May 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
March 22, 2013 § Leave a Comment
So, when I was in Singapore, smuggled in some really fat juice lemongrass (for those who have been following my blog or know me, I’m a lover of lemongrass, everything lemony, I JUST loveeee it!) and limes too. I’ve kept them in the deep freeze for almost 3months now, because 1) I couldn’t risk having them go bad, 2) I didn’t have anything in mind what to make with them and 3) well, just quite simply, I didn’t want to use them because I had such limited supply….(I know, quite contradicting) But, this week with the weather being on and off with the cold, wind and sun…I needed something to brighten up the mood and put me in a feel good mode as I’m trying to piece together a little something (more on that later).
I needed something that would dance on my pallet and give my system a zing, something light but filling that’s when I thought about my lemon grass sitting in the freezer, it’s time to use them! : D
My tom yum goong…(before you read on…this recipe is my adaption of a traditional thai version, because I didn’t have most of the required ingredients, so, I apologize to my thai friends if in anyway I did anything wrong… : S)
So here goes,
Ingredients-2 lemon grass stalks, slit at the root in half then quarters, then “slapped” with the side of the clever-this gives in a bruising effect because I don’t have a petal and mortar.
-4 to 5 slices of ginger (traditionally galangal is used, I didn’t have that)
-3 birds eye chilli, slit and the side because I didn’t want it to be too spicy
-4 medium tomatoes (slice in wedges)
-2 medium zucchinis (slide in small piece roughly the same size of the tomatoes)
-500 grams of clams (scrubbed and washed)
-200 grams o shrimps (washed, trimming off any unwanted bits)
-2 table spoons of fish sauce (or to taste)
-1 lime juice and zest of lime
1) In a pot boil roughly 2litres of water, put in the lemongrass, ginger and chilli for 15mins.
2) Add in tomatoes and zucchinis, lime zest, simmer for another 10-15minutes
3) Add in clams and shrimps, once the clams are opened and the shrimps turn coral pink.
4) Taste the soup, add fish sauce and salt and lime juice to taste.
5) If it’s not spicy enough, add another chopped up chilli and simmer for a few minutes.
The soup should a refreshing and light broth like soup, the flavours can be adjusted according to personal taste. More water can be added if the soup is too heavy in taste.
Once again, this is just my take on the soup…if you got a tom yum goong recipe, please do share with me!! : D
February 18, 2013 § 1 Comment
My current job requires me to travel quite bit in and around the city, sometimes to places which I wouldn’t normally think of going, just because it seems so remote and inhabitable…but I was proved wrong.
Just last month I had to travel to the the end of line 3 metro stop ShiLong /石龙, I had a few minutes to spare for a quick lunch break and boy did I discover a gem! This tiny family restaurant was just right next to the bus station which was next to the metro station, it looked decent and rather “new” because I scanned around bit, yes I admit, I did hesitate at first before going in…while you have to with these remote and foreign places especially in a tiny restaurant like this one. So the steam baskets looked rather new so, I guess this place was opened not long ago.
Inside are only two tables which seat 4 people and one table which is against the wall. It’s rather cramped, space it really limited in there. So, I thought I’d just grab something quick and get going, and since the steam baskets looked so new, why not try whatever might be in there, dumplings maybe? Well, they turned out to be the most delicious xiaolong bao’s I’ve had so far!
What is “xiaolong bao” ? They are a kind of variation of dumplings, only this one is made only with pork and the skin is thinner and should be enjoyed while it’s still hot because there is a bit of soup/juice inside the dumpling. So, the way I usually tackle this package of goodness would be to place the dumpling on a spoon, then take a cautious small bite at the side so that the juice can seep out a little, at this point some people like to put a bit of dark vinegar to balance the salt and oil from the meat, I some sometimes do depending on what’s available, the last step is easy just plonk it in your mouth or take lady like mouth fulls of this delicious dumpling package.
Since I was in a rush the first day, I didn’t have time for seconds..: ( I stay so far away from them too…The only way to cool down my crave is to bring the xiaolong bao’s back with me so that I can enjoy them anytime I want. Backpack armed with two big containers I headed back to the restaurant. When I had asked the boss and lady boss if I could “da bao” /take away some he said “ke yi”/ yes! They were a bit shocked later when they realized my “da bao” was not the usual take away but two box fulls…they were quite shocked! Haha.
Steamy hot xiaolong bao’s
The xiaolong bao assembly line.
Mr Boss busy with wrapping my order of bao’s
The restaurant also serves other quick and delicious fast foods like noodles and the traditional dumplings and wontons. I tried their tradition dumplings too, not bad, lot’s of veggies and they are not stingy with their fillings, so each dumpling is plump and juicy which makes every bite so good!
Here is Mrs Boss wrapping wontons (left) and the
traditional dumplings (the plate with the green stuff is the filling for the dumplings)
I was trying to capture how she wrapped the dumplings
and maybe learn a few tricks myself so I could wrap some too.
Mr and Mrs Boss are such sweet people, Mrs Boss is always the one giving the orders and telling Mr Boss how to wrap them dumplings but they make such a good team. I was a bit scared of Mrs Boss at first because she has this dongbei / 东北 fierceness about her, but after a few chit chats she just a sweet little old lady.
The two boxes I brought doesn’t seem to be big enough…I guess I’ll have to go more often for my dose of xiaolong bao’s.
