Chicken and Mushroom Ramen

chicken-mushroom-ramen-soup-1

chicken-mushroom-ramen-soup-2

I am really happy with today’s photo. It is beautiful!

I made this chicken and baby shiitake mushroom broth to go with some fresh ramen. It is a ramen soup my parent love to cook. When I was child, every time mom was making a chicken soup like this, you could smell it far away. Heavenly! However, Chicken nowadays is not as fragrant as the old times. Every now and then, that delicious childhood memory triggered my cravings for mom’s chicken soup. I am always on the hunt of the good old chicken. I found this free range corn fed chicken, which has yellow skin and fat. I was a little excited. This looks like “the chicken”. Oh, yes! The soup did smell heavenly while it was cooking. It tasted heavenly, too!

Ingredients:

Corn fed free range chicken (half, about 1.5 kg), baby shiitake mushroom (200 g), water, fresh ginger (100 g), spring onion (2), white pepper corn (1 tablespoon), sichuan pepper corn (1 tablespoon), dried chilli (4), bay leaf (3) and salt.

What to do:

  1. Place chicken and cold water (enough to cover the meat) in a pot, and bring to boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then transfer the meat into a clay pot, then tip the water into the sink.
  2. Top up the clay pot with some fresh boiling water (enough to cover the meat). Bring it to boil and the turn the heat down to low, let it simmer. Add baby shiitake mushroom, fresh ginger, white pepper corn, sichuan pepper corn, dried chilli, bay leaf. Season with salt to taste and simmer until the meat is falling off the bone. (Note: use a metal mesh spice container to hold pepper corns and sichuan pepper corns together, so it is not everywhere in the broth)
  3. When soup is down, cook some fresh ramen according to its packet instruction. Serve with the above chicken broth.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

I am always looking for new ways to cook seafoods. Bouillabaisse is a French seafood soup recipe which is great to dip some bread in.

Ingredients:

Prawns (a dozen), baby calamari (half dozen), pot-ready mussels (a dozen), olive oil (1 teaspoon), 1 small fennel bulb (thinly sliced), leek (1, dhopped), celery (2 sticks) garlic (1, minced), chilli flasks (1/2 teaspoon), fresh thyme (2 sprigs), dry white wine (1/2 cup), chicken stock (1 cup), diced tomato (1 can, 400g), fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel , leek, celery and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, chilli flasks, thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to the boil.
  2. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. add mussels and simmer, cover for 5 minutesor until mussels have opened (discard any that do no open). Using a slotted spoon, remove mussels and transfer to a bowl. Add baby calamari and prawns to the pan and simmer until cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with toasted French bread.

Stir-Fry of Mixed Mushrooms

mixed mushrooms 1

mixed mushrooms 2

Last time we went out for Chinese, I ordered a mixed mushroom as a vegetarian dish. It was lovely! You can really tell the subtle difference of each kind of mushroom, and yet they all work together perfectly. Simple but delicious. My kind of recipe! I have got to try it at home. The outcome was just like the one I had at the restaurant. It is not hard, everyone can do it.

Ingredients:

oyster mushroom (60 g, break into small pieces), king oyster mushroom (60 g, sliced), shitaki mushroom (60 g, sliced), fresh enoki mushroom (60 g, break into small pieces), straw mushroom (60g, halved), dried fungus (10, soak in hot water 30 minutes before cooking), bok choy (6, sliced), garlic(2 cloves, sliced), ginger (same size as 2 cloves of garlic, sliced), spring onion (2, sliced and save the green part for garnish), dried chilli (1, sliced), canola oil (1 tablespoon), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), corn flour (1/2 tablespoon), water (1 and 1/2 tablespoon), salt, pepper.

What to do:

  1. Pre-soak dried fungus in hot water 30 minutes before cooking. Once it is expanded and became soft, break it into small pieces by hand.
  2. Slice garlic, ginger and spring onion. Save green part of spring onion for garnish. Seed and slice dried chilly. Break oyster mushroom and enoki mushroom into smaller pieces by hand. Slice shitaki, king oyster and straw mushrooms.
  3. In a wok, heat canola and sesame oil at low heat. Add sliced garlic, ginger, spring onion and dried chilli, cook until fragrant. Add the mixed mushrooms, cook untill soften. Then add bok choy and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the corn flour water (mix 1/2 table corn flour and 1 1/2 tablespoon water together), cook until the corn flour water thicken.
  5. Garnish with green onion, and serve as a side.

Spaghetti Meatballs

meatball pasta

meatball pasta 2

Original plan was to buy some mince and make a bolognese pasta. Then I saw these lovely Italian meatballs. I immediately changed my mind and wanted to make something different this weekend. Believe or not, this is my first time making a meatball pasta. This recipe is from my cookbook The Family Kitchen Italian. I have to say I love the sauce. It is packed with lots of flavour. Of course the original recipe included ingredients to make meatballs from scratch. Given I have bought some ready to go ones, I will only share exactly how I made this pasta.

