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Bacon Fried Rice, Etc.

It has been busy around here the past week. I would like to apologise to my blogger friends for not visiting and commenting on their new posts! My parents are here for a long visit – they arrived last Sunday night – and we had been organising the house in preparation for their visit. We made trips to Ikea, moved furniture about and threw out a lot of garbage! :)

I’m looking forward to learning more dishes from my mum. Just last night I watched her make my all-time favourite, Vinegar Pork Ribs, and it was great. No time for photos, just eat! This afternoon she whipped up a plate of fried rice for the boys’ lunch. It won’t be sandwiches every day for lunch when Grandma’s here!

Bacon fried rice with eggs and cucumber

2 cups cooked rice (left over or day old rice is best)
3 strips of bacon, cut into strips
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Half a medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup of julienned cucumber
Light soy sauce
Dark soy sauce

Fry bacon in a skillet till crispy. Remove, set aside and drain fat from pan.
Pour in beaten eggs and scramble. Season with light soy sauce and pepper. Remove and set aside.
Add a teaspoon of oil and saute the onion. Add in the rice, season with the soy sauces and mix, breaking up clumps of rice. When the rice is warm, put in the bacon, egg and cucumber and mix well. Taste and season with more soy sauce if required. Serve.

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There was a surprise in my Inbox recently – I was offered an ‘Editor’s Choice’ award from Be @ Home, a specialty blog with lots of tips and guides for the home and garden! It is my pleasure to have the button on my blog. Click the button and check out the site!

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Lastly, I doubt I’ll be posting before Thanksgiving (Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on October 10) so I would like to wish everyone celebrating Thanksgiving a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you’ll have a great day and meal(s) with your family!

We haven’t been celebrating Thanksgiving Day as 1) it wasn’t part of the culture in Malaysia and 2) we didn’t have family here to celebrate with. This year, however, my parents are here and we’ll celebrate! When you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do, eh? Since there’s just 6 of us, I won’t roast a full turkey but will make a turkey roulade instead. Hope it’ll turn out well and we’ll have a splendid meal. Here’s the menu I have in mind:

Turkey roulade
Potato gratin
Roasted vegetables
Pecan tart
Apple pie

Care to share your ideas for a Thanksgiving meal?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Cooking, Food, Life

 

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Vermicelli with BBQ Pork and Mushroom

Tonight’s dinner was one of those ‘use whatever you have’ dishes. Hubby wanted noodles for dinner and I had half a packet of dried brown rice vermicelli (‘mei fun’ in Cantonese) in the pantry. Rice vermicelli is usually fried with meat (pork), shrimps and greens. I had some BBQ pork in the freezer, dried mushroom and some baby bok choy so it’s perfect.

Fried rice vermicelli is a simple dish but involves several steps: soaking the dried vermicelli, frying an omelette and cutting it to shreds, and frying the vegetable and meat separately. It is not an easy dish to make as you can either undersoak or undercook the vermicelli resulting in hard, indigestible noodles, or oversoak or overcook the noodles resulting in a sloppy, gloppy dish! The first time I fried vermicelli, I had noodles everywhere, it was a mess! But you do get better at it over time. :)

(Forgive the rather poor pictures. I took these photos with a camera phone! I’m still waiting for my computer to arrive.)

Fried Rice Vermicelli with BBQ Pork and Mushroom

Ingredients
200g shredded BBQ pork (you can also use 100g shredded pork and 100g shrimps)
3 dried Chinese mushrooms
2 eggs
200g baby bok choy
250g rice vermicelli (I used brown rice vermicelli)
1 small shallot, sliced (or 1 stalk green onion)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp BBQ pork drippings/juice (ask from the BBQ pork butcher, the meat is usually in a pan with the juices).

1. Soak dried vermicelli in lukewarm water for 10 minutes or until softened. Pour into a colander and drain well. (If using pork, season with a little soy sauce, cornstarch and pepper.) Rinse mushrooms and soak in hot water till softened. Retain the water and slice mushrooms thinly, set aside. Beat eggs in a bowl and fry in a non-stick pan into an omelette. Cut into shreds and set aside. Combine the BBQ pork drippings and the light soy sauce to make one and a half cup of seasoning. (Or use 1-2 tbsps of oyster sauce if you do not have the drippings.)

2. Wash and cut bok choy into section. Fry with 1 tbsp of oil till softened. Remove from pan and set aside. Fry BBQ pork till fragrant and heated through, remove. If using raw pork and shrimps, fry till cooked and remove. Fry mushrooms and shallot till fragrant. Drizzle over the dark soy sauce, mix, then add in the seasoning. Bring to a boil. Bring heat to medium.

