Friday, October 31, 2008

Mee Siam

Mee Siam, which means "Siamese noodle", is a dish of thin rice noodles (mee hoon, vermicelli) in spicy, sweet and sour light gravy. Honestly, I have never really eaten a proper mee siam with gravy. This is because I love fried mee hoon and I don't like it with gravy. So in Malaysia, whenever I have mee siam, I always decline the gravy.

Thus, when I decided to make mee siam, I searched the net for recipes and found it a little bit confusing for me, particularly because I was looking to just make the dry noodles but yet have the taste of the gravy! So I decided to mix and match the ingredients and create my own version of mee siam. Please note also I am missing the dried beancurd ("Tau kwa") and dried preserved soy bean ("tau cheong) which are important ingredients in an original mee siam.

So, I went with an easier version of dry mee siam, yet still ensuring it has the sweet, sour, spicy flavour.

Simple Ingredients.
1) Vermicelli or Mee Hoon ( enough for 3-4 persons) - soaked and drained.
2) Beans sprouts ("Taugeh") - one cup
3) Prawns - 8-10 pcs
4) Dried Shrimp (soaked and chopped) - one handful
5) 1 tbsp of chilli paste
6) 1 tbsp of tamarind paste (dissolved in water)
7) 1 Egg (hard boiled)
8) 1 lime - for 1 tsp of juice and rest for garnishing
9) A bit of garlic/ shallots to stir fry

It was rushed day for me and once I started cooking, I totally forgot to take photos. So for this recipe, I will just write the process. Sorry yeah but trust me...I did cook it :)

Simple steps -

1) Firstly, stirfry the shallots and garlic till fragrant. Remove and leave aside. Next, stirfry the dried shrimp till fragrant. Add the prawns and do a quick stir till prawns are cooked. Add in the chilli paste and tamarind paste.

2) Add in the vermicelli and stirfry. Continously stir the meehoon to prevent it from sticking to the wok. Add a bit of tamarind juice and lime juice. Add salt and some fish sauce. You can use soy sauce if you do not have fish sauce. Add a bit of sugar and continue to toss the meehoon.

3) Ready to serve. Add green onions, sliced hard boiled eggs and lime as garnishing.

4) This is my version of mee siam. Well it is not exactly the exact formula but it has the tangy, sweet, sour and spicy taste. If I have added the preserved soy bean paste, probably the taste would be closer but I am happy with my results for now. Voila! Ready to eat! Yummy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Claypot Chicken Rice

I should call my recipe Rice Cooker Chicken Rice as I don't have a claypot and I just use the easy way out of a rice cooker. Since it is home cooking, I think the rice cooker is the easiest way to bluff my way through for this rendition of claypot chicken rice.

Simple ingredients -
1) Chicken Thighs (2 pieces) - cut up to smaller pieces. You can opt for just chicken breast too. Marinade with dark and light soy sauce, ginger juice, salt, pepper, sesame oil.
2) 2-3 mushroom soaked and cut in slices
3) 1 chinese sausage (lap cheong) - cut in slices
4) Shallots - fried
5) green onions - chopped for garnishing
6) Rice - enough for 3-4 person.

Simple steps -

1) I start with frying the shallots till fragant and scoop aside. Then I add the chinese sausages and mushroom and stir fry till fragant. Remove and keep aside.

2) Then cook the chicken. Add a water for gravy. Add salt and dark soy sauce for taste. No need to cook the chicken for too long. The chicken can be removed even though just 3/4 ready.

3) Now for the rice. The easy way is to put everything into the rice-cooker all at the same time. This means after washing the rice and putting enough water to cook, you add the cooked chicken, mushroom and sausage at the same time and just wait for it to cook. That's easy and you can opt for this option too.

I decided to do a little more work, which is to wait for the rice to boil in rice cooker, until it is 3/4 ready (before the click), rice at this time is usually still wet. I put in all the cooked ingredients including the fried shallots. Mix the ingredients and rice quickly to prevent sticking and put the cover back on to continue the cooking process.

4) Just wait for another 5-10 minutes and the rice will be ready and fragrant. Garnish with some chopped green onions. Loosen the rice in rice cooker to prevent it from sticking to the pot.

5) It's simple and fast and this can be the one complete meal for dinner. Voila! Ready to Eat! This is really yummy!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Prawn Sambal

Prawn Sambal or know more as "Sambal Udang" in Malaysia is traditionally a Malay dish. "Sambal" is a spicy condiment used especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, made with chili peppers and other ingredients eg pounded shallots/garlic or coconut.

I had a packet of Brahims "Sambal Tumis" and it's expiring soon so I just had to cook it. I can't remember when I bought it (must have been from my mom's house) as I usually prefer to pound the chilli myself. Nevertheless, I used it and cooked a fast and simple dish of prawn sambal. And it was pretty good.

Simple ingredients -
1) 1 packet of Brahims Kuah Sambal Tumis
2) 10-15 large prawns shelled with the tips intact.
3) One onion quartered
4) Some water.

Simple steps -
1) I did not use any oil as the "sambal" inside the packet usually contains oil. I just removed and put the paste into the wok. Add some water and the add the quarter onion. Simmer for 10 mins.

2) Add in the prawns last as prawns cook pretty fast. Simmer for another 5 minutes and it is ready.

3) It's that simple. Ready to be served. Best served with hot white rice. Voila! Ready to eat! Yummy! Yummy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lotus Root Soup

What is lotus root? To put in plainly it is the root portion of a lotus plant. :) It a commonly found in Asia primarily Chinese cooking. The exterior of this root is covered with a peel that is a reddish brown color and it has a whitish interior. The meat of the lotus root has a texture that is slightly crunchy, and mildly sweet. Lotus root can be eaten raw in salads, stir-fried with vegetables, deep fried as tempura and of course commonly used in chinese soups.

Simple ingredients :-

1) Lotus Root
2) Red Dates
3) Dried squid
4) Raw Peanuts
5) Pork ribs and chicken ribs

Simple steps -
Preparation of soup is the easiest. Throw everything in the pot of water and let it boil. Simple right?!! For best results, let the water come to a boil for 20 mins and then only lower the fire (simmer) and boil for another 2 hours.

The result is a super yummy soup. It is my favourite soup!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The birth of

I am super excited. I bought my own domain name!!

So now I have that solely belongs to me! On this site, I will capture my passion for food, from restaurants that I visit, food that I eat, vegetables from my simple garden and definitely simple recipes from my simple kitchen.

So what's gonna happen to this current site. Hmmm, I am gonna keep it and keep updating my simple recipes with step by step instructions with pictures on how I prepared the dishes. I have received many feedbacks from everyone that they like my simple instructions and the step by step photos. Infact for my own selfish reasons, I myself need to refer to how I prepared the dishes and I can just visit my own blog to refresh my memory!!

Looking forward to all your support and do give me your feedbacks.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Roast Pork

Ahhhhh.....siew yoke (Cantonese for roast pork) is really one of my favourite pork dish. I just love the texture (of fat and thin meat) and the crunchiness of the crust. After consulting many recipes, I decided to go ahead and put them all to good use. Let's see how my "siew yoke" turned out.

Step 1- Prepare 3 long slices of pork belly. Washed and dried. Just rub with some salt, pepper and five spice powder. Dry the surface of the skin and take a knife to slice XXX on the surface. My knide was not sharp enough so you can't really see the creases.

Step 2 - Place in oven. Make sure you have a pan at the bottom as the oil or lard from the pork belly would trickle down. As usual, since it is only 3 pieces, I am using my multi friendly oven toaster. Roast at 350'F.

Steps 3 - After baking for about 30 minutes, I took the meat out. The top skin layer is not ready yet. To add additional crisp and crunch, this is what I did. In a pan, I heat up some oil. Then I put the meat in, skin layer facing down. Fry for 10 minutes. You may want to protect yourself incase the oil splashes out.

Step 4 - This is how ths skin looks. It is now crispy and yummy. I put it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Step 5 - Chop, Chop Chop....Voila! Ready to eat! And savour the juicy meat with a crispy crunchy topping.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Simple yet Beautiful Dinner

I like preparing simple dinner at home but yet it looks like we are eating in a restaurant. Or at least I try to make it look like we are having a beautiful dinner at a fancy restaurant. But I make sure it requires just minimal work.

This time, I did not need to even fry anything, just boil and also using the oven.

Step 1 - Get a baked rotiserrie chicken from your local supermarket. The ones I get at Costco is so big that I usually just cut it up in quarters and the portion is more than enough. However, I remember the ones from Malaysia are so small that you probably can just cut it to 2 portions. If you like it hot, just baked in oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Step 2 - Boil some water for the vegetable and pasta. I boiled some broccoli, remove and drain and next the penne pasta.

Step 3 - In an aluminium container, I add olive oil, garlic, sundried tomato, and put it into oven for about 10 minutes.
Step 4 - Mix it with the penne. Add some salt and pepper for taste. And guess what??

Voila! Ready to eat! Open a nice bottle of wine and enjoy a super yummy, super simple, super beautiful romantic dinner for two.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My very first Chilli Plant

I can't help it. I just needed to share about this. I feel like a proud parent.
The first "fruit" of my vegetable garden. My chilli plants are sprouting babies!!

I started a vegetable garden in my back yard 3 months ago. I wasn't sure if anything would come out of it. But slowly and surely my vegetables started sprouting. I have since eaten 2 type of veges grown from my garden. One is potato leaves and I have to find out the name of the other vege - in Chinese (wong tai miu).

But, seeing an actual "fruit" sprouting feels a lot different. I am so proud of my chilli plants as it is sprouting chillies now. Chilli padi - my favourite. I am so happy and excited. They are my chilli babies.
Can't wait to try it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thank you FoodBuzz...

I started a food blog out of interest and with the intention of archiving my recipe for future reference. I am so happy that many of you like my blog and thank you for constantly visiting and giving me your feedbacks via emails and also comments on my blog.

Thank you Foodbuzz for inviting me into the Foodbuzz family. I am so happy with my very first payment for my blogging and it came from Foodbuzz. Morever, look at what came for me. A nice present from Foodbuzz consisting of an apron and a cake spatula. Thank you, thank you...I love getting presents.

It is a great encouragement for me to continue blogging. Thanks all for your support.