Malaysian Singaporean Chinese Food–Popiah Sarawak Style (干式薄饼)

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UPDATED POST ON 6-10-2014

As this is an very old post, I have decided to prepare some Sarawak Style dry popiah and do some picture shooting. Being one of the very first post of this blog, the pictures were not well taken.

Today, I have prepared these popiah using home made popiah skin and  if you are interested you can refer to this post: Homemade Spring Roll Crepes–Popiah Skin (春卷皮,薄饼皮, 润饼皮)

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INTRODUCTION

Popiah (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: pȯh-piáⁿ) is a Fujian/Chaozhou-style fresh spring roll common in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Burma/Myanmar, where it is called kawpyan. Popiah is often eaten in the Fujian province of China (usually in Xiamen) and its neighbouring Chaoshan on the Qingming Festival. In the Teochew (Chaozhou) dialect, popiah is pronounced as “Bo-BEE-a”(薄餅仔). [1]which means “thin wafer”. In Thailand, no doubt influenced by its large Teochew Overseas Chinese community, the spring rolls are called “Bpaw! Bee Uh”. In variants of the Hokkien dialect, it is also commonly referred to as “lun-BEE-a”(潤餅仔), which probably explains why the spring rolls are referred to as “lumpia” in the Philippines. It is sometimes referred to as runbing (潤餅) or baobing (薄饼) in Mandarin, and also as bópíjuǎn (薄皮卷).        – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popiah  

First and foremost, I have to qualify that the name Popiah – Sarawak Style was used because it is different from the popiah that I have eaten in West Malaysia and Singapore. What I have cooked and written here is based on my memories that my late mother have prepared for us and the type that were commonly sold in the “kueh” stalls in Kuching about 20 years ago. We can easily buy popiah  together with other Kuehs such as curry puffs, fried bananas, angku kueh etc. as breakfast items. It is prepared in advance and not the type that they only wrapped it when you order as commonly found in the food courts or hawker stalls.  The hawkers who sell the popiah usually did not prepare the Popiah on the spot. However, I am uncertain if this type of popiah is still common among Kuchingites but internet research shows not many bloggers talking about this version of popiah (presumably out-dated). However, I still insist to prepare popiah in this manner as it is easier to prepare and store (if you cannot finish) and personally more tasty and less soggy.….

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Difference between Popiah Sarawak Style and West Malaysian/Singapore style

So, what is so different about my Popiah Sarawak Style. Frankly, not much difference except once critical process of  preparing  the jicama filling. Instead of simmering the cabbage and jicama in prawn soup etc. as in West Malaysian/Singapore style, we fried it  and therefore I termed mine as the dry version.

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Singapore and West Malaysian Popiah appeared to be the Hokkien version of popiah originated from Xiamen, China, jicama and cabbage were julienned and cooked over slow fire in prawn stock or plain water until they are very soft. When wrapping, people used fork or other kitchen utensils to press against the cooked jicama for purposes of squeezing the water out before wrapping using the rice crepes.

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For dry version, no cabbage was used and jicamas were usually julienned into thicker stripes. It was then sprinkled with some salt to “force” the water out using the principle of osmosis. After that, it will be fried together with other ingredients. One thing to note is that the jicama when julienned, should not be too fine.   Other wise, your fried fillings will be too soggy for wrapping.

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Preparation process

I have to admit that I hate to make popiah as it involves a lot of works of slicing, dicing, julienning and cutting of ingredients and most of the processes have no shortcut using food processor except using your own hands. Among the main steps are:

  1. Julienning jicama (bangkuang);
  2. Dicing of taukwa ( I am looking for the hard yellow taukwa for dicing but I can’t find it this round, instead I use the brown taukwa. Unlike the wet version, they prefer to mesh the white taukwa)
  3. Slicing of dried mushrooms;
  4. Mincing of dried shrimps;
  5. Picking of bean sprouts’ “tail” and blanching the bean sprouts
  6. Chopping of garlics and onions into very fine pieces for frying (this I opt to use a food processor);
  7. Shelling of prawns, blanched and diced into cubes;
  8. Dicing of French beans;
  9. Frying of eggs pancake and julienned into small stripes;
  10. Grounding of peanuts and sugar;
  11. Mincing of pork belly (I opted to buy ready make)
  12. Cleaning of lettuce and coriander. Use some clean cloth to dry the lettuce and flatten it.
  13. Preparation of sweet sauce (corn starched with sugar but I opt to buy the ready made sauce)
  14. Preparation of chilli sauce (I have used the chilli sauce that I have made earlier)

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Therefore, from the above, the process of preparing of raw material is laborious and  it would be  tough for one person to shoulder all the responsibilities of preparing all the ingredients by one self. In old time, such preparation process is actually a “come and help” social gathering whereby usually lady guests will come earlier and help with the preparation of the raw ingredients and the man would come after all the popiahs were wrapped! 

SARAWAK STYLE POPIAH

Cooking process – the dry version

  • Fried some minced garlics and onion until brown, sieved and set aside for later use.

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  • Stir fried minced garlics and onion, dry prawns and mushrooms until the fragrant comes out. At this stage, I usually add some condiments such as pepper and salt at this stage.

  • Throw in the minced pork belly, French beans, dried tofu  (in this order) one by one until the pork belly is 70% cooked. Add the jicama and bean sprouts and fried until you see the jicama start to get soft (which is very fast). I have to caution against that jicama should not be over cooked other wise it will be soggy.

  • Mixed the blanched prawns, add additional condiments to taste and you are done. You should have a rather dry filling.

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Wrapping process

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  • Lay one Popiah skin on the table, put a leaf of “flattened” fresh lettuce, put some deep fried garlics and spread some sweet sauces and chillies on the lettuce. It is wise to spread this fix ins on the lettuce because this will prevent liquids penetrating the skin making the skin too soggy for wrapping.

  • Put some fillings, eggs stripe, coriander leaves on top of the lettuce;

  • Put some sweet sauce on top followed by some groundnut powder. Note, I only put sweet sauce at this junction, again, I want to let the sweet sauce penetrate the filling and collected by the lettuce.

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  • Fold the spring rolls and open your mouth to eat….smile.

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Serving

  • Serving of the dry version is usually not cut into small pieces. As it is dry, you can just take one and popped into your month without utilizing any spoon and plates. In older days, it was wrapped with a piece of white paper to facilitate your holding and prevent juices coming out of the filling.

  • If you cannot finish it, you can just wrap it and store in the fridge. The next day, just fried it and it will become fried spring roll. If the skin is too damp, since it is frying, you can add another skin. Alternatively, you can store you left over filling in the fridge and wrap it the next day before frying or consider making the Kueh Pie Tee.

You can have as many variants of popiah as possible but in my humble opinion, the following ingredients should not be substituted to make it to taste like popiah: taukwa, jicama, French beans, beansprouts, grounded peanuts and sweet sauce. 

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Lastly, please note that the filling for these Chinese style Sarawak Popiah can be used in Kuih Pie Tee as well. If you are interested, you can refer to this post: Malaysian Singaporean Chinese Food -Kueh Pie Tee

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CONCLUSION

Lastly, I found two bloggers talking about these version of popiah and they also name this Sarawak Popiah but none is certain about the name but stressed that “this is the style my mum used to serve us back in Sarawak”. The reasons of what culture influenced the elder Sarawakian prepared this type of popiah is still unknown and I would be glad if any of the reader can tell me the evolution of this type of popiah in Kuching. Sarawakians, shall we patent it ?? LOL

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

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 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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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_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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Some Spicy Soup To “Heat Up” Your Stomach– Chinese Hog Maw Soup

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INTRODUCTION

Eating pig maw, hog maw or some called it pig stomach, is a love hate relationship. Some people will like pig offal whereas some will strongly rejected the consumption of it. I am not as adventurous as my wife and I only eat a few types of pig offal, among which, is pig’s maw and pig liver. Other than these two offal, psychologically I can’t convince myself to having the others.

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I have eaten pig’s maw since a very young age prepared by my late mother. There were not much changes throughout these years in the way we cooked and we usually prepared it with white peppercorns. It is quite a spicy soup and will heat up your body making your body sweat in the hot weather like in Malaysia and Singapore. 

My late mum usually prepared this once in a while when she is able to find some good quality pig maws from the market. At her time, a lot of works need to be done. The uncooked maw will have to be washed thoroughly. She will turned the pig maw inside out, cut off any impurities, washed it with lots of corn flours or tapioca flours, put it in the hot wok without any oil, pan fried the maw until all the dirty, slimy layers in the maw stuck to the hot wok. She then took it out, washed it again with vinegar or lime before she cut it into small pieces and started the soup preparation.

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That is quite a lot of work involved. Apparently, the supermarkets in Singapore knew that foodies hate doing all this tedious works, they started to sell the semi cooked pig maw in package form. This will save a lot of works associated to the preparation of the pig maw soup. However, minimal works still needs to be done to ensure pig maw is “cleaned” as per individual likings.

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Since young, the house recipe for pig maw is only one, pig maw cooked in white peppercorns soup. Chinese believed that whatever offal of an animal that one eats, it will be nutritious to that part of his/her body! Meaning, if you are eating pig maws, it will beneficial to your stomach. Whether or not this is true is definitely up to reader’s own judgements and believes.

White pepper is added because Chinese believed white pepper can chase away the “winds” and heats up your body. This is especially beneficial to ladies who are having mensuration or after giving birth. Therefore, pig maw cooked with white pepper is commonly served in confinement meals for ladies after giving birth. However, its popularity have also expanded to include male members in the family…

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Yesterday I am doing my marketing and I saw some rather nice semi-cooked pig maw at a reasonable price, I bought and I prepared the soup yesterday. This was the kids friendly version, meaning, it was not overly peppery spicy and certain ingredients that kids loved were added. It was cooked using pressure cooker instead of the traditional slow cooker or “double boiled” method before the slow cooker were introduced. Preparation of the dish requires the most 2 hours from (preparation to serving in the table).

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Serve 3-4 adults

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  • 1 package of ready semi-cooked pig maw (about 500 grams)

  • 250 grams of lean meat or pork ribs (if preferred, chicken legs can be substituted)

  • 3 tablespoons of white peppercorns (lightly crushed)

  • 1 tin of canned mushrooms

  • Some green vegetables like lettuces.

  • Pinches of salt to taste

  • 6 cups of water

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Slice off any impurities or fats and cut into your desired size. Clean the maw in plain water.

  • Use a pestle and mortar to lightly crunch the pepper corn and put it in a soup disposal bag.

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  • Put the cut pig maw, crushed pepper corns and meat in the pressure cooker. Add the water and pressure cook the maw by selecting the soup function or meat functions (if any).

  • After the cycle completed, release the steam (HOT AND BE CAREFUL) and add in cut mushrooms, salt to taste and cooked for another 10 minutes.

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  • Just before serving, has  a big serving bowl ready. Take out the big piece of meat and use fork to pull the meat apart. Put the pulled meat on the serving bowl.  Scoop out all the mushrooms and pig maw and placed on top of the meat. Set aside for latter assembly.

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  • In another smaller pot, transfer the soup from the pressure cooker. Heat it until it is boiling hot and blanch the lettuce using the hot soup. Transfer the blanched lettuce into another serving bowl, put some hot soups on both bowls.  Best served hot with rice.

Note that this heating step is OPTIONAL if you are having the soup immediately after it is cooked. You can blanch the vegetables in the pressure cooker directly if the soup is still hot. I am doing this because my soup was ready one hour before my meals were served.

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CONCLUSION

This is another cut short method of preparing the traditional cuisines due to the availability of the new kitchen equipment. I have toned down the spiciness by using less peppercorns. The addition of a piece of meat will help to sweeten the meat broth or soup. Additions of mushrooms will make the soup appeal to my kids and having some greens with this meat soup will tone down the greasiness of the soup.

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

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 For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s Facebook Page.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 24-7-2013

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On 24-July 2013, white rice served with:

“Three cup” chicken  三杯鸡
Bok Choi chicken soup

贸白菜鸡汤

Hokkien Style Fried Prawn Mee 福建炒虾面

For tonight’s dinner, there is nothing to shout about. When I am preparing dinner, my nice neighbour gave me a big bowl of Hokkien Style Fried Prawn Mee. As this can be a dish by itself, I have decided to stop preparing any more dish since both adults will be eating the prawn mee and the children had their favourite Bok Choi soup and some sweet chicken called “three cup” chicken.

Three Cup Chicken (三杯鸡)

The main ingredients of three cup chicken is Thai basil (九层塔)。Most people misunderstood that “3 cup” chicken is cooked with 1 cup of wine, 1 cup of soya sauce and I cup of  sesame oil. However, if we follow that assumptions strictly, it will be extremely oily with very high salt content. Therefore, to master the making of 3 cups chicken, the measurement of oil and soya sauce should be reduced accordingly. As a general rule of thumb, soya sauce volume should be half the volume of wine but twice the sugar volume. In another words, assuming that the sugar unit is 1cup, then soya sauce volume with be 2 cups and wine will be 4 cups. Note that no water is used in the cooking and medium heat is used to braise the chicken until the liquids dries up. Thai basil is added 2 minutes before you off the heat.

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Wild Hibiscus Tea (洛神花茶)

Besides the above dishes, I have boiled some Roselle/Rosella/Wild Hibiscus Tea (洛神花茶)。I usually boiled a very big pot which is very concentrated and dilute it when I want to drink. I like the drink as it is extremely thirst quenching and inhibit carbohydrates intake.

If you are interested to know how to make the drinks, its benefits and etc., you can refer to the post –

“Game To Try Some “Wild Hibiscus” Tea………….?(洛神花茶)

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I have also used some to make into some ice sticks which I usually have one after my dinner.

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When you boiled the drinks, don’t throw away the rosella flowers. The boiled flowers can be eaten as snacks but for me, I have used it to make “banana rosella” smoothies. (you can refer to the above link and see how the boiled flowers look like)

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Lastly, for lunch , I have cooked roast duck Bee Hoon from the duck bones of the roast duck that we had yesterday. I used the duck bones to make the broth, add some Bee Hoon, mushrooms, shredded duck meat, some dry bean curd sheets and egg omelettes stripes. The good thing about this dish is that there is not need to add seasoning and the broth is very sweet already. That used up all my duck bones and now left  2 drumsticks. Is it not funny that we have eaten all “bones” without eating the meat? I told readers before, both my wife and my kids do not like meat and yesterday is one of the blue moon days that I bought the whole duck. Therefore, I have to think of a way to “dispose off” the entire duck.. Haha..

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Hope you like the post today. Good night.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 18-7-2013

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On 18 July 2013, porridge serves with a vegetable dish and a meat dish. The vegetable dish is baby pak choi with oyster sauce (耗油小白菜)and braised meat (chicken and pork belly) (卤肉)。

I seldom cooked porridge for dinner. Tonight, I suddenly have the urge to have porridges since my wife and my kids also like to have porridges. I have braised some meat and a vegetable dish to go with it and of course, some left over dishes from last night.

Today, when I searched my fridge, I found that I have a box of bosc pears (博斯克梨) and some cut dragon fruits (龙珠果) which is already in my fridge for quite a while. The pears are very ripe and I thought I might just make some desserts for the family and here comes my Chinese Style Poach Pear and Dragon Fruits Desserts with Rock Sugar (博斯克梨龙珠果炖冰糖)。You may want to know how to make the dessert by following the links to Guaishushu’s Facebook Page.

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

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 16-7-2013

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On 16th July 2013,

Pasta with home made tomato sauce.

Today, I have cooked my pasta sauce from scratch (meaning from tomato). I learned this when I visited one of my French friends in Paris many years ago. I am in the process of compiling a post on this dish and will be shared with readers soon. In the post, you will see how Guaishushu transformed the  pasta sauce to the Asian liking using herbs widely used in this region. Did you notice both the Tabasco sauce and the Asian Chilli sauce? I have not parsley but I substitute with Chinese celery, do you think the taste will blend?

Being home cooked sauce, the color are always not that “appealing” but the taste is definitely worth you to make an effort to cook,

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Did you see the brownish color drinks? These drinks are herbal drinks for cooling the body. It is chrysanthemum (菊花)and prunella vulgaris (夏枯草)flowers tea. You can refer to this post for the picture for the fresh flowers. Is it not a funny combination that having a Western pasta food with Chinese herbal drinks?

Besides cooking this dish, I am baking an uniquely Sarawak (in Island of Borneo) buns called the Sarawak butter buns. The name Sarawak was added in order to avoid confusions with other butter buns commonly found in other parts of the world. Sarawak butter bun is unique because it has an aromatic buttery fillings. I will share the recipe in one to two days time.

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

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 27-5-2013

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On 27 May 2013

White rice served with:

1. Steamed Egg with Fish Tofu 鱼豆腐蒸蛋
2. Blanch Tri-color Capsicum with Chicken Breast 三色柿子椒拌鸡柳
3. Fried Cabbage with glass noodles 包菜炒粉丝
4. Yam Pork Rib Soup 芋头排骨汤

Today, I continue to cook my vegetables without using any oil. This is the 4th meal I have blanched my vegetables. Apparently they can accept this way of preparation which is good for every body’s health. I will try as many types of vegetable as possible.

Today’s soup is rather special. Special in the sense that none of my circles of friends, including neighbors have ever eaten this soup before. My late father used to cook this soup once in a while and as far I can remembers, all my brothers like this soup and it is consider quite unusual if any one of us cook this soup. I am still trying hard to trace the origins. Obviously, the way of cooking and the ingredients appeared to be influenced by western cooking. Onion was used and starch or flour was added to make it slightly runny. It is totally different from the Chinese soup we used to have. It very much resemble the western style potato soup or creamy mushroom soup! If any readers have ever cooked this soup, please share with me and I am particularly keen to know more about it.

ANALYSIS OF DISHES COOKED UNTIL TODAY

It had been almost a month and  I am in the process of preparing a summary of dishes cooked to facilitate reader’s reference and comments if any. As I have stressed many times, the purpose of this series is for reader’s reference and share with readers how I rotate my meal plan. Purely putting up what I cooked today with further analysis will not serve much a purpose. As such, I am compiling the data and preliminary analysis disclosed the following figures. I welcome readers to comment on the dish cooked and share with me if they are any areas improvement that I need to work on…

FOR READERS WHO ARE INTERESTED TO HAVE A COPY OF EXCEL WORKSHEET ON THE MEALS COOKED, PLEASE JUST DROP ME AN E-MAIL AND I WILL MAIL YOU THE MEAL PLAN. THE WORKSHEET IS IN A TABULAR FORM AND YOU CAN SORT IT OR SEARCH BY VEGETABLE NAMES AND ETC.

Number of cooking days from 30-4-2013 to 27-5-2013 = 23 days

   
Breakdown of dishes cooked comprises  
Vegetables

25

Meat (chicken and pork)

14

Fish

6

Soup 

19

Noodles and rice (all except white rice)

7

Others

7

  78 dishes

Hope you enjoy the series and for me, it is really a challenge and I am especially happy that I can maintain until today. I will continue and you will start to see the dish begin to rotate.

You can refer HERE. Click on the date in the calendar and you will be able to go that day’s menu..