3. Add in the rice vermicelli and toss well. Add the bok choy and cover for 1 minute. Remove the cover and toss to combine all the ingredients and to make sure the noodles is evenly covered with the seasoning. Toss until the the vermicelli is fairly dry. Add in the pork and toss again to combine. Taste and add more light soy sauce if needed. Dish out and scatter the shredded omelette on top. Enjoy!

 
12 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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Homestyle Char Koay Teow (Fried Rice Noodles)

Char Koay Teow, one of our beloved hawker food back in Malaysia. Flat rice noodles fried in a hot wok with shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts and Chinese chives. It’s oily but so delicious! It could be eaten for breakfast (like in the picture below), lunch or dinner!

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Anyway, back to reality here in Canada, we could only find this dish in restaurants that sell Malaysian food. The taste could be pretty authentic if you’re lucky but it’s expensive. I might as well make it at home and fortunately, it’s quite easy. Ready the ingredients as shown below and have a wok on hand.

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Have the oil in the wok hot and put in a generous amount of chopped garlic. That’s the secret ingredient to char koay teow – the garlic. And the chives. Add in the shrimps and fish cake and stir-fry quickly till the shrimps are opaque. Put in the bean sprouts, and a sprinkling of water if the wok is too dry, and give them a quick toss to cook. You want the bean sprouts to be still crunchy. Push all the ingredients to the side of the wok and put in the noodles. Pour a tablespoon of light soy sauce, a teaspoon of thick (dark) soy sauce, some salt and pepper, and another sprinkle of water. Quickly toss the noodles to combine. Push everything to the sides again. Now the fun part – crack the egg into the middle of the wok. Cover the egg with the noodles and leave it! Stand back from the wok and just let the egg cook under the noodles. How long to leave the egg depends on the heat of the wok. You want to let the egg cook enough so that when you toss the noodles, you’ll see big pieces of eggs, not tiny bits clinging to the noodles. You don’t want hard pieces of eggs either. After about 30 seconds, or when the yolk is almost cooked, break up the egg and toss the noodles. Throw in the chives and toss to combine all the ingredients. Do not overcook the noodles or they’ll be too soft. Turn off the heat. Scoop up the noodles and deposit into a plate. You should have something like this:

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I still can’t get the exact taste as the char koay teow in Malaysia and it’s mainly because of the seasoning – the soy sauces I use here are different. I couldn’t get the same noodles too, the rice noodles here are thinner. And I don’t have the traditional wok that contains heat so well that the food cooks faster and better. Oh well, it’s good enough. ;-)

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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Stir-Fried Pork in Black Bean Sauce

I received a very nice belated birthday present from RC this weekend – The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook. It is a beautiful book with more than 370 recipes. I love that there is a picture for every recipe and each page has, in the sidebar, a tip or a fact about one of the ingredients in that recipe. This gift came in perfect timing as I’ve lost all enthusiasm for cooking after a long holiday in Malaysia where good food was everywhere and easily obtainable!

My inaugural recipe from this book was Stir-fried Pork in Black Bean Sauce. It’s a Chinese recipe and it’s ironical that I’m learning to cook this dish from a Western cookbook. ;-) It’s not so much the seasoning to use but the steps in cooking the dish that I need to learn. This is a tasty dish, thanks to the fermented black beans. I didn’t care much for the taste of the pork (gamey) and I’ll make this dish with chicken next time.

Stir-Fried Pork in Black Bean Sauce
(Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook)
Makes 4 – 6 servings

3/4 lb (375g) pork tenderloin
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp plus 1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 tbsp fermented black beans, well rinsed
1 tbsp oyster sauce (use less if your oyster sauce is very salty)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 slices fresh ginger
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 each small green and red bell pepper, cut into cubes
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
3 cups steamed white rice

Cut the pork into bite-size cubes. In a bowl, combine the pork, baking soda, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp white pepper, and 2 tbsp water and mix well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

To make the sauce, stir together the black beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar, cornstarch, 1/8 tsp white pepper, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Set aside.

In a wok or large saute pan over high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil until almost smoking. Add the garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant, about 5 seconds. Add the onion and bell peppers and stir-fry until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the pan bottom. When the wine has nearly evaporated, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

Remove the pork cubes from the marinade and place on paper towels to drain. Return the pan to high heat and add 1 tbsp oil when the pan is very hot. When the oil is hot, add the pork and stir-fry until it browns and turns opaque, about 3 minutes. Return the cooked vegetables, add the sauce and stir-fry rapidly until the sauce thickens and the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the pork mixture to a warmed platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs (optional), and serve with the rice.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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Stir-fried Shrimp in Oyster Sauce and Green Onions

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My family loves shrimps and I usually cook a sweet and sour version of it. Kitchen Flavours has an oyster sauce version on her blog and I gave it a try the other night. Her recipe uses 600gm of shrimps (or prawns) but I had less so I adapted the recipe and reduced the ingredients.

