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Monday, August 31, 2009

Steamed Chicken with Preserved Wet Plums Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking


Preserved wet plums and preserved black beans perk up the steamed chicken with their sourness, and it's perfectly complemented by the sweetness of the chicken marinade. It tastes heavenly after steaming which seamlessly harmonize both flavours.

Steamed Chicken with Preserved Wet Plums
Chicken is justifiably one of the highly consumable meats within my family, the reason is, it is low in fat, is protein rich and exceedingly versatile. If you are an observant, you probably will notice that I opt for making poultry dish instead of beef or mutton, as I detest the high intense of goaty flavours. Fortunately my hubby is not as picky as I am over meat favourism.

This dish essentially relies on the commercially available preserved wet plums and black beans, which you can easily get from local groceries in wet market or supermarket. Bird's eyes chillies impart a slight hint of spiciness, which otherwise is unnoticeable. The finished dish, I would say, is an appetising dish smothered in the bath of sweet and sour sauce. It's a great companion to steamed white rice.

Ingredients :
2 chicken whole legs, cut into pieces
2 preserved wet plums, mashed
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped bird's eyes chillies (cili padi in Malay)
1 tbsp preserved black beans, soaked and chopped

Seasoning :
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

Method :

1. Combine all ingredients, seasoning and marinade the chicken legs, let it stand for 30 minutes.

2. Steam at high heat for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve immediately with rice while it's still hot.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stir-Fried Pork Belly Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

This hearty and easy-to-prepare pork belly dish comes in a full-bodied gravy of black soy sauce, complemented by the sting from the bird's eye chilies and onions. You will be taken by the burst of flavours of this redolent stir-fried pork belly homecook meal.

Stir-Fried Pork Belly Recipe
Fresh pork belly (五花肉) has the ideal fat-to-lean-meat ratio to temper the dish intensity. I do not serve pork belly meals often at home, knowing that it's sinful and cholesterol laden, but when we keep getting wafts of these heavenly smells from the neighbours, we just can’t resist making ourself a homecook pork belly dish and indulge occassionally. You know, my hubby is really pork-belly obsessed, and when I mention "obsessed", I mean it!

As for me, flagged by the high cholesterol level during last medical check-up, I just couldn't afford to enjoy those unctuous guilty pleasures by indulging on that gelatinous skin, knowing that it will kill me some day. Scooping off the layers of glorious fat of the white lard, I ended up having only the lean meat which I felt more comfortable with (must be all that dogmatic indoctrination from young while under mum's care). :)

Aroma was divine in the kitchen while I was cooking the dish, and it did add some tang to our dinner with this easy pork belly recipe. This delicious dish is a chinese homey dish that handed down from generation to generation, besides well-known braised pork belly in soy sauce ("tauyew bak" in Hokkien). If you're too hectic to cook at home, you can always find stir-fried pork belly on the menu of many Malaysian hawker's stalls or chinese restaurants.

火爆花腩食谱

Ingredients :
200g pork belly (sliced) (五花肉)
1 onion (diced)
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 bird's eyes chilli (cili padi in Malay), chopped

Seasoning :
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp water
Dash of dark soy sauce

Method :
1. In a skillet, heat up some oil until shimmering, add in all the ingredients and stir-fry till fragrant.

2. Pour in all seasoning, stir fry quickly till pork belly is cooked. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Steamed Bean Curd with Minced Meat and Preserved Radish Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

An easy, quick and healthy tofu (soybean curd) recipe, topped with minced meat, preserved radish and shallot. This humble dish has a soft character that envelops the palate in a comforting embrace.

Steamed Bean Curd with Minced Meat and Preserved Radish Recipe

Tofu (soybean curd) is an incredibly versatile, soybased, protein rich, nutrient dense and high calorie food. By pairing it with right blend of ingredients, you will turn this budget-friendly, homey, bland and squishy ingredient into a superior taste dish that's bound to impress, varied from lip-smacking entrées to creamy sauces and delectable vegan desserts. The beauty of tofu is, it absorbs the flavours of the surrounding ingredients it is cooked with.

