February 28, 2010

Pan-Fried Spicy Fish with Cilantro Sauce

I remembered growing up in Malaysia, we would go out to the sea with the local fishermen. Most of the time, when they hauled in a catch, they would cooked some for us onboard. It was quite an experience to see the different types of fishes of various colors and sizes in their nets. The fish was so fresh that you don't need much seasonings to taste its delicious flavor and freshness. Fish that you buy in the supermarkets nowadays are either pre-thawed or frozen. I normally steam the fish that I buy from Chinatown, and the ones from the local supermarkets, I would normally seasoned it well with spices and compliment with a sauce. The other popular preparation is to wrap it with banana leaves after stuffing it with spices and grill it over the stove.
1 sea bass, or trout (cleaned and gutted)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. curry powder
salt and pepper
2 tsp. plum sauce
¼ cup cilantro
oil for frying
1. Washed fish and pat dry. Mix spices in a bowl. Season fish with salt and pepper and then rub spices outside and inside of fish. Set aside.
2. Heat a frying pan with oil on high heat. Gently lift fish to pan and fry on both sides till cooked on both sides on medium heat. Let fish cook slowly on one side before turning over. The spices makes the fish blackened. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. Blend cilantro and plum sauce till fine. In a small saucepan, gently heat sauce and thicken with some cornstarch. Serve fish with cilantro sauce.
Printable Recipe

Fragrant Mango Prawns

I like this mango and prawn combination because it has a sweet and tangy flavor. I marinated the prawns with pepper and a little egg white to give it a crunchy and smooth texture.
½ lb. prawns, shelled
1 firm mango, peeled and slice into bite-size
1 sprig spring onions
2 tsp. cornstarch, diluted with some stock
1 egg white
¼ cup chicken stock
1 pip garlic, minced
cilantro for garnishing
salt and pepper
1. Washed and rinsed prawns until water is clear, pat dry and season with pepper, some salt and half of the egg-white. Covered and set aside in the refrigerator.
2. In a hot pan, heat some oil and fry garlic till soft but not brown. Add in the mango and fry for about 5-8 minutes. Remove on to a plate.
3. Drain the prawns to remove egg wash. In same pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil on high. Toss in the prawns to cook, add the mangoes, spring onions, cornstarch mixture, and half of the stock to simmer slightly. Add more stock if mixture is too thick. Season to taste and serve.
Printable Recipe

February 20, 2010

Chinese Fish Salad/Yee Sang

"Yee Sang" (鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng) in Cantonese means raw fish and this salad is another auspicious dish to present on the 7th day of Chinese New Year. It is an assortment of shredded vegetables, raw fish (sashimi), tossed with a sweet and tangy dressing served on a big platter. Generally, the tradition is to stand around the dish to mix, blend, and gently lifting the ingredients up from the bottom using a pair of chopstick. "Lo hei" (撈起 or 捞起), literary means prosperity and an increased in abundance. Normally, I would prepare and season the raw fish (sashimi) myself, but this time I ordered the sashimi from our regular Japanese restaurant instead.
Note: If you decide to prepare the sashimi at home, be sure to buy it from a reputable market as it has to be very fresh and of good quality. You cannot go wrong if you purchase it from either Berkeley Bowl in the East Bay, or from a Japanese grocery market. I packed the fish in ice pack to keep it fresh. Wash the fish well and pat dry. Season and rub fish with salt and some brandy. Wrapped in plastic and keep refrigerated for later. Before serving, rinse well with boiled drinking water.
Ingredients: (4-6)
20 or more pieces of fresh salmon or tuna (sliced thinly, and chill it refrigerator)
2 Tbsp. plum sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 tsp. honey
2 tsp. sesame seed paste
¼ cup lemon juice
sesame seed oil
1 radish, peeled and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 small papaya, peeled and shredded
½ pomelo, cut and remove the rind around the segments
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped finely
2 tsp. roasted sesame seeds
cilantro, chopped
3 slices ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red chilli, sliced thinly
½ cup thin rice sticks noodles or vermicelli, break in half
cooking oil
1. Season the papaya and radish with a little salt and put in separate bowl, set aside for about 5 minutes. Squeezed out most of the juices and put aside. Colored half of the radish and papaya in red.
2. Heat enough oil on high in a small saucepan, when it's hot turn to medium heat, then add in a small amount of rice sticks to oil to puff up the noodles. Use a sieve or slotted spoon to remove it quickly when the rice sticks has puff up and white in color. Drained well on paper towels. Remove and discard used oil.
3. Heat the same saucepan with 2 tsp. oil and brown slightly the ginger and garlic. Remove and set aside. In a bowl mix the hoisin sauce, plum sauce, honey, sesame seed paste to a smooth paste.
4. In a another clean saucepan simmer ingredients for the dressing on medium heat, stirring to remove lumps. Add 2 drops of seseame seed oil, lemon juice and season to taste. Add a little more honey or lemon juice if needed. The taste should be sweet and tangy.
5. To assemble: In a large platter, arrange the ingredients, garnishing, and put the raw fish in the center of the platter.
6. Mix in the dressing, ginger and garlic oil, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Using a chopstick mix and blend in the ingredients. Serve immediately.

