Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kakiage/Japanese Vegetable Fritters

I always like this type of vegetable fritters. I remember I used to buy them from Jaya Jusco back in Malaysia. I am not sure if they are still selling this fritters at the Japanese food section. Anyway, Kakiage is a member of the tempura family, though these mixed vegetable fritters are less complicated to make than is usual for tempura. Kakiage is great to make when you need to use up the vegetables remaining in your fridge, like onions, carrots, bean sprouts, zucchini, sweet potato and etc. You can eat them on their own with your favorite dipping sauce or simple serve them with rice or a simple bowl of soba or udon noodles.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Penang Tau Sar Pheah/Mung Bean Biscuits

As a paradise of cuisine, Penang has indeed a whole range of delicious cuisine that attracts many visitors to the island. One such delicacy is the ubiquitous Penang Tau Sar Pheah. It is widely enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Penang tau sar pheah (豆沙饼) in Hokkien, is basically a baked biscuit with thin layers of flaky pastry and mung beans filling. There are many brands of this biscuit in Penang, but the most famous one will be the Ghee Hiang and the Him Heang brand. A trip to Penang will not be complete if you don’t buy a few boxes of this biscuits to take home with you to share it with family and friends.

I will always bring back a couple of boxes of this biscuits with me when I am back for vacation. This is one of the snacks I miss a lot since living here in the US. There was once I didn’t packed the biscuits well and once it reach the US custom, the immigration lady wanted to check one of my suitcase. She unzip the suitcase and some of the tau sar pheah fell out. It was all over the table. It was so embarrassing ha ha… and she said this must be something good as you carried it all the way from back here. Thanks God she was not upset with me and didn’t confiscate the biscuits. So each time I eat this biscuits I will think of the incident.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

As soon as I saw this cake on American Test Kitchen I knew I have to try it out. This cake is different from the usual coffee cakes which have streusel in the middle and on the top. This cake has a cream cheese filling and crunchy lemon sugar almond topping. Like any recipes from American Test Kitchen it requires a bit more work but the results are well worth the effort.

Adapted from American Test Kitchen

2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
10 tbsp(1 stick + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baked Shrimp and Mango Rangoon

This is another healthy version of Chinese takeout and buffet favorites. This appetizer is made from four basic ingredients like crab or artificial crab meat, cream cheese, spring onions, and wonton wrappers. From there, the only limit is your imagination.

I am not a fan of the artificial crab meat so I replaced it with some fresh shrimps and since shrimps goes so well with mango I added it into the filling as well. Of course you can always use fresh crab meat if you have it. They are typically deep fried and I tried doing that once and the cheese oozes out while frying. It was not a pretty sight so I stay away from doing that again. I made them a bit healthier this time by baking them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Murtabak Daging/Meat Curry Parcels

This month of August is the Holy Month of Ramadan. This is the time where the Muslim will fast from sunrise till sunset. The fasting is not only forgoing food and drink but also ‘fasting’ of the mind from unhealthy thoughts. This will be the month too where all the Ramadan Bazaars comes to life once a year. Ramadan Bazaars can be found wherever there are substantial population and residents in an area and they are usually located in available spaces in the middle of towns, residential estates and villages. They sell varieties of food and drinks for the breaking of fast, it is a quite a phenomenon and an attraction. The shoppers in the bazaars aren't all Muslim, though; we the non-Muslim and foreign tourists also benefit from the bazaars' mouth-watering traditional and non-traditional food and dishes found in Malaysia.

I used to work at SS14, PJ and the Ramadan Bazaar was just in front of my office. My colleagues and I will visit the Bazaar at least 4-5 times a week to buy all our favorite food. One of them will be this Murtabak Daging where we eat it with pickle onions and curry sauce. Murtabak is an Indian Muslim wrap. It's a large, thin, roti-style shell stuffed with various meat fillings, along with eggs and onions and then pan-fried. Since we don’t have Ramadan Bazaar here in the US to buy this Murtabak Daging, I have to make do with my simple homemade version using spring roll wrappers. It actually turns out pretty good.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Corn and Potato Chowder

My 4 ears of corn have been sitting in fridge for over a week. We thought of having BBQ last weekend but we were invited to a party. So, before it turns wrinkle and dry I decided to make some chowder out of it. They are creamy thick soups with lots of chunky bits of sweet corns and potatoes in them. This chowder is so hearty, creamy, filling and it is a meal by itself. I served them with some pita chips.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken Wings

I still have plenty of chicken wings left in my freezer. Weather is too hot to grill them outside so I just cooked these wings on the stove. These wings are tender and succulent and it is great to serve it with rice and some pickle vegetables.


12 chicken wings – clean and cut
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 stalks lemongrass – finely chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 shallots – sliced thinly
3 bird eyes chilies – finely sliced

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cantaloupe Sorbet

I bought a huge cantaloupe last week and Carlos complaint that it was too ripe and soft. I am not a big fan of cantaloupe because of it musky smell. So what can I do with that huge melon? Well, I blend it and make it into sorbet. I add a bit of sugar and some lemon juice to the puree to brighten up the flavor. The neat thing about this sorbet is that you don’t need an ice cream marker; you just blend all the ingredients and freeze them. In order to get a smoother texture I took it out after an hour of freezing and blend it again and put it right back to the freezer. The result of my minimal efforts was a wonderful refreshing light and cooling dessert.

