Friday, August 07, 2009

Hainanese chicken chop rice

ok, purists can stop yelling at me about how it's supposed to be Hainanese PORK chop rice. I just happened to have chicken in the fridge, ok? just substitute the chicken for pork chops lah! A couple of weeks ago I have some great Hainanese Pork Chop rice at this restaurant in Georgetown. It cost me RM12, along with a three-hour journey from my home outside USM to Georgetown. So, I decided to make my own, which cost me half price, although it still takes an hour to prepare because there's so many stages to cook. But worth it.

Hainanese Chicken/Pork Chop Rice
1 chicken cutlet (I used store-bought... what?! they're convenient!)
1 potato, cut in rounds
1 onion, sliced
3 tbsp frozen peas
optional) 1 broccoli stem, cubed

1/4 cup water or unsalted stock
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp dark soy
5 tbsp ketchup
pepper to taste
(optional) hot sauce to taste

1. Steam peas and broccoli (if using). Set aside.
2. Shallow-fry potatoes, onions and chicken. Drain and set aside.
3. In a hot wok, mix in the rest of the ingredients together. Add chicken/pork and veggies, and simmer sauce to reduce by half. Serve immediately, with rice.

Total Cost: RM6
Chicken chop: RM 3.50
Potato: RM0.70
Onion: RM 0.30
the rest were lying around in the pantry....

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Negitoro Don

One of my all-time favourite Japanese foods is negitoro, the combination of raw fatty tuna (maguro) with spring onion served in maki (sushi rice roll), temaki (hand roll) or don (rice bowl). Of course, sushi-grade tuna is quite hard to come by in Malaysia, much less the fatty maguro belly. So I jumped at the chance when I came across some frozen tuna at the supermarket the other day. Here's my take on negitoro don:

*This recipe calls for and serves RAW seafood. Make sure you have a reliable source of seafood and use appropriate hygiene protocols!

Negitoro don (Minced tuna and spring onions on rice)
Serves 1

100-150g sushi grade tuna (maguro) or fatty tuna belly (maguro toro)
1 spring onion, minced
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 bowl of cooked rice - preferably a short grained white rice

1. Mix all the liquid ingredients together with the sugar in a large bowl

2. Mince tuna using a chopper. Mix tuna mince with seasoning sauce

3. Mix in minced spring onions

4. Top negitoro over bowl of rice, ensuring even coverage. Serve and enjoy with some miso soup!

Cost breakdown
Cost per serving: RM6 approx
Tuna cost me RM10 for a 250g block

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Olio Spaghetti with Mushrooms

I love olio-based pastas. It's easy to make, light and very good on the tummy - especially if you're lactose intolerant (like my poor self!)

Olio Spaghetti with Mushrooms

What you need:

A couple of button mushrooms, sliced
1 can of mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic, chopped finely
2 chillies, seeds removed; chopped finely
Some parsley, chopped finely
Olive oil
Angel hair pasta

What to do:

1. Heat some butter in a pan and fry button mushrooms until it is cooked. Remove accumulated water (you'd get quite a bit thanks to the mushrooms) and set aside.

2. Using a low fire, line pan with olive oil (you will need quite a bit of oil as you are making an olio base) and fry garlic until fragrant. Throw in parsley, chili and all mushrooms.

3. Meanwhile, remember to cook the pasta! Angel hair pasta tends to cook a lot faster than other types of pasta so be sure to keep an eye on it.

4. Once pasta is cooked, drain well and throw into pan containing olio base. Over a low fire, mix pasta evenly. Season with some salt and black pepper.

There you go!

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Easy Peasy Potato Salad

I'm back!

So here's a really simple recipe, inspired by a good friend.

Easy Peasy Potato Salad

What you need:

1 can of whole mushrooms
Light sour cream
A couple of russet potatoes

What to do:

1. Clean potatoes and chop them into cubes, leaving the skin on.

2. Sprinkle some salt on the potatoes, mix them up and chuck them into a steamer. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until just cooked.

3. Once cooked, leave potatoes to cool. Put into fridge.

4. Open the can of mushrooms and slice them thinly. Take potatoes out and mix mushrooms in.

5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of light sour cream. Add some salt and pepper to the mixture and mix well. Return salad to fridge until it is ready to be served.


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Friday, May 08, 2009

Prawn 'Bisq'

Yes, I know it's spelled 'bisque' but given that this recipe's a budget version I thought it might be appropriate because I had to replace some of the more pricey ingredients with more budget friendly ones - prawns instead of lobster, and milk instead of cream. Pardon the lack of recipes there days - it's been a pretty hectic year and my meals have tended to be simple.

Prawn 'Bisq'

(Serves 1-2)
300g small-medium prawns, with shell - about 10-15 prawns
1 medium onion, chopped
3 shallots, minced
1 litre water
1 tsp tomato paste
Greens for garnish

1. Peel the uncooked prawns and reserve the shells. Optional: cut prawns into smaller chunks.

2. In a pot, sweat the onion with a little salt in a little oil until translucent. Turn up the heat, add prawn shells and fry until fragrant.

3. Add water, bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Reduce liquid to half - about a couple of hours

4. Remove shells (Or just strain the entire stock) and set aside. In the same pot, sweat the minced shallots in a little oil. Return the prawn stock to the pot and add tomato paste. Bring to a boil.

5. As soon as the water starts to boil, kill the heat and put the prawn meat in. Cover, and leave for two minutes (One, if you've cut up the prawns into chunks) - the residual heat will do the cooking for you.

6. Serve in large bowl, add milk and season to taste. Garnish with greens and a little olive oil.

Total cost: RM4.50
Cost per serving: RM2.25

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dhal Curry

A perfect, cheap and easy curry to make when you're missing Malaysian food.

This recipe was adapted from my mother's classic never-goes-wrong Charmaine Solomon cookbook. It is one of the easiest and fuss-free dhal recipes I have come across.

Dhal Curry

200g split yellow lentils
1 large onion (finely sliced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1-2 potatoes (optional)
1 carrot (optional)
3 cups hot water

1. Wash the lentils then leave to soak in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Discard those that float on the surface. Drain well and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a fry pan or pot then fry onion, garlic and ginger until the onion softens and turns golden brown.

3. Add turmeric and mix well. Add lentils and fry for a minute or two. Add in carrots and potatoes if using.

4. Add hot water, bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are half cooked. Add salt to taste and garam masala.

6. Continue cooking until lentils are soft, some water is evaporated and the consistency is similar to porridge. If the curry is too watery, continue boiling without the lid.

Done! Make sure you serve it up with some nice crispy roti. Mmmmm.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beer battered onion rings

After three months of traveling and fieldwork, it feels good to be able to be at home long enough to cook - and my first creation for the year is a sinful beer-battered onion rings. Remarkably easy to make with simple ingredients - and of course, you can beer-batter just about anything else: shrimp, fish, cheese...

Beer-battered onion rings
2 large onions, cut into rings 1-2 cm in diameter
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 bottle beer, chilled.
Oil for frying

1. Set aside 1/4 cup of flour and dredge onion rings in flour
2. Mix salt with remaining 3/4 cup of flour and slowly pour in beer to make a batter.
3. Heat oil for frying. Shake off excess flour and dip onions in batter. Cook for one minute in medium-high (200) and the in medium (160) for another minute. Drain and serve immediately.
4. Remember, a colder batter will make for a crisper crust so stuff the mixing bowl in the fridge if you have to.

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