However, my mum often gets sick of cooking and gets quite lazy about it. It can feel like more of a chore to her. I guess this is what happens when you work at a restaurant all day, when you come home the last thing you want to be doing is cooking, especially when you have been doing it all your life out of necessity (ie: to feed a family) rather than as a passion. Unlike me, where I get to experiment with my cooking and try new dishes all the time, and find it a gratifying endeavour. When my mum cooks for the family, it is an act of compromise where she tries to reconcile the different food preferences within the family, make sure we have a healthy and balanced diet, as well as cooking within limited timeframes and trying to be economical.
So my mum has quite a few go to recipes that she rotates around, which she knows us kids like to eat and are easy to cook. Her go to recipes are ones that make a lot of food, can be prepared ahead of time, requires little effort and tastes great. It’s food that has leftovers you wouldn’t be sick of eating the next day and would be happy to eat more often.
Everyone has go to recipes, what are yours?
This is one of my mum’s go to recipe. It's a delicious, comforting and homey dish.
This dish is very easy to make, all you have to do is chunk everything into a pot, marinate it overnight and then steam it the next day so it’s great for weeknights after work. I love this dish because there is a lot packed into it and it contains some of my favourite foods – chicken, shiitake mushrooms and Chinese sausage (lap cheong). I like being able to pick out different goodies to eat. It’s a dish that reminds me of living at home because it would frequently feature on the dinner table, and I remember fighting over with my younger brother and sister for the last bit lap cheong, because no matter how much lap cheong my mum would put in, there would never be enough. This is also quite a delicately flavoured dish in that you’ll find the seasonings are not overpowering but are there to lift the natural flavours of the other ingredients.
Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Flowers, Shiitake Mushrooms and Chinese sausage
(An original recipe Blue Apocalypse learnt from her mum)
(serves a 4-6)
• 600-700g of chicken (mix of chicken wings and chicken thigh chopped into bite sized pieces)
• 6 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated (ie: soaked in water till softened, about 30 minutes), stalks removed and sliced
• ½ cup of black fungus, rehydrated, trimmed and chopped into smaller pieces
• 30g of dried lily flowers, rehydrated, remove any hard stems (end bits) and tie into a knot (this prevents it from breaking apart)
• 3 sprig spring onions, cut into 3-4cm lengths
• 2 Chinese sausages, sliced
• few slices of ginger
• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
• 2 teaspoons fish sauce
• 1 teaspoon cornflour
• 1 ½ teaspoon light soy sauce
• pinch of salt and pepper
Combine everything together with the seasonings in a pot/large bowl and marinate overnight.
Steam over medium-high heat for about 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with steamed rice.
• See my steamed fish post for more details on how I steam dishes.
• It’s a large quantity so you may have to divide the steaming into two batches or you can steam half one night, refrigerate the rest to steam the night after.
• Dish can be reheated in the microwave or resteamed for about 10 minutes.
• You can marinate the ingredients and then freeze it in containers. Take out to defrost and steam when you want a meal.