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! (:

Homemade Yu Seul Jja Jang Myun

So the korean craze continues.

Remember my recent review on Han Guuk Guan and we had the yummiest jja jiang myun? I got adventurous and decided to challenge myself to make it! I was a bit apprehensive about it, but we both were craving for more after having it that night! So I went to the asian supermarket KFL at Springvale and guess what I saw?

Black bean paste! (: PERFECT! I snapped a photo and whatsapped the mr and he was as enthusiastic about it as I was. So I saw that as a green light to get it. It wasn’t expensive though. Just $3? Could definitely last us for a minimum of 10 plates of jja jang myun! haha

I also question how restaurants get their jja jung myun the beautiful dark colour and only after I cooked it myself, I realised it’s all in the black bean sauce! There is no secret and definitely no additional colouring. *phew*

I have to admit, after plating up I was dancing a small dance inside when I realised I got it looking pretty close to the one we had at Ham Guuk Guan! I couldn’t find the right noodles to use so I just used the flat wheat noodles. It worked well with it as well! Had a little spring to the noodles. Almost like the la mian you get from chinese restaurants. The julienne zucchini gave the dish an extra crunch and the mr really enjoyed that. (:

I sure do love my noodles black. hehe (:

Yu Seul Jja Jang Myun (Seafood Black Bean Noodles)

200g basa fillet, sliced into 1-inch pieces

150g prawn, shelled and deveined (keep the shell for stock*)

50g clams

1 onion, cubed

1 carrot, cute into cubes

150g black bean sauce

1 1/2 cup prawn stock (recipe below)

1/2 zucchini, julienned, for garnish

1/2 tbs sugar

1 heap tbs corn starch

3 tbs water

2 tbs olive oil

200g dried wheat noodles

Steps :

1) Heat the olive oil in a deep dish pan over medium to high heat and add the onions and carrots. Fry until the onions become transparent and the carrots become a little softer.

2) Add the black bean sauce and stir it well. Add the stock* slowly, stirring, making sure everything is well combined. Cover with a lid and allow it to come to a soft boil.

3) Add the seafood according to the time needed for them to cook. I added the fish and allowed it to cook for 2-3 mins, before adding the prawns then the clams.

4) Add the sugar and adjust amount as needed. Mix the corn starch with water and slowly add it to the sauce, stirring as you add the mixture, allowing it to thicken.

5) Boil the wheat noodles according to the instructions at the back of the packet, then drain them when ready. Place them on a large plate and top it with the black bean sauce. Top the dish with the julienned zucchini before serving. ENJOY!

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* For the prawn stock :

Shells from the prawns used

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 litre water

1 tsp fish sauce

Steps :

1) Heat the oil in a small heavy-based pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry till it’s brown, careful not to burn it as it will turn bitter.

2) Add the prawn shells and fry till the shells turn orange/red. Use the spatula to press the heads down and get all the flavours out of the shells.

3) Add the water and fish sauce and allow the stock to come to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the stock to simmer for not more than 30 mins. Drain the shells and take out 1 1/2 cups of stock for the noodles. You can freeze the rest for up to 1 month or keep in the fridge to be used within 3 days.

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Once again, a messy plate is a yummy plate in my books! (: 

Childhood Memories

Ever had a dish from your childhood that you can remember vividly and you try to recreate it recently? I sure do!

I remember when I was young and I use to head to my 3rd aunt’s house to stay over the weekend. She would call me the day I am heading over to ask me what I would like to have for dinner. The conversation would go like this (direct translation from mandarin) :

Aunt : What would you like to have tonight? (你今晚想吃什么?)

Me : You anyhow cook, I anyhow eat! (你乱乱煮,我乱乱吃!)

That conversation still cracks me up! haha That’s how horrible my mandarin was (and is, sadly), since I was 2/3 years old! But my aunt knew what my favourite dish of hers was and she would whip it up for dinner when I’m over. So what is it? Fried prawn egg! It’s simple but so so delicious! Till now, when there are family potluck gatherings, she would make it for us!

Since we got back from Singapore, we have decided to abstain from meat on Fridays. It was difficult to prepare lunches for Fridays to be brought to work. You won’t want it to be too messy, and you would want something that could be easily eaten using a spoon. So immediately, this dish popped out in my head! So I have been doing trail and error to get the perfect recipe and I think my last attempt was the closest! The secret is to fry it like an omelet and make sure both sides are nice and brown before using your spatula to chop it into small bits of pieces.

So here’s the recipe! Hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!

Fried Prawn Egg (Adapted from My Aunt)

300g prawns, deshelled, deveined and cut into small pieces

2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

4 eggs

1 tbs olive oil

3 tsp fish sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

white pepper, to season

spring onion, chopped, to garnish (optional)

Steps :

1) In a small metal bowl, season the prawns with 1 tsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil and pepper. In another bowl, crack the eggs in and season the egg with 2 tsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of sesame oil and pepper.

2) Heat a flat, non-stick frying pan on medium to high heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and fry till fragrant (careful not to burn them). Add the prawns and fry till they are brown and caramelised on the outside. Add the egg and spread it around the frying pan evenly.

3) Turn the heat down to medium and allow it to brown on one side then flip it to the other side, and allow that to brown too. This should take about 3-5 mins (on each side). You may check the progress by gently lifting up the sides with a spatula.

4) Once both sides are nice and brown and crispy, the fun (and distressing I might add) part begins. Use your spatula and randomly chop the omelet into small pieces. Allow it to fry for a further 3-4 mins then serve!

Serve this with rice or quinoa. Enjoy! (:

This is the mr’s portion haha in a “Light My Fire” lunchbox! Doing our bit for the environment! hehe

So dear readers, what is one childhood memory you can’t forget? Would love to hear it!

ps: so sorry about the quality of the photos. They were shot by my iphone4s. Been a bit lazy getting my camera. 🙂

Crab, Prawn & Cherry Tomato Linguini

Yes, I know. I’m proclaiming my love for Italian food again. But I am not going to apologise for that. I really do love Italian. If not cause of the carbs, I would eat pasta every single day. haha. But I have limit to once a week. The most! That’s okay, right? haha

Well. I didn’t intend to have Italian until my bestie sent me photos of what she was having at Da Paolo @ Rochester last night and I knew instantly what I wanted to try making : Crab meat linguini. That’s the only thing I order when I head to Da Paolo. Just saying the name of the place is making me want to have their crab meat linguini again. That’s how much I LOVE it. and how delicious it is!

Sorry bad lighting cos of the ambience!

I attempted to make a healthier version. Well by healthier, I mean leaving out the cream. As you will be able to see soon, everything else is healthy and not that sinful, really. Well without or without the cream, my version is nothing close to the one from Da Paolo though it was still satifying and yummy (The mr finished every single drop in the pot! hehe). But it was still a recipe worth blogging about! Hope you all will give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did!

Crab, Prawn & Cherry Tomato Linguini (an original recipe by Food Made With Love)

Ingredients :

1 canned crab meat (170g, 120g drained)

10 pieces of prawns, shelled & deveined and cut to small pieces

10 cherry tomatoes

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 chilli, deseed and chopped finely

5 pieces of sundried tomato, chopped finely

3 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tbs tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

120ml dry white wine

300ml fish stock

salt & pepper, to season

grated parmesan, to serve

300g pasta, cooked according to the back of the packaging and drained

Steps :

1) Season the cherry tomatoes with a bit of the chopped garlic, 1 tbs olive oil and dried oregano and place them on a baking tray. In a 180 degree celcius preheated oven, bake the tomatoes for 15 mins.

2) Heat a deep dish pan over moderate heat, add the olive oil, garlic, chilli and sundried tomatoes and fry till soft and fragrant. Careful not to burn the garlic, or it will taste bitter.

