Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rice plate of Scallion Ginger Beef, French Bean Omelet and Bok Choy

My rice plate....Hungry Lady's Plate

Another VIEW of the same...

Red Cargo + Brown Rice served with Vegetables(Bok Choy), French Bean Omelet, Green Onion Ginger Beef.

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Foil steaming the meat saves your time

When I have no time, I will dump everything (make sure the ingredients are compatible!) into the slow cooker and let is slowly cook. A beef stew can be prepared just like that. As you all know, the slow cooker is S-L-O-W...so if you have REAaaaaLLY no time to even wait, this is my "no-pride" cooking for you. Mix everything up in "cake" form and steam it.

Does this look like a "steep cliff" to climb ?
*Cooked this while I was in Taiwan

Here I have mushrooms, baby carrots, diced shrimps, sliced green onions and half a pack of soft tofu mixed into ground meat (pork is used here) that has been marinated/seasoned with some salt, dark soy sauce, cooking wine, white pepper and dashes of sesame oil.

Nope - I did not mix and mesh all the tofu into the meat as one big lump (that will be too URRGGgghhh!). Instead, the remaining half of the tofu - I layer it like lasagna with the meat mixture. A layer of pre-marinated meat (already mixed with mushrooms, baby carrots, diced shrimps and sliced green onions) at the bottom; followed by some cubed tofu, then another layer of meat mixture; followed by another layer of cubed tofu. Steam for 10-20mins depending on size of "cake".

This is meat "cake"! My own homemade version of 蒸肉饼 ! Can be classified as another busy-executive cooking :P ....no time lazy to make cooking preparations, no time lazy to cook, no time lazy to wash the plates (notice I use aluminum foil?) and even no time lazy to present this nicely on a plate to take decent photographs…that's me!

I hope I have not made you lose your appetite but it is really quite tasty. ^o^


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chinese Steamed Fish Toman (Snakehead) Fillet

A Chinese-style Steamed Fish...best for the busy executives who have no time to cook, yet desire to adopt a healthy meal plan of dining in as often as possible. You can thaw the fish (remove frozen fillet from freezer) in the fridge before leaving for work in the morning (or overnight the day before). When you return from work in the evenings - remove the thawed fillet from the fridge (marinate as follow, below), cut the tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and ginger, assemble and steam. Refer Directions below.

Chinese-style Steamed Toman Fillet
Toman fish fillet (snakehead) - some salt and white pepper, rubbed gently on the fish + lightly marinate with 1tsp rice wine + 3 drops of sesame oil + 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce; sliced ginger; sliced green onion,; tomato - cut into wedges; thinly sliced mushrooms

1. Remove the thawed fillet and marinate (as per Ingredients above)
2. Cut and prepare tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and ginger (Note: In this process, the fish is marinated for some time)
3. Assemble, then steam for 5-8mins, depending on thickness of fillet. Thickness of ~1.5cm about 7mins (Note: you can always slice thinner to reduce cooking time but only if you have time to do slicing of a thick fillet. Note1: Another trick is to "score" the fish so that it allows thorough seasoning and reduce time to cook)
4. Serve with steamed rice

Other easy Fish recipes:
Steamed Cod Fish Rolls
Pan Fried Fish in Soy Sauce and Ginger
Tandoori Fish
Steamed Fish with Tofu, Shallots and Cilantro

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Red Cabbage Apple Salad

I have made a Red Cabbage Salad recently to beat the hot weather in Singapore and at the same time, celebrating the coming Autumn/Fall in the US - with the addition of apples in this salad.

Red Cabbage and Apple Salad
Red cabbage, julienned; thinly sliced apples cut into strips.

Dressing: squeeze of fresh lemon, dash of vinegar + 1tsp sugar

Directions: Add the dressing into the cabbage and apple mixture and toss well. Chill before serving.

Fight the heat with this crisp cool salad! It will be a great appetizer!

Other salad recipes:
Warm Pasta Salad
Celery and Carrots Salad
Fusili with Shrimps and Celery
Bok Choy Salad

Autumn/Fall in the US: Visit Sonoma Farm Trail. Do some apple picking!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tom Yum/Tom Yam Noodles

The French Bean Omelette was done in Singapore, so is this dish. This dish basically, is on assembling rather than on culinary skills. But even if you assemble, you want to make sure the ingredients are compatible and the sequence is correct. Are you going to guess what I am preparing?

