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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cassava Pancakes

Another cassava post from me. Haha!!

This is a another simple tea time treat, using similiar ingredients with the cassava parcels, except that the coconut content is higher here.

I did not create this pancake out of nothing. It is actually a popular fare among the local Chinese, and it's called 煎木薯糕. I just recreated it with my own proportion of ingredients. This is one of my all time favourites :)

Cassava Pancakes
Source: Wendyywy

1 cup packed grated cassava
1/2 cup packed freshly grated coconut
1/3 cup sugar, more or less
Cooking oil for pan frying

1. Combine cassava and coconut.
2. Mix in sugar, do not add full amount, but taste as you go. Remember to spit out the raw cassava after tasting.
3. Heat a pan and put some cooking oil. (Non stick pans will not require a lot of oil to fry this)
4. Put in 1 heaped teaspoon of the mixture and using an oiled spatula, press it down to form a 1 cm thick pancake. Fry until both sides are golden and drain on absorbent paper.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Milo Oatmeal

One day, Mike asked me to cook oatmeal for him.
Was I surprised???? You betcha!!!

Well, so I thought of making Mango Oatmeal , since I have mangoes in the fridge.
But when I peeled the mango, the flesh was grey...
So, I peeled another one... grey
I have no more mangoes.

I was afraid that he won't eat it plain so I put in some 3in1 Milo to jazz it up a bit, few drops of vanilla too.
And I garnished it with a heart shape made of milk powder (my kid's milk formula, kekeke)

Did he eat it??? Yeah he did, all of it. And you know what he said after he finished up the whole thing.
" You can do it plain next time. Actually grandma used to cook this for me when I was a kid, but I never knew it was oatmeal. "


Now, time to do wash the pot and bowl... Duh!!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steamed Cassava Parcels / Pais Ubi Kayu

I first had a taste of this in an Orang Asli (aboriginal) settlement in year 2000. Another volunteer from Sabah made this simple steamed cake using just the simple ingredients found at the village.

Update 26/4/13: Only until recently I knew the Malay name of this kuih, it's Pais Ubi Kayu.

The Malays have another similar kuih called Lepat Ubi, but I like this version better, which was a lot softer, due to the absense of additional tapioca starch.

If you already have the grated cassava on hand, this makes a quick tea time treat.

Steamed Cassava Parcels / Lepat Ubi
Recipe Source: Wendyywy

1 cup packed grated cassava (no need to squeeze dry)
1/4 to 1/3 cup packed freshly grated coconut
1/4 cup sugar
7-10 pieces of banana leaves, cut to about 5X8inches and blanched in boiling water for 2 seconds to soften.

1. Mix everything together except the leaves :) Put some into ur mouth and taste, adjust sweetness accordingly. Remember to spit out the raw cassava mixture.
2. Put one heaped Tbsp of the mixture onto banana leaf and wrap (method shown below)
3. Steam on high heat for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Banana and Honey Bread

Yes, Banana bread, literally. A true kneaded bread.

There “was” no butter or oil in the recipe, but I used some melted butter to coat the dough balls when I put then into the pan, so that they won’t stick to each other.

This is an Angmoh(caucasian) bread. Do not expect super soft, like pillow type of Asian bread. It was soft when fresh from oven, but turns harder quite fast. My kids finished up the pan of bread by dinner time, and it was still ok, not very very hard. As Jamie says, this is a chewy bread. So exercise your gums a bit.

Banana and Honey Bread
Source: Jamie Oliver

250gm bread flour
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 tsp instant yeast
180gm bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp honey
25gm chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds, as you fancy)
Few teaspoons of water if needed
Some melted butter
Some honey for brushing
Some almond flakes for sprinkling

1. Mix bread flour, yeast , salt and sugar together.
2. Pour in mashed bananas and honey, and incorporated everything into a dough.
3. Do not be tempted to put in water too soon, not until you have pressed everything into a dough. It will come together, but it will be hard. If too hard, then add water by the teaspoon until a more pliable dough is achieved.
4. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic. Put in the nuts and knead until well incorporated.
5. Cover dough and let it proof for 1 hour or until double.
6. Punch down dough and give it another 2 minutes of kneading.
7. Pinch a bit of the dough, about the size of a lime (not calamansi, but if you like it really small, you can make them that size) and roll them into balls. Repeat until all the dough is finished.
8. Line one 8 inch pan with baking paper.
9. Dip each ball of dough into melted butter, make sure all surface is rolled in the melted butter.
10. Arrange the buttered dough balls into the lined pan.
11. Let it proof until double again for about another 45-60 minutes.
12. Preheat oven at 190C (that’s according to JO, but I do it at 170)
13. Generously brush some honey over proofed buns and sprinkle some sliced almonds over it.
14. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely caramelized.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Sautéed Mushrooms

I love aglio olio. It’s just pasta coated in garlic chilli oil. Simple but delightful

I love mushrooms, they are sweet and fragrant. Taste absolutely fabulous sautéed in butter.

This is an easy meal. Just 30 minutes and you're good to go.

Sautéed Mushrooms (inspired by Jamie Oliver)
250gm white button mushrooms, lightly and quickly rinsed, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1. Heat a pan on medium heat. Put in oil and butter.
2. Saute garlic until fragrant and lightly golden.
3. Put in sliced mushrooms (turn heat to high) and cook until they wilt and slightly caramelized.
4. Season with salt. Dish up and set aside.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio
200gm spaghetti (to be cooked al dente)
2 dried chillies, coarsely milled, or you can use 1 tsp those pepper flakes in bottles (reserve some for garnish)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
Some parsley for garnish

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, put in some salt and cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Use a clean pan, put in on medium low heat. (I read, do not use high heat, unlike Chinese cooking, let the garlic slowly infuse the oil)
3. Put in olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is fragrant then put in chilli flakes.
4. Cook until garlic is slightly golden, put in 1/2 tsp salt and put in cooked spaghetti.
5. Toss spaghetti in the fragrant oil. Taste, if not salty enough, add more salt.
6. Put sautéed mushroom into the spaghetti and toss. (Or you can skip this step if you want to top the spaghetti with mushrooms instead of mixing them in)
7. Dish up and top with some chopped parsley.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cassava Cake, not kuih


Yes, cassava cake, not cassava kuih. This is cake, soft and fluffy like a cake. Not fluffy like sponge cake, but like a butter cake, at least not as dense like kuih.

Sigh… my cake smelt of durian. The reason? My FIL kept some durians, not air tight, in the freezer where I kept 10 blocks of butter. What can I say…???? Nothing, just kept quiet. I only realized the butter smelt of durian when I took a piece and used. The whole batter smelt of durian….when baked, it still smell and tasted durian, bit not too much, but it’s distracting.

Inspired by Mat Gebu. I adapted from his adaptation from AlongRoz ( who adapted from BTW, is this AlongRoz the same Roz from HomeKreation?
His recipe uses yellow food colouring, but mine didn’t, cos I used yellow cassava. Feel free to use some colouring, if you wish to.

As for the cassava, I measured it after I peeled, grated and squeezed it. Before I squeezed it, it felt wet, but after I squeezed it, it was as moist as freshly grated coconut. Not too dry though. And I packed it tight into a measuring cup, to see how much it’ll be. Cos I found that some tapioca planted elsewhere may have a higher amount of moisture. Therefore it is hard to gauge how much to use in weight before squeezing. So, I measured it after I squeezed, and use volume rather than weight to measure for the sake of those having moist cassavas.

Cassava Cake
Adapted from Mat Gebu who adapted from AlongRoz (

190gm butter
160gm sugar
3 large eggs
½ Tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup evaporated milk (I used so much more, cos I read wrongly, but not a bad decision :p)
140gm self raising flour (or substitute with 140gm cake flour + 1/2 Tbsp baking powder)
1 cup packed tightly, finely grated squeezed dry cassava (about 300gm, how much it weighs depends on how dry it is)

1. Preheat oven at 160/180C.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Put in eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.
4. Put in vanilla and beat for a while.
5. Put in half the flour and mix, then half the milk. Repeat the flour and milk sequence.
6. Fold in grated cassava.
7. Pour batter into a lined 9 inch square pan (You can use 8 inch, just that you’ll get a higher cake, I like mine shorter)
8. Level the surface and bake for 40 mins or until surface is golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Something’s missing, just like when we bake with pandan, coconut is a must. Maybe same goes for this. I think I’ll either replace the evaporated milk with coconut milk or put in freshly grated coconut. And I’ll definitely reduce the butter in this. A bit too oily in my opinion. 115gm may have been enough. The sweetness is just nice, no need to adjust.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Apple Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel


The original recipe seemed huge, so I halved it. And I saw another blogger, Kristy using apple in this, so I followed suit, to add an apple to the batter. This recipe has been made by a lot of bloggers, just by googling you can find loads of them, but google without the apple word to find try-outs with the original recipe.

Coffee cakes are cakes that are meant to be eaten with a cup of coffee, due to the sweetness, and they usually comes with streusel topping. So, don't be looking through my recipe searching for the coffee ingredient. No, it is non existent.

Very nice cake, the streusel’s great. Get a cup of coffee with this , yea!!

Apple Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel Recipe
Recipe adapted from Epicurious who adapted from Bon Apetit Magazine

Cake batter
100gm all purpose flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
60gm butter
50gm brown sugar
1 egg
150gm banana (weighed without skin), mashed
1 green apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly.

Streusel mixture
50gm brown sugar (can be reduced to 30gm)
50gm walnuts, chopped
½ tsp cinnamon powder (you can put more if you like, but as usual I always greatly reduce this)
80gm chocolate chips (I used half white half milk choc)

1. Preheat oven at 170/180C. Line a 8 inch round pan or a 7 inch square pan. (a 7 inch round pan will be fine too, as my 8 inch round only yielded an 1.5 inch cake.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda together. Mix in salt, set aside.
3. Prepare streusel mixture by mixing all of the ingredients together.
4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Add in egg and beat until well combined, it may look curdled.
6. Put in bananas and mix.
7. Put in the flour mixture and mix until well combined. It looks rather thick.
8. Put half the batter into pan, and level the batter. (the batter don’t seem to be a lot, but don’t worry, it’s enough to be spread around the pan)
9. Arrange half the apple slices onto batter and top with half of the streusel mixture.
10. Dollop the remaining batter by the tablespoons into pan, try to put the dollops evenly spaced out on the first layer of streusel. Then use a spatula to even out(press and spread) the dollops of batter. (This step is a bit tricky because the streusel from below tends to come up and stick to the upper layer of batter.)
11. Arrange the remaining apple slices and top with remaining streusel mixture.
12. Bake for 30 minutes or until tooth pick come out clean.

****The batter may look thick, but the cake is soft and fluffy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Buddha's Hand Syrup 佛手柑茶酱

Buddha's hand 佛手柑 is a type of citrus that has no flesh. It only has pith and rind. I bought this at Ipoh's Jusco out of curiosity, hoping that I can make some dessert out of it.

When I got home, I start googling around, some made souffle, some made creme brulee, some sliced it for salad, some made marmalade with it.
I read about it saying that the pith is not bitter unlike other citruses, which is why it's sliced for salads and that the rind is super fragrant.
Unfortunately, mine is not super fragrant, but just so so only.
So I scraped the thought of baking directly with it.

Then I decided to try cooking the pith and rind, seeing what sort of taste I will get with this ugly fruit, that looks more like monsters fingers to me...

Here's my experiment..... trying to make something like those Korean Citron syrups that you can get in jars.

Because this funny citrus is rather light, I just measured everything with volume, because I was using a spring scale at this time, and light stuff is hard to be precise with spring scales. Anyway, no need to be too on the dot.

I added in salt the last minute, because I found the syrup to be on the bitter side (Now, who said buddha's hand is not bitter?? Come and talk to me!!!!), some korean citron syrups are bitter too, but not all brands are. So, to counter that bitterness, I added in some salt. I then kept the syrup for 2 weeks before consuming, and truly, all the bitterness is gone.

Buddha's Hand Syrup
Recipe source : Wendyywy

1/2 cup packed tight buddha's hand, cut into matchstick sizes
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt

1. Put water and buddha's hand into a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Lower heat to a simmer and boil until the buddha's hand seems wilted.
3. Put in salt and sugar and cook until the buddha's hand turn transparent.
4. Put the cooked syrup mixture into a clean jar and seal for 2 weeks before consuming.

To serve,
Put a tablespoon of the syrup and pour in hot water. Let it steep for a while before drinking.

I find that the sugar and water content can be doubled to get more syrup, because I could steep the buddha's hand syrup few times, and I still get fragrance in the infusion. The sweetness may be gone with the extra infusions, but the fragrance.. gosh, you should try some of it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken with Leeks

This post is older than a year :)

Leek is my dad’s favourite veg. I hated it when I was small. My late dad likes to put those Chinese New Year leeks into almost everything he eats, from noodles to his bowl of rice. I only found the wonderful flavour of leek when I did my mushroom soup, which was just months ago.

I used China leeks, as it is said to be more aromatic, but my mom also said the best leeks are around Chinese New Year , which is right after winter. The melted leeks in this dish is oh so yummy. That’s what makes this dish so nice. I added in the green part of the leeks at the end to add some colour to the dish.

500gm chicken whole legs, cut up and marinated with ¾ tsp salt for half an hour
150gm leeks (abt 3 stalks, white and green parts separated, sliced)
50gm ginger (peeled and smashed)
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp cornstarch +1/4 cup water
Cooking oil

Heat wok and put 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Saute ginger and leek (white parts) until fragrant and slightly golden. Dish up.
Put in another 2 tbsp oil and wait until wok is very hot, put in marinated chicken and fry until meat is slightly browned. Put in cooked leeks and ginger and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes. Put in water, enough to cover over chicken. Put on wok lid and let it simmer on medium heat for 20-30minutes, until meat is tender and leeks have melted away. Remove lid and let gravy reduce. Put in green parts of leek and cornstarch solution. Taste, if not salty enough, add salt and dish up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prawns with Thyme and Lemon

I’m cooking dinner for 6 tonight and I’m scratching my head on what to cook. I’ve got the vege prepared, the egg prepared and the meat/seafood??? Not yet. What should I do…..

I’ve got prawns in my freezer.. No chicken and I don’t want to serve pork tonight. So, I’ll cook the prawns. And they’ve been frozen for more than 2 months, I definitely do not want to steam them. And I don’t have a lot of spring onions in my fridge. I have a half used up lemon…

What shall I do? I’ve got thyme. Shall I try thyme with prawns. Well, you see, I’ve never used thyme before. I don’t know if it works, because different herbs work well with different stuff. So, I googled, Prawns + Thyme. Phew, this combination is not alien. There are dishes where prawns are cooked with Thyme.

So, here is my version of Prawns with Thyme, a sudden new recipe.

Prawns with Thyme and Lemon
Recipe Source : Wendyywy

500gm prawns, with shells
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp finely chopped onions
1 loosely filled Tbsp thyme leaves
1 tsp lemon zest
¾ tsp salt
Olive oil for cooking

1. Clean prawns and snip off the legs and half the head(until past the eyes) with scissors. Pat dry prawns.
2. In a hot wok, put in 2 Tbsp olive oil and slide in the prawns. Let them spread out around the wok and do not move them until the underside looks pink. Flip them and let them cook until curled up and pink all over. It should smell wonderful. Dish up set aside, try not to take up the oil.
3. In a clean wok, Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and put in onions and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, then put in lemon zest and thyme. Put in salt and cook for a while until it smells fragrant.
4. Put prawns back into wok and toss for about 20 seconds.
5. Dish up and serve.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Raspberry Lime Cheesecake Bars

I had some digestive biscuits that I bought almost a year ago because they were on offer and Lydia at that time was loving them, but after I bought them she stopped eating them. So, well, I kept them until now.

I had some cream cheese left from my Mango Cotton Cheesecake experiment

I had a bottle of Raspberry jam, newly bought from Jusco the other day.

I had some whipping cream, frozen, left over since the White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry compote.
When they have been frozen, they can’t be whipped again, therefore can only be used for cooking or cheesecakes.

I have butter, eggs and sugar, definitely at home.

Then I saw this at Peabody’s. Ah-ha, I could just adapt my stuff and make this.

But alas.. it didn’t came up as it was as Peabody’s . Because I used more egg and less cream cheese, the batter was more liquidy and didn’t support the raspberry jam. Oh.. nevermind. Just eat it as cheesecake. Just as nice.

The lime thing was really good. Sour, tangy, and the crust was limey..

Raspberry Lime Cheesecake Bars

150gm cream cheese
30gm sugar
1 egg
4 Tbsp lime juice (from 4-5 limes)
40gm whipping cream
¼ cup raspberry jam, warmed to liquefy a bit

120gm digestive biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs
30gm butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
½ Tbsp lime zest(from 2 limes)

1. Preheat oven at 160/180C
2. Line a 7 inch square pan with overlapping baking paper.
3. Combine crushed digestive biscuits, butter, sugar and lime zest and mix well. Press into lined pan.
4. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile prepare cream cheese filling. Whisk cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Put in egg and mix until smooth. Put in whipping cream and mix again. Then lime juice and mix.
6. When crust is baked, leave it to cool slightly. Pour cream cheese filling onto crust and dot with 1/3 tsp of warmed raspberry jam, all over.
7. Bake for another 30 minutes until filling is all firm and the top has taken on some colour.

** The raspberry jam don't seem to be in dollops are being baked, but rather spread out on the bottom fo the cheese filling ontop of the crust.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Three Cups Tofu

Actually I think I’ve only eaten 3 cups chicken once, and I don’t really remember much of it.
But when I saw this on Shirley’s blog, gosh, I just got to try this.

Shirley used pressed tofu of which she found it not silky smooth after braising and suggested silken tofu to her readers instead. Well, I fried half of my local silken tofu cubes in my wok, and I had to discard all of them into my tummy cos they were totally unpresentable and stuck to the wok. Then I fried the other half of the silken tofu in a non stick pan. Phew, they looked much better, but there was only half. Not enough!!!! Luckily I had another block of pressed tofu in the fridge, supermarket pressed tofu in a plastic box. I just used that … fried it and cooked with it. Frying pressed tofu was a breeze :)

Weirdly, after all the braising, I couldn’t distinguish between the silken tofu and the pressed tofu. Both were soft, but porous after all the frying and braising. Unlike what Shirley had said that hers were not soft. Mine was soft, but rough and porous inside. But I do think that Tofu made with only GDL gives a rubbery texture when cooked for a prolonged time, because I once had that for steamboat and the tofu was rubbery but not porous. Yucks!!! Some sites also mentioned that no water should be added to 3 cups dishes. So, maybe it’ll be better if the braising is not done to ensure one gets a nice smooth center, as braising draws moisture out from the tofu, thus making it either porous or rubbery. I don’t have any other experiences with 3 cups dishes, so, I’ll leave the decision to you, to braise with water/stock or not to braise. I might not braise it the next time I do this.

Well, Shirley didn’t mention how much tofu to use as 1 block can be really ambiguous. 1 block of pressed tofu at the wet market here is just 2 X2X1 inch. And there’s one stall in Kampar that sells block tofu that measures 6x3x2. So, I pretty dunno how much and I just used approximately 400gm. I find my dish being slightly oversalted (maybe my soy sauce is salty???? I dunno) and I will use 500gm next time, that is if I ever do this again. Or just reduce the 3 Tbsp each to just 2 Tbsp each of sesame oil, light soy sauce and wine.

Overall, this is a nice tofu dish.

3 Cups Tofu
Recipe source : Kokken 69

400gm pressed tofu, cut into cubes
Half bulb of garlic, skin on, hard ends cut off, lightly smashed
3 stalks of spring onion, white parts only, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 inch ginger, sliced

3 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
3 Tbsp Shao Xing wine
¼ tsp sugar (It's sweet enough for me, after adding this, I found it too sweet)
1 cup water (I didn’t use stock cos I find the aromatics used above is flavourful enough)
Handful of basil leaves (as much or as little as you want)

1. Fry tofu until golden and crisp. (I do this in a non stick pan as a regular wok is so difficult to fry these delicate things). Drain and set aside.
2. Heat wok and put in sesame oil.
3. Fry garlic, green onions and ginger until fragrant and slightly golden
4. Put in fried tofu cubes and put in light soy sauce and Shao Xing wine. Toss it until it sort of dries up.
5. Put in water and sugar and let it braise until the water dries up and you start to see oil on the base.
6. Put in basil leaves, give it a toss and turn off the heat.


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