Fried Egg Plants with Minced Pork and Salted Fish 鱼香茄子 – 75th Teban Gardens Community Breakfast on 9Nov2018

eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子

made fried eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子…. for teban gardens community breakfast this morning on 9.11.2018.^^

this my 75th friday breakfast community meal dish at teban gardens community service centre.

i first started doing a community meal dish for teban gardens CSC on 8.1.2016.

the centre was started in 2002 after much effort & challenge by our RI friend who is a pastor of pasir panjang hill brethren church (pphbc) which owns & runs the CSC.

meeting yong siu for breakfast kopi afterwards at 8.30am so got to deliver this earlier to teban gardens. 🙂


the challenges of cooking a dish for 140pax older folks i had well documented.

basically i prepare dishes with no bones which ruled out whole fish. so i had done deboned fish fillet and deboned chicken, but it is much easier and cheaper to do frozen bonelss chicken leg (thigh+drumsticks), and this became my default dish, whether as chinese wine chicken, curry chicken, nonya chicken, chicken with carrots & potatoes etc. an alternative is frozen belly pork. that cost more and less healthy and neutral c/w chicken. the lesser option is frozen zutchi fish fillet. that has a bit of “chow chay” taste which can be musked by HK steam or teriyaki (basically the dry version of HK steam).

last i tried a new dish using minced pork with long beans. and it was quite well received.

so this week i though i try eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子.

i never do this dish before so are many unknowns.

another challenge of turning out a dish and deliver by 8.30am to 8.45am of course is the preparation required. so i decided to cut the eggplants (about 1.2kg) the night before, cleaned with salt and soaked in salt water & added lemon juice for a while & drained dry in a colander in the fridge overnight. the first unknown being i was not sure if the cut egg plant will oxidise & changed colour, and the lemon juice was to help retain the colour.

shallow-fried eggplant

next morning i removed the egg plant from the fridge & it was generally ok.

eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子 generally required deepfry though some recipe just fry it. i think some firmness and crispiness give it a better texture. i hate deepfry as i don’t know what to do with the oil afterwards very wasteful, so i did shallow-fry. the second unknown. 🙂

shallow-fried eggplant

i added corn flour and 2 egg yolks and mixed the egg plant with my hands thoroughly.

i poured a thin layer of oil and heat the oil like for deepfrying,  turned to medium high heat. and added the egg plants in 2 batches. first batch turned and fried thoroughly and immediately the second batch and fried the whole thing thoroughly on medium high heat.

timing is agaklogy. i tasted one piece it was ok, cooked, firm enough, not wilted. i removed and set aside.

the traditional sichuan recipe does not require salted fish. somehow the chilli mix produces the 鱼香. i didn’t comprehend that but some recipe uses salted fish. i thought that’s what i want to do – so that’s the 3rd unknown.

so i add just little oil, fried 1 cut chilli padi, 1.5 sliced of salted fish and 3 tsp of chopped garlic, then returned the egg plants and fried/mixed thoroughly, maybe 30secs. then set aside.

1.5kg minced pork

now i fried the 1.5kg minced pork.

this has to be thoroughly cooked and minced pork can be dry & tough.

i added 3 tbsp oyster sauce and 3 tbsp corn flour, which helped the minced pork to remain smooth. i didn’t add fish sauce as the egg plant was salty enough with the salted fish.

1.5kg minced pork

& the minced pork turned out nicely, remained smooth and moist, maybe also because i sued the cheaper more fatty minced pork.

eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子

i returned the egg plants to the wok and mixed thoroughly.

eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子

i tried a bit.

actually i think it was delicious. ^^

sidetracking = i took out a small portion for my brother yong siu. this the 4th time we meeting for kopi since his retirement on 30.9.2018. he finished all of it together with 2 toast and yuan yang. i just took my regular kopi c gosong tilok.

eggplant with minced pork 鱼香茄子

today i had to wake up just a little earlier, 6.40am instead of 7am to prepare the dish.  i managed to deliver to teban gardens in good time, and arrived at my brother’s block before 8.30am for our morning kopi session.

c.h.e.f andy

Celebrating Son’s Birthday @ Halia on 8Nov2018

celebrating son’s birthday

wife messaged that son didn’t mind a late dinner and wanted to have his birthday dinner @ halia this evening on 8.11.2018. ^^

so i booked 4pax at halia at 8.30pm and went online to book the chope 50% off-peak vouchers. 🙂

so had another birthday celebrations for son, and also wife this evening at halia….excellent food & great deal too 👍

celebrating sons birthday

son drove and 4 of us – wife, me, son & PT had another nice evening together. 🙂

6 oysters S$26

i ordered the oysters. they were fresh and sweet like the last time.

appertiser dishes

blackmore wagyu chuck rib carpaccio S$18

the blackmore wagyu chuck rib carpaccio was good with natural sweetness, but son thought it was too strong with ginger taste. it was ok for me.

foie gras S$26

PT liked foie gras. son ordered the dish which he liked too.

chilli crab pasta S$26

i was pleasantly surprised that the chilli crab pasta was good this evening. the recent time i came, pasta was NOT al dente & the chilli crab sauce was not great.

this time it seemed different. son again felt the ginger was too strong…in the chilli sauce, this eas quite evident though for myslef i liked the ginger taste.

chilli crab pasta is a dish i did several years back when i started cooking. maybe i will try this again la for our next family dinner. 🙂

panfried barramundi2 S$25

panfried barramundi2 S$25

son took the en papilotte halibut last time when he came here with PT. so he decided to try pan seared barramundi this time.

panfried barramundi2 S$25

the panfried barramundi had crispy skin and was a good fresh fish dish.

the mushroom veloute was quite excellent and enhanced the flavour of the fish dish.

actually it is not difficult to do panfried fish this way, only need some thoughts on what sauce to prepare to go with the fish.

i will make this for our next family dinner, similar to my panroasted snapper (above photo).

panfried sunchikes and mixed mushrooms S$6 each

i ordered the mixed mushrooms with butter and the panfried sunchokes. son, PT, everyone liked it.

rack of lamb medium rare S$40

the last time we ordered lamb rack it came rare instead of medium rare, and it was a bit raw & tough.

rack of lamb medium rare S$40

this time though, the pink was perfect!

i remembered when i first had dinner at halia like 15+yrs ago, i though that the lamb here was the best i ever had. and today it was still good! very good in fact!

i do a great herb crusted lamb myself. will do that for the next family dinner..

sticky date pudding2 S$10

sticky date pudding S$10

son is an ice cream person and PT a dessert person. and PT doesn’t like yuzu. we didn’t find the (die die must eat) chocolate great at all, so could only narrowed down to sticky date pudding.

the restaurant remembered to sing birthday song. 3 servers came in a team to serve the sticky date pudding with the birthday decor.

bill S$299

blackmore wagyu spare rib S$48

the best dish had to be blackmore wagyu spare rib.

so perfect! the slow braise convert collagen to very tasty gelatine, so umami!

including oysters, foie gras, fish, pasta, lamb, beef spare ribs 1 rambutan star anise drink and 3 flat whites etc bill came to S$299..

i used S$300 chope vouchers so only cost S$132 for a sumptuous, delicious 4pax dinner..^^

a word about the service at halia. the entire team service was impeccable, friendly, efficient, going the extra mile.

my first time here 8pax dinner, both ha and nguyen, 2 vietnamese servers were fantastic. this time the whole team, myanmese, filipino etc all excellent.

c.h.e.f andy


Halia @ Botanical Gardens


The Best Waffles @ Wimbly Lu Jln Riang on 6Nov2018

family at wimbly lu

after a nice dinner at pizzaiola, enjoyable pasta, pizza and burrata, a white & a red,

children wante to go next door to wimbly lu for the waffles to complete the birthday celebration on 6.11.2018. ^^

nutella tart

daughter ordered nutella tart.

not sure if it was nutella, but it was a very good dark chocolate. quite good.. i didn’t mind this la…


& of course the waffles were really something special…

very flavourful and great texture. i think best waffles i had…

vanilla & chocolate ice cream the usual..

birthday cake and flowers


the second waffles had maybe salted caramel and cheesecake ice cream? not sure anyway these 2 ice creams better.

wife couldn’t join us, we we tapa a pasta from pizzaiola back for her and kept the birthday cake to celebrate at home.

c.h.e.f andy


wimbly lu


Good Burrata, Pasta and Pizza 8pax Family Birthday Dinner @ Pizzaiola on 6Nov2018

9pax family birthday dinner @ pizzaiola

daughter picked pizzaiola for her birthday dinner on 6.11.2018. ^

she wanted to go amo at first, she went with her hubby and friends in any case.

this evening we also celebrate son and wife’s birthday.

wife just sat down and had to leave right away, so we tapao food for her later.

burrata S$45

there was the special burrata..very good standard with parma ham & rockets…it was enough for 8pax to share.. 🙂

crabmeat pizza special?

son ordered a pizaa, can’t remember what it was, maybe the crabmeat pizza special?

pizza here quite good, quite nice dough. i liked it. son did not eat all and left some dough in his plate.

Mozzarella, roast beef, parmesan, italian rockets, truffle oil

 and the truffe roast pizza pizza.

this the signature here, and it was good. but maybe it was just the truffle. the roast beef was ok. so said previous time he was here beef was pink and better.

squidink pasta with scallops in cream sauce

the squidink pasta with scallops in cream sauce was a special, not on menu.

we ordered 2 to share. it was very good, just that most of us preferred white wine sauce to creamy sauce.

Fettuccine pasta with bacon, mushrooms & semi-dried tomatoes in cream sauce

the fettuccine pasta with bacon, mushrooms & semi-dried tomatoes in cream sauce had the cabonara creamy taste w/o the raw egg.

it was very good actually. i liked it. one serving was enough for us to share though.

Handmade spaghetti with seafood in tomato sauce

the fruit mare was the poorest pasta, mainly because the tomato sauce was not great. a good spicy tomato sauce arrabiata can be very good actually.

Squid-ink linguine pasta with crab meat & white wine sauce

squidink pasta with prawns in white wine sauce

we decided to add the other special squidink pasta with prawns in white wine sauce . and indeed this was even better. we ordered 2 to share.

later we tried to tapao this for wife but they had sold out.

so we ordered the squid-ink linguine pasta with crab meat & white wine sauce on the menu. somehow it was good but no comparison with the prawn squidink pasta.

so in the end we ordered 1 burrata, 2 pizza, 6 pastas, 1 more pasta tapao, and 1 white wine 1 for 1 so we had free corkage for the red wine we brought.

& bill was about S$260, quite ok i guess.

i had earlier booked to go hopscotch for a drink after dinner. the children were excited to go to wimbly lu next door for their great waffles, so i canceled hopscotch.

c.h.e.f andy


pizzaiola @ jln riang

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