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.”

Chicken Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.

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.”

Mitsuba At The Central (Clarke Quay).

For a long time now, I have been seeing ads from Mitsuba about their Jyo Chirashi and Ala-Carte Buffet and they always looked pretty awesome. I have always wanted to give it a try, and finally went last weekend with a friend of mine (who also loves Jap buffets). Walking around The Central made me wonder how the businesses survive, for in all my years of having visited it, I’ve never seen it commanding a large footfall beyond the first floor and basement. But I really like this building and it’s weird nooks and crevices, but most of all, for the view of the river. But I digress… back to Mitsuba. In the review below you will see some comparisons being made to Shin Minori, which has always been my go-to place for this price level of ala carte jap buffets. Continue reading “Mitsuba At The Central (Clarke Quay).”

Avocado And Pesto Bun

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”

Fish Head Porridge.

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.”

Chinchalok Steamed Pork.

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.”

The Art Of Opening A Bottle Of Chinchalok.

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.”