Christmas Dinner

What is better than a nice steak for Christmas dinner? Probably nothing. So this is what I did.

No tips for choosing good beef, but I got this from Cold Storage. It looked good (no funny colours, nice and red like the flesh under my scalpel) and was on offer.

Marination. This is important. I took a shortcut and used a flavoured tenderiser. Let it stand for the whole afternoon in the refrigerator (lower compartment in case the newbies ask).

Balancing yin and yang here. Baby carrots and French beans to accompany the sinful main attraction.

Decided to experiment with sauce-making. Water, corn starch, balsamic vinegar, sugar and black pepper. My own invention. Glad to say that it worked pretty well.

All ready to go into the oven.

After grilling for 10 minutes, the steak and the accompanying vegetables are ready. I heated up the sauce and dressed the steak and vegetables with it.

I just had to have a good wine to go with this. I chose Two Oceans Shiraz because I like exotic, Southern Hemisphere wines and… it’s on offer. Seriously, this wine is medium bodied, not peppery like some Shiraz, but the buttery after taste is still there. Very easy to drink even if you don’t really like Shiraz.

© Chan Joon Yee

Spring Rolls

Is it possible to fry spring rolls with little or no oil? Well, I tried that and this is what happened. This idea occurred to me because I’ve had “roasted” spring rolls while on expedition in Nepal.

The spring rolls look dry and somewhat unevenly browned. In terms of looks, it’s not that great, but taste wise, it’s still good. Skin is crunchy, the filling is still quite juicy. Note that you’ll need a non-stick pan.

Of course, you need a good sauce. A “drop” of garlic chilli sauce on top of a puddle of sweet black sauce does it for me.

© Chan Joon Yee

Abalone Fried Spaghetti (鲍鱼炒意大利面)

Got this from my sister in Australia. Meticulous labelling, Australian style. Since I won’t be celebrating Chinese New Year again this year, I’ve decided to make a simple yet extravagant dish for the weekend.

First, we’ll take a look at how gorgeous this piece of abalone is. It’s been precooked in its own juices. Guanranteed yummy.

The first step is of course to slice the abalone. You’d need a very sharp knife. Make sure the slices are as thin as possible. Thick abalone is really tough to chew. Not good for those with shaky teeth or dentures.

Well, actually, the first thing you ought to do is to cook the spaghetti. I showed you the picture of the sliced abalone earlier because it looks better. Anyway, you don’t want your spaghetti al dente in this case. Make sure it’s well cooked.

The usual olive oil, onions and ginger. The ginger is important. It goes really well with the abalone.

Once the ginger and onions are fried, you’d put in your vegetables and abalone. I like dou miao because the elegantly fibrous texture goes very well with spaghetti.

A generous amount of oyster sauce goes in, followed by the cooked spaghetti and 2 eggs. You’d toss the spaghetti around until the egg is nicely cooked. I don’t like my eggs too gooey in this case. Finally, a sprinkling of cut chillies to add colour and also to give added stimulation to those who love it.

© Chan Joon Yee