Wednesday 29 July 2015

Yam Paste Snowskin Mooncake 芋头冰皮月饼

Have done a little yam paste with the intention of making mooncake with it for this coming Friday. I know it is still quite early but I thought of surprising my friends with an early mooncake when they come over for dinner on Friday. As for the filling that I did, I used the yam paste with pumpkin in the middle (in replacement of salted egg yolk) to make what I call an orh nee (Teochew yam paste) mooncake. Making the yam paste and pumpkin filling itself was pretty easy. I got it done in 15 mins because of the small quantity.

Friday 24 July 2015

Best Bread Recipe: Japanese Milk Bread 牛奶麵包

Most of us in Asia are already familiar with soft fluffy milk breads. They are are wildly popular as a staple here. I started baking bread as I prefered to feed my son fresh chemical-free breads. I have been doing it for sometime now. All these while, I experimented with different recipes for soft bread but the Japanese milk bread reigns. It is soft, moist and fluffy, just the exact fit for my son. Best of all the softness lasts for days. Therefore, this has become my best bread recipe, my go to recipe. I use this even when I wanted to whip up a dinner or sausage bun.  Once you have mastered the basics the first few times, the sky is the limit to the many variations that you could develop. Nothing tastes and smells better than freshly-baked soft fluffy homemade bread from the oven.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe 简单古老肉做法

I was a bit hesitant to do this recipe. This is such a common dish. Any Tom, Dick and Harry knows what sweet and sour pork or ku lou yuk is all about. But this dish is a phenomenon. It is so well received it has become an identity to all Chinese restaurants, a must have. With such popularity, how could I refuse?

The recipes available are somewhat different in different parts of the world. Pineapple juice is widely used in the West instead of plum sauce. My guess is that plum sauce is not an easily available item there. And maybe expensive too! Either way, I am not going into which recipe is better. I am just providing you this easy sweet and sour pork recipe as an alternative. And mind you, this alternative rocks!

Monday 20 July 2015

Restaurant Style Sweet and Sour Sauce 餐厅风味糖醋酱

Garnishing not included in recipe

Sweet and sour pork is ever popular in Chinese restaurants. Have you that urge to recreate it at home? Have you ever wondered why those in restaurants tasted different? Is it the use of msg (monosodium glutamate)? Well, I have with me here a restaurant-style sweet and sour sauce recipe that is absolutely to-die-for. No msg and extremely easy to make. All in one package!

Before I go further, let me credit this recipe to my hubby. He is a Chinese chef that has been working for a number of years in Chinese restaurants. This recipe is tried and tested. Of course, the ever meddling cook in me adapted this a bit to suit home cooking. I significantly reduced the quantity (in restaurants they do in big big bulk fit for a lorry load). Then I significantly reduced the use of chilli sauce in the recipe as I am feeding young toddlers. I also omitted the use of red colouring. All these makes little changes to the taste but significant improvements for home cooking. The sauce has been tested on young children and adults alike. Tested and approved. Tanpa was-was (without worry).

Thursday 16 July 2015

Easy Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice with Chicken/Loh Mai Kai 简单荷香糯米鸡

If you are a fan of glutinous rice, this is definitely a must have. There are many ways and many versions to this. You can serve this in a big portion to be shared, or in individual dainty parcels like what am doing here. Most of the time, you would get the big ones in Chinese restaurants and the small ones from dim sum outlets. Now, with this easy recipe, you could make it at home with half the time and effort.

Monday 13 July 2015

Crispy Stuffed Tofu Puffs 炸豆包球

After all my postings on desserts in the past week, I think it is only apt that I balance it up with some savouries. Therefore, today I am introducing a simple dish that is easily replicated. A common recipe in the Chinese kitchen - Crispy Stuffed Tofu Puffs. This dish makes a good appetizer or finger food. The trick is to deep-fry it until crispy. This is how I prefer to eat my tofu puffs. Deep-fried to crispy. You could practically hear the crunch. It is so delicious!

Thursday 9 July 2015

Water Chestnut Coconut Pandan Pudding/Kuih Tako 香兰马蹄糕

A traditional Malay dessert, it is actually a pandan and milk coconut pudding with water chestnuts inside. It is made of mung bean flour or more popularly known as hoen kwe flour in this region. This pudding is beautifully encased in a pandan leaf box for its aesthetics and its aroma. What I like about our local kuih-muih is its simplicity and diversity. Most of them do not require much technique or baking but tastes fabulous. And most often, it comes in vibrant colours.

Ever since I started blogging, I have started to explore different types of food and this time, I bought some kuih tako to try. I have seen this a lot but have never bothered to taste it.  And I was in for a pleasant surprise. Now I know what I have been missing all these while. Yes, I admit my ignorance.

Whenever the Ramadhan month approaches, I will see lots of these selling in temporary bazaars. This is a surprisingly refreshing dessert, flavoured by its natural pandan juice. It has water chestnuts at the bottom to give the pudding an additional crunchy texture. Not too heavy and not too light, it is especially delicious when served cold.

It is even more delicious if you make your own as the ingredients used are fresh and natural, especially the pandan juice. I do love the little basket. It is authentic and artsy. It looks dainty and cute. Making the baskets is well worth the trouble. Too tedious for you? Chill the pudding in little glasses to give it a more chic appearance (like the picture above). Ain't it a beauty? You could actually save a lot of work too. Whichever way you prefer, the bottom line is, this is addictively good.

Water Chestnut Coconut Pandan Pudding/Kuih Tako 香兰马蹄糕

Adapted from WendyinKK


Pandan Layer

25 g green hoen kwe flour (also known as mung bean flour)
250 ml pandan juice (2-3 pieces pandan blended in 250ml water)
50 g sugar
3-4 waterchestnuts, peeled and diced

Coconut Layer

20 g white hoen kwe flour
250 ml fresh coconut (one coconut added with water until 250 ml)
50 g sugar
1/4 tsp salt (a pinch)

Cooking Instructions

1. Make tako cases from pandan leaves (see illustrations below).

2. Prepare pandan juice. Cut pandan leaves into small pieces. Add leaves and water into blender and blend finely. Sieve pandan juice and measure 250 ml. If lesser, add a little water. (I used leftover pandan pieces from making the case for the juice.)

3. Add everything except water chestnuts into a saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. Mixture is cooked when it turns transparent and bubbles. Remove from fire immediately.

4. Add a few pieces of water chestnut into the panda case. Using a spoon, scoop mixture into pandan cases. Fill up half the case only. Repeat until finish.

5. Using a fresh saucepan, mix everything for the coconut layer. Stir constantly until mixture is cooked. Mixture is cooked when it thickens and bubbles. Remove immediately.

6. Using a spoon, scoop mixture onto green layer. Fill up the case. Repeat until finish. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.

*pandan leaf = screwpine leaf
*garnishing = srewpine leaves, not edible raw

Monday 6 July 2015

No Bake Chocolate Corn Flakes Cookies Recipe 免烤巧克力玉米片曲奇

Making this recipe was inevitable. Cornflakes was selling at RM5.95 per jumbo box. That was like more than half the price cut. The cheapskate in me could not resist...and I bought quite a few boxes. Before you chide me for reckless spending, I have already planned to make these long ago. I am now conveniently posting this recipe as a Ramadhan special.

Thursday 2 July 2015

Moist Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was at the market the other day looking for some apples. What I saw was small piles of ripe bananas going for a bargain price of RM2 per pile. I got very excited as seldom I could find so much leftovers. I bought one pile for making my moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting.

This cake is by far the moistest banana cake that I have ever eaten. It stayed moist even after day three. The texture was denser that your normal banana bread. I was also pleasantly surprised by the strong taste of banana from the cake (I did not add any vanilla extract to the cake as I ran out). But what made it stood out was the cream cheese frosting. It was fully flavoured with creamy smooth cheese with a touch of tanginess. I have always preferred my banana cake plain. Frostings are fattening in my dictionary and I normally stay away. But since I have quite some cream cheese left in my fridge, I used it for frosting this lovely moist banana cake. And I have not been able to stop nibbling at the cake ever since.

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