RI Friends 10pax curry rice lunch+bakuteh post JB trip 14Mar2016

had a really fun JB trip last week with my RI buddies. we had really good bakuteh at shoon huat at sentosa JB & roast duck from ya wang opposite, and dinner at canton-i at city square, but we missed out on the kam long fish head curry.

the guys were coming to my place for lunch & watching jeju slides & guide from a friend who had been there.

so i decided to do a curry rice lunch + bakuteh (reminiscence of the recent JB trip) on 14.3.2016. ^^

7 dishes = curry rice + bakuteh + dessert

7 dishes = curry rice + bakuteh + dessert

i had 7 dishes –

bakuteh singapore style
fish head curry
nonya curry chicken
sayur lodeh (using thai red curry)
kueh chap (pig head, pig ear, belly pork)
sio bak (roast pork)
lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉

for bakuteh i bought the frozen prime ribs from sheng shiong. it’s the le bao brand 乐宝, just S$10.95/kg.

i used the usual ILC bakuteh sachet, about S$1.50 for 20g sachet.

the bakuteh was excellent! soup was very tasty. many friends so commented.

1 used hara fried bean curd puff this time, i think this had more sweet 黄豆 flavours than the usual bean curd puff i used, the overall soup flavour was excellent, very tasty. a friend said it enhanced rather than overwhelmed the bakuteh sachet.

i think my soup was almost as good as shoon huat, and my pork ribs itself clearly better, more meaty, fatter & more flavoruful & excellent taken with my dark sauce which was very “pang” & not so salty.

fish head curry

#2 fish head curry

it’s the first time i cooked fish head curry.

mak's curry paste for fish head curry

#2 mak’s curry paste for fish head curry

i went to grab a curry paste from sheng shiong. found this mak’s nonya fish head curry S$2.45 i think, used it for the first time.

fish head curry

#2 fish head curry

wife went to chinatown market on sunday. i didn’t go. she bought a angkoli (sea bream) fish head. i though it was very expensive at S$16, but i had not bought this before not really qualified to comment on the price.

fish head curry

#2 fish head curry

anyway it was super fresh, meat was firm & sweet.

cooking was easy. i just followed instructions at the back of the sachet-

  1. cut okra (lady’s fingers) and fried first with sliced yellow onions, curry rempah & some coconut milk.
  2. added cut egg plant, fried another few minutes.
  3. added fish head & coat with rempah
  4. added chicken stock & coconut milk, covered, simmered about 8 – 10mins
  5. added cut tomatoes.

curry was very tasty, maybe could be stronger, almost as good as outside, think curry wok.

i did my usual nonya curry chicken.

i did this nonya curry chicken recently for teban gardens community breakfast.

today though, it was just slightly below my own expectations.

my friends all liked it. the curry was very flavourful & lemak. they said just like outside nasi padang stall.

i did my usual kueh chap too.

i was also not all that satisfied with the flavours. i felt the texture was great but the braising sauce flavours not “pang” enough.

my friends told me i ate too often. for them it was fine. 🙂

sayur lodeh

#5 sayur lodeh

the sayur lodeh was quite fine. the long beans & hara fried bean curd puffs went very well with the cabbage & curry.

sayur lodeh

#5 sayur lodeh

i used the dancing chef thai curry paste, but added the wrong one yellow instead of red (hard to tell from a previously open sachet w/o cover description) so it looked a bit more yellowish & just like sayur lodeh instead of red colour, by accident…haha! 🙂

sayur lodeh

#5 sayur lodeh

anyway this dish i was quite happy with, nice vegetable for curry rice.

airfryer sio bak

#6 airfryer sio bak

& a repeat of my recently “mastered” airfryer sio bak, learned from a friend.

i thought the belly pork was a bit too fatty. & i over compensated by grilling it 5mins longer. i told them this third time was poorer than the first 2.

airfryer sio bak

#6 airfryer sio bak

but all my friends thought it was very good, the skin was crispy.

one friend said the skin was crispy on most, but some parts were tough. i told him probably because i used a fork to furiously stab the skin, kind of primitive, so not evenly done.

lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉

#7 lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉

i made the easy dessert we all enjoyed at hoe kee dessert 浩记甜品馆 during our jan2016 hong kong trip- lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉.

just boiled the lotus & ginkyo nuts in syrup & added to the cheng chow from sheng shiong. almost no effort & so enjoyable, refreshing to have.

friends brought strawberries & also longan & a friend brought a red, a bottle of michel torino.

after lunch we watched the slides on jeju. looks like a great place to eat & hike. according to guides, oct & nov are the best time to visit, dry & cool weather.