Add: 128 Shi long Road / 128 石龙路
Metro：Line 3 Shilong station. When you get out of the metro, walk straight and turn right at the bus station.
February 10, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Happy New Year to all my Asian friends and all those who are celebrating the Lunar New Year with us! This year is my first time to celebrate Chinese New Year in a different city in China. The big city life vs the small town village celebrations.
Well lets first start off with the awesome weather we had two days prior the big day. It was freezing cold, gloomy and windy. Bits of ice started to rain down on us which made the road wet and muddy. The next morning tiny bits of snow drifted in the air and then came the afternoon…that’s when the the goodness started. A tiny snow storm, but enough to cover the streets and roof tops with a silky white blanket. It was cold, but it was beautiful too, so magical. I might sound like a love struck teenage girl, but growing up in a country which doesn’t snow and wishing to one day see it and feel it, it’s such an awesome feeling.
So it snowed through the night, and the next day big ol’ Mr Sun came to say “Hi”. Even though it was just for one day, I feel so blessed to have experienced snow fall. : )
The night before the snow storm. This was bit like shaved ice than snow.
The afternoon of the snow storm. So magical!
Snow fight, anybody?
So back to the New Year celebrations. Mr C and I went grocery shopping for our hot pot dinner for New Years Eve. We spoilt ourselves a bit with food and more food…like we usually do. LOL! Not forgetting the spring cleaning of every nook and cranny in the apartment. But was all worth it for the meal we had prepared for. Unveil!
As for the fireworks…apparently there is no such thing as “banning”, the city was lighting up with displays from all over the city. The Chinese believe that the louder you are the better luck the New Year will bring. Although the displays and flowers in the sky are beautiful to watch, it made sleeping a little hard, especially when it happens right outside your window. LOL!
Beautiful but not when it’s 2am in the morning and we’re trying to get some sleep.
The difference this year, other than celebration in a city to a small town village, the biggest difference would be not having family around. It’s rather quiet outside (if there weren’t any fireworks）and feels a bit stagnant and everything is switched to OFF mode, where as in the small town village people are bussling and friends and families visiting each other, even fellow villagers are laughing away at poker games and mahjong. Maybe everyone in the city are comfortably tucked away in thier apartments and I just don’t see it or hear it.
I miss my little small town village celebration though. 新年快乐 / Xin Nian Kuai Le everyone!
January 21, 2013 § 2 Comments
What would a trip be without sinking yourself with the local food and delicacies? So to end off my posts about my memorable trip to Singapore, the food.
Bak Kut Teh.
Chicken Rice / Hainan Chicken Rice.
Chashao and Wonton Dry Noodles.
Juices of all kind; sugar cane, watermelon, pineapple…etc
Refreshing drinks and desserts.
Fried carrot (radish) cake.
Noodles with chicken curry.
Char Kway Teow.
Some junk food from old McD Singaporean style. Quarter pounder BLT and McChicken BLT.
Buttery Curry Crab.
December 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Just another theme park, you might think…well yeah, it is, but for me it was special.
It’s the first time Mr C and I went to a theme park together. : ) We both been to Hong Kong’s DisneyLand and Ocean Park but was with each other friends/ family, but not today, today is going to be different because it’s only him and I.
Our first stop was the Sci-Fi City where we met up with the awesome transformers, there we helped save the world!! Well…not really, but kind of. The 4D ride was super cool, flames and and bullets were being thrown at us, but we survived it, all thanks to Bumblebee for saving our fall.
It was cool.
The downside was that we had to wait for 2 1/2 hours for the ride…yeah…was rough.
Next we headed for Madagascar! We like to move it move it, with King Julien, the penguins, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria. We got on some of the rides too and yes, lots of waiting as well.
After that was the land of Far Far Away! Met with Shrek and Fiona and visited their castle too.
How can we not leave out the silly blue monster from Sesame Street. Oh, yes you do love your cookies!
Choc-chip are my favourite kind of cookies too!
In this magical make believe wonderland anything is possible. Including this:
Who said candy doesn’t grow on trees? Well, now they do!
December 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Red lanterns and markets.
Lanterns and pastel colour walls and wooden window shades and clean side walks…you know it’s no place like this in the real China Town. Once walking in the busy streets and side markets of the Singaporean China Town is was like stepping into a scene of a Hollywood movie. Why do I say this? Well, if you had watched any Jackie Chan movies, the depiction of Chinatown is the exact same, then again having said that, maybe all China Towns outside of China look some what the same because they have adapted to their new environment.
Temple Street, not the one in Hong Kong but its close because once we walked down that street we discovered fooooooood!! Cuisines from Sichuan, Vietnam, German and even the local delicacies were sold, Of course we took advantage of the abundance too. We tried “Bak Kut Teh”
Tables on Temple Street in the middle of the road. (no worries, the road is closed during the evening to accommodate the hungry diners. This country is all about food I tell you!)
Bak Kut Teh, a herbal and garlicky soup.
A interesting building with Japanese faces.
More interesting buildings, a mix of east and western styles.
Speaking of crazy…Gangnam Style Salon? Oh, you’re too funny Singapore!
China Town, I wish I could bring you back to the real China Town and show them some of your wonders, but unfortunately time was too short and space in my luggage is limited, I guess I’ll have to persuade and bride you next time I come round.