Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pad Thai or Thai Fried Rice Noodles

Singlish Swenglish Pad Thai

To be honest, Pad Thai wasn't one of my favorite Thai dishes until last month when I visited Goteborg and had a Thai dinner with my friends there and she loveeeedddd this dish very much. I tried ordering it again when I went to my friend's Thai restuarant in Lund and then I figured I better learn to make it myself. So after my normal internet research, I finally settled for the home-made pad thai sauce from this recipe, but of course I watched a few videos (including one that showed a lady cooking it on the boat along the Thai river, which, by the way, she washed her hands in the river and used her hands to grab the raw ingredients to fry...) and this is my adapted version. Johan says this is now on top of his favorites and he will be asking me to cook it for him more often than wantan mee maybe, haha.

Pad Thai var inte min favoriträtt men jag förändrade min åsikt när jag provade det i göteborg förra månaden. Min kompis gillar det jättemycket och när jag provade det igen i lund bestämde jag mig för att prova att göra det själv . Jag hittar ett recept på Pad Thai sas och sen tittade jag på några videor innan jag fann det recept som jag använder. Ni kan ju prova det där hemma med och sen blir det lite billigare.

Ingredients (For 2-3 servings)
For the Pad Thai Sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons white rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1-1.5 teaspoon tamarind paste

Singlish Swenglish Pad Thai

Mix all in a bowl and microwave it for about 2 minutes or until sugar has melted, or you can heat the mixture up in a small pot until sugar has melted. Set aside for use later. If you are using tamarind paste that comes with the seeds, remember to filter them out before use. 

Ingredients (For 2-3 servings)
Dried rice sticks, about 140-200g, soaked in hot water until soften
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves of garlic, minced 
4-5 spring onions, cut into 3 cm sections
1/2 can of bean sprouts, if you have fresh beansprouts, use an equivalent amount
1 chicken fillet or half a chicken breast, sliced into 1 cm thick stripes
10 prawns
Roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed coarsely, about 4 tablespoons

  1. Heat up about 4-5 tablespoons cooking oil over high heat, pour in the beaten egg. When they just begin to set, separate them into chunks, like scrambled eggs but bigger pieces.
  2. Add in the minced garlic and stir fry until fragrant
  3. Add the chicken slices next, and cook until they just change color.

    Singlish Swenglish Pad Thai
  4. Add in the prawns next, and then the softened rice sticks. Mix well before adding in the spring onions.
  5. Add in the canned beansprouts next (if you are using fresh ones, add in at the same time as the spring onions) and mix well before pouring in the Pad Thai sauce. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the rice sticks are done.
  6. Just before plating, add the roasted peanuts, reserving 1 tablespoon for topping over the Pad Thai. A wedge of lemon squeezed over the noodles is more authentic but I normally skip it and find it just as good. If you like it spicy, serve it with some chili padi in fish sauce.

    Singlish Swenglish Pad Thai

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oyster Sauce - My Magic Sauce

When I first begin to cook, I used a lot of oyster sauce and in some way, it is like a magic sauce because it just add all the flavors you need, whether it be a meat or vegetable based dish. These are quick to make and almost guarantee that what you cook will be eaten up (hmm some terms and conditions may apply - like following the recipe). However, since I begin to try different ways of Chinese cooking from Fushia's book and from my Chinese friends in Lund, I use oyster sauce less and less but it's still an essential item in my pantry. The three dishes I am posting today are just for those of us who might be living overseas and need something quick and comforting or if you have not done much cooking before to get some ideas of the versatility of this 'magic sauce'. Unless otherwise specified, these portions are good for one or two person and more if serving in combination with other small dishes.

När jag började att laga mat använde jag mycket oyster sauce i mina rätter. Man kan säga att det är en 'magic sauce' för att det är det enda man behöver. Dessa rätter som jag ska beskriva är lätta att tillaga. Eftersom jag har lärt mig nya kinesiska recepts, använder jag inte oyster sauce så mycket längre, men det är fortfarande en sak som jag alltid kommer ha i mitt kök.