Ingredients: (serves 5-6)

Spaghetti (500 g), Italian meatballs (500 g), brown onion (1, diced), Italian whole tomato (2 cans), basil (half bunch), garlic (2 cloves, minced), fresh red chilli (half, finely chopped), caramelised balsamic vinegar (2 tablespoons), olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, into a frying pan heat generous amount of olive oil over medium heat, brown all the meatballs, set aside.
  3. In another frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped brown onion, garlic and chilli, and fry until fragrant. Then add canned tomato, basil, caramelised balsamic vinegar and the meatball, let the sauce simmer until the meat balls are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan.

Paella

Paella 1

Paella 2

Paella 3

Paella 4

Finally, it is the weekend. I was in Sydney pretty much the whole week. My work seems to get busier and busier. I am feeling burnt out. This weekend no work, just relax and do some cooking. It is good to recharge with some sleep and yummy food.

Ingredients:

Short grain rice (2 cups), Chorizo (2, about 200 g, sliced), prawns cutlets (a dozen), baby octopus (a dozen), chicken drumsticks (half dozen), Spanish onion (1), red capsicum (1, chopped), garlic (4 cloves, minced), canned whole tomato (1 can), smoky paprika (2 tablespoon), saffron (2 pinches), fresh coriander (1/4 cup, chopped), water (4 cups), olive oil (1/4 cup).

What to do:

  1. Marinate the Saffron 1 / 2 cup of water.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the chicken drumsticks and slices of Chorizo, and then add Spanish onion, red capsicum and garlic. Saute until the veggies starts to caramelise.
  3. Add rice and smoky paprika, and fry for a minute.
  4. Add canned tomato and cook for 1-2 minute.
  5. Add water and saffron with the water (you may adjust the amount of water to make sure everything is submerged), bring to simmer.
  6. Reduce heat, cook until chicken is cooked. Add seafood, cover with a lid and cook until seafood is cooked but tender (about 2-3 minutes).
  7. Serve with chopped fresh coriander.

Gourmet Lemon Chicken Wings

gourmet lemon chicken wings

Lemon and thyme is now my favourite flavour combination. It goes very well with chicken. Ian named today’s recipe as gourmet lemon chicken wings. After a long break I find it is hard to get back on track. I think it is time to bring gourmet food back on our dinner table and my blog.

Ingredients: chicken wings (20 pieces), lemon (1), fresh thyme (8 sprigs), fresh rosemary (2 sprigs), white pepper and sea salt, baby potatoes (10, cut into wedges), cherry tomatoes (8, half).

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
  2. Rub sea salt and white pepper all over the chicken wings.
  3. Arrange potatoes wedges, cherry tomatoes, chicken wings in a baking dish.
  4. Place some fresh thyme, rosemary and sliced lemon on the top.
  5. Place it in the oven and roast until potatoes and chicken wings are cooked  with a crispy skin.

Tuna Pasta

Tuna Pasta

Ingredients:

pasta (250 g), celery (100 g, chopped), green capsicum (1, sliced), spanish onion (1, sliced), olives (1/2 cup), sundried tomato (1/2 cup), canned tuna (1 can, 100g), canned tomato (1 can, 250 g), coriander (1/4 cup, chopped), canola oil (2 tablespoons).

What to do:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, into a frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat, caramelise green capsicum and spanish onion individually, set aside.
  3. In the same pan, use the rest of canola oil cook celery for 3 minutes. Add canned tomato, olives, sundried tomato and canned tuna, and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Then add cooked pasta and caramelised capsicum, onion and chopped coriander, toss to combine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve while warm.

Lamb Chops

lamb chops 1

Lamb chops with veggies is a perfect week day dinner option. Who doesn’t like that? I think I start to get hang of cooking medium rare lamb. Grill has to be hot and meat has to be at room temperature. When you touch the meat with your finger tips it should feel not too firm and not too soft. You will get hang of it eventually…

Ingredients: (serves 4)

Lamb chops ( 1100 g), seasoning: cumin powder : chilli powder : salt (3:1:1)

veggies: broccoli (1, break into small pieces), mushroom (200 g, sliced), carrot (1, sliced), garlic infused olive oil (1 tablespoon), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Take the lamb chops out of fridge half hour before cooking and let it warm up to room temperature.
  2. Cook lamb chops on a hot grill until medium rare, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Blanch all the veggie and make sure broccoli and carrots are still crunchy, drain and then dress the veggies with garlic infused olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Season lamb chops with cumin, chilli and salt mixture. Ready to serve!

