Monday, May 21, 2012

Blue Seaweed Jelly

Few months ago, I passed some blue pea flower seeds to my parents in law’s domestic helper. She has green-thumb, and now the plant blossoms with blue pea flowers. She collected the flowers and sun-dried it. I’m so pleased when she passed to me a small bottle of sun-dried blue pea flowers.

This maid contributes so much to the family. With her around, we have organic sweet potato leaves, eggplants, tomatoes, sawi, bird’s eye chilis, bananas, papayas, and others. Tomorrow, she will go back to her home town. It's a loss to the family. Not easy to get a such responsible and kindhearted maid.

Okay, back to the jelly now. With the natural blue coloring contributed by the blue pea flowers, here comes the blue seaweed jelly. Does it look interesting? For a start, I thought of this simple way to utilize the dried blue pea flowers. Many more to come hopefully. 

Blue Seaweed Jelly 

5 tbsp of agar-agar powder 
1600ml water 
6 screw pine leaves, tie into knots 
sugar to taste 

To prepare the blue coloring: 
a handful of dried blue pea flowers, rinsed 
250ml hot water 

1. Soak the blue pea flowers in hot water. Leave it for 30 minutes or more. Sieve it and retain the blue liquid.
2. Boil 1600ml water in a pot. Add screw pine leaves when boiling.
3. Pour in the blue liquid. Let it simmers for 5 minutes. 
4. Mix in the agar-agar powder. Add sugar to taste. Leave it simmers for 3 minutes. 
5. Remove the screw pine leaves. Off the fire, and leave the agar-agar mixture to cool for few minutes in the pot. 
6. Pour it into jelly moulds. Cool it to room temperature. 
7. Fridge it for 2 hours before serving.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Agar Jelly with Grass Jelly

After the first attempt of making seaweed jelly with coconut milk, I’ve been thinking of other alternatives to make the jelly more interesting, and yet not complicated. The first idea popped up in my mind to add in grass jelly cubes. With black-colored grass jelly, I can eliminate other colorings, and I’m able to add patterns to the jelly. A stone to kill two birds.

Agar Jelly with Grass Jelly

25g agar jelly powder
3500ml water
8 screw pine leaves, tied into knots
250g grass jelly, cut into cubes
sugar to taste

1. Bring water to boil. 
2. Add screw pine leave and leave the water simmers for 5 minutes or more. 
3. Add sugar to taste. 
4. Pour in agar-agar jelly powder and stir to dilute it. Boil for few minutes. 
5. Add grass jelly cubes in the heat-proof containers. 
6. Pour in the agar-agar mixture into the containers. 
7. Leave it cool to room temperature and fridge it. 
8. Serve cold.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pork Belly with Chilies 辣椒炒肉

This is a quick oriental dish. The pork belly is paired with green and red chilies. It contains animal Protein from the pork and vitamins from the chilies. And not to forget about the source of antioxidants from the garlic and chilies too. Yes, provided they are not cooked under high temperature. With just little bit of light soy sauce and oyster sauce, you’ll have a tasty and flavorful pork belly dish. 

If you are facing problem on how to cut the pork into thin slices, here’s the useful tips. First, you freeze the pork for about 20 minutes. Then, you remove it from the fridge. The pork is semi-frozen, so you can easily cut it into thin slices. 

Pork Belly with Chilies 辣椒炒肉

300gm pork belly, sliced into ½ cm thickness
2 red chilies, seeded and cut into strips
2 green chilies, seeded and cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
spring onion, cut into 1.5" length
1 tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce

1. Heat up oil in s non-stick pan. Pan-fried pork slices at both sides. Add light soy sauce and stir to coat the pork slices. Dish out on a plate.
2. Leave about 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Sauté garlic till fragrant. Stir in spring onion, green and red chilies.
3. Toss in pork slices. Stir-fry all the ingredients with oyster sauce.
4. Dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mixed Veggies Stir-Fry 炒杂菜

Besides eating the crispy fried tau kee as a dish complement, it can be used in cooking vegetarian food. This mixed veggies stir-fry is one of a good example. It's flavorful with combinations of all ingredients. I'm learning to appreciate this type of meatless dish.

Mixed Veggies Stir-Fry 炒杂菜

1/4 cabbage, cut into strips
1/4 carrot, peeled and cut into strips
3 dried shiitake mushroom, dehydrated, stalk removed and cut into strips
3 florets of black fungus, dehydrated and cut into strips
Some fried sweetened bean curd stick (tau kee)
cooking oil
some water
1 tbsp of vegetarian oyster sauce

1. Heat up oil in a wok. Sauté mushroom till fragrant. Add carrot strips to stir-fry.
2. Stir in black fungus and cabbage. Mix well. Add vegetarian oyster sauce and some water. Leave it simmers for a while.
3. Toss in fried sweetened bean curd sticks. Stir-fry a while till the sauce reduced. Dish out.


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