Thursday, December 27, 2007

Steamed fish rolls with Asian pear strips

Steamed Fish Roll with Pear Strips
Ingredients: thin fillets of cod fish (I use a usual thick fillet available in grocery stores, and fillet it thinner - to get rectangular thin fillets); some enoki mushrooms, some bunshimeiji mushrooms, carrot strips, colored pepper strips, Korean Asian pear strips
(note: quantity estimated based on how much your rolled-up fish can accomodate)

Seasoning/marinade: some salt and pepper, cooking wine, sesame oil

1. Rub some salt and pepper on the fish
2. Place the strips of mushroom, pepper, carrot, pear on one edge(short side) of the fish; then start rolling lengthwise till the other edge. You will get the rolls looking lilke those above.
3. Place the rolls on a plate suitable for steaming.
4. When water for steaming boils, start steaming for 6mins till the fish are almost cooked (turns opaque) and at the last one minute, dash in some cooking wine and sesame oil (spooned over) the fish, and finish steaming for the last minute
5. Serve immediately

Everyone can do this dish. Definitely worth a try. I use frozen cod fillets but those that are claimed to be flash-frozen to retain freshness, and they were...indeed quite fresh.

Seasoning was kept simple so that nothing overpowers; allowing you to taste the flavor of the fish that has been lightly infused with flavors from the vegetables, mushrooms, and pear. The light crisp of the Asian pear was still retained and not all gone in the process of steaming - added a little crisp texture to the tender moist fish rolls. The Asian pear strips also injected a very very light fruity sweet to the fish rolls. They definitely make these savory steamed fish rolls taste...out of the world...delicious. :)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Snacks and desserts party ideas

If any of those 10 one-dish favorites could make it your 2008, then these snack attacks and dessert indulgence could ease you through to make your entrees complete.

My Top Five Picks on Snacks and Desserts can be your Xmas, New Year or any holiday party idea! They are the easiest while most yummy, in my opinion.


Spicy Prawn Balls

Eggless Tiramisu

Mini Chicken Pies


More snacks and dessert ideas for you -


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chicken noodle - instant noodles with steamed chicken

Steamed chicken noodle/Noodle with steamed chicken

Ingredients: Chicken thigh meat sliced; ginger cut into fine shreds; scallions/spring onions jullienned on the bias, some crushed ginger; red/yellow peppers

Marinade: oyster sauce, cornflour, sesame oil

1.Marinate chicken for 30 mins
2.Lay the chicken slices on a plate, sprinkle ginger and scallions on top of chicken, add in the additional crushed ginger and put it to steam for about 15-20mins (or until the chicken is cooked)
3. Dish the steamed chicken (with its gravy) over cooked instant noodles (like need to be instant) or cooked rice (when you have more time), and toss the noodles well to let them soak the gravy.
4. Serve with any vegetables of your choice.

For detailed quantity of ingredients and marinade, you can refer to this steamed chicken recipe.

This is another surprise though the name steamed chicken noodle itself may sound so-military, so-bland, and so-unappetizing. Remember...when you steam the marinated chicken with ginger and scallions, you get natural sweetness from the chicken mixing with the marinate seasonings and ginger+scallions. The result is...AWESOME, though nothing fanciful. That chicken clear gravy will line each previously-tasteless noodle strand with moist, and flavor. I wonder if this sounds easy to you but all I had to do was to marinate, assemble the chicken to let it steam; cook the noodles; finally toss them together and I said...PRESTO!

P.S. You can choose the so-much-effort-and-pride-put-in recipe here, or the quick-turn-around-yet-delicious recipe here, to prepare and cook the chicken. I chose the latter.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Clam Pasta - Clam Spaghetti in Bean Sauce

Clam Spaghetti in Bean Sauce
-1tsp taucheo (preserved/fermented soy beans)
-2tsp crushed ginger
-2cloves garlic, minced
-2tsp sambal belacan
-green onions
-1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked to al-dente, set aside

1. Stir fry ginger and garlic at medium heat till fragrant
2. Add tauceho and sambal, and mix well. Add in 2tbsp water so that the paste mixture does not dry up
3. Add in clams to simmer and when the shells open up, add in green onions
4. When ready to serve, add in the pasta, mix well and serve immediately

This dish is a total savory enjoyment - the sauce and the fresh clams, they are IT!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Stir Fry Linguine with Shredded Duck

Stir Fry Linguine with Shredded Duck
Leftover duck, red peppers, scallions/green onions, bean sprouts, linguine cooked and set aside

Directions: Add in shredded leftover duck into pan at medium heat, fry for a while and there will be some "oil/fats" in the duck that oil the pan. Once the pan is lightly oiled, add in all the red peppers, and bean sprouts and stir fry till tender. Then add in scallions/green onions, and linguine the last. Serve immediately.

Does the colors tell you it's tasty?

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fried fish in soy sauce and ginger

Fried fish in soy and ginger
-2 fish fillets; fillet across the fish(width-wise), pat fish fillet dry using kitchen towels and season with salt and pepper
- scallions

-3tbsp dark soy suce
-drizzle of cooking wine
-drizzle of sesame oil
-1tsp crushed ginger

- some all-purpose flour mixed with corn flour

1. Heat oil at medium-high in frying pan. When ready to fry, coat the fish evenly with flour mixture, and slide down into the pan from the sides (sliding action is to prevent oil splatter on yourself). Since I was using a wide-based pan when even the oil is not sufficient to cover the entire fillet, the trick is to fry each side of fish for 2-3mins at medium-high heat. Do not turn fish frequently. When done, set aside on plate
2. In a clean sauce pan or the above frying pan(drained alway majority of the oil used to fry the fish), add in sauce ingredients and simmer at low heat till aromatic.
3. When slightly reduced, pour sauce over fish and serve.

Cooked to perfection - slightly crispy lightly crusted outside, yet cooked and moist on the inside. With that traditional Chinese-style sauce of dark soy and ginger, MORE RICE, please!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Deep fried ginger, ginger fries

While thinly sliced ginger can be added to vegetable and meat stir-fry dishes, thin strips of ginger can also be deep-fried. Hey, ginger fries! Move over...french fries and whatever sweet potato fries :P

This will be THE perfect golden to look our for, in deep-fried ginger strips. The trick is to julienne to thin strips, and deep-fry them in medium-high heat till they turn golden. Do not turn your eyes away while deep-frying - monitor them carefully and strain them out of the hot oil once these ginger strips turn color.

Perfect as a garnish and adds a hint of spice in chicken and pork dishes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Banana Peanut Butter Wonton Pockets

Woooo hoooo...what's that ? A volcano about to erupt. Can't you see the transparent "lava" flowing to the foot of the volcano ?

This little sweet snack is created entirely from leftovers. Leftover wonton skin, unused almond butter, and overly ripe bananas.

Leftovers can really stretch one's creativity, and thanks to Leftover Tuesday (it's at #10 now) - it resulted in these Banana and Peanut Butter Wontons/Pockets.

Creamy filling inside...warm light snack!

Banana and Peanut Butter Wontons Pockets
Ingredients: wonton wrappers, peanut butter, banana
Directions: Mash the ripe bananas with the peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Using 2 pieces of wonton wrappers, scoop 1tsp on one wrapper and sandwich with the 2nd wrapper. Deep-fry or bake!

Look at the crispy slightly-browned edges

There is always something about moist-in-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside that gives the perfect balance in texture and taste layering.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spicy Prawn Ball on Deep-Fried Basil

Spicy Prawn Ball on Deep-Fried Basil
-12-16 shelled prawns
-2tsp curry powder
-1/2 tsp Tom Yum paste
-1tsp brown sugar
-1 egg white
-basil leaves, deep-fried

A- Deep-frying basil : Heat 2 cups oil in wok until almost smoking and drop in handfuls of leaves so they turn brilliant green and crisp in seconds. Lift onto paper towels with a slotted spoon. Serve quickly, sprinkled over other dishes just before serving so the leaves don't have time to lose their crispness. Or pass a bowl of them around on their own for a new sensation in flavour and texture.

B- Prawn balls
1. Chop the shrimps with cleaver till reduced to chunky paste
2. In a mixing bowl, add in all ingredients and mix well in one direction (to make it stay in shape during mixing)
3. Shape paste into small rounds
4. Set frying plan over medium-high heat and fry for 45secs-2mins(depending on size of balls) till golden brown (Note: don't overcorwd the frying pan. Do in batches)
5. Drain well on paper towels and serve hot

Faintly aromatic with the use of curry powder. This will be a crowd pleaser and surprise treat of appetizer :)

Get ready your toothpicks or mini-cocktail skewers!


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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Minced Pork Soba with Wontons





Minced pork with black vinegar

= y

Let me score that for you...Minced Pork Soba with Wontons !

Maths is straightforward. 1+1 = 2 and nothing else (don't tell me it's eleven, please?)
Don't agree? Give me your answer for y then.

It was such a pleasant surprise. The nutty flavor of soba blends well with the minced pork sauce concocted here. Check out that recipe. For making wontons, you can check it out here.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Black Pepper Basil Beef

Black Pepper Basil Beef
-Beef sirloin (slice and fillet against the grain)
-Handful of fresh basil
-Black pepper

-2tsp oyster sauce
-1tsp dark soy
-1tsp sesame oil
-1tbsp black pepper

1. Marinate beef slices for at least 2hrs in the fridge.
2. Heat pan with oil at low-medium heat. Add in marinated beef and stir fry beef slices over medium-high heat till athey start to turn color
3. Add basil leaves to beef and complete cooking about 2mins
4. Dish up and serve immediately

Good basil flavor and fragrance, well-balanced with the black pepper marinated beef

In cooked recipes it is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the meal. In other food cultures such as in Taiwan, fresh basil leaves are added into thick soups (羹湯, pronounced geng tang). They also eat fried chicken with deep-fried basil leaves.

The Thais also use basil in stir-fries eg. in a dish like Kai Pad Bai Kaprow- Thai Basil chicken.

What are the basil flavors in this? Lemony...peppery...vanilla

It's so yummy! You must try this. You don't have to get your ingredients from any specialty store.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shitake and oyster mushroom medley stir fry

Mushroom medley stir-fry
Ingredients: Mushrooms, garlic, vegetarian oyster sauce
Directions: Heat some oil and saute minced garlic till fragrant. Add in mushrooms, and fry till soften. Add in some vegetarian oyster sauce, mix well and dish up to serve.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chicken curry, curry chicken

The main basic ingredients in this dish are chicken, curry, and in my opinion, coconut milk (what is chicken curry without the coconut milk, the lemak - Lemak is a culinary description in the Malay language which specifically refers to the presence of coconut milk which adds a distinctive richness to a dish.).

Spices generally depends on the cooking style -
-masala powder, saffron, ginger and so on (depending on cookery style)
-kunjit (yellow ginger)
-galangal (blue ginger)
-star anise

When onions are added, it tends to make the chicken curry sweeter. Of course, I still usually like my Singapore or Malaysia chicken curry with potatoes.

Chicken curry/curry chicken
Coconut Milk, Coriander, Onion, Sugar, Salt, Chili, Cumin, Fennel, Garlic, Turmeric, Cinnamon, and Star Anise

It's usually eaten with rice or roti (bread).

In Singapore, some of us like to search for the baguette when it comes to chicken curry. However, I found that brioche is so much a better choice, It's not that tough and chewy as baguette and have an eggy taste which adds another layer of of taste and dmianeional when paired with chicken curry.

(1) You can always eat them from the start, dipping with bread

(2) Or when you find that rice ran out and you only have bread, this the perfect time to let this instant sponge showcase

(3) A good brioche has the porosity like sponge, and soft just like sponge

(4) The plate is cleaned :p


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Monday, October 22, 2007

Stir-fry Shredded Duck

Look at the crispy delicious duck skin, oh-so-sinful...but oh-so-nice

The leftover of half a roasted duck went to a stir fry.

Stir-fry Shredded Duck/Rainbow Duck
- Leftover duck shredded
- handful of beansprouts,
- 1 red pepper
- some Yu chai (Yu Choy vegetable)

1. Start with pan on low heat. No need oil since the leftover duck contains some fats and oil.
2. Add in duck, and when the "oil" starts to ooze out on the pan, add the other vegetables.
3. Stir fry them at medium heat till vegetables just turn tender
4. Garnish with thin shreds of egg

So many facets of duck. For this stir fry, it is colorful and I decided to name it Rainbow Duckie!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Steamed tofu balls

Steamed Tofu Balls
-orange or red peppers, julienned
-some enoki, buna shimeiji mushrooms
- soft/silken bean curd(1 small std size block or 1/2 big block) (Note: I recommend changing and using medium or firm tofu as I find that silken tofu gives too much moisture after mashing, "lose ALL its structure and integrity" and makes it hard to shape)
-1/2lb minced chicken
-1 egg white

Seasoning A
-1/2 tsp ginger juice
-some corn flour

Seasoning B
-1/2 tsp ginger juice
-1tbsp chinese cooking wine
-1tbsp corn flour

1. Mash/puree bean curd tofu
2. Combine chicken and tofu in a bowl. Add egg white and Seasoning A. Mix well
3. Shape bean curd mixture into balls, and place on plate. Top with peppers and mushrooms , steam over high heat till cooked.
4. In saucepan, add Seasoning B and bring to boil. Pour over tofu balls. Serve immediately.

These steamed tofu balls are different from the Pipa Tofu I've tried to make much earlier, though the "mashing/pureeing and shaping" are similar. The Pipa Tofu that were deep-fried a little, then braised, were heavier on taste; compared to these steamed ones which are lighter in taste yet still delicious. The latter were also a lot easier to make since no deep-frying steps were involved. The steamed tofu balls are indeed another delight for me!

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