there r four dishes in this picture obviously...but i m just gonna post the recipes for the chicken (in white bowl) and tofu on the blue flower plate...they rank very highly on my favourites list and i will cook (or at least consider cooking) them whenever i invite friends over for chinese food. picture quality is not that good..but they taste fabulous...especially the 3 cup chicken...quite foolproof too!!! If there is any maincourse recipe that you wanna try from our blog, pick this one ok!! :D
3 cups chicken (San Bei Ji)
1 kg chicken thigh, bone in, chopped into pieces (bone = more flavour) few slices old ginger 4 cloves of garlic 4 tablespoon sugar 3/4 cup Hua Tiao wine 1/2 cup bowl sesame oil 1/2 cup bowl oyster sauce few stalks spring onion 1 tbsp oil
Heat oil, fry the ginger, garlic til fragrant. Add chicken and fry for a few more minutes til it is slightly browned. Throw all 3 'cups' in, add sugar and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 20mins. Garnish with sping onion and serve hot with jasmine rice.
Comments:the original proportions were 1:1:1 wine, sesame oil and oyster sauce but i found it to be too oily and salty, hence the reduced quantities. You can keep any leftover sauce and stir it through rice (for another meal of course)... Very delish!
Tofu with Coridander and Shallots
1 pack Japanese silken tofu 4 tbsp anise star infused light soy sauce* 2 tbsp water 2 tbsp oil, preferably canola or peanut. 1 shallot a small bunch of coriander, chopped.
Cut tofu into cubes. Heat soy sauce and water in sauce pan. Pour over tofu. Slice shallot thinly n pan fry until light brown. Pour oil and shallots over tofu. Sprinkle coriander on top. Serve with jasmine rice.
comments: very simple right...but oh so good...especially with rice..!! I learnt this from a dear friend and she HAS TO cook it for me whenever i visit her house...hehe...
*I couldn't find the special anise star soy sauce in adelaide so i grinded some anise stars and added the powder to my light soy sauce...if you don't have a food processor, just crush the anise slightly and pop it into the bottle, that'll work too....but perhaps wait a week or two for the flavour to infuse thoroughly..
ingredients: 250 g couscous 250 g bacon (rind removed, diced, separate the fats and flesh) 1 leek, sliced finely 4 potatos, chopped 1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped
seasoning: 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbs fish sauce 1 tbs light soy sauce 3 tbs water 1 tsp sesame oil 0.5 tsp black pepper 0.5 tsp parprika dash of chilli powder (more if u like it spicy!)
method: 1. Add 250ml of boiling water to couscous. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up with fork and add more water if too dry. 2. microwave potato with 2 tbsp water for 10 minutes or til soft. 3. Add the fatty bits of the bacon into a pan. Turn on heat and allow the oils to melt before adding the not-so-fatty bits of the bacon. Fry til crispy and remove from pan. 4. Add leeks to pan and fry til soft. Add potato and fry for a couple minutes. 5. Turn off fire and mix in couscous and seasonings. Sprinkle with bacon bits. Can be served hot or chilled.
comments: Potato, leek and bacon= very good friends!!! Why the addition of apricot?? Cos this will be served chilled, so i hope the slight crunch n tangy flavour of the dried fruit will add texture and contrast...if serving hot, omit the apricots..and the dish will taste more 'comforting', i guess... hee..this is actually a random (read: what i can find in the kitchen) recipe that i came up with for tomorrow's visit to the pear orchard... :)
3/4 pandan leaves*, washed n tied into a knot 250g tau suan (mung bean/ spilt green bean) 1.5 l water brown and white sugar to taste tapioca flour pinch of salt
1. soak beans overnight. 2. add pinch of salt and steam til soft (but not too crumbly, otherwise it will melt later; ard 10-12 minutes) 3. boil water with pandan leaves for around 10 minutes, add sugar to taste. (brown / white, up to u..) 4. mix tapioca flour with a little COLD water and pour slowly into the syrup. Add sufficient tapioca mixture til syrup becomes thick. (Test by dropping some beans into it; the beans should float. I think i used around 5-6 tbsp tapocia flour) 5. Add rest of the beans and serve hot.
comments: i added the pinch of salt to recreate the slighty savoury taste of tau suan back home served with fried dough fritters..this is really quite a simple dessert which is lovely during rainy days!
