Friday, July 30, 2010

New West KnifeWorks

I have always heard people and famous chefs said that having a good knife in the kitchen is important. I have always drooled over those expensive knives but I just can’t bring myself to pay so much for it. A good knife can cost well over $300.00 each. Now I can understand why people pay so much for a knife as I finally owe one. New West KnifeWorks , a company from Wyoming recently sent me Fusionwood Knife Chopper for review. The knife has a 5’5” blade with an overall 10” length.

There is a lot of hard work that goes into making each and every piece of their knife. Highly skilled artisans and modern precision tools work together to create these pieces. The finest materials are sculpted, assembled and hand-finished to ensure every piece is perfect. You can read all about the premium high carbon stainless STEEL {which btw boast a high carbon content - 70% higher than Wusthof }, BLADES that are cut, precision ground hand finished, and the amazing gorgeous colorful HANDLES that are created from select hardwood veneers that are vacuum impregnated with penetrating dies and resins.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chinese Crullers/Yau Char Kwai

Our group of Malaysian ladies attempted making Yau Char Kwai this month. We tried out two recipes and one turn out really well and one failed miserably. Not sure what went wrong with the failed recipe as we follow the ingredients and instructions to the T. Anyhow, we were glad Agnes Chang recipe turns out so well with less work and proofing time compare to the other one. The YCK were light with hollow texture on the inside. So the next time if we are going to make this again we will just stick to this recipe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tempeh in Honey Lime Sauce

I found tempeh at one of our supermarket here a few years ago and I’ve been cooking with it ever since. Beside the regular organic soy bean tempeh, I am able to get the 3 grains, wild rice, flax seeds and garden veggie tempeh. I tried all of it but I still prefer the good old soy bean kind. Tempeh is basically fermented soy bean cake. You can cook sambal shrimp, or vegetable curry with it. They are a great source of protein especially for those who are on Vegetarian diet. This recipe is from HomeKreation-Kitchen Corner and she used Anchovies for this dish but I replaced it with Tempeh.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wife Biscuit/Sweetheart Cake/Lao Por Peng

Wife Biscuit/Sweetheart Cake is a traditional Chinese pastry with flaky thin skin and the filling made with winter melon and sesame seeds. This pastry is originated from Hong Kong but now you are able to buy it from almost all the Chinese Bakery. So how does the name of this pastry come about? There are quite a few stories out there and one of them is this.

In ancient China, there was a poor couple. They adored and loved each other, staying in a small village. When a mysterious disease spread, the husband's father became very sick. Although they tried really hard to raise money to provide treatment for him, it wasn't enough. Sadly, the wife decided to sell herself as a slave, exchanging herself for her father-in-law's medicine. Once the husband learned about what his wife did, he made a cake filled with winter melon and with a crispy crust in honor of his wife. However, his cake became so popular that he was able to earn enough money to buy his wife back

I wanted to make this biscuit for the longest time but I can’t seems to find ‘koh fun’ here in the US until one of my blogger friend told me that I am able to get it from the Asian Store in PA. Making the pastry takes a bit of work but the end result was fantastic. The pastry is flaky and the filling has a great fragrant of sesame seeds and the right sweetness from the winter melon. This is really addictive that I don’t think you can stop by just eating one. Here is the recipe adapted from Corner Café with some minor changes.

Ingredients for Water Dough:

70g bread flour
70g  flour
25g caster sugar
55g  shortening
70ml water, adjust as necessary

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Milk Pudding

We are experiencing some severe heat wave here on the East Coast and the temperature sore up to upper 90’s and someday over 100 degree for the past few weeks. In the weather like this I tried to lay off cooking and baking as much as possible and all I want is to drink and eat something cooling and sweet. This milk pudding is such a nice treat for all of us in this scorching heat . No relief in sight yet. Crazy it may sound but I wish it is winter now :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coconut Tarts

When I moved to the USA the first thing I look for was freshly grated coconut. Since growing up in Malaysia coconut play an important part in our cuisine. We use freshly grated coconut or coconut milk in our dessert and curries. Lucky I am able to get the frozen kind from the Vietnamese and Indian grocery store here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kale in Coconut Gravy/Kale Masak Lemak

Kale is a leafy vegetable that is usually grouped into the “Cooking Greens” category with collards, mustard and Swiss chard. The leaves can be curly and quite ornamental, but become too tough to eat fresh, as they mature. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties; kale is considered to be anti-inflammatory. The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available.

My friend Zue introduced me to cooked kale this way. Back in Malaysia they usually cook masak lemak with cassava leaves or pucuk paku (fiddleheads/fern shoot) but we can’t get this type of vegetables here so we replace it with kale which tasted pretty similar to pucuk paku.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Graham Cracker Crusted Chicken Bites

I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to eat something comforting for lunch. What can be more comforting than fried chicken, right? Since I only have chicken breast in the freezer so I just used that rather than going out to buy the whole chicken in the super hot weather. These crispy chicken chunks are just perfect as an appetizer or snack. The graham cracker coating gives a slight sweetness to the chicken.


3 pcs chicken breast – cut into bite size chunks
1 ½ cup of graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp flour

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baked Ginger Milk Custard

When I saw the Ginger Milk Curd at Wendy’s blog I knew I just have to try it out. The 1st attempt I fail miserably. The milk didn’t curd at all. I thought I did something wrong as I didn’t use the thermometer to check the temperature of the milk. I decided to try it again right away. This time with the thermometer in hand and making sure the temperature of the milk is just right before pouring it into the ginger juice. The milk did form a light curd on top and that was it. The bottom was till very watery. I am not sure what I did wrong and I have to do more research on this before trying out again. It might have something to do with the milk. So what am I going to do with all the ginger milk?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rainbow Chiffon Cake

Diana and I just love chiffon cake but as for Carlos he is not a fan of it. To him chiffon cake is way too feathered light and it is like eating sponge. But I still bake it ever so often as I will normally share it with my neighbor Nancy or my friends. Beside the usual pandan and citrus flavor I decided to try something different. I got the inspiration from an Indonesian website called Natural Cooking Club . I had some hard time understanding some of the ingredients and instructions so I did some changes to it . This chiffon requires a bit more work compare to the others but the end result is just perfect. The cake is light , soft and a very flavorful . Here is my take on the recipe.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Ham Chim Peng/Chinese Fried Bread

Ham Chim Peng is deep fried bread, a very popular snack in Malaysia. You can find vendors selling this kind of snack along the road side stall. I remember there was this famous yau char kuai (油炸粿) stall right in front of Chow Yang coffee shop at PJ SS2 and there will be a long line of people waiting to buy this popular snack. Of course over here in the US we don’t have the luxury of buying this kind of snack so our group of Malaysian ladies tried our hand in making Ham Chim Peng a few months ago with a different recipe but it didn’t turn out good. The HCP were hard and not fluffy at all. This time we decided to make it again using Lily recipe as we are pretty confident with her recipe. How was the result? It was perfect. The HCP were soft and very taste. We think it taste even better than some of the one we bought back in Malaysia. We never thought it was so easy to make except you have to make the starter dough 2 days ahead. With the success of our HCP we will attempt to make Yau Char Kuai on our next gathering.

Starter Dough:

90 g all purpose flour
90 ml water
2 tsp vinegar

Mix all the ingredients for the starter, cover and leave it on the counter for 2 days.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tofu in Creamy Sauce

This dish is similar to Fish in Creamy Sauce but instead of fish I replace it with tofu. I think tofu taste so much better than the fish as the tofu absorbed all the nice flavor of the butter, milk and curry leaves. This is a great vegetarian dish and goes really well with rice.


1 block of firm tofu – cut into 1” square
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Kapitan Chicken Curry

The Peranakan cuisine is found in south-eastern Asia. Also known as Nyonya Food, they are an amalgamation of Chinese and Malay dishes, with the extensive use of herbs and spices, especially belachan, turmeric, galangal and pandan leaves.

One of the dishes is Curry Chicken Kapitan. It has a milder taste compare the usual Malay or Indian curry. This curry has a distinctly Nyonya flavored of lemon juice, candlenut, kaffir lime leaves, fresh turmeric roots and leaves. Besides the usual steamed white rice, this dish is excellent served with turmeric glutinous rice and Roti Jala.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Baked Jam Filled Donuts

Baked, not fried? You bet! If you have some extra time in hand make these donuts for your family. They are super easy as this donut’s dough requires neither kneading nor frying but it still turns out really light and spongy. All you have to do is filled it up with your favorite jam or custard and dust it with some confectioner sugar.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Baked Spring Rolls

I never like the spring rolls from the Chinese restaurant or the take out place here. They just can’t make the spring rolls like how we do it in Malaysia. The problem with the spring rolls here is they used too much cabbage in their fillings and not jicama. These spring rolls are versatile as you can make them out of shrimps, crab, chicken or even veggies. The best thing about them is they are baked and not fried. They are crispy without the added calories of frying.