Sunday, October 11, 2020

Seafood Kimchi (Instant) Noodles

~ Serves 1 ~

Preparation time: ~ 25 mins

Cooking time  ~ 8 mins

Ingredients
Dried Wakame ~ 2 pieces
Anchovies ~ 1 tbs
Dried shrimps ~ 1 tbs
Peanuts ~ 1 tbs
Kimchi ~ 2 tbs
Gochugang sauce ~ 1 tsp
Kimchi Instant noodles ~ 1 packet
Egg ~ 1
Frozen prawns ~ 3
Frozen Osyter ~ 3
Clean water ~ 500 ml

Preparation:

Soup stock
1. Break the wakame into smaller pieces and soak them completely in a small pot with 500 ml of water. 
2. Rinse the anchovies, dried shrimps and peanuts and place into the pot of water.
3. Soak the above for about 15 to 20 mins or longer if you have time. 
4. Add the Gochugang sauce and kimchi to the pot and boil until the kelp is soft. 

5. Defrost the prawns and oysters.
6. Boil a separate pot of water. Add a pinch of salt. Place the thawed prawns into the water until they turned light orange. It takes about less than a min. Remove the prawns and rinse them under tap water to remove any smell. 
7. Boil a separate pot of water. Add a pinch of salt. Place the thawed oysters into the water and boil for about 3 mins to ensure that they are fully cooked. Remove the oysters and rinse to remove any smell.

Cooking:
8. Add the instant noodles to the boiling soup stock. Add the kimchi seasoning powder and dried vegetables from the packet as instructed and boil for about 4 mins.
9. Crack a raw egg into a small bowl and pour it into the pot. When the mixture boil, stir and turn off the stove. 
10. Pour the Kimchi instant noodles into a clean bowl. Set the prawns and oysters on top. Enjoy!



 Time saving tips: You may use shredded wakame which requires no soaking time.   

Variations: You can do soft-boiled egg(s) separately and add to the the noodles. You may add tuna fish, shitake mushrooms and other vegetables like carrots and tomatoes. I also tried the dry version which tasted just as yummy.

Interesting facts: Anchovies are an excellent source of calcium, iron, and zinc. They are a rich source of the B vitamins niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B-12. These vitamins play a vital role in energy production, neurological health, formation of red blood cells, digestions and can help maintain healthy skin, nerves and vision. 
Oysters are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D, B12, zinc, selenium and copper. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, thiamine and niacin. They also contain proteins (9 essential amino acids) and healthy fats (omega-3). Recent research found that oysters contain a powerful antioxidant, DHMBA. However, eating raw or under-cooked oysters may pose a health risk. Prawns / shrimps provide a good source of protein, healthy fats and many vitamins and minerals as well. Wakame is rich in omega-3 and has high levels of sodiumcalciumiodinethiamine and niacinPeanuts are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fiber. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates.

Click here for further reading on the benefits and dangers of eating oysters.
Click here for nutrition facts of anchovies.
Click here for nutrition facts of prawns and shrimps.
Click here for facts of wakame.
Click here for nutritional benefits of peanuts.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Young coconut water

I noticed the benefits of fresh young coconut water during my trip to one of Thailand's beach some years ago. I was reading a magazine while doing foot massage, before a full body massage and an article wrote about how drinking young coconut juice helps with muscle recovery. I drank fresh young coconut juice after massage everyday during that short 3 to 5 days trip then and was pleasantly surprised at the effects it had on my body. I usually would feel muscles ache from a massage but I did not have any aches although I went for massage daily, and did snorkelling. I also did not suffer from any mouth ulcers or sore throat although we had a lot more barbecued and spicy food that I would back home. 

Years later, I read about the beneficial effects of coconut juice in muscle recovery after strenous sports or exercise by replacing electrolytes and potassium in our body. I was cycling more at that time and without any gradual training nor warm up (not recommended), there was once that my legs ached so much during the cycling that I could hardly move them. And then, I took some fresh coconut juice. The effects were immediate, and soreness in the muscles almost completely disappeared and I could even stretch my legs without much discomfort. Since then, I have been using coconut juice to replace electrolytes and ions during or after strenous workout - keeping to one or at most two cups weekly if really needed. This is because this drink is rather cooling (in TCM terms) and thus not recommended to be taken on a daily basis for prolonged period, especially for body constitution that is weaker and lack heat (energy) or if you have any pre-existing health or heart conditions. Moreover, it has very high amounts of potassium so might not be suitable to be consumed together with other food that are also high in potassium,  e.g. banana, unless you have too low levels of potassium in your body at that time. In either case, moderation is still key and it is probably wise to check with a professional on the underlying reasons or causes. 

