Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup.

I’ve been reading up on the kinds of foods to eat to help with strengthening women in general, partly because I think I need it, and more importantly because I love chinese herbal tonic soups.

Angelica, otherwise known as Dang Gui (当归) in Chinese, is a well known herb used to strengthen the female body to deal with the monthly assault. But I love Dang Gui mostly for it’s aroma, and have in the past, made the mistake of adding too much, resulting in a broth that is very hard to drink.

To be honest, I am no expert at combining the herbs on my own, but I love doing it because it makes me feel very pro. You might be better off going to a chinese herbal shop to get them to pack a set for you. But if you want to try it for yourself, please note that you will need a few tries before you will get it to the taste you like.  Continue reading “Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup.”

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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”

Chinese-Style Spicy Marinated Cucumbers.

I am a big fan of china-styled marinated cucumbers, particularly those in the Liang Ban Cai (凉拌菜) stalls run by the Chinese nationals. I have tried making my own and not been successful, but after some practice, I think I have something I like enough to share.

This recipe calls for a popular off-the-shelf ready-made chilli by the famous brand Lao Gan Ma (老干妈). I have been looking at this chilli for quite a while on my supermarket shelf but never bought it, till my friend raved on Facebook about how good it is. I have seen this being sold in Asia supermarkets as far flung as Helsinki, so it shouldn’t be hard to get. It’s spicy but manageable.

*Update: 17/4/17: My friend sent me this link about Lao Ganma Chilli, which basically states that they did a test and the ingredients are questionable. Eventhough the chilli tastes great, please use with caution, or substitute with something better. You can get a gist of the article if you use google translate, since it’s all in Chinese.  Continue reading “Chinese-Style Spicy Marinated Cucumbers.”

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)”

Ikan Bilis (Anchovy) Stock.

I like to make some simple ikan bilis (anchovies) stock to freeze, because they are so versatile to use for the days when you need a quick meal. I choose to fry up the ingredients first because that was how I saw grandma do it when I was young. I have made a couple of additions to it, and am happy with the result.

I have done it both with rinsing the ikan bilis and without. The latter produces a much saltier broth which I like, but also tends to make it less suitable if you have intentions to flavour your broth further with other salty ingredients (eg. salted vegetables) when you make your meal. Continue reading “Ikan Bilis (Anchovy) Stock.”

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.”

Glass Noodles With Shredded Chicken.

I had a friend who could cook very well invite me over to her home some years ago, and she was very good at these simple 1 dish noodle items. One of them was this glass noodle (tanghoon) dish, which was something that I never thought to cook. She also used lots of aromatics and herbs, which was very new to me, but lent such a nice flavour that I made a mental note to try it for myself. And I did experiment a few times with it, and had very satisfying outcomes. Continue reading “Glass Noodles With Shredded Chicken.”