Monday, July 30, 2012

Turmeric And Honey Chicken Stir Fry 黃薑蜜糖雞 - "Malaysian Monday 82"

I am going to start the week with a Malaysian Monday post before I continue with more tasty Japanese treats.... thought I might set a good example as a host and spruik for some much needed entries before the roundup next Monday.

While there are many more Malaysian classics that I have yet to share with you, I decided on this brightly coloured childhood favourite of mine instead. The origin of the dish is a little unclear but It is  believed to be invented by my aunt using some leftover satay marinade in a stir fry.

Often sliced wing beans are added to the dish to encourage the consumption of vegetables among the young. Here I have replaced the elusive wing bean with some snow peas for some extra colour and texture, I think Thai baby eggplants will be a great substitute too. Adjust the amount of chilies in the spice mix to suit your family's taste, they are often left out when I cook it for non chili lovers or children.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 4 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
oil for cooking
500 g of skinless chicken thighs, cut into manageable pieces
1 tbs of spice mix (see below)
1 tbs of turmeric powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 an onion, peeled and cut into chunks
a handful of snow peas, topped and tailed and each sliced into 3 crosswise
1 cup of stock
2 tbs of honey or brown sugar
5 whole bird chilies

for the spice mix;
3 large shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 lemongrass (white part only) chopped
5 cm piece of ginger, chopped
5 candlenuts, chopped
3 bird chilies (optional)
1.5 tbs of turmeric powder
1/2 tbs of cumin powder
1/2 tbs of coriander powder
1/2 tbs of salt

First prepare the spice mix but putting all wet spices in a blender and process until you get a fine paste, mix in the dry spices and set aside.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and marinate with a little salt and a tbs each of the spice mix and turmeric powder. Let chicken to marinate for at least an hour.

Prepare the onion and snow peas.

Brown chicken with a little oil until golden all over, remove and set aside.

Add 3 tbs of cooking oil to a hot wok and saute the spice mix on medium heat until the oil separate (~5 to 8 minutes).

Add the chicken and onion to the wok and stir fry in the spice mix for a minute before adding the stock and honey, continue to cook for a further 30 seconds.

Finally add in the snow peas and chilies and cook for a further 30 seconds, check for seasonings.

Serve with plenty of steamed rice or as a side dish for nasi lemak (coconut rice)

I am hosting this month's event so please send all your entries to
To find out more about the event and on how to enter please click here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tori No Karaage 鶏のからあげ Japanese Fried Chicken

As promised here's the recipe for tori no karaage (Japanese fried chicken).

This is also one of the components in A's bento boxes I mentioned in my last post. A popular everyday dish that is of Chinese origin - a fact that was confirmed by Hiro who also shown us her way of making this dish that is known as Hiro's fried chicken by both A and her sister.

Making someone's favourite childhood dish can be a tricky business but thankfully I did get the thumbs up by the fussy taster.

I think I have been bitten by the Japanese bug after the lovely lunch we had and a trip to Daiso (where mainly not very useful cute Japanese things are sold) so there will be more Japanese dishes in the coming days. However I will fit in a Malaysian Monday post next week, remember the roundup won't happen for another week so I hope I will receive a few entries till then.

recipe adapted from Hiro Fanning
serves 4 to 6 as part of a Japanese meal
you'll need;
1 kg of skinless chicken thighs, cut into manageable pieces
8 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic grated
3 tbs of oyster sauce
2 tbs of soy
2 tbs of mirin
about 1 cup of corn flour
oil for frying

Cut chicken into manageable size.

Place seasonings, grated ginger and garlic in a large bowl.

Mix well and marinate for at least an hour or over night.

Add corn flour to the bowl , mix to ensure each piece of chicken is well coated with the flour.

Drench off excess flour from the chicken pieces and fry in plenty of hot oil until golden and crispy.

Serve as part of a Japanese meal.

Or seen here as part of the offerings in a bento. Recipes for origini (rice balls) will be posted next so please stay tuned! Also don;t forget to check out my karashi mentaiko supagetti (spaghetti with mentaiko).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Karashi Mentaiko Supagetti 辛子明太子スパゲッティ Spaghetti With Mentaiko And My 600th Post

Do not judge a book by its cover and it is appropriate to use the saying to describe this rather ordinary looking pasta dish. What it lacks in the look department is aptly compensated by the unique and addictive flavour that will have you ask for more, a reason why I have chosen this to be my 600th post.

Apart from the furikake (rice seasoning) and shredded nori which are used as garnishes, everything else is of foreign origins. Despite that, this quirky and very tasty dish is quintessential Japanese, the willingness of the Japanese to experiment with non Japanese ingredients is why there are always surprises awaiting when one visits a Japanese eatery.

The star of the dish is of course the karashi mentaiko (marinated spicy pollock roe) or known as myeongranjeot in Korean. Though it was only introduced to Japan over a century ago, it is now considered a common ingredient in Japanese cooking. It is difficult to describe the taste of mentaiko; it is salty, savoury, fishy , a little spicy and utterly delicious! ... words failed me really so do make it one of the ingredients you must try before you die.

P.S My dear friend A had started a lunch group at work with 5 of her colleagues (each contribute a  fixed amount of money and each would take turn making lunch etc etc.) and I was quick to say yes when she asked me for my assistance when it was her turn to cook. This formed one of the components of her bento boxes.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 3 as part of a Japanese meal or bento
you'll need;
250g spaghetti, cooked until al dente
65g of karashi mentaiko (marinated spicy pollock roe), separated from the membranes and set aside
3 heap tbs of pure cream
4 heap tbs of kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese mayonnaise)
pepper to taste
shiso fumi furikake (shiso rice seasoning) or finely shredded fresh shiso leaves
shredded nori seaweed

You can find mentaiko at all Japanese and Korean grocers (ask for myeongranjeot) and this is the packaging of the one we used.

And this is how the marinated pollock roes look like. Remove the the tiny eggs simply by making an incision on one end of the roe and squeeze out the tiny eggs from the very thin membrane.

Shiso fumi furikake (shiso rice seasoning) and we used pure jersey cream from South Australia, available at La Latteria in Carlton.

Place mentaiko, cream, cupie mayonnaise in a large seasoning bowl and whisk until well combined, season with pepper. Meanwhile cook spaghetti with a large pot of salted water.

Place drain spaghetti into the bowl with the mentaiko cream mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle with shiso fumi furikake (or fresh shiso) and shredded nori seaweed.

Or seen here as part of the offerings in a bento. Please check out my tori no karaage (fried chicken) and recipe for origini (rice balls) and maze gohan (mixed rice balls) will be posted next so please stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Butaniku No Yasai Maki 豚肉と野菜巻き Pork And Vegetable Rolls With Nagoya Miso Sauce

Non beef eaters do not be disappointed because Hiro also prepared some pork and vegetable rolls for us but this time the rolls were simmered in an equally delicious Nagoya miso sauce.

I love the lip smackingly good beef rolls but this is the dish that almost cured my homesickness. The combination of pork and the oh so familiar bean paste base sauce that is both sweet and savoury reminded me of my favourite pork dish - braised pork ribs with yellow bean sauce.

I would like to thank Hiro again for preparing such a wonderful meal for us and so very generous to share her recipes with me.

recipe from Hiro Fanning
serves 4 to 6 as part of a Japanese meal
you'll need;
12 thin slices of pork (used for shabu shabu)
12 asparagus, halved crosswise
oil for cooking
3 tbs of Nagoya miso
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of mushroom soaking liquid or low sodium stock

To make the rolls - place 2 pieces of asparagus (a spear and a stalk) on each piece of pork and roll tightly. I have to reuse the photo for the beef rolls here.

Nagoya miso.

Dissolve miso with the water in a saucepan and set aside.

Brown pork rolls seam sides down until golden all over, remove and set aside.

Bring the miso sauce to a simmer and add in the pre-fried pork rolls. Simmer for a minute before adding the mushroom soaking water or stock and continue to cook on low heat for a minute.

Serve pork rolls as part of a Japanese meal. Make sure you there is plenty of steamed rice to soak up the delicious sauce.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gyuniku No Yasai Maki 牛肉と野菜巻き Wagyu Beef And Vegetables Rolls With Soy And Mirin Reduction And Sauteed Enoki Mushrooms

Every family has its own version of gyuniku no yasai maki and this is by far the tastiest. Don't take my words for it but try making it A.S.A.P!