*for those in Adelaide, pandan leaves are available from the FROZEN department of asian grocers...i only found them after searching for ONE YEAR..and boy, was I happy when i finally bought them!! Can make pandan chiffon cakes, ondeh ondeh, a multitude of chinese soupy desserts and even braised chicken.... what a versatile ingredient..!! :D
tomorrow is Anzac day...so to commemorate the occasion, Sik Yin decided to make egg tarts!! (not really!! ha..i think she was just more relaxed so could indulge in some 'extra' baking...)
we followed Aunty Yochana's recipe...first we made 2 dozen mini egg tarts using a mini muffin tray..quite pretty no??
and then cos we still had quite a bit of egg custard left over, we made 'macau egg tarts' with puff pastry....
and a BIG one in a pie dish!!!
verdict: the pie crust ones were really fragrant n buttery...but have to double the amount for the amount of custard in the recipe...or perhaps our tarts were too shallow...?? Puff pastry ones were nice too....it's the easier option!! hehe....half bake the puff pastry til it's slightly golden, press it down n pour egg mixture....continue baking til egg mixture puffs up. Yum!! Thank you Sik Yin!
today we went on an excursion to Virginia, an hour's drive away from Adelaide city. It's called the foodbowl of South Australia and is well-known for its horticulture industries - vegetables, almonds, wine grapes, flowers and nursery products
first stop was to this 20 acre farm (forgot the name and what they grew exactly!:P) these are parsley, coriander and beets...
next stop: a hydroponics lettuce farm..pictured here are the mixed fancy lettuce..the farmer started growing these as a joke..see the two colours but consumers loved them so he's trying very hard to catch up with demand now!
after the tour of the two farms and a talk, we were treated to a very sumptous lunch prepared by the multi-cultural community..there were Vietnamese, cambodians, Sundanese, Abroginals, Kiwis and of course Aussies.. check out the spread!!
unknown bread based dish...pizza????
vietnamese(?) fried noodles
samosas made by the Sudanese ladies
springrolls (there were BANANAS inside...i think?!!)
what was on my plate...hee...
on a more serious note....the news has been talking about the effects of the droughts on SA farmers and it is quite sombering to meet the farmers themselves....all very hardworking and humble folks....things will get very tough for them if it doesn't rain soon....please pray for rain!!! The tour guide also told us that the farmers usually get less than 25% of what the consumer pays....so unfair....most of the profits goes to the wholesalers and the supermarket chains...hmmm.
ingredients: 1 pack wanton skins (can be purchased from chinatown, ard $1.5)
filling: 200g mince (pork or chicken) 1 can water chestnuts, diced optional: shitake mushrooms, soaked and diced/ prawns, diced 2 tsp sesame oil 1 tbsp light soy sauce sprinling of salt, sugar and pepper (why sugar?? my mom told me to add sugar if i dun use msg..) 1 tbsp cornflour
method: 1. mix all the ingredients of the filling together. 2. using a butter knife, smear ard 3/4 teaspoon of the filling onto the wanton skin and then crush it. Yes, just crush it in your palms. 3.drop into BOILING water. 4.dumplings are done when they float to the surface 5. Serve in soup or if like me, you don't have soup, drizzle some shallot oil onto to prevent them from sticking to each other and garnish with spring onions and fried shallots. Enjoy!!!
Last night, we were very privileged to have a very gentlemanly friend come cook dinner for us!!!! He made us a superb chicken ceasar salad and macroni cheese....Louisa and Susan came along to share the good fortune too...hehe.....
for starters...we had pumpkin soup with homemade bread (of the 'Mark Bittman no-knead bread' fame...but i have not done it correctly, so will post the recipe only when i have had more success with it..)
the lovely ceasar chicken ceasar with avocado...David made the sauce himself!! Impressive!!
Cheese and mac!!! It was really good...creamy and very satisfying....
dessert was the self-saucing chocolate pudding..same recipe as last week..but alas...everyone was too full to eat it so it was left in the oven for another half an hour and it became dry....so i m not sure whether it was good or not...
thanks so much David!!! You're such a sweetheart!!!
2tbsp chopped chives 2eggs 1 cup plain flour 1tsp baking powder 1/2 cup cheddar cheese 1 cup low-fat milk 420g corn kernels, drained
1)Sift the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl, stir in gradted cheese, chives .mix well 2) in another bowl, wihisk the milk and eggs lightly to combine. Add to the dry ingredients above with the corn and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon till combine 3)heat a non-stick frying pan with little oil. drop 2 tablespoons of mixture into the pan and fy each side for 2 mins 4) serve with salad and smoked salmon
what i think i used rockets for the salad. goodness i know rockets are bitter and i know there is a way to get rid of the bitter taste but i still can't figure out. i soaked it for an hour with salt and salt, maybe i will need to soak it in water for a whole day. haa any suggestionS?
i like fritters i think they are a good try! savoury and the ingredients above made 13 fritters!!! thats quite alot for just a cup of flour!
plain flour 200g sugar 60g 1 egg butter 70g baking powder 1 tsp vanilla essence (a few drops)
1) melt butter to room temperature 2) whisk butter with sugar till pale yellow and thick 3) add beaten egg(room temp) to 2) and continue to whisk, add vanilla essence 4) add sieved flour and baking powder, stir until dough is form 5) flaten the dough and cling wrap it, put it in the fridge for 30 mins 6) preheat oven to 180 degree C, while cutting the dought using cookie cutter, decorate as u like 7) bake for 8-12 mins till slightlybrown
what i think got the recipe from kaoru! its very easy to make, it could be a chinese new year goodie too. the reason on why you have to chill the dough is cos the dough is v soft and oily after step 4, so to make life easier for cookie-cutting, chill it to slight harden the dough ->
Salmon chopped garlic (3 cloves) Cheese ( cheddar, mozerella..) salt pepper to taste
1)preheat the oven to 200 degrees C 2) pat the salmon with salt 3) spread chopped garlic on top and finish it all with cheese 4) bake in oven for 18-20 mins
What i think My family has been using this recipe for ages!! haa.. there is no garlic taste at all. Put more cheese if you love it. Guess the garlic helps to remove the fishy smell. Its a very simple meal to make -> serve it with salad or chips to make it a complete meal ->
recipe from the Muffin Bible by Penguin books..(It's a fantastic resource!! Love it!! Thank you Dr Carole!!)
ingredients: 3 cups peeled and grated potatoes 1 clove garlic, minced 8 sun-dried tomato, finely chopped 3 tbs olive oil 1/2 cup flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 2 egg yolks 2 egg whites, beaten to a soft snow
method: 1. Rinse and drain potatoes 2. mix all ingredients except egg whites (mix all dry ingredients first; then wet. Secret to making light and fluffy muffins to MINIMISE mixing. Mix til just combined. My muffins just to turn out like very dense rocks cos i like to stir my food...haa..) 3. fold in egg whites 4. spoon into greased muffin pas 5. bake at 200 degress for 20 -25 mins
modifications: we added olives, basil leaves and sweet thai chilli....just cos we had them n tot that they'd taste good together.....made another batch sometime back with spinach and pinenuts which turned out really well too..
Comments: Qin says the muffins taste like pizzas...hmm...i dun really think so...but i like them...they've got a peculiar meaty flavour.. :) Bon appetit!
what it looks like on the cover of 'Family Circle'
How mine turned out.. ahhh...that's why the recipe says to serve it with a dollop of cream..to conceal the cracks??!! hehe...
recipe slightly modified from Family Circle, June 2006 issue
1. preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place 4 x 250ml greased ramikins on a baking tray. (AHA! I MISSED OUT THIS STEP!! I didn't realise that my ramikins were 100ml!!! haaaaaaa...)
2. Combine 160g sifted self-raising flour, 2 tablespoons sifted cocoa, 120g castor sugar (original 150g), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder and 80 g dark chocolate, finely chopped, in a bowl. In a new bowl, whisk together 200ml milk (err...i didn't have milk...so I used 150ml plain yogurt with 50ml water...cooking is all about improvisation!! :P but do be more careful when it comes to cakes..), 75g melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 beaten eggs. Beat this mixture into the dry ingrdients and pour into the ramekins.
3. Combine 120g (original 180g) dark brown sugar and 4 tablespoons sifted cocoa powder in a bowl, then sprinkle over the batter (which is already in the ramikin, ok). Pour 60 ml boiling water over each ramikin and bake for 20-25 minutes. (the puddings will be a bit wobbly.) Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve with spoonfuls of double cream.
Comments: Alas... i misread the instructions and messed up the third step....and poured the hot water before putting the brown sugar/ cocoa pwd mixture....so my self-saucing pudding came out ....tasting more like chocolate cake without any sauce BUT cos of the chopped dark chocolates, there were pockets of oozy chocolate which was good...hehe....will definitely have to do this properly again...i think it's an excellent recipe..oh n it's alright if it overflows....it's supposed to be like that i think...just fill the ramikins 3/4 full..... :) cheers!!!
This blog should be called our 'Eating escapades' instead...haha..cos we also chronicle what we eat outside!!! Today we went to Hahndorf, a lovely touristy German village around an hour away from Adelaide city centre. It is a must-go for visitors to Adelaide...lots to see, do and buy!!! We had the famous 'pot belly pies' for lunch, followed by the yummy ice cream that Louisa and I first tried 2 weeks ago at Mela... in between, we also tried some fudges, olives and went strawberry picking at the Beerenberg Farm. Strawberries are not really in season so they were pretty small (strawberry season : Oct - May)...be forewarned, the lady at the shop does not really like Asians...cos she thinks that Asians are greedy...you pay $2 for the RIGHT to pick strawberries at the farm and then pay according to the weight of the fruit and not-eat-all-you-can and buy nothing, as many Asians do....
Anyways!!! It was a very fun and beautiful day!!!! We love Hahndorf!!!
Pot belly pie....which looks very innocent...
revealing a very juicy and delectable filling...this one is chilli mango chicken...sorry...didn't have time to take pictures of the other pies before they were all eaten up....other flavours we tried were steak and bacon and chicken asparagus.. all excellent...!!
UPDATE 5/12/08: their most current address is 44a Main Street and their number is 8388 7591. Since our last visit, they have continued to grow in popularity and got voted the best meat pies in SA!!! Their opening hours are 10am to whatever time they sell out..which is often around 1pm!! Their number is 8388 7591 if you wanna call in advance to order... flavours include: Aussie Minced Beefsteak, Steak Bacon and Cheese, Steak Bacon and guinness, steak mushroom in pepper sauce, lamb with mint and rosemary, chili chicken wth mango, tuna & sweet corn mornay, smoked chicken & bacon, chicken cranberry and Brie, chicken & asparagus mornay, vegetarian and my personal favourite, Scallop mornay!!! With big whole scallops-YUM!!!
Tadah!!! On the right track to the farm!!
see...the strawberries are tiny...pretty flowers though..
Mango and plum sorbet
the girls with the very friendly and happy ice-cream shop "where did you find all these beautiful girls from?" owner. The name of his shop is 'Nutura'...has a huge inflatable ice cream cone outside the premises. His ice creams are really good by the way....all handmade with only natural ingredients....try the fig and almond if you get a chance...*drool*
mix 500ml of water with 1 and 1.5 tablespoon of dashi and bring to boil. Followed by adding 2.5 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of sugar. This will be the soup base for the cold noodle. cool it down and place it in the fridge till cold sohme (white noodle which can be found in chinatown in adelaide or supermarket, in singapore u can get it in iseatan supermarket)
boil and drain and run under cold tap water. place it then in a bowl of ice cold water, chilling it for 10 mins before serving.
when serving, drain the noodles and place in a serving bowl followed by adding the soupbase. add garnishing if you wish.
