Great lunch suggestion with mango desert. Stir fried beef can go with literally every thing. The trick is mastering the time each ingredient takes to cook
Great lunch suggestion with mango desert. Stir fried beef can go with literally every thing. The trick is mastering the time each ingredient takes to cook
OK, this post is called “Omellete making advance”. It’s weird that eggs seems to be the ONLY thing I repeatedly mention I know, but trust me I sucks big time at egg, that’s why I practice it fervently.
So the other day my friend told me how her kid just infatuated with Scotch eggs. I’ve never tried Scotch eggs, but according to my friend it’s kind of unhealthy (anything ready made bear that sin you know, except ice cream of course). Why oh why, it rocked my memory back to my childhood when I absolutely loath eggs, no matter how much my doctor dad just lecture me to eat them. Many moms and dads out there wouldn’t know how genius their kids’ sense of smell are. They can detect the faintest smell of protein and calcium inside eggs or bones. That’s why we faked this smell with pepper, onions, ketchup and god knows what. But trust me, these complimentary scent do not always cut it. Me, I hate onion with a passion, until my dad invent the crunchy onion salad I was painstakingly separating all the onion out of my dish without his notice (I understood patience at a very tender age you see). So, my point it, to make dishes like omelette (god can’t spell) a treat for kids, make it fun. Like Scotch eggs, whip the little adventure and discovery into the eggs.
So, I set out to try this Japanese omelette technique, looks simple I know, but it’s more “advance” than any technique I’ve tried with omelette. I sucked big time, so here I am to tell you how to not suck it like me:
1st: The PAN! Yes, the pan. He’s not eslecting the pan for fun. I tried my best pan which has a flat base like this :
Haha how wrong I was. The pan must be of appropriate size, which should be a little smaller than the longest side of the egg you want to make. Best if the base and the side of the pan is curvy (not too curvy, look at the video). But my pan is doable, if only I knew how size matter I should’ve double my eggs portion (size always matter for girls lol).
2nd: The BUTTER. Don’t trial with butter, use oil. Yes, I may sounds silly, you’ve been using butter for your whole life making eggs I know. However butter makes things golden in a shorter time. If you made the egg on a hob like me, chance that you’ll mess up the timing and dazzle the omelette with orange stripes (or even brown). Plus, butter, even unsalted one is more sticky than oil, which make it harder to turn. For a delicate dish like this, the important is to trap the juice inside, so you want to be quick and exact. Of course you can do butter after you mastered it with oil.
3rd: The MILK. DON’T ADD MILK! I KNEW some of you made scramble eggs with milk and immediately try to be clever and add some here (I did). It will make the surface of the eggs look like pancake, with lots of pores because the water in the milk will evaporate. Not the desire effect, we want smooth outer skin (treat it like your skin).
4th: The HEAT. Make sure you drip one or two drop of egg in the pan before you pour the whole thing in. We want the egg to build up base immediately when we pour it in, so manage timing well. don’t let it be cook.
5th: Don’t be afraid of wooden spatula, it helped. Later you should try with with chopstick, but for now to turn spatula does pretty much all the trick.
OK, so this is my top 5 tips. The omelette I made was creamy and soft but no where near as beautiful, but now I know how to fix it.
The verdict is to never underestimate eggs, they are the seeds of life ;)
Mackerel in tomato sauce.
Everyone loves a dish of good seafood. It has a nice ring to it, sounds expensive and sophisticated. However the exact reason puts people off trying at home, too much effort I guess. So today in a craze for Omega 3 intake I went down the super market and pick up a bundle of dill and tomatoes for my mackerel dish. This recipe all in total takes 30 minutes
The recipe down here is in courtesy of http://simplyvietnamese.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/fish-with-sweet-tomato-sauce/ with some personal modification.
6 tbsp olive oil (any oil will do really)
1.5 lbs tomatoes, roughly chopped (or quarter as I did)
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1/3 cup sliced onion
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 tbsp sugar
4 filets of fish
chopped dill and green onions for garnish.
Sequence: To save time you can fry the fish first and then prepare the ingredient since it takes considerable time for the fish to be cooked in low heat.
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in large frying pan on medium high heat and sautee the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and give it a quick stir. Add tomatoes to the pan. Salt the tomatoes, add water to cover the tomatoes. Adjust heat to medium-low and simmer the tomatoes, occasionally stirring the pan until the mixture becomes a thick sauce with chunks of tomatoes – about 7-10 minutes. Add sugar, fish sauce now, 2/3 of the chopped green onions and dill and stir. Set aside
2. In a separate large frying pan, add the rest of the olive oil, and pan-fry two fillets at a time. The trick is in the heat which means gas stove is preferred over hob but I cooked mine under a hob so no sweat. Heat the oil gradually under low heat until you see bubbles in the oil and then add the fish. Use low heat to let the fish cooked without being burned, you should not add new filet in while the others are still cooking as it will lower the heat and make considerable change in texture. When the filets are golden on both sides, set aside.
4. Plate the pan-fried filet of fish and generously top with tomato sauce. Garnish with the rest of chopped dill and green onion, sprinkle with black peppers and serve immediately with rice.
For alcohol lover, I recommend white wine or rice wine, Sake would not work because it’s too sweet. This should be the main dish, side dish can be green salad, salty roasted peanuts, pickles, fried tofu. Happy Oriental fish recipe :)
Start fresh a day with a salad. Great for diet. Green bean salad with stripes of beef and almond flakes.
The original is made from Holland beans (http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRifYqIccSERug8spPK6Z-vtAFXfPYOsRvseiD6B9y124Uopx48bMUtqRDwhw), and sesame seeds. It does taste better with Holland bean and sesame seeds. Nevertheless, what kind of self-taught cook are you if you can’t make pact with the market? Really. We have no Holland bean so green bean it is now :D.
If you are vegan, forget the beef and try to find the sesame instead of almond. I like it that way better, lighter taste
Take the ready made dry beef out and tear it to stripes. If you don’t have it, marinate a piece of beef with Chinese 5 spices, peppers, garlic powder, salt for 15 minutes
Now wash the bean, put in the the sauce pan with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Immediately when it’s boiled open the lid.
Taste it (this is why my family always wonder how the food does not measure up to the ingredients I bought, lol. A cook’s power)
It’s done when it’s still crisp and does not taste raw. If you don’t know how, just break open it. If you can break open it easily and the inside has darker colour than before you cook, that’s a hint it’s cooked.
Drain the bean. Rinse in cold water, pat dry.
Ok, so the bean is ready, now boil the beef, or pour some water in the beef, covered and put in the microwave. When it’s done, wait for it to cool down then stripe it.
Take the almond flake out.
Now combine the bean and the beef in a bowl. Mix olive oil, sugar, rice vinegar and salt. I think sesame oil would be good, but I didn’t have sesame oil so I think it’s OK not to have it, I’m not sure how it would goes with the almond. The trick is to make the mixture as you want to taste the original, just be mindful of the salt if you over-salted the beef or the bean before. Pour the mixture in and toss the whole thing, sprinkle with almond flakes. Done. It’s lovely to eat with crackers
Bun chan gio ninh mang. Pork and bamboo with vermicelli. This is a Vietnamese recipe used especially for family meal. Depends on how heavy the meat or seasoning is you can count it towards winter meal or summer meal. For me it’s a great cooling meal for summer lunch.
How to do this:
First of all, this recipe can be done with all sort of meat where you can get good gelatin without overpowering scent to the soup. These are: Pork, chicken, duck, geese. However with duck, geese, due to the strong scent of the meat you need gingers to accompany the stock. Here I will introduce the recipe for pork, which is the more difficult one.
Meat cut you love
Bamboo you can afford
Fresh coriander (chopped)
Fresh green onion (chopped or boiled)
Fish sauce (optional)
Add these if you use duck or geese:
Fresh ginger (crushed)
First of all: Bamboo
I use dried bamboo, which is the meatiest. You soak them in rice water (water used to wash rice) for 2 days for it to open up. You can use canned or packed bamboo, but if you don’t like sour taste (I don’t see why though) remember to wash them throughout.
Ready made bamboo can be set aside after wash.
Dried bamboo has to be boiled prior in a sauce pan with cold water. You have to keep boiling and drain and add water and boil until the final water come out clear, not yellowish, so make sure you do this at the same time as boiling the meat.
Secondly, the meat.
Actually, you are more concerned about the bones than the meat. You can buy ready made stock but that’ll be your recipe, I detest ready made stock so don’t talk to me now.
If you can’t get a hold of proper bones, chickens/ ducks/ geese wings and thighs will do (as long as they have bones in them).
If you like bony parts, I recommend chopped pig feet, yes, I mean it, actually the original recipe comes with the feet not the meat:
Pig feet have lots of good protein, good for recovering from exhaustion or malnutrition. It has been a good “grandmother recipe” for women who want to have lots of milk after giving birth. I guess this kind of gelatin is really helpful for breast because natural gelatin from animals has been my favourite when I was small. However, if you are healthy don’t overdose, it can easily gain you extra weight. The above would be chopped into 4 pieces.
They don’t sell pork feet here, therefore, I used pork hock or knuckle - lots of gelatin mixed with the meat and less fat (pork use this part to erm… move you know). Like this:
OK, whether you use pork or other meat, first you wash the meat. For geese and duck spread fresh crushed ginger (no powder, you need the juice) on the meat, if you have rice wine spray on the meat too (this is optional) and set aside for 15 mins. Other meat you can just add it in cold water with salt, pepper (for geese and ducks adds gingers and onion) and bring to a boil. Take out all the foams that developed when boiling, lower the heat to simmer.
Go read a book, come back every 10-15 minutes to check if the meat is done (use knife point to check if the blood come out, if not it’s done.
When the meat is done, take out the bone and put it back into simmering water , the meat set aside to cool (don’t cut it yet). If it’s pork feet it’ll take very long to be done and rarely overcooked unless boiled for >2 hours so it can stay in the stock til the very end and no need to bone it.
Bring the vermicelli into boil, drain like normal noodles/ pasta.
Fourthly, cook bamboo.
Now your boiled dried bamboo should be ready and open up wholeheartedly, drain it. Up until this point you should be 30 - 40 minutes into cooking (if not you probably have a smaller meat cut than I do).
Pour a little oil on a pan and add chopped onion, when the onion start to be golden (not caramel, golden), add the bamboos (canned or dried), adds salt and pepper and stir fried until it taste good and still a little crunchy. Put it into the meat stock and bring to a boil then simmer.
Now the previous meat should be cooler, cut it.
Chop fresh green onions and coriander (repeat, no coriander powder), chilly (optional), quarter the the lemon.
Put the cooked vermicelli into the bowl, add the meat (or feet pieces), chopped onion, coriander, chilly. Pour the stock and bamboo over it, serve hot with sprayed lemon on top.
Dried Shitake mushroom can add to the dish, but I prefer not to use it. There are many variation of this dish, one which focused on the meat you cook the meat and make fish sauce with lemon, pepper (add chopped ginger if use ducks or geese) and eat vermicelli with meat dipped in the sauce. The bamboo & meat stock can be used later.
Bún cá or Vietnamese fish rice noodle.
I have got to admit that dealing with leftover food is not always an easy thing, especially with Mackerel. I fried too many filet for my Mackerel in tomato sauce dish, so I saved some and made the Mackerel rice noodle the next day.
One word of advice, as this dish is originally used for freshwater fish, it does work better with sweeter and less overpowering scent fish. If you absolutely hate fishy stuffs, try this recipe with other fish of your comfort as Mackerel is notorious for its strong scent of the sea. This dish is versatile and cooperative with most of the fish depends on your favourite type like Snakehead (sweet and tender), catfish (fatty), climbing gouramies or climbing perches… For seafish like Tilapia, Mackerel … we often make them into fishcake, fried to complimenting the sharp taste with the crisp factor.
However, this is Homely Food for daily recipes. I know you’ll have to make do with whatever on hands like me, so Mackerel here I come.
Recipes for 2:
Firstly, the broth
Make it the night before. You can make the broth from chicken bones, pork bones or fish bones. Avoid other bones at all cost because you do not want the broth to over power the fish. Detailed of how to make broth please see in my previous entry. Stock cubes can work also, but the taste will be worsen by 50%.
Secondly, the fish filet:
Wash it throughout, let dry then fry till golden, set aside. Frying the fish will lessen the fishy scent but reduce the sweetness of the fish so if you are working with fresh water fish like Snakehead, this step is optional.
Thirdly, the rice noodle:
Boil the dried rice noodle with cold water, drain, run it through cool water. Redrain and set aside to dry.
Fourthly, the pineapple:
It is necessary to buy fresh pineapple and prepare them. Do not be lazy at this point, because processed pineapple or pineapple juice do not have the same taste. Do not worry about not knowing how to choose the right pineapple, anything will do as long as they have enough meat and not bland in taste. You can balance the sourness or the sweetness while tasting. Cut the pineapple as shown in http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-cut-a-pineapple
Fifthly, the actual soup
Add 1 table spoon of oil, onion slides, tomatoes and pineapple slides, salt them and stir fry till you smell the great tropical fragrance (avoid golden them). Add water, garlic slice, the fish, a table spoon vinegar and rice wine (not sake, optional), chilly, fish sauce (or squid sauce), bring to a boil.
Sixth, the Rhubarb,
I like Rhubarb because its kind of sourness is perfect for the dish, plus you can eat it as supplementary for Vietnamese taro stengel later. If you do not have Rhubarb available please use tamarind instead (do not use lemon). Take off the Rhubarb outer skin and slide them upwardly into 1cm thick side. Bring to a boil, keep for 1 minute, add the water to the soup. Set aside the Rhubarb, it should still be crispy.
Put the chopped dill and green onion generously onto the rice noodle (microwave the rice noodle so it’s hot). Add vegie of your choice (been sprout or salad). Pour the soup over. Now for better presentation before you pour the soup you would briefly boil fresh quarters of tomatoes in so it still keep the form. Add pepper. Serves boiling! It tastes better that way
Happy eating, people