herbs

All posts tagged herbs

Comfort Food Recipe – Bak Kut Teh

Published September 4, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello Bloggy friends, what a glorious Saturday – I get to sleep in till about lunch time and whipped myself & Pandabear some nice scramble eggs with toast while we’re both still in our PJs hehehee.. anyways, the forecast in Melbourne for today is thunderstorm and lots of rain. I took a stare out the window and the strong wind is blowing the trees everywhere. Kinda scared to duck out and do my weekly grocery shopping at the Asian grocery store & Vic Markets…

Last night I decided to make Bak Kut Teh for dinner, I think Bak Kut Teh is more common for Malaysian/Singaporean cuisine, not so Taiwanese – I mean we do have similar dish but the flavourings are different? So what is Bak Kut Teh? It’s pork ribs served with special herbs & spices with garlic soup. You can eat it with steamed rice or you can eat it with deep fried stringy pastry. This dish is so simple anyone can make it 🙂 it’s a great comfort food dish on a wintery cold night.

Here it is…

Ingredients

1 x packet of Bak Kut Teh spice
3-4 cloves of garlic
1.5 kg of pork ribs
2L of water

Instructions

1. First bring a pot of water to boil, slice your pork ribs into relatively medium size chunks, peel the garlic and leave it as whole. Once the water is boiling put in your sliced pork ribs, garlic and spice – the Bak Kut Teh spice has a really strong flavour and quite peppery, so what I do is when the soup is flavoursome already I would fish out the small packet of herbs. Bring the soup to boil and simmer for about an hour or two until the meat is tender and it falls off the bones. The herb packet.

2. Now, for your own preference you can add in some chinese vegies into the soup – I had some carrots & potatoes with me so I chopped them up and throw them in along with some left over spring onion. It’s not really authentic to add carrots and potatoes but I find the sweetness of carrots & potatoes compliments the soup 🙂 and if you’re into dipping like me have your soya sauce and sambal sauce ready too…

3. Serve this with steamed rice and it’s delicious & simple!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Herbs, Herbs and more Herbs…

Published August 31, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, well just letting you guys know I’ll try to update my blog on a daily basis but now I’ve started working – staring at the computer for close to 8 hours straight is making my peepers very sore 😦 Anyways, today is my mummy’s birthday..sniff sniff and it’s the first time I’m not able to spend the day with her..oh well, so I thought I’ll surprise her by sending some nice bunch of flowers but you know what happened? The flowers were delivered 2 days early, my mummy called and said thanks for the flowers? I’m like “what??, they are not suppose to deliver it that early!!” anyways, so I emailed the florist to find out what went wrong and then they replied and said we’ll deliver another bunch on the right day they apologized. I couldn’t believe it! Wow, mum rang me and told me she received another nice bunch of flower today – on her birthday! Hooray! I love happy endings.

Anyways, when I first arrived in Melbourne – I was so keen to improve my culinary skills that I went crazy with purchasing lots and lots of herbs. Now, it isn’t a problem if you used it all within a week. But my fridge was playing up with temperature – sometimes it’s so cold it freezes my vegies and sometimes it’s not cold enough that I think our ham is going to go off. So anyways, my herbs are starting to look a little miserable. So I thought to myself rather than throwing them away, I might as well find out how to keep my herbs longer. So there’s are a few ways, but the one that interested me the most is drying it naturally by placing the herbs in a well ventilated place until it dries up and the other method is freezing – so for my basil – I decided to freeze it.

Now sometimes I’ve got to admire my creativity or crazyzity if there’s such a word, it was hard trying to find a well ventilated place in our small apartment. So I found our laundry room and there’s a sink there and I’ll just ventilate it by opening the cupboard to let some air in. It’s perfect, I just tie the herbs onto the tab so it dangles from the tabs.

After a week or two the herbs are all dried – I tried out tarragon and rosemary and started stripping the leaves off.

and then box them into a container for later use…very happy with the result and our laundry is starting to smell like a herb garden hehehhe

then there was the freezing method for my basil, dip them in hot water and then dip them in icy water and then you can freeze them – pretty simple…

Now I don’t feel too bad buying all sorts of herbs 🙂

Victoria Market here I come…

Published August 13, 2010 by Mary Jane

Well, today Pandabear has got a day off – so I was excited since it’s the day I could go to the markets and buy these fresh produce and I get to cart my bluey da trolley as well. I need someone like Pandabear to look after Bluey while I go crazy at looking at different produce. Anyways, Victoria Market is a huge market in Melbourne – they sell absolutely everything, and you will find there’s quite a few similar stores that sells exactly the same thing which kind of makes it hard for me. But this is my second time visit since I’ve moved to Melbourne and I’ve started to get the hang of noticing which fruit & vegie shops are my favourite.

In particular, I love this Asian fruit and vegie store – it’s an elderly man with a little beanie and they all speak Cantonese. What amazes me is they don’t use the till or calculators everything is by mental maths. I said to the guy wow – I’m impressed you guys could calculate this all on your head and the guy laughed and replied yeah my brain is my computer hahahaha. I proceed to search for my list of herbs that I need for my Jamie’s cook book challenge and there’s just so many herbs that I’ve never seen or used in my whole life. So I had to ask the guy each time um..do you sell Marjoram? Do you sell Tarragon? I just have to trust the guy is giving me the right stuff 🙂

Also, there’s lots of meat, cheese, seafood stores – honestly the whole streets worth of them – I couldn’t be bothered comparing with different stores, I came to this Jim’s deli place – it’s like they are Italian for some cheese and prosciutto and once again he surprised me with his mental maths skill. My last stop was at the seafood place, seems to run by the Vietnamese and the lady this time use her till to calculate the items and hand over the seafood to me without a plastic bag – she did say that sorry no plastic bag our store only recently started? Huh?? So I left my seafood on top hoping it wouldn’t soak through the rest of my herbs.

Anyways, I spent an hour buying fresh produce and things and before I know it my blue trolley was all filled up and it was time to head home. One of my wheels started to look a little lop sided, I hope this trolley will last for at least 6 months…

Here are some of the ingredients I bought – they are all very fresh indeed and huge in size compared to the ones you get from supermarket – I still believe buying items from markets is a cheaper option, but I think Pandabear disagrees with me as I tend to get just a little carried away with purchasing!!

mini beetroot

mini beetroot

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

banana prawns

banana prawns

Blue swimmer crabs

Blue swimmer crabs

fetta cheese

fetta cheese

goats cheese

goats cheese

Mozzarela cheese

Mozzarela cheese

Almond flakes

Almond flakes

pistachio nuts

pistachio nuts

Okies, then I went crazy with buying all sorts of herbs…can you guess what some of these are??

So it was a productive day, but I ran out of time doing a Jamie’s cook book challenge – I’ll make it up tomorrow!