Cereal Cookies燕麦饼干yàn mài bǐng gàn

COVERA fun way to enjoy healthy cereal. Plus you can have your favourite cereal breakfast on the go now. These crunchy and chewy cereal cookies are easy to make, delicious and perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack. You might want to double the batch, because they usually go very quickly!

Make  about 20 cookies

  • 1 and half cups                             plain flour 中筋面粉
  • 1 cup                                               desiccated coconut干椰丝
  • 1 and half cup                              cereal flakes, crushed燕麦片(捣碎)
  • 2 tablespoons                                brown sugar红糖
  • 35g                                                   unsalted butter无盐黄油
  • 2 tablespoons                                maple syrup枫糖浆
  • 2 tablespoons                               olive oil橄榄油
  • 2 tablespoons                                water (room temperature)IMG_6935

 Method

  1. Line 1 baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 190 ℃
  2. Melt the unsalted butter in microwave or on the stove and cool it off.IMG_6936.JPG
  3. Place cereal into a plastic bag. Hold the bag tight to crush the cereal flakes into small rough pieces.IMG_6974.JPG
  4. In a mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients of plain flour, crushed cereal flakes, desiccated coconut and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients of butter (liquid), olive oil and water. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Use a spatula or your hands to bring them together.IMG_6975.JPG
  5. Now let’s roll the cookies. Take a small portion of the dough (1/20 of the total dough). Roll it into a ball then use your fingers to squash the ball, press it down to a disc. Place the disc on the baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough until you’ve used it all up. Leave a bit of space between the cookies so they do not stick to each other.IMG_6976.JPG
  6. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.IMG_6977.JPG
  7. Take out of the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes then remove from the baking tray. You can serve them warm or allow them to cool completely.

 Tips

  1. These cookies can be stored in a sealed jar at room temperature. They should be eaten in 5-6 days.

Spicy Green Eggplant Salad泰式茄子沙拉tài shì qié zǐ shā lā

coverThis simple Thai salad dressing of sour-sweet-salty-spicy flavors is simply irresistible. On top of that, the crispy peanuts and chewy shrimp so nicely counter balance the softness of the eggplants. Will this give you another reason to eat more salad with homemade dressing?

Serves 3-4,  

  • 400g                       green eggplants (or slim Chinese/Japanese eggplants)
  • 6-7                          shrimps, shelled and deveined
  • 4-5                          small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons       peanuts, roughly chopped

Sour-sweet-salty-spicy Dressing

  • ½ teaspoon                            sea salt (optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons                    fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon                         caster sugar白砂糖
  • 1.5 tablespoon                     lime juice
  • 8                                              red Thai bird chilies, slicedIMG_6724.JPG

Method

  1. Clean the eggplants and place them in a pre-heated oven (200°C) and bake for 15 minutes till the flesh becomes soft and the skin is charred all over.IMG_6891.JPG
  2. Clean the shrimp, split the shrimp from the back and cook in a pot of boiling water until just done. Remove and put aside.IMG_6892.JPG
  3. In the meantime, let’s prepare the dressing. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, mix well to ensure sugar is disolved. IMG_6893.JPG
  4. Peel the skin of eggplants and cut them into sections in 8cmIMG_6894.JPG
  5. Arrange the eggplants in a serving bowl. Top with shallots, cooked shrimp and chopped peanuts. Then pour into dressing.IMG_6895.JPG
  6. Reay to serve.

 

Sichuan Dandan Noodles 四川担担面sì chuān dān dān miàn

FullSizeRenderOne of the most popular Chinese street foods originally from Sichuan. The noodles are served in a savory, spicy broth topped with crispy ground meat and peanuts. Simply stir everything together with a pair of chopsticks to coat the noodles with a bit of everything and slurp! The numbing, smoky, spicy sauce will shock your taste buds, leaving you craving for more! There are so many variations for the recipe. I am not sure this is the most authentic one but it is certainly the easiest way to put together a yummy and satisfying meal.

