Friday, August 29, 2008

Muruku II

I bought a packet of 'Tepung Kacang Hitam' and have wondered if it is the right kind for making Muruku. The following recipe calls for 'Black Bean Flour' , so i used it and they turned out to be the best Muruku that i have tasted.


16 ozs Rice flour

4 ozs black bean flour

2 teaspoons caraway seeds(oom seeds would be better)

4 teaspoons cumin seeds,

1/2 teaspoons tumeric powder

2 level teaspoons salt

2 ozs grated coconut

1 can 400 ml coconut cream

55 ml water

Oil for frying


Mix all the ingredients together and knead to a semi-firm dough.

Allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Put dough in muruku presser to test for texture. It should flow easily showing clear pattern.

Heat oil for frying and press dough into heated oil. I like to pipe the dough out into a spiral circle into individual parchment paper, then lower the dough into the hot oil)

Fry over moderately high heat till golden brown

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Watercress And Pork Ribs Soup

The word watercress in Chinese means ‘foreign vegetable,’ as in not indigenous to their country. How then did watercress become such an important part of Chinese cuisine? Watercress soup, a staple in most Chinese households , seems to bring their body back into balance (both nutritionally and holistically), and just tastes good.

Read about The History for Watercress and Medicinal Uses for Watercress here


- 1 big bunch of watercress(Dried watercress can be used but soak in cold water to reconstitute)
- 1/2 lb lean pork + 1 lb of pork neck bones
- 1 piece dried squid (optional)
- 1 tsp scallops
- a handful of pitted red dates
- 6 cups hot water
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash watercress thoroughly and set aside.

2. Blanch lean pork and pork neck bones in hot water to remove scum. Transfer pork to a slow cooker or pressure cooker
3. Add dried squid, dried scallops and pitted red dates.
4. Add hot boiling water and set slow cooker to high heat. When the water comes to high boil, add in the watercress. Cook for 6-8 hours using low heat or 4-5 hours using high heat. If cooking with the pressure cooker, 1/2 - 3/4 hour will do, remember to add watercress only when water comes to a boil).

5. When soup is ready, using a pair of scissors, cut watercress branches into bite size.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Linzer Cookie

My daughter loves to buy me all sorts of cutters, cake pans and whatever is related to baking. She bought these Linzer Cookie Cutters when she was in Washington DC for a business trip and i had to play with my toy as soon as i get it and i love adapting the recipe which comes with the cutter and this is a keeper recipe.

1 cup butter
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 jar raspberry or apricot jam

Mix butter, orange extract and sugar
Stir in 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing well (I put all the ingredients except the jam of course in a food processor and pulse until combined)
Chill the dough at least 2 hours
Roll out 1/2 of dough on cookie sheet to 1/4 inch thick and chill 30 minutes more.
Cut with linzer cookie cutter without an insert.
Remove excess dough and bake immediately at 350 f for 12 minutes.
Roll out other half of dough on a second cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
Cut with the linzer cookie cutter with your choice of the 6 inserts in place.
Remove excess dough and bake immediately at 350 f for 12 minutes.
Cool completely.
Dust tops with powdered sugar.
Spread about 2 teaspoons jam on each cookie bottom.
Place tops over bottoms to create the sandwich effect.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sweet Watercress Soup

Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C.

A nutritional analysis done by Lyndel Costain, a leading dietitian, nutritionist and health writer, reveals that watercress is brimming with beta-carotene and vitamin A equivalents which serve as important antioxidants.
We were told to make this soup for my Dad who was suffering from TB and it seemed that after consuming this soup at a regular basis, the lungs will be strengthened and cured of TB. This advise came too late for poor Dad and he passed away. God bless his soul.
This Soup is really good for cough but don't wait to make this soup when you are not well, cook this soup as often as possible.
Dried watercress can also be used if fresh ones are not available.

Honey Dates

Bring water to the boil before adding in the watercress(if watercress is added in to cold water, the soup will taste slightly bitter).
Add in the honey dates and bring to high boil,
When high boil is achieved, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hrs.
Alternatively, use the pressure cooker and the cooking time is only 1/2 hr.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Asian Pear Sweet Soup

I had a cough which did not go away and my friend, Tamy, who runs a chinese medicine shop recommended me to make this soup. It was supposed to nourish lungs, eliminate phlegm and relive coughs (dry cough or wind-heat cough or chronic cough), clear away heat, disperse stagnation, relieve swelling carbuncles and lung and breast tumors.


Fritillariae Cirrhosae (chuan bei mu) 川貝母
Asian Pear
Rock Sugar

Wash the asian pear and remove the core.
Fill the cored pear with chuan bei mu.
Put it in a small slow cooker, fill enough water to cover the pear.
Add in a few pieces of rock sugar
Turn on slow cooker and leave to cook overnight (at least 8 hrs)
Drink soup while it is warm.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

My friend commented - this is not cinnamon rolls, where is the icing? Ok, I will make the icing for his sake. As soon as they were frosted, the rolls were gone before i had a chance to take some pictures. Sorry!!!!!! These rolls are so good with or without the icing, we can now forget about Cinnabon

1/2 cup milk
8 tbsp/1 stick/4 ozs/113 gm unsalted butter plus 1 tbsp for greasing baking dish
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 - 41/2 cups( 20 to 21 1/4 oz) unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for work surface
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
8 ozs cream cheese
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Melt milk and butter in the microwave for 1 minute and put this in the bread machine bucket.
Add in water and the rest of the ingredients, the yeast should be on the top.
Select the dough function and then start.
When the dough is ready, remove from the bread machine bucket.
Punch down the dough and form into a ball, rest the dough for another 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preparing the filling.
Roll dough out into a rectangle 16 inches by 12 inches and spread the filling evenly over the dough , except for the top 1/2 inch of the dough.
Roll the dough, beginning with the long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips.
Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll.
Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on the ends if necessary to make a uniform 16 inch tube.
Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
Cut the roll into 12 pieces using dental floss and evenly distribute the rolls, cut-side up, in the greased baking dish.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free warm spot until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
When the rolls are almost fully risen, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 f.
Bake until golden brown and thermometer inserted into the center of the rolls registers 185 - 188 f, 25 - 30 minutes.
Invert the rolls onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Turn the rolls upright on a large serving plate and use rubber spatula to spread with icing.
Serve immediately.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sam Gye Tang

"Benefits of Ginseng"

Ginseng is believed to improve blood flow, improve memory and improve thinking. The Chinese believe that if you drink ginseng tea on a regular basis, it can make you more alert , improve blood circulation and increase energy.

Besides the above, it will reduce stress so will help in relaxation and to improve sleep. The benefits are endless, so, what more can we ask for, a simple soup to cure all - how we wish!!!!!!!

Fresh ginseng is available in the Korean Stores


1 cornish hen or small chicken is fine
3-4 roots of ginseng(small) or 1 large root
4-5 chestnuts
6-7 red dates
1/3 cup sweet rice, washed and drained
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 inch piece ginger, peeled
salt and pepper


Clean the chicken inside and out , Trim any visible fat as much as possible.

Wash rice, ginseng, chestnut and red dates.

Stuff inside the chicken with rice and seal.

In pressure cooker, add in chiicken, ginsengs, red dates, chestnuts, garlics and ginger.

Pour water to cover the chicken and close the lid of pressure cooker.

Turn on heat and bring on to high pressure.

As soon as high pressure is achieved, turn down the heat. Cook for 1/2 hour or longer.

Release pressure before opening lid.

Skim out the fat on top using the gravy separator.

Serve with salt and pepper.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baked Chicken Wings

This is the best finger food served for any occasion or gathering. Remember to have a huge pile of napkins on standby. This is better than the Colonel, much more healthier.

6 lbs chicken wings
3/4 cup brown sugar,
3/4 cup soya sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing wine
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp white pepper


Remove the tips of chicken wings. Rinse and pat dry.
Place the wings in a large bowl or plastic bag that can be sealed.
Mix all the other ingredients. Pour over wings and refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until well done
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chicken Essence

I have to try ways and means to get Renee to eat well, she is so picky with food. I made this soup for her and luckily she likes it. It is not difficult to make and it did not take a long time to cook - the pressure cooker is the way to go

Pound chicken breast with a mallet - use cling wrap on the bottom and top of chicken breast and sprinkle with a little water before pounding

Overturn a small bowl onto to a larger bowl which will fit into the pressure cooker

Place the pounded chicken breast onto the small bowl and cover the larger bowl with aluminium foil. Put the steamer rack and 1 inch of water in the pressure cooker. Put the bowl onto the steamer rack and cover the lid of pressure cooker.

Turn on the heat to high and when the pressure is high enough, the hissing will be loud, turn heat down and cook for 1/2 hour

Remove lid of pressure cooker only when all the pressure has been released. Take away the aluminium foil and remove the small bowl. The cooked chicken will be stuck to it.

The chicken essence will be at the bottom of larger bowl and is ready. Add a tiny pinch of salt to taste.

Any lean meat can be used.
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Monday, August 18, 2008


I was only introduced to Kimchi when i came here to the States. I did not know how it should taste and keep making them tasting like the malaysian sambal. Many attempts and still did not meet my son in law's satisfaction, in fact, i have given up hope of making kimchi to his liking. Knowing me, i will not accept defeat. I know he likes the ones that come in the glass bottles from the store, so i looked at the ingredients and made kimchi following them. I think i know the secret ingredient - the chicken seasoning powder/msg.

The following is my way of making the Kimchi he likes

Dissolve 1/4 cup coarse sea salt/kosher salt with 1 cup of hot water, then top it up with cold water, enough to cover the nappa cabbage

Ingredients for making the kimchi sauce -
3 tbsp of hot pepper powder, bloom with 3 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp salted shrimp
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 cloves garlic - pass through the garlic press
1 tiny piece ginger - grate with microplane
3 stalks of green onions - chop fine
1 tbsp of Glutinious rice flour , mix with 1/2 cup cold water, then cook in the microwave until cooked.
1 tbsp of chicken seasoning powder
Mix all the ingredients above to make the sauce

Cut one large nappa cabbage about 3 - 31/2 lbs into quarters
Place the quartered cabbage to steep in the salt water for at least 6 - 8 hours, i like it longer

Weigh down the cabbage with something heavy

When the cabbage is properly salted, it will be limp, then let it drain, remove the core and cut into 2 inch pieces

Mix the cut cabbages with the sauce and press it down into a clean glass jar and cover the lid tight. Leave on the counter for 2 days and kimchi will be ready to eat. To know if kimchi is ready, the color of the red pepper powder will be brighter and bubbles are visible due to fermentation.

Keep jar in refrigerator.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Luo Han Guo/Buddha Fruit Sweet Soup

The Luo Han Guo was removed from the drink before serving

The Buddha Fruit or Luo Han Guo is a fruit from China that helps to reduce coughing and supposedly aids longevity.This fruit is usually dark brown and very light. Its size range from as small as a golf ball to as big as a tennis ball, . You can read more about this amazing fruit by going to

1 medium size luo han guo
Dried longan
Dried Pitted Red Dates
Dried Lotus Seeds Halves
Rock sugar according to taste

Wash luo han guo and light crack it open.
Put it into a pot of water (about 1.5 liters) together with all other ingredients except the rock sugar and bring to boil.
Once it has come to a boil, add some rock sugar and let it simmer for an hour or so.
The soup can be served warm.
If you want it cold or chilled, do not add ice cubes! Just cool it in the fridge and you'll have a refreshing dessert.
Alternatively, this soup can be boiled without rock sugar.
Add in honey before serving. Honey is more nutritious anyway and is great for the complexion. .
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Thursday, August 14, 2008


Lamingtons are most likely named after Charles Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. However, the precise reasoning behind this is not known, and stories vary. According to one account, the dessert resembled the homburg hats favoured by Lord Lamington. Another tells of a banquet in Cloncurry during which the governor accidentally dropped a block of sponge cake into a dish of gravy, and then threw it over his shoulder, causing it to land in a bowl of desiccated coconut or peanut butter. A diner thought of replacing the gravy with chocolate and thusly created the lamington known today.
A 1981 report in the Brisbane Courier Mail states the following: A colleague ... swears this is really how the lamington came about. At one stage when Baron Lamington was Queensland Governor, there was a large amount of stale cake in the Government House kitchen. In an attempt to make it palatable, the cake was dipped in chocolate and then tossed in desiccated coconut. The parliamentarians liked this 'gateau' and ordered their cooks to obtain the recipe from the Government House cook.

Ironically, Lord Lamington was known to have hated the dessert that had been named in his honour, once referring to them as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".
Most of these reports amount to hearsay, and some border on the absurd. The most probable version of events surrounds the visit of Lord Lamington and his entourage to Toowoomba's Harlaxton House. An industrious cook, lacking some ingredients, came up with the "lamington". Tea and lamingtons are part of the festivities that follow Australian Citizenship ceremonies.

The article above is from Wikipedia


4 eggs
¾ cup of castor sugar
2/3 cup of plain flour
1/3 cup of cornflour
1 teaspoon of baking powder

Chocolate Icing

500 grams / 1 lb of icing sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa
15 grams / ½ oz of butter
½ cup of milk
Dessicated Cooconut

Jelly Mix

Raspberry or strawberry jelly mix just starting to set.
Dessicated coconut


Preheat oven to 170°C, 340°F or gas mark 3½.

Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater until thick and creamy (around 5 to 8 minutes).

When you run a spoon through the mixture, the mark shouldn't disappear.

Gradually beat in the sugar until fully dissolved.

Sift the dry ingredients repeatedly into a separate bowl to ensure that they are thoroughly mixed.

Lightly and quickly fold the dry ingredients in with the eggs and sugar using a metal spoon ensuring that the airy sponge mixture is not broken down, but also that the flour is properly mixed in.

Pour into a well-greased and lined square cake tin.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The cake is cooked when it shrinks slightly away from the side of the tin.

Turn out of tin onto a cake rack immediately.

Chocolate Lamingtons

Melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from the heat.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into the saucepan, add the milk and mix through.

Cut the sponge cake into 1 inch/4 cm squares.

Spear each square with a 2-pronged meat fork and dip into the icing mix.

Roll in coconut.

Raspberry or Strawberry Lamingtons

Mix the jelly as per the instructions on the packet.

Cut the sponge cake into 1 inch/4 cm squares.

Spear each square with a 2-pronged meat fork and dip into the jelly mix.

Roll in coconut.

(Makes around 16)
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wife's Biscuit/Loh Por Paeng

When i commented on Florence's post of this biscuit, she asked if i was going to make them. I told her that i will certainly try to and i did it. Thank you Florence for sharing this recipe. These biscuits are so delectable and addictive.


Water dough
100g cake flour
25g icing sugar
25g butter (cubed) or shortening or margarine or lard
40g water

Oil Dough
100g cake flour
45g - 50g shortening or lard
50g Candied winter melon (chopped to bite size)
55g - 60g fine granulated sugar
70g commercialized cooked glutinous rice flour (Koh Fun)
18g shortening
15g roasted white sesame seeds
12g dessicated coconut
120g boiled drinking water (at room temp)
Egg wash

1 yolk + 1 tsp water + pinch of salt


Put all ingredients into a big bowl, mix till well combined.
Divide filling into 12 equal portions.
Water dough:
Rub butter into sieved flour and icing sugar till bread crumb state.
Add in water till a pliable dough is formed.
Cling wrap dough and rest for 30 - 45 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal portions.

Oil dough:
Rub shortening into flour till well mixed.
Cling wrap and leave it aside to rest for 30 - 45 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal portions.
Flatten a piece of water dough and wrap in the oil dough.

Press and roll out dough into a longish flat piece with a rolling pin.
Roll it up Swiss roll-style.
Turn the dough 90 degrees and then roll it into a longish flat piece.
Roll it up Swiss roll-style again.
Pinch the 2 side edges and shape it into a flat circular shape.
Put a piece of filling in the centre of the dough and wrapped it.
Flatten it and make 2 snips into the dough using a pair of scissors.
Apply egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


When my guests are Asians, i know what to serve for breakfast but what do you serve American Guests for breakfast besides leaving the boxes of cereals and milk on the table? Flapjacks are the easiest to dish up. I made some smaller and fill with red bean paste and they were the best Dorayaki ever.


2 c. unsifted all purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
6 tbsp. butter, melted
4 lg. eggs, separated at room temperature
Vegetable oil for frying
Butter, optional


Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Beat together milk, butter, and egg yolks.
Stir into flour mixture just until moistened.
In small bowl with electric mixer beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Fold into flapjack batter.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (i use Cusinart Griddle) over medium heat and rub lightly with oil.
Spoon batter about 1/2 cup at a time into skillet to make 5 1/2 inch rounds. For Doriyaki, spoon 1/4 cup or less to make 2 - 2 1/2 inch rounds.
Fry until surface appears dry and bubbles form around edge. Turn and fry on other side until done 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Serve with butter and maple syrup and for Doriyaki, sandwich with red bean paste

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Yau Kai Lan

Foodbuzz has a research program on and i have opted-in and promised to try and post 5 recipes in a week for a month. Boy, do i know what i am getting myself into? Well, a promise is a promise and i will try. This is the first recipe of the week and do come back and look for the next.


1 lb kai lan aka chinese broccoli
2 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp garlic oil


Clean kai lan by removing the hardy outer stem using a vegetable peeler.

Wash and drain

Make garlic oil, by chopping up several cloves of garlic, put them in a bowl and top with cooking oil. Microwave a minute at a time until garlic is slightly golden. The garlic will continue to cook in the hot oil, so do not wait until the garlic turns brown)

Put water to boil, add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp cooking oil.

When the water is in high boil, add in the kai lan.

Cook until the kai lan turns green and tender.

Remove and drain well.

Add in the oyster sauce and garlic oil.

Bon Appetit

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