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.