Monday, October 31, 2016

Korean Army Stew

Happy lunch today!! This is one of the easiest lunch I've prepared. ^0^ Just prepared a simple stock base, sliced up some of the ingredients followed by arranging them into a portable hot pot. When ready to serve, pour in the stock and bring to boil. Super fast and of course super nice to eat too! Me and my kids enjoyed this hot stew except my the other half whom thought this dish looks rather messy and tasted so-so only. Oops...think I can only make this again when his not having meals at home in the future. hahahaha.....

Recipe ref :

Stock Base
  • 1/4 cup dried anchovies, rinsed
  • 1 piece dried kelp
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 tsp anchovies stock powder
Seasoning Paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp soy bean paste
  • 1 tbsp hot chili flakes
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water
For stew :
  • sweet potato starch noodles, pre-soaked in water till softened
  • napa cabbage, cut into chunks
  • enoki mushroom
  • 1 large scallion, sliced
  • fermented kimchi
  • sausages, sliced
  • spam, sliced
  • tofu, sliced
  • baked beans
  • 1 package instant ramen
  • Korean rice cakes

  1. Combine water, anchovies and kelp in a stock pot. Cover and bring to boil. Simmer for 25 mins over medium high heat. Stir in stock powder. Discard kelp and anchovies.
  2. Combine seasoning paste ingredients and mix well. 
  3. Arrange the stew ingredients in a hot pot. Line the base of the pot with napa cabbage. Arrange the scallion, kimchi, sausage, spam, tofu, mushroom, baked beans and rice cakes on top of the cabbage. 
  4. Place softened potato starch noodle and instant ramen in the middle. Top with the seasoning paste.
  5. Add in the stock and bring to boil.
  6. Gently stir all ingredients to cook evenly. Serve once the noodles have softened.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Korean Banchan (Side Dishes)

What to do when Mommy's craze over Korean drama?? hahaha prepared a nice spread of Korean Banchan!! These are really easy to prepare if you plan beforehand. At least four items as shown in the picture can be prepared in advance and keep in fridge till serve! 

 Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad, Oi Muchim 오이무침

  • 700gm White radish, peeled
  • 50gm spring onion
  • 1 tbsp fine sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
Kimchi Base
  • 50gm onion, roughly chopped
  • 50gm red apple, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Korean anchovy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp Korean chill flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp rice flour

  1. Cut the radish into cubes. Add in sugar and salt, mix evenly. Leave it for 1 hour in room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the green onion into sections. Make the kimchi base. Combine water and rice flour in a small bowl. Stir well. Heat the mixture in microwave for 1 min. 
  3. Blend the onion, apple and anchovy sauce till smooth.
  4. Combine rice flour mixture, onion mixture, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Mix well. Set aside.
  5. After one hour, rinse the radish with water and drain any excess water for 5 mins.
  6. Combine the radish with kimchi base and mix well. Add in green onion.
  7. Transfer the seasoned radish into a clean air-tight glass container. Leave it in room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer the bottle to the fridge and allow it to ferment for another 2-3 days before serving.

  • 3 medium potatoes, approx. 430gm
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnishing

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Rinse the potatoes to remove excess starch.
  2. Cut onion into small chunks. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add in potato and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add in minced garlic and saute for another minute.
  5. Add in onion and fry till onion is softened.
  6. Add in 1/2 cup water to the pan and stir in soy sauce and sugar.
  7. Simmer over medium heat for 10 mins until the liquid is almost evaporated.
  8. When the potato is tender, turn off heat and stir in sesame oil. Sprinkle over sesame seeds before serving.

Ingredient (non-spicy)
  • 1 cup small dried anchovy, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp fine sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  1. Mix sugar, garlic and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a dry heated pan, add in anchovy and stir fry for 1 minute.
  3. Drizzle in olive oil and fry for a minute.
  4. Push the anchovies to the side of the pan. Add in sauce mixture.
  5. Simmer till sauce is glossy. Mix the anchovies with the sauce evenly. Remove from heat. 
  6. Stir in sesame seeds and sesame oil. Serve.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Butter Chicken & Steamed Garlic Rice

What a nice cooling weather to enjoy a comforting meal at home! 

This butter chicken is absolutely delicious!! Creamy, tangy with hint of spice. 100% kids friendly, at least for my kids. They polished off their plate of serving and my boy exclaimed : 'very nice!...very nice!...' ^0^

Butter Chicken
  • 500gm boneless & skinless chicken thigh, cut into chunks
  • 1 sprig coriander leaves
  • 50gm butter
  • 100ml cooking cream 
  • 1 tsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 400gm tomato, sliced
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 6 pcs cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, Kasuri Methi
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste

  1. Combine the chicken pieces with marinade for at least 30mins.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add in chicken and pan fry for 10 mins until brown and fragrant. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, add in onion, ginger garlic paste and cumin seeds. Fry till fragrant.
  4. Add in coriander powder, fenugreek leaves, green chilli and tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Add in some water and cover with a lid. Cook for 10mins till tomatoes are softened.
  5. Turn off heat and cool down the mixture slightly. Blend the mixture till smooth.
  6. In a clean pan, melt the butter and pour in tomato puree mixture. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
  7. Add in salt and sugar to taste. Add in tomato ketchup and cream. Stir in chicken pieces and simmer for another 10 mins. 
Recipe ref :

Steamed Garlic Rice
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 grated carrots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  1. Wash rice thoroughly.
  2. Place all ingredients in a preheated steamer and steam for 30 mins.
  3. Fluff up the rice before serving.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stewed Duck Wings

Nice cooling weather to enjoy a pot of hearty stew dish! Actually I'm the only one at home whom enjoy duck meat. So instead of just stewing duck wings, I added extra ingredients like beancurd, egg boiled eggs and shiitake mushroom just for them....I can have all the duck wings! ^0^

Fresh duck wings

Garlic, galangal, rock sugar, star anise, cinnamon

side condiments : beancurd, hardboiled egg, dried mushroom

  • 8 fresh duck wings
  • 6 hardboiled eggs
  • 10 dried mushrooms, softened
  • 1 firm beancurd, cubed
Stew Sauce
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 6 slices blue ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 stick rock sugar 冰片糖
  • 3 stalks spring onion
  • 3 tbsp hua tiao jiu
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 125ml light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 5 cups water

  1. Clean duck wings and remove any feather tips. Cut and discard the wing tips.
  2. Place all stew sauce ingredients in a casserole. Cover and boil for 15 mins.
  3. Add in duck wings and stir to mix well. Bring to boil. Cover the pot partially and let it simmer for 30 mins.
  4. Add in eggs, mushroom & beancurd. Simmer for another 5 mins. 
  5. Turn off heat, cover the pot and let the mixture steep for a while before serving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Homemade Pork Lard/Lardons

Dangerous blog posting tonight! Hehehe disclaimer : Consume at your own risk *just joking* This is the first time I've cook a batch of homemade pork lard, chilled and use it as and when I need it for cooking. The homemade pork lard can be basically used in any dishes for that unique flavour and the crispy pork lardons as garnishing or just pop them directly into your mouth, if you dared! ^0^ It is really easy to render pork lard at home.....just get some pork fats from the butcher and is really economical too. I purchased about 800gm of pork fats (skin removed) for S$2, and is really diced by the butcher which made my job easier! After processing, the 800gm of pork fats yielded a fairly good amount of pork lard! 

In a clean dry pan, add in diced pork fats. *Do not add any water. Cook over medium low heat. Stirring occasionally. 

Add in 3 blades of fresh pandan leaves (cut into sections), fry together with the pork fats. When the pandan leaves turn crisp and brown, remove and discard it. *This is an interesting method I've learnt from my friend :) The purpose of adding pandan leaves is to reduce/eliminate any unpleasant smell during the rendering process. No....the lard or crispy lardons do not have the pandan flavour ^0^

Continue to fry the pork fats in its oil till golden brown. The oil will be less bubbling when the moisture has evaporated from the fats. The whole process took about 15 mins using medium low heat. At the end of 1 min I turned on high heat to force out the oil from the golden crispy pork lardons. Note : Be cautious as it may splatter slightly during the process. Use a deeper pan/wok if you are uncomfortable with rendering pork lard in a shallow pan as what I did. 

Remove from crisp pork lardons and drain well over a sieve. Cool completely and store in air-tight container.

Cool down the pork lard and sieve into clean glass container. 

Chill in fridge to prolong its shelf-life. Though it is super irresistable, especially the crispy pork lardons, use sparingly and consume in moderation! ^0^

Monday, October 24, 2016

Onigirazu (Japanese Rice Sandwich)

Chicken Katsu & Crab Tamago Onigirazu 

My kids loves sushi! Instead of making the traditional roll sushi, I tried the latest trending Japanese rice sandwich, Onigirazu. It is so much simple to make this and you can just add your prefer fillings inside the rice sandwich. I've chosen chicken katsu and tamago for the fillings as they are their two favourites items. ^0^ Below is a mini in-door pinic set-up to brighten up their days.

Frying chicken katsu

Chicken Katsu
  • 500gm chicken breast
  • flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • panko

  1. Butterfly chicken breast to make it thinner. Use the back of a cleaver, lightly pound the chicken breast to flatten. Season both side with some salt & pepper.
  2. Dredge chicken breast with flour, egg follow by panko.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan, slide in coated chicken breast and pan fry on both sides till golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper. 
Making of crab tamago

Crab Tamago
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 100gm crab meat

  1. Lightly beat the eggs with the mirin. Sieve the mixture.
  2. Lightly grease a pan. Pour in a portion of egg mixture. Cook over low heat till half set. Sprinkle in some crab meat and roll up. Slide the egg roll to one side, pour in another portion of egg mixture. Repeat till egg mixture and crab meat are used up.

assembling the rice sandwich

Ingredient (make 12 rice sandwich)
  • 2 cups Japanese short grain rice
Homemade Sushi Vinegar (dissolve over low heat)
  • 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 sheets of seaweed
  • Chicken katsu
  • Crab tamago
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, shredded
  • mayonnaise

  1. Wash and rinse rice thoroughly. Place in rice cooker, add 2 cups water and cook accordingly. When rice is cooked, drizzle in sushi vinegar and mix well. Leave to cool before using.
  2. To assemble : Place a piece of seaweed over a large plastic cling wrap. Scoop 80gm cooked sushi rice and place in the middle of the seaweed sheet. Wet your fingers and slightly spread out the rice.
  3. Place a slice of chicken katsu/crab tamago over the rice. Spread some mayonnaise over and top with shredded cucumber.
  4. Lastly top with 60gm of sushi rice over the cucumber. Gently press down to compact the fillings. Fold in corner with the help of the cling wrapper. Wrap the rice sandwich tightly with the cling wrap. Repeat till rice are used up. There will be balanced of chicken katsu and crab tamago. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Revisited - Fruit Pastry Cake

Revisiting this fruit pastry cake which was really popular over blogsphere in 2009/2010!!! Actually  I'm not happy with the last bake I've did in 2010....hahaha as the pictures turned out really ugly. Today's ones looked so much pretty and cheery! 

For those whom never bake/try this cake before, it tasted really light and lovely. Not too buttery, moist crumbs with tinge of lemony flavour. 

Before & after baking

Ingredients (9" round cake)
  • 100gm salted butter
  • 180gm fine sugar 
  • 50gm plain yogurt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 200gm cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 450gm assorted fruits (I've used strawberries, peaches & longans)

  1. Drain peaches and longans from canned thoroughly. Discard the syrup. Slice strawberries into halves. Set aside the fruits.
  2. Grease and line a 9" round cake pan. *I've used a pushpan which do not require to line or grease. 
  3. With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and yogurt till light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs gradually till well combined. The mixture may appear slightly curdled.
  5. Beat in vanilla extract and zest. 
  6. Sieve over flour and baking powder in batches and fold till smooth. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  8. Arrange fruits on top, do not press the fruits down into the batter. 
  9. Bake in pre-heat oven at 160 deg cel for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Tent the top with foil in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting over browned.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 mins. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Dust the cake with some icing sugar if desired.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Chicken & Mushroom Pasta with Creamy Lemon Sauce

I've not been purchasing instant creamy pasta sauce off the shelves as it is really easy to create a simple and tasty one in the kitchen! The kids are always delighted to see their favourite cream pasta being served. I love today's creamy pasta sauce as it is added with splash of fresh lemon juice! Too much cream may be too cloying to taste. But with the addition of the lemon juice it helps to cut down the richness! Yummy! 

  • 200gm linguine 
  • 150gm chicken breast
  • 200gm sliced mushroom
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
  • 150gm cooking cream
  • 150ml fresh milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

  1. Butterfly cut the chicken breast to make it thinner. Season both sides with salt & pepper. Heat a tsp olive oil in pan. Pan fry the chicken breast till brown, about 5 mins on each side. Rest the cooked chicken breast for 5 mins before slicing. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. Toss the cooked pasta with some olive oil.
  3. While waiting for the pasta to be ready (at the last 5 mins), you can start preparing the sauce! 
  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan, add in sliced mushroom and fry till fragrant and soften.
  5. Add in minced garlic and fry briefly. Add in butter and mix well. Stir in sliced chicken breast.
  6. Stir in lemon zests, cream and milk, bring to a simmer. 
  7. Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice and Parmesan. Mixture will starts to thickens. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Add in cooked pasta and fresh parsley. Mix well to coat. (If the mixture is too thick, add in some reserved pasta water, but I did not.) Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bittergourd Pork Ribs & Chicken Soup

I love bittergourd but it seldom appears on our dining table as my kids are still not acceptable with the bitter taste. I miss eating 苦瓜焖排骨 Braised Pork Ribs with Bittergourd! Hope I can share this dish with you guys soon. Mostly likely the kids will reject the bittergourd therefore I decided to cook the soup version for them. Don't like the bittergourd itself, at least drink up the soup! ^0^

  • 600gm bittergourd
  • 500gm pork ribs
  • 200gm carrots, sliced
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 3 honey dates
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 whole chicken leg (approx. 500gm)

These steps seem redundant, but I hope that it will somehow reduce the bitterness of the bittergourd :P

  1. Slice bittergourd length into halves. Scrape away the seeds. Generously sprinkle some coarse salt and rub over the cavity of the gourd. Set aside for 10mins before rinsing it off cleanly. Slice into chunks. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in sliced bittergourd, boil for 1 min. Drain away water. Set aside. 
  2. Blanch pork ribs in boiling water for 2 mins. Drain away water.
  3. Bring 2L of water to boil. Add in sliced bittergourd, pork ribs, carrots, garlic and honey dates.
  4. When the liquid return to boil, lower heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  5. While the soup is simmering, marinate the chicken leg with 2 tbsp Chinese wine and 1/2 tsp salt for 30mins. 
  6. Add in chicken leg and tomatoes and continue to simmer for another 30mins. Add salt to taste.

This soup tasted awesome! So soothing and sweet (甘甜). My kids did not complain of the 'bitter' soup and finished their serving, of course leaving out the bittergourd. ^0^

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