1st RI FGS (For Goodness Sake) Charity Dinner Raised S$16,948 for HCA Hospice on 20May2016

salad

salad

a group of RI friends have the idea that as we all have a good time coming together enjoying the food & company, making new memories together, maybe we can also do a charity fundraising while we are having our makan & chill get-together. ^^

so on 3.12.2016, we got together at a friend’s place to try out the logistics.

there were 28pax. 3 of us did the cooking. it was a good practice too to help with the planning & food logistics, and of course also another good excuse for our usual makan & chill together.

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a lot more organisation had gone into it by the guys this time, and we also discovered that the generous host is a accomplished auctioneer & mob rouser.

he donated 4 macallan rare cask & 3 mac18, & got everyone into the mood. there were like 28 bids for the whisky & the auction closed with 2 equal winning bids at S$1,888 for 2 bottles for each group, so that was S$3,776 in total for the whisky.

a friend donated a book about hawker fares in singapore that went for S$188.

in total the 33pax dinner (about 27 attended inner, the others came to join drink after dinner) raised S$16,948 for HCA Hospice.

what is important is that everyone was in the mood of giving & feeling good about it. & in fact a lot of chat continues afterwards on whatsapp. people were feeling happy about the occasion, the time together & doing something for the needy, & wanting to do this again.

for me whether we had raised more or less is not as important as just spending time together & doing something meaningful together.

which bali resort is this?

which bali resort is this?

this time we had it at another friend’s beautiful home, an architect, on 20.5.2016. ^^

some of us were there early, preparing salad & cutting fruits. i was reheating the curry dishes we shipped over & organising the dishes for dinner.

the vast kitchen looks out into nice greeneries, like in a nature reserve. 🙂

we were saying no need to go ubud la for retreat & relaxation…just come over here & cook…

3 of us did the cooking.

another friend brought the veg to make fresh salad (top photo). & couple other friends brought cut fruits & lots of apples (30). 

mee siam

mee siam

one friend did mee siam with prawns & fish cakes & fried tofu. 🙂

side dish

side dish

he made a very tasty side dish too with ikan bilis & tofu.

mutton stew + pilaf rice

mutton stew + pilaf rice

another friend made mutton stew & pilaf rice. 🙂

mutton stew

mutton stew

he thought of doing mutton rendang. 🙂

i was doing a few curry dishes, so he settled on doing a stew.

pilaf rice

pilaf rice

& nice long grain pilaf rice.

the host was doing some plain rice for the curries. so we reduced the amount of plain rice a bit, & started dinner off with the pilaf rice. still i think there was quite a bit of rice leftover.

i made 7 dishes + chocolate banana cake

i made 7 dishes + chocolate banana cake

i did 6 dishes (2 servings of fish head so 7 dishes) + a chocolate banana cake.

i chose curry because it was very easy to cook, and could feed many.

i figured that one dish of fish head (2 halves) was not enough for 27pax so i cooked 2 separate dishes of fish head.

the serving came with lots of veg – yellow onions, ocra, egg plants & tomatoes.

fish head was easy to cook as i used a ready curry paste – mak’s curry.

i did this couple times already & my friends all liked the curry.

so it’s just frying the rempah (curry paste), yellow onions, ocra, adding fish head & coating with rempah thoroughly, then adding egg plants, chicken (or fish) stock, coconut milk, cover & let it simmered for 10mins, then adding tomatoes.

& it’s done, that simple! 🙂

for nonya curry chicken, i used my own rempah instead of a ready paste.

i prefer to first debone the 2 chickens, and make a tasty stock using the chicken bones & carrots.

again cooking was very easy.

just fried rempah with star anise, cinnamon bark, clove & curry leaves, added chicken to coat with rempah thoroughly, then added coconut milk, chicken stock, covered & let simmer. i removed the chicken pieces after 5-6mins & cooked the wings for another 10mins.

one of the key consideration is logistic.

for curries, i cooked them in the morning so i had complete dishes & tasted them to know they were ok. then removed the fish head & chicken & let the curries cooled. then i transfered them to separate sealed plastic containers & stored in the fridge.

(basically difficult to transport a dish with liquid unless in properly sealed containers la…).

reheating was easy. the only consideration was that the fish head & curry chicken not be overcooked.

it may seem strange to choose curries with the hassle of transporting but they are easy to cook, can do in bulk & easily reheat to serve hot, and have wider appeal to diners c/w with other dishes.

kou rou 扣肉

kou rou 扣肉

i did a kou rou 扣肉.

among my own dishes this was most popular, & disappeared in double-quick time. & our friends who were early were taking this (to try haha!) before reheating & before dinner started. 🙂

this was done 4hrs in a 90degC oven to have a slow low-temperature gentle braise, then steamed in a steam oven for 1hr 15mins, so it was very tender, flavour-infused, but still have bite & texture, not falling apart.

chap chai

chap chai

i did a chap chai to balance the curries.

chap chai

chap chai

this again a very easy dish, just fry, stew cabbage, add stock, then add beancurd puffs (taupok) and add tanhoon when ready so tanhoon will cook in residual heat & not be overcooked. remember this has to be reheated later when serving.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

someone commented maybe have more veg, so i reduced 1 meat (omitted the teriyaki sutchi fillet) & added 2 veg dishes.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

the sweet peas baby corn with prawns was excellent when my helper made it for our home dinner.

this though was my first time cooking it. it turned out quite badly, i think the worst dish for the evening.

the ingredients were good. prawns were fresh, sweet peas & baby corns were always very tasty.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

however i made a bad mistake of frying the prawns first in butter, like i do for pastas.

unlike double-cooked pork回锅肉, prawns cannot be fried & steamed. it destroyed the texture, so the prawns were no more bouncy but mushy like not-fresh prawns. & this especially so when the dish had to be covered with aluminium foil & kept in a 50degC oven for long periods to keep warm.

on hindsight it was better to serve the dish cold…

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

i used a very nice tasty nonya sauce for the ocra.

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

so this dish was real easy, just fry, make sure it was cooked right then add the nonya sauce at the end.

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

looking at the photos, the vibrant green went off quite a bit, though the dish still tasted very good.

on balance, it was better to serve the dish cold w/o additional treatment after cooking.

i made a chocolate banana cake.

this was quite popular. everyone liked it. ^^

it was my second time. the first time my OPS friends talked about awfully chocolate & their chocolate banana cakes. so i went to google & found a recipe & went to phoon huat to get a 9″ by 9″ cake tin to make the dish.

this time i got better quality bananas & also added more bananas. quite a good cake.

cut fruit stall

cut fruit stall

some friends prepared the cut fruits.

watermelon

watermelon

watermelon from our regular watermelon supplier…

yellow watermelon

yellow watermelon

pineapples

pineapples

mango & guava

mango & guava

& others, like pineapples, mangoes, guavas etc…

apples

apples

one friend brought 30 apples. we all ate or brought home some…

it was a really good, fun dinner.

the host was assisted by another equal mob rouser, and our mabuk friends & others were all into the spirit of sharing, whisky & donations in equal parts.

bless them all good people! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Excellent Fish Head Curry

fish head curry was very good

fish head curry was very good

recently, i have made fish head curry a number of times & happy to say it has consistently good everytime, and my friends all thought the fish head curry was the best dish. ^^

mak's curry paste for fish head curry

mak’s curry paste for fish head curry

first time i did fish head curry was 14.3.2016. it was a 10pa curry rice lunch + bakuteh post JB trip. ^^

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

fish head curry

fish head curry

wife went to chinatown & bought me an angkoli (sea bream) fish head. i though it was very expensive at S$16.

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

fish head curry

fish head curry

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

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

fish head curry

i did this a few more times, & it was good, in fact excellent, every time-

fish head curry

fish head curry

what i like was the simplicity in the preparation.

fish head curry

fish head curry

& that it is consistently good without fail.

i am planning to do this for the community meals at teban gardens & at bathesda bedok.

fish head curry

fish head curry

i am good with using premix for my cooking. if they works why not? why invent the wheel? no hang-ups for me. 🙂

i do have a good recipe for nonya curry chicken, so for that i do not use curry paste, but there is no fix rules, whatever works, works for me la…

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 angkoli (sea bream) fish head about 1kg (or garoupa)
  • 1 Mak’s fish head curry sachet
  • 1 small yellow onions (sliced)
  • 5 ocra (1cm cut)
  • 1 egg plant (1.5cm cut)
  • 2 tomatoes (cut into 8 or 12 pieces)
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 750ml to 1000ml chicken stock

Directions:

  • wash fish head with salt thoroughly & drain.

i just followed instructions at the back of the sachet-

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

12pax Home Dinner + Silk Road Adventure Briefing on 9may2016

made a simple homecooked 12pax dinner for friends today on 9.5.2016. ^^

a good friend was briefing us on a silk road adventure tour she planned for sep this year.

mouthwatering it was! ^^

it was simple as curry dishes are easy to do & by now i am quite organised for these dinners.

the heavy cooking was only 3 full hours.

so i in fact went to the gym in the morning & a good friend bought a good teochew muay buffet lunch afterwards.

