Saturday 16 March 2019

Coconut & Prawn Bisque 椰汁鲜虾浓汤

[Freshness Recognition Cooking Contest] by RedMart

As regular customer of RedMart, I'm excited to take part in this contest! This time, I wanted to try something different by breaking away from the South East Asian's tradition of cooking chicken with coconut. And neither did I want a spicy tong yum/curry dish. My efforts to create this fusion dish pays off when the last bit of this Coconut & Prawn Bisque 椰汁鲜虾浓汤 has been slurped up from the dining table. 

Fresh coconut water + fresh prawns simply spell natural FRESHNESS! The coconut water has made the broth so refreshing with a light tinge of coconut flavour (not overpowering and not rich/heavy like coconut milk/cream). Try to imagine the coconut meat turning out smooth and tender like tofu (豆腐花)! The prawn broth's also thickened naturally (without cream) by the prawn pastes that's rendered from the prawn heads and shells. Plus, the smokey grilled tiger prawns and broccoli provided the layering of flavours when dipped into the broth. All in's so easy to cook and everybody loves it! This' a keeper for my family!

#RedMart #freshnessrecognition @RedMartCom

Ingredients :
  • 10 to 12 pics fresh Tiger Prawns (I used "Serve" tiger prawns by Hai Sia. Available at RedMart)
  • 2 to 3 fresh coconuts (subject to sizes)(pre-cut at the top)(young coconuts preferred)
  • a handful of scallops (optional)
  • few florets of broccoli
  • 1 brown/yellow onion (sliced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (pressed and chopped to 4 sticks)
  • 1 tsp ikan bilis powder (or to taste)
  • 6 tbsp tomato paste (preferably with tomato chunks)(or to taste)
  • salt (to taste)
  • dollop of butter
  • 4 to 6 tbsp cooking oil (to render prawn oil)

Method :
  1. Trim whiskers and tips of tiger prawns. Devein. 
  2. Remove heads and shells for half portion of tiger prawns. Keep the heads and shells aside.  
  3. Marinade all tiger prawns with a little salt. Set aside.
  4. Pry open top part of coconut and transfer coconut water to a different bowl. Set aside. Do not discard coconut husks.
  5. Render simple prawn oil by quick stir frying prawn heads/shells and a little sliced onions in cooking oil till aromatic. 
  6. Strain prawn oil into a saucepan. Quick stir fry onions, garlic and lemongrass till aromatic. 
  7. Fold in tomato paste, coconut water and seasonings. 
  8. Stir evenly and turn off heat once mixture starts to bubble.
  9. Transfer mixture (together with aromatics) into coconut husks. Do not fill to the brim. Leave a little space allowance for prawns and scallops.
  10. Double boil or steam coconut husks with mixtures for 1.5 hour.
  11. Towards the last 15 minutes of double boiling/steaming, skewer the other 5 to 6 pcs of prawns (with heads and shells), broccoli florets and scallops.
  12. Add dollop of butter and grill skewers on stove or in oven for that smokey touch.
  13. At the end of 1.5 hours, add balance scallops and the de-shelled prawns into coconut husks. Continue double boil or steam for another 10 to 15 minutes (or till seafood are just cooked). 
  14. Serve entire coconut (with broth and ingredients) hot together with skewered prawns. Drizzle a little prawn oil over the skewers. This would allow layering of flavours to our palate when dipped into bisque.
  15. The bisque should be slightly thickened by the pastes rendered from the prawn heads and shells. Yet, the entire dish would taste and spell natural freshness! 

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Friday 1 March 2019

Epok-Epok Sardines (Petite Sardine Puffs)

* in collaboration with Ayam Brand Sardines (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Who loves Epok-Epok Sardines like me? Who likes Epok-Epok Sardines but does not know how to make? It's my childhood snack after school! However, I usually have problem finishing one whole Epok-Epok sold by those makciks as they're so filling due to the huge sizes! These Epok-Epok Sardines (Petite Sardine Puffs), to me, are a perfect size as each can be eaten in 2 to 3 bites. Just nice!

This Epok-Epok Sardines (Petite Sardine Puffs) recipe is pretty straight forward and easy to make. I super love the pastry crust after deep frying...firm but almost melt-in-the mouth. Importantly, the pastry crust does not absorb much oil in the process of deep frying. But of course, how can I forget the more healthy and mouthwatering fillings that come from Ayam Brand Sardines in EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)! Definitely bringing this traditional snack to another level!


Ingredients for Sardine Fillings :

  • 2 cans Ayam Brand EVOO Sardine (120 gm each)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 5 pcs curry leaves (finely chopped)(optional)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp curry powder (or to taste) 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp lime juice (or to taste) 
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • cooking oil (for deep frying)

Method :
  1. In a skillet/pan, heat a little EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) from sardines can. Fry onions, garlic and chillies till aromatic. 
  2. Add all seasonings and spices. Quick stir fry. 
  3. Turn to low heat and add sardines. Mash them into the aromatic mixture. 
  4. Taste test with sugar, lime juice, salt & pepper. Stir well.
  5. Turn off heat and set sardines fillings aside to cool down.

Ingredients for Pastry (yield 18 pcs using 7.5 cm diameter round mould) :

  • 1.5 cup plain flour
  • 5 tbsp butter (slightly chilled)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water

Method :
  1. In a large bowl, use hands to mix flour with butter, salt and baking powder evenly till crumbly. 
  2. Add water bit by bit into dough till your desired texture (not too sticky for wrapping). Do not over knead.
  3. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. When ready, flatten dough with a rolling pin and use a 7.5 cm (diameter) round mould to cut out 18 pcs of equal sizes round pastry. 

Finishing Touch :
  1. Drain excess oil from sardine fillings. 
  2. Spoon the sardine fillings onto the centre of the round pastry. 
  3. Seal by folding the pastry in half, press the edges and crimp/flute in even patterns.
  4. When ready, heat cooking oil in saucepan/pot at medium heat.
  5. Deep fry the sardine puffs till golden brown.
  6. Drain on kitchen paper towels before serve. 

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