Thursday, April 24, 2008

Radish Cake (Lobak Kueh)

Inspiration - My contribution to Chinese New Year cooking. This year is the first year I have to spend New Year's eve away (the reality of being married) but I got to come home on 1st day of CNY and I decided to make radish cake. This is my 2nd attempt - thanks for my Auntie Judy's recipe!
Simple Steps :-

1) Get all ingredients ready. This is the most tedious part of the work. All the chopping and mincing.

Garlic and Shallots
Dried Shrimp
Minced Pork
Mushroom and some Leeks
Radish (grated)

Rice Flour (1 pkt- 500gm)

2) Now for all the frying. Stir fry ingredients separately.

Stirfry shallots and garlic till golden brown
Stirfry dried shrimp till crunchy

Stirfry minced pork till cook (add some soysauce and salt)
Stirfry mushroom and leeks till cook

For the radish, stirfry in wok for a while after taking out the earlier ingredients.

4) For the dough, in a large tray, add water and rice flour together and stir well. Put in all stir-fried ingredients and mix well. Ensure sufficient water so that the dough and ingredients mix well. Add salt and pepper.

5) Place tray on top of boiling water and steam for 2 hours.

6) Garnish with fried shallots and onion. Voila! Ready to eat! Yum Yum!

Simple Ingredients :-

1) Rice flour (1 pkt - 500gm)

2) Minced meat. Minced mushroom, Minced dried shrimp, minced shallots, garlic, leeks

3) One whole medium sized radish - grated

4) Salt / Pepper to taste.

Verdict - You may have noticed that my dough is a little thick. Actually the dough turned out too hard. It tasted great but just that it was a bit hard. So it just needed a bit more water in the dough.

Herbal Wrapped Chicken

Inspiration - Oh well, it was few days before CNY in Feb 2008 and I was feeling particularly festive and wanted to impress my mom with a Chinese infused dish for dinner. As usual she was like....don't mess up the kitchen!! I said, don't worry you will be impressed with me. Actually I was at Soos's house during her hse warming and she made this and I was really impressed and have been meaning to try it since. So, this is the special pack of ingredient. What a name - Golden Phoenix Herbal Wrapped Chicken!

Simple Steps :-
1) Get one whole chicken and also some ingredients that u want to stuff into the chicken (I decided to use some red dates, mushroom, onion and mandarin orange) hmmm...why mandarin orange, well the instructions required an orange (probably due to the Golden Phoenix theme) and so I improvise with mandarin orange since it was CNY and I had loads of them at home.
2) Open the packet, you will find the packet of spices and another packet containing an aluminium foil and plastic wrapper. Place chicken on top of plastic wrapper with the aluminium foil under.

3) Pour the packet of ingredients onto chicken and massage on whole of chicken including the stomach. Put the mushroom, dates and onion and peeled mandarin orange into stomach.

4) Wrapped whole chicken tightly. Ensure that there is no gap to prevent juice from spilling. Fold with aluminium foil and put on plate on top of boiling water to steam.

5) Steam for 2-3 hours (depending size of chic). Check occasionally to ensure steamer has enough water. Voila! Ready to eat. Yum Yum!

Simple ingredients -

1) 1 packet of Herbal chicken spices

2) 1 whole chicken

3) Red dates, mushroom, onion, orange (in the above I used mandarin orange)

Verdict - I think the mandarin orange was a mistake. It turned out a bit silly of me, I should have realized it. Should have used an orange as instructed. There are other packet ingredients that may not require orange eg Emperor Wrapped Herbal Chicken.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fried Mee Hoon

Inspiration - Fried mee hoon - I love! Seriously, I can just eat and eat and eat meehoon until I am so stuffed. I just love something about the texture of fried mee hoon. I was home with dad one Saturday afternoon and I decided to whip up a some delicious mee hoon or known as vermicelli.

Simple Steps :-

1. Soak and Drain the mee hoon in water.
As you know, I always just search my house to see what I have, and so happened there was this packet of organic Meehoon. Well, with everything organic, the color is always off, this one is reddish brown and also the texture is much thicker. So, you will have to put in water a little while longer than the usual mee hoon. Infact, I used hot water to speed up the process. Around 10 mins would do is using hot water. Remember, always seive it up and give time 10-15 mins for it to dry up. if not it will all stick on the wok when you stir fry the mee hoon.

2. Get all ingredients ready. I have 2 vegetables - cabbage and choy sum. Prawns and pork (season with salt, pepper, light soy sauce), garlic, 1 sliced onion and dried shrimps for extra aroma.

3. Stir fry the dried shrimps first until fragrant and crunchy. Put on plate.

4. Then stir fry some garlic, onions and add the pork till cook. Put on plate. Then put prawns in and a quickly stirfry and put onto the same place. I like to get the ingredients ready first to add into the mee hoon later.

5. On the same wok, add some oil and garlic to stir fry the cabbage and the choy sum.

6. Quickly add in the mee hoon and toss in wok.

7. For the seaoning, I like to put all the seasoning in a bowl first (vs just adding into work directly one by one), so add water, salt, dark soy sauce, light sauce soy ina bowl and mix well. Add into the meehoon and continue to toss in wok. Ensure fire is big enough for you to control. Add little water as necessary if you see that the meehoon is still not as soft as desired.

8. Lastly, when mee hoon is cooked, throw in the prawns/pork/dried shrimps ingredients and toss further.

9. Serve on plate. Voila! Ready to eat. Yum Yum!

Simple ingredients :-

1. 1 packet of meehoon (vermicelli)

2. Onions, Garlic - chopped

3. Pork and prawns - slight seasoning

4. Vegetables - cabbage and choy sum

5. Dried shrimps

6. Salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, pepper.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spaghetti with Sausage and Tomato

Ok my friends....I have been missing in action. No excuses, just been lazy to blog. That does not mean I stopped cooking, infact I have been taking photos and archiving it all, waiting for the time I get off my lazy bones and start blogging again. So this simple dish and the next few dishes would have been dated a few months, weeks ago. :)

Inspiration - As you know already, I just love to check out what is available in my kitchen and whip something up. I found this packet of black peppered sausage which must have been sitting in my freezer for sometime. So I thot I would whip some great simple spaghetti for lunch.

Simple Steps :-
1) Get some chopped garlic, 2 tomatoes and a hand grip of spagetti.

2) Put spaghetti boiling water, make sure yr lid is not closed completely especially if u are using small pot cos they water tend to overflow when boiling.

3) To test if spaghetti is ready this is my trick. I actually learned this from Tony Danza oink years ago when I was really young watching My Boss or something that sounds like that. You know the one with young Alyssa Milano. Ok ok, I digressed. Basically take a strand of spaghetti and throw it to a wall and if it sticks, then it is ready. Cool huh! I think Tony danza threw it up the ceiling though :)

4) Basically, stirfry the garlic first with some olive oil, then throw in the cut sausages, and then the sliced tomatoes. Then quickly put in the cooked spaghetti and toss.

5) Add salt, pepper to taste and what I like on spaghetti - chili flakes. Serve on plate. Voila! Ready to eat! Yum Yum!

Verdict - Well, I like simple spaghetti (with no sauce) so this suits me just fine. I don't really fancy sausages but since this is what I have in fridge it was a good fast and simple meat to put in the spaghetti.

Simple ingredients :-
1) some chopped garlic - likely 3-4 cloves as u prefer
2) 2 tomatoes - quartered or smaller
3) Spaghetti - quarter or half of pack - to serve 2 people
4) Sausage - I am using black peppered sausage from my freezer :)
5) Salt, Pepper, Chili flakes, Olive oil.