Showing posts with label $20 Budget Meal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label $20 Budget Meal. Show all posts

Wednesday 4 May 2011

[$20 Budget Meal] Winter Melon, Woodear and Pork Ribs Soup, Stir-fry Nai Bai and Steamed Threadfin With Zha Cai

With S$12.00 on hand what do you usually order for dinner to feed a family of 3 - 4 person? Is it a S$3.00 packet of Chicken Rice or those mixed vegetables Economical Rice(Chap Chye Rice)? Here with S$12.20 we managed to whip up a hearty Winter Melon Soup to cool down the heat, Stir-fry Nai Bai for the greens and a plate of healthy Steamed Threadfin to increase daily protein in-take especially for growing kids.

This is a very light and refreshing soup with the nature sweetness from the sweetcorn, red dates and wolfberries. The adding of winter melon helps to cool down the body system whereas the woodear(black fungus) in Chinese herbal medicine term it is usually use to increase the fluidity of the blood and improving circulation.


Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
300g Of Pork Ribs
150g Winter Melon, cut into chunk
2 Cluster of Fresh Woodears(Black Fungus/木耳), cut into big pieces
1 Sweet Corn, cut into sections
6 Big Red Dates

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

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

3. Add in all the ingredients except wolfberries and when the mixture comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 - 40 minutes.

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

Total cost for this dish is about S$6.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Pork Ribs = S$3.00
~ Fresh Woodear = S$1.00
~ Fresh Winter melon and Corn= S$2.00

This is one type of Baby Bok Choy or also known as "China Nai Bai(乃白菜)" that comes with curl and dark green leaves compared to the other type with lime green leaves. I usually bought this type "mini" veggie instead of the full-grown size to use for stir-fry as they are more tasty and crunch. And what you need to do is just trim the leaves/stalks, rinse it with water to get rid of the dirt/soil in between before cooking.

1 Packet of Baby Bok Choy Nai Bai Cai(乃白菜)
2 Slices of Ginger
2 Cloves of Garlic, light pound
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Cooking Wine
Some Wolfberries, optional

1. Heat up a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.

2. Add in garlic and ginger, saute it for about 30 seconds till fragrant.

3. Quickly throw in drained bok choy and stir till the leaves begin to wilt.

4. Season with salt, cooking wine and add in the wolfberries, give it a quick toss before dishing it up on serving plate.

Total cost for this dish is about S$2.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Baby Bok Choy Nai Bai Cai(乃白菜) = S$2.00


Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 Piece of Threafin Fillet, around 300g
50g of Salted Pickles(榨菜)
2 Stalls of Spring Onion, cut into sections
Few Slices of Ginger, jubilee
1 Chili (optional), cut into thin slices

1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon of Cooking Wine
Dash of Pepper

1. Clean and remove any scales from the fish, rinse and pat dry using kitchen paper towel. Set aside.

2. Rinse salted pickles under tap water, drain well and cut into 0.5cm thick strips. Put 1/2 portion of it on steaming plate together with some ginger and spring onion before placing the fish on top.

3. Top fish with the rest of the ingredients and drizzle with seasonings.

4. When the pot of water comes to boil, steamed fish over medium high heat for about 10 - 15 minute till the fish is cooked through.(you can test using a fork to flake the fish meat after 10 minutes to check)

5. To serve, drizzle some extra sesame oil and dash of pepper on it and spoon some sauce at the bottom of the fish to moist the fillet and enhance the taste.

Total cost for this dish is about S$4.20 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Threadfin = S$3.50
~ Salted Pickles = S$0.30
~ Ginger, Chili and Spring onion = S$0.40

Sunday 1 May 2011

[May $20 Budget Meal] Specific Key Ingredient - "Tofu/Beancurd"

Here is the polling result voted by some of the readers over at Cuisine Paradise facebook page (HERE). From the photo you can see that Tofu has "14 votes" which is the highest among the rest of the mentioned ingredients. In the case, for May [$20 Budget Meal], we will use "Tofu" as the specific ingredient for one of the dish in the budget menu (eg: steam tofu, fried tofu, braised tofu and etc).


