Deep fried squid on broccoli with garlic butter sauce and crispy lotus root chip

June 20, 2011

Yes yes..i know that i mentioned on the previous blog that i was supposed to cook steamed fish with broccoli ..wakaka..but hor ..it was a sunday and father’s day i malas to fillet fish lah..and at the same time i never cook squid before ma..so try lo..:)

But this time, i bought a BIG squid oh..2 for Rm 10.  This is a simple simple dish. What i did was to slice the squid and deep fried it with corn starch. My darling said on this pic doesn’t look like deep fried oh..hmm but actualy she’s right also la..cause i didn’t coat it thick ma. :).

Leng gau – in hokkien for Lotus Root (Yes Eve it’s called Lotus root, incase you are wondering and it was killing you that time when i post the pic on fb..waakkakkaak ) :) I finely slice the lotus root and deep fried it together with the squid. What i had in mind when i plate with the crispy lotus root was just with the garlic-ginger butter sauce. But come to think of it, i might as well put some on top of the fried squid lo. And you know what, after i plate it, my mom said “aijor so cute, looks like a kitten” and i was like ha?..wakakkak which part of it looks like kitten wo..kns..but anyway after that i give that dish to my mom and dad to eat lo :)

The garlic-ginger butter sauce is quite hard to make though. You need to emulsify both butter and cream/milk or any dairy products or liquids. That means you got to keep stirring when you are mixing both otherwise it will break (separation of butter and oil). I think i managed to emulsify the sauce gua. Looks and taste good geh.. :).That’s all for now la..overall i rate myself 7/10 only la..because in terms of ingredients i can do more geh..hmm..that’s all for now la..stay tune for more dishes to come la..still working on one now..:P

Chicken with roasted capsicum puree on a bed of enoki mushroom with bouquet of roasted aubergine couscous

June 17, 2011

                       Waaaa…when was the last time i really cook and take pic ah..hmm.looking back at my previous post..was somewhere in January?..haih…but anyway..i’m back now la..(don’t worry i got a few more dishes (yes..a few more)..to showcase la..so stay tune okie? Heeee.

The idea for this dish came from 2 source. The first is, during our anniversary dinner with my darling (yes, my 6th month old darling :)  at centrepoint, OneUtama –  forgot the name, something monster. My darling ordered roasted chicken with shitake. And this sauce that they use for the chicken looks like tomato sauce. Knowing me, i’ll taste and try to figure out what’s the ingredient, and thought it was special. Its actually bellpepper sauce. That’s why i came up with this version of mine (but missing another key ingredient – cream, haih nvm la, will do again next time). That’s why from the pic looks like sambal or curry paste rite? wakakka..

Enoki mushroom to substitute of shitake because, 1) it’s cheaper and 2) its cheaper lo :) wakaka..cut cost ma..you know la nowdays, susah cari makan la…wakakka..

The 2nd idea came from this magazine that shows the bouquet of aubergine. I find that’s cool man, so decided to do it myself also lo. I love aubergine. The taste and the texture..hmmm..yup yup..Couscous also my another fav after pasta. IT’s easy to cook and it absorb what ever broth that you use to cook it. For this, i use my mom’s herbal soup. Heeee…If you look closely, i also put some chopped capsicum and tomatoes for colors. Raisin to add the sweet dimension into the couscous – macam Moroccan dish la konon..wakaka..

Well, the other special reason why i decided to write this blog besides my passion for cooking and taking pics is that, the best part..after cooking and getting ready to plate ..guess what happen next??. My camera battery died wo..KNS…i didn’t check lo..walau eh!!..so what i did was..i charge lo..while waiting for it to charge..i think again how to plate better lo..so i wait and wait..n wait..thought after 15mins ok already geh..but..still low ..then i tell myself..ok fine..i’ll snap the pic as fast as i can, as many as i can..and guess what..this is what i got.. consider impressive la..wakakaka…

That’s all for now la..the next one is a fish dish..:) something simple and yet elegant ..it’s call Steamed Fillet on a bed of broccoli with lemon garlic butter sauce with lotus root chips ..Till then..enjoy the pics :)

Stuffed lychee with chicken wrapped with streaky bacon with creamy mushroom sauce and warm couscous salad

January 9, 2011

Strike 2! Yes this is the 2nd dish in the row ladies and gentlemen…WAkaka..hmmm..So yeah just like the above mentioned..stuffed lychee with chicken. I wanted to do this dish the last time during Merdeka eve countdown dinner with Jp,Teoh, Sharon and Eric but somehow i failed lo. Cause of poor planning..damn..but this time, after a few tweaks here and there, managed to come out with it lo. It turns out more than i expected to be. Much juicier and tastier (yes, in case your wondering why i say like that is because this is one of my creation – that means, never try before lo..think outside the box ma..) What i like about this dish is that the combination of sweet, savory, smoky and crunchy (from both asparagus and streaky bacon). ITs just absolutely sensational i tell you..yes you..! :)

So, here’s the details. Once again i used chicken thigh (the upperside of drumstick cause its juicier and tender) and cut them into small chunks. Small enough that i could stuff into a lychee. I use a can lychee because i can’t find the fresh one (sorry lo). I first cook the streaky bacon for a few mins then i start with the chicken. With the chicken, i saute with some oyster sauce, sesame oil and that’s it. No seasoning at all (oyster sauce are already salty).

Lastly, i toss the asparagus over a tea spoon of oil on a non-stick pan. Again, just for a few mins. As for the creamy mushroom sauce, just saute chopped garlic with butter then sweat the mushroom. Until you see the mushroom starts to shrink, then pour in the cream (i use whipped cream – Emborg brand la) and lightly season with salt and pepper.

As for the warm salad, i choose couscous instead of the conventional coleslaw. Simple, just pour the dry couscous (you can buy this at cold storage) over a warm broth (i used chicken broth) and let it sit for 4mins (according to the instruction on the pack) and to keep it fluffy, fork it (yes fork it!! heeee ) after 4mins. What i add to this couscous is some pan roast bell pepper, brinjal and asparagus. You can add more for example corriander, courgette or even slice orange.

Time to plate – i stuff the chicken chunks into the lychee then wrapped them with the streaky bacon with asparagus. Put them on top of the cream of mushroom sauce. Simple huh? :) you bet. Try this, i’ll guarantee you and your love ones will enjoy this simple and yet succulent dish.

New Year, New Dish ..hmmmm

January 8, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!…Wohooo!!!…WOW..when was the last time i cook, take pic and write ah? aiyo..KNS! (stands for Ka na Sai – means like shit..i think..ehehe)..Yaya..busy with work lo (managing new club, Head teacher for BodyPump, Lose it! Team Workout Champion for Malaysia…that’s all for now..i think..heeee). Anyway, that was last year, this year with a start of a brand new me..(or old me..as age is catching up) i tell myself, i need to cook at least 2 weeks once..wakakaka..i mean for the purpose of blogging and taking pics la..Oh oh..by the way, i finally bought a new camera..WOHoo!!!..small and sophisticated one leh..just what i needed – hybrid DSLR the Sony Nex-5..yeeHAAa!!..

Ok ok..let’s talk about the dish la…new year new dish..hmm..well..the only dish that is new to me is the garlic butter prawn lo..the rest are the usual stuff lo just different presentation only..

So garlic butter prawn. I personally love this dish and i remember back in KK (where i used to work for 9 awesome months) i used to have this butter thingy as sauce but instead of prawn, its chicken (hey, u know what, i think i’ll do that 2mlo. Butter chicken..wakaka). Anyway, how i prepare it..haaa…very simple only. Just use butter and evaporated milk. But, you have to be fast when doing this and also make sure the heat is not too high as the milk will thicken very fast. The garlic is only added the last to prevent from “hangus” la. :)

What you can also add at the end is some chopped chilies (in this case i added green and red – for color purposes) Some of you may know that i don’t really fancy spicy food but chopped chilies like the above..boleh la..

As for the prawns, i deveined it and i shallow pan fried it instead of deep fried. Healthier ma..hehehe..(actually my i lazy to put so much oil ba cause after that waste la..use so much oil for just one dish then if recycle the oil, the taste of prawn is still there ba..)

Next is the Caramelized chicken with Asparagus. Simple and yet yummy. :) For those who tried my caramelized chicken wrap with bacon..well this is the simpler version la (obviously without the bacon..wakakaka). Ok la, for those that don’t know, here’s how i prepare the chicken. I never use a single drop of oil to cook this chicken (except for sesame oil la to boost the flavor). I use “sugar” instead. Yes Sugar as is “gula” as in “thong” as in.. you know what i’m talking about. On a non-stick pan, i turn the heat up (when you put your hand on top, you will not hold more then 6 secs – yes that hot) then only you put the sugar  in. Making sure that is evenly spread on the pan (at this point, please don’t be a genius to use a spoon to make it even, you know its hot and what happen when you mess with it?? it’ll stick to your spoon lo..KNS!..) so yeah..leave it..till you see the sugar starts to Caramelize..then you put the chopped chicken in (i prefer the use of  whole of drumstick – taste sweeter, you can choose other parts but make sure to deboned it la..easier to eat ma..)

Then, the quickie part comes next – add oyster sauce (lee kum kee, if don’t have then GET ONE!), a dash of sesame oil (not too much otherwise it’ll over power the taste) then dark-soy sauce (for color – black obviously). Then you know what to do lo hor?..cook lo..don’t let it burn. At this stage, lower down the heat as the caramel from the sugar is really and i really mean HOT. it’ll take approx of 5-6 mins to cook. The asparagus, well you can either cook it with like i did (toss it in a pan with a drop of oil) or just steam it or boil it with water lo. I personally prefer tossing it cause of the crunchiness and smoky taste. Up to you la.

There you go, another simple dish brought to you by Ben Sim’s Little Kitchen. In case you’re wondering whether i do catering or not? The answer is YES!!.. hehehehe..

Anyway, i might do another one 2mlo, if you don’t see be blog or post any pic on fb then no la..wakakak..(i’ll try la..thinking about it now..hhehehe). Enjoy!

P/s: Incase your wondering how the asparagus “bengkok” like that..hehehhee…you…you.just bengkok it yourself lo..wakakka..

Sambal Petai with Sexy-Prawns

May 28, 2010

What is the first thing that come into your mind when you heard people said “Petai”? Ewww..smelly..eww..don’t talk to me.. haha. guess what i’ll say..sambal petai with prawn? i WANT!! i LIKE!..lol..Just wonder why people just don’t like it lo..Well if you ask me the same thing about Durian i’ll answer the way you answer about petai lo.. Eww..stay away…kekek..

Sambal Petai with Sexy prawns.. hah! sexy? Why sexy ah? hehe..well actually i got this name from this restaurant near my house – King Crab. At that time i was smiling to myself and thinking, ok la, my next menu i’ll use this name la..kekeke..and so i did. :)

When to market this morning (@TTDI, where i normally buy the ingredients around 10am –  yes, kinda late cause the night before was thinking how to plate this dish ma..) And as soon as i got back from the market, mom asked me, what i bought and i said petai. Like everyone else that dislikes Petai would say, huh? how come ah? hehe..so i said no la..wanted to try something new. Actually its not new to me la, its just new in my cooking library ma..hehe

My love for petai grew even more since the last 2 club launch @ Fitness First Uptown (club launch happens every month to celebrate the previous month’s success). So yeah, thanks to my Fitness Manager that orders from this private catering place – don’t know where :). Anyway, i also kinda requested for it since the 1st time i had it :) lol.

Cooking the sambal with petai is not difficult at all. Its just saute-ing the garlic, with some onions then add the curry paste and finally add the petai lo. To me, as always is how am i going to showcase/plate the dish so that every single ingredients is visible and clear. And this is also one of the reason i was contemplating to cook or not to cook.

This time, the dish is assemble in a way that the prawns are behind the sambal petai and if you see closely, at the back there’s some greens. It’s snow peas. The prawns are prepared in two ways. One is steamed and the other is deep fried with salted egg. I actually use the juice from the steamed prawns and add into the sambal petai. And the purpose for me not to mix the steam/deep fried prawns with the sambal petai is so that i can showcase the main ingredient – the sexy prawns :) Enjoy.

Weekend project: A cooking come back? : Fish 2-ways with roasted tomato sauce

April 25, 2010

Well..well well..its been a while huh..guess what?. I’m back..well..kinda. :) This time, decided to cook something simple, just fish (with roasted tomatoes, garlic, thyme serve with asparagus). Went to Tmn Tun market this morning was searching for a “red-color” fish. Why red? hmmm..just like the color of the fish before it’s cook. But after masak the color will change la..hmm.. Anyway, had this presentation idea of this dish long time ago but didn’t manage to get my hands on starting it. Today, the first sunday that i’m not working, FINALLY!..i get to start something…

Deboning the fish just like the above, was a challenge. Cause, 1) long time never cut anything with a knife for so loonngggg…LOL and 2) this fish has lots of bones too..but lesser than Tilapia though..(btw, do i don’t quite know the name of this fish in malay but in chinese it’s called “Hung-Jou” fish)

So, my idea of the presentation was to roll the fillet, the part that’s with the tail still intact serve with a sauce. Sauce is just simply roast tomatoes with garlic, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Easy rite? I got this idea (the tail standing) from this magazine while i was outside the board-room during my toilet break..lol. And the trick is this, i used a bamboo skewer to hold the tail part as i rolled the fillet. How i cook it? Instead of deep frying it, i shallow pan fried it. Remember that the skewers still in tact on the fillet? I used the skewer to turn the fillet (2mins on each side). Clever huh?

The remaining fillet, i was thinking to do the same as well, but then again, i just steamed it with its head. All i use to marinate was just some ginger juice, some salt and sesame oil. Simple, basic seasoning and marinade. Well, that’s all i can say now, simple. I guess this is how it’s going to be from now on, simple and yet presentable. Picture paints a thousand words. Till i cook again, eat well.

Pan fried tilapia fillet with balsamic reduction

July 10, 2009

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From the previous dish that i did recently, steamed tilapia with sesame oil, well this is the other part of the fish that i fillet…hehe. So yeah, i’ve decided to not to do the same thing, instead i pan fried it. Pan fried tilapia with balsamic reduction. Sounds a bit posh ho..hehe..nothing much ba. What i did was simple. As i mentioned before this, the toughest part of this dish will be to fillet the fish rite?.. :) Now, how do i pan fried this..let’s see.

First of all, i coat the fillet with some flour. At first i wanted to do the same way that i did the fried calamari, but then again, i malas la..hehe..so i just did a single coating lo. But, it was good enough la. So after that, a little salt for seasoning and pan fried it, skin side down (i love to say this, sounds like a true chef ..heh :))

DSC06380Then, leave it as it is. At this point don’t touch the fish. Let it be, let the crust to be formed. Shake the pan a little to make sure it doesn’t stick (only after a 2-3mins). Slowly flip the fillet to the other side after you think its ready. It doesn’t take very long to cook actually, 5-6mins tops.

Kai-lan, also known as chinese broccoli, one of my favorite greens. And yes, its been a while since i makan this. I think the last time i makan this was like ages ago, and that time also my mum yang cook it..i think i really need to take the initiative to cook more of those vegie that i didn’t eat for ages, rather then wait and hope. :)

DSC06381Anyway, there you go for now. I still got 2 more days of leave to cook. Still struggling to think what else i can cook. Wanted to do dessert, but ..but..hmm..Just wait and see la. If i didn’t post anything by 2mlo or day after, then that’s all from me la..for now..

It was really nice to cook again. Especially after so long never really hold a knife and spend longer than 30mins in kitchen :) sad man..but i must say, it was my pleasure to present to you all my cooking experience as well as taking those awesome kick-ass pictures. …

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Wait..not over yet..still got 2 more days.. hehe :)

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Sim

Steamed fillet Tilapia with asparagus

July 9, 2009

DSC06364Fish..yes..this is my first time ever (swear to god) that i ever cooked a fish. And to even buy the fish myself really makes me feels like ..wa.big boy already.heheh.. Anyway, i choose this fish because of a few reasons. One of the reason is because i know how it taste like, i mean obviously all fish taste the same, but this one, just brings back some good old memories – Fishing. Yup, i used to go fishing with my dad when i was young. And this happen to be one of those famous fish to fish..hmm..so yeah.

Tilapia – One of the famous way to cook this would be deep fried it and serve with soy sauce. Well, as you already know by now that i’ve always try to change the cooking method, so i steamed it.

DSC06366I guess the toughest part of this dish is to fillet the fish. At first i wanted to ask the fish monger to do it for me, but then again if i never try, i’ll never learn kan?.. And i also bet that the fish monger sure give me that look (apa la..fillet pun tak tau ka.masak apa?!!..LOL). Anyway i tried, and it turn out ok la. The only advise that i’ll give to you is – USE A VERY SHARP KNIFE..to debone the fish, that’s all i can say.

Right, the next step would be to steam the fish. Simple, i use a wok to do the work (hmm..rhymes also kan..lol) . But before that, to get rid of the fishy smell, what i did was just pound the ginger and to rub on the fish and let it marinade with its juice, for about 20-30mins.

DSC06367It’ll only takes 4-6 mins to steam the fish, and to save time also, i steam the asparagus at the same time. Ha! Kill two birds with one stone. One thing about cooking fish is always and never over cook it. And especially its a fillet, i shouldn’t take long to cook lo. :)

Once its done, just drizzle some (not much) of sesame oil as well as the juice that was in the plate during the steaming session. Serve with finely chopped ginger and cherry tomatoes. This is simple, fresh and yet satisfying meal. Enjoy.

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Deep fried calamari rings with stuffed japanese tofu and minced chicken

July 8, 2009

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Yes..Chicken again ..but this time its not the main ingredients la…its the squid lo..or shall i say fried calamari rings with stuff japanese tofu with minced chicken meat. So the long kan the name..hehe.. Well, i remember eat this dish but was done in a different way (my mom’s way..) What she did was, she stuffed the squid itself with the minced meat (she use pork meat last time –  yes muah..porky pork..hehe) and then she sort of braised it for a short period of time for it to soften the squid and at the same time to cook the stuffed meat. With that cooking method, it releases the juice from the meat that really goes well with rice.

So, what i did was, about the same concept but i did it in different stages.

DSC06350Stage 1: I cooked the minced chicken (yes, i didn’t use porky pork.. :) halal ma ho muah..hehe ).. Simple, just finely chopped some garlic and shallots, lightly saute them then add minced chicken meat. Seasoned with some oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee – My family’s all time fav oyster sauce brand..sejak turun kemurun ..LOL) .

DSC06353Stage 2: Cut the cleaned squid (yes, my ah muah-ma cleaned it for me already) into about close to an inch thick. And here comes the fun part, deep frying it. Before that, i coated the squid with flour ( i used tepung gandum, why? cause its cheap ba..LOL) and just before i put into the oil to fry..i dip the coated squid into another batter that i mix with tepung gandum with cold water. Ha..u must be thinking, why cold batter?.. Now when cold batter hits the hot oil, you know what happens rite?..besides the oil percik to you, it’ll also make the squid crunchy even though after its cold. Cool huh..try it, but make sure you’re ready for the percik actions la..haha..

Last stage: Assemble the dish with the remaining ingredient – Japanese tofu. If you look at this dish, can you think of a typical chinese dish? That sounds like “Mapor-tofu”?. Its a dish itself that has only 2 main ingredients – Tofu (normal white squarish type) and minced meat (and yes, its usual cooks with porky pork) and to finish off with some chopped scallions. So, what i did was, for the japanese tofu but i didn’t cook with the minced tofu. Instead, i steamed it separately. Then cut it, and gently stuffed into the fried squid. And to serve this, instead of scallions, i use finely chopped cucumber. Something different in a way but same in still stick to main ingredients…. Squid with minced meat like mom’s way of cooking. Enjoy.

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Sim

Salami – 3 ways

July 7, 2009

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Salamis, i recently ate some from my ah muah, she made me her signature sandwich – Salami with cheddar cheese and some greens with some mayonnaise.. yummy. From there, i come out with above, Salami – 3 ways. Well, actually it can be more then 3 ways la, just that i like the 3 above la..hehehe..simple and yet stick to the point – pairing with salami with cheese and caramalized onions as well as roasted bell peppers.

Well, i won’t write much about this as its straight forward. Just buy the salami (in this case i bought both smoke beef and smoked chicken) and assemble it like above. Not much about the caramelized onions, as some of you might already know how to slowly cooked the onions till they’re caramelized (and i don’t mean by adding sugar to it).

You know what?, come to think of it, after all the “cooking”, i actually prefer the prep work to take pics. Though, cooking was my first passion la. I always find it challenging to get the right lighting, right angle and the right color combinations.

So without saying more, i leave you with the rest of the pics that i took. Enjoy.

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Sim


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