Monday, April 28, 2014

{ Breakfast : Burger with Egg and Mushroom }

This was Sunday's breakfast.

The kids have been asking for burgers very often for weekend burgers. =_=||  They really like the meat patties so much. :P

This time round, I made smaller meat patties but a bit too small till you can't even see it. It's in between the cheese and the omelette.  The egg was seasoned with salt and pepper and also drizzled with truffle oil. I topped it with sauteed button mushroom too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sour Plum and Calamansi with Sprite

I haven't been well lately, low blood pressure and some other old (wo)man ailment.  Age's catching up.  I have been feeling dizzy and nausea. And this weather is not helping either!

I have been drinking honey with calamansi juice and lots of ice! But today, I just want a cold frizzy drink!

So here it is!

  • 2 Sour Plum
  • 30ml Hot Water
  • 200ml Sprite
  • 2 - 3 teaspoon Calamansi Juice
  • Ice cubes!

How to do it:

  1. Soak and soften sour plums with hot water in a tall glass.
  2. Add the calamansi juice.
  3. Pour over the sprite.
  4. Serve with ice cubes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Honey Baked Cod

I'm re-posting one of my favourite recipes. This recipe brings back lots of memories I had when I was working in a Japanese Company, Rubycon.

I was such a workaholic then. Never would have thought I would give up my job to be a full time homemaker.  Some of my ex-colleagues are still with the Company but my ex-boss was being posted to Korea.  I hope they are all well.

  • 2 slice Cod

  • 6 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 5 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sake
  • 1 tablespoon Water

How to do it:
  1. Mix the marinade well.
  2. Pour over the the cod and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven at 180C.
  4. Lay your baking tray with baking paper.
  5. Drain cod from marinade and reserve the marinade.
  6. Simmer the marinade till it thickens. Use this as basting sauce.
  7. Grill the cod for 20 minutes skin-side up.
  8. Bast the cod with the sauce a couple of times.
  9. Carefully turn the cod over.
  10. Continue to grill, basting the cod a few times till the surface caramelised.
  11. Serve immediately.

  • As this dish contain honey, be careful not to burn the cod. Adjust the temperature of your oven and the timing accordingly.
  • Adjust the sweetness of the dressing according to your taste.

Fried Prawn Fritters

Guess what I had for afternoon tea today?

My childhood favourite street snack, Fried Prawn Fritters. Today I remembered to get the Chinese Chive and Bean Sprout but I'm going to leave out the bean sprouts next time as it caused oil splatters!! Urgh!!

Oh! The kids had those with the prawn shells removed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fried Ginger Shreds

I made a container of Fried Ginger Shreds today.  I love to use this to top on dishes like Threadfin with Ginger Sauce, Frog Leg with Ginger and Scallion, Braised Chicken in Ginger, Porridge, etc.  I love to eat them as tibits too.

This reminds me of my confinement days.  The confinement lady knew I loved to munch on them, she made me a big container of it before she left.

You need to be really skillful in order to get thinly sliced ginger slice.  You will have a hard time frying thick shreds as it will brown on the outside but still raw inside.

I have shared how I cheated on shredding ginger years ago, here.  I'm sharing this again for those who loves these ginger shreds but had no idea how to do it thinly.  I even used this to slice Arrowhead to make chips during the Chinese New Year period.

You just need this magical tool.  It's magical to me cos I have this for years and it's still able to shred my skin off my hand if I'm not careful enough. :P

You just need use the peeler to slice out thin slices of ginger, then stack a few slices and julienne it.  That part, no more cheat tricks. You have to keep trying till you get it thin enough.

Fry the ginger shreds in batches on medium low heat till they turn lightly golden.  At this point, they will start to brown and burn very quickly, so remove them as fast as you can. If you have problems removing them fast, I suggest you pour everything out into a strainer.

You can return the oil back to the pan to continue frying the next batch.  Drain the fried ginger shreds on paper towel to remove excess oil. Store them in an airtight container once cooled.

Do not discard the oil.  You can use it to drizzle on your cooking just like how you use sesame oil.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stir-fried Asparagus and Scallops with Belacan

This is one of my favourite dish. I will always cook this, with or without seafood, whenever I can get the thick asparagus.  I just can't get the same kick with the thin Thai asparagus. 

