10 mins Thaw Meat 十分钟快速解冻法

The traditional methods to thaw (de-frozen) meats usually take few hours:

1. One night before transfer the frozen meat from freezer to normal fridge shelf.

2. Place the whole plastic-wrapped frozen meat in room-temperature (or warm) water for 1 to 2 hours.
Notes:
♢ Do not open the plastic wrap, else nutrition would leak out into water.
♢ Do not place meat outside more than 2 hours because bacteria would rapidly multiply.

3. Microwave: it is fast but unhealthy for people worry about radiation.

This smart Korean woman uses aluminum foil to wrap the meat (one sheet on top, one bottom) : Aluminium, like Copper, conducts heat quickly and can thaw the meat in 10 minutes:

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http://m.gamme.com.tw/677934-%E8%82%89%E5%93%81-10%E5%88%86%E9%90%98%E5%85%A7%E8%A7%A3%E5%87%8D%E6%B3%95-%E5%8E%9F%E4%BE%86%E9%82%84%E6%9C%89%E9%80%99%E4%B8%80%E6%8B%9B%E7%AD%86%E8%A8%98

Note: For health concern on Aluminum 铝 (causing Dementia 老人痴呆症 – a whole generation of pre-independence Singaporean mothers cooked rice using Japanese aluminum rice cooker, that explains now many old men & ladies have dementia after 70 years old ), use the darker side of the aluminum foil to contact the meat, the shinning side facing exterior exposed to air, thus conducts heat quicker with room temperature.

Best Teochew Fishball Noodle 潮州鱼丸面 in Singapore

If you are a Singaporean living abroad, or just return home after a long trip, you would never rush to a restaurant but a hawker center to order one or two of these dishes: Teochew Fishball Noodle 潮州鱼丸面 (or a variant Bak Chor Mee 肉脞面 ), Char Kway Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice.

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After 20 years I finally found last night the nostalgic 1960s / 70s old taste (古早味) of Teochew Fishball noodle, right at an inconspicuous corner of the Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Block 339 (opposite Bishan Park) Kopitiam foodcourt.

More surprisingly, a China new migrant was taking my order with his perfect Beijing Chinese accent and spoke with the other Chinese migrant cook behind the steamy stall.

It is a good sign: younger new migrants with better education are taking over the traditional hawkers who retire en masse in recent years, with no children willing to learn the hardship trade.

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Have you seen a Chinese flipping the roti prata at an Indian hawker stall ?
He smiled when I was shocked, said,
“Roti prata is easy, same as our 葱油饼 (Chinese Onion Pizza).”

Excellent Chinese Soup Bible (2nd Edition)

This Taiwan / Hong Kong author Ms Ji-Lin Wu (吴吉琳) published the 1st Edition which sold 100,000 copies. Now the 2nd Edition comes with 18 more local soup recipes for Singapore / Malaysia.

Her 150 + 18 recipes are simple to read for housewives, without too much TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) jargons. Most of the ingredients are available locally and cheap. The cooking steps are easy to follow, but as a lazy cook equipped with a French-designed (China-made brand ‘Supor’) Tefal 8-in-1 function ‘wonder’ ceramic rice cooker (S$88 available at Courts / OG), I intend to ‘automate’ the whole cooking process with its ‘SOUP’ function menu (3 hours) and ‘Preset’ Timer to make the task even easier for busy men. Ms Wu agreed with my idea, so let’s try it ! (Read my next blogs to showcase the experimental results.)

Notes:
1. Drink soup before (not after) any meal: less hungry later and eat lesser (to reduce weight).

2. Chinese believe food (hence nutritious soup) nourishes the body (qi xue 气血) for anti-ageing and prevent illnesses. To be effective, drink soup 3 times a week.

3. Never keep soup in a fridge because the harmful ‘dampness / coldness’ (湿气 / 寒气) would seep into the body through soup even after re-heating. Best consume the soup when it is freshly made and hot.

4. (Grand-ma’s Wisdom 1) To keep the leftover soup over-night: Re-heat it to a boil before bed, then store it in a good thermal pot (焖烧锅) to keep warm, leave it at rest in room temperature – do not stir or touch it! Next morning re-heat it again before consumption.

5. (Grand-ma’s Wisdom 2) Cook red bean soup
To soften bean faster, put in the soup a small porcelain (ceramic) spoon to boil together.
Why ?
The reason is physical not chemical. Small porcelain spoon withstands high heat up to 1,000 degree C, light enough to ‘dance’ with boiling bubbles and stir the red (black, green) beans, break them to release starch faster, yielding nicer ‘sandy’ (起沙) bean soup (instead of the not-so-nice clear red bean soup).

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I bought 2 copies at the offer price S$16.90 each (normal price $22.90), with her penned signature, at the Popular Bookshop Launch: Braddle Height Community Center on 4 Aug 2014 (7 pm) with a cooking demo.

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电饭锅松鱼头汤 Fish Head Soup

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A. 材料: (4 人份):
松鱼头 1个 (或石斑鱼头)
咸水梅 3 粒
咸菜 100 g
姜 3片
米粉 3把
番茄 3粒
炸鱼鳔 (a.k.a. 花膠)

B. 调味料/高汤:
鱼露 2 大匙
花雕酒 2 大匙
冰糖 6 粒
江鱼上汤 2 大匙 (或 鸡高汤)
胡椒粉 少许
黄豆 1 把
清水 1 litre

点飾:
芫荽 一把

腌鱼料
茨粉 Tapioca 少许
盐 少许

准备:
1. 鱼头: 洗净, 涂抹茨粉(Tapioca), 腌30分钟。(如果用淡水鱼, 要去掉其泥土味, 可同时加入白醋腌它)。然后冲水洗净, 用纸抹干, 涂少许盐, 备用。
2. 咸菜: 加一匙盐洗咸菜, 可以去咸味 — (以咸攻咸)。
3. 炸鱼鳔: 煮滾水灼(氽 / 川汤 blanch)10分钟, 去掉油脂为止。

做法:
(1). 烧热煎锅, 将鱼头煎到两边一点金黄 (鱼肉才不易煮烂), 加姜片爆香。
(2). 倒全部(1)入饭锅, 加入其他材料 (A)和调味料/高汤 (B) 。
(3). 开电锅煮 “汤” (‘SOUP’ function)到沸滚, (大约1小时)。

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