Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Banana Upside-down Cake

This is a new take on pineapple upside-down cake . I made this cake using my Peach Upside Down Cake recipe. Instead of peaches I replaced it with banana and very slight changes to the ingredients. I just love the sticky brown caramel sugar dripping down the side of this moist banana cake. This cake will be great for entertaining or just have it for afternoon tea.

Ingredients for topping:

4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 bananas - peeled and sliced

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fried Noodles with Seafood in XO Sauce

This is one quick noodle I cooked for lunch using homemade XO Sauce . This sauce is really versatile as I like using it in my noodles and also in stir-fried dishes. You can make this sauce at home but for convenience, it is available in most Asian Supermarkets. There are many varieties of Chinese Noodles but for this I used the fresh yellow noodles. If you can’t find this kind of noodles you can just use spaghetti.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Falafel is a fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas/garbanzo beans. The Egyptians variety uses fava beans while chickpeas are commonly used in other Middles Eastern countries. Falafel is usually served in a pita which acts as a pocket or wrapped in flat bread known as lafa. It is topped with salads, pickle vegetables and hot sauce, and drizzle with tahini based sauce. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as snacks. It has great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber. It is hearty enough to replace hamburger patties and meatballs in vegetarian dishes. Besides frying you can also baked it but by doing so it will alter the texture and flavor of the falafel. We just eat this with some spicy chili sauce as I am too lazy to make some tahini dipping sauce.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

When I saw this cake at Wendy’s blog it strikes my interest right away. I thought it look like a pie or a tart but was a cake. I think it was a cross between both of them. Since summer is here we are able to find all kinds of seasonal fruits like berries, peaches, nectarines, plump, apricots etc. I like using it in my dessert. For this cake I used cherries, fresh apricots and blueberries since I have it in my fridge.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Malaysian Peanut Pancakes/Apam Balik

There are so many names out there for this kueh. Some call it Ban Chien Kueh, some call it 'Tai Gau-Meen' but we called it 'Chin Loong Pau'. This will be the kueh that I asked my sisters to bring me each time they come here for vacations. There are two version of it. One thin and crispy and the other one is thick and spongy. I remember buying this kueh every week at our Subang Jaya SS15 pasar malam (night market) and we will placed our order first before we walk around the pasar malam and pick it up when we are done with our shopping. There is always a long line of people buying this kueh. There were that good.

The fillings is usually contain peanuts and sugar with a tiny dollop of butter but some might put sweet corn and fresh grated coconut in it. You can put any sweet fillings like red beans, sweet coconut, nutella, chocolate, or kaya to your Apam Balik. I read somewhere that people even put cream cheese and minced meat to their Apam Balik. I wouldn't go that far as I like mine the old fashion way. Plain and simple, nuts and sugar will do.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baked/Grilled Whole Tilapia

As you can see I left the head and tail of this fish intact. That means Diana and I will be eating this fish. As usual Carlos will never eat fish with the eyes starring back at him. He thinks the whole fish with its face was really creepy. Oh well, you know we Asians we like to eat every part of our food. Nothing goes to waste and moreover I think it tastes much better this way. I guess what is norm to us might seems strange to some other culture. Anyway, back to the fish. I don’t usually fry it at home as the smell will lingers around for too long. I will usually bake it in the oven. This is how I like to prepare my fish. It tasted just as good if not better than the fried ones.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Soon Kueh/Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

Soon Kueh or bangkwan kueh is my childhood favorite. Making this kueh brought back lots memories of my childhood. I remember helping my grandmother and mom made these during the weekend. Years ago all of us lived together in one big old house and there are many mouths to feed. We don’t have to luxury to go out and eat at the coffee shops so my family will make kuehs like this every weekend for breakfast.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chinese Dumpling Festival/Dragon Boat Festival

On the 5th day of the 5th lunar month of the Chinese calendar the Chinese all over the world celebrate the Duan Wu Festival 端午节, also known as the Dumpling Festival or Dragon boat Festival. This festival is celebrated by wrapping the glutinous rice with bamboo leaves. The festival commemorates Qu Yuan 屈原, a patriotic poet from the Kingdom of Chu 楚国 during the Warring States period 战国时代 who committed suicide upon hearing the fall of Chu’s capital city to the Qin. He was believed to have drowned himself in the Miluo River 汨罗江 on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month in 278 BCE. Civilians around the area row their boats out to try to save him or to recover his body. They beat on drums and gongs to frighten away fishes and sea creature to prevent them from eating his body. When these efforts proved futile, they threw rice dumplings into the river to prevent the sea creatures from attacking his body.

Qu Yuan came to symbolize patriotism and on his death anniversary date, it became a custom to organize Dragon boat races 赛龙舟 and to consume dumplings 粽子. For more details about the festival you can read it here .

Each year we brothers and sisters look forward to this festival as we love eating our mom’s homemade traditional dumplings which filled with chestnuts, mushrooms, black eye peas, pork and salted egg yolk. I know we can buy these dumplings but mom's one is the best. The last time I had my mom’s dumplings were many years ago as I am never home during this time of the year. She taught me the techniques of wrapping the dumplings many times but I can’t seem to get it right. I tried making it once but gave up half way through the process and end up steaming the rice in bowls rather than wrapping it in bamboo leaves

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Roasted Pepper Aioli

Aioli (eye-oh-lee) is a garlic mayonnaise sauce that hails from Provence region of France and it is as natural on the dining table as butter or salt and pepper. It is usually pair with crab cakes, crudités, artichoke leaves, potato wedges etc. Diana made this the other day for us to spread on our hamburgers. With the leftovers we just dipped it with our roasted potatoes wedges.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fried Mee Hoon with Sa Cha Sauce

The first time I tasted Sa Cha sauce was at a friend house. She used it as a condiment for our hot pot meal. The very next day I went and bought a can of it from the Asian store. So, what is Sa Cha Sauce? It is also known as Chinese BBQ sauce and made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chilies, bril fish (not sure what is that) and dried shrimp. It has a savory and slightly spicy taste to it. I am not sure what else you can use if for except as a dipping sauce until I saw PigPigsCorner posting where she fried mee hoon with it. I understand you can also used it as base for soups, seasonings for stir-fry dishes and also used as rub for BBQ meats. So this is the first dish I did with the Sa Cha sauce. Next will be some quick stir-fry.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lemon Lemon Loaf

My good friend Choy gave me a cook book called ‘Best of the Best Cookbook’. It is the BEST RECIPES from 25 best chefs of the year. It consist recipes of Giada de Laurentiis, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Pauline Nguyen and many more talented chefs. I flip through the books and there are many recipes that I wanted to try out but there is one recipe that stands out among the rest. It is a Lemon cake by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito from their book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I like it for the fact that it is a lemon cake and also the cake is made solely with a food processor which I've never done before. . For a lemon freak like me, this is heaven. It's so light-tasting, not heavy or greasy at all despite all the butter. I leave one without the glaze and both tasted just as good. The original recipe makes 2 big loaves but you can always halve it to make a loaf.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Stir-fry French Beans with Szechuan Vegetables

Every two weeks I will check the vegetables compartment in the fridge and see what leftovers I have in there before buying new ones. Normally I will make a quick stir-fry with all the leftovers and this is one the dish that I came up with.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

I cooked this simple Chicken Tikka Masala to go with my Garlic and Cilantro Naan Bread. Normally this dish is cook with Chicken Tikka (baked chicken pieces that have been marinated in yogurt and spices) but I just used fresh chicken pieces in mine.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sambal Nasi Lemak/Dried Anchovies Sambal

Sambal Ikan Bilis is the main condiment for Nasi Lemak. To me a good Nasi Lemak is all about the sambal.. It can either make or break this popular national dish of Malaysia. I usually prepare a huge batch of sambal and keep them in the fridge and I can use it whenever I want it. I am sure most of you already have your favorite version of sambal but I just wanted to post it here for my own record and also one of my blog reader JS asked for it too. I am not a big fan of having the whole ikan bilis in my sambal as I find them rather chewy after cooking it in the sambal paste. So when I came across the recipe from Ju of The Little Teochew I just have to try it out. She got this recipe from The Sunday Times. The different about this sambal is it has ground ikan bilis in it which I like a lot. I added some tamarind pulp to the dish and double up the quantity.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

I love eating oats and baking with oats. Beside my favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies I thought I change it a bit today and made it into bars instead of individual cookies. I used cranberries in these bars but it could be made with almost any dried fruits. These little bars are great to snack on and pretty nutritious too.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Garlic and Cilantro Naan Bread

Naan bread is one of Carlos favorite things to eat at an Indian restaurant. I think he like the chewy, perfectly blistered flat bread to be eaten with curries. Normal Naan bread in cooked in a tandoor oven but since we don’t have it, we just baked it in the oven. Naan also can be filled with potatoes or other type of fillings but we like ours with loads of garlic and herbs. I served these Naan with Chicken Tika Masala. I will post the recipe here later.