Laksa Singapore

singaporean laksa

Broth –
700ml chicken stock
100ml water
100g dried anchovies
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 litre coconut milk
Fish sauce

Spice Paste –
8 shallots, chopped
12 large dried red chillies, soaked in lukewarm water for 1 hour
200g dried shrimp, soaked in lukewarm water for 4 hours
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced
12 candlenuts
2 tsp dried shrimp paste, roasted
5-cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and chopped
3-cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground star anise
1 tbsp coriander seed
4 tbsp vegetable oil 

Noodle & Garnishing –
300g dried thick rice vermicelli
Tiger prawns, cooked
12 pieces bean curd puff, halved
Pan-fried Chinese fishcakes, sliced
2 eggs, hard-boiled and halved
1 cup bean sprouts, tailed and lightly blanched
1/4 cup fresh laksa leaves (Vietnamese mint), finely chopped
shrimp paste chili

1. Boil the chicken stock and water in a large pot. Add the dried anchovies and simmer for 1 hour on medium heat, then reduce the heat to low for a gentler simmer.
2. In the meantime, pound all ingredients for the spice paste with a mortar or just blend everything in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed.
3. Heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the spice paste for 5-10 minutes, until dark brown and very fragrant.
4. Add the spice paste and coconut milk to the pot. Turn the heat up and bring it to a rolling boil, then season the broth with fish sauce, sugar, and salt to taste.
5. Cook the rice vermicelli according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Divide the noodles into four bowls.
6. Garnish with bean curd puff, fishcakes, prawns, eggs and bean sprouts. Ladle in the broth and serve with a sprinkling of finely chopped laksa leaves and shrimp paste chili.

Happy chili meal 🙂

Chicken Gallantina

chicken gallantina


2 kgs of chicken breast, deboned
1kg ground pork
500 grams ground chicken
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup green bell pepper
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 can vienna sausage
1 piece egg
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup cubed cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pickles, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Except for deboned chicken, mix all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Stuff cavity of chicken with mixture. Sew or use toothpicks to ensure that stuff will not burst while baking.
3. Place chicken on a bed of mirepoix (a combination of chopped carrots, celery and onions used to add flavor and aroma to the chicken, and to avoid the bird from sticking to pan when cooking).
4. Place in preheated oven with temperature of 338 Fahrenheit and cook for around 30 to 40 minutes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Dealing with Challenging Relationships

dealing with challenging relationships

All relationships are challenging.  Why?  Because, we are dealing with people.  Everyone of us was created unique with certain attitudes and desires.  In relationships, we try to match our uniqueness with the people or person we are in relationship with.  This is when the challenge happens.

Dealing with challenging relationships will teach us a lot about life.  The many different types of relationships in our lives –  romantic, family (parents & children, sibling, relatives), friendship, co-workers, etc.  require time and effort to nourish.

Love is what binds us to a relationship.  Because of love we would be kind, tolerant, understanding, compassionate toward each other.  We would  do our best to have an open communication for relationships to grow.

Everyone of us have at one time or another experienced times when certain relationships become  too much of work to handle, leaving us exhausted and stressed.  We are tempted to cut our relationship with that person forever.

I would agree that we should end a relationship that takes a toll on our whole well-being, one that prevents us from enjoying life at its fullest.  Relationships that do not develop us into better human beings are better ended.  However, we should not abruptly end said relationships without a fight.  Meaning, we should have tried all possible means to make that relationship work before we throw in the towel and quit.  Following are some steps to help you deal with a challenging relationship with the hope of making the relationship grow into a fruitful one and help you grow and learn the facts of life.

The first thing you need to do is to write down your feelings toward the people or person you are in relationship with.  Where are you in your relationship?  What is happening with your relationship? Where do you want it to go? Is it growing at the speed you’ve envisioned it to be?  Is it growing as you want it to grow? Are you unhappy, uncomfortable, angry, impatient, frustrated?  Don’t just write the negative emotions.  Include the positive feelings as well. Write down all your emotions.

Now  that you’ve written down all your emotions, analyze why you feel that way. Make sure you are unbiased in your analysis and make sure you perfectly understand the meaning of each emotion that you have written down.  If need be, look up their definitions. Dig deeply into the root causes of these emotions.

Next, analyze from within.  Are these emotions true?  Are they not mere fabrications of your fear?  Maybe you fear that your partner is not happy with you; thus, you feel insecure. Remember that no one can make you feel anything; you have the option to choose how you feel.  Could it be that your insecurity is a result of your past, say your childhood past, and does not have anything to do with your partner? Maybe you are worried that your partner will leave you.  Maybe you do not trust your partner.  You doubt his loyalty to you. Make sure that you have identified the real reason of your negative emotions.  It is necessary to go back to your past to check the reasons of your emotions.  It could be that you are the reason of these negative emotions and not the person you are in relationship with.

Now, it is time to forgive.  If your challenging relationship is about hurt feelings, forgive.  Forgive the person or people who caused you the pain.  Forgive yourself for the negative thoughts and emotions.  Even if there was no confrontation with your spouse, partner, sibling, parent, friend or relative forgive with your mind and heart.  This will help you have a clear and unbiased judgment as you finalize your decision.

The last step towards dealing with a challenging relationship is to decide. If you followed above steps religiously, you are now ready to make a clear choice. Are you going to keep the relationship or are you going to end it?