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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tonight’s Dinner – Italian + Portuguese

For tonight’s dinner, hui wasn’t around, so just me and fish.

and we decided to cook the stuffs that we bought from EQ Farmer’s Market.

First Up: Fresh Organic Spaghetti w/ Organic Truffle Cream

AMAZING. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dough. i love the taste of noodles and pasta. and this was amazing. it is thicker and more chewy then dry pasta. It definitely also makes me fuller – i don’t really know why and i don’t really know how to explain it as well.. but it does. and i love the flavour of the noodles.

The cream was rich and delicious. and although it looked like that small little bottle wasn’t enough – it really really is.

and to remind us all: this dish is just $10.

So…. departing Italy…. and onward to Portuguese cuisine.

What we have here… is a piece of chicken breast that we bought from EQ which has already been marinated and lightly crumbed. While cooking, i also brushed on a layer of the Portuguese chilli oil that we bought as well. For me, that was enough, since ours was extra hot – it was enough for me. The chicken was tender and delicious! We also fried up a little bacon, a fried egg and fish’s caramelized onions.

Full Full Full.



Did you have a dinner from different cuisines too?

BUILT NY – Large Soft Shell Camera Case


Fish got me my Lumix FZ35 for a long time already and i love it. but i haven’t been able to bring it out cause i didn’t have a proper case for it.

and finally, 2 days ago i ordered the BUILT NY camera case that i’ve been eyeing for for a long time.

When it came, i thought that it looked a little small. but when i placed my camera in it, it fitted perfectly, with gaps at the sides since the lens is longer. It also comes with a matching dark purple strap so that i can sling the camera case. which is why i love and chose this. It looks pretty and i don’t have to carry a big black camera case. taking off the straps, i can place the camera in my bag and if i want to, i can sling it. great.

So yay. i am very happy and this came just in time for this saturday’s field trip to the Pyrmont Growers’ Market. Can’t wait to take loads of pictures. =)

The current dilemma – what to cook for dinner – i’m thinking of tie pan tofu w/o the tie pan. hahaha..


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Char Siu Pork

So i’ve been wanting to make Char Siu Pork for a long time but have not tried yet. so. i’ve managed to get a nice piece of pork neck/shoulder from the butcher 2 weeks ago. Nice amount of meat with fat – not too much though.

So, i found a recipe from RasaMalaysia for BBQ Pork.

I followed it very much to the T and it was quite perfect.

Doesn’t look too bad eh.

It is extraordinarily easy to make. and if you’re hesitating, you should not.


400g Pork Neck/Shoulder
3-4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp oil (I used onion oil which i made by frying small red onions)

Char Siew Sauce

1 1/2 tbsp Maltose
1 1/2 tbsp Honey 
(I didn’t have Maltose on hand, so i used 3 tbsp of raw Australian honey)
1 1/2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Hua Diao Wine
3-4 dashes of white pepper powder
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp black sesame oil



Make the Char Siew sauce first.

Place all the ingredients for the Char Siew Sauce in a small saucepan. Be careful when heating it as the sauce will bubble and might go over if you’re not careful – and you totally don’t want that happening since it’s sticky and sweet.

It should become well mixed and ever so thicken and sticky. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool down. It’s going to be the marinate for the pork – so you don’t want to cook the pork by pouring hot liquid on it.

My pork was a long strip. So i sliced it up into 5 portions so that i can better handle and cook it.


When its cooled, marinate the pork with 2/3 of the char siew sauce and the chopped garlic. It is best to marinate overnight. I marinated it for about approx 24 hours.

In the remaining char siew sauce, i added in 1 1/2 tbsp of onion oil and kept it covered in the fridge.


Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.

Roast the char siew for 15 minutes, ensuring that the pork does not bring along a big amount of liquid.

(RasaMalaysia does this differently – but i don’t have what she does, so i adapted)

In a lightly oiled grill pan. grill the pieces of pork till charred while basting it with the char siew sauce + onion oil mixture. Don’t use it all up.

The thing to be very careful here is that with honey burns and blackens quickly. So be very careful. and try to not use too high a heat.

I realised that my pork itself wasn’t charred. Rather, it was the sauce that had charred. The pork should be quite cooked in the oven since it was sliced into smaller pieces.

When cooked, place on a plate to rest the meat for a while. then slice into thin slices.

