Decent Kopitiam Dim Sum

Dim sum at food centres and kopitiams are generally bad news. But there’s this one at Blk 210 Hougang St 21 that sells very decent dim sum. Expect to pay a bit more, but definitely worth a try.

Modified 宫保田鸡

My son is absolutely fond of frog legs. So I’ve decided to make some 宫保田鸡 for him. This is a modified version of the original Sichuan dish. I’ve used less dried chilli, less peppercorn, less oil and more gravy.

Here’s the dried chilli. I’ve used quite sparingly for the sake of my son.

This is Sichuan peppercorn – another essential ingredient in 宫保田鸡. It gives off a very nice aroma when fried. Again, I’ve used it very sparingly as I don’t want my son’s hair to be smoked.

And here’s the main ingredient, frog legs. You can buy them frozen from most supermarkets. I’ve marinated mine with soya sauce, wine and cornstarch.

You’re supposed to deep fry the frog legs separate from the chilli, peppercorn, ginger etc. I’ve decided to fry them together to save some oil. The original dish can be very greasy. Notice that because I used very little dried chilli, the oil doesn’t look red.

Finally, I added some cashew nuts and made a gravy. The gravy contains cornstarch, sugar, soya sauce, black vinegar. Notice that I’ve made quite a lot of gravy here to make up for the lack of oil. I’ll make it more “authentic” the next time.

Crab Soup Sans Fins

We’re all familiar with shark’s fin soup. I’m not particularly disgusted by the dish, but shark’s fin is not always easy to buy. It’s definitely not cheap. The following series of pictures show you how to make crab soup without the shark’s fin.

First, you need to slice up some ginger and spring onion. Fry them until they are a little burnt.

Remove the fried ginger and spring onions, add frozen crab meat.

Fry the crab meat with pepper, soy sauce and hua diao wine. Be generous with the pepper and soy sauce.

Add in some chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, stir in some starch, preferably water chestnut starch.

This is normally when you would add in your shark’s fin, but we won’t be using that here.

Add a few drops of black vinegar and pretend that you’re having shark’s fin soup.

© Chan Joon Yee