Monday, 15 July 2013

Shark's Fin Melon with Clam Soup 鱼翅瓜啦啦汤

A very interesting vegetable and not many people is aware of its actual name 'Cucurbita ficifolia'. In Asia, it is commonly known as the Shark's Fin Melon as the pulp strands are used to make soup, quite similar to shark's fin soup hence the name.

1 slice shark's fin melon (about 1/4 of melon)
1 carrot
Handful of dried anchovies
1 honey date
800g-1kg white clams

1) Soak live clams in a bowl of salted water to keep them fresh and split out sand. Rinse and remove from water only just before you want to cook them.
2) Remove skin and seeds of shark's fin melon, cut into big chucks.
3) Peel carrot and cut into big chucks.
4) Bring a pot of water to boil, add in honey date and dried anchovies. I will put the anchovies into a soup stock bag before adding in. Boil for 2-3 mins and simmer for 1.5 hours or until the melon flesh turn to shark's fin texture.
5) Turn the flame to high bringing soup to boil and add in the clams, cover the lid and once you see all the shells open up. Off flame and serve immediately. Do not overcook the clams, they will chewy if cooked for too long.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hairy Gourd with Meatball Soup

1 hairy gourd
1 carrot
150g minced pork (could use lesser depends on which much meatballs you want)
1 honey date
Handful of dried anchovies (buy those meant for soup)

marinade for the meat :
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1 inch ginger (minced finely)
Dash of pepper
1 tsp cornflour 

1) Marinate the minced pork for 30mins or leave it overnight.
2) Peel the hairy gourd and halve it lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop and discard the seeds, slice into small piece.
3) Peel the carrot and slice it.
4) Fill a pot of water and bring it to boil. Rinse the dried anchovies and put into a stock bag then add to the water.
5) Add in the honey date, hairy gourd and carrot. Boil for 2-3 mins and simmer for 30 mins.
6) Roll the marinated minced pork into small balls.
7) Bring the soup to boil and add in the meatballs. Once the meatballs are cooked, add a pinch of salt to taste.
8) Serve.  

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Pan Fried Salmon with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce 照焼三文鱼

I always enjoy eating Salmon Teriyaki bento set, to me a piece of fish with a bowl of rice is good enough as a satisfying meal.  But often that piece of salmon from the bento is just too slim or without skin. Yes I do enjoy eating with the skin especially when it's crispy, isn't that the best part?

This is not a difficult dish, the trick to fry the fish is to make sure that the base side on the pan is cooked before you flip it over. If it is not cooked, the meat or skin will stick to the pan and you will risk breaking the piece.

Arrggghhhh.... just when I need it most my bottle of Teriyaki sauce has finished. Did a search online and to my surprise it is very easy to make your own. Alright, ho-say liao (Singlish of great/ good) no more buying of the bottled sauce from now on ;) There are many recipes online, some added more than 6 ingredients and I took reference from one of the easiest and modified from there. This evening I only used 3 ingredients (sugar, Mirin 味醂 and light soy sauce), you could purchase Mirin from any supermarket at the Japanese section or Daiso. Mirin is a Japanese rice wine which has lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. 

Did I mention that the homemade sauce is as good as what you could get from restaurant/ supermarket? Try it, it is so easy! Besides being a sauce for salmon, can use it for squid, hamburger steak, meatball, Enoki mushrooms wrap with shabu, etc.

A piece of salmon about 250-300g (prefer not to use steak)

Teriyaki sauce (step 7)

1.5-2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sake (optional, I didn't add)

1) Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen towel.
2) Smear salt onto the salmon.
3) Just before cooking, coat the salmon with a thin layer of cornflour.
4) Heat the pan with little oil and place the salmon with skin side down using low-medium flame. Use your fingers to gently press from the top so that skin is fully in tact with the pan.
5) When the bottom side is done, flip over to cook the other side. Follow by the 2 sides for a short while.
6) Dish out the salmon.
7) In a bowl mix the sauce ingredients. Pour away the oil from the pan and over low flame add the sauce, it will bubble up immediately. Let it heat for a few seconds and off the fire, do not burn the sauce. Drizzle the sauce over the fish and serve while its hot.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cordyceps Militaris Steamed Hairy Gourd with Minced Meat

1 hairy gourd (mao gua)
150g minced pork
Cordyceps Militaris
Spring onion as garnish

marinade for the meat :
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1 inch ginger (minced finely)
Dash of pepper
1 tsp cornflour

seasoning for sauce :
1-2 drops of dark soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour

1) Marinate the minced pork for 15 mins.
2) Peel hairy gourd and cut into rings of about 1 inch thick. Use a spoon to remove the seeds at the center.
3) Place the gourd rings on a steamer plate and fill up the center with a scoop of minced pork.
4) Rinse the Cordyceps Militaris and place few pieces on top of the minced pork.
5) Steam for 10-15mins or until meat is fully cooked.
6) Remove from steamer and place the gourd rings on a serving plate.
7) Heat up the reminding liquid with dark soy sauce and thicken with cornflour.
8) Drizzle the sauce over the gourds and garnish with spring onion.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Wasabi Prawns on Skewers

Revisited this dish using the same recipe I had posted sometime ago, the difference this round is I coated the prawns with cornflour before frying and give it a cocktail style look by using skewers. Certainly looks more appetizing compared to previous post ;)

Recipe from:

Monday, 1 July 2013

Creamy Butter Crab

Simply love seafood and crab is definitely one of them. We were pretty lucky managed to get the female crabs full of roe. Yummy!

800g-1kg mud crabs
2 garlic (minced)
1 can evaporated milk
50g butter
5-6 stalks curry leaves (discard stalks)
1 red chilli or some chilli padi (cut into slices)
Dash of fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1-2 cheese slices

1) Melt the butter, sauté the garlic till fragrant.
2) Fry chilli and curry leaves till fragrant then add in the evaporated milk.
3) Add in the seasoning and cheese, stir well and add in the crab pieces.
4) Cover lid and cook until the crabs are cooked. The sauce should be thicken but not dry up.

Best to serve with hot deep fried/ steamed mantou (mini buns) to enjoy dipping the buns with the delicious creamy sauce.