Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zucchini Noodle Salad With Wafu Dressing

I have taken a liking to zucchini and zucchini flowers. I have added them to my list of dishes to be served more often in our daily meals.  Today, I am making salad out of zucchini. Julienne them into long noodles and served as salad. Zucchini noodle salad with wafu salad dressing is a hit with the family. For me, personally, I find this salad very delicious and refreshing especially served chilled. For healthy conscious people, this is one good one, little calories and zucchini eaten raw preserve more nutrients than cooked ones.  Try this , you will love it if you are a salad person.  I AM!

I used this hand held shredder to julienne zucchini noodles

pour in the wafu dressing and give it a quick mix
before adding the toppings

garnish with bonito flakes and toasted seaweed

Zucchini Noodle Salad With Wafu Dressing


1 zucchini - julienne into zucchini noodles
1 red onion- sliced thinly

bonito flakes
toasted wasabi flavored seaweeds

Wafu dressing - adapted from Just One Cookbook

1 tbsp of grated onion with juice
3 tbsp of vegetable oil * I used rice bran oil
3 tbsp of Japanese Soy Sauce
3 tbsp of rice vinegar * I used Japanese grain vinegar - it taste better
1 tbsp sugar
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Put all the dressing ingredients above in a small bowl.  Whisk the ingredients together to create a perfect blend.  Leave it to rest for 20 mins to allow  a more intense flavor.

Prepare the Zucchini Noodles
Julienne zucchini into long noodles .  Lay them on a salad plate together with the onion slices.  Drizzle the salad dressing over the zucchini noodles . Topped with bonito flakes and toasted wasabi flavored seaweeds.

Note:  I like it chilled. It taste better if chilled.  Can be served at room temperature.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Stuffed Roast Chicken With Rosemary And Lemon Thyme

It has been a long time since I last roasted a whole chicken. I would normally roast either wings or half chicken or sometimes just chicken legs for our dinner. Yesterday , I decided to roast the whole chicken and stuffed the cavity with leeks, diced carrots and diced potatoes. The drippings from the chicken during the process of roasting will further add flavor and sweeten the veggies stuffing.  Easy to prepare and as the saying goes " killing two birds with one stone "  we have meat and veggies cooked at one go :) 

It feels like Christmas has come early.  The seasoning consists of ingredients like sea salt , black pepper and raw honey. For extra flavors,  I added fresh herbs like rosemary, lemon thyme to give texture and fragrance to the chicken and butter on the chicken to give it a glaze look after roasting. It is good to marinate the chicken overnight to have a more intense flavor.  I used greaseproof paper to line the base of the baking pan for easy washing :)  Nobody likes the washing, that includes me :p I love to cook but I hate all the washing that comes with the cooking !

I baked the leeks, diced carrots and potatoes for 15 mins in the oven @200C
before stuffing into the cavity of the chicken..reason being it helps to soften
and gives extra flavor and with the drippings from the chicken, the veggies
stuffing will taste delicious !

this is the reason why I love to plant my own herbs, I use them often :)

stuff the cavity with the roasted veggies last
place the chicken on a rack with a lined tray and roast for
50-55 mins @200C

Hubby loves the skin to be crispy and a bit charred
and the fat under the skin has melted away....

rest the chicken for 15 mins before carving
smell so good...

I craved out half the breast for the hubby before taking a picture
this photo is not well taken as the carved side, texture is not clearly defined ...
still room for improvement... food photography is the hardest I guess for me :p

Stuffed Roast Chicken With Rosemary  And Lemon Thyme 


1 whole medium sized chicken of your choice

seasoning for the marinating the chicken
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp of raw honey
a few sprig of lemon thyme
a sprig of rosemary
a tbsp of butter - room temperature 

veggies stuffing
1 carrot - diced to bite sized
1 leek - sliced
2 potato - diced to bite sized black pepper
a tsp of sea salt
a dash of ground black pepper

* bake the cut veggies in oven for  15 mins before stuffing into the chicken


Marinate chicken overnight or for at least 4 hours with ingredients (A). Roast the cut veggies for 15 mins @200C . Take the chicken out of the fridge 1 hour before roasting, Rub ingredients (B) all over the chicken and spread butter all over the chicken.  Stuff the roasted veggies into the cavity of the chicken . Place the stuffed chicken on a rack on  a lined baking tray and roast for 50-55 mins @200C. Rest roasted chicken for 15 mins before carving.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bittergourd Egg Rolled Omelette

