Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Easy minestrone soup

Easy Minestrone Soup (serve 2-3)
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1tsp crushed garlic
-1-2 cups diced onion
-2small potatoes, diced
-1-2 handful baby carrots
-4-6stems from a bunch of celery
-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/4lb shelled or cock-screw pasta (estimate: one palm-full)
-dried basil
-fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth or more, adjust accordingly
-some water, adjust accordingly

1. Saute garlic and onion. Add potatoes, celery, carrots and stir a few minutes
2. Add broth and 2 cups of water, bring to boil then add tomatoes
3. Cook for about 10-15mins, add basil and let simmer until vegetables are almost ready
4. Bring to boil, add pepper and salt to taste. Add dried shell pasta, cook 8-10mins
5. Serve, with toasted bread

Now, I have two classic childhood canned soups of mine, being made at my home. It's really bye bye to canned soups.

Do you take canned soups? Which is your favorite ?

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Soba and mushroom medley in a spicy Korean broth

I love Korean tofu stew - soon dubu. Wontons in it, as spicy wontons. I even "soak" my soba noodles in it ! This time, without seafood. I'm delighted the noodles in the spicy broth are as appetizing and tasty.

Soba and a mushroom medley in a spicy Korean broth
Ingredients: soba noodles, Korean tofu broth seasoning, bushimeiji mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, silken tofu, egg, green/spring onions as garnish

1. Cook soba and set aside on a plate
2. Cook egg to "runny" or poached state, set aside on top of soba noodles in (1)
3. Cook the soup/broth according to packet instructions, then add the tofu and mushrooms.
4. When ready, ladle the soup/broth over the noodles and egg
5. Garnish and serve

Simply love runny eggs even in this! :)

Let this be my entry for Presto Pasta Night.


Do you like Korean tofu stew and where did you try that best one?

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Braised bittergourd with chicken and tofu

Braised bittergourd with chicken and tofu

Usually like my bittergourds cooked till soft

Ok. I know some of you do not like bittergourds

Other quick and easy recipes:

Steamed bittergourds stuffed with pork

Bittergourd soup

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Steamed fish with lemongrass

Steamed fish with lemongrass
- a good quality fish fillet eg. halibut or cod
- 1/2 block silken tofu
- 1-2 stalks spring onions, julienned thinly
- 1 fresh red chili, julienned thinly
- 1-2tsps crushed ginger and some finely chopped spring onions
- 1 lemongrass, cut into halves, and bruised each half

1. Assemble
2. Heat water in wok and when boiling, add in the plate of fish and STEAM....

It's that easy, isn't it ? Try adding lemongrass the next time you steam fish, and I'm sure you will love it too.

Stir fry mustard green or chai buey with garlic

If you find porridge like this or this too plain, you can always stir fry some chai buey with garlic and fresh red chili.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sardine burger

Oh, this OTHER ingredient I was talking about...Muffins! English Muffins...or just another form of bread (am I right to say that?)

From the pictures, you can see how easy it is to assemble (cook, is not the word) my lunch.

Just lightly toast the muffin with the sardine in it, place a few sliced cucumbers in between and...

UMmmm... eat it like a fish burger!!! Isn't this exciting?

What would be the easiest yet most exciting and interesting dish you have made?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Almond butter soba in tomato cups

Almond butter soba in tomato cups
-1 serving soba, boiled 6-8mins (or according to packet instructions). Set aside
-1-2tbsp almond butter (mine is from Trader Joes. Substitute with peanut butter if you wish)

-1tsp crushed ginger
-drizzle of sesame oil
-cucumber, julienned
-minced green or spring onions, a pinch
-tomatoes, cut into halves and made into "cups"

1.In a mixing bowl, add in all ingredients except the soba and tomatoes, mix/blend well with spoon
2.Add in soba noodles and toss well
3.Serve in tomato cups
4. You can always sprinkle some sliced almond on these, if you have those on hand

No mess when serving these to your guests. One cup, each. But if you brought more than "one appetite" like I always do, you can always have more than one. :)

Can you finish a cup in one mouthful? Don't ask me how you gonna eat this, just be creative :p

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tandoori fish

Rub some tandoori spice on the sole fish fillets (leave marinated in fridge for at least 30mins) and pan-fry when ready to prepare your meal.

