Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kimchi Stirfry chicken with cabbage

 Hey, I'm back, I know I've been neglecting my blog but life has been kinda hectic of late.

This was inspired after several trips to the Korean restaurant called Dubu Dubu located in Sunway Pyramid. The price was reasonable considering the ambience and location. I told myself I must try out this dish someday soon and that day finally came. The key ingredient is this Korean chili bean paste.

 
I didn't do any goggle research on this recipe prior to trying out because like I said, as long as I have the key ingredient, the taste is not gonna run far. I have however added a few 'concoction' of mine to make this recipe as close as possible to the one I ate in Dubu Dubu.

Here are the additional seasoning and ingredients that I've added :
 
Sesame oil 
Sweet soy sauce 
Dark soy sauce 
Dash of salt 
Chili Flakes 
Water 
Green capsicum 
Cabbage (a must have) 
Korean chili bean paste (a must have) 
Cherry tomatoes 
Garlic and big onions
Dice chicken (of course)
 
I made this for lunch today after my gym class and it's a pity that hubby wasn't around to savor it. The dish came out pretty well suited to my tastebud but of course it wasn't as spectacular as the one I ate in Dubu Dubu. Gonna make this again for dinner tomorrow. Errr...notice my lovely bento box? I deliberately asked cousin Soo to get it for me from Japan just for the sake of photo taking for my blog :D  Thanks couz for the bento! I love it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

FUJIFILM X-E2: My Review

It has been ages since my last blogging about photography but this new babe I acquired recently is worth to blog about it. The search of a perfect travel camera might just end here… The FUJIFILM X-E2. I always have a craze over digital camera with retro touch. This is how I get hooked into micro four third by OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5. However, the image quality of micro four third system is close but not as good as my trustworthy NIKON D300s due to the smaller image sensor. I have tried FUJIFILM X-E1 more than two years ago in an exhibition and the auto focusing really puts me off : it struggled to hunt in low light and bright condition and took a real long time to focus.

Fast forward to the present, the launched of the new FUJIFILM X-E2 with the new X-Trans Image sensor and second generation of image processor EXR Processor II promises a faster focusing speed, better image quality and a whopping 60 plus changes from its predecessor. It’s impressive right?



 THE SPECIFICATION

16MP X-Trans CMOS II Sensor (APS-C)
ISO 200-6400 expanded 100-25600
EXR Processor II
Lens Modulation Optimizer
2.36M Dot OLED EVF
3” 1.04M Dot LCD (Fixed & Non Touch Screen)
Top Analogue Shutter Speed and Exposure Compensation Dial
Digital Spilt Image & Peak Focusing for Manual Focus
Built-in WIFI for image transfer

And more… I’m just naming a few interesting or important features. You can find out more from FUJIFILM website.

 
THE FEEL
 
Oh boy! Once I grab and hold the camera, it feels so right with my small palm and short fingers. The 18mm-55mm F2.8-4 kit lens matches the body not like the smaller OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 pair with the awful looking long slim 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens.  I have to specifically mentioned here the kit lens come with XE-2 is one hell of a fantastic kit lens I’ve ever own before. The build quality of this kit lens is excellent; the image produce is sharp and with F2.8-4.0 aperture setting it is bokehlicious!

This is my first FUJILM X-Series camera but I have no problem with the operation and handling. The setup and shooting menu is simple and easy to operate and just it just took me few hours to familiarize. Although the M,A,S and P mode at the beginning will be a bit confusing cause not like DSLR with dedicate mode dial to set but X-E2 with button at the lens and shutter speed dial to set, you will be fine after understand the setting combination.

The size is perfect for me, much smaller than my NIKON D300s and slightly bigger than my OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5. This size is ideal for my travelling while extra luggage space is always come with a price. The FUJIFILM X-E2 scored a distinction by saving spaces of your luggage but does not sacrifice the quality of image at all. This is why I mentioned earlier that the search for my perfect travel camera is over.


MY RECOMMENDATION

During my teens, I occasionally get to shoot photos with an analogue FUJIFILM camera owned by my elder brother. The color and tonal quality produce by the Fuji Film was so vibrant, realistic and nice that I can never forget till today. The Film Simulation featured in FUJIFILM X-Series camera promise to reproduce such color and tonal quality image and I would say they did a real fine job. So, for us the PREVIA, ASTIA and VELVIA lovers, how can you resist the temptation to own a FUJIFILM X-Series camera?

