Homestyle Taiwanese Braised Chinese Cabbage

Whenever I ordered 3 cups chicken take-away lunch set from my favorite Taiwanese restaurant, I always hope they packed me extra braised Chinese cabbage side dish. I can omit the meatball or the braised bean curd (鹵豆干)but I can never forgo the delicious braised Chinese cabbage (鹵白菜). In fact I hope they could give me extra. Too bad, it is not always the case. 

Because my 'great love' with braised Chinese cabbage, I decided to cook it myself , so I can enjoy it like a feast. It is quite a simple dish to make but require some patience as you will need to stew it for 20 minutes to soften the cabbage.

Ingredients
Chinese cabbage (medium size), 6 shiitake mushrooms (sliced), 3 stalks of scallion (cut into 2-3cm length, 5 slices of ginger, 5-8g of small dry shrimps, shredded carrots, white pepper, salt, oyster sauce, sugar, water, corn starch solution, cooking oil, sesame oil (optional).

Direction
1. Slightly fry the Chinese cabbage in hot oil (1 min). Alternatively you can boil the Chinese cabbage in hot water for few minutes. Set aside for later use.
2. In a pot, heat up some cooking oil.
3. Stir fry the dry shrimps and sliced shiitake mushroom till fragrant. Follow by scallion, ginger slices and shredded carrot.
3. Add in the fried or boiled Chinese cabbage and water and cook about 5 minutes.
4. Now, add in the seasoning - oyster sauce, sugar and salt according to taste.
5. Braise the cabbage for 20 minutes.
6. Add in the corn starch solution to thicken the sauce.
7. Sprinkle some white pepper and a dash of sesame oil, a quick stir and serve the braised Chinese cabbage with rice.

How to cook Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

There were fresh pineapples for free sampling of  in Føtex. That indeed had triggered my interest to attempt the Thai pineapple fried rice over the weekend. The typical Thai Pineapple Fried Rice is served in hollowed pineapple shell and fresh pineapple cubes are used. Pardon my cutting skill, I opted the canned syrup pineapple instead of the fresh pineapple.

Here are the ingredients required: a bowl of cooked rice, chicken fillet (cut into bite size cubes), corn kernels, canned pineapple (cut into cubes), onions (finely chopped), soy sauce, sugar, curry powder (small amount for coloring), cooking oil, salt and pepper. For garnishing, you will need cucumber slices, shredded egg, fried dried shrimps, chili slices.

Instructions
1. Marinate the bite size chicken pieces with some salt, sugar, pepper and soy sauce. Set a side for 1 hour in the fridge for use later.
2. Sprinkle some curry powder onto the cooked rice and mix well. Since curry powder will overpower the overall flavor of the fried rice, hence, small amount will do, mainly for the coloring.
3. Heat up the oil in the pan, add in the chopped onions and stir fry till they turn fragrant.
4. Then add in the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry till they are cooked.
5. Add in the rice and seasoning and stir well.
6. Lastly, put in the pineapple cubes and corn kernels

Now, you may plate your fried rice and garnish it with cucumber slices, shredded egg, fried small shrimps, chili slices. There you go my version of Thai Pineapple Fried Rice.

Tips
a. Overnight rice is perfect for fried rice as it contains less moisture.
b. Fresh pineapple cubes are more succulent as compare to the canned version.
c. Fried dried shrimps help to enhance the overall taste of the fried rice. The savory salty flavor helps to balance up the sweetness from the pineapples.
d. If you prefer seafood, you may substitute the chicken cubes with shrimps.

Simple Home Made Peanut Butter Recipe


Peanut butter is the comfort food to some. Though I am not a big fan for peanut butter, I do confess I occasionally have deep cravings for it.

I never thought making a jar of homemade peanut butter could be this simple until recently when my friend shared her recipe with me. Just 4 simple ingredients, grind together and voila.


Ingredients
150g roasted peanut
1/2 tsp of salt
1   tbsp peanut oil
2   tbsp of honey
I like my peanut butter with light strawberry taste, hence I am using the strawberry flavour honey.

Direction

1. Grind the peanut in food processor till they turn chunky
2. Add in salt, peanut oil and honey and blend til it turns smooth paste
3. Transfer the peanut butter paste to mason jar or glass container and store in dry area

The blending time is very much depended on your food processor/blender and how smooth you want your peanut butter to be. Do blend slightly longer if you prefer the smooth and creamy texture.


Sharing here is a good tutorial video on how to make peanut butter just in 5 minutes. After watching this, you will be amazed (just like me)  that making a jar of homemade peanut butter is incredibly simple.

