Saturday, May 28, 2016

CNY Festive Dish - ' Ju Hu Char '

Strange....I normally would not cook this dish even if WB beg me to cook for him...but I DID agree to cook this time when he begged LOL!  He said " we went to Bali for CNY so I miss this dish "  I replied " okay, no problem " hahaha I could not take back my words...once out of the mouth, I have to keep to my word and cook this festive dish for him.  Even my daughter was surprised when I told her I cooked this dish..... that she just have to post on her facebook :)  knowing me so well...okay people can changed alright!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Savory Dried Shrimps Mint Leaves Soup


This is another of my late mom's favorite soup.  I was first introduced to this simple to prepare soup by my mom.  I used to stay in Teluk Intan and my late grandma planted a lot of mint in the backyard of our house near the Sungai Perak many years ago.  Now I am growing them myself too in pots in my small patch which I called my ' sanctuary '.

And mint dishes are often served on our dining table.  Mint leaves omelette and different soup preparation.  But the best is this savoury Dried Shrimps Mint Leaves Soup.  With added bird's eye chillies to it, the soup has some heat to it and it pleases my palate.  This soup has become my kids favorite soup too. You can have it stand alone or served as soup for noodles.  I remembered my mom used to have rice noodles ( beehoon ) with this savory soup.  

Try it and you will agree with me that it is appetizing and delicious too....something very Asian :) 

It uses just dried shrimps, shallots and chillies.  I love the heat so I used bird's eye chillies.  It is heavenly just to slurp down this savory flavored packed soup.  Perfect pairing of mint leaves with dried shrimps, shallots and chillies.  This has been my simple to make soup for the family. Homegrown mint are the best because I get to harvest them at the right time when the leaves are not too old nor young.  The fragrance from the mint is fantastic.

you can just lightly pound the dried shrimps after soaking
together with the shallots and chillies


just these ingredients and you can have the soup with either
rice or rice noodles


Savory Dried Shrimps Mint Leaves Soup
(for 2 persons)

ingredients:

a bunch of mint leaves - washed and drained
(A)
1/2 cup of dried shrimps - washed and soaked and lightly pounded
4 shallots - lightly pounded
2 bird's eye chillies - lightly pounded

500 - 600 ml water

salt to taste

Method:

Boil 500-600 ml water in deep pan or saucepan.  When water boils, add in the pounded ingredients (A) and continue to let it simmer under medium low heat for 20 mins until it is fragrant. Add salt to taste.  Add in the mint leaves when ready to serve so that the leaves remain green . Over cooking the leaves will not taste good and will lose its nutrients.

Serve with plain rice or rice noodles.

Enjoy !



Sunday, May 22, 2016

Petola And Meat Strips With Vermicelli


This is my late mom's signature dish . She used to cook this dish for the family when my brothers and I were young. Our childhood all time favorite dish.  She uses mutton and it was really good. My late mom cooked this dish for special occasions only as mutton were considered expensive in the 1970s. My favorite childhood dish and today I will share how I replicate the dish using pork loin instead of mutton. It tasted good too. But of course, mutton is still best in cooking this dish. 

I introduced this dish to the hubby and he took an instant like to it and I assured him that I will be cooking this very often. Hopefully , he won't get sick of it.   Seriously, no one will be bored of this dish. It is flavorful and when the fried vermicelli soaked up the gravy, each mouthful is flavors packed and will have you craving for more.  That being said, I assure you that this dish will be served on my dining table often :)

petola and meat cut into strips

the original dish uses mutton but I used pork loin instead

stir fry the meat strips and petola with garlic and chilli 
till meat is cooked through before adding
broth to it and thickens broth with thickening























deep fried vermicelli served as base
 later to be mixed together evenly

 squeeze lime juice over the stir fried petola and meat strips,



mix together evenly the fried vermicelli 
and the stir fried petola and meat strips
until the vermicelli has soak up the broth



Petola And Meat Strips With Vermicelli 

Ingredients:

250 gm of mutton (thigh part) cut into strips * I use pork loin
(marinate with 1 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of oyster sauce , 1 tsp of cornflour for 30 mins )

1 handful of vermicelli - deep fried
oil enough for deep frying vermicelli

1 medium sized petola - peel and cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 bird eyes's chillies - sliced
1.5 cups of broth  ( chicken or vegetable )
a dash of ground white pepper
salt to taste
2 tbsp of vegetable oil

thickening
2 tsp of cornflour mix with 2 tbsp of water

1/2 lime - squeeze for juice

Method:

Heat enough oil in wok for deep frying. Once oil is hot , put in the vermicelli , the moment it fluffs out, remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain off excess oil. Once it is done, place the fried vermicelli on a deep dish and keep aside. Pour out the oil from wok leaving 2 tbsp of oil in wok.

Heat up the wok with 2 tbsp of oil, saute chopped garlic till fragrant. Add in the marinated meat strips and stir fry till cooked, add in the petola strips and continue to stir fry till petola soften. Add in broth and thickening and once the broth thickens, add in salt and white pepper.  Dish up and pour over the fried vermicelli. Add in the lime juice and mix evenly the vermicelli and the stir fried petola and meat strips .  Serve with rice.


Enjoy !


Replace Your Way to Healthier Eating

Enjoying a healthy lifestyle comes down to two essential points; How you exercise and what you eat. If you are reaping the physical rewards of regular sessions at a gym in Houston, then your physical fitness is taken care of. However, if after leaving your training you enjoy a fatty or unhealthy meal, then all that work is for naught.

Often flavor is the driving factor which leads people to veer off the healthy eating path of their lifestyle. If this is you - we have just the post you're looking for. Instead of sacrificing taste for health, follow these tips to replace unhealthy ingredients and enjoy a meal which is both healthy and tasty.

Rice
An old favorite and an extremely versatile ingredient. However, not the healthiest. The next time you are preparing a rice-based meal, replace your rice with Quinoa. Quinoa has a much higher level of protein and fiber than rice and brings a delicious flavor to any dish.

Sour Cream
Often used for its fuller taste, it's sad to say that sour cream isn't going to help you lose weight or stay fit. However, Greek Yoghurt brings with it a much higher amount of protein and a significantly lower amount of calories, making it a great alternative in any recipe.

Potato Chips
A well-known source of delicious flavor is also a well-known source of fat, oil, and carbs. Coming in to fill its place is air-popped popcorn. Not to be confused with its oil-popped cousin, air popped popcorn contains significantly less saturated fat and is available in a range of tasty flavors.

All Dressings
One to surely bring pain to the face of any taste aficionado, it's unfortunate to say that your favorite dressing is likely to be one of the least healthy ingredients in your pantry. Whatever the flavor, your best bet is going to be swapping it out for balsamic vinegar.


Balancing a healthy lifestyle is achievable, it just takes the right knowledge and determination. It's likely that your friends are also in similar situations. Share these tips with them and listen to theirs in return for even more ways to make your everyday meals healthier.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chicken Curry Chinese Style


I have been trying my hands at cooking chicken curry for the past one year but none turned out really great . WB still wanted me to cook chicken curry though I am not good at it :p. He says he loves curry and he asked nicely " Please cook some curry chicken for me , it's been a while since you last cook "  I replied " but.. but I am not good at cooking curry chicken "  He insisted I cooked .. " not delicious also never mind ".  He won't let me rest..okay.

He asked me to use Alagappa curry powder instead of the fresh curry paste from the wet market. And so be it, this curry uses Alagappa curry powder and the result...not bad, it tasted delicious :)   We have some Australian baby potatoes from Jaya Grocer left in the fridge and I used that instead of red skin potato. The texture of the potato is just right for this type of curry. It has a firm and yet soft texture which WB loves. He doesn't like those fluffy type - US Russet potato .

It is easy to prepare and the curry turned out just the way I like it to be.  To make it more appealing in look, I added blended dried chillies so that it has a nice refreshing red and of course , needless to say, more  spicy hot to the tongue.  As long as he is happy with the food I cooked, I am happy too :) YOu can serve this curry with either yellow glutinous rice or roti jala or rice.

these are the ingredients for the simple  chicken curry chinese style
simple and easy to prepare

I will saute all the spicy ingredients before adding in
the marinated chicken and potato
and when it is aromatic and the chicken pieces are cooked, then only
it is time to add in the trim coconut milk.
You can use fresh coconut milk , but I use the
Ayam brand trim coconut milk instead

let it simmer slowly under medium low heat until
the oil surfaces and all the potatoes are cooked through..keep stirring

I served rice with this chicken curry























Chicken Curry  Chinese Style

Ingredients :

3 chicken breast- cut into bite size pieces - remove skin
1 chicken leg - cut into bite size pieces - remove skin
(marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tbsp of Alagappa curry powder and soy sauce)

12  Australian baby potatoes - peel off skin

(A)
3 tbsp Alagappa curry powder - mix with some water to get a thick paste
2 tbsp of blended dried chilli 
1 cup of slices shallots or pounded shallots
2 pips of garlic 
2 stalk of lemongrass  - crushed 
2 sprigs of curry leaves - remove the stem 
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
1 piece of anise ( bunga lawang)

4 tbsp of grapeseed oil


1 cup of Ayam brand trim coconut milk mix with 2 cups of water
1 piece of Maggi chicken stock
sea salt to taste


Method:

In a stainless steel wok ,saute (A) with oil till fragrant and until oil floats to the surface .  Add in the marinated chicken pieces and potatoes and saute further for another 15 minutes till the chicken are cooked under low heat. Add in the coconut milk and chicken stock and keep stirring every few minutes so that the chicken pieces will not stick to the pan and get burn. Add in salt to taste.
Dish up and serve with rice or yellow glutinous rice or roti jala.


Enjoy !





Thursday, May 12, 2016

Vegetarian Braised Yam And Beancurd Skin (豆包)


Saw this recipe on Veronica's blog -  Minty's Kitchen and I fell in love with her simple to make Braised yam and my all time favorite fresh beancurd skin aka 'dou bao' .  Yam being my favorite tuber too, I decided to try her vegetarian dish and no regrets....the only regret is I did not make more gravy and the 'dou bao' absorbed  all the gravy . Nonetheless, it was flavors packed and darn delicious.  Love every mouthful, even a meat eater like the Wild Boar loves it :)  A keeper no doubt.
Thanks Veron for sharing such a delicious and healthy recipe :)  

The fresh ' dou boa ' can be bought from a van outside the Kg.Simee wet market in Ipoh.  Be there early as the man will drive away after 9.30am to sell at another location.  

I am lucky to be able to buy
fresh beancurd skin ' dou boa ' 

the beancurd skin has to be deep fried first before braising
after deep frying , make sure to drain off excess oil

sandwich them alternately with a piece of yam and 
a piece of fried 'dou boa' in a bowl

pour in the seasoning sauce mixture onto the 
yam and beancurd skin, cover with aluminium foil
and steam for an hour


Vegetarian Braised Yam And Beancurd Skin (豆包)- adapted from Minty's Kitchen

Ingredients:
1/2 a yam, sliced into 8-10mm thick
1 pack (300g) of bean curd skin (fresh soy chip / 豆包), squeezed dry
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced
small knob of ginger, minced
cooking oil
sesame oil

Sauce: (Please adjust seasoning to taste)
1 cup water
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp red yeast rice paste (or red fermented bean curd - "nam yue")
a little rock sugar 
pepper
  • Fry the yam pieces and bean curd skin ('dou bao') until light brown.  Set aside.
  • With a little oil and sesame oil, stir fry minced ginger, shallots and garlic.  Then add in sauce and boil until sugar dissolved.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Coat fried yam pieces and 'dou bao' with sauce and arrange neatly in a bowl.  Pour remaining sauce over the yam and 'dou bao'. Cover with a plate.  Steam for about 1 hour or until yam is soft.
  • Invert the steam yam and 'dou bao' onto a plate and serve.

Enjoy!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Kabocha Salad

Kabocha is an Asian variety of winter melon from Japan commonly called Japanese pumpkin.  It has a strong yet sweet flavor and moist, fluffy texture, which is like chestnuts. It slightly more expensive than our local pumpkin.  I bought a quarter back and decided to make salad with it.  Love this Kabocha salad. The salad has slices of Japanese cucumber and raisins added to give it flavors and texture . Every mouthful is deliciously good and  I can't stop eating them. I had double servings though :)  I chilled it in the fridge before serving...so so good !  Simple and healthy too ! A keeper for sure ! 


the nutty flavor and sweetness from the Kabocha 
is worth the time making this salad :)


the Japanese cucumber and raisins gives the salad texture























I love my Nikon with th 35mm f1:1.8 g

Kabocha Salad -  adapted from Japanese Cooking 101

Ingredients:

1/4 -1/3 Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin )
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Japanese or 2 small cucumbers
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp Japanese mayonaise
raisins *optional
black pepper to taste *optional

Instructions:

Peel and dice Kabocha and place them in a microwave safe dish. Cover and cook about 6 minutes in microwave or until soft. Mash Kabocha slightly. Add lemon juice and let it cool.

Slice cucumber thinly and sprinkle salt in another bowl.  Let it sit for a few minutes and squeeze water out.

Mix Kabocha, cucumber and mayonaise.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in or top with some raisins.




Is a Hog Roast Right For Your Wedding?

It can be so exciting planning a wedding but there are a couple of things you need to think about before you get started. The first thing you need to think about is whether or not a hog roast is right for you. For example, if you are having a very formal wedding or if you are having a wedding that is very strict in terms of the dress code then a hog roast might not be the right choice for you. Instead, you may want to opt for a sit down meal in a more formal atmosphere because this is the best way for you to truly reflect the mood and atmosphere of your special day.

























If you want your wedding to be relaxed, full of life, laughter and fun then a Bolton hogroast is certainly the right solution for you. A hog roast is also ideal if you are having your wedding outside because you can cook it at the venue and it is a great way for your guests to see the magic as it happens. Another great thing about a hog roast is that you can serve as many or as little people as you want throughout the day and you would be surprised at how easy and convenient it is as well. So as you can see, it has never been easier for you to have a hog roast and it is a great way for you to get all of your guests involved.





















So why don’t you consider a hog roast for your own wedding today? It is a great option and you would be surprised at how much your local caterer could help you to get whatever you need and without any difficulty at all.






Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Clams With Italian Parsley Garlic And White Wine



With Jaya Grocer now opened in Parkson Grand, I do frequent there often to buy veggies and seafood Saw some clams and they looked fresh so I bought some home to make this super nice and easy to prepare dish.  All I did was boiled the clams in boiling water, once they open up. Off heat and dish up.  Chopped up some Italian parsley, garlic and chilli for some hotness.  Heat up a tablespoon of grapeseed oil in non stick pan and saute the chopped ingredients till fragrant. Add in the cooked clams and 1/4 cup of white wine and salt to taste.  So easy right ?  

The clams are meaty and sweet.  The Italian parsley , garlic and white wine gave it the extra flavors ...smell and taste HEAVENLY ! WB said buy more next time LOL!  No need to fight over the last piece :p





this sea clams are fresh and meaty
from Jaya Grocer

flavors packed clams ...
 heavenly :)


Clams With Italian Parsley Garlic And White Wine

Ingredients

1/2 kg clams - wash clean, drain off water

3 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 sprigs of Italian Parsley- chopped coarsely
1 bird's eye chilli - sliced
1/4 cup white wine 
1 tbsp of grapeseed oil
salt to taste

Preparation:

Put half a pot of water to boil.  Once the water is boiling, add in the  clams.  When the clams shell opens up, off the heat and dish up the clams.  Set aside.

Heat up 1 tbsp of grapeseed oil in non-stick pan. Saute all the chopped ingredients till fragrant. Add in the cooked clams, white wine and salt to taste and stir till well mixed.  Dish up and serve hot.


Enjoy!




  


Monday, May 2, 2016

Kiam Chai Boi With Roast Pork Trotters

My family loves Kiam Chai Boi with roast pork trotters.  I will normally cook a big pot so that we don't have to fight over this dish LOL!  There is a very famous roast pork stall  near Kg.Simee market that I like to buy from when I don't make my own roast pork.  This man sells roast pork in a mini open truck. He starts selling from  2pm and finishes at 4pm and there will be a long queque for his famous roast pork.  Sold out very fast.  I will make sure I am there early or I will phone the man and place my order a day earlier.

I bought two small sized pork trotters to make Kiam Chai Boi.  Gosh, the hardest part was the washing of the  Gai Choi aka Chinese Mustard. After that, everything was plain sailing. My Philips Pressure Cooker will do the job for me :p   Of course before that ,I will have to stir fry the chinese mustard with the pork trotters and ginger and dried chillies with a tbsp of oil till the chinese mustard start to soften and wilt.  After that, I just have to put the stir fried trotters and chinese mustard into the  PPC, add water or chicken broth to the permitted level in the PPC and some dried tamarind slices.  Add in some salt for taste and set the PPC to KPT for 30 minutes.  This is the easiest to cook dish and it is so appetizing that we can eat it for lunch and dinner and the left overs for the next day lunch and dinner...yes, it is that good :) 

The ready cooked one that are served in the shop are a bit sweet for me.  I have a feeling they add sugar for the sweet taste.  I prefer my own recipe :) Hot and Sour and natural sweetness from the roast trotters :)

my PPC is really good for cooking Kiam Chai Boi 
save time and energy and the food comes out delicious

this is my portion...hahaha bottomless ,can refill and refill :)

I love the roasted trotter cooked in kiam chai boi

when I cooked this, WB is most happy
his all time favorite dish too

Kiam Chai Boi  With Roast Pork Trotters

Ingredients:

1 med sized roast pig trotter
2 Chinese mustard 
2 pkt of kiam chai ( from jusco)
9 pieces of dried chillies
5 pieces of dried tamarind slices ( assam poi)
a few slices of ginger
chicken broth or water enough to cover the veggies or maxi level allowed in pressure cooker
salt to taste

Method:

Stir fry all the ingredients with a tablespoon of oil in a wok, once the the geens has soften , add in the roast pork and stir fry till well combined. Scoop them into the pressure cooker , add water to the maximum level allowed and set the presure cooker to congee mode KPT 13 mins.  allow the cooker to depressurise before opening the lid and serve hot with rice.



Enjoy!





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