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soup

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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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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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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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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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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Congee (粥)

It has been ages since the last time we had congee at home. Adding to that, The weather has been hot and humid for months, which under any circumstances, I believe no one would want to eat hot congee in this kind of weather. As I recall, the last time we ate congee at home was in the full blast of an air condition room. I have been hoping for a rain and let the temperature cool down a bit so that we could have congee. And here came my luck. Last Sunday it rained so hard that I decided we had congee for breakfast.

According to Wikipedia, Congee or con jee is a type of rice porridge or gruel popular in many Asian countries. When eaten as plain rice congee, it is most often served with side dishes. When additional ingredients, such as meat, fish, and flavorings, are added whilst preparing the congee, it is most often served as a meal on its own, especially when one is ill. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its reparation. Despite its many variations, it is always a thick porridge or soup of rice which has usually disintegrated after prolonged cooking in water.

It was such a nice and cool weather that morning for a congee time. And so I made a quick and simple chicken congee with fritters (bought from market) as topping. I didn’t want to spent too much time in the kitchen preparing congee with any side dishes at all. Instead I wanted to eat and enjoy my cool early sunday morning while listening to the rain drops outside, with a cup of Chinese tea and morning papers. Life couldn’t be better at that moment.

All that is needed for chicken congee are rice and chicken. Wash any amount of rice you need and cook in the pot with water or chicken broth as you prefer. A cup of rice is enough for 2 to 3 people and 2 liter water. What I did with the chicken was cut it either slices or strips. Seasoned it with soy sauce and corn starch. Wait until the congee is cooked, add the chicken. Stir and mix the chicken in the congee and all is done. Sprinkle it with chopped spring onion and fritters when served. There may be add on side dishes as you prefer to go with your congee too. I like my congee plain and add soy sauce and white pepper as I eat. Happy Saturday!

*Congee can be cooked using rice cooker, slow cooker or over the stove method. For those who want to know how to cook congee over the stove method, please google it.

好久沒有煮粥了. 上星期日便煮了簡單的雞絲粥. 我相信您們都會煮的. 我就不多說了.

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Tom Yum Soup (冬蔭功湯 )

I have been asking around about tom yum soup recipe for quite sometime.  But to no avail, many just said use the already made tom yum paste available in the market.  They are good as well.  So I tried.  It is easy and very convenient.  It took only half an hour to have it done from cleaning, cutting and boiling water. We need tom yum paste, tofu, prawns, straw mushroom, lemon grass, lime, blue ginger (galangal).

In a boiling water add a couple of table spoons of tom yum paste (to your taste), a slice or two of galangal, lemon grass, tofu, mushroom, and half slice lime juice or more if you prefer a bit sour (some add bird-eye chilly to make it hot).  Let them boil for few minutes before adding prawns.  As soon as the prawns turn pink,  turn off the heat and it is ready to be served.  You may  garnish the soup with coriander too.  In this case, I didn’t have it at home, so I let my soup served without it.  Happy Saturday.

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Have You Ever Hacked Your Instant Noodle (您怎樣煮快速麵)?

I am sure most of you have eaten instant noodles before. I am also sure that many just boiled the noodle and ate it plain without added anything in it. I want to share some of the noodles idea that we had at home. I love going to the ramen house and have some of their noodles with family and friends. I got this idea from the ramen house and tried it at home. This is what I cooked.

I added pre-cooked beef, half boiled egg, cabbage and bean sprouts.
sprinkled it with shredded seaweed.
I bought beef instant noodle.
I bought beef instant noodle.

To prepare the beef (this is the topping): cut the beef into small pieces and boil it in water until it is soft and tender. Pre heat oil in the wok, stir fry dried chilly and chop dried prawn until they are slightly brown. Also add a table-spoon of bean paste and the cooked beef. Stir fry them for another five minutes or so.

Boil the noodle along with cabbage and all of the seasoning which come with the noodle in the package. To prevent the noodle from becoming soggy and over cook, we just cook it about half done. Turn off the heat, place the noodle in the bowl add some bean sprouts and half boiled egg and pre-cooked beef topping on it. It is as simple as that. Once again Enjoy!

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