This is another tasty dish. The green onions are a good addition. Use a big bunch for more flavour and colour.

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Oyster Sauce and Green Onions

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400 grams large shrimps, trimmed and deveined
A bunch of green onions
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
pinch of white pepper powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 – 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
about 3 tablespoons cooking oil

Visit Kitchen Flavour’s blog for the cooking instructions.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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Chinese Omelette – Egg Fu Yung

Before I tell you about Egg Fu Yung, I have a story with a – ahem – moral lesson to share. Dinner prep started late today, fortunately I had planned to make simple dishes. So there I was busy at the stove, handling more than one thing at a time and feeling quite proud that I could put food together so fast. I was frying some enoki mushroom pancakes and also started filling a pot with water for the vegetables. I went back to to tend to the pancakes and promptly forgot about the pot. Then there was a sound of water… the pot was on the countertop and water was overflowing on to the countertop and down to the floor, yikes! I yelled for hubby, who happened to be home early that day, for help. If not for him, that accident would have set me back 15 minutes and all the quick prepping and cooking would have been for nought. “Pride comes before a fall” leaped to my mind!

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Back to the Egg Fu Yung, it is a Chinese omelette that has a filling of meat and/or seafood and vegetables. I only came to know of this dish when I was in my late teens when my dad would order it at Chinese restaurants. So now this dish reminds me of him! Smile

Egg Fu Fung is usually deep fried in restaurants but I did a pan-fry version at home. It is savoury and tasty with the BBQ pork and shrimp while the onions lend a sweet crunch.

IMG_5720 (600x400)Egg Fu Yung
(Adapted from Hawkers’ Fair Simplified)

4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped BBQ pork
50g shelled shrimps, chopped (about 4 medium)
1 small carrot, shredded
1 small onion, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped red chilli (optional)
1 tablespoon oil

Seasoning:
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Dash of white pepper
Pinch of chicken stock granules (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients and seasoning in a medium bowl and mix well.
2. Heat oil in pan or wok, pour in the mixture and cook over low heat until the egg is set. Turn it over and continue to cook until the bottom is golden brown. Dish up and serve.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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Minced Meat Omelet

When I was a child, we had a nanny who came in during the day to watch my sisters and I while our parents were at work. She was a Chinese lady who had married a Punjabi. I don’t remember much about her but I remember the way she looked. She’d always wear a Punjabi suit and her black hair is pulled back and braided into a long pigtail hanging down her back. I think she was the first Chinese I had ever seen to be dressed in clothes from another culture. Of course, the world is a village now and just recently one of the keyboardists in my church wore a Punjabi suit and she’s a white North American. :)

The other thing I remember about the nanny was that she cooked a delicious, and in my 8- or 9-year old mind, the best minced pork omelet ever. It was meaty and savoury and we would eat it as a sandwich, put between two slices of white bread and drizzled with ketchup. Her way of cooking it was to  mix the ground meat with the beaten eggs before pouring it into the pan. I remember my mum saying she was concerned that the meat may not be fully cooked that way. So in my recreation, I will first cook the meat before adding to the eggs.

Well, my memory of the omelet my nanny made did not include its actual taste so I couldn’t compare but my omelet passed the judges’ taste test with flying colours. I got “yum” and “yummy” and thumbs up signs!

Minced Meat Omelet

About half a pound ground chicken or pork
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Dash of ground white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
4 eggs

1. Marinade the ground meat with the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and pepper for 10 minutes to half an hour.

2. Heat some oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic and shallot until fragrant. Add in the ground meat and fry till cooked, breaking up large clumps of meat as you cook. Dish up and set aside.

3. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat, adding a trickle of light soy sauce and a dash of pepper. Pour in the cooked meat and stir to mix.

4. In a non-stick pan, heat up some oil and tip in half the egg and meat mixture. Let the omelet cook over medium-low heat until it is almost set and you can smell the aroma of fried eggs before flipping over to finish cooking the other side.

5. Repeat with the remaining egg and meat mixture. Serve immediately with dipping sauce of your choice e.g. ketchup, chilli sauce, soy sauce.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Cooking, Food

 

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