Monday, 30 July 2012

Baked Pig Skin


I was at Sheng Siong on Friday evening and saw pig skin packed for sale at $0.40! I decided to buy one pack to do some experiments. There were 3 pieces of relatively big sized pig skin in that pack. They measured roughly about 45 cm by 10 cm each. And to my amazement, there were only skin and no fats attached at all.

After sourcing the internet for the various ways to make crispy pig skin, i decided and tried a few methods.

1) Deep fry the pig skin immediately.
2) Cook pig skin until tender then freeze before deep frying.
3) Baked pig skin (Scored and not scored).

I want to tell you what not to do..... DO NOT ATTEMPT NO.1 and NO.2. A total waste of good pig skin! Method no.1 made the pig skin curl up and blister. It was very hard and ugly! Method 2 did not produce crispy pig skin =( Method 3 was the magic. Just check out the pictures below!

Baked Pig Skin - Scored

Baked Pig Skin - Not scored

After many attempts at baking pig skin, I have come to the grand conclusion that it has to be scored to ensure the skin will turn out crispy. You simply have to cut the skin all over, rub salt and let the magic happen. Although the two pig skin turned out crispy, the one that was scored was more ideal. The non-scored skin turned out to be slightly harder. Besides, just look at the difference in appearance. Which one do you feel like eating?

1. Wash pig skin, dry it and leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight. (This will help to dry the skin)
2. Score the skin (make shallow cuts all over the skin. Preferably evenly like criss-cross cuts)
3. Rub some salt all over the skin and in between the cuts.
4. Baked it in an oven at 220 degrees celcius for 15 minutes then lower it to 180 degrees celcius for 15 minutes.

I think the crispy skin is best eaten some meat. No wonder roast pork is so popular! If you want to make roast pork, try this recipe. My next attempt will be Pork Knuckles!

Monday, 23 July 2012

What would you rather be doing if not what you are doing now?


Today at work, just for fun, i had the following conversation with my colleague.

Me: What would you want to do other than being a landlord? (My colleague wants to be a 包租婆).
Her: Owner of a book shop cum cafe.
Me: Because you like to read and drink coffee?
Her: Yes!

After considering her line of thoughts for awhile, i replied:

Me: I want to open a beach bar. Because i like to tan, drink and watch the sunset over the sea!

Maybe i can start with opening those small makeshift drink/ice cream stall at East Coast Beach? Slowly i can expand a few tables and chairs? Sell beer? After that i can sell food? And Voila! A Beach Bar is born!

Yes, random musing on a Monday afternoon....

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Where were you ... in 1975?

I wasn't even born yet in 1975, and I'm pretty sure my parents haven't quite met.  But back in 1975, a little coffeeshop along East Coast Road won 3rd prize in the Cleanliness Competition for Coffee Shop.  That coffee shop still remains today, and it is Chin Mee Chin Coffee Shop.

I was in the East Coast area and decided to drop by for a spot of tea (teh-ci, to be exact), some pastries and a whiff of nostalgia. 

Home-made kaya on home-made raisin or plain buns. Add to that, a slab of salted butter. Shiok lah.  Even the tiles on the floor have been there before me!

With so many "traditional" coffee shop chain opening in every neighbourhood malls and shopping belts.  That "old school" feeling gets a bit diluted if you asked me.  But then again, who goes to these coffee chains for nostalgia anyway?

By the way, how did I know that they won 3rd prize back in 1975?

It's framed and hung just behind the cashier counter.  I wonder who's 2nd and 1st?

Posted by Lim.

P.S. All photos were taken using my iPhone 4S with filtering by the Instagram app.  I must be the only person that realises that Instagram does not, by default, saves the original photo after filtering.  You need to change it in Settings

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Painting By Numbers


A little sidetrack from the usual food and stuff. I attempted my very first painting by numbers piece! For those who do not know what it is, it's basically a painting, divided into numbered sections. You are supposed to paint these sections with the numbered paint allocated. I found the process to be quite peaceful because you don't think about anything else except to try to not paint beyond the allocated section. It also gave me a sense of creation and achievement at the end (for people with no artistic talent like me!).

