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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 again – roasted pork spare ribs with green papaya salad

I really tried my best try to catch up with my writing! This Thai dinner was on 22nd January, but I did not manage to put this up on my blog that day or not even the day or the week after! It’s Chinese New Year’s holiday now, I am trying my best to catch up with my blog and try to finish with those that are still missing, before I forgot how to even cook the dish….. lol

First of all, we have to marinate the pork ribs. Put all ingredients in the food processor and blend it, ginger, garlic, shallots, spring onion, coriander, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, ground black pepper and brown sugar. You will get a very thick paste, taste it and see if you like it, if not you can still adjust the taste a bit before you go to marinate the ribs. Put the pork ribs in a zip lock bag and pour the sauce in, make sure all the pork ribs are in the sauce, massage the ribs with the sauce and place the bag in the fridge and let them marinate for at least 2 hours before cooking. Preheat the oven under 180C, lay the ribs out in a pan or tray and place it in the oven for 1.5 hours. Rotate the ribs every now and then, to make sure it is not getting burnt on one side.

To go with the pork, I would like to have the traditional Thai green papaya salad. The key ingredient of course is the green papaya, make sure you get one is green enough to make the salad, not the ripe one. Peel the green papaya, cut it in half and clean up the seed inside. Use the grater to shred the papaya, or you can simply use a food processor to do the job. For the long green beans, coarsely chopped them and steam them for 2 to 3 minutes until soft, set them aside until they cool down. For cherry tomatoes, cut them into halves. Mix the green papaya, green beans and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl, add some mint leaves and chopped red chilli pepper. For the salad dressing, it’s mix of soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown or palm sugar and a bit of mince garlic.

When the pork ribs are done, serve them with the green papaya salad as a base with the dressing. I also have a glass of mojito to go with the dish, even mojito is not really Thai, but I found the mint leaves taste matching very match with the dish. Enjoy~

 

 

 

 

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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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Thai homemade dinner Part II – barbecued prawns on lemongrass, coconut soup, and steamed mussels

I decided to make Thai food again today, Part II of last week, as there are few dishes that I still want to make but do not have time to make it last week. 

So, tonight I’m making three dishes, one soup, one appetiser and one main course.

Let’s start it off with the soup, it is coconut soup with cauliflower, but I think you can just add other ingredients that you like and make it your own, for example, carrot, chicken, mushroom, and etc. With a pot, bring the vegetable stock and coconut milk to boil. Then, add cauliflower, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and season them with light soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Lower the heat, and cook until the cauliflowers turn soft. Serve the soup by adding some chopped chillies and coriander, and a bit a lime juice.

The appetiser is barbecued prawns on lemon grass, I like the look of this dish, having the prawn mixture wrapping the middle of the lemon grass stalk. In order to have the flavour of the lemon grass, lightly cut the middle of the lemon grass in order to get the nice smell out of it. To make the prawn mixture, mix the prawns (slightly cooked, half raw), chopped bacon or minced pork, garlic, a touch of kaffir lime leaves, chopped spring onion, and season with some fish sauce, brown sugar and cornflour in a food processor until it turns dense. Carefully wrap the mixture around the lemon grass stalk, if you feel so sticky, wet your hand with some water. Pan fry them with a pan and serve with the sauce, mixed of white vinegar, sugar, chopped chillies and coriander.
For the main, I’ve made the Thai style steamed mussels. Heat the sauce pan with a bit of butter, fry the chopped galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and shallots. Add some vegetable stock and coconut milk, simmer a bit, then add all mussels in, cook 4 minutes with the lit on and then another 2 minutes without the lit. Serve the mussels with some bread and garnish with some coriander. 

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Sunday dinner – Pan fried Salmon with potato and salmon salad

I was thinking to do a fish dish for last Sunday already, but I could not managed to cook last Sunday, as I was too busy making the enzyme fruit juice. Let’s think of a fish dish for tonight!

First of all, what kind of fish should I go for? I was thinking to cook sea bass, maybe something like pan fried sea bass, or grill? Trying to get some idea, and I came across with this recipe by Gordon Ramsay, maybe it’s a good idea to do a pan fried salmon, as I’ve never cook salmon by pan frying them. I used to put them in the oven and grill them, but never did with pan fry.

Trying to find a nice piece of salmon for pan fry, as maybe the middle chunky part is not working much for pan fry. So, I go for more the tail part of the salmon, and it is wider and a bit thinner, should be easier to control. What Gordon Ramsay did, was to serve this with  potato and crabmeat salad. I was not able to find nice crabmeat, so I decided to go for the potato with salmon instead. I guess taste wise, should be fine as they are both salmon, but in two ways, cold and hot.

The first thing to do, is to get the potato ready, better to get that prepared a bit earlier of the day, so that you have enough time to chill the potato, as it should be cold as salad. Boil a pot of hot water and put the whole skinless potatoes in by adding pinch of salt. Boil them for about 20 minutes, and put them in the fringe until they cool down. After an hour or so, get them out from the fringe, break them up in small pieces by simply using a fork. Do not smash them too much, as we are not making mashed potatoes here. Finely chopped some spring onion or chives in the potatoes,  put some salmon chunk in and start mixing them. Put the bowl back into the fringe and serve it when the pan fried salmon is ready. For the salad dressing, put olive oil, a bit of vinegar, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Mix them well, and keep it in the fringe as well for serving later.

To fry the salmon, first of all, make sure you get rid of all the scale, and then do a few cut on the skin side, season them with salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the skin side first for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you see half of the section is cooked already. Then, cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, and it’s done! Serve it with the salad and some dressing.

I have to say, the skin is really crunchy, and I really love it! I think I will cook this once again in the future, instead of grilled salmon.

 

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Sunday dinner – salad is in the leading role

My husband told me the other day, we eat far less salad. That’s true, I eat a good amount of vegetable everyday, but more in a Chinese way. Those typical boiled, steamed or fried vegetables. But when I cook a Western dinner, I seldom consider a salad dish, maybe too focusing on the main dish, and forget about the side dish. So, for tonight I am thinking about a salad to start with, and see what to go best with the salad.

My husband always loves cucumber salad with sour sauce or dressing, I saw this potato salad with yogurt and dill sauce at one of the cooking show. Thinking to do the same kind of sauce with a cucumber salad. What is the best to go with this salad? Instead of salmon, let’s see what kind of fish I can get at the supermarket. Eventually, I’ve got the catfish fillet and a prawn for each of us, should be good enough to go with the salad.

Let’s get the salad prepared, so that I can get it chilled in the fringe for a while to keep it cooler before serving. I would like to have a little bit of potatoes in the salad, but not a lot, as I would like to keep the cucumber as the major ingredients. I started with cooking the potatoes into boiling water, part of it for the salad, part of it for our doggies for their usual Sunday dinner with salmon. When the potatoes are done, let them sit aside and reduce the heat. On the other hand, let’s get the rest of the salad prepared. Chop half of an onion in really thin slices, chop cucumber into thin slides, and some romaine lettuce. Put all of them into a big salad bowl, mix them well together and put the bowl into the fringe. You can add the potatoes back in when they are not hot any more.  Let the salad chill until it’s time to serve. You can also get the salad dressing ready, and chill it in the fringe as well. Open the Greek yogurt and pour them into a bowl, season with some salt and pepper, add white vinegar and then mix them well together. As I don’t like too sour, I prefer to add some honey so balance out the taste a bit. It’s up to you to add honey or not. The key of this source is dill, finely chop a handful of dill, and mix them with the sauce. Let the salad dressing sit in the fringe, you can decide to serve the salad with the dressing already add in, or serve it separately. I tend to serve it separately, because we do have a different preference on the amount of dressing that we like to add into our salad.

Time to prepare the fish and prawn. Add a bit of corn flour on the fish for both side in the beginning, to make sure we will keep it nicer together when frying them. Season both the fish and prawn with salt, pepper, ground coriander, paprika and parsley on both side. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the fish and prawn and add a bit of garlic and red chili for the flavour. Make sure one side is already done before flipping the fish, and watch out the prawn because the cooking time should be a lot faster than the fish. When one side of the prawn turned red, just flip it and remove them from the pan when both side turned red. After flipping the fish, add some chopped tomatoes and spring onion on top of the fish. Serve the fish when it’s done, together with the prawn as a seafood plate and have the salad on the side.

 

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Early midnight snack – Russian vs Swiss

I always try not to have midnight snack, as you know we try so hard to keep ourselves in good shape. But sometimes it’s hard to reject, when the food is just in front of you. I would just blame it on my husband, because he always love to have midnight snack and tonight I just feel to have some too.

It doesn’t have to be a complicated one, but a simple toast with butter. He found a can of salmon caviar that our friends brought back from Russia, looks very authentic to me! Just simply eat the toast with the salmon caviar, already feels like in the ocean! Well, actually I was waiting for a night, maybe open a bottle of champagne and enjoy this can of looking authentic salmon caviar with blini, to kind of have it in the right way. But I guess what is more right, is the moment you feel to eat that and the person you are having that with.

That seems not enough, and here we go the second round of the night. The pan fried rösti that I bought from Ikea. I love rösti, this is a Swiss dish, and it is difficult to get the good ready made one. The one from Ikea is not bad, but it doesn’t taste so authentic, I remembered we used to order that directly from Euro-Goodies that tasted a lot better, especially texture wise was much better. Of course, if make it with fresh potatoes should taste even better, but it is still good enough when you are lazy. I love to cook, but sometimes we still eat something instant or ready-made. To have some chopped spring onion on top of the rösti and eat them with some cream cheese. Evil…..

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