“What’s Cooking” in Victor’s Kitchen

This morning I bought the following fresh produce from a couple of Hmong stalls at the Hobart Farm Gate market.

When I bought them this morning I was not sure how I was going to use them and what to cook. I guess I got a bit carried away at the market seeing all the lovely fresh produce.

Later in the afternoon, I went to my local supermarket to buy some other ingredients for tonight’s dinner – a packet of pork mince, a packet of pork scotch fillet, 12 fresh king prawns, 2 purple garlics, 1 brown onion, 1 red onion, a punnet cherry tomato, 1 red capsicum, 5 red chilies, 1 bunch sweet basil and 6 button mushrooms. I still don’t know what I was going to cook until I had them on my kitchen bench.

After looking through all the ingredients, I decided to make 3 dishes tonight. And, decided not to use the Choy Sum, which is best done as a simple garlic stir fry. I will use that for tomorrow night dinner.

All 3 dishes that I decided to create were something new. None of which I have ever done before.

First, I prepared all the ingredients.

1. Spring onions – first trimmed and discarded the roots from the stem. Next chopped the white sections into 3 different sizes. The green sections chopped 1 cm apart for garnishing later.

2. Red chilies – sliced them in an angle.

3. Garlics – peeled and chopped finely.

4. Brown onion – peeled. Cut in half then sliced thinly.

5. Red onion – peeled. Cut into small pieces.

6. Coriander – trimmed and discarded the roots. Then chopped the stem finely. Leaves chopped roughly.

7. Red capsicum – cut into small bite pieces.

8. Mushrooms – sliced thinly.

9. Cherry tomato – cut in half.

10. Basil leaves – chopped some leaves roughly.

11. Carrots – chopped in 2 cm apart.

At this time, I was still not sure what and how I was going to use all the ingredients.

I guess I made them along the way.

I decided to make a spice paste for the pork mince. I blended the tomatoes, red onions, some chilies, garlic, a bit of red capsicum, and kaffir lime zest (optional) and 1 cm ginger (optional) into a cup (of Nigella Lawson’s cup).

Next, I thought it would be fun to cook outside using my Asian wok and burner on my deck. That was a mistake. It would be fine if I had made only one dish. But with 3 dishes I had to cook the first one. Then take inside. Bring out the ingredients for the second dish. Cooked and then take inside again. And, then the third dish’s ingredients. So lots of rushing in and out! It was madness. I did it anyway but never again.

The first dish was the pork scotch fillets, which I had earlier sliced into smaller bite pieces. The sauce – bean paste (or “Tau Cheong”) with garlic, chilies, spring onions, brown onions and chopped sweet basil.

The second dish was pork mince with my special spice sauce. First fry the spice paste until fragrant. Removed. Then fry the pork mince until almost cooked. Tossed in the spice paste. Combined then added chopped carrots and capsicum. Followed by a bit of fish sauce and pinch of palm sugar. And, finally tossed in finely chopped coriander stem and basil leaves.

Finally, the third dish – fresh king prawns in garlic, coriander, chili and spring onion sauce. Firstly, I fried the garlic, chilies, coriander and spring onion. Then tossed in the prawns. Added a bit of oyster sauce, fish sauce, caramalised dark soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine. Garnished with chopped coriander leaves.


10 responses to ““What’s Cooking” in Victor’s Kitchen

  1. I love and admire so much the way you (seemingly) effortlessly buy, prepare and cook up some of the most mouth-watering looking food ever. Every time I read one of your posts about food you have made, I can almost taste it as I read your ingredient list and look at your stunning pictures.
    Once again you have made me famished just reading and looking at your blog! Damn you Victor!

    • Thanks, Rita. If there is any consolation, it doesn’t work all the time. But very rare. And when it doesn’t work, you know “who” in this house will have something to say about the dish! LOL.

  2. The fresh king prawns in garlic dish looks so yummy, actually all 3 dishes. It’s kind of nice to be able to get fresh vegetables, I can’t wait to grow some in my garden.

    • You have a great garden and vege patch, Nye (and, your father’s too). You put me to shame! LOL. I don’t think I will do a vege patch on this small property esp the supermarkets are so close to home.

  3. Looks very yum Victor!
    BTW, we just returned from Penang and had again a great food extravaganza experience.
    We also had a brief lunch encounter with a cousin of my better half, living in Melbourne. According to her they do have some decent malaysian food down-under because of the many malaysians living in OZland. You confirm?
    Anyway, I’m into updating my blog with some new stories soon.
    One of them will be a (non-food) serious rant about one “special” part of Penang [not nice] community/herd behaviour.
    Later though, as for now I’ll have to catch up with real life after being absent for a week.

    • Hey JP – can’t wait to read what you have to write about the other side of Penang! ;-0
      It is true about the Malaysian food in Sydney and Melbourne. There are pockets of them around – esp the smaller establishments that are really good and authentic. Penang street food is still the best though. That’s why Penangites still go back to Penang whenever possible for that special treat. I envy that you and your wife get to go back to Pg so frequently, being so close HK/PG, and such cheap flights.

  4. How did you find the Hmong fresh stuff for lasting for use later in the week? I tend to find that by wednesday the carrots are bendy and everything else looks slightly worse for wear whereas the other suppliers last 1.5 to 2 weeks before looking similar.

    • Hi TG – that Sunday was the first time I have bought veg from the Hmong stall at the market. They looked great at the time. But you are absolutely correct. The baby carrots were bendy after day 2 in my fridge. So was the Choy Sum. I used them immediately on that night. Not sure why they didn’t last longer. Anyone who has a different experience or opinion?

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