Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mustard Green Soup with Fish Balls

This is a very quick soup taught to me by my late grandpa when I was 9. In fact this is one of the earliest dish I 've ever cooked. Grandpa was the gourmet of the house and he taught my grandma and my mom how to cook. He passed away recently at the grand old age of 101. I still remember how he used to stand behind me in the kitchen and told me how to cook different dishes. Mustard Green is a very healthy veg, and has anti-cancer properties. The longer you boil mustard green, the sweeter the soup becomes. This is a kind of 'cheapo' soup, you get great tasting soup, and the fish balls and veg can be served as a separate dish.

Mustard Green (choose those without a lot of leaves, you can even just use the stems)1 big bulb
Fish balls (fresh or cooked)
Fish cakes, sliced
Ginger, 3 slices

1. Wash Mustard Green thoroughly, cut into big pieces
2. Soak fish balls and fish cake slices in water to remove some of the salt
3. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, add a little oil, add 2 ginger slices and fish balls and fish cake slices. Stir fry for about 3 mins. Remove
4. Fill soup pot with about 3L water, add mustard green chunks and remaining ginger slices, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins
5. Add fried fish balls and fish cake slices, simmer for 5-10 more mins
6. Scoop the mustard green and fish balls/cake out and serve as a separate dish

Mixed Mushroom and Tofu

We are a mushroom and tofu family. We have tofu 4 times a week and we love mushrooms. This dish oozes with the earthy aromas of mushrooms. I usually take a bunch each of each kind of fresh mushroom from the supermarket's mushroom shelf.


Mixture of fresh mushrooms
(shitake, shimeji, oyster, eringii, bai ling, button, maitake etc)
Tofu (for frying) 2 packets
Oyster sauce 2 tbsp
Dark soysauce 1 tbsp
Light soysauce 2 tbsp
Chinese wine 2 tbsp
Garlic, 3 cloves, chopped finely
Oil, 2 tsp
Chopped chinese parsley, chinese celery, spring onion, 2 tbsp for garnish

1. Separate or slice mushroom in to thick slices (remember they release juices and shrink after cooking)
2. Cut tofu into large cubes
3. In the wok over medium-high heat, pour in oil and garlic. Fry garlic until fragrant.
4. Put in mushrooms, stir fry quickly to avoid sticking.
5. Add Chinese Wine, Stir thouroghly, add the other seasoning(soysauce, oyster sauce)
6. When mushrooms juice start coming out, add tofu. Add a touch of water if necessary to cover 3/4 of all ingredients
7. Cover and simmer in low-medium heat for 5-7 mins. Adjust taste with salt/sugar
8. Sprinkle chopped parsley/celery/spring onion and mix well. Cover for 1 min more and serve!

- Experiment with difference mixture of mushrooms, I even add in soaked dry fungi like 'Cloud Ear', 'Snow Ear' etc. They give a crunchy texture to the dish

Tandoori Chicken

I have craving for Tandoori Chicken the past few days, and by chance, I found packeted Tandoori Masala Powder in my local Indian grocery shop. So I marinated the chicken for a night, and Grilled the chicken in the oven.... The aroma coming out from the oven was Subliminal!!! We served it with rice and some Japanese style veggie curry... Soul food!!

Tandoori Masala, 1 packet
Thick Yogurt, 1 medium tub
Chicken, 2 (skinned)
Salt (1 tbsp)
Red edible color (optional)

1. Make deep score on the chicken breasts, and thighs so flavours would go deep inside the meat.
2. mix the spice mix and salt with Yogurt, add red edible color if using to desired color.
3. marinate chicken in spiced yogurt, making sure the whole chicken is covered with the paste.
4. marinate chicken for 4 hours at least in the fridge or overnight.
5. Preheat grill to 220 degrees
6. Place chicken on grilling rack lined with foil, put under the grill for 20 mins.
7. Turn chicken and grill for another 20mins, baste with remaining marinate
8. Check that chicken is cooked through, Serve and enjoy!

Stir Fried Pork Slices with Young Ginger

This is a very fragrant and appetizing dish. The young ginger slices give out a beautiful warm aroma and pair wonderfully with pork slices.

Pork (lean pork or shoulder) 300gm, sliced
Young Ginger, medium, sliced thinly

Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Oil 1 tsp
Corn Starch 1 tsp
Light Soysauce 1-2 tsp

Oyster sauce 2 tsp
salt/sugar to taste

water 50-100 ml

1. Marinate Pork slices with marinate ingredients
2. In a frying pan over medium heat, pour in 1.5 tsp oil, tip the pork slices in and stir fry to about 5 mins until they have just turned color, place in a plate
3. Use just a little oil, stir fry the young ginger slices until fragrant. Add the pork slices back in. Season with oyster sauce, adjust taste with salt/sugar if necessary. Add in a touch of water, cover and simmer for 3-5 mins.
4. remove from frying pan and serve.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Clay Pot Tofu Crispy Pork

Crispy Pork is my wife's favourite, especially those from Hong Kong. Whenever I go to HK, I always bring back Crispy Pork for her as a treat! This is a very easily made dish and great to go with rice.

Crispy Pork, 1/2kg, cut into big pieces
Soup Tofu, 2 pack, cut into large cubes
Ginger, 3-4 slices
Spring onion, 2 stalks, cut crosswise into 4 pieces
Garlic, 5-6 cloves
Flat leaves parsley, 1 bunch, roughly chopped
Chinese Wine, 2 tbsp
Sugar, 2 tbsp
Light soy sauce, 2 tbsp

Water, 1.5 cup
Oyster sauce, 2 tbsp
Light soy sauce, 2 tbsp
Dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
2 tsp corn starch mix in 2 tbsp water for thickening

1. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in a wok, put in garlic, fry till golden, place ginger slices and spring onion pices in the work and fry till slightly golden colored, fragrant.
3. put in crispy pork and fry for about 1 min, season with sugar, light soy sauce, and chinese wine, stir and cover, cook for another 2 mins in medium low heat.
4. Pour in sauce ingredients, except corn starch water, mix well, bring to the boil and add tofu. Cover and cook for 5 mins.
5. mix the corn starch water well, add to the boiling sauce, cook still thickened to your liking. Add parsley and cover for 1 min.
6. For specially sizzling effect, transfer to clay pot, cover and bring to a boil. Just before serving, pour 1 tsp chinese wine over the gap between the cover and the pot. Serve while sizzling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Homemade Rosti

Rosti is my family's favourite potato dish ranked just below my signature mashed potato. The crispy crust and creamy interior works great with a dab of sour cream on the side and served with roast chicken, roasted salmon fillets, or with grilled sausages and sauerkraut(fermented cabbage).

Russet Potatoes, 1kg
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

1. Peel and wash potatoes, par boil them for 8mins. put it aside to cool
2. Grate potatoes on a grater using the large holes
3. Season grated potatoes bits with salt and pepper
3. In a non-stick pan, pour generous amount of oil. Once oil is hot, pile grated potatoes on the pan, pack it down evenly and shape into nice rounds with a turner.
4. fry gently for 10mins until nicely golden brown, using the turner, slide the rosti onto a plate, cover the rosti with another plate, and turn upside down. Slide the rosti with the cooked side up into the pan again.
5. Continue to fry for 10mins until nicely golden brown.

Peanut Root Soup

This is an interesting and yummy soup. My mum first heard of it from her neighbour and many parents believe that the roots of peanut help grow taller. I honestly don't know if this is true, but my research on the web makes me want to this soup for my family.

Peanut root, according to research, is full of the anti-oxidant, Resveratrol, usually associated with red wine, which helps protects the heart and lower cholesterol, and helps prevent cancer. The finished soup is full of peanut fragrance and my daughter loves the soup.

