5 June 2012, by Mandy Loh
Wow, time really flies! I can’t believe Cristan’s turning one year old next week! I’m totally looking forward to it, because it means I can finally be less fastidious about his sodium intake! Of course, I’m not going to suddenly let him have all the junk food in the world, but I will gradually introduce more salt in his food so that we can all enjoy the same meals together.
Interestingly, Cristan seems to sense that a big change in his diet is about to happen, because he has become more resistant to me feeding him porridge. Instead, he keeps pointing to my plate and insisting that I feed him what I’m having instead!
Anyway, as a walk down food-memory-lane, I thought I’d share two recipes I’ve put together in these past few months of introducing solids; the first was done in the earlier days of baby-led weaning (mentioned in my earlier blog entry that I had promised to share), and the second is a recent winner that even Tim enjoys!
FISH-AND-CARROT STEAMED SPRING ROLL
(An original recipe created just for Cristan, to enable him to have more fish in his diet. Recipe results in approximately 3-4 spring rolls)
- 1 tablespoon raw fish meat, finely mashed to ensure there are no bones
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 1 egg (separate the yolk from the white)
- 4 sheets of spring roll skin
Mix raw fish meat with a bit of egg yolk, until you get a sticky paste.
Put fish & egg yolk paste onto spring roll skin, add some shredded carrot, and roll up spring roll. Seal edges with egg white.
Place in steamer for 8-10 min.
My verdict? I found the dish only moderately successful. Although Cristan enjoyed picking up the spring rolls and eating them, the filling was flaky and fell out of the rolls easily, meaning that most of the good stuff (the fish, especially) landed up on the floor.
Eventually, I decided that if I wanted Cristan to have fish, I’d spoon-feed it to him, so as to avoid too much wastage. Another reason why I decided not to let him feed himself fish, was because he smelt so fishy afterwards!
But overall, it is still a good dish as it is simple, healthy and fun. I would probably re-do this dish again when Cristan’s much better (read: less messy) at handling his food!
ALL-IN-ONE-POT CHICKEN RICE
(Modified from a great online recipe)
For the chicken marinade (marinate meat for at least 2 hours)
- 3 chicken thighs, with excess fat and skin trimmed off
- A piece of ginger the size of your thumb, crushed to extract the juice
- A dash of pepper
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
For the rice:
- 1 1/4 cup of rice
- 3/4 cup chicken stock (homemade) and 1/2 cup water
- A piece of ginger the size of your thumb, sliced
- A dash of pepper
- 5 cloves of garlic, whole
(The original recipe called for oyster sauce and chinese rice wine, but I omitted those so that Cristan could eat this dish. When Tim & I ate our portions, we added soy sauce directly onto the cooked dish)
Prepare chicken thighs, throw it in the marinade and leave it to chill out in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Dump all ingredients in rice cooker in the following order: rice (rinsed), chicken stock, water, garlic, ginger, pepper and then finally the marinated chicken.
Cook rice in the usual fashion, and when done, serve the dish with a sprinkling of spring onions (if you like them).
This dish is so successful and well-loved that I’ve repeated it several times, and even served it to my first-ever dinner guest 2 weeks ago, when this picture was taken. (Yep, I’m finally confident enough to serve up my cooking to someone other than immediate family!)
Cristan enjoys it tremendously as the rice is flavourful, and the chicken meat is succulent and juicy. I think the homemade chicken stock that I added to the recipe added an extra oomph to the dish, but I believe it should work just as well with water. (And just to confess, the stock was kindly made by my parent’s domestic helper. You didn’t think I’d actually have the time nor energy to make my own stock, did you?)
Well, it’s been a fun 6 months of introducing Cristan to solids, and I’m still glad we chose the baby-led weaning approach. He’s great with his food, willing to try many different types of textures and tastes, and loves handling his own food. He’s also got a voracious appetite, which is so gratifying for the cook. 🙂 Let’s hope these wonderful eating habits will continue through the toddler years!