Thursday, August 30, 2012

Minced Chicken with Bottle Gourd (Lauki)

Frankly, I hardly buy any Asian gourd or melon.  But since I am trying to eat healthier, I also want to explore into unfamiliar Asian vegetable.  Asian melon and gourd are one of them.   For me, stir-frying it with eggs or make soup with it should be a very safe approach because my mom did that.  But I was out of drumsticks and we had eggs for lunch, so I needed to think of another approach.  Hence, this was created.  Later, when I did a search on this, I found out that it was actually very common in Indian cuisine.  Perhaps next time I can try cooking it with Indian spices and recipe.  Indian version is more mushy while this stir-fried version has a bite to it.

Bottle gourd has lots of benefits, one of them is low in fat and calories while high in dietary fiber.  Also said to treat urinary tract infection, balancing liver function, treatment for blood pressure and heart disease and more.  You can read more about the benefits here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Brownie from Scratch

I used to buy brownie in a box because I liked the fudge liked texture and it was fool proof.  Or because I always thought brownie was hard to make?  But I stopped buying it after I was aware of partially hydrogenated oil, just like a lot of other things that I used to buy.  Anyway, both my girls have been bugging me to make brownie for them.  They loved brownie but I don't buy them in the store so I had to make it for them.  I found an easy recipe with great reviews and decided to try it (recipe link provided in the next page).  It was good and but not very fudge like, not sure whether I over baked it or not.  Nevertheless, my girls loved it!

Would definitely try this recipe again without the chocolate frosting.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snow Fungus Sweet Soup with Lotus Seeds (雪耳莲子糖水)

Sometimes I feel like making some sweet dessert soup for my family.  After reading about how great the black fungus/ wood ear and white snow fungus for our bodies, I decided to cook it more often.  Since black fungus has more health benefits, I cook it quite often in stir-frying dishes.  But I don't want to neglect the snow fungus as it has a beauty benefit that makes one face looking younger just like bird nest.  But bird nest is expensive and not everybody can drink it often, whereas snow fungus is really affordable.  I read that in order to have that beauty benefit, you have to eat it at least three times a week.  I couldn't possibly cook it that often but when I do make it, I am making sure I am cooking a big pot and have at least three bowls of it. :-)

Picture with ingredient names listed for your convenient.

All these ingredients have health benefits, not just the snow fungus so this sweet soup is really nutritious.  For example, goji berries is high in antioxidant and vitamins, red dates/ jujubes nourishes blood and replenishes Qi, lily buds is cooling, reduce heatiness, treats cough and helps with insomnia, lotus seeds improves digestion, removes heatiness and calms the spirit.

I have a question to ask.  Does adding sugar to cook together with the snow fungus making it soft and gelatinous?   For this, I added the sugar in the end and the resulted snow fungus was crunchy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Roti Jala with Chicken Curry

Roti Jala is a Malay cuisine where 'roti' means bread and 'jala' means net.  You need a special roti jala mould with five holes to make this fish net looking crepe. You can buy the plastic roti jala mould in the bakery supply stores in Malaysia for only RM$1 each, very cheap.  It's texture is more like a soft crepe and the yellow color is derived from the turmeric powder.  It mostly serves with curry or rendang.

My chicken curry is made from A1 chicken curry paste.  I added red onion and used boneless and skinless dark chicken meat.  I was thinking of serving it with frozen roti canai that I bought recently but then I saw Sonia's roti jala post and decided to give it a try.  I bought the roti jala mould for years but never tempted to make it.  Glad to say that I finally did it and since it was pretty easy to make, would love to make it once in a while from now on.

Friday, August 17, 2012

White Radish Soup

I loved Korean radish and have been buying it to make kimchi, braise chicken Chinese style or Korean style and not forgetting to make soup.  Radish is cooling so eaten best when you feel that your body is heaty or a cough is coming.  Simmering radish with pork said to be reduce fever, stop coughing and prevents gallstone and kidney stone.

I made this soup for my cough that I developed after I came back from Malaysia.  I suffered the worst jet leg ever, couldn't sleep well for the whole week and then started to have sore throat and coughing that prevented me to sleep for another week.  Not cool at all.  My dad said my body didn't want to come back to the U.S. and thus it made me suffered.  ;-D 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Green Tea Buns

My previous green tea buns recipe has bread improver in it and I know that a lot of people have no access to bread improver.  I stopped using bread improver few years back as I have no idea what was in it.  So, sharing with you here another recipe that has straight forward ingredients list with no bread improver or bread softener.  It is basically a Haiji white buns recipe with added green tea powder.  I like to use this recipe as a base and create other variation of bread recipes.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Korean Kimchi Fried Rice

I guess making kimchi fried rice is the next step after I made my version of fast kimchi.  I made some kimchi tofu soup with it already but my girls didn't quite fancy the sourish taste of the soup.  But how strange that they didn't complain about the kimchi fried rice but kinda liked it.  I added the kimchi into the Korean instant ramen that I prepared for us as well and they finished their noodles.  I later asked them don't they feel anything different with the soup base?  My elder did reply correctly that the soup base got a sourish taste to it because I added kimchi and she said it was not as delicious.  Hahaha...But they finished the noodle with the kimchi I added.  They sure don't like the fermented kimchi but not sure why they liked the kimchi fried rice and could tolerate the kimchi I secretly added into the ramen?  Regardless, I will still try to sneak in some kimchi into their diets.  Perhaps, I will try the kimchi fried cake next without telling them what it is and let them eat it.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Banh Mi Wanna Be (Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich)

The original Banh Mi uses French baguette because this is a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisines.  However, for my home version, I just used the bread I have at home.  I never thought of making Banh Mi at home but it just so happen that I have all the ingredients at home and my girls loved it and I had to make lunch for them so I made this.

My friend introduced me to Banh Mi so I had a chance to try it.  If not, I would never thought of buying it to try.  The one I had was a lemongrass flavored chicken Banh Mi.  It had a yellow color sauce on it and pate along with sliced jalapeno, cucumber, cilantro and pickled radish and carrot on a French baguette.  The lemongrass chicken was surprisingly fragrant and it tasted delicious.