Sorbets and sherbets are similar, but there are some important differences. Sorbet are friendly to lactose-intolerant individuals since they don't contain any dairy products. Sherbet on the other hand can contain dairy in it.

Despite that difference, the two icy treats are very similar in their base ingredients. Sorbets are made with puréed fruits, sugar, and water and sherbets are made with those three same ingredients. But while sherbets are made with the same ingredients, they also can contain milk, gelatin, or egg whites.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Melon Pan

Melon pan, a soft, sweet roll encased in crispy cookie dough and scored into a cross-hatch pattern to resemble the look of melon skin captured my interest as soon as I tasted it at Narita’s Airport two years ago. It tastes so good, with the mixture of soft bread texture combined with sweet cookie on the top. I knew I would like to learn to make this adorable bread in my own kitchen. I used the recipe from MyFoodGeek. The bread turns out ok but not as soft as I wanted it to be. The next time I make this I will use the Tangzhong sweet bread dough and maybe put some filling inside the buns.

From Wikipedia
Melonpan (メロンパン meronpan?), also known as Melon pan, Melon buns or Melon bread, are sweet bakery products from Japan, but also popular in Taiwan and China. They are made from enriched dough covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough. Their appearance resembles a melon, such as a rock melon (cantaloupe). They are not traditionally melon flavored, [1] but in recent times it has become popular for manufacturers to add melon to melon bread. Variations exist, including some with a few chocolate chips between the cookie layer and the enriched dough layer, and non-melon versions flavored with caramel, maple syrup, chocolate, or other flavors, sometimes with syrup, whipped or flavored cream, or custard as a filling. In the case of such variations, the name may drop the word "melon" ("maple pan") or may keep it despite the lack of melon flavor ("chocolate melon pan")

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chocolate and Milk Pudding - Guest Post at Cuisine Paradise

Ellena the author of Cuisine Paradise based in Singapore contacted me if I want to do a guest post at her blog. Of course I was elated but at the same time, a little worried because so far I’ve only done one guest post for another blogger. Her blog is one of the very first Singaporean blog I visited when I first embarked into my blogging journey. I admired her skills in cooking, baking, creating Bento boxes and photography skills. Her blog is very popular and recently being nominated for Singapore Blog Award and has been features in Newspaper and magazines.

I would like to thank Ellena for inviting me to guest post at her wonderful blog. Since it is summer here and we are going through some heat waves she suggested that maybe I could prepared a cooling dessert or a quick and easy snack. I love the idea of making dessert using agar agar. Making this dessert is a bit time consuming but the end results is just beautiful.

For the recipes and more photos please hop over to Cuisine Paradise to check them out.

Original posting from My Kitchen Snippets

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Peach-Frangipane Tarts

Every supermarket shelves are brimming with summer fruits like nectarines, plums, peaches, cherries, berries and I love them all. I like eating them as it is but at times I will get some not so sweet ones so I will use them in my baking and they taste equally good. I wanted to try my hand at making frangipane tarts and with a handful of peaches left in my fridge, I thought it was time. The tarts taste so good and I regret not making this sooner. I am definitely going to bake this again and it will be with some other fruits.

Ingredients for Pastry:
From My Kitchen Snippets

210 gram flour
113 gram cold butter – cut into cubes
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1-2 tbsp cold water

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Ginger Sesame Glazed

My friend Janice and I went to New York two weeks ago to watch Tyler Florence doing cooking demo but we arrived pretty late because of the traffics. We didn’t get to see the demo but we managed to take some pictures with him and got his autograph too. He is so sweet, handsome and friendly and yes he talk fast just like he was on TV. It was so hot that day and the poor guy uniform were soaking wet but he bear it all and signed autographs for his fan.

After that we proceed to Manhattan Chinatown for lunch and some groceries shopping. I saw some beautiful, thick salmon from a fishmonger and bought some home. Thank God we brought the cooler with us to store all the stuffs we bought.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Stir-fried Potato, Eggplant and Long Beans

I saw this delicious dish at Echo’s Kitchen and can’t wait to try it out. Since I am not a fan of green peppers I replaced it with green beans. I did some minor changes to it to suit my taste. The dish turns out really good even though there is no meat in it. The next time I cook this I will add some tofu to it. This will make a great vegetarian dish too. All you have to do is replace the chicken stock with water and the oyster sauce with mushroom sauce.

From My Kitchen Snippets

2 Japanese eggplants – cut into chunks
2 medium size potatoes –cut into chunks
10 long beans – into 1 ½” length
1 medium size onions – cut into chunks
2 bird eyes chilies
2 cloves garlic
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp corn starch + 1 tbsp water – mix well

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Pandan Marble Cake

My good friend Shereen shared this great recipe with me. Even Carlos who is not a big fan of fluffy cakes likes it a lot. We love the taste and texture of this cake and since it uses ovelette/emulsifier it gives the cake a very fine soft texture. The original recipe is a chocolate version but I change it to pandan.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Soy Sauce Chicken/See Yau Kai

I prepared this dish when Diana came home over the weekend. Beside soy sauce chicken I made roast pork/siew yoke too. This is a full- fledged Chinese meal for us. This is something we can easily get from the Chinese restaurant in Chinatown but I prefer to prepare this at home. If you are not a fan of whole chicken you can always use this same sauce for chicken thigh, drumsticks or chicken wings.

Source: My Kitchen Snippets

1 whole chicken – about 2 – 2.5 pounds
4-6 hard boiled eggs - peeled