Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Sweet & Sour Fish Fillet

Food for thoughts "There is only sweet & sour pork" in authentic Chinese cuisine. I think this is an understatement. My great grandparents hailed from southern province of China ( Foochow in the province of Fujian) and settled down in Malaysia in the early 20th century. Apparently most of our authentic cuisines are base on sweet and sour style. Be it pork, fish, fish maw, chicken, sea cucumber, crab were cooked in sweet and sour style.
Tonite I cook sweet and sour fish fillet. Very nice indeed.

Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet
Ingredients (good for 4 persons)
  • 500 gm boneless white meat fish fillet(red snapper, grouper, cod)
  • 4 tbsp corn flour for coating
  • oil for frying
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce+2 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce+1 tbsp lemon/lime juice+1 tsp oyster sauce+1 tsp light soya sauce+1/2 tsp sesame oil+1/2 tbsp castor sugar+ 4tbsp water
  • 2 medium tomatoes quartered
  • 1 big onion diced
  • 1/2 red chilli sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Sliced the fish into 1 cm thick slices. Coat with corn flour.
  2. Heat a wok/pan, pour in oil and deep fry the fish on high heat for about 2mins until slightly golden brown.Removed and drain with paper towel.
  3. In a pan, heat 1/2 tbsp oil, stir fry the onion and chilli till fragant. Pour in the sauces and stir nicely. Once simmering, throw in the tomatoes and off the light. Add the fried fish fillet and coat with sauce.
  4. Served hot with rice.
We grew up with sweet and sour dishes :-), so there it's lot more to only Sweet and Sour Pork.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Strawberries smoothie

This is one of my favorite breakfast "perks me up" drink and a treat for those who prefer to drink their breakfast :-) . Easy, healthy and really refreshing even small kids will love it.

Strawberries smoothie
Ingredients (good for 2 persons)
  • 250gm strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 glass of orange juice/ or juice of your choice
  • 125gm low fat yogurt
  1. Put all the ingredients into blender and blend till smooth.
  2. In a glass, pop some ice cube and pour the smoothie over (ice cube optional).
  3. Served.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

It feels like spring

Today we had really nice weather, sunny blue sky, temperature is quite mild of 13C, could almost feel it's the arrival of spring. Daylight are getting longer, the excitement of the arrival of spring and summer is such a joy. I'm spending a lot of time in my garden in preparation for spring and summer flower display. Pruning, dividing, propagating, planting seed, cleaning and etc in the garden. So much things to do in the garden :-). For those who followed my blog, one will noticed that I always decorated my food photos with flowers plucked from my garden over the different seasons. On display on my sandwich this time is a winter flowering flower named snowdrop.
I also tend to make quick, easy and yet healthy meal when spring arrives. It's a good way to spring clean our body as well. So I made spicy tuna sandwiches for lunch.

Spicy Tuna Sandwich
  • 8 slices of wholemeal/ white bread remove edges
  • 1 small can of tuna flakes in brine/water
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • 1 red chilli-minced finely (quite spicy)
  • 1/2 big onion-minced finely
  • 1tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Olive oil spread/margerine
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced
  1. In a pan, heat the olive oil, stir fry the onion and chilli for 1 minutes. Drained the tuna flakes and tossed in the onion and chilli and stir fry for about 2-3minutes. Add in white pepper & lemon juice and mixed well. Turn off the fire. Let it to cool.
  2. On a slice of bread spread with some olive spread. Lay a layer of cucumber, then followed by a large spoonful of spicy tuna and top with a layer of tomato. Closed it with another slice of bread. Use a bread knife and cut diagonally to obtain 2 slices of triangle. Repeat until all is done.
Enjoy with strawberry smoothies or fruit juice.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

烧 鸭 腿 飯 Chinese Roast Duck Leg Rice

Over here in UK, traditionally we've English roast Sunday be it chicken, pork or beef, served with crispy roast potato, brocolli, yorskshire pudding and dollop of sauce. Roast meat which are properly done are very satisfying meal as it requires lot of patience :-). One of my English friend made the best roast potato I ever tried.
Again I'm craving for Chinese roast, back in Singapore/Malaysia one could easily drop into hawker centre/ market to get the roast anytime and fairly cheap . So here I am, putting my roasting skill to the test. Experiment: Duck . I've noticed that I have yet to post anything on duck. This dish is rather popular in chicken rice stall back home. Crispy aromatic skin, tasty and juicy meat.... you've got the picture? It's involves some additional work for a really nice roast duck, hence patience is needed here. Lots of patience.....

Chinese Roast Duck Leg Rice (烧 鸭 腿 飯)
Ingredients (good for 2)
  • 2 duck legs (about 450 gm)
  • marinate : 1 tbsp of five spice+ 1 tsp salt +1 tsp sugar
  • basting : 1 tbsp rice vinegar+ 1 tbsp of honey
  • 2 bowl of cooked Jasmine rice
  • some greens ( can use bok choy, cucumber)
  • chilli sauce: sambal belacan or Chow Zhou chilli paste
Roast duck sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of duck fat
  • 1 tsp of hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of light soya suace
  • 1/2 tsp of dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 5 tbsp of water
  • 2 cm of ginger
  • some corn starch solution to thicken sauce if needed
  1. Boil some water to blanch the duck. Once boiling, place the duck leg and blanch for about 5 minutes. Removed. Pat dry and marinate it. Hang the duck leg (I left it overnight). This aim to dry the skin and drain some fats off.
  2. On a grilling pan, grilled the duck leg on both side for about 10minutes until brown. At this stage you'll collect some fats for duck sauce and also will shorten the time for roasting and ensure crispy skin.
  3. Heat the oven to 170C and roast the duck leg for 35minutes and then 25 minutes on 190C.. Baste the duck leg with the basting mixture(you'll need to baste about 4 times during the process)
  4. Meanwhile you can prepare the roast duck sauce. In a pan add 1/2 tbsp duck fats and stir fry the ginger till fragant. Add in all other sauce ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes. Thicken with corn starch solution if neccessary.
  5. Once the duck ready, served with rice, greens and the sauce.
Still need to perfect the roasting color though.....apart from that little charred imperfection, my roast craving is satisfied.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Steam Sea Bass in Black Bean Sauce

As I'm typing this, there's heavy snow fall outside. It looks really pretty, even in the dark. I must say, the fresh snow falling upon the face it's such a nice feeling. I went out for a stroll just awhile ago, the crispiness of the air is so refreshing, the fresh powdery snow sent off flying as I kicked them....... snow , snow , snow.
For dinner I cooked steam sea bass with black bean sauce. It took me less than 20mins and my delicious and healthy dinner is ready. No hassle, just plain easy.

Steam Sea Bass in Black Bean Sauce
Ingredients ( good for 2)
  • 1 medium sea bass (about 700 gm)
  • 1 thumb size ginger, julliened
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce(I use Lee Kum Kee brand)
  • 1/4 tsp chilli oil/paste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of garlic oil
  • a dash of white pepper
  • spring onion/ corriander for garnishing
  1. Clean the fish. Lay it on a dish and sprinkle the julienned ginger.
  2. Mixed the black bean sauce, sugar, soya sauce, oyster sauce, garlic oil and pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish
  3. Heat up the steamer/wok for steaming. Once water is boiling, place the fish in for steaming on high heat for about 10mins or so until cook.
  4. Removed from steamer/wok, sprinkled with spring onion for garnishing, served hot with rice.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Yu Mein

When weather is cold, I resolved to having piping hot noodle soup to warm up. I made Yu Mein(fine egg noodles) as satisfying winter warming meal. The secret to a good bowl of Yu Mein lies in it's stock and dipping chilli garlic sauce. I even made my own chilli garlic sauce to go with my Yu Mein. Typically they cook each portion of noodle (for each person) in a small pot. It's a very popular noodles in Singapore and Malaysia.

Yu Mein (Fine Egg Noodles Soup)
Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1.5 litres of water
  • some rock sugar
  • one handful of dried anchovies
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp of fried shallot oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • a dash of pepper
  • 1/4 chicken (esp on bony parts-his will give sweetness to the soup) or can use pork rib as well
  • 150gm fresh egg noodles
  • 3 bok choy plant.
  • 100gm minced pork(1/2 tbsp of shaoxing wine, 1 tbsp of pepper, 1 tbsp light soya sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp corn flour, half egg)
  • spring onion for garnishing
  • fried crisp shallot for garnishing
  • one handful of dried anchovies-removed head and stomach- shallow fry till crisp
  • 2 eggs
Chilli garlic sauce
  • 1 big red chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • a dash of sea salt
  • 2 tsp of water
  1. You can prepare the chilli sauce before hand. Minced the chilli and garlic and place in a small dish. Add in lime juice, rice vinegar, sugar, salt and water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the stock. In a stock pot, add in water to chicken, anchovies and garlic. Let it boil on high heat and then turn to low heat and let it simmer for an hour. Add in pepper, rock sugar and sesame oil. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
  3. Seived the stock into another pot, let it boil. Add in egg noodle and cook till float. With a spoon, scoop the minced meat in small bite size into the stock. Cook for about 2minutes. Crack the eggs and poached (soft boil) them in the stock . Throw in the vegetable and cook for another minute.
  4. Served piping in bowl. Garnish with fried anchovies, fried shallot and spring onion. And don't forget your homemade dipping chilli garlic sauce.
Enjoy homemade Yu Mein, I love it.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Colorful Vegetable Stir Fry

Just realized I still have quite a number of mix vegetables in my fridge. I decided to clear them out so that can make space for fresh supply. So what do I have.....chestnut mushroom, baby corn, snap peas and yellow pepper. I could create a colorful stir fry so I decided....

Colorful Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients ( for 2 persons)
  • 4 chestnut mushroom (remove stalk and slice the cup)
  • 4 baby corn
  • 8 snap peas
  • half big yellow pepper ( diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 6 prawns (optional)
  1. In a wok/pan, heat the oil. Throw in the garlic and lightly brown till fragrant.
  2. Add in prawn and stir fry till they lightly turned pink, then add in all the vegetables and stir fry for about 1 and half mins on high heat.
  3. Add in all the seasoning and stir fry and mixed well.
  4. Served while it's hot.
  5. Enjoy the colorful and bountiful vegetables.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The Wintry Week

Some of you have heard that London was battered by heaviest snowfall in 18years. All transport networks in London came to a standstill on Monday. But for me in Cambridge we do get our fair share of snow flurry as well. Almost every morning for the past five days we're gifted with white winter wonderland. Really pretty, I just noticed my neighbor's kids had been building a snowman for me.

Waking up each morning to white winter wonderland in Cambridge.

My car covered in thick snow.

On my way to work yesterday, I saw these 3 kids trying to roll a big snowball across the road. It was rather heavy for their size, they're trying really hard to push the ball until at point they just gave up and let me drive through.

Meanwhile at work during Friday lunchtime, we are normally served fish & chip with mushy peas. However one of my friend trying to convince me to post his buttie bun on my blog. I'm not convinced to try his bun though, well he said it is winter warming food though (of course with thick spread of butter, chips and mushy peas)..... what else aye!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Homemade Fresh Egg Noodle

My mom gave me a pasta/noodle machine last year, and frankly speaking it has been seating in a corner of my cabinet until today. It always feel comforting to have piping hot soupy noodle when it is this cold. It has been cold today as easterly Artic wind from Russia is bringing slow flurry and more heavy snow expected on Monday. Brrrrrr...... it has been really cold winter this year and this week going to be in sub-zero temperature again.

Homemade Fresh Egg Noodle

  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • 2-3 eggs (beat in a bowl)
  • 3 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp of salt
Chicken stock
  • 1 cube of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 tsp of caster sugar
  • salt to taste
  • dash of white pepper
  • one portion of chicken breast about 100gm
  • blanched bok choy
  • spring onion chopped
  • fry shallot flakes
  • some pickled green chillis
  • 1/2 tsp garlic vinegar
  1. Put flour + salt onto a big kneading bowl, make a hole in the center and pour in the eggs.
  2. Use hand to mix.
  3. Add in water. If it's too dry add more water, if too wet add more flour. Transfer onto a floured work surface and continue to knead. Knead till dough is smooth and not sticky to your hand. Rest the dough for awhile before rolling in the pasta machine.
  4. Roll the dough and cut into several portion.
  5. Use a pasta machine, the flat roller slot to roll the dough portion to the desired thickness, start with higher thickness selection then move to thinner option, as you do this coat the dough with a bit of flour. Continue to roll untill all the dough is being rolled to required thickness.
  6. Then change the slot to noodle slot, place the thinned dough to cut it into noodle. Dust with tapioca starch or corn starch so that noodle won't stick together. You can store the noodle in air tight container in freezer and can be stored for up to 2 weeks.
  7. Prepare the chicken stock. Throw in the chicken and let it boil till cook, blanch the bok choy. Remove chicken and shred into thin pieces.
  8. In another big pot pour in water to boil. Once boiling, put the required amount of noodle to cook. Once cook, the noolde will float on the surface. Depend on the texture you desire, this may take about from 5-10minutes. I prefer mine chewy, so I cook for about 5-6minutes. Drained and put into a bowl. Pour the chicken stock over, garnish with bok choy, chicken meat, fried shallot, green chillis and spring onion.
Oh my, oh my.....did you hear I'm slurping my noodles.... oops :-)

Here's a picture of my favorite cat Jerry(he's cahsing the snow flurry though) and some snow flakes on my primrose