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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nutty Fruit Loaf 果仁面包

This is one very easy bread... no kneading!!! Just mix. (Discovered by accident)

Actually, I got this recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, and I found that the amount of stuff in the recipe will not produce the same results as the accidental bread she made (Well, hers was a well formed long loaf, mine was a batter type dough and she said she guesstimated the amounts, cos she was cleaning up the pantry, and she used up the ingredients in the pantry to make this loaf.) HeHe... sometimes, we do guesstimate our recipes too, right??? Same goes for my stir fry dishes, it is not accurate to the T... but a guesstimate. I didn't change her amount of liquids to flour, but just added up the amount of fruits and added in nuts... Very nutty and fruity in the end.

I baked this bread few times oredi before I posted this most recent bake.

1st stage ingredients:
1 sachet yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup melted butter (80 gm)

1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add in milk and eggs. Mix well.
2. Put flour and sugar into a big bowl and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour in yeast solution. Give it a good stir, vigourously for about 2 minutes.
4. Pour in melted butter and mix. Leave to proof for 1 hour or until double in size.

It looks like a batter now, rather than a dough.

Next 2nd stage ingredients.......

2 cups dried fruit, soaked in 1 cup hot water for 1 hour(any type, I used golden raisins, currants, cranberries, apricots, apples, dark raisins) I soaked them while waiting for the batter to proof
1 cup nut & seeds (any, I used, pumpkin seed, walnut, almonds)
2 cups all purpose flour
Some butter and egg yolk.

1. When batter has doubled, add in soaked fruits, discarding extra liquid.
2. Mix nuts with flour.
3. Spoon (2) into the batter by the spoonsful and mix. Put in more (2) and mix until all is used up.
4. Grease baking pans with butter and spoon in dough until 40% full. Slightly less than half.
5. Leave to proof for another 1 hour or until double.
6. Brush top with butter, then with egg yolk.
7. Bake in preheated oven of 170C for 30-40 minutes

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Honey Chicken Wings 密糖鸡翅膀

When I was in Form 4 or 5, after MYF each Friday, my friends and I always frequent this eatery called Little House in Tapah, which is 20 minutes drive away from Kampar. They serve these Honey Chicken Wings of which I believe were not barbequed, but fried and tossed in honey gravy.. so, here’s a recreation of what reminds me of my Friday nights.

Honey Chicken Wings Recipe

4 Chicken Wings
½ tsp salt
A good dash of pepper

2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp light soy sauce

1 cup oil to fry wings

1. Cut wings to separate the middle wing and the drummets.
2. Marinate with salt and pepper for at least half an hour.
3. Fry chicken wings in oil until slightly golden, no need to be too dry.
4. Pour away oil and leave behind 1 tbsp of oil.
5. Put in honey and soy sauce and cook on low heat until it turns syrupy.
6. Put back in the fried wings and toss with medium heat until gravy coats wings well and turns carameled

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fern Shoots with Hot and Sour Dressing 酸辣山野菜

I used to think that only south east Asians eat fern shoots…. How shallow was I until I saw in Jusco that the Japanese also eat these. And from either Discovery channel or NGE, I got to know that the Taiwanese also eat these.

So, it’s an Asian wild vege… Wonder if people from other parts of the world eat them as well…

This method is copycat of Taiwan’s Celebrity Chef Huang’s version which I saw on TV, he used black vinegar… and me being no black vinegar fan, except in the case of pig trotters…. replaced it with lime or calamansi juice.

Ever wonder why the Choy Sum on your bowl of wantan noodles looks so green??? Ever wonder why the Kangkung that comes with your Sotong looks so vividly green?? Wantan skins and noodles contain lye water, and the sotong kembang is alkaline.. So, when the water that is used to cook them is being used to cook vege, the vege remains green…
Fern shoots tend to brown (and I mean ‘uglily’ brown) very quickly after being blanched.. maybe water in Malaysia is rather soft and more on the acidic side. To counter this, just add 1 drop of lye water into the boiling water.. or just put in 1 pc of wantan skin… And u’ll be blessed with green ferns…

When I was staying in Pahang during my early teaching stint, me and my housemate will go to the small market daily to buy our ingredients for that night's dinner, and once I bought 4 bunches of fern shoots and my neighbour who happened to be there asked , "Buat apa beli banyak macam tu?" (why are u buying so much?), his eyes looked shocked. LOL, he didn't know he happened to live infront of 2 cows.

Fern Shoots with Hot and Sour Dressing
4 cups of fern shoots (already trimmed)
1 or few drops of lye water or wantan skin
Pot of water

4 large cloves garlic
1 shallot
2 red chillies
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp calamansi or lime or lemon juice
2 tbsp oil

1. Finely chop garlic, shallot and chillies.
2. Boil water and put in lye water (kan sui)
3. Blanch fern shoots for half a minute.
4. Drain well.
5. Heat wok and put in oil.
6. Saute garlic and shallot until almost golden, put in chillies.
7. Put in salt and sauté until golden. Dish up onto a separate bowl.
8. When ready to serve, place fern shoots onto a plate, drizzle lime juice and pour fragrant topping over fern shoots. Toss well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Almond Puff Fingers 杏仁条

These are called Almond puff pastry if you ever see them in Baker’s Cottage (a Msian bakery chain). I prefer calling them almond puff fingers, as they are finger sized.

This is a copycat version of those found in Baker’s Cottage. Not as buttery as theirs, as mine uses frozen store bought puff pastry. More convenient!!! Sacrificing on flavour.... 'sigh'

I tried this 2 times, doing it better the 2nd time around. First time, the top was a bit chewy because I used pure egg white and Hub said it’s not sweet enough. 2nd time, I mixed the egg white with sugar and it tasted similar with the ones bought from BC.. 2 thumbs up from Hub.

1 pack puff pastry
2 Tbsp egg white
2 Tbsp fine sugar (not icing sugar)
80gm almond flakes
2 Tbsp fine sugar

1. Roll out pastry in between 2 sheets of plastic to thickness of 5mm.
2. Mix egg white with 2 Tbsp sugar.
3. Peel upper sheet of plastic and spread egg white mixture evenly on top of pastry.
4. Sprinkle almond flakes all over pastry.
5. Replace top sheet of plastic and lightly roll to press almonds onto pastry.
6. Remove upper plastic sheet and sprinkle remaining sugar over almonds.
7. Put pastry into the freezer for half an hour to set the topping.
8. Preheat oven to 180C(fan)/200C.
9. Cut pastry into finger sized pieces. ( I cut up 40 pcs of them ) Place them onto a baking sheet. No need to grease baking sheet.
10. Bake for 12 mins on 180C and 30 mins on 140C.

Period of baking varies depending on ovens. The first bake of 180C should end when the almonds achieve a very light golden colour and the pastry is well risen. 2nd bake of 140C is to make it crunchy. You may need to bake it longer if it’s still not crunchy enough. But raising it to 150C may produce a slightly browner colour. Do what you may think is suitable for your preference of colour.

Almond flakes sprinkled onto rolled out pastry that had been applied with egg white and sugar

Sprinkle on more sugar...

Cut them up into finger sized pieces

All puffed up and ready to be munched!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

180C baked 15 mins

I first made this based on Van Houten’s chocolate chip wrapper when I was 17… My friends nicknamed my cookies Famous Wendy. Well, they said, it tasted similiar with Famous Amos.
Last year I had to made huge amounts for a fund raising event.. So, I experimented with ways to skimp on the ingredients, and to use up ingredients per batch by the packaging.. but yet.. making a delicious cookie.. It doesn't taste that similar anymore.. but still, good..

So, here’s my much skimped recipe. It spreads a little

250gm butter
330 gm brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
250gm choc chip
500gm flour
2 tsp baking powder

And here’s one that I changed a bit again for own consumption.. as I found the original recipe (Van Houten's) a bit too oily..and this recipe doesn't spread much

250gm butter
200 gm brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
500gm chocolate chips
100gm coarsely chopped almonds
400gm flour
2 tsp baking powder.

1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add in egg, vanilla, and salt and mix until well combined. This is the wet mixture.
3. Sift flour and baking powder together. Mix with choco chips and almonds. This is the dry mixture.
4. Put the dry mixed ingredients into the wet mixture and combine well.
5. Scoop 1 tsp of cookie dough onto baking sheet, leaving some space in between each cookie.
6. Bake at 180C for 15mins (for browner finish, but more fragrant) or 170C for 16 mins for a lighter colour.

I like mine having a rugged surface rather than a smooth round patty.. So, I just spoon them.
These fair ones are baked 170C for 16 mins

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hyacinth Bean Soup

23/1/2017 : Correction:
The bean featured in this recipe was previously named wrongly as Lima bean. The actual name is Hyacinth Bean

I haven't been cooking much since June... most of the postings nowadays are back posts of what I've done in the previous weeks. Well, when one has a bun in the oven, there are always excuses that can be made at every corner, anytime, to be lazy.. kekekekeke...

Lima is five in Malay language.. This is not a Five Bean Soup..

In Cantonese it's called "pang mei dau". I think it's called lima bean, as that is the closest that I can get from the internet. It is a bean about 3-4 inches long, pale green colour with a matte surface in the shape of an eyebrow.

This is my grandaunt's favourite soup and she'll eat a lot of the beans because she believes this bean enhances our eyesight, and with that she claims the reason for her being able to thread a needle at 90.

1 1/2 cup lima beans (correction : Hyacinth Beans)
300gm pork ribs or just meat (scalded)
10 peppercorns
1.5L boiling water.
Salt to taste

Trim the beans by discarding the top bits and pull away the top ligament.
Boil water, put in everything to simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

the Lima Bean.. I think

The beans are out of the pod after being boiled...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Patin Masak Pedas (Silver Catfish in Hot Gravy)

One good thing about moving to Kuala Kangsar is … Abundant fresh river catches at very reasonable prices.

Every Saturday morning there is this Pasar Tani (Farmer’s Market) nearby where I stay. There’re 2 stalls that sell live river fish… still alive and swimming around. If u can’t stand the sight of the fish mongers killing them by banging them on the head…..don’t look. It does look brutal.

One swimming Patin goes for RM8/kg. I know it’s more expensive than Tesco (less than RM4/kg)..but hey, this is alive and it’s from Perak River… not ikan lombong (mining pool fish).. very nice and sweet.

I was introduced to this dish when I was in Selancar, Pahang, by Pak Yob.. the canteen man of my first school (as a teacher)


500 gm ikan patin

3 pieces asam keping (tamarind fruit pieces) or more, depending on the maturity of the fruit, the younger, the more u'll need
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 bunga kantan- halved (ginger flower)

2 hot red chilies or more
3 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 cm ginger
1 cup of water

1. Blend (B) in a blender.
2. Pour into a wok and bring to a boil.
3. Add (A) and fish.
4. Cook for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked.
5. Dish up.

Ginger Onion Chicken Stir Fry 姜茺鸡

Ginger Onion Chicken Stir Fry (Geung Choong Gai) Recipe

A) 1 whole chicken leg, deboned and cut into small pieces
½ tsp salt
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
A dash of pepper

B) ½ cup water
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tsp soy sauce
Pinch of sugar

4 cm ginger, thinly sliced
1 cup green onion stalks, cut into 5 cm long, green and white separated

2 Tbsp oil

1. Marinate Chicken with (A) for 10 minutes
2. Mix (B) together
3. Heat wok until very hot. Put in oil. Saute white part of green onions and ginger until fragrant.
4. Pour in marinated chicken and stir fry until it is cooked, about 2 minutes.
5. Pour in (B) and cook until it thickens and add in remaining green onion stalks.
6. Stir until green onion wilts and dish up.


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