6. Main ingredients

Stir fry egg with garlic chive

Posted on Updated on

Egg and garlic chive is a common home meal in Southern China. It is easy to cook (10 minutes), nutritious, and comforting.

Egg and garlic chive

The easy 10-minute cooking involves:

  • Trim the ends of a small bunch of garlic chive, approx 20-30 stems; then wash and slice the garlic chive.
  • Break 4 eggs, and briefly mix in a bowl with a folk
  • In a frying pan, heat up some cooking oil (medium heat); add garlic chive, stir fry briefly (30 seconds), then push the garlic chive to one side of the frying pan to make room for cooking the eggs
  • Add a little oil in the pan, add the eggs, scramble the eggs gently by pushing the eggs toward the middle constantly from all sides; this will only take 1-2 minutes
  • Mix the garlic chive with the scrambled eggs, add a little salt, white pepper, a small drizzle sesame oil; toss briefly, ready to serve.

Bonito fish with chili bean paste and white wine

Posted on Updated on

I picked up some cheap Bonito fish today. Cooking such a firm, meaty and bland fish is challenging for Chinese cooking. It does not the right texture for steaming, and it can be easily over-cooked.

Bonito with chili bean sauce and white wine.

So I pan fried it as cutlets with chili bean sauce. It was easy:

  1. Add oil in a non stick pan, add the fish cutlets, sear on both side.
  2. Brush some chili bean sauce on both side, add a little white wine, a little sugar, and close the lid to simmer the fish until just cooked.
  3. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice just before serving.

Quite a few fish bones, and requires good chopstick skills to pick out the bones. Otherwise it tasted great.

Meals for homeless – saute mushroom with bacon, onion, capsicum and green shallot

Posted on Updated on

Mama K has been cooking for the feed, and frequently carries the burden of making sure enough food for all the patrons. Last week, we had one of those crisis and I was asked to help out by cooking extra food. Mama K collected some rescued vegetables for me, including some lovely button mushrooms, which I used for a simple meal that they all loved and devoured.

Meals for homeless - saute mushroom with onion, capsicum and bacon

The meal was easy to prepare:

  • Trim off the stalks of the mushrooms, dice the stalks
  • Dice some bacon, capsicum, carrot and onion
  • Pan fried the above briefly in a wok with some butter and olive oil, then add the mushrooms, pan fried until the mushrooms were just cooked
  • Finally add some sliced green shallot (scallion) and black pepper

The meal was tasty.

Meal for homeless – white cooked chicken with oyster sauce and green shallot (FODMAP friendly)

Posted on Updated on

Simple and easy home-cooked meals are always appreciated at the homeless feed.

Meal for homeless - slow poached chicken with oyster sauce and green shallot (FODMAP friendly)

Here’s one of my simplest meal with whole chicken(s) with a few other ingredients –  oyster sauce, sesame oil (or cooking oil), corn flour, ginger and green shallot.  For a FODMAP friendly recipe, use only green part of the shallot.

To cook the chicken:

  1. In a large heavy pot, add hot water, salt, white pepper and a few slices of ginger
  2. Use a stick to poke a few holes in the thickest part of the chicken, lay the chicken in the water, breast down; bring to boil, and turn the heat off;  leave it on the stove for the remaining heat to cook the chicken for at lease 1 hours.
  3. Turn the chicken over and bring to boil, turn the heat off for 30 minutes.
  4. Bring it to boil again for a few minutes.
  5. Take the chicken out of pot, cool slightly, then pull the meat off, making sure all the meat is cooked; if slightly under cooked, return the pieces to the pot of hot water for a few minutes.

To make the sauce:

  1. Thinly slice some green shallot.  For a FODMAP friendly recipe, use only the green part of the shallot.
  2. In a small pot, bring some sesame oil and cooking oil (1/2 each) to high heat; remove the pot from heat, add the sliced green shallot and a little salt, saute for a few seconds with the residual heat;  add the shallot to the chicken, toss well.
  3. In a cup, mix a little corn flour with water  (1 tsp flour to 5 tbsp water).
  4. In a small pot,  add some oyster sauce and the corn flour mix, stir and bring to slow boil and removed from heat immediately; pour the sauce over the chicken.

Bacon and cucumber stir fry (gluten free, FODMAP friendly)

Posted on Updated on

Stir fried cucumbers with bacon (gluten free)

I had a few cucumbers in the fridge and some bacon in the freezer. I sliced the cucumbers, defrosted the bacon and sliced them up. In a frying pan I drizzled a little oil and added the bacon pieces. I pan fried the bacon until nearly crispy, then added the cucumbers. A few stirs, added a little sugar and white pepper. There we have a big bowl of tasty veggie and yummy bacon for dinner.

Beef with Asian dipping sauce (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Posted on Updated on

Beef with Asian dipping sauce (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

A few friends dropped by unexpectedly one weekend afternoon.

We opened a bottle of red wine and felt a bit peckish. Something quick and easy to share would be lovely.

A piece of Angus rump steak is the perfect snack:

1. Cook the steak 1-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness and how rare you would like it; rest the steak for 10 minutes

2. Prepare a simple Asian dipping sauce – fish sauce (1 tsp) + rice wine vinegar (1tsp) +  sugar (1tsp) + boiling water (3 tsp), stir well to dissolve the sugar.  added a little chopped chili if you prefer

3. Slice the steak

4. Drizzle some sesame oil over the beef (optional)

5. Chop some mint for garnish (optional)

6. Serve at room temperature

Great to share with friends.

Chicken feet and corporate greed

Posted on Updated on

Chicken feet and corporate greed

Winston Churchill said, “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries”.

I thought of corporate greed.

They share their goals and visions loud and proud – for the best interest of shareholders.  They will sack as many workers as possible, and take the fat out of the operation until it is on the verge of collapse.  This enable them to harvest short term bonus, and at some point, enjoy a big fat golden handshakes when the real pictures are unfold.

Does it have to be like that?  Why can’t corporations work for the best interest of all stakeholders including their customers and employees.

Corporate greed reminds me chicken feet – skin and bone, barely a feed,  and hardly a blessing for some.

While cooking the chicken feet, I thought of the families who struggle to pay their rents and put food on the tables, and the smart and ambitious ones in prestige positions yet do not have time to enjoy with their families.

Chicken feet is cheap and tasty, yet unfulfilling as a meal. Is it a blessing or misery?

Collaboration with Woofy Comics
Collaboration with my son @ Woofy Comics

Cooking method is as follows:

1. Clean the chicken feet, remove callus and nails

2. Place the chicken feet in a pressure cooker, add a dash of sesame oil, a dash of light soy sauce, a dash of dark soy sauce,  a dash of oyster sauce, a dash of wine, a little sugar, a few star anise, a few cloves, black pepper

3. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes

4. Serve hot or at room temperature