Feb 29, 2020

Scallops in the Shell with Garlic Butter Sauce

Another dish that I'm not quite sure how to put it in English. Guess my confusion continues from my earlier post pull-apart cheesy garlic bread. So this time, should it be scallops "in" the shell or scallops "on" the shell?

Scallops in the shell with garlic butter sauce -

Ingredients (for 4 scallops)?

  • 4 scallops in the shell
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • Tiny pinch black pepper
  • Few lemon wedges
  • Some parsley or cilantro


I know, only 4 scallops, what the heck? I got a thin box of scallops, not knowing how many inside. So if you're making more, simply double the portion used, it should work out just fine.

Preheat the oven with high heat. The scallops will be cooked under very high heat in a bit. Peel and chop the garlic clove. Slice the lemon into wedges. 

Prepare a muffin tin to hold the scallop shells in place, it works like magic. Rinse and pat dry the scallops, then arrange them on top of the muffin tin.

Take a small sized pan or a sauce pot, melt the butter using medium heat. Add in chopped garlic and tiny pinch of salt. Cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic.

Spoon the garlic butter sauce evenly over scallops. 

Into the oven and turn up the heat, very high heat, let it sit in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. If using high quality scallops that can be served raw, better cook it on the rare side just to be safe.

Remove muffin tin from the oven. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over scallops, and garnish with parsley or cilantro leaves. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Remember to squeeze some lemon juice before devouring the scallops.

By the way, when I was working on this recipe, saw a brown oval-shaped thing on the tree branch. Curiosity kicked it, how much I wish it was an owl, I've never seen a wild owl yet, but ended up it was a night heron taking a rest up there. Still cute, no complaints. Always welcome these friendly neighbors.

Other baked seafood recipes:

Feb 23, 2020

Pull-Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread (Small Portion)

So hard to name such dish, should it be cheesy pull-apart garlic bread? Pull-apart cheesy garlic bread? Pull-apart cheese garlic bread? Ah I'm getting confused here. Only thing for sure, this is a recipe filled with garlic and cheese, nothing can go wrong when these two ingredients met.

Pull-apart cheesy garlic bread (small portion) -


  • 1 medium round bread (European/country/sour dough preferred)
  • 2 palmful mixed shredded cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon plus a little extra chopped parsley
  • 1 to 2 pinches salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190.5 degrees Celsius. Remove butter from the fridge and wait till it softens, or warm it up slightly in the oven.

Slice the bread horizontally and vertically, but do not cut all the way through.

Finely chop the parsley. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Mix both the chopped parsley and garlic with butter, and 1 to 2 pinches of salt. Taste and adjust with salt.

Brush or spoon the butter mixture in between bread slices, the crevices of the bread, then stuff shredded cheese. Also top the bread with extra cheese.

Into the oven and bake till the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. 

Remove from heat and sprinkle some more chopped parsley. Serve immediately, so you can still "pull the cheese apart" while the heat remains.

The bread I used here is about 11cm x 12cm, which works perfectly for two people. Garlic and cheese, you did well again.

Extended reading:

Feb 18, 2020

Bitter Tea Oil Fried Rice 苦茶油炒飯

This is somewhat a vegetarian-friendly fried rice recipe. It might seem light from the appearance, but with the help of bitter tea oil, this fried rice came with an elegant aroma, which prolong the enjoyment per my opinion. 

If still too "plain," perhaps my extra garlic chili sauce on top can kick it up a notch.

Bitter tea oil fried rice 苦茶油炒飯 -

Ingredients (about 4 to 5 portions)?

  • 3 rice cups brown rice
  • 250 grams bok choi
  • 250 grams snow vegetable (xue cai)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bitter tea oil
  • 1 tablespoon peeled/finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Garlic chili sauce (optional) -

  • Few garlic cloves
  • 2 or more red chilies
  • Some soy sauce


Rice measuring cup is different from the regular measuring cup, but just make sure to cook enough rice for 4 to 5 portions. Preferably cook the rice the day before and use a little less water too. Fluff the rice and store in the fridge to draw out extra moisture.

Prepare the garlic chili sauce if desired. Peel and chop a few garlic cloves. Destem and chop the red chilies. Mix these two with some soy sauce. 

Peel and finely chop the ginger. Destem leafy greens and chop into small pieces. Beat the eggs.

Take a wok, drizzle in 2 tablespoons bitter tea oil and turn to medium high heat. Add in chopped ginger along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 30 seconds, till aromatic.

Pour in beaten eggs and keep stir-frying till the eggs become smaller pieces.

Turn to high heat then add in chopped veggies along with 1/2 more teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 1 minute.

Mix in cooked rice in two batches. Make sure each grains are separated before adding the second batch.

Plate and add a spoonful of garlic chili sauce on top.

The red chilies I've got here are pretty deadly, paired with the spiciness from raw garlic, this fried rice may look "quiet," but might make you "yelling" for water.

Other fried rice recipes:

Feb 12, 2020

Lemon Butter Baked Fish Fillets

My ideal ingredients was cod fillet for this recipe, but it wasn't available at the grocery store. Instead, I used tilapia and thankfully it turned out just like what I've imagined. Saved some money too since tilapia is a much cheaper option compared to cod.

Lemon butter baked fish fillets -


  • 380 grams tilapia fillets
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Some black pepper


Remove butter from the fridge and rest in room temperature till softened. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/176 degrees Celsius. Brush some butter to the baking dish to prevent sticking. I simply use butter remained on the wrapper and rubbed on the surface, nothing goes to waste.

Zest the lemon then thinly slice into round-shaped pieces. Peel and mince garlic cloves. Finely chop the dill and save a small amount on the side, going to use that as garnish later.

Once the butter softens, mix the butter together with minced garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbes de Provence, zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Pat dry fish fillets and transfer to baking dish. Brush the butter mixture all over and top with lemon slices.

Into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, garnish with chopped dill and some more cracked black peppercorn before serving.

The reason why I tried to avoid using tilapia is because it has a taste that I'm not really fond of. However, since lots of herbs were involved, paired with refreshing lemon and creamy butter, that distinct tilapia taste was gone. I even drizzled some melted sauce over rice to eat with, pretty awesome.

Other fish recipes:

Feb 5, 2020

Pictures Don't Do Justice to This Heart-Warming Creamy Corn Soup

Should have taken out the tripod for the pictures. I guess laziness kicked it, turning this delicious creamy corn soup into something dull and grainy. Lessons learned. Even though these pictures don't do justice to my heart-warming creamy corn soup, rest assured that the taste is impeccable, after all, this recipe was adapted from the James Beard Foundation

Creamy corn soup -

Ingredients (about 4 portions)?

  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon rainbow peppercorn
  • Some black peppercorn


Take a soup pot, pour in chicken stock and corn kernels. Also add in 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked rainbow peppercorn, and 1 teaspoon of grated onion. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer.

Use another pot and fill in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Beat in two egg yolks.

Slowly pour in the stock and corn kernels to the creamy yolk mixture while whisking at the same time.

Transfer the whole thing to a blender and mix till smooth. Some preferred bits of corn kernels remain, which is fine. Serve and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper.

One little accident happened when making this recipe. I poured the soup to the food processor instead of using a blender. Didn't think about how little liquid it can hold in a food processor, I turned it on, then a liquid explosion right on my counter. A creamy one too, making it hard to clean.

Other lessons learned. Food processor for dryer ingredients or sauces, and always use a blender, perhaps a handheld mixer for soup.

Other soup recipes: