Monday, February 28, 2011

Hainanese Chicken Rice

My dad suddenly had a craving to eat steamed chicken hence he requested mom to make one for dinner. Mom and I had to change our planned menu to accomodate his sudden request and so we scurried to the market to get a kampung chicken (free range chicken) and some other necessary ingredients. For the 1st time, I got to witness my mom cooking the chicken from scratch instead of following her instructions over the phone. And so her secret recipe is out and she allowed me to share it over here in my blog.

Ingredients :
1 medium size kampung chicken
ginger - 3 mid sized chunks , roughly smashed
10 ginger - thickly sliced
3 long stalks of spring onion

Method :
1. Drain chicken well and rub salt all over the chicken, inside out. Then stuff the spring onions and smashed ginger inside the cavity. Let it marinate for at least half an hour.

2. In a big pot, fill up water that will cover the entire chicken. Boil it with sliced ginger and the internal parts of the chicken

3. When the water starts to boil, hold the chicken by its legs and dip the chicken into the water for about 8 times. Then leave the entire chicken in the pot and turn down the fire to very slow boiling. Do not cover the pot with lid. Let the chicken boil in the pot for about 40 to 45 mins. Remove chicken and set aside to cool before chopping into pieces.

To make the soup, we added cabbages, tofu and carrot in it

My cooking tips : If you are one that shuns chicken which is just nicely cooked (some blood visible when chicken is chop), then leave the chicken in the pot over slow fire for an additional 10 mins. Of course, if your chicken is huge, you may need to adjust the cooking time yourself.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Onde-onde (Ondeh-ondeh) Recipe

The last time I made this was during my varsity days. I was in my final year, sharing a room in the hostel with another roomate. I had a lot of time on my hands then because there were only 2 papers I was taking. The hostel has a strict rule of forbidding any form of cooking in the vincinity. With a rice cooker hidden in my cupboard, I secretly tried my hands on onde onde. Well.. that was donkey years ago. This is one of my favourite malay kuih but it is difficult to come across one that has a generous amount of melted gula melaka wrap in a soft pandan dough made of either rice flour or sweet potato. With my dad and mom around, I found an incredible good excuse to make this dessert. It was indeed satisfying to pop one after another of this kuih inside my mouth but I couldn't help wishing there were more gula melaka in it.  Apparently, I had difficulty stuffing the filling in the dough.

250 g Glutinous Rice Flour
200 ml Pandan Juice
150 g Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar), finely chopped
100 g Grated Coconut
A Pinch Of Sea Salt

To make the pandan juice, blend 10 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) with 220 ml water.

In a large bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour with Pandan juice and knead lightly. Pinch a small piece of the dough (about 40 g) and drop it into boiling water. When the dough rises up the surface, remove it with a slotted spoon and shake off the excess water. Mix it back into the main dough and knead well to form smooth dough. Cover the dough and set aside for about 15 minutes.

Mix the grated coconut with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Pinch a small piece of dough (about 15 g each) and flatten lightly. Fill the center of the dough with palm sugar. Roll them in your palm to form a smooth ball and cook the glutinous rice balls in the boiling water. When the rice balls float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and shake off the excess water.

Coat the rice balls with grated coconut and serve immediately.

My cooking tips : when you mix the 40g of hot ball dough (which you have boiled and cooked in the water) with the rest of the main dough, make sure you knead it well and knead it fast before it cools off. This will ensure the dough mixes and blend well with the rest of the dough.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leek with Pork Belly

My mom finally came over to my place to stay for about a fortnight. Needless to say, she relieves me of many household chores but the one thing I can count on is there'll be homecooked dinner for me every night. We bought a nice looking piece of pork belly the other morning because mom already made plans to slice it thinly to cook with the china leek. I was standing behind her to see what special sauces or powder she will add into the dish and I found the answer.

Sauces :
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chinese wine (she used Hua Tiau wine)
soy sauce
a little water

Ingredients :
chopped garlic
pinch of salt
slice ginger
leek , slice slanting and an inch thick
fried beancurd , cubed (tau kua)
thinly sliced pork belly

Method :
Heat up oil and fry the garlic and ginger for a while before adding in the sliced pork.

Add in the sauces except water and saute for while. Next add in the beancurd.

After a minute or 2, add in the carrot and leek to saute. Add in a little water to simmer a while before dishing it up. It's done.

My cooking tips: Mom and I prefer the leek to be a little crunchy than soft. Hence, don't saute and add too much water to simmer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Apple Streusel Cake

I was wondering what makes a cake called streusel cake instead of the word cake alone. So when I came across a recipe with this particular word, I paid attention to the kind of ingredients it required and its baking method. Thereafter, I did what I normally do everyday : I googled for this word. According to thefreedictionary, streusel simply means a crumblelike topping for cakes. Well, that was exactly what the recipe was asking me to do. In addition to that, this recipe was somewhat like a carrot cake recipe where I need to grate the apples. Naturally, the texture of the cake is not fine nor soft and fluffy. I found myself scrapping the top to eat rather than eating the cake itself because I simply love crumble. However, this cake is a fantastic way to showcase the apple's delicious flavor. It's also best served warm and with a dollop of cream but of course for me, I omitted cream entirely. If you're not a fan of such texture of a cake, then refrain from baking this.