My all time favourite melon..the bittergourd . Since I love it so much, I decided to plant my own bittergourd plant so that I can have it all round the year.  Nothing beats homegrown edibles and homecooked.  I promised myself that after retirement, I must do this and I have achieved many things thus far including planting my own edibles.  I harvested many bittergourd since planting them this year.  There are many ways to cook bittergourd ( you can check my recipe index for ideas on how to cook them and this is my lastest recipe using homegrown bittergourd.  Making them into rolled omelette is another way of cooking bittergourd. Love it and this is one way to make my 'Wildboar' eat bittergourd...just kidding, this will appeal much to kids too.  Homegrown ones are not that bitterish , or maybe it is the homemade fertiliser that made it less bitterish.  This is just my silly assumption of course.  Anyway,  it tasted so good that I have requests from the WB to make more next time. After cooking them in omelette, it still have a slight crunch to it as you bite into the omelette.  Great rolled omelette for the family, firstly it taste good, secondly it gives a great presentation when serving.  Especially if you have guests for dinner. Thirdly kids will go for it,believe me :)   Back to the recipe, I used the same recipe as Korean egg rolled omelette . Instead of using the spring onions, diced carrots, I used bittergourd . The rest of the ingredients are the same..method too :) I love this rectangular pan from Daiso so much. It really serves its purpose.

love this rectantular pan to bits, will get another spare one 
on my next trip to Daiso

it looks complicated but after a few tries, you will be a pro for sure :p

let the rolled omelette cooled down a bit before cutting them with a sharp knife

Bittergourd Rolled Omelette

5 eggs - whisk and sieve
bittergourd - diced into bit sized
1 tbsp of diced red onions
a shake of white pepper
a tsp of  sea salt 
rice bran oil for greasing the pan
1. Beat up the eggs  in a bowl and  sieve it.  Add in ingredients (A) to the sieved egg . Give it a quick stir to make sure the ingredients are all well combined.
2. Heat a non-stick rectangular pan or round skillet over medium high heat; add oil and swipe with a paper towel to apply oil as thin as possible.
3.  When pan is hot, pour a ladleful of egg mixture to cover the whole pan, once the egg mixture has lightly set, gently fold over and as you keep folding, shape into square, once you finish rolling, push to one end of pan,  add 3/4 ladle of egg mixture to cover the pan and reduce heat . Make sure uncooked egg mixture’s attached to the first batch of egg roll.
4. Repeat twice more with rest of uncooked egg mixture. 
5.. Remove from heat and let the rolled omelette rest in skillet for about 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Slice into 3/4” wide bite size pieces and serve .

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Penang Otak Otak

  Hubby has been asking for Otak Otak. I told him I will make for him when I am back in Ipoh . I made for him many years ago but I have forgotten the ingredients required to make otak otak , so I googled for Alan's recipe. I know he had posted one some years back.  Found the recipe on his blog, bookmarked it and as soon I was well rested, I deliver what I promised him . You can hop over to Alan's post for a more informative write out about this Penang Otak Otak.

I had a great time making the otak otak the hubby desired :)  Even though it involved a bit of hardwork , it was worth it when the hubby keep saying " this is so good , keep the recipe and make sure you  stick back to this recipe when you next make this dish again "   Wow...that is the most authoritative instruction given out for the day :) I do not have banana leaves so I steamed the otak otak in ramekins.

I thank God for some of the herbs needed for making otak otak are growing well in my lil space.  I have turmeric, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, daun kadok in my lil space.  Love this  lil space of mine . When I am away, I have to keep texting hubby to water the plants for me :p  I dont send him love notes but text him to remember to love my plants LOL!  Or he can forget his Otak Otak!


rempah for the otak otak has to be pounded or blended to a fine paste

I used Snapper or Ikan Merah and sliced them thinly

 the fish slices are marinated are with the custard paste and rempah 
best to marinate overnight for a more intense flavor
since I used ramekins , I lined the base of the ramekins with daun kadok,
then fill the ramekins with the marinated otak fillings
these are ready for the steamer
 these are just out of the steamer and ready to be served
( Happy Father's Day )
early celebration hahaha ...any excuse to have a good meal :)

subtly reminding him Mother's Day is just a week away :p
the otak filling has a smooth texture
and every mouthful is bursting with flavors!

Penang Otak Otak - adapted from Alan

If using banana leaves - refer to Alan's post on how to wrap the otak otak filling with banana leaves

 20-30 pieces of daun kadok - to lined the ramekins

For the custard paste
500g of fresh fish meat, Snapper or other white fish varieties, cut into small chunks
250 ml thick coconut milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 heaped tbsp of rice flour
6-8 kaffir lime leaves ( daun purut limau ), finely julienned 

1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

For the rempah
15 shallots, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
5-6 fresh red chilies, deseeded and sliced (for more heat, leave the seeds on)
10-12 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water until soften and drained
thumb-length knob galangal , peeled and sliced finely
thumb-length knob of kunyit (tumeric), peeled and sliced finely
3 batons serai (lemongrass), lower white portion only, sliced finely
2 tsp of toasted belacan, crushed coarsely into powder


To prepare rempah, pound or blend all the ingredients into a fine paste.
To prepare otak filling, place all custard paste ingredients and rempah in a large bowl and mix well.
Cover the mixing bowl with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.


Lined the base of ramekins with  daun kadok- 4 pieces each ramekin
Fill the ramekins with the otak otak fillings .Cover top of ramekins with aluminium foil to prevent condensate from going into the otak otak while steaming. 
Steam the otak otak over rapidly boiling water and high heat for 10 -15 mins
Serve immediately with rice .

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