Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Bento #128 - Agilo Olio with big fat prawns and scallops

I decide to go Italian today... for a change and mainly because I want to use up my pasta. I have never been a big fan of Aglio Olio and will never order this if I dine outside. Reason being it seems such a simple and plain dish why would I eat it in restaurants. And also, I prefer tomato based pasta. After cooking it today, the MORE I will not eat it outside because I realized it is so simple to cook!!!

I used Noobcook's Mushroom spaghetti recipe  but I used those sea shell pastas instead of spaghetti and I am unsure if I achieve Al dente stage for the pasta as stated in the recipe..haa.
I added the prawns and scallops myself so that it looks more sumptuous. Overall, I love this recipe as it is really easy to follow and moreover I am a garlic lover. The combination of fried golden garlic and chili flakes will never go wrong. 

I'm pretty happy with the outcome though hubby commented it's a bit salty. Maybe I added too much of the pasta water in the end. 

Try it! It's a simple and easy to prepare dish which requires minimal ingredients.

Oh...I also added my hubby's grilled saba. Just marinate the saba with some salt and black pepper and pop it into the oven to grill for 20 min at 180 - 200 deg and it's done!

Kai Sin

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Homemade kids' set meal

Do your kids love ordering kids' set meals at restaurants outside? I am not a fan of these set meals because sad to say, most of the menu offer fried and processed food like nuggets, harsh browns etc. which are really low in nutritional value. 

Well, I guess this kind of menu is pretty safe because kids will certainly love them. After all, who doesn't like fried food?

On this Saturday night, I decide to prepare kids' set meals for my boys at home while papa is out for meeting. After dinner, they could watch their "十万个为什么“ vcd and it will be a lovely night for them.

I prepared grilled miso chicken burgers for them. Isn't this miso chicken a beauty? (except for the burnt edges.....=S). Rayson kept running to the kitchen and can't wait for me to be ready.

My favorite kind of scrambled eggs.

This is Rayden's set. I took out the miso grilled chicken and cut them into small pieces because the burger will certainly be too big for his mouth and he will not be able to manage. Some lettuces in the burger for their vege intake and the oh-so-nutritious-and-yummy cherry tomatoes. Also melted some cheddar and mozerella cheese on the bread to add the omph factor.

Gave them a rare treat today - 100 % grape juice (packet drink). We rarely, rarely drink sweet drinks so this is a treat for them indeed.

This is Rayson's set. Added the cutey eye pick which makes the burger comes alive and it looks oh so cheeky!

All these food are served on $2 children plates bought from Daiso. My boys were so excited to grab the kids' set meal and have requested for me to prepare these burgers again for them. Well, of course we have to give credit to the miso grilled chicken, it's one of the reasons why they enjoyed their meals so much.

Me, on the other hand craves for something soupy so I prepared steamed chicken essence chicken for myself. Very easy to prepare. I put 1 chicken thigh meat into the bowl, added in some gou qi zi, mushrooms, and a few slices of ginger (I added quite a lot because I want it to be hot, hot, hot and spicy!). Pour in 1 bottle of Brands chicken essence and a bit of sesame oil. Steam for 45 min - 1 hour and it's ready! Garnish with parsley when it's ready to be served.

And this is my Saturday night, well spent with my loved ones. 

Kai Sin

Friday, 23 September 2016

My favorite kind of Singapore Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! 

I have always been an early bird, even before I was married. I enjoy waking up early in the morning for some exercise and reward myself with a sumptuous breakfast. Waking up early gives me a very good feeling because I feel that I have made good use of every second of my life. 

While I used to enjoy eating American and Yakun breakfast, ever since I started to cook for my family, I realized these breakfast sets are actually very easy to recreate at the comfort of your own home. What you need is just some nice cutleries and setup to create the right ambience. What's more, you can save quite a bit of money too! Of course, eating at restaurants once in a while is good too, but you know after having kids, everything is times 2, 3 or 4.

Today, I will share on how to create a Yakun breakfast set which consists of half-boiled eggs, kaya toast and a cup of coffee, selling for $4-$5 at their cafe....or have I lost track of their pricings? 

My homemade 'Yakun' breakfast set

Making Perfect Half Boiled eggs

Half boiled egg is the soul of this Singapore toast set, so making perfect half boils is the key to your success.

I have a quite foolproof method to making perfect half boils. Please do share with me if you have other methods as well.


Before I begin the steps below, I will take out 2 eggs from the fridge.
  1. Boil 500 ml of water
  2. When the water boils, pour in 150 ml of room temperature water
  3. Turn off the fire and put your eggs in. (Works for up to 4 eggs, I have not tried more than 4 eggs)
  4. Cover the lid and set your timer to 9 min (* set to 7 min if you are using room temperature eggs)
  5. Your eggs are ready when the timer beeps! 

This method always give me perfect half boiled eggs. Try it!

Best served with pepper and dark soya sauce..yumz!

Preparing the toasts

I use normal Gardenia white toasts. I guess it'll be even better if you buy those thicker toasts.
  1. Preheat your oven at 180 deg for 10 min 
  2. Toast your breads for about 10-15 min
  3. When they are done, spread kaya on the sides that are not toasted 
  4. Add some chilled slices of butter on your toasts

This toast set will be perfect if I learn how to make those thick, aromatic coffeeshop coffee. But too bad I only use 3-in-1 for mine. 

Enjoy your homemade Singapore Style toast set!
Kai Sin

#Bento 127 - Fried udon bento

I have fried several versions of fried udon but the version today is my favorite! OH, I think it tastes really good. I really love it!

But then again, my taste buds are probably not very reliable now, a bit hay wired. Perhaps I will try this version again after I have delivered.

Recipe for fried udon

Servings: 2 adults ( 1 adult and 2 children)


- 2 packets of Sakura brand (best udon so far) udon (can be bought from NTUC )
- 2 deboned chicken thigh meat
- 1 packet of beancurd skin (can be bought from NTUC)
- Green veges (I use lettuce because I wanted to use up my stock, but leafy vegetables like bak choy works fine)

- 5 - 6 cloves of minced garlic ( I usually put quite a lot because we love garlic!)
- 7- 8 shallots thinly sliced ( the more the better!)

Marinade for the chicken meat (marinate for at least half an hour)

- Maggi soy sauce
- Some sesame oil 
- Some ginger and garlic powder ( estimated amount, up to your preference)


- Half a bowl of prawn soup
- 1 tbsp of light soy sauce 
- 1 tbsp of fish sauce
- some thick dark soy sauce (more for the coloring, my dark soy sauce isn't really salty)
- Wine (optional)

In the morning, first thing after I woke up, I put 7-8 prawns' shells in a small pot and around half a soup bowl of water and bring them to a boil for the prawn stock. Then, I proceed to wash-up..hee.


1) Pour oil into the pan and fry the shallots on medium fire. They turn brown pretty fast so please watch them closely. When they start to brown, turn off the fire (the oil will still be hot) and continue to fry till golden brown. You can stir occasionally if you notice some of the shallots turning too dark a color.

When done, take out the fried shallots and oil (can be used for cooking thereafter). Please separate the fried shallots and oil because the shallots will turn soft if soaked in the oil for too long.

2) Use some of the fried shallot oil to fry the minced garlic till fragrant. Pour in the marinated chicken meat and fry till they turn color and are roughly cooked. Dish out the chicken meat.

3) Cut the beancurd skin and place them in the pan, fry for a minute. Place the skin at the bottom because they will make the sauce taste sweet. Next layer is the washed udon noodles, then chicken meat (in the middle layer so that the meat will not be too tough). Lastly, I put the vegetables on top. 
Add in the prawn stock, cover the lid and let everything cook on medium fire. 

4) When you see steam coming out, turn down to small fire, Using a pair of chopsticks and spatula, I will mix all the ingredients and noodle together. (I definitely do not have the strength to hold the pan and toss the udon noodles.....)

5) Add in all the seasonings. You can adjust the amount of seasoning according to your preference.  
Continue to mix the noodles, ingredients and seasonings evenly.

6) When you are almost done, drizzle some fried shallot oil on the noodles and for me, I add in another tbsp of Hua Tiao wine and turn off the fire.

Ready to serve! 
They will look much more appetizing when garnished with parsley or some spring onions. Last but not least, do not forget your fried shallots!

*If you want to pack the fried udon into lunchboxes, do remember to cool them down properly prior packing to prevent bacteria from growing.

For my own bento, I added in another 1 or 2 tbsp of black vinegar and I could not get enough of my udon! (But that's for my hay wired taste buds now,, don't try it if you are not a lover of black vinegar)

Hope that you have enjoyed this recipe. Will try to update it with more pictures for the method portion in future.

Kai Sin

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

#Bento 126 - Chicken baked rice

As requested by Rayson, they are going to have baked rice today. I have come across recipes using cream and chicken stock to cook the rice before baking but I want a more convenient way to make the rice flavorful so why not use the rice cooker chicken rice method?

Servings: 1 adult and 1 child

Marinated 2 deboned chicken thighs with Maggi soy sauce, some black pepper sesame oil, some thyme, worcester sauce and some ginger and garlic powder. (Leave them in the fridge overnight)

1) Pour 100 ml (almost 3/4 cup) of rice into the rice cooker, briefly rinse them and drain off the water.
2) Add 40 ml of Meiji white milk (healthier than cream) (cannot add too much milk because the chicken thighs will produce juices which will make the rice soggy)
3) Season the rice with some salt and black pepper.
4) Add in a small cube of butter.
5) Lastly. place the 2 marinated chicken thighs on top of the rice. I also added in some carrots.

