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Lotus Root Soup

Instead of painting lotus, let me just share part of the lotus that I cooked.   Lotus roots can be eaten.  We can make soup, fry or pickle out of it.  It is very easy, quick and with minimum work to cook this soup.  All we need are:  lotus roots, meat (any preferred), red dates (optional), wolfberry (optional).  Red dates and wolfberry can be found at Chinese drug stores.

Wash and peel off the root skin. Cut the root and meat thin.  Because my daughter has braces on, so I just used chicken for this soup.  Any of your preference meat will do.

If you have a slow cooker, use it to cook this soup. It takes longer time to soften the roots.  If you don’t have it, any pot will be fine too.  Just boil the cut lotus roots (dates and wolfberry) until soft.  Add meat and seasoning to your taste.  Now you have soup for dinner tonight.  Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

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Pancakes (這是像埃及或印度煎餅嗎?)

I don’t know why people in Indonesia call this an Egyptian or Indian pancake at all. My guess is because it is similar flatbread filled with ground meat found in those countries that got this popular name. This pancake is a common street food which can be found on streets of Jakarta. When I was studying in US, a friend taught me the fastest and easiest way to make this pancake. It suited well for many students there who did not know how to cook, did not have time and money and wanted to eat familiar food from home. And I have been making the pancake this way ever since. We do not have to make that dough, flip or roll it for that matter. Just get the burritos skins/wraps as the bread as easy as that.

We need ground meat, spring onions (lots of it and chopped), eggs (beaten), and wraps. The ground meat should be seasoned and cooked first. What I did was, stir fried the ground meat with garlic and seasoned it to taste with soy sauce, sugar and dark soy sauce.

Once the meat is cooked, we proceed to fry the pancake. Bit 2 eggs in a bowl, add chopped spring onion and meat (no need to add any seasoning because the meat is seasoned). Pre heat the frying pan with oil. Use bigger frying pan than the wrap to better flip the wraps later. Place a piece of wrap on the heated oil pan and pour the bitten eggs with everything in it on the wrap. Immediately put another piece of wrap on top of that eggs. Use the tip of your spatula to seal edges of the wraps. Once they are sealed and brown, flip it over and fry the other side of the wrap until both sides are brown. Similarly you may use egg roll skins, but they are not as full and crispy as the wrap. The last two pictures are the ones with egg roll skins. It was lumpy and tasted like meat omelette with a thin layer skin. Happy trying!

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Fruit Salad (沙拉水果 )

This fruit salad is commonly known as rujak in Indonesia or rojak in Singapore and Malaysia. It is a variety of cut/shredded tropical fruit mix together in palm sugar and peanut sauce. The sweet sauce can be mixed together with the fruit or just a dip. It is believed that using mortal to grind the palm sugar and peanut to make its sauce would be much tastier than using blender. For me personally, there isn’t any difference other than we can make the sauce as little as a plate serving. Unlike using blender, we have to put certain amount in it in order to make the blender spins.

There were not many tropical fruit choices for this rujak available here. So I just bought whatever could be found in the market. Here are what I found: turnip, cucumber, pineapple, mango and green apple. Please don’t worry if the fruit is sour because we will mix it with that sugary sauce. For the sauce/dip: palm sugar, peanut, tamarind water and a bit of salt.

Use the mortal to grind palm sugar, peanut (peanut should be roasted first), a bit of salt and a few table-spoon of tamarind water. For those who like it hot may add chilly in it. Grind them until it becomes thick. Cut the fruit in pieces, place them on the sauce, mix and cover all well with the sauce. A little tip here: to make the fruit less sour once you eat them make sure you cut the most sour fruit first and mix with that sugary sauce. Because the last fruit cut will get less sauce.

Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

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Stir Fried Scallop and Broccoli (鮮貝炒西蘭花)

I have been wanting to buy that scallops in the market so many times I was there. They were so fresh, big and appealing. We rarely have fresh scallops on the supermarket shelves. Whenever it is available the price would be so steep that I would not have bought them. That day I was in the market, there was an offered. That was why we had stir fried scallops with broccoli for dinner.

If you prefered to have the broccoli separated just like mine, you have to boil them separately. Add a bit of sugar when boiling to preserve the color. When it is cool down, arrange it on a plate. I stir fried the scallops just like any stir fry. In the heated oil wok, we fry the chopped garlic till brown. Add the scallops and stir fry them for a minute or two and add cooking wine and seasoning. At last add the corn starch water in, to make that gravy. When it is done, pour the scallops on top of that pre arranged broccoli on the plate. Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

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Teriyaki Chicken (日式紅燒雞肉)

Have you ever wondered when you are in Jap restaurant having that delicious teriyaki chicken, how do I cook that chicken? Well I have thought about it since that first try at the restaurant.

I like to carry my ipad mini every where ever since I was given and love to browse in the app store, looking for anything free. Either they are games, food recipes or anything silly or useless apps to download and for me to pass the time.

Last week while browsing the recipes, I stumbled upon this easy to cook teriyaki recipe among so many recipes that I downloaded. This is the teriyaki result that I tried. It tasted very close to the one we had from the restaurant.

