Thursday, September 15, 2011

Phat Nam Prik Phao Muu Sab ผัดน้ำพริกเผาหมูสับ Stir Fried Pork Mince With Roasted Chili Paste

I am not a big fan of roasted chili paste in tom yam or in salad dressing but it is a different story when it comes to a quick gutsy stir fry such as this. 

Having a jar of this delicious shop bought condiment in the fridge means a quick Thai meal can be whipped up even with very short notices. If you are unable to find nam prik phao please leave me a note and I'll email you the recipe for it.

It can't be easier to make a simple Thai dish such as this but make sure you get the balance of the flavor right by always checking and adjusting the seasonings before serving.

serves 2 to 3 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
500 g of pork mince or mince of your choice
250 g of green beans, topped and tailed, sliced at an angle
3 cm knob of ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 bird chilies, chopped (adjust to your liking)
5 bird chilies, halved lengthwise
5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
5 tbs of roasted chili paste* (nam prik phao)
dash of fish sauce
dash of oyster sauce
3/4 cup of stock or water
1 bunch of Thai basil, picked (about half a cup)
juice from half a lime or 2 tbs of tamarind concentrate
* available from Asian grocer. If you are unable to find it, leave your email address and I'll email you the recipe. 

Marinate the mince with a dash of fish sauce and some corn flour. This little step will give the mince a better texture and flavour, more importantly not turning up like little worms which is a big no no at the tummies.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients. We like our dish with a little more kick so adjust the quantity of chilies accordingly.

Brown the mince in a very hot work with a little vegetable oil, breaking up the lumps as you go. Remove and set aside.

Saute chopped ingredients with more oil for a minute before adding the roasted chili paste. Turn the heat down a little and add the rest of the seasonings, cook the sauce for a further minute.

Return the mince to the wok together with the onion, chilies and green beans and stir well.

Add stock or water and continue to cook until the beans are just cooked. Finally mix in the Thai basil before turning off the heat. 

Ladle some of the addictive mince over a plate hot steamed rice and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yang Cong Cai Pu Jian Dan 洋蔥菜脯煎蛋 Onion And Preserved Turnip Omelet - "Malaysian Monday 54"

To many, A Teochew porridge/congee meal is incomplete without a plate of this very simple everyday dish. 

I prefer to saute the onions briefly beforehand as it brings out the sweetness of the onion which match so well with the saltiness of the preserved turnip. Using the remaining oil in the pan to cook the omelet will of course make the finished dish even more fragrant and tasty.

Serve this together with some pickled mustard greens and the aromatic soy braised pork belly with eggs and tofu I posted earlier and you will have a meal that would make many homesick Teochews very happy.

serves 2 to 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 onion, sliced and lightly saute and allowed to cool
5 tbs preserve turnip
2 spring onion, sliced
dash of soy
salt and white pepper to taste
dash of sesame oil

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly with the seasonings.

Mix the beaten eggs with the rest of the ingredients.

Heat up the pan with the remaining oil (from sauteing the onion earlier) and tip the egg mixture in. Fry on very low heat for 4 to 8 minutes.

When the omelet is firm enough to handle, turn it over and cook on the other side for a further 2 minutes.

Serve as part of a Chinese meal with either porridge or rice. 

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer is hosting the September event. Please send all your entries to To find out more about MMM and on how to enter, please click HERE.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Black Sesame Crusted Salmon With Orange And Watercress Salad

I have always loved salmon for its very distinctive flavour and the wonderful buttery texture when it is cooked just right. My love of salmon is of course not a secret with the number of posts using the beautiful fish outnumbered all other species combined. Here's another easy salmon recipe for all salmon lover.

The crusted salmon alone can be served with some plain rice with a dash or mirin and soy for a quick lunch. If you are not able to find watercress, finely sliced fennel would make a fabulous replacement, just omit the tomatoes. 

serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 salmon cutlets
2 tbs of orange juice
1 tbs of honey
salt and pepper to taste
black sesame seeds
oil for frying

for the salad;
A small bunch of watercress
2 tomatoes, blanched, skinned, deseeded and diced
1 orange, skinned and segmented
2 blood oranges, skinned and segmented

for the dressing;
1 shallot, finely diced
30 ml of orange
90 ml of olive oil
2 tbs of apple cider vinegar
sugar to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the oranges for the salad.

Cut cutlets into halves and removing all bones.

Mix together the orange juice, honey, salt and pepper. Coat the salmon pieces with the mixture and coat with the black sesame seeds. Pan fry with a little oil on both sides on high heat and make sure not to burn or overcook the fish. Remove and set aside.

Prepare the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients, check for seasonings before tossing the watercress, orange segments and tomatoes in a large bowl.

Halve  the salmon pieces lengthwise and place on top of some of the refreshing salad.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Midweek Pasta - Spaghetti with Prawns, Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

The plan was to make our favourite prawns and zucchini risotto again but laziness made me opt for the easy option so it was a midweek pasta time again at the tummies'.

Some cherry tomatoes were added for colour and they also adds a new dimension to the already very delicious "sauce". There must be countless pasta recipes out there using the same ingredients but this is how we prefer it.

P.S As a rule parmesan cheese doesn't  play a part in a seafood dish such as this, but you might be interested to read about the dairy industry (which includes the production of parmesan) in Italy - In Italian Heartland, Indians Keep The Cheese Coming. 

you'll need:
500g of spaghetti, cooked till al dente 
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2kg of green prawns, roughly chopped
1 medium size zucchini, peeled and diced
1punnet of mixed cherry tomatoes halved
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of basil, picked
olive oil for cooking
extra virgin olive oil for serving

Prepare the ingredients and put a large pot of salted water to boil for cooking the pasta.

Heat up a heavy bottom pan. Fry garlic in a slush of olive oil till slightly brown then add the prawns and continue to cook til the prawns are 50% cooked.

Add zucchini into the pan and cook for a minute.

Next in the cherry tomatoes and cook until soft but not to a pulp, check for seasonings. Meanwhile drain pasta into a colander.

Tip drained pasta into the pan together with half a cup of the pasta cooking water and basil and mix well.

Drizzle with more olive oil and buon appetito!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wui Fan 燴飯 Rice Topped With A Quick Braised Sauce - "Malaysian Monday 53"

There are many who consider noodle dishes as mere snacks and can only be satisfied with a serving or two or rice. For that reason I decided to make a popular rice dish when my friend R,  a rice lover came for a quick lunch a while back.

Most "cook to order" Cantonese food stalls in Malaysia offer wui fan together with the likes of wat dan horCantonese fried yuen yong and fried rice. Often directly translated from Chinese 燴飯 (wui fan - Cantonese, Hui Fan - Mandarin) as braised rice which doesn't really make too much sense.... well let's see if I can explain it better. 燴 (wui/hui) is one of the many braising techniques used in Chinese cooking where two or more ingredients (ie meat, seafood, mushrooms, vegetables) are braised (for a short time) in a pale sauce that does not contain any strongly colour seasonings so the natural colour of the ingredients can be emphasized, therefore 燴飯 can simply be described as steamed rice topped with the for mentioned pale, "quick braised" sauce".

Not only this is a very simple dish to prepare, it is also a wonderful way of turning the bits and pieces in your fridge into something very delicious.

P.S Please check out silken tofu braised in chicken and mushroom sauce 香菇雞粒燴滑豆腐which also involved the same technique.

serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 garlic cloves, chopped
a small knob of ginger, chopped
4 medium size prawns, heads removed
150 g of chicken breast, sliced
2 stalks of bokchoy, cut into manageable lengths
2 spring onions, cut into manageable lengths
a handful of wood fungus, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, torn
1 cup of chicken stock
3 tbs of oyster sauce
1 tbs of light soy
white pepper to taste
corn flour solution for thickening
1 egg, lightly beaten
hot steamed rice to serve
sliced red chilies in soy to serve

Prepare the garlic, ginger and vegetables.

Marinate chicken slices with a dash of light soy, sesame oil, white pepper and corn flour. Prepare the prawns and wood fungus.

Saute chopped garlic and ginger with a little oil then add in the chicken, prawns and wood fungus. Stir fry on high heat for 30 seconds.

Add vegetables and cook for a further 30 seconds before adding the stock and seasonings.

When it comes to a boil, push the solids to aside and thicken the sauce with the corn flour solution. Pour in the egg, turn off the heat and mix everything gently. I cooked the sauce a little more than I normally would as I was sharing the meal with a pregnant woman.

Pour the content over some pipping hot rice (or some char rice noodles and you will have a plate of equally delicious wat dan hor) and serve with some cut chillies in soy.

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer is hosting the September event. Please send all your entries to To find out more about MMM and on how to enter, please click HERE.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Roundup No.14

Composing a roundup post is quite an enjoying task, but doing it on empty stomach is quite a different story and there is only one word to describe that - TORTURE!

We would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed to yet another very tasty roundup. 

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer will be hosting the September event, please send all your entries to To find out more about the event and on how to participate, please click HERE.

Let's start with Sherie from 1/2 food blog who is no stranger to MMM with 3 delicious posts;

First a post on her recent trip to Kuching , Kolo mee is just some of the local specials she tasted.

Check out her mouth smackingly good Hainanese chicken rice.

Finally read the sweet story behind this Malaysian Ramly burger.


Next up we have Swee San from The Sweet Spot;

with her equally sweet looking and tasting purple onde-onde .


Let's welcome Sudha from Malaysian Delicacies who managed 2 entries;

Indeed a Malaysian tea time favourite - kuih kosui.

Something all Malaysians are familiar with and adore - sweet black glutinous rice porridge.


Lena from Frozen Wings returns;

with her hot and sour fish.


Next our old friend Gertrude from My Kitchen Snippets would like to tempt you with;

My very favourite soya sauce chicken, pass on the rice please!

A hawker favourite - murtabak.

finally check out her successful attempt on recreating a Penang specialty - tau sar pheah (mung bean biscuit).


Another new friend, Vivian from Vivian Pang Kitchen sent in 2 entries;

First let's check out her homemade roti canai.

How about some of these roasted chili drumsticks on your next gathering with friends?


Well it will be strange not to have some goodies from Aunty Cheah from No Frills Recipes and she sent in 2 entries;

Looking for a good beer snack? Check out her tangy pork belly.

Mid Autumn Festival is just around the corner, if you want to try making your own moon cakes you might like her ping pei moon cakes.

Janine from Not The Kitchen Sink joined us again;

With theses very pretty homemade curry puffs .


Lisa from My Lemony Kitchen returned with 2 entries;

First a thirst quenching sago melaka.

Next a Malay classic - ayam masak merah.


Say hello to Shannon from Just as Delish;

Check out her cute little cup cakes, using the local fruit cempedak.

A plate of this delicious Penang mee goreng would be good right now!


Jehanne from The Cooking Doctor is back with;

Some homemade murtabak .


Please welcome back Shu Han from Mummy I Can Cook with her 2 entries;

First a red hot sambal belacan paste.

With her sambal, you might want to try preparing our national dish - nasi lemak.


Veronica from Quay Po Cooks came with a few claypots;

Please read the bitter sweet story behind her post on claypot chicken rice.


Our old friend Kristy from My Little Space managed 3 tasty posts;

First with theses ham sui kok.

She is showing her creativity in baking with these steamed sweet pumpkin kuih.

Finally who can say no to her homemade chai kuih?


Last but not least My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer still managed 2 posts in between her packing, moving and unpacking;

I would love a bowl of this bubur gandum right now to cure my homesickness.

A favourite snack that bring back sweet memories - bubur pulut hitam.


Finally for my belacan chicken and the rest of my entries + many more Malaysian goodies, simple click here.

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melbourne, victoria, Australia