My Cooking Journey #9: Huai Shan Pork Ribs Soup, Fried Egg with Minced Meat and Tofu, Steamed Fish

by - Thursday, January 29, 2015

During the past few months of cooking, I realise that sometimes it might not be cheaper to cook at home compare to eating outside. This is due to the fact that I seldom cook, maybe once or twice a week, and hence the lack of savings from bulk buying. 

Our family is not big, two adults and two small children who do not eat a lot. Thus, I always have left over unused ingredients. These are not used for another dish because the next time I cook could be in another week's time. Usually I will pass these to my Mom so she can use up the ingredients during the weekdays.

Therefore, I have started taking note of how much it cost us to cook a meal. Here's our menu for last week and I will show you the cost break down at the end of the post.

Huai Shan Pork Ribs Soup

Pork Spare Ribs
Huai Shan

1. Blanch the spare ribs. Wash and set aside. Spare ribs have a lot of loose bones, so wash thoroughly.
2. Put all ingredients in pot and boil for 15 minutes. Lower fire and simmer for about 2 hours.
3. Season with salt and pepper (optional).

Spare Ribs - $4.29 
Huai Shan - $1.50 (bought $2.22 used about 2/3)
Mushroom - $2.00 (bought a pack for $4.75 but only use half for the soup and fish)
Carrot - Free, got this from Mom's
Total - $7.79

Fried Egg with Minced Meat and Tofu

2 Eggs
150g Minced Meat
1 Tube Egg Tofu
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Tsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Five Spice Powder
Dash of Pepper

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Pour the egg mixture to a frying pan and fry till both sides are golden brown. You will have to pour the mixture in batches.

I first tried this dish in a restaurant. It was very delicious and got me trying this out in my kitchen. The fragrance from the five spice powder and the softness of the tofu give this egg a special texture and taste. You really got to try this out. You can adjust the seasonings to your taste but the most important is the five spice powder.

Eggs - $0.44 ($2.20 for a pack of 10)
Minced Meat - $1.90
Egg Tofu - $0.88
Total - $3.22

Steamed Fish

1 Fish Fillet (Toman Fillet)
1 Tomato
3 Mushrooms, sliced
Ginger, sliced
Drizzle of Sesame Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Marinate the fish with salt and pepper for a while.
2. Put the fish on a steaming plate and arrange mushrooms, tomato and ginger on the fish.
3. Drizzle sesame oil over the fish.
4. Steam till cooked.

Fish - $4.02
Tomato - $0.20
Mushroom - $0.50 (estimated)
Total - $4.72

I used to only buy cod fish or salmon but these are so expensive. It costs close to $10 to have a fish dish. So now I try to buy other type of fish which is cheaper.

This meal serves 2 adults and 2 children (1 and 3 years old). I think 3 adults is also doable. 

The total for this meal is $15.73. This is excluding rice, utilities and time spent. Cheap? I'm not sure. Healthy? Definitely. This is the reason why I try to cook even if it could be more expensive and time-consuming.

If you have any cost saving tips when it comes to cooking, leave me a comment below.

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  1. Hi

    Fried Egg with Minced Meat and Tofu sounds interesting, I will like to try and cook for my 2yr old son. May I know where can I buy the Five Spice Powder?

    Thanks so much
    Xiao Yun

    1. Hi Xiao Yun,
      Five spice powder is available in most supermarkets. You should be able to find it at the spice section. I got mine from NTUC.