Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Banana Chiffon Cake

Bananas that have become overriped, with brown specks all over, are desirable for making a good cake/muffin or bread. It is at this stage that the f ragrance is released and gives it best to a banana cake. It's all in a name, a cake is created if this batter is baked in a cake pan, a muffin if baked in a muffin pan, a bread it is when baked in a loaf pan and then when fried it is 'Kuih Kodok'

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2 eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup OIL
1 cup mashed bananas
2/3 cup buttermilk (sour milk) or add 1 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk
1 tsp. vanilla


1. Beat egg whites until frothy, adding 1 cup sugar. Set aside.

2. Mix the sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and soda in a separate bowl.

3. Then add the oil, mashed bananas and 1/2 of the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the buttermilk and egg yolks. Beat again for about 2 minutes.

4. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour into 2 greased 9 inch cake pans and bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Spicy and Sour Soup

All soups consumed by my family are usually served hot which is temperature and when this soup appears in any menu as Hot and Sour, i expect Hot meant spicy.. So when i make this soup, it is spicy and when i read that this Soup is reputed to be good for colds , i was amazed because every time i have a cold it all started from a sore throat and anything spicy is no no. Then again, if omit the chilli oil and keep soup at temperature Hot would certainly do the cold alot of good.

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1 cake silkin tofu - cut into small strips
1/2 cup bamboo shoots julienned
2 tsp julienned black fungus (Wood Ear) - soak
3 - 4 Chinese dry mushrooms - soak, remove stems and cut into strips
2 tsp of julienced Char Choy
2 ounces pork tenderloin, julienned


1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp tapioca starch
1/2 tsp sesame oil

6 cups water (or 5 cups water and 1 cup chicken broth)


1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp soya sauce
2 Tbsp red rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp of chilli oil

1 egg - beaten lightly

2 Tbsp finely chopped green onion
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
pepper to taste

Thickening mixture:
1 Tbsp cornflour (it is more stable than tapioca flour)
1/4 cup water


1. Boil broth/water. When it is boiling add the char choy, mushrooms and wood ear. Simmer until char choy releases its flavor.

2. Add the tofu and when the broth comes back to the boili add the marinated pork. Add the remaining ingredients in (I).

3. Beat the egg well. Set aside. Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more rice vinegar).

3.. Mix the cornflour and water. Slowly pour the cornflour mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more rice vinegar). Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.

4. Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time.

5. Add garnishes and serve hot.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Scallops In Oyster Sauce

The trick to cooking scallops is to heat them sufficiently to destroy harmful organisms, but not so long as to make the flesh too tough. This requires careful monitoring, as scallops can be toughened by just seconds of overcooking. Scallops undergo a characteristic change when cooked, this can help you judge doneness: They turn opaque and their flesh is just firm, not soft.

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1 lb fresh scallops
1/2 lb broccoli - cut into bite size and microwave on high for 1 minute
4 ginger slices
2 spring onions
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 carrot - cut into thin slices
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp oil


1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Sesame oil


1. Remove and discard the tiny muscle on the side of the scallops first and rinse well.

2. Bring water in pan to boil, blanch scallops for about 3 minutes in water with spring onions, ginger, wine and scallops added, then remove. Alternatively, towel dry scallops and season with kosher salt and pepper. Heat pan with 1 tbsp oil and sear scallops until brown on both sides.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil , add in carrots and broccoli . Pour in seasonings and minced garlic, then add scallops and mix well, remove to serving plate .

