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Boiled Eggplant with Sauce

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I like eggplant. We often pick up eggplants from the market for cooking. Many times we ended upcooking our own recipe of Szechuan Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork , or omitted the spiciness for a simple version of Stir Fry Eggplant with Minced Pork. However I know not many people like eggplant maybe because of its texture, it will get mushy if it is overcooked. Or maybe they just don’t know how to handle eggplant.

Eggplant is really weird kind of vegetable or fruit. It has spongy texture and slight bitterness when raw. What I normally will do to prep the eggplant is cut it into pieces then soak and rinse with salt water. This will soften the texture for faster cooking and also help to reduce the amount of oil that absorbs in the eggplant when cooking.

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Steamed Rex Sole (蒸龍利魚)

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Rex Sole is one of the fish that we usually order if eating in a restaurant back home. It is absolutely delicious, the flesh is tender and mild, not fishy at all which is very important to me. I don’t like fish that smells and tastes fishy. Moreover it is inexpensive. I’ve got this fish in the Asian market for just $1.99 per lb, so cheap and so big.

The Rex Sole is kind of “flat fish” species like a flounder, both eyes are on the same side. The fish is indeed very weird looking but flesh is soft. Another wonderful thing about Rex Sole is the spine and bones are attached to the fish tightly. When you eat you can easily remove the whole spine from the fish. No loose bones at all. Y0u can easily prepare the fish, either pan fry till crispy, or simply just steam it.

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Chinese Arrowroot Soup (粉葛湯)

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The Chinese Arrowroot Soup (粉葛湯), many people may not have heard of or taste of arrowroot or the soup. The Arrowroot is a type of root plant similar to yucca, taro or potato root plants. So you can find it in the produce sections with the potato, yucca or taro. However the arrowroot is harder in texture and it is extensively starchy than potato. When it is cut up, it has patterns on surface that looks like the ages of a tree trunk.

The arrowroot is high in protein and fiber which is very beneficial to our body. Since the arrowroot is very fulfilling, sometimes we will make good old pot of soup as substitution of our meals as well. I like to drink the soup more than eating the arrowroot actually as the soup is really sweet and tasty. We cook the soup by adding in seafood ingredients such as dried oysters and dried squids, this makes the soup so refreshing sweet with the natural sweetness from dried seafood. You can omit if you don’t like seafood, just add in more pork ribs or pork bones.

For more information of arrowroot, search in wikipedia.



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Sambal Cuttlefish / Sotong

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We went to the market and wanted to get some fresh fishes, somehow the fresh cuttlefish laying on the seafood ice counter looked so tempting that attracted us so much to get it. I picked up a whole nice and big cuttlefish. So it was for the dinner, Sambal Cuttlefish or so called  Sambal Sotong.

The Sambal Sotong is usually served with Nasi Lemak (Malay Style Coconut fragrant steamed rice) or Nasi Bungkus (Pre-packed Coconut Rice) you can find in any Malay stalls. As previously mentioned, Sambal is a chili based paste used widely in cooking for Malay cuisine. Sambal is prepared from scratch with dried chilies, fresh chilies, garlic, ginger, shallots and other ingredients, grounded into paste. One important cooking tip is to cook the chili paste with oil on low heat until the oil oozes from the paste, or separated from each others.  The chili will turn into deep red in color, add some seasoning to taste.

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Stir-fried Kangkung with Fermented Bean Curd

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Kangkung is a popular vegetable in my home country and most of Southeast Asia countries. Kangkung or Kang Kong, is also called Water Spinach or Hollow Spinach, or known as Ong Choy in Chinese. It is an Asian leafy vegetable,  inexpensive and nutritious. We usually eat it at home or in the restaurants. There is always an old saying that eating too much of Kangkung will make your legs go weak. Funny, I think this is because the Kangkung has long hallow stems that are empty like straws, which similar to weak legs that have no strength.

Previously I cooked the infamous Malaysian Style Stir Fry Kangkung Belacan (馬來風光), which is a very well-known dish in Malaysia, please check it out. This time I’ve cooked the Kangkung with fermented bean curd (腐乳), so called the Stir-fried Kangkung with Fermented Bean Curd or  Fuyu Kangkung (腐乳炒空心菜). Cooking with fermented bean curd is a popular Chinese cooking style, you can actually substitute with other vegetables such as You-Choy, A-Choy etc. The bean curd has been stored and fermented so it has a slight nice wine fragrant and the natural soy bean saltiness, so no extra salt is needed for this dish.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more