Monday 23 May 2011

[Angry Birds Item Giveaway] Angry Birds Bento - 愤怒鸟便当

I am sure for those who play Handphone/Ipad games you definitely have come across this most popular paid-for game in the Apple App known as “Angry Birds”. My boy whom is a great fan of this game collects all the different character plush toys as well as some other related items such as pencil case, mouse pad, files and etc.

Friday 20 May 2011

[S$20 Budget Meal] Baked Tom Yum Chicken, Lime and Mango Salad, Sweet Corn and Tofu Soup

For this set of Budget Meal I took about roughly an hour from the preparation to cooking whereby I multi-task two different dishes at one time. It is pretty quick and easy after you pop-in the prepared mid-joints into the oven, you will have more time to prepare the Tofu soup which takes you less than 15 minutes. And overall for this set of Thai Fusion Budget Meal I spent about S$7.80 to feed a family of 4.

This is similar to cream of corn soup but in Asian style with clear soup broth and whole corn kernels instead of the blending the corn kernel. The adding of tofu give it an extra texture for this soup as well as boost up protein intake for kid. (this recipe is specially dedicated to my best friend, Joyce who loves tofu and sweetcorn combination)

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
1 Box of Silken Tofu, cut into 1" cubes
1 Fresh Sweetcorn, remove the corn kernels
2 Medium Tomato
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Litre of Water
1/2 Knorr Chicken Stock Cubes

50ml Water
1.5 Tablespoon Cornflour/Potato Flour

For this recipe I took extra steps in preparing the tomatoes by boiling it in water to remove the outer skin to have a smooth texture for the kid. But you can always omit this step if you are in a rush by using just the cut tomato wedges with skin on.

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil, drop in tomatoes and let it boil for 1 minute(you will see the skin starting to peel off from the tomato) before you remove and soaked them in ice water.

2. Slowly peel off the outer skin of the tomato, cut into halves and scoop out the seeds. Chop them into big chunks and set aside.

3. Bring 1 litre of water to boil, add in sweetcorn kernels and stock cube then let it simmer for about 5 minutes before adding in the tofu cubes.

4. When the mixture comes to boil, let it simmer for another 2 minutes, lower the heat and stir-in the cornflour mixture(mix water and cornflour together)till the soup thickened.

5. Turn off the heat, swirl in the beaten egg till cooked through. Add in tomato chunks.

6. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls, garnish with chopped spring onion and dash of pepper.

Total cost for this dish is about S$2.70 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Sweetcorn = S$0.60
~ Silken Tofu = S$1.50
~ Egg and Tomatoes = S$0.60

Other than Tofu and Sweetcorn, spicy food is also one of Joyce favourite selection of dish. For this recipe I marinated the mid-joints with 2 tablespoons of store bought Tom Yum paste together with some fresh lemongrass and lime juice for extra refreshing taste and fragrant. If you prefer higher level of spiciness, add in 1 – 2 bird eyes chili (sliced) into the marinade ingredients.

Ingredients: (make 8 mid-joints)
8 Chicken Mid-Joints
2 Stalks of Lemongrass, lightly pound and sliced into sections
2 Tablespoons of Tom Yum Chili Paste
Juice of 1/4 Green Lime

1 Teaspoon Light Soy Sauce/Fish Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
1/2 Tablespoon of Cornflour
1 Teaspoon of Sesame/Olive Oil

1. Trim and rise the mid-joints, pat dry with kitchen paper towel then marinate it with all the above ingredients and seasonings for at least an hour in the fridge.

2. Arranged the marinated mid-joint together with the marinade on prepared baking tray line with baking paper or aluminium foil.

3. Bake the mid-joints in oven toaster for about 30 minutes turning at least twice or more for more even colour. OR

*4. Bake in preheated 180 degree oven for about 25 or till cooked through(turn at least twice for even coating of colour).

5. Remove and serve together with Mango Salad.

Total cost for this dish is about S$3.50 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Chicken Mid-joints = S$2.80
~ Lemongrass = S$0.20
~ Tom Yum Paste = S$0.50


The cold mango salads will definitely draw great attention if you can get hold of sweet and juicy mango that is full of flavour. But if you can’t try at least to find the ripe and decent type instead of those that are hard and sour.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 Honey Mango, about 200g
1 - 2 Bird Eyes Chili, sliced
1 - 2 Shallot, sliced and chopped
Grated Rind of 1 Green Lime
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar

1. Peel of the skin of the mango and cut the flesh into 1cm cubes, set aside.

2. Combine all the remaining ingredients together in bowl, mix well before tossing in the mango cubes.

3. Quick and a quick stir, wrap the bowl with cling wrap and keep in the fridge until serving time.

Total cost for this dish is about S$1.60 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Mango = S$1.00
~ Green Lime = S$0.40
~ Chili and Shallot = S$0.20

Thursday 19 May 2011

Baked Spare Ribs with Red Wine Lees

Apart from Hong Zao Ji(红槽鸡) which is one of the common confinement dishes that most confinement nanny would prepared. This Baked Spare Ribs with Red Wine Lees (烤红糟排骨) is also another simple Foochow(Xinghua - 兴化人) homecook dishes where red wine lees is used to marinate and bake together with the spare ribs.

Thanks to one of my cooking pal, Alice whom share her recipe and tips on baking this Foochow style spare ribs dish. This is indeed a keeper recipe and it is best to use spare ribs instead of the usual pork ribs for its tender texture and nice presentation. The adding of extra ginger juice here is to remove some of that pork odor as well as act as natural tenderiser to the spare ribs.

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
600g Spare Ribs(排骨), about 10 pieces
2 Heap Tablespoons of Red Wine Lees(红糟)
1 Teaspoon of White Sesame Seeds(白芝麻), optional

1 Tablespoon of Cooking/Rice Wine
1/2 Tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger Juice
1 Teaspoon of Cornflour
Dash of Pepper

1. Trim, rinse and blanched the spare ribs in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Rinse well and set aside. (this step is to allow the meat to absorb the marinate but it is optional)

2. Marinate prepared spare ribs with Red Wine Lees and seasonings till well combined.

3. Transfer mixture into a zip-lock bag and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour. (try not to marinate more than ah hour or else the meat will be tough)

4. Arrange marinated spare ribs on baking tray that is line with baking paper and drizzle some extra sesame oil on it before baking in preheated 180 degree oven for about 25 - 30 minutes  or till meat is cooked through (turning at least twice to get an even colour coating).

5. Remove the cooked spare ribs, arrange on serving plate and sprinkle some lightly toasted sesame seeds on it for that extra fragrant.

If you have NEW ways of using these Red Wine Lees(红槽) for cooking/baking do share with us your ideas or recipes so that we can keep these traditional ingredient and dishes going on.

Thanks for all your "BUZZ(s)" and support friends. Baked Spare Ribs With Red Wine Lees post has make it to FoodBuzz Today's Top 9, 21st May 2011.(Here)

Featured On: FoodBuzz Today's Top 9, 21st May 2011.(Here)

Wednesday 18 May 2011

More On Japanese Steamed Cakes

Thanks everyone for your kind comments given to my previous 3 entries on the Japanese Steamed Cakes post. To share the joy with you today I was so surprised to notice a mentioned about my Japanese Steamed Sweetcorn Cake(Chinese version) while flipping through my daily reads on MyPaper( pg B2).

Asian fusion of the Durian Steamed Cake(榴莲蒸糕)

After the previous 3 steamed cake posts, I have received some email enquires regarding either on their failures or success attempted on those recipes. A few of them ever mentioned that their steamed cake ttends to urns out hard and flat compared to the rise and “open/huat” cakes that are shown on my posts.

So here are a few tips that I would like to share from my view:-
1. The water for steaming the cake must be boiling before you put the cake batter in.

2. Steamed over Medium High heat for about 8 – 12 minutes depending on the size of your steamed cakes.

3. While whisking egg and sugar, try to beat till foamy and pale roughly about 5 minutes including stopping time.

4. The final cake batter should be of dripping consistency instead of gluey and sticky.

Steamed Pandan Cake with Sweet Potato Cubes (香兰番薯蒸糕)

Lastly from the photos above, you can see that there will be some other NEW recipes coming out soon such as the Steamed Durian Cake, Steamed Pandan Cake with Sweet Potato Cubes and etc flavour that you will be surprised with. So do stay around and keep a look out for these recipes soon.