Japanese Tofu with Lu Rou Minced Pork

Thursday, 29 May 2008

I tend to make more gravy when I cook Lu Rou as it's very tasty and can be used in normal stir fries. A simple dish that I cooked on Sunday using the leftover sauce from Saturday.


Ingredients:
  • 2 tubes Japanese egg tofu - sliced
  • 200g minced pork
  • 2 handful straw mushrooms
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • ~3 tbs Lu Rou sauce

Marinade:

  • Light soya sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
Directions:
  • Heat up about 1 tbs of oil in pan, fry egg tofu until both sides are slightly golden brown. Place on plate for later use.
  • Sauté garlic.
  • Add minced pork. Lightly fry.
  • Mix in Lu Rou sauce and fry until pork is cooked. (Add water if you want more gravy.)
  • Stir in straw mushrooms and fry until mushrooms are cooked.
  • Pour on egg tofu.


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Fried Bee Hoon (Fried Rice Vermicelli)

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

I've always had trouble with fried bee hoon. I used to boil the bee hoon, drain and rinse it in cold water before frying like what people would normally do with pasta. But it's often overcooked, soggy and has uneven colouring. I was browsing a food forum one day (I forgot which one) and someone mentioned that you should soak the bee hoon in liquid with light and dark soya sauce before frying. It actually works quite well!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 packet bee hoon (~150-200g, enough for 2 servings)
  • Spring onion
  • Pork – cut into strips (or other ingredients)
  • 2 handful Bean sprouts
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • ~1 tbs chilli oil

Seasoning A:

  • 3 tbs Dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbs Light soy sauce
  • 3 tbs Sesame oil

Seasoning B:

  • 3 tbs Fish sauce
  • 2 tbs Sweet black soy sauce (Kecap manis)
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Pepper

Directions:

  • Soak bee hoon in cold water (water enough to cover bee hoon) with seasonings A until soft (~1-2hrs).
  • Heat up chilli oil, sauté garlic until fragrant.
  • Add in pork and spring onion, stir fry until pork is cooked.
  • Mix in soften bee hoon and seasoning B.
  • Add in bean sprouts and cook for further 2-3 mins.

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Braised Pork Belly (Lu Rou / 滷肉)

Saturday, 24 May 2008

I have always wanted to go to Taiwan as I have the impression that Taiwan is full of delicious food. Everyone keeps going on and on about the yummy food you can get there in Taiwanese drama series and entertainment shows. One of which I hear most often is Lu Rou Fan (肉飯). I was curious so I did some research and came up with this recipe. 'Lu' basically means braising. According to Wikipedia, it involves the use of soya sauce, Chinese wine and caramelised sugar. I made this once a year or two ago and we loved it. I was a bit skeptical about adding peanut butter in it, so I ignored that. The taste was great without the peanut butter. I had some leftovers, so I added a bit of peanut butter and ate it with ramen, it was awesome! The peanut butter made it very fragrant and it helped to thicken the gravy giving it a really rich texture. Jeff couldn't tell that I added peanut butter and only found out when he read my recipe. I cooked this again yesterday and this time, I added peanut butter to the whole pot!
Ingredients:
  • 500g pork belly - cut into cubes
  • Chinese mushrooms - cut into cubes
  • Hard boiled eggs (optional)
For braised meat sauce (滷肉汁):
  • ½ cup shallots – finely diced
  • ½ cup garlic – finely diced
  • ~5 slices ginger
  • ~ 2 stalks spring onion
  • ~1-2 tbs rock sugar
  • 1 tsp Five spice powder
  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1/3 cup light soya sauce
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 2tbs Caramelised sugar (糖色) (instructions in 'Comments' section)
Directions:
  • Sauté garlic and shallots with oil in a pot until slightly brown.
  • Add in ginger and continue frying until fragrant.
  • Add in meat and five spice powder, fry for a bit.
  • Add in caramelised sugar and mix to coat the meat.
  • Mix in mushrooms, eggs, spring onions, Shaoxing wine, soya sauce, rock sugar, peanut butter and enough water to cover all ingredients.
  • Bring to boil and leave to cook under low heat for 1-2 hrs until meat is tender.
  • Add more soya sauce if not salty enough.
  • Fish out spring onions if you don't want to eat them.
Comments:
  • The caramelised sugar gives the dish a reddish brown colour instead of the normal dark brown colour you see when light/ dark soya sauce is used.
  • Can use the same amount of oil to 'fry' more sugar. This can be kept for future use.
  • Do not attempt to lick or try the caramelised sugar once removed from heat, the boiling point of oil is very high and will burn you!
  • The caramelised sugar will start to harden when it cools, so use it straightaway or pour into a container for storage.
For Caramelised sugar:

Ingredients:
  • ~2 tbs White sugar/ rock sugar
  • 1 tbs oil
Directions:
1. Heat up oil under medium heat. Add in sugar and leave it to melt.
2. Reduce to low heat when sugar starts to melt. Will be a bit clumpy for rock sugar at first.

3. Keep stirring when sugar is fully melted.
4. Cook until dark brown/ brownish red.
At this point, large bubbles will form. Add ~1 tbs boiling water, mix and remove from heat.


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Char Kuay Kak ( 炒粿角/ 炒菜頭糕)

I used to have this almost every Sunday morning when I was still living with my grandmother. I call it char lo bak koh but Jeff calls it char kuay kak. Lo bak koh translates into turnip cake in Chinese, so theoretically it should be made with turnip, but I learnt that most stalls only use rice flour nowadays to cut cost and it's less laborious. To be honest, the various seasonings that they use for frying overpowers the taste of turnip, so you can't really tell. To me, the version without turnip is good enough for frying. Got a recipe of steam kuay kak from Linnh's blog, the texture is just right.


Ingredients: 2 portions

For kuay kak:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 1/3 cup hot water

Seasonings:

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Sesame oil

For char kuay kak: 1 portion

  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 2 stalks spring onions / chives
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs chai po (菜脯)
  • Chilli sauce/ chilli oil (optional)
  • Light soya sauce
  • Dark soya sauce
  • Pepper

Directions:

For kuay kak: better to cook a night before. Cool, cut into cubes and fridge.

  • Mix together rice flour and cold water until well combined.
  • Mix in hot water.
  • Season to taste.
  • Steam on high heat for about 30 mins.

To fry kuay kak:

  • Heat up oil in pan, add in kuay kak, light and dark soya sauce and fry until a bit charred. Dish out for later use.
  • Sauté garlic until fragrant, add in chai po.
  • Toss in fried kuay kak and chilli sauce, mix. Push this aside of the pan.
  • Break an egg on the other side of the pan, drizzle a bit of soya sauce on egg and scramble.
  • Mix in kuay kak when egg is almost cooked.
  • Add in light soya sauce, pepper to taste.
  • Toss in bean sprouts and spring onions and stir fry until cooked (~2 mins).

Comments:

  • Use 1:2 flour to water ratio for making kuay kak.
  • The kuay kak is very sticky so use a non-stick pan or use more oil for frying kuay kak.
  • Adding light and dark soya sauce at the beginning helps the kuay kak to brown and char.
  • Using what seasonings for frying kuay kak is totally up to you. I tried frying with Kung Po sauce and I liked it but Jeff said it was a bit too sweet, didn't taste like what he ate before (but he likes his with chili oil).
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About The Pigs

Friday, 23 May 2008

Hi and welcome to The PigPig’s Corner, the home to the PigPig and the Wild Boar, a Malaysian Chinese married couple who have been in the UK for nearly a decade. You can check out our wedding post here.

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Ann a.k.a. Pig pig - A girl who just wants to eat, cook & blob around her whole life. She's in charge of all the yummy recipes posted on this blog.


IMG_4761

Jeff a.k.a. Wild Boar - A guy who likes to chop up stuff, eat, wash dishes and comment on the pig pig's food. He's in charge of all the restaurant reviews (mostly restaurants in the UK) in this blog.


