Sunday, March 28, 2010

Porcini Risotto with Chicken - Porcini Risotto med Kyckling

Porcini Risotto with Chicken

When one watches too much Top Chef or Gordan Ramsey's shows, you will not be unfamiliar with the standards exacted on this dish. Risotto is normally introduced as a starter but personally I feel its a meal by itself. I remember my first risotto was at Prego in Singapore (which we last had a very unpleasant experience with the last time I was there with my friends) but I thought it was like a 'Ang Mo'(or western) porridge. They have porridge in Sweden too but its a dessert where the rice is mixed with lots of cream and sugar. Very different.

Anyway, this was my second time making this, the first was prawn and peas risotto from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italy. The addition of chicken was Johan's idea and I kinda of improvised along the way but this time it turns out quite well. Risotto should have a slight bite to it when its perfectly cooked and try to think of it as a kind of pasta rather than rice, so it should have a small white center as the final presentation.

När man tittar för mycket Top Chef eller Gordan Ramseys tv program, du kommer att vet viken standard de har för den rätt. Jag tycker det är nog för en varmrätt, inte bara förrätt. Jag minns min först risotto var i en restaurang Prego i Singapore (men vi inte har trevlig tid när vi var sista där). Jag tror det var en västerländsk gröt. I Sverige finns gröt också men det är inte likna till kinesiska gröt för att de använder grädde och socker. Mycket olika.

I alla fall, det är min andra gängen jag laga risotto, den först var med råkor och ärtar. Johan tänker på det idé och jag improviserar på det. För bra risotto man måste har de al dente och de ska ha en små vit center när de är färdig.

Risotto Bianco (Serves 3) - this is the basic recipe for risotto
550ml stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
a knob of butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
200g risotto rice
1 wineglass of white wine
salt and pepper to taste
35g butter
60g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

20g dried porcini mushroom, rehydrate in 300ml of boiling water (remember to keep this soaking water!)
150g of chicken fillet, sliced and marinated in salt, pepper and fresh rosemary for at least 30 minutes.

Base ingredients for risotto

  1. Pan fry the chicken slices in some olive oil, once done, set aside and let it cool while you prepare the risotto.

    Pan Fried chicken with rosemary
  2. Stage 1: Heat the stock, put the olive oil and knob of butter in a separate pan, add the onion, garlic and celery and cook very slowly for about 15 minutes over low-medium heat. Do not let it be browned but when they have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.
  3. Stage 2: The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute, it will look slightly translucent then add the white wine and keep stirring.
  4. Stage 3: Once the wine has been cooked into the rice and the alcohol flavours have evaporate, add in the mushrooms and your first ladle of stock (mixed with the soaking water from the mushroom) along with a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat so it is simmering and keep adding the stock and stirring the rice, making sure the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This may take 15-25 minutes and taste the rice to check if it is cooked. Continue adding the stock or hot water if you ran out of stock until the rice is soft with a slight bite.

    Simmering the risotto
  5. Stage 4: Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese and stir well. Cover it with a lid and let it rest for 2 minutes before serving. Serve by topping it with chicken and more Parmesan cheese.

    Risotto with mushroom and chicken

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quick Lunch Series - Zha Jiang Mian or Beijing Noodles

Zha Jiang Mian
När jag gick till min kompis, Daynys (från Philippines) fest, träffade jag med hennes man som frågade mig om Beijing nudlar. Han tog ut från sin planbok ett papper. Det fanns några kinesiska ord för att det är en recept till Beijing nudlar. Hennes man gick till Beijing en lång tid sedan och smackade Beijing nudlar, men han kan inte hitta 'yellow bean sauce' i Sverige. Jag förklara att det är inte gul bönor men det är lite mörk för att det är jäsning sojaböna det man kan hitta i Asien affären i Sverige. Jag sökt på Google för att jag visste det på annat namn - Zha Jiang Mian or Mixed Sauce nudlar. Man kan också kallas den hör Kinesiska Bolognaise för att det är lite liksom, bara olika sas. Jag har lagade Beijing nudlar till de i förra fredag först gang och det smacka bra!

When I went to my friend, Dayny (from Philippines) birthday party, I met her husband who asked me about Beijing noodles. He took out from his wallet a piece of paper on which I can see a few Chinese words. It's a recipe for Beijing noodles, the kind he tasted when he was there a while ago. There was a 'yellow bean sauce' written on it, which you can't find in a normal Swedish supermarket. Yellow bean sauce  or Huang Dou Jiang is actually fermented soy beans which is actually darkish in color and comes in a bottle. We normally use it to cook fish, along with some ginger at home in Singapore. I tried searching the internet for the recipe because I know it by the other name, Zha Jiang Mian but I think its alright to think of it like a Chinese bolognaise because the method is similar, just the sauce that is used is different. I cooked it last week to them and it tasted pretty nice! This goes under the Quick Lunch series because it takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare.

