Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Menu #84: Chinese leeks with sea cucumber

For as long as I could remember, Chinese leek is my parents' favourite. I on the other hand is not so fond of this oniony smell and taste yet crunchy texture. And I found out that my hubby has a strong love for this leek as well!

I usually stir fry it with sliced beef on normal days.

But since Chinese New Yea is just around the corner, a little luxury is alright on the festive table. Chinese leeks with sea cucumbers.


I would like to share with you on this recipe. How I stir-fried leeks, carrots and sea cucumber in one dish. Sea cucumber is rather expensive, I bought some ready and cleaned sea cucumbers from the wet market for RM20!


Sea cucumber symbolised wealth and good health while leeks are auspicious to be taken during CNY.


Ingredients:
2 stalks of leeks, cleaned and sliced diagonally. Divided into 2 bowls; 1 of white parts and another just the green leaves
1 sea cucumber, sliced thinly
6 baby carrots, sliced horizontally (1/2 normal sized carrot)
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame oil
Shao xing wine
Oyster sauce
100 ml water with cornstarch

Methods:
1. In a wok, heat up cooking oil. Saute chopped garlic for few seconds.
2. Toss in carrots, white parts of leeks and sea cucumber. Saute for a minute or so before toss in the green parts of leeks.
3. Add few dashes of sesame oil and wine, salt and pepper to taste and about 1/2 tsp oyster sauce.
4. Add in the cornstarch mixture when vegetables are soften. Simmer for a while till the gravy is thicken and dish out.

Remarks:
For more texture and taste, you could add slices of breast meats in the recipe. Garnish with roasted almonds or cashew nuts for that nutty taste!!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Clams on the table

I have bought some clams from the weekly market in my area last week. I never cooked them personally but somehow my first instinct was "buy first, think later!" Lol. Anyway, it has been a while since I ate them so I were kind of excited to see them available that evening.

So, how should I prepare the clams for my dinner the next day?? Should I steam them?? Cook them in soup? Stir fry? Finally I decided to steam them. A simple and basic Chinese steaming recipe for the clams.

I prepared the clams first, i.e. brushed the shells, washed and soaked them before threw them into the freezer. The next day, I just let them thaw in the fridge before I cooked them.


Ingredients:
Clams, brushed, cleaned and soaked for 30 minutes or so
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ginger slices
1 shallot, sliced
1 chili padi, sliced thinly

Sauce (mix well):
2 tbsp shao xing wine
1 tbsp light soy sayce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water




Methods:
1. In a heated pan, add in some cooking oil. Once it is hot, add in the garlic, shallot, ginger and chili padi. Saute till they are fragrant.
2. Drizzle the ingredients onto the clams. Toss in the sauce mix.
3. Once the steaming wok is ready, steam the clams for about 10 minutes or until they are cooked. Serve hot.

My simple Chinese steamed clams were ready to be served on the table.


Weren't they gorgeous and delicious-looking?? I were happy that they were fresh and everyone (including the kids) tasted and enjoyed this.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

List for CNY

CNY is less than 2 weeks away.  Are you ready to welcome the Year of Rooster??

For me, it is more or less. Things are there, I done this and that. Here is a list of mine to remind me on what to do before the big celebration.

1. Cleaning around the house
With all the kids away in the morning, I have few hours to get my hands busy with cleaning, wiping, throwing and rearranging what's in the house. Not so fond of this cleaning as I would be attacked by sneeze and itchiness from the dusts, dust balls and cob webs. And few cuts I got from cleaning my kitchen few days ago. Not fond of that!!

2. Food
Going to fry some fish crackers this year unlike few years ago where we got them from outside.  Hubby bought a pack of Mukah fish keropok last year so I am going to fry them this weekend!  Just need to make sure I keep them safely and sealed in the tin and away from my kids. *wink*

We are keeping it simple this year.  Not going to buy too many titbits and snacks that we could not finish in the end.

I would not be cooking much.  However, we are going to have steamboat on CNY eve and BBQ cum potluck on 2nd day so I got to get ready some food for the ocassions.

3. Decoration
Some simple decoration stickers hubby bought to make the house more festive. Everything keep to minimal; nothing extravagant.

4. New clothings
Did not buy much for myself this year. The one with the most new clothings this year is my princess. Her new clothings could last her for a week of CNY!

Done all the washing and ironing, so I would not be worry about them anymore.

5. Ang pows
I started to collect red packets few years ago. Accidentally at first. Then I keep having more and more red packets and find some are so beautiful and special; I do not have heart to throw them away. Now I keep an album of red packet collection.

Economy is not so good, so no one expect "loaded" ang pow this year. Usually the ang pow job is passed to me, so I have to ready the necessary monies and ang pows accordingly.

Did I miss anything??

Monday, January 16, 2017

Grills and curry

Did not know what and where for dinner on one Saturday night. Then we passed by this Siang Siang Food Court, 3rd Mile (across the road from Timberland Medical Centre) and it was instantly decided to have our dinner there.

It has been ages since we stepped foot there. It was many years ago. And that time the food court was old and unattractive but they have revamped and turned the place into more decent, brighter and cleaner dining environment. 

