Chicken Teriyaki


Adapted from Wokking Mum

1. Marinate breast meat or drums (deboned) with 1 tbs sugar, 1 tbs mirin, 1 tbs cooking wine, 2 tbs light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil for at least half an hour.
2. Dust chicken with corn flour and saute till lightly burnt (Use little oil, or no oil if drums still have skin on them; I used some sesame oil).
3. Pour remaining marinade over chicken and cook till sauce thickens.
4. Cut into pieces (optional) and serve hot with steamed rice.

Kung Po Chicken


Adapted from Wokking Mum

1. Marinate diced chicken meat (breast or drums) with 1 tbs cooking wine (I use hua tiow chiew), 1 tbs light soy sauce and 2 tbs corn flour for an hour or more.
2. Stir fry chicken till golden brown. Set aside.
3. Fry 1 big onion (quartered) or some shallots, and garlic and ginger till fragrant. Add 20 dried chillies (soaked for a few hours and cut in halves) and fry for another minute or so.
4. Add 2 tbs black vinegar, 2 tbs sugar, 2 tbs water.
5. When mixture boils, stir in chicken and ensure it's well-coated. Then add, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and cooking wine, bit of salt, to taste.
6. Add corn flour mixture (from the marinade) if you like your sauce thick.
7. Boil, add water if you like more sauce and black vinegar if not sour enough.
8. Serve with steamed rice.

optional: Cashew nuts can be added.

Devil's Chocolate Cake & Ganache






Cake

1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
11 tbs unsalted softened butter (2/3 cup = 10 and 2/3 tbs)
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/3 cups warm water

1. Preheat oven 150 deg C for fan-assisted. I prefer to use non-fan-assisted at 170 deg C.
2. Grease and line two 9" cake pans.
3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Mix well.
4. Beat butter @ medium till creamy.
5. Add sugar and beat high speed 3 min.
6. Add cocoa and beat 1 min, scrape.
7. Beat in eggs one at a time.
8. Beat in vanilla.
9. Fold in flour etc in 3 additions, alternating with warm water in 2 additions. Scrape.
10. Mix @ low 30 seconds. Pour into pans.
11. Bake 40-45 min. Cool 20 min. Transfer to wire.

When cake is cooled, spread cream between cakes and at the top if you like. Pour cooled ganache all over. Allow cake to set in fridge for an hour or so. Remove 10 minutes before serving. Cake can be stored for a few days in the fridge, just microwave it for tens of seconds and it will be moist and soft again. Enjoy!

Cream for between cakes (and on top of cake)

1 cup unsalted softened butter, 1 cup icing sugar, some double cream, 1 tsp vanilla, some salt if required. Beat.  (I prefer this cream to the next one)

OR

Beat 150 g unsalted softened butter and 250 g sugar. Add 1 tsp vanilla, beat till smooth and creamy.

Ganache

6 oz chocolate (I like a mix of dark and milk chocolate)
2/3 cup double/whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla.

1. Boil cream. Remove from stove.
2. Add chopped chocolate and vanilla.
3. Stand. Stir. Cover with wrap. Cool for 5 min.

Sambal Prawns & Sambal Ikan Bilis



1. Chilli Paste recipe. Soak 20 dried chillies in hot water for 30 min (or boil if you can't wait). Cut chillies in half and remove as much seeds as you want (the more seeds there are, the hotter your chilli paste will be). Drain and blend with 2 large fresh chillies and 1 cm thick or 1 level tbs of belacan (roast belacan in oven first).
2. Blend 14 shallots, 3 cloves garlic and a bit of ginger. Fry this paste in 100ml of heated oil. Stir constantly till this paste turns fragrant.
3. Add chilli paste from No1 and mix well. Reduce heat and slowly fry till the paste darkens to a deep-red brown and oil separates (20 min or so).
4. Add 3 tbs sugar, 1 tsp salt and water (amount of water depends on how thick you want your sambal to be).
5. Add sliced Bombay onion and boil.
6. Add prawns or Ikan Bilis (for ikan bilis, separately fry it first in hot oil till crispy).
7. Stir and add sugar, salt, and other seasoning (eg light soy sauce) to taste.

NOTE: The original recipe calls for assam (tamarind) pulp juice to be added instead of water. I only use water. Reduce the amount of sugar if it's too much for you. I love my sambals to be sweet, so I think I use even more sugar than this recipe calls for! Also, the amount of chilli paste in this recipe may not be enough if you want your sambal to be hot. So make your own estimation. Good luck!

Sweet and sour pork



Follow recipe for Tonkatsu.

For the sauce:
1. Fry 4 cloves of garlic (sliced), quartered Bombay onion, few slices of ginger. Use the oil from frying the tenderloins for better flavour.
2. Add ketchup, dash of worcestershire sauce, some vinegar and brown sugar to taste. I also added some oyster sauce and light soy sauce. Oh, and water too.
3. Pineapple, green pepper, tomatos can be added if desired, I didn't.
4. Mix cut up fried Tonkatsu into the sauce. Serve hot with rice.


Background


I've never tried cooking this as I never had the confidence to do so. My mum cooks this really well and back in the good old days when Eddie used to cook for me (before kids...before marriage...it was the good old days remember?), he also made a mean dish of sweet and sour pork. He did not use bread crumbs to coat the meat, but used crushed Jacob's biscuits instead...yummm.

Back to reality now. After two plus years of cooking, I am now somewhat able to estimate the sauces/ingredients required in the simpler dishes I eat in restaurants. And this dish garnered praise from Mr Fussy himself. He's such a Chinaman, and had second helpings of rice because there were two pork dishes tonight, this and steamed minced pork, plus soup of course.

The boys, on the other hand, prefer plain Tonkatsu, without any sauce. I have a trio of hard-to-please palates in this house. Grrr....

Tonkatsu




1. Cut small incisions on tenderloins to tenderise. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Coat tenderloins with plain flour, shake off excess flour, next coat with egg, then bread crumbs
3. Submerge in hot oil for 2 minutes, turn and fry for another 2 minutes, turn and fry another 1 minute. Adjust heat as required.
4. Place on kitchen towel for oil to be absorbed. Cut into bite-sized pieces and add Tonkatsu Sauce (thick Japanese Worcestershire sauce).

Can be adapted to make:
Pork cutlet with chips, just do as above, then fry an egg and potatoes, kids won't know the difference :)

Economical Bee Hoon (Difficulty: 2.5)



1. Soak 1/2 packet bee hoon in warm water. I don’t like chewy bee hoon, so I use slightly hotter water. Add 1 tbs each of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil for bee hoon to absorb.
2. After half hour or more, drain bee hoon, but keep the liquid.
3. Fry 1 tbs garlic. Add vegetables/meat if you like. Do not stinge on the oil.
4. Add bee hoon. Mix well to let bee hoon absorb oil. If too dry, add some of the liquid that was used for soaking earlier.
5. Add 2 tbs dark soy sauce, 1 tbs light soy sauce, 1 tbs fish sauce, 1 tsp kicap manis (optional), salt and msg (optional) to taste. Please note these are all estimates, add according to your own taste.

Background

Ate this dish at Kat's place and have been scouring the net for the recipe since. It's called Economical Bee Hoon, because the original dish is really basic, just the noodles and garlic, maybe some cabbage/bean sprouts. But these days, they are sold with a whole variety of add-ons, such as Ngor Hiang, Fried Eggs, Luncheon Meat etc. I still buy mine 'kosong', ie plain. I like my food strip down to the basics, eg roti canai, best is kosong; nasi lemak, best is the 30sen a pack type with only rice, sambal and maybe a sliver of cucumber.

Back to Economical Bee Hoon, it looks benign enough, but I think it's a silent monster. You need to use quite a bit of oil for the beehoon to taste yummy. And it's entirely carbo, which transforms into...modern day poison...sugar!

I can already feel the effects of tucking into this dish for meals over 2 days, ie breakfast yesterday, lunch yesterday and dinner tonight. But it's so....darn shiok! Especially after I managed to make the garlic/ginger/chilli sauce that my aunt serves with her economical bee hoon during those Chinese Big Day (Tua Dit Chi). Will share that chilli recipe another time.

Barbecue BBQ wings (Difficulty: 2)


Source: Mrs Jones from M4M
1. Pound 4 cloves garlic and 2 slices ginger.
2. Marinate 1kg chicken wings with pounded garlic and ginger, 4 tbs oyster sauce, 4 tbs kicap manis, 3 tbs tomato ketchup, for at least 4 hours.
3. Bake at 190C for 20 min. Leave some marinade for basting. After 20 min, turn over, baste with marinade, bake 20 min on 180C, turn over, baste and bake another 10 min, longer if you like it drier or slightly burnt.

Dried Shrimps Soft Tofu (Difficulty: 2)



1. Soak 50g dried shrimps for 10 min. Drain and mince. Toast/fry with no/little oil. Set aside. Fry 4 sliced shallots and set aside.
2. Place soft tofu gently in boiling water, boil for 1 min.
3. Drain tofu, place on plate. Drizzle 1.5 tbs oyster sauce and 1.5 tsp oil.
4. Add fried dried shrimps and fried shallots.
5. Garnish with chopped chilli and spring onions.

Mee Hoon Kueh (Difficulty: 3)



1. Knead 400g flour, 1/2 tsp salt and water (add water bit by bit) into a dough. Knead bit by bit till the entire dough is smooth and not sticking to your hands. Takes more than 10 mins of kneading.
2. Knead a tbs of oil into dough.
3. Separate into portions.
4. Cover with damp cloth for 1/2 hour.
5. Boil anchovy soup (a fistful of anchovy boiled/simmered in water for at least an hour). Peel dough, add to anchovy soup. Add pork, prawns, chye sim and boil.
6. Add fried anchovies and fried shallots just before serving.

Background

Went over to Katherine's place for a lesson on making Mee Hoon Kueh. I have always, always, loved this Hokkien dish, more so if it's home-made, but never got round to learning how to make it. Kat's mee hoon kueh is just like how my mum makes it, authentic. Very yummy. Ate so much, with cilipadi and soy sauce of course. Best. (Best?! Best?!...Wilson must be cursing under his breath that I made his precious about-to-pop wife work so hard in the kitchen).

