Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sesame Chicken Floss Crispy Mooncake

I try my best to keep the chinese tradition of Mid-autumn festival and held a gathering of friends to howl at the moon.Besides making the traditional type of mooncakes, i gave this crispy mooncake a chance and everyone who ate them said they were good and that i had to post this recipe.


100 gm unbleached all purpose flour
20 gm confectioner's sugar
40 gm water
40 gm shortening

100 gm unbleached all purpose flour
40 gm shortening
15 gm cooking oil


180 gm white bean filling(recipe will be posted soon)
60 gm chicken floss
(Mix and divide into 8 portions

50 gm x 8 portion lotus paste



Wrap a portion of chicken floss filling with lotus paste, repeat the rest.

The Pastry

Mix A till smoth and even. Divide into 8 portions

Mix B to become a dough. Divide into 8 portions.

Wrap B with A and roll into a long strip. Roll up and repeat.

Lastly roll into round thin sheet, wrap in filling and brush with egg yolk, coating with sesame seeds

Bake at 375f for 20 - 25 minutes.

Read More......

Monday, September 29, 2008

Preserved Lime

There are times when there are many items that are short in my pantry but this item is never one of them. I make sure i will have one bottle on hand. These preserved limes are used for treatment when the body is off balanced and the throat is sore. While fresh lime juice makes great refreshment drinks , preserved lime makes a better one especially with a can of club soda. Preserved lime is very easy to make, just allow time to do all the work.


12 Fresh limes
6 Cups water
1/2 Cup of salt


Put limes in a basket or colander, and put them out the sun.
Sun-dry limes for 2 to 3 days.
In a large pot, mix salt with 6 cups water, cook and stir till salt is dissolved, add limes and cook until skin color turns evenly to brownish yellow.
Remove boiled limes from the pot, but keep salted water in the pot and set a side till it is completely cool down .
Quarter a lime lengthwise, stopping 1/2 inch from the bottom so the quarters fan out but remain attached at one end and put it in a jar or container, repeat cutting the other limes.
Pour cooled boiled salted water over - water level must be above the limes.

To keep limes to stay beneath the surface, use a ceramic bowl to press the limes down.
Closed the lid and continue to sun-dry the jar of limes for 6 days.

Preserved lime can be stored in refrigerator up to six months.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Summer Rolls

This is a part of the genius of Vietnamese cooking - how simple ingredients can be crafted into something that is both flavorful and attractive and these rolls reflect that talent. This makes a beautiful finger food or appetizer and serve them for lunch on a hot summer day, that is why it is called ' summer roll'.
Check these other vietnamese recipes


For dipping sauce
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce such as Thai nam pla or Vietnamese nuoc mam
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

For rolls
12 large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled
3 oz vermicelli rice-stick noodles
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds plus additional in case some tear
48 fresh cilantro leaves (from about 1 bunch)
48 fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped; 1 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
3 scallions, cut into 3-inch-long julienne strips

Make sauce:
Stir together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Make rolls:
Add shrimp to a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, then reduce heat and poach shrimp at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then return shrimp cooking water to a boil. Chill shrimp in ice water 2 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise, deveining if necessary.

Add noodles to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water and drain well. Stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved, then add noodles and toss to coat.

Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Check rice-paper rounds and use only those that have no holes. Soak 1 round in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels.

Arrange 3 shrimp halves (cut sides up) in a row across bottom third (part nearest you) of soaked rice paper. Spread 1/4 cup noodles on top of shrimp and arrange 3 cilantro leaves, 3 mint leaves, 8 cucumber matchsticks,and 6 scallion strips, horizontally on top of noodles. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling and begin rolling up tightly, stopping at halfway point. Arrange 3 more mint leaves and 3 more cilantro leaves along crease, then fold in ends and continue rolling.
Transfer summer roll, seam side down, to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels.
Make 7 more rolls in same manner and serve, whole or halved diagonally, with dipping sauce.

Cooks’ notes:
Summer rolls can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered with dampened paper towels and then with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fu Yee Kangkung

This dish just came out of the microwave!! I love to microwave my greens, it is so easy, save you the time washing the wok and the splatters of oil all over the kitchen. Surprisingly, the greens remain a lovely green everytime - do not overcook.

Check these out
Stir Fry Kangkong Delimas


1 lb of picked kangkung - shoots and young stems - washed and drained

2 pieces Fu Yee - fermented tofu

3 - 4 tbsp cooking oil

2 cloves garlic - chopped


Mix Fu Yee, garlic and oil to make into a runny paste.

Pile kangkung in a large plate and pour the oil mixture all over the kangkung.

Cling wrap loosely or cover with splatter cover or overturn another plate on top of vegetable.

Microwave on high for 2 - 3 minutes (less time for microwave with higher wattage)

Remove plate with oven gloves, plate might be hot and remove cling wrap, splatter cover or plate with caution. Always open from the side of the plate furthest to you and open, bringing the wrap, cover and plate towards you. The steam can hurt you bad.

Toss the kangkung with the sauce and serve hot.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Green Tea Red Bean Jelly

This is supposed to be a mooncake but since i do not have the jelly mooncake moulds, i made them using the jelly moulds. So, therefore, they are jelly and not mooncake. Whatever it is, it is yummy. Green Tea is supposed to be good for health but coconut milk is not. This recipe should be called 'gon kway chut, gon kway yarp' - meaning 'letting the devil out and driving the devil in'



5 gm Agar agar powder
250 ml coconut milk
Few pieces of pandan leaves
30 gm brown sugar

80 gm red bean filling
(recipe to make red bean paste is here: mooncake )
Few drops of pink color

Pastry ingredients

7.5 gm agar agar powder
450 ml thin coconut milk
few pieces pandan leaves
80 gm sugar

100 ml Thick coconut milk
2 tsp green tea powder
100 gm heavy cream


Cook A till dissolved, add in B, mix well.

Pour into small cup mould to set

Cook C till dissolved, add in D, mix even.

Pour into jelly mould till half full and place in the filling, cover till full.

Chill in fridge.
Read More......

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cassava Cake/Kuih Bingka Ubi II

Almost everyone who have tried the Kuih Bingka Ubi recipe said it was easy to make and so good but some said that it was too rich. Here is another version which is less rich and just as delicious.

More Bingka recipes here

Kuih Bingka Ubi

Kuih Bengka Beras


1 lb frozen grated cassava, thawed and well drained.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tbsp Tapioca Starch
1 can 400 ml coconut cream/milk(i like Savoy brand)
100 ml water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup ground steamed mung bean


Grease an 8 inch square cake pan or grease and line cake pan with banana leaves, grease the leaves.

Stir the tapioca flour with 100 ml water, then add in all the ingredients into a large microwavable bowl. Stir to combine.

Microwave on high, one minute at a time until batter slightly thickens.

Pour into greased pan and bake in the oven at 375F for 30 - 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Brush a little oil or coconut cream on the top of cake and broil/grill until evenly brown.

Remove from oven, and let cake cool completely on a cake rack.

To prepare ground steamed mung bean:

Dried mung beans expand to about three times their original volume during cooking, so if you need 1 cup cooked, start with 1/3 cup of raw dried beans.

Place 1/3 cup of raw dried mung beans in a bowl and add water to cover by 1 inch.

Let soak for 2 hours,or longer if you must.

Drain the beans and put them in the steamer that fits the pressure cooker. Put in a cereal bowl , then add in water to half way up the bowl and let the steamer sits on it. This is to ensure that the beans will not be cooking in the water.

Close the lid and pressurised for 10 minutes when the pressure has reached 15 lbs.

Open the lid only when there is no more pressure (in a hurry, run cold running water over the pressure cooker and wait for the pressure to be totally released).

Let the beans cool before processing in a food processor for a ground and fluffy consistency.

The ground beans are now ready to use.

Read More......

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Agar Agar Batik

This was served at Alexander's Birthday Party. I have made so many kuihs and they were all so rich with coconut milk, so i decided to make this agar agar using gula melaka and condensed milk. I think i should have posted a disclaimer for the guests, that i will not be responsible for any health issues as all the food served are not healthy. Well, how often do the guests get pampered with all the kuih muihs served?


The brown layer:
3 tbsp agar agar powder
1200 ml water
225 g /8 oz gula melaka
1/2 cup sugar
The Milk Layer:

1 tbsp agar agar powder
600 ml water
1/2 cup condensed milk


Cook the milk layer by putting 600 ml water in a saucepan and turn on the heat, then whisk in agar agar.

Cook until agar agar is dissolved, then add in the condensed milk.

Pour into a cake pan to cool.

Put in the fridge to set. when it is set, remove and cut into shreds.

While the milk layer is in the fridge, cook the brown layer by boiling all the ingredients together until dissolved.

Pass through a fine sieve.

To assemble:

Put the shredded milk layer into a fancy mould, then pour in the warm brown layer.

Leave to cool before putting into the fridge to set.

When set, unmould and serve.

Read More......

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taro And Black Eyed Pea Cake Pan Fried

This is a spin off from the classic favorite - the Taro cake/Woo Tau Koh. I supposed that this recipe was created as most of the time, half of the taro cannot be used as it is not powdery and the cooked black eyed peas has a very similar texture which is powdery, therefore making the cake at par to the classic.


150g yam, diced and coat with 1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 cup water
Mix together and sieve:
125g rice flour
20g tapioca flour
1 cup water
1/4 tsp potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution(optional)
1 cup black eyed pea - wash, soak and cook in the pressure cooker until very soft, mash it slightly.
1 tbsp chicken stock granules
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
Dash of pepper
1 tsp sugar
For garnishing:
100 dried prawns, soaked and chopped coarsely - use the food processor
4 shallots, sliced and mix with 1 tsp oil, microwave on high until crispy
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
Chilly sauce :
10 red chillies, (chop or blend in the food processor)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon/lime juice (can be substitute with vinegar)
1 tbsp Siracha Chilly Sauce
1 - 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sugar

Heat 4 tbsp oil and saute dried prawns till fragrant.
Remove 3/4 and set aside for garnishing.
Add 2 tbsp oil to the remaining oil in the wok, add diced yam and stir fry well.
Mix in water and bring to a boil.
Add in (B) and (C) and seasoning and cook till batter is fairly thick.
Pour thick batter into a well-greased 25cm round tray.
Steam till cake is set and cooked through.
Spread the garnishing on top and press lightly.
Leave aside to cool.
Cake can be serve with chilly sauce.
To pan fry:
Cut cake into bite size pieces.
Heat a nonstick pan with a little oil. Put in the cakes to fry, do not crowd. Do not turn cake until it is brown. When it is properly fried, turn cake and brown.
Dish up and serve

Read More......

Monday, September 22, 2008

Teochew Mooncake Wannabe

I have heard about teochew mooncake and can't remember how it is supposed to taste and look like. The only thing i remembered that the famous shop is in Gombak and the mooncake is quite flat and big. My friend gave me this recipe, only the ingredients actually, while we were chatting and i made this however i think it is right. The teochew ah pek will be laughing at these cakes wannabe, with the minnie mouse stamp. I can do better if i can get hold of the proper stamp and i know i should not have glazed the cake. Anyone out there have a stamp that you don't need?


Outer dough
120 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
50 gm shortening
70 gm water
Inner Dough
100 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
50 gm shortening
300 gm lotus paste - divide into 50 gm each(recipe from here
100 gm sweet mui choy
25 gm kat paeng (sugared dried tangerine)
25 gm toasted sesame seeds
60 gm Tong Tung Kwa(dried sugar coated winter melon)
60 gm lotus paste- recipe from here

To make the pastry:
Make the inner dough by mixing in the shortening to the flour, knead until smooth. Wrap in clingwrap and leave aside.
Mix all the ingredients for the outer dough until well combined. Make sure the texture of this dough feels the same as the inner dough - the same softness. Wrap dough with clingwrap and leave to rest.
To make the filling
Soak the sweet mui choy and wash it really clean by changing the water several times. Squeeze the vegetable to rid of water. Chop it fine.(i put the veg in the food processor and pulse). Fry the veg without oil until it is dried but not crispy.
Cut up the kat paeng, remove the seeds and chop it up in the food processor.
Chop up the tong tung kwa in the food processor.
Mix all the chopped up ingredients with the lotus paste and mix well. Divide into 6 portions.
Wrap this with the 50 gm lotus paste (this is the filling)
To assemble
Divide the inner and outer dough into 6 portions.
Take the outer dough and wrap the up the inner dough.
Flatten slightly, position the rolling pin in the middle and roll out to the top. Then position back the rolling pin to middle of dough and roll back. Repeat this process for the other 5 portions.
Coming back to the first portion. Roll from the top to the bottom, like you would rolling a carpet.
Repeat process for the other 5 portions.
Take the first portion, use the thumb to create a dent so as to seal the seam, pinch in the sides so that the portion is slightly round. Repeat this process for the other 5 portions.
Flatten the first portion and roll flat with rolling pin to a circle that would fit the filling.
Wrap the filling with the pastry.Repeat this process for the other 5 portions.
Preheat oven at 400 f and bake for 5 - 10 minutes.

Read More......

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Black Sesame Egg Yolk Mooncake

I know the Mid-Autumn Festival is over and this mooncake was so good, so this recipe is a keeper and has to be documented. Don't the egg yolk look so much like the bright moon on the 15th night of the 8th moon? The egg yolk is homemade with free-range chicken egg and the how to is here and

Pastry and lotus paste filling - follow the recipe from here
Salted Egg Yolk
Lotus paste (100 gm for a mooncake)
Black Sesame
150 gm lotus paste
30 gm ground black sesame
10 gm peanut butter
(The above makes 6 portions of 30 gm to a mooncake)

To assemble:
Wrap egg yolk with black sesame lotus paste and wrap again with lotus paste.
Wrap with pastry and bake.

Read More......