~ Prepare either "2 Dishes plus 1 Soup" or "1 Pot Dish" using a budget which is not more than $20.00 for 2 - 4 servings. If you are from overseas, you can also participate by converting to the appropriate currency value, (ie. US$15.00, RM$50.00, Rp $138,000 and etc)

~ If you do not have a blog, just send in the photos and at least one recipe from your dishes and I will publish on your behalf in my blog, credited to you. (photos can be taken in any form using digital camera or hand phone)

~ All submission entries must be published in your blog or prepared during the month of May from 01 May  - 25th May 2011.

~ Please do mention in your blog that you are sharing this post to “May $20 Budget Meal - Specific Ingredient is "Tofu/Beancurd"” and link it to this page HERE (use this link: to encourage more readers to contribute into the event.

Since this month theme is on "Tofu/Beancurd" you can use your own imaginations or recipe(s) from cookbook to come up with all kind of related recipes using any type of tofu such as Egg, Silken, Traditional, Firm or etc that you prefer.

~ E-mail your "blog link plus Photos of the dishes" or "photos with recipe" to with a subject "May $20 Budget Meal" in the following format:

Your Name:
URL of your post:
Name of your dishes + soup:
Estimate amount spent for each dish:
Attachment of your photos in your email (each photo, preferably 500kb or less).

To enlighten you with a better ideas on the Tofu dish, here are four different types of preparation methods that you can take into reference. And if you are not sure about the post requirements or how to breakdown the price-list of each dishes/soup, you can refer to one of the example post HERE.

Lastly I would like to thanks everyone who has participated in the last two [$20 Budget Meal] events., all your dishes and ideas are Awesome!!! And till date we have in total, 35 sets of "$20 Budget Meal' which are quick and easy to prepare. If you are interested you can take a look at March Round-up(Here) and April Round-up(Here).

~ Wednesday, 25 May 2011, 2359 hours  and all entries will be compiled and posted on 31st May 2011.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

[Easter April $20 Budget Meal] Round-Up!

Thanks everyone for supporting the Easter April - $20 Budget Meal event with a Easter theme of using Egg in one of the prepared dish. Thanks everyone whom take the effort to note down the pricing of ingredients and spending on each ingredient to support this event. Here we have a total of 21 fabulous sets of "2 Dishes 1 Soup" menu from blogger and facebook friends of different countries such as USA, Australia and Singapore.

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

Watercress Pork Ribs Soup (西洋菜排骨汤), Braised Fish Head (红烧鱼头), Steamed Egg with Chinese Yam and Mushrooms (淮山蒸蛋烩双菇)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$19.20; Serves 6

Luo Han Guo and Watercress Soup plus Hainanese Pork Chop Rice and Pork Katsudon

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$11.50; Serves 3

Sausage, Bacon and Egg Pie, Roasted Bell Pepper and Tomato Soup, Salad Green

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$19.70; Serves 3 - 6

Chinese Yam and White Fungus Soup (淮山雪耳瘦肉汤), Seaweed Egg Roll (紫菜腐竹鸡蛋卷), Steamed Fish with Tomato and Salted Vegetables (蕃茄咸菜蒸鱼尾)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$13.00; Serves 3

Garlic Kale, Daikon Fried Egg, Stir-Fry Combination Veggies

by Tigerfish of An Escape to Food (Sunnyvale, California - United States)
Total Spending: USD 8.00 (S$10.00) ; Serves 4

Stewed Pork Rice (卤肉饭), Stewed Eggs with Bean Curd (卤蛋/ 卤豆干) and Cabbage and King Mushroom Soup (白菜鸡腿菇汤)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$13.50; Serves 6

Pork Shabu Salad with Ponzu Dressing and Egg Drop Soup

by Namiko of Just One Cookbook (United States)
Total Spending: USD 8.00 (S$10.00) ; Serves 2-3

Spicy Kangkong, Chicken in Rice Wine and Dried Laver Anchovies Soup

by Ching of Little Corner of Mine (United State)
Total Spending: USD 5.04 (S$6.20); Serves 4

