Month: November 2015

Kung pao chicken

Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)

Hands up if you have not tried the popular Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁).  If your tolerance level towards spicy food is very low, then I forgive you.  Else, you have no reasons not to try this dish.  It is widely available in every parts of Chinatown around the world. I love Kung Pao to the MAX.  When I first arrived in Melbourne, I missed this dish so much that it was one of the first dish I attempted to make – check out my first recipe here.  While there has been some slight variations of Kung Pao Chicken across the world today, one thing remains the same and that is maintaining the hot numbing effect from the dish.  If it doesn’t give you that feeling, then it ain’t Kung Pao. The classic Chinese dish that comes from the Sichuan Province is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen, a late Qing Dynasty official, and governor of Sichuan Province. His title was called Gongbao which literally means Palace Guardian.  And that’s how Kung Pao Chicken got its name 🙂 “Authentic Kung Pao Chicken leaves you with …

Yakiudon

Easy Weekday Meal : Yakiudon

Did you know that it’s only 5 weeks away from Christmas?  Melbourne CBD’s starting to look and feel like Christmas with Myer’s popular Christmas window display up.  Each year, their window display shares a beautiful short story about a character with a touch of that Christmas spirit of sharing and caring.  Lil’ one was so wowed by the display and may I say that the crowd is just huge, huge! Good work yet again, Myer. Now that we’re talking about Christmas, have you been naughty or nice this year? Last year, I asked for a cast iron skillet from Santa but I didn’t get one, maybe because I was naughty, I guess 😦   So, for this year, no more waiting for Santa, I went and got myself a Christmas gift – A Lodge cast iron skillet woo-hoo! and at $52 – it’s quite a steal.  Can’t wait to cook more with this brand new gift! Today I’m taking a break from chinese takeout and instead made a very easy one-plate dinner dish.  It’s a special request by my lil’ one because …

chicken in orange sauce

Crispy Chicken with Orange Sauce

So, previously, if you remember, I was telling you about my current obsession with finding the best Chinese takeout recipes.  Check out the best Honey & Sesame Chicken here – tried, tested and approved with lots of thumbs up!  Thinking about it still makes me drool and salivate *slurp*, muahaha *evil laugh* 🙂 Now, let’s welcome this next dish, shall we? Another Chinese-American dish loved by most – the famed and popular Orange Chicken.  Weird?  Not weird at all!  Who would’ve thought that orange can virtually go so well with chicken, huh?  I didn’t, not until now. OK, so there’re many Orange Chicken recipes in the web, with some variations here and there but most look pretty much the same.  I’ve tried a few of them but there is one recipe that I particularly like because it’s less effort with minimal ingredients but still yield great result.  A truly superb choice for busy weeknight dinners. Crispy Chicken with Orange Sauce (adapted from Amy Wong’s Mum’s Delicacies)  Serves 4 as part of shared meal Ingredients: 600 g whole chicken thigh …

Honey sesame chicken

Best Honey & Sesame Chicken, period!

As a food crazy person, I’m always on the hunt for easy, simple and delicious (must!) dishes to try for weeknight dinners.  That means googling the web and eyeballing recipe books.  It’s really timely because my current obsession is on finding the best recipes on Chinese takeouts and replicate them at home. What’s the lucky first?  Honey & Sesame Chicken has got to be the lucky first – who can resist those sticky sweet bites – makes it even more tempting to sink our teeths into, right? To be honest, I wouldn’t dare say that Honey & Sesame Chicken is actually Chinese, it’s probably more of a Chinese-American type dish and extremely popular.  So popular that when you google for Honey & Sesame Chicken, be prepared to scroll down pages and pages of recipes.  Whatever it is, it is an extremely delicious dish! Unfortunately, not many Chinese restaurants here know how to make a perfect Honey & Sesame Chicken.  They either have (1) way too much batter enclosing a tiny puny piece of chicken, (2) soggy or (3) just plain sweet.  In …

Thai grilled pork

Thai Grilled Pork with Nam Jim Jaew

Thai grilled pork, muu yang, as they are popularly known in Thailand is one of the many many delicious street food that once you have tried, you will never forget the flavours.   You’ll be happy to know that it’s really easy to make this dish especially in summer when you have that hot BBQ grill going!  Invite a couple of friends over, have some cool chilled beer and get that pork on the barbie! The recipe calls for pork neck which is a relatively cheap cut and can be purchased from the Asian butcher.  It’s a wonderful cut that keeps the meat moist when grilled.  You can grill the pork as a slab or you may skewer the pork.  But beware of over cooking pork as they can easily become dry and plastic when over-cooked. And that sauce … my oh my, that sauce is definitely a killer! You must believe me – because the combination of that beautifully marinated grilled pork and that killer sauce will make you go gugu-gaga 😉  How wonderful to kick …

strawberries and cream

Strawberries & Cream with Wonton Crisps

Hi everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend so far! Weekends are so precious, don’t you think so? For today, let’s talk leftovers. Hmmm, this is the part I always NOT like to have, especially for things that are “once opened, must be used within the next 5 days” and blah blah blah, says the wording on the packaging.  Take wonton wrappers for example – the smallest packet comes in like a hundred pieces and while I adore wontons, making a hundred of them at one time is not what I would do for just a family of 3 🙂 Why don’t they come in smaller packaging? But wait, interestingly, these wonton wrappers are so versatile that you can eat them as savory or sweet.  To eat as snack – simply slather with melted butter, sprinkle with icing sugar and bake them till golden brown and crispy.  Voila, you have an easy peasy snack and it tastes bloody good too 🙂  And that solves the mystery of what to do with leftover wonton wrappers.  So, remember, don’t throw them away! Secondly, if you want …

Crispy duck pancake

Crispy Duck Pancakes with Cucumber Pickle

Hello everyone! November is a special month for us because we have 2 wonderful birthday celebrations – hubby and lil’ one.  With just a few days apart from each other, we decide to celebrate their birthdays together every year 🙂 “Happy Happy Birthday to my two beloveds, Hubby and my lil’ one – who makes me crazy, keeps me busy and drives me up the wall. I may be complaining, but I loved every minute of it because we are after all, family.  Love you all to bits and pieces. ”  To celebrate this special day, I made my lil’ one’s favourite dish that closely resembles the Peking Duck Pancake.  I didn’t expect her to like duck but she proved me wrong when she tried this dish for the first time at Bamboo House (who makes one of the best Peking Duck in Melbourne) *salivating*.  Like every kids, she love the process of food arrangement and food wrapping, if you know what I mean.      Of course, my home cook duck dish cannot compare to the Sifu’s restaurant-style Peking Duck, but, …