18 May 2012

Prawn Fritters (Cucur Udang)

I made this prawn fritters two weeks ago. My sister in Melbourne loves prawn fritters, she used to buy it from Chew Jetty 姓周桥 in Penang, the place where we were born. So you know my surname now :) My family moved out from Chew Jetty when I was 5 years old. Now Chew Jetty has been classify as one of the Unesco World Heritage. Attached a link (created by Eunice Khong, founder of Travelerfolio) which has photos of Chew Jetty and the prawn fritters stall for my son future reference, hopefully the link will still be there when he read the post.

17 May 2012

Savoury Yam Cake (Wo Tow Ko)

As usual when come the time to take the food photos it is in the evening. Today, I changed my location for photos shooting, the window is not cover by the canopy, see there are lot of different in the brightness. Evening sun is not the real issue. Finally, I learnt a bit more about the camera :) WT should be very happy I used his camera to the fullest...nearly everyday...hehehe.

Gabriel ate the yam cake for the first time and he loves it, he ate the yam cake together with the shallots!! I think when he heard about "cake" he thought this is "the cake", all mummies, you know what I mean...:D

Soy Rye Pizza

This is the baking I did with Gabriel on 10 May 2012. A healthy mini pizza with soy and rye flours.

I want to take this opportunity to record Gabriel's milestones:

1. Learn to eat sausage.

2. Curious about the food me and WT eat. Usually he will ask for the same food.

3. Allow me to cut his hair without any fuss. I have done it twice before the day of recording. It happened one day, I told him a story about grandma cut mummy hair just like what I did on him, wrap him up with a piece of cloth and let him sit on a stool, he just let me do it. Is the story I told him that change everything.

15 May 2012

Penang Chee Cheong Fun (Steamed Rice Rolls with Shrimp Paste)

These few weeks I am actually very busy looking for quotation from Interior Designers and Contractors, my new house is going to get TOP soon and next month I'll be busy packing up my stuff and temporary close down my kitchen.  

So this month, let me be crazy over the Dim Sum Affair! My love for Dim Sum can be seen from how frequent I cook and upload the posts...hehehe. All these is just down to two words...贪吃 :D Luckily WT doesn't mind I serve the Dim Sum as main dish for his dinner.

I saw Li Shuan from Helena's Kitchen made her own Chee Cheong Fun sometimes ago, I was really impressed because to me Chee Cheong Fun needs a special tool (a piece of cloth) and a big steamer to make it as thin as possible. However, my craving for Penang Chee Cheong Fun becomes stronger since I have the Shrimp paste (leftover from my previous cooking of Penang Assam Laksa) sitting in the fridge. Li Shuan, thanks for sharing this good recipe!

14 May 2012

Steamed Sticky Rice with Nyonya Flavour (Steamed Glutinous Rice)

I love glutinous rice (sticky rice) since young. That time we had sticky rice only for special occasion, usually when the relatives celebrate their babies first month birthday, they would give us the turmeric rice with curry chicken and Ang Ku Kueh. My late grandpa loves to eat the turmeric rice too, we were given just a bit of the share because there were many of us.

Now, I in charge of my own kitchen and can cook whatever I like, of course this sticky/glutinous rice will be in the list of my recipe. The rice itself is flavourful and delicious if you can make it into Pulut Panggang (Grilled Glutinous Rice), Pulut Inti, Turmeric Rice, Loh Mai Gai (Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken) and many more.

I always soak an extra cup of glutinous rice in my fridge, today mission is to clear the glutinous rice :) To make a better presentation for tonight dinner, I make it into Asian delight... Nyonya Flavour using the recipe from Aromas of Kuihs by Amy Wong. If you are lazy to pound the ingredients for filling like me, just make sure you chopped the ingredients as fine as you can.

Recipe adapted from Aromas of Kuih by Amy Wong with minor changes
Ingredients for filling A:
75g dried prawns (chopped)
75g grated coconut (or you may used dessicated coconut)

Ingredients for filling B:
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

Ingredients for filling C (I chopped all into fine, you may opt to pound it):
30g shallot
5g garlic
1/2 pieces lemongrass
2 chillies
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tbsp cekor powder (omitted)

Step for fillings:
1. Heat up 2 tbsp oil and fry filling C till fragrant.
2. Add dried prawns and filling B, then fry till fragrant.
3. Add grated coconut and fry till fragrant.

