Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mango, Pineapple & Prawn Salad


pineapple chunks
mango cubes
cucumber slices
cherry tomatos - halved
fresh coriander (or mint leaves)
cooked prawns - chilled


2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated palm sugar
1 tbsp pineapple juice

  • Add dressing to the prawns and salad and toss well.

Tiramisu Cheesecake


185g plain biscuits
100g butter, melted
zest of 1 lemon
375g Mascarpone cheese or Philadelphia cream cheese
2/3 cup lemonade
15g gelatin
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup cream - whipped
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup espresso coffee + 50ml Kahlua, Tia Maria or Marsala
10 Savoiardi biscuits (or sponge fingers)


  • Process biscuits until finely crushed, add butter and lemon zest and mix well.
  • Press biscuits mixture into the base of a greased and lined 20cm springform pan.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • In a saucepan, combine lemonade, sugar and gelatin; stir over medium heat until dissolved.  Cool.
  • Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add in lemon zest and juice. Then add in gelatin mixture.  Beat well.
  • Refrigerate until partly set.
  • Fold in whipped cream.
  • Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into the pan.  
  • Dip Savoiardi biscuits one at a time in a bowl of cooled espresso coffee mixture and then lay them side by side on the layer of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Pour the rest of the cream cheese mixture over the biscuits.  Chill overnight.
  • Dust with sifted cocoa powder to serve.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Cheesy Baked Rice With Prawns & Bacon

     I've heard so much about the Hong Kong style Cheese Baked Rice but yet to try it.  Sounds like Western-Asian fusion food, and reminds me of Tuna Mornay too.  So,  I  decided to experiment this one-meal dish - my version of course, since I have no idea how the authentic Cheese Baked Rice would taste like.  


    cups rice, cooked rice
    10 prawns, shelled and deveined
    2 pieces bacon, cut into small pieces
    3 cloves garlic, minced 
    1/2 onion, chopped
    a handful of french beans, cut into 2 cm length 
    2 small tomato, cubed
    1/4 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
    salt & pepper
    1 cup grated parmesan and cheddar cheese (or mozzarella)
    1/2 cup cream (or milk)
    1 tbsp plain flour
    2 tbsp butter (approx)

    • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
    • Heat oil in a frying pan.  Saute the onion and garlic.  Add in prawns and fry until 3/4 cooked.  Dish out the prawns.
    • Add in bacon and fry until it is browned,  then pour in wine, stir well.   Toss in beans and tomato and cook for about 2 minutes.  Turn off heat.
    • Pour the white sauce and prawns into the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
    • Fluff up the cooked rice and place in a casserole dish.  Then pour the prawns and bacon mixture over the rice and mix well.  
    • Top the rice with a layer of grated cheese. 
    • Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese turns golden brown.
    • Serve hot.
    White Sauce (or Béchamel):

    • In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add in flour and cook, stirring for a minute or until mixture bubbles and begins to come away from the side of the pan.  
    • Gradually whisk in the cream until combined. 
    • Continue cooking until the sauce boils and thickens.  Remove from heat.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Yellow Butter Cake

    This moist, buttery yellow cake recipe was taken from JoyofBaking.  The difference between a yellow and a white butter cake is that a yellow cake contains just the egg yolks whereas a white cake contains whole eggs (although both cakes do contain butter, sugar, flour and milk).  This yellow cake makes an ideal birthday cake where you can fill and frost the layers with a rich and creamy chocolate butter frosting or any frosting of your choice.  


    6 large egg yolks
    240ml milk
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    300g self-raising flour, sifted
    240g caster sugar
    170g butter, softened

    • Preheat oven at 160 degrees C.  Grease a 21cm Bundt pan with butter and flour mixture.
    • In a medium bowl, lightly combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup of  milk and vanilla extract.
    • In a large mixing bowl, combined flour and sugar. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended.
    • Add in butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of milk.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase to medium speed.  Beat for about 2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure.  Scrape down the bowl.  Gradually add in egg mixture in 3 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the eggs.
    • Transfer the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.  
    • Bake for about 45 minutes or until cake is done.
    • Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting the cake on a rack.  

    Chocolate Ganache

    150g dark chocolate, chopped
    1/2 cup cream

    • Melt chocolate and cream in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  If too thick, add a little bit more boiling water to adjust the consistency.
    • Drizzle Ganache over cold cake.

    Chocolate Banana Cake


    1 cup mashed bananas
    1/4 cup cream or sour cream or yoghurt
    175g butter, softened
    170g caster sugar
    2 large eggs, lighted beaten
    310g plain flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    3 tbsp boiling water

    • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
    • Grease a 21cm bundt pan with melted butter mixed with a little flour.
    • Combine mashed bananas with cream until blended.  Set aside.
    • Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and whisk to blend.
    • Mix cocoa powder and boiling water into a paste.
    • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (this will take about 4 -5 minutes).  Then gradually add in eggs in 3 additions.  Beat until combined.
    • Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture with half the combined cream and banana mixture.  Repeat the process, ending with the flour mixture.  
    • Place half of the mixture into a separate bowl, stir in cocoa paste.
    • Drop alternate spoonfuls of mixture into the prepared pan, run a knife through the mixture to give marbled effect.  
    • Bake for about 55 minutes or until cake is done.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Mango Cheesecake



    185g biscuits
    90g butter, melted

    • Process biscuits in a food processor; add the melted butter and mix to combine.
    • Pour biscuit crumbs into a 21cm round springform pan and press crumbs over  the base of pan  to form a crust. Chill in the fridge while preparing the filling.


    2/3 cup lemonade
    15g gelatine
    1 tbsp lemon zest
    1 tsp lemon juice
    2 mangoes, diced
    1 cup cream (whipped)
    1/2 cup sugar
    375g cream cheese (at room temperature)

    • In a saucepan, combine lemonade, sugar and gelatine; stir over medium heat until dissolved.  Cool.
    • Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add in lemon rind and juice. Then add in gelatin mixture.  Beat well.
    • Refrigerate until partly set.
    • Fold in whipped cream and diced mangoes.
    • Pour into the pan and chill overnight.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Japanese Cheesecake

    Adapted from Dianna Dessert 


    250g cream cheese (softened)
    50g butter (softened)
    120g caster sugar
    90ml orange juice
    10ml lemon juice
    zest of 1 orange
    6 egg yolks
    60g plain flour
    20g corn flour
    6 egg whites
    1/4 tsp cream of tartar


    • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.  Grease and line a 23cm springform pan.
    • Sift together plain flour and cornflour.  Leave aside.
    • Beat cream cheese, butter and half of the sugar until soft and fluffy. Add in egg yolks and beat until combined.  Then beat in orange juice and zest.
    • Fold in sifted flours.  
    • In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.  Add in cream of tartar.  Gradually add in the remaining sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.
    • Fold egg whites into the cream cheese mixture.  Stir until just combined.
    • Pour into the prepared pan.
    • Bake in a water bath for 1 hour.
    • Turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool in the oven with the oven door ajar for about 1 hour. 

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Banana Carrot Walnut Bread


    250g butter, softened
    325g caster sugar
    4 eggs
    230g self-raising flour
    230g plain flour
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup mashed banana
    1 cup coarsely grated carrot
    1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
    50ml orange juice
    zest of 1 orange


    • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
    • Grease and line 2 loaf pans (23 x 13 x 7 cm).
    • Cream butter, vanilla extract and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
    • Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined.
    • Stir in the banana, grated carrot, zest and orange juice together with the sifted dry ingredients and chopped walnuts in two additions.  Stir to combine.
    • Spread mixture evenly into prepared pans.  
    • Bake in moderate oven for about 50 minutes.
    • Stand for about 5 minutes in the pan before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
    • Serve buttered if desired.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Japchae - Korean Sweet Potato Noodles


    200g Korean sweet potato starch noodles
    150g beef - cut into thin strips
    5 dried shitake mushrooms (soaked until softened) - sliced into thin strips
    1 small onion - thinly sliced
    1/2 carrot - julienned
    1/4 red capsicum - thinly sliced
    2 stalks spring onions - sliced
    2 stalks celery - sliced
    dried wood ear fungus - soaked and thinly sliced (optional)
    3 cloves garlic - minced
    3 slices ginger - minced
    1/2 tbsp sesame seeds - toasted

    Marinade - for beef:

    1 tbsp light soy sauce
    dash of pepper
    1 tsp cornflour
    2 tsp sesame oil

    Seasoning (according to taste) - for noodles:

    4 tbsp light soy sauce
    1 tsp dark soy sauce
    1 tbsp oyster sauce
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp rice wine
    1 tbsp sesame oil
    dash of pepper

    • Marinate beef with marinade and leave aside for at least 30 minutes.
    • Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until soft (about 5 minutes).  Plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain.  Toss noodles with a little sesame oil to prevent from sticking together.
    • Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat; add beef and stir-fry until just cooked.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
    • Heat oil in the same frying pan and saute onion, minced garlic and ginger.  Add in shitake mushroom and fungus; stir fry for about 3 - 4 minutes. 
    • Toss in vegetables and add in noodles together with seasoning. Fry until noodles are cooked through. Then add in the cooked beef. 
    • Turn off heat and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the noodles.
    • Transfer to a serving plate.

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    San Bei Ji 三杯鸡 (3-Cup Chicken)


    450g chicken pieces (deboned)
    1 tsp cornflour
    dash of pepper
    1 small knob ginger, sliced
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 shallots, sliced
    1 scallion, sliced
    1 cup Thai basil
    2 tbsp sesame oil


    2 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
    1 tsp dark soy sauce
    15g rock sugar (or to taste)

    • Marinate chicken pieces with cornflour and pepper.
    • Heat sesame oil in a frying pan; saute ginger, shallots, scallion and garlic until fragrant.
    • Add in chicken pieces and stir fry for about 2 minutes.  Stir in seasoning and bring it to a boil.  
    • Simmer until the chicken is cooked.  Add a little water if the gravy dries up.  
    • Before dishing up, toss in basil. 

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Blueberry Muffins

    A recipe taken from  Joyofbaking

    (Makes 12)

    1 cup yogurt
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 lemon zest

    260g plain flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    100g sugar
    1/4 tsp salt

    125g blueberries

    • Preheat oven at 190 degrees C.  Line muffin pan with paper cups.
    • (A)  Whisk everything together in a bowl.
    • (B)  Sift everything into a  separate bowl.  Toss blueberries in a tablespoon of flour.  Shake off excess flour and set aside.
    • Fold wet ingredients (A) into the dry ingredients (B).  Stir quickly.
    • Gently stir in blueberries.
    • Fill the muffin cups to 2/3 full.  
    • Bake for about 18- 20 minutes.

    Vietnamese Cold Noodles Salad With Grilled Lemongrass Pork


    100g carrot, julienned
    100g cucumber, julienned
    100g lettuce, shredded finely
    a bunch of coriander leaves, chopped finely
    a bunch of mint leaves, chopped finely
    300g dried noodles
    1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts (optional)

    1/2 kg pork neck, sliced thinly

    Marinade for meat:

    4 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
    4 cloves garlic
    2 shallots
    3 tbsp lime/lemon juice
    3 tbsp fish sauce
    2 tbsp palm sugar
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp honey
    1 tsp sesame oil

    Sweetened Fish Sauce:  (Mix all ingredients together and chilled in the refrigerator)

    1/2 cup lime/lemon juice
    1/2 cup fish sauce
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup warm water
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 -2 bird's eye chillies, finely chopped

    • Marinade:   With a mortar and pestle, pound the lemongrass, garlic and shallots to a paste.  Then add in the rest of in the ingredients and combine.  Transfer into a mixing bowl and add meat into the marinade.  Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 - 3 hours.  
    • Cook the rice vermicelli according to instructions on the packet.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  
    • Heat the grill pan grill the meat until golden brown.
    • Place noodles in a serving bowl, topped with lettuce, carrot, cucumber, coriander leaves and mint leaves; then the warm grilled meat.   Sprinkle some nuts and drizzle with a generous amount of  the sweetened fish sauce before serving.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Tau Fu Fah (Soy Bean Custard)

     Thanks to my friend LiuChing, who taught me how to make this silky tau fu fah ...


