Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pak Thong Koh (Steamed White Cake)

I made this Pak Thong Koh (Steamed Rice Cake) a few days ago. I always like the yeasty smell and the unique springy texture of this kueh (cake). I google for the recipe and many of the recipes out there need 6-8 hours of fermentation but not this recipe. From start to finish it took me about 3 hours. The process took a bit longer because the weather here is still very cold so the batter need a bit more time to ferment. In warm weather all it need is about 2 hours.

Recipe adapted from Rose Kitchen

280 grms rice flour
280 grm sugar ( I used only 200 grm)
600 ml water
1 tsp dried yeast + 3 tbsp of lukewarm water
3 pandan leaves – knotted
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp cooking oil

1. In a mixing bowl add in rice flour and 300 ml water. Mix well and set it aside.
2. In a small saucepan, boil the balance 300 ml water, sugar, salt, and pandan leaves. Once boil remove the pandan leaves. Pour the syrup right away inside the rice flour mixture and leave it aside to cool.
3. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and pour it into the cool rice flour mixture. Stir well and cover and let it ferment for 1 ½ or 2 hours or until small and tiny bubbles appears on top of the batter.
4. Prepare the steamer; bring the water to rapid boil. Grease and pre-heat an 8” baking round or square tray.
5. Add in ½ tbsp of vegetable oil to the mixture, stir well and pour into the heated tray and steam for 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when tested.
6. Cut and serve once it is cool.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Honey BBQ Chicken Wings

Carlos Company gave me a deep fryer a few years ago but I never thought of using it until now. I finally put it to good used and fried these chicken wings with it. I know this is not the healthiest dish to serve but hey life it short. We need to indulge ourselves once a while. Put aside the health implications of fried food, there is nothing much that beats crispy deep fried wings.


20 chicken wings- clean, cut and tips removed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 cup flour


1 cup of barbecue sauce of your choice
2 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce or any kind of chili sauce (optional)
3 tbsp honey (more if you like it sweater)

1. Marinate the wings with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika for an hour.
2. Heat up the oil to about 350 degree F in a deep fryer, or you can use a deep heavy skillet with enough oil to fry the wings.
3. Lightly coat it with the flour. Fry the wings in batches until they’re golden brown and crispy.
4. In a small saucepan, heat up the BBQ sauce, chili sauce and honey. Once the wings is done toss it with some BBQ sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: I over-fried the wings a bit that is why the color was a bit dark to my liking.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mango Panna Cotta

Spring is here and we are enjoying some very nice warm weather here. So it is time to make some refreshing dessert. Mango is abundance at our produce market and it cost only $1.00 each. Being one of my favorite fruits I like eating it as it is or make it into dessert. This dessert is easy to make and has a light, velvety texture. Mango adds a stunning color and exotic flavor to it.


7 grm gelatin (1 packet) + 3 tbsp of water
2 ½ cups full cream milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 ripe mango – cut into small cubes or puree

1. Mix the gelatin and water together and set it aside to bloom.
2. Put the milk and sugar in a saucepan, cook over low medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the saucepan.
3. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and stir in the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin dissolved.
4. Pour the mixture into six ramekins or cups. At this stage you can add in some cut mango and refrigerate until set or you can serve it with some mango puree.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chinese Mustard Vegetable Stew/Chai Buey

I have no plan to post this but my good friend in NZ request for it. So this is for you, sis. I know this is not the best looking dish but they taste really good. So is this dish a vegetable soup or a stew?? I have no clue but when Carlos asked what was I cooking I told him it's a vegetable stew. My mom used to make this from our leftovers roasted meat especially during the 2nd day of CNY. I believe this is a Hokkien dish and it is commonly made when leftover roast meat That's why it's called Chai Buey which means 'leftover dish" in Hokkien. The recipe is simple. You only need 4 key ingredients, which is dried chilies (to give the spiciness), tamarind paste (to give the sourness), Chinese mustard vegetable (kai choy) and some leftover roast meat. Of course, you may always add some garlic, ginger and tomatoes to spice it up a little and salt and sugar to taste.

Some people like using pickle mustard but I prefer using the fresh ones. This is how mustard vegetable looks like. You can get it at any Asian supermarket.

How to cook this dish? There is no exact recipe for it. Just have a big pot ready, add in some oil and heat it up. Add in some sliced ginger and garlic, sauté them. Then, add in some tamarind paste (amount depend on how sour you like) and dried chilies, stir fry them for a few seconds. Once it is fragrant, you may add the meat you have and some water. Once boiled just add in the tomatoes, Chinese mustard and let it stew until the vegetables are soft and tender. Add salt and sugar to taste.

This was how the pot looks like after I put in the vegetables.

After simmering for 2 hours this was what left in the pot.

The end product, spicy, sour and slight sweetness. A great comfort food for me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dates Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

Who doesn’t enjoy a buttery sticky date pudding smothered in Butterscotch Sauce? This sticky date pudding is an Australian favorite. You can find it on the menu at cafes, bistros and fine dining establishments alike with many variations but the classic pudding with sauce is how I like it best. This pudding is best eaten warm especially after a meal. It can be made days ahead and freeze well. All you have to do is warm it up in the microwave oven before serving. Carlos devours one of it right after it was out of the oven. It was that good. I will definitely make this again especially when I have guest over.


270 grms dates – seeded and chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
113 grm /1 stick butter
120 grm brown sugar
3 eggs
280 grms self rising flour

Sauce :

4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F. Greased a baking pan, line with parchment paper and greased well.
2. In a mixing bowl, combined the chopped dates, baking soda and boiling water. Mix well and set it aside for 20 minutes.
3. In a mixer beat sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time and beat well. Add in the flour to the mixture and mix until combined.
4. Lastly add in the dates mixture. Mix well. Pour the batter in the baking pan and set pan in a larger baking pan. Add enough hot water to larger pan to reach halfway up sides of smaller pan and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 35to 40 minutes. Remove smaller pan from water bath and cool pudding a rack.

For Sauce:

Combined all the sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolved and butter melted. Bring the mixture to slow easy boil. Remove from heat the sauce will thickens as it cools down.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spicy Fried Noodles/Mee Goreng

Every since I saw this noodle dish at 3hungrytummies I’ve been thinking about it. Since coming back from Malaysian I’ve been craving for something from back home. I went to the Asian supermarket in Philly with my good friend Choy and gather all the necessary ingredients for a quick fix of my craving. So here is my version of the Mee Goreng. It was pretty similar to my previous Mee Goreng Mamak . I used the sambal that I made earlier to fry this.


8 oz of yellow noodles (1/2 packet) - wash
10 shrimps – peeled and deveined
1 small piece of fish cake - sliced
1 tomato – cut into small wedges
2 piece of fried tofu – cut into ½” cubes
A small bunch of mustard green – wash and cut into 1” length
2 shallots – sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic – chopped
¼ cup water


3 tbsp of sambal
2 tsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up a wok, add in about 3 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant and lightly brown.
2. Add in shrimp, tofu, tomato and fish cake. Stir-fry for a minute, add in the sambal, and the rest of the seasonings. Mix well.
3. Add in the noodles, stir well. At this stage you can add a bit of water and the vegetables. Cook and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Check seasonings.
4. Dish out and serve warm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Egg Tarts

Egg tarts come in many variations .There are egg white tarts, milk tarts, honey-egg tarts, Pandan flavor tarts etc but the traditional one is the egg custard tarts which usually serve at dim sum place or at the Chinese Bakeries. These come in two kind of pastry. One which use the sweet short crust pastry and another one is the puff pastry kind. I made the traditional kind using short crust pastry. The custard filling is made out of eggs, milk, sugar and a bit of vanilla. The custard is soft and silky and it contrasted beautifully with the crispy crust. You can always change the filling to pandan, green tea or citrus flavor.

Ingredients for the Pastry

125 gm. butter
60 gm. icing sugar
1 egg yolk
200 gm. flour

Ingredients for Egg Custard

280 gm. fresh milk
110 gm. sugar
3 nos. eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F. Beat butter and icing sugar till well mixed. Add in the egg yolk and mix well.
2. Add in vanilla and then the flour and mix into a dough. If the dough mixture is a bit dry add a bit of cold water until the dough comes together. Rest the dough for 30mins. Roll out the dough and line the dough into small tart moulds.
3. Bake the tart shell till half-cooked. This will take about 10 min. The pastry should turn white and slightly brown on the edges. Remove from the oven. Turn the oven heat down to 325 degree F
4. For egg custard, heat sugar and milk together. Once sugar dissolves remove from heat Do not boil the milk.
5. Whisk eggs and pour into the milk mixture. Add in the vanilla.
6. Sift the egg custard and pour into tart shells and bake till egg custard sets.

