Sunday, November 29, 2009

Savoury Taro Cake Dim Sum Style

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Savoury Taro Cake "Woo Tol Gow" (芋頭糕) is something that you can commonly order if you go to eat Dim Sum. Its name may make it seem like a dessert, but it is actually an appetizer or entree. Taro is a root that has a unique flavour, but its a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated in my dishes. Taro Cake is a recipe that can be considered an investment if you will, in that the preparation and cooking of this dish is time consuming. However, once made, it can be refrigerated and saved for those days where you can quickly and easily reheat it in a frying pan.

There are different variations of Taro Cake that you may find. I prefer my own to many interpretations mainly because I do not use any flavour enhancers such as five spice powder, or even salt! In fact, the flavours are all derived from the ingredients themselves, making this an extremely rustic dish.

My interpretation uses the following ingredients:
  • 1 medium-large size Taro
  • 1 stalk of green onion
  • 4-5 Shittake mushrooms
  • 1 chinese pork sausage
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • Small amount of dried prawns
  • 1 package of Rice Flour (do NOT confuse this with Gluten Flour, Glutinous Rice Flour)
  • 1 clove of garlic
To make the Savoury Taro Cake:
  1. Use a knife and peel all of the skin off the Taro. Cut the Taro into slices, then into pieces about the size of a clothespin.
  2. Finely chop the Shittake mushrooms, dried prawns, bacon strips, Chinese pork sausage, and the green onion.
  3. Fill a medium size pot with water about an inch in depth, and toss in the clove of garlic. Put some oil into the water, and add the chopped Taro to the water. Heat the pot on medium high heat and stir the Taro around. The Taro should soften up, and once the water boils (takes about 10 minutes), remove from the heat and continue to use the chopsticks to break up the Taro pieces into a mushy texture.
  4. Allow the water to cool over 5 minutes, then slowly incorporate the Rice Flour. After each addition of Rice Flour, mix the Taro mush evenly with the Rice Flour. Stop adding Rice Flour once the Taro mixture is binding well together. The taro mush should still be wet though, and NOT like baking dough. There are two important notes about this step: (1) You MUST use Rice Flour, and not Gluten Flour or Glutinous Rice Flour. The latter two flours are extremely drying, and will make your Taro Cake hard as a rock. (2) Add the rice flour slowly, as adding too much rice flour will dry out the Taro Cake.
  5. Add the finely chopped ingredients to the Taro mixture and mix evenly.
  6. Oil a large Corningware casserole dish and pour the Taro mixture into it. Spread evenly and smooth out the top.
  7. Prepare a large double boiler or a bamboo steamer, and steam the Taro Cake for 1 hour.
  8. After 1 hour, remove the Taro Cake, allow it to cool, and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for a garnish.
  9. The Savoury Taro Cake can now be placed in the refrigerator and stored for future use.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Stuffed Hot Peppers Dim Sum Style

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This recipe is for stuffed peppers, and is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I have used hot peppers for this recipe, but the recipe can can be adapted to different vegetables including eggplants.

To make this, gather the following ingredients:
  • Large Peppers - I used hot peppers for this, but you may substitute with Bell Peppers
  • Fish paste
  • 1 stalk of green onion
  • Dried baby prawns
To make the stuffed peppers:
  1. You first need to chop the prawns and the green onion, then mix it evenly within the fish paste. You'll need to add roughly a tablespoon of cornstarch to help the ingredients bind together. The stuffing can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator before use.
  2. Chop the peppers into large pieces such that you're keeping a cup shape in which to stuff it.
  3. Use a butter knife and apply a small amount of cornstarch to the inside of the pepper.
  4. Spoon enough fish paste to fill the pepper piece fully to the top.
  5. Use a butter knife and smooth off the top of the pepper with some vegetable oil
  6. Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and add vegetable oil. Pan fry the stuffed peppers with fish paste facing the pan and pepper facing up. This will take roughly 5 minutes on one side to cook well, perhaps even a couple minutes more. The stuff peppers should look carmelized on the top.
  7. Turn the stuff peppers over so that the pepperside is down on the pan, and cook for a couple more minutes.
  8. Make a sauce by adding a small amount of oyster sauce, 1/4 tsp cornstarch, a small amount of water, 1/4 tsp sugar, and soy sauce. Add the sauce to the pan and let it thicken. If you want to, you can now add a dash of rum to the pan as well.
  9. Plate and serve

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pineapple Buns

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Every now and then, I like to have an Pineapple Bun with an afternoon cup of tea. The bun is named Pineapple for its appearance rather than taste, but the outer crust is what makes a pineapple bun so delectable. The best way to have it is fresh out of the oven, then sliced to spread some butter inside the bun.