Cream of Cauliflower Soup and Ham and Egg Pizza Tart

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$8.60; Serves 3

ABC Soup (马铃薯蕃茄红萝卜煲鸡汤), Corn Fritters with Avocado Dip (黄金玉米片) , Broccoli with Egg Whites in Milk Broth (奶汁蛋白西兰花)

by Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$9.00; Serves 3-4

Seaweed and Minced Pork Soup, Fried Bitter Gourd Omelette and Ma Po Tofu

by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$6.60; Serves 3

Honey Marinated Chicken Wings, Ham and Onion omelette and Cream of Mushroom

by Jacqualine of TheSuper Girl (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$9.40; Serves 2

Corn, Carrot and Radish Soup, Stir Fry Long Beans and Mushrooms and Chili Prawns with Century Eggs

by Daphne of More Than Words (Australia)
Total Spending: AU$13.10; Serves 4

Steamed Fried Fish with Miso Sauce, Stir Fry Marrow Green and Egg with Crispy Silver Fish and Radish Pork Ribs Soup

by Wendy of Wen's Delight (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$18.50; Serves 4

Eggy Pepperoni Pizza and Eggy Turkey wrap

by Lobster of Lobsterpaints (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$19.95; Serves 2

Minced Pork Omelette, Steamed Tilapia and Fish Ball Soup with Spinach

by Anncoo of Anncoo Journal (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$14.65; Serves 4

Crabstick Steamed Egg, Stir-fried Cucumber with Prawns and Lotus Root Soup

by Jacqualine of TheSuper Girl (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$14.20; Serves 6

Seah’s Chicken Curry, Sambal Fried Egg and Stir Fry Bittergourd with Clam in Miso Sauce

by Wendy of Wen's Delight (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$17.75; Serves 4

Spicy Bulgogi Pork, Shanghai green with Shitake Mushroom and Korean style mussel, pork and egg soup

by Wendy of Wen's Delight (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$16.65; Serves 4

Steamed Tilapia Fillets, Eggs with Napa Cabbage and Seaweed Tofu Gochujang Soup

by Ching of Little Corner of Mine (United State)
Total Spending: USD 6.87(S$8.50); Serves 4

Entry From @ahpoohbear

Japanese Oyakodon and Miso Soup

by Joyce of @ahpoohbear (Singapore)
Total Spending: S$3.60 ; Serves 2 - 3


Ingredients: (serves 3)
1.5 cup of steamed rice
1 Chicken Breast Meat, about 200g
1 onion, thinly sliced
Chicken stock (I used concentrated chicken stock and mix with water)
3 eggs
Soy sauce to taste

1. Cooked steamed rice and set aside.

2. Fry the sliced onion till fragrant and add in the chicken pieces.

3. Add in the chicken stock, mirin and soy sauce to taste.

4. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes.

5. Crack the eggs into a bowl but do not beat the eggs. Instead, use a knife to slightly cut the egg yolk.

6. Once the chicken is cook, pour the egg over.

7. Let the egg cook for about 3 minutes, till the egg yolk is slightly hardened.

8. Turn off the heat.

9. Put the steamed rice into deep serving bowls and serve the simmered chicken and egg on top.


Instant miso soup paste from supermarket

1. Get a packet of instant miso soup paste from the supermarket.

2. Pour hot water and serve.

Toal Cost: S$3.60
Chicken = $2.00
Eggs = $0.60
Onion = $0.20
Instant Miso paste $0.80 per packet

Once again, thanks everyone for taking your time to come out of these wonderful budget meals, ideas and kitchen tips. Do stay tune for our May event announcement on the specified "ingredient" upon voting from the readers. All you dishes are feature at Cuisine Paradise Facebook Page HERE and the dish who earns the most number of "LIKE(s)" will received a mystery gift.

Monday 18 April 2011

[April $20 Budget Meal] Cream of Cauliflower Soup and Ham and Egg Pizza Tart

So fast, another week has past and today we are into the 3rd weeks of April where Good Friday and Easter Sunday will be on this week. Till now I have not thought about preparing anything for our Easter Sunday compared to what I have done last year on the "Chocolate Hot Cross Buns" and "Nested Easter". So I guess I have to work hard on that and find some inspiration for our Church, Good Friday picnic special.

If you followed this blog, last Monday our menu was on Asian flavour such as "Five Nuts Soup and Steamed Dumplings with Assorted Vegetables". Today we are having something western which cost around S$8.60 for 2 - 3 servings.

Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw. This is the first time I  am using cauliflower to make soup and I am really surprised with it's outcome which is so tasty and it is definitely a great way to hide veggies especially in kid's meal. For this version, I have omitted the cream and replace it with extra 50g of potatoes to act as a nature thickening agent for a healthier soup.


Ingredients: (Serves 2 - 3)
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1cm Cube of Butter
1 Medium White Onion, roughly chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
300g Cauliflower, cut into florets
200g Potatoes, peeled and chopped
400ml Instant Chicken Stock
150ml Hot Water

1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic cook and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until onion has softened.

2. Add cauliflower and potato, stir and cook for 3 minutes.

3. Next pour in stock and water. Season with pepper. Cover and bring to the boil.

4. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

5. Blend the soup, in batches until smooth then return to pan over low heat.

6. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve with some freshly ground pepper.

Total cost for this dish is about S$2.50 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Cauliflower = S$1.00
~ Potatoes Onion = S$1.00
~ Chicken Stock = S$0.50

Here we give a twist on the usual thin crust or handmade pizza dough by replacing it with the crispy think layer of ready-rolled puff pastry sheet. This recipe makes each and every slices of your cheesy pizza with a delightful flaky bites. So why not give this a try and I am sure all your kids and friends will love this for a chance.


Ingredients: (Serves 2 - 3)
1 Sheet of Puff Pastry, partially thawed
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Barbecue/Pizza Sauce
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
50g Shaved Honey Baked Ham
1 - 2 Eggs
5 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/2 Small Green Capsicum, cut into strips

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree fan-forced and grease 1 large pizza tray.

2. Cut a 20cm round from the puff pastry sheet using a plate or bowl as a guide. With a small knife, cut a 1 cm border around pastry.(carefully not to cut through it as this will act as a border around the tart).

3. Place the round on prepared tray, spread inside circle with barbecue sauce and sprinkle it evenly with half of the grated mozzarella cheese.

4. Brush/spray border with oil. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until sides have puffed.

5. Remove tray from oven, crack egg(s) onto the center of the tart, top with shaved ham, tomatoes, capsicum strips and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

6. Bake for another 15 minutes or until egg whites have set and cheese is golden. Serve with prepared soup.

Total cost for this dish is about S$6.10 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Cheese = S$2.00
~ Shaved Ham = S$1.50
~ Cherry Tomatoes and Capsicum = S$1.60
~ Puff Pastry Sheet - S$1.00

Making pizza is one of the interesting task for kids to take part in the kitchen. They can help to spread the sauce and arrange whatever toppings that they preferred while the adults can just stand by the side and help to supervise and place the prepared pizza into and out of the oven. And homemade pizza can be even easier with ready-made pizza base or with any interesting base that you can think of, such as:- Puff Pastry, Sandwich Slice Bread, Pita Bread, Tortilla Sheet, Baguette and etc.

Since our "Easter April Budget Meal"(click the link and scroll down for the details at the end of the post) theme is using egg as a main ingredient, I have added an egg onto my pizza tart which which it a twist to the usual pizza that we often have.

Thanks for all your "BUZZ(s)" and support friends. Cream of Cauliflower Soup and Ham and Egg Pizza Tart post has make it to FoodBuzz Today's Top 9, 19th April 2011.(Here)

Featured On: FoodBuzz Today's Top 9, 19th April 2011.(Here)

~ Monday, 25 April 2011, 2359 hours  and all entries will be compiled and posted on 30th April 2011.

Monday 11 April 2011

[$20 Budget Meal] Five Nuts Soup and Steamed Dumplings with Assorted Vegetables

Quick and Easy meal that comes with good and healthy combination of meat and vegetables are always something that busy working adults or parents look for. Here we have a fusion of Asian Steamed Dumpling with array of colourful vegetables such as Pumpkin, Carrots, Peas and Broccoli that will definitely cheers up your Monday Blue evening. These two sets of Steamed Dumpling and Five Nuts Soup meal only cost about S$12.20 which can serves around 2 - 3 persons.

To make a complete meal, I have boiled some five Nuts Soup that consists of 5 different colours of ingredients such as Fresh Fox Nuts, Lotus Seeds, Chinese Barley, Wolfberries and etc. This is a great nutty flavour soup which helps to calm nerves, strengthen Qi and nourish the body. The fresh fox nut can also helps to heal indigestion, diarrhoea and poor bladder control too.


Ingredients: (serves 2 - 4)
300g Pork Ribs (排骨)
1 Packet of Fresh Foxnuts(茨实)
20g Chinese Barley (中国薏米)
20g Lotus Seeds (莲子)
10g Wolfberries (枸杞子)
5 Big Red Dates (红枣)
1.8 Litres of Water

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

2. Soak lotus seeds (unwashed) in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. Remove the green pith in it to avoid bitterness. Rinse and set aside.

3. Rinse Chinese barley 2 - 3 times in a big bowl, remove any decay seeds and dirt.

4. Bring 1.8 litres of water to boil in a soup pot. Add in all the ingredients except wolfberries and when the mixture comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes till lotus seeds and barley are soften.

5. Add in wolfberries and season with salt to taste according to own preference.

Total cost for this dish is about S$6.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Pork Ribs = S$3.00
~ Fresh Foxnuts = S$1.50
~ Lotus Seeds, Red Dates, Wolfberries, Barley = S$1.50

Making of these dumplings can be hassle free by using the “Gyoza Mold(shown below)” which comes in handy by just placing a gyoza or wonton wrapper on top of the press (mold), add in fillings, close and press tight to form a perfect sealed gyoza or dumpling.


Ingredients: (serves 2, makes 12 dumplings)
125g Broccoli, cut into florets
70g Snow Peas, trimmed
120g Butternut Pumpkin, cut into 1" cubes
Half Medium Size Carrot, cut into 0.5" thick sticks
12 Round Wonton Wrappers
3 - 4 leaves of iceberg lettuce, optional

150g Minced Pork
100g Medium Prawns, shelled, removed vein and cut into chunks
4 Water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon ginger juice
1/2 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cornflour
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
Dash of Ground Pepper
Some Chopped Spring Onion

~ You can replace Wonton Wrapper with Gyoza Wrapper too.

1. Mix all the dumpling ingredients in a bowl, stir till well combine and set aside marinate in the refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Place a piece of dumpling wrapper on the dumpling(gyoza) mold, scoop 1/2 tablespoon of the mince mixture on the wrapper and fold and press the edge of the mold to enclose the fillings. Repeat with the remaining mince mixture.

3. Line two bamboo steamers with iceberg lettuce/baking paper. Divide broccoli, carrot and pumpkin and wrapped dumplings equally into each steamer, drizzle with some sesame/olive oil.

4. Stack the steamers, covered and place it into a big steamer pot or over a pan of simmering water.

5. Steam for 3 minutes on medium high heat, swap the bottom layer of the steamer with the top and continue to steam for another 2 minutes before adding in the snow peas and steam for another 1 minute or till tender.

6. When done, remove from heat. Drizzle evenly with 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce mixture (50ml hot water, 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce and dash of sesame oil) and serve immediately with steamed rice or on it's own.

Total cost for this dish is about S$6.20 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Pork Minced = S$1.00
~ Prawn = S$1.50
~ Wonton Wrapper = S$0.50
~ Broccoli, Pumpkin and Water Chestnut = S$2.00
~ Carrot and Sweet Peas = S$1.20


For those who is interested in trying out some dumpling recipes, do stay tune on the next upcoming post on “3 Ways of Eating Wonton/Dumpling” and plus a chance to WIN a set of this "Gyoza Mold" shown above. Have fun!!!