Tuesday 31 May 2011

Red Angry Birds Bento Featured @ inSing

Continue with the series of Angry Birds Bento fever, I was invited to write a related bento recipe over at inSing.com. This recipe provide readers with step-by-step photo illustrations on making the Angry Bird Onigiri as well as how to assemble the food in the bento box.

Monday 30 May 2011

Angry Birds Bento #2 - 愤怒鸟便当2 plus Giveaway Event

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If this is your first time landing at this blog, let me introduce you to my 3rd sets of Angry Birds Bento I have made till date. Apart from the previous post on the Red And Yellow Angry Birds vs King Pig Bento (read more HERE), this week we have another new quick and easy bento set that consists 3 Angry Birds character that made of Onigiri, Hard-boiled Egg and Fresh Fruits.

Before we starts off with this week New Angry Birds Bento and Giveaway, let's take a look at the 3 LUCKY Winners from the previous Giveaway.


Congratulation to all the 3 winners. Please email me your mailing address at ellenaguan@hotmail.com so that I could send out the gift by this gift. Thanks.

Black And White Angry Birds Vs Green Pig Bento serves with Hard-boiled Egg, Rice Ball, Stir-fry Spicy Pork and Kiwi Fruits as dessert. To make the Black Angry Birds Onigiri, I shape the cooked rice into semi-round shape before wrapping it with nori sheet and assemble the facial features with cheese, nori sheet, crab stick and carrot. Whereas for the White Angry Birds, all you need to do is to assemble the facial features on the hard-boiled egg that requires less than 5 minutes.

Next using Kiwi Fruit to make the Green Pig is one of the best choices due to it's nature green colour and texture prints which makes it an idea ingredients.  And I am sure this is also another good way to get kids to eat this nutritious fruits too.

For this second round Angry Birds Item Giveaway, if you are interested to win one of these "Angry Birds Item", just leave your Name and with your favourite Angry Birds game edition (Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Christmas, Angry Birds Halloween and etc) "I love Angry Birds Rio" in the comment box and I will pick the winners according to the sequence shown below:-
Blog Post Comment(s) (2 WINNERS)
~ 1st Winner gets to win the "Angry Birds Colourful Notepad"; and
~ 2nd Winner gets the "Red Angry Birds Coin Purse".

Whereas for Facebook Page (2 WINNERS) (participate thru facebook HERE)
~ 1st Winner gets the "Red Angry Birds Plastic Fan"; and
~ 2nd Winner gets the "Angry Birds Cloth Pencil Case".

To INCREASE your chances to win, simply share this GIVEAWAY either through your Facebook, Twitter, Blog Post or etc then leave a 2nd Comments on what you have did to stand a 2nd chance on the draw. Winners will be announce on Monday, 06 June 2011. This event is open to ALL readers as well as fans who "like(s)" Cuisine Paradise Facebook Page.

[Updated on 06 June 2011]
Congratulation to all the 2 winners. Please email me your mailing address at ellenaguan@hotmail.com so that I could send out the gift by this week. Thanks.

[May $20 Budget Meal] Round-Up!

Thanks everyone for supporting the May Tofu - $20 Budget Meal event with a readers voted theme on using Tofu in one of the prepared dish. Thanks everyone whom take the effort to note down the pricing of each ingredients and total spending of the dishes to support this event. Here we have a total of 11 fabulous Tofu dishes for the "2 Dishes 1 Soup" menu created by a group of wonderful blogger and facebook friends from different countries such as USA, Australia and Singapore.

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

Seaweed Soup (紫菜蕃茄蛋花汤), Steamed Cod Fish and Tofu with Black Bean Sauce (雪鱼豆腐蒸黑豆鼓酱) and Stir-Fry Prawns with Pea Sprouts (虾仁豆苗)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$15.00; Serves 3-4

Bee Hoon Soup (豆包米粉汤),Kailan with Garlic Sauce (蒜香芥兰)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$11.00; Serves 3

Tom Yam Cream Soup (one dish meal)

by Ching of Little Corner of Mine (United State)
Total Spending: USD 8.00 (S$10.00); Serves 4

Winter Melon Soup, Steamed Silken Tofu with Salmon And Sweetcorn Plus Steamed Beef Steak with Onion

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$18.60; Serves 4

A one-dish veggie somen noodle plus steamed savory tofu pudding

by Tigerfish of An Escape to Food (Sunnyvale, California - United States)
Total Spending: USD 6.00 (S$7.50) ; Serves 4