Stir Fry Oyster Sauce Broccoli with carrots and prawns
 Oyster Sauce Based Dishes

1 bouquet broccoli, cut into florets, separating the stalks portion from the florets sections
1 carrot, peeled and slice thinly
4-5 prawns, marinated with a dash of pepper and salt
minced garlic and shallots, about 1/2 teaspoon each
Oyster sauce, 2-3 tablespoon

  1. Heat up about 1.5 tablespoon cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the minced shallots first when its warm enough, then the garlic when the shallots has turned slightly brown and fragrant.
  2. When the garlic is golden brown and fragrant, add in the prawns, broccoli stalks and carrots first and stir fry until they are half-cooked. You can test with a fork or by trying to cut one of the carrot or broccoli stalk with your spatula. If it slices through easily, it is done.
  3. Add in the broccoli florets next and stir fry it for about a minute, adding about 50ml water.
  4. Add the oyster sauce (you may vary accordingly but oyster sauce are salty in nature) next and cook until done. Serve with rice.
Stir Fry Chicken with spring onions and ginger
Oyster Sauce Based Dishes

1 chicken fillet or chicken breast, sliced thickly 
2 spring onions, sectioned into 3 cm parts
thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and slice thinly
2-3 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

  1.  Heat up about 2 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat and add in the slice ginger first, frying them till golden brown.
  2. Add the spring onions next, stir fry until fragrant and add the chicken slices next.
  3. When the chicken has changed color, add in about 50ml water, oyster sauce and wine, mixing everything thoroughly and simmer it for a few minutes on low heat.
  4. Serve with rice or as part of your spread of other dishes. 
Stir Fry Bak Choy with chicken/pork/prawns
Oyster Sauce Based Dishes

1 big stalk of Bak Choy or  2-3 smaller bundles, washed and sliced vertically
half a chicken breast or equivalent amount of pork if using, or 5-6 prawns, marinated with some salt and pepper
Minced garlic and shallots, about 1/2 teaspoon each.
Oyster sauce, about 2 tablespoon

  1. Heat about 2 tablespoon cooking oil over medium heat and add in the minced garlic and shallots, stir fry till fragrant.
  2. Add in the meat slices and fry till almost done, turn up the heat to high before adding the bak choy.
  3. When the bak choy has wilted, add about 50ml water and oyster sauce, mix well, cover and simmer for a while longer until the bak choy is cooked. If you like them a bit crunchier, you can lessen the simmering time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sambal Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergine

Sambal brinjal
I remember this dish fondly because it's one of those I learnt from my mom. My family likes spicy food and we have had spicy food and chili plants growing outside our house since we were young. The thing about cooking this dish here in Sweden is that we only get big, rounded egg plants instead of those long ones in Singapore and they take a bit longer to soften. What I did was to reserve some of those sambal dried shrimps mixture and add to the finished dish as garnish and to provide some bite.


A handful of dried shrimps, washed and soaked in about 100ml of hot water
1-2 dried chili, de-seeded, or 1 fresh chili padi, de -seeded if you do not like it too spicy
1 shallot
1 garlic
1/8 teaspoon belacan paste (optional, but it makes a difference in my opinion)
Oil for frying sambal shrimp
1 small egg plant, cut into vertical strips and then section into 2cm chunks and sprinkle some salt over and set aside
salt and sugar to taste

  1. Drain the dried shrimps, reserving the soaking water. In a mortar and pestle, crush the shrimps, shallot, garlic, chili and belecan paste if using.
  2. Heat up the frying pan over medium, and add the pounded mixture and fry without any oil first to get rid of any moisture for a few minutes, then add about 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry the sambal shrimp until fragrant and crispy.
  3. Take out about 1-2 teaspoons to set aside for topping later, turn up the heat on the pan to high and add the egg plant chunks. Stir fry quickly to blend everything together.
  4. Add the reserved soaking water to the pan and turn the heat down to medium again, covering the pan to cook through the egg plants. This may depend on your individual taste but I like mine quite soft, so you may need to simmer for 5-10 minutes and add water where necessary.
  5. Before serving, season it with salt and sugar to taste. Sprinkle the reserved sambal shrimps over the dish and serve.

Sambal brinjal

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cucur Udang - Vegetable and Prawn Donuts

Beansprouts and Prawn Fried Donut

This is one of those snacks you buy at Malay or Indian food stalls for your afternoon tea break or just something to munch. I use canned beansprouts nowadays since I find they work ok for my pad thai but I have problem using all of them up in one go. I love fresh beansprouts but since they are quite expensive here I've resorted to the alternate choices and hence, I also use recipes that doesn't depend too much on the crunchiness of fresh beansprouts. I didn't think Johan will like it but in the end, we ate this up instead of our dinner, so they were pretty good :). I adapted this from Lily's blog but I find the frying part a bit tedious, especially when it gets stuck to the ladle or the pot. I got the donut shaped ladle from Daiso in Singapore but it kinda worked well only for the first one. Well, until I get the inspiration to try it again, this recipe will suffice for now.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chicken granules
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup spring onions - cut into 1 inch lengths
2-3 chili padi, diced finely
10-15 prawns, diced into large cubes
Oil for deep-frying

Mix for cucur udang

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together first, then add in the liquids one by one, making sure there are no lumps in the batter. Once you have done that, add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

    Batter for fried vegetable and prawn
  2. Heat up the pan with the frying oil over medium heat, and as Lily suggested, to heat up the ladle, drain it and place the batter on the hot ladle before putting it back to the pan to fry it. It only worked for my first one, and the rest of the batch didn't turn out as good as the first one (the looks, but taste wise is still good). Maybe I didn't use enough oil, but I will let you know when I try this again.

    Heating the scoop for Cucur Udang

    Cucur Udang
  3. Fry until golden brown throughout, drain on kitchen paper and eat it while hot!

    Vegetable and Prawn Fritter

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roti John - Baguette with Minced Chicken Omlet

Roti John

This is quite a typical supper or breakfast fare in Singapore or Malaysia - well at least for me. It's good for sharing over a cup of Ice Teh Limau or Kopi and it's available in different flavours like mushroom and cheese, mutton, or chicken. I'm opting to do a chicken version here and this was with the baguette I made myself. You can always use those store bought ones too or I'm thinking, those hot dog breads would work too? There is a story behind this though and you can read about it here.

Half a baguette, sliced lengthwise
Half an onion, diced
Half a chicken breast, minced
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
butter for fry-toasting the bread
Cooking oil

Ingredients for Roti John

  1. Heat a pan and add some butter and cooking oil for toasting the bread first. Place them face down over medium heat until they are golden brown and crispy.

    Toasting the bread first

    Toasting the bread first
  2. Take the bread out of the pan while you prepare the omelet. First add the onions to sweat until soften, then add the minced chicken being sure to separate them with your spatula so they are not all lumped together. Season with some salt and pepper and turn the heat down to low.
  3. Pour the beaten egg (lightly season with salt and pepper too) into the chicken and onion mixture and try to have the meat mixture piled in the center of the pan. Then, quickly place the bread over the egg mixture and seal the egg mixture to the bread by pressing the bread down and pushing any excess egg mixture as tightly round the bread as possible.

    Sealing in the Roti John
  4. Turn the heat to medium again and once the bread and egg mixture has set, you can flip it over and fry the bread on the other side too.
  5. You can prepare a sweet chili and ketchup mixture by just mixing it together, adding a little water if it's too thick. Serve hot with your very own Roti John!

    Roti John by Swenglish Singlish

    Roti John with minced chicken

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fried Chicken

Singlish Swenglish Fried Chicken

I don't make this very often but once in a while, especially in Sweden where no KFC can be found, you just want something sinfully crunchy. I found this in Anne's Food Blog, which can be quite inspiring when you are trying to cook only with ingredients that can be found in Sweden. Instead of buttermilk, I've used the Swedish filmjölk and I used part of the brine to make up the batter instead. It was not too bad, but does produces quite a bit for the two of us. We ended up freezing the rest and Johan helped eat up the rest :)

Ingredients (serves 3 or more)
900g chicken breasts or fillets

750 ml (3 cups) buttermilk or filmjolk
4 tablespoon coarse salt or 3 tablespoon fine salt
2 tablespoon sugar
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
1-2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped

Spices that went into the brine

Mix all the ingredients together and cover it and let it rest in the chiller for at least 3 hours or overnight. Before frying, drain them off in a strainer and take away any bit pieces of garlic or herb.

For the batter:
1 egg
250 ml of brine
1 teaspoon baking powder

Flour mixture:
750 ml (3 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Dip the chicken into the batter before dredging it through the flour mixture. Fry until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper before serving.

Singlish Swenglish Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

Monday, August 2, 2010

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Blueberries - Vit Choklad Cheesecake med blåbär

Singlish Swenglish Blueberry White chocolate cheesecake

I've made this cake twice now and it's always been a hit. My mum-in-grace and her friend who tasted it have been asking for the recipe in Swedish, so I have to do some homework and translate it. I've made this both with fresh blueberries and frozen ones and in my opinion, the fresh ones are better. However, if you can't find it, the frozen ones will work too, but you have to be prepared for some 'coloration' of the cheese portion as blueberries produce quite a bit of juice as it thaws, which isn't that bad :)

The original recipe uses the common digestive biscuit base but I've tried using Marie cookies with great results too, so you can choose according to your preference.

För recepten i svenska, klicka här.

Ingredients (these portions are for a normal 23cm diameter tin, but for my pictures, I halved the recipe because I was using a smaller tin)
Cake base 
200g digestive biscuits or 160g marie biscuits, crushed
100g melted butter
2 teaspoon of sugar (optional)

Using food processor for biscuit base

Mixing in the butter and touch of sugar with marie biscuits, crushed
Blend and mixed well together, then press onto the bottom of the cake tin. Bake at 160 degrees celsius for 10 minutes and let it rest in the tin and cool.

Pressing in the marie kex biscuit base 

500g cream cheese at room temperature
180g sugar
150g white chocolate, melted
5 eggs
200g sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lemon zest
100g whipping cream
100g blueberries, with some for garnishing

  1. Cream the cheese and sugar until light and smooth, then add the melted white chocolate and cream until well blended.

    Melting the white chocolate
    Melting the white chocolate over a bowl over a pot of boiling water
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, being careful to avoid any lumps in the mixture by ensuring all your ingredients are at room temperature. Cream until well combined.
  3. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest and lastly the whipping cream until all are smooth and well incorporated.
  4. Sprinkle the blueberries (fresh or frozen) over the biscuit base and pour the cheese filling over. Some berries (especially the frozen ones) will come floating up with the filling but it's ok.

    Mix of frozen and fresh blueberries
    Using a mix of fresh and frozen berries
  5. Bake in a water bath at 160 degrees celsius for 60-70 minutes (as recommended in Alex Goh's book, but for me I baked it for about 1.5hrs until it sets). Use a stick to test if it's set, it would be still a little wet if it's just set.

    Baking in water bath
    Preparing for the water bath by wrapping the cake tin with aluminum foil

  6. Remove the tin from the water bath and leave the cake in the oven with the door slightly open for 30 minutes.

    How it looks when set
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool before refrigerating it for 5 hours.
  8. For garnishing after releasing the cake from the tin, you can use white chocolate curls or fresh blueberries.

    Swenglish Blueberry White chocolate cheesecake
  9. You can use other fruits like peaches or other berries for this recipe too.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Johan's Swedish Chinese Beef with Bamboo

Johan's beef with Bamboo at Swedish Chinese Restaurants

Johan brings lunch to work most of the days now that he works full time and I like to ask him what he wants so I can prepare for him. Recently, after making the lövbiff rolls he asked if I can make him beef with bamboo, like they serve in the Chinese restaurants in Sweden. The ones I've tried were a bit bland so I made my version of it for him. He specified the gravy needs to be 'gooey', by which I think he meant it should be thicken with a corn starch solution, so I teach him how to do it, as I was cooking it. However, I don't know if he will ever use it!

2 slices of lövbiff/ thin beef steaks
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots or canned mixed vegetables (if you are in a place where fresh Chinese vegetables are not easily available) 
1 small can of sliced button mushrooms
1 clove of minced garlic and an equal amount of minced shallot
2 tablespoon oyster sauce 
Black ground pepper and salt to taste
Cornstarch solution (by mixing 1 tablespoon of corn starch powder with 2-3 tablespoons of cold water)

  1. Sliced the beef thinly and set aside. Drain the bamboo shoots set aside in a bowl with a sprinkle of salt. Pour boiling water and soak the bamboo shoots/canned mixed vegetable for a couple of minutes before draining again. This helps to refresh the bamboo shoots.
  2. In a frying pan, heat up about 2 tablespoon of cooking oil, and when the pan is hot, add in the bamboo shoots/vegetables and stir fry till it is dry and smelling fragrant. Dish it up and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the pan again and over medium heat add in the shallots and then garlic to stir fry till you smell the fragrance. Add in the bamboo shoots again, then the beef slices and stir well until the beef is half-done.
  4. Add in the seasoning and about 200ml of hot water and mix well.
  5. While the gravy is boiling, give the corn starch solution a stir and add it to the dish, stirring it quickly to prevent clumping. Switch off the heat, and serve hot with rice.
Johan's Beef at Chinese Resturant