Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wontons or Wantans, savory dumplings

Wontons Dumplings
Starting from the fillings:
1. Vegetables
You can use Bok Choy, Bok Choy Sum or Chinese spinach- quickly blanch in boiling water, then drain away all excess water (make sure they are as dry as possible) and chop them very finely

Bok Choy or Bok Choy Sum can be a choice of vegetables to use. This is not fine enough -need to be chopped more finely.

Chinese spinach can be another alternative. They need to be as finely chopped as this.

2. Chicken, Pork, or Prawns
Mince them finely with cleaver or food processor (Note: Do not mince the prawns in the food processor as it will introduce a lot of moisture). Add the finely chopped vegetables to the meat/prawns.

3. Seasonings
Add some sesame oil, dashes of pepper. If pork or chicken is used, you can use some (dashes of) Chinese cooking wine as part of seasonings. Mix all the ingredients (1)-(3) thoroughly.

4. Use thin wonton wraps and make "envelope" like these. Aren't they cute and dainty?

Does this remind you of traditional Chinese gold ingots (金元宝, pronounced jin yuan bao) ?

If I could only get as close to these when I see the real Chinese gold ingots, I will be rich!

5. If not to be used immediately, place them in aluminum foil and place in freezer to store(up to 2 weeks). When ready to eat, boil a pot of water or chicken broth, when water or broth come to a boil, add in wontons and wait for them to re-boil. Add in some more water/broth, and once wontons boil the second time, they are fully cooked(wrinkled) and ready to be eaten, in soup/broth.

The boiled dumplings or wontons look like "swallowing clouds", thus also the name 云吞 (pronounced, yun tun). They were scooped out just for you to see. Now, they should return to the broth and into my stomach. :P~~~

Previous entries:
Waiter, there's something in my...bread
Waiter, there's something in my...easter basket

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Korean spicy soba noodles

Korean spicy soba noodles
- Korean seafood stew base remaining from here
- 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
- 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
- 1tbsp dried pink shrimps/anchovies (option)
- soba noodles

How to: Cook the soba noodles and set aside. To the stew-broth base, add the mushrooms, and anchovies. Simmer till mushrooms are cooked. Continue simmer for about 10 mins. Top the seafood broth over the noodles, serve with broccoli florets and garnish with nori.

KISS - Korean Inspired Spicy Soba (or Keep It Simple, Soba)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quick-fix Korean Tofu Stew

The Pulmuone broth, made quite an authentic Korean tofu stew (soon du bu)

Quick-fix Korean Tofu Stew (serves 2-3)
-1 pack Pulmuone brand Tofu broth seasoning
-1 pack extra-soft tofu
-seafood medley of prawns, clams, etc
-2 eggs

1. Follow instructions on the pack.
2. Add the tofu and seafood, according to sequence on the pack instructions
3. When the stew is simmering with bubbles, break 2 eggs into the stew and serve immediately
4. Wonderfully appetizing with rice

My seafood stew has lil' baby octopus in it

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 tentacles

When it's summer, and when you savor something spicy, SHIOK! It's that sweating feeling ;) Of course, I still like my korean tofu stew in Korean Tofu House, along El Camino Real, Santa Clara, and will go back again even though I can get an instant-soon du bu-fix at home. Quick-fix can't beat the real-fix.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chinese salad of Bok Choy Sum and Tomatoes

Bok Choy Sum and Tomatoes Salad in Scallion/Ginger Dressing.

Ingredients you need and what to do with them:
1. Baby Bok Choy Sum - quick-blanched in water, then drained away excess water; when most water is drained, chopped the bok choy sum into smaller than bite-sizes

Already blanched and excess water drained- do not over-blanch!!!

Chop into smaller pieces

2.Tomatoes - cut into smaller cubes
3. Dressing: Spring onion and minced ginger in extra virgin olive oil . Basically, this is just mincing, and blending.
4. Mix items 1. to 3. and happy tossing!

TADA....this easy refreshing salad for you, if you wish to have a change from using romaine or green-leaves lettuce in your salad.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Wolfberry, goji berry porridge

Wolfberry or Goji Berry Porridge/Congee
Ingredients: Rice grains for cooking rice or porridge - for me I usually mix my white grains with red cargo grains.

