I Love Hainanese Chicken Rice–Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南鸡饭)

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INTRODUCTION

Updated on 20-9-2014 : The post was updated with the chilli sauce recipe. Please scroll down towards the end of chilli sauce recipe.

This is one of my most satisfied posts and it went unnoticed because of the inexperience picture taking and poor formatting when I just started my blogs. I have decided to add in new pictures for this post. The post was originally written for Mother’s day 2013. However, it is equally applicable to any occasion.

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IMG_64951 Rice flavoured with chicken broth

IMG_64801 Some green vegetables to go with the rice

IMG_64751 Some soup from the chicken stock

IMG_64881 Condiments required (for chilli sauce, please scroll down towards the end for recipe)

 


 

ORIGINAL POST (11 May 2013)

WHY NOT COOK YOUR MOTHER A MEAL OF CHICKEN RICE THIS COMING MOTHER’S DAY?

 


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Hainanese chicken rice is a dish of Chinese origin, and is most commonly associated with Hainanese, Malaysian and Singaporean cuisines, although it is also commonly sold in Thailand. It is based on the well-known Hainanese dish called Wenchang chicken (文昌雞), due to its roots in Hainan cuisine and its adoption by the Hainanese overseas Chinese population in the Nanyang area (present-day Southeast Asia). Hainanese chicken also appears as a specialty in Vietnamese cuisine. Mother’s day is approaching and it would be a bad idea to prepare some dishes for her and why not consider Chicken Rice. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainanese_chicken_rice)

As explained above, chicken rice is a common household dish and hawker’s saleable item. It is welcomed by population of all age groups in Singapore and Malaysia, be it children, teens or adults and all levels from workers to top executives. Singapore is famous for its chicken rice (actually, I am not sure about the reasons behind this since places like Ipoh, Malaysia are also famous for their chicken rice) and is deemed to be a “national dish”. It is also one of the items served by Singapore Airlines for its business class and first class customers.

My kids loved chicken rice and I decided to cook chicken rice yesterday since they have been mentioning it for quite a while. In fact, they are having chicken rice at least one to twice a week at the school canteen.

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IS CHICKEN RICE DIFFICULT TO PREPARE? – Simplified version of chicken rice preparation

Chicken rice is basically “chicken” plus “rice”. If you are not fussy and able to forgo a lot of minute details in the dish preparations, you will score may be a pass in your preparation.

If I am not having meals at home, my mother in law can cook a pot of chicken rice serving the whole family (2 adults and 2 kids; 2 women, 1 girl, 1 boy) with just two drumsticks. This was how she did it. She cleaned the drumsticks; mixed the uncooked rice with a few spoons of chicken rice sauces sold in the supermarket; added a few sticks of pandan leaves; put it in the rice cooker; put the drumstick on top of the rice and on the rice cooker. This is a super quick way to cook, my mother in law was using the steam generated from cooking the rice to cook the chicken and let the juices dripped into the rice. It took her only 20 minutes to cook. There was no complains from her daughters and grand children as the three females family members don’t really like to consume meat. They just want “chicken-rice flavoured white rice”  and they are more than happy to give all the drumsticks to my son. HOW BRILLIANT IS MY MOTHER IN LAW!

However, if you and your family members are food critics, then you may take a while for you to prepare an entire dish until the level acceptable by the foodie. The next question would logically be what differentiates a plate of delicious chicken rice from the “yucky” one.

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WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD PLATE OF CHICKEN RICE ?

Usually, chicken rice was assessed based on the following criteria:

RICE  
Fragrance Should emit a nice aroma which basically is a mixture of fragrances from pandan leaves, gingers and garlics
Texture The rice should be soft but still maintain the original grain shape. It should not be soggy (meaning too much water added) and greasy.
Colour Colour should be slightly yellowish that and not plain white. Yellowish colour make the rice looks more presentable and appetizing.
CHICKEN  
Texture Should be soft and juicy. Therefore, simmering/poaching of chicken is one of the critical processes in this dish preparation.
Appearance A bit glazy, skin should not be broken. However, most household will throw away the skin and debone the chicken before serving it.
Fragrance As original as possible
   
CONDIMENTS  
Chilli sauce Beside spicy, chilli sauce must also have the fragrance of sesame oil, ginger, garlic and lime.
Special made soya sauce The soya sauce should be thick and slightly sweet
Ginger sauce Gingers were freshly ground and overall sauce must be tasty enough
   

Before I proceed, I have to caution that my recipe is the healthy version but the outputs resemble those chicken rice sold in hawker centres or posh hotels or restaurants. You got the hint? Smile  If you found my ingredients are not that healthy, just substitute with what you usually use. Of course, not  the chicken and rice!!! I will justify the usage of my ingredients.

