Chicken

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

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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.

Chicken feet and corporate greed

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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

Meals for the homeless – grilled chicken with Korean pepper flakes and Indian garlic ginger paste

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Simple, delicious and budget – 4 kilo of chicken fillets for our homeless friends. Have a great weekend everyone.

Grilled chicken fillet with Korean pepper flakes and Indian garlic and ginger paste

Easy steps as follows:

  • Dice the chicken drumstick or thigh fillet
  • Saute the chicken with generous amount of  cooking oil, Korean pepper flakes, Indian garlic and ginger paste, a dash of fish sauce, a little sugar
  • Once cooked, transfer to a plate, discard any liquid / sauce
  • Briefly grill the chicken pieces on a hot griddle,  splash a dash of dark soy sauce and toss slightly
  • Serve hot or chilled

 

Meals for the homeless – Indian spiced chicken drumstick fillets

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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.

Pan fried spiced chicken fillets

 

Fried rice with Asian spices, and memories of Auntie Wong (gluten free option)

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Fried rice with Asian spices

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. 

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Snow fungus (雪耳), goji berries (枸杞) and chicken soup

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Snow fungus, goji berry and chicken soup

Cantonese love soups.

There are soups for every weather condition, every season and very occasion. There are soups to warm your body, or to cool your temper. The key to a good soup is to balance all the ingredients for maximum nurturing effect. Snow fungus with goji and chicken is one of these well-balanced soups that can rejuvenate your mind and soul.

Snow fungus, also known as the silver fungus, is sometimes recognized as the champion of all fungus.  Historically it was used by the royals and rich families as a remedy to boost their health, with supposedly nurturing effects for internal organs, skin and brain, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects.

Goji berries as a herbal remedy, was documented in various ancient Chinese medicine compendiums dated as early as the 1500’s. Today, it is a common Chinese ingredient with supposedly positive effects on liver, kidney, sore back, joints, tiredness and poor eye sight. Families use it frequently in soups and teas.

Sounds like a magic, doesn’t it. The soup is warm, gentle and comforting. Hope you will like it.

Easy method is as follows:

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Meals for the homeless – chicken siumai dumplings

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Winter is finally here, and it rained most days last week. This means it was very uncomfortable for our rough sleepers, with many of them having to seek shelter at temporary accommodation. However, I was assured that they would not miss our homemade hot meals on Saturday night. So I made an extra effort to provide them with some nice food – apricot chicken, prawn and chorizo pilau, and chicken siumai dumplings.

Although time consuming, chicken siumai dumplings are very easy to make. My simplest version has only a few key ingredients – wonton wrappers, chicken mince, chicken bouillon powder, salt and white pepper, and cooking oil for pan frying.

Meals for the homeless - chicken siumai dumplings
I first made the meat filling, then the dumplings. I steamed the dumplings, following by pan-frying the dumplings slightly, so they won’t stick during transit to the homeless feed.

The easy method is illustrated as follows:

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