"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

Mum's Food

Home-cooked Heng Hua Pa-Mee (兴化打面)

My mum’s version of Heng Hua pa-mee that she adapted from our neighbour many years back. The broth contains all the sweetness from the venus clams (la-la) that gives the dish its distinct flavour. Absolutely delicious!

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Ingredients: (Vary amounts according to your liking)

1. Pa-mee 1 kg (feeds 8 people)
2. Wong Bok (chinese cabbage)
3. Prawns 300 g
4. Venus clams 1 kg (soak and wash sand away)
5. Pork belly 100 g
6. Lean meat 200 g
7. Flat taupok 5 pieces
8. One chicken breast

Method:

1. Stir-fry minced garlic and shallots together with sliced pork belly till fragrant or light brown.
2. Add water (about 8 big soup bowls) and chicken breast. Simmer till broth is slightly creamy (about 1 to 1.5 hours). (Add ikan billis if you like.)
3. Use a strainer to remove residue in the broth.
4. In another pot of water, cook the venus clams till they are cooked (opened). Discard those that did not open. Let this water stand for about 30 minutes so that any residual sand can sink to the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, use a fine mesh strainer.
5. Add this water to the broth and bring to boil.
6. Cook the noodles in another pot of water so that the excess starch does not go into the broth.
7. Slice up all other ingredients. Add ingredients and noodles into broth. Mix in the venus clams.
8. Season with salt.
9. Garnish with coriander, spring onions, fried shallots and serve hot.
10. Mince some garlic and chilli to make a garlic-chilli dip. This goes very well with the noodles.

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Home-cooked Basil Pesto Sauce

During one orchestra rehearsal, a chorister made pesto sauce and spread it over cream crackers as a break-snack. It was so good I couldn’t forget the taste and had an urge to make it! I went to ask her about the making process and googled and youtubed.

So I went to buy the ingredients one day after work. Boy, basil leaves are expensive! It cost about $3.50 for just 30g! Pine nuts were expensive too!!! That packet cost me $11.50! Other ingredients include garlic, olive oil and cheese.

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I washed the basil leaves, strained them and throw them into the blender together with the rest of the ingredients. Add in some pepper and salt.

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Here’s my pesto sauce – less than 100g of basil leaves makes just a little sauce.

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This is the pesto sauce spreaded on cream crackers by the chorister.

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Though I had good reviews from my relatives, I am not satisfied with it. It didn’t taste the same as what I ate! I posted on FaceBook and many friends gave me comments on what I could improve on. I will make some adjustments and test it out again soon.

Comments:
– roast the pine nuts… more garlic….more basil
– use Parmesan cheese
– Use Parmesan, and roast the pine nuts in a pan first until a bit golden brown or when you see the oil or smell it. Add some salt and pepper to taste


Home-cooked Fried Rice

I was craving for fried rice and this day I finally had the chance to fry my own rice! I love to add big onions into my fried rice. So coincidentally, there were big onions in my house and I sliced them up immediately. They add a lovely sweetness and fragrance to the rice!

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The other ingredients were crab meat, chicken patty and egg. The seasonings include salt, pepper and mushroom powder.

This is the version that my dad likes: shallots instead of big onions.

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YUMS!

Will add on pictures when I fry them with different ingredients such as spam and ginger!


Home-cooked Steamed Rice Wine Chicken

Marinate chicken meat with little bit of salt, light soy sauce, corn flour, rice wine, sesame oil, some honey and dang gui (chinese angelica root). Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Place some sliced mushrooms, red dates, gouqizi (chinese wolfberry) and ginger and steam together with the marinated chicken meat for 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve hot!

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Home-cooked Pancake

Parents are out again!! It’s time to mess the kitchen! Ok, just kidding.

Made this last Saturday for brother and I for breakfast. This is my first time trying out how to make a pancake. Seriously, I have never fancy my mum’s pancakes but after this try, I will eat every pancake she makes.

I actually bought a pre-mix from a Korean super mart. I roughly followed the instructions that were written in Korean with no friendly English translation sticker. Just in case you are wondering, there were no pictures on the pack too. 😦

The mixing was quite easy. I used a soup spoon to try out on the non-stick pan first. The first one got slightly burnt. So I turned the fire even lower. The difficult part is actually flipping the pancake! After making three pieces, I suddenly recalled watching my mum tossed the pancake by flipping the pan. So I tried. It wasn’t that difficult tossing the pancakes.

pancake

As for the taste of the pancakes, it must be because of the pre mix that it tasted “flour-y“. The maple syrup that I got was not good either. I still think the maple syrup from McDonald’s is the best.

Verdict: FAIL. Try again this Saturday!


Home-cooked Fish Soup and other dishes

My parents were out of town and my cousin sis and bro’s gf came over for dinner. That sums up to 5 people and I’ve never cooked any meal more than for 3 people. But i felt cooking more is easier than cooking for less.

So here’s what I whipped out:

Fish Soup

1. Fish soup:
I bought fish trimmings, garoupa fish head and a garoupa fillet from NTUC Finest. Heat the pot with oil and garlic. Then add in half a bowl of Shao Xing wine into the hot pot. Be careful of the sizzling. Then add in bowls of water. More sizzling. This should give the soup a very fragrant taste. When the water boils, add in the fish head and tomatoes. You may add in soft beancurd too. Add salt, chicken cubes, pepper, mushroom powder to enhance the taste. Lastly add in the remaining fish and vegetables.I used chinese big cabbage here as it gives the soup a very sweet taste. It’s surprising these easy steps can give a very good soup.

2. Sitr-fried mixed vegetables:
Heat the wok with oil and big onions. Cook the carrots, peas and mini corns as they are more difficult to get cooked. Lastly add in the mushrooms. Season with salt, mushroom powder and 鱼露.

3. Luncheon meat omelette:
Cousin Sis favourite food is luncheon meat. So brother went out to buy Mei Way 美味 Pork Luncheon Meat which tasted very well! Cut the luncheon meat into small cubes and fry till the surface till golden brown. Then scoop them out and mix into the beaten eggs. Add in cut chilli for more spice! Do not add salt as luncheon meat is salty by itself. Pour a little of the mixture into a well-heated wok and fry under low heat. I even fried two additional pieces of luncheon meat for her!

4. Stir-fried beef with broccoli:
From NTUC, buy the beef flank or beef for stir-fry. Marinate with pepper and soy sauce. Boil the broccoli in hot water till cooked. Stir fry the beef over high heat, and dash in Shao Xing wine at the end to create the aroma. Serve beef on top of the broccoli.

5. Sambal chilli brinjal:
Boil the brinjal in hot water till cooked. Then I used Team’s Gormet Chrispy Prawn Chilli and fry them a while to mix the chilli into the brinjals. Super fragrant and spicy!!!

Serve with piping hot rice! Of course, all the food were finished!!


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This packaging doesn’t really state the flavour of the noodles except only that it’s spicy. Just by looking at the colour of the soup, you are well assured that it is of certain spicy-ness. The taste is really quite good and you get the “shiok” factor after slurping it down.

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