Instant Chashu Mala Ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

had some 蒜泥白肉 belly pork ingredients leftover from my 14pax RI friends & spouses dinner on 18.12.2014.

added them to instant sichuan mala noodles (麻辣香锅快熟面) the next day on 19.12.2014, just putting 2 & 2 together.

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

instant chashu mala ramen (麻辣快熟面)

it said only mildly spicy on the packet. indeed this was just the ideal level of spiciness & still quite explosive flavours. & the chashu (slow braised belly pork using cold crockpot on low) made a perfect combination.

i am rediscovering instant noodles – this one just S$3.50 for 5 packets. the other very good ones i had were -

nissin kyushu black japanese ramen,

mykuali penang white curry noodles.

all 3 cost about S$0.70 per noodle packet, between S$3.50 and S$3.80 for 5 packets.

i liked all of them. currently i like this 麻辣香锅面 best! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

 

#5 miso lamb

6hr “Sous Vide” Miso Lamb Shoulder

miso lamb shoulder

miso lamb shoulder

this (above photo) was my very first attempt on miso lamb, which I did for a 11-course dinner for 11pax on 5.5.2014.

i do a good pistachio crusted rack of lamb but no other variations. decided to do a 3-day miso marinade on a cheap frozen lamb cut & coincide the 6hr sous vide bath in 90degC oven with the char siew (to save electricity).

90degC (oven temperature) is also the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours.

160°F/70°C — Connective tissue collagen begins to dissolve to gelatin. Melting of collagen starts to accelerate at 160F and continues rapidly up to 180F.

miso lamb shoulder

miso lamb shoulder

i did again for a 12-course 9-pax homecooked chinese dinner for friends on 15.7.2014.

that was the best i did then, better than the last 2 times & w/o the gamey taste. the 3-day miso marinade & 6hrs “sous vide” in 90degC oven did the trick. many liked this.

#5 miso lamb

miso lamb shoulder

most recent was a homecooked dinner for 14pax friends + spouses on 18.12.2014.

the miso lamb shoulder chop was ok, very tender, with strong lamb flavours nicely masked by miso.

lamb though is in general not much a favourite dish among my family & friends, and a tenderised lamb shoulder, even miso-falvoured, cannot really match a good rack of lamb.

after having the most wonderful rack of lamb i had so far at american club amarone wine dinner on 29.11.2014, i was thinking of trying out a herb crusted rack of lamb as a variation of my pistachio rack of lamb.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • packet of lamb shoulders from Giant S$4.95 (300g)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 3tbsp cup mirin
  • 3tbsp cup cooking sake

Directions:

  1. mixed saké, mirin, sugar & miso paste in a large bowl and whisk.
  2. scald lamb shoulders with boiling water to remove scum. place lamb shoulders in a ziplock bag & pour in the cooled marinate and leave in fridge for 3 full days. turning over once in the morning & once in the evening to ensure all sides are fully coated.
  3. take out lamb shoulders & place it in an oven dish with lid with the miso marinade just covering the lamb for 1/2 hr to get it to room temperature. place it in the preheated oven at 90degC for 6hrs. 90degC is the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours.
  4. cut the lamb shoulders to bite size & serve.

Fun 14pax RI Friends & Spouses Homecooked Dinner on 18Dec2014

invited my regular group of RI friends (this time with spouses) for a homecooked dinner on 18.12.2014.  we had 14pax = 5 couples + 4 guys. :-)

i prepared mostly pre-cooked food that could be served buffet style, so we could all sit down & enjoy the food & conversation together. :-)

planning was important. i intended several items which i cooked/made final preparations only when all the guests arrived – tagliata di manzo (angus striploin steak), dry wok prawns, pumpkin salad, fried rice.

in the end timing was quite well managed for dry wok prawns & fried rice. for the salad & the rockets/cherry tomatoes bed for tagliata di manzo, they were done too early & the rockets were soggy (unlike my recent lunch which the pumpkin salad & the rocket bed for tagliata di manzo were quite perfect).

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

#1 my wife’s pumpkin tofu salad was an excellent dish when i served during the recent lunch.

this time it was a bit lacklustre. seasoning with sea salt, olive oil & balsamic were done too early. somehow pumpkin was not as sweet.

#2 beer can chicken was good as usual – tender, moist, tasty. :-)

#3 oven grilled miso salmon belly had been a favourite with my family (& friends also during recent lunches), and again a favourite this evening. :-)

#4 teriyaki cod was good as cod goes. i made it very much less sweet & healthier (no sugar only mirin this time).

#5 the 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder chop was ok, very tender, with strong lamb flavours nicely masked by miso.

#6 tagliata di manzo (using angus striploin). the bed of rockets & cherry tomatoes were mixed too early so a bit soggy.

steak was medium rare & flavourful, but i was slightly distracted & the charring was somewhat insufficient to produce good enough mallard reaction. also the angus striploin, unlike ribeye, had a bit of tendon, not so ideal.

#7 spicy belly pork 蒜泥白肉 was simply wonderful. it was slow-braised using cold crockpot on low almost 6 hrs to 79degC. belly was very tender & the sichuan 麻辣 chilli mix was excellent. :-)

#8 my dry wok prawns is of consistent good standard, charred & flavourful, taste of chilli padi & fish sauce.

#9 my spicy seafood fried rice will never get to crystal jade standard, but it is also consistently good, nice wok hae & flavours with lots of prawns & squid.

#10 stir-fried romaine lettuce

#10 stir-fried romaine lettuce

my helper cooked the romaine lettuce, one of our favourite vegetable dish.

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

a friend brought a #11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake.

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

it was a lovely 2-layer vanilla cake with banana in between & covered with chocolate ganache – a really standout first attempt by him! :-)

#12 my no-bake tiramisu is now another crowd favourite. it was 1 of the easiest dessert to make.

healthy peanut candy

#13 healthy peanut candy

a friend brought a #13 healthy peanut candy (held together by maltose instead of unhealthy sugar), it was nice.

i had a #14 pumpkin cheese cake on standby. i sensed that the friends wanted to try, so it was served & we managed to finish 1/2 the cake. it was ok but not as good as the pumpkin cheese cake we had for our recent lunch which was really good.

c.h.e.f andy

Delicious Dinner @ Tunglok Signature Orchard Parade on 16Dec2014

bamboo clam S$12.80

bamboo clam S$12.80pax

had a wonderful dinner with wife at tunglok signature, orchard parade last evening on 16.12.2014. :-)

we had the amex palate privileges (50% discounts for 2pax). tunglok group though have this strange rule that it applies only to ala carte orders during weekdays & only to set orders during weekends.

so we did ala carte orders. :-)

the bamboo clams with tanhoon was excellent!

lie tong 1/2 pot - S$16

lie tong 1/2 pot – S$16

& the lie tong 例汤 (soup of the day) was good, as always. this time it was pumpkin with pork rib, a really sweet, delicious soup. i am sure going to try this at home. :-)

garoupa 2 ways - S$22pax

garoupa 2 ways – S$22pax

garoupa 2 ways - S$22pax

garoupa 2 ways – S$22pax

garoupa 2 ways - S$22pax

garoupa 2 ways – S$22pax

the garoupa in 2 preparations was good too. the steamed with peppery sauce preparation was very tasty, the deep-fried fish fillet was ok but ordinary.

lobster noodles

lobster noodles – S$25pax

& the lobster noodles was always our favourite served in the excellent lobster 6-course set.

this was also the preparation that i replicated at home in my king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面).

tube juice - palate cleanser

tube juice – palate cleanser

they always serve a tube juice – pineapple, watermelon etc. nice! :-)

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雪中情怀mango pomelo dessert with 2 scoops ice cream

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雪中情怀mango pomelo dessert with 2 scoops ice cream

we had 1 order of 雪中情怀, a mango pomelo dessert with 2 scoops coconut ice cream, again our favourite here.

the dinner came to S$84.50nett, about S$72++ for 2pax.

well, we keep coming back! :-)

c.h.e.f andy

 

Most Enjoyable Autumn Course Dinner @ Mikuni on 11Dec2014

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

had another splendid dinner at mikuni with wife on 11.12.2014. :-)

we had the excellent autumn course menu, like a mini kaiseki.

i have never taken a course menu or kaiseki since the name changed from inagiku to mikuni some years back. instead we had been exploring the ala carte menu, creating our own Andy’s kaiseki (just in jest). and lately i am quite sold on mikuni’s chirashi don (i would say almost choutokusen 超特選 chirashi don). :-)

cracker appetizer

cracker appetizer

mikuni autumn mini kaiseki

mikuni autumn mini kaiseki

we were very pleased though with this autumn course menu. :-)

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

uni inside - #1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 there was uni inside – hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura

#1 japanese taro, hokkaido uni in sesame tofu topped with ikura – taro was just so so. the uni, ikura tofu was of course very nice. did not taste much of the sesame though.

#2 sashimi - hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi – hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi - hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi – hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar

#2 sashimi – hamachi, maguro & white prawns topped with caviar – sashimi was good cuts but otherwise ordinary except white prawn but that was kind of smallish.

#3 shell grilled scallops, & kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 shell grilled scallops, & kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 kagoshima beef robatayaki

#3 shell grilled scallops

#3 shell grilled scallops

#3 shell grilled scallops, & kagoshima beef robatayaki – kagoshima beef was heavenly. scallops was very nicely done too. quite excellent! :-)

#4 chestnut tempura & sillago fish tempura

#4 chestnut tempura & sillago fish tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura

#4 chestnut tempura & sillago fish tempura – the sill ago (whiting) fish tempura was par excellence. chestnut was ok, quite nice really if non descript.

#5 osaka styled barachirashi don - uni, maguro, tai, kampachi, kajiki, ikura, lily bulb

#5 osaka styled barachirashi don – uni, maguro, tai, kampachi, kajiki, ikura, lily bulb

#5 miso soup with gohan

#5 miso soup with gohan

#5 the osaka styled barachirashi don – uni, maguro, tai, kampachi, kajiki, ikura, lily bulb was superb. came with pickles & miso soup

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew

#6 chestnut ice cream & japanese honey dew was ok. i prefer yuzu ice cream & black sesami ice cream, and of course japanese rock melon to honey dew.

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

#7 complimentary drawer tray dessert

mikuni offered very good complimentary drawer tray dessert. :-)

the 6-course dinner cost S$158pax. after 50% feed at raffles discounts, it was S$79pax exceeding sake/drinks. a quality & very good value dinner. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Great Mazechirashi Don @ Aoki Restaurant on 10Dec2014

mazechirashi don

S$40 mazechirashi don set

a friend bought me chirashi don lunch@ aoki today on 10.12.2014. :-)

this like the gold standard of chirashi don, according to many reviewers. ^^

well was it for me? must say it was very good.

otoshi

otoshi

otoshi

otoshi

we were served an otoshi. very nice. not sure what it was. some shellfish maybe. mirugai (geoduck)?? texture yes but didn’t look quite like.

salad

salad

salad

salad

nice salad with ponzu sauce.

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S$40 mazechirashi don set

& the main event mazechirashi don.

there was uni (not much), chutoro (seemed quite a bit), & the usual hamachi, salmon, maguro, tamago, bits of anago (conger eel), and ikura, also some pickled ginger.

the sashimi amount was substantial & very tasty eaten with the rice.

basically it was a barachirashi don. it would beat tatsu’s very expensive & ordinary S$40 chrashi don hands down.

ginza kuroson S$20 chirashi don lunch set didn’t have uni or chutoro, so not really up for comparison but that was just S$20!

if i am just looking for a very tasty barachirashi don set, then the one at sun with moon was pretty good. it came with an excellent salmon fish head miso soup too. again w/o expensive uni & chutoro.

and recently i had very good chirashi don lunch set at sumiya for just S$18.80. it had thick cube cuts so it was more of a chirashi don than a barachirashi.

so i guess indeed aoki would ace them all. all except mikuni for me.

mikuni’s chirashi don had 2 thick slices of chutoro, hotate, uni, botan ebi, aburi salmon etc at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts). for me even aoki’s very nice barachirashi don was no comparison.

& it is available for dinner also. but of course feed at raffles 50% discounts only for up to 5pax on sundays & mondays & for only 2pax other days. no perfect deal.

pickles with gohan

pickles with gohan

nice pickles (not salty) & ginger.

trio of dessert

trio of dessert

jelly

jelly

trio of dessert

trio of dessert

quite nice dessert, a plum jelly, nice penna cotta & ice cream. :-)

for S$40, i can definitely do this again!

c.h.e.f andy

Strawberry Cheese Cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

made my first strawberry cheese cake last evening on 8.12.2014. :-)

enjoyed a very nice deconstructed strawberry cheese cake at relish gardens on 1.12.2014 (sorry, that’s the only thing i like there).

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

relish’s deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

a word about relish’s deconstructed strawberry cheese cake (in above photo) -

the biscuit base had a feel of caramel, very nice. the strawberries were caramelised. the cheesecake was delicious & there was a dollop of cream on top, the peak of decadence…

i looked through quite many online recipes. could not take to any of them, so decided to experiment my own concoction recipe.

i was aiming to experiment the right taste & texture first then later deconstruct them & put them together when serving. :-)

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i used the same 8in spring-form for my tofu cheesecake. i decided to use the same 7 digestive (105g) & 60g unsalted butter for biscuit base. this time i added 2 tablespoon of caramel (leftover from banoffee cake preparation). so i melted/softened the butter & caramel & added the digestive crumbs & mixed thoroughly. i also added 1 teaspoon of finely minced ginger.

i then pressed the “wet sand’ mixture into the spring-form lined with parchment paper. then placed it in the fridge.

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i did not bake the biscuit base. the biscuit flavours came out quite well. the texture was a bit softer than my usual biscuit base…my daughter was very apt in the description – she said the biscuit base held together i.e. was solid but texture was like “lao hong” & not crunchy.

so maybe i will try baking the base next time, and then break into small pieces for deconstructed cake. ^^

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i blended 200g cream cheese & 200g chopped strawberries in the blender & added 2 tablespoon brown sugar. then i added 2 eggs. i emptied the custard mix into the cake tin & baked it in a preheated 180degC oven for 30mins (same as for my pumpkin cheese cake). the set aside to cool down.

i did not have sour cream so i used whipping cream (with 1teaspoon brown sugar) & whisked to soft peaks. this can be added separately for the deconstructed version.

then into the fridge overnight.

i caramelised some fresh strawberries with 1 tablespoon brown sugar on a pan. when cool, added to garnish the cake.

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i like the cake. can be improved of course! ^^

the taste was not as fragrant as my pumpkin cheese cake. the texture was less confirm & consistent. pumpkin cheese cake was overall a better cake c/w this version.

maybe i need to fold in some whipped cream to this custard mix.

having a family dinner on christmas eve, so will experiment a deconstructed version. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 7 digestive biscuit (105g)
  • 60g melted butter
  • cream cheese -200g
  • fresh strawberries about 200g (cut small pieces)
  • 2 tbsp flat + 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. biscuit base – make the usual biscuit base with 7 digestive biscuit (105g) crushed to sandy texture in a ziploc bag, then add to 60g melted butter & 2 tbsp caramel & 1 tsp ground ginger and mixed thoroughly. press the “wet sand’ mixture in a 8″ (20cm) spring-form cake tin lined with parchment paper. then place it in the fridge.
  2. cut in small pieces 200g fresh strawberries. add 200g cream cheese & 2 tbsp flat brown sugar & blend in blender. add 1 egg at a time, & blend. then whisk 250g sour cream to soft peaks & add 1 tsp brown sugar.
  3. bake the cake – pour the cake mixture into the cake tin & baked in 180degC preheated oven for 30mins until cake is firm (when a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly) while centre just a little jiggly. leave to cool. add the whipped sour cream & bake for a further 10mins. let it cool & then place in the fridge overnight.
  4. caramelise 6 large strawberries cut in 1/2 with 1 tbsp brown sugar in pan. when cool, place on top of cake to garnish.

Pleasant Lunch @ Ma Maison on 9Dec2014

S$12.90 tonkatsu set

S$12.90 tonkatsu set

friend bought a simple, pleasant lunch at ma maison @ central today on 9.12.2014. :-)

he was taking good care & review of my tooth implant. after that we went for lunch at central below his clinic.

he ordered a tonkatsu set & i ordered a beef don set.

ma maison @ central

ma maison @ central

place was really rustic & pleasant. :-)

salad

salad

the set came with simple garden salad. olives were nice.

soup of the day

soup of the day

my friends laughed when he asked me to try the soup (came with his tonkatsu set. my beef don came with miso soup) and i said tasted exactly as i expected. :-)

what to expect of soup of the day for a S$12.90 set include coffee?

S$12.90 tonkatsu set

S$12.90 tonkatsu set

i tried a piece of his tonakatsu. it was good. the pasta was ok also. :-)

S$15.90 beef don set

S$15.90 beef don set

S$15.90 beef don set

S$15.90 beef don set

my beef don was ok too. beef was flavourful & sauce was nice taken with a bit of rice. :-)

it was a very passable lunch. there was also coffee with the set. ambience was great & food better than average. i would pick this over waraku (restaurant next to it).

c.h.e.f andy

Lobster Linguine in Spicy Pink Sauce & Lobster Bisque on 7Dec2014

cooked lobster in spicy pink (creamy tomatoes0 sauce & lobster bisque for 4pax family lunch today 7.12.2014. :-) children are eating dinner out.

cooked lobster S$26.90 1 for 1 (i.e. 2x375g) from cold storage.

cooked lobster S$26.90 1 for 1 (i.e. 2x375g) from cold storage.

cooked lobster S$26.90 1 for 1 (i.e. 2x375g) from cold storage.

cooked lobster S$26.90 1 for 1 (i.e. 2x375g) from cold storage.

lobster pan-fried with butter & brandy

lobster pan-fried with butter & brandy

bought cheap cooked lobster S$26.90 1 for 1 (i.e. 2x375g) from cold storage. ^^

cut lobster in 1/2 and shelled the meat including pincers & legs. put those with prawn heads & shells to boil as stock base for lobster bisque.

put butter in pan on high heat, placed 1/2 lobster heads with tomaly side on pan, added brandy & flame & let it flamed off. then added in cooked lobster meat for quick stir fry. set aside.

pink (creamy tomatoes) sauce for lobster pasta

pink (creamy tomatoes) sauce for lobster pasta

added 1 can whole tomatoes and 1 diced fresh tomatoes to 3 tbsp olive oil, some water (from boiling linguine) & some lobster bisque. added the can tomatoes & fresh tomatoes. added paprika &  heavy cream to the tomato based sauce to create the spicy pink sauce, & added sea salt to taste. set aside.

cooked linguine to just before al dente, and drained.

when serving, reheat the pink sauce. added the lobster head & meat, off the fire & add the linguine & toss.

voila!

for the lobster bisque, boiled prawn heads & shells & lobster shells for 1 hr or longer.

cooked diced onions, carrots, potatoes (i did not have leek & celery) in pan with olive oil & butter in a large sauce pan till soft. added 1 tsp turmeric for colour.  drained the lobster stock into the sauce pan with a strainer, then used hand blender to blend to smooth. added heavy cream & 2 tbsp brandy & sea salt to taste.

i also prepared some caramelised shimeji mushrooms to garnish the lobster bisque.

a very tasty bisque & pasta lunch.

c.h.e.f andy