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Thai Tom Yum Prawns Recipe - UPDATE

Saturday, May 31, 2014 | Labels: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

This is an appetizing, spicy, tangy and umami-filled seafood dish with delicious Thai flavours.  I used tom yum paste for today's prawns and accentuated the flavours with some fresh lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.  Tom yum paste or rather most spice pastes can be so versatile and this is a great way to use it other than in the usual tom yum soup which is of course no less delicious.  Apart from prawns, you can use the paste as marinade for chicken nuggets, fish or as a stir-fry sauce for rice or noodles - endless possibilities.  I like to cook my prawns shell-on, to me they just taste better that way but feel free to use shelled prawns/ shrimp and if you do that, you can skip the shallow-frying part as well.  I suggest to shallow-fry the prawns before cooking with the paste and the rest of the ingredients for a crispier texture.

Thai Tom Yum Prawns 冬蔭蝦

You can either make the tom yum paste from scratch like what I did here or just find a good store-bought version.  I think it is totally fine to use store-bought pastes when the lack of time calls for it and since I almost always feel the need to doctor up my pastes, I have not really have bad experiences with any store-bought pastes I've used except for probably once or twice.  Those were not really bad per se, but I had to add so many ingredients of my own as the pastes were too bland that I felt I was cooking from scratch so I guess those pastes were totally disposable :O.  

Thai Tom Yum Prawns 冬蔭蝦

I am very excited this week as I will be seeing some friends I have not seen in years, all thanks to the wonders of the internet, well Facebook to be exact.  The nicest thing about seeing 'long-lost' friends is that I don't feel any discomfort or awkwardness despite the years in between, we just pick up where we leave off and that's the beauty of friendship, I think.

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

Thai Style Curry Noodles (Laksa) Recipe - UPDATE

Saturday, May 31, 2014 | Labels: , , , | 22 Comments »

There's nothing as quick, easy and delicious as a bowl of noodles - add spicy to the mix, and you've got yourself a winner, well at least to me, the self-proclaimed noodle fanatic.  Noodles are just so convenient to have around the kitchen and lends itself to a ton of culinary possibilities, don't you think? For today I came up with some Thai style curry noodles, reminiscent of the popular Malaysian laksa.  Laksa is essentially noodles served in a spicy and rich coconut milk-based broth with some vegetables and meat.  My brother was in Chiang Mai recently and he bought me some curry pastes so naturally I was itching to try some of them out.  Instead of making green curry chicken as was suggested on the packet, I decided to use it as a base for today's laksa and the results were fantastic, well considering that I am a huge fan of both Thai flavours and spicy noodles of all kinds.

Thai Curry Noodles (Thai Laksa)

For today, I used rice noodles but you can substitute with your favourite kind of noodles.  This recipe will also work well if you use red curry paste.  This is perfect for those tired weeknights although laksa is rather indulgent with the addition of rich coconut milk.  I added some fresh lemongrass, garlic and curry leaves (well, I guess no matter how good a paste is, I still feel I have to do a tiny bit of doctoring up) for the rich broth and served it with chicken and some beansprouts for crunch.  All in all, an easy full meal in a bowl you can whip up on those busy nights with minimal hassle and prepping.

Thai Curry Noodles (Thai Laksa)

Update: Adding a splash of light soy sauce is a must for me now.  Although I used to think that adding soy sauce to curries seem a little counter-intuitive, I am utterly convinced now.  This post is part of my Yuen Chun Recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

Bak Kut Teh - Chinese Herbal Broth with Pork Ribs 肉骨茶 -UPDATE

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 | Labels: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Bak kut teh or literally 'meat bone tea' is a very famous Chinese Malaysian dish and is a must-try for tourists and also a much-loved dish by the locals.  Bak kut teh is a Hokkien (Fujian) Chinese dish and is said to have been introduced by the Hokkien coolies from China to Malaysia (then Malaya) more than a century ago.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Chinese people's love of heavy meals for breakfasts, it may come as a surprise to you that bak kut teh is an extremely popular breakfast dish.  Bak kut teh is essentially pork ribs cooked in a rich, savoury and fragrant herbal broth - it can be as simple as just the ribs in the broth/ soup or made more balanced' with the addition of dried tofu, mushrooms and some vegetables of your choice.  The main dish with the ribs and soup are usually served with Chinese doughnuts (you tiao) and rice.

Bak Kut Teh - Chinese Herbal Broth with Pork Ribs 肉骨茶

For today, I am sharing a short-cut version of claypot bak kut teh as yes I cheated and cooked the dish with the help of a ready-made satchel of bak kut teh herbs.  Really, there is no shame in this as I just read that a lot of the stalls selling bak kut teh buy prepackaged herbs and then add their own touches resulting in the uniquely different flavours.  For today, I added some fried tofu packets, Chinese or nappa cabbage, shitake and enoki mushrooms.  If you like, you can add more wolfberries (goji berries) to deepen the herbal flavour or even add some black pepper for more heat.  I used the 'Claypot' brand of bak kut teh packets and these are available in a lot of places outside Malaysia, if not I think most brands should be fine but of course don't forget to add your own little finishing touches to make the dish uniquely yours.

Bak Kut Teh - Chinese Herbal Broth with Pork Ribs 肉骨茶

This recipe has been updated and is now part of my Yuen Chun Recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

Lunch Buffet at Westin Hotel Singapore - REVIEW

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | Labels: | 1 Comment »

As you know, I seldom do reviews of restaurants/ outside eateries - I usually feel a tad guilty  for trying to compose a shot while my fellow diners are looking on a little hungrily.  Apart from that, well I guess you can call it 'vanity' - most of the time lighting in restaurants is not the most conducive to food photography (natural light is still the best for me).  However, this time I was awarded with natural light galore as Seasonal Tastes (buffet lunch restaurant) at the Westin is filled with natural light and we were lucky enough to get a table right next to the expansive floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the Singapore Straits.

In terms of the buffet spread, I have to say that we did get what we paid for.  Please note that the lunch buffet on Saturdays only costs SGD35++ which offers markedly less choice in dishes.  Well, we ended up going to the seafood counter a lot, I have to say that the prawns were very fresh and I probably overdosed on the prawns.  Sushi selection was moderate, with the obligatory sake (salmon), California roll and some other types of temaki.

As for the cooked foods section, nothing worth mentioning apart from me thinking that the roasted salmon was a little under cooked.  There's the usual fried rice and noodles with a smattering of 'typical' Asian and Western dishes like curried prawns, baked potatoes, tandoori lamb.

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