Tom Yum/Tom Yam Noodle Soup
Instant noodles - less the seasoning packs(option: use any noodles or pasta, or even glass noodles!), canned tuna(I swear by AYAM brand tuna), tomatoes, bok choy, silken tofu(cut into cubes)

1. Cook the noodles, then set aside
2. Prepare pot of water to simmer/boil - blanch the bok choy, then set aside with the noodles
3. Add in canned tuna to same pot of water so that the "spices" will work naturally to flavor the "soup broth"
4. Add in tofu and tomatoes in the soup broth if you want. Otherwise, you can add to your noodles and then ladle hot soup over the final dish before serving

Other Tom Yum recipes:
Tom Yum/Tom Yam Glass Noodles
Tom Yum/Tom Yam Fried Rice

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Eggs - cooking tips and basic culinary knowledge

Bakers and cooks out there, when you need to whisk 3 eggs in preparation for your recipe or dish, do you crack all the eggs into one bowl or do you prepare a smaller bowl by the side - crack each egg into the small bowl before adding that egg with the rest of the other eggs?

It makes sense to me so I am picking up this good habit

I understand that some Chinese culinary schools teach the latter. It is considered basic culinary knowledge because you would not want to be "cracking" a bad egg into a pool of "good" eggs (with no chance to response) and contaminating the other "good" eggs. Next time you make French Bean Omelette or Spinach Italian Sausage Omelette, you know what to do.

Other cooking tips:
How to make half-boiled eggs, the "fuss-free" way
Spring onions preparation tips
How to get tender beef
How to cut onions to make it less pungent


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beef and Mushrooms in Light Curry Sauce

Remember I had these mushrooms? I transformed them to a lightly spiced dish using curry powder! WT *...*...(muted) ?! Curry powder ?

Yes...yes..I'm so excited to share this with you. I found that by adding some curry powder to this stir fry, it simply became a new dish for me.

Spiced Beef and Assorted Japanese Mushrooms
Ingredients: Ground beef, half a onion- sliced and chopped finely, assorted mushrooms, 1tbsp oyster sauce, 2tsp curry powder (Note: depending on how strong a curry flavor you want but do not use too much or it will become a full-blown curry beef dish- as in...too much goopy gravy)

1. In lightly oiled pan, add in onions to saute and when slightly softened (half way to "translucence"), add in beef and the mushrooms and fry them in the pan (low-medium heat)
2. Add 1tbsp oyster sauce, then ~2 tsp curry powder and mix well
3. Add some water(not too much), let it simmer on low heat till the mushrooms become more tender and till the sauce reduce (Note: Since this is intentionally not a curry beef dish that will have lots of gravy, I was mindful about just keeping the dish...moist. In addition, the curry powder is supposed to add just that hint of curry spice flavor but not to overpower the taste of beef and mushrooms)

Isn't that simple? Delicious. Simply delicious.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

French Bean Omelet

French Bean Omelet/Long Bean Omelet
Ingredients: Long bean/french bean, diced to small bits (as shown in picture above), 2-3 eggs whisked with some added dark soy sauce and white pepper

1. Heat pan with cooking oil and fry the bean bits with some salt and pepper
2. When beans bits have softened, add the egg covering the pan surface. Allow the egg to cook on one side a few minutes till lightly browned (Note:I like some crispy bits on this omelet somehow. If you prefer it moist, then don't "overcook" it)
3. Then flip over the other side to finish cooking
4. Enjoy with porridge or rice

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Easy Tomato Pasta on Egg - Omelette wrapped Pasta?

Anyone knows the Japanese language equivalent of "Pasta"? Well, I would like to have a more appropriate name for a dish spawn from omuraisu (omelette rice). Haha!

If there is omu (omelette)-raisu (rice), why not omu-"pasta" ? What I was missing out was just wrapping the pasta up within the enclosing omelette. Hmmm....ok, I am making a fuss out of this. I just wanted something different (and EGG-tra) for my pasta and why not this? Those who enjoys tomato ketchup on their omelettes may like this dish. That is no tomato ketchup in here but you get tomato-based pasta sauce/gravy on your omelette-style egg! ^o^

Easy Pasta on Egg/Omelette Tomato Pasta
cooked pasta, minced pork(chicken or beef,you wish), diced shrimps, minced garlic, sliced onions, can of diced tomatoes, salt and black pepper, basil/oregano dried herbs(option) PLUS additional two-three eggs

1. Fry the egg like an omelette, set aside. At the same time, you can cook your pasta according to package instructions. Any shell or screwy pasta is recommended since it will be easier to eat with the egg.
2. Saute the onions in olive oil till they soften. Add in garlic and minced pork and cook till the pork is almost cooked(from pink to light brown).
3. Add in the shrimps. As they are diced, they will cook very quickly.
4. Add in diced tomatoes with the juice
5. Mix well, add salt and black pepper to taste
6. Before serving, add in cooked pasta, toss well in the tomato-based pasta sauce and serve on the omelette


You can try these pasta dishes on omelette too!
Beef and Mushroom Pasta with Bok Choy
Mushroom Beef Pasta with Spicy Sauce

As long as the sauce is not a soup, tomato-based or cream-based works fine on omelette; and it is best to use shell or screwy type pasta for ease of eating!

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