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Shark Fin Squash And Crab Meat Broth

This summer, my neighbor sprouted some squash seedlings which she said came all the way from Vietnam. I planted them and only 2 plants managed to survive colorado harsh weather. The plant grew and grew, longer and longer but there were no flowers. Finally when it was hot enough, flowers appeared and a fruit was form. Unfortunately this fruit aborted before it got matured. All through the summer, i had managed to harvest two squashes, one very good squash and one had to be harvested because it was going to snow. I have not seen this squash in the market and it does not look like the spagetti squash so i shall name it 'Shark Fin squash'

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100g crab meat,
200 gm shark fin squash (baked and remove flesh with a fork)
4 cups chicken broth,
1 egg (whisked),
1 tbsp Hua Tiau wine
1 clove garlic sliced
1 tbsp Brandy
1 tbsp of black or red vinegar


½ tsp salt,
¼ tsp sugar
Sesame oil,

To Thicken:

1 tbsp cornflour mix with 3 tbsp water


Heat up 1 tbsp of oil, stir fry garlic until fragrant and discard, sizzle Hua Tiau wine.

Pour in broth and bring to the boil, add crab meat, squash and seasoning and mix well, bring to the boil again.

Thicken with cornflour solution, mix well with beaten egg,

Add in brandy and vinegar before serving .

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Hakka Char Yoke

This is hakka cuisine, that's for sure. Belly pork fried with the nam yee red sauce is very delicious if it has been thoroughly fried, crispy on the outside and meat is juicy inside. Alternatively, making it into a stew with wood ear fungus is the Hakka Classic.

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Nam Yee Red Sauce

8 pieces fermented red bean curd (nam yee)
3 tbsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp chopped shallots
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 star anise
5 cm cinnamon stick
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp shao xing wine
500ml water
100ml oil


1. Heat up oil, sauté chopped shallot and garlic until fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring to boil until thick. Done.


This sauce may keep in the fridge for 1 month.

It may also be use in other recipes like fried fish in nam yee red sauce and nam yee spare ribs.

Hakka Char Yoke


600g pork belly, sliced thickly
100g wood ear fungus, soak and remove woody part.
2 tbsp Hakka Nam Yee red sauce
2 cups water


2 tbsp Hakka Nam Yee red sauce
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg
5 cups of oil for deep frying


1. Combine pork belly with marinade and marinate for 2 hours.

2. Heat up oil for deep-frying, put in pork belly and deep-fry until golden brown, dish and drain. This can be served as is.

3. To stew, put all ingredients, pork belly and water into a stock pot and bring to boil, lower the heat and continue to simmer for 45 minutes or until the pork is tender.

4. Dish up and serve.

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Clay Pot Chicken Rice

This dish desirably is cooked in a clay pot on charcoal stove as the rice will form a brown , crispy layer at the bottom of clay pot, thus making the rice more fragrant. Nowadays in a modern kitchen, this is not possible but a rice cooker makes a decent pot of rice.

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2 cups rice, washed and drained
3 cups chicken stock
2 chicken drumsticks cut into pieces (bone in chicken pieces can also be used)
5 Chinese mushrooms, soaked, cut into half
1 Chinese sausage, sliced
1 ½ cm thick salted fish, sliced thinly, fried till crispy
1 tbsp black soya sauce
4 tbsp garlic oil


2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp of ginger juice (grated a knob of ginger and squeeze)
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp sugar
½ tbsp corn flour


Spring onion chopped


1. Mix chicken, mushrooms with marinade and ginger, season for 30 minutes.

2. Put rice and chicken stock into a clay pot, cover and bring to boil lower fire and cook with low heat till holes are formed on top. (About 15 minutes)

3. Spread marinated chickens and mushrooms, Chinese sausage on top, cover and cook with low heat till rice is dry and chicken pieces are cooked (another 15 minutes). Remove from fire.

4. Sprinkle salted fish on top, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes till rice is dry and fluffy.

5. Before serving, sprinkle spring onion , black soya sauce and garlic oil, mix in to combine toppings and rice.

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Braised Pork Belly with salted fish and tofu

Tofu is bland by itself, so it needs a good sauce which is flavorfully salty. In this dish, the salted threadfish will disintergrate into the sauce imparting that special flavor that the tofu needed.

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1 tbsp oil
1 piece salted threadfish (1" x 4")
1 inch knob ginger sliced
5 cloves garlic minced
300g pork belly,cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 box firm tofu - cut into 2 inch cubes


½ tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
5 tbsp shao xin wine
1/2 tsp pepper
100ml water


1. Heat up 1 tbsp oil, sauté salted fish until fragrant.

2. Add in ginger, garlic and pork belly and stir well

3. Add in shao xin wine, cook until it reduces then add the rest of the seasoning, stir well.

4. Simmer for 30 - 45 minutes with lid on until the meat is tender.

5. Add in tofu and simmer for another 5 minutes.

6. Turn off heat and let sit for 1/2 hour for sauce to marry into the tofu.

7. Reheat before serving.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Steamed Cake

There is alot of egg whites collected from all the chinese new year baking of pineapple tarts and kuih bangkit. Besides that, Alexander's breakfast of egg yolk every morning added up to the piling. I have a recipe for a steamed layer cake which is in my collection of recipes in malaysia. I thought that the recipe posted below would be it but no so. Anyway, it turned out so delicious that this is a sure keeper.

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2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pandan paste
5 large egg yolks
1 cup /8 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar


1. Heat the steamer and line the bottom of a 10 inch square tin and grease lightly.

2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside.

3. In a separate bowl combine the coconut milk, oil, and the egg yolks.

4. Begin whipping the whites in a separate bowl with the cream of tartar. You want to whip until a softly stiff peak. It should form a peak that just turns over at the top.

5. Mix the egg yolk mixture and then mix into the dry ingredients.

6. First add in 1/3 of the beaten egg whites (not the entire batch) to the heavier batter to lighten it. Never add the batter to the whipped whites or they'll deflate. Make sure the batter has been completely stirred or mixed

7. Then pour the lightened batter to the beaten egg whites. Reaching into the center of the bowl with a rubber spatula, cut vertically through the two ingredients. Then, pull the spatula out to the edge and up, gently folding the denser ingredient over the lighter mixture. With your other hand, rotate the bowl as you go. Stop when the batter looks evenly streaked with beaten egg whites and batter. Do not overdo it or you will deflate the whipped ingredient.

4. Divide batter into 2 portions and add pandan paste to one portion.

5. Pour 4 ozs of plain batter(2 scoops of soup ladle) into prepared tin and steam until cooked. Then pour in 4 ozs of green batter and the process is repeated. Complete steaming for another 10 minutes to further cook the cake.

6. Remove from steamer and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

7. Slice, serve and enjoy


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Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Japchae is a well-loved Korean dish which incorporates virtually any selection of vegetables. Those in season have the best flavor. Vegetables are fried seperately in a minimal amount of oil. Other ingredients can include match stick-sliced beef and vermicelli noodles (made from potatoes and sweet potatoes). When each ingredient has been fried and the noodles cooked and cut into short lengths, all the ingredients are combined, sauteed quickly, and seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.

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12 oz noodle (Dang Myun)
4 oz beef
5 shitake mushrooms or Chinese black mushrooms
1 carrot
1 onion
1 egg
1/3 lbs spinach
5 tbs oil
1 tbs sesame seed oil
2 tbs soy sauce
Salt & black pepper (pinch)
Sesame seed (pinch)
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs chopped green onion

1. Soak mushrooms in water for 15 minutes. Cut off stems. Cut mushrooms into thin strips.
2. Cut beef into thin strips and marinate it with the mushrooms in a seasoning of: soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, sesame seed oil, chopped green onions, and a pinch of ground pepper.
3. Cut carrots and onion into thin strips (julienned).
4. Cook spinach in boiling water for about two minutes. Cool spinach in running water. Squeeze the water out of the spinach. Season the spinach slightly with salt and sesame seed oil.
5. Batter and fry the egg in a pan with a pinch of salt. Once cooked and cooled, cut the egg into thin slices.
6. Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 2-4 minutes or until soft (You may want to cut the noodles in half before hand if they are too long). Rinse in cold water and drain.
7. Start cooking the beef and mushrooms with a bit of oil.
8. When beef is cooked add carrot, onion, spinach, and noodles and stir-fry.
9. When vegetables are cooked, add the sliced egg and use salt and soy sauce to season the dish to your taste.
10. Put it all in a dish and sprinkle some sesame seeds for the final touch.
11. Can be served hot or cold.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Woo Tau Kow Yoke

,This is a classic dish which is served on special occasions. I learned to make this dish from a friend who is hakka, so i presume this is the favorite of the hakka clan. Correct me if i am wrong.

