Thursday, December 28, 2017


It's year end, season for arrowheads [ngaku] and also time to enjoy them, fried, braised or steamed.  I prepared this dish by braising all the ingredients together all in one pot. A very easy dish to prepare yet the result is awesome.
The spare ribs are savoury, while the arrowheads are sweet and crunchy.  Perfect combination, tasty and fragrant dish that goes well with rice.
This dish can be prepared earlier, reheat before serving.
[serves 2-3]
300 gm spare ribs - cut bite size pieces
3 bulbs arrowheads [ngaku] - peeled and cut bite size pieces
a few slices ginger
2-3 pips garlic
1 star anise
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce for colour [optional]
250 ml water
1/2 tsp sesame seed oil
  1. Place all the ingredients [except water and sesame seed oil] in a heavy base pan.
  2. Bring ingredients to boil, stir to mix well for several minutes or until meat pieces are firm.
  3. Add water, bring to boil again, taste to adjust seasoning, then cover pan with lid.
  4. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until pork pieces are tender and sauce thick.  Stir in between cooking.  Add more water if meat slices are not tender.
  5. Dish up to serve with rice.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


My family has learned to love fried tempeh which I prepared for them.  Tempeh tastes good be it pan fried or deep fried.  It can be served with a salad or any tasty dipping sauce.
Here, I have made it very simple.  The pan fried tempeh pieces are served with mayonnaise.  You can serve the with chilli sauce, too.  
Though tempeh is a naturally cultured and fermented patty, it has a unique taste and flavourful on its own when fried. 

1 big piece tempeh - sliced 1/2 cm thickness
Oil for frying
1/2 tsp each of salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp meat curry powder
1/4 tsp sugar
dash of msg or chicken stock
  1.  Combine seasoning ingredients in a deep plate or bowl.
  2. Cut tempeh into slices of cubes.  Add to combined seasoning.  Toss well and set aside for several minutes.
  3. Heat oil in wok and fry tempeh until golden and crispy. One tip - best to fry in batches because oil for frying cannot be re-used.
  4. Dish up on serving platter.  Drizzle over with mayonnaise.
  5. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


This recipe is a follow up of my previous posting Stir Fried Pork With Capsicums.  The original recipe uses thin slices of beef fillet.
The meat fillets are tasty, whereas the onions are sweet and the mushrooms/spring onions are fragrant.  The seasoning makes this dish simple yet tasty.  
Another lovely Chinese style stir fry dish.  

Recipe adapted from Chinese Cooking [Natural Recipes For Healthy Living] by Charmaine Solomon with modifications

[serves 2-4]
[18.5 total grams carbohydrate]
250 gm pork tenderloin fillet - thinly sliced
1 clove garlic - crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 onion - cut into eighths
6 dried mushrooms - soaked, discard the stems and sliced
1-2 stalks spring onions - cut sections
1 tbsp oil + 2 tsp sesame seed oil
Thickening [combine]
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp water

  1. Marinate pork fillet with garlic, ginger, spice powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
  2. Heat some oil in a non stick pan, fry onions and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, remove from pan.
  3. Heat remaining oils in  the pan, fry marinated pork fillet over high heat, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes or until cooked.
  4. Add in fried onions and mushrooms, stir fry for 1 minute.  Pour in thickening.  Stir to mix well, bring to boil.
  5. Add in spring onions, stir to mix.
  6. Dish up to serve immediately.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Not that difficult to prepare a braised  pork hock dish [pork trotter dish] with the use of the Thermal Cooker.  This dish needs just the initial stir frying of all the ingredients and remaining of the cooking process/time is in the thermal cooker until serving time.
The gravy is not actually sweet.  Love the chewy texture of the trotter skin which is not really fatty.  If you love it to be softer or thicker sauce, just braised over medium heat for some extra time.  This dish can be braised or leave to cook in a slow cooker, too.

I have prepared this dish from Winter Solstice family dinner and it is awesome with rice and sambal belacan.  I would probably make this dish for the coming Chinese New Year as it can be prepared earlier store in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from Yum Yum Magazine No. 99 with slight modifications
1 pig trotter [1.3-1.5 kg] - cut bite size pieces
1-2 tbsp cooking oil
150 gm shallots - blended
50 gm garlic - chopped
30 gm ginger - chopped
2-3 tbsp sweet soy bean paste - chopped
1 tbsp peppercorns - crushed
1 cup water
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1-2 tsp sugar
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Blanch pork pieces for 1-2 minutes.  Remove and rinse with water to remove scums, drained.
  2. Heat oil in the inner pot of the thermal cooker, saute garlic, ginger, shallots until aromatic.  Add in soy bean paste and peppercorns.  Continue to fry until fragrant.
  3. Add in pork pieces and seasoning.  Stir fry to mix all the ingredients well and pork pieces are well coated with aromatics and seasoning.
  4. Add in water, bring to boil, cover with lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Remove pot to out pot of thermal cooker.   Close the lid.
  5. Leave to cooker for 1-2 hours or until pork pieces are tender and the skin is chewy [QQ].  You may heat it over medium low heat for some extra minutes until you get the texture preferred.
  6. Stir to mix well.  Dish up to serve with rice and sambal belacan or chilli sauce.

Friday, December 22, 2017


I made these paus for Winter Solstice family gathering.  
Easy to prepare pumpkin filling and easy to handle pau skin dough.
These paus are fluffy, soft and chewy, while the filling is tasty and not too sweet.
Lovely paus, tempting creamy pumpkin paste with a bit buttery flavour.

Recipe adapted from the book ‘Paus By Coco Kong’ with modifications
Ingredients for Filling
300 gm pumpkin paste
30 gm castor sugar
15 gm butter
50 ml milk 
1/2 tsp salt
some toasted sesame seeds - optional
  1. Mix all the ingredients together [except sesame seeds] in a non stick pan.
  2. Stir fry over low to medium heat until paste is very thick and leaves the pan clean.  Sprinkle sesame seeds and mix.
  3. Dish up and set aside to cool or refrigerate until required.
Ingredients for Skin Dough
[makes 16 paus]
375 gm pau flour
45 gm icing sugar
3/4 tsp double action baking powder
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
230 – 250 ml water
30 gm shortening
  1. For Skin – Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Gradually, add in the water and knead at low speed until well combined.  Add in the shortening and knead at medium speed until dough is soft, smooth and shiny.  Shape into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and leave to proof for 20-30 minutes or double in size.  Gather the dough before dividing it into 16-20 equal portions.
  2. To Shape – Make [1] into a round and flatten it, ensuring that the center is thicker than the sides.  Place 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the centre, pleat the edges or pull the centre up to seal edges to make round pau or shape it according to your preference.  Place on flattened paper case in a steamer. Proof for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Bring water to a rapid boil, place steaming tray over boiling water, cover and steam for 10-12 minutes.  Off heat and leave the paus in the steamer for another 2-3 minutes before removing the lid and paus.

 Cookbook Countdown
I am sharing this post with Cookbook Countdown Event #24 hosted by Joyce and Emily of Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking [Makan2] Foray respectively