Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Sweet Corn Soup

I think this soup is kind of originated from Chinese takeaway in UK. I hardly remembered having this soup back home except in MOS burger outlets. It is actually quite simple to prepare and nice as well.

Sweet Corn Soup
Ingredients (served 2)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 chicken breast meat - diced to small cube
  • 300 gm sweet corn kernel from can
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp corn starch added with 2 tbsp water
  • white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce or salt to taste
  • spring onion for garnishing (optional)
  1. Bring to boil the chicken stock, add in sweet corn kernel and chicken meat.
  2. Once chicken meat is cook, quickly add in the sugar, soya sauce, sesame oil and mix well.
  3. Then add the corn starch mix and stir. At this point your soup should be a little thicken.
  4. Add in the beaten egg and stir quickly till egg is cook. Off heat.
  5. Put in a bowl and drizzle some white pepper with spring onion. Served hot.
Here's my Dutch Iris blooming in late April.....

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Saturday in the field

Tell you a secret, I just acquired a classic English bike - Pashley Princess Sovereign. She's such a classic, handbuild in Straford upon Avon. Me and my cycling buddy who happen to have a brand new slick mountain bike Giant R8, we decided to test drive our little new machine. Off we go for 30miles cycle ride through villages around north Cambridgeshire. This time of the year, one couldn't fail to notice the yellow field as far as your eyes could see. Rape seed oil field. Perfect setting for lovely photos. It was indeed splendid.

Tonite I made Oyakodon. This is a Japanese rice with chicken, eggs and onion cooked in dashi stock. Simple, healthy and deliciously in a bowl.

Ingredients (for 2 persons)

  • 2 chicken breast meat dices in 1 inch cube
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup Dashi stock
  • 1.5-2 tbsp Kikkoman soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sake (optional)
  • 2 bowls of steam Japanese rice
  1. In a pan, add in Dashi stock, soya sauce, mirin and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add in onion and let it simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Top the chicken on the onion and let it simmer for 3minutes, turn the chicken over and cook for a furthe 2-3minutes till just cook.
  3. Add in the beaten egg and simmer for further 2 minutes. Don't overcook the eggs, a bit runny will be really nice on the hot steamed rice.
  4. Pour them on top the rice in a bowl. Sprinkle with Japanese chilli flakes.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Salted Eggs

I just had a long weekend break, 4 days in total over the Easter. Really nice once in awhile to have a short break. Good for the body and mind :-).
It's been awhile I last posted any recipes. Fear not, infact about 3 weeks ago I anticipated it'll be Easter soon, so I thought egg dish would serve well, of course not the chocolate Easter egg but rather Chinese salted egg[quote: we don't serve salted eggs for Easter].
Salted egg is so easy to prepare, the harder part is to source for duck eggs. I seldom see duck eggs on Tesco egg shelf but somehow there are finest duck eggs in front of my eyes. I remembered my mom used to collect lots of duck eggs laid by our free range ducks, enough to start a batch of salted eggs.

Chinese Salted Duck Eggs
  • 6 large duck eggs
  • 400-500gm salt
  • 700ml water
  • 1 glass container for 6 eggs
  1. Boil the water in a pan, once boiling add in 400gm of the salt and stir. Add salt until the solution reached saturation point (meaning any salt added will not dissolved).
  2. Turn off heat and cool the salt solution.
  3. Once cooled, pour the salt solution into the glass container. Add in the eggs. Note that due to the saltiness, the eggs will tend to float. It's important to cover all the eggs in the salt solution. You can leave in a clean cloth on top to immerse the eggs into the solution. Close the glass container and leave it for up to 18-25days.
  4. After that period, you can hard boil the eggs and served with rice porridge.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Tulips and Magonolia

Begining of April, spring bulbs blossom here and there, especially tulips, one of my favorites. There are many to choose from, be it colors, height, petal's shape and early or late flowering. They're so easy to grow, so far I have yet to have any failures in growing tulips :-), One has to grow them in the autumn to get spectacular display in spring, hence my favorite plant. The only drawback is that one need to lift the bulb after 3years as the flowering quality degrades over the year. But that gives me more reason to buy more new bulbs every year :-) . And tulips make good cut flowers. For tulips lover, one should visit Kuekenhof garden in Holland .
Some of you may go over to Japan to chase cherry blossom, but I'm content with what we've got over here....spectacular Magnolia blossom with sweet fragant. I managed to photograph some magnolia tree in blossom (not in my garden but my neighbor's). :-)
Enjoy the color again from my garden................. oops (some of you may wonder, food blog turning into gardening blog, fear not....I still have lots of recipes to share....just that spring is the busiest month for me in the garden.....always nice to hear neighbors commenting on how nice one garden is :-).

Dwarf white tulips with apricot stripes

Tulips Queen of Night (Apparently not as black as I hoped)

Dwarf Tulips yellow and red stripes-look like a crown

Tulip White Dream
Tulip Red Apeldoorn with Tulip white dream
Giant Tulip Red Apeldoorn
My favorite border of Red Apeldoorn

Spectacular Magnolia

Whole tree full of blossom

Close up shot of Magnolia

Picture almost perfect :-)

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Vietnamese Spring Roll

Whenever I fancy Vietnamese meal, this is one of my favorite. It's none other than rice paper spring roll. This little gem is easy to prepare, no cooking required, fresh herbs from garden and generally a really healthy meal.

Vietnamese Spring Roll
Ingredients (for 8 rolls)
  • 8 large cooked prawn-peeled and cut into halves
  • 50gm of rice vermicelli
  • 1 cup of julienned carrot
  • bunch of fresh mint leaves-shredded with hand
  • bunch of fresh corriander leaves-shredded with hand
  • bunch of chives-chopped
  • 4 lettuce leaves-used the soft green leaves-shredded with hand
  • 16 pieces of 6 inch diameter rice paper
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (Nam Phla)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 bird eye chillis chopped
  • 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp of water
  1. In a bowl, place the dry vermecilli, pour in hot boiling water to cover it for 5-10 minutes until it softens. Drained and set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Immerse one rice paper at a time in warm water till soft(takes less than 30secs). Lay two soften rice paper overlay half of each other on a flat plate.
  4. On one end of the rice paper lay the lettuce, top it with carrot, rice vermicelli and chives. On the other end lay 4 pieces of prawn. Roll paper up halfway, fold in the sides and continue to roll till the end.
  5. With a knife sliced the roll into half.
  6. Served with sauce.
A real good healthy snack for hot days. :-)