Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Pork belly meat and nam yee lovers can try this recipe.  It is easy and like always, I go for recipes which I can prepare way ahead of meal times.  Just reheat before serving is the best especially when you are rushing for time or when there are so much to do within  a specified time.
I prepared this dish for Winter Solstice a few days ago.  Our family observes ancestor veneration on Dongzhi [冬至].  There are various dishes that needed to be cooked ready before 10 am so that family members can offer prayers to our ancestors.  Some families keep this simple but my mother in-law as usual must have everything 'cheh cheh' [meaning  big quantity and variety].  So there is a need to choose dishes that can be prepared ahead otherwise one would not have the 'stamina' to meet the deadline.
Recipe adapted from You-tube with modifications
700 gm pork belly - cut into strips
4 pieces red fermented beancurd [nam yee] + 3 tbsp of the sauce
2 stalks spring onions - cut long sections
5-6- slices of ginger
1 tsp dark soy sauce [for colour]
1 tsp sugar
  1. Heat some oil in a non stick wok, saute ginger and spring onions until aromatic and slightly brown.
  2. Add in the pork belly pieces to fry until oil oozes out.  Add in mashed nam yee with the sauce.
  3. Continue to stir fry until aromatic.  Add in seasoning and enough water to cover the meat.  Bring to boil, cover with lid and simmer for above 45 minutes or until meat is tender.  
  4. Add more water if you prefer to have some gravy and the meat is not tender yet.
  5. Braise until sauce is thick and meat is tender.
  6. Dish up to serve with blanched broccoli [optional].

Monday, December 24, 2018


This Winter Solstice, I made a daring change from the usual.  Instead of preparing the much use to colourful pulut rice balls in ginger sugar syrup [Kuih Ee], I cooked the glutinous rice balls in lemongrass/pandan sweet soup with orange sweet potatoes.
  I made the rice balls with only one colour [pandan green] instead of the colourful ones below.
It is lucky my mother in-law did not object and perhaps could not because she likes them with the sweet potatoes [her favourite tuber] and the not too sweet syrup soup.
Recipe adapted from Feminine Magazine No. 570
30 gm wheat starch mixed with 40 ml boiling water
120 ml pandan juice ** + 30 gm castor sugar
150 gm glutinous rice flour
1-2 tsp oil [I omit]
** extracted from blending 6 blades screwpine leaves with 120 ml water [keep excess if dough is too dry]. Add a drop of green colouring if prefered.
Sugar Syrup Soup
400 gm orange sweet potatoes - peeled, cut big cubes or diamond shape
2-3 stalks lemongrass
2-3 blades pandan leaves
100-120 gm sugar or rock sugar
5 bowls water 

  1. Dissolve sugar in warm pandan juice.
  2. Stir 40 ml hot water into wheat starch.  Mixed.
  3. Add to glutinous rice flour, mixed then gradually add in the pandan liquid and oil.  Knead into a soft smooth dough.  Add a little more water if it is too dry.  Rest dough for at least 30-60 minutes before rolling into balls.
  4. To make the syrup, boil pandan leaves with lemongrass until fragrant.  Add in sweet potatoes.  Continue to boil until soft, add sugar to taste.  Set aside.
  5. Bring a pot of water to boil to cook rice balls.  Remove with a serrated ladle when the rice balls float up.  Transfer to sweet potato soup.
  6. Serve warm or hot.

Friday, December 14, 2018


Unbelievable, a dish with just chicken and a large onion with basic seasoning can be that tasty and delicious.
The fried chicken pieces are succulent, tasty with a light aroma and taste of ground black pepper.  The large onion wedges are sweet when cooked.  Blends very well with the chicken and savoury sauce.

Just this dish served with a plate of rice and some coleslaw or pickled cabbage is so perfect for a meal.
You can use deboned chicken drumsticks, too.
[serves 2]
3 large chicken thighs [deboned] with skin but fats removed
1 large onion - peeled and cut wedges
1 tbsp each light soy sauce and oyster sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
dash of pepper
Sauce Ingredients [combined]
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
dash of sesame seed oil
dash of ground black pepper

  1. Clean chicken thighs, deboned and pat dry.  Season with marinade and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or more.
  2. Heat some oil in a non stick pan, pan fry chicken pieces [skin side] first until nicely brown, flip over to fry the meat side.  Halfway through frying, add in onion wedges.
  3. Pour in sauce ingredients and a few tablespoons of water.
  4. Bring to boil, sprinkle ground black pepper over chicken pieces.  Continue to braise until chicken is cooked through and sauce reduced.
  5. Dish up to serve with rice.


My husband's friend gave him some palm sugar [gula melaka] from Melaka.  The palm sugar is not very sweet but is soft and easy to chopped into small pieces.
I used them to make these paus.  Fluffy paus with an easy gula melaka filling.  I believe this recipe is good for a novice in pau making. 
[makes 12 paus]
200 gm pau flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp double action baking powder
1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp golden syrup
100-120 ml water
1/2 tbsp shortening
Ingredients For Filling
50 gm palm sugar/gula melaka - chopped
some diced glazed cherries for decoration

  1. For Skin - combine all ingredients [except shortening] in a mixing bowl.  Gradually add in water/vinegar to mix into a rough dough [may not need to use all the water]. 
  2. Add in shortening, continue to knead until dough is soft and smooth.  Shape into a round ball, leave in bowl, cover to rest for 20 minutes or double in size.
  3. Punch down, roll into a ball, then divide into 10 equal portions or more according to own preference.  Shape each portion into a ball.
  4. Flatten each ball and wrap 1 tsp gula melaka filling, seal the edges well into a pleated or round pau.  Place on a piece of parchment paper in a steaming tray [I used my electric steamer].  Finish making the rest.
  5. Cover and leave to proof for 20-30 minutes or until double in size.
  6. Steaming over high heat for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Off heat, remove to cool on wire rack before storing or serve immediately.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


These days, was thinking of cutting down on meat intake but this dish is too tempting.  It is also so easy to prepare with only 2 main steps, that is marinating and pan frying them.
These fried pork belly can be served with sliced cucumber or salad leaves by wrapping a piece of the fried meat with the leave.  The fried meat is tender, has a bite and taste delicious.  Awesome.

3 thin slices of pork belly [skin removed] - cut into 2 inch sections
sliced cucumbers or salad leaves
some lime juice
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cooking wing
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp 5 spice powder
dash of pepper and msg

  1. Mix well pork belly pieces with marinade and leave in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Line serving plate with cucumber slices or salad leaves.
  3. Pan fry the pork belly pieces in a non stick pan with some oil on one side until cooked and slightly crispy at the edges.  Flip over to fry the other side.
  4. Dish up and place over vegetables.  Drizzle some lime juice over fried meat.
  5. Serve immediately.