Chorizo and peas couscous recipe

It was my boyfriend’s birthday last month March. We have been together for 6 months now and it had been an incredible and exciting journey for both of us. I am so blessed to have met him and he has filled my life with so much joy, love and excitement. Guess my boyfriend is the reason that kept me busy from blogging!

I wanted to make something amazing for his birthday that he will never forget.

But I was a little bored of eating steak again and again although I know he probably does not mind as it is one of his favourites.

Decided to drive through waitrose that evening and see if any bright ideas spark through for something he has never tried before which is awesomely delicious.

Skirting through the aisles in Waitrose, I had my trolley filled with the boring mixed grill meat when suddenly the idea of couscous came up. Plus the duck breast were on discount. Threw all the mixed grill meat out of my trolley and just focused on getting the couscous ingredients right.

I then announced to him that I was going to make couscous and his first reaction was ‘huh…..isn’t that a bit boring and tasteless.’ I was like…..’you got to be kidding…it is an amazing dish!! Who on earth cooked couscous for you in the past?’ I am entirely confident to change his mind about couscous as the couscous I made in the past did taste very flavourful….and I was right! Since then, he have been asking me to make couscous now and again. The first thing he said to me after he came back to Glasgow after not seeing him for a few weeks as he went back home to sheffield was that he missed my couscous!

Anyway, before I get to the couscous recipe, below are just a few photos of remembrance of what I did for his birthday as well. Decided to throw him a sushi party a few days before his actual birthday and invited a few of his friends along.

Made him one of my favourite pandan layered cream cake.

Recipe: https://stephylicious.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/pandan-layered-cream-cake/

I never took a photo of how the inside looked like. So here’s a photo:

He once told me that his favourite cake was a black forest cake so decided to make him one as well for him to try.

Surely it was a good celebration……

Anyway, for the couscous recipe, simple yet wholesome:

Ingredients:

500g of couscous

600mls of good quality chicken stock

A handful of fresh petits pois or frozen

500g of spanish chorizo

5 cloves of minced garlic

Steps:

Boil the chicken stock in a stock pot.

When the stock is boiling hot, pour the couscous into the stock, mix evenly and place the lid cover over the pot. Take the stock pot off the heat once the lid is placed over the pot. Wait patiently for 12 minutes without taking the lid off the pot.

Meanwhile, fry the garlic in some cooking oil in a pan. Add in the chorizo and stir fry for approx 4 minutes over high heat. Add the petits pois into the pan and fry everything together until petits pois is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

Lastly, add the cooked couscous into the pan when the couscous is done. Mix everything evenly. Taste and season accordingly.

You could then add either juices from the roasted/pan fried duck or roasted chicken or grilled/pan fried steak into the couscous. This will add soooo much flavour to the couscous and certainly make the dish almost irresistible.

char kueh tiao recipe / char kway teow recipe

I really really love eating char kueh tiao /char kway teow even before I came to UK. I remember how I used to visit this char kueh tiao hawker stall in damansara at least 3 times a week. I love it so much that I cannot live without it even in UK.

Leeds does not have any malaysian restaurants, hence, you can see why I have explored so much into asian/malaysian cooking and try my very best to perfect them. The pic below is my char kueh tiao which I made in 2008. I haven’t really taken any pics of the char kueh tiao I made since 2008. I think mainly because I preferred making kueh tiao soup and I very rarely char kueh tiao anymore.

I think I have posted my recipe on the kueh tiao soup a few blog entries back for those who want to have a look at it. I do prefer my kueh tiao soup as I really think it taste heavenly. I remember making the kueh tiao soup for dinner for my friends in edinburgh dec 2012. It was so good that they wake up the next day requesting to finish up the remaining kueh tiao soup and it still taste sooo good. Really reminded me of malaysia where we wake up and go to a hawker stall for kolok mee, wantan mee etc. Kueh tiao soup is one of the noodle soup which I will die for and cook it just to impress others (besides my chicken rice)…haha… Below is the link for my kueh tiao soup recipe.

https://stephylicious.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/kueh-tiao-soup-recipe/

Not that the char kueh tiao isn’t good, but it taste just as amazing as well! It is one of the dishes I will make for supper after a friday cell group meeting, alongside my homemade teh tarik…a perfect mamak combination.

