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Hong Kong Style fried beef flat rice noodle

乾炒牛河 is one of the most popular dish in Hong Kong, or any where you go that serves Cantonese cuisine, I guess it’s not difficult to order this in a Cantonese or Chinese restaurant. 

The most important ingredient is the flat rice noodle, as it is a bit difficult to buy the fresh one. There are shops selling freshly made noodles, rice noodles and wonton wrap, try to explore that in your neighbourhood or otherwise try to see if you can find that at the wet market. I have to say, you can only do this with the freshly made ones, if you are using those dry ones which are not good enough. Not sure where can you get this in other countries, maybe in China town? 

First of the, cut the beef in thin slices and follow the grain. Marinate them with dark soy sauce, sugar, corn stratch and some water, for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make sure you separate each flat rice noodle within sticking together. When you are ready with all key ingredients, onions in strips, bean sprouts, spring onion, and get the sauce ready, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. I also like to add a touch of spice, so I add a bit of red chilli pepper which is totally optional. 

Heat up the wok with some oil, get the beef fried quickly in hot temperature until they are almost done. Set them aside for later use. Then, get the wok ready again with some oil and fry the onions until they turn soft, then add the bean sprouts and fry until they start turning soft. Now add the flat rice noodles into the wok, stir fry them with onions and bean sprouts. Watch out after you add the mixed sauce, as there is sugar in it and things will started to get burn and sticky easily, so we have to act really quick. Add in the sauce, keep stir frying and then add in the beef, chopped chilli and spring onions. Fry until the beefs are done, and serve the noodle with some sesame seeds and a touch of chilli sauce.

I also would like to have more vegetables, so I was having that with some choy sum. Guess this fried rice noodle should be much more healthier than those ones that we used to eat at cha chang tang, this is not difficult at all, you can also try to make it at home 😉 

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Shakshuka – Spicy all day breakfast 

My husband was having a gig last night, djing at one of the event, and he was out until this morning. Usually, what he loves to eat after a night like this, will be something meaty, but I would like to have something vegetarian. I think maybe it’s good to cook something like a all-day breakfast for him. 

This dish is called Shakshuka, it’s a spicy dish with eggs poached in tomato sauce and pepper. I am not sure if I can handle something that spicy for breakfast, but I guess should be fine for night time “breakfast”. This is a very easy dish, you can quickly get it done in half an hour.

Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, add diced onio, minced garlic and sliced mushroom into the pan. Season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and fry them until they turn brown and dry out. Add diced red bell pepper, chopped green pepper / jalapenos, and minced red chilli pepper. Stir fry them, and then add ground paprika, ground ceyanne pepper, ground cumin and cumin seeds. Now add chopped tomatoes in the pan, add a touch of water or chicken broth, let it simmer a bit until the sauce is thicken up. Create 4 little holes in the pan, then drop the egg into each little hole. Lower the heat and cover the lid, poach the eggs for 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander. Serve the dish with some sliced baguette or toast. 

It’s quite spicy, spicer than I thought. Maybe it’s good to have it in the morning, it definitely can wake you up!

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Homemade Wonton 3 Ways – Deep Fried, Shanghainese spicy version and Cantonese style in noodle soup

I always want to make dumplings or wonton, but so far I haven’t done that. I finally made up my mind yesterday and thinking to cook wonton for dinner. My husband is not a big fan of wonton, he said he doesn’t like the fishy taste of it. I don’t know if that has to do with the shrimp, or what exactly is he talking about for the fishy part. Anyway, let’s give it a try and see if he is going to love my version.

In order to give myself a bit of challenge, I am going to make 3 different versions of wonton. But of course, to start with, let’s get them all nicely wrapped. We need to marinate the two major ingredients, minced pork and diced shrimp, before wrapping them. Marinate the mince pork with soy sauce, sugar, corn starch and pepper; and for the diced shrimps, marinate them with salt and pepper. Let both ingredients sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then take them out and mix them together in a large bowl, add some chopped pak choy in, then mix everything well together. Now you get the filling of the wonton, and let’s start wrapping them! The traditional ones are just with pork and shrimp, but I would like to add some vegetables in it, as I like the texture with veggies plus I think that’s more healthy and balance. For the wrap, I just bought the ready made ones, I am not ready to make that on my own yet, maybe one day.

To wrap the wonton, get a small bowl of water ready next to you. Place the filling in the middle of the wrap, then dip some water around the filling and close the wrap nicely all around. The filling I have, managed to get around 40 pieces of wonton done. You can actually get a lot of them done and stored in the fridge, they should be able to last for few days, or you can place them in the freezer and they could last longer. Now, I am going to make 3 different versions of wonton.

The first one is the deep fried version, it’s pretty simple, all you need to do it’s to deep fry them! Make sure to control the temperature of the oil, watch out and make sure that you are not burning the wonton and the colour have to be golden brown, not dark brown. When they are done, garnish them with some chopped spring onion. I served them with the Remoulade sauce that I did the other day, I think mayonnaise could be a very good option as well.

The second one is Shanghainese spicy version 紅油抄手. I love to eat this in a Shanghainese restaurant, but it would be nice to make my own version as well. First of all, get the spicy sauce ready, so you can serve the wonton right away when they are done. To prepare the sauce, mix mince garlic, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, spicy chilli oil, Chinese wine, sugar and a bit of water. Then, cook the wonton in hot water for 4 to 5 minutes until they are cooked. Drain the water, serve the wonton with the sauce and garnish with some chopped spring onion. This version is very spicy, so adjust the level to fit your taste.

The last version is just the regular wonton noodle soup, I love flat rice noodle, so I am going for that instead of noodle. You can cook the wonton in hot water first before cooking anyway. Boil some water with chicken broth, then put some pak choy and let them boil for a minute or two, then add in the flat rice noodle, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the noodle with wonton add back to the bowl, garnish with some chopped spring onion.

This is the first time my husband likes wonton, I am happy that I could change his impression on wonton. He was so full that he could only finished the first two versions, and he was too full that he could not go for the third one. And I was so full that I weight 1kg more the following morning. I am very happy with the result, and I would definitely cook more wonton or dumplings in the future.

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Flammkuchen – German flatbread, German version of pizza

I was asking my hubby on Saturday night, what should I cook tomorrow, my usual Sunday cooking. He sent me few things which are the dishes he loves to eat back in Germany, and I choice this one, Flammkuchen, which it’s like pizza but a German version.

The thing about Flammkuchen, there are few things we have to look into. For example, it should be either in square or oval shape; whereas pizza is in round shape. The sauce for Flammkuchen is sour creme based, versus pizza is more tomato sauce based. Instead of coming up with my own ingredients or version, let’s start with a very typical one.

I am going to make one with onion and bacon to start with. First of all, we have to work on the dough, mix 250g plain flour with 125ml of warm water, some olive oil and a pinch of salt. I didn’t add any yeast, which should be fine with the flatbread. Roll the dough out into rectangular shape, then add mixed double cream and cream fraiche, you can also try with mixed sour cream and Greek yoghurt, on top of the flatbread. If you have ever made pizza before, that’s just like how you add the tomato sauce on your pizza base. Then season with some salt and pepper, and add the toppings, onion strips and diced bacon. Place that in the preheated oven under 250C and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Add some finely chopped spring onion or chives on top for better look and better taste. 

I made the same one again by adding some halved cherry tomatoes, taste delicious!

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Hubby’s Request – Creamy Tomato Soup

Special request from my husband for tonight’s dinner, he would like to have creamy tomato soup and he just would like to get the ready-made one. Instead of getting the one in a paper box, why don’t I make him a freshly made one?

This easy freshly made soup is super yummy and so refreshing, have a big bowl with some bread, that’s it and it’s good enough for a big guy to last for the night.

I encourage all of you to use fresh tomatoes instead of those tin can ones. I know there are more juices in the can, but the fresh ones are more healthy and with more nutrition. So, first of all, let’s peel the tomatoes, cut a cross on the skin and place them in hot boiling water for a while until the skin started to curl up. Peel all the skin and cut them in quarters. 

Heat up a pot with butter and a touch of olive oil, put some sliced garlic, and striped onion in. Fry the onion until they turn soft, then add all tomatoes and smash them a bit in the pot. Add some chicken stock and a bit of water, cover the lid and boil for 10 to 20 minutes. Add a bit of water in-between if you feel it’s too thick. When it’s done, place the soup in the blender and blend it nicely until it turns into purée. Place it back into the pot and whisk in the cream, or even some cheese if you like. Season with salt and serve the soup with some cream and black pepper as decoration. Can use a touch of parsley to garnish. 

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Steamed Crabs with Eggs and Garlic Sautéed Broccoli

I have never cook fresh crab in my entire life, I’ve only cooked hairy crabs in the past, but never manage to open and clean a fresh crab. The major reason is, I’ve never seen my grandma cooking crab, as I was learning how to cook by assisting her when I was a kid. I love crab, so do my husband, let’s try to cook it!

I am thinking to make this dish since long time, steamed crab with eggs. I’ve tried this in Chinese restaurant and I love it, always thinking to cook it one day! But one thing kind of bothering me is, if I have to kill the crab…. I am still not prepared to open the shell of a crab when it’s still alive. I’ve been straggling a bit at the wet market, and I decided to get those are already dead. That makes me feel a bit better, as I’m not the one killing them….

To keep the crabs in good condition, better leave them in the freezer until you want to clean and cook them. Open the shell of the crab and clean them up with toothbrush, make sure you get rid of the heart and the lung. Place the crabs in the middle of the dish, better use a flat dish in order to get the egg evenly distributed. Whisk 4 eggs, add chicken soup and some water into the eggs and whisk them together. Pour the egg mixture into the dish together with the crabs, and cover the dish with cling film which is going to prevent the water dripping in the dish. Now, steam it for 15 to 20 mins with high heat. When it’s done, pour in soy sauce and garnish with chopped spring onion. Heat up some oil and pour it evenly on the dish.

For the Garlic Sautéed Broccoli, start to cook it around 8 minutes before the crabs are done, so you have both dishes ready almost at the same time. Heat up the pan with some butter and a touch of olive oil, add minced garlic, then broccoli. Fry until the broccoli turn soft, can add a touch of water if they are getting brown too quick. When they are almost done, add minced chilli (optional), salt and a touch of sugar to bring out the flavour. 

You can serve these typically with rice. My husband loves the broccoli, as well as the crabs so much! Maybe he is too hungry, lol. Next time, I will try to do the fried crabs with peppercorn! 

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Homemade typical Cantonese roasted style – roasted pork belly & char siu 

Usually, I cook Western food and put it on my blog. The other day, one of my best friend was asking me, why don’t I cook more Chinese food. The reason is, I used to cook Chinese food since I was a kid, and I feel Western food is more challenging for me. My friends then said that, actually there are a lot of challenging Chinese food and I should cook more on my Sunday cooking and for my blog. OK! Here you go!

I always want to make this sous vide version of char siu 叉燒, and my husband loves to eat roasted pork belly 燒肉. Let’s do both, the top selling meat at those Cantonese roasted restaurants. 

I have to get everything ready 5 hours before dinner time. First of all, it takes 4 hours to cook the sous vide pork collar butt.  For the roasted pork, it takes 1.5 hours. So, let’s get everything going right after lunch. I bought all the ingredients, back home and start getting things ready. 

I started to marinate the pork belly, make sure there is no hair on the skin. Wash it and dry it, then you have to score the skin. Use a sharp knife to score the skin diagonally, or you can use the tip of the knife to stab it. Keep stabbing and make sure it go through the entire skin. Mix some Shaoxing wine and Rose Wine, wipe them evenly all over the pork belly. Then season it with salt, pepper and five-spice powder. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, of course the longer the better. 

Now, I go to work on the sous vide char siu. Same thing like the pork belly, mix some Shaoxing wine and Rose Wine, wipe them evenly all over the pork belly. But then season it with salt, brown sugar and five-spice powder. Place them into the vacuum bag and seal, then bathe them in the hot water under 70C for 4 hours with the sous vide slow cooker. 

1.5 hours before the pork collar butt will be done, we can start to prepare the pork belly. Place the meat on a foil with skin up, wrap the foil around the meat by leaving just the skin open. Clean the skin and wipe with some white vinegar, then cover the entire skin with kosher salt. Place the meat with foil on a tray and grill it under 210C for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then, remove it from the oven and clear up all the salt on the skin. Stab the skin once more time, and remove the foil. Place the piece of pork belly directly on the rack in the oven under 250C for 30 minutes. When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a while to cool down, that also help to maintain the juice inside the meat.

Now, when the pork collar butt is done with the sous vide cooking after four long hours. Coat them with a layer of char siu sauce, then a layer of honey and place them in the oven under 250C to grill for 5 to 10 minutes,  turn over the meat in-between to make sure both sides are nicely grilled.

I served them with some lettuce, as I always love the idea of Korean BBQ, eat the roasted meat with vegetables. Lovely!