Fried Meehoon on weeknights

As previously mentioned, I’m quite lazy. But I like fresh hot food on weeknights. Lots of people ask why I don’t just eat out, actually I don’t know, maybe I’m just too lazy to go to a shopping mall and find some food.

Local food often is a bit harder to be lazy with as you end up thinking about making dishes, which takes ages. However, fried meehoon really is a truly lazy food.

On weeknights I usually cook for one, but you can scale up for as many people as needed. This recipe makes a bit extra sauce, if you have 3 people then I’d recommend only doubling the sauce recipe. You can also add chopped chicken or fishballs, but I didn’t have any today. Also I didn’t feel like going shopping.

Fried Meehoon

Meehoon – one serving
Garlic – 4 cloves, chopped
Chilli – one, chopped into strips
Stringbeans – enough for one, chopped small
Egg – one

Oyster sauce – 1.2 tablespoons (so precise..measure properly or it will fail woo woo)
Light soya sauce – 1 tablespoon
Dark soya sauce – 1 tablespoon
White pepper – a few shakes

  1. Soak your meehoon for a couple of minutes in cold water. Look at the packet (I did mine for about 2 minutes), don’t oversoak!
  2. Heat oil in a wok. Fry the garlic until golden brown and delicious smelling.
  3. Throw in the chilli. Wait a few minute til it’s a bit cooked, then add the stringbeans (or other vege..some people add carrot or cabbage but I don’t like those. You should add any chicken/fishballs at this point too and cook until they are done)
  4. Drain and add the meehoon and sauce mix. Stir, so that everything gets coated.
  5. Turn the heat up high. Push your meehoon to one side of the wok, so the base is exposed. Crack an egg onto the exposed part of the wok, and stir quickly so it doesn’t stick or look like a fried egg. The aim is to scramble.
  6. Mix the egg into the meehoon.
  7. Dust with as much white pepper as you like.

Total time spent on dinner: one TV show episode (20 minutes)

Grandpa’s English Kitchen: Oxtail Stew

When I was little, my grandpa made the long trip to visit us every year, until he was 98 years old. He used to cook sometimes, and my favourite dish was his oxtail stew. That sounds a bit odd, coming from someone who is an inconsistent flexitarian. However, this is different, and once you try it, you will know.

Close your eyes and imagine you are in a little cute english kitchen with wood panelled walls and a yellow table cloth. There’s a jack russel running around somewhere, and horses and cows outside, please don’t forget to take your muddy wellingtons off at the door.

Grandpa’s English Kitchen: Oxtail Stew

Oxtail – 4 slices. Get it fresh from your butcher!
Onions – 2 large ones. I used 3 as I had smaller ones.
Pearl barley – a handful, I like barley so I add more. This time I added a cup.
Oxo cubes – 2. Any other beef stock should also work, but Oxo comes out tastiest.
Lea & Perrins sauce – 2-3 table spoons
Bay leaf – two or three
Tomato paste – 2 tablespoons
Carrots – chopped
Any other vege you like – potato  and button mushrooms would be nice, you can use other vege like pumpkin but just be warned that it will change the flavour a bit
Water – enough to cover everything, and a bit more

  1. Heat everything in a big pot with the water, until it is boiling. Don’t add your extra vege at this stage, only the carrots.
  2. Add any extra vege. Use your cooking method of choice to finish:
  • Oven – pour into a large oven-proof dish. Make sure there is enough water in the dish to cover the ingredients, and cover with silver foil. Stick it in the oven at about 180-200 degrees celcius. Leave it there for about 3 to 4 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is enough water.
  • Slow Cooker – pour into a slow cooker. Make sure there is enough water in the pot to cover the ingredients. Leave it on low setting for 8-10 hours, or 7-8 hours on high setting. If you are going to leave it alone for the whole day or overnight, add extra water and use low setting. (I haven’t tried this, this is just how I was told to cook the stew)
  • Pressure Cooker – pour into pressure cooker. Make sure there is an inch or more of water covering the ingredients. Close the lid and cook on high until it boils, then reduce the temperature and leave it on the stove for an hour or so.
    Pressure cooking can be scary and dangerous, it’s important to read the manual (I didn’t, who needs manuals, it’s a pot, it can’t be so hard, and so on). As a result there was some kitchen excitement as I tried to open the lid for the first time.

    Sauce trajectory:

    Caution, hot soup burns sometimes.

  •  Keep going until the meat gets so tender it drops off the bone.

It’s nice with crusty bread or potato (if you didn’t already put potato in the sauce).

 

Lazy French Toast

I’m a lazy person sometimes. By this I don’t mean the lazy where you stay in your pajamas all day and watch movies (though that can be fun too), I mean the lazy in which you find the easiest way possible to get the thing you want. And today I wanted french toast for lunch.

Of course french toast is a lunch food. It’s got egg, which is protein, bread  which is the carby part, and raisins which make up part of your daily dose of vege. The three basic food groups, yay it must be healthy! It’s also a teatime food, a dinner food, and a midnight snack food.

It’s also a pain as I don’t really like standing over the stove sweating away, especially just after getting up in the morning.