3) Add the prawns in the mixture and fry till they turn from opaque to white. Add the baked cherry tomatoes (including all the juices) and the tomato paste. Mix it well but gently, not to mash the cherry tomatoes. Add the white wine and allow it to reduce by half.

4) Add the fish stock and allow it to simmer over low-medium heat for 15-20 mins. Season with salt and black pepper and add the crab meat at this point. (Don’t add it too early, as it might break down and you won’t be able to taste it).

5) Toss in the cooked pasta and mix well. Serve with grated parmesan and ENJOY!

Tip :

Instead of chopping garlic when you need it, chop it before hand and place it in a air tight glass container. Cover it with olive oil and you’ve not only got garlic-infused olive oil to use whenever you need to, you have chopped garlic all ready to go! (: Place them in the fridge and you should be able to keep it for up to a month! I would recommend not making too huge a container. Maybe prepare a container every 1-2 weeks depending on how big a fan you are of garlic!

Steamed Seafood Egg Toufu

The Mr and I have decided to abstain from meat on Fridays so we either go full-fledged veg or have an addition of seafood. And I must say, it’s not a bad idea at all! (:  Of course, it’s so much easier to cook meat dishes. But this makes me think out of the box and try things that I don’t usually cook! Just the thought of it makes me excited!

My brother stopped eating meat about 2 years ago and there are a few dishes mummy makes for him that I decided that I should give it a go. Mummy is really amazing. She tries her best to cook a whole variety of things for korkor and they are all super delicious. Needless to say, mummy and my grandmother are the 2 people who inspires me to cook. (:

One of my favourite seafood dishes I love (and there is quite a list haha) is mummy’s steamed seafood egg toufu. It’s healthy and super good. You could easily eat a whole bowl. Mum usually makes hers with fresh soy bean milk (unsweetened) but I went a quicker way (and cheated) and used soft toufu instead. Of course the texture is not as smooth as it could be. But the flavour was close!

So I would recommend this for people who don’t eat meat, and are aiming to get healthier in time to come! I think most of us are striving for a healthier us, right? Take the first step! Of course, exercise is necessary! So here’s the recipe :

Steamed Seafood Egg Toufu (Adapted from Mummy)

Ingredients :

1 tube of silky toufu

3 whole eggs, lightly beaten

250g prawn, cute into small pieces

100g fish paste

3 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

ground white pepper, for seasoning

fried shallots and spring onion (for garnish, optional)

Steps :

1. Cut the top of the tube of silky toufu and squeeze the toufu into a big bowl. (Don’t worry, it should be mashed)

2. Pour the beaten eggs into the bowl and mix well with a whisk. Add the fish paste and prawn. Whisk the mixture till well combined.

3. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Steam for 30-35mins or until cooked through.

4. Pour the sesame oil over the egg, and garnish with fried shallots and spring onions.

DONE! (:

Give it a go and let me know what u think! (:

Malaysian Coconut Butter Prawns

I must admit, mine is just butter prawns.
cos I don’t have coconut anywhere in the house. haha
and I wanted to whip up something quick and yummy.
so I didn’t bother going down to the convenience store to get coconut.

we bought these really fresh and large tiger prawns from Woolworths recently.
and cause we haven’t had seafood for the longest time.
I could not wait to cook these huge-little things. hehe
and looking through Rasa Malaysia (in the midst of doing my thesis)
I found this recipe!
and it was super yummmy!
and quick (which is key now during the midst of the crazy exams and thesis writing)
baby really liked it. hehe
so here is the recipe! ENJOY!

Malaysian Coconut Butter Prawns
(adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

1 lb large prawns (washed, deveined and patted very dry)
3 tablespoons butter
6 bird’s eye chilies (chopped, seeds removed)
3 sprigs of curry leaves (leaves only) (I left this out)
3 stalks of scallions (I used coriander instead)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup of grated coconut (I left this out)
3 tablespoons Cognac (or brandy) (didn’t put this either!)

