Chicken Fajitas

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 72
Lunch: Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitas, a classic Mexican recipe that is easy to prepare and a flavorful meal. I marinated the chicken yesterday so that the chicken is seasoned well and I could cook it fast for lunch today since it’s a working day, the usual WFH.

We ate it 3 different ways ie with quinoa, wraps and butterhead lettuce. Top it with avocado and a dollop of sour cream. So yummy and healthy.

Ingredients::

Ø  Fajita Seasoning

  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Ø  Chicken Fajitas

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halves the thickness
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 bell peppers , thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lime

Ø  For Serving

  • Tortillas
  • Butterhead lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado

Instructions:

  1. Add the fajitas seasoning ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir together.

2. Season the chicken. Generously sprinkle the fajita seasoning on both sides of the chicken and use your fingers press it into the chicken.

3. Cook the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and lightly coat it with a drizzle of olive oil or avocado oil. Sear the chicken breasts for about 7-8 minutes on each side.

Then remove them from the pan and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

4. Saute the bell peppers and onion. While your chicken is cooking, cut the bell peppers and onion into thin slices.

Once the chicken is removed, saute the bell peppers and onion in the same skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until caramelized.

5. Mix together. Add the chicken back into the skillet, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice (A must as squeeze of fresh lime adds a punch of flavor) and stir everything together.

6. Wrap it up. Serve immediately with tortillas and extra toppings such as sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole.

 

Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 71
Lunch: Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong)

I still have 2 stalks of dae-pa that I bought from Korean grocer. Not wanting it to go to waste, I checked on internet what I can cook with it and found this from my favourite Korean chef, Maangchi’s Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup.

Another new Korean recipe. Sourish, spicy and sweet seafood noodle soup.

Ingredients:

Vegetables:

  • 1 daepa (large green onion), or 4 green onions, cut into 2 inch length
  • 100g leek, washed and cut into ½ x 2 inch strips
  • 100g ounces bok choy, washed
  • 85g / 3 large cabbage leaves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 100g onion, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch strips

Seafoods and meat:

  • 4 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 100g squid, just the body with guts removed and sliced into rings
  • 8 mussels (optional), scrubbed, debearded, soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 24 small clams (optional), soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 100g of thinly sliced pork belly (or beef or chicken)

Noodles and seasonings:

Bought this from a Korean grocer, $17.20 for 6 servings.

  • Fresh or frozen jjajangmyeon noodles, thawed if frozen, and uncoiled
  • 5 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

Make the hot pepper flakes mixture:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Mix with a spoon until well incorporated. Set aside.

Make jjamppong:

  1. Heat a large wok (or pot) over high heat. Add the vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, and stir about 20 seconds with a wooden spoon until the garlic starts to turn a little crispy.
  2. Add the pork and stir until slightly cooked.
  3. Clear a spot in the wok by pushing the garlic, ginger, and the meat to the side. Tilt the wok so that the excess vegetable oil slides into the cleared area. Put 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes into the hot oil and stir and mix with the wooden spoon for about 1 minute, until it creates a smoky flavor but not long enough to burn. Then stir everything in the wok together into the hot oil.
  4. Add green onion, leek, cabbage, and onion and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables are wilted.
  5. Add 6 cups stock and all the seafoods and bok choy. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes until the mussels and clams are open and the shrimp and squid are well cooked.

6. Stir in the fish sauce, kosher salt, and the reserved hot pepper flakes mixture. Cover and let it simmer over low heat.

We added too much of anchovy stocks that the broth is a little diluted but the taste is still nice.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir a few times so that they don’t stick to each other.
  2. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes until tender but still chewy.
  3. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water to make them nice and chewy.

Put it together and serve:

  1. Heat up the soup over high heat.
  2. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls. Add the soup over top and include cooked seafood, vegetables, meat over top of the noodles. Serve right away.

Chicken Wrap with Cinco de Mayo Salsa Cruda

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 70
Lunch: Chicken wrap with Cinco de Mayo Salsa Cruda

Today is already the Day 70, also the 3rd day of Hari Raya and public holiday. Usually, we would have gone out for house visiting or having coffee chat with friends. But now, we are staying in, finding interesting thing to do before we die of boredom.

For me, I have been cooking far more than the total cooking I’ve done for my entire life prior to this MCO. I’ve tried lots of new recipes, inclusive of meal prep and then, take lots and lots of photos and post them on Facebook, Instagram or/and my blog. This blog is active again during this MCO, it was left idle for a few years with only 3 posts in 2016, 1 post in 2017 and I stopped blogging in 2018 and 2019 and moved to Instagram. During this MCO period, I’ve posted more than 20 posts in my blog and contributed 8 posts to Club Tefal Facebook!

