6. Main ingredients
A nearby butcher sells chicken drumstick fillets at an unbelievable price. This is gold – I reckon the drumstick is the best part of a poultry – juicy, tender and full of flavors.
This week, I made some Indian spiced chicken drumstick fillets for our homies.
So easy, with 3-4 simple steps:
- Cut the chicken drumstick fillets into chunky pieces
- Marinate the meat with garlic and ginger paste, natural yogurt, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, mustard oil, sesame oil, salt, and black pepper
- Pan fry in small batches with a little cooking oil
- Optional garnish – sliced fresh mint, fresh chili and toasted sesame seeds.
Tasted pretty good.
A lovely Italian man at my husband’s work keeps a few ducks in his back yard. He gave us some fresh eggs again. We are so blessed.
I salted the eggs in brine for two weeks, using 3 tbsp of salt for 1 liter of water. The yolks were just turning golden, and the egg white was not overly salty. For a bit of fun, I steamed the eggs in small cups, rather than a simple semi-hard boil.
I saute some diced red capsicum, cherry tomatoes and diced cucumbers with some cooking oil, tomato sauce, chili sauce. I added a dash of sesame oil, and garnished the vegetables with some chopped coriander and toasted sesame seeds.
Looked mouth watering and tasted delicious.
Chicken giblets need to be cook quickly to avoid over cooking. So I blanch the giblets in hot water quickly before slicing and pan frying. Once blanched, I cook the giblets the same way as the chicken liver.
Here are the easy steps:
- Blanch the giblets quickly in hot water; transfer to a plate to cool
- Thinly slice the giblets
- In a frying pan, add some cooking oil, bring it to very hot temperature; add sliced ginger, minced garlic, and sliced chili; add sliced giblets, a little sugar, toss; splash a little dark soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, toss; remove from heat
- Add some sliced shallot / scallion, toss
- Add some sliced cucumber, toss
- Garnish with chopped coriander
The giblets taste better the next day, served chilled as a salad (‘liang-ban’).
My favorite chicken liver recipe calls for a quick stir fry in a very hot wok.
It is super simple:
- In a frying pan, add some cooking oil, bring it to very hot temperature
- Add sliced ginger, minced garlic, sliced chili, and sliced shallot / scallion (white part only), toss lightly
- Add chicken liver pieces (cleaned and trimmed in advance); splash in a little sugar and toss (for aroma), splash in some dark soy sauce (for color), oyster sauce, white pepper, stir fry till cooked
- Add some sliced shallot/scallion (green part), toss
- Garnish with chopped coriander and toasted sesame seeds
Our family talked about sustainable living from time to time. We achieved very little – the house is unsuitable for solar panels, and we are too busy to run a productive veggie patch or to keep a coup of chickens.
One thing we do well as a half-Asian family, is to use “fifth quarter” cuts such as offal.
Here is a stir fry pig tongue dish this week:
Simple cooking steps are as follows:
Some beautiful people at my husband’s work organised a picnic lunch last weekend. It was a diverse mix of people – Australians, Germans, Chinese and a few Indian families. A father brought his son and some yummy curry cooked by his wife’s friend.
“Why your wife’s friend cooked for us, a bunch of strangers?” we asked.
“Our Indians always help each other out in the community”, he smiled, ‘my son, for example, lived with his aunt for a few years; and our neighbor had picked him up from school for many years, unpaid of course”.
That sounds lovely, and a dream for many of us.
I live in a suburb in Sydney. I like the area because it has lots of big trees and the community was warm and welcoming. Things changed over the past few years with skyrocket housing prices. Moms are now working more hours and the stress spreading in the air.
How I wish we could have a closely knit community who can help each other, or simply having the time to ask each other, “are you ok?”
Here is a large wonton ‘salad’ I prepared for the picnic, a dish perfect for sharing.
The dish is somehow Cantonese, spiced with a Hong Kong style XO sauce made with scallop, fish, garlic and chili; yet it is not quite Cantonese as it was served lightly chilled, a cooking style used frequently by Northern China called the ‘liang ban’ (cool-mix).
A video on how to wrap wontons is also attached below.
Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »
I first learned how to use Asian spices from my best friend’s late mother whom I dearly called Auntie Wong.
Growing up in Malaysia, Auntie Wong was an acrobat in a circus, and later became a self-trained dentist. ‘How do you install a denture for an old lady without a single tooth,’ she laughed,’ luckily I was young and good looking then, I asked male dentists for helps and was never refused’.
Auntie Wong migrated to Australia in early 1980s with her three daughters. She ran a small take away shop in Glebe, an inner Sydney suburb, selling Malaysian fast food. To supplement the limited income from the shop, in the evenings she made spring rolls for catering companies. My friend Mei, the youngest daughter, helped with the spring rolls while she was still in primary school.
Some years later, Auntie Wong saved up enough money and bought a studio apartment. Auntie and Mei lived there for many years, sharing a bed. In their tiny but always welcoming home, Auntie Wong cooked me many heart-warming meals. The smell of delicious food filled the small space, and what a wonderful place it was. My favorite dishes were the Singapore meat and bone soup, noodles with salmon XO sauce, and fried rice with Indian spices.
While enjoying meals, auntie told me many of her life stories. I was always inspired by her amazing abilities to adopt to changes, and her keen spirit for new adventures.
Here is my version of a spiced fried rice – simple, aromatic and satisfying, with fond memory of Auntie Wong’s kindness and love. Read the rest of this entry »