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fried Nin Ko

Found the Nin Ko in the freezer next to a packet of frozen taro and i had just bought some sweet potatoes. What else to make with them than to fry them. This is one of our favorties but you don't get to fry them unless Nin Ko is available.

Sweet Potato/Yam
Slice nin ko, taro and sweet potato/yam into 1/4 inch slices of the same shape.
Arrange the slices in this order - taro, nin ko, sweet potato/yam
Heat up oil for deep frying.
When oil is 350f, deep the arranged slices in the batter and put in to fry.
Do not crowd as it will lower the oil temperature and the fritters will be soggy.
Do not fry in too high heat as the taro and sweet potato/yam take time to be cooked.
Increase the oil temperature by turning up the heat and remove a few ladles of oil to finish frying.
Remove fritters with spider ladle and leave on a cake rack with kitchen towel at the bottom to cool.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Fresh Sweet Corn Pudding

Fresh sweet corn is found in abundance during the summer and this is the time to look for recipes to cook them with, not that eating them on the cob is not good, they are the best. This recipe using freshly cut sweet corn is so easy to make but you could still make it with a can of creamed corn.


1 tbsp agar agar powder
50 gm sugar
300 ml water
Pinch of salt

1 cup fresh corn kernels/creamed corn
1/2 cup custard powder - mix with 100 ml water

200 ml coconut milk


Mix agar agar powder with the sugar

Bring the 300 ml water to the boil, add in the salt and agar agar sugar mix. Stirring to prevent the agar agar from getting into lumps. Cook until agar agar and sugar is dissolved.

Add in the cup of corn and mix well.

Add the custard flour which has been mixed with water to the coconut milk.

Then add the coconut milk mixture to the corn mixture. Stir until thickened and the custard flour is cooked.

Pour into a fancy jelly mould and leave in the refrigerator to set.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Char Leong

What in the world is 'char leong'? It was unknown to me until a friend asked if i knew how to make them. This dish is a match made in heaven. The rice rolls which are soft married so well with the crispy 'yau char kway'. Eaten with a sweet sauce which has sesame paste in it and chilly sauce to bring it to another level.

How to make the chee cheong fun is here and
To assemble:
Make the yau char kway ahead and then make the chee cheong fun.
Place 1/2 of the yau char kway(trim the length to fit the chee cheong fun) in a cooked chee cheong fun and wrap it like you would for a spring roll.
Serve with a sweet sauce and also chilly sauce.
Bon appetit

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kuih Kosui

I like Kuih Kosui to be steamed in a cake pan, then cut into pieces and coated with coconut. To me, if this kuih is steamed in tiny cups, then it would be 'Kuih Lompang'. While kuih lompang can come in other flavors like pandan or plain but of different colors, Kuih Kosui is not. It has to be made with 'gula melaka/palm sugar and caramelized sugar, so therefore it is brown.

250 g gula Melaka about 1 big piece
500ml water
1 tbsp santan powder/coconut milk powder
2 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces
50 g sugar + 3 tbsp water
100g tapioca flour
160g rice flour
20g glutinous rice flour
500ml water
1 tsp alkaline water(kan sui)
1/2 freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp salt


1. Put sugar and water to caramelize. Add in the 500 ml water as soon as the sugar turned brown. Then add in the rest of the ingredients in (A ) and bring it to a boil to dissolve the gula melaka. . Strain for any lumps and leave aside to cool.

2. Mix everything in (B) together till a smooth batter is formed. Add in the gula melaka syrup and cook over low heat or in the microwave till the batter is slightly thickened. Stirring constantly.

3. Steam the freshly grated coconut for 5 minutes. Leave it aside for use later.
Add salt before using.

4. Pour batter into a greased square cake pan. Steam over boiling hot water for about 40 minutes.

5. Cool the Kuih Kosui before you cut into pieces .

6. Coat them with the steamed coconut and serve.

Read More......

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cheat's Murtabak

This is a very sumptuous , incredibly delicious and it was made the cheater's way, semi-homemade using store bought Roti Paratha. Roti Paratha/Canai comes frozen and there are 5 in a packet. It is inexpensive and all the Asian stores here sell them. Look for them in the freezer section and make sure that is is Made in Malaysia - the texture and taste is better. If you would like to make the roti from scratch, refer to


5 pieces frozen Roti Paratha/Canai
1/2 pound ground meat(of your choice)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 heaped tbsp curry powder
salt to taste
3 eggs

