Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pak Thong Koh

This is one of the classic of chinese snacks.  It is not my favorite snack to eat but somehow the quest to make a soft and tasty one has been going on for quite awhile.  Have tried a few recipes, easy ones and tedious one but all the results went to the Culinary God.  This recipe was from Claire, a dear friend and is by far the best of all that is why i am sharing it.  Thank you Claire for typing out the recipe and sharing.


1 cup long grain rice (i wonder if jasmine fragrant rice will do)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. water
2 tsp. instant yeast


Wash the rice-8-10 times in cold water and leave in a clean tupperware container with 2 inches of water over the surface for 2 days. Change the water daily.

Mix yeast with 1/2 c.tepid water(85 f to 100 f)  and add 1/4 C. sugar. Cover and place in a warm place when you do the next step.

Liquify the soaked drained rice with 1 c. water at high speed till rice is liquified and mixture is smooth (it's going to take 10-12 minutes depending on the power of your blender.....we know it's ready when the powedery film of rice is easily scaped down with a spatula in the blender). Next add 1 1/4 c. sugar and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Add yeast mixture and blend on low for 30 seconds. STRAIN mixture and put in a warm mixing bowl, cover well with cling/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until mixture is bubbly and almost double in bulk (1.5 to 2 hours)


Bring water to high boil. 

Put the greased 8 inch cake pan and warm it for a few minutes.

Lightly stir batter and pour half the batter into  the greased pan.

Steam for 12-15 minutes.

Cool completely.

Lightly rub a little oil to give it a glossy appearance.

Repeat steaming for the other half of the batter.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kong So Paeng/Guang Su Beng

This paeng must be very popular cos there were 2 requests for the recipe.  I can recall the name but somehow cannot remember how it should be.  When i was in San Fransisco, i asked for it in the bakeries, the ppl at the bakery replied that they have not heard of anyone asking for Kong So Paeng for the longest ever and looked at me  as though i was Rip Van Winkle, who slept for 100 years.  Now that i have made it, i know why this paeng did not stay in my memory,  it has no significant smell or taste..  I would like to thank Seadragon of Corner's Cafe who found this recipe for me.


Dough Starter:

135g cake/superfine flour, sifted
45g pau flour, sifted
1 tsp instant yeast
A pinch of salt
100g water

The Main Ingredients:

300 gm self rising flour
100gm yeast dough starter
150gm white sugar
1 large egg
30 gm lard
3 tbsp evaporated milk

Preparation for dough starter::

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix and knead (by hand or by mixer) until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and covered with cling film. Prove for 11/2-2 hour until dough is double in volume.

Reserve the required portion for this recipe and store the rest in an air tight container and freeze. Thaw to room temperature the next time you want to use the dough starter.

To make Kong So Paeng:

Mix the starter dough with sugar, lard, eggand evaporated milk, until well combined..  Add in the flour and mix until a dough forms.

Lightly knead dough and let dough rest for 30 minutes and longer if the room temperature is colder.

Preheat oven to 325f.

Divide dough into balls (size of your choice).  Flatten balls and put into lined baking tray which has been sprinkled with flour..

Let dough rest for another 15 minutes, sprinkle with flour and put into preheated oven to bake.

Bake for 10 - 12 minites, do not let paeng brown, the aim is to get white milky paeng.

Cool paeng and store in air-tight container.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

KUIH BOM KELEDEK/Sweet Potato Bombs

Kuih Bom Keledek translated from Malay to English is Sweet Potato Bombs.  These would one of the items prohibited to be hand-carried on to a plane,cos of it's namesake.  They are so called for it's round shape and no relation to any explosives but they do explode a mouthful of flavors when bitten into.  Any variety of sweet potatoes/yams can be used and i like the orange colored yams as they give a golden look to the balls.



1 cup grated coconut
1/4 cup or more dark brown sugar(adjust sweetness to your liking) - cook it with 1/4 cup water until sugar dissolves.
2 tbsp glutinous rice (for thickening) -dilute with 1 tbsp water
Pandan leaves(optional)

For the dough

2 1/2 - 3 cups of sweet potatoes/yams - mashed(Bake or microwave to cook them, do not boil unless using yellow or purple sweet potatoes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1 cup water plus a pinch of salt
sesame seeds
Vegetable oil for frying


To cook the filling:

Mix grated coconut, sugar solution and pandan leaves(if using) and cook over the stovetop or in the microwave until well combined and thickened slightly.

