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..

 

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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.

 

 

(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…

 

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!

 

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