Just Superb Roast London Duck @ Tunglok Signature Orchard Parade on 9mar2016

roast london duck - S$30

roast london duck – S$30

went with wife to tunglok signature @ orchard parade last evening on 9.3.2016. ^^

my favoruite restaurant but not been there for a while.

last time i had an excellent meal here was on 4.8.2015.

we ordered a scottish razor clam each. unfortunately server came back to say they served the last to some diners in the room.

蒜泥白肉 - S$8

蒜泥白肉 – S$8

i ordered a 蒜泥白肉 & the salted egg & wasabi prawns to replace.

this 蒜泥白肉 looked nice but was mediocre this time. sliced pork was quite plain & sauce was heavy, i scrapped away most of it.

i think my own 蒜泥白肉is  taste-wise much better than this, though looks need to improve.

roast london duck - S$30

roast london duck – S$30

the roast london duck was simply incredible!

so tasty & flavourful from the fat & the skin very crisp.

overall it was even better than the excellent duck we had 2 days ago at ya wang 鸭皇 at sentosa in JB! so good it was!

roast london duck - S$30

roast london duck – S$30

but of course the duck itself was different, this a smaller duck from ireland. S$30 should be the going price in the good restaurants except here we have the 50% palate discounts for 2pax so, only S$15++

the meat was very tender & juicy.

salted egg & wasabi prawns - S$10

salted egg & wasabi prawns – S$10

the salted egg & wasabi prawns were between mediocre & competent.

salted egg & wasabi prawns - S$10

salted egg & wasabi prawns – S$10

in fact, the nicest was the tomatoes.

not that it was really no good, but it was more ordinary than ordinary. some zi char restaurants do better la! 🙂

string beans 四季豆 -S$18

string beans 四季豆 -S$18

the string beans though was very good. crunchy, fresh, sweet. 🙂

special zha jiang mian炸酱面-S$9.80

special zha jiang mian炸酱面-S$9.80

the zha jiang mian炸酱面 was more like a bakchormee, and it was pretty good too.

special zha jiang mian炸酱面-S$9.80

special zha jiang mian炸酱面-S$9.80

not my ideal noodle dish to order in a restaurant, but in fact equal or better than many.

& good ingredients too, scallops & prawns & loads of minced pork. chilli sauce was also good.

雪中情怀

雪中情怀

the dessert 雪中情怀 was my perennial favourite.

雪中情怀

雪中情怀

really enjoyed it, very refreshing. a lot of pomelo inside & of course mango.

altogether a very enjoyable dinner. after palate discounts dinner came to S$59 all-in for 2pax. yes! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

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Shiok as Before 2pax Dinner @ Tunglok Signature on 4Aug2015

steamed razor clams with tanhoon

S$12.80 steamed razor clams with tanhoon

had not been to tunglok signature at orchard parade for a while. last was in sep2014.

was deciding where to eat out for dinner. we had japanese recently at kuriya dining, and tomorrow i am cooking 12pax dinner at home which is mostly western/italian.

so we went to tunglok signature at orchard parade hotel for dinner this evening on 4.8.2015.

for me, the food never dissappoints, just as shiok as ever.

tunglok signature orchard parade hotel

tunglok signature orchard parade hotel

don’t think other diners share my views though. the place had just few tables, quite empty.

garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

S$8 garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

we ordered the garlic pork 蒜泥白肉.

garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

S$8 garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

it was good. i liked it & would order it again, but honestly it was not better than my own garlic pork 蒜泥白肉 though the style was quite different. i like my spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉 more in terms of the flavours & tenderness of my belly pork but this here was good & looked very nice too.

lie tong 例汤

S$16 lie tong 例汤

we had the  lie tong 例汤.

lie tong 例汤

S$ 16 lie tong 例汤

it was really good! ^^

my helper made very good lie tong 例汤 at home quite often, so this had to be really good to impress us. they had old cucumber & dried cuttlefish & pork softbones soup base. it was really tasty! 🙂

lie tong 例汤 ingredients

lie tong 例汤 ingredients

we ate up the 3 large pieces of pork softbones before remembering to take photo.

steamed razor clams with tanhoon

S$12.80 steamed razor clams with tanhoon

the  steamed razor clams with tanhoon was really good too. this was as good as the ones we often had previously at ah yat grandstand & very less frequently at jumbo and long beach at dempsey.

steamed razor clams with tanhoon

steamed razor clams with tanhoon

top restaurant standards & very much better than the ones we had at the daipaidongs 大排档 in hong kong.

garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs 百合

S$42 garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs 百合

we ordered the garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs 百合.

garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs 百合

garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs 百合

this was excellent too.

wok hae was very good. the garoupa fillet & vegetables – brocoli & lily bulbs 百合- were very well done.

i can definitely do this dish at home, maybe i will start with a vegetarian one for my niece’s coming brthday. 🙂

lobster noodles

S$28 lobster noodles

i was looking forward to the lobster noodles.

lobster noodles

S$28 lobster noodles

it was still good, but a far cry from the lobster noodles we had here previously(just looked at the previous photos here), or at any good restaurants eg xin restaurant.

just look at the old photos of the “real” loster noodles. that’s how it should look like!

dessert 雪中情怀

S$8 dessert 雪中情怀

& i always like the dessert 雪中情怀.

dessert 雪中情怀

dessert 雪中情怀

it did not dissappoint. really excellent, the combination of fresh coconut, mango, grapefruit, vanilla & coconut ice cream was super!

i take this everytime!^^

with 50% for 2pax amex palate discounts the food came to S$100nett for 2pax & we got free parking as well.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI Reunion Committee & Friends 19pax Homecooked Dinner Get-together on 24Apr2015

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Wonderful Memorable Homecooked 19pax Dinner Get-together on 24Apr2015

had a most wonderful & memorable homecooked dinner get-together on 24apr2015.

a most fun part was the interactivity & excitement with several friends bringing their dishes, from morocan salmon, hummus, biscotti, konnyaku to tofu cheese cake & ma hua 麻花 airflow from tianjin.^^

a friend even set up a separate whatsapp chat (so as not to bore the rest of dinner friends with cooking talk). 🙂

it was just wonderful. excluding bread, humus, ma hua, fruits, konnyaku, biscotti, we had 14 dishes (12+2 desserts). 🙂

bread, hummus, carrot sticks

bread, hummus, carrot sticks

because a friend was bringing hummus, that motivated me to do a onion sunflower seed bread. i didn’t realise i had walnut (was searching for it) for walnut bread, so settled with sunflower seeds.^^

onion sunflower seed bread

onion sunflower seed bread

the laughable thing was after looking at several online recipes i decided hack just used the ariston oven bread function & recipe. of course i tried the recipe once. dough was too sticky & too much salt & i added too much browned onions.

for the actual day, the bread was quite perfect. all the friends like it. crisp not hard outside & fluffy well-risen inside. for the recipe, i used 600g plain flour, 3 packets yeast (33g) dissolved in 1 cup (240ml) warm water, & 1 tsp salt. 🙂

carrot sticks

carrot sticks

leck san's chickpea+avocado hummus leck san's chickpea hummus

my friend made excellent chickpea hummus, and the green coloured one she added avocado. i think it was new to her too, so there was a lot of fun doing this dinner for all our good RI friends.

ma hua - 天津麻花

ma hua – 天津麻花

a friend was with her students in tianjin for some exchange programs & brought back ma hua 麻花. i finished them the next day, pretty good, not sickeningly sweet like the malaysian ones.

pumpkin tofu

#1 pumpkin tofu

pumpkin tofu rockets salad

#1 – pumpkin tofu rockets salad

#1 my wife made a pumpkin tofu salad. this a wonderful salad she made after some lunch at marmalade.^^

#2 i have made tagliata di manzo (sliced beef) many times. it is a common italian dish. i had it at capri, and many time at fresco & cimmino at milan.^^

the angus ribeye was pan-grilled, charred to produce the maillard reaction to impart the flavours & nicely medium rare. 🙂

#3 teriyaki cod was excellent this evening, many commented melt in the mouth goodness.^^

i used my own teriyaki sauce recipe, this time adding 1 tsp of miso. miso cures the cod & give a firmer, less flaky texture.

friend's morocan baked salmon

#4 friend’s morocan baked salmon

Mahen's morocan baked salmon Mahen's morocan baked salmon4 Mahen's morocan baked salmon2 Mahen's condiments - lemon and Chinese chives.

#4 a friend made a very nice morocan baked salmon with pistachios & ritz biscuits, and condiments of chives & lemon. it was also his first time. for me, this was a lot of fun & buzz.^^

#5 i made a chilli crab capellini (angel hair pasta). i had the sauce made the day before, taste was not ideal & i made some adjustments on the day. it turned out quite perfect, an excellent chilli crab sauce & after pasta & prawns were added, the capellini soaked up the flavours remarkably & was very well infused with the shellfish flavours (from prawn heads & shells, and w/o crab). 🙂

& very important pasta was al dente!

#6 i made an excellent very tasty squid ink sauce & a friend came to the kitchen to help out & tasted the sauce. it was superb with a nice chilli padi spike.

unfortunately, after adding linguine, sauce looked low & i made the cardinal mistake of adding some water. did a rescue by removing the pasta & ingredients (so as not to overcook) & reducing the sauce. still when plating though sauce was sufficiently dark colour & slight creamy producing good texture feel on pasta, the top less coated linguine looked off in colour.

fortunately taste wise it was very good. i guess could have been better.

#7 i think my 白斩鸡 – poached chicken was very near perfect, certainly better than most chicken rice out there!

& today i made an excellent chicken rice. as a friend commented, he could smell the very fragrant rice as it was brought to the table!

i browned some shallots in chicken fat (this was a key) & added cut ginger. the other key was a very intense chicken bone soup for cooking the rice. the soup came from making the chicken & adding the bones after i deboned the chicken & boiled for >2hrs.

& i made the chilli sauce & ginger sauce that everyone loved.

Leck San's acahr Leck San's achar2

a friend brought excellent achar, just the right appetising condiments for the chicken rice.

jap miso salmon

#8 jap miso salmon

#8 the jap miso salmon was done like the japanese bento style.

i didn’t have the recipe so experimented myself. i marinated with miso etc & dried it in the fridge for 2 days then 3hrs at 55degC to dry it further. after that it was 15mins in foil+10mins open in tabletop electric oven at 250degC.

i would say result was almost same as the bento salmon & those we brought back from japan. it was best served on japanese rice don with tamago but will do for the chicken rice.

spicy pork ribs

#9 spicy pork ribs

my helper’s spicy pork ribs was also a perennial favourite. 🙂

#10 蒜泥白肉 was a favourite for many. very tender melt in the mouth belly pork (about 5 hrs on crockpot at low fully immersed) & flavourful sichuan chilli sauce.

#11 dry wok prawns was 1 of my standard dish. this time though i did not dry the prawns enough before adding to the wok so it became a bit wet. prawns was fresh & sweet but the charred bbq flavours were missing. some hits & some misses.

romaine lettuce

#12 romaine lettuce

#12 & my helper’s romaine lettuce, complemented the pumpkin salad & good counterpoint to the meat dishes.

#13 a friend brought a tofu cheese cake. i took the cake & taste was pretty good. unfortunately the gelatine he used seemed to be weaker concentration than the ones i got from phono huat. so though he used the same recipe, the cake did not hold. it was a waste really for the effort but i guess doing it was a fun thing we all shared.^^

$14 i did my usual tiramisu & i added quite a good dose of brandy which my friends love. it was good as usual.

friend's jackfruit

friend’s jackfruit

friend's grapes

friend’s grapes

2 friends brought jackfruit & grapes to round off the dinner.

friend's konnyaku

friend’s konnyaku

friend's biscotti

friend’s biscotti

the friend who brought hummus also did 2 very nice petite fours – a konnyaku jelly & biscotti.

it was an evening of fellowship & sharing, a lot of fun, catching up & sharing good food together.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: 12-course Homecooked Buffet Dinner for RI Reunion Committee & Friends on 6Feb2015

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12-course Homecooked Buffet Dinner for RI Reunion Committee & Friends on 6Feb2015

a friend brought shepherd's pie

a friend brought shepherd’s pie

had a homecooked dinner for 22pax RI friends on 6.2.2015. 🙂

these group of friends were mostly of the committee that organised the recent RI reunion dinner on 22.12.2014 attended by 118 old schoolmates & 10 teachers. well done people!^^

i prepared 12 dishes including 2 desserts. & a friend brought shepherd’s pie & another brought cookies.

shepherd’s pie was very good. my daughter had some from the little leftover the next day & she thought the potatoes were moist & soft & the beef flavour was good.

maybe i should try making this too. shepherd’s pie is a great party food.

#1 thai prawn tanhoon

#1 thai prawn tanhoon

#1 my helper’s thai prawn tanhoon is usually a very appetising dish, spicy, tangy, tasty. this evening though it seemed to be a bit dry. about 1/4 was leftover (where usually it is finished). a friend (who comes for dinner regularly) later told me that some parts the taste was not quite the usual he had. not sure why, maybe the quantity was too much for the wok & the tanhoon was not mixed consistently.

#2 i did a Nobu miso cod.  it can be pre cooked & served cold, and the miso firmed up the flaky texture of cod so it is easier to cut into small serving pieces.^^

#3 i did my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this is easy to prepare dish. on this day though, i was dreaming & removed the chicken after 10mins boiling (w/o poaching it for another 20mins) & placed in ice water. though i recovered by poaching it again for longer 25mins, the temperature change caused the parts near the bones to be red/pink when i deboned it later. so i had to poach the cut pieces another time. sian! haha!

i asked several friends afterwards & they all thought the chicken was alright (& well finished), i guess it was quite ok but the moist, glistening look (like the duck had in photos below) was gone & the meat would be less tasty.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy poached duck was a replacement dish (i went 3 times to get salmon belly for miso salmon but they were unavailable). this nanjing 盐水鸭 is a 风味鸭, a bit more exotic flavours with sichuan peppercorn chillies.

it is 1 of my favourites as it has less strong flavours c/w teochew braised duck 卤鸭 & is often served as a starter in taiwanese restaurants & in shanghai, nanjing etc, the 江南region.

#5 蒜泥白肉 spicy garlic pork had been a crowd favourite in my dinners (when i served chinese food). it was easy to make as i adapted the pot roast method (cold crockpot on low slow gentle braising). so i just needed to place the belly pork in a cold crockpot with water (added salt & sugar for brining) on low for 5hrs to temperature 79degC.^^

the only thing left to do was just to prepare the spicy sichuan sauce to drizzle over the pork & japanese cucumbers.

spicy pork ribs

#6 spicy pork ribs

#6 my helper makes a very good spicy pork ribs, so that is a staple in my chinese dinners. one friend repeatedly proclaimed how much he liked the dish.^^

#7 my dry wok prawns combined pan-grilled bbq flavours with a baked-in-shell moist texture + the nice flavours of chilli padi & fish sauce infused under high wok temperature. always a popular dish.

sambal seabass

#8 sambal seabass

#8 my helper’s sambal seabass, another bedrock of my chinese dinners, was almost cleaned up before my “professional photographers” had time to train their cameras.^^

#9 the spicy seafood fried rice was modelled after crystal jade lamian xialongbao’s. unable to match that, but it was pretty good with bismati long grain rice & nice sichuan peppercorn chilli flavours.

poached romaine lettuce with shitake

#10 poached romaine lettuce with shitake

#10 my helper’s poached romaine lettuce with shitake is also a regular in my chinese dinners (usually she uses hk kailan but this time it was romaine lettuce just as good).^^

#11 everyone fell in love with the tofu cheese cake. maybe the trick was just to cut an ultra thin slice, so everyone thought it was so good & clamouring to have more. a friend had 3 helpings.^^

#12 one friend had a photo with him holding up the emptied tiramisu dish & biting the serving spoon (like nadal biting his grand slam champions trophy). i think tiramisu was just as well received but tofu cheesecake was a bit less common so everyone was intrigued by it.^^

cookies instructions

cookies instructions

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought very nice cookies – almond, shortbread & mamor.

now i am thinking of trying almond & shortbread. mamor looked too exquisite & too high effort-to-results ratio for lazy & utilitarian me. told her if i want it, i will just invite her. haha!

another friend brought 6 bottles of wine & another the whole ice box with water & softdrinks.

there was also grapes. another friend packed a fruit basket for me so we were eating custard apples, mangosteens, chiku, guava, mango etc for the next several days.

& a friend brought some seaweed & almond biscuits.^^

it was really a fun, enjoyable & most satisfying get-together.

c.h.e.f andy

Fun 14pax RI Friends & Spouses Homecooked Dinner on 18Dec2014

invited my regular group of RI friends (this time with spouses) for a homecooked dinner on 18.12.2014.  we had 14pax = 5 couples + 4 guys. 🙂

i prepared mostly pre-cooked food that could be served buffet style, so we could all sit down & enjoy the food & conversation together. 🙂

planning was important. i intended several items which i cooked/made final preparations only when all the guests arrived – tagliata di manzo (angus striploin steak), dry wok prawns, pumpkin salad, fried rice.

in the end timing was quite well managed for dry wok prawns & fried rice. for the salad & the rockets/cherry tomatoes bed for tagliata di manzo, they were done too early & the rockets were soggy (unlike my recent lunch which the pumpkin salad & the rocket bed for tagliata di manzo were quite perfect).

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

#1 my wife’s pumpkin tofu salad was an excellent dish when i served during the recent lunch.

this time it was a bit lacklustre. seasoning with sea salt, olive oil & balsamic were done too early. somehow pumpkin was not as sweet.

#2 beer can chicken was good as usual – tender, moist, tasty. 🙂

#3 oven grilled miso salmon belly had been a favourite with my family (& friends also during recent lunches), and again a favourite this evening. 🙂

#4 teriyaki cod was good as cod goes. i made it very much less sweet & healthier (no sugar only mirin this time).

#5 the 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder chop was ok, very tender, with strong lamb flavours nicely masked by miso.

#6 tagliata di manzo (using angus striploin). the bed of rockets & cherry tomatoes were mixed too early so a bit soggy.

steak was medium rare & flavourful, but i was slightly distracted & the charring was somewhat insufficient to produce good enough mallard reaction. also the angus striploin, unlike ribeye, had a bit of tendon, not so ideal.

#7 spicy belly pork 蒜泥白肉 was simply wonderful. it was slow-braised using cold crockpot on low almost 6 hrs to 79degC. belly was very tender & the sichuan 麻辣 chilli mix was excellent. 🙂

#8 my dry wok prawns is of consistent good standard, charred & flavourful, taste of chilli padi & fish sauce.

#9 my spicy seafood fried rice will never get to crystal jade standard, but it is also consistently good, nice wok hae & flavours with lots of prawns & squid.

#10 stir-fried romaine lettuce

#10 stir-fried romaine lettuce

my helper cooked the romaine lettuce, one of our favourite vegetable dish.

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

a friend brought a #11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake.

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

it was a lovely 2-layer vanilla cake with banana in between & covered with chocolate ganache – a really standout first attempt by him! 🙂

#12 my no-bake tiramisu is now another crowd favourite. it was 1 of the easiest dessert to make.

healthy peanut candy

#13 healthy peanut candy

a friend brought a #13 healthy peanut candy (held together by maltose instead of unhealthy sugar), it was nice.

i had a #14 pumpkin cheese cake on standby. i sensed that the friends wanted to try, so it was served & we managed to finish 1/2 the cake. it was ok but not as good as the pumpkin cheese cake we had for our recent lunch which was really good.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Fun & Satisfying Homecooked 13-course Dinner for 15pax on 3Oct2014

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Fun & Satisfying Homecooked 13-course Dinner for 15pax on 3Oct2014

had a very s  satisfying homecooked dinner last evening on 3.10.2014. 🙂

while i really enjoy cooking for my family & friends even if there is considerable effort (& a close friend said exactly what it felt like – he really enjoyed it so he did not see it as effort), the point is how to plan the dishes & keep improving to manage the dinner smoothly & achieve best results with least effort. this is also part of the fun. 🙂

i decided to follow a friend’s lead to serve all dishes pre-cooked or served at the start buffet style instead of course by course (i enjoyed the delicious food at 4 of his makan sessions, most recently at a scrumptious homechef mooncake dinner on 8.9.2014).

it is quite important actually not to be disrupted from dinner conversation even though going into the kitchen to cook every course does have its own satisfaction. 🙂 i may even try that for my monterosso seafood risotto, lobster pasta. for king prawn ramen in golden sauce etc which are best served in individual portions, it seems best still to serve them course by course. so i do those for smaller sit down dinners. 🙂

#1 poached chicken

#1 poached chicken

#1 poached chicken – i brined in sugar & salt for 48hrs which made it tasty & moist & then 10mins simmered & 20-25mins poached, then cold water. this a crowd favourite with many supporters. 🙂

#2 braised pig trotters & #3 braised belly pork – i did them together using the cold crockpot method & set meat thermometer to 82degC. this would take about 5hrs, gentle slow & low temperature braising. i did this 1 day before. both were tender, gelatinous but still firm. i prefer this firmer texture.

#4 盐水鸭 – i applied a dry brine seasoning rub & put in chiller for for 48hrs (main condiment is sichuan spicy chilli sauce). cooking method same as poached chicken, but 15mins simmered & 30mins poached. duck was tender & tasty but i felt the 风味 taste was not pronouced enough like last time.

#5 蒜泥白肉 – i got the pork a day before dinner so only brined 24hrs. used the same cold crockpot method to produce a very gentle braise using chicken stock from the poached chicken. this one again many supporters.

#6 6hr "sous vide" miso lamb shoulder

#6 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder

#6 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder – more or less perfected this dish. the miso tempered the strong gamey taste & 90degC was apparently the optimum temperature to break down collagen (tough connective tissues) to tasty gelatine, so a very tasty, tender dish. 🙂

1 friend said she especially liked the dish. another mentioned it was a bit sweet. i would probably reduce the sweetness in the miso marinade a bit.

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup – peanut porkrib soup is a common nice lie tong 例汤. i preferred to do my pig trotters w/o bones & the toe ends so i used those leftovers for the soup, which worked perfectly & added a gelatine texture to the soup. i added some carrots & also as the amount of soup was not enough for 15pax & i did not want to dilute the soup (better not enough soup than enough diluted soup), the chicken stock came to rescue. this i added & the soup tasted quite perfect for me. 🙂

so it was kind of a planned & orderly execution. braised pig trotters & belly pork i did 1 day before, and the leftover pig trotter bones & tips I made soup 1 day before. this freed up the crockpot for the 蒜泥白肉 on the day. chicken & duck were brined 48hrs before & an easy 10mins+20mins for chicken & 15mins+30mins for 1/2duck simmered + poached. miso lamb was marinated 3days before & just gone into oven for 6hrs on dinner day.

easy eh? 🙂

i only had to do the seafood fried rice & wok grilled prawns, nearer dinner time.

i cooked the rice in rice cooker in the morning (forgot to do day before), & i fried the rice with the sichuan spicy chilli early.

about 1 hr (530pm) before dinner at 630pm, i fried in butter the small prawns & squid. when 90% guests arrived, i heat the fried rice & seafood in the wok together, & i did the dry wok king prawns with ginger, garlic, chilli padi & fish sauce. so every dish was ready to serve together. 🙂

#10 sambal seabass

#10 sambal seabass

#11 poached hk kailan with shitake

#11 poached hk kailan with shitake

aunty bes did the #10 sambal seabass & #11 poached hk kailan with shitake. everyone loved the fish. 1 friend commented the kailan was so vibrant in colour. kailan was poached & usually looked greener.

& everyone loved the tofu cheese cake & tiramisu. i did them 1 day before. 1 friend said the dessert topped everything. 🙂

1 friend would be celebrating her birthday few days later, so i asked another to bring a candle (i did not have one) & used the tofu cheese cake as the birthday cake. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Spicy Sichuan Poached Chicken 口水鸡

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

decided to try 口水鸡, the sichuan spicy poached chicken. 🙂

we had 口水鸡 many times at crystal jade lamian xianglongbao. 🙂

poached kampong chicken

poached kampong chicken

i can do a very good poached chicken, so like many dishes, getting the spicy sauce right is the key.

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

saliva chicken (口水鸡)

crystal jade version of saliva chicken (口水鸡)

i decided to use a modified 蒜泥白肉 sauce recipe, as it was a dish i served several times & everyone liked. 🙂

i did without all the additional stuff like cinnamon bark, clove, anise seeds, cumin, and just added chicken stock, sliced ginger, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, brown sugar & sichuan spicy chilli oil, looks something like this-

  • 1 cup stock (chicken stock or from the pork)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce (80ml)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cm sliced ginger
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp sichuan spicy chilli oil

the sauce was delicious, mildly sweet & delivering the spicy punch.

comparing with crystal jade version (above photo), it looked just as potent but actually not as 麻辣 as crystal jade version which is itself not very 麻辣. guess i missed the toasted sesame part (i did have coriander for garnishing though not in the photos).

though some like me will take it even spicier, the current preparation is easier on the palate for most. & many friends had enjoyed the 蒜泥白肉 in no small part because of the sauce. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Kueh Chap Homecooked Lunch for 10pax Friends on 17Sep2014

braised belly pork, pig ears & ter tau bak

braised belly pork, pig ears & ter tau bak

i have been applying the pot roast method using a crockpot (slow cooker) to produce very tender & moist & more gentle slow-braised meats. 🙂

i tried it very successfully on 蒜泥白肉, spicy garlic pork, and i used it once also to make a good braised belly pork, pig ears & ter tau bak (猪头肉).

for this 10pax lunch for my friends on 17.9.2014, i added braised pork trotters & also kampong chicken.

the gentle braising started with a cold crockpot on low & took about 4-5hrs to produce the very tender & still firm texture (“kar kar”) which i prefer over the more overcooked soft texture. i was able to reproduce the same tasty braising sauce. see the detail steps in the recipe here.

tau kua, tau pok, lor nerng

tau kua, tau pok, lor nerng

i used the braising sauce for the tau kua & lor nerng (braised egg) to infuse the flavours. i cheated for the tau pok & added water to dilute the braise as tau pok absorbs too much & i won’t have any sauce left for the “kueh chap”. 🙂

big intestines

big intestines

ter kar (pork trotters)

ter kar (pork trotters)

i braised the ter kar (pork trotters) separately by the same method, and took out some braising sauce to do the big intestines separately.

the big intestines from sheng shiong were already cleaned but i could not take the risk so i washed them thoroughly then rubbed with flour and salt & turned inside out. of course all the meats were scalded with boiling water to remove the scums before braising.

getting feedback from the friends –

  1. they all felt the dishes (belly pork, ear, pig head meat & trotter) were all quite ok comparable with good hawkers, both taste & texture.
  2. one mentioned that the intestines were good w/o the odour (even though it was still a strong tasting dish) and good texture.
  3. another didn’t think the intestine was as good as these were the thicker-walled tua terng tau (大肠头) whereas usually the ones outside were the thinner walled type. it’s just that on this day sheng shiong did not have the thinner walled type. 😦
  4. & of course they all noted as i did that i added the braising sauce to the trotters & big intestines but forgot to add to the 2 large plates of belly pork/ear/pig head meat & tua kua/tau pok/lor nerng. that would have enhanced the flavours. the braising sauce were used up after diluting for the “kueh chap” which i used hor fun to substitute as i could not get the flat sheet kueh chap. one thought the kueh chap sauce was a bit sweet though it was ok for me.
  5. one friend missed the “crunchy” birth intestines (生肠) i made last time. this time round sheng shiong did not have 生肠 so bought large intestines instead. not quite the same i guess. 🙂
  6. & i thought my pig trotters was almost the standard of 幸福潮州小食 pig trotter at whampoa, and much better than the han jia bakuteh pig trotters at east coast lagoon food village.
poached kampong chicken

poached kampong chicken

i was confident of my poached kampong chicken, which was tender, moist & sweet.

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

a friend brought 1kg of shi0 bak (roast belly pork). it was really good. just look at the crackling skin + the really nice meat layers colour. texture & taste was excellent. this motivated me to want to try again to do this difficult roast pork dish. 🙂

garlic brocoli

garlic brocoli

my helper did a garlic broccoli everyone liked it!

the lunch spread

the lunch spread

the lunch spread

the lunch spread

i experimented on a slow braised beef briskets & ribs with daikon (radish) & carrots but it was not good & we did not take photos. i will give it another try again, having thought about how i can do it differently & hopefully better. 🙂

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu was a crowd favourite. one friend had 3 helpings and all enjoyed this light & very flavourful tiramisu recipe.

c.h.e.f andy

12-course Homecooked Dinner for 9pax on 15Jul2014

#1 cured salmon

#1 cured salmon

an update for memories.

did a 12-course chinese dinner for friends on 15.7.2014. what’s notable this time were 3 new dishes – salted egg prawns,  steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼 & seafood fried rice. dishes all good, except lava cake was disaster as lava cake though taste was good (for a brownie…haha..). 🙂

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#1 cured salmon & #2 steamed oysters were quite new dishes too, served for the first time during my recent lake como, cinque terre, milan grand tour tasting menu for RI friends on 2.7.2014.

the very fresh salmon fillet was bought on the day itself & brined in salt & sugar solution for 4 hours. nice colour & tasty.

the large oysters were IQF (individual quick frozen) from sheng shiong just S$11.95 for 1 kg pack, steamed with 2 teaspoon light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon olive oil, sliced ginger & chilli padi for 2 minutes.

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken was quite sweet & tasty. this time though the chicken tasted a bit gamey. i used kampong chicken from sheng shiong for the first time couple weeks back. no gamey taste then.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 was dry brined with sichuan spicy chilli sauce, sugar & various spices for 48hrs, simmered for 15minutes & poached for 1/2 hour. it was tender & tasty. i liked it. 🙂

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 – the pork belly was done 5hrs using the crockpot braising method starting cold & on low, so the very slow braise from slow rising temperature produced a very tender belly pork, thinly sliced & drizzled with the mildly sweet sichuan spicy sauce, which was key in this preparation. this was a crowd favourite. 🙂

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb was the best i did, better than the last 2 times & w/o the gamey taste. 3 day miso marinade & 5hrs in 90degC oven. many liked this. 🙂

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7  the poor man’s buddha jumps over the wall was another favourite. this time (also last 11pax dinner on 14.6.2014) was the best. it had very tender pig trotters & belly pork, thick mushrooms & limpets. 🙂

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns. was quite excited doing this for very first time. prawns was deep-fried. paste was done using salted duck egg york, curry leaves & milk. prawns were very fresh but less crispy as it was done at 4pm like 4hrs before serving & set aside with paste added on in pan before serving. too much milk, paste not viscous enough & salted egg flavour was too dilute. will improve next time. 🙂

#9 steamed japnese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass – another first time dish, basically repeating the steamed oysters method on the fish, using light soy sauce, olive oil, sliced ginger , orange peel & chilli padi. quite successful this one, fish very fresh & tasty w/o fishy taste (even though the fish was frozen for more than 1 month in freezer). 🙂

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 romaine lettuce was good as usual. 🙂

#11 seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice

imperial treasure lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice was another new dish, and it turned out to be a crowd favourite also. 🙂

buttered prawns & sotong were done separately. the key was again the sichuan spicy chilli sauce. rice was also pre- fried & set aside. when serving, rice was returned to pan then seafood added, heat & served. 🙂

no comparison with the real thing of course – seafood fried rice from crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao! haha. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

#12 tofu cheese cake was good as usual. 🙂

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

lava cake was outright bad though even if the taste of the “brownie” it became was good. 😦

not much lava leh, even though i followed the same timing as my much earlier efforts (checked back the records, last time was on 28.8.2014) which were mostly good ones much also had a few failures then.

mango flan

mango flan

friends brought a very nice mango flan, small seeded lychees & strawberries. 🙂

a very fun evening get-together! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

蒜泥白肉 Spicy Garlic Pork

#5 蒜泥白肉

蒜泥白肉

蒜泥白肉, a spicy garlic pork, is a common sichuan dish which i like but don’t take often.

it was 1 of the dishes i explored when planning a “fine” chinese menu for 11pax RI friends on 5.5.2014. 🙂

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

i also tried drunken chicken. it was ok but several friends though my chicken rice chicken白斩鸡(a much easier preparation) was better. i tried ter kar tan (teochew pig trotter jelly) but so far not very successful. the other which i have not yet try out is 镇江肴肉, a cured pig trotter terrine.

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

i already produced a very tender belly pork by brining in sugar & salt & then using the crockpot method – place the belly pork in a crockpot & add enough brine to cover completely, turn on crockpot to low & cook for about 4hrs (OR use a meat thermometer set at 76degC & off the crockpot when alarm sounds).

i felt that the key to a good 蒜泥白肉 is a good sauce. so i googled & picked what i thought would be a good sauce recipe for 蒜泥白肉.

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

i added 1/3 cup light soy sauce (80ml), 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 cm sliced ginger, 1 cinnamon bark, 1 clove, 2 anise seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin to 1/2 cup stock (chicken or from the pork) to a pan on low fire. i then added 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2 chopped shallots & 2 tablespoon sichuan spicy chilli oil. i heat it for until fragrant (5mins or more). i checked the taste. it should be very mildly sweet, just slight spicy & quite fragrant/flavourful. sliced the belly pork thinly, lay out on a dish with sliced zucchini, & drizzle the sauce over the pork. serve. 🙂

the result was in the above photos. when i brought out at the 27pax dinner for RI friends on 28.5.2014, everyone liked it. so was the case for the 11pax family birthday dinner on 14.6.2014. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 400g belly pork
  • small zucchini (sliced)

sauce

  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce (80ml)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cm sliced ginger
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 1 clove
  • 2 anise seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup stock (chicken stock or from the pork)
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp sichuan spicy chilli oil

Directions:

  1. scald the belly pork in boiling water to remove scum. place in 600ml water (or enough to cover the pork fully) with 2 heap tbsp sugar & 1 heap tbsp salt & brine for 48hrs. placed the belly pork in a crockpot (cold) & add enough brine to cover completely, turn on crockpot to low for cook for about 4hrs (or use a meat thermometer set at 76degC & off the crockpot when alarm sounds).
  2. add 1/3 cup light soy sauce (80ml), 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 cm sliced ginger, 1 cinnamon bark, 1 clove, 2 anise seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin to 1/2 cup stock (chicken or from the pork) to pan on low fire. add 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2 chopped shallots & 2 tbsp sichuan spicy chilli oil. heat until fragrant (5mins or more). check the taste. it should be very mildly sweet, just slight spicy & quite fragrant/flavourful.
  3. slice the belly pork thinly, lay out on a dish with sliced zucchini, & drizzle the sauce over the pork. serve.

 

11pax Homecooked 11-course Family Birthday Dinner on 14.6.2014

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

time passes us by. my brother’s & sister’s birthday fall on 14June.  since i had started cooking for 2 years hence, and had hosted many homecooked dinners, i wanted to do a homecooked chinese dinner for my brother & sister. 🙂

the chinese dishes i planned were simple stuff like chicken & duck & belly pork. there’s also fish & 2 vege as they both like vege. i added a lamb as my sister like lamb. my niece & her husband are buddhist & vegetarian, so i cooked a pesto pasta for them. also i had the tofu cheese cake. 🙂

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

#1 chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

#1 chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡 was a favourite when i did my 27pax homecooked buffet for my RI friends recently on 28.5.2014. it was brined in sugar & salt water for 48hrs, then 10minutes simmering & 20 minutes poached in hot water, and placed in ice water bath to taut the skin & stop cooking. this time though i only tried a small slice of breast meat, but it did not seem as sweet, juicy & tasty as it usually were. 😦

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 the 盐水鸭 (dry salt spice brined duck) though was very good this time. it was flavourful yet not too intense, and the meat was tender as the boil-poach preparation (similar to 白斩鸡 but 15mins+30minutes for duck) produced a more gently cooked meat. i applied a dry brine of salt, sugar, cinnamon bark, anise seeds, clove, bay leaves, and sichuan chilli pepper for 48hrs. 🙂

when cutting & tasting the breast which was thicker than the thigh, i felt the breast meat was less flavourful. so perhaps i will reserve thigh meat for this preparation & breast meat for the sous vide duck a l’orange. 🙂

"sous vide" char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew

"sous vide" char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew was a bit too fat but melt-in-the-mouth tender after 5hrs at 90degC in the oven & quick pan-grilled with butter.  it was marinated for 3 days & well infused & tasty, but after many attempts i felt the marinade recipe i used was still not the best tasting & not comparable with my miso belly pork, which marinade requires a much simpler preparation. 🙂

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

#4 spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

#4 my brother loved the 蒜泥白肉 ( spicy garlic pork). this was also a crowd favourite during my recent 27pax homecooked buffet dinner for RI friends. 🙂

actually i over added the sichuan chilli so the sauce was overly spicy. i had to drizzle less sauce than i usually did. the sauce was made from light soy sauce, sugar, chopped garlic, chopped onions, sliced ginger,  cinnamon bark, anise seed, dash of cumin & sichuan chilli. the belly pork was done using the crockpot method – in cold water on low for about 4hrs. this another inventive method of slow cooking as it starts from room temperature & very slowly gets to boiling & remain simmering not hard boiling thus retaining the moisture. pork & skin were very tender. 🙂

miso lamb shoulder chop

#5 miso lamb shoulder chop

#5 my sister like lamb so i did a miso preparation for a cheap lamb shoulder chop. the lamb was marinated for 3 days in miso to infuse the flavours. it was then placed in the marinade bath in the oven at 90degC for 5hrs. this meat has lots of connective tissues & so very tough & not easy to make tender. 90degC happens to be the optimum temperature to convert collagen (the tough connective tissues) to tasty excellent texture gelatine. this time though i forgot to remove from oven & it dried out a bit c/w a quite perfect preparation for a 11pax sit-down dinner i had for RI friends recently on 5.5.2014.

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

as my niece & her husband are vegetarians, i prepared a separate vegetarian dish, a pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms for them. this was a very tasty dish that i experimented/recreated after very good meals during my recent travels to lake como, cinque terre & milan. 🙂

the pesto was made with pine nuts (i used almonds as substitute as pine nuts are very ex), spinach, basil, cheese & olive oil & a dash of salt, and blended. the pesto & grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms were added to the pasta & tossed, with a teaspoon of sugar, some white wine & sea salt to taste. 🙂

fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek

fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek was quite poor this time. the leek was “sek” somehow very tough. usually i cooked it just right so it was still brightly green but soft & tasty. this time i had to cook it very long till blackish to get it to soften. i did not try the prawns but my wife & daughter both thought the prawns were poor. i knew the prawns were large & very fresh when i cut the heads & shelled. & the butter pan-grilled method always produce a very tasty, slightly bbq flavour prawns. but because i had to heat up the dish 3 times, even though i took out the prawns & put back each time, the steam got into the prawns & the meat became “hu hu” i.e. mushy.

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

#7 poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

#7 poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

#7 the shorthand 佛跳墙 (buddha jump over the wall) was a dish i modelled after the very nice soup jh’s father (a chef) made. i used pig trotters, thick mushrooms, belly pork, dried scallops & also 2 cans of cheap limpets (S$10/can). 🙂

#8 auntie bes made a teochew steamed pomfret (did not take photo). this time though the pomfret was not very fresh & had a “chow chor” (fishy) taste. 😦

fermented bean curd raomaine lettuce 腐乳油麦菜

#9 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce 腐乳油麦菜

#9 腐乳油麦菜 (fermented bean curd romaine lettuce) is a common zi char dish e.g. kok sen. this time 腐乳 & chilli were just right & my wife liked it. 🙂

HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭 (HK styled steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice) is the common steamed rice dish in hk’s dim sum restaurants, usually they used chicken feet and/or pork ribs, drizzled with tasty black sauce. the sauce is very important. it is easily made – just 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark sauce, 1 tbsp sugar & 6 tbsp water or to taste. it looked dark but was not salty & quite perfect taste – mildly sweet & nice soy flavour. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

#11 tofu cheese cake

#11 just as in my 27pax recent gathering, the tofu cheese cake was again a crowd favourite. it is the easiest of dessert, a no bake very light cheese cake. the simplest of recipes = 200g cream cheese, 200g silken tofu, 200ml yogurt, 100ml whipped cream, 4 tbsp brown sugar (60g), 2 tbsp lime juice (30ml), & dissolved 3 tsp gelatine powder (15g) in 50ml hot water, then blend & pour over the biscuit base (made with 7 digestive biscuits (105g) & 60g melted butter). 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Yong Siu’s & Yong Hui’s 63 Birthday 11pax Homecooked 11-course Dinner on 14.6.2014

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27pax RI Buddies Homecooked 13-course Buffet Dinner on 28May2014

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#1 aunty bes spicy, tangy thai prawn tanhoon salad=lao nuah liao

my turn to organise may G20 dinner. 🙂

thought i would do a homecooked buffet which was more casual than having 3 tables in a restaurant, and unlike 20 years ago, these days i stopped walking around tables…lol. 🙂

there were 29pax initially, but in the end we had 27pax.

we had 2 may birthday boys. i made 2 tofu cheese cake (though my daughters reserved a quarter), so we just put on 1 candle & sang happy birthday…forgot to also sing auld lang syne…

everyone loved the tofu cheese cake. it was light, very mildly sweet & slight zesty with a bit of lemon juice & lots of yogurt. 🙂

for the dinner, i had 13 dishes, 5 (tanhoon salad, pork ribs, spicy seabass & 2 vegetables) were ably prepared by aunty bes. 🙂

#1 the thai tanhoon 1 of my favourites, very good appetite teaser. 🙂

#2 nonya curry chicken

#2 nonya curry chicken

#2 this nonya curry chicken was made w/o curry powder using a recipe blend. very fragrant & sweet curry. 🙂

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#3 “sous vide” char siew

#3 the “sous vide” char siew (90degC oven for 5hrs in a marinade bath marinated 3 days before) was below par this evening. the belly was too lean. i had to marinade 3 days before & only saw that it was too lean when preparing. also this was a much larger portion than my usual & my marinade amount was somewhat insufficient to infuse the pork with the usual deep flavours.

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teochew braised duck

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#4 teochew braised duck

#4 the teochew braised duck was the usual, quite tender, moist & “pang” = tasty.

lor neng = braised egg

#5a lor neng = braised egg

braised tau kua & tau pok

#5b braised tau kua & tau pok

#5 the braised egg, tau kua & tau pok was just to put to good use the flavourful lor (braising sauce). 🙂

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#6 aunty bes spicy pork ribs – a favourite

#6 aunty bes fried the pork ribs then placed in the steam oven, so the pork ribs was very tender & also tasty with the spicy bean sauce. when aunty bes went back to philippines, i did this myself, pretty ok but of course not as good as hers.

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chicken rice chicken

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#7 chicken rice chicken – favourite too

#7 the 白斩鸡 or hainanese wenchang (文昌) chicken (i just call it chicken rice chicken) was a favourite for the evening, tiang chye, chee hong etc all liked it, very tender, moist & sweet. the yellow skin colour was from turmeric, just small amount in a bath with spring onions, red onions, ginger & salt. boiled (simmered) 10 minutes medium heat, another 20 minutes fire off, then placed in ice bath (to stop cooking), then in fridge. i also brined the chicken in sugar & salt for 2 days (this is an important step to get water molecules into the chicken – diffusion; and to infuse the sugar & salt – osmosis). 🙂

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#8 蒜泥白肉-another favourite

#8 蒜泥白肉 was the other best dish for the evening. the sauce was the key. this sauce i prepared was very mildly sweet & hardly spicy but very flavourful. the belly pork was done different from the char siew using the cold crockpot on low method for 4.5hrs (i used the cooled chicken stock for cooking 白斩鸡 for the water bath starting on cold crockpot), creating a very tender, juicy pork & skin.

#9 aunty bes spicy bean sauce seabass

#9 aunty bes spicy bean sauce seabass

#9 the spicy, zesty seabass was another very appetising dish. local seabass usually has “mud” taste & the meat is “hu” (not firm & falling apart – not a great texture). this method of preparation musked all that & produced a very tasty fish. 🙂

#10 dry wok prawns

#10 dry wok prawns

the dry wok prawns was a very simple dish i cooked on the spot. the non stick pan was on high heat with a lot of minced garlic & 1 chilli padi for 1 kg prawns. the prawns should be dry & at room temperature, otherwise pan temperature would drop significantly & you would not get the very nice charred flavours. it was dry wok as you could not cover otherwise condensation would steam the prawns instead. the shells were on so in fact the de-veined prawns were baked in high heat & retained moisture not touching the pan, and lastly fish sauce was added & you could feel the fragrant smell wafting in the kitchen. 🙂

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#11 blanched HK kailan with shitake

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#12 romaine lettuce 油麦菜 - a popular zi char dish

the final 2 dishes were blanched HK kailan with shitake & romaine lettuce. the latter is a favourite dish in many zi char stalls in singapore & daipaitong in hong kong, either simple garlic fried or with fermented bean curd. 🙂

it was a very enjoyable get-together. some wanted G20 to become G30. for this evening we had 27pax…anyway maybe the actual numbers (the more the merrier) is not really that crucial. what is important is we have a ongoing forum to get together that people can just join whenever their schedule permits. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Protected: 27pax RI Buddies Homecooked 13-course Buffet Dinner on 28May2014

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“Sous Vide” Char Siew

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sous vide char siew

as i mentioned in my recent post on a homecooked 11pax 11-course dinner for RI buddies on 5.5.2014, i always find chinese cooking to be much more challenging than western (re my “worthwhile to do?” philosophy). peking duck for example requires such fine & painstaking preparation as air-blowing the skin to produce a very crispy skin peking duck, and xiaolongbao (小笼包) & 石榴包 are such intricate dumplings c/w ravioli served in modern european fine dining. & while perhaps not quite fine dining, teochew braised duck, chicken rice chicken, 蒜泥白肉, char siew & roast pork are such simple, tasty & very cheap food one can buy anywhere in singapore that it is really challenging to make home-cooking such dishes “worthwhile to do?”. anyhow, i did have quite successful recipes for very cheap & easy to do teochew braised duck & chicken rice chicken, but am unable to make a good crackling belly pork thus far. char siew also was not easy, and i had made quite a few attempts. anyhow finally, i think i have developed a really good “sous vide” char siew recipe, that made for a truly fabulous dish. 🙂

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sous vide char siew

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sous vide char siew

i scalded the belly pork as usual to remove scum. then i cut into several 3in pieces & placed in a ziploc bag when cooled. i prepared a very good marinade after much scouring through internet recipes plus some adjustments of my own. this method is similar to my very good miso belly pork except that the marinade is an adapted char siew marinade & not miso. like miso belly pork, i let it marinate for 3 full days to infuse the wonderful flavours. then i placed the belly pork fully covered/drenched in a marinade bath in a pre-heated oven at 90degC for 5hrs. 90degC is the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours. 🙂 this made the char siew especially the fatty parts, totally tender & delicious, & melt-in-the-mouth, such wonderful texture & flavours combined. 🙂 the final step was just to char over a non-stick pan on high heat. i used butter (if you want higher temperatures, use vegetable oil). i then charred the char siew on all sides which took just minutes. that imparted even more intense flavours to the char siew. 🙂 c.h.e.f andy Ingredients:

  • 500g belly pork

char siew sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp dark sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake
  • 2 tbsp brandy (or 2 tbsp shaoxing wine)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions:

  1. scald belly pork as usual to remove scum. then cut into several 3in pieces & place in a ziploc bag when cooled. make marinade by combining all the ingredients
  2. marinade for 3 full days to infuse the wonderful flavours. place belly pork fully covered/drenched in a marinade bath in a pre-heated oven at 90degC for 5hrs. 90degC is the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours. this made the char siew especially the fatty parts, totally tender & delicious, & melt-in-the-mouth, such wonderful texture & flavours combined. 
  3. char on a non-stick pan on high heat. use butter or if you want higher temperatures, use vegetable oil. char the char siew on all sides, just few minutes. that will impart even more intense flavours to the char siew.

RI Buddies 11pax Homecooked 11-course Chinese Dinner on 5May2014

wanted to try out some chinese dishes, so got my usual RI gang to be guinea pigs once again for an 11-course dinner for 11pax on 5.5.2014. 🙂

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500g paradiso cake from swissbake at 5th avenue

got a paradiso cake too from swissbake at 5th avenue to celebrate 1 of our friend’s birthday. 🙂

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#1 蒜泥白肉

i always find chinese cooking to be much more challenging than western (re my “worthwhile to do?” philosophy). i do a good steak, Nobu miso cod, teriyaki cod, and good pasta & paella, risotto etc, and sometimes comparable to a good restaurant even, sans the artisan garnishes, sides & plating etc. 🙂

many good chinese dishes are equally hard to do but not associated with fine dining (e.g. serving up a very good whole steamed fish does not usually evoke fine dining but serving a steamed cod fillet chinese or fusion style is somehow fine dining? or i guess there is a reason in that fine dining is about the entire experience & not just the food). much of it though i suspect is market forces & cultural programming about what fine dining is.

#1 蒜泥白肉. this a new dish for me. tried once with belly pork, and this evening with lean pork. i realised that the key was getting the right sauce recipe. the sauce this evening was excellent as everyone commented, mildly sweet, spicy, tasty sauce (we all used it for the 白斩鸡 which meant the 白斩鸡 was not tasty enough..lol). 🙂 need to improve on the dish & plating though. may try loin or neck, not sure, or go back to belly pork. 🙂

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#2 drunken chicken 醉鸡

#2 drunken chicken 醉鸡. this was done the same way as 白斩鸡 but 1 day ahead for the shao xing wine marinade (绍兴酒) to infuse. the new recipe i used produced a more tender juicy chicken with nice yellow colour. for this i cut chicken in 1/2, placed in boiling water (with spring onions, red onion, garlic, salt & some tumeric) & turned down to just more than a simmer for 10 minutes, left in the hot water for 15mins to 20mins, then transfer to a ice water bath. then marinade in 1 cup 绍兴酒 1/2cup chicken stock, 1 tablespoon sugar. 🙂

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#3 sous vide char siew (1 of 2 best dishes)

#3 sous vide char siew. this was 1 of 2 best dishes for the evening, i think everyone’s favourites. (the other was poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall). 🙂 again the char siew marinade was key. i had the char siew marinated in a ziploc bag for 3days, then cooked in a marinade bath in oven at 90degC for 5hrs.

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#3 sous vide char siew (1 of 2 best dishes)

hmmm…ok i am still ogling this now. it had such wonderful flavours & melt-in-the-mouth texture. 🙂

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#4 白斩鸡

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#4 白斩鸡

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#4 白斩鸡

#4 白斩鸡. same method as drunken chicken, but i brined the chicken in water with salt & sugar first for 2 days. water molecules would infuse the chicken by diffusion & sugar & salt molecules by reverse osmosis, so the chicken would be moist (as in above photos) & tender & also tasty. 1 friend commented the texture was very good, better than the drunken chicken. however in managing so many dishes i forgot to add a touch of fish sauce to bring out the taste further. i did this the next day on some leftovers for a portion i kept for my daughter & it was excellent. 🙂

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#5 盐水鸭

#5 盐水鸭. this dish was my very first attempt & it turned out superbly well, a wonderfully flavoured dish, which everyone commented. 🙂 again the marinade was the key. i googled a recipe & marinated the duck for 24hrs. was initially supposed to do a tea smoked duck using the 5hr liquid bath sous vide method (like the char siew) but it worked better with breast & i always had leftover duck legs so decided to experiment the new 盐水鸭 dish with leftover duck legs. 🙂

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#6 poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall (bjotw)

#6 poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall (bjotw). this was my best attempt so far, excellent, very flavourful & intense, as all my friends commented. 🙂 just pig trotters, mushrooms, belly pork, and limpets masquerading as abalones..lol. 🙂 the soup was running low for 11 bowls but i did not want to add chicken stock which would dilute the intense flavours.

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#7 HK steamed garoupa

#7 HK steamed garoupa. this had been like a reliable, “always good”, “staple” dish & the garnishing & sauce were still good but unfortunately the fish was somehow not the best. i had gotten it from chinatown 2 days before & they had always been good & but let down on this occasion. sigh. 😦

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#8 romaine lettuce with fermented bean curd 腐乳油麦菜

#8 romaine lettuce with fermented bean curd 腐乳油麦菜. this was what was served in almost all zi char restaurants & a really excellent one i had was at kok sen at kiong siak street. 🙂 this evening my version was quite ok with some wok hae, not too salty & still with the nice taste of the fermented bean curd.

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#9 my version of pineapple prawns

pineapple prawns

the real thing – shin yeh’s pineapple prawns

#9 pineapple prawns. was trying to rehash shin yeh’s dish…lol. both prawns & pineapples tasted ok i guessed. plating was million miles behind…haha. 🙂 satisfaction as a dish i guess was quite behind my dry wok prawns, but good to have variation and not same dish everytime.

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#10 miso lamb chops

#10 miso lamb chops.  this my very first attempt. i do a good pistachio crusted rack of lamb but no other variations, so decided to do a 3day miso marinade on a cheap frozen lamb cut & coincide the 5hr sous vide bath in 90degC oven with the char siew (to save electricity). 90degC is also the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours. 🙂

the result was a very tasty flavourful lamb. the miso was not enough to cover or remove the very strong gamey taste (or we say “hiang” or “bah woo” in teochew=not a good thing) but it was tasty nonetheless though many who did not take lamb for that reason would likely not like this. 🙂

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#11 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice

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#11 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice

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#11 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice

#11 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice. this was a very easy dish to make. the key again was the marinade for the chicken & the drizzling sauce, & i took my wife’s feedback & bought some xo chinese sausages (cost 2x the red wine sausages but nothing c/w – like 25% the cost of – spanish chorizo..lol..). chicken was marinated 1 day before, and once rice cooker starts to steam just add in sausage, chicken & mushrooms. and voila! the chicken was extremely tender & tasty & the sausage super nice…could see how 1 friend was walloping them…haha. 🙂

can improve further. anyway a very fun evening with very good friends & very shiok ie satisfying for me. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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