"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

(Home Recipe) Meat

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!



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!!

Home-cooked Ma-la Fish 麻辣水煮鱼

My favourite ma la in instant packaging!! I have bought a few different brand packets from China to try, but it was only average. Finally, my parents bought this in Chengdu which gave the taste I have been searching for. My dad says this might be found in the Yu Hua stores in Chinatown. Here’s how the packaging looks like:

We used fresh red garoupa (my mum went fishing recently and caught a super huge one) added some 花椒 (Sichuan Pepper) to add in more numbness. And the final product:


Home-cooked Braised Minced Pork with Rice (Taiwan-Style)

You should be very familiar with this braised minced pork in soya sauce put on top of hot fragrant white rice! It is also known as 台湾卤肉饭. I have been to Taiwan twice but have yet to taste one that is as good as my mum’s!!!! The ones I ate in Taiwan were fatty minced pork and the soya sauce which is not fragrant enough.

This minced pork style is called 肉燥饭. You can also cut the pork belly into strips to become 卤肉饭. I prefer it minced.

Here’s to share with you my mum’s recipe!! (Taichung-style). You’ll never expect it to be so easy!

1. pork belly 600 g
2. small shallots 5 pcs
3. Garlic 5 (peeled) pcs
4. Soy sauce 100ml
5. Dark soy sauce 200ml
6. Water 1000ml
7. Rock sugar 1 tablespoon
8. coriander
*9. Star aniseed/anise (八角) 2/3 pcs – optional if you don’t like its taste

1. Minced the pork belly.
2. Heat wok and add in a small amount of oil. Throw in the finely-chopped shallots and fried till fragrant.
3. Add in the minced pork belly and stir-fry together.
4. When the pork belly is almost cooked, throw in the finely-chopped garlic, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water.
5. Bring to boil. Add more water if necessary.
6.  Add in the rock sugar and simmer.
7. Pour gravy over pipping hot white rice. Garnish with corianders and serve hot. Stir and mix the minced meat with the rice evenly and feast!

You may want to reduce or add in more soy sauce to suit your taste buds. The type of soy sauce you use is crucial here as it directly determines how delicious your minced pork is.

You can also add in eggs. Leave it overnight and cook the next day to allow the meat to fully absorb the soy sauce. Yummy!!



Many readers have enquired about the brand of the soya sauce. You may get it at Taiwanese marts and People’s Park Da Xin supermarket. I think there are also many places selling them. The dark sauce is 油膏. Soy sauce is 酱油.  Here is the picture:


Home-cooked Niang Chilli and Dou Pok

Following up on my previous post on stuffed hairy squash, I finally got my mum to cook this!!! This is one of my favourite dishes!! I love the sauce that goes with the chilli. I can even dip the dou pok in the sauce and it goes very well with rice!



1) fish paste 400g
2) Minced pork 200 g
3) water chestnuts 6 pcs (coarsly chopped)
4) red chillies 10 pcs
5) green chillies 5 pcs
6) small square taupok 20 pcs
7) spring onions ( finely cut)
8} pepper, salt, sesame oil to taste

Gravy for the chilli:

1) 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
2) 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. sugar
3) 1/2 cup water
4) cornflour for thickening the sauce


1) Mix the fish paste, minced meat, salt, spring onions and water chestnuts together.
2) Cut each red and green chillies lengthways. Remove the seeds and thick membranes. Pad dry with kitchen tissue pepper and spread little cornflour on the inner surface.
3) Cut each taupok into half. And turn inside out.
4) Fill the chillies, taupok with minced mixture.
5) Heat up wok, put enough oil , When the oil is hot , carefully place the taupok pieces, meat side down, deep fried until lightly golden brown, turn to the other side. When both sides are golden brown, transfer to a plate.
6) With the same wok, remove excess oil, just leave enough oil to pan fry the chilies, meat side down. When the meat coulour change white , pour the light soy sauce , stir fry for few seconds until you smell aromatic. Pour in water and sugar, let simmer (low heat, do not cover with lid) until the chillies are cooked. Thicken the sauce wiht cornflour. Garnish and serve.

