Friday, February 6, 2009

My Food Idol Mr. Chua

Was watching this show on Mamabok's site and this really opens up my mind to a whole new perspective on what good food is!!! I like his principles on searching for perfection regardless if its a common dish like 'wanton noodles' to luxurious dishes which I've not even known some of those ingredients exist till now. Of course what his sense of perfection is fuelled by his memory and his taste bud on what he's been brought up with/used to having which will be very different to what the younger generation has experienced.

The other thing that I really like about this show is that they look for dying trades that's solely being carried on by one or two people now, gives you a very nostalgic feel. Its like taking us back to the soul of food striped down to bare essentials of traditional tools. Makes me feel like chucking out all my gadget's, as if hehe... but i went and bought some bamboo steamers after watching the 2nd episode "wink wink".

I wish I could search for all these perfection in my own little kitchen but with a toddler round me 24/7, I guess I'd just have to give and take. Can't invest all my time and effort on food like these people could as its their profession. Passion and profession fused together gives perfection! Someday when my baby doesn't need so much of my time anymore I just might go to such extremes, we'll see about that haha...but I have a cunning plan for now, I get my toddler involved in the kitchen to start off many years to cooking and experimenting, hope it works!! Hey people go watch this when you have time, won't regret it. Some of the dishes that they have are things that we may never get to experience in our lifetime!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Garlic steamed spare ribs

There's something about these stainless steel wares that makes me all nostalgic. These were what my grandparent's used to use. But anyway this dish came along with some messing around my sauces cubby.
Marinade the ribs for at least 30 mins:
-pork ribs (choose those with more fats to ensure tenderness) i think there were about 300gm here
-Minced garlic as much as you like
-Soy sauce enough to marinade all the meat
-1 tsp of sugar
-1 tbsp of rice distilled vinegar (Japanese type)
-1 tsp of sesame oil
Steam for about 8 mins and yum yum yum....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

'Loh Sang' or 'Loh Hei'

Happy Chinese New Year, welcome to the year of the OX! Though the economy and all seems all gloom and doom, life has to go on, we'll just have to live through such times but there's an optimistic saying 'It came to pass', we'll just hope it passes by real quickly!! In the mean time, it helps when our tummy is filled with lots of good home made and yummy food!
I've always loved 'Loh Sang' in Malaysia and have done it since I was really young, not realising its more of a Malaysian and Singaporean custom. But it seems that this trend is catching on, heard on the Auckland Chinese radio station the other day some restaurants advertising for this dish during this festive period.
This is a home made version of my aunt, I'm so lucky to have such an innovative home cook aunt! I vouch and our whole family vouch for the yummyness of this dish, way better than any 5 star restaurants ones that we've tasted.
Every year during CNY, we practise pot luck among our fellow friends here and whenever it came to my turn to host, I always had the luxury to ask my aunt to make this for me, so meaning I've never once had to DIY! I got this recipe from her to share with everyone who'd like to try to make this on your own.

Ingredients to be grated:


Use a muslin cloth to squeeze out as much water from the grated vege, the drier it is, the crunchier it'll be.

Other ingredients:

-Spring onion cut into thin shreds
-Deep fried wanton skin (use the thick type, cut the skin into 3 portions before deep frying)
-Ground peanuts (LOTS)
-Toasted sesame seeds (LOTS)
-Pickled onions cut thinly
-Pickled ginger (cut into fine shreds)
-Raw fish slices of your preference (sashimi grade)

Note: You could buy pickled onions and ginger easily at the supermarkets, the DIY is simple enough anyway just pickle it with vinegar and sugar, can be done on the same day.

To make the sauce:

-1 bottle of plum sauce
-1 bottle of apricot jam
-Vinegar and sugar to taste
-a few tbsp of water depending on the consistency

Put everything into a pot and cook over low flame till slightly reduced.

To assemble:

Place all the grated vege in sections on a platter. Then layer on the fish slices, peanuts, wanton skin, sesame seeds and all. Before serving, sprinkle with some pepper, 5 spice powder (just a hint) and a little bit of oil. Pour the sauce on top a few minutes before the 'loh' begins!!!

Here's to a prosperous, happy and healthy new year!