Note : Check your tarts after 12-15 mins of baking. What you can do is to shake the tray of egg tarts and if the custard wobbles, then it a sign that it's not cook and if it doesn't wobble, then it's set and you can take it out from the oven.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spicy Honey Chicken/Ayam Masak Madu

Ayam Masak Madu or Spicy Honey Chicken is a common dish found at Malay food eateries in Malaysia. It has a savory,sweet and spicy sauce made from chili paste, tomatoe paste and spices. This dish goes really well with rice or nasi briyani. The chicken is usually deep fried until golden brown before added into the sauce but this is a healthier version. Instead of frying I baked it in the oven before cooking it.

Ingredient A

6 drumsticks – clean and removed the fats and skin
1 tsp of turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients B

2 tbsp of ground chili paste (I used sambal Oelek)
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 big onion – cut into rings
3 cloves of garlic – chopped
1 tbsp of chopped ginger
Some curry leaves (optional)
1 star anise
1 cinnamon bark
2 cloves
½ - ¾ cup of water
Honey to taste
Salt to taste

1. Put all the ingredients A together and marinate for half an hour. Line the chicken on a baking pan and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
2. While the chicken is baking, heat up a wok. Add about 2 tbsp of oil and stir fry cinnamon, cloves star anise and curry leaves until fragrant. Add in ground ginger and garlic and continue to stir-fry until lightly brown.
3. Add in tomato paste, chili paste, honey and stir well for 10 seconds. Add in the water. Bring it up to boil and toss in the chicken and onion rings.
4. Give a quick stir-fry, bring the heat to slow simmer, covered and cook until the sauce thickens and the chicken is done. Check seasonings to make sure that it is the sweetness and saltiness you like.
5. Dish out and serve with warm rice.

Note: You can either deep fried, pan fried or baked the drumsticks before cooking it in the sauce.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tuna Patties

I am not a fan of canned food but I have to say that canned tuna do save the day when you want make something quick. This is one tasty way of eating can tuna. Tuna fish is an excellent source of protein and lower in fat than red meat. I like making this type of patties especially during the weekends where I am not up to cooking anything elaborate. Even Carlos loves these tasty patties. I normally served this with some salad but you can even serve this like a burger.


1 can of tuna (about 7 oz)
1 Idaho potato – boiled and mashed
A handful of cilantro – finely chopped (you can use spring onions)
1 small shallot – finely chopped
1 small egg
1 tsp of mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Open the can tuna and drain all the water out. Put the tuna in a bowl and add in all the rest of the ingredients.
2. Mix everything together until well combined. Make into patties. The size depends on how big you want the patties to be.
3. Heat up a skillet with some olive oil. Pan fried the patties until golden brown on both side.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature with some tartar sauce or chili sauce.

Note: There are times I will replaced the mashed potato with ¾ cup of breadcrumbs and the patties tasted just as good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicken with Pineapple

When I was in KL my family took me to a restaurant in Serdang and they served a wonderful fried ribs with pineapple. The flavor and taste was really good but I am not sure what they used for the sauce. I tried to recreates it using chicken as I don’t have any ribs in my freezer. The flavor is not as similar to one I had but taste wise it was pretty good. Once I get some ribs from Chinatown and I am going to try to cook this again with some minor changes to the sauce.


