Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Malaysian Dry Curry Crabs


If you love crabs like I do, then you ought to try my favorite Malaysian Dry Curry Crabs recipe. Get your fishmonger to prep the crabs, discard the hard shell and reserve the tomalley. The coconut milk does make this dish a bit rich; but, it blends so well with the crabs and rest of the ingredients like curry leaves, curry powder, garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, green chilies, and chili powder. Wish I can post the delicious smell and flavors of this dish. :-) Yummy!


Malaysian Dry Curry Crabs
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

2 Large (3 ½ to 4 lbs) Dungeness Crabs, cleaned, cut into 6 to 8 pieces for each crab, discard the hard shell and reserve the tomalley
1 Bunch Fresh Curry Leaves (5-6 sprigs)
1 Cinnamon Stick, about 3 inches
3 Whole Star Anise
1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
2 tsp Ginger Paste
1 Medium Red Onion, chopped
50 g Fish Curry Powder
10 g Chili Powder
500 ml Coconut Milk
2 Fresh Green Chilies, halved and seeded
½ of a Lime, juiced
Sea Salt to taste
4 to 5 Tbsp Peanut or Vegetable Oil

Method

In a large wok, heat the oil on high heat. Fry the (2 sprigs) curry leaves until crispy. Set aside for garnish.

Using the same wok over medium to high heat, add the cinnamon stick and star anise. Cook until fragrant and mix in the onion, garlic paste, ginger paste, and the remainder curry leaves. Cook until the onions are soft and light brown in color.



Add the curry and chili powder. Cook until they are fragrant for about 2 minutes.



Mix in the coconut milk and bring the curry sauce to a boil and add in the crabs and the tomalley. Turn the heat on high and bring the sauce to a boil again. Then lower the heat to medium and continue to fry the crabs for about 10 minutes and toss in the green chilies. Season the crabs with lime juice and sea salt, if necessary. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce has thicken. Garnish the crabs with fried curry leaves and serve warm.



Serves 4


Monday, June 28, 2010

Chinese Egg Drop Soup


I had a fun time teaching my kids how to make this easy Chinese Egg Drop Soup. All you need is chicken stock (or just water), eggs, scallions, salt, and pepper. I know many of you will know, egg drop soup is meant to be clear with thin, silken strands of eggs. A little trick to avoid clumps of eggs in the soup is to slowly stream the beaten egg into the boiling stock and then whisking it quickly with a fork. There you have it, a hot bowl of simple and delicious home made egg drop soup.


Chinese Egg Drop Soup
(Printable Recipe)
Ingredients

500 ml Chicken Stock or Water
2 Large Eggs, beaten with a pinch of sea salt and white pepper
1 to 2 Scallions, sliced
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground White Pepper
Roasted Sesame Oil (optional)

Method

Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil. Slowly stream the egg into the stock and whisking quickly with a fork to form fine shreds. Season the soup with sea salt.

To serve, top with chopped scallions, pepper and drizzle with sesame oil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serve 1

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chocolate Cornflake Cookies


This is a kids friendly Chocolate Cornflake Cookies recipe. It’s very easy to make, get your kids to mix all the ingredients together and press them into the tart pan. Then, just help them place the pans into your preheated oven. The cornflakes makes these cookies crunchy and it has lots of sweet fragrant from the shredded coconut. It’s fantastic, try it!


Chocolate Cornflake Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

227 g (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
100 g Sugar (add 20-30 g for sweeter cookies)
35 g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
200 g All Purpose Flour
250 g Cornflakes, lightly crushed
60 g Unsweetened Shredded Coconuts (Desiccated)

4 x 6 ½ inches Fluted Tart Pans with a removable bottom

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚/180˚C.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, mix until pale and creamy. (About 5 minutes)

Add in the cocoa powder and flour. Mix until well combined. Then add the cornflakes and coconut, mix until just combined.