Cook the filling by browning the ground meat(add some oil, if the meat is very lean).
When the meat is no more pink, add in chopped onion and curry powder.
Stir and saute until aromatic and add salt to taste.
Cool before adding in the eggs.
To make the murtabak:
Heat a nonstick pan and place a piece of frozen roti on it.
As soon as it turns soft, put a few tbsp of filling in the center of roti(do not put too much, otherwise, the roti cannot be folded in a neat pack).
Fold in the sides to make a neat pack(refer to pictures above)
Add in a little oil for crispiness. Fry until brown on all sides.
Dish out and serve hot, it tastes great as is or served with pickled onions
To make pickled onions:
Red /yellow/white onions(red will give a pleasing color)
Slice peeled onions thinly and add salt, sugar and vinegar. Adjust to taste.
Let onions sit for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Kuih Koci Pulut Hitam

This was my second attempt making this and still did not manage to get a good enough picture for posting. These are the best pictures and they do not do justice to the kuih. These kuih koci were so rich, nicely coated with thick coconut cream and a succulent moist coconut filling. I did not find any change in taste or texture , only the color is dark purple from the black glutinous rice powder.


200 g glutinous rice flour
100 g black glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp pandan paste
270 - 300 ml coconut milk
For glazing
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
1 tsp rice flour mix with 1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
16 pieces banana leaves (15 cm x 20 cm) softened in boiling water
oil for greasing the banana leaves
Filling - follow recipe from kuih koci

Mix glutinous flour with cornflour in a large bowl.
Bring coconut milk, sugar and oil to the boil, remove from heat and add pandan paste then pour over the flour.
Use a wooden spoon and mix into a dough.
Knead until smooth.
Divide dough into 16 pieces and rest dough covered with a damp cloth.
Cook the 3/4 cup of thick coconut milk and salt in the microwave on high for 1 minute and then mix in the rice flour.
Stir to mix and put back in the microwave and cook 1 more minute until mixture is thickened. (timing depends on your wattage of microwave)
Take a piece of dough, flatten and place a portion of the filling in the middle, wrap up filling.
Make sure to cover filling thoroughly.
Dunk into coconut milk glaze and coat generously.
Put in the middle of greased banana leaves and turn ends in.
Repeat with the rest and then steam in boiling water for only 12 - 15 minutes.
Kuih koci should be served warm but if you are in the tropics it can be served in room temperature.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday for family reunion and enjoying mooncakes together, that falls on Sept. 14 this year.
A very happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all.

Read More......

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kai Chai Paeng

The very mention of 'Kai Chai Paeng' gives me nostalgic feeling, remembering the pink package which is very fragrant of 'nam yue' but has a sweet gooey filling which contains some chunks of fat. I will take a long time to finish a piece of biscuit, nibbling a tiny bite at a time, savoring the taste slowly. Somehow, i cannot eat this biscuit in big bites, i think the filling is not my taste but this recipe that i made, is nothing like 'Kai Chai Paeng' of yesteryears. This is crispy, fragrant and you don't have one piece, you must have another. 'Satu makan, Dua mahu'

The name given to this paeng is a mystery to me, as i do not see any relationship to the chicken and i hope my readers can reveal why it is so called. In cantonese 'Kai Chai' which is 'Little Chicks' in english but there is no 'chicken' in the ingredients. So, i added 1/2 tsp of chicken seasoning powder to the recipe to make it more meaningful.



10 1/2 oz self rising flour
4 oz powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp chicken seasoning powder
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
80 gm sesame seeds
4 ozs candied winter melon strips (tong tung kwah)
1/4 tsp ammonia
1 large egg
1 tbsp maltose(mak ngah tong)
2 pieces nam yee-mashed (red fermented beancurd)
2 drops dark soy sauce
100 ml oil


Mix ingredient B in a large bowl.
Chop finely candied winter melon strips, add into ingredient A .
Add in ingredient B and mix into a dough.
Rest it for 10 minutes
Pinch small rounds of dough (about 1 1/2 tsp full).
Shape them into balls and place them in between plastic wrap.
Flatten it with your palm to prefered thickness. The thinner the more crunchy.
Unwrap and place them on a lined baking tray allowing for space to rise.
Bake in preheated oven 350 f for 15-20 minutes
Cool then gently remove.

Read More......

Mini Woon Chai Koh/Rice Pancakes/Banh Beo

Somehow, my pancakes did not have any indentation as mentioned by Andrea in the recipe.

These dainty and rich rice pancake is called Banh Beo in Vietnamese and are akin to Woon Chai Koh if not for the size. They are made of a simple rice flour batter and can be served sweet(ngot) and savory(man). They can be served directly from the small ceramic dish in which they are steamed or transferred to a serving platter.
I served these pancakes with the Woon Chai Koh's toppings, the recipe is here but the classic topping for savory Banh Beo is bits of briny shrimp, rich scallion oil and mildly sweet chile sauce.This recipe is from Andrea Nguyen - Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

1 cup rice flour
3 tbsp cornstarch/tapioca starch
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1 3/4 cups water

Shrimp Topping:
6 ozs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pinches of salt
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp minced shallot
Sugar to taste
White pepper
1/2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 thai chile, thinly sliced(optional)
1/4 cup scallion oil


To make scallion oil:
Have scallions ready in a small bowl so they may be quickly added to the oil.
In small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot.
To test, drop in a scallion slice; it should sizzle on contact.
Add scallions and stir immediately to expose them quickly to the oil.
When scallions have collapsed and are soft, after about 30 seconds, remove from heat.
Transfer scallions and oil to a small heat-proof bowl and let cool completely.