Char Kway Teow /char kueh tiao recipe by Famous street food of penang: a guide & cook book.

Chilli paste:

10 dried red chillies, soaked unit soft.

2 fresh red chillies

5 shallots, peeled

1/2 tsp salt

4 tbsp cooking oil

Ingredients:

5 tbsp lard or cooking oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp chilli paste or to taste

200g medium-sized prawns, shelled

1 chinese sausage, sliced

400g fresh flat rice noodles (kway teow)

1 tsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp salt or to taste

4 eggs

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1 tbsp water

200g bean sprouts

50g chinese chives

150g cockles (optional)

100g crab meat (optional)

To prepare chilli paste:

Cut up roughly the chillies and shallots. Pound or blend in an electric blender adding some water if necessary. Season to taste with salt. Heat oil over low heat and fry the chilli paste, stirring continuously until fragrant and oil has separated from the paste. Set aside.

To fry the kway teow:

Heat oil and fry the garlic until aromatic over medium heat. Turn up the heat and add the chilli paste. Fry until aromatic before adding prawns and chinese sausage slices. Add the kway teow and stir-fry for a few seconds before adding the light and dark soy sauce and salt.

Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the kway teow and add a tablespoon of oil. Crack in the eggs and season with pepper. Let the eggs start to set before scrambling. Fry together with the kway teow.

Add the water, bean sprouts, chives and cockles (if using). Stir fry for 20 seconds before dishing out. Serve topped with some crab meat, if desired.

Mee suah recipe (aka long life noodle)

Apologies to my readers for the weekend hiatus.

Over the weekend, I had been occupied with a friend who was visiting from Cornwall and his good friends in Glasgow who are also my close friends.

So, had a bit of a cooking spree as you can see.

Made chicken rice on a friday. Was very yummy and definitely fulfilled a chicken rice craving for the meantime.

Kind of love how everything is not quite colour-coordinated here. Feels very chinese.

Then on a sunday, my close friends asked me to cook mee suah (aka long life noodles) as they said they could kindly take a video of me cooking it. Extremely last minute decision with no preparation of what I was going to say! So excuse me for the awkwardness and the repetition of ‘so…so’ in the video…haha..blame my friends who were giggling so hard behind the video and I tried so hard to maintain my composure of not ‘strangling’ them. hehehe…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UrS9ly869k

Some of you must be wondering why on earth would I make a video. A month back, I randomly signed myself up to a online yahoo project organised by London TV productions. They requested me to do a short video clip on the dish I was going to make prior to filming. Hence, after a month’s delay due to my busy schedule etc, I have finally uploaded the video for them on youtube.

So below is the dish I am going to present (if I am not too late with my video submission). Our traditional foochow long life noodles. Very fine thin white noodles submerged in a rich delicious chicken soup cooked with foochow red wine. Simple yet extremely delicious. Apologies on the substandard food presentation as I was so hungry that I could not be bothered with presentation.

You can roughly view my recipe on the video. Not too complicated. Just need to find the correct ingredients. Thanks to my friends who have the authentic foochow red wine imported from sarawak!

Recipe for mee suah:

One good size Corn fed chicken

One glass of good foochow red wine, doesn’t really matter how much you pour into the wok/stock pot

Ginger (smashed with pestle and mortar)

Chinese mushrooms

Goji berries

Red dates

1 litre of water

Steps:

Fry the ginger over high heat.

Once aromatic, fry the chicken for 2 minutes or so.

Pour foochow red wine into the wok/stock pot to burn off the alcohol.

Pour water into the wok/stock pot. Drop some chinese mushrooms, goji berries and red dates into the soup which will give the soup a sweet flavour.

Cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Cook the mee suah in a separate pot of boiling water. Once cooked, remove the cooked mee suah into a clean bowl.

Pour the chicken soup over the mee suah.

Serve with boil egg and ingredients in the soup.

simple, yet amazingly delicious and forever a foochow craving!

Ngoh Hiang recipe

Got home today and had an intense craving to eat Ngoh Hiang.

I will do anything to recreate food and they normally will work out pretty well with an intense craving.

Peel the prawns and cut them into small pieces. Approximately 300g prawns. I think I have more than 300g here.

In another bowl, add 500g of minced pork (fatty preferably). Add in 1-2 tsp of five spice powder. 1tsp ground white pepper. 3 tbsp of light soy sauce. 1tsp of fish sauce. a few pinches of fine sea salt.

Mix everything together. Add the prawns into the pork and mix well. Add in 1 small egg (beaten lightly) and mix.

Finally I can use my pestle and mortar again! Pound 10-12 water chestnuts in the mortar. Then add them into the bowl of pork+prawns mixture.

Chop one small yellow onion into fine pieces and chop spring onions into fine pieces as well.

Add them all into the bowl and mix well.

Add in 3 tbsp of self-raising flour and mix.

The bean curd skin which I bought was not as good as the one in Leeds. This was extremely fragile!

Soak the dry bean curd skin in water and arrange the prepared pork mix on the skin. Roll the skin starting with the edges closest to you. Then roll until the pork mix is enclosed in the skin. It definitely reminds me of making sushi as it is almost identical, just that for sushi, I don’t have to tuck the sides in.

http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2009/06/ngoh-hiang-pork-rolls-q.html?m=1 shows you how to roll them.

Some people steam the ngoh hiang for 8-10 minutes prior to frying them.

I just went straight for the fryer. Turned out pretty good too. Some fry until it turns dark brown but I prefer mine to look this way, less carcinogenic looking LOL! As long as the skin is crispy, it doesn’t matter. I also didn’t want the pork contents to dry out from overfrying.

Some of my ngoh hiang for photoshoot. Didn’t wait too long before they were all wiped off into my tummy.

Then, I started to crack my head thinking on what to do with the remaining ingredients.

Yes! Wonton for the students! They were incredibly happy to eat this.

What made my day was: I made a mee suah soup as well with foochow wine and add the wonton in. The students drank the soup and said ‘nostalgic. Reminds me of mee suah soup in Malaysia’ and all agreed in unison! I didn’t tell them it was mee suah soup, so I am so happy that they were able to recognise the taste and the fact that it made them nostalgic means everything to me! Haha…for those who don’t know, mee suah is the noodle which I am planning to bring onto the TV show. So that is why this totally made my day.

Kueh tiao soup / kway tiao soup / kuey tiao soup recipe

Craving for a bowl of kueh tiao soup? Note the variations in spelling…

One of my favourite noodles which I will never be tired of making just because it is simply so delicious.

Well worth the effort in making a good concentrated stock. Over the past few years, I have combined the Lam mee recipe with the soup kueh tiao recipe to make the most delicious stock ever. I never use MSG so I do go in lengths by adding more chicken bones and prawn shells to make a wonderful heavenly broth.

Recipe from ‘famous street food of penang a guide & cookbook’

Stock:

2 litres water

1 chicken, quartered

1 chicken carcass, in pieces

200g pork bones (optional)

1 tsp white peppercorns, smashed

1 tsp sugar, or to taste

1 tsp salt, or to taste

600g flat rice noodles )kway teow), scalded

180g beansprouts, blanched

Toppings:

300g shredded chicken meat

15 fish balls

2 stalks spring onions, chopped

lard oil and crisps

garlic oil and crisps

Dipping sauce

6-8 bird’s eye chillies, sliced

3 tbsp light soy sauce

To prepare stock:

Bring water to boil. Add the chicken, chicken carcass, pork bones and peppercorns. Bring back to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Strain stock into a clean pot and season to taste with sugar and salt. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred about 300g of the meat and set aside for the topping.

To serve,

Bring stock back to a boil. Place a serving of kueh tiao and bean sprouts in a bowl. Top with shredded chicken. Cook 3 or 4 fish balls in the boiling stock and add to the bowl together with the hot stock. Garnish with spring onion, a teaspoon of lard oil and crisps, and a teaspoon of garlic oil and crisps. Serve with the chilli and soy dipping sauce.

Lard crisps:

150g lard, cut into 1cm cubes.

Place lard in a pan and render over low heat until it turns to oil. Fry until the lard cubes are crisp and lightly browned. Set aside. Keeps well for 1 week at room temperature.

Garlic crisps:

60ml cooking oil

5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

Heat oil and fry garlic over low heat, stirring often, until aromatic and lightly browned (1-2 minutes). Set aside.

Introduction to sushi making – How to make inside out rolls (chapter 4)

Ok. I will let the pictures do the talking.

First of all prepare the sushi rice. I tend to use nishiki brand as that is the only reliable sushi rice brand I know of. I have tried a few other brands in the past as they were cheaper and to be honest with you, there is a huge difference in the quality of sushi you make. I once used a sushi rice of some unknown japanese brand which was like 50p cheaper and I thought won’t make much difference one lah…it’s all sushi rice anyway….but you know what, the cooked sushi rice refused to stick to the seaweed. My housemates who were also ex-sushi chefs didn’t believe me and tried as well before we all declared the sushi rice was just pure nonsense as it just won’t stick to the seaweed! I ended up throwing the whole pot of sushi rice in the bin! 

In summary, don’t cut cost on sushi rice. You really pay for what you get! Nishiki brand, and no other.

As to how to prepare the rice, I cannot stress enough the importance of not putting too much water into the rice before you cook. Check your water level is correct with your finger (cook like how you are cooking normal rice but with slightly less water) and also double check with your rice cooker instructions i.e. if you cook 5 cups, make sure that the water is at the level ‘5’ on the rice pot. If your rice is very wet, you are in for failure so don’t even attempt or you get sushi mash. If you get sushi mash, you might as well not make because no one is going to eat your sushi as it will taste like glue.

Wrap your sushi mat with cling film just to make your cleaning up easier at the end.

After trying tesco, sainsbury, morrisons, costco avocados…the best is still the ripe and ready sainsburys avocados. Tesco, morrisons etc just cannot make it. No questions ask. You can try avocados from other places if you want, don’t say I never warned you. The taste and the texture of the sainsbury avocado is exactly what I am looking for.

Next, take out the seaweed. Can you see how there are horizontal lines across the seaweed?

I want you to count and cut it across the middle just like the picture

Put your seaweed meeting the end of the sushi mat.

Spread rice across the seaweed. No higher above 2 grains of rice thickness.

Pour sesame seeds on it

Flip it the other way round now. Can you see how I have some rice overlapping out of the top of the seaweed?

Line whatever you want in your sushi on the seaweed. I put japanese mayo, chicken katsu and avocados across… don’t be greedy and put too much ingredients because you are only asking for trouble when you realise you cannot close your rolls.

Roll like the picture. Put some gentle pressure on the ingredients to stop them from falling forwards when you roll the sushi forwards.

Close the mat over the ingredients……just like the next picture as well…

Just like this…..

From the side view….

Then…with one finger on each side, slide your fingers across the mat horizontally with equal pressure. Not too hard or your rice will get flattened….lift up one side of the mat and roll sushi forwards, cover with the sushi mat and equal pressure sliding across again…

Tidy up the sides.

You get a inside out roll

There you go…some inside out rolls for you to drool at….

I will teach how to cut another time and also how to make other rolls.

Introduction to sushi making – How do fry the chicken for rolls or katsu curry (chapter 3)

Sushi rolls does not necessarily have to contain raw fish. You can be a bit more imaginative and include yummy fried chicken or roast chicken if raw fish is not one of your favourites.

In this post, I am going to teach you how I fry my chicken for either the katsu curry or to include into the rolls as seen in the picture below.

Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, season with salt and black pepper. Beat well.

In another dry bowl, pour in some japanese breadcrumbs.

Deboned chicken thighs. Or you can use chicken breast depending on what you prefer.

That’s the brand of the japanese breadcrumbs I have been using for many years. Get everything ready before you start. Pour some oil in a pan enough to cover 2/3 of the chicken.

To start, coat the chicken thighs in egg, then transfer to the bowl with breadcrumbs and make sure the whole chicken is evenly coated. (I have recently tried a new method where I coat the chicken thighs in plain flour first before dipping into the egg..it’s up to you how you want to do it.). In summary, what I meant is either you can either:

a) Dip into egg -> breadcrumb -> oil

or

b) Coat with plain flour -> egg -> breadcrumb -> oil

Either way works.

When the oil in the pan is hot enough, put in enough chicken to deep fry till golden brown.

Don’t you feel the deep fry chicken calling out to you!!!

Next entry on sushi making chapter 4 will be on how to roll the chicken rolls!