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. 

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