All posts filed under: Poultry

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Chicken with black pepper sauce

Crispy Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce on Rice

How fast another week has gone by.  In just 2 short weeks, it’ll be Christmas 🎄 and I’ll be reunited with my dad, mom and sister, who will be here to spend a summery 🍺 Christmas with us.  You can’t imagine just how much I missed them! To prepare for their arrival, we have so much cleaning, scrubbing and shopping to do.   Cleaning wasn’t fun but the gifts shopping 🎁 was crazily delightful.  So after a week-long of cleaning and a day-long of gifts shopping, it was finally done.  I kid you not, but the act of buying gifts feel like a battleground especially at the gift wrapping stations.  It’s like a process where you have to plan from getting into the shopping mall and time your way up to the end.  Just a mere few minutes difference will change everything.  Have you ever felt this way when you gift shop?  It was hectic but fun and now all gifts are sitting very nicely under the Christmas tree waiting to be opened 🙂 For dinner later …

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 …

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 …

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, …

Chicken in spicy sauce

Chicken in Spicy Sauce

Food has a special meaning to the Chinese.  We celebrate (just about) anything and everything with food.  Chinese cuisine is uniquely defined by the vast geography represented by the people and culture across these lands.  If you study Chinese cuisine carefully, you’ll be amazed at how diverse and different they are. Take Cantonese cuisine for e.g. from the Guangdong region.  They are characterised by the sweet note in their dishes and normally cooked through braise, stew or saute.  What about the Sichuan cuisine? Think pepper, chilli – well known for hot, spicy and ma lat taste.  That’s only 2 of the many Chinese cuisines that you may or may not have tasted. This dish from Mr Peng’s Chinese kitchen – Hunan, is just brilliant because it’s simple and easy to make. You know I love simple dishes and this is a perfect example.  The flavour of this dish was accentuated by home-made Sichuan Chilli Sauce which is punchy, numbing and spicy – just the way I like it.  Extra sauce can be kept in airtight container and …

chicken yakitori

Easy Chicken and Scallion (Negima) Yakitori

Succulent Juicy Sweet Sticky Charred Okay people, let’s admit it, all of us go crazy over bits-on-sticks.  It started with ice-cream and then it went on to savoury stuff.  So, anything and everything that (literally) comes on sticks consistently drive people (like me) nuts. ” Why? I’m not sure really … Because the best food comes on a stick. Period! ”  The bits-on-sticks culture are so commonly found across the globe as street foods – like the best-loved Malaysian satay, succulent juicy Japanese yakitori, addictive Korean Potato stacks, ubiquitous American corn dogs, the spicy creamy Mexican elote or for the daring ones, Chinese scorpion.  There is no shortage of quick, easy and tasty street food around the globe really.  So, be ready to work those dormant muscles when you head to these places. When I say these chicken skewers are too darn delicious, I really really meant it.  I didn’t make a lot but it was so good that everything on the plate was gone in 60 seconds.  At the end, I was left  still wanting more. So, be sure to make …

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 …

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 …

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 …

gochujang chicken

Fire up with Gochujang Roast Chicken

Ever wonder why bibimbap taste so good? If you have tried it, that’s because of the red hot pepper sauce which is used to dress the rice dish – known as gochujang.  It’s a red pepper paste that also contains fermented soy beans and glutinous rice.  The importance of gochujang in a Korean kitchen is synonymous to miso in a Japanese kitchen.  It is hot, pungent, thick, flavoursome and very very yum! “Just a bit will sure to make you “fly,  fly o so mighty high.  What a paste!”  Gochujang is very versatile – it can be used to punch up flavours in roasts, soup stews or dipping sauces.  These days, I can sense the boredom with my same ol, same ol roasts – and surely it is  time for a change.  And boy, what a coincidence I can say – having an unopened pack of gochujang in the cupboard was a bless – to my roast 🙂 This is a very simple roast chicken recipe – small effort but delivers BIG BIG punchy flavours – wonderful and memorable for a lazy cook-in …

Teriyaki chicken

Simple Teriyaki Chicken

I was 15 when I had my first taste of Japanese cuisine.  At that time, I remembered that dining at a Japanese restaurant was a real treat and we only do it to celebrate birthdays or when dad received his pay check.   Of course, at that time, raw fish was not an option to me ( because I was so used to perfectly-cooked food), so my go-to dish would have to be Teriyaki Chicken. Come to think of it, it was the go-to dish for my whole family except dad.  How funny! Dad would look at us, shook his head and laughed every time we ordered that.  As time goes by, we began to adopt other types of meat and that chicken will take an alternate shift to beef, pork or salmon, but they were still cooked in the very same way 🙂 So, yes, we do love our Teriyaki. What about you?  What was your go-to Japanese dish? “Teriyaki is a cooking method used in Japanese cuisine where foods are grilled or pan fried, leaving that crisp outer …

Soy Sauce chicken

Chicken Wings in Dark Soy and Rice Wine

The past week (and this week) has been crrrrr….aaaaaa…..zyyyyy.  I have been moving about like a headless chicken.  Have you ever felt that way before? Like the week just never ends? When you wake up in the morning, time stops a while and then you just go about doing these many chores and when you look up, the clock just slowed down again. So, this is a very very easy chicken dish – it is also known as my saviour dish especially when I am this busy with work.  Just 2 ingredients – chicken and mushroom – marinade – then simmer and cook.  Tasty and quick. Chicken Wings in Dark Soy and Rice Wine Serves 4 Ingredients: 10 chicken wings (cleaned, remove tip and dis-jointed) 5 dried shiitake mushrooms 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 30 ml rice wine 1 tbsp sesame oil 5 thin slices ginger 1 cup water black pepper 1/2 tsp sugar salt, to taste spring onion, sliced Method: 1. Soak the mushrooms in warm water for at least 3-4 hours or until …

Miso Chicken

Crispy Miso and Ginger Fried Chicken with Miso Mayonnaise

In the culinary world, basic sensory tastes is widely defined and accepted as sweet, sour, bitter and salty.  As these four little words, with big meanings, becomes predictable (and perhaps a little boring), experts found the final jigsaw in the mythical fifth taste – umami. Unlike the other 4 basic tastes that is very distinct, umami can be defined as having a pleasant savoury taste.  Literally speaking, yummy! Think – have you ever eaten something only to find it’s hard to describe the taste and it is also that taste that gets you wanting more and more of it?  That hard-to-describe-taste would be the missing umami puzzle.  And that’s because of this ingredient called MSG – Monosodium Glutamite 🙂 “Want umami? – then think miso, parmesan, mushroom, dried bonito, fish sauce, kombu (seaweed), dry-cured hams – they will make you crave for more and more of that mythical fifth taste”   In this recipe, I replaced the core ingredient – yellow miso, with white miso.  White miso can be easily found at Asian grocers compare to yellow miso and it’s cheaper too. …

Crispy savoury chicken

Crunchy Chicken with Crispy Basil Leaves

If you love fried chicken,  you will go absolutely knuckles about this delicious dish.   It’s all about the 3 C’s – Crunchy Crispy Chicken that screams bite me, bite me, bite me.  Little explanation required because it’s such a straight forward dish that anyone can make in a matter of minutes. 2 ingredients made this dish extra super yum and aromatic – let’s give it to potato flour and thai basil leaves.  When fried, potato flour (sourced from asian grocers) gives that airy, light, crispy texture.  On the other hand, fragrant thai basil leaves are deep fried till crisp and crunchy. Short and sweet today! Happy weekending everyone 🙂 Crispy Chicken with Thai Basil Leaves (adapted from Boon’s Secret Recipes)            Serves 4 Ingredients:   400g chicken breast, rinsed and cut into small cubes 5 sprigs thai basil leaves, discard stems 5 tbsp potato flour vegetable oil (Chicken marinade) 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp tapioca flour 1 egg white Dash of pepper Pinch of five-spice powder (Seasoning) 1/6 tsp chilli powder …

Chicken Curry

Chinese Curry Chicken

I am re-energized.  I am inspired.  I am on a curry rampage Grrrrr…… After the previous success of Rendang Ayam, hubby was itching for another curry dish and this time, he was specific.  Obviously I couldn’t resist the temptation of another night of curry because guess what? I love curries too.  In Malaysia, curry is a staple dish for lazy people like me cause well … it goes all the way with a plain bowl of egg noodles, steamed rice or toasted white bread 🙂  And if you have extras, save it for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day LOL Usually, I would just go with the instant curry chicken paste that I normally buy but this time around, I’ve decided to make the curry paste from scratch.  In case if you’re wondering why bother to make from scratch when I can just buy instant?  Well, I like to taste the spices that goes into my curry (which in the case of instant paste, you can’t) and to have that fragrant aroma fill up the kitchen when my …

Rendang ayam

Rendang Ayam (Dry Chicken Curry)

Hello everyone.  After a 2 weeks hiatus from the kitchen, I’m trying to get my groove back into the air space – Cook, think, write! Cook, think, write! Yes, let’s get this motion going, shall we? Cook, think, write! …  repeat … My family came visit (all the way from Malaysia) and it was a wonderful reunion.  The usually-quiet house came to life with noise and warmth.  And mom literally took over my kitchen and made all our favourite dishes on-demand which made me realise how I’ve missed her cooking.  That explains my lack of activity in this space for 2 whole weeks 🙂 Now that my parents have left, I’m back into the kitchen.  So, rendang ayam? In English – it’s called dry chicken curry – one of the most homely and delicious Malaysian dish I’ve ever enjoyed.  Like all curries, it’s not a complex dish to make but it is crucial to get all the freshly ground spices to achieve that beautiful aroma and dry texture of the curry.  Unlike it’s wet curry cousin, the sauce is the …