This painting is called "Streets of Paris" (40cm x 50cm). The kit came with little containers of paint and 3 different sized brushes. You do not need to mix the paint with water. The paint doesn't drip. It dries very fast. Try not to expose the paint to the air often as it may dry up in the container! I picked this because it was the only painting that has a cafe theme (I recently saw another one even nicer!). Although the colours are not as vibrant as those seen in the original "money" shot, the combination and complexity of the colours still provided a WOW factor. I'm going to frame this painting up and put it in our future cafe.

If you are interested, i bought this online at this website -

When i showed my friend this, she said i always find funny things to do. Here's my funny thing:

Streets of Paris

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ayam Goreng


I was at Batam recently and bought a pack of their Ayam Goreng marinate from the supermarket to try. Please see below for the picture. I will definitely get more of this the next time i visit Batam!! This marinate from Indofood is very nice! It made my chicken taste exactly like those sold at the malay stalls, if not better! If i'm not wrong, it cost less than $1.

Ayam Goreng Marinate by Indofood

The method stated behind the packaging says to mix the marinate with water and boil the chicken in the stock. I didn't do that. I marinated the chicken parts with the powder for at least 3 hours before i cooked it. I was able to use the whole pack to marinate 1 whole chicken (cut into parts). I boiled and cooked the chicken with some water for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how much chicken you are cooking. If you can afford the time, i suggest cooking the chicken for a longer time so that it'll be more tender. After boiling the chicken and drying it, you give the chicken a quick deep fry (2 mins). It'll turn nice and brown. Very fragrant. Best eaten hot! This marinate is not spicy. A must try for those who likes the fried chicken from the malay stalls!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Xiang Jiang Claypot Chicken Rice @ Jurong West


I think Xiang Jiang Claypot Chicken Rice deserves a mention here! I've been to this stall for a few times. The chicken is always tender and well marinated. The salted fish is of good quality. Even the dark soy sauce they use is premium quality. How do you tell if its premium quality? Its very thick and its not salty at all! There are also some charred bits of the rice for people who like them. Most of the time we will order a soup of the day ($2.50) to go along with the rice. Their soups are nice and thick. You get a very homely feel from drinking them. Please call ahead to order so that you can eat once you reach. Check out their other varieties!

Xiang Jiang Claypot Chicken Rice
Blk 498 Jurong West St 41
Singapore 640498
Tel: 92700993

 Claypot chicken rice for 3 pax @ $13
Xiang Jiang Clayport Chicken Rice

Monday, 2 July 2012

Happy Call Pan - Salmon Head


Yesterday i finally got around to buying a salmon head to try on the Happy Call Pan. I will give you my verdict now. You can decide if you want to look at the pictures below later. *Drum rollllllll* I prefer the salmon head that was grilled in the oven ( No doubt the cooking time is considerably shortened using the Happy Call Pan (it only takes about 5-7 minutes), somehow the crispiness of the salmon skin was not as satisfying when compared to it being baked in the oven. Imagine your mum's pan fried fish. Now imagine the real grilled salmon head at japanese restaurants. That's the difference. However, the meat was tender and melt in your mouth. 

Here's how i did it:
I mentioned in my previous Happy Call Pan (HCP) post ( that oil will drip out of the hole (meant for the steam to come out) if you flip it to cook. So i did not attempt to flip the pan this time. I turned the fish head manually. After washing and drying the fish, i sprinkled some salt all over the skin and on the meat. I put the HCP on medium heat (and waited for it to heat up this time) with some oil before i put the salmon head in, skin down. I cooked the skin part longer than the meat part because i want the skin to be crispy and i was confident the heat trapped on the pan when it is shut will cook the meat. Flipping the head onto the meat side for it to cook was more for browning it. When you see that the skin is nice and browned, flip the head over manually and cook it for another 1 - 2minutes. Serve hot. You can squeeze some lemon juice on it if you want. 

Maybe we can save the salmon head for the oven. If it is for cooking salmon fillet, the HCP should be a pan that gets the job done in a jiffy.

Halved Salmon Head
HCP - Salmon Head
HCP - Salmon Head