Chicken Lollipop with Sweet Chili Sauce (甜辣酱棒棒鸡)

This supposed to be one of my dishes for an upcoming cooking contest, but apparently it resembles a “clubbing” dish which commonly found in the menu of pubs and clubs. :D

Well, I still like it as my home cooked. It looks great on the plate and delicious to eat. Try it!

酒吧菜式,你要试一试吗?
美观又好吃。 More

Healthy Fried Chicken Winglets & Cranberry Sauce (无油炸鸡翼&蔓越莓酱)

Recipe in English and Chinese (中英食谱)

Festive Feasts Made Easy with Panasonic Cooking

I am sure most of the people are looking up to celebrate this vibrant fun-filled festival, home dinner parties and scrumptious lunch gathering are starting to pack our calendars. Here I have my easy-to-prepare festive recipe (modified from Panasonic Cooking) to help you get started.

Other than getting some easy recipes on hand, useful and functional equipment is the key to having your preparation and cooking jobs done much easier and quicker. My multi-functioning Cubie convection steam oven is one of those convenient kitchen appliances that I would recommend. Not only does it have the convection baking feature, I use it to steam, heat up food, and even do healthy frying. Yes, you do not need pot-full of oil to get your crispy food done now.

If you are new to this oven, let me guide you with this healthy fried chicken wing & cranberry sauce for the upcoming Christmas!

=&0=&

=&1=&

=&2=&

=&3=&

=&4=&

=&5=&

=&6=&

=&7=&

=&8=&

=&9=&

=&10=&

=&11=&

=&12=&

=&13=&

=&14=&

=&15=&

=&16=&

=&17=&

=&18=&

=&19=&

=&20=&

=&21=&

=&22=&

=&23=&

Healthy fried chicken winglets will help you cut down calorie intake by half. Eat more

Tips: This chicken wings recipe is good with any baking equipments, but best prepared with this Panasonic Cubie Convection Steam Oven NU-SC100.

What I personally like it most is the steam function. I do not need to set up my pot and steam rack, or electrical steamer anymore, simply place whatever food eg frozen buns, dim sum, fish, meat, chicken, etc into my steam oven and turn on steaming function to get it heated or cooked.

And for the minimalist, you don’t have to own 3 separate appliances of conventional oven, steamer and air-fryer now. Spare your tiny kitchen from the cluttering with this compact Panasonic Cubie steam oven in place. Of course, this easy-to-operate oven let you have all the convenience in most modern cooking. Roasting, baking, steam/ steam bathing (Japanese cheesecake method), and healthy frying to be done easily.

Stay tuned. I have more recipes to share. Ask me, if you wish to hear more of my sincere opinions.

=&24=&

Note: This is an advertorial post, but all the above opinions are expressed based on my personal cooking experience with the oven and on my own accord.

Kiwi Mango Chicken

“Tired of sweet & sour pork dish? How about “sweet & sour” fruity chicken dish this time?!”

ZESPRI® Kiwifruit wrote to me recently, asking if I was interested to try their kiwifruit so as to create a recipe using kiwifruit. Yes, why not? I think my readers and friends would surely like to cook a dish using fresh fruits, that was my thought.

Kiwifruit, loaded with vitamin C (2X the amount of orange), dietary fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin E, carotenoids and other antioxidants. It has low GI and is low in fat, and calories (<60kcal/100g).

I would certainly like my family to have more. Oh we’ll, I feed slightly steamed Kiwifruit mixed with cereal and milk to my baby as breakfast. Serving fresh Kiwifruit as afternoon snack, too, sometimes. He liked it, if the pick wasn’t too sourish. Ha.

As for cooking a dish with kiwifruit, I wasn’t too sure as it sounded too limited for choice of having it cooked as a briny dish instead of salad or sweet dessert. I knew too little, perhaps. The sauce of “咕咾肉” (Sweet & Sour Pork) came to my mind, and I was confident that I could improvise something of of this though. Not for pork this time, I preferred chicken to go with kiwifruit… but of course, stick to pork is fine, too.

