Coriander Flower

April 26, 2011

The word coriander derives from the Greek word “Koris” meaning stinky bug!
I just read, coriander is from the carrot family!  And I never expected that fact!

I leave the “leftover” pot of the coriander at my kitchen window sill the last few weeks, it started to flower. I thought the small clusters of  white flower are rather beautiful. On one occasion, I accidentally brush my hand at the flowers, and in few second times, I can smell a very strong fragrance on my hand. I was surprised to smell the strong intensity of the fragrance.

Today, I thought maybe it is ok to use the flower to flavour the chicken soup, so I picked just 2 small sprigs of the flower and throw them to the soup. Wow..what the 2 sprigs of flower can do! The kitchen is fill with the fragrance of coriander. The smell still lingers after few hours later!

Don’t waste it next time if you left your home-grown coriander to flower, they are amazingly strong in flavour!


First of all, I must thank Alison White from Total Greek Yoghurt again for the invitation to the Masterclass at L’atelier des Chefs. It was a rather fun experience. Though I felt a little out of place for being the very few male food bloggers attending the event! Having said that, I also felt delighted that I can consider myself as an indie food blogger totally free from any commercial obligations.

The event actually makes me think whether being an architect is the destine of my life! I found so much enjoyment being in the kitchen (as usual!), it reminded me those many hours I spent in the wood workshop when I was studying for my Architecture degree. Even though cooking and working on architectural projects have the similar attitude; going though the process from conceptualising to completing the “project”, nothing beats the quicker “completion date” than making food! For less than an hour, you could have enjoyed the labour of your hard work!

We made 3 savoury dishes (mackerel, pork and  samosa)and 3 desserts (tiramisu, pancake and puffed pastry layers) all using Total Greek Yoghurt. I personally liked the 3 savoury dishes, they are easy to make but full of flavour and  the yoghurt make the dishes tasted a lot more lighter and healthier than it original versions.

But for the desserts, I think the substitution of the cream with yoghurt also took away many of the guilty pleasures of eating dessert! The fat, cream and sweetness!

L’atelier des Chefs is a rather interesting place. It seems like a hybrid of a cookery school, restaurant and shop, you can book to cook your own lunch for £15. IT could be a nice day out with friends, rather than waiting to be served, why not just go to the kitchen to prepare the food yourself!?

ps. I know working with food will definitely be an eventuality, but I still believe that being a qualified Architect is the dream that I have to fulfil!

Note: All photos were taken using Iphone under poor lighting condition. But I think I got the best out of  the tool I have!

Chow Chow blandness!

November 8, 2010

When I was at the green grocer this morning, I noticed this apple-cross-guava-looking thing at the fruit section, labelled chowchow, 49p each. The owner suggested that it can be eaten similar to apple…slice it…Cool I thought, why not give it a try….

mmm…I was so looking forward to try this nice looking fruit when I get home. Slice it half, mmm, looks like a very crunchy and sweet/ or maybe sour type of fruit…I thought I can eat it like guava, sprinkle it with some finely chopped dried sour plum.  BUT to my surprise, it has not flavour at all. So very strange to eat a fruit (or it is a vegetable ?) that has no fragrance at all. I thought something is not right!

So I read up some information about Chowchow...It is really a bland fruit. It is usually marinated in lemon juice to give it some flavour…

I ended up mixing the fruit with plenty of chopped sour plum and salty Yukari powder! It is just about bearable to eat…On the positive note, it is a good source of amino acids and Vitamin C . At least it is one of my 5-a-day!

Purple-Skined Potatoes

August 5, 2010

These are potatoes from my garden, just few of them tiny one!! A bit of a waste of time after few months of waiting…!

But they look very pretty!

Fresh Rice Noodles

April 19, 2010

I should be concentrating on my day job as an Architect! But I think I spent way too much time in the kitchen or thinking about food and cooking! But since started this food blog almost 6 months ago, I have learnt so many different things about food, cooking techniques and made a lot of new food-loving-friends. I am enjoying every moment of it! So I will be continue doing it….

Following yesterday failed attempt of rice noodle making, today, I made some not-so-successful-rice-noodles! The process of making these noodles was not very complicated, but time consuming. It is a great fun and satisfying to make thing first time!

For the noodles, mix 115g of rice flour to 300ml of water. Combine well and mix in 15ml of oil and pinch of salt (to taste) and set aside for 15 minutes.

To steam the rice flour mixture: Bring to boil a pan with water. Grease a baking tray with oil. Depending on the size of the baking tray, pour a thin layer of the mixture to the tray and steam for 5 min or until the mixture of cooked. Remove the tray from the heat, and brush some oil over the cooked rice “pan cake” and pour another layer of the flour mixture on top and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat the process with the rest of the rice flour mixture.

Cook for further 10 min after pour in the last layer of the flour mixture. Once cooked, remove the tray from the heat, and set aside to cool down.

Try to pull each layers of the “pan cake” out and cut to strips. Put in the fridge to cool before using it.

Use the noodles for fried noodles with egg, and various ingredients…Try it out…it is really a great fun! IF  you have spare time!

This morning I woke up thinking, what if I replace the wheat flour for making pasta to  rice flour. Would I be able to make rice noodles using the same process? Without prior research online, I thought I will just give it a try, otherwise I will never  find out…

So the answer is..NO! It will not work with the same pasta making process by simply adding rice flour and egg together!

Since I have already mixed 2 egg white to 100g of rice flour, I might as well experiment further to see how it will turn out!

There is this Hakka dish, Sohn Pan Tzai (算盘子), which I have totally forgotten. After living in the UK for nearly 10 years, I have since lost touch of many Hakka traditional cuisines. So I decided to turn this rice dough to Sohn Pan Tzai.

Extracted from Wikipedia:

Sohn Pan Tzai or Àbacus Beads: Made of dough formed of tapioca and yam, cut into abacus-bead shapes, which when cooked, are soft on the outside and a chewy on the inside. The dish may be cooked with minced chicken or pork, dried shrimps, mushrooms and various other vegetables. The dish is stir-fried, seasoned with light soy sauce, salt, sugar and sometimes rice wine or vinegar (depending on taste).

For this experiment, I use the following ingredients:

  1. 100g rice flour
  2. 2 egg white

Mix the two ingredients to form dough and pinch and shape to small bead shape with a dimple in the middle. and cook in boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be slightly chewy in the middle.

  1. Generous amount of spring onion. cut to desirable size.
  2. 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  3. 2  fried tofu (sliced)
  4. Chilli (chopped)
  5. 1-2 tbsp oil
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  8. 1 egg plus the left over 2 egg yolks from the dough making process
  9. Iceberg lettuce (for lining at the bottom of the serving bowl)
  10. Approximately 1/4 t0 1/2  water

Firstly, fry the eggs in a hot pan (with enough oil) for 1 minute and remove from heat. Set aside. In the same pan, lightly fry the garlic, spring onion and chilli. Add dried tofu and fry for another minute or two. Season dark soy sauce, salt and pepper.

Add cooked rice “beads” to the pan and stir well. Add the water and stir, cooked until the water is slightly reduced.

Serve with a bowl lined with iceberg lettuce and fried eggs.

NOTE: This is an experiment recipe! Use this recipe as an inspiration, DO NOT try this at home! I think, instead of adding egg white to the rice flour, water might be a better solution, I suspect the rice “beads” will be a lot softer once cooked.

* Not really sure what is the proper name for this dish YET!

Awana Restaurant

January 24, 2010

Michelle at The Greedy Gourment kindly mentioned me in her review about this Malaysian restaurant in London – Awana.

Check out her beautiful photographic works!