Fish made a sauce to go with the char siew since more sauce is always better. You can just pour the sauce directly or you could follow fish.

He heated up the sauce, added extra Hua Diao Wine and Hoisin sauce. that’s why the extra sauce in the first picture.

I hope you guys try it. It is seriously good. and really simple.

Happy Eating!

Vanilla ice cream w/ choc covered pretzels and peanut butter

What a mouthful.

I decided to make ice cream yesterday.

And to jazz it up a bit. I made a basic vanilla ice cream. chopped up choc-covered pretzels that we bough from Paddington Markets and added 3-4 big tbsp of peanut butter!

It was delicious. except i left the custard in the pot for too long without stirring and it curdled. meaning it looks like liquid scrambled eggs. i despaired and screamed at my stupidity. and then i turned to the WWW. someone suggest sifting it. i tried. it would take me 3 nights to finish sifting. so i ditched that. and then someone suggested blending! which absolutely worked!!! i just used a stick blender and gave it a good blend. and perfecto – as if nothing happened.

but but. i think i think. one thing happened. the eggs cooked and the eggy taste was intensified. if i am not wrong. so next time, i’ll just use 5 eggs and keep an extremely close eye on my custard. but i added peanut butter which covered up the egg taste deliciously!

Ice cream anyone?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Entertainment Quarter Farmer’s Market

Hey! I have not been blogging for a long long time. Went back to Singapore, back to Sydney now. Uni started and now we’re in the 4th week of classes. My modem has died and we’re waiting for a new one to be delivered.

So. So…. i have much to share. but i decided, i shall start with what we did today.

By the way, if you guys are looking for books. Try The books are relatively cheaper and free delivery all over the world. Delivery is fast and well packed. So, i bought a few books there including 2 of Nigel Slater books and he has totally got me more excited about farmer’s markets. I have not been to many, but it has always got me excited. so i started checking out more about them and found 2 so far.

Today, we went to the Entertainment Quarter’s Farmer’s Market @ Fox Studios. So it’s just 5 minutes away from our house by bus.

It isn’t a very big market. but it has its gems. We love the chilli from Portugali and we found a similar one today!

They have 4 versions ranging from mild to extra hot. and we bought the extra hot. It isn’t made to be very very spicy, so extra hot is a-ok. We also bought 6 chicken patties from them so that we can make our own Portuguese chicken burgers. The chilli and its own is great for stir fry etc.

Then we went further down and found cheese!

We bought a good slice of Parmigiano Reggiano which smells delicious.

I’m not sure what this cheese is. She had a whole piece of cheese on display and we had a taste. It’s kinda like blue cheese, cause its a little smelly. but it has a very soft and slightly chewy texture. and a slightly bitter finish though if you ate it with crackers, the bitterness gets covered. I asked her what cheese it was, and she told me. and in typical fashion. i pretended i knew. hahaha.. but.. i have no idea what she said this cheese was. It’s delicious though. haha. I think it starts with a ‘p’.

And this is how we eat this cheese – with crackers and black pepper (which is not in the pic). Thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler.

We had lunch – spinach and fetta gozleme, lemon and mint crush and fish had a mega beef burger with chips. There was fresh corn but it was really hot (weather) and i didn’t know if i wanted to eat it not. so i didn’t.

There was a loud voice in the markets and we went to take a look at what it was after eating. The organic fresh pasta and sauces were having a sale. and we bought some.

He was having an offer - $5 for all pastas. I have not really tried fresh pastas before, so since it’s quite cheap, we decided to try. Chitarra refers to the traditional instrument used to make these pastas that are similar to spaghetti. He also had sauces and he recommended the truffle cream sauce.

It’s a small bottle. and it’s originally $9.50, but he said we can have it for $7.50, then he decided that he’ll give it to us for $5. So great deal and i can’t wait to try fresh organic pasta together with the truffle cream. Hopefully it’s as delicious as he claims!

We bought pastries as well – pretzel, chocolate croissants and chocolate tarts. Oh. and a head of garlic.

That’s all for this market.

The next market i’m looking forward to is the Pyrmont Good Living Grower’s Market and it’s bigger with 80+ stalls and it definitely attracts me more as there are fresh produce and veggies. It’s early and further though. It’s also only happens on the first Saturday of each month, from 7am-11am.

Anyone wants to join me next week?