I have tried both fresh and packet coconut juice with quite good effects. I prefer young coconut juice if it is available. I also get small packet so that I can finish it - it does not stay fresh for long if left outside, in Singapore's weather. And I share one small packet with my husband if we are out for longer cycling or hiking trips, keeping our main hydration to plain water.

To summarise, I use coconut juice as a natural source of replenishing electrolytes in the body during or after a strenous workout but do not take them more than needed. I try to keep it to half or just one cup weekly or none. Water is still my major form of rehydration. Coconut water (or juice) is a good and natural source of potassium which helps muscles relax but we need a balance of all ions in the body for optimal functions so moderation is key. My blood pressure is on the low side so I can't have too much potassium as well. 

Enjoy the drink!

Note of caution: This is not a substitute for professional care. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet especially if you are on any medications or have preexisting medical or health conditions. 

Read more on coconut juice here.

Do check out the recipe on warming breakfast if you do feel cold easily (like myself). 



Sunday, October 4, 2020

Lotus root and carrot soup with anchovies

~ Serves 2 -3 ~

Preparation time: ~ 25 mins

Cooking time  ~ 2 hrs

Ingredients
Chicken bones (leftover from chicken rice)
Pandan leaves 2 stalks (if available)
Fresh garlic 1 clove or more if you like strong garlic taste
Fresh onion 1 small bulb
Fresh ginger ~ 1 by 1 cm 
Lotus roots ~8 to10 cm bulb
Carrot ~ 10 cm
Dried squid ~ 1 big
Anchovies ~ 2 tbs
Dried shrimps ~ 1 tbs
Clean water ~ 1 litre

Preparation:

Soup stock
1. Rinse the chicken bones.
2. Peel and wash the garlic. 
3. Peel and wash the onion. Chop into half. Make quarters with each halves.
4. Rinse the squid, anchovies and dried shrimps. 
5. Wash and slice the ginger.
6. Wash, shave off the skin of the carrot, and dice into size about 2 by 2 cm.
7. Wash, shave off the skin of the lotus roots. Slice very finely.
8. Wash the pandan leaves and tie into a knot.

Cooking:
9. Boil about 1 litre of water. Add the soup stock in to boil for about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can boil for about 30 mins, remove the pandan leaves, and place the soup in a thermopot for at least another 3 hours. 
10. You may serve with chicken rice (see the post) or plain rice. Enjoy!


Time saving tips: You may use chicken stock instead of water or add mushroom seasoning cube for added flavours. There are also pre-cut vegetables that can be used to save preparation time. By slicing the lotus root very finely, that reduce the cooking time. Dried squid, anchovies and dried shrimps can be steeped for 30 mins before boiling to extract the flavours.  

Variations: You may also cook chicken together in the same stock instead of just the chicken bones; or replace chicken with pork. You may also add peanuts which also taste great.

Interesting facts: Lotus root contains Vitamin B, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, copper, thiamin, and zinc, among others. It is also a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Anchovies are an excellent source of calcium, iron, and zinc. They are a rich source of the B vitamins niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B-12. These vitamins play a vital role in energy production, neurological health, formation of red blood cells, digestions and can help maintain healthy skin, nerves and vision. Carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, potassium, and vitamins A (from beta carotene), K1 (phylloquinone), and B6.

Click here for source of nutrition facts of lotus roots.
Click here for source of nutrition facts of anchovies.
Click here for source of nutrition facts of carrots.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Chicken rice

~Serves two~

Preparation time: ~35 mins
Cooking time  ~ 20 mins

Ingredients
Rice ~ 3/4 cup
Fresh chicken thigh ~ 300g
Pandan leaves 2 stalks (if available)
Fresh garlic 1 clove or more if you like strong garlic taste
Fresh onion 1/2 small bulb
Fresh ginger ~ 1 by 1 cm 
Dried basil leaves herb 
Sambal chili ~ 1 teaspoon
Hainanese chicken rice sauce ~ 1 tablespoon
Oyster sauce ~ 1 tbs

Preparation:
1. Peel the outer layer of the onion skin. Wash the onion. Dice or slice the onion into small cubes. 
2. Peel the skin of the garlic. Wash the garlic. Cut into halves. Mince one with garlic with a garlic press. Slice the other into thin strips.
3. Wash the ginger. Cut into halves. Mince one with garlic with a garlic press. Slice the other into thin strips.
4. Wash the pandan leaves and tie it the bundle into a knot for easy removal after the rice is cooked.
Rice
5. Wash 3/4 cup of rice in a rice cooker pot. Fill the pot with water level according to the marking. Mix in 1 tablespoon of Hainanese chicken rice sauce. Mix in the diced onion, sliced garlic and sliced ginger. Stir everything and put in the pandan leaves. Sprinkle some dried basil leaves herb. Place the pot in the rice cooker and start cooking. You can use quick cook function. 

Chicken
6. Wash and cut the chicken thigh into small pieces.
7. Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tbs of oyster sauce, 1 tsp of sambal chili, minced garlic with juice, and minced ginger with juice. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
8. Heat up a non stick pan. Sprinkle some sesame oil or ghee on the hot pan and adjust to low medium heat. Stir fry the marinated chicken until it is fully cooked. To test if it is cooked, you may use a toothpick to poke it. It should not have any blood and should come out easily. 

Chicken rice
9. Serve the cooked chicken with the rice. Enjoy!


Time saving tips: You can substitute bottled minced garlic and bottled minced ginger for greater convenience. 

Variations: You may adjust the ingredients and seasoning according to your preferences. For example, you can add a little rice wine to marinate the chicken for a richer taste, or more sambal chili if you like spicy food (like myself). 










 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Natural Remedies for Ulcers and Sore throat

 Here's on my list for ulcers and sore throat:

1. Salt gargle with luke-warm water. 

2. Applying salt on the ulcers. It can be painful if this is your first attempt.

3. Propolis throat spray. It can be applied to ulcers as well.

4. Sleeping earlier, before 11pm. Usually sufficient sleep and rest help the body to self-heal naturally. 

5. Taking fruits and vegetables to increase intake of vitamin C to improve immunity. If fruits make your sore throat or ulcers worse, just take vegetables. 

6. Take some ginger to replenish energy for healing. 

7. Drink lots of water.

8. Almond water also soothes the throat. 

9. Minimise the intake of the food that causes the sore throat and ulcers, e.g. deep fried food, baked pasteries, grilled and barbecued food, junk food, roasted food and nuts. 

Ulcers

- For very persistent ulcers, I use watermelon frost powder (西瓜霜)which can be bought at supermarkets, TCM pharmacies and stores. 

Sore throat

- Ujjayi breathing can expel phlegm and is effective at the initial stage of having mild sore or scratchy throat to prevent a full blown sore throat. However, if your sore throat is very bad and it is painful to do ujjayi breath, skip it. Watch how to do Ujjayi breath here.

Note: If your ulcers or/ and sore throat does not get better, do consult a doctor. 


Pineapple as a natural remedy for diarrhea

This is a tried and tested way by myself, my family members and some of my students. The bromelain enzyme in pineapples is anti-inflammatory and helps with diarrhea. I have tried fresh pineapple (1 slice) or take the juice (canned). Both worked equally well for me. 

Do take isotonic drinks to replenish the ions lost during diarrhea, and have lighter or smaller meals if you don't have much appetite to let your digestive system rest. Take plenty of rest and do not exert yourself. Stay hydrated. If the diarrhea persists, do consult a doctor. 

However, I read that some people may have allergic reaction when eating pineapple. If that is the case, this remedy is not for you. 

Click here for further reading on nutrition facts of pineapples:



Warming Brekkie

~ Serves 1 ~
Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 10 mins

Ingredients: 
Goat's milk ~ 300 ml

Apple ~ 1

Blueberries ~ 50 to 100g

Dried cranberries and raisins ~ 1 tbs each

Nuts and seeds (e.g. pine nuts, chopped pecans) ~  1 tbs

Breakfast cereals (of your preference) ~ 1 cup

Fresh ginger ~  1 by 1 cm

Preparation

1. Wash and cut/ slice the apple. Rinse the blueberries. 

2. Cook the sliced apple and blueberries in goat's milk in low medium heat till the blueberries bursted. 

3. Keep stirring. Add the sliced ginger. Continue to stir.

4. Add dried cranberries, raisins, and pine nuts. Stir for about 5 more minutes or so. 

5. Pour this mixture over the breakfast cereals. Enjoy!

















Time saving tips: You may use pure ginger powder or ginger with molasses or turmeric powder in place of the fresh ones. 

Variations: You may use other types of milk such as cow's milk or nut milk or soy milk. I use goat's milk because it is easier on my digestion. I use full cream as they contain more nutrients. You can use low fat and high calcium options too. You can add other nuts and seeds, or dried fruits (e.g. dried apricots or dates) of your preference. Do note that blueberries will have a little sour taste to the food so you can just use apple if you don't like sour. The mixture will also turn purple when the blueberries softened. You can also boil avocado with goat's milk. Ginger/ turmeric is used for its warming properties. You may skip the ginger / turmeric if you don't need the warming properties. Add some instant oat (4 to 5 tbs) to make it even more filling. You can also just boil apple (and blueberries) in goat's milk to enjoy the yummy light beverage.     

Goat's milk with apple, blueberries and ginger.

With apple and instant oats

              

Goat milk with avocado and cereals







Seafood Kimchi (Instant) Noodles

~ Serves 1 ~ Preparation time:  ~ 25 mins Cooking time  ~ 8 mins Ingredients :  Dried Wakame ~ 2 pieces Anchovies ~ 1 tbs Dried shrimps ~ 1 ...