Friday, August 22, 2008

Noodle wrapped Prawns

This is a waste on fresh prawns. But you can't serve prawns that are not fresh either. It's a dilemma. The best thing to do it to think of an alternative, which I'm going to try making this again using Bee-Hoon (rice vermicelli). So remember to come back to check. *wink*

Meanwhile, have a look at this not so perfect (cos it's a waste on ingredient) dish. But don't you think it looks good? *thick-skin* And it's a kid's favourite. Well, at least, it's my kids' favourite. My daughter only ate the noodles! *faint*

The confession I want to made about this dish was ... I was trying to get rid of the instant noodle I bought wrongly! Err ... Hmmm ... I told you it's a waste of food. :P

This is not difficult to make but it's just a bit more work to be done here.

You need a packet of instant noodles or those thin wanton noodles. As you know, I used instant noodles here. Cook that in water with 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Drain and cover with a damp cloth. What we want is to let it cool so you can handle it with your hands but not dry as they will stick together. But don't add oil because we do want the noodles to stick together later. If you add oil here to prevent them from sticking, you will have a hard time later.

Next, while waiting for the noodles to cool down, you blanch your shelled prawns with tail intact in hot water with 1 teaspoon of salt till 50% cooked. Don't over cook them as they will be too hard after you fry them. Drain and set aside.

Once the noodles are cooled, you can take a few of them and start to coil round the prawns from the tail. You don't want too much noodles on it. Just enough to cover the prawns. If you have added oil earlier, the noodles will slip off the prawns.

After all prawns are wrapped with noodles, refrigerate them for 15 minutes. This helps to 'dry' them so it's easier to fry later.

Heat the oil. You can throw in a noodle. If it sizzles, not just bubbling, then it's hot enough. Put the prawns in and fry till the noodles till the noodles turn light brown. Drain and serve immediate with your desire sauce.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spicy Clams 辣炒蛤蜊

One of my all time favourite, clams 蛤蜊. We commonly called it "拉拉 (LaLa)" in hokkien here. And for this type of calms with lighter shells and prints on them, it's called "花拉 (HuaLa)". Cute eh?

Sometimes when my husband works late, he will have supper (yeah, he skip dinner) at some Zi-Char stall with his colleagues. He never fail to ta-bao clams or snails for me.

However, I find them too spicy, even after he told the cook to make it less spicy. Yeah, I don't sound like a Singaporean at all. Most of the Singaporeans I know can handle really spicy food. Hotter the better but not me. So what do I do? I drink jugs of water. :P Yeah, that how much I like them, even when they are too spicy for me. Put out the fire and continue eating. haha ...

So, it's easier to cook on my own and so much cheaper too. Plus I won't be bloated. :P

  • 600g Clams, cleaned
  • 3 Shallot, chopped
  • 4 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 2 fresh red chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon Fermented Soy Bean Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Wine
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • Cornstarch mixture (thickener)

How to do it:
  1. Heat oil in wok.
  2. Stir fry shallot, garlic amd chilli till fragnant.
  3. Add in clams.
  4. Stir fry for 1/2 minute.
  5. Add in fermented soy bean paste, sugar and wine.
  6. Continue cooking till all the clams are opened.
  7. Guadually add in cornflour mixture to thicken the sauce.
  8. Serve.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meatball with Cheese

This yet another of my food experiments. After my successful attempt in making Cheesy Pork Cutlet, I continued to find ways to add cheese into my food.

I just love how the cheese oozing out from the food. It makes fried food less dry too. There are two versions of these. The every first version came about when I was making these for my kids.

I took some of the meat paste and instead of using quail eggs. I folded a slice of cheddar into a cube (okay, I sort of shaped it) and used that instead.

And tada! Meatballs with Cheese was born! Which, by the way, is what you are seeing now.

The other version uses only minced meat. No fish paste was involved. The kids preferred the first version because was sweeter and juicer.

I preferred the simpler version without the fish paste which tasted very much like the Cheesy Pork Cutlet except the meat was minced. Whichever version it is, it made me want to eat one after another.

Maybe you might do the same too? Just remember not to come after me if you put on too much weight because of these. :P

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steamed Snapper with Black Bean Sauce

My husband used to like a certain canned fermented black bean fish till he had food poisoning. He was the only person who ate that and the only person who had food poisoning. So we gathered that canned fish was the culprit. Anyway, that particularly brand is nowhere to be found now. My husband said that the other available brand tasted horrible. Since he missed his fermented black bean fish so much, I came up with a replacement. Taste-wise might not be the same. At least, it's healthier. Okay lah. He kinda like it after having it for dinner. *wink* Ingredients:
  • 150g Snapper Fillet
  • 1 tablespoon Fermented Black Bean, smashed
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
  • Few drops of Sesame Seed Oild
How to do it:
  1. Combine all ingredients except snapper and oil together.
  2. Place snapper on foil.
  3. Spread mixture on snapper.
  4. Seal foil.
  5. Steam for 8 minutes or till cooked.
  6. Remove from foil and drizzle with sesame seed oil.
  7. Serve with rice.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Grilled Seafood on Lemongrass

The idea for this dish came from Thai Fishcake. I used to fry it. This time round, I made them in satay style and grilled them. It's more interesting this way and prettier. ;) I think they look really nice with the lemon grass. I'm considering this as one of the dishes I'll make if I have friends over for dinner next time. Ingredients:
  • 150g Prawn (after shelled), minced
  • 150g Fish Paste or fillet (after skinned and debone), minced
  • Extra 10 Lemongrass as sticks
Blend into paste:
  • 1 Fresh Red Chilli, cored (more if you want it hot)
  • 3 Shallot
  • 1/2 stalk Lemongrass (white part only)
  • 2 clove Garlic
  • Ginger, size of fingertip
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Lime Juice
How to do it:
  1. Mix prawn and fish paste together
  2. Set aside till ready to use.
  3. Blend or pound chilli, shallot, lemongrass, garlic and ginger till paste like.
  4. Mix in the Turmeric Powder.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in wok.
  6. Fry the paste till fragrant.
  7. Add in the seasonings and continue cooking till well blended.
  8. Dish and set aside to cool.
  9. Mix cooled spiced with prawn and fish paste.
  10. Oil your hands and scoop some mixed paste.
  11. Mould it to the end part of the lemongrass.
  12. Heat and oil your grill pan.
  13. Grilled them till completely cooked.
  14. Serve.
Note: You can cheat by cutting 1 lemongrass into half, then you can buy lesser. ;)

Scallops with Assorted Vegetables

My husband commented that my food having more and more western influence in them. And he wondered if I still can cook anything Chinese. -_-"

So, here's one Chinese dish with his favourite, Ginkgo Nut, in it. Brain food for you, dear. And in case you didn't notice, if I use the oven to cook, the food are usually more westernized and if I uses the wok more, then more Chinese. ^_-

I was trying to spend lesser cooking and washing time mah. So lots of cooking done using the oven. Now that the electrical bill has increased so much, you'll see me using gas more often.

  • 12 (Canned) Ginkgo Nuts
  • 5 Fresh Shitake Mushroom, half,
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 6 Sweet Peas
  • 12 Scallops
  • 2 tablespoon Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Cooking Wine
  • Light Soy Sauce to taste
  • Cornflour Mixture (Thickener)
  • 2 tablespoon Oil
How to do it:
  1. Heat wok with oil.
  2. Add ginkgo nuts, bell pepper, sweet peas and mushroom.
  3. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add scallops and stir fry for 1/2 minutes.
  5. Add in the broth and cooking wine.
  6. Stir to mix well and add light soy sauce to taste
  7. When sauce begins to bubbles, stir in the thickener.
  8. Stir to coat well.
  9. Dish and serve.
Note: You have to remove the stem in the ginkgo nut before cooking it otherwise it will be bitter. You can do so by inserting a toothpick in the middle.

Monday, August 4, 2008

One of a kind, Tangy Wings

My late grandmother-in-law used to do this but in the deep frying version. She used black vinegar and the moment you sink your teeth into one, you'll start to salivate.

I like it except for the smell. I find vinegar too pungent. And so I have tweak it a little. You might find it weird because usually chicken wings are either sweet or saltish. I doubt you have seen or tried sourish wing before. But who knows you might love it at first bite! ;)

I used to make this for my sister and her classmates. That was before I got married. It was the only (deep fried) chicken wings I know how to do then. Probably the only thing I know how to cook too. :P

My sister is 8 years my junior so she was still in school when I started working. Her classmates would come over to our place to study and she would ask me to prepare this for them as snack. It was their favourite and the only place to have it was our place, by ... me. ;)

Now, this is my son's favourite. :) But I bake it instead so it's less oily.

If you game for something different, try this.

You will need to marinate your wings with 4 part lime or lemon juice, though I prefer lime, with 1 part light soy sauce. I add in 1 tablespoon of (white) pepper powder too. It won't be hot but it gives the wings a light pepper smell. You can omit that if you wish. You don't have to marinade this over-night. 4 to 5 hours should be enough.

I used to just drain the wings and deep fried them till golden brown. Yeah, no flour required but do remember to put a lid on when you deep fried. Don't come asking me to clean your kitchen if you don't. ;) That was when I don't have an oven.

You can bake it instead, if you have an oven or grill it. Spread some oil on the wings before you bake them. I would not suggest using butter here. You have to repeat spreading oil sparingly on the wings a couple more time. Till they are done. Like the Sweet Honey BBQ Wings, I bake this at 180C for 30 minutes or till thoroughly cooked and a further 7 minutes at 200c to get it brown.

Seriously, deep frying them taste a lot nicer. Ooo ... The super crispy skin! Fried or baked? You decide. ;)

Roasted Chicken with Oregano and Lemon

Have you tried my Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon? I got a new fan (for this recipe). My sister! She likes it so much that she even recommends it to her demonstrator (for Sharp Water Oven) to try it. Not too long ago, the lady, Irene, if I remembered correctly, just called me to clarify the recipe.

I'm going to tell my sister, she should really ask her demonstrator to try this instead. It's similar, less hassle but tasted just as good. I'm not sure if will be the same if you are using a conventional oven but the meat was still succulent though the breast meat is not as moist as the Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon. Blame me for being lazy. I didn't parboil the chicken, I didn't cover the chicken with foil too. I just put it in the oven and let the oven do it's job. But my husband said it's better than Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon.

But I got to warn you. Just like the Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon, it has a sour lemon taste. So if you are use to eat chicken that is either saltish or sweet, you might not like this. Or are you game for it?

  • 1 small or medium Chicken, washed and cleaned
  • 1 Lemon, half
  • Zest of 1 lemon, optional
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soften Butter or Margarine (I used margarine)

How to do it:
  1. Spread margarine in cavity of the chicken, under the skin and all over the chicken.
  2. Repeat for oregano, lemon zest, if using, and salt.
  3. Place the lemon in the cavity and seal with a toothpick.
  4. Set aside and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180C.
  6. Place chicken in a oven proof dish.
  7. Add potatoes around the chicken if you like.
  8. Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or till chicken is cooked and skin is golden brown and crispy.
  9. Bast the chicken with the sauce from the dish frequently (I did 4 times).
  10. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the Chicken and cover it loosely with foil.
  11. Drain the oil from the sauce. The remaining can be used as a dipping sauce for the chicken.
  12. Return the potatoes to the oven and continue roasting till brown.
  13. Place together with the Chicken and serve.

  • I used Super Roast 1 on the Water Oven for this dish.
  • If you are using conventional oven, I suggest you place a oven proof bowl of water when you are roasting so your chicken will be less dry.
  • Make a 'tent' using foil over the chicken if your chicken brown to fast.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Baked Mussels with Cheese

I used to dine at Fish & Co. with my friend, Shirley, when I was still working. (Ah! Those carefree days!) I would order the Mussels in Tomato every time we are there.

Since I quitted working and have kids, I dare say, I haven't gone out with any of my friends for makan sessions (pig-out). I'm always seen with my kids! And when we dine out during the weekends, it's usually somewhere which serve food that the kids like.

I love mussels but sad to say, none at home like like it. So, if we do dine at Fish & Co., I won't order it. Hence, I only cook mussels and eat at home; on my own.

The idea for this dish came from the mussel dish from Fish & Co. and .... pasta. :P You see, I had some tomato pasta sauce left which was too little for pasta. So, I thought why not just use it on mussels alone (I usually have mussels in my pasta). The results were not too bad. At least to me, it is. :P I forgot what my sister said as this is one of the dishes I served when she and her colleagues had dinner at my place. ;)

It's easy to make too. You just need mussels, tomato based pasta sauce and mozzeralla cheese.

Steam the mussels for 3 minutes first. If you don't partially cook it first to remove the liquid, when you bake it later, it will be very wet. Then the sauce and cheese will flow out of the mussels.

After steaming the mussels, drain them. You can retain the liquid as seafood stock. Spoon pasta sauce to cover fill the shell. Top with shredded mozzeralla cheese. Sprinkle some chopped parsley if you like.

Now bake at 180C for 10 minutes or till you see the sauce bubbling out of the cheese and that the cheese has melted.

Served it hot. It won't be nice once it's cold. Oh, do try with carbonara sauce too. Though, I strongly recommend tomato sauce. I don't know about you. I always feel that seafood (pasta) taste better in tomato based sauce. ;)