 

PREPARATION PROCESS

 Getting Ready….  
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  • One medium sized chicken.  – When you buy the chicken, you have to ensure that you have a pot big enough to submerge the whole chicken. I have used a smaller chicken because I only have 4 persons for the meals.  For your reference, I have paid SGD 4.80 for chicken, therefore, it is rather small. I do not recommend to use frozen chicken as the taste would not be the same.

  • Additional chicken feet for preparation of chicken stock (may be SGD 1 for 10 chicken feet) and keep the chicken fats for frying the garlics and gingers.

  • One cube of ready made chicken stock (optional).

  • Lots of garlics, gingers and bits of fresh turmeric (optional).

 

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  • 2 bundles of pandan leaves. It is definitely recommended if you are in Malaysia and Singapore but if you cannot get it in your countries, you can go without it but use more gingers and garlics instead.

  • Some coriander leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers for garnishing.

  • Light soya sauce, thick dark soya sauce, cooking oil, sesame oil for condiments. If you can’t get the thick dark soya sauce, you can use the normal dark soya sauce and add in some rock sugar

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Preparing the ingredients…. 

 

  • Pound the garlics and gingers as fine as possible. Add in a bit of tumeric if desired. Set aside of future use.Note that I have included a small slices of tumeric for the purpose of colour the rice. Tumeric is a good colouring agent and in fact, it blends quite well with ginger and garlic. You can see from the second picture that the pounded mixture is a big yellowish. But do not add too much until it covers up the fragrance of garlic and ginger.
  • In a bowl, get ready some chicken stock cubes, dissolved in hot water and set aside for later use.This step is optional but I opt to do it because I need not to add a lot of condiments such as light soya sauce, salt etc. to the chicken rice later. Sliced some cucumbers and tomatoes and set aside for later use.
  • Personally, I would think that a plate of chicken rice is incomplete without slices of cucumber in it. The role of cucumbers and tomatoes is to negate the greasiness of the rice and chickens since it is just “chicken plus rice” without any vegetables. Size and shape of cucumber are up to individual and here, I have sliced it into funny shapes for future garnishing. Tomatoes are optional but I love the colour and it blends well with the chicken rice.

 

Preparing the chicken ….

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  • Clean the chickens and pluck off any feathers and hairs found. Chop off the heads and legs. The legs can be used for preparing the chicken stocks. If any chicken fats were found, wash and keep these fats for future use. You may consider to use coarse sea salts to rub on the chicken skin such that you have a smooth polished chicken skin. I did not perform this step as I did not have any coarse salts with me.

  • I have purposely bought some additional legs for the preparation of chicken stock as I found that one chicken is just not adequate to bring out the fragrance of the chicken rice.

  • The garlics and gingers quantities in this picture were for reference only.

 

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  • Get ready a pot of water. Throw some garlics, gingers, pandan leaves and bring to boil on high heat.

  • When the water is boiling , submerge the whole chicken into the water with its back facing up. Add in the chicken bones and feet. You can also consider to stuff the chicken with the garlics, pandan leaves and some spring onions before you poached the chicken.

  • The reason letting the chicken having its back facing up is because chicken breast takes longer time to cook  and positioning chicken this way will ensure that breast are fully cooked.

  • Lower heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

 

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  • After 30 minutes, get ready a big pot of cooked cold water (icy water preferred). Take the chicken out and put it in the cold water. Let it soak in the cold water for about 15 minutes. The most important reason for doing this is to preserve the meat juices in the chicken from drying out and prevent the skin from breaking.

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Cooking the rice….. 

  • Use some type of measuring cups (be it the cooking measuring cups or your rice cooker cups)  and  pour adequate quantities chicken stocks (from simmering/poaching  the chicken earlier) to the rice and ensure that it is just adequate to cover the rice. Add in the pounded ginger garlic paste and turmeric and stir until well mixed.

  • Note: How much liquid (in this case chicken stock) is needed to cook the rice is very much depends on the types of rice you have. Some rice may need more water to cook than the others.

  • On the rice cooker and when cooked, fluff rice gently with chopsticks (while loosening rice and avoid rice burnt at the bottom of the rice cooker. Leave at “keep warm” settings for about 10-15 minutes and a plate of chicken rice is ready.

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Serving your chicken rice… 

  • Get ready a bowl, add some light soya sauce, sesame oils, and a bit of leftover chicken stocks and mix well, set aside.

  • Cut your chicken into parts, arrange on platter over a bed of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

  • Pour sesame soya sauce oil over the chicken and garnish with coriander leaves. In this picture, I have deboned the chicken and the whole plate of chicken are boneless

  • In separate condiments bowls, serve chilli sauce, ginger sauce and thick soya sauce as dips.

  • Serve with warm rice and some chicken soups. There should be some chicken stocks left after you used it to cook the rice. I just throw in some tomatoes, chye shim, and tofu to make some soups for my kids to eat along with the rice.

 

Here is the chicken rice and does it look appealing to you? Overall, I think I spent less than SGD 10 for the entire dish for a meal of 4. This price is not adequate for you to have a plate of chicken rice at a posh restaurants outlet. At a local food court, if we order one whole chicken plus four plates of rice, one plate of vegetables, plain chicken soup, you will need at least SGD 20 to have that.  We can’t really finished the meals and we still have half a pot of rice left and about one third of chicken left.

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The “aftermaths”…..….CHICKEN PORRIDGE

I used the left over chicken “stock” from submerging the poached chicken in the ice water, throw the chicken rice, the meat into the water and boil for about 15 minutes. Add condiments and garnished with fried onion, coriander leaves and chopped onion and a bowl of chicken porridge is ready for breakfast.

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WHY NOT COOK SOME CHICKEN RICE FOR YOUR MOTHER THIS MOTHER DAY? IF YOU CANNOT COOKED FOR HER, WHY NOT FORWARD THIS POST TO HER AND SAY.

“ MUMMY, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY,

Mom, You’ve cooked for me with love all this while and how I wish I could prepare this dish for you this Sunday to assure you that your kid have grown up and able to take care of themselves.  However, since I am not free to cook this Sunday,  why not we  have the most famous Chicken Rice  in Singapore  at the famous Mandar…. Hotel  in Orchard Road instead? Mom, I love you….. “  Just joking!!!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MOTHERS;

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MY  WIFE – MY KID’S MOTHER ; AND

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MY WIFE’S MOTHER – MY MOTHER IN LAW………

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UPDATED POST ON 20-9-2014

The post was updated with incorporation of some new pictures and preparation of chicken rice chilli recipe. This chicken rice recipe is the one we usually prepared at home and if this is served, no separate ginger sauce will be prepared. All quantities are estimated quantities for reference only. Feel free to change to your liking.

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Ingredients

  • 100 grams of ginger
  • 100 grams of garlics
  • 5 calamansi
  • 50 grams of chilli.

Steps of preparation

  • Squeeze the juice of the calamansi and keep the calamansi skin.
  • In a food processor, blend the gingers and garlics until fine. Add calamansi skin and chilli, blend until as fine as possible.

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  • Transfer the blended mixture to a glass bottle. Add the calamansi juices, some white vinegar, salt, sesame oil, sugar, light soya sauce and chicken stock. Stir until well mix. Since this is a savoury sauce, feel free to adjust the quantities to your liking. Add more vinegar or calamansi juices when served in a small bowl.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


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Eggs, Eggs, Eggs….. Join Me To Cook Eggs….

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INTRODUCTION

I doubt if any one from my generation have never try eggs and if they try, never like eggs. Of course they are some unfortunate people in this world that have egg allergy and can only have cakes or other cuisines that are eggless. Bearing this in mind, I would think that majority of the people (at least in my circles of friends) would not reject the offer of a simple fried egg dish to go with their meal.

I do not wish to elaborate more about eggs but this special egg write up is with the intention for the submission of “Little Thumbs Up: Eggs (August 2013)” and Ms. Yen Simpson have a quite a detail write up of all sorts of eggs in her blog here.


WAYS OF COOKING EGGS

There are many ways of cooking eggs and this post will by pass all the descriptive flowery languages and go straight to the following ways of cooking eggs. You may have known this better than me but just took some time to read if there are any thing that you can add to my post and constructively criticise about my ways of making eggs. The methods that will be covered here are:

  1. Soft Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)
  2. Hard Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)
  3. Coloured Eggs (上色蛋)
  4. Poached Eggs (水波蛋)
  5. Scrambled Eggs (炒蛋)
  6. Eggs Omelette (蛋饼)
  7. Braised Eggs (卤蛋)
  8. Steamed Eggs (蒸蛋)
  9. Adding eggs to Chinese Soups (蛋花)
  10. Fried Eggs (煎蛋)


1。2。SOFT BOILED EGGS AND HARD BOILED EGGS (水煮蛋)

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To have perfect soft boiled eggs and hard boiled eggs, there are some timings that need to be followed An over boiled egg will have solid egg yolks slightly bluish in colour.  If it is fresh farm eggs, additional 5 minutes is needed. It is easier to boil eggs keep in the refrigerator than those keep at room temperature.

In a big pot filled with water, add in two big tablespoon of vinegar (to prevent egg whites flow out in the event the eggs crack), one teaspoon of salt and bring the water to boil under high heat. Once boiled, turn to medium heat to let the water simmer. Place the eggs using a spoon and gently lower down to the pot. The range of timing to get the desired textures of eggs are as follows (source: :adapted from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Soft-Boiled-Egg)

  • 2 minutes – very soft yolk and egg whites
  • 3 minutes – the white is set and the yolk is just starting to thicken
  • 4 minutes – the white and yolk are set, with the centre of the yolk still creamy.
  • 5 minutes – the white and yolk are set with centre starting to set
  • 10 minutes – the white and yolk are all set
  • Any further timing than this will result the eggs yolks to start turning to a bluish colour.

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Please note the colour changes of the egg yolks.


3。COLOURED EGGS (上色蛋)

At birthday or other important occasions, Chinese like to colour their eggs red. If you do not colour the eggs properly, the eggs will stain your hand or when you touch it. Therefore, it is important that your eggs do not lose its colour when you hold it.

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  • In a bowl, put some colour gel or permitted food colouring. Add few drops of vinegar. Stir well.

  • When ready, transfer your hard boiled eggs directly from the pot that it was cooked and use a spoon to roll the eggs. The hotter the egg, the easier it is. Continue rolling until you get your desired colour tone. It will dry very fast because of the heat inside the eggs. Look for any areas not covered with the colouring and make sure the colour is as even as possible.

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4。POACHED EGGS (水波蛋)

As per Wikipedia:

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, that is, in simmering liquid. This method of preparation is favoured because a very consistent and predictable result can be attained with precise timing, as the boiling point of water removes the temperature variable from the cooking process. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poached_egg)

A poached egg is consider as perfect if all the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny. It is good to be served in soups or with breads.

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  • In a hot pot of water, add one teaspoon of vinegar. Let it boil under high heat and once boiled, turn down to low heat and let it simmer.

  • Crack your eggs in a bowl or some kitchen utensils, slowly place it in the water. Don’t stir the water. If you want to stir the water, it must be done in a circular motion quickly such that the egg whites would not dispersed the the near by areas. Let it simmer until all the egg whites solidify.

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5。SCRAMBLED EGGS (炒蛋)

Per Wikipedia:

Scrambled eggs is a dish made from whites and yolks of eggs (usually chicken eggs). Eggs are poured into a hot greased pan and coagulate almost immediately. The heat is turned down to low and the eggs are constantly stirred as they cook. The pan and the stirring implement, if kept in constant motion, create small and soft curds of egg. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambled_eggs)

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  • In a big mixing bowl,  put some eggs. Put in some milk and beat until the eggs are well “mixed”, The purpose of this step is just to ensure the egg yolks and the egg whites are well beaten, You can also used a hand whisk to whisk it.

  • In a frying pan, put in some butters (or other cooking oils of your choice) and melt the butter.

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  • Pour in the beaten eggs and constantly stir it. Once the eggs have solidify into smaller curds, off the heat, add in seasonings such as salt and pepper and scoop up to a plate for servings.

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6.  EGGS OMELETE (蛋饼)

Per Wikipedia:

In cuisine, an omelette or omelette is a dish made from beaten eggs quickly cooked with butter or oil in a frying pan, sometimes folded around a filling such as cheese, vegetables, meat (often ham), or some combination of the above. To obtain a fluffy texture, whole eggs or sometimes only egg whites are beaten with a small amount of milk or cream, or even water, the idea being to have “bubbles” of water vapour trapped within the rapidly cooked eggs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omelette)

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In this illustration, I have prepared seaweed omelette with tomatoes. An omelette is deemed perfect if both sides have solidified whereas the insides are still moist but not runny. Milk is usually used to achieve that effect. Please refer the scrambled eggs above.

  • Follow the steps as mentioned in scrambled eggs above. Add in the seaweeds to the eggs. Add seasonings or your choice.

  • In a big shallow frying pans, add in the seaweed beaten eggs. Let it fried the bottom layer start to solidify.

  • Add in cut tomatoes strips and when all the eggs are not runny in the centre, fold into half.

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7.  BRAISED EGGS (卤蛋)

Chinese like to braise eggs and usually the eggs were braised together with meat broth such as from braising of ducks, pork belly etc. It appeared in Chinese cuisines such as Kuey Chap, a Teochew type of flat broad rice sheets and served with dark braised meat broth.

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To prepare Chinese styled braised eggs:

  • In a sauce pan, stir fry big pieces of galangal, garlics and gingers until aromatic. Add cups of dark soya sauce diluted with adequate to cover the meat or eggs that are to be braised. Bring to boil under high heat.

  • Once boiled, turn to medium heat, add in five spice powder,  some rock sugars and items to be braised including eggs.

  • Depending on the items to be braised, if without meat, eggs will need about 15 minutes before the colour sets in the eggs.

  • Off the heat and let the eggs sits in the broth for another 15 minutes for the flavour to penetrate the eggs.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing braised eggs and bean curd. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D10 – Braised Eggs and Taukwa (卤蛋和豆干).

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8. STEAMED EGGS (蒸蛋)

Steamed eggs is another common household dish for Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. It is also common in Korean and Japanese cuisines. The challenges of steamed eggs is to ensure that the eggs are flat, soft and without any bubbles or holes appearing on the eggs. In order to achieve that, one important point to note is the usage of boiled water when making the egg solution. If tap were used, the water is full of air or oxygen and this will cause the steamed eggs to have lots of holes. Cooked water are free of air and therefore when steamed, the eggs will be silky and soft.

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  • In a big bowl, crack one egg and add in about half a cup of cooked or boiled water (meat broth can also be used). If you want it softer, you can add in more water., Add in all your preferred seasonings, beat until well combined. Sieved and put in a bowl to steam at medium heat.

  • It is considered as done when the eggs are set. Drizzle with additional seasoning such as sesame oils, light soya sauce if necessary.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing steamed eggs. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D8-Steamed Tofu With Eggs (豆腐蒸蛋)

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9. ADDING EGGS TO CHINESE SOUP (蛋花)

Certain Chinese cuisines required soups to be thickened with egg solution. In the illustration, I have used some old images that I have photographed for the preparation of Lor Mee. A type of noodle dish where braised meat broth were first diluted and further thickened by using eggs and starches. A perfect addition of eggs should see small pieces of eggs floating in the soup or broth and there should be no lumps of eggs in the soup.

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  • Slightly beat your eggs until well mixed.

  • Use high heat to bring to boil. Once the soup is boiling, slowly add in the beaten eggs and use a ladle to stir the soup in a circular motion as quickly as possible. In that case, you will be able to break the egg solutions even before it solidifies.

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There is a detail pictorial instruction of using the same method to prepare another Chinese starchy soup. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe S6 – Vegetarian Shark Fin Melon Soup (素鱼翅瓜羹)


10. FRIED EGGS (煎蛋)

Everybody how to fry an egg and there is nothing much to say about egg frying techniques except one point. In order to have a “sunny top” type of eggs, you can consider the procedures below. If you follow the procedure, your egg yolks will not be easily broken.