Remove the pandan leaves and add in the glutinous rice solution and mix well.  Cook further until the glutinous rice is totally cooked and thickened.  Taste and adjust sweetness.

Cool before using.

To make the dough:

Mix the all-purpose flour and the glutinous rice flour together with the mashed sweet potatoes.

Add in water a little at a time until a dough forms.  Knead until it is smooth.

Divide dough into 1 inch balls.

Flatten a ball and fill with 1 tsp of coconut filling, bring the edges together and seal well.

Repeat until all the balls are done.

Heat vegetable oil to 350f.

While oil is heating, drop one filled ball at a time in a bowl of water, then roll it with sesame seeds.  Continue this procedure until all filled balls are done.

Deep-fry the balls until golden brown.  Do not crowd otherwise the balls will be soggy.

Serve balls slightly warm or at room temperature.
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Stuffed Sweet Peppers ala Peng

The name given to the Capsicum fruits varies between English-speaking countries.  Read about it under Synonyms and common names at Wiki.  To know the names may be of great help especially now that there are so many recipes online and it could be from anywhere on this earth.  When i was asked if i knew how to cook Chili, i answered that, yes, i do use chilly to cook and due to my ignorance, my answer must have been  perplexing,  just as the question was intriguing to me.

How did i get to use these 'sweet peppers' which are so good for stuffing?  They are not spicy but sweet and the colors are so vibrant that they are too pretty to eat.  Peng, a very dear friend who i am destined to meet and can be considered as my  GIANT cooking partner(according to Renee, my grand daughter, who wrote an essay in class about 3 reasons to keep a giant in the house, and, one of them is that the giant can be my cooking partner).  Yes, Peng, is my giant, not only is she an excellent cook, she is an excellent teacher and an authority in chinese and malaysian cooking.  Any of you readers who are residing in Colorado Springs can attend her cooking classes which i can attest to that you will be able to cook up a storm after learning from her. I too learned alot from Peng,she is my GIANT consultant with a  GIANT heart.  She bought me several bags of 'sweet peppers' from Cosco and now i am hooked on these colorful peppers.  Thank you, Peng for your generousity and all the valuable gifts you gave me which are most appreciated.  Thank you again


1 pound medium-sized shrimp

¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch/tapioca starch
1 egg white
a dash of sesame oil

Sweet Peppers of all colors


1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp cornstarch/tapioca starch mix with 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup stock
1/4 tsp white pepper
A dash of sesame oil
Spring onions for garnishing


Shell, devein, and rinse shrimp. Drain thoroughly and wipe very dry with kitchen towel.
Add shrimp to a food processor, using the metal blade, process for a few seconds, until shrimp is pasty, add in seasonings and process until paste is well mixed. . Set aside while you prepare the sweet pepper for stuffing.

Use a paring knife and make a slit on all the sweet peppers, then stuff the peppers with the shrimp paste.

Heat a little oil and pan fry the stuffed peppers with the shrimp paste down touching the oil and fry until brown.  Do not crowd the pan, fry in batches.

To make the sauce:

Put the stock, oyster sauce and soya sauce in the wok and bring to the boil.  Thicken with the cornstarch/tapioca starch solution.  Add in pepper.

Put the cooked stuffed peppers into the sauce and cover the wok to finished cooking the shrimp paste.

Remove cover and sprinkle with sesame oil.

Garnish with spring onions before serving.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Birthday Claypot Yee Mein

Yan Yat is the seventh day of the lunar new year, a day designated  as 'Everyone's birthday', 'Day of Man' or 'Day of Humanity' and this is an occasion for celebration.  Everybody L-O-V-E-S Birthday, especially when Everyone Around You Celebrates on the Same Day

According to the  believers of The Goddess Nüwa, She created human beings on the seventh day, by molding them from clay, so today is our birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

A drink from seven types of vegetables is made for health and to celebrate this occasion.  Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.  Since i had 'yee sang' on New Year's Eve, i will have noodles today.


4 pieces dried egg noodles(Yee mein if available) - for 4 persons
1/2 lb choy sum - washed and cut into i inch lengths
1.2 lb of pork/chicken slices
4 cups or more stock
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp tapioca starch mix with 2 tbsp water for thickening
4 eggs
Oil for deep frying the noodles if yee mein is not available

Marinate for the meat:

2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp tapioca starch
1 tsp sesame oil
a dash of pepper


4 tbsp oyster sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp shao-xing wine
1 tbsp sesame oil


Heat wok with enough oil for deep frying.and when oil is 375f, drop one piece of dried noodle in and deep fry noodle until golden brown.  Remove and plunge fried noodle into a large pot of cold water.

Repeat with the other 3 pieces of dried noodles.  (If you have yee mein which are already fried, parboil and then put in cold water)

Marinate meat slices with the marinate and set aside.

Heat wok with 4 tbsp oil and brown marinated meat slices.  Add in chopped garlic and saute until fragrant.

Add in stock and seasonings, bring to a boil.

Add in deep fried noodles/yee mein and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover wok and simmer noodles until noodles are soft. (Add more stock if you want more sauce).

Add in choy sum and increase heat.  Cook until choy sum is cooked just right.

Thicken sauce with tapioca starch solution.  Make sure the sauce is back to the boil and cook for 1 minute before adjusting the taste with salt and pepper.

Divide noodles into 4 portions and put each portion into a small claypot.  Bring back noodles in claypot to a quick boil and crack in an egg  together with a dash of shao-xing wine and sesame oil before serving.

Serve noodles immediately so that the egg can be cooked through from the heat of the noodles.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Taro Crunch

When i was shredding taro for Yee Sang, i remembered this snack.  I shredded more taro and made this forgotten snack which was so crunchy.  The taro is sometimes called the "potato" of the humid tropics and indeed it is - a good taro will be fluffy in texture just like the potato.  Taro is quite costly and choosing a good one which will be fluffy is crucial to your pocket and the dish you will be preparing. For a good fluffy taro, choose one that is shaped like a vase - narrow on the top and bottom, wide in the middle and it has to be as smooth as possible - no bumps or knotches.  Bumps mean that the taro has been constricted from growing well and that it has been grown in muddy soil.  Taro grown in sandy soil, grows well and will be fluffy. I have given up buying taro with skin on and have been buying peeled ones, although peeled ones are very much more expensive, at least i can see that the taro will be fluffy and not rotten. 

Taro is so versatile and there are endless recipes which are classics, below are some of the tested recipes -

Woo Tau Koh
Taro fatt koh
Woo Tau Kow Yoke

Woo kok
Taro Shredds

Taro and black-eyed pea cake
Taro fragrant rice
Sueen poon cheeBubur Cha Cha

Fried Nin Ko

There are many more recipes that i would like to try - like Or Nee, Taro Cake, Taro Filling for mooncake and many more.


1 lb shredded taro
1 cup roasted peanuts - chopped
½ cup sesame seeds
3 - 5 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tsp salt.
Water to bind


Mix all the ingredients, followed by a little water to bind ingredients.

Heat oil for deep frying and when oil is 350f, using the chopstick, pick up a little taro shreds and deep fry till golden brown and crispy.

Drain well and let cool before storing.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pleating Pau

I have been watching this Pau Pleating Video for umpteen times and still not able to pleat as pretty.  The saying is true - Hard to teach old dogs new tricks.  These pictures showed that i tried and perhaps i will have to make more than 360 paus to really pleat well.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Yee Sang Finally - Tossing

Would like to share how our friends enjoyed tossing the Yee Sang. It was such fun and i am so happy that we can enjoy and experience the Chinese New Year in this auspicious way. Thank you dear friends for coming to my home and ushering in the New Year.

Serves Read More......

Seaweed and Rice - Renee and Alexander's Lunch

After all the feasting during the Chinese New Year Celebration, Renee and Alexander were very happy just to have plain rice with seaweed.


Plain Rice - warm
Cute Moulds


Pack warm rice into moulds and then decorate with seaweed.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine Nin Ko

Wishing all A Happy Valentine with this Nin Ko and may this sticky rice cake provide the bond and keep all your love ones together.

Serves Read More......

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yee Sang Prep - Finally

These are all the prep needed to complete the Yee Sang.  With this dish, i would like to wish all 'Gong Xi Fa Cai", "Koong Hei Fatt Choy"  Happy Chinese New Year and remember to toss - "loh" high which in cantonese "loh hei" for the possiblity of a more progressive year to whatever you do.


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