HK Style Soy Sauce Chicken/ Si Yau Gai (豉油鸡)


...is a slow-braised chicken in a stew of chinese spices and supreme soy
sauce concoction...
Soy Sauce Chicken or more known as Si Yau Gai (豉油鸡) is a slow-braised chicken in a stew of aromatic chinese spices and supreme soy sauce concoction. It is a Cantonese dish and often eat as one of the main dishes over dinner.

Because of the tender loving care in slow braising, the chicken meat is moist and succulent, and has ample time to soaked up all the aromatic flavors. Even the skin is flavorful and soft from all the soaking and slow braising.

My hubby was shock that I was able to serve him this dish on a weekday dinner. What thought to be a complicated dish that looks like it needed a few hours to complete is actually a very simple one. This one took me about an hour plus only, including marinade time. Fast, right!

If you are making this dish, may i suggest that you try to make our favourite dipping too? It goes very well with this dish.

Just chop some spring onions, ginger and coriander finely. Marinade with a dash of salt, then sear them with a splash of hot garlic oil. Then add in sugar and soy sauce, mix well and that's it. (I don't have the exact measurement, as I always agak-agak only and adjust accordingly. Maybe i'll come out with the recipe in near future.)

Happy Cooking!

HK STYLE SOY SAUCE CHICKEN/ SI YAU GAI (豉油鸡)
(Recipe adapted from Burning Kitchen)

Prep Time  : 30 mins
Cook Time : 35 mins
Total Time : 1 hour 5 mins
Makes       : 1/2 chicken

Ingredients:
1/2 chicken, with the neck intact (approx. 800g)

1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 bay leave
3 whole garlic (lightly crushed)
3 whole shallots (lightly crushed)
3 slices ginger
50g rock sugar
2-3 stalks spring onion (tied knot)
1 Tbsp shaoxing wine
550ml water
150ml dark soy sauce
100ml soy sauce

Marinade
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce

Glaze (Combine}
1 Tbsp maltose
1/2 Tbsp hot water

Directions:
1. Clean chicken thoroughly, exfoliating the skin with coarse salt to remove all impurities (slimes & small feathers). This is an essential step to ensure that your chicken is clean and does not has any unwanted odour. After washing, marinade chicken with salt and dark soy sauce. Leave for 20-30 minutes.

2. In a thick-bottomed pot, sauté garlic, shallot, ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise and bay leave until fragrant. Pour shaoxing wine around the inner pot and add in water, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, spring onion and rock sugar. Bring to a boil on high heat.

3. Once boiling, lower the chicken into the sauce mixture, holding by its neck and then lift it back up. Repeat 3 times.

4. On the fourth time, submerge the chicken into the sauce mixture, ensuring that the sauce mixture is covering 3/4 of the chicken (add more liquid if needed). Cover the pot and cook the chicken under low fire for 20 minutes, turning it every 10 minutes.

5. After the 20 minutes, turn up the heat to high and simmer for 10 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Check the chicken doneness by inserting a chopstick through the thigh. If pinkish juices oozes out, it means it's not done. Cook for another 5 minutes or more. If clear juices oozes out, it means it's done. Off the heat and leave the chicken to soak in the aromatic sauce mixture for 10 minutes.

6. Brush the chicken with the diluted maltose while it is still hot. Let it rest to cool before cutting.

Notes:
● I used a 3ℓ pot and the sauce measurement is just the perfect amount to cover 3/4 of the chicken. Choose a pot that has a small width rather than large, so that you don't have to use too much liquid.

● Remember to clean under the chicken wing (armpit). This part tend to have little attention from seller, hence more small feathers.

● If you couldn't get fresh chicken, a frozen chicken will do too (like in my case). It did not really sabotage the texture. The meat were still juicy and succulent. Just make sure that you thawed the chicken completely. And take the chicken out from the fridge at least 30 - 40 minutes before cook.


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Salt and Pepper Deep Fried Tofu


I've been wanting to cook this dish for a long time. This dish was inspired by a similar dish that I had in Guangzhou many yeas ago. Back then, we had this dish with cold beers. It was a chilly night and we were sitting outside by the roadside. Ohh.. those were great experience!

This dish has now become my hubby's new favourite dish! He loves it so much and commented that it is even better than restaurant.


These tofu were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you haven't had this dish before, you may think that these tofu will be bland, but you are wrong! (Well, Ive been wrong before.) It's packed with flavors and it's so addictive, you just can't stop munching on it!

SALT AND PEPPER DEEP FRIED TOFU
Prep Time  : 10 mins
Cook Time : 20 mins
Total Time : 30 mins
Serves       : 3 - 4 pax

Ingredients:
1 block japanese firm tofu (400g), or any firm tofu
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Thai chillies, chopped finely
1-2 stalks spring onions, chopped (separate the white part and green part)

Seasonings (Mix in a bowl)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper

Directions:
1. Remove cold tofu from package and place on a deep plate. Let it comes to room temperature on the kitchen countertop for at least an hour. After 1 hour, discard the excess water on the deep plate and place tofu on the kitchen paper towel. Carefully cut the tofu into cubes around 2cm x 2cm and drain on kitchen paper towel again.

2. Crack an egg into a bowl and beat until there is no more translucent stringy stuff, leave aside until needed. In a shallow dish, mix flour and black pepper together, leave aside until needed. And in another shallow dish, add breadcrumbs.

3. Toss tofu in flour mixture, then drop it in the egg bowl. Make sure to coat the tofu all around with the eggs. Carefully lift up the tofu and let the excess egg drips back into the bowl. Then roll the tofu in the breadcrumbs, making sure to cover every spot. Place on a dry plate while you work on the rest. (Refer to notes below)

4. Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fried the tofu. Fry the tofu under medium heat for a minute or until golden brown. Dish up and drain on kitchen paper towel.

5. In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the garlic, chopped spring onions (white part) and chopped chillies until fragrant. Off the heat, add the fried tofu, seasonings and chopped spring onions (green part), and toss to mix evenly. Serve immediately. (Refer to notes below)

Notes:
Step 3 : To avoid messy hand, use your right hand for dry ingredients and left hand for wet ingredients, or vice versa.

Step 5 : To get crispy tofu, make sure not to get any liquid into the mixing. Make sure that the chopped spring onions (green part) is completely dry.


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Homemade Tofu with Minced Meat Choy Poh (Preserved Radish)

This is a perfect dish for the whole family! Everyone will love it! It will taste even better if you are uses fresh soy milk. I am using the packet type but it still taste good.

My 6 years-old daughter whom was not pleased with the appearance in the beginning, is claiming this dish as her next favourite dish!




Hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we did!


HOMEMADE TOFU WITH MINCED MEAT CHOY POH (PRESERVED RADISH)
Prep Time  : 15 mins
Cook Time : 30 + 15 mins
Total Time : 1 hour
(+ 1 hour cooling)
Serves       : 3 - 4 pax

Ingredients:
Tofu
4 eggs
350ml soy milk (without sugar)
1 tsp corn starch

100g minced meat of your choice (chicken or pork)
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp chopped shallot
1 Tbsp chopped red chilli
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped capsicum (green)
1 Tbsp choy poh/ preserved radish
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil

Thickening (Combined)
1 tsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp water

Directions:
You will need a steam-proof bowl approx. 14cm diameter and 6cm height, lightly oiled on all sides.

1. Soak choy poh/ preserved radish in water for 10 - 15 mins. Strain and squeeze out all the water. Leave aside until needed.

2. In a bowl, whisk eggs lightly with a fork, breaking off any translucent stringy in egg white. Add in soy milk and combine both ingredients. Then mix in corn starch and strain the mixture into the prepared dishware. Cover with an aluminium foil and steam for 30 - 40 mins, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Start checking at 30 mins and every 5 mins after.

3. Let cool for 1 - 2 hour. When it is cool to touch, loosen the sides of the tofu from the dishware with the tip of a knife. Do this by gliding the knife quarter way down all around. Then place a plate on top of the dishware and invert both dishware and the plate. Now, the dishware is on top of the plate, gently tap the dishware to loosen the tofu. The tofu should be able to separate from the dishware easily. (Refer to notes below)

4. Coat tofu with corn starch and deep fried until golden brown, using medium-high heat. Drain on paper towel.

5. In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add in the minced meat of your choice. When the meat is halfway cooked, sprinkle some white pepper powder and continue to cook until the meat is fully cooked. (Refer to notes below)

6. Push the cooked meat to the sides of the wok. In the center of the wok, dry fry the choy poh/ preserved radish for 30 sec to remove moisture. Then add 2 tablespoon of oil and sauté the choy poh, garlic and shallot until fragrant, follow by red chilli and green capsicum. Stir-fry everything, including the meat for another minute or two. Add in water and the rest of the seasonings.

7. Bring gravy to a boil and let it simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Then thicken with starch slurry and pour onto the deep fried tofu.

Notes:
Step 3 : If you are having trouble removing the tofu from the dishware, you may cut the tofu into few smaller sections and use a silicone spatula to gently scoop it out.

Step 5 : If your meat is releasing liquid, cook until most of the liquid evaporated.


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Spinach Tofu with Shimeji Mushroom

Spinach, mushrooms and eggs... Oh, this is a brilliant combination! Simply because these three are my daughter's favourite! And I knew this would be a yummy~licious dish when I saw this recipe over at Spice n Pans. And indeed it was! Thank you Spice n Pans!

To cater for my small family, I've halved the original recipe and make a little tweak here and there. The extra step to deep fried the tofu is compulsory if you ask me. It enhances the flavour of the spinach and tofu, and combined them together.

To complete this dish, this yummylicious deep fried spinach tofu is drenched in a mildly flavoured mushroom gravy. A little bit of spinach, a little bit of tofu and a little bit of mushroom... hmmmmm.... you tell me, aren't you already salivating?



SPINACH TOFU WITH SHIMEJI MUSHROOM
(Recipe adapted from Spice n Pans)
Prep Time  : 20 mins
Cook Time : 30 mins + 5 mins
Total Time : 55 mins (+1 hour cooling)
Serves       : 3 - 4 pax

Ingredients:
Tofu
300ml soy milk (without sugar)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
50g spinach, chopped finely

Mushroom Gravy
1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 pkt shimeji mushroom
250ml water
1/4 pc chicken cube
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp shaoxing wine
Pinch of salt

Thickening (Combined)
1 tsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp water

250g spinach, blanched

Directions:
You will need a steam-proof dishware/ container about the size of 7" x 5" and 2" height. Lined all sides with a baking paper.

1. Layer the chopped spinach at the bottom of the lined dishware/ container.

2. In a bowl, combine soy milk and beaten eggs. Add salt and whisk till all ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Slowly sieve the egg mixture into dishware/ container, making sure not to mess up the spinach layer. The chopped spinach will float up and make a nice top layer. Cover with an aluminium foil and steam for 25 - 40 mins, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Start checking at 25 mins and every 5 mins after.

4. Pull up the baking paper to remove the tofu from the dishware/ container. Leave it on a plate to cool for 1-2 hours.

5. After cooling, remove the baking paper from the tofu. Cut the tofu into 6 equal parts.

6. In a wok, heat enough oil to deep fried the tofu under medium heat. Deep fried until golden brown and drain on paper towel.

7. To make the gravy, sauté garlic until fragrant. Then add in mushroom and stir-fry for a min. Pour the shaoxing wine around the wok/ pan and stir-fry for another 30 secs. Add in water, follow by the rest of the seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let simmer for 1-2 mins. Taste the broth and adjust accordingly. Thicken up with tapioca starch slurry.

8. To plate, layer blanched spinach at the bottom of the plate. Arrange the deep fried tofu on top of the spinach and pour the gravy over it.

Notes:
● Do not over-steamed the tofu else it will be rough. Start checking after 25 mins.


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Homemade Kaya (Coconut Egg Jam)


I've been keeping this kaya recipe for a long time. I have not attempt to make this because I have a loving mother in law whom has been blessing us with her homemade kaya all along. Whenever we ran out of kaya, she will make a new batch for us. We all love her kaya, it's the BEST!

So, if you are me, will you still make your own? No, right!

But this time round, it's an exceptional. Because my mom is here at my place for holidays, I wanted to show her how to make kaya from scratch. The ingredients are simple. If you want a good kaya, you will need to have FRESH coconut milk and FRAGRANT gula melaka.

For me, since I don't have fresh coconut milk, I used the packaged ones. I like to use M&S brand, be it powder form or liquid form, because it has the nearest taste to fresh coconut milk. At the end, my kaya still turned out yummy!


The steps are pretty easy. If you follow my recipe below, I'm sure you'll get a smooth fragrant kaya too! Hope you'll enjoy my recipe!


HOMEMADE KAYA (COCONUT EGG JAM)
(Recipe adapted from Kitchen Tigress)
Prep Time  : 5 mins
Cook Time : 20 mins
Total Time : 25 mins
Makes       : approx. 1 cup

Ingredients:
40g castor sugar
45g palm sugar/ gula melaka
200ml thick coconut milk
3-4 pandan leaves (cut into 7-10 cm length)
4 egg yolks

Directions:
1. In a thick-bottomed sauce pot, combine coconut milk, castor sugar, gula melaka and pandan leaves. Using medium-low heat, cook the coconut milk until gula melaka fully dissolved, stirring occasionally. This will only takes a few minutes. Off the heat.

2. In a medium bowl, lightly beaten the egg yolks. Pour half of the hot coconut milk mixture from the pot into the egg yolks in a slow stream, stirring at the same time. This process is the same as tempering sauce. You need to bring the temperature of the egg yolks to the nearest temperature as the coconut milk to avoid curdling.

3. Pour back the egg yolk mixture from the medium bowl to the pot, stir to combine both mixture. Using low heat, stir until it thicken, about 10-15 minutes, or longer, until it reaches the consistency you preferred.

4. Discard the pandan leaves using a pair of chopsticks, squeezing out every bit of the coconut egg jam from the leaves and pour the coconut egg jam into a jar. Leave to cool completely before closing with a lid.

Notes:
● In Step 1, be careful not to over boiled the coconut milk. If the gula melaka has not fully dissolved by the time the coconut milk starting to bubble up, off the heat, and let the residual heat continue to dissolve the gula melaka.

● In Step 2, DO NOT pour the coconut milk mixture ALL at once into the egg yolks, or else you will end up cooking the egg yolks and it will become curdly jam.

● Do not tie a knot on the pandan leaves, the mixture will get into the knot and it will be difficult to stir the mixture. It will also be messy to separate the pandan leaves from the coconut egg jam efficiently later.


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