Monday, July 21, 2014

Recipe: Stir Fried Minced Pork with Thai Basil (Pad Horapa Moo)

Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates as we were away on a family staycation last weekend :)

This Thai dish, pad horapa moo (minced pork with Thai basil) is perfect for busy weeknights. My kind of fast food, as it takes under 20 minutes to prepare and cook, and it's very delicious!

In Thailand, they usually use krapow, also known as holy basil. I didn't have that, so I substituted with horapa (Thai basil). The minced pork is cooked until golden, then seasoned with fish sauce, brown sugar and oyster sauce. We love Thai basil (and we have an abundance of it growing in our garden), so we added about  1 1/2 cups of it. This dish is usually served with white rice and a fried egg on top. To keep it authentic, we did just that :)

We absolutely love the taste of this dish - the minced pork was very flavorful and slightly spicy. Of course, you can adjust the spiciness level by adding or reducing the amount of chillies used. We used about 4 since we were serving this to the kids as well.

What do you usually cook on a busy weeknight or do you opt to eat out? :)

Stir fried minced pork with Thai Basil (Pad Horapa Moo)
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 11-13 minutes
Serves 3-4

350g minced pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-6 bird's eye chilli, deseeded and minced
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, washed

Rice, for 4
4 fried eggs

1. In a wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, chilli and onion and cook for 2 minutes, until the garlic is lightly golden and fragrant.

2. Add the minced pork and cook for about 5 minutes, until it is lightly golden and cooked through. Add water, fish sauce, brown sugar and oyster sauce and cook for another 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly reduced. Taste seasoning. Finally, stir in the Thai basil leaves until slightly wilted.

3. Serve immediately with white rice and a fried egg.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recipe: Plain White Loaf (Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast 金牌土司)

Every year, I make a resolution to make more bread for my family but on the other hand, I have a love/hate relationship with yeast (I don't always have luck with it and sometimes the yeast is dead and our bread doesn't rise and we end up with a brick).

Recently, I saw many of my blogger friends making the plain white loaf (recipe originating from the famous Taiwan's Master Baker Wu Pao Chun), also known as Champion Toast. It looked so good, I knew I had to try it too!

Plain White Loaf.... perfect to be eaten anytime of the day!

Making this bread is very easy as I can use my KitchenAid to knead the dough. The dough rose beautifully, and for the first time, I felt really happy baking bread.

The bread tasted delicious and the texture was great -so soft and fluffy. We bake this almost everyday now, and enjoy this as our daily loaf. Most days though my kids and Hubby would eat almost 3/4 of the loaf before the end of the evening when it's hot out of the oven. That's how much they love it!

My son assists me everyday when he is on school holidays :) My lil baker boy.

Champion Toast... yeah!

This white loaf is perfect for making French Toast. We would always save a couple of slices to make this for breakfast the next day!

Plain white loaf (Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast 金牌土司)
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from here
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes 1 loaf (11cmx20cm)

375g bread flour
30g caster sugar
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
20g salted butter, cut into small cubes
1 tsp instant dry yeast
240g cold milk

1. In a mixing bowl, place the flour, sugar and yeast. Mix well. 

2. Then, add in salt and milk to the mixing bowl. Using low speed with hook attachment (speed 1 on KitchenAid) mix into a dough, about 2 minutes.

3. Add in butter, then knead using low speed for another 15-20 minutes until you get a shiny and smooth dough.

3. Shape the dough into a bowl and place back in bowl. Cover the mixing bowl with a cloth and proof until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hour. To test if it has sufficiently risen, press a finger into the dough and withdraw it quickly, the indentation should remain.

After first proofing

Test to see if it has sufficiently risen

4. Gently punch the centre of the dough with your first to deflate it. Divide dough into 3 balls. Flatten each ball, then roll into a rectangle shape (like rolling a swiss roll), and place into a lightly greased 11x20cm Pullman tin. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for another 1 hour, until the tin is 90-95% full.

Place dough into Pullman tin for second proofing

5. Cover the Pullman tin, bake in a preheated oven at 190°C (fan-forced) for 30 mins.

Perfect white loaf for breakfast! This one has got raisins.

Note: If you intend to add filling to the bread such as raisins, cranberries or nuts, add them in Step 4 while you roll the bread into rectangle shape. Also note that it is normal for your Kitchen Aid to be very noisy and hot after kneading for 10 mins.

Bread with Bordier butter = simple irresistible!

Freshly baked, spread with some homemade roselle jam

French Toast with bananas, apricots, caramel sauce and maple syrup. Oh and some crushed Maltesers as well.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kaiseki @ Fukuya Japanese Restaurant, Jalan Delima, KL

I can't believe that after all these years, I have not taken Hubby to Fukuya Japanese Restaurant in Jalan Delima for their kaiseki lunch. He's had a good meal at Fukuya KLIA and I myself have eaten in this restaurant a few times and enjoyed it, so I was confident that he would love it as much as I did.

Fantastic kaiseki meal at Fukuya KL :)

Since we made a last minute reservation, we were seated at the sushi bar since the restaurant is fully booked. It sure is good to see this restaurant doing so well!

Fukuya's specialty is the Kaiseki menu which consists of fresh seasonal ingredients (air-flown fresh from Japan twice a week) paired with artistic presentation. The food is prepared according to the strictest traditional methods. The mini kaiseki, served at lunch is priced at RM65++ per person and consists of an appetizer, soup, sashimi, grilled dish, simmered dish, fried dish, shokuji and dessert. It is served course by course, though at times, it came out a little too quick for our liking.

A kaiseki meal sure is a feast for the eyes and palate. Even though I've eaten the kaiseki here a few times, I still feel impressed every time the dishes come out. Like this appetizer - WOW is the word to describe it. In the centre is their signature uni (sea urchin) tofu, surrounded by other delicious bites such as fried fish, eggplant, salmon roll and grilled scallop.

Ah sashimi, my favorite course - thick, fresh slices of salmon, tuna and hamachi (yellowtail). More please :)

Premium chawanmushi - so so smooth, delightful to savour.

Grilled cod with mayo sauce- so happy that today's fish is cod. Topped with the mayo sauce, it was moist and flavourful. I really enjoyed this!

These came out together - crispy tempura, wrapped in shiso in a light batter, miso soup, simmered chicken with radish, and rice with salmon flakes.

Loved this! 

Sushi bar action

Fresh melon for dessert

It was a great lunch for sure, this certainly will not be the last time we'll be visiting Fukuya :)

Opening times: Monday to Saturday; Lunch 12.00 pm - 2.30pm, Dinner 6.30 pm- 10.30pm. Sundays 6.00pm - 10.00pm.

Price: RM65++ for mini kaiseki, available Mondays to Saturdays.

Location: Fukuya Japanese Restaurant, No 9 Jalan Delima, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (next to Levain Boulangerie and behind the Indonesian Embassy)

Tel: 03-2144 1022


GPS Coordinates: 3.145626, 101.72061

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Recipe: Oven-Roasted Dragon Tiger Grouper 龙虎班 with Lemongrass, Dill and Fennel

Remember that beautiful dragon tiger grouper 龙虎班 we got from It was so fresh, that we decided to cook it there and then.

Oven-roasted dragon tiger grouper with lemongrass, dill and fennel

We plucked some lemongrass from our garden, sliced it thinly and stuffed it in the stomach area along with some fresh dill and fennel leaves. I also covered the top layer with lots of sea salt, you can scrape these off later once the fish is ready. Then, the fish is placed in the oven and baked - easy peasy. And while the fish is cooking, I made a simple soy sauce/garlic dip.

The fish is moist and flaky, and we loved the wonderful aroma of the lemongrass. This would work well with any whole fishes - just adjust the cooking time according to the size of the fish.

Oven-roasted dragon tiger grouper with lemongrass, dill and fennel
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

1kg dragon tiger grouper, scales and guts removed
3 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced or bruised
A bunch of fennel/dill leaves
2-3 tbsp oil
Sea salt

For the dip
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp oil
3 tbsp light soy sauce

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (roast mode). Line a baking tray with foil, then using a brush, apply a thin layer of oil.

2. Place fish on tray, then stuff the stomach area with the lemongrass and fennel/dill. Drizzle more oil on the fish and then cover with a layer of sea salt. The sea salt can be scraped off later once the fish is ready.

3. Cook in preheated oven for 28-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part goes all the way through.

4. Serve with a soy sauce/garlic dip. To make the dip, fry the garlic in oil for 2 minutes until lightly golden. Place oil and garlic in a small bowl, then top with soy sauce. Mix well.

Note: You can use any whole fish for this recipe.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Great Scott® Calorie Light Challenge + Recipe: Oven-baked buttermilk "fried chicken"

So, I received an "invitation" to join The Great Scott® Calorie Light Challenge, whereby I have to share a fried chicken recipe, use Scott Calorie Light premium kitchen towel while preparing the dish and then blog about it. Since Scott® is a trusted brand in my household (we are already using the kitchen towels + toilet rolls + tissue), I gladly accepted the challenge.

Oven-baked buttermilk "fried chicken"

The new Scott® Calorie Light Premium towel is specifically designed for superior oil absorbency. It is extra thick, with Fiber-Tech Technology and infused with green tea extract for easy and effective absorption of excess oil from surface of foods, which in turn reduce the calories you consume. A research by an independent party found that by using just 3 sheets of Scott® Calorie Light kitchen towel to soak up excess oil from food like fried chicken before serving, the calorie intake from fat is reduced by an average of 25%.

And now to the fried chicken recipe. As usual, I am oven-baking my "fried chicken" but even with oven-baking, there is still a considerable amount of oil from the chicken skin as well as the oil you drizzle over to get the skin to crisp up nicely. I first marinated the chicken pieces in buttermilk for 6 hours - the buttermilk helps tenderizes the chicken, keeping it moist and juicy in every bite. The chicken is then coated in crushed cornflakes for that crispy outer finish and baked in the oven. Just before serving, I used the Scott® Calorie Light kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.

I am definitely very happy with this recipe - the chicken is moist, tender, juicy and flavorful and the skin is lovely and crispy. Kids enjoyed this very much too!

Now we can enjoy delicious "fried chicken" more often, minus the extra calories ;)

Oven-baked buttermilk "fried chicken"
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 3-4

1 cup milk
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 chicken maryland, separated to thigh and drumsticks
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

2 1/2 cup cornflakes
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp canola oil

1. To make buttermilk, place milk and lemon juice into a measuring jug, then leave to stand for 5-10 minutes.

2. Place chicken in a bowl, then pour over the buttermilk. Add salt, coarse pepper and crushed garlic, and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for at least 6 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C (roast mode). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

4.  Put flour, paprika, cayenne pepper on a plate, mix, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Put cornflakes in a plastic bag, then crush using a rolling pin, until fine. Pour onto a plate.

6. Beat egg in a bowl.

7. Remove chicken from buttermilk, one piece at a time. Dredge in flour, then dip in egg and finally the cornflakes, making sure it is evenly coated. Repeat for all the chicken pieces.

8. Place chicken in tray in a single layer, then drizzle over the oil. Cook in preheated oven for 25 minutes until the skin is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Drain on kitchen towel, to remove excess oil. Serve immediately, with a side salad.

Remove excess oil before serving

My healthy fried chicken, made even "healthier" with less calories :)

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*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 12 July 2014.
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