Thursday, 21 April 2011

[April $20 Budget Meal] Seaweed and Minced Pork Soup, Fried Bitter Gourd Omelette and Ma Po Tofu

I have being craving for those Cze Char style Seaweed Soup recently and after asking around for a quick and easy recipe. I managed to settle on Alice's version where she is very patience to guide me through  the steps during one of our chat on MSN. Her method was pretty good with boiling of  fresh ikan bilis stock and she also share on how to "clean" the seaweed by frying it dry in a non-stick pan which will enhance it's fragrance and at the same time removes any dirt that is trapped in between the seaweed.

This set of Budget Meal cost about S$6.60 which is good enough for 2 - 3 servings.

SEAWEED SOUP

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
1/4 Portion of Dried Seaweed, cut from a 20cm round
60g Minced Pork
2 Garlic Cloves, lightly pound
1 - 2 Slices of Ginger
1 Stalk of Spring Onion, cut into sections
1 Medium Tomato, cut into wedges
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Litre Hot Water
1/2 Cube or Knorr Ikan Bilis Stock

Method:-
1. Marinate minced pork with light soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and corn starch for about 5 minutes.

2. Heat up 1/2 Tablespoon of oil in a soup pot, saute ginger, garlic and spring onion till fragrant then add in minced pork and continue to stir-fry for a few minutes till cooked through.

3. Pour in hot water and bring to boil, add stock cube, let it simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove the garlic, ginger and spring onion before adding in the tomato and seaweed.

4. Turn off the heat, slowly swirl in the beaten egg and serve.


Total cost for this dish is about S$1.80 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Seaweed = S$0.40
~ Egg = S$0.20
~ Tomato = $0.20
~ Minced Pork = S$1.00


Whenever we visit any Cze Char(煮炒) stalls, we will always order either their "Bitter Gourd Omelette" or "Egg Foo Yong(芙蓉蛋)". Here we can also prepare a simple version of this delicious omelette dish at home according to personal preference. If you are not sure on how to choose the bitter gourd, you can always ask the stall owner for help. But if you are getting it from supermarket, just try to get those with bright jade green colour and wider pattern lines so that they are not on the extreme bitter taste.

BITTER GOURD OMELETTE

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
2 Large Eggs
100g (1/3 Portion of a Medium) Bitter Gourd, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
1 Teaspoon of Light Soy Sauce
Dash of Pepper and Sesame Oil
1.5 Tablespoon Oil for frying Omelette


Method:-
1. Before cooking the bitter gourd, add 1 teaspoon of salt and marinate for 5 minutes, wash and squeeze dry to reduce the bitter taste.

2. Heat up oil in frying pan, saute garlic until fragrant. Add in bitter gourd and mix well.

3. Stir-fry the bitter gourd until soft, slowly swirl in the beaten egg (beat egg, light soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper together till combined) .

4. Pan-fry at medium heat until set, turn it over and continue to fry until golden brown.

5. Dish up and serve.


Total cost for this dish is about S$0.90 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Bitter Gourd = S$0.50
~ 2 Eggs = S$0.40


It has being long since I last set my wok with this popular Chinese dish which is known as Mo Po Tofu(麻婆豆腐). It has a combination of tofu (beancurd) and minced meat that cooks in a spicy chili and bean based sauce. For this home version of Mo Po Tofu, I used the instant Lee Kum Kee Mo Po Tofu sauce which is slightly mild compare to the original "spicy" taste that we ate from Chinese Restaurants.

MA PO TOFU

Ingredients: (Serves 2 - 4)
90g Minced Pork
250g Soft Tofu, dice in 1" cubes
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar, optional
1 Packet of Lee Kum Kee's Ma Po Tofu Sauce

Method:-
1. Preheat frying pan with 1.5 tablespoon of oil and saute minced garlic till fragrance before adding in the minced pork.

2. Stir-fry minced pork till cook through, pour in Lee Kum Kee Sauce For Ma Po Tofu and simmer for 10 seconds.

3. Slowly add in the drained tofu and give it a quick stir to absorb the flavour from the Ma Po sauce and slightly thickened. (You can add in some sugar to balance the spicy and salty taste from the sauce)

4. Dish up on serving plate, sprinkle with some chopped spring onion and serve immediately with warm steamed rice.


Total cost for this dish is about S$3.90 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Silken Tofu = S$1.50
~ Lee Kum Kee Sauce = S$1.40
~ Minced Pork = S$1.00


Using simple ingredients like EGG and TOFU you can also whipped up something delicious like what we had for dinner. And I am sure most of you can also come out with some other delicious dishes using these simple ingredients too. Most important you know what is good for your family and  I am sure you will try to incorporate as many healthy ingredients as you can in your daily cooking.


8 comments:

  1. 2 thumbs up!!! What a wonderful complete meal! btw, the pizza tart was delicious - but today was really busy day and I couldn't take a picture of it. But somehow it didn't look nice like yours - mostly I put too much veggies on top LOL. I just wanted the kids to eat all the veggies... Thank you so much for the recipe! I'll make it again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, the bitter gourd omelette sounds interesting. I am going yo try next week. thanks for sharing! ;)

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  3. Not_thekitchensink21/4/11 11:07 pm

    Totally amazing how $6.60 can feed an entire of family! It probably is not enough for my family of 5 adults but I'm sure a larger portion will suffice ;p I'm always inspired by your budget meal posts! Hopefully after I end my exams I can start showing you support by doing up some budget meals too! :)

    I always found it hard to 'wash' seaweed - thanks for your tip! :D

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  4. Yummy! I will try to cook another set of budget meal for you tonight. :)

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  5. Parsley Sage22/4/11 11:05 pm

    Here we go! Comment problems solved :) I love the MA PO TOFU. I've got all of those ingredients in the fridge and a mind to 'wow' the hubby with this dish tonight. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. WOW! this is awesome! and every dish look so nicely whipped up, flavourful and mouthwatering (: (:

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  7. Yum! Cheap and healthy meals. It's true that meals does not have to be expensive at all! Nicely done! I love the soup and the omelette!

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  8. Yummy, Plus I can't believe $ 6.60 can feed the family!! You are such a great cook Ellena :)

    ReplyDelete

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Ellena (Cuisine Paradise)

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