Thursday, March 19, 2009

Watercress and Corn soup

What do you need?
- 1 sweet corn
- 1 bundle of watercress
- 1/2 chicken bones

How to do it?
Boil 1 pot of water, after water is boiled, using a cup (with handle), carefully scoop out a cup of hot water to blanch the chicken bones.
This will sterilise it as well as wash away all the blood.

Place chicken bone in pot and start boiling the chicken stock.

Before cutting away the string bundling the water cress, you may want to trim off the end of the stalks as it may be contaminated.
Wash thoroughly. Cut the water cress into 4cm long using the scissors and let it drop directly into the chicken stock.

Peel the leaves off the corn, wash corn, break it into 2 using ur hands, hold the corn upright and cut through the corn to release the kernels from the cob. This will expose the fleshy bit of the corn and allow the corn juices to release into soup.

Throw corn kernels and cob into soup.

Bring to boil, turn heat to low and boil for at least 2 hours.

To serve, place 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce into bowl directly and scoop soup into bowl.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Suan chai with pork belly

After making suan chai, see makings here, i drain away the water, keep it in a clean plastic bag, place in fridge for 3 weeks before i cook this.

What you need?
- 1 packet of pork belly (i chose the leanest piece)
- suan chai
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
- 2 tablespoon of sugar ( i like it sweet)

How to do it?

Cut pork belly into 2cm thick pieces, heat wok and fry garlic until slightly brown.
Add pork belly.

Fry until 80% cooked and slightly brown.

Add the suan chai, stir fry a bit and add 3 cups of water.

Into the water, add the dark soya sauce and sugar.
I have leftover gravy from my braised pork so i poured it in too.

Cover pan and let it cook for at least 20 - 30 mins on low medium heat, add more water if required, until meat is tender and water reduced to the taste u want.

Feel free to add more soya sauce and sugar to manage the taste.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Steam pork patty with salted fish

Saw on Sunday times Life! section that there is an interesting and affordable eatery place at funan.

Coincidentally hubby wanted to look at study table so we can go to Funan centre's vhive.

The eatery is called Paradise Inn, its under Paradise group and my family frequently visit the Paradise Seafood at Defu lane for crabs.

In the newspaper article, there is the mention of pig leg vermicelli so we ordered that. Nice but there is no MEAT! only skin and fat and lots of bone.

They also serve braised pork served with steam bun ('Kong bah bao') which is their signature dish. 1 piece is $2.30, we had one each. ok only. The meat is too bland for my taste and also not soft enough for my liking.

We also ordered steam pork patty with salted fish.

Below is my version and i personally think mine taste nicer!

What you need?
- half a pack of minced pork
- 1 piece of salted fish
- 4 pieces of perserved chye sim, chopped coarsely (those u eat with porridge)
- 1 egg
- a handful of dried scrimps (soaked and chopped coarsely)

How to do it?
Mix minced pork with preserved chye sim and dried scrimps.
Marinate with chinese wine, sesame oil, pepper and soya sauce for 10 mins.
Add 1 egg, mix well.
Add 1 tablespoon of corn flour, mix well.
Using a flat based plate, coat with olive oil (i use spring onion oil)
Pour minced meat onto plate and spread it evenly.
Topped with salted fish and fried spring onion (optional).
Bring water to boil in pan with steamer rack.
When water is boiling, place minced pork patty into the steamer carefully.
Cover and steam for 15 mins.
Using a fork, cut through the patty to the centre and check that its fully cooked before serving.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Braised Pork (Lor Bak)

This is usually done with pork belly but i never buy pork belly cos hubby likes lean meat.

This is another version of Lor Bak with lean meat and the trick to have soft lean meat is to give it a good bash and a good braise.

What you need
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon
- 5 slices of ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic (do not minced)
- 1 packet of lean shoulder pork meat (from NTUC)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 tablespoon of dark soya sauce (or 4 tablespoon if not using sweet dark sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of dark sweet soya sauce (optional)

How to do it

Cut pork into 2cm pieces. using the back of the knife, give it a good bash

Heat wok with oil, fry star anise and cinnamon until fragrant
Add ginger and whole cloves of garlic, fry until ginger and garlic is brown.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar into oil and wait for it to melt.
Add dark soya sauce and pork

Stir fry for 2 mins, add 1 cup water, cover it with lid and let it braise for 15 mins using low fire.
Every 10 mins, stir, check water level (add more water if necessary).

For meat to be cooked to tenderness, it takes 30-45mins depending on ur heat.

Before serving, if you like it to have thicker gravy, bring fire to medium and sauce will be reduced.

Sour vegetables (suan chai)

One weekend i went back to hougang for dinner, my mum has a plate of preserved vege on the dinner table. she said its preserved by my da jiu mu (1st uncle's wife).

Then on, every other weekend, my mum will have preserved vege cos my grandma also starts making her own using chye sim and sometimes cabbage.

What i am trying to say is, this sour vege is addictive.

One small bowl of sour vege can go with a big bowl of rice!

So i decide to try on my own

What you need
- 2 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3/4 cup of water from washing rice
- 2 packets of chye sim from NTUC
How to do it
Mix salt and sugar (2:1), with water that is used to wash rice.

Wash chye sim and leave to dry in the a airy place or under the sun for 1 day

This will wither with vege a bit.

Put the vege, soak with premix water, in a container.

Give the vege a good rub (just like u are handwashing clothes) and use a plate to press it downwards.

Leave container covered and leave it to preserve.

On a daily basis, give it a good rub.

On 2nd day, the vege will start to give out more water (yellowish) and soften.

On day 3, u will see white mould on the surface of the water, use the disposable table napkin to remove the mould from the water before rubbing the vege again. repeat this for day 4.

Vege should be ready to eat by day 4.

If you are not cooking it immediately, pour away the water, wring the vege dry and put it in a clean plastic bag and refigerate it.