Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mapo Tofu with Pork Belly

“People interested in lowering their cholesterol should probably acquire a taste for tofu…”
                                                                                                                          David Jenkins

Tofu has always been known to have high nutritional levels. It is an affordable ingredient, cooks well with most ingredients (such as meat and vegetables) and can be prepared in a variety of ways. It is probably one of the healthier ingredients to introduce into a young child’s diet.

‘Mapo Tofu with Pork Belly’ is a non-spicy tofu dish which was adapted from my favourite cookbook by Chen Kenichi. I substituted the minced beef in this dish with pork belly instead. According to Chen Kenichi, this dish is very suitable for children and adults who do not like spicy food. Despite this, the ingredients used in this adaptation are more extravagant compared to the usual version of Mapo Tofu (Chen, 2009).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Honey Baked Chicken Wings

Honey baked chicken wings served with fresh tomatoes and lemon juice.

Cookbook by Iron Chef - Chen Kenichi.

Honey baked chicken wings is one of the recipes I have learnt from ‘Iron Chef Chen’s Knockout Chinese’ cookbook by Chen Kenichi. His cookbook includes recipes that incorporate a combination of Chinese and Japanese ingredients and cooking styles. He is my most favourite chef and his cookbook is a must have for those who love Chinese and Japanese food.

Honey Baked Chicken Wings (adapted from Chen Kenichi's cookbook).

This is a simple dish that reduces the hassle of cleaning and washing. All one needs to do is to marinate the chicken wings for at least 2 hours beforehand and bake them in an oven. I have improvised some of the ingredients for this dish as I do not have those as required in the cookbook. Nevertheless, the turnout was still great. The ingredients are: chicken wings; salt; rice vinegar; soy sauce; honey; and Chinese cooking wine (adjust according to your preference). Before baking, brush the baking tray with some vegetable oil and bake the chicken wings till they turn dark brown in colour. Squeeze some lemon juice on the chicken wings just before serving and they go very well as finger food or with rice.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Macadamia and Cashew Nut Chocolate Muffins

This is another desert recipe that I learnt from the Coles magazine. This muffin recipe is very similar to the Chocolate-Lemon Muffins recipe in one of my earlier entries. The only difference in this muffin recipe is the use of macadamia and cashew nuts instead of lemon. The chocolate muffins go extremely well with vanilla ice-cream. It is a must try with the ice-cream! The chocolate flavour in the muffins complements well with the cold vanilla ice-cream and the nuts in the muffins give an overall nice crunch to the dessert.

Macadamia and cashew nut chocolate muffin served with vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce and crushed nuts.


Macadamia and Cashew Nut Chocolate Muffins Recipe (makes about 12)

200g of butter (at room temperature, chopped)
200g of cooking chocolate (chopped)
1 cup of brown sugar (adjust according to your taste preference)
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup of roughly chopped macadamia and cashew nuts
1cup of self-raising flour
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
Some unchopped nuts as garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

3. Add eggs and beat with a wooden spoon until well-combined.

4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder and fold into a mixture, until just combined.

5. Add the chopped nuts and stir gently into the mixture.

5. Fill the prepared muffin pan with the mixture and top each with the unchopped nuts.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.