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Category Archives: Food

Herbivores and carnivores out there, beware!

via vi.sualize.us

via vi.sualize.us

Although Singapore is renowned for its diverse food culture, I have heard my own share of voices telling me that our local fare is ‘unauthentic’.

Occasionally, I will hear my Malaysian friends telling me that our ‘Char Kuey Tiao’ never taste as good as their Penang version or our Chinese counterparts proudly displaying their patriotism by saying our food is ‘mixed up’ – the result of the integration of our early immigrant ancestors’ culture with the native’s.

On a more personal note,I admit they never really taste as good as its country of origin but I do acknowledge the fact that our food still taste great, just that it’s on a ‘improvised’ level. 🙂 If you are a Singaporean, you will probably know that the truly authentic food never comes cheap. Ever paid a whopping $5 for a plate of Chinese dumplings, commonly known as Jiao Zi, 饺子 or Gyoza in a food center?

The truth is, it is so easy and affordable to make at home that after reading this post you will never ever pay for a plate of this delicacy again. You can even make them in bulk when you have the time and freeze them, only taking them out to boil on those busy weekday nights. I learned this recipe from Dizzy’s mum, a Chinese PRC, who has been making Chinese dumplings for years. So this recipe is definitely ‘authentic’!

Taste great regardless in soup, pan-fried or boiled!

Taste great regardless in soup, pan-fried or boiled!

Chinese Dumplings ( Yields 50 )


Ingredients

Chives 韭菜 – 600 grams

Minced pork – 500 grams

Medium-size shrimps – 25, shelled and devined

Eggs – 2, beaten

Pre-packed Gyoza skin – 3 packs

Light soy sauce – 7 tbsp ( I prefer to have mine light, you can add up to 9 tbsp if you prefer a saltier filling :))

Pepper – 1 tsp

Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Oil – 1/2 tsp


Directions

1. Heat up a small saucepan. Add oil and spread beaten eggs to form a thin omelette, cook until golden brown, around 1 min. Set aside.

2. Wash chives by rinsing off the dirt and remove the stems. Drain all the rinsing water and chop into small pieces. Place in large mixing bowl.

3. Mince prawns with a cleaver, make sure not to leave any chunks. Place together with chopped chives.

4. Chop the omelette into small pieces after it has cooled down. Combine together with chives/prawns mixture and add in minced pork.

5. Add in light soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil. Use hands or blender to combine all ingredients, making sure everything is integrated.

6. Wrap the dumplings in the gyoza skins. If you need directions to do this, check out this video

7. You can choose to freeze some of them at this point of time. Just remember, when you need to boil them, standby 1 litre of cold water. Once the water is boiling, add the frozen dumplings. Cover and simmer at high heat until water is boiling again. Add in 1/3 of the cold water, cover and repeat the process another 2 times, until you have used up all the cold water. This will ensure your dumplings have completely defrosted and ready to eat or pan-fry once you dish them up!

Enjoy!

Over these years, I have never picked up the habit of eating fish despite the fact that my dad used to work in the fish market, and the well known fact that fish is a healthier meat choice due to its high level of Omega-3. Fish is always the last choice on my marketing list and I even try to avoid the seafood section in supermarkets because of all that fishy smell.

Also, Chinese believes eating more fish, especially the fish’s eyes can aid better eye sight. Maybe that’s the reason why I’m the only person in the family that has Myopia? All my sisters and parents are of PERFECT eye-sight. My dad has always chided me for not eating enough fish, so he trys to slip in some fish steaks every now and then into the fridge and ask me to cook it before it spoils.

Last Sunday, this typical episode happened again. And perhaps I had run out of ideas for lunch with Dizzy, so I decided to look up some recipes to cook the fish steaks before it rots and I get a scolding again.

The outcome was prettty unexpected! The execution of this dish had surprisingly drowned the fishy smell that I disliked and added a tangy, spicy taste to it. Be prepared to whop down a few more bowls of rice, as the sauce can really whet your appetite!

