Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nong Jia Chao Rou - Stir Fried Pork with Green & Red Peppers

Singlish Swenglish Stir Fried Pork with green peppers

This is apparently one of the most popular Hunan dishes according to Fushia Dunlop from whom this recipe is taken from. I have to take her word for it since I haven't been to Hunan but Johan likes it so I guess it will stay on our menu for a while. This was the first time I made this dish but I think it turned out a bit too oily, so perhaps the next time I would drain the bacon fat even more, as should you if you were to use bacon like I did. The original recipe calls for belly pork or streaky bacon.

250g long green peppers (or you can use bell peppers too, I used a mix of both)
30g bacon or 50g belly pork as recommended
200g lean boneless pork
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 teaspoon black fermented beans or hiangxi, rinsed
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon potato flour mixed with 2 tablespoon water
3 tablespoon cooking oil
Singlish Swenglish Stir Fried Pork with green peppers

  1. Slice the lean pork thinly and marinate with the Shaoxing wine and soy sauces and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Slice the peppers at a steep angle into 3cm chunks, and cut the bacon into similar size chunks too (or pork belly sliced thinly) .
  3. Smear the wok with a little oil over medium heat and fry the peppers for about 5 minutes until fragrant and tender, you can press them against the side of the wok to get the skin of the pepper slightly golden and puckered. Remove from the wok and set aside.

    Singlish Swenglish Stir Fried Pork with green peppers
  4. Reheat the wok until smoke rises and add in the bacon or pork belly to stir fry until tinged with gold around the sides. You can chose to drain the oil at this point if using bacon and then add in the garlic and black beans to stir fry until fragrant.

    Singlish Swenglish Stir Fried Pork with green peppers
  5. Add in the lean pork next and stir fry until it has change colour and loses most of its water content before adding in the peppers again.
  6. Add salt to taste before adding the potato starch solution for a professional gloss to the dish. Stir just long enough for the sauce to cling to the meat and serve hot with rice.

    Singlish Swenglish Stir Fried Pork with green peppers

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Easy Peasy Chicken Soup

Easy Peasy Chicken Soup

This was quite a busy week for me and finally I have time to update the blog. The pleasant surprise this week was that when attending an course on Entreprenuership, Innovation and Economic Growth, I got to be known as the girl with a food blog because the coordinator googled me and he mentioned it. That's a good way to do networking I guess ;)

So I thought I will just post a really simple but good soup I learned from a lady who was doing fika at the international cellgroup I attend on Wednesday in Lund. She served it with a salad and some Swedish knäcke bröd and it was really nice and fulfilling. I also like it because it can be made more pepperish by the amount of pepper you use (obviously!) and for me, that's one of the selling point beside the natural sweetness brought by the addition of peas and carrots.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 chicken breast, diced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, peeled if preferred and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 soup bowl of frozen peas
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Over a medium heat, sweat the onion until it is soft before adding in all the other ingredients and 2-3 bowls of hot water.
  2. Simmer it until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes is soft enough. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

German Russian Cake

Russian Zupfkuchen singlish swenglish

Technically speaking, you can't go wrong with a cake mix right? All the ingredients are already measured for you, and the instructions are almost fool-proof - that is unless it's in German. My office mate got me this cake mix from Germany (she's German) after we tasted one they baked before during one of the fika session and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. It's called a German Russian Cake and it's quite a dense cake though, so a small piece is enough to go a long way. I've tried baking it once from scratch, but was not satisfied with the result and since I've exhausted this one pack of cake mix, I guess I will just have to try it again the next time I have a yearning for it, or buy it when I visit Germany myself!

I tried googling for English instructions and came across one that was not so well-translated and hence made a few mistakes I made when using the cake mix - melting all the butter in the chocolate part instead of reserving some for the rest of the cake, or not baking it at the lower rack etc. Fortunately I managed to remedied it, but this site has a more accurate translation and I just thought I will jot this down on the blog in any case some of you buy cooking mixes and seasonings as souvenirs when you travel - like me :P

1 box of Dr.Oetker Russischer Zupfkuchen cake mix
400g butter or 250g butter and 150g margarine, at room temperature.
4 eggs
500g quark

  1. Melt 250g of butter and leave it to cool. Butter the cake pan you will be using and preheat the oven at 160°C.
  2. Place the content of the chocolate baking mix in a bowl and add in 150g butter/margarine and 1 egg. Mix thoroughly and knead through until you get a smooth dough. Setting aside about 1/5 of the dough to be used as topping, flatten the remaining dough and use it to cover the bottom of the cake pan and create a 2cm brim on the inside of the cake pan. Seal the brim and the bottom by using your fingers to press them together.

