Wanton noodles (云吞面)

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INTRODUCTION

I still remember when I was studying in my home town Sarawak, one of my teachers from West Malaysia used the following sentence to describe the differences between East Malaysian and West Malaysian dry noodles: “ East Malaysia Kolo noodles is very dry and whitish in colour where as West Malaysia wanton noodles is dark coloured noodles swimming in a black pool of sauces.” 

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In fact there are many differences between Sarawak dry style noodles and West Malaysian/Singapore kolo noodles. Among them are the types of noodles, the sauces and the garnishes. You can have a more thorough understanding of this uniquely Sarawak Kolo Noodles in this post: A Noodle Dish That Chinese Sarawakian Would Not Be Able To Let Go… Sarawak Kolo Mee

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Being raised in Sarawak, I have limited exposure of wanton noodles. In fact, it take me quite a while after studying in Kuala Lumpur to get used to the alkaline water dark yellowish wanton noodles. I believed most Sarawakian would have this similar problem  at least for quite a while too. However, I have started to like this noodle after that short period since I have no assess to Sarawak Kolo Noodles.

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In between West Malaysian and Singapore wanton noodles, there are still slight differences on the garnishes and the colour of seasonings. Most West Malaysian wanton noodles required caramelized dark soya sauce which darkens the noodles but gives a tint of sweetness, Singapore wanton noodles basically omitted the caramelized dark soya sauces.

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Though wanton noodles usually accompanied by barbecue pork, however, there are many items that was served together and this will depend on stores. Some have wanton and other served with soya sauce chicken.

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For this illustration, I have purposely prepare a soya sauce chicken to go along with the noodles. If you are interested, you can refer to this post: Cantonese Soya Sauce Chicken (粤式豉油鸡, 酱油鸡)

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As per Wikipedia,

“Wonton noodles [Mandarin: Yun-tun mian; Cantonese: Wan-tan Min], sometimes called wanton mee (“wanton” is a Cantonese word for dumpling while noodles in Hokkien is “mee” or in Cantonese, “min”) is a Cantonese noodle dish which is popular in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The dish is usually served in a hot broth, garnished with leafy vegetables, and wonton dumplings.  Malaysia offers different versions of the dish, with different states having different versions of the dish and there are versions from Johor, Pahang, Perak, Penang, Sarawak, and Selangor. The Malaysian version differs from the original in having slices of char siu added to the dish, as well as the possibility of the soup and wontons in a separate bowl, the noodles being served relatively dry and dressed with oyster sauce. Some stalls include deep-fried wontons in the dry versions as well. Singapore wonton noodles includes noodles, leafy vegetables (preferably cai-xin), barbecued pork (char siu) and bite-sized dumplings or wonton. It is either served dry or in soup form with the former being more popular. If served dry, the wontons will be served in a separate bowl of soup. Shui jiao or prawn dumplings are served at some stalls and the original Hong Kong version is available at Cantonese restaurants and noodle joints. Fried wontons (wontons deep fried in oil) are sometimes served instead of those boiled in the soup.” (Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonton_noodles)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 adult serving

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  • 2 drumsticks of soya sauce chicken or about 100 grams of sliced char siu
  • 8 ready made wanton (optional)
  • Chilli sauce or green preserved chilli of your choice
  • 1 bundle of leafy vegetable greens such as cai xin
  • 4 balls of fresh wanton noodles

For each ball/plate of wanton noodles:

  • 2 tablespoons of shallot or spring onion oil
  • 1 tablespoon of caramerlize dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of light soya sauces

Note:

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Get ready a big bowl, put in all the sauce ingredients. Stir until well mixed.

  • In a pot of hot boiling water, blanch one ball of noodles for 2-3 minutes. If it comes with a packaging instruction, follow the instruction as every noodle may have different blanching time. If you want the noodles to be more springy, dip the hot noodles in pot of icy cold water for 1 minute and drain. Transfer the noodles to the bowl with the sauces. Quickly stir until well mixed.

  • Blanch all ingredients such as wanton, vegetables using the same pot of hot water, drain and set aside.

  • For assembly, transfer the noodle to a plate, top with vegetables greens, soya sauce chicken or char siu, wanton and preserved green cut chilli or chilli sauce. Best served immediately after it was prepared.

  • For Singapore version of lighter wanton noodles, omit the dark caramel soya sauce in the sauce ingredients.

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CONCLUSION

Be it lighter Singaporean version or Malaysian darker and sweeter version of wanton noodles, all are delicious. I am rather easy when it comes to this.  For noodle recipes, the ingredients quantity are estimations. You can add whatever you like such as fish balls, meat balls, beansprouts and etc. What is important is the sauce recipe. Even that, it also depends on individual taste bud. Lastly, remember that if you want QQ springy noodles, after blanching, dip in cold water to let the cooked noodles contract and become more springy.

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This recipe was included in Page 63-64 of the “One Pot Noodle E-book”. For more One Pot Noodle Dishes, you can have a copy of Easy One Pot Noodles  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD5.00. The recipes covered various recipes from curry laksa, prawn noodles to fish head beehoon and etc. Of course not forgetting the well like Economy Bee hoon and Mee Rebus . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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“No forks, No rolling pin, No biscuit cutters but just two well practised hands?” American Style Biscuits (美国饼干)

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INTRODUCTION

Don’t confuse this USA biscuit , a type of quick bread with Commonwealth style of crispy biscuits or cookies. As per Wikipedia,

“A biscuit in the United States and parts of Canada, and widely used in popular American English, is a small bread with a firm browned crust and a soft interior. They are made with baking powder or baking soda as a chemical leavening agent rather than yeast although they can also be made using yeast (and are then called “angel biscuits”) or a sourdough starter.. They are traditionally served as a side dish with a meal. As a breakfast item they are often eaten with butter and a sweet condiment such as molasses, light sugarcane syrup, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, honey, or fruit jam or jelly. With other meals they are usually eaten with butter or gravy instead of sweet condiments. However, biscuits and gravy (biscuits covered in country gravy) or biscuits with sausage are usually served for breakfast, sometimes as the main course.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuit)

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Most of the readers should know that by now, I have a passion for traditional recipes . However, I have never wanted to try making Western biscuits as it is consider a niche recipe. A bake that is not common in Singapore and Malaysia until the arrival of Texas Fried Chicken and Popeye’s fast food chain of restaurant. Usually, the fried chicken served was not accompanied by potatoes chips but instead it was served with biscuits. I do not know exactly what is the difference between scones but it does taste like scones and rather salty. After a few tries, I found that both my kids and myself loves the biscuits..

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This morning while I was scrolling Facebook, there is a video shared by one Western friend on this dough bowl biscuits originated from Southern USA. Accompany with it is a Video of an old women who are preparing it with hand feel. It was written that the recipe : No forks, No rolling pin, No biscuit cutters but just two well practised hands. If you are interested, you can refer to : https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=553555134755798&set=vb.546160662161912&type=2&theater

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The title really captured my attention and I decided to lay my hand on it. As there is no quantity listed, i have decided to use my hand feel to do the traditional biscuits. Hmmm, I do not know if the outcome is exactly what the granny expected, but I found that it suits my taste buds and rather similar to those sold in Texas Fried Chicken and Popeye’s.

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I swore I did not cheat, I did not measure the ingredients and I will show you how I did it.. And if you are game enough, do give it a try. But before you try, I will encourage you to watch the video first..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some self raising flour
  • Some butter, melted
  • Some buttermilk or fresh milk
  • Salt to taste

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Sift the self raising flour in a mixing bowl and make a well. Pour the melted butter and follow by milk gradually. Use hand to lightly swirl in a clock wise motion . Do it until it forms of pliable soft dough. Take some and shape round and transfer to a lightly greased tin. Bake in the preheated oven of 180 degree Celsius until golden brown.

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CONCLUSION

Personally, I like the outcome of this “blind” adventure.. I really need just two hands to do the job. Whether authentic or not I am unsure but it does suit my taste buds. I doubt many readers will be as crazy as I am but If i can do it, I am sure you can. Remember that butter and salt will make it smother, fragrant and aromatic. More butter will render less milk required. Your dough should be as soft as you can handle.. Don’t worry, if too sticky, add flour..

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Not a great investment. Why not try out this fun adventure. If you like scones, you will like this. Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Belachan Bee Hoon (虾酱米粉)

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INTRODUCTION

This is a very niche recipe confined to Kuching of Sarawak and East Malaysia. I was utterly shocked that Miri and Sibu residents of Sarawak do not even heard of this recipe. I also have a difficulty to trace the origin of this cuisine so uniquely confined to Kuching area. Even the use of century egg and cuttlefish also puzzling me until to date.

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I have decided to blog this unique Kuching recipe as a record of my noodle dish compilation and out of the obligation as a Sarawak blogger. 

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This is a recipe that either that you likes it or you hates it just like durians to some. It can be rather stinky if the belachan was not properly cooked.. The main ingredients that make this dish tasty are: dry shrimps, shrimp paste and shallots. You have to use lots of these to create the unique taste. All the others are minor ingredients.

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I grows up with this and my late mum used to cook this during Sunday, It is a spicy, sweet and tangy noodle dish and commercially, it was usually served with soaked/cured cuttlefish and century eggs..At home, we served with cuttlefish and normal hard boiled eggs.

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When I prepared this dish, I am equally eager to see my kid’s expression when they took their first bite.. Well, i am happy that they can still accept this though they do not really like it.. But both my wife and me loves it..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 Adults

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  • 200 grams of dried prawns – soaked
  • 150 grams of shrimp paste (belachan)
  • 10 shallots
  • 2-3 big chilli or 8 chilli padi
  • 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar (Gula Apong or Gula Melaka) or white sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of tamarind paste (Assam) – add about 1 cups of water and extract juice
  • Pinches of salt (optional depending on the saltiness of your belachan)
  • 2-3 litres of plain water

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a frying pan, pan fry the belachan or shrimp paste until fragrant and aromatic. This step is very important as uncooked shrimp paste will make the dish very stinky. Properly grilled shrimp paste will give you a nice aroma. In this process, the shrimp paste may disintegrate but that is ok for the next step.

  • Pound the chilli, soaked dry prawns and shallots until as fine as possible. Set aside. You can also use a blender if you wished.

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  • In a pot, put the water, add the pounded herbs and dried shrimps followed by toasted shrimp paste, tamarind juice and the brown sugar. Bring to boil. Once boil, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. Take a tablespoon and taste some. Add additional sugar and salt if desired.

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  • For assembly, have a bowl or plate, put some rice vermicelli, pour some gravy on top until it covers the rice vermicelli. Drizzle with special sauces (as explained in ingredients, if desired). Garnish with some century eggs, shredded cucumber, cuttlefish and beansprouts. Best served warm as a snack or a noodle meal.

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CONCLUSION

If readers have never tried this dish, I encouraged you to try half of the recipe and see if it suits your taste buds. It should be spicy, sweet and tangy and full of cooked belachan flavour. The shredded cucumber and beansprouts make the dish very refreshing.. However, if you like sambal belachan, I believed you will like this unique dish also.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Singaporean Fried Rice Vermicelli? Xing Zhou Fried Bee Hoon or 星洲炒米粉

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INTRODUCTION

Xingzhou or 星洲 in the short form and old name for Singapore .. Xingzhou Fried Bee Hoon literally translated as Singapore fried rice vermicelli.

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Hmmm, this dish is so common overseas and deem to be a landmark Singaporean dish in Western countries. Most if not all Asian or Chinese restaurants have this noodle dish… Almost all the international hotels that I have stayed overseas have this as one of the international menus just like gado gado is to Indonesia.. In Hong Kong, it is very common in tea restaurants or “茶餐厅“ and I am shy to say I get to know this dish  only when I stationed overseas…

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Well, there are not  many choices of Asian cuisines  in international hotels and this is one of them.. When I missed home, I ordered this.At least it tastes a bit like home and It is one of the few dishes that have tauge, char siu and some curry powder..

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But when I settled in Singapore, I found that this is not a common dish locally… Yes, you can still order Xingzhou Fried Beehoon in Chi Cha stores (as picture above) but the taste is totally different from overseas version. In fact, I cannot taste any curry powder in the noodle dish. But all the stores that I have visited have char siu and tauge .

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I do not claim that this recipe is authentic and I doubt if there is any recipe that is authentic due to such a huge difference in preparation and taste. I have amalgamated what I tasted overseas and what I have tasted locally and come out to this version.. It definitely suits my taste bud and I hope it will suit the readers taste buds as well.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 Adult Servings

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  • 200 grams of dried rice vermicelli – soaked in water
  • 150 grams of shelled prawns
  • 150 grams of char siu or Chinese barbecue pork – cut into small pieces
  • 50 grams of beansprout
  • 50 grams of straw mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 capsicum – cut into stripes (optional)
  • 1 big onion – cut into stripes
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder (optional for local version)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce (optional for local version)
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • Pinches of salt
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oil

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Crack the eggs, and stir fry the eggs until set and become scramble eggs look alike. Dish out and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the corn starch, curry powder, oyster sauce, tomato sauces, pinches of salt and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Stir until well combined and set aside.

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  • In a wok or frying pan, have some cooking oil, sauté the garlic until fragrant, add the spring onion, char siu cubes, straw mushrooms and prawns. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add in the soaked rice vermicelli and stir fry for another minute or two until the flavours are well incorporated. Add in the sauces prepared above, stir fry for 2-3 minutes. If it is too dry, add in some more water. Add dashes of white pepper, scrambled eggs and bean sprouts. Stir fry until well mixed.  Best served hot as a one pot noodle dish.

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CONCLUSION

Well, this is my version of Xingzhou fried bee hoon. If you want overseas version, you definitely have to put in curry powder. However, for local version, you can safely omitted curry powder. Char siu and bean sprouts is a must. In places where bean sprouts were not available, sliced red and green capsicum are used instead.

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This recipe was included in Page 52-53 of the “One Pot Noodle E-book”. For more One Pot Noodle Dishes, you can have a copy of Easy One Pot Noodles  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD5.00. The recipes covered various recipes from curry laksa, prawn noodles to fish head beehoon and etc. Of course not forgetting the well like Economy Bee hoon and Mee Rebus . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Caramelized Egg Fritters (Sachima or Shaqima 沙琪玛)

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INTRODUCTION

I am happy with this trial of making sachima but I am not happy with the set of images.

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It seems that I really lack of inspiration of taking the photo because my cutting was rather messy. Bear with me readers, I am sure you can cut much better than I did.

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“Sachima, also spelled Shaqima is a common Chinese pastry found in many Chinese-speaking regions. Each regional cuisine has its own slightly different variation of this food, though the appearance of all versions is essentially the same. It is made of fluffy strands of fried batter bound together with a stiff sugar syrup, showing similarity to American Rice Krispies Treats. In Manchu cuisine originally, sachima is a sweet snack. It mainly consists of flour, butter, and rock sugar or rock candy. It is now popular in mainland China among children and adults.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachima)

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I learned to like this snack when I was stationed in China. What I like its its egg aroma and the crispy fritters made from eggs and flour. It remind me of the Chinese rice crispy that I used to have back in hometown.

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This in fact is not in my blogging agenda. When I stumbled across this recipe, I have the urge to try it out immediately. It looks very easy and doable. Yes, it is doable though a bit messy and taste and texture is what I am looking for. Except my cutting skills, I have no regret of preparing this batch of sachima.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 15-20 pieces depending on size and thickness

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Dough

  • 200 grams of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 grams of baking soda or ammonia bicarbonate
  • Adequate corn flour for dusting

Sugar Syrup

  • 100 grams of castor sugar
  • 100 grams of maltose
  • 50 grams of water
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a big mixing bowl, sift the plain flour and baking soda. Make a well in the centre and add in beaten eggs. Knead until it form a pliable dough . Note that the dough can be very sticky and if you wish, you can use a mixer. Transfer the dough to a surface heavily dusted with corn flour . Let it rest for at least half and hour.

  • After half an our, use a rolling pin to roll it with thickness of about 2 mm thick. Use a knife or pizza knife to cut into think strips of about 2-3 mm wide. Dust the stripes with additional corn flour to avoid sticking to each other.

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  • Heat up a pot of oil and transfer the dough strips to the hot oil, reduce the heat to medium and deep fried until the dough is light brownish. Drain and set aside.

  • In a non stick pan, put maltose, sugar and water together and bring to boil under medium to high heat. Occasional stirring is required. during this boiling process, you will start to witness the bubbles being formed. These bubbles will change in size from small and gradually get bigger. The bigger the bubble, the more sticky is the syrup as water vapour are evaporated leaving the thick syrup in the pan. To test the readiness of the caramelized syrup, take a small spoon of the syrup, place it in a metal plate and cool it using a fan. If after it cooled, a transparent piece of solid sugar is formed, the syrup is considered as done. While you are testing the syrup, reduce the heat to low to avoid over caramelization. When the syrup is ready, off the heat, quickly add in the fritters. . Stir quickly until well mixed.

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  • Transfer it to a baking tin lined with baking paper.and press it until as tight as possible. Quickly put another piece of baking paper on top, use a rolling pin to roll it even. While it is still warm, use a pizza cutter to cut into the desired sizes. Once completely cooled, the sachima shall be stored in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

This is a good attempt accept that my cutting is not beautiful. Love the egg aroma and texture of this special snack. Do give it a try and tell me if it suits your taste bud.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Cantonese Soya Sauce Chicken (粤式豉油鸡, 酱油鸡)

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INTRODUCTION

Soya sauce chicken is a rather classic Cantonese meat dish.. The chicken was braised in some watery soya sauce such that it is brownish in colour  and the texture of the meat is the same as poached chicken which is juicy and flavourful.

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It was commonly sold as soya sauce chicken rice or soya sauce wanton noodles  in the the stores.

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I do love this soya sauce chicken because it is slightly on the sweeter side. I have prepared this many times and I can recall I learned how to prepare this soya sauce chicken from a television show donkey years back.

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Recently, when I was in the Smith Street Chinatown Hawker Centre, Singapore, I bought a soya sauce chicken at about S$12.00 and that reminded me that I have not prepared this for many years. However, I still prefer my homemade version which is not as salty as what I bought..

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Well this is a simple recipe and chances of succeed are great. The chicken in this illustration is actually a griller, a very small chicken of less than one kilogram. I am slightly disappointed as the colour is not as dark as what I wanted it to be.. Well, if readers wanted a darker colour, you can use more soya sauce in the recipe provided.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 5-6 Adult Servings

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  • 1 medium size chicken
  • 1-1.5 cups of dark soya sauce or caramelized dark soya sauce
  • 1-1.5 cups of Chinese cooking wine preferably Rose cooking wine (玫瑰露酒)
  • 2-3 medium size of rock sugar
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cm of ginger cut into big slices
  • Few sprig of spring onion
  • 1-2 Anise seeds – optional
  • 1-2 cloves – optional
  • 1 small cinnamon stick – optional
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Adequate water to at least half cover the chicken.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Heat up a pot with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add cloves, anise seeds, cinnamon stick, garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.. Transfer all the spices and herbs in a soup bag, put the spring onion in the soup bag too. Add in adequate water to cover at least 1/4 of the chicken. Add the dark soya sauce/caramelized soya sauce, rock sugar and cooking wine. Bring to boil.

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  • Once it boils, submerge the chicken when the breast facing down. Adjust the water until it reaches at least 1/2 of the chicken. If you wish, you can adjust the colour of the solution by adding more soya sauce. Turn the heat to medium to low, let it simmer for at least 15 minutes. Turn the chicken around, add one tablespoon of sesame oil and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Once done, turn back the chicken with breast facing down for another 5-10 minutes. Test the doneness of the chicken by poking at the part with the thickest meat (suggested: drumstick) and ensure no blood water secreted. If done, transfer out and let it cool completely before cutting.

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The above picture is from another illustration using a chicken of about 2 kg.

Note:

  • Selection of pot – Pot must be big enough to house a whole chicken. It should not be overly big also as you will need a lot of solution to braise the chicken.

  • Soup bag is optional. The main purpose is to ensure that the cooked herbs do not disintegrate and dirty the braised solution. It facilitates the removal of these herbs later.

  • The quantity of water and soya sauce very much depends on the size of your pot and chicken. You will need to exercise discretion to add a bit more or less of suggested water and soya sauce.

  • Timing of braising also depend on size of your chicken. The timing is for the small chicken with about 1kg.

  • If you want to preserve the skin, once out from the pot, you can dip the chicken to some icy cold water to prevent the skin from breaking.

  • If you have a lot of sauce left, you can keep it for your next braising. You will need to add additional seasoning and water to cover new chicken.

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CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe and do give it a try. Remember this recipe is very flexible and depend on size of your chicken. Remember to watch out for the timing and amount of soya sauce used. Practically, all type of soya sauce is acceptable but less is needed if caramelized dark soya sauce were used.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Banana Fritters or Pisang Goreng (炸香蕉)

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INTRODUCTION

“Pisang goreng alt. Goreng pisang (fried banana in Indonesian/Malay) is a snack food made of banana or plantain being deep fried in hot cooking oil, mostly found throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. The banana is battered and then deep fried. Most street vendors will then sell it as is. Restaurants that serve pisang goreng are more sophisticated and present it in various ways, such as with cheese, jam, condensed milk, or chocolate.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisang_goreng)

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Pisang Goreng or banana fritters is so common in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and I believed all household will have its very own unique recipe to deep fry bananas.. It is nothing difficult, just flour and water and some added eggs to it. However, most household will try to use a batter that creates a crispy crust and maintained its crispiness as long as possible.

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That is the challenge of preparing deep fried banana fritters that stay crispy for a long time… Hawkers also have a secret recipe that make the banana fritters  stay crispy for a longer period of time… Some rumoured that “plastic bottle” were added to the hot oil such that the melted plastic coated the fritters and making the fritters stay crispy as long as they want. Goggling “ pisang goreng plastic bottle “ will show you much have been talked about in the internet but I have to qualify that this is rumour without any evidence to substantiate the claims..

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Crispiness is the key word..Everybody aims to make the fritters crispy.  Every household will tell you different “secret” recipes of theirs and I will tell you mine.. Wait, but I am not telling  you that mine is the crispiest, but it is very crispy for at least for the first few hours..

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Among the method that were used for crispier crust are:

  • Use of icy cold water
  • Use of rice flour
  • Addition of corn flour
  • Addition of some slaked lime (kapur)
  • Adding some hot oil into the batter before deep frying
  • Adding of margarine to the batter
  • Avoid using eggs in the batter
  • Twice frying the fritters
  • Deep fried at 185 degree Celsius

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I have prepared two batches.. The first batch is using pisang tanduk (round shape) and applying the normal deep frying method followed by refrying to make it crispier. However, such crispiness cannot be compared to the second batch (long shape) where hot oil and ammonia bicarbonate were added prior to deep frying. That crispy fritter is very much similar to those sell in the hawker stalls.

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Whether or not you are game to use ammonia bicarbonate, i will leave it to the reader to decide. If you want, you can get it in the local bakery shop.  As a matter of fact, ammonia bicarbonate is still commonly found in the food that we ate such as : You Tiao (chinese crullers), Hong Kong smiling pao, deep fried taro balls etc.) .As per Wikipedia:

“Ammonium bicarbonate is used in the food industry as a raising agent for flat baked goods, such as cookies and crackers, and in China in steamed buns and Chinese almond cookies. It was commonly used in the home before modern day baking powder was made available. In China it is called edible or food-grade “smelly powder”. Many baking cookbooks (especially from Scandinavian countries) may still refer to it as hartshorn or hornsal”

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As for the type of bananas, personally, I prefer pisang abu . However, pisang tanduk and pisang raja can also be used. In Malaysia, most will only deep fried banana that cannot be eaten raw. It does make sense since if banana can be eaten raw, why is there a need to deep fry it.. But for readers who have less choices of banana, any type of banana can also be used for deep frying. If you are unsure of the type of banana, image search using Google for “Pisang raja, Pisang abu and Pisang tanduk” will give you an idea. In Singapore, all these 3 types of bananas can be easily obtained from Geylang Serai Wet Market.

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 WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some banana of your choice (1 medium size pisang tanduk was used for this illustration)
  • one egg
  • 100 grams of rice flour
  • 50 grams of self raising flour
  • 20 grams of custard powder
  • 20 grams of corn flour (optional)
  • 120 grams of icy cold water

Just before deep frying

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia bicarbonate
  • 1 tablespoon of hot cooking oil or margarine

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Mix all the ingredients (except ammonia bicarbonate and hot cooking oil) until well combined.  If you want to make the batter looked yellowish, you can add pinches of turmeric powder.

  • Heat up a pot of hot oil. The oil is consider as hot enough when a chopstick inserted into the hot oil, bubbles start to emit. Once the oil is ready, put one tablespoon of hot oil into the batter and 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia bicarbonate, quickly stir until well mixed. Coat the banana with the batter and deep fry the banana fritters until light golden brown.

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  • Drain and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the banana fritters back to the hot oil, deep fried again until the banana is golden brown. The main purpose is to let the moisture in the deep fried banana escaped via refrying and  hence become crispier.

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CONCLUSION

Do give this recipe a try. It is very crispy and stay longer than my usual way of deep frying. I hope my picture can convince readers to try. If your banana fritter becomes less crispy, you can re-bake at 200 degree Celsius in the oven until your desired crispiness.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Chinese Style Steamed Minced Meat With Eggs (肉饼蒸蛋)

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INTRODUCTION

This is an extension on the steamed egg post.. Nothing much to write except to share a recipe on my home style of steamed minced meat.

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If you are interested in reading the Chinese style steamed egg, you can refer to: Chinese Steamed Eggs (水蒸蛋)

When one steams minced meat, since minced meats are not cooked and have air trapped inside, therefore, the outcome of the steamed eggs  is rather unpredictable.

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At time, uneven surfaces are noted because trapped oxygen escaped thus causing the holes on top of the egg surface.

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So to ensure a smooth top steamed egg, I usually steamed the minced meat for about 5 minutes and continue to add the beaten eggs, those my steamed minced meat is smooth looking.

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This post is sharing a concept rather than a recipe. Variations are many and it depends on what you like in the minced meat. For this illustration, since I have century egg and salted egg with me, I have prepared tri-colour steamed eggs to go with some sweet potatoes porridge..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 adult servings

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Meat Portion

  • 300 grams of minced meat
  • 1 salted egg
  • 1 century egg
  • 1 teaspoon of winter vegetables
  • few sprig of spring onion or Chinese celery
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Sugar to taste
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of corn flour

Egg portion

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of cooked lukewarm water

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Chopped the minced meat with winter vegetable, Chinese celery, dashes of white pepper, sesame oil, corn starch, pinches of salt and sugar until your desired fineness.  Shelled the salted eggs and century egg. Cut into big chunks and stir into the minced meat. Transfer the minced meat to a lightly greased steaming plate. Steam the minced meat under high heat for about 5 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the lukewarm cooked water. Sift and set aside. After about 5 minutes, sift the beaten eggs on top of the steamed meat and continue to steam under medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until the egg is set. Cover the plate with a clingy wrap to prevent water condensation dropping into the meat.

Note.

  • Timing of steaming is very much depending on the thickness of your meat and how wide is your steaming plate. The wider and the thinner is your minced meat, the faster will be the steaming period.

  • As my egg is too full for the plate, In this illustration, I did not put a clingy wrap on top during steaming. In addition, I have steamed at high heat. It seems that this aggressive measure is possible for this recipe. However, it is advisable that you steam the minced meat with a cover and under medium heat.

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CONCLUSION

Remember, every household’s steamed meat has its own concoction of sauces and spices. This is a guideline and suit my family’s taste buds. You can always adjust the recipe to suit your family’s taste buds.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Ear Lobe Biscuits or Spiral Biscuits (螺旋饼, 耳朵饼)

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INTRODUCTION

First of all, I have to thank members of certain Facebook Groups who gave me confidence to issue this recipe…

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I told them that I may not wish to issue the recipe because I am not happy with the final products in terms of appearance or I am shy about this batch of ear lobe biscuits..

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I am unsure why i have difficulty in cutting despite that I have deep freeze the dough, the cutting was not smooth and those resulted in funny shape biscuits.. Well, other than the shape, I am extremely happy with this batch of ear lobe biscuits. It is crispy and i especially like the fermented bean curd flavours.

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This is a traditional Chinese snack that  I got it from a Chinese blogger’s website.. This is different from the Western spiral cookies or pinwheel cookies where butter were used and baking were done instead of deep frying.

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I am very confused about the name.. Taiwanese called it pig ear (猪耳朵), the source recipe mentioned that it is cow ear (牛耳朵)and Indonesian and Malaysian groups called it elephant ear (telinga gajah or 象耳朵)。 In view of this, I have decided to name this as ear lobe biscuits.. (耳朵饼)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from : Cow’s Ear Biscuits | Do What I Like

Servings: About 20-30 pieces of Ear Lobe biscuits

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White dough

  • 75 grams of plain flour
  • 40 grams of water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda

Brown dough

  • 100 grams of plain flour
  • 30 grams of water
  • 30 grams of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon of lard or corn oil
  • 1.5 teaspoon of fermented bean curd
  • 1 teaspoon of five spice powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinches of salt

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for white dough , use hand or machine to knead until it forms a pliable soft and smooth dough. Set aside..

  • In another mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients for the brown dough, use hand or machine to knead until it forms a pliable soft and smooth dough. Set aside.

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  • Use a rolling pin, roll both dough into rectangular shape with about 1-2 mm thickness. Brush the brown dough with some water. Place the white dough on top of the brown dough. Brush the white dough with some water. Roll up the dough carefully into a cylindrical shape as tight as possible.  Use a clingy wrap to wrap the dough and put in the freezer for 20-30 minutes for the dough to slightly harden so as to facilitate cutting.

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  • Get ready a pot of hot oil for deep frying. The oil is consider as ready when a wooden chopstick inserts into a hot oil, bubbles starts to emit out.

  • Take out the dough and use a sharp knife to cut the dough with about 1-1.5 mm thickness. Once the oil is ready, turn the oil to medium and deep fried the biscuits until golden brown. Drain and when cooled completely, store in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

When time permits, I will re-prepare the recipe and update the post if there are new developments.. Pardon me for the ugly cookies. I am sure readers will be able to prepare a batch of more beautiful biscuits than mine.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Chinese Steamed Eggs (水蒸蛋)

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INTRODUCTION

Most Chinese households steamed eggs as it is a tasty and affordable dish..

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However, not all steamed eggs will be silky smooth though it uses only 2 ingredients, eggs and water. There are certain pointers that need to be taken in the preparation. Once you master these important point, you steamed eggs should be silky smooth..

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The main pointers will be concerned about the water used, the heat of steaming and the ratio of water to eggs, not forgetting you have to sift your eggs.. Raw water have oxygen just like you can’t used cooked water to rear fish.. Your fish will die.. If you cooked the raw water, oxygen will be released and hence forcing out from the egg mixture resulting a steamed egg resembling moon surface. So, remember that always used cooked water to steam your eggs..

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Steaming pure beaten eggs without any water will give you the texture of a hard boiled egg, too much water will not make your egg difficult to set. An optimal ratio of water to eggs need to be obtained.

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Though it is generally advisable to use medium to low heat to steam eggs to avoid wavy patterns, but with this ratio that I am sharing, i have never encountered such pattern even i steamed it at high heat.. Well, to make it safe, I will still advise you to steam your eggs at medium heat.

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I can’t claim that this batch of  steamed eggs are perfect as I was preparing in a rush. I have made a careless mistake of using wet bowls. That caused some bubbles at the side. However, they it still suit our family taste buds, it is smooth, silky  and tasty. This is a recipe of my own without reference to others. I have been using this way of steaming my eggs for ages and kids especially love this silky steamed eggs..

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I did not issue this recipe earlier because the original recipe was committed to a magazine in April2014 and only published in January 2015.. Since the recipe has already been published in the Singapore magazine, I can now share with reader this simple recipe.. However, the recipe has been slightly modified.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3 adult servings

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  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoons of corn flour (optional)

* Note that this is the basic recipe and if you want you can add salt or other seasonings to your taste.

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STEP OF PREPARATION

  • Get ready a steamer with boiling water capable of steaming at least 25-30 minutes.

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  • Put the egg, corn flour (optional) and lukewarm water. Use a whisker to whisk until well combined. Sift the egg solution into the steaming bowl. Cover with a clingy wrap or aluminium foil. Steamed under medium – high heat for at least 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Best drizzled with light soya sauce and sesame oil to flavour the steamed egg before serving hot from the steamer.

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Notes:

  • Corn starch are optional but it will increase your chances of success. It enhances the binding.

  • Lukewarm to hot water shall be used. Never use tap water to steam eggs as it will resulted in uneven steamed eggs. Tap water have air which when steamed cooked will render the oxygen to escape and hence the holes.

  • The ratio is 2 eggs to 1 cup of water or 1 egg to 0.5 cup of water. You can toy with the quantity of water used from 0,5 cup to 1 cup of water (maximum) to one egg. The more water you used, the softer it will be but the more difficult it is to get cooked.

  • The timing of the steaming will very much depends on the type of bowl or container used. Metal plate will be faster than plastic bowl in terms of timing.

  • The covering of the egg solution is to avoid water drop back into the bowl and hence dilute the egg solution.

  • You can add seasonings to your egg solution to flavour your steamed eggs.

  • Ensure that your steaming bowls or plate do not touch the hot water for steaming. It shall be placed above the hot boiling water.

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CONCLUSION

I have purposely chose cup as the measurement for this recipe. It is easy to remember, 2 eggs one cup of water. If you do not have measuring cups, just use the rice cup for your rice cooker. Do try and see if this works for you.

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Hope you like the post today.

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