Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice)


Mmmmm..this was the long awaited Kimchi Bokkeumbap or Kimchi Fried Rice that Piggy gal and myself had been waiting for the past one week and we were rewarded ! The homemade kimchi fermented well and the aroma from the kimchi was authentic enough .... we can’t wait to have the kimchi as a side dish that very first day the kimchi was ready :P


We are happy to have our very own homemade kimchi now instead of buying those ready-made one which were very commercialized. Now we know why the Koreans must have kimchi every day. It was addictively good that Piggy gal and myself are looking forward to it every meal time :))) It is very appetizing and after devouring the kimchi fried rice, Piggy gal asked me to make another tub so that we can have kimchi everyday!!! :)) Addictive indeed ^ *


Coming back to the Kimchi Bokkeumbap, it was the best fried rice we have ever eaten so far. It is easy to prepare and is pretty versatile, you can add in any other ingredients you like to the rice, but of course the main ingredient will have to be the kimchi . The kimchi adds flavor to the rice and yessss...every mouthful was yummy alrite!!! . With the tub of homemade kimchi sitting in the fridge , we can now venture into many more Korean dishes ,such as the Kimchi Chigae and Kimchi Jun and many more :))


Every mouthful was kimchi flavored goodness
mmmmmm..yum yum

Kimchi Fried Rice
Ingredients:

2 tsp sesame oil
3 shiitake mushrooms (sliced )
1 clove garlic ( chopped)
1 egg ( lightly beaten)
2 cups of cooked rice
10 medium sized shrimps (cooked)
1 cup kimchi ( sliced)
scallions ( diced for garnishing)

Method:

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the shiitake mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the egg and cook until almost set. Add the rice and shrimps and cook until warm. Turn off the heat and mix in the kimchi. Dish up and garnish with scallions.



Enjoy !

Kamsahamida:))))

Monday, March 30, 2009

Drunken Clams



It’s been a long long time since we had drunken clams or rather clams steamed in chinese wine. Normally, I will buy the other type known as sea clam aka Lala locally which is much sweeter and softer in texture. But yesterday, I saw a lot of these clams aka as Kepah locally, sold in Tesco. Bought some back and instead of frying them in the normal spicy sauce, I decided to have them steamed in cooking wine .

I love cooking my food with chinese cooking wine, it adds oomph to the dish especially steamed item :))) . Not much fuss in preparing this dish . Chopped up some ginger, bird eye chillies, garlic and add in ½ teaspoon of sea salt to the clams. Add in 2 tablespoon of chinese cooking wine to the clams. Wrapped them in aluminium foil and steamed for 15-20 mins in hot boiling water.

Take out from the steamer, garnish with some chopped spring scallions and serve it hot with rice. It was drunkenly good and the meat was fresh and succulent ....heehee I love it so did Piggy gal. The guys not interested in these clams so the ladies had the whole dish to themselves…haha “ less man more share “ as the saying goes :P

before they were steamed I let the clams enjoyed some
wine first, 10 mins of wine bath ^ *

wrapped in aluminium foil and steamed for 15-20 mins
in hot boiling water


the meat fresh and succulent
it was drunkenly good :P


Enjoy and have a nice day!
Coming up next will be kimchi fried rice
with my first ever homemade kimchi :P
stay tuned:)))



Friday, March 27, 2009

Curried Fried Mushrooms




This is one finger food that everyone will love, crunchy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside . The curry flavored batter gave the mushroom extra oomph. I knew it will turn out nice when I found this recipe on Kevin’s blog. I shaked some Cajun spice on the done mushrooms ( though it was not in Kevin's recipe ) and to my delight it tasted fantastic. My Piggies wiped them out in juz seconds….it was that delicious !





Fixing up the batter was one easy task, but the most difficult part was the coating of the mushrooms and the deep frying part. Have to watch the temperature of the oil , for the bread crumbs burn easily. I can only deep-fry two or three mushrooms at one go...I am a slow coach alrite :P





Curried Fried Mushrooms  - adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 cup water (or beer or white wine)
1 egg
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pound mushrooms (I used oyster and king oyster, slice any really large mushrooms to ensure even cooking)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
oil for frying

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, water, egg and curry powder.
2. Dip the mushrooms into the batter and then dredge them in the panko bread crumbs.
3. Fry in oil until golden brown.


Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Waldorf Salad



Browsing through Kevin's blog , I found this wonderful salad recipe . I knew I had to try it out..easy to prepare yet refreshing and yummilicious. I added 2 more items to his original recipe, grapefruit for I am a fan of grapefruit….sweet, sourish and the bitter after taste adds oomph to the salad and shredded cheddar cheese ….hmmm it was one good salad that I will want to make again and again :) The salad is full of vitamins and minerals goodness… and you also get the different tastebud at one mouthful…nutty from the roasted walnuts , sweetness from the cranberries and apple , crunchiness from the celery and sourness and bitterness from the grapefruit…well what do you think ? Of course it was good :))))

This salad goes well with the fried chicken we had for dinner. Excellent combo and the Piggies clan love it! I would like to thank Kevin for sharing such a wonderful salad recipe.

salad ingredients consist of
grapefuit, cranberries, apple, celery and roasted walnuts



Waldorf Salad  - taken from Closet Cooking

Ingredients:

1 apple (cored and chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1 handful dried raisins (or cranberries)
1 handful walnuts (toasted and chopped)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
lettuce

Directions:
1. Mix the apple, celery, cranberries and walnuts in a bowl.
2. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.
3. Toss the salad with the dressing.
4. Serve on a bed of lettuce.


Enjoy!






Monday, March 23, 2009

Homemade Kimchi




Kimchi making was so fun actually and at last I got the guts to try making it. I bought the lastest Flavour Magazine and to my greatest joy, there was a write out on kimchi making..haha and knowing myself, I knew before long, the urge to try making kimchi will erupt and true enough I told Piggy gal that I am going to make this wonderful kimchi . So I made it last Saturday. It is now fermenting in the fridge. It takes 6 days for it to be properly fermented and ready for consumption. That means only this Friday we can taste it..my first kimchi making and hopefully it is a success so that I can make again. Piggy gal and I love kimchi but not the guys.

This kimchi recipe is not the traditional one but it suited my taste. Sometimes, by reading a recipe one would be able to tell whether the taste is good or not…I am now crapping like a pro chef :P :P :))) I can’t wait to share with you my experience in making kimchi. For me it was fun and I can’t wait to taste it. Oh,by the way Piggy gal and I are the only one who love international cuisine and Korean & Japanese cuisine are top on our list.

I remembered once, we had to split up for dinner. Daddy and Piggy boy both opted for western food whereby Piggy gal and I opted for Korean food. ..funny , for once we had our girly time together enjoying Korean food at one Korean restaurant at the shopping mall in KL.

Back to kimchi making…soaking the cabbage in brine water will helps soften the leaves but I like them crunchy so I juz rub sea salt on the leaves and wash away the salt after 5 hours. I used a huge watermelon to press the leaves down :) I used the food proceessor to process the ingredients into a paste, namely , green apples , cooked rice, garlic, ginger and dried chillies.




Mix the paste with fermented shrimp ( cincalok) , sugar and fish sauce and applied on the cabbage leaves layer by layer together with chives and spring onions cut into 2.5cm lengths. Make sure all the cabbage leaves are covered with the paste mixture. Best to use a clay pot but I used my tupperware as it is air tight. I cut the cabbage leaves into 2.5 cm lengths .






Kimchi - adapted from Flavour Magazine March-April ' 09 issue by Koryo-Won
Ingredients:

4 chinese cabbages, halved and washed

1 kg red chillies
1 onion
1 pear
1 apple
1 bowl cooked rice
100gm dried chillies , soaked
1 radish, sliced
100 gm spring onions, cut into 2.5cm lengths
50 g Chinese chives, cut into 2.5 cm lengths
100 gm chilli powder
50gm sugar
Salt to taste
100 gm minced galic
1 tablespoon fermented baby shrimps ( cincalok )
250ml fish sauce

Method:

Soak the cabbages in salt water for 5-6 hours, weighing the cabbages down with a heavy plate during the soaking process. Remove cabbages from the salt water and drain well.

In a food processor, blend the chillies, onion, pear, apple, rice and dried chillies. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Stuff the cabbage with the mixture, starting from the innermost leaves and making sure every part of the leaf is covered. Repeat until the entire cabbage half is covered with as much of the mixture as possible.

Put the kimchi into an airtight container and allow it to ferment for 3 to 6 days at a temperature below 20º C

Enjoy !



Note: Will post up the ready kimchi in a few days time and put my fingers and toes cross that it will turn out yummilicious and as close to the authentic kimchi :)) Wish me luck:P



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Savoury Crispy Bacon And Cheese Muffins




My pleasure to introduce Piggy gal , my guest blogger for this post :)

Hello all >D

First of all, I thank my gracious mummy for allowing me to invade this space of hers. Secondly, this would be the first time I blog about food, an obvious deviation from the usual musings I blog about here, so apologies if I don’t get this whole food-blogging thing down pat. In case of exasperation, I plead that you have mercy on a newbie :P

Growing up I’ve always lent a hand or spatula or measuring cup when need be in the kitchen…how else would I get to sneak bites of the glorious food hatched out by the very talented hands of mummy? Since I’m currently on a long break, I decided to do something productive to satisfy my own piggy cravings whilst proving my worth in the territory mum terms entirely her own….

I’m not one for overly sweet stuff but savoury food would be the Achilles’ heel of my dieting regime. So, I settled for a simple, amateur-friendly recipe for savoury muffins, lavishly stuffed with aromatic bacon bits, crunchy bell peppers, and oozing cheesey goodness literally from the inside out. The steps were easy to follow and in almost no time at all, the house was filled with the teasing scent of freshly baked muffins. The result? A sensational potpourri of flavours guaranteed to deliver tingling satisfaction from the very first bite.

From this first forage into the world of baking, I realized that there is much effort put into making something. Sure, I’ve ‘baked’ some other things before this, but it was always just to help mum beat some eggs, whisk some batter, and just hanging around guarding the cakes or goodies from getting burnt. I guess I never really valued the satisfaction garnered when things turn out correctly and I remember when mum used to grin from ear to ear just because her buns turned out with the right texture and she’ll be protecting her freshly baked load like a protective mother hen, wielding her camera, and ready to peck any of us who dares venture in for the first pinch before she captures her photo to immortalize her momentous achievement…..:P Today I found myself saying “Mum, quick bring the camera, take a shot of this….” And I truly understood the pride that comes with a good turnout of baked goods.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and as I’m currently at a loss of words to describe these delicious muffins, I shall take a back seat and let the pictures, do all the talking…….enjoy!






Muffins filled with the goodness of protein-rich cheddar cheese, crispy bacon bits ,eggs, anti-oxidant -red capsicum, yogurt, and the flavors of Italian spices . A good kick-start for the day with these delicious muffins!

I hope you all will try this recipe out and enjoy it as much as I did.
Cheers,
Piggy gal :)


Savoury Crispy Bacon & Cheese Muffins


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese cubes ( or shredded cheese)
1 cup plain yoghurt
2 eggs
¼ cup butter (melted)
½ cup chopped red or green capsicum
½ cup crispy streaky bacons bits
¼ cup pizza sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella

Method:

Preheat oven to 200º C. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners .
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, dried parsley and baking soda until well mixed. Stir in the cheddar cubes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs and butter until smooth. Stir into flour mixture just until well combine and no dry spots remain , stir in the pizza sauce and the capsicum and the bacon bits last. The batter will be very thick . Do not over mix the batter.
Spoon the batter into muffin cups, dividing evenly. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each one.
Bake about 20 -25 mins until golden brown, and a skewer inserted in the centre of one of middle muffins comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in pan at least 5 minutes before removing, then allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.


******


Monday, March 16, 2009

' Period Soup '


Some will wonder what the heck is this black soup..haha, most Asian Chinese will probably know that it is called “Pat Chan” (in cantonese) but my Piggies called it the "Period Soup ". I will normally boil this soup for Piggy gal and myself once a month. Good for the womb and helps prevent a woman from aging fast, it seems ^ *

A traditional Chinese herbal soup which is good for the women and is taken after every menstrual period. I won’t go into details…my main highlight is the shaped eggs found in the ' Period Soup '. I am obsessed with the egg press I bought a few weeks back . I make hardboiled eggs juz to have an excuse to use the egg press :)))))) Lame right ? Haha, not only me who is thrilled to bits but Piggy gal too . She even used that photo as her display picture in her msn! Lots of question asked by her friends on msn chat and she answered them all. I guessed she was happy for once in taking this bitterish sweet black soup with that cutie car shaped egg in it . For me I took the fish shaped one….. makes the 'Period Soup' more fun to take and we kept the egg till last… :)

Piggy gal has this cute car shaped egg
in her Period Soup


*******

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Streaky Bacon Fried Rice With Tangy Pineapple




I have half a pineapple left in the fridge after making the mango & pineapple pie. Not knowing what to do with it, and after some thoughts, I said, hey why not fried rice with some streaky bacon with the tangy pineapple....if it had been sweet, honey sweet there won't be any left after the pie :P

I wanted to fry with some tom yam paste but decided not to coz we already had too much of hot spicy stuff the last few days. You can consider this as a one dish meal...tasty and easy to prepare for working people like me :))) The tangy pineapple and cajun spice added extra flavor to the Streaky Bacon Fried Rice...yummilicious and appetizing !



First, I fried the streaky bacon till fragrant( keep the oil for frying the rice later), chopped them up into bits sizes, cut up some red capsicum and diced them into small cubes. Chopped up some garlic. Scooped out the pineapple flesh and cut into small bits. Keep the pineapple shell for storing the fried rice later, if you like to be a little more creative :)))

Next step , sauteed the garlic in a wok with the bacon oil till fragrant. Add in streaky bacon bits, diced red capsicum and stir fry till well mixed. Add in the rice and stir fry till all the ingredients are well mixed. Push the rice aside, add in an egg and push back the rice and cover the egg for a second then toss the rice together with the egg till the egg is cooked and in shreds. Throw in some black raisins if you like . Add 1 heaped teaspoon of salt ( to taste) and 2 teaspoon of cajun spice and a dash of pepper to the fried rice. Tossed the rice till well mixed and dish out the fried rice into the pineapple shell .





*******

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mushroom Bruschetta



Wow, I never knew that sauteed fresh shitake mushrooms could go well with baguette. I got this mushroom bruschetta recipe from the Flavours Mag and I knew that I had to try it out and it turned out to be fantastically good. The wonderful aroma from the sautéed shitake mushroom and the melded flavors of the garlic and dried Italian parsley did wonders to my salivary glands :))

Piggy gal and I had mushroom bruschetta for dinner , and you know what... we both finished the whole lot. The bruschetta was light, intriguing and delightful . The recipe actually calls for fresh button mushrooms but since I had a packet of fresh shitake , I gave it a twist and used shitake instead and voila....it was delicious !








Mushroom Bruschetta


Ingredients:

3 tbsp of olive oil
250 gm fresh button mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
to taste
Thick slices of baguette ( toasted with olive oil and parsley)

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. sauteed the garlic and cook until aromatic, add the mushrooms until they start to color . Add parsley and seasoning to taste. Remove when the mushrooms are lightly browned, Served on toasted baguette.

Tip: Get the cooking done quickly before the mushrooms start to release water and lose their plumpness.


**********

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pineapple And Mango Pie



I am sure eveyone loves pie, be it savoury or sweet. The first pie that I tasted was apple pie and it was also the first pie that I baked when I first started baking. Chicken pie is also a favourite of the Piggy clan besides apple pie. But for last weekend, I baked a fruit pie for my Piggies.

The moment I set my eyes on the photo of this Pineapple & Mango Pie , from my 500 Pies and Tarts book by Rebecca Baugniet, I knew I had to make it or else I won’t be able to rest in peace :P It was refreshing in taste and a wonderful dessert to serve your guests after dinner :) It will taste more yummy if it is chilled before serving.

Making homemade pastry can be intimidating to both the experienced and novice bakers like it was to me at first, too. Flakiness is the chief attribute of well-made pastry--and the most elusive; it's tricky to make, requires lotz of practice, precision and just the right touch. I was lucky. I managed to make it good this time round ^ *







Pineapple & Mango Pie ( adapted from 500 Pies & Tarts by Rebecca Baugniet)

Basic crust

280g (10oz) plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
115g vegetable shortening
115g cold unsalted butter

(Combine together)
1 large egg -whisked
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp ice-cold water

Method:

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter and shortenings into small chunks and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-crossing motion, blend the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of damp sand, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter and shortening remaining. using a fork or wire whisk, beat the egg with the vinegar and water. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the flour, stirring only until the mixture is moist. The dough should stick together and be able to hold the form of a ball. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Smooth each ball of dough with a rolling pin so it forms a flat disc that fills the corners of the plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of half an hour. ( If it has been chilled for a long time, it may need to soften slightly before use) To roll out the crust, unwrap one disc and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough from the centre of the disc to the edge, until the crust is the desired thickness ( usually 3mm/1/8 in thick) and at least 2.5 cm( 1in) wider than the pie dish. If the dough is sticking to the rolling pin, try placing a sheet of plastic wrap over it and then rolling it out. Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the crust into the pie dish by rolling it onto the rolling pin and then positioning it over the pie dish. If the crust is sticking to the rolling surface, carefuly separate it by sliding a sharp knife or metal spatula between the crust and the rolling surface. Carefully press the dough into the pie dish. If any cracks appear during the transfer, use lightly floured fingers to push the seams back together. For single crust pies, crimp the edge decoratively, using your fingers or fork tines. Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Pineapple & Mango Pie

1 recipe basic crust
1 large fresh pineapple, cut into ½ in chunks (455g in total)
170g fresh mango, cut into ½ in chunks
140g caster sugar * I reduced to 100g40g plain flour
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Method:


Preheat oven to 220C(425F/Gas mark 7)

Roll out half the quantity of pastry dough and line a 23 cm pie dish

Place the pineapple and mango chunks over the base of the pie crust. Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and melted butter until well combined. Pour the sugar and egg mixture over the fruit

Roll out the second disc of pastry dough. Put the top crust on the pie, crimp the edges, and make 4 to 6 slits in the crust. Bake for 10 minutes

Lower the temperature to 160C and continue baking for 1 hour, until the crust is golden brown.


General Hints for Pastry-making

1. For best results, keep everything cold. Use cold hands, a cold marble top, pastry board or worktop and water. (To keep my hands cold, I fill a resealable plastic bag with ice and then hold it in my palms for a few seconds, when I need to or run them under cold water and then dry.) Handle the pastry as little as possible and always use the finger-tips, the coolest part of the hands. The dough is placed in a refrigerator between rollings so that the pastry remains firm.

2. Always sift the flour and salt, after measuring, together into the mixing bowl; this helps to lighten the mixture.

3. Chill the liquid in the refrigerator before use. The liquid parts (water, eggs, etc.) of the recipe should be very cold. Be careful not to overdo it - an excess of liquid causes a sticky, unmanageable dough and any extra flour then added will make it tough.

4. Rolling out must be done using firm, light strikes, rolling in one direction only and rotating the dough between "rolls". Avoid stretching the pastry as this causes shrinkage in baking.

5. Pastry requires a hot, well-preheated oven. Too low an oven temperature causes pale, hard and flat pastry.


Enjoy !

Monday, March 9, 2009

Homemade Pau With Savory Turnip Fillings



Homemade pau with savoury turnip fillings are delicious and they are not difficult to make. Much easier than anticipated. Good for breakfast , afternoon tea snacks or supper. I made one load of pau dough from Amy Beh's recipe and the Piggies had them for breakfast and supper :))) I still haven't been successful in making the pau smile coz I didn't want to use ammonia bicarbonate on the pau. It will definitely smile if I had used them :))


Appearance wise they may not look attractive
but definitely tasty and yummilicious!


The pau skin is soft and fluffy
the recipe is a keeper for sure


testing my cam skill :P


mouthwatering ?
haha Piggy gal said I put in too much
fillings so can't get to eat the pau skin :))



Pau dough recipe by Amy Beh 


Fillings Ingredients:

2 turnips - julienned
1 carrot - julienned
8 dried chinese mushroom - soaked and julienned
1 dried cuttlefish - soaked and cut into strips
3 pips of garlic - chopped finely

2 tbsp of cooking oil

Seasoning:

2 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tsp of chicken powder seasoning
a dash of pepper
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of thick soy sauce * optional

1 cup of water
1 tbsp of cooking wine* optional

thickening:

1/2 tbsp of tapioca flour
3 tbsp of water


Method:

Heat up the wok with 2 tbsp of cooking oil , sauteed the garlic till fragrant, add in cut cuttlefish and stir fry till fragrant. Add in the cut mushroom and the julienned veggies and sir fry till well mixed for ten minutes. Add in the water and simmered till almost the turnips are soft. Add in all the seasonings ingredients. Add in the thickening last. Dish up and when cooled , put in the fridge till required. Best overnight.


Enjoy!

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