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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stir Fry Sambal Spinach

Loved this stir fry spinach with sambal belacan.  An easy vegetable dish to prepare yet yummy for us who always look forward to some spicy dish at the dinner table whenever there's no curry dish.   

 Ingredients
[serves 2-3]
500 gm spinach - rinsed and separate leaves with stems, wash and drain in colander
1-2 tbsp sambal belacan [home-made or store bought]
salt and msg to taste
1-2 tbsp coconut milk [I used thick milk]
2 tbsp oil
  1. Heat oil in wok, saute sambal belacan for 1-2 seconds.  Add in spinach.
  2. Stir well to mix the ingredients.  Cover to cook for another few seconds.
  3. Uncover, add seasoning and milk and fry for 1-2 seconds or until vegetables are cooked.
  4. Dish out to serve immediately.   

Monday, April 29, 2013

Steamed Can Savoury Rice

This is quite similar to the Taiwanese steamed savoury glutinous rice in individual stainless steel tall cans [ a hawker's delicacy of Central Taiwan].  With this idea, I cooked this steamed rice but using short grain rice [this rice is used for cooking sushi rice].  I like to use this rice instead of glutinous rice as it is not that sticky or chewy and we can have it as a One dish meal .  
The rice tasted good and fragrant quite similar to 'Chu Bee P'ng'.   I served it with some pickled zuchini and a Miso soup with some sweet leaves [so that there are enough vege for a meal].
Ingredients
[serves 3 - steamed in 3 individual aluminium cans]
200 gm short grain rice - washed and drained
6 [50 gm] shallots - sliced
3 [50 gm] dried mushrooms - soaked and cut strips
2 tbsp dried prawns - rinsed
200 gm shredded meat with some fats - marinate with soy sauce, pepper, sesame oil and cornflour
300 ml water  
enough oil to fry shallots
Seasoning to taste
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp msg
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
  1. Heat oil in pan to fry shallots until golden.  Dish out.  Remove excess oil, leaving 1-2 tbsp to fry mushrooms and dried prawns.  Fry until fragrant, then add in shredded meat.  Fry until meat is firm.
  2. Add in rice and seasoning to taste.  Stir in fried shallots [reserving some for garnishing].
  3. Dish out into individual cans [equal portions].  Add about 100 ml water to each portion.
  4. Steam for 25-30 minutes or until cooked.  Leave for 10 minutes before turning out to serve on plate.
  5. Garnish with crispy shallots, coriander leaves  and sweet sour chilli sauce [optional].  

Friday, April 26, 2013

TOPO VANILLA COTTONY CAKE [OGURA CAKE]

A slightly difference in the quantity of some ingredients with no increase in number of eggs.  Custard powder is also used for this cake.  However, the cake texture is soft, moist and cottony like other cottony cakes.
Basic flavour of this cake is vanilla but I used the topo map idea to create a more 'sophisticated' look.  

Ingredients
[8 inch square baking tin]
5 egg yolks
1 egg
55 ml corn oil
70 ml milk
1 tbsp icing sugar [original uses 30 gm]
85 gm cake flour  - sifted
15 gm custard powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla essence

5 egg whites
70 gm sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

some chocolate, green and yellow colouring [can use any colour combination you like]
some cocoa powder for dusting in between layers
  1. Line base of a 8" square tin with grease proof paper.   I greased the sides, too and sprinkle lightly with a little flour [this way, the cake can be easily removed from pan after cooling].  I used a 9" pan and the cake is not that tall.  Use 8" pan if you want a taller cake.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.    Place a baking tray on the lowest rack, pour in enough water [about 1.5 cups] for steam baking, then place a baking rack over it.  
  3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 whole egg until creamy then gradually drizzle in the corn oil followed by milk.    Whisk until well combined.
  4. Fold in sifted flour and stir until batter is smooth.  Stir in vanilla essence. Set aside.
  5. Use a cake mixer, whisk egg whites until frothy, then add in cream of tartar.  Beat until soft peaks then gradually add in the sugar in 3 batches and whisk until stiff peaks formed.  Do not over beat egg whites otherwise it may be difficult to fold in to egg yolk mixture.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until combined.   Then fold in the rest of the meringue lightly in 3 portions until well combined.  Divide batter into 4 portions.  Add in the colouring, mix well.
  7. Scoop the batters alternately to create the uneven layered effect of the cake into prepared cake tin.  After putting each layer, dust some cocoa powder over it using a small sieve.  Shake the pan lightly and the batter will spread out itself].  Tap baking tray on work surface a few times to release trapped air bubbles before baking. 

