Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Hello Everyone! I might keep this section of the blog short (and I say might because I know that even though I’ve said that, my post will always end up being fairly long by the time I finish writing), because I am feeling a bit overworked and tired today – actually I’ve been feeling exhausted since the beginning of the week and it may be due to a mentally challenging Escape Room challenge that I did with a few friends on Monday evening. Small tangent – we all shared the spotlight on dumb blonde moments!

Tanget aside, tonight’s recipe is a dish that I, of course as all dishes I write about, love but isn’t cooked often at home. The only reason I can think of is maybe because it requires a lot of ingredients and preparation I guess. It’s not so much about how long it takes to make the sauce because in the past, my mom would just use a ready-made powdered version of the sauce that you can easily find on the shelves in the Filipino/Asian food section of your local grocers. For tonight’s post though, I will be making the sauce from scratch just because I want to 🙂 This is also the first time that I have tried making the sauce from scratch and it was a huge success! It’s actually quite easy to make, it just requires a lot of time and patience; but I know for sure that I will not be buying ready-made sauce packets ever again! Unless of course, time is not on my side. I mean, if you’re going to use fresh prawns to top your noodles off in the end, then you might as well take an extra step in salvaging the heads and peels to make a delicious sauce, right?

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Anyway, before we jump on to the recipe, I followed Trissalicious’ recipe for making the Palabok sauce from scratch so don’t forget to check her blog out too for her take on this delicious dish!

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the prawn stock

  • 500g fresh prawns, heads and peels reserved
  • 1.5L water
  • Ground salt
  • Whole black peppercorns

For the sauce

  • 100g thin sliced pork belly, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 cups prawn stock (see recipe below)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 1 pc firm tofu, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce, adjust quantity to taste
  • 1 tsp achuete powder
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

Noodles and Toppings

  • 500 grams pancit luglug (cornstarch noodles)*
  • Firm tofu, deep fried and cut into chunks
  • Hard boiled egg, sliced
  • Pork crackling (chicharon), crushed
  • Prawns, poached
  • Smoked fish (tinapa), flaked
  • Squid, cut into rings and poached
  • Spring onion

*You may also use bihon (thin rice vermicelli noodles) for this dish

METHOD

  1. Make the prawn stock: Add the prawn heads and peels to a medium-sized pot and cover with about a litre and a half of water. Season with a bit of salt and whole black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn it down to a slow simmer. Make sure to press down on the heads and peels as it simmers away to extract as much flavour as you can. Leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes. While the stock is simmering away, you can get a head start in preparing your toppings for the dish. I recommend that you leave the poaching of the prawns and squid for last, when you sauce is almost ready.
  2. Make the sauce: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high and add in the chunks of pork belly. Cook until browned. The oils released from the pork belly should be enough to sauté the garlic and cook the onions, but if needed, add a little bit more oil if there isn’t enough. Then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute, then followed by the diced onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes in total.
  3. Add in the firm tofu and give it a good mix. Then, add in achuete powder and plain flour, followed by the prawn stock. Make sure to add the stock in a bit at a time as if making a roux and make sure to mix well after each addition. The sauce should be quite thick, resembling the consistency of a béchamel – you may add more water if you want your sauce thinner, or likewise, add more flour if the sauce is feeling a bit thin to your liking. Add the fish sauce and season with some salt and black pepper to taste. Bring the heat down to low and let it slowly simmer away for about half an hour (10-15 minutes if you are impatient); but the longer you leave it on the stove, the tastier the sauce becomes!
  4. Cook the noodles: While your sauce is simmering away, cook the noodles according to the packer instructions, about 15 minutes for the pack of noodles that I got. Once done, drain and divide the noodles equally into individual plates. Also, don’t forget to poach your prawns and squid by this point!
  5. Assemble: Top the noodles with a generous amount of sauce and add your favourite toppings! Serve immediately with a squeeze of calamansi (or lemon) juice and enjoy!

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Hello Everyone! I’m feeling sad, are you? Well, the only reason I’m sad is because Seafood Month has come to an end! I can’t believe the month has flown by so quickly. On the bright side, we get to explore a whole new range of dishes for the month of October! I won’t say yet what I have in store for the blog, so you’ll just have to stay tuned as all will be revealed on Thursday!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

So here we go, on to our last recipe for Seafood Month: Pesang Tilapia! Apparently, frying the fish first is not the traditional method in making Pesang Isda (isda means fish in Tagalog just for those who don’t know), it is actually boiled in the ginger stew until tender, and is actually a much healthier option as opposed to frying the fish. However there are a few pros to frying the fish first, mainly for taste and also technique. Firstly, frying makes the fish and stew taste better, and secondly, frying prevents the fish from flaking, because of its stable texture ,when cooked in the stew for a long time.

I’ve read a couple of recipes online prior to writing this post up, and a few suggestions have come up on what to serve on the side with this dish. One of the most popular is having some miso sauce as a condiment. I usually just have some fish sauce and calamansi mixed together as a condiment. I’ve also tried searching around for recipes that make any mention of serving this dish with some filo-style scrambled eggs but I haven’t seen any. Nonetheless, it actually tastes really good having the scrambled eggs together with the fish!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-22 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the ginger stew

  • 800g whole tilapia fish, scaled, gutted and cleaned*
  • 1L water
  • 2-3 bunches of baby bok choy or pechay, cleaned and ends removed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

*Alternatively you can use any other types of fish such as catfish, grouper, mudfish, and/or seabass. I know some people who can’t eat fish if it’s still whole; you can still cook this dish with fish cutlets or fillets.

For the Filipino-style scrambled eggs

  • 3 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Ground salt to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the fish by rubbing some salt and black pepper. Once the oil is hot, fry the fish until golden brown. Once browned, flip and fry the other side of the fish, about 6-7 minutes per side. Once done, transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  2. Discard the oil, leaving behind about a tablespoon or two, and in the same pan, fry the ginger slices until fragrant. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown. Finally, add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether. Then add the water, whole pepper corns and salt, and bring the stew to a boil.
  3. While the stew is simmering away, move on to making your scrambled eggs. Heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  4. Once the tomatoes are soft, pour in the beaten eggs and stir with a spoon, lifting and folding it over from the bottom of the pan, until the eggs are softly set and slightly runny in places. Turn the heat off and leave the eggs for a few seconds to finish cooking. Give a final stir before serving.
  5. Turn the heat off from the ginger stew and add the baby bok choy, leaving to cook for about a minute. Pour the stew over the fried fish and serve immediately with some steamed rice and the scrambled eggs. Enjoy!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Sautéed Egg for Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Calamari Stir-fry with Snow Peas & Ginger

Calamari Stir-fry with Snow Peas & Ginger

Hello Everyone! I’m feeling slightly better than I was on Tuesday, but I’m still trying to battle neck pains and a cough that has been giving me an abdominal workout; I just thought I’d let you know how I’m feeling since I mentioned on Tuesday’s post that I was coming down with a cold. I spent the whole of yesterday trying not to move as my back and arms were killing me. Also, I didn’t have much of an appetite as I realised that I didn’t finish every meal that I had yesterday. Otherwise, the fact that I can speak now makes me happy!

Calamari Stir-fry with Snow Peas & Ginger

Anyway, all that aside, I realised that I still had some squid leftover in the freezer from the time I whipped up those Chorizo-stuffed Squids and my dressed up glass noodle salad known as Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น). So I decided to make use of them before I’d forget about them and then they’ll end up in the back of the freezer, lost and forgotten for months. Today’s recipe is based on a recipe card that I picked up from the Sydney Fish Markets the time my family came over to visit; it is a simple squid stir-fry paired with some crispy snow peas, flavoured with lots of ginger. Since I wasn’t feeling too well, my Mom did all the preparations and I just threw everything together in the frying pan.

Calamari Stir-fry with Snow Peas & Ginger Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g large squid, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 100g snow peas, topped and tailed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small-sized onion, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Lightly score the inner surface of the squid, or alternatively, cut into rings.
  2. Heat some vegetable in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high. Add in the ginger slices and fry until fragrant. Then add in the garlic, sautéing until fragrant and golden brown. Finally, add the onions in and cook until soft, altogether about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the in the snow peas and stir-fry for about a minute.
  4. Throw in the squid, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir for about a minute and then add in the water, cornflour mixture, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Give it a good mix and leave to cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with some steamed rice. Enjoy!

Calamari Stir-fry with Snow Peas & Ginger

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Garlic Butter Flame Clams

Garlic Butter Flame Clams

 

Hello Everyone! So I made these clams a while ago when I was still in Sydney; I was shopping around the Sydney Fish Markets one day with some friends and came across these lovely clams. I remember the lady who was assisting me as I was choosing the clams; I wanted to pick out the pretty looking ones, the ones that had nice brown and white patterns on their shells as opposed to the ones that we all white (which were the ones the lady was putting in the bag for me). When she wasn’t looking, I’d replace the ones she put in my bag for the ones I picked – I know, I’m insane. Anyway, so without the lady noticing what I did, I got about a dozen of the ones that I picked.

Garlic Butter Flame Clams

I think I was too excited to get home and start cooking with these clams that I completely forgot to shop for the extra ingredients to accompany the clams. Well, to be honest, I didn’t even have a dish in mind when I bought them; also, I was too lazy to go out again to buy more ingredients so I scavenged the fridge and pantry to see what I had to turn these clams into a delectable dish for dinner that night. I had an unopened bottle of white wine that I was definitely going to use for the clams, and then I kind of just envisioned garlic butter clams when I saw the butter in the fridge, and onions and garlic in the pantry. I even had a small bunch of afro parsley to decorate with and add some green to the dish. In the end, I had everything that I needed which made me even happier.

Garlic Butter Flame Clams Ingredients

I’m about to go off on a slight tangent here so if you do not wish to read this non-related part, you can skip ahead 🙂 Anyway, I was just about to say Wow, I actually wrote quite a bit today considering I’m not well today (you can read more about it below after the recipe). My brain is a little bit all over the place now as it’s difficult for me to concentrate on writing when I’m feeling sick. But yes, I guess the whole point of this paragraph is me realising that I’ve written a fair amount even though I keep writing and stopping every 5 minutes.

Garlic Butter Flame Clams Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 6-8 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen flame clams, washed and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-sized brown onion, diced
  • 3 heaped tbsp unsalted butter
  • Bunch of afro parsley
  • Pinch of sea salt

METHOD

  1. Heat a medium-sized frying pan (preferably with a lid) over medium-high. Melt the butter and then sauté the garlic in the butter until fragrant. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Once cooked, add in the white wine with a pinch of sea salt and leave to cook for about 2-3 minutes, allowing the alcohol to evaporate a bit from the sauce.
  3. Add in your clams and cover your frying pan with the lid to allow the flame clams to steam-cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with a bit of afro parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Garlic Butter Flame Clams

Garlic Butter Flame Clams

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

PS: I actually had this written out at the beginning of the blog post, but I thought it was a bit dismal to begin with so if you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post, here’s a little story for you. I’m feeling a little bit under the weather today; I could sense a sore throat coming down on me last night before I went to bed and then woke up this morning not feeling too well. Let’s just say that have a terrible and painful cough that has somehow disabled me from speaking. I took what was supposed to be a 10-15 minute turned 1 hour nap and woke up slightly feverish. I only knew it was going to get worse from here and I know that because what I have now is just the starting point of a full blown sickness that is to last for another couple of days, probably all the way to the weekend *sad face* Hope everyone is having a better start to the week than I am and see you’ll again with another post on Thursday!

myTaste.com

Butter Prawns with Egg Floss

Butter Prawns with Egg Floss

Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is one of my favourite dishes that I simply cannot resist whenever I see it available on the menu of any restaurant that I go to. To be perfectly honest, it’s not about the prawns (or sometimes chicken) that makes me crave for this dish, but for the yummy egg floss that accompanies the protein. The egg floss is buttery, crispy, and a touch salty. I’m not quite sure as to how to explain it’s flavour besides what I have just said because when you think about it, it’s just fried in butter and oil, and topped over the protein that’s stir-fried in all the other flavours. Nonetheless, I love it.

