Friday, April 22, 2011

Drunken Herbal Prawn Soup


500gms large prawns (freshest you can find - if you can get live ones esp. tiger prawns, it's the best)
3cm length ginger ) cut into fine strips
2 tbsp goji berries
2 dried mushroom ) soaked till soft and sliced thinly
2 pieces wood ear ) soaked till soft and cut into fine strips
2 slices dong quai (angelica sinensis) - reduce or omit if you do not want a herbal soup
1 clove garlic (smashed)
2 - 3 cups water depending on the volume of soup you wish to have
1/2 cups rice wine
1-2 tsp light soya sauce
a dash of white pepper powder


1. Boil water in a pot (use claypot, if you have). Toss in ginger, goji berries, garlic, mushroom, wood ear and dong quai. Let simmer till the aroma of dong quai is released.

2. Pour in rice wine and bring to boil and stir in the prawns. Cook prawns until they turn pink and turn off heat. Do not overcook the prawns.

3. Season with soya sauce and white pepper.

The drunken prawn soup I have made here looks dark as my homemade yellow rice wine has aged. If you use a "young" batch of homemade rice wine or commercially produced ones, you will get a much paler colour.

Enjoy this tummy-warming soup piping hot on a cold, rainy day :)

I just had mine - like the whole pot of this and forgot to eat my steamed rice and side dish of kimchi!! SO GOOD!

It doesn't look soupy here as I needed to have the prawns take centrestage for the photoshoot.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Herbed Mushroom and Feta Tart

This tart came up because I had leftover pastry, feta, cheddar and egg mixture from making spinach & feta quiche for a bake sale :) Had this tart in mind already when I was out at the bake sale and bought some white button mushrooms.

So, the measurement of ingredients is approximate but I feel cooking should be fun and flexible to a certain extent. As some of you know, I improvise as I go along ~ as long as taste is good, it does not matter if you cut some corners. Simplicity is an art.

Seriously, if you have ready made pastry in your freezer and your favourite cheese (not the processed slices though), it's easy to make a quick lunch in the form of a tart.

Herbed Mushroom and Feta Tart
(11in x 7in tart pan or baking dish)


2 pcs ready made short crust pastry (25cmx25cm)
300gms white button mushroom (sliced thinly)
1 shallot (finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/2 cup milk or cream
2 small eggs or 1 large egg
80 gms feta (I usually use Lemnos but we now have Apetina in Tetrapak of 200gm also)
50 gms grated sharp cheddar
1 - 1.5 tsp Italian herbs (fresh is better but dry works too)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oven to 200 deg C. Roll out pastry and line a greased baking tin or tart pan with the dough. Prick dough with fork at 2 cm intervals. Bake for about 10-15 mins (light golden colour). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temp to 175 deg C.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Fry shallot and garlic till aromatic but not browned. Toss in sliced mushrooms and saute till liquid evaporates. Let cool.

3. Sprinkle half of the grated cheddar evenly on top of the baked pastry.

4. Distribute sauteed sliced mushroom on top of the cheddar and season evenly with black pepper and Italian herbs.

5. Crumble feta (big or small crumbs, up to you) evenly on top of mushrooms. Whisk egg and cream/milk with black pepper and salt (if you find that you like the tart a bit more salty despite the feta). Pour egg mixture onto the mushroom/feta layers.

6. Top with remaining grated cheddar and bake for 35 mins or until brown.

Enjoy it warm with a fresh salad.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Twice-Cooked Chicken Thigh

On days I feel "lazy" to wait around the oven to check the correct doneness of chicken (totally cooked cos the sight of chicken blood makes our stomachs turn - yet still soft and juicy as opposed to all dried out), I CHEAT!

The recent sweltering weather is the main reason why I don't really want to mess around the oven too much.

Ingredients 4 chicken thighs - washed, dried with paper towels and massaged with a tsp of salt each
1 garlic bulb -washed
1 inch old ginger - smashed
1 large onion - peeled and quartered
4 tbsp cooking oil- less if you use non-stick pot
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tsp white pepper
4 potatoes the size of a fist - peeled and cut into 1/2 cm thick slices
About 2 cups water

1. Heat oil in a pot enough to just accommodate the 4 thighs flat.
2. Once oil is hot, place chicken in, skin side up.
3. Throw in the garlic bulb, ginger and onion.
4. Turn chicken so that now the skin is downwards - turn it back in a minute or 2 - do it gently and try not to break the skin.
5. Throw in potatoes and try to fill the empty spaces between chicken pieces.
6. Pour in soya sauces and white pepper followed by water enough to cover chicken/potatoes about 3/4 way. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat once water has come to a boil.
7. Simmer for about 45 mins - 1 hour over low heat.
8. 5 mins to 45mins or 1 hour, heat oven to 200 deg C using BROIL function.
9. Gently remove the thighs with slotted spoon to minimize taking in liquid and place on baking tray.
10. Place tray on uppermost rack in the oven and broil for 5-10 mins until skin is dark - I like it a bit charred. You still get well-cooked but soft juicy chicken thighs. 11. Serve with the potatoes.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Soya Sauce Braised Chicken Wings

In my post on Braised Soya Sauce Chicken , I mentioned that the extra braising liquid can be kept to braise parts of the chicken. Here is a picture of the wings which I had braised in the leftover liquid yesterday.

Today, I cooked some angel hair pasta to go with Tau Yew Bak. Surprisingly, the East meets West combo went really well. I have also added chilli flakes to the tau yew bak for an extra kick. We had the pasta with Greek salad and rounded off the meal with red velvet and marble cakes.

This is likely the last post on cooking with soya sauce. I have to cook some Western stuffs before my husband suffers from yellow fever.