Thursday, 28 March 2013

Simple Steamed Chinese Pomfret with Soy Sauce

This is another simple steamed fish with soy sauce unlike the previous post where I steamed it with Shiitake mushroom.  Simple, fast and healthy... :)

Ingredients :
- 1 Chinese pomfret (washed and marinated with salt and pepper)
- 1 whole garlic (peeled the pips but do not crushed)
- 3 shallots (washed and finely chopped)
- 1 thumbsized ginger (washed and finely sliced)
- 1 stalk spring onion (separate the white stems and the leaves and cut)
- 1 stalk coriander leaves (washed, separate the stems and the leaves and cut)
- 1 red chili (washed, de-seeded and finely sliced)
Seasonings : (to taste - mix all except the wine)
- salt                     
- soy sauce           
- pepper               
- 1 tsp sugar         
- 1 tsp sesame oil 

- Chinese cooking wine

Method :
1)  Heat oil in a wok.  Saute ginger, garlic, shallots, stems of spring onions and coriander until aromatic.
2)  Dish up and place some on the steaming plate.  Then, place the marinated fish on top.
3)  Add the remaining fried ingredients on top of the fish.
4)  Meanwhile boil water in a steaming wok or pot for steaming.
5)  Pour the mixed seasonings onto the fish.
6)  When the water is boiled, steam fish at high heat for about 10 minutes.
7)  Add Chinese cooking wine, the remaining spring onions, coriander and red chilies.
8)  Cover and steam again  for another 3 to 5 minutes.

9)  Serve hot.

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Monday, 25 March 2013

Stewed Pork Belly with Mui Choy (梅菜)

Mui choy is preserved mustard green.  There are 2 types of mui choy; salted and sweetened.  Do not underestimate this humble mui choy.  It is very delicious and you can prepare it anyway you like, be it steamed, braised, stewed or even for soup.  Most Chinese like to prepare it with pork or chicken depending on their preferences.
Stewed Pork with Mui Choy is a very common and popular dish among Chinese.  It is easy to prepare and yummy.  You can substitute pork with chicken and it is still yummy.

Ingredients :
- 1 strip of pork belly (washed, blanched and cut into bite sized, marinated with seasonings)
- 1/2 bowl salted mui choy (washed, soaked for abt 40mins to 1 hr, washed and cut)
- 1/2 bowl sweetened mui choy (washed, soaked for abt 30mins, washed and cut)
- 2  thumbsized ginger (crushed)
- 1 whole garlic (crushed)
- 3 shallots (chopped)

Seasonings for marinate : (to taste)
- salt
- soy sauce
- caramel sauce
- sugar
-1 tsp cooking wine (optional and not for marinate)
Method :
1)  Heat oil in a wok and saute ginger, garlic and shallots until aromatic.
2)  Stir in pork belly and mui choy and keep stirring for about 2 minutes.
3)  Add enough water, cover and cook at high heat for 5 minutes.
4)  Turn the heat to low and stew for about 40 minutes.
5)  Add cooking wine (optional) and mix well.
6)  Dish up and serve with steamed rice or Teochew porridge.

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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Refreshing Old Cucumber Soup (老黄瓜汤)

Old cucumber soup is one of our favourite soups. The soup is clear and very soothing.  Old cucumber is actually matured cucumber which has brownish skin. It is said that the older the cucumber is, the better it tastes! Old cucumber is not only cooling for hot weather but is also good for our complexion. and even helps to prevent aging! Now that's enough reason for us to have old cucumber soup as often as possible! 

Old cucumber is usually used for soup and there are variety of soups you can try depending on your preferences.  For a start, this is a very simple soothing soup with minimal ingredients and almost every Chinese knows how to cook it.  No doubt it is very simple, it is very refreshing and yummy too..... :)

Ingredients :
- half free range chicken (cut and blanched)
- 1 large old cucumber (skin thoroughly scrubbed and washed, de-seeded and cut into chunks)
- 1/2 (or less) stalk ta tau choy (salted mustard green) (soaked and cut)-do soak longer as it can be very salty
- enough water for the soup

Method :
1) Boil enough water in a big pot.  When water started boiling, put in all the ingredients.
2)  Boil at high heat for 10 minutes and lower the heat to medium low.
3)  Simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours
4)  Add salt to taste and serve hot.

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Super Easy and Quick Braised Tofu

This dish is super easy and quick especially for those who are rushing to get a meal ready.  Besides, it is also quite delicious and kids love it too especially with Teowchew porridge.
All you need is a canned of minced meat with bean paste, semi soft tofu and tomatoes.  Add red chilies if you like it spicier.  Put everything into a medium-sized pot and add 1/2 to 1 cup of water depending on your preference.   Let it braise for about 5  minutes.  
Add salt or soy sauce to taste.
This is so simple, isn't it?

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living is 1 year old and Simple Sweet Sour Prawns

Time really flies...  Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living is 1 year old today!  It has been exactly 12 months since I set up this simple humble blog of mine!  Oh... I just can't believe I can go this far! Hehehe..

I am proud to say that I have learned a lot from being a non-blogger to a blogger.  I still consider myself a new blogger cos' there are still rooms for improvement.  Initially my intention to have a blog is to post everything that concerns healthy lifestyle.  As time goes by, I started to share my recipes.  All my recipes are very simple and I find joy in sharing even though they are just  very simple and common dishes.

There is still one thing which I really hope that I have enough time  - to take beautiful and creative photos of  yummy foods cook by me!.  You see, most of the time whenever I cooked a dish and wished to share with my readers, I just grabbed the camera and started to click without actually aiming for a good shot.  I am sorry  I usually did it in a haste.  I regret that I don't have time to do all these.  Well, I promise myself that once I have ample time, I would do nice shots of those recipes that I am sharing.    Give me some time.... and I will do it!!

Another thing is that if you are constantly following my blog publicly or silently, you would realise that I don't have any baking recipe!  Yes, you are right!  When comes to baking, I am hopeless.  I also promise myself that I would learn baking when I have time and  if one day you do see my 1st baking recipe here, than you are sure that I have taken my first step in baking and am proud to share it with my dear readers.  Tell you what... I have all the baking tools from oven to pans, but all are for show only! So ashamed to admit this!  They are either still brand new (even though have been standing there for years), nicely packed in the store room or either have been used once or the most twice only!!!  

I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all my readers who have taken time to visit my blog.  Furthermore,  every single of your comment is being appreciated.  Without you all, I can't be here.  As at today, my page viewers have reached 29,982 and I am indeed pleased with the results.  Of course I can't compare with those experienced bloggers who have readers over hundreds thousands or even millions!  I really admire them!  I wouldn't be here today unless  someone out there bothers to visit my humble blog every once in a while. With that in mind I would really  like to thank each and everyone who follows my blog. It is indeed satisfying to see the readership and page views increasing each day. Last but not least,  I really appreciate it when a total stranger who cares to take some time to stop by, pays my humble blog a visit and give comments; especially with so many other super quality blogs around.  Once again, A BIG THANK YOU!!!! :)

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Ok, enough about my bragging...  To celebrate the 1st anniversary of Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living, here is a dish I would like to share with all my dear readers.  Hope you all like it! :)

Ingredients :
- 500 gm big prawns (cleaned and de-veined, marinated)
- salt (for marinate)
- pepper (for marinate)

Sauce : (to taste)
- 1 thumbsize ginger (washed and finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp garlic (finely chopped)
- spring onions (cut)
Sauce Mixture :
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- soy sauce (to taste)
- salt (to taste)
- sugar (to taste)

Method :
1)  Heat oil in a wok.
2)  Lightly deep fry marinated prawns and set aside.
3)  Saute spring onions, ginger and garlic until fragrant.
4)  Add sauce mixture and stir.
5)  Add in fried prawns and mix well.
6)  Dish out and serve hot.


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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Spicy Fragrant Japanese Pumpkin (南瓜 nán guā) - Meatless Recipe

Japanese pumpkin (南瓜 nán guā) is extremely nutritious as it is high in Vitamin A, C, beta-carotene and also a  good source of carbohydrates.  It is easily available in Asia and if compared to the usual western orange pumpkin, is smaller in size but far more sweeter. It can be stir fried or made into puree or soups.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin :

1. Feel Fuller
Pumpkin seeds pack about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while mashed pumpkin has only 50 calories per cup and 3 grams of fiber. “Fiber helps keep you fuller longer, which keeps your appetite at bay so you eat less overall,” says nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, author of The Virgin Diet.

2. Boost Vision
A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, according to researchers from Harvard. Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.

3. Lower Blood Pressure
Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.

4. Sleep Better
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness, says Virgin. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood, says Virgin.

5. Protect Your Package
Pumpkins — especially the seeds — are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties, says Virgin. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health. When young men in a Wayne State University study restricted their dietary zinc intake, they had significantly lower levels of testosterone after 20 weeks.

6. Have a Healthier Heart
All that fiber can also help protect your ticker, research shows. One Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals found that those who ate a diet high in fiber had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who ate a diet low in fiber. A more recent study by Swedish researchers found that women who ate a diet high in fiber had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with women who ate a low fiber diet. Men benefitted less, likely because they’re more likely to get their fiber from breads, while women are more likely to get their fiber from healthier sources, like fruits and vegetables, the researchers write.

That means pumpkin-laced desserts won’t quite cut it. For a healthier way to add pumpkin into your diet, adding pumpkin chunks to a roasted vegetable medley, or sprinkling pumpkin seeds on top of your salad. Feeling even more creative? Try 
pumpkin puree in place of nut butters as a spread, Virgin suggests. And for an energizing morning smoothie, blend a high-quality protein powder (like vanilla DailyBurn Fuel) with coconut milk, chia seeds, pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Happy fall indeed!
Source : dailylife


Japanese pumpkin is very delicious when stir-fry with Thai basil (九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ).  Here's the recipe I created at the spur of the moment when I was wondering what to do with the leftover Thai basil.

Ingredients :
- half Japanese pumpkin (washed, de-seeded and cubed)
- 2 sprigs of Thai Basil (washed)
- 1 tsp dried shrimps
- 1 red chili (washed, de-seeded and sliced)
- 1 thumbsized ginger (washed and crushed)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 cup of water
- soy sauce (to taste)
Method :
1)  Heat oil in a wok and saute ginger and garlic until fragrant.
2)  Add dried shrimps and fry until aromatic.
3)  Stir in pumpkin and chili.  Stir fry for a while and add water.
4)  Cover and simmer until pumpkin is semi soft and add in Thai basil and soy sauce.
5)  Stir and mix well.  Dish up and serve immediately.
Note :
I did not add salt to it as I feel that soy sauce itself is sufficient to enhance the flavour of any pumpkin dishes.

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Friday, 15 March 2013

Stir-fry Bok Choy with Grey Oyster Mushroom (Meatless Recipe)

I always make it a point to have meatless meals twice or thrice a week.  I am not a vegetarian but just a bit health conscious.  So, whenever I prepared meatless meals for my family, I would make sure that the meals are nutritious and healthy.  Besides fresh veggies, tofu, mushrooms, beans, nuts, grains and legumes are my favourite for meatless meals.  Whether you are a vegetarian or just trying to eat healthier, these ingredients are packed with essential nutrients and are delicious too!

Bok choy is one of the veggies I used to cook. It is high in vitamin K which can be beneficial in the prevention of  osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.  Besides, it is very delicious.  I stir fried it most of the time and occasionally I cooked it with noddles soup.  Here's a simple and nutritious stir-fry bok choy with oyster mushroom.

Ingredients :
- 1 packet of grey oyster mushroom (washed and torn into pieces)
- 1 big bunch of bok choy (washed and cut)
- 1 thumbsized ginger (washed and crushed)
- 3 cloves garlic (washed and crushed)

Seasonings : (to taste)
- oyster/abalone sauce or soy sauce
- salt
- Chinese cooking wine

Cooking oil

Method :
1)  Heat oil in a wok and saute ginger and garlic until fragrant.
2)  Add bok choy and give it a quick stir fry.
3)  Add in mushrooms.  Stir and mix well.  If too dry, add some water.
4)  Stir in seasonings and serve immediately.

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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ayam Masak Merah (Spicy Chicken with Tomato Gravy)

Ayam masak merah is a very delicious dish.  I would usually use instant paste as it is easy and fast to prepare.  However, this time I decided to follow all the necessary steps when I saw the recipe from Wendy at Johor Food Fest hosted by Annie, with some minor modification.
Ingredients :
- half chicken cut into bite pieces (marinated with turmeric, pepper and salt, set aside for about 30 minutes
- 3 red chilies
- 1 thumbsized ginger
- 1 whole garlic
- 4 shallots
- 1 red onion (sliced)
- 2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves (bunga cengkih)
- 3 cardamoms (buah pelaga)

- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1/2 cup santan (coconut milk)
-1/2 cup canned green peas
- salt (to taste)
- sugar (to taste)

-cooking oil

Method :
1)  Blend shallots, chilies, ginger and garlic.
2)  Heat oil in a wok and pan fry marinated chicken until golden brown.  It is ok if the chicken is not cooked.
3)  Dish up and set aside.
4)  Leave about 2 - 3 tbsp of oil in the wok.  
4)  Lower the heat to medium and saute the blended ingredients until glossy.
5)  Put in cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and sliced onions.  Keep stirring until the onions is translucent and soft.
6)  Put in tomato ketchup, chopped tomatoes and coconut milk.  Stir and mix well.
7)  Return the fried chicken to the wok and cook until the gravy is reduced and thickened.
8)  Lastly add the green peas, salt and sugar.  Let it simmer for a while and it is ready to be served.
Serve hot with rice.  
"I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Johor Month hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food"


I'm also linking this post to September 2013 Cooking With Herbs Blog Challenge hosted by Lavender and Lovage.





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