Monthly Archives: February 2013

Chinese Hot & Sour Soup With A Twist

a10 Chinese Hot & Sour Soup With A Twist

My beloved is a fan of  Chinese restaurant styled soups. Chicken and corn soup and hot and sour soup are on top of his list. I know it’s very “spendthrift” of me to say that I don’t believe in spending money in ordering soup in a Chinese Restaurant unless it is herbal soup. In my personal opinion,  it is only made of broth +  cornstarch + beaten eggs which can be made at home easily, at a fraction of the cost.

(Having said that,  in the name of love, we will order them from time to time, after all they are my beloved’s favourite.)

Last night, I’ve concocted an improvised version of hot and sour soup. Instead of vinegar, fresh tomatoes were my sour agent.  A little of chilli flakes for the hot factor and shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce and sesame oil as the flavourings. Adding kale maybe an unusual touch for hot and sour soup, but I’m surprise how hardy kale is in soup. I actually enjoyed the “braised” texture of kale. And this is  a confession from a kale lover to another.  :)

a4a Chinese Hot & Sour Soup With A Twist

Chinese Hot & Sour Soup With A Twist

What you’ll need to make approximately 4 bowls:-

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 25g (0.8 ounce/ about 6-7  mushrooms) shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes *adjust to taste*
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 2 cups of chopped kale ( I used the curly variety)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cup low sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth also)
  • A dash of soy sauce * adjust to taste; you may need more if you make your own broth*
  • 1 tbsps sesame oil (you can add more if you prefer a stronger scent)
  • 2 dashes of white ground pepper
  • 3 tbsps cornflour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Spring onions, chopped for garnish *optional*

a9a Chinese Hot & Sour Soup With A Twist


In a large pot (or a wok), heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil and then add mushrooms, garlic and chilli flakes. Saute over low heat until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add kale, tomatoes and sweet corn and stir to combine with the fragrant ingredients. Pour the broth into the vegetable mixture and let it simmer with a lid on over high heat until it starts to boil. Turn the flame over to the low and simmer for another 10 minutes after the broth reaches its boiling point. In the meantime, mix the cornstarch with cold water. Remove the lid. Over high heat and the soup is bubbling vigorously, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine with the soup. The soup will thicken as it boils. Keep it boiling until it reaches your desired consistency. Then gradually pour the beaten eggs into the soup in a circular motion (rather streaming the egg in one spot). Allow the eggs to be fully cooked before you start stirring the soup. This is to ensure the eggs do not cloud the soup and they should appear ribbon-like. Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce and white pepper. Serve immediately.

 a11 Chinese Hot & Sour Soup With A Twist

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Lifestyle : Candle Holders Double As Vases

a2 Use a candle holder as a vase

After attending two wedding receptions in the past weeks, I was reminded of the liveliness of fresh flowers can bring to a space. I tend to decorate my space with artificial flowers for an obvious reason: convenience. Inspired by the wedding theme, I’m keen to introduce some fresh flowers to my space.

My past preference has always steered towards a tall and majestic flower arrangement. With that being said, it is an impractical choice for dining and coffee table centerpiece. As much as we all love flowers, we don’t want to peer through the flowers to see each other across the table and television shows right?

a1 Use a candle holder as a vase

I started to look around for a short vase. Surprisingly, it is not easy to find an affordable and decorative short vase! (And I don’t want the clear glass ones). Talk about not finding something when you are looking.

Then I came across these rounded candle holders at a discount store (The Reject Shop, to be exact).  I love the blush and neutral colour palettes and its reflective surface is a bonus too! Since the candles holders are made of glass, there is no reason that they can’t double as vases.

a4 Use a candle holder as a vase

 {my miniature dining table centerpiece on top of a silver round placemat}

a3 Use a candle holder as a vase

{living room centerpiece}