Here's the recipe which I adapted form Latest Recipes:

3 small  fuji apples ( 3 small ones) , grated1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar ** (I reduced to 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 cup oil ( canola, corn or any vegetable oil)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease the bottom of a medium loaf pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the grated apples, egg, sugar and oil, mix well and pour this mixture to the flour mixture. Using a wodden spoon, stir to combine. Don’t be alarmed if the batter is too thick, it’s suppose to be like that.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with streusel and slices of apples; bake at 350F degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and or when the toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting into a rack to cool completely.

Streusel topping:
1/8 cup ( 2 tablespoons) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
dash of cinnamon powder ( optional)
Mix flour and sugar in a small bowl, add cinnamon if you like. Using your fingertips or fork, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumb.

Sprinkle on top of the apple cake batter.

My cooking tips : Dont' be overly greedy by grating more apples or huge apples. Your cake will be very lumpy with no room for flour. Cake will be dense, heavy and slightly coarser.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cereal Prawn II

This is yet again another signature dish of hubby's. I am not a seafood lover but I love eating the cereal : scooping lots of them in a bowl and then stuffing mouthfuls of them into mouth. Each time, I have to implore hubby to be generous with the sugar. The cereal will not be tasty if it doesn't have a certain amount of sweetness in it. With a few cut chilis and 3 stalks of curry leaves, the crunchy cereal is simply irresistable. I gave him 2 thumbs up :)

I've just got the recipe from hubby. Here you go....

1 tbsp shao xing wine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

20 large prawns
salt to taste
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 stalks of curry leaves
2 bird-eye chillies, slice
1egg s, lighten beaten
1 - 2 cup Nestum cereal

1. Clean prawn and pat dry with paper towel. Marinate the prawn with the sauces with at least 30 minutes.

2. Coat prawns with beaten eggs before coating it with corn flour for deep-frying. Drain and set aside for later use.

3. In slow fire, melt butter in a pan, add in garlic and fry till slight brown before adding in the curry leaves and cut chilllies. 
4. Add in cereal and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cereal became crispy.

5. Add in prawn and stir to coat. Serve warm
My cooking tips : Ensure that the fire is slow when you add in the cereal to avoid getting burnt. I personally prefer the cereal to be sweeter, hence you may add/reduce the sugar according to your preference.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Panfry Salmon

I thought we have a pomfret to steam for dinner on the eve but I was wrong. I was preparing heaps of chinese corriander and spring onion with slices of ginger for the fish steaming but in the end, these ingredients went into my chicken soup. The fish we had for dinner was salmon. Now....salmon is really a strange fish to me because personally, I think it is best eaten raw and any other cooking method such as steaming or even frying, makes the fish kinda distasteful. The strong 'fishy' smell tends to linger in the flesh. Knowing this, hubby cleverly fried some ginger slices for garnishing and for reducing the 'fishy' smell if you eat it together.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tung Po Yok

Again this is another dish we prepared for dinner on new year eve. There isn't a need to speculate. I didn't cook this dish. This dish requires a lot of steps before you can accomplish and the part I hated most would be frying the pork before dishing them into the pot for further boiling. This is the part where the oil will spew forth everywhere : the wall, the floor, the stove, your body, your limbs, your face etc. Hubby insisted he wanted to have this dish and so he was the chef then. This is his secret recipe which till today, remains a mystery to me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CNY Vegetable dish

I bought Xiao Bai Cai to be cooked for dinner on new year's eve but then I was asking myself how else can I cook it differently this time other than just with chop garlic and oyster sauce? It then suddenly hit me that I could just blanch the vegetables, arrange them in the way that the restaurants normally serve  it and then fry some assorted mushrooms and place them on the centre. And so, this is how the presentation looked like.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stir Fry Leek with Roasted Pork

This used to be a dish we get to savor on every chinese new year eve (as far as I can remember). However in those days, my mom never fry it with roasted pork. Little did I know how awesome it will taste if you just stir fry it with several slices of roasted pork with lots of garlic. Since this dish will not take much of my time to prepare and cook, I decided to cook it as dish for the reunion dinner on new year eve. Just a day prior to eve day, we scrambled to the morning market to get our hands on the best part of the roasted pork. They didn't come cheap if you buy it especially close to new year eve. The main taste for this dish comes from the roasted pork itself, I must say. As such, I spent quite a hefty sum on the pork alone. Well, as long as everyone is happy eating it, it doesn't matter how much it cost. It's not often I cook this dish anyway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Egg Tart

I've had this egg tart mould for like donkey years but never got around to use it. Finally the opportunity to use the mould came when I was baking the pineapple tarts on that Friday night before CNY. I ran out of the pineapple jam  but the dough was still plentiful in the container. Not wanting to waste the dough as I had used Australian imported butter, I decided to try using this leftover dough as a pastry for egg tart, a suggestion from cousin Soo. Honestly, it was not the perfect dough to make the tart pastry because it tend to break. As such, it was quite a challenge to handle the dough on the mould without breaking it. Surprisingly, the egg custard was rather easy to make. It needed light whisking and right after that, strained and poured into the moulds. I'll find a day to make a proper egg tart using the correct and proper recipe and by then, I promise to post the recipe here.