Perhaps as unappetizing as it sounds or as unappealing as the photos seens, this simple dish does not disappoint. In fact, this soft, smooth, silky and custard-like white tofu with the generous toppings of minced meat, preserved radish and shallot is surprisingly satisfactory.

This quick, easy and hassle-free dish is a wise choice for a speedy mid-week dinner. It take less than 30 minutes to whip up.

菜香豆腐食谱(菜脯肉脺蒸豆腐)

Ingredients :
2 block white chinese-style soft bean curds (soft tofu)
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp shallot, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp preserved radish, soaked and chopped (菜脯)
200g minced meat

Seasoning :
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
dash of sesame oil and pepper
2 tbsp chopped spring onion

Method :

1. Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a skillet, sauté chopped shallot until fragrant. Then add in chopped preserved radish and stir-fry until aromatic. It is followed by adding in minced meat and seasoning, quick stir-fry to mix well. Remove the mixtures from skillet, and now the toppings is poured over the bean curds.

2. Steam the bean curds (with toppings) at high heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle chopped spring onion over the steamed bean curds. Serve hot with fluffy rice.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Pork spare ribs are slightly browned and slowly braised in savoury fermented black bean sauce with garlic until tender. Black beans provide colour, flavour and texture in this easy to make entrée recipe.

Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce Home Cooking Recipe
Fermented black beans (豆豉) can hold their own unique salty and spicy flavor against the earthy flavor of spare ribs, and when it pairs with the spiciness of the red chillies, it's pretty alluring to the palate. The combination of flavours just simply get our taste buds screaming for more!

My childhood memories are vivid with images of mum preparing piping hot porridges with canned braised mud carp with fermented black beans (豆豉鯪魚) and preserved turnips omelette (chai poh nui in hokkien) whenever I was down with fever. Thus I have been acquainted with similar dishes whenever my body's temperature soars, making braised mud carp with fermented black beans my natural comfort food to go well with gruel (thin watery porridge), realizing that I need to replenish lots of waters to tone down my body heat. Other common dishes made with fermented black beans is steamed spare ribs with fermented black beans and chilli pepper (豉椒排骨) and spare ribs in black bean sauce (蒜子豆豉骨), which I will lay out the later for you here.

Excerpt from wikipedia :
Fermented black beans (豆豉) is a popular flavouring used in chinese cuisine, made by fermenting and salting soybeans, which turns the beans black, soft and mostly dry. But it should not be confused with black turtle beans, which is commonly used in the cuisines of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

蒜子豆豉骨食谱

Ingredients:材料
1 tbsp oil for stir-frying
3 tbsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp fermented black bean (aka salted black beans), soaked for 20 minutes and drained, coarsely chopped
3 red chillies, seeded and sliced into pieces
600g pork spare ribs, trim and cut into serving pieces

Seasoning : 调味料
1 tbsp shaoxing wine (chinese rice wine or dry sherry)
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
400ml water

Method : 做法

1. Heat the wok on medium-high to high heat and add oil, when oil is ready, reduce the heat to low, sauté chopped garlic and fermented black bean until fragrant. Then add in red chillies and onions, stir-fry with spatula until aromatic.

2. Turn to medium-high to high heat, add in spare ribs, stir-frying until they are lightly browned, then add in seasoning and bring to boil. Then reduce to medium low heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the spare ribs are tender. Dish up and serve.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nyonya Style Steamed Fish Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Homecook Nyonya Style Steamed Fish

Cooking Nyonya dishes is labor-extensive, involves delicate preparation and requires mingling of a variety of spices which is pounded into a very specific texture. It is a perfect amalgamation of spices used by the Malay or Indonesian community such as pungent roots, aromatic leaves and sometimes together with candlenuts, shallots, shrimps paste, chilies, tamarind juice and coconut milk. But it all well-worth the effort as the finished dish proved. Nyonya style steamed seabass transformed into delectable melt-in-your-mouth morsels, smothered in the bath of sourish, spicy and tangy spices. The subtle selection of ingredients give it a wow factor that make you want to savor every mouthful.

If you're looking for easy delightful Chinese-Malay fusion to satisfy your spicy and sour cravings, you might want to try the recipe below.

娘惹式蒸鱼食谱

Ingredients :
1 seabass (siakap in Malay)(about 700g), cleaned
2 tbsp onion, shredded
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

Spices :
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped finely
3 tbsp ginger flower, chopped (bunga kantan in Malay)
1 tbsp bird's eye chillies (cili padi in Malay)
4 tbsp squeezed lime juice


Nyonya Style Steamed Fish Ingredients and Spices Preparation
Seasoning :
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
dash of pepper

Method :

1. Combine all the spices and seasoning, pour over the cleaned seabass.

2. Steam at high heat in a wok with boiling water for 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked. Then remove the fish from wok.


3. Sprinkle shredded onion and coriander leaves on top of the steamed fish and serve hot with fluffy rice.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stir-fry Four-Angled Beans with Sambal Chilli Udang Belacan Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Pairing with the irresistible fiery hot sambal chilli udang belacan (spicy and pungent prawn paste), the crunchy four-angled beans also tinged with the sourness and sweetness of lime juice and sugar, making it a piquant Malaysian delicacies.
Stir-fry Four-angled Beans with Sambal Chilli Udang Belacan

Snapped up some four-angled beans from Jusco supermarket yesterday, thinking that it would be a perfect match for sambal chilli prawn paste (sambal cili udang belacan in Malay) that resided in my fridges for almost a week. The dish is easy to whip up and great to relish, and it naturally paves its way to many Malaysian kitchens and dining tables.

As its name implies, the presence of four frilly edge (fringe-like extension) that run lengthwise along the pod gives the fruit vegetable the name, winged beans or four-angled beans (翼豆或四角豆). Rather vague flavor-wise, four-angled beans are excellent seasoned with bold spices and herbs. Thus it's heavenly when pairing together with sambal chilli prawn paste, which is a premixes (pounded fresh chillis, dried shrimp, toasted shrimp paste (belacan), onions, garlic to which sugar and lime juice are added) that is commercially available in local groceries and wet markets.

winged beans or four-angled beans photo

Not yet a household word in the kitchens of America, this odd-looking bean has many culinary virtues. Nutritious winged beans offer an abundance of essential nutrients including protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins B, calcium, iron and fiber.

As winged beans have been experiencing worldwide growth despite its lack of popularity in the United States, you can easily find them especially in countries with nurturing tropical climates. For Malaysians which in favor of spicy and sour dish, you might consider to grab some four-angled beans home when you're browsing in supermarket or floundering around in wet market trying to figure out what to cook next. Make sure you have all the trimmings, especially sambal chilli prawn paste!

三巴虾米马来栈炒四角豆(翼豆)食谱

Ingredients :

400gm four-angled beans (aka winged beans or kacang botol / kacang keceper in Malay), cut straight across or on a slant 四角豆(翼豆)
A handful of medium to big prawns, shelled and deveined
4 tbsp of pounded sambal chilli prawn paste (sambal cili udang belacan in Malay) [available in local wet markets or groceries]
1 onion, peeled and shredded
5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

Seasoning :

2 limes, squeezed into lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar

Method :

1. Heat up the frying pan (or wok) and drizzle some cooking oil. Sauté the chopped garlic and onions with low flames, then add in sambal chilli prawn paste. Stir-fry till fragrant.

2. Add in prawns and stir-fry briskly before adding four-angled beans. Toss well. Lastly, give it a quick drizzle of lime juice, a dash of sugar and a sprinkle of water to make the dish moist. Stir briefly until heated through but do not overcook the vegetables. With several flippings of spatula, the crispy and crunchy sambal four-angled bean are ready to go with hot, fluffy white rice.

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