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Showing posts from 2011

Tong yuen in red bean soup

F or this year's Winter Solstice festival aka 'Dong Zhi', which is today,  I've churned out a slightly different version of 'Tong Yuen'.  Yes, the tong yuen ~ glutinous rice balls are the same but the sweet soup base is different.  Instead of clear syrup, I made a red bean sweet soup to go with the rice balls. To those of you who are celebrating this festival, have a wonderful and joyous Winter Solstice!

Mango Trifle

Mango Trifle ~ a light and refreshing dessert to round up a sumptuous X'mas dinner.  Basically, there's no recipe for this, no hard and fast rule, you just load on what you have at hand, layer by layer, sponge cake or any leftover cake, custard, jam, fruits, whipped cream, whatever you can think of.  Drench it with more alcohol if you want to be intoxicated during this festive season! 

Almond crusted rhubarb cake

I've heard of rhubarb many a time and I was thrilled when I spotted them in the supermarket during my recent vacation.  Rhubarb is a vegetable, a perennial plant growing from short, thick rhizome with large triangular leaves.  Mind you, the leaves are toxic and they are discarded from the stems before they are cooked.  Without much hesitation I grabbed a bunch, googled for recipes, tweaked a bit, plus and minus the ingredients and came up with this 'Almond crusted rhubarb cake'.

Yoghurt Fruitcake

T is the festive season again and the all-time favourite for X'mas is undoubtedly the ubiquitous fruit cake.  This Yoghurt Fruitcake caught my eye when I was browsing through a Food and Travel magazine.  As I've never baked a fruit cake with yoghurt before, I was very eager to try. 

Salted egg steamed chicken

Of late, I notice that various salted egg dishes have surfaced on the menu of restaurants and eateries.  Most popular of all is the salted egg with crabs with both the wet and dry versions.  I've also recently tasted salted egg with pumpkin and salted egg with beancurd and lately some bloggers have posted fried rice with salted egg.  I  have recently coined this dish ....... 'Salted egg steamed Chicken' and would like to share it with you.

Teriyaki chicken noodle

Teriyaki chicken noodle is another all-in-one comfort meal which I served for dinner recently.  I'm always game for an easy and quick meal.  Simple, yet wholesome.........

Brunch at Fu Tien Vegetarian

Recently, we had brunch at a vegetarian shop in Medan Ipoh Bistari ~ Fu Tien vegetarian.  I find that the menu is slightly different from the norm as they have sushi, bento and other a-la-carte dishes that sound interesting.  I ordered some sushi as I've never tasted vegetarian ones before.

Taro~Yam bundt cake

T aro~Yam  is a versatile vegetable which has various derivative products after process.  It can be roasted, fried, grilled, boiled and here I'm presenting a bundt cake made with steamed and smashed yam.  Yes, I love yam served in any form and this tuber root is grown in semi-tropical and tropical climates all over the world.  Taro is high in dietary fibre, rich in vitamins E and B6, also an excellent source of potassium, some calcium, magnesium, manganese and copper.  This tuber is inedible raw and must be cooked through to leach out the calcium oxalate which is toxic.  In addition, because of its low caloric content, this makes it an ideal food for those who are conscious of their  waistline!

Braised pork belly

This is a very simple porky dish.  I just braised it with some spice, garlic, soya sauces and it turned out quite tasty.  Should have added in some hard boiled eggs but forgotten all about it after I left it to simmer and attended to other chores.  Nonetheless, it was well received when it was served for dinner.

Apple curry chicken

I overheard two ladies chatting at my usual market place and one of them said she recently made curry chicken with red apple and it was just delicious,  The other lady looked at her in awe and so did I.  I only heard that the apple which was used in lieu of the usual potatoes must be crunchy.  Curiosity prompted me to experiment with this and here's my version of Curry chicken with Apple and sugarless Soymilk.

Purple sweet potato chiffon cake

P urple sweet potato chiffon cake has been on my 'wanted' list for a long, long time.  I adapted the recipe from 'Do what I like' but tweaked it a bit to suit my 23 cm chiffon cake pan.  I was delighted to be rewarded with a pinkish purplish cake with bits of potato cubes that didn't sink to the bottom!
The highly nutritious purple sweet potato is the latest food item to be presented to the general public as a potential superfood.  The colour is the important part as it is this purple colour which is responsible for the amount of anthocyanim in the potato.  Anthocyanim which produces red, blue or purple colours in different types of food can also be found in blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage.  However,  the purple sweet potato has a higher concentration of the chemical than any other species of potatoes.  This is effective for lowering hypertension and is one of the best foods that one can eat to prevent cancer.

Orange Choc-chip cupcake

This recipe is slightly different from my previous post of  Orange cupcake.  I added choc-chips to this cupcake and instead of using self-raising flour, I opted for plain flour.  The reward was a soft and delicious cupcake filled with orange and choc-chips flavour.

King Prawn Spaghetti

A n 'East meets West' straightforward one-dish meal  ~  Spaghetti cooked 'al dente', laced with King crustacean cooked in Asian oyster sauce with baby asparagus on the side.  This is a three-in-one dish of carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber cum vitamins from the greens ~ asparagus.
Asparagus, low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol comes from the edible stem of a plant.  It is also related to  onions, garlic and leeks.  Although there is a wide variety of asparagus, surprisingly, only a handful of them are edible and provide health benefits.  They can be harvested in three colours, mainly, white, purple and green.  Nutrients ...... yes, they are a good source of vitamin K, folate and vitamin C.

Sour plum chicken

This crispy sour plum chicken dish is another family favourite and in this instance I've used boneless chicken leg.  Easy to prepare ~ just marinate the chicken with some seasoning, dip it in some cornflour to coat, deepfry, ladle on the sauce and is ready to be enjoyed.

Kugelhopf

K ugelhopf, a raisin filled part bread part cake has been on my to-do list for a long, long time.  So, when I was presented with a Kugelhopf  bundt pan, a gift from my niece who hails from Aloha land, I wasted no time in making this.  Kugelhoph is best eaten on the day it's made.  Any leftovers are best lighlty toasted ~ laced with a bit of butter and jam.

Walnut Sesame sweet soup ~ Hup Toh Chee Ma Wu

Walnut Sesame sweet soup ~ Hup Toh Chee Ma Wu  is a much enjoyed sweet soup or 'tong sui' amonst the Chinese.  But of  late, I don't seem to be able to get this particular dessert from the tong sui stalls.  They do come in pre-mix form but the taste is not so authentic as when it's freshly made with black sesame seeds.  I surfed the net and managed to find this recipe but had to do a lot of modifications to achieve what I had in mind and also to suit my taste buds.
Now for some info regarding sesame seeds.
The sesame plant thrives well in sandy soil and tropical climatic conditions.  It can grow to a height of 5 ft and bears plenty of pink-white fox-glove type of flowers.  Pods will appear containing white, brown or black seeds and a pod may contain up to 100 or more seeds.  When the sesame seeds ripen, they burst off with a shattering explosion, hence we have 'Open Sesame'!  Black and golden sesame seeds are the un-hulled seeds which may be black or golden bro…

White chocolate strawberry muffin

I've never baked with white chocolate before and when I saw some leftover white chocolate in the fridge, thought it best to mix in with my muffins.  I was curious as to how they would turn out, especially the colour.

Braised flat noodles with scallops

I spotted these mini scallops from a seafood wholesale outlet near my house and was surprised when the  proprietress told me that these were local.  The source ..... from Kelantan, a northern east coast state  of peninsular Malaysia.  They ended up in my dish of noodles and weren't too bad, tastewise, sweet and a bit chewy.

Baklava

B aklava is a Middle-Eastern sweet pastry which is made only with thin dough pastry and loaded with nuts and then soaked with honey or syrup.  It is widely believed that  Baklava  is of Assyrian origin, dated back to around the 8th Century B.C.  They, the Assyrians baked this sumptuous treat only on special occasions and at that time only the rich could afford this luxury. But not anymore.  Nowadays, this sweet dessert is readily available and is found in the Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, Greece, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon.  However, each culture has its own distinct way of preparing this decadent dessert.

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake

The moment I set eyes on Christine's post on Pumpkin Chiffon cake, I can't help admiring the vibrant natural orange-red colour of her cake.  It was just lovely.  Then not long later, Lena of Frozen Wings posted hers and added pumpkin bits to her cake.  Another beautiful creation.  The temptation is just too irresistible and I just had to try and bake one myself.

Banana Almond Slice

Made these Banana almond slice with some leftovers that I salvaged from my fridge .... near expiry Digestive biscuits and slivered almonds.  I adopted the recipe from  The Australian Women's weekly, Biscuits and Slices but had to modify the recipe to suit my 9" x 13" pan.

Steamed Loh Mai Kai

'Steamed Loh Mai Kai'.  This 'loh mai kai', literally translated as " chicken glutinous rice" is different from the normal loh mai kai that is available at the dim sum restaurants.  This is not served in dainty bowls but it's a whole chicken stuffed with semi-cooked savoury glutinous rice and steamed ....... served as a meal on its own!   When I cooked this dish I was juggling with the idea of what, how to name it, but then since there's chicken, glutinous rice and the method is by steaming, so logically, it's just simple 'Steamed Loh Mai Kai'.

Cranberry Raisin Walnut Loaf (Gelatinized method)

I made this after gawking at Elin's Almond Cranberry Bread which she made using the gelatinized dough method.  As I've tried making my Meat Floss Buns with this method before, I had no qualms making this as well.  The result was a soft, fluffy loaf of bread filled with vibrant colours of berries, rasins, nuts and not forgetting the custard filling.

Country style steam chicken

This is one simple recipe of  steamed chicken dish which I'm sure many bloggers have blogged before.  Tasty yet easy and quick to prepare, this dish pairs very well with steamy hot white rice.

Pumpkin walnut bundt cake

Yes, I experimented with raw Japanese pumpkin again and baked this.  The idea was to determine the colour of the cake based on the ingredients used.  Also I want to 'endorse' that baking a cake with grated raw pumpkin + butter will produce a  yellowish coloured cake.  Whereas, a cake baked with grated raw pumpkin + oil will deliver a brownish coloured one albeit with a minimal amount of cinnamon.  This time I used both a garnishing blade and a trimming blade to grate the pumpkin and  ended up with both fine and thick pumpkin shreds.  I like to see more traces of  golden coloured pumpkin and certainly, I'll be using the trimming blade in the future.

Pumpkin Bundt cake

I bought Japanese pumpkin on my recent trip to the Cameron Highlands and baked this cake.  I was excited as this was the first time that I grated the pumpkin with skin intact and was very eager to see how it will appear with specks of green and golden yellow pumpkin shreds.  So, I waited patiently for the cake to cool before I could perform the opening ceremony.

Grilled chicken salad

This chicken salad is tasty and delicious yet takes very little time to prepare.  Looks a bit 'undressed' as I've only used juices as a 'top-up'. Use some orange juice, mix with some calamansi juice, toss in a bit of salt, add in some sugar to taste, mix and just drizzle over .............. tangy and appetising!

Traditional Mooncakes ~ 2011

This is my third attempt at  making traditional mooncakes and now I believe that I'll always need to experiment thrice before I can sort of 'succeed'.  I've been watching videos on You-Tube, reading up recipes on traditional mooncakes just to get the hang of making them.  Have to admit that the more videos I watched the more confused and disillusioned I got.  So, before I raise the white flag, I gave myself one last chance.  I tried Anncoo's Handmade Piggy Mooncakes recipe for the dough and finally, yes finally I got it.  No more sticky, difficult to handle dough where I had to  load in more flour ultimately distorting the recipe.  Thank you, Ann!

Spiral Mooncake ~ 2011

After two failed attempts at making this spiral mooncake I was hopeful when I saw this post on Jeannie's blog.  Her post led me to Annie's post @ House of Annie and I was determined to give it one last try.  I was indeed delighted that I finally made it.  However, I tweaked it a bit as I used shortening instead of butter.  The pastry was crispy and stayed fresh for another 2 days, kept in an air-tight container.  A big thank you to both of you!

Apple Turnover

I made these  Apple Turnovers  with the Kawan puff pastry and they turned out great.   I served these for tea and they were well received by my family members.  Not only were these flaky pastries delicious but they were extremely easy and simple to make.  Aromatic pastries with apples, raisins and much more ..........

Selamat Hari Raya and Happy Merdeka

I would like to wish all my Muslim readers and friends
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir Batin & to all Malaysians Happy Merdeka!

Pingpei mooncake ~ 2011

'Pingpei or Snowskin Mooncakes'' ....... don't they look unusual, the shape I mean.  I chose to differ from the norm and made these using jelly moulds instead.  These antique jelly moulds were handed to me by my mother.  I doubt anyone has ever seen pingpei mooncakes in this shape.
I adapted this recipe from  Anncoo, who doesn't need much introduction as her blog is very popular and she's a one-good baker with excellent creativity and dexterity.  Besides this 'Pingpei mooncake or Snow-skin mooncake', she's got other types of mooncake recipes which you will find  interesting and you'll be kept in awe by her photography skills!

Strawberry, apple crumble cake

This cake was made with Cameron Highlands strawberries which I bought when I was there for a short holiday recently.  Strawberries were in season at that time and surprisingly they were quite sweet.  Going cheap too, at 10 rgt for 6 packets of medium sized ones and 10 rgt for 3 packets of larger ones.  We couldn't finish them off and for experiment, I rinsed some, pat dry and stored them in a covered container in the freezer.  This cake was made with strawberries that were left in the freezer for a week.  This crumble cake was liked by family members and my neighbour remarked that it was good and encouraged me to continue baking!

Double boiled Black chicken soup

This chicken soup is slightly different from the normal good old chicken soup as it's double-boiled with black chicken.  Flavoured with traditional Chinese herbs like sweet wolfberries/goji berries/Boxthorn fruits, Ginseng aka 'Pau Sum' in Cantonese and Yuzhu aka Solomon's seal rhizome/polygonatum, this soup is believed to be invigorating and nutritious.  According to the Chinese, the black chicken has curative value and it's above that of white chicken meat as the former has less fat.

A short introduction to the traditional Chinese herbs. 
'Pau Sum' helps to increase energy, enhance healthy blood circulation and also boost the immune system.
Wolfberries  helps to improve vision and  nourish the lungs and kidneys.
Yuzhu helps to treat dry throat, dry cough, promote production of body fluid and relieve dryness syndrome.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a cheat version of Chicken Pie with an Oriental twist.  I call it 'cheat' because the pastry is store bought, 'Oriental', as  I cooked the filling with Asian sauces.  This was our family's dinner and all of us enjoyed it thoroughly...... another one-dish meal!

Tofu chiffon cake

When I first saw the Tofu chiffon posted by  Sonia, the Nasilemak lover,  I was struck with awe and wondered  how  tofu would  taste in a cake.  Bookmarked straightaway of course,  but only found  time to experiment with it lately.  None of my family members who tasted the cake believed that it was tofu chiffon until I convinced them that tofu was one of the main ingredients that went to create this marvellous cake.  
Tofu aka soybean curd originated in ancient China.  It's made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant.  It's low in fat, calories and cholesterol free.  Also a good source of high quality protein as well as iron, calcium and magnesium. Tofu is rich in isoflavones and isoflavones helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancers.  Although tofu is bland in taste on its own, it has the ability of absorbing flavours of any ingredients that has been added to it.  This tofu chiffon cake is soft, smooth and delicious and credit must go to Sonia f…

Tangy Pork Belly

This porky dish tastes and resembles somewhat like 'char siew' or BBQ pork except  that it's got a slightly tangy taste and I find it rather unique.  The tangy taste comes  from the effect of adding tamarind aka Assam Jawa and other sauces into the meat.  This dish does go well with white rice and it can be very appetising indeed.

Meat Floss Buns ~ Take 2 (Gelatinized method)

This is my first attempt at making bread/buns using the gelatinized dough method.  I'm very much overwhelmed with the result as the buns came out soft, fluffy and remained that way the next day.  Another plus point is that the dough is not sticky which makes handling and shaping a breeze.   This recipe is a keeper for sure and this is going to be a lengthy post!

Baked beans with mince pork

I would label this as a 'saviour' dish as it'll certainly save your day when you have unexpected guests who happened to 'overstay' for dinner.  Open a can of baked beans, toss in some mince meat and if meat is unavailable, eggs will do just fine. 

I remember that many years ago, I cooked this for my then school-going children.  I was busy that day, just managed to boil a lotus root pork ribs soup and squeezed in this dish before I rushed off to fetch them back from school.  Although they have always enjoyed this dish, they expected more food to greet them on the table after a tiring day at school.  A mere soup and a baked beans dish just won't do. I vividly remember my boy asking me whether we were in financial difficulty and needed to stinge on food ..... and this poor mama has been ridiculed ever since, whenever  'Baked beans with mince pork' is mentioned.

Blueberry yoghurt coffee cake

Don't be misconstrued by the word 'coffee' in this 'Blueberry yoghurt coffee cake' as coffee is certainly not an ingredient required in the making of this cake.  Coffee cake is just a class of cakes to be served alongside coffee or tea for breakfast, during coffee/tea breaks or even afternoon tea.  Some may have a streusel or a light glaze drizzle as topping but more often than not  they are flavoured with spices, nuts or fruits.

Coconut konnyaku jelly

One of the key ingredients of   Konnyaku,   a traditional Japanese health food is flour derived from a taro/yam plant.  This is mixed with calcium hydroxide or calcium oxide extracted from eggshells.  This yam plant known as konjac, Devil's tongue  or elephant yam is grown in the mountains of  Japan and also in Indonesia.
Konnyaku is a very low calorie food, virtually zero as it contains 97% water and 3% fibre  in the form of a viscous substance called glucomannan.  It  has traces of protein, starch, calcium and also rich in vitamin C.
Although low in calorie, it's  high in fibre, non-fat and is good for weight reduction as it's very filling.  It also helps in the cleansing of toxin in the intestines, normalises the cholesterol and sugar level and prevents high blood pressure.
Konnyaku on its own tastes rather bland.  It is gelatinous, firm and chewy and takes on the flavour of whatever it's cooked in.
A word of caution 
Jelly products containing konnayku may pose chok…

Double boiled fish bladder and spare ribs soup

To combat the hot, dry and humid weather, I made this  'Double Boiled fish bladder and spare ribs soup'.  Fish bladder or swim bladder or ' yue piu' in Cantonese looks similar to fish maw/'far kau' in shape, colour and texture.  But 'yue piu' is often sold deepfried, hence it needs to be soaked before cooking.  Of course, there's also the price factor.  'Yue piu' is definitely far more cheaper than fish maw and can be considered as a poor man's treat of fish maw.

Long beans chicken noodles

Being too lazy to cook a proper dinner, I made these noodles and dumped in whatever greens, meat I can lay my hands on.   The greens happen to be long beans and the meat, chicken.

Long beans aka 'Dau Gok' in Cantonese are yardlong beans also known as bora.  This climbing vine is subtropical/tropical and widely grown in the warmer parts of South East Asia and southern China.  They're at their best when picked for consumption before they mature fully.  These beans are low in fat, are a good source of protein, vitamin A and C and also have a significant amount of iron, phosphorous, manganese and magnesium.  A major health benefit is their ability to lower cholesterol due to its high fibre content.  What are other ways to cook these long beans?

They're commonly used  for stir-fries in Chinese cuisine, cut into shorter sections to cook savoury rice,  fry them in an omelette or toss them  into your fried rice.  In Malaysian cuisine, they're often stir-fried with chillies…

Cornflake raisin slice

Itching for a snack?  Ahhh.... think these crispy cornflake slices are just what you need to satisfy your craving along with a hot cup of coffee, tea or even a glass of  milk.

Sea coconut with snow fungus sweet soup

This cooling and refreshing dessert soup is what we need to cool down our system in this current hot, humid, hazy weather........'Sea coconut with snow fungus sweet soup'.  This 'tong sui' or 'leong sui' is easy to prepare and also tastes fabulous both taken warm or chilled.

Spare ribs in sour plum sauce

This spare ribs dish is indeed appetising because of its sauce .....sweet and sour with a slight tinge of chilli.  It's not fiery hot and I think kids will be able to enjoy it too.  As for me and my family members, we'll certainly need to top up our bowls with more rice to mop up the sauce.

Banana Blueberry Upside Down Cake

I made this  'Banana Blueberry Upside Down Cake'  based on the recipe of my previous post of  Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  Prior to that I've also tried baking this cake with peaches and I find that they all are delicious in their own way as each of them have a fruity flavour of their own.

Fish fillet with ginger & scallions

We never failed to order  this dish whenever we eat out for the simple reason that I've never maked this at home.  All the while I was under the impression that whipping up this dish is a challenge as I was afraid that the fish fillet will disintegrate upon being flipped by the 'spatula'.  I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case when I finally attempted it. 

The tip lies in the way how the fish fillet is sliced.  After deboning the fish, the fillet is long (according to the length of the fish), then cut it to say 2.1/2 inches portions.  Then slice the portions against the grain of the fillet.  This way the fillet will not be crumbly ........ and it worked!

Guest Post ~ Hazelnut mini loaves

I'm very happy to have been asked to do a guest post for Shirley of 'Enriching your kid'.  But what to make to entice the kids has got my head cracking.  A clinical psychologist by profession, Shirley has a lot of tips on nutrients for growing-up kids in her blog.  You can also read up on the various spices and herbs that she uses in her cooking, baking and other interesting recipes as well.  Do visit  'Enriching your kid' for nutritious and healthy eating and to read my post  ~ 'Hazelnut Mini loaves'.  Thank you!