We are slowly switching from white rice to brown rice. Carlos is actually not a huge fan of brown rice so for now I will mix the white and brown rice and he is slowly getting use to it. Beside brown rice I like wild rice too. I love the hearty and nutty flavor of the wild rice. For this particular salad I used Goose Valley Brown and Wild Rice Fusion. It is a combination for Brown rice, wild rice, heirloom red rice and sweet brown rice. If you like to make this salad you can use any type rice combination to suit your taste.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I am a sucker for any salt and pepper dishes. If we dine out and I see in on the menu I will definitely order it. Most of the restaurant here will prepare it with pork, calamari or shrimps but for today I am doing it with tofu. These dishes are not difficult to prepare. Basically you just deep fried the main ingredients and sprinkle it with salt and Szechuan peppercorn mixture. As for the Szechuan pepper all you have to do is dry roast it over medium heat on a heavy-based pan until it begins to ‘pop’ and aromatic. Cool it down and then grind it into powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. I usually make more of it and store it in an airtight container.
1 block of firm tofu – cut into 1” cubes
½ cup of cornstarch
Salt to taste
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Osmanthus is a plant which produces flowers called gui hua (or cinnamon flower or cassia flower). The flowers are used to infuse with tea leaves to create a scented tea called gui hua cha. It can also be use to make jam, dessert and even in stir fry dishes. I bought some when I visit New York some time ago and I cooked chicken with it. This is an appetizing dish as it has the sweet, sour, salty and a nice fragrant of the osmanthus.
For more information about Osmanthus please refer here.
Half chicken – clean, remove skin and cut into bite size pieces
1 carrot – sliced
4 pieces dried black fungus – soak in water until soft
1/2 cup ginko nuts
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp osmanthus syrup (more if you like a sweeter dish)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I like baking scones for our weekend breakfast or for afternoon tea. This is one basic recipe that I used over and over again. I tried many different additions by adding toasted nuts, different dried fruits and fresh berries to it and each time it come out perfect. These scones are soft, moist, and scrumptious especially like the chewiness of the dried cranberries and sweet orange glaze. There's nothing better than serving these remarkable scones warm with a cup of tea or coffee.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Today the 15th day of the 8th month according to Chinese Lunar Calendar and Chinese from all over the world celebrates the Mid Autumn Festival. This festival originated from farmers, back more than 3,000 years ago celebrating the end of their summer harvest and it seems on this date, the summer moon is at its roundest, fullest and brightest. Traditional foods for this celebration are of course, the mooncakes. For more information about the festival please refer here .
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival everyone!!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tonkatsu is so popular in Japan that there are even restaurants that only serve tonkatsu and similar items such as kushikatsu (bite-sized fried bits of pork and other things on a skewer). Tonkatsu - ton is pig or pork, and katsu derives from the word cutlet. While Tonkatsu is typically served with a sweet brown sauce, we like ours drizzle with mayo.
Since Tonkatsu is a simple dish that requires very few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients are important. In this case it’s crucial that you use a good piece of pork, otherwise you may end up with a tough leathery meat. I like using boneless center-cut pork chop. Another key ingredient for tonkatsu is panko. You can buy panko at the Asian store of any supermarket. Just look at the international section.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I was clearing up my freezer the other day and found a small packet of petai (stink beans) in it. I can’t even remember when I bought that. The last time I saw petai was when I visited my friend Zue at Harrisburg during last year Hari Raya and I might have bought it there. So you can imagine how long these beans had been sitting in the freezer. I check the petai and they still look ok and in order not to waste it I cook some sambal out of it.
Not everyone like Petai because of its bad smell especially when you visit the bathroom after eating it. For someone who likes it they are good. I guess these beans are very much like Durian the king of fruits. You either love it or hate it. Petai is actually healthy for us. It contains a type of Protein that known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier! It also stimulate the production of hemoglobin in blood, reduce the blood pressure ,stroke, boost brain power, overcome constipation, relief heartburn etc. It also can be used externally. Before reaching for insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of petai to the skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling, irritation and itchiness. As for the after effect smell there is a way to get rid of it. My mother told me that when you eat petai try to eat some eggplant (brinjal) at the same time and it will reduce or get rid of the strong smell. I didn’t try it yet but I will when I cook petai You can get more informations about petai here.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Each year, Malaysians from all walks of life, irrespective of their ethnic origin and faith join hands to celebrate the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri together with their Muslims friends. This celebration that falls on the first day of Syawal (the 10th month of the Islamic calendar) is celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially after the Muslims had completed a month of fasting during Ramadan (the 9th month in the Islamic calendar).
Besides the sumptuous array of delicious food, songs and dances, this festive celebration inculcates the spirit of sharing, caring and forgiving. Similar to the Thanksgiving Day celebration, the Hari Raya Aidilfitri instills Muslims with the need to seek forgiveness and blessings from other fellow Muslims and friends. In this way, Muslims can fortify their relationships among their friends and relatives by choosing peace and harmony as their way of life.During this month-long celebration, Muslims will invite their relatives and friends over to their homes to join in the celebration and merriment. This special invitation – which is open to all visitors, irrespective of their race, creed and social status – is generally known as the “Open House” – a tradition that our foreign visitors find very fascinating. Primarily, the objective of the “Open House” is to create harmony and forge a better understanding among friends and relatives. This is the time of the year that you can sample the most delicious dishes from the traditional Malay culinary repertoire.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Can you remember the good old butter cake sold at the old Hainanese coffee shops in the small towns of Malaysia? This kind of butter cake is very popular during Chinese New Year. I remember my mom used buy lots of it and we will have it a cup of kopi O (dark coffee) for breakfast or throughout the day and serve it to guest that come for a visit too. No one can resist a slice of good butter cake with nice soft texture that is light and not too dense. If I remember correctly there is a coffee shop in Kajang that runs by a few sisters still selling this type of butter cake and also Yut Kee, at Jalan Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur. I think Yut Kee butter cake and kaya swiss roll are the best. They sell the whole cake or by the slice.
A friend of mine from Malaysia shares this recipe with me years ago and I’ve written it in my note book and forgotten all about. I was clearing up my book shelves and found the note book again and there was this recipe. The recipe said to use margarine but since margarine is not so favorable in my book so I replaced it with butter. For best results you need to use pure butter. You can either use Golden Churn or Lupak. I should have used the 9” cake pan instead of an 8” pan and as you can see I over baked it a bit. So how do I like this butter cake? Taste wise it was pretty good, not too dense and with very fine crumbs. The next time I bake this it will be in a bigger pan.
350 grm butter
280 grm sugar
8 large eggs, separate the yolk and white
330 grm self rising flour
½ tsp salt
50 ml milk
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I made a lot of western dessert but sometimes I like our good old traditional Kueh too. Carlos is not a fan of it so sometimes it is difficult to make it just for myself. I am glad some of my Malaysian friends love it as much as I do so I get to make it with them. I made these Angku kueh with a friend of mine not too long ago.
Angku Kueh known as red tortoise cakes in Hokkien dialect is a common breakfast item among Chinese Malaysian or Singaporeans. As the name says, it is shaped like the shell of a tortoise because it was believed then, that eating these long-living creatures would bring longevity to the person eating it. It is also a must have on special occasions like celebrating the first-month of newly born baby, wedding days, birthdays etc for the Chinese.
Basically the skin of the AngKu Kueh is made from sweet potatoes and glutinous rice flour. You can put fillings like red bean paste, mung bean paste, coconut or roasted peanuts into it. A good angku kueh is one where the skin is thin, soft, and chewy and a nice contrast with the sweet fillings. We were pretty satisfied with the angku kueh we made as the skin turn out well and the filling is not too sweet. Here are some pictures taken when we were making these to share it with you.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Ginger, scallion (green onions) and garlic are one of the most common ingredients in Asian cooking. Many of our dishes use this three herbs combination. With these three ingredients I like to make it into a dipping sauce for my poached chicken/Hainanese Chicken Rice. You can even mix this sauce to your noodles, salad,and potatoes salad or as topping for steamed fish. This is what I called the Asian pesto.For the recipe of Poached Chicken kindly refer here
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Christmas is still a long way to go and why am I a baking fruit cake? Oh well, I am trying out one or two recipes now and if I like it I will bake it for the coming Christmas. I will usually use my old fruit cake recipe but I am a bit bore with it so I want something different this year. Today I tried out the famous CMG Kek Kukus Buah Buahan or Steamed Fruit Cake . I aged this cake for a few days before cutting into it. This cake is really moist and full of caramel flavor but a bit too sweet for me. If not it will be perfect. So the next time I make this I will cut down on the amount of sugar. I have another half of the cake left and will try it out in a few weeks time and see if there is a different in taste.
375 g mixed fruits (I used raisins, currants, cranberries, pineapple, papaya and apricots)
250 g butter
150 g brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
3 large eggs
¼ cup almond flakes (I used walnuts)
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
This is a popular dish in Malaysia and Singapore as many restaurants will have this dish in their menu. I remember cooking this dish once a year for our family reunion dinner. We just love the crunchy texture of the cereal and egg yolk. Cooking this is easy nowadays as we are able to get ready packed cereal prawns mix but sometime I like cooking it from scratch. One of my blog readers requested the recipe for this dish. So here it goes. I hope this is what you are looking for.
1 pound of large shrimps/prawns
3 tbsp of cornstarch
4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
2 sprigs of curry leaves
4 bird eye chilies – cut small
3 tbsp butter
½ cup oat/or nestum
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp of milk
1 1/2 tsp of chicken granules
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Sunday, September 05, 2010
No one can resist this crispy appetizer. It is such a crowd pleaser especially in gathering or party. I will never order this dish at any Chinese restaurant or dim sum place as it is so easy to make it yourself. I’ve tried out so many version of it like stuffing it with beef, turkey, chicken and tofu but I still like the traditional kind which is pork and shrimps. I made these for Diana when she came home a few weeks ago.
400 grm ground pork
200 grm shrimp - roughly chopped
3 spring onions – finely chopped
1 carrot – finely grated
10 water chestnut – cut into small cubes
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg white
1 packet of wonton wrappers
Thursday, September 02, 2010
I’ve bookmarked so many recipes to try and the list is getting longer and longer. For the past few weeks I’ve been trying a few of the recipes out and some turn out pretty well and some didn’t. When I saw this little sponge cake from Little Teochew I know I have to try it out. Ju baked it in a little cup cakes form but I did mine on a shell pan and sandwich it with some kaya and strawberry jam. Like she said these little morsels are really light and pillow soft. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
50g corn oil (I used vegetable oil)