Drunken Chicken (醉鸡)

1932328_10152219674394494_1723263169_n

drunken chicken (醉鸡)

made drunken chicken for first time yesterday, and quite successful. 🙂

bought a sheng shiong 1.4kg chicken cost S$7.15, cut into 1/2 using kitchen shears & cooked 1/2 chicken.

1901727_10152219674259494_1668105793_n

drunken chicken (醉鸡)

1456063_10152219674309494_1062441974_n

drunken chicken (醉鸡)

i added sliced ginger, garlic & shallot & spring onions & 1 teaspoon salt & boiled about 1.5l water in a dutch oven. then i added the washed & cleaned 1/2 chicken to the pot & once the water boiled again, i lowered fire & simmered for 10 minutes. then i turned off the fire & let the chicken cooled for 2 hrs. i then took out the chicken & placed in a ice water bath. i deboned & cut the chicken into serving sizes & placed in a glassware large enough for cut chicken to be laid out in single layer.

i then mixed 2 cups of shoaxing wine (绍兴酒), 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 tablespoon of fish sauce (or to taste), and cover the chicken with the wine marinade.  i then placed the covered glass container in the fridge overnight. the flavour was excellent when i tried it next day about 24hrs later. 🙂

the current preparation is quite good really, like most restaurants’, but i will try a bit more to see if i can improve further.

c.h.e.f. andy

ingredients-

  • 1/2 chicken (i use 1.4kg whole chicken size)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 shallots (I cut in 1/2)
  • 2 stalks spring onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 in ginger (sliced)

marinade –

  • 2 cups shoaxing wine (绍兴酒)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Directions:

  1. add slice ginger, garlic & shallot & spring onions & 1 teaspoon salt & boil about 1.5l water in a dutch oven. add a washed & cleaned 1/2 chicken to the pot & once the water boils again, lower fire & simmer for 10 minutes. then turn off the fire & let the chicken cools for 2 hrs. take out the chicken & place in a ice water bath. debone & cut the chicken into serving sizes & place in a glassware large enough for cut chicken to be laid out in single layer.
  2. mix 2 cups of shoaxing wine (绍兴酒), 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 tablespoon of fish sauce to taste, and cover the chicken with the wine marinade.  place the covered glass container in the fridge overnight. ready to serve next day about 24hrs later.

Advertisements

Early Dimsum Dinner @ Canton Paradise at Star Vista on 22Feb2014

1902866_10152215120509494_1247988478_n

crispy char siew pao

had an early 4pax family dim sum dinner at 5.30pm (to beat the crowd) at canton paradise at star vista on 22.2.2014. 🙂

we ordered 8 dim sum & 1 congee. most were quite good!

1969132_10152215120564494_1365374164_n

har gao

10790_10152215120789494_1542411663_n

xiao long bao (小笼包)

14887_10152215120839494_945294328_n

pan-fried carrot cake

1654459_10152215120899494_860603406_n

prawn cheongfun (虾肠粉)

1947591_10152215120939494_661818286_n

prawns in crispy bean curd skin

1509864_10152215120969494_1133273442_n

steamed prok ribs

custard salted egg buns (流沙包)

custard salted egg buns (流沙包)

1888738_10152215121024494_1569979651_n

custard salted egg buns (流沙包)

12177_10152215121064494_1384940093_n

3 varieties congee (liver, kidney, meatballs)

#1 the crispy char siew pao was quite good. my daughter liked this better but i preferred the one at timhowan. this had a bit much of the pork filling, & for me the flavour & the look were not as good.

#2 the har gao here was very nice, among the best i had. filling was tasty & skin was taut, not soggy, & thin.

#3 the xiao long bao 小笼包 was good too, quite a lot of the tasty soup, certainly beat the very dry ones at tunglok signature i had recently.

#4  the pan-fried carrot cake was just ok.

#5 the prawn cheongfun 虾肠粉 was among the better ones, smooth skin & tasty fillings.

#6 the prawns in crispy bean curd skin was very good, among the best.

#7 the steamed pork ribs was also average & a bit more fatty, not as good as imperial treasure teochew.

#8 the custard salted egg buns (流沙包) was very good, same as imperial treasure teochew & better than royal china.

#9 the congee was quite ok, but i think crystal jade kitchen at hollandv still better.

