We’re well into second “proper MCO”, so I guess most of us here are back to tapao, delivery, and cooking, so I suppose it’s timely for me to go back to sharing some recipes again.
Today let’s look at one of the easiest meals you can make with a sous vide machine – duck breast. This is one dish that takes a couple hours but only perhaps 5 minutes hands-on cooking, with the result being rather satisfying and properly delicious, if you’re one who loves smoked duck.
1 smoked duck breast (or normal duck breast, seasoned well with salt)
some aromatics (optional – dill, rosemary)
a side dish – asparagus in this case, with some garlic
sous vide duck breast in vacuum bag with aromatics for 2 hours at 57 Celsius
remove, pad dry, and sear skin down until crispy (2-3 minutes)
use the duck fat reduced from searing to cook asparagus (2-3 minutes)
slice up duck breast (after we’ve let it rest for 3-5 minutes) and serve!
I always try to have some frozen duck breast in the fridge handy for this dish, it’s super easy to prepare and takes the headache of “what to eat” away. Invest in a sous vide machine especially if you love to eat meat, it’s worth it!
I recently got to sample a series of instant noodles from Red Chef featuring flavors I’m very familiar with as a person hailed from Penang, and all I can say is.. how I wished these were available back when I was studying in KL and abroad missing the taste of home. But alas, for those of you who are in the position I was in, this is great news!
home cooked Penang style hawker noodle series from Red Chef
The products I tried were these four:
Spicy sakura prawn soup rice vermicelli and noodles
Pandan white curry noodles
Green tom yum soup noodles
Spicy sakura prawn soup noodles
These instant goodness shares something in common – they’re all made with fresh, natural ingredients without artificial coloring, and all can be prepared in your kitchen within minutes just by having a pot. Do check out the video below as I “cooked” all four of them.
To me, prawn mee (or we call Hokkien mee in Penang) should come with mee + meehun, and before trying this product from Red Chef, is something that I never imagine we could get in an instant noodle format, talk about innovation!
The spicy sakura prawn soup rice vermicelli & noodles (a long name… I know) requires a 2-step cooking method, by first boiling the mee + meehun for 2-3 minutes, then transfer it to another pot of fresh boiling water before adding condiments. The result tastes pretty much like those prepared at the hawker stalls, especially if you add some prawns, eggs, kangkung, and maybe even bean sprouts to the mix.
spicy sakura prawn soup rice vermicelli and noodles
The paste contains key ingredients made from 3 different types of prawns, and together with the chili paste and crunchy fried shallots, you do really get the authentic taste of Penang style prawn mee, fantastic package.
If mee + meehun isn’t your thing, there’s a version with instant noodle that comes with the same paste & seasoning as well as fried shallots that is simply called spicy sakura prawn soup noodles.
Pandan white curry noodles
Another one of my favorite Penang hawker offering is undoubtedly the curry mee, and here Red Chef delivers as well. The pandan white curry noodles come with a paste that’s formulated with 15 types of spices, together with other fresh ingredients such as garlic, onion, and shrimp paste. Pandan leaves is used here to give it an elevated aroma as well.
The result is a very competent bowl of curry mee that’s at about medium spiciness. I added tofupok, prawns, cockles, and some mint leaves from the garden to complete the dish.
I am thinking this would be even better with mee+meehun like the prawn mee, hmmm..
green tom yum soup noodles
Last but not least, for the tomyam lovers, do check out their green tom yum soup noodles.
As with the other products, natural ingredients is used here with the paste cooked by converting “mortar & pestle” method into machinaries that doesn’t completely break the natural fibers, and thus maintaining aroma & taste, resulting in noodles that is similar to version that is cooked from scratch.
I like the balance between sourness and spiciness of the tomyam noodle, with tomato, prawns, chili padi, and kaffir lime leaves (I have this plant at the garden), makes for a good bowl of goodness that made my stomach happy.
These instant noodles will now find a permanent place in my kitchen pantry for when the craving strikes. Thanks Red Chef!
Well well well, here we are in another Covid 19 additional lock down measures, which for many of us, means more working from home, and best of all, cooking from home. So, allow me to share this simple recipe of stir fry long bean with dried shrimp and cilipadi, a dish that has a bit of kick, and perhaps satisfy some of the necessary nutrient requirements for your body.
a bunch of long bean, cut to 2 inches chunks
6-12 cilipadi, chopped
2-3 tablespoon of dried shrimp, chopped finely, or mashed if you have pastel n mortar
3-4 bulb garlic, choppeed
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or alternatively, a pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoon cooking oil
heat up cooking oil, start frying cilipadi, dried shrimp, and garlic till fragrant
add long bean, fry until appropriate doneness (2-3 minutes at most)
shake some fish sauce in the last 30 seconds or so
serve while hot!
You can always use a less potent type of chili, or skip it altogether if you can’t handle hotness, which.. is a shame, really.
To be frank, I never did grow up with pork belly with salted fish dish, I supposed it was a dish that wasn’t particularly popular up north in Penang where I grew up, that or my family was not privy to the greatness of this combination during that time.
The funny thing about tastes is that for things that you absolutely loath as a kid may yet turn out to be one of your favorites as an adult – such is the case for me with bitter gourd, and to be frank, quite a few other items.
So for those of you who dislike durian, petai, asparagus, Guinness, and more, perhaps ya’ll just need more doses of them until you like it!
Anyway, here’s one of the recipes I did with bitter gourd over the course of this Covid-19 season.
Bitter Gourd Tofu and Pork Soup Recipe
1 bitter gourd, cut in chunks
300 gram pork belly, cut into bit size chunks
1 block of soft tofu
1 inch ginger
a handful of salted vege (optional, you can replace with salt to taste)
boil pork belly for a couple minutes and remove from pot, throw away the scummy water
use a bigger pot, boil 4-5 bowls of water with everything except tofu for about an hour or so in low heat
add tofu just before serving
salt (optional) and pepper to taste
Comfort food especially on rainy days, I usually have it with steamed rice and some soya sauce + cili padi as condiment.