Wednesday, 30 January 2013

{5 New Recipes} Pre Chinese New Year Dinner Gathering

Last Saturday evening, a few of us get together to have an early Chinese New Year dinner over at my place. Although this was not the first time I prepared food for such as big group of friends other than my family,  I am still very nervous and a bit stress up with planning the dishes as well as preparations.

Thanks to Jacob and Shiting who initiate to help up with the Yusheng as well as preparing the ingredients for the dishes in order to put this dinner together. I hope everyone enjoys the meal and I apologize if the dishes are not up to expectations due to my clumsy hands and mind in the kitchen :)

These were some of the key ingredients that I bought from the wet market (巴杀) during that morning.  Sometime I really prefer getting my ingredients from the wet market as compared to supermarkets as I can go around the stalls comparing the prices as well as sourcing for fresh and money value ingredients.

Dinner Menu. Yusheng was prepared by Jacob (cookeatsnaplove) and his wife, Chloe. Whereas the main and dessert are prepared by Me with help from Shiting (lobsterpaints

Chinese New Year cannot go without Yusheng (鱼生) or also known as Lo Hei which consists of colour shredded vegetables (carrot, radish, lettuce) and a variety of sauces and condiments plus crackers, raw fish and etc. I am very thankful to Jacob from Cooksnapeatlove who helps to contribute his very own Homemade Yusheng to add new year atmosphere for our dinner.

{Behind the scene} Jacob even bought along his own kitchen set for cutting the salmon as well as big plate to assemble the Yusheng. Kodus to Jacob and his wife Chloe for the effort. Thanks for the hard work friends.


FISH MAW SOUP


Chinese New Year is always packed with yummy food and you can find different versions of Fish Maw Soup, Shark Fins Soup, Salted Duck Soup and etc at most of the household during new year. Above is our version of Fish Maw Soup which I prepared for the dinner gathering last week to feed about 10 persons.


(Serves: 10 | Preparation: 45 minutes  | Cooking: 30 minutes)

Ingredients:
150g Fish Maw (鱼鳔)
500g Crab Meat (蟹肉)
4 Clusters of Black Fungus (黑木耳), thinly sliced
250g Sea Cucumber (海参), sliced 1.5cm thick
6 Shittake Mushrooms (花姑), sliced
2 Cooked Chicken Breast, thinly shred
2 Litres Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce (for colour)
1 Egg White (optional), beaten
Cornstarch Solution

To Serve:
Coriander, Pepper and Black Vinegar, to serve


Method:-
1. Defrost the crab meat if it is frozen, rinse a few times and drained well. Place it a plate and steamed for about 5 minutes till cooked. Remove and flake it using a fork and set aside.

2. Next bring a pot of water to boil together with the chicken breast and a few slices of ginger and spring onion over medium high heat. When water comes to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

3.Off the heat, stand chicken in the pot for another 5 minutes, drain well and when chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and set aside.

4. Bring water to boil in a big pot, blanch fish maw in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse with water, squeezed dry and repeat the process again for another 1 - 2 times to get ride of the oil and fishy smell.

5. When done, squeezed dry and cut into 1.5cm thick, set aside.

6. To Cook The Fish Maw Soup:- Bring 2 litres of chicken broth (pre-cooked or instant chicken broth) to boil. Add in prepared fish maw and 2 slices of ginger, simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until fish maw is soften to your preferred texture.

7. Next add in black fungus, sea cucumber, mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes before adding in crab meat and shredded chicken to simmer for  3 minutes.

8. Lastly stir in dark soy sauce for the colour (optional) and season the soup with salt and fish sauce if requires. Thicken the soup with cornstarch solution.

9. Remove from heat, stir in egg white and serve with pepper and black vinegar.


Teochew Style White-spotted Rabbitfish (recipe) is one of my favourite Chinese New Year dish. And usually during CNY "White-spotted Rabbitfish(白肚鱼/拜年鱼)" will be available at all wet markets as well as the seafood sections at major supermarkets. And these fish taste especially good during this season and some even comes with roes that are particularly relished too.

