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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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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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Thai homemade dinner – Spring rolls with prawn and Chicken Thai salad

I bought this Thai cook book for quite some time, but never follow it to cook some dishes. Today, I tried to find some inspiration from the book and I ended up picking 3 dishes to cook for tonight. Unfortunately, I can only made two as we are already full after the second dish.

I always want to cook Spring rolls but I’ve never tried, so I really want to try it out today. I am not sure the Spring roll sheets that I found is the same as the one they used in Thai cuisine, this one is for Chinese and I’m not sure if there is any difference. I feel the sheet is quite thin and some how is hard to manage, and it breaks easily during wrapping. Maybe double up the sheet can help, but I haven’t tried.

First of all, have to prepare the filling. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the vermicelli in until they turn soft. Remove them and rinse with cold water. Chop the vermicelli around 3 to 4 cm long. For the prawn, cook them in hot water until they turn pink, and then slice them in two pieces right in the middle. Get a big bowl ready and just put all ingredients in after chopping, including the vermicelli and prawn. Finely chop the garlic, fungus mushroom, carrot, and some beansprouts. Season them with some light soy sauce and pepper, mix them well. Use Spring roll sheet to wrap the filling and close it with some cornflour mixed with water. It is hard to wrap every Spring roll in the same size, and please don’t be greedy, try to stay with a smaller piece instead of filling it up. Bigger Spring roll is with a higher chance to break and you will be ending up with re-wrapping. Deep fry all the spring rolls in a pot and serve them with the sweet chilli sauce. For the sauce, it’s with some white vinegar, some sugar, a touch of salt, some red chilli and some coriander. 

The best dish to go with Spring rolls is actually a salad! I’m making a chicken Thai salad, and I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. Cook the chicken breast in vacuum bag without any seasoning under 61C for one hour. Remove the chicken breast from the bag and let them cool down. Use your hand to tear the chicken breast into thin strips, and place them in a large bowl. Then, chop the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, thin strips cucumber, finely chopped onion and ladyfingers, beansprouts, mint leaves and chopped red chillies. Mix everything well together, and put them in the fringe to chill. Now get the dressing ready, mix some fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar and some lime juice, taste and adjust the way you like. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the salad with the dressing and add some roasted peanuts and sesame seeds for serving.

The main course I’ve planned to cook is steamed mussels with galangal. Thai way of steamed mussels, would like to try it out! Maybe tomorrow night…..

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Cooking with Orange for Sunday Dinner

We’ve done a small party at home on Saturday night, and I was cooking for 8 of us. Nothing new, just trying to re-cook some dishes, as some of my friends would love to try my cooking. I was planning to cook two different salad as starter, but I ended up with making only one. Having the ingredients ready at home, it’s good to cook something that can go with this salad. Since the salad is with oranges as one of the key ingredient, I am thinking to cook something with orange as well. How about pork ribs with orange? I think taste wise should go very well together, so let’s do it!

First of all, season the pork ribs with salt and pepper, let them sit for a while. Put some butter in a hot pan, then fry the chopped onion until they turned brown. Place the pork ribs in the pan and fry each side of the ribs, then cut one entire garlic in half and let it sit on the pan. You can switch off the fire now and start preparing all ingredients for the grilling part, of course you also need to preheat your oven with 210C. Place ginger slices and orange slices in the pan, get them evenly distributed nicely in the pan. Then, put the sauce in, make sure the sauce is on every single rib. The sauce is a mix of light soy sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the pan in the oven and grill for 30-40 minutes under 210C, or until the pork ribs turn golden brown. You might need the turn the ribs in the middle of the way.

For the salad, it’s super easy! Just place arugula in a big salad bowl, then cut the fennel bulb into thin strips, and the orange in slices without skin. Mix them well and serve with the salad dressing with olive oil, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice.

The taste of the salad and the pork ribs go really well together, as they are both with orange flavour and the sauce for pork ribs vs the salad dressing are very similar. I’ve also tried the orange from the pork ribs, also taste very good with the ginger flavour with the rich taste from the marinated sauce.

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Healthy Sunday dinner – Thai shrimp salad

I want to do a Thai salad tonight, the thing that I am not sure is, should I do a beef salad or a shrimp one? I guess I had enough meat for the last few days, maybe it’s better to go for shrimp.

The ingredients of this salad are, shrimps, cucumber, red pepper, mint, coriander, mixed greens, red chili, shallots, pomelo, pomegranate, vermicelli, cashew nuts and shredded coconut. For the salad dressing, we need fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and minced red chili.

The first thing to get ready is the shrimps, boil a pot of water, and cook the shrimp in the hot water until they turn into red meaning cooked. Put the shrimps aside until they cool down. Repeat the same thing for the vermicelli, cook them quickly in the hot water, not to overcook them, then put them aside until they cool down. On the other hand, we need to get two things done as well. Heat up the pan and then put the shredded coconut in the dry pan, fry them until they turn into brown colour. The next thing to get ready is to grind some cashew nuts with the mortar.

Let’s start to get all the chopping done, cut the cucumber and red pepper into thin strips, chop the shallots, mint and coriander, then mixed them into a large bowl. Put the pomelo, shrimp and vermicelli into the bowl as well when they are both cool down, then mix everything together. You can either add the mixed greens here or lay them on the plate as a base when you serve the salad, it’s up to you. What I did is lay the mixed greens on the plate as a base, then put the mixed salad on top of the mixed greens, and now put the salad dressing on the salad. Sprinkle some shredded coconuts and cashew nuts on top of the salad, and do the final touch with the pomegranate.  I also serve the salad with some garlic breads.

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Sunday dinner – s7icky pork ribs with mashed potatoes and string beans

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I really feel to have pork ribs tonight, I don’t know why, but really craving for pork ribs. Weather is super cold today, 4C is really cold in a place like Hong Kong. It’s good to have something grill and maybe with mashed potatoes as well. Let’s go for grocery shopping!

So, go and get everything I need for this dish, olive oil and butter, just run out of them. Ginger, garlic, potatoes and string beans, for the rest of the ingredients, I have them at home. The most important thing is pork ribs, I don’t know what happened, but 2 stores both sold out of pork ribs. Maybe because weather is too cold, everyone prefer to stay home for dinner, and also think of cooking pork ribs? Luckily, I got them in another super market, but they are not the kind of pork ribs I am looking for, they are too small and lean. I am looking for the big piece, with a bit of fat mixed with lean meat. But it’s still OK, better than nothing.

First of all, boil a pot of hot water and put the potatoes into the pot and boil them. The trick is, to slightly cut a cross mark on the potato skin, so you will get the skin out easier when you peel them. On the other hand, get the pork ribs prepared and season them with salt and pepper. Use a tray or pan to cook the pork rib which can transfer that directly to the oven later on. Heat the tray or pan with olive oil, fry the pork ribs on both sides until they turned golden brown. Put the chopped onion, ginger slides and garlic into the tray, fry them a bit. Then, put dry pepper flakes, some pink peppercorns, and some star anise in it. Now, it’s time to put a good amount of honey, followed by soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and some rice wine. Give a good stir, and then finally add some pork bone broth. Here I would like to use pork bone broth than chicken broth, as I think the taste should go better together since this is a pork dish. Place the tray or pan into the oven and grill it under 180C for 25 to 30 minutes, and then flip the ribs and grill for another 25 to 30 minutes.

While waiting for the ribs to grill, we can work on the mashed potatoes. By this time, the potatoes should be ready, if you are not sure, use a chopstick or something like that to see if you can get it all the way down to the entire potato easily. If you can, that means it’s done. If not, or even if you can but seems hard, that means you need to boil it longer. Peel all the potato skin, and place the potatoes into a large bowl. Cut them into small pieces, or you can use one of those potato mashing tool. I only use a fork to do it, which is simple and easy, as long as your potatoes are fully cooked, then should not be a problem. Cut few slides of butter into the potatoes, and season them with some salt and pepper, and I like to add some ground paprika as well. Then you can start to smash them and mix them, until they look like a good mashed potatoes. Actually, this is my own way to make the mashed potatoes, as there are many other ways, with milk or with cream. But I kind of like it without, just find the right type of potatoes and they will do the work even without adding cream or milk, I just feel adding butter is good enough. Now we need to prepare the string beans, heat the pan with butter, then fry the string beans and season them with salt and pepper until they are done.

When the pork ribs are done, take them out and fry them when all the juice becomes really thick. If it is already thick enough when you take them out from the oven, no need to do so. Serve the pork ribs together with a bit of mashed potatoes and string beans. Enjoy~~~

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