Monday 9 June 2014

[Weekly Meal Planner #4] Recipes On Week Night Dinners

[Weekly Meal Planner] Week Nights Dinners
Hi peeps, time flies and we are into second weeks of June meaning half of the 2014 is almost ended. Today we shall continue with our "Weekly Meal Planner" column which hiatus for almost 2 months with the last entry two months back in April. I am sorry that I couldn't update it promptly here as promised because I was busy with my kid's mid-year exam plus my health was not really good over the weeks too.

Back to the post, for WMP #4 I am compiling a few recipes of our week night dinners which I hope it would be useful in a way to help planning your cooking schedule. Most of the dishes featured this round are rather simple and fuss free like quick soup, omelette, stir-fry vegetables and etc.


[Weekly Meal Planner] Stir-fry Chicken with Leeks and Mushroom
I am a fans of both Asian and Western Leeks (western leeks are slightly bigger in size when compared to the Asian ones) which I think it goes well with chicken, pork and fish. And in Singapore it's quite common to use the smaller leeks to cook with firm beancurd (tau kwa) together with some mince meat / lean pork (optional) and dark soy sauce.

But here instead of the usual way, I decide to do a semi-dry version using chicken, leek and mushroom with a touch of spiciness from adding some chilli (bird's eye chilli).

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

  • 1/2 Portion of Chicken, cut into bite size
  • 8 Stalks of Leeks, slice thick slices diagonally
  • 6 Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 Small chilli
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 150ml Hot Water

1. Marinate chicken with 1 teaspoon each of cornflour, cooking wine, fresh ginger juice, light soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce for at least 10 mins or more.

2. Preheat frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté marinated chicken till evenly brown.

3. Push aside of the pan, add in leek, chilli (deseed) and garlic, continue to fry till fragrant (10 sec) then mix in chicken and mushroom.

4. Give the mixture a few stirs, cook for another 5 mins on low heat stirring in between.

5. Next stir in oyster sauce till well mixed before adding in 150ml hot water and simmer for 2mins or till chicken cooked through.

Our 3-course dinner with two dishes and a soup:- [top left] Cod Fish in Dark  Sauce (recipe here), Watercress Soup and Stir-fry Chicken with Leek and Mushroom.


[Weekly Meal Planner] Stir-fry Leeks with Roast Pork and Firm Tofu
Here is another dish using Leek as one of the main ingredients but you can also replace it with decent amount of Spring Onion if leek is not available at times. And depending on individual preference you can also add in more water and some dark soy sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes to achieve better flavour like what our grandma used to cook. 

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)

  • 5 Stalks of Leeks (蒜), thickly slices
  • 2 Medium Firm Beancurd (豆干)
  • 150g Roast Pork (烧肉), cut into 1cm thick
  • 150ml Hot water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 Small Chilli (optional), seeds removed
*Note: Boneless "roast duck" meat can be used to replace the roast pork for this dish.

1. Preheat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and pan-fry firm beancurd until golden brown on all sides. Set aside.

2. With the same pan, sauté garlic and roast pork for about 3 minutes until fragrant and slightly brown.

3. Add in leek and continue to fry till slightly soften, add in chilli (if using) and season mixture with oyster sauce.

4. Next add in firm tofu; give it a quick stir then pour in water and let the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes till flavour develop.

There are a few types of Chinese Spinach (苋菜) available in the supermarkets (or wet markets) and you can easily use them for stir-fry or making quick nutritious soup for the family. Below is a simple recipe which you can get ready a hearty soup in 10 minutes.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 7 minutes)

  • 250g Chinese Spinach (苋菜)
  • 30g Whitebaits ( 银鱼)
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 5 Fishball, halved
  • 2 Slices Ginger
  • 250ml Chicken Broth
  • 200ml Hot Water
  • 1 Egg, optional
  • Some Wolfberries

1. Sauté garlic and ginger, add in whitebaits and continue to fry till slightly brown in colour.

2. Add in spinach in two - three batches and fry till soften.

3. Pour in chicken broth and water, bring mixture to boil then drop in Fishballs and cook till done.

4. Lastly add wolfberries, crack in egg. Give it a quick stir, turn off the heat and transfer to serving bowl.

Pan-fry Mackerel with Ginger And Lemongrass
A side dish to go along is Pan-fry Mackerel with Ginger and Lemongrass which you can find the recipe over at another related post here.


[Weekly Meal Planner] Steamed Herbal Chicken with Chestnut
For a quick fix on Steamed Herbal Chicken you can either used pre-packed Chinese herbs (available from most Chinese medical hall or supermarkets) or herbal chicken spices (brand of your choice) to prepare this dish.  For me if I am running out of time, I would use the SEAH'S Emperor Herbs Chicken Spices to marinate the chicken for at least 5 minutes prior steaming so that the meat will taste more flavorsome.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 90 minutes)

  • 1/2 Portion of Chicken, quartered
  • 1 Tablespoon of Steamed Herbal Chicken Spices / Ginseng Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Ginger Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Cornflour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 100ml Glutinous Rice Wine (客家黄酒)
  • 4 Slices Dang Gui (当归片)
  • Some cooked chestnut, optional
  • Some Red Dates & Wolfberries

- I used SEAH's Emperor Herbs Chicken Spices shown above.
- Glutinous rice wine can be replaced by white wine
- I used pre-packed ready to eat chestnut for this recipe

1.Marinate chicken pieces with cornflour, ginger juice, salt and herbal spices for at least 5 minutes.

2. Arrange marinated chicken on steaming plate, top with red dates, wolfberries, dang gui and chestnuts.

3. Drizzle glutinous rice wine over the mixture and steamed over medium heat ( I use electric steamer) for at least an hour to 1.5hrs till meat is tender. For better flavour, wrapped the chicken mixture in parchment paper over heavy duty foil before placing it on steaming plate.

