Easy recipe: fish curry

There are times when you don’t want to spend too much time stir frying behind the stove, but just let the dish simmer while you can do other useful things (like watching cooking videos on YouTube).

So here is a simple simmer dish:

Ingredients:

  • 300 gram fish (Pangasius filet)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 spring onion
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 white cabbage
  • bamboo sprouts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder / masala powder (I got this from an Indian friend)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • (about) 3 cups of water (or use coconut milk)

1 | Cut everything into bite size pieces. I added bamboo shoots as ingredient, but you can use any vegetable you have at home.

2 | Add oil in the pan. Stir fry the ingredients which can simmer long first: green onion, garlic, bamboo, onion, zucchini and fish. Fish can be put in later, because it is done really fast, but here I put it in first. Add 2 tablespoons of curry powder. Stir fry for 5 minutes.

3 | Add the rest of of the vegetables. Add 2 cups of water, till almost all vegetables are soaked in the water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Trust your feeling about the salt and pepper. Actually, I have no idea how much salt I used. Add salt little by little and taste.

4 | Simmer for 10 minutes and your fish curry (soup) is done! To make it more creamy and thick, you can coconut milk instead of water.

5 | Serve with rice.

Enjoy! 

 

Advertisements

The fear of cooking (+ roast chicken recipe)

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was making instant ramen for the​ first time. Mom told her to crack some eggs in the boiling water, but she was way too afraid. What if the hot water would splash on her hand? That would be painful…

Cooking can be scary: dealing with sharp knives (don’t cut the finger!), using fire to make the pans hot (the burn!). And the food can come out crappy… But stop there! Don’t be scared! After some practice it will be fine! After failing a dish, at least you know what NOT to do the next time.

Story time

I have had some fail moments in my lifetime of cooking. Especially making something the first time.

I still remember well the first time stir frying. With a good friend we tried to stir fry beef with green beans. Using the stir fry basics learned from my parents it should be fine right? Cutting and marinating the beef went well. Then stir fry the meat first, take it out of the wok and stir fry the green beans. When the green beans are almost done, add the meat and done!
In the end the meat was so dry. I am guessing we added the beef in too early. So while waiting for the green beans to be done, the meat became dry. FAIL! But now, I have a vast knowledge of how long meat and vegetables need to be stir fried. Just try it often and find the right time. Try, fail, try, succeed!

This blog post idea came to me, because I made 6 hour roast chicken for the first time. I don’t use the oven often, but I thought: what could go wrong? Just put the chicken in the oven on low heat for a very long time, that should come out delicious right? Well… I will tell you the result after the recipe.

6 Hour Roast Chicken

Inspired by different roast recipes I used the following ingredients:

  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 4 shallots (or onions)
  • 6 garlic gloves
  • A bush of coriander
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • salt (sorry, don’t know the amount)
  • black pepper, Sichuan peper
  • oil
  • fish sauce
  • soy sauce
  • white vinegar
  • lemon (I didn’t have a lemon, but I wanted to use one. I used white vinegar as the sour ingredient)

1. The main ingredients. Pre-heat the oven on the lowest Celsius degree possible. Mine was 110 Celsius degrees (230 Fahrenheit).

2. Cut everything. Cut some long celery stems for holding the chicken up. Cut shallots in half. Peel the garlic gloves.

3. Place the celery stems and shallots in an oven dish. A dash of oil over the ingredients.

4. Mix a sauce: 3 dashes of soy sauce, 1 dash of fish sauce, 1 splash white vinegar, pepper, sichuan pepper. Put sauce, garlic gloves, ginger, coriander and chunks of celery inside the chicken. (Also a lemon if you have one. Cut in two and squeeze in and over the chicken. Put the lemons inside the chicken.) Lift the skin of the chicken near butt area. You can poor in the sauce here. Use leftover sauce on the outside of the chicken. Drizzle some oil on the chicken. Add extra salt and pepper on the outside.

5. Use a rope to hold the chicken legs together, this prevents burning them. Put the chicken in the oven and sit and wait for 6 hours.

6. After 6 hours you have crispy chicken!

The meat just fell of the bones.

After tasting it…

In the end the taste was really nice. Salty chicken meat and the shallots were so sweet and salty. The texture however was a bit dry to my liking. It was very mushy/sandy, not dry like terrible cooked chicken, but still a dry feeling. I think this could be better if I injected salt water brine into the chicken. That is a trick to keep the chicken moist. Also I didn’t have a lemon and only added the white vinegar later to the chicken. I think the sourness also keeps the meat tender. So the next time when I will roast a chicken, I will keep these things in mind and make the perfect chicken!

So readers, don’t be afraid to cook. You can only become better, after making something terrible 😛

Have a good weekend! 

Recipe: LazyPigPassion instant noodles

Today I craved for some instant ramen. But I didn’t have any at home, so I had to go out of my cave and buy them. I was so happy to eat instant ramen again, so I am sharing my go-to ramen recipe.

Ingredients: a package of instant ramen, tomato (for red coloring), spring onion (for taste), green veggie (for green coloring) and egg (for some protein).


I also bought some ‘new’ instant noodles to try, as you may have seen on instagram. Need to try some new things, to get new experiences, you know.

I still have a lot of (amazing food!) photos from my Düsseldorf trip which I want to share. Soon there will be a posts about Yaki-The-Emon, Takumi Düsseldorf & Rotterdam and something special. Something more design? You will see 🙂

Have a good Fridayyy!

Basics of stir frying

It’s hard to be original in the foodblog world.. I had the idea to share the basics of stir frying, if you know these basics you can stir fry million combinations of Chinese dishes. But then I see a post of a Serious Eats on Facebook with an update of Wok Skills 101. Noooo, there goes my ‘original’ idea. I will first write down my story and then read the Wok 101 post to compare whether I learned the same basics.

Let’s start.

The trick to stir frying is knowing how long you have to stir fry each ingredient in the dish. The time also depends on how you cut the ingredient. For example if you take a carrot and cut it in big blocks, you might need to wok 5-10 minutes to create a soft bite. But if you cut the carrot in thin slices, it might only take 1 minute to make it soft.

You can use big blocks of carrot in a stew, since you will cook it for a long time and you don’t want to let the carrot dissolve in the stew. Thinly slices carrot are better for stir frying shortly in a veggies dish.

Fire

Fire is also an important variable when stir frying. It’s best to use real fire than induction or electric heating/stove. Fire can heat the whole wok, which is better for searing the ingredients quickly. This way the juices stay in the meat and vegetables. A wok is usually rounded at the bottom, not flat like a pan. The roundness makes it easier to toss the ingredients around, so that every side of the ingredient is heated equally within the same time. Or else you will get half raw, half seared meat.

Wok Hei

If you have a gas stove, you are lucky, I have induction. With the biggest fire you can create a taste which you can’t create with induction or an electric stove. People called it Wok Hei, breath of the wok. It is a fragrant delicious taste around the ingredient. When you eat the food, you smell it sort of in your mouth. Chinese people would call it Xiang 香 (=fragrant, delicious, wanting more of it). A word which has no translation in Dutch or English.

Basics

Meat, vegetable and spring onion or garlic are the main ingredients. You can use different meats, vegetables or taste makers combinations to create different dishes. Then you have the salt makers. I usually use soy sauce to marinate the meat. Add oyster sauce when stir frying the vegetables and at the end add salt if it is still not tasty enough.

Below is a recipe to show you the steps of stir frying.

Cut all the ingredients in equal sizes, so it will fit in your mouth. That’s why chopsticks are enough, you can put everything in your mouth without cutting.

I usually cut the taste makers and vegetables first. Then I cut the meat with the same knife, because it doesn’t matter to have vegetable juices on the meat. But it does matter if the vegetables get meat juices on them. (Don’t ask why.)

Marinate the meat with soy sauce, about two table spoons? {Also add corn starch to the meat to keep the juices inside}

{Heat the wok and add oil.} Add half of the spring onions and garlic to the meat. Stir fry the meat equally till about 80% done. Try not to have big chunks of pink in the meat.

{Add a bit of oil again.} Add the rest of the spring onions and garlic. Stir fry vegetables till soft, but crunchy.
Add the meat to the dish. Stir fry till the meat is not pink anymore. Add salt to taste. In this example I also added leftover rice. You can ignore that. Now you can serve your professionally stir fried dish. Enjoy!

Here is a time table showing when to stir fry what ingredient.

I was talking to my parents about this basic method I learned and apparently my uncles don’t take out the meat. They stir fry the meat first, maybe till 50%? Add vegetables and then stir fry till all is done. If you look at the time table that sounds logical. Meat and paprika time is about the same, so you could put them together. But then you have less control about making the meat equally non-pink. If there are a lot of ingredients in your wok, it harder to let every piece touch the side of the wok. I guess that’s why my parents take out the meat. More control about the tenderness of the meat.

After reading Wok 101

I forgot to talk about the oil. You need oil for stir frying, this can be sunflower oil, sesame oil or olive oil. Sesame oil is very fragrant, I also use this to marinate the meat. I use olive oil for stir frying. The taste makers (spring onion, garlic) are creating the fragrant in the oil.

I forgot to talk about maizena (corn starch). Add corn starch when marinating the meat. This will also keep the juices inside.

Okay, this is really the basics of stir frying. These days I use a lot of other ingredients in the meat marinating part, like black pepper, grinded sichuan pepper, sugar, curry powder etc. I learned about these ingredients from Korean and Thai recipes. It’s really fun to experiment with ingredients. It always tastes different.

If you have any questions, let me know 🙂

Recipe: Chicken congee ~ After dentist food

Last week I went to the dentist and I made myself some soft food so I could easily swallow without a lot of chewing. Here is the chicken congee recipe. Healthy, because it has chicken soup ingredients. Safe, because you can make it very mushy by cooking the soup for a long time.

Mom’s wisdom: congee is good for you, because you can digest it easily. It’s also good for your skin, it will become smooth and shiny, just like the congee. I don’t know if that is really true, but I like to believe it.

In the past I often ate congee at home, usually without all the vegetables and meat ingredients. Only rice… but that is a bit too plain for me. I like things salty. But don’t put it too much salt guys, too much salt is not good for your heart. Well enjoy the recipe! Talk to you guys the next time 🙂

Recipe: Lemon honey tea

From Cantonese friends and Hongkong I learned about Honey Lemon tea (or Lemon Honey tea). It tastes like ice tea, but hot and there is no tea used. You can also drink it cold, then it tastes like ice tea.xD

It’s quite simple to make:

You can make a big honey/lemon pot and enjoy it for a long time. You might need to remove some honey or get a bigger pot when you are adding the lemon slices. Wash the lemon before cutting, since the skin will also be used.

At work I have a small pot with lemon slices and a squeeze honey tube for more sweetness. Delicious and good for you when you have a sore throat.

Recipe: Dakgalbi ~ not so spicy Korean chicken dish

dakgalbirecipe-09

I really wanted to share the failed cooking video with you, but looking at it will make you feel so nauseous, so I thought it would be better to save you the terrible experience. The nauseous feeling comes from all the shaking in the video. I put a GoPro on my forehead and filmed while cooking, but every movement created shocks in the video.

Don’ts for filming a cooking video:

  1. Don’t put a GoPro on your head. Use a tripod for stable footage.
  2. Don’t put the camera (too close) above the pan, it can create fog.

Luckily I could get some nice stills from the video to still share a photo recipe with you. This time the dakgalbi was really delicious and not so spicy as I used to make it. (I was out of hot pepper paste.)

Dakgalbi

3-4 portions | 20 min preparing | 15 min cooking
dakgalbirecipe-ingredients
Ingredients:

500 g chicken thigh
1 onion
½ crop cabbage
1 fat carrot
2/3 spring onions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2/3 garlic gloves
1 fat sweet potato
3 tablespoons (vegetable) oil

(I didn’t use these things in the dish, but I really recommend them:)
1 cup rice cakes
1 tablespoon hot pepper paste (you can add more for more spicy)

Sauce:

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame oil

One _ Cutting

Cut the onion, carrot, spring onion and chicken into bite size pieces. Mince the garlic and ginger. Put the garlic and ginger in a bowl for mixing with the chicken.

dakgalbirecipe-04dakgalbirecipe-02

Two _ Marinate meat

Mix all the sauce ingredients with the chicken, garlic and ginger.dakgalbirecipe-05

Three _ Cook

Add 3 tablespoons oil in a big wok. Sprinkle some cabbage as bottom layer. Place the chicken and other vegetables on top. Spread them nicely. Use medium high heat for cooking. Mix a bit, then let it sit with a lid.

dakgalbirecipe-06

Stir a few times after a few minutes. Add a splash (4 tablespoons?) water and let it simmer. Make sure the chicken is not pink anymore. When you can easily break a sweet potato the dish is done.

Serve over rice.

dakgalbirecipe-08

This dish tastes salty, sweet, slightly spicy and has a nice curry aroma. When I put in the curry, a block of powder fell in, but that actually made it taste quite good. So more curry powder is better! The dish is easy to make and tastes really good! Enjoy!