Thursday, 22 March 2012

McDonald's New Crispy Chicken Burger and McBites


Lim and i went to try McDonald's New Crispy Chicken Burger and McBites. We decided to write 4 words about it. "Don't waste your time." 

While the New Crispy Chicken Burger was a McSpicy without the spiciness, the McBites were the round ball-shaped cousin of the McNuggets. 

What took them so long to come up with a McSpicy without the spiciness anyway? 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Food Review - Tom Yum Kungfu (Boat Quay)

Teh: Yesterday my friends and i were at Boat Quay having Thai style BBQ cum steamboat. It was our first visit to Tom Yum Kungfu (16 Circular Road) and our first time having Thai style BBQ cum steamboat. You may be wondering what exactly is Thai style BBQ cum steamboat. It is actually a dome shaped apparatus that allows you to put meat/seafood on top to be cooked with the charcoal beneath the dome. The end of the dome is filled with stock for your to cook your food in. Still don't know what i'm talking about? Check out the picture below.



We ordered a $38 platter for the BBQ. It came with an abundance of marinate lean pork, 4 prawns, 5-6 slices fish cake, 5 scallop, 6-8 strips pork belly, green vegetable, bak choy, tung hoon, golden mushroom and 3 beancurd skin. For an additional $1.80, we ordered a pack of Thai Tom Yum instant noodles who's MSG filled soup flavouring did wonders to our existing clear soup. We also ordered a small deluxe platter full of fried items ($9). But i think you can skip the platter. Nothing to rave about. Focus on the BBQ pork instead. The 3 of us ordered an additional pack of instant noodles (because the soup got diluted when they topped up clear stock for us) and a small portion of marinated lean pork ($6). There are many add-ons to choose from. I think the $38 platter is more than enough for 3 average eaters, excluding rice! Just for fun, i ordered a coke that came in a glass bottle with thai words. It is not as sweet as our local coke but i loved it anyway.

The magical thing about the shaped apparatus is juice from the bbq meat will drip down into the soup. It doesn't make the soup oily. Don't worry. Slightly charred bits that formed on the dome after repeated cooking of meat can be scrapped off easily into the soup if you douse it with some hot soup. That's when the magic happens to the soup! It is instantly transformed into a flavourful soup (no doubt with the help of instant noodles flavouring). Think about people browning the meat on the pan, remove the meat, then add stock to the pan to scrapping off the brown parts at the bottom of the pan before returning the meat for stewing. It's the same logic.

We should go back again soon to try out the other ala carte items. Perhaps when the mood to bar-hopping strikes.

Edited: Click here to check out the post for my 2nd visit!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Grilled Salmon Head (non-complicated)

Teh: Over the weekend, while walking around in Sheng Siong, i saw a salmon head that beckoned me to buy it and grill it. I gave in to temptations and proceeded to buy it, wash it, pat it dry, cut it open, season it with season-all, coat it with some oil and put it into the oven. Yes its that simple! If you need proper instructions, please see below.

Pre-grilled salmon head

Grilled salmon head (yes it doesn't look very happy)

1 salmon head
seasonings (I used season-all. But just salt will do too!)

Method: (pre-heat open to 220 degrees C)
1. Make sure the salmon head is clean.
2. Pat it dry. The drier the skin, the crispier it'll get.
3. Cut the head open into half. (Please refer to the picture. If you can cut it through, its even better. If not, just cut the bottom part open and proceed to press down on the head to flatten it abit. It'll help cooking the fish evenly)
4. Season the head all around.
5. Coat a thin layer of oil. (my own theory - to make it even crispier!)
6. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack.
7. Crank up the temp to 240 degrees and using only the top heat, put the head on the top rack for 10 minutes or till golden brown.
8. Serve immediately. You can squeeze some lemon juice over the head if you desire.
9. Enjoy!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Claypot Chicken Rice

Claypot Chicken Rice

Teh: Claypot chicken rice has always been one of the things i want to try my hands on. I decided to invest in a small claypot thinking i can use it to experiment with various recipes in small portions. After my first attempt on the claypot chicken rice, i realised "This small claypot is not going to be enough for the things/portions i want to cook!!" That's because the rice turned out to be wonderful. I wanted to make more portions at a go so that i can share with everyone. I'm going to get a bigger claypot during my next trip to Giant.

You may think, how do you choose a good claypot? Well, i was thinking about the same question too. When i got to Giant (the only place among the rest of the supermarkets i went to that sells claypots), i looked at the price of the claypot. The small one i bought cost slightly below $10. I figured it must be of good quality since i didn't think it was going to cost so much. lol. An auntie told me not to buy claypots that have shiny exterior. Those will crack if you try to cook things in it. They are only good for keeping food warm. Her conclusion was to buy those that are polished but slightly rough, not the type we see at the hawker centers. But smoother ones. She said those hawker centers types are hard to wash. Don't forget to soak the claypot before you use it for the first time. Submerge it completely in water. I did that for 2 hours. After soaking, i boiled water in the claypot for 10 minutes.

Without further ado, here is the claypot chicken rice recipe:

Ingredients: (Portion for 2 pax)
1 cup of rice
Water (sorry i forgot to measure the exact amount of water needed. But it is slightly less than what you usually need).
1 Boneless Chicken Thighs (you can use any chicken parts you fancy)
Salted fish (as many as you want!)
Lap Cheong (as many as you want!)

Marinate for the chicken:
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
some pepper
a dash of sesame oil
1/2 tbsp Hua Tiao Chiew
3/4 tbsp of corn flour (to be added last and mixed evenly with the chicken)

1. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Marinate it with the seasoning for at least 30 minutes. Ideally you should let it marinate longer. But you are short of time, the trick is to dry the chicken before you add the marinate. It'll help the chicken absorb the flavour faster.

2. Cut up the lap cheong and salted fish to your desired size.

3. Wash the rice. Add water. I added some mushroom stock to the rice before i had it on hand. But it is ok even if you plain water.

4. Use a medium flame to boil the water and rice. When the water is boiled, turn down to small flame immediately and cover the claypot.

5. While waiting for the water to boil, heat up a pan and briefly stir fry the chicken. It doesn't have to be thoroughly cooked but just enough for the marinate to coat the chicken. We don't want the marinate to make our rice soggy! You can also pan fry the salted fish slightly to help enhance its flavour.

6. When the water is almost all absorbed by the rice (it took 10 minutes for me but please check constantly), add the chicken, salted fish and lap cheong to the top of the rice. Cover the claypot and continue to cook for 10 minutes until the rice is cooked (if you are unsure of the timing, use a spoon and eat some rice!). Turn off the flame and let the flavour infuse into the rice for a further 10 minutes.

7. Mix the rice with dark soy sauce and oil (if you wish) before eating. Bon appetite!

Claypot Chicken Rice with Salted Veg Duck Soup