Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

1st November this year fell on a Tuesday. I could have made a bridge for a longer “weekend”, but could not due to my workload at work 😦

I was glad to break off work for that one day that week for a yearly family reunion, hosted by one of my SIL’s. While driving to my SIL’s, we stopped at a friend’s house. I received a text message from F that she was giving away some of her ‘harvests’ in her garden. 

Guess what? I hand-picked the chillies in her garden. They were so, very, very fresh! She wanted only the red ones, so I helped myself to the green chillies. I didn’t mind the ‘raw version’ at all, because I knew if I left the chillies wrapped in absorbent paper in the lower drawer of the fridge, the chillies would ripen. 

And I was right!

10 days later, some of the birds’ eye chillies had turned to a lovely bright orange-crimson colour. And I knew exactly where some of the chillies would end up into 😉

Thai Chef vs Me

There was one Wednesday that I took a day off and brought my 2 sons out for lunch (Note, both boys had half-day school / Univ on a Wednesday). We went to a Thai resto near our place. 

For starter, I ordered Tom Yum Goong (TYG) for us. It was a good TYG, but I missed that Oomph in their soup. It was a wee bit too lame. 

Saturday came, and TYG was in the pipeline for our lunch menu.

So here it was, my version vs the Thai Chef’s. 

And not only that, I made my TYG in my thermomix! 

To be honest, I could eat my TYG all day without anything else that day, because it had been a while since I last made the soup! I looked back at a post I wrote; it was in March this year when I had friends over. You can read it all … Here 🙂

Because I love bold-tasting soups, I thought of a way to totally infuse the aromatics in the soup first before proceeding further. Be warned! It’s a highly seasoned soup that hits the palate and warms the heart without burning, if you know what I meant 😉

(Note: This is my own recipe using my preferred method – tried and tested – after a few trials and errors).  

Please be aware that some measurements are not given as only you will know how much or how little you want to put in the dish. Remember, “Ut quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum” or what is food for one man may be bitter poison to others. 

Ingredients A

  • 2 cm piece galangal
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 2 coriander roots

Ingredient B

  • 5 g cooking oil / coconut oil

Ingredient C

  • 1,500 g water

Ingredients D

  • Lemongrass, bruised and halved
  • Shallots, halved 
  • Galangal, sliced
  • Bird’s eye chillies, lightly bruised
  • Kaffir lime leaves, lightly bruised with the fingers

Ingredients E

  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Homemade chilli paste, eyeball for colour, taste and flavour
  • Salt, to taste 

Ingredients F

  • Prawns, shelled 
  • Mushrooms, sliced 

Ingredient G

  • Lime juice, to taste
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved or whole

Ingredient H

  • Fresh coriander 

Steps –

  • Place A in the TM bowl. Grind 5 sec/ sp 10  * 2

  • Add B. Sauté for 3 mins/100C/ sp 2 
  • Place D in SB and add C. Cook for 15 mins/ 120C/ sp1

  • Remove the SB and tip the aromatics in a bowl. Set aside for garnish later.

  • Transfer F in the SB. Cook for 4 mins/120C/ sp 1 or until the prawns are cooked. 

  • Remove the SB and set aside the cooked prawns, mushrooms, etc
  • Add E. Cook further for 5 mins/ 120C/ sp 2

  • Add G. Stir for 1 min/ R/ spoon
  • Assemble a serving bowl with prawns, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, some slices of galangal, bird’s eye chillies, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Garnish with H.
  • Done!

Happy 1st Anniversary!

I made the TYG to go with my Nasi Ulam and baked spiced chicken. Our Saturday lunch was the bomb, by the way, with full-blown explosion of flavours. Yup, my kind of food 🙂

There’s no better way to celebrate my first year anniversary of owning the thermomix than sharing with you some of the dishes I have conjured the past 12 months using my most used kitchen gadget today!

And as they say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words‘ …

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Please be aware that I’m neither a Consultant/ Advisor nor an employee of Thermomix.  I am NOT paid anything from any parties. I just happened to own a thermomix and love doing what I’m doing and will continue doing so. 

Happy Mid-Week ya’ll!


Gosh!  It’s been over a month since we thumbed through yesteryear! Seemed like eons ago 😀

Wow! My first post anno 2013, which I think is something worth mentioning, innit? Fortunately or unfortunately, we did not have a white Christmas last year.  The temperatures were quite mild last December; however, they did not last long until fluffy white flakes of snow carpeted the entire land. We had a freezing January month, which went for days and then weeks and again encompassing February…

Boy, was I longing for something warm. My thought darted to the warm and sunny summer in 2010. It was an extraordinary summer because my Mum and my younger sister came to visit us.

