All posts tagged: autumn/winter

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 …

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 …

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 …

Pork Belly

Tamarind Pork Belly Curry

Temperatures are dipping fast.  It’s been raining day in, day out.  Gawd – such a miserable winter this year in Melbourne.  But this should not stop me from making some heartwarming dish and so, these cold cold nights call for curry curry curry! Curries are one of the most versatile dish that I grew up with in Malaysia and with the incorporation of a lot of complex flavours, there are just so much you can do with curry.  Not all curries are spicy (although I love spicy dishes) but sometimes, you can just make it a tad sweet as well, so my lil’ one can try.  This dish is a great example of that.  Definitely my go-to curry for a heartwarming dinner for the family.  Ooh La La – even lil’ one gave a good thumbs up! So, tell me, what curry dish are you addicted to? Tamarind Pork Belly Curry  (adapted from Donna Hay magazine)   Serves 3 Ingredients: 1 kg boneless pork belly, skin on, cut into 3 cm squares (roughly about 12 pcs) sea …

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 …

Pork & prawn wonton soup

Heartwarming Pork & Prawn Wonton Soup

Hello everyone… The days are getting colder and colder.  The weather is getting more and more unpredictable.  While the northern hemisphereans are enjoying sunshine, beautiful bloom and bright weather changes.  The middle earthians are enjoying 365 days of predictable rain and sunshine.  The southern hemisphereans (like us in Ozzie) are getting the cold fronts and shorter daylight.  Let’s get those feet warmers out 🙂 When the cold hits, what better way to warm our hearts and souls with some home-made heartwarming dumpling soup 🙂 I treat wontons like soul-food – once you eat it, it heals the soul and warms the heart – a perfect dumpling soup when you’re feeling under the weather.  Once you’ve tasted it, poof, you’ll feel more joyful and a much better person. So, what are you waiting for?  Let’s wrap some wontons and get cooking now! Oh, and if you’re wanting to shed some sweat, checkout the wonton dumplings in chilli oil. Pork & Prawn Wonton Soup (adapted from Helen & Lisa Tse’s Dim Sum) Makes 25 pieces Ingredients: 1 pack wonton wrappers, …

Chicken and corn soup

Chicken & Corn Soup for the soul

My family loves to drink soup.  I guess it’s because of the way we were brought up to appreciate and love soup.  As a Chinese Malaysian, soup is a staple dish for dinner.  Home-cook soups are the tastiest because it’s made with love, patience and attention using the best, healthiest and simplest ingredients – without the usual overdose of MSG like the commercial-made soups in restaurants. The Chinese believe that if you are a married woman, you must know how to make soup because it will make our husbands happy when they come home from a long day’s work.  Thus, they will come home every night to drink that special soup – we call it yam tong (drink soup).  Of course, that was the old wives tale that my mum used to tell me.  In the current day, I, for example don’t even know how to make a decent bowl of soup until much much later. “Yea, my hubby’s very happy with this soup.  My mom and Grand mama will be proud of me!” I grew up with simple chicken & …

Mapo tofu

Mr Hong’s Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu (Doufu) is a very popular chinese dish originated from the Sichuan province.  If you are a person who don’t really care much for diet and love numbing spicy, fiery, oily dish – this one is for you!  According to wikipedia, the authentic mapo tofu is usually described by Chinese chefs using these 7 strong flavour profiles : 麻 (numbing), 辣 (spicy hot), 烫 (hot temperature), 鲜 (fresh), 嫩 (tender and soft), 香 (aromatic), and 酥 (flaky). This is a superb dish to soothe your body in the cold winter’s night but definitely not for dinner parties.  The tolerance level for hot spicy numbing dish should be kept to people who are willing to let go of their beauty and ego while eating this dish, LOL.  Oh, and get ready a good amount of water on the side too, hahaha. “The dish is so mind-bottling numb – you have to give it to the Sichuan people! Luckily I can still feel my lips, legs, hands …” Interestingly, this recipe doesn’t use the traditional tofu.  Instead, recipe creator from Sydney, …

Dong Bo

‘Dong Po’ Stewed Pork

Just like that, April is gone.  I have been pretty quiet last month with very little activity with Burp!  Blame it on the school holidays and visitors 🙂  But it’s a good thing, we had such fabulous time with my family who came all the way from Malaysia and put up with us for 3 fantastic weeks.  All of a sudden, our home was turned into a busy hotel with people coming and going – this beloved bustle is what the Chinese call as “yit lau” in cantonese. I had the chance to show off my cooking skills and impressed my family…greatly.  My mum and I exchanged cooking lessons and tips with each other 🙂 which was something that I haven’t had a chance to do last time.  It was truly enjoyable.  That time all I care about was doing other things except cooking.  But, now that I’m at it, I really missed having that mother-daughter bonding time. I have a very soft spot for pork belly.  My knees would go utterly weak at the sight of …

Spicy Fish Curry

Spicy Fish Curry

What can I say about curry?  It’s aromatic, delicious, spicy and very very addictive.  Although it makes you sweat, your mouth burns and the strong smell lingers in your kitchen and all over your clothes till many days next, you’ll still crave for more.  Funny what curry does to people like me 🙂  I grew up with all sorts of curry – one of the privileges of staying in Malaysia 🙂 I remembered when my mom made her delicious curry chicken and chilli chicken, she always frequented Makcik’s (Auntie) spice store at the Sunday morning wet market to buy her aromatic curry powder that transforms any dish into a glorious curry dish.  I am so missing my mom’s curry now! This is an easy curry recipe that your family can enjoy.  To adjust the spiciness so lil ones can enjoy, reduce the number of chillies used in the curry paste. Spicy Fish Curry (adapted from Donna Hay’s The New Classics) Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 tbsp peanut oil 500g white fish fillets, chopped to big bite-size …

Chicken Cooked in Ginger

Chicken cooked in Ginger

Have you ever looked into your fridge and have difficulty in deciding what to cook?  Well sometimes I do – especially the day before my big grocery day.  Turned out that today was that day.  When I checked my fridge – I was staring at some leftover chicken pieces, ginger and scallion.  So, what would I do with that? Chicken cooked in ginger?  Now, that’s a simple and delicious dish which I learnt from Luke Nguyen’s The Food of Vietnam. Chicken cooked in Ginger (adapted from Luke Nguyen’s The Food of Vietnam) Serves 2 Ingredients: 2 pieces chicken thigh fillets, fats removed & cut to bite-size pieces 2 tbsp fish sauce 1/2 tsp oyster sauce 1/2 tbsp sugar Small knob ginger, peeled & chopped 2 tbsp garlic, finely diced 2 scallions, cut into 2 cm lengths 100 ml chicken stock 2 tbsp vegetable oil pinch of cracked black pepper red chilli, to garnish coriander leaves, to garnish Method: 1. Combine the fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.  Mix well and ensure the sugar dissolves completely. …

Seafood Congee

Seafood Congee

It’s not even fall yet but I’m already craving for good ol’ fashion home-made ‘chuk’ aka congee or porridge.  A good home-made congee tickles me warm in my tummy.  I remembered when I was sick, my mum would make a good bowl of pork congee and I would immediately felt better after eating it. It’s like the “chicken soup for my soul”. Congee can be cooked to several different textures.  If you want to see rice grains and the consistency to be not too starchy, don’t cook too long.  If you want a more starchy consistency, the rice grains will be broken by cooking it longer. The wonderful thing about making congee is you can put just about any ingredients and it’ll still taste good.  The broth absorbs the wonderful flavours impart by the ingredients that you’ve put in. Congee can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I like to eat my congee with fried peanuts, pickled lettuce and fried anchovies.  This recipe generates congee with broken rice and slightly starchy consistency which is …

Sticky Glaze Beef Short Ribs

Sticky Glaze Beef Short Ribs

Warning! This dish is not for the faint-hearted 🙂 When I read the recipe in Not Quite Nigella, I couldn’t wait to cook it.  It sounded and looked too delicious to wait (this dish is a winter, rainy dish).  It was a combination of that melt-in-your-mouth-slips-off-bone beef together with spicy and sweet asian flavours that made this dish so oh-my-goodness tasteful and heartwarming. Looking for beef short ribs was a tiring activity and I almost gave up.  I thought it was a common cut, but apparently it’s not that popular for home cooks.  When I went to my local butcher’s, he showed me what was labelled as “beef spare ribs” and told me they are the same.  Don’t be fooled thinking they are they same, they are surely not!  The beef short ribs that I have eaten in restaurants has a thick slab of meat attached to a short bone and it’s the best cut for braising.  We went from market to market, looking for short ribs and finally found them at a butcher in …

Chicken Slice Flat Noodle Soup

Kai See Hor Fun (Noodle Soup with Shredded Chicken)

This is a winning Malaysian dish – anybody who hails from Ipoh or have been to Ipoh would fall in love with this simple noodle soup.  The best Kai See Hor Fun (those found in Ipoh) will taste significantly different compare to the mediocre ones – with silky smooth hor fun (flat rice noodles) and addictively rich chicken-prawn soup stock. Unfortunately, staying in Melbourne deprives me of this delicious and heartwarming dish.  No restaurant in Melbourne has made the mark and I am so missing this dish.  So my search for the recipe continues until I stumbled upon The Food Canon and voila! So, now, I can make this wonderfully tasty noodle soup at the comfort of my own home.  Go on, have a go and let me know what you think… Kai See Hor Fun (Noodle Soup with Shredded Chicken) (adapted from The Food Canon) Serves 4 Ingredients: 2 litres of water 1/2 chicken 300-500g fresh prawns Vegetable oil 1 tbsp chicken stock powder, optional 1 pack fresh flat noodles Chicken shreds, for garnish Spring …

Closeup of roast chicken maryland

Fish Sauce Roast Chicken

I love the method of roasting.  It’s easy, nutritious while keeping the meat juicy and tender without overcooking it.  My lil’ one simply loves a good roast chicken drum. Who would have thought that fish sauce actually tastes really good with a roast. When I first saw the recipe from Adam Liaw’s new cook book Asian After Work, I was skeptical about using fish sauce as marinade.  Typically used in most Vietnamese, Thai, Philippine cooking – it’s extracted from the fermentation of fish with sea salt.  So you can imagine the salty taste and the really pungent smell. But when cooked, it will impart an umami flavour. My first attempt with this recipe surprised me.  The true flavour of this dish came from the combination of fish sauce, coriander and the subtle chillies that attracted a very Thai roast style.  I followed Adam’s method closely and manage to keep the meat moist and tender which I’m very pleased with. Fish Sauce Roast Chicken (adapted from Adam Liaw’s Asian After Work cookbook) Serves 3 Ingredients: 3 chicken …

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, Caramelised Scallops and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

For my birthday, hubby got me a new cook book “Simple To Sensational” by Jun Tanaka.  The book outlines simple recipes that can be easily transformed to awesome dishes just by adding more ingredients or manipulating the recipe with a little variation.  So easy!  When I was browsing through the book, this particular recipe caught my eye because it is not only easy to make, it looks tasty – especially when the recipe has scallops in it. I love scallops and together with butternut squash, the soup produces a gentle sweetness that is perfect as a winter warmer.  When choosing the butternut squash, get the ones in colour with no hint of green as these will have deeper flavour.  If you can’t find butternut squash, you can easily replace it with pumpkin or carrots for variation.  It’s an easy dish to prepare for the whole family to enjoy and I’m sure they will love it. Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, Caramelised Scallops and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (adapted from Simple to Sensational) Serves 4 Ingredients: (Soup) 15g …