Saturday, October 31, 2009

Homemade Soft Pretzel

I was not a fan of pretzel before until I tasted the soft pretzel selling in the Malls. I was then hooked on this soft pretzel. Whenever I was shopping at the Malls, I always got attracted by the delicious looking large soft pretzels. With the sweet tooth that I have, I prefer the sweet pretzel. I don't know, we Asian seem to prefer sweet bread instead of salty. However, pretzel is not cheap, at almost $3 a piece, it needs some consideration on my part. Am I willing to spend that much for a pretzel? I guess occasional treat would do. But fear not, soft pretzel is not that hard to do and I can easily made a bunch for less than $3. I made mine in salty version because I thought it would be better for freezing. I didn't prove mine long enough as they were harder than my first attempt.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Miso Seaweed Soup

My girls and I loved wakame while my husband won't touch it. He doesn't like the texture and taste of wakame at all. Oh well, more for us. :) Wakame is the edible seaweed that mostly consume by Japanese and Korean. It usually sold as dried seaweed and need to be constituted in cold water before cooking. It will expand when soak and need to cut into smaller pieces before cooking. It is green color, slightly chewy, slippery texture and taste of ocean (to me). It is very good for health, rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and has high level of calcium, iodine, thiamine and niacin. Traditionally and to this day, Koreans eat seaweed soup on their birthday. Sharing my easy way of preparing this miso seaweed soup.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deep Fried Seaweed Beancurd Rolls

Deep-fried food, hardly anyone can resist. Deep-fried beancurd rolls with seaweed, give me anytime! I finally bought some frozen beancurd sheet at my last visit to the Asian market and I was so eager to try this out. Of course my homemade version was not as pretty as I made the rolls too long. So, when I tried to roll the seaweed around, I noticed that it looked weird with just one seaweed wrapped around it, so I wrapped two seaweeds, one on each end with the thought that I could cut it in half and made a better presentation. And thus tada! This beancurd sheet is actually the vegetarian version of the pork fat sheet that we used to make "5 spice meat roll" (五香肉).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stir Fried Cabbage With Tofu

Another simple and healthy home cook dish from me. I would buy cabbage if I did not go to the Asian supermarket to get my vegetable for the week as cabbage has a long fridge life. With cabbage on hand, just add some colors and some tofu and oyster sauce, a delicious and healthy meal awaits you. You can't go wrong with oyster sauce, so stock up on Lee Kum Kee's oyster sauce for easy Chinese stir-fry. I don't like other brands so I always stick to my trusted LKK brand for my oyster sauce. Look for it when you shop at your local Asian supermarket next time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creamy Corn Tofu

I created this dish by accident one night. I had a block of silken tofu for dinner but had no idea how to cook it. I looked through my pantry and saw a canned of creamy corns and thought why not? It should pair well together as we loved the creamy chicken corn soup with tofu. And I was right, this dish was so easy to put together and guarantee deliciousness. Smashed the silken tofu and served the rice with lots of creamy corn sauce. You can have this dish along and be satisfied. If you don't have the chicken stock granules, you can substitute it with a little sugar. Try this dish on one of your lazy nights, hey it's healthy too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Singapore Style Fried Vermicelli (星州炒米粉)

We came to know this dish when we came to America. Frankly, we were curious at first to see Singapore Fried Vermicelli (星州炒米粉) in the Americanized Chinese restaurant's menu. We were like what they know about Singapore vermicelli? So, we ordered the vermicelli and gave it a try. As you guest, it was not a noodle we had before in Malaysia or Singapore (10+ years ago). It was a vermicelli fried with curry powder and they called it Singapore style fried vermicelli. But today, I guess it's pretty wide spread, so I am curious, have you seen people in Malaysia or Singapore cooking this curry powder packed vermicelli these days? This Singapore vermicelli is very common in an Americanized Chinese restaurants today, not only that even the authentic Chinese restaurants cook this dish. For this dish, it is best to cook with the yellow Indian curry powder, not the Malaysian Baba's red curry powder. Since I only have the Baba's curry powder, I used that and the fragrant was not as great as the Indian yellow curry powder that they used here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spice Chicken

I made this spice chicken as a side dish for my nasi lemak (fragrant coconut rice). Because my girls couldn't take the ikan bilis sambal (too spicy for them), so I had to come out with a side dish that they can eat with their nasi lemak. I also saved some fried ikan bilis (anchovy) for them. So, my girls version were hard boiled egg, cucumber slices, spice chicken, crispy anchovies and roasted peanuts. They loved the fragrant coconut rice so I wanted them to
be able to enjoy this dish too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mom's French Toasts

As a Foodbuzz Tastemaker, I received two loaves of Nature's Pride breads to sample (100% Whole Wheat and 12 Grain). If you know me, I'm pretty health conscious and have been eating mostly 100% whole wheat bread for the past years. I was delighted to sample this Nature's Pride bread as it is the only 100% natural brand of bread available across the country (as they claimed). They are committed to baking the tastiest bread with wholesome and natural food choices such as no artificial flavors or colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no trans-fats, and no artificial preservatives. Sharing this bread with you with my mom's version of French Toasts. She added sugar into the eggs mixture and we ate it without any syrup, fruit puree, whipped cream or powder sugar. It is great as it is!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nasi Lemak (Fragrant Coconut Rice)

Nasi Lemak or Fragrant Coconut Rice, a Malaysian favorite dish! I don't know anyone who doesn't like nasi lemak. I am a sucker for the banana leaf wrapped nasi lemak that used to sell for 50 cent a pack. Right now, I have no idea how much is it, $1? $1.50? One thing for sure, it was not that cheap anymore. The combination of coconut rice and the ikan bilis sambal (anchovies chili sauce) blended so well together, it is hard to stop at just a packet! And when it is wrapped in banana leaf, oh mine, the fragrant of the banana leaf with the coconut rice, it's explosive! So, if you are going to visit Malaysia, this is a must-try dish. Even now, when I go back to visit my parents, it's my must have breakfast.

My girl friend back in college gave me the idea of adding pandan paste into the coconut rice. She made this dish for a cooking competition and won first place. So now, for variation I also added some pandan paste into my coconut rice. I served my nasi lemak with the usual ikan bilis sambal, roated peanuts, fresh cucumber, hard boiled egg and spice chicken (recipe coming up).

For the above nasi lemak, wash the rice, instead of water, use coconut milk, add a little salt, some black peppers and pandan paste. Cook in rice cooker.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

POMx Iced Coffee

When I was contacted to sample the POM new product, Iced Coffee, I was delighted and curious at the same time. Curious as in how would a coffee with POMx added in tasted like. POMx is a potent antioxidant rich extract from POM Wonderful pomegranates. This iced coffee is best suited for people who needed a coffee or caffeine boost everyday and yet wanted it to be healthier, like packed with antioxidants for example.

POMx Iced Coffee combined a potent antioxidant rich extract from pomegranates, Rainforest Alliance Certified shade-grown Arabica coffee beans, rBST growth hormone-free milk and organic cane sugar. It came in three wonderful flavors, Chocolate (fat-free), Cafe au Lait and Vanilla. It is either fat-free (yes 0% fat) or low-fat and preservative free.

Can you imagine your cup of morning coffee to deliver a "Healthy Buzz" of energy? With 650mg dose of polyphenol antioxidants from pomegranates (more potent than those found in red wine, green tea, grape and acai extracts) and 175mg of high caffeine-content for extreme energy boost. And it was made with premium, all-natural ingredients to give you a healthy buzz. The POMx Iced Coffee Chocolate is a deliciously rich coffee with chocolate flavor (what's best is it is fat-free). I couldn't taste the POMx at all which is a good thing. LOL! Evy even said it tasted a lot like the coffee at Starbuck. What best to kick start your day than with a glass of this powerful and antioxidant rich coffee?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Stir Fried Chicken with Eggs (雞肉炒滑蛋)

We had a beef version of this dish in Denver authentic Chinese restaurant and loved it. The beef was tender and the eggs was smooth. Since I don't buy beef at home and trying to cut down on pork intake, I used chicken breast instead. I added milk in the eggs mixture to give it some milk fragrant.

Growing up in Asia, fresh milk is not in our diet at all. All we had were milk powder and we only consumed it when we were kids. Coming here in America, I noticed that people drink fresh milk all the times, not just for breakfast, but anytime they want. It was a culture shock at first. Even to these days, a lot of Asian can't get use to the taste of fresh milk. In China, in order to let the children or elders have some fresh milk, they used it in eggs or bakes or dessert. For example, instead of water that the recipe calls for, they used milk instead. It makes the food more nutritious and also added the fragrant of fresh milk (奶香).
I thought that was brilliant!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Duo Colors Marbled Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)

I saw this recipe on CCTV4 TV food program, "Everyday Food" and thought what an excellent idea! Thought I share it with my readers here, so we will have another way to serve our favorite dessert "Tang Yuan". As I mentioned earlier, in order to incorporate more diary into the Chinese families diet, they have used fresh milk in cooking and making dessert. Usually we used water to make glutinous rice balls but for your own family consumption, you now have the option to use fresh milk for extra nutrient, what an excellent idea right? Also, I never thought that I can add cocoa powder into making my glutinous rice balls too, we usually just use the different colorings. Can you tell, I really learned a lot from this episode. It looked too pretty not to try it out especially all of us adored "Tang Yuan". So, I gave it a go and really liked it, you can give it a try too!

I want to wish my readers a "Happy Mid-Autumn/ Moon Cake Festival" too! Enjoy the mooncakes, food, full moon and good company!