Sunday, April 19, 2015

Purple Sweet Potato Xi Ban (紫薯喜粄)

 Xi Ban (喜粄)

Xi Ban (喜粄)

Recipe adapted from Bakericious


250g plain flour
250g glutinuous rice flour
130g caster sugar
150g purple sweet potato, mashed
6g instant yeast
200g 7-Up
110g water
30g oil

  • Dissolve yeast in 50g of  7-Up, mix well.
  • Combine flours, sugar, sweet potato mash and yeast mixture together in a mixing bowl.  Gradually knead in balance of 7-Up and water.  Knead until dough is smooth.
  • Then add in oil a little at a time, knead well.  
  • Cover dough and leave to proof until double in size.
  • Divide dough into 50g portions and shape into round balls.  Place balls onto square of baking paper.  Using your palm (which has been greased with some cooking oil), flatten the balls slightly.  Cover and proof again until they are almost double in size.
  • Steam over medium-high heat for 13 minutes.  Turn off fire and leave the xi ban in the steamer, with a little gap opened for about 3 minutes, then remove xi ban from steamer.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Grinding Your Own Pepper

Ground White Pepper
White Peppercorn
Ground White Pepper
Ground White Pepper
Ground White Pepper

The one spice that I must have in my pantry at all times is pepper, be it white or black.  I just love the aroma of ground pepper - but not the ground pepper sold in the supermarkets because they lack of taste and flavour!  For maximum flavour and freshness, I buy whole peppercorns and grind them myself.  It is easy to make your own ground pepper at home and it also allows you to skip undesirable additives that had been added to the pre-ground store-bought pepper.

Before grinding, rinse the peppercorns and drained thoroughly before toasting them lightly in a dry frying pan.  Toasting the peppercorns will heighten their flavour even further. Allow them to cool before putting them into a coffee or spice grinder (my coffee/spice grinder is dedicated solely to grinding pepper and other spices). Then sift the ground pepper through a fine mesh strainer to remove any coarser bits (which can be used to marinate meat or fish). Store the freshly ground pepper in an airtight container. Bear in mind that ground pepper only keeps its kick for about 3 months.  

How to clean the coffee/spice grinder:  Since the coffee/spice grinder cannot be washed, I whizzed a handful of uncooked rice in the grinder; then use a brush to clean out all the rice flour. Wipe with a slightly damp cloth before leaving it to air-dry.

Time to go pick up some peppercorns and take out your grinder?  Let me assure you that it's worth your while when you smell the robust aroma of the freshly ground pepper.

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