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Dakdoritang (Korean Spicy Chicken Stew)

29 Sep

Nowadays, I like to cook Korean dishes whenever I have the time to do so. I actually have cooked this dish prior to my trip to Seoul, South Korea in May/June 2013. Dakdoritang (닭도리탕) is a chicken dish that’s cooked in a spicy red sauce along with vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.

This spicy chicken stew is best served with piping hot rice and kimchi as the side dish. Trust me, this is such an easy recipe because you simply put everything in a pot and wait for it to cook. The result is succulent pieces of chicken packed with spicy and savoury flavours!


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into small pieces (excess fat removed)
  • 3 – 4 potatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into big chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into big chunks
  • 4 – 5 plump garlic cloves
  • 2 – 3 thinly sliced ginger pieces
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang)
  • A pinch of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Add 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water to a large pot along with the chicken and the sauce (except the sesame seed oil and sesame seeds). Stir well. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vegetables (except the scallions). Cover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, uncovered this time, until the chicken is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the scallions, sesame oil and sesame seeds right before turning off the heat.

Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl with Vegetables and Chicken)

27 May

Here is another Korean dish that I truly love, Bibimbap. Basically, it is a large bowl of rice topped with an array of individually prepared vegetables and chicken (or beef) and served with seasoned red pepper paste (gochujang). If you can serve this in a sizzling hot stone bowl, that would be highly recommended. But since I don’t have stone bowls at home, I opted for claypots instead. It works equally fine 😉

This recipe looks long indeed as there are plenty of side dishes to be included. But if you want the easy way out, you can just make 3 – 4 toppings as desired.


  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 250 grams chicken (or beef)
  • 4oo grams mung bean sprouts
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 packet shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 2 or 3 scallions, chopped
  • light soya sauce
  • sesame oil
  • roasted sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil

Red pepper paste (gochujang) sauce

  • 4 tablespoons of Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons of water


Cook the rice in a rice cooker, using a little less water than called for. The rice for bibimbap should be a little drier than usual. Prepare all other ingredients.

Assemble: Place a serving of rice in a big bowl. (If using a stone bowl, heat it on medium heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and rice and cook the rice for several minutes until the rice sizzles.) Nicely arrange a small amount of each prepared vegetable and chicken (or beef) over the rice. Drizzle a little sesame oil over. Top with an egg fried sunny-side up and serve with the red pepper paste sauce.

Chicken / Beef / Shiitake mushrooms: Cut into thin 2-inch long strips. Mix in 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 2 cloves garlic minced and a pinch of pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes. Sauté in a skillet for 2 – 3 minutes over high heat.

Mung bean sprouts: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil with a teaspoon of salt. Add the bean sprouts and boil for 3 minutes. Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Drain again. Toss with 1 clove garlic minced, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste.

Spinach: Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water only until wilted, 30 – 40 seconds. Drain quickly and shock in cold water. Squeeze out water. Cut into 3-inch lengths. Toss with 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste.

Zucchinis: Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise and then thinly slice crosswise. Generously sprinkle salt over sliced zucchinis and set aside for 10 – 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid from salted zucchini by hand. Add 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion and 1 clove garlic minced. Sauté in a lightly oiled skillet for 1 – 2 minutes over medium high heat.

Carrots: Julienne the carrots into match sticks. Sauté in a lightly oiled skillet for 1 – 2 minutes over medium high heat, sprinkling salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Jajangmyeon (Noodles in Black Bean Sauce)

27 May

I have been curious about Korean cuisine lately, all thanks to the eating scenes of the Korean dramas that I have been watching. And there is always the delivery scene whereby Jajangmyeon (Noodles in Black Bean Sauce) is being served. Basically, it is a sweet and savory noodle dish and a very popular Korean-Chinese noodle dish. I just had to google for the recipe, buy the necessary ingredients and start cracking.

I had to substitute the noodles with instant ones as I couldn’t find fresh jajangmyeon noodles. The other alternative is to use fresh udon noodles but my sister detests that alot. So, instant noodles it shall be then 🙂


  • 2 – 3 packets of instant noodles
  • 5 tablespoons Korean black bean paste (chunjang or jjajang)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 150 grams chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 100 grams cabbage
  • 1/2 zucchini (can substitute with carrot)
  • cucumber matchsticks for garnish (optional)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour* dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (*use up to 2 tablespoons for a thicker sauce)


Prepare the chicken and vegetables by cutting them into cubes. Marinate the chicken with ginger, salt and pepper while preparing the vegetables.

Add the black bean paste to a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, sugar and oyster sauce. Fry it over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Heat a large pan with the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat. Add the chicken and stir fry until almost cooked. Add the vegetables and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the black bean paste and mix everything together until all the meat and vegetables are coated well with the paste.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the dissolved corn flour and cook briefly until the sauce is thickened. Add more sugar to taste if necessary.

Add the instant noodles in a pot of boiling water. Cook according to the package instructions and drain. Do not overcook. The noodles should have a firm bite to them. Place a serving size of noodles in each bowl. Spoon the sauce over the noodles and garnish with the optional cucumber matchsticks.

