Archive for February, 2008

Really Easy & Yummy Tofu Dish

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Really Easy & Yummy Tofu Dish

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Soft Tofu Available in Boxes

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Crispy Fried Shallots

Good afternoon, dear friends πŸ˜€

Ughhh! I am experiencing some Internet connection problems with the broadband service provider.Β Yesterday, Β I was sending off thisΒ recipe to be published when the connection broke and I lost this post. Now, I am redoing this again …. πŸ™„

This tofu recipe is really easy and quick to prepare but it tastes absolutely delicious, not to mention that it is a healthy, vegetarian (substitute shallots & green onions with ginger, oyster sauce with vegetarian oyster sauce)Β dish as well. The tofu texture is so smooth that it is a real delight tasting it.

All youΒ need is just 5 minutes of your time. I usually make this tofu whenever it is a hot day or I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I will serve this together with another meat dish, vegetable stirfry and a nourishing soup – we have these with hot white rice. πŸ˜‰

I was first introduced to this recipe when I was a kid and my mom wouldΒ prepare it for our lunch and dinner…..so, this is actually quite a common dish among the Chinese. πŸ˜‰

Ingredients –

1 box of soft tofu available from supermarkets, or 1 large piece of “sui taufu” available from wet markets and cut from a large slab of soft, delicate tofu

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsps hot water

2 tbsps oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 or 2Β tbsps fragrant shallot oil

2 tbsps crispy fried shallots, for garnishing

2 tbsps chopped green onions, for garnishing


Method –

1) Remove tofu from packaging and place in a dish to let out any excess water. Remove water. Some people would steam the tofu for a few minutes, but I’d just serve it as it is. If I had bought the tofu from the wet market, I’ll just run it under tap water for a few seconds.

2) Dissolve the sugar in water in a rice bowl.

3) Add in the sauces and oil. Stir to mix evenly.

4) Garnish and serve immediately.

Easy, eh? πŸ˜†

Here’s the recipe for the shallot oil and fried shallots. Usually, I’d make a batch enough to last a week or two. They are versatile and lovely to be used as garnishings.

1) Peel skin off shallots.

2) Slice shallots thinly.

3) Heat up enough oil to just cover the shallots over.

4) Put in the shallots and fry over medium heat until they are golden in colour (mine was slightly overdone as you can see in the picture above 😳 ). Turn off the fire immediately.

5) Remove the golden shallots with a slotted spoon and place on paper kitchen towels to remove excess oil. When cool, store in an airtight container for use later.

6) The fragrant shallot oil can be stored in a covered container, and drizzled over your friedΒ noodles, vegetable stirfry, tofu, noodle soups, etc.

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Disco Fever & Boogie Nights!

Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

Hehe….. during these 2 days, my mind has not been on cooking and recipes, but more on going down memory lane to the 70’s! Wow, being a teenager then was really fun with all the songs from that disco era. Remember the rotating glass disco ball hanging from the above in the discos? Looking back now, I realise that the cool words then were “disco”, “boogie”, “funky”, “shake your booty” and a few more that I can’t remember. πŸ˜†

Here’s another two of my favourites – usually, when my chores get all boring and I need some motivation to get going…. I’ll put on my retro CD’s to get the mood going happy! πŸ™„ I had earlier written something about this – please READ HERE …. and… READ HERE

I now dedicate the songs below to you (the first one has been remixed, though) – hope you enjoy them ….. πŸ˜€

Good night and sweet dreams from KL! πŸ˜€

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A Beautiful Retro 70’s Song To Share With Your Loved One

Good afternoon, dear friends πŸ˜€If you are in your 40’s like me, then you would probably remember this song being popular back in the 1970’s and it will bring back many memories to you. I have always like this song but have never really known its title nor singer but I was so happy to hear it over the radio one day and the DJ then mentioned the song name. Do listen to the song and read its lyrics below, and I highly recommend your dedicating or sending this video and lyrics to your spouse or boy/girlfriend as it has so much meaning – hehe, I had just emailed it to my husband, who would surely be surprised to receive this at work and he is now probably wondering what’s gotten over me and had me going all mushy with love suddenly! πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

It’s such a beautiful song, plus the video is quite amusing, too! Go on….try it and see πŸ˜‰

Have a lovely day today! πŸ˜€

– Lovely Day by Bill Withers – released in 1977

Here are the lyrics –

When I wake up in the morning
love
and the sun light hurts my eyes
And something without worning
love
bears heavy on my mind.
Then I look at you and the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you and I know it’s gonna be –

A lovely day – lovely day
lovely day
lovely day
lovely day

Lovely day
lovely day
lovely day
lovely day.
A lovely day – lovely day
lovely day
lovely day
lovely day

Lovely day
lovely day
lovely day
lovely day.

When the day that lies ahead of me seems impossible to face

And someone else instead of me always seems to know the way
Then I look at you and the world’s alright with me

Just one look at you and I know it’s gonna be –

A lovely day – lovely day
lovely day
lovely day
lovely day

When the day that lies ahead of me seems impossible to face

A lovely day – lovely day
lovely day
lovely day
lovely day

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Yummy Chicken Stirfry With Ginger In Oyster Sauce

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Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

I must say that I only really picked up cooking seriously when I got married at a young age of 20, and my husband and I went to stay in Vancouver, Canada for a while. Before that, the very first recipe that I had learnt from my late father (yes, my father was the cook at home since he retired as a chef) when I was a teenager was this dish called “Chicken Stirfry With Ginger” or in Cantonese, “Chow Gai Low Keong”…….and it was this popular dish that I first cooked when we were overseas. πŸ˜€

Over the years, I have improved tremendously with this recipe and I would like to share it with you. My family loves this dish, too and it is very good to eat this with hot white rice on a rainy or cold, wintry day as this dish is very nutritious to our health and warms our body. This is also a popular dish for new mothers who are in their “confinement period” (the one month recuperating period after delivery of their babies) to regain their health.

This is considered a “heaty” dish that that adds “yang” or warm energy to our body, nourishes our blood, removes wind and acts like a tonic to improve our health. Because this is a heaty dish, do not consume too much of this if you are experiencing heaty bodily symptoms like gum aches, toothaches, a mild throbbing headache, and “gummy eyes.”

I hope you like this recipe. πŸ˜‰

Ingredients (for 6 persons) –

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To marinate –

3 whole chicken legs, cut into bite sizes (you can use boneless chicken, too but we prefer with bone-in as the meat is juicier this way)

3 tbsps oyster sauce

3 tbsps soy sauce

3 tbsps dark soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp cornstarch

Method –

Marinate the chicken pieces with oyster sauce, soy sauce, black sauce, sesame oil, wine, salt and cornstarch. Massage the chicken pieces thoroughly with your fingers and with your love – this will make the meat very tender and juicy. Do this for a good 3 to 5 minutes.

TipIf you can set this aside to marinate for at least half an hour, the chicken will be well flavoured. But if you don’t have the time, just massage the chicken pieces longer.

Marinated Chicken Pieces –

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Ingredients for stirfrying chicken –

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2 inch knob young ginger, skinned and sliced thinly (use older ginger if you want more potency from it as it will generate more “internal” heat in your body and better for removing wind)

6 shallots, skinned and sliced thinly

4 tbsps sesame oil (use more if you want this dish more aromatic or if it is for new/confinement mothers)

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

3 tbsps rice wine or any wine (use more if you prefer more gravy or for new mothers. The wine is very nourishing when combined with these ingredients)

1 to 2 tbsps sugar (personally, I like this dish a bit sweeter)

1/2 cup water (do not add water but use wine in place if this is used as a confinement dish)

dash of white pepper

Green Onions for garnishing, cut into 1-inch lengths

Method –

1) Heat up wok until it is lightly smoking as you need a very high fire for cooking this.

2) Quickly pour in the sesame oil, leave for about 30 seconds and put in the ginger and shallots.

3) Keep stirring until they become very aromatic and light golden brown.

4) Put in the chicken slices and continue stirfrying for about 5 minutes. The chicken will be half cooked by now.

5) Pour in the wine and hear the lovely sizzle in the wok. Stir for a minute.

6) Pour in the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar, stirring to mix well and then pour in the water. Mix thoroughly, lower heat to medium and then cover the wok for about 3 minutes.

7) By now the water would have reduced and the dish is very fragrant. Turn off the fire, and put in the green onions. Give it another good stir to mix the green onions.

8 ) Dish out and serve with hot white rice.

