Crab Bee Hoon Soup

IMG_3295-1-1

Fridays in the Ho Clan only means one thing – Seafood day ! (: After all the poultry and red meat we have for the rest of the week, we abstain from them on Fridays and have seafood instead. Most of the time, I would make either fish or prawns (or both). But once in a while, I would do the occasional splurge and treat ourselves to something different. This time, it’s crab!

cleaning the crab

The Mr and I went to Springvale to scout for a mud crab. Thankfully, they sold live ones! But being the noob us, we didn’t really know how to pick! haha So we asked the store owner, and she kindly chose one for us. The Mr was a little disappointed that all the mud crabs were female, as he was really looking forward to having some crab roe! Maybe next time! hehe

Of course, the first thing we did when we got home was to pop the crab into the freezer so that it would fall into a deep sleep so that we could clean it out the humane manner. I didn’t dare do it, so the Mr had to help me with the killing and cleaning. hehe Thank goodness he was home! (:

crab bee hoon soup

I have been craving for some crab bee hoon (thick rice vermicelli) soup for the longest time! I remember the first time I’ve had it was at Mellben Seafood in Singapore. They, in my opinion, has the best crab bee hoon soup I’ve ever tasted! Being the instagram stalker that I am, I saw one of my friend’s post of their crab bee hoon soup and I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying it out on my own! hehe

crab bee hoon soup

The broth was so full of flavour with the subtle milkiness of the evaporated milk. Definitely satisfied my cravings! heh I have to say, it was surprisingly easy, besides the cleaning of the crabs! You could get it on the dining table within 30 minutes after everything is prepared. How good is that? As close to instant gratification as I can get! hehe

So do give this a go. Especially if you’re craving for something comforting for this cold winter nights we are having now! You’ll have warm, toasty and happy bellies for sure!

Crab Bee Hoon (Thick Rice Vermicelli) Soup (adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

1 kg mud crab, cleaned and cut into pieces

2oog dried thick vermicelli noodles

4 tbs unsalted butter

6-10 slices of peeled ginger

3 cups fish stock

1/2 cup evaporated milk

3 bunches of baby bok choy

1-2 stalks of spring onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tbs shaoxing wine

1/2 tbs fish sauce, or according to taste

white pepper, for seasoning

fried shallots, garnish

crabs cleaned and cut into pieces

Steps :

1) Cook the dried thick vermicelli noodles according to the package till al dente. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them under cold water to remove the starch. Drain and set aside.

2) In a claypot or heavy-based pot, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the sliced ginger and fry till fragrant.

frying the ginger in melted butter

3) Add the stock and bring it to a boil.

Bringing the broth up to a boil

4) Then add the evaporated milk followed by the crab.

Add the crab and evaporated milk

5) Cook for a few minutes until the crab turns red and is cooked. Add the baby boy choy, shaoxing wine, spring onion and season with fish sauce and ground white pepper. Bring to a boil, and add the rice noodles. Allow it to boil for a few minutes, garnish with fried shallots and serve!

crab bee hoon soup served!

 ENJOY!

My favourite part of the crab is definitely the pincers. It’s just full of sweet flesh and after I was done with mine, I just wanted more! So dear readers, which is your favourite part of the crab? heh Would love to know and how do you like to have your crabs too! hehe

Hope you all had a lovely week and not long till the weekend! So hang in there! Remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

Pho Hung Vuong Saigon Springvale

Winter just means one thing. Soup. and lots of it, just to keep out tummies warm and fuzzy! One thing we do love is a good pho. Before we moved, we used to always head to Footscray to have a nice big bowl (well small for me) of pho because it’s just around the corner. Now, thankfully Springvale is a 10 minutes drive away! Phew!

 I have to admit, we haven’t had the chance to explore the different shops in Springvale. Not as much as I would like to! You know sometimes when you’re nearer to a particular suburb, you tend to not explore it as much? Sadly, we kinda took the distance for granted. It is currently just a place I go to do my grocery shopping. We had to extend out (food) knowledge and we decided to head there last weekend with a mission : to find a place that sells pho as good as the one back at Footscray (Hung Vuong Saigon)! To my surprise, I actually found a Pho Hung Vuong Saigon here at Springvale as well! So of course we decided to give it a go.

Pho Hung Vuong Saigon Springvale

Address : Shop 2/15 Balmoral Avenue, Springvale Vic 3171

Telephone : 03 95585147

It was really packed though it was about 3pm in the afternoon. But the wait staff were really friendly and asked us politely to wait for just a few minutes before we could get a table. So we were more than willing to wait. In less than 10 minutes, our tables were ready for us! Talk about quick!

