Monday, June 30, 2014

Ham & Egg Fried Rice

Fried Rice

 Fried Rice

(Serves 1)


1 cup of cold cooked jasmine rice
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup cubed carrots 
3 cloves garlic, minced
a dash of chinese cooking wine
pepper & salt, to taste
a dash of sesame oil
1 tbsp cooking oil

  • Heat oil and saute garlic until aromatic.  Crack eggs into the wok and lightly scramble.  Remove from wok.  Set aside.
  • Add extra oil to the wok and heat over high heat. Add in ham and fry until lightly browned, then add in carrots. Stir-fry for a minute or two.  Put in the rice and toss well.  Add in wine, followed by green peas and scrambled eggs.  Season with salt and pepper.  
  • Keep on frying the rice over high heat until you see the grains of rice 'popping' or 'jumping' on the side of the wok.  Drizzle sesame oil over the rice and toss to combine.  
  • Serve hot. 

The key to perfect fried rice:
  • using day-old cold rice (rice that has been refrigerated for at least a day as it helps draw moisture out of the rice). 
  • all vegetables and meat (if you are using) should be pre-cooked separately and then combined together in the final stage of cooking.
  • do not overcrowd the wok to ensure even cooking. If you are cooking a large quantity of rice, do it in batches.
  • using high heat in order to properly fry each grain of rice (when the grains of rice starts to 'pop' or 'jump' on the side of the wok, you know it is ready).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

No-Bake Raspberry White Choc TimTam Cheesecake

Individual Cheesecake

Individual  Cheesecake

TimTam, the iconic Aussie bikkie (Australia slang for biscuit) remains Australia's favourite chocolate biscuit. Early March this year, Adriano Zumbo, the famous Australian pâtissier has created a limited editioin of TimTam range in celebration of Arnott's 50th year anniversary.  One of them is the Raspberry White Choc which I am using to make this delectable cheesecake.  

Ingredients:  (Makes 7 individual cheesecakes)

130g Choc Ripple biscuits or any biscuit of your choice
45 butter, melted 

  • Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Process biscuits in a food processor; add the melted butter and mix to combine.
  • Spoon biscuit crumbs into paper liners and press crumbs firmly over  the base of the liners to form a crust. Chill in the fridge while preparing the filling.

125g cream cheese, softened
30g icing sugar

50g Greek yogurt
125g thickened cream, chilled
5g gelatine powder + 40g water
3 raspberry white choc TimTam biscuits, chopped coarsely (60g) + 1 extra for topping

  • Fill a small heatproof bowl with 40g cold water.  Sprinkle gelatin powder evenly over water to keep lumps from forming.  Set it aside for a few minutes until it blooms.  Then place the bowl in a hot water bath until it becomes translucent. Ensure that all the gelatin granules have dissolved.  Set aside and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Beat thickened cream until soft peaks form.  Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with icing sugar until smooth.  Add in yogurt, beating well to combine.  Pour in gelatin mixture and beat to combine.
  • Using a spatula, fold in whipped cream and chopped TimTam.  
  • Pour cream cheese mixture into the lined muffin pan and sprinkle extra chopped TimTam on top.
  • Chill the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Braised Sweet & Sour Zhenjiang Vinegar Spare Ribs (浙江糖醋排骨)

Braised Sweet & Sour Chinkiang Vinegar Spare Ribs (浙江糖醋排骨)
Braised Sweet & Sour Chinkiang Vinegar Spare Ribs (浙江糖醋排骨)

Chinkiang or Zhenjiang fragrant black vinegar (镇江香醋) is a dark, slightly sweet rice vinegar with a smoky flavour.  It is normally made from black glutinous rice and malt, although sometimes millet or sorghum may be used as well.  This vinegar is often used in cooking the Chinese version of sweet and sour pork.  The sharpness of this vinegar can be balanced with the sweetness of sugar and smoothed with saltiness.  It is often used in braised dishes, in noodles, soup or as a dipping sauce for dumplings.

There are quite a few brands out there, but it is said that Gold Plum's brand of Chinkiang Fragrant Vinegar is generally considered to be the best.  It had won the prestigious French Laurier d'Or de la Qualite Internationale in 1985.   Chinkiang black vinegar may be substituted with balsamic vinegar.


400g pork spare ribs, cut into small pieces

1/2 tbsp  finely minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp corn flour 
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese Rose Wine (玫瑰露酒)
1 tsp ginger juice
dash of pepper

4 tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar  (镇江香醋) (adjust accordingly)
3 tbsp sugar (adjust accordingly)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste

  • Rinse and pat dry pork ribs.  Marinate for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan, sear the pork ribs.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Heat up 1 tbsp oil in the same saucepan, sauté ginger and garlic until aromatic.  Add in pork ribs and the sauce.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer until ribs are tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Once the sauce has reduced to a heavy, syrupy consistency, turn off the heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice.

Chinkiang Vinegar  (浙江糖醋排骨)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stir-fried Angled Gourd/Luffa

Sponge Gourde, Ribbed Loofah, Chinese Okra, Silk Squash, Ridge Gourd

Angled Gourd goes by several different names -  Ribbed Loofah or Luffa,  Sponge Gourd, Chinese Okra or Silk Squash ( 絲瓜) in Chinese.  It has a sweet and unique taste with a silky texture.  The hard skin and the ridges need to be removed with a potato peeler and you will be left with the pale and spongy flesh to cook.  I would normally cooked it with prawns but today I am making this into a vegetarian dish.  


2 angled gourds, cut at an angle into 1" pieces
1/2 carrot, julienned
1 piece wood-ear fungus
1/2 tbsp goji berries, rinsed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt & pepper, to taste

  • To prepare wood-ear fungus, soak in warm water until re-hydrated.  Blanch in boiling water.  Slice fungus finely.  Set aside.
  • Heat oil.  Saute chopped garlic until aromatic.  Add in angled gourds, julienned carrot, wood-ear fungus and goji berries. Toss to combine under high heat.  If it is too dry, add a little water. Cover and cook under medium heat until tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.  
  • Serve with rice.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Twice-cooked Pork Belly With Salted Fish

Salted fish is one of my guilty pleasure food.  I know I shouldn't like but still do anyway.  

I never buy salted fish but I found a  piece 'hidden'  in my fridge.  Where did that come from?  Then I remembered, my friend gave it to me a few years ago.  I am not sure if salted fish has expiry date but it still looks 'fresh' and I can't find any mold growing on it.   So I believe it is still good to eat.  

Since I saw Kimmy's Pork Fillet With Salted Fish, I've been thinking and craving for this dish.  

Pork Belly With Salted Fish
 Pork Belly With Salted Fish


450g pork belly
40g salted fish, sliced
1 big knob ginger, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, cut into wedges
4 dried chillies, soaked to softened and cut into halves
1 stalk spring onion, cut into 1" length
1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sugar
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp cornflour + 1 tsp water

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil .  Add in pork belly and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pork from the pot.  Place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes (making it easier to slice).
  • Once the pork is chilled, slice it into thin slices (about 4 -5 mm thick).
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and fry the salted fish until aromatic.  Remove from the wok and set aside.  Add in pork slices and sear on high heat until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Add in more cooking oil if necessary.  Saute ginger, onion, chillis and garlic until aromatic.  Add in pork slices and give it a quick toss.  Then add in seasoning and enough water to cover the meat.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is tender.  
  • Add in sesame oil and cornflour mixture.  Toss in spring onion and stir to combine.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Braised Tofu and Mushroom With Thai Basil

Braised Tofu and Mushroom With  Basil 
Braised Tofu and Mushroom With  Basil


300g firm tofu, cut into pieces
2 large King oyster mushroom, sliced thickly
150g Shimeji mushrooms, cut off the end bits
100g button mushroom, sliced thickly
1 knob of ginger, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp oil (approx)
125ml water (approx)
1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water, for thickening
1/2 cup Thai basil

1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

  • Pressed tofu pieces in between paper towels to remove excess water.  Heat about 2 tbsp oil in the wok and brown the tofu.  Dish out and set aside.
  • Heat about 1 tbsp oil in the wok and saute the chopped ginger and garlic until aromatic.  Add in the King oyster mushroom and do a quick stir fry before tossing in the rest of the mushrooms.  
  • Add in water and all the seasonings.  Cover the wok and bring it to the boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer for about 10  minutes.  Add in the fried tofu and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • To thicken the gravy, add in the cornstarch mixture.  Toss in the basil and give a quick stir to combine.  
  • Dish out and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Banana Sour Cream Cake

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

If you are looking for a moist and easy to make banana cake, look no further.  This is my favourite banana cake recipe which I've cut out from a magazine a long time ago.  I tweaked the recipe a little - by replacing orange juice with sour cream.  This cake stays moist for days because of the sour cream in it.  


240g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
170g butter, softened
120g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs (180g without shells)
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas
20 g coarsely chopped walnuts
extra walnut halves for topping

  • Grease a 20cm round cake tin, lining the base with baking paper and dusting the sides with a little flour.
  • Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
  • Sift together self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.  Set aside.
  • Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  
  • Add mashed bananas and orange zest.  Stir well.
  • Fold in flour, alternating with sour cream, and ending with flour and chopped walnuts.
  • Pour cake mixture into the cake tin, gently placing walnut halves on the top.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes or until cake is done, when cake leaves sides of the tin.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Braised Duck With Ginger


650g duck drumsticks (3) - cut into big chunks
75g ginger slices
20g chopped garlic
1 tbsp fermented soy beans
5g rock sugar (4 small cubes)
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tbsp dark soy
3 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp oil
3/4 tbsp sesame oil
black pepper
1 tbsp corn flour + 1 tbsp water - for thickening

  • Marinate duck pieces with 1 tbsp soy sauce and a dash of black pepper.
  • Heat cooking oil and sesame oil in a saucepan and sauté ginger slices until fragrant, then add in chopped garlic.  Sauté until fragrant and put in fermented soy beans.  
  • Put in marinated duck and fry until brown.  Add dark and light soy sauces, rock sugar and black pepper.  Pour in enough water to cover the duck. Stir well and cover.  
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until duck is tender.  (It took 50 minutes cooked in my AMC pot).
  • Thickened the sauce with corn flour mixture.  Stir well and add in coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Scrambled Eggs with Mashed Tofu (鸡扒豆腐)


3 eggs
2 block firm tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp Chinese cooking wine
Cooking oil
a dash of sesame oil

  • Mashed tofu and placed in a sieve to drain excess water.
  • Lightly beat eggs with a little salt, pepper and Chinese cooking wine.
  • Heat a little oil in a wok, pour in the beaten eggs and scramble the eggs.  Dish out the eggs and set aside.
  • Fry mashed tofu until dry.  Add a dash of sesame oil and spring onion.  Add in the scrambled eggs. And season to taste.  
  • Dish out and serve hot.

Stir fry mashed tofu and eggs
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