Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spicy peanut butter-sesame ramen with chicken

The scorching hot weather we have right now is just insane , our itty-bitty kitchen is not a place to be in summer but most of the time I don't have a choice *sigh*

I saw this easy-peasy recipe on my Facebook news feed , a no-cook dressing for noodles and thought , hmmmm sounds really good , just few minutes on the stovetop to warm it up .....

I'm one of those who doesn't like cold noodles , I've tried cold soba noodles with dipping sauce and often wonder why some people really dig them ....

Now , don't complain about the long list of ingredients below , I'm pretty sure those can be found in your well-stocked pantry .

This deliciously easy noodles is packed with flavors that will surely tickle your taste buds , add more veggies if desired and if cold noodles is your cup of tea , go ahead , saves time cleaning up later ! Tired of your same old , same old salad dressing ? Try this spicy and creamy sauce , you gonna luv it !

Please check original recipe @ Cooking Light

Serves 2

200 grams fresh ramen noodles or egg noodles 
1/2 cup thinly-sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly-sliced sweet peas 
1 small yellow bell pepper , thinly-sliced
2/3 cup homemade chicken broth or store-bought 
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic , grated
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil 
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken thigh
2 tablespoons sliced spring onion plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds 

* In a small saucepan , combine the broth , peanut butter , vinegar , soy sauce , ginger , garlic , chilli flakes , whisk until mixture is well combined . Turn heat to medium , heat the mixture for 2 minutes , stirring constantly or until slightly thicken , do not boil , take off from heat , add in the sesame oil and half of the sesame seeds , stir and keep warm . The sauce is more than enough for 200 grams of noodles . 

* Boil water and add noodles , let boil for a minute , add the sliced carrots and cook for another minute then add the slice sweet peas and  bell pepper , cook for 10 seconds . Drain the noodle-veggies mixture , rinse briefly and shake off excess water , transfer to a mixing bowl , add the chopped chicken and the spring onion then drizzle in the warm sauce , toss everything until well combined  . Transfer to a serving plate , garnish with some spring onion and sprinkle in the remaining toasted sesame , serve immediately . 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Coffee-chocolate ice cream

Hey guys , I hope you still remember me , it's Anne , just in case lol

I need to get back my blogging mojo ( I swiped the words from Lena's ) .

Blame it to the heat or the usual lazyitis .

Lately though , I started using my camera shooting flowers and some other random things outside , okay , not much since it's really effin' hot these days . But at least the camera isn't so fat anymore , shooting only all those food  hee hee So , if your interested in flowers or orchids particularly , check out my 500px or my not-so updated Flickr .

Oh , back to ice cream , I saw this coffee-choco ice cream @ Southern Living and just can't resist ! So far , I've made 3 flavors of ice cream , the cheaty peach ice cream which was so disappointing , the strawberry ice cream lacks something , yeah , I should have added more sugar in it *sigh* Since third time's the charm , I got this smooth , creamy and just wonderful coffee concoction that instant coffee lovers will surely love !

It's custard based ice cream that uses only one egg yolk , the tapioca makes the custard easier to do , the mixture just thickens beautifully . Instead of chopping the chocolate chips , which I did initially but it was so hot that day that it keeps getting soft as I chopped it so , I added most of it whole into the ice cream .

If you're keen on making homemade ice cream but don't have the ice cream maker , fear not , use your trusty handheld mixer  ! If you don't have that then you are hopeless ! 

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
pinch of salt
2 cups milk 
1 cup cream 
1 egg yolk 
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon coffee paste 
1/2 cup chocolate chips , a combination of bittersweet and milk chocolate

* In a medium saucepan , whisk the first 3 ingredients then gradually whisk in the milk and the cream . Cook over medium heat , stirring constantly for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixtures thickens slightly . Remove from heat . 

* In a small mixing bowl , whisk the yolk until slightly thickened , gradually whisk in about a cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk . Add the cream-yolk mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture , mix well to combine .

* Strain mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer , let cool for an hour , stirring occasionally . Place a plastic wrap on top of the custard and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight . 

* Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and churn for 45 minutes , adding the chocolate chips in the last 3 to 5 minutes of churning . Transfer mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze for at least 4 hours preferably , overnight . 

* If you don't have the ice cream maker but have too much time on your hands ,  do it manually . Make the custard and chill it , an hour or more , your choice . Transfer it into a freezer-proof container or use a loaf pan , freeze for 45 minutes to an hour . Take out from the freezer , use a fork to scrape the mixture , then whisk the mixture using the handheld mixer until mixture is slurry then put it back into the freezer and freeze for an hour . Do it  twice again and you'll have a creamy homemade ice cream !  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Japchae / Korean stir-fried noodles

I made this for lunch yesterday and often wonder why I seldom cook Jap chae . Now that I don't have to search far and wide to find dangmyeon or sweet potato noodles in our neck of the woods , all I need is time or the inclination to whip up this fantastic and colorful one-pot meal . This is even far easier to make than my fave gon chow ngau ho ! 

Jap chae is a Korean noodle dish made from sweet potato noodles called dangmyeon , stir-fried in sesame oil with various kinds of vegetables and sometimes with beef and seasoned with soy sauce and sugar . This dish is commonly served at Korean parties and special occasions , either hot or cold , as a side or some served this as a main dish .

I borrowed a Korean cookbook by Chung Jae Lee a month ago and saw his recipe on how to make the traditional way of making Jap chae , each ingredients is cooked separately then mixed together at the end . It's time consuming and too many dishes to wash after so it makes sense to stir fry everything especially if you're pressed for time or if you're a lazybones like me .

I used pork instead of beef but you can omit it if you want a meat-free dish . You can even go crazy by adding more veggies lol  In this recipe , sesame oil is used for stir-frying the ingredients but I'm afraid the flavor of the sesame oil will be too much since you'll also use it for the sauce so I used my usual cooking oil instead . If you can find wood ear mushroom so much the better , it will add a nice layer of texture to this dish . Wood ear is pretty tasteless but when cooked it absorbs the flavor of the food and it has a wonderful crunchy texture .

Please check original recipe @  Fresh Tastes / Marc of No Recipes

200 grams dangmyeon / sweet potato noodles 

120 grams pork ( jowl ) , thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 teaspoon light soy sauce 
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
a pinch of salt 
a dash of ground white pepper

1 small onion , sliced
100 grams carrots , cut into matchsticks 
3 dried shiitake mushrooms , soaked until soft then boil for 5 minutes , slice thinly 
1 small yellow pepper , sliced
120 grams spinach , blanch briefly then squeeze off excess water , form into a ball then cut in half
salt , to taste

3 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 tablespoon sesame oil 
1/3 cup water 

some toasted sesame seeds to garnish 

* Combine pork , soy sauce , sesame oil . salt , pepper and starch , mix well , set aside . 

* Mix together soy sauce , sugar , sesame oil and water , set aside .

* Boil water and cook noodles for 4-5 minutes , drain and rinse briefly , sprinkle few drops of sesame oil and set aside .

* Heat a wok or a large pan , over medium-high heat , add oil when oil is hot , add garlic and ginger , cook until fragrant . Add in the pork mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes , transfer to a plate . In the same pan , add in the onion , cook for 3 minutes then add in the carrots and mushrooms , stir-fry for another 2 minutes . Add in the noodles , pepper , spinach , pork and soy-sesame sauce , cook over medium heat for another 2 minutes , mixing well until noodles are heated through and the sauce is absorbed , give it a good stir , sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately .