Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deep Fried Gyoza With Century Egg And Pickled Ginger And Meat Fillings


Gyoza are mostly pan fried but for this once, I decided to deep fried them because I have been craving for deep fried stuff of late.  I used rice bran oil for the deep frying . The fillings for the gyoza are special and I replicate it from the ' Pei Tan Quinn ' ( beancurd rolls with century eggs and pickled ginger ) from the dim sum shop.  Instead of using beancurd skin, I made my own gyoza skin. I find making my own gyoza skin is fun and therapeutic  :)  I had fun making them and I succeeded in making gorgeous looking and tasty deep fried gyoza.  To get good pleats, lots of practices are needed as the saying goes practice makes perfect :p

I love the fact that century egg and pickled ginger is added to the meat and prawns fillings lifting it to the next level of taste and sophistication.  These deep fried gyoza are flavor packed and may involved a bit of work especially if you have to make the gyoza skin yourself.  But of course, there are ready made ones from the supermarket.  I prefer to make my own gyoza skin  :) and make my own pickled ginger (young  ginger are home grown too )


easy to make gyoza skin


minced meat and minced prawn mixture, century egg and pickled ginger
make up the fillings for the gyoza

love the fact that century egg and pickled ginger
are added to the meat mixture before wrapping
and pleating the gyoza

make sure to dust potato flour on the gyoza before
stacking them together

you can freeze the gyoza for keeping

the century egg and pickled ginger, they add extra punch to the flavor



Homemade Gyoza Wrappers - adapted from JustOneCookbook

Ingredients:

240 g all purpose flour or ( 120g bread flour + 120g cake flour )
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup or 120g just boiled water plus more if necessary ( 120g - 150g )

potato starch for dusting
3" (8cm) cookie cutter


Method:

Stir the flour in the bowl, scoop it up with a spoon into the 1-cup measuring cup, and level off the top. Put the flour into a medium bowl. The amount of flour shoud be close to standard 4.25 oz (120 g) per cup.

Sift the flour into a large bowl.

Add salt to just-boiled water and mix until completely dissolved.

Add the just-boiled water into the flour little by little, stirring with a rubber spatula. You will eventually need to use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If the flour is still separated, add ½ Tbsp. water at a time till you can form the texture into a ball.

Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, the texture of the dough will be much smoother. Cut the dough in half.

Shape each half into a long log, about 1½ inches in diameter (it doesn't have to be perfect if you’re going to use a cookie cutter later). Wrap each log with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough. Sprinkle a little potato starch on the work surface and cut each log crosswise into about 12 pieces (may vary depending on the log length and width). Since we’ll be using a cookie cutter, don’t worry if each piece of dough has slightly different size.

Cover the dough with damp kitchen towel at all time to prevent from drying.

For each piece of dough into a ball shape.

Press the ball onto the work surface.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough, but DO NOT roll out (flatten) the TOP and BOTTOM edge. This is a trick to make a nice round shape.

Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat rolling the dough to make a nice round shape. Try to roll out the dough to a thin circle. The size should be bigger than 3” (8 cm) cookie cutter.

Press down the cookie cutter and remove excess dough. Cover the scraps with the damp towel. Later combine all the scraps as long as they still squish together and haven’t dried out too much. Re-roll the scraps and repeat the process.

Sprinkle each wrapper with potato starch and stack the gyoza wrappers. Make sure to the wrappers covered with damp kitchen towel. Once all the dough is used, wrap the gyoza wrappers with plastic wrap and freeze or refrigerate until you’re ready to use. You can keep gyoza wrappers for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator and up to a month in freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator prior to use.

Note: Different brand of flour will absorb water differently.

Fillings:

200 g minced meat
100 g minced prawns
1tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp corn starch

mix the above ingredients together in a bowl and using a pair of chopsticks stir till the mixture become sticky

1 century egg - shelled and cut into bite sizes
pickled ginger

To wrap the gyoza

Scoop a heap tbsp of the minced meat fillings together with bite sized centruy egg and a few slices of pickled ginger on to a piece of gyoza pastry skin, and fold over and pleat the edges. Repeat till all the gyoza skins and meat fillings are used up.  Heat wok with rice bran oil ( amount enough for deep frying ). 
When oil is heated, gently drop wraped gyoza into hot oil , 3 pieces at a time, under medium heat till both sides are brown and crispy.  Take out and place them on paper towel to absorb excess oil. 

Serve hot with mayonaise dip or chilli sauce.


Enjoy!


Anderson Seafoods – How to Cook Salmon, Shrimp, and Swordfish

Cooking fish has never been easier. It doesn’t matter whether you want to cook shrimp, salmon or sword fish – you’d be surprised at the amount of options that are available and how easy they are to cook. Anderson Seafoods wants to provide you with the best dining experience possible, so find out here how you can cook salmon, shrimp, and swordfish at home!

Cooking with Salmon

Salmon, if it is Blueback Salmon, has a very mild flavor and it is moderately fatty. It is most fresh if you buy it from June to November. If you were to go for Pink Salmon, you would find that this is the smallest variety and it has a very fine texture. Salmon can taste relatively mild in terms of its fishy flavor, but this more comes down to the food you use to cook with it.
The key to cooking great salmon is to not overthink it. The first thing you’ll want to do is rub the fillet with some oil, salt, and pepper. After this has been done, cook the fillet for around 5 minutes for every half-inch you have. Check the fish at around the 8-minute mark and when it is flaking easily, you know that it is cooked perfectly. Alternatively, you can fry it, sprinkle it with some fresh pesto, gremolata and herbs. Serve with a glass of white wine for the ultimate dining experience.
1.       Take the skin off the salmon with a sharp knife
2.       Brush the salmon fillet with oil on both sides
3.       Season with black pepper and salt
4.       Fry the fillet on a griddle pan for around 3 minutes on each side
5.       To finish, add pesto, hollandaise sauce and serve with vegetables and potatoes

Cooking with Shrimp

If you would like to know how to prepare and cook shrimp, the first thing you need to do is know how to peel it. Start by opening the shell from the belly along the inside curve and peel it back starting at the head. Then, cut a slit down the back side and use a knife to find the vein. Lift out the vein, rinse it under cold water, and then you can cook it. The vein is the intestinal tract, so it’s important to know that this can leave an unpleasant taste if it is not taken out.
Shrimp doesn’t need much preparation other than de-shelling, so read on for cooking instructions.
1.       Bring a saucepan with salted water to boil
2.       Add shrimp and cook for around 3 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque
3.       Drain shrimp and rinse it under a colander
If you want to grill your shrimp instead, try this method.
1.       Thread the shrimp onto a skewer
2.       Add peppers and mushrooms
3.       Over a medium coal, cook for around 8 minutes until the meat is opaque

Cooking with Swordfish

Swordfish has a very sweet but a very mild flavor. The meat is very firm and it is very meaty rather than fishy in the way that it tastes. This makes it superb for grilling. To get started, heat up a grill to a medium high heat and add the fish. Most of the time your fish will be a fillet and without skin.
1.       Whisk oil, mint, lemon juice, basil, and garlic in a bowl
2.       Blend the above products
3.       Brush the fish with around two tablespoons of the sauce

4.       Grill the steaks for around 3 minutes a side, depending on the thickness 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Birthday Celebration @ New York Sushi & Cafe

Just as we thought that we had tasted it all in the wonderful world of food cuisine and how wrong we could have been. Today we had the opportunity to try yet another Japanese Cafe which surprisingly is located not far from where we stay. Our first impression was that the cafe had a rather simplistic and functional setting but then never judge a book by its cover. This quaint place has hints of New York with little tell tale signs decorating its walls. What caught our attention immediately was a photo taken in his US restaurant with Bill Clinton and also Sean Connery. A partner of this place quickly explained that it was taken when the main Chef Eddy Tan was then working in the US. We later found out that NTV7 has also featured this rather humble cafe in one of its programs in July this year.

We had in total seven types of house favorites as recommended, with the Chilled on ice Shashimi Platter stealing the show. This was exceptionally very fresh and was pre ordered a day in advance as otherwise it would take a very long time to prepare if we had ordered on the spot. Our Sashimi platter consisted of Scallops, Akagai (surf clamps), yellow tail, Canadian sweet prawns, tuna, salmon,butterfish,octopus.Even though item here was raw but very very fresh, Wild Boar happily tucked in to every single item. It was a truly melt in your mouth experience as we dipped each piece into a mix of wasabi and their own version of something reminiscent of soy sauce and thinly sliced pickled ginger. Even the head of the Canadian Sweet Prawns was not spared by us as we chewed into every piece which has been lightly fried.

The Sushi rolls were delicately and very well done and the Ebiko which is Wild Boar's favorite came as a very pleasant surprise as the topping was so generous . 

We caught the scent of something flavorful and found out it was their version of fried rice which we promptly ordered. The Japanese short grain rice was very well cooked and fried, garnished with octopus,mussels fried with yet again a secret XO sauce.It was perfectly fried with hardly any trace of oiliness which you would see in other places.

The Chef made many visits to our table detailing his numerous off the menu items with lots of his creation but subject to availability due to seasonal constraints. He showed us a special dish only available for Valentines Day and this is something which he is very proud of. There is a photo of him holding up two gigantic lobsters in each hand in which he was commissioned to cook on board a private cruiser sailing from Connecticut to Manhattan on a private event and he was very proud of this event.

We invited the Chef and another partner to take a photograph with us and they graciously agreed as our dinner came to a close. We adjourned for a few rounds of Snow Beer and were already planning another dinner date in the not too far future. Wild Boar has already chalked up this place New York Sushi Cafe in his book of favorites in no particular order as Buffet Dinner at Majestic Hotel with free flow of wine, Ippudo, Wild Hog,Chic-a-Beer and Mokuren. 

We will definitely come back for more !

this Shashimi platter for 6 persons has to be pre-ordered and 
this 

 octopus slices, the Canadian sweet prawns is a must have...
tuna sweet and briny taste, yellow tail, butterfish , melt in the mouth salmon

scallops so sweet and melts in the mouth

Akagai , part of the shashimi platter ..so fresh 

generous helping of ebiko, easily half the height of the sushi
yummz 


 special seafood fried rice...another favorite 
with mussels and squids

fish head noodles

this is my favorite sushi roll with shashimi filling
and coated with nori flakes...highly recommended

 Sushi Roll of specially prepared yellow beans skin as its wrap 
which is crispy ...highly recommended by the Chef

Soft crab roll with avocado....another highly recommended
this is really good

snow beers to end the night  

a joyful toast to each other

New York Sushi & Cafe
24, Jalan Medan Ipoh 3, Bandar Baru Tambun Medan Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh,
Tel. 605-545 3089

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tempura Seafood And Vegetable

I remembered I still have a packet of Korean tempura powder in the fridge and it is 6 months to expiry. I know I have to use it before it expired.  I bought  it from a Korean grocery in Singapore when I visited my son and wifey last year.  Time flies and now that packet of tempura powder  has a shelf life of another 6 months...trust me to buy and buy and forget.  Okay , so I whip up the tempura batter and fried some squids and sea prawns and I even tempura the homegrown brazilian spinach besides brinjal, homegrown okra  And guess what ? the brazilian spinach tempura is the star !   It is so crispy and remained crispy till the last bite.

It is so much easier to use the ready store bought tempura powder.  Once this batch is used up, I will ask the kids in Singapore to get me another packet...maybe a Japanese tempura powder this time so that I can compare and see which is better :p 

this is the Korean brand of tempura powder
1 cup of  tempura powder to 1 cup of cold water

serve the tempura with wasabi and soy sauce

this is the star of night.....the homegrown brazilian spinach tempura
so so crispy :)

gosh... I am going make more the next time...



Tempura Seafood And Vegetable

Ingredients :

10 pieces of sea prawns - shell and devein and butterfly cut , season with
salt and pepper to taste
1 large squid - clean and cut into 1/4 inch thick rings
1 japanese brinjal - cut at a slant of 1/4 inch thick slices
2 okras - cut at a slant of 1/4 inch thick slices
a bunch of brazilian spinach - wash and pat dry with paper towel

tempura batter
1 cup of store bought tempura powder
1 cup of ice cold water

enough rice bran oil/ vegetable oil for deep frying

Method:

1.  Shell and devein and butterfly cut the sea prawns, season with salt and white pepper . Clean and cut the squids into rings of 1/4 inch . Pat dry prawns and squids. Put aside.

2.  Cut brinjal and okra at a slant of 1/4 inch thick slices.

3. Wash and pat dry the Brazilian spinach. Use the young leaves with stem attached.

4. Mix 1 cup of tempura powder with 1 cup of ice cold water and using a whisk, give a quick whisk. It is okay to have a lumpy batter.  Coat all the sea food and  cut veggies with the first coat of batter and leave on a plate for 3 mins.  Meanwhile , heat up oil in wok.  Dip a wooden chopstick into the hot oil, if there is bubble at the end of chopstick, it means the oil is ready for frying the tempura.

5. Dip all the ingredients  a second time in the tempura batter before putting them into hot oil. Working in batches, using tongs or chopsticks dip shrimp and vegetables into batter and fry, turning occasionally, until golden, about 1 min for brazilian spinach , 2 mins for seafood and other vegetables.  Transfer to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 325 F between batches and, using slotted spoon, remove any residual bits of batter from oil before adding next batch. 