Canton Paradise Bill 22.2.2014

the bill came to S$62, so about S$15.50pax all-in, pretty ok price, same price & perhaps overall better than timhowan i had recently.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 23pax Dinner Get-Together @ Ah Orh on 20Feb2014

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Great Teochew Food 23pax Dinner Get-Together @ Ah Orh on 20Feb2014

1604504_10152211333804494_1590915650_n

teochew braised duck

had our largest G20 gathering last evening at ah orh at jalan bukit merah on 20.2.2014. 🙂

it was the handy work of 1 of our friends, with his megawatt smile & shining hallo…lol…especially his ability to ring in the gals. we had 23pax (including 3 ladies) on 3 tables, a meeting (or eating!) record! it was 25, but 1 was held up in a meeting, another was ill.

ah orh had mixed reviews & mostly dated. most thought it was expensive for the food (it may still be probably but it often depends on food ordered).  anyhow there was a deal.com offer & the organiser bought 3 vouchers of S$150 worth at S$97.50 each – 1 voucher was allowed for each table. 🙂

some friends went early to order the dishes. we had in total 9 dishes & the cost came to S$23+ all-in (about S$180+ per table) after redeeming the vouchers, so it was in fact very good value-for-money even considering that we did not order the usual teochew pomfret, cold crab etc.

16670_10152211333704494_1145715487_n

deep-fried fish skin

there was deep-fried fish skin as table starter. pretty good!

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

#1 the braised duck platter (top photo & above) was good – moist, flavourful. i would say as good as imperial treasure teochew & better than muliangzai liang kee & chui huay lim. 🙂 the lor bah (braised belly pork) was good too.

1655971_10202870444185197_454111840_n

fishmaw soup

#2 fishmaw soup was tasty, but maybe just average. the one at beng thin we had recently was substantially better.

1383485_10202870444705210_1237437621_n

ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly)

1653326_10152211334634494_941282042_n

ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly)

#3 the ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly) was very good – firm, flavourful. there was also good chilli & “seng ni cho” 蒜泥醋 dip. this was as good as chui huay lim, imperial treasure teochew & crystal jade.

1891271_10152211334524494_150165082_n

yam basket

#4 the yam basket was i supposed really excellent for this dish – yam was tasty & very crisp outside yet “sang” inside & very good combination in texture & taste with the fillings. a very good dish though yam basket not my favourite. 🙂

1012090_10202870442385152_1819419871_n

kailan with ti poh

#5 the kailan with ti poh was competent. vegetable was fresh & crunchy. the ti poh (a teochew favourite condiment not so often seen) added to the attraction but perhaps the wok hae was kind of lacking a bit.

1604843_10202870445305225_1000729167_n

teck kia fish with bitter gourd in black bean sauce

#6 not sure about this teck kia fish (竹仔鱼) dish, certainly competent but the fish had more bones than meat. at kok sen, they used some fish head & added chunky fish meat which worked well to accompany the black bean sauce & was much better overall by comparison.

1796617_10202870445345226_412476663_n

hae chor

#7 hae chor was quite ok, competent, nothing special.

1609648_10202870445625233_272174941_n

orh luah

#8 orh luah was pretty good, large fleshy oysters.

1902864_10152211335004494_1689346397_n

orh nee

#9 orh nee was better than expected, tasty, i liked it but would have been better with pumpkin though. 🙂

company & fellowship were the key in our get-togethers of course, but we did come to eat & overall the food was quite good & the price of $23pax very reasonable after the deal.com offer, not much different from say muliangzai liang kee, and food we had here were better. 🙂 w/o the offer, it would cost about $30pax which was still not a bad deal, about same as what we had at shin yeh at our last 20pax dinner.

c.h.e.f. andy

Great S$88 4pax Set Lunch @ Tunglok Signature at Central on 19Feb2014

smoked duck breast

smoked duck breast

had a great 4pax fun lunch at tunglok @ central today on 19.2.2014.

i visited the clinic of my close dental surgeon friend twice a year for regular maintenance, and we went lunch near his clinic afterwards each time with 2 other close friends. 🙂

today i ordered the S$88 6-course set lunch for 4pax. PLUS i added a xiaolongbao (小笼包), pan-fried custard buns (流沙包), and a dessert 雪中情怀=杨支甘露 + ice cream for 2 to share, as 2 other of us did not want dessert. 🙂

fupeiquin (腐皮卷)

fupeiquin (腐皮卷)

1921939_10152208697704494_937342687_n

smoked duck breast with bean curd

1901146_10152208697864494_122720681_n

siew mai 烧卖

1958582_10152208697934494_82102664_n

xiaolongbao (小笼包)

1920131_10152208697969494_372819429_n

lie tong (例汤) ingredients (forgot to take soup photo)

1601377_10152208698019494_1375687367_n

heng chye with bean curd

1798487_10152208698064494_6712297_n

prawns with egg white (赛螃蟹)

#1 the 2 dim sums were quite ok, competent – fupeiquin (腐皮卷) was good, siew mai 烧卖 was ok..the xiaolongbao (小笼包)i added was low in tasty soup, skin average, overall average or below, the pan-fried custard buns (流沙包) which i asked to serve with the dessert was also average. overall dim sum wise cannot compare with crystal jade or imperial treasure. 🙂

#2 smoked duck breast was par excellence, as is quite obvious from the photo (top & above) & the braised bean curd too. 🙂

#3 lie tong (例汤) was very good, the ingredients included pork soft bones & 粉角 arrowroots, an excellent soup as always. 🙂

#4 the poached heng chye with beard was good too.

#5 the prawns with egg white (赛螃蟹) i guess was ok above average dish, prawns was fresh bouncy, the style of preparation not my favourite.

1958298_10152208698124494_605205087_n

stone pot rice

1926889_10152208698219494_810654985_n

stone pot rice

#6 the stone pot rice was excellent! 🙂

400636_10152208698244494_659893900_n

pan-fried custard buns (流沙包)

1505503_10152208698309494_2070627386_n

pan-fried custard buns (流沙包)

1506683_10152208698339494_2025440629_n

雪中情怀=杨支甘露 + ice cream

1798664_10152208698389494_594896565_n

complimentary drink refreshment

the pan-fried custard buns (流沙包) was ok average but really the ones at royal china & imperial treasure were much better.

雪中情怀=杨支甘露 + ice cream is my favourite here, though i didn’t take it today. the complimentary refreshment was ok welcome.

overall the set lunch (exclude ala carte orders) was S$100++=S$117 include S$8 for 4pax tea & S$4 for peanuts which could do without. quite a good set lunch deal! 🙂 including 2 more dim sum & 1 desert it was S$141, still ok.

c.h.e.f andy

I Do Not Support Any Form of Militancy

i do not support any form of militancy, be it FOR or AGAINST gay or the environment or animal rights.

in my humble opinion, militancy (& behind that, prejudice & blind intolerance) is the destroyer of human happiness & purveyor of human miseries. it is a dangerous emotion to value -isms, opinions, theories, politics over the true well being & happiness of human beings, and to be militant in imposing such views on others. it is the root cause of wars, strifes, injustice & in short human miseries. people who think their opinions are better than others, more important than others, that they monopolise truth & what is right, that they necessarily represent the opinion of others, that all who dare disagree with them are misguided, mischievous & deserving to be struck down, are the cause of human miseries throughout history.

i love my christian friends, many of them are very close buddies, so i fully respect the christian view on LGBT. in my opinion, there is no contradiction, & one can be at the same time, NOT agreeing with/advocating/supporting something as one’s own opinion & value system while NOT judging, criticising, attacking, discriminating against someone different. it starts with respecting all other human, understanding that they deserve as much happiness, freedom & space & to follow their own choices as we do (except when they are perpetuating a crime on others).

if we want to share & convert others to our views, what we believe is the truth, wisdom & correct “way”, it should be done with a loving & caring heart, with the other person’s well being & happiness utmost in our consideration, NOT with hatred. if one tries to impose his views & value system on others, and failing, then strikes down others with militancy, prejudice & hatred, then one cannot be truly loving, caring, helping & desiring the best interest of the others.

leader of the catholic world pope francis said “who am i to judge gays (bbc news report 29july2013)” –

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well,” Pope Francis said in a wide-ranging 80-minute long interview with Vatican journalists.

“It says they should not be marginalised because of this but that they must be integrated into society.”

i saw the ellen page come-out video recently.

we may or may not agree with her, may or may not support her position, but that should not have any effect on our respect  & empathy for her as a human being who has every right to her own happiness, freedom & choices as long as she is NOT imposing, advocating, pushing her views on others.

c.h.e.f. andy

Good Dimsum @ Timhowan Toa Payoh on 16Feb2014

3581_10152202381204494_418292172_n

chicken, mushroom, chinese sausage rice

went with children for 4pax dim sum at timhowan toa payoh on 16.2.2014.

i went to the hk sham shui po timhowan with friends 2 times, and we really enjoyed the food there, so i had wanted to try their outlets in singapore but really not one to want to queue hours to eat dim sum or any food for that matter.

