Wafu 和风 (Japanese Style) Braised Eggplants – Simply Wonderful!

#5 wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants - this dish was simply excellent!

wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants

japanese is a very wide cuisine like chinese, indian, french, italian (whereas my impression is korean cuisine is quite limited).

in japanese cooking there are so many very nice side dishes and great combination of different dishes even in a simple bento at the railway station.

& in kaiseki they always have many diffferent types of appetizers, steamed, broiled, poached, boiled, stewed, braised, vinegared, cured, stir-fired, grilled, hotpot, really endless array of dishes.

for my recent 9pax japanese course dinner on 28.9.2015, i paired the shabu pork with grated radish & small japanese cucumbers.

& i wanted to pair the wafu (和风) pasta with teriyaki cod & a veg.

after surfing/looking up a bit, i found a simple interesting wafu (和风) braised eggplant recipe from japanesecooking101 here.

following the recipe, i cut 2 egg plants in 1/2, then sliced the egg plants (this to let the sauce infused into the egg plants), then cut in 1/2 again, so i have 8 quarters. i fried them a bit, turned over, then added 1 cup dashi (i used chicken/vegetable stock), 1 tbsp tsuyu, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake (basically to taste) & reduced & set aside. when serving i reduced a little further while warming up & served. 🙂

wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants

wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants

the wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants was simply excellent! this the first time i did a japanese braised eggplant. it’s so easy & the taste was just fantastic!^^

egg plant is really a very nice veg. you can do it in so many ways.

i had very nice eggplants with minced pork in hong kong at 富记大排档 at tai wai, and i recreated the minced pork egg plant dish at home,

and later a vegetarian version of the egg plant dish. 🙂

& i still want to do the chinese version though (i like the ye shanghai one very much). don’t think much difference, probably just use oysters sauce instead.

a wonderful, most satisfying dish! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Cook Vegetarian – Steamed Eggplant with Peas & Onion sauce

#6 steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

my sis & i had a nice daipaidong 大排档 dinner at 富记大排档tai wai in hong kong recently where they served an entire steamed eggplant in minced meat & onion sauce.

i later recreated this at home & made a much better tasting whole eggplant with meat onion sauce by adding oyster sauce to balance off the tomato sauce.

#6 steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

i washed & steamed the whole eggplant first, about 10mins.

for the vegetarian take, i cannot use oyster sauce so only light soy sauce + tsuyu sauce, and i replaced the minced meat with frozen peas i bought from sheng shiong. ^^

the key to this dish is the texture of the eggplant, which has to be just cooked & not mushy. i cut it with kitchen sears (scissors) & if it were mushy it would not hold up. 🙂

the pea onions sauce with corn flour was pretty tasty too.

#6 steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

i served it at a recent 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8pax for my niece’s birthday. everyone liked it.

the presentation can certainly be improved, haha! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Whole Eggplant with Minced Meat Onion Sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i first came across this interesting preparation at 富记大排档tai wai in hong kong.

eggplant with minced pork (1 look) HK$68

富记大排档’s eggplant with minced pork (1 look) HK$68

it was an impressive presentation.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i washed & steamed the whole eggplant first, about 10mins.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i used about 120g minced pork and cut 1 small red onion & 1/2 large tomato.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce3

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

when serving, i browned some garlic in 1tbsp oil, added onions & minced pork then tomato, mixed 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, 1tsp fish sauce (to taste) & 1 tsp cornflour in 2/3 cup water. i added to the pan & reduced. then i drenched them over the steamed whole egg plant.

this really an excellent dish!^^ eggplant was firm not mushy yet sweet & tender when cut, & combined perfectly with the sauce.

i basically had the inspiration & was recreating the dish from 富记大排档tai wai.

but seriously i think my dish tasted much better. 富记’s meat sauce was purely tomato sauce. by adding oyster sauce, the taste was very much better, at least for my palate haha!^^

c.h.e.f andy

10-course Homecooked Vegetarian Dinner for 8pax on 17Aug2015

made a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8pax on 17.8.2015. ^^

it was a belated birthday for my niece who is a buddhist & vegetarian. it’s also the first time i planned & executed vegetarian dishes. 🙂

my niece & her husband are ovo-lacto vegetarians, which means they can take eggs & dairy products like milk, butter & cheese. they are also not strict vegetarians, but they will abstain & avoid meats if they can, and take only the vegetables if it comes with the meat. i like the practical, unassuming, unimposing approach.

but i wanted to do a all-vegtarian course dinner for them. for me that was quite exciting & fun to do. 🙂

for me, my interest was not about mock meats or fusion, just to make something that taste good & look good. & if they are not the usual run-of-the-mill chinese stir-fried vegetables and incorporates some non-chinese styles or good matching of taste, texture or presentation, then so much the better! 🙂

#1 first course was a spanish omelette. it’s a really simple dish.  just 2 eggs, 1.5 sliced large potatoes & 1/2 sliced yellow onions. the ingredients were already vegetarian. i just have to light soy sauce instead of fish sauce for the egg. this dish is also perfect as a tapas, a small bite, for a multi-course meal, so quite nicely each had a good slice of omelette.

