Thursday, 25 September 2008

Kitchen helpers


Working mothers like us often have to resort to using prepacked pastes and seasoning to save time. I always choose the ones without any MSG. Given a choice, preparing from scratch is always the best but I think it is still healthier than eating out. At least I make a conscious effort to use olive and sunflower oil for frying and control the amount of salt that goes into every dish.

Since I have fresh squid, prawns and straw mushrooms at home, I'm planning to cook Tom Yum soup for dinner tonight. I'm giving the crockpot a break but who has the time to prepare tom yum paste (grind chilli, ginger etc) on a workday? So, I bought a pack of tom yum soup base, some lemon grass, lime and lemons. All I have to do is boil water and put in all the ingredients. It saves me alot of time and energy.

I've also seasoned fresh chicken pieces with prepacked shrimp paste powder and left them to marinate in the fridge. I'll fry them just before dinner. We're eating too much meat this week, I really should cut down and serve more steamed fish.

Dinner is not complete without vegetables. I'll stir fry some greens too. That should make a balanced meal.

7 comments:

Amel's Realm said...

You're a GREAT Mom!!! :-)))) It's gonna be tough for me to serve fresh food here in Finland when I have kids later, but I'll try he he he...

Blur Ting said...

Amel - Actually frozen food is good too because the nutrients are preserved when the food is frozen fresh. So don't worry too much about it. Fresh food, if not handled properly, isn't any better.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Hey, let me know how's the tomyam? I can get that particular brand here, but haven't tried it. I'm skeptical lah.

La Delirante said...

"Working mothers like us often have to resort to using prepacked pastes and seasoning to save time" Oh, tell me about it :) Though I am not a mother yet I am already struggling with the both of us working and all the house work. And both of us work at home...I can't imagine how bad it would be if Red didn't help.

Cheers,

Blur Ting said...

MH - The pack says it is able to serve 4 but when I opened up the sachet, there was very little paste. I wondered how to make a pot of soup for 4 using so little paste. As it turns out, it was quite OK. Perhaps would be better for 2-3 person.

Since I wanted to make a big pot for 4, what I did was I added lemon grass, ginger slices, chilli padi, some chicken stock and lime juice. Then I shelled the prawns and tossed the head and shells into the soup to enrich the stock. I could have added some fish sauce but I forgot but I put in some sugar to sweeten it. When I had achieved a rich orangy stock, I added in shelled prawns, squid, fresh tomatoes and straw mushroom, taking care not to overcook (just boil will do) so that the ingredients stay tender.

The end result was very satisfying though YK said he preferred something spicier and more tangy. All I had to do was add chilli padi and lime juice.Maybe next time.

So, yah, you should try this brand but be prepared to enrich the stock yourself.

Blur Ting said...

Wen - It's a struggle especially if we are neat freaks. So now, I try not to scrutinise the floor and crinkly clothes. Out of sight, out of mind :-)

Amel's Realm said...

Really? I thought frozen food was less good than fresh food. OK then, THANKS for the info he he he...