Dried Oysters with Black Moss (Ho See Fatt Choy)

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I’ve loved this dish since young but have only had it during Chinese New Year. This year, I decided to be adventurous and cooked two dishes, and this was one of them. I cooked this and it was wildly popular at my family’s gathering! Got the recipe from thewoksoflife.com.

  • 12 dried oysters
  • 1 ounce of dried moss (fat choy)
  • 12 large dried shiitake mushrooms (not all families add this, so they’re completely optional!)
  • 1 teaspoon organic chicken base or 2 ounces of chicken fat
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 5 slices ginger, ¼-inch thick and smashed with a cleaver
  • 2 scallions, white portions smashed with a cleaver and green portions cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 small head of baby romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce

1. Soak the dried oysters in cold water for 15 minutes, and rinse them well to ensure any and all sand has been rinsed off. Set aside.

2. Soak the black moss in cold water for 15 minutes. Swish it around a bit to loosen any dirt or particles. Remove by hand and discard the water. Repeat the process once more before transferring the moss to a colander to drain.

3. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for at least 90 minutes. You may need to soak them longer if the mushrooms are large and meaty. Soaking overnight is recommended. Once the mushrooms are rehydrated, give them a final rinse and squeeze them gently to remove excess water. Cut off the stems and discard them.

4. If using the chicken fat, render it in a pot over medium heat until the fat is a little crispy. A clay pot or earthen pot is nice for stewing and presentation! If not using the chicken fat, heat the pot over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, the chicken base, smashed ginger slices and scallion whites, and brown them until caramelized (about 1 minute).

5. Add the mushrooms, and stir fry for another minute.

6. Add the oysters and continue stir-frying for another minute. Add the Shaoxing wine and, after a quick stir, add the chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.

7. Stir everything together. Next, add the fat choy and gently stir it in without breaking it up, so it’s submerged in the liquid. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

8. Line a large deep serving plate with hand-torn romaine or iceberg lettuce or you can carefully work in fresh stir-fried lettuce to the bottom of your clay or earthen cooking pot and serve it right in the vessel. Uncover your simmering pot and increase the heat to reduce the sauce until most of the standing liquid is no longer visible. Stir in the green portion of the scallions, and spoon the mixture over the top of the lettuce. Try to place the dried oysters and mushrooms on the top where they are visible, and serve hot!

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Braised Pork Belly with Mushrooms and Eggs

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I got this recipe from one of my favourite cooking sites.. noobcook.com!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 500 grams pork belly
  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 800 ml water add water (a little at a time) whenever the stew is drying out
  • spring onions or coriander garnishing
  • 1-2 piece of fried beancurd (tau kwa/豆干) quartered

(A) Aromatics and Seasonings

  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick (桂皮)
  • 1 star anise (八角)
  • 4 cloves (丁香)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder (五香粉)
  • 1.5 bulbs garlic separated into individual cloves (no need to peel)
  • 1 tsp rock sugar optional; omit if you don’t like the stew sweet
  • dashes of white pepper powder to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prep mushrooms. Soak dry mushrooms in small bowl of hot water until puffy, then drain water. Squeeze out the water from mushrooms and trim away stems. Set aside the mushroom caps.
  2. Prepare 80% cooked hard boiled eggs. To do that, place eggs in saucepan of cold water (enough water to cover eggs one layer). Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, turn off the stove and cover with lid for about 7 minutes (for 100% hard boiled eggs, it’s about 10 minutes). Rinse the eggs with cold water until eggs are cooled. Peel when cool enough to handle. Set aside.
  3. Brown the meat. Heat oil in casserole (wok, claypot or deep pot). Brown pork belly on both sides on medium heat. Add 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce on both sides of browned pork belly.
  4. Make the stew. In a large stew pot, add water, aromatics (A) and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer (with lid partially closed) for about an hour, or until the meat is tender.
  5. Add protein and serve. During the last 10 minutes of simmering, add eggs and tau kwa. To serve, slice pork belly to smaller, bite-sized pieces. Serve with rice or steamed buns. Garnish with spring onions or coriander.

Some personal notes:

  • I used lean pork as well.
  • I used more rock sugar as it was hard to break and also I prefer a sweeter braised taste anyway.
  • I used the water from soaking the mushrooms instead of just plain water.

Chicken with Cordyceps Militaris Soup

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I’ve been feeling like my Chinese dinners are not complete without the traditional Chinese soup at the end of the meal and did some Googling again. I have a book of recipes for such soups, but some of the ingredients just seem so difficult to find or impractical to just buy a whole bulk to use just a little of it. So this is the first soup that came to my mind. I got this recipe from food-4tots, one of the great recipe sites I referred to when my younger daughter was starting on solids and I was running out of ideas for her meals.

Adapted and modified: 百度知道

Serve: 4-5

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (about 1 kg) (I used free range chicken/ 甘榜鸡)
12g cordyceps militaris/ chong cao hua (虫草花)
5 sticks dang shen (党参)
2 tbsp wolfberries (杞子)
2 slices of ginger (姜)
12-15 red dates (红枣)
1200-1500 ml water (adjust accordingly)

Seasoning: 
Salt to taste

Methods:

  1. Remove the chicken skin. Trim the excess fat. Wash and rinse the chicken. Cut into large chunks. Blanch over boiling water. Rinse again and set aside.
  2. Rinse dang shen and cut into 2 portions for each stick. Wash and rinse cordyceps militaris. Wash and removed seeds for red dates. Cut ginger into slices. Set aside.
  3. Bring water to a boil. Put all ingredients (except for wolfberries) into the pot and bring it to the boil again. Reduce to medium heat for 10 minutes. Then simmer for another 2 hours. Add wolfberries just 5 minutes before the end of the cooking.
  4. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and serve.

Healthy Macaroni Cheese

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Quick post to save this recipe that I would like to try soon.

Healthy Macaroni Cheese

prep 

cook 

total 

yield 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cup uncooked pasta (macaroni, penne, spirals etc)
  • 400g cauliflower (approx. half a small cauliflower)
  • 2 medium courgette
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) butter or your preferred oil
  • 2 Tbsp plain flour
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 rashers of streaky bacon  finely diced
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup  grated cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta as per the packet directions, drain and set aside
  2. Roughly chop the cauliflower, peel the courgette/zucchini, roughy chop and steam with the cauliflower until tender
  3. While the cauliflower is cooking start on the roux sauce (white sauce).
  4. Heat butter/oil in a saucepan
  5. Add onion and bacon and sauté until onion softened and translucent
  6. Add the flour and cook for around 2mins whilst stirring
  7. Gradually add the milk (I find if you preheat the milk first, which you can do in the microwave, you will get a smoother sauce and the sauce will thicken much more quickly)
  8. Bring the sauce to the boil then remove from heat. At this point you should have quite a thick but smooth sauce
  9. Stir in 3/4 Cup of the grated cheese
  10. Once the cauliflower and courgette is tender, drain, then puree. I usually use a whizz stick/stick blender. You will end up with around 2  cups of vegetable puree,
  11. Stir the vegetable puree into your cheese your sauce
  12. Combine your sauce with the pasta
  13. Then pour the pasta and sauce mixture into a greased oven proof dish. You can top with the remaining grated cheese
  14. Bake for around 20mins at 180 degrees celsius
  15. Serve

Notes

  •  Remove the bacon entirely and you will still have a lovely vegetarian dish.
  • I use butter when I make a roux sauce/white sauce as I just find it cooks better for me, but you can use oil
  • I often freeze this dish into kiddy portions, using a silicone muffin tray. Once frozen I pop them out and put them in a zip lock bag, then reheat as many portions as I need.
  • Add sliced boiled eggs to up the protein content
  • It also makes a great side dish for lean meat, fish or chicken.

courses light meal

Recipe by My Kids Lick The Bowl at https://mykidslickthebowl.com/healthy-macaroni-cheese-with-vegetables/

Salmon Baked Rice with Cheese

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I’ve tried this recipe and it was pretty good. Not sure why I didn’t post it up here. This is from hungrygowhere.com.

YIELD:

4 Servings
PREPARATION TIME:

15 Mins
COOK TIME:

30 Mins
MAIN INGREDIENTS
  • 200 g long grain white rice
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 200 g skinless salmon fillet
  • 4 tablespoons undiluted campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise
  • 200 g mozzarella cheese
  • 10 pencil-thin asparagus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • black pepper
GARNISHING:
  • Parsley
METHOD
Step 1
Set aside some thinly sliced salmon for garnishing the baked rice later.
Step 2
Heat saucepan and melt butter. Pan-fry the salmon fillet till just cooked (about 3 minutes each side depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet).
Step 3
Add cooked salmon fillet to the cooked rice and use your spatula to mash the salmon to break it into flakes. Mix till the rice and salmon are thoroughly combined. Season the rice with sea salt and black pepper.
Step 4
Dish the salmon rice mixture into oven-safe baking dishes until about ¾ the height of the dish.
Step 5
Spread mushroom soup sauce and Japanese mayonnaise on top of the rice using the back of a spoon. Top with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Step 6
Garnish the rice by topping thin slices of uncooked salmon prepared in step 1, asparagus and cherry tomato slices.
Step 7
Baked in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and is slightly browned. Garnish with parsley.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

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Really great reviews on allrecipes.com so I just had to repost it here to try later. I got it from here.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Prep 15 m

  • Cook 35 m

  • Ready In 50 m                                   Serves 6

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the dill, paprika, soy sauce and broth. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together. Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley and sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately.