Birthday Celebration … just the way I like it!

My mother in-law brought Jared for holiday in Penang. They took a train up to Butterworth and took a ferry across the sea. It was my mother in-law’s idea. She wanted to spend some time with Jared and also to let Jared experience the ride to Penang on public transports. At the same time, we told Jared to take care of his Ah Ma.

After they came back from Penang, mother in-law stayed with us for a few days. We invited mother in-law to join us for our family dinner at my parents’ house. It was Hubby’s birthday too and I knew my parents and sister would prepare a feast for the birthday celebration. My youngest sister told me that she would make a cake for us too.

 

These were the dishes cooked by my parents and my eldest sister, Annie. Inclusive of soup, there were 9 dishes all together. It was like CNY reunion dinner. We really enjoyed the food and the great company of family members.

After dinner, my dad went out to get some soda drinks. He knew the kids love it.

My youngest sister made this Tiramisu cake for us. I’ve never tried making one whole Tiramisu cake. It takes lots of skill and confidence to make such cake. I’ve only made Tiramisu cakes in small glasses. Of course, I did not use any gelatine to hold the cake together.

The Birthday guy too busy for the Birthday gal.

The cake was so lovely with our names printed on wafer and had 3 layers. 

It was a simple dinner cooked by my parents and eldest sister, with lovely Tiramisu cake made by my youngest sister and celebrated with my parents, mother in-law, kids, sibblings, nieces and nephews … just the way I like it!

 

Roast Pork

I love to eat roast pork. I like to eat roast pork dip with chili sauce or mustard sauce or go with a bowl of curry noodle. So yummy!

Auntie Jenny makes lovely roast pork. The roast pork has crunchy skin and without the porky smell. I’ve watched Auntie Jenny roasted the pork when she was preparing dinner for us at their house in Penang for 2010 Christmas. Even Timothy Tiah came to her house to pick up roast pork that she prepared for his family. I did not know who Timothy Tiah was then though Auntie Jenny did complimented him for his successful set up of Nuffnang. Back to roast pork, it was so tedious and so much work that I did not bother to attempt to roast myself at home. Hubby loves the roast pork made by her.

A few months ago, my youngest sister roasted pork at home and brought to our parents house for our usual family gathering dinner. Hubby loves it too.

I thought I must attempt to make roast pork at home too but I wanted a simpler and easier one. Found some recipes in Kuali and from my recipe book.

This is the mix and match version of roast pork recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pork belly with skin
  • Seasoning:
    • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1 tsp ground pepper
    • 1/2 tsp cooking wine
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp rock sea salt

 Request butcher:

  • for the cut best for roast pork
  • remove or debone ribs from pork belly
  • score all over pork belly skin using a sharp knife

Rinse the pork and dry the meat with paper towel.

Place the pork belly skin side down, rub seasoning into the meat side, right into the crevices.

Turn the pork belly back over, brush the top of the skin with vinegar or lemon juice.

Rub salt over skin.

Hang on to hooks in a cool dry place until the skin is dry.

Use paper towel and pat dry the skin and remove excess salt.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Place the pork belly skin side up on a rack / grill tray, in the middle rack of oven for 30 mins.

Remove the pork belly from the oven and prick the skin all over with a sharp metal skewer or pointed blade of a knife.

Return the pork belly to the oven to roast for a further 10 mins or until the top of skin turns evenly brown and crispy.

Let roast pork rest for 10 mins outside oven before cutting.

Serve hot with mustard or chili sauce. 

 The roast pork has crunchy skin with juicy meat.

 

Steam Fish Hong Kong Style

Auntie YC had her holiday in Sabah. She bought us some fresh seafood. One of the seafood was the expensive “Hoi Lee” which cost RM50.60 (RM110 per kg) for a medium size fish.

Over the weekend, Jared wanted to eat steam fish the restaurant style, not the usual steam fish style that Moch prepared at home. Hubby did not want to eat out. But this is expensive fish and I did not wish to steam it wrongly and wasted such an expensive fish.

I googled on internet and after reading a few posts on fish steaming, I decided to take a risk and steam the expensive fish at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh fish (grouper, sea bass, etc), less than a kg weight
  • 1/4 cup fine fresh ginger strips
  • 1/4 cup fine spring onion strips
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves

Seasoning sauce:

  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce (good quality)
  • 2/3 cup of chicken stock (1 tsp of chicken stock powder with 2/3 cup of hot water). We use our chicken stock that we prepared for our soup the same night
  • 1 tsp of castor/rock sugar
  • 4 tbsp oil

Method:

  1. If the fish is thick, cut a few strips on the meat or butterfly it.
  2. Lay the fish on a heat-proof or plate suitable for steaming, such as a metal plate.
  3. Scatter ginger strips over the fish, in between and some under the fish.
  4. Put sufficient water into wok and boil it.
  5. When water is boiling, put in the fish. Steam the fish at high heat for 10 minutes (10 mins for 600g fish and add 2 mins for every 200g).
  6. While the fish is steaming, prepare seasoning sauce. Mix hot chicken stock with sugar, light soy sauce and stir until sugar is all dissolved. If using chicken powder, mix it with hot water, sugar and light soy sauce. Do this step just before the fish is cooked so that the sauce is hot.
  7. Use a fork or chopstick to dig into the thickest part of the fish (usually middle of the body) and lift up the flesh. If it comes clean off the bone easily, the fish is done. If not, leave it to steam for another minute or so and check again. Do not overcook, as fish will still cook even it is taken off the heat.
  8. When the fish is cooked, carefully take it out from the wok and pour away the liquid or transfer the fish into a new plate.
  9. Pour the seasoning sauce which should still be hot all over the fish.
  10. Quickly heat up oil until smoking (be careful the oil is very hot). Pour the hot oil all over the fish. You will hear sizzling sound once the hot oil.
  11. Garnish with ginger strips, lots of spring onions and coriander.
  12. Serve the fish hot.

We should reduce the spring onion and corriander leaves garnishing on top of the fish. Probably because we have spice garden at home and can get them easily.

Moch and I were happy with the results of our first steam fish Hong Kong style. Jared extremely loved the fish, especially the sauce which was sweet and the freshness taste of the fish. He gave us 11 out of 10 marks. We asked him “11 out of 10?” and he said “Yes. The fish is very nice, nicer than restaurant”. Hubby gave 8 marks. Of course, the fish is not as good as the way Unique Seafood does but it is not far different from it.

I would summarise below the learning tips from this fish steaming:

  1. Put in fish for steaming only after water is boiling.
  2. Cook at medium high heat
  3. Drain off all the juices from the steamed fish to avoid the fishy smell and taste
  4. Use good quality soya sauce
  5. If the plate is too hot for you to pour away the steamed fish liquid or if you wish to present the fish in a nicer and presentable way, transfer the fish instead to a nicer serving plate.