Friday, 18 August 2017

Pineapple Prawn Curry (Udang Masak Lemak Nenas) 香辣黄梨虾

The Peranakans* have a rich culture in food and cooking. This dish is no stranger to the Peranakans. It has that distinct sweet-sourish spicy taste that is so synonymous with Peranakan dishes. I am not of a Peranakan descendant but I do appreciate their dishes well.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Chicken Korma/Ayam Kurma

Chicken Korma has its origins from India. It uses primarily yogurt and spices as base. In Malaysia, it is known as Ayam Kurma. The Malaysian version is paler in colour and uses mostly coconut milk and kurma powder (a premix of spices). It has a milder spiciness compared to its curry peers. It is rich in coconut milk taste with a slight tang from the tomatoes added in.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Simple Apple Salad with Crunchy Calamari Rings

This whole week has been really hectic for me with the preparation of an upcoming bazaar participation besides my usual work rush. I have been taking economy rice as lunch for most of this week. I have been wanting to eat something different, something healthy but I hardly have the time to cook. Then suddenly, I remembered I received a packet of Calamari Rings and some fish fillets (they have quite a few types) from PACIFIC WEST recently. Perfect! I then quickly chucked the calamari rings into my preheated oven. You can also have the option to deep-fry or air fry the Calamari Rings.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Almond Biscotti 杏仁 脆饼

Biscotti, which basically means twice baked, had put me off for the longest time. I don't want to put in twice the effort to make a same recipe. The process involves first baking it whole and then slicing it thinly to be toasted in the oven. Whatever is initially daunting, however, became advantageous. I can now precook the batter and leave it in the freezer. I can slice the amount that is needed and toast it crispy whenever I want. I, therefore, have a fresh supply of biscotti whenever there is guest coming over or when the occasion arises. It is perfect dunked in your favourite cuppa or as a leisure afternoon snack. This is one snack that I do not have to hold myself out because it has more nutritional values and practically oil-less. So you can munch all you want. You might also want to double the recipe. It gets pretty addictive once the nibbling starts.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Simple Pulut Panggang/Rempah Udang

This Malaysian delicacy is basically grilled stuffed glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaf. The glutinous rice is stuffed with shredded coconut and dried shrimp chilli paste whereas the rice is parboiled in coconut milk. The wrapped glutinous rice is then grilled in charcoal (traditionally) for that sweet and smoky flavour, and at the same time, adding a little crisp to the rice.

This recipe is named Simple Pulut Panggang. Truth be told, making this dish is never simple with various steps to observe. However, with the use of my prepared Sambal Udang Kering/Hae Bee Hiam, a rice cooker and a stapler, making this is a breeze. The rice is cooked in a rice cooker and no soaking is necessary. The ends are stapled together instead of using bamboo sticks. Lastly and most importantly, the filling is easily taken cared of with the use of the prepared sambal.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Tree Croquembouche/ Croquembouche de Noel 圣诞泡芙塔

The Informal Chef would like to wish everybody a blessed and fruitful Christmas!

Yes! I have finally done this. Croquembouche de noel. I have always been fascinated with this profiterole cone ever since I saw it on Kim Sam Soon (Korean drama). Traditionally, this is a French wedding cake but the shape of the cone makes it perfect for a Christmas tree, hence, Croquembouche de Noel. Nowadays, with my on-going home business, I hardly have time to update this blog. Today is different. It is Christmas and I am dying to do something different. With whatever free time that I had, I summoned my courage to try out this intriguing dessert.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Purple Sweet Potato Balls 炸紫薯球

I have been trying my best to update my blog these days. The opportunity comes when my mom actually had a disaster in the kitchen. Yes, she over-boiled her sweet potatoes making it too soft to be eaten or cooked. I was initially thinking of making sweet potato bread out of the pulp but she actually suggested something better. Potato balls...something that I haven't eaten for the longest time.

Normally, orange or white potato is used to make the balls. Purple sweet potatoes is considered better (and more expensive) as it is deemed to be more nutritious than its peers. Besides high in fiber, it has Vitamins A and C, Manganese and Anthocyanins (click here for more on purple sweet potato nutrients). I find the purple sweet potatoes to be the sweeter type and therefore I did not add as much sugar to it. If you are using the other types, do take this into consideration.

The making of sweet potato balls is relatively easy. Put some flour and knead it into a dough and then start pinching and rolling into smaller balls. Having said that, different places uses different flours for a variety of textures. In Thailand for example, plain flour and tapioca starch is used. In Malaysia, the Chinese like their balls a little chewy. Hence, the use of glutinous rice flour as part replacement. The more glutinous rice flour you put, the more chewy it would be. It is really up to your palate. I do not like my balls too chewy but remain fluffy and soft to the bite. Do play with your flour to get your desired texture. I added a little baking powder to make the ball puffed up as well. I like sweet potatoes balls best when it is still warm as the skin is crispy to the bite while the insides are soft and fluffy. A simple snack really, with basic ingredients and simple techniques but somehow it vows me everytime.

Fried Purple Sweet Potato Balls 炸紫薯球

Makes about 24 balls


300 g sweet potato, steamed and mashed
30 g glutinous rice flour (1/4 cup)
30 g cornstarch (1/4 cup)
2 tbsp sugar

Cooking Instruction

1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough.

2. Pinch and roll with your palms to make a ball (approximately 15 g each).

3. Fry balls in pre-heated oil in medium heat, stirring constantly.

4. When balls starts to turn brown, remove from fire and strain. Best to serve hot.

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