Author: Burp! Appetit

kimchi jjigae

Kimchi Jjigae (Pork & Kimchi Stew)

Soupy.  Hot.  Spicy.  Delicious.  Comforting.  Slurpy.  Sour. All the goodies in one pot and just perfect for an autumn/winter’s cold night.  That sourness of the cabbage kimchi, added with spiciness of gochujang sauce and sweetness of the pork belly helps to build up a perfectly balanced soupy stew for the whole family to indulge.  Best of all, ingredients can be added or omitted to suit your taste buds. To save time, I used store-bought kimchi which is as good.  Prep, cut the ingredients and chuck everything into one pot.  All in all, the prepping and cooking time doesn’t take more than 1 hour.  So easy, fast and indulgent.  This is my go-to one-pot stew when I crave for a comfort food. What’s your comfort food? Kimchi Jjigae Serves 2 Ingredient: 300 g kimchi (store-bought or home-made), drained & reserve juice 350 g chicken stock 300 g skinless & boneless pork belly, sliced into 2cm pieces 1/2 block silken tofu 3 spring onion, sliced diagonally, reserve some as garnish 1/2 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled …

pork belly and shiso donburi

Pork Belly with Shiso Butter Soy Sauce Donburi

HELLO friends, I am back and extremely excited to cook in my kitchen again.  The 3 weeks family holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok was so very enjoyable, despite the H&H (hot & humid) weather.  Of course, the highlight for me was to meet my family and friends.  Best of all, I met my super duper adorable baby nephew who has quite the chubby cheeks *pinch*pinch*.  And then there was the eating, lots and lots of eating – we ate from places to places, tasted various Malaysian and Thai dishes while reminiscing all that authentic flavours and spices … savouring, remembering every single bite and taste.  Even my mom has a few new dishes to show off! We ate like there’s no tomorrow. “With the first bite, time stood still – nothing can distract me now.  All that matters is that precise enjoyment of breaking down that all too familiar authentic flavours and taste that I so remember and treasure.” Now that we’re back, we have a small problem and that is my under-stocked kitchen!  So, I went easy with our dinner meal …

Braised pork belly

Braised Pork Belly in Fermented Tofu

Hello everyone, it’s been awhile since my last update in Burp! These past few days have been crazy crazy crazy – not the bad crazy but the super duper good kinda crazy! Wanna know where I am? Follow my exciting foodie journey on instagram. Before I left,  I made a comforting and delicious pork dish, since weather has been such a chiller in Melbourne.  If you’re a fan of pulled pork, then you will love this braised pork dish.  Don’t be put off by the ingredient fermented tofu – it’s normally used as a flavouring agent to make Chinese dishes. This ingredient is commonly found in Asian Grocers and they come in bottled jars where several cubes of tofu are placed and covered in flavoured brine.  The tofus are then left to brine for several days to weeks.  Its flavour is very intense, normally salty with a mild sweetness.  Just a small cube of tofu is sufficient to flavour the dish. Very comforting on a cold winter’s night. Best eaten with a bowl of hot steamed jasmine rice. Grab a fork and dig in with family …

wonton in chilli broth

Steamed Wontons in Chilli Broth

Chicken. Pork. Seafood. Vegetarian. Steamed. Fried. Boiled. Juicy. Spicy. Slippery. Crispy. Tender. Aromatic. Soupy. … and they come in all shapes and sizes. These are just some of the words that come to mind when you think of wontons. It doesn’t matter if the wontons are steamed, fried or boiled, the key to won-ton of goodness comes from its dressing that brings out its contrasting flavour.  Ranging from the intensely aromatic spicy roasted chilli oil to sourish ginger vinegar sauce to just a simple sweet salty soy sauce, these small parcels most certainly do not disappoint! If spicy is not your cuppa, then try out these non spicy dumplings like the Prosperity seafood dumplings, Classic pork gyoza, Pork & prawn wonton soup or Chicken dumplings with vinegar dressing. After all, there’s really no such thing as sick of too many dumplings 🙂 Steamed Wontons in Chilli Broth (adapted from Jeremy Pang’s Chinese Unchopped)  Makes 20 wontons Ingredients: 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 scallion, finely chopped 1 cup of coriander, finely chopped plus extra to garnish 10 chinese chives, finely chopped 5 dried …

Free Wines when Dine – Not Joking!