What's in the Pig Pig's camera bag

  • Canon EOS 450D
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (rarely in used after getting the Tamron)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II (mainly for recipe pictures)
  • Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD IF (mainly for restaurant review pictures)
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Ma Lai Koh (马来糕)

Jeff likes to eat ma lai koh. He would buy a few whenever he goes to chinatown. As far as I know, it involves yeast and fermentation for hours to get the kind of holey, light and fluffy texture. Sometimes we just crave for it in the morning and to wait for it to ferment is just a pain. This is a much simpler version of ma lai koh. Although not as light and fluffy, it tastes just as good!

Ingredients: One 19 x 9.5 x 5cm tray
  • 110 g plain flour
  • 1 tbs custard powder
  • ¾ tbs baking powder
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 30 g unsalted butter - melted
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 90 ml milk
  • 2 medium eggs
Directions:
  • Sift flour, custard powder and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in sugar and mix well.
  • Add melted butter, olive oil, vanilla essence and milk, beat until well combined.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time. Keep stirring until a smooth sticky batter.
  • Pour into lightly greased tray and steamed over high heat for 30 mins until cooked.

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Steamed Salmon with Leaf Mustard

Canned salted leaf mustard, a type of vegetable that I actually enjoy eating. I learnt about this ingredient many years ago when I was still living with my grandmother. My aunt used to cook leaf mustard soup with lean pork for her kids. Just pour the whole can of leaf mustard together with its liquid in a pot, add a bit of lean pork and water, simmer until pork is cooked and voilà - a very easy yet tasty soup! And this is a must-have accompaniment to porridge. Since Jeff doesn't like to drink clear soup and we don't really eat porridge, I have to think of ways to incorporate this can of goodness into my cooking. I like the salty, sweet and sour flavours that it carries, so to not lose its flavours, steaming is the best option.

Ingredients:

  • ~500g Salmon
  • 1 canned salted leaf mustard (net wt 145g, drain wt 90g)- sliced (keep liquid in can)
  • 1 handful gei-chi
  • 1 chilli – sliced (optional)

Directions:

  • Lay salmon in a bowl.
  • Pour liquid in can and sliced leaf mustard on salmon.
  • Sprinkle gei-chi on salmon.
  • Add chilli.
  • Cover and steam over high heat for about 20 mins.
Comments:
  • This can of leaf mustard is what I normally eat in Malaysia. I can't find this brand here and I've tried a few different brands which don't seem to taste quite the same so I used to carry many cans back from Malaysia. But it's really a pain to bring so many cans back and there's a limited amount that I can bring back, so I've settled for a Thai product. Can't really remember the name of the brand but I know there's a picture of a pigeon on it. Jeff says it's the Pigeon brand...hmm...
  • Using chilli in this dish was actually Jeff's idea. He said it'll look nice in pictures cause it adds a bit of colour. The green chilli actually went really well the dish! We loved it.
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Steamed Chicken Soup with Dried Abalone & Scallops

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Jeff doesn't like to drink clear soup cause he thinks it's watery and is normally quite bland. But I love to drink soup. To suit both of our tastes, I made this. It's like concentrated soup. It's tasty enough without adding any other seasonings.


Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 6 chinese mushrooms - whole
  • 2 dried abalone slices
  • 4 huge dried scallops
  • 1 handful gei-chi (枸杞, Chinese wolfberries)
  • 1 tbs shaoxing wine

Directions:

  • Wash thoroughly the abalone slices, scallops and mushrooms then soak in cold water (enough to cover everything) for at least 2 hours or until mushrooms are soft. I normally leave to soak overnight.
  • Blanch chicken and wash with cold water.
  • In a steaming bowl, line in abalone slices. Then put in chicken, and place mushrooms, scallops and gei-chi on top of chicken.
  • Pour in the water that was used to soak the abalone slices and scallops.
  • Cover soup bowl with aluminum foil/ lid. Steam on medium to low heat for 2 hours.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Drizzle shaoxing wine and serve.

Comments:

  • It's on the salty side, add more water if you want it less salty.
  • The abalone slices tends to get a bit chewy and would not soften if you cook them on high heat, so do not steam on high heat.

