Tuesday, May 18, 2021


Mid-year is around the corner and weather is getting hot and humid.  This lovely mungbean sago dessert is good for hot weather relief.  Most people will soak the beans overnight.  My friend taught me to keep the mungbeans in the freezer until needed.   The mungbeans are quick to cook.   Just wash as normal before cooking, then boil them with  boiling water.    Once you master cooking this dessert, you will not go to dessert stall for it.
Home-cooked dessert can be as delicious and nutritious.  Moreover, it is cheap and fine.  You can serve it hot, warm or cold during the hot weather.  Taste better.  This dessert soup is thick, smooth,  taste strong and the sago pearls are crystal clear.   It is alright to use any kind of sugar [candy sugar, rock sugar, brown sugar etc according to your choice]
[serves 6]
150 gm mungbeans - rinsed
100 big sago pearls - rinsed and drain
2 screwpine leaves [pandan leaves] - rinsed
1.5 litres water or more depending on the consistency you prefer
Any types of sugar to taste
- candy sugar, brown sugar, gula merah, white sugar or rock sugar
  1. Bring water to boil, add in mungbeans.  Let it boil for about 10 minutes, cover to cook for 20 minutes or until mungbeans are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to boil.  Add in pearl sago, stir constantly to prevent sago pearls from clumping together.  Cover and leave to boil for about 10 minutes.  Add in another bowl of water and continue to boil for 5-6 minutes.  At this time, the sago pearls are not completely cooked through.  Cover pot with lid, off heat and leave to steep for sometime while waiting for the mungbeans to be cooked.  
  3. If it is too thick, add some boiling water.  Add sugar to sweeten the soup.
  4. Scoop sago with a serrated ladle into cooked mungbean soup.  Bring to boil, stir constantly until well mixed and soup is of thick or runny consistency.  Off heat, cover with lid or serve immediately.


Monday, May 17, 2021


Came across this fail proof recipe shared generously by K L Liew in You-tube [Ma Lai Kuih]. I tried, made 2 pieces in a day. Both turned out perfect.  The steamed kuih is spongy, soft and has a nice aroma. Spongy texture on the top and the bottom has honeycomb texture. 
This kuih uses gula merah, evaporated milk and pandan juice together eggs and self raising flour. Self raising flour is used and not necessary to add baking powder if using plain flour. Baking soda and yeast are must have ingredients. This recipe is a keeper. Do try, it is worth the effort.
Ingredients A
4 [size A] eggs
3 tbsp pandan juice [from blending 4 blades pandan leaves with 2-3 tbsp water]
160 ml evaporated milk
Ingredients B
180 gm self-raising flour - sifted
1 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp salt
160 gm gula merah 
Ingredients C
50 gm butter - melted
1 tsp baking soda
- Melon seeds for decoration [can sprinkle before or after steaming]
  1. Break eggs into a mixing bowl, lightly beat until frothy with big to medium size bubbles.  Add in milk and pandan juice.  Lightly beat to mix until well combine.  Do not overbeat.
  2. In another mixing bowl, add in sugar and salt on 1 side of the bowl.  Then add in flour in another side.  Place yeast over flour.  Then fold lightly to mix the dry ingredients. 
  3. Add dry ingredients to beaten egg mixture in a few batches.  Lightly fold to combine or zig-zag motion to mix.
  4. Strain combine mixture into another mixing bowl to dissolve the sugar and lumps.
  5. Cover the mixture and leave to proof for 1-1 1/2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, line a bamboo basket with parchment paper.
  7. After 1 hour, bring water to boil.  
  8. After 1 1/2 hours, scoop about 7 spoons of batter into a small bowl, sift in baking soda.  Mix well then pour in melted butter.  Mix again and pour in to remaining batter.  Fold lightly to incorporate both mixture.  Do not overmix.
  9. Proof into prepared bamboo basket.  Tap basket 3-4 times.  Place in steaming tray, cover steamer cover with cloth to prevent water condensation.
  10. Steam cake for 35 minutes over high heat.  
  11. Transfer steamed cake from steamer, if using melon seeds, sprinkle over steamed cake.  Remove cake from bamboo basket to a cooling rack immediately.
  12. Slice to serve cake while steam hot or warm.

Friday, May 14, 2021


Lovely pork ribs, Chinese yam soup with a twist.  Just with addition of some Hawthorne slices [dried Hawthorne slices or Shan Zha [山楂 ]  in Chinese.  Available at Chinese medical shops.  Some impressive benefits of Hawthorne slices are its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, aid digestion, may lower blood pressure, decrease blood fats etc. 

This soup is savoury and sourish. Very appetising and tasty soup to serve for lunch or dinner.   You can substitute Chinese yam with white carrots, too.
[serves 2-3]
400 gm meat pork ribs - cut chunky pieces
200 gm Chinese yam [shan yao] - skin remove and cut wedges
100 gm red carrots - peeled and cut wedges
10 dried Hawthorne slices [more if you like the soup sourish]
1 tbsp wolfberries
a few slices ginger
salt and pepper to taste
  1. How to wash pork ribs?  - Rub pork ribs with cornflour, then rinse with water several times.  Drained.  
  2. Boil pork ribs in a pot of water with a few slices ginger to remove the scums.  Remove and rinse well.
  3. Using a claypot, add in rinsed pork ribs, a few slices ginger, Hawthorne pieces and water.  Cover with lid, bring to boil for about 30-40 minutes or until ribs are tender.
  4. Add in Chinese yam, carrots and wolfberries.  Boil for about 15- 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


This is an easy braised pork belly recipe but the end result is awesome.  The pork belly pieces are tender but still has a bite.  It has a nice unique aroma, not overly sweet or savoury or spicy with the addition of Sichuan peppercorns.  You can cooked it with some gravy or almost moist dry.  This dish can be served as it is or used to fry with capsicum, leeks or celery.  It is your choice.

This dish can be prepared way ahead of meal times and tastes much better after resting as the meat absorbs the flavours of the seasoning and aromatics. A good recipe to use if you wish to enjoy braised pork in a jiffy and use it for stir frying with some vegetables before serving.
[serves 10 persons]
1.2 kg pork belly with skin - blanched and cut bite size pieces
1 stalk spring onions and a few slices ginger [to blanch pork]
4-5 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced
4-5 slices ginger
1-2 pieces star anise
2 pieces bay leaves
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rock sugar
hot water
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp cooking wine
salt to taste
- some 3 coloured capsicum - cut into diamond shapes
  1. Add enough water to wok, add in whole piece of pork belly, ginger slices,  spring onions and some Shaoxing wine.  Turn on heat, bring to boil, then blanch meat until water turns clear [about 15-20 minutes]. Remove, wash and cool before cutting into bite sizes pieces.
  2. Heat a non stick wok, drizzle in some oil.  Add in the pork belly pieces in single layer.  Fry until lightly golden.  Remove excess oil.
  3. Add in the aromatics and seasonings.  Continue to until the ingredients are well mixed and fragrant.   Add in boiling water [enough to cover meat], bring to boil for 5 minutes.  Cover with lid, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is tender and gravy reduced.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Dish out  to rest.
  4. Before serving, stir fry pork with capsicum or leeks or celery [according to your preference].  Serve immediately with rice.