My tandoori spice concoction - crushed garlic, paprika, turmeric powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, crushed ginger, salt, pinch of five-spice

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Spicy wontons, spicy dumplings

Based on imagination, what would you do when you want spicy wontons? Either you prepare a spicy filling for these dumplings or you dip them in some spicy condiment. Or would you have done the same - adding these boiled and cooked wontons into a Korean spicy broth - soon dubu ?

This time, I made the Korean spicy broth with added tofu and nori/seaweed, without the seafood. When the soup/stew is cooked, and before turning off heat, added some boiled wontons in the broth and stir gently for 1min. Turn off heat, and serve immediately.

How was it ?

Success. Delicious. A burst of flavors as soon as you bite into the juicy wontons and the spicy broth liquid rush into those biten "pockets".

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Tuna edamame porridge

Tuna Edamame Porridge
-White rice and red cargo rice (~3:1 ratio)
-some canned tuna (quantity to your liking)
-some frozen edamame (quantity to your liking)
- some wolfberry
-Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: ...(Note: All this happens in the rice cooker)
1. Washed rice grains, add in 2x the amount of water you would usually use when you cook rice.
2. Turn on the rice cooker. The first 5-10 mins will be as "peaceful" as cooking rice.
3. When you hear the lid starting to "make noises" and see some over-bubbling of fluid at the lid when the rice mixture starts to boil, lift up the lid and tilt it slighltly, allowing a small vent for "pressure release" while the rice porridge mixture is boiling in the rice cooker
4. Continue cooking and adjust water amount accordingly, depending if you like soupy rice porridge or thick rice porridge.
5. The last step is to add the canned tuna, wolfberry and edamame, (salt and pepper-option, just for taste) into the rice porridge and mix well.
6. Done! Is that nutritious and simple?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tamarind Chicken

After the chicken lays eggs, the eggs are placed up the rice pedestal and the chicken forsaken.

I never tasted such a dish before. The closest I have done is Baba Coriander Chicken. The ingredients are almost the same just that as the name of the dish speaks for itself, Ayam Sioh or Tamarind Chicken uses generous amount of tamarind whilst Baba Coriander Chicken uses salted soy beans , (a.k.a tau cheo, in hokkien) and lemongrass. The flavor of these two chicken dishes are completely different.

Anyhow, I followed the recipe to a T (used tamarind pulp to squeeze and extract the tamarind liquid), except I use the slow-cooker to slowly braise the chicken instead of frying. Still taste good. A very appetizing dish with rice.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stir-fry veggie glass noodles

Stir-fry veggie glass noodles
- ~2-3 oz glass noodles, soaked in warm water to soften
-some brown crimini mushrooms, chopped finely to small pieces (note: substitute with shitake mushrooms if you wish)
- 1 stalk of celery, cleaned throughly, chopped to small pieces
- 1 cup mixed (frozen) vegetables - corn, carrots, peas and/or long beans
- 1tbsp oyster sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- water/broth, adjust accordingly

1. Heat a little oil in a saute pan and stir fry the mushrooms, celery and mixed vegetables. Add in oyster sauce and some salt and pepper to taste
2. When mixture is cooked, add in glass noodles and mix well. If too dry, add some water/broth.
3. Serve warm

Glass noodles, mung bean threads, mung bean noodles, mung bean vermicelli - they are the same. You can also use them to make
Tom Yum Glass Noodles or Nyonya Chap Chye

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Murtabak - thin dough with meat, egg, onions

Ingredients: store-bought pratha, or thin pancake (煎饼), egg-whisked, diced tomatoes, onions, minced meat, dashes of curry powder, dashes of turmeric powder

How to: Heat some oil in frying pan, then add in onions and fry till translucent. Add in minced meat, curry powder, and turmeric powder and fry till cooked. Add in diced tomatoes, then egg. When mixture is cooked, set aside. Heat up the frozen thin dough/pancake over flat pan, When nicely browned, add in some of the pre-fried meat mixture and pressed over the pancake. Fold the pancake into half (like an envelope) and heat through for a while.

