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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 😉 

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Shakshuka – Spicy all day breakfast 

My husband was having a gig last night, djing at one of the event, and he was out until this morning. Usually, what he loves to eat after a night like this, will be something meaty, but I would like to have something vegetarian. I think maybe it’s good to cook something like a all-day breakfast for him. 

This dish is called Shakshuka, it’s a spicy dish with eggs poached in tomato sauce and pepper. I am not sure if I can handle something that spicy for breakfast, but I guess should be fine for night time “breakfast”. This is a very easy dish, you can quickly get it done in half an hour.

Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, add diced onio, minced garlic and sliced mushroom into the pan. Season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and fry them until they turn brown and dry out. Add diced red bell pepper, chopped green pepper / jalapenos, and minced red chilli pepper. Stir fry them, and then add ground paprika, ground ceyanne pepper, ground cumin and cumin seeds. Now add chopped tomatoes in the pan, add a touch of water or chicken broth, let it simmer a bit until the sauce is thicken up. Create 4 little holes in the pan, then drop the egg into each little hole. Lower the heat and cover the lid, poach the eggs for 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander. Serve the dish with some sliced baguette or toast. 

It’s quite spicy, spicer than I thought. Maybe it’s good to have it in the morning, it definitely can wake you up!

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Homemade typical Cantonese roasted style – roasted pork belly & char siu 

Usually, I cook Western food and put it on my blog. The other day, one of my best friend was asking me, why don’t I cook more Chinese food. The reason is, I used to cook Chinese food since I was a kid, and I feel Western food is more challenging for me. My friends then said that, actually there are a lot of challenging Chinese food and I should cook more on my Sunday cooking and for my blog. OK! Here you go!

I always want to make this sous vide version of char siu 叉燒, and my husband loves to eat roasted pork belly 燒肉. Let’s do both, the top selling meat at those Cantonese roasted restaurants. 

I have to get everything ready 5 hours before dinner time. First of all, it takes 4 hours to cook the sous vide pork collar butt.  For the roasted pork, it takes 1.5 hours. So, let’s get everything going right after lunch. I bought all the ingredients, back home and start getting things ready. 

I started to marinate the pork belly, make sure there is no hair on the skin. Wash it and dry it, then you have to score the skin. Use a sharp knife to score the skin diagonally, or you can use the tip of the knife to stab it. Keep stabbing and make sure it go through the entire skin. Mix some Shaoxing wine and Rose Wine, wipe them evenly all over the pork belly. Then season it with salt, pepper and five-spice powder. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, of course the longer the better. 

Now, I go to work on the sous vide char siu. Same thing like the pork belly, mix some Shaoxing wine and Rose Wine, wipe them evenly all over the pork belly. But then season it with salt, brown sugar and five-spice powder. Place them into the vacuum bag and seal, then bathe them in the hot water under 70C for 4 hours with the sous vide slow cooker. 

1.5 hours before the pork collar butt will be done, we can start to prepare the pork belly. Place the meat on a foil with skin up, wrap the foil around the meat by leaving just the skin open. Clean the skin and wipe with some white vinegar, then cover the entire skin with kosher salt. Place the meat with foil on a tray and grill it under 210C for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then, remove it from the oven and clear up all the salt on the skin. Stab the skin once more time, and remove the foil. Place the piece of pork belly directly on the rack in the oven under 250C for 30 minutes. When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a while to cool down, that also help to maintain the juice inside the meat.

Now, when the pork collar butt is done with the sous vide cooking after four long hours. Coat them with a layer of char siu sauce, then a layer of honey and place them in the oven under 250C to grill for 5 to 10 minutes,  turn over the meat in-between to make sure both sides are nicely grilled.

I served them with some lettuce, as I always love the idea of Korean BBQ, eat the roasted meat with vegetables. Lovely!

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Fresh vegetarian dish for Summer – tri-colour vegetable pasta in pesto sauce

Tonight I really want to cook something light and vegetarian. Well, actually I have tried to eat less meat and would love to go for more vegetable dishes, not saying that I am turning into a vegetarian or even vegan, but I don’t mind to do that one day. No matter I am going to be a vegetarian or not, for sure I think I would love to cut down the amount of meat that I am going to consume. Maybe it’s good to have meat once or twice a week, the rest of the time is just vegetarian. Therefore, instead of Green Monday, I should do Meat Monday 😉

Today I decided to cook a pasta dish, and I am thinking to make again our own pesto. I did it in the past, but it is really good if we just stop buying those ready made from the bottle and just doing our own ones. More fresh and healthy for sure! Well, definitely taste much better!!! To make our own pesto, you need a lot of green herbs, you can come up with your own combination, as long as you love the taste. If you would like to follow my version, here you go! I was using basil, two kind of parsley, the continental one and the curly one, coriander and garlic, I love spicy, so I would like to add red chilies, and I also love to add some parmesan cheese.  You can omit the chili and cheese if you prefer not spicy, but I think the cheese touch is great. Then, add around 100ml olive oil and season with some salt and pepper, and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. That touch is more like a chimicurrri sauce, but I love the touch of acidity to keep it really fresh! Place everything in a food processor and blend everything together. Now you have your own pesto ready, you can store them in the fridge for a week if you could not finish it in one go.

For the pasta, this time I bought something organic, from this Italian brand Tarall’Oro. It is Torchietti, but you can also cook with fussili or penne. Cook the pasta with the cooking time according to the package, on the other hand, get the vegetable ready. Heat up the pan with olive oil, and then put the sliced garlic and chopped onion into the pan. Sauté them until they start to turn soft, then add the chopped zucchini and yellow pepper into the pan, fry them until they turn brown. Place the halved cherry tomatoes into the pan one minute before the dish is done, fry quickly with the tomatoes, season with salt and switch off the fire I also love to add more chili but this is totally optional. You can choose other vegetable, but I think it is very nice to have three bright colours in the dish, and these three ingredients go well together.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water with the strainer and mix them well into the vegetables. Then add few tablespoons of pesto sauce into the pasta and keep mixing until you feel it’s enough. You can serve the pasta with some extra shredded cheese, and a touch more pesto. Garnish it with some parsley or basil.

I think this is really yummy and fresh for Summer time!

 

 

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It was a tough week – cooking something light for Sunday dinner

The second Sunday night cooking after we came back from 2 weeks holiday in Germany. That week was so tough, as I was going through the laid off issue at work, too crazy and tired to deal with. Finally weekend, and I did feel a lot better! Craving for Japanese, and I wanted to cook this miso black cod for quite some time, why not doing it then?!

I was thinking to make the vegetable udon which is light and my husband loves it! So, miso black cod and vegetable udon for sure! Let’s see what else should I cook? The first place I go check out was that store right next door, selling Japanese imported food. I found what I needed for udon and black cod, I also found some Japanese green pepper which is hard to find in those regular super market. On top of that, I bought this chicken sausage  with chicken bone on it. Nice touch, but let’s see how does it taste.

First of all, we need to marinate the black cod. I was trying to follow the recipe of Nobu, but then I realised that I should marinate the black cod 3 days in advance!!! Errrrrr……… forget it! I am going to marinate that for 2 to 3 hours only, that’s the best I can do now, and see how that going to taste. I might try to make it 3 days in advance next time. I do not have mirin with me, so I just heat up some sake, let it burn and then add white miso paste and sugar. Cool down the mix when everything is fully dissolved, and put the black cod in the sauce and let it marinate for few hours in the fridge, of course the best would be 2 to 3 days. I am going to cook the fish with the sous vide, so place it in the vacuum bag and bathe in 50C hot water for 18 minutes. Then fry it with butter in a hot pan until both side turn brown, and I have to say it is really tasty!!! Next time I will try to marinate them for 2 to 3 days and see what is the difference.

Before eating the black cod with vegetable udon as main course, I cooked the Japanese mini green pepper and chicken sausages as our starter. I am not going to write about the udon, as I had this in one of my blog already. For the green peppers, it’s easy, instead of grill them, I fry them with hot pan, and simply season them with salt, pepper and some paprika. They are just so delicious, and we can just keep eating them if we have more! The chicken sausages are also quite tasty, I should come up with my own one next time. Keeping the bone and use the chicken meat to make my own sausage!

Go with cold sake, and what a nice Japanese dinner!!!

 

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Refreshing green sauce . chimichurri to go with the steak

Hot Summer here in Hong Kong, thinking to cook something refreshing for our Sunday dinner. A refreshing green sauce, chimichurri could be a nice idea, to go with the flank steak, and served with some grilled vegetables instead of salad.

Well, actually chimichurri sauce is something that we can cook in advance, it’s fine to make more than what you need and the trick is to chill them in the fringe. Use it when you need it for the steak and actually it is also nice to use as dips for your bread. Make sure you have some chimichurri made few hours or days before you use them, put them in a glass bottle in the fringe.

How to make the chimichurri sauce is pretty simple, just put all the ingredients in the food processor to finely chop and blend them. The ingredients are, parsley, oregano, garlic, shallot, green chili or jalapenos, red chili, lemon zest but this could be an option, good amount of olive oil around 100ml, red wine vinegar or white vinegar and a pinch of salt, please adjust the amount of chili or jalapenos, it all depends on the level of spiciness that you can take. When the sauce is well blended, leave it in the fringe for a good couple of hours at least, before serving.

On the other hand, you can prepare the vegetable. I was cooking with some brussels sprouts, corn and some mini peppers. Cut the corn in half, slice the mini pepper and remove the seeds, place them in a tray and brush them with some melted butter, or add some olive oil to make sure there is enough oil there to grill them. Season them with a bit of salt and pepper, then place them in the oven under 190C to grill for around 25 mins. I cooked the brussels sprouts with butter in a saucepan, just fry them until they are soft and cooked, season them with some salt and pepper as well.

For the flank steak, season them with salt and pepper before cooking. Make sure the steak is defrost and with room temperature before cooking, in order to avoid having raw and cold meat in the middle of the steak. Make sure the pan is really hot and fry both side for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, and let the meat stay medium cooked. Do not cut the meat right away, try to let the juice sit inside for few minutes, then cut the steak against the grain in order to keep it tender, in that way the steak should be less chewy. Serve the cut flank steak with some chimichurri sauce on top, and some grilled vegetable aside.

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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.