Category Archives: Brunch/Lunch

Mock Frog-Leg Congee

My family loves the frog porridge at Lion City Frog Porridge especially my boys. However for $8.00 a frog and with such little meat, it can rather expensive when we bring our little troops out for supper.

Anyway one of the most similar meat to frog leg is actually the chicken thigh, so when the cravings kick in and our wallet is feeling not too generous, what do we do? Well, it is to CIY (Cook-It-Yourself). 🙂

It is not difficult to do this dish but a little tedious as we need to marinate and cook the chicken,  cook the congee separately and assemble them together.

Servings: 4 pax

A: Cooking The Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 pcs Chicken Thighs (skinned & cut to bite size pcs)
  •  2tsp Fish Saucec
  • 2tbs Oyster Sauce
  • 2tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1tsp Dark Soya Sauce
  • a dash Pepper
  • 1tsp corn flour (only to be added before cooking)
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 4 segments of garlic clove (chopped finely)
  • 2 sprigs spring onion
  • 100ml Stock (chicken or dashi)
  • a splash of Chinese Cooking Wine

Method (with step-by step photos)

  1. Cut the chicken thigh meat into bite size pieces
  2. Marinate the chicken with fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, dark soya sauce and pepper  for at least 30 mins.
  3. Before cooking, mix in the corn flour.
  4. Heat oil and fry the ginger till fragrant.
  5. Add in garlic and fry till fragrant.
  6. Add in marinated chicken and fry till nearly cook.
  7. Add the splash of chinese  cooking wine to deglaze.
  8. Add in stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer till sauce thickens.  (water will do fine too if you do not have stock)
  9. Add in sprigs of spring onions for flavour and garnish.
  10. Plate and put aside.

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B: Cooking the Congee

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups of Short Grains (approx 375g)- washed & rinsed
  • 1.5L of Water
  • 1L of Chicken/Dashi Stock
  • 1/2 ladle Sesame Oil

 Method (with step-by step photos)

  1. Rinse short grains rice till water runs clear (abt 3-4 washes)
  2. Bring to a boil and lower fire to medium. Give it a stir occasionally to prevent bottom from burning.
  3. When the liquid is starting to run low, add in the stock gradually(300 ml at a time), stirring it at the same time, till you get a smooth, thick consistency. Takes about 45 mins to 1hr.
  4. Add in the sesame oil and give it a good stir. (This makes the congee smooth.)

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Assemble

Spoon the congee into a bowl and top it off with the chicken and the sauce.

Things to Note:

  1. Its is very important to use stock to cook the congee as it is what it gives the grains the flavourful burst each time you put it in your mouth.
  2. No seasoning is needed in the congee as the sauce from the chicken already acts as a seasoning for the congee.
  3. The chicken dish does not necessarily needs to be eaten with the congee. it is really good with steam rice too.

Hong Kong: Chan Kee Roasted Goose (深井陳記燒鵝)

Who goes to Hong Kong without eating Roasted Goose? Definitely not us. It was a plan-in-advanced meal by my hubby as he LOVES his BBQ meat. So we started plodding from our hotel to the eating house but alas we went in the wrong direction again. Anyway after a few turns, here we are. 🙂

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The eating house was filled with people and we had to wait for a little but it was definitely worth the wait. Tender meat crispy skin and glistening fat, there’s really nothing not to love about it. In fact it was way better than the roasted goose that we had at a so-called famous restaurant when we visited Hong Kong 2 years ago. 🙂

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How to get there

Reclamation Street                                                                                                           427-427A Mongkok                                                                                                         Kowloon, Hong Kong                                                                                                    Tel: +852-2381-6161

CHRGoose-3Clemens being playful posing like those roasted pigeons

Hong Kong: Mui Kee Congee (妹記生滾粥品)

Last December(2012), we went on a holiday trip with my mother-in-law to Hong Kong for an eating & shopping spree. It was a free & easy trip with my hubby as the tour guide. 🙂 Armed with a guide book and a map, there we go. One of our favorite eats is definitely at this congee store at the local market. Mui Kee Congee (妹記生滾粥品).

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Being not a local, this little gem was truly difficult to find. We thought that this was a eating house so after an hour of walking around and asking around, we only realized that its on the third level of the local wet market. But the time was all totally WORTH it. We started off with a plate of fish skin.

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My hubby totally adores fried fish skin so when it turned out to be fresh fish skin he was rather put off by it. I was initially quite skeptical too. However my motto in life, “if you don’t try it now, when will it be. ” and this definitely cannot be compared with what Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods puts in his mouth right? And that was it. I picked up a piece with some ginger shreds and put it in my mouth. I was blown over by it. Nothing like what I had imagined it to be (slimy & fishy). It was WELL MARINATED!!! Slightly salty and fragrant from the soya sauce and sesame oil, crunchy (I believe they had submerged it in icy cold water) and the freshness from the shredded ginger and spring onion. When submerged into the pipping hot congee, it became soft and tender. Fish skin eating has definitely been brought to an entire new level for me. I have never eaten fish skin prepared this way in Singapore before. I just simply love it.

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The highlight is definitely the congee. Thick and silky smooth, every mouthful is such a delight.

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Each time the congee glides down effortlessly down your throat, you will just like to follow up with an oooh…. and arrrr…….. It just brings me so much joy and cravings recalling it. Not to mention the generous helpings of ingredients in the congee, it is definitely good value for $$ (if you’re traveling on a budget). This congee is my mum-in-law’s favourite that till today, she can’t stop talking about it and asking when we can go again.

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See her smiling face. 🙂 We tried the Mix Pork Congee, Fish Belly Congee, Meatball Congee. They were all seriously GOOOOOOOD…………….

The rice flour rolls are a must try. Too bad I was busy eating so no photo of this was taken (Managed to retrieve from my mum-in-law’s mobile :)). Soft and springy, it’s again nothing like I had eaten in my life in Singapore. I love the sauce mixture of sweet and salty. Especially the dash of sesame sesame sauce put in it, giving it a really fragrant touch. Imagine with your eyes close. The fragrance of sesame running amok through your nose lingering in there, the sweet and salty sauce playing through your entire mouth tingling on the tip and sides of your tongue. Bite into the soft, smooth yet springy rice flour rolls. The experience is truly sensational. I have truly and really fallen in love with the unseemly simple rice flour rolls. 🙂

How to get there

Fa Yuen Street Market, 3 Level                                                                                       Mong Kok , Kowloon                                                                                                           Hong Kong, China                                                                                                                 Tel: 852-27890198                                                                                                           (Nearest Train Station: Mong Kok MTR. Exit at D2 and walk to Fa Yuen Street Mkt (花園街). Head towards the end of the road.)

I am not sure if I have managed to convince you on how good is that but during our 5 days 4 nights in Hong Kong, we went there for breakfast twice. 🙂

Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup

Since young and being the eldest grand daughter, my eating habits had been shaped by granddad who always brings me out along on his eating spree. Therefore its not surprising that I eat like an old-fashion oldie and my love for animal’s (pork, beef, mutton) innards was already sealed plus it doesn’t help much when my maternal grand dad was a butcher, always leaving the best parts of the porky (kidneys, stomach, tail & liver) all for my mom to cook for me.

Growing older doesn’t seem to make me love these things any lesser and even better still, I managed to get my boys in the same boat as I am 🙂 (not something my hubby is very happy about though)

However if there is one thing that I am very very very particular about is, I don’t just eat pig’s organ just any where because it takes extreme care to wash and prepare the innards (and if not done properly, it will be truly horrendously nasty). Hence most of the time we only go to Serangoon Garden Food Centre for our favourite “Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup” .

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My hubby even though is not a fan of pork intestines, stomach, etc,etc….. absolutely adores the incredibly delicious broth and eating the lean pork (while the boys and I finishes up whatever there is in it).

SHPigOS-3We especially love the salty yet subtly sweet gravy that is used to braised the trotters, skin, eggs, organs and all. Drizzle them over over the rice, it is just as good too. I, of course love how cleanly and well prepared the pig’s organs are; no nasty smell, cooked to perfection without being over rubbery that you find it hard to tear it off with your teeth.

Most of all, we absolutely adore the owners who are extremely generous with their gravy and soup top-up and of course for being always helpful. I mean I seldom expect a lot of customer service from the hawker centers because of the economical prices that we are paying. So to me I feel “Soon Huat” has indeed done well in this aspect 🙂

Where To Find?

Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup

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49A Serangoon Garden Way, Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre, #01-42, S(555945)

Hours: Tue – Sun (09:30 – 16:00)

Things to Note:

They only sell white rice. No kway chap 😦

There is usually a Q over the weekends but they are usually quite fast.  However if you do not want to Q, perhaps you can go there around 11am-11.30am instead.

Parking slots are rather limited. However if you are patient enough, space is not exactly difficult to find as people just eat and go.

BEST Fluffy Pancake Recipe Ever

As I am writing out this entry, I am really having a really hard time deciding if I will tag it under breakfast, brunch or dessert. But heck with it I will just tag it under all 3. For a recipe this heavenly good and simple to make, you really can just  have it at any time of the day and occasion. Sweet, savory and all, hot, warm or cold, the texture and taste is just simply divine that you will NEVER EVER buy frozen pancakes or pancake premix any more. Most importantly, the ingredients are mostly available at home or if not at the local supermarkets.

Pancakes-1Servings: 20 7.5cm in diameter pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 200g Flour (sieved)- I use Top Flour
  • 31/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt – I use the Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 300ml Fresh Milk (slightly warmed)
  • 50g Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • 1 Egg (beaten; room temperature)
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

Method (with step-by step photos)

  1. Sieved the flour together with the baking powder. Mix well with the salt and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the melted butter and egg. Mix.
  3. Gradually add in the milk and mixing the batter at the same time. You will be able to draw a ribbon figure ‘8’ on the batter.
  4. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla if you like.
  5. Grease and heat the pan on medium-low fire.
  6. Scoop a ladle full of batter and pour it into the pan.
  7. Cook till you can see tiny bubbles & the edges firming up.
  8. Flip it over to reveal the beautiful golden hue & cook it for  a couple more mins. Repeat the process till you finish using up the batter.

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Variations:

Chocolate Chips Pancake

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  • Follow above instructions till point 4.
  • Mix in 200g of chocolate chips.
  • Cooked in greased pan on medium-low fire (as in above point 5-9).

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Pancakes-10Verdict of chocolate chip vs original 🙂

Now that you are done, you can eat it any way you want.

Pancakes-5Breakfast or Brunch

Pancakes-7Dessert or just simply plain with a glass of cold milk.

Storing & Reheating Instructions

  1. To store, wrap the remaining pancakes in a cling-wrap and store it in the fridge. I do not recommend keeping it for more than 3 days.
  2. Reheat greased pan on medium-low fire. Place the cold pancakes on the pan and reheat till quite warm to touch.

Things To Note:

  1. You can use plain flour which is perfectly fine. However I like the use of top flour as it has a finer texture. 
  2. Sieving the flour is very important as it loosens the lumps of flour and helps with the lighter texture in your pancakes.
  3. Notice that the milk is slightly warmed and the egg is at room temperature rather than cold straight out from the fridge. This is to prevent the hardening of the melted butter which will form lumps in your batter.
  4. Baking powder is used to increase the volume and to lighten the texture of the pancake making it fluffier and lighter. And as with all flour, do not over mix the batter as this will produce gluten thus leaving you with a heavier and harder pancake. Just briskly incorporate the wet mixture well.

This is also an activity Great 4 Kids because, there is no need for them to get their hands all dirty with dough. Sieve, whisk and mix is all they need to do. 🙂 while mummy/daddy just needs to cook the pancake.

Damir in Action all Just Like a PRO.

Damir in Action all Just Like a PRO.

P.S: If you really want to know how good this is, my boys had actually asked me to make these for 3 days in a row already. My mum totally loves them and even my mother-in-law who doesn’t usually eats these things,even brought back some leftovers and nodded her head in approval.