There I got it - crispy edges on the dough with warm slight spicy meat and egg filings

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Indian instant ramen, indian-flavored instant noodle

Indian-flavored "instant" noodles
-1 pack instant noodle (just use the noodles, no seasoning required)
-1/2 Trader Joes canned tuna
-some edamame beans
-pinches of turmeric spice powder
-pinches of curry powder
-1tbsp of Trader Joes Indian Relish, option (Note: You can use some tomatoes, onions - saute and add some garam masala spice - for flavor)

I promise you could make this instant without the ready-seasonings :)

1. Cook instant noodles as per normal. Set aside when cooked
2. In a small sauce pan, add in all the ingredients (except the edamame beans) and mix well over low-medium heat for 3-4mins. (Note: The tuna is already cooked, so this step is basically for the spices to blend into the tuna flakes to create a lightly curry-flavored tuna, and warm up the mixture).
3. Add some water, if too dry
4. Add in edamame beans last since you won't want them to be overcooked
5. Once cooked, dish entire mixture over the noodles. The noodles would be just right, soaked with a lil' gravy, not too dry.

A easy noodle dish, fused with light aromatic indian spice and flavors

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sambal Seafood Omelette

Sambal Seafood Omelette (serves 2)
- 2-3 eggs depending on size of egg, whisked
- 1/2lb your favorite seafood combination,
- ~1-2tbsp sambal chili paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 1 stalk green onions, julienned diagonally

1. Heat oil in pan, and fry the seafood mixture till cooked (Note: Remember when I made fish soup, I said something about frying the seafood and keeping the "juice essence"? Well, you can keep some of the "juice essence" from here since you do not need much moisture when you fry this omelette). After that, add in sambal chili paste, continue stir frying to mix well with seafood. Sugar to taste, if too spicy. Then, set aside.
2. Add in more oil, and add in whisked egg mixture(Note: save ~1/4 cup egg mixture for later use). Let the egg pan-fried on one side till golden yellow (about3-4mins)
3. Add in seafood mixture, top with green onions, and use a flat turnover ladle to fold the egg into half in order to "envelope" or cover the seafood mixture. (Note: Try not to add the seafood mixture in the center of the egg. Slightly bias it to one side so that it is easier to fold the egg into half)
4. Add in remaining egg mixture from (2) at the "open" edges after you fold the egg into half to seal the omelette

Then you get a neat egg omelette like this - you never know what you gonna get till you attack the omelette with a fork!

And this is what you get - seafood laden, and sambal spiciness!

Halibut and asparagus soup

Asparagus & Fish Soup (serves 2)

-2 fish fillets (I used halibut this time), seasoned with salt and pepper, pan fried; then sliced to smaller pieces. Set aside.
-3-4cups diced onions
-1tbsp pancetta, finely cubed
-~1lb asparagus, woody ends removed
-1tbsp wolfberry (goji berry)
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- water, adjust accordingly
- dashes black pepper
-1 stalk spring onions, chopped finely (garnish)
-cilantro leaves, chopped finely (garnish)
-1 red chili, sliced finely (garnish)
-1tsp fried shallots (garnish)
-1 cup Jasmine rice (cook as per normal)

1. Cook rice as per normal
2. Heat oil in heavy pot at low-medium heat and cook the pancetta until the edges begin to color a bit. Scrap it out, leaving the oil behind.
3. Add the asparagus stir fry with the oil, till the asparagus are lightly colored, and cooked to tender (al dente state). Set aside the asparagus.
4. With the remaining oil, stir fry and cook the onions slowly, until they are soft and translucent
5. Then add the stock, and water, dash of pepper and bring to a boil. When boiled, turn down hear and bring to a simmer
6. Add in wolfberries, and add in asparagus and mix well. Cook for 2-3 mins, then turn off heat
7. Top with pre-sauteed fish slices, and garnish with spring onion, red chili, fried shallots
8. Serve with steamed rice.
(Note: If you prefer a rice soup, you could pour the soup over the cooked rice, top with pre-sauteed fish slices, and garnish with spring onion, red chili, fried shallots. I ate it this way)

Asparagus, goji berry, cilantro, green onions, red chili, fried shallots...but cannot see the fish

Now you can see the fish

A spoonful of goodness

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Organic heirloom tomatoes, and blue cheese

Organic heirloom tomatoes, and blue cheese crackertizer

Less stove-top cooking, or in this case, no stove-top cooking :D

These tomatoes say "I'm organic heirloom", with the green heirloom shouting out "go green, go green"! And the (distinctively stinky) blue cheese admitting "I'm stinky but I've got personality"