Arrowroot Soup (粉葛湯)

Arrowroot is a huge root vegetable that many people may not heard before nor sounds familiar to them. Especially younger generation nowadays. But if any of the Chinese family who usually cook at home, I think most of them cook this soup before. If you don’t even know what is Arrowroot, then, maybe 粉葛湯 (fěn gé tāng) sounds more familiar to you?

Arrowroot is very much like a big sweet potato. I crave for this soup. The very last time I had this soup was during Chinese New Year, brewed by my mother. Ahhh… I missed the taste of my mother’s soup so much! And so, I bought arrowroot today. Like all root vegetables, it is best slow boiled with pork ribs, red dates, dried octopus / cuttlefish to make a nice and simple soup.

This piece of 450 grams of arrowroot 450 grams cost S$1.20. Got it from the market.

The arrowroot is harder in texture and it is extensively starchy than potato. When it is cut up, it has patterns on surface that looks like the ages of a tree trunk.

And this is what I’ve prepared….

Yes! You didn’t see it wrongly. I’ve got some lotus root there. I did it on purpose. But you could opt it out if you wanted to. My mother told me that arrowroot has a mild cooling effect. A very mild one. By adding some lotus root in the soup. it will kinda neutralize the soup and the soup will be more nutritious.

Ingredients (Serve 4 to 6 pax)

  • 450 grams of Arrowroot, scrubbed cleaned and sliced.
  • 250 grams of Lotus Root, cleaned, peeled and sliced. (Optional)
  • 300 grams of Pork Ribs, scalded (I want the soup more meaty taste this time)
  • 5 to 6 red dates.
  • 4 to 5 dried scallops
  • 1/2 of a foot long dried octopus. Snipped into small pieces.
  • 3000ml water
  • sea salt to taste

You could peel the skin of the arrowroot if you like. But my mother told me that brewing arrowroot with the skin on gives more nutrition. So, I listen to my mother. But, it’s up to you.

This soup is high in protein and fiber.  It is a very neutral soup and requires little effort to make it. I could proudly promise you that this soup is really sweet and tasty. Just like usual way of cooking a good old pot of soup, adding in seafood ingredients such as dried scallops and dried octopus is unavoidable. This makes the soup so refreshing sweet with the natural sweetness from dried seafood. You can omit if you don’t like seafood, just add in more pork ribs or pork bones. But I personally don’t advise that.

Method
1. Rinse pork ribs, scald in boiling water for awhile, remove and rinse. (Refer to this if you are unsure on how to prepare the ribs)

2. Wash scallops, red dates, dried octopus. Prepare lotus root & arrowroot accordingly.

4. In a soup pot, put everything in (except salt). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup over low heat for 2 hours. And if you have more time, make it 3 hours.

5. Did I ever mentioned to you before that your soup will have the Umph! after 3 hours? Remember to sprinkle some salt to taste before serve.

This soup is high in fiber and is ideal for children as it is very natural and neutral. It strengthens Chi (气) and could boosts immune system.

This delicious soup with ingredients which have been softened through long hours of brewing. I’m sure your family will love this heart-warming pot of soup.

I hope you like it 🙂

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Hoisin Sauce Pork Ribs

I would say, this yummy ribs is totally a cheat. Because it’s simply effortless BBQ Ribs!

It’s quick, easy, and most importantly yummy. Sometimes, I would really close one eye and don’t bother if it is a cheat or not. Remember posted my 1st BBQ Ribs recipe early this month? I think that BBQ Ribs is rather complicated and too much of effort for some people. One of my girlfriend complaint to me and asked me for a simplified version. That is the reason why, I come up with this.

Ingredients

  • 450g Pork Ribs (about 8 bone strips. Scroll down and refer to my picture)
  • 120g Hoisin Sauce. I used Lee Kum Kee brand.
  • few dashes of pepper
  • few dashes of sesame oil
  • half cups of water (or more…. Eyeball it yourself)

Yes! You didn’t see it wrongly. No need to rub your eyes. Other than the ribs, what we need here is just 4 ingredients.

So, what is the cheat thing about?
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This is the one loh…

And I’ve got myself a beautiful ribs rack here. Max pester me to buy it.

Method
1. Wash your ribs, pat dry using kitchen towel. Cut the ribs in between the bones.

2. In a bowl, everything in, except water. Marinade for at least half hour, or one hour is always better if you have the time. I leave it in the fridge, covered, for 2 hours. Oh yea! Just mess it up!

3. Heat up your oven at 200 degrees. You will need to use it later.

4. Use your fingers to “wipe” away the sauce, you don’t want the ribs to be too “wet”, leave the sauce in the bowl. Do not discard. You will need it later.

5. Pan-sear the ribs lightly… This to seal in the meat juices. No need to cook it thoroughly. I just wants to brown it a little before finishing it in the oven later.

6. Line your baking pan with foil paper, place ribs on it, and straight into the oven for 30 mins or upto 40mins if you want it to looks more charred.

7. While the oven is doing the work. Add water & the remaining marinade sauce into the pan that you just pan-seared the ribs. (Eyeball it yourself. Just add more sauce if needed.) In a medium heat, bring it to boil. Stir occasionally until it has thickened. Heat off. Leave the sauce in the pan. No need to dish up.

8. Here’s my ribs just out of the oven after 30mins.

9. Once the ribs is out of the oven, put it back to the pan. Under medium heat, mix the sauce with the ribs evenly. While you’re mixing them, the heat is caramelizing the sauce while sticking it to the ribs.

10. Heat off, garnish, serve.

How does it taste?

Max ate 2 and a half bowls of rice with this. Maybe from here, you should be able to judge if it is yummy or not.

For those who seldom cook, maybe you wanna give it a try at home. I’m sure this dish could impress your loved ones! But I’ve got to warn you, be prepared to cook a lil’ more rice for the meal. It’s gonna be well received 🙂

Happy Cooking!

Lotus Root Soup 莲藕汤

I love this soup!

This is also one of the soup that I cook very often. It’s easy, and nutritious. Lotus root has many benefits like strengthening the bodies, dispelling heat and enhancing the appetite.

I love the delicious soup with ingredients which have been softened through long hours of brewing. It is really very heart-warming.

Although the cooking time is long, the preparation procedure is pretty simple. See my picture and you will know what you need to prepare.

Does my blog just made your life easier? 🙂

Ingredients (Serve 4 to 6 pax)

  • 480grams of Lotus Root, cleaned, peeled and sliced.
  • 200 grams of Pork Ribs, scalded (200grams is about S$3.00 from wet market butcher. You can buy more ribs if you like your soup to have more meaty taste.)
  • 5 to 6 red dates. Mine is really miserably mini sized, so I throw in 7 instead.
  • 4 to 5 dried scallops
  • 60 grams of dried peanuts
  • 1/2 of a foot long dried octopus. Snipped into small pieces.
  • 3000ml water
  • sea salt to taste

This is the dried octopus that I get from market. It cost S$5.00 per 100g. This is about 88g, and I paid S$4.50 for it. Expensive! I cut it into half, keep the other half for next time use.

For the Lotus root, I would highly recommend you to put in effort to make a trip to the wet market to get the muddy type of Lotus root. The fresh root is harvested from ponds, so they are usually covered in mud. That’s one of the ways we tell the fresh ones from the not so fresh ones. Avoid those that look dry or too white. This type of muddy root is fresh, crunchy and it taste really good. See this picture… This cost me S$2.00, weighed about 480 grams.

Cleaned, peeled, sliced… You should only left with about 370 grams.

For the dried peanuts… I always put in effort to remove the skin by rubbing it hard with each other. The reason is because I would prefer my soup to have a clearer broth. Peanut skins tends to darken the color of the soup. Slowly read on, and you will know…

You don’t need to put in so much effort for those peanuts. If you have somebody (be it husband, kids, parents or whoever) is sitting infront of the TV comfortably, engrossed with their favorite TV show, get them to do this for you!

And don’t be bothered to remove the skins for all of them. Just estimate will do. I just did half of it. I don’t bother to put in effort to remove all of them today. I’m lazy. My maid husband is not around to help me when I’m preparing this soup.

Some people like to pre-soak the peanuts overnight (or at least 5 hours) before use. You can do that if you have the time. It will soak away all the peanut skins color.

For me, I have a speedy way. After I removed the peanut skins, I soak it for half to 1 hour. And then, par-boiled it in a boiling water for about 5 minutes, and you can see the color of the water is pale brownish. This color comes from the peanut skin. It’s edible. Don’t worry. But I just personally don’t want this dull color. You can skip all these extra work if you want.

Discard the water…

And your peanut will turn softer, light in color and it’s ready to use.

Method
1. Rinse pork ribs, scald in boiling water for awhile, remove and rinse. (Refer to this if you are unsure on how to prepare the ribs)

2. Wash scallops, red dates, dried octopus. Prepare lotus roots & peanuts according to what I’d mentioned above.

4. In a soup pot, put everything in (except salt). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup over low heat for 2 hours. And if you have more time, make it 3 hours.

5. Your soup will definitely have the Umph! after 3 hours! Woohoo!!! Remember to add salt to taste before serve.

Now you can take a look at the soup. And if you were to compare my lotus root soup with others (who also use dried peanuts), you will realized that mine is clearer in color. This is the reason why I always put in extra effort to remove the dried peanut skins.

Now… would you like to have a bowl of soup?

Oh! By the way, I love to dip the pork ribs and the lotus root slices in soy sauce. It’s nice!

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!