Voila! Another home cooked recipe, just for you! πŸ˜€

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Mmmmm….posting this recipe is making me all hungry again as I could almost taste this dish while picturing it in my mind, and I just had dinner! πŸ™„ πŸ˜†

Bon Appetit!Β  πŸ˜€

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Popular Delicious Tau Yew Bak (Pork Braised In Soy Sauce)

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Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

This is a really popular Hokkien dish known as “Tau Yew Bak” and is a typical homestyle cooking that is simple in ingredients and recipe, but very appealing to our tastebuds. I had learned this from my Hokkien mother-in-law as I am not a Hokkien myself, but a Hakka! Later, I will give you my recipe for “Hakka Char Yoke”, a typical Hakka dish. πŸ˜‰

After a period of having Chinese New Year festive dishes, it is good to “come back down to earth” and partake in these simple, country style homecooked food. πŸ˜†

Ingredients (serves 6) –

1 kg pork belly with skin, cut into 1-inch lengths

5 tbsps of soy sauce

5 tbsps of premium soy sauce (Lee Kum Kee Select Soy Sauce is good, this type of soy sauce is less salty and more aromatic. If not available in your area, then use 10 tbsps of the same kind of soy sauce)

5 tbsps dark soy sauce

1/2 cup rock sugar (this is gives a mellow sweetness to the sauce and somehow less sweet than normal sugar. But if this is not available, then use 3 tbsps of sugar)

2 whole bulbs of garlic

Hot water

6 hard boiled eggs, shells removed

Cornstarch-water mixture for thickening sauce

Method –

1) Marinate the pork chunks with soy sauce, thick soy sauce and rock sugar for at least 1 hour. If you don’t have the time to wait for the marinating, then simply massage the pork with the marinade for at least 5 minutes. Then the flavours would be well infused into the meat. πŸ˜‰

2) Heat up a heavy pot. No oil is required.

3) Pour the pork and marinade into the pot, hear the sizzle and keep stirring the pork to prevent burning.

4) Put in the whole garlic.

5) Stir until the liquid is almost reduced and the pork is aromatic.

6) Add enough hot water to just cover the pork and garlic.

7) Bring to a boil, lower heat to small and simmer with the pot covered for about 30 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent burning and to ensure even cooking.

8 ) Put in the hard boiled eggs. Stir gently more frequently to coat the eggs with the sauce as by now, the sauce would be reduced. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Add a little more water if the sauce dries up too much.

9) Check the taste and adjust accordingly with more soy sauce or salt. Thicken with cornstarch-water as necessary.

Serve hot with white rice or with steamed “Man Tous” (white buns). Be sure to cook more rice because whenever I serve this dish, my husband and sons would have double the servings of rice that they normally have! πŸ˜†

Hope you like this simple recipe. Bon Appetit! πŸ˜€

P.S. For those that would like to try this recipe but prefers a healthier version, you can use chicken pieces or leaner pork.

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Homemade Traditional Chun Kuen Or Spring Rolls For Chinese New Year

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Traditional Spring Rolls Deepfried In Batter

Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

This is a really traditional version of spring rolls (called “Chun Kuen” in Cantonese) that was taught to me by my mother-in-law 20 years ago and we would have this wonderful dish during our Family Reunion Dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. But because the spring rolls are so delicious and my family loves them so much, I would make a big batch and freeze some for later on. Because I only make these spring rolls once a year, it only makes this dish more unique and often looked forward to with glee by my family whenever the Chinese New Year is here. πŸ˜†

Ingredients –

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2 kg ground pork

600 gm prawns, to be shelled and chopped coarsely

10 water chestnuts, skin peeled and chopped

12 shallots, skin removed and chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

2 large eggs

3 tbsps corn flour

2 – 1/2 tbsps salt

1 tbsp sugar

4 tbsps soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsps sesame oil

1 tbsp white pepper

Method –

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with your hand and “massage” the pork mixture for a good 5 to 10 minutes – this will make the meat smoother in texture and tastier. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, you prepare the pork fat “netting” by washing them a few times in a basin of water to remove any impurities. Be gentle while you do that so that you do not break them apart. You can get this type of pork fat from your butcher – just tell him you want some “Chee Mong Yau” as it is known as in Cantonese and that you want to make “Chun Kuen” or spring rolls and he will know what you want. I got mine for free this year but previously, I would buy about RM5 of pork fat/nets.

Pork Fat Netting

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To assemble Chun Kuen or Spring Rolls –

1) Cut out a piece of pork fat netting to the size of a dinner plate, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. I would place this on my chopping board.

2) Put about 3 cups of the ground pork mixture onto the edge of the pork fat netting that is nearer to you.

3) Shape the pork mixture with your fingers into a log shape about 6 to 8 inches long, about 2 inches in diameter.

4) Lift up the pork fat netting that is nearer to you to cover the pork.

5) Then fold up both the sides to cover the pork.

6) Roll up the pork netting with the ground pork inside slowly, and tightly, while maintaining the log shape. You can give it a few more rolls to shape it better.

7) Place the pork rolls or spring rolls into a baking tray and they would look like this …

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Steam the Chun Kuens over high heat for 20 minutes…….and they will look like this …

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When the Spring Rolls are cooled, just pack them in pairs into Ziplock bags for storage in the freezer. The liquid left in the tray from the steaming is thrown away.

This recipe makes 8 rolls and I steamed the Spring Rolls a day before the Reunion Dinner. Hence, I kept 2 rolls in the chiller compartment in my fridge for cooking the next day.

To cook the final part of these delicious Chun Kuens, you need to prepare a batter. An easy way is to use some Tempura flour and here is a picture of the type Tempura flour that I had used. It is imported from Thailand. Follow the instructions on the packet and in this case, all I needed to do was to add 210ml of water to the flour for the batter. Easy. πŸ˜€

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However, if you can’t find Tempura flour, then you can combine 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup rice flour or corn starch (this makes the batter crispier), 1/2 tsp salt, 1 egg white, and enough water to make the right consistency for the batter.

To Fry Spring Rolls –
1) Make sure that the Spring Rolls/Chun Kuens are thawed to room temperature.

2) Cut across the spring rolls into 1-cm or 1/-inch thickness.

3) Dip them into the prepared batter.

4) Fry in hot oil until they are light golden in colour.

5) Serve hot with a dish of bottled chilli sauce for dipping.

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Voila! Traditional Chinese Pork Spring Rolls. For an auspicious sounding name, I had called them “Gold Coins”.

I hope you will give this recipe a try and be as happy as I was when you see your family’s faces light up when they bite into these homemade Chun Kuens! πŸ˜€

Note – Do not remove the pork fat netting, just cut the spring rolls up as they are. For those parts that seem to have too much pork fat, just remove some of it. I have tried removing all the pork fat from a spring roll before frying it but somehow, the taste isn’t just the same – not as sinfully delicious! πŸ˜†

Be sure to have a pot of strong Chinese tea on hand to wash down the fat from this dish! πŸ˜€

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Fruit Drink For Soothing Coughs & Reducing Phlegm

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Ingredients from top, clockwise – Lor Hon Kuo (Buddha’s Fruit), Dried Snow Fungus, Candied Dried Mandarin Orange, Mixed Chinese Almonds, Honey Dates, Licorice Stick Slices, and Chinese Yellow Pears (in centre)

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Ingredients all ready to boil in a pot

Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

Due to too much eating of Chinese New Year cookies and the dry weather, I have been suffering from a sore throat, which then turned into a dry cough. Whenever a cough comes from a sore throat, I know that the root cause of this is from “excessive heatiness” in the body. So, the best way is to balance back the heatiness and my cough would be gone. πŸ˜‰

This “recipe” was taught to me by the owner of a Chinese Medicine Shop that I frequent. The ingredients in this fruit drink are very effective in soothing our throats from sore throats to coughs, and it can also help to reduce phlegm and soothe our lungs. In addition, the pears and Loh Hon Kor willΒ  reduce the heatiness in our body. It is very easy to prepare and the ingredients can be purchased from those shops that sells Chinese herbs and medicines.

Ingredients –

2 Loh Hon Kor, split open
1 big dried snow fungus, soaked and washed clean
3 large candied dried mandarin oranges
1 cup Chinese almonds
10 honey dates
10 pieces “kum choe” or licorice sticks
5 litres of water
3 large yellow, juicy pears, sliced


Method –


Bring to boil all the above and then simmer for 2 hours or so. There is no need to add sugar as the drink is already naturally sweet.

I think I must have drank 2 litres of this fruit drink and my cough went from a dry cough to a phlegmy cough which got better today as I am coughing lesser. My younger daughter actually complained of a mild sore throat 2 days ago and I made her drink a large glass of this fruit drink before she went to bed, and to drink another glass the next morning. By the afternoon, when I checked with her, she told me her sore throat has gone.

However, if your phlegm is greenish or yellow in colour, it is best to consult a doctor as it is a sign of infection…… πŸ˜‰

Comments (2) »

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