[Weekly Meal Planner] Egg Omelette with Spring Onion
One of the side dish is our all-time favourite Omelette with I always add-in chopped spring onion or sliced brown onion for extra flavour.

Another 3-course dish with:- [top left] Steamed Herbal Chicken with Chestnut, Omelette with Spring Onion plus Stir-fry Veggie with Mushrooms.


[Weekly Meal Planner] Kau Kee Minced Meat Soup
Preparing a quick soup to go with the fried rice. Kau Kee is known to be eaten only with its leaves and this vegetables has sharp thorns on their stalks like roses and the leaves are often use in soup or stir-fry. Furthermore consuming Kau Kee leaves also helps in lowering high blood in a way plus they are packed with lots of antioxidant too.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 7 minutes)

  • 250g Kau Kee (九杞菜)
  • 80g Minced Meat
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 Slices Ginger
  • 250ml pack Chicken Broth
  • 300ml Hot Water
  • 1 Egg
  • Some Wolfberries

1. Remove the leaves from the kau kee stems. Rinse at least twice, drain and set aside.

2. Marinate minced meat with light soya sauce, sesame oil, pepper and cornflour for at least 10 minutes.

3. Sauté garlic and ginger till fragrant, add in minced meat and fry till almost cook thorough.

4. Add kau kee vegetable and continue to stir and cook till leaves soften.

5. Add chicken broth (mix with another 300ml of hot water), bring the mixture to boil.

6. Lower the heat simmer for 1 minute, add wolfberries and crack in an egg. Give it a quick stir, turn off the heat and serve.

A short cooking clip on how to prepare the Kau Kee Minced Meat soup.

[Weekly Meal Planner] Otah Omelette with Green Peas
On top of the soup and Stir-fry Okra I also prepared another Otah Omelette which was inspired by my dear friend @ahpoohbear who loves otah and egg just like us too. You can easily get pre-packed otah from supermarkets (or ready cooked otah from certain stalls in the hawker centre), cut it into cubes then lightly pan-fry till firm before using it to cook the omelette.

[Weekly Meal Planner] Ingredients for Otah Omelette

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)

  • 1/2 Portion (90g) of New Moon brand Otah, cut into cubes
  • 2 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoon Frozen Green Beans

1. Pan-fry the otah till slight brown on both side. Push to the side of the pan.

2. Next add in green bean, and cook for 1 minute.

3. On low heat, slowly swirl in beaten egg and cook till your preference of texture. Remove and serve.

Our 3-course dinner with: [top left] Kau Kee Minced Meat Soup, Stir-fry Okra with Sambal Chilli and Otah Omelette with Green Peas.


[Weekly Meal Planner] Ginger Vinegar Trotter
I am sure this is a familiar dish to most of the mothers who had eaten it during confinement as it is a traditional must have dish to help nourish the body functions of new mothers. But in modern days like now we can always cook this dish anytime when we feel like having it even thought we are not doing any confinement.

Surprisingly for me who dislike the taste and smell of vinegar (I don't like vinegar taste in my Minced Meat Noodles - bak chor mee so I often request to omit it) I actually love this dish with the tender meat and jelly like skin that melt in mouth (where the collagen is but kind of fatty in a way). Furthermore the sweet black vinegar also being infused with the fragrant and taste of ginger which makes it goes well with steamed rice or just sip it on it's own.

(Yield: 2-3 | Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 90 minutes)

  • 1 Pig's Trotter, ask for the front trotter and cut into big pieces
  • 2 Big Piece Of Old Ginger (老姜), about 500g
  • 1 Small Bottle (375ml) Of Black Rice Vinegar (添丁黑甜醋)
  • 1 1/2 Bottle Of Water, use the same vinegar bottle
  • 1 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 50g Rock Sugar/Brown Sugar
  • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs
1. Scrap, wash and cut the old ginger into big pieces then flatten slightly.

2. Heat up sesame oil in a large claypot and saute old ginger till fragrant.

3. Pour in vinegar and water then bring it to a boil. Low the heat, covered and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour; off the fire and leave it to stand over night. (alternatively you can transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cooker for AUTO for about 3 hours then switch it off and let it stand over night)

4. Trim the pig's trotter, rinse and blanch it in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove, rinse and drain well.

5. Preheat frying pan with sesame oil, sauté the prepared trotter for a few seconds to seal the meat.

6. Next bring the vinegar mixture to boil, add in the pig trotter and cooked for 30 minutes on low heat then add in the hard boiled eggs.

7. Continue to simmer on low heat for another 20 - 30 minutes till the trotter is soften to bite then add in sugar to taste.

8. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or you can prepare this ahead in the morning and let the mixture stand till the meat adsorb the flavour from the vinegar broth and serve in the evening.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)
  • 250g Choy Sum (菜心)
  • 200g Oyster Mushroom, thickly sliced
  • 2 Slices Ginger
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • Some Wolfberries

1. Trim choy sum into 3 sections, removing all the wilted leaves.

2. Preheat frying pan with oil, sauté ginger and garlic till fragrant add in mushroom and cook for 1 minute till slightly soften.

3. Next add in the "stem" portions of the choy sum and cook for 30 seconds.

4. Next add in the leaves and continue to fry with 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder seasoning (I used Knorr HAO CHI seasoning) plus splash of cooking wine.

5. Lastly add in wolfberries give it a quick stir and remove from heat to serving plate.

2-course meal: [top left] Stir-fry Choy Sum with Oyster Mushrooms and Ginger Vinegar Trotter.

Lastly hope you would like this week's menu and I would be featuring cafe-style breakfast items on our next weekly meal planner column soon. Till then enjoy your day and have a great week ahead.

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