Saturday, January 30, 2016

Potato Salad With Crispy Bacon Chips

On my daughter's recent trip home, she taught me how to make her favorite potato salad .  I like her recipe , all she did was to steam the potato cubes instead of boiling the whole potato. She added chopped red onions and chives with enough salt and black pepper to the Japanese was really delicious.  Now is the time to learn from her some good recipes...mommy taking lessons from her daughter * wink  I am proud that she is a good cook in her own right :)

I decided to make the same potato salad but gave it a tweak...I added some crispy bacon chips to the salad for I know that the Wild Boar would surely love it and true enough, he almost emptied the whole bowl of salad :)  A simple potato salad yet rich in flavor !  WB had the salad with his English Rose Roast .  Normally, I will serve him green salad but for this once, I served him potato salad . He loves it so that is all that matters.  And for me,  I  had this delectable potato salad for dinner.  Light and easy for me :)

pan seared the bacon till browned and crispy

once bacon has cooled, chopped the crispy bacon into smaller bits

add the crispy bacon chips to the chilled potato salad

Potato Salad With Crispy Bacon Chips 


2 big Russet potatoes - remove skin and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 red onion - minced
2 tbsp of cut chives  * I used spring onions instead
4 or 5 tbsp of Japanese mayonnaise
sea salt to taste
1 tsp of  freshly ground black pepper

2 strips of bacon


1.  Wash the russet potatos, remove skin and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.  Steam the potato cubes for 15 mins or till cooked .  Take out and leave it to cool.

2. Mince the red onion and cut chives finely, add to  Japanese mayo .  Add fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste to the mayo. Give it a stir and pour the mixture on the cooled potato cubes and give it a quick mix.  Make sure all the potato cubes are coated with the mayo mixture.  Wrap the bowl of salad with cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator till it is ready for serving.

3.  Pan seared the bacon strips till browned and crispy.  Once it has cooled , crush into bits.  Add to the chilled potato salad and serve as a sides .


Monday, January 25, 2016

Claypot Braised Fish Head With China Yam And Leeks

Thanks to Wendy of Table For 2 or More for posting up on facebook about the yam from China. That very day, I went and bought 2 for a song...lucky for me because after that it was totally sold out after her posting. You see how influential she word and all was sold out fast after her post :p I went back to buy more for making fritters the next few days.  No luck, they ain't selling anymore in Tesco.

With the two that I bought, I braised half of the yam with fish head and china leeks...gosh it was good. The yam was fluffy and because of that, it absorbed in the flavors from the braising of the fish head and leeks :) Choose fish head from Grouper/'Sek Parn' or Threadfin / 'Soong Hong' or 'Giant Mak Yau 'or Snapper /Ikan Merah.. meat is firmer. For this kind of cooking you need firmer meat :)

I braised the yam in my favorite claypot :)

ingredients :  'soong hong' fish head from Jusco, china leeks
and the china yam, and beancurd(foo chook )

love this delicious and flavorful braised yam dish 
and I can have the whole fish head to myself :p
WB doesnt eat fish, he is a meat man but I am training him 
to eat more fish then meat.....but condition is I must debone it 
for a child he behaves at times :)

the china leeks added flavor to the dish...
and china leeks has a stronger flavor than local ones

Claypot Braised Fish Head With China Yam And Leeks


1 fish head -med. sized ( fish of your choice ) you can deep fried the fish head
* for healthier version, I opted out the deep frying, I lightly seared the fish head with
a few tbsp of vegetable oil. Season fish head with salt and ground white pepper and
two tsp of corn flour

1/2 china yam - peeled, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
a few sticks of dried beancurd (foo chook)
2 stalks of china leeks - cut into 1" inch length

3 slices ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

seasoning (1)
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 cups of water

pinches of salt to taste

1 tbsp cornflour mix with 3 tbsp of water


Lightly seared the fish head that has been seasoned with salt, white pepper and corn flour in the claypot with 3 tbsp of vegetable oil under med. low  heat till lightly brown.  Take out the fish head and keep aside.   With the excess oil, fry the cut yam till lightly brown ( so that it doesnt get mashed up during the braising ) , take out the yam and keep aside.   

Add in garlic and ginger slices and sautee till fragrant, add in the seared fish head and yam and seasoning (1) and slowly braise the fish head and yam under low heat.  Once the gravy boils and the fish is cooked thru and yam is soften, add in the beancurd and leeks.  Cook for another 15 mins and add salt to taste and thickening .  Serve hot with rice.

Enjoy and have a great day !

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Grilled Ikan Cincaru With Grated Turmeric And Delicious Onion Sambal

Checking through the freezer , I  found that I still have a few packages of fish and meat that needs to be eaten fast within the week.  I realised that I bought them a month ago and they have been sitting in the cold freezer haha waiting to be cooked. I have been busy with lots of stuff that, I have forgotten about the fishes and meat I bought a few weeks ago ! No worries, if the seafood is fresh when you bought them, they can remain fresh for a month...that is what I discovered :) 

Took the fishes out from the freezer and after thawing them, found them to be Ikan Cincaru or known as hardtail scad The best way to eat this fish is to either stuff them with chilli paste and deep fried or to grilled them and eat them with hot and sour dip sauce.  

I decided to grill them wrapped in banana leaves , firstly it is healthier and secondly , it taste good to eat with my own concoct onion sambal.  The hardtail scad has a hard layer of scale like thing which helps to keep the flesh moist and juicy while cooking, either deep fried or grilled.  For me , I love the baby ones...reason being the texture is smoother .

I grated some fresh tumeric and rub over the fish,
sprinkled some salt  and wrapped them with banana leaf

grilled at 180 C  for 25-30mins - the banana leaves are kept in freezer
thus for the color...:)

smell good anyway...:)

serve the grilled fishes with own concocted onions sambal -
slices onions thinly and add to homemade sambal belacan
a squeeze of calamansi juice...that's it !

delicious grilled fish and the heavenly onion sambal !

Grilled Ikan Cincaru With Grated Turmeric And Delicious Onion Sambal

Grill fish -

2 Ikan Cincaru - clean, wash and pat dry
2 tsp of grated turmeric - 1 tsp for each fish - rub on the fish
2 tsp of salt - 1 tsp to each fish

1 piece of banana leaf - wash and pat dry with paper towel

Method :  

Season the fish with salt and grated turmeric.  Wrap the fishes with banana leave.  
Grill in oven @180C  for 25-30 mins or till the fishes are cooked through.

Onion Sambal 

4-5 shallots - slice thinly
2 tbsp of  homemade sambal belacan
2 calamansi juice

Combine the above together in a small bowl till well combined. Ready to serve as a dip for the grilled fish.

to make sambal belacan

5-6 fresh red chillies - deseed and cut into big slices
1/2 inch belacan ( shrimp paste )  - toast in wok till fragrant

Pound the cut slices of red chillies in a mortar and pestle , add in the toasted belacan and continue to pound till the chillies and shrimp paste are well combined.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fried Chicken With Crispy Basil And Raw Garlic

This is something that I will indulge in once in a while...err...actually quite often :p  I love this style of cooking either with tofu or chicken nuggets , very often with tofu.  Mixing the fried chicken with the combination of raw garlic and chilli flakes and the crispy deep fried basil is what make this dish tasty and the aroma is really out of this world ....and I wish I could cook this more often * I am salivating already while typing out this post ! 

Simply coat the marinated chicken meat with 1:1:1 ratio of flour...potato flour, self raising flour and rice flour and a shake of paprika and cajun . This combination of flour for coating has stayed with me since I tried it out some years back which gave me the crunch that last. This dish can be served as a stand alone dish or as a snack while watching TV.  

the steps are easy  :) and this dish is to die for :p

serve this with cold beer...mmmm yummy !

Fried Chicken With Crispy Basil And Raw Garlic

400 gm chicken meat ( deboned ) marinate with salt

1 egg - beaten

mix the following flour together for coating the chicken meat
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of cajun

1 handful of basil leaves- cleaned and dried- and deep fried
3 tbsp of chopped garlic
1/2 tsp of chilli flakes - optional


1.  Marinate chicken meat with salt either overnight or 2 hours before deep frying.  Dip marinated chicken into beaten egg and coat with the flour..dust off extra flour .  Deep fried till cooked and golden brown. Dish up and place over kitchen paper towel to absorb excess oil.

2. Deep fried the basil leaves . Take out once the leaves are crispy in over paper towel to absorb excess oil.

3. Put the fried chicken in a big bowl , add in the chopped garlic, chilli flakes if desire, and deep fried crispy basil leaves.  Use a spatula and stir till all the ingredients are well mixed together.

4.  Serve as a dish with rice or as a snack.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Stir Fry Winged Beans And Eggplants With Dried Shrimps Sambal

This dish is what we would normally order when we eat out.  They seem to be in season now as I see them being sold at Tesco and Jusco and at the wet market. Could not resist buying some back, and I tried to replicate the dish as how it is being cooked. The only ingredients missing are the stink beans and long beans.  Winged beans has a lot of health benefits and is a multi purpose food. Winged beans are also called four angle beans in Asia.  

A simple stir fry of winged beans and baby eggplants with dried shrimps sambal is appetizing and   I can have two bowls of rice with just this one dish :) and I love the fact that winged bean has a lot of benefits and I will add this vegetable to our diet often after reading of its goodness :)  maybe plant them in my small space since the leaves are edible.

Photo courtesy of Terri at HungerHunger

* notes below are excerpts from "16 Benefits of Winged Beans - A Multi Purpose Food"

Growing Area - Winged Beans grow in warm tropical climates such as Florida, South America, Central America, Caribbean, and Asia and the Orient where it’s hot and humid. 
They also grow well in green houses as they twists their way up trellises growing as tall as15 feet… it take about 2 months for great tasting pea pods to appear. 
They love wet weather and climb like crazy, sometimes 6 feet in a couple of days. And the blue flowers are very pretty… plus you end up with 9 inch edible pea pods. 
Taste - The wing shaped beans taste a bit like Asparagus - wonderful. 
Low in Calories - Winged Bean pods are very low in calories which makes them great for weight loss… 50 grams of pods is about 25 calories. 
Dried Beans - If you let the pods mature and dry they become full of protein and the calorie count goes up, about 400 calories for 100 grams which is similar to soybeans. 
Strong Bones and Rehab - Winged Beans are important for building strong bones and for energy for those who are sick and debilitated. 
Whole Plant Edible - The pods, leaves, stems, and the tubers are all edible. 
The tubers can be eaten cooked or raw… and have a good amount of protein with a nutty tasting potato flavor and they are fat free and cholesterol free. 
The seeds must be cooked or roasted and have up to 35% protein which is similar to soybeans. 
The pods can be eaten raw or cooked… and make a very crunchy veggie for salads and stews. 
The leaves and flowers are also edible and contain up to 15% protein… and they are fat free and cholesterol free.
Vitamins A, B, and C - Winged Beans are full of Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer. 
Winged Beans also contain lots of Vitamin A which is another powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent DNA damage. 
And Winged Beans also contain B Vitamins for vitality, mood enhancement, and energy. 
Fiber - Winged Beans have a lot of fiber which is important for growing probiotic bacteria in your colon which boosts your immune system. 
Contains - Winged Beans contain potassium for cardiovascular health and water regulation, selenium for fertility, calcium and phosphorus for strong bones, iron and copper for anemia, magnesium for metabolism, and manganese for boosting your immune system. 
Enzymes - They also contain lots of live enzymes which are important for good health. 
Fats - And the fats in Winged Beans contain a full spectrum of saturated fats, mono saturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. 
Protein - Winged Beans contain a full range of proteins from alanine to valine… this is about the only plant I know of that has a full spectrum of proteins - Wonderful!!!
Sugars - Winged Beans contain lots of different types of sugars from fructose to glucose, lactose, sucrose, galactose, and maltose. Some of these are very important for the growth of probiotic bacteria. 
Uses - Winged Bean Seeds can be roasted and used in soups and stews just like other dried beans and peas. 
The green pea pods can be used in stir fries, soups, stews, curries, they can be grilled with salt and pepper with oil, cooked with coconut milk, and they can be used raw in salads… they commonly used in Asian cooking.
The leaves of the plant are edible and are commonly used in stews and stir fries… add some garlic sauce and you have a wonderful meal. 
Plus the blue flowers can also be used to add color to cooked rice and pastries.
And the seeds can be fried and mashed together with mashed potatoes made into a patty and browned on both sides… to make a wonderful tasting potato and Winged Bean patty. 
Flour - Winged Beans can be made into flour for making bread which is a great alternative to wheat flour… much higher in protein. 
Nitrogen Fixing - Winged Beans also fix nitrogen in the soil… which is essential for rejuvenating poor soils. 

Stir Fry Winged Beans And Eggplants With Dried Shrimps Sambal 


400 gm winged beans - wash clean and cut at a slant of 1/2 inch thick
2 baby eggplants - wash clean and cut into strips

2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 to 2 tsp of chili paste - depends on dividual taste
2 tbsp of dried shrimps - soak and lightly pounded
1/2 inch square of toasted belacan

1.5  tbsp of vegetable oil
a few tbsp of water


Heat up wok, add in oil and chopped garlic and saute for a min, add in dried shrimps, chilli paste and toasted belacan. Continue to saute till aromatic.  Add in the cut winged beans and eggplants and stir fry for a few mins, add a few tbsp of water and continue to stir fry till the veggies are cooked . Dish up and serve with rice.

Enjoy !

Monday, January 11, 2016

Japanese Pickled Ginger

This is my third try at making pickled ginger that turned pinkish on its own. Those previous ones that I made turned pinkish with lemon juices added but this recent one that I made turned pinkish naturally without having to add lemon juice to it.  I found this recipe from Nami's Just One Cookbook and when I read through her Japanese pickled ginger recipe , I knew I had to make it.  She gave tips on how to make the young ginger turned natural pink - Just include the pink part of the young ginger ! The pink pigment  makes the pickled ginger turned natural pink ! So simple ! 

And true enough, the moment I poured the warm boiled rice vinegar syrup over the ginger slices, they turned pinkish.   I was happy to see such a lovely pink...worth all the hardwork. Thank you Nami for sharing the wonderful tip - knowing this important factor, I will not scrape off the pink skin anymore :)

Both WB and myself love pickled ginger, the homemade one of course :) We serve them with hard boiled eggs, our all time favorite appetizer and I do add them to my salad sometimes .  

I choose those with pink skin...the pink pigment makes the
pickled ginger naturally pink

I used a thin sharp paring knife to slice the young ginger as thin as I can 

the ginger slices turned pinkish
 instantly the moment the warm 
rice vinegar syrup was poured over it

once it cooled down, store them in jar
and keep in the fridge .

these pickled ginger can keep for a year in the fridge
as long as it is not contaminated

Japanese Pickled Ginger - adapted from Namiko JustOneCookbook

600 gm baby ginger -  wash , pat dry and sliced thinly
1/2 tbsp coarse salt

Sweet Vinegar ( Amazu )

2 cups rice vinegar
1.5 cups sugar

a tsp of salt

A sterilized jar with a lid


Using a spoon scrape off  brown spots from ginger, sprinkle salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Then add the ginger into a boiling water and cook for 1-3 mins. If you want to keep it spicy, take it out after 1 minute. Otherwise 2-3 minutes is good.

Pour the water into a sieve and let the ginger slices drain completely by spreading them out in a single layer. With your clean hands, squeeze the water out and put them in a sterilized jar or Mason jar or a sterilized bowl.

In a small pot, add rice vinegar, sugar and salt and bring it to a boil till strong vinegar smell has evaporated.  When it's slightly cool, pour the liquid into the jar with sliced ginger.  It will turned pink . The pickled ginger can be stored in air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a year.

Enjoy !

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Pumpkin Soup With Homemade Broth

Pumpkin is one of my favorite squash. I used them in making soup and sometimes as pie filling and at times make pumpkin cake Asian style and needless to say pumpkin mantou and pumpkin buns  are also my favorites. There are many ways to cook pumpkin actually and no matter how you cook them, they taste just as good.

Today sharing is a simple pumpkin soup cooked in a slightly different style.  I used the special broth left from making the Apple Infused Korean Pork Wraps which I shared in my previous post.  I freezed the broth and used the broth for making this tasty pumpkin soup.  With this broth, making this soup is super easy.  All I have to do is cut the pumpkin into chunks, steamed them for 15 to 20 mins.  Once the frozen broth has been thawed and boiled to a boiling roll, pour over the steamed pumpkin and garnish with spring onions.  Simple and easy to whip up pumpkin soup for dinner. It is healthy to eat pumpkin and should be added to our daily meals more often :)

I love to make the broth in readiness and store them by containers in the freezer . Now having a n electric pressure cooker , making broth is not an issue anymore . WB always complains that the freezer has no space for his ice cream * wink 

this is my first photo using my new Nikon  DSLR camera :)

the tasty broth 
I love to make my own broth for soup

to make the curly spring onions
just soak them in ice cold water

to have a clear soup...first steam the pumpkin chunks
then pour boiling hot broth over the pumpkin
to maintain a clear appearance

Pumpkin Soup With Homemade Broth

To make the broth 

1 kg of pork belly -  blanched in hot boiling water for 8 mins
1 red apple - with skin on , cut into quarters
1 onion - skin peeled cut into quarters
2 stalks of spring onions - use the white part
25 g of fresh ginger - sliced
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp black peppercorn
2 tbsp of Korean soy bean paste  ( Doenjang )
2 tbsp of soy sauce
4 tbsp of rice wine
12 cups of water or more depends how much broth you want to make

Cook in pressure cooker ( I set to beef/tendon mode ) or 
cooking over stove fire (takes about an hour in low heat )

400 gms pumpkin - cut into chunks and steamed for 15-20 mins till soft and cooked
2 stalks of spring onions- cut into long strips and soak in ice cold water for curly effect


If broth has been prepared before hand and stored in freezer - thawed the frozen broth and heat up over medium fire till it comes to a boiling roll.  Pour over the steamed pumpkin chunks and garnish with spring onion .