2 days ago, I received the sweetest message from Wendy “Sista, I just want to drop u a message that I am happy to see ur FB posts. The old Saw Leng is back to cooking, baking, writing and sharing. Glad ur confidence are back. Lots of hugs”. Hug, hug you back. Tight, tight, Wendy

Using the salsa that we made yesterday, we add in chicken and hard-boiled eggs for protein and wrap them for our lunch today.

Yesterday, on Hari Raya Day 2, since it’s not a working day, another opportunity to explore new recipe. This recipe was shared by my niece, by Chef John from allrecipes.

A simple recipe of mixing everything together but be prepared with lots and lots of cutting.

Ingredients:

  • 300g cherry tomatoes, diced

I used mix of orange and red colours of cherry tomatoes to add some colours t

 

Use small serrated knife to cut cherry tomatoes into small dice pieces. Let it drain over strainer to remove liquid from cut tomatoes.

Onion, minced finely. 1/2 cup.

I couldn’t find jalapeno and serrano chili pepper in both of the groceries shops that I went.

Using normal green chili and Korean Cheongyang pepper that I have at home

Minced finely.

 

Add 2 cloves of garlic mince.

Pour 2 tbsp of lime juice over the top.

Stir in dried oregano, cayenne, pepper, salt and sugar

 

Chop finely mint leaves

Just learned that Cilantro is also called Chinese parsley or Coriander.

Chop finely Cilantro leaves.

Stir in mint and cilantro.

 

Mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour to let it set. Season with salt to taste.

This salsa goes so well with Tortilla chips

    

 

Pan-fried Seabass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 68
Lunch: Pan-fried Seabass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

I ordered 4 Seabass from my favourite TTDI Market Seafood Auntie. She fillet the fish for me and return the bones for me to cook fish soup noodle.

Today, I tried out this new recipe for Seabass. I like the sourish taste with the fragrance herbs smell. It goes really well with the Seabass and baby spinach.

Ingredients

  • 700g sea bass, cut into fillet
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine, ie savignon blanc
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock/broth or water
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp each of fresh oregano, thyme and parsley (or any herbs), roughly chopped
  • lemon wedges, for decoration/serving

Instructions

  1. Pat fish fillet dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt and black pepper.
  3. Coat each side, the entire surface of fish in the flour mixture and shake off excess flour.
  4. Using a non-stick frypan, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium high heat and add olive oil.
  5. Cook fish in the frypan for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  6. Remove fish to a plate.
  7. Turn down the heat to low. Add white wine to frypan to deglaze and continue heating until almost all the wine has evaporated.
  8. Add one more tablespoon of butter to the frypan. Once it’s melted, add the minced garlic and fresh herbs and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  10. Turn off heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  11. Serve sauce on top of fish.

We had the fish with quinoa rice and baby spinach.

And I forgotten to use these lemon slices to serve with the seabass.  Cooking is tiring, from planning to browsing on the internet, getting the ingredients, preparing, cooking and washing up. And it’s Sunday, which is also weekly cleaning day. 😕

Really happy to have Max. My best investment during this MCO.

When the house is finally cleaned, I can relax and enjoy burnt cheesecake from sister.

For today’s dinner, I had my first Hokkien mee during this MCO. TQ to my foodie friend for the recommendation. I have quota for cab. Must eat good one only. It was worth the drive and wait. Craving satisfied.

 

Spicy stir-fried Pork and Green Onion (Dae-pa Bokkeum)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 67

My foodie friend who once lived in Seoul for few years inspired me to cook this Bokkeum. He saw I have been trying out Korean dishes during this MCO.

I browsed a few videos on how to cook it. I scribbled some notes and the ingredients to buy. While I was busy doing it, the doorbell rang. My sister delivered these burnt cheesecake again. How to stay on diet?

I couldn’t get green onions and Cheongyang pepper. I went to a Korean grocer and found them. Not cheap.

Korean large green onions, which are sweeter and more aromatic, cost $10.20.

Cheongyang pepper cost $19.50.

Ingredients:

  • 300g pork belly, cut into bite size pieces 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced into thick pieces
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onions sliced in half and cut into 5cm pieces.
  • 3 Cheongyang peppers (green chili), roughly slice diagonally
  • 1 tbsp coarse red pepper powder (gochu-garu)
  • 1 tbsp fine red pepper powder
  • ¼ cup hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1/3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

 

Directions:

  1. Heat up a large pan over medium high heat.
  2. Put the pork belly on a pan, sprinkle flavoring salt and pepper, roast over medium heat.
  3. Once the pork belly is cooked, add garlic.
  4. If too much oil has come out from pork belly in the pan, take out some oil.
  5. When garlic is golden, add sugar and stir-fry.
  6. Sprinkle soy sauce around the edge of the pan and scorch to give a smoky flavor.

7. Add the green onions, coarse red pepper powder, fine red pepper powder, and stir-fry till the pork is fully cooked and juicy and a little crispy.

8. Add water to make sure ingredients blend well.

9. Sprinkle black pepper and sesame oil and mix before the green onion softens.

10. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle ground sesame seeds.

We had it with rice and kimchi pancake.

May eat with lettuce, ssamjang and side dishes.

My Dae Pa Bokkeum is not red enough but its spicy with the Cheongyang pepper. Next time, I will use more fatty pork belly so that the meat is juicier. Overall, the taste is good and we finished the entire plate.

Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 62
Lunch: Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki)

Another first attempt, another Korean food.
I made some twist from the cooking direction on the hot sauce packet. I didn’t use water but anchovies stock. My foodie friend told me Korean food is best to cook with anchovies stock. I am so glad that I did it.

This is like our Chee Cheong Fun (Rice noodle roll) that commonly served as snack or light meal.

As we had it for lunch, I added hard boiled eggs and fuchok roll. I also added cabbage which tasted like kimchi after cooked in the hot sauce and onions to give some flavor to the stock.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of anchovies stock
  • 250g of rice cake
  • Toppokki hot sauce – ready made or combine in a small bowl
    • ⅓ cup hot pepper paste
    • 1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
    • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 green onions, cut into 2.5 inch long and some for garnishing
  • Optionals:
    • Cabbage – sliced into bite pieces
    • Onions
    • 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled
    • Fish cake/Fuchok roll

If use frozen rice cake, thaw it out and soak in cold water to soften it before cooking.

Make hard boiled eggs and let it cool in cold water, shelled.

Directions:

  1. Boil anchovies stock.
  2. Add rice cake and Toppokki hot sauce

3. Add green onion, cabbage and onions

4. Add hard boiled eggs and fish cake/fuchok roll.

5. Stir gently with a wooden spoon when it starts to boil

6. Keep stirring until the rice cake turns soft and the sauce thickens and looks shiny, which should take about 10 -15 minutes. If the rice cake is not soft enough, add more water and continue stirring until soften.

7. Remove from heat, garnish green onions and serve hot.

I only used 1 packet of the hot sauce as it was quite spicy.

 

Shrimp Aglio Olio

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 60
Lunch: Shrimp Aglio Olio

Can’t believe it. We already survived 60 days of MCO. Throughout this MCO, I have journaled every day on my Instagram of my thoughts, special memories and mostly food that I cooked, some for the very first time since we cant eat out during this special time. The one special thing is, the boys used to tell me “Mommy, can you please don’t cook?”. Now, Jaden would come to the kitchen and asked what did I cook that smelled so nice or he would add on his food serving. This is for me to read years in future of how we survived this pandemic and why 2020 is so special to all of us. Treasuring memories.

My favorite pasta is Aglio Olio and also one of the very first pasta that I tried cooking. It’s easy and I was told to think of the colors of Italy flag. White for garlic (lots and lots of garlic cooked with olive oil), green for parsley and red for tomatoes.

When I was buying parsley, I had the option of getting a packet of Italian parsley at $2.50 or a parsley plant at $6.50. It was the only parsley plant standing there and surprisingly, it looked healthy. I decided to get the plant as the Accountant mind told me if I can use it 3 times, it’s already cheaper and I don’t have to keep on going back to Village Grocer to buy. I am really challenging myself if any plant can survive in my hands. I don’t have green fingers.

Ingredients:

  1. Pasta – 250g (about 85g to a person)
  2. Olive oil – 1/2 cup
  3. Anchovies in can – 1
  4. Garlic – 6 cloves, thinly sliced
  5. Chili flakes (1/4 tsp) or chili padi (2 red, halved and seeds removed)
  6. Shrimps – about 5 medium shrimps per person
  7. Cherry tomatoes – 12
  8. Fresh Italian parsley – 1/4 cup, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Put 2.5 litre of water to boil, add salt
  2. Once boiled, gently put pasta into the pot of boiling water.

3. Let it cooked for about 10 minutes or follow cooking instructions on pasta box, stirring occasionally.

 4. While pasta is cooking, add olive oil into wokpan.

5. Put anchovies and its oil

6. Add garlic slices and sauté until golden brown and fragrant. Add chili padi.

7. Add shrimps and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimps.

8. Add tomatoes

9. Add cooked pasta and parsley and mix them evenly.

10. Add a little of water from pasta pot, if it is dry.

11. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some parsley and serve warm.

You may sprinkle some grated parmesan, if you love cheese.

The 3 beautiful colors of Italy flag.

 

Shrimp Taco Bowl

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 55

Lunch: Shrimp Taco Bowl

My third attempt of Poke Bowl. Butter garlic shrimp with mango salsa and cabbage salad. Recipe inspired from Downshiftology. I found her while looking for meals prep ideas and saw several interesting posts by her.

The shrimps were juicy and succulent. The mango salsa had the sweet and sour refreshing taste. The cabbage gave a crunchy healthy taste to the bowl. I had white rice at the bottom of the bowl. I love the colours of the food and I can see myself eating this often.

(A) SHRIMP

Option 1: Garlic butter shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, or more as desired
  • 600g large shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Fresh parsley, chopped to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat and then stir in the garlic. Cook this for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the shrimp to the skillet and season it with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp begins to turn pink. Do not overcook shrimp or they will become rubbery.
  3. Take the shrimp off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. If you’d like it extra buttery, you can add more butter now as well.
  4. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve.

Option 2: Fajitas shrimp

Ingredients:

  •  1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1 clove minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 300 g Fresh Shrimp
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil.

Instructions:

  1. Mix together and add Shrimp. Marinate 20 minutes before grilling/frying.
  2. Add olive oil and fry Shrimp 2-3 minutes per side.

 

(B) MANGO SALSA

Mango salsa, a perfect blend of sweet and zesty taste which is good with Tortilla chips or add it to meals for boost of fresh sweetness i.e. pair with tacos, fajitas, burrito bowls, salads, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe (1 cup) mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 small (1/4 cup) red onion, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced – reduce or omit to adjust spicy level
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves or fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Once you have prepared all the ingredients, toss them into a bowl and stir everything together until it’s combined.
  2. Let the salsa rest for about 10 minutes for the flavors to blend together or serve right away with a side of tortilla chips.

(C) SLAW

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped Red Cabbage
  • 2 cups chopped Green Cabbage
  • 1 stalk chopped Green Onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped Cilantro
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar

Mix together, set aside.

(D) ASSEMBLE TACO BOWL

  1. Scope rice (white, brown or quinoa rice) on serving bowl
  2. Place shrimp on top of rice
  3. Add Mango Salsa and Slaw
  4. Add fresh Avocado and cherry tomatoes to add flavor and colour to the food.

Butter Cake

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 45
Tea time: Butter Cake

Back to basic, sometimes that’s all we need.

The rainbow message is true… Beautiful days are ahead of us. And today we received a pleasant update that MCO is partly lifted, can go back to office next Monday. But I know I will miss this MCO, the new normal of life and what I have learnt about myself during this period. I actually can cook 😏 but No, I don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen and do house cleaning. There’s more things in life. I want to have more time to do other things…. attend Bodyjam classes, family time, connect with people, go for massage and facial, take photos and update blog, listen to music and read before sleep, etc.

I baked this butter cake to celebrate it. This cake is soft, moist and smells so, so good. Butter cake is an easy, simple and basic cake that usually first-time baker will bake when they started baking.

Tips:
  • As this is butter cake, use good quality of butter and vanilla extract. The cake will smell and taste very different.
  • Mix the butter and sugar long enough to make the cake rise and a light, soft and fluffy butter cake.
  Ingredients:
  • 250g of unsalted butter (I used salted butter as I like the cake to have a little salty taste and Anchor salted butter is sold at 250g block)
  • 200g of castor sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 230g of cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
  1. Preheat over at 320°F / 160°C.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder. Set aside
  3. In a mixing bowl, add in butter and sugar. Mix it on low speed until the sugar disappear. Then increase to medium speed and mix for 15 minutes, until the butter is white, light and fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs, one by one and mix until the yellow eggs disappear.
  5. Add in the sifted dry ingredients, spoon by spoon.
  6. Add milk and vanilla extract. Continue mixing for another 3-5 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into a baking pan.
  8. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Test the cake using a cake tester.
  9. Cool the cake on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.



Fermented Soy Bean Paste Stew (Doenjang-Jjigae)

 

Recipe from my favourite Korean chef, Maangchi. I must get a copy of her cookbook.

Jaden added more rice and we finished the entire stew pot and green onion pancake. My cooking must have improved or they are more easy now due to the MCO cause they used to tell me “Mommy, can you please stop cooking”.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4):

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green Korean chili pepper (cheong-gochu), stemmed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large (8 medium) size shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed, and coarsely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2½ cups of anchovies stock (water and 7 dried anchovies, guts removed)
  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 6 ounces (3 pieces) medium-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Add potato, onion, zucchini, chili pepper, garlic, and shrimp in an earthenware pot or stainless-steel pot.
  2. Wrap the dried anchovies in cheesecloth (or a dashi bag, a pouch for stock-making sold at a Korean grocery store) and put them into the pot with other ingredients. Add water and cover.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until it starts boiling. (If use stainless steel pot, it will take about 7 to 8 minutes)
  4. Stir in the soybean paste, mixing well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes longer over medium heat.
  5. Add the tofu and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the anchovy pouch and discard.
  6. Sprinkle with the green onions and serve as a side dish to rice. Serve it directly from the pot, or transfer to a serving bowl. Everybody can eat together out of the pot, or portions can be ladled out in individual bowls for each person.