Monday, 5 May 2008


Just as a candle cannot burn without fire men cannot live without a spiritual life. ..... Buddha

Egg Plants with Salted Fish

1.Marinate minced pork with dash of white pepper, pinch of cornflour, light soya sauce and a few drops of sesame seed oil.
2.Get other ingredients ready as shown in the photo. Improvise what you do not have.
3. Use about 1/4 bowl of stock from the dried mushroom.

1.Cubed and pan fried salted fish
2.Soak dried mushroom in hot water for at least twenty minutes, preferably overnight.
Reserve water.
3. Slice red chilli (optional)
4. Minced garlic and ginger
5. Spring onions/coriander or celery leaves

Slice egg plants, sprinkle with ordinary salt and set aside on a plate or colander.

Leave aside for about twenty minutes for egg plants to exude the bitter juice.
Wash and pat dry with kitchen paper towels.

Pan fried in batches till slightly golden and set aside on absorbent papers.

This dish is an inspiration and credit to Tiantianchi aka TTC from Makansutra when he answered my call for help to cook an egg plant dish to surprise my friends when we were still living in Doha.

In Sichuan recipe (yu xiang qie ji), it calls for the brinjal to be blanched in oil. However, when I was in Gejiu, a small mining town in Yunnan, I tasted one that was deep fried in batter (similar to Tempura) and braised together with the minced meat. It has very nice texture similar actually to meat. The brinjal was firmer and does not turn mushy. It absorbed the gravy much better and yet does not have the oily feeling. You might want to consider trying that.

Sichuan recipe will call for the use of spicy broad bean paste. In Cantonese cooking, a similar dish uses diced salted fish. Both I also like.

Egg plants with salted fish (1)

What I will do for the Sichuan style is:

Heat some oil and fry some minced garlic, diced ginger and diced spring onion. Add in the spicy broad bean paste and fry till it turns fragrant and the chilli oil oozes out. Add in minced meat and fry till it is kind of dry and then add in brinjal (scalded before hand) and fry for a short while (add sugar if you like it a sweeter), add a little Chinese wine and continue to stir fry for a short while before adding stock and bring to boil. Towards the end add black vinegar to taste and corn starch mixed with water to thicken it. Before serving, sprinkle chopped spring onion on it. Usually served in a clay pot.

For the Cantonese style, instead of spicy broad bean paste, I will add about a spoonful of diced, deep fried salted fish and a little oyster sauce, then the Chinese wine...the rest of procedure is the same except in this one no vinegar added. It is supposed to be more savoury than spicy and sour.

Chilli bean paste is better as fermented spicy bean paste might be a little too salty. If you do not want to add vinegar, you can blend chilli bean paste with some black bean paste (2:1). I personally find black bean paste doesn't go so well with vinegar though you might add some plum paste if you wish as I find it goes better with black bean paste.

What is 'spicy broad bean paste' in Chinese (Mandarin or in Cantonese/Hokkien)?? …. Basically in most packaging it shows the usual 豆瓣酱 just like those soya bean type. What I usually look for is in the ingredients where it says 蚕豆 (broad bean) instead of yellow soya bean ( 黄豆). To get the very authentic Sichuan type, look our for 郫县豆瓣酱 (I am not particular which brand) which is a town in Sichuan that is famous for the production of the spicy broad bean sauce. If it is the oily one, you can use it straight without too much frying, but if it is dry and does not look oily, you have to go through the process of frying it till fragrant and chilli oozes out.


There is not an exact recipe but adjust according to your taste. Have fun experimentating.

Am finding it very tedious to upload photograph individually in order to type a caption. Cut, paste, type caption etc etc and repeating the process. If this method of uploading is not applied by me, the photos will appear out of sequence :(( dated 7th May 2008. ..... ....
9th May ... gave up for now trying to put the photos right with notations.

Cheese on Toast with Balsamic Vinegar

At the check out counter in UK, the cashier enquired what was I going to do with the balsamic vinegar as I bought two bottles to bring home with me to Spain.
Told her she was in luck as I had my camera with me. The other customer behind me was also very interested in learning. I scrolled to the photos and explained the steps taken to prepare a simple snack to be eaten at any time. Delicious and a delight to enjoy.

The smiles on their faces were priceless.

Make use of leftover bread.
Toast and butter bread.
Place cheese of your choice on toasted bread.
Pat dry fresh tomatoes slices before layering on top of cheese.

Grill on medium heat.
You may need to turn them around for even browning.
Once the cheese on the toast without the tomatoes are bubbling, squeeze some balsamic vinegar on toast and continue grilling for less than a minute.

Enjoy whilst it's hot.

Golden Dragon, April 2008 (Revisited)

It was a very eventful and happy day out with DWE. After we had checked out from the hotel and left our bags with Left Baggage Room, we roamed around and took in all the sights. DWE patiently explained and pointed out different landmarks for me to watch out for. She had also suggested that we walked familiar roads to help with my sense of directions to and fro from the hotel on my own.
Many thanks love for your thoughtfulness.
We ventured into Chinatown to decide which restaurant to eat. After walking for quite some time, eyeing at the window food display, Golden Dragon was decided as Siaoeh and I had a delicious meal during our March makan session.

Unable to resist telling Siaoeh, we were lunching there, sent her an SMS. She would be back pigging out with her ah lao in a few days time and shall be very mindful to tapao more radish cakes and egg tarts.

Food were cheap, not compromising on standard, prompt and attentive service.
Look at DWE smiling happily :))
Before leaving DWE ordered two extra servings of egg tarts to be packed for DWEH.

She suggested having dinner at the same place but reminded her we were be meeting up with Hotmale and a decision can be finalised later.
On top of that, we have a movie to watch and I need to recheck in into the hotel.

Not taking much fotos as some were already posted in a previous thread.

Was so disappointed, not being able to eat at the same venue due to a private function on day of my departure.:((

Yauatcha, Makan Session in LON, April 2008

After an eventful and happy day out with DWE, it was time to meet up with Hotmale. Was looking forward to meeting up with him again as the last time we met with his wifey was at Eslim and Florence house. It also brought back fond memories of meeting up with other makan kakis and the privileged to have tasted Florence's cooking. Those popiahs, wahhhhhhhhhhhhh, so far, the best I have tried, quail, soto ayam etc.. free flow of gastric juices.:))

There was a discussion in where we should dined and Yauatcha was decided. It was also highly recommended during one of our makan sessions in March.

Read the attached reviews.

Enjoy the virtual tour.

If you plan to try out this place, ask for a seating upstairs. I find the basement too dark for comfort. I would like to see what I am eating.

Dishes were delicious and expertly cooked minus the chicken feet. The food was served quite speedily and I asked the server to slow down in order for us to appreciate the food better. Good, polite and attentive service.

Definitely worth revisiting to try out other dishes.

Kumquatcha drink - kumquat, lime, campari, and cachaca
Pearl Leong - mango, guava, orange juice, and oolong tea
Peach Guava Smoothie - peach, guava, banana, cinnamon, and oolong tea
Blue Swimmer Crab and Tobiko Caviar Soup
Dover Sole and Shitake Soup
Chilean SeaBass Mooli Roll
Prawn and Enoli Mushroom Dumpling
Scallop Shumai
Salt & Pepper Squid
Crispy Aromatic Duck
Penang Char Kway Teow
Lotus Leaf Wrap Turbot
Chicken Feet

The best dishes for me were Chilean Seabass Mooli Roll and Lotus Leaf Wrap Turbot. Simply exquisite.
Drooling as I am typing this.

15 Broadwick Street
Tel: 020 7494 8888