HOLEYBALONEY

Pan-fried Salmon with Zucchini Noodles

Salmon is my favourite fish. It’s full of good fats and a great source of protein. It is also one of those ingredients that can be prepared in a million different ways, be it raw, steamed, baked, pan-fried etc. No matter the preparation, it’s pretty much going to be a great dish.

Today I decided to pan-fry a fillet and while figuring out what base to put it on, I came by some zucchinis and had a flash of inspiration. What could be better than a bed of zucchini noodles?

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillet
  • Zucchini
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour

Sauce

  • Creamy peanut butter x 1 tbsp
  • Tabasco Sauce x 1 tsp
  • Salt

 

PREPARATION:

Salmon

1) Pat dry the salmon on both sides. The dryer the better.

2) Season salmon with salt and pepper

3) Sprinkle a pinch of flour on the skin. This allows the salmon skin to dry up even more. After all, the dryer the better. 🙂

4) Heat some olive oil in a skillet on high heat

5) Place salmon in skillet skin side down, and bring down to medium heat. Pan-frying salmon needs to be a gradual rise in temperature so that the fillet is nicely cooked throughout, yet the skin is just nice and crispy. If the heat is too strong the skin burns up very quickly and will be flaky.

6) Lightly press it to the pan for 30 – 60s, paying extra attention to the centre. Salmon very lightly curls up in the heat so you need to ensure that you get even crisping of the skin.

7) Skin side of salmon should pan fry for about 4-5 mins, depending on thickness.

An indicator that the skin side is done is that the fish will lift off the pan extremely easily without any force. I also usually take an estimate by looking at the sides of the salmon. As long as both the sides are fully cooked, it is about time to flip it.

8) Flip salmon over and continue to cook the flesh side for another 2-3 mins.

9) Take off pan and leave to rest

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

1) Making the zoodles depends on personal preference. You can use a julienne peeler, or if you like thicker cut noodles, you can use a potato peeler and then slide them up. Just remember to remove both tips first.

2) In the same skillet that you were pan-frying the salmon, turn the heat back up and add the zoodles to the pan. There is no need to add anymore oil, as using the residual oil in the pan after the salmon will add more taste to the zoodles.

3) Stir fry for 3-5 mins, until tender.

4) If you are doing a serving of one, you can do this in the same skillet while the salmon is pan-frying.

To serve

1) To make the sauce for the zoodles, whisk all the sauce ingredients in a bowl together with some oil from the skillet.

2) Add the zoodles into the sauce and mix well

3) Serve salmon on top of the zoodles

 

Enjoy!

 

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Rice Cooker ‘Claypot’ Chicken Rice

I like my fancy rice cooker with the added functions that make my life we easier, such as soup or congee function. There’s even a cake function which I tried once but failed so badly due to my laziness to measure the amount of flour to use.

There’s a recent rise in the popularity of simple one pot dishes, which I find extremely clever, seeing how busy our lives are. A simple one-dish wonder where all the staples and the nutrients are. The best part? Only one pot to wash. Absolutely perfect! Terribly awesome, until you realise how incredible it is with the rice cooker.

Other than the usual soups, I’ve cooked a variety of dishes using the rice cooker, such as Hokkien Fried Rice (鹹飯), mac&cheese and steamed carrot cake. So since I was craving for some claypot chicken rice that day, I decided to put my rice cooker to good use again.

This makes enough for 4.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of rice, washed
  • 4 large chicken thighs (chopped into small pieces)
  • 4 Chinese sausages / lup cheong / 臘腸, cut into 1cm cubes (3/4) + thinly sliced (1/4)
  • 200g Shitake mushrooms, washed & thickly sliced
  • 4 Bok Choy

Sauces

  • Light soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • chilli powder

Aromatics

  • 10 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 finger of ginger, sliced thinly (2/3) + julienne (1/3)
  • Shallots, chopped finely

Method

  1. Before I start, in this instance, I’ve bought de-boned thighs, removed the skin and fats, to make this a healthier dish. It is perfectly fine to leave the skin on and with bones too. The fats from the chicken will make the dish a bit more flavourful, but the oil from the sausages is good enough.
  2. Marinate the chicken with light soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil, proportions 2:1:1
  3. Sprinkle some chilli powder for additional kick. Entirely optional.
  4. Wash 3 cups of rice in the rice cooker’s inner pot till the water runs clear.
  5. Tip on how much water to add to the rice: Place your last finger in the pot so it is just resting on top of the rice, and fill water till a little lower than the first line.
  6. Fire up a skillet, fry up the ginger julienne, shallots and garlic until the aroma is released. Add to rice cooker.
  7. Add sliced ginger to rice cooker & give the mixture a quick stir.
  8. Add sliced shitake mushrooms, ensuring it’s evenly spread out.
  9. Start rice cooker in standard rice cooking mode.
  10. Add all the chicken pieces & cubed sausages to the skillet on medium-low heat.
  11. After 2 mins, flip meat. The chicken should get a little bit of charring on each side.
  12. Now this is the part that gets a bit tricky, as it really depends on your rice cooker. Mine beeps about 15 mins before the end. Generally the meat should go into the pot when the rice is about 80% cooked..
  13. Add the chicken and cubed sausages to the rice cooker & ensure it is evenly spread out.
  14. To get a crusty rice base, I restart the cooking when it is entirely done and let it go for another 15 mins. Add the sliced sausage at this point.
  15. Switch the rice cooker to keep warm mode & add the bok choy.
  16. Add dark soy sauce into the pot and mix well. The rice should be quite dark in colour.
  17. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Yum yum

It’s actually a pretty stressful experience to eat at satay club at Lao Pa Sat. Before you actually order that is. You get droves of people asking you to buy from their stall, a stack of menus stuffed in your face. But still…. Yum yum!!!!!!!

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Pho Hoa

Now that I’m back working in Suntec, there’re some lunch joints that I quite liked that I can go again. One of it is Pho Hoa. It’s simple & casual Vietnamese noodles, Pho.

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And it’s Healthy! Relatively healthy I mean. It has no MSG (at least I don’t get thirsty after a meal here) and it really does serve tasty stuff.

This is a selection of your normal Pho. Nothing fancy, just simple steak, brisket & meat balls combination. This time round, I ordered the Pho Tai Bo Vien, or the steak & meat balls combi.

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While waiting for my order, I read a book. =) My Vivienne Westwood wallet has been complaining that she has no screen time on my blog so here it is.. Hope she’s satisfied.

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Decor at the place is really very simple, but because it’s got large windows, it’s nice and bright, which is a trait I like when I eat. I prefer to see what I’m eating thank you very much.

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Look closely and you can see the steam from the soup. I love hot soup especially when you’ve spent half the day in a freezing cold office. Always a huge welcome. I also like that they have kept the steak half-raw, because the hot soup will cook the meat just nice in no time. Giving fully cooked meat with the soup would make it overcooked by the time we actually eat it.

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Close up of the soup. Look at the steam! And the thinly sliced beef! The meat balls are quite big too!

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The real good stuff is this side plate, where there are bean sprouts and chili. I love the chili paste. It’s not too spicy yet gives a real good flavour to the meat. The chopped chili has too many seeds though. Small complaint there. And because I LOVE BEANSPROUTS!!! (Okay I know I’m a little whacked) So I requested for more beansprouts and my noodle turned out like this:

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Where’s the main dish? Haha.

There’s another dish I really like here, which is the Carrot Beef Stew. The stew is thick and the beef chunks are tender and just nicely cooked. You could get the stew with bread or pho. I’ll take pictures the next time I visit Pho Hoa!

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No Signboard Seafood Restaurant

New Year’s dinner with current + ex-colleagues was at Geylang’s No Signboard seafood restaurant.

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While we were waiting for our food to arrive, playing around with taking photos of the appetizers.DSC00403

They are best known for their white pepper crab which is usually cooked to the right mixture of spice and yet not lose the freshness of the crab.

Also very generous with their serving of green onions, thus enhancing the fresh sea taste of crabs yet killing any smell it might have.

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Also quite tasty is their chilli crab. This dish, of course, has to be served with piping hot and crispy man tou. Dipping the man tou in the not-very-spicy-but-slightly-sweet gravy and letting the man tou soak it all up, is pure heaven.

Other than the signature crabs, we had to have some sides to go with it.

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I love Achar. I think it’s the greatest thing in the world next to bread.

However, the achar at No Signboard was not sour enough to whet your appetite and it’s not crunchy enough to feel like a good ol’ salad-ish dish.

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One good thing about their food, which is very apparent in this stir-fry kailan dish, is that it does not threaten to kill us with salt.

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The baby squid that day was a disappointment. Not crispy enough. Personally I find that it is coated with too much honey. It’s sweet but lacks the crispiness of it. Sad fact, cos the distinct crunch is the best part of eating fried baby squids. Other than a mug of beer in the other hand.

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They are known for seafood and for a reason. The prawns are succulent and fresh and huge. Cereals are spiced with the right amount of basil & chilli so as to bring out the taste yet not overpower it.

Their cereal is so addictive the waitresses will help you hold the plate while you scoop every single remaining piece into your bowl. *sheepish*

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant (Geylang)
414 Geyland Road Lor 24
(Nearest MRT Aljunied)

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 3pm-2am
Tel: 6842 3415
Payment: Cash, Visa


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