home cooking

Stir fry egg with garlic chive

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Egg and garlic chive is a common home-cooked meal in Southern China. It is quick and easy to cook, nutritious, and comforting.

Egg and garlic chive

The easy 10-minute cooking involves:

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

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I made a quick meal of cucumbers and bacon in 15 minutes.

I sliced the cucumbers and bacon. 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. And we have a big bowl of tasty veggie and yummy bacon for dinner.

Meals for homeless: turmeric eggs with chili tomato salsa

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This is a simple ‘please-all’ egg recipe with a tangy chili and tomato salsa.  It is often the first dish to be emptied at the street buffet for our homies.

Turmeric eggs with chili tomato salsa

Turmeric eggs with chili tomato salsa
Eggs pan fried with turmeric

Tangy capsicum, onion, tomato and chili salsa
Tangy capsicum, onion, tomato and chili salsa

Easy method is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Chili, ginger and garlic prawns (gluten free)

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Some summer Friday afternoons following the school pick ups, my school-mum friends may drop by for a few glasses of bubbles and the kids have a swim in the pool.

I always keep some easy-to-cook ingredients in my freezer for such occasions – homemade curry puffs, spring rolls, and of course, wild caught Australian prawns. The prawns are delicious, already peeled, easy to defrost, and quick to cook.

Chili, ginger and garlic prawns

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

Wonton ‘salad’ with XO Sauce

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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?”

Wonton salad with XO Sauce

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 »

Stir fried tofu skin 腐竹 with Chinese mushroom 香菇 and capsicum (gluten free, vegan)

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My favorite Northern Chinese restaurant makes this lovely tofu skin dish, with Sichuan pepper infused oil and loads of garlic.  I tried to replicate it a few times but without success.

So here is my own version. It is actually tastier than the one in the restaurant (grins) !

Stir fried tofu skin 腐竹 with Chinese mushroom 香菇 and capsicum (gluten free, vegan)

Recipe is as follows:

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Home style pork spare ribs with soy sauce, wine and vinegar (FODMAP friendly, gluten free option)

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Pork spare ribs are inexpensive in Sydney, a fraction of the cost of pork ribs.  It is one of the most popular cuts of pork for Asian food, lovely when slow cooked in a rich salty, sweet and sour sauce.

Here is our dinner tonight – pork spare ribs braised in a soy sauce, red wine,sesame oil  and vinegar, with a hint of ginger and cumin.

Home style pork spare ribs with soy sauce, wine and vinegar (FODMAP friendly, gluten free option)

Recipe is as follows:

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Blasting of a cattleman’s roast (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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On the weekend a few friends dropped by for lunch.  I cooked a simple roast cattleman’s beef using the blasting method.

I learnt the blasting method by accident. A few years ago I picked up a round beef roast from the supermarket. I then realized that the meat was so lean, it was one of the most difficult roast to cook.  Reportedly the only way to cook it was to blast it in a at 240°C/ 460°F in an oven, then turned off the heat and cooked it with the remaining heat for a few hours.  I fell in love with the blasting – the smoke, the aroma and the juicy and tender meat we enjoyed.

For lunch I bought a 2kg cattleman’s cut from our local butcher. I rubbed the meat with oil, salt, 2 tsp of cumin and 2 tsp of turmeric. I then laid the meat on a rack over a drip tray. I preheated the oven for 30 minutes at 240°C/ 460°F, then cooked the meat for 15 minutes before turning off the oven. The roast was cooked for further 2 hours with the remaining heat. The smell was unbelievable and it made me so hungry!

I served the beef with some roast vegetables which I first cooked in microwave to 90%, then finished cooking under a grill with some oil, salt and rosemary. For FODMAPers, carrots, Japanese pumpkins and potatoes are good options for roasting as it contains no FODMAP.

Simple roast cattleman's beef, blasting method (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Homemade wheat noodles in soup, memories of a peasant family at a noodle shop

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Homemade wheat noodles in soup, memories of a peasant family at a noodle shop

A few evenings ago, I watched Behind the News with my 9 year old boy on ABC iview. Behind the News is a TV news program made for the kids. That evening, the program covered the famine situation in Sudan.  “Had China ever have famine?”my little boy asked. These few innocent words had brought back my memories of a peasant family begging at a cheap noodle restaurant. I could still see their shadows, even today.

