A lot of times when I cook fish, especially frozen batang/ kite fish, I get put off by the stinky odour. The odour doesn’t mean that the fish has gone bad though. Find out how to get rid of it in this post.
The other night, I was feeling quite bad for not cooking for the longest time. I don’t like to come up with new dishes for dinner because the lighting is bad and the pictures usually turn out crap. And so when I do fix dinner, I don’t take photos.. not as often as before. How did I do it?
I was talking to a friend the other day about working mums. I am lucky that 1) I’m not a mum and 2) I get off work at 5pm and reach home by 6. And even so, I sometimes (most times these days) just want to spend all the time I have listening to all the music I can listen to, or read all the books that I haven’t read. And even before doing these two things, the time on the clock reads 11pm. Where did the time go? So, I really applaud working mums who really have a 24/7 job. When and if I become a mum, what’s gonna happen to my me-time? It’s not even enough now. I’m not sure I can handle it.
And so here it is: GIVEAWAY TIME! (this ends in 5 days, on 17 Oct 2359h so be quick!)
Some of you suggested bakeware and some wanted FOOD. I like to give choices (like letting my husband choose between “Am I right?” or “Do you want to agree with me?”), so I am gonna give BOTH! Choose!
Here’s how to have a chance to win:
1) “LIKE” and “SHARE” this Facebook post to PUBLIC
2) Comment on that post if you’d like the Tiramisu or Madeleine Mould + leave your email for me to contact you
3) *BONUS* Double your chance of winning by following “budgetpantry” on Instagram (pm or comment with your instagram id!)
Some terms and conditions:
1) SG only
2) Tiramisu- pick up at Bukit Batok MRT at my convenience (we’ll work something out!)
3) Madeleine bakeware- by post or pick up at Bukit Batok
I don’t know about you, but me and cake? We have a special relationship. I eat cake when I turn a year older, when I get a new job, when I feel stressed, when I am happy, when I feel fat (true story), before, during and after a break-up.. she’s never been out of my life all these years, really.
She’s quite up there enjoying the same status as fried chicken, almost. There’s reallyyy a very thin line there. Sometimes she wins, and that’s a big deal.
It’s been a really busy two weeks. I started my new job 8 September, and the initial two days were ok, when I could still breathe and smell the flowers. Now my ever chirpy team mate has to remind me every two seconds, “Chris.. breathe.” and even so, all I catch is the whiff of my 4th espresso for the day.
I’m not complaining though. I get to do what I like– write– although I’m in a totally new arena now. It is challenging– I was working late into the night most days last week and lots of stuff baffle me, but I learn new things everyday and my team rocks. I don’t know.. we just get along quite amazingly. I have no fear about not getting any help when I need it. I am supremely thankful. And happy.
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Alot of people ask these questions when cooking scallops: “Why aren’t they searing?”/ “Why do they look like they’re steaming?”/ “Why are they shrinking?!”
My answer to perfectly seared scallops: Brine and Dry.
You don’t have to buy super expensive ones like $40 – $50 for a box of Hokkaido scallops but if you’re feeling rich or are rich then please go ahead. I either get mine from Giant– I forgot the brand– at $17 (?) for 12, or from Song Fish. I don’t really know how to choose scallops, or how to differentiate between “wet” and “dry” scallops just by looking at them. Look at the ingredients list. “Wet” scallops are usually treated with phosphate solution, a preservative which prolongs shelf life (duh) and makes the scallops heavier and larger. If not prepared properly, all the added water evaporates during cooking, leaving your scallops the size of clams.
“Dry” scallops are not treated with this chemical solution and do not absorb unnecessary water. As a result, they have a shorter shelf life but the taste is sweeter and more natural. And yes, they are far more expensive than “wet” scallops.
I buy “wet” scallops because I am “budgetpantry”. The secret to getting them to sear the way they do in these pictures is to brine them with a lemon juice and salt solution, then dry, dry, dry them before cooking in a hot oiled pan. You’ll be tempted to flip them after three seconds to “check” how they’re doing. Don’t do it. Scallops are like ex-boyfriends. There is no need to check how they’re doing.
I don’t know if the fact that I’m starting my new job on Monday has anything to do with it, but the withdrawal symptoms are really bad this time round.
I miss Hong Kong. I miss being there. I miss the solitude, I miss taking the bus. I miss sharing tables. I miss the familiarity and unfamiliarity. I miss the quietness as I read my book after all the whatsapp updates. I miss all my days there.
And I also miss Polo Yau. Polo Yau is essentially a butter bun with sugar cookie topping sandwiched with a slab of butter in between. It is also called “Pineapple Bun” because the cookie topping resembles the outside of a pineapple. There are many versions of “Pineapple Bun”- plain, with charsiew, with butter (like this), with custard, and I have even seen some places selling it with red bean filling, although I don’t think it is very common. To me, you eat a butter bun to taste the butter, or there is no point.
We were at Ellenborough Market Café, Merchant Court, for dinner buffet early last month to celebrate Michelle’s promotion. We probably also celebrated Kelvin’s and my farewell but more on that another day. Thank you Michelle for the treat!
Apart from the black pepper crayfish, the dish that knocked our socks off was the Tomato Basil Soup. I had two bowls, I think. #honeystarsaddict had a gallon (I’m exaggerating because now must put disclaimer). Quite incredible, the creamy soup was tangy without being overpowering, and it was the best soup I’ve had in a long time.
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After checking in at Just Inn, I took a quick shower and walked across the road to Champagne Court for some cheese noodles. This was the start of my Cha Chan Teng (Hong Kong tea restaurant) hop. Sun Kee is famous for its pork cheek cheese noodles and it is hard to understand why. Yes, you read me correctly. The noodles are raved by locals and tourists because of its unique cheese sauce, but I don’t really get it.
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