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.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Buddha's Delight / Nam Yee Loh Hon Chai 南乳罗汉斋

Buddha's Delight / Nam Yee Loh Hon Chai 南乳罗汉斋

 Recipe source :  Y3K Magazine, Issue No. 71, 3/4 - 2-013 (Boon's Little Kitchen)

I wanted to expand my repertoire on cooking vegetarian dishes. This is to cater for the days when we need to observe a strict vegetarian diet, for example the birthdays of Goddess of Mercy or some other Buddhist ceremonies. In the past, for days which we were required to be vegetarians, we often ended up boiling plain porridge and eating canned vegetarian food. I have been lagging far behind where cooking vegetarian food is concerned. Something which I intend to remedy in the near future. 

Loh Hon Chai is a well known vegetarian dish of Buddhist cuisine. Some people called this dish the Buddha's Delight. There are many variations to cooking this wonderful dish which consists of various vegetables cooked together. 

Today, I am trying out this Loh Hon Chai recipe using nam yee, a reddish fermented bean curd  with a distinct flavour which is unique.  



Fermented red bean curd

Ingredients A


6 slices ginger
2 cubes nam yee ( reddish fermented bean curd )
2 tbsp cooking oil
400ml water

 

Ingredients B


200g Chinese cabbage, cut into pieces
100g carrot, cut into slices
8 mushrooms, soaked until soft and marinate with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp sugar
30g dried lily bubs, soaked and squeeze dry
2 long bean curd sticks, soaked and cut into sections
10g cloud ears or wan yee in Cantonese
150g broccoli, cut into small florets
20g glass noodles, soaked until soft and drained 



 Top left:  cloud ears. Top right : mushrooms
Bottom left : carrot slices. Bottom right :  lily buds

 Broccoli florets

 Chinese cabbage

 Glass noodles, some called this cellophane noodles

 Soaked bean curd sticks


Seasonings


1 tbsp nam yee liquid
2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt



Method


1.  Heat a pot with 1000ml water. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp oil. Bring to a boil then blanch the broccoli for 1 minute. Drain.
2.  Heat wok with 2 tbsp soil. Saute ginger slices. Then add nam yee cubes and fry well.
3.  Add in the first 6 items of ingredients B. Fry well.
4.  Add seasonings and water.When it comes to a boil, add in the glass noodles. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or until almost dry.
5.  Lastly add in the blanched broccoli. Mix well.
6.  Dish up and serve. 


    
Hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well In Flanders and 
co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


I am linking this post to Cook-Your-Book-#18
Hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours


Cook-Your-Books


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Ginger-Soy-Lime Marinated Shrimp

Ginger-Soy-Lime Marinated Shrimp


Recipe source :  Bobby Flay

It would be interesting to have this for a barbeque where the prawns can be grilled in open fire. I can just imagine the smell of the cooked prawns. 

This is definitely finger-licking good because you've got to use your fingers to remove the shells!

Ingredients


2 large shallots
1 ( 2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 lbs large prawns, do not remove the shells



Instructions



1. Place shallots, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the green onion and oil and blend until combined. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place prawns in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat a grill to high. Remove prawns from the marinade and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. 





I am linking this post to Cook Like A Star - Bobby Flay, November 2014
Organized by Yen from Eat Your Heart Out , Grace from Life Can Be Simple    and 
Yen from Eat your heart out and Grace from Life can be simple and I (Zoe) from Bake for Happy Kids are cooking and baking lots of Bobby Flay's recipes - See more at: http://www.bakeforhappykids.com/#sthash.mnkEVTpv.dpuf
Yen from Eat your heart out and Grace from Life can be simple and I (Zoe) from Bake for Happy Kids are cooking and baking lots of Bobby Flay's recipes - See more at: http://www.bakeforhappykids.com/#sthash.mnkEVTpv.dpuf

 


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Chicken Soup With Pumpkin 金瓜炖鸡

Chicken Soup With Pumpkin 金瓜炖鸡


Recipe source :  The World of Nourishing & Fine Soups

Pumpkin is very versatile. It can be cooked in so many different ways and can be made into all kinds of cakes, buns, muffins, puddings and kuih-muih, not forgetting the wide variety of savoury dishes and soups!

