Tuesday, 12 April 2011

[Gyoza Mold Giveaway!!!] 3 Ways of Eating Dumpling or Wonton

Continue from the previous post on the "Steamed Dumplings with Assorted Vegetables". Here I will be giving away a set of "Gyoza Mold" which you can use it to wrap either Japanese Gyoza or Chinese Dumpling/Wonton. This is a handy and easy to use mold 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.

If you are interested to win a set of this "Gyoza Mold", just leave your Name and which type of dumpling you prefer (steamed, pan-fried, boiled  or deep-fried) "I love xxxxx" in the comment box and I will pick one TWO Lucky winners on Tuesday, 19 April 2011. Do check the result after Noon, 19 April.

For this Dumpling/Wonton post, I will be sharing another two different ways of cooking dumpling/wonton dish which you could try it out anytime at home. First let's take a look at this "Chicken Dumplings with Chili Oil - 紅油抽手". This is one of the common dumplings dish that you can easily order from most Chinese Ramen and Steamed Bun Restaurants. Usually the ingredients are shrimp and pork mince that are wrapped in thin layer of handmade dumpling skin and serve with the unique spicy chili oil sauce.


Ingredients: (makes 10 Dumplings and 15 Wonton)
150g Mince Chicken Meat
20g Carrot, finely chopped/grated
2 Shallots, finely chopped
3 Fresh Water Chestnut, skin remove and finely chopped
1/2 Tablespoon Chopped Spring Onion

1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
Dash of Fish Sauce, optional
Dash of Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cornflour

1. Put all the ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well with seasonings and marinate in the refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or more.

2. Refer to the photo above, place 1 piece of round dumpling wrapper on the gyoza mold, top with meat fillings, close and press tight to form a perfect sealed dumpling.

3. Repeat the same process and makes about 10 dumplings using the gyoza mold.

4. Next bring a pot of 1.5 litres of water to boil with 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Slowly drop in the wrapped dumplings and cook over medium heat.

5. Once the dumplings float on the surface, lower the heat and continue to simmer for another minute. Remove the cooked dumplings and place it in a bowl of water to stand for another 1 minute.

6. Drain well and place the cooked dumpling in a serving plate. Drizzle some sesame oil then pour over the prepared spicy chili oil and top with some extra chopped spring onion and serve.

I use the Lao Gan Ma(老干妈) Chili Flavoured Oil(油辣椒) which you could purchased from either Sheng Siong(昇菘超市) or any provision shop in the wet market to create this Spicy Sauce for my dumplings.(Price:- range from S$1.95 - S$2.50)

Spicy Chili Oil Ingredients:-
2 Tablespoon of Lao Gan Man Chili Flavoured Oil
80ml Hot Water
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Vinegar, optional

1. Using a microwave safe bowl, reheat the chili flavoured oil on medium heat for about 1 minute or until warm through.

2. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in 80ml of hot water then add it into the prepared chili oil (add vinegar if using) and stir till well combine. Set aside.

Chicken Dumplings With Chili Oil - 紅油抽手

These fried Wontons will definitely be a great finger food or snacks during party or gathering and it goes well with cool icy beer too. You can prepared these ahead by wrapping the dumplings and keep them in the fridge for a few hours or a day before cooking. And these can be a very addictive finger food too... so beware!


1. Prepare the same fillings using the above ingredients shown for the dumplings.

2. Refer to the photo above, place about 1 teaspoon of meat filling in the middle of the square wonton wrapper.

3. Brush some water on the top 2 corner of the wrapper, fold it into half to form a triangle.  Pull the 2 edge below to form a diamond shape by sticking the two edge together.

4. Repeat the process to make about 7 Triangles and Diamond shape wontons.

5. Preheat a pot of oil and deep-fried the prepared wonton on medium heat till golden brown, remove and drain well.

6. Serve with desire dipping sauce.

With a little effort done, you can whipped out two homecook dishes by just using one prepared meat fillings. Isn't this wonderful! I am sure your family will loves these quick and simple dish. If spicy food is not your choice, you can always replace it with just light soy sauce.

