Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry

For the chicken and marinade:
12 oz. (340 g) boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For the rest of the dish:
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Fresh ground white pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 pound string beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Instructions
Add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken in a bowl, mix well with your hands so the chicken absorbs all the marinade liquid, and set aside.
Prepare the sauce by mixing together ½ cup stock or water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, a pinch of freshly ground white pepper, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
When ready to cook, preheat your wok over medium high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the wok and sear the chicken until it’s just browned. If your wok is as hot as it should be, the chicken should not stick. Turn off the heat while you transfer the chicken to a separate bowl. Leave any oil/fat in the wok.
Add 2 additional tablespoons oil to the wok, and add the string beans in a single layer. Sear the string beans on one side, about 1 minute. Stir-fry the beans for 30 seconds, and then add ¼ cup water to the wok. Cover the wok and allow the green beans to steam for 60-90 seconds (still on medium high heat).
Add the garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Spread the Shaoxing wine around the wok to deglaze it, stir-frying for 15 seconds. Then add the sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer.

Add the chicken back to the wok and stir-fry everything together for another 30 seconds. The cornstarch in the sauce mixture will thicken it. When the sauce is at the consistency you’d like, plate and serve immediately with rice.

Tiny Bok Choy in Vinegar and Oyster Sauce

1 1/2 pounds smallest baby bok choy
4 medium garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Totole chicken powder mixed with 4 tablespoons water or 4 tablespoons chicken broth
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Zhenjiang vinegar
1 tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce

Cut baby bok choy in half vertically, from top to bottom. Rinse and dry well (a salad spinner is good for this).

Heat wok over a high flame and add 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil. When the oil is hot, lower flame and add garlic slices. Stir-fry briefly to soften, but do not brown.

Add bok choy, increase flame, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add the salt and chicken broth and cover pan. Steam for about 1 minute and check doneness. When cooked through but still crisp, plate bok choy.

Mix oyster sauce, vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl or measuring cup and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Drizzle sauce over the bok choy and serve.

Zha Jiang Mian Fried Soy Noodles with Pork

1/2 carrot
1/2 cucumber
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
10.5 oz ground pork, 600g
1 tbsp Shao Hsing rice wine
3 tbsp soybean paste (ground bean or broad bean paste)
1 1/2 tbsp tianmianjiang paste (sweet bean or sweet wheat paste)
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 servings cooked wheat noodles tossed with sesame oil
1 tbsp spring onion, chopped to rounds
3 raw garlic cloves (optional)
3 tbsp roasted peanuts (optional)

Directions:
Wash and slice cucumber into 1/8″ thick matchsticks 2″ long. Wash and peel carrot, then slice into 1/8″ thick matchsticks 2″ long. Boil 3″ water in medium pot. When water boils blanch carrot for 1 min. Remove carrots and let cool. Keep the water in pot for use later to heat up noodles.

Heat wok over medium heat until hot, add 2 tbsp oil. Add in minced garlic and ginger, stir for a few seconds, then add in the pork. Use a spatula to stir, add in rice wine and break up the ground pork as it cooks. After 2 mins or when the pork is completely cooked add in soybean and tianmianjiang pastes, water, sugar, and dark soy sauce. Stir to mix, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 mins or until the sauce thickens and is glossy.

If using fresh noodles warm by heating up the water in the pot again. When water boils add in the noodles for 1- 2 minutes or until warmed and loosened then pour noodles into a strainer. If using dried noodles cook according to the package instructions. Separate cooked noodles equally into noodle bowls. For each bowl of noodles scoop 1/2 cup fried sauce over then add a handful each of cucumber and carrots. Sprinkle spring onion over all. Add raw garlic and peanuts if using. Ready to serve!

Notes: You could add in or substitute the carrots and cucumber with any vegetable you think would tasty good, like mung bean sprouts, soybean sprouts, edamame, radish, or even toss on some thinly sliced dried tofu.

Fried Chili Paste

10 dried red chilies
3 red chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
5 shallots (peeled)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Break dried chilies in half and squeeze out the seeds. Soak in hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Drain.

Blend dried chilies, red chilies, and shallots with ¼ cup (60ml) water until smooth.

Heat vegetable oil in a medium size saucepan over low heat. Add blended chili paste, salt, and sugar. Stir continuously until chili paste darkens and oil separates. This will take about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove and store in a jar.

Sambal Udang (Shrimp Sambal)

4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb shrimps / prawns (peeled and deveined) (450g)
6 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
30 g asam jawa / tamarind paste ** (rinsed)

Spice Paste
6 red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces)
8 dried chilies
6 shallots or 1 medium onion (peeled and cut into small pieces)
2 stalks lemongrass (sliced bottom third into rings)
1 inch lengkuas (peeled and sliced)
3 cloves garlic (peeled)
6 buah keras (candlenut) or macadamias
3/4 inch cube belacan (toasted)

Blend all spice paste ingredients with ? cup (80ml) water until smooth.

Place asam jawa in a small metal strainer over a bowl. Pour 1 cup (240ml) hot water over asam jawa. Stir and press down asam jawa with a spoon to dissolve.

In a medium sized pot, heat vegetable oil. Add ground spice paste and kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant.

Pour strained tamarind juice into the pot. Stir to combine. Place lid on the pot and allow sauce to come to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the lid. Add shrimps (prawns), sugar, and salt. Stir to get all ingredients well mixed.

Place lid back onto the pot and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.

Turn off stove. Dish into a serving bowl.

Stir-Fried Long Beans

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 inch ginger (minced) (30g)
2 red chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
2 tbsp fermented soy beans (drained and minced)
1 tsp sugar
1 lb long beans (cut into 2 inch lengths) (450g)
1/4=cup water (60mL)

Heat a wok or large fry pan. Add vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the wok or fry pan.

Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 20 seconds. Then add red chilies and sauté for another 20 seconds.

Add fermented soy beans and sugar. Continue to stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add prepared long beans and water. Stir fry for another 5 minutes or until long beans are tender and sauce has thicken.

Turn off stove and transfer vegetables to a serving dish.

Char Koay Kak (Fried Rice Cakes)

1 packet rice cake (32 oz/900g)
5 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 oz chai poh / pickled radish, chopped (30g)
2 tsp chili paste
6 oz shrimps (peeled and deveined) (170g)
2 tsp sweet soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
4 oz Chinese chives (cut into 1-inch lengths) (115g)
8 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (225g)

Cut rice cake into 3/4 inch cubes.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in non-stick fry pan. Pan fry cubed rice cakes until lightly brown in color, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat a large wok on the stove. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil when wok is heated. Sauté garlic, chai poh (pickled radish), and chili paste for 30 seconds.

Add shrimps and continue to stir fry for 1 minute.

Then add pan fried rice cubes, sweet soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Create a well in the center of the wok. Crack in the eggs. Stir and toss rice cubes over eggs to get them coated.

Add chives and bean sprouts. Stir for another 30 seconds to one minute.

Remove and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes: Char Koay Kak is best stir fried in small batches. Ingredients may be halved to stir fry two servings at a time

Steamed Rice Cakes

1 1/2 cups rice flour (195g)
1/3 cup corn starch (43g)
4 cups water (960ml)

Combine rice flour, corn flour, and water in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Stir as it comes to a gentle boil. The mixture will begin to thicken to a paste like consistency. This will take about 5 minutes. Turn off stove.

Prepare a steamer. Transfer rice and corn flour paste to a greased bowl or tray. Place the bowl or tray in the steamer and allow it to steam for 1 hour. Top up water in steamer if necessary.8

Remove and allow rice cake to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.

Cut rice cake into 3/4 inch cubes.

Curry Laksa

1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
2 bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed)
3 pandan leaves (shredded and knotted)
12 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (340g)
6 oz beehoon (dried rice vermicelli), soak in warm water for 30 minutes to soften (170g)
12 oz fresh yellow noodles or dried yellow noodles (225g)
8 oz shrimps (peeled and deveined) (225g)
1 can coconut milk (14 oz/400ml)
4 oz deep fried tofu (sliced) (113g)
Salt to taste

Spice Paste
5 shallots (peeled and halved)
3 cloves garlic (peeled, and halved)
3 dried chilies (seeded and soaked in hot water to soften)
1 stalk lemongrass (slice bottom third into rings)
1 1/2 inch ginger (peeled and thickly sliced)
1/2 cup curry powder (50g)

Garnish
1/2 cucumber (julienned)
3 to 4 sprigs mint leaves (stems removed)
1 lime (cut into wedges)
4 to 6 tsp fried chili paste

Blend all spice paste ingredients with ¼ cup (60ml) water until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl. Mix with curry powder to form a thick paste.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir fry spice paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add chicken breasts and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes.

Pour in 6 cups (1.4 liters) water. Add pandan leaves. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, fill a separate pot half full of water. Bring to a boil. Scald bean sprouts for about 20 seconds. Remove with a metal strainer.

Add beehoon (dried rice vermicelli) and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with metal strainer.

Cook fresh yellow noodles in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes and dried yellow noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with metal strainer. Set aside.

Remove chicken breasts from curry soup with tongs. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and discard bones.

Lower shrimps into curry soup with a metal strainer. Allow shrimps to cook for 3 to 4 minutes until shrimps curl and turn pink. Remove and set aside.

Pour coconut milk into soup. Add deep fried tofu and season with salt. Bring it up to a boil and allow coconut milk to heat through. Turn off heat.

Place a portion of noodles, bean sprouts, some shredded chicken, and shrimps in a bowl. Pour curry soup over noodles and vegetables. Garnish with cucumber and mint leaves.

Serve Immediately with fried chili paste and lime wedges.

Fried Loh See Fun (Pin Noodles with Pork and Salty Radish)

6 oz ground pork / minced pork (225g)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 packet rice pin noodles (15oz/425g)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 packet salted spicy radish (3.5oz/100g)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
8 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (225g)
2 green onions (finely sliced)

Combine ground pork with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ground pepper. Set aside.

Place rice pin noodles in a microwavable dish. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and loosen up noodles with a fork. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large fry pan. Add marinated ground pork and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add minced garlic, followed by salted spicy radish. Stir fry for another 2 minutes.

Add prepared rice pin noodles, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and the dark soy sauce. Continue to stir fry until all ingredients are well mixed.

Finally, add bean sprouts and stir fry for 20 to 30 seconds. Turn off the stove.

Transfer to individual plates and sprinkle sliced green onions on the top. Serve immediately.

Pin Noodles with Chicken and Sprouts

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 scallion, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch-long pieces
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 pound fresh silver pin noodles
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
6 tablespoons thin soy sauce
Fresh ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over high heat, and stir-fry a third of the scallions until wilted, about 1 minute.

Add a third of the chicken and continue to stir-fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Add a third of the noodles and continue to stir-fry until the noodles are heated through and softened, about 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the mung bean sprouts, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, and season with pepper to taste. Toss, cook for 1 minute, divide into 2 servings, and serve hot.

Repeat twice more, splitting each batch into 2 servings.

Stir-Fried Mee Tai Mak (Pin Noodles with Shrimp and Pork)

1 lb mee thai mak noodle/ Vietnamese Ban Bot Loc noodles
3 Tbsp cooking oil
8 oz large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 oz minced pork marinade with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, pinch of sugar
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
3 to 4 small bunches of yu choy/A choy/Choy Sum trim large stalks into smaller pieces

SEASONINGS:
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

GARNISHES
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Fried shallots crisp optional

The noodles are hard when it is cold or refrigerated but will soften when heated. Briefly blanch the noodles in a boiling water for about 1 minute or you can just microwave them for 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

Heat up the wok/skillet with oil. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink and cooked through. Dish out. Add garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds. Add the minced pork and stir fry and kinda break them apart and cook until they just turn color, about 2 minutes.

Push the meat to the side and break in two eggs and let them cook for about 1 minute before breaking them up lightly with a spatula.

Add the vegetables and stir fry until they are started to wilt but still has that fresh green colors.

Add the rice pin noodles and seasonings and continue to stir-fry for another minute or so until the noodles pick up the dark brown color from the seasonings. Add the shrimp back in and stir everything to mix.

Have a taste and add soy sauce if needed. Turn off heat. Garnish with some chopped green onion and fried shallots crisp and served immediately.

Perfect Dumpling Sauce

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 tablespoon hot water. Then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Stir to combine.

Serve with freshly cooked dumplings.

Lychee Jam

24oz lychee,* peeled and deseeded, 700g
12oz sugar,* 350g, 1 3/4 cup
20-30 lemon or lime seeds
1 lime

Peel and deseed the lychee. Blend in food processor until mostly liquid, some small pieces of lychee left are okay. Put in medium sized pot along with sugar. Squeeze juice of one lime in. Put lemon/lime seeds and the squeezed lime into small linen bag, tie and add to pot. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 mins or until the temperature reaches 220°F or the jam passed the jam readiness test as detailed in the post above.

Once jam is ready, remove from heat, remove the bag of seeds, squeezing out any jam, and let cool to room temperature. Pour cooled jam into sterilized jar and keep in fridge. Use within 2-3 weeks. Enjoy!

*Note: However much fruit you use is up to you, just remember that the fruit:sugar ratio should be 2:1 by weight.
**Note: Save your lemon and lime seeds whenever you use your lemons and limes, and store them in the freezer for later use.

Five-Spice Kumquat Jam

1 lb kumquats, around 30-40 kumquats (450g)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300g)
2 cups water
pinch salt
1/4 tsp five spice powder

Prepare clean and dry jars.

Place 3 metal spoons in your freezer, for the jam set test you will do later.

Wash kumquats. Slice kumquats thinly, removing and reserving the seeds. Tie seeds in a piece of cheesecloth. Add kumquats, sugar, water, salt and seed bag to small pot, bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and cook for 15-25 mins until temperature reaches 220°F (104°C) and the mixture seems quite thick. Add in five spice and stir to incorporate.

