The DBS Indulge Masterclass Series with the Asian Food Channel presents itself as an interesting lineup of cooking demonstrations by top chefs under the DBS Indulge program around Singapore for foodies all over. The episode last Thursday night was one with Chef Yong Bing Ngen, chef/owner of the Majestic Restaurant and Jing. And its the second last event in the series.
Three Course for the Night : Chilled Sake Infused Crabmeat Salad, Pan Seared Foie Gras with Watermelon and Organic Greens, Stewed Boston Lobster Noodles with Ginger and Spring Onion.
For the night, three popular dishes from Chef Yong’s restaurants were recreated for the guests to whip up easily in the kitchens of their homes. Recipes were shared, wines paired with the food were drunk, and with Chef Yong’s witty humour, it was an eventful night in all.
The cooking class was conducted in the Asian Food Channel’s Cooking Studio located at Orchard Central.
Chef Yong has an interesting background history of himself. Starting from the humble role as a dishwasher, Chef Yong’s turning point came when he took on the role as a apprentice in a Chinese restaurant, learning basic knife skills and cooking techniques. He has travelled through various restaurants as part of his career progression, notably Raffles Hotel Singapore’s Empress Room and Doc Cheng’s and even Hai Tien Lo at Pan Pacific Singapore. Chef also shared with us a technique in which he still uses to train his kitchen staff today, and that is to gradually use one hand to lift a wok with a cup full of water, adding more until the necessary strength is developed.
His cuisine now focuses on Western Inspired Chinese Cuisine, but the fundamentals in his Cantonese cooking heritage and Hakka background influences are not to be missed.
The first dish Chef Yong shared is the Chilled Sake Infused Crabmeat Salad. Created with fresh crab meat, bamboo shoots and fungus, with seasonings of Sake, mirin, and Whipping Cream, expect sweet flavours from the sea with a smooth briny taste coupled with the accentuated sweetness from the mirin and alcoholic fragrance from the sake. Its good, though it was definitely tough enjoying the appetizer from the glass as it was a juggle between holding the cup, fork, and crab leg. Lesson learnt : Need a proper setting.
Chilled Sake Infused Crabmeat Salad
- 1 Sri Lanka Crab
- 20g Fresh Bamboo Shoots (Shredded)
- 20g Black Fungus (Shredded)
- 10g Young Ginger (Shredded)
- 2 Chinese Parsley, cut into 2cm strips.
- 50g Sake
- 50g Mirin
- 50g Soya Sauce
- 50g Sugar
- 35g White Vinegar
- 100g Whipping Cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- Pinch of Salt
- Boil the whole crab for 10 minutes. Remove from water to cool.
- Remove flesh from shell.
- Blanch shredded bamboo shoots and black fungus in boiling water for a minute. Remove and place into iced water for a minute. Remove.
- Dry the shredded bamboo shoots and black fungus with a clean loth and place into mixing bowl. Add Chinese parsley, ginger, salt, sesame oil and mix well.
- Prepare a clean glass. Place the salad at the bottom of the glass, top it with crab meat.
- Mix all the seasonings in a bowl, ensuring the sugar is dissolved.
- Drizzle seasoning over crab meat salad and serve.
For something a little more different as a starter, Chef Yong introduced the Pan Seared Foie Gras with Watermelon and Organic Greens. The trick here is Chef’s secret homemade barbecue sauce only available at his restaurants. While the heavy flavour of the foie gras is suitably covered, I felt that the barbecue sauce made the dish resemble a serving of Peking Duck, though fattier and with a creamier setting.
Pan Seared Foie Gras with Watermelon and Organic Greens
- Foie Gras, 3 pieces, 40g each.
- Watermelon, 3 round pieces made with cookie cutter.
- Seasoning for Foie Gras
- Ichimi Togarashi
- Potato Flour
- 40g Garden Greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable cooking oil
- Chef’s Secret Homemade Barbecue Sauce
- Place garden greens in a small bowl. Add salt, olive oil, mix well and set aside.
- Sprinkle a little Ichimi Togarashi on both sides of the foie gras then coat with potato flour.
- Heat frying pan with cooking oil over high fire. Place the foie gras onto the pan and reduce to low fire. Pan-sear for about 1 minute on each side. Remove when golden brown.
- Decorate plate with barbecue sauce..
- Plate foie gras on top of the watermelon pieces and place garden greens in the center. Serve.
Wine Pairing : Libalis Rose Wine
This dish was my favourite for the night, the Stewed Boston Lobster Noodles with Ginger and Spring Onion. Chef used fresh E-fu noodles, deepfrying it and thereafter stewing it together with the boston lobsters. Its flavour and texture is certainly different from those available off the shelf in the market, as its softer and crisp to the bite yet without and overwhelming seasoned taste. And the dish’s flavour itself is quite delectable. Stewed briskly to a savoury sweetness, the wok hei flavour permeates gently through the broth which itself is simmered into the noodles. Add in the pieces of fresh crunchy lobster meat, it leaves a sense of satisfaction for the night.
Stewed Boston Lobster Noodles with Ginger and Spring Onion
- Lobster, whole about 700grams
- E-Fu Noodles
- Ginger, 10 slices
- Spring Onion, 1 stalk, sliced
- Shallot, sliced
- 200ml Chicken Stock
- Oyster Sauce
- Soya Sauce
- White Pepper Powder
- Potato Flour
- Chop the lobster into half. Wash thoroughly.
- Scald the e-fu noodles in the hot water to soften.
- Dap potato flour on meat of lobster and fry in high heat for about 250 degree celsius for about 40 seconds and remove.
- Heat wok with oil and fry sliced ginger, spring onion and sliced shallots till fragrant.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Add lobster, cover and simmer for 1 minute.
- Check if lobster is cooked. Remove lobster and keep some sauce inside.
- Add noodles and oyster sauce, soya sauce, and white pepper powder to the remaining sauce and do a quick fry till noodles absorb the sauce.
- Plate the noodles.
- Heat pan and place lobster and sauce kept aside earlier into the pan and add in a little starch to thicken the sauce.
- Remove and place the lobster on top of the noodles.
- Garnish with spring onions. Ready to serve.
Some tips : Don’t overcook the lobster otherwise the meat will toughen. Once the lobster flesh leaves a little gap from the shell, it means its cooked.
Wine Pairing : Snowy Creak Chenin Blanc Chardonnay
To round up the cooking demonstration, Chef Yong had some desserts prepared from Majestic Restaurant for all the guests.
Chef Yong and Me
The DBS Masterclass series with Chef Yong was an insight into the workings of a top chef and his culinary journey. The recipes are easy to follow and it certainly makes me want to try it out for myself at home. This is the 2nd last episode in the DBS Indulge Masterclass series and the last session will be with Chef Tomonori Danzaki, the brains behind the three star michelin restaurant Joel Robuchon Restaurant in MGM Grand, Las Vegas, USA. Goodness, now I am hungry again. And I wonder if I can really recreate a michelin star restaurant’s chef’s dishes in my very own kitchen?
The next session with Chef Tomonori will be on the 19th October 2011 from 7.30pm – 9.30pm. DBS and POSB Cardmembers will be entitled to a discounted price of $120 per person. Non cardmembers pricing is $140 per person. 5 Dishes will be featured and Perrier water plus Vinum wines will be served.
Many thanks to DBS and the Asian Food Channel, Fulford PR for the invitation.