what i think i learnt it from my jap housemates, very easy and great to eat on a hot day! i find the sauce a bit bland after adding the noodles, i suppose to noodle dilute it so it is ok to make the soup base saltier -x
125g butter, chooped 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablesppon honey 2 cups of cornflakes 1/2 cup self-raising flour
1) preheat oven to 180 degrees C 2) in a saucepan, hit butter, suagr and honey on low, stiring it for 2-3 mins until combined 3)meanwhile mix cornflake and flour in alarge bowl, add butter mixture until combine 4) place tablespoon of mixture into prepared trays, 3 cm apart, bake for 10-12 min 5)cool cookie down before removing from tray
what i think use non-salted butter. use cornflakes with dried fuits and nuts too, taste better. i modified this recipi from a muesli recipi. taste is crispy and cruchy.
recipe from Imperial Kitchen Forum http://lovefood.14.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=656
Ingredients : 150g Rice Flour 1 ½ Tbsp Wheat starch flour 2 Tbsp Corn flour 1 Tbsp Oil 2 cups Water ½ tsp Salt
Method : 1. Sift the 3 types of flours together. 2. Slowly add the water, mixing as you add. 3. Add the oil and salt and mix thoroughly. Set batter aside for at least an hour. 4. Prepare your steamer. Grease a swiss roll pan or any aluminium tray with oil and pour the batter directly on the pan and steam for 5 mins. 5. After steaming, using a plastic scrapper roll the ccf up. If you are using ingredients like char siew or prawns, you can sprinkle it over the steamed ccf and then proceed to roll it up. 6. Place in a plate brushed with a little oil. Continue with the rest of the batter.
Sauce: Ingredients 1 tbsp oil 2 tbsp sugar a few slices of ginger ½ cup water 4 tbsp mushroom flavoured soy sauce or normal light soy sauce ½ to 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1. Place ginger with oil and sugar in a pot. Cook over small fire until sugar turns brown. 2. When sugar is brown, add in the rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium fire for about 5 mins. Taste the sauce and adjust taste accordingly. If you find the sauce too sweet, you can add in a bit of salt.
Modifications: I added sliced chinese shitake mushrooms in the sauce too. (To prep: Soak in hot water with 1 tsp of sugar for 20 mins). For filling, we added crabsticks, the mushrooms, spring onions.
Comments: HEAVEN!!!! It's really the thin and soft type ccf...very yummy!!! Quite time consuming though....Qin and I took nearly 1 hour 15 mins to make 6 rolls....eat and make, eat and make...so by the end of it, we were both very full cos the meal took so long!!! hahaa...
ingredients: 1 cup oil (i used rice bran oil) 2 shallots, sliced as thinly as possible
method: 1. Heat oil. 2. toss shallots in and fry til LIGHT GOLDEN. ( Important cos if it looks golden in the pan, it's overdone and will become very dark brown when it's cooled down. Witness my mistake in the above picture....watch the fire....low/medium is good..)
as the name suggests, it is shallots fried in oil...
what is it good for?? The fried shallots are good for topping on noodles, tofu, congee, chee chong fun etc..(and if it is not burnt like mine, you can just eat it like a snack.. :P The oil adds extra flavour to any savoury dish you would care to name. (Oil of any kind actually brings all the flavours of a dish together and hightens the taste. That's why the French would add a knob of butter to a dish after it's finished cooking.) My mom sells wanton noodles and she has been frying shallots in oil in huge woks for as long as i can remember...the shallots are used as a garnish on the noodles and the oil in the sauce....it really does make a huge difference. :)
Updated picture: Got it the right colour this time!! Yipppeee!
The four of us started this blog together as a way to share our experiences and lessons in the kitchen. Now the blog has evolved into an random mix of recipes which we have tried and liked enough to want to share...some are dishes that remind us of home, some are things that we wouldn't usually have made in Singapore (muffins, cakes and most dishes requiring the oven) and others were just borne out of a need to use a certain ingredient!
Have a browse and have fun trying out the recipes!