Lesson/Tip – Bamboo Steamer and Wok Ring

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November 9, 2010

| Lesson/Tip – Bamboo Steamer and Wok Ring

Steamed dumplings are best cooked in a bamboo steamer. I learnt a new valuable tip when using the bamboo steamer in a wok. If your 1. wok is quite wide and large and your 2. bamboo steamer sits fairly close to the bottom of the wok, then there won’t be enough water for the steam to rise into the bamboo steamer. So what you need is this little contraption called a 3. wok ring. 4. You place the wok ring in the wok and place your bamboo steamer on top of the wok ring. What this does is keep your bamboo steamer high enough to have water sit underneath it to boil and the wok ring has holes on the side for water to come in and out of, making it perfect match for your wok and bamboo steamer.

You place the wok ring in the wok and place your bamboo steamer on top of the wok ring.

Homemade Thai Green Curry

…the family gave it a thumbs up and they didn’t all rush to the toilet…

Melbourne Cup day I spent at home with the family, we didn’t consider dinner and as it drew closer to dinner time no one could be bothered dropping by the shopping centre or buying take out.

o we went through a few dishes we could cook. So we had chicken in the fridge, a few vegetables and whatever was in the pantry. I suggested the idea of cooking Thai Green Curry 🙂 But of course as The Learner Chef, I’ve never tried to cook a curry before. I thought to myself, what have I got myself into? The flavours could be terribly wrong, it could be too spicy, I could even poison my family. Luckily my sister pointed me in the right direction (pre-made green curry paste).

Here’s a snippet of how I cooked the curry, I couldn’t believe how easy it was but then again I could of challenged myself by making the green curry paste. Anyways, so I grabbed some straw beans from the fridge and my sister suggested to add some more vegetables like carrots and potatoes into the dish (great additions sister). Started off with cooking the chicken (around 500g) with some garlic and onions, seasoned with a tablespoon of fish sauce and after the chicken was cooked I popped in two teaspoons of pre-made green curry paste (I guess you can buy this from any asian/indian store and most likely your local supermarket).

After the curry paste infused with the chicken I added a can of coconut milk (400mL) then added the vegetables. I should of boiled the potatoes beforehand and added the beans in a couple minutes before the curry was ready but they still tasted great and soaked up the curry juices. To compliment the dish I served the curry with coconut rice. You can add more chilli or more green curry paste to make the dish spicier. I can’t handle spicy food as I begin to sweat and cry (not a pretty sight)

When I have time I’ll post up a recipe (very soon). By the way, the family gave it a thumbs up and they didn’t all rush to the toilet. So I will be definitely cooking this dish again but maybe next time I will try to make the curry paste myself. Definitely give this one a go, you’ll impress the family and impress yourself.

How to Carve a Halloween Pumpkin

Another Halloween has passed by and this year I decided to carve my very first Halloween Pumpkin face. I’m very proud of the result and might make it a tradition to carve a new pumpkin face each year.

Carving a pumpkin requires a bit of elbow grease, a steady hand and a bit of patience. It only took 30-45 minutes to clean up the inside of the pumpkin and to carve its face.

Pumpkins in Australia usually come in a greenish/gray shell and not a juicy orange colour but to overcome that I found my pumpkin at Coles Supermarket which sells a Halloween Pumpkin specifically for carving.

It’s the perfect accessory for a Halloween party of all kinds and you can be as creative as you want with the face.

What you need:


– An orange pumpkin (any size) – I got mine from Coles Supermarket

– Different size knives – (Make sure they’re sharp)

– Large spoon/ladle


Steps:

I know you’re responsible but please be careful when handling knives. If you cut off your hand or any part of your body, you’ll have the best costume of all.


1.
Using a medium sized knife cut a circle on top of the pumpkin, big enough for your hand to fit in.

Tips:
I’d suggest cutting into the pumpkin on a slight angle, for when you place the top back on it doesn’t fall straight through.

2. Using a large spoon/ladle remove the inside of the pumpkin and clean up the inside walls.

3. Draw your face according to your preference with a pen or marker.

Tips:
I used a pen which rubbed off easily. There are plenty of face designs and ideas on the internet. Search for a few templates to get your juices thinking (pumpkin face templates)

4. Cut out the shape of your outline with a sharp knife and experiment with different sized knives and make sure to take your time.

Tips:
I found it easier to use straight lines for the outline and cut straight into the pumpkin according to the width of the knife. The triangles were the easiest, cutting the side lines first then cutting the bottom line which came out when I slid the knife out or pushed the triangle straight into the pumpkin.

5. You’re almost done. Clean up your outlines and empty any excess pumpkin inside the pumpkin.

6. That’s it! You’ve carved a Halloween pumpkin, wasn’t hard at all.

Tips:
For best effect, add a tea light candle inside, turn off the lights and enjoy your creation.