I have always liked drinking my soup plus eating almost everything delicious that is boiled in it and I usually eat the softened meat with my homemade dips and even some parts of the meat bones that are chewable are not spared. We had adopted a pet dog and housed it in our backyard and Brownie would often put its nose in between the door grill whenever I cooked and especially when I boiled soup. The smell of meat being boiled for a few hours must have gotten it excited in the hopes of a hearty meal of meat but unfortunately dashed because the owner had failed to deliver! Poor Brownie! With a meat lover owner as a competitor, it only got to eat a little of leftover meat which was practically gulped down in a mouthful and probably its forlorn whines and untouched dog biscuits must have been signs of disappointment. I had thought that dog biscuits would have been enough pampering! Well, from then on whenever I boiled soup, I additionally bought and cooked chicken gizzards, livers and organs and served it to our friend. Paws licking good and I was back in Brownie's favour again!

Just dipping my bread into a bowl of smooth mushroom soup is not satisfying enough so I decided to add some bite of mushroom, meat and celery to it. Instead of using all purpose flour, I am using mix whole grain rice which I ground in an electric spice miller/grinder and I usually grind a big batch and store in airtight containers or bags in the freezer ready for use. This soup is good for one of those days when you just want something light and yet filling and nutritious. Extras can be frozen and microwaved to reheat. Here's the recipe:

Mushroom Soup with a Bite
200g chicken fillet
250g white mutton mushroom
1 stalk celery
6 pips garlic
60g onion (1 medium)
1/4 tsp ground black peppercorns or less
6 tbsp ground mix whole grain or brown rice
4 cups water
2 tbsp light olive oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt or less
Flat leaf parsley (opt)

  • Cube chicken and celery into 1 cm size.
  • Marinate meat with ground pepper and a big pinch of salt.
  • Slice mushrooms thickly.
  • Mince garlic and onion.
  • Chop parsley leaves for garnish
How to cook
  1. Saute minced garlic and onion in heated light olive oil until lightly browned.
  2. Add mushrooms and saute until water from mushrooms evaporates.
  3. Stir in celery for another 1/2 minute and turn off heat. Scoop into a plate and leave to cool.
  4. Finely blend half of cooled mushroom mixture with some water in a blender or food processor.
  5. Bring the rest of the water to boil, add ground rice and blended mushroom mixture.  Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes with the lid loosely covered. 
  6. Uncover, add meat, remaining half of mushroom mixture and bring to boil over high heat.
  7. When meat is cooked (do not overcook), stir in milk and salt to taste. Turn off heat as soon as soup is just boiling. 
  8. Stir in extra virgin olive oil and serve in soup bowls with chopped parsley.

Dip your soup spoon in, scoop up goodness and enjoy ...


Bean Paste Fish with Mango; a tasty fish dish with bean paste and mango for that refreshing, saucy and tangy taste.

Bean Paste Fish with Mango

Welcome back, lovely, luscious and mouth watering mangoes; it's the mango season again! My love affair with mangoes started when I was at a very young age. I was at a close friend's house and she had this big mango tree right in her garden with all those green and ripe mangoes straining from their branches. As a guest in her territory, I dared not climb to pluck them and I could only stare at them, salivating. It was a different story back at home though. The front and back gardens of my house in Penang then were like a mini orchard with rose apple (jambu air), guava, pomelo, starfruit, lime and banana trees and I would often scout them out to see if the fruits were ripe and delighted myself in harvesting them. The rose apple and guava trees suffered most of my presence for they were the ones that I was only able to climb and I would pluck their fruits and enjoy myself with eating and watching the passers by from my perch on the thick branches.

Back at my friend's house, her mother would hospitably skin the mangoes and slice the flesh right under the tree itself and then offer them to me. Wow, the sweet and sourish taste and eating it right there and then just made my day! I don't know about you but for me even this day, it is always more exciting and delicious eating on site!

The abundance of different shapes and sizes of mangoes this morning were all too irresistible and I bought some back home. Then I thought of cooking fish with bean paste and mango and so I did.  I used half ripened mango for this dish because the firmness of the flesh would not become mushy during cooking.  I wanted the sourness too and yet not too sour with the slight ripeness lending sweetness so that I would not have to add too much sugar.  Here's the recipe:

Ingredients and Preparation
600g whole fish or two medium (Halibut or others)
200g skinned and cubed mango that is half ripe
5 pips garlic
10g ginger
2 tbsp chopped green / spring onions
1 tbsp bean paste
1 tsp chilli powder
300ml water
1 tbsp sesame oil
Oil to sear fish
Mix together: 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Scale, trim, gut and clean fish.  Make two incisions on each side or only one if using smaller fishes. Season with salt and rub chilli powder all over.
  • Mince garlic and ginger

How to cook
  1. Heat wok and pour in enough oil to sear fish.  When oil is heated, sear each side over high heat until nicely browned but only half cooked.  Remove to a plate and set aside. 
  2. Discard some of the oil leaving a little behind and add sesame oil. Saute garlic and ginger in the heated oils until  aromatic.
  3. Pour in 300ml water and bring to boil.  Add bean paste, cubed mangoes, bring to boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add fish, green onions, cornflour mixture and cook over high heat until fish is just cooked and sauce thickened. Season to taste.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with green onion and serve hot with rice.
** Opt for fresh and firm white flesh fish fillets if preferred.  Do wear disposable food preparation gloves when handling chilli powder to avoid skin irritation.


Introduction to Herbs, Spices and Ingredients to spice up your foods and cause your taste buds to encounter a tantalising and unforgettable experience.

Herbs, Spices and Ingredients

Whenever I go to the market, the galore of foodstuffs never fail to make me amazed by God's provision for mankind. The other day, I had thought of taking photographs to upload and introduce these fresh, lovely herbs and spices to those who are unfamiliar with them and so this morning I was prepared and went earlier than usual to beat the crowd.  I wanted to avoid obstructing business when clicking away. Thankfully, the mood was good with some of the stall owners inviting me to take as many photographs as I wanted.  I have edited and arranged these images plus those taken from my backyard too. There are images of some spices and other ingredients that I usually use in my cooking as well. 

~ Kim ~

Introduction to Herbs, Spices and Ingredients to spice up your foods and cause your taste buds to encounter a tantalising and unforgettable experience.

Herbs, Spices and Ingredients Whenever I go to the market, the galore of foodstuffs never fail to make me amazed by God's provi...