This photo of my Mum and sister has been on my ‘to-post’ list for a long time.  The photo was taken in Lourdes.

1. Mum & sis in Lourdes

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Our summer 2010 saw us heading South West France, direction Castillon-Debats in the region of Midi-Pyrénées.  We rented a holiday villa for two weeks.  The villa was surrounded by acres and acres of land filled with floras. The following photos will give you an idea of our summer hideout.

2a. Holiday Villa_entrance2b. Holiday Villa_Castillon-Debats

2c. Holiday Villa_Castillon-Debats_village2d. Holiday Villa_boys + cows grazing

2e. Parsley_Castillon-Debats2f. Sage_Castillon-Debats

2g. Rosemary_Castillon-Debats2h. Thyme_Castillon-Debats

2i. Sunflowers_Castillon-Debats2j. Tiger Lily_Castillon-Debats

2k. Blue Passion flower_Castillon-Debats2l. Fig_Castillon-Debats


Our holiday villa was quite secluded; hence, the surveillance cameras were compulsory.

Big Brother is watching you 😉

3. Holiday Villa_Surveillance cameras

And by the way, being Asian, the kitchen is an important domain. A normal greeting by a Sarawakian – or any Asian, I believe – would be any of the following:

Lu chiak pa boi? < Kuching Hokkien>

Ngi shi(k) pau mang? <Kuching Hakka>

Dah makan tek? < Sarawak Malay>

Ngak keman? <Mukah Melanau>

The exotic sounding phrases meant one thing in common, and that is simply, “Have you eaten?”  Well, that’s how one Sarawakian greets another Sarawakian, and not necessarily from the Chinese origin only.

Food is where the heart is 😛

Ooops, sorry for the sidetrack; now back to Castillon-Debats…

I cooked almost everyday from Spaghetti Bolognese to Chicken Ratatouille. It was almost always a one-dish meal, by the way, to keep things simple and wholesome.

4a. SpagBol4b. Chix ratatouille4c. Chix ratatouille

I made sure we had different dish everyday, and each day was complimented with the freshest of the fresh vegetables of the region! They were in abundance in every nook and cranny, hence, no problem there 🙂

Last Supper

I opened the refrigerator.  It was almost empty.  Well, that was the idea as it was our last day in Castillon-Debats.  Slowly but surely, we cleaned up the fridge and the pantry.

On the last day, I found two courgettes (zucchinis) and a packet of unopened chorizo in the fridge.  In the kitchen pantry, there was a packet of uncooked spaghetti.  In an earthen pot next to the hob was a whole bulb of garlic. And of course the indispensable bottle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

5a. Spag Chorizo_minced garlic5b. Spag Chorizo_sliced courgettes

5c. Cut chorizo5d. Spag Chorizo_cooked spaghetti

I put all the items together but sautéing each component separately, frying first the minced garlic (I used the entire bulb!) and then removed them when they turned slightly brown. With the garlic oil, I dropped in the thinly sliced courgettes, stir frying for a few minutes and removed from the pan immediately. Then in went the sliced chorizo.  The oil from the chorizo simply oozed out giving the most amazing smoky aroma and the red colour.  Once the chorizo became a little bit crusty, I removed them from the pan.  Finally in went the cooked spaghetti.  I tossed and turned the spaghetti in the chorizo-garlic oil making sure the pasta strings are combined completely. When the spaghetti was starting to get warm, I tossed in all the three sautéed components (garlic, courgette and chorizo), and finally some salt and pepper to taste. I drizzled some olive oil before serving.

Et voilà!

6a. Spag Chorizo_kolo mee16b. Spag Chorizo_kolo mee2

When my sister took the first bite of the Spagetthi Chorizo ala Nasifriet, she exclaimed, “Sis, you know what, this reminds me of kolo mee!” LOL!

I will never forget THE day; the day I cooked up the “Accidental Kolo Mee” in a small village in the south of France.

Enough said, but, what the hell is kolo mee?  Somehow, I heard your thought 😉

Let’s hear from the experts and check out these links –

I tried making this spaghetti chorizo back in Belgium, using the same ingredients, but somehow, they tasted a bit different. Nevertheless, I will never forget my sister’s remark that summer day in 2010.  “Kolo Mee” the Pyreneeën way! Ha ha!

Oh by the way, to all my Chinese readers, friends and families everywhere, I wish you a happy, healthy, successful and prosperous Chinese New Year 2013!

 Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái! 


7. Year of the Snake 2013

Have a great year ahead!