Okonomiyaki

I love Fridays! It’s not just a short day at work, but I also get to try something new for dinner which ushers in the weekend! So I decided that we shall have a Japanese-themed dinner! (: After searching Tastespotting for some inspiration, I decided on two dishes for the night : Okonomiyaki & salmon, shiitake and edamame  soba noodles!

So what is okonomiyaki? It is actually a savoury pancake that is mainly made up with cabbage and anything you wanna put in it! I’ve had it a couple of times, and really love it with the combination of mayonnaise and bbq sauce. Since it was Friday, we had ours with prawns! (:  I realised that I have been having heaps of Korean, and was really craving for some Japanese. I have to say though, I’m really lucky that the mr eats everything, so I am able to cook what I wanted. And he would happily eat it! hehe PHEW!

I think it turned out really well for a first-timer! (: But a pity I didn’t shred my cabbage thin enough so it was a little chunkier than I wished, and a little difficult to shape it into nice circles when pan-frying it. But besides that, it was really simple and yummy! And one thing I really enjoyed was alternating the sauces and using the toothpick to make the marbling effect on top of the pancake! hehe

Okonomiyaki (adapted from Las Vegas Food Adventures)

2 cups green cabbage, finely shredded

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

330g prawn, deveined and cut into half

1 cup plain flour

1 tbs corn flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup stock (I used fish stock, but you can always use chicken or dashi)

1 egg

salt, to season

Steps :

1) Combine the flour, corn flour and baking powder and mix it well. Mix the fish stock and egg together, and combine with the flour mixture. Mix until you get a thick pancake batter.

2) Add the cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, prawns and garlic to the batter. Season with salt. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium fire, and add some vegetable oil. Add half of the pancake mix and flatten it to the depth of the prawns with a spatula.

3) Cook the pancake for about 10-15 minutes, flipping several times, until both sides are golden brown.

4) Serve it hot, drizzle the top with japanese mayonnaise and homemade bbq suace (recipe below).

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Bbq Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Soju/ Sake

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1) Mix everything together and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place in a squeeze bottle, so you could easily drizzle on the pancake.

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ENJOY!

PS : Stay tuned for the recipe of the salmon soba noodles ! 

Prawn Mac N Cheese

It’s Friday people! And to welcome the weekend, I decided to go all out and make an indulgent (and sinful) dish – Prawn Mac N Cheese! (: Ever since we had mac n cheese at the Sharing house a few weeks back (a post that will come soon, I promise!), I have been wanting to make some. Especially after seeing Neil Perry’s version of truffle mac n cheese. That was definitely a push factor!  So there was no better day to make it but on a Friday!

And what better way to enjoy a Friday night in with a comforting bowl of cheesy pasta, with a glass of wine and the plan of having a Batman movie marathon with the mr? Absolutely, nothing! (:

This was a really simple recipe and you definitely could start cooking and end up indulging on your couch in less than 1 hour! Sounds good? Here’s the ultimate winter warmer!

Prawn Mac N Cheese (an original recipe)

250g dried macaroni

60g butter

1 whole onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

320g prawns, diced into chunks

1 cup shredded gouda

1 cup shredded cheddar

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/2 tbs dijon mustard

450 ml cream

100 ml milk

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper, to season

Steps :

1) Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling salted water for 7-8 mins, or until al dente.  Drain and refresh in cold water before draining again and set it to one side.

2) In a large pot, melt the butter then add the onion, carrots and garlic. Fry till they get fragrant and soft. Do keep an eye on the garlic and be careful not to burn them.

2) Add the cream and allow it to boil and reduce by 1/4. Add the mushrooms, dijon mustard and milk and boil it for another 10 minutes. Add the prawns and cook the mixture on a low simmer until liquid thickens.

3) Take the cream mixture off the heat, and slowly add the gouda and cheddar. Stir it gently, till the cheeses have all melted and combined with the cream. Put the pot back on a low heat, then add the macaroni and stir it till it’s well combined.

4) Season with salt and pepper, then add the grated parmesan. Place the macaroni and cheese in a baking tray, then top it with bread crumbs and more parmesan if you want. Under a hot grill, grill until the top is golden and crispy.

Serve and enjoy on a couch with your favourite movie! (:

So what is your ultimate comfort food? Do share! hehe

Prawn Noodle Soup (虾面汤)

I love hawker food. If I were to name the individual dishes that I love (and miss), I probably need a whole blog post! haha But one of my ultimate food I love is no doubt prawn noodle soup. The best part of this dish is of course the soup! I would always finish every drop of the soup and leave an empty bowl behind!

Mum has replicated this dish many times when I’m back in Singapore for a holiday and has taught me the steps to making it. So I needed to practice making it, or I would definitely forget! Plus, I froze the prawn heads from the cheesy butter prawns I’ve made (twice) and have enough to make a good prawn stock.

Prawn Stock 

1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped

500g prawn heads

1 tsp salt

2 tbs shallot oil

1 litre hot water

Steps :

1) In a medium-sized pot, heat the shallot oil and fry the garlic on medium heat, stirring continuously until fragrant, and slightly golden brown. Careful not to burn the garlic, as it will leave a bitter taste in the stock.

2) Add the prawn heads and fry till the shell turns orange-red colour. Using a masher, light press the heads to get maximum flavour. Give the prawn heads a good stir before adding the hot water.

3) Boil the prawn stock for 20 minutes before straining the stock through a sieve. Reserve the prawn stock while you prepare the other components of the dish.

Prawn Mee Soup (虾面汤)

800g pork bones, blanch in boiling water for 5-10 mins

1 bulb of garlic, left whole

3 litres of hot water

prawn stock (recipe above)

8 whole prawns, sliced length-wise and deveined

50g bean sprouts, blanched

a bunch of choy sum, cut into 2-inch pieces and blanched (can use any green leafy vegetables)

12 slices of fish cake, blanched

noodles, any type you like (I used thick rice vermicelli)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground white pepper

4-5 tbs fish sauce, or more if you think it’s not salty enough

1 tbs shaoxing wine

fried shallots, for garnish

chilli powder, to serve

Steps :

1) In a large heavy-based pot, bring the 3 litres of water to a boil, then add the pork bones and allow it to boil for 1 hour. Add the bulb of garlic and add the prawn stock.

2) Add the salt, pepper, fish stock and shaoxing wine and allow the stock to simmer on low heat for at least another 2 hours (or more if you have the time).

3) Just before serving, add the prawns into the pork & prawn stock and cook it until the prawns have turned orangey-red. Take it out and set a side.

4) Plating up : Place a tsp of shallot oil and fried shallots at the base of a big bowl. Add the noodles and give it a good toss. Place the blanched bean sprouts, vegetable, fish cake and prawns on top of the noodles. If you fancy more protein, dish out some of the pork ribs into the bowl as well.

5) Add as much soup as you like into the bowl with a ladle and serve with more fried shallots. Add some chilli powder if you want to add some kick to the soup, I don’t have my prawn mee soup without adding it!

ENJOY! *Slurps*

PS : There should be heaps of soup left, so you can always freeze it up and use at a later stage or just have more of the deliciousness the next day! (:

Cheesy Butter Prawns : A Family Project

You must be wondering, how is this post a family project. Let me explain.

My whole family is quite hilarious. We set up a group chat on Whatsapp and named it “Super Group” (of course! haha) and have been chatting to each other ever since. The 6 of us are a funny bunch and we chat about everything and anything. We are close like that. (: But the main topic that we usually discuss is of course, FOOD! We are quite a foodie family, I must admit. We enjoy cooking and we definitely enjoy eating. haha

A recent topic has been this particular dish we had at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant when they had a branch at Serangoon Gardens Country Club a few years back. It’s a favourite among the kiddos in the family and we never fail to order them when we are dining there. And now it’s gone, and we have been craving for it since!

Have you ever tried to recreate a dish that you tried at a restaurant/cafe? This was a first for me. My mum did try once a few years back, but it didn’t turn out quite the same, though still yummy. This time, I read up on some recipes online and realise it was the type of cheese we used. We always thought that we have to use the fancy cheeses. Shredded tasty, mozzarella and was pretty close to getting the expensive gruyere  to give it the last shot. But thanks to Bee from Rasa Malaysia, I found out that what chinese restaurants use is actually the slice Kraft cheese! I couldn’t quite believe it. But if there’s someone I would trust, it’s definitely Bee! So I told my mum to try using the slice cheese and being the spontaneous people we are, she made it that very night the conversation took place! haha

I planned to cook it the next day, as Friday was seafood day. Mum gave me feedback the night she cooked it, and told me that using slice Kraft cheese was perfect! It worked out well and tasted very close to the once we had at Jumbo! I got really excited. Couldn’t wait to try it!

Cheesy Butter Prawns (Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

500g prawns, leave shells on

30g salted butter

1/4 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

75ml thickened cream

50ml milk

4 slices Kraft cheese

3 heap tsp of corn starch, to coat the prawns before deep frying

vegetable oil, for deep frying the prawns

salt and ground white pepper to season

coriander, for garnish

Steps : 

1) Prepare the prawns, take the heads off and keep it for other use. Carefully slice the prawn into half, length wise, keeping the shell intact and devein. Put the corn starch and coat the prawns well. Deep fry the prawns in very hot oil until the prawns are crispy and the shells have turned orangey-red. Drain and set aside.

2) Heat up a non-stick pan and add the butter. Add the garlic and onion, frying till fragrant. Careful not to burn the garlic, as it will leave a bitter after taste. Pour the thickened cream and milk into the pan, bringing it to boil. Add the prawns and lay the cheese slices on top of the prawns. Cover the pan, leaving the heat on high, and let it simmer for a few minutes or until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. If the sauce is too thick, just add a bit more milk, a tablespoon at a time.

3) Take the lid off and stir to combine the cheese well with the prawns. Season with salt and ground white pepper. Dish out and garnish with coriander.

Serve and eat immediately with steamed jasmine rice! ENJOY!

The good thing about leaving the shell on is that it retains more of the cheese sauce which is really delicious and it’s so crispy you can just devour the whole thing! (: Well the mr and I sure did! I foresee us cooking this dish very often from now. haha Think I got to lift more weights to burn those calories off! Luckily, I’ve got a husband who is a Personal Trainer! *phew*

I declare our first family project a success! (: