"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) Soup

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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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!


Home-cooked Bak Kut Teh

Method:
1. Buy the instant Bak Kut Teh packets (Seah Singapore Bak Kut Teh).


2. From the wet market, get pig’s stomach and pork ribs. Clean and wash properly to avoid the “smelly” taste from getting into your soup.
3. Throw one whole big garlic with the instant packs into boiling water. Basically just follow the instructions on the packet.
4. Add in the meat. Remove them after they are cooked so that they won’t turn soggy and soft.
5. Add some wolfberries just before serving.
6. Cut up chilli padi and dark soya sauce to eat with the meat.


White Radish Soup

Method:
1. Boil 5 big bowls of water.
2. Add in roasted pork bones (烧猪骨), dried octopus (干鱿鱼), dried oyster (干耗) and dried scallops (干贝) into the water to boil together. Alternatives are pork ribs or chicken bones. Boil under gentle fire for one hour.
3. Add pork into the boiling soup and boil for another hour.
4. Add in the white radish and boil for another hour or so.
5. Season according to your tastebuds – salt, soy sauce, pepper, chicken stocks.
6. Serve.


Watercress Soup

Personally I only like the soup. I don’t really eat the watercress. My youngest brother is usually the one eating them.

Method:
1. Boil 5 big bowls of water.
2. Add in roasted pork bones (烧猪骨), watercress’ thick stems (not the leaves and young stems), red dates, dried octopus (干鱿鱼), dried oyster (干耗), one plum (梅) and around 1 tablespoon full of bitter apricot kernels (北杏) into the water to boil together. Alternatives are pork ribs or chicken bones. Boil under gentle fire for one hour.
3. Add pork into the boiling soup and boil for another hour.
4. Add in the remaining watercress and boil for another half hour or so.
5. Season according to your tastebuds – salt, soy sauce, pepper, chicken stocks.
6. Serve.


Carrot and Potato Soup

A very common soup drank since young, usually known as “ABC soup”, because my mum used to put in alphabet macaroni into the soup for us when we were little kids. It is important to get sweet carrots, onions and good potatoes, otherwise your soup will not taste naturally-sweet.

Method:
1. Boil 5 big bowls of water.
2. Add in roasted pork bones (烧猪骨) into the water to boil together. Alternatives are pork ribs or chicken bones. Boil under gentle fire for one hour.
3. Cut up large onions, carrots and potatos. Together with pork (addition: chicken legs), add them into the boiling soup and boil for another hour.
4. Season according to your tastebuds – salt, soy sauce, pepper, chicken stocks.


Wanton Soup

My favourite kind of wanton that I cannot find anywhere in Singapore. Why? Because the meat in the wanton in Singapore cannot be seen. Haha… ok… I meant the meat they give outside is sooooo little. And worse of all, some are fatty meat. Hence, the wanton I eat outside is basically wanton skin.

wanton soup

So here I will tell you how I like my wanton to be like:

Ingredients:
1. Minced pork with prawns.
2. Wanton skin (get from wet market, not the NTUC one)
3. Ikan bilis
4. Kai lan
5. Water chestnut

Method for soup base:
1. Fry a piece of smashed garlic in the pot.
2. Add in washed and dried ikan bilis into the pot and fry till fragrant.
3. Add water (measure one soup bowl for one bowl, two for two and so on). Bring to boil.
4. Add seasonings (can be salt, chicken powder, mushroom powder, KNOR chicken broth, chicken stocks)
5. Cook vegetables and remove from soup after cooked.

Method for wanton:
1. Season (salt, pepper, soy sauce, mushroom powder) the minced pork with prawns. Add a little corn flour in for the meat to be “smoother” and glued to each other. Give a little mix in the bowl quickly and hard to give the meat a “springy” texture later. Leave it to marinate in the chiller.
2. Add water chestnut for the crunchy feel.
3. Wrap the wanton. Put some water at the sides to glue them up.
4. Cook wanton in soup. It will turn the soup a little yellow. If you do not want a yellow soup, cook in boiling water and then serve with soup.
5. Garnish and put pepper!