NOTE: fish paste from the market is quite salty. So do not add too much salt to it.

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 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 Stir-fried La-la

Once in a while when the market is selling these shell fish at a cheaper price, my mum would buy them and cook for us. It has been more than 10 years since I last remembered her cooking this. This blog post must be so honoured to be featuring this!


1) Soak the shell fish in salt water to make them “spit” out the sand inside their shells.
2) Cut chilli padi, spring onions, garlic and ginger.
3) Heat up wok with oil and throw in the ginger and garlic bits.
4) Once fragrant, throw in the shell fish and stir.
5) Add soy sauce, hua diao wine, sugar and some water (or chicken broth). Do not add salt as the shell fish are salty in nature.
6) Add in the spring onions and chilli padi and stir.
7) Cover the wok and simmer for a while.
8) Remove from heat and serve.

Home-cooked Char Siew

My mum is always very proud of her char siew. She cannot find any as delicious as this. And me, being someone who does not like pork, totally have to agree with her. I ONLY eat her char siew. When I order wanton mee, I will always ask for pure wanton only. In order words, no char siew.


1) 1 kg to 1.2 kg belly pork or 不见天 (ask the butcher to cut for making char siew)

1) 1/2 teaspoon edible food red colouring powder (optional)
2) 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
3) 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
4) 1 tablespoon salt
5) 10 tablespoon sugar
6) 8 tablespoon water

Glazing: (optional)
1) 2 tablespoon maltose
2) 2 tablespoon water
3) 2 teaspoon light soya sauce
Cook until maltose dissolves.

1) wash and pad dry the pork.
2) marinate pork with seasoning for 5 hours or keep in the fridge for overnight.
3) Place the pork on a metal rack. Grill for 15 – 20 minutes. (top fire only). Remember to put a shallow tray ( lay with aluminium paper) filled with some water underneath to collect any excess juice from the meat, to prevent burning smoke. Keep the leftover seasoning for step (4).
4) Turn to other side and brush the meat with seasoning and grill for further 15 – 20 minutes.
5) Remove from oven, glaze with maltose syrup. remember to keep the juice in a small bowl for dipping purpose. if you find there is too much oil in the dipping, decant some away before serving.
6) Cut and serve.

Note: as each oven is different, adjust the grilling time accordingly in your next attempts to obtain moist, soft and chewy meat.

Braised Pork Bao 扣肉包

My mum can make quite good kou rou bao! The bao is bought frozen from supermarket. But she makes the braised pork herself.

1. 1 kg pork belly (花肉)
2. 3 pieces of black garlic (黑花蒜)
3. 3 tbsp light soya sauce
4. 1 tbsp oyster sauce
5. some black soya sauce for colouring
6. 1 tbsp rock sugar (冰糖)
7. 4-5 tbsp rice wine with rose essence (玫瑰露)

1. Cut up the pork into appropriate slices.
2. Fragrant the work with garlic and throw in the pork. Fry till they change colour.
3. Add Ingredients (3) to (7).
4. Using medium fire, braise the pork till cooked and soft.
5. Serve with cut chillies and coriander.

*What is 玫瑰露?
It is a colourless, sweet, rice wine with rose essence. Its ingredients are water, sorghum, sugar and rose. It contains 28% alcohol. The brand we used is “Boon Quee Loh”, distributed by Ang Leong Huat (Pte) Ltd. A Double Dog Brand.

It is used to make the nutty type of mooncake, soup, chicken or drink on its own.

Assam Fish Curry

1. 1 kg Selar fish / Kempong / Fish Fillet
2. 3 tbsp tamarid assam java (mixed with 400 ml water. Discard seeds)
3. 10 belimbing buloh (optional)
4. 5 branches of laksa leaves
5. 1/2 stalk rojak flower (flower to middle stalk section)
6. 200g ladies fingers
7. 1 tomato
8. cooking oil

1. 1/2 tsp salt
2. 1/2 tsp sugar

Pounded Ingredients:
1.  10 shallots
2. 8 fresh chillies
3. 8 dried red chillies (soaked)
4. a small knob of fresh tumeric (thumb size)
5. 4 slices golangol
6. 1/2″ toasted belacan

1. Heat up wok, add oil and fry the pounded ingredients until fragrant. Add in belimbing and continue frying.
2. Add in assam and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add in fish, laksa leaves and cook for 8 minutes. Add in seasonings and stir well.
4. Cook the ladies fingers in boiling water, and add into Step (3).
5. Serve hot.

*You can steam the fish and pour the curry gravy over the fish before serving, instead of cooking the fish in the curry.

Deep-fried Promfret

My favourite promfret deep-fried in wok. =)

Season the promfret with salt. Dab onto some corn flour before frying. Fry some ginger slices as garnish. Yummy!

Luncheon meat omelette

A simple yet hearty dish.

1. Cut up the luncheon meat into small cubes.
2. Stir-fry them in wok till fragrant and a little crispy.
3. Beat up eggs in a big bowl. Add some salt and cut chilli padi into the egg mixture.
4. Mix the luncheon meat into the egg mixture.
5. Using a well-heated wok, add oil and pan-fry each omelette under gentle fire.
6. Serve with plain porridge or rice!! Yummy!

红烧狮子头 Braised Meat Balls

My mum made this today! Huge meat ball served in 王罗波 (chinese cabbage)! Goes very well with rice and the sauce was perfect on hot fragrant rice! The meatballs were tender and moist inside. Not hard and dry at all! Every bite has a crunchy texture due to the water chestnuts. The chinese cabbage were soft and soaked with all the good ingredients of the sauce. However the preparation took a bit long. But no effort, no good food!

1. Mince lean pork till it becomes sticky.
2. Dice water chestnuts into small cubes.
3. Add in parsley, spring onion or corriander.
4. Add1 teaspoon of salt, a little Vesop, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 2 teaspoons light soya sauce and a little pepper and knead them together until sticky.
5. Add in 2 tablespoon of cornflour and repeat kneading.
6. Divide the whole lump into 5 pieces and roll them into ball form.

1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, Vesop 1/2 teaspoon, sugar 1 teaspoon, light soya sauce 2 teaspoons, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and pepper into 600 ml of soup stock.
2. Stir well.
3. Mix one and a half tablespoons of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water for later use as “thickener”.

1.  Heat the wok and add in enough oil for deep-frying.
2. Coat a little cornflour on the surface of the meatballs.
3. Deep-fry them till 80% cooked. Remove and put on plate for later use.
4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fragrant the oil with a few slices of ginger.
5. Fry the chinese cabbage and pour in hua diao wine at the sides of the wok when the cabbage is done.
6. Stir the “SAUCE parts 1 and 2” and pour into the wok.
7. Add in the deep-fried meatballs and simmer till cooked, about half the amount of sauce will be gone.
8. Transfer all onto a small shallow bowl.
9. Steam for one hour.
10. Remove the meatballs and the chinese cabbage. Pour remaining sauce onto heated pan.
11. Thicken the sauce with “part 3 of the SAUCE”.
12. Coat the meatballs and cabbage with this thickened sauce.
13. Garnish and serve!!!

Home-made Fried Chicken

Woohoo! My mum used this new flour for our fried chicken today! It was so crispy!!! I think it was even crispier than KFC’s!! Love this chicken!!!

So this post is to introduce the flour powder to you!

Firstly, the chicken pieces had to be marinated with salt, soya sauce, pepper and five spices powder. Then before deep-frying, you have to mix this XO powder with water before coating them onto your chicken pieces! Instructions at the back of the packet.

Brand of flour: 黄记金钱豹 Jaguar  (酥浆粉 XO Crispy Flour)
Product of Taiwan.
Produced by Yi Chen Foods. Co.
Address: No. 198 Sec. 3 Yung Ping Road, Taiping City, Taichung County
Tel: 886-4-22757538
Website: http://www.jaguarfood.com
Imported by: Central Master Import & Export Pte Ltd (10 Ubi Crescent, UBL Techpark #06-100, Lobby E, Singapore 408564, Tel: 67497800)

The amazing thing is that at the back of the packet, the flour can be used for baking, make green onion pie, donut and cantonese sponge cake!

