Gong Bao Chicken

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“It’s sweet, hot and nutty – just like you!”

Ah yes, that’s my other half’s description of the Gong Bao Chicken we had for dinner – a remarkable resemblance to myself apparently! But there’s nothing wrong with being just a tad nutty!

The recipe was out of Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens – although I tweaked it to my own tastes so its not quite authentic Gong Bao Chicken. I definitely did not use the amount of chilli the recipe called for, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to hot foods! And to be honest, I didn’t do the cooking part. I prepared everything and gave instructions to my OH, but stir frying is really his specialty.

I blame my lack of coordination, balance and well…I’m not sure. I work well in the kitchen, fast and efficient as I like to call it, but when it comes to dishes that require you to stand over it and keep it moving constantly I guess I get bored! I’m always running around doing a million things at once so standing there doing one thing just seems a bit non-productive.

Photos from Two Asian Kitchens

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Adam Liaw’s Beef Rendang

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Before anything else, I must say, this dish is the dish I'm most proud of cooking.

Out of all the desserts and dishes I've made in my whole life, honestly this dish is the best. Not sure if it was the physical effort that made it taste so good, the fact I've never tried beef rendang before I made it or just the pure fact that its amazing.

Once again though, I did my good ole trick of not reading the recipe before jumping in the headlights like a rabbit. Or a fox or deer, depending on where you're from. Firstly I had to make a beautiful paste from a bunch of ecshallots, garlic, Birdseye chilli, turmeric, ginger and galangal. I don't have room in my tiny kitchen for more appliances so I did it the old fashioned way – with a mortar and pestle.
I kind of prefer it that way really, I like the basic hard work methods when cooking. Although it is better when I don't surprise myself with a lot of hard work!

In my household, we don't eat anything that's similar to a stew. Not really any sort of dish that takes hours to cook for the meat to be tender, its just not really the sort of meal we prefer. So flicking through Adam Liaw's cookbook and seeingĀ the photo of the Beef Rendang, it just looked so good I had to give it a go.

Read on! >>>

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Pork Gyoza

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a patient person. I rush at practically everything I do and I'm a perfectionist. Sometimes I even annoy myself with my strange need to have everything organised and done in the smallest amount of time possible.

These Gyoza, I managed to prepare in my lunch break. I ducked home quickly from work and mixed up the filling then prepared each gyoza ready to chuck in the pan when I got home after work.
Took me about 30-45mins to prepare. I feel like I should be listening to some motivational music while I work away, like Grease Lightening or something.

I love anything that doesn't require a lot of ingredients. When there are too many ingredients I usually forget to buy one and then the whole dish takes a different direction.
But these pork gyoza consist of justĀ 4 ingredients.

Pork Gyoza:

Ingredients:
1x pack of merino gow gee pastry (there's about 30 in each pack).
500g x pork mince
40g fresh minced ginger or ground ginger
1 cup x finely diced cabbage

Read on! >>>

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Cookbook: Two Asian Kitchens

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Ah I love this time of the month already. New cookbook time!

I’ve already given you a taste of the treasures that lie within Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens with the Siew Yuk. Above is Adam Liaw’s Ant’s Nest Cake, I’ve never seen a cake make those sorts of marks when baked. I can’t even explain why it does it! But I can say, with the slight caramel taste, it was so yummy!

The book is filled with little notes beside each recipe, giving tips on particular ingredients or how something is done, this really gives the book a very personal feel to it. Recipes are divided into two sections – the Old Kitchen and the New Kitchen. Old Kitchen containing dishes from his childhood and the New Kitchen filled with unique takes on favourite dishes and some new exciting additions, like the Camembert and Tofu Skewers. Delish!

From pork belly to pandam leaves, I’ve discovered and experienced a number of new techniques and ingredients thanks to this lovely book. I’ve stuck post-it notes all through it, marking the best dishes that I was to attempt. There’s no better motivation to cook something new then a great recipe book.

Just wanted to open all our eyes today and bring forth this beautiful cookbook. Alas I’ve been a bit unwell as of late, but I will get back into the swing of things soon and by god there will be some amazing dishes! I promise! After watching Jay leave Masterchef last night because he had little experience with desserts made me think, what dishes and cultures do I still have to discover? Is there a type of dish that I’m not comfortable at cooking? This I shall investigate!

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