Hot and Sour Fish Steak (Yields 2)

Hot and Sour Fish Steak

Hot and Sour Fish Steak

Ingredients

Fresh water fish steak – 600grams

Salt – 2 tbsp

Tomato – 1, sliced into wedges

Chopped garlic – 1 tbsp

Chopped ginger – 1 tbsp

Sliced red chilli – 2 piece

Oil – 5 tbsp

Water – 200ml

Chopped green chives – 2 tbsp (optional)

Seasoning

Light soy sauce – 1 tbsp

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Tomato sauce – 2 tbsp

Chilli sauce – 2 tbsp

White rice vinegar – 3 tbsp

Corn flour – 1 tsp, mixed with 2 tbsp of water and stirred well, for thickening

Directions
1. Rub fish steaks with salt on all sides and let it rest for 15 mins. After this, wash the steaks under water and pat dry. Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in wok and add the steaks when the oil is hot. Pan fry each side for around 2-3 mins, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and get rid of excess oil. Reserve 1 tbsp.

3. Heat up the oil, saute garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add in red chilli, tomato, water and seasoning and bring to boil.

4. Thicken with corn flour water and mix well. Pour over the fish steaks and add green chives as garnish (Optional)

5. Serve immediately!

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on food!

My sister invited us to her place for a small family gathering and there were talks about having her mom-in-law’s specialty dishes for dinner. My brother-in-law is from a Peranakan family so her mum being a Nyonya, is VERY good at making great dishes!

For those who are not familiar with the Peranakan culture, here’s a short description:

Peranakans are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays. The old Malay word nonya (also spelled nyonya), a term of respect and affection for women of prominent social standing (part “madame” and part “auntie”), has come to refer to the cuisine of the Perakanans.

Anyway, it’s hard not to know the term Peranakan, especially after the famous Little Nyonya TV series in Singapore!

Here’s the pics for that night’s dinner

Curry fish cakes

Curry fish cakes

Mixed vegetables

Mixed vegetables

Braised chicken wings

Braised chicken wings

Chilli crab

Chilli crab

The scary word is here again. FLU is spreading quickly.

As of April 13, there are already an estimated 1,400 cases in Mexico where the virus is blamed for 86 deaths. So far no one can predict if this is going to be the next big global flu epidemic, or just something that will die out within a few weeks. The new virus is called a swine flu, though it contains genetic segments from humans and birds viruses as well as from pigs from North America, Europe and Asia. Health officials had seen combinations of bird, pig and human virus before — but never such an intercontinental mix, including more than one pig virus. More disturbing, this virus seems to spread among people more easily than past swine flus that have sometimes jumped from pigs to people. More info here

Anyway, let’s take a look at the local food that will be affected here in sunny and humid Singapore.

Checklist of favorite foods that will be affected:

1. Bar Chor Mee (Mince Pork Noodles)

2. Kway Chap (Assorted meat and poultry braised in dark soy sauce)

3. Pig Organ Soup

4. Economic Bee Hoon with Luncheon Meat

5. Braised Pig Trotters

6. Sweet and Sour Pork

7. Bah Kut Teh

Omg, that would be a torture! Ba Chor Mee is like my staple…

Please, let the flu go away!

I always wondered why the fried rice sold at chinese restaurants always looks like it is glistened gold with all that eggy-goodness while the ones I made at home are not.

Well, I came across the answer in the most unexpected manner.

I was watching a really cliché Taiwanese drama about an aspiring young chef who was only good at making 1 kind of food.

Make a guess? Yea, fried rice!

Although the show was crap, it clearly demonstrated how fried rice should be cooked in a chinese-restaurant style.

In order to attain that golden sheen, lots of oil and egg has to be  included… so one thing for sure, this dish is not meant for health-conscious people!

Anyway, here goes –

Good fried rice will have eggy-goodness on each and every grain of rice!

Good fried rice will have eggy-goodness on each and every grain of rice!

Chinese Fried Rice (Yields 2 servings)

Ingredients

Rice – 1 cup, cooked, cooled and left overnight

Vegetable oil – 5 tbsp

Eggs  – 3, beaten

Minced garlic – 1 tbsp

Prawns – 5 medium, peeled and devined

Ham – 2 pieces, sliced

‘Lap Cheong’ Chinese waxed sausages – 1 piece, sliced (Optional)

Salt – 1 tbsp

Green chives – 2 stalks

Dash of pepper


Directions

1. Combine salt and pepper to beaten eggs.

2. Stir half of the beaten eggs mixture onto rice. Make sure rice is covered with eggs mixture. Leave the rest of the mixture for scrambling later.

3. Heat oil on wok, add garlic once oil is hot. Stir fry til fragrant. *Note: having less oil will result in a dryer and less appealing rice… I only added 4 tbsp of oil as I couldn’t overcome my guilty conscious :p

4. Add in prawns, ham and wax sausages and cook til prawns have turned pink and the rest have browned. Set aside.

5. Scramble the rest of the egg mixture in the wok for 15 seconds. Add the rice and continue to stir fry until rice is completely coated with eggs and has turned golden.

6. Stir in the prawns, ham and sausages until combined. Add chives and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute.

7. Serve immediately.

The good thing about fried rice is that it is very flexible. I did not manage to finish all the rice, so i made myself a bento for lunch the next day, adding in some kimchi and pork loin asparagus as my side dish!

Kimchi, pork loin asparagus and fried rice for lunch!

Kimchi, pork loin asparagus and fried rice for lunch!

Tada! Enjoy~~~

Yonia

My healthy breakfast!

My healthy breakfast!

My own version of healthy pasta salad! This recipe is packed with my favorite anti-oxidants and sweet tangy Italian sauce

Pasta Salad (Yields 3 serving)

Ingredients

Pasta shells – 200 grams

Salt – half tbsp

Olive oil – 1 tsp

Water – 5 cups

Red Capsicum – 1

Japanese Cucumber – 1

Whole Kernel Corn – Half cup

Picnic Ham – 150 grams

Italian salad sauce – half cup

Directions

1. Add salt and olive oil into boiling water. Pour in pasta shells and cook for 13 minutes or until al dente.

2. Remove seeds from capsicums and cucumber and dice them together with picnic ham. Set aside.

3. After pasta shells are done, remove from heat and drain water. Make sure all water is removed, else use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water.

4. Add pasta, capsicum, cucumber, ham and corn together. Toss til combined and chill for at least half an hour.

5. Add Italian sauce only when ready to serve or it will turn soggy!

Voila!

Enjoy~

Yonia

Hey yo! I have been wanting to post the recipe for baby back ribs for the longest time, but it’s really not easy to find this succulent piece of meat in Singapore. Finally I found it at Carrefour! Again, like other “angmoh” ingredients, the price don’t come cheap.

But I’m such a sucker for western food! In the end, I wasted no time in getting the best slab of ribs and was already in ectasy by the time I reached the cashier.

Anyways, here goes!

Broiled to divine goodness!

Broiled to divine goodness!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs (Yields 1 serving)

Baby back ribs – 1 rack

Marinade

Garlic salt – 1 tbsp

Brown sugar – 1 tbsp

Paprika powder – 1 tsp

Pepper – half tsp

BBQ sauce – 1 cup

Directions

1. Rub all dry ingredients onto ribs in the following order – garlic salt, brown sugar, pakprika powder, pepper. Leave for 15 minutes. Place ribs in a zip-lock bag and pour BBQ sauce into the bag, make sure the whole ribs is covered. Chill for 24 hours or longer.

2. Pre-heat oven at 110 degrees Celsius. Remove ribs from marinate and place it on a large piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil and pop into oven. Bake at 110 degree Celsius for 3 hours and if possible, 4. Remove ribs from aluminum foil every 1 hour to add more BBQ sauce to the meat. This will ensure the meat falls off the bones when it’s done!

3.  After 4 hours of baking, remove ribs from foil and place ribs on a broiler rack. Add more sauce again. Broil on high for 15 minutes or until the sauce has caramelized and meat has browned nicely.

4. Serve with a side salad (optional)

Voila!

Enjoy~~

Yonia

My fresh dose of protein and fibre for breakfast today…
Ran out of chicken breast last night… So I substituted my protein with tuna instead.

Drench the salad with some balsamic vinargrette and voila!

A sweet, tangy healthy breakfast!

My breakfast!

My breakfast!