Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ma Po Tofu (Spicy Bean Curd)

This is my hub's favourite dish. And my mother's too, I recently discovered. My hub has been asking me to cook this since last year, but I kept procrastinating. Perhaps, I thought I wouldn't do a good job if I didn't like the dish to begin with.

However, my recent visit to Lao Beijing changed my perception of how Mapo Tofu could taste like. I developed my liking for Mapo Tofu and decided to give it a shot this time.

The end product was good. It wasn't bland nor too spicy like those I have tasted before (other than Lao Beijing's one, of course). I will definitely cook this again soon. :)


  • 1 firm Tofu
  • 1/2 cup Minced Pork
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp chilli paste (I used Lee Kum Kee)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup of stock
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
1) Heat oil in high heat for 10 seconds
2) Stir-fry garlic and ginger for 15 seconds
3) Add minced pork and stir-fry, dividing the meat if it lumps together
4) Add chilli paste (Doban Tjan) and continue to stir-fry
5) Add seasoning, followed by bean curd.
6) Simmer for 2-3 minutes
7) Thicken the gravy with flour and water

This is easy eh? ;P

Chye Sim with Carrots

I cooked this dish with the goal of achieving something similar to the taste of the sauteed mini vege I had at Xiao Xuan Feng.

I thought I am nearly there, but my hub wasn't too impressed. His grouse is as usual. Too watery. He is one who likes his vegetables more 'glue-y', the type whereby it's thicken with flour and water. But I am so tired of having vegetables cooked in this style. There had to be times I get my way, no? :P

  • 1 packet of Chye Sim
  • 10 (agar-agar) sliced carrots
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 tsp chicken concetentrated stock*
  • 2 cups soya bean stock

*this is something out of the norm. I speculated this is what was included in the sauteed mini vege I had at Xiao Xuan Feng, so thought of giving it a try. The gravy turned out to be good!

1) Heat oil in high heat for 10 seconds
2) Add garilc (careful of splattering! The oil splattered onto my leg. *sniff)
3) Add the carrot and stem of the chye sim and stir till moderately soft
4) Stir-fry the leaves portion of the chye sim
5) Add the seasonings
6) Do not overcook. Serve

Pork in Gravy

I cooked this dish with reference to aromacookery, a website I chanced upon quite some time back, when I was looking for recipes. I was a fan of this website and the blogger. It's a pity that she has stopped blogging. I guess she must has really been very busy.

In any case, I didn't follow closely the recipe that she has placed on her website. The following is just my own variation.

My hub likes this dish and kept pinching food from this dish when I was still cooking. Heh! I find it ok too, but I don't really like the hoisin sauce taste.

The photo below is not well taken. I shouldn't have kept so close to the food while taking the shoot. The real thing looks much better.


  • 1 Packet of Pork Loin
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 chilli (shredded)

3/4 cup of stock/water
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce

1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp water


1 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 tbsp Cooking Wine
1 tsp Sesame Oil


1) Marinate meat in Mixture and keep in fridge for at least 30 minutes
2) Heat oil in high heat
3) Stir-fry garlic and onion in medium high heat*
4) Stir-fry pork until it changes colour
5) Add seasonings and chilli simmer for 1 minute
6) Thicken with flour and water
7) Serve

Garlic fried in high heat makes the dish taste better because it brings out the fragrance, but Caution! my hand was scalded by splattering garlics. This is the photo taken after 2 days. The mark is still there. *sobs* :(

Preserved Vegetables soup

I am not good at cooking soup. At least not to my hub. But I love soup and to be honest, I find most of the soup I cooked okay ley... :P My hub said my soup is all about the same, which I had to agree lah. So this time round, I had to use his favourite preserved vegetable soup as a 'carrot' for him to allow me to cook soup again. LOL. He not only agreed, but seemed to look forward to taste the soup.


  • 1 small packet of preserved vegetables
  • 5 cups of water
  • minced meat (enough to make into 5 medium-sized balls)

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
1) Marinade the minced meat in the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
2) Soak the preserved vegetables in water. Change the water after 30 minutes

1) Boil water
2) Add preserved vegatables
3) After the preserved vegatables are slightly soften, add the minced pork balls
4) Add seasonings to taste
5) Serve

Monday, May 28, 2007

Kung Pao (Mock) Chicken

"Is this sauce ready made?'

This question from my hub lifted me up and away from my seat. I didn't know it tastes as good as those ready-made sauces off the shelf, especially when this is just an experiement. Still, I have to agree that this is my most successful attempt in cooking this dish. ;)


  • Mock Chicken
  • Cashew Nuts
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A few slices of ginger
  • 3 Dried chilli (cut into 2 inches)
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweet soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of stock
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar

1) Roast Mock chicken in Healsio for 12 minutes or until crispy.
2) Heat oil in high heat
3) Fry Garlic 15 seconds
4) Turn to medium high heat and fry dried chillis
5) Stir mixture over medium heat until it bubbles
6) Coat mock chicken in mixutre
7) Thicken gravy with flour and water
8) Turn off the fire, add mix with cashew nuts
9) Serve

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lemon Chicken

I chanced upon a Philsbury cook book (with recipes filed in a folder) when my hub and I were at the Funan IT mall. I spent so much time browsing the cook book that my hub came over.

"Can I buy this cookbook?" I whispered. "But it's quite expensive - $20"
He immediately said, "of course! $20 is not expensive for such a thick cookbook"

My hub is always very generous with his wallet when it comes to buying things related to my cooking. He would buy almost anything (Oh wells, except for baking products) that I asked for and I always feel very much loved each time he does that. :)

When I went home to scan through the folder, I realised that the recipes were mostly western ones. I felt very upset that I have wasted my hub's money on the book as I doubt I will use it often for cooking dinner.

Nevertheless, I decided to try one of the recipes out so that I would have deemed to use the cookbook, somehow. Lemon chicken seems good so I decided to try that out.

Although we finished up all the lemon chicken on the plate, I wouldn't consider the cooking a successful attempt. My hub doesn't find it crispy enough. >_<>

Monday, May 07, 2007

French Beans with Mock Meat

These french beans are all that I am left with after throwing more than half of the originals away (it was kept for a week from last week's buy. :P)

The remaining still looks pretty fresh eh? And I think it really attributes to my Fisher and Paykel fridge. It keeps my food at such low temperatures (even when adjusted to 'normal') that some of my food actually freezes in the fresh food compartment!

Anyways. Despite the lack in quantity, we were well compensated in the quality. I kind of like the taste that I have 'concocted' this round. Many websites recommended deep frying so I decided to give it a try instead of the usual blanching and stir-frying. It was a risk I had to take for facing either a wipe-it-out or a remain-intact situation on the plate. Phew, Ain't I glad that it's the former! :)

  • French Beans
  • Carrot (looks better in strips in this dish. Preferably of same size as the french beans.)
  • Mock Meat (it's my 'vegetarian' day of the week again)
  • Ginger (Garlic would taste as good, if not, better)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
Seasonings (varies according to how much main ingredients you have. I had small quantities)
  • 1/2 tbsp Tau Cheo
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup stock (soy beans)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
1) Heat oil in medium high heat until it is slightly bubbling
2) Fry ginger for 30 seconds
3) Change to medium heat and stir-fry carrot for another 30 seconds
4) Add French Beans and mock meat
5) When the ingredients are nearly cooked, add the seasonings
6) Stir fry till the stock are almost dried up.
7) Serve. We had congee (beh) to go along.

Tau Pok in Black Soy Sauce

This went very well with the congee (beh) we had. :) I like this dish because it is simple to prepare and cook. I just have to dump everything in and let it simmer. Not much monitoring is required... ;)

12 Tau Poks (It was a mistake [shhh...] that I threw all 12 in, but we actually finished up all!)
5 pieces Mock Chicken
A few large slices of ginger
3 cups of water

1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste (optional. I don't add that as I try to keep my meals as healthy as possible. Sometimes at the expense of taste. :P)

1) Boil 3 cups of water in a claypot
2) Add ginger and mock chicken
3) Add seasonings
4) Add tau pok
5) Simmer

I love the succulent taste of the mock chicken. The feeling of biting onto the juicy tau pok as the hot gravy oozed out, is simply shiok. kekeke

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pork and Potato in Tomato Sauce

This dish would have been better if I had stick to pork loin. But I can't help it. The pork cubes looked so cute and everything is cut nicely for me. I just have to skin away those fats. Tell me, who doesn't like the easy way out? However, I would say that it is a compromise on the taste as it wasn't as tender. Heng my mother and hub find it quite nice and finished up the dish! ^^

  • Pork Loin (cut into cubes)
  • 1 Potato (cut into cubes)
  • 1 Onion (cut into quarters)
  • 1 Chilli (cut)
  • 1/2 tomato (quarters)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil

Mixed Seasonings
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1/2 small bowl of water
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

1) Blanch potato in water until it's moderately, but not fully soft
2) Stir fry chopped garlic and onion in 1 tbsp of oil
3) Add and cook pork* till it has changed colour
4) Pour mixed seasoning and chilli into the wok
5) Cook until the gravy bubbles
6) Do not overcook the pork. Serve immediately.

*Add stock if you are not using a non-stick wok like me. >_<

French Beans with Beancurd

This is one of the dish I would choose in those Vegatable Rice Stalls. So I thought it would be good if I can cook it too.

2 small beancurds (cut into 8 portions per piece)
A handful of French Beans (sorry, do not know what's the weight)
2 tsp garlic
Cooking Oil

2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1/4 small bowl of stock

1) Blanch french beans for 3-5 minutes
2) Heat oil in medium high heat
3) Pan Fry the beancurd till they changed yellow and remove from wok.
4) Stir-fry Garlic in oil in medium low heat
5) Add French Beans
6) Stir-fry with seasonings
7) Mix Beancud with French Beans under heat for 30 seconds
7) Serve