Press "Cook" and the rice and chicken will be done in 30-40 min.'s your flavorful rice and chicken meat all settled together. 

To prepare the baked rice, scoop the rice into the baking dishes. Shred the chicken meat and place them on top of the rice. 
For my hubby's bento, I made a well in the center and crack an egg in. Spread the cheddar and mozzarella cheese by the side.
For my boy's baked rice, I put a piece of baking paper at the bottom so that it's easier to transfer to his lunchbox.

Hubby's set - Make a well and crack an egg in

Spread the cheese at the side

Rayson's set with the baking paper at the bottom

Preheat oven at 180 - 200 deg for 10 min.

Thereafter bake the rice for about 15 min or till the cheese has browned and the egg (hubby's bento) is cooked. For me, I turned to top fire for the last 5 min so that the cheese will turn brown and crisp.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Hubby's baked rice done! Doesn't the egg look like a sun that brightens up your day?
Vegetables and cherry tomatoes for Hubby
Rayson's bento - Baked rice transferred to his lunchbox

Kai Sin

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

#Bento 125 - Grilled miso chicken

In order to finish my big tub of white miso before its expiry date, I prepared grilled miso chicken for my boys' bentos today.

Since miso works well with salmon and cod fish, which taste really yummy, I figure they should work with chicken thighs also, won't it?

And indeed, this grilled miso chicken received raving reviews from Rayson that he is requesting me to prepare for him again this Friday.

Recipe for grilled miso chicken

Servings: 2 people

  • 2 deboned chicken thigh meat
  • 1 tbsp white Miso
  • 1/2 tbsp of sake
  • 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of ginger and garlic powder each (no harm adding more)

1) Marinate the 2 deboned chicken thighs for at least half an hour ( I marinated them overnight )

2) Wipe off any excess Miso (because miso burns easily) before popping the chicken thighs into the oven. Preheat oven for 10 min and pop the chicken thighs in. 200 deg for 25 min (depends on your oven also) or until cooked. (Alternatively, you may also try pan frying the thighs but I love the oven because it is fuss free)

The chicken thighs turn out very flavorful and the best thing is they are so easy to prepare. Do try it and tell me if you like them!

Meanwhile I also blanched some okra and carrots and toss them with some sesame dressing.
Air fried one sunny side up for hubby but too bad the egg yolk is not perfect.

Kai Sin

Monday, 12 September 2016

Fried carrot cakes for breakfast!

What are your plans for this holiday? Pretty simple for us....fried carrot cakes for breakfast and a relaxing swim at Safra. 

Thereafter, we will spend time at my parents' and in-laws' house. I love holidays and cherish every moment with my loved ones.

Refer to link for instructions on how to prepare this all time favorite!

Kai Sin

Thursday, 8 September 2016

#Bento 124 - Panda charaben with cod fish tempura

Oh dear, recently my energy has been dipping so much I feel tired and sleepy everyday. 

Sep Holidays has started but I did not bring the boys out much because I have to return to school for supplementary lessons. And since hubby took leave for the whole week, I did not prepare much bentos too.

I cheated a bit by pan frying ready made cod fish tempura bought from NTUC and blanching some veges for Rayson's bento today. So, strictly speaking....I did not really cook..=P

I'm quite happy with how the panda turns out looks really cute!

Kai Sin

Friday, 2 September 2016

#Bento 123 - Grilled saba with seaweed egg roll

Well...I was still fine on Wed morning but suddenly start losing my voice in the evening. I think I must have strained my voice after too much scoldings. I've done it again. The last time I lost my voice, I told myself that I would not be so worked up with my pupils again and losing my voice is a great inconvenience to my life. Should I be happy or sad that it's the start of school holidays? I'm more worried about how I'm going to teach my Bible class this Sunday.

To make things worse...Rayson came down with a fever and he was so disappointed that he would not be able to attend the Teacher's Day party on Thursday...poor thing...he was so looking forward to it.

So....we spent our Thursday seeing doctors, sick and tired, oh..and even our car died on us.

Managed to wake up this morning to prepare a simple bento for hubby. His fave grilled saba, only marinated it with some Maggi soy sauce and black pepper. Some blanched veges tossed with sesame sauce topped with some fresh scallops and seaweed egg roll.

Decided to cook tomato rice for him today. Tastes pretty good to me..Added 9 cherry tomatoes, cloves of garlic,some ginger powder,pink chicken powder, black pepper and olive oil to the rice. Smells and tastes good!

Kai Sin