May 2011 - Page 9 of 9 - Narcissism is Necessary

Archive | May, 2011

Spicy eggplant strips with dried shrimps.

When I was little, I used to abhor eggplants. My mom used to cooked them in pretty large pieces and I thought they looked like mangled snakes with the slightly wilted, browned purple skin and gooey flesh.

But thanks to a trip to Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands, my aversion towards the purple vegetable had been overturned. There, I ate the most delicious eggplant dish I had ever had. It was most unforgettable.

# – I <3 eggplants. What do you call them? Aubergine? Brinjal?

The strips of eggplant were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and had completely absorbed the taste and aroma of the dried shrimps with the caramelised onions contributing some delicious moisture to an otherwise dry dish. Perfect with rice but REALLY good eaten on its own too.

To be honest, I don’t know the actual recipe, but I think I managed to replicate the dish to as close to the real McCoy as possible. So yeah, I am quite pleased with myself :D

The ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into strips with skin on
  • 1 handful of dried shrimps, soaked in water for 1/2 hour and drained
  • Some flour
  • 3 dried chillies, seeded and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon of chinese wine
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of spring onion or scallion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt

# – First of all, lightly coat the eggplant strips in flour.

# – Next, deep fry the eggplant strips in hot oil till the strips are shrunken and browned, not burnt. As I didn’t want to waste so much oil, I only use like 2 centimetres of oil and deep fry in a few batches.

# – Place the deep fried eggplant strips on a kitchen towel to drain off the oil.

# – Now in a saucepan, heat up some oil and throw in the chopped spring onions and onions.

# – When the aroma hits your nose, throw in the drained soaked shrimps.

# – Now throw in the dried chillies.

# – Then a tablespoon of chinese rice wine.

# – Followed by a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

# – And about 3 tablespoons of water to allow some emulsification going on. Stir!

# – Now throw in the deep fried eggplant strips and mix till they’re well coated with the yummy shrimpy bits.

# – Lastly, throw in 1/2 a tablespoon of salt and stir.

# – Plate it up and garnish with a sprig of parsley because we’re all fancy like that.

# – Eaten with rice. Yummy!

Crispy, soft, flavourful and aromatic, who knew the vegetable that reminded me of slimy snakes could taste like this?

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Vegetarian - Continue Reading

How to cook frozen dory fish fillet properly.

For people like me who don’t go out marketing every morning, frozen dory fillets are heaven sent!

They keep forever (okay, about 3 months) and the best thing is that I don’t have to plan a fish eating schedule as I can literally pop them out whenever I feel like having some seafood.

# – Frozen dory fillets for the win!

Contrary to belief, they also taste really good, as long as you cook them properly. It helps a lot though if you bought high quality frozen dory fillets to begin with.

I tend to buy fillets that are not frozen stuck together. I bought mine from either Tesco, Jaya Grocer or Cold Storage and they usually cost between RM10-RM12 for 3 large pieces in a packet. Each bag is about 700-800 grams frozen.

Of course, I’m going to show you how to cook them properly ;)

Ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Frozen dory fillets, thawed completely
  • Salt & pepper
  • Ground black pepper
  • Lime or lemon juice

# – First, make sure the frozen dory fillets are thawed completely. It’s best to leave it in the fridge overnight if you want to eat it the day before. Or, take it out half an hour before you plan to eat and nuke it in the microwave like I did. They thaw beautifully, don’t you think?

# – Use kitchen towels to dab the fillets till as dry as possible. Don’t be afraid to use some slight pressure to press the moisture out. When only light blotches of water stain the kitchen towels, the fillets are dry enough. Ideally, you can make them bone dry but that won’t be so fun now, would it?

# – Season both sides of each fillet with salt evenly. Don’t be too heavy handed!

# – Followed by a sprinkling of pepper on both sides.

# – Now, throw in a few spoons of flour to coat the fish.

# – Make sure the fillets are properly coated. You can hold them up and lightly tap them to remove excess flour.

# – Give them a sprinkling of ground black pepper. Set aside.

# – Now grease a griddle evenly with oil and heat it up.

# – When the griddle is hot, put the fillets in on one side. Cook for about 3 minutes if the fillets are thick. Lessen time if fillets are thin.

# – Flip them over to cook the other side. Remove from griddle and set them on your plates.

# – With the same griddle on low heat, pour in a bit of oil (alright, you can also use butter which is actually way tastier!). Use a wooden spatula and scrap of the bits and bobs off the griddle.

# – Then pour in lime or lemon juice. About 4 tablespoons for one fillet. Mix it up with the oil and the bits and bobs :D

# – Pour the citrus oil all over the cooked fillet.

# – Serve it with a side of potato salad.

# – Delicious pan fried dory with citrus oil, DONE!

# – As you can see, the fillet is still flaky and moist. It is delicious!!

I use the same method to prepare the fish for chinese stir fries too, except I cut the fillets into cubes prior to flouring. I think the flour keeps the fillets in shape.

I won’t go as far as saying it’s comparable to fresh fish but for a frozen fish, this is as good as it gets!

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Seafood - Continue Reading

My obsession with spices arrangement.

Remember my post about my spice rack? Well, I’ve gotten around to expand the collection.

Behold, my spice racks…

# – My spice racks give me butterflies.

I had a panic attack in Ikea when I realised they ran out of my spice jars in black but as it turned out, it’s okay because I could fit more of my miscellaneous spices which are in their own bottles.

# – Awww…lets have a look again! And yes, alphabetical order, beetches!

I spent a few good hours labelling and filling up spice jars till wee hours of morning. Guess what, the BF, whom by the way is currently obsessed with knives AND was sharpening knives till 7am in the morning (which was effing creepy) told me that I’m crazy. WHAT?

I said he’s a pot calling the kettle black.





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Posted in: Kitchen - Continue Reading