The garnish will keep for several hours at room temperature. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days, then bring to room temperature before using.
Makes about 1/4 cup.

To make batter:
In a bowl, stir together rice flour, cornstarch and salt.
Make a well in the center, pour oil and water into the well, and whisk together to produce a thin, smooth batter.
You should have about 2 cups batter. Let batter rest for 30 minutes.

To make topping:
In small saucepan, combine shrimp and salt with water just to cover and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook about 8 minutes, or until all water has evaporated. (This intensifies flavor of shrimp.)
Transfer shrimp to small bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer shrimp to a mini food processor and process to a minced, fluffy texture. Or mince by hand using a knife. Return shrimp to bowl.

In small non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and saute about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add shrimp and stir to combine. Sprinkle in sugar, pepper and fish sauce.
Continue to cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes to dry shrimp, lowering heat when bits of shrimp pop.
Shrimp are done when they look crumbly and are brilliant orange.
Transfer to bowl and set aside until ready to use. (Shrimp may be prepared up 3 days in advance, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)

To make sauce:
In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, water and fish sauce and stir to dissolve sugar.
Taste and make any adjustments to create a light, slightly sweet sauce.
Add chile and set aside until serving time.

To cook pancakes:
Fill bottom section of steamer halfway with water and place steamer tray on top. Bring water to rolling boil over high heat.
Nearby have ready the batter, a ladle, a small knife or metal spatula and serving plates for holding the pancakes.

Make pancakes in batches. Have ready about 8 small dishes, each about 2 1/2 inches wide and at least 1/2 inch deep.
Put dishes into steamer tray, placing them away from the edge where condensation collects. So that batter will set quickly, cover steamer and let dishes preheat for 2 minutes. Remove lid carefully. Do not let condensation drip into the dishes.
Ladle batter to a depth of 1/4 inch into each dish (about 1 tablespoon batter.)
Replace lid and steam 3 minutes, or until pancakes are shiny and firm and have a shallow indentation in center. Reduce heat to low and wait for steam to subside before lifting lid, and then lift it away from you carefully to avoid condensation dripping onto the pancakes.
Use metal tongs to transfer dishes to counter.
Let pancakes cool 2 minutes. They will firm up slightly.

To unmold:
Dip tip of knife (or spatula) in water and run it along edge of a pancake to loosen it.
Use your fingers to gently pry pancake from dish, and then place it on a serving plate.
Repeat until you have unmolded all the pancakes. The finished pancakes resemble tiny white plates.
Return steamer to a boil over high heat.
Give the dishes a quick rinse and wipe before returning them to the steamer tray for another batch.
Repeat until all batter is used. (Cooled pancakes may be covered with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature up to 8 hours.)

To serve:
Fill indentation of each pancake with a generous 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp topping and dot with a generous 1/4 teaspoon of scallion oil garnish.
Serve with the sauce.
The best strategy for eating the pancakes is to use chopsticks to scoot one onto a soup spoon and then drizzle on some sauce.

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Spicy Okra

How hard is it to get this dish on the table? A lengthy process of pounding and grinding, but if you have a bottle of DELIMAS - SAMBAL UDANG BERCILI, this can be dished up in less than 5 minutes. Kid you not, go get a packet of frozen okra from your regular supermarket and Delimas Sambal Udang Bercili (available online from, and you are home sailing.

1 x 16 oz packet frozen cut okra
2 tbsp cooking oil
Salt to taste

Heat oil and add in DELIMAS - SAMBAL UDANG BERCILI. Stir to mix with the oil.
Add in frozen okra and saute until the okra is heat through.
Adjust to your taste with salt.
Viola, this dish can be served

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Alexander's 3rd Birthday Cake

Alexander turned 3 last month and this was his last decision for the theme to his party. He had wanted Thomas the Tank Engine but when we took him to get party favors, he saw the truck cups, plates etc, he said he wanted a truck cake. Oh boy, what a relieve for me, i had planned to make the Thomas cake and have printed the instructions and all but this idea for a truck cake is better. He has a huge truck to play with and my life was easier cos i just made brownies and cupcakes. I would like to share the cupcakes recipe cos it is the easiest and a very good one especially for anyone who is allergic to butter and milk.


2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups fine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening(very soft but not melted, Crisco is best)
3/4 cup orange juice(any juice of your choice)
2 large eggs


1 Set oven to 350 degrees F.

2 In a large bowl, mix together the flour with sugar and salt until combined.

3 Add in the shortening , juice and eggs; beat on medium speed of an electric mixer scraping the bowl constantly until just blended (the batter will be thick, if desired you may add in a few more tablespoons juice).

4 Pour into paper-lined regular size muffin tins filling under just three-quarters full.

5 Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cupcakes test done (do not overbake as they will be dry).

6 Immediately remove from pans.

7 Cool completely before frosting. (Frosting recipe is below)
2 cups Crisco Shortening
1/4 to 1/2 cup non dairy cream
2 tsp. clear vanilla
1 1/2 pounds (6 cups) powdered sugar, sifted (measure, then sift)
In your mixer bowl, beat the shortening until it's smooth, light and fluffy.
Add the smaller amount of the non dairy cream indicated in the recipe, add the vanilla and mix well.
Add half the powdered sugar and mix for 5 minutes on low-med. speed.
Add remaining sugar and mix well.
Add more non dairy cream or powdered sugar if necessary to adjust the consistency.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Dora Cake

To make this cake, use a prepackaged cake mix prepared according to the pound-cake directions. You'll also need several zip-close plastic bags (or pastry bags), red decorator frosting and brown and orange paste food coloring, which are available at baking-supply stores. Watch the step-by-step video


1 package (18.25 oz.) yellow-cake mix, prepared according to pound-cake version
4 large eggs
1 box (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
1 can (16 oz.) dark chocolate frosting
Brown and orange paste food coloring

2 three-inch-long pieces strawberry fruit leather (such as Fruit by the Foot)
2 black candy-coated chocolates (such as M&M's)
1 tube (4.25 oz.) red decorating frosting


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch cake pan with wax paper.
Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions for the pound-cake recipe. (Add the pudding mix, increase the number of eggs to 4, and decrease the water to 1 cup.)
Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; about 35 to 45 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then invert the cake ont a rack and allow it to cool completely.
Line a cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper.
Place the chocolate chips into a resealable bag and microwave (with the bag open) on high for about 30 seconds or until the chocolate chips are melted. Snip a small corner from the bag and pipe a "Y" about 3 inches long onto the wax paper. (This will be Dora's cowlick.) Transfer the cookie sheet to the refrigerator until ready to use.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting (for Dora's eyes) into a resealable bag and set aside.
Mix 2 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate frosting (for Dora's irises) and spoon this lighter chocolate frosting into a resealable bag; set it aside.
Tint the remaining vanilla frosting a golden brown using the orange and brown food paste coloring.
Tint 3 tablespoons a darker shade of this color and spoon it into a resealable bag (for Dora's nose and chin); set it aside.

Trim the top of the cake with a large serrated knife to make it level.
Place the cake trimmed side down onto a serving platter.
Using the Dora Face Cake Template, cut the cake and discard the scraps.
Use the template again to score or mark outlines of Dora's face and hair with a toothpick.
Frost the top and side of Dora's face first with the golden-brown frosting.
Spread some of the chocolate frosting on the side of the cake (for the sides of Dora's hair).
Spoon the remaining chocolate frosting into a resealable bag and sip a corner from bag.
Pipe on Dora's hair.

Mark the center of Dora's eyes with a toothpick.
Snip a small corner from the vanilla-frosting bag and pipe in the eyes.
Snip a small corner from the light-chocolate bag and pipe the irises.
Add candy-coated chocolates and a dot of white to finish Dora's eyes.

On a clean work surface, press the two pieces of fruit leather together, overlapping them slightly.
Cut out the mouth shape according to the template.
Place the mouth on the cake and pipe a line around it with the red decorating frosting.
Snip a small corner from the bag with the dark golden-brown frosting and pipe on Dora's nose and chin.
Peel Dora's cowlick from the wax paper and insert it into top of her head. (You may need to use a toothpick to stabilize

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Ground Pork and Holy Basil Paste

My friend Tahai from Thailand got me hooked on Holy Basil. She sent me a packet of Holy Basil chilly Paste and it was so good with Chicken. I was so happy that i found bottled ones and gave it a try with ground pork. Yes, this dish is delicious and easy.

1 pound ground pork
1 bottle of Lee's Chilli Paste With Holy Basil

Heat oil and add in ground pork to brown.
Add in the chilli paste with holy basil and fry until well combined.
Serve with white rice

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Agar Agar Fishes ala Lena

Lena, my dear friend, you have sent me these fish moulds awhile ago and i did make these but somehow did not post them. So, now here they are, aren't they the best looking fishes you have seen? Thank you and kam seah, without your generosity, this will not happen.


2 tbsp agar agar powder
400 ml concentrated coconut milk
800 ml water
200 gm sugar
1/2 tsp salt


Boil the agar agar powder and sugar with the water until dissolve.

Remove 1/2 cup and color it orange/red. Using a tiny paint brush, paint onto the the gills, tails and wherever you wish on to the koi fish moulds. Use raisins for the eyes. Let it set.

Add coconut milk to the rest of the dissolved agar agar and then fill up the koi fish moulds.

For the dolphins, add blue coloring.

Leave to set in the fridge.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sweet Peanut Soup

It took me a long long time before i could make this peanut soup, of which the peanuts melt in the mouth. I was told that i have used the wrong type of peanuts. The peanuts have to be the white skin and small in size but i remembered that half a century ago, the peanut soup sold in Seremban wet market was so good and the peanuts were long and huge. How did they make the peanut so soft??????? I have tried cooking the peanuts to death and tried pressurizing, still crunchy peanut soup. Ask around and my sifu, tt, came up with the answer, soak the peanuts with alkaline solution. Thanks tt, now i make the best melt in the mouth peanuts.


12 ozs blanched peanuts
1 tbsp potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution(kan sui)
2 pandan leaves (optional)
Sugar to taste


Wash the peanuts and steep with enough water to cover and add in the tablespoon of potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution for at least 4 hours.

After steeping, drain and steep with fresh water for 1/2 hour, repeat this changing of water 2 more times, this should rid the alkaline solution.

Put peanuts, pandan leaves if using and 6 cups water in a pressure cooker.

Close lid and pressurized for 1/2 hour from hissing.

Let the pressure released before opening the lid

Bring the soup back to the boil and add sugar to taste.

Cook until sugar dissolve.

Soup is ready for serving


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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pork with Blackeyed Pea Chili &Toasted Cornbread

Recipe by Michael Symon

From Super Bowl Blowout

This recipe originally appeared in Food & Wine February, 2008.

The original recipe can be found here

I scaled down the recipe and cooked it to my taste.


1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 pounds cleaned and trimmed pork shoulder - cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and very finely chopped
1 red bell peppers, finely diced
1/2 bottle of One 12-ounce bottle amber ale
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 cup canned whole Italian tomatoes, crushed
1 canned chipotles in adobo, seeded and minced
1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
1 small cinnamon stick
Shredded smoked cheddar cheese, cilantro leaves and sour cream, for serving


In a large bowl, combine the coriander, paprika and cumin and toss with the pork.

Season with salt and pepper.

In a wok(i am chinese, ok), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Add half of the pork and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the remaining pork over moderate heat. Transfer the pork to the plate.

Add the bacon to the wok and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crisp, about 7 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, jalapeños and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Return the pork cheeks to the wok along with any accumulated juices. Add the ale, chicken stock, tomatoes, chipotles, black-eyed peas and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.

Transfer to the slow cooker. Cover and cook over very low heat until the meat and beans are tender, about 3 hours or longer

Season the chili with salt and pepper.

Spoon off the fat from the surface and discard the cinnamon stick.

Serve the chili in bowls.

Pass the smoked cheddar, cilantro and crème fraîche at the table.

MAKE AHEAD The pork chili can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

SERVE WITH Toasted Cornmeal Corn Bread.


This sweet, moist corn bread makes a perfect accompaniment to the meaty pork chili, though it's quite delicious all on its own. Toasting the cornmeal first gives the corn bread a heartier flavor.


2 cups coarse yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup honey, warmed
2 large eggs, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Oil a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan.

In a medium skillet, toast the cornmeal over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk with the honey and eggs.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk until moistened.

Add the butter and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the corn bread cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD The corn bread can be wrapped in foil and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat in the foil.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Pineapple 'Open' Tarts

This recipe is from The Best of Singapore Cooking, 5th reprint 1995. This book was given to me by my dear friend, Agnes. Thank you, dear Agnes and CM, you don't know how happy i was. I owned a photostated copy of this cookbook since 1988 and have made so many recipes with success. The only difference in this reprint is, this recipe which makes very good tarts is not in my copy, if it was, i would have tried this recipe a long long time ago.
I will only share the pastry recipe as the filling recipe and making of the tarts can be found in the earlier Pineapple Tart posting.


1 1/2 lb/680 gm flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
1 lb/454 gm cold butter - cut into small pieces
1 egg
2 fl oz/60 ml ice water
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 drops of yellow food coloring

Put A into food processor and pulse twice.
Add in B - cold butter and using the pulse function, pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add in C and pulse until dough is formed.
Remove and chill for 30 minutes.
Pastry is ready to make into tarts.

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