Tofu patties

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Time is never enough. I have a growing list of new recipes to try before moving out of Asia. Trying to catch hold of my few months left in Singapore before starting a new phase of my life. The tofu patties were a little difficult to hold together but with a little patience it will out work out well. Cooking is all about patience and it is therapeutic at times to go through the process with rushing through as we do with life.

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INGREDIENTS

2 tau kwa (mashed)
1 yellow onion ( finely diced )
1 red chilli ( deseeded and finely chopped )
1 egg
1 cup panko
1 handful of curry leaves ( finely chopped )
Pinch of paprika powder
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon coriander leaf

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

2) Form little patties and pan fry it in a pan till golden brown on both sides.

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Kimbap

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January seems to be crawling by. Its been a while since my last post and I think I might have just gotten a little lazy. But I finally managed to get my lazy ass together and made my first breakthrough of the year. Hope this starts the year on a good note and looking forward to many more delicious breakthroughs !

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice ( washed )
1 japanese cucumber ( skinned and cut into strips )
1 carrot ( julienned )
1 egg (beaten)
200g stir fry beef ( cooked )
5 sushi seaweed
1 bunch of spinach
4 cloves of garlic ( minced )
white sesame seeds
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

1) Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker

2) Remove the roots from the spinach and separate the stem and leaves. Boil a pot of water and blanch the spinach. Place the roots in for about ten seconds before adding in the leaves for another twenty seconds. Using a strainer, strain out the boiling water and run the spinach under cold water. Gently squeeze the spinach to remove the excess water.

3) In a bowl, mix together the minced garlic , soya sauce , 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and loads of sesame. Add the blanched spinach and mix well.

4) In a pan, pour a little oil into the pan and use a kitchen towel to wipe the oil evenly through the cooking surface. Heat it gently and add the egg to the pan after it is heated. Swirl the pan to ensure that the egg is evenly spread out. Ideally it should be a thin layer of egg instead of thick like an omelette. Gently flip the egg to allow it to cook on the other side. Turn off the heat before the egg turns brown on the surface. Cool it slightly before cutting it into strips about 1cm thick.

5) Add the salt and remaining sesame oil to the cooked rice and mix well. Add in some sesame seeds for an extra kick.

6) Bring out your bamboo mat and be ready to get wrapping.

7) Place a piece of seaweed on the mat before lining it with rice and the ingredients. Watch this video for tips on how to roll your kimbap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMEuSVa1ZJ4

8) Use a clean knife to cut your kimbap into pieces.

Curry butternut squash sauce

2014 was a long year for me. Many things happened , some of those were blessings while others were not. But all in all, it was a great year. I am not into making new year resolutions because its just too hard to follow. So this year, I just want to live life to the fullest, eat , laugh and love. So to start the new year, here is a recipe which will definitely put a smile on your face.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups butternut squash ( diced )
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons concentrated chicken stock
1 onion ( chopped )
Bunch of curry leaves ( amount based on personal preference )
1 cup milk
Black pepper
Pinch of chilli flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Bake the diced butternut squash at 170 degrees for around 30 minutes or till the skin browns. Peel the skin off the diced pieces after it cools.

2) In a pan, heat the butter and allow it to brown slightly. Add in the chicken stock and onion. Fry till the onion softens before adding in the baked butternut squash.

3) Using a potato masher, mash the butternut squash and onions in the pan. Turn off the fire.

4) Add in the milk and stir.

5) Separate the curry leaves from the stalk and bake it in the oven for around 3 minutes till it turns crispy. Alternatively, you could pop it into the oven while it is still warm after baking the butternut squash.

6) Using a blender, blend together the mashed mixture, curry leaves , chilli flakes and black pepper.

Mix into some cooked whole wheat pasta for a wholesome meal! Bon appétit !

Peanut lime chicken with beehoon

Beehoon = rice noodles. I love how we have different names for the various types of noodles, mee pok, mee kia, bee tai mak, beehoon and so many more. I love my Asian noodles and a nice good bowl of dry mee kia with extra vinegar always makes a bad day better. So when I chanced upon the rice noodles recipe by Smitten Kitchen , I jumped on it and never looked back. I have not included the recipe because I think the author at Smitten Kitchen did a fantastic job!

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All the ingredients needed for this amazing main!

Recipe by Smitten Kitchen. Do check out the website for the amazing recipe which I absolutely love! Made it so many times and still not sick of it.

Chicken couscous

Made this awhile back when I was madly obsessed with my whole wheat israeli couscous. The madness has died down a little but this dish still blows my mind in so many ways. I was a glutton the whole of last week and the guilt is finally setting in. Committed to eating clean this week before the Christmas feasting begins and everything goes downhill from there. But its the end of 2014, which has been a pretty spectacular year for me . So maybe its time to let my hair down and feel the guilt down my throat and on my hips. But you only live once, so why not do it without regrets?

INGREDIENTS

1 cup israeli couscous
1 cup and 2 tablespoons chicken stock
1/4 cup water
2 cups washed spinach
1 chicken breast
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes ( halved )
Black pepper
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Mix the chicken stock with water and boil in a pot. Add the couscous to the boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes. ( you could light stir fry the couscous with some minced garlic to add some flavour but I prefer it light )

2) Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with black pepper and bake at 170 degrees for 20 minutes

3) In a pan, add two tablespoons of chicken stock. Stir in the spinach till withered before turning off the fire. Mix in the cherry tomatoes and cooked couscous.

4) Cut the cooked chicken breast into bite size. Add it to the couscous mixture before stirring in the EVOO and balsamic vinegar.

My favourite Lithuanian snacks

I knew nothing about Lithuania before 2012. In fact, the first time I heard of the capital, Vilnius, was in a hostel in Tallinn, Estonia. Back then, I thought maybe one day I will visit . And that one day came that December on one of the coldest winter in a decade or more. Before leaving for Vilnius, I read up on Wikitravel which had a security alert about the city. A short transit in Kiev, Ukraine and I stepped foot into Vilnius for the first time. The cold winter and Wikitravel security alert gave the city a bad initial impression. But like wine, my love for Lithuania grew with time as I knew more about the country. I decided to put together a short list of my favourite Lithuanian snacks to share and bring more attention to this lovely country.

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Kepta Duona. Fried rye bread topped with garlic and a cheese dip.

This is best enjoyed with some nice cold Lithuanian wheat beer. For around 6 litas , you can get a pretty decent portion at any local bar. It might seem like a simple dish but it takes skill to fry the rye bread till crispy accompanied with a thick and sticky cheese dip.

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Orange Beer

I hate anything which is orange flavoured because the artificially created flavour seems nothing like the fruit. But this juice beer proved me so damn wrong. The first time my boy suggested to try it, I scrunched my nose and rejected his suggestion. He ignored my outright display of dislike and went ahead to get it. Thank you baby! This is probably the only orange flavoured item that I will ever like. The same beer has a lemon flavoured and cola flavoured cousin. But if you trust me, the orange beer is the way to go.

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Surelis Milk curd bar

These tiny bars are small but lethal. It contains up to 30% fat in these little bars which comes in assorted flavours . The first time I tried it , I did not like it very much. The reason being that I am not a fan of chocolates and these tiny fat bombs are usually coated with chocolate. But my boy introduced me to his favourite surelis which is encased in white chocolate and filled with raspberries flavoured curd. Lovely lovely lovely.

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Varske Milk curd snack

Another milk curd snack which exists in a different form. It is similar to a curd porridge and comes with a small side of apples and cinnamon jam. I love anything with apples and cinnamon and this is no exception. It makes a yummy breakfast and feels kinda healthy too.

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Baltas Alus Lithuanian wheat beer

Germany is famous for its beers but who knew about Lithuania ? This is by far one of my favourite-st beers ever. No words will be able to explain its complexity in flavour and you will have to try to know. Be prepared to be blown away by this amazing Lithuanian wheat beer. Do try the baltas alus from Svyturys which is based in Klaipeda and makes one of the best baltas.

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Dessert cheese

Sweet cheese with jelly . Could life get any better ? The first time I saw it , I was mesmerised by the beauty of this dessert. Then came the taste which totally just blew me away. Nowhere could you find this and it is definitely a must try in Lithuania. In fact, it is one of my staples whenever I visit my boy.

Writing all of these makes me miss all the wonderful Lithuanian food. But maybe more than, I miss the company I had through all these food adventures. These might not be food which are introduced by any travel guide but it is definitely worth trying. Looking forward to finding out more about Lithuanian cuisine with my Lithuanian boy in our future adventures.

Apple rye cake

Its the season for apples from the village! I visited my boy’s grandma at her village and the place was an apple wonderland. So many apples and of different varieties and the best part is that they are all homegrown with zero preservatives! They might not be as perfectly shaped as what we see at the supermarket but they definitely tastes ten times better. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the glorious apple wonderland. Anyway I am on work leave this week so I have a lot of free time . With nothing to do and a whole lot of apples sitting at home, I decided to a bake a cake. And did I mention that the apple juice used in this recipe is also homemade? Seriously all these homemade stuff are getting to me and I am loving Lithuania so much!

 

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups rye flour
3 red apples (skinned, cored and cubed)
3 tbsp melted butter (browned)
1 banana (mashed)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup apple juice
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tbsp cinnamon powder

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a bowl, mix the cubed apples , 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder and brown sugar. Allow it to sit while preparing the batter.

2) Combine the mashed banana, white sugar , apple juice , eggs and melted butter in a large bowl. Stir till well-combined.

3) Mix the baking powder and 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder into the rye flour. Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir till well-combined.

4) Line a baking pan with baking paper and pour half the batter into the pan. Layer it with half of the apples before pouring over the remaining batter followed by the remaining apple. So basically its batter, apple, batter , apple. Do remember to gently press in the apples on the top into the batter to ensure that it sticks after baking.

5) Bake it at 175 degrees for 90 minutes or till an inserted fork comes out clean