Clams In White Wine Sauce

I love clams. In fact, I love almost every common bivalve mollusk that you get, but the problem was, that I could never bring myself to make my own, because it would mean that I would have to “kill” them myself. Clams are one of those things that need to be alive when you cook them, and the pre-boiled ones are really just not great. So there is this couple at the Tiong Bahru market that sells ONLY clams and I have been walking past week after week, ogling at the clams but never buying them. But one day, someone told me to think of it this way, by ‘killing’ clams, I am ‘rescuing’ them from further suffering a slow death at the market, which made sense to me (others may not agree), so I decided once and for all to do it, and boy, was I hooked!

Degrit Clams

Before you start cooking them, you will need to de-grit them. First wash the shells under running water and rub off any gunk with your hands. Then make some cool sea salt water. Use ONLY sea salt. My purpose is to give them a nice little spa and treat them well since I will be killing them, that’s the best I can do. Taste the water to get it salty enough to mimic sea water to a certain point (ie. Not too bland – you can see the amount of salt I add to the water in the picture). You need to make enough to cover the clams but not too deep (I keep it at about an inch above). Then, drop in your clams gently into the sea salt water, you will see that some will start to open up and spit out gunk within just a minute or two. I love watching them.

IMPORTANT: Do not de-grit them in unsalted tap water, it will kill them. Also, if you can, use filtered water (yes, nothing but the best for these little babies!). The water needs to be cool, not warm, so you can opt to drop in a couple of ice cubes if you like. Continue reading “Clams In White Wine Sauce”

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Chilled Truffle Angel Hair Pasta with Ikura

I have recreated cold pasta with caviar for some time now, after I sampled the ones made by either Garibaldi or Gunther at the Savour Event that I went to years ago. Then I forgot about it for a while until I went to an event for an Uni Pasta that was similar in nature. Because I was totally peeved off by the latter event, I went home and decided to make a cold pasta that weekend just to satisfy my anger, and came up with this. I enjoyed eating it because it tasted good and was so easy to make! Best part is, you can several variations which I will list at the end of this page.

The basic components are simple: angel hair pasta, salt, truffle oil, spring onions, roe. Continue reading “Chilled Truffle Angel Hair Pasta with Ikura”

Baked Seabass With Herbs And Lime.

When watching the first movie of The Amazing Spiderman franchise, I was intrigued when the character Gwen Stacy invited Peter Parker to her home for dinner and said: “We’re having Branzino.” What is that?! I thought to myself. Later on I would find out it was a whole grilled fish, and it intrigued me, because I have always wanted to try making one for myself, grilled the ‘western’ way. Continue reading “Baked Seabass With Herbs And Lime.”

Simple Tomato Herb Pasta

I wanted a quick dinner the other day and started thinking about what I had in my fridge that I wanted to finish up and came up with this simple pasta. There was about a 1/3 bottle of leftover pasta sauce from Prego’s and some grated parmesan which I had from making my Eggplant Parmagiana. Then there was this onsen egg (slightly overcooked) which I had made a couple of days before and a small bottle of anchovies in oil which has been sitting in my pantry for a while now.   Continue reading “Simple Tomato Herb Pasta”

Garlic Lemon Squid

I love squid. I don’t know what it is about it, but I loved squid (or as we call it, sotong) ever since I could remember. My grandma made a particularly good simple chilli sotong which I would lap up with delight, and it was the chilli that made it so good. I have only come close to replicating it, because she used a chilli which was made by a neighbor who would gift it to her.

But today’s simple squid recipe is one which can be replicated easily, with ingredients that are easy to secure almost anywhere in the world. That is, unless you live in a place where fresh squid is hard to get. You will need to clean and gut your squid, and this is something which I find strangely therapeutic. I love picking the ones which have roe, and it is during this cleaning process where I find out if I have made the right selection. More seasoned fish handlers would be able to tell just by touching the squid, but that is a skill I have yet to hone. Continue reading “Garlic Lemon Squid”

Creamy Sweet Corn Thick Soup With Pork

I learnt this creamy sweet corn soup many years ago, while I was still in university. I then realised it’s quite a common soup made in Hong Kong families. It’s very simple to make, and is sweet and savoury all at once. For those nights when you need to whip something up quickly.

For this recipe, it is important to use the CREAMY sweet corn and not the corn kernels, else you will not get the kind of intended flavours that the soup is meant to impart. For the pork, you can generally use any pork that is not too fat. I told my butcher about what I was using it for, and he went “you want the soft one?” and gave me this piece. You see, you can use the usual lean pork (肉眼) but the texture when you gnaw into it won’t be as nice. Continue reading “Creamy Sweet Corn Thick Soup With Pork”

Melazane Alla Parmigiana AKA Eggplant Parmigiana.

I first had this as a teenager in the local Italian restaurant chain, Pasta Fresca, which used to be pretty famous back then in Singapore. I was totally blown away and it became one of the regular items I would order when I visited any good Italian restaurants. I even had it as my main sometimes – eventhough this was considered more of an appetiser item – simply because I didn’t like to share it.

Fast forward many years later, I decided to recreate this when I finally moved out and had my own home and kitchen. I read many recipes online and decided that I would simplify the method so that it’s simple to make with little cleanup needed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It’s been fail-safe for me so far and I usually make it when I have guests and it has always been well received. I freeze batches of them in my fridge and thaw them in the fridge a day ahead of when I would need it. Makes it so quick and easy. Continue reading “Melazane Alla Parmigiana AKA Eggplant Parmigiana.”

Creamy Mushroom And Potatoes.

I was in the market last week when I saw these really nice and fresh brown button mushrooms and I knew I had to get them. I bought some fresh potatoes and decided to try making a creamy dish with it, since I had some creme fraiche left in the fridge which I need to finish up soon.

The resulting dish was so satisfactory that I decided to make it again this week, although I think for most people this would be a better side dish than a main, because it’s really quite rich. I eat it on it’s own because I like rich tasting foods, so it works well for me, so be warned, it’s not healthy at all. Continue reading “Creamy Mushroom And Potatoes.”

Foochow Red Wine Chicken (红糟鸡)

红糟鸡, aka Glutinous Red Wine Chicken, is my absolute favourite Foochow dish, and that is as Foochow as I get, because I was brought up more with the Cantonese influence on things and speak the latter dialect instead of the former.

But this dish, is gold to me. Perhaps because of it’s rarity in Singapore too. It’s not something you find easily available in hawker centres, and even if you do, the quality is often lacking. The key ingredient, the red glutinous wine residue (or lees as they term it) is hard to get. In recent years, I found a China-made version which I thought was really quite edible, but nothing compares to the ones my mum brings back from Malaysia when she visits. Look at the deep red colour of the residue, the taste is rich and carries depth. My mum gets them from my auntie, who gets them from Sitiawan, a small town in Malaysia, where the Foochow influence is still strong. Continue reading “Foochow Red Wine Chicken (红糟鸡)”

Creamy Escargot and Mushroom Pasta.

I bought some canned escargots on my visit to Finland last year and have been meaning to cook them. I even bought a snail pan, but it only takes 6 at one go, which means I have to eat a couple of batches on successive days if I wanted to open a can. So I have been hesitating for a very long time.

But this weekend, I finally decided to use a can for pasta instead, and went about reading many recipes on the net before settling on creating this cream based version with mushrooms. I used the Creste shaped pasta because I have some in my pantry, and decided that for the cream sauce recipe, it will actually pick up the sauce pretty well. Continue reading “Creamy Escargot and Mushroom Pasta.”