Steps :

1.  If you do have the grated coconut
toast the coconut:  In a dry, nonstick skillet, toast the coconut until golden brown.

2. Fry the prawns: In a large saute pan or wok, heat 2T cooking oil on high heat.
When smoking, add the prawns.  Cook only half way.  Timing depends on size of your prawns.
When they just start to change color, remove and set aside.

3. Stir-fry: In same pan or wok, you should have some cooking oil left over. If not, add 1T.
When hot, add the curry leaves, scallions and garlic.
Fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Add Cognac, butter, salt, sugar and soy.
Reduce just a bit – you should have a nice sauce that will coat the prawns.
Add the prawns back in the pan.  Fry until prawns are cooked through, timing depends on size of prawns.
Turn off heat, add the toasted coconut and immediately serve.

just go with rice. it’s awesomeeeee! (:

Spring Bay Mussels with white wine and cream

we bought mussles from the event and it was so cheap and fresh!
$6 for a kilo! (:
it’s half price compared to the price they sell in the markets
so we bought 1kg and decided to try one of the recipes they displayed on the counter
and it was SO GOOD!
baby really enjoyed it. and he regretted not getting 2kg of mussels. haha
next time!

so here’s the recipe
cause it’s really simple and you will be able to have a meal on the table in less than 10mins!
so give it a shot if you are a big fan of shellfish

Ingredients :

1kg packet Spring Bay Mussels
15g unsalted butter
1/2 red onion, very finely diced
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped (I used 2! cos we love garlic)
freshly ground pepper
a sprig of thyme
a bay leaf
100ml white wine
150ml thickened cream

Method :

1. Heat a large heavy based pot with a tight fitting lid over a low heat.
Add the butter, when it’s melted add the onion, garlic and some freshly ground pepper.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are clear and soft.

2. Increase the heat to high, add the thyme, bay leaf, cream and wine
and cook for 3-4minutes or until the liquid has reduced by 1/3 in volume.
Open the packet of mussels and pour into a colander then give them a light rinse.

3. Pour the mussels into the boiling wine mixture, give them a stir and then quickly put on the lid.
Cook for 3 minutes or until the mussels open.

3. Mussels with white wine and cream. DONE! (:

and you know what goes best with this?

garlic bread of course! hehe
soak up all the super yummy juices of the mussels and the sauce!
B-E-A-UTIFUL! haha (:
love it!

plump and juicy mussels.
mmmm. (:
im a happy girl!

Enjoy everyone!

Wasabi Prawns

Had this dish at Barstop on my recent trip home.
and have been wanting to make it for quite some time
found the recipe online and I’m quite happy with how it turned out!
and since we were having potluck tonight.
I decided to try making it! (seriously daring haha)
and was really relieved to hear that Peggy likes Wasabi prawns! haha
so made a good switch from Pork Adobo to Wasabi Prawns tonight (:

well. the wasabi taste is kept to the minimal.
but u can always add more if u wan more kick to it
so enjoy! (:
hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Recipe from Tung Lok Group’s cookbook, New Chinese Cuisine

Ingredients :

18 prawns, shelled & deveined (use the freshest, biggest prawns you can find.)
1 egg white
vegetable oil for deep frying
6tbsp cornflour
180ml mayonnaise
2 tbsp condensed milk (I didn’t put this)
2 tsp wasabi powder (can put more if you want more wasabi kick)
dash of lemon juice
sesame and seawood seasoning (for garnishing)

Steps :

1. Dip the prawns in egg white, then coat evenly with cornflour.

2. Deep fry the prawns in 180C (356F) for about 3 minutes, until prawns turn crispy.

3. In a separate dish, combine the mayonnaise, condensed milk, wasabi powder and lemon juice.

4. Toss the deep-fried prawns with the wasabi mayo until evenly coated.

5. Garnish with sesame and seaweed seasoning.

ENJOY! (:

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!