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Assorted Dried Mushroom

Other than fresh mushrooms that can be found easily in the supermarket. We do have a few kinds of dried mushrooms that can be used for boiling soup, stir-fry with vegetables or meat. The most common dried mushroom used is the Shiitake Mushroom which is normally used for stir-fry vegetable, stewed with oyster sauce or dark soy sauce with meat.




Dried Shittake Mushrooms(香菇/花菇)
It is naturally sweet and used to aids stomach to live blood vessels. It supplements engery and benefits stomach, fights cancer and lowers blood cholesterol.


Monkey Head Mushrooms(候头菇)
It shapes like the brain of monkeys and has many hairs on the surface. It not only improves and strengthens the internal organs, but also helps digestion. Soak until soft before cooking.


Dried Chaxingu(茶树菇)
The stalk of it is long and thin. It tastes fresh, sweet, refreshing and chewy. Soups made by it are refreshing and sweet . It has beneficial effects on fat elimination, beautifications, anti-aging and lowering blood pressure.


Dried Braz…

All About Avocado

Avocado with their delicate flavour and buttery texure make them great in salads, sandwiches, desserts and so much more....

Buying
The avocado ripens on the tree, but it do continues to ripes after harvest. It is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure at the stem end(skin colour is not always a good indicator of ripenes). Avoid buying avocado that are very soft with black/brown spots or bruises.



Storing
Avocados should be ripened at room temperature and when ripe, stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat. To hasten ripening, place into a brown paper bag with a ripe banana away from direct light. To store cut avocados, leave the seed in place, drizzle some lime/lemon juice and wrap the avocado firmly in plastic wrap.

Preparing
Cut avocados in half lengthwise, then gently twist halves to separate. If using both halves, remove the seed with a knife. Peel skin away gently(it will come off easily when they are ripes). Slice, chop or mash as required. Brush cut side with a little lemon juice…

Assorted Miniature Liquor

For those who loves to bake or make desserts you might have come across these familiar liqueur shown above like: Grand Mariner, Tia Maria, Kahlua and etc. Each liqueur had their special fragrant and taste which can be used in different bakes and desserts. For example: Kahlua is usually used in making Tiramisu because of it's strong coffee fragrant while Grand Mariner is used for making Orange Souffle, Orange Cake or anything that had needs a lift of orange flavour.

You can easily get a bottle of these flavoured liquor in leading supermarket or Airport Duty Free Shop which cost much cheaper. But for those who are interested in getting miniature liqueur shown above, you can go to Isetan at Shaw Centre (supermarket level which is beside the bakery). The price range from $6 - $8 depending on the type of liqueur.

Baking Utensils I

These are some of the Common Baking Utensils that are used for different types of baking purpose. All these are my beloved collection from years to years. I hope with these picture, it will help some of you to identify what are the name of each utensils that are commonly found in baking recipes. For eg:You can use the spring form tin for baking cheesecake which is easier to remove the cake when baked or chilled.



Mousse ring for making mousse cake and loaf pan for making loaf bread or loaf cake. You can also use the slice tray for making brownie or mini swiss roll.

It's good to have all kinds of baking utensils as when the recipes call for it, you had the equipment ready for use. But for my case, I seems to be collecting them more than using it... :)

I had a wide collection of cookie cutter as I love their shapes and patterns. Usually other than making cookies, I also use the smaller cutter to cut out patterns from carrot, yam, potato or etc. This will help you to make your dish m…

Burdock & Chestnut

Burdock - 牛蒡
It is definitely an acquired taste. When you chew on a piece of raw burdock, the strong woody and herbal taste is almost overwhelming. In some supermarket, these burdock can be found packed in pairs in bags that may be fully half a metre long. In Japan, burdock is a favourite vegetable that is widely used in soup or added to stews. Burdock is believed to be antibiotic and antipyretic. It also lowers blood sugar and there are claims that it is anticarcinogenic. Eg: Korean Chicken Soup

Blanching the Burdock will remove its pungency and also soften it to a nice crunchiness. To avoid roots that are too fibrous, choose burdock that is lighter coloured and make sure the growth rings are not too dark. Look at its cross-section to check this.

Fresh Chestnuts - 鲜栗子
Choose Fresh Chestnuts that are smooth and glossy, free of blemishes. They should feel heavy for their size. Avoid any that are shriveled, cracked, or rattle in their shell. Shake the shell. If you hear movement, you know t…

Common Root Vegetables

These are some of the common Root Vegetables that I usually use for making soup or stir-fry. You can easily find them in the locate supermarket or wet market. When you add these wonderful vegetables with some pork ribs or chicken drumsticks together with some herbs. You will have a pot of delicious homemade stew soup that everyone in the family will love.



Fresh Huai Shan(鲜淮山)
It tastes sweet and of neutral nature. It nourishes the lungs and kidneys, strengthens the spleens, stops diarrhea, uplifts the spirit and benefits Qi. Usually I used those Fresh Huai Shan instead of the dried type.

Fresh Lotus Root(莲藕)
Uncooked lotus root juice can clear heat and stop all internal bleeding; cooked lotus root can promote blood, treat women of anemia due to heavy menstruation, clear and improve energy.

Green Carrot/Green Radish(青萝卜)
Green Luobo (Qingluobo): A popular green variety in North China. Green flesh with green skin is crisp, less hot. High yielding. Good resistance to diseases as well as delici…

Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of Curcuma Longa, a leafy plant in the ginger family. The root, or rhizome, has a tough brown skin and bright orange flesh. Ground Tumeric comes from fingers which extend from the root. It is boiled or steamed and then dried, and ground.


Turmeric is a necessary ingredient of curry powder. It is used extensively in Indian dishes, including lentil and meat dishes, and in Southeast Asian cooking. Turmeric is routinely added to mustard blends and relishes. It also is used in place of saffron to provide color and flavor. Turmeric is mildly aromatic and has scents of orange or ginger. It has a pungent and bitter flavor.

Cranberry Bean - 珍珠豆

Shell beans, or "shellouts," are other names for Cranberry Beans. These beans have a nutty flavor and creamy texture. It's rounded with red specks, which disappear on cooking and available fresh or dried. These beans are a favorite in northern Italy and Spain. In Singapore, cranberry beans are known as "Pearl Beans,珍珠豆", which is a literal translation from its Chinese name and they are sold fresh in their pods in most vegetable stalls. So next time when you happened to see these beautiful beans do buy some back and make soup... it really taste wonderful.


Recipes On Cranberry Beans:
Cranberry Bean, Lotus Root & Huai Shan Soup
Lotus Root, Pumpkin & Pearl Bean Soup
Pumpkin, Cranberry Bean & Cordyceps Soup

Common Fresh Herbs

Each HERB has it own Unique Aroma and Form. They are always the soul of different dishes and they heighten your sense of taste and smell. So if you happen to see these beautiful herbs around do try them in your dish and you will be surprised of what you had......



Bay Leaves-月桂叶
Bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance, and may be used Fresh Or Dried. The Bay Leaf is useful in hearty, homestyle cooking. When you are making bean, split pea and vegetable soups, meat stews, spaghetti sauce, and chili, a Bay leaf can be added for a more pungent flavor. Alternate whole Bay Leaves with meat, seafood, or vegetables on skewers before cooking. Be sure to remove Bay Leaves before eating a dish that has finished cooking. The whole leaves are used to impart flavor only and are bitter and hard to chew.

Chinese Coriander-中国芫西
Coriander is a delicate annual herb with several branches and lacy leaves with jagged edges belonging to the carrot family. Native to South Europe…

Zhi Ke Tang - 止咳汤

Since the Weather is changing very fast during these few months, it's good to drink this herbal drink regularly to relieve cough and strengthens functions of respiratory system. You can have this at least once or twice a week like normal herbal drinks.



Ingredients: (serve 3-4)
40g Sweet & Bitter Almond(南北杏)
2 Ju Bing(桔饼)
15g Chuan Bei Mu(川贝母)
10 Dried Figs(无花果)
6g Gan Gao(干草)
5-10g Dried Chrysanthemum(菊花)
1-2 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar(optional)

Methods:
1. Roughly rinse the ingredients then add in add around 1.5 litres of water and boil for 1 – 2 hours under low heat and serve.
2. Or you can transfer everything to a slow cooker and simmer on Auto Function for 2 hours.

Notes:You can get thosedark brown sugarin chinese medical hall, it's good to use them in herbal drink as it had some detoxify function according to some old folk tale. If not, just add in some rock sugar if you want it to be sweeter.
Chuan Bei Mu(川贝母)
It’s bittersweet in taste and slightly cold in nature. It clears Heat,…

Basic Chinese Herbs - Part II

Just like taking herbal medicine, medicinal diet needs to be handled with the same care. Improper dosage or use would result in undersirable or side effects. All those wanting to include herbal medicine in their diet for better healthy should learn the functions and nature of food items and herbs thus use them wisely in relation to your own body needs.



Bei Qi(北耆)
It strengthens the heat, promotes urination, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. Eg: Dang Gui Chicken Soup

Dang Gui(当归)
It benefits and balances the blood, regulates menses, treats pain and soothes the intestines. Eg: Dang Gui, Huai Shan & Black Chicken Soup

Dang Shen(当参)
It supplements energy and benefits spirits, grows saliva ad stops thirst. It also strengthens body and stomach, improves fatigue and tiredness, dry mouth and tongue. Eg: Dang Gui Chicken Soup

Hai Zhu( 海竹)
It is the root and stem of Yu Zhu which helps reduce sediments and also softens the blood vessel. Serve this soup frequently is good to the He…

Basic Chinese Herbs - Part I

In Chinese Culinary Culture, soup has been viewed as the soul and indispensable part of a prefect meal. Certain soup also have healing qualities such as: Pickled Cucumber Soup With Coriander and Century Egg heals sore throat. In my soup recipe blog I usually Long-stewed the soup with different combination of Chinese herbs which I found them very useful. So in this two pages, I would roughly display some of the common herbs and their usage for stewing soup.



Dried Cordyceps Stem(冬虫草茎)
Taste slightly sweet and of neutral nature, it nourishes the Ying, strengthens the lungs and kidney, benefits Qi and expels sputum. Eg: Chicken, Huai Shan & Cordyceps Soup

Dried Lotus Seeds(干蓮子)
It strengthen the Heart, Liver, Spleen and Kidneys and also energize the Qi and promote blood cell formation.

Dried Figs(无花果)
It is rich in vitamins A & C, proteins and fibers. It strengthens the Spleen, lubricates intestines and helps with dry cough and sore throat. There are two types of figs, fresh and dried.…

Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a fail-safe addition to many winter meals and they become lanterns at Halloween and they carried Cinderella to the ball. Pumpkin's use goes beyond the Sunday roast and they are delicious, low in fat and kilojoules which are good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and carbohydrates.

There are many types of pumpkins, but there is little difference in flavour. Varieties include the bell-shaped butternut pumpkin, with it's creamy-brown skin and orange flesh; the Japanese pumpkin, with it's mottled grey-green skin and sweet , nutty taste as well as Queensland blue, golden nugget and jarrahdale.

Choosing Pumpkin
Should yu buy pumpkin whole or pre-cut? Both have advantage, the hard part is already done with pre-cut pieces and you can inspect the flesh- choose pieces that look moist and crisp. Pale pieces are generally watery and bland, so go for deep orange coloured flesh for a rich flavour. When buying whole pumpkins, look for blemish-free and firm skin with a good weig…

All About Flour

The term "Flour" is generally used to refer to any edible substance in powdered form. Of all the cereals milled into flour, Wheat Flour is by far the most versatile, as it provides the elasticity in dough required for baking. Rice flour and Cornflour do not have this property.



Bread Flour(高筋面粉)
It is a high-protein flour, ideal for making all varieties of bread, buns and other flour-based products.

Cake Flour(低筋面粉)
It has the least amount of gluten of all wheat flours, making it best for light, delicate products such as sponge cakes, and some cookie batters. Cake flour often comes bleached, which gives it a bright, white appearance.

Cornflour(粟粉)
It is also known as cornstarch or maize flour, is milled from the starch of corn kernels. It contains no gluten and is used as thickener, giving sauces a smooth consistency. It can be combined with other flours for baking.

Plain Flour(普通面粉)
It a mutli-purpose wheat flour made from a blend of hard and soft flour. The husk particles are sifte…
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