Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tempeh Green Beans/ Long Beans 长豆炒印尼豆豉

Tempeh is one ingredient that I have only cooked twice in the span of almost ten years! I should use it more often as it packs a punch of benefits as a source of vegetarian protein, even better with higher protein and fiber than tofu. Similar to tofu, tempeh is a soy product; however the main difference lies in the fact that tempeh is cultured and fermented while tofu is not.

The nutty taste, firm and chewy texture and nutritional benefits of tempeh is rather unique on its own.

Tempeh with long beans/green beans also brings back my childhood memories as a must-order item at the Malay-rice stall in the school canteen. With feelings and memories of this childhood dish, I decided to give it a shot again, probably working on the sauce/gravy that pulls the tempeh and green beans together.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

White Wine Mussels with Kale and Pasta

Seen it once, passed on it. Seen it again, in the bag.

Well, I do have qualms about frozen shellfish products. Personally, I like my shellfish such as clams or mussels - fresh. Bought when fresh, then cooked and consumed fresh.

Still I gave in, as this Trader Joes product at $3.99 came as value to me, and the ingredients are reasonably decent. Most importantly, a frozen product like this keeps well for "emergency" home-cooking.

Let's say I am in a rush to have even 30 minutes in the kitchen. Then a 15-minute dish like this might do the trick.

Fresh clams or mussels cooks fast, you may say, you do not even need 15 minutes. But again, how can fresh clams or mussels be available if you do not even step out of the house to buy some? With fresh shellfish especially, you already need to be planning ahead. Plan to cook them....and cook them on the same day! So if you do not plan ahead, this frozen mussel item is the next best alternative.

Instead of enjoying it as an appetizer, I find that this works well with pasta as a meal which is even better for me. If I have no time to cook, how can I even think of preparing an appetizer. A one-dish meal is more appropriate.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Stir-Fry Cucumber with Egg 黄瓜炒蛋

Cucumber is usually consumed raw e.g. in salads, as fillers in sandwiches. However in the middle of winter, the Chinese believe in taking in more "heat" (yang) in food even when it means lightly cooking or stir-frying a "cooling" ingredient such as cucumber, and making it a relatively "warming" dish.

This side-dish makes a good sandwich filler as well but it may not keep well in the sandwich for too long as the moisture in the cucumber might make the sandwich soggy. So gobble up the sandwich!