Test if jam is set enough with the frozen spoon test:

Use your prepared chilled spoon from freezer, dribble some jam on the back of spoon. Careful here, the jam is hot, hot! Once it cools, drag one finger through the jam on spoon. If your finger leaves a clear clean line through the jam, then the jam is ready. If not yet ready, cook for another few minutes and test again with another chilled spoon.

Once your jam is set, pour into your prepared jars and let cool completely. Keep in the fridge and eat up within 2 weeks, though, if you’re like me, you’ll be more in the fridge than out of it until the jammy jar is licked clean as a bean.

Durian Ice Cream

3/4 cup durian pulp
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks

Mash the durian pulp through a mesh strainer to remove the strings.

In a small pan, stir the milk, cream and sugar and heat until hot but not boiling and the sugar is all melted.

In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks.

Pour a tiny bit of the hot milk/cream in to the eggs, stirring constantly. Add more hot milk mixture a little at a time, remembering to stir constantly, until half the mixture is in the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the hot milk/cream/sugar and stir. Heat over low heat, again stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Stir in durian juice and let the mixture cool down. Chill in fridge to prepare for making with your ice cream machine.

Lychee Ice Cream

2 cups (14 oz) fresh lychee peeled and deseeded, 380g
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt

Wash, peel and deseed lychee. Puree the lychee in blender or food processor.

Stir cream and lychee together.

In a small pot, add in milk, condensed milk and heat over low heat until just steaming.

In separate bowl whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt.

Pour heated milk into egg mixture, 1-2 tbsp at a time, stirring constantly while pouring.

Pour egg/milk mixture back into the pot. Heat over low to medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat, then stir in the lychee cream mixture. Let cool completely.

To make ice cream follow the instructions of your ice cream maker.

Tea Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup raw sugar
pinch salt
3-6 egg yolks (the more egg yolks the creamier)
6 Pu-erh teabags (or the equivalent amount of your favorite tea)

In a small pot heat cream and milk over low heat until steam rises. Remove from heat, add in tea bags (with paper tags removed) and cover. Let sit for 10 mins or more until the tea flavor is fully released into the milk. Squeeze liquid from tea bags and remove. Return milk mixture to heat and heat again til the steam rises. Remove from heat.

Mix egg yolks and sugar in bowl. Add in milk mixture little by little, stirring after each addition. Pour the milk egg mixture back into the pot and heat over low heat until the mixture thickens into a custard. To check if custard is formed, dip spoon in mixture and run finger over the mixture coating the back of the spoon. If the line your finger makes on the spoon holds clean then your custard is done. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Let the custard cool to room temperature by placing in a bowl of iced water.

Make ice cream according to the instructions of your ice cream maker. Or if you don’t have a machine you can do it by hand like we do. Cover the cooled custard and place in freezer. Wait about an hour and half and then check. You should see ice crystals starting to form at the sides of the custard. Stir up the custard completely, breaking up the crystals as much as possible. Repeat this procedure of freezing and then stirring up for a 2-3 hours until the custard has an even texture like soft serve ice cream. At this point the ice cream should be left to freeze over night.

To serve bring ice cream out 5 mins ahead of time to let it soften. Scoop and enjoy!

Black Sesame Ice Cream

1 2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
6 tbsp sesame paste* (see recipe below)
1 cup cream
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tbsp roasted black sesame seeds

Heat milk in pot until simmering. Remove from heat. In bowl, whisk egg yolk and sugar, then add maple syrup, black sesame paste and mix. Slowly add the milk, stirring the whole time. Pour all back into the pot and heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the pot bottom, until the mixture is thick enough to cling to the back of your spoon. Take off heat. Let cool.

Whisk cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add whisked cream and roasted sesame seeds to the cooled custard and fold to mix.

Cool mixture in refrigerator and then use your ice cream machine to make ice cream or if you don’t have ice cream maker then cover your ice cream mixture with cling wrap and put in freezer. After 20 minutes, take out and stir vigorously. Put back in freezer. Repeat every half hour for three hours, making sure to break up any ice crystals that form. After three hours the ice cream will be in a soft serve state. You can enjoy it then, or if you like it harder, just pack into your ice cream container and freeze for a couple hours more before eating. For serving take out of freezer 5 mins before scooping. Sprinkle on some roasted whole black sesame seeds for visual effect and crunch.

Black Sesame Paste*
3 1/2 tbsp black sesame seeds
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Directions:
Roast sesame seeds in cast iron or non stick pan over medium heat. Stir until the seeds pop and smell fragrant. Let cool, set aside 1 tbsp and grind the rest in coffee or spice grinder until fine and mixture is moist. Remove ground sesame to a bowl and add the honey and stir.