One thing you have to know is I didn't cook any of the dishes you are about to see but was again lucky enough to be the invited to my dear friend A's parents' home over the weekend for yet another delicious lunch (for a previous lunch at Hiro's kitchen see A lovely Japanese home cooked lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon)

P.S I was kicking myself for not taking my camera with me but fortunately my trusted mobile phone did take good enough photos to enable me to share with you a few tasty treats from Hiro's kitchen.

recipe from Hiro Fanning
serves 4 to 6 as part of a Japanese meal
you'll need;
12 thin slices of wagyu beef (used for shabu shabu)
12 asparagus, halved crosswise
half a red onion, thickly sliced
oil for cooking
1/2 cup of mirin
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of oyster sauce
1 tbs of fish sauce (optional)
1 packet of enoki mushrooms, cut off about 2 cm of tougher stalks and loosen
sichimi togarashi to serve

To make the rolls - place 2 pieces of asparagus (a spear and a stalk) and a few slices of red onion on each piece of beef and roll tightly.

Brown beef rolls seam sides down until golden all over.

Add in the mirin, soy, oyster sauce and fish sauce and mix well, remove the beef rolls from the pan when the sauce is slightly reduced. Saute enoki mushrooms with the remaining sauce in the pan for about 2 minutes or just cooked.

Sprinkle some shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven flavour pepper) over the beef rolls and serve them with the sauteed enoki. You'll need plenty of steamed rice with this dish.

She also made us chicken katsu....

Japaese fried chicken or tori no karaage. (recipe click here)

She added some sliced onions and a little dashi powder to the remaining chicken katsu batter for these golden fritters.... genius!! (recipe coming soon so please stay tuned!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kuaytiaw Pet ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเป็ด Thai Duck Noodle Soup

The ingredients for the broth looking familiar to you? Well you might be thinking of another popular Thai Chinese dish that I posted a while back - five spice pork leg stew or ka muu palo. Both dishes (and many more) migrated south along with the Teowchew coolies more than a century back and are now two of the most loved dishes in Thailand.

The duck is traditionally braised in the aromatic broth (palo in Thai or lu Chinese) but I wanted to be able to enjoy the delicious duck skin as well, something that I have been craving for weeks. Another advantage of roasting the duck is of course the wonderful fat that rendered out during the roasting process, well more about that later.

To make sure the aromatic broth is also rich and meaty; I have added a few roasted duck necks to the stock pot, they can be purchase from any Chinese bbq restaurants for next to nothing. Be patient and allow the broth to simmer very slowly for a few hour while you prepare the rest of the components for the dish. 

serves 4 to 6 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 whole duck, excess fat removed 
2 tbs of hoisin sauce
1 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of 5 spice powder
1 packet of rice sticks noodles, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained well
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 spring onions, chopped
3 stalks of coriander chopped (roots reserved for stock)
garlic oil and fried garlic
4 to 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
condiments sets to serve

for the stock;
4 l of stock
3 coriander roots, bashed
4 slices of galangal
1 tbs of white peppercorns
1 cassia bark
2 Thai cardamon pods
3 star anise
1 tsp of coriander seeds
reserved duck bones
3 roasted duck necks*
1/2 cup of rock sugar
1/3 cup of dark soy
1/4 cup of light soy
1/4 cup of fish sauce
*available from your local Chinese bbq restaurants

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, blanch duck for 2 minutes, remove and pat dry including the cavity. Mix hoisin sauce, soy and 5 spice powder and rub the mixture all over the duck including the cavity. Place duck uncovered in the fridge overnight or place it on a wire rack in front of a fan for 2 to 3 hours.

Place duck in the hot over breasts side up and roast at 240 C for 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 180 C and continue to cook for 25 minutes.

Rest duck for 15 minutes before separating the meat from the bones. Reserving all bones for the broth.

Place all ingredients for broth in a large pot cover and simmer on very low heat for 2.5 to 3 hours.

While the waiting for the broth, prepare the garlic oil/crispy garlic. and the rest of the toppings.

Prepare the condiments - normally consists of chili in vinegar, chili in fish sauce, dried chili flakes and sugar.

Blanch noodles and bean sprouts and drain well.

Pour some broth over, top with some duck pieces and the rest of the toppings. Serve with the condiments on the side.

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melbourne, victoria, Australia