Sunday, 27 September 2009

Foo Yong Egg

I was out in my garden almost the whole weekend tidying up some bits and pieces, preparing for autumn, I can only be thankful that weather still quite of summery feel. Splendid.
Of course I try to make full use of the excellent sunlight to capture the best shot of my late summer flowers, still blooming wonderfully. I'm sharing the pictures at the end of this post, well it's taken with my new toy, Nikon D5000. Good DSLR for a beginner like me in this field.
Taking a break from Dim Sum recipes, I'm sharing with you a really simple one meal dish that anyone can cook. I had it when I'm busy and feeling rather lazy to cook. It's Foo Yong Egg. This is basically omelette with some ingredients like onion, peppers, seafood and Chinese sausages.

Foo Yong Egg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 lap cheong (Chinese sausages)
  • 1/2 pepper bell
  • 1/2 green chillis/red chillis
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 prawns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Sliced thinly the green chillis and sausage. Diced the prawn, pepper and onion.
  2. Whisk the egg with fork, add in salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a non stick pan on high heat. When it's hot and slightly smoky add in the sausage and let it fry till fragance, then add in onion, chillis and pepper and stir fry. Then add in diced prawn and quickly stir fry. Using your frying spatula, lightly press the ingredient and lay them flat.
  4. Then pour in the beaten eggs, move the pan so that eggs will coat evenly the fried ingredients. Turn the fire to medium/low to avoid burnt on the underside. Once the eggs are not runny, flip half the eggs and continue to let it cook.
  5. Transfer to a plate and serve with rice. Quick and yummy.

Rustic dwarf Rudbekia

Fushias-Don't you think it looks like dancing ballerina
Rustic dwarf rudbekia that I propagated from seed
Crysanthemum in full bloom
Pink Mallow
I love this shot of spider- the details are so prominent
My unwilling model

Drying my giant sunflower head-for the wild bird
Everlasting straw flowers

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Feet Fetish

As the title suggest, one might had an impression that if something kinky is going on. Not at all. But of course some of you might find it offensive or rather giving that ''yeaks'' look !!! What am I bragging about.....
I'm talking about chicken feet/claw. This is considered one of the delicacies in dim sum dish. It is known as Phoenix Claw on dim menu [just to sound a bit posh]. I personally like it very much because of it's texture, some believed it contained high level of collagen deem good for our skin [note ladies] . This dish to many is a hate or love relationship. For me is love.

Braised Chicken Feet -鳳爪
  • 15-20 chicken feet claws
  • 4 dry shitake mushroom-soaked
  • 2 -3 tbsp black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 300ml water
  • 20 gm of rock sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • few slices of ginger
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 2 tsp five spice powder
  • oil for deep frying
  • 2 tbsp of light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of dark soya sauce
  1. Marinate the claws with the marinate ingredients and leave aside for an hour or so. This will give darker color to the claws.
  2. Heat the oil for deep frying the claws. Please drained off any excess liquid from the claws. Once the oil is hot, add in the claws and deep fry. Please note the oil will splash during frying. It's good to have a lid to cover the wok so that your kitchen area won't be messy with splashing oil. Fry till brown. Remove and drain.
  3. Then heat a pan, add in a tbsp of oil and fry the garlic, star anise and ginger. Add in mushroom and claws and stir fry till fragant. Then add in light soya sauce, water, vinegar, shaoxing wine, sesame oil, dark soya sauce, five spice powder and rock sugar. Off the heat once it started to boil.
  4. Transfer (3) to a slow cooker and let it braised for 3-4hrs till the chicken claws are soft. You can add in 2-3tbsp of water if the sauces has reduced after braising.
Enjoy this authentic dim sum dish :-) .

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Shiu Mai-Shrimp and Pork Dumpling

Homemade Wanton skin wrapper
  • 120 gm plain flour
  • 1 large egg
  • dash of salt
  • 2-3tbsp water
  • tapioca starch/cornflour for dusting
  1. Add in egg to plain flour+salt. Knead to mix well. Add in water and continue to knead the flour dough. If it's too dry, wet your hand with water and continue to knead till smooth. If it's too wet, dust it with some flour and continue to knead till smooth.
  2. Let the dough to rest for 30minutes or so, cover with a damp cloth.
  3. Then use pasta machine to make thin sheet. Start rolling through at thick sheet pasta option, roll eat option 3 times to bind well. Dust on both side with starch to avoid the pasta sticking together. Then continue to roll through till it reach to thinnest sheet option.
  4. If it's not thin enough, you can use a rolling pin to roll to desired thickness, then cut into square pieces of 2.5x2.5 inches.

Shiu Mai
Ingredients A
  • 100 gm minced pork
  • 75 gm minced prawn
  • 3 water chestnut-finely diced
  • 3 stalk of spring onion - finely chopped
Ingredients B
  • 1 tbsp of shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp of white pepper
  • 2 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  1. Mix ingredients A and B. Mix well .
  2. Place a tablespoon of (1) onto the middle of wanton wrapper.
  3. Curl you fingers toward your thumb, this should form letter O. Then place (2) through the O and fold the edges outward like a flower blooming. You can decorate the top with crab roe but for me I decorated with spring onion and a piece of red pepper.
  4. Prepare a steamer and steam on high heat for 15minutes till cook.
Enjoy your shiu mai.
P/S: I do not have picture of steamed shiu mai as we're so busy eating that we forgot to snap :-)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Prawn and Mango In Shredded Filo Pastry

Most of my guests gave 2 thumbs up for this little delicacies. I've tried this dim sum in Hong Kong many years ago, but I added a twist to it by adding slices of mango to enhance the overall taste of this simple snacks and added a hint of fusion food to it. Please do give it a try to impress your guests. It's versatile enough to be added in your menu as a starter.

Prawn and Mango in Shredded Filo Pastry
Ingredients ( Make 20 rolls)
  • 20 big prawns [ aproximately 250gm] - de-shelled, de-veined and cleaned
  • 1/2 pack of filo sheet pastry[around 150gm]-shredded thinly like vermecilli
  • 1 medium sized ripe mango-slice into 4cm x 1 cm x 1cm stick
  • 1 egg as an egg wash
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tbsp of corn flour/tapioca starch/potato starch
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Marinate the prawn with salt, egg white and starch. This will give your prawn a crunchy texture. Marinate overnight.
  2. Pick up a handful of shredded pastry and spread them about 5 x 5 cm area. Place a prawn and a mango slice on one end, brush with egg wash on the prawn and mango, then roll them.
  3. Repeat step (2) until complete
  4. Heat up the oil in deep fryer or wok for frying. Once the oil is hot, put in the roll and fry for till golden color, flip to the other side and fry till golden color too. Removed and drained with kitchen paper towel or oil absorbing paper.
  5. Served with salad cream, mayonaise or sweet chilli sauce.
Not only they look pretty, they taste good.
PS: You can substitute mango with banana as well.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Dim Sum Lunch on a perfect September Sunday afternoon

I was enjoying much of September weather here since I came back from holidays. Cool temperature of 20C and perfect blue sky reckon for a get together for lunch with friends to catch up or could have them around to be my culinary guinea pigs. ;-)
I just invited my friends over telling them it's gonna be a simple meal. Here's my list of DIY dim sum, making almost everything from scratch. :-)

Steamed stuff
  1. Char Siew Bao - Roasted pork steam bun
  2. Shiu Mai - Pork and shrimp dumplings
  3. Har Kau - Shrimp dumplings
  4. Lo Mai Kai - Chicken Glutinous Rice
  5. Chee Cheong Fun - Rice rolls
  6. Fong Zhao - Braised chicken feet
Baked stuff
  1. Char Siew Soh - Roasted pork puff
  2. Portuguese Egg Tarts
Fried stuff
  1. Prawn and Mango in shredded pastry
  2. Crispy chicken wings
  3. Prawn crackers
  4. Guo tie- Pot sticker
  1. Wanton noodle soup
  1. Fresh seasonal fruits
Let me share with you Portuguese Egg Tarts recipes which I learnt from fellow food blogger, a friend of mine (so moo food) . Please give this recipes a try :-) .
It turned out really well- crispy flaky tarts with creamy soft custard fillings. YUMMY.

I wonder my friends will be in for a surprise.......a LIGHT meal versus a FEAST.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Pickled Green Chillies

Having just returned from far east, I brought with me some big fresh green chillis. To me they're prized commodities as they're expensive over here in the supermarket. In order to preserve them, I decided to pickle them. I like pickled green chillies especially served with wanton noodles, hor fun and etc. This is a simple recipes to follow.

Pickled Green Chillis
  • 300 gm fresh green chillies-must be firm to the touch
  • 200 ml distilled white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 litre of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  1. Clean, de-seed and slice the green chillies. Pour the boiling water over the green chillies and let it blanch for about 5 minutes or so. Drained.
  2. In a pan, bring to boil the vinegar, 100ml water, sugar, salt together.
  3. Place the blanched chillies in jam jar. Pour over the ingredients from (2) over the chillies. Seal the lid of the jam jar.
  4. The pickled chillies will be ready to eat in 2 days.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Local food that I like-Singapore Part 2

Been rather busy the past few days both at home and at work. Been wanting to update the blog on my recent trip back to far east. Alright, alright....... here it goes.....on my makan makan trip around Singapore.

Been here and there as follow in Singapore:
  1. Local food : Ngee Kee Fried Hokkien Mee Stall-Changi Airport Terminal 2 Food Court. Fried Hokkien Mee verdict: It's tasty with good prawn flavor sauce, portion reasonable, wish there were more prawns though. Ho Chiak lah.......

  2. Hoong Woh Tong Chinese Herbal Tea Shop-Bugis [near OG]. This kind of herbal shop can be commonly found in Hong Kong. I opt for the medicinal benefits of having Gui Lin Gao. It's looks like black jelly, but this is made of ground tortoise shell. Normally it is serve with honey to mask the bitterness of the jelly. For ladies : note, regular consumption of this is good for the skin.

  3. Japanese ramen joint: Ajisen Ramen - Bugis Junction. Good for value lunch set available everyday. The ramen noodle is well made, the broth is slightly fragant in miso, garlic and dashi stock. Portion is huge and real value for money for those who fancy Japanese ramen. 1 side dish, 1 ramen and 1 drink will set you back by 10 Singapore dollars only. Oishi ne. Brrrp.......

  4. Taiwanese food: Din Tai Fung restaurant - various outlets in Singapore [I went to the one at City Hall] . This restaurant has bee line que of customers be it in Taiwan or Singapore. Their signature dish is the Xiao Long Bao [meat dumpling]. The skin were skilfully done, filled with juicy minced pork, beware of the hot temperature juice when savoring this dumpling. We're there rather late for light lunch and many items has run out of order. So we only managed vegetables seaweed salad, xiao long bao and dang dang noodles. I enjoyed eating at Din Tai Fung.

  5. Indonesian cake shop : Bengawan Solo - one of my favorite cake shop. Some of the outlets has little cafe that do serve coffee, teh tarik and even my favorite desserts Cendol. Is a good stop for mid-afternoon snack of kuih kuih or cake with tea, coffee or even some Cendol. Cendol is actually made of rice flour with pandan extract, and normally served with shaved ice, palm sugar syrup, sweetened kidney bean and a scoopful of coconut cream. Yes calorie laden desserts, but it's an enjoyment for me to savor this authentic South East sweets.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Back to Pekan Gurney, Sitiawan Part 1

Having left the sanctuary in Si Kao, I'm heading back home to my roots-a little village known as Pekan Gurney in Sitiawan, Perak. I've not been back for awhile, good to be back to have a look.
The main occupation of the people of Pekan Gurney is mainly farming related - particularly rubber tapping and palm oil plantation. People here do get up very early to tend to their plantation, as early as 3-4 am in the morning. I also noticed there are many new 3 to 4 stories high building sprouting everywhere in this sleepy town. What is it for? It's not a residential home but a home build for swift to nest. Of course the intention is to harvest bird nest (rather the saliva of swift) which is an expensive elixir in Chinese medicine. I think the building of these sanctuary for birds in residential area is not very hygenic - birds dropping, stale drinking water container could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and etc. I do hope the local council should not approve building of such places in residential areas.
Here's link to what is this industry about....

I went to Sitiawan and the road system had changed quite a bit, many has only one way street access and road has been widened so much to acommodate for the heavier traffic seen in the last decade or so. But thank goodness with all these changes, I can still find my favorite Cheong Cia Gong Pian (hot biscuit) shop beside Wisma Ganda.

Worker busy rolling the dough

On weekends this favorite stall will have bee lines que of eager customers waiting to eat this snack. Many customers will buy in quantity of 50 or 100 pieces at a time. The biscuit is being stuck and cooked in a urn pot oven fueled by charcoal.

The worker checking on the gong pian in the urn pot oven

There are few varieties to the gong pian biscuit. The basic is with onion and some pork belly fats, some with pork and onion, pork onion and sesame seed and etc. My all time favorite is onion and pork belly fat. It is so aromatic once out from the oven, and is so crispy. This is definitely a Sitiawan Foochow food heritage. Not many places in Malaysia actually have this snack, as far as I know only Sibu in Sarawak where there are also Foochow communities and Sitiawan. I haven't eaten these gong pian for the last 4 years or so...... what an enjoyment of every bites.
My favorite Gong Pian

I have the opportunity to visit local ''pasar pagi'' (morning market) to see what is on sales especially the seasonal produce. To my surprise, there are some end of season durian for sales. Of course it's not the top end XO or D24 or Sultan durians but rather the "kampung" durians. Anyway I still bought some back to savor. There were quite a bit of tropical fruits on sales like the hairy rambutan, a sweet tasting fruit with white flesh lonkong, jackfruit equivalent of cempedak and etc.

Local juicy and sweet watermelon

Petai- Smelly bean, a favorite if fried with sambal belacan


Jackfruit's brother-The Cempedak

Hairy Rambutan-so sweet and juicy

Durian-King of fruit-smell like hell taste like heaven

It was indeed a nice trip to be able to savor fresh tropical fruits I don't get to savor back in UK. :-). So it's makan time!!!