Monday, July 30, 2012

home again...

After the road trip, it was good to be back home. Trips can be fun but I still need my due rest ;P

Since the trip, I cooked several times for dinner, not wanting to go out to have food. I miss mummy's homecooked food but well, I just got to work to cook up some dishes to ease that feeling.

Finally, decided to cook some claypot rice for dinner. Since I didn't have a claypot, I decided to use what I have - rice cooker. That will work too. Done some research on various non-claypot rice recipes. If you are keen, read further for the recipe below.

My Claypot Rice

cooked some chicken wings to go along

I managed to attempt my first assam pedas fish as well. You may wonder what is assam pedas. Before I explain, I already see the sparkle in Mr G's eyes. He has been longing for some spicy but yet sour form of curry. Yes, that's just what assam pedas fish is all about. It's strange that I would often cook pork or chicken or even beef but fish hardly comes across to me in my list of things-to-cook. Odd, how very odd. Well, yes this time I will try. If it's your first time just like me, you may want to try out the recipe below.

Assam Pedas Fish
Simple stir-fried vegetables

Definitely vegetables need to be part of our balanced diet as well? So I decided to stir fry some simple vegetables like China cabbage with some carrots for fibre.

Also, I managed to cook soup. Haha this is another thing. Very often, I can have meals without any soup and yes, I can palate them all. My sisters find that weird, very weird indeed. For us Chinese, we usually have well-balanced meals like vegetables, meat and soup with rice. Anyhow, I decided to attempt to cook soup too. One of my firsts though - beancurd strips with mushroom.

As promised, here's the claypot rice recipe I've tweaked. Recipe source: Rasa Malaysia

2 cups rice
2-3 chicken fillets, cubed and 3-5 small chicken wings or drumlets
1 stalk scallion (chopped)
3 inches ginger, julienned 
6 shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water for 30 minutes and cut into thin strips or substitute shitake mushrooms with button mushrooms)
2 Chinese sausage (sliced) – optional

Seasoning for chicken:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon chicken boullion powder
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
5 dashes white pepper powder
1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine (or rice wine)

Seasoning for rice:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce (or the caramelized version if you wish)
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1 pinch of salt

  1. Marinate the chicken with the seasoning and mix well. Marinate for an hour in the fridge (I marinated mine overnight).
  2. Rinse and clean the rice in a rice cooker as if you are making steamed rice after the chicken is marinated for an hour.
  3. Add the rice seasoning and cooking oil into the rice and start cooking the rice. You can still add sufficient water into the rice cooker as if you are cooking steamed rice but remember to reduce the water amount by about 1/4 to avoid mushy rice as the chicken is marinated.
  4. At the same time, heat up a wok with some cooking oil. Add in the chicken and shitake mushrooms.
  5. Quickly stir-fry the chicken and chinese sausage until half-cooked. Add in the chopped scallions. Dish out and set aside.
  6. Add the chicken into the rice cooker when the rice is almost dry (about 7-8 minutes) and continue to cook till rice is completely cooked.
  7. Leave the rice cooker on “Stay Warm” for 15 – 20 mintues before serving.
  8. Top the chicken rice with fried salted fish (optional) and serve immediately.

You may wish to try the assam pedas fish recipe too. Recipe source: Rasa Malaysia

1 pomfret (insides cleaned and cut into halves)
10 small okras or ladyfingers (cut into 2 or 3 parts diagonally)
1 tomato (cut into wedges)
1 teaspoon of fish curry powder
5 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 tablespoon of palm or brown sugar
Salt to taste
Spice Paste:
1 clove garlic
1 stalk of lemon grass (use only the white part and bruise it a bit by smashing it with your knife)
4 shallots
4 tablespoon of red curry powder
1/2 tablespoon of belacan (prawn paste) or sambal paste (for those who are allergic to prawn paste)
Tamarind Juice:
1 1/4 cup of water
Tamarind pulp (size of a small ping pong ball)
  1. Pound the spice paste with mortar and pestle or grind them in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind pulp constantly to extract the flavor into the water. Drain the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
  3. Heat oil and fry the spice paste for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. Add the tamarind juice, fish curry powder and bring to boil.
  5. Add the tomato wedges and okras and bring to boil.
  6. Add the fish, salt, and palm sugar/sugar.
  7. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
  8. Serve hot with white rice.

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