D.O.M Benedictine is a herbal liqueur beverage which is commonly consumed or used as an cooking ingredients by Asian woman who is on confinement during the 1st month of labor. But even on normal days this herbal liqueur can also act as a beneficial health beverage for members in the family too. In this post I am sharing two quick dishes using D.O.M which might come in handy for those who has a bottle of two idling at home.
Between don't worry about the "strong" liquor taste of D.O.M because after cooking most of the alcohol content will be evaporated leaving it with a mild "sweet" taste and fragrance gravy that is great for rice or just on it's own.
My experiments with using pickled cherry blossom continues after my first recipe on Matcha Cherry Blossom Chiffon (抹茶盐渍樱花戚风蛋糕) in April. And also with the extra packets of supply that Joyce (ahpoohbear) loop back for us from her recent Osaka trip, I am able to try out more fusion recipes using pickled cherry blossom.
In this post I am sharing two recipes such as Cherry Blossom Mantou (Asian-style steamed bun with pickled cherry blossom) and Steamed Sakura Chicken With Choya (Steamed chicken mid-joint using picked cherry blossom and choya).
CHERRY BLOSSOM MANTOU (樱花馒头)
Here I am making a two-tone colour steamed bun (mantou) using Sakura Leaf Powder for the green portion but you could always replace it with Matcha powder according to your preference. The sakura leaf powder added a distinctive taste to this steamed bun leaving it with a sweet and savoury flavour that makes you go for second helpings.
250g All-purpose Plain Flour
1/2 Teaspoon (2g) Baking Power
3g Instant Dry Yeast
110ml Lukewarm Water
10g Milk Powder
1 Teaspoon Sakura Leaf Powder
Some Salt Pickled Cherry Blossoms (盐渍樱花), soaked in water
25g Caster Sugar
10g Unsalted Butter, soften
1. Add dry yeast into the lukewarm water and give it a quick stir, set aside for about 2-3 minutes till bubbles appeared.
2. In a big mixing bowl, stir in sift plain flour, milk powder and baking powder together with caster sugar till combined.
3. Next slowly add in yeast water into the flour mixture and stir using a metal spoon or clean hand till it forms soft dough.
4. Knead soft butter into the dough till it does not stick to your hand and divide the dough into 2:1 ration size.
5. With the smaller dough, knead in Sakura Leaf Powder till combined then proof the two doughs in a warm place for 20 minutes.
6. Next, flatten the doughs to release the air in it. Place the green dough on top of the plain, roll it up into a oblong shape and proof for another 15 minutes.
7. Cut the dough into equal portion, place each portion on the steamer rack with greaseproof paper below. Place some drained sakura flower on top and rest for another 15 minutes.
8. Sprinkle some water on the mantou before placing the steamer rack into the pot of boiling water and steam them over medium heat for about 10 - 12 minutes (depending on the size of the mantou). When done, removed and served hot/warm.
STEAMED SAKURA CHICKEN WITH CHOYA (樱花梅酒鸡)
My inspiration for this Steamed Sakura Chicken with Choya (樱花梅酒鸡) comes from our all-time favourite; Steamed Rice Wine Chicken (蒸黄酒鸡) which I would prepare at least once a month. And with some pickled sakura on hand as well as Choya (plum wine) that mum bought during her recent trip, I decide to use these two special ingredients to try out this dish.
6 - 8 Chicken Mid-joints
1 Teaspoon of Grated Ginger
1 Stalk Spring Onion, cut into sections
100ml Choya (Japanese plum liqueur)
Some Salt Pickled Cherry Blossoms (盐渍樱花), soaked in water
1. Lightly marinate chicken mid-joint with grated ginger, cornflour and pinch of salt.
2. With some ginger slices and spring onion below, arrange the mid-joints on top and place the drained sakura flowers that had being soaked for 5 minutes (rinse well) on it (refer to the photo above).
3. Lastly pour in choya and let it stands for 5 minutes before steaming the mid-joints over medium heat for 20 - 25 minutes till tender.
The mid-joints were infused with the combination of Choya and pickled Sakura leaving it with a refreshing and fragrance after taste. Also after steaming, the soup broth was full of flavour due to the essence from the chicken and choya. Do give this a try if you happen to have a bottle of Choya at home and don't worry about the pickled cherry blossom as you could always omit it for a new recipe.
Recently I found some new Knorr recipes from the i-weekly supplement booklet and most of them look delicious and pretty easy to prepare at home. Since I am a Knorr supporter who always stock up quite a varieties of their products in my pantry, I decided to try out this Stir-fry Tom Yam Chicken which is a very eye-catching dish from their Facebook page.
After a quick Google, I found the related recipe from Philip's website (KeropokMan). And with the necessary ingredients here is my version of Stir-fry Tom Yam Chicken which my family agrees that it goes pretty well with steamed rice! Give it a shot if you are a Tom Yam lover as this dish is quick and hassle free.
Counting down......2 more days to Chinese Lunar New Year! Everyone is so excited and today (1 day before the eve of Lunar New Year) almost all the wet markets, supermarkets and etc will be operating on 24 hours for last minutes shopping. And you would be able to see big crowds of people around grabbing for food, ingredients, beverages and etc to store up for the approaching New Year feast.
BRAISED DUCK WITH SEA CUCUMBER 焖海参鸭
Here I would be sharing our quick Braised Duck with Sea Cucumber recipe which you could easily get it done within 30 minutes. So if you have some extra roast duck or roast pork from the New Year feast, you could prepared this dish together with some sea cucumber, Chinese Cabbage, mushrooms and etc to make this delicious one pot dish.
1/2 Portion of Roast Duck, chopped into big slices
1/2 Portion of Chinese Cabbage (napa cabbage - 白菜)
2 Medium Soaked Sea Cucumber (海渗), thickly sliced
8 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked till soften
3 Dried Scallops (干贝), soaked in hot water
3g Black Moss (发菜), soaked in water
, soaked in water
3 Dried Chilli (辣椒干)
4 Whole Shallot, skin removed
4 Garlic Cloves
Some Chestnuts (optional), skin removed
500ml Water / Chicken Broth
1. Preheat the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Saute mushrooms, shallot, garlic, dried chilli, chestnut (if using) and scallops till fragrant.
2. Add in roast duck, give it a quick stir and let it cook for 30 seconds before adding sea cucumber and seasoning sauce. Stir well and dish up set aside.
3. Using the same pan, add in the cabbage and stir-fry for a minute before adding back the duck mixture.
4. Stir the mixture over medium heat until well combined, add water and bring it to boil over high heat.
5. When the mixture comes to boil, transfer it into a claypot (if your claypot is big enough to do the stir-fry from step 1, you can omit the frying pan) covered and allow to simmer over low heat for 20 minutes
6. Lastly stir in black moss (drained), splash of cooking wine and serve immediately.
This is one of my favourite one pot dish where I could have it with either steamed white rice or blanched noodles. And I always enjoy picking up each scoop like treasure hunt because I won't know what would end up in the bowl. But personally Roast Duck and Sea Cucumber are my favourite combine and I hope you would enjoy this dish too. For another version using Roast Pork and Fish Maw, you could refer to the recipe here.
Steamed Herbal Chicken is always one of the most easiest dish to prepare because what you need is to assemble and wrapped the chicken with pre-packed Chinese Herbs (recipe 1) or Spices (recipe 2), STEAMED it for at least 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size and parts of the chicken used.
Here with a quick short-cut method, I replace the usual Chinese Herbs with Huiji Waist Tonic which served similar result and herbal taste.
HUIJI BAKED CHICKEN FILLET
For this recipe, you could choose to use either Chicken Breast, Chicken Fillet (softer and more tender) or Chicken Drumstick (boneless) according to individual preference. For us, Chicken Fillet is always on the top list follow by Chicken Drumstick because I am not a fan for Chicken Breast Meat which I always find it too dry and tough.
1. Marinate the chicken fillet with marinade and set aside in the fridge for about 30 minutes or more.
2. Using a large piece of aluminum foil with another piece of baking paper on it. Place marinated chicken fillet, shredded ginger, spring onion and wolfberrie on the baking paper and wrapped foil tightly into a parcel.
3. Place foil parcel in a preheated oven at 200 °C (degree Celsius) and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or ALTERNATIVELY, steamed it over boiling water for about 15 minutes.
4. Remove foil, unwrapped and drizzle 20ml of Huiji Waist Tonic on the chicken fillet and serve immediately.
With a quick twist anything is possible to serve at the dining table and most importantly our family gets to eat healthy homecook food at our own comfort zone too. Also recently there is a facebook page known as Cook For Family which you might be interested to join and share your daily cooking with the rest of the members too.
Even though I love to use fresh ingredients and herbs in my daily cooking but sometime I do have packets of instant sauce, spices, food and etc in my kitchen pantry to stock up for days where I just wish to cook simple and yet decent dishes for the family.
In this post, I am trying out some pre-packed spices which were given by SEAH'S Spices to test out their new products. And as a fan's of SEAH'S Spices especially their Bak Kuet Teh (recipe) and Emperor Herbal Chicken Spices (recipe) which are our family favourite, I am more than willing to try out their new spices.
As most of you would known, Seah's spices is 100% locally made in Singapore since 1991 and it is also a leading local brand which is available in all supermarkets and provision stores in Singapore. Recently Seah's Spices has launched 3 NEW spices packet which are Singapore Noodles Spices, Singapore Fried Rice Spices and Kung Pao Spices.
Each of these spices above has it's own distinctive flavour which you could incorporate it into your daily cooking to impress your loved one with local delight at the ease of home dining. And also most importantly these spices are with "NO added preservatives and colourings" as well as "NO added MSG".
SEAH'S KUNG PAO SPICES
Out of the 3 given spices, I am more interested in their Kung Pao Spices which comes in "powder" form instead of the usual "pre-mixed sauce" that are available in the supermarket. According to the cooking instructions given, the chicken has to be deep-fried before mixing with the spices but for my case on a healthier version I just pan-fried the chicken using Happy Call Pan.
1/2 Portion of Chicken, chopped into pieces
1 Medium Brown Onion, cut into wages
6 Dried Chilli, pre-soak in hot water till soften
1 Stalk Spring Onion, cut into sections
Some Red and Green Chilli (optional), sliced
1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
1/2 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine
1 Packet of Seah's Kung Pao Spices
1. Coat and marinate chicken pieces with Seah's spices from the "White Coloured Sachet" found in the packet for about 2 minutes.
2. Preheat Happy Call Pan (HCP) and lightly oil with 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Arrange chicken pieces in the pan, cover and cook for 4 - 5 minutes each side or till chicken is cook with brown outer skin.
3. Removed the chicken, coat it evenly with the spices from the "Red Coloured Sachet" and set side.
4. Add in 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pan, stir-fry onion, chillies and spring onion till fragrant.
5. Stir in the meat and spices and continue to cook for another 1/2 minutes on low heat, covered.
6. Drizzle white vinegar and wine mixture together on the cooked chicken, give it a quick toss and serve hot with steamed rice.
For me, I did not add in the whole packet of the "Red Coloured Sachet" (still balance 1/4 packet) and I also added in some sliced fresh chilli so my version of Kung Pao dish is a bit spicy. And after eating a piece or two of the chicken you would feel a "numb" after taste feeling on your tongue due to the spices used.
SEAH'S SINGAPORE NOODLES SPICES
At first when I look at the Noodles Spices I thought it was Singapore Chao Mian Spices. Whenever I order noodles from the Cze Char stall, I would always go for either fried noodles or fried bee hoon if I am not having my usual Fried Hor Fun (fried rice noodles). But now with Seah's new Singapore Noodles Spices I could use it on different types of noodles or even pasta to create new dishes with distinctive Singapore flavour.
500g Fresh Noodles or 3 Pieces Instant Noodles
200g Chinese Cabbage, sliced
100g Char Siew (BBQ pork), diced
8 - 10 Prawns, shelled and devein
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Medium Brown Onion, sliced
1 Stalk Spring Onion, cut into section
1 Red Chilli, sliced
1. Bring a pot of water to boil, blanched or cook noodles according, rinse, drain well and set aside.
2. Meanwhile preheat wok/frying pan with 1/2 tablespoon oil, pour in the beaten eggs to the centre of the pan, tilting the pan so that the eggs spread out evenly over the bottom.
3. Cook until the eggs have set on the bottom, using a spatula flip it over and cook on the other side for a minute or two till set. Remove and set aside till cool before slicing it into egg strips.
3. Next add in another 1/2 Tablespoon of oil, saute onion, spring onion, chilli and prawns together till it is slightly pink in colour.
4. Stir in vegetables and continue to cook till vegetables is soften and prawns are cooked through.
5. Toss in cooked noodles and Seah's Noodles Spices evenly over the mixture and stir-fry for 3 minutes on medium heat.
6. Lastly turn off the heat, stir-in char siew and egg strips. Divide noodles on serving plates and serve hot.
Our opinion this Seah's Noodle Spices has a after taste that resemble instant "Mee Goreng" noodle perhaps due to the spices used. For this recipe, I used the dried egg noodles instead of fresh yellow noodles because we preferred a more springy texture for our fried noodles. Overall we do love the taste of this fried noodles and I am sure it would be something new to share during coming festive season as one of the potluck dishes.
SEAH'S SINGAPORE FRIED RICE SPICES
Since I am not a fan of "fried rice" I don't really get any fried rice spices for my pantry. Even if I would to cook fried rice, it would be just using simple seasoning such as light/dark soy sauce with some frozen mixed vegetables or egg.
To my surprised, Seah's Singapore Fried Rice Spices does not taste any similar to those fried rice from the Cze Char stall but rather it taste quiet similar to Nasi Goreng.
1 Packet of Seah's Singapore Fried Rice Spices
800g Cooked Rice, around 2.5 rice cooker cup uncooked rice
1/2 Cup Frozen Mixed Vegetables
2 Garlic Cloves, crashed
2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
Some Cooking Wine
Some chopped Spring Onion
12 Japanese Chicken Sausages
1. Boiled or Grilled the sausages, set aside. Fry sunny side-up eggs individually and set aside too.
2. Add oil in preheat wok, saute garlic till fragrant before stirring in the mixed frozen vegetables and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add cooked rice and continue to stir-fry for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
4. Gradually add in Seah's spices into the fried rice according to your taste (you might not need the whole packet), stir well, drizzle some cooking wine and continue to stir-fry for another 1/2 minutes.
5. Remove, garnish with prepared sausages, egg and etc shown above. Serve hot.
Lastly I would like to thank Seah's Spices for sending us these 3 New Spices, and it's really a good experience to try out these new products before they are available in the supermarkets. So if you are a SEAH'S Spices users, do keep a look out on these NEW products launching in the supermarkets.
For more information and updates on SEAH'S Products, you could check out their facebook page HERE. Like their page to receive latest promotion and updates too.
Weekend is approaching and I am sure most full-time working mothers are looking forward to prepare some quick and easy nutritious dishes for the family during weekend lunch or dinner. In this post, I would be sharing 4 quick recipes (2 soup, 2 main dish) to inspire your weekend cooking for the family.
Since working mum has a lot of household chores to take care during weekend, I specially pick up dishes that required minimum preparation time and use "steaming" instead of "stir-fry" to avoid oily kitchen stove. So I am sure these 4 simple soup and steamed dishes would come in handy for your weekend meal ideas.
Steamed Mui Choy with Pork Belly (梅菜扣肉) is one of the traditional Hakka dishes but here instead of using Pork Belly I have replaced pork with Chicken for a healthier version. Basically there are two types of Mui Choy (mustard green) which is either sweet or salty and you can easily get them from groceries stall selling salted fish and dry products in wet market or dried goods section in supermarket.
I am so thrilled to be among one of hundred bloggers who had being invited by Daniel, from Daniel's Food Diary to take part in this #CookForFamily initiative started by him. As we know, his main objective is to get more bloggers, and hopefully their fans and followers, to start cooking and having family bonding with their families.
As for myself, I always tried to cook at least 2 meals per days during weekdays and hopefully one on weekend, especially Sunday. And to support this #CookForFamily initiative, even my 8 years old boy who often helps up in the kitchen (washing and cutting) also volunteer to cook simple dish for us. Below you can see some of the shots and dishes that he had cooked under our supervision. Overall we had fun and laughter in the kitchen sharing our family bonding and cooking skill together which makes meal time a fun time too.
I love to have soup during my meals and I brew soup almost everyday. Out of all the different kinds of soup we usually had, herbal soup is one of our family favourite. Here I specially made this "Herbal Black Chicken Soup" for mum with added Dang Shen, Ginseng and Dried Longan to regulate blood chemistry, strengthen the body as well as circulate the Qi in the body.
1 Black Chicken (乌鸡) / Half Portion of Chicken (600g)
2 Pieces of Dried Ginseng(人渗)
5 Pieces of Dang Shen(党参), cut into halves
8 - 10 Pieces of Big Red Dates(红枣)
20g Dried Longan (龙眼干)
10g Wolfberries (枸杞)
1.8 Litres Boiling Water
1. Rinse the dry herbs and set aside. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the prepared black chicken which had being trimmed and cleaned.
2. Meanwhile using a soup pot (i used a big claypot), bring 1.8 litres of water to boil and add in all the ingredients including the blanched black chicken.
3. When the mixture comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer over the lowest heat for at least an hour (careful of the heat and don't let the soup dried up). Alternatively,
4. You can transfer the soup to a slow-cooker and cook it on AUTO mode for about 2 hours.
5. Serve warm before meal or at night before sleep. This soup has a natural sweetness due to the herbs used so usually I won't add in extra seasoning or salt.
Stir-fry Celery With Sea Cucumber is one of my favourite vegetable dish which mum always cooked for us. And here for the #CookForFamily post, she prepared this dish especially for me while I take care of the herbal soup section.
2 Sticks of Celery
1 Small Red Capsicum, sliced
5 Fresh Shiitake Mushroom, sliced
1 Packet of Sweet Peas
2 Pieces of Sea Cucumber, sliced
2 - 3 Slices of Ginger
Some Chicken Stock Powder for seasoning
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outer skin of the celery and cut it into thick slices. Set aside.
2. Saute ginger with 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil till fragrant, add in celery and mushrooms, toss for a 30 seconds in the Happy Call Pan (HCP).
3. Next add in the remaining ingredients such as red capsicum, sweet peas and sea cucumber.
4. Add in the seasonings and give it a quick stir, cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
5. Drizzle some cooking wine, stir to mix well and dish up to serve.
My little boy on the other hand also volunteer to join us with the #CookForFamily task where he marinated the chicken wings using Wokkingmum's "Grilled Chicken Wings with Fermented Beancurd" recipe. He choose this recipe because he knows that both grandma and I love fermented beancurd which we always had it with our porridge.
12 Chicken Wings, halved
2 Tablespoons of sauce from Fermented Beancurd
1.5 Pieced of Fermented Beancurd
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
1. Using the back of the spoon mashed fermented beancurd and mix it with the sauce.
2. Next stir in sugar till well mixed.
3. Marinate chicken wings with the mixture together with some cooking wine for at least an hour before cooking.
4. Arrange marinated chicken wings on baking tray which is lined with baking paper, grill in the preheated 220 Degree Celsius oven for about 25 - 30 minutes or chicken is cooked.
As mum love fish compared to meat, I always tried to incorporate at least 1 dish with fish whenever she comes over for dinner. Here we have a simple steamed fish dish using Threadfin fish head and ready pack Portuguese sauce. To success remember to get fresh fish head, steamed it to just done (do not over cooked), drizzle with some Portuguese sauce and steamed for another 1 minutes.
SOME OF THE MEALS WE COOKED IN JULY
All these photos (except the one with my boy doing cooking) are taken from my daily Instagram shots which I have shared online.
Any simple dish will bring a smile on your loved ones face. In fact it can be just a bowl of instant noodle with an egg or even simple ham and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. For me it is more of the thoughts, loves and bonding time together that counts rather than the expensive ingredients or time spent on preparing the meals.
Photo credited to Daniel from Daniel Food Diary
So from today onwards, let's start to prepare something simple for your family as as head start and don't use the excuse that you can't cook or u are too busy. I am sure frying an sunny egg or boiling a hard boiled egg that served with bread and beverages won't even take up more than 15 minutes of your time a day.