If you love to wine and dine.  This is perfect for you. Free-wines is a world-first free app that offers members a free bottle of award winning wine, when a minimum amount is spent on dining in participating restaurants around Australia.  The program was launched in August 2015 and is available for download via Apple and Android devices.  All these privileges would not have been possible if not for Zenith Wine Agencies – one of Australia’s top wine distributors. Burp! was invited to experience the Free Wines App recently.  I was very impressed with the simplicity and ease of use of this app – so much so that it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. I brought this app to a test at participating restaurant Bistro-K in Melbourne. Step 1 – Select your restaurant and make your dinner appointment Step 2 – At the restaurant, simply press “order your free wine” button Step 3 – Select your wine option and show the waiter.  Press order button. Voila! Easy and fuss-free.  Just how I like it. Once the wine option was used …

roast chicken

Roast Chicken Glazed with Tamarind and Kaffir Lime Leaf

Weeknights have been super entertaining these past 2 weeks and this has nothing to do with a new kitchen…I wish!  Instead, after a short hiatus from my couch, I am back to warm those seats, baby! All thanks to MKR (My Kitchen Rules), a reality cooking TV show which premiered just in time to feed my boredom and hunger. In MKR, each team merries-go-round to host the ultimate 3-course dinner party.  After some grand tasting, eye-piercing gaze and lots of illogical criticism, guest teams and celebrity judges score. The lowest scoring teams leave the competition and the lucky ones adjourn to the MKR kitchen HQ to battle out.  The best team wins a hundred thousand dollars and lives happily ever, building dreams with the winning prize.  The losers will be in denial for a while and tries to score cookbook deals.  It is (after all) a reality cooking show. So, with all these excitement, what’s happening in my humble kitchen?  Well, you know I love simple food and our family has big BIG appetite for roast chickens. Dear roast chicken, there’s a lot of flavours we can play with you and …

sesame crusted tofu

Sesame & Bonito Flakes-crusted Tofu

Tofu. One of the most versatile ingredient and easiest to cook, yet some may say it’s tasteless and some say it’s delicious.  It can be eaten raw, deep-fried, steamed, braised or pan-fried. During the past week, I’ve been making lots of tofu dish.  I don’t know why but I think it must have been the Chinese New Year bug 🙂 Nevertheless, this is one of the tofu dish I’d like to share with you today – as it’s becoming our official household tofu dish.  Incidentally, I found this recipe on a blog and thought that the idea of crusting tofu with sesame seeds and bonito flakes absolutely mouth watering.  And, mouth watering it was.  Interestingly by using the bonito flakes, it not only added a bit of umami-ness to the tofu, it also creates a light and feathery texture when deep-fried. Really memorable dish. Sesame & Bonito Flakes-crusted Tofu (from Cherry on a cake)  Makes about 12 pieces Ingredients: 400 g semi firm tofu (I use Evergreen original tofu) 1/4 cup cornflour 1 egg 1/4 cup white sesame …

chilli beef tartare

Sesame, Soy & Chilli Beef Tartare (Yukhoe)

In our culture, eating raw food is not an everyday affair.  My first encounter with raw food was a platter of fresh, raw, perfectly sliced salmon and tuna sashimi, paired simply with nose-numbing eye-shooting wasabi and shoyu.  I love it.  I love the flavour – so fresh and fishy.  I love the texture. “Sometimes, the best thing in foodie life is to enjoy what nature has to offer…in its very own natural form.” And ultimately, that kickstarted my love affair with raw food.  Gradually, my taste bud expands to other seafood and also beef.  Do you remember your first love affair? … ahem, I mean with raw food 🙂 With beef, I always prefer mine medium rare – warm red in the middle and slightly firm. I get really annoyed when a restaurant can’t get this basic thing right – especially when it was a piece of damn good aged steak. But sometimes, I don’t mind them all rare especially when dealing with high quality beef.  Of course, it takes me a while to appreciate the act of eating rare beef. …

mango chicken summer roll

Lunchbox Idea: Chicken & Mango Summer Rolls

Some time ago, the mere thought of making rice paper rolls made me scared and daunting.  That’s because they break easily and difficult to roll (they turn soft after a while). So, after a few mishaps of really really un-good looking rolls, I found a few simple tips that I’d like to share with you: 1) Rice paper comes in sizes. Buy the large one. 2) Do not soak the rice paper until soft. Instead, soak for about 5-6 seconds, remove and place on a clean surface. The rice paper will continue to soften while you roll. 3) When rolling, keep them tight by pushing the edges back while rolling forward.  This keeps ingredients intact when you have your first bite of goodness. Sounds good?  Now, let’s try to get some rolls out, shall we … My lil’ one adores rice paper rolls.  It makes a good lunchbox meal and because there are no boundaries, you can go wild with just about anything in them.  She would choose what she wants in her rice paper roll and she would roll them herself 🙂  I like …

crab toasts

Breakfast Crab Toasts with Sriracha Mayonnaise

There are so many ideas for a yummy breakfast full of goodness.  I love my breakfasts served in a quick and easy fashion.  It also has to be plainly indulgent.  I may have thrown in some fancy sphancy crabby ingredients here for a wee bit of indulgence but if you’re not in the mood for seafood breakfast, you may also serve these to entertain.  And voila! I trust your guests will enjoy them. Crab Toasts with Sriracha Mayonnaise (adapted from Jean-Georges) Serves 2 Ingredients: 2 slices freshly baked sourdough bread, toast till golden brown 200 g freshly picked blue swimmer crabmeat, prepared a day in advance 2 lemon wedges 2 tbsp Sriracha Mayonnaise (Sriracha Mayonnaise) 1 egg yolk 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup grapeseed oil 2 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce Method: 1. To prepare the mayonnaise – whisk the yolk, mustard and salt until well blended.  Add oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the mixture, while continue whisking.  Add in the lemon juice and Sriracha until …

mixed seafood dumpling

Prosperity Seafood Dumplings

How is everybody this new year? It’s the weekend again.  La Di Da … and welcoming February with open arms.  How time flies 😃. That also means, we are only a week away from Chinese New Year (CNY) where firecrackers and dragons come alive tung tung tung chiang 💥💥 “Gong Xi Fa Cai 🏮 and let’s welcome good luck and prosperity in the year of the Monkey”  If you are in Asia at this time, be sure to visit the regional towns to see and feel all the CNY rah rah festivities.  Inner cities will generally be quiet as Chinese families from around the globe return home for days and weeks of feasting and the much-needed bonding with families. I miss celebrating CNY with my family very very much.  Since moving to Melbourne, I haven’t been back to Malaysia to celebrate CNY.  I remembered that there were so much happiness, love and joy shared with my family and extended families in historic Malacca in Malaysia.  We played cards, mahjong, drink, talk and feast, feast, feast … through day and night.  While the men were comfortably seated in the living …

soy-roasted pumpkin seeds

Supernormal’s Soy-roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I am a cookbook addict.  So, naturally, bookshops are my sanctuary, whenever I have time to waste and a place I could spend hours and hours reading cookbook recipes LOL. “Reading cookbook recipes? How weird is that? Am I weird? At least I get to dream about food!”  Some of my favourite bookshops in Melbourne are Books for Cooks  (a quaint bookshop next to popular Victoria Market.  Everything in the shop from floor to ceiling spells cookbooks – old or new.  If you’re looking for any out of print books, this is the place to go to), Hill of Content (slightly more commercialised bookstore that sells a broad range of books – quiet and comfortable.  Only set back – no sofa) and lastly Dymocks (large bookstore with wide range of current-in-print books.  Often crowded but offset by comfy sofas).  So, out of my recent basketful of new purchases, there was Supernormal, a cookbook named after Andrew McConnell’s new Melbourne’s asian-inspired restaurant.  It was a simple, minimalistic-designed book with beautiful food shots, heartwarming stories and some of the restaurant’s favourite recipes. This salty sweet snack is …

tuna in chilli

Raw Tuna in Korean Chilli Sauce

Once a while, I crave for fresh raw seafood.  Whether it’s served in sashimi-style or lightly seared on the sides, they still taste good, in my opinion.  When I can’t find really really fresh seafood, I’d just buy off my neighbourhood sushi store.  Then refrigerate them so it’s chilled to the max before I devour them.  The feeling is glorious, just glorious. To make this dish, we need to buy the freshest, sashimi-quality tuna and consume it within the day. Fresh, sashimi-quality tuna is not a luxury that’s available at my fish monger all the time.  And when it does, I’ll make it a point to get it. For the sauce, well, gochujang is the spicy miso of Korean cooking, one of my favourite condiment to have on hand.  It is used in a wide range of Korean dishes, ranging from bibimbap to tteobokki, and also goes damn well with chicken (check out my Gochujang Roast Chicken recipe).  The flavour is concentrated and spicy.  Who doesn’t love a simple dish with great flavours, right.  What’s more, no cooking is required (serious!) and takes …

Fried chicken wing

Easy Weekday Fried Chicken Wing

“Nothing tastes better than easy, good ‘ol not so fancy sphancy crispy and light fried chicken wing.  So little ingredients, yet so flavoursome.  How did they do it?”      Before I write more, let me say that this is THE fried chicken recipe that you will keep going back to over and over and over again.  It’s really addictive especially the combination of flavours and aroma that jolts and excite your taste bud.  Plus with that chilli dip…mmmmm oh-somely delicious! Originated from South Vietnam and thanks to Nhut Hyunh’s cookbook Little Vietnam, I found this keeper of a recipe.  According to Nhut Hyunh, this recipe reminds him of an old lady in Vietnam who used to operate a street stall selling these crispy fried chicken wings.  He had gone back to the street many times but could not find the old lady so he tried to create the recipe based on memory and taste.  What a nice story 🙂 To make this, you’ll only need 6 marinade ingredients and I’m pretty sure most of them are available in …

Saute Green Beans with Crispy Bacon

Bacon, bacon, bacon.  I love the smell of bacon – reminds me of a hearty weekend breakfast meal. And while I love the smell of bacon,  I love that sizzling sound of bacon on a hot pan even more. Don’t you agree? This dish itself is a super super easy side dish to make and … quick.  It doesn’t require oil and any other seasoning aside from the basic salt and pepper.  Basically, the oil comes from the bacon itself and that’s what make this dish so aromatic and just hands down YUM! Saute Green Beans with Crispy Bacon Serves 2 Ingredients: 300 g green beans, heads & tails trimmed 100 g diced bacon 100 g onions, chopped salt, to taste freshly cracked black pepper, to taste Method: 1. Boil green beans in salt water for 8 – 10 minutes, or until crunchy tender.  Drain and immediately place in a large bowl of ice cold water (to stop the cooking process). 2. Heat up a pan over medium heat.  Sauté diced bacon until crispy golden.  During this process, …

pork and watermelon

Jamie Oliver’s Summer Pork Belly & Watermelon Salad

Happy New Year peeps!  Happy 2016 🎉🎉 I hope you had a fantabulous celebration with your friends and family.  I know I did :)) Every year, I made resolutions (oh yes, with an “s”) – some I’m able to keep but some, I’m not.  Since then, I’ve carry forward many resolutions that I can’t keep.  When I looked at my long (wishful) list of unfulfilled resolutions, I was dumbfounded and disappointed.  Have you ever felt that way before?  So, for 2016, I’ll start fresh with a clean piece of blank canvas and just keep to a realistic list of wishful thoughts.  Hopefully I’m able to keep them till end of this year. To celebrate the becoming of hot hot hot summer in Down Under, I’d like to kickstart 2016 with a delicious Jamie Oliver inspired Pork Belly & Watermelon Salad.  It is an extremely easy dish to prepare but yield extraordinary tastes.  Do you know that pork belly and watermelon are a match made in heaven? I didn’t…that is, not until now. “Pork belly and watermelon are like …

Pineapple with chicken

Charred Pineapple Chicken in Sweetened Black Rice Vinegar

Foodies like us love surprises once in a while, especially when unsuspecting flavours collide in the most tasteful manner, like this for instance.  Pineapple, beautiful on the outside; yellow, juicy and vibrantly flavoursome inside – delicious fruit with great balance of tastes that are sweet and tart at the same time.  When roasted, the pineapples gave a beautiful smoked flavour and yet, still juicy on the inside. The addition of black rice vinegar to this dish really surprises me because I couldn’t imagine (until now) just how well the flavours blend together.  If you are not familiar with the black rice vinegar, it’s endearingly known as the black magic potion – just a dash will literally blow you away.  Think Chinese dumplings.  Eyup!  You’d recall a certain plate of dipping black sauce with ginger strips that comes with Chinese dumplings?  That, ladies and gentleman, is the black magic potion. When cooking this dish, use a good quality black rice vinegar.  I swear by the Chinkiang black rice vinegar and so easy to get from any Asian Grocers.  It’s dark black …

