Friday, June 22, 2012

Wong Bok/ Napa Cabbage Parcels


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the temperature plummeted to 3C and 2C on 2 consecutive mornings. We have been blessed with rain, plenty of rain and thunderstorms early in the season... ... hence drop in temperature. I was reluctant to get up and leave my warm comfy bed, but wake up I must... to prepare kids' lunch bags, to wake them up and get ready for school. 

This cold weather makes me yearn for something hot and soup-y...
Steamboat came to mind. We decided to have 'steamboat' with hope that it will fix this 'Winter Chill' cravings... happy with our plan and looking forward to the 'Steamboat' weekend... but wait, to my teens, Steamboat will not be Steamboat if there is NO Wontons as Entree...

H started preparing the chicken mix for wontons. .... but H has the tendency to double the amount of anything he is making... and we ended up with so much leftover of chicken mix.
Not wanting to freeze the mix, furthermore, I hardly have any 'breathing' space in my freezer... I use the leftover chicken mix  (no more wonton skins), wrapped the mix nicely in Chinese cabbage leaves, steam these morsels for 20 minutes....

At our dinner table... kids were going "ooohs and aaahs" and 'Why haven't you make these before, Mom?' 
I wish I could freeze the moment and frame ~ the look on their faces...hee heewhen told, that they just had it yesterday, cooked and presented differently... 
my kids, my kids...big hug hehehe 

Recipe (serve 4)
500g mince chicken
1 carrot diced 
3 Shiitake mushroom, pre-soak, diced
2 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon corn flour and another 1 teaspoon to mix with water
a dash of sesame oil 

a dash of white pepper
salt to taste
Wong Bok/ Napa Cabbage/ Chinese cabbage
Golden fried chopped garlic
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Start the steamer going on the stove.
  3. Washed and microwave the cabbage for about 1 minute or give it a quick blanch. Quickly soak in cold water to stop further cooking. 
  4. Drip dry or pat dry the cabbage leaves. (chop off the hard stems, if there is any). 
  5. Lay the leaf flat on a plate or clean chopping board with the hard stem near you. 
  6. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoon of chicken mix onto the leaf. 
  7. Roll with 1 turn and fold in the sides (left and right) and continue rolling. 
  8. Place the rolled cabbage parcels with seam downwards on a steamer and steam for 20 minutes till the chicken mix is cooked. 
  9. Garnish with golden fried chopped garlic and spring onion. 
  10. Serve with steamed rice.
Note : I moderated the quantities... feel free to add or reduce seasonings. Try to use the bigger leaves, as I encountered difficulties in rolling, due to smaller leaves towards the 'centre' or core.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mushrooms and Barley Soup

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What a week it had been for us!!! 
Last weekend, H and I spent our Sunday... just the two of us... 
We were neither 
having a romantic dinner over candlelights nor 
walking hand in hand along the beach, watching the sun set nor 
on a secret holiday getaway...

hmmm... it would be dreaming
We spent 4 hours sitting (well I sat and H was sort of mid-way sitting and lying in bed).. and waiting in the Emergency Room at the hospital nearby, waiting for the doctor ....nail biting

H had a minor 'freak' accident at home... he had a deep gashed on his forehead, and the 'culprit' was the door latch (the part that goes into the door strike). So be mindful of the danger lurking in your household... the door latch may look harmless... it was nothing but...
After 4 hours and 6 sutures later, he was on the mend... joked that he was 1 inch shy of having Harry Porter's trade mark scar... sheeesh!!!! that man could still joke despite the pain... must be the anaethestic smug

Since there is one 'sick' person in the house plus the weather was getting cold and colder everyday... Its just appropriate to introduce soup into our menu.... 
Barley and 4 types of mushroom soup it is. Of course my two beloved teens were pulling faces looking into the pot... they are both HUGE fan of mushrooms (NOT!!)... its difficult to get them to eat one type of mushroom, and now its FOUR... pengsan!!! (faint)...crying

Its back to see the doctor again today, to take out the stitches.
Perhaps mushroom soup on the dining table again!!!devil (kids will definitely *faint*)

Last but not least.. to all our 'Well Wishers ... we say 'Thank you'...  kiss
serve 6-8(adapted n 'tweaked' from Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant)
1/4 cup of Pearl Barley
20g dried Porcini mushrooms - soaked overnight
200g button mushrooms
200g Swiss Mushrooms
5 dried Shiitake mushrooms
1 large brown onion - chopped
2 garlics - chopped
2 sprigs of Rosemary
5 sprigs of Thyme
30g butter
2 tablespoon of Mirin
1 cube vegetable stock
4 cups of water
salt and pepper
EVOO infused with Chilli

  1. Cook barley with 3 cups of water for 1 hour then drained.
  2. Squeezed the water out of porcini mushroom. Reserved the soaking water. 
  3. Chopped all 4 mushrooms.  
  4. In a medium size stockpot, melt the butter and saute onion till translucent, add garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Saute for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add porcini, barley, stock, water, mirin and porcini reserved soaking water into the stockpot. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  6. Add shitake mushroom, bring to boil n simmer for another 10 minutes. 
  7. Add remaining of chopped mushrooms. 
  8. Season to taste.
  9. Reserved about 4 tablespoon of the mushrooms and barley, and blitz the remaining barley and mushrooms in the food processor until smooth. 
  10. Serve in individual bowls and topped up with chunky mushrooms/ barley.
  11. Drizzle with EVOO infused with Chilli if desired
~ I preferred the soup ~'Chunky'...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chicken Teriyaki Sushi Balls


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June 2012 by far ... is my busiest and luckiest month...thumbs up
My sister and her hubby were here for a visit. They were excited and anxious too as this was their first time ever travelling overseas. I knew that feeling too well...yes... that took me back to the time when it was my first time stepping into the  plane... butterflies in my stomach were making somersault.
Excited ~ I was the first in my family to be given the opportunity to see and experience the "Western World..."
Anxiety ~ I was raised in a non- English speaking community...I had no confidence in conversing 100 percent English...nail biting without my Manglish of 'lah-s, ma-s and alamak-s'...

It was a relief to see them emerging from the "otherside" through the sliding door... a little bit dazed, tired and sleepy but NO drama with either Immigrations or Customs. So their holiday began... and so was I, busy, trying to win the 'Hostess with the Mostess of the Year' award winking

Lady Luck is with me this month...grinning from ear to ear...

Luck 1~ my Red Bean Ice-Cream photo came 3rd place in the 'Overall Winner' category in DMBLGIT May 2012

Luck 2~ In my "nearly half a century" life... I was lucky once and won a colour TV set in a Lucky Dip, and that 'luck',  was 'borrowed' from my unborn son... yes, I was heavily pregnant with my 1st born. Nothing before and nothing after that...despite countless giveaways I participated... until June 2012.
I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my name printed in Denise's Singapore Shiok.... I just won her funky red Mom's Not Cooking cookbook!!!

Anyone knows whether millions of AUD to be won, in Lotterywest  this month?... perhaps Lady Luck may want to grant me my millions $$$hee hee.... yeah... yeah.. greedy and  pushing my luck to the max..hehehe

left : DMBLGIT  May 2012;
right : Denise Fletcher's 'Mom's not Cooking'
While I go and celebrate my victories doing my 'Victory Dance'.dancing... I leave you with this Chicken Teriyaki Sushi Balls...

Recipe (serve 4)
1-1 1/2 cup sushi rice
2 pieces boneless chicken thighs
1cup storebought Teriyaki marinade
2 Nori sheets
2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg lightly beaten
Oil for deep frying
  1. Marinade chicken thigh with storebought Teriyaki marinade. Leave it overnight. 
  2. Prepare and cook sushi rice and season with sushi seasonings. Leave aside to cool. 
  3. Spray frying pan with some canola oil and pan fry teriyaki chicken pieces until its cooked. Cut into small pieces. 
  4. Cut Nori sheets into 50mm x 50mm squares. 
  5. Place about 1 tablespoon of teriyaki chicken onto Nori squares, moist the edges and fold. 
  6. Cover the Nori balls with sushi rice and roll into a tight ball. 
  7. Heat up oil in a deep pan or wok to 180C. 
  8. Roll sushi balls into the lightly beaten egg then into Panko Breadcrumbs. 
  9. Gently drop the sushi balls into hot oil and fry for about 20 seconds or until its golden in colour.