Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Old Yellow Gourd Soup

My colleagues have been asking me about this so instead of repeating myself, I better write it here haha This is slightly modified from Sam Leong's cookbook e.g. his original recipe uses scallops and prawns but I used chicken.

Old yellow gourd 老黄瓜 - 1
Conpoy - 2
Slice of ginger
2cm  piece of white part of spring onion
Some chicken pieces
Wolfberries - about 10
Chicken stock (Home-made or if lazy or no time, store-bought ones may be used)
salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish

Soak conpoy in water for 2 hours (if you're short of time, you can soak in hot water for 30 mins). Discard water. Lightly shred, removing rubbery part. Cover with chicken stock, add ginger, spring onion and pinch of salt and steam for 45 mins. Remove ginger and spring onion and keep this conpoy chicken stock for use.

Meanwhile, prepare the gourd. using a sharp knife, carve a zig-zag pattern down the middle and open the gourd into two halves. cut off the ends slightly so that each half can stand. dig out seeds. Steam for 15 mins. Pour away any water.

Fill gourd with meat, conpoy and wolfberries and add conpoy chicken stock. Top with more chicken stock if necesssary. Steam for 15 mins.

Garnish and serve hot =)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Osmanthus Konnyaku Jelly

Inspired by my friend Ling Ling, I tried making these and my colleagues love the refreshing and healthy dessert and have been asking me how to make them =) So here's the post =)

Osmanthus flowers 1.5 - 2 metal rice spoons (about 3-4 g)
available from Hock Hua 福华 for $6.50 per bottle 
(There is one Hock Hua at Compasspoint, the rest of the outlets I'm not sure)
Some sugar 冰糖
Konnyaku Powder
I find Red Man brand Premix good. The premix is very slightly sweetened so you can adjust the sweetness yourself. Some other brands have no malic acid so you have to buy it separately which is very troublesome. For some, the powder tends to clump easily. Others are too sweet or make jelly that are too hard. So I go with Red Man Premix (available from some supermarts or Phoon Huat). Note that red man also comes in a small packet but you have to buy the malic acid separately. I use half a packet of the premix and keep the rest in the fridge for another batch.

Wolberries (about 3-4 per jelly, soak in room temperature water for about 15 mins to plump them up)

You will also need pretty moulds that are available in most supermarts.

Using half a pack, you can make 2 trays of 8 each plus an additional 3.

Bring water to boil and add in flowers. turn off flame and let infuse for about 2-3 mins. 

i drain the flowers and set them aside. add sugar if desired and stir until all dissolved (but you can skip the sugar if you do not want it too sweet). turn on flame to medium and add in konnyaku powder, stirring continuously until all has been incorporated. leave the flame on at minimum to prevent thickening and scoop into moulds.

Add wolfberries and some flowers into each mould. you may skip adding the flowers as some people may not like to eat the flowers. when jelly is gooey, give each jelly a light swirl with a chopstick to spread the berries (and flowers) around so it looks pretty when turned over.

Chill til set, tease the jelly out from the mould with a toothpick and serve chilled.