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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Chinese Sweet Meat Jerky (Yoke Kon/Bak Kwa) For Chinese New Year.

Two years ago, just a few days before Chinese New Year 2015 celebration, I tried my hand at making the Chinese sweet meat Jerky which is a dried meat snack. It turned out a bit too salty for our liking and I didn't have the time to improve on it. Last week (two years later), I was suddenly inspired to try making these sweet meat Jerky again after visiting Small Kucing's blog. I dug out the old recipe (I can't remember from which source), checked the ingredients and went to buy the minced meat the next morning.

This Chinese sweet meat Jerky is called "Yoke Kon" in Cantonese or "Bak Kwa" in Hokkien. This sweet meat is sweet and slightly salty in taste. In my younger days, I remembered eating the sweet meat that was made from thinly sliced meat but these has been replaced by the minced meat (lean and fat meat) version which is much softer in texture. The sweet meat we bought from stores are grilled over charcoal fire. Most home made sweet meat are of a healthier version with the amount of fat and sugar reduced and are baked and grilled in electric oven.

Instead of pork, you can also use minced chicken, beef or mutton. If total lean meat is used, the texture will be more dry and not so soft. For me, I used minced pork belly and I asked our regular pork seller to give me the least fatty part.
For this first trial batch, the sweet meat turn out alright. I grilled a few pieces to taste but I found it too sweet and hubby mentioned that it was too thick.
I went out Friday morning to get another 2 packets of 500 gm of minced meat.
This time I made further changes to the recipe.
I added the following ingredients to the minced meat:

500 gm minced meat (I used minced pork)
80 gm of brown sugar (reduced to suit our taste)
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1/3 (one third) tsp dark soya sauce (I prefer a lighter shade)
1 tbsp oyster + dried scallop sauce (I only have this in my fridge)
1.5 tbsp Chinese Shao Hsing cooking wine (increased for extra oomph)
About 2 dashes of 5 spice powder (ng heong fun)
About 1/3 (one third) tsp white pepper.
About 3/4 (three quarter) tsp salt
2 tbsp honey.
(The original recipe has Fish Oil. I didn't use fish oil because I just discarded an expired bottle of fish oil which I bought 2 years ago and I didn't want to buy another bottle again).
 Mix thoroughly the minced meat with all the ingredients until the mixture started to stick together and becomes gluey.
 Then I transferred the minced meat mixture into a bowl, covered it and leave it in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours. If you want, you can even leave it overnight in the fridge.
 First preheat the oven about 160 - 170 deg. C, depending on your oven. (For the trial batch, I place all 500 gm of mince meat mixture into a baking tray measuring 14 x 14 inches.) Meanwhile I divide the minced meat into 2 portion for a thinner layer of sweet meat. Slowly spread out and press the mixture with your clean fingers, folk or spoon, whichever you prefer.
Bake in the preheated oven with both top and bottom heat for about 10 to 12 minutes. The minced meat layer will shrink away from the sides of the tray.
Remove from oven, let it cool down a little and then use a pizza cutter to cut into 6 or 9 pieces as you wished. Meanwhile preheat oven to 230 deg. C. with only the top heat for grilling.
Place the tray of cut pieces of meat back into the preheated oven. Grill meat pieces for about 8 minutes. If grilled too long, it might be burnt at the edges. 
 Take out the tray and turn over the meat pieces. Place the tray back into the oven for another 8 minutes. Watch out because the thin layers get burnt easily at the edges.
 Once done, it can be left to cool in the oven or removed from the oven.
 Once cooled transfer the meat pieces onto a plate or container.
For these thinner pieces of sweet meat, I get double the amount.
 Some like it thick, some like it thin.
Home made sweet meat does not have preservative. You can either freeze the sweet meat after the baking and thaw them to grill whenever you want. You can also grill them first, then reheat them after taking out from the fridge.
 At last, I am quite happy and satisfied with my sweet meat recipe.
I might reduced the sugar amount when I make this again in future.
My regular sweet meat shop has just lost one of its customer.
This sweet meat is usually eaten on its own or sandwiched between 2 slices of bread or plain bun. Some eat it with hot Chinese tea and some eat it with a glass of wine.