  8. Place it over the baking rack to steam bake cake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees C for 45-50 minutes [by then the water bath would have dried up].    You can also bake the cake at 150 degrees C for 70 minutes.
  9. Remove cake and invert it to cool for about 5 minutes [otherwise the cake base may be moist because of vapour from steam-baking]. 
  10. Remove baking tin and the paper linings immediately and leave cake to cool on a wire rack [base facing upwards].  The cake may shrink a little when cooled because of less flour used [low gluten cake].
  11. Turn the cake over when completely cooled.  Refrigerate before slicing if preferred.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Light Cheddar Cheesecake

A simple cheesecake baked using cheddar cheese slices for my cousin.  Her children loves the buttery rich taste of this cake.  The cake should be baked in a 6 inch pan but I used a 7 inch pan, that's the cause of the cake not be taller.




Ingredients
[use 6 inch loose base round pan]
3 slices cheddar cheese
50 gm butter
50 ml fresh milk
3 large eggs
50 gm cake flour or superfine flour
3 egg whites
50 gm castor sugar

  1. Preheat oven at 150 degrees C with a water bath.  Grease and line a 6 inch loose base round baking pan.
  2. Place cheddar cheese slices, butter and milk in a saucepan.  Over medium low heat, stir gently until all is melted.  Mix together and set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool before using.
  3. Whisk egg yolks until creamy and drizzle in the butter and milk mixture.  Stir well.
  4. Add sifted flour and fold until smooth
  5. Whisk egg whites in another mixing bowl until foamy.  Add in the sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks formed.
  6. Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture.  Mix in the balance and be careful not to deflate it.
  7. Pour batter into baking tin and smooth the surface.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hakka Style Steamed Beehoon

A simple noodle that can be prepared ahead without stir frying yet it can be served hot or warm during meal time.  Original recipe uses meat but I used prawns.  The beehoon tasted good even without the meat.  Initially, I wasn't thinking of posting this recipe cos' it's nothing special about it, that's the reason why I didn't have any step by step photos taken.  But after eating it, I think it is much, much better than the economy fried beehoon...



Ingredients
[serves 2]
200 gm fine beehoon [rice vermicelli]
100 gm lean pork - cut thin strips [I used 50 gm prawns]
1 squid - cleaned and cut thin strips [I omit]
100 gm beansprouts - tailed and washed
some spring onions - cut strips or chopped [I used chopped coriander leaves]
1 red chilli - cut strips or chopped [I used sambal belacan]
Seasoning - combine together
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chicken stock granules
a dash of pepper
  1. Marinate meat and squid with 1/4 portion of seasoning [if using, not necessary with prawns].
  2. Boil a pot of water to blanch beehoon.  Drain dry on a colander.  Use the same water to blanch beansprouts for a few seconds. Drain on colander.
  3. Use marinade to mix with blanched beehoon and beansprouts.   Stir to mix well.
  4. Put beehoon  and beansprouts in a steaming dish, top up with marinated meat and squid.
  5. Steam over high heat for 8-10 minutes before serving.
  6. Sprinkle extra sesame oil before serving.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Assam Pedas Ayam

My hubby keeps complaining that the curries he tried at the food outlets are not spicy hot or aromatic enough.


This post was inspired by a recipe from Malaysian Food Fest - Johor shared by Queenie of Semalam Berlalu Esok Menanti.  After cooking this, I realised there were so many different versions of this curry and all looks so mouth watering and some are really spicy.  This curry is not too spicy basing on my hubby's tastebuds, more chillies can be added [I think he swallowed the food too fast].  Perhaps, I'll try some others with more chillies and decide which one has that 'kick'.

Anyway, this curry is not too bad, very aromatic and fragrant.  Best of all, it requires no coconut milk.  My brother in-law likes it, he says 'not that sinful' and he finished half a plate of it when I told him no coconut milk in this curry.

Ingredients
[recipe adapted from Queenie of Semalam Berlalu Esok Menanti with some modifications]
800 gm chicken thigh - skinned removed - cut into bite size pieces
some daun kesum
seasoning - salt, sugar and chicken stock granules to taste
2 tbsp tamarind mix with 1/2 bowl water  
1 bowl water
1 tsp fenugreek
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
a small piece of belacan
1 cm piece galangal [lengkuas]
20 dried chillies - soaked in hot water, drained and blended till fine [can increase to 30]
3-4 tbsp oil  



Ingredients [Ground into Paste]
5 lemongrass
6 shallots
5 cloves garlic
2 cm piece ginger



  1. Heat oil in pan until hot, saute fenugreek until aromatic.  Add blended paste.  Fry until fragrant and crispy.     
  2. Add tumeric powder, then chilli paste and belacan.  Fry until oil separates.  

  3. Add in the chicken, fry to mix well with spices and until chicken pieces are firm.   
  4. Add in tamarind juice and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add in seasoning and simmer until chicken is cooked.   


  5. Lastly add in the kesum leaves.  Serve curry hot.  
Note:  Curry tasted even better the next day



Monday, April 22, 2013

Family Style Dried Oyster Porridge

This is the porridge I cooked for dinner when we came back from 'Cheng Beng'.  Too tired [after a day out under the scorching sun] to cook anything much, this porridge served with Chinese cruellers [freshly fried, available in the evenings nearby my house] is more than satisfying, lol....

I prepared all the ingredients until step 2 before leaving for Cheng Beng.  Cool and kept it in the fridge.  Before meal time, I add water to the prepare rice, bring it to boil and cook... [hassle free cooking].  Takes about  30 minutes and the porridge is ready. 
Ingredients
[serves 2-3]
1 cup rice - wash and drain
100 gm pork belly [skin removed] or lean pork fillet - cut thin strips 
1 tbsp dried prawns - rinsed
5-6 dried oysters [big ones] - soaked to soften and cut halve
2 shallots - sliced
2 cloves garlic - chopped
5-6 cups water [or enough to cook porridge]
1-2 tbsp oil
some chopped coriander leaves and spring onions
1-2 pieces Chinese crueller [yew char koay] - cut small pieces
Seasoning to taste
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
1/4 tsp msg or chicken stock granules
  1. Heat oil in wok, saute shallots and garlic until aromatic and brown.
  2. Add in dried prawns, dried oysters and meat to fry for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.  Add in the rice, stir to fry for a minute.  Add in seasoning to mix.   Stir to combine. 
  3. Dish out into a big pot, add in water.  Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Taste to adjust seasoning.  Off fire and cover pot for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  5. Garnish with spring onions and coriander leaves.  Serve with Chinese cruellers.

Friday, April 19, 2013

BLACK SESAME ZEBRA COTTONY CAKE [OGURA CAKE]

Came across a Japanese Cotton cake recipe using black sesame powder.  Out of curiosity, I tried this cake but made it into a zebra pattern.  Since I do not have the black sesame powder, I used ground toasted black sesame seed [not fine enough].  I find it a bit difficult to blend the paste with the batter, that's why  certain parts have a big patch of black sesame due to uneven mixing [I was afraid to deflate the meringue due to over-mixing].   Next time, I must really grind the black sesame into a fine paste or get the powder...
Overall the cake tasted good and the texture is still cottony soft and moist.  The cake doesn't shrink much.
Ingredients
[8 or 9 inch square baking tin]
5 egg yolks
1 egg

45 ml corn oil
70 ml milk
65 gm cake flour  - sifted - set aside
1/4 tsp salt

50 gm black sesame powder [you can grind toasted black sesame seeds into paste]


5 egg whites
100 gm sugar [I reduced to 80 gm]
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

  1. Line base of a 8" square tin with grease proof paper.   I greased the sides, too and sprinkle lightly with a little flour [this way, the cake can be easily removed from pan after cooling].
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.    Place a baking tray on the lowest rack, pour in enough water [about 1.5 cups] for steam baking, then place a baking rack over it.  
  3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 whole egg until creamy then gradually drizzle in the corn oil followed by milk.    Whisk until well combined.
  4. Fold in sifted flour and stir until batter is smooth.  Set aside.
  5. Use a cake mixer, whisk egg whites until frothy, then add in cream of tartar.  Beat until soft peaks then gradually add in the sugar in 3 batches and whisk until stiff peaks formed.  Do not over beat egg whites otherwise it may be difficult to fold in to egg yolk mixture.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until combined.   Then fold in the rest of the meringue lightly in two portions until well combined.  Remove 1/3 of the cake batter to another bowl.  Add in the black sesame powder, mix well.
  7. Scoop the 2 batters alternately to create the zebra effect of the cake into prepared cake tin [using a small ladle, put the plain portion in the centre of tin and top with black sesame batter, shake the pan lightly and the batter will spread out itself].  Tap baking tray on work surface a few times to release trapped air bubbles before baking. 
  8. Place it over the baking rack to steam bake cake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 140-150 degrees C and continue to bake for 50-55 minutes [by then the water bath would have dried up]. 
  9. Remove cake and invert it to cool for about 5 minutes [otherwise the cake base may be moist because of vapour from steam-baking]. Remove baking tin and the paper linings immediately and leave cake to cool on a wire rack [base facing upwards]. The cake may shrink a little when cooled because of less flour used [low gluten cake]. 
  10. Turn the cake over when completely cooled. Refrigerate before slicing if preferred.

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