Serve tempura immediately with dipping sauce.


Enjoy!






Saturday, September 10, 2016

Japanese Cucumber Salad With Passionfruit Dressing


Sorry...looks like I have been on a salad binge of late.  Too much of korean influence I guess. This Ajumma is hooked on side dish.  Beside kimchi, I have been trying out many light and easy side dishes to go with the meat dishes. As you know I have a meat eater at home...I have been pigging myself with meat too :p  I have to whip up appetizing sides to have a well balanced diet everyday. Saw this recipe in one cookbook and I knew I have to try this recipe out and if it is as good as it looks, it will be added on my side-dish menu for sure :)  And guess what.. we love it! The fragrant of the passionfruit dressing on those already juicy cucumber slices...gosh, it is the perfect dressing for a cucumber salad. So refreshing ,light and easy !  A keeper for sure.   

easy to whip up salad.....
passionfruit and lemon juice and sugar to make the dressing
for the japanese cucumber salad

this is so very good...rich in vitamin C

























Japanese Cucumber Salad With Passionfruit Dressing

3 japanese cucumber - wash clean, with skin on, cut into thin slices,
1/2 tsp salt

passionfruit dressing

3 ripe passionfruits-  use all the pulps
1/2 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice -optional

To make dressing - mix together the passionfruit pulps with the lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl and let it rest for 10 mins .

Preparation:

1.Cut cucumber into thin slices - rub salt over cucumber and leave it for 3 mins. After 3 mins, give it a light squeeze to remove excess water.  Place the cucumber slices on a salad bowl.  Spoon the passionfruit dressing over the cucumber slices before serving.

Enjoy !



Direct-Drive Turntable

You can check this out if you are looking for a direct-drive turntable. This Numark TTX Direct-Turntable sounds ideal for those looking for one.  It delivers a 3.7kg torque for an instant reaction and has utmost stability. A world's first truly multidirectional turntable , is impervious to external noise and vibration. Has both rubber feet and silicon rubber base that is bolted to an anti-resonant core. Has a control button and pitch fader cartridges which can revrsed for battle mode. It has a straight die-cast tone arm assembly which can be swapped with included S-shaped arm without tools thus making the numark ttx an ultra-versatile mixing and scratching tool. Love all the features there. I am sure those of you looking for a driect- drive turntable, you may love this too !

Kerabu Mango - Mango Salad Asian Style


























Mango salad or commonly known as Kerabu Mango is the family favorite side dish . An appetizer which is a must order when dining in Thai Restaurant.  Since it is a favorite, I decided to learn how to make this all time favorite of the family.  After reading through a few recipe, I came up with this simple yet delicious mango salad.  With homegrown mint added to the salad, it really take this mango salad to another level ,and making it my own signature mango salad  :)  The mango looks slightly on the ripe side but no worry, I prefer the taste and texture of the mango at this stage. It is not sour and still has its crunch.  Love the mint leaves in this mango salad....the aroma and taste is fantastic. Try it and I am sure your family would love it as much as mine :)  I served this mouth-watering salad with home deep fried chicken. 

seven  main ingredients made up this mouth-watering mango salad
green mango, mint leaves, red onion slices, bird's eye chillies,
deep fried crispy anchovies and toasted peanuts and fish sauce is the 
most important ingredient here :)


I prefer my green mango to be lightly ripen, still have the crunch and not so sour



























toss all the ingredients together with the fish sauce mixture
till well combined
this is mouth watering mango salad is a keeper for sure



an appealing appetizer..goes well with deep fried chicken

I am sure no one will complain if you serve them this pair for dinner :)


Kerabu Mango Salad Asian Style 

1 green mango ( apple mango / chokunan ) - remove skin and use grater to grate into shreds
1 handful of mint leaves
1/4 cup deep fried crispy anchovies
1/3 cup of toasted peanuts - pounded coarsely

(A)
1 big red onion - cut into thin slices
2 bird's eye chilli - sliced
1 calamansi - squeeze for juice

Fish sauce mixture - mix all the ingredients tog
2 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of sugar
a pinch of salt

Method:

Place the all the prepared ingredients together on a big salad plate.  Pour the fish sauce mixture onto the prepared salad ingredients and toss together till well combined.  Serve chilled as an appetizer .

Enjoy and have a great weekend !


A Mini Keyboard Controller Any Musician Would Love!

A little write out on novation launchkey mini , a compact and portable MIDI keyboard controller.  It might be small, but it provides you everything you need to create new tunes in Ableton Live without taking much space . To my delight , this mini portable keyboard controller has been designed to make it fun and easy to produce electronic music.  I have someone in mind whom I would like to introduce
to.  I am sure after this write out, he will be excited to get one for himself :)

























This mini portable keyboard controller has been designed to make it fun and easy to produce electronic music.  It's 16 velocity sensitive pads allows one to launch clips and play beats. And they light up jto show you when the clips are loaded, playing and recorded and are laid out to match your Ableton Live session view with one row to launch clips and one row to stop them. One can also tweak your instruments easily, using its eight high-quality knobs, and sketch out ideas on a 25 note mini keyboard. with a fast synth style action which will make it really enjoyable to play. Another wonderful feature is you can take it anywhere and it will work when you plug into your laptop and you don't need any drivers or power cables because its class compliant and bus-powered via USB. Another plus feature is you can jconnect it to your iPad via a Camera Connection Kit to control all sorts of iOS music apps, like Novation's free Launchkey App :) 

Wow, I am sure my readers and especially my musician friend Joe would be enthralled by its features!





Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Soft Tofu With Century Egg And Pickled Ginger Topping


Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressed into soft white blocks. Tofu has an excellent source of amino acids, iron, calcium, and other micro nutrients.  Tofu is frequently served on our table during meals :)  Tofu by itself is bland and boring but there are many ways to spice up the boring tofu. I normally cooked them in kimchi stew, simple steamed with crispy garlic and soy sauce, and many occasions with toppings like minced meat.  Recently, I saw a tofu recipe from a friend's recipe book that I could not resist but had to try it out. And to my surprised, it  elevated the bland tofu to a higher level of sophistication and taste.

I am going to share with you one way to turn this boring and bland tofu into a delicious and flavor packed tofu dish that can be serve as an appetizer or a stand alone dish.  A simple and easy to prepare appetizer. Using century egg and pickled ginger as toppings really compliments the bland tofu giving it a taste beyond my imagination. This tofu dish is served with a beautiful dressing that is made up of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and a dash of sugar. 

The soft tofu is supposed open up like a flower but due to the low height, it didnt open much :p  Next making, I will look for a soft tofu with at least 2"  height :)  But like a flower or not, the taste is really GOOD!    A must try for homemakers who cook :)

the four chopsticks on the sides is to prevent cutting through
the soft tofu

cut vertically and horizontal across the face of the soft tofu

do not remove the chopsticks until the toppings is laid
on the surface of the cut tofu, so that it will open up like a flower.
On a note, mine did not open because it is shallow in depth...
have a get one at least 2" in height :)

the pickled ginger is homemade by yours truly :)
the century eggs are store bought :)
dice the century egg into small cubes
and coarsely chop the pickled ginger

dressing is made up of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce
sesame oil and sugar



when ready to serve, remove the chopsticks when the toppings
 are placed on the surface of the cut tofu and gently pour
the beautiful flavored dressing over the toppings...

by this preparation, 
the bland and boring tofu is elevated to 
a higher level :)
no more a boring tofu :p


Soft Tofu With Century Egg And Pickled Ginger Toppings

Ingredients

1 block of soft tofu - sprinkle a pinch of salt over the tofu before steaming


toppings
1 century egg - diced
2 tbsp of pickled ginger - coarsely chopped
2 tsp of toasted white sesame seeds * optional - I left this out , I used up all in my last cooking:p

dressing ingredients
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of soy sauce
a few drops of sesame oil
1.5 tsp of sugar

Preparation:

Lightly steam the soft tofu for 2 mins. Drain off the excess water from steaming.
Gently place the  steamed tofu on a serving plate.  Place one chopstick on all the four sides of the tofu. Use a sharp long knife, cut vertically and horizontally down  to the chopstick ( the chopsticks are to prevent cutting through the tofu ) 1 cm + - apart .  Leave aside . Do not remove the chopsticks.

Meanwhile prepare the toppings. Dice the century egg into small cubes.  And coarsely chopped the pickled ginger.  Toast the sesame seeds till lightly brown, give it a light crush .  Leave the toppings aside.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the the dressing ingredients together . Give it a quick whisk so that the flavors are incorporated together.

When ready to serve, gently place the diced century eggs on the surface of the steamed tofu , next,   the coarsely chopped pickled ginger and then sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the toppings. Remove all the chopsticks. Pour the dressing last on the toppings. The tofu should open out  nicely when the chopsticks are removed .

You can serve this dish chilled as an appetizer.


Enjoy!

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