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Monday, April 30, 2012

Vegetarian Loufah Soup


Sometimes, I have a strong urge to go meatless for a meal or two.  Here is a very simple soup which I prepared and served with my Steamed Garoupa.  
Ingredients
[serves 2]
1 loufah - remove the skin and cut wedges
some black fungus - soaked and break into small pieces
some carrots - sliced
any dried mushrooms - soaked and cut smaller pieces
a handful of taufu puffs - cut half
1 cup water or vegetarian soup stock
some light soy sauce, salt, msg and pepper to taste
1 tsp sesame oil
  1. Heat sesame oil in a claypot.  Saute mushrooms until aromatic.  Add in black fungus and carrot.  Stir fry to mix ingredients.  
  2. Pour in water or stock and add in seasoning.  Bring it to a boil, then add in taufu puffs.  Boil for 1-2 minutes.  Taste to adjust seasoning.
  3. Lastly add in the loufah to cook.  Off fire once the loufah is soft.
  4. Serve immediately.
Note:
Can add a few slices of ginger, fried garlic crisps and steamboat stock for more aromatic soup

Steamed Garoupa With Soy Sauce

My hubby's 'second job' - fishing.  No, it is his hobby after he was 'banned' from playing badminton by his cardiologist after surviving a heart attack while playing the game. This is his catch of the day - a 1 kg Garoupa.  Very fresh fish that requires little 'dressing', so steaming it with a simple soy sauce mix and ginger with lots of spring onion/coriander should be awesome.
Ingredients
1 Garoupa fish [600 gm] - scaled and cleaned
1" piece ginger - shredded finely
1 stalk spring onions - cut fine shreds
1 stalk coriander - cut 1" length
1-2 tsp fried chopped garlic 
some oil [heated till hot] - optional
Sauce Ingredients
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
5 tbsp water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
a dash of pepper
  1. Steam fish over boiling water for 15 - 20 minutes or until fish is cooked.
  2. Bring sauce ingredients  to a boil in a saucepan.  
  3. Remove fish from steamer, drain away the stock if any.  Quickly pour sauce over steamed fish.
  4. Garnish with shredded ginger, spring onions, coriander leaves and garlic crisps.
  5. Lastly pour some hot oil over fish [optional] before serving immediately.
Note:
Definitely taste better with the extra hot oil but healthwise it is better to omit it after all this fish is very fresh.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mocha Loaf Bread [Sponge Dough Method]


After making the lovely Coffee Loaf Bread [better than store bought] and enjoying it, I thought of trying another flavour.  So here it is, my Mocha Loaf Bread.  Soft and moist and smells good.  On the second day, for breakfast we toasted the bread slices, spread it with a little butter and my homemade jam.  Wow!  It's good, you will love bread from now on.
Ingredients for Sponge Dough
150 gm bread flour
150 gm plain flour
3.5 tsp instant yeast [I used 3 tsp]
200 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
270 gm bread flour
30 gm cocoa powder 
1 tbsp skimmed milk powder
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp  salt
1 large egg
3 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 130 ml hot water
60 gm butter 
  • Add all the ingredients [except butter] to the sponge dough.  Knead until well combined and dough is soft for about 10 minutes then add in butter.  Continue kneading until soft, smooth and elastic.   Knead a further 10  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 smaller loaves within 1 Pullman's tin ].
  • Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes.  Remove to cool on rack immediately after baking.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

'Ang Chow' Chicken

My neighbour's friend gave him 2 bottles of homemade red rice wine residue [ang chow in hokkien dialect].  Not knowing what to do with it, he gave me a bottle.  So  I cooked this simple dish and shared half with him.   If he likes the taste, I will probably prepare another dish 'Ang Chow Char Siew' to share with him.   
'Ang Chow' [aka Hong Chow] is the residue from fermented red rice wine. It is believed to be good for health especially beneficial in lowering triglycerides and cholesterol.
Cooking this dish only requires 3 main ingredients.  It can be served with rice or cook into a soup with flour vermicelli [mee suah] as a One Dish Meal.  The chicken tastes even better after several hours.  It can be freezed and reheated before serving .   

Ingredients
[serves 3-4]
6 pieces chicken thigh - skin removed and cut into bite size pieces
50 gm ginger - sliced
2 tbsp red rice wine dregs [residue from fermented red rice wine]
1 tbsp sesame oil
150 ml water
Seasoning
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp rock sugar to taste
  1. Heat sesame oil in wok, saute ginger slices until aromatic.  Add in the red rice wine dregs followed by chicken.  Stir fry for 5 minutes or until all ingredients are well combined and fragrant.
  2. Add water and seasoning to taste.  Bring it to a boil.  Cover and lower heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and gravy is reduced.
  3. Dish out to serve with rice.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sambal Dried Prawns Bun [Sponge Method]

This is actually a plain loaf bread recipe from Kitchen Corner which I have tried and found it very good.  I used it to make buns, it is also very good with good texture.  The buns remains soft for 2-3 days.  
I used some of the sambal dried prawns [see recipe] which I cooked earlier as filling for these buns.  Really yummy! Makes 12 buns.

This bun has less fillings, stingy.. lol
Ingredients - Sponge Dough
220 gm bread flour
3/4 tsp instant yeast dissolve in 130 ml water
  • Add flour into the yeast mixture and mix into a sticky dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave for 1-2 hours or till it becomes about 2-3 times in size.  [Usually, I will mix ingredients in an airtight container, leave it to proof for 30 minutes in room temperature, then cover the container and kept in the fridge until later use.  Thaw to room temperature before mixing with bread dough ingredients].
Ingredients - Bread Dough
60 gm bread flour
1/2 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
40 ml water

1 tbsp butter
  1. Mix bread dough ingredients with sponge dough in a mixer with dough hook.  Knead on medium speed for about 5-10 minutes till soft then add in butter.  Continue to knead for another 10 minutes till dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes or until double in size.
  2. Punch down dough.  Divide dough into 12 equal portions.
  3. Shape into balls, then roll on a floured board into circle.  Add the sambal fillings, pinch the seam to seal the edges and shape into round buns or any shape preferred.  Place the seam side down on paper casing or parchment paper. 
  4. Leave to rise for 30 - 40 minutes.  Brush with beaten egg or milk and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes.  Remove to cool on rack immediately.

Sambal Dried Prawns [Sambal Hae Bee]

I love sambal dried prawns sandwiches with sliced cucumber or fresh mint leaves.  I also love sambal dried prawns with plain white rice and cucumber/mint leaves.  Recently, my neigbhour [the one for whom I baked the extra loaf of  bread] gave me a packet of dried prawns [good quality one].  So why not, make the sambal, serve it with rice, use it as my buns' filling?

Search all over and found this recipe from Amy Beh's collection, but I change some ingredients for my own convenience.  This is a good recipe, the sambal dried prawn  is not salty.  Should be good as bun filling.

Ingredients
200 gm dried prawns - soaked, cleaned and lightly pounded [I use the blender]
2 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 100 - 150 ml water, strain to obtain juice
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced [I omit]
1/2 cup oil

Spice Ingredients [Ground to a paste]
5 dried chillies, soaked [I substitute with 1 tbsp chilli boh]
7 red chillies
10 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemongrass
1/2 tsp tumeric powder

Seasoning
3 tbsp sugar or to taste
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt or to taste [depends on the dried prawns]
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules [I used msg - Ajinomoto]
  1. Prepare the ingredients as above.
  2. Heat oil in a wok and fry the spice ingredients over medium low heat until aromatic.
  3. Add in the tamarind juice.  Bring it to a boil.  Add in the dried prawns.  Stir fry until well combined.
  4. Add in seasoning and kaffir lime leaves [if using].  Reduce the heat and keep frying until mixture is almost dry and crumbly [to the desired texture].  Drier if using as bun filling.
  5. Dish out and leave to cool.  Serve with sliced cucumber or fresh mint leaves.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Honey, Lemon Chiffon Cake


Another lovely chiffon cake from Baking Friends Unite which I have tried earlier and has kept the recipe.  I baked this cake again and I am very satisfied with it.  Since I have some poppy seeds, I sprinkled some before baking this cake.