Butter Prawns with Egg Floss Ingredients

I’ve not seen this dish in Asian restaurants around Sydney, and I don’t particularly know why since it’s quite popular in Chinese restaurants here. I guess that sort of explains my cravings for them whenever I’m back in Brunei. Since I have a confused and inexplicable love for this dish, I thought I’d give it a go and make it at home. I’ve never made this dish before, and to be honest, I can’t get the egg floss as thin and as crispy without browning them too much, as those in the restaurants, but I think I’ve pretty much nailed the dish in terms of its taste.

Butter Prawns with Egg Floss Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a medium-sized frying pan or wok over medium-high. Season the beaten egg yolks with a bit of salt.
  2. Continuously swirl the oil quickly in one direction and then add the beaten egg yolks in slowly from a height. Continue swirling until the oil is foamy and the egg is crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the heat and transfer the egg floss to a sieve to drain out any excess oils. Set aside.
  3. Heat a bit more oil in the same frying pan and sauté the chillies, curry leaves, and garlic together until fragrant.
  4. Add in the prawns and season with a bit of ground salt and black pepper. Toss and leave to cook, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Once the prawns are cooked through, transfer to a serving dish and top with the egg floss.
  6. Serve immediately with steamed rice and enjoy!

Butter Prawns with Egg Floss

Butter Prawns with Egg Floss

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Hello Everyone! Time sure flies by quickly as it’s already the third week of Seafood Month! I have a combination of squid and prawns for you guys tonight. Together, they make up a yummy Thai appetiser, bursting with fresh flavours and a kick of spice. The first time I had this dish was at my Aunt’s Thai restaurant here in Brunei. It was really spicy; I mean, I have quite a high tolerance when it comes to spicy, but even this was beyond my limit. My mouth was on fire! My Aunt also added white fungus in the dish she served which I don’t think is traditionally added; my Mom said she added it to bulk up the dish.

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น), or glass noodle salad, is a popular dish in both inside and outside of Thailand. There are many variations to this dish alone, and the one that I will be covering on my blog tonight is considered to be a much more “dressed-up” version than others. You can adjust your Yum Woon Sen to have more or less ingredients, depending on what floats your boat. If you want a lighter version of this dish, you can eliminate the seafood and the meat, and focus on bulking up your glass noodle salad with lots of veggies, herb, and crushed roasted peanuts.

It is also a recommended dish for pot lucks or parties as it stays delicious at room temperature for a few hours, and you can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, mixing the dressing in at the last minute.

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-12 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g medium-sized prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 250g glass noodles, uncooked
  • 50g minced pork (you can use minced chicken or leave this out completely)
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 large squids, cleaned
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Thai basil leaves (or green spring onions)

METHOD

  1. Add in the chillies, onions, and thai basil leaves in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the chicken stock power in. Cook the minced pork, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and then set the minced pork aside in the large mixing bowl together with the onion mixture.
  3. In the same cooking liquid, cook the prawns, about 2 minutes, and then the squids for about 30 seconds. Then add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Cook the glass noodles in the same liquid for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Drain and add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Toss well and add in the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the quantities of the fish sauce and lime juice to your liking. Add some of the leftover cooking stock liquid if the glass noodles are looking too dry.
  6. Garnish with some more basil leaves and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Chorizo-stuffed Squid

Chorizo-stuffed Squid

Hello Everyone! When I think of squid, I think of a bowl of perfectly cooked, melt in the mouth salt and pepper squid from Jamie’s Italian in Sydney. Yes! To this date, Jamie’s Italian is by far the best place that serves up a killer salt and pepper squid. However, that’s not what I will be making today as you can already tell from the title of this post. I wanted to try something different with squid as whenever I have it, it’s either calamari, salt and pepper squid, or as my Mom would make at home, adoring pusit or ginataang pusit. Stuffed squid is not something new, but it’s definitely a first for me to try it out.

Chorizo-stuffed Squid

I don’t have a long-winded back story for you today, so this will definitely be a short one 🙂 Also, I didn’t intentionally choose to include chorizo as a sidekick ingredient for this weeks seafood recipes, but I did intentionally plan to work with cephalopods for the week. Anyway, the original recipe for these stuffed squids can be found on the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide.

Chorizo-stuffed Squid Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large squids, washed, cleaned and tentacles removed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chorizo sausages, diced
  • 1 spanish red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Ground salt and black pepper
  • Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high and sauté the garlic until golden brown and fragrant. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the diced chorizo and cook until it starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Follow with the bread crumbs, pine nuts, and thyme. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste before taking off heat and allowing to cool.
  3. Once cool, stuff the squid with the chorizo mixture. Take care not to overfill as there is a tendency for the squid to break during cooking. Secure top with a toothpick and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  4. Heat some olive oil in a shallow pan over medium-high. Add the squid to the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side, depending on the size of your squid (less time for smaller, more for bigger).
  5. Fry up the tentacles for a few minutes until cooked through.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Chorizo-stuffed Squid

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Octopus & Chorizo Salad

Octopus & Chorizo Salad

Hello Everyone! It’s the second week of Seafood Month and I’ve got something that is very simple to make, but quite possibly not commonly seen here in Brunei. I say that because for instance, I don’t exactly know where you can get fresh octopus from here in Brunei; I’ve not seen it in the markets around here before. Now you’re probably thinking, then where the heck did I get fresh octopus from for tonight’s recipe? Well, I made this dish when I was back in Sydney because I knew wouldn’t be able to cook this up when I got to Brunei. Plus, I really like this dish so I made sure I ate a satisfying amount of it before I went into deprivation.

Octopus & Chorizo Salad

I came across this recipe when I was at the Sydney Fish Market, I can’t remember who I was with, but we went seafood shopping. Just at the entrance of Peter’s Seafood, and the one a little bit further down the building near the fruits and veggie store (I forgot what the name of the market is called), there are these little recipe flyers that you can pick up for free. I think I took one of every recipe that they had 😛 So they had a recipe for Octopus and Chorizo Salad that I just had to try out! If you manage to get your hands on some baby octopus, I highly recommend you try this recipe out! It’s definitely a favourite of mine 🙂

Octopus & Chorizo Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS* | COOKING TIME 6-8 MINS | SERVES 4

*Add 1-2 hours extra for marination time

INGREDIENTS

For the octopus marinade

  • 400g baby octopus, washed and cleaned
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 bag (200g) mixed salad leaves
  • 2 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients needed to marinate the baby octopus in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside to marinate for about 1-2 hours or preferably, overnight. Before frying the baby octopi, make sure you pat dry them first.
  2. Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high, and fry the chorizo slices until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any extra oils.
  3. In the same frying pan, add the baby octopi in batches, and fry until it is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining octopi.
  4. Combine all the other ingredients for the salad in a large bowl together with the chorizo slices and baby octopi. Toss together and drizzle with a little bit of the sundried tomato oil.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Octopus & Chorizo Salad

Octopus & Chorizo Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

O Crab Sydney

“O Crab ain’t just another crab shack or seafood diner! The restaurant pays homage to the American seafood pub scene dishing out bags O Crabs with customers breaking out the mallets and getting messy all whilst enjoying a craft beer, or two or three…”

O Crab Sydney

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday on the blog! I actually had this review scheduled for last week, and when I realised that I was going to be covering seafood month, I thought I’d push this review to today as it sits with the theme for the month of September on Amcarmen’s Kitchen. Wow, I just realised that that was a really long sentence! I think I was living with Marissa at the time she came across this restaurant while she was browsing through Instagram for a place for us to have our next girls brunch out. She came across O Crab and asked if I wanted to go; I had a look at the pictures on their Instagram and was already hooked on the idea of crabs in a bag, eating them with disposable aprons, gloves, and a mini Thor hammer. They definitely lived up to their statement of a truly unique dining experience.

It’s been a while since I came and visited O crab, I’m guessing it was somewhere in the middle of winter around late June or early July, so bear with me if I can’t remember what the dish tasted like. Trust me though, you’re going to want to pay them a visit when you get a load of the pictures. Also, before I forget to mention, when we were about to leave the place, the waiter asked us if we wanted to sample their Jolly Rancher Cocktails, which at the time, they weren’t serving on their menu just yet, but now I think they are. It was a Sunday after lunch kind of day and already we were doing vodka shots of Jolly Ranchers haha! We told the waiter to not give Marissa any shots since she was underaged (she wasn’t, but we just wanted to play with her a bit). It tasted really good and I’m glad that it’s on their menu now but sad that I won’t get another opportunity to have a proper drink of it!

O Crab Sydney
One more thing! If you check in on Facebook or upload an image on Instagram with the hashtag #ocrabitson and #ocrabsydney you get a free soft drink! How cool is that? Actually, another thing I remembered when I was just about to post this review, we also got complimentary nachos while waiting for our meals! #winning #sofood #muchfree

FEELIN’ PECKISH…

O Crab Sydney: O Crab Seafood Chowder
O Crab Seafood Chowder: Creamy taste of the sea – mussels, prawns, fish, and seasonal veg served in a freshly baked bread bowl ($12.00)

I love a good chowder, and what better way to warm up from such a cold morning it was that day we trekked to O Crab than a seafood chowder in a bread bowl! It was well seasoned, definitely creamy in texture, and nicely finished with a soggy bread bowl to nom on. Since it was a very long time ago since I had this dish, I can’t remember if there were pieces of fish in the soup or they were all just blended together, but I guess it would’ve been nice to have a few pieces of mussels, prawns, and fish in the there instead of just all soup.

CRABS AND PRAWNS “IN A BAG”

O Crab Sydney: Blue Swimmer Crabs in Original Old Bay
Blue Swimmer Crabs in Original Old Bay: American blend of herbs and spiced seasoning ($25.00 per crab)

I remember this dish very well and because the Original Old Bay sauce was to die for! I remember we were dipping everything we could find, the prawns, fries, and even the bread bowl from our chowder into this sauce because it was just that amazing. Besides the sauce, the crab was also cooked well and had a lot of meat in it (I cannot stress the number of times I’ve had crab that was all shell and no meat).

O Crab Sydney: Snow Crab Cluster in Cajun
Snow Crab Cluster in Cajun: Classic Louisiana style spiced seasoning ($29.00 per cluster)

The seasoning for this crab cluster wasn’t bad but it was my least favourite from the three sauces/seasonings that we picked. Nonetheless, the crab clusters were well cooked, and again packed a lot of meat into those legs so I couldn’t complain. Also, we dipped the crab meat in the Original Old Bay sauce anyway so it was pretty damn good!

O Crab Sydney: 300G Prawns in Garlic Butter
300G Prawns in Garlic Butter: Special blend with herbs ($18.00)

The prawns were pretty good as well, well cooked that they were melt in the mouth kind of good, and the sauce was garlicky, buttery (as you’d imagine garlic butter sauce to be anyway), and simply delicious. There’s really nothing more that I can say about these prawns really; I have no issues with it.

BURGERS & FRIES

O Crab Sydney: O Crabby Patty Burger
O Crabby Patty Burger: O Crab signature spiced crab patty with lettuce, grilled pineapple, and chilli mayo served with original fries ($19.00)

I only had a small bite of the burger only because this was actually Jialing’s dish. She wasn’t too fond of crabs even though she tried very hard to want to like it. So instead, she ordered a burger for herself. I can’t remember what the burger tasted like but I do hope for your sake that the patty is cooked through but still juicy on the inside. That would be perfect. Oh, you can also substitute original fries for sweet potato fries for an extra $2.50 – I don’t know why we didn’t get the sweet potato fries!

O Crab Sydney

I really enjoyed our dining experience at O Crab; I wish I had gone back a second time for some Jolly Rancher Cocktails and more crabs of course! Also, I could not have chosen better people to dine with that day. The food was superb and I really could not fault the dishes that we had; so I’d say the food for me is a sure 9/10. When we got there, the restaurant was in fact empty, which I thought was kind of weird for a weekend and during lunch, but anyway, it meant for a quicker service for us. I guess it was good also in a way that we were then able to sample their Jolly Rancher Cocktail since we were the only ones there. Though it was quiet because we were the only ones there (what am I saying, we were a very noisy table on our own!), the ambience was quite nice and in theme with the whole crab shack/seafood diner vibe of wooden crates and ropes that decorated the restaurant; 8/10. If you’ve got the money to spend on high quality mud crabs then go for it! Mud crabs are based on market price and when we saw their Instagram post from a few weeks ago, a 1.4kg (or something of that weight) mud crabs was going to cost you a whopping $95!!! Other than that, the blue swimmer crab and snow crab cluster are quite affordable; 7/10. I do highly recommend this place if you want some good quality seafood at an American themed crab shack and a beer to go with that.

O Crab Sydney: Aftermath

O Crab Sydney
Suite 2/9 Railway Street
Chatswood, New South Wales
Australia, 2067

– Ally xx

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

Hello Everyone! Today I’ll be keeping it short as I don’t really have an elaborate story to tell for this recipe. I basically came across these beautifully cut, extra large salmon bellies when I was doing my monthly grocery trip to Paddy’s Market back when I was in Sydney. Salmon was already a favourite fish of mine, and salmon BELLY is THE favourite part of mine. To fully understand how much I love salmon belly, I can eat it all day every day, until of course that is, if I get sick from the amount of good fats I’m consuming!

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

Anyway, so as I was saying, while I was at the seafood market looking for some prawns and shellfish, I came across these bellies and they looked too good to pass up! They were a bit pricier than the ones that you kind find at the Sydney Fish Market, but these were fresher and handled with care when it came to cutting them. Other places that sold salmon belly cuts had bones in them and looked like they were a week old – I didn’t mind spending about 10 bucks a kilo more for a much better quality cut.

I couldn’t think of any way that I could cook these bellies so I did a bit of research online on ways to cook salmon bellies. The most popular way of cooking it was by baking it, but I didn’t want to bake them to be honest just because I know I wouldn’t like the texture of the fatty bits. Then I got to thinking about why I liked salmon belly in the first place – it was because I liked how my Mom used to cook a salmon portion back whenI was in Brunei, by pan-frying it until the skin is super crispy and the little bit of fat at the end of the portion was crispy on the outside, but then melted in the mouth when you ate it.

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies Ingredients

So that’s how I decided to prepare my salmon bellies for you guys tonight, by simply pan-frying them and then topping them off with a simple soy sauce mixture to slightly coat it with a bit of flavour – nothing too intense to mask the goodness of the salmon belly. Okay, I know I said it’d be a short introduction, but I kind of said that before I even knew what I was going to talk about – I was going to say that I wasn’t in the mood to write anything, but I guess we know now that that wasn’t the truth! 😛

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-7 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g salmon bellies, washed and pat-dried
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 stalks of spring onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper
  • Lemon wedge
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, julienned

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the salmon bellies with a bit of ground salt and black pepper. If your salmon bellies are too long to fit into your frying pan, you may cut them in half.
  2. Place into the pan, skin-side down and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn it over and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside onto a serving plate.
  3. Add in the ginger and chillies to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Turn the heat off and then add in the soy sauce together with the spring onions. Pour over the top of the salmon bellies and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top.
  4. Best served with some steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com