I wished that the price for these asparagus is more affordable though. It's such an expensive dish to cook.

  • 6 Asparagus, skinned and sliced
  • 4 Scallops, sliced half
  • 2 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Shallot, sliced
  • 1 Chilli, seed and julienned
  • 1 teaspoon Belacan, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cooking Oil

How to do it:
  1. Saute garlic and shallot in oil till fragrant.
  2. Add in chilli, belacan and dried shrimp.
  3. Stir fry for about a minute.
  4. Add in scallops and stir-fry till almost cooked.
  5. Dished the scallops and set aside.
  6. In the same wok, add in asparagus and stir fry till the colour of the asparagus turned a dark shade of green or almost cooked. 
  7. Add in the previously cooked scallops. 
  8. Continue cooking till the scallops are cooked thoroughly.
  9. Add a pinch of salt to taste if necessary.
  10. Dish and serve immediately.

You may like to replace scallops with prawns or squids.

Simplfied Hot Plate Tofu

This is a cheat copycat version of the popular sizzling hot plate tofu from zhi char stall. It's a simple hot plate tofu using just a few ingredients that my kids eat.

You can add or replace the the vegetables used here to your preference.

  • 1 tube Egg Tofu, cut into thick pieces
  • 2 Fresh Shitake Mushroom, stalk removed and cut into smaller pieces
  • a handful Green Peas
  • a 1/4 Carrot, skinned and sliced
  • some diced Red Pepper for colour (optional)
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1/3 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Stock or Water

How to do it:
  1. Dab dry egg tofu and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown.
  2. Remove, drain from oil and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, blanched the carrot till it's slightly soften.
  4. Drain and set aside.
  5. Heat pan with a tablespoon oil.
  6. Saute garlic till fragrant but not brown.
  7. Add in the vegetables.
  8. Stir-fry for awhile.
  9. Add in the tofu.
  10. Add in the oyster sauce, sugar and stock.
  11. Stir-fry till the vegetables are cooked and stock is almost absorbed.
  12. Meanwhile, heat up a oiled pan or hot plate.
  13. Pour in the the beaten egg and swirl around to make sure the egg covers the whole pan.
  14. Pour in the cooked tofu and vegetable.
  15. Serve immediately.

  • If you are using hard vegetables such as baby corn, carrot, sweet peas, etc., you can either blanch them or stir fry them first before adding the rest of vegetables as they need a longer time to cook compared to the rest.
  • Turn off the heat before you crack the egg. If the pan or hot plate is heated well enough, there will be enough heat to continue cooking the egg. This way also prevents the egg from over-cooking before adding the tofu and vegetables.

Oven Grilled Chicken with Mayonnaise and Herbs

One of my favourite dish is the Baked Cod with Garlic Mayo.  Recently, I decided to try out the same idea on chicken with my (dying) homegrown herbs. Better eat them before they all dry out (due to the hot weather) and die. :P

I did the same dish 3 times before deciding which is the family's favourite. Once with dried herbs grilled on rack and the next was without rack. The 3rd tried out was with fresh herbs grilled on rack.

My husband preferred the fresh herbs as it's more subtle and not too overpowering. But he preferred grilling the chicken straight on the pan so the chicken can absorb the juices. I preferred the stronger aroma from the dried herbs but I, too, preferred grilling it on the pan. The chicken turned out very juicy and flavourful. Even the kids loved it.

Try it out and let me know which do you prefer. :)

  • 4 Chicken Leg, deboned
  • 5 tablespoon Japanese Mayonnaise
  • 2 sprig Fresh Rosemary
  • a small bunch Oregano (abt 4 stems)
  • a small bunch Thyme (abt 10 stems)
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder or 2 clove Garlic, grated
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt

How to do it:
  1. Remove leaves of all the herbs from its stems.
  2. Tear them into bits or you can chop them up if you like.
  3. Mix them with the mayonnaise.
  4. Spread the mixture all over clean and dabbed dry chicken.
  5. Spread a little mixture under the skin too if possible.
  6. Let it marinate for at leave 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper all over.
  8. I added more black pepper on the skin.
  9. Grill chicken in preheat oven at 180c for 30 mins.
  10. Increase the temperature to 200c and continue to grill chicken another 10 mins or till the skin starts to brown.
  11. Remove and serve.

  • You may replace fresh herbs with 1 teaspoon of dried herbs each.  I prefer using garlic powder as fresh garlic will taste bitter if it's burned.
  • If you prefer the chicken to be dried and more crispy, grill it on a rack.
  • You can use the sauce from the chicken to roast more flavour vegetables.
  • Have 'tent' made from foil to cover the chicken, if you find the chicken browning too fast. Remove it at step 10 to continue grilling to brown the skin.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{ Little Lunch Box #63 }

I ordered some new food picks online. The nice ladies from J-mama & Baby who are always always so efficient, delivered them to me yesterday!

Love love love these eyes picks! They are so cute! Even my daughter who are not into cute food said it's 'okay' to use them on her food.  =_=|||

She probably will regret what she said yesterday, because today I used them on prawns, one of those food that she is very particular about how it's cooked. Again ..... =_=|||  I forced her to eat them anyway since the rest of the food that I have prepared are all her favourite food.

So, here's her simple lunch with meatballs, blanched spinach, shitake mushroom and quail eggs.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

{ Breakfast : Caramelised Peppered Bacon with Sausage }

This was my son and his tutor's breakfast today.  We love the Caramelised Bacon with Black Pepper. It's a nice change to the usual salty bacon. Not sure if the tutor like it though.

My daughter doesn't like bacon or this type of sausage. =_=||| She had her kaya sandwiches and scrambled eggs (what else!). She asked for garlic bread after that. And so this mum, when ahead to make the garlic spread and made a few using hotdog bun for everyone to share. No pictures here on that but you can check on my Instagram on it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

{ Little Lunch Box #62 }

My mind's a blank on what to prepare for the little one for her lunch in school.

This was not what I had planned. It was suppose to be sandwiches but I went home buying the bread and all sort of stuff except ingredients for the sandwich. =_=||   Always so distracted.

So, she had "Pie" (Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Mash), "Pau" (Poached Egg with Egg Crepe) and a slice of "cake" (Musubi) for lunch today.

Instruction on how to make the "Pau" (Poached Egg with Egg Crepe) ...

  1. Prepared the egg crepe first. It is done by cooking a beaten egg on a oiled pan. You don't fry it so just oil the pan and clean off excess oil with a paper towel. This is to make sure that the egg crepe doesn't stick and tear when you remove it.
  2. Have a 'piece' of spring onion blanch briefly, with a drop of oil preferred, ready too. This is to help soften the spring onion so it can be used at a string to tie the egg pouch later.
  3. Have cling wrap placed loosely over a small bowl.
  4. Crack and egg inside and gather the top and tie it using a part of the cling wrap.
  5. Move it around in simmer water to cook the egg till the done-ness you want. The egg I did was cooked with cooked white and soft yolk.
  6. Remove the cling wrap and place it in the middle of the egg crepe.
  7. Carefully gather up the edge of the egg crepe and tie it using the spring onion. Be gentle.
  8. And it's done.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

{ Little Lunch Box #61 }

Today everyone had Omurice at home! Hmm ... sort of.

I packed the little one's lunchbox (for her ASP) with fried rice covered with an omelette and drizzled with mushroom sauce. She had sweet peas and additional petite peas as sides.

The elder one and I had the same thing for lunch at home. Well, almost the same thing. The elder one doesn't like sweet peas or peas, or omelette, or mushroom sauce. Haiz ... So he only had fried rice and some 'filtered' mushrooms as sides.

I had the mushroom sauce drizzled Omurice plus a must have salad. What did you have for lunch?

Friday, April 4, 2014

{ Little Lunch Box #60 }

A few days ago, my daughter requested that I made her all time favourite burger for her lunch today as she has After School Programme.

The meat patty is a mixture of minced pork with fish paste. I added chopped coriander and diced crabstick to the mixture too. I also added some pepper to it. No further seasoning was added as fish paste is already seasoned. The patty is then pan-fried as it is with no panko or breadcrumbs.

