Wednesday homemade dinner – Thai beef green curry with rice

I have this recipe with me for few years already, I kind of figure it out my own way by imagining how this should be. Of course, after learning some Thai recipes, I’ve adjusted it a little bit, but more or less it stays the same. The good thing about curry is you can have it with different kind of meat, seafood or even vegetable. Tonight I am doing this with beef, but as I said, you can do it with many other ingredients.

Of course the key ingredients are kaffir lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, and red chilli pepper, you can get this as a tom yam pack in some super markets. Heat up the pan with some oil, then fry these ingredients with a medium heat, add cabbage, mini corns, mushrooms, Thai eggplant and okra in the pan and stir fry them. You have to look into the kind of vegetable you have and the combination with the meat, calculate the cooking time of each of them, and try to put them in the pan by sequence of the cooking time needed. I really don’t want to over cook the beef, of course depends on the cut of the beef, try to watch out the time and keep that in control. Put Thai green curry paste into the pan, then add coconut milk. Stir them well and let it simmer for around 10 minutes or until it’s done. Taste and season with salt as you like.

You can serve the curry with rice or bread, garnish them with some fresh coriander and squeeze of fresh lime juice.

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 😉 

Korean spicy, sweet & sour chewy noodle – not as good as I expected

This Sunday night dinner, I am planning to cook something simple and easy again…… lol

I sound so lazy these days, right?! Well, the major reason was because, we were working hard on Saturday with a full day recording session. So, I was really looking forward to have a chilled Sunday. 

To make this Korean noodle is not so difficult, you just have to make sure you can get one or two key ingredients at the Korean section of this versatile supermarket or Korean store. There are lots of Korean living in Hong Kong, it is not too difficult to get these ingredients, make sure you get the Korean hot pepper paste and this chewy noodle. If you cannot find chewy noodle, you can replaced by the kind of noodle that you like. 

I’m making the noodle with beef, so first of all, I marinated the beef strips with some Korean beef sauce and let it sit inside the fridge for half an hour. The first ingredient I have worked on is bean sprouts, clean them and boil them in hot water until they are cooked. Drain the water and let them sit aside and cool down for later use. Now, you can start to chop things up in thin strips, cabbage, cucumber and carrot. Then, you can get the fried egg ready as well, heat up the pan and fry one beat egg with a touch of warm water mixed in a pan. Season with a touch of salt and cut it in thin strips when it’s done. 

Let’s get the chewy noodles cooked in hot water until they are al dente, like the pasta. At the same time, you can quickly fry the beef strips in hot pan. When the noodles are ready, drain the water and quickly pour cold water with ice in the noodles, to stop them from cooking, so the noodle would not turn too soft. Now mix the noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage and carrot with the sauce that mixed with Korean hot pepper paste, apple vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic and some sesame seeds. Remember to taste and adjust the sauce before mixing it with the noodles. Mix until everything are nicely coated with the sauce.

Serve the noodle with cucumber, beef and eggs on top, garnish them with finley chopped spring onion and more sesame seeds. It is not as good as I expected, because it tastes good in the beginning, but it became too heavy in the middle already, it’s a bit hard to finish the entire bowl, as the taste is very strong between spicy and sour. Next time, I will try to cook the Korean cold noodle.

My spicy version of Spaghetti Bolognese

I’m missing spaghetti bolognese, haven’t cooked that for quite some time, so would love to make it for tonight. Funny though my husband is also craving for this dish, he is happy that I am cooking this tonight!

I would like to make a spicy version tonight, both of us like how it tastes, a bit spicy! To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil, then add minced garlic. Add all the vegetables in, finely chopped onion, carrot, celery, and some red chilli pepper, cook them a bit, and then add the minced pork and beef. Cook it for a while, season it with thyme, oregano, salt and black pepper. Add some red wine and let it simmer for a while, then add plum tomatoes in. Let the sauce simmer and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes. Add water in between if you feel the sauce is too dry. Cook the spaghetti according to the package and mix them with the sauce when they are ready.

Serve the pasta with shredded parmesan cheese and a bit of basil. We love the spicy version and it tastes better than the non-spicy one.

Second day of CNY – let’s have something hot hot hot!

The second day of CNY, it’s also a sunday, let’s keep the cooking going!!! When I was thinking what to cook, suddenly this dish come up, 水煮牛肉 poached beef in hot chili oil! I don’t know why, it’s good to have something Chinese and in red colour for CNY! My husband loves hot and spicy, so I guess should be good!

Actually for the authentic Sichuan style, should be with different kind of chilli pepper, it should be a mix of the dry one, the fresh chilli pepper and other pepper, such as zanthoxylum 花椒 and 麻椒, which I am not even sure what is the name in English, that’s where the numb kind of spicy coming from. Anyway, I cannot find different kind of chilli pepper, not even the dry one, so I can only cook with the fresh one.

I am thinking to cook this with udon as well, as my husband loves udon, and somehow I found that is the best to match with the beef. Cut the beef in thin slices against the grain, marinate them with egg white, pinch of salt and some flour, and let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat up the wok with oil and fry the fresh hot chilli peppers a bit, and then remove them and put them aside. Chop them up in small pieces, we will use them in the end. Now, use the same oil to fry the vegetable with high heat, I am using 小棠菜, similar to pak choy, but you can replaced it by other vegetable. Fry until the vegetable is almost done and season it with salt and a touch of rice wine, don’t over cook it, then add the spring onion into it and fry a bit. Place the vegetable in a large bowl or pot, that will be the base of your dish. 

Let’s start working on the red hot chilli oil! Heat up the oil, add ginger slices and garlic slices, and then 3 big tablespoon of chilli bean sauce. Fry them a bit, and then add some water, let it cook for a while. Then, add chicken stock and bring it to boil, and let it simmer, add white ground pepper, soy sauce, chilli pepper oil and chicken stock powder. Taste it and see if that’s what you like, otherwise adjust it. I would like to cook the udon now, so I add them in the pot and cook until they are done. Place the udon in the large bowl on top of the vegetable. Now lower the heat and place the beef slices into the soup, let the heat to poach the beef until they are fully cooked. Make sure the beef do not stick together and pour the beef with some soup in the bowl or pot on top of the udon and vegetable. Then place the chopped red chilli pepper and chopped coriander on the top as garnish.

It’s so hot and spicy then I’m so sweating!!!!!

Cooking Rouladen with mother-in-law. the true German cooking

This is the first time I am spending Christmas in Germany, with my husband’s family, would love to see some traditional German celebration during Christmas or New Year. We arrived this morning, it is still a working day here in Germany, but my in-laws finished work early, and my mother-in-law was making Rouladen for dinner. Of course I would love to learn the authentic German way of making Rouladen, especially the recipe from the mother.

As I mentioned in my blog about how to make Rouladen, you need certain part of beef but that was a bit difficult to get in Hong Kong. Of course here in Germany will not be a problem. The difference of what mutter is doing, she is using finely chopped onion and bacon instead of what I was using are onion slice and the whole piece of bacon. I was using pickled cucumber but mutter was using the whole piece of pickled gherkin. Then, wrap the beef and tie it up with cotton.

My husband was telling me, the sauce that his mother was doing for the Rouladen is super, so that is the most important part that I have to learn. First of all, heat up the saucepan with lard, and then fry the Rouladen and add some chopped onion and bacon in-between. Fry the Rouladen until both side turn brown, add some hot water when it starts to dry up, in order to keep a good amount of sauce. Cover with lid and let it simmer for one hour, keep adding hot water in-between when the sauce starts to dry up. The sauce mutter made is so much more simple than the one I learned on youtube, for sure I am going to try next time back home. I guess the lard does make a difference for the taste.

When it’s done, remove the Rouladen from the pan. Use the sieve to get the chopped onion and bacon out from the sauce, and then blend it with the blender until it’s smooth enough to go through the sieve. Add flour to thicken the sauce if it’s too thin. Place all the Rouladen back in the pan with the sauce when the sauce is ready, usually this is served with Kartoffeklöße and red cabbage, but we were having that with salad last night.

Trying to make traditional Sunday German Dinner to make my hubby feels like home – Rouladen with Kartoffeklöße

It’s Sunday again! My routine to cook Sunday dinner, but I just made a big dinner the night before for friends’ gathering, thinking what to cook again…… My husband was trying to help, and he was suggesting to make this Rouladen, which I have no clue what is he talking about. So he found me some online recipe on youtube, so I can watch and learn how to make it. He was also craving for this German potato dumplings, which usually serve with the Rouladen. I also have no idea how to make, but let’s learn it on youtube.

After checking out few videos about the Rouladen and the Kartoffeklöße, I think it’s not too difficult to make it, let’s try it out! Rouladen is a dish that the German used to do as a Sunday family dinner dish, and I guess most of the mother know how to do it. It is beef roll with something inside, the part of beef should be the thin slice of the round part and I can already see that as a problem to get that part of the beef in thin slice. There are few meat places here in the neighbourhood, let’s try to see if I can find this specific part of the beef. After running around to few stores, I could not find the beef that I was looking for, as I expected. The best that I could get was the sirloin thin slices, which is a bit small for this dish, and fat in-between is also not helping and make rolling the beef a bit difficult. Anyway, I ended up with doubling two slices to make one piece, it is not perfect but still fine.

To make the Rouladen, lay the slice of beef out flat and season them with salt and pepper. Don’t over seasoning them, as the other ingredients are also with flavour. Then put a thin layer of mustard on the beef, the best would be German mustard to make it more authentic. Now start to put all the ingredients on it, one piece of bacon, strips of onion and  a slice of pickled cucumber, then roll them up and use a toothpick to close it. After you get all the rolling done, searing them in a hot pan to seal in the juice. To be honest, the beef I got is so thin and I think this is not really necessary for my thin slice sirloin. When the beef are all brown, remove them from the pan. Now we start to work on the stock, fry some garlic, onion, carrot and celery in the pan, when they turn brown, put some tomato puree in, and then add some red wine, let it simmer for few minutes. Add a good amount of beef stock and bring it to boil, then place all Rouladen into the stock, and they should be around 2/3 covering with stock. Place the pan inside the oven under 175C to cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. You can also just boil it with a lower heat as an option.

For the Kartoffeklöße, potato dumplings, first of all, to cook the peeled potatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes until they all turned soft and smash them into mashed potatoes. Add two eggs, flour, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper, and mix them well with the mashed potatoes, add more flour until it is not sticky any more. Separate them and make them into ball shape, and boil them in hot water for around 15 to 20 minutes.

Traditionally, this dish is served with red cabbage, and a lot of sauce. To make the sauce, remove the Rouladen from the pan, and bring the stock to boil until it thicken up. If you think there is not enough sauce, maybe you can add more beef stock . Press the sauce through the sieve to get even the taste from the vegetable. This is my first trial and it is tough to cook something that I’ve never had, as you just cannot imagine how exactly that should taste. My husband told me the Rouladen actually taste very good, but I guess it will be better if I can find the right part of meat to wrap. On the other hand, he said the Kartoffeklöße taste good but totally not the German kind. I need to eat an authentic one to see how to make them right next time, room to improve!