Friday, 19 December 2014

Ginseng & Chicken Soup 人参鸡汤

Ginseng & Chicken Soup 人参鸡汤


Recipe source :  Doris Choo @ Sumptuous Flavours

I have a box of ginseng roots which has been sitting in my refrigerator for sometime now. It was a lovely gift. However, we were not too sure of its strength or the potency of these little roots for fear of ending up "over-heating" our bodies. I decided to ask the herbal shop proprietor. He advised that I should add in some red dates, wolfberries and some Solomon's seal or "yook chuk" in Cantonese. According to him, the addition of these herbs will counter the "heaty" properties of the ginseng root.

After boiling for three hours we have a pot of very nutritious ginseng soup. The yook chuk had imparted a natural sweetness to the soup.

We are glad that we did not feel any "over-heating" after the addition of Solomon's seal to brew this very nutritious soup.

Ingredients


1 small dried ginseng root
1/2 stewing chicken (old hen) cut into two large pieces
1 tbsp wolfberries, or kei-chi
6 red dates, pitted
30g Solomon's seal or yook chuk
2.5 litres water
1 1/2 tsp salt


 A gift set of ginseng roots

 It's sufficient to use only 1 small root 

 Left :  red dates. Middle : Solomon's seal or yook chuk. Right :  wolfberries

Method


1.  Bring 2.5 litres of water to a boil
2.  Add in all the Chinese herbs, ginseng root and stewing chicken.
3.  Once it comes to a boil again, reduce to small flame and continue to boil for 3 hours.
4.  Add in salt and switch off flame.
5.  Ready to serve.



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Stir-fried Mushroom & Tofu

Stir-fried Mushroom & Tofu


Recipe source :  Y3K magazine, Issue No. 57, 11/12-2010 ( by Lydia Fujikawa )

Cooking this dish is truly no fuss and so healthy. You can eat this with white rice but we find this super appetising with plain porridge. Everything is soft and easy on our digestive system! 


Ingredients

150g five-spice tofu, cut into thin slices
150g white shimeji mushrooms, remove the roots
2 tbsp cooking oil


Seasoning

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
A pinch of sugar



Method

1.  Heat a frying pan until hot, add oil and fry the tofu slices until slightly brown on both sides.
2.  Remove and set aside.
3.  In the same wok, stir-fry the shimeji mushrooms over high heat until soft.
4.  Add in seasoning and fried tofu slices. Mix well.
5.  Dish up and garnish with chopped spring onion (optional ).





Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Watercress Soup 西洋菜汤

Watercress Soup 西洋菜汤


Recipe source :  Doris Choo @ Sumptuous Flavours

I decided to boil this for my family.  I like to drink this watercress soup which is served by the vendor selling mixed vegetarian rice near my office. I took note of the ingredients they used and made some adjustments of my own.

This is the first time I boil savoury soup without any meat. Being so used to having meat in soups, I was initially very worried that this concoction may not turn out well. As the soup was boiling, I have to keep reminding myself that the meatless soup served at the vegetarian outlets tastes wonderful, so mine would taste superb too!

I am so happy that this combination of ingredients blended beautifully to make the soup so clear and sweet.  A sweetness that is so natural and pleasing to the palate.  I just love the aroma of the mushroom stems in the soup. 

This soup is full of natural goodness! It is fat-free. It does not contain any monosodium glutamate. It's very nice!

And watercress is good for clearing heat from our bodies.

Ingredients


150g soy beans ( soaked for 2 to 3 hours )
50g mushroom stems
50g red dates, roughly chopped
50g dried chestnuts ( soaked overnight )
300g watercress
2500ml water
 

Method


1.  Place the first four ingredients into a large pot and add in 2500ml water.
2.  Bring to a boil over high heat.
3.  Reduce fire to low and allow soup to simmer for 2 hours or until the beans and chestnuts are soft.
4.  Add in watercress and continue to boil for a further 30 minutes.
5.  Add salt to taste. 

Fat-free and meatless
Very nice!


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Brined Roast Chicken With Vegetables

Brined Roast Chicken With Vegetables


Recipe source : Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Turkey is popular and is the preferred choice for Christmas celebrations. However, cooking a turkey would be too big for a small family. We would have to settle for a smaller bird and chicken would be the best choice for us.

Last Christmas my friend prepared a brined roast chicken which was very delicious. She told me to just soak the chicken in brine before roasting. Sounded very simple and I wanted to try it. However, time flies and one full year had gone by while I procrastinated. But then again, come to think of it, the time is just right to roast this for Christmas!

Despite soaking the bird with so much salt in the water, the chicken was not overly salty. The skin was very crispy while the meat was juicy and tasted just right and fragrant. The vegetables were exceptionally sweet, the type of natural sweetness which left us wanting more!

Ingredients


1 plump chicken
1 cup sea salt
1000 ml hot water
3000 ml cold water
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 yellow onion, cut into quarters
1 small carrot, cut into pieces
1 small radish, cut into pieces



Rosemary

Thyme

Method


1.  In a large plastic container or a stainless steel pot large enough to hold the chicken, stir and dissolve the sea salt with hot water. Add in the cold water and stir. Rinse the chicken, then submerge it in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours or more. 
2.  Preheat oven to 200 degree C.
3.  Remove the chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with unsalted butter and season inside and out with pepper.
4.  Place the thyme and rosemary sprigs into the chicken cavity.
5.  Place the chicken on its side on a rack and roast for 30 minutes.
6.  Turn over to the other side and roast for another 30 minutes.
7.  While chicken is roasting, prepare the radish, onion and carrot. Add a sprig or two of rosemary and thyme to the vegetables. Toss the vegetables with 2 tbsp cooking oil and season with pepper and salt. 
8.  Place vegetables into roasting pan. Remove chicken from rack and place chicken on its back on top of the vegetables and continue to roast for a further 20 minutes. Rotate the chicken so that its back faces up and roast for another 20 minutes to ensure even roasting all over.
9.  The skin should be crisp and brown. 




 I am submitting this post to Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014
Organised by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and 

 

and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


Monday, 1 December 2014

Dong Bo Pork 东坡肉

Dong Bo Pork 东坡肉


Recipe source :  Adapted from  Table for two....or more

Of late, my family has been obsessed with this dish. Whenever we eat out, my son would insist on ordering this Dong Bo Pork. 

Legend has it that this dish was named after the famous poet, So Dong Bo from the Song Dynasty. If the legend is true, So Dong Bo was certainly a great connoisseur of food besides being a very famous poet.

This dish seems to be in popular demand in my family.  I decided to make it at home. I had a hard time deciding which recipe to follow as there are so many recipes available online and there were a few variations to making this famous Dong Bo pork. 


Ingredients


1 kg pork belly
150g spring onions
50g ginger
130ml shao hsing wine
100g rock sugar
20g dark soya sauce
100g light soy sauce
500ml water

Method


1.  Bring a pot of water to the boil and scald the pork belly for 5 minutes. Drain.
2.  Cut spring onions into sections and line the base of an earthen pot. 
3.  Slice ginger and sprinkle the ginger slices over the spring onions.
4.  Place the pork belly onto the ginger and spring onions, skin side down.
5.  Pour in the soy sauce and sugar. Then add wine and water. Make sure the pork is almost covered with water/liquid.
6.  Bring the pot to the boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce to low heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Need to flip the pork over halfway and simmer until the pork is tender.
7.  Remove pork and place on a plate and steam over high heat for 30 minutes.
8.  Pour gravy over pork.   





Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Shrimp In Sugar-cane ( Tôm Bọc Mía )

Shrimp In Sugar-cane ( Tôm Bọc Mía )


Recipe source : Adapted from  VietnameseFood

My son described to me what he had eaten at a restaurant and wanted me to make it for him. Shrimp In Sugar-cane is a popular Vietnamese fare that can either be grilled or deep-fried. I opted to grilled them which is easier for me and comparatively less oily.

The shrimp paste was rather sticky. Make sure you have a small dish of vegetable oil to rub your hands first before wrapping the shrimp paste around the sugar cane. You will need more oil to firm up and shape the paste to encircle the sugar cane to make it look like a drumstick.

The taste was unique. When you have eaten the meaty parts of the grilled prawn paste, you get to gnaw on the piece of sugar cane which is sweet and refreshing. 

It is even better when you dip them in chilli sauce or make your own Vietnamese dipping fish sauce. 

Enjoy!


Ingredients


300g shrimps ( net weight )
2 sections sugar cane , cut into 12 pieces
3 tbsp tapioca flour
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk spring onions, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp pepper
a small dish of vegetable oil to lubricate your hands

  


Method


1.  Chopped the shrimps. Mix well with the minced shallots, garlic and spring onions.
2.  Add in tapioca flour, salt, soy sauce, vegetable oil, pepper, sugar and mix well to form a paste.
3.  Apply oil on both hands and scoop the shrimp paste to wrap around a piece of sugar cane. Press firmly.
4.  Repeat the process with the remaining shrimp paste and sugar cane. 
5.  Grill at 180 degree C in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.
6.  Serve with chilli sauce.




Friday, 21 November 2014

Vegetarian Bak-Kut-Teh 斋肉骨茶

Vegetarian Bak-Kut-Teh 斋肉骨茶


Recipe source :  Adapted from Amy Beh

I wanted to cook this ever since my daughter ordered a vegetarian bak kut teh in an organic food outlet. It smelled wonderful and we could drink the wonderfully fragrant soup without feeling guilty about the fat content. However, it was months later before I came across Amy Beh's recipe  which renewed my interest to cook this dish. 

There were mixed reaction when I served this. My youngest son loves to eat the real bak kut teh. He could recognise the aroma of bak kut teh spices as it was stewing in the pot and the fragrance had permeated the air in my house! I guessed he was anticipating his favourite meaty treat. Boy!, was he disappointed when he discovered that there were no meat at all in the entire pot! 

The final verdict ?  All the men in the family preferred the real thing. Only the ladies accepted this vegetarian version gracefully! 


Ingredients


8 dried mushrooms
80g dried bean curd sticks, cut into sections of 4 cm and soaked until soft
100g Inoki mushrooms
1 piece tofu
20g black fungus, soaked until soft and cut into pieces
1 packet bak kut teh spices
1 star anise
1 piece cinnamon bark ( about 3 cm)
1/2 tsp white peppercorns, slightly crushed
2 big bulbs garlic, slightly smashed with the back of a cleaver.
1.5 litres water
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp rock sugar
1 small bunch of Chinese parsley


Top left : White peppercorns. Top right : Star anise
Bottom :  Cinnamon bark

 A packet bak kut teh spices. There are two packets inside this package.
I used only one packet which was sufficient for this recipe.

Top : Softened bean curd sticks
Bottom left :  Softened black fungus. Bottom right :  Mushrooms

Tofu and inoki mushrooms

Method


1.  Bring 1.5 litres of water  to a boil. Add in one small packet of bak kut teh spices, garlic bulbs, star anise, cinnamon bark and crushed white peppercorns. 
2.  Add in black soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and rock sugar.
3.  When it comes to a boil again, add in the tofu pieces, mushrooms, black fungus and bean curd sticks.
4.  Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Add in inoki mushrooms and continue to boil for another 5 minutes.
5.  Add salt to taste.
6.  Lastly add in chopped Chinese parsley and stir to mix well.
7.  Serve hot with rice. 



Don't expect this vegetarian version to be like the real thing.

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