Non-Spicy Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 Tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce
80ml Hot Water
1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour over to the cooked dumplings.

Total cost for these two dishes is about S$4.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ 150g Mince Chicken Meat = S$1.50
~ 3 Water Chestnut = S$0.50
Wonton Wrapper = S$1.00
~ Carrot, Spring Onion, Shallot = S$0.50
~ Chili Flavour Oil = S$0.50

Updates: I am so happy that many of you are interested in this "Gyoza Mold". So in order to increase the chance of winning, I will be giving away "2 Sets" instead of 1 to "2 Lucky" winners. Good Luck, everyone!


Are you the Lucky One!!!!!

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!!!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Chicken With Red Glutinous Rice Wine Lees (Hong Zao Ji - 红槽鸡)

Hong Zao Ji (红槽鸡) is one of the common dishes that most confinement lady would cook for the new mum to consume during the first 30 days after childbirth. Usually Old Ginger, Wine and Black Vinegar are the main ingredients used during confinement period. But nowadays you can easily purchase or cook similar confinement dishes with access of those ingredients.

A few days back, I happen to view on "Noob Cook" site that she had whipped up this lovely Hong Zao Ji dish using her homemade wine lees, which makes me drooling over the luxury gravy. And since I have a bottled of this Red Glutinous Rice Lees in the fridge, I decided to try out her recipe and it turns out wonder.

Ginger is to enhance the fragrance of this dish as well it posses warm and healthy properties which can “expel winds” in the body. Whereas wine is helpful in warming and nourishing the body, which promotes blood circulation.

(Recipe adapted from Noobcook, HERE)
Ingredients: (serves 2)
½ Chicken, chopped to smaller pieces
* 250ml Glutinous Rice Wine (红槽酒)
1½ Tablespoon Red Glutinous Wine Lees (红槽)
4 Slices Ginger, cut to thin strips
2 Slices Ginger
I Packet of Shimeiji Mushroom
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
½ Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
¼ Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
2 Small Cubes Rock Sugar (about 3 - 5g)

1 Tablespoon of Hua Diao Jiu (花雕酒 )
Splash of Sesame Oil
Some Coriander

* I replace Red Glutinous Rice Wine with normal glutinous rice wine since I have some leftover in the fridge.

1. Heat up a wok or claypot with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add ginger strips and fry them until crisp and set aside the ginger strips for garnishing.

2. Using the remaining sesame oil in the wok, add ginger slices, chicken pieces and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked on the surface.

3. Add in glutinous wine, wine less, mushrooms, light and dark soy sauce. Stir well. Cover with lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.

4. Using spatula to flip the chicken pieces over so that they can absorb the sauce evenly.

5. Next add rock sugar for sweetness as well as enhance a beautiful glazed finish. Simmer with lid closed for another 5 - 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

6. Turn off heat, drizzle one tablespoons of Hua Diao Jiu and splash of sesame oil for extra fragrance and taste.

7. Garnish with fried ginger, coriander and serve with steamed white rice.

Chicken With Red Glutinous Rice Wine Lees (Hong Zao Ji - 红槽鸡)

Although there are many different way of methods in preparing this confinement dish but like what "Noob Cook" has shared the key factors still lies on that good quality of wine leer which makes a great different in taste for this dish. But if you can’t get hold these homemade red glutinous wine lees, you can easily purchase those bottled wine lees in any leading supermarkets or Asian grocery stalls. You can take a look at another simple recipe of mine with a photo of the bottled wine lees shown, HERE.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

[April $20 Budget Meal] Luo Han Guo and Watercress Soup plus Hainanese Pork Chop Rice and Pork Katsudon

For the month of April we are having an "Easter April" them for our $20 Budget Meal event by using "EGG" as one of the main ingredient in either one of the two dishes or soup prepared. In this post I have prepared 3 different set meal using "Deep-fried Pork Chop" as the key ingredient. As you can see from the photo, they are:- Deep-fried Pork Chop with Hard-boiled Egg, Pork Katsudon (omelette in it) and Hainanese Pork Chop served with Sunny Side Up Eggs which fulfill this month Egg theme.

Before we start off with the recipes, let's congrats Wai Fong of Fong's Kitchen Journal (Singapore) for getting the most readers vote on her "Shark's Fins Melon Soup 《鱼翅瓜排骨汤》, Stir-Fried Beef with Celery 《西芹炒牛肉》, Fried Fish with Crispy Garlic 《蒜香鱼片》" with a total spending of S$19.50; Serves 6 on our "March - $20 Budget Meal Round-up". The related recipes can be found HERE.

"Luo Han Guo - 罗汉果" is a dried fruits that are ellipse or round with a yellow-brownish or green-brownish colour that is covered by fine hairs. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for colds, coughs, sore throats, gastrointestinal disorder, as well as a blood purifier. And in Asian country, this fruit is usually used to boil herbal tea or soup.


Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
300g Pork Ribs
1 Large Luo Han Guo (罗汉果)
1 Bunch of Watercress ((西洋菜)
10g Bitter Sweet Almond (南北杏)
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries (枸杞)
1.5 Litres of Hot Water

This is one of the great cooling soup that benefits the health of the whole family especially during hot summer weather or Durian season where the body system tends to be heated up. The taste of this soup is rather dry with a bit of bitterness rather than sweet. So if you are going to serve this to younger kids perhaps you can add in 2 - 3 candied dates (蜜枣) to tone down the dry taste.

1. Blanched pork ribs in boiling water for a few minutes, removed and rinse well.

2. Break Luo Han Guo into big pieces, rinse and set aside.

3. Cut the stalk away from the leaves portion of the watercress, soak the leaves in water with at least 2 change of water to get ride of sand and dirt. Rinse the stalk and tighten it with the attached string and set aside.

4. Next bring 1.5 litres of water to boil, add in pork ribs, luo han guo and bitter sweet almond (I put them into stock bag).

5. When the mixture comes to boil again, cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.

6. Add in drained watercress leaves and wolfberries and continue to cook for another 5 - 10 minutes.

7. Serve either before or during meal.

Total cost for this dish is about S$4.00 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Pork Ribs = S$2.50
~ 1 Bunch Watercress = S$0.70
~ 1 Luo Han Guo = $1.00
~  Wolfberries and Bitter Sweet Almond = S$.30

My boy loves this type of crispy deep-fried pork chop that you can purchase from any of those Hainanese Scissor Cut Mixed Vegetables Rice Stalls. These type of pork chop cost around S$1.00 - S$2.00 each depending on it's size. Here I use a quick method by marinating pork chop with egg and cornflour together with other seasonings, coat with instant bread crumbs and deep-fried till golden brown.


Ingredients: (make 8 slices)
8 Pieces of Pork Loin (猪里脊肉)
1 Cup of Instant Bread Crumbs (面包屑)
Oil For Deep-frying

1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 Teaspoon Cornflour
1 Medium Egg

1. To tenderise the pork, flatten or lightly pat it with a meat mallet or the back of the knife for easy cooking and quick marinate.

2. Marinate prepared pork chop with seasoning for at least 15 minutes or an hour in the refrigerate.

3. Remove marinated pork chop 5 minutes before cooking. Coat each pieces of pork chop evenly with bread crumbs (refer to the step-by-step photo above).

4. Deep-fry pork in hot oil in medium heat till golden brown, remove and drain well. (it takes about less than 5 minutes, do not over fried or the crumbs will be burnt)

5. Cut the pork chop into 1" wide slices and serve with steamed rice or you can make a choice with the next two recipes on either Hainanese Pork Chop or Pork Katsudon.

Total cost for this dish is about S$5.50 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ 8 Pieces of Pork Loin = S$4.00 (included for the 2 dishes below)
~ 1 Egg = S$0.50
~ 1 Cup Instant Bread Bread = S$1.00

There are many ways of making this Traditional Hainanese Pork Chop where the ingredients will various depend on the cook and stalls. I remember vividly my favourite version of Hainanese Pork Chop do consist of Deep-fried Pork Chop, Onion, Green Peas, and Potato in a thick tomato gravy. And I always volunteer to pound cream crackers for my dad to use for coating the pork chops before deep-frying. (Nowadays the biscuit crumbs can be replaced using Instant Bread crumbs)


Ingredients: (serve 1)
2 Pieces of Fried Pork Chop, cut into 1" slices
1/2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
1 Medium Onion, cut into thin slices
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Tomato, cut into wedges
80g Frozen Green Peas
Some Fresh Pineapple Cubes, optional

150ml Instant Chicken Stock
1 Teaspoon Cornflour
1 Tablespoon Tomato Sauce
1 Teaspoon Caster Sugar

1. Saute the sliced onion and garlic with 1/2 tablespoon of oil till brown, add in green peas and half of the tomato wedges and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.

2. Gradually stir in the sauce mixture (mixed all the sauce ingredients) when it comes to boil drizzle dark soy sauce and give it a quick stir.

3. Next add in remaining tomato wedges and pineapple cubes and simmer for another 10 seconds.

4. Remove from heat, pour sauce over prepared pork chop and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Total cost for this dish is about S$1.30 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
* ~ Deep-fried Pork Chop = S$1.00
~ 1 Ring of Pineapple = S$0.50
~ Tomato and Frozen Peas = $0.40
~ Onion = $0.20
~ Egg = S$0.20

Katsudon (カツ丼) is a popular Japanese food where a bowl of rice is topped with deep-fried pork cutlet, egg, and condiments. Here since I have made extra pieces of deep-fried pork chop, I decided to make a simple version of this Katsudon using only Egg, Onion and Chicken Stock.


Ingredients: (serve 1)
1 - 2 Pieces of Fried Pork Chop, cut into 1" slices
80ml Instant Chicken Stock
1/2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Caster Sugar
1/2 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
1 Medium Egg, light beaten
1 Stalk of Spring Onion, cut into 3" sections

1. In a small bowl stir chicken stock, dark soy sauce and sugar together till combined.

2. Preheat a small frying pan, add sliced onion and stock mixture then bring it to boil and simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes till onion soften.

3. Arrange the deep-fried pork chop slices on top of the onion.

4. Slowly swirl in the beaten egg from around the pork chops, top with spring onion, cover and simmer for another 10 - 15 seconds.

5. Remove the frying pan from heat and carefully arrange the pork mixture on top of a bowl of steamed white rice. Serve immediately.

Total cost for this dish is about S$0.70 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
* ~ Deep-fried Pork Chop = S$1.00
~ Egg = S$0.20
~ Instant Chicken Stock + Spring Onion = $0.50

Pork Katsudon on FoodistaPork Katsudon

With just a little twist, I managed to in-cooperate 3 different menu to cater for each individual preference. Although you might need a bit more time in preparing but I am sure all these efforts are worth for a delicious spread of homecook meal. With these I spent a total of S$11.50 to cook the soup and 3 different set meals each using "Egg" as one of the specific "Easter April - $20 Budget Meal" theme.

Using "EGG" to make one of the dish

For April [$20 Budget Meal] event let's have a little cooking challenge by using the specific ingredient "EGG(s)" for one of the dish in your menu (eg: steam egg, fried omelette, scrambled egg and etc). And for those who wish to join us please refer to the submission details shown below. Look forward to receive your sharing of April Budget Meal menu soon.

~ Either "2 Dishes plus 1 Soup" or "1 Pot Dish" using a Maximum budget of $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 recipe of 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 the month of April from 01 April  - 25th April 2011.

~ Please do mention in your blog that you are sharing this post to “Easter April - $20 Budget Meal” event and link it to this page HERE so as to encourage more readers to contribute.

~ E-mail your "blog link" or "photos with recipe" to ellenaguan@hotmail.com with a subject "Easter April $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 photo in your email (each photo, preferably 500kb or less).

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