Peanut Root, 800gm to 1kg
Lean Pork, 500gm
Soup Bone, 500gm
Water, 4L

1. Place all ingredients in a soup pot, filled with 4l of water
2. Bring to the boil for 30 mins, then boil over medium-low heat for 2 hrs.
3. salt to taste

- To wash Peanut Roots, stripe off the top leaves, only leaving those near the bottom. The leaves would give the soup a biter taste. I usually wash it in a bucket, shaking the roots in the water like whisking, to loosen the soil and dirt.
- You can use Chicken instead of pork
- To increase the sweetness of the soup, you can also add 1-2 honeyed dates or dried figs

- From ""


〔記者余雪蘭╱嘉市報導〕國立嘉義大學分子與生物化學系教授邱義源所帶領的研究團隊,研究發現花生根含有高量的抗癌成分│白藜蘆醇,此項研究報告已於日前 經美國化學會刊登於在國際農業科技領域極具權威的農業與食品化學雜誌,預料將引發世界各地花生農與生化科技界的高度興趣。


 根據醫學研究,白藜蘆醇具有抗癌、抗氧化、防止血管粥狀硬化引起的心血管疾病,近年來科學家們在紅葡萄酒、葡萄皮及葡萄籽中發現它的存在,但含量並不 高,紅葡萄酒每公升含零點零零零一至零點零一五公克,而在邱義源等人的研究中,發現不同品種的花生其秋作花生根平均含白藜蘆醇每一公斤含量從零點零三到零 點九一公克不等。

- From ""

The French paradox is the strange phenomenon that the French people follow a high-fat diet and smoke a lot, and still have a surprisingly low level of heart disease, one of the lowest rates of heart disease in Europe.

Red wine , according to research, is at work here.

Red wine, which is consumed regularly in the French diet, is rich in antioxidants and has a high content of resveratrol, a plant compound, and other polyphenols, phytonutrients considered to stop the furring of arteries.

Scientists have found agents that combat both heart disease and cancer concentrating on the skin of grapes: this might explain why moderate intake of red wine seems to go with good health.

Peanuts, along with red wine and grapes, have been shown to contain resveratrol. Resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and can reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol in the arteries.

Antioxidants like resveratrol and vitamin E, also found in peanuts, are believed to reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart disease.

An ounce of peanuts contains about the same amount of resveratrol as almost 2 pounds of grapes. So, a handful of peanuts washed down with a glass of red wine sounds like a good idea and of simple implementation.

- From ""

Peanuts Contain Resveratrol - Implicated in Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

San Francisco, April 20, -- Peanuts are another dietary source of heart-healthy resveratrol. Dr. Tim Sanders from the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Raleigh, North Carolina presented a lecture on this and other phytochemicals at the Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Francisco.

Resveratrol, which was found in edible peanut kernels, is a naturally occurring plant compound or phytochemical that protects plants from disease. Present in red wine and grapes, one ounce of peanuts contains approximately 73 micrograms of resveratrol. In comparison, almost 6 cups (or 2 pounds) of grapes contain about the same amount of resveratrol. Red wine contains approximately 160 micrograms per fluid ounce.

While it is not yet known exactly how resveratrol functions as a healthful factor, resveratrol's presence in red wine has been previously associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and it has been credited as a factor in the "French Paradox" (despite a high fat diet, the French have a surprisingly low rate of heart disease).

Results from various research studies have shown that resveratrol may protect against atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation (or breakdown) of the LDL cholesterol in the blood. This oxidation of LDLs starts the deposition of cholesterol in the walls of arteriesleading to heart disease. Resveratrol may also prevent platelet accumulation in the arteries. This accumulation of platelets can form a clot which can cause a heart attack or stroke by getting stuck in the artery. If this occurs, blood flow is decreased to the heart or the brain.

More recently, research conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago using resveratrol extracted from grapes showed a reduced risk of cancer in animals by stopping the growth of damaged cells in the body. If these damaged calls were left untouched, they could grow out of control and cause cancer in the body. Resveratrol may work in a number of ways to stop this series of reactions within the body.

This finding on resveratrol in peanuts appears to support epidemiological studies from Loma Linda University, Harvard School of Public Health and University of Minnesota that show peanuts and nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease by more than half when eaten frequently in small amounts. There may be several factors in peanuts that contribute to this healthful effect. Peanuts are an excellent food source of vitamin E. They also provide approximately 2 grams of fiber per ounce, and have relatively high amounts of folic acid, thiamin, niacin, copper, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. They are high in plant protein and the fat content is primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization which supports nutrition research and develops educational programs that encourage healthful lifestyles.