Wednesday 30 March 2011

[$20 Budget Meal] Round-Up!

Thanks everyone for supporting this [$20 Budget Meal] event despite of the short two weeks preparation and write-up.  Since food pricing has being shooting up since the past few months I was wondering whether we can actually work together and brainstorm each other with some budget meal that feeds a family of 4. And I am very glad that even within such a short period of time, there are still many of you who are willing to take the trouble to plan and note down the pricing of ingredients and spending on each ingredient to support this event. Here in total I have received 14 fabulous sets of "2 Dishes 1 Soup" menu from blogger and facebook friends of different countries such as USA, Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore.

Here are all the entries for the [$20 Budget Meal], listed in the order of the date submitted.

Shark's Fins Melon Soup 《鱼翅瓜排骨汤》, Stir-Fried Beef with Celery 《西芹炒牛肉》, Fried Fish with Crispy Garlic 《蒜香鱼片》

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$19.50; Serves 6

Baked Drumstick, Stir-fry Broccoli and Peanut Lotus Soup

by Amy of Mothering Corner (Thailand, Bangkok)
Total Spending: THB340 (S$14.20); Serves 3

Stir-Fry Bitter Gourd With Egg, Steam Kurau Fish With Salted Vegetables And Black Moss Tofu Soup

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$19.20; Serves 4

Pumpkin, Carrot & Orange Soup, Pumpkin & Cranberry Rice, Grilled Salmon with Orange & Lime Butter

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$10.50; Serves 3

Dumpling Soup with caixin (菜心水饺汤), Steamed Chicken with Mushroom and Cloud Ears (冬菇云耳蒸鸡), Stir-Fried Broccoli with Prawns (虾球西兰花)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$19.00; Serves 8

Asian Style Butterflied Roast Chicken, Roasted Vegetables, Cucumber Salad and Lotus root and Black Bean Soup

by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets (Pennsylvania, United States)
Total Spending: USD 12.21 (S$15.40); Serves 4

Steamed Glutinous Rice Parcel, Stir-fry Spinach and Apple with Dual Fungus Soup

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$14.00; Serves 2-3

Mongolian chicken, Stir fried cabbage with anchovies and ABC soup

by Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover (Malaysia)
Total Spending: RM 30 (S$12.50); Serves 4

Ginger-Sesame Oil Steamed Chicken, Parchment-Steamed Vegetables + soup (Napa Cabbage Barley Soup

by Tigerfish of An Escape to Food
(Sunnyvale, California - United States)
Total Spending: USD 11.80 (S$14.90); Serves 4

Leek and Potato Soup, Grilled Chicken Cutlet and Green Apple Salad

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$14.25; Serves 2 - 3

Jacket Fish in Miso Sauce, Stir Fry Zucchini with Capscium and Shimeji Mushroom, and Egg andTomato soup

by Wen of Wen's Delight (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$14.00; Serves 4

Stir-Fry Vegetables (清炒菜心), Braised Noodles (焖福建面), Salted Pork Bone Congee (咸猪骨粥)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$15.50; Serves 6

Carrot and Corn Soup, Tofu with Minced Chicken and Onion Omelette

by Jacqualine (thesuper-girl) of TheSuper-Girl (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$10.50; Serves 3

Entry From @ahpoohbear

Carrot and Pork Ribs Soup, Steamed Herbal Chicken and Mushroom Omelette

by Joyce of ahpoohbear (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$15.45; Serves 2

I was very happy to be invited by my good friend cum famous food blogger – Cuisine Paradise – to participate in this food event. To tell you the truth, I’m not a good cook to start with. In fact, I seldom cook at home, since it is so much convenient to go coffee shop to get wanton noodles or chicken rice. But I want to support my good friend for this special event, so I decided to cook this weekend.

Here’s my recipe for the $20 budget meal event with silver fish rice, herbal emperor chicken, egg with mushroom and radish soup.

This is a very simple and yet delicious rice. Personally, I prefer flavored rice than plain rice as it increased my appetite.Total cost for rice ingredient, silver fish is S$0.60.

Silver fish rice

A handful of Silver fish
1 cup of rice (enough for two to three)
Dash of pepper
Sesame oil
Soy sauce


1. Wash the rice thoroughly.

2. Wash the silver fish with running water.

3. Marinate the silver fish with pepper, sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. I do not have the specific measurement; it’s all up to individual preference.

4. Cook the rice and when it is about to cook, add in the marinated silver fish.

5. Stir well and let it cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve

This is a very simple chicken dish to prepare. All you need is Seah’s Herbal Emperor Chicken spice and a chicken, where both can be easily purchased from supermarket. Total Cost for Chicken and Seah's Spices are S$7.00.

Herbal Emperor Chicken

One chicken
Seah’s Herbal Emperor Spice


1. Wash the chicken and cut away all the fats.

2. Rub the chicken with Seah’s Herbal Emperor Spice.

3. Wrap the chicken with the aluminum foil provided.

4. Steam the chicken for approximately 2.5 hours.

This is a simple and nutritious dish which I happened to come across when doing marketing in NTUC Supermarket. The uncle was promoting mushrooms and he was frying this dish. I was thinking – since I love these two ingredients, why not, cooked this to participate in this blog event. Total cost for Eggs and Mushrooms are S$3.05.

Fried Egg with Mushroom

White button mushrooms
Minced garlic
Two eggs
Oyster sauce Soy sauce and pepper to taste


1. Season the egg with soy sauce and pepper to taste.

2. Fry the minced garlic till fragrant.

3. Fry the scramble egg.

4. Add in the mushrooms and season with oyster sauce.

5. Add in black pepper (optional) if you prefer to have a bit of more pepper taste. (I added black pepper from MacDonald ). Serve.

Soup is the easiest dish to prepare. All you need to do is put all the ingredients in and boil till the soup is tasty. I used a thermal cooker which saved me lots of time. I just need to prepare the ingredients, put it to cook over the stove till it boils and put into the thermal cooker and let it continue to cook. Total cost for soup ingredients such as radish, carrot, pork ribs, sweetcorn, wolfberries and sweet dates are S$4.80.

White Radish Soup

White radish
Sweet corn
Pork ribs
Sweet dates
Salt to taste


1. Wash and blanch the pork ribs.

2. Put all the ingredients into the pot and bring to boil. You may simmer it over stove for approximately 1 hour or put inside the thermal cooker and let it cook till ready to serve.

3. Add salt to taste and serve.


Thanks everyone for supporting this short-notice event and I hope we can still work together to pool as many budget meal ideas as possible to help each other with better budgeting and new recipe ideas. And I am also glad to learn so many new and creative dishes from each one of you who contributes to this event. Thank you so much. All you dishes are feature at Cuisine Paradise Facebook Page HERE and the dish who earns the most "LIKE(s)" will received a mystery gift.

Using "EGG" to make one of the dish

For April [$20 Budget Meal] event let's have a little cooking challenge by using the specific ingredient "EGG(s)" for one of the dish in your menu (eg: steam egg, fried omelette, scrambled egg and etc). And for those who wish to join us please refer to the submission details shown below. Look forward to receive your sharing of April Budget Meal menu soon. Cya.

~ Either "2 Dishes plus 1 Soup" or "1 Pot Dish" using a Maximum budget of $20.00 for 2 - 4 servings. If you are from overseas, you can also participate by converting to the appropriate currency value, (ie. US$15.00, RM$50.00, Rp $138,000 and etc)

~ If you do not have a blog, just send in the photos and recipe of your dishes and I will publish on your behalf in my blog, credited to you. (photos can be taken in any form using digital camera or hand phone)

~ Please do mention in your blog that you are sharing this post to “$20 Budget Meal” event and link it to this page so as to encourage more readers to contribute.

~ E-mail your "blog link" or "photos with recipe" to with a subject "Easter April $20 Budget Meal" in the following format:

Your Name:
URL of your post:
Name of your dishes + soup:
Estimate amount spent for each dish:
Attachment of your photo in your email (each photo, preferably 500kb or less).

~ Monday, 25 April 2011, 2359 hours  and all entries will be compiled and posted on 30th April 2011.


  1. Nice roundup! You going to make it a permanent event? My mum does the cooking, so I don't really know the cost, if not can try to participate. :)

  2. Thanks :) Errrr... not really permanent but mb hit a target of 50 - 100 sets of budget meals :) My aim is to help myself and those who loves to cook to pool a set of budget meal menu. U can check with your mum, roughly how much she spent and you can give us a rough breakdown. Hope to see some of her lovely homecook dishes too :)

  3. wow.... everything looks so good ! :)

  4. Yup! A lot of yummy dishes :) Do come and join us next month Cathy.

  5. wen's delight31/3/11 1:24 pm

    Thanks for the great event! Very interesting and helpful!

  6. Nasi Lemak Lover31/3/11 9:12 pm

    I must try some of the recipes here.

  7. Nasi Lemak Lover31/3/11 9:12 pm

    I must try some of the recipes here.

  8. Hi Ellena, I would really love to join this too!! And I could do that for AU 15! Really looking forward to it !

  9. Parsley Sage1/4/11 12:46 am

    I can't get over how much amazing food you were able to round up for under $20! Love this series!

    Thanks for the well wishes for NYC. Just got back, it was too much fun :)

  10. Thanks for organizing the blog event! Great round up!

  11. Thanks for your support. Hope to see new entries from u in April too :)

  12. Hi Parsley, welcome back. I sure you would have a lot to tell from your recent trip. Look forward for your post soon. Do come and join us in this budget event if you are free :)

  13. Welcome Weng! I will look forward for your entries soon :)

  14. Thanks for your support post :) Hope to see new entries from u in April too :)

  15. Thanks Wen, I shall look forward for your April entries soon :)

  16. This is so interesting and I am going to participate. Just send you an email to get some clarification.

  17. I love this! There is so much good food and so many choices! Yum!


Dear All,

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Ellena (Cuisine Paradise)