Delicious Homecooked Chinese Herbal Mutton Ribs Soup & Mala Yellow Croaker 麻辣小黄鱼on 17Oct2017

chinese herbal mutton ribs soup

bought online 1/2kg frozen mutton & 1kg fresh mutton ribs from dei which delivered last evening..free delivery for 1st order over S$30… 🙂

recently i made an excellent mutton masala.

this was a 7 dishes indian dinner for 10pax RI friends on 19.9.2017.

mutton ribs was fresh, so decided to use 1/2kg to make chinese herbal mutton soup..

never make before, so google for recipe…quite troublesome to get all these herbs leh…

toa seng kong bkt sachet

ingredients & cooking instructions

so i just decided to go to sheng shiong this morning & bought a toa seng kong cordycep herbal bakuteh soup sachet..

first time i cooking mutton soup & first time using this bkt brand! lol! ^^

(i saw got cordycep la!)

chinese herbal mutton ribs soup

my mutton was poached in boiling water to remove scum, cleaned with salt, & in the oven overnight for 6hrs at 90degC.. 🙂

so it was perfectly tender in texture & flavourful from the mutton juices…

so i just boiled the bkt soup sachet together with 1 bulb garlic cloves, mutton juice, 1.5litre water, 6 large red dates & 2cm sliced ginger for 1 hr, then i added mutton ribs, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce..

and before serving a bunch of julienned ginger, then served & garnished with coriander..

chinese herbal mutton ribs soup

mutton ribs & soup very good👍😊

ribs were tender & tasty, not gamey and soup was very smooth, naturally sweet & with slight herbal combining well with mutton flavours..

i think as good as outside…actually better than many i had outside…

 

mala yellow croaker 麻辣小黄鱼

was originally supposed to meet up with V for makan or coffee at 12.10pm today then go mustafa, but then he had another appointment at 1pm & it’s eve of deepavali, so mustafa will be a mad house… timing was a bit tight so we decided to postpone it…

so i got my OPS bros WM and WT last minute, and i added the mala fried yellow croaker麻辣小黄鱼, & a cabbage taupok for 3pax lunch…

mala yellow croaker 麻辣小黄鱼

this mala yellow croaker 麻辣小黄鱼 i had in shenzhen. it was really delicious, so i thought of doing it on 25oct2017 for my friends.

i shallow-fried, added sea salt to the pan.. not as browned as what we had in shenzhen…but quite ok..

then i added 1 tsp oil, julienned ginger & 2tsp lao gan ma 老干妈 spicy black bean sauce.

mala yellow croaker 麻辣小黄鱼

this my first time doing this. WM tought it was ok, flavourful…i thought could be more “pang” flavourful..

i think my lao gan ma 老干妈 spicy black bean sauce not enough, will add 1 tbspor maybe 4tsp next time…

fried cabbage with taupok

fried cabbage with taupok

didn’t have leafy veg in the fridge.

only thing left was cabbage, and i had some taupok as well.

so made fried cabbage with taupok , a nice tasty dish..

c.h.e.f andy

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Recipe for Chinese Herbal Mutton Ribs Soup

Ingredients:

  • 500g fresh mutton ribs (cleaned with salt & poached to remove scum)
  • 5cm ginger (2cm sliced, 3cm julienned)
  • 1 toa seng kong bakuteh premix sachet ($2.25 at sheng shiong)
  • 6 large dry red dates
  • 1 tbsp wolfberries 枸杞
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2tbsp dark soy sauce

Directions:

  1. wash & clean mutton ribs with salt. poach in boiling water to remove scum.
  2. place in 90degC oven overnight for 6hrs so perfectly tender in texture & flavourful from the mutton juices…strain the mutton juices…
  3. boil the bkt soup sachet together with 1 bulb garlic cloves, lamb juice, 1.5litre water, 6 large red dates & 2cm sliced ginger for 1 hr, then i add mutton ribs, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce..
  4. and before serving a bunch of juliened ginger, then served & garnished with coriander..
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Perfect Pan-roasted Brined Chicken Breast & Thigh on 9Oct2017

pan roasted brined chicken breast salad 

wife wanted to make chicken breast salad to bring to office for lunch today on 9.10.2017.

she asked me to make my pan roasted brined chicken (recipe here).

i have not done this for the longest time. anyhow it was quite a simple preparation-

  1. i debone & cleaned 1/2 chicken, wash with salt.
  2. then i brine the chicken with 2 tbsp salt & 3tbsp sugar, and 1/2tbsp lemon juice in 1 litre water, for 24hrs in the fridge.
  3. bring to room temperature, dry thoroughly & fry skin down with 1tbsp oil in an oven proof skillet on high heat, brown the skin, about 5mins.
  4. turn over & put in oven for 8mins (maybe 9 or 10mins) depends on size & thickness.
  5. rest for 10mins before cutting.

pan roasted brined chicken breast & thigh

as seen in the photos, the meat was moist from brining, and the meat was tasty.

(water molecules move through the skin membrane by osmosis for a moister meat, and sugar & salt molecules enters by diffusion for a tastier chicken)

pan roasted brined chicken thigh 

chicken was moist & delightful in taste, perfect for the salad which my wife prepared hereself.

pan roasted brined chicken breast & thigh

& both the thighs & breast came out nicely.

usually when the thigh is cooked, the breast is overcooked. today the breast pieces were thicker & the water helped the breast to be NOT overcooked, though it looked to be more cooked than the thigh.

c.h.e.f andy

回锅肉Double-cooked Pork Belly with Leek, Onions, Green & Red peppers– 44th Teban Gardens Community Breakfast on 13Oct2017

回锅肉double cooked pork belly with leek, onions, green & red peppers

made 回锅肉double cooked pork belly with leek, onions, green & red peppers  for teban gardens community breakfast this morning on 13.10.2017. ^^

this my 44th friday breakfast community meal 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.

回锅肉double cooked pork belly with leek, onions, green & red peppers

i had been cooking chicken the last 3 fridays, so decided to do belly pork today.

bought 1.8kg frozen belly pork from sheng shiong last evening, defrost & boiled in waster to remove scum. then i placed the pork belly in 3 oven dishes in 90degC oven for 5hrs.

belly pork 5hrs in 90degC oven

回锅肉double cooked pork means to return the pork to the wok to cook second time.

double cook dishes are a common preparation in western & i think many cuisine. for western dishes chief among them the sous vide dishes, (say) for steak, reverse sear (slow cook then sear) etc.

i have been using the term double cook generically but 回锅肉double cooked pork specifically refers to this preparation today.

belly pork 5hrs in 90degC oven

so i put them in the oven at midnight for 5hrs. and when i got up at 7am, the pork were ready & super tender.

the usual chinese 回锅肉double cooked pork does NOT use the oven but simmer/poach the belly pork for about 45mins in boiling water. needless to say, the oven method produces infinitely more tender belly pork la! ^^

very tender belly pork 5hrs in 90degC oven

you know when you cut it, easily into very thin slices

very tender belly pork 5hrs in 90degC oven

so the next thing to do was to cook them with a bit of mala 麻辣 oil.

mala oil 老干妈香辣脆油辣椒

i use the 老干妈香辣脆油辣椒 mala oil. 🙂

belly pork fried with mala 麻辣 oil, oyster sauce, sliced ginger & chopped garlic

just fry sliced ginger & chopped garlic first, then add the belly pork, then add 1 tbsp mala 麻辣 oil, 1tbsp oyster sauce, 2tbsp shaoxing wine.

belly pork fried with mala 麻辣 oil, oyster sauce, sliced ginger & chopped garlic

fry high heat first for short while.

then i added 1/4 of the drained tasty juices from the oven dish. didn’t want too much liquid, an also reduce to increase the flavours.

belly pork fried with mala 麻辣 oil, oyster sauce, sliced ginger & chopped garlic

dish out the pork & set aside. i used the aluminium tray which i transport the dish later.

leek, onions, green & red peppers

the i fried first the sliced onions, cut leek & chooped garlic, then added the cut green & red peppers. add 1-2tbsp oyster sauce (to taste).

again fry high heat, then add 1/4 of the drained juices.

回锅肉double cooked pork belly with leek, onions, green & red peppers

add back the belly pork & mix the pork & veg, high heat, and basically the dish is ready.

回锅肉double cooked pork belly with leek, onions, green & red peppers

so like any cooking, it is taste/flavours and texture, and the fresh beautiful colours.

the belly pork was super tender, & the mala 麻辣 oil gave it special fragrant flavours, oyster sauce & the pork juices the sweet taste.

回锅肉double cooked pork belly with leek, onions, green & red peppers

not a difficult dish to prepare, especially if using oven just leave it overnight.

such a beauty to behold & very tasty dish to eat.

c.h.e.f andy

Curry Chicken & Potatoes – 43rd Teban Gardens Community Breakfast on 6Oct2017

curry chicken & potatoes

made curry chicken & potatoes for teban gardens community breakfast this morning on 6.10.2017. ^^

this my 43rd friday breakfast community meal 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.

curry chicken & potatoes

i used a 2kg packet of chicken thighs with a centre bone. this not as good as the boneless leg which is the entire thigh & leg w/o bone. so i had to cut the meat & leave the centre bone.

curry chicken

i fried 1 sliced onions, 3cm sliced ginger & 2 stalks of curry leaves.

then i added mak’s chicken curry sacket, and added the cut chicken pieces, fried & coated with the curry.

curry chicken

i did not have stock, so just added 1 cup water, covered & simmered for 5mins. then i removed the chicken pieces & left the 12 bone pieces & boiled for 20mins.

curry chicken & potatoes

the i added the cut potatoes (from 6 medium potatoes), added 200ml coconut milk, and cooked for 5mins,

curry chicken & potatoes

potatoes are just cooked  when they break against the side of the wok when pressed. that way they are not overcooked.

the i added back the chicken pieces.

curry chicken & potatoes

the dish basically ready, and i plated it in the aluminium tray for transport to teban gardens.

curry chicken & potatoes

i tasted both the chicken & the potatoes, and curry.

they were delicious! chicken was tender not overcooked, potatoes were done just right, and the simple ready made mak’s chicken curry gravy simply marvellous, great curry flavours & lemak from the coconut milk.

curry chicken & potatoes

mak’s recipe calls for 1kg of chicken for each sachet.

i had 2kg chicken pieces, did not want to use 2 sachets. anyway i used less water, and kept the curry gravy thick & intense. of course, this was for 130 residents at teban gardens. for home cooking, i may use 1kg or just 1/2kg chicken pieces.

then the curry would be even more delicious & intense.

c.h.e.f andy

Recipe=Mala Light Soy Sauce Taujeon Steamed Tiger Garoupa on 28Sep2017

mala light soy sauce taujeon steamed tiger garoupa 

after a good lunch at ye lai xiang, sis & bil came over & watched some movies.

bil had to go off for some qigong practice, sis stayed over for dinner at my place on 28.9.2017. ^^

so i made a simple 2pax dinner with sis..

mala light soy sauce taujeon steamed tiger garoupa 

i had a nice 600g+ garoupa from chinatown complex market, decided to experiment a bit instead of the usual hong kong steam preparation.

mala oil 老干妈香辣脆油辣椒

i wanted to incorporate a bit of mala flavouring to my cooking for some dishes. the most obvious would be saliva chicken 口水鸡, but mala can be used to good effect for simple vegetable dishes as seen at ye shanghai, so i intend to experiment on different dishes..

mala light soy sauce taujeon steamed tiger garoupa 

my new style mala light soy sauce taujeon garoupa=very simple & also turned out to be very nice 👍 i tasted the sauce & a small bit of fish to know if the dish was good

for this evening I was still on 14day vegetarian/fruit diet challenge with my RI friend DP, so just eat a bit vegetables other than tasting the fish.

mala light soy sauce taujeon steamed fish

recipe is simple. ^^

just 2 tbsp of taujeon, 1 tbsp light soy sauce & 1 tbsp mala oil.

the rest just garnishing, sliced ginger, chopped spring onions. i had some celery leaves so chopped that too.

the taste was quite exquisite. mala gave very “pang” flavourful taste & combined well with taujeon which is sweet, and light soy sauce added another nice fragrant flavour…the result a very tasty, fresh, sweet, tender fish..

young celery stem with salted fish 

sis left over some young celery stems last time, so i cooked them with salted fish.

this dish actually my sis favourite & she started doing at my place several times.

young celery stem with salted fish

today i did the dish.

it was a very good dinner. my sis was thoroughly enjoying the fish.

i took a bit of the vegetables, quite nice with the salted fish flavour..i am not religious or fixated about vegetarian thing..the whole challenge just to help my friend to lose weight a bit while enjoying vegetables & fruits, and generally having a healthy diet & reduce quantity intake a bit..but since my good friend is taking the challenge seriously & not eating meat, so i do not eat meat also fr this period.

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Very Good Airfryer Crackling Belly Pork 烧肉 on 2Oct2017

crackling belly pork 烧肉

made an excellent crackling belly pork 烧肉 on 2.10.2017. ^^

this was the airfryer recipe from my RI bro KK & his wife. 🙂

i did it coupe times before quite a while back, probably couple years back..decided to revisit the recipe today….

crackling belly pork 烧肉

crackling was quite good, & meat was tender, very moist with meat juices..

crackling belly pork 烧肉

maybe the crackling can improve further…

crackling belly pork 烧肉

as it is now, the crackling is pretty good, quite ok! ^^

crackling belly pork 烧肉

picking a good piece of belly pork is important.

so a thinner cut, preferably leaner, which is still fat & tasty, and gives you a larger skin & surface area for the same weight, and also more crackling skin per piece of belly pork you cut since it is thinner…

the recipe is quite straight forward-

  1. poach in boiling water few mins to remove scum
  2. that also makes it easier for you to stab the skin repeatedly, thoroughly with a fork- this enables skin to dry out more so can make it crackling
  3. put salt over skin & season the rest with 1 tbsp shaoxing wine & put in fridge overnight- salt draws out water from the stabbed holes in the skin
  4. remove salt & wipe dry skin with kitchen towel
  5. then put a new layer of salt & put belly pork in airfryer preheated to 180degC for 30 mins
  6. take out, remove salt from skin & put back in airfryer preheated to 200degC for 15mins…& voila!

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Delicious Chinese Wine Braised Chicken 黄焖鸡 2.0 on 14Jul2017

Chinese Wine Braised Chicken 黄焖鸡

Chinese Wine Braised Chicken 黄焖鸡 was another of 5 wonderful dishes i made for 7pax early birthday dinner for a very close RI bro on 14.7.2017. ^^

i first made this delicious chicken dish on 20.7.2016. ^^

i made a very tasty sauce & vegetables & a tender, sweet chicken.

this was after trying the 黄焖鸡 slow braised hua tiao wine chicken at 重庆烤鱼 chong qing grilled fish  on 18.7.2016.very tasty sauce. the scallions & leek were very tasty. chicken though was dry & tough.

JB shoon huat’s claypot sesame chicken 28.6.2016

JB shoon huat’s claypot chicken

same thing for the 2 preparations of claypot chicken at shoon huat, jalan sentosa, JB…great sauce but chicken overcooked & not as tender as my preparation.

so i think my dish was much better.

Chinese Wine Braised Chicken 黄焖鸡

for the evening, my wine chicken dish was very popular too. my friends keep taking more more rice to go with the chicken gravy. 🙂

i deboned 1/2 chicken, & seasoned with 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1tbsp light soy sauce, 1tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp shaoxing wine. i fried sliced ginger, cut chili padi, chopped spring onions, garlic, then added the chicken, fried, & added the intense chicken stock. i cooked the chicken for about 5-6 mins, just tender not overcooked. then i removed the chicken & cooked cut taupok strips in the gravy. heat up & add 2tbsp 花雕酒 just before serving to bring forth the 花雕酒 aroma.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cut chicken (i used 1.4kg large chicken from sheng shiong or giant)
  • 2cm sliced ginger
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 stalk scallions
  • 1 cut chilli padi
  • 6 taupok cut into 4strips each

marinade:

  • 4 tbsp chinese wine 花雕酒
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp corn flour

Directions:

  1. marinate 1/2 chicken for 2 hrs in chinese wine 花雕酒, sesame oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce & good light soy sauce.
  2. fry ginger, chilli padi, garlic till fragrant. add marinade from the chicken & cooked the vegetables.
  3. add chicken, fry, & add the intense chicken stock. xook chicken for about 5-6 mins, just tender not overcooked. then remove chicken & cook cut taupok strips in the gravy.
  4. heat up & add 2tbsp 花雕酒 just before serving to bring forth the 花雕酒 aroma.

Teochew Fried Crayfish with Egg & Onions

teochew fried crayfish egg onions

the teochew fried crayfish egg onions was really “pang”, fragrant with good wok hae.

crayfish from chinatown market

wife said some crayfish weren’t the freshest. i got those from chinatown market, no choice from the stall which i thought was not honest, but no choice, only crayfish that day.

still quite ok la…

teochew fried crayfish egg onions

i did the dish beforehand. fried with chili padi & chopped onions, cut spring onions & chopped garlic, softened the onions, then added 2 eggs, added some oyster sauce, fried fragrant & set aside.

then i fried the crayfish with cut chili padi, sliced ginger & chopped garlic, a little fish sauce, and set aside.

when serving, i heat up the egg onions, added the crayfish, stir-fried, the served.

a superb dish for the occasion!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients-

  • 8 medium crayfish (16 halves)
  • 2 chili padi
  • 1 whole large onion (sliced)
  • 1 stalk cut spring onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

Directions-

  1. cut crayfish in halves with kitchen sears  (scissors)
  2. fry chili padi & chopped onions, cut spring onions & chopped garlic, softened the onions, add 2 eggs, add some oyster sauce, fry fragrant & set aside.
  3. fry the crayfish with cut chili padi, sliced ginger & chopped garlic, a little fish sauce, and set aside
  4. when serving, i heat up the egg onions, added the crayfish, stir-fried, the served.

Tasty & Tender Dongporou 东坡肉 on 23Aug2017

dongporou 东坡肉

today first time i attempted dongporou 东坡肉 on 23.8.2017.

bascially trying to replicate the dongporou 东坡肉 at zai shun where WT bought 4pax lunch recently on 17.8.2017. 🙂

dongporou 东坡肉

i found & followed one web recipe here.

tying the string for 9 cuts of belly pork kind of tedious.

i layered the claypot first with cabbage (my own improvisation), then spring onions, then sliced ginger. i had some leftover pig skin (from char siu 叉烧) i inserted to help hold up the pork belly pieces.

dongporou 东坡肉

then i added 2tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1tbsp brown sugar, 4tbsp shaoxing wine, and 1/2 cup water. added the belly pork, skin down.

then cooked low fire for 1.5hrs. added water as required, and turned over belly pork at 1hr.

then took out belly pork & placed in a small holder & steamed for 1.5hrs, so in total 3hrs.

dongporou 东坡肉

so dongporou 东坡肉 was quite good standard. the gelatinous parts were excellent. flavour was pretty ok…

i think can have more wine taste, so i am going to increase to 6tbsp shaoxing wine. the pigskin & cabbage were excellent – collateral goodness, haha! ^^

one friend FM rated it second after the egg bittergourd with salted egg. some lean parts still not tender enough after 3hrs lor…

not quite sure why need to cut the pork (& having to tie pork to hold it together) in the first place? to let the sauce & the steam reach the individual pieces?

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i think i will instead experiment using low temperature braising to render the whole 400g pork belly tender, then open steaming to add moisture & further tenderise the pork, then cut into small pieces (currently the steam could not reach the lean parts of the pork in the small holder)…so i intend to experiment/improvise..

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients –

  • 400g belly pork
  • 3 large cabbage leaves
  • 2 stalks of spring onions cut about 8cm length
  • 3cm thinly sliced ginger
  • 2tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 6tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. clean & wash belly pork with salt. scald with boiling water to remove scum (or boil in water for 2mins)
  2. cut into 9 pieces & tie the string for 9 cuts of belly pork to hold pork in shape.
  3. add 2tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1tbsp brown sugar, 6tbsp shaoxing wine, and 1/2 cup water. add the belly pork, skin down.
  4. cook low fire for 1.5hrs. add water as required, turn over belly pork at 1hr.
  5. take out belly pork & place in a small holder & steam for 1.5hrs, so in total 3hrs.

Jolly Good Taujeon Lime Sauce Angkorli Fillet (Zai Shun Style) on 8Sep2017

taujeon lime sauce angkorli fillet

taujeon lime sauce angkorli fillet was one of the 8 dishes i prepare for the RI makan group on 8.9.0217. ^^

i bought a large angkorli (seabream) from sheng shiong, got them to cut 1/2 with head, and fillet the 1/2fish tail to do 2 flavours for my friends.

taujeon lime sauce angkorli fillet

for the tail fillet, i pound 4 tbsp taujeon, and squeezed 1/2 large lime to give the tangy taste, added 1 tbsp light soy sauce for the flavour & 1 tbsp mirin.

i garnished with slice ginger, chopped spring onions, 2 tbsp garlic & cut chilli padi.

taujeon lime sauce angkorli fillet

this was intended to be zai shun steamed sharks cartilage preparation.

of course no comparison with zai shun, which was very good & consistent.

still it was a jolly good delicious dish, which my friends thoroughly enjoyed! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tail fillet of large 1.2kg angkorli (about 400g fillet)
  • 4 tbsp taujeon
  • squeeze juice of 1/2 large lime
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 cm ginger (sliced)
  • chopped spring onions (one large stalk)
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 cut chilli padi

Directions:

  1. clean/wash fish fillet with salt
  2. pound 4 tbsp taujeon, and squeezed1/2 large lime to give the tangy taste, add 1 tbsp light soy sauce for the flavour & 1 tbsp mirin.
  3. garnish with sliced ginger, chopped spring onions, 2 tbsp garlic & cut chilli padi.
  4. steam for about 6-7 mins. test that fish is cooked.

Excellent Braised Whole Hock & Trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手on 8Sep2017

braised whole hock & trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手

braised whole hock & trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手was one of the 8 dishes i prepare for the RI makan group on 8.9.0217. ^^

Tai Hua chicken marinate (大华鲁鸡汁)

for this evening i used a lazyman method – just using tai hua braising sauce, instead of preparing my own braising sauce.

 

braised whole hock & trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手

just fry 1-2 cinnamon stick 4 star anise, 3 cloves, 3 bay leaves, 1 whole bulb peeled garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp flat five-spice powder, braise in 1/2 cup (120ml) tai wah braising sauce for 2.5hrs to 3hrs. cover the wok so trotters are steamed while they braised. add water & turn the trotters.

taste for gelatinous skin & still moist tasty lean meat…

do not over braise.

 

braised whole hock & trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手

the whole hock & trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手 were delicious, very gelatinous & lean meat was moist, not old & dry.

GCM commented that dish very good but pig skin could be softer. the pig skin pieces were the skin from char siew. i still have not found the method, but the standalone pig skin pieces dried up through the course of dinner & slightly toughened, whereas the hock skin was ok.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole hock & trotters 鲁元蹄和猪手 (about 1kg+)
  • 1/2 cup tai hua braising sauce (120ml)
  • 1-2 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 whole bulb peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp flat five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  1. fry 1-2 cinnamon stick, 4 star anise, 3 cloves, 3 bay leaves, 1 whole bulb peeled garlic cloves, 1tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp flat five-spice powder
  2. add 1/2 cup (120ml) tai wah braising sauce for 2.5hrs to 3hrs. cover the wok so trotters are steamed while they braised. add water & turn the trotters.

Baingan Bharta (mashed egg plant) a Crowd Favourite on 19Sep2017

bharta

bharta was another unrehearsed first attempt for me.

i did bharta as one of 7 indian dishes i did for the recent 10pax dinner for my friends on 19.9.2017.^^

literally watching & rewatching the “Baingan Bartha – By Vahchef @ Vahrehvah.com” video while i cook, & reproducing it.

like i told my friends – didn’t know what it was before cooking & didn’t know what it was after cooking.

i just followed Vahchef @ Vahrehvah.com” video –

  1. coat with oil, sprinkle sea salt & roast 1 medium egg plant (300g dutch eggplant) in 250degC oven for 25mins. remove skin & roughly chop eggplant.
  2. fry 2 tsp cumin seeds in 1 tbsp oil
  3. add 1/2 tsp chopped ginger, 2 tsp chopped garlic & 1 medium chopped onion.
  4. add 3 cut green chili, and 2 cut tomatoes
  5. add roughly chopped egg plant
  6. add 1 tsp garam masala & 1/2 tsp tumeric

bharta

anyhow the amazing thing with recipes is that for the most part theseattempts turn out quite perfectly, and it did this evening.

the bharta was a favourite dish & S who is vegetarian and arrive later nearer 9pm (we kept the vegetarian briyani & lots of bharta for him) liked it a lot too.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 300g medium dutch eggplant
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 medium chopped onion.
  • 3 cut green chili
  • 2 cut tomatoes
  • tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric

Directions:

  1. coat with oil, sprinkle sea salt & roast 1 medium egg plant (300g dutch eggplant) in 250degC oven for 25mins. remove skin & roughly chop eggplant.
  2. fry 2 tsp cumin seeds in 1 tbsp oil
  3. add 1/2 tsp chopped ginger, 2 tsp chopped garlic & 1 medium chopped onion.
  4. add 3 cut green chili, and 2 cut tomatoes
  5. add roughly chopped egg plant
  6. add 1 tsp garam masala & 1/2 tsp tumeric

Very Good Fish Masala on 19Sep2017

fish masala 

i did fish masala as one of 7 indian dishes i did for the recent 10pax dinner for my friends on 19.9.2017.^^

the fish masala was my first attempt!

i was not entirely sure which fish to use. i had angkorli & seabass as back up but decided to go to chinatown complex this morning, and i managed to get a good cut of batang fish (ikan tenggiri or spanish mackerel). 4 nice cuts for S$10!

fish masala 

there wasn’t much in the preparation.

i fried the fish in oil to brown it & made it firmer for the masala.

i fried chopped onions in ghee, then added the house brand ready gravy & intense chicken stock & reduced. (very important to reduce correctly to make a tasty gravy, not diluted flavorus).

then i added the fish, covered & cooked for short while.

fish masala

 

the texture was firm, fish was fresh & tasty, & the gravy was excellent!

this another dish many of my friends liked a lot.. 🙂

& so easy to prepare, no effort nor much skill required. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 500g batang fish (ikan tenggiri or spanish mackerel)
  • 1x house brand fish curry masala
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • chicken stock

Directions:

  1. wash & clean fish with salt. fry fish in oil to brown it & made it firmer for the masala.
  2. fry chopped onions in ghee, add house brand ready gravy & intense chicken stock & reduced. (very important to reduce correctly to make a tasty gravy, not diluted flavorus).
  3. add fish, covered & cooked for short while.

 

Really Delicious Mutton Masala Using House Brand Ready Gravy on 19Sep2017

mutton masala 

made an excellent, really delicious mutton masala for my friends on 19.9.2017. ^^

& this was my first attempt.

it was kind of strange and truly fortuitous1 🙂

my friend V had given me a bottle of rogan josh, seems that it was only available in JB, not singapore.

i was doing a 10pax indian dinner for my friends on 19.9.2017.^^ 

as i had only one bottle, i could no try out. in any case i took it out from the kitchen cupboard and put in my room so i can access it anytime & wouldn’t need to look for it when i need it. but on the day of the dinner, it vanished into thin air. i still cannot locate it! how odd is that?

anyway, i resolve to cook mutton masala istead using house brand ready gravy, but as a result i did not try out the methods to make the mutton tender, so it became a blind experiment!

as fortune would have it, the mutton masala was hands down the best dishes by my friends!

a strange turn of events indeed! when V brought ghee & naans during lunch hour, i was deciding whether to replace the mutton with pork….

mutton masala 

 

the mutton i bought from ntuc fairprice finest – S$8 frozen mutton cubes. i cleaned with salt & also scalded with boiling water to remove scum & smell.

i had wanted to use the slow braising technique to produce a tender mutton. the theory is 90degC is the optimal temperature to break down collagen (tough connective tissues) to gelatine, making it both tender as well as flavourful at the same time.

i had done that before for lamb shoulders successfully in 90degC oven for 6hrs.

and it was a beautiful fusion curry miso lamb dish,

inspired by the mid-eastern cuisine – i had my best lamb with my son at honey & co london on 22.8.2014.

i was a bit uncertain this time so reduced to 4hrs. but the mutton was tough. i did another 4hrs to no much effect (i think a continuous 6hrs would be the correct preparation).

one way to tenderise was to put in the steam oven for 1.5hrs.  i was not confident i could rescue the mutton, so thought of replacing with pork.

everyone was glad i did not! AG & LS told me it sounded like a horror story when i suggested that.

mutton masala 

anyhow the mutton turned out beautifully. texture was perfect, the tough connective issues are now tender & flavourful, good lamb flavours no foul taste.

i had said in the whatsapp chat that i was confident of the taste, as it was just the reliable house brand ready gravy. only uncertainty was the texture.

but it turned out perfectly. the connective tissues were tender & tasty, and in fact CL said he specially liked that part.

next time i will do 90degC oven for 6hrs. that should do it, and if necessary i will also do the 1.5hrs steam oven step.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 500g frozen mutton cubes
  • 1 packet house brand ready gravy
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Directions:

  1. clean mutton with salt & scald with boiling water to remove scums & smell
  2. placed mutton in sealed oven dish covered with water in 90degC oven for 6hrs. 90degC is the optimal temperature to break down collagen (tough connective tissues) to gelatine, making it both tender as well as flavourful at the same time.
  3. fry chopped onion in ghee till soften. add house brand ready gravy. add intense chicken stock & reduce. add mutton cubes to the gravy.

The Best White Beehoon白米粉 on 9Sep2017

white beehoon白米粉

made the best tasting white beehoon (WBH) from leftover chicken stock i used to make claypot tanhoon prawns last evening..

very tasty WBH indeed & so easy to make just need very tasty intense stock & braise 焖, same as cooking tanhoon prawns, yee meen etc

i made good WBH couple of times previously-

  1.  white beehoon for family dinner on 17.6.2016.
  2. and also a very tasty WBH a 12pax dinner for my OPS buddies on 23.6.2016.

white beehoon白米粉

for this evening though, i made a much more intense stock.

i made sure the prawns & squid were done just right, so that they were plump, juicy, bouncy. brought out the really fresh, sweet taste of the prawns & squid.

white beehoon白米粉

the dish is easy preparation in terms of ingredients & easy steps, so not much effort in preparation.

it is though a bit difficult to adjust the amount of stock, amount of beehoon & the cooking time.

so too much stock, maybe stock not intense enough ie not reduced enough, so bee hoon would be wet. if you try to reduce, then the bee hoon gets overcooked.

too much bee hoon, and the very tasty intense stock is diluted & the overall taste of the dish is diminished.

so it has to be the right amount of intense stock & right amount of bee hoon, then the bee hoon is well infused & very tasty, the bee hoon is moist & not “flooded”, and the bee hoon texture is al dente, not mushy & overcooked.

white beehoon白米粉

for this evening it was quite perfect.

white beehoon白米粉

i had about 300ml intense reduced stock, and 2 rolls of bee hoon soaked in cold water for 1hr.

this time i did not have cabbage, so just a little sliced ginger, cut chili padi & chopped garlic fried in a hot pan, added intense chicken stock & added 1 tbsp oyster sauce.

the prawns & squid were marinated with fish sauce & white pepper for 1hr.

when stock is boiling, i added bee hoon & prawns, tossed a bit, then added squid, tossed a bit more, then off fire. i  covered & let the beehoon infused the stock a bit longer & tossed another time. i tasted the bee hoon & it was perfect, so ready to plate it & serve.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolls of bee hoon
  • 15 medium prawns (about 400g)
  • 1 medium squid chequered cut
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 cm sliced ginger
  • 1 cut chili padi
  • 300ml intense chicken stock

Directions:

  1. soak 2 rolls of bee hoon soaked in cold water for 1hr. have 300ml intense chicken stock ready for use.
  2. fry a little sliced ginger, cut chili padi & chopped garlic fried in a hot pan, add intense chicken stock & add 1 tbsp oyster sauce.
  3. marinate the prawns & squid with fish sauce & white pepper for 1hr or longer.
  4. when stock is boiling, add bee hoon & prawns, toss a bit, then add squid, tosse a bit more, then off fire. cover wokpan & let the beehoon infused the stock a bit longer & toss another time.check the taste the bee hoon & add salt if required). for me i did not need to. the texture, liquid, and taste were just perfect, so ready to plate it & serve..

 

Very Delicious Prawn Masala Using House Brand Ready Gravy on 4Sep2017

delicious prawn masala

made really delicious prawn masala this evening using house brand fish masala ready gravy on 4.9.2017. ^^

i doing an indian cuisine dinner for my RI friends & thinking what dishes to do in addition to the 2 very nice dishes i tried –

  1. chicken briyani &
  2. butter chicken

wife & 2 children eating at home, so i prepared 4pax family indian dinner this evening-

  1. chicken biryani
  2. butter chicken
  3. prawn masala

all dishes very nice. wife & children liked all the dishes.

prawn masala first time  for me no rehearsal turned out very nice…

house brand fish curry masala ready gravy

basically  i used house brand ready gravy so nothing to do…just made sure prawns done bouncy, juicy, succulent not overcooked

likewise for the butter chicken & briyani dishes.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 15 medium prawns (400g)
  • 1 packet house brand fish masala ready gravy
  • 1 medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp ghee (i used lard)

Directions:

  1. fried chopped onions in 2tbsp ghee or lard to soften.
  2. add 2 tsp chopped garlic
  3. add house brand ready gravy & bring to boil
  4. add prawns (marinated with fish sauce & white pepper). add 50ml water if required.

Supernice Chicken Biryani Using Ready Gravy on 27Aug2017

chicken biryani 

i did a wonderful butter chicken using dancing chef paste on 24.8.2017. 

continuing with my experimenting of indian dishes. made chicken biryani on 27.8.2017. ^^

chicken biryani cooked in rice cooker 

& the chicken biryani was even better, so super tasty! 🙂

ready gravy chicken biryani masala 

i used a ready gravy chicken biryani masala packet, 300g gravy with all the spices & onions etc.

chicken biryani

chicken biryani 

  1. i deboned a chicken thigh quarter.
  2. cleaned, drained, and marinated with the ready gravy.
  3. then i washed & soaked one cup basmati rcie in 2 cups of chicken stock (or water is fine too. i happened to have stock).
  4. after 1/2 hr, i fried 1 chopped red onion in 1 tbsp lard. then i brwoend 2 chopped shallots & removed them for garnishing.
  5. i added the marinated chicken & fried for few minutes, then removed the 1/2 cooked chicken & placed it in the rice cooker.
  6. i boiled the soaked rice in a pot to 1/2 cook the rice, then drain & added to rice to the rice cooker. no liquid as the gravy already had lots of liquid.
  7. stirred & mix, added stalks of coriander & mint. & cooked the rice.
  8. garnished with browned shallots

chicken biryani cooked in rice cooker 

the chicken biryani was superb, the best!

very tasty, and the rice were individual grained & nicely done not overcooked, not mushy.

estimation is difficult here. so a lot of agaklogy if i were to cook 1.5cups or 2 cups rice for my friends next.

chicken biryani cooked in rice cooker

chicken biryani cooked in rice cooker

anyhow for this evening, the biryani was just super delicious, better than the butter chicken even. shiok!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • quarter chicken (330g)
  • ready gravy chicken biryani masala packet (300g)
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 3 shallots (sliced)
  • 1 stalk coriander
  • 1 stalk mint
  • 1tbsp lard (in place of ghee. can use oil otherwise)
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water

Directions:

  1. i deboned a chicken thigh quarter.
  2. cleaned, drained, and marinated with the ready gravy.
  3. then i washed & soaked one cup basmati rcie in 2 cups of chicken stock (or water is fine too. i happened to have stock).
  4. after 1/2 hr, i fried 1 chopped red onion in 1 tbsp lard. then i brwoend 2 chopped shallots & removed them for garnishing.
  5. i added the marinated chicken & fried for few minutes, then removed the 1/2 cooked chicken & placed it in the rice cooker.
  6. i boiled the soaked rice in a pot to 1/2 cook the rice, then drain & added to rice to the rice cooker. no liquid as the gravy already had lots of liquid.
  7. stirred & mix, added stalks of coriander & mint. & cooked the rice.
  8. garnished with browned shallots

Great Butter Chicken (First Attempt) on 24Aug2017

butter chicken 

had excellent indian food at chat masala recently with some RI friends on 10.7.2017.

thought of making some indian dishes myself for my friends.

a friend mentioned on whatsapp chat that she tried out with dancing chef butter chicken mix. so i decided to get a packet myself & tried out butter chicken this evening on 24.8.2017. ^^

butter chicken 

it was quite an excellent dish.

i don’t know butter chicken & the herbs enough yet to discern if how authentic it was & whether some herbs taste were missing. but as a dish, it was very good tasting. very unhealthy too, lots of ghee (i used lard) & butter.

dancing chef butter chicken mix 

i followed the dancing chef recipe at the back of the packet-

  1. clean drain chicken (i used 1./2 deboned chicken so about 500g+)
  2. then marinate chicken pieces for 30mins
  3. fry 1 whole chopped onion in ghee (i used lard) till soften
  4. add chicken & 2 tbsp butter (30g) & stirfry
  5. add 1/2cup  water, bring to boil, cover, simmer & reduce for 5mins. take out the other chicken pieces & cook the wings for another 5mins.
  6. add  back the chicken pieces & add 3tbsp yogurt, 2tbsp whipped cream & 1 tsp sugar.
  7. reduce and taste. add coriander & serve.

butter chicken 

chicken was tender & sweet, curry was tasty & creamy & silky smooth.

butter chicken 

simply heavenly!

butter chicken 

and very sinful i guess….haha!

butter chicken 

using the premix, making this dish was quite a breeze.

while a recipe using the individual herbs & spices was also not difficult, it requires much more effort to get the herbs & spices (some of which i will hardly use) for a dish i seldom cook.

so the premix made a lot of sense when with 10% the effort, the dish nevertheless tasted wonderful.

now i have to find out if i can make chicken biryani, rogan josh & kerala fish curry by using some premix, then i can put together an indian dinner for my friends…

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 chicken (deboned)
  • 1 packet dancing chef butter chicken spice premix
  • 1 large yellow onions (or 2 red onions)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or I use lard)
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 3tbsp plain yogurt
  • 2tbsp whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. clean drain chicken (i used 1./2 deboned chicken so about 500g+)
  2. then marinate chicken pieces for 30mins
  3. fry 1 whole chopped onion in ghee (i used lard) till soften
  4. add chicken & 2 tbsp butter (30g) & stirfry
  5. add 1/2cup  water, bring to boil, cover, simmer & reduce for 5mins. take out the other chicken pieces & cook the wings for another 5mins.
  6. add  back the chicken pieces & add 3tbsp yogurt, 2tbsp whipped cream & 1 tsp sugar.
  7. reduce and taste. add coriander & serve.

Taujeon Lime Sauce Song Fish Head 松鱼头 on 23Aug2017

taujeon lime sauce song fish head 松鱼头

this taujeong lime sauce style of preparation for song fish head 松鱼头 was my own new creation. i tested it on tilapia fish on 21.8.2017. 

the sauce was very good.

basically i was trying to replicate the excellent dish of taujeon sharks cartilage at zai shun where my OPS friend bought 4pax lunch recently on 17.8.2017.

i chose  song fish head 松鱼头 because it has the most gelatinous texture, if it is possible to approximate the texture of gelatinous sharks cartilage. quite different i guess, haha!

larpok crispy lard

larpok crispy lard

i had some leftover pig fat in the freezer so i made some larpok crispy lard as topping for the song fish head 松鱼头. very easy to make & very nice too!

taujeon lime sauce song fish head 松鱼头

fish head was nice, all my OPS friend liked it.

one friend said maybe it was a bit sour. for myself i ok with this level of sourness.

how did it compare with my spicy black bean sauce song fish head 松鱼头? one friend thought it was equally good but a different style & so quite a nice variation.

for myself & another friend, we both thought the spicy black bean sauce song fish head 松鱼头 still best! 🙂

so black bean sauce song fish head 松鱼头 is what i will do the next time for this group. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 song fish head 松鱼头
  • 5tbsp tau jeon
  • 1/2 a large lime juice
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk chopped spring onions
  • 1-2 cut chili padi
  • 2cm juliened ginger
  • 3 tsp chopped garlic

Directions:

  1. clean fish head with salt & wash thoroughly, put on colander to dry
  2. put 5tbsp tau jeon in large bowl, add 1/2 large lime juic, 1tbsp mirin & pound. add 3tbsp olive oil & mix. spread on fish head.
  3. add chili padi, juliened ginger, chopped spring onions & chopped garlic on top of fish head.
  4. steam fish head for 13 mins in steamer or steam oven.

Delicious Dongporou 东坡肉 (My First Attempt) on 23Aug2017

dongporou 东坡肉

first time i attempted dongporou 东坡肉 on 23.8.2017. ^^

i did this for 7pax dinner for my OPS buddies. 

dongporou 东坡肉

bascially trying to replicate the dongporou 东坡肉 at zai shun where WT bought 4pax lunch recently on 17.8.2017. 🙂

i found & followed one web recipe here.

dongporou 东坡肉

tying the string for 9 cuts of belly pork kind of tedious.

i layered the claypot first with cabbage (my own improvisation), then spring onions, then sliced ginger. i had some leftover pig skin (from char siu 叉烧) i inserted to help hold up the pork belly pieces.

dongporou 东坡肉

then i added 2tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1tbsp brown sugar, 4tbsp shaoxing wine, and 1/2 cup water. added the belly pork, skin down.

then cooked low fire for 1.5hrs. added water as required, and turned over belly pork at 1hr.

then took out belly pork & placed in a small holder & steamed for 1.5hrs, so in total 3hrs.

dongporou 东坡肉

though my first time, the dongporou 东坡肉 was quite good standard. the gelatinous parts were excellent. flavour was pretty ok…

i think can have more wine taste, so i am going to increase to 6tbsp shaoxing wine. the pigskin & cabbage were excellent – collateral goodness, haha! ^^

all my OPS friends liked the dongporou 东坡肉. one rated it second after the egg bittergourd with salted egg. some lean parts still not tender enough after 3hrs lor…

not quite sure why need to cut the pork (& having to tie pork to hold it together) in the first place? to let the sauce & the steam reach the individual pieces?

i think i will instead experiment using low temperature braising to render the whole 400g pork belly tender, then open steaming to add moisture & further tenderise the pork, then cut into small pieces (currently the steam could not reach the lean parts of the pork in the small holder)…so i intend to experiment/improvise..

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 400g fresh belly pork simmered in boiling water for few minutes (to remove scum & also easier to cut belly pork..i cut 9 pieces for 7pax & didn’t want to eat too much belly pork, but 4 pieces would be better)

to lace the claypot-

  • 2-3 large cabbage leaves
  • 2 stalks spring onions cut into 3 sections
  • 3-4cm sliced ginger
  • & i added 6 garlic cloves to flavour the meat

braising sauce-

  • 2tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tbsp brown sugar (or what i did – 2tsp brown sugar & add 1 small piece rock honey sugar)
  • 4tbsp shaoxing wine1/2 cup water
  • Directions:
  1. simme in boiling water for few minutes to remove scum & also easier to cut belly pork.
  2. cut pork to 4 pieces.
  3. use string to tie the cut belly pork
  4. layer claypot with cabbage, spring onions, sliced ginger. add 6 cloves peeled garlic
  5. put in a fitting pot (i used leftover pig skin (from char siu 叉烧) to help hold up the pork belly pieces in a small claypot
  6. add 2tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1tbsp brown sugar, 4tbsp shaoxing wine, and 1/2 cup water.
  7. add belly pork, skin down. cook low fire for 1.5hrs. add water as required, and turn over belly pork at 1hr.
  8. take out belly pork & place in a small holder & steam for 1.5hrs, so in total 3hrs.