Wednesday, November 26, 2008

recipe is : happy rainbow salad

I call this my Happy Rainbow salad as the colour combination always brings me to my 'happy place'.


roast chicken slices
red/purple cabbage, thinly julienned
turnip, cut into thin strips
cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
asparagus, cut into 4 cm lengths, blanched and drained

extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice

grated cheddar and grated parmesan cheese


put all the salad items together in a bowl. put the dressing items in a air-tight jar, close and shake vigorously to combine

pour the dressing onto the salad and toss to mix thoroughly

top up with the cheeses and serve


notice that i didn't jot down the amount of the ingredients. this is because i find salads to be a very personal dish. some of us like more of a certain ingredient than others. generally my rule of thumb is one handful of each salad ingredient for each person. as for the dressing, well, that's entirely up to you, some like it more sweet, some with a little more bite.... just taste the dressing and adjust accordingly before pouring over the salad

Thursday, November 20, 2008

recipe is : rice wine chicken


1 chicken, chopped into bite size pieces, cleaned and pat dry
2 big pieces of black fungus (wood ear fungus/mook yee), soaked to softened and cut into broad strips
1 whole chunk of young ginger, skin scraped off, and thinly sliced
1 bottle (about 1 litre) of rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste


heat the oil in a wok or big pan, add the ginger and black fungus and stir fry for about 2 mins. add the chicken and stir fry until chicken is just cooked

add the rice wine and sesame oil and salt, turn down the flame and let simmer for 15 minutes

dish up and serve hot


this is a chinese dish made mainly for ladies during their confinement month (the time commencing from the day they give birth, 'confined' to the home to let the body heal and recuperate). if this dish is meant for the consumption during the confinement period, old ginger is normally used and salt is omitted.

i personally do not agree with breastfeeding moms (i'm a HUGE advocate of breastfeeding!) consuming this dish as the alcohol will pass through the mother's system into the breastmilk. babies' young organs cannot process the alcohol properly and will put their livers and lives at risk. moreover, the ginger will irritate their digestive and bowel system and can cause tummy upsets.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

recipe is : easy peasy bruschetta


a loaf garlic bread, cut into 1 cm diagonal slices ( or however you like your bruschetta)
5 plum tomatoes, seed and veins removed, finely diced
10 basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste


mix the tomatoes and basil and set aside

brush the bread with some olive oil and sprinkle the parmesan on the bread slices and pat the cheese firmly onto the bread. on a griddle, add a bit of olive oil and toast the bread, parmesan side down until it's golden brown

sprinkle the salt to the tomatoes and mix thoroughly. add the extra virgin olive oil and mix to combine

spoon the tomato mix onto the bread slices and serve


i used garlic loaf out of sheer laziness. you can use any good loaf like ciabatta or even french loaf. just toast it little and rub a cut clove of garlic on it before brushing with the olive oil and sprinkling the cheese

you can add other toppings like olives, cripsy fried panchetta, feta cheese, salmon. the list is endless, it is up to you to experiment. the tomatoes and the basil is the base of it all though

Thursday, November 13, 2008

recipe is : fried radish cake (loh pak ko)


1 kg radish cake (loh pak ko) (recipes for these can be found easily), diced into 1 cm cubes
2 eggs
3 handfuls beansprouts
2 tsp chilli boh (chilli paste)(can be substituted with chilly sauce)
2 tbsp finely chopped salty choy poh ( preserved radish)
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
3 tbsp oil
a pinch of salt


in a large non-stick pan, heat up 1 tbsp of the oil and fry the cubed radish cake til it starts to brown (it's a personal preference as to how brown it gets. the radish cake is already cooked anyway). dish up and set aside

put in the pan remaining oil and add the garlic and choy poh. stir fry quickly to prevent burning. add the chilli boh and dark soya sauce. stir fry to mix thoroughly. add the fried radish cubes and stir fry to thoroughly mix and coat the radish cubes

push the radish to the sides to make a small empty area in the middle of the pan. break open and add the egg to the empty area of the pan. add the pinch of salt to the eggs and stir just the eggs to mix with the salt. keep turning over the cooked underside of eggs to the top every few seconds until all the egg is cooked.

mix thoroughly with the radish cubes and add the beansprouts. stir fry quickly to mix and dish up


a lot of other ingredients can be added to this simple dish. like for example finely cubes char siew, chinese sausage, leftover roasts and most savoury meat.

sometimes when i'm lazy, i simply buy the loh pak ko found in the nyonya kueh stalls around the place and cut those into cubes to use instead of making my own radish cake.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

recipe is : stir fried tung hoon (glass noodle/cellophane noodle)


300 gms tung hoon, soaked til soft and drained
1 handful dried prawns (can be substituted with small shrimps)
2 packed cups of thinly sliced cabbage
3 cups beansprouts
4 stalks spring onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp chicken granules


in a large pan, heat up the oil, add the dried prawns and stir fry for a minute, add the garlic and stir fry for another minute. add the cabbage and stir fry til it's limp. add the tung hoon and the sesame oil, light soya sauce and chicken granules (if using small shrimps instead of dried prawns, then add in a dash of salt as well). stir fry quickly to mix the ingredients. it helps to use tongs or chopsticks instead

add the spring onions and bean sprout and stir fry quickly to mix and dish up. sprinkle with fried shallots and accompany with cut chilli padi in light soya sauce (optional)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

recipe is : stuffed tau pok (tofu puffs)


30 tau pok, cut a slit across each one for filling the stuffing


350 gms minced meat (use either pork, chicken or beef, or a combination of those choices. doesn't work well with minced mutton)
4 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
4 stalks spring onion, chopped
a handful chinese chives, chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped young ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley or coriander/cilantro (include the stalks)(can be substituted with celery)
a generous dash of pepper
salt to taste

Stock for braising

6 cups water
1 tbsp oyster sauce
4 cloves garlic skin on, crushed
salt and sugar to taste


in a pot, put in all the ingredients for the stock and bring to a boil. using a teaspoon/desert spoon, fill the tau pok with the stuffing and pop into the boiling stock. do 10 tau pok at a time. let the tau pok boil in the stock til cooked, and scoop up with a slotted spoon and set aside. add water to the stock if necessary, bring to a boil again and cook the next batch.

retain the stock to pour over the tau pok just before serving.


these tau poks can be deep fried, braised or steamed. it can also be steamed/braised and then stir fried with some vegetable of your choice.

should there be left over meat filling after stufffing the tau pok, it can be made into little patties and fried or steamed.

as tau pok comes in different sizes, it's best not to use the big ones as the meat in the centre might take too long to cook.