Wednesday 28 October 2015

Ginger treatment for stainless steel wok for non-stick effect

I have recently switch to use stainless steel wok to replace my hard anodized wok which i had used for 2-3years. The hard anodized wok is good but after using for 1-2 years depend on usage, the centre portion started to turn from grey to silver colour. This makes me feel uncomfortable. I have started using hard anodized wok about 6-7years ago. And both hard anodized wok had the same issue after using for a while. You will see the part in the centre turn silver colour.

Didn't want to switch to non-stick as the coating will start to drop off after sometime.

I happen to see this stainless steel wok while i was browsing and the friendly sale staff strongly recommended me to buy one. She shared that she has been using this same brand stainless steel wok for many years and it is good. She also shared that alot of time people complain stainless wok 'no good' is because they didn't use it the right way and therefore they give up.

According to her, those stainless steel wok get burnt easily are not real stainless steel. Those are the one has alot aluminium content resulted is overheated easily.

With her recommendation and sharing, i decided to give it a try and bought it. It came with some instructions to treat the wok before use
And i did it.

After bought it, I also went into google and you-tube to view how others use their stainless steel wok. There are really alot of different ways of using stainless steel wok. One of the video clip ,a chinese program, attracted my attention. The lady used a piece of ginger to create non-stick effect especially for pan fry meat without oil.  Upon viewing, i tested it on my wok and it really work so well. Now i will do the ginger treatment whenever i cook pork chop. My pork.chop has added sugar and the stainless steel wok after treated with ginger really to not stick at all. Halleilujah!

It is simple and quick and do not need much effort yet can have non-stick effect and healthier as no oil required. This is how i do it :

1. Cut a small piece of ginger.

2. In a dry and clean stainless steel wok..make sure is dry. Use a piece of ginger with the side that is sliced rub the entire inside surface of the wok. Do not on fire at this step while you are rubbing the ginger on the wok.

(My apologies, the video has some problem, it is alright on my device but it just didn't work well when it is here.)

3. Then switch on the fire and you can start to place the meat on the wok to pan fry the meat. No oil is needed. This wok will work like a non-stick wok..

You may want to try this Pan fry meat on this wok. No oil.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

No Knead Artisan Bread

Recently saw a few post Artisan bread. Google and found a recipe from The Italian Dish that looks easy without kneading require and done within 5 minutes.  Decided to give it a try. It is really easy and no hassle and save time.
Needed only 4 ingredients and it taste very good. What we need is just a big plastic container with a lid to allow the dough proof inside the container. According to this blogger dough can be kept in refrigerator for 14days.
Today, mix the flour that is plain flour with bread flour. Original recipe called for 100% plain/all purpose flour.
I will try the next round using just plain flour. Today I believe because of the bread flour, the dough was very sticky and make shaping the dough become very difficult. After few attempts trying to shape the dough as I used to shape, the dough stuck on my fingers. In the end I can only shape it into something round  and placed it on the parchment paper. The surface was not smooth. But the result after further proofing and after baking it was satisfying.

1.5 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sea salt
3 1/4 cups unsifted, all purpose flour( i used 60% bread flour & 40% plain)

Method :
Prepare a big plastic container with lid. Pour in the water. Add instant yeast and salt. Use a spoon stir a few strokes to get the yeast well mixed.

Add all of the flour at once, measuring the flour by scooping it and leveling it off with a knife. Mix with a spoon - do not knead.  Mix until everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches.  This step is done in a matter of a few minutes.  The dough should be wet and loose. Do not over mixed. Less stiring the dough the softer the bread will be

Put on the lid but not airtight. You want the gases to be able to escape a little. I used a lock and lock container but did not tighten. Just leave the lid on top to cover the opening. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on top), about two hours. Longer rising times will not hurt your dough. This dough can be kept in fridge for 14days According to the blogger, the longer it leave to proof the easier to handle the dough. Recommended first time making this should allow the dough proof overnight in the refrigerator so that it will be easier to shape. However, i let it proof in room temperature for 3hours and then shape.

