Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

What attracted me most in this place is the variety of food. Singapore is a small multi cultural country. There are different nationalities so it means collaboration of dishes too. They say food here is mostly spicy and chili is a part of their food intake. But in my case I welcome all types of food except exotic food of course. My Thai colleague then introduced me to their dishes. What happened to me was that my tongue got accustomed to spicy foods and later on its nothing to me. Goodness..spicy food are so good.

Here is one recipe that I fancy a lot. When we dine out, I always see this on the menu..Kung Pao Chicken. One time I ordered this in a hawker stall and I didn’t enjoy it actually, it tasted like sweet and sour. Like I told you before, Im not a fan of it. I find Sweet and Sour dish disturbing for my palate. If I eat this and its kinda sour or more sweet, then my taste bud is ruined. I never like sweet and sour.

But Kung Pao Chicken is a different story in my own adaptation. It has the balance taste of a little sour, a little sweet with some soy sauce and cashew nuts. The first time I made it was a hit with my family. The combination of the ingredients are powerful specially the dried red chill but surprisingly it was not spicy. it is really really good.

Let me share a little of what is Kung Pao Chicken from Wikipedia of course:

Kung Pao chicken (Chinese: 宫保鸡丁), also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine.

Now for the Ingredients:

1 kg boneless chicken sliced into cubes

1 cup cashew nuts

6-8 dried red chilies, seeded and cut into halves

3 tablespoons oil

1 grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp grated garlic

3 stalk scallion, cut into ring

Now for the marinade:

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp light soy sauce + 1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine or mirin

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground white pepper

1 tbsp oil

Now for the sauce:

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp dark soya sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

I tbsp corn starch

Direction:

Cut the chicken meat into small cubes, rinse in water, pat dry with paper towels and marinate with the ingredients above for 30 minutes.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat up a wok with one tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until they are 70% cook. Dish out and set aside. Clean the wok and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until it’s fully heated. Add in the ginger and garlic slices and do a quick stir before adding in the dried red chilies.

Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic and smell spicy, then add in the chicken meat. Do a few quick stirs before adding in the cashew nuts. Add the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the sauce. Add in the scallions, stir to combine well with the chicken, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.

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Its a Hopeful Wednesday and I cooked my daughter’s favorite,a chicken dish with dried red chilies and cashew..Hmmmnnn..this is so nice and when I cant think of anything to cook,I always turn to this one magical dish for all time.Keep on hoping for the best! (Kung Pao Chicken)

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My Purpose Driven Life : It All Starts With God And It Will End With God

My Purpose Driven Life : It All Starts With God And It Will End With God

After two deaths in the family, I was for a couple of months reclusive and lonely yet I live normal as I could. I return back to the same activities everyday and I did not cry. I was so busy that I don’t have time to grieve and to feel sorry. I lost a brother-in-law who treated us like his own family and I doted on him too. I hope he felt that when he was alive. My real brother is a different story. He doted on me when I was growing up. He has little but he would always share it me. I moved on and live my life, we rarely see each other. But he was always there waiting for me, the same brother all through those years, his heart, his ways and the way he cares for me. I witnessed this when he was dying. I am not religious but I am very spiritual. I set aside the thought that he could be dying because I was busy with my life. The night before he died, he visited me in my dreams, he looked young wearing his favorite striped shirt, he whispered to me he will go ahead first, he embraced me and kissed my head. I woke up wondering that morning so I called back home, I realize that he was about to die yet he patiently waited for my call. I put down the phone with a heavy heart and by 12:30 pm, he passed away.

It all starts with God and it will end with God. 

Yes, 49 and the thought of aging makes me panic. The hard truth of aging is in me.. the roots of my hair have turned white, I can’t do anything with my bulging stomach.. for God’s sake I don’t eat that much..oh yes, cut it out..I do bake but it doesn’t mean that I eat them..no of course not! Don’t ever tell me to exercise, jog or walk because I am busy, I have no time for those besides Im dieting you know. The privilege of aging is that I can get angry. Excuse me, I’m in my perimenopause stage but it doesn’t mean I am menopause already. I have 5 more years to suffer it  so please stop asking if it stops already. I hate that question duh! you don’t ask that question, are you my doctor? ha ha ha! Don’t tell me that age is just a number because its a lie. The reality is you feel the changes in your body, theres ache, sometimes its kinda hard to recall. I realized that aging gracefully happens only when you accept the challenge of your age. Focus on things that matter to you most. Do things that will produce positive influence in your outlook.. Be positive even if you’re in pain, tired and sometimes lonely.

I turned 49 and two of my love ones went back to God. Yes, this is happening ..the reality that life is short..is real and we are not in control of whats gonna happen today and tomorrow. Back then I was not bothered by days and years, you see I have this excuse to myself: “.Oh darling.. you have all the time in the world.” then at 49 two deaths in a row  happened, suddenly I am in panic.. “Oh my God Im losing track of time and I need  to hurry up.’ Don’t tell me to relax because I can’t afford to do that..no no no!. God has given me ample time. He waited for me patiently to finally muster my courage and stand up for the things that He hope and wanted me to do so. What?.. at 49, isn’t it too late.. but I believe that in God’s way and timing, there won’t be early nor too late.Everything happens for a reason in His own perfect time for us. Yeah, its too cliche but its true. I know that, trust me.

Dear God, I turned 49 ,may it be a reminder that sooner it wiI end with you

Regardless of what Ive been through I see things, I appreciate life and Im ready.

Forgive me for being adamant, discouraged, tired.. with all my bouts of complaints

It all starts with you and as the remaining years of my life unfolds

Help me to fulfil what you have envisioned me to be

For apart from being a woman and a partner to the man you gave me

The children that you gifted to me, my work,f amily and friends

There is something more between you and me that I needed to do

Help me to fulfil your call, make my life a gift to my family and others.

Amen.

These are just my musings because I am now 49 and Im sure I am not alone. There are others out there who feels the same way I do. Well its alright, the harsh reality of aging is real..right in front of us but we can still do better. I believe its about time to do other things besides being a wife, a mom, a worker and friend. Yes, its starts with God, and we are accountable in the end to do something for God, to return the favour of his loving kindness to us. May God Bless us all.. Oh you all Mom at 49, Lets eat. Lets giggle. Lets be merry.

My blog is an expression of life,family and tradition. It makes me alive, free and happy. Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research and done in my kitchen.Please come in. Have a nice stay. You are all welcome

Filipino Style Spaghetti Sauce

Filipino Style Spaghetti Sauce

Am I alone in this battle? Is there someone like who me would give so much effort, time and energy just to get what she wanted… and yes pardon me.. I am referring to Spaghetti sauce.. ha ha ha!

Years before, I was able to formulate my own version of spaghetti sauce. Yes, I am a Filipino and back home it is more of sweet and kinda spicy or milky and meaty with lots of hotdogs and cheese. I grew up eating different version until I cant relate to it anymore. More often, before eating spaghetti in every parties or gathering that I attended ( fiesta, birthday, anniversaries..etc.. name it and there would be spaghetti ) I will fork a little and I have to test myself if it will pass to my liking or I will forego it. Until such time that I became fed up that I no longer taste because more often I am disappointed. I am looking for something, it should not be that sweet and it should not be tangy or spicy and it should be meatier with sausages and the sauce should not be runny or thin.

Out of these sentiments and frustration with spaghetti, my Kocina De Pinay Spaghetti Sauce was born and for years we did enjoy it. But getting older and being far from home, I miss the good old spaghetti. Luckily I bumped into this recipe from the internet and God knows.. thank you, whoever you are because I was able to enjoy a Filipino Spaghetti with a balance twist of everything. Of course I made some additions here and there and that is typical of me. I discovered that adding cream is better instead of milk. Using Queso De Bola will make your sauce authentic and it taste so different. Actually I always have Queso in my fridge and I make sure that I have a supply for at least a year or more.

For the recipe: 

Ingredients:

1 kg spaghetti noodle

1 cup olive oil

1 big head of garlic, skinned and grated

1/2 kg ground beef

1/2 kg ground pork

10 pcs hotdogs sliced diagonally

1/2 cup vienna sausage sliced

1/2 cup sweet ham cut into squares

2 big bottles of banana catsup

1 1/2 cup chopped white onion

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups water

2 bay leaves

1 cup chopped green and red bell pepper

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup cream

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 cup grated Queso De Bola and more

Directions:

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package direction

In a saucepan, put half cup of olive oil and saute garlic and onion followed by ground beef and pork, bay leaf and bell pepper.

Combine the mixture and  add a cup of water. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Then add banana catsup and tomato sauce.

Again allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, vienna sausage, sweet ham and hotdog. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add cheese, cream, salt and pepper to taste and the remaining cup of water. Simmer according to your desired consistency.

Enjoy.

spaghetti

At some point of our life, we will miss some things back home, the places , the food… Id like to think that food is one way of remembering home, family and friends. Now, lets eat.. Look at that, a mountain of meaty, saucy with lots of sausages and ham..and cheese.. Oh my goodness ..what a treat.

My blog is an expression of life,family and tradition. It makes me alive, free and happy. Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research and done in my kitchen.Please come in. Have a nice stay. You are all welcome

 

KL Hokkien Mee as Inspired by Rasa Malaysia

KL Hokkien Mee as Inspired by Rasa Malaysia

My fondest memory of our trip to Kuala Lumpur some years ago was the hawker foods that I enjoyed so much. I wont forget the kind of Bakuteh that we ate in one of the stalls there. After that experience, I never eat Bakuteh in Singapore again. Whenever I feel like eating Bakuteh, I will just go back to that fondest memory in my heart and in my palate…ahhh Kuala Lumpur and its food !  Several weeks ago, my friend and I decided to go to Johor Bahru and in one of the malls, there’s this eatery that offers Bakuteh. We decided to try to, we both enjoyed it  but still I prefer the Bakuteh in Kuala Lumpur…nothing can beat that. Oh dear me.. I talked of Bakuteh where in fact, I am bringing you my KL Hokkien Mee today. LOL!

Singapore Hokkien Mee is different from KL Hokkien Mee  in texture, color, variation and even in taste. I would say that the first one is very light, fresh and comforting to the stomach. The KL Hokkien Mee is dark with crispy pork fat, with thick sauce, medium prawns, pork belly and sliced fish balls. The taste of soy sauce is kinda strong but the prawn broth and pork fat has made all the difference.  If you like comfort and freshness with the slight acidity of native calamansi and sambal, then Singapore Hokkien Mee would be nice. It has prawns, sotong and sliced pork too. Well, I couldn’t say more but I think that after this, I will be having Singapore Hokkien Mee and will get back on you guys to show it, tell you about it.

And now for a short history taken from Mr Wiki:

Types

There are three distinct types of Hokkien mee, with each being ubiquitous in specific localities in and Singapore and Malaysia.

Type Penang hae mee (prawn noodles) Singapore hae mee
(prawn noodles)
Hokkien char mee
(fried noodles)
Origin Penang Singapore Kuala Lumpur
Cooking method Broth-based Stir fried
Ingredients Egg noodles and rice noodles Fat yellow noodles
No dark soya sauce used Dark soya sauce is used
Prawn is the main ingredient, with slices of chicken or pork, squid, fish cakes, kangkung and sambal added as well. Prawn is the main ingredient with slices of chicken or pork, squid and fish cake. Slices of chicken or pork, squid and cabbage

While both the Penang and Singapore versions are commonly known as hae mee (福建蝦麵), and consist of prawns as their main ingredients, the two variants are prepared differently. The Singapore hae mee is stir fried and has a lighter colour, while the Penang variant is cooked in a prawn-based spicy broth.

On the other hand, Hokkien char mee, which is more common in central Peninsular Malaysia and particularly the Klang Valley, was originally developed in Kuala Lumpur. By default in the Klang Valley, the term Hokkien mee refers to this darker, stir fried variant. The Penang variant is sometimes referred to as mee yoke.

 

For the recipe:

250 grams of pork belly, thinly sliced and marinated with the combination of: 2 cloves grated garlic, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp ground white pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp corn flour. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.

150 grams crispy pork fat : dice the pork fat, use a deep pot, put 2 tbsp of oil and cook over medium low heat, cover partially and stir from time to time until its crispy and golden. Drain on paper towel and keep in the jar. Set aside the oil

12 pcs medium prawn: peeled, deveined, tails and head removed, in a pot put the scrap from prawn, add 1 1/2 cup water and boil to make a stock. Set aside

10 pcs fish balls sliced into 3

6 cloves garlic, grated

500 gms thick Hokkien noodles, wash with warm water and drained

6 pcs leaf of chinese cabbage, washed and sliced into 1 cm thickness

2 tbsp pork fat oil

2 – 3 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp ground white pepper

2 tbsp cornflour mix with 1/4 cup water

2 tsp white sugar

1 1/2 cup shrimp stock

crispy brown pork fat

Direction:

In a wok or pan, add pork oil and heat until smoking, add the marinated pork belly and fry briskly until brown.

Add the shrimp, fish balls, and grated garlic, fry for a minute.

Toss in the cabbage and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the noodles and give a quick toss.

Add the dark soy sauce and light soy sauce and mix to coat the noodles

Add the shrimp stock, sugar, white pepper and crispy pork fat.

Taste according to your preference.

Add in the cornflour water mixture and toss until the sauce has thickened.

Serve immediately, good for 4 person.

KLhokkienmee

Hokkien Mee noodles is also one of my favorites. But I decided to cook the Kuala Lumpur version. The result is similar to what I eat in Hawker stalls. I still prefer the Singapore style because I find Dark Soy Sauce too overwhelming. 👅☺️although its delicious too.. with the crispy pork fat and prawn.👍

 

Penang Fried Flat Noodles ( Char Kuey Teow )

Penang Fried Flat Noodles ( Char Kuey Teow )

Here is one popular noodle dish in Singapore that people love because of its simplicity. Char Kuey Teow is always a favorite by migrants here in Singapore. It wont take long when you order this and the idea is to eat this right away fresh from chef’s hand. Life in Singapore is busy and you’re always on the go so there wont be time to cook. The time you will spend for cooking should be a time devoted for rest and sleep. Why cook ? when hawker stalls are just in the corner to eat, to having here,  to go, or to take away..lol.

Just like Singapore, English is our second language back home. English accent proves to be difficult to grasp at first and more than a dozen times I felt frustrated because I can speak the language but I can not understand. Until one day, I realized that one must listen listen very well and understand the words the way locals did. In the end imitating Singapore accent has helped me to communicate well with the locals..yeah lah! and ordering food at the hawker stalls become easy.

Well, time for sharing the recipe and it’s my nature to post with a little history of every food that I like:

Char kway teow, literally “stir-fried ricecake strips”, is a popular noodle dish in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.[1] The dish is considered a national favourite in Malaysia and Singapore.

It is made from flat rice noodles (Chinese河粉pinyinhé fěnCantonese Yalehó fán) or kway teow (Chinese粿條pinyinguǒ tiáoCantonese Yalegwó tìu) of approximately 1 cm or (in the north of Malaysia) about 0.5 cm in width, stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy saucechilli, a small quantity of belachan, whole prawns, deshelled blood cocklesbean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. The dish is commonly stir-fried with egg, slices of Chinese sausagefishcakebeansprouts, and less commonly with other ingredients.[2]Char kway teow is traditionally stir-fried in pork fat, with crisp croutons of pork lard. In Penang, Char kway teow is commonly served on a piece of banana leaf on a plate, so as to enhance the aroma on the noodles.[3]

Char kway teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. However, when the dish was first invented, it was mainly served to labourers. The high fat content and low cost of the dish made it attractive to these people as it was a cheap source of energy and nutrients. When the dish was first served, it was often sold by fishermen, farmers and cockle-gatherers who doubled as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income. ( Source: Wikipedia )

For the recipe:

Chili Paste:

Grind all the ff ingredients using a food processor, set aside

1/4 cup seeded dried red chili ( soak in water )

2 fresh red chili ( seeded )

3 small shallots ( peeled and sliced )

1 tsp oil

a pinch of salt

Sauce :

Mix all of the ingredients, blend them well, set aside.

5 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1/2 tsp fish sauce

scant of salt 1/2 tsp

Other ingredients:

12 shelled prawns

450 grams flat rice noodles

450 grams bloody cockles ( extract by opening shells )

2 chinese sausage sliced diagonally

1 cup of fresh bean sprout

a bunch of chinese chives cut inti 2 inch length

2 eggs

1 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tbsp oil

Direction:

Heat up a wok or pan, add a tsp of oil’ and stir fry the chili paste. Set aside.

Clean the wok or pan ( or use another one ), heat it up, put 2 tbsp oil, add a tbsp of chopped garlic and do a quick stir

Add the sausage and prawn, make a few quick stir until the prawn change color and the sausage produce the aroma

Add the bean sprout, followed by the noodles, add the sauce and stir vigorously to mix well. Put the noodles in a bowl

Using the same wok or pan, add a little oli, crack the eggs and stir. Put back the noodles covering the eggs and wait for 15 seconds

Add about 1/2 tbsp of chili paste, if you like spicy add more. Put the cockles . Stir fry and make sure the egg is cook.

Add the chives, do quick stir and serve immediately.

Note: You can cook by two batches. Remember its best to cook in a wok , with high fire..cook fast, move fast like a chinese ninja..lol!

ingredients

Yes, you can do it. This  is simple and I’m sure most of the seasonings are in your kitchen. Don’t worry about the cockles because you have the right not to include it. lol..In my case, I cooked the shrimp ahead and use it without the skin. I don’t wanna be bothered taking out the skin while eating.. so, what do you think? oh come on…you should try this.

chili

In case you were wondering what is dried red chili.. here it is.. remember to take out the seeds and soak first in warm water. If you can manage to buy without the seeds, then its fantastic.

 

kuay teow

Oh there you are… the time and effort is worth it. If you love Asian Food, then you’ve got to try this. The family and friends will love it. Seriously this is a kind of dish that you can be proud of. Oh come on..I know you wanna try. Go ahead follow your cravings.. Lets eat. Lets giggle. Lets be merry.

 

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