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!
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”
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”
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”
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”
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.”
This is one dish I make when I am ‘trying’ to eat healthy or less. Yes, I have abused my stomach with so much food of late that it has become a necessity to actually cut down my food and let my tummy heal. So even though I have a standing craving for cockles every Friday night, that has to be cast aside, because the chilli that I have it with burns my stomach. But I digress. Continue reading “Chicken Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.”
My cat woke me up half an hour ahead of time this morning because she was hungry. I tried to ignore her, but then I too felt hungry. And how could I let my little Queen starve?
I usually take breakfast only upon reaching the office, and after I plonked down her meal for her I laid on the couch to try to get a little more shut eye, but the stomach wouldn’t stop growling. I started making a mental scan of what I had in my fridge and BAZINGA! I remembered I had half of an avocado which was ripe and needed to be eaten and some pesto which I made some nights ago. Continue reading “Avocado And Pesto Bun”
Years ago when I worked in an ad agency that was right next to the Maxwell Market, I used to LOVE (and I do mean LOVE) this one small porridge stall known as “城记” Cheng Ji Porridge. Now, most people know about Zhen Zhen or He Ji porridge in Maxwell, but few talk about Cheng Ji. Most of the regulars in this stall have been regulars for 20-30 years, comprising mostly of old uncles. It was a small shop comprising of 3 persons (I think it was a parent + daughter team). Being a big Yu Sheng (raw fish) fan, I have tried the raw fish from all 3 stalls but Cheng Ji is my undisputed champion (though pretty unknown comparatively). But that wasn’t the best food item in the stall, for my hands down dish, was it’s Fish Head Porridge. Continue reading “Fish Head Porridge.”
In my previous post here, I talked about how to open a bottle of Chinchalok without having it explode all over you. So what do I do with Chinchalok? Many people make it into a relish of some sorts as a dipping sauce, but my go-to method is to steam it with pork. Now, if you are not interested in going through opening a bottle of chinchalok, you can also substitute it with prawn paste. Continue reading “Chinchalok Steamed Pork.”
I love these little stinky fermented shrimps, but I never knew they could ‘explode’ out of the bottle. Some years ago, my mum asked me if I knew how to open a bottle of chinchalok, and I said yes (but she didn’t tell me that the last bottle she opened had been a bad episode, with chinchalok exploding all over the kitchen). I was so smug.
How hard could it be? I proceeded to open the bottle like I did a beer bottle and was shocked when chinchalok came spewing out and ‘exploding’ like a volcano. The contents continued spewing out even after 10 secs, I guess the fermentation of the shrimps creates huge amounts of trapped gases in the bottle. Continue reading “The Art Of Opening A Bottle Of Chinchalok.”