Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Braised Three Black Treasures

What are the 3 treasures in this dish?  They are dried mushrooms, wood ear fungus and cloud ear fungus.
Verdict - very aromatic, fragrant and tasty dish.  Looks dark but it is a nice dish that goes well with white rice.

Recipe Source - Yum Yum Magazine No. 68 [slightly modified]
[serves 5-6]
60 gm dried mushrooms - soaked, stem removed
30 gm wood ear fungus - soaked and removed woody part
30 gm cloud ear fungus - soaked and removed woody part
20 gm ginger slices
2 pandan leaves
2 star anise
1 tbsp fermented black beans [tau see]
1 1/2 bowl water
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1/2 tsp each of sugar, pepper, sesame oil and vegetarian msg

  1. Heat oil, saute ginger, pandan leaves and fermented black beans until aromatic.
  2. Add in black mushrooms and wood ear fungus.  Stir fry until fragrant, add star anise, seasoning and water.  Bring to boil over high heat then lower heat to simmer until sauce is almost dry.
  3. Add in cloud ear fungus, stir to mix well.
  4. Dish up to serve.
    I'm submitting this post to Cook Your Books Event #16 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours
     photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vegetarian Crispy Tofu Skin with BBQ Sauce

An easy vegetarian dish to prepare yet tasty and good with plain white rice.
The recipe uses fresh tofu skin [aka tau pau] which comes in 2 shapes [round and oblong].  It comes in a packet of 10 pieces.  For this dish, I used the round ones cos' I think it is easier to coat with the batter for frying.
10 pieces fresh tofu skin [tau pau] - round shape ones
5 tbsp oil for pan frying
2-3 dried mushrooms - soaked and cut strips
1 red chilli - cut shreds
20 gm ginger - shredded
Batter - mix together
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
5 tbsp water
2 tsp oil
Sauce Ingredients
3 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp Worchester sauce
1 tbsp HP sauce [I substitute with Worchester sauce]
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
200 ml water
  1. Heat oil in pan [preferably non-stick pan].  Coat tofu skin pieces with batter.
  2. Pan fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides.  Dish and drain.
  3. Remove excess oil.  Saute ginger and mushrooms until fragrant.  Add in the sauce ingredients and chilli.  
  4. Bring to boil and return the fried tofu skin to coat well with the sauce.
  5. Dish up and garnish with coriander leaves.  Serve.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mock Char Siu

Made some mock char siu for vegetarian diet.  This char siu can be eaten as it is or use as a condiment for stir fry vegetables, noodle and fried rice.
This is made from ready-made gluten which are available at the stores selling vegetarian food ingredients.  They are available fresh or frozen.  I have modified this recipe for convenience and the mock char siu nevertheless tasted good but it is soft and not like char siu which sometimes are tough.
Recipe Source - Amy Beh Book  with modifications to ingredients and method
500 gm raw meen kan or gluten
1 piece palm sugar [40 gm]
2 star anise
3 cloves
1/2 piece of red fermented bean curd [nam yee]
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp msg [vegetarian]
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
350 ml water or enough to cover gluten
a pinch of red colouring [I used orange AKK colouring]
  1. Pull the raw meen kan/gluten into a cylindrical shape or into strips to resemble pork fillet.
  2. Marinate the gluten with marinade for several hours.
  3. Place marinated gluten with marinate into a wok, bring to boil and simmer until gravy is reduce.
  4. Add in palm sugar and simmer until gravy is thick.
  5. Dish up, slice to serve and garnish with some toasted white sesame seeds if preferred.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vegetarian Mixed Vegetable Pickle [Achar Awak] - 2014

This mixed vegetable pickle popularly known as 'Achar' are found in most economy rice stalls or at the stall at the wet market selling cooked food. However, theirs are usually with shallots in the curry paste. For religious purpose like Nine Emperor Gods Festival [Kew Ong Yeah in Hokkien],shallots and garlic must not be added. I cooked this annually during this festival for the family and to give some friends who are on strict vegetarian diet like me.

In my previous post on this, I prepared the curry paste from stretch but this time, I bought the ready-mix paste [In Penang, this ready-mix paste is available at most wet markets. You just need to tell the vendor how much vegetables you are cooking and he will prepare the quantity needed].
For this recipe, the total weight of the wet paste is 375 gm.

Cut vegetables before blanching

2 kg cucumber - cut 1 inch length thin strips
700 gm cabbage - break into bite size pieces
300 gm carrots - cut 1 inch length thin strips
300 kg long beans - cut 1 inch length pieces
200 gm grounded peanuts
3-4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
200 gm sugar [I used about 9 tablespoons]
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
150 ml oil
1.5 ml water and 200 ml white vinegar
Frying sesame seeds till golden brown
Blanching vegetables in boiling water and vinegar
  1. Season cut cucumber with some salt and set aside for 15-20 minutes. Place seasoned cucumber in a muslin bag and squeeze out the water. Do this in several batches. Drier cucumber will make it crunchy when cooked.
  2. Bring water to boil in a wok then add in vinegar. Blanched each of the cut vegetables for about a minute and remove using a serrated ladle into a basin. Usually, I will blanch the cucumber first, followed by carrot/long beans and cabbage. Do not overcook the vegetables. Discard the water after all the vegetables are blanched.
  3. Heat up oil in the wok to saute the chilli paste till aromatic and oil separates. Add in half portion of sugar and salt.
  4. Fry to combine then add in all the blanched vegetables. Stir to combine the chilli paste and vegetables. Then add in the cut chillies, balance sugar and salt. Taste to adjust seasoning [need not be too sweet, sour or salty as it tastes better after 1-2 days].
  5. Bring it to a boil, lower heat then add grounded peanuts and sesame seeds [keep a little as garnish]. Mix well and off fire.
  6. Leave to cool before storing in containers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when serving. Keep well for 2 weeks or more in refrigerator. Bring out and leave it to room temperature before serving with white rice.
If cooking less, just adjust the quantity of the ingredients proportionately. 
Acar tastes better after several hours or even after several days.  Acar stays good for at least 1/2 a month in the fridge.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

EZ Fried Carrot Cake [Chai Tow Kuih]

White carrots were very cheap at the supermarts.  Traditional fried carrot cake is always my favourite kuih from the Kuih stall.  They are deep fried until golden brown and the edges are especially crispy and fragrant but not that authentic cos' you don't get to taste the carrots in it.  Most times you don't see the shredded carrots.
This recipe is a very easy recipe using just carrots and rice flour with seasoning.  Here, I pan fry the cakes instead of deep frying.  You can cut the cake into rectangles or squares.   Serve with a home-made dipping sauce, it just as satisfying,
Recipe Source for Fried Carrot Cake - Eating China
[makes about 10-12 servings]
600 gm grated white carrot - squeeze out carrot juice
400 ml water
1-1.5  tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt 
1/2 tbsp white pepper
some vegetable oil [1-2 tbsp]
Combine Together
300 gm rice flour
450 ml water
  1. Peel and finely grate carrots.
  2. Combine rice flour with water, mix until batter is smooth.  Set aside.
  3. Heat some oil, fry carrots at medium heat until soft [about 5-10 minutes].
  4. Add in the seasoning to taste, stir fry to mix well.  Add in water, stir and bring to boil.  Simmer for several minutes.
  5. Gradually add in the rice flour mixture, continue stirring as you add the mixture.  Stir until the mixture thickens.
  6. Scoop mixture into a lightly greased baking tray [about 7-8"], smooth the surface a little.  Steam over high heat for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool before removing cake.   Cut cake into desired shapes.
  8. Heat some oil in a non stick pan, pan fry cake pieces until golden brown are crispy on both side.  You can deep fry the cakes too.
  9. Serve with dipping sauce or any chilli sauce of your choice.
Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp Miso paste or fine Taucheong
4-5 tbsp sugar
1 -2 tsp grated garlic [omit if for strict religious vegetarian diet]
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp white rice vinegar [optional]
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp chilli boh or chilli powder [1 tbsp for spicy version]
1.5 tbsp glutinous rice flour
1 cup water
  1. Combine all the ingredients well.
  2. Cook sauce over medium heat, stirring all the time until sauce thickens.
  3. Let it comes to a rolling boil and bubbly.
  4. Off heat and leave to cool before storing in glass jar.