Tuesday 30 December 2014

Malay Traditional Kuih - Kuih Lompang

I consider myself blessed to be staying in Malaysia. It has a mix of ethnicity and a diverse culture. Kuih is no stranger to any Malaysian and we have a vast array of it coming mainly from the Malays, the Nyonyas, the Chinese and some from the Indians. The word kuih represents primarily sweet cakes but at times, also include savouries such as pulut panggang, kuih cara lauk and cucur badak. Although diverse, it is made primarily of flour, rice flour, pandan leaf, coconut, sugar and palm sugar. The stark difference with western cakes is that there is normally no use of leavening agent and the texture is more often chewy than fluffy.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Chinese Dumpling Soup (Sui Kow) 水餃

This dish really needs no introduction. I bet every Chinese (and many non Chinese) around the world knows what this is. In fact, it is so popular that it has become part of the Chinese culture. Go to any Chinese restaurants overseas and most likely you would find something like this in the menu.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Asian-Inspired Canape

Hey, it is the festive season. Why not serve up something different to your party guests? In this second instalment, I am introducing something different. Who would have imagined canape could be Asian? Well, make it the talk of your guests with these Asian inspired recipes! The fact is I got inspiration from the nearby kuih (malay dessert) stall! Isn't it charming?

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Easy Party Canapes

I love everything small and dainty. It is no wonder that I adore canapes. Remember what they said about good things coming in small packages? This is exactly that. These bite-sized goodies are absolutely pleasing to the eyes and simply delicious.

My basic requirements for easy party canape are simple. Use ingredients that are easily available with minimal cooking. It also has to be time-saving with minimal wastage (very important to me). I am not a fan of skewering multiple components. Imagine you are organising a party and have million and one things to take care of. You do not want to spend hours poking at your food. I am also not a fan of cutting odd shapes that leaves two third of the ingredients to the trash.

Saturday 20 December 2014

Winter Solstice Festival 冬至

As a Christian, Christmas is huge. Christmas is where we celebrate the birth of our beloved Jesus Christ, our Lord God and our Saviour. Even in a muslim country like Malaysia, Christmas is celebrated with much splendour and merryment amongst the non-muslims on every 25th of the year. Unbeknownst to many, there is another day of celebration, a few days prior, that is also of much importance to the Chinese....

Friday 19 December 2014

Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookie

Christmas without chocolate crinkle cookies is not complete. There is something about this wrinkly cookie that reminds you of Christmas. Maybe it is the whitish coat that looks similar to snow. The colour is surprisingly festive in its signature black and white.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Not-the-best-ever but Delectable Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who owns the best ever chocolate chips cookies recipe?

It seems that almost every chocolate chip cookies recipe that I searched has this "best-ever" tag on in. I am flabbergasted. Which one is actually THE best ever then? Most of the time I'm not convinced. I guess it does jazz up their blog a little. Before I get myself into hot soup, I have to reiterate that those recipes are not bad at all, just not best ever.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Asian Style Roast Chicken for Christmas?

I have never roasted a whole chicken before. Since, it is almost Christmas, I thought it would be good to practice roasting a chicken. I know, I know, traditionally a turkey is used. But turkey is just too huge for our small family of non-turkey eating members. Besides, Turkey Inn  does not come cheap in this part of the world. So, practicality outbeats tradition. Chicken is god given. It is so much easier to prepare, especially in its small size.

Now, let's just talk about my roast chicken. It is not your usual western roast chicken with simple ingredients like salt, pepper and thyme. Somehow, living in this part of the world, everything gets more complicated, even the marinade. If you look at the marinade, its primarily ingredients are easily obtainable here. Yes, quite a few things are added I'd admit, but the result is awesome! You can actually smell the roasting chicken half a mile away (metaphorically saying of course!). But it does smell strongly good, that I guarantee. Aesthetically, I feel it is still lacking but I'll let you be the judge.

Friday 12 December 2014

How to treat a burn or scald without medication

Have you ever burned yourself while cooking? It is quite common for one to have superficial burns when cooking. If you always carry Burnol with you, then it's fine. What happened if you don't have any medications and it hurts like no tomorrow? Some of you might already know of an effective way to treat a burn but for those who do not, please read on......

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Stir-Fry Caramelised Roasted Pork Belly (Siew Yuk) 焦糖炒燒肉

So what do you do with leftover siew yuk or roasted pork belly that is left in the fridge? The skin is not crispy anymore. It is dry and tough. Here is one dish that might pique your interest. Give your leftover siew yuk a makeover and elevate it to a gorgeous tasting dish. It is amazing what a little bit of effort can totally transform the taste of this dish.

Sunday 7 December 2014

Crunchy and Light Butter Cookies

Christmas is around the corner. I was thinking of baking some cookies as gifts for my son's playmates in church. So I randomly googled for an original Danish butter cookies recipe. I stumbled upon this site with lengthy explanation on how to make this simple five-ingredient cookie, together with the dos and don'ts meticulously listed. And I told myself, this is it. How else would a normal person knows so much about just butter cookies?

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Creative Christmas

Can't believe it is already December! I know this is cliche but I have to say this again...How time flies! I am already starting to feel festive. A tad early, but I reckon good feelings are more than welcome anytime of the year.

Before I know Christ, Christmas was just another holiday where you go out to party and binge. But everything is different now. Christmas means celebrating the birth of Christ, be it in church or other places. Somehow, Christmas carols makes perfect sense now. And I am looking forward to it every year.

In the spirit of Christmas, there are going to be a lot of giving involved this year. I have already bought a huge bag of presents to be given away. In addition to that, this Christmas I have gone creative. I am also going to bake and cook for this Christmas. So, don't be peeved if this month's recipes are all Christmassy. I am sure you will like to know one or two of these just in case you might want to DIY your own dinner or party. I would love to hear some reviews from you. After all, Christmas is about sharing, opinions included!

I know it is a wee bit early but I am wishing everyone happy preparation for Christmas. Meanwhile, I will be getting back to my figgy pudding...♩ ♫ ♪...

Friday 14 November 2014

Balsamic Dressing

I have been using this recipe for a very long time. It tastes really good when put together with some fresh crunchy salad. It is healthy and less fattening compared to other dressings. This dressing is my saving grace on days when I feel that I needed to cut down on my calories and carbo. You can actually make more and keep in the fridge for later use like what I always do.

Easy Healthy Breakfast - Pumpkin Wholemeal Pancakes

If you have not already gotten bored with pancakes, please bear with me. This would be my last recipe on the pancake series. I have to give you this. It is different. It is easy. It is nutritious. I know not many of you adore wholemeal flour, what more with yogurt and pumpkin. But let me assure you that when these ingredients combined, the result is somewhat smashing.

Saturday 8 November 2014

Banana Pancakes

While we are still with pancakes, here's another variation to the versatile pancake. If you do not like your pancakes plain, you can always add your choiced ingredient into the pancake to elevate the flavour. If I may, banana pancake is just too popular to ignore. If there is a people's choice award, this would be the one.  Although I am not a huge fan of banana, I like to include banana into the pancakes to add nutrition for my son.  And mind you, it is yummy too!

Thursday 30 October 2014

Fluffy Pancakes

I admit I was a hungry child. I used to mix up some flour, sugar and egg to make what I call a pancake (now I know it is more a crepe than a pancake). My brother and I would gobble up those carbo-laden cooked flour in no time.

Fast forward to now, my version of pancake has improved much. Sophistication calls for baking powder, buttermilk and a different array of toppings. What used to be a simple flour mixture now has to be soft, fluffy and light. And, it has to be topped with the most appealing topping both to the eyes and taste buds. Simply lavish!

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Stir-Fry Potato Chicken 马铃薯炒鸡

I am a bit lost of words here. This recipe if directly translated means braised chicken with potato. It is anything but braise (whereby the meat is seared and put to simmer in low fire for a long time until the meat becomes tender). Chicken itself is already tender and do not require braising. Some also use stew which  I don't think is so appropriate either. So I am just sticking to the term stir-fry.

Monday 27 October 2014

How to remove a sticky label from jars

I am a person who do not like to waste. Naturally, reusing bottles and jars is a norm. What I hate most is the sticky labels on these jars. It is a nuisance especially when it became half torn. I was sceptical at first with this method I found from the internet but it works beautifully! This is by far the easiest and most economical method I have ever used.

1. Wipe label with a little cooking oil (any cooking oil will do).
2. Leave overnight.
3. Peel label off and wash. Label should be able to come off easily.


Sunday 26 October 2014

Lemon Bars

I like lemons. Nothing can compare to the smell of the aromatic lemon scent that surrounds the kitchen when baking these bars.

What I like about this recipe is that it is in small portion. Sometimes, I have a craving for something sweet sourish but I do not want to overeat as I have a small family. This recipe is perfect. For those who can consume a lot, just double or triple the ingredients accordingly.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Curry Potato Samosa 马铃薯咖喱角

I have to admit I am not a fan of rolling pastries. It is greasy, with flour dust flying everywhere. Hence, I replaced this curry puff recipe with popiah skin instead. I can assure you that the filling is the same and it is absolutely delicious! The best thing about this recipe is that it can be pre-made and frozen until it is needed. Really good if you always have guests and want to put up something in a short time. Or, if you have periodic cravings for fried snacks like those in my family.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Bird's Nest Soup With Gingko Nuts 冰糖燕窝

This is a traditional delicacy of the Chinese that goes back to hundreds of years. This bird's nest is actually the nest of swiflets, a type of bird. These swiftlets uses their phlegm-like saliva, that hardens once exposed to air, to build nests. Traditionally found in caves, these nests are expensive due to the difficulty in harvesting. It is considered a luxury to many (me included). The better ones (血燕) can cost more than RM1000 per box. Nowadays bird nests are domesticated for harvesting with some even done in buildings in the outskirts.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Beans Revisited - Tuna Crabstick Roll

This is also from my previous shop's menu.

Sounds Japanese? It is not. Today I am revisiting something that was in the menu of my shop. It is a no brainer but tastes just as good, a perfect snack for both busy adults and kids. You can prepare this to be kept frozen and then fried when needed. Just recently, I froze a batch of these and then cooked for my guests at home. Saves a lot of time.

Friday 10 October 2014

Beans Revisited - Cheesy Sausage Roll

This Bean is not edible. It is actually the name of my former eatery - Beans Dessert Kitchen. I will be running a few recipes from the menu. Yes, trying hard to relive the glory days! So if you are interested, watch out for "Beans".

This is no special recipe and is easily available but surprisingly, it is quite popular especially with the kids. It shows that sometimes going ordinary is the best. It can also be stored in the freezer until needed.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Bread Pudding

A dessert born out of economics, bread pudding is about the most simple yet delicious dessert there is. You can dump in a variety of things in this bread pudding and it will still taste delicious. So the next time when you have any stale bread, croissant, doughnuts or even cakes, do save up. Waste not.

Sunday 5 October 2014

Caramelised Fried Peanut and Anchovy 焦糖炒花生江鱼子

A quick search on the internet and you will find only few information on this dish. Guess this is a hidden gem that not many are aware of. The key ingredient to this dish is actually sugar. Yes, loads of it. As you bite into the crispy peanuts and anchovies, you will be met with a sweet and salty coat of caramel. Thanks to this, the taste is enhanced many fold.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Asian Inspired Scotch Eggs

In this the second part of my scotch-eggs post. I am going to introduce to you something different from the normal scotch eggs. Something that is closer to our hearts - an Asian inspired scotch eggs recipe. The method is basically same as making a scotch eggs. The ingredients varies a bit though.

Monday 29 September 2014

Are scotch eggs from Scotland?

Scotch eggs are often misunderstood to be originated from Scotland. Here's what David Constable has to say:

"Noooo, no, no. The word "scotch"originates from "scotched", which means "process". The fact it sounds similar to "Scotland" - and they are deep-fried - led people to think they are from Scotland." (source: The London Times Blog, Sept 27,2014)

There you go. Question answered.

Friday 26 September 2014

Smooth Creamy Pandan Kaya (Pandan Flavoured Coconut Egg Jam) 香兰咖椰

Kaya basically means coconut egg jam. Its texture is thick and rich, hence, the name kaya which means rich in Malay. I dare not claim this jam to be authentically Malaysian as it is also found in other parts of Southeast Asia....but it is madly popular in Malaysia. I haven't met a Malaysian who doesn't love kaya.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Steamed Spareribs with Black Beans 豆豉蒸排骨

Steamed spareribs - this is my husband's favourite dim sum dish. In fact, it is many people's favourite dish, me included. It is amazing that something so delicious can also be so ridiculously easy to make. All you have to do is marinade and steam.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Braised Beef Brisket with Daikon Radish 焖牛腩

In China, this dish is normally cooked in the winter to warm up the body. If you look closely at the ingredients, most of it belongs to the 'yang' category. It also means that most of the ingredients cause "heatiness". Daikon, however, has a cooling effect and it in turn provides a good balance to this otherwise heaty treat. Besides that, daikon is more resilent and doesn't break easily, making it a perfect accompaniment in stews.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Fried Glutinous Rice 生炒糯米飯

I have to admit I am not a big fan of glutinous rice. But this one is an exception. It is really tasty and fragrant. And the lap cheong (wax sausage) adds a hint of sweetness to the rice. It is a perfect combination.

Super Moist Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Icing 红萝卜蛋糕

How about having your cake and eating it too? This cake is so delicious and moist, really worth your bite! Above all, it has at least two healthy ingredients to balance off the bad. You have to try it! You wouldn't be left disappointed.

Sunday 31 August 2014

Garlic Spread

The garlic spread is so versatile that it could be used on anything that requires butter. Although butter is not popularly used in Asian cooking, try adding a little when you are cooking your veggies. The result would guarantee a more aromatic dish.

It is so easy to make and so easy to keep. Just chill or freeze it after mixing! Once you have tried making it fresh, I believe you will forget the ready-made ones!


125g butter (or 1/2 butter,1/2 marjerine)
30g garlic (mash or grate until pulp like)
2 tbsp chopped parsley or 3 tsp dried parsley

Cooking Instruction

1. Leave butter at room temperature to soften butter.

2. Use a fine grater to grate garlic into pulp. Garlic has to be grated finely so that it would be cooked easily. Alternatively, you can put the garlic into the microwave oven and soften the garlic before mashing it with a fork. I personally prefer to grate the garlic finely.

3. Mix everything in a bowl and you are ready to go!

Serving suggestions:
1. Garlic bread/toast/rolls/buns
2. Frying vegetables.
3. Pasta sauce
4. BBQ butter

Sunday 10 August 2014

Steamed Meat Bun (sang yuk bao) 生肉包

The first time making this, the filling turned out quite dry. My mother's exact words where "good flavour but kon jang jang (in cantonese, it means dry)". I couldn't agree with her more. Therefore, in my second attempt, I did the following changes:

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Birthday cake with meaning - Longevity Bao (sau bao) 寿桃包

My mother's birthday is coming. This is a first year we are giving her a surprise party. And I am hoping to surprise her with some longevity baos. Longevity bun or bao is an old chinese tradition that symbolises long life. It is normally presented to elders on their birthday just as a cake is presented on our birthdays. As my mom does not really fancy cakes, making this bao for her would be a great idea.

Basic Bao Skin

I have done a fair bit of research on this, both from cook books and internet. The art of making a soft fluffy bao seems to be a guarded secret of an ancient Chinese Kung fu. You just can't find one. Of course,  many claimed to be able to make the bao pillowy soft and leavened. Some used water roux some added milk and some added egg white. I have tried the ALL, and yet, the result is fair at best. Thank God my little boy is a bao lover and helped me devour most of my trials.

Now, this recipe is something that I have meticulously improvised through trials and error. I don't think it is a conventional method but the steps are pretty much the same. The result is beyond satisfactory! It came out soft, puffy and does not stick to the teeth, just like those from the dim sum place.

First time blogging

I get embarrass every time people ask me, "What do you do?" I do not have a job. I look after my baby. I have many other things to do that concerns managing assets, finance and house maintenance. How do you explain that in once sentence?

When I first stopped working, I really needed a break. I was burnt out. Then came baby Jun Xiang. I have a perfect excuse not to work. But now, I am restless. I simply do not like telling people I do nothing. Hence, the birth if this blog. Call it a hobby or call it a job, it will give me a new direction. Now, I am a cook, a blogger, a photographer and a recipe developer ....or so I hope to be.

I hope you will find my blog useful and entertaining. Please do not be polite. Speak your mind out if necessary, minus the vulgarities that is. Hope to hear from you.
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