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Archive for the ‘Asian Dishes’ Category

Gong Xi Fa Cai everyone! Happy Chinese New Year! For those of you who’ve been (and also those of you haven’e been) following my blog, I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous year of the rat! May the year 2008 bring with it abundant prosperity, great health and overflowing happiness to all of you! 🙂

I haven’t had the time to blog as I’ve been flat out with CNY preparations – making and baking cookies the weekend before CNY, and then preparing for reunion dinner and a CNY party at my place on sat. Busy, busy, BUSY!! But it’s all good fun! I haven’t properly celebrated CNY in M’sia for 4 years (I think) and it’s really very sad to be away from family and friends during this time of the year. This year we gathered a close group of friends for reunion dinner – which was just a really small affair as we all had work and classes the next day (yeah, it’s really sad…no public holidays for us!) The big one was saturday night! You’ll be surprised how many people there are who haven’t gone home for CNY or have just returned from hols as classes start a wee bit earlier for them. Due to space constraints, we had to stream our guess list very tightly and it was indeed an accomplishment to fit 20 people (and a dog) in a small living room! it was potluck and the arraignment of mouth watering food on the table was enough to make anyone forget the misery of not spending CNY with family and friends back home! 🙂

Unfortunately, my designated photographer (Alan) didn’t do a good job hence I don’t have many photos in the slide. But I can tell you we had yee sang, prawns, duck, chicken, vegetarian dish (lo hon zhai), tofu, dumplings and the list goes on! How could we forget the cards – poker, Big 2 and blackjack, and of course mahjong! CNY is not CNY if there are no cookies, no food and no gambling 🙂 ! It was great just having people over and celebrating together. The sound of laughter, the continuous chatter and the overstuffed tummies made this night memorable. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such fun!

The song in the slideshow sounds a bit corny but wut-the-heck, it’s Chinese New Year! I used to hate these songs, and still do, but what is CNY without these bubbly, bouncy songs filled with blessings and wishes for the coming year! Once again, Gong Xi Fa Cai! 🙂 

PS: Don’t worry, you’ll only be listening to this song for 15 days! 🙂

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I’m back! it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything up. I’ve done a little bit of cooking here and there but just couldn’t find the time to post things up. 

I love this japanese curry! There’s this little shop in Melbourne, along Swanston Street (I think) which sells this amazing dish. One of my closest friend, Shane brought Alan and I there a couple of years ago and I’ve never forgotten the place. They were a really small shop but the queue was all the way out till the street. I’m not sure if they still exist or have grown bigger but all i remember was a big steaming bowl of rice topped with japanese curry and priced only for AUD6!

Ryan was the first one to start cooking this dish at home. After he left for Sydney, I started to cook it. Unfortunately I do not know how to cook it from scratch. We buy this instant pack from the Asian grocer and delicious curry in 30 minutes!

curry-box.jpg

Ingredients:

  • A pack of golden curry mix 
  • Chicken thighs
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Onion
  • Rice

Method:

  • Prepare steam rice.
  • Cut chicken thighs into cubes. Cut the potatoes and carrots into bite size pieces. Cut the onion into quarters.
  • Follow the instruction on the pack and bring a pot of water to boil.
  • Add in the all the ingredients except for the onions and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Break the curry paste into quarters and slowly mix it into the chicken. Add in the onions and stir. The curry will thicken and if you want to, adjust the taste accordingly.
  • Top it on a steaming bowl of steam rice and enjoy!


 

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supreme pork chop, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.When I was a kid, my parents used to bring me to Esquire Kitchen for dinner. I loved their pork chop noodles there. This recipe, once again, is from my Hawkers’ Fair Simplified book. Sweet and sour in taste, it was perfect with rice.Ingredients:

  • Pork fillets
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 ml water
  • Corn flour

Sauce:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Chilli sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Curry powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Water

Method:

  • Use the blunt edged side of the cleaver and pound the pork chops till tender and approximately 5-10 mm thick. Add in all the marinade except for the corn flour and season for a few hours or overnight.
  • Take the pork fillets out from the fridge and mix well with corn flour.
  • Heat oil for deep frying. Deep fry till golden brown. Dish and drain on paper towel.
  • Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Bring to slight simmer in a wok. Add in pork fillets and mix well. Dish up and serve.

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deep fried special bean curd, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

deep fried special bean curd, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

 

I got this recipe from the Hawkers’ Fair Simplified book my mum bought me. Krys and I made these together but ours obviously didn’t look as good as the one in the picture. But the taste was nevertheless not compromised. Every piece was wiped out and it was praises all around.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of soft bean curd
  • 2 pieces of egg bean curd
  • 150g fish paste
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Red chillies, chopped (optional)
  • Chicken stock granules
  • Salt & pepper
  • Corn flour & oil for deep frying

Method:

  • Mash soft and egg bean curd until fine. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour mixture into a greased pan and steam in a wok till set.
  • Leave aside and allow it to cool.
  • Cut into pieces. Coat the pieces with corn flour and deep fry
  • Dipping sauce: Mix chilli sauce and mayonnaise in a bowl.

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ayam percik – pre-grill, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

ayam percik – post-grill, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

ayam percik, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all my Muslim friends! To those who do not know, Hari Raya Aidilfitri also known as Hari Raya Puasa literally means Fasting Day of Celebration. This is because during the month before Hari Raya – the Ramadan month, it is compulsory for Muslims to fast from dawn to dusk. Hence, at the end of the month, they celebrate by gathering with family members and friends to feast together.

I’ve mentioned in my previous post that during the Ramadan month, many food bazaars will pop up all over the place, selling delicious food. Last time, one of my favourite and a must every time I visited the bazaars was Ayam Percik – a Malaysian East Coast specialty. It’s a Malay style chicken which is marinated in a spicy coconut gravy and traditionally BBQ-ed over charcoal. Yum!

This is a long overdue post. During the Ramadan month, Krystal was tempting me for days with photos of Ramadan bazaars posted in various blogs, making my mouth water and craving getting stronger daily. I couldn’t control my craving any longer, hence decided to create my own Ayam Percik. Our friends (Duy and Jeeuk) invited us over to his place for dinner – but instead of them cooking, I was to cook there. Since Jeeuk missed nasi lemak a lot, I made sambal and served it with coconut rice.

    Ingredients:

    • Chicken Maryland
    • 2 Teaspoons Tamarind Pulp
    • Lemon Grass,(bruised)
    • 1 Cup Water
    • 1 Cup Thick Coconut Milk
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
    • Salt to Taste

    Marinade:

    • Salt
    • Sugar
    • Chili Powder
    • Turmeric Powder

    Spice Paste:

    • Candlenuts
    • Garlic
    • Dried Chillies, soaked in Hot Water
    • Red Chillies
    • Ginger
    • Shallots

    Method:

    • Mix the marinade, combine with the chicken and season overnight.
    • Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend finely.
    • Heat Oil in a frying-pan and fry the spice paste, tamarind and lemon grass for 5 minutes. Add water and cook for another 3 minutes. Add coconut Milk, sugar and salt and simmer over a medium fire for 5 minutes.
    • Barbecue the chicken over a low charcoal fire or under a grill, basting frequently with the gravy, until the chicken is cooked.

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    Sushi & Inari

    sushi, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

    inari, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.If I had to say what my favourite food is, I’ll probably have to say Japanese food. When I was a kid, I hated fish, especially Chinese style fish (eg the steam and fried fish you get at Chinese restaurants). Up till today, I’m still not a fan of it and would avoid it as much as possible. However, weird as it sounds, I loved sashimi – raw tuna being my favourite! When we were staying in Mauritius, we had a family friend who was the best sashimi chef. The raw tuna that goes through her knife, comes out thinly sliced, fresh and “melts” in your mouth. Hhmmm….In Malaysia, my favourite place for Japanese buffet is at the Renaissance Hotel. In my opinion, they have THE best jap buffet! They have a wide selection of japanese food – ranging from sushi, california rolls, sashimi, teppanyaki, desserts etc. Yum! Unfortunately, Tassie had no good jap restaurant until lately. When Orizuru first opened at Mures Fish Centre, they were really good. Sadly, the quality of the food there has dropped tremendously. Thankfully, Kawasemi opened in Moonah or else, there goes my source of good jap food.I learned to make sushi in my first year here. Over the years, after trialling over and over again, I’ve come to realise that the best way to prepare sushi rice is in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Remember to cool the rice fully. DO NOT ever serve hot sushi rice.Ingredients:

    • 300g Japanese short grain rice
    • 330ml water
    • 4 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Japanese bean curd/tofu skin
    • A few sheets of nori seaweed
    • Fresh raw salmon/tuna
    • Prawns
    • Avocado
    • Carrots
    • Wasabi and soy sauce

    Method:

    • Wash rice and drain well with a sieve. Put the rice and water in a saucepan, cover the lid and bring to boil over medium heat. When you hear the sound of boiling coming from the pot, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand with lid on for another 10 minutes.
    • In the meantime, prepare the vinegar mixture. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan till sugar and salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    • Transfer the rice into a large, clean bowl. Slowly pour the vinegar mixture into the rice and with slicing motions, coat the rice with the vinegar. Set aside to cool completely.
    • Boil carrots to soften them then slice into thin slices. Slice avocado and raw salmon/tuna into thin slices. Bring a kettle to boil and soak prawns for about 5-10 minutes.
    • Prepare a bowl of water with a few drops of vinegar in it and lay out the sushi mat. Wet your hands with the vinegar water (this is to prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers). Place a sheet of seaweed and use your hands to spread rice evenly. The filling is laid out at the bottom of the seaweed. With your finger, spread some wasabi along the rice. Place carrots, wasabi, prawns/tuna/salmon across horizontally.
    • Slowly lift the mat with the seaweed and ingredients and lightly press and roll at the same time. As you roll, lightly press the sushi so the shape forms properly.
    • Cut into thin slices with a sharp knife that’s been wet slightly with the vinegar water. Lay out on serving plate.
    • Use your hands and form small rice rolls. Spread a little wasabi and top with a slice of raw salmon/tuna.
    • Drain inari sheets properly. Form medium size rice rolls and slowly slit open the middle compartment. Stuff it with the rice roll and spread a little wasabi. Seal the edges and lay out on serving plate.
    • Serve with wasabi and soy sauce (and preserved ginger slices if you want). Itadakimas!

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    prawns & scallop sambal, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

    Nasi Lemak is CY’s favourite dish. This sambal recipe is the product of my experiment and has since become a favourite of CY. I use the same base for all my sambals and modify the taste accordingly. Whenever I make this, I’ll make a lot and bottle them up. Hence all I need is open the fridge and we can have sambal whenever we want some.

    Ingredients:

    • Shallots
    • Garlic
    • Red chillies
    • Chilli padi (baby chillies)
    • Belacan (shrimp paste)
    • Lime juice
    • A pinch of salt
    • Prawns, remove the shells
    • Scallops
    • Red onion, sliced thinly

    Method:

    • Peel and halve ingredients. Blend them together with a food processor or if you have a mortar you can pound them to form a paste.
    • Heat a pan with oil. Add a spoonful of the ingredients and fry till fragrant, then add the sliced red onions.
    • Add in prawns and scallops. Be careful not to overcook the seafood. Adjust taste accordingly with sugar and salt. Add in a little bit of water to give it a bit of gravy.
    • Dish up and serve with plain rice or nasi lemak (coconut rice).

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