Growing up in a Teochew family, we simply love steamed fish especial White/Sliver Pomfret (白鲳), Threadfin (午鱼) or White Spotted Rabbitfish (白肚鱼). For my version the fish is usually steamed with tomatoes, salted plums / salted vegetables, cut chilli, ginger and spring onions. Sometime shiitake mushrooms and tofu are also added for flavour too. You can refer a similar post on how to prepare this Teochew Style Steamed Golden Pomfret at the provided link here.



SIMMER CHICKEN WINGS WITH LEMONGRASS


Chicken Wing With Lemongrass is quite similar to Sesame Chicken (麻油鸡) which is cooked using sesame oil and lot of ginger during confinement. But the different between the them is the chicken for this lemongrass dish is infused with lemongrass fragrant leaving it an aromatic dish even just to have it alone with steamed white rice.


(Serves: 8 -10 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
20 Chicken Mid-Joints
4 Lemongrass, sectioned and bruise
8 Whole Shallots
10 Slices Ginger
10 Chestnuts(optional), skin removed
300ml Of Water
Some Cornstarch Solution

Marinade:
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
3 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons Cooking Wine
1.5 Teaspoon Cornflour

Method:-
1. Marinate chicken mid-joints with marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. (stir once or twice during marinating the process)

2. Saute lemongrass with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil together with shallots and ginger till fragrant and shallot is golden in colour.

3. Add in chicken, chestnut and continue to stir-fry over medium high heat till the meat changes colour. Add in the left over marinade liquid and water, bring to boil.

4. Cover and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked and gravy is nearly absorbed or you can thicken it with some cornstarch solution.

5. Remove from heat and serve.



STEAMED GINSENG PRAWNS


Photo Credit: Moonberry
In the previous gathering I did another version of prawn dish which was known as Steamed Drunken Prawns (recipe) whereby I soaked the prawns in rice wine for about 10 minutes before steaming to infuse it with a light and sweet wine taste. But for the above dish, instead of wine I decided to go for something more herbal which I used Dang Gui (Angelica) and Ginseng to prepare this "养身菜 (healthy herbal dish)".


(Serves: 8 - 10 | Preparation: 30 minutes | Cooking: 7 minutes)

Ingredients:
500g Medium Fresh Prawn, about 20 pieces
4 - 6 slices Dang Gui(当归)
3 Dried Ginseng Roots (小人渗)
Some Red Date, sliced
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries
2 Tablespoon Cooking/Rice Wine
150ml Water
Some Ginger Slices, optional

Method:-
1. Place Dang Gui, Ginseng, Red Date, Cooking Wine and Water in a deep plate. Steamed it over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Arrange prawns on plate(s), spoon prepared herbal soup over it, scatter some wolfberries and top with some ginger if using.

3. Steamed over medium high heat for about 6 - 7 minutes or until prawns are cooked.

4. Remove and serve immediately. Alternatively you can also add a splash cooking wine to enhance the taste before serving.

Tip:
~ If you cannot find whole ginseng shown above, you could also replace it with ginseng slices or roots.



TOFU WITH CENTURY EGG AND PORK FLOSS


Photo Credit: Sgfoodonfoot
Tofu (豆腐)is a very flexible ingredient which you could add into soup, using it for steaming, stir-fry and etc. I love tofu especially those silken type of steamed tofu which is topped with minced meat. Here, for this Steamed Tofu With Century Egg And Pork Floss, I have combined a few of my favourite ingredients such as tofu, century egg and pork floss which give it an unique flavour. And for other tofu dishes which you are keen to read more, you could refer to the link here.


(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:
1 Box of Silken Tofu, for steaming
2 Shiitake Mushrooms, diced
100g Minced Meat,
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Stalk Of Spring Onion, cut into sections
1 Red Chilli, sliced
1 - 2 Century Egg (皮蛋), cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons Chicken/Pork Floss
Some Cornstarch Solution

Seasoning Sauce:
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
150ml Water


Method:-
1. Season minced meat with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, cooking wine, light soy sauce and some pepper and cornflour. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Steamed the tofu on med-heat for 3 minutes or microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove and top with prepared century egg. Set aside.

3. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok, saute garlic, red chilli and spring onion till fragrant.

4. Add in marinated minced meat and give it a quick stir before adding in the mushrooms and stir-fry till aromatic.

5. Pour in seasoning sauce and bring it to boil. Simmer for a while and thick with cornstarch solution.

6. Spoon minced meat mixture around the side of the tofu, top with chicken/pork floss and garnish with some spring onion or coriander. Serve immediately. 



CLAYPOT RICE WITH CHINESE SAUSAGE
( 腊味煲饭)


Usually during Chinese New Year you would find all sort of preserved meat such as ham, duck, liver, sausages and etc available in supermarkets or Chinatown area.  And for this pre year near dinner, I decided to make a claypot rice using some of the assorted preserved meat plus arrowhead.

The preserved meat and sausages enhanced the flavour and aroma of the rice whereas arrowhead add-on another texture when cooked together with the rice. I have another two similar versions of claypot rice, one using Happy Call Pan (recipe) and the other using Claypot (recipe) which you might be interested to take a look too.


(Serves: 8  | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
4 Cups of Uncooked Rice (using rice cooker cup), pre-soaked for 1 hour
8 Arrowhead (Cigu - 慈姑), outer skin removed and cut into quarters
2 (80g) Small Chinese Preserved Sausage (腊肠)
2 (120g) Duck Liver Preserved Sausage (鸭肝腊肠)
120g Wax Meat (蜡肉)
2 - 3 Stalks Of Bok Choy, trimmed and blanched
1.5 Tablespoon of Cooking Oil
3 Tablespoon Soy Sauce Mixture
Some Dark Soy Sauce

Method:-
1.Wash and rinse the rice, pre-soaked it for at least one hour.

2. Blanch the preserved meat and sausages in boiling water for 10 seconds, drained. Remove the outer skin of the sausages, sliced both the wax meat and sausages. Set aside.

3. Bring rice (if using claypot the amount of water used is: 2 part water 1 part rice) and arrowhead to boil over high heat. (do not over or else it might overflow)

4.When the water almost dry up, lower the heat and arrange the prepared meat and sausages on the rice. Drizzle oil around the side of the claypot and let the mixture continue to simmer for another 8 - 10 minutes.

5. Turn off the heat and let the rice continue to cook (dry up) from the heat of the claypot for another 10 - 15 minutes.

6. Arrange the blanched vegetables at the side and drizzle some of the prepared soy sauce mixture over and serve.

Tip:
~ Rinse the arrowhead after cutting to remove the starch before adding it into the rice to cook.

~ To Blanched The Vegetables: Bring a pot of water to boil together with 1 teaspoon of oil and pinch of salt. Blanch the vegetables for 10 seconds, removed and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

~ To Make The Soy Sauce Mixture:- 200ml Warm Water, 20ml Light Soy Sauce, 15ml Fish Sauce, 1 Teaspoon Sugar and 1 Teaspoon Chicken Stocks. Mix everything together until sugar dissolve and set aside.



UPCOMING RECIPES




Apart from the Yusheng and Main Dishes that we had. I also prepared a dessert like Osmanthus And Chestnut Koi Jelly (recipe) plus a door gift with CNY flavour in it known as Longan And Cranberry Yogurt Cake (recipe).

Friday, 25 January 2013

Steamed Coffee Cake

This is my first time attempting Chinese New Year steamed cake as compared to my usual new cookies and dishes. But since I wanted sometime fusion rather than the traditional Steamed Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao - 发糕), I decided to use a sponge cake recipe and give it a twit by adding instant coffee powder and brown sugar to achieve a similar colour like Fa Gao.

On top of that, I also decorate it with some auspicious New Year wordings like 发财(Fa Cai), 福(Fu), 大吉(Da Ji) and etc by pipping outlines of the Chinese characters on it.


STEAMED COFFEE CAKE
(using Gold Kili Instant Double Shot White Coffee)


With some Gold Kili Instant Double Shot White Coffee Powder that I found in my pantry, I decide to add it into my sponge cake mixture to create our all-time favourite steamed coffee cake. The texture of these steamed cakes are very soft and fine which resemble those Japanese Steamed Cakes which are available in four leaves or some Japanese bakery.


(Make: 8  | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 12 - 14 minutes each batch)

Ingredients:

Method:-
1. Add all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and whisk using an electric beater on medium speed (speed 3) for about 6 minutes till mixture form ribbon trace when beater is lifted up from the batter.

2. Set aside 2 Tablespoons of the batter and coloured it with some red food gel till well mixed, spoon it into a piping bag and set aside.

3. Next spoon the coffee batter into another piping bag and fill each cupcake liner till 3/4 full.

4. Cut a small opening at the end of the red batter piping bag, make sure the opening is not too big or else the wording will be too thick.

5. Pipe some auspicious Chinese words on the prepared plain batter then arrange the cups in a steamer and steamed on medium high heat for 12 – 14 minutes depending on the size and heat.




Overall these cake are light in texture which filled with distinctive coffee flavour that make it a great snacks for the visiting guests during Chinese New Year. Imagine having this auspicious cake and wishing each other a prosperous new year with some "Lotus Seeds, Longan And Persimmon Sweet Soup".

Lastly I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Cooking With Shiokoji

Not long ago, I come across a new seasoning from Japan known as Shiokoji (塩麹 - salted malt rice) which was given to me by another food blogger friend. For short, Shiokoji is a traditional condiment made from fermented malted rice, salt and water. And if you happen to find Shiokoji in Singapore or during your trip to Japan, do grab hold of some and you would be amazed on the dishes it could produce.


GRILL SALMON WITH SHIOKOJI


Although the above grilled salmon requires only Shiokoji as the main seasoning but the end product surprisingly brings out the flavour of the salmon with hint of fragrance and savory taste. This happens because Shio-koji imparts a rich savory flavor that makes any dish delicious and it acts as a great seasoning on fish or meat too.


(Serves: 1 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 6 - 8 minutes)

Ingredients:
150 - 180g of Salmon Fillet
2 Teaspoons of Shiokoji

Method:-
1. Marinate salmon fillet with Shiokoji for about 5 - 10 minutes.

2. Drizzle some olive oil on griddle pan, grill salmon fillet with skin side down for about 4 minutes (depending on the thickness) on each side over medium heat till slightly golden brown in colour.

Tip:
~ As Shiokoji tends to burn easily, remember to lower the heat during cooking to prevent it from getting burnt.


Sometime we love simple meal like the above and it would be great too if you just want to narrow down the menu to only Onigiri (rice ball) plus one main dish. But if you have time, you could always add on another simple side like hard-boiled egg or boiled Edamame.


STIR-FRY MACKEREL WITH SHIOKOJI AND FRENCH BEAN


Simple Stir-fry Mackerel with Shiokoji and French Bean


(Serves: 2   | Preparation: 10 minutesCooking: 15 minutes)

Ingredients:
200g of Mackerel Fillet, Sliced
3 Teaspoons Of Shiokoji
150g French Bean, trimmed
Some Carrot, Sliced


Method:-
1. Marinate mackerel with shiokoji for at least 5 minutes or not more than 30 minutes.

2. Preheat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, pan-fry the marinated mackerel for 2 minutes on each side or till slightly golden brown in colour. Remove and set aside.

3. Next add in another teaspoon of oil, stir-fry the carrot and french bean till french bean change to darker green colour, toss in mackerel fillet and give it a quick stir till well-combined.

4. Remove on serving plate and serve with steamed white rice.


Other than the two fish dishes above, I also used Shiokoji to marinate chicken fillet which taste great as a simple dish on itself. And just for your information, the portion of Shiokoji to any meat ingredient weight is 1:10 which means for each 100g of meat, use 10g(1.5 teaspoons) of Shiokoji. But then it is still up to individual to adjust the amount of Shiokoji used according to their taste preference.

Chawanmushi is one of our favourite egg dish and nothing would go wrong when you follow Nami's (Just One Cook Book) quick and easy  Japanese recipes on her site. Here I followed one of her savory Chawanmushi recipe which includes step-by-step illustrations that helps to make this delicious Japanese Steamed Egg Custard. So do check up Nami's website for more recipe ideas too!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Grilled Salmon With Orange Marmalade

Chinese New Year (CNY) is less than a month away and I am sure everyone is busying with spring cleaning, planning New Year reunion dinner, gatherings as well as what to cook for the visiting guests and etc. Over the years, I have some collection of Chinese New Year recipes on dishes, desserts and bakes which you might be interested to take a look and hopefully it would help to spark up some inspirations for your CNY menu.


GRILLED SALMON WITH ORANGE MARMALADE
(using Frezfruta Orange Marmalade)


To shorten the cooking process of the usual CNY dishes like Braised Mushroom With Sea Cucumber, Fish Maw Soup, Braised Soy Duck, Chicken Curry and etc. Here I have a quick and healthy Grilled Salmon with Orange Marmalade that served with steamed vegetables which I think it would be great idea to add  into your New Year Menu.


(Serves: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 10 - 15 minutes)

Ingredients:
  • 2 Pieces of Salmon Fillet (200g each)
  • 3 Tablespoons Frezfruta Orange Marmalade
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Freshly Grate Ginger
  • 2 Clove Garlic, lightly smashed
  • Extra 1/4 Cup Frezfruta Orange Marmalade
Sides:
Assorted Steamed Vegetables


Method:-
1. Check and remove all the bone from the salmon fillet using a tweezer.

2. Combine all marinade and marinate the salmon for 5 minutes.

3. Lightly grease a griddle pan, grill the salmon fillet with skin side down first for about 4 - 5 minutes each side over medium heat.

4. To make the marmalade sauce: remove the salmon from the pan, add in ¼ Cup Frezfruta Orange Marmalade to the marinade mixture and simmer till mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat.

5. To serve, top salmon fillets with Orange Marmalade Sauce and steamed vegetables as sides.


I choose salmon because I love the taste and texture when combined with the marinade especially the orange marmalade which helps to boost up it taste. But just remember not to over cooked the salmon or else the meat would be too dry. 

Lastly I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Thye Moh Chan Cake House @ Chinatown Point

I love Tau Sar Piah especially those Traditional Salty Tau Sar Piah which is infused with fragrance fried shallot aroma that binds together wtih blend mung bean paste. Since my in-laws are staying in the East side, my mother-in-law used to buy my favourite Tau Sar Piah from Thy Moh Chan Cake House which was previously located at Geylang Lorong 27 until it closed for retirement during September 2011.

But about a year after it closed for business, this well-known traditional tau sar piah was bought over by BreadTalk ground and it was relaunched again in December 2012 with it's main outlet at Chinatown Point and another retail at Parkway Parade's Food Republic.

Traditional Sweet Tau Sar Piah @ S$1.60 each OR a box of 8 @ S$10.80
While staying true to original recipes the relaunched Thye Moh Chan also brings in new flavours which is tastefully packaged in contemporary style too. And on our first visit to the new outlet, I decided to grab a box of 8 pieces (S$10.80) with mixture of traditional and new flavour to satisfy my craving on missing their Tau Sar Piah for a year.

Traditional Salty Tau Sar Piah @ S$1.60 each OR a box of 8 @ S$10.80

Melon Seed Red Bean @ S$1.60 each OR a box of 8 @ S$10.80

Cranberry Tau Sar Piah @ S$1.60 each OR a box of 8 @ S$10.80
On top of the all time classic flavour, they also add in new innovative fillings such as Cranberry, Spicy Pork Floss, Salted Egg Yolk, Assorted Nuts and etc. I have tried the Cranberry Tau Sar Piah but for me it don't think the taste blend  well (too sweet) with the traditional fillings but I would still like to try their Yuan Yang which is a pairing of savoury bean paste with spicy pork floss and salted egg.

For me to find and able to eat my favourite Tau Sar Piah again is definitely something good to share but on the other hand because of the take over and relaunched the price of the pastries also increase as compared to those sold in the old outlet.

THYE MOH CHAN - 泰茂栈
133 New Bridge Road
#01-45/46
Chinatown Point
Singapore 059413
Telephone: (65) 6604 8858
Website: thyemohchan.com


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