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Classic (& Quick) Carbonara Spaghetti with Bacon and Spinach Recipe

Friday, April 29, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 13 Comments »

There is nothing as comforting and delicious like a good and classic pasta dish sometimes and carbonara is one of my favourites.  You know, it was only a few years ago that I discovered in classic carbonara recipes, cream is not used and I was more than delighted to note that as I always refrained from making carbonara at home since it felt too sinful what with the cheese and the cream so I only order it occasionally at restaurants.  With classic carbonara, only eggs and cheese are needed for the sauce - of course the ratio of the eggs and cheese may vary and it is totally up to you how 'cheesy' you want your dish to be.  I like to stick on the not-too-cheesy side and allow guests to add more at the table if desired.


This dish was cooked, photographed and served in under 30 minutes.  Preparation is minimal, you only need to dice up the bacon and rinse some spinach.  Add a clove or two of minced garlic if you like as well.  Timing is pretty important too in this dish as you don't want the pasta to go cold before it is ready for tossing with the other ingredients.  Freshly grated cheese works the best with this recipe but of course you can substitute with store-bought grated cheese (usually pecorino is used) although I have had good results with just parmesan as well.  Instead of spinach, you can also add mushrooms - in fact pancetta is more the classic meat of choice than bacon but the latter works great I think.


Sichuan's Famous Dan Dan Mian (Noodles) Recipe ~ 擔擔麵 (川菜)

Thursday, April 28, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 15 Comments »

Allow me to present Sichuan's famous 'dan dan mian' from my kitchen today  - these noodles are one of the spicy province's famous street foods as we can see from its' namesake, 'dan dan' refers to how the noodles were carried in the past i.e. the street peddler carried two pots, one on each end of a bamboo pole over his shoulder - one pot filled with noodles and the other with the sauce.  Dan dan mian is essentially wheat noodles topped with a spicy pork and Sichuan vegetable mixture with varying amounts of broth depending on who is making the noodles.  I prefer my noodles with less broth so that's what I did when I adapted Cecilia Chiang's recipe from 'The Seventh Daughter' which is one of my favourite cookbooks not only for the recipes but I also love how she shared her fascinating adventures on her journey from Beijing to San Francisco, both in the culinary and non-culinary sense.  As always, you can adjust the level of spiciness depending on your tolerance level - it is also customary to serve the noodles with a generous sprinkling of ground Sichuan pepper which produces a numbing heat that many find appetising.


This recipe does not contain sesame paste or peanut butter, a garnish of crushed peanuts is used instead.  The flavours of these catchy-sounding noodles are spicy, salty, earthy, a little smoky from the black vinegar and altogether very satisfying.  I like to use the 'LaoGanMa' brand for my chilli oil in Sichuan dishes and I highly recommend it - it contains chilli, Sichuan chilli peppercorns, chicken (yes there was a chicken bone in the jar) and vegetable oil. Totally worth it to hunt this down as it definitely gives a deeper dimension to the dish - you can find this brand in most Asian grocery stores.


Note from Jen: I received some questions from readers residing in the US on which Asian grocery stores to go to, and as I lived in Southern California for a few years, I usually frequented Ranch 99 for my Chinese grocery needs but most of the ingredients I use can be found in most Asian grocery stores including the hole-in-wall kinds.  If you still can't find the ingredient, please let me know and I will try to suggest a suitable alternative.

This feature is a part of my series in my recipes for Yuen Chun, my preferred brand for Asian cooking sauces.

Chinese Braised Spareribs with Daikon Recipe 蘿蔔焖排骨

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | Labels: , | 14 Comments »

What I love about braised dishes is that more often than not, these dishes are also one-pot dishes. The cooking method used also allows for less time at the stove since after preparing the necessary ingredients and adding the seasoning, the dish is allowed to simmer slowly on its' own. Note though that you should check on the dish occasionally just in case. Today's dish is inspired by the classic Cantonese braised beef brisket with daikon - the method I used is mostly similar except that I did not add star anise and I did not use 'chee hou' sauce - I skipped the star anise as I am not fond of the scent and since I was using spareribs which is a little milder than beef, I wanted to keep the flavours clean. A 'secret' ingredient most Chinese households add into braised meat dishes is rock sugar as the latter creates a tenderising effect for the meat. If you can't find rock sugar, substitute with some brown sugar.