    1 litre soy milk
    1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
    1/3 tsp GDL (Glucono delta-lactone)
    50 ml cold water

    • Mix cornflour and GDL with cold water; pour into a pot.
    • Immediately pour the boiling soy milk vigorously into the pot with the cornflour mixture (this is to ensure that the setting solution is thoroughly combined with the soy milk).
    • Do not move or shake the pot until the custard is fully set.  This will take about 20 - 30 minutes. 
    • Serve custard with sugar syrup.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Steamed Chicken Buns

    1 packet of 397g premix bun (pau)  flour
    3/4 cup lukewarm milk
    1/2 cup sugar

    • Follow the instructions on the packet - mix flour with milk and sugar, then knead dough for 10 minutes.  Add 1 tbsp of oil and continue to knead for another 10 minutes.  
    • Cover the dough and set aside to proof  for 30 minutes.
    • Meanwhile prepare the fillings.


    300g chicken thigh fillet, diced
    1 small onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced finely
    1 tsp minced ginger
    2 tbsp chopped water chestnuts
    3 tbsp coriander/chinese parsley leaves, chopped
    2 tsp cornflour + 1 tbsp water

    Marinade for chicken:

    1 tsp sesame oil
    1/2 tbsp rose wine/ chinese wine
    1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
    1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1 tsp cornflour

    • Heat oil and fry the onion and garlic.  Add in the marinated chicken and water chestnuts. 
    • Add in cornflour mixture to thicken.  
    • Then add in parsley leaves and stir to combine.  Transfer onto a plate and cool.
    • Divide fillings into 12 portions.

    To make buns:

    • Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
    • Flatten and wrap a portion of the filling in the centre and seal by pleating the edges.
    • Set bun on a square piece of baking paper and leave for 10 minutes.
    • Place a bamboo steamer over a pot of rapidly boiling water (add 2 tbsp white vinegar into the water to whiten the buns).
    • Steam over high heat for 13 minutes.
    • Remove buns from the steamer and serve hot.

      Saturday, October 2, 2010

      Mocha Chiffon Cake



      6 egg yolks
      100 g caster sugar
      1/2 tsp cream of tartar


      6 egg whites
      100g caster sugar
      1/2 tsp cream of tartar

      5 tbsp cooking oil
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      170ml milk (boiled)
      1 tbsp instant coffee granules
      2 tbsp cocoa powder
      135g self-raising flour

      • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
      • Dissolve coffee granules and cocoa powder in hot milk.  Set aside to cool.
      • (A):  Beat egg yolks for 1 minute.   Gradually add sugar and cream of tartar and beat for about 5 minutes.  Then beat in vanilla extract and oil.  Then add  in coffee mixture.  Beat until well combined. 
      • Sift flour into  a mixing bowl.  Gradually whisk in the egg & coffee mixture in a slow and steady stream.
      • (B):  In another bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.  This will take about 10 minutes.
      • Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour/egg yolk mixture.  Fold until well combined.
      • Pour the batter into an ungreased tube cake pan and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes.
      • Once the cake is out from the oven, invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Do not remove the cake until it is completely cooled. 

      Roast Pork II

      Inspired by Justin North in MasterChef celebrity chef challenge... for the perfect crackling of the skin, salt and dry out the skin first in the refrigerator, then brown it in the frying pan before roasting -  where it differs from my previous  roast pork recipe.



      750g pork cutlet, cut into 2 pieces
      1 tbsp sea salt
      1 tbsp oil

      zest of 1 lemon
      1 tbsp lemon juice
      1/2 tbsp garlic powder
      2 tsp chopped rosemary
      2 tsp chopped parsley
      dash of pepper
      1 tbsp light soy sauce

      • Using a sharp knife, score pork skin, at 1cm intervals.  
      • Rub sea salt onto the skin and incisions.  
      • Combine the marinade.  Rub marinade onto the sides of the pork.  Place the pork with the skin-side up into the marinade.  Then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 3 hours to dry out the skin.  
      • Remove pork from refrigerator, and wipe off salt with paper towel and pat dry.  Leave pork aside for 10 minutes to reach room temperature.
      • Preheat oven at 190 degrees C.
      • Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  
      • Place the pork to the pan, with skin-side down.  Fry for 1 minute.  
      • Reduce heat to low and fry for a further 10 minutes or until the skin is light golden and crisp.
      • Transfer pork onto a wire rack over a roasting pan and roast for about 45 minutes or until pork is cooked through.
      • Remove pork from the oven.  Cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the pork along the score marks.

      Note:  I find that it is easier to score the skin of the pork after drying out for about an hour in the fridge, uncovered.

      Friday, October 1, 2010

      Chocolate Cake With Mocha Frosting


      140g dark chocolate, chopped
      20g cocoa powder
      1 cup boiling water
      300g plain flour
      2 tsp baking powder
      1 tsp baking soda
      230g butter, room temperature
      350g caster sugar
      3 eggs (lightly beaten)
      2 tsp vanilla extract
      1 cup milk, room temperature

      • Preheat oven at 170 degrees C.
      • Grease and line two 9" round cake tins.
      • Place chopped dark chocolate pieces and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Pour boiling water into it and stir until melted.  Set aside to cool.
      • Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and whisk until combine.
      • In a separate bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
      • Add in eggs a little at a time and beat well after each addition (on Low speed).  Then add in vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture.  Beat until just combined.
      • With a rubber spatula fold in flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Do not over mix.
      • Divide batter evenly between the two tins.  Smooth the tops.
      • Bake for about 40 minutes or until done (when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean).
      • Remove cakes from oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Then remove the cakes from the tins and let cool completely before frosting.


      60g dark chocolate, chopped
      1 tbsp coffee granules
      1 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
      160g icing sugar, sifted
      250g mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)

      • Place chocolate pieces, coffee granules and icing sugar in a mixing bowl.   Heat 1/2 cup of cream in the microwave oven and pour over the chocolate mixture.  Stir until sugar dissolved.   Chill at least 2 hours.
      • Add mascarpone cheese into the chocolate mixture and beat on Low speed until blended and smooth.  Increase to Medium speed and beat until thick.

      To assemble the cake:

      • Place a layer of cake with the top side down on a plate and spread a layer of frosting over it.  
      • Then place the second layer of cake (also with the top side down) on top of the frosting.  
      • Spread the rest of the frosting over the top and side of the cake. 

      Thursday, September 30, 2010

      Hakka Braised Pork Belly With Black Fungus (客家炸肉)


      500g belly pork, cut into pieces
      50g black fungus, soaked in warm water until softened, cut into pieces
      1 tbsp chopped garlic
      1 tbsp chopped shallots
      1 tsp chopped ginger


      1 tbsp light soy sauce
      1 tsp five spice powder
      1 tsp pepper 
      1 tsp sesame oil
      2 tbsp nam yue (red fermented beancurd) liquid 
      1 egg
      3 tbsp cornflour

      Gravy - Combine together:

      2 pieces nam yue (red fermented red bean curd) - mashed
      1 tbsp nam yue liquid
      2 tbsp light soy sauce
      1 tbsp Shao Xing wine
      1 tsp sugar
      1 tbsp oyster sauce
      1/2 tsp five spiced powder
      1 tsp sesame oil
      dash of pepper


      • Blanch pork in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Drain well and season the meat with marinade ingredients.   Set aside.
      • Deep fry the marinated pork.   Transfer to a plate.  
      • Stir fry fungus for a minute.  Dish out and set aside.
      • Saute minced garlic, shallots and ginger  until fragrant.  Stir in the ingredients for gravy.   Bring to the boil. 
      • Add pork and fungus.  Stir fry for a minute.  Then add enough water to cover the pork and fungus.  Bring to the boil.  Then simmer for about one hour or until pork is soft.  

        Wednesday, September 29, 2010

        Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

        Gyoza, the Japanese version of  the Chinese Dumpling, Jiaozi (饺子) which consist of ground meat and vegetable filling wrapped in a thinly rolled piece of dough.  Jiaozi can be cooked in different ways  - boiled (水餃) , steamed (蒸餃) or pan-fried (鍋貼) which is also known as potstickers.

        Filling:  Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
        (Makes 100 dumplings)

        1 kg minced pork
        200g Chinese chives (or chinese cabbage) - chopped finely
        1 1/2 tsp salt
        1 1/2 tsp sugar
        1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
        1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
        1 1/2 tsp pepper
        2 tbsp soy sauce
        2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
        1 tbsp sesame oil
        1 egg
        2 tbsp cornstarch

        To make dumplings:

        1 pack of Gyoza wrappers (1 kg)
        1 tbsp cornflour + 2 tbsp water

        • Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the centre of the gyoza wrapper.  Brush a little cornflour mixture around the edge of the wrapper, then fold and pleat the dumpling. Make sure edges are sealed tightly. 
        • Place the dumplings, seam-side up onto a tray (lined with baking paper) and gently press to flatten bottom.  Cover with dampened tea towel to prevent from drying out.   (At this point, you can freeze them on a tray. When they are frozen, transfer them into a sealed freezer container or resealable  bag. This method will keep them from sticking together).

          To pan-fry the potstickers:
          • Heat about 1 - 2 tbsp cooking oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. 
          • Arrange dumplings in the pan and pan-fry until the bottom of the dumplings turn golden brown and crisp.  (Do not move or  turn the dumplings over)
          • Add about 3/4 cup of water (so that dumplings are partially submerged)  and cover the pan immediately.  Cook under medium heat until liquid is absorbed - this will take about  8 minutes.  (The purpose is to steam the dumplings). 
          • Uncover the pan.  Lower the heat and cook the dumplings for another 2 minutes.  This process gives the dumplings a crispy bottom, slightly chewy soft top and juicy filling.
          • Using a spatula, transfer the dumplings onto a serving plate  and serve hot with dipping sauce.

          Dipping sauce - Combine together:

          Chinese black vinegar or Japanese rice vinegar (I prefer to use Balsamic Vinegar instead)
          Soy sauce
          Chilli oil (optional)

          Monday, September 20, 2010

          Turmeric Chicken

          My own simple version of Turmeric Chicken ...


          600g skinless chicken thigh, cut into biteable sizes


          1 tbsp grated palm sugar
          1 tbsp turmeric powder
          1 tbsp light soy sauce
          2 tbsp fish sauce
          1/2 tbsp garlic powder
          1/2 tsp pepper
          1/2 tsp chilli powder or finely chopped fresh chillies (optional)
          1 tbsp cornflour
          2 tsp lemon/lime juice

          • Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.   
          • Shallow fry the chicken pieces under medium to low heat until they are cooked through. 
          • Drizzle some more lemon juice before serving if preferred.

          Savoury Glutinous Rice (Lor Mai Fun)


          400g glutinous rice
          30g garlic, minced
          50g shallots, sliced finely
          40g dried shrimps, washed and chopped coarsely
          30g dried shiitake mushroom, diced
          100g char siew, diced
          1 chinese sausage, sliced
          5 tbsp oil
          400ml water


          2 tbsp light soy sauce
          3/4 tsp dark soy sauce
          1 tbsp oyster sauce
          1/2 tsp salt (adjust taste accordingly)
          1 tsp pepper
          1 tsp sugar

          • Wash glutinous rice in a mixing bowl and soak in hot water for 30 minutes.
          • Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp oil and stir fry shallots and garlic.  Remove to a plate and set aside *.
          • Stir fry mushroom, dried shrimps, chinese sausage and char siew separately.  Dish up and set aside *.
          • Drain the glutinous rice and pour in the seasoning and coat the rice well.
          • Heat the remaining 3 tbsp oil and add glutinous rice and stir well.  Fry for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously.  Add a little water at a time. 
          • Add the stir-fried ingredients *  to the rice and stir well.  Add  about 1/2 cup of water and cook for a further 5 minutes or until rice are translucent. 
          • Transfer rice onto a steaming tray.  Sprinkle the rest of the water on the rice.  
          • Steam under high heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
          • Garnish with spring onion and fried peanuts.

          Sunday, September 19, 2010


          Warm scones served with home-made Peach jam

           Adapted from JoyOfBaking.


          260g self-raising flour
          40g sugar
          75g cold butter 
          1/2 cup cold milk/cream
          1 egg, lightly beaten
          1 tsp vanilla

          • Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.
          • Combine beaten egg, vanilla extract and milk in a small bowl.
          • Sift flour into a mixing bowl.  Combine with sugar.  Add in cold butter and cut into small pieces.  Rub butter into the flour  using fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
          • Make a well in the centre.  Add in egg mixture.  Mix with a plastic spatula until mixture forms a soft dough.  Do not over mix.
          • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Pat dough into 4cm thickness and using a 5 cm diameter  round  cutter, cut out rounds (or cut into squares).
          • Place scones on prepared tray, 1 cm apart.  Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk/cream.  
          • Bake for about 20  minutes or until cooked through.
          • Remove and cool on a wire rack.
          • Serve warm with jam and whipped cream.

          Apricot Scones

          Warm scones served with home-made Peach jam

          Adapted from this recipe.  


          320g self-raising flour (sifted)
          2/3 cup cold lemonade
          2/3 cup evaporated milk/cream
          1 tsp sugar
          pinch of salt
          20g dried apricot (chopped) - optional

          • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.  Line a baking tray with baking paper which is lightly floured.
          • Combine lemonade and milk in a bowl.  
          • Combine flour and chopped dried apricot in a large mixing bowl.  Add lemonade mixture into the flour mixture and fold ingredients until just combined (do not over mix as it will produce tough scones) - the dough should be fairly soft and sticky.
          • Place dough onto the floured baking paper (on the baking tray).  Lightly press the dough into about 4 cm thickness.  Using a knife which has been floured, cut the dough into 5cm squares.  
          • Place scones close together, so they are just touching.  
          • Bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
          • Serve warm with jam and whipped cream.

          Wednesday, September 15, 2010

          Ji Dan Gao (鸡蛋糕) [Steamed Sponge Cake]

          I remember when I was a kid,  Ji Dan Gao (literally "egg cake")  is the only CAKE that I knew of.  It is actually a steamed sponge cake with a light and soft texture.  To give a slight tangy flavour, I added orange zest and lemon juice to this recipe.  It is really simple .... and moreover it brings back some pleasant childhood memories ....


          5 egg yolks
          100g caster sugar
          1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
          2 tbsp lemon juice
          zest of 1 orange

          6 egg whites
          1/4 tsp cream of tartar
          50g caster sugar

          150g cake flour *
          1/2 tsp baking powder
          1/8 tsp salt
          3 tbsp oil

          8" cake pan - lined with baking paper
          10" bamboo steamer

          • Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
          • Beat egg yolks and sugar (on High speed) for about 5 minutes or until thick, pale and fluffy.  At this point, when you raise the beaters, the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.
          • Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.  Add in the zest.  Combine.
          • Gently, fold in flour mixture (in 3 additions)  with a spatula until incorporated.
          • Add in oil and stir to combine.
          • Meanwhile, boil water in a big pot (or wok) big enough to fit the bamboo steamer.
          • In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.  Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
          • Gently fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it.  Then fold in the rest until well blended.
          • Pour batter into the prepared pan and place the pan into the bamboo steamer.  Steam over high heat for 30 minutes or until cake is done.  (If necessary, add more boiling water to maintain the water level).
          • Remove pan from the steamer.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring onto a plate.   Enjoy ...

          I made my own Cake Flour because it is really easy to make and cheap as well!   
          To get 1 cup sifted cake flour:   85g sifted plain flour + 15g cornflour and sift well (at least 3 times)  
          I usually made a lot and then measure or weigh the amount of cake flour from this mixture as required in the recipes.

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