One lovely blog award

Thank you very much My Uni Kitchen and ten times tea for nominating me for one lovely blog award! The rules of receiving this award means I have to share 7 things about myself and to also nominate 15 other bloggers I think deserves this award.

So, 7 things about me:

1. I just got married recently. Before our wedding, I was worried that I haven’t done enough preparation for our wedding and it might be too simple. But when the day came, it was perfect and beautiful.

2. I love buying beautiful dresses. However, people don’t really dress up at work. For a long time, I have tried to not stand out too much and never wore any of them. Recently, I decided to take my mom’s advice on board and start wearing my dresses. Mom said, “Right at the moment you are young and beautiful. If you don’t make the most out of it, when you get older those dresses will never look the same on you.” I think she is right. I bought them and I will wear them!

3. Once, I saw a microorganism in my cancer cell culturing flask. It killed cancer cells around itself and created a big clean circle around it. At the time, I didn’t realise it could be  a potential cure for cancer (or a toxin). I put it in a bin and decontaminated it. I haven’t been able to identify the microorganism yet. Hope one day I will find out.

4. I became happier since I started my food blog. It has given me the much needed confidence. Now I believe if I keep doing what I do best, everything is going to be OK.

5. I love cooking, but I hate catering for a group of people. To me it is too much work and is not enjoyable anymore.

6. I love traveling. Ian and I have already been to Hawaii, US, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, China, New Zealand, and some part of Australia. We are planning to go to Fiji this year. I am so excited!

7. I like listen to classical music while driving.

Now, the tough part of nominating 15 bloggers. It is very hard to pick one over the other, so I decided list bloggers that have regular interactions with me. Just to help promote their blog. Anyone on this list are not obligated to follow the award rules. The only reason you are nominated is because I think your blog is truly amazing. I may have missed some of my fellow bloggers. If that is the case, give me a shout I will add you on the list.

https://thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com, http://hostessatheart.com, https://frugalhausfrau.wordpress.com, http://milkandbun.com, http://www.springtomorrow.com, https://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com, http://bunnyeatsdesign.com, http://ivegotcake.com, http://aromasandflavours.com, https://beatcancer2010.wordpress.com, http://rantingchef.com, https://dinnercheznous.wordpress.com, http://encouraginglife.co, http://vittlemonster.com, https://ineedafeed.wordpress.com, http://sacredtouches.com, http://katerinasgift.com, http://tabletopaper.com, https://cookingismysport.wordpress.com, https://njbrowne.wordpress.com, http://drchdietfood.com, https://anjalidhawan.wordpress.com, http://dragonflyhomerecipes.com, http://simpleandhealthyfoods.com, https://dorkchopsworld.wordpress.com, https://youngsunshinescooking.wordpress.com, https://dinnercheznous.wordpress.com, http://foodfellowshipandwine.com, http://glutenfreelife247.com, http://oceanviewkitchen.com, http://whattohavefordinnertonight.com

Stir Fried Rice Noodles

rice noodle 1

rice noodle 2

I used pickled cabbage instead of normal cabbage in the rice noodle. It came out delicious. The taste of Chinese pickled cabbage is very similar to sauerkraut, which can be used as replacement. The flavour of pickle, beef, soybean sprout and rice noodle combine very well together. Of course, this is not my invention. Beef and pickle is one of the classics. People in southwest China has been doing it for centuries.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Fresh rice noodle (250 g), canola oil (3 table spoons), beef (200 g), soybean sprout (1 cup), carrot (1, grated), pickled cabbage (100 g), spring onion (1), garlic (2 cloves), ginger (a size same as 2 cloves of garlic), dried chilli (1, sliced), coriander (for garnish), soy sauce (2 tablespoon), salt and pepper.

beef marinade: minced garlic (1 clove), minced ginger (same size of 1 clove garlic), 1 green onion chopped, white pepper (a pinch), chilly powder (a pinch), corn flour (1 table spoon), soy sauce (1 table spoon), beer (1 table spoon).

What to do:

  1. Place beef and its marinade in a bowl, mix together and let it marinate for at least half hour.
  2. In a medium size pot, add water and bring to boil.Turn off the heat, add rice noodle and soak for 10 minutes or until rice noodle is soft and chewy. Drain and run through with hot tap water.
  3. To stir fry, into a frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over high heat. Add marinated beef and stir fry until all the beef pieces changed colour and turn off the heat. Transfer it into a container and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the rest of canola oil and cook dried chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onion over medium heat until aroma comes out. Add pickled cabbage and fry for 1 minute, then add soybean sprout and grated carrot, fry for 3-4 minutes. Followed by adding rice noodle and soy sauce, stir to combine.
  5. Finally, add cooked beef and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with coriander, serve while warm.