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)- 11-7-2013

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On 11-7-2013, White rice served with:

1 Cabbage Pork Rib Soup 包菜排骨汤
2 Braised Bitter Gourd with Roast Meat 苦瓜焖烧肉 
3 Braised pork slice with pickled lettuce 香菜心炆肉片
4 Foochow Preserved Mustard Bee Hoon 福州糟菜米粉汤

As I am making some pastry this afternoon, I am rather busy and again simple meal. I cooked the cabbage soup in the afternoon and tonight I just add a simple dish, pork slices cooked with canned pickled lettuce. Just bring some water to boil, add pork slice, canned pickles, garlic slice and the cooked for 15 minutes and the dish is ready. I know it is my kids favourite dish, therefore no further dish required.

The braised bitter gourd with roast meat is cooked by my wife’s god mother. My wife loves bitter gourd and she will always cooked this for us as an additional dish. It is fun to note that now both my kids are “brave” enough to bitter gourd at their age. As I have bought a bitter gourd without knowing that there another bitter gourd dish today, therefore, expect to see another bitter gourd soup in the table..

I know not many Chinese family cooked cabbage soup including my mother in law, but I love to cook this. Most elders do not like to cook cabbage soup because at times, the vegetable will have some “funny” taste. However, in my humble opinion, to avoid that “funny” taste,  at the time when you put the cabbage, the water must be boiling under high heat.

Today, there is no pictorial illustration for the dish at the dish are rather simple. However, you can still visit Guaishushu’s Facebook Page for other dishes.

LETTING THE KIDS EXPLORING NEW DISHES

I would like to share with readers how I get my child accustomed to what I cooked and explore new dishes.

For any new dishes that are not “kids unfriendly” meaning too sour, too spicy etc, they have to taste at least taste 1-2 tablespoons and tell me why they don’t like it. They are not supposed to throw away the food in their month as long as the food do not have bones and etc. If what they said make sense, I will not cook that particular dish or cook a smaller quantity. At times, I will still cook the dish that they initially don’t like but add in some new ingredients that they like so that everybody is happy. For example, if I cooked bitter gourd, I will usually add in some canned mushrooms. I will tell them the “ratio” of bitter gourd to canned mushrooms is say 1:3 meaning eating 1 pieces of bitter gourd will entitled them 3 pieces of mushrooms. It really helps and sorry for being mean to my kids…Haha

They are rather polite at their age. They have “forced” themselves to eat the bitter gourd knowing that this is their mother’s favourite vegetables. Deep in my heart, I appreciate their thoughtfulness and hope that this will continue when they are independent in the future.

HOPE YOU LIKE THE POST TODAY AND HAVE A NICE DAY.

 

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 4-7-2013

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On 4 July 2013,

White rice served with:

1 White Carrot Pork Rib Soup 白萝卜排骨汤
2 Braised Eggs and Bean Curd  豆干卤蛋
3 French Beans Stir Fried with Shimeji Mushrooms 清炒四季豆及白玉菇
4 Braised bitter gourd with fermented black beans 苦瓜焖豆豉

A very normal day with simple dish. The braised bitter gourd was cooked by wife’s god mother and she usually braised the bitter gourd with pork belly and fermented black beans. Both white carrot pork rib soup and braised eggs and bean curd pictorial illustration have been posted in Guaishushu Fanbook page. Please click the above link.

For lunch, i have fried some rice and I name the fried rice as “Nameless fried rice (无名炒饭)”.

The pictorial illustration are here.

Good night and have a nice day.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 1-7-2013

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On July 1 2013,

White rice served with:

1 Braised luffa/tower gourd with egg* 蛋汁炆丝瓜
2 Winter Melon Pork Rib Soup 冬瓜排骨汤
3 Taukwa fried with minced pork 豆干炒肉碎
4 Blanched pak choi with Oyster Sauce 耗油鸡胸奶白
5 Green Chilli fried with pork tongue 清椒炒猪舌

In Singapore, school re-opened for the second semester. Therefore, I will be backed to my routine cooking. 2 dishes to highlight:

1. Taukwa (dried bean curd) fried with minced pork – This is the second time I cooked this dish. The first time is about 2 months ago and you can see my post on minced pork belly with taukwa here. The taukwa was being meshed and stir fried with minced pork and eggs. It is very soft because of the meshed bean curd. A dish which is equally good for porridges.

2. We have an exotic dish today. Exotic in that I have never bought this part of pig myself. One of my relatives from China have brought over some braised pork tongues and gave it to us. In fact, I have complained to my wife that I do not know how to cook and I will not eat the meat. She is not very happy because that  means she have to finish the entire tongue. When  I cut the tongue into smaller pieces, the aroma starts to emit, a nice soya sauce fragrance. By the time I cut the whole tongue, i do not have such fear anymore since the shape is totally different now. I put a piece in my mouth and found that it is very tasty and my wife is surprise to see that i am eating the dish at the dinner.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 30-6-2013

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On 30 June, 2013

White rice served with:

30-Jun Watercress Pork Rib Soup  西洋菜排骨汤
30-Jun Braised Chicken Wings 酱鸡翅
30-Jun Grilled Sanma (Pacific Saury) with lemon  柠檬烤秋刀鱼
30-Jun Chinese Water Spinach fried with fermented beans 蕹菜炒豆瓣酱

The last two days were full of functions and no home cooking were done. Today, I have done my weekly marketing. You will start to see perishable vegetables will start appearing in the beginning of the week. Usually, watercress  and Chinese water spinach was cooked in the day of purchase .

Recently, Singapore wet market was flooded with “Japanese Restaurant” fish and today, i was surprised to see thawed pacific saury (sanma). The price is rather competitive and 4 fishes (8 pieces of about 4-5 inches long) cost about SGD 4 averaging out is SGD1 per fish which is even cheaper than the black promfret.

Today, my wife fried the Chinese spinach (kangkong). As she like her dish spicy, she had prepared two plates, one with chilli and another plate fried with Chinese fermented beans. THE PRICE IS INCREDIBLY LOW TODAY. 1 BUNDLE ONLY COST SGD 20 cents but must purchase in a pack of 5. We cooked 3 packs and gave the other 2 packs to my neighbours. Do you concur with me that the price of food items are relatively cheaper than in Malaysia (but of course without any currency conversion).

This type of post may appeared dull if you looked at it on a daily basis. However, if you read on a weekly basis, you will start to see patterns that may be useful for those who want some dish rotation ideas..Cheers and have a nice day!

Bachelor’s Tomyam Noodles–Quick And Nice…

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INTRODUCTION

I am struggling whether I should post this simple noodle preparation. It is just that simple and up to your own creativities. I am thinking, will putting up this post insult my reader’s intelligence? Will it qualify as a professional blog post? Is this consider as an recipe? Well, after struggling for 10 minutes, I have decided to post this dish to gauge what is my reader’s reactions. Due to this impromptu decision, therefore, unlike other post, some pictures were not available.

This is a super fast dish that I cooked for myself today.  From cooking to eating to cleaning, it took me less than half an hour.  It is ideal for those who just want a simple, quick and nutritious meal.

 

WHY THIS DISH

I am alone by myself at home and I don’t feel like cooking for myself. Usually,  I would just eat the breakfast leftover items for lunch. But I have been eating breakfasts as lunches for the last 3 days and my body tells me that I need something that don’t taste like “breakfast”.

Cooking a dish for myself is never a problem, I just search my kitchen cabinet and my refrigerator and see what I have at home. As my kids were away on holiday and we will not be cooking these few days, therefore, my perishable stocks were very limited and this is what I found, a packet of Tom yam instant noodles.

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As I have never fancy any instant noodles, this packet of instant noodles is not attractive to me at all especially if it is plain (meaning water plus instant noodles). But suddenly, it come across my mind and asked myself, why not cook myself some Tom Yam noodles. So I take out a pot and cooked my superfast Tom Yam noodles.


WHAT YOU NEED

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As far as I am concerned, there is nothing that you can’t put it. I usually cooked based on what I have especially the side vegetables. What I used this time:

  • One pieces or dry egg noodles – this is exactly the same as your instant noodles except it is slightly firmer;
  • Some cherry tomatoes – supposingly to be eaten as fruits but since I have some in the fridge, I just dump it in.
  • Some chicken breast meat (optional) cut into small chunks – I had this in the fridge for quite a while and since I will not be cooking for the these 2 weeks, I have to “get rid” of it. But frankly speaking, it taste better with some meaty flavor;
  • Few pieces of chili (optional) – These chili were specially flown from China given by one of my guest who stay in Guangxi China. It is supposingly very spicy but for me, it is slightly more spicy than the red chili but not as spicy as chili padi.
  • Tom Yam paste – It is good to keep some ready made tom yam paste at home for making quick soups, fried noodles and etc. My wife have bought this vegetarian tom yam paste which I don’t think there is much differences. The only difference in ingredients that I can think off is the shallots and garlics since Buddhist vegetarian were not allowed to consume any shallots and garlics.

STEPS OF PERPARTION

I have no picture to show as this post was rather impromptu and only decided half way when I was cooking. In fact, it is such a simple dish that there are only 2-3 steps and further elaboration will “insult” my reader’s intelligence. If you really can’t understand what I am trying to say, just imagine you are cooking some instant noodles in a pot.

  • Take out a pot and pour in some plain water. Put a few table spoon of tom yam paste (depending on taste) and bring to boil. Throw in other ingredients in these orders – meat, chili, tomato, egg noodles. 

  • As I am using chicken breast and cut into small chunks, it is rather quick to cook. The smaller your meat is, the easier it is to cook! You can use some sweet potato flour or corn flour to slightly cover your meat before you put them in the pot. The role of these flours is to keep the juice inside the meat and also make its texture smoother. For me, as I want it to be quick, I have not perform this step, I just put my meat in without adding any corn flour.
  • Boil for 1-2 minutes until your noodles have soften.
  • I prefer to rest it for a while until the noodles absorbed all the soup and this will make it tastier and softer.
  • Variations – There are many variations that you can have. You may want to add some eggs. or sausages. some cabbage, red carrots, celery, etc. and the lists are endless. These are all up to your imaginations and creativities.

FINAL OUTPUT

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In the picture, does it look appetizing to you?

To make it look better you can consider using mushrooms for black color, red chili for red color, baby corns for yellow color and carrot for orange color.

Compare to the 1st picture and the last picture, you can see that noodles is softer as it had absorbed the gravy.

Taste wise, if you want it more sour, you can squeeze some lime juice. For me that is just nice. It is essentially tom yam cooked with chicken stock and if you like tom yam, this is a suitable meal for you!


CONCLUSIONS

  • Not all foods need to be elaborately prepared before it is considered as tasty. Simple meal like this is ideal for those who are kitchen phobia or short of time to prepare a nutritious meal;
  • It is nutritious because the ingredients that were used are simple (like my post on Nasi Aruk here) but packed with proteins and vitamins. Tom yam paste itself is full of herbs and spices that is beneficial to the body.
  • It is healthier because no oil and further seasonings were used. IT IS DEFINITELY HEALTHIER THAN INSTANT NOODLE AS NO MSG WAS USED。When you ate plain instant noodles, most people will craved for stronger flavor as the taste is very monotonous and you need seasonings to make your palate “happy”. With slight additions of meat and vegetables, your attention will gear towards your meats and vegetables. The soups will have some meaty flavor and you don’t feel the need to add any more seasonings. Is it not healthier?
  • It is fast to prepare, full flexibility and you can substitute any ingredients with what you have at home.

Because it is so flexible, it essentially means there is no recipe. So, do you like this type of simple dish or you think reading my post is wasting your precious time?

I treasure your feedback and let me know how you feel about it.

Happy reading and cheers.


I have recently open a Facebook community page ‘AUTHENTIC SARAWAK FOOD AND HISTORY” and I hoped you can support the page by visiting the page. If you find the page benefits you in some way, please give it a “LIKE”.

The page is intended to become a center of collection of unique Sarawak Cuisines. For those who don’t know where is Sarawak, Sarawak is one of states belong to Malaysia and in the Island of Borneo. It is famous of its eco-tourism and multi racial society. Its unique cuisine are cuisines like Sarawak Laksa, Kolo mee and scarce vegetables such as jungle fern shoot, hairy eggplant etc. PLEASE COME  AND UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT SARAWAK CUISINES HERE.

 

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Thousand apologies.  I have to put this picture here due to technical error. Otherwise it will mess up my Tumblr. accounts posting and my Facebook posting.