Wednesday 12 November 2014

[30 Minutes Meal] 7 Express Cooking Recipes

Quick meal in 30 minutes
Hi everyone, time flies and it’s mid-week again! If you are short on time to prepare weekday dinner after a hectic day at work, here are 7 express cooking recipe ideas for your reference. To speed up the cooking time you could even prepare some of the ingredients beforehand so in way you could save at least a good 10 minutes on cutting and preparation. Between our ideas of express cooking are still within the topic of preparing proper one-dish meal which includes meat and vegetables that is done in 30 minutes or less.


Stir-fry Chicken And Bell Pepper
Chicken teriyaki is a popular Japanese dish which can be easily prepared at home using ingredients such as teriyaki sauce and chicken. Here by adding some teriyaki sauce into the Stir-fry Chicken with Bell Pepper I have recreated this simple dish into another hearty one dish meal to go with black cargo rice which is our current favourite grains. 

Ingredients for stir-fry chicken and bell pepper

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

  • 1 Skinless Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Bell Pepper
  • Some Baby Corn(optional), halved lengthwise
  • 2 Portion Serving Rice

Steps for preparing stir-fry chicken and bell pepper
1. Marinate chicken together with Teriyaki and sweet chilli sauce for at least 10 minutes.

2. Heat up frying pan over medium heat, add oil and sauté onion till fragrant.

3. Add chicken and stir-fry 3 minutes or until cook. Stir-in corn and bell pepper and continue to fry for another minute together with 50ml hot water.

4. Remove, top with some toasted sesame seeds and serve with rice.


Stir-fry Greens with Prawn
I must admit I don’t really have many ideas when it comes to prepare vegetables because what I often do is throw in some ginger slices, minced garlic, mushroom / shrimps then season it with either oyster sauce or chicken stock. Our family favourite leafy vegetables are baby bok choy, choy sum and cabbage which appears at least once or twice on our weekly menu.

Ingredients for Stir-fry Greens with Prawns.

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

  • 500g Medium Prawn, shell removed
  • 1 Bunch of Bok Choy
  • 100g Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 Square Firm Tofu, optional
  • 2 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Chilli Sauce

Steps on preparing the stir-fry greens with prawns
1. Slice firm tofu into thick slices and pan-fry it with 1/2 tablespoon of oil till browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

2. Swirl in another 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan, add in prawns and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until prawn change colour.

3. Stir-in bok choy and broccoli and fry for 2 minutes, add oyster and sweet chilli sauce till well mixed. Remove and serve.


Asian-style Baked Salmon
This Asian-style Baked Salmon with fermented soybean, ginger and chilli inspired by a friend whom she shared her steamed version of this dish over at her Dayre post. But instead of steaming I used the oven baked method to retain the freshness of the fish as well as in the flavour of the ingredients used.

Note: Fermented soybean paste (豆酱) can be found at most supermarket under Asian ingredients section.

Ready in 20 minutes Asian-Style Baked Salmon.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

  • 1 Salmon Tail Portion (300g)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fermented Soybean (豆酱)
  • 10g Shredded Ginger
  • 2 Small Bird Eyes Chilli, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
  • Handful of Coriander

1. Saute ginger with 1 tablespoon of oil till fragrant and brown, add in fermented soya bean and stir for 10 seconds. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray a 30cm x 40cm sheet of baking paper with oil. Score the fish twice with a knife on both side then place fish onto baking paper.

3. Top fish with prepared ginger mixture, sliced chilli and half of the coriander leaves. Bring long sides of paper together and fold over twice then fold short sides in to form a parcel.

4. Place parcel seam side up onto a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Open parcel and top with remaining coriander and serve.


Stir-fry Pork Fillet with Capsicum.
Eating Capsicum (青椒) has numerous health benefits like boost metabolism, cancer prevention, strengthen immunity, anti-aging, relieve gastrointestinal problems and etc. And it’s only recently that I tried to include this ingredient into our grocery list which I could use it to stir-fry vegetables or meat. This recipe was inspired from one the Taiwan drama that I watched recently where the leading actress love to prepare this dish for her boyfriend who hates capsicum.

Note: 这道青椒炒肉丝驱寒暖胃适用于胃中有寒,食欲不佳者.

