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Chicken Stew (紅燒雞肉土豆)

Today menu is an easy to cook chicken stew. I promise it is a no fail recipe. What we need: any meat but I prefer to use chicken wings; wash and peel the potatoes and cut half; slices of tomato; grate/chop the garlic, shallots and 2 slices of ginger. We also need 3 table-spoon of sweet soya sauce if you have it, otherwise use a table-spoon of dark soy sauce and add brown sugar/palm sugar; and half tea-spoon of nutmeg powder. I used 8 pieces of chicken wing and 6 small potatoes for this stew. It served four people.

On the pre-heat oil wok, stir fry the garlic, shallots and ginger till they all fragrance or slightly brown. Add the nutmeg and chicken. Stir fry them for a few minutes before adding 300 ml water. Let it boil and add the sweet sauce and seasoning to your taste. Simmer them for half an hour to forty five minutes and toss in the tomato. Let it simmer again until all the potatoes are soft and the chicken are cooked. We usually use beef for this stew but since my daughter has braces on, I just used softer meat instead. Happy Saturday!

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Steamed Egg Custard (蒸蛋)

For years, I always wonder how to make that smooth steamed egg just like what we eat in the Chinese or Jap restaurant. Well, wonder no more. After searching the internet, I learned how to cook it the right way. It is very simple. Just use the strainer to minimize the bubble on the beaten eggs.

Here is what I did. We need 4 eggs for 3 cups of steamed egg custard. Beat all of them, add seasoning to taste and add 2 tea-spoons of sesame oil. At last add water to the eggs to make it soft and tender. The ratio of egg and water is 1:4. In this case, where I used 4 eggs, I needed 16 table-spoons of water. Mix them well.

Strain the mixture into small cups. Then bring the steamer to boil and place all the cups in. Use lids to cover those cups and steam them for 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the eggs. When done, sprinkle it with pepper and garnish with coriander. Have nice weekend everyone!

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Stir Fried Chilly Eggplant (辣椒茄子)

I don’t know about you, but I love to eat eggplant only if it is cooked with chilly. When we were young, my mom often cooked eggplant. Only once in a while we had it with chilly, because dad doesn’t eat chilly at all. When she did cook, the eggplant plate would always be emptied in an instant. It was very tasty and delicious. I guess, any food cooked with chilly will always turn out delicious. The way she cooked it was to first fry the eggplant till it was soft then stir fried them with chilly. Nowadays as we are more health conscious, we try to avoid fatty things and usually cook with less oil. Softening the eggplant by steaming it is another way we adopt right away. Here is my eggplant dish!

What you need: bay leaves. One or two long eggplants, 2 tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 shallots and 2 slices of blue ginger/galangal. Cut them all in slices. Chilly paste as much as you like. I used my own home made chilly paste. Or you can just forgo the chilly all together.

This is how you prepare the dish: in the pre-heat wok, fry the garlic, onion and galangal and bay leaves till fragrance or slightly brown. Add the chilly paste and tomatoes. Stir fry them till the tomato becomes juice like. Add sugar and salt to your taste. Keep stir fry it for ten to fifteen minutes and it slightly dries up. Then add the pre-steamed eggplants in. Mix them well and stir fry for another few minutes more till it all blend well. Alternatively, if you do not like eggplant, you may use prawns or fish. Similarly, stir fried them with chilly and tomatoes the same way. But remember to fry prawns/fish first. I hope you like my chilly eggplant dish. Enjoy!

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Dinner For One (各人套餐)

This is how I indulge myself after day long chores: prepare quick fix dinner with a piece of that NYDC cheese cake and a cup of Chinese tea. Sorry to disappoint you that I rarely drink wine anymore. I do not like how it feels when the wine gets me dizzy with only a few sips of it. I just want to enjoy my meal, having that cake and tea with moments of quietness or music at home. Moment like this is all I prefer and couldn’t ask for more.

I would never get tired of cooking and eating my own chicken rice. It is very convenient and quick fix lunch/dinner that I usually prepare for my family when I have night class. I believe I had posted this before with the step by step instruction (Please refer it to Saturday post: chicken rice). When cooking the chicken topping, prepare it more than what you need. The leftover chicken can be used for your next meal topping as well. You can have chicken noodle tomorrow. Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

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Asparagus, Chicken and Egg Drops soup (蘆筍雞絲蛋花湯)

Have you ever tried asparagus and egg soup? Here is another delicious and easy recipe to cook soup! Since I could not find fresh asparagus in the market, I just used can asparagus spears instead.
1. Boil the chicken broth and the asparagus till it is soft (if use fresh).
2. Add slices of chicken (if you want, you may season the meat with a tea-spoon of soy sauce and tea-spoon of corn starch before adding to the soup. This will make the meat tender.) and one or two table-spoon of corn starch water (depend on how thick you want your soup) and season it to your taste.
3. Let it boil and keep stirring the soup as you pour the beaten egg/s into the soup. Choice of crab meat may be added instead of chicken but don’t forget to add a few drops of sesame oil. Serve the soup while hot. Happy Saturday!

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Narrow-Barred Mackerel In Oyster Sauce (炒鯖魚蠔油)

Don’t just fry or grill your fish for dinner. Try it some other way. We had mackerel in oyster sauce the other week and would like to share some easy and quick recipe. There are only a few ingredients to prepare. All you need are: few slices of narrow barred mackerel, ginger cut thin match stick long, chopped garlic, green onion cut finger long, one or two table-spoon corn starch (depending how thick the sauce you want) and two or three table-spoon oyster sauce to your taste.

Fry the mackerel till slightly brown and set aside. In the hot oily pan, stir fry the ginger and garlic till fragrance/brown and add the corn starch water and oyster sauce in the low heat. Keep stirring until the sauce becomes thick, add in the fish. Simmer it for about five minutes to let the fish has some flavour. You may add a tea-spoon of cooking wine but it is optional. At last add the green onion before you turn off the heat. The mackerel is cooked and ready to be served. Enjoy and Bon appetit!

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Steam Sweet Potato Cake (蒸番薯糕)

Honestly, I have never ever made any cakes before. Cake making to me is a lot of work; the ingredients have to be measured; the eggs have to be beaten, pans have to be coated and many other endless things to do. The easiest way is to buy it from stores. There is no cleaning and messiness and the cakes always taste good. Until one day, I realized that my favourite childhood steam sweet potato cake that was once in the stores disappeared. They do not sell it anymore. This sweet potato cake layer with coconut milk has been my most favorite cake among many other. So I searched for recipe in the internet and tried to make it. This is the result of it. It looked good and I must say it’s not very bad for a first timer either.

The steam cakes are made of 2 layers: the orange layer is sweet potatoes and the white layer is coconut milk.

Sweet potato layer we need:

300 grams sweet potatoes

60 grams of corn starch

50 grams of rice flour

120 grams sugar

250 ml coconut milk

½ tea-spoon salt

Coconut milk layer:

150 ml coconut milk

5 table-spoon warm water

3 table-spoon rice flour

1 table-spoon corn starch

½ tea-spoon salt

Mix each of all the ingredients above.

  • Use small tea cups and coat them with cooking oil.
  • Steam or boil the sweet potatoes. When it’s done, peeled and mashed them. Add the entire ingredient to the potato. Use the fine mesh strainer, filter it. This is in order to get that smooth cake.
  • Pour into the small tea cups filling only ¾ of it. Do not fill it to the brim; you won’t be able to add the white layer.
  • Steam them till cooked for about 10 minutes.
  • Then pour the white on top of it and steam again for another 15 minutes. When it’s done, take the cake out of the cups and serve.

The pancakes you see was from leftover. It tasted equally delicious.

Happy Saturday!

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*recipe source: Femina Magazine Indonesia

King Trumpet Mushrooms soup (蔬菜,蘑菇, 肉丸湯)

Whether you are accustomed to have soup with any of your meals or not, here is another easy and quick fix soup. This is a simple and easy to cook soup. Just boil everything and you have yourself warm nice soup for dinner tonight in less than half an hour. You need: king trumpet mushrooms/any mushroom will do – cut big slices (true to what I thought, this big meaty stem mushroom was very tasty for the soup, was the reason why I chose it), meat balls/chicken/any meat will do – cut slices, any green vegetables, 2 to 3 cups of broth. Add a bit of water to the stock and boil it In a pot. Once it boils, add the mushroom, meat and vegies. Do not forget to add seasoning to your taste. Serve it while it is hot. Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

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Duanwu Festival (端午節)

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Once a year Duanwu Festival will be here next Wednesday. The festival is also known as dumpling festival or Dragon Boat festival in some countries.  Duanwu is a traditional Chinese Festival which falls on the fifth day of  the fifth lunar month.  Many call it double fifth festival.  People celebrate Duanwu  by having dragon boat race, eating dumplings/zongzi/bakcang and drinking realgar wine.

As usual my mom would make rice dumplings for this day.  The preparation for dumpling making is quite a lot.  It took her two to three days just for it; from going to the market to buy the ingredients to the actual making of it. The bamboo leaves have to be trimmed, boiled to soften and wiped clean piece by piece.  The filling has to be cooked separately.  There are many different kind of fillings for rice dumplings and depends on your own preferences what you like to have.  It usually consists of meat, mushroom, egg, chestnut etc.  Since we are used to what mom has been making all these years so we have what she made.

The usual rice dumpling is made of glutinous rice, but we prefer our zongzi made from rice.  That is why you see half-cooked rice in the picture.  Once zongzi has been wrapped and tied, it is ready to be steamed or boiled for about half an hour or depending on how the rice is made prior to being added too, along with the fillings.  Side dishes may be added along with zongzi as well.  I like to have my zongzi with nice Chinese tea and some kimchi or pickles.  Enjoy.

Happy Duanwu!  端午節快樂!

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