The Ultimate Ham and Cheese Sandwich

24 Feb

This is by far, one of my fave breakfast items, that you can just whip up before going to work. And if you happen to have a Happycall DoublePan, all the more you should prepare this breakfast as it will take a lesser time to get The Ultimate Ham and Cheese Sandwiches ready 🙂


  • 2 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 12 to 16 slices turkey/chicken ham
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs


Place a medium-size pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk the milk and Dijon mustard into the butter-flour mixture. Season it with nutmeg, salt and ground black pepper. Cook until it thickens up.

Place four slices of bread on the counter. Spread some of the sauce onto each slice of bread, then lay down some turkey/chicken ham, a slice of cheese, another smear of sauce and top each sandwich with the remaining bread slices.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Dip the sandwiches in the egg and transfer them to the hot pan. Cook until golden brown, 3 – 4 minutes per side.

Mini Chicken Tarts

7 Dec

For months, I have been contemplating on a Hors D’oeuvre menu for Dessert By Quintessa. But I didn’t want to pursue something that might compromise on the quality and taste. Imagine my delight when my good friend’s sister approached me and enquired if I could take in orders for finger foods as the bookstore she’s working at, was having their 6th anniversary celebration.

Without hesitation, I informed her that I was able to make something light such as Mini Chicken Tarts and Mini Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts. Lo and behold, she agreed to order those as per my suggestion with the Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes. These mini chicken tarts are pretty easy to make IF you don’t wish to make the tart crust from scratch. You can always buy those ready-made ones from Cold Storage or Phoon Huat. It taste almost the same, if not better 😉

I intend to tweak this recipe along the way; think mushrooms and potatoes! So, here’s the recipe as promised.


Tart Crust

  • 125 gm butter cut into chunks
  • 250 gm flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 big yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 chicken breast, cut in small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, to taste
  • Dill leaves
  • A handful of shredded mozzarella cheese


Prepare the crust. Mix flour with salt. Incorporate butter to the flour, using your hands or using a pastry processor, until crumbs are formed. Add the egg and incorporate until the dough is homogeneous. Knead the dough and form a ball from it. Wrap it with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and tomato and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add chicken breast and cook until the meat has lost its raw color. Stir in paprika, corn kernels and coriander leaves, cook for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape and cut small circles to fit the mini tart molds. Press dough into tart molds without stretching it. Punch the bottoms with a fork.

Fill mini tarts with chicken mixture, garnish with mozzarella cheese and dill leaves. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Mustard Chicken Chops with Roasted Baby Potatoes

2 Dec

Nigella Lawson’s style of cooking produces food that looks good, tastes good and makes you feel good; basically it’s heaven on a plate. And I must add that her classic bestseller Nigella Express has ingenious short cut recipes for simple and scrumptious meals.

It’s all about minimising effort by maximising taste 😉

I was in the mood to have chicken chop and I don’t want to go through the hassle of marinating and grilling the meat for hours. I wanted something quick, fuss-free and good to eat. I refered to Nigella Express and instantenously, drew my inspiration from it. Here’s one for the road, an old French favourite — Mustard Chicken Chops with Roasted Baby Potatoes.


  • 2 chicken chops (approx. 450 gm total)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 125 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 75 ml double cream
  • 400 gm baby potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Salt and ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Put the potatoes into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the herbs, garlic, and oil together until blended, and then pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer the potatoes to a large baking dish, spacing them evenly apart.

Remove the fat off the chicken chops, and then bash them briefly to make them thinner. Quickly marinade the chicken chops with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the chicken chops over a moderately high heat for about 5 minutes a side. Set them aside.

Pour the apple cider vinegar into the pan, still over the heat, to de-glaze the pan. Let it bubble away for a minute or so, then add the mustard, sugar and stir in the cream.

Let the sauce continue cooking for a few minutes before adding the chicken chops again to absorb the sauce.

Roast the potatoes together with the chicken chops until they are tender and golden, turning them occasionally with tongs, about 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken chops and roasted potatoes to a plate and drizzle with sauce and mixed herbs, if desired.

You can also serve this dish with green salad by the side to make it a complete meal 😉

Braised Chicken in Soy Sauce

6 Oct

It has been raining in the mornings lately and I’m yearning for a good bowl of Teochew porridge with Braised Chicken in Soy Sauce and Fried Eggs with Preserved Turnip. Add youtiao to this combo and you would have the most authentic Chinese meal ever 😉

I always like to venture into the unknown during my cooking fiesta over the weekend. Imagine how delighted I was when I chanced upon the recipe of Tau Yew Bak. All I needed to do was to substitute the meat and add whatever that I could find in the fridge and VOILA! A bowl of good wholesome dish that can be whipped up within an hour 🙂


  • 450 gm chicken (cut into small pieces)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pulp garlic (lightly pounded with the back of a cleaver)
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper corn (smashed and cracked)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 200 gm fried tofu pieces (cut into two)
  • 10 pieces Chinese mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
  • Salt to taste


Heat up a pot or preferably a big clay pot with 4 cups of water. Bring it to boil and then add in the garlic, chicken, cracked pepper, star anise and cinnamon. Bring the chicken to boil before adding the hard-boiled eggs, fried tofu pieces, Chinese mushrooms, soya sauce, sweet soy sauce, dark soya sauce and Chinese 5 spice powder.

Lower the heat to medium and braise the chicken for 30 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through and become tender. Add salt to taste. Continue to simmer on the lowest heat for another 15 – 20 minutes. Dish out and serve hot with either steamed white rice or blanched kway teow.