#2 wife’s quinoa pumpkin tofu salad is always a great accompaniment for my dinners. the pumpkin & tofu with rockets made a very good salad on its own (wife made this after a lunch at marmalade some years back), and addition of quinoa gave it more texture & some savoury touch. 🙂

#3 shallow fried silken tofu in spinach veloute.

i created this dish (flamed squid in spinach veloute) from looking at a photo (w/o the chance to taste the dish) at porthminster cafe at st ives in cornwall, england. it was an excellent dish & i served it at 12-course dinner for 12pax 2 weeks ago.

this time for vegetarian dish i replaced the squid by a shallow fried silken tofu, so that the texture was crispy outside & soft inside. not a flamed (torched) squid but still very nice! 🙂

#4 for soup, i made a cream of carrot soup. this was tasty & smooth & very popular & everyone had a second helping & finished all the soup.

i used 1.5 large carrots, but also 1 red pepper, 1 stalk leek, 1 small yellow onions & vegetable stock which i prepared the night before. & about 4 tablespoon of cream. its a similar recipe for all my creamy soup.

#5 this the first time i attempted spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini pasta). we first tried this in fresco & cummino in milan & this was 1 of the best vegetarian pasta i had, though i like funghi pasta equally. 🙂

i followed an internet recipe, & blended 1/2 yellow zucchini with some onions after softening them in olive oil. i added some butter when tossing the pasta to give it more body.

it was a very good pasta, al dente & tasty. everyone liked it. son said more parmesan shavings would be good. i think overall it can be improved. for now i would prefer my fungi pasta over this, maybe just slightly.

#6 steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

my sis & i had a nice daipaidong 大排档 dinner at 富记大排档tai wai where they served an entire steamed eggplant in minced meat & onion sauce. i had recreated this & made a much better tasting one by adding oyster sauce to balance off the tomato sauce.

for the vegetarian take, i cannot use oyster sauce so only light soy sauce + tsuyu sauce, and i replaced the minced meat with frozen peas i bought from sheng shiong.

the presentation can be improved. the key to this dish is the texture of the eggplant, which has to be just cooked & not mushy. i cut it with kitchen sears (scissors) & if it were mushy it would not hold up. 🙂 the pea onions sauce with corn flour was pretty tasty too.

#7 the egg fried rice was basic, no “wow” dish, but it was good accompaniment for the last 3 dishes – steamed egg plant, thai red curry & the brocoli with cauliflower.

it had good “wok hae”, individually rice grains “tioc tioc” we say in teochew, quite good la. 🙂

#8 the thai red curry vegetables was a variation of my thai red curry sotong (squid) which i served for the 30+pax lunch party for my daughter last month.

i just replaced the sotong by vegetables. i had potato, egg plant, onions, yellow pepper, tomato. for me, a non vegetarian, it was no comparison with the red curry sotong of course but still an excellenty flavoured curry dish.

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 the 3rd dish to be eaten with the egg fried rice was brocoli with cauliflower. i actually asked if the guys wanted eat or they were full..haha! ^^

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

my wife, daughter, everyone wanted it. my son said there is no discussion. 🙂

#10 i made a banoffee (banana toffee) cake for dessert. we have been having tiramisu & tofu cheese cake so i wanted a change from usual.

it was a really nice cake. a great combination of flavours – very nice biscuit base, a thin tasty layer of caramel so not too sweet & nice whipped cream topped with chocolate shavings.

D-24 durian...also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

D-24 durian…also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

and we had D-24 & maoshanwang 猫山王 durians!

D-24 durian...also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

D-24 durian…also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

an excellent finish to the 10-course vegetarian dinner. i forgot to take photos of the maoshanwang durians though. ate too fast! haha! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Homecooked Zi Char Daipaidong Dishes 郭记大排档美食 (Just Kidding!)

郭记大排档美食 homecooked zi char dishes

郭记大排档美食 homecooked zi char dishes

made a 4pax homecooked zi char dinner for my sis, b-i-l & daughter last evening on 7.7.2015.^^ was back home at 6pm & 5 dishes all done in an hour. dinner ready by 7pm. 🙂

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i washed & steamed the whole eggplant first, about 10mins.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i portioned about 350g minced pork for the 3 dishes – steamed egg, steamed salted fish minced pork & eggplant. and cut 1 small red onion & 1/2 large tomato.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

when serving, i browned some garlic in 1tbsp oil, added onions & minced pork then tomato, mixed 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, 1tsp fish sauce (to taste) & 1 tsp cornflour in 2/3 cup water. i added to the pan & reduced. then i drenched them over the steamed whole egg plant.

this really an excellent dish!^^ eggplant was firm not mushy yet sweet & tender when cut, & combined perfectly with the sauce.

i basically had the inspiration & was recreating the dish from 富记大排档tai wai.

but seriously i think my dish tasted much better. 富记’s meat sauce was purely tomato sauce. by adding oyster sauce, the taste was very much better, at least for my palate haha!^^

i ran out of salted fish so asked sis to buy some on the way. sky time salted fish 250g sky time salted fish 250g2 she got me sky time salted fish which was a lot better than the one i recently used. the flavours were fragrant & you can feel it while steaming & at the table (the reason some may hate salted fish..haha!) there were about 7-8pieces in the 250g bottle which cost S$4.90. 🙂

i used 1 slice, removed the larger bones & did a very small portion about 180g minced pork, & cut lots of slice ginger, some mixed in the minced pork, rest on top, and added about 2tsp of the salted fish oil & 1 tbsp veg oil. steamed for 10mins. this dish was excellent. most comfort of comfort food. i like my own version 咸鱼饼 as much as that of shi le yuan 实叻圆糜, which i also like a lot.^^

i mixed 2 eggs, aded 2 tsp fish sauce & some white pepper. then mixed the remaining about 120g minced pork with chopped large red chilli & spring onions, and added 2tsp fish sauce. i should have added 2 tbsp water but forgot that this evening. steamed for 10mins.

the egg was still very nice & tasty, but the texture would have been better with some water. the best steamed egg with minced pork i did is here 

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

i bought a small mullet 乌鱼from sheng shiong for S$4 (S$8.90/kg). i placed some cut ginger in the belly & steamed for 15mins. then cool & place in the freezer for 15mins.

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

the teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷 taken with tau jeon was as good as any outside. a thing i observe (a bit of personal preference also) is do not ask the seller to clean the fish. all the livers & delicacies were gone! for my preference also not to ask even to remove the scale (if need be just remove the gills). for me i can remove the gills & clean the fish stomach myself & i feel that keeping the scale is better especially when serving the mullet chilled. then the skin will come off easily together with the scales. otherwise the skin is difficult to break with chopstick & the meat will be meshed uo when eating.

egg fried rice

egg fried rice

& i had some egg fried rice, very firm individual grains coated with egg. ^^ c.h.e.f andy

Royal Park Hotel at Shatin & Shatin Park 2-6Jun2015

royal park hotel at shatin

royal park hotel at shatin

i chose royal park on  a balance of cost & convenience.

also, i had been to hong kong so many times but always stayed at pacific place hotels when on business decades ago & at tsimshatsui with family. can’t really know hong kong that way. afterall, the overwhelming consideration is still to have a relaxing fun break so i would generally not go out of the way & incur great inconvenience to do something. if stayed at tsimshatsui every time, then most likely will always be moving around there & central & causeway bay.

still, i checked out our usual hotel, kowloon hotel at tsimshatsui. it’s really very convenient location. the price was HK$800/night a night weekdays & HK$1000/night fridays, saturdays. so for 4nights HK$3400+.

for royal park hotel, it was some strange breakdown averaged HK$754, and totalled HK$3017+.

for comparison & other considerations-

1. royal park has large 30m2 rooms whereas kowloon hotel’s rooms are 20m2

2. i can take airport bus A41 direct to royal park hotel, just 2 stops, 50mins & HK$22.3, whereas for kowloon hotel it is by airport express to kowloon station HK$90 single HK$160 return, then free airport bus to kowloon hotel, about 4th or 5th stop

3. for this trip i was not going to ngong ping 360 to take the cable car see the big buddha, but when having plans to visit lautau island including hong kong disneyland, shatin very convenient by bus.

4. my sis is buddhist, and 10,000 buddha monastery is right at shatin.

royal park hotel at shatin

royal park hotel at shatin

we were happy with the room -big, bright & airy.

royal park hotel toilet

royal park hotel toilet

toilet was pretty ok too!

the other very satisfying things for me during this trip-

1. went to keung kee chicken porridge 强记鸡粥 which is at tai wei, just 1 stop from shatin

2. explore & found 富记大排档tai wai, which is also at tai wei.

3. explore & found chan kun kee 陈根记大排档, located at wo che estate, about 20mins walk from royal park hotel via the esplanade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河.

4. on the last day before departure, explore & found shing kee noodles at lek yuen sstate market, about 10mins from royal park hotel via covered walkway.

connecting area to shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

connecting area to shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

on 4.6.2015, we decided to take a walk along the esplanade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河.

shatin public library

shatin public library

after exiting the hotel from the bar area at the lobby level, we walked along the connecting area to shatin park. the shatin public area was on our left.

across river view from shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

across river view from shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

hong kong is densely populated. across the river is another estate.

bridge at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

bridge at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

bridge at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

bridge at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

we took some photos of the bridge.

promenade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

promenade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

promenade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

promenade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

promenade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

promenade at shatin park 沙田公园by the river 城门河

and walked along the esplanade.

there were many joggers & cyclists traversing the riverside promenade.

for me, shatin is quite suited for my hong kong trip as a base. tsimshatsui, central & causeway bay areas i can always go when already out for visits in the day, e.g. when traveling to the islands.

this trip, i have found several new daipaidongs & took dim sums at 4 different restaurants. for next trip, i can also explore from base at shatin or research a bit to see which other location & hotel may be more convenient.

c.h.e.f andy

Shing Kee Noodles, Lek Yuen Estate, Shatin & Congee Lunch at Tak Hin德兴粥面on 6Jun2015

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

we were checkin out at 1pm on 6.6.2015. that was the latest royal park hotel allowed. after that it was HK$110/hr. we planned to take A41 to airport round about 5pm so had some time to kill. i had earlier checked out shing kee noodles on internet. it sounded like an interesting place & had like 100% good reviews. it is quite a go to place for hotpot dinners in the evening but for lunch there are noodles & also set lunches with fish & minced pork dishes.

way to Shing Kee Noodles

way to Shing Kee Noodles

we had dimsum at taoheung pier 88 稻香超級漁港 in mong kok earlier so was not particularly hungry. still, not sure how far was shing kee noodles so might as well start walking. good thing about hong kong is that many buildings are connected by covered walkways. good when raining of course but even for the very hot sun. ^^ just like my adventure thrill (trail) to富记大排档 tai wai, i followed the google map. we walked over the overhead bridge linkway to lek yuen estate.

way to Shing Kee Noodles

way to Shing Kee Noodles

parknshop superstore was at the right of the entrance to the overhead bridge.

way to Shing Kee Noodles

way to Shing Kee Noodles

looking down from the covered walkway, i saw a block. we later walked further & asked around before finding the restaurant shing kee noodles at the basement of the block. 🙂

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

the place was quite chic really, like a cool cafe place in singapore like carpenters & cook, or like aeiou.

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

haha, it’s a mental switch, can’t really associate it with a beef brisket or hotpot restaurant. 🙂

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

Shing Kee Noodles Shop 5, Lek Yuen Estate Market, Sha Tin

unfortunately for us, there were 4 rice sets with different fish including a veg & soup for HK$37, but all were sold out (it was about 2pm). we were not planning to have beef brisket noodles & the other rice sets were all steamed minced pork蒸肉饼 so we decided to bail out.

tuk hing porridge & noodles

tak hing congee & noodles

we returned to tak hing 德兴粥面店, which we past on the way to shing kee noodles.

chicken innards porride 鸡杂粥

chicken innards congee 鸡杂粥

the braises including braised goose were only served in the evening from 5pm.

chicken innards porride 鸡杂粥

chicken innards congee 鸡杂粥

we had to settle for the congee. i had the chicken innards congee 鸡杂粥. it was so good! congee was very sweet & great. & the chicken innards were great too.

chicken innards porride 鸡杂粥

chicken innards congee 鸡杂粥

sis had a 艇仔粥. did not take photo, but it was very good too. & both were HK$24!^^

一田 yata supermart

一田 yata supermart

after 德兴粥面店, we walked back to newtown plaza adjacent to royal park hotel.

dried oysters HK$168:斤 (600g)= S$50:kg

dried oysters HK$168:斤 (600g)= S$50:kg

we walked round 一田 yata supermart. there was a promo – dried oysters HK$168:斤 (600g)= S$50/kg. the promo price was same as those i saw at the provision shop on the way to shing kee noodle.

turbot HK$118 at supermarket

turbot HK$118 at supermarket

also saw a raw turbot for HK$118 at supermarket. we had a steamed turbot last evening from 富记大排档tai wai for just HK$98! ^^ this hong kong trip was immensely enjoyable & successful as we got to see cheung chau island (including the very beautiful shorelines from the mini great wall) and lamma island, and the 10,000 buddha monastery.we had 4 dimsum lunches, and lots of exciting daipaidong food at newfound places. & it didn’t rain. about the only negative point was the scorching sun.

c.h.e.f andy