2 pieces of chicken breast – cut to bite size pieces
1 cup of cubes pineapple
Half red pepper – cut into ½” cubes
2 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tsp of chopped ginger

Marinate for Chicken

2 tbsp of soy sauce
½ tsp of pepper
1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp of cornstarch
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt


1 tbsp of tomato ketchup
2 tbsp of plum sauce
1 tbsp of vinegar
½ cup of chicken stock
½ tsp of dark soy sauce
½ tsp cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)

1. Marinate chicken for half and hour. In a bowl, combined the sauce ingredients and set it aside.
2. Heat up some oil in the wok and fried the chicken pieces until lightly brown. Remove the chicken and drain the oil on paper towel.
3. Remove all the oil from the wok and leave about 1 tbsp of oil. Add in chopped garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant and lightly brown.
4. Add in the sauce, bring it up to boil, let sauce thickens. Add in the pineapple and red peppers. Stir for a few seconds and add in the chicken. Toss until chicken is well coated with sauce. Dish out and serve warm with rice.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mapo Tofu

After all the festive eating it is time for some simple home cooked dish. Tofu is pretty bland and I always find way to boost up its flavor when I cook them. I learned about Mapo tofu dish only when I came here to the US. Mapo tofu is a famous dish in the Chinese restaurant here. It's a well-known dish from the Sichuan province of China. This dish is actually easy to make at home.


1 block of soft (not silken) tofu – drained and cut into ¾” cubes
1 chicken breast – finely chopped (ground pork or beef)
2 cloves of garlic – chopped
1” ginger – finely grated
½ cup of chicken broth + ½ tsp of cornstarch
2 tbsp of hot bean paste
2 tsbp of soy sauce
½ tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
½ tsp sesame oil.
Some thinly sliced green onions (garnish)
1 red chili - cut into small cubes (garnish)
Salt to taste

1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil in a wok or frying pan. Stir fry the meat until no longer pink. Add in the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant. It will take about 2 minutes.
2. Lower down the heat and add in the hot bean paste, stir fry for a minute and add in the chicken stock. Add in the soy sauce, tofu and bring it up to simmer. Check seasoning.
3. Turn off the heat and add in the sesame oil and Sichuan peppercorn powder. Stir gently until well mixed.
4. Dish out and garnish with chili and spring onions.

P/s I will be flying back to the US today. See you back there.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dragon Fruit Jelly

We bought some Red Dragon Fruits when we visited the Dragon Fruits Farm at Tanjung Sepat the other day. Besides eating it fresh you can even make dessert like Jelly, mooncakes and cakes out of it. Dragon Fruits is also known as Pittaya is commonly found in SEA especially Vietnam and Malaysia.

It is actually the fruit from a cactus plant and it has a bright red skin. There are two varieties of it. There is the white flesh variety and the other being the red flesh variety. .Both comes with tiny edible seeds like the kiwis. I made some jelly with the leftovers dragon fruits. The weather here in KL is so warm and humid and it is such a nice treat digging into these little refreshing jellies.


12 grams agar-agar powder (a packet)
100 gram sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
600 ml water
200 ml coconut milk
1 cup of dragon fruit puree (the red variety)
3 pieces pandan leaves

1. Put the water, agar agar powder and pandan leaves in a pot and bring it up to a boil. Cook until the agar agar powder dissolved.
2. Lower down the heat and add in the coconut milk, sugar and dragon fruit puree. Bring it up to boil and turn off the heat. Taste and see if you like the sweetness. Add more sugar if you like it sweeter. Remove the pandan leaves.
3. Pour the mixture in a baking tray or mould of your choice. Chilled until firm before serving.

Note: Do take care when you handle the fruits as the red colored flesh will stain your clothing and hand.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Montad Chuame/Cassava In Coconut Sauce

I love Thai desserts. I find Thai desserts have a real fragrant of freshly squeeze coconut milk and pandan leaves. One thing good about living in Malaysia is we can get freshly squeeze coconut milk and this make a great difference in the taste of a dessert. I made this Thai dessert recently. I find the original Montad Chuame way too sweet for me as they cook the Cassava together with loads of sugar and here is my version of Montad Chuame.


500 grams of peeled cassava
100 grms sugar
Enough water to cover the cassava


1 cup of thick coconut milk
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cornstarch

1. Cut the cassava into big chunk. Put the cassava in a pot, cover it with water and put in the sugar. Cook over low heat until the cassava is soft and translucent. Turn the cassava once during cooking.
2. While waiting for the cassava to cook, make the coconut cream sauce.
3. Combined all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it up to boil and set it aside.
4. Once the cassava is cook, remove and serve it with some coconut sauce.