of course that excludes deboning the chicken, making stock, making the paste for nonya curry chicken & making tiramisu, all done the day before. 🙂

great wines brought by 2 friends

great wines brought by 2 friends

2 friends brought 2 nice reds.

we had the yellow label, the michel torino for another occasion.

for this evening’s dinner, i made 7 dishes-

#1 fish head curry
#2 nonya chicken curry
#3 teriyaki sutchi fillet
#4 kou rou (w/o mei cai) + white kong bak (both experimental)
#5 chap chai
#6 fried hokkien noodles
#7 tiramisu

& a friend brought excellent cheng chow dessert

the fish head curry, like the last 2 times, was excellent. everyone loved it.

my nonya curry chicken was very good too.

very lemak, flavourful & a key difference with curry chicken outside, my chicken was very tender not overcooked.

kou rou扣肉 preparation w/o the mei cai 梅菜 (experimental)

kou rou扣肉 preparation w/o the mei cai 梅菜 (experimental)

the kou rou扣肉 preparation w/o the mei cai 梅菜 was experimental. result was excellent. several friends picked this as the best, their favourite. 🙂

i used my mei cai kou rou recipe basically.

this time i used shao xing wine & sea salt & sugar to marinate, put in 90degC oven for 4 hours, browned on non-stick pan, added dark sauce to coat & some sugar, then steam oven for 1hr 15mins.

white kong bak 白腩肉 (experimental)

white kong bak 白腩肉 (experimental)

white kong bak 白腩肉 also experimental.

this after having the teochew white belly pork at bedok north food centre.

this was excellent too. a similar number of friends picked this as their favourite.

today's teriyaki sutchi not so good

today’s teriyaki sutchi not so good

the teriyaki sutchi fillet was not so good today.

i did teriyaki sutchi fillet for teban gardens community meal & bathesda bedok community meal recently. of you look at the photos, the difference is quite evident.

i think it was because i wrap it in aluminium foil in oven for 2 ovens & the fillet sweat.

chap chai was good sweet & tasty

chap chai was good sweet & tasty

chap chai was very good. cabbage sweetness + taupok yellow bean sweetness + chicken stock sweetness & reduced.

tanhoon gave some additional texture.

fried hokkien noodles tasty but soaked up the gravy & a bit mushy

fried hokkien noodles tasty but soaked up the gravy & a bit mushy

this the second time i made fried hokkien noodles.

but amount was doubled that of the first time so quite different.

another big difference was that the first time i served & ate right away, this time it was in a 50dgegC ove to keep warm for 2 hours wrapped in aluminium foil. it was tasty still but noodle soaked up the gravy & became a bit mushy.

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

a friend brought excellent cheng chow dessert.

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

it was very nice, with canned longans, freshly prepared aloe vera, lime juice & cut mango with some tanginess.

my usual tiramisu -irresistable for one friend

my usual tiramisu -irresistable for one friend

my usual tiramisu, simply irresistable to one friend, he mopped up all. ^^

korean strawberries quite sweet

korean strawberries quite sweet

korean strawberry was sweet for me, not sweet enuf for some friends.

grapes very sweet

grapes very sweet

a friend brought the grapes, very sweet! 🙂

had a great time with friends. & we had an excellent briefing too on silk road trip which one friend is organising. such a thrilling adventure from the slides presentation! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: 8pax Curry Rice Lunch for OPS51 Friends on 21Apr2016

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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

(My First) Chicken Rendang

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

first time i am cooking chicken rendang on 22.11.2015. ^^

actually first time i cooking any rendang.

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

like the babi pongteh i did yesterday, i am thinking to do this for a RI eat-together at a friend’s house on 3.12.2015. 🙂

i initially thought of doing my nonya curry chicken.

a friend is now doing the curry chicken, so i thought either to skip the chicken, OR to do a different style – a dry chicken rendang. 🙂

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

i looked at some online recipes. the one i like best is by nonya cooking.

i mostly followed that with some minor variations.

lemon grass, dessicated coconut, galangal

lemon grass, dessicated coconut, galangal

i went to sheng shiong to get some ingredients like lemon grass, galangal & dessicated coconut.

dessicated coconut

dessicated coconut

i added about 30g dessicated coconut and fried under medium to low fire.

kerisik

kerisik

until golden brown=kerisik.

kerisik

kerisik

set aside the kerisik.

blended chilli, ginger, galangal, lemon grass etc

blended chilli, ginger, galangal, lemon grass etc

i blended 12 dry chilli (soaked in hot water & seeded), 4cm galangal, 3cm ginger, 7 shallots, 3garlic cloves, and 3 stalks lemon grass (white part).

frying the rempah

frying the rempah

then i fried in 3 tbsp oil till the rempah is fragrant.

deboned chicken pieces, about 800g

deboned chicken pieces, about 800g

i had earlier deboned  1.4kg chicken. i kept the 2 drum sticks for future use, and the legs & bones for soup.

fyring the chicken

fyring the chicken

i added the cut chicken breast meat & 2 wings & fried with the rempah to coat the chicken.

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

i did for about 10mins.

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

then i added 200ml coconut milk.

added the kerisik and cooked for another 20mins, adding salt & tasting. & tried the chicken that it was cooked & not overcooked.

then i added some cut kaffir lime leaves.

then reduced to a drier, very fragrant chicken rendang dish.

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

i did the final taste & added 1 tbsp fish sauce.

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

overall, it was really quite an excellent dish.

it was intended for dinner to be eaten with rice. daughter & later wife came back & we finished more than 1/2 without any rice.

looks like we are going out for dimsum dinner instead.

daughter & wife thought the lemon grass could be reduced. otherwise quite perfect.

i did have a superb S$5 chicken rendang rice at kopi roti central with mei mei & my good dentist friend on 19.9.2015.

i think that one still better than mine la…just S$5!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients :-

  • 800g cut chicken
  • 30g dessicated coconut
  • 1 heap tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves

for rempah paste –

  • 12 red chilli seeded (i used 12 quite old dry chilli so colour not red enuf!)
  • 3cm ginger
  • 4cm galangal
  • 2 stalks lemon grass (white part) – (i used 3 will reduce next time)
  • 7 shallots
  • 3 clove garlic

Directions :-

  1. fry 30g dessicated coconut and fried under medium to low fire to lightly golden brown (kerisik). set aside.
  2. blend 12 red chilli (or dry chilli soaked in hot water & seeded), 4cm galangal, 3cm ginger, 7 shallots, 3garlic cloves, and 2 stalks lemon grass (white part) for rempah paste.
  3. fry in 3 tbsp oil till the rempah is fragrant.
  4. add cut chicken breast meat & 2 wings & fry with the rempah to coat the chicken. fry for 10mins.
  5. add 200ml coconut milk. add the kerisik and cooked for another 20mins (add some water & cover), adding salt & tasting. try chicken, to see that it is cooked & not overcooked.
  6. add some cut kaffir lime leaves. then reduce to a drier, very fragrant chicken rendang dish.

 

Curry Chicken Noodles – Finale

i tried my hands first at curry chicken noodles because i so like the hong lim FC curry chicken noodles.

i like both stalls but like ah heng’s better-

  1. Irresistible Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 19Jan2015
  2. Heng Kee (興记) Curry Chicken Noodles at Hong Lim Food Centre on 7Nov2014
  3. Shiok Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 16Sep2013

& i make a very good poached chicken 白斩鸡 (i would say as good as ah heng’s & better than most chicken rice stalls) & also a very good nonya curry chicken i.e. a good flavourful chicken curry, i fancied i could combine the 2 & make a decent curry chicken noodles.

that was when i tried my hands and recorded as Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One almost 2 years ago on 29.6.2013.

i served it to my friends at a 11pax Homegourmet Dinner on 11Jun2013, & everyone loved it. still, i said “Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One” because i wasn’t totally happy with the results, it was not near enough to ah hen’s.

this time though i think i have graduated. it was jolly good. haha!^

i had a 9pax homecooked lunch featuring chilli crab angel hair (w/o crab), another “crabless” beehoon, and this curry chicken noodles on 9.3.2015.^^

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

my chicken curry looked potent, as it should be!^^

since i was using the curry as sauce i.e. not cooking with the chicken (chicken was poached separately), so i used a lot of chicken bones (2 chicken) to make a very flavour broth for the curry soup. 🙂

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

fish cake,bean sprouts

fish cake,bean sprouts

i had the yellow noodles & thick beehoon done al dente, placed in cold water & ice to make sure they stopped cooking & were firm & not mushy. same for the bean sprouts, still crunchy (but not in  cold water, just aga or estimate, not so critical).

& the second most important after the curry soup, the poached chicken 白斩鸡. this my pride & joy. haha!^^ i think it was very good. 🙂

curry chicken noodles

curry chicken noodles

all ready to serve, in 9 bowls.

only thing i could not replicate is the hot, cold, hot sequence! which is (1)cook the noodles (2) put in cold water to stop cooking (3) put back in hot soup to warm before adding soup.

i did the first 2 already. the last is so that the noodles are warm (mine were cold obviously), so the hot soup when added will not have so much drop in temperature.

well, it’s not perfect la!

curry chicken noodles

curry chicken noodles

still it was a pretty good!

all my friends loved it. in the end it’s also that i myself loved it & felt very good about it!

overall the dish was “almost” there la! & my chicken definitely equal if not better.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (I use 1.4kg from Giant hypermarket OR Sheng Shiong)
  • 2l chicken stock  (from bones of 2 chicken)
  • 300ml thick coconut milk or to taste
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 stems lemon grass (white part)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (about that but also to taste)
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar (about that but also to taste)
  • 10 pieces of dried taupok (each cut into 4 strips)
  • 2 potatoes peeled & diced (about 10 pieces)
  • 3  ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake
  • 200g tau gay

for spice paste (ground in mixer or pound in mortar):

  • 100g dried prawns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 18 shallots
  • 18 dried chilli (soaked in water & removed seeds)
  • 10g coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken curry – stir-fry star anise, cinnamon stick & cloves over low heat. add in the spice paste and stir-fry till fragrant. add the curry leaves and fry them really well. add chicken stock with dried prawns & bring to boil. use the carcase of 1 chicken as stock base. subsequently after cooking & deboning the whole chicken, use the bones/carcase to add to the soup – so 2 chicken bones/carcase to provide the soup stock flavours. add diced potatoes to add to the body of the soup & cook for about 1/2hr or till they break by pressing against the side of the saucepan. add sea salt & sugar & add 200ml thick coconut milk OR to taste.
  2. Cook the chicken – See poached chicken 白斩鸡.
  3. Condiments – grill ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake in a toaster oven, let them cool & then slice them. add taupok (dried bean curd) nearer the end of cooking.
  4. Serve with noodles – boil yellow noodles & thick beehoon for laksa till just cooked (al dente) and put in ice bath to stop cooking so noodles are QQ. when everything is done, serve yellow noodles & thick beehoon in bowl & add the fishcake & cut chicken. then add boiling curry soup with taupok & potatoes & serve.

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

 

 

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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

Homecooked Buffet for 17pax on 19Aug2013 (Public)

ANDY'S HOMECOOKED BUFFET DINNER FOR 17PAX ON 19.8.2013 7.30PM (public)

we had 9 dishes with the usual thai tanhoon, spicy pork ribs, spicy seabass & HK kailan by my domestic helper. i did the other 4 dishes. it was quite easy as i did the buffet twice before. most dishes were precooked & only needed warming up. only the garlic prawn i cooked (only took 5 minutes) while everyone was tucked in to dinner,

chong loong's signature chilli crab

chong loong’s signature chilli crab

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we had lots of food, especially as a friend brought his brother’s famous chilli crab. 🙂

aunty Bes' thai tanhoon salad

thai tanhoon salad

miso char siew (belly pork)

miso char siew (belly pork)

nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

the thai tanhoon always good! spicy, tangy, tasty! & the miso char siew (belly pork) i perfected, and since then it is always good. the nonya curry chicken was very tasty & “pang” (fragrant), and this another quite consistent dish, so far good everytime. 🙂

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

lor neng, tau kua & tau pok

lor neng, tau kua & tau pok

i had my first accident since i started homecooking for groups in mar2012. its probably my own failure but i did exactly the same recipe & timing but i felt the braised duck was tough when cutting (bad workman blaming the tools,,haha). my friends were too polite to say the duck was tough. i thought the flavour was ok & also the lor neng, tau kua & tau pok were quite ok & well received.

white-cut chicken

white-cut chicken

aunty bes' spicy bean sauce pork ribs

spicy bean sauce pork ribs

the chicken was not cut/carved that well, but it was brined with salt & sugar & was very moist, tender & tasty. & spicy bean sauce pork rib – always good! 🙂

garlic prawns

garlic prawns

aunty bes' spicy tau jeon seabass

spicy tau jeon seabass

aunty bes' poached HK kailan with shitake

poached HK kailan with shitake

i did my usual dry wok high heat garlic prawns. this method produced a slight charred bbq taste. at the same time the prawn flesh was not directly in contact with the wok & was in fact baked in its shell & so very moist & tender. a key ingredient is fish sauce.when the wok was dry & very high heat, the fish sauce flavour was fully brought out giving the wok hae & because the prawns were in the shell it was not too salty. 🙂

the spicy tau jeon seabass was a excellent recipe. it turned the seabass which had “mud” taste & a mushy not firm texture into a very flavourful dish! 🙂 & the poached HK kailan with shitake as a perfect accompaniment to all the meaty stuff. 🙂

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a fried brought watermelon. very sweet – he sure knew how to pick. others brought strawberry & cherries.

we all had a wonderful evening chatting & chilling.

c.h.e.f andy