Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Fermenting toufu

Followed two recipes. One of it for a Vietnamese chao. I have no idea how it tastes like but heck this fermenting hobby is fun.

Hope these bottles turn out well. Will update and share learnings alongside recipes when there is much to be seen/said/taste!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Koreans do 'cute'

Day 9 now and this parched rabbit stealing a sip still makes me chuckle. Gotta love Asian knick knacks, especially Korean. They are clued in and spot on for cuteness overload always.

He's getting promoted to the breakfast table soon!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

The Best South (Bar) Food in Town

I had the Porktacular sandwich (last image) and it was superb, spectacularly layered with texture and taste. The ratio of crunch to the velvety pimento sauce was just nice. Gotta love a bar with their very own signatures on the bottled sauces.

Their waitress (Casey) was extremely friendly, environment was very bar-like yet wasn't rowdy on a Wednesday night. Decor placements was not cluttered. Had a 'porktacular' time in this bar!

Mac's Speed Shop is in Greenville, South Carolina. No they are not a motor repair shop, rather they serve up some mean south food.

Check out their menu here Macspeedshop.com

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Recipe review: Angus Gyoza crafted at Home

Amongst the first foods I made when I first arrived here was the fairly simple to prepare Gyoza. It stores well frozen and great for impromptu visits.
Down side is that it's an oily (but oh-so-yummy!) snack.
Lessons:
1. For frozen storing - first freeze Gyoza individually. Once frozen they can be stored inside airtight / sealed plastic bags. This method will deter the pieces sticking to each other.
2. Frozen Gyoza do not need to be thawed for cooking. Just put oil in pan and Gyoza on top. Cover pan to encourage steaming.
3. Filling can be pretty much anything and to your own taste. Here I used ground Angus seasoned with chopped onions, carrots, pepper, salt, sesame oil and Jinxiang rice wine (use plenty to rid beef-y smell).
4. Sauce for dipping: mix of chili oil, Chinese vinegar, sliced ginger.
5. Chilli oil makes everything better.
6. After folding over a hundred, I got the hang of folding a sweet crescent shaped Gyoza. I'm proud of my origami ability.

Recipe review: Black Vinegar Pork Trotter - a dish to keep me warm and buzzing

This dish in Malaysia is called 'tu kah chor' (Hokkien: pig leg vinegar) / 'chu kiok zhou' (Cantonese: pig trotter vinegar). Randomly found at chinese economy rice eateries, roadside pushcarts or more commonly bak kut teh kopitiam and usually served on selected days of the week. 

This Cantonese cuisine is filled with collagen as the broth thickens with sweet nutritious porky-vinegary-sesame fragrance. The richness keeps me fueled for days. 

Otherwise known as black vinegar pork trotter. Best had over steamed white rice. It's made with  ingredients that regulate the body temp keeping internal warmth.


Here's the formula/recipe for a happy Asian tummy; Bliss = (Cold days + )*Vinegar


Prep & Lessons:
1. Pork - best to balance between trotters which gives the gelatin layer and meatier parts to soak in gelatin. To be par-boiled to rid scum and blood. Rinse pork.

2. Ginger - while scumming pork, clean the ginger by scraping off skin with spoon.  Next, bruise it by pounding or sliced. Sautee with sesame oil til fragrant. Add pork to fry in flavour.
3. Add sweet black vinegar. Rule of thumb is ratio 1:1 vinegar to water. Add to taste:
- sugar (rock sugar or palm sugar but ordinary countertop sugar is fine too)
- light soy sauce (optional)
- dried chilli & mushrooms (optional)
- hard-boiled eggs (optional to add during the last hour. Egg will toughen like jerky if left long in the stew)
4. Substitute sweet black vinegar with the easily sourced China's Zhenjiang Vinegar and sweet black sauce. Instead of plain water, the earlier boiled liquid (pork broth) can be added back per suggested ratio.

5. I used a Crock-Pot for 30mins high, 2hrs low. I like thia dish cooked through with gelatinous soft bones. When cooking vinegar, use cookware made of glass, clay or ceramic. Cookware made of cast iron, metal, aluminium and non-stick material are unsuitable for cooking acidic dishes. The acid eats into the metal.


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

An Injustice to all the Maggi Goreng I've ever had

Good grief. The cold autumn temp is having my stomach calling the shots with sending crazy morse code signals to my head and mouth. I've been craving for fried tauhu (tofu)...the one condiment that I disliked and (sometimes) refused to eat. This is my i-tried-but-fail imitation of Maggi Goreng ala mamak style. 臘

What I learnt:
- still needing Maggi / Ibumie for that nostalgic taste. Ramen noodles is just different
- Maggi/Ibumie has that superior spring in their noodles for this sort of big fire frying dish
- need to use Maggi chilli sauce. Sriracha didn't quite hit the spot
- need wok hei (fired up wok)

My references:
Recipe - https://youtu.be/Gc6SesKaJM4
The required 'kungfu' (mastery skill to control wok) -  https://youtu.be/vfztf4Smcok

Monday, 5 November 2018

Colder Months means Wild Onion Foraging

The colder months of Fall (aka Autumn) is upon us and with that the wild onions are happily sprouting all over the backyard. They sprout sooooo easily too. These were pulled out from soil that's been sprayed with layersss of weedkiller over monthssss. How did they even sprout out with that level of toxicity? And, that size of a thumb too! HOW??


I'm wary of making them food. They have a fibrous crunchier texture, hardier than the commercially available onions. The green stalks has a faint onion scent and it's just nice when chopped. Not too overbearing. I hope they will make good mosquito deterrent.