Thursday, May 26, 2011

炒沙葛 Stir-fried Jicama

Jicama 沙葛 ( Malay : Sengkuang ) ( tuberous root of Pachyrhizus erosus ), x½, skinned and julienned.
Carrot, x1, julienned.
Pork lean meat, minced.
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced.

First, heat the garlic in oil.
Then put in the meat.  Add in some ground pepper while stirring.
Put in all the julienned carrot, stir for a while.
Lastly, add in all the jicama. Stirfry a bit and then simmer under small flame.
Add in salt and more ground pepper to taste.

Glossary of Cutting Techniques

Chopping = cutting into pieces

Brunoise = small size dicing, produced from further cutting of julienned food
Dicing = cutting of food into small blocks.  There are 3 types of dicing : large 20mm cube, medium 10mm cube and small 5mm cube.

Grinding = reducing to fine particles by pounding or crushing

Julienning = food item is cut into long thin strips, normally a thick rectangular stick 6-7cm x 1-2mm length x 1-2mm width

Mincing = food ingredients, eg. Garlic, ginger, herbs, meats, are finely divided, to allow more evenly distributed flavour in a mixture.

Peeling / Skinning = removing of outer layer of fruits or vegetables
Rinding = removing of thick outer layer of food eg. watermelon, citrus, bacon

Slicing = cutting into slice 
Shaving = cutting into thin slice

Grating = reducing to small particles by rubbing against a rough surface or a surface with many sharp-edged openings.

Glossary of Chinese Cooking Techniques 烹制法

· = 锅内加少量食用油,以旺火加热至250°C左右,加入原料后急速颠翻,调味。
· 爆炒 = 小块原料在油锅用旺火快速加热至断生,捞出后加铺料、调味急炒。例:酱爆肉丁、葱爆羊肉、芫爆肚丝、辣爆鸡胗。
· 溜炒 / 滑炒 = 原料调味挂浆后,放入中等热油中,滑开后既沥干。然后在炒匀中放少量底油,加上主、配料和葱蒜等煸炒,勾芡出锅。例:清炒虾仁。
· = 原料快速翻炒至熟透,调味而成。例:回锅肉、生炒鸡。
· 干炒 / 焦炒 = 原料切细条、丝或片,调味后加入旺火热油,快速翻炒,直到汤汁蒸发。例:干炒牛河、干炒四季豆。
· = 少量油锅里加热,再把食物放进去,使其熟透。表面会稍成金黄色至微煳。例:饺子、烟肉、鸡蛋。
· = 只油煎食物的其中一面。例:锅贴。
· = 多量的食用油加以滚佛,再把食物放进去,使其熟透且表面呈黄色。例:炸油条、炸鸡。
· = 主料炸或炒后,另起锅,放入主料,加上勾芡的调味汁而成。例:烧汁鱼。

· = 原料先炒,然后加汤至熟。  
· = 出锅前勾芡,余同熬。
· = 先炒,后加汤和调味料,微火至熟。  
· = 加汤和调料后,微火至接近熟,再也旺火收汤, 余同焖。
· = 出锅前勾芡,余同烧。


· (拼音:cuan= 食材放入佛水中片刻,以去除肉类血水的效果。    
· = 投食材于水,加热至熟。
· = 旺火收汤,余同煮。   
· = 主要用于不易酥烂,如鸡脚,宽汤旺火。    
· = 原料放到水里煮,让所含的成分进入水中。例:煎茶、煎药。
· = 温火久热,余同喂。 
· (拼音:shuan= 食材加工成薄片,方便烫熟,夹入清水或高汤,晃动几下,烫熟。例:火锅  

· = 调味后的食材放在器皿,再置入注水的蒸具,以蒸气加热食物使其成熟。


· = 食材用烤箱或木炭加热。
· = 切好的食材用佛水或温油稍微加热断生,然后加入调料以及温热的花椒油、香油或花生油拌制。主要用于凉菜。例:炝三丝、炝黄瓜。
· = 利用糖、盐、醋等来保存肉类或蔬菜。例:咸鱼。
· = 把浆料与其他食材拌匀。例:鱼生、拌面。
· (拼音:xun= 食料放入蒸笼,锅底撒糖或煮过的茶叶以及其他香料,密封加热,使其炭化生烟,吸附在被熏物的表面,以增加食品特殊味道和延长保存时间。
· (拼音:ju= 既据以盐为热介质。例:盐焗鸡

Glossary of Cooking Techniques

Dry – Conduction
· Dry Roasting = heating of dry foodstuff ( eg coffee beans ) without the use of oil or water, occasionally stir to ensure even heating
· Hot Salt Frying = cooking of dry foodstuff ( in India / China ) by burying them in heated salt, occasionally turned with a spatula
· Hot Sand Frying 沙炒 = cooking of dry foodstuff ( chestnuts, peanuts ) ( in India / China ) by burying them in heated sand, occasionally turned with a spatula
· Searing = cooking surface of the food at high temperature to allow caramelization, prior to further cooking

Dry – Convection
· Baking 焗烤 / 烘焙 / 烘烤= prolonged cooking of food by dry heating by convection, primarily for preparation of bread, cakes, pastries, pies, tarts, quiches, cookies, crackers
· Roasting ( modern ) = cooking via dry heat of whole piece foodstuff ( meat )
· Smoking = is the process of flavoring, cooking or preserving food ( meat, fish ) by exposing it to the smoke from burning plant materials ( oak wood )

Dry – Radiation
· Gridironing = is grilling meat, fish, vegetables over a metal grate, or hinged between two grids
· Grilling ( Charbroiling ) = is cooking of food via direct heat from above or below
· Broiling = is grilling of food with heat source from above ( Canada, USA )
· Roasting ( traditional ) = cooking using dry heat of open flame, over etc
· Rotisserie = a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit, vertical or horizontal over fire, continuously rotated
· Toasting = is browning of bread via exposing to radiant heat

Wet – High Heat
· Blanching = is cooking of vegetable in boiling water, and then place into iced water to halt the cooking process
· Boiling = cooking of food in boiling liquid
· Decoction = cooking of food in boiling liquid to prepare a stock
· Parboiling = is partial boiling of food to remove poisonous or foul-tasting substances

Wet – Low Heat
· Coddling = heat of food in water below boiling point
· Creaming (baking) = blending sugar and butter, beaten until it becomes light and fluffy
· Creaming (cooking) = simmering or poaching food in milk or cream
· Infusion = preparing beverage with adding boiling water over food ( herbs, tea, coffee ), and allow to steep for a time
· Poaching =  gentle simmering of food ( egg, poultry, fish, fruit ) in liquid other than oil ( milk, stock, wine )
· Simmering = cooking of food in hot liquids kept at or just below the boiling point of water
· Steeping = saturation in a liquid solvent to extract a soluble ingredient ( tea )
· Stewing 燉煮 = combination of solid foods ingredients ( carrots, potatoes, beans, pepers, tomatoes, meat ) cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy

Wet – Indirect Heat
· Bain-marie ( Water Bath / Double Boiling ) = heating of foodstuff in an inner container, immersed halfway inside an outer container containing water
· Double Steaming = ( Chinese ) steaming of delicate food ( bird nest, shark fins, Chinese medicine ) in a ceramic container, and the ceramic container is steamed for several hours
· Sous-vide = a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in water bath for a long time ( up to 72 hours ), at a temperature lower than normally used for cooking ( 60 °C ) 
· Steaming = cooking using steam

Fat-based – High Heat
· Blackening = a cooking technique commonly used ( Cajun ) in the preparation of fish.  Food is dipped in melted butter, then dredge in a mixture of herbs, then cooked in an extremely hot cast iron skillet
· Browning = is the process of partially cooking meat to help remove excessive fat and to give the meat a brown colour and flavour through browning reaction, on a skillet or frying pan
· Deep Frying = food cooked by submerged in hot oil
· Pan Frying = food cooked using minimal oil, flipping is needed to cook both sides
· Stir Frying = a Chinese stir fry technique with a round-button cast iron wok, the food is stir fried on high heat for flavour and then steamed to ensure that it is fully cooked.
· Stir Frying = a Chinese stir fry technique with heated wok, the food is tossed continuously until cooked.
· Sautéing = foods are cooked over high heat on a shallow pan.

Fat-based – Low Heat
· Caramelizing = browning of sugar
· Gentle Frying = low temperature frying in oil for fragile foods
· Sweating = gentle heating of coarsely cut vegetable is little oil, with frequent stirring and turning to allow evaporation

· Barbecuing / BBQ 燒烤 = cooking marinated meat over the heat of fire
· Braising = food is seared first, then liquid is added, and cooked under low simmer
· Griddling = food cooked without oil on heated plate of metal or brick slab, eg. Pancakes, crepes, unleavened breads

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

冬瓜汤 WinterMelon Soup

Ingredients :
Wintermelon, half, skinned, cut into chunk
Spare ribs / lean pork meat
Carrot, 1 piece, cut into cubes
Dried scallops

Jim brought me a pressure cooker when he came back from Brazil several years ago.  The pressure cooker helped me a lot in preparing mostly soups and stews.   It really sounds dangerous, but I must say it really saves me a lot of cooking time.  

Traditionally, Chinese soups are simmered for a long time to get the taste out.  This wintermelon soup takes only 30 minutes to cook.  Despite being fast and furious, the soup taste as good as conventional simmering, and energy-saving too !

Bravo to pressure cooker !
and Kudos to Denis Papin, the inventor of pressure cookers !

玉米排骨汤 Corn & Spare Ribs Soup

1. Corn x 4, cut into chunks
2. Spare ribs, 300g
3. Potato x 2 or 3, cut into chunks
4. Carrot x 3, cut into cubes
5. Dried wolfberries, a lot
6. Dried scallops  

Well..... just like other ongrizinal recipe, put all ingredients into a huge pot of water.  Bring to boil, then reduce the heat.  Leave to simmer for a long long time ( > 1 hour ).  Towards the end of cooking time, add salt to taste.

my previous soups are generally not very rich in flavours.  I learned from Connie's mother that I should be generous with the ingredients.  Thus this time, i put in extra corns, more carrots, a lot of dried wolfberries... and it turned out quite nice, despite relatively less amout of spare ribs.  Sedap !

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cucumber Salad in Soy Sauce

This is an easy dish to prepare.    Easy, yet not a dish to my preference.  I find it rather bland, chilled, and too sweet to go with rice.  My bro, Jim seems to like it though. 

Due to higher concentration of salt in soy sauce, the cucumber tends to softened after a while.  So it is best having it freshly served, when it still have the crunchy texture.  

How to prepare :

Halve a cucumber horizontally, remove the seeds…
Slice at 45° about 3mm thick …
Add about 3 spoon light soy sauce…
Sprinkle 1 pinch or 2 of sugar…
Slice and add some chili pepper…
Serve fresh.