February 15, 2010

President's Day Salad

I brought in a basketful of leafy lettuce from the garden this morning. These were last year's crop and they must have reseed again--perfect for a colorful salad.
½ cup baked Kabocha, cut into bite-sized
1 small fillet of salmon
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
1 small bunch of leaf lettuce
½ tsp. light soya sauce
sesame seeds for garnishing
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. brown rice vinegar
1½Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. dill
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
1. Cut fish into 1-inch strips, season with pepper and soya sauce. Heat pan with oil and cook fish on both sides till brown.
2. Mix the ingredients for the dressing and refrigerate to keep cool.
3. Washed and tossed dry salad greens and arrange on a plate. Add the cooked fish, tomatoes and Kabocha on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with dressing.

Juice 5: J. Buchanan

We bought a juicer online and it was awesome--the mechanism is one gigantic screw attachment! Not only that it squeezes out more juices, it is quieter and faster. Most importantly, the attachments are less bulkier and compact and it is easy to clean after juicing. All you need to do is pour some water into the reservoir. Both John and myself will be doing experimenting with different fruits and vegetables. We are now in juice heaven! Instead of making several posting of juices, I've included some of my concoctions based upon my likes and dislikes. Most importantly, I recommend fresh organic produce and buy from your local farmers.
1 cup chopped pineapple
7-8 ripe strawberries
2 medium apples, washed and cut in chunks
2 thin slices of ginger, skin removed (optional)
1. Juice all the ingredients and serve immediately.
You might like also like these:
Variation 2:
2 medium sized apples
2 medium sized carrots
1 tomato
1 cucumber
Variation 3:
2 apples
1 small bitter gourd
1 cup milk
Variation 4:
2 oranges
2 cucumbers
3 slices ginger
Variation 5:
2 apples
1 cup pineapple
1 cup watermelon with rind

Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Strawberries, chocolate, and flowers reminds me of love and romance on this Valentine's Day! John and I decided to stay home instead and watched a movie after dinner. I prepared his favorite chicken satay and he made truffles. In addition to that, we picked up some sushi from our favorite Japanese restaurant.
Fresh strawberries, green leaves left on
¾ cups. semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp. shortening
1. In a saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, melt chocolate and shortening. Stir constantly until it becomes a smooth mixture. Next spear strawberries with toothpicks through the top and dip fruit into the melted chocolate.
2. Place on a pan lined with waxed paper or simply stick the toothpicks into a piece of styrofoam to harden. Refrigerate for up to a day before serving. Tips: I place the toothpick between the prongs of the fork to harden.

February 14, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Trifecta

In this installment, in deference to Valentines day I am providing three truffle recipes. These are the real truffles, which is that soft center that you find inside those hard shelled store bought things. After making these you'll understand why they do that, but it is the center that is the true chocolate decadence. A truffle will start to "melt in your hand before it gets to your mouth", giving you every incentive to get it in your mouth as quickly as possible.

The recipes are: Chocolate-Cayenne, Chocolate-Fennel-Anise and Chocolate-Grand Marnier
These three recipes here are based on a basic truffle recipe with flavor variations, you may want to start there if you are comfortable with what a store bought truffle tastes like, but if you are looking for a little adventure, I hope this sets you on a path exploring some unexpected combinations.

Let's start with base ingredients, the chocolate, a typical truffle recipe starts with semi sweet, but I wanted to try to tow other variations, bittersweet and pure unsweeted chocolate. The recipes are presented in their order of most familiar to flavor to more shall we say, adventurous flavor, but perhaps you are the best judge.

The chocolates: (semisweet, bitersweet, unsweeted)
Let's start with the Chocolate-Cayenne
4 oz bar of semi-sweet chocolate
2 oz water
3 oz heavy whipping cream or creme fraiche
1 1/2 Tbsp of unsweeted butter
1 Tbsp confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder for forming and coating truffle balls 
(these 6 ingredients comprise the basic truffle recipe, you are welcome to start with this alone)
1/4 or 1/2 Tsp of Cayeene Pepper (yes the hot pepper)
Method (making the chocolate truffle mixture)
1. The first step is to melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the lowest heat setting. First place the 2 oz of water in the double boiler.
2. Next add the chocolate, breaking it to mangaeable chunks to allow them to be covered in the water. Whisk continuously until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add butter in small chunks (about five pieces) melting each chunk prior to adding the next piece.
3. You may notice that the oil form the butter does not incorporate with the chocolate just yet, that's okay.
Slowly pour in the cream and whisk until the mixture is uniform.
4. Add the sugar and whisk until completely incorporated (at this point you have the standard truffle mixture and you can skip the cayeene if you like just plain decadent chocolate ) this process will also apply to the other two recipes in this post. Add 1/4 tsp of cayeene and incorporate into the mixture bump this up to 1/2 tsp if you would like a bit more kick.
Chilling the mixture:
1. If you are making more recipes, transfer the mixture into another bowl, cool to room temperature and then place in the refridgerator or freezer. The freezer will likely make the mixture a little firmer than you want for the forming step, but it is likely that your refridgerator is not set low enough to firm up the mixture enough for easy handling. I prefer the freezer and then monitor the firmness.
Forming the truffles:
1.You want the mixture cool and firm enough to form but not so firm as to make it hard to handle. I like having a flat baking tray that I throw in the freezer to cool it down. Place about a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to start in the baking sheet once you have removed it forom the freezer, take your truffle mixture and  scoop about a 1 1/2 tsp dollop of the micture out, working with your fingers, form into a ball or cube and drop into the cocoa powder.
2. Roll the dollop around to form a rough ball and make sure it is covered with cocoa  powder. Place the finish ball in a small candy size paper cup. Work quickly, as the truffle mixture warms up quickly at which point it has the consistency of  warm peanut butter. You may need to chill the mixture from time to time depending on the room temperature and how quickly you work. When you are done place the finished truffles in the refridgerator to keep them cool and firm. Remove only when ready to serve.
You might like these variations:
Chocolate-Grand Marnier
4oz bar unsweetened chocolate
1 oz Grand Marnier (steep with orange extract and leave overnight)
3 oz water (add additional water and 1 Tbsp. at a time till mixture is smooth)
2 tsp. orange extract
6 tsp. confectioners sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 oz Vodka (steep with star anise and fennel and leave overnight)
1/4 tsp. star anise extract
2 tsp. ground fennel
3 oz thick cream
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp confectioners sugar
Printable Recipe

February 11, 2010

Peanut Puffs/Gok Jai

Chinese New Year is never the same without these flaky peanut puffs or "Gok Jai" in Cantonese. It contain a sweet filling of peanuts, coconut, and sesame seeds. The ingredient, peanuts signifies long life. This is a traditonal recipe from my friend, Jeanita. Depending on the size of your cutter, you can make approximately 12 dozen cookies. Traditionally this cookie is deep fried in hot oil and for those of you who are health concious, you can bake them in the oven. Simply brush the cookies with a thin layer of egg wash and bake at 375°F temperature unitl it turns light golden brown. It can also be deep fried in hot oil if preferred.
1½ lbs all-purpose flour
6 ozs. butter
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cold ice waer
Oil for frying (optional)
2 cups roasted peanuts, skinned and chopped finely
2 cups roasted sesame seeds
1½ cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
1. Roast peanuts on medium heat till golden brown, remove and grind to fine chunks. In the same pan, roast the sesame seeds till lightly brown. Add peanuts, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt together. Set aside
2. For pastry: Using the food processor, pulse magarine and butter till it resemble like fine breadcrumbs. Add beaten egg, water and pulse into a pliable dough. Covered and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
3. Make the puffs: Roll out the dough into thin sheet in a paste roller and cut into rounds. Put the pastry rounds in your palm and add 1/2 tsp. of filling into the center of the pastry and wrap up filling. Here's the fun part to make the decorative rope edging--it is a repetitive method of pinching and folding. Pinch a small corner of the dough up with your thumb and index finger. Slide thumb under the pinched edge and fold top edge pinched area while making a new pinch slightly above the first edge.
4. In a deep pot, heat enough oil for deep-frying. Turn heat to medium heat, and add a few at a time and fry till golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel. When cool, store in containers.
Tips: You can substitute 2 cans (salted peanuts/honey toasted) if you dont have time to fry the peanuts. Mix them together and grind them to smaller pieces.
Printable Recipe

February 9, 2010

Fish and Pineapple Curry

This recipe came to mind when a friend brought me a pineapple this morning. Hmm...I have some salmon in the freezer and fresh Enoki mushrooms. Hmm...Fish and pineapple in a sweet and spicy sauce do sounds delicious. I served this with a simple tossed Chinese mustard greens with Enoki mushrooms.
2 fillet of fish, cut into bite-sized
1 cup pineapple, cut into cubes
1-2 Tbsp. curry powder (use 1 Tbsp. for mild)
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. galangal powder
1 tsp. ginger, minced
1 tsp. garlic, minced
3 tsp. tamarind paste
2 tsp. Agave Nectar (or sugar)
1 Tbsp. oil
¾ cups milk (coconut if prefer)
1. Mix the spices, garlic, ginger to a smooth paste with a little water. Heat oil in pan and fry mixture till fragrant on medium heat.
2. Add tamarind paste and milk to the mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking to pan. Stir in pineapples and mix it with the curry mixture. Add fish and simmer till fish is cook through. Serve hot with rice.
Printable Recipe

Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

A friend from brought this for a party and it was wonderful. Unlike the traditional western barbeque recipe, this one is quite different in both taste and texture. It is seasoned with Chinese five Spices--which is a combination of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechwan pepper and fennel. You can roast this either in the oven or grill on the stove. I prefer the roasting method as the meat is cook slowly to retain most of its natural juices.
1-2 lbs baby back rib
2 Tbsp. honey
Sauce A: (for marinate)
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. Chinese five spices
1 tsp. Sar Cheong powder (a type of a ginger)
2 tsp. Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
Sauce B: (for basting)
2 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
2 tsp. ground bean paste
1 Tbsp. sesame seed paste
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 pieces of preserved red hot beancurd
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. shallots, minced
1. Cut ribs in equal size and pat dry. Mix sauce A ingredients to a smooth paste. Season ribs well with this mixture and leave overnight in refrigerator.
2. Mix sauce B and season ribs with half of the sauce at least 4 hours before cooking. This will allow the ribs to absorb most of the seasoning. Cover and refrigerated.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Put ribs on a pan place and roast on the top shelf. Place a metal bowl of water in the bottom shelf. The steam from the water keeps the meat from drying out. Roast for 30-45 minutes till golden brown but not burnt. Baste both sides of the ribs every 15 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and brush ribs with honey.
Printable Recipe

Pork and Gingko Porridge

The Chinese word for rice porridge or congee is "Jook." My son's fiancee asked me for a recipe for jook today. Oh dear, it never cross my mind to post porridge or congee on my blog. I guess it's not really a fancy looking dish as it is really boiled rice with a large volume of liquid. The goodness of the porridge depends on the ingredients you add in to cook. It could be fish, pork, chicken, beef, Chinese herbs and vegetables. You can even have it plain and have it with leftovers. I normally presoaked my rice overnight with salt and oil. This makes the rice to break up easily and the oil gives it a smooth consistency when cooking. I love mine plain with preserved bean curd.
1 cup rice
a pinch of salt
¼ tsp. oil
¼ tsp. sesame seed oil
½ tsp. cornstarch
1 cup lean pork, sliced thinly
½ cup lean ground pork (optional)
10 gingko nuts (fresh or frozen)
1 box organic chicken broth (32 oz.)
5 pieces of ginger, sliced thinly
spring onions, cilantro, chopped finely for garnishing
2 shallots (optional, for garnishing)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash rice and pre-soak with a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp. of oil. Cover and leave overnight. Season pork with cornstarch. Rinse off water from the rice and add to a deep pot. Add 1/2 the ginger and 8 cups of water/stock for a thicker congee (about 10 cups for a thiner congee)
2. If using fresh gingko nuts--crack shell and peel outer skin and cut in half, removing the green pit in the center. Add this to the pot. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil without the lid for about 15 minutes or until the water has reduce to half and the rice is starting to break open. Cover lid and simmer on low.
3. If you are using shallots--remove skins and slice thinly, toss it with salt and a little water. Heat pan with some oil, drain off excess water and fry till it turns golden brown. Drain on paper towels for later use.
4. Add the meat and turn heat to low to simmer. Stir it occasionally and add more stock or water for a thiner porridge. Season to taste and garnish with spring onions, cilantro and shallots and a few drops of sesame seed oil.
Printable Recipe

Steamed Pomfret

Steamed fish is a must have dish for Chinese New Year celebration. The Chinese name for fish is "Yu", sounds like the word for abundance and riches. It is believe that eating fish on this auspicious day will bring good luck to the family. I love pomfret for its delicate and smooth texture.
1 medium sized white pomfret
2 Tbsp. thin soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. white pepper
salt to taste
3 slices of ginger, sliced thinly
spring onions and cilantro for decoration
1. Clean the fish without removing the fins and tail.
2. Stuff some ginger and spring onions into the fish stomach. Place on a dish.
3. Pour water into a steamer and bring water to a fast boil. Put the fish in to steam until the fish is cooked--when its eyes popped out--it is ready!
4. In a small saucepan, heat some oil over medium heat, stir in the soy sauce. Pour this over the fish. Garnish with spring onions and cilantro. Serve hot with rice.
Printable Recipe

February 8, 2010

Fried Mixed Vegetables/Loh Hon Chye

Chinese New Year is not the same without this dish. My mother prepared a big pot of this dish every Chinese New Year without fail. It is a vegetarian dish that is eaten on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Every household has a different version and name for it, but is commonly known as "Loh Hon Chye" in Cantonese.
1 long napa cabbage (cut in 1-inch length)
10 dried shitake mushrooms (soaked in water, sliced in quarters)
4 pieces dried wood ear mushrooms (soaked in water and sliced thinly)
4-5 pieces dried cloud ear mushrooms (soaked in water and sliced thinly)
1 bunch Enoki mushrooms
1 can baby corn (drained and cut in 1-inch length)
1 small lotus root (scrub clean and sliced in quarters)
4 dried soybean sticks (soaked in water and cut in 1-inch length)
3 pieces preserved red bean curd (mixed in a little water)
2 slices of ginger, sliced thinly
2 tsp. cornstarch, mixed with a little water
5 Tbsp. oil
salt and pepper to taste
1.Prepare the vegetables. Set aside.
2.Heat some oil in a pan and fry cabbage for about 2 minutes till it is slightly reduce in size. Remove to a plate.
3.Return pan to the stove, add some oil and fry the ginger till golden brown. Add the dried mushrooms, wood ears, cloud ears and fry till fragrant. Add in the lotus root, cabbage and the preserved red bean. Add 1/4 cup of warm water and allow vegetables to simmer for 10 minutes.
4.When vegetables are tender, add the corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Thicken gravy with cornstarch and season to taste. Serve warm.

Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce

There are two varieties of Baby Bok Choy in the market. There is the one with the green stems and one in the white stem. The latter is much tender and sweeter. This is a very simple dish to prepare.
1 lb baby bok choy
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
2 tsp. shallots, sliced thinly
sesame seeds for garnishing
1. Wash bok choy and drain well. Heat some oil in a small saucepan and fry shallots till crisp.
2. Mix oyster sauce and sesame oil and set aside.
2. Heat some water in a deep pot and add some oil to water. Bring to a fast boil. Add the bok choy and cook for 1 minute. Remove and arrange on plate.
2. Pour the the oyster sauce on top and garnish with fried shallots and sesame seeds. Serve hot.

February 7, 2010

Spicy Chili Crab

It's Super Bowl Sunday and crabs are on sale! I couldnt't resist the tempation to make this dish.
1 crab (approx. 2 lbs)
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Thai chilli sweet sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato ketchup
1 tsp. bean paste (or black bean sauce)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. water
salt to taste
1. Wash, and cut crab into quarters pieces. Crack the legs and claws.
2. In a bowl, mix chilli sauce, bean paste, egg, cornstarch and water to a smooth mixture. Set aside.
3. Heat oil and pan, fry ginger and garlic till fragrant. Add crab and stir fry for about 5-10 minutes till shell turns red. Add the chilli sauce to the crab and mix well. If sauce is a litte too thick add some warm water. Season to taste.
Printable Recipe

February 5, 2010


The last time I made Madeleine was quite some time ago. Instead of the traditional shape, I've decided to use this cute metal pan that I found in a local thrift store. It is a heavy cast iron muffin pan in fish shapes. This weekend we are invited to Jennifer's house for an early Chinese New Year celebration. This would be perfect to bring for the party. Fish has a symbolic significance because the Chinese word for fish, "yu", sounds like the word for abundance. It is believed that eating fish on this auspicious day will bring good luck to the family.
1¼ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached flour
½ cup sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. softened butter (softened for greasing pan)
zest of one lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
extra flour for dusing baking pan
Madeleine baking pan
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until brown in color. Strain to remove any solids into a bowl. Set aside to cool.
3. Grease the baking pan with 2 tablespoons of butter. Dust with flour and invert the pan and tapping out any excess flour.
4. Put the sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high till eggs double in volumne. Whisk a little longer till the mixture is thick and white in color. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the lemon zest and vanilla.
5. Next gently fold in the flour into the egg mixture and then the butter mixture.
6. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove and unmold imediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.
Printable Recipe

February 2, 2010

Grilled Tuna and Shrimp with Mint Pumpkin Sauce

Despite the rain, the drive home tonight wasn't too bad. However, the rain reminds me of my childhood days in Malaysia. After a light shower, we would go shrimping on the beach when the tide is low. Armed with flashlights we would go searching for them in the muddy water. Also, it reminds me that I have some seafood in the refrigerator. John likes tuna fish and I like shrimp---so why not have a seafood fiesta on a Tuesday night! I will serve this with a mint pumpkin sauce and watercress. Yummy!
8 oz yellowfin tuna fish
10-12 tiger shrimp
2 tsp. galangal powder
1 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (more if needed)
1 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a bowl, mix galangal, oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and ginger together. Set aside.
2. Shelled shrimp leaving tails. Make a shallow cut lengthwise down back of shrimp and devein (remove black thread). Rinse with water and drain. Wash tuna and drain.
3. Season tuna and shrimp for about an hour before cooking. Covered and refrigerate.
4. Grill and cook the shrimp till golden brown. Remove and keep warm.
5. In a heavy non-stick pan on high heat. When hot, sear sear tuna fish 2 minutes on each side for medium raw. Cook abit longer if you want it well-done.
6. Serve with rice, cooked greens and drizzled with mint pumpkin sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds on top.Printable Recipe

February 1, 2010

Juice 4: J. Polk

This is easy enough to make. Carrot is one of my favorite juice ingredients, its sweet and tastes good. It is rich in Vitamins and great for snacking.
Ingredients: (makes approx. 1 qtr.)
30 carrots
Method: Scrubbed carrots clean, cut into chunks and juice away.

Mint and Pumpkin Sauce

I have a small patch of different varieties of mint growing in my backyard. One of my favorite is the Morocon mint--it has a light mint flavor and great for brewing tea served with a drop of rose water. Yummy! An idea came into mind---I could make a sauce. Let's see, I have some leftover chicken stock, more kabocha squash. This sauce goes well with baked shrimp, fish or chicken.
¼ cup freshly picked mint leaves, washed, and stalks removed
¼ cup chopped baked kabocha, cut into chunks
1 cup organic chicken broth
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste (optional)
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice (if tamarind is not used)
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and sugar to taste
1. In a food processor, add mint, oil, kabocha, and tamarind paste and blend till smooth.
2. Pour mixture into a saucepan, add chicken broth and cook over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, remove and season to taste. Add more chicken broth if mixture is too thick.
Printable Recipe

Fish Fillet in Creamy Coconut Curry

I bought some LingCod on sale last weekend at the supermarket. I would normally use this to make a porridge with salted vegetables. Tonight, I've decided to make something spicy this time with Kabocha Squash and coconut milk. I missed the smell of fresh coconut that we usually buy at the wet market in Malaysia. The seller would split open the coconut and grind it fresh for you. It is so fresh and rich in flavor that I eat it right from the bag. Here in the States, our only choice is to use either the frozen or canned ones. Like my mother always says--"something is better than nothing."
1 lb. lingcod fillet, cut into bite-size (you can use shrimp too)
¼ cup cooked kabocha squash, cut in chunks
½ onion, sliced
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can (14.5 oz. diced tomatoes)
1½ cups coconut milk
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste (1 Tbsp. lemon juice)
2 sprigs Indian curry leaves
1 Tbsp. parsley or cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. oil
Blend Ingredients:
5 green/red chilles, seeds removed
5 dried chillies, soaked and deseed (use this if you are not using fresh chillies)
2 lemon grass
2 inch-sized of ginger
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
½ tsp. tumeric powder
½ tsp. coriander powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ onion
1. Heat oven and bake squash at 400 degees F. Remove when it is slightly golden brown, or test with skewer for doneness. Remove and let cool, then remove skin and cut in chunks. Set aside.
2.Blend the spices into a smooth paste. Cut the fillets in chunky pieces, season with a salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
3.Heat oil in a deep pan, stir fry onion till soft  Add in the curry leaves, curry paste and 1/2 tsp. coriander, adding a little more oil if necessary. Fry on medium heat till fragrant and oil separates from the paste. Add the squash and tomatoes and stir for another 10 minutes. Remove curry leaves, add the tamarind juice a little at a time, according to your taste. Blend mixture till smooth, then pour mixture back into the pan.
4.Reheat on medium heat and add in coconut milk at little at a time and mixing it as you add the milk. Add slightly more coconut milk if you like more sauce. Bring coconut milk to a boil, add fish to the mixture. Cover and simmer over meduim heat for 5-6 minutes. Gently turn fish over to cook through. Season to taste.
5.Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro, and serve with cooked basmati rice.
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