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vegetables

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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orange

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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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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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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Indonesian Salad/Gado Gado (印尼沙拉)

Gado gado is a mixed vegetable salad in peanut sauce . Many do not consider this as salad but as meal dish. Nowadays there are so many ready-made gado gado paste/block in the market. That is why people rarely grind their peanut with mortar anymore. Mix the paste with warm water and we have peanut sauce ready for it.

We need: water spinach, bean sprout, tofu, eggs, cucumber, potato, string beans, and peanut sauce. Blanching the vegetable in hot boiling water for a minute and two for string beans. No need to blanch the cucumber as we will eat it raw.

Peanut sauce: those who do not have ready-made peanut paste may use either peanut butter or roasted nuts. Add a table-spoon palm sugar (sugar) for a bit sweet taste in it and 2 tea-spoon of tamarind water (vinegar). It is easier to use a food processor to blend the roasted peanut than pounding using the mortar. Mix it with a bit of water to make that thick sauce. It should taste a bit sweet, salty and a hint of sour taste. For me personally, I like to have a taste of garlic too in it that was why I added garlic in my sauce.

Arrange all the vegies on the plate and pour the peanut sauce generously on top of it. Chilly paste may be added in the sauce for those who like it hot. Garnish it with fried shallots and crackers. Just mix everything before you eat. Bon appetit!

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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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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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What Did You Have On New Year’s Eve?

When we grew up, our parents just started their own small business. Although the business was just starting, it took all of their energy, attention, time and barely left anything for us. But I never forget that on special occasions mom always cooked for us and we would sat together as family enjoying the feast together.

Out of the year, there were three days that mom would spared her time to cook for us was when there were: New year, Chinese new year and dad’s Birthday. We usually would joyfully counting days until they arrived. Mom’s cooking is always the best in this whole wide world (who doesn’t think their moms’ cooking like that?). We would have special food on those special days in which we never had everyday.

Days gone by, we are getting old and so do our parents. The children married and live at other places. It is difficult to be together when we all live at different countries. This new year’s eve mom only cooked very simple dinner for just a few of us.  Instead of those rich food she usually would cooked during these special days, we just had a very ordinary meal.  Here is what we had on new year’s eve.  Happy New Year!

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stir fried mushroom and chinese cabbage
stir fried mushroom and chinese cabbage

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grilled fish
grilled fish
fried meat balls: ground meat, shrimps, carrots, and water chesnut
fried meat balls: ground meat, shrimps, carrots, and water chestnut
fish balls soup
fish balls soup

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