 


A bottle of standard size good quality peanut butter (off-the-shelf) does not come cheap here. I rarely finish the whole bottle before the expiry date and it ended up in the trash. My problem is now solved, Phew~ !! I can now tailor my own size of peanut butter.

Simple Potato Carrot Mushroom Chicken Stew Recipe

This is one of those dishes I will make (especially on weekend) whenever I am cleaning my fridge.
Any 'old stocks" available in the fridge will be transformed into homey tasted dishes. The menu of the day is simply the Potato-Carrot-Mushroom Chicken. As the name suggests, you can definitely tell what are the main ingredients.

The dish is so simple to make yet it tastes super delicious. I can easily have 2 bowls of rice with it alone.


Ingredients

280g chicken breast (bite size), potatoes (cut into cubes), carrot (1cm thick slice), button mushroom (sliced), soy sauce, dark soy sauce, corn starch solution, cooking oil, sugar, salt and pepper, chopped scallion as garnishing.

Direction

1. Marinate the chicken pieces with some soy sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
2. For sauce mixture, mix the following in a bowl -  soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and salt.
3. Par boil the potato cubes and carrot cubes until there are 70% cooked.
4. Heat up some cooking oil in the skillet and pan-fry the chicken pieces til light brown.
5. Add in the par-boiled potato cubes, carrot cubes, mushroom slices, sauce mixture prepared earlier and simmer for 3 minutes under medium low heat.
5. Think the gravy by adding in the corn starch solution i.e. mix corn starch with some water.
6. sprinkle some pepper and stir well.
7. Garnish the dish with some chopped scallion and serve.

Easy peasy.

Chipo Run Chipotle Mexican Grill London Review

(Chipotle Mexican Grill) in London
My visit to London was rather brief, but it did not stop me from having a list of food I would like to taste in London, for which the famous Nando Chicken was top of my list. I somehow had a 360 degree change of  dinner plan when I spotted Chipotle Mexican Grill logo at Charing Cross Street. I was so excited with my "discovery" as I never thought I could get Chipotle restaurant in London. How lucky Londoners are...

For a first timer, I did not exactly know what to order despite the simple to understand menu. Hence, I did a quick online check on how to order and what best to order for a first timer. Burrito Bowl is the highly recommended option as the portion is generous and it is definitely value for money as compare to other options like Burrito, Tacos and Salad.

Chipotle Mexican Grill in London
I opted for a Barbacoa Burrito Bowl (shredded beef braised in a blend of Chipotle chili adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano) with coriander-lime rice, pinto beans, roasted chilli-corn salsa, romaine lettuce, tomatillo green-chilli salsa and guacamole. It literally blown my head away at the first bite. It was so so so good. The shredded beef was so flavorful and paired absolutely well with all the sides especially the tomatillo green-chilli salsa and guac. Creaminess of the guacamole, spiciness of the green-chilli salsa, the fragrance and zestiness of coriander-lime rice, made every spoonful so satisfying. 
Chipotle Mexican Grill in London
The online reviews suggested not to order the Tacos due to the small portion. For comparison wise, I did order a chicken Tacos. Yes, the portion was indeed 2x or 3x smaller than the Burrito Bowl. Judging from the images, it is a no brainer to my fellow readers which is the better option given that the Barbacoa Burrito Bowl costs £6.95 and the Chicken Tacos costs £6.70.

Despite the recent 'Chipotle food poisoning crisis'  in US, my love to Chipotle Burrito Bowl is unshaken. I am preparing for my next Chipo-Run either in Frankfurt or Paris.

For those who are new to Chipotle, this are the 4 steps to order your Chipotle.
Step 1: Choose either Burrito, Burrito Bowl, Tacos or Salad
Step 2: Pick the meat (steak, carnitas, chicken or barbacoa)
Step 3: Add rice, beans or fajita veggies
Step 4: Choose the toppings

You are free to choose any of the topping available at the food counter ranging from tomato salsa, tomatillo red-chilli salsa, sour cream, tomatillo green-chilli salsa, roasted chilli corn salsa, romaine lettuce, cheese and signature guacamole)

Chipotle Mexican Grill Address:
114-116 Charing Cross Rd.,
London, UK WC2H 0JR
T: 020 7836 8491
F: 020 7836 8468
Mon-Tue: 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM,
Wed-Thu: 11:30 AM - 11:00 PM,
Fri-Sat: 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM,
Sun: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM



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