"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Archive for August, 2010

Home-cooked Scallop Porridge

Have been craving for this for a few weeks. Hence, decided to cook my own rendition, with the addition of prawns and some shredded chicken.

The porridge is cooked in chicken broth. Dried scallops were put into the porridge to cook together. Then thawed some frozen scallops (YUMMY!!!) and fresh prawns were added. Seriously, all these ingredients in total are much cheaper than to eat this outside. Prawns are so cheap now, why can’t hawkers put more prawns into their Hokkien mee, prawn noodles, cereal prawns, etc?!?!?!



Wow, I learnt a new word – antipasto through a Korean drama (파스타) I’m currently watching.

So I wiki-ed for it and here it is:

Antipasto (plural antipasti), means “before the meal” and is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Traditional antipasto includes cured meats, olives, roasted garlic, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses (such as provolone or mozzarella) and peperone (marinated small green bell peppers, not to be confused with peperoncini). The antipasto is usually topped off with olive oil.

Many compare antipasto to hors d’oeuvre, but antipasto is served at the table and signifies the official beginning of the Italian meal. It may be referred to as a starter, or an entrée outside the United States and English Canada.

Pictures say more than a thousand words:

Home-cooked Stir-Fried Beef With Ginger And Spring Onions 姜葱炒牛肉


300 g beef
50 g spring onion (cut into portions)
50 g ginger (sliced)


1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon ‘shao shin’ wine
1/2 bowl water


1) Cut beef crosswise into thin slices. Marinate with quarter teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon light soya sauce,  1/2 teaspoon corn flour, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and dash of pepper.
2) Heat wok. Par-fry beef then dish out. Leave 1 tablespoon of oil in wok. Stir-fry ginger until fragrant. Add spring onion, stir-fry for 1 minute until soft.
3) Quickly add in gravy and beef. Stir-fry until beef is tender. Thicken with starch.
4) Serve hot. (optional: Add a dash of pepper)

Home-cooked Stir-fried French Beans with Minced Pork


French beans 200 g
Preserved Vegetables (冬菜) 10 g
Minced pork 80 g
Spring onions (葱花) 10 g
Garlic (蒜茸) 10 g
Broth 120 g
(You may add some cut chilli)


Soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon
Dark soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
Sesame oil – 1/2 tablespoon
Hua Diao Wine – 1/2 tablespoon


1) Remove the “heads” of the french beans. Wash clean and dry them.
2) Heat up wok of oil. When the oil is 70% hot, put in the french beans to deep-fry them slightly. Then remove from heat and leave aside for later use.
3) Heat up some oil in wok. Add in minced pork, preserved vegetables and garlic and stir-fry them till fragrant.
4) Add in the broth and the french beans and stir-fry together.
5) Add in the seasonings.
6) Simmer till dry.
7) Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Before deep-frying the french beans, wash them with cold water to keep it’s green colour.
Use pork bones or chicken to make the broth. Cook up to 4 hours.

Home-cooked Cod Fish

My favourite Cod Fish!!!!!!!!!

Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

Home-cooked Tuna Potato Patty

I used to always add a piece of begedil whenever I have nasi padang. However, they are a little tad expensive. The best begedil I had was when I was studying at CJC in my first three month there many years ago. Then, I also had some nice ones at NTU Canteen B.

Begedil is a Malay name for potato cutlet or potato patties. It is a popular side snack sold everywhere at Malay hawker stall or food court in Malaysia and Singapore.

In Japanese style, they are called croquette or korokke, made of vegetables and potato. But the Malay and Japanese ones are of different tastes.

So here is the Malay style begedil:

Recipe (about 8 pcs)


200 g potatoes (boiled)
1 can tuna fish 185 g ( drain well)
80 g big onion (chopped)
1 egg
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
8 bird’s eye chillies (chopped)

Coating: 1 egg, lightly beaten


1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chicken stock powder


1) Peel and mash potatoes. Combine with tuna fish, onion, chillies, egg and tapioca flour. Season the mixture with the seasoning. Mix and blend well.
2) With well-floured hands, shape mashed potato into egg-sized balls. Flatten slightly, dust lightly with flour and dredge with beaten egg.
3 ) Heat oil in a wok over high fire. Fry patties until golden brown . Drain cutlets on paper towels and serve hot.


Home-cooked Nasi Ulam

Mum rarely makes this and it has been more than 5 years since we last had this. It is tedious as there are many different spices to prepare. But it’s definitely worth the effort as it tastes superb!!

Nasi Ulam is a traditional mildly spiced rice salad, popularly enjoyed amongst Penang nyonyas and babas. It is prepared with a combination of cooked rice, fried salted fish, fried fish, dried shrimps (or fried fresh prawns), pepper, roasted grated coconut and local herbal leaves. Usually served cold together with other traditional dishes such as pickles, curries, sambal belacan, etc.

It’s quite troublesome to gather and chop up so many herbs but the dish is so absolutely fragrant and delicious, served with sambal belacan that it’s worth the effort.

Recipe (serves 4)

2 cups (280 g rice, washed and drained)
2 1/4 cups (450 ml) water
1 chicken stock cube

3 tablespoons dried shrimps, soaked, fried and finely pounded
1/2 cup finely pounded roasted, grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
salt to taste
20 g salted fish meat (“ikan kurau”), soaked to reduce saltiness and drained
300 g batang fish (deep fried and flake)
200 g small prawns (fried)
oil for shallow frying

3 stalks lemon grass, thinly sliced
2 bulbs ginger flowers, finely shredded
8 ” limau purut” leaves (kaffir lime leaves) finely shredded
1 ” daun kunyit” (turmeric leaves) finely shredded
2 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves 2 tablespoon finely shredded daun kesum (polygon um leaves)


1) In an electric rice cooker, place ingredients A and blend well.
2) Cook covered until rice is done. Uncovered and fluff rice, cool.
3) Meanwhile, heat oil and fry salted fish until crisp and lightly brown. Drain and pound until fine. Fry the fish, flake. And then fry the prawns.
4) In bowl, combine salted fish, ingredients B, C and rice. Toss and mix well all ingredients.
5) Serve immediately, if desired as an accompaniment to chicken curry.

Making the Sambal Belacan

30 g shrimp paste (belacan)
8 red chillies
1/2 teaspoon salt


1) Grill shrimp paste until aromatic and dry.
2) Blend the red chillies, shrimp paste and salt together until quite smooth.
3) Use as required in the recipe.
4) If serving the above sambal as a condiment, add in 1-2 tablespoon of freshly squeezed small limes juice.