Monday, February 22, 2010

Pan Seared Scallops

The week before Chinese New Year while we were out shopping at the supermart, we chanced upon a box of Hokkaido Scallops. They were HUGE and little on the expensive side but mummy bought them with the intention of cooking them for reunion. Scallops = juicy and yummy. I was pretty excited to try the air flown scallops with broccoli that day but they were more than a disappointment to many. It was hard and rubbery. Sort of reminded me of the small dried chinese scallops that were used to make soup stock! Dad said maybe it was the quality of the scallops but ain't Japan seafood suppose to be fresh? It was probably overcooked so I asked mummy how she cooked them.

First she steamed them and then fried them together with the Broccoli. The funny part was when she told me she fried them EVEN longer just to make sure they were cooked thoroughly. 

The internet is a great tool to explore the world of culinary magic. With so many videos, forums and comments by fellow food lovers, it is not hard to master one or two techniques. I've visited a million and one sites on scallops not just to learn the perfect way to cook them but also to admire and drool over those awefully mouthwatering pics. One thing I know for sure, it's NEVER ok to cook them for too long. So how do you get those fine burnt crispy top of the scallops. One of them is searing the scallops till they brown. 2 min on each side. The rest is making sure the pan is hot enough for searing and ensuring that the scallops are DRY before placing them into the pan =]]

I seared a couple of the remaining uncooked scallops. Had to thaw them in the refrigerator and at RT for a couple of min. only to find them in a puddle of water. Drying them on kitchen paper though helped to remove some of the water but it was still on the wetter side. I reckon that frozen ones do give out alot of moisture. Will probably try out with fresh scallops next time and let you guys know the outcome ;)

haha eggs are a very important part of my diet. One of the staples in my life. This time it's cooked with asparagus, lottss of onions, prawns and cheese.
Lastly on the menu : prawns and asparagus with flamin hot sambal blachan sauce.

The End.

Bon appetit

Saturday, February 20, 2010

RAMEN, you so fine

Whats not to love about Ramen. The thick broth, cold egg with runny yolk, the aroma, the pork, green tea is enough to leave you begging for more. HAH! I have succumbed to the ramen chase since eons ago. 3 ramen places in 2 weeks. 

The thing about ramen is when it hits you, it hits you hard. That's from the perspective of a hardcore ramen eater. Anyways, headed down to Central for our nightly doze of heavily goodness. Hilariously, my stomach reacted in a good way ( consisted of 4-5 trips to the toilet) to prepare for the glorious evening at :

Restaurant: Santouka Ramen- Voted best for egg and pork according to 8 days :)
Location: The Central #02-76, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street

Line forms up pretty quickly during dinner time so be there early but nonetheless you won't end up waiting ridiculously for like 3-4 hrs --> remember the donut craze. The ramen wasn't served quickly compared to  Ippudo, Tampopo or Marutama but wasn't slow enough to make me annoyed.

We ordered their famous Tokusen Toroniku ramen. Everyone's been talking about their pork cheeks so I was extremelly excited to taste it for myself.

Got the shoyu based ramen. PLAIN NOODLES?

 Nah. It came with a generous serving of pork cheeks that melts in your mouth like instantly. Now I see what the rave is all about. Good stuff indeed. Check out that layer of fat beneath the pork cheeks.

 More pics to drool at!

 Save the best for last! EGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG A peek at the hidden treasure.

The treasure exposed!

 8 days was spot on the pork cheeks and eggs. So were the many reviews by fellow ramen lovers. However, I thought the soup was still a little too salty for my liking and after eating the ramen halfway, it got pretty bland. Noodles were fine, comparatively better than those at Marutama but we came to a consensus that Ippudo's springy noodles won hands down. If only there's the perfect combi of Marutama's broth with Ippudo's ramen and Santouka's pork cheeks and egg = I would be there every weekend.

Cost: Btw $14 per bowl, $19 for the ramen + pork cheek set and abt $22-$24 for ramen+rice. Our total bill amounted to $50. We ordered 2 ramen+ pork cheek set and 3 eggs ($1 each). Better to order the set because  it cost $9 to order the pork separately. I would revisit the place!

If you have any recommendations on other good ramen places, please kindly let me know ;)