Browsing Category: "Vegetable"

Fried Bitter Gourd with Salted Egg

Vegetable April 6th, 2009

bitter gourd with salted egg

It has been a hectic past 3 months and I have not been able to update this blog with more delicious asian food. I will be moving to a new house soon (with a new kitchen fitted with an oven!) and you can expect more recipes to come your way once I settle down.

Anyway, I was back in Kuching early March and my mother-in-law cooked this dish which I found most interesting indeed. Here, we have the bitter gourd (some find it bitter, some insists that it is bitter sweet) given a stir fry and coated with salted egg to give it a unique light salted taste. The other interesting thing I found about this dish is that the bitter gourd is not sliced diagonally or sliced across but rather, the bitter gourd is sliced length-wise, not unlike the satayman who deftly slices cucumber to pair with satay. Basically, you hold the bitter gourd and slice away from you and slowly turning the bitter gourd clockwise or anti clockwise as you continue slicing through. The seed is discarded.

This recipe is easy to cook though I must confess that I did not taste it at all. In case you forgot, I am not partial to bitter gourd. Nevertheless, my wife loved it and there were no leftovers. If you are a fan of bitter gourd and you are bored with the usual bitter gourd chicken recipe, why don’t you give this recipe a try?

This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for Fried Bitter Gourd with Salted Egg

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Butterflied Prawns in Eden

Seafood, Vegetable October 14th, 2008

butterflied prawns in eden

What a name! Sure, this dish may be common but did you know that simply by putting in a little effort to carve your vegetables, you can create give a new and beautiful breathe of life to an ordinary dish? My little daughters were fascinated with the carrots and broccoli stems which were cut to resemble flowers sitting in the midst of a bed of freshly blanched green broccoli. To give it a more “garden feel”, I used orchid mushrooms as well in this dish. I bought the orchid mushrooms in can and they are quite delicious with a light crunch. You can also use any other suitable mushrooms such as straw mushrooms.

The prawns were cut to resemble like butterflies but being an amateur, I can’t say they look like one. What I did was to remove the heads, middle shell and legs by fingers and leave the tails attached. Next, I use a knife to make a slit down the centre back of each prawn and removed the guts (brownish black thread running down the back of the prawn). When the prawn is cooked, it will give a nice slightly opened shape.

To cut the carrots or broccoli stems into flower-like shapes, you will need to first scrape off the outer layer. Next, cut the carrots into 6 cm lengths. You will need thick broccoli stems for the same purpose. Then, lay the carrot onto a chopping board and make a slanted cut (about 5mm deep or lesser) length-wise along the carrot. Then make another parallel slanted cut just next to it so that both cuts resemble a V shape. You will then be able to remove the whole strip thus leaving you a length-wise groove. Repeat this over the other parts of the carrot until you get at least 5 grooves. Then, slice the carrot sideways and voila! You’ll get the flower-shaped carrots.

Get creative. It makes a whole world of difference to the eating experience!

This is my recipe for Butterflied Prawns in Eden Read the rest of this entry »

Kailan Cooked in 2 Ways

Vegetable October 6th, 2008

kailan 2 ways

Kailan cooked in 2 ways or “yin yong kai lan” is a dish which I ate about 3 years ago in a restaurant in Shah Alam. I found it interesting – even though it is relatively simple. The kailan leaves are shredded and deep fried whilst the stem is given a light stir fry with garlic slices. I had totally forgotten about this dish and did not think about cooking it until recently when I saw a picture of it in a book which I was browsing at a store. My interest was reignited and hence, this dish was attempted last weekend.

I found this dish to be a bit time consuming as the kailan needs to be prepared in two ways. Firstly, the middle stem running along the leaves need to be removed. What I did was to place each leaf (yes, leaf by leaf) on my chopping board, fold it into half with the stem as the guide and then use a knife to cut the stem out. Once the stem has been removed, I then take a couple of leaves which have been given the same treatment and roll them tightly before slicing / shredding them thinly. As for the main stems, I remove the outer skin before cutting them into bite sizes.

The frying of the shredded kailan leaves also needs some care. You will need to use a generous amount of oil because the leaves tend to absorb the oil and they get burnt easily. It is thus important to control the heat – somewhere between medium to high if preferred. After frying them, you will need to drain them and leave them on kitchen napkins to have excess oil absorbed.

It is still an interesting dish to try out if you are bored with the usual stir fried kai lan with prawns or kai lan stems with pork and mushrooms. I sprinkled tiny anchovies or “ghun he” (in hokkien) over the deep fried kailan leaves. A good substitute would be meat floss.

This is my version of Kailan Cooked in 2 Ways Read the rest of this entry »

Seaweed Delight

Pork, Vegetable September 22nd, 2008

fried seaweed with minced pork

This dish is easy to cook but a nightmare to think out a name for it. For starters, it is not exactly fried. Neither is it stir-fried, steamed, braised, stewed or poached. I would put it as a combination of a quick and light stir-fry mixed with quick stewing for a quick and delicious meal. Now, it is quite common in chinese homes to have seaweed soup which comes with minced pork. But it is altogether another thing to have it cook this way that I am sharing with you. Whereas seaweed soup may be bland to some, this dish is tasty to the core hence, the name Seaweed Delight.

Mum first learnt this dish from 1st aunt and thereafter, taught me how to cook this dish. It has now become my preferred dish if I were to cook seaweed at home. The basic ingredients are no different from cooking seaweed soup but the cooking method and seasoning is slightly different. As you read the recipe, you will know why. Anyway, this dish has always made its presence on the dinner table only to vanish in every meal session. So, resist trying it at your peril.

This is my 1st aunt’s recipe for Seaweed Delight. Read the rest of this entry »

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