Enjoy !

Below are links to some  dishes and cakes and muffins that uses pumpkin.

Stir Fry Pumpkin With Perserved Turnip
Stir Fry Pumpkin With Homegrown Spring Onions
Stir Fry Pumpkin Slices With Shrimps
Stir Fry Pumpkin With Abalone Mushroom And Fresh Wood Ear Mushroom
Stir Fry Pumpkin With Black Fungus
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll
Steamed Pumpkin Muffin
Japanese Pumpkin Cake

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Apple Infused Korean Pork Wraps ( Bossam ) - Non Halal

Time has been almost a year since I retired and I am pleased that I have made good use of the free time God has given unto me. I have drawn closer to God and has more time to study the word of God and most important God has healed me of my pain. Praise to God for making me whole again :) God is my mentor and my BFF besides giving me Wild Boar and my 4 kids.  A wonderful family God has given unto me which I truly thank God for.  Having a healthy appetite is a blessing indeed and starting 2016 I will improve on my cooking skill and photography skill. Now, with the Nikon DSLR D3200 and with the AF-SDX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, I should be able to have better food photos to make my readers drool but for the time being , until I know how to use my DSLR camera well, please bear with the not so pro photos :p  

To kick start the new year, this was what I whipped up for our simple dinner...a korean dish...okay you know I love korean food so I will start the new year with sharing this dish.  Wild Boar loves meat so he is okay with this dish...hehehe more Korean food for him in 2016 :p  

Bossam is a pork dish in Korean cuisine with the centerpiece of pork belly, boiled in spices and thinly sliced. The meat is served with side dishes including garlic, onion, ssamjang sauce, saeujeot (pickled, fermented shrimp) locally known as 'cincalok '  and not to forget newly made kimchi. The meat and sides are often wrapped in vegetable leaves such as batavia lettuce, red lettuce , sesame or napa cabbage,  thus the literal meanng of bossam ( wrapped or packaged ) And Bossam is a popular dish in Korea, often served as anju - a dish that accompany alcohol like Soju .  For us, we had beer to go with it :)  

I pressured cooked the pork belly with my PPC
with ingredients like red apple, spring onions, garlic,
red onion, ginger and glutinous rice wine , korean fermented beanpaste,
peppercorns , soy sauce and water

blanch the pork belly with boiling water
before putting into the PPC

keep the flavorful broth  in the freezer for future use as
 soup or as stock for other dishes

sliced them into 1/8 thick slices 
a plate of well pressured and flavorful slices of goodness

Batavia Lettuce is suitable for Bossam and Sambap

Apple Infused Korean Pork Wraps ( Bossam )  adapted from  My Korean Kitchen

For Pork - Put into pot ( if not using pressure cooker )

1 kg of pork belly -  blanched in hot boiling water for 8 mins
1 red apple - with skin on , cut into quarters
1 onion - skin peeled cut into quarters
2 stalks of spring onions - use the white part
25 g of fresh ginger - sliced
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp black peppercorn
2 tbsp of Korean soy bean paste  ( Doenjang )
2 tbsp of soy sauce
4 tbsp of rice wine
8 cups of water

1 Batavia Lettuce  - as wraps - cleaned and stem removed


Kimchi salad
ssamjang sauce as dip

ingredients for ssamjang dip

1/4 cup doenjang ( fermented soy bean paste )
1 tbsp of gochujang ( hot pepper paste )
1 stalk of minced green onion
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tsp of honey
2 tsp of toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp of sesame oil

Use a spoon to mix all the above ingredients together . Transfer to a sauce bowl and serve with the pork wraps

Preparation for the pork

Boil the pot with  pork and the ingredients with the lid on medium heat until pork is cooked - about 1 hour .

While the pork is cooking in the pot, prepare the sides -  make the ssamjang sauce.  When the meat is cooked, take out and cool for 5 to 10 mins.  Thinly slice meat into 1 cm thick with a knife. Wrap meat with the bavatia lettuce with the sides and ssamjang sauce.

Note: I used Philip Pressure took 15 mins to pressured cook the meat.

Happy 2016  to all :)

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