Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Braised Narcissus Pork Trotters Bee Hoon/Rice Vermicelli (猪脚米粉)

I have been quite busy lately and when it's time to prepare meals for my family, I go for the simplest and the easiest way; without having to cook few dishes. It would usually all-in-one pot dish or just one-dish meals. I usually serve noodles or bee hoon (rice vermicelli) when I am busy or just for a change.

Braised Pork Trotters Bee Hoon is one of our favourites.  I am sure most Chinese families have been eating this since their childhood days and I am no exception.  It's so easy to prepare and yummylicous too.  I remember Phong Hong's Braised Pork Trotters Bee Hoon which I came across recently and decided to follow her recipe.  In fact, it's more or less the same, except that my way of cooking has added ingredients such as shredded mushroom, bird's eyes chilies (cili padi) but minus the fish sauce and Chinese Cooking Wine.  Do hop over to Phong Hong's blog and you will be drooling over her yummy pics.  So, this time, I practically follow her recipe with some very minor changes.

Ingredients :
- 1 packet bee hoon
- 2 cans Narcissus pork trotters with mushrooms
- 1 bunch of choy sum
- 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
- Cooking oil

Sauce ingredients : (to taste) - Mixed and stir well
- 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 2 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- A dash of Chinese cooking wine (Hua Tiao Chiew)
- Hot water (enough to braise the bee hoon)

Method :
1. Rinse and soak bee hoon in water until softened. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat up oil in wok and saute garlic until fragrant.
3. Empty the cans of pork trotters into the wok.
4. Briefly stir it over low heat for a while before adding the sauce mixture.  Then, turn up heat and bring the sauce mixture to a boil.

5.  Add vegetables and bee hoon.  Stir and mix well. If you need to add water, do add hot water.

6. Cover the wok and braise the noodles on high heat for about 10 minutes or until noodles are cooked.

7. For even braising, toss the bee hoon occasionally.
You can see that there are still some chunks of meat.  I didn't break the meat into small pieces as hubby prefers chunky meat!
I usually stock up a few cans of Narcissus Pork Trotters and packets of bee hoon so that I can cook this yummylicious braised bee hoon whenever we crave for it.
You can also serve it with bird's eyes chili soy sauce
Have a wonderful week ahead :)

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Monday, 11 November 2013

Home Cooked Bak-Kut-Teh/Herbal Pork Ribs Soup (肉骨茶)

Home cooked or brewed bak-kut-teh is very easy and simple to prepare.  If you do not like to take the trouble to get the full prescription of the herbs from the Chinese Medical shop, there are pre-packed  bak-kut-teh herbs and spices available too.  
I never stick to a particular brand of pre-packed bak-kut-teh and would try whichever that catch my attention during our casual shopping.  Besides, I also like to stock up a few pre-packed of bak-kut-teh and it comes in handy when I run out of ideas what soup to cook for my family.   Sun Kee pre-packed is also one of our favorites.
Previously, when cooking bak-kut-teh using pre-packed herbs and spices, I just 'dumped'  the sachets into the pot without any additional herbs or spices.  However, when I came across Boon's Little Kitchen Cookbook, I learned something new!  I added pieces of dang gui (Radix Angelica) and wow... the soup definitely tastes so much better as dang gui itself  is sweet, pungent and bitter in taste.  One of the many advantages of dang gui is it benefits the digestive system by maintaining proper metabolism and improved immune functioning. By boosting immunity, the herb also helps to protect our body from various diseases and infections. However, men, be cautioned! Dang gui can be very 'heaty' for some men and have it moderately as 'overdosed' of dang gui will see you having fever and even nose bleeding!
(Recipe according to Boon's Little Kitchen Cookbook page 95, with minor modifications in red)
Ingredients (A) : 
-1kg shin (I omitted this)
- 2 spare ribs (1kg, blanched)
- 1 pc pork belly (I omitted)
Ingredients  (B) :
- 6 big bulbs smoked garlic (unpeeled)
- 2 sachets pre-packed bak-kut-teh
- 10gm sweet dang gui head (I used 4 thin slices only)
- 3 litres water
Seasonings : (to taste)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 60g rock sugar (I omitted)
- 1 tsp salt
Method :
1)  Bring water to a boil.  Add in ingredients (A) and (B). 
2)  Bring it to another boil. Lower heat and cook for 45 minutes.
3)  Add in seasonings and bring to a rapid boil.
4)  Turn to low heat and simmer for another 45 minutes.
5)  Serve hot with steamed rice.
Simple and nutritious soup

I'm sharing this post with : Cook-Your-Books #6 hosted by Kitchen Flavours

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Friday, 1 November 2013

Refreshing Rice Porridge/Congee with Sweet Pototoes

Usually when any member of my family is under the weather, rice porridge or congee is the best choice. Besides being refreshing, it's also excellent for those who have weak digestive tract from chronic or acute illness and also for healing nourishment.

Cooking rice porridge or congee is easy and simple. An amount of grains with 5 to 6 times more water is all that is needed for plain rice congee and  preferably, a pinch of sea salt is added. Plain rice congee can be of white or brown rice grains.  For added flavour or health benefits and healing purposes, a combination of grains, beans, vegetables, meat or medicinal herbs is commonly practiced by my family since our grandparents' era.  In fact most of my uncles and aunts as well as my parents are quite well equipped with Chinese medicinal herbs knowledge as both my grandparents were Chinese sinseh.  Too bad, my knowledge on this topic is quite limited and I regretted that I didn't really make it a point to learn it from them.  Fortunately, I am still able to cook simple yet nutritious and healthy meal for my own family, hehehe...  Not too bad, isn't it????  

Ingredients :
- 1 cup of rice grains - I used brown rice (thoroughly washed)
- 1 medium sized orange sweet potato (peeled and cut)
- 6 cups of water (adjust the water depending on individual's preferences)
Method :
1)  Put washed rice and water into a pot and bring to a boil.
2)  Lower the heat and simmer until the rice is semi-cooked.
3)  Add in sweet potatoes and continue to cook till porridge consistency and the potatoes are soft.
4)  If you need to add water, remember to add hot water.
5)  Serve hot for breakfast or lunch.
I prefer my porridge to be super silky smooth (you need to simmer it longer) but hubby likes his rice porridge just as the above picture and my girls like theirs to be very watery.  So, each time whenever I cook porridge, the consistency of the porridge also varies depending on the type of porridge and the 'demand', hehehe...
We usually eat this with some side dishes or condiments if we are having it for lunch.  As this was for breakfast, we had it with Homemade Salted Duck Egg <--- (click here for a step-by-step recipe).
Isn't this a very simple yet healthy breakfast for your beloved family?

In case you are interested, here's the  link to my previous porridge/congee recipes :-

Malay style porridge : Bubur Lambuk/Spiced Porridge

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