I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Miso Soup



I am a fan of easy-to-make soup and none easier than miso soup. All you need is to source the ingredients and the rest will take care of itself.

You need to buy seaweed/kelp and a tub of miso paste.

Wash the kelp thoroughly to get ride of the fine sand. Remember, dried kelp will expand 5-6 times the size after it is rehydrated. I went overboard and ended up with a big bowl of kelp.  Kelp snack, anyone?

Cook the kelp in a pot of water for 2-3 minutes and remove the kelp. Next, take 2-3 spoonful of miso paste and dissolve it in a few tablespoons of water. Then add the dissolved miso paste into the pot of kelp-stock. Feel free to add as much miso paste to your own taste.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Crostini (Toasted Bread)




I remember vividly the day I placed a piece of double cream Gouda cheese on a piece of crostini and then put it in my mouth. It was at a Christmas party and it was one of those special "food-moment" that I will always remember it. I could never imagine a piece of toasted bread can taste like this. Since then, Gouda cheese and crostini would be the staples at every party or gathering that I was invited to, whether it was picnic at the park or a house warming party.



It has been a long long time since I had crostini so I decided to give it a try and I was surprised by how easy it was to make crostini. All you need is a loaf of baguette and olive oil. I repeat baguette and olive oil and you create magic with these two items.




Pop the thing into an oven and toast it for 10 minutes and you will get these golden brown crostini.



I have since made a few batches and I learned that the quality of the baguette makes a lot of difference. Go for quality baguette and you will not regret it. You will be popping this by the mouthful and before you know it, you will be making another batch.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage and Quail Eggs



With a big pot of leftover rice, I wasted no time in making fried rice. It has been a long time since I made fried rice and it brought back delightful memories of the past. With some chinese sausages in the freezer, what I need was something "different" and I chose quail eggs to be the difference maker.



I love the spots on the quail eggs. Each egg is like a piece of modern art. Pollock anyone?



It was my first time frying quail eggs so it took me a while to figure out how to crack and cook quail eggs properly. In this case, 50% failure, or 50% success, depending on how you see it. The biggest lesson I learned from cracking quail eggs is that the shell membrane is very thick so it takes more force than you would use to crack a chicken egg to break through that membrane. I was worried that the force may damage the yolk but fear not, quail egg yolk is quite "sturdy", which explains the very "yolky" consistency of quail egg, which also explains why some people really enjoy eating quail eggs. The money is in the yolk


Monday, November 9, 2015

Pork Rib Soup with Peanuts



I made this soup not too long ago. The ingredients were simple to get, the steps were easy and the result was delicious with a D.

In order to develop a deep flavor in the soup, I did two things that you normally don't see in traditional chinese soup cooking instruction - I browned the pork ribs and roasted the peanuts separately before mixing them both together with water. A few slices of "old" ginger, a few pinches of salt and a few splashes of soy sauce sealed the deal in a nice package of intensely flavored soup that warmed the heart and the stomach.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tri-tip Steak


I bought a cast iron pan a year ago and I have been using it once a while to cook steak, lamb chop, and chicken chop. As many people have said, cast iron pan is perhaps the best thing one can use to cook a piece of steak. I bought a piece of tri-tip steak from a local grocery store. Not the best cut but it is at least affordable. 

My preparation is very simple. Marinade the steak with Worcestershire sauce, dry thyme and dry parsley. 






Did someone say BUTTER???





Deglaze the pan with some left over wine. Season the glaze with salt and pepper



Rest the meat for 10 minutes



Serve.

This steak was cooked to medium-well because my family prefers it that way. If it was entirely up to me, I will take the steak out 3 minutes earlier at the medium-rare stage.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

10 Dishes Every Beginner Cook Should Master

10 Dishes Every Beginner Cook Should Master http://zite.to/1EbL33x

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce



This is one of my all-time favorite pasta dish and I am sure many of yours too. The recipe below was adapter from Jamie Oliver's, which is actually quite simple.





Jamie Oliver added bacon into his pasta sauce to create flavor but I took it one-step further by adding ground pork to increase the complexity of the meaty flavor




Star of the bolognese sauce. I used canned tomatoes imported from Italy. Save the canning juice! You need it......




My own secret ingredient. First person to guess the answer gets a small prize from me!! 


The rest of the recipe is fairly standard. Jamie Oliver's Spaghetti Bolognese


Cook the aromatics and the meat


Add the tomatoes


Add the tomato sauce that you saved




Add some red wine



Add a few other aromatics such as bay leaves, rosemary leaves, oregano, etc.

Let this cook slowly for a few hours. Add water if the sauce becomes a bit dry

Season with salt and pepper



The only ingredient missing from this dish is the CHEESE