Chinese Seafood Claypot

I enjoy eating Chinese Seafood claypot for dinner as it is a wholesome and delicious meal. Food that is cook using clay-pot taste better as it requires very little oil and the flavor of the food is seal inside the clay pot. Remember to soak the clay pot in water for about one hour before you start using it to prevent it from cracking during cooking. To wash up the clay pot, there is no need to use any liquid detergent, just scrub some salt  on the clay pot, rinse it and then soak it in hot water. Thereafter, make sure you let it dry before storing it away – this is to prevent mold from growing in the clay pot.

Now back to the Chinese Seafood clay pot – it is an easy food to prepare for the family. The ingredients that you want to add is totally flexible. I will give you my style of cooking Chinese Seafood clay pot. You can serve 5 to 6  persons which makes it a family dinner meal. You need to use a large size clay pot for this recipe.

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Chinese Seafood Claypot

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Ingredients

1)  16 large prawns, removed the shelled and de-veined.

2)  200 grams of broccoli – wash and sliced.

3)  12 button mushroom – sliced halved.

4)  10 dried mushroom – soak in water to soften.

5)  8 pieces of black fungus – wash and cut into halve

6)  carrots, snow peas, Chinese cabbage – just add in accordance to preference.

7)  200 gm of chicken meat – sliced into pieces

8)  ginger slices, chopped garlic and chopped spring onions.

9) 2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine and 1 or 2 tablespoon corn starch

10)  pepper, light and dark soy sauce and sesame oil.

1.  Season the chicken pieces with light soy sauce and small amount of pepper and let it marinate.

2.  Put some cooking oil in the clay pot and put in the ginger, chopped garlic, chopped spring onions – saute it till it is fragrant.

3.  Put in the marinate chicken and some rice wine and stir fry it for 1 to 2 minutes.

4.  Add in the rest of the ingredients – that is prawns, vegetables and mushrooms, toss and stir fry briefly.

5.  Pour in the chicken broth or just plain water and let it boil for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once it is boiling you can add the corn starch to make the broth thicken.

6.  Add some light soy sauce and pepper. If you want the broth to look darker, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce.

7.  If you do not want your prawns to be overcooked. you could put in the prawns after the broth starts to boil – so that it is cooked for about 5 minutes.

8.  Add in one or 2 drop of sesame oil and it is ready to serve.

Try this recipe out and you can later improved upon it based your taste and preferences. Some people like to add slices of fish meat and squids, while others prefer more vegetables – the choice is yours. I am very sure that you will enjoy eating this meal as it is very delicious and nutritious; and you can taste that the flavors of this food is being locked in by the clay pot.

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Chinese Seafood Claypot

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Chinese Boiled Peanuts

One of the common food that you can find in a Chinese restaurant is the boiled peanuts. It is normally served as a starter dish when you eat in the Chinese restaurant. The taste of the boiled peanuts is sweet with a little salty flavor; and the texture of the peanuts is soft as it as been boiled for a couple of hours. The Chinese boiled peanuts goes well with porridge; and in fact if you go to any Chinese porridge stall, you can order this food separately. I enjoy eating boiled peanuts as it is delicious and easy on the stomach. There is no excessive oil or spices needed to enhance the flavor of this simple food and yet it has it own unique aroma and taste. Many of my friends including myself can eat this food almost non stop; casually chewing the sweet and soft peanuts with a couple of beers.

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Chinese Boiled Peanuts

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I understand from a friend that to make the Chinese boiled peanuts, you need to soak the peanuts for about 6 hours or more. Thereafter, you rinse it and put it in a cooker, pot or a pressure cooker. Add water, sugar and salt and start the cooking process. I think using the pressure cooker will make the peanut softer and reduce cooking time. If you taste the gravy of the peanut, it is light brown in color and it taste sweet and slightly salty. I think the longer you cook the peanut, the tastier it will become; as the peanut will absorb the flavors of the sugar and salt.Unlike the roasted peanuts, the Chinese boiled peanuts is not a heaty food and will not give you a sore throat if you consume too many. I saw boiled peanuts being sold in cans at many supermarkets. But those sold in the supermarkets are either too sweet or salty in taste. Normally I would drain away the light gravy and then rinse the peanuts with hot water; thereafter the peanuts will not taste too salty or sweet.

Lion Statues for Protection

I attended a house warming party of a close friend who has just moved in into his new semi-detached home in Malaysia. It is a beautiful two storey house with a beautiful manicure garden in the front and back of the house. Houses in Malaysia are very affordable as compared to the landed properties in Singapore. But for foreigners who wish to buy a property in Malaysia, they are only allowed to buy a property with price of at least RM500,000. Even with this restriction, the prices of property is still very affordable in Malaysia.  A brand new house has the feeling of clean, bright and youthful look, that is what I liked of newly built houses and condominiums.

My friend told me that he will be putting two lion statues in front of his house ( at the gate) or in addition another pair right outside the wide main door of his home. He is still shopping for the right pair of lions suitable for his home. At that time, his sister in law interrupted and she felt that putting a pair of lion statues looks so lame and old fashioned. His sister in law being a staunch christian do not believe about the old traditional Chinese beliefs of the lion statues and she felt that such a belief is nonsensical.

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Lion Statues - For Good Luck and Protection

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I told his sister in law that the lion statues is a symbol of power, good luck and a good protector. Whether any person believe in it or not, it does not matter. What matters is the owner of the house or building who feel good about having a pair of lions in their premises. I told her that if she felt that this is mere superstitious, then tell it to the HSBC bank. Asked why a giant global bank like HSBC bank insists of putting a pair of old fashioned lion statues in their HQ building? She could also posed this question to many successful companies in Asia which placed a pair of lion statues outside their spanking new buildings. A pair of lion statues represents power and prestige, period. The Chinese belief that a pair of lion statues serve as a protector against evil spirits is real. I jokingly told her that if her home is being infested with evil spirit one day and her pastors and church members are unable to help to get rid of it, then get a pair of fierce lion statues and get it blessed it by a good monk – then put it in her home. She can then see first hand the mystical power of the lions in getting rid of the evil spirits and bringing peace to her home.

I firmly believe that what we do not believe or do not know, we should not judge or ridicule. Anyway my friend had ignored his sister in law and will proceed with his plan to place the pair of lion statues in his home. I always felt that if you are down and out of luck for months or years and is unable to get out of it, you should try a different approach to alleviate this problem. Yes, we all know that we need to work hard, work smart and being discipline ( no excessive gambling, drinking, etc ) . But there are times when all that we have done right, including daily prayers have not help – that is when need additional effort to boost our luck. Never under estimate the mystical power of lion statues. You can see many lion statues in many tall buildings and beautiful homes in Asia, it is placed there for a reason and it works.

If you are keen to find out more about Malaysia and Singapore, just follow the link below: –

ImageSingapore.com

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Calming Effect of Water

Whenever I feel tired, restless and low in energy, I will do a couple of things to boost up my life. First of all, I will make sure that I get enough sleep and rest. I will also take more nutritious food and drink like ginseng, Chinese herbal soup and energy drink like Pocari. Daily exercise also help in getting my body back in fitness. Sometimes, despite all these things being done, I still have the feeling of low energy and stress. That is when I head down to the nearest place where there is plenty of water. It could be the sea, a waterfall, a reservoir/lake or even a simple beautiful man made pond. I will simply seat there for at least an hour and let the water elements work on my body.

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Water has a calming and positive effect on my body. The Chinese firmly believes in the importance of water as part of the landscape to enhance health and wealth. That is why in Asia, you can see so many beautiful buildings with water elements such as fountains and ponds incorporated in their landscape. The sound of water derived from a fountain can be a calming effect on our mind’ and it also transfer positive energy into our body. I have the habit of sitting next to a fountain or a beautiful pond with fishes whenever I am free. For best effect, I try to do this alone and not bringing friends and families with screaming kids running around. I mean how can a person focus on the sound of water and the beauty of nature ( fishes) when you have kids screaming and your friends chatting non stop? You should treat it as an important therapeutic session that you must do alone in order to gain the maximum benefits from water elements.

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Calming Effect of Water

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According to Chinese Feng Shui, water is the most important symbol of money.  This is because there is a positive chi energy generated from moving water that give us wealth and health. So if you intend to built a fountain or a pond in your home, make sure that the water is continuously moving and not stagnant. So make water therapy a part of your life and I am sure you will see the positive benefits it brings to your life.

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Fishes in the Pond

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