7

STOveLEN moments

traditional stove
A couple of months ago, I saw this traditional Chinese charcoal stove by the roadside near my house.  Without hesitation, I took it home as it reminds me of my grandma’s stove and it brought back warm childhood memories. 
I grew up watching my grandma cook with this stove.  When my brother and I were older she taught us how to light the charcoal stove.   Back then, we would pour a bit of kerosene on the charcoal before using a matchstick to light it.  Then we use a handheld fan made from palm leaves to fan the flames.  And I remember my brother and I would get up early on a Saturday morning to light the charcoal stove to boil a big pot of soup for lunch. 
I kept this complimentary charcoal stove in the yard together with the rest of the empty flower pot.  Recently, Sydelle asked me to cook something using this stove.  Both my daughters think that this little stove is pretty fascinating.
Last Friday, I bought a bag of charcoal. On Saturday morning,  my hubby helped to light the charcoal stove.  He’s an excellent helper when it comes to stuff like this.  It takes about 15 – 20 minutes for the stove to heat up.  Then I put in a big pot of chicken soup to boil.

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After one and a half hours, the chicken soup is ready and it smells amazing.

soup is ready

Next, I cooked some tomato rice.  This is something quick and easy and it goes really well with the soup.
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Pour some olive oil. Saute onion, garlic and bacon

add canned tomato

Add a can of tomatoes

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Stir and add some black pepper and salt

add rice

Pour in the rice[pre-cooked]

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Give it a good mix.  Remove pot from stove and cover it for about 10 minutes.

lunch is served

Lunch is served!

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5

Green Spaghetti! – kids friendly

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Bon Appétit

My two daughters are 12 and 7 and they are not a big fan of green vegetables.  But this is one dish that they love and I cook it at least 2 or 3 times a week.
It’s really easy to prepare and it’s super delicious.  Let me show you how to prepare this healthy green spaghetti.
1. Wash a bunch of English parsley (approximately 12 stems  – a little more or less is fine)

english-parsley.jpg

2. Put the parsley in the food processor/blender and add  3 – 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp ginger powder (or grate some fresh ginger) and 1/2 tsp of salt. Add about 150ml of warm water.
[Note: You can also add a few walnuts.  Me and hubby like walnuts but my two girls do not.  I guess having two nutty parents is more than they could tolerate. LOL!]

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3.  Give it a good blend and you will get a nice healthy green mixture.

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4.  Pour mixture into a big bowl and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle some black pepper.  Mix well and keep aside.

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5. Boil the spaghetti and when it’s ready, drain and pour it into the green mixture.

drop spaghetti into mixture

6. Give it a good mix and you’re ready to serve.  My girls like to have this spaghetti top with fried bacon and a few sprinkles of parmesan cheese.  This recipe would go well with roast chicken or any grilled meat of your choice.

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Enjoy! Eat well & be happy!

spagethi8

 

11

Homemade roasted barley tea

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In Malaysia, barley is a common staple drink.   However, It is not known as barley tea but as a refreshing drink.  I was told from young that it is a healthy drink but honestly, I did not like the taste.  For decades, this refreshing drink is prepared the same way at home or in the restaurants – white pearl barley is rinsed, boiled with a few Pandan/Screwpine leaves to enhance the aroma and when it is almost done, sugar will be added to taste.  Yes, I know.  It sounds boring.
Recently, I went to a Korean Restaurant for tea with my mom and we ordered Boricha (Korean barley tea).  Somehow, the aroma of Korean barley tea hits my senses and I instantly fell in love with the aromatic and nutty smell of this tea.  It has such an amazing toasty and slightly bitter taste.  It’s a great substitute for coffee but I’m not thinking of giving up coffee as it will always be my first love.
I have since included this intoxicating drink in my daily routine mainly because of its health benefits. I really do not know where to buy Korean barley tea, so I decided to try roasting the pearl barley and prepare this tea in the comfort of my own kitchen.
I will now share and show you how to make this delightful beau-tea recipe.
How to toast your own barley
I like to roast a bit more and store them in a jar.  The pearl barley I bought comes in 300g/packet.
1. 600 g of pearl barley washed and rinsed well

barley-rinsed1.jpg

2.You will need a pan or a pot.  But I like to use the wok.  Heat up the wok on medium heat and pour in the pearl barley.

