Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{CNY Special} Fried Prawn in Sweet Sauce 干煎明虾

This is a traditional Chinese New Year dish that my mother in law cooks every year. This time I'm determined to learn from her, who knows one day it may be my turn to prepare the CNY eve dinner. :P

It is unbelievably easy and but is absolutely delicious!

Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: 10 minutes 

• 12 large fresh prawn, cleaned 
• 2 glove garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 thumb ginger, thinly sliced 

For garnish:
• 1/4 Red chili, thinly sliced 
• some parsley leaves 

For sauce:
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 
• 1 teaspoon sugar 
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon Shao Xin wine 
• 1 tablespoon corn flour, diluted with some water 

The Making:

1. Heat up 3 tablespoon of cooking oil in the wok, put the prawns into the wok and cook for about 3 minutes till cook (turns red). Dish out the prawn and place them on a dish.

2. Using remaining oil in the wok, sautée the garlic and ginger till fragrance, then add in the rest of the ingredients for sauce (except the corn orb starch).

3. Boil the mixture on high heat till thicken, then add in the corn starch and stir to mix well.

4. Toss the prawn into the sauce and mix them up. Serve them on a plate and add some parsley & red chili for garnishing.

Ready to serve. Look at the complete 8 course dinner made by my amazing mother in law.. Simply irresistible!

Here's wishing you a happy Chinese New Year, may you and your loved ones be blessed with abundance of good luck and always in great health.

Friendly Reminder...
• ensure your little one is not allergic to prawn or crustaceans, my little E will have rashes after eating prawn so he would have to pass on this dish. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bite-Size Almond Cookies

Today I met up with my sister, and together we baked some CNY cookies. This is the first time I actually have a baking buddy (apart from my duo) and that was really much more fun than baking alone. :)

Look at these cute little almond cookies.. 

Made in bite size, they are perfect snack for gathering.

What I like most about this recipe is that no special tools required, just a mixer, a brush and and two bare hands. The cookie is so soft and simply melt in your mouth.

Here's the making..

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes 
Serving: about 40-50 cookies 

Recipe courtesy of my sister, Joyce.

• 150gm Unsalted butter at room temperature 
• 200gm super fine flour
• 20gm milk powder
• 35gm icing sugar
• 1 medium egg yolk
• 10gm custard powder 
• 40 whole almond, roasted at 150°c for 35-40 minutes until golden brown
• 1 medium egg, beaten (for brushing)

The Making:
1. Sprinkles some flour over a baking tray, preheat the oven to 150°c.

2. Mix flour, milk powder and custard powder in a large bowl.

3. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolk and continue beating, then add in the flour. Mix well.

4. Wrap the dough with a cling form, store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

5. Shape the dough into small ball of about 4cm diameter, press lightly flatten it using the thumb to about 2cm height.

6. Brush the top of the dough with some egg liquid, then press a roasted almond on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cookies is golden brown. Watch your temperature closely at the last few minutes.

Let cold, treat yourself with few of this goodies and store the remaining in an airtight container. These cookies shall be good to keep for 3 weeks and they are perfect to be given as a festive gift!


Tips for Parents...
• When making for little ones under 3yo, suggest to replace the whole almond with almond flakes or almond nibs to avoid risk of chocking.
• If your little one is allergic to nuts or almonds, you may omit the almonds with just egg wash.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

"Kung Pow" Chicken Junior 小宝鸡丁

One of the common dishes you can find in any Chinese restaurant is Kung Pao Chicken, 宫保鸡丁, the chicken cutlets are deep fried then stir fry with dark soy sauce and dried chillies, making it a sweet and spicy dish that is often a favorite to many. Unfortunately my duo won't take spicy food, so I tried to make a replica of this dish but minus the dried chili and over rich sauces.

I choose not to deep fried the chicken cutlets, so they remain juicy and succulent and not too hard to chew for kiddos or old folks.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving for: approximate 4 pax

• 300gm chicken cutlets (I used chickenbreast)
• 2 glove garlic, finely chopped
• 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into cubes
• 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into cubes
• 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into cubes
• 2 tablespoon roasted cashe nuts (I replaced with pan fried white sesame)

• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
•  a dash of pepper
• 1 teaspoon of brown sugar 
• 1 tablespoon of corn flour 

The Making:
1. Rub the chicken cutlets with salt and marinate them for at least half an hour.

2. Heat up 4 table spoon of cooking oil in the wok, toss in the chicken cutlets and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Dish out and set aside but leave the oil in the wok.

3. Toss the chopped garlic into the wok, once it turns golden brown, add the bell peppers, cook for about 2-3 minutes until they are all cook, toss in the chicken cutlets and mix well.

4. Sprinkled with some roasted cashew nuts or white sesame on top then serve hot. 

Absolutely no dipping sauce is required as this dish is so tasty to eat just as-is!

Enjoy. ;)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

PH's Crispy Popcorn Chicken

My duo absolutely love chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, fish nuggets, basically anything crispy and crunchy. But never once I brought them to McDonald's nor KFC, fast food is a big no no to us. I always believe real food is the healthiest choice.

Once in a while I will cook them fried food  and when we read about the crispy chicken recipe on the newspaper recently, little E were so excited and repeatedly requested me to make for them. So I did, with a little adjustment to the recipe.

Want to know the secret to extra crispy fried chicken? It is unbelievably easy, just double coat! Double dip in the egg and corn flour, and the result? Extra crispy fries chicken that you can't stop wanting more. That's what I called this the Popcorn Chicken.. :)

Without breadcrumbs coating.

Daddy & mommy had chicken steak instead. With lots of green salad.

• 300gm chicken cutlets
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar 
• 1 tablespoon Shao Xin rice wine
• a dash of pepper

For Coating:
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 tablespoon corn flour
• love it extra crunchy? Add 2 tablespoon of breadcrumbs for coating!

The Making:

1. Marinate the chicken cutlets at least an hour before cooking. Coat the chicken cutlet with a layer of egg liquid, following by a thins her of corn flour; repeat same step, then follow by a coat of breadcrumb last

2. Heat up sufficient amount of cooking oil in the wok (enough to cover the cutlets), once the oil is hot enough, gently toss in the chicken cutlets, keep some space between each piece.

3. Let the chicken fry for about 5 minutes before removing them from the wok. Drip the excess oil on kitchen napkin.

Let the chicken popcorns cold down before you start popping them into your mouth. My duo were so happy when they saw what we were having for lunch, they quickly helped me setup the table and sat down quietly to wait for their meals to be served. LOL. They had at least 7 popcorns each and it's such a blessing to watch them enjoy their food with such satisfying smile.

Hope you like this recipe!