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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.

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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.

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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!!!!!

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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.

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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!

 

 

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Chili con Carne . can go with rice or bread


I was thinking what to cook for our usual Sunday dinner, my husband was trying to help and brain storm. Suddenly he came across “Chili con carne”, he said he can eat that for the entire week. I am not a fan of Mexican food at all, and I am not sure if I know exactly what Chili con carne is… Tried to search a bit online and look into few recipes, my husband also trying to explain to me how should that tastes like. All right, even I do not like Mexican and beans that much, let’s stay open-minded and try something new!

I found few different recipes, and I am going for the one with more vegetables to make it a bit more healthy, so I decided to base on the recipe from Jamie Oliver and improvise. Looking at the ingredients, somehow I feel that I am making the spicy Bolognese sauce, just with more beans.

There are a lot of chopping to do, so better get everything nicely chopped and ready before starting to cook. Of course you can make use of the food processor to help out a bit. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and finally chop the red peppers into  medium squares. Get some coriander chopped and separate the stalks from the leaves. I also like to add some red chili to make the dish a bit more hot, just get them chopped and ready.

Are you ready? So, get the biggest sauce pan out, heat it up and put some butter into the pan. Put the minced garlic and the onion in the pan to start with, then add the carrot and celery together with a pinch of salt, let them cook a bit until they turn soft. You can add some olive oil if you feel there is not enough oil, then put the minced beef in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add the kidney beans and chickpeas, together with the coriander stalks and the red chili. Give them a good stir, add all the spice into the pan, chili powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and ground paprika, of course some salt and pepper, then add the chopped tomato sauce into the pan. Let them cook a bit, and then add some water into it, bring it to boil and then switch it to lower heat, let it boil for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

When it’s done, you can serve it with some long grain rice, by adding some yogurt and corindar as garnish. That’s how I like to eat, as I love rice. My husband prefers to have it with bread, so he had it with some baguette, French meets Mexian. Somehow I feel like having Indian food….? My husband said that has nothing to do with chili con carne, but at least it tasted good. He thinks the vegetable makes it so non-Mexican, he said he will cook me a real one later, let’s see… well, I kind of like it, at least it is not too beany and not too Mexican 😝

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Sunday – cooking day

I cook a lot these days, I don’t know if part of the reason is because of this blog or not. But I love to cook, and Sunday is usually my cooking day. Cooking for brunch then dinner. In the past, I don’t like to look into the recipe so much. I just cook whatever I feel or learned in the past. Nowadays, I try to learn tricks or recipe with cooking show on TV or search for recipe online. But what I do is, I prefer to digest and feel the recipe before cooking, instead of reading line by line, or following exactly each single steps. I like to do my own version, to improvise. My husband is happy that what I cook is more versatile now, he said I only know one dish in the past, spciy tuna pasta. I think that’s not true, but anyway, should take it as a good comment 😉

So, I’ve put together the assorted bruschetta for breakfast. Cut the baguette into half, then put butter and garlic sauce. Feel free to put different things, I put slices of cucumber, and then chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then put some chopped ham. With a final touch of Parmesan cheese and dry parsley. Another one, I want to do with egg. Place some slices of tomato, and then put the raw egg in the middle of those slices, same thing season it with salt, pepper, dry parsley and Parmesan cheese. Put them in oven under 180C for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with some chopped spring onion to serve.

For dinner, I’m thinking to do a chicken dish, but then I ended up with cooking beef. Just because I found this Gordan Ramsay recipe and would like to do it! Slow cook beef short ribs, seems more yummy than chicken! It’s a bit hard to get the fresh beef short ribs, I just found them at this Meat Master shop and they sell all kinds of meat. This one is frozen, so it took me some time to defrost.

Season the beef short ribs with salt and pepper, then fry them with olive oil, make sure all sides are nicely fried. Cut a whole garlic into half and fry it together with the ribs, then put some tomato purée in the pan and cook a bit. Then pour one full bottle of red wine into the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes, until most of the wine are gone. Pour 1 litre of beef stock into the pan, bring it to boil, then wrap the pan with foil and place the pan into the oven. Cook for 3 hours under 170C.

Before serving the ribs, get the side dish ready. I am adding some spinach to this dish, as I feel is lack of vegetable. Heat the pan with butter, then put some finely chopped garlic, and then fry the spinach until they turn soft. Season them with salt and a touch of sugar, place them on the plate as side dish. Now, get the pancetta fried in a pan with olive oil, when they turn golden brown, add the brown button mushroom which cut in half. Fry them until they are done.

Get the pan of ribs out of the oven, place the ribs one by one in the plate. Use the sieve and pass the garlic through and pour the sauce through the sieve as well. If the sauce is too thin, need to cook it for a while and make it thicker. Pour some sauce on the ribs, then put the pancetta and mushroom on top, and garnish it with the finely chopped parsley. The longer you cook, softer the meat.