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3. With a wooden spoon, stir the barley every 30 seconds to a minute.  It’s very much like toasting nuts and it gets burned easily.  It will take about 20 minutes or longer until the barley turned dark brown and it should smell a bit burnt.
roasted-barley1.jpg
4.Pour the roasted barley onto a tray to cool before storing it in a jar.
How to make roasted barley tea
You can boil the roasted barley in water as it is but I like to blend the roasted barley first before boiling it for more flavor.

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5 tbsp of roasted barley (blended but not too powdery)
5 cups of water (you can add more water if you find it too strong)
[Note: I prefer to bring the water to a boil first before I pour in the barley]
1. In a small pot, boil the barley and water and simmer it for about 15 – 20 minutes.
2. When it’s done boiling use the strainer to sieve the grains.
3. Serve hot or let it cool and chill it in the refrigerator.
[Note: If you have a filter bag for tea, you can skip step no. 2]

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Care to join me for some Boricha?  [www.pinterest.com]

 

7

The joy of making soy milk

homemade soymilk

“I’ve bean drinking of you.”

I love the taste and the pleasant aroma of homemade soy milk.  I find the commercial soy milk too sweet and recently I started making it at home.     It was quite tricky to get the taste right the first time round.  The raw bean taste was a bit strong.  So, now I add some Pandan/Screwpine leaves and a slice of ginger when I boil the soy beans to get rid of the raw bean taste.  And the result is simply amazing – rich, creamy and smells comforting.
And today, I’ll share this easy recipe with you.
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups soybeans
12 cups  water (about 4 cups for blending)
5- 6 Pandan/Screwpine leaves
1 slice of ginger
1 pinch of salt
Sugar, to taste ( Optional)
Method:
1. Rinse the soybeans.  Soaked them in water overnight.
soybeans soaked overnite
2.The next day, discard the water and rinse the soybeans.  Fill some water and rub the soy beans to remove the hulls from the beans as much as possible.  Pour away the floating hulls and fill up water and continue rubbing the beans – do it a few times. (I find this process rather therapeutic and I enjoy removing the hulls from the beans).

remove hulls.jpg

3.Drain and set aside.

rinse and drain

4. Fill the blender with soybeans.  Add some water and blend well.  I have a small blender so I had to do it in a few batches until all the beans are blended. (I use about 4 cups to blend all the beans)
soybeans in blender
5. Put the blended soybeans in a large pot and add the remaining 8 cups of water.  Add the salt, Pandan/Screwpine leaves and ginger.
blended beans and water
6.  Boil the soy bean in medium heat for about 45 minutes.  Remember to stir occasionally to prevent the blended soybeans from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

add pandan and ginger

7. Turn off the heat once the soy milk is done. Tie a muslin cloth to an empty large pot to filter out the soybean residue.  Squeeze the residue to ensure all soy milk is fully extracted.
pour soymilk into pot
8.  Add sugar to taste.

add sugar to taste

9. It’s nice to drink the soymilk warm.  The remaining soy milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 2- 3 days.

cat_with_bowl

 

 

4

Easy Kimchi by NBC

 

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Kimchi is a Korean dish made of spicy and furmented seasoned catbage (Napa cabbage) in combination of white ratdish (Daikon), scatllions, ground red chili/pepper powder, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt. 

Kimchi is one of the healthiest food on the planet.  Kimchi is extremely low in catlories, fat and sugar.  It is high in fiber and contain vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy catteria” called lactocatilli.   Some studies show furmented catbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.

 So, today I will show you how to make Kimchi the easy peasy way.

Ingredients:

5 lbs Catbage (Napa cabbage)

3 cups water

3/4 cup salt

2 – 3 cups shredded white ratdish (cut 1/8″ thick and 2″ long – need not be purrrrfect)

1 – 2 cups shredded scatllions (cut in 1 to 1 1/2 ” strip)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic

4 tablespoons chopped ginger

6 tablespoons red chili/pepper powder (more if you like it really hot)

6 tablespoons of fish or shrimp sauce (juice)

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoon seasalt

Steps:

Cut catbage into quarters lengthwise and put the quartered catbage into a large deep bowl. (I do not have a giant bowl, so I use two large mixing bowls).

Combine 3/4 cup salt and 3 cups of water and pour over catbage.  Let it stand at room temperature for about 2 to 4 hours until the catbage softens.

Remove catbage from the bowl and rinse the catbage well with fresh water.  Let it rain….errr, I mean drain.

cabbage soaked & drained

Mix shredded ratdish and  scatllions with garlic, ginger, chili powder, fish sauce, sugar and salt.

garlic, ginger & chilli

raddish & scallions

mix-in ginger, garlic, chilli, sugar & salt

Wash your hands squeaky clean and start mixing all the ingredients together.  Or alternatively you could get someone with strong hands to do it for you.  (The last time I did the mixing myself,  I felt like my  paws were on fire and I had to put my paws in the fish bowl).

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mixing bowl2

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Put the Kimchi into jars and cover tightly. Let it stand in a dark place at room temperature for 2 to 3 days to ripen.  Then store it in the refrigerator.

close bottles tight

 

CHIao!

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NBC

 

 

 

 

 

4

Clay pot chicken rice – Rice cooker version

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Clay pot chicken rice is one of the many local dishes in Malaysia that I adore. Traditionally the rice and chicken are cooked in a clay pot and served hot straight from the stove. I don’t have a clay pot, so the best way to replicate this at home is by using the rice cooker. This is a quick and easy meal on a lazy day.

Serves 4
Ingredients:

400 – 500g chicken cut into small pieces (chicken breast or whole leg)
200g – rice (add enough water to cook – see method 3 below)

Marinade

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir-fry (chicken)

5 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons grated ginger
50ml water
Oil (vegetable/light olive oil)

Drizzling Sauce (Mix together)

1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Garnish

Chopped spring onions/coriander for garnishing
1/2 Chinese sausage, sliced (optional)
2 pieces salted fish (optional)

Method

1. Combine the marinade ingredients and allow chicken to marinate in it for at least an half hour in the refrigerator.

Marinade chicken

Marinade chicken

2. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan, sauté garlic, onion and ginger until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add marinated chicken (add sliced Chinese sausage) and stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink. Add 50 ml water and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Dish out and put aside.

Saute garlic, onion & ginger

Saute garlic, onion & ginger

Add chicken and stir-fry

Add chicken and stir-fry

3. Wash the rice and cover the rice with water until it reaches the first line of your index finger (from bottom of the pot). Turn on the rice cooker and cook rice as usual. Once the rice starts to bubble, start adding the chicken mixture and stir until well combined. Close then lid and let it continue to cook till rice is completely cooked.

(3) Cook rice in rice cooker

 Cook rice in rice cooker

(3)...add chicken mixture and stir well

(3)…add chicken mixture and stir well

4. Pour the drizzling sauce over rice and dish rice into serving bowls/plates.

(4) Pour drizzling sauce over rice before serving

5. Garnish with chopped spring onions or coriander leave. Serve hot.

Note: If adding salted fish, slice the salted fish up into tiny pieces. In a small saucepan, heat up a tablespoon of oil, and shallow fry the salted fish pieces. Set aside for garnishing later.

You might also like Clay Pot Chicken (A French country-style, one -pot chicken dish)