Ingredients A:
300g glutinous rice
50ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cooked black glutinous rice
some water

Ingredients B:
100g glutinous rice
50ml coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
15g turmeric powder
50ml water

1. Mix ingredients A (except black glutinous rice). Add some water to cover the glutinous rice, about 1/4 inch from the surface of rice. Steam for 35 mins till rice is cooked. Set aside.
2. Mix ingredients B. Add water to cover the glutinous rice, about 1/4 inch from the surface of rice. Steam for 35 mins till rice is cooked.
3. Add ingredients A with black glutinous rice, stir well.
4. Place yellow glutinous rice irregularly into a small mould (I used a 3 inch cookies cutter). Place some white glutinous rice into the mould, compress the rice till half full.
5. Add some fillings and level it. Add white glutinous rice again and compress the rice till full. Steam for 15 mins. Remove from mould. (I actually remove the mould before putting it into steamer as I only has a 3 inch cookies cutter, the rice keep it shapes very well)

11 May 2012

Baked Barbecued Pork Puffs (Char Siu Puffs/ Su)

The first time I made this type of puff pastry was many years ago. I was a Science Stream student during my secondary school days and I joined "cooking and baking classes" as extra-curriculum on Saturday morning. The teacher taught us how to make sausage puff roll. That year was coincidental with school fund raising project and we have to make lot of them and sold each sausage puff roll for RM0.50. It was a fun year and I never forget the taste of the sausage puff roll.

It really took me so long to make another puff pastry, I plan ahead by making the butter square and cook the barbecued pork (Char Siu) one day ahead. My friends, this type of puff pastry is worth the time spend. There is no shortcut to make a flaky puff pastry. For each rolling and folding, the pastry has to go back to the fridge and rest for at least an hour and take out from the fridge for rolling and folding again for another 2 times. The dough that has enough rest will has an elastic feel when come to final round of flattening, the dough won't tear but the butter would melt (Due to super hot weather) and the dough need to be handle very quickly.

The buttery flaky layering of the puff pastry and the fragrant of the sesame blend nicely with the sweet-salty barbecued pork filling. My son came up and grabbed a piece of it when I was snapping the photos :) He said "yummy!"

I used the recipe from Veganbaking.net for the puff pastry and filling is from my own kitchen play. Veganbaking.net has a clear picture illustrations on how to make the puff pastry.

Figure A
Recipe adapted from Veganbaking.net with minor changes

Ingredients for butter square:
270g butter, cut into small pieces (it has to be cold not soften)
50g shortening, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup of plain flour

Step to prepare butter square:
1. In a bowl, add the butter pieces, the shortening and flour. Used hand to rub the butter into small chunks and rub them loosely with the flour until fine.
2. Wrap the butter dough in a wrapping film, press together to form a rough shape. Use a rolling pin to roll into a square. (I didn't measure the dimension).
3. Refrigerate for at least one hour or better if place it overnight.

Ingredients for dough:
1 ½ cups bread flour
1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
100g butter, cut into small pieces
180ml ice cold water

Dough wash:
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
sesame seeds

1. Add the flour and salt to a medium bowl and mix to combine. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until the mixture has pea-sized chunks of butter. Gradually add the ice water. Use a spoon to mix and combined well.
2. Transfer the dough to clean surface, knead until getting a smooth dough.  Roll the dough into a ball, cover with wrapping film and keep in fridge for at least two hours.
3. After two hours, place the dough on a lightly floured surface, using the rolling pin roll out a big square like in figure A-1.
4. Place the butter square diagonally on top of the dough as in figure A-2. Wrap up the butter square as in figure A-3, seal the opening tightly.
5. Flatten the dough from the centre and roll it into a bigger square, about 14 inch. flour the rolling pin and dough if the dough becomes sticky.
6. Fold the dough in three folds like a tri-fold business letter. This is known as a turn in the laminated dough world.
7. Now turn the dough 90 degrees and fold it in three folds again so it turns into a square. This counts as another turn. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour for the dough to relax. The dough will become more pliable and elastic.
8. Repeat step 5-7 for another two times.  
9. Flatten the dough and cut it into desire portion as in figure A-5. Take up a piece of the dough, roll it slightly to a bigger piece, wrap in filling and seal the opening by pressing the edges of the dough with a fork.
10. Place on the baking tray. Let the puff rest for 15 mins. dough wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
11. Place into a preheat oven at 210C bake for 15 mins and lower the heat to 180C bake for another 15 mins or until the puff turned golden brown. Check wheather the inner layers of the puff is baked.

Ingredients for filling, from Ah Tze's kitchen play
600g pork, diced into small pieces
3 clovers of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp of BBQ sauces
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of sugar
200ml water
2 tbsp cornstarch for thickening the gravy

1. Marinate the pork with BBQ sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar for 30 mins. Add oil to frying pan, fry garlic until aromatic, stir in BBQ pork. Add water, drizzle conrstarch water to thicken the sauce (sauce must be very dry), stir-fry for another 10 mins (or you may cook in happycall pan like I do). Set aside to cool.

I am submitting my post to Aspiring Bakers #19: Dim Sum Affair (May 2012) hosted by SSB of Small Small Baker

10 May 2012

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings (Chai Kueh)

This steamed vegetables dumplings is commonly refer to as Chai Kueh. It has a soft and chewy crystal dumplings skin and you can stuff whatever you like inside the chai kueh. I am using my leftover dish from yesterday dinner, fried jicama with carrot.

May be due to few days ago I have some practise while making my shrimp dumplings, I find the dough is easier to handle then my first Chai Kueh. No doubt pleating the dumplings still post a big challenge as I sliced my jicama using knife instead of shredded it to thin sliced. When the dumpling skin comes into contact with the jicama gravy it tears easily.

My neighbour's 9 years old son came over to play with Gabriel this afternoon, he had his lunch together with Gabriel and ate the Chai Kueh too. I had 3 pieces for lunch and the remaining 10 pieces will be tonight dinner :) I like this type of cooking, one time preparation serving few meals :D 

08 May 2012

Penang Assam Laksa

Recently a friend of mine told me she had a bowl of Hokkien Mee for the price of $8.90. A bit extra from the usual one because it came with big prawns. If I take a bowl of Penang Assam Laksa at OldTown, it will cost me $6.00+, if I order it from nyonya restaurant it will be $8.00+. However, if I order Penang Assam Laksa near to my mum house, I still can get a bowl at RM2.50.

When I found a good recipe from Penang Chefs.com I quickly take up the challenge to make my Penang Assam Laksa. I have a record of eating 3 bowls Penang Assam Laksa in a day when I went back to Penang :) Haha... I'm addicted to its spicy-sour fish broth, remember I can't take spicy food, but I allow myself to have the nose running when come to Penang Assam Laksa :D 

To make a delicious bowl of Penang Assam Laksa the broth is important, there are a few ingredients which you can not omitted, they are: Polygonum leaves (Daun Laksa), Tamarind juice (Assam Jawa Juice), Kembong Fish, Peeled Tamarind (Assam Keping), shallots, red onions, lemon grass, chillies....and prawn paste. 

The Laksa noodles should look like 'fat' white spaghetti and are made from rice flour. The 'thin' laksa noodles is not the original Penang Assam Laksa noodles, as I can't get the 'fat' Laksa noodles, I used udon! yes, you can buy the fresh one or pack in fridge one, just place it into boiling water, after boiling the udon looks and taste just like the 'fat' Laksa noodles. 

06 May 2012

Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings)

Har Gow or shrimp dumplings is my first choice when come to eating Dim Sum, I never stop at one basket :) First time making Har Gow, there are lot of room for improvement. First I omitted the soy sauce as I afraid it might darken the filling, this is a big mistake because it makes the filling not as tasty as the one selling outside, no doubt the skin is crystal clear. I prefer the filling to taste saltier.

To make the dumpling skin as thin as possible really very time consuming and after rolling it to the desire thickness, lifting the skin up from the surface is another challenge. It torns easily. Pleating the thin dumpling skin is another test, my har gow didn't get a beautiful pleat. I pleated it as gentle as I could to prevent the skin from tear...oh my, this is a big challenge! 

The Pier Geelong

This is another long overdue post... it is about 5 months overdue. I want to keep this memory before I totally forget.

We were on our way to Great Ocean Road, stop over Geelong. The good thing about rent a car and drive by yourself, you can stop whenever you feel so. This was the third time I came to Geelong (the other two times were during year 2004) and to me Geelong is a small town with not much happening but it has a stunning views.  

Baveras Restaurant is sitted on Geelong's historical Cunningham Pier, it oversees the Geelong's waterfront. It has a bar on level one and the restaurant is on the ground level.  The food at Baveras Restaurant is not just thumbs up but can consider as great delicacy. Great food, stunning view, of course it comes with a good price tag. 

02 May 2012

Loh Mai Gai (Steamed Sticky Rice with Chicken)

This month Aspiring Bakers is going for... Dim Sum Affair! Dim Sum is refers to Chinese food that is prepared in small individual portions. It is traditionally served in small steamer baskets or some of it on small plates. The food can be steamed, baked or even deep dried. If you are Cantonese you will like to refer eating Dim Sum as "Yum Cha" (drink tea)
Eating Dim Sum at restaurant was one of my family weekend morning activities when I was young. My mum who is Cantonese and my father who is Hokkien love Dim Sum very much. So until now, Dim Sum is still our first choice. I have many favourites Dim Sum dishes :) One of it is Loh Mai Gai (Steamed glutinous rice or steamed sticky rice with chicken), love the Loh Mai Gai that is wrap in the lotus leaves. However, I couldn't get my hands on any lotus leaves at the time of preparing my Loh Mai Gai, I subsituted it with bamboo leaves.   

Thanks Kristy from My Little Space for this beautiful recipe.