20140216_160611

place was crowded at 4pm. traffic/turnover was good.

we went at 3.30pm on a sunday to avoid the crowd. place was still constantly crowded with good traffic & turnover.  we only waited 10mins though to get our seats so it was ok. 🙂

1016297_10152202381354494_1964201021_n

crispy char siew bun

1621928_10152202381464494_1189327315_n

crispy char siew bun

1782010_10152202381399494_1048906527_n

liver cheongfun (肠粉)

1012065_10152202381419494_281786546_n

prawn cheongfun (肠粉)

1939827_10152202381514494_943216659_n

deep-fried fupeiquin (腐皮卷).

the menu was very limited, like 1/2 that in hk. i ordered 2 of the 4 heavenly kings. crispy char siew bun was a must, and i wanted to try liver cheongfun (肠粉) again. none of us were fan of mala cake & the pan-fried carrot cake.

we ordered a chicken, mushroom, chinese sausage rice (top photo). it was good, hk standard. we all liked it so we ordered a second helping. 🙂

the crispy char siew bun did not disappoint. it was very good – both the crispy bun & the char siew fillings.  the cheongfun (肠粉) was good too, very smooth. liver was nicely done, just right & not overcooked. the prawn cheongfun was very good. 🙂

another order was the deep-fried fupeiquin (腐皮卷). this looked a little different from usual, seemed to be very neat & clean cut. anyway it tasted great, 1 of the best i had. 🙂

1662127_10152202381244494_1590436268_n

hargao

1891086_10152202381279494_1762865350_n

chicken feet in abalone sauce

1482764_10152202381309494_1372459397_n

wasabi prawn dumplings

1904081_10152202381684494_1983160246_n

the hargao skin looked thick, tasted ok, not as good as crystal jade or imperial treasure.

the chicken feet in abalone sauce was ok, but not as good as the usual steamed black beans chicken feet (usually slightly redder & more fluffy deep-fried) in most dim sum places.

the deep-fried wasabi prawn dumplings – i did not try but it was quite ok.

overall the 4pax dim sum lunch cost S$64, about 2x the price in timhowan sham shui po for less food. i guess it was not really expensive, but i would think crystal jade, imperial treasure & royal china dim sum are better. this was 2x the price c/w with kowloon at AMK (I am going to try that one soon & compare). 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Very Fulfilling RI Buddies 8pax Homegourmet Dinner on 13Feb2014

1926827_10152196128629494_1745074174_n

4hr sous vide crispy skin duck breast

the sous vide crispy duck breast was one the dishes i was ambivalent & uncertain about. first, it was troublesome to buy a whole duck, cut out 2 duck breasts, and then think what to do with the rest. i usually made a good lor arh (braised duck) from the remaining pieces but it was not healthy to keep eating duck with all the fat. second, while i was quite confident the sous vide meat would turn up well, i was not confident of doing the crispy skin w/o overcooking the duck & was not entirely convinced that the crispy skin was not just much ado about nothing (same ambivalence i had when practicing crackling belly pork). did the skin add much to the experience? i guess it did but whether the result was deserving the effort?

anyway for this evening, it turned out that the sous vide duck breast & the striploin pot-roast, a method i did for the first time on striploin, were quite excellent! 🙂

1546331_10152195106739494_1053002446_n

menu planning – i was looking for a change of menu for my RI buddies dinner from the usual miso cod & pan-fried wagyu as main courses. i did a good gordon ramsay crispy salmon so i knew i would do ok with garoupa fillet.  it was not convenient to practice the gordon ramsay pepper sauce nor the pot roast but i felt quite comfortable to do it for the first time for my friends. 🙂 the poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall was also a new dish. i did it once & it was good. for the pasta, i thought to revisit my seafood pink sauce linguine (& i did a very good one recently) to replace my usual alio olio. 🙂

pan-grilled giant hokkaido scallops (some 2" diameter)

pan-grilled giant hokkaido scallops (some 2″ diameter)

1909398_10152199712769494_1647057073_o

scallop. miso belly pork. pencil asparagus. grape tomato. carrot.

#1 got dinner started with a very good pan-seared giant hokkaido scallop & my usual 4hr miso belly pork. both were very good. this the first time i added cooked vegetables. the carrot sticks were done in the steam oven, very sweet & consistent. the pencil asparagus were pan-roasted after i did the scallops & miso belly pork.

1799082_10152199712309494_1522146933_o

poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall

1796589_10152196128414494_1642773726_n

poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall

#2  next was the poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall. the pig trotters was done overnight (about 7hrs) together with dried scallops & thick dried mushrooms & 2 chicken drumsticks (skin removed) for stock in a crockpot on low. the pig trotters were removed & put in the fridge to preserve the nice gelatinous texture. 🙂 the limpets & sea cucumbers were added just before serving, together with cut pieces of pig trotters. the soup was quite perfect at the time i was about to serve, but i was worried it was not enough for 8pax, so i added a bit of chicken stock. it was still good but i felt the flavour was not as intense, and actually there was enough soup w/o diluting it. it was kind of guesstimate thing as cooking for 8pax & practicing it once for a smaller serving did have some variations. 🙂