For my seasoning, I like to use dark soy sauce or 老抽 which is just soy sauce that has been fermented for much longer hence it has a deeper flavour. When I saw the lovely organic daikon in the local grocery store, I could not wait to make this easy dish. For some added fragrance, I also threw in a tiny bit of mirin for a slight sweetness that complemented the Shaoxing wine quite well. Of course, the other important elements for this simple dish are the aromatic ginger, scallions and black garlic. For almost all my Chinese cooking, I prefer to use black or smoked garlic as it provides deeper and more aromatic flavours. Do give it a try if you can find some.


Basic Pancakes with Lemon Curd

Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Labels: , , | 26 Comments »

I have been craving for some good pancakes recently and I thought there would be nothing better than pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning.  I served my basic pancakes with some homemade lemon curd I made (for the first time incidentally) 2 days ago.  I have to admit, I must have been living under a rock for quite a bit, I only very recently discovered lemon curd on toast, lemon curd is traditionally English and it's a wonder how I never tasted it (except in pastries) while living in London.  If you like sweet lemony flavours, you will probably like lemon curd and homemade really beats store-bought - the refreshing citrusy scents while you are making the curd are more than worth it.  My lemon curd consisted of lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks, sugar and butter.  I think some recipes call for corn flour or other kinds of flour that may probably lengthen the lemon curd's 'life' but I much prefer lemon curd without the above.


These pancakes were very easy to make, as I wanted my pancakes to be fluffier, I changed the recipe a little by whisking the egg white separately first before adding to the milk mixture and as I was serving my pancakes with lemon curd, I lessened the sugar in the recipe.   I think it's also quite important to allow the egg and the milk to cool to room temperature before using, it does make for a better pancake, probably along the same principles for baking.  This is a great basic recipe that you can expand on and always a good choice for those lazy weekend breakfasts. 


Hong Kong Style Dried Fish (Chai Yu) and Peanuts Congee Recipe

Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Labels: , , | 19 Comments »

Congee or porridge is definitely one of the most 'effective' comfort foods to many Chinese/ Asians especially when one is sick.  Congee is essentially rice cooked with a lot of water to make for easier consumption and digestion.  Nevertheless, congee has long since 'graduated' from sick food to a gourmet's delight with the many creative culinary twists that have been added to congee over the years.  Congee is also popularly served at breakfasts, at dim sum especially the classic congee with lean pork and century eggs, as a light lunch and even as a late-night snack.


Today's feature is another Cantonese classic, congee cooked with spareribs and flavoured with 'chai yu' or dried fish and crunchy peanuts.  For smooth congee, I usually soak the uncooked rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking for easier breaking up in the pot.  I actually used a claypot today for a more traditional feel and somehow I have yet to use my pressure cooker for Chinese soups and congee (although I draw the line at charcoal stoves as I just don't know how) as I just think it's more fun to use the traditional apparatus.  I am always marvelling at how people of the past got by and created so many wonderful dishes without all the modern conveniences we have at our fingertips nowadays.


The flavours in this congee are very welcoming to me, a savoury smokiness from the toasted dried fish, crunchy texture from the peanuts and richness from the spareribs.  If you can't find dried fish, you can substitute with dried oysters but spareribs congee with just peanuts is also extremely tasty. 

Ma Po Dofu Recipe ~ Spicy Sichuan Beancurd 麻婆豆腐

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | Labels: , , | 33 Comments »

Today's feature is a Sichuan classic, the famous Ma Po Dofu (Tofu) or 麻婆豆腐.  As with so many classic dishes, culinary records can be sketchy and there are a few stories on how this spicy beancurd dish came about.  A popular tale on how this dish came about was that the tofu dish was sold by a lady with pockmarks on her face hence 麻婆, literally translated from Chinese, the dish means "Pock-marked Lady's Tofu". As with most Sichuan dishes, ma po dofu is packed with heat, both the more 'conventional' heat of spiciness from chilli peppers and another uniquely Sichuanese heat, a numbing heat that comes from the Sichuan peppercorns used.  As many lovers of Sichuan food will tell you, the numbing effect is what makes the dish so special and it's a pleasure in itself just with the pleasantly numbing effect.  However, if you're not used to 'true' Sichuan cooking, it may take some getting used to.


Cubed tofu cooked together with pan-fried meat in a spicy and earthy sauce made mostly of daobanjiang (spicy bean paste) and fermented black beans, the dish combines fiery flavours as is typical of Sichuan cuisine.  The former is indispensable in Sichuan cooking and is a little reminiscent of Korea's famous condiment, gochujang due to both condiments containing fermented beans but I think gochujang is a little earthier while daobanjiang tastes sharper.  All in all, an extremely simple dish to whip up - if you don't think you will enjoy the numbing effect, by all means go ahead and skip the Sichuan peppercorns although I would try it at least once before deciding.


Sichuan dishes are traditionally packed with heat as the Sichuan climate can be extremely hot and humid, the heat serves to eradicate 'wetness' in one's body and help to balance one's equilibrium.  Little wonder then that a lot of Malaysian and other South East Asian dishes are also typically spicy.

Pan-fried Lamb Chops with English Parsley served with Wasabi Butter Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Homemade Garlic Bread

Saturday, April 16, 2011 | Labels: , , , , | 24 Comments »

Being Chinese and growing up in Malaysia, I think the first time I tasted lamb was in either an Indian curry or in a classic Chinese stir-fry with ginger and scallions.  I then quickly progressed to the favourite Western styles of cooking, either grilled or roasted (rack of lamb) and have loved lamb ever since.  I think I can safely say I have been exposed to many different cooking cultures at a young age which I attribute to my dear parents who are I must say rather fussy eaters, and of course lovers of good food.  I always feel ecstatic when they have given my dishes their stamp of 'approval' and since they are parents, they are probably the most honest critics as well.


I also have them to thank for sending me to London when I was ready for college, when I studied there, I started to really like lamb kebabs - oh I do remember all the wonderful stalls along Piccadilly Circus (the best kebab I had was made in a hole-in-wall place in Cheltenham, a town north of London though) with the spicy and pungent smells of kebabs wafting about as you're strolling along ahh - telling you this brings back great memories of bygone student days.  As students, apart from classes we would always trawl the streets of London as there was just so much to see and to experience, I definitely felt a lingering sadness that still hits me sometimes when it was time to graduate and leave - London will always hold a dear place in my heart.  Funnily enough, I never hated the 'dreary' weather of London too much, I think the other experiences one can find there more than makes up for the weather or maybe I'm just not a 'weather-person' if there is such a phrase granted crossing the Tower Bridge everyday to get to the tube station for one year was not too fun.


I hope you found the little tidbit above on my student days interesting or if not and you're impatiently looking for the description of today's feature, here you go. I marinated the lamb in some sea salt, English parsley and minced garlic before pan-frying.  I also made a wasabi butter sauce to go with the lamb - this is one of my favourite sauces and is made with shallots or red onions, white wine, some rice vinegar, a dash of soy and of course wasabi and butter.  The wasabi gives it a little kick while of course adding some Asian flavours (especially with the soy as well) and the rice vinegar brings out the sour notes of the wine.  Indeed, a sauce bursting with different 'East meets West' flavours that somehow gel together deliciously.  For side dishes, I made roast potatoes with red onions, boiled asparagus and garlic bread.

Spicy Stir-fried Pork with Bean Sauce in Rice Noodle Basket for Daring Cooks

Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Labels: , , , , | 22 Comments »

This is my first Daring Cooks challenge and I'm glad I made it in time! We were challenged to make any edible savoury containers with a suitable filing by the host Renata of Testado, Provado and Aprovado.  It was an extremely fun challenge and guess what? For this month's challenge, there are prizes to be awarded to the most creative entries.  I am not quite sure if my entry is creative enough but I can say that it was delicious and definitely fun to make the rice noodle 'baskets'.  I made a simple stir-fry of spicy pork in yellow bean sauce and it went really well with the crunchy fried rice noodles - the small amount of the sauce from the stir-fry softened the rice noodles in the middle of the 'basket' a little bit and all in all, this was a texture-filled dish with spicy, savoury and earthy flavours.


For the yellow beans or otherwise known as taucu in Malay, I used my favourite brand of sauces, Yuen Chun.  If you don't like pork, you can substitute easily with chicken and even add a few of your favourite vegetables like green beans or snake beans.  For the 'baskets', I soaked some rice noodles in water until relatively soft and then I dried them completely before frying.  The roundish shapes were made by placing a bunch of the rice noodles in a steel strainer and as I was frying, I pushed another soup ladle on the rice noodles in the middle, creating a bowl effect.  The baskets are ready as soon as the rice noodles start to puff up.  If you are short on time or not fond of deep-frying, simply skip the rice noodle baskets and serve this easy stir-fry with rice.


This feature is a part of my Yuen Chun recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

Easy Fish Ball Soup with Preserved Vegetables or Dong Choy Recipe

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 22 Comments »

This is probably the easiest soup recipe I have on this blog.  This is a quick and simply flavoured soup of fish balls, preserved vegetables or otherwise known as 'dong choy' or 冬菜 and glass noodles. To make this easy soup more wholesome, I used fish balls without preservatives but if that is not readily available where you are, go ahead and use regular ones. The preparation and cooking of this dish requires less than 30 minutes and you can make it a complete meal by adding pre-soaked glass noodles at the table. I added glass noodles only at the last minute to avoid the texture of the noodles becoming overly soft.


If you are using store-bought fish balls, it is quite important to get good quality ones as the ingredients are so simple.  I did not need to add salt to the soup as the preserved vegetables are already (obviously) preserved in salt so much of the savoury flavours come from the vegetables.  These vegetables are usually sold in clay jars at most Asian grocery stores and somehow go very well with fish balls.  I like to keep the clean flavours of this dish hence I did not add any lard but it is quite common to see lard being added for added fragrance especially if you order a bowl of fish ball soup noodles in Malaysia. 


Easy Plum & Lychee Swiss Roll Recipe

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 8 Comments »

The swiss roll is such an old favourite and it's definitely not hard to see why, essentially sponge cake rolled and made with a filling of your choice, this basic recipe can be tweaked and adapted to your liking.  Another thing I like about swiss rolls is the lightness as no butter is required which also makes for easier cleaning. For today I filled my swiss roll with lychee and plum in a light hand-whipped cream in another attempt of mine in creating an 'East meets West' dessert tracing the footsteps of my strawberry and dragon fruit tartlets.


When I saw the lovely black plums in the local grocery store, I just had to incorporate some into my filling although I had initially wanted to go with just lychees.  I thought the black plums would provide a nice colour contrast and went surprisingly well with lychees in the sweetened cream.  Unfortunately, lychees are not in season now so I went ahead and used canned ones.  The canned ones are usually in syrup so I used a light hand when I added some icing sugar to the cream before whipping.  I thought about poaching the plums as well before incorporating into the filling but decided against it as the lychee was already in syrup - I was quite pleased with the 'light as air' cream and absolutely loved the refreshing flavours of the lychees mixed with plums.


On a side note, my sister who is now in Singapore really loves swiss rolls and black plums are her favourite fruit - I remember how she would always try to grab the last one when we were kids and me being the eldest would always 'sacrifice' myself and give to the younger ones - such is the plight of the eldest eh? Alright, enough with the dramatics, I hope you will give this easy swiss roll a try and if you don't like this simple fruit filling, get your creativity flowing and make your own unique filling - I would love to know what you came up with.  The cake itself can also be flavoured with matcha, coffee, chocolate, really a recipe ready for your own personal touch.


Note on food photography:  As some of you may notice, I have been trying to do more in terms of food styling and photography on this blog, in the past I was just satisfied with cooking a good dish but there is just so much to learn about food photography, I think I have 'improved' from when I just started blogging but it is so obvious that I have tons to learn!  I consulted my dear fellow blogger and friend Xiaolu of 6Bittersweets on the photos for this post and she gave me very good pointers.  If you haven't already, do hop over to her blog and check out her amazing food photos, she is also a great food stylist. Thanks Xiaolu!

I shot the swiss roll again with some tips from her, but note that the cake does not keep that well, it looked better on the day it was freshly made.  But I am happier with the styling in this photo, what do you think?


Strawberry & Dragon Fruit Tartlets

Saturday, April 09, 2011 | Labels: , | 20 Comments »

As some of you may notice, I don't have that much of a sweet tooth, probably evidenced by the long list of savouries I have on this blog compared to the list of recipes I have for sweets.  Still, like many people, I do hanker for something sweet sometimes and I love fruit tarts either with the classic shortcrust pastry like the French apple tart I baked awhile ago or with puff pastry.  For today, I used puff pastry as I froze half of the classic puff pastry I made earlier and I was ready to put it to good use today.  Also, with the focus of this blog being Asian cooking, I thought it appropriate to use dragon fruit apart from the more traditional strawberries- dragon fruit is highly nutritious, in terms of taste and texture it rather resembles kiwi fruit as there are also many tiny black seeds in the flesh which can be eaten together.


The tartlets were filled with a classic crème patisserie and then the fresh fruits were simply laid on top of the cream - I did not want to brush the fruits with gelatine or jam as I wanted to really taste the fruits and we were eating them immediately but if you prefer, do go ahead and brush with either as doing so will make the fruits shinier, this is especially so if you don't plan to eat them right away.  I thought the tartness of the dragon fruit went very well with the strawberries and the rich pastry cream.  The puff pastry tarts provided the perfect base in my opinion but do bear in mind that I love puff pastry in general.  If dragon fruit is not easily available where you are, you can substitute with other fruits like kiwi fruit, peaches or just strawberries alone. 


As the pastry cream and the pastry shells can be made ahead of time, these pretty tartlets can be assembled really quickly and will be perfect for your next dinner party.


Note from Jen: The dragon fruit I used is the white-fleshed one which is more common but is a little bit more bland in taste which goes well with the rich pastry cream.  There is another type of dragon fruit which has a dark-pink almost fuchsia shade which is usually more flavourful.  Check out this link for pictures.

Homemade Udon Noodles in Dashi Broth with Photo Tutorial

Thursday, April 07, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 23 Comments »

I finally did it! I've been wanting to make homemade noodles for the longest time being a self-confessed noodle fiend, and today I am so pleased to present easy homemade udon noodles.  I always thought homemade noodles were too fussy and too much work, well maybe they are but like a lot of homemade goodies, they were totally worth the effort and definitely rewarding.  The texture of these noodles were superior to store-bought ones and also healthier as no preservatives were used and no alkaline water needs to be added.  The process is pretty straightforward - basically, you add salted water to flour, knead, punch, allow to rest, roll and slice - so easy right?  By the way, this helps to relieve stress too as to make sure there are no air pockets in the dough, you have to punch the dough for at least 100 times with your fist. Let's just say this was one I mean was my favourite part but I can't tell you what or who I was imagining while punching!


I served my freshly made udon noodles in some simple dashi broth accented by some crabsticks wrapped with cilantro stems.  If you don't like cilantro, you can substitute with chives or mitsuba leaves which is more traditionally Japanese.  As the noodles were freshly made, I purposely used simple and clean-tasting dashi broth to fully enjoy the flavour of the noodles.  If this is not your cup of tea, you can try stir-frying udon like what I did in my Hong Kong soy sauce udon or if you like udon in broth but not in dashi, try my udon in chicken broth.  These noodles can also be frozen and kept for later use if you think you won't be able to eat them on the same day.


Note from Jen: Although the process is simple, do plan in advance as there is a resting time of 2 hours for the dough before it can be rolled and sliced.

I am sending this as my entry to Presto Pasta Nights created by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast and hosted by Allie of Yum In Tum for this week.

Korean Fried Chicken Recipe ~ Yangnyeom Tongdak 양념통닭

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 13 Comments »

I absolutely adore Korean fried chicken - fried and then coated in a finger-lickin' good concoction of spicy, sticky, sweet and sour sauce.  The chicken is usually fried twice to give it extra crispiness, a 'secret' that I have been using in almost all my fried dishes.  The heat in the dish comes from gochujang, the celebrated Korean condiment of fermented red chilli paste while the caramelized effect is a gorgeous result of the corn syrup (mulyeot) used, a popular condiment in a lot of Korean banchan (side dishes) - the sweetness also helps to tone down the spiciness.  Do note that the spiciness from gochujang is earthier and not really sharp since gochujang is made of fermented soybeans, red chilli peppers and glutinous rice powder.  In addition, I added some toasted sesame seeds before serving for added fragrance and texture.  Apparently, every Korean family has a slightly different recipe and for today, I added some plum sauce to impart some fruity sweetness and tartness to the sauce as my own little twist.  I was quite pleased with the results and can't wait to experiment more.


These delectable fried chicken are usually served as snacks or in fast food restaurants and are one of the most popular foods to be eaten with maekju (beer) in Korea.  Since my tolerance level for alcohol is close to zero (this is a source of amusement to a lot of friends of mine by the way) however, I can't really vouch for that personally but I can guarantee that this crispy chicken dish will be a delightful and extremely popular addition to your cooking repertoire.  Just in case you're curious, the beer-like beverage I have in my photos is actually Shandy, a drink of beer and lemonade that originated from England and is extremely popular in Malaysia - not a surprise as Malaysia used to be a British colony.  Finally, although certain Korean dishes require an acquired taste or at least an open palate, these fried chicken should be well received by most palates.


This feature is part of my Yuen Chun recipes, a project I am collaborating on with Yuen Chun, my preferred brand of Asian cooking sauces.

Lai Fong's (Mum) Chinese Red Mustard ('Chan Choy') and Salted Egg Soup Recipe

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 | Labels: , , , | 12 Comments »

Red mustard vegetables and salted egg soup is a definite Chinese home-cooking dish that you will hardly see in the 'better' Chinese restaurants or most Chinese restaurants for that matter.  This is an easy vegetable soup that is always satisfying to me and what's more, this can be cooked and served under 30 minutes.  However, this kind of vegetable soup differ from slow-fire soups which are almost considered tonics to the Chinese.  Nevertheless, if you don't have time to boil soup for at least 5-6 hours and the inclination to source for the usually longer list of ingredients, today's feature is a great alternative.  The Chinese believe however, that one should not consume these vegetable soups on too regular a basis as these soups are considered to have overtly 'cooling' properties so as the Chinese try to seek balance in meals, too much 'coolness' or yin would not be good for one's equilibrium.  This is particularly applicable to women as too much yin in a woman usually foretell a troubled pregnancy or even the lack of one according to traditional belief.

red mustard soup

The red mustard vegetables are very smooth and are a part of the cabbage family where the stem of these vegetables are reddish and the leaves are broad while texture is toothsome yet tender.  Anchovies are first sauteed with garlic, splashed with a bit of soy then cooked into a broth with the red mustard vegetables and raw salted eggs.  Extremely simple and very satisfying, do give this humble soup a try if you are able to find red mustard vegetables.    The salted eggs act as the perfect flavouring ingredient for this easy soup and you don't have to add salt as the eggs are already salty enough.  Altogether, this soup is definitely on my list of delicious comfort foods from home. 

red mustard soup

* Not recommended for people with gall bladder problems.

Crispy Chicken Seaweed Patties with Lime-Soy Dipping Sauce or Wasabi Mayonnaise

Sunday, April 03, 2011 | Labels: , , , , , | 17 Comments »

These tasty chicken bites make for great party food and today's feature was actually a result of me trying to use up some ground chicken I bought earlier in a slightly 'different' way.  A quick look through my blog statistics showed that a lot of my readers like to click on the 'Asian Hors-d'oeuvres' recipes so I thought this would be a great addition.  Ground chicken is marinated in some sake, mirin, soy, ginger juice and then mixed with some crushed seaweed (nori) sheets and cubed carrots and finally lightly coated with potato flour and then fried.  If you don't like carrots, you can substitute with corn kernels for a stronger tinge of sweetness as well.  The toasted seaweed adds unexpected pleasing flavours while the tiny carrot cubes provide some naturally sweet crunchiness.

chicken patties

I served these chicken patties with two different dipping sauces of appetizing lime-soy and wasabi mayonnaise.  This recipe allows for a lot of creative interpretations - the possibilities are truly endless.  For today's feature, I mainly used Japanese condiments, if you prefer something spicier, you could try using Thai condiments (perhaps adding some bird's eye chilli peppers to the chicken mixture instead of nori) and making a kaffir lime mayonnaise as the dipping sauce.  I do hope you give this easy recipe a try when you want to serve some Asian style appetizers at your next party or just when you feel like it, with or without company.

This feature is part of my Yuen Chun recipes, an ongoing project I am collaborating on with Yuen Chun, my preferred brand for Asian cooking sauces.

Easy Roast Chicken Legs with Thyme and Vegetables Recipe

Friday, April 01, 2011 | Labels: , , | 17 Comments »

Everyone loves a good roast chicken right?  I'm guessing that most do - but what makes a 'good' roast chicken? Based on a brief look around the web, it looks like there many different schools of thought for what represents the perfect roast chicken.  Some swear by crispy skin where no or close to no steam is allowed in the oven hence those recipes usually do not include much liquid or butter while roasting.  However, to get the crispy skin, one might have to 'sacrifice' the tenderness and moistness of the meat underneath so I opted for the middle way - perhaps its' my Libra tendencies coming out to play again.  Hmm.  For today's feature, I adapted Jamie Oliver's roast chicken recipe and I was quite pleased with the results.  The chicken turned out tender and juicy underneath while the skin although not crispy, still provided just the right amount of 'bite'.


What I loved about this recipe was also that it was easy but do bear in mind it takes at least 1 hour for the roasting part so do plan accordingly - the original recipe did not require herbs nor a sauce but I had wanted to use up some thyme that I had left from my baked eggs earlier.  I mixed up some butter with a handful of crushed thyme and used that as my rub for the chicken legs.  For the sauce, I made a very simple concoction of red wine, the juices from the roasting pan and a dash of corn flour for a slight thickening effect.  The sauce to me actually completed the dish although I'm usually not a sauce person so I would really recommend making the sauce. 

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