Posts RSS Subscribe to Feed
Sign Up for Latest Recipes!

Stir-fried Macaroni with Ground Pork Recipe

Saturday, November 29, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 18 Comments »

I'm so sorry for the lack of posts this week as I have not had a chance to cook while there is still daylight and of course food photos look so much better in natural sunlight. Anyway, I feature another simple recipe that I whipped up as I was tidying up my fridge. I love pasta and sometimes I like pasta cooked in an Asian or Chinese style instead of the traditional way. The macaroni is flavoured with soy sauce and a tiny splatter of fish sauce - add some carrots and green onions, here you have it a tasty and simple method for cooking pasta an unconventional way.


Although macaroni is traditionally a western type of noodle, macaroni is very popular in Hong Kong's famous char chan tengs (or tea cafes) where macaroni is often served in chicken broth with accompany vegetables for a quick and tasty breakfast. I love Hong Kong's tea cafes as I am absolutely addicted to their famous stocking milk tea and of course the egg tarts! Anyway, I digress - do try this macaroni recipe out especially on those busy weeknights!

This is my first entry to Presto Pasta Nights created by Ruth and hosted by herself this round at Once Upon a Feast . If you want to join in the fun, check out her blog for more details.


Sweet and Spicy Stir-fried Pork Recipe

Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 12 Comments »

This simple and fragrant stir-fry recipe was created totally on the fly - I literally did not know what I was making even as I placed the pork cubes into the wok! Anyway, at first I was visualising a pork with salted vegetables stir-fry but I did not read the label of the salted vegetables packet properly and bought the wrong thing. So I abandoned the idea and settled on this easy and tasty stir-fry. This would be perfect for week nights or just when you want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen yet have a tasty and satisfying meal. I flavoured this stir-fry with some red chilli peppers, and some Japanese condiments I had in my fridge like mirin and sake. So I guess my featured dish today can be an 'fusion' dish of sorts - a Chinese method of cooking accented with Japanese flavours.

Definitely simplicity at its' tastiest!

For more quick meals on Tastes of Home, please refer below:

Stir-fried Rice Noodles Recipe

Beef with Chinese Boy Choy Stir-fry Recipe

Deep-fried Prawn 'Pinwheel' Dumplings Recipe (Dim Sum)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 12 Comments »

Allow me to present yet another variation of shrimp dumplings in my delicious series of home-made dim sum (點心). As a self-proclaimed dim sum aficionado, I am always thinking of ways I can re-create these petite dishes at home. As always, you can be creative with how you marinade the filling and your choice of filling be it seafood, pork, chicken or a combination. I remember when I was wrapping my steamed chives and prawns dumplings , I somehow wrapped my dumplings into a pinwheel like shape and decided to try these out with some shrimp I found in my freezer but instead of steaming, this time I decided to do some good old deep-frying - these golden snacks were very delicious and looked pretty as well.


It's simple to make dim sum at home, just requires a little patience and a bit more time (the wrapping process), but the results are well worth it. Crunchy and deliciously filled with shrimp, these dumplings should prove to be a hit!


Spicy Stir-fried Kangkong (Water Spinach) with Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Recipe

Monday, November 17, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 11 Comments »

Kangkong or water spinach stir-fried with pungent and fragrant belacan (shrimp paste) is definitely a Malaysian concoction and truly represents a taste of home for me. A while ago, I was delighted to find some shrimp paste blocks or cakes imported all the way from Malaysia in my local Asian grocery store, Ranch 99 and proceeded to call my mom to ask her on how to pound the extremely tasty belacan she makes back home. As I'm a stickler for certain traditions, I eschewed the food processor and bought a mortar and pestle to pound my own belacan. I still have fond memories of watching our old Indian cook when I was really young, squatting down in the kitchen, answering my childish questions while pounding the belacan. I remember watching her chew her sirih as well, and I was totally entralled at the whole process where she gets special leaves and applies various powders and spices before chewing.


Anyway, I digress - belacan is actually a variety of fermented shrimp paste that is both pungent and aromatic at the same time. Our household method of treating belacan is to add dried chillis, shallots and dried shrimps together to be pounded together. The main trick is to remember to toast or dry-fry the belacan before pounding to ensure the fragrance of the paste is maximised. Belacan is great in a lot of vegetable stir-frys, like water spinach (kangkung) or with okra (ladies fingers) and is also good for frying rice or noodles. A word of caution however, belacan is a highly acquired taste and may not sit well with most non-Asian palates.


Watercress Soup Recipe 西洋菜湯

Sunday, November 16, 2008 | Labels: , , | 17 Comments »

May I present another favourite soup of mine, a variety of the Chinese 老火湯 (which translates to 'old fire soup' from the Cantonese dialect) with watercress as the main ingredient. The only trick with making good soup apart from the ingredients is of course the time required for boiling. Traditionally, these 老火湯 are boiled for about 4-6 hours and usually are clear broth with variations in flavour from either the different root vegetables like my kudzu root or Chinese yucca soup or from a variety of Chinese herbs. The latter belongs the category of 'medicinal food' as the Chinese deeply believe in the adage, "you are what you eat".


I love soup to the extent that I can have a few bowls of rice with just the soup. Although the main attraction with Chinese 老火湯 is the heavenly broth, I do eat the meat and the vegetables (in this case) as well. It has always been the tradition in my household back in Malaysia that soup is served at least a few times a week, ranging from the popular lotus root soup to the slightly more exotic sounding, pig stomach soup with peppercorns. Before you begin to gag, I can promise you that the latter when done right (and my dad knows how), tastes so delicious that my mouth is starting to water as I type. Yes, that is one of the familiar requests my dad gets especially from my sister who just moved back to Malaysia (lucky her!). Since I am not skilled enough to make tasty soup from something as icky sounding as pig stomach, I will just stick to the 'safer' routes for now!


Shrimp Egg Foo Yong (Omelette) Recipe

Saturday, November 15, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Egg Foo Yong is one of my favourite Chinese egg dishes and I was delighted (at first) to find it on the menu of a Chinese take-out place a while ago, well my happiness was very short-lived as soon as I saw the dish that was delivered. It was egg alright with shrimp and green onions, but it was swimming in some gooey brown sauce that I just knew was going to be so wrong, and oh, was I right! I cringed thinking that for someone who has not had the real thing, and unwittingly ordered this from the various take out places here, they would have such a wrong notion of what egg foo yong tastes like. Anyhow, to each her own eh?

fooyong (1 of 1)-3

Well, today I was in the mood for some authentic egg foo yong and whipped up this simple version with shrimp and onions. Tasty and quick, this is definitely a good one to tuck away in your Chinese cooking repertoire. This omelette is usually served at lunches or dinners with hot steamed rice and is traditionally not breakfast food unlike their Western counterparts.

fooyong (1 of 1)-2

For more shrimp recipes on Tastes of Home, please click below:

Malaysian Butter Prawns Recipe

Deep-fried Shrimp Wontons Recipe

Golden Wrapped Tiger Shrimp Recipe

Sweet Foo Chuk (Beancurd) with Egg Dessert Recipe 腐竹鸡蛋糖水

Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 6 Comments »

'Foo Chuk' (which translates to beancurd skin in Cantonese) or 腐竹 is such a versatile ingredient - the Chinese like to use this invaluable ingredient in dessert as well. Traditionally, the Chinese people from the Southern part of the country, notably Canton are the ones who cook a lot of 'dessert soups' or 糖水 (literally translates to sugar water from Cantonese) in their daily meals. A Chinese person from the northern part of the country is usually not used to this part of the Chinese diet, and vice versa. Certain types of dessert soups are believed to have some heat-dispersing qualities or 解熱 properties just like our savoury soups like my kudzu root soup and this dessert is one of them.


I absolutely love this dessert as this is one of the clearer ones and not as rich as some others - and the fact that it is so simple to make also enhances its' attractiveness eh?!

It is always better to use rock sugar, but since I was in a pinch today and I was really craving a hot bowl of foo chuk dessert, I decided to use regular white granulated sugar and it turned out pretty tasty as well. Of course, my mom would have chided me for skipping rock sugar as it is believed that rock sugar is less 'cooling' and is healthier for consumption with less 'wind'. To a non-Chinese, these terms are definitely very jargon-like eh, well just take it from me, try this dessert, it is tasty!


Chinese Kudzu Root with Pork Soup 瘦肉粉葛湯

Monday, November 10, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 13 Comments »

With the winter weather slowly creeping up on us, what better recipe to feature than a great 老火湯 (slow-stewed soup) recipe. 粉葛 or 'fan kot' in Cantonese or 'fen ge' in Mandarin is a root vegetable and is known as kudzu root in English. This humble vegetable has been proven to be very rich in medicinal value and its root is usually stewed in soup for its' heat-dispersing or 解熱 properties. Due to its 解熱 properties, this soup is also very good for one's complexion - tasty and nutritious! This soup is great to drink in hot weather as well - being a huge fan of Cantonese soups, I had the whole pot for myself. The trick with all good 老火湯 or slow-stewed Chinese soups is NOT to add water during the stewing process at all. If you decide to add water in the middle as it's looking not enough - don't, all flavour will be lost and you will have a big pot of watery soup, not very desirable I would say. I cook my soup for about 3-4 hours at least to ensure a tasty and heart-warming pot of soup.


My soups are extremely simple and very tasty if I do say so myself (!), the main ingredients needed for a pot of nutritious and yummy soup are pork (you may use spare ribs or pork shank) depending on the type of soup and your preferences, some dried cuttlefish (these are essential for a 'sweet' pot of soup), some red dates if you prefer and the vegetable of your choice e.g. lotus root, daikon, watercress and in this case kudzu root or 粉葛.

This is how 粉葛 looks like:

A nutritious and tasty pot of good soup is quite central in most Chinese households (especially to the Chinese from the southern part of the country) and some Chinese people even went as far as to say that a women with superior soup-making abilities will be better able to hold on to her husband!

Deep-fried Shrimp Balls Recipe

Friday, November 07, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Here's another delightful recipe to tuck away into your dim sum repertoire and another recipe to expand my dim sum archives! I've always loved food on a stick - be it fish balls, fish cakes, shrimp balls, you get the idea. This maybe because shrimp balls on a stick reminds me of home, in particular street food at home. Living in Malaysia, there are lots of stalls selling streetfood especially during Pasar Malam (translates to Night Market from the Malay language). A Pasar Malam is usually a temporary 'market' held at nights (when else!) where vendors are able to (legally) hawk their fare on a specially closed up street or streets (depending on the size) ranging from fresh vegetables to t-shirts.


When I was younger (in my teens) I found it weird that people enjoyed haggling with sellers for a better price, as I grew a little older, I thought it was pretty fun - hey you can usually get a few ringgit off (Ringgit is the Malaysian currency) just by saying "Cheaper can ar?" (That's the strange form of English that has evolved in Malaysia, commonly known as 'Manglish', yes it does sound like we Malaysians mangled the good old English language eh?


These golden and crunchy shrimp balls are absolutely made for parties and make sure to save some for yourself since this is almost guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!

Steamed Omelette Fish Cake Rolls Recipe

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

My mom has been asking me to feature this for a bit - this is a childhood favourite of hers and of mine as well. According to my mom, she first tasted this at one of her classmate's house who had a "Ma Jie" that referred to a class of lady workers from China (the ladies with the pig tails who pledged singlehood throughout their lives) who usually performed domestic duties as a cook. I believe this dish is of Chinese origin.


Anyway, once my mom tasted this, she requested for it at home and I think that's how it became a family favourite of ours. Fish paste is spread on omelette and subsequently rolled up not unlike rolling up a sushi roll. However, I did not use a sushi mat but opted for some parchment paper to assist the rolling. I took a 'short-cut' however by using store-bought fish paste - you may also make your own if you're so inclined and have the time.


These rolls are very pretty to look at and delicious to boot - served with sweet chilli sauce or even just ketchup, these will make popular appetizers or snacks at parties as well.

Scallops with Broccoli Stir-fry Recipe

Monday, November 03, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Today I feature a simple seafood stir-fry, the scallops however go through a special pre-cooking step which rids the bay scallops of their fishiness and imbues them with a gingery fragrance. The first time I bought frozen bay scallops here, I just cooked them straightaway after de-frosting which did not yield the kind of scallops I was used to eating at Hong Kong style restaurants. Thanks to my parents who discovered this 'secret' step which all Hong Kong chefs use to pre-cook certain seafood like abalone and sea cucumbers before cooking with other ingredients. I decided to try this with bay scallops and this step truly helped make my scallops tastier and totally fishiness-free! This might be common knowledge to some of you who are used to cooking these seafood but growing up in Malaysia, yours truly hardly had to cook and only started doing so seriously after living abroad - I am delighted to share this step with you and you really have to try it to believe it.


The pre-cooking step is simple - garlic, smashed ginger slices (with skin) and green onions (the white part) are saute till fragrant, then a splash of Shaoxing Wine (Chinese Rice Wine) is added. Chicken broth is then added to the mix and brought to a boil. The scallops are then pre-cooked in this mixture for about 1-2 minutes. This step is essential to ensure non-fishy scallops and to intensify the 'sweetness' of the shellfish. Incidentally, this was the first time I tried this step and my scallops tasted wonderfully fragrant and the broccoli added a nice crunch to the dish.


For another easy stir-fry dish, try my Beef with Chinese Bok Choy Recipe

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons Licence
Smoky Wok by Smoky Wok is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
No content from this website including images, recipes, writings may be reproduced without prior consent from the author.

Smoky Wok

Smoky Wok

Smoky Wok