Asian food here is very different as I know it. The other day I attended a Studio Ghibli Festival Gala at Mannheim. We just wanted to watch the movie “the Legend of Princess Kaguya” but the standard screening was sold out so we bought tickets to the gala which includes a glass of champagne, cosplay competition, Japanese buffet and the movie. My husband had said it will just be sushi. Naively, I pointed out to him that it stated “Japanese buffet”, not sushi buffet. Well, he was right and I was disappointed. I was dreaming of gyozas, assortment of Japanese desserts, yakitori and all that. Ho hum.
And so I’ve begun to wonder what folks think of, if I were to say Chinese food. Here is what I cooked for my toddler and I for lunch yesterday. The lunch consists of garlic stirfried bokchoy, black sesame tuna omelette and buttered tomato rice. Is it very different from what you would have imagined?
Would anyone be interested to learn how to make such simple home cooked fares? 🍀
When I made the dish, Three-Cup Chicken (click here if you would like to see the recipe of Three-Cup Chicken), I also made a vegetable dish to go with it. It’s a standard practice for me. Something for protein together with something green. That night, I was inspired to try broccoli with egg sauce.
1 small broccoli, trimmed to florets
1 egg, beaten
Chicken stock granules
1. Fill a pot with enough water to blanch the broccoli in. Bring to a boil and add in broccoli. Boil the broccoli until it has cooked to the consistency of your choice. We cook it a little bit after al dente as it is the preference of our child. That would take about 4 minutes. When unsure, fish one floret out and take a bite.
2. Once done, remove broccoli and pour away the water. Reserve only enough water for the amount of sauce you would want to have. To the same pot, add in chicken stock granules, amount per packaging instruction. I added a teaspoon.
3. When the stock returns to a boil, pour in the egg. While pouring slowly, use a fork to swirl the egg in the water. If you prefer to thicken the sauce more, dissolve a teaspoon of cornstarch with a teaspoon of water and add in. Stir to make sure the starch is incorporated. Turn the heat off.
4. Arrange florets on a circular pattern. Once a circle is established, add the florets on top to make a mini well. Pour egg sauce in the middle and serve.
Note: I did not use any extra salt in the sauce. If you prefer, do add salt or soya sauce per preference. I did not as the other dish was very flavorsome. I wanted something to balance things out.
My heritage is of Chinese-Malaysian and it is important for me to pass that down to my son who is of Chinese-Malaysian and German heritage. Food-wise, there will be a minimum of one chinese/asian meal per week at home. A couple of nights ago, I attempted the three-cup chicken dish. This recipe is a very popular Taiwanese dish. According to Wikipedia, it originates from the Jiangxi province in China. (Please click here for the read up). It requires only a few ingredients but it is an extremely flavorful dish. The name “Three-cup” is explained by the recipe calling for equal amounts of soya sauce, sesame oil and cooking wine. I think it is quite an easy recipe to remember. The other ingredients used are ginger, garlic, basil leaves and of course, chicken. When serving this dish, do prepare more jasmine rice than usual as the sauce goes wonderfully well with rice.
2 chicken breasts, cut to big cubes
4 slices of ginger, peeled
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soya sauce
1/4 cup cooking wine
2.5 Tbsp sugar
1 chilli, sliced (optional)
Large handful of basil (normal basil or Thai basil)
Corn flour for coating chicken meat
1. Lightly coat chicken with corn flour. Do pat dry the meat with a kitchen towel if it’s wet.
2. Heat 1/8 cup sesame oil in large frying pan/wok over medium high heat. Add and fry ginger and garlic till slightly browned. Add chicken and sear the meat till golden.
3. Add cooking wine, soya sauce and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover. Stir the meat constantly to keep it coated with the sauce. Simmer continuously for 15-20 mins until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Switch off the heat.
4. Add in basil leaves and chilli (if using), tossing them in to get them mixed in. Cover for a few minutes to infuse. Dish up and serve.
Acknowledgement: This recipe is a shared recipe which was shared within a Facebook cooking group that I belong to.
I have been craving for this for a while now so this thing has been on my list for as long too. I had much hesitation over it as I am not good with meats and char siew sounds terribly daunting to make. This week, I finally buckled up the courage to attempt it. It was turned out to be the most delicious char siew I have for a long, long time. By the way, in case you are wondering why it isn’t red, it is because I did not use any red coloring. I think it is really not necessary despite it being tradition.
I am very glad to have discovered Lily’s Wai Sek Hong and her recipe for char siew. Without this recipe, I would not get to feast on these wonderfully yummy noodles with the most succulent and flavorful char siew.
For this recipe, I used a whole chicken breast so there was plenty of char siew to go around for 2 adults and a toddler. The char siew recipe is adapted from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong. Click here for the original recipe.
For the Char Siew
500g chicken breast
2 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce/hoisin sauce
2 tsp soya sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp wine, I used red wine
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Glaze the char siew with:
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oil
For the garlic oil vegetables
2 romaine lettuces or greens of your choice, washed and cut
2 pips garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
3 tbsp of oil
Water for boiling
For the noodles
Asian noodles of your choice, preferably wanton noodles or thin egg noodles
Sauce to go with noodles (per portion):
1 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Dash of white pepper
1. Prepare marinate by putting all marinate ingredients in a bowl and stirring it with a spoon to mix well. Place chicken meat in a container or a bag and cover it with marinate. Refrigerate the meat and marinate overnight. I marinated mine for 2 nights.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Place meat and marinate in a roasting pan and cover it with foil. Bake for 20 mins. Remove foil and continue baking untill the gravy has thickened and is coating the meat. Remove from oven and brush the glaze generously all over the char siew. Grill the char siew for 5 mins to give it a shine. Once done, remove from oven and let it sit for 5-10 mins before slicing.
3. While waiting for the char siew to cook, heat oil and fry garlic till golden and crispy in a saucepan. Pour everything into a bowl and set aside. Using the same saucepan, fill it up with water till 3/4 full. Bring water to boil and blanch cut lettuce for 1 min. Remove lettuce and set aside. You may season it if you prefer to. I do not as the lettuce will derive flavor from the noodles later.
4. When the char siew is done, prepare noodles per instructions on the package. I used the same saucepan with the water used for blanching lettuce. Prepare as much noodles as you need. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce by putting all sauce ingredients into serving plates. The portion stated is enough sauce for 1 serving of noodles. If you have 2 persons eating, prepare the same sauce amount for every serving plate. Once noodles are done, scoop onto the prepared plates with sauce. Toss well to get the sauce coated in every strand of the noodles.
5. To plate up, arrange lettuce leaves at the side of noodles. Drizzle with garlic oil and get some of the crispy garlic on it too. Arrange sliced char siew on top and drizzle gravy from the roasting pan all over the char siew. You can also serve the remainder of the char siew gravy for those who would like an extra helping of the gravy.
6. Once done, grab your chopsticks and enjoy 🙂