Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I find it an excuse whenever people tell me that it's hard to cook for two. I thought they meant that cooking small portions is hard. Now that my nest is empty, I realise that it isn't the portion but the whole purpose of cooking is not the same when you cook for two or in my case, three.
You know what they say about motherhood, that when you are finally good at it the kids are grown up. It's the same thing about cooking. When I finally hone my cooking skills, my kids have left home.
Here's a simple way to steam some prawns. The idea came from a meal at Hub's cousin in Shanghai during our visit in 2010. For a spicier and speedier dish, I'd use bottled tom yum seasoning although you, the purist cook, can make the tom yum from scratch. Add additional seasoning, such as fish sauce, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves if you want to. Don't forget to serve with lime wedges.
Tom Yum-Flavored Steamed Prawns With Mung Bean Noodles
1/2 kg fresh prawns, deveined and unpeeled
a small handful of dried mung bean vermicelli, soaked in water for 15 minutes
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn (optional)
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed (optional)
2 to 3 slices of lengkuas/galangal/laos/lam geong (optional)
1 to 2 red bird's eyes chilies, chopped (optional)
a few sprigs of coriander leaves/cilantro
2 T tom yum seasoning granules
2 T fish sauce
1 T light soy sauce
1/2 can chicken broth + 1 can water
1 lime, in wedges
1. Season the prawns with 1 T tom yum seasoning. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a heat-proof dish.
2. Arrange the prawns over the noodles. The water should just about cover the noodles.
3. Steam 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the prawns.
4. Garnish and serve hot.