Monday, October 24, 2011

My Cooking Journal 25 - Stir Fry Salt And Pepper Prawns

As a Prawn lover, I enjoy the firm texture and natural sweetness of this ocean creature. It makes me mouth watering and tempting when served in any style. Prawns are well known for its high cholesterol contents. You need to watch your diet and avoid eating too much deep fried prawn as deep frying foods contain higher cholesterol levels (due to saturated fat). It should be alright if you consume in moderation and have them in steam or grill style for health benefit effects. Here is some basic nutrition that prawns can provide for our body. 

Prawns are low in saturated fat and calories and with good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  It contains vitamin B3 and B12 and good source of minerals such as iodine, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, iron, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

Its complete supply of protein will assist in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. By eating a portion of prawns will provide 50% of the daily protein needed in our body. Prawns rich in Vitamin B3, B12 and iron (copper) aid the production of red blood cells in our body and prevent anemia and symptoms of weakness and fatigue.  It also helps to maintain a healthy thyroid through its supply of copper.

Minerals like phosphorous, calcium and magnesium in prawns will work together to give us stronger bones and teeth and a relaxing nerves and muscles too.

Prawns provide significant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids benefits our mental health and reduce risk in depression as well as stroke and heart disease.  It also contains selenium (antioxidant) that will help to fight against certain form of cancer and ease the symptom of arthritis by reducing the inflammation in the body. 

Buy and Store:

You can purchase prawn from local supermarkets or wet markets. When selecting prawn, choose those with shinny and firm shells. Just ensure that the shells are not broken, not in slippery texture and not with loose or missing heads. The eye should look shiny, intact and not distorted . If there's any sign of discolouration and odour smell, it is likely to turn bad soon.

It is best to cook after purchase or within three days of purchase. Refrigerated it in the freezer compartment  for up to 5-7 days can still be good. You can used back the orignal packaging or transfer it to a plastic container prior storing it in the freezer compartment.


  1. 10 Medium Prawns
  2. 2-3 stalk Spring Onions - Wash & Cut into 2 inch length
  3. 2-3 stems Curry Leave  - Wash, remove leave from stem and cut the stem into 2 inch length
  4. 4-5 slice Ginger
  5. 1 clove Garlic - skin peel and mince
  6. 1 Red Chiller - Wash, Deseed, Cut into thin slice (3 to 4 Chilli Padi is prefer)
  7. 2 tablespoon Corn Flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Ground White/Black Pepper - crushed
  9. 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  10. 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
  11. 2 tablespoon Martell (Hard Liquor)

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Cooking Journal 24 - Stir Fry Broccoli and Cauliflower with Fish Cake

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables which includes relatives such as cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, bok choy etc. With its high nutrition properties, it is recommended to consume regularly. 

This vegetable is low in calories and packed with Vitamin such as C (high level), A (high level), B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (Folate). Its also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, dietary fibre, potassium and zinc.

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, eases symptoms of common cold, boost immune system and repair body tissue. And with the presence of sulphur and amino acids in Broccoli, it has become a good detoxifier that will help to purify our blood, remove free radicals and toxins from your body, combat problems such as skin disease, rashes, arthritis, rheumatism etc.

Vitamin A (mostly beta-carotene) helps to maintain good eyesight and prevent cataracts. It also helps to balance the Vitamin D metabolism in our body and boost our immunity with the assistance of others vitamins and minerals such as copper, zinc, phosphorous etc.

With the presence of Vitamin C, B and A, it helps us to maintain healthy skin and hair and revives our skin tissues. Folate (B9) is good for woman in sustaining growth of normal tissue, prevent birth defects. Broccoli being rich in Calcium assists us to build strong bone and teeth and prevent osteoporosis.

It is definitely a great food for weight watcher as it is low in calories and high in fiber. It helps to prevent constipation problems and maintain good digestive system. Beside this, its rich in fiber, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids along with chromium (mineral) help to regulate blood pressure and reduce blood cholesterol levels, this in turn will help us to maintain a healthy heart.

Last but not least, one impressive characteristic of Broccoli is it helps to fight against cancer. It contains phytochemicals (anit-carcinogens) which includes indoles and isothiocynates also called suolforaphase that helps to promotes good enzymes to fight against cancer like breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer etc.  

Buy, Storage and Preparation:

You can purchase broccoli from local supermarkets or wet markets. Before purchase, choose those that are firm, greenish or purple-green in colour and compacts with florets. Make sure the broccoli is unwilted, no yellow/brown spots on stalks/forets and no yellow flowering as this is a sign of maturity.

It is best to cook after purchase or within three days of purchase. Refrigerated it for up to 5-7 days can still be good. To maintain it freshness, wrap in paper towels or newspaper, then place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate it. 

If happens that you decided not to cook it after washing and trimming of the broccoli, just store them in a air-tight container and keep it in refrigerator for up to 3 days.  It can still maintain it freshness.

Preparation (Broccoli or Cauliflower):
Cut the flowerets into quarters or halves to achieve even size for ease of stir frying. Peel the stem and slice stems diagonally to 1/2 inch length . Wash thoroughly in water and drain.


  1. 100g Broccoli - Refer above for preparation
  2. 100g Cauliflower - Refer above for preparation (same method as broccoli)
  3. 50g Red Capsicium - Optional (I used up my remaining portion)
  4. 1 piece Fish Cake - Cut into thin slice
  5. 3 slices Ginger
  6. 1 clove Garlic - skin peel and mince
  7. 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce - mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  8. 1 teaspoon Corn Flour - for sauce thickening
  9. 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  10. Pinch of Pepper, Sea Salt and Sugar
  11. 1/4 cup Water

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Cooking Journal 23 - Spinach Soup with Meat Ball and Silver Fish

One afternoon, I was at an eating house along Joo Chiat Road enjoying their famous delicacy that is the curry fish head with two others dishes to accomplish a satisfying lunch. One of the side dish that we ordered was this spinach soup with silver fish. I really fell in love with this spinach soup because of its refreshing and flavourful taste. It is a simple soup comprises of spinach, silver fish, mince pork and some shallots to enhance the flavour of the soup. I think it would be easy to cook and decided to copy their version using my own cooking instinct.

Well, the result was satisfying and I started to cook this soup for my family occasionally. It is a simple, hearty and nutritious soup embrace with high volume of calcium as I used ingredients like ikan bilis, spinach and silver fish which contain significant amount of calcium for our body. You may refer to My Cooking Journal 9 to find out more on the benefits of spinach and I hope you will enjoy this soup as much as I do.   

My Ingredients:

1.      1 pack (200g) Spinach – Wash and trim (Refer to my Cooking Journal 9 for preparing spinach)
2.      200g Ikan Bilis - (Stock) Wash and rinse
3.      100g to 200g minced pork – Rinse, marinate and roll into balls
4.      50g – Dry Silver fish - Rinse
5.      3 slices Ginger
6.      2 - 3 cloves Garlic – Deskin and cut into slice
7.      3 cloves shallot – Deskin and cut into slice
8.      1 teaspoon sesame oil – for marinate
9.      1 teaspoon fish sauce  - for marinate
10.  Pinch of corn flour – for marinate
11.  pinch of pepper, salt and sugar – for marinate and to taste 
12.  1 tablespoon olive oil
13.  1.6 litre Water (enough to serve 2-3 person)
14.  Fried shallot and diced spring onions (for garnish)