c.h.e.f andy

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Good Lunch but Quite Ex @ Kim San Leng Bishan on 3Mar2016

late lunch @ kim san leng

late lunch @ kim san leng

went with 2 close friends to watch stephen chow’s mermaid at GV Bishan yesterday on 3.3.2016.

maybe it was a lightweight movie. a friend & i talked over whatsapp whether to watch spotlight (best picture oscar) or revenant ( leonardo dicarpio best actor oscar) at shaw lido & decided that we would have a light-hearted relax show this time. 🙂

i quite enjoyed the show. for me it was not slapstick, quite respectable in fact, & nothing so irreverent as kungfu hustle. i not much into stephen chow’s show like 1 of my friends, but kungfu hustle i like actually. 🙂

after the show we walked over to kim san leng food centre.

kim san leng food court @ bishan

kim san leng food centre @ bishan

it’s a coffeeshop, and a huge success story. the guy pulled in the good hawker stalls, so it’s crowded, good traffic even though its along the food & away from junction 8. 🙂

kim san leng food court @ bishan

kim san leng food centre @ bishan

i like this place & the food, though they are not cheap.

ngoh hiang

S$7.50 ngoh hiang

the ngoh hiang was pretty good. 🙂

4 items for S$7.50.

ngoh hiang

ngoh hiang

well, sicc’s bukit cafe S$9.50 ngoh hiang (6 items) pretty good too, maybe the sauce better than bukit cafe.

c/w the S$22 indian rojak at ayer rajah food centre (which was excellent), price also ok. i like the indian rojak a lot better though. 🙂

braised duck & kueh chap

yu kee’s S$10 braised duck & S$3 kueh chap

yu kee lor arh

yu kee lor arh

yu kee’s braised duck was good too. i don’t eat this often these days but this was good – flavourful, smooth, not tough.

braised duck

braised duck

S$10 for quarter duck with drumstick i guess not that ex too.

kueh chap

kueh chap

the S$3 kueh chap very tiny plate, but also quite tasty. what can you buy with S$3 these days?

chicken rice & veg

bugis street ming kee S$11 chicken rice & S$6 veg 

bugis street ming kee chicken rice

bugis street ming kee chicken rice

my friend queued up to buy a S$11 plate chicken from the bugis street ming kee chicken rice. he could not recall the price of the beg, which i guess was S$6. we had 2 rice to share among 3.

chicken rice

bugis street ming kee S$11 chicken rice

chicken was good, but nothing special for me really. no much different from xin ji 新记chicken rice at mei ling food centre.

overall the lunch would come to about S$38 for 3, that should be consider ex. maybe we just ate too much…lol! ^^

i like the duck best, chicken & ngoh hiang a toss up. but chicken have to queue so i guess ngoh for my choice. haha! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Lunch & Chat with Old Friends @ Happy Duck Bukit Merah View FC on 16Jun2015

pigs ear, intestines, pig skin & lor bak S$10

pigs ear, intestines, pig skin & kong bak S$10

went out lunch with some good friends today on 16.6.2015.

we had wanted to take my favourite chai chuan tou chinese mutton soup 柴船头羊肉汤 at bukit merah view market & food centre. however the stall was closed & seemed that only reopen on 1.8.2015. that’s a long time to close shop!

3 of us were already parked at 11am. we were discussing where to go instead. one that came to mind was the havelock turtle soup合落山瑞, kueh chap or red garoupa fish soup at havelock road food centre.

but then there was already a pretty ok duck & kueh chap stall here = happy duck. 🙂 the other 2 friends were on their way & it was troublesome to drive & to park as well.

1/2 braised duck S$18

1/2 braised duck S$18

so we settled on happy duck!^^

price was reasonable. we had 1/2 braised duck for S$18.

also added the kueh chap including 4 items = pigs ear, intestines, pig skin & kong bak for S$10.

the duck was pretty good for me. duck was tender, good flavour & chilli was great too.

1 friend thought it was average, quite fine. another thought the one next to hoover rojak at whampoa market, liang zhao ji duck rice, was better – that’s my memory too, but i had not eaten at that duck stall for umpteen years. i know what i don’t like though – the one previously at south buona vista with the gluey sauce, lim seng lee boneless duck. taste is personal, haha! 🙂

my own favourite braised duck is at imperial treasure teochew, & it’s not expensive either just S$28 for 1/2 duck (of course that’s a bit more than S$18 here).

another friend’s favourite was 店小二’s roast duck but that is another story. unfortunately we seemed to run out of places to find goose, braised or roast.

kueh chap

kueh chap

sauce rice

sauce rice

we had 2 rice & 2 kueh. that added another S$2, my kueh was ok, average. the rice did not seem to be yam rice, maybe just sauce. another it was just S$2 for 4.

so it was S$30, and it was quite enough for 5pax (1 friend came slightly late & added his own kueh). 🙂

after makan, we had fruits & then coffeshop coffee. i had my usual kopi-c gosong tilok. very shiok.

1 left a bit earlier, 4 of us stayed & chatted for the longest time. haha!

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap & Good 3pax Lunch @ Havelock Food Centre on 12mar2015

yu mei mei shi red grouper fish soup

yu mei mei shi red grouper fish soup

went with sis & bio to havelock food centre today 12.3.2015 at 11.30am.^^

carpark was full. looked like >50% taxis. i circled almost 1 round. fortunately turnover was real quick! 🙂 taxis are moving out of lots just as quickly so we managed to park almost immediately.

i saw the fish soup was very popular the last time i came. so this time i ordered a S$6 red grouper soup. we were seated at the other side near to the turtle soup & kueh chap & the fish soup man said he could not serve us, so we had to collect. waited more than 15mins. maybe if you want fish soup it is better to sit near the stall. 🙂

there were about 6 pieces of red grouper fillet. grouper was very nice, fresh & sweet.

soup was very tasty with good savoury & seaweed taste.^^

i am not sure 6 pieces for S$6 was good or not. will try again next time, see if i was discriminated against or not, probably not. haha! 🙂

we ordered a S$10 havelock turtle soup. it was as good as the last time.  there was a lot of meat, gelatine pieces, innards, but no turtle leg. the soup was very tasty though maybe psychologically, we all thought it was by comparison more dilute than the intense soup at tan ser seng.

for me this really a very good turtle soup for the price!^^

we also had a S$6 kueh chap & S$1 for 2 large kueh.

it’s probably not expensive as it had quite a bit of kongbak (braised belly pork), big intestines & small intestines, and pig skin. the taste was also very good. not sure how to compare, but i guess this was quite a good kueh chap overall.

actually i did very good kueh chap myself so this one & others were competent but i guess nothing really standout-ish! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Pretty Good for the Price @ Havelock Turtle Soup on 5Mar2015

S$10 turtle soup

S$10 turtle soup

went to sembawag park for an early morning stroll with 2 friends/old schoolmates yesterday. they were living in the area during school days so knew the place really well, and also very good at identifying the flora & fauna. 🙂

after the pleasant walk, i left to join another friend for lunch at havelock hawker centre. i had some business dealing with this friend in the past. he is 10 years my senior, picked up photography 4 years ago, & after selling off his business 2 years ago, is now very active in travel photography & recently started to be involved in charity missions.

Havelock turtle soup合落山瑞, Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

Havelock turtle soup合落山瑞, Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

we arranged to have lunch at havelock turtle soup 合落山瑞 at 1130am on 5.3.2015.^^

this stall was introduced to me by a friend after the saw my Facebook posting on tan ser seng. i was keen to give it a try. 🙂

timing was good, just before the lunch crowd, and so easy to park.

S$10 turtle soup

S$10 turtle soup

S$10 turtle soup

S$10 turtle soup

i ordered S$10 bowl and small S$0.50 yam rice each.

soup was tasty. there were lots of meat, gelatine & some innards. chilli was spicy, and overall taste was very good. ^^

i didn’t think it was comparable to tan ser seng though.

nor fu he at jalan berseh food centre (in fact i think fu he had the best deal for the price).

both had more intense & tastier soup & also turtle paws etc. but for S$10, this was very good for the price. i would probably just order a S$15 bowl for sharing & try the other food like kueh chap & the fish soup which seemed popular.

S$0.50 small yam rice

S$0.50 small yam rice

S$0.50 small yam rice

S$0.50 small yam rice

the yam rice was quite ok. again tan ser seng’s was more much fragrant & tastier but it cost S$1.30.

S$1.50 soursop jelly

S$1.50 soursop jelly

S$1.50 sea coconut jelly

S$1.50 sea coconut jelly

my friend went to grab some dessert. he had sea coconut jelly & i had soursop jelly. as good as any place & only cost S$1.50!

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

Very Good Kueh Chap

kueh chap

kueh chap on 4.8.2014

toyed with making kueh chap.

there are many hawker places one can get good kueh chap in singapore, so may not be a very worthwhile venture.

since i can use either of the (1)5hr sous vide method OR (2) cold crockpot on low method to produce just the right texture belly pork, i figure it should be quite easy to do the other items for kueh chap.

anyway i decided to try it on 24.6.2014 for my sis. it was pretty ok (bottom 2 photos). 🙂

kueh chap

kueh chap on 4.8.2014

kueh chap

kueh chap on 4.8.2014

kueh chap

kueh chap on 5.8.2014

a few friends decided to watch guardians of the galaxy (which btw was an excellent movie), so i invited them to come over to have simple kueh chap dinner, and with 1/2 a kampong chicken thrown in. 🙂

i went to sheng shiong & bought a 400g frozen belly pork (about S$4) & 1/2 pig head or face (S$4). the pig head came with the ear, so i had both ter tao bak 猪头肉 & ter heenh 猪耳. i tried the big intestine last time on 24.6.2014. both texture & flavour were good but it was still a bit strong taste, so i decided to be more conservative & bought the birth intestine aka fallopian tubes 生肠 instead. maybe you don’t think that was conservative. haha! 🙂

i prepared my own braising sauce (see recipe), which later became the soup for the kueh chap.

i did the usual preparation, scalding the belly & pig head after cleaning (i used a large kitchen knife to scrap off hair from the belly & face) to remove the scums. i then placed the pig head, belly & ear in the crockpot, added the braising sauce to cover the meat completely, then turned on low.

i learned this cold crockpot method to make a good pot roast which i have applied to cook belly pork very successfully e.g. 蒜泥白肉, a spicy garlic pork. what it does is that because the temperature rises quite slowly initially over 2-3hrs depending on the amount of cold liquid, it is equivalent to mild low temperature braising, resulting in a gentler, moist & tender meat. for this meat, total about 1kg, it should take about 5 to 6 hrs. you can also use a meat thermometer which i do & set at 90degC. i then set the meats aside. the braising sauce was now very tasty. i added the tau kwa, tau pok & the shelled cooked eggs & cooked on low for 2-3hrs.

for the birth intestine, i washed with salt (for large intestine the last time, i washed with salt & flour), cleaned thoroughly & left in a large bowl of water in the fridge overnight.  i was worried about the taste so i took out a small amount of braising sauce & cooked over the stove on low fire for 20minutes then dropped it in cold water. my friends later commented the texture was excellent, crunchy as it should be, flavourful & no strong taste. 🙂

the belly, pig head meat & pig ear were all quite good. nice flavour & just the right texture. 🙂

on 4.8.2014, i could not get the kueh for kueh chap from sheng shiong (i went to 2 different stores w/o success), so i used kueh teow instead. the next day my sis brought the kueh from another sheng shiong outlet & we walloped the leftovers. 🙂

the kueh only took 1 minute. by now the sauce was very tasty & i just added water & salt to taste to make the soup to add to the kueh. 🙂

when serving, garnish the dishes with chopped coriander & add fried shallots to the kueh chap.

kueh chap

kueh chap on 24.6.2014

kueh chap

kueh chap on 24.6.2014

overall, i think it was very successful, and comparable to a good kueh chap at the hawker stalls. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 400g belly pork
  • 500g pig head meat
  • 100g pig ear
  • 1 birth intestine
  • 1 packet (2 pieces) tau kwa
  • 1 packet (10 pieces) tau pok

braising sauce

  • 3 tbsp dark sauce
  • 5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp zhengjiang black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp heap sugar
  • 2 cinnamon bark
  • 4 aniseed
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bulb peeled garlic
  • 3cm sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp 5-pice powder
  • 1 litre water
  • salt to taste (about 2 -3 tsp)

Directions:

  1. mix the braising sauce.
  2.  scalding the belly & pig head after cleaning (use a large kitchen knife to scrap off hair from the belly & face) to remove the scums. place pig head, belly & ear in the crockpot, add the braising sauce to cover the meat completely, then turn on low & braise for about 5 to 6 hrs. you can also use a meat thermometer. set it at 90degC. the mild low temperature braising results in a gentler, moist & tender meat.
  3. set the meats aside. add the tau kwa, tau pok & the shelled cooked eggs & cook on low for 2-3hrs.
  4. wash birth intestine with salt (for large intestine, wash with both salt & flour), clean thoroughly & leave in a large bowl of water in the fridge overnight.
  5. take out a small amount of braising sauce & cook birth intestine over the stove on low fire for 20minutes then drop it in cold water. this produce a crunchy, flavourful dish & w/o the strong taste.
  6. when serving, garnish the dishes with chopped coriander & add fried shallots to the kueh chap.