Don't drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path;

be filled instead with the Holy Spirit and controlled by him.

Ephesians 5:18, The Living Bible-TLB)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Our Dinner At Yoon Kee, Ipoh Stadium.

This is our first time here at Yoon Kee, Ipoh Stadium. A friend suggested this place for us to try and the first time we went, it was closed. Last Saturday, before attending the night church worship service, we drove over to the Stadium to check if it is open. It was open and we had the opportunity to try out some of their food.
 Chicken Noodle (Kai Si Hor Fun).
Everything looks good and I took a long time to decide what I wanted to try first. Finally settled for the above Chicken soup noodle (non-spicy). It was served with a prawn and some chicken meat.
Chicken Curry Noodle (dry version)
 It was a cool evening and hubby wanted to try the chicken curry noodle. Too bad the chicken curry was cold.
  It would have tasted more delicious if they had kept the curry warm.
 Cold Fiddlehead Fern Salad (Paku Pakis).
We love this appetizing cold salad which creates good appetite.
 Crispy Stuffed Tofu
This was from 2 stalls away. There were 2 types of tofu and I tried this first. We found the tofu too dry for our liking. Next trip I might try the other type of tofu or rojak from this same stall.
 This is Yoon Kee, Stall #23, Medan Selera Stadium Ipoh.
*     *     *     *     *
The following photos are for joining Good Fences.
 Multi colours Dahlias planted along the chain link fencing in Fraser's Hill.
Orange blooms peeping through the chain link fencing.
*     *     *     *     *
The following photos are for joining Saturday's Critters.
These photos were taken in front of the Ipoh Railway Station.
 I needed to pick up a friend from the Railway Station and I was early. Parked my car and took a walk and found that I was not alone. I had this cat for company.
 This cat kept me company for a few minutes and gave me some nice photo shots.
 It didn't hurried away from me, just moving at leisure pace even it knew I was following behind.
 Then it stopped to wash itself.
"Are you sure you want snapshots of me washing myself?"
"Okay, as long as nobody recognizes me. Please make sure my face is not showing!"

He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,

because it neither sees him nor recognizes him.

But you recognize him,

because he lives with you and will be in you.

(John 14:17, International Standard Version-ISV)

Age Is Not A Barrier To Fashion.

When I was a teenager, I used to have this understanding that when a woman reaches a certain age, she will have to dress according to her age group. Then as I grow older, my understanding of things began to change. Dressing is not restricted by age group. Every individual has the right to what he or she chooses to wear. It is a matter of preference and what the wearer feels comfortable with.
Some women are very fashionable and they like to keep up with the latest fashion trend. Some are more conservative and they keep to conservative style of dressing. Personally, I think I belong to the place somewhere in between these two. Usually I will buy clothes that are comfortable and of course look good on me, not so much on following the latest trend.
I do admire women who are of 55 to 60 years and above and still maintain a good figure to easily fit into any clothes and look gorgeous in them. Some of them need not have to worry about dieting, while others have to watch their diet to maintain their figure. Anyway, whether one has a plus size or a gorgeous figure, we all love to dress up to look and feel good. Not too long ago, we hardly can find any fabulous women style clothing for matured women aged 55 to 60 years and above. Today, with the click of the mouse or a touch on the screen, we can visit many online websites featuring wide selection of lovely and elegant dresses for women of all ages.
If you have not found any and is looking for one, why not check out StyleWe and you might find what you are looking for. It has a wide range of styles ranging from Chic to Classy style for young and matured women plus the occasional styles. There is also the swimwear category consisting of one-pieces & tankini, bikinis and etc. for both the slim and plus size is also worth checking out.

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