All we need is chicken thigh (preferably boneless chicken with skin). Pierce the chicken with a fork so that it would better absorb the sauce. In my case I sliced the chicken. Place the skin side of the chicken onto the pan’s surface and pan-fry it until the skin becomes brown. Turn it over and fry it until the other side of the chicken becomes white. Wipe off the oil that comes out of the chicken with paper towels. Add 100 cc of water and a little bit of salt, cover the pan with a lid, and simmer it over low heat.

When the chicken is cooked, add sugar and soy sauce and simmer it over low heat. The chicken should be turned over every once in a while. It is done when the broth becomes thick. Slice the chicken and pour the broth over the chicken after it has been cut. It is very easy, right? Try it and let me know how it turns out. Happy trying!

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Stir Fried and Steamed Glutinous Rice (糯米饭)

Once in a while when I am in good mood and have plenty of time, I love to cook this glutinous rice at home. This is a totally different kinda taste from the white rice we have daily. Although it seems like a lot of work put into this particular dish, but in fact it is not. To make my cooking chores simpler, I usually would only cook one dish which has everything in it for lunch or dinner.

There are so many different ingredients for this rice. But we can just have our own prefered ingredients in it. In this glutinous rice, I used chicken (cut dices), fresh mushroom (cut thin slices), dried cuttlefish (cut thin dices), dried shrimps (chop). Before cutting them, the dried shrimps and cuttlefish need to be soaked to soften them. The rice needs to be soaked as well for at least few hours or over night. It is because it takes longer time to cook this rice.

In a pre-heat oil wok, fry the chopped shrimps and cuttlefish first. Fry them until they are brown and add the chicken and mushroom. Stir fry them until cook and add the rice. The seasoning that I added were dark soy sauce for the color and soy sauce. Mix them well and keep stirring them. Try to spread them in thin layer and let them cook evenly over medium heat. When the water is about drying up, add more water but not too much of it. Please be very careful not to burn the bottom part of the rice. Repeat the procedure until the rice is half-cooked and then transfer it to the steamer. Steam them for about 25-30 minutes for the rice to be cooked. I like to steam them after stir fried because sometimes there is spot of rice that still uncooked and I want them to be cooked thoroughly. Serve the rice while it is still hot with pickle and chilly sauce and garnish it with coriander. Happy Saturday and enjoy!

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Note: Please use non stick wok to avoid burning the rice or use a bit more oil when stir frying them.

Stir-Fried Assorted Vegetables (清炒菇,燈籠椒和紅蘿蔔)

All I had at home that day was carrots, bell peppers and mushroom, so I just stir-fried them. Nothing special about this dish. Cut everything match stick long and they would look much better mix together (or cut any shapes you prefer). In the heated wok fry the chopped garlic till slightly brown and add all those veggies. Stir fry them till soft and tender, then add two table spoons of oyster sauce. I also added two tea spoons of corn starch with a bit of water so the vegies do not look dry at all.

Happy Saturday!

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Steam Fish (清蒸魚)

There are so many ways to steam fish. As I am not a good cook and do not have much time to spare in the kitchen, to me, the simplest and quickest way is the best way to cook. Furthermore, adding so many ingredients in fish tend to delude the taste of the meat too. Simple ginger and garlic is all I like. We need whole fresh fish, chopped ginger and garlic and thin cut green onion and couple table-spoon of cooking wine. The wine is to be used on the fish to give flavour to the fish as well as get rid of the smell.

Preparation:
1. Clean and scale the fish.  Pour a couple of table-spoons cooking wine on the fish before steaming it.

2. Steam the fish for 10 minutes and pour away the excess water in it.

3. Fry the ginger and garlic till slightly brown and add a couple of table-spoons soy sauce.

Place the cut green onion on top of fish. Pour the hotly fried garlic ginger and soy sauce on the fish.  At last garnish it with coriander.  Well, how does it look?

Happy Saturday!

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Fried Meatballs (炸蝦球)

Have you ever tried Chinese meat balls? We grew up having this meatballs on dinner table every so often. I might say that it is our most favorite of all the dishes we could have. It used to be all meat and shrimp balls, but as time passed and we ate out a lot, we tasted many different meatballs, so my mom modified the recipe a bit. Now we add water chestnut and spring onion in it. The modified recipe tastes much better and more crunchy than the old recipe.

We need: ground meat of your preference (I used ground pork), shrimps, water chestnuts, spring onion, an egg, few table-spoons corn starch and seasoning.

The ratio of meat and shrimp are 2:1. Peel shrimp skins and chopped. Peel the water chestnuts and chopped (please do not chop fine, as we want to have that crunchiness of it). chop spring onion. Blend all of those well and add an egg, few table spoons of corn starch and seasoning to taste. Use spoon to make balls of that blend mixture and fry it.

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Extra:

Fried Wonton(蚱雲吞)

I had leftover spring roll skins and I did not want to throw away a perfectly good skins. So I decided to make fried wonton out of it with the ingredient above as well. But in wonton we need a ratio meat and shrimp of 1 and 1. We do not need egg, corn starch and spring onion. Just plain ground meat, shrimp, water chestnuts and seasoning blend together are enough. Cut four small squares of that spring roll skins and we have wonton skins ready to be used. Place a spoon full of that blend meat on the skin and fold it diagonally. Please do not forget to flatten the meat as it will fry faster and evenly. Well now we have two dishes out of one recipe. Bon Appetit and Happy Saturday !

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