Saturday, 26 September 2009

Prawn and Vegetables Tempura with Rice

High calorie, high fat and high cholesterol lunch.... Tempura with rice. Unhealthy, but delicious - which is often the case with unhealthy food...;).




I like to use this recipe I found in Recipezaar to make my tempura, because the tempura coating turns out very crispy and stays so for a long time. It calls for (non-dark) beer and rice flour, but I omit the cayenne pepper and garlic powder, because these two ingredients are too overpowering - they make the tempura non-Japanese in taste. Instead I like to add a bit of oyster sauce to add some flavour to the tempura batter.

I also like to use instant tempura batter, the best one I've tried so far is the one from Ottogi, a Korean brand. When using instant tempura batter, I always use ice-cold water to make sure the tempura turns out crispy. I've tried making tempura batter with egg, but it was not as good as the non-egg tempura batter.



Ingredients
  • 10 prawns
  • 1 spring onion, cut into 5 cm long matchstick pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cold beer /cold soda water
  • 1/2 rice flour
  • 1/2 tbs oyster sauce
Tempura Dipping Sauce
  • 100 ml dashi stock
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 1 tbs sugar
What to do
  • Whisk cold beer, oyster sauce and rice flour in a bowl.
  • Coat the prawns and onions with flour before dipping them in the tempura batter mixture.
  • Deep fry for 12 seconds.



And...being a sushi lover, here is my 2 cents - use your prawn tempura to make sushi too :)!




In Sydney, there are many small Sushi bars selling handrolls looking like the sushi rolls above for AU$1.80 each. I don't know if the rolls still cost the same now, or more expensive.



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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Duck with fruit sauce and German potato cakes

I made this duck dish by combining three different fruits for the sauce: plum, green grapes and apples. I used plum mousse given by mother-in-law to rub the duck, then I added apple juice and some green grapes to be baked together with the duck.



I have to ask my MIL how she made the plum mousse, because it made the duck dish taste sooo good! It's sweet, sour and of course plumy in taste. It has the consistency of marmalade but coarser, it still has some small pieces of plum goodness...


The magic plum mousse from my MIL ;-)

I chose Kartofellpuffer (German potato cakes) as the accompaniment to the dish - well, it's actually because I had a small packet of ready-made Kartofellpuffer in my fridge that had to be used ;-). The Germans don't usually eat Kartofellpuffer with duck, they normally eat it as snack as it is, with smoked salmon, apple mousse or with icing sugar. But since I still cannot really imagine eating potatoes with sugar, or something sweet, I like to have it as an accompaniment to savoury dishes. So here you go...Duck with Kartofellpuffer...!

Ingredients
  • 2 duck thighs
  • 4 tbs plum mousse (you can use plum marmalade)
  • 150 ml apple juice
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 10-15 green grapes
  • 1.5 tbs Maggi/Knorr chicken stock
  • Pepper
What to do:
  • Rub the duck with plum mousse, maggi stock and pepper.
  • Add the apple juice, white wine and grapes
  • Bake in the oven for 2 hours at 180 degrees.
  • To make the sauce: After 2 hours, Remove the duck to a platter. Pour the remaining duck liquid into a saucepan. Add 1 tbs of flour (mixed with a bit of water) to thicken the sauce. Add salt/pepper/sugar to taste - normally you don't need to add anything anymore.

Serve the duck with potato cakes (or any other carbs of your choice), the fruit sauce and green grapes.



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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Beef and Shrimps Udon Soup



The weather here has started to grow colder since last week. Autumn is really coming... It's time for piping hot soups again...:). Last week I had a sore throat, so instead of making nabeyaki udon which uses prawn tempura, I made an udon soup with beef stock and boiled prawns. I like eating soups because it's so comforting...

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)
  • 2 packs of Udon noodles
  • 200 gr beef, sliced
  • 1 litre water
  • 10 gr dashi granules
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 shrimps
  • 2 eggs
  • Bok Choy
  • Spring onions, sliced




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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Steamed Rice Rolls with Prawns - Chee Cheong Fun


Chee Cheong Fun is always in my order list everytime I visit a Dim Sum restaurant. I especially like the ones filled with prawns.

I had always wondered how to make chee cheong fun. I had browsed some videos in YouTube, and found out that the traditional method to make this delicacy is to steam the rice rolls on a wet cloth. However, this method just somehow seems so unreachable to do at home - wet cloth on top of hot boiling water .... What gets into your mind? - Too much work, sounds time-consuming and messy somehow. That's why I did more research on how to do it differently. There are several good sites, explaining how you can make chee cheong fun at home using a non-stick baking pan, such as the one from Lili's Wei Sek Hong or from the Waitakere Redneck's Kitchen. This method is indeed easier and more accessible to do at home.

I have tried making chee cheong fun a few times and found out that it's really quite easy to prepare, but you need to be one patient person, since you will need to wait for the rice rolls to steam one by one. But having a big steamer might help reducing the waiting time. I have experimented with several recipes and modified them to my own liking. This recipe is the one I like most - the rolls turn out ricey but still have some bouncy chewiness.

Ingredients

Batter
  • 150 gr rice flour
  • 3 tbs wheat starch
  • 2 tbs tapioca flour
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 500 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Filling
  • Fresh prawns
Sweet Soy Sauce
  • 100 ml soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oil
What to do
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the batter.
  • Grease your non-stick pan with oil and then pour in a thin layer of the batter.
  • Steam the layer for 3 minutes.
  • Add 2-3 prawns and steam for 2 more minutes
  • Set aside for 1 minute and then roll the chee cheong fun
  • Repeat all the steps above until the batter is gone



Drizzle your chee cheong fun with the sweet soy sauce.

You can also create other types of chee cheong fun by, for example, adding green onions to the batter, so that the chee cheong fun look different. You can also fill in the rolls with anything that you want - the most common fillings are prawns, BBQ pork and beef.






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Friday, 4 September 2009

Crab and Pork Steamed Dumplings



Finally another post... My holiday was over since a few days ago, so my time for religious blogging would probably be reduced quite a lot. But I guess it's also not that bad, because sitting in front of the computer daily for hours cannot be so healthy...;-).

Last week I made crab and pork dumplings. This time I made the dumpling skins using hot water dough, and I have to say I am much more happy with the result of dumplings made from hot water dough than cold water dough. The skins were softer and and more chewy. For the skins I actually just used all-purpose-flour and hot water. You need to add the hot water to the flour little by little until you get a pliable dough.

Ingredients
Dumpling skins
  • 300 gr flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
Filling
  • 250 gr minced crab
  • 100 gr ground pork
  • 2 tbs chopped green onions
  • 1 tbs chives
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp maggi chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • A dash of white pepper and sugar
Dipping Sauce
  • 5 tbs chilli oil
  • 10 tbs Chinkiang vinegar (black rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbs thinly slice ginger
  • 1 tsp chives/green onions






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