Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken herbal soup

With the chicken stock, I add in a packet of Chinese herbal, and bought a black chicken to add in the stock.

the ingredients
8 bowls of chicken stock(add water if there is not enough of stock)
1 whole black chicken(chopped into 4 pieces)
1 packet of Chinese herb for soup
salt to taste

All the contents of the packet of the herbal for the soup

Wash the herbs and put into the boiling chicken stock.   Turn to low fire to cook for half an hour.
Remove the skin of the chicken and scald in hot water for about 1 minute.  Wash and drain.  Put into the herbal soup and simmer for an hour.  Add in salt to taste.
This is the ginseng herbal soup.  It has the taste of ginseng and the sweetness of the chicken stock.

Chicken Rice

Last weekend my old time classmate, Cheah Ngah Mooi came and visit me from Teluk Intan , she brought me a real kampong chicken. Now aday is quit difficult to buy this type of chicken unless we go into villages to look for them.  Those so called kampong chicken in the markets were from chicken farms that were kept in the cages or long chicken house.  They were not allow to roam around unlike the kampong chickens, they were free to run and chasing around among their friends.  Thus, their meat were really though and sweet compare with those in the farms.
This is the well cleaned kampong male chicken

I will turn this chicken into (pak cham kai) and the chicken  stock to cook chicken rice and herbal soup.


for the chicken
1 whole chicken
enough water for boiling
1 thumb sized piece of young ginger(crushed)
5 cloves garlic(peeled and crushed)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce

for the rice
2 cups of rice,washed and drained
2 tbsp of butter
2 cm piece of young ginger, (crushed)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
salt to taste
3 pandan leaves
2 stalk of lemon grass
3 cups of chicken stock

for chili garlic sauce
8 fresh red chili
2 cm piece of young ginger
5 cloves of garlic
dash of salt
juice of 3 calamansi limes
3 tbsp of chicken stock

In a deep pot, boil the water with the ginger, garlic and salt, put in the chicken and cook for about 15 minutes in medium fire without the cover. Change the position of the chicken in between the cooking time . Turn off the fire and put on the cover of the pot and let the chicken cook in the hot water for 20 to 25 minutes.. Remember to change the position of the chicken again.
Use chopsticks to poke into the tight area of the chicken, the chicken is cooked when there is no more blood flow out from it.  With the help of the chopsticks, poke under the wings area and put the chicken into a cold basin of water for cold bath for 10 minutes.

The chicken is having a cold spa after the hot water bath
The next step is to hang the chicken dry by the strings under the wings.

Brush the mixture of light soy sauce and sesame oil on the whole of the chicken and let dry.

Next is to prepare the rice.  In a wok, heat up the butter, fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant.  Put in the rice and stir fry for 2 minutes.  Transfer all into electric rice cooker.  Pour in the chicken stalk, salt, the pandan leaves and lemon grass and cook the rice.

While waiting for the rice to be cooked and the chicken to be dried, I prepare my chili garlic sauce for dipping.

By using the blender to blend all the ingredients , the chili sauce is ready in just minutes.

The rice is cooked.  Once open the rice pot cover, the aroma of both of the pandan leaves and lemon grass was so pleasant.

Chop the chicken into serving sizes, decorate with some cucumber slices and garnish with spring onion and coriander.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chocolate banana cake

I was looking at my old photo albums and recalled that my children like to buy chocolate banana cake from the Secrete Recipe for my birthday.  Looking at those pictures made me yearn to have the taste of the cake. So, I decided to give it a try to satisfy my taste bud.  Finally I found a recipe by Amy Heng and

the ingredients are

for  chocolate chiffon cake
A; 30g cocoa powder (mixed with 120ml water)
4 egg yolks
100 caster sugar
130g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
60ml corn oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
B; 4 egg whites
60 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

for cake filling
500ml chocolate whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
11/2 tbsp instant coffee(mixed with 1 tbsp hot water)
1 tbsp gelatin(dissolved in 40ml water)
6 ripen bananas(sliced)

for chocolate frosting
140ml UHT whipping cream
350g cooking chocolate
1 tbsp butter

I used only half of the ingredients so to bake a smaller cake.  Hand whisk and mix well ingredients (A).
Whisk the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar until stiff.  Fold in  (A) into (B). Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Just baked chocolate chiffon cake

Invert the cake and let cool completely before cutting into 3 layers by cake cutter.

The 3 layers of the chocolate chiffon cake

For the cake filling, whisk the chocolate whipping cream until stiff.  Add in vanilla essence, then coffee mixture and finally the gelatin mixture.  I was so involved in the making and spreading of the filling that forgotten to snap the pictures of the whole  process from the 1st layer to the top of cake. When completed with the filling, leave in the fridge to set.

While waiting for the cake to be set, I then prepare the chocolate frosting.  Heat the whipping cream in double-boiler and add in chocolate and butter. Stir until chocolate has melted.  Leave to cool slightly before pouring on top of the cake.

Making of the chocolate frosting.

Pour the frosting over the cake. I decorated the cake with some lightly toasted walnut. Refrigerate until set.

Mmm.......I like it but not as good as those from The Secrete Recipe.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Soya and sweet potato

This morning I want to make use of my  multifunction hi-fibre food processor (Sheline) to prepare bread fast for 3 of us, me, husband and father-in-law,(so ya and sweet potato  tong sui)
the ingredients
40 g soy bean
40 g red bean
20 g black glutinous rice
100 g sweet potato(yam)
1/4 cup coconut milk
30 g rock sugar
1.5 lt hot water
2 pandan leaves

Wash and soak the soy bean, red bean and the black glutinous rice for 3 hours. Peel and cut the sweet potato into about 5cm cube,(usually I will soak in salt water for about 15 minutes before cooking).

The ingredients

The beans and black rice after steaming

As instructed by the manual of the food processor, Pour in 500 ml of hot water into the plastic cup, let the water turn a few round, add in all the ingredients and let the processor to do the work for 3 minutes.  Pour in the rest of the hot water, mix well and pour out into pot. So, the hot and delicious tong sui is ready for our bread fast.

This greenish and brown coloured beverage is the  mixture of soy beans red beans black glutinous rice and pandan leaves.

We add in some crackers into the beverage.

So this is our home made healthy bread fast.

Yong Tau Foo

Yong tau foo (stuff tofu and other vegetables with fish paste) is a very famous and delicious hawker food in Ipoh.  Today I am going to make this dish by my home made fish paste that I had prepared a few days ago.

the ingredients

300 g of fish paste(can get from wet market)
1 bitter guard
8 lady fingers
4 white tofu
1 medium egg plant
( can use other veggies that you like red and green chili)
1tsp bean paste
1tsp chopped garlic
1tsp chopped red chili
2 tbs cooking oil
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1tsp light soy sauce
1tsp corn flour
1/2 bowl water
1 stalk of spring onion(chopped)

These are the veggies and tofu that I had bought this morning.
As usual, wash the vegetables then soak in home made garbage enzyme for about 40 minutes. Cut the bitter guard and the egg plant in such way that we can stuff in the fish paste . Split open the lady fingers and scrape out the seeds.  Halved the tofu and use a spoon to scrape out the internal of the tofu, the residue can be added in to the fish paste, mix well.

These tofu and vegetables are ready for the fish paste stuffing
Use a butter knife to take some of the fish paste and fill up the tofu, lady fingers, bitter guard and the egg plant slices.

Place the stuffed veggies into a plate and steam for 8 minutes. You may also like to deep fry all these, but I prefer the steaming and serve with a bean paste sauce.

Heat up a wok then fry the chopped garlic and the bean paste until fragrant.  Pour in half of the water, let it boil. Slowly put in the stuffed veggies into to  the wok.  Simmer for about 3 minutes. Add  in the dark soy sauce and sugar.  Mix the corn flour, light soy sauce in the remaining  water, pour into the wok slowly and mix well and off the fire. Serve hot with the sprinkle of chopped spring onion and chopped red chili.

This is my home made yong tau foo.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DIY gaebage enzyme

I received an email regarding garbage enzyme and in fact I had heard of the enzyme for quite a long time.  My friend gave me a bottle of the garbage enzyme a few months ago and I found it very useful and also effective for my household chores.  So I decided to make my own garbage enzyme.  I found the recipe from the book shop then started to gather all the  necessary utensils and the ingredients. What I needed are:

1 air-tight plastic container
500 g brown sugar
1 1/2 kg fresh kitchen waste(fruits and vegetables)
5 lt water

I used only fruits waste.  I collect my daily fruit skins and keep in the fridge. It took me 1 week to collect 1 and the half kg that I needed.  Pour in the water and the brown sugar into the plastic container, mix well.  Put in all the kitchen waste. Make sure that there is a little space for the yeast to work (fermentation). Loosen the cap cover to let the gas out everyday until there is no more gas.  Tighten the cover and let it ferment for 3 months.

This is the 2nd day of the fermentation of my garbage enzyme

This will be the result after 3 months of fermentation(picture from my friend)

When the fermentation process is completed, the residue has to be filtered.  The residue is a very good sauce of plant fertilizer.

The completed garbage enzyme ready for use

There are many useful usage of the garbage enzyme, as natural fertilizer, natural pesticide, laundry, floor mopping, mold removal, oil and stain removal for kitchen utensils, fruits and veggie wash and so many more.
I use the enzyme daily to wash the fruits and vegetables.  following the instruction of the book, I wash the fruits and vegetables, add a small cap of enzyme into a basin of water then soak the fruits and veggie for 40 minutes to get rid of the chemicals such as pesticide residue.
Here are some of the  example of the ratio to use the garbage enzyme;(enzyme to water)
for fertilizer                 1:100/500/1000
for insecticide             1: 1000
for pesticide               1: 100
anti odour/air freshener  dilute 200x
as plant growth hormone dilute 500x
I use 1 part of  dish wash, 1 part of enzyme and 8 parts of water for my kitchen utensils cleaning.  In fact we can also use the same formula for other house hold cleaning.  Happy trying and if more people using garbage enzyme there will be less chemical being used.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mackerel fish paste

Get up early this morning, with the help of my maid, we started to work out the 2 kg of Spanish mackerel to turn them into fish paste.
First, I had to separate the flesh from the bone by splitting both sides of all the fish. I did the splitting while the maid will scrape off the fresh that stick both on the bones and the skin of the fish by spoon.
The Spanish mackerel before cutting

The flash separated from the bone of the fish

The head and the bone of the fish with some flesh attached on.

ingredients for the fish paste

2 kg fresh Spanish mackerel
300g shrimps or pork(optional)
2 tsp salt
4 tbs corn flour
1/2 bowl of water
1 tsp pepper

 In a bowl, put in the salt, corn flour, pepper and the water, mix well and leave aside.  I use my food processor to grind the fish flesh by adding the corn flour mixture slowly. (traditional way will use the knife to chop the fish flesh until fine).  Pour the well blended fish mixture onto the chopping board.  Using both hand to roll up the fish mixture into round ball, then smash hard on the board.,continue doing this until the mixture become sticky and have a bouncing effect. This take about ten times of smashing and rolling.

The smashing of the fish flesh on the chopping board

The final stage of the fish paste
I can have many ways of cooking from my home made fish paste.  First of all, the bones and heads can make a very good fish stock, I will share the recipe in the next blog. I cook porridge by the fish stock and add some of the fish paste for my father-in-law.
I keep the rest of the fish paste in food containers for future cooking. I will make some (yong tau foo) ,stuff fish paste in tofu, chili,lady fingers and other vegetables, I will cook fish ball noodle, make fish cake and so on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pantai Remis

Cecilia, Celine and a Japanese couple and me started our journey to Pantai Remis at 11.15am from Ipoh.  We had my durian cake in the car on the way to our destination. It took us 1 hour and half to reach the fishing village, we reached there at about 12.45pm.  Cecilia took us to her usual station but we were disappointed because the fishermen did not go out to the sea as they were celebrating the Ghost Festival.  So turn to other stations but most of them also doing the same thing.  Finally we spotted a smaller station and saw the fishermen were busy unloading plastic boxes from a fishing boat, we stop our car and went down to what we can get..

The workers are sorting out the catch of the day.  When we went near we got disappointed again, only kembong fish(slimy mackerel) ,a few Spanish mackerel and prawns.  Finally I decided to buy 2 kg of slimy mackerel and the only 6 medium sized Spanish mackerel.  Cecilia bought 3 kg of Slimy mackerel . We agreed to buy 1 kg of slimy mackerel and 1 kg of prawn for our lunch later in the restaurant.
1 kg of slimy mackerel

1 kg of fresh big prawns
The lady boss of this station saw our disappointment, she was so kind that she advice us to go further in to another few station, we might be lucky that we can get what we wanted. We followed her instruction and direction we finally came to quite a big station, we saw 2 Malay lady sitting at a table, after chatting with them and one of the worker, we were advised to wait for 1/2 an hour for the fishing boat to come back. All of us were alright for the suggestion but all were hungry.  We lucky that we had some of my durian cake then.
Finally, the fishing boat has arrived, we were so excited, we got to wait for the workers to unload the catch then to sort them out from the prawns and the fishes ,next they have to separate the bigger fishes from the smaller fishes. All of us including the 2 Malay ladies and other customers were waiting eagerly and excitedly to get the limited catch.

A catch load of fresh fishes and prawns from a fishing boat just arrive from the sea. Finally I bought 1 kg of big prawns, some more Spanish mackerel.

The Spanish mackerel

 My friends also bought happily whatever they can get from this boat.  Satisfied with our shopping then adjourned to Cecilia's popular village restaurant.We wanted them to deep fry our slimy mackerel and steam the prawns. 

deep fried slimy mackerel

Simple steamed prawns
This is the most popular dish of this restaurant, the (fan sa wu) yam with sugar. Really good, the yam ,yummy.....
The second most popular dish is the fry prawn cake, you can see the numbers of shrimp in the cake, deep in chili sauce, soooo good.. All of us were so hungry that we snatched up all in just seconds, don't even have time to snap the picture of it.  Anyway I bought some half -cook (none fry) prawn cakes back home.
None-cook or none fry prawn cakes
When these are deep fried, they will be very crispy and crunchy with the shrimps on them, deep in chili sauce and go into the mouth, nice, never have these type of food for so long since our childhood days.
The fried crispy shrimp cake

We also ordered some sea crabs, steamed , but the  way of steaming was not so good, anyway the crabs was fresh and sweet.

Simple steamed sea crabs.

We had an enjoyable trip to the fishing village and came home with full loads of fishes and prawns though not of our expectations.  It was 7pm when I reached home.  My maid and I took almost 1 and half hour to clean up all the fishes and prawns.  I will make the Spanish mackerel into fish paste on the next day.