Friday, March 30, 2012

Countless benefits of yoga of kids

Childhood is a vibrant time when natural energy and creativity are high, when eyes and minds are open and learning is fun!

This makes it the perfect time for kids to explore and enjoy their bodies, while in touch with how their minds' work and introducing them to the idea of inner self, the "soul".

We all have the potential to develop our inner self, and yoga can show us how. Yoga is expressive, and this is what makes it so appealing to the kids.

There are countless benefits of yoga for kids, but the principal focus is to nurture a strong, healthy body, a calm, contented mind and , with commitment, a sense of inner peace.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stewed Minced Pork with Preserved Bean Curd

When my homemade preserved bean curd "matured", I used it in the pork stew. My niece was here for dinner the other day and she doesn't like stew minced pork so much, but this recipe with preserved bean curd, she ask for more!
I like this dish simply because it is suitable for the old and young at home. It goes well with a bowl of hot steam rice! Also, its very rewarding especially with homemade preserved bean curd add in to make the taste unique. What I used:

  • 500g Minced Pork (pork belly)
  • 200g Shallot (chopped)
  • 100g Garlic (chopped)
  • 20g Ginger (chopped)
  • 1/2cup Cooking Oil
  • 4 pieces Preserved Bean Curd
  • 4 nos Chinese Black Mushroom (medium - diced)
  • 2 Tbsp "Shao Xing" rice wine
  • 700ml Water
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 15g Rock Sugar
  • 1 tsp Five Spices Powder
How I cooked:
  1. Heat up oil, saute chopped shallot, garlic, ginger until fragrant and light golden brown.
  2. Add minced pork, preserved bean curd and rice wine. Stir fry over high heat until pork is cooked and combined well with other ingredients.
  3. Then, pour in water, add seasoning and bring to boil. Covered, simmer over low heat and stew for ~ 1 hour.
Points to highlight: 
I love to add hard-boiled egg while simmering. Stewed eggs is another flavored dish at home. If you like the stew to be sweet, add more rock sugar to desired sweetness.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Homemade Organic Fermented Soya Bean Curd 腐乳

I always make extra fermented soya bean curd 腐乳 to share with friends. Whenever I have very personal good occassion to celebrate (for myself), I would make fermented bean curd. Such as recently, my daughter can swim across the pool and the coach declared - "She can swim now!"; which took her some time to make it across.

To me, fermentation is a living process. Put in feeling while making would effect the process and taste of the entire fermentation process. I would try to be very peace and calm, happy, and think about those friends that I will share the fermented bean curd with.

It is a very personal gift, I believe, especially for friends who appreciate fermentation food and process...

We know humans have been consuming fermented foods for many thousand years and fermentation is the oldest known form of food biotechnology. It provides a means for producing safe and well preserved foods.

Especially in Asia, where soya has been a dietary staple for thousands of years, the traditional fermented soya foods are considered to have health promoting benefits. Through research, it is believed that consuming moderate amount of fermented soya products in the Asian populations play an important role in overall disease prevention and enhancement of well-being. Although researchers have not been able to identify all the responsible components in soya, it is increasingly recognized that fermented soya protein products such as fermented soya bean curd, miso, natto, tempeh (Indonesian), soy sauces, fermented soy milk and beverages have enhanced nutritive bioavailability while promoting heart and bone health, as well as alleviating menopausal symptoms. I hope the traditional fermented soya foods would become popular soon and more research would be done to proof its health benefits.

Ingredients I used:

  • 8 pieces Orgaic Soya Bean Curd

  • ~ 750g Organic Miso Paste Sea Salt

Tools I needed:

  • Cleaned & dried chopping board, knife, plate, cloth, chopstick, spoon, and glass bottle

How I do:

  1. Cut soya bean curd in smaller pieces.

  2. Place bean curd on dry plate and sprinkle sea salt on bean curd surface evenly. This is to absorb water content in the bean curd. The entire excreting process takes about 4 - 6 hours, depending on the humidity condition.

  3. Pour away the excretion (water).

  4. Use clean cloth to wipe away the leftover salt and press the bean curd lightly to absorb water as much as possible. Line a thin layer of miso paste at the bottom of the glass bottle, place the dried bean curd on the miso paste. Then, scoop another layer of miso paste all over the 1st layer bean curd. Repeat the process until the last layer (cover the last layer with miso paste).

  5. Cover the glass bottle and store at cool place. Open the cover everyday or when necessary to release "fermentation gas". The bean curd would be completely mature in ~ 2 weeks time.

Points to highlight:I sprinkle more sea salt on bean curd surface when notice the salt became wet and looks watery. Do not use air-tight container, as the "fermentation gas" needs to be released.