The Occasional Cook

~Pottering about in my Pink Kitchen

The best of halal Thai Street food — December 10, 2018

The best of halal Thai Street food

So we just came back from a very good holiday in Krabi with a belly full of good food and a good shade darker.

Featuring the best of what I ate. Last photo of insects is just a novelty. Didn’t see a single person buying them at his stall at the Krabi Night Market. By the way, this is SUPER overated and really not worth the visit.

1. Grilled meats. Soooo tender and flavourful. There’s cubes of fat in the middle of the beef and hence the melt in the mouth deliciousness.

2. Fresh grilled squid with barbecue sauce.

3. Mango sticky rice!

4. Grilled corn. So delicious!

5. Khanom Buang. Traditional Thai snack only found on the weekends night markets. It’s meringue with a savoury topping. Nothing I’ve ever tasted in Singapore before. Yum!

6. Pad Thai! I bought packets of pad Thai sauce in this trip. Will be whipping some up when I get my new kitchen in a month’s time!

7. Thai tea! So good here especially when the weather was sooo hot on some days.

8. Fried insects! For the fearless and boundary-less πŸ˜ƒ

Japchae — October 29, 2018

Japchae

A few years ago I posted a very lazy version of japchae: just using the noodles but stir frying it like how SE Asians fry noodles.

Yesterday I tried doing it the traditional Korean way ie to cook each ingredient individually and mix them into the noodles instead of stir frying them.

For the noodles, after boiling them, season with 6 tbsp of light soy sauce, 1 tbsp is sesame oil and 1 tbsp of yondu sauce. This yondu sauce can only be found in Korean grocery stores. And because I can’t read Korean, until today I do not know what it is. My BIL who married a Korean said that it is simply ‘magic sauce’ πŸ˜‚

For the beef, I marinated with light soy sauce and erm worschestershire sauce. Not so authentically Korean here but that’s my liberty as a cook! Lol

For the carrots, stir fry till soft but there’s still a nice bite to it with chopped garlic, light soy sauce and the yondu sauce. I seasoned the sliced white button mushrooms the same way.

Mix the cooked ingredients into the noodles gently and sprinkle lots of sesame seeds. And voila! Japchae.

Nasi Goreng Kampong Hijau: Green Fried Rice — September 23, 2018

Nasi Goreng Kampong Hijau: Green Fried Rice

Nasi goreng kampong hijau or village green fried rice in its literal translation, is a typical Malay home cooked dish when you’re just too lazy to cook white rice with all its accompaniments. You know Malay cooking is tedious. You have the rice but you need a protein gravy dish. And if that’s not enough, it needs to be accompanied with a vegetable dish and sambals. So when tired or lazy, this one dish fried rice is a fixture once a week 😌

I love eating the green chilli version. It’s more fragrant.

In a chopper or blender, blend not too finely green chillies, some green chilli padi (for fiery heat), 3-4 garlic, onions (1 large) and a handful of ikan bilis or dried anchovies and a tablespoon of ground belacan (fermented shrimp ubiquitous is SEA cuisine).

Once the paste is done, the rest is easy. Fry paste in oil over medium heat till cooked and then add an egg in and rice. Mix well.

I use basmati rice hence the longer grains. And to serve, vegetables fried with beef and omelette. It’s usually served with keropok, or fish crackers but now is not the time for frying because of our busy work schedules.

Pesto and Cheese Whirls — September 22, 2018

Pesto and Cheese Whirls

Inspired by a recipe I read on GoodFood Magazine, I recreated this today.

I didn’t use their dough recipe because the Tastemade one I made last week works so well and I’ve got the measurements memorised.

I used olives and Italian flat leaf parsley, as well as semi sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

I must say, this one is a winner!

Next week I’ll make some more for colleagues but I’ll brush the sides with olive oil for more colour and flavour.

Pinwheel Pizza — September 16, 2018

Pinwheel Pizza

I saw a recipe on GoodFood magazine for pinwheel like bread dough with pesto sauce. But since I didn’t have a jar of ready made pesto, I decided to make pizza filling instead. I used Tastemade pizza dough recipe but instead of using plain flour, I used bread flour.

It’s so simple and delicious!! Especially when just out of the oven and the cheese is all gooey and melty. And the best past is that this recipe is really good for making use of leftover cheese!

The dough recipe I used was, in a mixer with the dough hook, put in 4 cups of bread flour, one packet of active dry yeast, two pinches of salt. I’ll use more next time, maybe three pinches of salt. On slow, mix the dry ingredients together. Then add in 1 and a half cups of warm water. To form it into a pliable dough, add a splash of warm water so it comes together, about one teaspoon. Don’t add in too much! Let the machine do its thing. I let it run for about two to three minutes, the form it into a ball, let it to rest for an hour and voila! A puff of billowy dough. Once it’s risen, lightly punch it down and roll.

I used ready made pasta sauce from a squeeze bottle, and all my leftover cheeses from previous bakes – 1/2 packet of cheddar, 1/2 packet of parmesan, 3/4 packet of mozzarella cheese. Then the leftover handful of chives snipped fine. I added 6 slices of chicken honey thin ham and rolled it all as tight as I could.

Using a sharp knife, cut and lay flat but tuck in the end into the center of the dough piece so that it won’t unravel when baking.

Delicious! I’m happy with Sunday breakfast today. 😊

Tomato Cheese Muffins — September 8, 2018

Tomato Cheese Muffins

My sister has been making these wonderful muffins for her one year old son and they taste great!

So I asked her for the recipe one day and she said she had found it from a baby weaning book! Who’d ever thought such baby books can churn out lovely recipes that even adults love!

Of course I couldn’t follow the recipe fully. I omitted a few ingredients and used plain instead of self-raising flour but it didn’t affect the result (just don’t substitute baking powder with baking soda!)

Dry Ingredients

1. 2 cups plain flour

2. 1 tsp baking powder

3. A handful of snipped chives

4. 1/2 cup grated parmesan

5. 1/2 cup grated cheddar

6. A few turns of black pepper

Wet Ingredients

1. 220 ml buttermilk

2. 100 ml vegetable oil

3. 1 egg

Beat the three wet ingredients well and incorporate into the dry ones. Mix well and spoon into muffin liners halfway. This mixture yield ten cups. Top with quartered cherry tomatoes and bake in a 160-170 degree Celsius oven till done.

Update: I made another batch today using heirloom baby tomatoes

Chicken Gyoza — September 4, 2018

Chicken Gyoza

I posted once on meat dumplings but after that I’ve never made them anymore until today. Yes, it’s the one week term break and I have to start cooking again. πŸ˜‚

Ingredients for today’s chicken gyoza:

1. 300g minced chicken

2. 1 cup finely shredded cabbage

3. 1 tbsp light soya sauce

4. 1 tbsp yonzu sauce

5. Two dashes of white pepper

6. 1 tsp salt

7. 1 tbsp sesame oil

The method is to simply pan fry in a tablespoon of oil and when there’s colour at the bottom of the gyoza, add a swirl of tepid water around the pan and cover to steam. It’s done when all the water has evaporated.

I didn’t make any sauce to go with it because I ran put of fresh ginger but the usual Singaporean chilli sauce style that goes with every snack works well for me. 😌

Make someπŸ₯Ÿ πŸ₯Ÿ πŸ₯Ÿ today and freeze! (In fact, I froze the remaining to give to a friend later on for helping to babysit).

Stir Fried Japanese Sweet Sauce Beef — August 26, 2018

Stir Fried Japanese Sweet Sauce Beef

This is so simple to make especially if using the bottled Japanese sweet sauce. I think it’s almost like a teriyaki sauce?

I think this will be great served with Japanese white rice but since the Hubster doesn’t like Jap white rice and for his lunch it’s usually wraps, I wrapped these beef with romain lettuce and raw crisp juicy sweet yellow peppers.

1. Heat oil in pan and add garlic.

2. Add beef which has been marinated with the sweet sauce overnight.

3. Add sesame seeds.

4. Make a cornstarch slurry using half a tablespoon of cornflour and two tablespoons of the liquid in the pan from the beef.

5. Make wraps or serve with rice.

Hot Avoacado — August 25, 2018

Hot Avoacado

I love avocado spreads! And instead of buying them ready made from the supermarket (which can be soooo expensive) I’d rather make myself. Plus it’s so easy to just dump all in a mini food processor and whiz everything to a pulp.

In my version, I used three ripe avocados, half a large tomato, a tablespoon of jalapeno hot sauce I had got from London, sea salt, black pepper and half a large lemon juice.

It was delicious!

Ayver — August 21, 2018

Ayver

I first heard of ayver back in 2011 or 2013 when a colleague went on a trip to Macedonia and came back with a bottle of this wonderful red spread for us all ro share.

This evening I had four rather small red peppers and so decided to make this spread.

Original recipes, or rather, many recipes called for eggplant to be mixed but since I didn’t have any I used purely red peppers.

First I roasted them till blackened then removed the skin and seeds. I placed the red pepper meat into a food processor together with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt.