have settled in our new home, for just a month.

Hopefully, blogging will be more regular from now, that is, after I find time figuring out all the new changes in Blogger.  Looks like Blogger has undergone a lot of changes too while I was gone. Anyway, all the photos of my posts from 2006 to 2007 have gone missing and I'm not getting any help from Blogger on how to get them back. I guess I have no choice but to upload them again. It's not going to be an easy job cos there are more than 300 photos of them. I have to download them from my backup at another site, one at a time and upload them back here one at a time. -_-|||

While I'm at it, enjoy this simple cupcake. ^_^



Ingredients:
  • 220g Butter, soften
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 220g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Chocolate Chips, more if you like (I used raisin for some batter)

How to do it:
  1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. Add one egg at a time and continue beating.
  3. Add in flour and beat well till mixture is smooth and pale.
  4. Fold in the Chocolate Chips till combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cup.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in preheat oven at 180C.
  7. Cool on rack.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glutinous Stuffed Squid 烏賊飯


I had this years ago and have never come across it again. I totally miss it, hence I'm trying my luck to replicate it. This is my second attempt on this dish. It's definitely much better my first attempt. ;)

If you would like try it out, here's how I did it. I soaked about 4 to 5 tablespoon of glutinous rice, which is enough for 2 squids, in water BUT seasoned with a tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1/4 tablespoon each of sugar and mirin. I soaked the rice for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, remove the innards of the squids. When the rice is done soaking, stuff the rice in the squid till 3/4 full. Use a toothpick or skewer to seal the opening. However, be careful not to tear the squid because it will be harder to secure it again and not having it 'explode' while cooking.

Place the stuffed squids in a pot with enough water covering it. Add in 2 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Mirin, and a 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bring it to a gentle boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering for 3 hours. Turn the squids around in between cooking. It's alright if the sauce reduced to 2/3. However if it get to thick, add hot water to dilute it.

I used a thermal pot on my second attempt on this dish and I didn't have to add water. I just had to reboil it once. However, directly cooking does make the squids more tasty.

Remove the squids when it's done and let it cool a bit before you slice it. It's a little tricky slicing it. You might want to oil your blade to do it. Meanwhile, turn up the heat and boil the sauce to thicken it a little.

Drizzle some thicken sauce over the sliced squid and serve.


{ This is how it looks for my first attempt on the stuffed Squid; simmering for 3 hours over direct heat, ie, not using the thermal pot. The glutinous rice was plain and bland as I did not season it but the squid was in a deep shade of brownish orange. You can see from the rings that sauce had penetrated into the squid. }