Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Berries Sour Cream Tea Cake

It is so difficult to resists all the wonderful berries we get during summer. I tend to buy too much of it and they don’t keep well. I will eat them fresh but some of them will end up in my bakes. I like putting some berries in my cakes as it gives a nice flavor and add a splash of color to it. This cake is tender, moist and has tight but tender crumbs. It goes really well with a cup of tea or coffee and with the nice white, red and blue hues; I think it makes a great dessert for the coming 4th of July holiday.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick/113 gram butter – room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup low fat sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup red raspberries
1/2 cup black berries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp flour

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stir-fried Shishito Peppers with Beef

I was first introduced to these peppers by a friend when I was living in New York many years ago and I was hooked ever since. So…if you are not familiar with this pepper…let me introduce you to Japanese Shishito Pepper. These peppers are very mild in flavor,sweet and not hot but sometimes you might find a fiery one among the big batch. They were eaten whole, seeds and all. The classic way for cooking shishito peppers is to toss them in a bit of oil, drop them on a hot grill pan or cast-iron skillet, and cook until hot and blackened in spots. Then toss with a bit of salt. Another way is to fry them in tempura batter or just simply grill them. They were so good that you will gobble it up in no time. Today I do a quick stir-fry with some beef and they were delicious!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pandan Coconut Buns

I bought a few of Alex Goh baking books when I went back to Malaysia last year but have yet to bake anything from it. Finally, I tried out his sweet dough recipe to make these coconut buns. This method is new to me as it calls for the scalded flour to be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before being used. I looked in the book but there were no explanation on the reason why the need of doing that. Maybe someone can enlighten me on this. The dough is easy to work with but as for the texture of the bread I still prefer the Water Roux/Tang Zhong method as I find them much softer than this method.

Adapted from Alex Goh Magic Bread

Scalded Dough:

100g bread flour
80ml boiling water

Pour boiling hot water over flour and stir with chopsticks or spoon until combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Open- Face Egg Sandwich

This is a simple egg sandwich that I like to prepare for our quick lunch. There’s really nothing better than a combination of runny egg yolk and lightly toasted whole-grain rustic bread. There isn’t much of a recipe here as you can experiment with any ingredients your taste bud prefers. Before I eat it I like to ‘poke’ the egg with fork and let the warm yolk run down the side before I sink my teeth into it. DE-LI-CIOUS!


2 slices of toasted whole-grain bread
2 eggs
1 large tomato - sliced
Some lettuce
Half of avocado - sliced
Some mayo
Salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirled

Yeah I know. Not banana bread posting from me again. I can’t help it as the bananas on my counter get super soft in record time during summer. I can’t bring myself to throw it away so it will always end up in my baking. As usual I used my most trusted recipe of banana bread and this time I added some Nutella swirl to it. Banana bread + Nutella= YUMMY!!


1 1/2 cup of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas - mashed
1 tsp of vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of milk
1/4 cup nutella

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hokkien Lor Mee/Stew Noodles

There two types of Hokkein mee. One is braised in dark soy sauce and the other one is not which we called Lor Mee. My mom used to cook this for us during the weekend as we can help her to roll out the noodles dough. Yeah she made her own noodles. After all the rolling she will used a knife to cut the noodles. No pasta maker during that time and all were done by hand.

Lor Mee is a simple soup noodle with very thick eggy broth. It is a staple fare in our traditional Hokkien family. It is less well known than the dark Hokkien mee that Kuala Lumpur is famous for. Some of the Hokkien Mee stall still serves this lor mee. Lor Mee is usually eaten with Chinese black vinegar but I like having it with pickle green chilies.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Danish Bread

I don’t bake bread like this often as it is a lot of work. Normally it will take me 2 days to make a big batch of it as I have to keep the dough cold so that the butter does not melt during the rolling and folding process. So I have to re-chill the dough between roll and folds that is why it took me 2 days to make this.

Anyway, what is the difference between Danish and puff pastry? A Danish pastry is sweet pastry made with flour, yeast, sugar, eggs and lot of butter. The yeast raised dough is rolled out thinly and then coated in butter and folded into layers. And then shape and top it with different kind of sweet topping. Since Danish dough has yeast, it gives a slightly chewier and less flaky texture.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rice Porridge/ Congee

I grew up with rice porridge, also known as congee or we Hokkien call ‘Ber'. My grandmother and mother will make this for our weekday’s lunch nearly every day. Our porridge is just the plain ones totally unseasoned where we will eat it with salted eggs, fried ikan bilis, some pickle vegetables, omelet or sometimes with some fried fish. I actually prefer eating porridge served at dim sum place when the rice grains are cooked down, thick consistency and full of flavor .

