Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jade: Bitemycurrypuff

Because after 5 years..I've only just realized my camera has a sepia mode....Recipe to follow..perhaps when I'm feeling less sheepish..

Jade: Bitemykuaytiaw

Of all the noodles, kuay tiaw is probably my least favourite...i think it's a textural thing. Yet whenever I'm away from home, char kuay tiaw is the one dish I never fail to crave for. And it makes sense if you think about's one of those dishes that appears in most coffeeshops, each trying to make their mark by dishing up their own take on these incredibly versatile rice noodles. In my hometown alone, there is a stall that does gorgeously smoky sambal fried kuay tiaw, another that has perfected the dry version of tomato kuay tiaw... one of my family's favourite restaurants does a pretty impressive plate of 'gon chau ngau hor' [beef kuay tiaw]..and I'm still wondering what happened to this one stall that did the most amazing kuay tiaw mee with char savoury..yet balanced with just the right amount of sweetness..oh and that wok hei...mmm..

Char Kuay Tiaw~ because that last packet of kuay tiaw in Chinatown was just begging to be taken home. Nevermind the fact that I'd never cooked kuay tiaw before..

Half a packet kuay tiaw/hor fun
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, smashed and minced
1 stalk spring onions sliced thinly

Some lap cheong, sliced thinly [ this is optional, but it does give a really subtle sweetness]
Fishballs, sliced
Chinese leaves, julienned

1 large tbsp spice paste [ see curry laksa~ I had quite a lot leftover, and it's such a beautiful addition to this dish]
Kicap manis
Fish sauce to taste

1 egg

1. To prep the kuay tiaw, I like to peel them apart to make sure there're no clumps or thick pasty strands. Also handy to put some water on to boil.
2. Heat up some oil, chuck in the garlic, shallots, spring onions and lap cheong
3. Add the spice paste and some boiling water to loosen everything up
4. While that's bubbling gently, put your noodles in a colander, pour boiling water over it, drain and add to your pan/wok. The only reason I did it is because the noodles I got were quite brittle and I could just see them falling to pieces if I didn't soften them up somehow.
5. Turn the heat all the way up, stir quickly to make sure the noodles don't clump.
6. Add the vege and fishballs, giving the pan a good shake every now and then
7. Generous splash of kicap manis...or 3..and fish sauce to taste
8. When everything is nicely coated, make a little well in the middle, crack in an egg, break the yolk with your spatula, let it set ever so slightly, and give everything a quick toss. The residual heat from the noodles will cook the eggs to creamy perfection.
9. Plate, drizzle some chilli sauce over it..and tuck in while it's piping hot.....

The only things missing are some plump, briny cockles and a bottle of ice cold Tsing Tao...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jade: Bitemycurrylaksa

It's a cute little place, Basingstoke...horrendously boring...but there's a Zara in town..and it's about 45 minutes to it could be worse. What properly pains me is how difficult it is to find the most basic ingredients...I used to be able to walk into any store in Southampton and come out with bagfuls of lemongrass, galanghal and nissin noodles...and on a good day, half a pound of okra and a sizeable daikon. I went into 3 supermarkets here the other day looking for lemongrass... one of the shop assistants asked me to spell it for him. Made me seriously reconsider working here for another year. ...And no, I wasn't being difficult...I wanted to make curry laksa now that Supreme is no longer an option...and laksa paste without lemongrass is like nasi lemak without utter waste of time.

Curry Laksa~ adapted from Rasa Malaysia...with minced lemongrass that came in a jar. I'd be semi disgusted if the end result wasn't quite so good. But just in case, I made a trip to Southampton today and bought 6 ginormous stalks of lemongrass.

* I didn't make the chili paste because I was lazy and my guest was hungry. But I imagine it would've lent the soup more depth and a much prettier colour


1 heaped tbsp belacan
2 large shallots [ I used the long, brown ones you get in supermarkets here]
Half a bulb of garlic
2 tbsp lemongrass paste
2 tsp dried chili flakes

1 tsp thai dried chili shrimp paste

4 tbsp coriander powder
Small handful chopped fresh coriander and basil
5 tbsp oil


3 cups chicken stock
100 ml coconut milk
Brown sugar and fish sauce to taste

Spritz of lime for some much needed acidity~ I didn't have any lime so I drizzled in some balsamic vinegar. I thought it tied everything together beautifully


Egg noodles
Bee hoon

Mixed seafood

Chopped spring onions to garnish

1. Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste until very fine

2. Heat up some oil and fry the paste till the oil separates from the solids

3. I only used half the paste since there was only 2 of us. In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to boil, add the spice paste

4. Lower the heat and bring the soup to a gentle simmer, stir in the coconut milk

5. Season to taste

6. Blanch the seafood, noodles and taugeh

7. Arrange in a bowl, ladle the rich coconut broth over the noodles, garnish with seafood and spring onions, and possible a dollop of chili paste..........close your eyes, slurp and pretend you are home :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jade: Bitemybrownies#2

I'm pre-nights today. And while I'm absolutely shitting myself at the thought of having to deal with surgical emergencies at 3 in the morning...or worse..having to wake my registrar up to deal with surgical emergencies at 3 in the morning...I'm quite enjoying this lull before the storm. I woke up today and realized I could actually go back to bed if I wanted to... I no longer have to live in the dark..literally..because I finally have time to speak to accomodation services about the light that's blown. Even ringing the bank and being put
on hold for half an hour felt like a treat. So as I walked into my kitchen last night, relishing the peace and quiet...I felt a little celebratory baking was in order...something sweet..something deliciously sinful...Something like thick slabs of fudgy brownies with salted caramel swirls.......These are going to the Obs and Gynae department, where people actually enjoy chocolate. Here's hoping no one gets stomped on by a horse tonight..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jade: Bitemykimchi

I had this fantasy...that I would start work, take care of sick people in the day, go home at 5, cook myself a nice hot meal, buy lots of fancy bakeware with my fat pay cheque and bake pretty things over the weekend. It's been 2 and half weeks, sick people who pull out their cannulas are really starting to irk me, I have yet to leave the hospital before 6 on any given day, cereal's about the closest thing I've had to a balanced meal and I'm oncall every other weekend. Oh as for that pay cheque, I'm still waiting....and waiting...Like I said, I had this fantasy...

Kimchi fried rice~because my kimchi was expiring...I'm sure I've said this before..but who knew kimchi expires? Surely the whole point of preserving vegetables is so they don't go ever...

1/2 cup cooked short grain rice, overnight's better
lots of chopped garlic
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
Fatty bacon, diced
Kimchi, sliced fairly thin
1 tbsp gochujang/ korean chilli paste
fish sauce to taste
1 egg, sunny side up

1. Slap the bacon in a pan, fry till crispy..rendering the fat as you go along
2. Add the chopped garlic and spring onions
3. Add the kimchi and gochujang
4. Turn up the heat, add the rice and stir to coat everything in the yummy spicy paste. I like to leave it while I do the washing up, that way you get beautiful crackly bits of rice at the bottom of the pan. Probably the closest you'll get to 'wok hei' on an electric hob.
5. Season to taste, plate and top with an egg, sunny side up. Runny yolk please...fried eggs with solid yolks are an utter waste of time.
6. Enjoy with a nice korean drama :)

Jade: Bitemycookies #3

I remember my first box of After 8's. I was 6, all dressed up in a pastel yellow dress with white polka-dots, lacy socks and white leather mary-janes. I was about to meet one of my mother's closest friends, a quirky British doctor who loved durian and deep sea fishing. I must've rehearsed how I planned to greet him about a million times, so eager was I to make a good impression. We went grocery shopping...don't ask me why...and as we strolled past the chocolate aisle, I spotted After 8's. My mum had told me about them before, and to my 6-year old self, they looked like the most sophisticated things. I wanted them...but I was so intent on behaving that day I bit my lip and kept going. The good doctor must've noticed that slightest of lingers..because he slipped a box into the shopping cart and as we left the shop, pressed the beautiful black box into my hands. Was it all worth it? To be honest, I thought it tasted like chocolate covered toothpaste...but to this day, I have never turned down an After 8 mint, simply because it reminds me of one of the most special people I've ever met:)

Mint Choc Chunk cookies ~ My cookie version of After-8's, because my parents' had just left, I'd run out of vanilla and was still technically unemployed. I miss being technically unemployed...

1/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
114g salted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil [ I used olive oil because I haven't had time to go grocery shopping for about a month]

1 medium egg
1/2 tbsp milk
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp crushed sea salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 tbsp mint extract/ oil
1 cup dark chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees
2. Cream butter, sugar, oil, milk and mint
3. Add dry ingredients
4. Fold in the chocolate chunks
5. Chill the dough for about half an hour
6. Scoop out large dollops and drop them on a cookie sheet, bake for 8-12 minutes
7. Cool, break one in half, and share with someone you like:)