Ingredients for stir-fry pork fillet with capsicum.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 15 minutes)

  • 200g Pork Fillet (梅肉), sliced
  • 1 Large Green Capsicum (青椒), cut into strips
  • 1/4 Red Capsicum (optional)
  • 4 Slices Ginger, shredded
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fermented Soybean Paste (豆酱)

  • Marinade:
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cornflour

1. Marinate pork fillet with marinade for at least 10 minutes.

2. Preheat frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, sauté ginger till fragrant before adding in marinated pork fillet.

3. Cook pork fillet till almost done, add in capsicum, fermented soy bean paste, drizzle of cooking wine, 50ml hot water and continue to cook for another minute or two till capsicum is slightly soften.

4. Remove from heat and serve.


Kung Pao Chicken With Vegetables and Rice
Kung Pao Chicken which is traditional Szechuan dish has become a popular Chinese dish ordered in most restaurants. The boneless chicken meat is often diced and marinated with seasoning before stir-fried with sesame oil, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, dried chicken and etc and. Here I have re-create the recipe using ½ portions of chicken pieces, spring onion (scallion), ginger, garlic and dried chilli instead of Szechuan Peppercorns.

Note: To serve as a quick dish, I also prepared some blanched broccoli and cauliflower to go with the chicken and rice.

Ingredients for kung pao chicken.

(Yield: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 15 minutes)

  • Half Portion Of Chicken, cut into bite size
  • 3 Stalks Spring Onion (scallion), cut into sections
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 8 Slices ginger
  • 5 Dried Chilli (辣椒干), soak in hot water till soften
  • 150g Mixture Broccoli and Cauliflower / French Beans

  • Marinade:
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
  • 1 Teaspoon Cornflour
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Soya Sauce

  • Seasoning Sauce:
  • 100ml Hot Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Cornflour
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Soya Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Dark Soya Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Rice Vinegar

1. Blanched cauliflower florets in boiling water which has being season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt for 30 seconds.

2. Next add in the broccoli and continue to simmer both vegetable on medium heat for another 30 seconds (total 1 minute or slightly more). Remove , rinse with cold water then drained well and set aside.

Steps on preparing Kung Pao Chicken
3. Preheat frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil; sauté ginger, garlic, spring onion and dried chilli till fragrant.

4. Add in marinated chicken (marinate at least 10 minutes) and pan-fry for 4 minutes on each side till surface is browned in colour and almost cooked.

5. Lastly stir in sauce mixture, give it a few stir till sauce thicken and flavour is being absorb by the chicken. Remove and serve with prepared vegetable and rice.


I love Quick Pasta dish especially on busy days when I just need to prepare the paste sauce and toss it with some cooked spaghetti to enjoy a hearty meal. As for the sauce, I would usually used bottled tomato pasted sauce unless I have some homemade sauce in stock. As for the ingredients we loved to have either minced meat or sausage together with swiss brown mushrooms then end the finishing dish with some shaved Parmesan to enhance the taste.

(Yield: 1 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

  • 1 Serving of Dried Spaghetti
  • 100g Minced Meat
  • 4 Swiss Brown Mushroom, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 Medium Brown Onion (optional), sliced

1. Lightly season minced meat with 1 teaspoon each of light soy sauce, cooking wine and cornflour together dash of ground pepper.

2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender according to packet instructions.

3. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, saute onion and minced meat til fragrant. Add in mushroom and cook till soften then pour in paste sauce and bring mixture to boil.

4. Toss mixture into pasta and serve with extra grated / shaved Parmesan.


Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimichi Fried Rice (김치볶음밥) is a popular comfort food in Korea whereby you could easily prepared using some leftover rice and kimchi together with meat of your choice such as beef, chicken or pork for a fuller meal. On top of that you could also add extra sunny side-up egg and garnish with some chopped spring onion and sesame seeds too.

(Yield: 1 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

  • 1 Serving of Cold Cooked Rice
  • 1/4 Cup of Kimchi, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Korean Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Egg
  • Some Chopped Spring Onion (scallion)
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds, optional

1. Heat up a frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil and crack in the egg then fry until done. Remove and set aside.

2. Using the same pan, add in 1/2 tablespoon of oil and saute garlic till fragrant.

3. Toss in kimchi and hot pepper paste, give it a few quick stirs before adding in the rice. On medium high heat continue to fry the mixture until rice is well mixed with the kimchi and cooked through.

4. Remove rice from heat to serving plate. Top with sunny side-up egg and chopped spring onion and serve immediately.

Lastly I hope these express cooking meals would be useful for you to plan your next weekday meals but if you are planning to get some quick fix from takeaway, do checkout our article on "top 10 express eats in Singapore" too!

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