Poor Dimsum at Sweet Dynasty 糖朝 on 6Apr2015

steamed pork ribs & chicken feet rice

steamed pork ribs & chicken feet rice

we had some time in the morning before flight departure on 6.4.2015.

originally we were booked for lunch at lei gardens at elements mall where we would be doing a city check-in to the flight & taking the airport express. but because the lunch at lei gardens times square was really a let down, quite unsatisfactory, we canceled the reservation  at elements.

also we had to refund the standard on-loan octopus card we bought on arrival. we purchased the octopus card at hk$150 inclusive hk$100 stored value & hk$50 refundable deposit, but only used about hk$30. there was discounts per trip but also an admin fee of hk$9 for refund so we did not save much however the octopus card gave great convenient taking the mtr & the star ferry, and if we had take the city bus or tram too. 🙂

及第粥 mixed congee

及第粥 mixed congee

we did not want to go to yat lok at central or to cam’s at wanchai, so we walked around looking for a roast goose stall.

in the end we settled on sweet dynasty 糖朝. we used to frequent it when it was at canton road. we liked especially the congee & also the rice topped with steamed pork ribs, chicken feet or chicken with mushrooms. it relocated to hankow road a few years back.

we again ordered the steamed pork ribs & chicken feet rice. it was really good especially drizzled with the mildly sweet sauce. this was where i modelled my hk style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭).

ate too much rice as a result.

及第粥 mixed congee

及第粥 mixed congee

we had the 及第粥 mixed congee. congee is always good, very smooth. the pig stomach & innards i liked & my wife took the kidney & liver, so pretty good for all.

but it was no better than the congee at canton paradise OR at crystal jade. 🙂

fried carrot cake

XO fried carrot cake

XO fried carrot cake was good, flavourful, nothing special & not my favourite.

roast duck & soy sauce chicken

roast duck & soy sauce chicken

the roast duck (not goose) was quite pathetic actually, felt like reheat in microwave oven zero crispiness in the skin (actually must not order this next time if there is a next time)-

can forget about comparing with yat lok roast goose.

not even as good as joyful palace at clementi food loft, not even comparing with canton paradise excellent roast duck.

the soy sauce chicken looked miserable but the breast meat was actually moist, tender & sweet. actually better than the complimentary roast chicken at superstar restaurant the evening before. 🙂

black sesame tau huay

black sesame tau huay

the black sesame tau huay is my wife’s favourite.

somehow this time i did not find any attraction there.

we paid like hk$450 at sweet dynasty 糖朝, 50% more than the excellent dimsum at timhowan & nothing like it, & quite ex really at S$80 for 3pax for hk dimsum…of course in singapore it would cost about that for better food.

c.h.e.f andy

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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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HK Style Steamed Sausage, Mushroom & Chicken Rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

when we go dim sum & especially HK, 1 of our favourites is 一口饭. it’s the HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭). 🙂

not many dim sum restaurants in singapore served this, & we used to go to shang palace because they did. the other dim sum there were also not too bad especially with the 30% discount on sundays before 12pm. still, we usually prefer imperial treasure or crystal jade.

i am planning a homecooked “fine” chinese course dinner for my friends, and was looking at what dishes i could include (say) to replace paella or pasta dishes. this dish looks fine if i can produce a decent tasty version. it seems to me that the sauce we were provided to drizzle over the rice is an important element, it is mildly sweet & not salty & really enhance the flavour of the rice & ingredients. obviously either chicken or pork ribs used has to be tender (not “old” or overcook), & tasty means good marinade as well. 🙂

there were many online recipes especially if googled in chinese, but hardly any showing the drizzling sauce style, and i was not looking at a claypot recipe or fried or baked recipe but a fragrant steam rice recipe. i found one here.

HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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sausage, mushroom & chicken ingredients – 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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sausage, mushroom & chicken ingredients – 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

i added boiling water over the thick dried mushrooms, kept overnight to soften, then cut in halves. i cut 1/2 chicken (about 1.5kg size) so (say) 750g. & marinated with the chicken marinade i prepared per below recipe. this went into the fridge for about 4hrs (i will do this overnight next time). i cut 2 chinese sausages.

i washed about 240g rice (3pax portion) using the rice measuring cup (1.5cups) & added an equal amount of mushroom water which i reserved earlier. the water to rice ratio is 1.2:1 but the recipe asked to add less water as there was water in the chicken & also mushroom, so the rice would not be soggy. i then laid the sausages & mushrooms & also the 2 chicken feet & 1/2 the sliced ginger over the rice in the rice cooker.

i then switched on the rice cooker, and waited till steam showed the water was boiling. then i added the chicken pieces, let the rice cooked, added the remaining 1/2 sliced ginger & kept warm the rice in the rice cooker for another 1/2 hr before serving.

meanwhile i prepared the drizzling sauce. it was very good.

i placed the chicken in a separate serving plate, and took out all the rice  & placed in a large serving bowl. the chicken was very tender & nice. for this first attempt i was conservative in the chicken marinade so the chicken taste would be even better with a bit more light soy sauce & fish sauce. this i will do next time. the rice was very fragrant & tasty & the drizzling sauce further enhance the excellent flavours.

so this was a very simple dish to prepare, easy to reproduce, and i am decided to do this for the friends’ dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients-

1/2 chicken (750g)
sliced ginger (2cm piece)

drizzle sauce (important):

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp water

marinade for chicken (used 1/2 chicken):

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fishsauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp sesame oil

Directions –

  1. add boiling water over the thick dried mushrooms, keep overnight to soften, then cut in halves. reserve 250g mushroom water cut 1/2 chicken (about 750g) & marinated with the chicken marinade. leave overnight in fridge.
  2. wash 1.5 rice measuring cup of rice & add an equal amount of mushroom water (about 240g). water to rice ratio is 1.2:1 but add less water as there is water in the chicken & also mushroom. lay the sausages & mushrooms & 1/2 the sliced ginger & also the 2 chicken feet over the rice in the rice cooker.
  3. switch on the rice cooker, and wait till steam shows the water is boiling. add the chicken pieces, let the rice cook, add the other 1/2 sliced ginger & keep warm the rice in the rice cooker for another 1/2 hr before serving. meanwhile prepare the drizzling sauce.
  4. place the chicken in a separate serving plate, and take out the rice & place in a large serving bowl. serve!