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1 lb belly pork
1 lb taro, peeled and cut into thick slices to match the size of a piece of sliced belly pork, rub with 5 spice powder
2 stem spring inions (white part)
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp black soya sauce
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder


2 shallots - peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic - minced
½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp msg
1 cube nam yee / red fermented beancurd
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp sesame oil
Dash of pepper
1 cup water

½ tbsp tapioca flour


1. Parboil belly pork in boiling water together with cooking wine and spring onions for 10 minutes. Remove wash well and pat dry.Rub the skin with black soya sauce and the meat with 5 spice powder.

2. Heat enough oil for deep frying. Deep-fry the belly pork, skin side downtill light golden. Remove and soak for 1/2 hour in cold water to wash off oil and to regain moisture lost in frying. Slice pork into 1/2 inch pieces and dust with tapioca flour.

3. Deep fry taro slices till golden. Drain well and dust with tapioca flour.

4. Heat wok with a tbsp oil. Sauté shallots and garlic, add in nam yee . Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients. let it come to a boil.

5. Using a deep dish or a chinese soup bowl, arrange a piece of pork slice and alternate with a piece of fried taro. Repeat with the rest of the pork and taro. Make sure they are packed snuggly in the dish/bowl.

6. Pour the sauce over the assembled platter.

7. Cover the assembled platter with aluminium foil and place into pressure cooker which has an inch of water. Pressurized for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let pressure released by itself. Carefully remove from pressure cooker and remove foil.

8. Tilt to remove sauce and if sauce is too thin, it can be thickened with tapioca flour.

9. Put serving plate over assembled platter and turn it over. Pour back the sauce and serve hot.

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Kuih Bangkit

There are recipes and recipes of Kuih Bangkit and what is the expectation of it. It should melt in the mouth and the fragrance and flavor of coconut should be present. Sweetness is to each his own but i found out from my tweeking of recipes that too much sugar in recipe will give the cookie a crispy texture. I started with Little Corner of Mine recipe (thank you Ching)and since i have tasted her finished product, i tweeked by adding 25 gm of coconut powder with pandan flavor, in hope that that the powder will enhance the coconut and pandan flavor. Whenever i cook with coconut milk, i love to add a pinch of sslt. Half of the dough could make a tray of pretty good cookies but i felt it was too crispy and added 1/2 an egg yolk to the remaining dough. The result was promising. Thinking that i have found what i liked, decided to make a new batch with 2 egg yolks which tasted very good but somehow the cookies spread wider. What happened was, i had used 15 gm of coconut powder therefore the dough was much softer. I now prefered this texture and made another batch, this time using a smaller cutter. The cookies came out perfect but oh no, the melted butter is still sitting on the counter. Conclusion is, i could omit butter and return to traditional but i still have crispy cookie although eventually it melts in the mouth.

I remembered that Florence from Do What I like did have a recipe for this cookie. I made them and it was what i wanted except that i would have prefered it to be a little sweeter. Thank you Florence for sharing.

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225g tapioca flour
3 pandan leaves cut into small pieces
30g margarine
65g icing sugar(add another tbsp if you like sweeter)
1 egg yolk (another yolk is needed if it is smaller)
75ml – 90ml coconut milk( i use only the thickest cream from the can)
a pinch of salt


1. Line a large pyrex bowl with greaseproof paper, microwave the flour and pandan leaves on high 1 min at a time for 5 times, stirring every minute.

2. Set aside, cool completely before using.

3. Cream margarine with sugar and yolk till sugar dissolves.

4. Add in 75ml coconut milk and mix well.

5. Add flour to mix till a non-sticky dough is formed. If dough is too dry, add more coconut milk but add 1 tsp at a time, otherwise, dough may be too sticky. Leave dough to rest covered with a damp cloth.