Serves 2 dinner, 4 for a street snack

 200g     dried Chinese flour-and-water noodles

For the meat topping:

  • ½ tablespoon                   light soy sauce 生抽
  • 100g                                   minced beef or pork肉末
  • 1 tablespoon                   cooking oil
  • 3 dried chilies, roughly cut
  • ½ tablespoon                   mince garlic蒜末
  • ½ tablespoon                   minced ginger葱末
  • 2 tablespoons                 Sichuan Ya Cai宜宾芽菜

 For the sauce

  • ½ teaspoon                      Sichuan peppercorn powder花椒粉
  • 2 tablespoons                 sesame paste芝麻酱
  • 2 tablespoons                  light soy sauce生抽
  • 2 teaspoons                     dark soy sauce老抽
  • 2 tablespoon                   chili oil (optional)辣椒油

2 tablespoons                  roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Chinese green vegetable (optional)IMG_6698.JPG

Method

  1. Place minced beef/pork in a bowl. Marinate with light soy sauce.IMG_6699.JPG
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over a moderate flame. But the oil is hot but not yet smoking, turn to medium heat, add minced garlic and minced ginger, fry for 1-2 minutes, add dried chilies until fragrant. This does not take longer than 2-3 minutes. Add Ya Cai and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the meat and cook for another 2 minutes. The meat topping is done. Transfer it to a bowl.IMG_6795.JPG
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over HIGH heat and cook the noodles to your liking, then drain them well – depending on the types of your noodles, the process takes no more than 10 minutes. You can use the remaining water to blanch the Chinese green vegetable.IMG_6797.JPG
  4. Now prepare the sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients plus 2-3 tablespoons remaining water used for cooking noodles.IMG_6798.JPG
  5. Divide the sauce in the serving bowl. Place onto the equivalent noodles followed by meat topping. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.IMG_6799.JPG
  6. Before serving, give the noodles a good stir until the sauce and meat are evenly combinedimg_6721.jpg

 

 

French Beans Salad凉拌四季豆liáng bàn sì jì dòu

cover.JPGWho would think that cooked sesame oil and minced garlic together could create such a glorious flavor?  The  four-ingredient salad is super easy to make and can immediately become a must of your dinner table. Feel free to replace the French beans with spinach, snow beans, or Chinese long beans.

Serves 2-4,

  •  250g            fresh green beans (French beans), ends removed四季豆
  • 2 cups          ice cubes (optional)

Sauce

  • 1.5 tablespoon    sesame oil香油
  • 2-3 cloves       garlic cloves, minced, 蒜末
  • 1.5 tablespoon     light soy sauceIMG_6594.JPG

Method

  1. Trim the ends of the French beans.IMG_6595.JPG
  2. Let’s blanch the beans first. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, prepare a bowl of iced water. Add the beans into the boiling water, cook for about 4 minutes. Then drain the beans and immediately plunge them the iced water to stop cooking (if no iced water, just use the tap water.) In 2 minutes later, drain the beans. Half the beans in length. Place them in a serving plate.IMG_6622.JPGIMG_6624.JPG
  3. Now, let’s make the sauce. Add one and half tablespoon of sesame oil into a sauce pan over medium heat, add minced garlic and fry about 3-4 minutes till garlic turns brown. Add one and half tablespoon of soy sauce, mix well and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off.IMG_6625.JPG
  4. Use a spoon to pour the sauce evenly onto the beans in the serving plate.IMG_6626.JPG

 

No-knead Wholemeal Baguette 全麦法棍quán mài fǎ gùn

cover.JPGCrusty on the outside, chewy and soft in the middle – what’s not to love about baguettes?! It’s hard to get a truly authentic French baguette in our home ovens, but we can get mighty close. Try this method for shaping baguette loaves with my favorite no-knead bread dough. You can double or triple the quantity of the ingredients and keep the dough covered in the fridge for a week – you get to eat freshly homemade baguette every day!

Makes two loaves,

  • 240g        bread flour高筋面粉
  • 60g         wholemeal flour 全麦面粉
  • 2g          dry yeast 酵母
  • 4g          salt盐
  • 240g        water in room temperatureingredients.JPG

Method

  1. Combine the bread flour and whole flour in a big mixing bowl. Mix well. Add into yeast at one side and salt at the other side. Gradually pour into the water and mix the ingredients well until you do not see any dry flour any more. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag. Leave the dough in the bowl rise for 2 hours in room temperature till it doubles in size. Cover the mixing bowl with a plastic bag, place the covered bowl in fridge overnight or no less than 14 hours.IMG_6581.JPG
  2. Take the mixing bowl out of the fridge. Now let’s FOLD the dough. Dust the counter top or any work surface. Then tip the dough out onto flour-dusted surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.IMG_6582.JPG
  3. Let’s work on one piece first. Gently but firmly, pat the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 12cm by 10cm. Make sure the bottom isn’t sticking and try not to deflate too many of those lovely air bubbles. Use both hands to pick up the right side of the dough and lift it off the work surface, stretching the dough upward as you lift (just don’t tear it.) Fold the flap of dough one-third of the way across the rectangle. Repeat it for the left side of the dough. Then using both hands, pick up the end of the dough farthest from you and lift it off the work surface and fold the flap of dough one-third of the way across the rectangle. Repeat by picking up the dough nearest to you – they sound like folding business letter, right? Once done, flip the dough over so that what was once the bottom of the dough is now the top.   (The folding technique here is not for forming the final product; this is done after the first rise to create structure in the dough. This is more to be required for high-hydration doughs.). Repeat the same process for the other piece of dough. Cover the two pieces of dough with kitchen towel and rest for 30-40 minutes.IMG_6583.JPG
  4. Repeat the step 3 by folding the two pieces of dough one more time. Cover them with kitchen towel. Rest for 30 minutes.IMG_6588
  5. Now let’s SHAPE. Sprinkle the work surface and shape dough with a little more flour so there’s no sticking. Take a piece of rested dough. Use the palms of your hand to gently press down into a rough rectangle approximately 12cm by 10cm. Then using both hands, pick up the end of the dough farthest from you and lift it off the work surface and fold the flap of dough one-third of the way across the rectangle. Repeat by picking up the dough nearest to you (like you fold business letter.) Use your fingers to press down to make sure the edges are well sealed. Then press and roll the loaf into a long baguette form. Start with your hands in the middle of the loaf and gradually move them to the outer edge of the baguette as you roll. Roll until the baguette is as long as like and your baking pan allows. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Transfer the shaped baguettes to the baking tray, dust more flours over the loaves. Use a sharp knife to make the slashes. Cover the tray with a kitchen towel. Let the loaves rise again for 20 – 30 minutes. The loaves are ready to bake when they look puffy and ballooned. Transfer the baking tray into the middle rack of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until the crusts are brown and golden.
  6. IMG_6584.JPGIMG_6585IMG_6586.JPG
  7. Move the tray out of oven and transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool down for 30 minutes. Serve.IMG_6587.JPG

Tips:

  1. As you work the dough, keep it moving. Use extra flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking, particularly at the beginning and then when you roll the shaped loaf into the skinny baguette.
  2. To replicate professional ovens as closely as possible, place a small oven-safe pan in the bottom of the oven while it heats. Add a half cup of water or a few ice cubes to the pan when you put the loaves in to bake. The steam will create a moist environment during the initial few minutes of baking and help get a crackling crisp crust.

 

 

 

Steamed Minced Pork with Preserved Vegetables梅菜蒸肉饼méi cài zhēng ròu bǐng

coverDon’t be deceived by its looks. The well-loved home-cooked Chinese dish is just comforting and flavorful. Serve it with plain white rice and a simple stir-fried green vegetable for an easy, healthy and satisfying dinner. Be sure to spoon the glorious juices over the rice.

Serves 2-4

  • 250g                     ground pork (30% fat in minimum) and ideally cut by hand猪肉末(7成瘦)
  • 3 tablespoons   water in room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon     sesame oil香油
  • ½ tablespoon    light soy sauce生抽
  • 1 tablespoon     corn starch淀粉
  • 1 teaspoon      caster sugar白糖
  • ¼ teaspoon        ground white pepper 白胡椒粉
  • 1 teaspoon         ginger, minced姜末
  • ½ tablespoon   cooking oil (optional)
  • 80g                       preserved vegetables 梅菜  (pickled of Chinese mustards)
  • 1 tablespoon     spring onion,葱末, for garnishIMG_5792.JPG

Method

  1. Soak the preserved vegetables in water for 10 minutes, then wash it and cut into small pieces.
  2. Add all the ingredients and seasoning (except spring onions) into a big bowl, use chopsticks and stir vigorously in one direction until the pork has a sticky texture.IMG_6068.JPG
  3. Spread the meat out into a circle in a shallow dish that will fit into your streamer. Cover the dish with a plate or aluminium foil, place it in a steamer and steam high heat for 15 -20 minutes. IMG_6069.JPG
  4. Remove the dish from the steamer. Sprinkle with minced onion and serve.

 

 

Sichuan Dry-fried Shredded Beef 干煸牛肉丝gàn biān niú ròu sī

FullSizeRenderThis is a must try for any serious Sichuan food lover. No expensive cut is needed for this delightful dish. The cooking method calls for marinating the meat first, using a special cooking technique called “velveting” to ensure the meat turns out extremely tender and moist. The classic recipe for this dish uses Chinese celery, which has longer and thinner stalks and a more pronounced “celery” flavor than its Western relative, the common green celery.  You can find Chinese celery year-round in most Asian grocery stores.  Or use any celery of your choice.

Serves 4-6

  • 300g     beef (flank steak is perfectly fine or sirloin if you insist), shredded 牛肉,切丝

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon      potato or corn starch 生粉
  • 2 tablespoon        Chinese cooking wine 料酒
  • 1 tablespoon        light soy sauce 生抽
  • 1 tablespoon         cooking oil

Seasoning

  • 4 tablespoons             cooking oil
  • 2 spring onion (white part only)
  • 1 tablespoon              ginger, minced
  • 8-10                             dried chili pepper干红辣椒, sliced
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon         Sichuan peppercorn powder (depending on your level of tolerance of the numbing Sichuan peppercorn)
  • 1 tablespoon               Sichuan fermented bean paste (Doubanjiang)四川郫县豆瓣酱
  • 1 small bunch             Chinese celery水芹菜 (or celery of your choice),  leaves removed, cut into 5cm-long sections
  • 1 teaspoon                 sugar白糖
  • 1 tablespoon              white sesame seeds       for garnishing

 IMG_5953.JPGMethod

  1. Cut the beef into small and long shreds. In a large mixing bowl, combine beef shreds with marinade (corn starch, cooking wine, light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of cooking oil). Set aside for 10 minutes.IMG_5987.JPG
  2. Heat up frying pan over medium high heat, add 4 tablespoons of cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add ½ of the beef shred. Use a spatula to move around the beef shreds to make sure the meat is quickly and evenly cooked. Cook until the meat turns pale then transfer out on a plate. You can place paper towel on the plate to help filter the extra oil and liquid. Repeat the process with the other half of the beef shreds.IMG_5988.JPG
  3. Now let’s prepare the seasoning ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (the used oil for cooking beef is perfectly fine) in a clean frying pan over medium heat. Add spring onions and ginger to stir fry for a minute or so until aroma. Then add dry chili, fry for another minute. Add Doubanjiang(the fermented bean paste). Continue to fry for 1- 2 minutes.IMG_5989.JPG
  4. Now turn up the heat. Add into cooked beef shreds. Mix well. Make sure beef shreds are evenly coated with all the seasoning ingredients. In 1 minute later, add Chinese celery, Sichuan peppercorn powder and sugar. Mix well. Cook for another 1 minute. Add sesame seeds (optional).IMG_5990.JPG
  5. Transfer out and serve when the dish is hot.

Tips

  1. It is important to cook the beef shreds in batches as home kitchen stoves do not have as high heat as in the commercial kitchen. By doing so, we could avoid crowding the frying pan as well as use less cooking oil.
  2. Removing liquid from the cooked beef shreds is critical. You can use kitchen towels as indicated in the recipe. Or simply transfer cooked beef into a colander. The key feature of this dish is ‘dry beef’. Otherwise, you will end up with a ‘soupy’ beef dish.