1920150_10152196128559494_172585800_n

4hr sous vide crispy skin duck breast

#3 the duck breast turned up supremely good! was brined in sugar & salt for 2 days & cooked at 60degC in the oven for 4hrs. the skin was then scored & i put on a pan at medium fire for 5mins to render out the fat to create a thin crispy skin. an important addition was orange sauce (see recipe here). i reduced this substantially to produce a thick caramelised nicely citrous sweet sauce. it went really well with the duck which was super tender. 🙂

1926304_10152199712004494_1403448854_o

seafood linguine in pink sauce (creamy tomatoes)

#4 next was the seafood linguine in pink sauce. all my friends thought it was very tasty, but another & i still preferred the alio olio style which i did very well every time. 🙂

1519137_10152199711714494_2051703497_o

pan-grilled garoupa fillet in gordon ramsay pepper sauce

#5 then came the 2 main courses. first up was the pan-grilled garoupa fillet with gordon ramsay pepper sauce. my hand-held food blender was evidently not the right tools to produce the very smooth blended sauce in gordon ramsay’s pepper sauce video (a real beauty). the garoupa were marinated well so flavour was ok. the texture of the garoupa fillet (frozen pack) was not great. of course it was too much to compare with my usual miso cod (also frozen pack).

1782368_10152199711799494_1224361631_o

striploin pot roast in crockpot low to 125degF (52degC)

1932710_10152199730699494_2144009328_o

vegetable ratatouille

#6 the striploin pot roast was a beauty. see the nice maillard reaction brown ring in the photo. it was nicely seared all round before placing in a crockpot on low with the vegetable ratatouille to reach 125degF (52degC) – about 1.5hrs, then in a 55degC oven for another 1 hr.  it was a very nice medium rare, & medium at the ends. i was very pleased with this first crockpot roast on a striploin. my first was a chuck pot roast. it was good but this was lots better! 🙂

1904039_10152196129479494_1220629273_n

chocolate lava cake, toasted almond ice cream & “huat kueh”

#7 the last course was my chocolate lava cake. i had done very many good lava cakes. this time i did the exact same recipe & timing (3m 40s in a 210degC oven on broiler setting). somehow it was overdone & there were not much lava. will need to reduce to 3m 30s next time. sigh! i really need to work on another dessert recipe.

it was a really enjoyable & fulfilling experience for me (1 of my good friends described as full-filling haha!). i really feel good about this! 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Good Roti Prata at S.M. Aisha @ Food Canopy on 15Feb2014

roti prata

roti prata S$5.30

went back to food canopy at cluny road near botanic gardens to have roti prata on 15.2.2014. 🙂

first introduced to the place by my wife, then came with my 2 daughters couple weeks back. decided to go myself today.

S.M. Aisha Muslim Food (from West Coast)

S.M. Aisha Muslim Food (from West Coast)

mutton curry

mutton curry S$3.50

roti prata

roti prata S$1.80 for 2

dahl curry

dhal curry

1 of  the best prata stall i had. didn’t have many though to really make comparisons.

most important for me where prata goes are (a) freshly made (b)tasty dough (c)good dhal curry..i am ok whether it is the crispy type like at 6th avenue or the slightly doughy type at mr prata or at s.m. aisha which had all 3. 🙂

& the mutton curry was really good, very tender.  i still love the mysore mutton at mr prata more, but for mutton curry, this was good! 🙂

the ambience was great too. nice airy canteen, lots of parking on a saturday morning, very clean…by comparison mr cafe down the road is kind of messy.

c.h.e.f andy

Feeling Excited – Doing a 8pax Dinner for My RI Buddies This Evening!

1546331_10152195106739494_1053002446_n

doing a 8pax dinner for my RI buddies this evening – feeling excited! 🙂

for me, cooking is about planning & making it happen, and the process is quite fun.

i don’t have to start cooking until 1.30pm.

the soup for poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall was done overnight. so i just need to add back the individual servings of pig trotters, limpets, sea cucumbers & mushrooms when serving the soup.

the miso belly pork & crispy skin sous vide duck breast will be in the oven at 60degC for 4hrs. during the 4hrs, i will prepare the chocolate lava cake (takes <1/2hr) and 4 sauces- orange sauce for the duck, gordon ramsay pepper sauce for the garoupa fillet, pink sauce (creamy tomato) for the seafood linguine & vegetable ratatouille for the striploin pot roast. each takes say 15 – 30minutes.

at 5.30pm, i will start my striploin pot roast (700g) with ratatouille in the crockpot on low & should get to 125degF (52degC) in 1 hr, & i can place it in a covered oven dish in a 55degC oven for another 1.5hrs, probably serves it at 8pm.

when the friends are here at 7pm, i will do the pan-charring for the scallops & then miso belly pork (which were marinated in miso for 3 days & “sous vide” at 60degC for 4hrs in the oven, & then pan-roast the pencil asparagus.

after that i will serve the soup, and then do the cold pan method to try to get the crispy skin “sous vide” duck breast (brined for 2 days & also 4hrs at 60degC in oven). as i told my friends the medium rare duck breast is ok, but i unsure of the crispy skin (both texture & taste) & will probably not do this dish much in future if it doesn’t work well (just like the crackling pork belly – not worth doing if cannot get it right).

the seafood linguine in pink sauce is straight forward just tossing, with both pasta & the prawns & squid already prepared.

for the garoupa fillet, i had a good marinade (2days) so it should be quite nice pan-grilled. i am doing the gordon ramsay pepper sauce for first time today, but the video sure looks really exciting. 🙂

for the striploin pot roast, i have done this before on chuck pot roast (a cheaper cut) but this the first time i am trying it on striploin. never really know how it will turn out especially i am varying the temperature a bit to make rare instead of medium rare, but that’s the fun & challenge of the unknown. 🙂

my chocolate lava cake is quite standard fare, so should be ok though occasionally the lava part still doesn’t work out well as the timing is too short & any slight variation in oven temperature & timing will affect the result.

looking forward to a fun evening. we are going to share our secondary school photo albums too…haha. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Beautiful Mesmerising Song = 千年之戀–(央吉瑪,呼斯楞)攝人心魂的天籟之音

i subsequently made an english translation of the lyrics here.

& another post “A Moment in Heaven” which included the english translation of another amazing song 莲花开了

i love this singer 央吉瑪!

she is from a minority tribe in tibet – the 门巴族(藏文:མོན་པ་,威利:mon pa), which has only 7,000 people.

first saw her on youtube for chinese idol 中国梦之声 (literally china’s song of dreams) back in jun2013. the judges were swooning over her & calling her 女神 goddess. it’s easy to see why. the voice is like descending from heaven. the chinese describe as 天籟之音, which means the sound of nature like the wind, water, insects, birds, literally the sound from heaven. 🙂

it is completely mesmerising 绕梁三日, which means a voice or music that circles the roof beams for 3 days long after the singing has past. 🙂

she went on & sang a whole list of incredibly beautiful songs including 醒来吧 & 央吉瑪 which she wrote both the scores & the verses. the latter was her song for the final competition. the song was also her name. it was not self aggrandising but to remind herself that she came to a huge city (beijing) of lights & attractions from a tiny village, was fortunate to be in the competition & more so in the finals & NOT to forget her roots.

she had been steadfast & very gently non-compromising & did not want to sign contract with the show organiser. many thought that was the reason she did not become the champion but only the runner-up & many believed it was 内定 & 黑幕, basically a sponsor/commercial reason driven pre-determined result. several lamented it was a regret 遗憾 NOT for her but for chinese idol!

we will never know the truth.  however the american idol format was changed so that the popular votes did not decide the result, and the judges had the balance votes, and all casted their votes for the other singer who did not get the popular votes.

anyway it did not matter really. she felt she was not ready for all the commercial obligations & prefers to devote herself to writing music & singing songs she likes & be true to her devotion to spreading the tribal music to the world. 🙂

& here are her many beautiful songs, in particular –

c.h.e.f andy

Good Average Value Nyonya Food @ Curry Wok on 6Feb2014

pig trotters 元蹄

pig trotter 元蹄

had not dined at curry wok for the longest time. it is located next to thai noodle house at coronation arcade.

used to like the great value set which included fish head curry & 元蹄 (stewed pig trotter). i knew the prices had gone up a few years back. anyway i went with sis & b-i-l & a chinese friend to try it on 6.2.2014. 🙂

curry fish head

curry fish head

ngoh hiang

ngoh hiang

chilli sotong (squid) S$10

sambal sotong (squid) S$10

chap chai

chap chai

the set, now S$56 (+1o% service & no GST), included the pig trotter, a small fish head curry, a ngo hiang & a chap chai dish.

the pig trotter was really very good, very tender, gelatinous w/o feeling too oily 肥而不腻, quite excellent! for comparison, i would say it was equal or better than the S$28 pig trotter 元蹄 dish at shin yeh.

the fish head curry was also very good, however my b-i-l commented this was the smallest fish head curry he had ever eaten, and it was! the ala carte menu said the price was S$22 (S$26 for large). it was more like S$12 (for this tiny size)!

the ngo hiang S$10 was pretty good. the chap chai S$8 was another small dish & ordinary.

we were greedy so added a sambal sotong (squid) for S$10 ala carte. it was good but portion was too small.

overall the food was good especially the pig trotters, and the fish head curry was likewise an excellent dish if it came in a more decent size. it was too expensive at S$22. as we took the set for 4pax, the total bill came to about S$77 w/o drinks (just water), so it was not really expensive but it was also not any special value. likewise the ala carte pricing for the sotong, ngo hiang & chap chai – ok not great.

i would come back for the pig trotters though when i have the kakis. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

(Poor Man’s) Buddha Jump Over The Wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

my daughter’s friend’s father is a chef. he made a shorthand version of buddha jump over the wall using simple ingredients & my daughter brought home last week. it was very good & my wife & i enjoyed very much. 🙂

my wife is leaving for UK tomorrow & my daughter’s friend came for dinner, so i thought i would try recreating the dish. 🙂

(P.S. subsequently i served this dish for my RI friends on 5.5.2014 & for my brother & sister birthday on 14.6.2014 and it was a really excellent dish that everyone liked).

the ingredients that were used were dried scallops, pig trotters, chicken, mushroom & small abalones. so i went to sheng shiong last evening & bought 1 chicken, a whole pig trotter. i did not want to waste good abalones (not sure how the soup would turn up) & there was not enough time for me to prepare dried abalones i had at home (takes couple days to slow braise in brown sauce) so i bought a can of cheap limpets for S$9.30.

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

i added boiling water to some dried mushrooms & 2 dried scallops & soaked for several hours to soften. i used about 2/3 of the pig trotters & added the remaining boiling water to remove the scums, after which i cleaned thoroughly in slow running cold water.

i cleaned & used 1/2 chicken & quartered it. then i placed the 2 chicken quarters & pig trotters (4 large pieces) in a crockpot & added the dried scallops, mushrooms & also the water they were soaked in , throwing away the residue. i open the can of limpets & tried a piece. the brined solution tasted quite good so i emptied the whole can into the crockpot, and added 1 teaspoon of salt. i added some water to about 80% full.

i then turned on the crockpot to low & left overnight till next morning (about 7hrs). next morning i removed the pig trotters (& chicken) & limpets so they were not over-boiled. this was very important for the pig trotters to keep the tasty & still bouncy slightly gelatinous texture. no difference for the chicken though, 7hrs even at low was too long.

i kept the crockpot at high for another 4hrs to get the most flavour from the dried scallops & to reduce the soup a little for more intense flavours. then i let it cooled down & placed in the fridge.

when it was time to serve, i took out the soup & removed the layer of oil. i then boiled the soup & added back the pig trotters & chicken & limpets & then served. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken quarters
  • 400g pig trotters
  • 6 to 10 pieces of small abalones (dried & braised or canned or a cheap substitute like limpets)
  • 2 dried scallops
  • 6 to 10 pieces dried mushrooms

Directions:

  1. add boiling water to some dried mushrooms & 2 dried scallops & soak for several hours to soften. add the remaining boiling water to pig trotters to remove scums, then clean thoroughly in slow running cold water. clean & cut out 2 chicken quarters. place the 2 chicken quarters & pig trotters (4 large pieces) in a crockpot & add the dried scallops, mushrooms & also the water they were soaked in, throwing away the residue. add some water & 1 teaspoon of salt. open a can of small abalones (or limpets) & empty contents into the crockpot.
  2. turn on crockpot to low & leave overnight till next morning (about 7hrs). next morning remove the pig trotters (& chicken) & limpets so they are not over-boiled. keep the crockpot at high for another 4hrs to get the most flavour from the dried scallops & to reduce the soup a little for more intense flavours (this to taste). let the soup cool down & place in the fridge.
  3. when it is time to serve, take out the soup & removed the layer of oil. boil the soup & add back the pig trotters & chicken & limpets & then serve.

Sous Vide Crispy Skin Canard a l’Orange

5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

N.B. this post was updated on 19.6.2014 with more recent photos from a par excellence canard a l’orange for a 10pax sit-down dinner on 24.3.2014.

=============

did my first sous vide crispy skin duck breast last week on 25.1.2014. was quite pleased with the result. 🙂

i took a leaf from my favourite video chef, chef john of foodwishes.com, video recipe on stove-top sous vide duck breast.  chef john did it beautifully with a zip-lock bag immersed in water in a dutch oven heated over stove-top. i may try that some time. for now i am more comfortable with using the oven. so i first brined the duck breasts (2 pieces) for 2days with salt & sugar brining solution (2 heap tbsp sugar & 1 flat tbsp salt in about 800ml water). read more about brining here.

then i placed the duck breasts in a covered pyrex oven dish with enough brining solution covering the duck breasts, and placed in the oven for 5hrs at 60degC. i used a meat thermometer to check that the meat was between 55degC and 60degC (on this occasion it was 58degC).

i removed from the oven & thoroughly dried the duck with paper towels, and then scored the breast, just cutting the fat. i then made a herb mix. i did not have fresh herbs so used dried basil & tomato herb mix, rosemary, coarse black pepper. i did not add sea salt as the duck was already brined. i rubbed the herb mix into the scored fat and the meat & sides.

i heat a non-stick pan with just a dash of vegetable oil to smoking, and placed the 2 duck breasts skin-side down, pressed against the pan & let the fat rendered out for about 5mins or more.

5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

the result was an excellently flavoured medium rare duck breast with nice crispy skin. for this first attempt, the fat was not rendered out enough especially at the edge which was still white colour. still it was a very good recipe to reproduce a nice consistent sous vide interior & a crispy skin.

i am still working on the sauce. i could not locate the sauce recipe on chef john’s video. currently i am thinking to use the duck in orange sauce recipe OR to experiment on a fruit jam sauce mix. 🙂

anyway, i will be doing this dish for a 8pax dinner for my buddies on 13.2.2014. for now i will probably go with the orange sauce.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Reunion Dinner on 30.1.2014 (& CNY Day 1 Breakfast)

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

decided to record this year’s 2014 reunion dinner & cny day 1 breakfast. this a really good tradition & important occasion for families to get together & spend time with their loved ones. 🙂

we had been doing reunion dinners at my elder brother’s house all these while, but had varied a little with cny dinners at joyden restaurant (former west coast seafood) for a few years. last year we decided to go back to homecooked reunion dinner & did the same this year.

for myself, as i grow older & memories fade it is good to have a record to see what i do & how i spend my time from 1 year to the next. 😉

braised tofu (beancurd)

braised tofu (beancurd)

1511906_10152165222144494_2113422258_n 1013855_10152165221344494_1343611800_n

braised large intestines

braised large intestines

my brother’s m-i-l does excellent braised dishes, and their indonesian domestic help now does it very well. the teochew braised duck was excellent! meat was tender & sweet. i did a braised duck for the reunion dinner last year (2013) but it was not good. now my braised duck is consistently good & i think same or better than this and more “pang” (flavourful). the braising sauce was made to good use for the braised tofu, egg & the large intestines.

broccoli with fa cai (moss)

broccoli with fa cai (moss)

fried leek with hae bee (dried prawns)

fried leek with hae bee (dried prawns)

hör see fat choi (dried oysters with moss)

hör see fat choi (dried oysters with moss)

the broccoli with deep-fried tofu, mushrooms & fa cai 发菜 (which in chinese sounded like striking fortune) was very good. my eldest daughter was not much into meats & more into bread, tofu & vegetables so she enjoyed this dish especially.

the leek was always a great dish, a very sweet vegetable i liked from young.

my wife does a good hör see fat choi (dried oysters with moss) & she does that for reunion dinner & chinese new year every year. fa cai 发菜 is supposed to cause top soil erosion & sand storms in beijing & is forbidden to farm so not sure probably this was not the real fa cai.

149329_10152165222634494_1969192039_n 1551574_10152165222699494_815903050_n

teochew steamed pomfret

teochew steamed pomfret

drunken prawns

drunken prawns

1743751_10152165222339494_1446109511_n 1551775_10152165222224494_2136378092_n

my sis brought a eu yan san canned buddha jump over the wall?? (not sure if it was really). the soup was tasty, though most of us felt it was canned & not the type one would drink much. there were whole small abalones & other cut ones/shellfiah etc & mushrooms. i guess it was ok to try.

my brother did a teochew steamed pomfret. it was good. the drunken prawns looked very fresh. i took some soup, don’t take much of this dish lately, & did not take the prawns. the abalones were the usual canned nz abalones, quite ok for me. 🙂

breakfast - the morning after

breakfast – the morning after

it was very good dinner get-together! 🙂

next day we gathered as usual on cny day1 at my brother’s place. we had some of the braised dishes leftover from reunion dinner, some fresh fried vege, the rabbit fish 知县鱼(which was a favourite during cny & very expensive for those with fish semen..i didn’t see them much these days & these ones were cheap fish w/o the delicacy..haha..). my wife cooked & brought some black fungus tanhoon mushrooms with fermented beancurd. very nice!

after that we dropped by a friend’s place & then another friend in the area (a close friend of my wife & we visited every cny) for laksa lunch. in the afternoon we went to watch the lion men – quite a good locally produced  movie about lion dancers(& massively sponsored by advertisements…haha), certainly worthy of support. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy