Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Buds and Black Fungus 金针云耳蒸鸡

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Steamed Chicken with Black Fungus and Dried Lily Buds

This is a recipe adapted from Christine's Recipe's using dried lily buds. Dried lily buds are also known as golden needles (金针) and are usually used in stir-fries or soups. It is the woody and slightly tangy thingy you find in hot and sour soup. The flavour is quite distinctive, earthy and tangy. It is usually tied into a knot to prevent it from breaking apart, preserve flavour and also for the added "crunchy" texture. Like dried mushrooms and black fungus, you will have to soak them in water to soften and rehydrate them before use.

Black Fungus and Dried Lily Buds

Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Buds and Black Fungus 金针云耳蒸鸡

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Marinate time: 1 hr
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: serves 3-4


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 chicken (about 670 g)
  • 15 g black fungus
  • 20 g dried lily buds/golden needle
Marinade:
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 10 g ginger - grated
  • A pinch of salt

Directions:
  • Mix chicken and marinade ingredients in a steaming bowl. Cover and leave to marinade for at least 1 hr.
  • Soak black fungus and dried lily buds separately in room temperature water for about 30 mins or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry.
  • Cut the black fungus into small pieces.
  • As for dried lily buds, cut off any hard ends and tie a knot in the middle.
  • Mix together black fungus, lily buds and chicken.
  • Steam on medium low heat for about 20 mins or until chicken is cooked.
Steamed Chicken with Black Fungus and Dried Lily Buds
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Steamed Chicken with Dried Mushrooms and Red Dates 香菇红枣蒸鸡

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Steamed Chicken with Dried Mushrooms and Red Dates

Steamed Chicken with Dried Mushrooms and Red Dates 香菇红枣蒸鸡

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Marinate time: 1 hr
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: serves 2-3

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 chicken (about 670 g) - chopped into pieces
  • 6 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 25 g(about 18) red dates - de-seeded and halved
  • 10 g ginger - cut into matchsticks
Marinade:
  • 1 tbs Shaoxing wine
  • 1 1/2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
Directions:
  • Mix together all ingredients in a steaming bowl. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hr.
  • Steam on medium low heat for about 20-25 mins or until done.
Steamed Chicken with Dried Mushrooms and Red Dates
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Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Singapore view from MBS

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) houses one of only two casinos in the whole of Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, the casino/hotel/mall complex cost $8 billion to complete. Having no luck in gambling whatsoever, we had no interest in the casino but were drawn by the “celebrity chef” restaurants within the MBS complex and were all too happy to oblige when an invitation from family came for a dinner meal at Santi.

Marina bay sands casino, Singapore

Santi is named after Santi Santamaria, its chef/owner who is perhaps more famous in Singapore for having passed away from a heart attack in his own kitchen in Santi in February 2011. Hailing from Catalan (the region of Spain that Barcelona is capital of), chef Santi Santamaria had a 3* restaurant in Catalan and a total of 7* in his four restaurants in Spain. Santi Singapore meanwhile is starless, but did win Best New Restaurant in the Singapore Tatler Best Restaurants Guide 2011.

Needless to say, I was expecting a fine dining experience.

IMG_6929

Our party was seated in a private dining room so I can’t comment about the experience of others in the main dining room. However, the seats in the room were pretty comfortable with plenty of elbow room. Some vegetable chips were provided with romesco sauce which was a great light nibble. The supplied bread was mediocre at best, especially as it wasn’t warm when serving. The olive oil however was incredibly fragrant.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore - vegetable chips

The restaurant was quite flexible and allowed some people to have the degustation menu while others could have the ala carte instead. Since we both ordered the degustation set, the rest of the review will focus on those dishes. However, all of us were given an amuse-bouche of cold gazpacho and a grilled (a la plancha) baby squid. The gazpacho was very refreshing, slightly tart while the grilled squid had a little squid ink, was very tasty. A very promising beginning.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-amuse bouche

SCALLOP “A LA PLANCHA”; cold potato, lime salad and piquillo all i oli”. The scallop itself was very sweet and perfectly cooked, with just enough seasoning and herbs to dress it. As always, a little vegetable on the side provide a little distraction for the tongue to enjoy the main player on the plate.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-scallops

ORGANIC EGG CONFIT; white onion puree and white truffles”. This was an extra course for $50. I have to admit I was very curious why an egg dish was $50 but this was literally covered with white truffles (apparently the first batch of the season and newly arrived). The white onion puree was quite muted but the egg itself was very aromatic and tasty. Admittedly, this is not as impressive as Ducasse’s egg dish, but still a pretty decent plate in a whole.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore - egg confit

KUROBUTA PORK TORTELLINI; chanterelle mushrooms, basil and radishes”. Another extra course, this cost $20 and seemed a steal compared to the egg confit. The tortellini was served without any sauce, just some foam on the side, something slightly different from past experiences. The pork filling was pretty good, meat was extremely tender and tasty.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-pasta

CRUSTACEANS “CALDERETA”; chorizo, pine nuts and smoked paprika”. I can’t recall any chorizo in this dish, so perhaps it’s within the deep rich sauce, which is supposed to be a tomato and pepper-based sauce. The crustaceans were prawn and langoustine, both naturally sweet and didn’t need anything too complex to complicate matters.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

MARKET FISH; lentil, ginger and poivrade sauce”. The poivrade sauce (a sort of pepper sauce) was a little unusual to go with fish as it’s traditionally for fairly heavy meat (e.g. venison). The fish (I think it's seabass) was perfectly grilled, and the lentils were a nice foil to it.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-fish

SUCKLING PIG or VENISON; celeriac confit, baby turnips and girolle mushrooms”. I’ve always felt that the Chinese are the best at making suckling pig but the Spanish are also pretty damn good at doing it. This is one of Santi's signature dish, the piglet was deliciously succulent and the skin was wafer thin and crunchingly pleasant.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-suckling pig

The venison meanwhile was quite tender and juicy, but I am not a huge fan of the chocolate sauce (the PigPig loved it though).

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-venison

We requested to switch to the cheese course to another dessert. The replacement was a lime-based dessert with bits of pineapples, it was almost like a palette cleanser, light and refreshing.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-dessert

LEMONGRASS SAVARIN; yoghurt, lime and basil soup”. I absolutely loved the fragrance of lemongrass from the savarin (a French cake leavened with yeast), but the savarin had a strange cheesy aftertaste. The soup and yoghurt were very light and the mixture of the lemongrass, mint and basil melded together very well for a fairly light dessert.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-savarin

PETIT FOURS”. Quite possibly my favourite course, all five of the petits fours were equally amazing, from the sesame oreo to the lemon macaron, chocolate crispies, truffle filled with cream and tiramisu cake.

Santi @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore-petit fours

Altogether, the bill came up to $400 a head including some champagne and two bottles of wine and the bottles of still water. Service throughout was very good and attentive, and the waiters paid especial attention to the one year old baby at the table, making sure he was comfortable and cared for. I have to admit though, at one point the waiters mixed up the PigPig’s plate with mine when we ordered the extra courses, so they are slightly imperfect after all.

In general, the food was of a very high standard, easily equal to most of the 1* restaurants in London we’ve tried but not quite approaching the 2* standards of Ledbury, Gavroche and The Square for example. However, the plates seem to be missing a little extra “Wow!! factor” and doesn’t catch the attention quite as much. The style is Spanish in origin, so it is less rich and creamy than the traditionally French cuisine and didn’t leave me feeling so full and bloated at the end.

Singapore

Best bit: the petit fours, followed closely by the gazpacho.
Worst bit: the price tag; $400 a head is eye-wateringly expensive but seeming de rigueur for the more upscale fine dining in Singapore.

Santi
10 Bayfront Avenue,
#L2-03, Casino Level 2,
Marina Bay Sands,
Singapore
Tel: +65 6688 8501
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Grilled Coriander and Lime Chicken

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

It's actually Actifried coriander and lime chicken to be more precise.

Grilled Coriander and Lime Chicken

Looks like it's been grilled in the oven, doesn't it? If you are not familiar with the Tefal Actifry, here's a post about it. In short, it's a fryer that uses very little oil. It basically blows out dry hot air creating an effect similar to grilling or roasting in the oven. It is one of my most used kitchen gadgets now. I came across this recipe on Zurin's blog and it's a recipe adapted from Rachel Allen's recipe. The original recipe involves grilling the chicken in the oven, but since I don't have an oven, I used my Actifry. I am quite impressed with the results. The skin came out nicely browned and slightly charred. Delicious.

Grilled Coriander and Lime Chicken

Grilled Coriander and Lime Chicken

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Marinate time: 1 hr-overnight
Cook time: 30 mins
Yield: serves 4


Ingredients:
  • 1 whole (about 1 kg) chicken - chopped into pieces
  • Juice of 5 small limes (2 cm in diameter each) (or to taste)
  • 1 bulb garlic - peeled
  • 50 g ginger - coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass - coarsely chopped
  • 1 red chili - coarsely chopped
  • 50 g fresh coriander (include stem and roots) - coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbs fish sauce

Directions:
  • Place all ingredients except the chicken into a food processor and blend until all ingredients are fairly finely processed. Season to taste.
  • Mix together marinade and chicken, marinate for at least 1 hr, preferably overnight.
  • Put chicken pieces in the
    ActiFry
    . Close the lid and cook for about 20 mins. Pour in the rest of the marinade and continue cooking for another 10 mins or until browned.[OR roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 45-50 mins or until done.]
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Steamed Bitter Gourd Chicken

Thursday, 3 November 2011

This dish is similar to what I would usually do with bitter gourd but instead of braising with fermented soy bean paste, I steamed it instead. I also added red dates to cut through the bitterness of the bitter gourd. The dish turned out extremely tasty and the wild boar loved it. I'm not so sure if it's healthier than the braised version but it's definitely easier to prepare.

Steamed Bitter Gourd Chicken

Steamed Bitter Gourd Chicken

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Marinate time: 1 hr
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: serves 3


Ingredients:
  • 550 g bone-in chicken pieces
  • 25 g (about 18) red dates - de-seeded, cut into half.
  • 1 bitter gourd (about 400 g) - seeds and white spongy stuff removed, thinly sliced.
Marinade:
  • 1 thumb size ginger - cut into matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 tbs Taucu (fermented soy bean paste)
  • 1/2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
Directions:
  • For bitter gourd, Cut into half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white spongy stuff. Thinly slice then soak in salted water for about 15 mins to reduce the bitterness slightly. Drain and rinse away the salt.
  • Mix together chicken, red dates and marinade ingredients. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hr.
  • Before steaming, mix together 3/4 of the bitter gourd and chicken then place in steaming bowl. Arrange the rest of the bitter gourd on top.
  • Steam on medium low heat for about 20-25 mins or until done.
Steamed Bitter Gourd Chicken
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