And, here you are…

Ingredients
2 Zepris® green kiwi fruits, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
150 gram of water

2 – 3 tablespoons of sugar
½ teaspoon of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper
Cornstarch slurry (made of ⅓ teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved with 1 tablespoon of water)

250 gram of chicken fillet, cut into chunky cubes
1 tablespoon of chicken granule
1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
Pinch of sugar
5 tablespoons of corn flour

2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of cooking oil

Method
1) Marinate chicken fillet cubes with chicken granule, oyster sauce and sugar. Combine well and keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 min.

2) Divide of the diced kiwifruit and mango out to keep aside for later. Blend the remaining 2/3 each of the fruit with water. Pour mixed fruit juice into a bowl, and add sugar (final amount depends on the natural sweetness of the fruits you are using), Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well and combine and set aside for later.

3) When chicken cubes is well marinated. Thickly coat the marinated chicken with corn flour. Heat wok with oil over medium fire. Deep fry coated chicken till golden brown. Drain oil on kitchen towel.

4) Discard excessive oil in wok and leave only 1 tablespoon of oil. Reduce heat to low fire. Add garlic, and sauté till fragrant. Return fried chicken cubes to the wok, followed by fruit sauce. Stir fry a little to combine chicken with sauce. Lastly, gradually add cornstarch slurry to thicken the fruit sauce, to your desire. Dish up and serve immediately.

Simple, fruity and refreshing chicken dish!

Oh yes, you’ll like it, your kids will like it!

 

Tips: To make an express cooking, use frozen “popcorn” chicken by CP brand or New Moon brand. Simply bake the frozen chicken at 150° C for 15-20 min. CP brand or New Moon brand can be found at major supermarkets e.g. NTUC Fairprice, NTUC Finest, Sheng Siong, Shop n’ Save, and some neighborhood mini marts.
* If you still prefer pork, I have my previous “popcorn” pork recipe for you, too! Click recipe: Popcorn Pork
* Zepris® Kiwi is available at major supermarkets e.g. NTUC Fairprice and Sheng Siong supermarket. It comes in a punnet of 6, usually.
* Cook the sauce separately and pour onto the fried chicken cube only upon serving, if you aren’t serving it immediately.
* It’s not necessarily to add all the cornstarch slurry for sauce thickening. On contrary, add more water to blend the fruits, if you like to have a more saucy dish.

Fried French Bean & Dried Shrimps (虾米四季豆)

“Delicious home-priced restaurant dish”

This is a vegetable dish which I loved most. We always eat this whenever dining out in a particular “Zhi Char” stall (Local Chinese stir-fry stall) nearby. They cooked it really simple and nice, especially the crispy dried shrimps, it really does complement the steamed rice so greatly! However, paying S$8 each time for my regular ordering of this simple French bean with just the dried shrimps, I did feel the ouch… Hence….. Needless to say, I tasted, and tried cooking it at home, of course.

Simply head to the supermarket, get packet of French bean (S$1.50) and a handful of dried mini shrimps (S$0.20), you are now ready to cook a simple and delicious dish at home on your own!

Ingredients
1 packet of French bean (String bean), rinsed, trimmed away both ends
2 tablespoons of dried mini shrimps (虾米干), rinsed & soaked for 10 min, pat dried and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of chicken granule
Pinch of salt

1 cup of cooking oil

Method
1) Heat wok with oil over high fire. Fry French bean till cooked with shrinking and darkening appearance. Transfer out, drain on kitchen towel, and set aside.

2) Same wok, fry the dried shrimps till browned and crisped. Transfer out and drain on kitchen towel.

3) Remove oil from wok, return dried shrimps and French bean. Drizzle salt and chicken granule, stir fry to combine well. Heat off and dish up. Serve.

Here’s the outcome, and I am proud to share my cooking and recipe with you… If you are, looking for a similar dish with a much cheaper home-taste option, try this.

Well, vegetable is good food, but this is certainly not a healthier cooking option here. It’s deep fried, after all. Without deep frying the french bean, this dish will not be what it is supposed to be. To try, or not to try this, I’ll leave it to you. :)

Tips: In fact, stop the cooking at step 2 is fine, too. You don’t really need the seasoning though.. Have the most natural flavor of the ingredients! Simply arrange the French bean in a serving dish and top the dried shrimps on it, this can be a yummy light tasting dish, too!

Simply Mini Cheesy Pork Cutlet

“Cheesy pork cutlet, Cheesy pork sandwich, or Cheesy fried pork chop, whatever you called it, this delicious savory ‘cheesy in pork’ dish would now be your child’s all-time-favourite. So as to you, big guys!”

I was so excited to introduce to you my latest dish, the mini cheesy sandwiched pork cutlet!

Yes, I did not make the standard sized pork chop, and instead, the bite-sizes. I wanted it to look cute. Most importantly, it was because I did it in a way that the pork chops were steamed beforehand. Just like my Japanese pork cutlet dish, it was easier to deep fry the crust to almost perfect golden by not worrying if the meat was cooked or not. Well, you may think this is an extra step which might not be necessary to you, do the ‘raw’ way may give you your better dish instead. It’s your comfort choice though..

Anyway, since school is out, soon… Go ahead to fill your picnic basket with these savory mini pork cutlet ‘sandwiches‘. No more ordinary bread sandwiches for picnic, this crispy sandwiched pork cutlet was simply aromatic and crispy. Its rich but not overwhelming cheesy content was good enough to just eat it on its own.

=&0=&

1 tablespoon of corn flour
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons of store-bought Japanese finely blended breadcrumb
Pinch of salt

1 cup of cooking oil (for frying)

Method:
1) Use the back of the knife or a meat pounder to lightly pound on the both sides of the pork chops. Brush honey on both sides of each pork chop. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Season for 15 minutes, if desired.

2) Place pork chops on a wire mesh steam rack with stands so that you can put the steam rack directly in the wok filled with 1/4 full of water to steam with placing the chops on a dish. Otherwise, use electrical steamer. Steam pork chops for 5 minutes. Remove pork chops from wok, let it cool.

3) Place a piece of steamed pork chop on a clean top surface. Roll and place half slice of cheese on the pork chop and fold the pork chop half. Then, take a toothpick and prick through the opening of the folded part so that it holds.

4) Mix pinch of salt to the cornstarch. Coat some salted cornstarch on both sides of the chops. Then, dip into beaten egg, followed by coating a thick layer of breadcrumbs on all sides. Repeat step for all the remaining chops. Place coated chops on a large dish to rest for 5 minutes before cooking.

5) Heat wok with oil over medium fire. Place pork chops in the oil and fry till golden browned. Or, use deep fryer to fry for about 1 minute. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper towel. Remove the toothpick pricked on each chop. Serve with mayonnaise, if desired.

Use those sliced Cheddar cheese, or get the grated ones. Both are fine to be sandwiched. If desired, mix more than one kind of cheese, how about an addition of Mozzarella?

1 piece of my mini cheesy pork cutlet counts about 180kcal.

Tips: If you are using raw pork chop without steaming it first, extend frying time to 3 – 5 minutes with low-medium heat.

Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Cutlet)

=&0=&

Once my non-Chinese friend asked me why Chinese likes to marinate the meat for ALL sorts of cooking other than BBQ? Will it really make a huge difference in taste? I was speechless. Frankly, I do my marinating for meat, even if it’s to be added in my noodle cooking, fried or soup. Some said it is a must to elevate the taste of the meat… Some said marination is to hush up the ‘meaty’ (or ‘fishy’) smell in it… And, I could tell you that it is pretty much a habit learned from mum since young, more than any other reasons… (smile).

Gradually, I learned to save such effort in some of my cookings. I finally believed that as long as the ingredients are fresh, it is not a must to marinate or marinating for long hours. Once again, I am convinced with the theory. This pork cutlet was not marinated beforehand. It was as simple as just brushing some honey on the chops, I got myself a very flavorsome fried pork cutlet, still! Well, not forgetting that I had my savory Miso sauce topped on it, of course… (chuckles).

And, there is a special trick, to save your oil for frying the cutlet, an easier way to achieve its golden appearance, with even shorter frying time!

SIMPLE, flavorful, new easy tricks to get the most delicious crispy Tonkatsu here!

=&1=&

2 tablespoons of plain flour

1 cup of cooking oil (for shallow frying)

For Batter (A):
2 tablespoons of soy milk (unsweetened or low sugar)
2 eggs
* Mix the above and stir well.

For Batter (B):
100 gram of store-bought breadcrumbs
1 piece of 4″ long french loaf, blended till crumbs OR 6 pieces of cream crackers, mashed
* Combine the above.

Special Miso Sauce:
*Click for recipe here

Method:
1) Rinse and pat dry the pork chops. Use a knife to lightly cut a few slits on the entire surface of the chop. Then, use the back of the knife to lightly chop on the surface crosswise. On both sides, brush with honey. Set aside.

2) Get ready your electrical steamer or wok filled with boiling water on stove (with fine wire mesh steam racks in wok). Place the pork chops directly in the steamer or on the steamer rack without a plate. Cover with lid. Steam for 3 minutes. When done, remove from steamer and set aside to let it cool a little. Steam pork chops in batches, if steamer is not big enough.

3) Dust some flour on both sides of the chop. Then, dip the whole chop into the egg solution, followed by coating breadcrumb mixture on both sides again. Repeat steps for all the remaining chops. Leave all coated pork chops on the large dish to stand for 5 minutes before frying.

4) Heat wok with oil on medium fire. Place pork chop into wok to fry for 1 minute, flip over to fry for another minute, till both sides turn golden brown. Drain oil on wire strainer, and then, place on serving dish. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of my Special Miso sauce, and serve with my Mango & Strawberry Salsa, or steamed Japanese white rice.

A piece of my Tonkatsu counts about 180kcal.

Tips: Store-bought bread crumbs is those ready-packed Japanese finely blended bread crumbs, use for deep frying. (Brand type I used: Nissin soft panko)
* French loaf has to be blended (as finely blend as possible, but it’s ok to be a little coarse for more interesting crunchy bites) using electrical blender, before mixing with the store-bought fine crumbs. Alternatively, use cream crackers. I used seaweed flavored cream crackers for extra flavor, but the choice is yours.

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork Chop (日式炸猪扒)

“Simple and quick-making Japanese-style crispy pork chops make your lunch box meal one of the best ever. And, remember to serve it with the savoury Japanese curry gravy!”

Prepare this savory pork chop meal in less than an hour time. And learn my tricks in making successfully crisped and coated chops. It is a 99% success rate.

And because it was home cooking, I tend to make it a healthier dish for my family, so as to save some cooking oil, as I do not like to keep the used cooking oil for cooking more than one time. So, instead of deep-frying the pork chops, I chose to shallow-fry them. It will still be crisped, but I had to fry only one side of the chop at a time as the oil in the pan will not be enough to submerge the entire piece. Just make sure that the chop is not too thick, and shallow frying method will be as good to make the dish a success.

Yes, don’t forget to serve this savory chops with the easy ready-made Japanese curry sauce!

See Recipe:

Ingredients
4 pcs of boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons of potato starch
1 cup of breadcrumbs, placed in a deep plate
2 eggs, broke into a deep plate and lightly beaten

1 cup of olive oil (for shallow frying use)

Seasoning for pork chops:
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
2 teaspoons of Mirin (Japanese rice wine) (味啉)
1 teaspoon of grounded white pepper
Generous pinch of salt and sugar

Gravy for pork chops:
1 packet of store-bought ready made Japanese curry with carrots and potatoes

Optional:
6 cherry tomatoes, halved

Method:
1) Marinate pork chops with the listed seasoning for overnight or at least 1 hour.

2) Pat some potato starch on both sides of each chop. Then, dip the lightly floured chop into egg solution till both sides are well coated with egg, followed by breadcrumbs completely covering both sides. Repeat step for the remaining chops.

3) Heat large sauce pan with oil over medium fire till lightly smoky. Add in pork chops (2 pieces at a time, and do not stack the chops or crowd the pan), and shallow fry till both sides are golden browned. (*Shallow fry one side at a time since the amount of oil used only sufficient to submerge the chops, unless you choose deep frying method instead.)

4) Remove from pan and drain on kitchen towel. Cut crisped pork chops into thick stripes. Pour heated curry sauce with vegetables on the pork chops or serve separately. Serve with steamed Japanese rice and cherry tomatoes immediately, or prepare them in lunch box.

A serving of my Japanese curry pork chop rice (with two pieces of chop) counts about 550kcal.

For more options: Change the option of gravy by serving the pork chops with Thai chili sauce, BBQ sauce. Or simply enjoy it plainly without any gravy. And for this, you might wish to melt some butter (about 1 tablespoon for each frying) into the heated pan before frying the chops, to make it more aromatic with a touch of buttery flavour. As such, you may even reduce the amount of olive oil which used to heat pan, to prevent extra loads of oil intake, you see.

Tips: Shallow fry is too enough for cooking crisped chops. Just don’t slice the chops too thickly. I think 2cm thickness is good.
* Get Japanese curry sauce off the shelves. It comes in nice squarish box, with different options of with or without vegetables, and in apple or original flavour. Each packet ranges from S$4.10 – $5.80, and could be found at the Japanese product cells at major supermarkets.
* Serve cut pork chops for more convenient bite, especially for lunch box where most of the time you will be digging in with the disposable plastic cutlery or just a single spoon or pair of chopsticks.
* For lunch box meal, I reckon packing the curry sauce in separate container, since it will not be consumed immediately. This may prevent the chops turning soggy after one whole morning wait. Reheating of 1 minutes required before consume.

Crispy Cornflake Prawn Fritters

“Creates the real flavour out of its simplicity”

Using cornflakes to coat prawn fritters makes the dish special and imaginably delicious. The cornflakes crust created a much more crispy texture and aromatic flavor in the palate than the flour or bread crumbs coating.

I learned this delicious cornflake prawn fritters dish from an adaption of recipe in a small fast food recipe book complimentary with the purchase of a lifestyle magazine.

My family loved this version of deep fried prawn fritters so much. This recipe was indeed sugaring our meal last evening. The whole dish with servings for 4 was mopped up by just 3 of us in the end of the dinner.

Ingredients
400 grams of medium prawns, shelled and deveined, with tail intact
120 grams of plain cornflakes, crushed into tiny pieces

Seasoning for prawns:
½ teaspoon of sugar
½ teaspoon of grounded white pepper
1 teaspoon of chicken granule
1 teaspoon of corn starch

Batter ingredients:
6 heaping tablespoons of plain flour
2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
150 grams of water

1 cup of cooking oil (for frying prawns)

Method
1) Marinate prawns with the listed seasoning, for at least 20 minutes.

2) Mix plain flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in vegetable oil. Cover with flour mixture. Gradually add in water and mix well to create smooth batter. Consistency of batter should be smooth with resistance.

3) Heat wok with oil over high fire. Reduce heat to medium-low fire when oil heated enough. Dip the whole prawn into batter then coat well with crushed cornflakes. Place coated prawn into heated oil and fry till golden brown. Repeat step till all prawns are done. Drain fried prawn fritters on paper towels. Serve with apple yogurt or mayonnaise as dipping sauce, if desired.

A tail of conrflake prawn fritter counts about 95kcal.

Tips: Crush cornflakes with fork or get a blender to do the job, but do not ground the cornflakes. Crush till tiny pieces will do, it makes the fritters apprear more delicate looking. However, if preferred crunchier and fuller biting on the crust, remain cornflakes in original whole pieces (but be reminded that it will be more difficult to coat with large pieces).