Photo credit from Here

The place was crowded on a Saturday. We happy to find a vacant table.  Surprisingly the place was not stuffy eventhough it was packed. They did spent much on the ventilation and ceiling fans.

Photo credit from Here

We walked one big round, checking out the stalls before decided on what. You could basically get almost everything under one roof. From Chinese food to Malay and mamak food. 

Grills RM11

I took shots of the food that I had that night. This one was interesting. From the grilled food stall operated by a Dayak. Usually we would find grills from seafood to meats but this stall was different. They also served grilled innards! 


Hubby ordered a stick of this on top of grilled squids and bbq pork!! I tasted the squid and pork. The squid was fresh but the pork was slightly tough. I had hard time bite and chew the meat!

Curry rice RM7

I also ordered this mixed meat curry rice for my dinner. A fiery plate for me. Spicy! 

I would love to come back here and try other stalls. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekend Menu #83: wild boar and 3-colours dish

Weekend is here again. And I have a 2-in-1 recipe post today.

I had some frozen wild boar so with CNY is around the corner, I need to clear some stuff in the freezer to accommodate new stuff.

The wild boar meat was from my in-laws that they bought from Kapit. I am not so fond of the meat but hubby loves it. The meat is tough so either you let it simmer longer or use meat tenderizer to soften it.

Simmering wild boar

Ingredients:
About 300gm wild boar, sliced thickly
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
1 bombay onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2inch ginger, sliced
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp shao xing wine
1 tbsp Chinese white wine
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Half cup of water
Cornflour with water mix

Methods:
1. Add cooking oil in the wok. Once heated up, slowly add the wild boar in the wok. Brown the meats batch by batch.


2. Dish out the browned meat into a plate. In the same wok, toss in the garlic, ginger, onion and lemongrass. Saute till fragrant.

3.  Add the meats back into the wok. Add the dark soy sauce, shao xing wine, white wine, sugar and salt. Stir fried for few minutes before add in the water.


 4. Let them simmer for about 30 minutes or till the meat has soften.  Lastly add in the cornflour mixture and let it cook for another minute to thicken the gravy.
5. Dish out and serve warm with white rice.




To complement the wild boar, I have this vibrant 3-colours vegetables dish. Nice and crunchy.

French beans, baby corns and carrots


Ingredients:
French beans, carrots and baby corns - cleaned and sliced to biteable size
Minced garlic
Dashes of light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Methods:
1. Add cooking oil in a wok. Once heated, add minced garlic and saute till fragrant.
2. Add in all the vegetables and stir fry till soften.
3. Add in light soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper. Add some water for gravy.
4. Dish out.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kailan stem, shimeji and sea cucumber

It is that time of the year where you could see vendors selling the big kailan stem. I love this vegetable. You don't get it the whole year so when you see them, grab and cook them. *wink*

Kailan stems

Usually I would just stir fry it with garlic and salt or for more fragrance, I stir fry it with dried prawns and oyster sauce.

However, in my recent kitchen experience, I used different ingredients with the vegetable and it was delicious. And my new recipe was created. Kailan stem, shimeji and sea cucumber stir fry.


Ingredients:

Shimeji mushroom

2 kailan stems, peeled skin and sliced diagonally
Shimeji mushrooms, soaked, rinsed and sliced

Sliced chicken breast, added some cornstarch to the meat
2 Sea cucumbers, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp wolfberries
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Salt to taste
Some water
Cornstarch with 3 - 4 tbsp water
Cooking oil

Methods:
1. In a wok, heat up some cooking oil. Toss and saute garlic till fragrant. Then add in the chicken. Cook till meat turn white.
2. Add in the sea cucumber. Saute for a while before add in the kailan stem. Stir fry for a minute before add in the shimeji and some water.
3. When water is simmer, add in the wolfberries, oyster sauce and salt. Stir for a while then add in cornstarch mixture to thicken the gravy.
4. Dish out and garnish with fried shallots. 

Crunchy, flavourful and delicious





Monday, January 9, 2017

What's the flavours

It was the day before the schools began.  A movie date and lunch in Vivacity.

We caught the 11am movie slot so by the time we finished our movie, it was slightly before 1pm. Tummies were rumbling, so we headed to the next door food court.  Kuching Flavours as it was aptly named. They house some of the local food and delicacies such as kolo mee, mee sapi, laksa, kueh chap etc.

Kuching Flavours

It would not be hard to miss this food court as those big red lanterns are catchy to the eyes. Doesn't it feel like walking in the old lane of Chinatown???




After walking around and checking on the food stalls, we finally decided on our lunch.  Hubby and the kids went for Ah Mui Beef Noodle stall while I stuck with its next door stall, Lau Ya Keng Mui Xin History Laksa stall.



Hubby's was a big bowl of soupy beef noodle while the kids went for the dry version.  


And no, I did not have laksa from the laksa stall, but instead a normal plate of nasi lemak. 

A very simple plate of nasi lemak but I like how they coated and fried the hard-boiled egg on the outside.