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Mochi

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Ingredients:

  • ~1 cup glutinuous rice flour
  • ~½ cup warm water
  • Peanuts – coarsely ground
  • Brown sugar

Directions:

  • In a bowl, add in rice flour and slowly add in water. Mix with spoon.
  • Mix until a ball is formed. Add more flour/water if needed.
  • Pinch out a bit of dough and roll into small balls.
  • Boil water in a pot.
  • Place rolled out balls into pot with boiling water.
  • Scoop out when balls float to the water surface.
  • In another bowl, mix together peanuts and brown sugar.
  • Place cooked balls in peanut mix. Mix until balls are coated with peanuts.
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Ma Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

Minced meat is very versatile and we often have a few portions of marinated frozen minced meat in the freezer. If we can't think of anything to eat or we don't have much time to cook, this dish is what we would cook. It's simple and tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 250g minced pork
  • 1 pack silken tofu (firm) – cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • ~ 1 tbs minced garlic
  • ½ cup mixed vegetables (optional)
  • ~2 tbs spicy bean sauce (辣豆瓣醬) (depends on how spicy you want)
  • Light soya sauce
  • Sugar
  • 1 tbs Sesame oil
  • 1 tbs tomato paste

Marinade:

  • Light soya sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch

Directions:

  • Marinate minced meat at least 1 hr beforehand. (Optional step)
  • Sauté garlic and onions with sesame oil.
  • Add in mixed vegetables and lightly fry.
  • Mix in mince pork and spicy bean sauce. Stir fry until pork is slightly cooked.
  • Add in ½ cup water. Cook on medium heat until gravy thickens.
  • Mix in tomato paste.
  • Stir in tofu and leave to cook for about 5 mins.
  • Add in sugar and soya sauce to taste.

Comments:

  • Marinating the minced meat makes the meat tastier. Meat seems more tender and juicy after marinating with corn starch. Easier to break up the meat while stir frying and doesn't form large clumps.
  • Instead of thickening the gravy with corn starch slurry, I find that adding tomato paste thickens the gravy too. And it adds a hint of tomato taste which goes really well with this dish. I sometimes add tomato sauce if I feel like a sweeter version. Or add chilli oil if I feel like something really spicy. So it's really up to you.
  • There are 2 types of packed silken tofu - soft and firm. The soft one would just disintegrate upon stirring.
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Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokumbap)

Monday, 19 May 2008

I love Korean food especially bibimbap which means mixed rice in Korean. I like the one which is served in a heated stone bowl simply because it looks cool and I love the burnt bits of rice (yes I know it's unhealthy, but it's only once in awhile...hehe). Anyway, this dish usually consists of rice topped with vegetables, a whole egg, strips of raw beef and Korean hot pepper paste (Kochujang). To me, Kochujang is the main ingredient. This is where I got the idea of adding Kochujang into my kimchi fried rice. Had some leftover pork with sour mustard from last night, so I cooked a plain kimchi fried rice to go with it. It was a good combination!

Ingredients: serves 2

  • 1 ½ cups overnight cooked rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup kimchi – chop into small pieces (more or less according to own preference)
  • 1 onion – diced
  • ~1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbs Korean hot pepper paste (Kochujang) mixed with 1 tbs hot water
  • ~2 tbs Kimchi liquid (more or less depending on the level of spiciness you want)
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ~1-2 tbs soya sauce
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

  • Sauté garlic and onions with until fragrant.
  • Mix in kimchi and continue frying.
  • Remove all ingredients from pan and place in a plate for later use.
  • Heat up sesame oil in pan.
  • Lightly beat the eggs and pour into pan.
  • Add cooked rice. Mix well.
  • Mix in Kochujang, kimchi liquid and sugar.
  • Add soya sauce to taste.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve.

Comments:

  • I normally keep the Korean hot pepper paste in the fridge so it becomes a bit sticky and hard to mix in with rice. Dissolving it in water first makes it easier to mix with the rice.
  • Instead of mixing the eggs in with the rice, I like it sunny side up. Makes the rice less soggy and the semi-cooked yolk with rice is just ummm....yum!!
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Sweet & Spicy Pork with Sour Mustard (酸辣芥菜豬肉)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

I often crave for this dish especially in this miserably cold weather. My aunt taught me this dish and she used to cook this with pork trotters. I love it but since Jeff doesn't like pork trotters, I switched it with meatier parts such as the shoulder joint.


Ingredients:

  • ~1.2 kg pork shoulder
  • 1 pack (~300 g) sour mustard (酸芥菜)
  • ~7 slices ginger
  • 1 whole garlic - peeled and crushed
  • ~2 red chilies (depends on how spicy you want)
  • ~2 pieces rock sugar OR ~1 1/2 to 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs assam (tamarind) paste in 1 cup hot water
  • Soya sauce

Directions:

  • Blanch pork.
  • Sauté garlic, ginger and red chili with oil until fragrant.
  • Add in pork and lightly fry.
  • Mix in sour mustard, assam paste and rock sugar. Cook under medium/ low heat untill meat is tender and sauce thickens. I normally leave it to slow cook for about 2-4 hours.
  • Add soya sauce to taste.

Comments

One piece of rock sugar that I have used is about this amount. You can add more or less depending on your taste. Play around with the amount of sugar and soya sauce to get the right balance of sweetness, sourness and saltiness you desire.


The pack of sour mustard that I have used looks like this. Got this from a Thai supermarket. You can get similar ones in any Asian supermarket. There's aversion with chilli added. You can use that and add extra red chilli depending on how spicy you want it to be. I normally don't use that because the chilli in the sour mustard pack doesn't have a nice colour.

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Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken (福州紅糟雞)

Friday, 16 May 2008

Red wine lees (紅糟, hong zhao in cantonese, ang zhao in hokkien) is used in various Fuzhou cuisine. I used to live with my grandmother and she cooked this ever so often. After we moved out, my mum would cook Fuzhou red wine noodles (紅糟麵線) almost every Sunday for lunch. And having this noodle dish on the first day of Chinese new year at my grandmother's house has become a family tradition for us. This is one of my favourite dishes as it is very fragrant and has a very distinct taste. Red wine lees is from the fermentation of Fuzhou red wine and glutinous rice. A very detailed explanation of Fuzhou red wine and hong zhao can be seen here. Everytime I go back, I would bring a huge jar back to the UK with me.


Ingredients:
  • 500g chicken – chopped into pieces
  • ~7 slices of ginger
  • ½ bulb garlic – crushed
  • ~ 4 large Chinese mushrooms – soaked till softened and sliced (save the soaking water for later use.)
  • 1 handful of black fungus – soaked till softened and sliced
  • 2 tablespoon Fuzhou red wine lees (紅糟 – hong zhao – ang zhao)
  • Light soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ cup of rice wine

Directions:

  • Heat up sesame oil in pan.
  • Sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  • Mix in red wine lees and fry until fragrant.
  • Add in chicken and fry until all the chicken is coated with the lees.
  • Pour ½ cup of rice wine and enough water (used to soak mushrooms) until the chicken is half covered in liquid.
  • Mix in Chinese mushrooms and black fungus.
  • Simmer under medium/low heat until thickens.
  • Add light soya sauce to taste.

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Tandoori Chicken

Thursday, 15 May 2008

I tend to order this dish whenever I see other people eating it in a restaurant cause it looks so yummy. But I regret it everytime I take the first bite because it's normally quite dry. I just never learn! Found a pack of MAGGI® Tandoori Chicken MIX in the kitchen one day...don't ask me why. So I thought I'd give it another chance. Turned out surprisingly moist and tasty! I even crave for it every now and then.


Ingredients:

  • 1 packet MAGGI® Tandoori Chicken Mix
  • 500-700g chicken joints (remove skin, cut 2-3 slits on meat surface)
  • 1 bottle (100g) Danone Actimel yogurt drink
  • 2 tsps oil

Directions:

  • Marinate chicken with MAGGI® Tandoori Chicken Mix and yogurt for at least 1 hr (better overnight).
  • Spread oil over chicken and broil in oven until slightly burnt.
  • Flip chicken over and continue broiling until slightly burnt.
  • Serve with rice.

Comments:
  • Instead of using natural yogurt, I used sweetened yogurt drink mainly because I didn't have natural yogurt in the fridge at that time. The closest I could find was this yogurt drink which at that point, I was addicted to, so I had loads in the fridge. I guess you could substitute it with any sweetened yogurt. I have yet to try it with natural yogurt. But I quite like the sweetness from the yogurt drink.
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Sesame Chicken with Char Siew Sauce

Tuesday, 13 May 2008



Ingredients:
  • 500 g chicken – chopped into pieces
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 large onion – cut into wedges
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbs Char Siew sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chilli oil
  • 1 tbs Sesame seeds

Directions:

  • Heat up oil in pan.
  • Pan fry chicken until golden brown. Remove for later use.
  • Discard oil in pan, leaving just a bit to sauté onions.
  • Sauté onions and carrots with a pinch of salt until soft.
  • Toss in chicken.
  • Stir fry with char siew sauce and dark soy sauce until well mixed.
  • Add in a bout ½ cup of water and cook until sauce thickens.
  • Mix in chilli oil.
  • Serve with sesame seeds.
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Coke Chicken

Monday, 12 May 2008

Had some leftover basil from 3 cups chicken and half a bottle of coke in the fridge. So here is today's dinner - Coke chicken! One of my favourites as it's on the sweet side and goes really well with rice.

Ingredients:

  • 650 g chicken – chopped into small pieces
  • Coke (enough to cover chicken for marinate)
  • ~ 7 slices ginger
  • 1/2 bulb garlic - crushed
  • 1 large onion - cut into rings
  • Chilli (optional)
  • 1 tbs dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbs light soya sauce
  • 1 handful basil (garnishing)

Directions:

  • Marinate chicken in coke for at least 1 hr.
  • Heat up oil, saute chilli, garlic, ginger and onions until fragrant.
  • Add in only chicken (without coke) and stir fry until slightly brown (medium/high heat).
  • Add in 3/4 cup of coke, dark and light soya sauce and cook under medium/low heat until thickens (~45 mins).
  • Remove heat, toss in basil.
Comments:
  • Chilli is optional. I love spicy food, so I added chilli to give it a bit of kick.
  • Basil is optional as well. Didn't want it to rot in the fridge, so decided to toss it in. Besides adding more colour to the picture, it made the dish more fragrant and goes amazingly well with this dish! My fiancé loved it and said we should always add basil to this dish.

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Tasty Toasties for Lunch!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

My love for toasties began when I had my first chilli, cheese, chicken (triple C) toasty after prep when I was in boarding school. Her sambal chilli was to die for. After that, I had either triple C or chilli, cheese, mushroom toasty for prep almost every other day. I think it was her toasties that started the trend, almost everyone in college owned a toasty maker. We started making our own toasties and one of my favourites was chocolate and banana toasty. Milk & white chocolate too...yum! We stopped making those now since my fiancé thinks they are fattening. Our current favourites are ham & cheese + korean hot pepper paste, peanut butter & strawberry jam!
  • Main ingredient: slices of white bread.
  • Equipment: toasty maker
  • Others: totally up to you!
Comments:


  • Korean hot pepper paste a.k.a. kochujang normally used in bibimbap (a famous korean rice dish), stew and soup. We wanted something spicy and ran out of sambal at that time, so we thought we'd give this a try. Ham and cheese goes amazingly well with this hot pepper paste and we've never used sambal ever since.
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Sweet Potato Pie

We managed to get rid of only a fraction of the sweet potatoes my fiancé bought by throwing them into stews and curries. So I decided to bake a sweet potato pie. I got a recipe from Goods Eats and here it is.

Ingredients: 9-inch Pie

  • Ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 530g sweet potatoes – peeled, cubed
  • 1 ¼ cups natural yougurt
  • ¾ cup packed, brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 5 egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup pecans – chopped, toasted
  • 1 -2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  • Line pie pan with shortcrust pastry.
  • Bake until golden brown.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Steam sweet potatoes until tender (~20 mins).
  • Mash in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  • Add yougurt, brown sugar, cinnamon, yolks and salt to mashed sweet potatoes and beat until well combined.
  • Pour batter into pie shell.
  • Sprinkle pecans on top.
  • Drizzle with maple syrup.
  • Bake for about 55 mins.
  • Remove from oven and cool for at least 3 hrs.

Comments:

  • I left out the 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg the original recipe calls for because I didn't have it in the kitchen.
  • Texture of the pie was slightly on the mushy side, I personally prefer it to be a bit more dense.
  • The natural yougurt gave it a nice sour tinge. But my fiancé thought it was a bit too sour.
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Shaoxing Drunken Chicken (绍兴醉鸡) I

Saturday, 10 May 2008




Ingredients:
  • 500g drumstick – deboned
  • Salt
  • About 2 cups Shaoxing wine (enough to cover chicken)
  • Aluminum foil
Dipping sauce:
  • Spring onion
  • Ginger – minced
  • Garlic – minced
Directions:
  • Sprinkle salt onto deboned chicken drumstick then roll up chicken with skin facing outward.
  • Wrap in aluminium foil and steam on high heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Unfold foil (save gravy in foil for dipping sauce) and soak chicken rolls in ice cold water for about 3 mins. Drain and dry chicken rolls.
  • Place chicken in a Tupperware and pour shaoxing wine in until cover chicken rolls.
  • Soak overnight.
Dipping sauce:
  • Heat up gravy in foil.
  • Remove from heat and combine with A.


Comments:
  • For the dipping sauce, the amount of garlic and ginger depends on how much sauce you want. I used about 1 tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger for the tiny bowl as seen in the picture.
  • In my opinion, the garlic taste of dipping sauce was too strong. My fiancé liked it cause he loves raw garlic and ginger. Perhaps need to sauté the garlic and ginger a bit beforehand. It would be more fragrant.

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Barley & Lychee Jelly

The weather has been very fickle lately. Spring was like winter. The weather suddenly changed this week and it has been a really warm week. I guess it's officially Summer! Time for some cold barley!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Barley
  • 1 Canned lychee
  • ~80-90g Rock sugar
  • Gelatine

Directions:

  • Place barley and cold water (enough to cover barley) in a pot. Bring to boil. Drain.
  • Pour barley back into pot, add rock sugar, 1 litre water and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until barley is soft (~45-60 mins).
  • Mix in lychee juice and make jelly according to instructions on jelly pkt.


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3 Cups Chicken (三杯雞)

It's chicken tonight! This is one of my fiancé's favourite poultry dish. I don't cook it often as 3 cups literally means 1 cup sesame oil, 1 cup soya sauce and 1 cup chinese rice wine. It is a traditional Taiwanese dish. Came across this dish while I was browsing a food forum. It sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. Can't deny that it's yummilicious!


Ingredients:

  • 1 small chicken (~1.3 kg) – chopped into pieces
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • About 7 slices of ginger
  • 1 ½ bulbs garlic – crushed
  • Dried chilli - crushed (depends on how spicy you want)
  • About 4 stalks opring onion – cut into 2 inches in length
  • ½ cup soya sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine
  • A dash of sugar
  • 1 handful Basil – tear into pieces by hand rather than chop

Directions:

  • Blanch chicken.
  • Heat up sesame oil in a pot.
  • Fry ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add in chilli and spring onions, fry until fragrant.
  • Toss in chicken and cook chicken until slightly brown.
  • Pour in soya sauce and rice wine. Stew until sauce thickens.
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Toss in basil and serve.
Comments
  • Yes, 1/2 a cup of sesame oil. I tried halving that amount but my fiancé complained it was too dry and lacking something. So this dish is all about the fats.
  • Could try to use a little less soya sauce as I think it's on the salty side. Probably 1 tablespoon less would do the trick.
  • The Thai basil makes the dish very fragrant and adds a really nice twist to the dish. So try not to leave this out.
  • Avoid adding water as I find adding water masked the taste a little. Not as fragrant.
  • Instead of chopping up the chicken, I left the thighs and drumsticks as they are. I then broil them in the oven until the skin is browned instead of blanching. Works quite well. Managed to get rid of some chicken oil through the broiling process. For the amount of chicken below, I used only 1/4 cup each of sesame oil, soya sauce and rice wine.
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