Kitchen Adventures: Tea Leaf Egg

I made tea leaf egg, also known as 茶叶蛋 and it was awesome and yummy and all that fun stuff! It was my first time making it and of course I want to change a couple of things about it but I thought for a first attempt it was kind of a success!

It’s something that I love eating whenever I go into a night market in Singapore. It’s lovely! The tea subtlely flavours the egg and the marbled effect makes it really pretty. I know they make this in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong as well.

Boil the eggs until they are hard boiled, around ten minutes. Make sure you don’t crack the shell of the egg before they are cooked like I did, because you will have egg EVERYWHERE and it’s not pretty. Then, after they have cooked, take the eggs out of the water and tap a spoon on their shell to make cracks. The more cracks, the more marbled.

In a pot, put in black tea, because green tea is crazy bitter (I used an insane amount), star anise (I used three), cloves (I used four), ground peppercorns (I used about a pinch, on hindsight, I would have added more), a cinnamon stick (I used ground cinnamon, works too), three tablespoons of dark soy sauce, and three tablespoons of light soy sauce (again, would have added more on hindsight). Is that it? Oh, and a pinch of sugar.

Put the eggs in there and let it simmer for about two hours. It looks and smells disgusting but that would be about right.

Then leave the eggs in the pot overnight. You can use a rice cooker, or a stew cooker, or a slow cooker, if you’re like me and don’t fancy leaving the gas on for so long.

Note: The tea will stain the pot you’re using if you end up not washing up immediately. Please at the very least rinse the pot first.

I really wanted to try it so bad after the initial two hours but I left it overnight. I only made five, but you can make as many as the pot can fit! Just make sure the water covers the eggs.

Please, under no circumstances do you reheat your eggs in the microwave. Not talking from personal experience, so don’t laugh at me. 😛


Kitchen Adventures: Onion Rings

I’ve been very inspired when watching the Masterclasses in Masterchef Australia. A lot of times I don’t cook because we don’t have that much ingredients at home, but since we had all the ingredients for a beer battered onion rings, I decided to give it a whirl, and boy was I rewarded! I think this might be the yummiest thing I’ve made thus far in my life.

Mix 75g self-raising flour, 75g, corn flour/starch, and salt into a bowl. Create a well in the center of it, and gradually add in half a bottle of beer (I used Heineken) and whisk till batter is smooth. Throw the onion rings around in some extra corn flour so that the batter will stick to it, and place the rings in batter and deep fry until they are golden. Drain away the excess oil on a paper towel and season with some salt.

Only one picture of the onion rings because they got devoured faster than they were made. Sorry folks!

Kitchen Adventures: Risotto

Chefs everywhere fear the risotto, but not me! Yeah, right. What I did, in the end just looked like really wet rice. Of course, not using the correct rice might have something to do with it, but hey, I’m experimenting, and I might as well try it with thai rice, which is the most common rice found here in Singapore.

The ingredients that were available to me were: dried mushroom (bad, bad choice), chicken, and mixed vegetables. I added in a little splash of wine as well, because, well, wine is awesome.

Why I say the dried mushrooms were a bad choice is because it vies with the rice for the stock. Obviously I soaked the mushrooms before cooking the dish, but unless they were soaked for a really long time (like how I do my Dong Gu Fatt Choy, where I soak the mushrooms overnight), they will still try to absorb in all the stock poured into the dish. Well, at least every bite of the shrooms were very flavourful bites.

This is something that definitely needs more experimenting. Maybe I should actually go to a restaurant and order risotto first before attempting to make it. You know, just saying. ;p

Salivate With Me

Today, a family friend returned from the States so our kitchen cooked up a storm. No recipes are provided because I didn’t cook anything. I’m just showing you food to make you salivate. The best part is I get to eat it and you don’t. See me sticking out my tongue at you? Heh.

What was on the menu was: Chilli Flower Crab, Sauté Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce, Stir Fy Cauliflower and Snow Peas. There was also Luncheon Meat, which I did not touch because I don’t like that, Sambal Prawns, which was really spicy! I think I’m going to have a sore bum from the sambal sauce, and Herbal Black Chicken Soup, which was really yummy!

P.S. Don’t you just absolutely hate it when crab cuts you? I have two mini crab cuts and the hurt crazy bad!

Non-Adventures in the Kitchen

Today’s kitchen adventure is not cooked by me, though I did add a little bit of flavour to it. See, we have a new domestic helper in our home today, and her name is Wa Wa. She’s really cute and very enthusiastic about everything, so she offered to cook for me today, and so I let her. It was a very basic dish, fried noodles. It was simple, but still yummy. I threw in a bit of cooking alcohol just to add flavour. I think I have a thing for splashing in some alcohol in food.

Boil the egg noodles in some water until it’s cooked. Throw some oil on a skillet and fry some garlic and beef until it’s done. Throw in a splash of cooking alcohol. Add in cabbage and carrots, and give it a good stir. Drain the noodles and add that in as well. Mix everything well over a medium heat. Add in a small mixture of corn flour, soy sauce and water, and cook everything together. Ta-da! A very nice basic noodle dish.

Note: I’m posting this up a couple of days after the dish was made because I don’t want two cooking posts in a row and I’m waiting for a certain Mister King to post up something as well.

Adventures in the Kitchen: Beef Fried Rice

You would think that being Asian, I was born being able to cook fried rice. I could; fried rice is one of the easier dishes to make; until I add in meat. For some strange reason, me and meat just simply don’t mix. Never mind that I accidentally cooked the meat in the microwave when my sole intention was to defrost it. In the end, I would call it edible, but it’s not something I would serve a friend. Maybe a friend I didn’t like. Heh.

Fry meat of your choice (I think chicken works better, but maybe ’cause chicken doesn’t not listen to me like beef does), in oil and garlic, then add in the mixed vegetables (peas, corn and carrots), and then rice. Mix everything up well, add in an egg  (I should have used two) and mix that in too. Then season it with dark soy sauce and pepper. I added in rice wine as well, just to give it something extra. The only thing I think mine lack was pepper – I should have added in a little more.

If you have any other fried rice recipes, do let me know, I’ll be glad to try them out!

Kitchen Adventures: Pasta

My experience in the kitchen is usually one of two things. The first being making things go ‘boom!’ and the second is cooking a Chinese dish called Donggu Fatt Choy. I will make Donggu Fatt Choy again for Chinese New Year, and that’s the only time I ever cook, but this post is not about that, no. This post is about pasta.

Both me and my mother decided that on New Year’s Eve, we would cook, and since we both never cook at all throughout the year, it would be fun, and interesting, and probably very eventful. My mother’s contribution was salad, meaning buying some vegetables and tossing them together with a dressing from Japan. Which means I had to make the main. My mother requested for pasta.

Sounds simple, right? There are so many different and easy pasta dishes out there. I scoured the internet, high and low for a pasta recipe that sounds appealing. A friend gave me a couple and I decided to use one from that bunch.

And apparently all my hard work didn’t matter, because I ended up not having any of the ingredients I needed. So, rolling up my sleeves, I shall attempt to see what I can do with whatever random things I have at home. This usually calls for disaster.

It turns out, the only disaster was I did not know my sister was coming back home for dinner, and only made two portions. There wasn’t enough to go around! It turned out good in the end, and it was a very well rounded end to the decade. 🙂

The original recipe called for chicken breast, tomato juice and dry white wine, all which I did not have in my kitchen. Me, not wanting to brave the crowded supermarkets to get these said ingredients, substituted them with random things I have lying around. I used pork instead, and tomato paste mixed with water, as well as some form of wine that didn’t look white, neither did it look red. But it was open, so I used that instead of opening a bottle of white wine just for this recipe.

So, my recipe, if you could call it that… I don’t measure anything, I just put in whatever as much as I feel is necessary. Probably why my dishes usually end up in mini disasters. This one turned out pretty good, methinks. I added a tad bit too much salt at the end, but the mushrooms had soaked up the flavour of the wine and biting into it was really yummy.

Fry the meat (in my case, lean pork) in some olive oil and garlic, add in the onions and mushrooms. Then add in wine, tomato paste and some water. Stir, and let it simmer until it’s not so liquid-y. Serve on pasta of your choice. The original recipe called for penne, but I used spaghetti instead, because that’s all we had.

We had some greens for a side, baked potatoes, and my sister turned up with this gorgeous baked chicken which we dubbed Gold All Over Floor. It sounds more auspicious in Mandarin, I promise you. We ended the night off with chocolate cake and a glass of red wine.

Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year, and cheers to the new decade! 🙂