Monday, July 20, 2009

Wanton Wrappers With Quail Eggs, Lotus Seeds and Gingkos Sweet Soup

"Waste not, want not" ~ It's a very helpful idiom. I was left with large bundle of wanton wrappers from last cooking session. I let them dried up on a baking sheet on the kitchen top while deciding what to do with it later. Usually, when I made wantons or dim sums for my family, I will buy extra wanton wrappers. You never know if there are torn wrappers or odd shape wrappers between the layers!

Besides that, left over wanton wrappers not only made delicious dessert or sweet soup but savoury dishes like noodles and pasta as well. Believe me, it's really tasty! So, next time if you have torn wrappers (please, not the ones already been wrapped with raw ingredients) or left over wanton wrappers, don't chuck them inside your freezer or throw them away! Just let them dry on a tray, dehydrator, under the sun or in the oven (low temperature). You'll be amazed how versatile these humble wanton wrappers are!

This time, I decided to cook a Chinese sweet soup or dessert. I'm a huge fan of 'Tong Sui' or Chinese sweet soup. Some of this sweet soups may took hours to cook that unless you have large family or group of friends visiting you, it's no point to make it yourself. Back home in my town, I would go to my favorite sellers to buy them. Of course, when you're traveling or living far away from your home, cravings for them over rides the tedious hours of making them :-D This sweet soup I made is very easy and the 'tiny additions' to it made it even more tastier and healthy too that is, if you don't mind the cholesterol or what the scientists said! I, certainly don't for sure, no way when comes to sweet soup desserts! :-D

Wanton Wrappers With Quail Eggs, Lotus Seeds & Gingkos Sweet Soup
Serves 2

12 nos Quail Eggs
30 g Dried Wanton wrappers
60 g Rock Sugar or to taste
50 g Gingko nuts ~ canned or preshelled (optional)
50 g Lotus Seeds ~ canned or freshly packed (optional)
2 cups water
Some extra water

1. Boil the quail eggs until cooked. Leave it to cool and remove the shells.
2. Wash the rock sugar quickly. Set aside.
3. Cooking the wanton wrappers (this is a bit tricky part): We need a small pot and a bowl of cold water or ice cubes. In a small pot, add in some water (about 2 - 3 cups) and bring it to a boil. Put in the dried wanton wrappers and cook them until softens and almost transparent. Remove them from the boiling water and quickly plunge them into the bowl of cold water. Set aside until needed.

NOTE: The reason I did this because I don't want a cloudy sweet soup. Wanton wrappers are coated with extra flour to avoid pieces stick together. When you pre-cook the wrappers, the extra flour dissolved into water (thus water turns cloudy and yellow due to lye water (read comment #22 at the bottom of page) used as coloring in commercial productions such as noodles or desserts in small quantity). The cold water 'shocking' method also made the wrappers a bit springy and not easily torn apart.

4. In a deep pan or pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed rock sugar and cook until it's fully dissolved.
5. Add in the quail eggs, lotus seeds, gingko nuts and cooked wanton wrappers (don't forget to remove the ice cubes if you used them :-P). Bring it to a boil for 1 - 2 minutes. Serve hot or cold (add in some crushed ice or ice cubes).


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Snapper Fillet In Thymato Sauce

I bought a small pack of Arrowroot powder sometime ago but it's not been used as much as I planned. I used it in soups but haven't test it in stir-fries. My house helper bought me some nice and fresh Red Snapper fillets and large prawns last week from a fisherman, selling by the road side :-D She's really good at sourcing such produce and I'm really happy with her service :-P I even told her that I mentioned about her in my blog... she's so happy :-)

I decided to use the arrowroot for this recipe that used tomatoes before it's due date :-P I read that arrowroot is works very well with acidic liquid (example; tomatoes in this recipe or maybe pasta sauce?). It's neutral tasting it's the best among the starch thickeners besides surviving the freezer with no effects of odd taste or spongy. It also gives high gloss to your dishes ( I think it's fabulous with pie fillings!). One thing of caution though, arrowroot doesn't work well with milk based sauces as I found out when I use it to make ice cream when I ran out of cornstarch :-(

Here's a recipe that I wanted to share. You must be wondering what's this 'Thymato Sauce' :-P It's the combination of 'Thyme' and 'Tomato'. You see, when I upload my recipe and picts to food sites, they have this word/title limits to certain count. So, to shorten the process (actually, my laziness :-P), I decided to call the fish's sauce/gravy as 'Thymato'. I think it sounds better than 'Thymemato'. Hmmm... sounds like one of those weird science projects, huh? Well, If you can have 'Tamarillo', why not 'Thymato'? Hee heee heeee... :-P

Red Snapper Fillet In Thymato Sauce
Serves 2-4

300 g Red Snapper Fillet (or any white fish fillet) ~ skin on
400 g Tomato ~ skinned and seeded
2 pcs Lebanese Cucumbers
1 Tbl Fresh Thyme ~ fully packed/1 tsp dried Thyme
1 clove Garlic ~ minced
10 g Arrowroot Powder **

Some oil for shallow frying

For Fish Marinate:
2.5 g Salt (approx. ½ tsp)
3o ml Ginger Wine (I'd posted a recipe if you don't have ready-made wine)
Some Ground White Pepper to taste

For Seasoning:
60 ml Water
30 g Raw Sugar
2 g Salt (approx. ⅓ tsp)
20 ml Tomato Sauce (Tomato Ketchup)
10 ml Rice Vinegar

Thickener Glaze:
30 ml Water
12 g Arrowroot Powder**

* Unless stated otherwise all cup & spoon measurements are level.
** For this recipe you can use other starches as thickener or glaze like Cornstarch, Kudzu, Potato Starch, Tapioca or Water Caltrop Starch.

1. Rinse fish fillet and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut into pieces (depends on the size of fillet, you can have about 3 or more portions). Mix gently the pieces with marinade for 10± minutes.
2. Slice the skinned and seeded tomatoes into wedges. Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise and then dice coarsely. You can cut into rounds as well ~ as long as the cucumbers cook evenly.
3. Add the Kudzu powder to the pieces of fish and mix well (it's easier to mix with fingers).
4. Heat some oil in a deep pan. Fry the fish pieces on both sides until medium-well done (62.8°C/145°F degrees core temp). Dish out and set aside. Remove the used oil.
5. In the same pan, heat some oil. Stir-fry the minced garlic until fragrant. Add in tomato wedges. Stir for awhile. Add in the seasoning and fried fish pieces. Let it cook for few minutes.
6. Add in the diced cucumbers and fresh thyme. Gently mix the ingredients so that the fish pieces are not break apart.
7. Add in the thickener mixture and gently stir until it thickens. Dish out and serve.



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