Quick Meal : Sweet & Sour Tuna Fillet

I have the habit of keeping some frozen fish fillet in the freezer. Just incase I don’t have the time to do marketing or incase that hungry man my dear husband suddenly wanna eat dinner when I’m very not prepared. This is what two days ago. I planned to take a break and eat out. But he wanted a dinner at home. So… I’m gonna cook a ONE DISH meal.

I’ve got two beautiful frozen Tuna Steak in the fridge. Imported from UK. Good stuff! 😀

I don’t know what to do with it except lightly pan-fried it and give abit of soy sauce and put some garnishing. That’s the most plain way of cooking fish, which can be quite boring at times.

Just a simple dinner for two, I don’t wanna cook two dishes. Sometimes, I just settle with only one dish with rich flavor, serve with steamed rice. That’s it. But the dish must be balanced also. Since I’ve got fish, and rice. The next thing I need is veggies.

So, here.. I planned to cook sweet & sour fish! With all the ingredients here…

I’ve got tomatoes, onions, & bla bla bla… It should be good enough. And ingredients as follows :

Ingredients
2 Tuna Steak. Or any kinds of fish that you prefer.
1 Onion
1 Tomato
1 Red Chilli
1 Green Chilli
1 Spring Onions
3 slices of Ginger, Julienned
some salted vegetable (optional)
1 tablespoons of rice vinegar
4 to 5 tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup
1 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce (or soy sauce)
few dashes of pepper to taste
1 cup of water
some starch water (2 to 3 tbsp of water + a tbsp of corn flour / tapioca flour)

There’s no recipe that you need to follow strictly for such dishes here. Infact, I just cook it based on my common sense. So, just relax and don’t stress yourself so much. It’s not that difficult.

Method
1. Pan-Fry your fish till cooked / light brown. Set aside.
2. A tablespoons of oil, stir fry ginger till fragrant, add in the rest of the ingredients. Keep abit of red chilli & spring onion for garnishing. Give it a toss.
3. Add in all the seasoning except starch water. Simmer for about 2 – 3 minutes.
4. Add in starch water, stir well. And the sauce will get thickened.
5. Heat off, pour the sweet & sour sauce on the fish. Garnish & serve.

I told ya.. It’s not difficult! 😀

While the rice cooker is cooking the rice, what you need to do is to prepare this kind of ONE DISH meal. I think that is good enough for a simple weekday dinner 🙂

Easy Sambal Tumis Petai

This dish is just like durians. You will either hate it or love it madly. Max loves durian and petai equally mad. Seriously…

Petai (Parkia speciosa), we called it chou-dou “臭豆”, or literally stinky beans. It is a unique green bean used in Malaysian home cooking. It grows in long pods on a large tree. Petai is semi-wild; it is usually grown on the outskirts of villages. Normally people get it directly from the forest. The beans have its unique pungency. It is usually cooked in sambal tumis ikan bilis, a fried chilli paste with dried anchovies. Traditionally, petai is believed to flush or “cleanse” the kidneys and urinary tract. How true? I don’t really know or care, but the elderly told me that. But you get a sense of its effect, from the pungent urine, after your petai meal. For that, I think the elderly makes sense. 

Preparing ingredients for Sambal Tumis is never easy. During my secondary school time, I ever saw a Malay auntee cooking Sambal Tumis in a traditional way. It’s really a pain when it comes to preparation this all the way from scratch. She prepared the spice and ingredients to be pounded with mortar and pestle. It consists of shallots, garlic, red chili, lemon grass, belacan and lots of dried shrimps. To cook the dish, she sautes the spice and pounded dried shrimps till fragrant and the chili oil separated. Then the petai is added to mix well. Gah! This is not for the lazy person like me!

Last week, while I was doing my shopping at Tebrau City Jusco, a lady approach me and asked me to purchase a pack of this to give it a try. Another cheat recipe. Sigh!

Pre-packed Sambal Tumis sauce. She kept assuring me that this pack of pre-packed sauce is really tasty and I will regret if I don’t give it a try. I was like… “Urgh? Really so nice meh? Describe until so good wo“. Well, since I don’t have the habit nor any intention of making my own sambal tumis from scratch at home because I felt that it is too much of effort for doing that. And since this lady say until so good, I decided to give this pack of pre-packed Sambal Tumis sauce a try.

Here’s the ingredients I’ve got :-
Some people may think that since I’ve got myself a pre-packed sauce, those chopped garlic, onions, chillis may not be necessary. But well…. I don’t think so. No matter what, nothing beats the taste of the real stuff you know?

Ingredients
A pack of Petai from the market. I weighed, and it’s about 135grams. Cost me S$2.00
A pack of Sambal Tumis sauce.
About 10 prawns or more. It’s up to you.
chopped shallot
chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1 chilli (half chopped, half julienned)
a small onion
1 cup water
a handful of anchovy fish (Ikan Bilis) – Optional.

You noticed that my Petai is splitted into two? Leave it if you don’t have the time to do this step. It’s fine. And it’s really individual preference…..

You’ll spot some tiny white worms if you are lucky. This is why I always like to split them into two. Unless you dont bother about it, as you don’t mind to add some exotic “protein” to our sambal petai dish. Ahh… well…

Method
1. Cooking oil on the pan. Fry chopped garlic, shallots, chillis till fragrant.
2. Add in Sambal Tumis sauce. Give it a quick stir.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients (except water), give it a quick toss.
4. Add in water, stir evenly. Cover up, simmer for a minute or two. Until the sauce has thickened and no longer watery. Heat off & dish up. Garnish with julienned chillies, and fried anchovies. Serve.

I fried some anchovies to put on top as a garnishing. Max loves crunchy anchovies. Hence, I did it on purpose for him. However, this is optional. You don’t really need to follow.

I think this is a very good pre-packed sauce that will not fail you. It’s worth a try. One thing I need to warn you is that… This is another dish that need you to cook more rice for the meal.

Like it?

p/s : Friends, if you really can’t get this pre-packed Sambal Tumis in Singapore, email me (mwmannie@yahoo.com). I will try to get it for you when I happened to go JB for shopping. But… must self collection at my place ok? 🙂

Review : My Zojirushi NP-HBQ10 Rice Cooker (Part 1)

Before I start off with my rice cooker review. Let me briefly tell you what I had been using all these while.

This is my old rice cooker. The big one belongs to my Mother-In-Law. The small one is mine. My mother gave it to me. All of us loved this rice cooker so much because of it’s petite size. It can only cook upto 3 cups. That is juuuuust nice for us. The big rice cooker is more suitable for party time tho. Haha…

Seriously, I don’t feel like throwing away the mini rice cooker that my mama gave me. I just keep it.

As all of you aware, I’ve got myself a new Zojirushi Rice Cooker that cost me alot.

I love eating rice. I’m rather particular and opinionated on how rice should taste. But people always says rice makes me fat. Serve me some noodles, porridge, bread, pita & whatever, and I’ll kindly stick up my nose and pout about the lack of plain rice to eat my meal with. Okays, I shall cut the crap about myself.

Here’s the function available on this rice cooker…

Another reason why I spent so much for this rice cooker is because it comes with stainless steel inner bowl. It has real heavy weight. I like it.

And another impressive part is that, the upper detachable lid is also stainless steel. In which, none of the Tiger rice cooker models has this. This lid is a real thing!

It has this steam vent set on top, to capture the steam water. Detachable and washable.

This morning, I decided to give it a try. But I’m not really hungry. So, I just cooked half cup of rice. I used Japanese Sakura Hitomebore Rice here. Added the water according to the white rice level. The water indicator is really really useful.

Pressed Regular White Rice on the menu and start cooking. 45mins later, my rice finally ready. It looks ordinary when it’s just cooked.

But when I loosen the rice, the rice gives me a deliciously fluffy texture.

Side track abit… Saw the rice paddle? The rice paddle comes with little bumpity bumps, which are supposed to help with mixing your rice and is supposed to keep rice from sticking to your paddle. Unfortunately, I don’t like the paddle, as rice still sticks to it. If you want to keep it rice-free, you’ll need to have a little bowl of water to store it in, otherwise when you store the paddle in the holder, the rice will simply crust on it.

Let’s take a close look at the rice.. Nice?

Ahhh… The rice tasted utterly fantastic.

And let’s see the fluffiness… It doesn’t looks only nice looking. It taste delicious too.
It’s not just it’s immediate taste; there’s a distinct aftertaste with the rice that is, in fact, sweet and tasty. I appear to be addicted to the rice, which isn’t exactly the greatest thing when you’re trying to lose weight.

Let’s add some furikake on top…

What about making it into Onigri?

Yummm~!!!

In overall, this rice cooker produces very delicious rice on a consistent basis provided you use the correct amount of water and the setting.With Extended Warm, keeps rice moist and fluffy for a much longer period of time without drying up. It’s easy to clean outside and inside too. For the cons part, so far the rice paddle not the greatest, which it doesn’t really affect me. I can always get another one.

Upcoming next, I will blog more about my experiment on my rice cooker. The next one would be GABA Rice.

Stay tuned!

Spicy Stir Fried Winged Bean (四角豆)

Winged Bean is one of the vegetable that is not commonly seen in Singapore, but very common in Malaysia. In Singapore, general supermarket usually don’t sell this. But if you are lucky, you will found it in wet market sometimes. According to the Wikipedia, it is also known as Goa bean and Asparagus Pea or Winged Pea. But in Malaysia & Singapore, we  usually called it Four-angled bean, or 四角豆 “si-jiao-dou” in Mandarin.

Whatever. As long as it taste good. Hahas…

I saw it at Tebrau City Jusco JB over the weekend. And from the packaging, I get to know that the Malay name of winged bean is Kacang Botol. Shame on me! I had been staying in Malaysia thru my entire childhood time and eating it so often. Now then I know this is called Kacang Botol.

I won’t google it, write grandfather story here about winged bean and pretend that I know alot about it. Infact, I really know very little about this vegetable. I only know that this vegetable is good, crunchy in texture and it has slight slimy substance when it’s cut. Other than Okra / Lady Finger, this is another good source of collagen from the vegetable.

How to cook this?

Seriously, I don’t have any special idea. What I know here is the general way of home style cooking the winged bean that I learnt in Malaysia. Yea… It’s spicy stir fried. It is the most appetizing way of preparing this vegetable I assume.

Ingredients

  • 400g of Winged Bean
  • 200g of minced pork
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small piece of belachan (about a thumb size)
  • a tablespoon of cooking oil
  • a pinch of sugar, salt & dashes of pepper to taste

Method
1. Washed winged bean, cut diagonally. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, oil, chopped garlic, chopped red chilli, chopped onions, belachan. Fry till fragrant.

3. Add in minced pork, give it a toss. Add in winged bean, and toss.

4. A splash of water onto the wok, toss, and cover it up for awhile, open the cover, toss, and cover it up again.

5. Belachan itself is very flavorful and salty. So, you got to taste before you add any salt. If it is salty enough for you, no need to add salt. Add a pinch of sugar instead. It will slightly enhance the taste. And finally, dash abit of pepper, give it another quick toss. Off the heat & serve.

It’s easy. Right?

I hope you like it 🙂

BBQ Ribs

This one…. Max can go gaga over it. His standard pick western dish whenever he visit restaurants that serves ribs. Those general ones… Kenny Rogers, Cafe Cartel & etc. Which they are serving baby back ribs.

There are many BBQ Ribs Recipe out there that you could easily get it. Differing mainly the sauce or the rub used or not used. I do follow them strictly last time. But now, nah! I don’t really bother. I had not been making this for 2 years. And now, I’m repeating it again.

There’s nothing special about my BBQ Ribs I would say. There are lots of much better BBQ Ribs Recipe than mine. And I’m using my Brandt Oven to grill em’ instead. Living in Singapore, not everyone will have the luxury space to own a grill at home. Count myself lucky if I own a Oven that is capable enough to do general grilling & baking at home.

Although I’ve emphasized that my BBQ recipe has nothing special to fancy about, but I can guarantee you that it’s really yummy.

Ingredients (Serve 1 greedy monster. But i serve 2, happily)

About 500 to 600 grams of pounds pork loin back ribs. I got mine at S$12.00 for 600grams from the butcher at wet market. If you can get baby back ribs, it’s even better. The meat would be more tender.

Dry Rub
few dashes of olive oil or cooking oil
4 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons red pepper
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons of Molasses (or any dark brown sugar that you have at home. It’s fine).

Just incase if you don’t know what Molasses is. This is the one…

If you really have all above ingredients at home, follow accordingly. But if you don’t, then how? Buy all of them?

Nope! Don’t be silly. Just use this….

But if you are mad rich, of course I won’t stop you from buying all those. It’s useful anyway. But trust me. All Purpose Seasoning works fine all the time (when I feel lazy). I always keep one at home. Just incase any of them (the dry rub ingredients i mean) run out of stock, this comes in real handy. But remember to add Molasses and olive oil.

Here’s my ribs rubbed with dry rub ingredients… It’s not really that “dry”, it has abit of oil in there to kinda moist it.

Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 chopped onions
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoons of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of Molasses or any dark brown sugar of your preference.

This makes real good BBQ Sauce. But if don’t have the luxurious time to do all these, you may skip it, close one eye and use shop bought BBQ Sauce. It works rather fine if you are not a fussy person I would say. At least Max won’t be able to tell the difference. But I definitely do. Haha!

Method

  • Combine all the Dry Rub ingredient, mix well and give the ribs a good rub. Let the ribs rest for 30mins at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  • Place ribs onto baking pan. Bake ribs (Bone side down) in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn ribs over and bake for another hour.
  • Prepare BBQ sauce while the ribs are in the oven. Combine all the BBQ sauce ingredients. In a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickened.
  • Turn and baste meat every 10mins with the BBQ sauce. Do it repeatedly for at least 2 times each side to achieve the moist & sticky result.

Alot of work isn’t it? By the time I finished this, it’s already 7.30pm. Darn!
And there’s something that is hesitating me from blogging for food. The light condition in my house. It’s really really bad when it comes to photo taking. The damn low light condition makes my dishes looks charred.

This is the best photo I could take… shame on me.

But when you see the result, sink your teeth into the juicy, tender, moist meat and it just slide off the bone, you will know all these hard work are worthwhile.

Stay Tuned!

Food Blog : The thing that I had been wanting to do

Food Blog. Yes! This is the thing that i had been wanting to do for years. But I’m just lazy and I’m not determined enough to do it.

One fine weekend, Max said that I will probably regret in future, if I don’t do this now. Well, maybe he’s true. I have spent so much time and effort in the kitchen which I could blog about it. At another side, all my friends had been screaming at me for not blogging it. As they say, posting my food pictures on facebook is never enough. I have a loooooong menu list. Some of them, I’ve barely remember how i did it. Ah.. Well…

With Max’s support, I think I should push myself to do it.

But readers, please be prepared. You wont be seeing artsy fartsy stuffs here like other food blogs. I’m just a simple person with a tiny kitchen with certain limitation. Maybe… when I’m feelin’ crazy, you may see some bing-bang-curly-wurly alfro thing here. Who knows?

Stay Tuned 🙂