These are not exactly new recipes, as I have cooked them in one way or others. For instance, the stuffed tofu puffs with minced meat and Chinese chives. I have prepared similar dishes with mashed tofu and minced chicken as the filling, or sometimes using minced pork and mushrooms as the filling, and braised the puffs in hot bean paste sauce. But, this is my first attempt to fill these tofu puffs with minced meat/Chinese chives; after looking at Wendy's mouth-watering Guangxi Stuffed Tofu.
|Stuffed Tofu Puffs with Minced Meat and Chinese Chives (韭菜)|
I have used minced meat, fish paste (about 1/3 of minced meat portion), 2 to 3 Chinese mushrooms (chopped) and Chinese chives (chopped) as the filling. Chinese chives (韭菜) has a very strong smell (pungent?). To reduce the strong smell, I pre-marinated the chopped chives with a tsp of sugar and about 1/2 tsp salt and leave it for 30 minutes. Then, squeeze out the excess liquid from the chives before mixing them to the minced meat mixture (seasoned with a little oyster sauce, sesame oil, pepper, corn starch etc). Chill the minced meat filling in the fridge for at least 2 hours before filling into the tofu puffs (I like the Unicurd brand cos their puffs do not have the stale oil smell and is very soft after cooking).
I learnt a very useful tip from Wendy when steaming these tofu puffs: Arrange the puffs on plate and fill the plate with boiling water halfway up the puffs. Steaming with water in the plate makes these puffs juicy and keeps the filling moist. I did a little twist to it. I filled the plate with some lightly-seasoned stock instead. After steaming over high heat for about 10 minutes, transfer the tofu puffs over to a serving dish, drain the liquid into a pot, heat it up and thicken with cornstarch. Pour the gravy over the tofu puffs for a shiny touch.
|Stir-fry Baby Kailan with Chinese Sausage|
Stir-fry kailan is another common home-cooked dish. This time, I added some thinly-sliced Chinese sausage. The trick to a nice plate of stir-fry kailan is to squeeze some ginger-wine juice (grated ginger mixed with cooking wine) while stir-frying the kailan in the wok over high heat. This adds a nice aroma to the dish. Since I'm using Chinese sausage in this dish, lightly heat up the sausage in the wok first with a little oil to release the excess fats in the sausage. The fats will also add flavour to the vegetables.
|Grilled Sambal Stingray|
Everyone loves this dish and the sambal gravy! I prepared these weekend menu about 3 weeks ago, so I cannot really remember the exact details. It was a huge piece of stingray (probably around 600g to 700g, or more). For the sambal sauce: I mixed sambal paste (store bought or home made) with some assam juice, sugar, soy sauce and some stock (taste it to determine if you need to add more sugar and soy sauce etc). Spread the sauce evenly over the stingray. Prepare a piece of aluminium foil. Place some sliced onion on the foil, sit the stingray on the onion and pour any remaining sauce on top. Wrap the foil lightly over the stingray and bake in preheated oven at 200C for about 15 to 20 minutes (how long you need to cook depends on the thickness of the fish. After 15 minutes, poke the tip of a knife into the fish to determine if it's cooked). Then set the oven to top heat only and grill the fish for a few minutes uncovered, till the top caramelised. Squeeze lime juice over and serve immediately with cucumber slices.
Beside these 3 dishes, we had the Arrowroot pork rib soup for dinner. And I just noticed that this menu makes my 20th 3-plus 1 menu ideas. You will see more menu ideas over here.