Ingredients for Egg Yolk Mixture
3 egg yolks [used large eggs]
4 tbsp honey
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp water + 2 tsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
  • Whisk egg yolks with honey till creamy, then drizzle in oil.  Continue whisking for awhile then drizzle in water and lemon juice.   Fold in flour and zest until well combined.  Set aside while you whisk the egg white.  Preheat oven at 170 degrees.
85 gm cake flour sifted together with 1/2 tsp baking powder + a pinch of salt

Ingredients for Egg White Mixture
4 egg white
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 tbsp sugar
  • 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 35-40 minutes. 
  • Invert pan immediately after baking to cool cake before removing from pan.


    Coffee Loaf Bread [Sponge Dough Method]

    Really lovely and yummy loaves of coffee flavoured bread.  Soft and moist.  Took several good shots of the bread but accidentally erased them.  Used a new hand phone  and not too familiar with it's functions.  But believe me, the bread is good.


    Ingredients for Sponge Dough
    150 gm bread flour
    150 gm plain flour
    3.5 tsp instant yeast
    200 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
    3 tbsp sugar
    1.5 tsp  salt
    1 large egg
    6 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 130 ml hot water
    60 gm butter 
    • Add all the ingredients [except butter] to the sponge dough.  Knead until well combined and dough is soft for about 10 minutes then add in butter.  Continue kneading until soft, smooth and elastic.   Knead a further 10  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.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Ma Lai Koh - Light Coloured Version

    I used to steam the darker version of Ma Lai Koh and love the cake very much for its texture and taste.  But it requires a longer preparation time and yeast is used. Some Ma Lai Koh uses coconut milk, which I do not really like [healthwise not advisable - family history of heart problem].  



    When I came across this light colour version, the procedure seems to be simpler.  I gave it a try because it is faster to make.  The cake turns out well [soft and moist] but I should have rested the batter for about 15-20 minutes before steaming.  This way, the texture may be even better [probably better honeycomb effect].  Perhaps, I will do it next time and should you be trying, maybe you can add in this step.  But take note to finish this steamed cake within 1-2 days. 

    Ingredients
    5 eggs
    180 gm castor sugar
    100 ml corn oil
    130 ml fresh milk

    Sifted together
    280 gm superfine flour
    4 tbsp custard powder
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    1. Line a 7"  square tin with greased proof paper.
    2. Prepare a steamer with enough water.  Bring to a boil while you prepare the batter.
    3. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer on medium high speed till light and creamy. 
    4. Slowly drizzle in oil on medium low speed to combine.  Then drizzle in milk.
    5. Gradually add in sifted flour and fold on low speed until well incorporated and mixture is smooth.
    6. Rest batter for 15-20 minutes [advisable step].
    7. Then pour batter into prepared steaming tray.  Steam cake over high heat for 30 minutes or until cake comes out clean when tested with a skewer.
    8. Remove to cool in rack before slicing.
    Note:
    Steamed kuihs do not last long in humid/warm temperatures.  Best to finish within 1-2 days, otherwise keep in airtight container and refrigerate.  Thaw to room temperature before serving.

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Pickled White Carrot

    After making the zuchini and cabbage pickles, this time I tried pickling white carrots. Pickled white carrot goes well with Penang Lor Bak, Meat Rolls, Taiwanese 'chicken' rolls and and other fried meat or even prawn and fish fritters.

    It is very simple but the steps to do it must be followed especially with the seasoning of the vegetable with salt.  It  must be left for at least 1-2 hours to draw out the liquid.  This is very important as to get a crunchy pickle.  For white carrots, it is important if do not want your pickle to have the bitter taste of it.

    Ingredients
    300 gm white carrot - scrape the skin, wash and sliced thinly
    2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup white rice vinegar
    4 tbsp sugar

    1. Mix salt to sliced carrots well.  Leave for 1-2 hours to drain out liquid [Must follow strictly this step].
    2. Rinse carrot and squeeze out as much liquid/moisture as possible.  
    3. Mix sugar and vinegar together.
    4. Place carrot in a glass container.  Pour in the vinegar and sugar solution.  Mix well.  Cover the container and leave for at least 2 hours before it is ready to serve.
    5. Chill in the refrigerator and enjoy this refreshing pickle to any fried meat.


    Taiwanese Chicken Roll [Version 1]


    Taiwanese 'chicken' roll has nothing to do with chicken.  Pork and fish paste is used to make these rolls.  I have no idea why it is called chicken roll.   Perhaps, it looks like the chicken neck when you make them long.  I have tried it while in Taoyuan, Taiwan.  It is about 1 foot long.   Anyway, this is a delicious meat roll worth making.  The texture is soft and moist but firm.
    Taiwanese Chicken Roll


    Here, I made these rolls shorter for easy frying.  Not much oil is required by frying in several batches.
    Ingredients
    [makes 18 pieces]
    300 gm fish paste -  fish meat blended till fine and mix with some water into a sticky paste
    300 gm tender lean pork [I used 'li chi rou'] - cut strips
    1 yellow onion - cut fine shreds
    1 - 2 tbsp tapioca flour or sweet potato flour
    1 piece bean curd skin - cut into 8"x 5" rectangular pieces
    Seasoning - marinate meat
    2 tsp each of light soy sauce, wine and sugar
    1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper and 5 spice powder
    1/2 tsp sesame oil [optional]
    1. Marinate pork strips with seasoning.  Add in sticky fish paste and onions.  Use hand to mix all the ingredients together until well combined.  
    2. Cover and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 1/2 an hour.
    3. Place about  a handful of mixture on centre of beancurd skin.  Fold both side of the skin and roll up like spring roll.  Do the same for the rest of the mixture.
    4. Place a few pieces of chicken roll in oil.  Turn on heat to medium and deep fry the rolls until golden brown and crispy.  Drain and leave on kitchen paper to cool.
    5. Cut rolls before serving them plain or with sweet chilli sauce or pickled zuchini or white carrot. 
    Note:
    I was told that these 'chicken rolls' are served with Taiwanese porridge called 'kiam moi' or 'yam porridge'.  The ingredients for cooking 'kiam moi' are quite similar to the ingredients for my Kocha [traditional] Flavour Noodle Soup.  Just substitute noodles with rice to cook porridge.


    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls [Sponge Dough Method]

    Very soft, moist buns that are not too oily or sweet.  A cinnamon roll recipe worth keeping and repeating.
    Ingredients
    [makes 16 pieces in a square baking tin]
    Sponge Dough
    200 gm bread flour
    2.5 tsp instant yeast
    120 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
    120 gm bread flour
    60 gm superfine flour
    2 tbsp milk powder
    5 tbsp sugar
    1/4 tsp  salt
    100 ml water or just enough to make a soft but not wet dough
    30 gm butter
    Topping
    1 tbsp melted butter
    some cinnamon powder combined with icing sugar
    4 tbsp of blueberry pie filling 
    Glaze - 1/2 egg yolk with 1 tbsp milk - mixed 
    • Add all the bread dough ingredients [except water and butter] to the sponge dough.  Knead for awhile until well combined, then gradually add in water while kneading.  Continue to knead until a soft dough is formed.  Takes about 10 minutes then add in butter.  Continue kneading until soft, smooth, elastic and dough does not stick to the fingers [about 10 minutes on medium speed].
    • Shape into a ball, coat with some flour and cover with a clean cloth to proof for 15 minutes or until double in size. Punch down dough.
    • Divide dough into 4 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a square.  Brush lightly with melted butter, then spread a tablespoon of blueberry pie filling, sprinkle cinnamon and icing sugar.  Roll up tightly and cut into 4 pieces.  
    • Arrange the rolled dough in a square baking tray line with parchment paper.  Repeat the same for the 3 portions.   Leave to proof in oven for about 30 minutes or until double in size.   
    • Remove from oven and preheat oven at 190 degrees C.  Before baking, brush with egg glaze and sprinkle some sugar [if prefered].
    • Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove to cool on rack immediately after baking.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Steamed Pumpkin Buns

    I had this very good recipe for steamed buns using pumpkin sometime ago from Amy's [cooking crave] blog.  That time, I wasn't into posting recipe in my blog.  The buns were very soft, light and moist. The colour of the buns were very lovely orange.  This time, the colour was light orange, I believed it could be the quality of the pumpkin.  The last time, I bought the pumpkin that was from Indonesia.  This time, it is the pear shaped time and I have no idea where it is from.
    Anyway, I am sharing this lovely recipe of Amy Ong with you.  The only doubt I have about this recipe is the quantity of oil used [it is quite a lot].  Never mind, the buns are good.

    Ingredients
    [makes 18 pieces] - can make up to 24 if you prefer smaller buns]
    1 tbsp yeast
    1 tsp sugar
    125 - 150 ml warm water
    • Mix all together and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes or until frothy
    500 gm plain flour - sifted
    1/4 tsp salt
    150 gm mashed steamed pumpkin 
    100 gm [8 tbsp] sugar
    100 ml [8 tbsp] oil
    1. Mix all the above ingredients [except oil] with yeast mixture and knead on medium speed for about 10 minutes or until soft and smooth.
    2. Add in oil, continue to knead for another 10 minutes or until dough is soft, smooth and elastic.  Shape into a ball and coat with some flour.  Cover to proof for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Divide dough into 18 equal portions [or more if making smaller buns].  Roll into balls and then into circles.
    4. Wrap each portion with any fillings prefered or shape into any desired shapes [croissant, swiss roll, round, spiral or flower etc]  if making plain steamed buns and place on baking paper.
    5. Proof for 10-15 minutes or until double in size.  
    6. Steam buns over boiling water on high heat for 12-15 minutes.  Off fire, leave buns in steamer for a minute before uncovering lid.
    7. Remove to cool on wire rack or serve immediately.
    Note:
    Here I used Stir Fry Turnip [Popiah Chai] as fillings for the buns.  Next time, I will just make them into various shapes without fillings.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Tofu, Leafy Green Thick Soup

    I love preparing food that can be cooked earlier [best in the morning] and only require reheating before meal time.  It will be hassle free to get dinner ready especially during hot weather season or when get home later than expected.  This is a quick to cook soup to serve with rice and the ingredients can be prepared earlier.    This soup is suitable for the old and young.

     
    Ingredients
    [serves 2-3]
    1 piece soft tofu - diced
    A handful of prawns without shells - lightly smashed and halved
    A bunch of leafy green vegetable [I used 'A' Chai] - wash and cut thinly
    1 egg - lightly beaten
    600 ml water or soup stock 
    salt, chicken stock granules ormsg and pepper to taste
    cornflour mix to thicken soup slightly

    1 stalk spring onion, a few slices ginger and some cooking wine [if not using soup stock] - Saute spring onion and ginger until slightly brown.  Add wine, then water. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes.  Discard spring onions and ginger.  Use stock for soup.

    1. Bring stock to boil, then add in tofu and prawns.  When soup is boiling add in vegetables and seasoning.  Give it a stir, thicken soup then pour in beaten egg in a circular manner.  Stir once after a few second when the egg has firmed up.  Add pepper to taste and garlic crisps [I did not add to soup because my hubby does not like garlic crisps in soup].
    2. Dish out to serve hot with rice. 

    Note:
    I served this thick soup with my Kocha Flavour Steamed Pumpkin Rice.



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