Month: September 2014

Egg tofu with minced pork

Seared Egg Bean Curd with Minced Pork

“When in doubt, cook some tofu because it is good for you and your family” Tofu (aka bean curd) is the most generic ingredient and most-loved by my family.  It’s not only healthy, it’s so easy to cook and can be paired with almost anything in this world!  There are great many kinds of tofu that we use and sometimes I even got myself confused with the range.  Oh well, there’s silken tofu, firm tofu, extra firm tofu, fermented tofu, egg tofu and the list goes on … Every tofu has its unique texture and taste.  I personally love all of them and the type of tofu used really depends on the type of cooking. This recipe is a classic Chinese Malaysian family favourite, eaten as part of a shared meal.  I use the egg tofu because of its eggy taste and heavy density.  When seared, the tofu crisp up on the outside and remains soft inside.  It is much easier to handle compare to the silken tofu but still needs to be gentle when …

Thai pandan chicken

Thai Pandan Chicken

Thailand is a beautiful country.  A country with vibrance, colourful activities, respectful people, cheap shopping and best of all, excellent excellent food!  Much of Thai culture centres around food.  Just walking down the street, any street, you can only be struck by the many food stalls and be truly amazed by the variety of food they offer.  We used to travel to Bangkok every year because it was affordable for us and our family loves the food here.  In fact, my dad knows every single Thai dishes in its native language! In fact, here are a few general phrases that will come in handy like Sawatdee (means polite greeting like hello, good morning etc), Khap or Ka (is a polite syllable when greeted by a man or woman), Aroy (delicious food), Phet Mak (really spicy), Mai Phet  (not spicy). Since moving to Melbourne, my yearly visits to Thailand has been on stand still.  And I’m truly missing all the wonderful dishes like their famous Tom yam, Pandan chicken, Mango with sticky rice, to name a few.  Therefore, I’m now trying to recreate some of my favourite …

Salmon Sushi and sashimi

Salmon Sa-sushi-mi

Do you know why the Japanese invented Japanese mayo, Kewpie?  Because fresh fish and Kewpie Japanese mayo are really the only two things you need in your fridge and pantry to create a simple delicious quick lunch.  Australia is truly blessed with fresh foods from the sea and land.  Our fishermen and farmers work hard at sea and in the farms to bring us fresh produce.  Ah, so privileged to be able to enjoy them without costing an arm and a leg 🙂 Strolling around Prahran Market gave me some inspirations on recipes to cook for lunch.  Love the fresh seafoods from Claringbold’s – that’s where I got my sushi grade salmon and quality Yarra Valley salmon caviar.  Super combination for a quick fuss-free work day lunch or party snack.  But hey, that’s indulgence in the simplest form 🙂 The recipe below is not a recipe. Haha.  It’s simply salmon slices + Kewpie japanese mayo + salmon caviar and voila, you get fresh delicious Salmon Sa-sushi-mi and no cooking required.  With fresh produce, we can create almost anything we want. …

Vanilla bean ice cream

Creamy Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream

You all know that I’ve recently got an ice-cream maker! Yay baby – an ice-cream maker (a big strike through on my wish list).  To honour my new ice-cream maker, I made my lil’ one’s favourite Green Tea ice-cream which, was a huge hit with the family.  Then, hubby made a special request for vanilla ice-cream, the most basic well-loved flavour. My mission has been spelled out clearly.  WHAT? It’s to find a creamy, delicious and very very Vanilla ice-cream recipe to impress my hubby.  I love vanilla ice-cream too.  Good vanilla ice-cream has a simple taste that can’t be masked by any other flavour. I sorted through many recipes but some of them fell short of the creaminess and the very very vanilla flavour I was looking for, until this recipe on will cook for friends, whose recipe was adapted from the ice-cream king himself, David Lebovitz.  I really like the use of good quality vanilla beans as the base – there’s something evocative about vanilla beans that comes from their beautiful perfume smell and exotic flavour, which gets you all dreamy 🙂 …

Pok Pok chicken wings

Pok Pok ‘Fish Sauce’ Chicken Wings

So… I asked myself “what’s the deal with ‘Pok Pok’ wings”.  It’s just some fried chicken wings that some dude created, right? By no means am I underestimating these wings but just out of curiosity, I googled and found that the Pok Pok wings is big, BIG … I mean huge with anyone and everyone who has ever tried it in the restaurant.  These wings have defined the next level of comfort food!  According to the recipe creators, Andy Ricker & Ike, this wings practically pay their mortgage! So, these ain’t just wings … it’s really really special fried chicken wings that pay the bills. So, further to my curiosity, I googled a little more and found that Andy Ricker has a cookbook and it’s highly recommended.  Best part is – this famous chicken wings recipe is also included.  Always happy to spend on cookbooks, I ordered and Amazon delivered it to my doorstep!  Speedy as a lightning. The recipe pays homage to a common Vietnamese dish called ga chien nuoc mam and Pok Pok’s first native Vietnam …

Bang bang Chicken salad

Bang Bang Chicken Salad

Bang Bang (my baby shot me down) was by far one of the coolest song I’ve ever heard.  When a cool song like that appeared in the OST of the coolest and bloodiest Quentin Tarantino’s movie, “Kill Bill” – that’s a pretty awesome nasty combo, right?  Making the bang bang chicken is not nearly as bloody and nasty as that … LOL.  Fact is, bang bang chicken is the total opposite – little bashing with no blood and totally PG rated! Originated from the Hanyang district in China as popular street food – where the chicken was cooked, shredded and then drizzled with hot spicy sauce, the locals eat it as cold snack.  The dish got its name from the way the chicken was beaten with a stick to separate them into thin shreds.  How original 😉  This is a super easy dish to make and one of the most delicious salad I’ve ever eaten.  The combination of the hot sauce, cold salad and shredded chicken just makes my knees weak!  Definitely going to try this again next week. Go ahead – you …

Tuna sashimi with matsuhisa dressing

Tuna Sashimi with Matsuhisa Dressing

Sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna is hard to come by – so when I saw these beautifully fresh yellowfin tuna steaks on display at my local fish monger’s, I knew had to have it.  I didn’t know what to do with them yet but I know that if I have no recipe for them, I will just enjoy them in their natural state as raw sashimi to bring out their sweet flavour … and lovingly indulge in them without paying restaurant price 🙂 After going through some recipes online, I have decided to go with an adaptation from famed Nobu Matsuhisa’s Seared Tuna Sashimi dressed with Matsuhisa sauce.  The recipe was easy peasy and quick to prepare for a decadent weekday lunch. Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container up to four days in the refrigerator and according to Nobu, it is delicious with grilled meats.  Try it and let me know if it works or not. Tuna Sashimi with Matsuhisa Dressing (adapted from Martha Stewart)   Serves 2 (as starter or to share) Ingredients: 200g sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna steak Sea …