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Category Archives: Side Dish Recipes

馬拉盞炒通菜 Spicy Stir fried Water Spinach with Belacan

Water Spinach also known as ong choy, swamp cabbage, swamp spinach and kangkong.  Belacan is Malaysian shrimp paste that comes in a block. Combine the two, and you’ve got a classic Malaysian dish that highlights the characteristics of Malaysian food – strong flavors and vibrant colors.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb water spinach (ong choi)
  • 1.5 tablespoon belacan 馬拉盞 (Shrimp Paste)
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 2 bird eye chili, chopped

Directions:

  1. Wash and trim the water spinach, remove the base stalks (about 1 inch). Cut into 2-3″ sections.
  2. Blanch water spinach in large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.  Add garlic, chili, and belacan, stir until fragrant.
  4. Add the blanched water spinach, mix well with the garlic, chili and belacan.  Cook for 1 minute or until soft.
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Broccoli Potato Gratin

Broccoli Potato Gratin is a classic French dish that is usually served as a side dish. The bread crumbs and cheese melts forms a delicious browned crust over the soft and creamy potatoes inside.  The combination of garlic, thyme and nutmeg provides the sauce with flavor and fragrance. The broccoli adds a bit a crunchiness to complete the perfect balance of textures to the dish.

Ingredient:

  • 1 potato, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup soymilk or milk
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Blanch broccoli for 40 seconds and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, chicken stock, and soy milk.  Whisk out any lumps.
  4. In a saucepan, add butter, garlic, shallots and onion.  Saute over medium heat until translucent and add the thyme.  Pour the flour mixture to the pan.  Add Dijon mustard and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place potato and broccoli in a 9.5 x 6.25 in baking pan.
  6. Pour the sauce over.  Top with cheese and breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.  Then broil until cheese browns, about 2-3 minutes.

Source: MyRecipes.com

 

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Shime Saba (Japanese pickled Mackerel)

Shime Saba is vinegar-pickled mackerel, a classic dish from Japan.  It is first cured in salt then washed with rice vinegar.   Mackerel does not keep well.  If it’s not consumed within the first several hours after being caught, it will deteriorate quickly.  Therefore, the Japanese pickle it before serving as sushi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh mackerel, cleaned, and filleted, with skin on
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I used sea salt)
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar, enough to cover the fish fillet

Directions:

  1. Clean and fillet the fish. Remove the remaining bones with a tweezer.
  2. Sprinkle salt on both side of the fillet in a glass bowl for 1 hr.
  3. Pat away salt and and dry the fish with paper towel.
  4. Place the fish in a ziploc bag and pour enough vinegar the cover the fish.  Let it marinate for 25 minutes.
  5. Peel off the skin from the mackerel.  *Start by rubbing the corner of the fish fillet to peel off the skin.
  6. Then place the fish on a cutting board and slice the fish diagonally into ½ inch-wide
    pieces. Serve shime saba with grated ginger, wasabi and lemon juice.
 

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Soft Fried Tofu with Tamarind Sauce

An easy Thai appetizer that features all four main flavors of Thai – salty, sour, sweet and spicy.  The soft fried tofu soaks up the sauce like a sponge. Enjoy this dish as an appetizer, or with rice and noodle as a meal in itself.

Ingredient:

  • 1 pack of soft fried tofu
  • a handful of bean sprouts, cook or uncooked
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 garlics, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce or 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 red chili, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted peanuts

Directions:

  1. Blanch fried tofu in large pot of boiling water for 20 seconds.  Drain and set aside. (See picture above).  This can remove the oil and allow the tofu to absorb the sauce faster.
  2. Prepare tamarind sauce by combining tamarind concentrate, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, shallots and garlic.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Add tofu, pan fry for 2 minute, pour the tamarind sauce over.  Bring mixture to boil then lower the heat.  Cook over low heat on each side for 6-8 minutes or until tofu absorbed all the sauce.  Remove tofu from the skillet.
  4. Stir in bean sprouts and cook for a few minutes.  We like them cooked, but usually they are served uncooked.
  5. Place tofu on a plate. Top with bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and chili. Drizzle sesame oil to serve.
 

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Baked Red Curry Mussels

Sometimes you spend half a day gathering ingredients and preparing for a dish, and other times some dishes take you less than 30 minutes from start to finish. As it turns out, the quick dishes can just be as good and restaurant quality as well.  All the ingredients from this dish can be found in Asian supermarket (including the frozen mussels) and you can even make this in a toaster oven.

Ingredients:

  • 18 green-shelled mussels
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlics, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili , finely chopped (optional)

Red curry paste:

  • 1.5 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. Clean mussels and dry with a paper towel.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Stir fry shallots, garlic and red chili until fragrant.  Add the red curry paste ingredients and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  3. Top mussels with the cooked curry paste.  Bake at 400 degree for 8 minutes or until the top of the red curry paste is slightly burnt.
 

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鎮江醋陳皮雞中翼 Chicken Wings with Dried Tangerine Peel and Zhenjiang Vinegar

Looking for a slightly healthier solution to serve your kids chicken wings? This is a great dish that is flavorful and mostly importantly non-fried. The vinegar and tangerine peels makes an otherwise greasy ingredient smell and taste refreshing. A recommended recipe even in the heat of the summer.

Ingredients:

  • 8 frozen mid-joint chicken wings
  • 2 tangerine peel, sliced
  • 2 cloves shallots, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 green onion, minced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Soak dried tangerine peel in water until soft.  Remove the pith.  Shred dried tangerine peel.
  2. Defrost chicken wings.  Blanch chicken wings in large pot of boiling water for 20-30 seconds. This can remove some oil and the frozen smell/taste from the wings.
  3. Heat wok and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.  Put in chicken wings and fry until light brown.  Add all ingredients in.  Bring everything to a boil and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.  Sprinkle green onions for garnish.
 

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甜酸乾燒炸豆腐 Pan Fried Bean Curd with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Tofu is one of the items that we probably make on a weekly basis.  One night when I wasn’t cooking, Tommy created this recipe by mixing different sauces and spices.  It was DELICIOUS!! The sauce is not as strong as the usual sweet and sour dish, but is light enough to make you want to eat one after another.  Every bite comes with the prefect amount of dressing, such that enough flavor is absorbed by the bean curd, but no extra sauce is left. Be careful – they might fill you up even before the main entrée.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of fried bean curd/fried tofu
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or green onions
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Slice bean curds in half.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Add the bean curd, pan fry for 1 minute, then lower the heat. Cook over low heat on each side for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
  3. In a bowl, prepare the sauce by mixing all ingredients above.
  4. In a saucepan, cook the sauce for about 1-2 minutes (mainly to make sure that the garlic is cooked through).  Add about 2 tablespoons of water, or an appropriate amount so that the amount of sauce is enough to just cover bean curd without any excess sauce.  Lastly, stir in bean curd with the sauce and coat evenly.
 

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