Blog Train: $20 Budget Meal - April (Part II)

Monday, April 25, 2011

I was down with acute gastritis for the past ten days... and the amazing thing? I actually tolerated the pain for 10-freaking-days before I finally called it quits and headed to the A&E on my own yesterday.

Turns out, the doctors were shocked that I had such high tolerance of pain... My blood pressure was superbly low. Apparently, pain will affect your blood pressure or something.

I didn't expect to be down with acute gastritis as well - for one, I have never had problems with my stomach. No gastric pains, and I hardly ever had any wind or whatsoever. Besides, I am quite disciplined with my meals - I eat regularly and I hardly ever skip meals (unless you count having brunches are like skipping one meal, then I'm kinda guilty of it on weekends!). So imagine my shock when they told me I was down with gastritis. -___-

But like what everyone says, when you lose some, you win some. I lost a day of work (which kinda suck, because I was away for half a day on Thursday already), but I've won time to prepare meals for myself and the family, making sure that they are suitable for my weak stomach.

Doctors advised me to stay away from overly oily, spicy or sour food. And to stay away from milk as well. That would mean there won't be my regular soya milk for breakfast tomorrow..... But I guess I'd have to suck it up until stomachu (affectionate name for the tum) gets better.

Anyways! Time to introduce the 2 dishes and 1 soup for today!

Made Crabstick Steamed Egg ala Chanwamushi, thanks to Mama Tan!

I've always had problem making my steamed egg smooth and silky. And if you have a problem like mine too, may I suggest you guys to mix the eggs with water/chicken stock in the ratio of 1:2? (for every 1 egg used, add in twice the volume of water).

Because my mother-in-law (I affectionately call her Mama Tan) is really good with cooking stock from scratch, we threw in majority of chicken stock to mix with the eggs, and then poured in some fish sauce too.

We then ran the egg mixture through a sieve to sieve out the bubbly froth from the egg so that when it is steamed, it will look much prettier (and smoother)!

Crabstick Steamed Egg

- 3 eggs - $0.60
- Chicken stock - $0.20
- Fish sauce - $0.20
- 6 crab sticks - $0.50

Total: $1.50

The second dish for the day is actually majorly prepared by Mama Tan. So while I was preparing the steamed egg, she whipped up the "cucumber" dish. I don't really know what is the actual name for this veg, cuz it looks really like bitter gourd before it is cut, but it is not bitter at all.

Looks yummy isn't it?! :D

Preparing this dish is rather simple actually. All you need to do is to chop up some garlic (you don't need to mince it, just rough chopping will do). And then you de-shell the prawns, marinating it with some sesame oil and soya sauce for a while.

Heat up the pan, and then fry it until the "cucumber" turns soft and fragrant!

This is definitely one of my favourite vege dishes, I tell you. :)

Pan-fried "Cucumber" with Prawns

- "Cucumbers" x 2 - $2
- Shrimps - $2
- Garlic - $0.20

Total: $4.20

And finally, the soup dish - the ever popular Lotus Root Soup!

In order to cook a good pot of Lotus Root Soup, you can't exactly just dump in lotus roots and then bring it to a boil. For one, cleaning those roots are such. a. chore!

It takes a lot of experience and patience to clean the roots thoroughly - We took like an hour or so to clean the roots.... *snores*

All in all, boiling this soup took us almost 2 hours to get everything done - from preparing the pork ribs + anchovies soup base to washing the roots, filtering the residue of the stock....Of course, you can buy those clean ones from NTUC, that will certainly save a lot of time... But I prefer to buy groceries from the wet market as much as we can. (Cheaper and fresher!)

Lotus Roots Soup with Pork Ribs

- Lotus Roots - $2
- Pork Ribs - $3.50
- Rock sugar - $1
- Carrots - $1.50
- Parsley - $0.50

Total: $8.50

In all, we spent $14.20, and we served a family of 6! Thanks to Mama Tan for bringing me through the awesome cooking session, and teaching me so much more than I ever know. =) Cooking abilities: Level Up!

Alright, that's all for today. Time to go rest early so that stomachu can recover faster. Good night!

You Might Also Like


  1. Hi Jac, hope you gets well soon. I knew how you feel becos I also hav the same problem as you... "Noti noti gastic" Booohooo...

    But tonight all these homecooked dishes look great! Esp the steamed egg and stir-fried cucumber. I have learnt some tips from this post too! Hope to see more dishes form you next mth k :) Take care!

  2. Thanks Ellena! I am also looking forward to learn and cook more yummy dishes! =)

    Is your give-away for the dumpling maker over? Hehehe.

  3. I think the cucumber look alike is 毛瓜 :)

  4. My MIL calls it "ge-gua". I tried googling it but nothing comes out from the name! D:

  5. hmmm........why all the ingredients not specific? how to try it out?


  6. Hi PapaCheong!

    Right, I'll take note of that and add in the quantities next time!


Hello! Thank you for dropping by and leaving me a comment! This comment form is under moderation to keep spam and hate messages out. We are here to spread the love! :)