Sunday, 26 September 2010

Thai Panang Fish Curry (Spicy)

Panang Fish Curry
Hello Whimsical Readers,

F~ To those of you who loves curries, raise your hand..Wohoo! I absolutely love curries even though my tongue has a limited spice tolerance. The good thing is, overtime your tongue learns to get use to the spiciness but don't eat things that are too spicy too often as they can destroy your tastebuds.

So, this week I'm making Panang/ Phanaeng Curry, it is a dry type of curry and it's something from my neighbour, Thailand. Home to some seriously spicy mini chilies, you don't want to mess with these guys, its the small chilies that are the killer. But not to worry, i can't handle that much either so this recipe isn't gonna make to running for water. Chicken, beef and fish are the more suitable meats for these types of curries which contains coconut milk in it. Although beef is more popularly used for this curry, I would really recommend trying fish for this dish. It's GOOD.

Ingredients: Serves 4
100 gram Panang Curry Paste
600 ml Coconut Milk/ Santan
500 gram Pangasuis Fish (approx. 2x2 inch pieces)
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Tsp Palm Sugar
1-2 Fresh Chili (sliced)
5 medium Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 Lemongrass (cut into half or 3-thirds)
Basil Leaves (garnish)
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
100 ml Water
Panang Curry Paste
1. As soon as your Vegetable Oil is heated, add the Panang Curry Paste into the pan/ wok under low to medium flame for a minute or so.
2. Pour in your Coconut Milk making sure you give it a good shake before. Let it cook for another couple minutes whilst stirring under medium high flame..
3. Add in the Fish or your meat of choice and cook it until it is almost done.
4. Lowering the flame to medium again, add the Fish Sauce, Palm Sugar, Lemongrass and the Water to the mix. Let it simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
5. If you prefer some sauce instead of a dry curry, you can add some more water (but not too much otherwise you will dilute the flavour and spiciness of the curry) Also add the Kaffir Leaves and the Chili.
6. Garnish with Basil Leaves and serve with steamed white rice.

Wow, typing this is making me hungry again, and I just ate not too long ago..Haha. So, enjoy this recipe.

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Rice Going To Waste?

Hello Whimsical Readers,

J~ Good day! Ever scratching over your head for rice going to the waste? It's very wasteful to throw all the left over rice away, especially when it's A LOT! Not to worry, I'm here to help you with the left over rice =) The best way to make use of the left over rice is to use for cooking FRIED RICE! Yes! Left over rice are the perfect for making Fried Rice!

I like to keep my fried rice as "fresh" as possible. That's why I would rather use fresh vegetables instead of frozen vegetables like the ones easily available in the supermarket. The freshness of the vegetables definitely makes a lot of different to the dish's taste and attractiveness in terms colour. Presentation is important. Although it is ironic, since the most suitable rice to make this dish is left over rice.

Ok the dish I am going to share it's really simple typical chinese dish, it's suitable for lunch and even for dinner! This is how it goes..

Ingredients: Serve 2 (Depending on how much you have left over from the night before) Ingredients below are for 2 Cups of rice)

Left Over Rice
1 Tomato (chop into quarters) (for additional sweetness)
1 Fresh Carrot (diced)
2 Tbs Oil
2 Shallots (finely sliced)
2 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
2 Slices of Chinese Cabbage (optional)
2 Eggs (beaten)
4 Long Beans (1cm length)
4 Rashers of Streaky Bacon (if you are bored of bacon, you can always replace bacon with spam, luncheon meat or even chicken)
1 Tbs Chinese ShaoXin Wine
2 Tbs Light Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1. Fry the Bacon till tender, take them out and chop them into chunks.
2. Heat Oil in wok, pop in the Garlics and Shallots together till fragrant.
3. Add the tomatoes, fry till it goes a little dry then add in the Egg, fry it turns into omelets like.
4. Mix in the Bacon, Cabbages, Carrots and Long Beans together. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
5. Finally add in the rice, stir fry, add in all the sauces one by one and add salt and pepper to taste.

Told you it was easy! Cooking time takes approximately 20 minutes. Preparation time about 10 minutes. Enjoy this delicious, simple and easy lunch/dinner.

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 (Spicy)

Mapo Tofu
Hello Whimsical Readers,

F~ This week's dish is Tofu! Okay, I know what you're thinking..a block of white gelatin thingy that can substitute meat..yuck*. The thing with Tofu is, its very misunderstood. Its originates mainly from the East and Southeast Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korean, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia etc. Tofu are coagulated soy milk which have been pressed together and voilà! Tofu. To coagulate is to add edible acidic substance for example lemon juice but commercial Tofu producers use mainly salt and acids. So now you know some facts about Tofu.

My inspiration to make a Tofu dish happened in class. We were talking somewhere along the lines of housewives being an "occupation" and suddenly Tofu. Don't ask. The respond my class had about Tofu were like yumm from myself and an asian classmate of mine then yuck, err and "how do you eat that??" I don't blame them since their food knowledge of Tofu is under the exotic asian cuisine. Funny but very true.

Back to Tofu, so tonight I made Mapo Tofu. This is one of the Szechuan specialities, a spicy tofu dish. The secret to an authentic Mapo dish should consists of 7 descriptions; numbing 麻 "Má" , spicy 辣 "là", temperature hot 烫 "tàng", fresh 鲜 "xiān" , soft and tender 嫩 "nèn", aromatic 香 "xiāng" and flaky 酥 "sū". But be warned, the authentic one is seriously spicy. I remembered tearing like Niagara Falls but as we say it "Siok ar!"

So this version of the Mapo Tofu is very tone-downed, you should survive it..Haha

Ingredients: Serves 2 (as maincourse) Serves 4 (as side-dish)
1 Box/ 300 grams Silken Tofu (small to medium cubed)
60 grams Chicken/ Pork (minced)
1-2 fresh Chili (finely chopped)
1 Tsp Garlic (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Spring Onion (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
2 Tsp Sesame Oil (for fragrance)
3-4 Tbsp Laoganma Chilli Bean Sauce (be warn this sauce can be quite spicy, start with 2 Tbsp and adjust to your spice tolerance)
100ml Water
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Laoganma Chilli Bean Sauce
1. Once your Cooking Oil is heated in your pan/wok, add the Garlic and let it fry until fragrant.
2. Put in the minced Chicken/ Pork and Chili. Let it cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Now add the Tofu and let the mix cook for about 3-5 minutes. Stirring it gently as you do not want to destroy your nicely cubed Tofu.
4. Turn the flame to a medium, then add Water and the Laoganma Chilli Bean Sauce. Close the lid for another 2-3 minutes for the sauce to cook. Here you can opt to add a couple Tsp of Flour if you prefer your sauce to be slightly ticker.
5. Add Salt & Pepper to your liking, just before you serve the Tofu, add the Sesame Oil and Spring Onions and give it a good gently mix to enhance the fragrance.
6. Serve hot and best accompanied with steamed white rice and probably a glass of water at the ready.

Note: I wouldn't recommend using beef because they have a distinct smell which can alter the taste of the dish. (Luckily my mom told me that otherwise mine would have gone wrong since I conveniently had minced beef in the fridge..Haha)


Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Hello there Whimsical Readers,

I'm the other half of the Whimsical Buddies! J~ This is my first time blogging! So do excuse my English.

I have been traveling around for the past two months from Melbourne City to ChristChurch. New Zealand definitely is a new experience for me, I got there right after the earthquake. Isn't it exciting? I stayed over at the Brownie's house, Lyttelton. Uncle Martin is a British Man, and his beloved wife, Kim is from Malaysia. Uncle Martin was kind enough to cook english breakfast for me every morning, british lunch and sometimes Mediterranean Dinner. Not to worry, I jotted down most of the recipes!

When I was in Melbourne, everyone was crazy about Master Chef (season 2), I was curious why is it a hit in Australia? So I watched it myself, and indeed the show was truly inspiring! I was so inspired by the contestants, especially Alvin from Malaysia! Do visit the website ( they are screening Master Chef (junior) in Australia right now. My brother Angus and I will never miss the show. We'll grab our food ready and wait right in front of the TV before the show starts.

Ok back to business, I would like to share one my favorite italian dish to the whimsical readers today, and that would be the famous Fettucini Carbonara. It's simple and easy.

Carbonara Fettucini
Ingredients: Serves 2
100gm Salted Butter
1/2 Cup of Full Cream
10 Fresh Cherry Tomatoes (slice into half)
4 Rashers of Streaky Bacon
70gm of Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
50gm Broccoli

1. Heat up the sauce pan in medium heat, add the Butter, once the Butter is melted, pour in the Full Cream immediately, before the butter evaporates.
2. Cut the Lemon into half and squeeze it all into the sauce pan. Give it a stir for about 10 minutes.
3. Slice all Cherry Tomatoes into half (optional), personally I like it that way because of the sweet taste coming out from the seeds. Pop everything into the sauce pan.
4. Add the Parmesan Cheese into the sauce pan and give it a stir for about 5 minutes, season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Leave it to simmer low heat.
5. Meanwhile, cook the Pasta in a pot of boiling water, add some Olive Oil if you wish, as soon as the Pasta is tender, drain it.
6. Repeat the same thing with the Broccoli; cook in boiling water but for only 1-2 minutes and then drain it.
7. Fry the bacons in low heat till it is brown and crispy or leave it soft and tender, however you want your Bacon to be. Chop them into chunks.
8. Add in the Fettucini onto a warm plate, followed by the sauce, then the Bacons, sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese, and lastly garnish with Broccoli.

Hope you enjoy the Carbonara. By the way, it goes perfect with a glass of white wine.

Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies