Recipe: Xinjiang lamb skewers – 羊肉串

Hi Food lovers,

I have written a BBQ lamb skewer recipe before and today I am sharing the video version with you. My father will show you how to make it. For all the measurements and steps, check out the written recipe.

Story time!

My father has created this recipe and he has fine tuned the recipe over the 30+ years. Yes, this recipe is older than me! When my father was a student he started making lamb skewers for his friends. He became known as the guy who makes delicious lamb skewers. I think all his friends have eaten his lamb skewers before and loved it.

Lazy Penguin and I also love his lamb skewers, so whenever he is in the Netherlands, we ask for lamb skewers (羊肉串) and pulled noodles (拉面). His top two dishes.

Coming soon

These days I am be working on a video project. Lazy Penguin and I have followed a chef for a day to see his food craft. Here is a sneak preview:

Have a good Friday!

Recipe: Korean chicken salad

An easy recipe for today: Korean style chicken salad. It’s healthy, easy and so good! I didn’t expect the chicken to be so tasty. Here are the ingredients and steps:

Ingredients

  • 350 gram chicken thights
  • mozzarella ball
  • rucola salad mix
  • carrot

Marinate sauce

You can use your own favorite marinate ingredients. I used these:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 1 spring onion
  • 3 table spoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 big teaspoon hot pepper paste (next time I would use 1 big tablespoon, it wasn’t spicy enough)
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Cut spring onion, mozzarella in blocks. Mince garlic and onion for the marinate sauce. Cut chicken in slices.

I used a rucola mix salad. Cut the carrot in slices. Use half of the carrots to stir fry with the chicken.

If you don’t like too spicy, use less hot pepper paste and more soy sauce.

Mix sauce, onion and garlic with the chicken. I used an egg to make the chicken even more tender.

Stir fry the chicken first. Add carrot and spring onion later. Stir fry for about 5-8 minutes, till all the chicken is well-done.

Put the mozzarella pieces and stir fried chicken on the salad. Mix.

It must be also delicious on a sandwich! Enjoy!

The T&C Haus foodvlog is still in the making. Coming soon!
Also, it’s Lazy Penguin’s birthday today! Hooray!! 😀

Recipe: Lazy Vegetable Soup

Today I present you my first cooking video! On lazy days when I don’t feel like going all out with cooking, I will dump everything in a pan and cook. This recipe is a lazy vegetable soup with pasta.

 

All kinds vegetables are suitable for this soup, so feel free to change it up. Also at the end of throwing everything together, taste the soup and add salt to your taste. My soup was quite light, so I added a bit more salt outside the video.

Here is the text version of the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 stems of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • Chinese greens
  • 3 eggs
  • Handful pasta fusilli (or noodles)
  • 800 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chicken powder (or salt)
  • Salt (to your liking)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons mirin (optional)

Let’s start!

  1. Cut all the vegetables. Beat the eggs.
  2. Add oil to the pan on medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Stir fry 2 minutes on high heat. Add tomato and celery. (Actually you can just dump in all these in one time. I wanted to make the onion softer first, but carrot also fell in.) Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Let the veggie sweetness come out.
  3. Add two tablespoons soy sauce. Add two teaspoons sugar. Add 800 ml water. Wait till the water is bubbling a lot. Add some black pepper, Sichuan pepper and mirin. Any taste maker is okay to put in the soup. If you like a curry taste, you can add some curry powder.
  4. When the water is still bubbling add pasta fusilli (or noodles).
  5. When the fusilli is softer and flabby (bendable) add the beaten egg. Stir to make some pretty egg flowers. Add the green leafed veggies.
  6. Taste the soup, not salty enough? Add more salt. Little by little, don’t accidentally drop too much salt in!
  7. Now the soup is done! Enjoy! ^_^

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! 

 

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 Lazy Chipmunk 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 we waited 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 a 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 🙂