Saturday, July 21, 2012

Recipe: Chicken Pho

Since I am still enjoying my one week break from class, I thought I would challenge myself into making something new for dinner tonight. So for a change but not straying too far off, I opted to try making Vietnamese Chicken Pho tonite!

I searched around abit for a more authentic recipe rather than those half fusion ones like those featured in Masterchef Australia. I have never heard of celery and thyme in any Asian broth so I cut all those stuff out. Interestingly, I chanced upon a "true-blue" recipe written by a Vietnamese targeted for her American audience. (

I must say I am pretty proud of myself. Pulled it off nicely for my first attempt! Another recipe patted down good. It took way much longer than I expected for some unknown reason, but the soup was definitely good:) Amazing what simple ingredients pulled together make such a difference. I used all the ingredients in the link above except Cloves which I omitted because i forgotten about it in my shopping list.

What I did was to look through what ingredients she used and used the portions in estimate since I was too lazy to try to convert the weight measurement. Instinct took over for most part which may explain the longer than usual process.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Recipe: Steamed Moreton Bay Bug with fried garlic & chilli

Slowly compiling my culinary moments here. One of my recent meal, steamed flathead lobster aka Moreton Bay bug (as known in Australia). In Singapore it is called crayfish 虾婆 but that is a misidentification since actual crayfish means something else altogether from what I gathered.

This dish is one of my childhood favorite. The only way I like to eat it is steamed regardless of the other fried recipes out there. To me, if the seafood is fresh = alive and kicking when you purchased it, no point wasting good money to fry it. Frying is for less than fresh stuff or frozen stuff in my household.

Cooking this is so easy, almost kid's play.

Total Cooking time needed: 10mins.
Prep time: 10mins.

1. The bugs, in this case I bought 4.
2. Spring onion - 5-6stalks
3. Ginger.
4. 6 LARGE cloves of garlic -(coz I love fried garlic)
5. Sugar
6. Fish sauce - 2 teaspoon
7. Light soy sauce - 3 teaspoon.
8. Chinese rice wine - 1 tablespoon
9. Oil for frying garlic - 2 teaspoon. (Am using coconut oil. extra light olive oil is fine)
10. 1 chili - big or  2 small type really doesnt matter after they are deseeded and rinse.

Pre-cooking Steps:
1. Chopped the buggers into half or get the fishmonger to do it for you.
2. Washed out the veins and the nasty brain blob connected at the head if they are still there.
3. Optional: I like to use a toothbrush to give the shell a good scrub thorough. I think its good to clean the loose surface dirt away.
4. After rinse, pat dry with paper towel and line them flat on steam plate.

Garnish & sauce Prep Steps: (you can do this while the bugs are steaming)
1. Sliced then Chop the garlics into coarse bits.
2. Sliced then chop the deseeded chilli into coarse bits. (Make sure they are deseeded prior else it will be really spicy)
3. Heat oil and fry the garlic+ chilli mix until garlic is browned.
remove from oil and leave to cool on the side with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
4. Remove excess used frying oil from pot until about 1 teaspoon amount is left in the pot.
5. Mix soy sauce, fish sauce & 2 teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl.

Cooking Steps:
1. Slice ginger in 8 thin pieces. Lay them slice on top of the halves of the bugs.
2. Slice a few more thicker slices and randomly place them around the place. Basically ginger reduce any "fishness"
3. Take 2-3 thick stalks of the washed spring onion and roughly chop them into halves. We want the lower part with the bulb (root end). slice them into halves and lay them randomly onto the steam plate with the bugs.
4. Drizzle the chinese rice wine onto the bugs.
5. Steamed the bugs for 10 mins (over boiling water if using wok).
6. After the bugs are steamed, pour some of the "juice" from the steamed plate into the sauce mix.
Amount doesnt matter, its up to you but i normally use only 2-3 tablespoon worth. the rest discard.
7. Stir well the sauce and taste if its too salty, if it is, pour more water or add more sugar to taste.
8. When ready, pour sauce into the heated remaining oil in pot and quickly remove from heat when the sauce start to bubble. 
9. Drizzle the sauce over the bugs.
10. Garnish the bugs with the fried garlic and chilli.
11. Chopped 1 stalk of spring onion and garnish the dish. (optional)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mid week ranting

I should be studying for my test tomorrow but I just cannot seem to get into the mood. So I am drifting between notes, tv, games, and now blog.

Of course primarily I m blogging because I just wanted to wonder aloud, why are some people just so "negative" about themselves. Before they even start to do anything, they lament about "oh I will surely fail..oh it will be a miracle if I pass" etc before they even try!! It is soooooo freaking annoying to hang around such low morale people.

Of course there is only one person in my class who does this. miss tardy who else.

I missed the last lesson BECAUSE I HAVE to go back to australia for family obligations. Even so, I made sure Sensei passed me the notes on my second last lesson so that I can try to fill the gap by myself.

Miss Tardy with all the time that she has, instead not only choose to skip the last lesson, but also to turn around And try to excuse herself by saying she didn't attend the lessons so she will fail. Hello, u will fail because u r LAZY. That's all to it. If I miss more lessons than u and don't even think about if I will fail, then I hate it even more when a lazy bum like u, or face saving idiot like u try to make it sound like u will fail but I know u are secretly studying like mad so that it will look as if "u pass easily" because u are so "smart".

Why are there such people in this world? Whether u study anot is frankly none of my business since I am not paying for your self education. U want to waste your money, waste your time, it really is your life u r wasting. However, kindly very much refrain from spreading your negative chi to me. What do u expect me to say? U poor thing? Stupid girl...when will u wake up to the fact that u have no one else to account to but yourself? With all the excuses u give, you are only failing yourself. We will just leave u behind that's all. U stupid, stupid girl.

What also annoys me was, she even asked me for notes. U are too lazy to go class and expect me to hand u MY notes which I compiled and arranged to receive from Sensei, to you on a silver platter? U think I am a fool or stupid idiot? Normally I won't mind sharing with an equally sharing and diligent classmate. However, since u are just in for the free ride, plus u ungrateful bitch didn't even pass me the notes the last time I asked u for lessons I missed or u gave me blank notes, so how about no notes either for u? U reap what u sow baby.

It prob all sound very petty. Yeah so what. At least I feel good about it. I don't like being cheated on and leeched on by ingrates. Ingrates are worse than liars to me. I always believe in returning the favor. So how u want me to treat you will depend on how u treat me in return.

So the gist of the rant, I replied her "no hand out notes for last lesson for new grammar. Refer to text." which is the truth, except that I didn't tell her there was only hand out for new vocab, but then again, those vocals ARE truly from the text. So I didn't lie to her either. She is so lazy that she porb won't even look at the new vocals anyway. However, I did send one one picture of the last 2 grammars we learnt. See, at least I m not evil. I won't lie to u, but that doesn't mean I have to give u everything I have either.u didn't deserve it.

After the test tomorrow, we are supposed to go visit the new born mum and baby, quite frankly, I am not all that keen but ok. I didn't even know why I had to treat her to lunch the other day but since the group suggested it, I couldn't jolly well say no. She had a baby, it's not like it's her birthday. Actually I am just bitching because we are not real frens, so I feel like I am throwing money at a stranger who just gave birth. I don't print money, and even if I do, I don't feel oblige to throw money at material show off who brags about using hk$100,000 bed sheets. That is about $20,000 Singapore dollars. Yes that is for ONE SET of bed sheets, not all the bed sheets combined. yes, one of the reason why I don't exactly click with the Taiwanese new born mum is because she is a brand snob and status snob. Why should I care if u are member of HK jockey club? It's not even your own merit, u are riding on the coat tail of your in laws anyway. Nothing to be smug about. Really, some people Really need material and status stuff to validate their self-importance.

The whole visitation thing is as usual spearheaded by miss useless Tardy who only ask "are we eating lunch?" and expect the thing to ball roll itself. The other HK gal cannot take it and took over from her and everyone else replied. See the difference? A loser vs a competent person. I just stay clear from it all and gave a yes, no answer. Save me from getting sucked in, but most of all, I don't want to be seen online a lot or ms Tardy will bound to ask me questions about jap stuff. So rather than have to teach her, I rather avoid her. So far so good! Staying away is working out supremely well! Heh!