Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mi Koo III

Steamed Mi Koo again for Cheng Beng [Chinese All Souls Day] prayers.  Made this portion just enough for my mum and my mother in-law.  

It's worthwhile making it especially this time,  moreover it can be frozen and eaten late cos's usually during praying time there are lots and lots of other food to eat.  
This is the first time, I made use of my small 2 tier electric steamer, very convenient.  Because my steamer is small, I shaped the Mi Koo into round shapes.  I can steam 4 pieces at a time.  From this portion, I made 12 pieces instead of the usual 8 pieces.
Please refer here Steamed Red Skin Buns [Sponge Dough Method] or Red Skin Bun [Mi Koo] for the recipe.
For this post, I used the Red Skin Bun [Mi Koo] method.  Both methods yield good Mi Koo.  Try using pau flour instead of plain flour if you prefer the buns to be whiter.
You can also make 1/2 portion and shape them into small buns as shown in the picture below.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fried Fish Slices with Orange Sauce

A tangy sauce using orange juice to go with my fried fish.  Here, I used Spanish mackerel blocks but you can use any white fish fillet like grouper would be even better.  At my mother in-law's place, I would use grouper fish fillets [make a few slits],  fry until golden brown, it's very delicious with the sauce.

3 medium size Spanish mackerel fish blocks about 2 cm thick] - season with some salt and pepper
[lightly coat with flour before frying]
some shredded onions, carrot and cucumber
some coriander leaves or spring onions
Oil for frying fish

Orange Sauce Ingredients - Mix together
120 ml fresh orange juice [from 1-2 medium size orange]
30 ml water
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar to taste
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1 tsp cornstarch

  1. Heat enough oil to pan fry fish slices until golden brown [can also deep fry until golden brown].
  2. Spread shredded vegetables on serving plate.  Place fried fish over vegetables.
  3. Bring orange sauce to boil over low heat, stirring continously until sauce is slightly thick and turns clear.
  4. Pour over fish, garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mandarin Orange Butter Cake

My mum's last batch of mandarin oranges left after the CNY turning tasteless and dried.   I managed to salvage several fruits to obtain enough of its' juice and flesh to bake this cake.  Cake turns out buttery, soft and moist.

[use 4" x 8" loaf pan]
200 gm butter
130-150 gm castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
80 ml mandarin orange juice
flesh of 1 mandarin orange - cut small pieces
200 gm cake flour sifted together with 2 tsp baking powder
  1. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  
  2. Add in one egg at a time, beat well after each addition.
  3. Fold in sifted flour in 3 batches alternating with orange juice.
  4. Fold with spatula until well combined.
  5. Pour half batter into a lined [base only] and greased loaf pan [greased and sprinkle some flour all over the sides of pan].  Spread half of the orange flesh over batter, then pour in balance batter.
  6. Spread again orange flesh all over batter.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 40-45 minutes or test with skewer.  Its ready when the skewer comes out clean.   

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Red Plum Jam 2

Was browsing through some jam/preserves recipes, particularly the methods.  This method seems to be an easy way to make nice jam and I hope the sweetness is acceptable to all.

[makes about 2 bottles x 400 gm]
500-550 gm red plums - washed and seed removed, cut into small pieces
300-350 gm sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Place a saucer in the freezer [for testing if jam is ready].
  2. Mix sugar with cut fruits until sugar melts.
  3. Place mixture in a heavy base pot or non-stick pan.  Add in lemon juice.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer until jam gels up [stir the jam occasionally throughout the cooking].  This takes about 30 minutes.
  5. Spoon a little of jam onto cooled saucer.  Return to freezer for about 3-5 minutes.  If the jam wrinkles up when push with a finger, the jam is ready.
  6. Store jam in sterilised glass container.  Refrigerate jam.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Soft White Bread [Scalded Dough]

Hardly bake white bread cos' it's so common to hear people saying not to eat too much of white bread especially people with high cholesterol, diabetes etc.  Anyway, I came across this recipe from Corner Cafe quite awhile ago which looks good.  So what, give it a try-lah once in a while since I'm not diabetic or with high cholesterol.  Once a while indulgence should be alright-lah.... 

This bread is soft and chewy [QQ] and it's quite 'heavy' probably because I didn't proof it longer as stated in the recipe [short of time, in a rush to go out].  Doesn't matter, slice it thinner or eat less if the bread is 'heavy'.      Anyway, the bread was good and finished within 2 days for the 3 of us.  I wouldn't mind baking it again if I wanted soft white bread.
[makes 1 loaf - Pullman's tin]
Scalded Dough
100 gm bread flour
100 ml boiling water
  • Pour boiling water over flour.  Stir with a pair of chopsticks until no dry flour is visible [you'll get a doughy, clumpy mixture].
  • Rest for 5 minutes, transfer to a container, cover and leave at room temperature for at least 1/2-1 hour.  Break into small pieces when adding to bread dough.
Bread Dough
350 gm bread flour
2 tbsp milk powder
2 tbsp castor sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp instant yeast
200 - 220 ml lukewarm water
35 gm butter
  1. Mix all ingredients [except water and butter] with scalded dough.  Gradually add in water while kneading.  Knead into a soft  dough.
  2. Add  in butter and continue to knead until dough is soft, smooth and elastic.
  3. Shape into a round ball, cover to proof for about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down dough, roll into a rectangle.  Fold into thirds then roll again into a flat rectangle.
  5. Roll up like a swiss roll, seal the edges well.  Place dough in a greased Pullman's tin.
  6. Leave in the oven with door closed to proof until dough rises up to the top of the tin.
  7. Bake bread in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Cool before slicing.