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  • Heat up your frying pan and put a teaspoon of oil (optional).

  • Crack your eggs and put a few drops of water around the frying pan. Cover the frying pan to capture the water vapour.

  • Open the cover as soon as the egg is set and egg white is cooked. Off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Note that this way of frying eggs is possible without any oils (if using a non stick pans). You can heat your frying pan under high heat, crack your eggs and off the heat immediately. Put a few drops of water around the frying pan and cover the frying pan immediately and let the water vapour cook the top part of the egg yolk. Once the egg white is cooked, the top part of the egg yolk should also have cooked while inside, the egg yolk remains runny. You may want to refer to my Nasi Goreng Aruk  post on how to fry eggs without oil.

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On more other egg related dishes, you can refer here:


CONLCUSION

Everybody knows how to cook eggs. This post is just a summary of various ways of cooking eggs and of course there are still many other ways to cook eggs. This post will be classified as “special cooking ingredients” series. In the series, there are two other special cooking ingredients which are chillies and belachan.

This is a post that have been compiled over a period of almost a week. Hope you  like the post and share with me additional methods of cooking eggs. Cheers and have a nice day ahead.


I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up “Eggs” event organized by organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.

 

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 17-7-2013

 

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I am trying out this format whether it works or not.

On 17-July 2013, white rice served with:

1 Spinach pork rib soup 菠菜排骨汤
2 Fried Bean Curd and Fish Cake with Chinese Celery 豆干鱼饼炒芹菜
3 Pak Choi Soup 大白菜排骨汤
4 Long Bean Stir Fried with Minced Meat and egg 长豆肉碎炒蛋
5 Grilled Saba (mackerel) with lemon  柠檬烤鲭鱼

Seem like today we have a lot of food. Again, my wife’s godmother cooked the Pak Choi Soup and gave it to us.  We can’t finished most of the dish and therefore, it is likely that we will be having porridge for lunch “getting rid” of these leftover food before I cook something new for the dinner.

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Dish is nothing special that really worth mentioning. May be the bean curd and fish cake with Chinese celery. I have a lot of Chinese celery and it is unlikely that I can use all purely for garnishing purposes. I remember used to fried minced meat with Chinese celery and I thought I will try the method to fry some taukwa (bean curd of less moisture content) and fish cakes. The conclusion is it a good combination. extremely simple dish.

My kids loves Saba for its “omega 3” fatty acids. As it is very fatty, the meat are rather soft and tasty. However, for Saba, besides simple grilling, I do not have any other methods of cooking. I presumed frying is possible but not steaming. Cooking curry? I think it is a waste. I hope readers can share with me how do you usually cooked this type of fish.

Have a wonderful day ahead and cheers.

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 29-5-2013

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On 29 May 2013,

White rice served with:

1. Old Cucumber Pork Rib Soup 老黄瓜排骨汤
2. Taukwa fried with Chinese celery 芹菜炒豆干
3. Bitter gourd braised with Chinese fermented bean 豆瓣酱炆苦瓜
4. Chinese spinach cooked with goof berry 枸杞子炒苋菜

Dish no. 3 is a vegetarian dish. This is the dish I used to cook when I am having my yearly vegetarian meals. It is bitter gourd braised with ginger and fermented beans, dark soya sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce. The aroma of ginger mixed with fermented beans is more than adequate to offset the bitterness of bitter gourd!

Dish no. 2 is a simple dish using Chinese celery to stir fry with taukwa (another version of bean curd but with lesser moisture contents). I have put some sweet sauce and dark soya sauce and it is just a nice dish to eat with white rice.

I have been posting what I cooked for exactly a month (from April 30 to May 29). In fact, it is quite a fun thing. Every time I looked at the food pictures that I took, I will feel hungry myself and my daughter have joked with me that may be in one of the meals, just print out some pictures and eat with the white rice!!

Do stay “tuned” as a summary of all the dishes will be released soon and I hope to receive feedbacks and comments from all readers.

Happy reading!

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 24-5-2013

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On 24-May-2013

Fried Yellow Noodles with Bean Sprouts (豆芽炒面)

This is a rather unusual type of fried noodles that is extremely economical and nice. It is yellow noodles fried with garlics, bean sprouts and sweet, thick black soya sauce. It is neither the Penang Char Kway Tiao nor Kuala Lumpur Fried Hokkien Noodles. Its characteristics are simple, sweet and slightly wet. We used to have this type of noodle in Kuching when I was young and it was the cheapest noodles then when compared to Kolo Mee and Tomato Sauce Kway Tiao. However, it is hard to find in Kuching nowadays. Even if you can, unless you specially requested you just want bean sprouts and mee only, they will add in cockles (like Penang Char Kway Tiao) and eggs for you.

Today is holiday and I am rather lazy to dine out or cooking, so I just cook this traditional fried noodles. The kids like it because they have their favorite fried eggs and the noodles were sweet and soft. (Note: The ratio of bean sprouts and yellow me should be at least 1:1).

Cheers and have a nice holidays..

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 23-5-2013

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On 23-May-2013

White rice served with:

1. Sweet Corn Pork Rib Soup* 玉米排骨汤*
2. Mustard Leaf and Bitter Gourd Braised With Pork Rib 芥菜苦瓜焖排骨
3. Blanched Broccoli with Minced Pork 肉碎西兰花
4. Taukwa (dried tofu) Omelet 豆干煎蛋
  • Sweet Corn Pork Rib Soup is the first dish that I have cooked for the second time within a period of about one months. In future, any dish that have repeated will be denoted with an asterisk (*).
  • Dish 2 is the dish that we created our self. Don’t try this dish unless you like the bitter taste. My wife loves bitter dishes especially bitter gourd. Mustard leaf by itself is also very bitter, therefore, with two bitter vegetables within a dish, it will be a dish with an acquired taste. You may ask whether my kids like it or not. It very much depends on how bitter it is. If I blanched my bitter gourd and mustard leaf with salt before I cooked, it will not be that bitter and they will love you. However, like to day, I do not have the time to blanch it before hand, it is rather bitter. Usually, I will add a can of canned mushrooms and they will start to look for the mushrooms. They are brave enough to take the soup and actually, it is one of my way to let the kids try new dishes. Putting something that they like  and they will gradually get use to the taste over time.
  • This is the third continuous day that I blanched by vegetables and today is the broccoli and apparently they like it and I will continue to cook my vegetables this way which Is healthier. The first day, I blanched my baby kailan and served with oyster sauce. In the second day, it is blanching of white stem pak choy and served with fried ikan billis. Today, it is blanched broccoli served with blanched minced pork!
  • Any body tried Dish 4 before? It was a dish taught by my mother in law. Fried the dried bean curd and followed by putting some eggs on top of it. It is another dish that my kids will fight for.

I am contemplating  and in the process of exploring whether I should set up a system for readers to search the dish by vegetables. If successful, when readers have raw ingredients but no idea how to proceed with the cooking , they can look up for the database.

Happy Vesak Day and have a nice day.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 15-5-2013

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On 15 May 2013:

1. Winter Melon Pork Rib Soup 冬瓜排骨汤
2. Green Peas Stirred Fried with Sliced Pork 青豆炒肉片
3. Chinese Leaf Lettuce fried with Chinese Fermented Bean Curd Sauce 腐乳酱炒香/油麦菜
4. Fried Black Promfret with Thousand Island Dressing 生煎黑鲳千岛酱

The color of the green peas were slightly yellowish because I purposely used the canned green peas that were produced by a long established Chinese company. This was the third time I cooked this dish since I started cooking on my own and my kids really loves it. When I was young, my mother used to cook this dish and offered to the ancestors during praying. This dish was chosen because it is a “canned” food and will not go bad that easily (note that at that time, in my hometown, refrigerator is still not common and they have to ensure that the food will last until the next day). Come to think about it, the cooking strategy and meal plan  then would definitely be different from what we were cooking now considering the fact that no refrigerator was available.

Dipping the black promfret with thousand island dressing sprinkled with sesame seeds is a modification made for my kids. Traditionally, we will dip the fish with dark soya sauce, lime, fresh garlic and fresh chili.

Have a nice day.