Mushroom is my daughter's favourite. Hence I made some saute mushroom with only a pinch of salt and added it  to the burger with some Alfalfa Sprouts too.

The burger is secured together with a toothpick with an Edamame Bean at the end so the kids know about it.  And no! I don't have so many kids! The other 2 in the background were for her friends. My son will return home to eat this for lunch too.

By now, you must be mumbling to yourself, if I am ever going to talk about the carrier for the burger. Right? ;P

I ran out of burger box so I use the regular round containers that are used for take-aways to pack the burger.

I heated up a metal chopstick (Korean chopsticks) and poked it thru the bottom center of the container to make a hole. You can use a screwdriver and remember to clean the container after that.

Next, I tied a string (I'll use a nice ribbon if I had planned it earlier) so it's in a loop and pressed a date tag, used for bread, to the loop. You can tie a knot close to the tag. The loop is then threaded thru the hole from the inside of the container. 

Now the cover of the carrier is done.

I placed a piece of wax paper on the cover with the top of the cover facing down. The burger is place on it. Next, you cover it with the base of the container, which is now the cover.

Press it down to secure it. You know you have done so when the wax paper on the outside are all 'pointing upwards'. Having said that, please go ahead to double check. :)

The wax paper helps make the closure tighter and also help hold any liquid from the burger. There will be an indention when the cover is opened and the wax paper will look like a little bowl holding the burger. :)

If  you are worry that your kids do not know how to open it, just turn the container upside down and open the container the usual way. Then hold the flat cover over the container and turn it back to let the burger drop back onto the cover.

Just a tip here. Get the right size of container for your burger if you intend to do this. You don't want the burger to fall apart. :)

Try it out next time you pack food for your loved ones. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Collagen Stock

Last week I shared a container of my homemade jello-like collagen-rich stock on Instagram and Facebook and had many people asking how it was done.

I was kinda taken by surprised as I thought many already knew how to do it. I have been making bone stock since my kids were toddlers, mainly using it as a base to make porridge or noodles for them.

I would make it large quantity and freeze them in individual containers and in ice cube trays meant for cooking. I will leave a bigger portion of the stock, kept in the fridge for the week too. This portion of broth in the fridge will turned jello-like when it's cold.

Since there are so many request for this, I will share how I do it in this post.

Basically there are 2 types of stock I made.  One that gives a yellowish clear broth, which requires about 4 hours of simmering. I usually use this to make porridge or vegetable soup.

The other type of stock will require a much longer cooking time, at least double the time required of the stock mentioned above or if possible, longer. It will also require a higher heat compared to the former in order to break down the marrow, calcium, minerals, etc, from the bones into the stock, hence turning it milky and opaque. I use this to make soup for my ramen.

My suggestion to make a slightly more than 3.5 litre broth requires 2 big pork bones, 2 chicken carcass and an optional 8 chicken feet for additional collagen to a pot of 5 litres of water.

I simmered it for the first 5 hours on the lowest heat and turn the heat slightly higher for the next 3 to 4 hours. You can stop cooking after 5 hours and still get the jello-like stock but it won't be milky and there won't be much 'sticky lip' effect from drinking soup make from the stock.

Whichever way you choose, it is very important that you always remember to blanch the bones first before making the stock. Otherwise, you will get a much darker stock instead of the clear or milky stock.

I usually place all the bones into a big pot with enough water covering all the bones and bring it to a boil. Once it start boiling, scum will form on the surface. Remove and clear the contents. Give the bones a rinse and add them to a fresh pot of water and begin to start making the stock.

Remember to keep skimming away the scum that forms on the surface during cooking so you get a clear stock.

Drain the stock from the bones and let it cool before you store them in the fridge or freezer. Once the stock congeal into jello-like form, you can use a spoon and to easily remove all the fats on the top, if you like.

At the end of all the hard work, you will be rewarded with a stock that is filled with collagen and minerals. It is rich and gelatinous and is good for making a bowl of soup, porridge or noodles, etc for your loved ones.

Additional Notes:
  • You can add vegetables and or herbs during the cooking too.
  • Use a pressure cooker if you have one to cut down the cooking time.
  • Never add salt to the broth. Do it only when you use the stock for further cooking.