Monday, April 27, 2009

Stir Fry Chicken With Hot Bean Sauce

Hot bean sauce (la dou ban jiang) is a very popular condiment and commonly used in Chinese cooking especially in Szechuan cuisines. It goes very well with any seafood, chicken, tofu and other vegetable like bamboo shot and eggplant. In this version, i use boneless-skinless chicken thigh, recipe adapted from easy Chinese stir fry by Angela Cheng

Recipe for braised chicken with hot bean sauce


1 boneless chicken thigh
4 cloves garlic
1 stalk scallion
seasoning 1:
1 egg white
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
seasoning 2:
1/2 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp hot bean sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch

- Cut chicken into bite size, marinate with seasoning 1 for 20 minutes then deep fry till half done. Set aside. Heat another tbsp oil, saute garlic and scallion till fragrant add chicken, stir fry for few minutes. Add seasoning 2, mix well. Remove from heat and serve while it's hot.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beef Rendang

Most people say, cooking rendang is kinda wasting time and that also my main reason for never making rendang on my own. I hate stay in my tiny kitchen for more than 20 minutes and i hate to leave my kitchen when my stove is on. I almost burn the whole apartment once, and it really remind me to be more careful when leaving kitchen with fire on.
In the end, i decide to use pressure cooker to make this rendang. It still tastes as good as the stewing version. It took 1 hour to be done, 45 minutes in pressure cooker plus 15 minutes simmering to dry off the gravy.
Recipe adapted from NCC and of course with little modification to suit my ingredient's availability

Friday, April 17, 2009

IFW - Braised Fish with Coconut Milk, Tomato and Basil

If you read my blog regularly, you will noticed that i never participate in blog events like everyone else does.
Well, this is my first submission for blog event, Indonesian Food Week hosted by Siany Nugroho one of NCC's member.
I love seafood so much(who don't?) and most of times i buy it outside since my cooking skill is terrible, especially in Indonesian food.

Indonesian name it Pencok Ikan. Ikan mean fish, but pencok???(anyone who can come up with explanation will be greatly appreciated). As you all know, Indonesia made up by more than 17.500 island, so can you imagine how many language we have?
One of the event's rule is to mention where the dish come from. So, i'll say this recipe is come from my mom(sorry about the exact place, i wish i or my mom know)

Recipe for mommy style pencok ikan(braised fish with coconut milk, tomato and fresh basil)

500 g mackerel
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 cm lesser galangal
1 tsp salt
5 red chili
3 cloves garlic
2 candle nut
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 medium tomato, diced
salt and sugar to taste
handful fresh basil

- Rub fish with coriander powder and salt, let it stand for 15 minutes, fry till brown on both side, set aside. Blend all the ingredients except coconut milk, basil and tomato. Heat a tbsp oil in a medium pan, saute spices and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes. Pour in coconut milk, let it bubbling, add in fish and tomato. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until gravy almost dry, adjust the taste with salt and sugar. Sprinkle fresh basil just before remove from heat.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rich Chocolate Cake

As Asian and a beginner cook, i often confused when reading recipe using American standard measurement. It's not a cup that make me headache but stick, ounces, pints, quarts, gallon etc really make me crazy. I'm totally idiot when it comes to maths and yeah, my brother called me as a "mathematics's idiot". I remember that i used to argue with my math teacher back when i was in high school. But still, i'm doing pretty good in physics. Strange right?

I was thinking about this cake, and have no problem at all when reading the recipe, i've made that cake before and it turned out great, so i decide to use that recipe again.
I was pretty sure that 1 stick butter is equal to 226 grams, how.....where that conversion come from??? Without checking converter, i started baking. Feel like something amiss when i fold in the flour. Butter amount seems too much compared to the other ingredients. And yes it is, i used 2 sticks butter instead of 1!!! Thinking about dumping my batter to the trash, but i can't afford to waste anymore food, so i go on bake my cake and it turned out to be rich, fudgy and soft(almost like melt in mouth, when it warm). This was my first failed cake that turned out to be so good.

Ohh...reminder, 1 stick butter is 113 grams :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Creamy Vegetable in a Bread Bowl

I still have some bread dough left in my fridge and i want to used it up today. After flipping through my cooking books, finally i decide to make this cute bread bowl with vegetable filling(original recipe using sourdough bread and creamy mushroom filling). My bread dough is very soft and it resulted in flat bowl instead of tall and round one.

Recipe for creamy vegetable filling
1 can sweet corn
1 cup diced ham
1 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 stick butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

-Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over low fire, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it turn translucent, add in flour and stir for another minute. Pour milk slowly, mix until smooth, add vegetable, simmer over low fire for about 15 minutes. Taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, sprinkle with grated cheese.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dried Longan Muffin

Longan is native fruit of southeast asia. In Chinese it called long yuan which is literally mean dragon's eye fruit. More information about longan can be found here. Dried longan muffin is another famous Taiwanese delicacy. It is easily available almost in every corner of bakery in Taiwan. However, every one of them has their special taste or texture. It usually topped with either chopped walnut or pine nut.

Recipe for Dried longan muffin


150 g cake flour
110 g brown sugar
65 g dried longan soaked in 3/4 cup hot water, cooled, squeezed and juice reserved.
2 eggs
70 ml melted butter
1/2 cup longan juice
1/2 cup chopped walnut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup pine nut for topping

-Sift cake flour, salt and baking powder, set aside. Beat egg and sugar till white and fluffy, add in longan juice, vanilla extract and melted butter , stir until well mixed. Fold in flour lightly. Add in chopped walnut and dried longan. Spoon the batter to the paper cup, top with pine nut. Bake at preheated oven at 180 for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Artisan Bread

Am i the only one who had been dying to try this bread? This recipe is the easiest and simplest one compared to other bread and it has great review from around blogosphere. I never make a "real" bread before but i've been trying those buns several times, though it always ended up in the trash. You won't need heavy duty mixer or break your handmixer (like what i do...) to knead this bread. Recently i came across this site while searching for the artisan bread recipe and i thought basic recipe would be a great way to start with. I'm so surprised and satisfied with the result. It has crispy crust and chewy inside with amazing fragrant smell.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Most Authentic Taiwanese Stewed Ground Pork ( Lo Ba )

If you've ever come to Taiwan, you'll find this menu in every local Chinese restaurant, no matter it is high class or road side one. I've been trying so many recipe, but none of them meet the authentic taste of traditional Taiwanese lo ba which is usually served with steamed white rice, a piece of stewed deep fried tofu, yellow preserved radish and it served in a clay bowl, topped with freshly chopped cilantro. favorite lunch, cheap and delicious, hahaa..yeah i love anything with "cheap" word in it. Lo ba literally mean stewed meat in Taiwanese/Hokkien. Lo= stew ba=meat, while in Mandarin it called lu rou.
Couple days ago, i watched TV show hosted by mr.blablah, i dont even know his name, but my sister say he is one of the best chef in Taiwan. He said that the secret condiment that usually taken down from lo ba recipe is the cinnamon powder. Lo ba won't have its authentic taste without cinnamon powder. So, here i go again, doing experiment and come up with the most authentic taste of lo ba ( i don't celebrate April's fool day, so don't worry about being fooled by me)

Recipe for Taiwanese Stewed Ground Pork

650 gr ground pork (preferably with lots of fat)
1/3 cup sliced shallot
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chinese rice wine
6 cups water
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 star anise
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder (or more to suit your taste)

-Heat oil, saute chopped shallot and garlic until fragrant, add star anise and ground cinnamon, stir well, add in ground pork and stir quickly to break the meat into small bits. Add soy sauce, sugar and rice wine, once the meat has changed color. Pour six cups of water and cover the pan, let it simmer for 2,5-3 hours.

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