I'm not sure if it's a West Malaysian dish, but Ed who's from East Malaysia won't eat it. And when I first went to Singapore (back in 1989), not many people seem to have heard of Mee Hoon Kueh either. Only some years later did Meehoonkueh/Banmian shops start sprouting all over the island.

Oh, my eat-potato-peranakan Form 6 buddy and childhood friend Lily had us in stitches years ago when she refered to this dish as "pull-pull" mee. Needless to say, she married an angmoh.

Tau Yu Bak



Source: Improvised from Kuali

Ingredients:

500 gms pork (with skin and some fat), keep pork whole without slicing

For Marinade
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tbs oyster sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar or to taste

4 whole garlic pods with skin on
1 star anise
4cm cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar or to taste
Salt to taste
1 cup water
Hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Instructions:

1. Marinate pork for several hours or overnight.
2. Heat claypot or heavy-based saucepan over medium low heat.
3. Put in marinated pork to brown.
4. Add garlic pods, cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves.
5. Pour in half cup of water and cook covered for 5-8 minutes.
6. Add in dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and salt to taste.
7. Add half cup of wter and simmer till gravy is thick and meat is tender.
8. If gravy is too thick, just add more water. Same if meat is not tender enough, just add water and simmer for a longer time.
9. Add peeled boiled eggs.
10. To serve, cut pork into slices and add gravy to the dish.

REVIEW:
When cooked: Tuesday 6 February 2007
Which meal: Dinner
Which try: I'm sure I've tried this before, but not sure how many times
Missing ingredients: Cinnamon sticks
Exchanged ingredients: Used 2 whole garlic pods instead of 4 (the garlic here is huge)
Difficulty Level: 2.5
Others: Recipe did not have hard-boiled eggs in it. Oh when I bought the pork it was already sliced.

Verdict: Very popular. Sean ate a big plate of rice by himself. What I like about it is there's nothing to chop or pound. Easy.

Stir-fried ginger pork



Source: www.aromacookery.com

Ingredients:

400 gms pork loin or tenderloin
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
a few drops of sesame oil
a large knob of ginger, about 80 to 100 gms
2 tbsp vegetable oil
light soy sauce, about 2 tbsp or to taste*
water, about 150 ml or just enough to cover the pork

Instructions:

1. Cut pork against the grain into thin slices.
2. Marinate for at least half an hour with 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cornstarch, and a few drops of sesame oil.
3. Peel the ginger, slice thinly, and cut into fine strips.
4. Heat the wok till very hot. Add the oil and saute the ginger for about one minute, turning constantly.
5. Over moderately high heat, add the pork and stir-fry with the ginger. When the pork starts to change color, add light soy sauce and stir-fry to mix evenly.
6. Quickly pour in the water. When the mixture bubbles, immediately turn the fire off to prevent overcooking the pork. Serve with plain rice.

REVIEW:
When cooked: Friday 26 January 2007
Which meal: Dinner
Which try: First
Missing ingredients: None, cooking wine was added
Exchanged ingredients: None
Difficulty Level: 2
Others: Nil

Verdict: Popular dish. I think I'd try to add dark soy sauce and make it drier next time.

Braised pork loin steak


Source: www.aromacookery.com

Ingredients:

800g pork loin steak
1 tsp corn flour
1 small bowl chopped shallots
1 whole chopped garlic
5 bruised lemongrass
Some galangal, sliced or bruised
Light soy sauce and dark soy sauce to taste
Water

Instructions:

1. Fry shallots, garlice, galangal and lemongrass till fragrant.
2. Add pork (which has been tenderised with corn flour or with back of cleaver), sprinkle brown sugar generously.
3. When sugar has melted, add light and dark soy sauce.
4. Add just enough water to cover meat (not too much). When boiled, taste and add sugar and light soy sauce if necessary.
5. Cover and braise for 1 hour. Remove cover and if drier version is preferred, remove excess gravy and continue to fry pork on high heat, adding dark soy sauce to make pork darker.
6. Cut pork into bite-sized pieces before serving.

REVIEW:
When cooked: Thursday 25 January 2007
Which meal: Dinner
Which try: First
Missing ingredients: None
Exchanged ingredients: None
Difficulty Level: 3
Others: The original recipe calls for Pork Belly ie to make LorBak

Verdict: Everyone loved this dish. Same recipe can be used for braised duck as well.

Barbecue pork ribs



Ingredients:

600g prime ribs
2 tbs oyster sauce
2 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs dark soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tbs cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper

Instructions:

1. Marinate pork ribs with all oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, honey, wine, salt and pepper and cornflour (optional) for half a day.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
3. Brush honey over ribs before baking.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

REVIEW:
When cooked: Tuesday 2 January 2006
Which meal: Dinner
Which try: First
Missing ingredients: None
Exchanged ingredients: None
Difficulty Level: 2
Others: Nil

Verdict: Easy and yummy.