In early 70’s, my grandmother cooked communal dinners for the extended families. Each family contributed to the cost of the food. Money and resources were limited at the time. We nearly never went out for dinners, as my mother didn’t want to pay for meals twice. One night, for whatever reasons we were at this cheap noodle restaurant. It was a common and shabby place. The kitchen inside was steamy with a large pot of hot water for cooking the noodles, a large pot of cold water to cool and rinse the noodles, and a large pot of soup with nothing in it and barely any color. We found a table outside with wobbly chairs and started to eat our noodle soups. For a few cents, the meal had no meat or vegetables, just plain noodles and a little green shallot floating on top. It was hot and a rare treat for a little 5-year old girl.

Suddenly, 3 children in ragged clothes surrounded our table. They looked different to our city people. They had dark and coarse skin, as they were farmers from the countryside. They were dirty and messy, as they were far away from home and living on streets. They spoke in dialect that I never heard before. They would have traveled from afar, probably from another province where their crops failed. And their eyes, they had such hungry eyes. The littlest one just devoured some leftover soup from the next table, and redirected his attention to my bowl.

I looked up to my mother. ‘Eat up all your food’, she said sternly. When I left some food in the bowl at the end of the meal, she picked up the bowl and swallowed everything in it, including last drops of the soup, the soup of nothingness. The children moved away to another table, motionless.

Peasant family
A peasant family

Many years past, my memories of that family did not fake. Most of all, I was puzzled why my mother was so indifferent to the begging children.  After all, she was an orphan herself. She would have understood the pain and suffering of that family, hungry, homeless and desperate?

This weekend, I made a large batch of noodles from scratch. I served the noodles in a beautiful chicken soup, topped with mouthwatering crispy bacon bits. Life has been kind to our family and we really appreciate what we have.

Like to have a go at making your own noodles?  Recipe is as follows.

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Fresh cactus flower soup 曇花汤

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I had been waiting for my  cactus flowers ‘tanhua’  to bloom. Such beautiful dedicate living wonders, with flowers only open up for one precious night.

The unusual weeks of Sydney rain stopped briefly on Sunday afternoon. The flowers quietly bloomed during the night. I harvested 3 flowers,  but hesitated on the thoughts of making a soup,  Traditionally, the flowers are sun dried, then boiled with meat for hours, ending up all marshy and  grey like the rainy weather. What a depressing thought.

 

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I gently washed and sliced the flowers into quarters. I dropped the flowers into a saucepan of water with thinly julienne chicken breast;  brought it to a boil, added a dash of sesame oil, a dash of dark soy sauce and a few pinches of white pepper. The soup was done in 3 minutes.

And here it was, a simple soup to show my appreciation of these natural beauties.

Fresh cactus flower soup

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Hairy gourd ‘liangban’ salad with XO sauce 节瓜凉拌

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This week I discovered an Asian grocery store 10 minutes’ drive away. Their stock range was quite comprehensive. The man in the shop helped me with the bags to my car which was sort of services I never experienced from an Asian store. I managed to find a parking spot very close to the shop – can’t believe my luck. I was very impressed.

I picked up a beautifully fresh hairy gourd from the shop. Hairy gourd is a very popular vegetable in Southern China, easy to grow with plenty of subtropical rains. The gourd is normally cooked in a soup or a stew with a tender and soft texture.

Today I decided to do something different with a ‘liangban’ 凉拌 salad. I added XO sauce to the salad for a kick as the gourd, on its own, could be quite plain. XO sauce is a mildly spicy paste made with dried seafood, garlic and chili, packed of flavors.

 

Hairy gourd 'liangban' salad with XO sauce  节瓜凉拌

I first peeled the skin of the gourd; I then julienned the flesh, disregard the seedy part of the gourd (but reversed for a soup dish). I then briefly blanched the vegetable until it was just cooked (about 1-2 minute) and ran it under cold water to cool; I mixed the drained vegetable with sesame oil, XO sauce, a generous dash of dark soy sauce, white pepper, chili, sesame seeds and sliced green shallot. I left the salad in fridge to chill for couple of hours before serving.  So simple and delicious. No recipe required.

Steamed pork and fennel dumplings 豬肉韭菜餃子

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A school mum gave me some fresh fennel and taught me how to make pork and fennel dumplings,  a popular dish from Northern China.

Steamed pork and fennel dumplings 豬肉韭菜餃子
Steamed pork and fennel dumplings 豬肉韭菜餃子
Steamed pork and fennel dumplings 豬肉韭菜餃子

Recipe is as follows:

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Rice paper rolls of quinoa, coriander, alfalfa and sesame seeds (low FODMAP, vegan, gluten free)

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A few days ago I set off to create a few vegan FODMAP dishes with alfalfa. The schedule was ‘interrupted’ by Chinese New Year with wrapping dumplings with extended family, chatting with friends on how to make ‘yee sang’, handing out red envelopes and, work. We don’t get any national holidays for Chinese New Year in Australia.

Here is my alfalfa recipes installment #2 –  rice paper rolls of quinoa flavored with sesame oil and coriander, lettuce, carrot, capsicum, alfalfa, sesame seeds,  and a small squeeze of BBQ sauce.

Can’t find any rice paper? Don’t worry, the recipe also works as a salad.

Rice paper roll with quinoa, coriander, alfalfa, carrot, lettuce, capsicum, sesame seed and sesame oil, low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan

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

Carrot ‘noodles’ with green bean and bean sprout (low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

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Last week I was cooking humble carrots and wondering how may carrot dishes I could create. Here is one of them…

There are so many wonderful things about carrot, crunchy, juicy, colorful, full of goodies. Best of all, it has no carbohydrate so the FODMAPers can have as much carrot as they wish.

Carrot 'noodles' with green bean and bean sprout (low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

Recipe is as follow:

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Lemongrass pork scotch fillets (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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We have a bush of lemongrass in the garden. Each harvest we were reward a large bag of juicy stalks. So today I made some grilled pork with lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leafs, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil.

There are still so much lemongrass left!

Lemongrass pork scotch fillets (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Vietnamese black pepper beef

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For the days that I felt too lazy to cook ‘real’ meals, I have a stash of paste & sauces in my freezer – sambal balado, xa ot paste, xo sauce and many more.  My favorite, is the ‘bo luc lac’ paste, a Vietnamese black pepper paste.

It is such a simple stir fry – onion and beef (cubes or slices) with some ‘bo luc lac’ paste, a dash of oyster sauce, a dash of dark soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil; 5 minutes it is done; garnish with some green shallot and chili if preferred.

Served with salad or rice; some may prefers to enjoy with some pickled thinly sliced onion.

Vietnamese black pepper beef Bo Luc Lac

Bo Luc Lac paste
Bo Luc Lac paste

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Homemade ‘fun guo’ 粉果 – steamed dumplings with Chinese vegetables and peanuts

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My sister was over this afternoon with my niece who is the same age as my little boy. While the kids were playing, my sister helped me to make some ‘fun guo’, one of my favorite yum cha dish.

It is really simple to make.  I first stir fried the filling with diced chicken, leek, five spice tofu, Chinese mushroom, salted radish, wood ear fungus and bamboo shoot; then I made the wrappers with wheat starch and tapioca.  I have no talent using rolling pins, so I used  my pasta machine to roll out the dough. While I was rolling out the dough and cutting out the wrappers, my sister worked on wrapping the dumplings.

4S2B0044 #2
Homemade ‘fun guo’ 粉果 – steamed dumplings with Chinese vegetables and peanuts

Fun guo dumpling filling
Fun guo dumpling filling

Recipe is as follow:

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Salt and pepper chicken (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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I work in an unremarkable looking building in the city that was built in the 70’s. When I started working there 12 years ago, the food court were ordinary but cheap. Then the landlord renovated the food court and increased the rents. Now the food is still uninspiring, but expensive.   I had a salt and pepper chicken there last week – and it ended up in the garbage bin.

With an unsatisfied craving for salt and pepper chicken, I made my own today.

Salt and pepper chicken (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Braised beef tendon with Asian spices (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Winter is finally here in Sydney and I am craving for something rich and hopefully it would make my skin glow again. Beef tendon is pack with collagen, low fat and no cholesterol… not 100% sure about the skin care benefits, but I am cooking a bowl for the OMG deliciousness.

Braised beef tendon with Asian spices (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Quinoa potato hash (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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This yummy little snack has quinoa, shredded potato, capsicum, tasty cheese, coriander, marjoram, tarragon and rosemary – you can make them into balls, or flat hash browns.

Glutinous rice balls with beef and potato, spiced with cumin and turmeric (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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Barramundi in an Asian spiced broth (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

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Winter is finally here with chill in the air – time for a nice bowl of hot soup. This simple & light barramundi broth is gentle and tasty, perfect for a lazy lunch.

Barramundi in an Asian spiced broth (low FODMAP, Gluten Free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Asian style omelette with cabbage and oyster sauce (low FODMAP)

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I lived in Melbourne some years ago for work, far away from friends and family. One of my favorite pass time was going to Daimaru Japanese department store. At the lower ground floor of the store there were fast food outlets. There was this particular one that sold Japanese cabbage omelettes and I was really fond of it. The omelettes were served with  a thick oyster sauce and mayonnaise.

Here is a tummy friendly version of a cabbage omelette – served with a lighter sauce.

Asian style omelette with cabbage and oyster sauce (low FODMAP)

 

Recipe is as follow:

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Pan fried fish with chili tomato sauce (FODMAP Friendly)

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Many years ago I cooked for a elderly relative while  his family was away on holiday. I found an inexpensive fish in his freezer and made him a pan fried fish with chili tomato sauce. He loved it a great deal and gave me many praises. It was one of those moments that I suddenly discovered that I could cook !

Here is a FODMAP friendly version – I used a whole bream today but you can use any fish that is not too thick or too large. You can also use fish fillets if you are not a fan of fish bones. But the recipe tastes really nice with a whole fish.

Pan fried fish with chili and tomato sauce, FODMAP friendly

 

Recipe is as follows:

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Easy pulled pork with mustard and strawberry jam

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Oven bag is fantastic to make pulled pork – it keeps the pork really moist and juicy. Fruits are often used in Korean cooking – fruits provide natural sweetness and tenderize the meat.

My pulled pork shoulder (1.25kg) this week has mustard (1tbs), strawberry jam (2tbs), soy sauce (1tbs), port wine (2tbs) and salt to taste. I put all ingredients in a oven bag, baked in a preheat oven for 30 minutes at 180c, then reduced temperature to 160c for 30 minutes; followed by 100c for 1 hour.

For dinner, I served the pulled pork with cabbage and rice; for lunch the next day, I served the pulled pork in a tortilla with mozzarella cheese, really nice.

Pulled pork with mustard and strawberry jam

Pulled pork tortilla
Pulled pork tortilla

 

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

Ginseng soup

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Some weeks ago I posted a Chinese herbal soup called ‘QinBuLiang’, translated as ‘refreshing, nurturing and cooling’. As you can figured out from its translation, QinBuLiang is a summer stress remedy – not often used during cold weather.

This week the weather in Sydney suddenly turned. Autumn is finally here with chill evenings and nights. I can visualize the Cantonese families pulling out their stock pots, cooking herbal soups to enhance ‘chi’. One of the great remedy for restoring energy in autumn is a ginseng soup.  For autumn, I like to use the American ginseng (Hua Qi Shen 花旗参) which is not too intense, a good balance for yin and yang in the body.

The soup is very simple to make once you have the soup base and meat. The soup base I used is called Hua Qi Shen Dun Ji (picture below), and I used pork rib (500g) with this soup. First quickly the meat and rinse under cold water; then cook all ingredients in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes (2-3 hours on a cook top); add salt and ready to serve.

On cool days, I often like my soup in a cup – it gives me that simplest pleasure of warm hands.

Ginseng soup

Ginseng soup
Ginseng soup mix

See below for the ginseng soup base package (available in Asian stores).

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Korean BBQ

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At work, I sit next to a Korean lady who told me about this specialty Korean butcher at Homebush (Sydney) with marinated ready-to-BBQ meat.  Today was my day off and I managed to leave all the chores behind, drove 15km to visit the butcher. I picked up three different kind of marinated meat – beef knuckle bulgogi, grain fed pork steak and chili pork. At home, I already marinated some thinly sliced beef topside over night. I can wait to taste them all.

The picture speaks for itself – all so yummy !

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Egg and seaweed rolls (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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It is difficult to sharing these with friends – too tasty you’d like to enjoy them all by yourself.

Egg and seaweed rolls (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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

Beef and rice rissoles (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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Sometime we crave for a tasty meal that is also gentle on our tummies. Rissoles are simple to make, satisfying and may offer many varieties. My rissoles today has beef, rice, potato, carrot, egg and cheddar cheese – just ‘glue’ everything together, dust with rice flour and pan fry, no recipe required 🙂

Beef rissoles with potato, rice and cheese, fodmap friendly, gluten free, IBS

Kimchi chicken with preserved vegetables

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Some weeks ago I made a huge batch of kimchi using Maangchi’s recipe.  I freeze the kim chi in small bags so we can enjoy for months to come.  I also topped up my pantry with loads of dry goods including a few packs of salted radish.

Today I made a simple dish with the salted radish and kim chi. I first bring some cooking oil to high heat in a frying pan; add slice onion & some sliced salted radish. I stir fried the ingredients briefly, then added sliced chicken thigh fillets to brown the meat. Once the meat is browned, I added sliced kim chi. I coverred the frying pan with a lid and let is simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Dinner is ready, easy!

