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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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Get the dinner ready quick enough to have a chill evening – garlic and honey shrimp with vegetables and mixed brown rice

I was feeling kind of tired from the week, working too hard on our own project! Would love to cook something quick enough for me to have the maximum time of the evening to chill! How about putting together a dish without even going for grocery shopping? That sounds great, right? My husband was surprise that I don’t need to go for grocery shopping and he was wondering what am I going to cook for the night? Or am I taking a break from cooking this Sunday?

What am I going to do for the night is, shrimp with broccoli and cucumber, served with mixed brown rice. For the shrimps, we’ve got some frozen shrimps in the freezer, which is good enough for this dish. Have the shrimps defrost and marinate them with honey, soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger and a touch of red chilli. Leave them in the fridge for at least 15 to 30 minutes, meanwhile you can work on other things.

Get the mixed brown rice ready, I am cooking with the long grain rice, which is more healthy. I’m using rice cooker, just put the rice with double amount of water in it and that’s it! You can also use a pot to cook, you just need to really watch it without burning it.

For the broccoli and cucumber, steam the broccoli until they are slightly soft. Then fry  the broccoli and cubed cucumber with some butter and olive oil, season them with a touch of salt and pepper. Set them aside for later use.

Now, let’s get the shrimps ready. Heat up the skillet pan with some butter and a touch of olive oil, place the shrimps in the pan but make sure you don’t put the sauce into the pan. We need to keep the pan kind of dry in order to brown the shrimps nicely. Make sure you brown them both side without over cooking them. Add chopped spring onion and remove them from the pan when they are done. Now, cook the remining of the sauce in the pan, add a touch of flour to thicken it if it is too watery.  

Serve the shrimps with the vegetables and mixed brown rice, and pour the honey and garlic sauce on top. Garnish the dish with some chopped parsley or coriander.

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Seafood Night – Fish, Prawn and Crab

This Sunday dinner, I am thinking to work on seafood. I’ve been thinking to do a dinner with Fish, Prawn / Shrimp and Crab (魚蝦蟹). I was thinking to work on my presentation, and do something closer to a fine dining approach. But then, I lost my enthusiasm totally, because I did not manage to defrost the pastry. By the time I need to work on the pastry, I have to come up with a solution quickly, so I decided to use the bread instead. Forget about fine dining presentation…

I started it off with the Prawn Rolled Toast, as I said, my original idea was to wrap them with pastry and bake it. I might try it out again later on, but let’s make it with bread for the time being. The pack of frozen prawn is with 9 pieces of prawn, let’s cook them first in a pan with a bit of water. Remove them from the pan when they are 80% done, and we will cook them through in the oven later on. Remove the shell but keep the tail part on,  devein the prawn and sit them aside and let them cool down. To use the bread to wrap, we have to use a roller to flatten the bread. Use half of a sandwich bread, and coat both side with butter. Lay Swiss cheese, cucumber strips and a piece of prawn on top of the bread, add some wasabi mayonnaise or just mayonnaise, and then roll up the bread and close it tight. Add a layer of egg wash on the surface, and place them in the oven to grill under 200C for 10 minutes.

I’ve used only 4 pieces of prawn for the toast, so I use the rest of them to add into the Crabmeat Salad. Chop the prawn into small dices and get a large salad bowl ready, chop the rest of the ingredients into dices and add them in the bowl. I am using cucumber, tomato, onion, avocado and crabmeat, mix everything well in the salad bowl. Then, add lemon juice, a touch of salt and plain yogurt into it, mix them well and adjust the taste. Keep them cold in the fringe to serve later with the tuna, or you can have them separately as long as they are cold enough to serve.

For the Seared Tuna, let’s work on the dressing first. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, red chilli and lemon juice, taste it and adjust. I did not manage to get a thick piece of tuna steak here, what I’ve got is only 2 cm thick, but ideally we should work with something around 3 to 4 cm thick. For what I have, I could not have the tuna cooked in a way like cooked on the surface but still raw in the middle. What I’ve got was the entire tuna steak is cooked, because it is too thin. Cut the tuna steak into rectangle shape, coat the entire surface with sesame seeds. Heat up the pan with a mix of sesame oil and olive oil, fry some sliced garlic until golden brown and set them aside for later use. Fry the tuna each side around 15 seconds, you can see how much it’s been cooking on the section, and you can decide on how much you want that to be cooked. When the fish is done, slice them into thick pieces and serve with some mixed green salad together with the crabmeat salad.

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My version of spaghetti aglio e olio

There are few pasta dishes that are on my top list, linguine alle vongole, linguine al tonne piccante, spaghetti agile e olio, and etc. For spaghetti aglio e olio, usually I rely on my husband to make it, I actually have never been cooking this dish. The other day, I was missing this dish very much, why don’t I try to cook it by myself and see how does it taste.

First of all, put the frozen shrimps in the pan and heat up the pan directly without adding any oil, let it cook until the shrimps turn slight pink. Do not overcook or fully cook them, just around 80% cook as we still have to cook them when the sauce is ready, just leave them aside at the moment. Try to get the spaghetti ready at the same time when the sauce is ready, that’s what you always have to look after, the pasta should be eaten at the moment when it’s ready, which is very important to Italian! Boil a big pot of hot water, season it with some salt and cook the spaghetti according to the cooking time on the package. For the sauce, heat up the pan with a good amount of butter and olive oil. I like to use some butter as everything taste better with butter! When the oil is hot, put minced garlic and finely chopped onion in the pan, fry until the onion turn a bit brown, then add a touch of white wine, and let it cook a bit. Make sure you have a good amount of oil, if you feel that you don’t, please  add more olive oil in the pan as the sauce will be only based on the amount of olive oil. When it’s amount ready, add the chopped red chilli pepper, you can skip this if you don’t like spicy, then add the prawn and let them cook until they are done, season the sauce with salt and pepper. Finish it up with some more red chilli pepper flakes and finely chopped parsley. At the same time, the spaghetti should be ready, so drain the water and mix them well with the sauce.

I think my version of spaghetti agilo e olio is better than my husband’s version, and he agreed with me 😉

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Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner – must have lucky food

It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today, we called it 團年飯, and traditionally you should have the dinner with your entire family, in order to end the year altogether. It is important for Chinese to gather the entire family together for important event like this one, but I think it’s important for everyone, like Christmas Eve for Western, Thanksgiving dinner for American, and etc.

One thing funny about what we used to eat for CNY’s Eve dinner, we should have something means lucky to us. Meat somehow is a must, as that means you are rich enough to have meat. Fish is also one of the choice, as fish 魚 Yu, sounds like 餘 Yu, meaning extra. Of course we would like to have extra money! Shrimp 蝦 Ha, sounds like 哈 Ha, the sound of laughing, so shrimp is also a popular dish for CNY.

So, I’ve made a Western style year-end dinner for us, with shrimp and salmon (fish).

Garlic, Chili and Lemon Shrimp. Heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put minced garlic in, then put the lemon slices and chopped red chili pepper, fry a bit then put all shrimps with shell in the pan, cover with lid and cook until they all turned pinkish. Season the shrimps with salt, ground pripika and parsley flakes. 

Creamy Salmon Penne Pasta. Put one pot of water to boil, add a good amount of salt and cook the penne pasta according to the cooking time of the package. For the sauce, heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put the minced garlic in, and then put the chopped asparagus and sliced mushroom. Fry them until they turn soft, add some lemon zest and squeeze in lemon juice, then pour in the cooking cream, let it simmer and then add some cheese. Could be a mix of Italian cheese, like parmesan, romano or pecorino cheese. Let it simmer a bit more, then season it with a bit of salt and ground pripika. Mix the sauce with the penne pasta, and serve it with a touch of black pepper.

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Sunday homemade dinner – Tandoori shrimps skewer with long grain rice

Tonight I would like to cook seafood, was thinking to cook something with shrimps. What can I do with shrimps? Searching online for idea, and I found something with tandoori shrimps, sounds like a good idea to me! A touch of Indian and a bit of spice. I think the best thing to go with the shrimps is the long grain rice that my husband likes, he do prefer long grain rice much more than the Chinese one. After my last trip to India, I always would like to cook something Indian, why not trying it tonight?

The ingredient for tandoori shrimps is not complicated at all, I almost have all the herbs at home, just missing turmeric powder because I finished up with it and need to buy a new one. The first thing to do for this dish is to marinate the shrimps, make sure you’ve spend enough time to marinate them before cooking. At least marinate the shrimps for half an hour, the best at least up to two hours. Remove the head and shell of the shrimp but leave the tail on, and make sure you devein them nicely. Use a large bowl to put all the ingredients for marination, around 300ml of Greek yogurt, together with some olive oil, pinch of salt, lime juice, minced garlic, Garam Masala, turmeric powder and chili powder. Please go for your taste, as there is not a fixed formula because the level of spice that each of us like or can take is very different. Mixed all the ingredients well, and check out the taste always, then place all the shrimps into the bowl and let them sit inside the fringe for around 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest, getting things chopped up and ready. I would like to put also onion, red pepper and pineapple to the skewer, so I need to chop them into pieces. For the long grain rice, I would like to cook with carrot and broccoli, so I have to chop them into small cubes as well. You might want to use green pea instead of broccoli, but I really do not like green pea, so I rather go with broccoli. You can choose other green vegetable as you like, for example other kind of beans or even chopped celery. If you are using wooden skewers, please make sure you’ve soaked in water at least for 15 minutes before cooking, as you do not want them to burn later on. I do have some stainless steel skewers, so I do not have to do that.

Let’s start cooking the rice before starting to cook the skewers. I am not sure what are you using to cook the rice, but I am using the rice cooker, as each Chinese should have one at home which is very convenient. If you do not have one, just put the rice with double portion of water and boil them. Add a pinch of salt, and the chopped carrot and broccoli into the rice just right before the rice is done, mix them well together and let them sit into the rice cooker or pot for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I was cooking the skewers in the oven, but you can do it by frying. Pre-heat the oven under 210C, and get a tray ready covered by foil. Put one piece of onion, red pepper, shrimp, onion, pineapple, shrimp, and so on, alternatively on the skewer until it’s filled up. Repeat the same until you finish with all the ingredients. Place them nicely on the tray and put some olive oil on each single piece, and place them in the oven and grill them for around 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them over in the middle of the way, but the oven is hot enough to cook for both side.

Serve the skewers with the long grain rice, and garnish the skewers with finely chopped coriander and a touch of lime juice. My husband feels that the rice is a bit blend, but I love it with vegetables and actually the touch of carrot is adding some good flavour into the rice. Maybe you can try to use the marinade to make a source for the rice or the overall dish. The dish is not spicy at all for us, I guess next time I will try to add more spice.

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Celebrate our anniversary in a Spanish way – Tapas with Sangria

I am so busy lately, too much to do at work, could not put myself together to write anything. Too busy but would not stopped myself for cooking, especially on our anniversary. It’s just I do not have time or energy to write… So, after almost a week, I would like to share with you on the tapas I’ve put together for our anniversary dinner.

My inspiration of this dinner was from one of this cooking show on TV, the lady in the show, not sure about her name, was cooking these 2 simple dishes, mushroom and sausage, that inspired me to cook ourselves some tapas that night. Went to do grocery, and I am planning to put together 5 to 6 dishes of tapas. Tapas should not be too big in portion, should have more varieties than have one big portion. So, other than mushroom and sausage, I planned to cook also potatoes, cherry tomatoes with pancetta, shrimp and maybe something else. I started with the potatoes, chopped them into small cubes. Heat up the pan with some butter, fry the potatoes and season them with salt, pepper, red chili flakes and some oregano. Place them in the plate or bowl when they are done, and garnish them with some chopped basil. Next one I work on the mushrooms, once again heat up the pan with butter, this time also with some garlic and a bit of red chili. Fry the mushrooms until they turn soft and season them with a bit of salt, pour some red wine in the pan, let them cook and let those mushrooms soaked with red wine. Serve when they are ready and garnish with chopped basil as well. For the shrimps, heat up the pan with butter, and then put some minced garlic, red chili and chopped parsley into the pan. Simple and easy, just fry the shrimps until they are done without overcooking them, season them with a bit of salt and pepper.

Let’s get the ball rolling, next one is the cherry tomatoes with pancetta. Heat up the pan with olive oil, then put some garlic and red chili, fry the pancetta until it’s almost done. Then, put the cherry tomatoes in, and cook them together for a bit, no need to put salt, as the pancetta should be salty enough, put some chopped parsley before serving.

The one requires a bit more work is the sausage. First of all, we need to work on the minced pork. Put the minced pork in a bowl, add two chopped shallots or half red onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Watch out the portion of salt, do not add too much, as the prosciutto we are going to put later on will add the taste of savory to the meat. Finally add some breadcrumbs and then mix them well together, that will be the filling for the sausage. Now, lay one piece of prosciutto out, then place some filling on top, and then roll them into a little sausage. I didn’t get enough prosciutto, because that lady in the shop misunderstood me for 200 gms as 100 gms. Fry those sausages with oil when they are done. I have some leftover of the mined pork, so I tried to put together some meatballs after finishing the sausage. Unfortunately, I just found out that the tomato puree in the fringe is already finished. So, I just make the meatball in a different way, with some Parmesan cheese and garnish with some chopped basil. Serve all tapas with slices of baguette, of course a jar of Sangria is good to go with this Spanish night.

Happy Anniversary!