    Singlish Swenglish try Russian Zupfkuchen cake mix
  3. Place the content of the filling mix (the lighter colored one) and add in the quark, 3 eggs and melted butter. Stir until smooth and pour on top of the chocolate dough in the cake pan. Form little disc with the 1/5 chocolate dough you have set aside and place it over the top of the filling as shown in the box cover.

    Singlish Swenglish try Russian Zupfkuchen cake mix

  4. Bake for 65 minutes on the lower rack of the oven. Leave it to cool in the oven for 5 minutes after switching the oven off then remove to cool on a rack for an hour before serving.

    Singlish Swenglish try Russian Zupfkuchen cake mix

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spicy Dry Curry Chicken

Singlish Swenglish Dry Curry Chicken

Making curry chicken was always an easy affair to me because of the ready-made paste that I brought from Singapore. To my 'horror', just when I have prepared all the ingredients the other night,I realized I have no more prepacked curry paste! This was a 'no choice' option or 'bo bian' but I was quite glad that circumstances entailed me try this out because it turns out to be quite good!

I added some potatoes and minced ginger (my Dad's secret) to the original recipe which I took from 'Malaysian Delicacies' from Patsie Cheong and tipped in the whole can (400ml) of coconut milk (because I wouldn't have know what to do with the remaining), so it has more gravy than what it is required for the dry version (which needs 250ml). Do the adjustment as you prefer along with the seasoning, it works well either way. But I was just proud of myself making curry from scratch for the first time ;)

1 whole chicken, cut into large pieces
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered
250ml (dry version) or 400ml (more gravy version) coconut milk
salt and sugar to taste
1/2 teaspoon chicken stock granules
1 medium size onion, minced finely or pounded
3 cloves of garlic, minced finely or pounded
2 cm section of fresh ginger, minced finely
3 tablespoons curry powder
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (ground)/powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
4 cardamoms or 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
4 cloves
2 cinammon sticks
2 stalks curry leaves

  1. Pan-fry the potatoes until they are half-cooked or slightly golden brown and set aside.

    Singlish Swenglish Dry Curry Chicken
  2. Heat 5 tablespoons of oil and stir fry the rest of the dry ingredients except the chicken and curry leaves until fragrant.

    Singlish Swenglish Dry Curry Chicken
  3. Add in the chicken and stir fry until cooked.

    Singlish Swenglish Dry Curry Chicken
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and season with salt and sugar if you are making the dry version, season with some chicken stock granules if you are making it with more gravy and add in the curry leaves last.

    Singlish Swenglish Dry Curry Chicken
  5. Serve with rice or you can have some toasted baguettes with it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Taro Kuih or Yam Cake

Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih

This is one of my favourite dim sum or snacks and it's not easy to find yams or taro in Sweden but when I do, this is something I will definitely make with it. While I was back in Singapore a few years back I got a few cookbooks, including this one which is titled 'Old Fashioned Kuih-Muih' like pai tang kuih etc.
Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih

I've made this a few times now and only recently discovered I haven't place it in the blog yet, but it's quite a good one, so thought I will share it with those who like to give it a try making it too. One thing that is my own 'invention' - the sauce is made with a blend of sambal and shacha sauce - it's oh-so-good!

350g taro/yam after skinning (cut into small pieces and steam for about 10-15 minutes or until it is soft for mashing)
300g rice flour 
100g tapioca flour 
1200ml water 
40g dried shrimps (soaked, chopped)
100g minced chicken meat
3 shallots (sliced)

Marinade for chicken:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon ginger juice

3/4 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 piece chicken stock cube

Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih

  1. Marinade chicken meat with marinade for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine mashed taro paste, rice flour, tapioca flour and water together.
  3. Heat a wok with 3 tablespoons of oil, saute shallots, dried shrimps until fragrant before adding the marinated chicken meat and stir fry well.

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih
  4. Meanwhile, add the seasonings to the flour mixture.

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih
  5. Turn off the heat to the wok before pouring in the flour mixture to the wok. This turns thick quite rapidly so mix as well as you can.

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih
  6. Dish the final mixture into round aluminum bowls/trays (I used 2 disposable aluminum bowls about 16-19cm in diameter and 4.5cm in depth) and steam for about 25-30 minutes over rapidly boiling water.

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih
  7. There will be some water that seems to be surrounding the kuih when you first take it out, but test the center to check if its done with a stick, it should firm and not liquid.

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih
  8. Cool for a couple of hours before slicing, garnish it with some fried shallots, springs onions and some silvers of chili if preferred. Serve with the sambal shacha condiment. For variation, you can slice them into thick blocks, dip them in some beaten egg and pan fry them.

    Singlish Swenglish Taro or Yam Kuih