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Monday, July 30, 2012

Homemade Cendol II

Colour enhanced with the presense of alkaline water
 I haven't been making cendol for a long long time. It's time now.

I have found the texture I like. The missing link was cornstarch, LOL. So common that anyone from anywhere can make this at home now. Before this I was asked many times about mung bean starch (green bean flour) saying it's not available in their countries. From my experience of making kuih tako of which cornstarch yields a softer texture, I thought, could I use cornstarch for cendol? I’m glad that this blog confirmed my thoughts for the use of cornstarch. Cendol made with only mung bean starch is too firm for my liking, a bit too “crispy”. Although traditional cendol is made with rice flour, it is brittle. So, when I tried using cornstarch, that was it!

I experimented in small batches by using only cornstarch and by mixing both cornstarch with bean starch. I prefer the latter.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Curried Scrambled Eggs - Eggs #3

A dish that I suddenly came up with… because I have done 2 very light tasting dishes and needed a boost of flavour for dinner. This dressed up scrambled egg became the star of the night, the pungency of the spices, the tender texture of eggs and the fresh taste of tomatoes, it's quite an experience. It's also easy to prepare, provided you already have these spices on hand. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Krill Steamed Egg 虾皮蒸蛋 - Eggs #2

Krill… Can be found in wet markets, sold as fresh “geragau” or. It is also used to make cincalok (watch out for a cincalok recipe from Cindy, Melaka's host for August) and belacan. And there is also dried ones labeled as udang kapai.

Some sold are dyed with food colouring, therefore, looking peachy. Go for those that looks pale. It’s really cheap, and once you’ve tried it, you will know that it’s actually quite flavourful.
Besides being cheap.. krill is also very nutritious. Antartic krill is a good source of Omega 3, but those sold here… are not from Antartic, just locally caught. It may not be as superior, but then again, won’t be too much worse, right? It’s still protein.

Picture of dried krill, here

Monday, July 23, 2012

Aubergine Omelette - Eggs # 1

The last egg themed week was last year, before I moved. Quite long ago.
When I saw this recipe, I was caught on by the fact that it used aubergines to top the pancake. I wonder how it tastes like. But I’m not keen on having it as pancakes as I wanted to make this for dinner so I changed it into omelette, thin omelettes.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Easy Char Siew Filling

This is my previous char siew filling recipe. It involved cooking the char siew in whole pieces, dice and cook them a 2nd time with the gooey gravy.

I was thinking... it seems stupid to make proper char siew, dice them and then prepare the filling. Is there any other way that the restaurants are doing it? Any express way?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wholemeal Char Siew Pau - Filled Baos #3

I am not the kind of person who likes dimsum shops type of buns. Those too soft, super fluffy, smiling buns. I prefer those with better structure, less baking powder and better mouthfeel that doesn't stick between the teeth type of steamed buns.

My husband loves charsiew pau (CSP), and it's one of his must orders for dimsum. Most commercial buns use inferior meat and taste so oily and fatty. It's hard to find a char siew pau that I find to be tasty.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Purple Spiral Bun with Red Beans

Made with flipped dough

I first saw spiral buns on a Chinese website quite long ago. It was a plain mantou wrapped with a spiral dough skin. They looked very pretty.

I decided to borrow that idea and play with my own recipe. I want to fill the buns with red beans to match the spirals, LOL. I tried wrapping the dough with 2 methods, that is with the rolled side and the flipped side. Both sides yield buns that look different.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Layered Kaya Steamed Cake - Filled Baos # 1

First of all... I would like to tell you the name is misleading.
It's not a cake, but more of a steamed bread, a huge "pau" that is eaten sliced. If you're used to german yeasted cakes, then yeah, this is a cake. Bread or cake, I surrender.
The Chinese name is 千层糕, which translates to thousand layer cake. I only have 10 layers.

I was in the state of  'ding dong ding dong' when it came to naming this post.. hence the title and the word in my picture is different.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Malaysian Food Fest, Come join the fun!!

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know that lately I’ve been cooking a lot of state food. Wonder why?
I’ve been preparing ahead for this upcoming event due to be launched on Aug 1 2012, in conjunction with the National Month of Malaysia

Now, basically it’s an online event, where we submit entries of food that we’ve cooked at home that is popular in the named state. Anything that is made, eaten and popular there. Be it traditional or modern, authentic or fusion, savoury or sweet, dishes or dessert, Malay, Chinese, Indian or Indigenous. Not the western version of Nasi Lemak please (if there is)… do the local version. Versions of food, found and eaten in the featured state.

If you have a story to tell us and share with us about how special the dish is, or how different the dish is from other states, we sure do want to hear from you. Even if you don’t have a story, but just a picture and recipe, it’ll still be warmly welcomed. The monthly host and organizer (me) will provide a few recipes, so don’t worry about not knowing what to do if you have none of your own. Let’s just try…. Enjoy the learning process.

Come come join the fun! Bloggers, Facebookers, just anyone.
For more information, visit Malaysian Food Fest Information Page.

These are some of the dishes I've prepared in advance for the event. As you all know, I need a lot of lead time and I always find it hard to join events that only gives me 1 month of notice. I need time to arrange for a day to buy things and time to cook and prepare the post. So, don't be surprised to see me preparing something for Johor that is due in March 2013. LOL. Being the organizer, I am providing minimum 3 recipes for each state, that means.. I have to cook 36 dishes and another 9 if the vacant states are not taken and I'll have to host them.

Oh yes, currently some states are still open for hosting
1. Kedah + Perlis
2. Pahang
3. Selangor +KL

Contact me if you’re interested.

The first month featured in the Event is Melaka…..
Go go go
chicken rice balls!!!

Don't forget to visit this Page for more information and to see the hosting schedule

Friday, July 13, 2012

Palm Sugar No Bake Char Siu - Bellygood # 3

My husband's family are big Char Siu lovers.

Last year early in October, I organized a dinner over at my home for some close relatives who missed our house warming party and cooked 5 dishes 1 soup. I had no help this time, so I must plan my menu carefully. Since this pork dish is the favourite of many who will be coming and I can cook this ahead of time, I decided to make this. It's perfect because I will  have time for other dishes that needs to be cooked as near to dinner time as possible.

Sometime ago I saw two bloggers (Lena and HKChoo) making char siu with palm sugar with the same recipe from a local magazine. I wonder how is the taste like..
So I substituted the regular sugar in the recipe that I have been using all the time to palm sugar and added in pandan leaves in place of Chinese rose wine for the smell factor.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pork Stew 卤猪肉 - Bellygood # 2

This is a popular home cooked dish. After blogging I got to know that Hokkiens call this Tau Yew Bak, but my family being Cantonese, calls this Lou Chu Yoke 卤猪肉. As in Pork Stew.

My mom cooks this so often that I almost got sick of it when I was in my teens. Being her, using just one pot and being able to cook this in advance makes this one of her favs. So often that we eat this almost weekly.
Sometimes she'll throw in some dried chilli, sometimes none. But basically she goes with the same few ingredients. My mom will saute the aromatics in the clay pot and then throw in the pork and seasonings, cook it for a while and then pour in the water to simmer. I on the other hand, prefers to cook the pork with seasonings until the meat is browned and oil starts to ooze out. Then only I put in the water. I don't own a clay pot, so I just cook this either in the wok or in a small pot.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sichuan Twice Cooked Pork 回锅肉 - Bellygood # 1

I saw this dish demostrated on TV and it looked sooo tasty. I remembered some of the ingredients but forgot some.

Is there sweet bean paste sold here? I don't know what is that and hence skipped it.  I used hot bean paste because I want it to be hot. I also skipped the preserved black beans as not all recipes uses it.

I sliced the pork a bit too thick and so, it's a bit tough. Plus I think I overcooked it. But nonetheless, this dish went very well with lots of rice! Yummy :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Apricot Lemon Jam - Let's Jam # 3

The type of apricots we get here varies in quality. Some are sooour but fragrant after baking. Some are sweet but lose out on fragrance. Some are total flops, bland and dull.

This batch that I've got are total flops. Brings no sensation to the tongue and nose. Baking with them will not enhance them, eating raw is torturing. Making them into jam will be the perfect solution. With some help from the lemon, the jam becomes a pleasure to eat.

My MIL took one jar and my FIL enjoyed it a lot. He asked my MIL to check with me and asked her to get the same brand that I did. My MIL told him, it's Wendy brand. LOL.

Apricot Lemon Jam
Recipe source; WendyinKK

500gm apricot (flesh weight, skin on)
350gm sugar (just use granulated sugar, it’s cheaper!)
1 lemon, zested and juiced

1. Mix everything together and let it sit for 30 minutes or until the sugar melts and the apricots soften.
2. Place a ceramic saucer/plate into the freezer.
3. Bring to a boil on medium heat and reduce heat to medium low or low. (the jam should be still be bubbly)
4. Cook until the apricots turn mushy.
5. Place a drop of the jam on the frozen saucer and put it back into the freezer. Check the drop of jam after 2 minutes. If it forms soft wrinkles when pushed, the jam is ready. (I usually don’t wait for 2 minutes to push for wrinkles, but when I feel the jam is gel like enough and feels cushiony, I stop cooking. I know it’ll further set when totally cooled.)

Refer to this post on how to remove the stone

Actually I do have more jams or spreads in my collection.... let's wait for the next round  :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Apple Butter - Let's Jam # 2

Made in Jan 2012

I bought some freaking cheap but ugly looking apples from the night market. They have streaks of brown on their skin, but when cut they look perfectly fine. And I have to clear the fridge or at least shrink my stock to make way for Chinese New Year. I didn’t really need these apples, but I can’t help but buy them because they were really cheap.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sweet Orange Marmalade - Let's Jam # 1

I love the smell of oranges and all things citrus. But I hate it when it’s bitter. Store bought marmalade are always bitter, unless you buy orange jam.

Err.. orange jam and marmalade . Aren’t they the same stuff?

Well, marmalade is JAM with fruit peel in it. And it’s the peel that causes it to be bitter, which is why you can hardly get non bitter marmalade, except for Smuckers or some other brand that I don’t know of. Maybe they have something to remove the limonin from the peel. I wonder if rubbing the peel with salt do the trick of removing the bitter compounds(limonin)? I’m wondering. Wait, I’ll try that next time. : )

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Remove Stone from Stone Fruits

Stone Fruits are fruits with a stone inside, as in 1 seed only, and the seed is hard like stone.
Fruits in this category include cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pluots and nectarines.

Mangoes, avocadoes, red dates, coconut or Lychees are drupes, although they have a stone in the middle too. Stone fruits are part of drupes but drupes are not stone fruits.

Below is a pictorial guide on how to remove the seed nicely.. and retain 2 beautiful halves of the apricot.
Apricot season is here already.... Check out your local supermarkets. I saw US grown apricots last week.

If the seed doesn't come off nicely from the other half, you have to do this.

Check out all my stone fruit recipes here.


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