Smoked Paprika, Chilli, Lime Peanuts

G’day everyone! Are you expecting guests this Christmas weekend and the New Year weekend? Then you will need some extra special something for your guests to snack on 🙂 If you are crunch on time, perhaps some roasted peanuts, spiced with smoked paprika, chilli and lime will add to the cheer. This snack is very simple to make and so aromatic.  All you need to do is just prep and mix them all up which takes less than 5 minutes, and then, roast.  It’s very very aromatic and addictive.  This snack also keeps very well in an airtight container for up to a week. Smoked Paprika, Chilli, Lime Peanuts  (adapted from Donna Hay Magazine) Makes 1 jar Ingredients: 2 cups salted peanut 2 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 cup lime juice 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp black chia seeds 1 tsp sea salt flakes 1 tsp finely grated lime rind Method: 1. Pre heat oven t0 180 celsius. 2. Mix all ingredients except lime rind in a clean bowl.  Toss with spatula and ensure …

Singapore bihun

Singapore Bee Hoon

What is Singapore bee hoon? I asked myself.  To be honest, I don’t know.  I googled hoping to find the answer but for the first time ever, Mr Google doesn’t have a straight answer for me. Interestingly, there are conflicting stories about Singapore bee hoon across the web – some say it’s a dish invented out of Hong Kong which doesn’t really exist in Singapore, others claim that the use of curry powder actually lends the name to this dish.   But why call it Singapore bee hoon and not Hong Kong-style bee hoon or even Curry bee hoon??? Well, we can go around arguing who’s right and who’s wrong, but who cares right? Since it’s so delicious, we’ll just leave it at that, ok :).  Bee hoon (or rice vermicelli) is a popular noodle in Asia because it’s so versatile.  You can stir-fry or boil with a soup base and use any ingredients to flavour the dish.  By nature, they are tasteless, so they rely on other fresh ingredients or seasoning for flavours.  The key to stir-fry is to ensure bee hoon is dried well before stir-frying. Singapore …

Sweet and sour pork

Crispy Classic Sweet and Sour Pork … revisited!

Just a few more days … few more days … counting … down … and I’ll be reuniting with my family! YEE HAR ! And thereafter, celebrating Christmas and New Year together for the first time in 4 years.  I love love love this December 🎄 🙂  To make it more fun, I’ll be feeding them generously with a plethora of good food that they have not try.  So exciting 🙂 So, what’s your plan with your family and friends this Christmas?  Whatever it may be, have loads of fun and treasure this special time with them. I go nuts over cookbooks.  So, if anyone wants to get me any gifts for Christmas or Birthday, cookbooks are just perfect *hint* hint*.  My hubby has long given up on my obsession with cookbooks.  I have so many books that I need to upgrade my 3-tier small book shelf to 2 brand new Ikea floor-to-ceiling book shelves just to fit them all.  To top it all up, I am still buying  cookbooks! *face palm*  Jeremy Pang’s Chinese Unchopped is one my latest bed time …

Coconut and Gula Melaka Agar Agar (Jellies)

I grew up eating jellies.  What about you? My mom loves making jelly when we were young.  That’s why jelly brings back wonderful sweet memories to me.  It was one of those cold sweet treats that my sisters and I really enjoyed eating when we were young, especially in hot hot Malaysia. We would sit on the kitchen bench and just watched mom do wonders with colours and mould.   So fascinated by the beautiful shapes when mom unmold the jelly that we thought it was magic! In fact, the shape that I loved the most comes in a certain koi fish mould that my mom always used. The mould has many complicated layers but it was so colourful and beautiful.  So beautiful that it was always made centrepiece when we celebrated special birthdays or Chinese New Year.  On other days, mom would treat us with sweet bitesize jellies that comes in various shapes like the star, heart, flower shapes … endless! The coconut and gula melaka (dark palm sugar) agar agar is a popular Asian dessert.  This dessert interestingly, is supposed to set in two different …