Shape your loaf.  Place a piece of baking parchment paper on a aluminum baking sheet.    Sprinkle the surface of your dough in the container with flour.  Pull up the dough. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you go.  Dust your hands with flour if you need to.  This is just to prevent sticking - you don't want to incorporate the flour into the dough.  The top of the dough should be smooth - the object here is to create a "gluten cloak" or "surface tension".  It doesn't matter what the bottom looks like, but you need to have a smooth, tight top.  This whole step should take about 30 seconds!  Place the dough onto your parchment paper.

Let the loaf rise for about 30 - 40 minutes (it does not need to be covered).  If it doesn't look like it has risen much, don't worry - it will in the oven.  This is called "oven spring".

Preheat a baking tray on the middle rack in the oven for at least 20 minutes at 225°C. If you have a cast iron pot, use a cast iron pot. However, as i do not have it, so this is the part that I have modified.

Dust the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a knife.  This slashing is necessary to release some of the trapped gas, which can deform your bread.  It also makes the top of your bread look pretty - you can slash the bread in a tic tac toe pattern, a cross, or just parallel slashes.  You need a very sharp knife or a razor blade - you don't want the blade to drag across the dough and pull it.  As the bread bakes, this area opens and is known as "the bloom". Remember to score(make a cut/slash the surface)the loaves right before baking.

Bring out the preheat baking tray and place the dough including the parchment paper onto the preheat tray. And return the tray into the oven and bake for 30-35minutes depend on the size of your dough. The blogger place a cup of water in the oven during the baking process to get a crispy crust. I omitted this process.

You may also want to try using no knead dough for buns. See my post No Knead Sandwich Buns

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Toaster Oven Crispy Roasted Pork(Siew Yuk)

Have you cook your food in a toaster oven before?
I do it all the time. I do not own a microwave oven. So my toaster oven become very handly. I reheat food in it. I cook char siew in it. I bake chicken wings and chicken thighs and chicken chops  in my toaster oven. My neighbour was amazed when she saw me grilling the chicken wings and chicken chops in the toaster oven. So whenever I make small portion of otah, I will prefer to use toaster oven. Just set to the time
 that I want and go do my housekeeping and doesn't need to worry that kitchen get burn down. That is how I was able to cook simple meal with toaster oven and keep the house and coaching my children when my children were young. Toaster oven is my "good friend" in my kitchen. I use toaster oven to roast cashew nuts and almond if the quantity is small. I do have a big oven which I use for normal cake and bread baking and grills.
For small portion, I would prefer using toaster oven as it save energy and easy cleaning. So, my toaster oven is quite heavily utilised. Currently I am using a toaster oven with top and bottom grill function. And it has up to 60min timer. The only thing it doesn't has is the temperature setting. Once, the timer is set to the desire time, it will start to heat up and the heating up is very fast within a few seconds. Unlike those big oven which require preheat.

As I tried alot of different kind of food in the toaster oven, the only one i have not try is the crispy pork belly. Decided to give it a try..and I am very satisfied with the result. It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Few years ago, have tried using my big oven to do this dish. The roast pork was nice, but was "horrified" by the cleaning...the whole oven was very dirty and oily after roasting the belly pork. Tried once and never want to try again. It took me a long time cleaning the oven and a few days to get rid of the smell.
Through the previous experience, this time using toaster oven, I did some "precaution" to minimise cleanning job. I wrapped the pork with aluminim foil before putting it into toaster oven.

This is a successful crispy roaster pork which is yummy and easy to make. Will do this more often from now on..

You may find me in facebook page Catherine's Cooking Journal

Ingredients :
Belly pork with skin on
Coarse sea salt

1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp Five spies powder
1 tsp Shaoxin wine

Directions :
Boil a pot of water, blanch the pork belly in the boiling water for 1-2min.

Remove from water. Use kitchen paper towel to dry the pork belly

Place the pork belly skin down, rub the wine the all over the meat except the skin, that is the sides & the bottom of the meat.

