Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spicy Lamb Chops

9 pieces lamb chops

1 clove garlic
1 hot chili
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-tablespoon light soya
salt, pepper
1 piece lime zest and juice
1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves

For the Sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 hot chilies, chopped
2 shallots clean and chopped
½ tablespoon chopped ginger
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons light soya
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 cup lamb stock
salt, pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
1-tablespoon coriander leaves
1 teaspoon corn starch dilute in 3 tablespoons cold water (optional)
1 teaspoon hard butter

About the image above: spicy lamb racks (chops) ready to serve

For the marinade: in a grinder or mortar, grind the garlic and chilies finely. Transfer to a clean medium bowl and combine with soya, salt, pepper, oil, lime zest, lime juice and mint leaves. Marinate the lamb racks at least 6 hours or half a day in airtight bag in the fridge. Place the lamb racks in a baking tray and roast in a preheat oven. Slice the rack into chops when serve. Drizzle with lots of sauce.

For the sauce: using a grinder or mortar, turn the garlic, chilies, shallots and ginger to a fine paste. Place a saucepan into medium high heat and place some oil to sauté the garlic, chilies, and shallots. Sauté it until really fragrant and add some lamb stock just enough, around 3/4 cup and reduce until remain 1/2 cup. Thicken with some cornstarch diluted in cold water (this is optional if needed). Check the seasoning and monter with hard butter just before serving; add in the chopped herb at last. Makes 3 servings.

Helpful hints: for better result, prepare and marinate the lamb chops at least half a day before cooking, to allow the marinade really go into the meat and give amazing flavor.  You can grill, pan-fry or oven-bake the lamb chops, is up to your preference. Serve with rice or a mashed potato is the best way.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wok-fried Black Peppered Beef

2 kilograms beef tenderloin
1-deciliter chicken stock
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
corn starch diluted in cold water

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons black pepper powder
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soya
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons corn starch

About the image above: wok-fried black peppered beef served in banana cup
with lime-pepper dip and crisp-fried vegetables served at Le Grand Restaurant, 
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Cambodia, 2008-2011

Seasonings during cooking
2 tablespoons Chinese wine
1 tablespoons dark soya
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 -2 teaspoons garlic oil

Lime-Pepper Dip
1 teaspoon of fine-grounded black pepper
2-3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
dash of salt to taste

For the lime-pepper dip: combine all of the ingredients and stir to dilute the salt and serve in small dip cup.

For the beef: in a clean bowl, marinate the beef cube at least for half hour. By using a wok, prepare some oil into it; set over high heat and quickly fry the beef into rare and keep aside. Clean the wok and place over medium-high heat, with a little oil, sauté garlic, add beef and stir-fry with Chinese wine, seasonings and sauces and some stock. Allow it to reduce until reach the consistency or thicken with some corn flour otherwise.

About the image above: if you do not eat beef, you can replace the beef to chicken; black peppered chicken served in rice pepper cup with lime pepper dip, served at Wok Pan Asian Fusion Restaurant, InterContinental The Grand Mumbai, India, 2004-2006

To assemble: arrange the crispy vegetable nicely and place the beef on a crispy rice paper cup or banana cup or bowl. Garnish with fried soba noodles and fresh herb or other things that you wish to make you appetite better. To serve, place the black pepper dip (optional) in a small bowl. Makes 10-12 servings!

Helpful hints: The origin of this recipe is from Vietnam then Cambodia. The traditional name of the dish is ‘Saich Ko Loc Lak meaning ‘beef cube’ or stir-fried cube beef loin marinated in spices, served in rice paper cup with lime dip and deep-fried crispy vegetables. This tasty and exotic will serve with steamed jasmine rice, salad and condiments. Wok-fried is the best way to prepare fresh food in very limited times. Good for family gathering, party or even simply for your quick lunch or dinner.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kaffir Lime Chicken

600-800 grams chicken, boneless and cube
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

For the ground spice
12 pieces shallots
3-5 cloves garlic
4-6 dried chili, soaked in water and seeded
3-6 fresh chilies (or depend on your preference of the spiciness)
 ½ centimeters fresh young turmeric
salt to taste

About the image above: kaffir lime chicken served at Wok Restaurant in Mumbai, India

Herb and spices
1 stalk lemongrass, clean and crushed only the white part
1 piece thumb size fresh galangal, clean and sliced
10 pieces kaffir lime leaves, wash and cut
1½ pieces tamarind round (assam keping)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ large coconut grated and makes coconut milk or half cup of coconut milk ready to use

Heat a cooking pan to medium high heat and add the cooking oil to sauté the grounded spices. Keep sauté until the spices reach half cook and add the chicken pieces and half of the coconut milk, stir for a minutes.

Add the remaining coconut milk, tamarind, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. Season the chicken with salt to taste, cover the pot and turn to slow cooking. Stirring once in a while and simmer until the chicken cooked and tender. Makes 4 servings

Helpful Hints: the best way to serve this kaffir lime chicken is with warm steamed rice, fried shallot should sprinkled over the rice. Serve as a dish together with salad, noodles and stir-fry in a family gathering or small party. The taste of the lime and kaffir lime leaves very refreshing combined with the lemongrass and coconut milk, will leave unforgettable taste in your mouth.The taste will be more delighted when fresh coconut milk is in used.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Salt 'n Pepper


Freshly ground Szechuan pepper
Chopped garlic
Chinese cooking wine
Potato starch
Oil for deep-frying

To serve
2 pieces cone shape pastry made of spring roll wrapper


Vegetarian (baby corn, tricolor capsicums, fresh button mushrooms)

Non-vegetarian (120 grams chicken or 120 grams prawns)
For the prawns, need to add some lime juice


3 tablespoons of Szechuan sauce

Salt ‘n Pepper Mixture

1 tablespoon fine crushed of roasted Szechuan pepper

1 ½ tablespoons fine salt

About the image above: salt ‘n pepper prawns

To prepare the salt and pepper mixture: roast the Szechuan pepper and dry fry in the wok together with the table salt until really dry and keep aside.

To prepare the ingredients:  cut the ingredients (vegetarian or non vegetarian) into strips. Season with the above seasonings and deep-fry until really crisp. Then quickly toss in a bowl with some salt ‘n pepper mixture above.

To assemble: take an oval plate and place crispy noodle basket and fill with the crispy salt ‘n pepper ingredients. Serve with the sauce, and garnish with the capsicums, roasted black sesame seeds and fresh herb or any preferences you want. Serve while hot immediately.  Make 1 serving

About the image above: cropped salt ‘n pepper prawns

Szechuan Sauce
Make about 2/3 cup

1 tablespoons Chinese wine
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
1 teaspoon garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dry crushed Szechuan chili pepper
½ cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch diluted in 2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon garlic oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
oil to sauté

Sauté the chopped ginger and garlic and add red pepper. Deglaze with Chinese wine, add chili paste, soy sauce, oyster sauce and stock. Bring to the boil and thicken with cornstarch diluted in cold water. Finish with the oils and seasonings

Helpful Hints: the salt ‘n pepper style is good to accompany your evening drinks or snack or for starter while waiting for soup or main meals. Hint of crispy fried prawns, chicken, lamb or vegetables gently sprinkle with either cornstarch or potato starch then deep-fry in hot oil to make golden brown crisp color. Sprinkle with salt and Szechuan pepper powder, to convert the salt ‘n pepper taste. Serve the dish immediately after it cooked or otherwise with not be crispy as it is.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Super Chef Diary: Lemongrass-Garlic Marinated Prawns

Super Chef Diary: Lemongrass-Garlic Marinated Prawns: 12 pieces clean medium prawns 2 lemongrass sticks to skewer the prawns Sauce of the Prawns 1 tablespoon light Japanese (probably Kikkoman) ...

Lemongrass-Garlic Marinated Prawns

12 pieces clean medium prawns
2 lemongrass sticks to skewer the prawns

Sauce of the Prawns
1 tablespoon light Japanese (probably Kikkoman) soya sauce
1 teaspoon sweet mirin wine
1 teaspoon sake wine
½ teaspoon chopped chilies
1 tablespoon hard butter
1 teaspoon corn starch diluted in 2 tablespoons cold water to thicken

About the image above: Lemongrass-garlic prawns ready to serve

Marinade for prawns
1½ tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass, only the white and soft part of the lemongrass
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon chopped green chilies
½ tablespoon sake
½ teaspoon sweet mirin wine
salt to taste
½ tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon lime juice

For the marinade: combine the ingredients and keep aside until needed

For the prawns: marinate the prawns in the marinade at least for 5-10 minutes before putting into lemongrass sticks. Slowly skewer the prawns with the lemongrass stick skewers, 2 prawns in each stick. Heat a pan and seared the prawns to make sure the prawns are cooked to both sides.

