Bakwan Kepiting

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Oh no! It’s already December and I have not attempted any Peranakan recipes which I have aimed to do so by the end of the year. If I am to work on any recipe right now, it has to be Bakwan Kepiting, the hubs’ favourite, or so I thought.

Bakwan Kepiting is a Peranakan soupy dish that comprises minced pork, bamboo shoots, crab and prawn meat. Ken’s auntie will often cook this dish as she told me that it is his favourite. As a good wife (ahem!), I should really make an effort to make them. In the Singapore Mom Bloggers’ community, there are quite a number of Peranakans and one of the mommies, Adeline, had posted this recipe before and I promised myself that I would attempt one day. After going through the recipe, I’m personally surprised that there isn’t much sauce to be used for marinating the meat.

So, here I am, making Bakwan Kepiting for the dinner! Do visit Adeline’s page if you want to make this dsh. For me, I’ll just post the photos to remind myself the steps to making them.

Ingredients: Prawns, Crab and pork, all minced. Bamboo shoots, thinly sliced.

Ingredients: Prawns, Crab and pork, all minced. Bamboo shoots, thinly sliced.

Add cornflour and egg and mix. Leave aside for flavour to blend.

Add cornflour and egg and mix. Leave aside for flavour to blend.

Shape the marinated mixture into balls. Prepare the soup based using preserved soy bean paste and garlic cloves.

Shape the marinated mixture into balls. Prepare the soup based using preserved soy bean paste and garlic cloves.

The outcome: The hubs returned and told me that this dish is really not his favourite. It is his, based on what his auntie thought. Sigh! That revelation aside, I find the meat balls too smooth, and lack texture. Perhaps it’s because I have asked the stall-holder to grind the pork twice making the minced meat really, really minced! It’s a bit different from how Ken’s auntie made but still delicious nonetheless. Oh yes, the crab meat? I bought the canned type and it is rather expensive. Well, I guess it has to be since what is inside the can is really purely crab MEAT.

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I’ll attempt this again… for my in-laws the next time.
1 out of 5 Peranakan dishes attempted. 4 more to go!

Mid-week!

I like it when my kitchen was filled with the aroma that came from the oven. After yesterday’s bake-out session, I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on more new recipes. Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my home to yours arrived yesterday too and it’s time to bake!

I decided to bake the Perfection Pound Cake (pg. 222) since I had all the ingredients at hand. It was relatively easy too. But what was enriching was the notes that the writer gave for the different stages in the process of baking this cake. It was interesting! Sometimes, I thought it might not be necessary to attend a culinary school as long as you have a good cookbook which gives you the information that you need, in addition to the recipes. There is in fact, a lot of writings on baking in the market. Of course, what the home baker would lack is the experience of working in a real kitchen and the related pressure.

In any case, the pound cake was perfect indeed. I took a bite and went ‘mmmm…’ How heavenly! I’m gonna bake more from this book!

And because it’s terribly cold today, a bowl of hot soup would be the best comfort one could get! Carrot and potato soup, adding wolfberries to it because mom kept asking us to consume them since they contain lots of health benefits.

Love it!

Wonton soup

On a cold, gloomy weather, you just crave for hot soupy stuff. And since I have the wonton skin, minced meat and shrimps, I shall make wonton soup!

The marinating of the flesh took only a short while and after that you could leave them in the fridge and when you are ready to cook, just take them out and dump them into the stock (good thing, I have reserved stock). I used the round-shaped wonton skin and basically place the mixture (ball-shaped) in the centre of the skin. Then, using four fingers, press the skin towards the centre. It’s great fun!

 

I made 12 wontons and the filling includes minced pork, shrimps (shelled, deveined and finely chopped), freshly grated root ginger, light soy sauce, shaoxing rice wine,toasted sesame oil, cornflour, a pinch each of sea salt and ground black pepper. If you realised, they are rather similar to those used for gyoza except for the Chinese chives.

I thought this is quite a healthy dish since very little or no oil is required and constitute items from the 3 food groups. Carbohydrate is found in the wonton skin which is made from wheat flour and I added loads of lettuce in the soup, mushroom and spring onion as well.

=)

Lesson 1.3 How to make vegetable stock

In case any one of you are wondering about the previous entry on Amour doux, that is actually a post that I need to submit for a contest on Project Food Blog. I’m not entering to win but I find the challenge really challenging and so I participated. Well, you could of course vote for me if you find that I am good enough. In any case, I would be trying out the challenge whether or not I am moving on to the next stage. =)

For today, the lesson from my MS textbook is on how to make vegetable stock. For this recipe that is to follow, the vegetables are lightly browned to give the stock intense flavour. This is helpful especially since there is no base of flavour provided by meat as compared to the previous two kinds of stock.

I basically use celery, carrots, corainder (because I love it), onions and garlic for the stock and of course, how could we do without oil, pepper and some salt?

The 3 steps are basically browning the vegetables, making the stock and then straining it.

Browning the vegetables.
Heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring often until they begin to brown. Add celery, carrots and garlic. Cook and stir occasionally until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Making the stock. Pour in enough water to cover vegetables by 1 inch ( for me, 2 inches). Add the herbs (corainder) and the remaining onion. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook (uncover) for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Straining the stock. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl. pressing on vegetables to extract as much flavourful liquid as possible. Discard solids. If not using immediately, cool in an ice-water bath before transferring to airtight containers. Vegetable stock can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months; thaw completely before using (Martha Stewart’s Cooking School).

Let’s just see how I would use my vegetable stock next. Hmmm….