Press the mixture into the tart pans, preferably about 1 to ½ cm thick. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until it is firm. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Chinese Orange Chicken


About 3 months ago, I posted an oven cooked orange chicken recipe. The email responses to that post was just brilliant. I also had many of my loyal North American readers requesting for the recipe of this popular version of orange chicken, a Chinese take-out favorite. Here, I used dried tangerine peels to achieve the deep orange flavor for this recipe. It tasted so good that I had to do an encore for my kids the next day! :-) Dried tangerine peels are available from any Chinese Medicinal shops. Just look for the better grade ones, if possible. Have fun cooking this great tasting orange chicken!


Chinese Orange Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

350 g (2-3 pieces) Skinless and boneless Chicken Breast, cubed (about ¾-inch pieces)
1 Egg White
A pinch of White Pepper
2 tsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp Mei Kuei Lu (Chinese Rose wine)
3 Tbsp Corn Flour
8-10 Dried Red Chilies, cut into ½-inch pieces
18-20 g Ginger, peeled and chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 piece (about 2-inch) Dried Tangerine Peel, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and finely chopped
3 Scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces
Peanut Oil for deep-frying

Sauce
100 ml Orange Juice
3 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
½ tsp Mei Kuei Lu (Chinese Rose Wine)
1 tsp Chinese White Rice Vinegar
½ tsp Corn Flour

Method

Marinade the chicken pieces with egg white, pepper, soy sauce, rose wine and mix well, then coat the chicken with corn flour.



Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 350-400˚F. (Medium to high heat) Add the chicken and deep-fry until it is crisp and golden, about 2 ½ to 3 minutes. (If you are deep-frying in a wok with a relatively small volume of oil, fry the chicken in batches.) Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour the oil into a heatproof container, and clean the wok if necessary.

Return the wok to a high heat with 2-3 Tbsp of the oil. Add the dried chilies and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant and just changing color (do not burn them). Toss in the ginger, garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds more, then add the tangerine peel and stir-fry until the oil is fragrant.

Add the mixed ingredients for the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Tip in the chicken and stir vigorously to coat it in sauce. Add the scallions and stir a few times, switch off the heat, and serve.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cherry Clafoutis


This is a rustic French dessert called Clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”). It originated from Limousin, in southern France, where they are best known for their sweet black cherries. This is in fact my new favorite dessert recipe, you won’t believe how easy it is to prepare. It has the right amount of sweetness and best of all, you can also use different fruits for this recipe and it would taste just as good, for instance, raspberries, plums, champagne grapes, or blueberries.


Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Cherry Clafoutis
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

4 Eggs, separated
2/3-Cup Sugar
6 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1-Cup Heavy Cream
½ tsp Sea Salt
1-½ lbs Fresh Cherries, pitted
½ tsp Lemon Zest

Method

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Butter a large rectangular baking dish. (Or 6 smaller baking dish)

Combine the egg yolks and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until ribbons form and add the flour, vanilla extract, and cream. Beat the mixture until completely blended.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites together with the salt until foamy, about one minute. Then add the beaten egg whites into the batter, mix lightly until incorporated.

Preheat the prepared baking dish in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cherries, the remaining 1/3-cup sugar and the lemon zest. Remove the baking dish from the oven, pour in the cherries and top with the batter. Bake until the clafoutis is set in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 6 to 8.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watermelon Sorbet


I am welcoming summer 2010 with this cool and refreshing Watermelon Sorbet. There are only 3 ingredients for this recipe, namely, watermelon, sugar, and lime juice. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, don’t fret. Just pour the watermelon mixture into some Popsicle molds, leave it overnight in the freezer, and you will have some delicious pops. If you want watermelon slush, just chill it for about 3 hours in the freezer instead. These will certainly cool you down during the sizzling hot days! Have a wonderful summer everyone!


Watermelon Sorbet
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

5 Cups Watermelon Chunks, seeded
6-8 Tbsp Sugar, or to taste
2 tsp Lime Juice

Method

In a blender container, combine the watermelon chunks, sugar and lime juice.

Cover the blender with the lid and hold it down while you blend on high speed until the mixture is liquid.

Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly, and then freeze it in an ice cream maker.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sweet And Sour Chicken


Do you agree with me that this is probably one of the most recognizable Chinese dish around? I just love Sweet And Sour Chicken. Always a hit with kids and of course, adults too. So, if you are a fan of this popular dish, you may want to try this simple yummy version at home. The bite sized cuts of fried chicken tenders are topped with a delicious sweet and sour sauce that’s made of rice vinegar, ketchup, sugar, bell peppers, onion, and some freshly cut pineapples. Just simply serve it with plenty of steam rice. Yum!


Sweet And Sour Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

2 (400 g) Chicken Breast cut into bite sized cubes

1 Tbsp Rice Wine

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1 tsp Ginger Juice

1 Egg White, lightly beaten

2 - 3 Dash of White Pepper

1 Tbsp Corn Flour for coating
Oil for deep frying

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Red Chili, seeded and chopped
½ Green Bell Pepper, diced (about 1/2 an inch)

½ Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 Cup Pineapple Chunks

1/2 Red or White Onion, diced

1 Tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 Tbsp of Peanut Oil



Sauce

3 Tbsp Ketchup

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
¾ Cup of Water

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Corn Flour

Sea Salt to taste



Method

Marinate the chicken with rice wine, soy sauce, ginger juice, egg white and white pepper for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oil on moderate heat, coat the chicken with corn flour and fry them in small batches until golden brown in color. Drain on paper towels and set aside.



Heat 1 Tbsp of oil and cook the garlic on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Then turn the heat on high and mix in the chili, peppers, onions and pineapples. Stir briefly and add the prepared sauce and bring it to a boil. Add the fried chicken and mix well. Serve immediately.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tandoori Cauliflower With Mint Chutney


I did this Tandoori Cauliflower With Mint Chutney recently. Again, just another one of my endless effort to coax my kids to eat more vegetables, this time, cauliflower. They are just not bothered with cauliflower unless it’s roasted with lots of spices. So, that’s just what I did. I cooked the cauliflower directly on the grill and served them hot with some mint chutney. They loved it and I was happy. Worked out as planned for me. Try it. :-)


Recipe adapted from The Moti Mahal Cookbook by Monish Gujral

Tandoori Cauliflower With Mint Chutney

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 Large (about 1.2 kg) Cauliflower, cut into large florets
3 Green Cardamoms
1” Stick Cinnamon
4 Cloves
5 Black Peppercorns
2 tsp Sea Salt

Marinade
4 Tbsp Yogurt
1 ½ tsp Red Chili Powder (Degi Mirch)
1 ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 ½ tsp Cumin Powder
¾ tsp Black Salt (Kala Namak)
½ tsp Sea Salt
¾ tsp Chaat Masala
¾ tsp Coriander Powder
¾ tsp Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)
2 tsp Ginger Paste
2 tsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp Dried Mint Leaves
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Mint Chutney
30 g Mint Leaves, chopped
50 g Coriander Leaves
2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger
6 Green Chilies, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp Pomegranate Seed Powder (Anardana)
1 Cup (250 g) Yogurt
1 tsp Sea Salt
Juice of 1 Lime

Method

Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, and sea salt. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cauliflowers. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Then drain the cauliflowers and plunge into iced water. Drain when cool and pat dry.

In a medium bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients and rub into the cauliflowers and set aside for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the mint chutney. Grind all the ingredients except yogurt, salt and lime juice to make a smooth paste, gradually adding up to 4 tsp of water. Then mix in the yogurt, salt and lime juice.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Roast the cauliflowers in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflowers are fully cooked but still firm.

or

Prepare the grill on medium heat for direct cooking. Preheat a perforated frill pan until hot, about 8 to 10 minutes. Spread the cauliflowers on the hot pan and grill for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cauliflowers are fully cooked but still firm.

Serve immediately with mint chutney.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fresh Figs With Feta Cheese, Pistachio, And Honey


I love fresh figs, especially, the sweet Black Mission variety. The way I like to enjoy them is to pair the figs with salty Bulgarian Feta cheese, some raw pistachio, honey, and served with some wholemeal rusk. This is one of my favorite non-cook and no recipe needed appetizer. You can play around with the ingredients, perhaps, you may want to pair the figs with some goat cheese and walnut instead, or maybe serve with some dry toast, pita chips, or even flatbreads. Try it.


Fresh Figs With Feta Cheese, Pistachio, Honey, And Wholemeal Rusk
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

6 Fresh Black Mission Figs, washed and halved
Crumbled Feta Cheese (Bulgarian)
Honey
12 Whole Meal Rusk
Raw Pistachio, lightly chopped
Mint leaves, optional

Method

Scattered some feta cheese on each Rusk and top with a fig half. Drizzle some honey, top with pistachio and garnish with mint leaves.

Makes 12 appetizers


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kale Chips-Crisps


I finally got around to make some Kale Chips. I had bookmarked the recipe from The Food Librarian a couple of months back. It drew my interest as kale chips are super healthy, chocked full of antioxidants, and they taste great too. This is an easy recipe, after washing and drying the kale, simply toss them with some lemon juice, olive oil, and then season lightly with sea salt. Pop the kale in the oven for 15 minutes and there you go, a bowl of lemony kale chips! Enjoy.


Kale Chips-Crisps
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 Bunch (About 280 g) Organic Kale, strip out the center core or stalk, tear kale into small pieces, washed and dried
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Sea Salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and season lightly with sea salt.

Toss in the dry kale and coat them evenly. Arrange the kale in a single layer of the baking tray.

Roast the kale for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy. (You may need to turn the kale once or twice for even baking.)


Monday, June 14, 2010

Popiah-Fresh Spring Rolls


Popiah or Fresh Spring Rolls, are typically filled with a good variety of healthy fresh ingredients. No hard and fast rule here, just fill it up with what you like. Here is what I usually include in my popiah, sweet sauce over a leaf of lettuce, cooked jicama, green beans, fried bean curds, shredded omelet, fried shallots, blanched bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, and thinly sliced fried Chinese sausages, if I have some available. Wrap it all up when you are done and you have a great tasting spring roll! Just omit the eggs and sausages, if you are a vegan.

Serving popiah or spring rolls over a casual gathering or party is very enjoyable. Just arrange the fillings in the middle of a table and let your guests attempt to wrap their own spring rolls. It’s quite fun watching everyone try to gather all the fillings into the little popiah skin without letting it fall apart!


Popiah-Fresh Spring Rolls
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

Popiah Skin/wrapper (about 40 pcs)
Cooked Jicama/Yam Bean
Cooked French/Green/Long Beans
Fried Extra Firm Bean Curds
Shredded Omelet
2 Cucumber, shredded
400 g Bean Sprouts, blanched
2 Head Green Leaves Lettuce, washed
Fried Shallots
Sweet Sauce/Tim Cheong
Chili Paste (optional)

Method

To serve the Popiah: Place a popiah skin on a plate or flat surface and spread some sweet sauce and place a leaf of lettuce, cooked jicama, green beans, fried bean curds, shredded omelet, fried shallots, blanched bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, and thinly sliced fried Chinese sausages, if I have some available. Wrap it all up and serve immediately.


Jicama
1 kg Jicama/Yam Bean, peeled and shredded
100 g Shallots (about 5), peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp Ground Bean Paste
2 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Sugar, or to taste
2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
Sea Salt
4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Method

In a large saucepan or wok, heat the oil on medium heat. Add in the shallots and cook until they are golden in color. Mix in the ground bean paste and stir frequently until the mixture is fragrant.

Toss in the jicama and give it a quick stir. Then add in the water, sugar, and dark soy sauce. Mix until combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, simmer for about 1 hour with the lid closed or until the jicama has softened. Season with additional sugar and salt if necessary.