For the sauce: sauté the ingredients for the sauce and deglaze with the wines. Add in the japans light soya sauce. Bring to the boil; thicken a bit with a teaspoon of corn starch diluted in cold water. Finish the sauce with some hard butter; to make smooth texture of soya butter sauce.

To assemble: serve the stir-fried prawns with some more sauce if needed. Makes 2 servings

About the image above: cropped of the lemongrass-garlic prawns

Helpful Hints: the marinade of the prawns in exotic chopped lemongrass, ginger, chilies and combine with drop of sake rice with, sweet mirin wine, then give a little sourness taste from the fresh lime juice; make the prawns release their aroma while cooking. The lemongrass sticks make the prawns presentation and shape more fresh looks and delightful. Tasty spiced soya butter will make this prawn dish really “exotic”.

Use only fresh prawns, peeled and put into lemongrass skewers before add the marinade into the prawns. Keep in the marinade at least for 5 minutes to make sure the dry sake wine and the sweetness of the sweet mirin wine absorb to the prawns.

You also can replace the prawns with any fresh seafood; lobster, any fishes, cockles, squids, octopus, eels, etc. the best way to cook is either sear, pan-fry or grill to make sure the marinade will not disappear while cooking.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Super Chef Diary: Crisp-fried Spring Rolls

Super Chef Diary: Crisp-fried Spring Rolls: 6 pieces spring roll wrappers oil to fry 2 small cups sweet and sour sauce to accompany (about 3-4 tablespoons) 4 tablespoons vegetable pick...

Crisp-fried Spring Rolls

6 pieces spring roll wrappers
oil to fry
2 small cups sweet and sour sauce to accompany (about 3-4 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons vegetable pickles to serve

For the filling
¼ cup minced prawns
¼ cup minced chicken
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup julienne fresh shitake mushrooms
¼ cup julienne bamboo shoots
¼ cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup chopped water chestnuts
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped chilies
salt to taste
 pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soya sauce
2 tablespoons chinese wine
½ teaspoon sesame seed oil
corn flour to thicken

Notes for Vegetarian: to not include prawns and chicken. Oyster sauce should replace to mushroom soya

For the filling: heat a wok and sauté the chicken and prawn until cook and keep aside on a small strainer. Clean the wok and reheats again, with some oil sauté the garlic and chilies, followed by the vegetables and add the sautéed minced chicken and prawns.

About the image above: deep-fried spring rolls ready to serve.

Deglaze with Chinese wine and add the seasonings. Thicken with corn flour diluted in cold water and add to finish the sequence with some sesame oil. Keep aside to cool.

To wrap the spring rolls: take one spring roll sheet and filled with the stuffing ingredients and roll up into roll size. Seal the end with egg yolk and corn flour. Repeat this method until all the sheets are filled. Keep aside in the fridge until needed.

To cook the spring rolls: in a medium wok or deep-fryer, cook the spring rolls as needed until golden brown. Keep aside and place on a kitchen paper town to get rid of the oil excess.

To assemble: serve the spring rolls on a plate with sauce.

About the image above: spring rolls

Helpful Hints: the spring rolls are one of the most favorites snack dish in all over Asian countries. Many styles and presentation can be introduced. Fresh spring roll skins or rice paper wrapper might be used but since the manufactured spring roll wrapper is available now in the grocery stores, is easier to find and also the self life can be longer. Spring rolls can be served in plate as snacks, starter or during tea meal. Usually also served with sweet and sour sauce, tomato sauce, chili sauce, plum sauce, curry sauce, peanut sauce or any ready sauce as you wish. For the condiments most Asian accompany with young green chilies, or cut chilies, sliced cucumber or pickled vegetables. The filling of the spring rolls might be varying as of you like or is depending on your creation. Sometime with sliced chicken, minced chicken, prawns, crabmeat, mushrooms, pork meat, or mixed julienne vegetables, or any fillings. It is served either fresh or deep-fry. Many names given to this amazing “spring roll” as of Lumpiang, Lumpia, Pohpiah, Po Pia. And peoples are served in different style with some pickles, green chilies or fresh spring onion.