Staying at home for a long period of time has made us into home chefs, whipping up meals that we wouldn’t usually have time for. Food trends have been on the rise these few weeks, with trending foods like pancake cereal, burnt cheesecake, rice cooker muah chee and making sourdough bread from scratch, to name a few.
Don’t believe us? Just count the number of food posts that appear on your Facebook or IG or TikTok feed with the #homemade hashtags.
However, if you aren’t one to chase the trends but would like to expand your cooking repertoire, we have a few dishes that are not only easy to make, they are very delicious as well! Who knows, you may be the one setting the next food trend instead.
Here are 5 recipes to master during this circuit breaker period.
Maggi Mee Rosti
Maggi Mee is a staple for many of us. Whenever we don’t know what to cook or eat, Maggi mee is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The best kind of suppers are those simple Maggi mee meals that take 10 minutes or less to fulfill the midnight cravings. Now it’s time to zhng (upgrade) your hearty noodles into a Rösti.
2 packet of instant noodles (Dry)
2-3 tbsp clarified butter or duck fat
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
Cook the instant noodles and remove as much moisture as possible. Season the noodles with the seasoning and mix well. Divide the noodles into four equal portions. You may also add in other ingredients e.g. sausage, bacon, vegetables.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add two tablespoons of the clarified butter or duck fat and the sunflower oil. Place a metal chef’s ring inside the frying pan carefully with one portion of the instant noodles. Using the back of a spoon gently push down to make a compact cake. Remove the ring and repeat with the remaining noodles until you have 4 rösti.
Fry the rösti for 3-4 minutes on both sides, or until golden brown all over and add more oil or fat if required. Season with salt then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Place onto a roasting tray and reheat before serving.
Korean Fried Chicken
Maangchi / Website
Love or hate the Korean dramas, you’ve got to admit that we’ve been influenced by their love of Korean food, especially when it comes to their fried chicken. What makes Korean fried chicken so delicious is the sauce that makes us crave for the next bite over and over again. You didn’t think you could gobble up five pieces of chicken till you had been introduced to the world of marinated fried chicken. Time to put your cooking and mixing skills to the test when you try this recipe at home.
1.4kg / 3 pounds whole chicken, cut into pieces or chicken wings / drumsticks / boneless chicken thigh – choose based on your preference, rinse
2 tbsp rice wine
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 cup potato starch or corn starch
Cooking oil for deep frying
Korean fried chicken sauce:
3 tbsp tomato sauce / ketchup
2 tbsp – 2½ gochujang (Korean chili paste)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
Roasted sesame seeds (garnish)
Green onions (garnish)
Combine the chicken, rice wine, ginger, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Then evenly coat the chicken with the starch and set aside.
In a deep saucepan (or fryer) add a generous amount of oil and heat it until the oil temperature reaches 175C / 347F (or boiling). Start adding the battered chicken carefully and fry them until they cook (between 3-5mins, depending on the size of chicken). Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove the chicken from the fryer when it turns golden and crisp, and place them onto some kitchen paper. Scoop out any floating batter from the oil using a skimmer. Repeat the process when the oil temperature reaches 175C / 347F (or boiling).
In a separate saucepan, add in the Korean fried chicken sauce ingredients. Heat the sauce over low to medium heat and stir well. Once it starts bubbling, remove the pan from the heat.
Place the fried chicken into a large mixing bowl then pour the sauce over the chicken to coat. Mix them lightly and thoroughly.
Once all the chicken is coated with the sauce, serve it hot immediately.
Mala Xiang Guo (Spicy Numbing Stir-fry Pot)
DIY Mala Xiang Guo is probably the best dish during a rainy day, if I do say so myself. While you may not have a huge wok to stir-fry all your favourite ingredients like those you see at the hawker stalls – because frying from an industrial wok gives off a fragrance that you can’t achieve in your small kitchen - you have the chance to put in whatever you like into your own dish! Yes, we’re talking about the ingredients you weren’t able to pick out when you dabao from your favourite Mala Xiang Guo stall. No judgement, we promise!
2 tbsp cooking oil
6 garlic cloves finely chopped
14 dried chilli cut to small pieces
1 x 110 grams packet of instant mala sauce
½ tbsp light soy sauce to taste
1 tsp fish sauce to taste
1 tbsp roasted peanuts (garnish)
Vegetables and Meat (or your favourite ingredients):
Meat slices (Chicken/Pork/Beef/Mutton)
Mushroom (Enoki/Mushroom Caps/King Mushrooms)
50 grams Korean sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon) soaked in a bowl of water until softened; drained just before using
2 sticks (about 15 grams) dried beancurd skin (tau kee) soaked in water until softened then cut to bite-sized pieces; drained
Par-boil the ingredients. Add water to wok and bring to boil. Add the meat to cook for 2 minutes, followed by seafood and the vegetables in. Drain and set aside.
Fry the aromatics. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry garlic and chili until aromatic. Add the mala sauce and stir fry briefly until fragrant, about a minute or two.
Add the parboiled ingredients at Step 1. Stir fry until almost cooked then add soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir fry briefly until everything is cooked and well mixed. Season to taste
Garnish and serve. Transfer the contents to a large serving bowl, sprinkle chopped coriander and peanuts over. Serve with steamed rice, steamed bun (mantou) or eat it on its own.
Seaweed Rice Balls
We won’t exactly consider this a deconstructed sushi, but it’s definitely easier than making your own sushi hand rolls. Seaweed rice balls are great for an afternoon snack or whenever you feel peckish during the day. It’s enough to fill your tummy (carbs, duh!) but not too filling that could potentially spoil your appetite for dinner.
2 cups steaming short-medium grain rice
3 sheets seaweed sheets
½ tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil + more for coating the plastic glove
Sesame seeds (for topping)
Cut the seaweed sheets into small pieces with a scissors or put the seaweed sheets into a food processor and process until coarsely shredded.
In a medium bowl, mix rice, shredded seaweed, soy sauce and sesame oil until incorporated.
Put on a plastic glove on one hand. Add a little bit of oil on the plastic glove so that the rice does not stick. Put 2 tbsp of rice on your palm and squeeze lightly until the rice sticks together. Shape it into a ball.
Repeat until the rice is finished. Serve with sesame seeds.
Pan-fried Nian Gao with Egg
Roti N Rice / Website
From omelettes to egg benedict, scrambled or soft boiled eggs, the versatility of eggs is endless. There are many health benefits of eating eggs as it a very good source of protein and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Eggs make a good pairing with almost every other ingredient – prawns, preserved radish (aka chai poh), carrots, mushroom, minced meat, etc. Even a sweet dessert like nian gao (sweet sticky rice cake) fried with egg is a hot favourite dish during Chinese New Year.
300 grams “nian gao”
2 eggs beaten
5 tbsp plain flour sifted
½ tbsp cornflour or baking soda sifted
1 tbsp ice water
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp cooking oil
Slice the nian gao to uniform, thin square pieces.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, flour, cornflour (or baking soda), water and salt until the batter is of a semi-thick and smooth consistency.
Heat a pan with oil. Dip nian gao slices in egg batter and pan-fry in batches (add more oil if needed) until light brown. Serve with a cup of Chinese tea.
If you tried these recipes, share with us your masterpieces on our Facebook or Instagram!
Have a home-cooked meal you would like to share with the public? Post a homecooked meal on IG with #StayHomeWithAscott and Ascott will donate US$10 to underprivileged children!