But, I decided, today is going to be a french toast day. Yesterday was meant to be a french toast day but the Tahiti Crepe was too much of a temptation to resist (strawberry compote + strawberry coulis + creme chantilly = amazing). This left me thinking of french toast late last night and thinking of food late at night, especially when you don’t have any, is a bad idea. I’m really not an obsessive person.

Lazy French Toast

Stolen and edited from Smitten Kitchen. But I didn’t invite anyone over, I just ate it all myself.

Bread – 4 slices. Any bread should be alright.
Eggs – 2
Milk – a bit more than a cup
Cinnamon
Raisins
Honey

  1. Beat your eggs, add milk. The mixture should be a bit milky, and not too thick. Dump in cinnamon to taste (as you can see, I like cinnamon).
     
  2. Layer your bread into an oven-proof dish, put raisins between the layers. I think chocolate chips, fresh fruit, or any other random snack would have been nice too.
  3. Pour the egg on to the bread, and leave it in the fridge for about an hour to soak in.
  4. Put the bowl into the oven for about 15 minutes at 220 degrees C. If you are extra lazy like me and don’t want to wait for the oven to heat up, put it in a toaster oven for about 15 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn!
  5. Add honey and eat it by yourself in bed watching a movie. I did say it was lazy french toast.

 

Chocolate Colgate Cookies

I truly believe mint and chocolate are one of the best pairings in the universe. Naysayers don’t know what they are on about. Mint chocolate is the classy lady of chocolate, the one with the long silk arm gloves and the little cigarette on a stick sitting in the large leather armchair in the lounge. Drinking tea. I like tea.

However, it hurts me deeply to admit that in this instance the mint essence that we had chosen did taste like colgate. But well, who wouldn’t want to brush their teeth with chocolate? Add some fluoride and I can see a market for these at the chemist. Jokes aside, after a day the mint flavour evened out and they tasted like the mint cookies they were born to be. And I recommend that you buy a better quality mint extract than we did. A real proper fancy one (three cheers for Fairprice!)

Chocolate Colgate Cookies

Loosely based on Smitten Kitchen: Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flour – 2 cups
Cocoa powder – a couple of table spoons
Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt –  1/2 teaspoon

Melted butter – 3/4 cup / 170g
Brown sugar – 1/2 cup / 100g
White sugar – 1/2 cup / 100g
Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
Peppermint extract – 1 teaspoon
Whole egg – 1
Egg yolk – 1

Chocolate chips – the more the merrier

Oven temperature – 165°C

  1. Preheat your oven. It is not appropriate to use a charcoal oven as one might confuse one’s cookies with the briquettes.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. It’s best to use a sieve.
  3. Cream melted butter, and brown and white sugar until well mixed.
  4. Best in the vanilla, peppermint, egg and egg yolk. Mix into the sifted dry ingredients until just blended.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand. More chocolate chips will result in more chocolate power.
  6. Plop cookie dough on to oven sheets a tablespoon at a time. They will look rather suspicious. Plops should be about 3 inches apart.
     
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, more or less depending on the size of your cookies. These were about teaspoon sized and  they came out fine.  Cool fully on a wire rack for a crunchy chewy minty fresh chocolate cookie.

A word of warning: when opening the oven to remove the cookies, CLOSE YOUR EYES! Else you will be blinded by the minty freshness that is the mint extract fumes. Unless you have fire-proof eyes, please close them, it’s painful!

 

Mentaiko Pasta

Bel and I frequent Sakae Sushi quite regularly, and on one of those visits we tried the magnificent Hotate Mentaiko. I suspect, primarily because of its exciting name. It’s a thick layer of mentaiko (cod-roe with japanese mayo, for the uninitiated like us), on top of a fried scallop with breadcrumbs. It’s one really really large bite size. Every time we ate it, that was the end of the meal. We always felt sick afterwards. Though very tasty sickness during the first couple of bites I must admit.

In any case, being the overly ambitious people that we are we thought we could do a better job. Specifically at mentaiko pasta. Maybe next time there will be hotate 🙂

There are a lot of mentaiko pasta recipes floating around the internet, we picked the one that seemed the least rich. A word of caution, mentaiko is kinda gross when you buy it from the Japanese supermarket – it smells kinda strong and makes you feel like you doing serious fish surgery. Also it looks like a finger.

 Mentaiko Pasta with Shimeji Mushrooms

Linguine – enough for two
Mentaiko – one egg sac, fresh from mummy fish’s belly
Butter – one tablespoon
Kewpie Mayo – one squirt
Shimeji Mushrooms – a handful
Garlic – a couple of cloves (we used about 5 for 2 people, not everyone is as bold)

  1. Fry mushrooms with a generous helping of chopped garlic.
  2. Boil linguine in salty, oily water.
  3. Remove the Mentaiko from the egg sack. Mix mentaiko, softened butter and kewpie mayo.
  4. Dump everything into the pasta and stir.
Fit for the samurai that we are.

Hello Bellea

Eating, baking and cooking form the glue in Annabel and Lea’s friendship. My Happy Bellea (Bel-Lea) was born out of surfing too many food blogs in a day, and becoming exasperated at not being able to express their weird selves publicly. They live in Singapore for the moment, but are both tried and true Malaysians. A few of their combined interests include: pumpkin, nutella and cheese. It is hoped that you will gain some form of culinary knowledge through their quick but always delicious experiments in the kitchen. Enjoy!