French/Green/Long Beans
400 g French/Green/Long Beans, sliced
50 g Shallots, peeled and sliced
1 Small Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 to 3 Tbsp Water
Sea Salt

Method

In a medium pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they are light golden in color and toss in the garlic. Give the mixture a quick stir and turn the heat on high. Add in the French beans and continue to stir frequently and add some water as you go along. (About 4 minutes) Season the French beans with sea salt.

Fried Bean Curd
2 Packets (350 g each) Extra-Firm Bean Curd, pat dry and julienned
3 to 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground White Pepper

Method

In a large pan, heat the oil on medium. Pan-fry the bean curd (preferable in a single layer) until light golden in color. Season the bean curd with a big pinch of sea salt and pepper. Drain on paper towel.

Omelet
6 Large Eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of sea salt and pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Method

Cook the omelet in 2 or 3 batches, drain on paper towel. Then finely shred the omelet.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Popiah Skin


Today, I am posting a recipe for homemade Popiah Skin aka the thin wrapper skin for Chinese Spring rolls. Popiah is a word derived from the Hokkien dialect. A good popiah skin must be thin and elastic. They should be strong enough to wrap the vegetable fillings without breaking apart. Fresh Popiah or spring rolls are popular in Malaysia and Singapore.


Anyway, my late grandmother was brilliant at making paper thin popiah skin. I recalled when I was a kid, I used to watch her painstakingly stirred and kneaded the batter until it turned elastic. I have tried using the same method in the past; but, it was too laborious for me. So, this is a simplified method, thanks to the modern mixer. :-)

There are only 3 key ingredients for the batter. You just need to beat the batter until it’s smooth and elastic. You will need a bit of practice to be able to coat the batter onto the griddle quickly in a circular motion using one hand. Click on the above video to see how I do it. In order for the batter to stick to the griddle, the temperature for the griddle has to be just right, about medium hot. I am sure you will need to fiddle with the heat adjustments a little before getting it right. Well, I will admit it is a bit of work, but I hope you will have a go at making the Popiah skin. Tomorrow, I will post the fillings to assemble a fresh delicious Popiah. :-)


Popiah Skin/Wrapper
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

800 g All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
800 ml Water

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Stir the batter with a wooden spatula, wrap with a cling film and let it rest for at least 3 hours.

Beat the batter for about 15 minutes, or until the batter is smooth and elastic.

Place the griddle or a flat cast-iron pan on a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat slightly. Using one hand, coat the batter and rub onto the pan. Then use the other hand to peel off the wrapper when it is cooked.

Makes about 50 pieces (7 to 8”)


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Macaroni And Cheese


Yes, this is a post about Macaroni and Cheese. I chuckled a little when my daughter had requested for macaroni and cheese for dinner. Never occurred to me that she would like this. Seems like she had watched an episode of Ricardo and friends, and he had prepared macaroni and cheese for some kids and it looked very good. So, here is the recipe for a creamy and cheesy Macaroni and Cheese recipe adapted from Ricardo’s cookbook. I have used the combination of Aged Sharp cheddar and Jalapeno Monterey Jack cheese for the recipe. The combination of both the cheeses were simply delicious! Try it!


Recipe adapted from Meals for Every Occasion by Ricardo Larrivee

Macaroni And Cheese


Ingredients

350 g (3/4 lb) Elbow Macaroni, preferably Organic
3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ tsp Paprika
¼ tsp Dried Mustard
Pinch Ground Nutmeg
430 ml (1-3/4 Cups) Milk
50 g Aged Sharp Cheddar, grated
100 g Jalapeno Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
½ tsp Tabasco Sauce
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method

Cook the macaroni according to the manufacturer instructions until al dente. Drain and coat lightly with olive oil and set aside.

Using the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour, paprika, mustard and nutmeg and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring it to a boil. Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes.

Mix in the cheeses, stir until melted and season with salt and pepper. Add the macaroni and Tabasco sauce. Adjust the season and if necessary thin the sauce with a small amount of milk. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Korean Green Onion Pancakes-Pa Jun


This is a quick and easy Korean Green Onion Pancake recipe. I had adapted the recipe from Eating Korean cookbook by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee. I had added some Korean chili peppers as well to the recipe and it turned out really good, with a touch of spiciness which was more to my liking.


Recipe adapted from Eating Korean by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee

Korean Green Onion Pancakes-Pa Jun
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

¾ All-Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Rice Flour
About 1 Cup (250 ml) Cold Water
5 Green Onions (Scallions), cut into ½-inch pieces
2 Tbsp Korean Sliced Chili Peppers (Dried)
Dash of Black Pepper
¼ tsp Sea Salt
Vegetable Oil for frying

Vinegar Soy Sauce (Cho Ganjang)
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Black Pepper

Method
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinegar soy sauce and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the flours and cold water, adding water a little at a time and mixing until the mixture is the consistency of thin pancake. Add the green onions, chili pepper, black pepper and sea salt and mix until just combined.

Add enough oil to the pan, just to cover the surface, about 1 Tbsp at a time. Turn the heat on medium high and add ½ the batter onto the pan in a large flat circle. Cook on one side until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Remove the pancake and cut into wedges or make smaller pancakes. Serve the pancakes hot with vinegar soy sauce.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hanoi Shrimp Cakes-banh tom


I love these Hanoi Shrimp Cakes or also known as banh tom in Vietnam. These sweet and savory shrimp cakes are great for a weekend brunch or as an appetizer. The sweet potatoes and shrimps were coated with a light batter and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown in color. Then, just wrap the shrimp cakes with greens and herbs, and dip into Vietnamese sauce before you savor them. Yum!



By the way, I am contributing this lovely recipe for the Delicious Vietnam. It’s a monthly blogging event to celebrate Vietnamese cuisine created by Anh of A Food Lover's Journey and Ravenous Couple by Hong and Kim. If you are into Vietnamese food, then do check out their blogs. They have many interesting and tantalizing Vietnamese recipes. Well, I would like to thank Hong and Kim for inviting me to participate in this Delicious Vietnam event.


Recipe adapted from Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham

Hanoi Shrimp Cakes-banh tom
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

70 g (1/2 Cup) All-Purpose Flour
40 g (1/3 Cup) Rice Flour
½ tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Sugar
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Stalk Scallions (Green Onions), cut into thin rings
250 ml (1 Cup) Water
300 g Sweet Potatoes, peeled, shredded or cut into matchstick strips
250 g Prawns, peeled, deveined and cut into ½ inch pieces
Vegetable Oil for frying
Table Salad (Green or Red leaves lettuce, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, basil, and mint leaves)
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Method

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, sea salt, pepper, scallions and water in a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Then fold in the sweet potatoes and shrimp and mix until just combine. Do not over mix.

Heat the oil over medium to high heat (about 330˚F) and place 2 heaping Tbsp of the shrimp mixture in the middle of a flat metal spatula. Push the batter down to form a loose, irregular cake about ¼ inch thick. Then gently push the cake into the hot oil.

Fry the shrimp cakes for about 2 to 3 minutes and turning over once, until they are evenly brown and cooked. Remove the shrimp cakes with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining mixture, cooking only 3 to 4 cakes at a time. Keep the cakes warm in a preheated low oven until ready to serve.

To serve, place a piece of the shrimp cake and some herbs on a lettuce leaf and fold into packet, dip into the sauce and eat.

Makes 20 Cakes


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hot And Sour Soup With Seafood


I made this Hot And Sour Soup With Seafood recently. I have had this soup at a local restaurant several times before. Good every time, but, I felt it could be improved by adding some key ingredients. There are many ingredients in this soup; but, not to worry as it’s actually very easy to prepare and cook. You just need a little patience to slice and dice up all the ingredients to small bite sizes. Trust me here, the end result is rewarding as nothing beats a warm bowl of home made soup!


Hot And Sour Soup With Seafood
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

150 g Peeled Prawns
150 g Fresh Small Scallops
100 g Small Squids, cleaned (optional)
10 g Dried Lily Flowers
10 g Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms
15 g Dried Shitake Mushrooms (about 3 to 4)
1 pc Fresh or Can Bamboo Shoots, julienned
1 Block (200 g) Medium Firm Bean Curd (Tofu), diced
6 Cups (1500 ml) Chicken Stock
4 Tbsp Corn Flour, mixed with 3 Tbsp of water
4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
4 Tbsp Chinese Dark Vinegar or to taste
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground White Pepper
3 Scallions, sliced
Sesame Oil

Method

Soak the lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, and shitake mushrooms with warm water for about 10 minutes. Drain and finely slice all the ingredients.

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock, soy sauce, and wine to a boil. Then add the prawns, scallops, squids, lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, and tofu. Bring the soup mixture to a boil again and mix in the corn flour until the soup has thickened.

When the soup is boiling, slowly add the eggs in a slow stream, stir with a fork until the eggs spread. Season with vinegar, sea salt and some freshly ground white pepper. Serve the soup warm with some chopped scallions and sesame oil.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Brownies-Moist, Buttery, Nutty, And Chocolaty


I have found a wonderful Brownies recipe and I’d like to share it with you. These brownies were very soft, moist, buttery, nutty, and chocolaty. I adapted this fantastic recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. As usual, I reduced the amount of sugar called for by the recipe, I used 180g instead of 250g. The brownies still turned out great, not too sweet, just the way I like it.


Recipe adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme

Brownies-Moist, Buttery, Nutty, And Chocolaty
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

5 oz (145 g) Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2 ¼ Sticks (9oz/260 g) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
4 Large Eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 ¼ Cups (250 g) Sugar
1 Cup (140 g) All-Purpose Flour
1 ¼ Cups (5oz/145 g) Walnuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).

Butter a 9 x 12 inch (24 x 30 cm) brownie pan, line with parchment paper, butter the paper, and dust with flour, tap out the excess flour.

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate over gently simmering hot water, stirring, just until the chocolate has melted and remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a rubber spatula until it is smooth and creamy but not airy. Stir in the chocolate. Gradually add the eggs, and then add the sugar, followed by the flour and nuts, stirring only until each ingredient is incorporated. This is not a batter to be beaten or aerated.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 19 to 22 minutes. If using 250 g of sugar, a knife inserted in the center will come out wet. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow the brownies to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Then run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan and unmold the brownies; remove the parchment paper and turn the brownies over to cool to room temperature. When ready to serve, cut the brownies into 18 pieces.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grilled Asparagus With Lemon Vinaigrette


I like making this Grilled Asparagus With Lemon Vinaigrette, served with some crunchy Serrano Ham. Toss some lemon vinaigrette over the asparagus before grilling. The grilled asparagus will be sweet, smoky, and crisp. As for the ham, just grill over medium heat until golden brown. Then, let it cool down before gently break them into smaller pieces. Drizzle some lemon vinaigrette before serving and top the asparagus with some crunchy Serrano ham. Sounds yummy? Try it!


Grilled Asparagus With Lemon Vinaigrette
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

600 g Asparagus, discard the tough ends
100 g Thinly Sliced Serrano Ham

Lemon Vinaigrette
1 tsp Mustard
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Method

Prepare the grill for direct cooking on medium heat.

Combine the mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified and season with sea salt and pepper.

Grill the ham for about 1 minute on each side until golden brown in color. Let the ham cool completely and gently break them into smaller pieces.

Lightly toss the asparagus with 2 Tbsp of the lemon vinaigrette. Grill the asparagus for about 6 to 7 minutes, turning once or twice until they are tender.

Serve the grilled asparagus with some lemon vinaigrette and top it with some crunchy Serrano ham. Serve immediately.

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