Combine salt , pepper and five spices powder and rub all over the meat including the skin. No need to finish the amount of marinate seasoning. Just make sure every part is rub with this seasoning.

Turn over to have the pork belly skin up, poke the skin with a small knife sharp tip or any pricking tool you have. I used a special pins to do this job. Poke alot of time..the more the better. Leave the pork belly in a plate, do not cover and leave it in the fridge one day if you can. However, due to time constraint, I left it in fridge for 2hours. Purpose is to let the pork be dry to get the crispy effect.

Wrap the pork belly with a piece of aluminum foil & have the skin exposed,  then, cover the skin with a thick layer of coarse sea salt.

Place the pork belly with skin which is covered with coarse salt facing up laying on a baking tray.

Put the tray of pork belly into the toaster oven and  with setting top and bottom grill and set toaster oven timer to 60mins to "roast" the pork belly.

After 60min, remove from toaster oven. Remove the layer of coarse salt first then remove the aluminium foil. Careful there may be some hot liquid oil. Discard liquid or keep it to make sauce. Place the pork belly with skin facing up back into tray and return it into toaster oven again. Set toaster oven timer 30min. Let the pork belly continue to roast until the skin turn golden brown and crispy.

Remove from toaster oven. Cut and serve.

Note: my toaster oven temperature is approximate 220°C~250°C

You may like to try a different recipe using the belly pork to cook in different style Braised Pork / Kong Bak

Thursday 8 October 2015

Chicken Wings (Pan fry/Oven Baked)

3kg chicken wings (cut)

Homemade sauce marinating:
2 thumbs size ginger paste/minced
4 cloves garlic paste/minced
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
11/2 tsp homemade coriander powder*
4 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp light soya sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil

Wash and cut the chicken wings. That is , cut the little drumstick from the mid wing at the joint area, and remove wing tips and discarded. Transfer them into a big bowl.

In a small bowl, put all the rest ingredients and mixed well. 
Pour the mixture into the chicken wings and mix them well. Let it marinate for at least for 2 hours.
Keep the marinated chicken wings in fridge until you are about to grill or pan fry. This can be make 1 day in advance.

For oven bake, pre heat oven to 220°C and line all the chicken wings in the tray and bake for 30min. In between the bake, turn the wings to let both bake till golden brown.

For pan fry, I use a Happy Call. Pan fry both side till it is cooked and golden brown.

*Note: You may replace it with five spices powder or omit it altogether.

Thursday 1 October 2015

Pan fry prawn omelette ( pan fry egg)

5 big prawns - remove shell and cut into small pieces
4 eggs
1tbsp light sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
Some pepper
1 stalk spring onion-chopped
2 tbsp oil

Rinse prawn. Remove shell. Remove the waste on top of prawn. Rinse. Cut into small pieces. Season prawn with some salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, crack eggs and add light sauce and fish sauce. Lightly beat the eggs untill  eggwhite and yolk combined. Add prawn and spring onion. Beat them to combine well.

Heat up a wok. Add oil. Spread the oil in the wok.
When is the wok is heated, pour in the egg mixture. Let is pan fry for awhile. Flip it when one side turn light brown. And continue until the other side is brown. Use the spatula to break the egg into a few big pieces, dish out and serve immediately.

Note for pan fry salted/preserved turnip egg :
3 eggs
5-6 tbsp preserved turnip
1 tablespoon oil
1 stalk of spring onion -chopped

Rinse the preserved turnip with water for a few times. Soak the preserved turnip is less salty. Drain and squeeze the water dry with your hand.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and lightly beaten. Add the preserved turnip and spring onion and continue to beat the eggs for a few more times.

Refer above for frying method

If you are using salted preserved turnips, it can be very salty. Therefore we do not requiree to add salt to egg.

If you can also choose to pan fry the turnip before combine with the egg. This process will bring out the aroma of the turnip and egg. 

You may like to know how-to-fry-rice-without-sticking-on stainless steel wok or any kind of wok.

You may want to try this egg recipe: