Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What's Cooking In My Kitchen?

"What have you been doing, besides running, cooking and knitting*?" is a regular question thrown at me.

*it's not knitting, by the way. it's crochet. i use a crochet hook, not knitting needles. :)

I'm a bum, really, sad to say. I get lots of sleep, so that's a good thing. I can run at any time of the day before dinner, that's another good thing. :D

I enjoy cooking the most. Almost every dinner (well, there are some lousy ones, too) is a proud masterpiece and I'm not sure if it's due to the influence of watching Masterchef Australia but yes, I take pride in most of the meals. The other half is obliged to go "Oooh..." when dinner is served and nod his head (in yummy delight) at first taste - if it's good. :P

And because July was Ramadhan month for the Muslims, I didn't share most of my food photos online out of respect. This blog post is NOT to showcase my culinary skills (puh-leese!) but these food photos need to go somewhere or it would be a waste of my photographic skills, hah! Just kidding.

1. Braised Vegemite Chicken.
I cooked it during the first week I was here and cooked it again a few days ago. Not my best dish, but it's one which I can cook without referring to the recipe. Honey, vegemite and oyster sauce are the 3 main ingredients.

Note: Best served with rice. 
(Ooops, I can't find the recipe link anymore. Sorry!)

2. Chicken Feet, soup or stewed.
I love chicken feet and thank goodness YB eats it too. I know some people who  don't eat it, because when I was describing to my dad in my email (with pride) about the dishes I cooked, he went, "Euws yuck! Chicken feet is not delicious lah!"

A childhood favourite!

Chicken feet with peanut soup is easy. Just keep them boiling. :)

Stewed chicken feet is pretty easy, too. I just follow this recipe here and I got it right the 2nd attempt - it basically needed more time stewing over the hob. Mmm. And rice wine does add that extra kick.

Add some chopped chilli, if you want!

Note: Stewed chicken feet is best served with rice or porridge.

3. Korean influenced glass noodles, Jap Chae.
Well, I accidentally bought glass noodles instead of rice vermicelli so I had to come up with something for dinner. Browsed the internet quick and came across this recipe and this one, and made do with what I had.

Ok, I lied. I deliberately bought a packet of black fungus to complement the dish. :P

No meat, though.

The only thing missing was a bit more greens.

The next time I cooked Jap Chae, it was to be used as contents for my fried spring rolls. And it was a LOT of spring rolls - which turned out to be our main course for dinner that night!

4. Not really aglio olio spaghetti.
Aah, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. Stick to aglio olio if you can, or add a twist of bechemel sauce if you want to be adventurous, but it doesn't add much taste to the spaghetti.

Note: If you don't like using canned paste/sauce, do it your way!

5. Roti Jala ('net bread' as it is known in Singapore) and Chicken Curry.
It was the Raya weekend (8-9th August 2013) and I simply HAD to have a go at making something Raya-ish. I have been wanting to make roti jala for AGES and finally, I forced myself to just get down to it and it was fun!

The chicken curry was a sad thing, though. I used Brahim's Kuah Kari Ayam paste and it wasn't good enough for me. It wasn't spicy enough! Or perhaps I added too much water. Chucking in some cilipadi (bird's eye chilli) didn't help either.

Pretend not to notice that errant piece of chopped
chilli on the chicken, ya.

Don't they look awesome? I think I left them too long on the pan instead of the required 30 seconds.

I don't remember the recipe I followed but I jotted down something like this: 1 egg, 125ml of milk (or coconut milk), 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 100gm of flour (3/4 cups). Combine egg and milk, sift flour and salt and whisk until incorporated and turns into a thin batter. Strain through a sieve. Pour into your bottle/container and give yourself 30 secs of free form drawing on the frying pan.

As the jala strainer is not available here, I used the mayo bottle from Daiso as the alternative most commonly used. Spent AUD$2.80 for it and it's sitting in my drawer after its debut.

6. Couscous.
Prior to this, I've never cooked couscous before. I accidentally cooked too much so we had enough for the next day. I love how it goes well with fish!

We were stuffed!

The hubby 'designed' the presentation.

Roasted the bell pepper directly over the hob for a while before putting the couscous into it.

Note: Best way to diet is to have couscous to replace your rice or noodles. It fills you up very quickly, so a small serving of couscous will suffice. :)

7. Fried Pumpkin Cakes.
I love pumpkin. What I don't like is removing the skin because it is so tough! I don't want to cook the entire thing and then remove the skin, because it's too much to consume for a meal.

Using this recipe as a guide, I added chopped basil and shredded parmesan to my grated pumpkin. Mine didn't turn out crispy due to cheese, perhaps, as they tasted doughy like 'cekodok'. Loved them, anyway!

Note: You will still need to have a side dish of vegetables to go with that for sufficient fibre intake!

8. Mashed Pumpkin.
Oh what else could I do with the pumpkin? I love mashed pumpkin, anyway! (But you may have already known it previously.)

Added some chopped almonds for a bit of crunch. (I forgot to bring my pestle over, I kinda miss it right now!)

Note: Don't forget that other plate of vegetables to go with it. ;)

9. All kinds of soup.
It's funny how I usually cooked Western-influenced dishes back in KL but now that I'm here in Melbourne, I'm more inclined to Chinese/Asian cooking.

Similarly like how we grew up, both YB and my mum would always have a bowl of soup as one of the dishes during the meal. Sticking to what I know, I've cooked chicken feet with peanut soup, yoke choy soup (herbs with chicken soup), sweet corn with white fungus soup, ABC soup, ... and recently the Borlotti bean soup.

I was so excited to see these fuchsia speckled beans on sale at the market the other day. I asked YB if he had them before and he said no. 

I'm sorry to say that once it's cooked, they are not very photogenic so I'm afraid I have no picture to show you. (The soup looked like ash water!)

Well, there are more food photos to come but I don't think you want any more of your time wasted, nor do you want to feel hungry after looking at the food photos (like how I am feeling right now). See ya!


  1. I love chicken but chicken feet scares the bejeezus outta me!

    1. don't look at their nails laaaa. those creep me out, too! LOL

  2. I like chicken feet too... u can make it a into a soup, or just deep fried it, still yummy!!! But need to clip their nails first.... LOL! Cheers...

    1. yeah, it's their nails which are gross! i've never deep fried them before - i'll probably need a wok and a kitchen outside the house to goreng-goreng properly!