Korean Pajeon from scratch with Baelauch, veg and calamari

  Korean Pajeon (pancake) with Wild Garlic (Bärlauch) from scratch  

Sunday hiking in Aargau

春天終於到了! 這段期間在樹林和朋友的花園長滿「野蒜葉」。朋友給我一大袋,用來做什麼好呢?剛巧見到一位瑞士的部落格朋友提意 用來做韓式薄餅,又幾好喎,就試試看,反正近排很久沒有見到有韭菜賣。我呢次用了野蒜葉,翠玉瓜,紅蘿蔔和小墨魚做薄餅。

今次最主要就是和大家介紹原來薄餅槳係可以自己調教,以後都不用買韓式薄餅粉了。做出來效果很好,做到佢應有嘅少少煙靭。前陣子做蘿蔔糕剩下來的粘米粉,澄麵;和湯圓的糯米粉,現在大派用場。

星期天,我哋到  Veltheim, Aargau, 短程行山,沿途P 指出一大片長滿野蒜草的地方,我都是第一次在大自然接觸咋。
Spring is here! In the woods and some friends backyards, you can find wild garlic (also known as ramps? ) growing here and there.(in German, it’s called Bärlauch). I got a bag from a friend, what should I do with them? I have made pesto last year but took ages to finish and the taste is rather strong. Then I saw a Swiss-based blogger Cooking at Hinterberg who has suggested to use to make Korean Pajeon, I thought this is a great idea so I gave a go. Koreans normally use chives, spring onions or kimchi and with or without seafood, I use some calamari this time.

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Malaysian chicken curry 02

  Malaysian Chicken Curry (馬來咖喱雞)  

Looking to Davos Dorf from coming the ski slope

Looking to Davos Dorf from coming the ski slope

復活節假期間我哋一家三口去咗Davos ‘hea’ 咗幾日,入住我喜愛的 Intercontinental Davos, 建築物形象隻金蛋,就想起來對復活節很給應景。因只逗留數天,所以沒有入住渡假屋,那些要住上一星期才可。這兒有很完善的Kids Club, 隨時可以放低阿仔去玩,大人便可鬆一鬆,去spa 或book 個按摩疏乎吓😃。

第一日天氣唔係噤好,居然還落雪,正啱休息吓,我哋其實三個都未完全康復,所以真是來relax。打後都比預計的好,我很似啲西人一樣,見到太陽鬼噤興奮,同一個地方,每天從露台映同一景象都不覺悶,放低雜念,慢慢欣賞大自然之美。每早見到淸朗的藍天白雲,都覺得䁠咗。

第二天,滑咗一陣雪,其實我數星期滑雪傷到左膝,已好得九成有多,並無大礙,但唔落場都唔知滑唔滑到,自己又貪玩,帶住阿仔,都唔可以滑得出咩樣,我在不大高處,上落來回到數次,我已很意足了。

風境雖靚,但食方面就較為失望,原本在酒店設有唔錯的日本料理,但已轉為意大利餐廳。另外我們熟悉的中菜菜館又被Casino 佔據,所以天天都要食西餐,回到家第二晚下煮我便提意簡簡單單煮馬來咖喱雞,反正有一大樽自家制的馬來咖哩粉,很方便,P完全舉腳贊同,講到咖喱他一定不會反對。另外我就做台灣肉燥飯給阿仔,剩下來的可以分小份冷藏,供打後他的星期三午餐享用。

做馬來咖喱, 你可用現成購買到的馬來咖喱粉, 又或可用自制的咖喱粉。

 

Last week was Easter holiday, we had a short getaway in Davos, Switzerland. We stayed at Intercontinental Davos, I called it the big Golden Easter egg to Marc, perfect for the occasion, and because I didn’t allow him to eat more chocolate eggs these days since he had not recovered from his cold and bad cough. We chose this place because they have a very well-equipped Kids Club, with all kinds of activities during the day, so the parents can take a short break to go skiing or to the spa area to relax a bit.

The weather on our first day was not great, it was even snowing, so we didn’t do much, went to our favorite Coffee place, called Kaffee Klatsch and hanged out a bit there and then we went to the Spa, but that was just what we all needed, to relax!!!!!

The second day and onwards, we had blue sky, went skiing for a bit but not too much as I actually had a small injured on my knee in early February from skiing, nothing was broken, blessed and I was happy already that I could make numerous descends. One of us had to stay with Marc, so could not go to far anyway, I took the nearest chairlift up by myself at St Jakobshorn, 4 descends and then I could feel my injured area, that signalled that it was enough for the day and I should not to push further.

The scenery in Davos was breathtaking, especially at this place called where it is very popular for ski-touring. It was so untouched and looked as if heaven on earth.

The food was rather disappointing, there are many nice eateries but mostly Swiss or Western style, the dishes are on the heavy and rich side. Previous years, we have two favorite eateries in Davos, one is the Chinese restaurant called Zauberberg, they served authentic Chinese dishes but don’t know since when they have closed down. The second one which is a Japanese restaurant in the hotel here has changed into an Italian restaurant. That’s why we would rather eat at Kaffee Klatch as the food is lighter and the place is always cozy.

As a result, when we got home, I was desperate for some Asian food and I proposed to make Malaysian Chicken Curry. With curry, P would never say no. So as promised earlier, here is the recipe with my Homemade Malaysian Curry Powder I prepared not long ago.

You can use store-bought Malaysian curry powder but here I refer to the use of Homemade Malaysian Curry Powder my homemade Malaysian curry powder.

Intercontinental Davos 01

Golden Egg, Intercontinental Davos

Sunbathing on the terrace

Sunbathing on the terrace

Me and Marc

Me and Marc

Enjoying under the sun

Enjoying under the sun

 

Late lunch at Kaffee Klatsch

Lunch at Kaffee Klatsch

 

Cozy atmosphere at Kaffee Klatsch, opens 365 days

Cozy atmosphere at Kaffee Klatsch, opens 365 days

 

This asparagus pasta was light and delicious, creamy but not too creamy.

This asparagus pasta was light and delicious, creamy but not too creamy.

 

Dry Aged Pork Chop

Dry Aged Pork Chop, this was awarded with Swiss Gourmet Porc Grand Cru. This was aged for 3 weeks, claimed to have unique flavors. However, I was not impressed, the piece of meat looked big but half of it I had to removed because it was all fat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinoa patties 05

  Quinoa, sweet potato patties (迷你藜麥蕃薯餅)  

Quinoa patties 02

 

藜麥又名奎奴亞藜,英文名字 quinoa,讀作 Keen-wah,原產於南美洲安第斯山區,是印加土著居民的主糧,已至少有5,000多年歷史。

藜麥是近年深受消費者大熱追捧的健康食品,尤其是素食者。用法跟其他榖類一樣,其實它是種子,其口感帶煙靭,味道帶有淡淡的堅果味。

其豐富的營養價值和好處被列為完美營養食品 (superfood),被印加人譽為「榖物之母」(mothergrain)。它含豐富蛋白質,九種人體所需的氨基酸,維他命B,鐵質,鎂,奧米加三、纖維等。它的「四低」:低熱量,低脂,低糖,低鈉,不含膽固醇及麩質(gluten-free) 對維持心臟、心血管的健康,體重管理,對腸胃敏感者都很有幫助。但有泌尿問題人仕就要少吃,因藜麥和菠菜一樣,含草酸鹽,可引致結石。

在街外大家可見藜麥常用在沙津中,其實在屋企都很容易煮,用電飯煲煮都得,很方便,個人比較喜歡混入一小把加入平日食開的白米一起煮。

另外又可以用在其他菜式中,例如可放些在什菜湯中,又或可代替米用來當作炒飯一樣看待,最啱那些「唔嗅米氣」的一族,哈哈😜。

在這兒我想和大家分享的就是這個迷你藜麥蕃薯餅。家裏有本德文烹飪書,書名: VEGAN LOVE STORY, Hiltl & Tibits-The Cookbook. Hiltl (1898年創辨是全世界第一間素食餐廳) 和 Tibits 均為瑞士很有名的素食餐廳。

書內有一個藜麥薯仔扒的食譜,我靈機一觸做了這迷你藜麥蕃薯餅,可當正餐,小食或伴菜。

 

A few weeks ago, there was a new Facebook group created for Bloggers in Switzerland. One of the bloggers, Walking on Mom has suggested to do a Round-Up of family-friendly vegetables-based recipes, so I am contributing this Quinoa, sweet potatoes patties which I have adapted from the Vegan Love Story, Hiltl & Tibits Cookbook.

Hiltl is the world first vegetarian restaurant, established since 1898. It is located in Zurich. Tibits belongs to Hiltl group, it is casual-dining and buffet style, first Tibits restaurant was started in 2000, and now can be found in Basel, Bern, Zurich, Lucern, Winterthur and London.

It’s truly amazing to see how veggie dishes can be prepared easily and tasty can fill you up and that you won’t miss the meat a bit.

Quinoa is seen a lot in salads, I find this is another nice idea to consume quinoa, these patties can be served as main meal alone or as a side-dish or finger-food.

 

Quinoa patties 01b

 

 

Quinoa patties 02a

 

Quinoa patties 03

 

Quinoa patties 04

 

Quinoa patties 06a

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quick homestyle peking duck

  Homestyle quick version Peking Duck (家庭快版北京填鴨)  

其實當我公佈想嘗試加啲中文入我的部落格之後,真係有啲驚,因為自問中文水平淺和有限,但如果我越怕,便越少機會接觸中文。我在瑞士可以用中文對話的朋友,十隻手指可能都數得晒,大家又不能時常見面,就算識講廣東話都不是地道或完全流利的,見面時,最後都係講英文為多。點都好喇,思前想後,Bits & Bites 這個專欄正好可以俾我藉住這個空間發牢騷,吹吹水,寫得唔好請勿見怪,多多包涵,大家可不防告知我寫錯字,待我日後可以改進,我就在這兒獻醜獻醜!

阿仔今日返咗學一個小時後,我就接到老師電話話佢真係好唔舒服的樣子,但沒有發燒。佢其實由農曆新年開始咳,至今日仍未停,昨晚還説喉嚨痛。我立即和佢睇醫生,最後醫生都係無可避免之下,要配抗生素給服用。在學校佢就似隻病貓😿,返到屋企就成隻甩繩馬榴🙉,重非常開胃,成日話肚餓。好在佢都聽話肯食我煲的咸瘦肉粥 (聚火),不過佢話令佢成日要上廁喎,我話係好事,幫佢沖走啲唔好嘅嘢。

今晚煮湯通心粉過佢做晚餐,我解凍咗件鴨胸不能再流,便以最簡單嘅方法煎鴨胸,做咗家庭式快版的田鴨餐 (算得上係低澱粉餐嗎?),超易,啲油逼晒出嚟,但未夠脆,留返下次再改進,各下如有貼士 ,請分享!

Just when I have announced that I would like to write some Chinese in my blog, actually I am feeling a bit scared as my written Chinese is not good. However, I would like to give a try and only by doing this, I can have more exposure to the language. Anyway, the Bits and Bites page seems to be a very suitable platform for me to bla bla bla.

A few days ago, I have made a homestyle short cut quick version of Peking duck. There are still room for improvement to get the skin crispy. I think I need to put more salt on the skin next time, nevertheless, the doneness of the duck breast was perfect. I have only sprinkled salt and pepper and pinches of five spices on both sides. Next time I should remember to criss-cross cut the skin and generously apply a layer of salt on the skin side only. And I should put the duck breast in the oven after rendering the duck fat.

Peking duck with wrapper

 

 

 

flour tortilla 01

  Homemade flour tortillas without lard  

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Can you see the tortillas up there look like teddy bear?

 

Years ago, when I told my neighbour that I was going to have fajita for dinner and when she saw the store bought flour tortilla wraps I had, she said they are much nicer to make them yourselves. She makes the individual tortilla doughs, wrapped and keep them in the freezer, so her daughter can prepare lunch or dinner herself. All you need to do is to take the doughs out from freezer in the morning and let them defrost to room temp by the time you come home for lunch.

I never attempted to try to make flour tortillas myself until after 5 years, I am finally tempted to try out today And they turned out great. I made piadina once, but they were too hard. These two weeks, I am addicted to playing with flour and they all worked successfully, I made dumplings (gyoza), chinese spring onion pancakes and now flour tortillas.

I saw most flour tortillas call for lard or shortenings but this is absolutely a no no for me, I saw recipes with 2 cups, 3 cups of flour but I found 4 cups seems the best quantity as you can have 12 tortillas and if too little, I can’t really make use of my kitchenaid. With kitchenaid, it of course make the whole process faster.

The boys in the house were all very happy with the freshly homemade tortillas, so it’s worth the effort, even our youngest one, Marc ate 1.5 tortilla. I made one with nutella and shared with Marc this afternoon, he wanted more. And I was supposed to have just started to stop having carb after 6pm, but in the end I surrendered and had half tortilla with my chicken tortilla.

So from now on, I wonder if I would still buy the store bought ones. With a little planning, it should be manageable to have them homemade from now on, and stay away from the preservatives.

 

Flour tortilla 03

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  Korean Glass Noodle (Japchae)  

Somehow every time I make Japchae, it’s hard to just make a small portion, all the ingredients add up together will make a big bowl. I wish my good friends live nearby so I could just let them know and they come over to have some. One time I did cook and then packed into boxes and delivered to my friends. However, this is not feasible anymore, weekdays are busier in his second year of kindergarden, more after school activities, driving, cooking, giving him shower and putting him to bed on time.

Japchae requires a lot of chopping but with a bit advanced planning and preparation, it didn’t stop me to enjoy this dish on a busy day. This time I didn’t use spinach but cabbage instead and added something else, worked perfectly and now I found out the tricks of how not to make the sweet potato noodle sticking together. Thanks to Maangchi’s recipe.

For ingredients, I used cabbage, carrots, zucchini, beef, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts, cloud fungus, Chinese mushrooms, eggs. For meatless version, you can use fried tofu and more eggs instead of beef. You don’t necessary use spinach, I just use whatever I have at home and it worked.  You can serve with or without rice. Marc enjoyed it very much with rice.

Good thing is that Tuesdays I have TRX, so I don’t have to worry about cooking tomorrow.

Chinese Black Soy Milk 01

  Chinese black soy milk (黑豆漿)  

Chinese Black Soy milk 02

Talked to a friend long time ago, I was complaining about the expotentially growth of gray hair, it freaks me out, now I stop plucking them and try not to look into it so often. I do need to dye my hair more frequently than before, that’s life! Join the club as my mother and mother-in-law said to me! So my friends suggested me to eat anything that is black, namely black sesame seeds, black beans etc. One of them suggests me to make black bean and yellow soy bean milk. And after I got her recipe for a long time, I finally got the motivation to make from scratch, I don’t have a soy milk machine but it turned out that it is not that complicated or messy as all.

Thank you to my friend, Maria Leung for sharing her recipe with me.

Special equipments you need are:

  • a blender
  • a nut milk bag (I used a fish soup bag I got from Hong Kong, it works perfectly and next time I want to try the cotton diaper cloth, seems that should work as well)

Chinese Black Soy milk 03

 

 

Chinese Black Soy milk 04

 

 

Chinese Black Soy milk 05

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  Chinese Ginger & Spring Onion Lobster Egg Noodle Recipe (上湯薑蔥龍蝦燴麵)  

Living in Basel, Switzerland is not easy to find live seafood at all. So when I came across live crabs across the French border, my eyes  could not get off the water tank. Then later my friend told me that they have live lobsters when it’s season which in around this time in November, I went to check it out last year but unfortunately the water tank was ‘kaputt’ broken. So this year, a few days ago, I went to try my luck again. And I was lucky this time.

 

I have never cooked lobster before. This was my first time ever. The lobsters here are not as big as those Australian lobsters I have in Hong Kong. Here I guess mostly under 1 kg on average. The one I chose was just less than 700g and cost me about EUR 25  (1kg cost EUR 36.8)which I thought not too bad.

The Cantonese way of preparing lobster is unbeatable in my opinion. The cooking part is pretty easy I found, the challenging part was how to cut the lobster in pieces. I googled and found out the easiest way to place the lobster in the freezer for an hour or so. Then take it out, remove its head, clean up the internal parts, removed the unwanted part and cut into pieces. I am not going into details for this part as probably my vegan friends will find it cruel.

And the end results I was very delighted, Marc enjoyed it a lot especially the noodles. I guess after the first trial, I need to make again before the season ends. So here, I quickly archived the lobster egg noodle recipe for future use.

Hommard bleu 01

Hommard Bleu

Hommard bleu

Strawberry Fresh Cream Layered Cake

  Marc’s 4th Birthday Party & Strawberry Fresh Cream Cake  

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Months ago: “Mommy, I want Octanauts birthday cake.”

Few weeks ago: “Mommy, I want Thomas birthday cake.”

Few days ago: “Mommy, I want a McQueen birthday cake”

“I want my birthday party now!!!!”

“Marc, it’s not your birthday yet. First, it’s papa’s (in March), then mommy’s (in June) and then comes your birthday (in July).

“But I want my birthday now. First my birthday and then papa’s birthday and then your birthday.”

“I am four years old.”

“Marc, you are now three years old and will be four years old soon!”

 

” No, I am four years old!” …….

It’s amazing to see the development from age three to four. Last year, he still didn’t understand fully the concept about birthday. This year he is totally obsessed about birthday parties, he loves blowing birthday cake candles and asking for presents and surprises all the time. Continue reading

Korean Knife cut noodle (done)

  First time making Korean Knife-Cut Noodle, Kalguksu !!!  

Last Monday, I saw a Korean Knife-Cut Noodle, Kalguksu, posted in Facebook by KC, the photo was taken from Kwangjang Market, a famous food market in Seoul. It immediately drew my interest and I went to search in the internet and found a few recipes on how to make Kalguksu at home. I saw one video from YouTube and saw this old lady made these noodles by sitting on the straw mat flooring (like tatami), from rolling the dough into a big thin noodle sheet using a big wooden pole to cutting into thin strips of noodle, her feet were bended and folded all the time. I definitely can’t do that, totally impressed.

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  Kinder Surprise for breakfast?!?! And my Veggie Kimbap with Kale  

It’s best to delay your kids exposing to confectionery.

I now know why my mom had stopped me and my brother from eating sweets or crisps for as much as possible. This is because after observing for days, I notice that Marc will cough quite badly in the middle of the night when he has eaten more sweets or chocolates. Luckily, the next morning the cough is gone but he keeps coming back and asks for more chocolate again and forgets what has happened to him the night before and he has cried so badly.

And lately Marc has been crazy about chocolate or sweets, in particular Kinder Surprise Eggs. He likes the toys inside of course.

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  Lotus Root Green Salad with Sesame Dressing  

Last week I found lotus root in the local Asian grocery store. Chinese New Year is approaching, lotus root is a popular vegetable during this time as it keeps well for quite a long time. I remembered my mom would buy this and chinese leaves to keep at home as during New Year, in the past, people will not go to market for the first 2 days and therefore you will have enough vegetable at home. Lotus root is called “年耦” We have a saying 年藕年藕, 年年都有. Of which the pronunciation of lotus root sounds like you will have it every year, and we meant food and wealth keep coming every year, and therefore you won’t have shortage of food, money, etc. My parents kept reminding me that in their old days, they don’t have as well food supply as we do nowadays, and remind us not to waste food.

Last year I have made panfried lotus root with minced pork and shrimp and a red bean curd dipping sauce. Another common dish to make is Lotus root and pork belly stew with Red bean curd. I have made this last week. The lotus root I bought comes in 4 sections, so I can probably prepare 3-4 different dishes. I wrap each section with kitchen paper and then place them in a ziplock bag, so far they keep well.

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Chinese steamed egg

  How to master perfect Chinese steamed eggs (蒸水蛋)  

Not sure how many of you are familiar with Chinese Steamed Eggs, but if you are Chinese, this surely will not be strange to you. Steamed eggs was one of my all time favorite childhood dishes. It is a simple and delicate dish which goes well with steamed rice and I find it suitable when you don’t have much appetite or just want something light and simple. Having said that it is simple, yet it took me a long time to master it perfectly, we have a Chinese saying “易學難精” which means easy to learn but difficult to master it perfectly.

When I was studying abroad in the UK, I needed to cook for myself. So steamed eggs came to my head, as it is supposed to be easy. Whisk eggs, add water, mix and steam, how difficult could that be?! But I failed for the first time. I asked my mom, she told me the instructions, after some time I tried again, the eggs solidified and was edible but the appearance was not smooth and pretty. Then I have not tried again for years until I came to Basel. Made occasionally, results were better but not quite consistent until these last 2 times. I don’t even need to measure the water required or sieve the egg mixture to get rid it of air bubbles as some people suggest nor I need to turn the heat from high heat to medium high. And I do not need to worry that it may be overcooked, exactly like how my mom does it. Every time I told my mom that it didn’t work perfectly, she teased me that I cannot master this simple dish. When I was in Hong Kong a few months ago in last November, she showed me that she didn’t even need to cover the plate anymore and the steamed eggs would still come out smooth with no bubbles. I suppose this is really a matter of practice, experience, and experiments with trials and errors.

So these last 2 times, with an interval of 6 months, I am able to repeat the perfect steamed eggs. I posted an iPhone photo in Facebook, unexpectedly that has generated a lot of comments and a lot of time asked me how to do it. It’s really no secret, so I take the chance to share my experience with you.

The above picture is the most basic version which contains only normal eggs.

As I grew up,  my mom has made us many other versions namely:

  • Steamed egg with salted egg (咸蛋蒸蛋)
  • Tricolor steamed eggs (三色蒸蛋) which consists of normal eggs, salted egg and thousand years egg
  • Steamed eggs with dried scallops (瑤柱蒸蛋)
  • Steamed egg with minced pork or beef (肉碎蒸蛋)
  • Steamed egg with fresh fish (魚片蒸蛋)
  • Steamed egg white (蒸蛋白), mom’s latest version, to minimize the cholesterol intake.

 

Luxury version :

  • Steamed egg white with crab leg or whole crab (花雕蛋白蒸蟹鉗), latest luxurious version. This is much more challenging, better leave the restaurants to prepare for us, haha.

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