Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Malaysian Satay

Every time we have satay, i never have the opportunity to take a picture because it disappeared, devout as soon as they are off the grill. Fortunately, this time, 2 sticks and 2 pieces of cucumber were reserved for me. I was told that the word 'satay' is actually hokkien - 'sa' means three and 'tay' means pieces. That's why there are 3 pieces of meat in a stick.

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600 gm/1 1/3 lb beef , chicken or pork meat


10 small onions / shallots
5 cloves of garlic
2 inch long galanga /lengkuas
2 stalks lemon grass /serai
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp kurma curry powder
1/2 tsp belacan powder(shrimp paste)
A teaspoon tumeric (kunyit)
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil or thick coconut milk

a bundle of 6 inch bamboo skewers
1 lemon grass(serai) - crush
oil/coconut milk for basting

Using the microplane, grate lengkuas and lemon grass.
Using the food processor, chop up the shallots and garlic. Add in the grated galanga ,lemon grass and the rest of the marinate.
Cut meat into 1/4 inch thick and 4 - 6 inch length.(with this length i will have 2 pieces to a skewer)
Marinate meat with the marinate for at least 2 hours.
Skewer meat with bamboo skewers.
Grill meat and using a crushed lemon grass as a brush, baste meat with oil/coconut milk.
Serve grilled meat with Satay sauce, cucumber and onions. Ketupat or Nasi Impit would be good but i stopped serving them as they are always not consumed and wasted all my effort to make them.
Satay Sauce:
1 lb raw peanuts - soak overnight in water and 2 tsp potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution(for picture of bottle refer to Ban Jian Kuih).
1 packet of Chan Hong Instant Curry Assam Mix(available online at
1/2 lb roasted peanuts - chopped fine
Drain peanuts and wash away the potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution(kan sui)Steep in clean water for 1 hour.
Using the pressure cooker, cook peanuts in water for 15 minutes from hissing.
Remove some liquid (if you have used too much water to cook the peanuts as sauce should be thick ) and use a potato masher, mash the soft peanuts.
Add in the packet of instant mix and bring mixture to the boil.
Add in the roasted chopped peanuts.
Adjust the taste.
Chilly oil or sambal chilly can be added to sauce for additional spiciness.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Tean's Gourmet Chicken Curry

What am i going to cook for lunch especially when curry chicken is the request. Imagine the hassle if i did not have one of this instant curry mix in hand. All i needed to do is to defrost the chicken, open a can of coconut milk and then cook with a pkt of curry mix. Viola - curry is ready for lunch.

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3 chicken legs - chop into bite size
1 can of 400 ml coconut milk
1 packet Tean's Gourmet Chicken Curry Paste(available online at


Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

Heat wok with 1 tsp of oil and brown chicken , add in the curry paste and coconut milk.

Cook until chicken is cooked through and adjust the taste if necessary.

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Kuala Lumpur Black Hokkien Mee

The style of frying these noddles, the darker the better, is only done well with the fat yellow hokkien noodles that are sold only in Kuala Lumpur but now, i am sure these noodles are readily available anywhere in Malaysia.. The crave for this noodle is so great that whenever we are home for holidays, we would request a stop to pack some as soon as we leave the airport for home. I homemake these hokkien noodle and although the thickness it there, i am not happy with the shape though. But, beggars have no choice - the pasta maker did it's best. I have also found an alternative by using japanese udon and it is very near to home. For this dish, pork fat rules and of course you could skip it and be healthy.

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500g fat yellow hokkien noodles (tai lok meen) - soak noodles in cold water for 15 mins to get rid of some of the potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution used to make these noodles.
100g meat (pork or chicken) - cut into thin slices
150g prawns, shell and devein
100 g squid - cut into bite size
100g Choy sum wash and cut into 1 inch pieces
100g pork fat, cut into cubes and fried till crispy (keep the oil)
2 cups stock/water


1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce(add more if not dark enough)
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp monosodium glutamate(optional)


Season the prawns and squid with a dash of salt, sugar and pepper.

Heat 2 tsp of the lard (from frying the pork fat) and saute the squid and prawns. Dish out and leave aside.

Add in another tsp of lard and brown meat, sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper to the meat before turning over to brown the other side.

Add in stock/water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the choy sum.

Then add in the noodles and the seasoning, mix well, cover wok with lid and simmer until noodles is tender. Add more dark soy sauce if the color is not black enough and simmer noodles till gravy is thick.

Add in the cooked prawns and squid and more lard.

Turn the heat to high again and give noodles a quick stir. Add the crispy lard cubes before dishing up the noodles.

Serve with sambal belacan

sambal belacan:

5 fresh red chillies - cut small
2 chilly padi(optional)
1 sq inch x 1/4 inch thick raw belacan or 2 tsp belacan powder.
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
lime juice.

Grill raw belacan until it is dried and fragrant. (i will wrap with paper kitchen towel and microwave 1 minute at the time until it can be crumbled)

I do not own a mortar so i use the chopper. Chop everything up except the lime juice.

serve with lime juice. adjust the taste as some belacan can be very salty.

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Pita Bread

I have always thought that this bread is difficult to make until i saw Floydm's remark in -" Pita bread is a great bread for beginning bakers or for making with kids. The entire process of making them only takes about two hours too, so it is also a great one for people on a tight schedule. " I tried making them , they turned out perfect. Thank you Floydm for sharing and you are such a good teacher. Renee, the picky eater, eats and loves them. To get Renee to eat them is like winning the powerball.

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3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, - room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening


Using the food processor, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to mix.

Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and pulse until all of the ingredients form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water (I did fine with 1 1/4 cup).

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired).

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil.
Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes.(This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.)

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with the baking stone.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Spray a light mist of water onto your baking surface and close the oven for 30 seconds.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes.

Floydm's Notes:

(The purpose of kneading is to thoroughly combine the ingredients and to break down the flour so that the dough will become stretchy and elastic and rise well in the oven. A simple hand kneading technique is to firmly press down on the dough with the palm of your hand, fold the dough in half toward you like you are closing an envelope, rotate the dough 90 degrees and then repeat these steps, but whatever technique you are comfortable using should work.)

Uuse canola spray oil, but you can also just pour a teaspoon of oil into the bowl and rub it around with your fingers.

If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

Supposedly this step of spraying the baking surface with water reduces the blistering on the outside of your pitas. I've skipped it many times in the past and still been pleased with my breads, so if you don't have a bottle handy it isn't a big deal.

Thank you Floydm

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Apple Cardamom Spiced Cake

The name of the cake is self explanatory and does not need any introduction but what is needed are high praises for it's appearance and the spice, cardamom, with apples made a good marriage indeed.

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115 g/4 oz/1/2 cup butter
115 g/4 oz/1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
225 g/8 oz/2 cups all purpose flour
15 ml/1 tbsp baking powder
30 ml/2 tbsp milk
crushed seeds from 2 cardamom pods
50 g/2 oz/1/2 cup walnuts - chopped
15 ml/1 tbsp poppy seeds
500 g/l lb granny smith apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced.

To decorate:

3 walnut halves
Reserved apple slices
45 ml/3 tbsp clear honey


Preheat the oven to 180 c/350 f.

Grease a 20 cm/8 inch round loose-bottom cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light.

Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until incorporated.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold in, alternating with the milk.

Stir in the cardamom, chopped nuts and poppy seeds.

Remove 1/3 of the apple slices and chop the rest.

Fold in the chopped apples into the creamed mixture.

Transfer to the prepared tin.

Smooth the surface, making a small dip in the centre.

Place the 3 walnut halves in the centre of the cake mixture, and fan the reserved apple slices around the walnuts, covering the cake mixture.

Bake for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean

Remove the cake from the oven.

Cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, brush with the clear honey and leave to cool completely.

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Chocolate Wafer Torte

These wafers come in the size of 11 1/2 inch x 18 inch and have 5 layers. It is so convenient especially when you need to have a cake and do not have time to bake. All that is required is to assemble and viola - you will have the biggest 'Kit Kat' I do not know where i could get them when i ran out as a dear friend moved to Dubai and left me 3 pieces. I don't know why it is spelled as Tort Wafers as i have always spelled Tort with a silent 'e'

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1 piece Tort Wafers
7 ozs melted chocolate
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of cream
8 oz butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
7 ozs ground roasted hazelnuts

For glaze

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
10 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons light corn syrup


Cut Tort Wafers into 9 inch square.

Mix and stir, sugar, egg yolks and cream over very low heat until foamy.

Add in butter, melted chocolate and ground hazelnuts.

Mix thoroughly.

Fill Tort Waters in layers, press lightly and chill.

Ice the torte with the glaze

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Tom Yam Soup

There are many premix tom yam paste in the market and i have tried quite a few. They are all pretty good after you adjust the taste. This packet is from Chan Hong and it is available online from .

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1 lb prawns- peel and devein
4 cups prawn stock(made from the shells)
1 packet Tom yam paste
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
Fried garlic, spring onions and coriander for garnishing


1 tbsp rice wine
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar


Marinate prawns with salt, sugar and rice wine for at least 15 minutes.

Bring the prawn stock to the boil and add in the tom yam paste and stir to combine.

Add in prawns and as soon as prawns turn pink, add in the lime juice and fish sauce.

Serve hot with garnishes.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Double Chocolate Financier Cake

I found this recipe in and liked this quote "The original financier was an almond pastry created by a 19th-century Parisian pastry chef for his wealthy banker clients. This chocolate version is worth its weight in gold. " Our dinner guests said they rather have another piece than gold. That's how yummy it was. I subtituted the heavy whipping cream while making the ganache with unsweetened coconut milk not by choice but because we were snowed in and i could not get to the store. The ganache turned out really well, very nutty and flavorful.

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3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely ground blanched almonds (about 4 ounces)
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped Chocolate


6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream/unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted (i used Godiva Chocolates)


For cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F convention or 325 f convection.

Butterthree 9-inch round cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper round.

Melt 3/4 cup butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until light brown, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, and salt into medium bowl.

Whisk egg whites in large bowl until foamy, then add sugar; whisk at medium speed. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla and continure to whisk until soft peak.

Add flour mixture; whisk just to blend.

Add ground almonds; whisk just to blend.

Using whisk, put in some of the batter above and fold in browned butter, then chopped chocolate. Add this to all the batter and fold in to blend.

Divide batter between prepared pans, smoothing tops.

Bake cakes until firm to touch and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 - 20 minutes. (i used convection and cake was ready in 15 minutes)

Cool cakes on rack 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off paper. Cool completely.

For chocolate ganache:

Place chocolate in small metal bowl.

Bring cream to boil in small saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate; whisk until smooth.

Add butter, 1 piece at a time, gently whisking to blend between additions, adding as little air as possible.

Transfer 2/3 cup ganache to heatproof 1-cup measure with spout.

Place bowl with remaining ganache over bowl of ice water. Stir until semi-firm and thick enough to spread. Set aside for filling.

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Place rack on sheet.

Place 1 cake, flat side down, on rack.

Strain apricot jam into small skillet; bring to boil.

Spoon warm jam over cake, spreading evenly almost to edge.

Let cool 5 minutes.

Drop filling by teaspoonfuls all over cake, then spread in even layer.

Place second cake atop filling, bottom side up.

If glaze is too firm to pour, rewarm in microwave at low power in 15-second increments until pourable.

Pour over cake, allowing glaze to drip down sides and using offset spatula to spread glaze evenly over sides of cake.

Chill cake 2 hours.

Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead.

Cover with cake dome; keep chilled.

Arrange sliced almonds/chocolates atop cake.

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