Saturday, June 22, 2013

Simple Sliced Fish Soup

I'm doing less cooking lately due to the bad haze conditions. Even with the windows and door closed, we are still able to smell the smog.

PSI hits new all-time high of 401 yesterday and if I'm right, the reading was an average of 3 hours' readings. Which means, PSI should be higher. :o

I was a torture to cooked in an enclosed area. It was hot, stuffy and I had problems clearing the air at home after cooking without opening the windows. So, it was simple cooking for me for the last few days.

I'm glad the kids didn't complain too much. They do not want Bee Hoon or noodles so it was rice with Fish Soup.

  • 500g Snakehead aka Toman 生鱼, sliced.
  • 2-3 slices Ginger, shredded
  • Pepper and Salt to taste

Soup Stock:
  • 150g Ikan Bilis, preferably split and heads removed as they will turned bitter if boiled too long
  • 50g Soya Beans
  • 1 piece Dried Sole Fish 扁鱼干
  • 1.2 litre water.

How to do it:
  1. Rinse and dry Ikan Bilis and Sole Fish.
  2. Toast or deep fry Ikan Bilis and Sole Fish till lightly golden brown.
  3. Remove and remove excess oil using paper towel.
  4. All the toasted ikan bilis and sole fish with soya bean to the water.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for half an hour or till ikan bilis turned opaque.
  7. Strain the soup stock and it's ready to be used.
  8. Scoop some soup stock to a sauce pan.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Add in a few slices of fish and some shredded ginger.
  11. Cook for a minute.
  12. Season with salt.
  13. Add pepper, sesame oil and coriander if you like and serve.

  • You can use Batang or Garoupa too if you like.
  • You can add vegetables to it too. I have added canned button mushroom which is the kids' favourite.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Homemade Nama Chocolate

I had always wanted to try making Nama Chocolate ever since a friend told me that it was super easy to do with only just 2 ingredients; excluding the cocoa powder.

So last night, I brought out my going to expire chocolate chips and tried my hand on the so called super easy treat. It was so much harder! And I made a mess in my kitchen. I swear then I'm going to kill my friend. LOL

Due to hot weather, the firmed up chocolate started to soften as soon as it was taken out of the fridge. Not only was it difficult to make prefect blocks with clean and straight edges, it was really difficult trying to lift the softening chocolate blocks after dusting them with cocoa powder. It went out of shape. :(

Those following me on Instagram got a first look on my very ugly Nama Chocolate last night. :P  Maybe it was due to the type of chocolate I used too. The result could be better if a better quality chocolate was used instead.

Anyway, I tried to savage the remain chocolate, coming up with my own way of making it. I left them in the freezer and worked on them this morning. (Gasp! Won't temperature be higher in the morning than midnight?!!) I was keeping my fingers crossed.

With the extra steps and additional cold tin, the 2nd batch of Nama Chocolate was way much better than the first. Not perfect but descent enough. At least, My kids can pick the chocolate up with no chocolate stains on their fingers. It was so much easier to work with since in was left in the freezer which makes it a longer to soften. That really helps as it gives me more time to do the cutting and cocoa dusting.

I urge you to finish reading and understand the recipe, especially the notes that I have shared before you start making this. There is a reason why you are paying that much for a box of Royce Nama Chocolate. ;)

  • 400g Chocolate, chopped into bits (I use Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
  • 200ml Whipping Cream
  • Cocoa powder for dusting

How to do it:
  1. Heat whipping cream in a saucepan.
  2. When it starts to bubble, turn off the heat. You just want to warm the milk not boil it.
  3. Gradually add chopped chocolate into the whipping cream.
  4. Stir to melt the chocolate and incorporate it into the cream.
  5. When all the chocolate has melted in the cream, it will resemble a thick chocolate ganache.
  6. Prepare a baking tin with baking paper in it, including the sides.
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tin.
  8. Level the mixture.
  9. Cover with cling wrap with cling wrap sticking to the chocolate mixture.
  10. Let it firm up in the freezer.
  11. Cut the hardened chocolate into blocks with a knife.
  12. Dust with cocoa powder.
  13. Return to the fridge till you are ready to eat them.

  • The chocolate melts fast so you have to work fast.
  • After cutting the chocolate into blocks, I return them to the freezer again to firm them up again before I bring them out to dust with cocoa powder.
  • If you have problems cutting the chocolate into blocks, heat your knife in hot water, dry and clean it before using it to cut the chocolate.
  • I prepared another tin in the freezer. I lay it with baking paper and dusted with cocoa powder when it's ready to be used. I placed the cut up blocks of chocolate in the prepared tin. It helps to keep the temperature down so the chocolate block don't start to melt as you cut up the rest of the chocolate. The cocoa powder also helps prevent the chocolate blocks from sticking to the baking paper should they start to softened and melt.
  • Return the chocolate blocks to the freezer to firm them up if they start to softened. After that, you can continue with the dusting.
  • I did not use a good quality chocolate, preferably couverture chocolate, so my 'treated' chocolate did not totally hardened even I left it in the freezer. It was still slightly soft.
  • If you are using a good quality chocolate, you might want to firm it up in the fridge instead so you wont have a problem cutting it. If so, please skip step 9, which is prevent icy crystal from forming on the chocolate.
  • Once the chocolate blocks have been dusted with cocoa powder, you can choose to either keep them in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for a few days longer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fried Noodle Wrapped Prawns

I have shared this recipe a few years ago. I seldom make this as we prefer prawns steamed, grilled, and especially cooked with salted eggs.

I happened to have half a pack of instant noodle so I thought it would be nice for a change since we have not had this for a while; with an updated recipe. ;)

If you do not like to eat or suck on the prawn heads or you intent to keep it for stock making, you can leave it out. The results will look like what I have done previously. You can have a look HERE.

  • 8 medium Prawns, shelled leaving head and tail intact
  • 1/2 pack Instant Noodles
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chicken Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder or 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • a dash of Pepper
  • a pinch of Salt
  • Corn flour for dusting
  • Egg, beaten
  • Oil of frying

How to do it:
  1. Cook the instant noodle is salted water.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Remove the intestinal tract using a toothpick or slit the prawn on the back and belly to remove.
  4. Marinate with cooking wine, chicken powder, pepper and salt for 5 minutes.
  5. Dust prawns with corn flour.
  6. Dip in beaten egg.
  7. Pick up some cooked instant noodles and coil around the prawns.
  8. Have enough oil to in a pot to cover the prawns.
  9. When oil is hot, fry till noodle turned golden brown and prawn turned red.
  10. Drain on paper towel.
  11. Serve with your preferred sauce.

  • You can skip steps 5 and 6 if you like. However, the prawns will be a bit drier.
  • You can use fresh noodle (like those wanton noodles) to replace instant noodles.
  • My dipping sauce consist of a mixture of apple cider, sugar, worcestershire sauce and sesame oil.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Yellow Noodle Soup with Prawn

During one of those days that I ran out of ideas on what to cook, this will be it. :P

My parents used to make this using chicken and dried shrimps as the soup base.  So it's Noodle Soup with Chicken. :P  My husband hates dried shrimps so my recipe omits that. Instead, I use chicken bones, prawns shells, Choy Sum stem (since noone except me likes it) and sometimes with a few dried scallops.

I usually make the soup stock first and keep it hot in the thermal pot. When we are ready to eat, just blanch the noodle then add in the soup. Easy. :)

  • 400g Flat Yellow Noodles
  • a bunch of Choy Sum, cut into sections
  • 8-10 medium Prawns; depending on how many prawns you want to serve withthe noodles

Soup Stock:
  • 2 litre Water
  • 2 Chicken Carcass, chopped into 2
  • 2 clove Garlic, smashed

  • 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • Salt to taste

How to do it:
  1. Saute the garlic with a little oil till fragrant.
  2. Blanch chicken carcass to remove scum.
  3. Add chicken carcass and garlic into a fresh pot of water.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add prawn and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Remove and shell the prawns.
  7. Set the prawns aside and return the prawn heads and shells to the pot.
  8. Continue to simmer for at least an hour.
  9. Add in the choy sum stalks if you like.
  10. Cook till stalks have softened.
  11. Drain the soup stock.
  12. Add seasonings to taste.
  13. Keep in hot in a thermal pot if necessary.
  14. When ready to eat, boil a pot of water.
  15. Grab some noodles and blanch in boiling water.
  16. Drain the noodles.
  17. Place some choy sum in a bowl then pour the blanched noodle over.
  18. Top with previously cooked prawns.
  19. Pour over hot soup stock and serve.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Flower Crab Porridge

I'm sure most of you know how to make porridge. Rice grains plus water and boil till the grains break up.

However, that's not how I usually makes my porridge.  I make porridge using cooked rice and I have been doing it since my kids started eating porridge. My aunt told me that this way of making porridge is better (for kids) as it causes less wind. Err ... I'm not quite sure about the wind part. I only find it easier to make especially flavoured ones, for this instance, Flower Crab Porridge. I find time use to cook the porridge using cooked rice is shorter and not to messy to eat.

The one question we always have when we make porridge is, how much water is need? Usually it will be an estimation. If the porridge is drying p during cooking add more water or scoop out the excess water. Right? It's easy if you are making plain porridge but if you are making making say flavoured ones, adding more water will ditule the taste (unless you made extra stock to add on), throwing out excess water will be a waste.

Whichever way it is done, porridge, plain or flavoured, is always my comfort food, especially on a cold rainy day.

  • 1/2 cup or 80g Rice Grain
  • 2 Flower Crabs, clean
  • 1.5 - 2 litre Homemade Chicken Stock
  • 2-3 slices Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chicken Powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste

How to do it:
  1. Cook the rice as normal in rice cooker.
  2. Meanwhile, prepared the crabs.
  3. Pull out and remove the tail flap.
  4. Open the upper shell and remove and discard the gill and innards.
  5. Chop the crab into 2 parts each.
  6. Place the crab parts into the chicken stock.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes or till just cooked.
  8. Remove the meaty parts of the crab.
  9. Remove the crab meat.
  10. Set the meat aside and return the remaining shells to the stock to continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  11. When the rice is cooked, scoop it out into a pot.
  12. Pour the drained stock into the pot with the rice.
  13. Add in the sliced ginger.
  14. Bring the rice with stock to a boil.
  15. Reduce to a simmer.
  16. Continue cooking for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally to prevent the grains from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  17. Cook longer for a smoother congee-like consistency.
  18. Add in the crab meat.
  19. Season with the cooking wine, chicken powder, if using, and salt.
  20. Serve, here with fried shredded ginger and it's oil and spring onion.

  • In step 12, you can add the chicken stock in parts instead of adding all at once.  Add more stock later if you find the porridge too thick.
  • I cooked and removed the meat of the crab so it will be easier to eat. You can add the crab parts with the cooked rice and stock to cook together if you like.
  • To remove the crab meat in step 9, you can use a pair of kitchen scissor to cut open the crabs. You can only do this if you are using flower crabs as they have much softer outer shells.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

{ Dried Scallop Fried Rice }

Fried Rice. This is one of the meals I cook often when I am busy lazy. The kids seldom complain about having this for any meal of the day unless it's with ingredients they don't like. Then again, I have difficult kids ... Here, my daughter complains about the baby corn and my son complains about the peas. =_=|| BUT, they still have to eat them, like it or not. :P

Their favourite fried rice is Garlic Fried Rice. Nothing much in there but lots of garlic which is both's favourite. Have you heard of kids who love eating fried or roasted garlic as tibits? I have 2 at home.

Anyway, for this Scallop Fried Rice, I made and used my own Scallop XO Sauce to go with it. I left out the sliced mushroom and chilli for the XO sauce so it's easier for the kids to eat. And of course I have to add their favourite kanimi surimi. Nowadays, they prefer I use imitation snow crab legs instead of the usually crabsticks. =_=|||

Did I just make an easy meal sounds complicated?