Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sambal Tumis (Sauteed Chili Paste) Mussels

I love to order mussels when I dine out but I am never 100% satisfied with the mussels that I order. No doubt that the restaurants in New York City have many different flavors of mussels but I want it spicy and tastier.  When Phay Ing Landers sent me her Sambal Tumis (Sauteed Chili Paste) Mussels for our $10 gift voucher program, not only that I can't wait to share with you, I also feel like making this suggestion to the restaurants:)

Sambal Tumis (Sauteed Chili Paste) Mussels by Phay Ing Landers:
I have been yearning for a homey plate of spicy clams or la la as it is called in KL. Alas I have no access to la la (clams) after combing through the frozen aisle at the local store. I made do with frozen cooked mussels, and the end result was awesome. I had one last packet of Tean’s Gourmet Sambal Tumis Stir Fry Sauce in the pantry. I have been saving it for a ‘rainy day’ i.e. when a strong craving for spicy seafood kicks in.

The sambal tumis sauce is a pre-cooked spicy sauce made from ground spices with shrimp paste. Not all readymade sauce or paste is created equal. Tean’s Gourmet is one of the best by far in terms of taste and authenticity and costs less than USD4 per packet.

There are some who think that a readymade sauce is second grade compared to using the mortar and pestle to pound away the spices. To me, it is a blessing to have readymade sauce at hand. I can’t imagine hunting high and low for the necessary ingredients to make the sambal tumis from scratch, especially when most the ingredients are not available at the local stores.

The Sambal Tumis Mussels dish is a quick and easy dish to make – 20 minutes from start to finish. It is simple enough even for one who lacks cooking experience.

First I boiled the 2 lbs of vacuum packed frozen mussels in a big pot of boiling water for 5 mins, as instructed on the package. I took out the packets from the pot, and made a small opening on the packets to drain the water. Thereafter I placed the mussels in a big bowl, and set aside.

Next I used a pair of scissors to cut off one corner of the Sambal Tumis sauce packet and squeezed the sauce into a sauté pan. No cooking oil is required as the oil from the sauce is sufficient. Allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes. It is ready when you can smell the sambal tumis aroma slowly filling the kitchen.

Next, add in the cooked mussels and stir well to combine. Continue to stir the mussels and sambal tumis for another 5 mins to make sure all the mussels marry with the sauce.

Lastly plate the dish, and add a garnish if you prefer. Serve hot with rice.

I ate it with a plate of hot steaming white rice and even had seconds!! Yup it was that finger licking good.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seaweed Mee Sua (Chinese Wheat Vermicelli) Soup

When we invited Tania Tan to participate in our $10 gift voucher program with her Seaweed Mee Sua (Chinese Wheat Vermicelli) Soup, she asked, 'Are you sure?  This is a very simple dish.' Yes, we are 100% sure.  It is simple but super delicious!

Seaweed Mee Sua (Chinese Wheat Vermicelli) soup by Tania Tan:
Mee sua never fails to remind me of birthdays and of my parents' love! Growing up, we never had big parties with tall cakes on our birthdays.....but instead, my parents would make mee sua and red eggs for us. I remember there was one time when I was having a cold war with my parents and we didn't speak for weeks. On the day of my birthday when I woke up at 6am to get ready for work......there was already a bowl of mee sua waiting for me on the breakfast table accompanied by 2 red eggs. I was so touched! Hence the reason why I like to add a hardboiled egg to my mee sua just so to remind me of home and my parents. And the idea to add seaweed to mee sua….well, the credit must go to my mom for the ingenious idea. She taught me to cook it this way and I just love how the two food items taste so good together. Who would have thought!
Ingredients (Serve 2):
  • 2-3 bundles of Mee Sua (Chinese Wheat Vermicelli)
  • 1 big round piece of dried seaweed (cut into smaller strips)
  • 4-5 leaves of lettuce (cut/torn into smaller pieces)
  • 200-300gm pork (cut into thin slices) If you don’t eat pork, you can always use fish slices, beef or chicken instead.
  • 8 large shrimps (shelled and deveined)
  • 6 cups of low sodium soup stock (I make my own chicken stock but you can use ready ones)
  • 1-2 hardboiled eggs
  • Seasonings (i.e. salt, pepper, garlic powder, sesame oil to taste)
  • Chinese celery for garnishing
Put the soup stock in a pot and bring to a boil.
Add in the pork slices and shrimps into the boiling stock. The pork slices and prawns won’t take very long to cook.
Then add in the lettuce and seaweed and stir to break up the seaweed.
Add in the mee sua and keep stirring so that the noodles don’t end up in a clump.
Taste and add your seasonings accordingly.
Finally, serve your mee-sua with a hardboiled egg and garnish with some chopped Chinese celery.
Please feel free to alter the quantities of the ingredients or substitute some of the ingredients with what you’d like to eat or have on hand. For example, if you don’t eat pork, you can always use fish slices, beef or chicken instead. Same for the vegetables…you can also use cabbage, bok choy, carrots, yam etc. If you are a vegetarian, just omit the meat/egg and use vegetable stock instead. It is very flexible.
I’d strongly recommend to use a low sodium soup stock as mee sua is inherently salty. If you don’t have any stock on hand, you can just use tap water too and add more seasonings to improve the taste.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oyster Sauce Fried Chicken with Ginger

Zariah Betten participates in our $10 gift voucher campaign with her delicious Oyster Sauce Fried Chicken With Ginger.  Zariah, it looks delicious!  Thank you!

Zariah Betten:
After cooking everything else for the grownups, I wanted to do something else for the kids at our dinner table that could not eat anything spicy so I took the drumsticks and wings of two chickens and placed them in a bowl to make Oyster Sauce Fried Chicken With Ginger.

Here is my recipe.
About 2 sliced shallots
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 tbsp of Amoy Oyster Sauce
2 tbsp of Orchid Brand Dark Think Soy Sauce
1 tsp of Baba’s Meat Curry Powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 tsp of Baba’s Turmeric Powder

Mix them well with the chicken.  Cover it and place in the refrigerator to marinade for about 1 hour or so (the longer the better).  Then in very hot oil (vegetable oil of course) fry the chicken pieces until cooked about 5-8 mins. per side and voila!

The kids really mopped it up with hot rice.   I still hear them asking their parents when are they coming back to my house for dinner!  What a compliment!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Curry Laksa (Coconut Curry Noodles)

We have many Curry Laksa Noodles lovers.  I am one of them:)  You can find a few different Easy-To-Cook Curry Laksa Paste from us.  Check it out here

Today Tania Tan is going to share with us how she cooks her Curry Laksa.  Tania, thank you for participating in our $10 gift voucher campaign.

Curry Laksa by Tania Tan:  Hi, my name is Tania and I have recently moved to Massachusetts with my husband. I was born in Singapore and had lived there for the last 35 years of my life. We are a mixed couple – my husband is an Indian (originally from Malaysia) while I’m a Chinese. In Singapore, we have been exposed to many different types of food from the different cultures – Chinese, Eurasian, Indian and Malay. We love our chicken rice, devil’s curry, roti prata and nasi lemak!

One of our most favorite dishes is the laksa. The traditional way of making the laksa is to start by making the spice paste that usually consists of shallot, garlic, ginger, chilli and hae bee (dried prawn) all blended together. However, as I do not have a blender, I decided to use a ready-made laksa paste instead. I had chosen to use the Tean’s Gourmet Malaysian Curry Laksa paste as I had read very good reviews on it in numerous trusted food blogs.

The paste made my job very simple…..I believe it only took me less than 20min to make the entire laksa dish.

I followed the simple instructions on the back of the paste packet - add 1.5L of water to the paste and bring to a boil.  While soup is boiling....add dried tofu puffs and cook till soft.  Add approx 150ml of coconut cream and reduce heat to let the soup simmer.

Your laksa soup base is now done (yes, it looks spicy and IT IS spicy!).  While the soup is boiling, cut the fish cake into thin slices.  Blanch the bean sprouts in hot water to cook them slightly.

I bought this dried thick rice noodles that kinda resembles the laksa noodles.  Boil the noodles till soft.

Drain the noodles and put into a bowl. Add bean sprouts, fish cake and then pour the hot soup (with tofu puffs) over the noodles and serve hot.

My husband and I loved it!!! It was so delicious and tasted as good as (if not better than) the laksa from the famous stalls in Singapore. It felt so surreal as we sat at our dining table on a cold early-spring day in New England and slurped down our bowls of hot spicy laksa with beads of perspiration on our foreheads….for that moment, we felt as though we were back home in Singapore.

I would definitely recommend this paste to any laksa lovers. It not only might cure your cravings but could also warm your hearts and take away some of your homesickness.