You can…

Yes, you can! As a matter of fact, anybody can…and with Melissa leaving for Wellington sometime in February next year, I have to make sure that she can too. Well, I’m talking about cooking…and the other day, I cooked a few simple dishes for a balanced meal in the hope that she will be able to whip up something like that anytime she wants when she is over there.

For the vegetable dish, I cooked bitter gourd that I had cut into thin slices after removing the seeds inside…

Bitter gourd - sliced

These are the ingredients that I used…

Fried bitter gourd - ingredients

After I had browned the ginger strips in a bit of oil, I added the minced meat (optional or may be replaced with shrimps e.g.) and the black beans and after a while, I added the bitter gourd. To cook the vegetable, add a little bit of water to boil it for a while and add salt and msg (or chicken stock granules) according to taste. Lastly, I broke an egg into the wok and scrambled it, mixing it with everything else inside. Then it is ready…

Fried bitter gourd

As for the meat dish, I opened a can of corned beef and mashed it…

Canned corned beef - mashed

In the meantime, I peeled some potatoes and cut them into chunks/cubes and boiled them until they are cooked/soft…

Potatoes - boiled

I cut one Bombay onion into thin slices…

Bombay onion sliced

…and using a non-stick pan, I heated up the corned beef before adding the onions. Once the onions have softened, I added the cooked potatoes and mixed them well with the beef…and sprinkled a pinch of msg for extra flavour. Then, it is ready to serve…

Corned beef with onions and potatoes

Note that I did not use any extra oil the way some people do to sauté the onions first. This is because the corned beef itself contains a lot of fat and I did not want to add any more oil to it.

Finally, the soup. I decided upon the Foochow-style tofu soup and these are the ingredients one would need…

Foochow-style tofu soup - ingredients

…and of course, you will need some tofu, cut into cubes like this…

Foochow-style tofu soup - tofu

Brown the ginger slices in a bit of oil in a wok before adding the minced meat and canned oysters. Add water and let it simmer for a while to bring out the flavour of the ingredients. Then you put in the tofu and simmer a bit more. Add salt and msg or chicken stock granules according to taste.

The soup is ready and when serving, sprinkle some chopped spring onions or Chinese celery on top…

Foochow-style tofu soup

Some people may want to add a bit of Foochow red wine to it…or cornflour to make it thick like sharks’ fins soup…or even black vinegar for a bit of sourish taste. Personally, I prefer it clear like this.

It’s really so simple. Don’t you think you can do it?