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Steamed Taucu (Bean Paste) Chicken Recipe

Sunday, May 26, 2013 | Labels: , , | No Comment »

Steamed dishes are one of my favourite Chinese styles of cooking.  Minimal mess, healthier and delicious to boot - what's not to like right? Today's dish is an extremely easy and tasty steamed chicken dish seasoned with bean paste (taucu), ginger, garlic, some chili peppers and soy sauce.  You can also opt to add shiitake mushrooms if you like.  All you have to do is assemble the chicken with the rest of the ingredients and steam over high heat until the chicken is cooked.  So easy and simple right?

Steamed Taucu (Bean Paste) Chicken

The bean paste I used is of the yellow variety and is similar to the Japanese miso.  The paste lends an earthy and deep savoury flavour to most dishes.  Apart from chicken, you can use bean paste as a condiment with pan-fried fish as well.  Very useful to have in the kitchen!

Steamed Taucu (Bean Paste) Chicken

This recipe is part of my Yuen Chun Recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

Belacan Udon Noodles Recipe

Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Labels: , , | No Comment »

As a self proclaimed noodle fan, I just realised that I have not cooked or featured udon noodles for quite a while.  Fresh udon noodles are easily available in most grocery stores but if you feel so inclined, you can also try making your very own udon noodles from scratch.  It is really not that difficult although of course you'll need some time and patience.  I am still using up the sambal belacan I pounded earlier and so decided to feature today's spicy and extremely appetising belacan udon noodles.  I love the hearty bite of udon noodles and simply paired it with some green onions and fish balls I had in the fridge.

Belacan Udon Noodles

You can substitute the fish balls with other proteins of your choice of even mushrooms if you want to keep it vegetarian.  This is extremely easy and as most Malaysian cooks say, it is always great to have a container of home made sambal belacan in your fridge.  This condiment lends itself well from vegetable stir-fries to belacan fried rice.  The possibilities are deliciously endless!

Belacan Udon Noodles

A touch of good quality soy will really bring out the flavours as well.  This post is part of my Yuen Chun Recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

The Top 10 Most Popular Recipes on Smoky Wok

Thursday, May 23, 2013 | No Comment »

Time flies right? No, I mean really. I started this blog in 2008 out of boredom while living in San Diego and I am now back in Malaysia.  This blog has suffered through stops and starts, I go from bouts of laziness to bouts of enthusiastic posting so much so that although I still have many readers - the comments have really tapered off haha.  I have been really bad at commenting in the blogosphere as well mainly due to laziness and also changes in my personal life.  Anyhow, as you may have noticed - lately I have been more hardworking and I am again rediscovering how blogging was (and is) so enjoyable and theraupetic to me (and hopefully useful to you as well).

I am one of those curious types who like to check out stats so I thought it would be fun to share with you the top 10 recipes/ posts on Smoky Wok.  Frankly, I was a little surprised by the top 1 but all in all, I appreciate all your kind support and seriously, checking out stats is quite fun.  I hope this list will be helpful to you and looking through it totally reminds me of certain dishes I just must make again :O.

Let's start with No. 10, none other than my absolute favourite Malaysian dish - Malaysian Butter Prawns.  Imagine prawns fried to golden crispiness, then cooked in a heavenly concoction of fragrant curry leaves, bird's eye chili peppers and butter.  Trust me, you have to try this!

butterprawns021

Next, No. 9 is my Chinese Red Bean Steamed Buns.  Making Chinese steamed buns or baozi/ paos from scratch is really fun although a tad time-consuming.  I think I found a winning recipe for this classic dim sum favourite - the bun is soft, fluffy and everything a Chinese steamed bun should be.  Don't be daunted by the time required for this recipe, every minute is worth it.  Most of the time, the time is spent at proofing anyway :).

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No. 8 is Chinese Roast Pork recipe.  I was quite satisfied with this dish although I think I still need to find a better recipe to fully satisfy myself.  What do you think?


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No. 7 is a Thai favourite - who doesn't like Thai food right? A good stir-fry is always welcome to me especially on weeknights and this aromatic chicken dish is just right up my alley and should prove to be a crowd pleaser.  Try this easy Thai Basil Chicken stir-fry.

Thai basil chicken


Moving on to No. 6, we have Healthy Chicken Chow Mein.  Is it the word 'healthy' in front? I had the inspiration to create this dish as when living in California, chicken chow mein  has unhealthy connotations and is usually associated with the neighbourhood greasy 'Chinese' take-out.  Hence, I tried making a healthy (and also tasty) version of this classic favourite.  I hope this will change your perception of Chicken Chow Mein!

