Friday, March 30, 2012

Mango & Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake

The passion fruit seeds are very crunchy
This is a good chiffon cake recipe from Happy Home Baking.  I like to follow the recipe from Happy Home Baking because most of the chiffon cake recipes here only require 3 eggs.  I prefer to bake a smaller cake so that it can be finished sooner rather than a bigger cake which cannot be finished by my small family.

 Ingredients for Egg Yolk Mixture
3 egg yolks [used large eggs]
1-2 tbsp castor sugar
3 tbsp oil
40 ml passion fruit juice [from 1-2 passion fruit] - keep the seeds
3 tbsp Mango and Passion fruit jam [recipe here]
  • Whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt till creamy, then drizzle in oil.  Continue whisking for awhile then drizzle in fruit juice.  Lastly stir in jam and seeds.  Fold in flour until well combined.  Set aside while you whisk the egg white.  Preheat oven at 170 degrees C.

    100 gm cake flour sifted together with 1/2 tsp baking powder

    Ingredients for Egg White Mixture
    3 egg white
    3 tbsp sugar [40 gm]

    • Whisk egg white until frothy, continue whisking, when foamy, gradually add in sugar.  Whisk until soft peaks formed.
    • Fold in 1/3 portion of meringue into egg yolk mixture till well combined.  Then fold mixture into balance meringue till well incorporated.  
    • Pour batter into 7" chiffon pan.  Knock a few times on tabletop to release air bubbles.   Bake in preheated oven at 170 degrees for 45 minutes. 
    • Invert pan immediately after baking to cool cake before removing from pan.

      Monday, March 26, 2012

      Black Sesame Seed Chiffon

      I tried this chiffon cake recipe from Blessed Homemaker sometime in July 2010.  That time, I wasn't really into posting recipes in my blog.  I kept the recipe because the cake was really good.  So here again, I baked this cake since I have some grounded black sesame paste [leftover from my bread making].  This time, I am trying it out with 3 eggs [Small Small Baker's recipe].

      The cake has good texture, soft, light and moist. 

      Ingredients for Egg Mixture
      4 egg yolks [large] [3 eggs]
      2.5 tbsp castor sugar [2 tbsp]
      1/4 tsp salt [same]
      4 tbsp corn oil [2 tbsp]
      130 ml milk [70 ml water]
      20 gm black sesame seed paste [40 gm black sesame powder]
      • Beat egg yolks and sugar together, then continue beating while adding oil, followed by milk.  Then fold in the black sesame seed paste until well incorporated.  Fold in sifted flour until well combined and set aside while you prepare the egg white mixture.
      • Preheat oven at 160 degrees for 10 minutes.
      150 gm cake flour + 1 tsp baking powder [or 150 gm self raising flour] - sifted [80 gm + 1 tsp baking powder]

      Ingredients for Egg White Mixture
      4 egg whites [3 egg whites]
      1/2 tsp cream of tartar [1/4 tsp]
      4 level tbsp of castor sugar [30 gm sugar]
      • Whisk egg white until frothy then add in cream of tartar.  Continue whisking and gradually add in sugar.  Whisk until foamy and soft peaks formed.
      • Fold 1/3 portion of meringue into egg yolk mixture until well combined.  Pour into the balance meringue and fold until well mixed.
      • Pour mixture into 7" chiffon pan.  Tap on table top several times to expel out trapped air.
      • Baked in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes on lower rack.  Remove and invert pan immediately after baking.  Cool and then remove from pan before slicing.

      You can even try the quantity in red which uses only 3 eggs [if you happened to have large eggs or only 3 eggs, ha ha].  I got the recipe from Small Small Baker's blog.  There were some white spots in the cake.  This is because I have whisked the egg white until stiff and egg yolk and meringue not too well incorporated. 

      Sunday, March 25, 2012

      Japanese Cream Buns

      Came across this bun recipe from Lena's blog [frozen wings].  I have tried her English Cottage Bread Loaf which was good and I believe this recipe must also be good.  Today, I baked them and the quantity is enough for me to share with my neighbour.
      The buns are really soft and moist even on the third day.  The texture is good too.  Since I do not have whipping cream I replaced it with plain yoghurt.  Lovely buns which I believe can be used with any type of fillings.
      [makes 20-24 buns]
      Ingredients A  
       120 gm bread flour + 85 ml boiling water
      • Add boiling water to flour.  Stir well to form a dough.  Cover and set aside to cool before keeping in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.  Thaw for 15 minutes before use.
      Ingredients B
      380 gm bread flour [I added some wholemeal flour]
      5 tbsp [75 gm] sugar
      1 tsp salt
      2.6 tsp [8gm] yeast
      Ingredients C
      120 ml cold milk
      100 ml whipping cream [I used plain yoghurt]
      1 cold egg
      Ingredients D - 40 gm butter
      1. Mix ingredients well and add in C.  Knead to form a rough dough.  Add in A.  Knead until well blended [after about 10 minutes kneading].
      2. Add in butter.  Continue kneading until dough is soft, smooth and elastic.  Let proof until double.  Punch down dough and divide into portions [to fit the baking tray] or 60 gm each.  Roll round and rest for 10 minutes.
      3. Place in baking tray and let proof for 50 minutes to an hour.
      4. Bake in preheated oven at 190 degrees C for 15 minutes.
      5. Remove to cool on rack.
      Can use Mexico topping by the 2nd proofing.
      Mexico topping [Mix together all ingredients]
      60 gm butter + 50 gm sugar - cream and add in 1 egg.  Cream until smooth and add in 65gm flour + 1/4 tsp baking powder.  Mix well.  Pipe topping on top of buns before baking.

      Tuesday, March 20, 2012

      Sticky Vermicelli Broth [Mee Suah Kor]

      Another noodle dish from Amy Beh's collection of recipes.  The recipe uses quite basic ingredients.  This broth looks quite similar to one of our Penang's traditional noodles   called 'Mee Suah Kor' in Hokkien which is cooked in a big pot for the blue collar workers [coolies and construction workers] in the olden days.  I remember, when I was very young, I have seen hawkers preparing this noodle and the yellow noodles into very thick soupy broth with dried prawns and sometimes meat.
      I think these type of noodles are still sold at the Cecil Street Market, Penang in the afternoons but no more for the 'coolies' and labourers.

      [serves 2-3] 
      A handful of prawns - shelled and diced
      100 gm minced pork meat - marinate with 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp sugar, 1 tsp oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp light soy sauce and 1 tbsp cornflour for 15  minutes
      2 dried mushrooms - soaked and shredded
      1/2 tsp each chopped shallots and garlic
      1 litre chicken stock
      1 tbsp sesame oil
      Seasoning for soup
      1 tbsp each of light soy sauce and Shao Hsing wine
      1/2 tsp fish sauce
      1/4 tsp pepper
      dash of msg
      20 gm potato starch + 5 tbsp water for thickening
       180 gm flour vermicelli - scald in boiling water for a minute.  Drain and toss in a little sesame oil
      Garnishing - chopped spring onions and coriander
      2-3 tbsp black vinegar [chit choe]
      1. Heat sesame oil in a wok. Fry chopped shallots and garlic until fragrant and lightly browned.  Push aside and add in meat, prawns and mushrooms to fry briskly with a few tablespoons of chicken stock.  Fry for a minute until cooked through.  Dish out and set aside.
      2. Bring the chicken stock to boil in a large saucepan or claypot.  Add in seasoning and flour vermicelli.  Give a quick stir to loosen noodles.  Drizzle in thickening and stir well to mix.
      3. Turn off heat and add in pre-cooked meat, prawns and mushroom mixture.  Garnish with spring onions and dish out into individual serving bowls and serve hot with black vinegar for added flavour.

      Sunday, March 18, 2012

      English Cottage Loaf Bread [Sponge Dough Method]

      Saw this bread recipe in Lena's [frozen wings] food blog which looks good.  So I tried baking it today but I used the sponge dough method with the same ingredients because I am leaving the house for my regular morning exercise.  I just mix half portion of the bread flour and water with the yeast into a rough dough.  Cover and leave it to rest for 1-2 hours and finish off doing the dough when I came back.  In a way it helps to save time while I do other things [going for exercise and nearby morning market].
      A good bread recipe to keep.  Bread is soft, moist, light and texture is lovely.
      [makes 2 loaves x 400 gm]
      Overnight Dough
      150 gm bread flour 
      100 gm plain flour
      3.5  tsp instant yeast
      180 ml water
      • Mix all ingredients into a soft rough dough.  Cover and leave to proof for at least 1-2 hours.
      Ingredients for Bread Dough
      250 gm bread flour
      2 tbsp milk powder
      3 tbsp sugar
      1 tsp  salt
      1 egg
      80 ml water or just enough to make a soft but not wet dough
      50 gm butter [2 tbsp]

      Topping [optional] - butter and sugar - after proofing, use a knife to cut slits and spread butter, then sprinkle sugar
      • Add all the ingredients [except water and butter] to the overnight dough.  Knead until well combined, then gradually add in water while kneading until a soft dough is formed.  Knead for about 10 minutes then add in butter.  Continue kneading until soft, smooth, elastic and dough does not stick to the fingers [about 15 minutes on high speed].
      • Shape into a ball and cover with a clean cloth to proof for 15 minutes or until double in size. Punch down dough.
      • Divide dough into 2 equal portions.  Roll and fold each portion into thirds, then roll swiss roll style into a log.  Place in baking tin [Pullman's tin] and leave to proof in oven for more than an hour or until double in size. 
      • Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25 - 30 minutes.  Remove to cool on rack immediately after baking.
      This bread makes lovely bread toast with  butter and jam

      Friday, March 16, 2012

      EZ Braised Pork Belly

      This is an EZ braised meat recipe worth keeping.  The basic recipe is from Amy Beh's website but I did not follow all the procedures especially on the deep frying of the pork pieces.  Instead, I make sure the pork skin is well dried and I pan fried them.  The result is satisfactory and best of all this dish can be prepared way ahead of meal time or even one day ahead.  I kept the whole pot in the refrigerator.  Before serving, I removed the fats that have coagulated on the surface [more healthy] then reheat the dish.  Viola! Just slice the meat and enjoy with white rice, some vegetables and chilli sauce if preferred.

      1 kg pork belly - cleaned and cut into 2 portions
      1 tsp dark soy sauce
      • Boil enough water in a wok.  Place pork bell in boiling water to blanch for about 5 minutes.  Remove and rinse well.  Use a fork to prick holes on the skin as much as possible.  Rub skin with dark soy sauce.  Place pork pieces skin side up in a container.  Leave it in the refrigerator to dry the skin [can prepare this a day earlier].  Heat a non stick wok with a little oil on medium heat.  Place pork belly skin side down in to pan fry until 'blisters' all over.  The sear the sides until slighty golden.  Remove and soak pork in a basin of iced cold water for about 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
      8 dried mushrooms - soaked [ I used dried mushroom and 1 packet 'king mushroom] - cut half or keep whole
      50 gm ginger - cut into a few thick slices
      1 tbsp chopped garlic
      4cm piece cinnamon stick
      3 star anise
      5 cloves
      1 tsp cumin seeds
      1-2 stalks of spring onion
      700 ml water [enough to cover pork pieces]
      200 gm broccoli - cut into florets and blanched [optional]
      coriander leaves for garnishing
      1 tbsp potato starch mix with 2 tbsp water
      Sauce Ingredients
      2 tbsp fish sauce
      2 tbsp soy sauce
      2 tbsp sesame oil
      2 tbsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine
      2 tbsp rock sugar
      1 tsp chicken stock granules
      2 tsp pepper
      1. Place ginger slices, chopped garlic, spring onions, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, cumin seeds in a based of heavy based pot.  Then place pork belly skin side up on top of the spice ingredients.  
      2. Place the mushrooms around the pork belly and add in the sauce ingredients.  Pour in water.  Bring water to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes.  
      3. Lower heat and braise meat  for 45-50 minutes or until just tender.  Do not overcook meat, the texture of the meat should have a bite.  
      4. To serve, remove and cut slices.  Place on serving plate.
      5. Strain the gravy to remove the impurities and thicken with potato starch mix.  Pour gravy over cut meat and garnish with coriander leaves or blanched broccoli.

      Thursday, March 15, 2012

      Prawns and White Fungus Salad

      Salad is always an appetising dish to serve for dinner especially during hot weather season. Some salads can also be prepared and kept in the refrigerator until serving time, thus reducing the things to do before meal.  I love to cook dishes that can be prepared earlier, way ahead of meal times.  At least there won't be much cleaning to do after meal time.  

      [serves 2]
      1 whole white fungus - soaked until plumped up, remove the hard centre and cut into small pieces
      150 gm prawns - boiled/steamed to cook and shelled
      a handful of cherry tomatoes - cut half
      1 big onion - sliced thinly
      1 red chilli - sliced thinly or 2 red small chillies
      1/2 cup mint leaves
      some coriander leaves
      some roasted sesame seeds

      Salad Dressing [Mix together]
      1.5 tbsp sugar or to taste
      1/8 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
      3 tbsp lime juice
      1 tbsp fish sauce
      1/8 tsp pepper or to taste
      a dash of sesame oil 
      1. Scald white fungus pieces in hot water for 1-2 minutes.  Drain and soak in icy cold water for 10 minutes.  Drain in colander.
      2. Sliced shelled prawns into half and prepare the rest of the salad ingredients as above.
      3. Mix all salad ingredients in a big bowl.  Add in salad dressing.  Toss well and transfer to a serving dish.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until serving time.
      4. Before serving, garnish with some toasted sesame seeds.
      Here are some information obtained from Chinese Soup Pot about white fungus [aka snow fungus].
      White Fungus Uses and Health Benefits:
      • In Chinese medicine, white fungus nourishes and moistens the lungs, as well as improves skin complexion.
      • It removes what Chinese medicine calls dryness and heat in the body by moistening and increasing body fluids. White fungus eases physical symptoms like dry skin, chapped lips, thirst, dry nose and throat, constipation, and dry coughs.
      • Some clinical data have shown that white fungus has the potential of lowering elevated blood sugar, and an inhibitory effect on cholesterol levels.
      • According to a report by Cancer Research UK, white fungus is also used as an immune tonic and for treating debility and exhaustion.

      Watercress Chicken Soup

      I loved cooking soup with vegetables and less meat.  This is a simple but nutritious soup which can be prepared earlier before meal time.  The portion here is enough for 2-3 people depending on how many other dishes you are preparing for lunch or dinner. 
      2 chicken thighs - skin removed, clean and cut into bite size pieces
      200 gm watercress - washed, cut and blanch in  boiling water, rinse and drain [reduces the bitterness in soup]
      3-4 red dates
      1 dried honey dates [mat choe]
      1 tbsp bitter almonds [pak hung]
      1 tbsp sweet almonds [lam hung]
      1/2 tsp chicken stock granules
      salt to taste
      600 ml hot water
      1. Prepare the ingredients as stated above.  Put watercress, chicken pieces and other ingredients in a serving claypot.  Pour in hot water.
      2. Bring soup to a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes.  Off fire.  
      3. Prepare a steaming pot with enough water and a steaming tray.  Put claypot on a steaming tray and steam soup for 30 - 40 minutes.   Reheat soup before serving and add salt to taste.
      • Cooking soup by double boiling or steaming will give a clear soup.  Convenient and clean way if cooking in small quantity and you can serve the soup in the claypot.
      • the cardinal rule of making 'sai yeong choi' or watercress soup [without the bitter taste] is the pot of water MUST BE BOILING before you add watercress.   If you add watercress into water which is warming up or even cold water, your soup will turn out bitter [from the Soup Queen].

      Wednesday, March 14, 2012

      Bouncy Pork Meatballs

      This recipe is from The Waitakere Redneck's Kitchen.  I have been searching for good meatball recipes which are simple, can be prepared and stored for later use.  So when I saw that these meatballs can be kept frozen until required, I did not hesitate to try it out.
      I think I am quite happy with the result and it's a keeper.  Maybe, I will make these meatballs for steamboat instead of buying the ready-made ones.
      Here are the ingredients and method from Redneck's Kitchen. 
      Makes 48 pieces [1/2 tablespoon size]
      500 gm pork - cut into small pieces [I used Kak Sim meat]
      1/2 cup [125 ml] icy cold water
      1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt
      1/2 - 3/4 tbsp sugar
      1  1/4 tsp baking powder
      1/2 tbsp oil [I used 1 tsp each of oil and sesame oil]
      1 tbsp fish sauce
      2 tbsp cornflour
      1/4 tsp pepper  [ I used 1/2 tsp]
      1. In a separate cup, mix all the seasoning [except pepper] together.  Set aside in the refrigerator.
      2. Minced pork in a food processor into a paste.  Add 5 tbsp of water [from the 125 ml water], 1 tbsp at a time to make a smooth paste.
      3. Remove paste into a big bowl.  Pour in mixed seasoning.  Stir well slowly using several chopsticks or hand in one direction until liquid is absorbed into the paste.  
      4. Transfer paste to a smaller container, cover and keep in freezer for 30 minutes.
      5. Boil a pot of water.  Once water is boiling, remove from heat.
      6. Add pepper to paste.  Stir to combine.  Scoop paste into wet hand.  Push paste up through the thumb and second finger by making a fist.  Use a wet spoon [a tablespoon] to scoop and drop it into the pot of hot water.  [To prevent paste from sticking to hand, wet hand and spoon in water].
      7. Continue until pork balls form a layer in the water.  Now, turn on the heat but 'Do Not Let It Boil', just simmer slowly without bubbling [otherwise pork balls will not 'Bounce'].  Any leftovers can be kept in the freezer.
      8. Fill a basin with icy cold water.  When pork balls start to float, leave for a few seconds more.  Remove one and cut into half to see if it is cooked.  The inside should not be 'pink'.  Scoop out the pork balls and let  them cool in the cold water.
      9. After pork balls have cooled, use as required or freeze to keep.
      Note from Redneck's Kitchen
      • For Chicken meatballs - pepper is optional.  The meatball texture is softer than pork balls.
      • For Beef meatballs - must add 1/2 tsp alkaline water to seasoning mix.

      Tuesday, March 13, 2012

      Homemade PlainTortillas

      My hubby has been asking for flat bread something like chapati where you can eat with curry or roll up with fillings and fresh vegetables.  But I wasn't keen to buy ready made ones from the stores because I believe it contains much fats.  So when I saw this recipe from Lena of Frozen Wing's blog, I thought it is time to try them.  Just wondering whether the oil quantity can be reduced.
      I prepared the 12345 Chicken Fillet as fillings for these tortillas.
      [makes 10 pieces]
      250 gm [2 cups] all purpose flour
      1/4 cup vegetable oil
      1 tsp salt
      2/3 cup warm water
      1. Sift flour and salt into a medium size bowl.  Add oil and warm water.  Use a pair of chopstick to stir to combine all the ingredients into a dough.
      2. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured smooth surface.  Knead for 2-3 minutes until dough is smooth [not difficult to work out dough].
      3. Divide dough into 10 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball.  Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
      4. Preheat a cast iron skillet or a heavy based non-stick pan.  Roll each ball into a circle of 6" in diameter.  Cook one at a time, flipping halfway through cooking, when it starts to puff and a few spots appear.
      5. Stack up tortillas and serve them with any fillings or curry.
      If serving later, stack tortillas and wrap in foil to enclose.  Bake for 3-4 minutes or until hot in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius.  To assemble, place some salad leaves, chicken, onions on tortilla.  Squeezed any preferred sauce [bbq, chilli, yoghurt or mayonnaise] on top.  Wrap and roll.  Cut into sections and serve at once.

      Monday, March 12, 2012

      12345 Chicken Fillet

      I came across the recipe '12345 Pork Ribs or Lean Meat' on The Waitakere Redneck's Kitchen and tried it using whole chicken at my Ma's place.  The sauce combination was good and very easy to prepare.  But I prefer either to use chicken thighs or lean meat.  So back to my home, I used chicken breast fillet to cook this dish because I can pan fry the fillet and I intend to serve it with homemade tortillas.  I think it should be alright with any choice of meat depending on your own preference.

      Here are the ingredients.  I marinate the chicken fillet before pan frying them.

      1 chicken breast - skin and bones removed - cut thick slices
      [marinate with 1/2 tsp each of pepper, sesame oil and salt and 1 tbsp cornflour]
      •  Pan fry chicken fillet in non stick wok with 1 tbsp oil until golden brown on both sides.  Finish fry them in batches to reduce the quantity of oil needed.
        Sauce Ingredients
        1 tbsp oil
        2 tbsp sugar
        3 tbsp light soy sauce
        4 tbsp Chin Kiang black vinegar [I used Chit Choe]

        • Using the same wok, add oil if it is less than 1 tbsp [remaining from pan frying chicken fillet].  Add in sugar.  When sugar melts and caramelise, add in the light soy sauce and vinegar.  Stir until caramelised sugar dissolves.
        • Then stir in the fried chicken meat.  Stir to mix sauce and meat slices.  Cook very quickly until sauce is reduced and thick.
        • Dish out to serve with rice.  
        Should be good idea to garnish this dish with fresh vegetables [sliced zuchini, salad leaves, tomatoes or blanched broccoli].   Maybe I will try preparing this dish again using other cuts of meat to serve as a 'One Dish Meal' with white rice, some fresh vegetables or vegetable soup.

        Sunday, March 11, 2012

        Cranberry, Coffee Loaf Bread [Overnight Dough Method]

        Came across this recipe 'cranberry coffee loaf' is the local newspaper sometime back.  Since I have all the ingredients ready, I decided to prepare this bread but I added yoghurt as I know yoghurt makes the bread lovely and deliciously good.  The aroma of the freshly baked bread was really satisfying.

        Here is my version and method. 

        Ingredients for Overnight Dough
        150 gm bread flour
        150 gm plain flour
        4 tsp instant yeast
        200 - 250 ml water
        • Mix all ingredients into a soft rough dough.  Cover and leave to proof for at least 1-2 hours or put in plastic bag, tied up without proofing and keep in fridge for at least 4 hours.  Thaw for 15 minutes before adding bread dough ingredients.
        Ingredients for Bread Dough
        300 gm bread flour
        2 tbsp milk powder
        4 tbsp sugar
        1 tsp  salt
        60 gm dried cranberry
        3 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 50 ml water
        1 small tub [135 gm] yoghurt [natural or cranberry type]
        2 tbsp butter 
        • Add all the ingredients [except butter and cranberries] to the overnight dough.  Knead until well combined and dough is soft.  Knead for about 10 minutes then add in butter.  Continue kneading until soft, smooth and elastic.  Add in  dried cranberries.  Knead a further 3-5 minutes and dough does not stick to the fingers.
        • Shape into a ball and cover with a clean cloth to proof for 15 minutes or until double in size. Punch down dough.
        • Divide dough into 2 equal portions.  Roll and fold each portion into thirds, then roll swiss roll style into a log.  Place in baking tin [Pullman's tin] and leave to proof in oven for more than an hour or until double in size.  [You can divide dough into any number of equal portions to make small loaves].
        • Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes.  Remove to cool on rack immediately after baking.

        Saturday, March 10, 2012

        Steamed Buns With Chinese Sausage [Starter Dough Method]

        First time making this pattern pau, practice will make perfect

        During the Chinese New Year, most Chinese families will buy chinese sausages [lap cheong] as CNY gifts for friends and relatives.  However, not all people will eat chinese sausages as it is a preserved food and rather fatty.  This is so with some of my friends who received them as part of their CNY gifts and just do not know what to do with it.  So, when they gave them to me, I will usually used them as fillings to make Steamed Buns.  These buns are really tasty and of course they just love it.

        How to prepare the Chinese sausages [lap cheong] for wrapping?

        Enough number of Chinese sausage - skin removed and cut into 4 pieces.
        some oyster sauce, water and  a little cornflour mix.

        • Pan fry the prepared sausages in a non stick pan [without oil] for a few minutes.  Add in oyster sauce then some water to combine with sausages.  Stir in cornflour mix [just enough to coat the sausages].  
        • Dish out on plate to cool before using.  Can prepare ahead and refrigerate until required.

        This is how the sausages look after frying
        Ingredients for Starter Dough 
        175 gm plain flour/pau flour
        1 tsp yeast
        100 ml warm water

        • Mix all ingredients into a sticky, rough dough.  Cover dough and leave for 1-2 hours or until 2-3 times in size.
        Ingredients for Bun Dough
        175 gm plain flour/pau flour
        1.5 tbsp [40 gm] castor sugar
        1 tsp double action baking powder
        100 ml warm water
        1/4 tsp vinegar

        1 tbsp oil or vegetable shortening
        • Mix all ingredients [except water and oil] with starter dough.  Knead to combine ingredients well, then gradually add in water as you knead the dough until soft and smooth.  If using electric mixer, it takes about 10 minutes.  Then add in vegetable shortening/oil.  Continue kneading for another 10-15 minutes until dough is soft, smooth and elastic [does not stick to fingers].  Cover dough and leave to proof for 15 minutes.
        • Punch down and divide into 2 portions.  Roll each portion and fold in thirds.  Then roll into a log and divide into 8 pieces.  Do the same for the other portion.  [After this step, you can roll out the dough into any shape to suit the fillings used].  
        • Roll each small piece into an oval shape.   Place a piece of sausage in the centre, then make equal number of slits on both sides and fold criss-cross to cover the sausage.  Pinch the end and place it on a steaming tray lined with greased proof paper.  See photos below.
        • Leave to rise for at least 1/2 hour or until double in size.
        • Steam over boiling water on high heat for 12-13 minutes.  Off fire and leave buns in steamer [covered] for another 1 minutes.  Then remove the cover and place buns on rack to cool or serve immediately.

        Please refer to Steamed Meat Pau [Tua Pau] recipe for straight dough method.  This is a really good pau skin recipe to keep.

        Friday, March 9, 2012

        Braised Spanish Mackerel With Soy Sauce and Mirin

        This is a simple and healthy 3 dish meal for 2 that costs less than Ringgit 10.00.  Not too bad idea of simple dishes if you are looking for some non-spicy food for dinner.
        The above picture shows the 3 dishes that goes well with plain white rice: 
        • Braised Spanish Mackerel with Soy Sauce and Mirin
        • Miso Tofu and Seaweed Soup
        • Salad leaves, cherry tomato Yoghurt Salad
        2 pieces Spanish mackerel - clean and pat dry
        3-5 spices ginger [more if you love ginger]
        1 stalk spring onions - cut slantwise about 1 inch lengths [keep some for garnishing]
        2 tbsp soy sauce
        3 tbsp mirin
        dash of pepper
        1-2 tbsp oil
        1. Pan fry Spanish mackerel with oil in non-stick pan until both sides are golden brown.  Push aside.
        2. Use the remaining oil to saute ginger slices and part of the spring onions until fragrant [maybe slightly brown].
        3. Add in soy sauce from around the wok followed by mirin and pepper.  Bring it to a bubbly boil.  Push the fried fish slices back into the sauce to braise until sauce is slightly thickened [1-2 seconds].  Flip over fish slices for 1 time so that it is well coated with sauce.   Very quick process.
        4. Dish out to serve with garnishing [spring onions].
        5. Serve with rice.
        Note:  Can also use Salmon slices but reduce the oil quantity.
        400 ml water
        1 piece soft tofu - cut big cubes
        1 small piece seaweed [hai tai] - wash and soak in water for a few minutes - cut wide strips
        2 tbsp Japanese Miso paste
        1. Mix miso paste with some of the water until well mixed.  Set aside
        2. Bring water to boil in a soup pot.  Add in miso paste mix and seaweed 'hai tai' and tofu cubes.  Let it boil again, then lower heat to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
        3. Serve hot with rice.
        Some salad leaves - washed and break into small pieces
        some cherry tomatoes - cut half
        1 small tub plain yoghurt [about 135 gm]
        1/2 tsp fish sauce
        juice of 1 calamasi lime
        1 tsp sugar [optional]
        • Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until serving time.