Home-made Chicken Rice Set

Whenever it was 初一 or 初十五 and especially during Chinese New Year, these will always appear on the dinner table.

My favourite is the special dip sauce for the chicken. It is a mixture of spring onions, corriander and deep-fried onion shallots.

Method for Special Dip:
1. Clean and wash spring onions and corriander. Ratio is 2:1 respectively. Place them onto bowl.
2. Slice the onion shallots. Deep fry till golden brown. Around 10 onion shallots for 3 big stalks of spring onions.
3. Scoop up and quickly place them over the spring onions and corriander. Pour some of that oil over the whole mixture.
4. Add salt accordingly to season.
5. Mix well before serving.

As for the cabbage soup, use the water that was used to cook the chicken as the soup base. Season accordingly and add in cabbage, carrots or any vegetables that you want. Remove the oil before serving.

I use canned abalone and sliced them up. The sweet peas were stir-fried in the wok. Some of the abalone “sauce” in the can were used in the making of the sauce together with some mushroom powder. No need to add salt as the abalone “sauce” is salty.

For the chicken rice, you can use the instant pack sold at NTUC. The traditional method is to pan-fry the rice in the wok with garlic and salt. Then scoop up into rice cooker. Add in the water that was used to cook the chicken to cook the rice. Put in a few pieces of pandan leaves to cook the rice. Oh well, the instant pack saves all the trouble!

Broccoli with Prawns

1. Boil the broccoli in boiling water to cook it. Add a little bit of oil and a pinch of salt into the boiling water to make the broccoli green and shiny.
2. On the hot wok, fragrant some oil with garlic.
3. Throw in the prawns and pan-fry them till 80% cooked.
4. Add in the broccoli and fry together.
5. Sprinkle the seasonings (water + oyster sauce) and pepper.
6. Add hua diao wine along the sides of the wok before scooping up to serve.

7. Thicken the sauce with corn starch solution if you like.

Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables

A dish that we will eat once a year, during CNY. Because the deep frying of the pork belly is tedious. This dish will make you eat bowls of rice.

1. 600g pork belly (五花肉)
2 400g salted preserved vegetable (咸梅菜)
3. 200g sweet preserved vegetable (甜梅菜)
4. 6 pieces of garlic with skin (蒜瓣 连衣)
5. 1800ml water (清水 )

1. 1 tablespoon soya sauce
2. 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
3. Half tablespoon dark soya sauce
4. 1 tablespoon sugar

1.  Soak the salted preserved vegetable in water overnight.
2. Next day, drain dry. Then cut into fine pieces.
3. After washing, soak the sweet preserved vegetable in water for 20 minutes.

4. Drain dry. Then cut into fine pieces.
5.  Put the pork belly into boiling water and cook for 20 minutes.
6. Remove the pork belly and wipe it dry.
7. Coat the pork belly with one teaspoon of dark soya sauce.
8. Deep fry the pork belly until it is golden brown.
9. Remove from the hot oil, and put into ice cold water immediately.
10. Soak for 20 minutes.

11. Heat in the wok 4 tablespoon of oil.
12. Throw in the 6 pieces of garlic into the oil for fragrance.
13. Pour in the 1800ml of water and the mixture of seasonings.
14. Add in the pork belly, the sweet and salted preserved vegetables and bring to boil.
15. Cover the wok and simmer for approximately 90 minutes or more so that the pork belly absorb the seasonings and also to turn soft.

Steamed Garlic and Huadiao Wine Prawns

Steamed Garlic and Huadiao Wine Prawns

Came up with my own recipe while trying to imitate the taste of drunken prawns.