Carlos was having tooth ache a few weeks ago so I thought I prepared this type of porridge for him with the leftover chicken stock from my Poached Chicken but guess what, he refused to touch it. I can’t blame him as he never eat this before. I end up having it all by myself which I don’t mind at all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cekodok Bawang/Onion Fritters

Fritters are very common snacks in Malaysia. Cekodok bawang is also commonly known jemput jemput bawang. It is called ‘jemput’ because of the bite-size of the fritters. They are crunchy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside. Beside onions you can use other main ingredients like anchovies, corn kernels, onions or shrimps in it. This is a simple fritters compare to the more elaborate ones that I made before. You can check out my previous posting here. For this all you have to do is mix all the ingredients and drop the batter by a spoonful into the oil and shallow fried it up instead of deep fried. As usually this is serves with chili sauce. You can serve this snack for afternoon tea or as an appetizer when you have company over.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stir-fry Long Beans with Chicken

It is not easy to find long beans here at my small Asian grocery store and if I see any I will definitely buy some. Since it is around summer I do see them appearing on the vegetable shelves. I actually like the lighter green and fatter version beans like the one we find back home but I can’t seems to get that variety here. The one sold here are much greener, thinner, and harder and takes a bit longer to cook. I like to make omelet, long bean rice and curries with it and this is one of those dishes that my mom used to cook at home and you will see it on our dinner table at least once a week.


1 pound long beans – cut into 1 ½” length
1 piece chicken breast – removed skin and slice thinly
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 shallot – sliced thinly
2 tsp black bean paste/tau cheong
1 tsp sugar
A few dash of pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swedish Visiting Cake

I was fascinated with the name of this cake. This recipe came from Dorie Greenspan and she said it was passed on to her by her Swedish friend named Angela Helgesson. She said that you could start making this cake when you saw friends coming down the road and it would be ready by the time they settled in and sat down for coffee. I guess it is because this cake is so easy to make and all you need is one bowl and no mixer requires. The cake came out light and airy even without the presence of any leavening agent. I really like how the almond and sugar topping gives this cake a nice crust to it. You can serve this cake warm or at room temperature.

When I baked this cake the second time and I added ¼ cup of ground almond to it and it tasted just as good.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ham Sui Kok/Fried Crescent Dumplings

This is one particular item that I will order each time we have dim sum. These golden beauties are not admired for their filling but their pastry, it is deep-fried enough to give it a crispy light outside, soft-chewy inside with a delicious meat filling. I always wanted to learn to make this and finally get to do so with a friend of mine not too long ago. I never knew they were so easy to make. If you like this type of pastry I hope you try this out.

Ingredients for the fillings:

1 cup ground chicken or pork
3 dried shiitake mushroom – soaked until soft and diced small
1 small carrot – diced small
1 small onion – diced small
2 cloves garlic - chopped
2 green onions – diced small
A small bunch of chives – cut small
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Blanched Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts or in Malay and Hokkien we called it Taugeh are cheap but it is high in nutrients particular vitamins B complex and C, asparagines, folic acid and iron. I like using them in my fried noodles and beside that I like to blanch them lightly to retain the bean sprouts crunchiness. I usually served this with Hainanese Chicken Rice .


1 pound fresh bean sprouts – removed tails
2 spring onions – cut small
Some fried garlic
dash of pepper

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Braised Chicken with Potatoes

This dish reminds me of childhood as my mom used to cook this very often for us. The chicken and potatoes are braised in dark soy sauce until soft and tender. With the thick rich sauce after long braising this dish goes really well with rice. I am going to do a series of my mom’s cooking here. Since some of my nieces already left home to further their studies oversea, they can always refer here if they wanted to make some home cooked dishes.


Half chicken
2 potatoes – peel and quartered
2 medium size carrots – peel and cut into chunks
1 small onion – quartered
4 slices of ginger
3 cloves garlic – chopped

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Rendang Ayam Goreng/Fried Chicken Rendang

One of my Malay friends shares this recipe with me many years ago. I remember eating this dish at her house and she roughly told me the ingredients and way to cook it. This dish is a bit different from the regular Rendang Ayam . This dish is not as spicy and also has a sweet and tangy taste to it. We like it a lot especially eating it with rice. I hope you give this dish a try as I am pretty sure you and your family are going to enjoy it as much as we do.


1 small chicken – about 2.5 pounds
3 stalk lemongrass – removed the outer layers and smashed it
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp kicap manis/sweet soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp tamarind pulp + ½ cup water
Sugar and salt to taste

Friday, June 03, 2011

Soft Donuts

In conjunction of National Donut Day who is celebrated on the 1st Friday of June each year, I made these super soft donuts for our afternoon tea.

National Donut Day is on the first Friday of June each year, succeeding the Donut Day event created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday celebrates the donut — an edible, torus-shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened. Many American donut stores offer free donuts on National Donut Day. (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Grass Jelly, Mango, Lychee with Thai Basil Seeds

We are having some scorching hot weather for the past few days and the temperature went up to upper 90’s today. It was so hot and humid that I went to bed only around 2.00am last night and already up by 6.00am as I can't just stay in bed in this condition. It is a bit unusual to be this hot at this time of the year. I can foresee some very hot days coming our way this summer season. This is a simple dessert that I prepared to cool us down few days ago.

You might notice some black speckles in the dessert. That is Thai Basil seeds or in Malay it is called Biji Selaseh. In Malaysia it is used very often in sweet beverages or dessert like ABC (air batu campur/shaved ice) or air bandung (rose syrup drink). Apparently some used these seed for dieting (feeling full with swelled seeds filling the stomach) and they are also used for the medicinal purposes in India to reduce blood sugar levels. It also prevents peptic ulcers and other stress related conditions like hypertension and asthma.