We sat down, and were asked almost immediately for our orders! I was a little shocked, but I think cause they have been around for 20 years, they reckon we have been there before and would know what we wanted! They had menus on their walls, but were either in mandarin or in vietnamese so we had no clue what they had! haha I shyly asked the wait staff if they had an english menu and he quickly got us some. Thank goodness! Their menu is slightly different from the one at Footscray. They specialise with pho. There wasn’t anything else on the menu. Short and sweet, it was. So we made our decisions and waited for our bowl of hot deliciousness to arrive.

I had the beef and beef brisket pho, as I always do. Love the thin and raw slices of beef that would just cook instantly when pushed into the hot soup! The first thing I always do is to take a spoonful of soup and slurp it! haha Sorry I know it sounds rude, but the soup is a crucial component of a good pho! It. was. incredible! The soup was clear and super tasty! Absolutely made my cold afternoon! I just wanted more after each mouthful. Plus, they were super generous with the beef and brisket! Both of which were so tender! Was a clear winner to me. I’ve found my new favourite place for pho! HAPPY!

The mr ordered the chicken special which had a whole load of chicken breast fillets, chicken sausage, chicken blood, giblets and a  pasteurized egg yolk. Now, that a lot of ingredients! And how clear is that bowl of soup? I had a taste of his soup and it was really tasty as well though it more delicate and sweet when compared to the beef one. The mr did enjoy it quite a bit! We did wish that they had the fried spring rolls though! Wanted some crunch! hehe

We left the place super stuffed and satisfied! Definitely heading back there, knowing that my craving for pho will be satisfied for sure! (: Where have you had the best pho? Do share! Have a good week ahead everyone!

Pho Hung Vuong on Urbanspoon

Roasted Tomato Soup

Soup Club has been something the junior school (Year 1 to 4) at my workplace came up with in the last few weeks of last semester. The teachers of each year level will cook lunch for all the teachers of the junior school on one of the days in that week, and we rotate weekly. Absolutely loving the whole idea! Been trying all kinds of different soups and every one that I had was yummy! Sometimes, the teachers ventured out of soups, and got creative! We even had chilli con carne and curry lentils! Really well fed at my work place. haha

I was part of the year 1 team, and on our first rotation, I made cream of mushroom soup! So glad they all enjoyed it. Always get very nervous cooking for a bigger group of people. Plus I always cook too much! haha The mr and I would end up having soup for the next few days. Whoops! But more is better than less ya? hehe So it was the Year 1s turn again yesterday, and I decided to try something new. Brave, I know! haha I flipped through my recipe books and one of the soup recipes from the Delicious: Simply the best cook book, which I scored at Aldi for $12! hehe

The part that really caught my eye is the addition of asian flavours to this soup. It’s no ordinary roasted tomato soup, the addition of coconut milk, fish sauce, ginger and coriander makes it almost like drinking a less spicy and creamier version of the laksa gravy! Mmmm. AMAZING!

As much as I love the asian influence in this recipe, I have to admit I was a little worried as to how my colleagues will react to the taste. But thankfully, it turned out well and everyone was asking for the recipe! Yay! (: Totally made my day! Oh yes, and did I tell you I’ve never seen and cooked with that many tomatoes in my life because I doubled the recipe below. haha

Roasted Tomato Soup (Adapted from Delicious: Simply the best)

1.5kg tomatoes, quartered (any type you like)

2 onions, quartered

2 capsicum, thickly sliced

Salt & pepper, to season

3 tsp dried basil

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

2 tsp finely grated ginger

400ml coconut milk

700ml vegetable stock

1 tbs tomato paste

1 small bunch of coriander, leaves and steam finely chopped (extra to serve)

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs fish sauce

Natural Greek yogurt (to serve)

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with foil. Place the tomatoes, capsicums and onions on the baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and dried basil. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the vegetables are very soft and lightly charred.

2) Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant (1-2 mins), do be careful not to burn the garlic as it will have a bitter after taste.

3) Add the tomato paste, coconut milk and stock and simmer for 10 mins. Add the sugar, fish sauce, chopped coriander and the roasted tomato, capsicum and onion, plus any of the cooking juices in the baking tray. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly.

4) Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend, in batches, until smooth. Serve the soup, garnished with coriander leaves and a dollop of yogurt. Serve with bread or roti.

Enjoy!

PS : This is one soup that is not too heavy but full of flavour! Perfect for a cold winter night! Do give it a try and let me know what you think! (: So dear readers, what is your favourite kind of soup? Would love to know!

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! (:

Salted Vegetables Duck Soup (Giam Chai Ark)

I love soup! When I think of soup, one word comes to mind – comfort.

They are a definite must during the super cold and gloomy days. Soups are the one thing I think of when I feel physically drained and especially when I’m down with the flu. After 8 weeks of work, I think my body is begging me to take a break and to have a good rest. Thank goodness the holidays are here! (: Unfortunately, I caught a kid-bug from school and am down with the horrible flu. This fluctuating weather in Melbourne definitely is not helping. Super cold in the morning and cold at night.

Back home, every dinner included a bowl of soup. Even though it was never cold in Singapore, soup was a necessity to begin and/or  end the meal. The Mr is cantonese, so before starting his meal, he had to have a few sips of soup. As for me, I’m Hakka, and have our soup at the end of the meal. So as you can tell, soup is very important in our culture.

Grandma’s pig stomach soup! noms!

One of my favourite soups is pig stomach’s soup. My grandma would always cook a whole huge pot for me when I am back in Singapore. This and stewed pork knuckle. Just thinking about it makes me salivate! The other soup that makes the top of my list is salted vegetables duck soup! My mum would make this occasionally and I would happy slurp down 2 big bowls of it!

We had a craving for it and decided to buy a huge duck from Costco. So the Mr deboned the duck and cut the carcass into a few pieces. I reserved the duck breast for future use and used the rest of the duck. It was my first time cooking it, so I was a little uncertain about how it would turn out. But with chinese food, alot is about trail and error. So I did! haha Thank goodness, it turned out well and tasted quite close to the one mum makes! yippee!

Salted Vegetables Duck Soup (An Original Recipe by Food Made With Love)

1 duck, deboned and cut into pieces (I kept the duck breast)

2 tomatoes, quatered

5 cloves garlic, chopped

6 dried shitake mushroom, rinsed and soaked (reserve the water)

1 can button mushroom (or any other mushroom you want)

1 packet of salted mustard greens*, soak in water for 30 mins and cut into big pieces

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs shaoxing wine

1 tbs light soy sauce

1 tsp ground white pepper

1.5L water

Steps :

1) Heat a big soup pot over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Fry the garlic till fragrant. Careful not to burn the garlic or the soup will have a bitter taste.

2) Add the duck and fry till the skin is nice and brown, add the shaoxing wine and the water. Allow it to come to a boil. Skim the foam off the top to make sure the stock remains clear. Once the foam is skimmed off, add the tomatoes and the salted mustard greens. Cover the pot with the lid and simmer over low heat for 30mins.

3) Add the soaked shitake mushrooms and the water. Add the light soy sauce and pepper, adjust according to your preference. Add the canned button mushrooms and simmer the soup for another hour or more. Check every now and then to make sure the soup is not over-reduced.

4) Serve with steamed rice or quinoa and ENJOY! (:

Note :

* Salted green mustard can be bought at any asian supermarkets. Remember to soak it for at least 30mins as it might be a bit too salty. Do also note that there is a sour version of this. The packaging looks similar, so read it to make sure its the salted one!

** You can also add some pork bones or chicken bones to add more flavour to the soup! If you do, you can just use half a duck and keep the other half for something else (:

Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup

Sorry that it’s been a long while since I’ve blogged.
the internet is giving us a little bit of problems
so i cant upload anything
including blog posts! (:
not that im on a road trip with my parents.
I can! haha (:

I made this really long ago
and I came across this recipe from Noob Cook
and thought that it looked quite yummy!
decided to gie it a try
since portobello mushrooms are quite cheap at Costco! haha

Baby really loved it. hehe
it was, dare I say, really tasty (:
you should give it a go! hehe

Continue reading

Creamy Prawn Bisque

Sorry this is a bit late! (:
I know I promised the recipe a while back.
but here it is!
Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!

this super thick and creamy soup is just so comforting on a cold winter night (: we sure slurped it all up and not leave a single drop left in the pot! haha

Ingredients :

500g raw medium prawns
60g butter
2 tablespoon plain flour
2 litres fish stock
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup cream
1/3 cup of dry sherry (I left this out)
1-2tablespoon cream, extra for searving

Steps :

1. Peel the pranws and gently pull out the dark vein from each back, starting at the head end.
Reserve the heads and shells,
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the prawn heads and shells and cook for 5 mins,
lightly crushing the heads with a wooden spoon.

2. Add the flour to the saucepan and stir until combined.
Add the fish stock and paprika and stir until the mixture boils.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, over low heat for 10mins.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl,
then return the liquid to the saucepan.
Discard the shells. Add the prawns to the saucepan
and cook over low heat for 2-3 mins.
Cool slightly, then process in batches in a blender until smooth.
Return to saucepan.

3. Add the cream and sherry to the pan and stir to heat through.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with a swirl of cream and sprinkle paprika if desired.

4. Creamy prawn bisque DONE! (:

Enjoy!