Curried Red Lentil Soup

We were invited to Minoo’s Cooking Class in Caring Place yesterday. Minoo whipped up two dishes, Curried Red Lentil Soup and Jude’s Date, Nut and Chocolate Chip Cake.

Here is the recipe for the first dish, Curried Red Lentil Soup. Lentil is a good substitution for protein for vegetarian eater. Lentil is cheap compare to meat and it’s also high in fiber. It is very filling and yet light to our wallet.

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A bowl of creamy Curried Red Lentil Soup is great on a cold winter day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils (or any lentil of your preference)
  • 2 quarts water (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (more, if you like it spicier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
  • herb salt or salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream or yogurt for garnishing

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Kuejadas (Portuguese Tart)

While I was browsing through my recipe collections this week, I found this Portuguese Tart recipe. I don’t remember if I have ever made it before. I love to collect recipes and most of the recipes just lay in my collection and never being used at all. Do you have the same feeling?

I’m wanted something sweet and I remember the ingredients of the Portuguese Tart do spell ‘SWEET’ in it. So, I decided to give it a try.

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The Portuguese Tart is caramelized on the outside and has a custard like texture inside. It satisfies any sweet tooth and I’ll bet you just can’t eat one only.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 can 14oz condensed milk
  • 2 cups milk

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Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice

Today’s Community Kitchen cooking class was led by Wonnie. Although Wonnie is a quiet and unassuming person but she led the class well today.

Wonnie made two dishes today. The first dish is Tofu pudding. I had featured the Tofu Pudding recipe in my blog sometime ago and so I would not describe Wonnie’s recipe. Click here for the tofu pudding recipe.

Now, the second dish that Wonnie made was Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice.

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The Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice is very appetizing with a mild tanginess and spiciness from the kimchee. We all enjoyed it very much.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably overnight rice
  • 100g kimchee, shredded
  • 100g minced pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • dried seaweed shreds

Marinate

  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon oil

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Focaccia from President Choice

Let me tell you … we were not that adventurous when it comes to groceries before we started blogging. We just always go to the same aisle and buys only stuff we are familiar with. Since we wanted to blog on something new these days, we began to pay more attention to stuff we normally ignore. This is one new food to us and have never heard of.

Focaccia (pronounced as foh-KAH-cha) is a flat bread topped with stuff, very much like what you see in pizzas. Except that we see that they don’t use pizza sauce, at least not the one we bought. The one below, caramelized oinion and pesto chicken, costs $4.99 only.

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Focaccia is a popular Italian and Greek dish. It is often baked with herbs and cheese added to the dough. Focaccia can be looked upon as a predecessor of the modern pizza.

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Shredded Dried Pork (a.k.a. Meat Floss)

UPDATE ON 07-NOV-2009: We now have the recipe for making Pork Floss from scratch. Here is the Recipe for Pork Floss.

UPDATE ON 22-MAY-2006: He he he … guess the name Meat Floss sounds disgusting to some people. So, I have used a better sounding name for the entry … Shredded Dried Pork. Happy? 🙂

Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork (also known as Rousong and Yoke Song in Mandarin and Cantonese respectively) is a dried chinese meat item that is commonly used as a topping for many foods. There are many variants of the Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork with the most common one being Pork Floss.

In Vancouver, the Meat Floss product seems pretty dominated by the Soo Singapore Jerky company. You will be able to find these Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork in just about any Asian grocery stores. I believe they make Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork and other Asian jerky products under a few brand names. Their most famous brand is Soo. We have seen the Soo’s brand getting more expensive over the year. It’s now about $10 for a jar of 454g (about 1lb).

We bought a cheaper version. It’s branded as Pork Sung and the label said that it’s made by Soo Singapore Jerky too. The 340g jar below costs only $5.58.

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Wikipedia describes the how Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork are made as follows:

Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork is made by stewing cheap cuts of pork in a sweetened soy sauce mixture until individual muscle fibres can be easily teased apart with a fork. This usually happens when the collagen and elastin that normally hold the fibres have been cooked out of the meat. The teased-apart meat is then strained and dried in the oven. After a light drying, the meat is mashed and beaten while being dry cooked in a large wok until it is completely dry. Additional flavourings are usually added while the mixture is being dry fried. 5 kg of meat will usually produce about 1 kg of rousong.

Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork has a light and fluffy texture quite similar to coarse cotton. It can be eaten just as a snack. It comes in soft or crisp versions. For snacking, I recommend the crisp version. Some are flavoured with sesame seed and seaweed.

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It goes well too with rice porridge. However, I find that the taste of the Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork gets drowned out unless you put in a lot of it.

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I prefer Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork with rice. You should use pretty dry and cold rice. Mix it well into the rice and that’s a quick meal — not very balanced though but still a nice meal nevertheless.

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We also make sandwiches with Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork. The ones below are made using a sandwich maker which helps seals in the Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork in the sandwich.

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Suanne has the instructions below on making the Meat Floss Shredded Dried Pork Sandwich in the link below.

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Quilon Restaurant in Richmond

Quilon was closed for the Canada Line Project.

Zee treated me to lunch yesterday to celebrate my belated birthday. She has been an awfully sweet and generous person. I am so glad to have a neighbor like Zee — she treats me like her own sister and I feel so honoured! Zee likes to take a walk at the South Arm Park and has often invited me along. People like Zee are a rarity these days. So, Zee, this entry is dedicated to you.

Zee bought me lunch at the Quilon Restaurant. Quilon has repeatedly been voted as the No 1 Indian Cuisine restaurant in Richmond. It is located on No 3 Rd and Westminster Highway.

Quilon is the old name for Kollam, a city in the Kerala state in south India.

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We had the buffet which costs $8.95 each. Oh dear, another buffet again! I mean, I like food but ends up regretting stuffing myself too full. I know it but yet I do that again and again!

Well, the buffet spread wasn’t big but made up by the quality. I love the crispy Papadums (lentil crackers) as an appetizer. This one is good because it’s not oily like the ones that I used to eat in Malaysia.

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The main selection of the buffet is the ever popular Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken. They were awesome. The butter chicken is made in tomato and cream sauce — rich and creamy. The tandoori is chicken marinated in yogurt and spices for 24 hours before they are baked in a traditional clay oven. Zee swears that Quilon has the bestest Tandoori chicken in Vancouver.

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Chocolate Yogurt Cake

Arkensen loves chocolate cake. So, before he went for a 5 days camping trip with his class this week, I baked him his favourite Chocolate Yogurt Cake. This is his longest camping trip away from home by himself. He told Ben that when he return home from the camping trip, he wants to choose a restaurant to eat his favourite food. Oh, I am missing him!

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dutch processed cocoa
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Dutched processed cocoa
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick), softened
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Funnel Cakes near Harrison Hot Spring

Over the weekend we decided to make a trip to the Harrison Hot Spring to visit the Tournament of Champions Sand Sculpture Competition. The Harrison Hot Spring is about 1.5 hrs away. We invited along Sunny who has just landed in Vancouver just a couple of weeks ago. It’s always great to show new friends what Vancouver has to offer.

Oh the way there, about 10 minutes before we got to Harrison Hot Spring, we saw an eye-catching sign in bold yellow and red advertising Funnel Cakes.

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So, we stopped by on the way back to check it out (even though we were so full from the picnic). The small stand was manned by an old man who explained to us what Funnel Cakes are.

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Apparently, Funnel Cakes are a popular food of the Amish, you know, the religious people Swiss-German ancestry in Pennsylvania. They are better known as the people who shun the use of cars, electricity and other modern stuff.

The Funnel Cake are made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot oil in a circular pattern and deep frying it until golden-brown. They are often served with icing sugar, jam or other toppings. This store serves it with so much icing sugar that we got powder all over our clothes and pants! It was really nice. We bought two for $5.

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Oh yes, I just can’t resist showing off the pictures I took from the sand castle tournament. The sculptures were amazing. Only previous champions were invited to this three day competition. The sculptors were given three days to design and then sculpt from a packed/compressed block of sand.

Have you ever wondered why you can almost never make such sand castles on a beach on a sea side? Let me know if you want to know why … it’s something I learnt from the people at the competition.

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Click on the link below for the rest of the sand castle picture. Enjoy!

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