Monday, February 24, 2014

Lor Bak

Its been a long time since we have been eating lor bak, this is a very popular dish in Penang.  Its quite similar to spring rolls, just the ingredients in the rolls are different.

I never cook this dish before but I am going to share with you this recipe from a nyonya baba cuisine ,  this book was printed in 2005.  This book was given free when we had Mother's day dinner in Genting Highlands.

I modified a little of the ingredients.  The meat used is chicken meat( in fact, the original meat is pork) , I used minced pork and instead of water chestnuts ,I replaces with Chinese yam.

The ingredients are,
500 g minced pork,
2 to 3 shallots, diced,
2 tbs chopped spring onions,
4 water chestnuts, chopped,
2 sheets dry beancurd skin, cut into 5 x6 rectangles,
1 egg white, lightly beaten (for sealing the rolls),
oil for deep-frying.
Cucumber (garnishing)

For marinade,
1 tbs oyster sauce,
1 tbs light soy sauce,
salt to taste,
1/2 tsp pepper,
2 tsp sugar,
1 egg, lightly beaten,
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder, 
12 g sweet potato flour.

For the dipping sauce,

4 tbsp plum sauce,
2 tbsp Garlic chili sauce,
2 tbsp tomato sauce,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tbsp sugar,
toasted sesame seeds.

 Marinate the minced pork for 4 to 6 hours or preferably overnight.  Remove the meat from the freeze, add in the chopped spring onions, water chestnuts and diced shallots, mix well.

 Get the dry beancurd sheets ready and place a piece of a board.
Spread a tablespoon of the mixture onto the prepared beancurd skin sheet. Wrap and roll up neatly.
Seal edges with a little egg white and twist both the ends to conceal the filling.

I will finish all the rolling and place onto a plate and use cling paper to cover up , put into the freeze until its time for frying.
Prick the beancurd skin slightly with a toothpick to prevent air bubbles from forming during frying.
Heat up oil until very hot, then reduce the heat to medium and deep-fry the meat rolls until golden brown.

Drain well on kitchen towels.  Let cool before cutting and serve garnish with cucumber and the sauce.

To make the sauce:  Combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well.

Hm mm  the crispy of the beancurd skin, the fragrant of the spring onions and shallots and the five spice powder, yummy, the crunch and sweetness of the Chinese yam.  I like it.  Good for the first try.

Pickled Green Chillies

Whenever we go for wanton noodles, the waiters or waitress will serve us some pickled green chillies.  It will not taste natural eating wanton noodles without this chillies.  In fact, other noddles like Cantonese fry noodle, wat tan hor fun, fried vermicelli also go well with this pickled green chillies.
Today I wanted to share this very easy homemade pickle for our own convenient use at home.

 200 gram green chillies,
 1 cup rice vinegar,
1/2 cup sugar,
1/2 tsp salt.
Wash and drain the green chillies.
Cut into 2 to 3 mm slices.
Boil some water in a small sauce pan.  Put in the chillies and and have a quick stir.  Drain well.

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar.

Place the well drained chillies into a clean and dry glass jar.

Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar to pickle the chillies.  Cover the jar.
The pickle will be ready in 2 to 3 hours, it will be best after pickle for a night.

Fry Fresh Scallops

This morning as usual go to the fishmonger,I was so surprised to see fresh scallops with the shells intact.  this is the first time I ever see this in the wet market since I started doing marketing as young as 12 years old.  I was so excited, me and my whole family like scallops. Its  very cheap too.  It cost me only RM 8 for a kg.  The fishmonger helps me to choose the bigger the  possible for me. 
These are the fresh scallops that I got from the market.  I peel off the shells.  Remove the intestines and drain well.  After peeling and removing all the unwanted parts, it remained about 400 grams in weight.
Anyway, the scallops look so beautiful and fresh.  I decided to stir fry just like the way I used to stir fry la la, another type of shells seafood from the sea.
I gather all the ingredients as bellow,

1 tbs taucu(fermented bean paste),
2 shallots,
 3 pips of garlic,
1 red chili,
1 inch ginger
1 tsp sugar,
1 tbs sesame oil,
1 tbs oyster sauce,
2 tbs cooking wine.
2 tbs cooking oil,
Chopped basil/spring onion(garnish)

Chop the garlic, slice the shallots, cut the ginger and chop into fine pieces, cut the chili into small slices and set aside.
 In a small bowl, put in sugar, sesame oil,oyster sauce and wine and mix well , set aside.

Heat up the oil in a wok, put in shallots, garlic, ginger and chili.  Stir fry until aromatic.
Add in taucu and continue frying for a while.  Add in the seasoning and it has a quick boil.
Lastly stir in the scallops, stir fry until the scallops are cooked, about 2 minutes. Off the fire and add in the basil and have a quick stir. Scoop out and serve hot with rice.

Oh  the scallops are so fresh and so sweet, taste yummy.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Double boil chicken with glutinous rice

Agnes, my friend has become grandmother now.  Although she has confinement lady for her daughter-in-law, she will also prepare some special soup for the young mother.  When I visited them yesterday she served me with chicken soup with glutinous rice.  I like the soup, something special that I never tasted before.  Agnes explained that this is a very nourishing soup for the young mother.  She shared the recipe with me and I am sharing it here. 
This recipe serve 3.  You got to adjust the ingredients if there is more then 3 members in the family.

The ingredients are,

1 free range chicken (about 1.5Kg)
3 to 4 dried scallops,
2 pieces of Korean ginseng(optional)
4 to 6 red dates,
8 to 10 goose berries,
2 to 3 tbs cooking wine,
1 cup of glutinous rice,
2 cups of water,
1/2 tsp of salt..
Clean the chicken and remove the extra fats .  Par-boil the chicken and drain.  Soak the dried scallops, red dates and goose berries and set aside.

Wash the glutinous rice, add in the salt and water into a small sauce pan and cook in medium fire .  Keep stirring to prevent the rice stick onto the pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Drain the rice and let cool. The rice water to be poured into the inner pot for double boiling.

 Use a spoon to scoop the sticky rice into the cavity of the chicken, push as far in as possible until all the rice are inside the cavity.  do not worry that the rice will flow out while cooking, sticky rice will stick together inside the cavity by itself. 
Prepare the double boil pot, pour in the rice water, at this junction,( I add1 more cup of water for extra soup), put in the well stuffed chicken and the rest of the ingredients.
Cover and double boil for 3 hours. 
When its time for dinner, I open up the cover of the pot, mmm..smell good.
Remove the chicken from the inner pot onto a plate.  You can add in salt to taste into the soup, but I prefer the plain taste of the ingredients. At the same time i scoop out the sticky rice .

I prefer to eat the rice, chicken and drink the soup separately.  The rice is so soft and tender, and the soup, though is a little oily but is nourishing and taste good. 
Serve hot .

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Calamondin chicken (limau kesturi)

This is a very old recipe from news paper cutting that I kept for more then 30 years.  I have not been preparing this recipe for a long ,long time.  I would like to share this simple and delicious recipe here.  My whole family like this recipe very much because of the sweet and sour flavour and is very appetising too.

500 g chicken,
5 to 6 calamondin,
1 tbs spoon of palm sugar or brown sugar,
1 inch cinnamon,
3 tbs soy sauce,
5 shallots,
2 red chillies,
1 tsp corn flour,
 1 tsp water,
2 tbs cooking oil,
chopped spring onions or parsley (garnish)

Clean and chop the chicken into bite pieces, drain.  Cut the shallots and chillies into slices and set aside.Extract the juice from the calamondin and scrape out some of the pips.  Mix it with the soy sauce, cinnamon and sugar. Mix the water and the corn flour for later use as thickening.
Heat up the oil in a wok, fry the shallots and chillies until fragrant.  Add in the chicken and continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add in salt to taste and add the calamondin sauce prepared earlier.

Cover and simmer until under slow fire until chicken meat is tender.  Add in thickening, garnish with spring onion or parsley when serving.
This dish goes well with rice.  Serve 4 to 5 persons.

For a festive occasion, a whole chicken can be marinated in the juice sauce, with honey added, and baked in an oven, basting with the sauce until brown.  Decorated appropriately. (suggestion by the author)   I have not try this baking before.  I will try and share the outcome.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Classic Lemon Pound Cake

I was watching Asian food Channel last week, I was attracted to what Anna Olson baking on the TV show. I watch the way she did the measurements for the ingredients, and the whole process until she completed the baking.  I like her way of preparing baking and cooking as well, simple, easy and delicious.  She was baking classic lemon pound cake. Immediately after the show I got the recipe from the web and copy down.

As the recipe call for sour cream, so I have to buy from the grocery the next day. I started preparing the baking after gathering all the needed ingredients,

 The ingredients are,

1 cup of unsalted butter, just cooler then room temperature,
1 1/2 cups of sugar( I reduced to 1 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp of finely grated lemon zest.
5 large eggs, room temperature,
1/3 cup of sour cream (full fat),
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract,
1 cup all purpose flour,
1/2 cup cake + pastry flour,( I used self-raising flour),
1/2 tsp salt.
1   9"x5" loaf pan (greased)
preheat the oven to 160 degree C.

Beat the butter and sugar and lemon zest  until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork in a bowl, add this to the batter in a few additions, scrapiong down the bowl in between.
In another bowl stir the sour cream and vanilla together and beat this in to the batter .
In another bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour and salt.  Add into the batter, mixing un til fully incooperated, scarping to the bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure this.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap it a few times to make it level, and allow any air bubbles to escape.
Bake the cake for 65 tp 70 minutes, until tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clear.
Oh!  smell so good.   Next , have to prepare lemon glaze while the cake is still hot.

I need, 3 tbs lemon juice,  2 tbs water and 1/3 cup of sugar.
This is a very simple glaze.  Put all the ingredients into a small sauce pan,
cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

At the meantime, poke holes in  the warm pound cake using a bamboo skewer,
This is to ensure that the glaze can get into the cake.
Brush the glaze over warm cake.
Can see the shine after brushing the glaze onto the cake.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing to serve.(the glaze will set once the cake is cool).
The cake smell and taste so good, I had 2 slices after my dinner.  Oh, I like it very much because
 the sweetness is cover by the sourness of the lemon, so it is not very sweet but feel so fresh, AS Anna Olson said that this lemon pound cake will bring freshness to your table weather served with afternoon tea or as dessert after a big meal.