Wonton Mee

According to my dad, Wonton Mee (Pork Dumpling Noodles) was once called ‘Tok Tok Mee’ as the vendors used to pedal their stall on wheels around the neighbourhood. The man would knock a bamboo stick on a bamboo cylinder, making the ‘tok tok’ sound and calling out ‘Tok Tok Mee’ to let the neighbourhood be aware of their arrival. Most people would order and eat standing while talking to the friendly vendor, or take the plate of noodles in to their homes to enjoy it in the comfort of the fan instead of standing under the scorching sun. Once they are done, they would leave the plates at the door for collection later.


A video of a 64 years old Tok Tok Mee Man

Wonton mee always makes me think of my dad as he is a fan. It must be the memories he had with this simple yet delicious meal while growing up that makes him quite attached to it. Dad used to buy us wonton noodles for breakfast, even for supper. I would wake up, go to the kitchen and see a plate of freshly bought dry wonton noodles waiting for me on the table. It makes being home so comfortable and filled with love. Wonton mee is not particularly a meal for breakfast. It is food for anytime of the day. Malaysians are pretty flexible that there is no specific time to eat any particular food. We can have Nasi Lemak (Coconut rice with sambal and anchovies traditionally a breakfast meal) in the morning for breakfast, for lunch or dinner, even supper. Whatever we are in the mood for, we have.

My version of homemade dry wonton mee

Get all the ingredients ready

Place a spoonful of filling on the fresh wonton skin

Wrapped wontons

Wonton Recipe

makes 20-25 dumplings 

Ingredients:


  • 200g fresh wonton skin (1 pack)
  • some water

  • 400g minced pork
  • 200g prawn (chopped)
  • ½ large onion (diced)
  • ½ carrot (diced)
  • 2 spring onion (chopped)
  • 4 tbs light soya sauce
  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste

Methods:


1.  Chop and dice above ingredients.
2.  Combine the the minced pork, prawn, onion, carrots and spring onion.
3.  Add the light soya sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper into the pork filling. Mix well.
4.  Scoop a teaspoon full of the seasoned pork filling on to the wonton skin.
5.  Apply some water around the edges of the skin. Fold diagonally so the two corner end meets. Pleat the ends and make sure they are sealed properly.
6.  Place the wontons in boiling water. They are cooked once they float to the surface. It takes about 5 minutes.

Tip:


  • Wontons can be made in advanced and freezed. Remember to thaw before cooking in boiling water.
  • Below is the recipe for Dry Wonton Noodle.


I used dried scallop noodles instead of a typical fresh wonton noodles. Use any similar noodles you like. 


There are two ways you can have wonton mee; dry or with soup. The recipe below is for the dry version but the soup version is as simple too. Just boil some water with a cube of chicken biullon and add some vegetables in it and toss the cooked noodles and wonton in to the soup. Garnish with spring onion. It is that easy.


Dry Wonton Noodle Recipe

serves 2 

Ingredients:


  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs sweet soya sauce
  • 2 tbs light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • dash of ground white pepper

  • Pak Choi / Choi Sum / or any leafy chinese greens
  • 2 dry scallop noodles / wonton noodles
  • 1/4 sliced red chilli (optional)

Methods:


1.  Boil the ready made wontons for about 5 minutes until they float.
2.  While the wontons are boiling, mix the sesame oil, soya sauce, oyster sauce and ground white pepper in a small bowl. Put aside.
3.  Boil the noodles until cooked but still has a little chew to it. Dip quickly in cold water and back in the hot water again.
4.  Drain the water and toss the noodles in the mixed soy sauce gravy. Make sure every strand of noodle is quoted well.
5.  Blanch the pak choi and plate.
6.  Garnish with chilli slices or spring onions and serve.

Date Night In : Chocolate Thyme Cake with Orange Cream

..... a continuity of the Date Night In post with the Beef Stew recipe

Have you had thyme hot chocolate? It is one of my recent favourites. It gives the hot chocolate a very lovely scent and a smoother texture in mouth that I like. It has a calming effect too. There is just an extra step and ingredient added in your usual making of hot chocolate. All you need to do is add a sprig of thyme while heating the milk, remove it and froth the milk. Put a few teaspoon of your favourite hot chocolate powder and add the heated milk into the mug and stir well. The froth is poured in after for a finer finish of smoothly frothed milk. Try this and let me know how you like it. If you do not have a milk frother, omit that step or buy one. I currently use the Bodum Latteo Milk Frother but my I am itching for the Aeroccino that heats and froth at the same time.

From the above experience of the perfect combination of chocolate and thyme, it gave me the idea of adding thyme to the chocolate cake.



CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH ORANGE CREAM RECIPE

adapted from Sweet Paul's Fallen Chocolate Cake

serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 250g dark chocolate

  • 225g butter

  • 6 eggs, seperated

  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme

  • 6 tbs sugar

  • 250ml double cream

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tbs caster sugar

  • 1 orange






Methods:



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  2. Melt the chopped chocolate with the butter and lemon thyme in a bain marie or in the microwave.

  3. Beat the yolks and sugar until pale. Mix in the chocolate.

  4. Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks and gently fold into the chocolate mixture.

  5. Pour the mixture into ramekins or into a 12 inch cake tin.

  6. Bake for 12 minutes if using ramekin or 16-20 minutes if using cake tin.

  7. The cake will rise and fall so don't panic.

  8. While the cake is in the oven, zest half an orange and squeeze out juice from half an orange.

  9. Use the remaining half of the orange for decoration of the cake. Cut them into small wedges.

  10. Whip the double cream with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and sugar until soft peak.

  11. Combine orange juice and zest and mix well.

  12. Scoop the whipped cream on top of the cake and decorate with the orange wedges.


Tips:

  • The cake tastes much better when warm. So heat it up before serving and scoop a generous amount of orange cream onto it afterwards.




Date Night In : Beef Stew

Valentine's Day has always been quite controversial. There is a legend behind this day but some think that it is a day created so businesses could benefit from selling cards, buying gifts, flowers, restaurants hiking up prices just because it is a day of romance and everything else that is related to February 14th.

Personally, I think it is not necessary to go out on expensive dinner dates on this very night just cause everything is twice the price, restaurants are packed, most places would have a set menu to make their life easier so there is limited choice, and then there is higher expectations cause it is suppose to be this perfect night spent with your loved ones. All these are unnecessary. What is most important is that loved ones are nice and caring towards each other throughout. The most romantic in my opinion is the little everyday details. It could be the morning or I'm home kiss, even making dinner for him/her, helping out with laundry and cleaning, or waking up with that amazing breakfast with juice and hot chocolate or tea waiting for you. All that daily details aside, what makes a girl happiest are surprises at the most unexpected moments.

Since M and I won't be celebrating Valentine's Day on the day itself, we had a date night in on Saturday. It was a perfect evening with great meal home cooked with love, good wine and the best company. It was simple but lovely.

MENU for DATE NIGHT IN

~ no starter ~
~ beef stew with puff pastry ~
~ chocolate thyme cake with orange cream ~

Beef Stew with heart shaped Puff Pastry sprinkled with herbs

The beef stew was initially planned to be served with rice or potato puree but I thought of giving it some texture so chose puff pastry instead. It makes it sort of like a dismantled beef pie; less rustic with heart shaped puffs.

BEEF STEW RECIPE

adapted from SmallKitchCara's entry on Food52
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 700g stewing beef, cut into 2-3 inch cubes
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 1 anchovy
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery, diced
  • 150g white mushrooms, quartered
  • 70g tomato paste
  • 60ml red wine vinegar
  • 120ml red wine
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 150ml water
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme (I used scented thyme)
  • 10g dark chocolate
  • Handful chopped parsley

Scented Thyme

Chopped ingredients

Methods:

1. Brown the beef that has been seasoned with salt and pepper in high heat. Remove to plate
2. Fry the bacon then the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add in the rest of the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
3. Stir in anchovies and tomato paste, melt it and distribute.
4. Add in the beef and its juices, vinegar, wine and chopped tomatoes.
5. Add the beef bouillon that has been melted in 150ml of water into the pot. Then put the bay leaves and thyme in and bring it to boil.
6. Let it simmer for about 3 hours then stir in the dark chocolate and let it cook for another 30 minutes.
7. Cool to room temperature. Have it to sit for a few hours until ready to serve.
8. Heat it for about 3o minutes and garnish with chopped parsley.

The lovely multi-sized heart shaped puffs with the simple but delicious beef stew

Please click here for Chocolate Cake recipe.

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Popette D'uova

It has been a busy week but the weekend was pretty chilled out and lovely. It all started off great with friday night of non stop salsa and bachata, followed by thick hot chocolate the next morning. What's even better, we went to Borough Market! You cannot imagine how happy I was when M suggested we go to the market for lunch. It has been a pain trying to drag him to the market and finally, we went there together! It would have been much more fun if I could eat those fresh and succulent scallops, and ostrich steak burger with cranberry sauce. Not long and I will be able to eat anything I want again. Only two more days!! Coming back to the chilled weekend, we went for a swim, sauna and hot shower. When we came out, it started snowing!! The tropical kid in me was pretty excited for it finally snowed!
Snow in London

The very excited me in the snow

Now that it is sunday night and the final weekend of me being a vegetarian, I shall share this delicious and simple to make cheese balls. This will keep you smiling for whenever you need to be a temporary vegetarian, missing your meatballs ever so badly. Popette D'uova is the closest you could get to meatballs. Even the meat eater liked these 'vegetarian meatballs'!
Freshly fried cheese balls.

Popette D'uova a success!


POPETTE D'OUVA RECIPE

adapted from Massimo Bruno's recipe via Eat Live Travel Write

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 140g freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    • for vegetarians, please use an alternative cheese
  • 115g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • parsley (they were out of parsley while I was shopping for ingredients so it was omitted)

  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • basil
  • black pepper (to taste)
Method:

1. Beat the eggs, add in the grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Add in the bicarbonate soda and mix well.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan while you divide the mixture into balls. This recipe yields about 14 balls.
3. Make sure the oil is hot. Check the temperature by putting a chopstick through the oil and on the base of the pan. There will be bubbles when the temperature is right. Another way of checking is by tossing some flour on to the oil and it sizzles.
4. Fry the balls until golden brown. When ready, let them sit on some kitchen towels to soak the oil.
5. On another pan, stir fry the garlic until fragrant.
6. Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes and basil. Add some water and stir.
7. Cook the sauce with the cheese balls for 30 minutes until they soak in the tomato juice.

Tips:

  • No salt was added in this recipe as the Romano cheese was salty enough for my liking. Please add a little seasalt to your taste if preferred.
  • According to 'Eat.Live.Travel.Write', it tastes better the next day, and I agree with her.