Assam Prawns

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I love prawns every which way. All the way from live (!), to raw, steamed, poached, stir fried, pan fried, deep fried, grilled and baked. Not forgetting dried prawns, which I can't live without. Stinky and fermented shrimp paste? Pickled cincalok? Bring it on!

Honestly, there's no such thing as bad prawns, so long as they're fresh and not overcooked. Yup, even dried, fermented and pickled prawns must be made with the freshest catch if you want quality stuff.

Roast Chicken

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

"Spatchcock?" I said, a bit warily. I was talking to the chicken guy at the market, who was asking me how I wanted my chicken cut up. The young chap – a mainland Chinese – didn't understand the word 'spatchcock'. I tried again, this time in my limited Chinese, 'Er, make it look like a butterfly?' He stared at me like I was insane. "Frog? Make it look like a frog?"

Pork Belly Braised with Red Fermented Beancurd

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

If you like strong flavours, you'd like the Hakka way of cooking pork belly.

The fatty cut is marinated with red fermented beancurd and Shaoxing wine, deep-fried, then braised in the marinade along with fried ginger, shallots and ginger and wood ear fungus.

Don't forget to cook more rice when you make this Hakka dish!

Chicken with Rice Wine Dregs

Thursday, 12 August 2010

I was wandering round my favourite hangout in the neighbourhood – aka supermart – when I noticed some cookbooks in the fruits and vegetables section. Instead of being tucked away in some obscure corner, they were occupying prime real estate, right under my nose.

If you want the customer to buy something, put it where he's bound to walk past, at eye-level. This is one of the oldest tricks of supermarkets.

True enough, I stood amidst the apples, oranges and Russet potatoes and started browsing the cookbooks.

Ginger Cake

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Imagine a soft, tender cake that's filled with the spiciness of fresh ginger, mixed with the slight bitterness of treacle.

The cake is not too sweet, so you can taste the trace of cinnamon, cloves and black pepper in the background.

The colour is a dark, gorgeous mahogany that looks rich but, when you take a bite, the cake is quite light.

Mmmmm . . . what could be better than a slice of ginger cake on a rainy day? Let me see . . . . A slice of ginger cake on a sunny day! Or cloudy day. Or any day  regardless of the weather!

The recipe I use is from David Lebovitz. It's a stir and mix cake that requires no beating or creaming at all. It's dead easy and done in a jiffy. Absolutely nothing can go wrong if you measure the ingredients correctly, set the timer, and a meteor doesn't hit your house.