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Garlic Toast, Grilled Tofu with Salsa, Twice-Baked Potato

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$10.00; Serves 3

Deep Fried Stuffed Tofu + Stir Fry Salted Vegetables With Tofu + Steamed Fish With Tomato

by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake. (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$13.70; Serves 4

Lotus Pork Ribs Soup, Japanese Tofu with Spicy Pork and Egg and Stir-fry Bol Choy

by Daphne of More Than Words (Australia)
Total Spending: AU$10.60; Serves 4 - 5

Steamed Stuffed Tofu, Scrambled Eggs With Sausages, Stir Fry Enoki Mushroom With Greens

by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake. (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$12.60; Serves 4

Steamed Tofu with Minced Pork Topping, Stir Fry Capsicum with Shitake Mushroom and
Seah's Black Chicken Herbal Soup

by Wendy of Wen's Delight (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$14.55; Serves 4

Entry From Joyce aka @ahpoohbear

Steamed Tofu With Corn Kernels And Mushrooms, Broccoli With Mushrooms And Watercress Soup

by Joyce of @ahpoohbear (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$11.40 ; Serves 2 - 3

Here I am again, taking part in the $20 budge meal. The theme for this month is “Tofu”. Yes, I LOVE tofu! I love anything to do with tofu – tofu soup, steamed tofu, fried tofu and my favorite zhi char dish hotplate tofu! But too bad, I don’t know how to cook it. Never mind, I shall always comfort myself with other tofu dishes. Here’s my contribution for this month:

Steamed Tofu With Corn Kernels And Mushrooms

One box of silken tofu
Sweet corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
Mushrooms (I used bottled mushrooms)
Two tablespoons of oyster sauce
Five tablespoons of water Mix together A bit of cornflour
Fried silverfish for garish and crunch

1. Steam the tofu in a pot of hot water for about 8 minutes or you can just microwave it to make it hot.

2. In a wok, fry the corn kernels with little oil.

3. Add in the mushrooms and oyster sauce.

4. Pour the cornflour mixture into the wok to thicken the sauce.

5. Pour the sauce over the tofu.

Total cost for this dish is about S$4.90 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Silken Tofu = S$1.90
~ Sweetcorn = S$1.30
~ Bottled Mushroom = S$1.70

Broccoli With Mushrooms

One Broccoli
4 Pieces of fresh White Button Mushrooms
Two Tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
Chopped Garlic

1. In a small saucepan, boil the broccoli till cooked. Place the cooked broccoli onto the plate.

2. In a wok, fry the chopped garlic till fragrant.

3. Add in the mushrooms and fry till almost cooked.

4. Add in the oyster sauce and water. Stir fry a while more to mix it well with the mushrooms.

5. Dish it up and put together with the cooked broccoli.

Total cost for this dish is about S$2.70 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Broccoli = S$1.20
~ White Button Mushrooms = S$1.50

Watercress Soup

One bunch of Watercress
2 - 3 pieces of Pork Ribs
1 Teaspoon of Guo Qi Zi
2 - 3 pieces of Honey Dates

1. Cut the stalk off from the watercress and soak the leaves for about 5 minutes by changing 2 to 3 times of the water. This is to rinse away all the dirt.

2. Rinse the stalk thoroughly and set aside for later use.

3. Prepare a pot to blanch the pork bones, then rinse with running water.

4. Bring a pot of water to boil, add in the pork bones and all other ingredients, including the stalk but exclude leaves.

5. When boiled, turn to lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add in the leaves and continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Total cost for this dish is about S$3.80 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Watercress = S$0.80
~ Pork Ribs = S$2.00
~ Wolfberries and honey dates = S$1.00

Once again, thanks everyone for taking your time to come out with these wonderful budget meals ideas and price breakdown. Do stay tune for our June Theme together with our very New Budget Meal Logo shown below.

Sunday 29 May 2011

RSAF Open House 2011

On 28 and 29 May 2011, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) opens its doors to the public with the RSAF Open House 2011 at Paya Lebar Air Base. So with this great opportunity, we decided to join in the crowds and went all the way to the East to participate in their activities.

Despite of the "HOT" sunny afternoon there are still large crowds of people flooding to the RSAF Open House to get a closer encounter with the aircraft rather than cooling themselves at the air conditioning shopping area. Below are some photos taken during the RSAF Open House......

The New F-15SG fighter aircraft

The engine view of F-15SG

Super long queue waiting to up the Boeing KC 135R Stratotanker to take a look at the interior layout.

CH-47 Chinook helicopter

Long queue lining up to go on board the C130 Hercules for photo taking and etc.

F-15SG getting ready for action in the Air Show.

CH-47 Chinook enter with 2 light strike vehicles and their crews in the field during battle.

AH-64D Apache Super Puma doing air support during the Air Show.

Friday 27 May 2011

Stir-fried Stingray With Fermented Black Bean And Chinese Celery

For most of us when we talk about "Stingray", the first picture that comes into our mind will be the popular BBQ stingray which is char-grilled and top with that delicious sambal chilli that makes you drool. Or the stir-fried chili with black bean sauce method that is found in most Mixed Vegetable Rice Stalls(Chap Chye Png - 杂菜饭). Even though stingray can be consider as one of the cheapest fish in the market but some people still hesitate to buy it due to it's rather "fishy" smell even after cooking.

Here the fishmonger recommended me a "white-coloured" skin stingray which he said it more tasty and less “fishy” smell. So since we have not eaten this dish for a very long time, I decided to get some and follow mum's preparation steps for this recipe.

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
350g Stingray Fillet, cut into chunks
1 Teaspoon of Fermented Black Bean (黑豆豆豉), rinse and roughly mashed
1.5 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
3 - 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Chili, sliced
2 Shallots, sliced
100ml Water
A few Stalks of Chinese Celery (中国芹菜)

1/2 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Dash of Pepper

1. Rinse and using kitchen paper towel to dry the stingray chunks before marinate it with 1/2 tablespoon of cornflour, dash of pepper and sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce and cooking wine for at least about 10 - 20 minutes prior cooking.

2. Next rinse and cut Chinese celery into 3 sections, divide the leaves and stems portions then set aside.

3. Heat up frying pan with 1.5 tablespoon cooking oil, saute minced garlic, shallot, chili and fermented black bean till slightly brown and fragrant.

4. Toss in the marinated stingray chunks and fried over medium heat on both side for about 2 minute till  almost light golden brown before adding in water.

5. When the mixture comes to boil, stir in the stem portions of the Chinese celery and allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes till the sauce almost thicken.

6. Lastly toss in the remaining celery leaves, give it a quick stir and finished it with a touch of cooking wine and pepper. Remove and serve.

Due to the "fishy" smell this dish is best to be eaten Hot together with some Chinese Celery where its refreshing taste will cover up the fishy smell leaving you with a sweet and spicy taste. Furthermore this dish can also be an addicting dish due to it's spicy taste from the chili and hint of traditional flavour from the fermented black bean and etc that makes you go for second bowl of rice to accompany it.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Yacon And Lotus Roots Peanut Soup

After a long day at work, a bowl of hearty home cook soup is always something that I look forward to. And I can even starts to imagine the fragrant and taste of the soup during my journey back home. As a frequent reader(s) of this blog you will notice that I loves to try out using different ingredients to prepare my soup. And today we are looking into a new ingredient known as "Yacon - 冰山雪莲果" which is commonly used for either soup or salad in Singapore.

Yacon(冰山雪莲果) is a sweet and crunchy vegetable that has a flavour similar to an apple. It grows in a variety of different colors including pink, orange, white or purple. In the United States, Yacon that is sold in markets is typically white compared to the orange type that we have in Singapore. According to some google read-up this vegetable is very high in fiber and low in calories which makes it a healthy and nutritious snack. (read more HERE)

From a glance at this Yacon, sometime you might even mistaken it as the some kind of Sweet Potato due to it's shape and colour.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
300g Pork Ribs (排骨)
1 Medium Size Yacon(冰山雪莲果)
150g Lotus Roots(莲藕)
50g Soup Peanuts(花生)
4 - 6 Red Dates (红枣)
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries(枸杞), optional

1. Blanched pork ribs in boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes, remove and rinse with tap water. Set aside.

2. Soak peanuts in hot/warm water for about 5 minutes, rinse well and set aside.

3. Remove the outer skin of the yacon and cut into thick chunks. Whereas for the lotus roots remove the skin and cut into thick slices.

4. Bring 1.5 litres of water to boil in a soup pot.

5. Add in all the ingredients except wolfberries and when the mixture comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until peanuts soften.

6. Lastly drop in wolfberries and season with salt to taste according to own preference.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

[Dessert]Orr Nee With Gingko Nut And Pumpkin

Orr Nee(芋泥) is one of the traditional Teochew(朝洲) dessert which often eaten at a Chinese Wedding banquet that symbolises unity and happiness for the newly weds. Traditionally this dessert is made using Lard oil to stir-fry the paste till it appears smooth and glossy. I still remember vividly how my dad and granny used to cook this dessert only during occasions such as Lunar Chinese New Year or praying ancestors'  anniversaries.

Since from a child till now I always have special feeling and crave over this traditional dessert with it's smooth texture, sweet taste and shallot oil fragrant. But no matter how close I replicate this dessert towards my dad standard, I can never find back that special taste that my late father used to make.

If you remember in one of my previous post I mentioned that a few months long ago, I came across a food blog known as "Maameemoomoo(a 1/2 food blog) where the author self concoct a very unique cheesecake  known as "Orh Nee Cheesecake(recipe)" that makes me felt in love at first sight. So if you love this traditional Orr Nee dessert I bet you would love her Orh Nee Cheesecake too, furthermore it is not difficult to get your hands on those ingredients too.

But now, let's take a look on how to prepare this traditional Orr Nee dessert.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
400g Yam, skinned and cut into 1" cubes
50g Caster Sugar
2 Tablespoons Shallot Oil(recipe)

100g Mashed Pumpkin (refer to note below)
12 Gingko Nuts
60ml Coconut Milk

1. In a prepared steamer, steam the yam for about 20 minutes or till soften before mashing it through a metal sieve.

2. As for the pumpkin, add about 1.5 Tablespoons of water to 120g of pumpkin cubes and steamed it over medium heat till soften. Mashed and set aside.

3. Next in a large frying pan/wok heat up shallot oil before adding in mashed yam and sugar, mix well and cook  over low heat till paste is not sticky.

4. Scoop the cooked yam paste into serving bowls, top with gingko nuts and steamed it over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the cover of the steamer, drizzle 1 teaspoon of coconut milk into each serving bowls, continue to steam for another 3 minutes.

6. To serve, top each bowl with mashed pumpkin and drizzle of shallot oil(optional).

~ For this recipe, I use prepacked gingko nuts which I rinse, remove the bitter pith in the seeds then marinated it with 1 teaspoon of sugar before used.

~ If you don't wish to steam the coconut together with the yam paste, you can microwave it on HIGH, 40 - 50 seconds till lukewarm and serve it as a condiment with the yam paste.

Although from the ingredients shown above this dessert might look too sinful or unhealthy due to  its fats content but I guess having a small portion of it once in a while is still quite acceptable. And I think eventually some of these traditional food or dessert will vanished in near future as most of the younger generation nowadays don't really fancy all these traditional food compared to their trend on bubble tea, donuts, fast food and etc. 

Tuesday 24 May 2011

[$20 Budget Meal] Bitter Gourd Soup, Stir-fried Leek with Firm Tofu And Stuffed Squid With Minced Pork

For some of you who look at this photo, does it look something familiar to you which brings back some of your Childhood memories? While sharing the photo of this dish with some of my facebook friends, some of them comments this is one of their favourite dish which they have not eaten for very long time.

From those comments it occurs to me that some how or rather these traditional dishes seems to be fading away due to generations. But I am consider lucky that my mum still knows a few traditional dishes on hand where she could pass down the recipes to me. So from what she has told me I managed to replicate my own Stuffed Squid with Pork Mince dish that we think is quite similar to what we used to have.

Due to the recent hot and humid weather it is always good to have a bowl of homemade soup to increase fluid intake as well as clear the heats from the body. The most common cooling soup among Asian family will be either, Watercress Soup, Winter Melon, Old Cucumber Soup, Bitter Gourd Soup and etc. Initially I always thought that bitter gourd soup will be "bitter" but after adding carrot, red dates and wolfberries this soup taste rather sweet with a just a bit of "dry bitter" taste which I find it very appetising especially on Hot day.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1/2 Medium Bitter Gourd (苦瓜), about 100g
300g Pork Ribs(排骨)
1 Medium Carrot (红萝卜), cut into chunks
6 Red Dates (红枣)
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries (枸杞子)

And to remove most of the bitter taste, you have to give the bitter gourd a good "Spa" rub with some salt before cooking so that you won't end up drink a pot of bitter soup.

1. Wash and blanch pork ribs in boiling water, rinse and set aside.

2. Wash and cut the bitter gourd into half length wise, then remove the seeds and rub it thoroughly with 1/2 tablespoon of salt to reduce it's bitter taste.

3. Next rinse the bitter gourd, cut it into 1cm thick rings and set aside.

4. Bring 1.5 litres of water to boil add in all the ingredients(except wolfberries).

5. When the soup comes to boil again, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat, season with salt and serve.

Total cost for this dish is about S$4.20 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Bitter Gourd = S$1.00
~ Pork Ribs = S$3.00
~ Carrot = S$0.20

Firm Beancurd can be consider as a good choice for a stir-fried dish that requires longer cooking time such as stewed or braised. Here I have do a twist with one the the stir-fried beancurd dish(recipe) which I have shared a few months back.

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
2 Pieces Firm Tofu
2 - 3 Stalks of Baby Leeks
1 Chili, sliced
1 Big Cluster of Fresh Black Fungus, cut into thick slices
3 Garlic Clove, skin removed and lightly pound
3/4 Tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
80ml of Hot Water

1. Rinse and remove any soil that trapped in between the green leaves of the leek, pat dry and sliced the leek diagonally into sections and set aside. (refer to the photo above)

2. Heat up frying pan with 1/2 tablespoon of oil to pan-fry the beancurd till slightly golden brown on each side. Remove, cool and cut into bite-sized portions.

3. Using the same frying pan, saute garlic till fragrant before adding in leek, black fungus and chili slices. Continue to fry for another 1 minute until leek leaves are cooked, stir in oyster sauce and give it a quick stir.

4. Add in beancurd and hot water, mix well and simmer the mixture on low heat for about 3 - 4 minutes till the leek turn soft and beancurd absorb the flavour from the sauce.

5. Dish up and serve with steamed rice.

Total cost for this dish is about S$1.90 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Leeks = S$0.80
~ Firm Beancurd = S$0.60
~ Fresh Black Fungus and Chili = S$0.50

This is one of my favourite childhood dish which appears occasionally on our dinning table together with the "Orange Sauce" shown in the photo below. While sharing a photo of this dish in facebook I was surprised that there are still a lot of people whom love this "traditional" dish which are prepared either by their grandparents, relatives or parents. And I assume in most modern household this dish could be consider as something new or just one of their childhood dishes.

1 Large Squid, about 250g
80g Pork Minced
1 Salted Egg Yolk, minced
2 Fresh Water Chestnut, minced
1 Teaspoon Chopped Spring Onion

1 Teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon of Cooking Wine
1/2 Tablespoon Cornflour
Dash of Ground Pepper

~ You can omit salted egg yolk but increase the amount of light soy sauce to 1.5 teaspoon.
~ Usually we love to dip this steamed squid with this "Orange Sauce" which is our all time favourite.

1. Clean the inside of the squid, remove the head, intestines and etc. Rinse and set aside.

3. Marinate the pork minced with the rest of the ingredients and seasonings for about 10 - 20 minutes.

4. Stuff the pork mince mixture into the squid until its full(use toothpick to pierce a few holes at the end of the squid to allow air to escape). Secure the opening of the squid with two toothpicks in a criss-cross manner.

5. Arrange the stuffed squid on steaming plate over some spring onion together with the head and steamed over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or when you are able to pierce through the squid using a fork.

6. Remove from heat, cut the cooked squid into thick rings and place in serving place and serving with either plum sauce or cut chili with dark soy sauce.

Total cost for this dish is about S$5.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Large Squid = S$3.00
~ Salted Egg = S$0.50
~ Pork Minced + Water Chestnuts + Spring Onion = S$1.50

With around S$11.10 mum and I managed to come out with these 2 dishes 1 soup that brings back a lot of our old time memories where she used to cook these for us when we are just about my boy's age. Time flies now it's my turn to practise with all these homecooked dishes so that one day I might be able to pass it down to whoever whom is keen in learning. Do you have any special homecooked dishes that you would like to share with us. If you have, do email me your blog link(s) to ellenaguan.hotmail.com or drop me a note to share with us on our facebook page(HERE) or comment box below.

CLOSING DATE For [May $20 Budget Meal] Event:
~ Wednesday, 25 May 2011, 2359 hours and all entries will be compiled and posted on 31st May 2011.

If you loves to whipped some quick and budget healthy dishes for your family. I would like to invite you to join us in our May Budget Meal event to share your homecook dishes with us(more detail HERE).