While fusion food has gotten a bit of a bad rep over the years from many restaurants that came up with dishes that were neither here nor there, I still always applaud those who dare to imagine and come up with something different from the ordinary. Sometimes it is done by mixing ingredients from different parts of the world, other times by turning traditional recipes upside down. Either way, it is one way to ensure that culinary art does not stay stagnant and only look backwards.
glorious miso grilled hake steak with spicy mussel soup
Several days ago I received some fresh ingredients courtesy of the Zealand Trade Enterprises, and as part of the challenge, we were supposed to use them and come up with dishes worthy of sharing. Since cooking is one of my many hobbies, here goes!
For dinner last Friday, I decided to make grilled hake (or any cod, really) with miso marinate & vege, while the wife came up with spicy mussle soup as a companion dish. Both seafood ingredients were New Zealand products.
Hake steak from New Zealand, miso as main marinate ingredient
I will be sharing the hake steak recipe here:
- Hake steak (or any white fish, such as cod) 250-300 gram per pax
- asparagus & mushroom (sliced)
- a few gloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
Ingredients for marinate:
- 2 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cooking sake
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
asparagus and mushroom as sides
Cooking instructions (fish):
- mix marinate in a bowl and apply generously on fish, let marinate for at least 15-30 minutes
- heat up the oven to 175 C
- pan fry the fish for 2-3 minutes
- bake fish in oven for 10 minutes
fish: pan fry before oven, vege: sauteed
Cooking instructions (vegetable):
- heat up frying pan with cooking oil
- fry garlic till fragrant
- add mushroom & asparagus and saute for 2 minutes
- add leftover marinate to the vege and continue to saute for another 2 minutes
Time your cooking of vegetable to coincide with the fish so that they’re both served hot. Enjoy!
spicy New Zealand mussel soup made by Haze Long
Since we lack tomato puree or white wine, the spicy mussel soup involved the use of sake, ketchup, New Zealand mussels, and black magic. My wife made it, so I don’t think I’m qualified to know enough of the recipe to share it here.
Happy cooking! #
A couple weekends ago we were invited to the opening of Royal Flush Chinese Restaurant, the latest venture from the group behind Tom Dick and Harry, Hoofed, and Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock.
Located at the relatively new Oasis Square at Ara Damansara, Royal Flush sits within a grand three story building that could easily be mistaken as a shrine or palace. The interior lived up to the positive first impression of the building from the outside, it is beautifully furnished with what you’d expect from a classy Chinese eatery.
Update: This place is permanently closed
Royal Flush Chinese Restaurant at Oasis, Ara Damansara
Five private rooms sits above the common dining hall on the ground floor, and there’s an outdoor rooftop moonlit garden as well. I was well impressed of the ambiance the place.
crispy spring rolls
We were first treated with some tidbits before dinner officially kicks off. The crispy spring rolls tastefully presented on a bed of sprouts, it was crunchy on the outside and moist within, we made quick work of them with ice cold beer.
cucumber with pork floss and chestnut, “twin cold combination”
Cucumber with chestnut and pork floss probably took a hint from Japanese cuisine with it’s sushi-like presentation, but tasted distinctively Chinese. Combination of meat with the freshness of cucumber and the crunchy chestnuts worked well.
After these two dishes, our dinner from the 9-course Chinese New Year menu officially starts.
First to be served was “twin cold combination“. The oyster shot was delicious – fresh juicy oyster in a special light sauce that has Japanese soya sauce, lemon, and other touches in it’s list of ingredients. The shellfish, on the other hand, is served with kiwi fruits and tomato. I liked the seafood but am allergic to kiwi, so perhaps missing from the total experience.
dimsum combination, grilled cod fish, grilled scallop bacon
The second dish was dimsum combination, with xiao long bao, fish ball, and siu mai. These measures up to some of the better dimsum dishes I tried.
Cod fish is one of my favorite seafood, and the execution from the chef in this grilled cod fish dish did not disappoint. The exterior lightly charred with a taste of honey, it was exquisite and delicious.
Grilled bacon scallop had it’s origin from pigs in blanket, with the scallops successfully elevate the status and sophistication of this otherwise simple dish. A couple grilled ginko nuts were served on the side to provide some balance.
grilled pork ribs
The third grilled (and final) grilled dish was the grilled pork ribs. It was sweet, succulent, and would certainly please any pork loving diner. While the dishes might not look heavy, we were starting to get a little bit full by this dish.
asparagus, abalone fried rice
A simple dish of asparagus with bonito flakes provides the comfort to your mom that something green is consumed, and the main dishes is capped off with abalone fried rice that’s served with a beautiful whole scallop in the middle. Of course, there was no way I was going to waste this, it was soft, succulent, and how abalone should taste like.
doubled boiled bird’s nest, KY & Haze
The two desserts served together in this RM 1,200 CNY set menu (for 10 pax) were double boiled bird’s nest and crystal peanut dumpling. Dinner was well satisfying with very good food and excellent company, if I had to nitpick, the only criticism I can think of would be the lack of traditional soup in the CNY menu. Then again, you can always order that separately
Royal Flush promises a wide variety of other dishes – including geoduck, suckling pigs, yee sang, and more, many of these would be bold and modern interpretation of traditional dishes, while others, closer to the origin. If the quality is consistent to what we experienced over this review session, Royal Flush would be a force to reckon with in the higher end Chinese cuisine market.
The Royal Flush
Central Piazza, Oasis Square Ara Damansara,
2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.11352, 101.574612
Tel: 012-211 7810, 016-2912 737, 012-299- 7598
We bought some lamb chops from Jaya Grocer about a week back and really didn’t know what to do with it at first. A bit of research on the internet tells me that garlic, mustard, pepper and rosemary makes good marinate for lamb, so I decided to use them all for this recipe.
I added asparagus and tomato to serve as sides to compliment the savory taste of lamb with the freshness of asparagus and sweet/sour taste from tomato. As an added bonus, they make the dish looks better with added colors. 😀
While many are not as familiar with lamb, this is a surprisingly simple dish to prepare, and takes only half an hour to serve.
lamb chop with tomato and asparagus on the side
This is a three part dish, the lamb, asparagus, and tomato. Luckily all three of them are very simple, and the only juggling act is to time each dish properly so you get to serve them all on the same time.
Lets start with the lamb.
- lamb shoulder (I made 5 pieces), I got them frozen from Jaya Grocer
- 1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 table spoon French mustard
- black pepper
- a teaspoon of butter, and a bit of cooking oil
marinate lamb chop with mustard, pepper, rosemary, and garlic
- marinate the lamb with all ingredients in a zip locked bag for at least an hour in the fridge, over night if possible
- preheat oven to 200 celcius
- pan fry each side of the lamb in medium heat for 1-2 minutes, use minimal cooking oil, or butter
- put the lamb in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes (depending on how well cooked you want the lamb to be, I also add a bit of butter to the aluminum foil)
- remove from oven and let the lamb chop rest for about 3-5 minutes before serving
Total time not including marinate takes not more than 20 minutes or so. If you don’t pan fry the lamb in advance, baking process should be between 30-40 minutes. Of course, you can also use a grill for this.
lamb chop and baked tomato
The lamb chop will not be complete without side dishes, so here’s how you do the tomato!
- remove the core of tomato
- add half a teaspoon of sugar (brown sugar if available), 1 clove, and a teaspoon of vinegar into the core
- bake in oven at 200 Celsius for 30 minutes
Haze, Vinn, and KY
Last but not least, the asparagus
- remove wooden end of asparagus, and shave off the bottom with a vegetable peeler if the skin’s a bit tough
- add a teaspoon of butter and salt to the water in you steamer
- steam asparagus for 7-8 minutes
- sprinkle some salt before serving
To get everything ready at the same time, the timeline for this should be something like this:
- 0 min: bake tomato
- 10 min: start pan frying lamb on both sides
- 15 min: put lamb in oven
- 22 min: start steaming asparagus
- 25 min: remove lamb from oven
- 30 min: serve everything!
Give it a try, this is really much easier than the dish suggests. For more cooking recipes on this blog, click here! Now what should I cook next.. ermmm.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we’re going to talk about asparagus. Now most of us associate asparagus as sort of a Western style vegetable, something you find in a fancy restaurant sitting pretty next to your steak (such as this side dish at Mandarin Grill), or being wrapped in bacon and BBQ-ed (ala BBQ Addict’s menu).
You will be right, but I’ve always known asparagus from Sambal Belacan Asparagus, one of my favorite dishes from childhood, a Hokkien/Penang Nyonya specialty of sort.
ingredients for sambal asparagus – sambal, garlic, ginger, dried shrimp
This dish is also surprisingly simple to make, but it is mighty handy if you’ve already have some ready made sambal belacan. For instruction on how to make a jar of wholesome sambal belacan, click here – sambal belacan fried rice.
Anyway, here’s the ingredients:
- a bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-3 inches, only retain the top 2 sections, throw away the bottom wooden parts
- 2 table spoon sambal belacan
- 15 shalots
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 10 dried shrimps
- 4 fresh prawns, peeled
the secret is the steaming
Cooking this dish is fast and simple too!
- use pastel and mortar to pound shallots, garlic, and dried shrimp
- marinate peeled prawns with salt for a couple minutes
- heat up a couple table spoon of cooking oil in medium heat
- throw in prawns first, then everything else
- fry for 5 minutes, then add a quarter cup of water, and close the lid to steam the vegetable for 2-3 minutes
- remove lid and fry again till water evaporates
- food is ready to serve!
a few prawns go a long way
The secret to cooking asparagus is really the steaming part, since the vegetable can be a little tough if not properly cooked, but frying it too long will get the outer layer burnt. So there you go, another recipe from yours truly who reignite the cooking passion ever since our kitchen is renovated. 😀
I’ve recently gotten Astro B.yond PVR installed at home too, and check out what sort of programmes we have recorded.
Yes, mostly cooking shows. It’s brilliant, I can’t tell you how many times I missed out crucial part of cooking show just because they go over it a tad too fast. With the PVR’s record function this problem is a thing of a past. Of course PAUSE and REWIND function comes in mighty handy too.
I’ll be reviewing the PVR’s function soon too. In the mean time, happy cooking!