(Good First-time) Roast Duck on 15Aug2017 (Recipe)

roast duck

i started cooking & inviting friends for dinners in mar2012. ^^

one year later i started my blog & made my very first post “I am NO Chef!” on 5.3.2013. at first it was on my cooking & dining out. later i added a travelogue for my travels.

i started with western dishes for simple reason. it is so easy to get cheap & very good hawker, zi char & chinese restaurant dishes, so cooking a good steak, lamb, cod, pasta etc western style & later japanese & “fusion” make a lot more sense than making braised duck & chicken rice 白斩鸡.

it was only later that i evolved my own recipes of braised duck, chicken rice 白斩鸡, curry chicken, claypot rice that i find it worthwhile (because they are good & replicable & easy to make) to make these dishes. in fact lately i made mostly these dishes for my dinner invites.

for this reason, there are dishes which i attempted but still don’t cook like sio bak (roast pork), hokkien mee, & hawker stall roast chicken. whereas my steak, lamb, pasta, miso cod etc would better many cafes & maybe equal some restaurants (not the plating & sides & sauces), it is meaningless to do cheap hawker dishes if i cannot do at least as good. of course i am not talking about elaborate fine dining dishes, sauces, foams, sous vide, confit etc. those are outside my league…

today i still think it is much harder to cook good chinese & asian hawker & restaurant dishes than western dishes. these dishes combines many ingredients & so complicated preparation eg a bakchomee vs a pasta, that unless i can make them easily & well, they are not worth doing.

of course views will change when you acquire the technique or method.

AND of course chinese roast duck is one such dishes. i never did a roast duck, so this was my very first attempt.

recently, i had delicious roast duck & best char siew at meng meng roast duck 阿明帝皇鸭 during our 10pax RI bro sutera mall makan, massage & karaoke trip (10 travelogue posts here). 

so that motivated me to try out first my own char siew & now my first time roast duck!^^

roast duck

i debated doing a whole roast 1.8kg duck from giant or 1/2 a 2.2kg duck from sheng shiong to experiment.

decided not to experiment & to roast a full 2.2kg duck from sheng shiong for the  10pax dinner for my RI bros on 15.8.2017. 

roast duck

i picked from 2 youtube recipes – here  and  here!

roast duck

so i cleaned & washed the duck thoroughly with salt (exfoliate), pat dry with kitchen towel, make a marinade & rubbed the marinade on the inside of the cavity & “stitched”. i did not have the longer bamboo skewer so i used what i have (toothpicks & lots of them). and they did a good job holding the marinade inside.

then i made a honey, rock sugar, white vinegar bath & baste the duck (holding vertically by neck) like 20times.

the i placed the duck on a roasting rack & left in the fridge for 2days to dry the skin (one of the youtube recipe suggested 4days! but 2 is fine for me).

on the day of dinner, i let the duck come to room temperature, pat dry further, and placed the rack in a 200degC oven (with circulation mode) for 1hr. did not know what to expect, but managed to turn the duck w/o tearing skin at 35mins.

at 1 hr i wanted the duck a bit more charred so i roasted for another 10mins.

roast duck

the duck turned out to be very good.

all my friends actually preferred the duck to my char siew.  anyhow for char siew, Meng Meng Roast Duck restaurant 阿明帝皇鸭 bar is just too high, and i am never going to meet that, so i am quite happy with the char siew i made. 🙂

my friends (& later my wife & children – i kept a drumstick quarter for them to try) said the duck was very flavourful. when i deboned the duck, i already knew the meat was tender & juicy, especially the parts near the bones, so i knew texture was good. & the taste & flavour was good too! only that i did not have any tong guai or herb flavours or tea smoked flavours. & the skin roasted, tasty, not tough, but also not the crispy skin of hawker stalls & restaurants.

it was not comparable of course with the delicious roast duck & best char siew at meng meng roast duck 阿明帝皇鸭 la!

still a very successful chinese roast duck, first time or not first time, anyhow i not sure second time will be better also la! lol! 🙂

i also made a simple sauce similar to the excellent sauce we had with london’s four seasons roast duck. 

& it’s very easy to make – 3 tbsp top quality dark sauce, 1 tbsp top quality light soy sauce, 1-2tbsp water, 1 tbsp sugar & mixed.

simple yet so very tasty sauce for both chicken & duck! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • one 2.2kg fresh duck

marinade (dry)

  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 3cm ginger (sliced)
  • 4tsp chopped garlic
  • white stems of 2 stalks spring onion (small cuts)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1-2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves

marinade sauce

  • 2 tbsp hoi sin sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey

bath for basting duck

  • 3tbsp white vinegar
  • 3tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp hoi sin sauce
  • 2cups water

Directions:

  1. clean duck, exfoliate with salt & wash thoroughly, pat dry
  2. fry marinade (dry) to bring out the aroma, then add to marinade (sauce).
  3. marinade rub the inside cavity of the duck & stitch
  4. boil 2cups water & add white vinegar, honey hoi sin sauce. i use a wide wok pan for easy basting.
  5. hold duck by the neck & baste like 20 times, making sure cover every part of the duck including under the wings & drumsticks.
  6. place on roasting rack, cool & put in the fridge to dry the skin for 2 days.
  7. let duck come to room temperature, further pat dry, cover the wing tips & drumstick tips with aluminium foil, & put in 250degC oven for 1hr. turn duck at 35mins (optional – don’t turn if tearing the skin).
  8. let rest for 10mins. debone & serve.

 

 

Doublecooked Belly Pork 回锅肉with Onions & Leek– 38th Teban Gardens Community Breakfast on 18Aug2017

doublecooked belly pork 回锅肉with onions & leek

did a doublecooked belly pork 回锅肉with onions & leek  for teban gardens community breakfast this morning on 18.8.2017. ^^

this my 38th 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.

doublecooked belly pork 回锅肉with onions & leek

回锅肉 simply means returning to the wok, which means the pork has been cooked once already before cooking again in the wok. so in english, it is translated as doublecooked pork. 🙂

there are of course many such preparation in all cuisine types – western, middle eastern, indian of chinese, asian etc…in teochew cuisine for example there is 半煎煮 usually for fish like 1/2 shallow-fry, then braise…

belly pork after 5hrs in 90degC oven overnight

anyhow i was wondering what to cook for this morning. last evening went to sheng shiong at tanglin halt past 10pm & bought 4packets = 1.6kg of frozen belly pork. after defrosting, scalding & cleaning, covered with water & placed in sealed oven dishes in 90degC oven past midnight for 5hrs overnight.

this morning got up at 7am (alarm set) & prepared the meat & vegetables.

very tender, gelatinous & less oily

belly pork was very tender, gelatinous & also less oily because much oil had been rendered out in the water & discarded.

belly pork after 5hrs in 90degC oven overnight

i did not count but there should be like around 140 slices….these days teban gardens attendance on the rise (for today it might have exceeded 130pax).

onion & leek with oyster sauce

i cut 4 large red onions & 3 stalks of leek. i wanted to save my chopped garlic so browned a whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves instead to flavour the oil.

then fried the onions & garlic, added oyster sauce & covered.

added very little water, & covered to help cook the leek so that the green parts are not tough & “siap”.

tasted & vegetables were tasty on their own.

doublecooked belly pork 回锅肉with onions & leek

i then fried all the belly pork slices in the bit of garlic oil left, and added a bit oyster sauce. this one no water & no cover, just fried over medium heat, to brown & careful not burn. i tasted, pork was tender & very tasty.

then added back the vegetables & tossed. i added just a little fish sauce after tasting. it was quite perfect. then plated it.

the dish looked beautiful & tasted as much. and not really that much effort.

i have been cooking larger & larger quantity as the attendance increased. today there were like 5 or 6 people who were last in the queue & i had served out all the food. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

My Best Char Siew on 8Aug2017

my best char siew 

did my best char siew today on 8aug2017.

i not very motivated on char siew & siew yoke as i tried them before & though they were ok, but not really fantastic & can always get good char siew & siew yoke outside (or get friends to make it haha!)

looking at previous photos, the char siew i did before was pretty ok i guess but just not enough to excite me.  

char siew & siew yoke 

recently 10pax RI bros went for overnight makan, massage & karaoke at sutera mall locality. 

we had the best char siew at meng meng roast duck 阿明帝皇鸭. the char siew was superb & literally glistening with charred fat!! ooooh, my favourite la!

my best char siew 

& next week i am cooking for 12pax friends, modelling some of the dishes in JB and sutera.

so i thought i have another go at char siew.

look at some online recipes, and decided to model after this video though they did not give recipe…a bit random..haha!

my best char siew

anyhow,

  1. made my own marinade from what i have-1 tsp each of brown sugar, honey, char siew sauce, hoi sin sauce, oysters sauce, five-spice powder, ginger sauce (i lazy just used chopped ginger), soy sauce, fermented beancurd (fu yu), 1/2 tsp salt.
  2. then prepare 250g belly pork, removed skin, washed with salt & scalded to remove scum; and marinate for 6hrs in fridge (overnight should be ok too)
  3. then placed on rack, 25mins in 250degC oven…did a bit of basting..

my best char siew 

result was quite wonderful – texture, taste (marinade & well infused) & fat charring all excellent…glistening…

my best char siew

not sure if i can reproduce this for larger pieces…will try it on 600g piece for 12pax dinner next week la, and see how. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 250g belly pork, removed skin, washed with salt & scalded to remove scum

marinade (1 tsp each except salt)

  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • light soy sauce
  • char siew sauce
  • hoi sin sauce
  • oysters sauce
  • five-spice powder
  • ginger sauce (i lazy just used chopped ginger)
  • fermented beancurd (fu yu)
  • AND 1/2 tsp salt.

Directions:

  1. combine to make marinade
  2. marinade belly pork for 6hrs in fridge (or overnight)
  3. then placed on rack, 25mins in 250degC oven…baste it a bit…

 

Simple & Delicious Homealone Seafood Spaghetti on 5Aug2017

seafood spaghetti

eating dinner alone this evening.

there was multi-grain bread & gourmet butter…haha!

there was also 1/2 a squid in the chiller that i should eat before it spoiled.

anyhow i decided to make seafood spaghetti. so i defrosted a package of shelled medium prawns, maybe10pieces!

seafood spaghetti

i decided to do the style my son made when we were in iceland.

had chopped garlic but didn’t have whole bulb garlic, so i fried cut chili padi, some thai basil which i planted, then added chopped garlic & dry parsley, all in olive oil.

then added the prawns & the the squid…very important not to overcook both prawns & squid..high fire then off.

i made the pasta separately, boiled with bit of salt & some oil to just below al dente, and drained.

seafood spaghetti

& then it’s just adding pasta to the seafood alio oglio sauce, off fire & tossed.

seafood spaghetti

so very easy to make, and so delicious, very good wok hae.

seafood spaghetti

then added some fresh thai basil for garnishing & tasting.

i just love the flavours of the basil. like sweet basil better, but sweet basil still growing so make do with thai basil. haha! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Crayfish Angel Hair Pasta on 1Aug2017

crayfish angel hair pasta

did a teochew crayfish dish for the excellent early birthday diner for my dentist friend on 14.7.2017.

still had 4 crayfish left in the freezer. having dinner alone & decided to cook crayfish pasta this evening.

crayfish angel hair pasta 

i used angel hair as it took the shortest time, 2mins to cook.

so i had it just below al dente.

i fried cut chili padi, thai basil in olive oil, added chopped garlic (usually i browned whole garlic to flavour the olive oil.. don’t have whole garlic today), then i fried the crayfish & set aside.

then i added sotong (squid) seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper to the pan & cooked a short time (not to overcook it). then i added the angel hair pasta and tossed, and added some butter & tossed.

added sea salt to taste.

crayfish angel hair pasta

then i plated some to eat & garnished with more thai basil.

crayfish angel hair pasta 

very tasty dish.

pasta just al dente.

crayfish was sweet & fresh, and sotong also succulent & tasty.

crayfish angel hair pasta 

a simple but quite excellent tasty pasta, though i did not have stock & did not add white wine.

c.h.e.f andy

Nonya Steamed Seabream (Angkorli) Head with Gimson Nonya Sauce on 9Jul2017

nonya steamed seabream (angkorli) head 

having inner alone this evening…

had leftover angkorli fish head in the freezer after i used the fillet for teban gardens friday breakfast on 21.4.2017. 

for today i used the larger of 1/2 fish head, still got a smaller 1/2 in the freezer. 😀

gimson nonya sauce 

i used the awesome gimson sauce my 2 friends & also my sis bought for me in JB. it is NOT available in singapore. why leh??

nonya steamed seabream (angkorli) head

so easy to make – just add 1.5 to 2 tbsp top quality light soy sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil & 2 tbsp mirin & a dollop (1 heap tbsp) of gimson sauce. & steam for 13mins in the steam oven (or over the hob).

just returned to singapore on 7.7.2017 morning after month-long travels. did not do marketing so no spring onions, ginger, chilli or chilli padi garnishes.

nonya steamed seabream (angkorli) – very tender sweet flesh 

So fresh & sweet & super gimson nonya sauce..

and such distinct nonya flavours…so shiok!!!

nonya steamed seabream (angkorli) head 

For me tonight, this clearcut better than the forture’s thai style fish head 2 evenings ago….

not always though..at other times i had really nice thai style fish head at forture also…

c.h.e.f andy

A Tasty Prawn Capellini Aglio Olio Nice and Easy on 6Jun2017

prawn capellini aglio olio

one RI bro said he would come by to get together before my UK trip tomorrow.. wanted to drive me out for lunch on 6.6.2017.

i find it takes more time & hassle to go out for lunch. so i did a quick capellini pasta with what i have…faster than eating out..more time to chit chat…

prawn capellini aglio olio

we had coffee after pasta & 功夫茶after coffee…chatted for a while till 2.30pm…as i have lots of personal admin to attend to before trip..

i had wanted to so a johnsonville beddar with cheddar cheese sausage spaghetti but there was no spaghetti, no chilli padi, no stock…

and no johnsonville..few packets my helpermust have cooked for my son this period 😀 so what’s left just garlic, olive oil, frozen small prawns, regular chilli, a bit of thai basil….

still a very tasty pasta in 10mins la…

c.h.e.f andy

Nonya Steamed Song Fish Head 松鱼头 on 5Jun2017

nonya steamed song fish head 松鱼头 

tried gimson nonya paste on song fish head 松鱼头 today on 5.6.2017. ^^

 

nonya steamed song fish head 松鱼头 

pretty good but still cannot c/w spicy black bean sauce…

 

nonya steamed song fish head 松鱼头 

so this nonya paste excellent for snapper & seabass..

for song fish head 松鱼头 good too but spicy black bean paste even better…

so its the usual hong kong steam ie just 2 tbsp light soy sauce & 2 tbsp olive oil. i added 1 tbsp mirin (optional)..then i added 1 heap tbsp gimson nonya paste & spread.

normally i would add the garnishes like lots of sliced ginger, cut chilli padi & chopped spring onions.

today just trying out so did not add all these things, and anyway some i don’t have in the fridge..

still a very enjoyable fish head, for teochews especially!

c.h.e.f andy

Lobster in Superior Broth 龙虾上汤焗 RECIPE

lobster in superior broth 龙虾上汤焗

made lobster in superior broth 龙虾上汤焗 the second time.

this time it was excellent!

first time was when i made 2pax valentine’s day dinner on 14.2.2017. it was the same lobster, largely the same preparation, but somehow i did not get it right. even though wife said the lobster was good & tasty, basically it was the texture was somewhat overdone & not the best…not meeting my own standard la..

680g live lobster from sheng shion $41+

i decided i must give it another try la…

got a 680g live lobster from sheng shiong at S$41+

680g live lobster from sheng shion $41+

it’s too large for my basin. 🙂

lobster poached for 3-4mins

i decided to poach it this time round.

it’s the same supposedly humane treatment. put lobster in the freezer for one hour so it is like in a “coma” or deep unconsciousness??? then either kill it by putting the knife through the head/brains or put into boiling water.

lobster poached for 3-4mins

so i put it in boiling water. for about 3-4mins, just looking at the colour….

this a less messy preparation than cutting through the head w/o poaching (which results in more liquids flowing out.

anyway after removing lobster, it was the same putting the knife through the head & halving the lobster.

then i cracked/removed the pincer shells & cut the lobster tail into 2 pieces.

680g not really a lot of lobster – body 4 pieces + 2 pincer + head….

lobster in superior broth 龙虾上汤焗

i was doing claypot chicken rice so had 1/2 chicken bones. i added 1 cut large carrots & boiled for about 3hrs.

i added the lobster shell & boiled another 2 hrs, basically reduced & made a very intense stock/broth. the carrots were very nice after infusing the broth.

lobster in superior broth 龙虾上汤焗

when cooking, i just fried ginger, cut chilli padi in butter, then added garlic, last added chopped spring onions with the broth, brought to boil, added in the lobster pieces & covered to braise + steam the lobster. another another 5mins.

i turned the head, lobster tail pieces, pincers to make sure they are cooked & NOT overcooked.

and i was able to produce a very sweet, tasty lobster in superior broth 龙虾上汤焗. so good!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 650g – 700g live lobster
  • 1-2 cut chilli padi
  • 2cm ginger cut small wedges
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 stalks cut spring onions
  • 1tbsp usalted butter

for stock

  • 1/2 or 1 chicken bones
  • 1 large carrot cut
  • shells of lobster pincers

Directions:

  1. put lobster in freezer for 1 hr. then put it in boiling water. for about 3-4mins, just looking at the colour.
  2. put the knife through the head & half the lobster. then crack/remove the pincer shells & cut the lobster tail into 2 pieces per half = 4 large pieces.
  3. meanwhile prepare stock – boil chicken bone & carrot 3hrs. add lobster shell, bol another 2 hrs.
  4. when cooking, fry ginger, cut chilli padi in butter, then add garlic, last add chopped spring onions with the broth, bringt to boil, add in lobster pieces & cover to braise + steam the lobster. another another 5mins. turn the head, lobstail pieces, pincers to make sure they are cooked & NOT overcooked. VOILA!

Recipe = Wok Fried Manila Clams 香锅炒蛤蜊 on 19Apr2017

wok fried manila clams

i have not cooked manila clams for a while.

checking the last time i made a post, i did quite good ones 1.5yrs back in oct2015.

this morning i was at sheng shiong & decided to buy about 700g manila clams. the price was i think S$10.90/kg, some discounts from the usual S$13.90/kg. it was still double the price of chinatown wet market, which is about S$6/kg.

so this evenin gi made wok fried manila clams on 19.4.2017. ^^

wok fried manila clams

today my wife & daughters all said it was very good, the best i made so far.

and indeed it was quite superb. i think better than most zi char. the photos do tell.

the texture was perfect. clams were very fresh & sweet, cooked just right. & the sauce was also perfect.

wok fried manila clams

i cleaned the clams quite thoroughly, first leaving in clean water with ice to chill.

it does get dirty after several hours, so when i was about to cook the clams, i took out the clams & poured away the water then washed the clams couple times, removing the clams to a colander & pouring away the water.

the last bit i washed the clams with salt, and unfailingly the clams looked very fresh & clean & sparkling.

i left it in the strainer/colander, set aside while i cut chilli padi, ginger, red onion, fresh orange peel.

i put about 1 tbsp (15g) butter in the pan, added chilli padi, ginger, red onion, 1.5 stalks of curry leaves, orange peel, fried till fragrant, then added 1 tbsp chopped garlic.

then i added the clams, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, turn fire to high, and cover to cook the clams.

the clams opened up quite quickly as the wokpan steamed up, and then it was ready to serve. the whole process was like maybe 3mins. voila!

wok fried manila clams

& the clams was as wonderfully tasting as it was glorious to look at. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 700g live manila clams
  • 1tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 -2 cut chilli padi
  • 1 whole sliced medium red onions.
  • sliced orange peel from 1/4 orange
  • 1.5 stalks curry leaves (about 30 leaves)
  • 3cm sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (15g)

Directions:

  1. clean thoroughly = leave in clean water with ice to chill. when about to cook clams, remove clams clams to colander, pour away water, wash clams well couple times. repeat. last bit, wash clams with salt. unfailingly the clams will look very fresh & clean & sparkling.
  2. set aside. cut chilli padi, ginger, red onion, fresh orange peel.
  3. add 1 tbsp (15g) butter in wokpan. add chilli padi, ginger, red onion, 1.5 stalks of curry leaves, orange peel. fry till fragrant. add chopped garlic.
  4. then add clams, oyster sauce, turn fire to high, and cover to cook clams.
  5. the clams will open up quite quickly as the wokpan steams up, and then it is ready to serve. the whole process like maybe 3mins. voila!

 

Kurobuta & Prawn Alio Olio (Own Recipe) on 18Apr2017

kurobuta & prawn alio olio

eating alone this evening on 18.4.2017. been doing that a bit recently. 🙂

kurobuta & prawn alio olio

had some leftover shabu kurobuta in the freezer. decided to use them.

shabu (涮) simply means to poach for few seconds (8secs) in boiling water, like in a hotpot or steamboat, meaning the meat are very thinly sliced for that purpose.

i decided also to add 4 prawns. these are items are could be easily defrosted &prepared.

kurobuta & prawn alio olio

basically it was making alio olio.

& i figured any ingredients that makes it flavourful & tasty would deliver a great pasta.

kurobuta & prawn

alio olio is easy to do.

usually i browned a whole bulb of garlic cloves in olive oil. since kurobuta has lots of oil, so i cooked kurobuta first (real quick for the thin slices), set aside & used the oil to brown the garlic. i also added cut chilli padi & thai sweet basil.

then i cooked the prawns, seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper.

kurobuta & prawn

and that’s it. that’s all there is to it for making a very tasty pasta.

kurobuta & prawn alio olio

i boiled the pasta per instructions (8mins for instant spaghetti) to just below al dente.

kurobuta & prawn alio olio

the drained & added to the base.

kurobuta & prawn alio olio

off fire & tossed the pasta.

that’s it!

really delicious la…the shabu(thin sliced) kurobuta was so very flavourful!

c.h.e.f andy

Delightful Fried Leek with Cheese Sausage Recipe on 7Apr2017

fried leek with cheese sausage = Johnson ville beddar with cheddar

another dish which I came up with this evening on 7.4.2017 was fried leek with cheese sausage = using Johnson ville beddar with cheddar. ^^

I saw ye shanghai added luncheon meat to the fried leek dish.

so I fried the leek & 1/2 cut red onions with very tasty cheese sausage = Johnsonville beddar with cheddar.

this preparation was quite similar to-

  1. a very tasty ham vegetable dish I had in Kyoto; &
  2. waxed meat & sausage with kailan 腊味炒芥兰at fu kee 富记粥品 in hong kong on 12.1.2016.

when we returned Singapore from the jan2016 hong kong trip, I prepared a relish hong kong fun moments dinner.

one of the dishes I featured was pork + liver sausage fried kailan 腊味芥兰 20.1.2016

fried leek with cheese sausage = Johnson ville beddar with cheddar

for this evening, I used the very tasty Johnsonville beddar with cheddar sausage we usually reserved for sausage pasta.

my daughter liked this dish best!

it was most delightful dish, with the cheese sausage adding wonderful flavours & some saltiness to the dish.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Easy, Tasty Fried Spinach with Ikan Bilis Recipe on 7Apr2017

fried spinach with ikan bilis

lately I have been frying my vegetables mostly with chopped garlic (蒜蓉炒), cut chilli padi & a bit of oyster sauce. 🙂

I used to do more of the cornflour, also with oyster sauce, but lately I find that vegetables have a lot of liquids, and if you fry them without adding water, they are dryer & more flavourful, or more wok hae.

of course there is a school that says you have to add a little water at the end on high fire so that the evaporation/vapour brings out the wok hae. maybe so.

currently I am just happy with my 干炒 method la!

recently I had a nice 3pax lunch with sis & bil at ye shanghai on 7.4.2017. ^^

it was a small plate maybe cost S$1.50, quite enough as we had 7 small plate vegetable dishes. a very simple dish, and so very tasty.

so I decided to cook the same fried soinach with ikan bilis the same day sis stayed for dinner on 7.4.2017.

I fried ikan bilis, cut chilli padi in 2 tbsp oil, then added the spinach stems & chopped garlic, frying under high heat. then added the spinach leaves. added 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce & keeping it on high heat.

this spinach was excellent, with the ikan bilis texture & flavours, very tasty & sweet.

so easy to do, and sis thought it was better than ye shanghai…I thought so too! haha! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

 

Own Recipe – First Nonya Steamed Angkorli Fish Head on 8Apr2017

nonya steamed angkorli fish head

ate alone at home last evening on 8.4.2017.

didn’t want carbs, so decided to steam a small angkorli (sea bream) fish head.

Zai Shun 载顺 steamed shark’s cartilage

I wanted to do something different, so thought of the nonya steamed shark’s cartilage preparation at Zai Shun 载顺.

gimson nonya sauce

I did not have the recipe or know how Zai Shun 载顺 makes their nonya sauce, but I do have a good bottle of gimson nonya sauce.

sambal steamed angkorli fish head

Recipe

I used my usual steam fish recipe 2tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp mirin. and instead of 2 tsp light soy sauce, I added 1 tbsp gimson nonya sauce & reduced to 1 tbsp light soy sauce. & that was all.

I added chopped garlic. next time I would add also cut chilli padi & some scallions.

I estimated fish head about 500g, but to be sure I steamed for 11mins.

nonya steamed angkorli fish head

preparation was easy. all looked good, so just 11mins in the steam oven. 🙂

nonya steamed angkorli fish head

& the result was very good, not too salty, good nonya sauce flavour, not overpowering, fish was fresh & sweet. steaming was ok too, not overdone.

not quite the same wonderful taste & effect as Zai Shun 载顺’s steamed sharks cartilage, but a good enough preparation I can used to make a nice steamed fish/dish for my family & friends.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • small angkorli (seabream) fish head – 500g
  • 1 tbsp gimson nonya sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 cut chilli padi
  • 2 stalks chopped scallions

Directions:

  1. wash with salt, clean & dry fish head. add the condiments – 2tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp mirin, 1tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp gimson nonya sauce.
  2. add chopped garlic, . next time I would add also cut chilli padi & chopped scallions (white parts..green parts cut 2cm length & add after steaming).
  3. steam for 11mins.

Homecooked Teochew Chilled Yellow Croaker 小黄鱼 & 3 Vegetable Dishes on 7Apr2017

Teochew chilled yellow croaker 小黄鱼 & 3 vegetable dishes

after our nice Teochew muay lunch at ye shanghai, sis & bil came over my place. they watched tv & sis made some gongfucha 功夫茶 on 7.4.2017.

bil had to go for qigong & yoga. sis decided to stay for dinner.

I had yellow croaker 小黄鱼 in the freezer, so decided to make the same teochew chilled yellow croaker 小黄鱼 dish we had for lunch at ye shanghai.

we had 3 nice vegetable dishes at ye shanghai = cabbage, spinach & leek. I happen to have all these in my fridge, so I decided to make the 3 dishes. ^^

Teochew chilled yellow croaker 小黄鱼

Teochew chilled yellow croaker 小黄鱼 very easy to make. I got the fish special offer at sheng shiong for S$5.90. in that sense the same fish at ye shanghai for S$8 was really cheap.

I steamed the fish in the steam oven for 10mins, let it cool & placed it in the fridge for 1/2hr.

Teochew chilled yellow croaker 小黄鱼

the chilled yellow croaker 小黄鱼 was excellent.

my sis said it was much sweeter than what we had at ye shanghai..quite true actually..

fried spinach with ikanbilis

& so was my 3 vegetables. all were better than ye shanghai…

I fried ikan bilis, cut chilli padi in 2 tbsp oil, then added the spinach stems & chopped garlic. then added the spinach leaves. added 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce & fried on high heat.

this spinach was excellent, with the ikan bilis texture & flavours, very sweet.

fried leek with cheese sausage

I saw ye shanghai added luncheon meat to the leek.

so I fried the leek & 1/2 cut red onions with very tasty cheese sausage = Johnsonville beddar with cheddar. my daughter liked this dish best!

this preparation was quite similar to-

  1. a very tasty ham vegetable dish I had in Kyoto; &
  2. waxed meat & sausage with kailan 腊味炒芥兰at fu kee 富记粥品 in hong kong on 12.1.2016.

cabbage tanhoontaupok with ikanbilis

the cabbage dish was also excellent this evening.

I fried the ikan bilis & cut chilli padi. then added the cabbage & chopped garlic. the added 5 cut taupok ie bean curd skin (each square taupok I cut into 4 strips), added just 1/2 cup water & covered to reduce & cook/soften/infuse the taupok. when almost done I added the glass noodles. I forgot to cut the glass noodles first, will do that next time before frying.

this was an excellent dish, the glass noodles & taupok were well infused, moist & sweet, tasty.

fried leek with cheese sausage & cabbage tanhoontaupok

dinner was great. the food was great & easy to prepare. though sis & I took similar food for lunch & dinner, we still enjoyed every bit of it.

c.h.e.f andy

Steamed Sea Bream Fillet with Cloud Fungus & Sliced Shitake – 32nd Teban Gardens Community Breakfast on 7Apr2017

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

i did steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitakefor teban gardens community breakfast this morning on 7.4.2017. ^^

this my 32nd 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.

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

it’s been a while.

the last time I did Friday breakfast for teban gardens was 4 weeks ago on 10.3.2017.

the last 3.5 weeks I was indisposed, actually had to do a check-up at the hospital. the last 2 days I felt I was returning to 100%.

sea bream fillet

I bought 2 large angkorli, or sea bream at sheng shiong. there was a promotion just S$6.60/kg, that would be >33% off normal price. so I paid just S$19+ for 2.9kg of fish!

I asked  the server to fillet the fish, but to keep one head for a fish head dish (which means they only fillet 1/2 of that fish & kept 1/2 with the head).

sea bream fillet

so I estimated I had 1.8kg of fillet out of the 2.9kg.

there are >100 residents at teban gardens Friday breakfast these days. one staff told me this morning they had 119pax last week (I was not around).

sea bream fillet

anyway 1.8kg of fillet should be sufficient, though I have not tried steaming this quantity of fish before.

I washed with salt the evening before, cleaned & placed on a colander in the fridge overnight.

cloud fungus

I also had some cloud fungus, which I soaked in water & cut smaller pieces using kitchen sears.

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

this morning, I got up early to prepare the fish.

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

for the condiments, I added 3tbsp of light soy sauce, olive oil & mirin. usually I cook a whole 800g fish I add about 2tbsp each. today the angkorli was filleted & I made deep cuts so the fish was soaked in the condiments. I thought I kept it at 3tbsp. (after steaming, I tasted & decided to add 1 more tbsp. of light soy sauce to bring out the flavours!)

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

I also added 1 cut chilli padi, 3cm sliced ginger, a portion of leek sliced thinly, some cut scallions (the white part), the cloud fungus, and then added 1/2 packet of sliced shitake (about 100g).

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

next, was just to prepare the steam oven.

I set it to 16mins. it’s kind of try & error!

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

any how I got it right first time.

16mins delivered the perfect texture-cooked through, firm & not mushy, just right actually.

fish & sauce were delicious. I decided to add 1 more tbsp. light soy sauce to bring out the flavours more.

steamed sea bream fillet with cloud fungus & sliced shitake

then I transferred the fish & all the ingredients to the aluminium container/carrier & sealed with another aluminium foil as the cover.

I derived great pleasure cooking for the teban gardens folk. today the fish very nice, and one of the volunteers tried & commented it was very good.

c.h.e.f andy

Lobster Angel Hair Pasta, Prawn Yeemeen & Panfried Fish Fillet on 5Apr2017

lobster angel hair in pink sauce

lobster angel hair in pink sauce

wife is off with some friends tomorrow to catch sakura in seoul. this evening we had a 5pax family home dinner on 5.4.2017. ^^

I made lobster angel hair pasta.

2 x 350g lobster

I bought some frozen poached lobsters from phoon huat delicassen earlier.

I defrosted 2 lobsters & shelled them. they were between 350g and 375g. actually this part is more hard work. cooking the pasta is easy!

2 x 350g lobster

the shells I used to make stock.

2 x 350g lobster

I kept the tomalley with the shelled lobster tails & pincers.

lobster angel hair in pink sauce

I made the usual pink sauce, using 1/2 bottle (640ml bottle) prego traditional sauce, 1/2 canned whole tomatoes.

first I browned 1 whole bulb of garlic cloves in olive oil. I added 1 cut chilli padi & 12 leaves of thai sweet basil. then I off fire & added the prego sauce & whole tomatoes (cut with scissors). then I added the stock from lobster shell boiled in chicken stock & reduced. the I added 1/2 bottle (150ml) thickened cream.

lobster angel hair in pink sauce

then I added the shelled lobster tails, pincers & tomalley, & off fire so not to overcook the lobster. (before adding lobster meat, as the lobster would have lots of liquid, I drained that to the sauce to reduce).

the key is judging how much to reduce & thicken the sauce, so once lobster is added, no need to reduce further.

lobster angel hair in pink sauce

when ready to serve, I heat up the sauce, made sure lobster was cooked, then off fire, added the angel hair (near al dente) & tossed. then added more basil to garnish.

voila!

lobster pasta was beautiful this evening, taste was excellent. my angel hair though just slightly over, so I have to do more al dente minus next time…

wok-fried medium prawns

I also made a prawn yeemeen.

the yeemeen I made the first time for my wife on valentine’s day 14.2.2017 was the best.

so I wanted to make again for my daughters.

wok-fried medium prawns

for the medium prawns, I seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper.

then I added it to the garlic olive oil I prepared earlier browning garlic, added one cut chilli padi. and panfried over high heat. DO NOT COVER! the shell were slightly charred, the prawn texture just right. this dry frying (no condensation) produces the best result.

prawns yeemeen

then I braised the yeemeen in the thick chicken stock.

again judging how much to reduce to a very tasty stock is the key.

prawns yeemeen

so the yeemeen was moist, well infused with the stock & just nice texture, not mushy, overcooked.

then I topped the yeemeen with the prawns, & garnished with chopped scallions, and coriander.

pan-fried sea bream

the last dish I made was the panfried sea bream in green chilli & spinach sauce.

pan-fried sea bream

I seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, & fried in butter in a non-stick pan over high heat.

pan-fried sea bream

nicely charred, crisp skin.

green chilli spinach veloute

I made the green chilli veloute using 2 green chilli padi, a bunch of cut round spinach (i used 1/3 packe), 1 Japanese small cucumber, 1/2 green pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp. mirin.

pan-fried sea bream in green chilli spinach veloute

the veloute tasted ok but a bit of raw veg taste, not perfect.

next time I will use more green pepper which is very sweet, and maybe not use the spinach.

pan-fried sea bream in green chilli spinach veloute

fish was good.

I didn’t mind the sauce, but it was not the best.

I was trying to recreate the excellent garoupa dish at tunglok signature.

pan-fried sea bream in green chilli spinach veloute

not quite there yet!

pan-fried sea bream in green chilli spinach veloute

it was a very enjoyable meal with family. lobster angel hair was great & everyone liked the prawn yeemeen too. the pan-fried seabream dish not there yet, need to improve on it la..

c.h.e.f andy

Grandma Teochew Braised Fish on 10Mar2017

grandma braised fish

sis bought this fish couple days back, from a market vendor near her place.

we could not recall the name of the fish. it looked like the fish our grandma cooked sometimes like 50yrs ago, but we could not really be sure.

I googled & asked around including with china relatives; & also friends who asked their relatives in china. still could not quite determine which was it? 扁鱼,鲮鱼,鲫鱼…none really quite fit.

I had no clue how to cook the fish. between sis & I, we roughly recall what the finished dish looked like – it’s like a big pot of fish with either salted vegetables or梅菜 mustard vegetables. I don’t recall the fish being deep-fried so likely only braised, and braising not such an usual method to cook fish.

sis & I also recall seeing this dish (in teochew we called “kor her” 柯鱼 which is like braising fish) at joo seng teochew muay stall at havelock road.

interestingly after I created my own recipe & came up with the final dish, I showed it to 2 different teochew friends & rightaway they recognised the dish. one friend remarked – since his father in law passed on, he never get to eat this dish.

stock base – belly pork, onions, chinese cabbage & later sweet mustard vegetable

anyhow I decided that the veg should be 甜梅菜 sweet mustard vegetables.

& I also know a good way of preparing that – of course a lot of washing to remove the sand & salt, then fried in pan with sugar & chicken stock, then steamed in steam oven for 1.5hrs like what I did for my 梅菜扣肉 recipe here.

I decided that the stock base should be yellow onions, chinese cabbage, belly pork, lots of garlic cloves, and of course lots of ginger & I used about 12 dried chilli.

stock base – belly pork, onions, chinese cabbage & later sweet mustard vegetable

I did the dried chilli & onions, garlic, ginger together with the belly pork in oil, fried to soften the onions & get the aroma, then added chinese cabbage & leek, then added vegetable stock, covered & stewed.

grandma braised fish

the fish I cleaned with salt, keeping the scales & not removing the gills. I think this holds up the fish better since I am braising it. if I am deep-frying it first maybe I will remove the scales & grill, not sure.

grandma braised fish – blanched

& I blanched the fish in boiling water. ie boiled the water first, placed the fish inside & boiled for another few minutes. then I removed the fish. this fish was/looked fishy, so I wanted to remove the fishy smell.

grandma braised fish

then I put the fish in the wokpan, brought it to boil. added 3 tbsp light soil sauce, added 4 large dried dates.

grandma braised fish

covered it & braised for 1hr thereabouts.

mui choy 梅菜

for the last 15mins I added the steamed mui choy – dried mustard leaves 梅菜 which was very soft.

grandma braised fish

the braising part is about judging the timing & the liquids. the idea was of course to reduce the liquids so the fish was cooked but holding together not falling apart & the gravy was very tasty & the accompanying vegetables & ingredients were wonderful tasting.

grandma brasied fish

I think I managed that really well la!

the taste of the ingredients & gravy were just superb!

grandma braised fish

the fish itself was not quite my favourite.

it was the kind of fish with lots of bones. but the fish meat was sweet. the cleaning & blanching treatment had removed most of the fishy smell but still a fish I think only Teochew will eat.

another thing, this fish while it looked like the fish my grandma cooked, it didn’t have the unique bell-shape thing that we like to eat in the fish belly, so we still not sure if this was the fish.

grandma braised fish

there were 11 fish. I took 2. sis & bil took 5 between them, so left with 4.

grandma braised fish

I packed the remaining 4 fish with the ingredients for my sis to bring home.

I did not have any interest in this fish actually, but since my sis bought them & brought to may place, so I cooked it. the process though was really quite exciting, and reminiscent of the olden days.

and of course the fish & ingredients came out really well, very tasty. still I not sure if I want to do this again.

c.h.e.f andy

Olive Vegetable Fried Rice – 橄榄菜肉碎芥兰粒炒饭 on 8Mar2017

olive vegetable fried rice – 橄榄菜肉碎芥兰粒炒饭

sis came for lunch & stayed to watch teochew opera on 8.3.2017.

i did some simple dishes for lunch & wife came back to join so we had 3pax lunch.

there were some rice left in the rice cooker from lunch so i told sis i would do a simple fried rice for her to bring back home to eat for dinner.

so i did the olive vegetable fried rice – 橄榄菜肉碎芥兰粒炒饭 with the leftover rice-

  • about 3/4 bowl rice
  • 1 tbsp olive vegetable – 橄榄菜
  • minced pork -maybe about 80g.
  • small diced stem from one brocoli to proxy the kailan stem 芥兰粒
  • 2 eggs

for frying rice, it is quite standard. because there is minced pork, so i started with chopped garlic & minced pork in the wokpan, then added the diced brocoli stems. after that added the rice & last cracked 2 eggs on the side, let it cooked a short while the mixed it into the fried rice. and lastly add the olive vegetable – 橄榄菜.

& that’s done!

pak loh’s olive vegetable fried rice – 橄榄菜肉碎芥兰粒炒饭 – HK$98

we had this <olive vegetable fried rice – 橄榄菜肉碎芥兰粒炒饭 – HK$98>at hong kong’s Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant 百樂潮洲酒家 recently.

though the fried rice was a strategic order, as pak loh is very expensive, nevertheless it was a nice & flavourful dish with very good wok hae, quite good i might say for HK$98!

anyhow first time for me using 橄榄菜 to fry rice, and the result as good as pak loh? almost la i think…

the olive vegetable, 橄榄菜 added just the right amount of saltiness & flavour to the fried rice & the small diced brocoli stems the texture. i guess can use the frozen mixed vegetables also for similar effect.

c.h.e.f andy

Teochew Bittergourd Pork Rib Soup 苦瓜排骨汤 on 7Mar2017

bittergourd pork rib soup 苦瓜排骨汤

another dish i decided to make for the 8pax OPS primary school buddies dinner on 7.3.2017 was bittergourd pork rib soup 苦瓜排骨汤.

claypot bittergourd pork ribs 苦瓜炆排骨 was what we ordered at Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant 百樂潮洲酒家 in hong kong,

during our recent hong kong eat & hike 20-24.2.2017.

it was good & tasty.

steamed pork ribs 2mar2017

for this i prefer to steam pork soft bones, rather than to boil with the bitter gourd soup. it delivers a more tender & smooth, tasty pork ribs.

i use my steamed pork ribs recipe here.

so just 2tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp corn flour & mix well into 250g minced pork & steam for 1hrs 10mins.

bittergourd pork rib soup 苦瓜排骨汤

bittergourd pork rib soup 苦瓜排骨汤

i tried to reduce the bitterness of the bittergourd苦瓜, washing it with salt the day before & changing water several times.

i think more effective just to put into boiling water for few mins. will try that next time.

& additionally i use the intense chicken stock for the soup. so the soup was very tasty.

anyway, my friends all thought the bittergourd pork rib soup 苦瓜排骨汤 was very good.

c.h.e.f andy