30 November 2008

KUDZU ROOT BEANS SOUP




Although the kudzu root is tedious to peel, the soup boil with kudzu roots is sweet and delicious. The roots have high starch content and taste slightly sweet.

Ingredients : adzuki beans (small red beans), black eye beans, peanuts, 300 gm tu fu ling, 2 candied dates, 1 piece tangerine peel.

28 November 2008

BRAISED DUCK

Duck braised in soya sauce and herbs is a traditional dish. My late mum used to cook it during Chinese New Year. The dish tastes better as days go by and the leftover sauce is used to stew tofu, tau-pok, eggs or pig offal. Duck costs more than a chicken but the flavor and texture is better, although it contains a lot more fat.

Marinate the duck with seasonings (salt & light and dark soya sauce), bake it in the oven for 1 hour and grill for last 20 mins. The amount of oil excreted from the duck is unbelievable but duck fat is considered a gourmet in french cuisine.


Galangal or blue ginger is an important ingredient in braising duck. The flavor and aroma of the dish depend on the bulb. The other ingredients are fresh ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick, aniseed star, cloves, five-spice powder and rock sugar.


Fry ginger and garlic in hot oil till fragrant.


Add in other spices  -  aniseed, cinnamon stick, cloves and five spice powder


Mix dark & light soya sauce, mirin sauce, oyster sauce with water in a soup bowl. Bowl in sauce to the spices and let it boil. Add in a piece of rock sugar. In the meantime chop up the duck in small pieces.


Put in the duck and let it simmer till meat are tender.


WATERCRESS


Watercress boils in soup with sweet dates and luo han guo helps to expel heat from the body and tonify the lungs. Besides boiling with soup it was delicious when stir fry with garlic and oyster sauce.

Wash the vegetables thoroughly before cooking as there are insects and worms clinging to the leaves. Nowadays the vegetables are sold without roots and makes it easy to prepare. Fry the vegetables with garlic over high heat not more than 5 mins to retain their color and texture. Stir in oyster sauce last.

27 November 2008

PUMPKIN

After having the sweet pumpkin soup I bought another pumpkin and used half of it to fry with dried shrimps, dried cuttlefish and mushroom. The sweetness of the pumpkin plus the fragrance of the shrimps and cuttlefish enhances the flavor of the dish.


I used the other half pumpkin to cook rice the next day. The same ingredients were fried together and mixed into the rice when the rice was partially cooked.

24 November 2008

LEATHER JACKET


The meaning of this dish is garment. This fish is very meaty and only consists of a rock bone at the side of the body. It is not tough and wonder why it was named leather jacket fish.

The fish is steamed with the following ingredients :
plum sauce, light soya sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, chillies, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and lime juice.

23 November 2008

NUTELLA CUPCAKES



Simple cupcakes for afternoon tea. Cakes were soft and Nutella chocolate was gooey.

20 November 2008

PUMPKIN DESSERT

With so many emphasis on the pumpkin during Halloween in November that using pumpkin in cooking is a norm. Pumpkin is not a common vegetable that you can always find in wet markets. Occasionally when I see them I will make carrot pumpkin soup.

I bought a small pumpkin to make dessert. To make it easier to cut I steamed the whole pumpkin for 20 mins. Discard the seeds and skin and cut into small pieces. Blend the pumpkin till fine. Add water to the pureed pumpkin to dilute and cook till boil. Sweeten the soup with rock sugar.

Cool the soup and refrigerate until ready to serve. Mix in thick cream to the soup and stir well.


Enjoy the soup with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Heavenly dessert.

19 November 2008

SAMBAL IKAN BILIS


It has been raining these past days and is suitable to eat spicy food. An easy dish to make and ready be in less than 30 mins if you have ready-made sambal paste in the fridge. I always make a big bottle for emergency use. These mini dry fish were given by my uncle when he visited us from Hong Kong.

The dried fish was rinsed in water and sun-dried thoroughly before putting in the freezer to store.

Deep fry the fish in hot oil till crispy and leave aside.
Cut up 1 onion in strips, 2 tomatoes in wedges and 2 chillies in big pieces. Smash lemon grass.
Fry onions, chillies and lemon grass till fragrant.
Add in 2 full tablespoons of sambal and continue frying till aromatic.
Throw in tomatoes and 3 tablespoons of water and cook till tomatoes are soft.
Mix in 1 tablespoon of tomatoes paste.
Add in the fried fish and is ready when the gravy is semi-dried.

18 November 2008

PUTU MAYAM


Lost food of yesterday - steam rice noodles eaten with brown sugar and freshly grated coconut. Not many places sell them nowadays and sometimes you can get it from prata stalls and wet markets. It usually sold out fast and is a hit with children.

15 November 2008

SCGS GRADUATION


Finally my 3rd child finishes her education at SGCS. The graduation ceremony was held in the Shaw Hall.  The parents watched with pride as their daughters went up the stage to receive their awards and testimonials.


Daughter receiving her testimonial from the Guest-Of-Honor, Professor Thio Li Ann of Law Faculty, NUS, who was an old girl.

Thank you SCGS for nuturing and grooming our girls to become capable women of substance and character.

14 November 2008

A-ROY THAI

Another Thai food restaurant in Upper East Coast.   Food is much better compares to Lemongrass in Siglap.   As the restaurant is situated along the busy East Coast road and car park is limited, it is advisable to go during weekdays.

It is a family business and service is attentive.  The owner and workers are Thai and there are photos of the Thai king and queen on displayed.

We were served snacks as we sat down. The sauce accompanied the crackers was fiery hot but was super delicious.  It was addictive as even though your palate was numb but has the urge to continue snacking.


The stuffed chicken wings were crispy fried and stuffed full of fish paste.  The accompanied sauce was tangy sweet.


The papaya salad was refreshing and sourish.


Tom-Yum soup was bearable hot and appetizing with tons of ingredients.


Big prawns cooked with tanghoon in claypot but lack of vinegar.


Pad-thai was so so.


The roast duck red curry was more on a sweet side and very creamy. Should use fresh coconut cream but made up with plenty of baby egg-plant and duck meat.


The pineapple fried rice should be served in a fresh pineapple shell instead.

A-Roy Thai
81 Upper East Coast Road
Goodwill Court
Tel : 64430373

13 November 2008

COD FISH


Cod fish is our favorite dish and is simple to cook.  Cooking with  Chinese herbs is a healthy and flavourable.

Wolberries, yu zhu, tang sen, soya sauce and salt - Put all the herbs into a small pot with half cup of water and boil till fragrant. Marinate the fish with salt and soya sauce and pour the herbal mixture onto the fish and steam for 20 mins. Need not add oil as the fish produces alot itself.

12 November 2008

GINSENG APPLE SOUP


This soup is recommended for those who always feel tired due to not enough sleep.  As American ginseng is cold in nature and those with weak body should not drink much.

American ginseng
2 apples
2 candied dates
1 piece lean pork

Rinse apples and cut into pieces
Rinse ginseng and dates
Scale and rinse pork
Bring water to boil
Add all ingredients and bring to simmer for 3 hours

11 November 2008

PANDAN AGAR AGAR

Pandan leaves are tropical plants used widely in South-East Asian cooking. The leaves are used fresh and are commonly grown. You can easily buy the leaves from market. The leaves are used fresh and it gives a unique taste and aroma to food.


To obtain the bright green color pandan juice to enhance food the leaves are blended together with some warm water. When the blender was not a common appliance in those days it is a tedious process when extracting pandan juice. The pounder was used to pound the leaves into paste and squeeze out the juices by hands.





1 pkt agar-agar strip
rock sugar
1200 ml water
1 stalk pandan leaves
1/4 bowl of pandan juice
2 beaten eggs
1 soup bowl fresh coconut milk

Wash agar-agar and soak in water for 5-10 mins
Boil with water and add sugar while boiling
Cut pandan leaves into small pieces
Put into blender with 1/4 cup warm water
Blend till fine and strain the juice to make 1/4 soup bowl
Remove agar agar from stove and stir till bubbles disppear
Cool agar agar and add in coconut milk and pandar juice
Add beaten eggs and stir lightly
Refrigerate when mixture turns cold

The coconut milk mix with pandan juice should float up and create a two-layer piece, a transparent and pandan color layers. As for my agar-agar I used coconut cream in a packet (there is no fresh coconut available that day). The cream was full of residuals when mix with the jelly and I had to filter them out.

10 November 2008

TOFU


Tofu that we ate in the early days were bought fresh from market and they had an unpleasant smell. Tofu was very cheap and regarded as economy food. My late mum used to buy bean-curd without the sugar syrup and mixed with hot oil & fried onions, soya sauce to serve with rice. At that time bean-curd only cost 10 cents for a taffin-container. After my marriage we used to eat a lot of tofu and soy-bean food as my late mother-in-law sold tofu products at the fresh market. This explains my DH liking for soy food.

Nowadays I buy tofu from supermarket which comes in plastic container, especially from Japan which is smooth and without the unpleasant smell.

2 pkts of tofu, minced pork, 1 tablespoon brown bean paste, 2 eggs (beaten), garlic and chilly paste -

Cut tofu into medium cubes
Heat oil and fry bean & chilly pastes and garlic till fragrant
Add in minced pork and fry till cooked
Add in tofu and bit of water
Pour in beaten egg and do not stir till egg is cooked
Add in 1 teaspoon cornstarch with water and mix well
Stir in cornstarch into tofu mixture till thickens

09 November 2008

PREPARATIONS


Time flies - at a winkle, Christmas is here. It seems like yesterday that I had just finished baking fruit cakes.

As there is only 4 weeks away from Christmas, went to Phoon Huat to buy the necessary ingredients for baking. My fruit cakes are well received as they are full of alcohol aroma and lots of dried fruits. Soak fruits in alcohol for 2 weeks before baking.

08 November 2008

PORK WITH BAMBOO SHOOTS

Jaw exercising dish with all crunchy vegetables to chew - fried bamboo shoots with celery, szechuan vegetables, tomatoes, spring onions and pork.


Fresh bamboo shoots are sold in supermarkets which come readily peeled and packed in plastic bag. Unlike older days where whole fresh shoots with skin were sold and had to put up with itch when preparing as the bamboo shoot skins were covered with fine spike hair.

07 November 2008

MALACCA PINEAPPLE TARTS


These pineapples look delicious. Thanks to Linda who use to bring back these delicious treats for us whenever she returns home to Malacca.

The pastry is biscuit base and generously top with pineapples cooked in gula melaka, which gives these tarts the heavenly aroma and unique taste. The tart size is enormous to fill one's tummy.

06 November 2008

DIM-SUM LUNCH

My DH likes to go for tim-sum, especially when our uncle from Hong Kong visited us.  He would without fail accompany uncle for tim-sum everyday as it is a practice in Hong Kong that going for tim-sum 2 times a day is a norm, early morning around 4.30 am and lunchtime at 11.30am. It is very normal for them to order 1-2 plates of tim-sum and a pot of Chinese tea, with newspaper in hand, to stay in the restaurant or tea-house at least 2-3 hours leisurely reading the papers.

Our usual place for tim-sum is Crystal Jade Palace in Takashimaya but after moving to East Coast we tried The Paramount Restaurant in Katong on Sunday. The business was not as good as in Crystal Jade and walk-in securing a seat is not a problem.

Siew mai is my children's favourite.


The sharkfin soup dumpling was good and full of fillings of scallop, mushroom, sharkfins, bamboo shoot and pork.  The soup was sweet and flavorful.  One bowl is enough for 2 persons.


The prawn dumplings looked good also.


Fried fritter rolls filled with prawns were crispy and not oily.


They claimed this dumplings to be their significant dish but no different from normal chives dumplings.


This was disappointing with thick rough skin.  Skin should be thin and smooth.


The skin of the cheong fun is too thick for the fritter


Spareribs were tasty with not much fat.


Fried fritter rolls were crispy


Char siew pau was big with soft fuffy skin. Fillings were moderate.


Egg tarts were flaky with creamy custard.

Overall service was slow and missed out two bowls of century egg porridge which we ordered at the start. Waited for nearly 20 mins just to pay the bill.


The Paramount Restaurant
Paramount Hotel & Shopping Centre
30 East Coast Road #01-01/02
Tel : 64403233