Friday, February 6, 2015


Leeanne asks for noodles for lunch and it's not always sauteed.  She'll ask for cold noodles or hot soup noodles depending on the weather.  I always separate the soup from the noodles as they would absorb too much liquid and turn mushy.  Noodles tend to stick together and so don't forget to add a bit of oil to the noodles.  Then they won't all stick together in a clump when they open their lunch box!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Veggies for lunch

Many kids bring lunch to school as they complain that school lunches are tasteless, gooey and yucky.  So many moms have lunches made at home and have them bring lunch to school early in the morning in thermos flasks.  Chinese prefer hot lunches over salads and sandwiches and so the vegetables are also cooked.  Unfortunately, many overlook the fact that green leafy vegetables do not hold well in thermos and turn dark and soggy, making the vegetables "yucky" to eat and at the same time lots of vitamina are lost.  

In fact, if you wish to pack a cooked vegetable for your kid, it's better to serve it at room temperature.  Cook the vegetables and then let it cool down completely.  Pack it in a container and I'm sure your kid will eat his veggies!

Chinese Zucchini

Very often, salads in Hong Kong are made from imported vegetables and are very expensive to make at home or to order at restaurants. I got this idea when I ordered too much Chinese zucchini for the restaurant. My intention was to shred it very finely and quickly sautee or blanche them and serve as part of a main course. The shreds were too delicate and the result was too mushy.

So I thought if I could dress this in a light dressing it would work very well as a salad. I mixed some shredded carrots into the zucchini for crunch and colour and tossed it in a light yuzu dressing. It worked splendidly. The chinese zucchini was light, sweet and worked very well. So next time you want a salad, go to the local market for ideas and not just fancy supermarkets for ingredients!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Milk rice pudding

Our little one wanted some dessert the other day and there was no time to make ice cream, cake or baked custards.  Instead there was some rice from dinner.  The recipe was very simple and she just added some milk to the rice and boiled till soft.  Then she added some sugar, one egg yolk and a splash of vanilla.  It was very simple yet delicious and she was very happy that she made this simple dessert all by herself!  She even copied the recipe so she could easily make herself a dessert when I wasn't home.  

Desserts don't need to be rich or heavenly to please kids.  Sometimes plain foods we eat daily work very well.  And of course a little fun !   

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dumpling wrappers

I got 2 different wrappers today, wrappers for panfrying and wrappers for wontons.  

Wrappers for pan frying are different.  The edges are supposed to be thinner on the outside and thicker on the inside so that once the dumpling is made, the thickness of the wrapper is uniform.  The wrapper is also thicker as  it needs to be panfried and too thin a wrapper would make it break easily.

Wonton wrappers are much thinner as they are intended to be cooked in water.  But this time, I cut and shaped them oval, just like the dumpling wrappers and wrapped them for frying.  

Both tasted great, but I think wonton wrappers made the dumplings more delicate and the skin was crispier.  For a richer dumpling with more meat, I think dumpling wrappers would be better.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Freeze cook

What happened to defrosting food before cooking?  Who would want to cook frozen food?  Actually, it makes lots of sense. Water is retained much better, keeping the food a lot more moist and locked in the  meat. I got some very nice capeline fish and instead of defrosting them, I put them straight on the grill.  It may take a bit longer to cook, but when they are done, the meat is a lot more moist and not dry.  When frying fish, the skin has to be dry and crispy before it's flipped, otherwise, the skin sticks to the pan.  But the water is also drawn out from the meat.  So by cooking frozen, the temperature of the meat doesnt climb too quickly, leaving the meat a lot more moist than if cooked at room temperature.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hairy crab roe

It's been so busy that I haven't been able to treat myself to anything homemade and extravagant.  I finally had time to try this out.  Hairy crabs are in season now and they are usually just steamed and devoured whole.  

I've always wanted to take the roe out and experiment with it.  I got a few crabs, quickly killed them and then took the roe out.  For the body, there were simply satueed and tossed with some chillies, corriander, garlic and seasoning.

The roe was interesting to work with.  I made a seafood food risotto and when the risotto was finished, the raw roe was incorporated into the risotto.  The second dish using raw roe was fried rice.  The roe was put in last after the rice was fried and tossed until cooked. The third was simply a plain congee with roe added and cooked till done.

Taste.....  Both the seafood risotto and the congee were great.  It was very light and the roe came out very delicately.  As for the fried rice, there was colour but, the taste of the roe disappeared.  In short, no wonder everyone just eats these crabs in the whole.  That's the best way!