Latest Posts

Tech Review: Massdrop X Sennheiser HD 6xx

TLDR (too long didn’t read):

Pros:

  • For its price nothing compares to its sound quality
  • Vibrant and exciting sound
  • Comfortable
  • Open-back

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • The sound is not the best when using your phone/ipod
  • Open-back (no noise isolation)

When Massdrop announced that they were going to do a collaboration with Sennheiser I was extremely excited about it. Not to mention, they’ll be redoing the iconic Sennheiser HD 650s. If you are wondering, “What is the Sennheiser HD 650s?”, it is widely known in the audio community for being the best headphones in town. So when Massdrop announced the ‘drop’ their whole site essentially crashed as so many people wanted to get their hands on this pair of headphones. I was one of the lucky 5000 people who manage to get into the drop. (YAY!!!!)

First of all, I would like to start off with the un-boxing experience. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. After opening the box, you will be greeted by this sleek hardcover box. When you open it, you can instantly tell that it was a good 200 dollars spent.

These headphones have a very dark royal blue colour to it (honestly, without good lighting it looks black to me). Looking from its side, you will see the sound drivers inside which looks extremely sexy. The headband is cushioned very nicely and it is complemented with velour ear pads. Personally, I don’t really like the velour ear pads as they tend to attract a lot of dust which I have to regularly remove; but maybe where you live isn’t as dusty so it may not be a problem. The whole construction of the headphones is essentially plastic except the adjusting band which is made out of metal.

Now on to the sound quality. After using it for about a month or two, the headphones have definitely been burnt in. It has decent bass and low end, with really good mids and highs. The few main genres I personally listen to is pop and EDM and sometimes classical. They actually sound pretty good. It is quite detailed as compared to when you use a lower end pair of headphones where you aren’t actually able to differentiate the various instruments and sounds because they are mushed together or just aren’t as defined. With this pair I really enjoyed listening to it. I am also able to use it for hours and hours without getting fatigued as the clamp pressure is not too hard and it is quite comfortable on my head.

In conclusion, for 200USD (around 280SGD*) this pair of headphones is a steal. It’s one of the best that I have heard that would not burst your bank account. However, I am not sure when Massdrop is going to be selling these pair of headphones again. If you manage to get hold of one of it, I’m sure it is worth the amount that you are paying.

Check them out at: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-sennheiser-hd6xx*

*Massdrop will be dropping these headphones again soon @ US$249

Advertisements

Recipe: Char Kway Teow/Fried Flat Noodles (炒粿条)

Do you know the history of Char Kway Teow? I managed to get some information from the National Library Board, Singapore. Despite its Hokkien name, the stir-fried noodle dish is associated with the Teochew community and is believed to have originated from Chaozhou in China’s Guangdong province. Char Kway Teow began as a simple meal for the ordinary man, an uncomplicated dish of rice noodles fried with lard and dark soya sauce. Rice vermicelli was added to the original flat noodle dish, but this was later replaced by yellow wheat noodles. Wow, I am so proud to be a Teochew!! 🙂

Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. However, when the dish was first invented, it was mainly served to labourers. The high fat content and low cost of the dish made it attractive to these people as it was a cheap source of energy and nutrients. When the dish was first served, it was often sold by fishermen, farmers and cockle-gatherers who doubled as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.

I know, I know… Some still deem it as unhealthy but my justification is if you are not indulging in this noodle dish daily we should be doing fine. So let’s get “woking”….

We love to hear from you so once you have tried this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments either via our blog or by joining our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group. You can also like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog via the right side bar to get the latest updates.

 

Serves 3 to 4 persons

 

INGREDIENTS:

400g fresh flat rice noodles (completely loosened with no clumps)

250g yellow noodles

4 cloves garlic (minced)

9 to 12 deshelled prawns per person (submerge in ice cold water plus 1 tablespoon sugar for 30 minutes and drained)

150g fresh bean sprouts (peeled off the tail, rinsed with cold water and drained)

2 pieces of fish cakes (thinly slice)

Some bloody cockles (slightly blanch and extract the cockles by opening its shell)

 

A bunch of Chinese chives or spring onions (removed about 1-inch of the bottom section and cut into 2-inch lengths)

5 tablespoons oil

 

For Chilli Paste:

15 to 20 dried red chillies (soak in water, deseed)

5 small shallots (peeled and sliced)

1½ tablespoons oil

A pinch of salt

 

For Sauce (mix well):

5 tablespoons soy sauce

1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon fish sauce

Some salt (if required)

Some white pepper

 

METHOD:

Preparation of Chilli Paste:

  1. Pound or blend all the ingredients of chilli paste till fine.
  2. Heat up a wok with 2 teaspoons oil and stir-fry the chilli paste until aromatic.
  3. Dish out and set aside.

 

Frying the noodles:

  1. Heat up a clean wok with 3 tablespoons of oil
  2. Add in the chopped garlic and stir till fragrant.
  3. Next add in the prawns. Stir till it slightly changes colour.
  4. Add the bean sprouts and fish cakes and give a quick stir.
  5. Immediately add in the noodles and stir fry.
  6. Push the noodles to one side and add some oil on to the empty area. Then add the eggs on it. Use the spatula to break the egg yolk and stir to blend with the egg white. Flip the noodles and cover the egg, and wait for about 15 seconds.
  7. Add in the cockles and the chives. Then stir in.
  8. Add in the sauce and stir fry till it is well mixed with the noodles.
  9. Dish out the noodles and put a notch of chilli at the side. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Nyonya Laksa

Generally, laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup; the soup is either based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, or based on sour assam (tamarind or gelugur). This popular dish can be found in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and even Thailand.

When you alter the rempah (spice paste), or the broth with different ingredients, the laksa will taste different. Even the noodles can make a significant difference. In Singapore, Laksa is usually termed as Curry Laksa or Katong Laksa. Whereas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is commonly known as Curry Mee.

Back when we were living in Malaysia and I was pregnant with my son, I used to crave Curry Mee, and every day a bowl of Curry Mee was a must. No wonder my son loves this noodle and spicy food a lot. Hahaha.

A good rempah is always the key to any good curry, and this Nyonya laksa is no exception. That is why I will always try to make my own rempah. As I have mentioned before I love cockles and so do some of my friends. As such, I have made some sambal cockles to go with this laksa too!!

We love to hear from you so once you have tried this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments either via our blog or by joining our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group. You can also like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog via the right side bar to get the latest updates.

 

Serves 6 persons

Ingredients

1 to 1.2 kg fresh laksa noodles

100g dried prawn, soaked in water for 30 minutes

6 sprigs of Daun Kesom/laksa leaves, rinsed

 

For Rempah/Spice Paste

35 pieces of dried red chillies, soaked in water to soften, cut into small pieces

2 inches fresh turmeric/kunyit, peeled and cut into small pieces

2 inches of galangal, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 inch ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces

7 candlenuts (buah keras)

1½ cm belachan/terasi, toasted

400g shallots (red onion), peeled

100g garlic, peeled and crushed

7 stalks of lemongrass/serai, tender white part only, chopped

2 tablespoons coriander seeds, grounded

6 tablespoons cooking oil

Salt and sugar to taste

 

For Garnishing:

500g bean sprouts (blanched in hot water for exactly 1 minute, then transfer to iced water bowl)

4 to 5 prawns per person, cooked and shelled (Reserve 1 to 2 cups of water from pot for soup)

4 sprig Daun kesom/laksa leaves, julienned

3 fish cake, slice thinly/julienned

1 egg per person

 

For Coconut milk:

2kg fresh grated coconut

3 cups water

 

Method:

Preparation for the coconut milk:

  1. Squeeze the coconut without water for the thick coconut cream. Set aside.
  2. Add 3 cups of water into the squeezed coconut and squeeze again for the coconut milk. Set aside.

For cooking Rempah/Spice Paste:

  1. Pound/blend the dried prawns till fine. Set aside for frying later.
  2. Next pound/grind all the rempah ingredients.
  3. Heat up wok with oil in low fire and fry the rempah for about 30 minutes or till fragrant.
  4. Add the grounded dried prawns at this stage and keep frying.
  5. Add 1 to 2 cups of the prawn stock and continue cooking for a couple more minutes.
  6. As you are frying, add in half the quantity of the thick coconut cream slowly.
  7. Then add in the thin coconut milk slowly and stir. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Add in the sprigs of Daun Kesom/curry leaves and stir them into the soup.
  9. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and/or sugar to taste.
  10. Finally add in the remaining coconut milk to thicken the soup. Do this on medium heat for a few minutes and then switch off fire. Do not cover the pot with lid.

Preparation for noodles and serving:

  1. Blanch noodles in boiling water and drain.
  2. Place some noodles into a bowl
  3. Blanch the beans sprouts and add some bean sprouts into each bowl of noodles.
  4. Blanch the fish cakes and add some into each bowl of noodles.
  5. Top with prawns and egg.
  6. Scoop the laksa soup over the prepared noodles.
  7. Sprinkle with some shredded Daun Kesom/laksa leaves and some sambal cockles (if using).
  8. Serve immediately with sambal (if using).

 

Note: I adapted this recipe from “The Wong List”

Recipe: Thai Crispy Fish Topped with Chili Sauce (Pla Raad Prik)

Typically, Pla Raad Prik uses a whole fish, fried until crispy, and then covered with a sweet spicy sauce made from a few ingredients; garlic, palm sugar and chilies, fish sauce and tamarind paste. It is a very popular dish in Thailand that is often ordered for special occasions but it is really quite an easy dish to prepare at home.

As I do not have a whole fish but only three slices of red snapper fillets in my freezer, I was contemplating whether I should cook this dish. Being a seasoned cook, I was very certain that I have all the ingredients and sure enough… Viola! A new dish was born in Mummy’s Kitchen!

If you like this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you newbies or veterans. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube @beyondnormblog to get the latest updates and videos.

 

Serves 3 to 4 persons

INGREDIENTS

3 fillet pieces of red snapper or 700g whole red grouper (or any white fish)

2 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped

7 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons palm sugar/brown sugar

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons tamarind paste

Some cornflour

Some cooking oil

 

Garnishing:

Some chopped coriander

 

METHOD:

  1. Generously salt the fish and let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse and pat dry.
  3. Rub a thin layer of cornflour on the fish fillets and set aside.
  4. Heat up a non-stick wok/pan with 4 to 5 tablespoons of oil till it is really hot.
  5. Add in the fish and fry till it is crispy on both sides.
  6. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
  7. Heat up about 2 tablespoons of oil in the same wok.
  8. Add in the garlic and the chilli and stir fry till fragrant.
  9. Next add in fish sauce, sugar and the tamarind paste. Mix well.
  10. Add a little water and let it simmer for 2 minutes or till it thickens.
  11. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.*
  12. Pour the sauce over your fish.
  13. Garnish the fish with spring onions and chopped coriander.

 

Note:

*Add more chilli if you want it spicier, add more tamarind paste if you want it sourer, add more sugar if you want it sweeter, and add more fish sauce if you want it saltier.

Recipe: “Sembawang” Seafood White Beehoon/Vermicelli

Seafood White Beehoon was first made popular by You Huak restaurant in Sembawang, Singpaore. But in recent years, many others have started to serve it in hawker centres. Some of my friends have tried from various places and complained that it was quite bland while others were crazy about it. This is a fairly easy dish to prepare and is an ideal one pan dish for a family dinner or gathering. The secret of turning bland beehoon into a tasty dish lies in a robust stock!! You may use any seafood to your own liking; from prawns, squids, and clams to crayfish, lobsters, and crabs!!

As it is the first time my daughter is savouring this dish, she asked me while I was cooking if it will taste somewhat like Wan Tan Hor or Singapore Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee? Hmm… What do you think? For me to know and for you to find out. Her verdict was that the whole noodle dish tasted so flavourful and delicious that we do not have enough to eat!!

We love to hear from you so once you have tried this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments either via our blog or by joining our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group. You can also like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog via the right side bar to get the latest updates.

 

Serves 4 persons

Ingredients

¾ to 1 packet beehoon/Vermicelli

2 eggs, beaten

4 garlic cloves, minced

 

Seafood:

16 pieces prawns, shell and devein (keep the head and the tail)

1 large or 2 medium squids, cleaned and cut into desired size

500g clams, soaked in salt water for an hour and then wash

8 stalks choy sum/green vegetables, cut into 2 inches long

 

Stock:

4 chicken carcasses

10 chicken feet

2 pork bones

½ cup of dried prawns, soaked to soften then drained

1 to 2 knobs rock sugar

 

Marinade:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

A dash of white pepper

2 pinches of salt

1 tablespoon Chinese Wine

 

Seasoning:

Fish sauce

Calamansi limes

 

 

 

Method

Preparation for the Stock:

  1. Put the bones in a pot of water and bring to a boil for 3 to 4 mins.
  2. Remove the bones and rinse them to get rid of the scum.
  3. Fill the pot with 20 cups of water and put the bones into it.
  4. Add dried prawns and the rock sugar, cover and bring it to a boil.
  5. Then reduce heat and simmer for 3½ hours, skimming off any scum that floats to the surface.
  6. Strain and set aside.

 

Marinating of the Prawns and Squid:

  1. Add the marinade into the prawns and squid.
  2. Set aside in the fridge for later use.

 

Preparation for the Beehoon:

  1. Soak the beehoon in a pot of cold water until the beehoon has softened.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat wok with 2 tablespoons of oil and add in the garlic.
  4. Stir fry till fragrant.
  5. Add the beehoon to the wok. Drizzle some oil around the sides of the wok. Leave for one to two minutes before turning over. Remove and set aside.

 

Frying the Beehoon:

  1. Wipe the wok clean and add ¼ cup of oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add in the beaten eggs and let it cook. If you like, you can quickly scramble the eggs.
  3. Before the eggs are fully cooked, add the stock and then the beehoon.
  4. Followed by the prawns, squids and clams.
  5. Give a quick stir and cover to simmer for 5 minutes or till the seafood is cooked through.
  6. Add in the green vegetables and mix in well till they are cooked.
  7. Finally add in the fish sauce to taste.
  8. Dish and serve with the calamansi juice on the beehoon.

Recipe: Assam Pedas Ikan (Spicy Tamarind Fish)

Assam Pedas literally means sour spicy. It is a classic Malay dish which is popular in both Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Traditionally, Assam Pedas calls for ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) or ikan pari (stingray), but I used red snapper fillet instead. It is a very appetising dish as the gravy has the perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness and sourness that goes very well with steamed rice.

Personally, this is a perfect one dish meal as various vegetables such as okra, tomatoes and/or brinjal/eggplants and pineapples may be added to the Assam Pedas.

Making the spices/rempah from scratch was a tedious process but it was worth every minute of my time. The taste of the Assam Pedas still lingers in my mouth as I am penning down this post. Yummy!!

If you like this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you newbies or veterans. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog to get the latest updates.

 

Serves 4 persons

INGREDIENTS:

3 slices of fish fillet (any fish of your choice)

1 big onion, cut into four

10 lady fingers/okra

2 tomatoes, cut into four

1 Bunga Kantan/Torch Ginger Flower, cut into half remove the stalk and slice thinly.

3 sprigs of Daun Kesum (Vietnamese mint)

3 tablespoons tamarind, add 5 tablespoons of warm water and squeeze the juice

Some fresh/canned pineapple, optional

Some cooking oil

3 to 4 cups water

 

Seasoning:

2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar or to taste

Some salt to taste

Lime juice of 1 lime

 

Spice Paste/Rempah

14 shallots

5 garlic cloves

2 stalks lemon grass (white part only), finely sliced

1½ inches Lengkuas/Galangal, cut into small pieces

2 inches kunyit/fresh turmeric, cut into small pieces

7 fresh red chillies

10 dried chillies, soak with hot water (depends on how spicy you like)

1½ cm toasted belacan, grind into powder or 2 tablespoons prawn paste

 

METHOD:

  1. Ground the spices in a blender with a little water.
  2. In a wok or pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the ground spice paste and fry until fragrant.
  3. Add bunga kantan, onions, tomatoes, and pineapple. Mix them well with the paste.
  4. Then add in the daun kesom and the tamarind juice. Stir and cook for a short while.
  5. Add in brown sugar, salt, and lime juice then give it a stir.
  6. Add some water and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Add in the fish and addition water if necessary. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
  8. Halfway through the cooking, add in the lady fingers. Cover and simmer.
  9. Adjust the taste accordingly.
  10. Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

Note:

  1. The amount of water you use will depend on the consistency you like.
  2. You may cut the okra into half.
  3. If you want it spicier, add more dry chilli. If you want it less spicy, remove the seeds of the chilli.

Recipe: Sambal Stingray/Skate Wing on Banana Leaf (三峇魔鬼鱼)

Sambal Stingray is an Eurasian dish. Stingray was introduced into the Malaysian cuisine when the Portuguese traders brought it to Malacca. The stingray was then cooked with local ingredients. Malaysians and Singaporeans love Sambal Stingray, also known as Ikan bakar in Malay, is basically barbecued fish. It is marinated in an abundance of sambal paste and served with a good dosage of lime juice squeeze over it. 

Sambal Stingray is one of our family’s favourite spicy food. When we just returned to Singapore a couple of years ago, we used to frequent a hawker stall in Ang Mo Kio which served a variety of seafood dishes including the sambal stingray.  Ever since I began to make my own sambal chilli, I always cooked it in the comfort of my home.

I usually try to char the banana leaf so as to mimic a barbequed flavour for the fish. I load it with thinly sliced red onions and torch ginger in the cooking for added flavour.

If you like this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you newbies or veterans. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog and Instagram @beyondnormblog to get the latest updates.  If you love videos subscribe to our YouTube channel @beyondnorm.

 

Serves 4 persons

Ingredients

500g-600g stingray

1 red onion, sliced thinly

2 to 3 limes (preferably calamansi lime)

Petal from Torch Ginger Flower Bud, sliced thinly (optional)

4 tablespoons Sambal Tumis Chilli, homemade or store bought

2 A4-paper size banana leaves (soaked in hot water, then pat dry)

Some sea salt

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

 

Method

  1. Rub the ray wing generously with sea salt, then set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse and pat dry. Smear the stingray with 1 tablespoon of sambal tumis chilli on each side.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Then place banana leaf on pan.
  4. When it sizzles, place the stingray on the leaf; skin-side down.
  5. Let it fry for 1 minute and then cover for about 5 minutes.
  6. Lift up the stingray and place another banana leaf on top of the charred leaf.
  7. Place the other side of the stingray on the leaf and now the skin-side is up, i.e. sambal-smeared side is always down.
  8. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan again.
  9. Then add the sliced onions and torch ginger.
  10. Cover the pan and let cook for another 5 minutes or till the flesh is cooked well.
  11. Remove the stingray with the banana leaves and place it on a plate. Add an extra 1 or 2 tablespoons of sambal over the fish.
  12. Don’t forget to squeeze the lime juice over the fish before serving.

 

Happy munching!!!