Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken with Colors Bell Peppers

I always have leftover chicken breast either from the rotisserie chicken or the fried chicken that my hubby bought.  You can either make it into chicken salad for the chicken sandwich or just stir-fry it like me.  Since we eat rice almost daily, stir-frying the leftover is my way to reuse the food.

I loved to buy color bell peppers when it goes on sales.  We must eat with colors as different color of fruits and vegetables will give us a different nutrient that our body needs.  But it is hard to convince my girls to eat bell peppers and onion.  From my posting, I noticed that I have used less onion in my cooking these days because I took their dislike into consideration when preparing meal, even without realizing it.  I used to cook most dishes with onion.  Guess I need to bring back onion in my stir-frying.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pork with Marinated Bok Choy

I was given some marinated bok choy from our friend who owns a Chinese restaurant.  This marinated bok choy was prepared by the head chef in his restaurant.  I saw this dish prepared by the head chef and it looked really appetizing and I was trying to replicate it.  Typing this post now I just realized I forgot to add red pepper flakes and I shouldn't add water (as the bok choy will release water when cooking).  The head chef version was dry and his pork was sliced really thin and small.  Not sure what was his seasonings though, probably just salt and MSG?

Anyway, this is my version without the MSG.

This was the marinated bok choy that I received.  I used this to cook porridge and it was really good. What do you call this?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Basic Waffles

I finally bought a waffle iron!  Well, if I don't look at brand and read at the reviews, I can get a waffle iron for fairly cheap here.  You can call it my impulse buying.  My girls like to have waffle for breakfast but the frozen ones in the supermarket have partially hydrogenated oil in them even thought they were listed as zero trans fat.  So, I stopped buying frozen waffles a while back.  Thus, the best way for me is to make my own waffle using the ingredients I know and serve it to my girls.  I found the bellow recipe at and modified it a little to include more sugar and added honey so that my girls can eat the waffle as is.  No extra spread of butter or syrup needed.  I am going to play with this recipe more to create a healthier version like using whole wheat flour or oatmeal flour, etc.

As you can see, I already played with this basic recipe to add some chocolate chips.   Last batch, I added some cocoa powder as well.  This waffle is slight crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.  It crisp up more when toast in the toaster.  Homemade is definitely the best way to go!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nagaimo Mung Bean Dessert

Nagaimo is also called 山药 or 淮山 in Chinese.  It is a type of yam that can be consume raw.  It has long been traditionally used as Chinese medicine and herbology.  They cut it and dried it in pieces for cooking Chinese herbal soup.  It's the white color herb that we called it 淮山.  I just learned that it has other name which is 山药 from my Chinese friends.  I learned this dessert from them as they gave me a container to try.  It was my first time tasting fresh Nagaimo, frankly I didn't like it as they cut it into big chunks.  It was similar to potato in taste but full of potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B1, and more.  It is also low in calories and a high protein tuber.  I saw a Chinese cooking show, where they put cubed and blanched Nagaimo and Pumpkin into heated milk and serve it as breakfast.  Usually you can cook it like what you would normally cook a potato dish.

You can read more about Nagaimo here. And more about the nutritional facts here.

In this dessert, I diced the Nagaimo into small cubes so that it was easier for me.  Since I cooked it in a slow cooker, some of the Nagaimo was blended into the soup when stirring.  It still have pieces of Nagaimo but quite pleasant since it was not in big chunks.  Definitely a dessert I will be cooking if I buy Nagaimo again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Merdeka Open House 2010: Tamarind Stew Pork with Daikon/ Chinese Radish

I have been participating in Merdeka Open House hosted by Babe in the City since the very beginning, so of course I cannot left this year out.  This year theme for Merdeka Open House 2010 is Food From Our Hearts.  A local dish that I love and is lovingly prepared by my loved ones and tell a story about it.  My mom is the cook in the family so of course I had to pick my mom's dish.  The most memorable dishes that I missed from my mom are Acar Hu (Pickle Fish) and this Tamarind Stew with daikon.  I really like her Acar Hu but I never made it before because of the limited fish choices over here.  This Tamarind Stew can be made with chicken which I did a while ago over here or pork which I did for this year open house.

I really have no idea where she learned this dish from or it is a pass it down recipe.  The taste just stick to me because I like the spiciness from the dried chili, the sourness from the tamarind juice, the sweetness from the brown sugar, the softness of the daikon, and the tenderness of the pork, it just blend so well together.  When I came over to the U.S. this was one of the dishes I missed so much that I had to call and ask my mom for her recipe so that I could enjoy this dish here.  I hardly cook this dish though because my hubby and daughters do not like Chinese radish or daikon at all, thus every time I cooked this, I was the only one who ate the daikon.  Well, actually more for me because I do enjoy the daikon very much.

When I was stewing this dish for this post, my husband came home from work and said something smell like shit in the house.  I had no idea why this dish smelled like shit to him because it smelled fragrant to me.  He had the hesitated look on his face.  But guess what, he ended out enjoying this dish, even came back for second and third.  See, never judge a dish when you haven't tasted it!

There is still time to participate in this event if you or your spouse is a Malaysian, just go to visit Babe KL's blog for more details.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rose & Vanilla Spirals Cookies

I was asked for this recipe from a reader last week.  Actually, I made this cookie a while ago back in 2005 and it was out of experimentation.  And I never made it again until today because I had to test out the recipe first.  I made that cookie in 2005 with simply threw more of this here and there and see how it was created.  The original recipe used mint extract and green coloring or strawberry extract and red coloring but I ran out of strawberry extract thus had to use the closes substitute which was rose extract.  Because this rose extract was already red in color thus the coloring was omitted.

This cookie dough was a bit soft at room-temperature thus had to use the scraper to move the dough and helped along with the rolling.  The texture of this cookie is crispy and then sort of melt in the mouth in the end.

The picture of my old post cookies can be found here.  It has the mint version.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Steamed Eggs with Topping

I didn't know how to steam a smooth eggs before but now I know.  I learned it from watching the Chinese cooking show.  I have been watching the CCTV 4 "Everyday Food" Chinese cooking show and learned some cooking tips from there.  I learned this steamed eggs with topping from that show as well.  Have been seeing two different Chinese chefs making this dish with their variation of topping and find it doable!  I have not seen people steamed eggs this way before, we normally steamed it plain or with minced pork or with salted egg or thousand years old egg in Malaysia.  So, this way of serving is new to me.  The chefs guarantee this way of steaming eggs will produce a smooth and silky soft eggs and they made it seem so easy so of course I had to try it myself.

Well, they were right, it is really that easy to produce a smooth and soft steamed eggs.  Now I have a new dish to prepare for my family.  We all loved this easy dish and with the topping, I can even make it a one dish meal.  This dish is suitable for young and old alike as the steamed eggs make it easy to swallow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Edda Drawings Update

Remember I was complaining about Edda's drawings not long ago?  Click on the highlighted words to see her previous drawings.  And two months later, she surprised me with her flowers drawing.  That was her first real drawing that she had shown me and of course I had to save it.  I was really surprise because it looked so beautiful to me.  I praised her for her excellent drawing and after that, she started to produce drawings after drawings and they were not abstract anymore.  Wow right?  Look at her drawings below, I think it was real impressive and what a fast change, I was worry about nothing.  She started to draw these at 3 years and 9 months old.

Flowers by Edda, July 17, 2010

Garden by Edda, July 25th, 2010

Family by Edda, August 3rd, 2010

Drawing by Edda, August 9, 2010

Monday, August 09, 2010

Pan-Fried Mahi-Mahi in Ginger Soy Sauce

This is a pretty common way of cooking fish in my household.  I created it almost 16 years ago.  I remembered when I first cooked this dish for my parents and sibling 15 years ago when I went back to visit them.  My dad asked me what was the topping?  Okay, I did it slightly different, I added chopped garlic and chopped ginger, the ginger were not in slices back then.  I was surprised back then that he would ask me such a question so til this day, I still remembered it.  The reason being my mom didn't cook him this dish before, so he didn't know what was the topping.  So I had to explain to him what it was and he was supposed to take some of the topping with the fish and eat it with the sauce and rice.  I thought it was real interesting.

Next time when I go back, I need to make an effort to cook for them again.  I didn't do that the last few times because it was too hot, also my girls were little back then.  I really need to make an effort to cook for them.

If you want the recipe, click here.  But instead of using dark soy sauce, I used soy sauce in this, thus the lighter in the sauce color.  I think I added too much water too, or you can thicken it with cornstarch water.  And of course, if you think the ginger amount is too much, use as little as you like.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Chinese Snow Fungus Herbal Soup

Snow fungus (雪耳) can also be called silver ear fungus (银耳) or white wood ear fungus ( 白木耳).  It is just like the name implied, it is a species of fungus, white in color that grows on dead attached and recently fallen branches of broadleaf trees.  It is widely available in the tropics and is cultivated for used in Chinese medicine and Chinese cuisine.  White fungus contains much iron, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. It is said to be effective in nourishing the lungs, healing dry cough and clearing heat in the lungs.  We used it in sweet and savory dishes.  Most common dessert would be white fungus stewed in rock sugar with red dates and dried longan.  But I liked mine in savory herbal soup.

I think I didn't boil mine long enough as my snow fungus was crunchy instead of soft.  Is there any other way to make the snow fungus soft besides soaking it in warm water and long simmering time?  

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Water Chestnut Jelly Cake

If you have been reading my blog, you probably aware that I did this before but the plain version.   With the yellow rock sugar that I used, my water chestnut cake turned out white, not the result that I was looking for.  So, this time I played with the recipe and used Malaysia's Gula Melaka and added the chopped water chestnuts.  It turned out so much better, love the fragrant of Gula Melaka that I could taste with each bite as well as the added crunch from the water chestnuts.  It is really refreshing eaten it cold straight from the refrigerator.  I prefer this instead of pan-frying it with batter, less grease thus healthier.

This will be the way I am making this in the future until I am out of the Gula Melaka, then the other substitute that I could think of will be the Chinese brown sugar in bar shape.  That would give me the color that I want but with different fragrant.