Friday, December 26, 2008

Beancurd Stick, Gingko & Barley Dessert

This is a new recipe I learnt from my aunt just this week. I had had this dessert twice already when I visited her. She's a wizard in the kitchen, this aunt of mine. She is a cheesecake maestro too.

For this dessert, you'll need:

Dried beancurd sticks (ask your grocer for the type that makes desserts, not the cooking type) - wash and soak in water for 20 minutes
A handful of barley (washed/rinsed)
1/2 cup peeled fresh gingko nuts (or get the ready peeled version at your local supermarket)
rock sugar to taste
1.5 liter water

In a pot, bring water to boil. Add soaked beancurd sticks ('fu chuk' in Cantonese). Boil for 20 minutes on low. Cover pot. Add gingko nuts, barley and rock sugar. Boil for another 15 minutes. The beancurd stick should have melted into the water by now. Turn off fire and serve warm.

It should look like a milky liquid with barley and gingko nuts. A great cooling dessert and of course makes your skin smooth and beautiful!

You know me, I love anything that helps make my complexion smooth and silky.

Tip: Do not put too much of barley or your dessert will be too gooey and sticky (an oat-like or porridge-like texture). A small handful will do. Barley is added for a good chewy texture to the dessert. The star of this dessert is the milky goodness of the 'fu chuk'.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

4-Star Vegetable Soup

This is a soup I made today while digging about my fridge.

I found some corn on the cob, some lotus root, a handful of soyabeans and half a carrot. I decided to make it a full vegetarian soup because I knew soya beans would provide the sweetness desired, in fact, carrot and lotus and corn already are 'sweet' vegetables.

So I put them all together in a pot of water and brought the whole thing to a boil. Put on the lid and turned down the heat so the soup was just simmering. Simmer for 2 hours and season with salt and pepper.

How did it taste?

Very light, very sweet and very clear on the palate. The type of soup that one should drink in this scorching heat. Penang is very hot in the day time and I can feel the heat so here's more reason to drink soup.

Also, when the day heats up and I don't feel like taking much food, soup comes to the rescue.

Try this soup and let me know how it goes.

For variation, you can add some chicken thighs to the soup (but do remove the chicken skin first as this makes the soup a bit too oily).

Here's to a 4-star soup!

(Super tip: If you want extra flavour in your stock, add a handful of soya beans. You don't have to soak the beans. Just put them in with your chicken/pork when you are making your stock and your stock will be ultra yummy. A tip I learnt from hawkers who use soya bean to add more oomph to their stock.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Porridge with Minced Pork Balls

I love porridge because it's so easy to cook.

All you need is a rice cooker and the porridge can happily cook itself while you go about doing other things - like updating one's blog. ;-)

Because porridge is so versatile, you can make plain porridge which goes well with fried crunchy anchovies, fried peanuts, choy poh (Chinese salted vegetables) or you can make fish porridge (basic porridge with the addition of fresh fish slices) or you can make pork porridge.

For pork porridge, you need:

1/2 cup minced pork (marinate with pepper, salt, soya sauce and 1 tsp cornflour for 10 minutes in the fridge)
1 cup rice, washed and drained (1 cup rice serves 2 people, so double up if you have more mouths to feed)

The ratio of rice to water is 1:4. The water should be at least 3 inches above the rice level when it's in the rice cooker pot.

When cooking porridge, do not close the rice cooker lid tightly. Slant it at an angle or you will have a mess of gruel to clean up after! Plus your porridge might just end up a mushy rice.

Put rice and water into your cooker and switch on the cooker. Tilt the lid so that the rice cooker isn't tightly covered. Let this bubble and boil for 30 minutes or more. Once in a while, stir the pot so you know the consistency of the porridge.

After 30 minutes, shape minced pork into tiny balls and drop into the cooking porridge. Add a teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper. Add 1 tbsp sesame seed oil and stir well.

Let it cook for another 10 minutes before switching off the heat. Let porridge stand for another 10 minutes before serving warm with good quality soya sauce.

UPDATE: A tip I learnt - if you mix your minced pork with egg and soya sauce, your minced pork ball will be smoother!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Seaweed Soup from Patrica

I'm going to link you to a deliciously simple seaweed soup by Patrica because her version is absolutely yummy! And so easy to prepare.

Head on over to her blog and try it out.

Besides that, she has other equally fun and easy recipes too.

Check them all out!

I shall be back with regular blogging in the next 2 days...

In case you wanna know my versions, it's the 3-minute soup here and kelp soup here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Black & Yummy Chicken Wing Recipe

This has to be one of the simplest recipes ever (besides my grandmother's soya sauce chicken, of course).

You marinate the chicken wings overnight in the fridge and next day, pour them into a pot, add 300 ml of water and simmer until cooked, probably 20 minutes or so.

For this chicken recipe, you need:

8 chicken wings, drummets included
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame seed oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Now mix the above and put into an airtight container. Leave to marinate in fridge (not freezer) overnight or 12 hours. Next day or 12 hours later, pour chicken together with marinade into a wok and pour in 300ml water. Bring to a fast boil. Cover tight and simmer 15 minutes. Simmer another 5 minutes with wok uncovered. This dish is not supposed to drown in gravy so let the water evaporate until you have a little bit gravy left. Serve hot with plain rice.

Simple, easy and tasty! This got the thumbs-up from my husband. ;-)