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


#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. 🙂


#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.


teochew braised duck


#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). 🙂


#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.


chicken rice chicken


#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). 🙂


#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. 🙂


#11 blanched HK kailan with shitake


#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



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Second 55ers Homecooked 11-course Dinner Buffet on 7Nov2013

See privacy & perspectives.

this the second RI 55ers homecooked dinner before 2013 runs out. the first RI 55ers dinner was on 5.5.2013. 🙂

27pax attended. 2 had to leave earlier, so did not manage to get in the group photo (though we could have had the cake & photo done earlier).

one friend brought a very nice cake for the 3 november birthday boys & the 55ers, wonderful chocolate & a nice biscuit base with contrasting texture. it was an excellent cake. that reminded me that another friend’s sister made excellent cakes (incredible camera cake & cupcakes during his 30yr wedding anniversary dinner last year! btw that dinner was better organised than most young couples’ weddings). we should order from mongstirs next time.

let the party begin – makan time! 🙂

thai prawn tanhoon appetizer

thai prawn tanhoon appetizer

beer can chicken

beer can chicken

teochew briased duck

teochew briased duck

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braised egg, tau kua, tau pok

braised egg, tau kua, tau pok

we had 11 dishes.

#1 the thai tanhoon by my domestic helper was good as always – tasty, spicy, tangy, just the right amount of chilli padi, lime & shallots.

#2 the teochew braised duck was 1 of my best (it was also very good the last 55ers dinner on 5.5.2013 though i did struggle a bit couple other times including cutting my fingers for the 1st & only time preparing meals). it was very “pang” ie flavourful & meat was tender & not “june” ie tough.

#3 the “pang” braising sauce was put to full use with the braised egg, tau kua, tau pok.

#4 the beer can chicken was i guess ok, tasty, but nothing special. the chicken was brined in sugar & little salt for 24hrs, rubbed with oyster sauce, & with herbs & garlic slices pushed under the skin. & roasted for 40mins “standing” on a 100plus can. this way of roasting enable all round browning (almost la!) w/o need to turn over the chicken.

miso belly pork

miso belly pork

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nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

steamed black bean pork ribs

steamed black bean pork ribs

chilli sotong

chilli sotong

steamed red garoupa HK style

steamed red garoupa HK style

blanched HK kailan with shitake

blanched HK kailan with shitake

high heat dry wok garlic prawns

high heat dry wok garlic prawns

#5 the miso belly pork was inspired by a lunch at jason atherton’s pollen @ gardens by the bay. i was doing a good nobu miso cod & decided to use the same 3-day marinade recipe, and the char siew method (oven slow low temp cooking immersed in miso marinade so retaining the juices  & no drying out + high temp broiling). the meat was moist (as seen in the photos, just like the duck & chicken were moist) & tender & the miso flavour was excellent.

#6 nonya curry chicken was my consistently good dish, made w/o curry powder directly using a self-blended spice mix recipe, and of course unhealthy coconut milk, and so very fragrant in smell & taste. i love this curry.

the other dishes (plus #1 thai tanhoon) were ably done by my domestic helper.

#7 chilli sotong was excellent – a craving inducing dish.

#8 the steamed pork ribs looked so wonderful in the photo & was tasty with tender bite.

# 9 steamed red garoupa HK style was always good, & at 20% restaurant prices.

#10 blanched HK kailan was a good accompaniment after all the meat dishes. 🙂

#11 the last was my dry wok garlic prawns. wok needed to be dry & on open high heat to get charred flavour (so cannot cover as condensation would result in steaming the prawns). fish sauce is the chief ingredient to create the flavour & wok hae under high heat. prawns de-veined but not shelled so would bake in shell & not overcook & also not salty with reduced contact with fish sauce. 🙂

all fun moments come to a close. so this post is for memories, till the next get-together. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

RI Celebration of 55 Yrs of Our Lives Dinner on 5May2013

we had our RI celebration of 55 years dinner on a cool pleasant evening on 5.5.2013. 🙂 it was good fun, great company, enjoyable makan, and strawberries brought by Tiang Chye, and we had our 55th birthday cake courtesy of Choon Hung lit with 5+5 candles. 🙂 all 55ers were singing birthday songs for Chong Lee & Kum Heng, the 2 with the nearest birthdays, and later for ourselves..haha.. 🙂

I cooked a 21pax buffet dinner. I must say that this the best I have done, every dish turned up very nicely. 4 of my 5 dishes (& 2 of aunty Bes’ dishes) were precooked & ready to serve, and I only had to do the prawns (& aunty Bes the fish & kailan) when friends were already tucked in, so it was very relaxed and at the same time a really shiok, thrilled feeling! 🙂

55yrs Get Together - Andy Homecooked 22pax Buffet Menu 7pm Sunday 5.5.2013

Dinner was a  homecooked 9-course buffet + birthday cake courtesy of Choon Hung. 🙂

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we started with a layout of 6 dishes. aunty Bes’s thai tanhoon salad was a great appetizer – spicy, tangy, tasty.

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the pan-roasted brined chicken breast was moist, tender & sweet-This is a great tapas dish I always do for sit-down dinners. 🙂


teochew braised duck

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I was especially proud of my teochew braised duck today. Chong Lee liked this especially. the flavour was superb & the colour & looks were great! the cutting was also good w/o torn edges,pieces etc. 🙂 the lor neng was just putting to good use the braised duck sauce & was quite a homely addition.

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I also did chashu, which is a Japanese style slow oven-cooked belly pork. This is commonly used in ramen (for chashumen) where the meat is rolled up & cut into thin circular pieces. 🙂 It was much better than the kakuni I did previously (which was also a good Japanese styled slow-braised belly pork), both the texture/bite & the taste. 🙂


nonya curry chicken

this was a good day for me. my curry chicken were usually quite ok, and today’s curry chicken was truly my best, really tasted like Zion Road nasi padang green curry, sweet, fragrant & lemak. 🙂


next up – aunty Bes’ spicy bean sauce prime ribs, always good! 🙂

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I cooked my usual dry wok high heat garlic prawns at this point. Wee Woon liked this especially. 🙂


aunty Bes then brought out her very good spicy tau jeon seabass – quite remarkable that it turned seabass which had mud taste & mushy not great texture to a very different tasty dish.:-)

forgot to take photo of Choon Hung’s very nice chocolate cheese cake, and also aunty Bes’ blanched HK kailan with shitake mushrooms in oyster sauce. 🙂

everyone had a really, really great fun time together. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy