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Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 2015

This year Lunar New Year falls on the 19th of February which is today.  I am here wishing all of you who celebrate lunar new year a very Happy New Year. May this goat year bring peace to the world.

As usual we had small reunion dinner last night.  Both my brothers and their family did not come, so only the girls, my parents and nephew. The dinner table seemed getting emptier by year.  We had steam boat dinner last night just like many other reunion dinner years before.  This is the less trouble that mom had to prepare.  We cooked whatever we wanted to eat ourselves on the dinner table.  Anyway, Happy New Year Everyone.

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Reunion Dinner/New Year’s Eve Dinner

This year Reunion dinner was a little quiet at home.  Two of my nieces went back to Indonesia few months ago; the eldest one just finished her O level and the youngest one could not get into primary one because all of the schools here were full.  It was kind of sad to see them went back home. They have been with us since they were three years old.

Once in a while both my brothers and their families would fly into town to celebrate new year with us but not this year.  It was just the seven of us last night.   The weather was quite cool and nice these last few weeks.  That was why we all decided to have steamboat for dinner.  We did not have to turn on the air condition or wipe away those sweats while we were eating haha… And the best part was, we could have a few glasses of wine in comfort and without the feeling of that unbearable heat.

Our dinner last night was nothing fancy.  They were just veggies, meat, sea food, tofu and mushrooms.  There were no rice or noodle too.  The dip sauce that mom prepared was soy sauce with some of seasoning mixed with some of chopped green onion, garlic, green chilly and grated daikon/white radish.  Although the dinner was less a few families at the table, on contrary, it was quite noisy and fun because we had to cook our own food at the table. I hope you all have a good time with your loved ones at your reunion dinner too. Happy New Year.

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Stir Fried Bean Sprout (清炒豆芽)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you don’t forget to eat your veggies too during this festive season.  I have a very simple stir fried bean sprout without anything added in it.  I am not sure if it is to your liking or if you know what bean sprouts are.  It made from sprouting mung beans.  Commonly seen in Asian cuisine.  It can be stir fried or with some tofu/meat in it or stuff it in spring rolls.

Stir fried bean sprout only takes 5 minutes preparation and 5 minutes cooking time.  Just stir fry it briefly in a very hot oil wok, add a tea-spoon or two of soy sauce and few drops of sesame oil if you like it.  Enjoy.

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Fried Tofu and Salsa dip

I love tofu anyway it is cooked.  Steam, fried and tofu in soup are all good.  It is easy to cook and not heavy on the stomach.  I particularly love the fried tofu.  Eat it anyway we like with salsa; with chilly sauce or any dip/without.  The way we usually have it at home is with sweet soya sauce salsa dip.    Now you have one more way to cook your tofu.  Enjoy and have nice weekend everyone.

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Sweet Potato Soup Dessert (蕃薯糖水)

Have you tried Chinese sweet potato soup dessert? It is easy to prepare and cook dessert. All you need are sweet potato, rock sugar/palm sugar or any regular sugar will do, and a few slices of ginger or if you do not like ginger, you may use vanilla/pandan leaf. Wash and cut the sweet potato and boil it along with few slices of ginger in the pot of water until soft. Add sugar to taste and let it simmer for 15 minutes and all is done. Serve it hot or cold as you prefer. With this cold weather there is no better way to warm up than a bowl of sweet and hot dessert, isn’t it? Happy Saturday!

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Daikon Chicken Mushroom Soup (蘿蔔, 雞肉, 蘑菇湯)

Daikon or white radish chicken soup has been one of my fave dinner soup. It is easy to cook and need only minimum time to prepare. Recently I have been told that when cooking daikon chicken soup, One must add mushroom, dried scallops and wolfberries which will make the soup sweeter. Coincidently, I have that leftover dried scallops given by my neighbor sometime ago and still unused in refrigerator. So I thought why not try to make this chicken daikon mushroom soup the way I was told. All we need are: chicken, daikon, dried/fresh mushroom, and dried scallops and wolfberries and also a few slices of ginger. Soak the mushroom, wolfberries and scallops.  Boil the water in the pot add the chicken, daikon, mushroom, scallops and ginger and let it simmer for about one or two hours.  Half an hour before serving add that wolfberries and add salt to taste.  Happy Saturday and enjoy.

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Calamari (炸魷魚)

I am not sure if any of you eat squid at all.  I rarely cook and eat squid because it is a bit tough to chew.  It’s just like chewing rubber that usually makes it unappealing to us.  I guess that is because I didn’t know that we should blanched the squid for a few minutes before cooking or frying it.  So, I tried to make calamari few weeks ago and here it is.

What we need are:  big squid (the squid I bought were kinda small and couldn’t find bigger one), garlic, shallot, an egg and flour.  Wash, clean and cut the squid and dip them in the mixture of beaten egg and flour.  Add fine chop of garlic, shallot and seasoning to your taste.  If you have bread crumbs, that’s even better. You can just roll the squid in those and fry them.  You may prepare a dipping sauce to go with the calamari to add flavour to it too.  Bon appetite.

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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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