6. Take a quarter of the dough and roll dough on a floured table to 3/8 inch(this thickness is necessary to obtain a nice size cookie)and use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Using a pincher to pinch desired designs. Alternatively wooden moulds can also be used and that omits rolling the dough.

7. Baked on lined tray in preheated oven at 300 f convection for 15 mins. Cookie should not brown.

8. Remove to cool completely before storing .

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pineapple Tarts

These tarts are a must for the Chinese New Year. The jam is of pineapple and it is quite tedious to cook, so it is once a year affair for these tarts. This year i made the pastry from 3 recipes and they are all delicious but i like this recipe posted below. A fresh pineapple costs about 3 to 4 usd so i used canned crushed or chunk pineapples which is so easy and so much cheaper. I do not have to stand in front of the stove and stir until the cows come home, i cook them in the microwave.

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A:565 gm (20 ozs) flour
2 tsp baking powder

225 gm(8 ozs) butter - chilled
113 gm(4 ozs) margarine - chilled

B:2 tbsp sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
3 drops of yellow food coloring
1/2 tsp salt

8 tbsp chilled water

1 egg + 1 yolk
2 drops of yellow food coloring


1. Sift A into food processor.

2. Beat B: lightly.

3. Cut chilled butter and margarine into small pieces and add in food processor(Step 1). Pulse until mixture resembles bread crumbs.

4. Pour in egg mixture B:(step 2) and pulse 2 more times, then add in the boiling water. Pulse until it forms a dough.

5. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.

Pineapple Filling/jam (To be made the day before shaping the tarts)

4 cans 20 ozs pineapple crushed/chunks(drain and pulse in food processor until fine)

sugar (amount of sugar should be equal to the pineapple pulp e.g. 1 cup pineapple pulp to 1 cup sugar. 3/4 cup of sugar will be acceptable as the canned pineapples do tend to be sweeter than fresh ones)

1 tbsp of lime/lemon juice

2 sticks of cinnamon bark

6 cloves

1 segment of star anise


Put all the ingredients in a big round pyrex bowl and microwave on high. Start with 15 mins, stir well, high for another 15 mins x 2. If jam is still runny, microwave at 1 min at a time until it is thick but still wet. It will thicken and dry out when it is cooled. If jam has gone too dry, just add enough water, stir well to dilute. Jam for filling should not be too dry as it will dry further when the tarts are baking. (The timing in the microwave is for making 4 cans of pineapples, so if you intend to try making with one can only, then the time taken in the microwave should be very much shorter)

To Make The Tarts

Cut the chilled pastry into 4.

Roll out to 2/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut with pineapple mould. Space the tarts 1 inch apart and when the whole baking sheet is full, brush with glaze.

Fill tarts wtih jam and top with a design. Glaze design.

Bake in preheated oven 375 f for 15 mins.


Tarts can me moulded by hand into the shape of the pineapple with the jam enclosed. Use a pair of scissor to snip tiny 'v' shapes on the front half of the tart. Snip in rows. Place a clove to resemble the stem. Glaze before baking.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Chilly Muruku

My long search for this chilly muruku is over, i have found it. It was the recipe at the back of the pack of gram dhall flour that i brought. from Malaysia. The twirled muruku that has been piped with the star nozzle has to be fried longer and since this recipe has chilly powder, it looked burnt. The single strand is recommended.

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450 gm Gram dhall flour
230 gm rice flour
2 tbsp chilly powder
1 tbsp Omam seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
Enough thin coconut milk to bind mixture into a dough

oil for deep frying


Place the Gram dhall flour and rice flour into mixing bowl.

Add chilly powder, omam seeds, salt and margarine.

Add 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk and then gradually add thin coconut milk. mix to form a dough.

Heat oil, using the muruku press, force the dough into the oil in circles.

Fry until crispy, drain muruku on paper towel.

Allow to cool before storing.
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