October 23, 2014
I would like to talk a little about my simple kimchi's post few weeks ago. It has generated several comments from the readers and the major concern was to let those marinated cabbage sit at room temperature for a couple of days before storing them in the fridge. Because we are staying in such a hot and humid country, foodstuff will usually go bad if we leave them out. That is a justified concern, I wouldn't risk leaving my kueh kuehs (our local cakes and desserts) or meat sauce out to go bad. However...
October 22, 2014
On a scale from 1 to 10, I think the level of difficulty to making a perfect sponge cake is 6/7 (ugh, I can’t decide). Now, don’t confuse this with Chiffon cake. Like its name, Sponge cake has a firm yet aerated texture, similar to a sea sponge, while a Chiffon cake is a very light cake and usually vegetable oil is used instead of butter. You’ll also need a tube pan to make a successful Chiffon cake. Anyhow, that’s another story. Let’s go back to sponge...
October 20, 2014
When you tell the butcher you want flank steak, the immediate reaction is "Oh, you want to make stir-fry?".Well, it is true flank steak is often sold in supermarkets here, labeled as stir-fry beef. It is cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow, hence steak connoisseurs often scoff at the idea of eating flank. Well here at BNF, as long as the end products taste good, who cares if it is a piece of inexpensive flank or pricey tenderloin? So here is a steak recipe that you can make to impress your guests and loved ones and not burn a hole in your pocket!
October 17, 2014
My daughter loves her churros. Whenever we visit Universal Studios Singapore, it is a must-have snack for her. They must be at least 12 inches long? I have fond memory of us queuing at the churros counter, waiting patiently for the staff to fry up those floury babies and rolling them around in a deep tray of sugar-cinnamon mixture. Daughter and I would huddle together and devour the stick of churros efficiently. Ahh…sinfully good memories...
October 16, 2014
What happen if you find 2 potatoes sitting in your pantry and have absolutely zero will power to whip up a storm? I don’t know about you, but there are just days when I feel super lazy to cook anything fancy (just like writer’s block, is there such a word as cook’s block?), yet don’t want the ingredients to expire and go to waste. So I made potato salad! Found some other ingredients in the fridge which I thought would go nicely with the potatoes.
October 15, 2014
Thailand – The Land of Thousand Smiles. Mention Bangkok and immediately thoughts of shopping, delicious Thai food, cheap massages come to my mind. Now, besides Korean food, my next favorite cuisine is Thai. If you go through Thai food recipes, you’ll notice the few usual ingredient suspects - Thai fish sauce, coriander root, coconut milk, tamarind sauce...
October 14, 2014
Our household is big on corn. Corn on the cob, corn salad, corn chowder, popcorn :-D…I especially love grilled corn on a stick. Whenever I pass by the street vendors selling them in Bali or Phuket, you will definitely see me walking away with at least one in my hand. My hubby recently sent me a link showing how to cook corn in 3 minutes and ever since, I’ve been making my own grilled corn at home! I just thought this is too good not to share. I'm sure some of you would have already seen this tip but for those who have not, enjoy!
October 13, 2014
As promised, here is my take on the key lime pie recipe. That being said, I'm not using key lime as they mainly grown in Florida, US. I haven't seen any in Singapore. I'm using large Thai limes, which can be found in major supermarkets here. You can also use the medium or small limes but that means you have to spend more time squeezing the juice. This is really an all-American dessert, using lime juice, condensed milk and egg yolks. Sorry health fanatics, you may just want to exit this page now. I've also replaced the graham crackers for the crust with digestive biscuits.
October 10, 2014
Gumbo originated from Louisiana (southern region of United States). It usually consists of okra (lady's finger), meat or shellfish and the stock is thickened. They are traditionally served over a bed of rice. To be honest, my gumbo tasting experience only began a couple of years ago but the last few I had inspired me so much. The broth was so tasty and addictive, filled with seafoody-goodness (BNF vocabulary ;-P) and packed with tons of seafood. It is really a meal on its own! I was so tempted to rush home and make some gumbo! The last straw came when I was watching one of the episodes from the latest season of Masterchef US. One of the contestants made a pot of gumbo in less than an hour for the judges (according to them, was quite impossible) and all 3 were blown away by it. So hubby immediately said: "I want some gumbo this weekend!". That was how I began my gumbo-making journey. Although this is not the traditional recipe (I did not include okra and also added some extra ingredients), the flavor compensates for everything else. This is also one of my father-in-law's favorite BNF request.
October 9, 2014
Once again, it is Throwdown Thursday! Woohoo! In case you missed the first one, or have absolutely no idea what I'm referring to, Throwdown Thursday is inspired by the popular Food network television program - Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, his mission was to challenge cooks renowned for a specific dish or type of cooking to a cook-off of their signature dish. Both chefs will prepare their own version of the dish and the judges will have blind taste tests to decide the winner. Here at BNF, I plan to recreate some of the restaurants' signature dishes I've tasted and love. The two "judges" for this dish were my hubby and mother-in-law. :-P
October 8, 2014
Some of you might have seen my molten chocolate lava cake recipe a few weeks ago. I've received many positive feedbacks on how their cakes are finally flowing. Two thumbs-up if you are one of them! But alas, I realized not everyone has an oven readily available (i.e my sis) and what happens if you have the sudden urge to have some chocolate cake?? So, I've done some extensive research on substitute for ovens and guess what, the next best baking tool is microwave! Yeah, I'm actually not a big fan of using microwave, it's just not me. I'm more of an oven person (haha, if that makes any sense). But trust me, this recipe works so beautifully using the microwave and best of all, you will be able to savor your mug cake in less than 2 minutes! Although there is no "molten" effect, the end product is moist, gooey and oh-so-mmm. I've given an upgrade to the original recipe by adding in 2 of BNF secret ingredients*!
October 7, 2014
Let's face it, peeling garlic is a pain in the neck. It gets in your finger nails, under your skin and takes forever for them to come apart. The 2nd last thing I want (1st thing is garlic breath) is to have my fingers reeking of garlic. So here is any easy way to peel as many heads of garlic as you want, yet keeping your fingers garlic-smell free! Oh, an added bonus - you could also tone your arms and biceps while doing that.
October 6, 2014
So my MIL (mother-in-law) recently went to a cafe (somewhere in the east) and tasted some clam chowder. We were shocked to hear that she actually liked to it. Okay, a little background on my MIL. She is definitely not big into western food and does not like anything that is creamy or cheesy. I asked her to describe the taste and texture to me and just as I suspected, the thickness of the chowder was not the Soup-Spoon kind (for those who does not know Soup Spoon, they are a soup chain here in Singapore, famed for their thick, rich chunky soups, which I totally love by the way) but rather on the thinner side. Traditionally, clam chowder is made with potatoes, celery, onion and bacon. But for BNF version, I added in carrots and corn (for extra color and taste) and tone down the thickness of the consistency. It has passed my MIL's taste test and I'm a happy DIL! (Daughter-in-law haha!)
October 3, 2014
If you like kimchi, then you MUST like Kimchijeon aka kimchi pancake. There's no reason not to (unless you are gluten intolerant). Jeon in Korean means pancake-like dish primarily made with sliced kimchi, flour batter and sometimes other vegetables. There are many different versions but this easy to make yet delicious recipe is the best (in my opinion). This is a very basic version, feel free to create your own by adding in your favorite vegetables, meat or seafood.
October 1, 2014
My obsession with Korean food possibly began the same time I watched my first K-drama (a decade ago). In most of the K-dramas, besides drooling over the actors (after my hubby, of course :-P), there will always be scenes of them eating galbi, drinking soju under some pojangmacha (tent restaurants) in freezing weather. Recently, there was this drama which featured some Korean fried chicken in a few scenes and soon, a new wave of fried chicken craze was born. Feeling inspired, I've decided to put together a Korean Fried Chicken recipe, using mainly wings. If you are not a wings fan, feel free to use your favorite parts of the chicken.
September 30, 2014
I love limes. Be it the color, the smell, the taste, the health benefits, etc, I just can't get enough of this fruit. Here's why. Although lime is rarely eaten raw, they are used in flavoring savory dishes and desserts. Lime juice enhances the flavor of vegetables and salads without adding fat or too much calories. Win! The high content of vitamin C provides health related benefits too! Double win! They can also be used as a garnish, in the form of a slice or wedge, used in popular alcoholic beverages like margaritas and daiquiris. Lime zest is also used to add flavor in baking.
September 29, 2014
I'm a HUGE Kimchi fan. Be it baechu kimchi, kkakdugi, yeolmu kimchi, etc, I simply got to have it almost everyday. Looking at the amount of $$ I'm spending on kimchi, it makes economical sense for me to make it myself, right? After testing a few recipes, I found this to be the most easy-to-make and yummilicious version. The secret step here is making the flour paste. This step is optional but my Korean friend's mom told me it will bind the spices and absorbs better into the cabbage. Adjust the level of spiciness according to your taste bud.
September 26, 2014
September 25, 2014
They are generally a cross-sectional "ring" of onion dipped in batter or bread crumbs and then deep fried. Some would use onion paste (found in the frozen sections of supermarkets) but I personally think whole onion rings are the way to go. They are easy to make and taste oh-so-good. Dip your onion rings in ketchup or spicy sauces if you prefer. Now who can resist a plate of crispy crunch onion rings? I know I can’t!
September 24, 2014
This is one of the very first risotto dish I've learned 13 years ago. Risotto is a north Italian rice dish cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. Properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite: al dente, and with separate grains. There are many variations of risotto - chicken, seafood, asparagus, etc. But mushroom is my top favorite.
September 23, 2014
I've been getting many queries on measurement conversion - "what is 1/4 tsp equivalent to?", "how many ml is 1 cup?". To be honest, I used to have that problem too. Ever since I've started baking (that's usually when precise measurement comes into place), I've invested in a couple sets of measuring kitchen tools. Okay, maybe more than a couple. A few sets. Life has never been easier and best of all, they are inexpensive (hence, I could afford a few sets) and (seems) to last forever.
September 22, 2014
I've always been a fan of Yoshinoya's beef bowl. To be honest, I prefer the ones they serve in Japan. For those who does not know what is Yoshinoya, it is a fast-serving Japanese Beef Bowl restaurant found wildly in Japan and the restaurant franchise has gone internationally in Southeast Asia. But instead of beef, I'm going to share another version using pork. Buta Don is a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with pork simmered in a mildly sweet sauce. It also often includes onions and a sprinkling of green peas. Buta means "pig" or "pork", and don is short for donburi, the Japanese word for "bowl". The original version uses sliced fatty pork but I'm using pork collar used for shabu shabu.
September 19, 2014
What is olive vegetable? I checked with Wikipedia and sadly, he does not have a definition for it. I remember mom laying out this bottle of black stuff on the table whenever we were having congee and eating it as an accompaniment. That was my acknowledge about it. Fast forward 20 years, I reunited with OV when I was having this wonderful plate of stir-fried french beans with minced meat. The aroma coming from that dish was absolutely heavenly. Don't let the name fool you. It is not made from olive leaves. Rather, it is made with a combination of olives, mustard green leaves, oil and salt marinated for a long time. They are available in any supermarket here and if you are in overseas, any Chinese grocer.
September 17, 2014
Molten chocolate lava cake is a cross between a chocolate cake and soufflé. Other names used are chocolate fondant pudding or chocolate lava cake. Whatever name we like to call it, we can all recognize a MCLC by its signature oozing gooey centre. In this post, I'm going to show you just how easy it is to make this restaurant quality dessert at your own home, even for first-time bakers! You might want to do a test run on this recipe to be sure of the cooking time and the desired consistency. Mine was perfect in 10 minutes. This recipe has been tweaked to serve 2 so feel free to increase the the ingredients accordingly. Oh, another piece of good news. If you want to prepare the cake mixture in advance, you can! Just cover the ramekins with cling wrap and pop it in the fridge. Take them out about 30 minutes before baking.