Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chinese Soup for noodles

My latest interest is back to making soups. But it's more about east meets west in developing flavors. I got some pork bones and roasted them in the oven. Instead of just soaking the dried scallops and mushrooms, I squeezed all the water out and fried it before putting in the soup. Interesting - the soup does taste more intense than making it traditionally.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marinated tomatoes

One of the more interesting appetizers I've creating is marinating tomatoes. The idea first came from Thomas Keller's book - Under Pressure where they made tomatoes sweeter by infusing a sugar solution into cherry tomatoes. I tried but didn't like it and so do my first version - edible bloody Mary. A cherry tomato infused with the vodka, tabasco,lemon juice, Lea Perkins. Fabulous but some didn't like the vodka. So I tried infusing a vinegarette. Worked perfectly but then discovered that the concentration of the solution was extremely important in controlling bursting effect of the liquid when tomato was teen. Too high concentration and the tomato goes soggy. Too low concentration, no bursting effect.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I've always liked making abalone.  Dried abalone has never been a challenge as a good abalone is always easy to cook.  However, fresh, live or frozen abalone is a different story.  Abalone has a very bland taste and a chewy texture.  It's very hard infuse flavour into abalone.  A friend gave me this simple recipe where the abalone was soaked in a rich sauce for 3 days, only to bring the abalone to a slight boil for 10 minutes a day.  It was good but the abalone shrinkage was extremely high.  So I got hold of a bunch of fresh abalone, seasoned it with scallop sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and vacuumed sealed and threw them in the thermo circulator.   After cooking for 24 hours, took them out and they were spectacular.