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Down to No. 5, we have a Korean favourite (yay!) - I am a huge fan of Korean cuisine and I admit that watching a lot of Korean dramas probably have something to do with it.  This is bibimbap or otherwise known as mixed rice where one essentially mixes up the rice with a myriad of colourful vegetables, the quinessential protein and of course the cheery sunny side up egg.  Everyone has a secret bibimbap sauce, usually portions of vinegar, gochujang, sugar and sesame oil. 

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Egg Sambal Recipe (Sambal Telur)

Sunday, May 19, 2013 | Labels: , , , | No Comment »

Cooking is therapeutic for me although I do have my lazy bouts, just like anyone else.  I had it in my head to pound some sambal belacan (chili paste) the traditional way today with a mortar and pestle and pound I did :O.  Funnily enough, my fridge is actually quite empty but somehow I always have a ready supply of eggs so I decided to make the humble yet much loved egg sambal or telur sambal.  You can choose to simply cook the hard-boiled eggs in your homemade sambal or fry the boiled eggs to get that slight crispy texture prior to cooking the eggs in the sambal.

Egg Sambal Recipe

For the sambal, all you need are some dried chili peppers, shallots and toasted belacan or shrimp paste.  Most people use the blender or food processor nowadays but I still insist that the sambal tastes better done the old fashioned way.  Another thing is that I hate cleaning blenders/ food processors, having to go through all the nooks and crannies!  This dish goes great with steamed rice and is delicious and extremely appetising.  Sambal belacan is always a great thing to have in your fridge - the culinary possibilities are endless!  Take a look at some of my belacan 'escapades' here.

Egg Sambal Recipe

I still remember while living in San Diego how much I craved for this Malaysian culinary specialty.  I still remember lugging back an extremely heavy mortar and pestle from Crate and Barrel in my efforts to recreate this Malaysian favourite in my apartment.  Beware though that belacan is a condiment that requires an acquired taste so do be warned of its' pungent and strong taste.  For us Malaysians though, sambal belacan is always welcome and very much loved!

Mutton Curry Recipe

Saturday, May 18, 2013 | Labels: , , | No Comment »

This was my first time cooking mutton.  It was not as difficult as I thought and I didn't even use a pressure cooker for tenderising of the meat.  Apparently, this was because the boyfriend said he picked a good cut of mutton :O.  We used the leg portion and if you like you can keep the fats but we discarded the fats to be more in sync with our 'dieting' plan.  Anyway, this is rather a hybrid style of mutton curry - a mix between Indian and Malay style, hence I think it's quite fair to probably label it Malaysian style.

Mutton Curry

The result was a delicious and spicy dish of quite tender and succulent mutton curry.  It's really quite easy but if you don't like the rather gamey scent of mutton, you can use lamb or even beef in this recipe.  This dish will be even more delicious overnight provided you keep it well in a tighly sealed container in the fridge.  This recipe also calls for natural yoghurt instead of the fattier coconut milk.  We eschewed ghee in favour of a little butter but it's entirely up to you, ghee feels a tad heavy for our palates in general.  For a tang in the dish, we added tomatoes but if you like, you can use asam jawa in your dish instead.  I hope you will give this a try and have a great weekend!

Mutton Curry

Nappa Cabbage and Mushrooms in Dashi Recipe

Sunday, May 12, 2013 | Labels: , | No Comment »

This is just a simple mixed vegetables dish, with some fresh shiitake mushrooms added in for extra texture.  Instead of just garlic and soy sauce, I added in some dashi powder for a little more umami flavour.  The natural sweetness of the nappa cabbage goes great with dashi and if you like, you can make your own dashi broth with some bonito flakes and kombu (kelp).  Sometimes, I crave for something easy and comforting and this is one of my favourite vegetables dishes.

Mixed Vegetables in Dashi

Oh, finally the weather is nice and sunny today - my clothes can finally dry! While living in the US, everyone used dryers for their clothes but once back in Asia, I have to start hanging out my clothes to dry again! Alright, that was very random, I am turning into a real 'auntie', when there's good weather I immediately think great for hanging clothes :D

Mixed Vegetables in Dashi

I hope you have a great weekend! This recipe is part of my Yuen Chun Recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

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