24 September, 2011

Frog leg porridge

I know to many people, the thought of eating frogs is EWWW!!!  But trust me, when it is done well, it is a true delicacy.

As a child, my mum used to make frog leg porridge for us to eat.  It was supposed to be good for "cleansing the blood" or something like that.  Basically good for little children.  I remember it to be stringy and chicken-like.  Not fantastic but I still enjoyed it.

Then we grew up and got to try the hawker style frog legs which were yummy.  Sichuan style frog legs, deep fried frog legs, frog legs with spring onions....  Slurp!  The texture of the meat was never stringy nor dry. It was clean tasting, springy and never got stuck between the teeth.
So what's the secret?  The duration of cooking!  Like all other meat, over cooking renders frog meat tough.  So I get the fish monger to chop the meat up into chunks that would cook quickly and blanch them in boiling soup.

Fresh frog legs can be obtained from select markets in Singapore where the fish monger butchers and skins the live frogs for you on the spot.  I get mine from Chinatown.

Do you have any exotic dishes to share?

Frog Leg Porridge
Serves 4
500ml of Chicken stock (I make mine from scratch)
4 freshly slaughtered frogs chopped into chunks
4 handful of vegetables
2 cups of rice
1 can of button mushrooms


  1. Cook the rice as you would ordinarily.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil.
  3. Blanch the frog legs in the stock until just turned white.
  4. Add the vegetables and let simmer until the vegetables just wilt.
  5. Strain the button mushrooms and put into the soup.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour soup over the rice and serve.

07 September, 2011

Angry Bird

A good friend's kids are Angry Bird mad. But looking around here, who doesn't seem to be? Their birthday was coming up and I had a crafting itch that HAD to be scratched. So a quick mini project that took me just an evening.
Using my felt stash (which is so big - I don't really know why), googly eyes and pom poms (All from Daiso). I packed a little Angry Bird kit.

Wrapped it with my extensive ribbon and wrapping paper stash (again, how did it ever get so big?!) All ready to be delivered to the birthday kiddos.
P.S. According to mum, they loved it. (With photos to prove) But I can't post that here.

03 September, 2011

Quick and easy

We've been slowly breaking in the apartment.  Getting used to where the switches are.  Finding out what works and what doesn't.  Even the layout of the kitchen needs some getting used to.  So there's no time for fancy cooking for now.

Everyone likes a tasty soup but a good traditional Chinese soup usually needs time and ingredients - which I'm a little short on at the current moment.  Building up a good pantry needs time and planning.  At the same time, I'm extremely reluctant to resort to canned soups, monosodium glutamate (MSG) laden additives and such as a short cut.

Many people think that MSG is a bad word.  But did you know that MSG is naturally occurring?  It is that umami that one tastes when eating seafood and it's a great flavoring in small amounts.  I'm perfectly fine with naturally occurring MSG which is found in miso.  As long as no additional MSG is added.

Everything was easily available at NTUC.  Even the organic miso which doesn't contain MSG or preservatives.  I used a kelp based broth for a more "Japanese" taste and the additional minerals found in them.

Udon in Miso Soup
Japanese kelp
Fresh Shitake Mushrooms
Carrots, finely sliced
Egg tofu
Fresh Udon


  1. Clean the kelp and boil in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the kelp and cut them up into pieces and set aside.
  3. Blanche the carrots, mushrooms and tofu in the kelp stock.
  4. Take the kelp stock off the heat.
  5. Place fresh udon in the serving bowl and all the blanched ingredients on the top.  Sprinkle the kelp over it.
  6. Add miso (to taste) to the kelp stock and whisk it in.  Pour soup over noodles and serve immediately.


  1. The best way to clean kelp is to use a clean damp cloth and wipe the pieces.
  2. Enoki mushrooms can also be used for variety
  3. You can add other vegetables like snow peas 
  4. Fish cake is another ingredient that you can add.

01 September, 2011

Teacher's Day

I've been looking for an excuse to do some craft with the kid and so the upcoming Teacher's Day was godsend.  We often do coloring and random doodlings but I always find it difficult to decide what to do with the end products.  It seems like a waste to throw them away and yet keeping them only adds to the amount of things we already have.  So a "productive" craft that can be given as a gift is always a bonus for me - all I need is an excuse!
There are many food jar ideas on the web - ranging from home made food like cookies and cakes to premixes.  I toyed with many recipes and finally settled on a multigrain soup with chicken recipe.  The bottles were colorful enough and the ingredients were easy enough for a toddler to handle.

Things we learnt along the way:
  1. Measurements with the cup
  2. Fine motor skills in pouring 
  3. How to use a funnel and how funnels help make work easier
  4. Different shapes, sizes and colors of grains and how different ones pour with different ease through the funnels
  5. Taste and smells of different herbs and spices
The little one loved the exercise and had lots of fun with the cup and funnel.  There wasn't much of a mess as I handled the herbs, distracting him with smelling and tasting the herbs.  I'm actually quite optimistic that we could try this again perhaps for Christmas!  We added instructions and a thank you card to the jar.
What did you do for Teacher's Day with you child?

Multigrain Chicken Soup
(Modified from here)
In the jar
3/4 cup raw brown rice
1/2 cup medium barley
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup yellow split peas
2 tbs dried parsley
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Instructions attached

  1. Pour contents of jar into pot and add the following:
    1. 2 large ribs celery, sliced
    2. 4 large carrots, sliced
    3. 2 cloves garlic crushed
    4. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
    5. 12 cups of water
    6. Salt and pepper to taste
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover the pot and turn down the heat to simmer.
  4. Cook for 1 hour until all grains are tender.
  5. Check seasonings.
  6. Thin with water or chicken stock as required.