Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / cooking tips

When it comes to steaks, quality of cut is often directly correlated with satisfaction in eating them, and unfortunately, so is the asking price. To “solve” this problem, sous vide is often the most recommended solution – cook the beef in a slow and controlled temperature, and you’ll get almost any cut to be tender.

Sounds good, right? But here’s the catch – sous vide machines can be very pricey, and I’m not about to spend upwards of RM 1,000 – 2,000 without really knowing what I get myself into.

Enter McGyver inspired cooler-box sous vide solution. (well, I actually read this from another website)

all you need is a thermometer and a cooler box
all you need is a thermometer and a cooler box

For this method, you only need the following 3 crucial items

  • cooler box
  • ziplock bag (freezer type recommended as they’re usually stronger)
  • cooking thermometer

Now let’s look at how to make your own sous vide beef & chicken.

sous vide steak, medium rare, done in an hour or so
sous vide steak, medium rare, done in an hour or so

Instructions:

  • season your meat with salt and pepper, or any other desired seasoning
  • place them in zip lock bags
  • prepare hot water 2-3 Celsius above your desired internal temperature for the meat (example: slightly less than 60 C for medium rare beef, 75-80 Celsius for chicken)
  • lower the meat-bags and shake off excess air pockets before zip locking it
  • monitor every half an hour, if temperature drop below desired level, add hot water to bring it up
  • let the meat cook for an hour or two, depending on the thickness

sous vide chicken breast is surprisingly good on salad
sous vide chicken breast is surprisingly good on salad

  • use the thermometer to ensure that internal meat temperature is appropriate
  • for beef, heat up skillet (I use an IKEA one) to high temperature, then sear for a minute on each side before serving, a blow torch will do similar wonder for chicken breasts
  • add your side dishes, and eat away!

The results we got were amazing. Relatively cheap cuts of grass fed beef had the texture not entirely unlike tenderloin, and for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed chicken breasts as it came out succulent and moist.

Will do it again!

Out of the many ways in egg preparation, the most challenging method must be the all elusive poached egg, and it is probably also the reason why they aren’t very popularly served.

A perfect poached egg has the yolk still runny with a hardened crust but no raw egg white at all. It is almost a boiled version of telur mata kerbau, expect much healthier and I reckon, tastier.

haze with a perfect poached egg
my first crack resulted this poached egg above

Over at Blogger MasterChef competition where I was invited as one of the judges (more on that in future post, I promise), the skills challenge for the contestants was preparing poached eggs.

Chef Ryan Khang did a demo on a simple way to prepare perfect poached egg, I tried and it worked perfectly. I am sharing this recipe. 😀

making poached egg
1. create vortex then pour egg in, 2. cook for 2 mins, 3. flip, 4. done

The “recipe” is very simple. Fresh eggs are preferred as the egg whites will be less susceptible to become separated from the yolk. Also, bigger does not mean better when it comes to egg. Eggs in room temperature is assumed in this method, otherwise you might have to let it cooked longer than described.

  • bring water to boil in a saucepan or pot with water tall enough to cover an egg’s height
  • add a couple tablespoon of vinegar, this is to prevent dispersion of the egg white
  • crack egg into a cup first
  • when the water is boiling, stir saucepan/pot to create a vortex
  • add another tablespoon of vinegar to the cup with egg then gently pour the egg into middle of the vortex
  • switch off the fire and let cook for 2 minutes
  • slowly flip the egg over, covering the egg yolk and let it cook for another 2 minutes
  • (alternate extra step) dunk the poached egg in water to remove vinegar taste
  • ready to serve!

flipping poached egg
flipping the egg very gently

There you go, poached egg in less than 5 minutes. It is actually easier than it sounds, try this at home to get a hang of it, then impress your boyfriend/husband with a prefect breakfast (of course with bacon and toast together!)

interesting side note: my first experience tasting poached egg was at Kin Kin pan mee

We need garlic in stir fry vegetable, in steamed fish, with soya sauce as garnish, in marinated lamb, etc etc.

Peeling and dicing garlic though, is a chore that I personally don’t enjoy, and doubt many of you do. It is one pre-cooking preparation that I want to get over with as fast as possible, and I think after months of intense cooking, I have found the fastest steps, so here goes!

4 steps in dicing garlic

Peel & dice garlic in just 4 steps!

  • take the whole bulb of garlic, and chop off the root portion with a cleaver
  • using the same cleaver, press individual bulbs till it deformed slightly
  • the previous step loosen the skin, now you can peel them off easily
  • chop away!

Here you go, now you have enough garlic for probably anything you want to cook for the day!

Cheers and happy cooking!

———————————————————————

For those of you who can’t be bothered to cook and yet want to have a good & cheap meal, here’s a deal from MilkADeal you might be interested in.

For RM 15 (instead of the usual RM 31),  you get the Charcoal King Set Meal that is good enough to feed two to three pax. The meal comes with

  • 1 Clay Pot Chicken Rice
  • 1 Peanut Lotus Root Soup OR ABC Soup OR Old Cucumber Soup
  • 1 Stir Fried Romain Lettuce OR Stir Fried Lettuce OR Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy
  • 2 Drink

For more information and to get the deal, check out the Charcoal King on MilkaDeal, the restaurant is located  Kuchai Lama.