Today I am double-boiling pumpkin with chicken to make a soup. According to the herbal cookbook, this chicken and pumpkin soup alleviates fever and clears phlegm. It cleanses blood and detoxifies the body. Hmmmm, sounds very nutritious and very beneficial indeed.

This soup is absolutely divine!


Ingredients


300g pumpkin
5 dried oysters
5 red dates, pitted
1 chicken whole leg
900ml water
1/2 tsp salt
 

Method


1.  Rinse and peel pumpkin. Remove cores from pumpkin and cut into cubes.
2.  Rinse dried oysters.
3.  Remove skin from chicken and scald in hot water.
4.  Put all ingredients ( except salt ) into a large porcelain stewing pot. Cover with lid and double-boil for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
5.  Add 1/2 tsp salt just before serving. 





I am linking this post to Cook-Your-Book-#18

Hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours


Cook-Your-Books

Hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well In Flanders and 
co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


Friday, 7 November 2014

Grilled Corn With BBQ Butter

Grilled Corn With BBQ Butter


Recipe source :  Bobby Flay's recipe from Good Housekeeping Magazine, July 2012

The magazine has displayed a dramatic party presentation of grilled corn by Bobby Flay with BBQ sauce. The spread looked so irresistible that I've got to try it out! 

Flay grilled each ear of corn with the husk on so that the kernels got steamed and caramelised simultaneously. However, to make things simpler, I just removed all the husks and the silk. I grilled four ear of corns and steamed the remaining four. I wanted to try out whether the BBQ butter will taste good on steamed corn as well. 

As to the BBQ sauce, Flay's instruction was to refrigerate the BBQ sauce for 30 minutes after cooking and blending. Thereafter, to bring it to room temperature before serving. But I could not wait for another 30 minutes, I just slathered the BBQ sauce over the corns once it was done!

The BBQ sauce was wonderful!  All the spices had infused and blended very well with the butter. Very spicy and tasted very Asian in flavour. I am happy to share that the BBQ sauce works well for both the grilled and steamed corns. However, my son prefers the grilled version.

Very good! We like it very much!



Ingredients


8 ears corn
1 tsp cumin seeds ( jintan putih)
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne (ground red) pepper
2 tsp molasses
1/2 cup water
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
a sprinkle of salt and pepper



Method


1.  Grill or steam the corn until done.
2.  In a saucepan, toast the cumin seeds on medium-low for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant. Transfer seeds to a small bowl. Wipe the saucepan.
3.  In the same saucepan, heat canola oil on medium-high until hot. Add chopped onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the spices and keep stirring. Add in molasses and water and cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
4.  Blend in the butter and Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Ensure all ingredients are well combined. 
5.  Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6.  To serve, allow the BBQ sauce to come to room temperature before slathering the sauce on the grilled corn.



Grilled corn and steamed corn with BBQ sauce

I am linking this post to Cook Like A Star - Bobby Flay, November 2014
Organized by Yen from Eat Your Heart Out , Grace from Life Can Be Simple    and 
Yen from Eat your heart out and Grace from Life can be simple and I (Zoe) from Bake for Happy Kids are cooking and baking lots of Bobby Flay's recipes - See more at: http://www.bakeforhappykids.com/#sthash.mnkEVTpv.dpuf
Yen from Eat your heart out and Grace from Life can be simple and I (Zoe) from Bake for Happy Kids are cooking and baking lots of Bobby Flay's recipes - See more at: http://www.bakeforhappykids.com/#sthash.mnkEVTpv.dpuf




I am also linking this post to Cook-Your-Book#18
Hosted by Joyce of  Kitchen Flavours

 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Eggplant & Minced Meat With Oyster Sauce 茄子蛇豆炒蚝油

Eggplant & Minced Meat With Oyster Sauce 茄子蛇豆炒蚝油


Recipe source :  Maggi's advertising from Pearl Magazine

I was a bit surprised when my on-line search for autumn produce indicated eggplant as one of the vegetables harvested in autumn. For me, living in the tropics, we get eggplant throughout the year and hence take it for granted and do not give it another thought! 

This knowledge is indeed educational for me and is food for my thoughts!

With this in mind, I really must cook an eggplant dish to "commemorate" this learning curve of my educational journey.



Ingredients


250g eggplant, quartered and cut into 4 cm length
180g minced pork, marinated with 1/2 tsp tapioca flour and 1 tsp oyster sauce
400g snakebeans, cut into 4 cm length
4 red chilli padi, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
11/2 cup cooking oil for deep-frying eggplant and snakebeans


 Eggplants

 Snakebeans

 Chilli padi

 Minced pork

Seasonings


2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
11/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water

Mix everything together.

 

Method


1.  Heat oil until hot. Deep-fry eggplant until brown. Drain and set aside.
2.  Deep-fry the snakebeans. Drain and set aside.
3.  Remove all cooking oil from wok, leaving only 2 tbsp oil. Saute minced garlic and chopped chilli till fragrant. Add minced pork and fry until aromatic and minced meat has broken into small pieces.
4.  Add in snakebeans and eggplant and cook for 3 minutes. Add in seasonings and mix well.
5.  Dish up and serve.





Hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well In Flanders and 
co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Fried Vermicelli With Pumpkin 南瓜炒米粉

Fried Vermicelli With Pumpkin 南瓜炒米粉


Recipe source :  Adapted from Madame' Huang's Kitchen

Accordingly to Carolyn Phillips, this fried vermicelli with pumpkin is a Taiwanese Fall favourite. I was surprised that the pumpkin strips shown in the picture of her blog did not turn mushy after stir-frying. I wanted to test out whether the pumpkin strips will remain whole in my fried vermicelli! Well, the trick was not to overcook the pumpkin strips. 

The other thing I noticed was that Carolyn used lots of wine in her fried vermicelli. I love wine in cooking! So this recipe was definitely a "must-try"!

The result ? Well, the taste was equivalent to our local version of the Hokkien bee-hoon, albeit  with lots of pumpkin, meat and mushrooms and it was very nicely flavoured with wine!

Yummy! Try it for yourself!


Ingredients


300g pumpkin, cut into thin strips
20g dried scallops, soaked and shredded
5 black mushrooms, soaked and cut into thin slices
300g dried vermicelli, soaked until soft, then drain and set aside
2 green onions, cut into sections and separate the whites from greens
200g lean pork, cut into slices
5 tbsp cooking oil

Pumpkin

Dried mushrooms

Dried scallops

Pork

Vermicelli or bee-hoon

Marinade for pork


1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp tapioca flour
1 tsp Chinese cooking wine

Pork with marinade ingredients

Sliced mushrooms, shredded dried scallops and pumpkin strips

Seasonings


2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
200ml water
a dash of pepper


Method


1.  Marinate the sliced pork with the marinade ingredients and set aside for about 15 minutes.
2.. Heat wok until very hot and add 2 tbsp cooking oil. Saute the white parts of the spring onion.
3. Add in the marinated pork and stir-fry until the pork pieces turned whitish. Remove and set aside. 
4.  In the same wok, add in remaining cooking oil and stir-fry mushrooms, pumpkin and dried scallops.
5. Add in seasonings and water and allow to simmer for about 3 minutes. Then add in the fried pork slices and continue to simmer for further 2 minutes.
6. Add in vermicelli and using a pair of chopsticks,  mix the vermicelli to ensure it is evenly coated with gravy.
7. Continue stirring until almost dry. Switch off flame and dish-up. 
8. Garnish with spring onion. 



 
I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up

Photobucket

The theme for October 2014 is Pumpkin

Hosted by Eileen's Diary


Hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well In Flanders and 
co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House



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