Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Phantom of the Opera

20-21 November 2010

The Phantom of the Opera brought us to London during this cold autumn season. So, of course we had to warm ourselves up with some lovely, yummy food!

First stop, Arang, Korean restaurant in Central London. The restaurant has a contemporary interior design, the part I liked most was the ceiling lamps with the air extractor for indoors BBQ on a hot-plate.

Korean cuisine is unique in the way that each meal is made up of many starter sized dishes, and in almost every meal there must be a plate of kimchi. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of fermented/pickled mixed vegetables. Usually tastes a bit sour and varied spiciness.

The little bowl containing the red and spicy looking vegetable is the kimchi. The oval plate holds the fried glass noodles with assorted vegetables while the rectangular plate holds my favourite fried dumplings. The fried dumplings is very similar to those served in Chinese cuisine - flour dough wrapped around minced meat stuffings then deep fried.

This dish consists of Korean 'year cake (literally translated from Chinese) or rice cake. It is, as the name suggests, made of rice. The rice cakes are fried with glass noodles in sweet and sour sauce. A rather nice dish with sweet and sour taste, the rice cakes is quite chewy, like thick jelly.

Sizzling cod fish slices fried in teriyaki sauce with onions. Cooking on the hotplate gives the cod fish a kind of chargrilled flavour, while the teriyaki sauce and onions add sweetness to it. A rather nice dish to go with rice!

Lo and behold! The hotpot! Korean hotpots can come in many different flavours and ingredients. This one that we ordered includes kimchi, tofu, pork  belly slices, glass noodles and lots of spices and chillies! Quite hot for my liking  but perfect for my friends who can take very hot food! My favourite ingredient in this dish has to be the slices of pork belly and tofu which soaked up all the flavours of the soup.

This next dish is absolutely wonderful and delicious! Ginseng chicken soup. Ginseng is a very popular 'food' in Korea. It is a root thought to be very nutricious for human consumption for many years in the Chinese and Korean history. This dish is made with a whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice and boiled in soup with ginseng for hours and hours in a claypot. All the flavours of chicken meat and bones and ginseng creates a very delicious soup.

The waiter cutting up the chicken into smaller pieces.

And more cutting.

~Ta~da~ we get chicken pieces, rice and ginseng served in soup. YUMMYLICIOUS!!!!!!

21st November -Taiwanese cuisine

This place is so good that we decided to pay another visit this trip!

Chef preparing our Dim Sum

Deep fried tofu with prawn paste stuffings. Sauce made of corn flour, chinese mushrooms and spring onions...

Taiwanese famous vermicelli in thick soup. The soup was boiled for hours with pig large intestine, mussells and other ingredients. Seasoned with black vinegar and soya sauce. Very delicious and full of flavours!
Showing the vermicelli in the soup

Shanghai soup bun as shown in previous post

Braised Pork Belly rice as shown in previous post

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Home made food

Homemade meal....really creates a homely atmosphere especially when you enjoy it with friends. Thanks to Michelle P. and Steven C. we get to enjoy a wonderful meal.

Both dishes are made from scratch...even the dumpling skins were homemade!

Step by step guide to making chinese fried dumplings:

1. Chop chop chop - ingredients include minced pork, cabbage, red onions. Mix ingredients and marinade with soya sauce, corn flour and oyster sauce.
This creates the stuffings for the dumplings.

2. Knead knead knead - A mixture of plain flour and water.

3. And you knead and you knead until you get a slightly sticky dough.

 4. Pinch a small piece from the dough and put on flat surface.

5. Roll roll roll - Then using a rolling pin, you roll the dough until you get a flat round shapped dumpling skin.

6. Lie the skins flat with lots of flour between them to prevent sticking.

7. Then take up a piece of dumpling skin and add a generous amount of prepared stuffing across the centre of the skin.

 8. Fold the skin into half, over the stuffing.

9. Pinch the top of both sides of the skin to seal the stuffing inside the skin.

10. A beautiful dumpling ready.

11. Place the dumplings in a pan of hot sesame oil and shallow fry until one side is golden brown. Then add some water and put the lid on. Once the water has evaporated, take the lid off and continue to fry the dumplings until cooked.

12. Cooked dumplings served on plate.

and coupled with a bowl of black vinegar with sliced ginger.

The crunchy skin of the fried dumplings and the juicy and tasty stuffing is a perfect match! The taste of the dumplings are simply intensified by the sourness of black vinegar and spicy-sweetness of ginger...yum yum!

Next dish, as you may recall, is a dish that I have written about in previous posts - Taipei Food Journey 3 and Disney's The Lion King. I did not take step by step photo guide to making this dish but I shall try to describe it as accurately as I can.

Ingredients include, diced pork belly, ginger, oyster sauce, crunchy peanut butter, chinese cooking wine, dark and light soya sauce.

Fry the pork belly and ginger in hot oil until golden brown and fragrant.
Then add peanut butter and water, shimmer for about an hour with lid on.

Braised pork belly pieces

Then serve the pork belly with rice.

An absolutely enjoyable meal!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

I am back to cooking from recipe!

 After working five and a half days straight, I thought I would let myself enjoy some really nice food...passing M&S on my way back from home, I got one of my favourite 'starter' - the Scottish Lochmuir Smoked Salmon Parcel.

 This is basically a simple dish made of salmon mousse wrapped in slices of smoked salmon.
 The inside of the salmon parcel.
Very rich and taste very 'salmony'. I would only recommend it to someone who likes seafood and especially raw fish like the Japanese salmon sashimi!

Then I thought I would make something out of the many recipes found in one of my favourite magazines - delicious.

 The dish is made of one whole free range chicken baked on a bed of plums and onions seasoned with olive oil, butter, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Grainy mustard and runny honey was brushed onto the skin of the chicken before baking. HHMmmmm absolutely yummy! The sweetness of the plums and red onions, the flavour of thyme, honey and mustard all soaked into the chicken pieces...The succulent and juicy meat of the chicken paired with the crispy and crunchy skin is just amazing!

The chicken is then served with creamy mashed potatoes. The potatoes were mashed with grated Welsh cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, butter and milk. Absolutely creamy, rich and yummy!!!

Maybe I will try another recipe next time when I am free ;)