Monday, March 25, 2013


After baking the Chocolate Brandy Muffins which my hubby loves so much, I thought it would be good try to bake a cottony cake with brandy flavour. While I was beating the egg mixture, the fragrance of the brandy with vanilla essence was irresistible.

Also very happy with this bake as the cake base wasn't soggy and it didn't shrink much after cooling [the brandy may have some effects on this cake].  You can actually swirl the batter to create a marble effect if you like otherwise the layered pattern should look alright, too.
Ingredients for Egg Yolk Mixture
[using 8"  or 9" square tin]
65 gm superfine flour - sifted
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
45 ml corn oil [3 tbsp]
60 ml milk mix with 1 tbsp brandy and 2 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Place the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and make well in the centre.  Add in eggs, corn oil and milk mixture.  Using a paddle hook, beat ingredients until creamy and well combined.   Set aside. 
  2. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups water into baking tray, place baking rack on the tray and  preheat oven at 160 degrees C for 10 minutes.
Ingredients for Egg White Mixture
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
65 gm castor sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder dissolve with 1 tbsp hot water and 1 tbsp brandy - make into paste

  1. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg white until frothy, add in cream of tartar and whisk until  slightly foamy.  Add in sugar in 3 batches.  Whisk until soft to stiff peaks formed.
  2. Using a spatula, fold in 1/2 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture.  Lift and fold until well combined, then add to rest of meringue.  Fold again until well mix.
  3. Remove 2/3 portion of batter, add in cocoa paste.  Mix well.  Keep the other 1/3 portion plain [vanilla and brandy flavour].
  4. Pour 1/2 of the cocoa/brandy batter into a 8" square tin [line base with baking paper at the bottom only].   Add in the vanilla batter, spread batter evenly over the cocoa/brandy batter, then add in the remaining cocoa/brandy batter [you can swirl batter with a skewer for marble effect]. 
  5. Smooth the surface with a spatula and steam bake in oven at 160 degrees C for 70 minutes.  [Note: for the water bath, use 1 and 1/2 cups water for the duration of baking.  This way the cake base will not be soggy after baking].
  6. Invert the cake after baking  and let it cool slightly [about 5-10 minutes] before removing the pan and baking paper [there maybe some vapour on the baking paper].
  7. Cool cake before slicing to serve or refrigerate for serving later.

    Note: For this cake, I lightly greased the sides of the pan and sprinkled some flour over it.  Dust off excess flour and lined the base with parchment paper.  Cake sides were a little brown , crusty and easily dislodge from tin after cooling for about 10-15 minutes.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Family Style Winter Melon Soup

    A neighbour brought back a big homegrown ash gourd [tung kwa] and gave us [her friends] each a piece of it.  So I cooked my family's easy version of winter melon soup without using meat.  The flavour comes from sauteed garlic, shallots, belacan and dried prawns.

    Was told that winter melon is good for the kidneys and has other nutritional and medicinal benefits [see below].
    Ash Gourd or Winter Melon
    [serves 2-3]
    200 gm winter melon - seeds and skin removed, cut wedges
    500-600 ml water - blanched in boiling water for a few minutes - drained
    salt and msg to taste
    1/2 tbsp oil
    Pound or blend together ingredients
    2 cloves garlic
    2 shallots
    1/2 tsp white peppercorns - washed
    1 tsp of shrimp paste [belacan]
    1 tbsp dried prawns - rinsed
    some spring onions - optional for garnishing
    1. Heat soup pot with oil.  Saute pounded ingredients until aromatic.
    2. Add in water.  Bring to a rolling boil for several minutes.
    3. Add in winter melon and continue to boil until winter melon turns clear and soft.
    4. Add in salt and msg to taste.  Serve hot.
    Ash-Gourd and Health
    Quick Facts

    Ash-gourd is loaded with nutrients. It's an excellent source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin C. It is also rich in many minerals like calcium. Its high potassium content makes this a good vegetable for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
    Containing almost 96% water, this gourd is a dietitian's delight. Be sure to include this vegetable in your weght-loss diet.

    In Ayurveda and other traditional eastern medicine, ash-gourd is used as a general tonic for its restorative properties.  

    In Ayurveda, ash-gourd is also used as brain food - to treat mental illnesses and nervous disorders such as epilepsy, paranoia, and insanity.

    Ash-gourd is alkaline in nature and hence has a cooling and neutralizing effect on  stomach acids and as such used effectively for treating digestive ailments like hyperacidity, dyspepsia, and ulcers. Ash-gourd juice is a popular home remedy for peptic ulcers. Ash-gourd juice is also used to treat diabetes.

    Ash-gourd is also useful in treating respiratory disorders like asthma, blood-related diseases, and urinary diseases like kidney stones.

    Every part of this fruit is useful. Ash-gourd leaves are rubbed on bruises to heal them, while the seeds are used for expelling intestinal worms. The ash made from burning the rind and seeds are mixed with coconut oil and used to promote hair growth and to treat dandruff.

    Inexpensive and versatile, ash-gourd is a healthful vegetable that should definitely be a part of any nutritious diet.