Sunday, November 9, 2014

Japanese Sauce Pasta, Simple One Pot Lunch

When we first visited Pasta Zanmai, the Japanese restaurant, I fell in love with their signature peanut sauce pasta, surprisingly the peanut paste which I thought would be too thick actually paired well with the pasta.

Since I bought a bottle of roasted peanut sauce recently during a Japanese food fair, I thought to use it to make some Japanese pasta similar to the ones we had in Pasta Zanmai, and it turned out surprisingly well!

My Japanese Peanut Sauce Pasta, served with some crunchy chicken fillet, another favorite dish of my kiddos. The whole pot of pasta was finished under 30 minutes.

This is the key ingredient - Roasted Peanut Sauce, can be used as salad dressing too. Just make sure you shake well before using.

The making? Easy.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Serving for: 4 pax


Peanut Sauce Pasta:
1/2 packets of spaghetti 
12 stalks of baby spinach, wash and cut into chunks about 5cm long
1 medium potatoes, roughly sliced
2 clove of garlic, sliced
3 eggs, beaten and add a teaspoon of soy sauce & pepper
1 table spoon soy sauce
1/2 table spoon of dark soy sauce (optional)
A dash of rosemary (dried or fresh)
A dash of salt
4 tablespoon of Roasted Peanut sauce

A) Chicken Fillet & Marinate:
200gm chicken breast, cut into short strips
1 teaspoon of salt
A few drops of sesame oil 
A dash of pepper 

Fancy some crunchy fillet instead?

B) Crunchy Chicken Fillet & Marinate:
200gm chicken breast, cut into short strips
1 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce (can replace with soy sauce)
1 teaspoon of salt
A few drops of sesame oil 
A dash of paprika powder (optional)
A dash of pepper 
2 tablespoon corn starch
3-4 tablespoon of breadcrumbs

The Making:
1. Season the chicken strips, set aside (for method A).

2. Heat up 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a wok, sauté the garlic till fragrance then add in the potato strips, follow by the chicken strips. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.

3. Add boiled water (room temperature) into the wok to just enough to cover the pasta, let to boil then toss in the spaghetti. Add the salt, soy sauce and rosemary then let it simmers for 8-10 minutes with the lid closed.

4. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat up a table spoon of olive oil, pan fry the egg liquid to make a large Omelette. Using the spatula, roughly cut the omelette and set aside. 

5. On the final 2 minutes, toss in the  b
aby spinach and close the lid to let it cook for 2 minutes.
 Turn off heat, toss in the Omelete and roasted peanut sauce into the spaghetti, mix well. 

That's it,  your Japanese sauce spaghetti is ready to serve! 

And if you feel like adding some crunchy chicken fillets, here's how...

7. Marinate the chicken fillets, coat them with a thin layer of corn starch and generous amount of bread crumbs. 

8. Heat up 3 tablespoon of cooking oil in a non stick pan, fry both sides of the fillets for about 3 minutes or until it turns golden brown. (You may cook few fillets at same time if you have a large enough pan, just don't turn the fillet too soon)

9. Dish out and let the oil drops off before serving.


Do note that this dish is best to serve warm as the sauce may dry up quite fast.  However the pasta taste nice as it absorbs all the sauce. 

For children below 2yo or anyone with known allergic history to nuts, do avoid the peanut sauce altogether. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

No Bake Mango Cheesecake & Mango Dessert

I love love love mango dessert. A bowl of ice shaved mango sago or a slice of silky smooth mango cheesecake, my ideal way to ward off the tropical heat. Someday when I missed the dessert so much, I would asked big guy to drive me to the nearest desert stall at night just to have a bowl of ice shave mango sago, or commonly known as "mango lo" to the locals -- 芒果捞.

My brother brought me some mangoes collected from the mango tree in our hometown, the tree is even older than me and it bears the sweetest mangoes in town. Since we had ate some of them and there were still 2 left, I decided to make them into cheesecake.

And it turned out... Perfect! I chilled them for few hours and served to my family after dinner, verdict was good, yay!

The extra was used for mango Loh.. Satisfying! Keep scrolling down for the simple recipe.

The making is actually rather easy and best of all its non-bake and eggless, so no use of oven and kid-friendly.

Let's get started. 

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Waiting Time: 4 hours

The ingredients:

(A) Cheesecake Base
• 120gm Oreo cookie crumbs
• 70gm butter, melted (can use microwave)

(B) Mango Cheesecake
• 250gm (1 block) cream cheese, room temperature 
• 35gm icing sugar (original recipe used 55gm)
• 150ml thicken cream
• 2 teaspoon jelly powder 
• 30ml hot water

(C) Cheesecake topping
• 2 mango, puréed 
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice

The Making:

1. Line the base of a baking tin with a nonstick baking sheet, brush with some melted butter on the sides for easier removal later.

2. In a clean bowl, mix the oreo cookies crumbs with the melted butter, spread them onto the base of the baking tin and press with the back of a spoon to ensure the crumbs are evenly spread out. Store the cookie base into chiller for at least 15 minutes until it's hardened.

3. Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar on high speed until creamy, then add in the thickens cream, mix well.

4. Add the jelly powder with hot water and stir until all dissolved, add into the cream cheese mixture and fold evenly using a spatula. 

5. Spoon the mixture onto the Oreo base, even the top using a spatula. Keep the cheesecake refrigerated for at least 4 hours before serving.

6. When serving, just pour the mango purée all over the cake, and enjoy your rich mango cheesecake! 

Useful Tips!
• when serving for a party, you may serve the cheesecakes in cups for better presentation. 
• to cut short preparation time, you can buy ready packed Oreo crumbs from bakery supplies store. If you are using Oreo cookies, crush them using a food processor or use a rolling pin to crush the cookies (keep them sealed in a ziplock bag). 
• make sure the cream cheese is softened before you start mixing, this is to ensure a smooth texture
• if you have the extra time, sift the purée for a smoother texture.

Bonus Recipe!

Ice Shaved Mango Dessert - "Mango Loh"

What you need:
• 1/2 ripe mango
• 10-12 ice cubes 
• 1 table spoon thicken cream 
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
• 1 cup ready made clear jelly or cincao jelly

Purée 1/4 mango with the ice cubes and thicken cream cream until they are well blended. Top with mango cubes and some cut jelly.

Dig in and enjoy before it melts!