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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

PEANUTS LOTUS ROOT PORK RIBS SOUP [莲藕汤]

A homey, easy lotus roots soup with peanuts that is not difficult to cook.
This is a traditional Chinese soup that is nutritious. I especially love the crunchy lotus roots and peanuts.  You can add in dried squids if you like but without it, the soup tastes good too.  The soup can be cooked over the stove by boiling then simmer for at least 45 minutes or in the slow cooker or using the thermal cooker.

Here, I have prepared the soup by using the thermal cooker to shorten the cooking time over the stove.
You can prepare this soup so long as you have all these ingredients in hand, not necessary to follow the exact proportion of ingredients. So 'cincai' cook also can, the soup is still good.
Ingredients
200 gm shoulder neck ribs - blanched
1 section of lotus roots - sliced
50 gm peanuts - soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
5-6 red dates
salt and pepper to taste
900 ml water

  1. Blanched pork ribs in hot water, rinsed and drained.
  2. Rinse peanuts with hot water several times, then soak for about 30 minutes.
  3. Lightly scrape the skin of the lotus root, then sliced.
  4. Bring water to boil in a soup pot, add in ribs to boil for about 10 minutes, follow by the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to boil again, lower heat to simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until the ribs and peanuts are tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm or hot.

Monday, December 3, 2018

STEAMED PAUS - PURPLE SWEET POTATO FILLINGS

Realised that yummy paus need not have to look good.  I was at the temple for 9 days for vegetarian meals and they served various types of paus daily [hundreds of them], all made in their own kitchen by helpers, some who have never made paus before.  Yet, the paus turned out to be yummy eventhough they don't look perfect.  The size and shapes are not flawless but the skin is soft and fluffy.

I told myself, should try their way, don't expect the paus to look flawless.  So long as the pau skin is soft and fluffy with any edible, tasty fillings, it should be awesome. The pau making craze came back and I have been using this pau skin dough recipe to make paus with various fillings from savoury to sweet [yambean dried prawns, peanuts/sesame, peanuts/sesame/meat floss/pumpkin/sweet potato etc].

These are good, though the shapes do not look attractive.  The filling is not too sweet and the sweet potato flavour is noticeable.  I am happy with them.  The pictures do not look good either because I made these paus on a gloomy afternoon.

Ingredients
[makes 10 paus]
250 gm pau flour
1 tbsp wheat bran [optional]
40 gm icing sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
120-150 ml water
20 gm shortening
Ingredients For Filling
200 gm purple sweet potato - steamed/mashed
50 gm sugar
200 ml water
1 tbsp butter
  1. For Filling - mix mashed sweet potato, sugar and water in a mixing bowl.  Sieve through a wire mash to get a smooth paste.  Stir paste in a non stick pan together with butter until the paste is thick and leaves the pan clean.  Cool and store in a container.  Chill in fridge  until required.
  2. For Skin - combine flour, wheat bran, sugar, yeast in a mixing bowl.  Gradually add in water to mix into a rough dough [may not need to use all the water].  But I used more maybe because I added wheat bran.
  3. Add in shortening, continue to knead until dough is soft and smooth.  Shape into a round ball, leave in bowl, cover to rest for 20 minutes or double in size.
  4. Punch down, roll into a ball, then divide into 8, 10 or 12 equal portions according to own preference.  Shape each portion into a ball.
  5. Flatten each ball and wrap enough filling, seal the edges well into a pleated or round pau.  Place on a piece of parchment paper in a steaming tray [I used my electric steamer].  Finish making the rest.
  6. Cover and leave to proof for 20-30 minutes or until double in size.
  7. Steaming over high heat for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Off heat, remove to cool on wire rack before storing or serve immediately.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

FRIED TOFU WITH CHIVES

Glad that I tried this simple dish.  Just 2 ingredients and a simple dipping sauce, it is surprisingly satisfying dish.  I can eat lots of this alone.
Recipe adapted from cook show on you-tube [a Chinese version]. I hope I got it right but if I am wrong, it is still alright because I did enjoy this dish.  If you love tofu and enjoy eating chives, do give this a try.
Ingredients
[serves 2]
2 blocks tofu [best to get the traditional tofu] - cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
a bunch of chives - cut small bits
salt to taste
50 ml boiling water

  1. Cut tofu, set aside.
  2. Cut chives, place is a serving bowl.
  3. Deep fry tofu pieces in batches until golden brown and edges are crispy.  Dish up on serving plate.
  4. Bring water to boil, pour over cut chives.  Add in salt to taste.
  5. To serve, dip fried tofu pieces in chives.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

FRIED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ORIENTAL SAUCE

Having prepared the Oriental Sauce earlier, cooking this dish is fast and easy.  No doubt, this sauce is used for chicken chops, it is also suitable for use to prepare a pork dish.
Instead of frying pork chops, I have used pork tenderloin so that the cooking time is shortened.  
This dish turns out to be tasty and delicious and especially love the tender meat slices which is well coated with the sauce.  Awesome to serve with some sliced zucchini and tomatoes.
Ingredients
[serves 3]
200 gm pork tenderloin [li chi rou] - cut thin slices
some toasted sesame seeds
1 tomato - sliced
1/2 zucchini - sliced
  1. Marinate pork pieces with some salt, pepper and cornstarch.  
  2. Add 1/2 tbsp  oil in a non stick pan,  stir in the marinated pork slices.  Constantly stir until cooked through and golden brown.
  3. Add in prepared oriental sauce and 2 tbsp water.  Stir bring to boil and dish up onto prepared platter laid with zucchini and red chilli.
  4. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.  Serve.

Monday, November 26, 2018

SWEET POTATOES WITH SAGO DESSERT

I learned a new way of preparing this sweet potato sago sweet dessert.  For this recipe the sago pearls are boiled to almost transparent before adding the sweet potatoes to cook.
The dessert soup is smooth and the pearl sago are not visible especially with the purple sweet potatoes where the colour darkens the soup.
Ingredients
[makes 4-5 bowls]
1 medium size orange sweet potato - peeled, cut chunky pieces
1 medium size purple sweet potato - peeled, cut chunky pieces
3 tbsp sago - rinsed and drained
800 ml water
60 gm jaggery sugar or brown sugar

  1. Bring water to boil in a pot.  Stir in the sago.  Stir constantly to prevent sticking together.
  2. When sago is almost transparent, add in the sweet potatoes to cook.
  3. Bring to boil and simmer until sweet potatoes are soft.  Add in sugar to taste.
  4. Serve warm or hot.


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