Corn & Okra Fritters with Smoked Salmon

Corn fritters. Who doesn’t like them? Whenever I go for brunch, I will first look out for corn fritters on the menu and if there isn’t any then I will venture out to try something else! That’s how much I like corn fritters. Nothing better than having something crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with corn kernels bursting in your mouth with every bite! mmmm.

Corn fritters at Replete Providore sparked my obsession with fritters (:

The best corn fritters I had was at Replete Providore in Hawthorn and I couldn’t get enough of it after that! I can proudly say Replete Providore sparked my addiction to corn fritters (yes, it was THAT good!)! They serve theirs with bacon, sour cream and tomato-chilli relish which was sweet and tangy which I love!

But cause I made these on a Friday, and it’s meatless Friday. I had to use something else besides bacon. So opening the drawers in the fridge, I found my last packet of smoked salmon! The first was used to make the tomato and cream smoked salmon pasta a week ago! *PHEW* Lucky I had a packet left, as I was sure the saltiness of the smoked salmon would be perfect with these fritters!

 Instead of layering it with sour cream and the tomato-chilli relish, I thought I made it less sinful (just a tad bit) by mixing plain greek yogurt with the aubergine (eggplant) and chilli pickle I bought from a little store at Mount Dandenong a while back.

It was perfect! Creamy-sourish-spicy and added just a little touch of sweetness with some sweet chilli sauce as garnish.

These fritters were crispy and I added cheese to it so it was cheesy in the center. Everything you would want in your breakfast. The addition of okra was surprisingly good because it added an extra crunch. Just love different textures in my dishes! hehe So if you’re a corn fritter lover like me and wanna try whipping this up, here is the recipe! (: I’m very sure you will love it! Cos the mr and I both did!

Corn & Okra Fritters with Smoked Salmon (makes 5 relatively large fritters, serves 2)

 12 pieces of okra, sliced

1/2 cup of corn kernels, roasted in the oven and cooled down

1/2 cup + 2 tbs plain flour

1/2 cup chredded tasty cheese

4 mini bocconcini, sliced thinly

2 tbs grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup whole milk

1 egg

freshly ground black pepper, to season

fresh coriander, for garnish

2 tbs sweet chilli sauce, for garnish (1 tbs for each stack)

vegetable oil, for frying

aubergine & chilli pickle yogurt dressing (optional, recipe to follow)

100g smoked salmon

Steps :

1) Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat while preparing the fritter batter.

2) In a large mixing bowl, combined the okra, corn kernels, the cheeses, salt and pepper and mix it well. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon/spatula. Add the milk and egg and mix until there are no dry flour left in the bowl.

3) Once the oil is hot enough (test this by dropping a little of the batter into the oil, it should bubble vigorously), drop 2 heap tablespoons of batter into the oil and flatten it with a wooden spoon. Make sure it’s not too thick, or else the middle might be raw after being pan-fried.

4) Fry the batter one at a time, or at most 2. Fry each side for 2-3 minutes or until each side is a beautiful golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

5) Serve with alternate layers of fritters, yogurt dressing and smoked salmon in a stack and top with a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce for each stack and fresh coriander. Make sure you serve the fritters warm/hot!

Aubergine & Chilli Pickle Yogurt Dressing

2-3 heap tbs of aubergine & chilli pickle (or any relish you have in your pantry)

4-5 tbs plain greek yogurt

Step :

Just mix the pickled relish and the greek yogurt together till well combined. Chill in the fridge till ready to be used!

oh yes, if you don’t have the aubergine and chilli pickle, you can use any relish you want and use plain greek yogurt or sour cream instead! The beauty of making your own breakkie at home – use what you have at home and let your creativity run wild!

Enjoy! (:

{Quick & Easy} Smoked Salmon Pasta

Aren’t there days that you just want to whip something up in the kitchen as quickly as possible? We came back way past lunch time and just needed to get some food in our system. So I looked into our fridge and found a packet of smoked salmon. Perfect! (: I got the dish plated in less than 30 minutes! Talk about quick aye?

Cream and Tomato Smoked Salmon Pasta (serves 2)

100g smoked salmon

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 onion, finely chopped

6 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

2 tbs tomato paste

50ml dry white wine

100ml thickened cream

50g butter

salt & ground black pepper, to season

chopped parsley & chilli flakes, to garnish

100-125g dried pasta (cooked according to the packet, drained and set aside)

Steps : 

1) Place a heavy-based pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion and sundried tomatoes and fry till the onions soften. Careful not to burn the garlic, as it will turn bitter.

2) Add the white wine and cream and allow it to come to a boil. Add the tomato paste and mix till well combined. Pour the pasta into the pan and mix it well, making sure the pasta is coated well with the sauce.

3) Take the pan off the heat, and put in the smoked salmon. Fold the salmon into the pasta and bring it back onto the heat for a further 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4) Serve and garnish with parsley and chilli flakes. ENJOY! (:

Easy peasy, quick & easy!

Garlic and Chilli Clams

Been missing home quite a bit lately and one thing that gives me great comfort is food. Not just any food, but specifically mummy-inspired food! When I do head back for the holidays, I try to have as many meals as I can at home, cause mummy would just make all my favourites. Yup, I’m very blessed (:

So last Friday, when I was walking around Springvale market, and feeling homesick, I decided to make a dish that would make me warm and fuzzy inside. And one thing came to my mind – garlic and chilli clams. Spicy and the broth that accompanies it would be perfect with rice/quinoa and the best thing to have on a cold night!

and it’s really not difficult to make. Could get it from the pan to the dining table in less than 30 mins! We had this with the cheesy butter prawns in my previous post and with steamed jasmine rice, everything was just finger licking good! (I mean it, you need to use your hands to pick the clams up and SLURP! haha) Doesn’t food just taste better when you use your hands?

Garlic and Chilli Clams (Adapted from mummy’s Recipe)

800g clams, cleaned well soaking in cold water for at least 1 hour (changing water frequently)

8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

3 large chillies, finely chopped

small knob of ginger, slice thinly

1 tbs shaoxing wine

2 tbs fish sauce

1 cup water

2 tbs vegetable oil

salt and pepper, to season

fresh coriander, to garnish

Steps :

1) In a heavy-base wok, heat the oil on high heat and fry the garlic and chilli till fragrant, not till the garlic turns brown and be careful not to burn the garlic or there will be a bitter taste.

2) Add the clams and fry till well combined. Add the shaoxing wine and allow the wine to cook down. Add the fish sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add water and cover the wok, lowering the heat, allowing the clams to simmer for 15mins or until all (if not most) of the clams have opened. Discard those that are close.

3) Serve in a large bowl and garnish with coriander. ENJOY! (: Remember to use your fingers and slurp all the remaining broth that’s leftover once you’re done with the shells! hehe

So what’s the food that comes to your mind when you think of home? (:

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!