300g minced meat (beef or pork) 
1 clove of garlic, minced finely
1 shallot, minced finely
2.5 tablespoon of bean sauce
pepper and sugar to taste
3 tablespoon of water
sesame seed oil
Half a cucumber, julienne thinly
Dried egg noodles, enough for 2-3 persons

Ingredients for cha jiang noodles

  1. Start the water to cook the noodles while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Heat up about 2 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat and fry the garlic and shallot till slightly brown and fragrant, then add in about 2.5 tablespoon of bean sauce and mix it well together before adding the minced meat. Note that the bean sauce is quite salty, so you might need to vary the amount according to taste.

    All that you need

  3. Stir fry the minced meat mixture until it is well mixed with the bean sauce, then add in some pepper, sugar and water to simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until your noodles is done.

    Mincec meat with bean sauce
  4. If you have sesame seed oil, use about 2 teaspoon to one bowl of noodles to toss it before topping it with the meat mixture and cucumber on top. Serve hot, to eat, just invite your guest to stir it up.

    Beijing Noodles - all stirred up

    Chinese bolognaise

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cream Cheese Swiss Roll/ Cream Cheese RullaTårtar

Cream Cheese swiss roll

Another recipe from Alex Goh's Baking Code, this was one of those projects I never really gotten the courage to do it until now, and I was happy it turned out pretty well, except that Johan commented the cake part needs a tad more sugar. I gave one roll to my in-laws and they liked it too.

One of the obstacles to making this cake was the rolling part - 1) I thought I don't have a swiss roll pan 2) I thought the rolling part was difficult. I solved both of the obstacles - I already have a Swiss roll pan, or if  you don't have it, just use the baking trays that comes with your oven, just make sure to grease it well and use baking paper. The rolling part? Just let the cake cool for a minute or so after you take it out from the oven, then with the baking paper (or you can put a piece of cloth underneath the baking paper with the cake still on it and roll it up. There might be some cracking on the top of the cake but its OK, since it will be the side the filling will go on. After you roll it up, unroll it again and let it cool down before you put on the filling. That's all to it!

Den här är en tårta som jag var rädd att göra för att jag tror det blir svårt för jag har ingen swiss roll form. Men här kommer igen ett recept från Alex Goh som är lätt att göra, så prova det snart!

Part A
60g milk
50g cream cheese
25g neutral cooking oil
65g flour
6 egg yolks
10g sugar

Part B
3 egg whites
60g sugar
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Part C
125g cream cheese
40g icing sugar
40g butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 lemon zest

  1. Cook the milk and cream cheese in a pan over low heat until the cheese melts. You should get a thick milky consistency. Turn off the heat and add in the oil and mix thoroughly. Next, add in the flour, egg yolks and sugar (which you may like to increase if you like it sweeter), making sure each ingredient is mix well before adding the next one.
  2. Whip the egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar until you get stiff peak, then fold it into the egg yolk mixture until well incorporated.
  3. Pour into a Swiss roll pan or a rectangular pan which measures 40 X 25 X 3cm. Of course if you are using a larger pan or tray, you have to make allowance on how thick or thin the cake will come out to be as it will rise slightly after baking. Bake it at 175 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. The top of the cake should be golden brown.
  4. While baking, you can beat the cream cheese until smooth (which should be at room temperature), add in the icing sugar, then butter (also at room temperature) until it is light and smooth. Finally add in the lemon juice and zest to balance the taste and it will be ready to use for the Swiss roll.
Cream Cheese swiss roll
Baked Swiss Roll before rolling

Cream Cheese swiss roll
Swiss roll after first roll and with cream cheese filling

Cream Cheese swiss roll
Swiss roll with uncut sides

Cream Cheese swiss roll

Cream Cheese swiss roll
Have it while fresh from the oven, really nice :)

swiss roll with cream cheese
Wrap it with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for about 2 days is best.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chinese Meatballs

Den här är min recept för kinesiska köttbullar. Man kan sätt i vad man ville, jag lära sig den här recept från min morbrors fru men jag har byta några saker. Jag försöka göra tofu mig själv men det går inte så lyckad. Jag ska prov igen men det fortfarande är bra med kinesiska köttbullar.

This is my recipe for chinese meatballs. You can basically put in what you want, but I modified the recipe from my uncles's wife which I remembered from 20 years ago. I tried making tofu myself but it didn't went so well but still it's good enough for my chinese meatballs.

Minced pork with tofu,prawn, mushroom and water chestnuts

400g minced meat (in this case minced pork)
150g prawns, shelled, smashed with the blade of a knife and roughly chopped to form a paste
4 dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water and diced finely
1 can of water chestnuts. diced finely
4 tablespoons of cornflour
100g of tofu
10g of fresh ginger, unpeeled and soaked in 80ml of cold water
4 tablespoon of soy sauce
white pepper
1 tablespoon chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring in one direction only. You should get a fairly thick mixture that should flow like very thick cream.
  2. Heat up the cooking oil which you will be using to shallow fry to medium heat. Take two tablespoons - one to take a tablespoon of the mixture, the other to help shape the mixture (by rotating the spoons in opposite directions from each other with the mixture in the middle - if this sounds too confusing, just shape it by dropping a dollop of it in the oil carefully.)
  3. Fry on one side till golden brown, then turn it over on the other side to get it evenly colored.
  4. You can freeze them if you make a big batch and they are good to add into soups or noodles or steamboats, or just as an addition to your meal as a starter.
 Chinese Meatballs

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quick Lunch Ideas - Prawn Omelette

Mina kompisar frågade mig vad gör jag för lunch ibland. För att när vi slutar för dagen är det tid för lunch.  Så när jag kommer hem är jag mycket hungrig och jag gör alltid någonting snabbt och lätt. Nu ska jag börjar med en serie som heter 'Quick Lunch Ideas'. Jag hoppas det blir hjälpsamt till någon som behöver mer inspiration än snabbnudlar!

 My friends asked me sometimes what I do for lunch because when our class ends, it's normally around lunchtime. By the time I reached home I am normally quite hungry so I will do something quick and easy. So I thought I will start a series of post titled Quick Lunch Ideas. I hope these might help some of you who need some inspiration besides the usual instant noodles ;)

Prawn with spring onion omelette
2 eggs, beaten
5 prawns, shelled and halved
half a spring onion, the white/green part, sliced thinly
sliced chili (optional)
soy sauce and white pepper to taste

  1. Heat up about 1 tablespoon of oil, when its medium warm, add in the sliced spring onions, chili and prawns. Stir fry it until the prawns are slightly pink.
  2. Add in about 2 teaspoon of soy sauce and a dash of white pepper to the eggs and pour it over the prawn mixture in the pan. Cook until the egg is set, turn it over and cook until it is golden brown.
  3. Serve with rice which you could have cooking in the rice cooker while you make this.
 Prawn and spring onions omelette

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Orange & Chocolate Baked Cheesecake - Apelsin Choklad Cheese cake

    Orange Chocolate Cheesecake

    Jag gjorde den har i går första gången. Det kommer att spännade när min familj gillar det mycket. Jag ska göra den här igen för päsk fest som kommer nästa veckan. Den har recept kom från Alex Gohs 'Baking Code' som jag köpte i Singapore när jag var där tre veckor sedan.

    I made this cake the first time yesterday and it turned out not too bad and the family liked it, and I'm going to make it again for the upcoming Easter weekend. This recipe comes from Alex Goh's 'Baking Code' which I bought in Singapore when I was there 3 weeks ago.

    There are two parts to this cake, first the chocolate sponge layer, then the cheese layer which is poured over it and baked in a water bath, or a bain marie, to prevent the cheesecake top layer from cracking. I find the chocolate sponge layer quite good, light and fluffy and will think about making a coffee-flavored or mocha flavored one next time by playing around with the amount of cocoa powder.

    It's not the easiest or hardest cake but it does involve a bit of washing up and a electric whip will be best here. I used the one that my family here in Sweden gave me for my birthday.

    Chocolate Sponge Cake Layer (23cm)
    This is for a cake of diameter 23cm, its basically the round cake pan you can get in Ikea that has a removable side.

    Part 1
    5 egg yolks
    20g sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

    Whip these together until light and fluffy, should be a pale yellow color. Set aside while you whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl.

    Part 2
    5 egg whites
    120g sugar

    Whip the egg white first until soft peak, then add the sugar gradually and whip until stiff peak.

    Fold in the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture until well-blended.

    Part 3
    90g plain flour
    20g cocoa powder

    Mix the flour and powder till blended and fold into the batter mixture till well incorporated.

    Add in 50g of corn oil or neutral cooking oil (no peanut oil please) and mix well.

    Chocolate sponge cake before baking

    Grease and lined the baking pan and pour in the mixture, bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

    Chocolate sponge

    Remove the cake immediately from the pan when done and let it cool down before you sliced it diagonally into half.

    Cheese Layer (23cm)
    Before you begin, you should already have the chocolate sponge layer cooled and sliced (about 2cm thickness), placed in a greased and lined (both sides and bottom) 23cm baking round pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with two layers of aluminum foil around the sides and set aside.

    Part A
    250g cream cheese
    20g sugar
    1 orange zest

    Cream all the above ingredients until light, then add:

    3 egg yolks

    and cream until smooth. Add:

    80g sour cream
    30g orange juice

    and cream until well blended. Then mix in 25g of plain flour and mix until well-combined. Set aside.

    In a clean bowl, whip 3 egg whites with 55g of sugar until soft peak is formed, then fold it into the cheese mixture that was set aside before. Pour the mixture over the chocolate sponge layer and bake in water bath for 1 hour at 160 degrees Celsius.

    Orange Baked Cheesecake
    Not such a pretty picture but I almost forgot to take a picture of it :p

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Dried Bak Choy Soup

    Bak Choy is not easy to find in Sweden and whenever they appear on the supermarket shelves, I would definitely buy them. This simple vegetable has lots of uses and one of the more unique one is the dried version of it. Vegetables were being dried in the past to preserve the abundance harvest but its more as a continuation to obtain the flavor of the past now. On the package, you will see that it says dehydrated cole, not very correct but it has become the De facto name for the dried version on the internet now.

    This is supposedly a Cantonese kind of soup and I first tasted it while my Dad was still working at SATs Cargo, they have a staff canteen and one of the stall owner was manned by a lady who cooked these wonderful soup that my Dad would buy back to let us taste. This was the soup that I fell in love with because of the deep flavor of the dried bak choy and we attempted to cook it once and only once in Singapore because we failed to recreate it. I think it was because we didn't soak the dried vegetable before cooking it.

    So, this time round I googled around for the right method of cooking and decided to soak it with boiling water for about 4 hours. The result is that while the vegetable was soft enough after 1.5  hours of simmering, it somehow lacks the taste. Next time I cook this, I will try soaking it overnight in cold water instead to preserve the taste of it.

    Dried Bak Choy Pork Ribs Soup

    300g pork ribs, blanched
    7 stalks of dried bak choy
    2 preserved dates (mi zao)
    4 dried dates
    salt to taste

    Dried cole and preserved dates


    1. Soak the dried bak choy in water overnight, wash thoroughly to remove any dirt, dry and cut into 1.5 inch pieces.
    2. Blanched the pork ribs in hot water to remove the scum. Return the ribs to a pot of hot water to boil.

      Pork ribs
    3. When the water is boiling, add the re-hydrated vegetable, both types of dates to the soup, turn down the heat to simmer for 1.5 hours.
    4. Add salt to taste before serving, the bak choy should be nice and tender. You can drink it on its own or go with rice.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Steamed Pork with Salted Fish and Ginger

    Salted Fish with Pork and giner

    Hmm... this may not  be to everyone's liking but I got hooked on it when my friend, May Leong's mom cooked it for her whenever she comes back home. Auntie can really cooked and May, whose is currently working in Australia as a doctor is one of my good friend whom I know since I was 19 years old in my first vacation job. We were in Altron then, it was a computer school and I was in administration while she was at front desk sales. She was the one who introduced me to pubbing and mahjong but the only thing she would ever drink was coke while we danced the night away.

    Anyway, this can be varied accordingly but I lightly fried the ginger and salted fish a little before adding to the pork, which I chopped up roughly.

    Lean pork, about 100g
    20g of fresh ginger, julienned
    Salted fish about 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount of pork
    2 tablespoons of soy sauce 
    2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil
    2 tablespoons of Shaoxing wine
    White pepper to taste

    Steamed Pork with salted fish and ginger

    1. Sliced the pork thinly and chop roughly, set aside in a metal plate for steaming
    2. Lightly fry the ginger and salted fish but this step is optional if you prefer not to do it.
    3. Assemble all the ingredients and seasoning, leaving the ginger and salted fish to be spread on top.
    4. Steam it for about 15 minutes or until done, you can also put it on top of your rice while you are cooking it.
    5. Serve hot.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Lemon Fettucini with Salmon and Broccoli

    Hej allihop,

    Den här är min första middagen som jag har lagade för min man när jag kommer tillbacka från Singapore. Det är en lätt rätt och smacka bra också!

    Hey everyone,

    Here's the first meal I cooked for my hubby when I came back from Singapore. It's an easy dish and taste good too!

    Lemon Fettucini with broccoli and salmon

    Fresh lemon fettucini
    1 salmon fillet
    100ml cream
    1 stalk of broccoli, cut into florets and bit-size pieces
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 handful of grated parmesean cheese
    salt and pepper to taste

    1. Pan fry the salmon fillet on both sides till slightly browned, set aside and flake into small bit-size pieces with a fork when cooled
    2. Heat up some butter with a dash of oil and pour in the minced garlic in a large pan. Stir fry till slightly brown and fragrant and add in the broccoli and cook till they are al dente.
    3. Cook the pasta in salted water according to instructions till al dente, then add them to the broccoli in the pan, mix them well and add in the salmon flakes.
    4. Add in the cream and salt and pepper to taste, then turn off the heat before adding the cheese, mix well and serve hot.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    From 35 degrees celsius to -7 degrees celsius

    Yup! I'm back - to the cold but beautiful Sweden. Somehow the sunlight here is kinda of silvery, shiny, making everything seems just a bit magical.

    Before I start posting recipes again, I thought I would share with you my culinary 'catch-ups' while I was in Singapore for the past month :)

    Well...technically this was my burger at Macdonalds at Frankfurt airport - cost about 15SGD for a meal but this one has a beef patty, hashbrown and bacon in it. Not too bad, especially when I wasn't served anything during the flight from Copenhagen on SAS.

    The famous (?)  Nasi Lemak at Adam Road. Actually I don't know which one is famous but I just Q where the Q is longest...Most Singaporeans would do that when in doubt?

    My complete breakfast of Teh O and nasi lemak with anchovies, egg, and chicken wing - Sedap!

    This was the taman fish caught, cleaned and fried by my Dad - BEST!!

    Still one of my favourite Japanese restaurant in Singapore, its on the 8th floor I think, at Orchard Central. Its apparently a chain of restuarants in Japan, but I love the rice with white bait and you add the black sesame and salt to it.

    Its called OOTOYA

    And I love the combination of green tea ice cream with azuki beans and mochi, topped with a dark syrup (I suspect either gula melaka or dark caramelized sugar).


    Johan's favourite Chay Kway Teow from Food Republic Vivo City. He say got the 'Big Fire' taste one.


    Ok, this one is not food, but I thought it was quite funny that GIANT used the Singaporean craze on mahjong to carry out a promotion. You really are supposed to collect the scratch out cards of all the tiles of 13 wonders.


    This is my younger brother and his girlfriend's dog Mocha, a mini poodle.


    This was at East Coast Park Food Center, stall owners like to have these lucky lions dance and 'pluck green' (basically tear up pieces of green vegetables and peel a mandarin orange) to bring luck and prosperity to their business.

    But this lion seems rather sleepy - O I was suppose to catch up on my wantan mee here, but it was closed, but the carrot cake stall didn't fail me :)

    The new MacDonald's deluxe breakfast - which I like very much since it has all elements of what I like about the breakfast menu - hotcakes and muffins, however it is very filling - all the way to lunch.

    My Dad's famous Char Hoon - its a Heng Hwa dish of rice vermicili, white claims, vegetables, beancurd, fish cake and pork strips. You top it up with fried seaweed and chinese vinegar - we like to add SinSin garlic chili sauce but its so good that everything he cooked one and a half big pot, none will be left.

    Give you a closer look ok?


    Our family dog cute right!


    Again, a simply delicious meal prepared by my Dad to eat with porridge. O the anchovies he fried are to live for! He will first dry fry them over low heat, then add oil to shallow fry them, then splash with soy sauce once dish up. Its a snack by itself! I told him, everytime I walk past the dining table, I will pinch a bit up and eat haha


    My phone camera is not good, but its really.....wah...

    Minced pork fried with black beans, chili and spring onions

    O this is my humble white bait omelette...nothing compared to my Dad's

    Handsome Boy!

    My last meal at Singapore's MacDonald's... If you are wondering, yes we do have MacDonalds in Sweden, but their chocolate sundae is just not the same and their nuggets do not have the curry sauce nor the garlic chili sauce and they don't serve green tea.

    But here's where my lovely hubby pick me up, Malmö C, Svagertorp on a lovely sunny spring morning.