How to:
In rice - when the rice is ALMOST cooked (about 5mins to the "Warm" button being automatically lighted up-from "Cook" in the rice cooker), throw in some goji berries. Your finished cooked rice product will have a tint of sweet flavor.
In porridge/congee - like how you would cook rice in the rice cooker, just add MORE water (2x-3x more than you would when cooking rice) depending how "thick" or "watery" you want the porridge to be.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Soba and meatballs in "pork ribs" gravy - help me name this dish

Soba in salted soy beans dressing, I shall call it... technically (so boring).
Three-Swirl Soba - shall be the fancy name fit for a menu (I think?). Description ~ Buckwheat noodles tossed in salted soy beans dressing of a slow-cooked pork rib gravy, served on a bed of seasonal greens.

Stop looking for the pork ribs! No chance you will find the ribs since there are all eaten up. I rolled up some ground turkey into turkey meatballs instead, then simmer - cook them in this gravy.

The soba buckwheat noodles are also tossed in the gravy. You can call it soba and meatballs (just like spaghetti and meatballs) if you wish to.

Three-Swirl Soba
Ingredients: Soba, long beans or any greens you prefer
Dressing: Recipe here.
How-to: Toss the cooked soba in the dressing-gravy and serve on your favorite greens. It's so simple. Garnish with some julienned spring onions/scallions.

How will you name this dish ?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Deep fried beancurd skin with shrimps and water chestnuts

Sushi-Tau Hu Ky, Sushi-Tau Hu Ky, you put me in glee!

Beancurd skin with shrimps and water chestnuts (makes about 4-6 rolls)
-12oz-1lbs shrimps, shells, head and tail removed (all off! naked!)
-8oz ground turkey/chicken (can be omitted - then use more shrimps. Meat was added as like how Ngoh Hiang is made)
-1 cup water chestnuts, diced to small cubes (adding this will give an additional crunch to the fillings)
-2 stalks spring onion, chopped finely
-handful of cilantro, chopped finely
-4 beancurd sheets, wiped with water and dab dry with paper towel
-4 nori sheets
-dashes of pepper
-1-2tsp sesame oil

Marinade(for turkey or chicken):
-sprinkle of salt
-1-2tsp cornflour
-1 egg
-1-2tsp chinese cooking wine

1. Marinate ground turkey and set aside
2. Dry prawns with a towel. Mash prawn meat with the back of a cleaver and finely chop (Note: Try not to mash the prawn with an electronic food chopper/mixer since it will introduce a lot of moisture).

3. Mix prawn puree with marinated turkey, diced water chestnuts, green onions, cilantro, and add some pepper, sesame oil, then mix/blend until it reaches a paste consistency

3. Spread bean curd skin onto parchment or wax paper. Place shrimp-turkey puree in the middle. Place nori sheet on top, add a little more shrimp-turkey puree, then roll up the skin like a sushi roll. Trim off excess bean curd skin. Keep roll in shape with bamboo picks (Note: Of course, you can just use one layer and omit the nori layer. I wanted a mix of textures from taste and "looks" standpoint, plus nori imparts an additional flavor to the bean curd skin)

7. Bring vegetable oil to high temp, place beancurd skin-nori rolls and deep fry until golden, approximately 8min-10mins in total (depending on how deep is your oilamd how "fat" is the roll). Remove and drain off excess oil (Note: I do not have a deep fryer to immerse the entire fat roll to fry, so I fry each side for about 4-5mins)

Crispy on the outside, and a lil' crunch on the inside.

Other snacks:
Char Siew Sou - BBQ pork pastry
Chee Cheong Fun - Stir fried rice rolls
Begedil -Potato and meat patties

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Slow cooked pork ribs with salted soy beans

Slow cooked pork ribs with salted soy beans-tau cheo, garlic and chilli (serve ~4)
- 1.5-2lb pork ribs
- 1-2 tbsp salted soy beans, mashed
- 3-4tsp minced garlic
- 3 red chillies (chopped)
-1tsp crushed ginger
- dash of black vinegar
- dash of sesame oil

- 1tsp cane sugar
- 1tbsp shaoxing cooking wine
- dashes white pepper
- 1-2tsp corn starch
-1tsp dark soy sauce
(Marinate pork ribs and leave in fridge for about 1 hr)

1. Heat some oil, stir fry garlic, chilli, mashed soy beans and ginger until fragrant.
2. Add seasoning and mix well
3. Add in marinated pork ribs into the slow cooker and top will garlic+ chilli+ soy bean mixture
4. Cook on high 45mins, then turn to low and cook for 1-2 hrs

Juicilious - ribilicious. It has a strong garlicky flavor but does not overpower the entire dish.

Often seen, served as a rice set in some Chinese food stalls serving double-boiled soup-back in Singapore. This can be "categorized"as one of my comfort favorites amongst this, this, this, and this.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Soba Noodles and Mushrooms in Green Onion/Ginger

Soba Noodles and Mushrooms in Green Onion/Ginger Sauce (according to 1 serving)
-soba noodles, boiled and cooked according to instructions
-some brown and white beech mushrooms, cleaned and blanched
-edamame beans
-some toasted nori/seaweed
-some green onion and minced ginger sauce
-more green onions, julienned (option)

The condiment, acts like a savory-dressing. Complements well with this hint-of-sweet-and-nutty-flavored buckwheat noodles. Leads to the addiction.

How to
Toss soba noodles in 1/2tsp of green onion and ginger sauce and mix in some green onions (if you prefer-this is an option). Toss blanched mushrooms in the remaining 1/2tsp of green onion and ginger sauce. Top the noodles with mushrooms. Garnish with cooked edamame beans, and toasted nori/seafood. Serve warm. But if it's slightly cold, it will be alright since soba is traditionally meant to be eaten cold. To enhance full flavors, best to mix everything together, and *swoop and swurp* the noodles. :)

Little green "jade" jewels surrounding the soba. Does it look pretty?

With the savory toasted nori/seaweed, and sweet edamame beans, it's well-balanced in simple, and natural flavors. This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night.

Enjoying good, simple food should be one of life's central pleasures, amidst under the "seductive" assault by the fast-paced world obsessed with haste and hurry. Tasty food can be that simple. If you have more time, you could try the stir fry version of udon here. After doing both dishes, I prefer this soba dish because I do not have to heat up a pan or wok and add in any oil to cook. ;p

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Chinese-style steamed prawns with egg whites

Chinese-style steamed prawns/shrimps (serves 2)
Ingredients A:
-600g raw prawns, tail-on, thawed from the freezer (of course you could use any prawns - freshwater-always THE best, farm-raised, head-on, shells-on etc)

-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp sesame oil
-1/4 tsp pepper
-2tsps crushed ginger (or shredded fresh young ginger)

Other garnish & seasonings:
-2tsps crushed ginger
-some julienned red chili
-1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine
-1 egg white (lightly whisked before using)

1. Mix ingredients A and marinate for 10mins
2. Lay the marinated prawns on a plate, add red chili and some more ginger on top of prawns before steaming
2. Steam over high heat for about 8-10mins (depending on the size of prawns)
3. Pour egg white over the prawns, drizzle the Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine over, and steam for another 1-2mins.
4.Serve warm with rice.

Have you forgotten this dish ? Or have you tasted/tried prawns prepared this way ?

This is another flavorful dish (the power of ginger and Chinese cooking wine) that comes out of steaming. The simple seasonings complement very well with the prawns and egg whites. I think the ingredients are easily available. You should try it.

More steaming goodness can be found in fish, vegetable and chicken here, here and here respectively.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate Mousse, modified from Ghirardelli
-2 egg yolks
-1/4 cup cane sugar
-1 & 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (will be used in 1/2 + 3/8 + 3/8 portions, see below)
-3oz Ghirardelli 100% caco unsweetned chocolate baking bars, chopped
-some vanilla almond shredded oats - I used Babara's Bakery shredded oats

1. Beat egg yolks in a small bowl on high speed till thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar and beat continuously
2. Heat 1/2 cup cream in a saucepan (take care, do not boil)
3. Gradually stir half of the hot cream into egg yolk mixture, then combine back into hot cream (process called tempering)
4. Cook over low heat about 5mins, stirring till mixture is blended and thickens
5. Let cool 3-5mins, then add chocolate to mixture and stir till thick, about 5mins
6. Cover and refrigerate till chilled (at least 1 hr)
7. Beat remaining 3/4 cups cream in chilled bowl till stiff
8. Mix 3/8 cup cream into chocolate mixture till blended
9. Fold remaining cream gradually into chocolate mixture till well blended
10.Sprinkle some shredded oats on the bottom serving dish ( cups/dessert bows/container)
11.Spoon mixture into serving dish
12. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs

Looking for the candle on this mousse-like ice-cream or rather ice-cream-like mousse

This is a monthly mingle entry for What's for Lunch, Honey- Big Birthday Bang. Meeta, I hope you and your guests love what I made.

Other posts:
Mango dessert
Snow fungus, ginkgo and barley dessert
Spinach pesto scallops

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