Saturday, 31 March 2012

Joke - Job Interview

Job Interview Question

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Recipe - Char Siew (Chinese Barbeque Pork)

Mention char siew and foodies get excited. When the owners of Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint wanted to sell their recipes and premises for sale at S$3.5 million, it cooked up a lot of excitement. This led The Sunday Times to check out who can cook the best roast meat.

Published by the Sunday Times on 25 Mar 2012, the best all round roast meat went to Kim Heng HK Roasted Meat, at Blk 214 Serangoon Ave 4. The best char siew went to Yee Kee Specialist Roasted Duck, at Blk 148 Silat Ave.

Congrats to the winners.
If you like to make your own char siew, you may want to try this recipe.

The char siew goes very well with zuccini, tomato and crispy garlic.

A quick way to make crispy garlic:

Chop finely 10 cloves of garlic,
Put in a small bowl or cup and add oil to cover the garlic (about 2 tbs of oil)
Microwave on high for about 2 min and 30 sec until brown and crispy.

Caution: actual cooking time depends on capacity of microwave.
Start with 2 mins with increments of 10 secs until garlic turns brown and crispy.

Here is a picture of the crispy garlic

This video from AsianCookingmadeEasy shows how to make char siew.
Note the addition of water in the roasting pan which will keep the char siew tender and juicy.

Another way to make char siew pork using belly pork

This 4 minute video shows how Singapore Fatty Cheong made his char siew.
His marinade of sugar, salted soya bean paste, light soy, dark soy and oyster sauce looks good.
But it appears in this video he put the cooked char siew in the raw marinade. Typically, the char siew is given a final basting just before the cooking is complete to give it some gloss.

Joke - German Couple

It was WW II.

The Japanese occupied Singapore between Jan 1942 and Sep 1945.

All Europeans except Germans and Italians were rounded up and sent to prison. The local Chinese were not spared either. Many wealthy Chinese fled Singapore but one Chinese couple missed the boat. So they sought out their German acquaintance and begged to be hidden away in their house.

As a friend and a person with a touch of kindness, the German acquaintance  readily agreed.

Everything went well in the first year of Japanese Occupation.

In the second year the German wife was unhappy. The food cost had gone up and they were in fact subsidizing people they were helping. The Chinese couple with some money readily agreed to pay the cost of their stay.

Not long after, it occurred to the German acquaintance he is taking a huge risk hiding Chinese refugees. He spoke to the Chinese couple about it and being reasonable people they readily agreed to pay a monthly risk premium over and above their cost of stay.

Again, a couple of months later the Chinese couple were informed that other people in similar situation being hidden by other Germans were paying a higher market price. It wouldn’t be fair for other refugees if he were to charge less. Furthermore, he has had enquiries from other refugees but it was only out of kindness and friendship that he has not turned them out and accept others.

Extremely touched by the thoughtfulness of their hosts the Chinese couple readily agreed to pay market price for their stay.

One day the German felt a pang of guilt and decided to visit his priest.  He told the priest he has sinned a long time ago and would like to confess.

The priest asked what he had done.

He said: I have broken the law and took in a refugee couple.

The priest said: Son, you have done the right thing, you have not sinned.

Feeling slightly relieved he added: But I charged them a nominal monthly rent for their stay.

The priest said: That is quite alright my son. It is a small price for the couple to pay for their freedom and safety.

Feeling even more relieved he went on: It wasn’t really nominal. At first it was. I charged them the prevailing market rate for their stay.

The priest said: Son, that wasn’t very nice but from an economic point of view it is the only way you can be fair to others.

Feeling very much relieved he then asked: I am glad to know what I have done so far wasn’t sinful. You have no idea what it meant to me for you to affirm my moral standards are no way lower than others.

The priest said: It is not easy to live a good life but we must never stop trying. It is the only way we can find salvation.

At this juncture the wife came into the picture and asked: Is it okay we don’t tell them the war was over a long time ago?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Recipe - Singapore Hokkien Mee

This is a very popular pan fried yellow egg noodles with bee hoon (rice vermicelli). Fans of this dish have a hard time choosing which stall serve the best Singapore Hokkien Mee. Some stalls use lard for the extra flavour. Typically, eggs, prawns, squids and strips of pork belly are added to the noodles.

The noodles are served with sambal chilli and lime. What makes the taste different is really the stock.

Ingredients (serves 4)

200 gms bee hoon (soaked for 5 minutes and set aside)
250 gms of yellow noodles (egg noodles)
2 eggs beaten
200 gms of pork belly (nice to have).
12 pcs of prawns
4 medium squids, clean
300 gms of bean sprouts.
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbs of cooking oil
1 chicken cube

(Note: 100 gm of noodles is enough for 1 person, with other ingredients.
Chives or koo chai also goes very well with fried noodles).


Prepare the stock first.

In a pot, bring 1 litre of water to the boil.
Add the pork belly and chicken cube and let the water come a boil.
Let the pork belly cook for 2 minutes.
Add the prawns, again let the water come to a boil.
Lastly add the squids and let the water come to a boil.
The reason is squids cook very fast.
Reduce heat to low and let the pot simmer for 1 minute.
The prawns , squid and pork belly should be cooked.
Switch off the heat.

Remove the squids, prawns and pork belly from the stock.
Do a taste test of the stock, add salt if needed and set aside

Cut squid into rings and set aside.
Shell and devein prawns and set aside.
Cut the pork belly into thin slices and set aside.

