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Japanese miso soup is a comfort soup I often cook out of convenience as the ingredients are really simple to get.  That’s why I always have a tub of miso paste ready in my fridge.  LOL.

Unlike Chinese double-boiled soup which takes a long time to simmer, miso soup can be prepared in just 10-15 minutes and it’s so light that you can drink it anytime of the day.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4  adults):

  • 3 tablespoons miso paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 150 g  soft tofu
  • 100 g fresh enoki mushrooms
  • Handful of dried kelp/ konbu (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1:  Fill stockpot with water.  Soak dried kelp in water for at least 1-2 hours to soften it.

Step 2:  Cut tofu into cubes.  Wash enoki mushrooms, remove the portion at the roots (about one inch) and separate them.  Cut enoki mushrooms into half length-wise.

Step 3:  Boil stockpot of water and kelp.  When the stock is boiling, transfer the tofu cubes and enoki mushrooms into the pot.

Step 4:  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add in miso paste.  Stir to dissolve it well.

Step 5:  Cook for another 2-3 minutes at lower heat.

There are different types of miso paste available in the market.  If you are vegetarian, just make sure you get one which is purely miso without any extra seafood flavouring.

Remember to transfer the soup while it is hot into a thermos food jar if you are bringing it for your lunch box.

Enjoy!

Angie on January 27th, 2009

Happy Ox Year to all my Chinese readers!

I have been really busy since yesterday’s night reunion dinner and it’s 2 am now.  Dozing off soon…

So this post is going to be  short and sweet.  Just want to show you how proud we are of our home-made Yu Sheng (Lo Hei) last night.  In fact, we are going to make it again tomorrow when my aunties and uncles come to visit.  Hehe.

This Yu Sheng is really special as it is made up totally from fruits instead of the usual ingredients.  My mum learnt it from a TV program and I have yet to find out she does it.  If you are keen to know, I’ll ask her for the recipe.  I’m sure she will be glad to share.

Well, for my other friends who don’t understand what Yu Sheng is all about, this is a short explanation I got from Wikipedia.

This dish is served as an appetizer to raise ‘good luck’ for Chinese New Year.  In a celebration known as “lo hei” (families and friends gather around the table and, on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying auspicious words out loud to mark the start of a prosperous new year and it’s customary that the higher you toss, the greater your fortunes!

Typical ingredients include: fresh salmon, daikon (white radish), carrot, red pepper (capsicum), ginger, daun limau nipis (lime tree leaves), Chinese parsley, chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, Chinese shrimp crackers (or fried dried shrimp), five spice powder. The dressing is made primarily from plum sauce.

We have to toss it really high before we can eat it.  Hehe.  Does it look fun to you?

Angie on January 21st, 2009

That day, I felt like eating something really light, so I cooked this very simple Spaghetti Aglio Olio for lunch.

This is a no-frills recipe, and is very easy to follow.  If you like the aromatic blend of garlic and olive oil, you would probably enjoy the taste.  If you are cooking for your kids, you may want to add some sausages and ham to go along with the spaghetti in case they think it looks quite plain.

Instructions (Serves 3 adults):

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped finely
  • 300 g spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons fresh or dried english parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:  Boil water in a stockpot enough to cook the spaghetti.  When water boils, add a pinch of salt and drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil.

Step 2:  Put in the spaghetti and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes till al dente.  You can taste a strand of spaghetti to check on it.  If you prefer them softer, leave it for another minute or so.

Step 3:  Remove the cooked spaghetti and place them in a colander to drain of excess water.

Step 4:  Heat up the rest of the olive oil in a pan.  When oil is hot, add the chopped garlic.  Stir fry till garlic is fragrant.

Step 5:  Transfer the cooked spaghetti back into the pan.  Toss spaghetti with garlic till well blended.

Step 6:  Add lemon juice, salt, parsley flakes and ground black pepper.  Mix well.  Serve.

This is my simple and satisfying lunch.

Another all-in-one lunch box idea for the lazy you (and me).  I hope you like it!

Angie on January 17th, 2009

It’s less than 10 days away now.  Chinese New Year is approaching really fast on 26th January and I have been exceptionally busy!

I am trying to keep up with the spring-cleaning.  And I have so far completed only 10% of it.  Haha.

I am trying to keep up with the cooking.  But who feels like cooking when my body “screams” of resting after all that spring-cleaning?

I am trying to keep up with the posts for this blog.  But I may run out of photos to share if I stop cooking for a while.

Hmm.  I wished I was a super woman!  But I don’t have 48 hours to spare, so I can only make the best out of what I have.  LOL.

Sorry, I would like to apologise first  if you see me lesser next week as I try to juggle my work.

Actually I still have two recipes pending and I hope to share them with you really soon.

Catch ya!

Tofu has always been one of my favourite food.  It is a very common ingredient in Asian cooking as there are many ways you can cook tofu!

This is a very simple tofu dish you can try.

Ingredients (Serves 4 adults):

  • 100 – 120 g of minced pork
  • 250 -300 g soft/ silken tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, diced into small cubes
  • 1 stalk scallion (spring onion), washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup corn starch mixture (2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 1/3 cup water)
  • 3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hua tiao chiew (chinese cooking wine)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:  Marinate minced meat with 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce and a dash of pepper.  Mix well and leave it aside for about 30 minutes.

Step 2:  Heat up the cooking oil in the fry pan or wok.  Add minced garlic when oil is hot.

Step 3:  When garlic starts to brown, add in the minced meat.  Stir fry till it is cooked.  Add in the diced carrots and scallions.  Stir fry for another 30 seconds.

Step 4:  Add oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce, hua tiao chiew and a dash of pepper.  Stir fry again to mix well.

Step 5:  Add in water and cover the fry pan with a lid.  Allow the stew to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 6:  Remove the lid and add in the silken tofu cubes.  Ladle some sauce mixture over the tofu cubes and cover the fry pan again for another minute to cook the tofu.

Step 7:  Finally, add the corn starch mixture slowly into the stew, stirring it carefully to keep the soft tofu cubes intact.

Does this look really easy?

I only took about 10 minutes to prepare the ingredients and 10 minutes to cook this dish.  In fact, if you are rushing for time in the morning before going to work, you can prepare the ingredients in advance.  Marinate the minced meat, chop the scallions and carrots the night before.  The next day, just take them out and cook!

Aren’t the colors beautiful?

For an even easier variation of this recipe, you can replace the carrots and scallions with half a cup of frozen peas/carrot/corn mix.

This dish is best served piping hot, so if you are bringing it to work, ladle them into a thermos food jar immediately to keep it warm.

For me, this tofu combo makes a simple all-in-one meal as well as it has meat, vegetables and tofu.  All I need is just a bowl of steamed rice to go along with it.  YUM…

Enjoy!