Pineapple Buns with a stick slab of butter within (Bor Lor Yao) are also commonly consumed prior to attending weddings back in the day in Hong Kong if the guests know that there will be heavy alcohol consumption. The reason is that the butter will coat the stomach and delay the absorption of alcohol, and thus, delay the onset of alcohol's effects.

To make pineapple buns, you'll need:
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten

The topping for the pineapple buns is made separately using:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

To make the pineapple buns:
  1. Mix together 1/2 cup flour, sugar, yeast, and salt
  2. Melt the butter, then add oil and milk to the butter and warm it
  3. Pour the butter/oil/milk mixture into the flour mixture
  4. Add the eggs to the flour mixture, and stir well to combine. Then beat mixture for 3 minutes
  5. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed
  6. Dust the counter-top and knead the dough on it. Add dough little by little if it's too sticky.
  7. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it double in size, which will take roughly 1.5 hours. While the dough is rising, prepare the pineapple bun topping following the recipe further below on this page).
  8. After 1.5 hours, punch the dough down and let it rise again for another 1.5 hours
  9. Divide the dough into 12 equally sized balls, then flatten them to round, flat buns. Place them on lightly greased baking sheets and cover with a slightly damp towel for another 45 minutes so that the dough can rise a bit more.
  10. Take the prepared pineapple topping and roll it to a thickness of about 1/2 a cm
  11. Brush the buns with a small amount of water, and place the pineapple topping ontop of the buns. The water will help the topping stick to the buns.
  12. Take a knife and lightly score the toppings with a criss-cross pattern, kind of like grill marks on a steak.
  13. Lightly beat 1 egg yolk and brush the buns and toppings with it. The egg yolk will provide the buns with a nice rich yellow colour.
  14. Bake the buns at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (Thanks to a reader for notifying me of a terrible typo) for 10 minutes on the middle rack.

Pineapple Topping Procedure:
  1. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy
  2. Add egg yolk, baking soda, and milk together, and mix well.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder intot he butter mixture, and mix by hand until it's smooth and not sticky. Be careful not to manipulate it too much as it will form gluten.
  4. Wrap the topping in plastic and refrigerate it for an hour and a half minimum.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Soy Sauce Chicken

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This recipe is for Soy Sauce Chicken, and it builds on an earlier recipe. To make Soy Chicken, you first need to steam a chicken to cook it through and through.

To make the sauce, gather the following ingredients:
  • 1 part soy sauce
  • 2 parts dark soy sauce
  • 2 parts water
  • 2 sticks of brown sugar
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
A bit about the ingredients. Dark soy differs from Soy sauce in that Dark Soy is used for colour, while regular soy sauce is used to provide flavour. For that reason, we are using 2 parts of Dark Soy for each part of Soy Sauce, since the colour is what we're after.

The brown sugar being used here has been used in other recipes that I've posted such as the Green Bean Soup. Again, using the sticks of brown sugar complements the Soy Sauce much better than other forms of sugar.

Lastly, Star Anise is translated to "eight-horn" in Cantonese, and is a star-shaped spice that enhances the flavour of the Sauce that we're basting the chicken in. It is one of the spices used to make "five-spice" powder.

To make Soy Sauce Chicken:
  1. Once you have your steamed chicken ready, pour all of the above ingredients into a deep pan and heat it on medium-high heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium heat and place the chicken in the pan.
  3. Using a ladle, baste the chicken continuously until the chicken takes on the colour of the soy sauce. After about 7 minutes, flip the chicken over so that the other 1/2 is immersed in the sauce. The entire cooking process will take roughly 15-20 minutes.
  4. When finished, let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then chop and serve with Ginger Scallion Garnish. Allow the sauce to cool as well, and save it for future use as a sauce base.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The World's Best Sweet and Sour Sauce

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The last posting I made was for some Vegetable Spring Rolls. Although the Spring Rolls are delicious on their own, they're even more delectable when paired with a Sweet and Sour Sauce. The following recipe is a specialty that was passed down to me, and it's renown by my relatives. The sauce itself is extremely easy to make, and the degree of Sweet versus Sour in the sauce can be easily modified to taste during the cooking process.

The ingredients for the Sweet and Sour Sauce are:
  • 1-2 Sticks of Brown Sugar (no substituting for any other type of sugar)
  • Heinz Ketchup, since I've found that it provides the best taste and colour
  • Cornstarch
  • Vegetable Oil
The reason I didn't list exact quantities is because everyone has a different standard for a sweet and sour sauce, so I'm going to provide rough quantities.
  1. Fill a small pot with roughly 200mL of water so that the depth of the water is between 1-2 cm deep. Heat the water on medium heat.
  2. Add 1 stick of brown sugar to the pot so that it begins to dissolve. Once the sugar has dissolved, let it simmer on the stove.
  3. Once the sugar water has a rich brown colour, squirt a generous amount of ketchip into the pot. I like to use two 1-second squeezes as a starting point. Add water to the pot (fill it to about 1/4 full and again let the sauce simmer. If you feel that the sauce is much too viscous, feel free to add more water.
  4. As the sauce simmers, continually taste the sauce to gauge the amonut of sweet vs. sour. If there isn't enough sweet, break off pieces of the second stick of brown sugar and dissolve it into the sauce. The sauce will develop a deep red colour as it simmers.
  5. Once the sauce is to taste, it's time to thicken it with a small spoon of cornstarch. As soon as the cornstarch is mixed in, turn off the heat.
  6. The final step is to give the sauce a sheen, with a 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil.
  7. Serve as a dip for the vegetable spring rolls.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vegetable Spring Rolls

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Sorry for not making new postings in a while, it's just that I've been busy in my personal life. Having said that, I think this new recipe will make the wait worthwhile. The following recipe is for Vegetable Spring Rolls, and it's definitely a recipe to keep a copy of in your cookbook because it's great for entertaining or for bringing it to a potluck! The fact that it's all vegetables means that you won't have to worry about diet restrictions when you bring it over to a friend's house. The prep work is the most time consuming, however, you'll find that this recipe is easy. There's plenty of photos for the entire process from prep work, past the rolling of the spring rolls, up until they're all deep fried to a golden brown.

To make my version of Vegetable Spring Rolls, you'll need to make the filling, which contains:
  • 1 head of cabbage, outside throughly washed
  • 1 large carrot, skin removed
  • 4 large Shiitake mushrooms, washed
  • Several clumps of dried Wood Fungus, washed
  • 2 eggs
Additional ingredients you'll need are:
  • 1 pack of large sheets of spring roll pastry
  • Small amount of flour for the "glue"
  • Salt
To make spring rolls, first prep the filling:
  1. Julienne all the vegetables. Keep the cabbage in a separate bowl, and throw a 1/2 a tsp of salt into it, and stir around. This is to help remove the water content of the cabbage so that when you fry it, there's less of a chance for the spring roll to pop open. Take handfuls of the cabbage and squeeze as much water out of it as you can, and mix thoroughly with the other vegetables.
  2. Beat the two eggs, and then cook into a very thin omelette. Once it has cooled, Julienne the omelette.
  3. In a small bowl, take 1 tsp of all purpose flour and to it add a small amount of water to make a paste. This paste will act as a glue to keep the spring roll from opening up.
  4. Separate the individual sheets of the spring roll sheets.
To fold the spring rolls:
  1. Separate the spring roll sheets and have them in a diamond shape facing you. Take a small amount of egg, and a small amount of the mixed vegetables and place it 3/4 of the way down the sheet. Take care not to add too large an amount of filling to the sheet, as there's a greater chance of the spring roll opening up during the deep-frying process.
  2. Take the bottom corner of the sheet and fold it upwards, tucking a small flap under the vegetables.
  3. Roll up the sheet until the 1/2 way point on the sheet, then fold in the edges of the sheet as shown.
  4. Take a brush and apply a small amount of the paste along the remainder of the sheet.
  5. Continue to roll up the pastry sheet to finish the spring roll
You can store the spring rolls to be fried at a later date, or you can deep fry them now:
  1. Add vegetable oil to a pot or wok and heat at medium-high heat until it boils. You can tell the oil is ready by placing a DRY wooden chopstick to the bottom of the pot. If there are bubbles coming up, then the oil is ready.
  2. Gently drop the spring rolls into the oil and deep fry until a golden brown. They will take several minutes for each side.
  3. Remove the spring rolls and drain off the excess oil.
  4. Plate the spring rolls and enjoy them! (with homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Steamed Black Bean Pork Spare Ribs

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Black bean spare ribs is a favorite with my family. Black beans are a very traditional ingredient, and help enhance the flavour of whatever it's cooked with.

To make black bean spare ribs, you'll need:
  • 1 tsp of black beans
  • 2-3 strips of pork spare ribs
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy Sauce
  • Dark soy (optional)
  • Sugar
You'll first need to prepare the meat and black beans:
  1. Break up the strip of spare ribs so that there's one piece of bone per meat
  2. Place the sliced spare ribs into a bowl and add a 1 tsp of baking soda to the meat. This will help tenderize it. Mix around the baking soda, and then add cold water to the bowl until the meat is fully covered. At the same time, add 1 tsp of black beans to a small bowl and add submerge it in cold water. This helps remove some of the salt of the black beans. Leave both the meat and black beans for about 2 hours.
  3. Rinse the meat off with cold water and strain off the excess water.
To cook the black bean spareribs:
  1. Add 1 heaping tsp of cornstarch to the spare ribs. Mix the corn starch evenly with the meat, then add 1 tsp of soy sauce, and 1 flat tsp of sugar to the meat. If you desire, 1/4 tsp of dark soy can be used to darken the meat. Mix the meat around evenly, and place onto a high-rimmed plate.
  2. Now we're going to prepare the black beans. Strain off the water from the bowl of black beans. Finely mince the black beans along with the clove of garlic. Place the minced black bean and garlic into a small bowl and add 1/4 tsp of soy sauce. Mix evenly, then pour into the dish with the meat.
  3. Using your hands, mix the black beans evenly with the pork spare ribs. Pour water into a steamer and turn the heat to high heat. Once the water boils, place the dish with the mixed black bean sauce and spare ribs into the steamer. Cover, and once the water starts to boil again, turn down the heat to medium-high and continue to steam for 15-20 minutes. After 15-20 minutes, turn off the heat and let the dish sit for 5 more minutes before removing the lid. Garnish with green onions if you wish.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Green Bean (Mung Bean) Dessert

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This recipe is for a traditional Green Bean Dessert. The ingredient list is very short, and the ease of this recipe makes it a must try for all my readers.  There are two important points about this recipe. The first is that the recipe as you'll see later calls for sticks of brown sugar. It's extremely important that the specific type of sugar is used because the either granulated sugar and rock sugar will result a very different taste. The second point is that the boiling time is roughly an hour and a half, meaning that you'll need to plan ahead to ensure that you have enough cooking time allotted.
To make Green Bean Dessert, you'll need:
  • One package (approximately 300g) of Green Beans
  • Three sticks of Brown Sugar
  • Roughly 4L of water
To make the Green Bean Dessert:
  1. The night before you plan on making it, open the package of green beans and soak in a large bowl of water.
  2. The next morning, pour the beans into a large pot and add about 4L of water.  Put in the sugar at this point as well.
  3. Boil the water on high heat until it boils, then turn down the heat to medium. Do not cover the pot and continue to let the water boil for nearly an hour and a half, stirring intermittently. The water level will drop, concentrating the flavour of the green beans. in the photo below, you can clearly see that the water level has dropped about an inch from where it was earlier.
  4. The Green Bean Dessert can be considered nearly finished when the water has a homogenous colour.
  5. At this point, add three sticks of the brown sugar into the pot. Stir around intermittently to facilitate the melting of the sugar.
  6. Turn off the heat once the sugar has all been melted, and serve warm, or allow to sit and cool.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Garlic and Hot Chili Stir Fried On Choy

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A couple days ago I posted a great summer recipe for Shrimp Sauce On Choy ("Tung Choy" in Cantonese). In today's health conscience society, you may wish to opt for a lower sodium recipe since Shrimp Sauce is quite salty - not to mention that the aroma is not for everyone. This recipe is a variation of the earlier recipe, substituting Hot Chili Oil for Shrimp Sauce. Although I will use a little bit of salt in this recipe, the overall sodium content is much less than that of using the Shrimp Sauce.

The ingredients in this recipe are:
  • 1 bundle of On Choy from your local chinese Grocer
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (to taste if you desire)
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of Hot Chili Oil (preferebly with some chili flakes
To Cook the On Choy:
  1. First, wash and prepare the On Choy as described in the other recipe
  2. Pour a generous amount of cooking oil and heat the wok on high heat
  3. Once the wok is hot, reduce heat to medium-high, toss in the garlic and the salt
  4. 10 seconds later, toss in the On Choy, and rotate the leaves until all of them have a bit of oil on them
  5. Keep mixing around for 2-3 minutes, then cover.
  6. After 2-3 minutes, open the wok and double check that the stalk and leaves are soft. If not, repeat the mixing and covering procedure.
  7. Once the On Choy is semi-soft, remove it from the wok, leaving the excess water from the cooking process. Discard the water in the wok.
  8. Add a tsp of cooking oil into the wok, and let it heat up. Add the Hot Chili Oil and 10 seconds later, toss in the On Choy. Mix around for 2-3 minutes, then plate to serve.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Shrimp Sauce Stir-Fried On Choy (Vegetable)

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On Choy is a vegetable that is available during the summer months. In Cantonese, it's name is pronounced "Tung Choy" which loosely translates to "Hollow Vegetable", because the stem of the vegetable is a hollow tubular structure. Although the way I've prepared it using Shrimp sauce, it is an acquired taste and smell that not everyone may like. For that reason, I'll also provide a recipe to make a garlic and hot chili variation of this recipe on another date.

For this recipe, the ingredients are:
  • 1 bundle of On Choy from your local chinese grocer
  • 1 tsp Shrimp Paste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
To make the Shrimp Sauce On Choy:
  1. Wash the On Choy in the kitchen sink. It will likely require 2 or more washes to fully clear the grit in the vegetable. Because the stem is hollow, extra care should be taken to inspect it as well. After washing, chop up the On Choy stalks into three equal length sections.
  2. To the 1 tsp of Shrimp paste, add 1 tsp of lukewarm water and stir it around so that it becomes more of a sauce consistency. Add the sugar to the Shrimp sauce and stir around a bit more. Shrimp sauce is salty in itself, so no salt should be added to this recipe at all.
  3. Add a generous amount of cooking oil to the wok and heat on high heat
  4. Once the wok is hot, decrease the temperature to medium-high heat and toss the garlic in
  5. After 10 seconds or so after the garlic is in, pour in the shrimp sauce and stir around - it will sizzle and bubble.
  6. After about another 10 seconds, toss in all the On Choy and mix around, ensuring that all the leaves have some oil on it. Continue to stir around for several more minutes, then cover.
  7. When the On Choy is fully cooked, it will have shrunk considerably, and the leaves should be soft. The stalks may still have some crunch to it when bitten into. Plate the On Choy, but throw out the water in the wok.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yeung Chow Fried Rice

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Yeung Chow Fried Rice is a delicious variation of fried rice. The two main ingredients that it must have is barbecue pork and shrimp. As I've said in an earlier fried rice recipe, the key to making the perfect fried rice is to use rice that has been cooked the day before and left overnight in the refrigerator. If this detail is not followed, the water content of the rice will be too high and will not fry properly.

The ingredients needed to fry with 2 parts of rice are:
  • 1 part of bbq pork
  • 1 part of frozen corn
  • 1 part of frozen peas
In addition, you'll need:
  • 6 jumbo shrimps deveined and cut into 3 sections, with a 1/4 tsp of cornstarch added to it and mixed evenly
  • 1/4-1/2 an onion
  • 1-3 eggs depending on how much rice there is
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder for colour
  • Vegetable oil
To fry the rice:
  • If you will be using the turmeric powder, separate the yolk from one egg into a bowl. Whip the yolk and add the turmeric powder to the yolk. Add the yolk with the turmeric to the rice and mix evenly with your hands.
  • If not, separate out an egg yolk, whip it up, and mix the yolk evenly into the rice to give it faint yellow colour.
  • Heat up the wok on medium-high heat, and wait till it's hot. Add vegetable oil to the wok, and the eggs. Quickly scramble the eggs, and once they are semi-solid, add in the rice.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the rice, and continue to stir it around until it's heated up
  • Remove the rice from the wok.
  • Add a bit more vegetable oil to the wok, and throw in all the ingredients except the shrimp. Stir around until the frozen corn and peas are fully cooked.
  • Throw in the shrimp and stir around 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked.
  • Lastly, turn off the heat and add in the rice. Stir around evenly.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chinese Pancakes (or Pizza)

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Today I decided to make some Chinese style pancakes, but you can think of them like Pizza as well. The refrigerator was pretty empty and I didn't know what else to make for lunch. The great thing about this following recipe is that it can be scaled up or down with ease, and the choice of ingredients is very much open to interpretation. I've decided to use three main ingredients to flavour the pancakes, as well as to provide some colour to the pancakes: Chinese sausage, chives, and tiny dried shrimp.

The ingredients used:
  • 1 part all purpose flour (roughly 1 cup used)
  • 1 part water (roughly 1 cup used)
  • 1 Chinese sausage, chopped finely
  • a handful of chives (to taste and texture), chopped finely
  • salt (pinch)
  • 1 tsp of vegetable oil
  • 6-7 tiny dried shrimp, chopped finely (optional)

To make pancakes, the process is simple:
  1. Pour the flour into a mixing bowl, and add a pinch of salt
  2. Add the water to the flour and mix. If the mixture is too viscous after mixing, feel free to add a 1/3 cup water and try again.
  3. Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil
  4. Add the Chinese sausage, chives, and dried shrimp if used
  5. Mix the ingredients. The final mixture should be about the consistency of a batter.
  6. Heat up a 7" non-stick pan on medium heat, and oil lightly with a brush
  7. Add a full ladle of the batter to the pan and spread it out into a 6" circle. The pancake should be very thin, ~3 mm. In fact, the cooking should be very visible, seen as a hardening of the batter from outside inwards.
  8. Leave the pancake for ~2 minutes, or until the cooking process is 2/3 of the way done. Flip the pancake over, and cook for another 1 minute or so. The pancake should be lightly brown as seen in the photos.
  9. The final product will not be fully crispy, but is soft and can be rolled up, much like a crepe.
  10. Remove the cooked pancake, regrease the pan by brushing with oil, and add another ladle of batter and repeat the cooking steps.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Steamed Chicken

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The other day I posted the recipe on how to make a Ginger Scallion Garnish for Steamed Chicken, so it's only appropriate that I show how to make Steamed Chicken. Steamed chicken is a very simple dish to make, and is actually two dishes in one (you'll why later). Although I've used a whole chicken in this recipe, chicken breasts can be used by those who prefer a healthier option. Having said that, the way that I make this already reduces the amount of fat in the chicken. The key to this recipe is to keep the chicken skin on during the cooking process, even if you may remove it later for a healthier dish.

The ingredients are:
  • Whole chicken (3 lb chicken used in my case), or 3 to 4 de-boned chicken breasts WITH the skin
  • 2 thin slices of ginger, chopped finely
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • Optional Ingredients: onion powder, garlic powder
The steps:
  1. Ensure that the chicken is thawed in the refrigerator. You can do so by simply taking it out of the freezer and leaving it overnight in the upper part of the refrigerator.
  2. Place the chicken in a large glass bowl and marinate it first with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of soy sauce. If you'd like to use onion powder and garlic powder for extra flavour, mix 1/4 tsp. of each ingredient together and rub into the skin of the chicken. Lastly, rub the ginger on the skin as well.
  3. Turn the stove on high heat and wait for the water to boil. In my setup, I'm placing the bowl on top of a spacer inside the wok in order to steam. You can use a pot that has a steaming apparatus, or a double boiler, but the key is to have a deep dish to hold the chicken. The deep dish is what collects the flavours that come out of the chicken during the steaming process - and is used to make chicken broth.
  4. Once the water is boiling, place the dish with the chicken in, and let the water reach a strong boil again. As soon as the water begins to boil again, turn the heat to medium-high heat and steam for 20 minutes if you're using chicken breasts. In my case, I'm steaming for 30 minutes since I have a 3 lb chicken.
  5. When the time is up, leave the chicken covered and just let it rest for about 10 minutes. I've found that electric stoves retain heat well, and further cooks the meat, while gas burners lose heat the moment the gas is shut-off. Thus, you may find that if you're using a gas burner that your meat may still require additional cooking time.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove the chicken, and break it down to be served. In the case of chicken breasts, if you prefer to have skinless chicken for health reasons, now the skin may be removed. Pour the contents of the dish that held the chicken into a reusable container and let it rest. The chicken fat will rise to the top of the liquid. Place a lid on the container and cool it further in the freezer. This will help the chicken fat congeal at the top of the container to allow you to scoop it out for a very healthy chicken broth concentrate.
  7. Serve the chicken with Ginger Scallion Garnish and retain the chicken broth concentrate for future use in a soup.