Cook The Noodles

Heat the oil on medium heat in a wok or pan till hot.

Toss in the eggs and let them cook.
When the eggs are half done, move them aside.
Toss in the garlic and when fragrant, toss in the noodles.
Turn on high heat.
Stir fry for 1 minute or so.
Add 2 ladles of stock and stir continuously
Cover the wok or pan on low heat
and let the noodles absorbed the flavour for about 2 minutes.
The noodles should be almost dry.

Finally, add the bean sprouts, give it a quick stir
Then add the prawns, squid and pork belly.
Add a ladle of stock.

knorr chicken cube
Add more stock if you like it wet.
Stir fry for 1 more minute and it should be done.

Plate and serve with sambal chilli and lime.


Here is a video from Seetoh of makansutra fame showing how to make hokkien mee.
He has slightly different ingredients for the stock.

Eng Ho fried hokkien prawn mee uses lots of prawn heads for his stock.

Another video

Geylang Lor 29 Hokkien Mee uses pork bones, anchovies, prawn shells and corn for stock

Joke - Pepsi Commercial

Funny advert from Pepsi.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Joke - An Elderly Couple Were Celebrating Their Sixtieth Anniversary.

The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighborhood after they retired.

Holding hands they walked back to their old school. It was not locked, so they entered, and found the old desk they'd shared, where Andy had carved "I love you, Sally".

On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armoured car, practically landing at their feet. Sally quickly picked it up, but not sure what to do with it, they took it home. There, she counted the money - fifty-thousand dollars!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Joke - Copy and Paste

A popular motivational speaker was entertaining his audience. He Said:

"The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn't my wife!" The audience was in silence and shock. The speaker added: "And that woman was my mother!"

Monday, 19 March 2012

Recipe - Singapore Chilli Crab

This chilli crab dish is so popular with tourists to Singapore that it has the name 'Singapore' as a prefix. Its origin is as debatable as to which restaurants serve the best chilli crabs. Did it originate from Punggol Point or East Coast Park ? Which restaurant serves the best chilli crab ? Names like Red House, No Signboard, Jumbo Seafood and Ponggol Seafood restaurants pop up easily. One thing everyone agrees is that the chilli crab dish is delicious.

chilli crab
                              Singapore Chilli Crab
How about cooking this chilli crab dish at home ? 

The difficult part in cooking this dish is preparing the crab for cooking.

For home cooking, the best way and probably the most humane way to kill the crab is to put it in the freezer for about an hour. Take it out after one hour. The crab is not dead but sleeping (frozen stiff). Then take off the shell and clean away the lungs.

To crack the claws, a very quick way is to cover the claws with a damp cloth and gently smash them with the flat side of a cleaver. Smash gently, not too hard. You just want to crack the claws and not to pound them. Covering the claws with a damp cloth will prevent spillage.

Here is a 8 minute video showing how to prepare the crab for cooking.

The recipe:
For 1 kg of crab (A good size crab weighs between 800 gram to 1 kg)

3 large onions (finely chopped)

Blend 1 tomato, 3 small chillis (chilli padi), a slice of ginger and the lemon grasss (cut into small pcs).

In a wok, fry the chopped onions in 2 tbs of oil until fragrant.
Then add the chilli/tomato paste.
Stir for a couple of minutes.

Add a thin slice of belacan
and 3 tbs of tomato ketchup

The gravy should be just nice, not too thick or watery.
Add water if it is too thick.

Taste the gravy.
Add salt and sugar to taste.

Once the gravy is OK, put in the crab. Cover the wok and let the crab steam for about 10 minutes. When the colour of the shells turn red, the crab is cooked.

Crack an egg for extra flavour at the last minute and stir. The crab is ready to serve.

The next 2 videos give some tips for your own home cooked chilli crab.

This next 3 minute video is chilli crab from Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. They used ready pack chilli paste.

Papa Chong uses fermented bean curd instead of prawn paste for this chilli crab. Nice !

This is the Australian version, 6 minutes

A nice way to eat crab is to steam it. Nice video on how to remove the crab shell and how to cut up the crab after steaming.

Eric Teo shows  how to cook the chilli crab.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Joke - School Daze

It was the first day of school, after summer vacation and time for me to pick up the children in my school bus and take them home.

After I had made the complete run that afternoon, one little boy remained on the bus. Thinking he had simply missed his stop, I started driving slowly back through the neighborhood and asked him to be sure to let me know if any of the houses or people looked familiar. The boy sat in his seat contentedly and shook his head whenever I asked him if he recognized a person or place.

After the second unsuccessful tour of the area, I started back to the school to ask for his address. When we arrived, the child got off the bus and started walking away. “Wait!” I called. “We have to go inside and find out where you live.”

“I live right there,” he said, pointing to a house across the street. “I just always wanted to ride in a school bus.”

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Joke - Levels of Stress

Levels of Stress

Levels of stress

You pick up a beautiful young hitchhiker. Suddenly she faints inside your car and you take her to hospital.

Not that stressful.

At the hospital they say she is pregnant and congratulate you because you are going to be a father.

You say that you are not the father but the girls say you are.

This is getting stressful.

So then... you request a DNA test to prove that you are not the father.

After the tests are completed the doctor says you are infertile and probably were since birth.

You are extremely stressed but also very relieved.

On your way home you think about your three kids...

Now that's stress!