Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ayam Goreng Asam, Tamarind Fried Chicken - "Malaysian Monday 33"

It has been a really crazy week and I was struggling to come up with something exciting for this week's MM post. That was until I found this very simple fried recipe in my little "black book". This is another childhood favourite; I remember quite vividly how we used to fight over the last piece of chicken whenever this was served, try it and you will understand why. If you not a fan of deep frying for whatever reason; simply pan fry chicken pieces for a few minutes on each side and bake in a hot oven until golden. 
P.S Can anyone please tell me how does pre-paid internet works? 

serves 4 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
1.5 kg of chicken thighs
6 tbs of instant tamarind paste
3 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of salt
2 tbs of light soy
dash of white pepper
peanut oil for frying
sambal kecap to serve

Prepare the marinade in a bowl and set aside.

Trim of excess skin and fat and prick chicken pieces all over using a sharp object.

Marinate chicken with the prepared marinade for at least an hour.

Fry chicken in hot oil until golden and crispy. 

Drain well and serve immediately as part of a Malaysian meal. 

I also made a large pot of sayur lodeh  (Malaysian vegetable curry) and served the fried chicken with some delicious sambal kecap.

My friend Sharon from Test With A Skewer will be hosting the March event. Please send all your entries to, to find out more about the event please click HERE

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Scattered Sushi" Bowl ちらし寿司 Chirashizushi

Too soon to have raw fish again? Not at the tummies' household! I was meant to be making makizushi but since my bamboo mat was nowhere to be found, we ended up  having this very colourful chirashizushi instead. It is delicious, healthy and dead easy to prepare but make sure you are using shashimi grade fish of course. If this is your kind of meal, make sure you check out my previous post - chopped tuna rice bowl.

serves 2 as a one dish meal
I used;
150 g of sashimi grade tuna, diced
150 g of sashimi garde salmon, diced
150 g of sashimi grade king fish, diced
1/2 a continental cucumber, diced
1 pickled radish, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
a handful of chopped chives
cooked Japanese rice to serve
soy to taste

Cooked rice and diced ingredients.

Scatter half of the diced ingredients over the warm rice and top with chopped chives.

Drizzle a little Japanese soy, mix well and enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chopped Tuna Rice Bowl 鮪の叩き丼 Maguro No Tataki Don

Staying in but don't feel like cooking? Not a problem! I did just that with this healthy treat on a  warm autumn evening. With shashimi grade fish readily available at the fishmongers these days, it is possible to create simple and healthy Japanese dishes such as this at home.

We can't possibly enjoy any Japanese meal without being reminded of the heart wrenching disaster that salvaged Japan 2 weeks ago. If you have not make a donation via the usual channels,  a Japanese cultural festival will be held at the Federation Square this afternoon in a bid to raise funds for  disaster relief for Japan. For more informations please click here.

P.S I met up with some bloggers for the first time last night,  it was a lively and very enjoyable night. Links will be put up when our meeting is posted by my new friends.

recipe adapted from Harumi's Japanese Cooking
serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
200 g of shashimi grade tuna
2 shallots, chopped
5 shiso leaves, roughly chopped
3 cm of ginger, grated
capelin or salmon roe
some shredded daikon (white radish)
2 very fresh free range egg yolks
cooked Japanese rice to serve
soy to taste

Peel and shred the white radish.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Chop half of the tuna finely,  and the rest roughly for a nicer contrast suggested by Harumi in her book.

Mix all chopped ingredients, tuna, ginger and fish roe in bowl.

Divide the shredded daikon over 2 bowls of hot rice, spoon the tuna mixture over and add an egg yolk on top. 

Break the yolk, drizzle a little soy over and mix everything well..... oishii!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dry Tossed Egg Noodles With Red Cooked Pork Knuckle 紅燒豬腳撈麵 - “Malaysian Monday 32"

I have to apologize for another much delayed MM post - I can only blame it to a very hectic start to the week and "internetless" at home. I prepared this when my dear friend A came over for lunch several weekends ago, the reason why some skinned and boned meat was added too. This is another of my favourite dishes from the wonderful noodle stall back in Cameron Highlands I mentioned often and I am extremely happy with my first attempt at recreating it at home. The red cooked pork knuckle can also be served as part of a Chinese meal with rice and perhaps a simple stir fried greens. For a halal version, try using lamb shins instead.

serves 6 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 pork knuckles, cut into large pieces (get you butcher to do this for you)
1 kg of skinned and boned knuckle meat*, cut into large pieces
5 tbs of rock sugar, bashed 
3 star anise
2 cassia bark
1 tbs of cumin powder
5 cloves
5 cm piece of ginger, sliced
1 head of garlic
3 spring onions, white part only
2 litres of stock
1/2 cup of light soy
1/3 cup of dark soy
5 tbs of caramel sauce

dressing for the noodles/serve;
1 tbs of shallot oil or garlic oil 
1.5 tbs of light soy
1 tbs of caramel sauce
1 tsp of castor sugar
dash of white pepper

you'll also need;
1 bunch of choysum, cut and blanched
1.5 fresh egg noodles/person
chopped spring onion to serve
fried shallot to serve
pickled green chillies in soy to serve
bird chillies in soy to serve

Blanch pork pieces and drain well.

Fry pork pieces with a little until golden and set aside.

Bring stock to a boil and add in the spices and seasonings, return the pork pieces to the pot. 

Cover and simmer until the pork is very tender (~2 hours) and the sauce is thick and sticky.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, meanwhile prepare the sauce for the noodles. Cook noodles for 15 seconds, remove and rinse in a big pot of cold water. When the pot of water returns to a rapid boil, add noodles and cook for another 15 seconds. Blanch choysum or bokchoy briefly. Mix noodles in the prepare sauce/dressing.

Top the dressed noodles with  pork knuckles with some of the delicious sauce, top with chopped spring onions and fried shallots. Don't forget the chillies!

My friend Sharon from Test With A Skewer will be hosting the March event. Please send all your entries to, to find out more about the event please click HERE

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steak With Slow Pan-Fried Fennel

We had a steak night at the tummies' again and this time I have chosen a side dish that is so delicious I would be happy to do without the beautiful piece of steak.... well almost. I simply love the versatility of this humble vegetable - try cooking it this way if raw fennel in a crisp salad doesn't do it for you. This will go beautifully with a piece of grilled or pan-fried fish as suggested by Nigel Slater in his cookbook - "Real Cooking". It is coming into fennel season now and I will be sharing with you a few more dishes using this wonderful bulb in the coming months. 

recipe for fennel from Nigel Slater's Real Food
serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 pieces of steak of your choice, trimmed of excess fat
3 medium size fennel, quartered 
75 g of butter
1 lemon
grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for cooking
hot mustard or horseradish cream to serve

Cut fennel bulbs into quarters just before cooking as they discolour rather quickly after cutting.

Melt butter in a pan then add the fennel. Brown fennel for a minute or two over medium heat, turn and cook the other side.

Pour in enough water to come half way up the vegetable. Squeeze in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil then cover and simmer over low heat until the fennel is tender (~20 minutes).

Remove lid and turn up the heat. Cook until a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid is left, scatter a handful of grated parmesan cheese over. Put the lid back and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes. 

Grill steaks on a hot griddle or bbq to your liking, you can start this once the fennel has been cooking for 10 minutes. Remember to rest the beef before serving (1/2 of the cooking time). 

Serve steak with the slow cooked fennel and spoon some of the delicious pan juice over. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pappardelle With Pork Ragu

I made another hearty Italian meal during the week to combat the chilly autumn night. This recipe is very similar to the wild rabbit ragu I made last year, if you are not too comfortable dealing with rabbit this will be a perfect alternative. And if you are not a pork eater or want a halal version, simply replace the pork with lamb using the same cut and omit the red wine. Have a great weekend and happy cooking!

serves 6 to 8 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1.8 kg of pork shoulder, cut into large pieces
3 brown onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 litre of pasatta
400 ml of crushed tomatoes
2 cups of red wine
2 sprigs of rosemary
a small bunch of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
cooked pappardelle to serve
chopped parsley to serve
grated parmesan to serve
olive oil for cooking

Brown pork pieces with a little olive oil in batches and set aside.

Saute garlic and onion until soften then add in the pasatta. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes before returning the pork to the pan. Add herbs, red wine and seasonings, cover and simmer until pork is very tender (~1.5 - 2 hours).

Remove pork from the pot and shred into large pieces when cool enough to handle.

Return shredded pork to the pan and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Check for seasonings.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pappardelle until al dente. Drain well.

Divide pasta among bowls and top with a generous amount of the delicious pork ragu. Serve with grated parmesan and some chopped parsley.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lamb Broth With Anchovies And Peas

It is getting cold here in Melbourne and it is also time for me to start making soups and stews. I was not too convinced when I first went through the ingredients list but I must admit the end result is a very satisfactory one, who would have thought? This is yet another recipe from The Italian Cookbook Collector's Edition by Gourmet Traveller but I had made some slight changes. The original recipe asks for curly endive but I substituted with some leftover cavolo nero instead.
It doesn't look like I will be able to come up with a Malaysian Monday post this week but I will make sure I will have some very special dishes for the coming week. 
P.S It is St. Patrick's Day today and I must get home before the town turns green by mmm... drunks! 

recipe adapted from The Italian Cookbook Collector's Edition by Gourmet Traveller
serves 2 to 3 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 kg lamb shoulder, cut into large pieces
3 brown onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 anchovy fillets
1.5 cups of chicken stock
3/4 cup of garden peas
1 tbs of oregano, coarsely torn
1/2 a bunch of cavolo nero (Italian black cabbage) or 1 curly endive
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
crusty bread to serve

Finely dice the onions.

Garden peas and trimmed cavolo nero.

Cut lamb shoulder into large chunks.

Saute onion with 2 tbs od olive oil until tender (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and anchovy fillets and cook until anchovies dissolve.

Add stock and lamb, cover and simmer on low heat. stirring and skimming occasionally until lamb is tender. 

Add vegetables and oregano, simmer until cavolo nero is wilted.

Serve hot with plenty of of crusty bread.

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