Friday, January 29, 2016


I was so happy when I removed the cover of the steamer after 20 minutes of steaming the cake.  Why so happy?  Oh,  definitely it is because I had 9 pieces of ‘smiling’ huat kuih in front of me.  All 9 turned out well, the cracks were lovely and nice colour too.
These huat kuihs are moist and the sweetness is acceptable to me.  Great for giveaways too as it is a symbol of  ‘GOOD LUCK’ and ‘HUAT AH!’  hehehe!.   Moreover,  the ingredients required are just a few  and the preparation is quick and easy, about 15 minutes.  I used the brown sugar bought at Tesco store.  It gives a more intense colour than the packet brown sugar.
Do try making these if you wish to have some ‘Huat Kuihs’ as offering items for prayers.  Sure much more economical to make some instead of buying from the stalls.
The original recipe is half of this portion below.
[makes 9 pieces in cupcake liners]
260 gm self raising flour – sifted
70 gm brown sugar
70 gm white sugar
50 ml coconut cream [I dissolved 3 tbsp coconut milk powder with 50 ml water]
200 ml hot water
  1. Prepare a steamer with water boiling.
  2. Dissolve both sugars in hot water.
  3. Sieve flour into a big mixing bowl.  Mix in the coconut cream, then strain in the syrup gradually.  Stirring slowly into a gluey batter.
  4. Line a baking tray with paper cases.  Fill in the batter to the rim.  Steam over medium high heat for 20 minutes.
This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids


Thursday, January 28, 2016


These pineapple tarts are so fragile, crispy and light with the addition of Nestum cereals. It has a rough crispness, savoury crust and sweet filling. Nice but must handle with care cos' it is very crumbly.
I used a wooden pineapple design mooncake mould to shape these tarts.
Recipe adapted from [modified]
[makes 16 pieces]
150 gm plain flour
15 gm icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt
50 gm Nestum original
130 gm butter
1 egg yolk
250 gm ready-bought pineapple paste/jam

  1. Sift flour, add in salt, stir in Nestum and set aside.
  2. Beat soft butter with sugar until light before adding egg yolk.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Fold in the dry ingredients [flour/salt/Nestum] and mix to form a firm dough.
  4. Lightly dust flour into the insides of some traditional wooden moulds.  Pinch off a small ball of pastry about the size of a small lime [size depends on the size of the mould].
  5. Roll pastry into a ball and flatten. Fill the centre with a ball of pineapple paste and pinch to enclose.
  6. Place this within the cavity of the wooden mould, press gently to mould. Gently tap the mould to dislodge the pastry. Finish making the remaining and arrange neatly on a baking tray.
  7. Bake pineapple pastries in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for about 20 minutes.
  8. When they are crisp and lightly coloured, take them out and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids


Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Sea cucumber on its own is tasteless.  The best way is to cook it by braising with sauce and some other ingredients for it to soak up the flavours.
This dish is the most common way that we used to cook sea cucumbers at home.  Braising it with nam yee [fermented beancurd] makes it tasty and aromatic.  As this is a family recipe, most ingredients are just estimates.  To cook this dish, you need only to stir fry the ingredients until aromatic, add water and braise until the sauce is reduced.  Taste to adjust the seasoning.

sea cucumbers - washed and slice slantwise about 1.5 cm thick
some roasted pork [pork belly part] - cut bite size pieces
1/2 red carrot - peeled and sliced
1-2 stalks Chinese leeks - washed and cut slantwise
2-3 dried mushrooms - soaked and cut thick pieces or halved
a few slices ginger
1-2 cloves garlic - sliced
1 piece fermented red bean curd [nam yee]
salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, wine and sugar to taste
cooking oil and sesame oil
enough water to cover ingredients

  1. Heat oil in wok, saute ginger and garlic until fragrant.  Add in the nam yee, stir to mix well.
  2. Add in roasted pork, mushrooms and carrots.  Stir to mix well. Add in seasoning and water.
  3. Bring to boil, taste to adjust seasoning.  Add in sea cucumber, continue to cook until gravy is slightly reduced.
  4. Stir in the leeks to cook.
  5. Dish up to serve with rice.
This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids


Tuesday, January 26, 2016


This is a dish with many ingredients but it is not difficult to prepare. You can simply mix and match the ingredients according to own preference, that is a little of this or more of the other ingredients. It is still okay and tastes good.
In some families, this is a must have dish during Chinese New Year when they observe vegetarian diet on the first day of the lunar year.
[serves 3-4]
3 dried mushrooms – soaked and cut thick strips
30 dried lilybuds [kim chiam] – soaked, knotted and hard tip trimmed 
10 gm cloud ear fungus [bok nee]– soaked
3 strips fu chook [dried beancurd stick] – soaked and cut ½ inch lengths
Some glass noodles – soaked
2 leaves cabbage leaves – cut ½ inch thick strips
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 – 1 ½ tbsp taucheong [mashed preserved soy bean paste]
3 tbsp oil and ½ tsp sesame seed oil
Seasoning [combined]
Dash of msg, pepper and salt
1 tbsp light soy sauce
180 ml water
  1. Prepare ingredients as stated above.
  2. Heat oil in wok and sauté garlic and taucheong until fragrant.
  3. Add in mushrooms, lilybuds, bok nee and fu chook. Fry well to combine.
  4. Add in cabbage and seasoning. Stir to mix and add in water.
  5. Bring to boil and simmer until cabbage is tender. Add in glass noodles and cooked until gravy is reduced.
  6. Dish up to serve.
This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids


Monday, January 25, 2016


I think this dish is the Nyonya Jiu Hoo Char cos’ the ingredients and cooking method is exactly the same. The only difference is perhaps it is a ‘Halal’ version since chicken fillet is used instead of pork belly.
So for those who do not eat pork, you can try this version. Taste wise, there isn’t much difference with the Nyonya Jiu Hoo Char. It is aromatic, delicious and tasty vegetable dish to serve wrap in lettuce leaves, sambal belacan and with steaming hot rice.  The dried cuttlefish adds sweetness and flavour to this dish.
400 gm turnips – sengkuang – peeled and finely shredded
1 medium size red carrot – peeled and finely shredded
100 gm cabbage – finely shredded
1 onion – peeled and finely shredded
100 gm chicken fillet – shredded
4 dried mushrooms – soaked and shredded
80 gm dried cuttlefish shreds – soaked, rinsed and drained
1 leek – finely shredded
1 tbsp chopped garlic
4-5 tbsp cooking oil
Seasoning [Combined]
1 ½ tbsp each light soy sauce and oyster sauce
½ tsp each of salt and msg to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Prepare the ingredients above.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick wok, sauté garlic until fragrant. Add cuttlefish shreds and fry until they pop or turn crispy. 
  3. Add in chicken fillet, mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in shredded turnips, carrots and cabbage. Stir and toss well to combine all the ingredients. Cover wok and cook until vegetables are cooked through. 
  5. Add in seasoning ingredients and leeks.
  6. Fry well to combine. Dish up to serve with sambal belacan and lettuce leaves.
Tips – this dish tastes good after frying/reheating for several times
This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Chinese New Year 2016 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids


Friday, January 22, 2016


This tasty, fragrant chicken rice was prepared to serve with my Baked Meaty Soft Ribs With Nam Yee.  While the rice was cooking in the steamer, my kitchen was filled with the aroma of the chicken rice and fragrance of the pandan leaves.
I had this recipe for sometime but always put off cooking this rice cos' of 1 ingredient, that is, chicken fats.  Today, I went to my regular stall selling chicken in the wet market and asked for some chicken fats. The vendor is an Indonesian, he was surprised that I asked for chicken fats to cook chicken rice cos' I always asked him to remove all the fats whenever I buy chicken from him.  His first response was 'Erh, lemak ayam tak ba goi, you nak bikin apa?  Saya punya ayam semua tak ada lemak, semua sihat dan kurus-kurus'.   I said Nasi Kukus Ayam, saya nak sedikit lemak sudah cukup.  So he gave me 3 miserable small pieces of the fats and here is the result.   Not too bad an idea to use it for chicken rice.
3 cups long grain rice - washed and well drained
some chicken fats with skin if possible
3 tbsp water
a dollop of margarine or butter
4 cm piece ginger - lightly smashed
4 cloves garlic - lightly smashed with skin on
2 pandan leaves 
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules
1 tsp salt to taste
enough water to cook rice
Some sliced cucumbers for garnishing
  1. Put chicken fats and water in a wok.  Heat over medium low heat until the water dries up and oil seeps out.
  2. Remove chicken fats and add butter to the oil.
  3. Add ginger and garlic, fry until aromatic.  Add in the rice and fry briskly to combine.
  4. Transfer rice to a rice cooker or steaming tray.  Add in seasoning ingredients and pandan leaves.  Top up with water.
  5. Put rice to cook as usual.  Fluff up rice before serving with cucumber slices.