Kimchi chicken with preserved vegetables

You can find Maangchi’s kim chi recipe here https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/tongbaechu-kimchi

Homemade kimchi
My homemade kimchi

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Parmesan eggplant with cayenne pepper and panko

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My husband likes most food except for tomatoes and eggplants. So I was determined to try out a few more eggplant dishes – may be he will change his mind?

This following eggplant dish was moderately successful as the eggplant was firm, crunchy and full of flavor. It is really simple to make – diced eggplant coated with olive oil, Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper;  add a lightly beaten egg and coat the pieces well; then coat the pieces with panko and season with salt and pepper;  grill under a hot grill for 10-15 minutes, turn over a few times.

My hubby ate only a few pieces which was fantastic –  it means more for me. I really enjoyed it.

Parmesan eggplant with cayenne pepper and panko

 

 

Sambal eggplant with dried shrimp

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I love eggplant. The best eggplant dish I ever tasted was a sambal belacan stir fry.

Sambal is a delicious chili paste with garlic, ginger and shallot.  Belacan is a fermented shrimp paste with a strong aroma.  Both are available ready made from Asian stores.

Many years ago I was a poor university student who worked for an Asian restaurant as a casual waitress. One evening, a casual cook rocked up to fill a shift. He made us a dish of sambal belacan eggplant for staff meal.  The dish was so aromatic and delicious that I can still remember his nameless imagine today – cranky,  middle age,  distinctively Chinese-Malay with his strong accent.

Sambal eggplant with dried shrimp

My version of sambal balacan eggplant is  really simple: Read the rest of this entry »

Healing herbal soup QinBuLiang (清補涼)

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Feeling stressed and tired?

In China there was a popular style of living, called YangShen (養生), meaning to nurture life for health and happiness. Alongside with the concept of  peace and harmony, YangShen also promotes a healthy lifestyle which interpreted by many food-loving Cantonese as eating well, fine tea drinking and to enjoy a variety of healing herbal soups.

This herbal soup is called QinBuLiang (清補涼), meaning refreshing, nurturing and cooling. It is often served when a family member is stressed, anxious or with dry coughs.

The QinBuLiang soup base contains  pearl barley (YiMi 薏米), lotus seeds (LianZi 蓮子),  goji berries (GouQi 枸杞), fox nuts (Qianshi 芡實 ), Chinese yam (HuaiSan 淮山) and Solomon’s seal rhizome (YuZu 玉竹), each has commonly recognized healing benefits. The soup is cooked with pork meat and bones to enhance its flavor. I often add a couple tablespoons of dried longan fruit to give it a hint of sweetness to what otherwise quite a bland soup.

Healing herbal soup QinBuLiang (清補涼)

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Chop suey with chicken and Chinese vegetables

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I was really keen to make some fun-guo dumplings this week for Chinese New Year.  When I finally got around to made the filling for the dumplings, I ran out of time to make the dough. We had this chop suey for dinner with some rice, it was really yummy.

Chop suey with chicken and Chinese vegetables

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

Morrocan spiced lamb and pumpkin puffs

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Here is another pie/pastry filling I made this week. I used the spiced lamb with pumpkin in mini pies, puff triangles and round puffs. The mini pies and puff triangles looked immaculate (and hence uninteresting). The round puffs, however, was bursting with the beautiful lamb and pumpkin, looked so delicious and tasty so good.

Moroccan and cumin lamb and pumkin puffs

Recipe is as follows:

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Simple chicken dijon with bacon, leek and onion

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I mentioned some weeks ago that I had been experimenting pies for the school food festival.  This chicken Dijon dish was great as a light lunch or dinner, and it was fantastic as a pie filling.

Chicken dijon with bacon, leek and onion

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

Home made steamed buns ‘man tou’ (馒头)

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This is a heart warming plain steamed bun that is soft and fluffy when served warm or at room temperature. Great for sandwiching spicy twice cooked pork, or any meaty dishes with strong flavors.

Home made steamed buns 'man tou' (馒头)

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

Chinese buns with spicy lamb

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Making Chinese buns is so very easy, simply pick up a good quality pack of bun flour & follow the instruction on the pack, and add a bit of baking power.  There are a few popular type of buns – plain ‘man tou’ (馒头), ‘bao zi’ (包子) which is a bun with meat or vegetable in the center, twisted bun Huajuan (花卷), and in the north, ‘Rou jia mo’ (肉夹馍) which is a meat sandwich.

Here is a meat-bun sandwich I made today, filled with lamb stir fried with Sichuan soy bean chili paste.

Chinese buns with spicy lamb

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

Asian spiced chicken drumsticks (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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Growing up in Southern China, chicken drumsticks were the most desirable parts of a chicken. This is because the meat on the drumsticks is juicy and flavorsome, whereas chicken breast meat is thick and it is difficult to infuse flavors into the meat.

I love baking drumsticks in an oven bag –  just taste extra juicy and pack of flavors.

Here is my version of an Asian chicken drumstick recipe with soy, ginger, chills, coriander, turmeric, coconut milk, sesame oil and tomatoes.

Asian spiced chicken drumsticks (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Malaysian chicken curry and leek pie

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I have set myself a challenge to make 4 different type of mini meat pies – traditional beef, pepper steak & mushroom, curry chicken, potato & leek. I started with curry chicken because I had some leftover curry from the night before.  I was not prepared at all – I didn’t have time to make the pastry myself and I used ready made puff and short crust pastry.

So here is my lazy Sunday afternoon chicken pie  – hmm.. they taste pretty good.

Malaysian chicken curry and leek pie

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

Pork and leek pastry ‘cha siu su’ style

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I like the buttery ‘cha siu su’ at yum cha, but found them a bit too sweet for me. For the school fete, I made my own version of pork puffs inspired by ‘cha siu su’.

Pork and leek pastry 'cha siu su' style

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

Sambal eggs with vegetables, drizzled with a tangy son-in-law sauce

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There was a fete in my little boy’s school and I made some of these for the Asian food stall. It was a fusion of sambal eggs & son-in-law eggs – spicy, tangy, sweet, salty and delicious.

Sambal eggs with vegetables, drizzled with a tangy son-in-law sauce

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

Cloud ear ‘salad’ with tofu and garlic chive

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A mum from my little boy’s school was over one Friday afternoon. She was born in the countryside in northern China and taught me a dish with cloud ear, egg and soy/oyster sauce. The dish was dark and mysterious, I was not too sure about it.  But I was inspired by the idea, and made this cloud ear salad with tofu for the Asian Food Stall at the school fete.

Cloud ear 'salad' with tofu and garlic chive

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

Chicken chop suey, my father’s story of radish

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Chicken chop suey, my father's story of radish

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.

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

 

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 in Chinese rice wine (gluten free)
Poached chicken in Chinese rice wine (gluten free)

Golden turmeric prawns (gluten free)

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If you have a spice collector like me, you may have turmeric & cumin in your pantry. I also keep ginger pieces and chilies in my freezer. With a onion, this prawn dish is 5 minutes away … no recipe required.

Golden turmeric prawns

Clean 12 prawns; dice the onion, slice 1 chili, mince a little ginger (optional); heat up a frying pan with some cooking oil; add the onion, ginger & chili; stir fry until onion  is coated with oil; add turmeric & cumin (I use about 1tsp each for a mild taste); stir for the spices to coat the onion; push the onion to the side; add prawns, 1-2 minutes each side until cooked through; stir through the onion; season with salt.

I serve this with an Indian inspired chickpea & bacon stew.

Steamed oysters with soy sauce, sesame oil, shallot, coriander and chilies

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My hubby & I always debate about natural oysters vs. cooked oysters. I love my oysters lightly steamed (30 seconds to 1 minute on hot steam), topped with sliced shallot^, coriander, chilies, white wine, soy sauce* and sesame oil;  then finish with a hot splash of cooking oil on top of the herbs to bring out the flavors & freshness. It is so simple and delicious, no recipe required.

* use gluten free soy sauce for an gluten free option.

 

Steamed oysters with soy sauce, sesame oil, shallot, coriander and chilies

Spiced potato and spinach

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A long day at the office, tired, hungry & craving for a quick meal. The local food store had a few packs of chicken sausages, and I made potatoes and spinach as a side dish – tasty & satisfying! The star of the dish was, of course, the potatoes with cumin & turmeric.

Spiced potato and spinach

No recipe required for this dish, here are a few simple steps:

Read the rest of this entry »

Steamed turmeric chicken, with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger rice (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Have you ever try a one-pot meal using a rice cooker?  A rice cooker often comes with a plastic steamer – it is handy when you want a quick & easy meal.

Steamed turmeric chicken, with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger rice (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Here are the simple steps: Read the rest of this entry »