 Having written so many good things about X-E2, needless to say, there are also some shortcoming of the camera or rather the system. There are not much choices for lens, about 10 available thus far and no third party lens except 2 from Carl Zeiss and the price is exorbitant! The focusing speed is fast but could be faster and with a touch screen control will make it even better.

 So if you are a traveler, a retro style camera lover who likes the color and tonal quality images of FUJIFILM, dislike big and bulky DSLR but demands good image quality, this FUJIFILM X-E2 might be the camera you are looking for and those who has a bigger budget can consider the newly launched FUJIFILM X-T1. Happy shooting!
 
FUJIFILM X-E2 18-55mm F18 1/750s, ISO 200, WB Auto

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rice Wine Chicken & Sambal ikan bilis



These 2 recipes may sound odd to be put together but rest assured, they're a dish of its own and....I cooked both tonight without the rice. What's more, we didn't actually have them for dinner while the portion was fit for 4 - 5 pax. Yea..talk about peculiarity.

Mom has left some chicken fillet and ginger in my fridge and if I don't cook it soooner before she comes over next week, my ears may just suffer a little nagging (again)  :) There's this rice wine my mom in law made and when you put all of these ingredients together, you'll get Rice Wine Chicken.

Ingredients for Rice Wine Chicken
Chopped garlic
Shreded ginger (lots)
Chicken meat
Fungus (shred preferred)
Rice Wine (homemade)
Rock sugar cane (tiny lump)
A pinch of salt

Hubby was on a strict diet but he couldn't help peeking into my pot and served himself a small bowl eventhough he had earlier swore that he ain't gonna eat.

Now...I've got another problem. I've got the following ingredients in my fridge :
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 stalk of lemongrass
  • Chilli boh
  • Tamarind
  • Lots of peeled onions (bought in the market a week ago)
  • 2 big onions

So again, with all of the above ingredients + a packet of ikan bilis which I bought during my last trip to Kuantan, I've decided to cook Sambal Ikan Bilis.....at 10.05pm. Yes.... that's exactly what I did. I reckon I've been a little over ambitious with the tamarind juice, hence a tad too sour. I normally don't use lemongrass or kaffir lime leave when I cook sambal ikan bilis but I gotta get rid of these 2 ingredients otherwise they're gonna end up in the land of dustbin.

The pictures not perfect but oh man.. I'm don't wanna climb up to get his camera.

So, the next question is.....whose gonna eat the Rice Wine Chicken and Sambal Ikan Bilis I just cook at this ungodly hour? My colleagues of course... that'll be my lunch tomorrow and part of their lunch too. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fluffly Hokkaido Cupcakes


Folks, I 'm sorry for delaying this post for more than 2 weeks as I was busy with work and attending the company's team building in Redang.  SL found the recipe, tested it at home, brought the cupcakes to office for us to try and I went totally ga ga over it. It was so soft and so fluffy that it felt like melting into my mouth. Yea... I went overboard with the cream but who doesn't love chocolate cream? I didn't want to make a flower shape but that's the only nozzle I have at that time.

I'm so gonna bake this again ... probably next week .... when I find time.




To view the recipe, please click here.



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Red Bean Buns

 
 
It was a nice breezy cooling Friday morning but my mood was anything but that. I worked through all morning, diligently clearing my emails and paperwork , my fingers working furiously on the keyboard. By almost lunch time, I felt that I could breathe a little and decided to get the bread machine to work for me instead.
 
Using the same recipe as Walnut Cocoa Raisins buns,  I omitted the cocoa powder and the walnuts & raisins. I made the dough as plain as possible so that I could have red bean filling in the centre later on. The machine knead the dough for 30 mins and thereafter, I removed it from the pan, knock the air out from the dough, divide into 16 - 18 pieces to be rolled into a ball. Of course, I added in my read bean in the centre of the bun.
 
 
 
By 1.15pm, it was done and I let it proof for another hour or so to let it double its size. By 3pm, the buns were freshly baked in the oven and we all had a little mini party in office. Afterall, it was a quiet day for us as there were only 5 of us in the office + 1 student intern. They happily gobbled my buns and all of them packed some back too. Well...if only I have more people at home, I wouldn't be giving away things I baked and made all the time.
 

 
 
What have I achieve at the end of Friday? Well, my spirits lifted up by noon, I successfully baked the buns while I was  working at my desk and all of us were eating happily and chatted over coffee (for a while only!!) during the tea break. As we savoured the deliciously soft hot buns, I can't help wondering when exactly is the company gonna VSS me so that I can grab the compensation and then......stay at home to bake and read (oh..and fb) :D
 
 
 
 

Friday, August 2, 2013

White Chocolate Gateau

 
It's another recipe which I learnt from Tomoko of Caramel Factory, a nice cozy little place where she conducts her class. The cake texture is soft and moist. Everyone who had had a taste of this cake thought it was a cheesecake. It looked like cheesecake and it tasted like one BUT it ain't one. This recipe is pretty simple. The success of this cake depends on how much you beat the egg whites. The recipe (like many others ie chiffon, soufflé etc) says : beat the egg whites to stiff perks. Now, that's the tricky part. How stiff is considered stiff? I've always got a problem with beating the egg whites because it is just way too easy to overbeat it which will result in lumpy texture when mix with the cake  batter. I'm still trying to learn and determine at which stage should I stop beating the egg white to refrain the protein from breaking down and I guess this will come naturally with more practice. 

 
We each baked our own cake from scratch. It is best to eat it chilled, on the following day. It was a good thing that I had that piece of white chocolate with the words Happy Birthday on it as a decoration.  I can't wait to another another class from Tomoko. Once again, I'm sorry that this recipe cannot be shared here as she is doing it for commercial. In case you're interested in her classes, check out her class schedule by clicking here.
 
 
 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Focaccia bread

 
 
Kuali from The Star has collaborated with MIB (Malaysian Institute of Baking) for the past 2 years in which various baking classes has been held. Due to overwhelming responses, participants can only register for the baking class on a specific day at a specific given time. I wasn't very lucky in getting myself registered but I got lucky last week. I managed to get a place for the Saturday morning class which also happens to be the last baking class for year 2013. The remaining classes for year 2013 will be cooking class instead.
 
 
 
I'm not a great fan of focaccia bread as I'm more towards a sweet bread person. However this class will be teaching 2 other recipes and I thought to myself, why the hell not! I enjoyed the class tremendously. Don Yong himself, the founder of MIB, conducted the class. We spent first an hour or so on introduction and theory. The theoretical knowledge in baking is what I currently lack but of course, the next thing I lack is patience.
 
 
 
I find that bread baking is a splendid way to nurture one's patience. I still have a long road ahead to learn on this. This is the 1st time I made bread using a mixer instead of a bread machine or kneading  with my own hands. He taught us using the 'sponge' method, which is something pretty new to me. Bread came out looking great and tasted great as well. But like I said, I'm not much of a fan for savory bread so... I guess I won't be making this bread very often in the later days.
 
 
 
A friend of mine knew I was going for the class and asked the share the recipe. Well.. here it is..

Ingredients for sponge :
Bread flour  420g
Instant Yeast  4g
Cold Water  244g

Ingredients for dough :
Bread flour  180g
Instant dry yeast  6g
Malt Flour  24g
Oregano  4g
Rosemary  2g
Black pepper  2g
Salt  9g
Bread Improver (optional)  9g
Cold water  132g
Oven dried tomatoes  60g
Olive oil  48g
 
 
Method:
  1. Prepare the sponge and ferment for 3 hours at room temperature, which is about 27C.
  2. In an electric mixer, using a dough hook at slow speed, blend all the dry ingredients together for 1 minute.
  3. Add water, dried tomatoes and sponge on slow speed for 2 minutes. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes and add olive oil. Mix for another 10- minutes on medium speed until dough is fully developed.
  4. Place dough on floured bench and cover with a plastic sheet for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 6 pieces, each 190g.
  5. Roll out the dough to 6mm thick and place in a tray.
  6. Proof dough for 30 minutes and make shallo9w indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with olive oil, letting it pool in indentations.
  7. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 220C. Once baked, brush with olive oil.
 
 
 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sausage galore !!

 
 
It's a cool lazy Saturday evening and I'd like to have a simple dinner at home. Afterall, I have zero idea what to eat out. Sausages and salad should be a rather quick fix for dinner. I took out my Happycall pan lookalike which I bought from Amway six months ago. The pan finally made its first "debut" to my old stove.

 
 
 
See the oil splattered all over the top of the pan? Well well well... it sure saved me the trouble of wiping the walls and mopping the floor. Besides, it was kinda fun turning the pan every now and then. My 3 variants of sausages : chorizo, Italian sausage and wine sausage were cooked to perfection and all done in less than 15 mins. I've steamed a sweet potato to replace corn on cob. Fresh vegetables are inevitable if one is having sausages.
 


Diner's done and now dishes are in the sink, waiting to be washed.... by someone. Who do you think it would be, huh??