Month: August 2015

cold chicken in chilli oil

Cold Chicken in Chilli Oil

I know what you’re thinking : ” Ah My Gawd … they look … Red and Spicy … but is it really *pause* … spicy ?  ”  Never judge a book by its cover, I was told.  In the kitchen, I judge the dish by its ingredients.  I’d imagine the taste by analysing their ingredients and then decide if this will blend into my meal plan 🙂  I had the same first impression and thoughts as most of you had about this dish when I looked at the picture – red and spicy. Actually, the dish turned out to be really pleasant – it IS red but it wasn’t too spicy.  On top of that, the surprising addition of peanut butter (interesting by the way) adds an aromatic nutty note to the chilli oil. Try it this weekend, it’s worth a shot 🙂 Cold Chicken in Chilli Oil (adapted from Sebastian Goh’s The Hot & Spicy Way) Serves 2 as part of shared mains Ingredients: 2 chicken thigh fillets, skin on 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped, to garnish 1 tbsp …

Pork gyoza

Classic Pork Gyoza

This week has been glorious for us Melbournians.  The south side of the world is finally turning warm as we welcome early signs of colourful and beautiful spring.  Fresh flowers are blossoming everywhere – what a captivating scenery. As I was prepping my week’s meal plan, it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve not been making gyoza for a while.  These delightful little morsels are hard to resist for the family especially when they look so good (they taste even better)!  It’s also a wonderful family affair in the kitchen that I’d love for my lil’ one to remember and preserve when she has a family.  It was so much fun getting the gyoza wrapped – with many of them ended up in various shapes and sizes – psst the ugly ones are definitely not pictured here, of course 🙂  “Gyoza are such pocketful of yummy goodness and healthy too!  I especially love their crisp bottoms.  My lil’ one can eat a full plate of these gyoza every day, for dinner and lunch :)”  Making gyoza doesn’t require technique really.  However, the wrapping does need some …

Crispy skin salmon

Crispy Skin Salmon with Ginger Scallion Oil Noodles

Writing a food blog is not as fun (really?) because when a recipe fails, we swallow the dish (with grace) and try the recipe over and over again until we get it right.  Believe me when I said that my family has eaten a fair share of failed dishes – sometimes, when my obsessive behaviour takes over, the same dish dinner after dinner after dinner.  Foodies like us can’t rest without getting it right, and we can become rather obsessive at times 😉 ” Getting a recipe to work and making it work all the time is a remarkable feeling “ This dish is as easy as it looks.  But yet, I have tried so many times just to get all the elements perfect. The crispy skin salmon and ginger scallion oil noodles can be enjoyed separately, but I prefer to eat them together because the flavours marry OH so well. First thing is to get the crispy skin salmon to be, well, crispy outside and beautiful light pink inside. How many times have you pan fry the salmon …

Sticky thai roasted chicken

Sticky Roasted Thai Chicken

Life is full of little pleasures and one of them is the fish sauce 🙂  It takes a lot to appreciate this pungent bottle of sauce because well, it just smells.  Despite the heavy smell and acrid fishy taste, it is one of my pantry essentials because it brings a depth of complexity to creating Asian flavours. Remember though, with the fish sauce, a little dash goes a long way. When you marry chicken and fish sauce together, not only do you get an (almost) permanent fixture on the dining table, you’ll also get a very happy and contented family.  The marriage between fish sauce and chicken was tried and tested, check out my attempt at Adam Liaw’s Fish sauce roast chicken – it was good! In this recipe, the sugar load and fish sauce gives a beautiful glaze and crispy caramelisation around the chicken fillets.  Then when you add the dried chilli flakes, your mouth goes Va-Va-Voom. Sticky Roasted Thai Chicken (adapted from Donna Hay’s Fast Weeknight)  Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 pcs bone-in chicken thigh fillets, skin on 2 lemongrass (white …

Green tea panna cotta

Green Tea Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil

I love panna cotta.  Just like the crackle of a good creme brûlée, a good panna cotta must possess the dance of the panna cotta.  That means, when you jiggle your plate from side to side, this delicate dessert wobbles beautifully on the plate. Last weekend, I challenged my self to create the dance of the panna cotta at home.  Imagine how surprised I was to find out that it’s actually so easy and quick to make this dessert.  It was a remarkable feeling.  As you probably realised, I don’t make a lot of desserts – most of the recipes that I make at home are savoury.  I love desserts but I’m just not good at making them 😦 For my first attempt, I added matcha green tea, which gives a subtle tea-like pungency to this dreamy, luscious and creamy dessert.  Being a simple dessert, it is after all a basic cream pudding, and by following the right measurements, it is easy to get all the elements right. ” Firstly, the correct calibration between the gelatine and the dairy enables the …

herbal chicken

Chinese Herbal Chicken

When a dish contains the word herbal and looks as homely as this, I knew immediately that it will be the best remedy to fix my home sickness. The Chinese have been practising traditional medicinal treatments for the longest time.  We believe that everything must be a balance of the yin and yang, including our body.  Almost all of our traditional medicine is derived through herbal concoction – that means, steep or slow boil the raw herbs, usually with other ingredients like chicken, in a pot of liquid to draw out their therapeutic constituents. ” I grew up drinking a lot of Chinese herbal soups and eating a lot of  tasty herbal dishes.  I love their strong, rich aroma and their hearty soulful taste which reminds me of home – it’s very very therapeutic and an indulgence at the highest level ”    Not all Chinese herbs are sweet and I’ve tasted a fair share of bitter ones – especially when I was sick and mom would feed me with these really dark and bitter medicinal soup.  If my memory serves me right, I would always …

Garlic Prawn Pasta

Speedy Lunch with Garlic Prawn Pasta

I love a good simple meal especially when I’m cooking for myself.  To say that this pasta dish is delicious is an understatement because it is extremely extremely tasty.  Donna Hay, one of my favourite Australian TV chef/personality, describes this dish as a tasty combination of two of her (and moi too!) favourite ingredients – garlic prawns and pasta.  Yummy Yum Yum! So, after watching Donna’s video, adding oil in the pasta water doesn’t really help to unstick the pasta.  Instead, it’s just making it difficult to clean the pot later 🙂  According to Donna, the trick to getting the pasta to not stick is to have a generous amount of water that’s always boiling because it’s the bubbles that’s keeping the pasta strands separate. While the dish is easy, timing is everything.  We don’t want to make the pasta cooked too early or the garlic prawns over cooked.  So, time the cooking properly. Garlic Prawn Pasta (adapted from Donna Hay’s Fast Fresh Simple)  Serves 1 Ingredients: 100 g angel hair pasta 25 g unsalted butter 1/2 tbsp …

Seared beef

Seared Beef with Thai Flavour Salad

The other day, I received a surprise text from my close school friend.  That text was a blast from the past – it was a picture from my yearbook photo when I was about 15 – when big glasses, teeth braces and unruly permed hair with side pony looked so normal, but it was so funny.  Did I just mention normal? LOL  That got me to reminiscing about my school days.  Boy, it was so fun last time…when we don’t need to worry about money 🙂  But, of course, we were just kids right, so our minds have been imprinted with the need to study hard and make our parents proud. Ok, ’nuff said about the past 🙂  So, who loves a good plate of fresh and full flavoured salad? I do.  Making salads can be fun and creative, by playing and experimenting with flavours as well as textures.  It can be anything, just about anything you can think of. I love Thai flavours, as they are known for their combination of strong, aromatic components with a spicy edge.  This is a …