1. Buy only fresh medium-sized grey prawns.
2. Diced 4 pieces of garlic finely.
3. Cut 4 chilli padi.
4. Place the garlic and chilli at the bottom of the plate. Then place the prawns on top of them.
5. Pour Huadiao wine (about 3 tablespoons) over the prawns such that the prawns are soaked in the wine. You can put more Huadiao wine according to your tastebuds.
6. Leave it on the table for about 20 minutes for the prawns to absorb some Huadiao wine.
7. Steam for 7 minutes.
8. Garnish and serve hot!

Minced Pork Omelette

Me and my brothers’ favourite!!! I like the egg to be thick and a little wet inside.

1. Marinate the minced pork with soya sauce, pepper and salt.
2. Heat up wok and add in some oil.
3. Stir-fry a little amount of diced garlic to make the oil fragrant.
4. Throw in the minced pork and stir-fry till 80% cooked.

5.  Beat up 3 eggs (depends on the amount of minced pork). Add in a pinch of salt into the eggs.
6. Scoop them up and add into the egg mixture. Stir evenly.
7. Heat up wok and add in oil.
8. Heat up frying pan with oil. Pour a little of the mixture into the pan and pan-fry each omelette slowly over gentle fire.
9. Serve.

Pan-fried Curry-leaves Batang Fish

1. Marinate the Batang fish slices with salt and some curry powder.
2. Pan-fry the fish.

3. Wash clean the curry leaves. Wipe dry.
4. Heat up wok with oil.
5. Stir-fry the curry leaves till crispy.
6. Top up onto the Batang fish and serve. Eat with the curry leaves to enhance the taste.

Ginger Sliced Fish

1. Slice fish (生鱼) into thin slices. Marinate with pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce and a little corn flour. Deep-fry (过油) the fish slices quickly (10% cooked). This is to prevent the fish from crumbling when stir-frying later.
2. Slice ginger into thin slices. Cut spring onion into short segments.
3.  Heat up the wok with oil. Put in the ginger slices. Stir-fry till fragrant.
4. Add in the fish slices and stir-fry. Be careful not to smash up the fish.
5. Add in the spring onions and stir-fry. Add in salt or soy sauce to season. Your choice if you want to make a little sauce for your fish.
6.  Before whipping up, pour in an amount of Huadiao wine along the upper sides of the wok.  This will make your dish more fragrant as the Huadiao wine evaporates as they streamed down the wok.
7. Serve.

Bittergourd Chicken

Ever since the day I began to eat bittergourd, this has remained my favourite.

1. Slice up the bittergourd into thin slices.
2. Cut up one whole chicken breast into slices as well.
3. Heat up wok and add in one tablespoon of oil.
4. When oil is heated, add in diced garlic. Stir-fry till fragrant.
5. Add in the chicken slices and stir fry till 70% cooked.
6.  Remove the chicken from wok. Throw in the bittergourd and stir-fry.
7. Mix some dark soya sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, pepper and salt into water. (Mix more if you want more sauce.) Add into the bittergourd.
8. Cover the wok and let the bittergourd simmer. Don’t simmer for too long. Otherwise they will become too soggy and soft.
9. Remove the cover, and throw in the chicken and celery leaves. Stir-fry till cooked. Add in corn starch solution (corn starch dissolved in water) to thicken the sauce.
10. Before whipping up, pour in an amount of Huadiao wine along the upper sides of the wok.  This will make your dish more fragrant as the Huadiao wine evaporates as they streamed down the wok.
11. Serve!

Fermented Black Bean Paste Steamed Fish

1. Heat up oil in the wok.
2. Add diced garlic and ginger into the hot oil.
3. Add in the fermented black bean paste into the hot fragrant oil. Stir-fry till fragrant under gentle fire.
4. Scope up, together with the oil, and place them on top of the fish. If you’re using fish head, place some into the stomach area.
5.  Steam the fish for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on your fish size.
6. Garnish and serve. To add more fragrance, sprinkle fragrant oil on the fish after taking out from the steamer. Serve hot.

Method of fragrant oil:
1. Slice 3 pieces of ginger and one whole spring onion cut into 3 segments.
2. Heat up oil in the wok.
3. Throw in the ginger and spring onion. Switch off fire when the oil is fragrant.