Month: October 2015

Chicken chop suey, my father’s story of radish

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Chicken radish chop suey, chinese mushroom, lily bud, bamboo shoot, leek, recipe, cooking, asian food

I sent some chicken chop suey with sweet-salty radish to father’s house today. Examining the food, my father told me the following story.

My father went to a major university in Wuhan in the late 50s. During the 4th year in the university,  the school canteen ran out of food, meat or vegetables, as they were not able to source any supplies locally. With very little excess funds, the university  asked the students for loans. When the school collected sufficient money, they sent a truck to farms in the next province and came back with a load of radish. Students were organized into groups to preserve the radish – peeling, sliding and drying the radish in front of the dormitories.  The canteen cooked dried salted radish most of the year with steamed plain wheat buns (‘mantou’).  That was the year my father suffered malnutrition with swollen legs. Many people died over this period, referred to as the ‘Great Chinese Famine’. Fortunately, the situation improved quickly after a couple of years.

My father and other college students having a picnic after a swimming session,  summer 1961
My father and other college students having a picnic after a swimming session, summer 1961

Father and I sat down to enjoyed the chicken chop suey I made. It was juicy, sweet and salty. We were thankful for our delicious food.

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Golden beef balls with pumpkin, potato and herbs (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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We had a few friends over for drinks including Bill. Bill is highly sensitive to many food. He has a diet that is low FODMAP + gluten free + no additives + no quirks. I found cooking for Bill challenging, as he gets sick for days if he eats the wrong food. Here are some delicious beef balls that  I cooked for Bill and to share with friends.  So simple and nutritious.


Beef, pumpkin & potato balls #fodmapfriendly #glutenfree

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Poached chicken in Chinese rice wine (gluten free)

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If you like flavorsome, juicy & tender white cut chicken, you should try this recipe with Chinese rice wine. So simple and no recipe required.

Bring a pot of water to boil, drop in 1 inch of ginger (sliced), 2 inch of lemongrass (lightly bashed), 2 chicken breast fillets (whole) and season with salt; bring the water back to gentle boil; turn off the heat and leave the pot on the stove (not turn on) for 25 minutes or so; Check the chicken, this should be just cooked after 25 minutes; Slice the chicken into strips and pour over Chinese rice wine that is just enough to cover the chicken pieces;  drizzle with some sesame oil and a small dash of soy (optional); leave the dish aside  in room temperature for a while (30 minutes) for the flavor to develop; Serve at room temperature or chilled;  Garnish with chopped shallot that’s been quickly pan fried in some hot oil then dusted with some sea salt.

Poached chicken with chinese wine

Curry puff

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There is a school fair in a few weeks and I am making lots of food for the Asian Food Stall. Last year for the school fair I did fusion style chili puffs with Sichuan chili soy bean sauce. This year I made another fusion puffs with Malaysian curry.  To make it easy for myself (150 puffs), I used the packaged Malaysian curry with beef, potato, leek, capsicum and peas.  I have made and freeze the puffs and will cook them on the day of the school fair. These little puffs are so tasty, wish you could try one now.


Deep fried beef curry puff
Curry puff filling

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

‘Salty-sweet-sour’ chicken with soy, vinegar & preserved turnip

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I bought a pack of preserved turnip from an Asian grocery store over the weekend, and decided to use this to create a salty-sweet-sour dish. It is really simple –  300g chicken sliced chicken fillet marinated with a sauce consists of a dash of soy sauce, a dash of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs of sugar, 1 tsp of potato starch mixed well with 1 tbs of water and 1 tbs wine.

The cooking method is also super simple – heat up a frying pan with some cooking oil, first add a few pieces of thinly sliced ginger, then 2 tbs of diced salted turnip, quickly stir fry for 20 seconds, and add the marinated chicken, stir fry until cooked on medium heat – you may prefer to close the lid for a few minutes which will keep the chicken juicy.  Served on a bed of rice and salad or steamed vegetables.  Really hearty and flavorsome.

Salty-sweet-sour chicken

Simple fried rice of eggs, vegetables and turmeric (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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I made this super easy turmeric fried rice for lunch. So simple, no recipe required.

To serve 2 persons – a quick stir fry of cooked rice (2cups), adding turmeric (2tsp), 2 pre-scrambled eggs, diced green beans (12 beans), julienne carrot (1/2 carrot), sliced lettuce (1 cup) and a little chopped chilies, seasoned with pinch of salt.

Tips – add the lettuce last to keep it crunchy.


Simple fried rice of eggs, vegetables and turmeric (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Chickpeas with bacon, tomato, turmeric, garam masala and cumin

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I love my ‘ordinary’ chickpeas stew with spicy chorizo. The other day, I was feeling a bit bored so I ditched the chorizo for bacon and Asian spices – nearly the same thing, right?

I first cooked the dry chickpeas, with some salt & water in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes on high.  I added some cooking oil in a frying pan, sauteed some bacon, onion and garlic before adding turmeric, garam masala and extra cumin; I added the chickpeas to the frying pan, gave it a little stir; then transferred the ingredients back to the pressure cooker with tinned tomatoes. Another 15 minutes on high, and lunch was ready with some crusty bread.    So easy and delicious.

Chickpeas with bacon, tomato, turmeric, garam masala