03 December 2013

Homemade Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls) 汤圆

Tang Yuan a bouncy chewy glutinous rice balls is traditionally eaten during Yuan Xiao 元宵 and Chinese Winter Solstice Festival 冬至. It has the meaning of family reunion. The Tang Yuan is cooked in a pot of boiling water then serve with sweet ginger soup. My family always cook the Tang Yuan without any filling in it, I like it that way too. 

Time flies, is end of the year again. This coming Chinese Winter Solstice, I will be living in Qatar, Doha and reunion with my family, lets celebrate it by eating the Tang Yuan! 

This recipe is a keeper as the Tang Yuan is very chewy and it doesn't turn hard when it cool down. I changed the original recipe for the sweet ginger soup with winter melon tea cubes, it turned out very nice too! 




Recipe adapted from Noob Cook Recipe with minor changes
(3 small serving)

1 cup glutinous rice flour (250g)
1/2 cup water, add gradually
1/2 tbsp super fine sugar
food colouring: 1 drop pandan paste, 1 drop strawberry paste, 1 red+1 yellow food colouring to make orange

Sweet soup:
80g ginger, thinly sliced
1 litre water
80g gula Melaka chunk (use 50g Taiwanese Winter Melon Tea cubes, you can add more if you like the soup to taste sweeter)
2 pandan leaves, ties in knot

1. In a bowl, add the glutinous rice flour and sugar. Gradually add in the water. Knead the mixture into a smooth dough. The dough should feel wet and smooth with hands. 
2. Divide the dough into four, one plain, one with pandan paste, one with strawberry paste and one with orange food colouring. Set aside.
3. In a small soup pot, boil the water, ginger, pandan leaves and drop in the winter melon tea cube. When the water is boiling, discard the pandan leaves and set aside.
4. Prepare a bowl of drinking water (room temperature), and boil another pot with water. Divide the flour dough into smaller balls, roll it in your palms to make it round. Drop the balls into the boiling water in step 4. When the glutinous rice balls floated on the water, it means it is cooked, keep it in the boiling water for another 1/2 min. Scoop the glutinous rice balls out from the boiling water and place it in the bowl of drinking water. Let it be there until serving. 
5. Serving: Scoop out the Tang Yuan (glutinous rice balls) and place it into the ginger winter melon soup you prepared in step 3.  

27 November 2013

Char Kuey Teow 炒粿条

Today I have received the parcel which contains my new "toy"O(∩_∩)O! Since I'm cooking this Char Kuey Teow for my son, just try to shot a few photos to test the end result. What do you think? Any different from my usual shot? ;)  

This Char Kuey Teow is with extra prawns because I still left a big pack in my freezer and it is without bean sprouts because...I don't like it :D 

Recipe please see here

26 November 2013

Daifukumochi 大福饼 (with custard and sweet potato filling)

Daifukumochi or Daifuku 大福饼 is a Japanese soft mochi (glutinous rice cake) commonly with different stuffing. The meaning of 大福饼 if directly translated from its Chinese words means great luck rice cake. The common stuffing for Daifukumochi is sweetened red bean paste.

23 November 2013

Shui Jian Bao / Sheng Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Pork Bun 水煎包 / 生煎包)

今天突然想吃水煎包(生煎包),那是在"上海1930"餐馆吃过的,好怀恋哟!想想就来玩手工搓面团练练膀力,也好消掉那余下的馒头粉吧 !

Today I have make Shui Jian Bao or Sheng Jian Bao (pan-fried Pork bun), a crispy fried bottom and soft airy top bun. Missed the one at "Shanghai 1930" Restaurant. As I have keep my KitchenAid in box, this is a good chance to make hand knead bun again...after so long ^_* I know tonight I will have to rest my arms straight on bed. 

21 November 2013

Snowflake Almond Cookies

In another few weeks time, I'll start another chapter of my life. When I think about this, I gives thanks to God, thank Him for giving me so many chances to start anew again. I can't pen down how I feel in words, it is really full of anticipation, no doubt every times I'm not so willing, but every times it end up I don't want to leave the place He brought me into. How glorious are Your ways, how awesome are Your works. I pray that we will learn to trust in Your Word for each decision we make, will know beyond a doubt that Your ways are the best, will be assured that our obedience to You means living without regrets. Give thanks to the Holy one!

This is indeed a beautiful bake! Not just because of the cookies is in snowflakes, but a bake I sense the present of Jesus, a season to love and forgive. An early Merry Christmas to everyone!

As my kitchen is just left with a few ingredients for baking, this cookies is just with ground almond, plain flour, butter, sugar and milk. Finally used up the remaining 250g ground almond and 200g unsalted butter, another mission completed with no messy worktop! ^-^

This is the Kitchen Rules which I hang in my kitchen:
No complaining 
No Substitutions
No Late Arrivals
No Special Orders
Anyone breaking these rules, will be loved and forgiven in the usual manner

250g ground almond
400g plain flour
90g fine sugar
200g unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
5 tbsp fresh milk

1. In a bowl, place the sieve plain flour, sugar and ground almond. Add the butter cubes, rub the flour together with butter using fingers until the mixture is fine.
2. Add the milk into the flour mixture, mix well. Knead the mixture into a dough.
3. Flatten the dough between two pieces of wrapping cling into thin layer, cut out the shapes using your cookies cutter. Place them on baking tray with baking paper.
4. Bake at 170C for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

20 November 2013

Fish Head Soup 鱼头米粉的...汤 \(^0^)/

I love to eat Fish Head Soup with rice vermicelli, luckily my son also love it so I can cook it at home too. I enjoyed a good non-oily soup broth and love that distinctive bit of salty~sour sweet flavour which come from tomatoes and salted vegetable. 

This dish is very simple and easy to make, can complete in 3 steps, the rule for a nice bowl of fish broth is: fried your fish properly so the broth will be white and not fishy smell. The original recipe is using the 天麻 which is a kind of expensive Chinese herb which I don't have, so I omitted it and added the salty vegetable and tomatoes. Oh yes, no evaporated milk added to the broth, please! 

Huh... in this post I didn't add the rice vermicelli as it is not time for lunch and I have the perception that just drink soup and not eating the noodle can cut down my belly too ^0* 

Bechamel Prawn Croquette 虾子奶油可乐饼

This is a gorgeous prawn croquette, with a crisp outer skin and creamy bechamel prawn filling.  A bit of preparation time needed because need to prepare the bechamel sauce but you can store the extra prawn dough balls in the freezer until you need to consume. 

I made 18 pieces and fried six for each meal. My son loves the croquette very much! No doubt, it is flavourful and yummy! It can be a gorgeous finger food for the coming party as well! A recipe from Masa again :) 

16 November 2013

Steamed Tofu with Minced Pork Bonito Flakes


This is a simple and easy tofu dish love by my son. The key for this dish is to place a thin layer of minced meat (in my case is pork) on top of the tofu instead of a thick one, this is crucial as the cooking time is very short. Then you will get a tender soft pork texture which encourage little one to eat ^0^

揚げ出し豆腐 Agedashi Tofu

This Agedashi Tofu is one of the "must order" dish if we go to the Japanese Restaurant with Gabriel. So glad that Alan from Travelling-foodies write out so clearly how to make this dish, now I can cook it at home too. \(^0^)/ save $$$ aiyo...越来越像欧巴桑了!

The tofu used here is the silken soft tofu, I had used the Japanese egg tofu also, the texture is a bit firm if compared with soft tofu, I like the former. The trick of this dish is to make sure the tofu is thoroughly pat dried with kitchen paper, so no splatter of oil while cooking. Oh, yes, Bonito flakes is a must to get the taste! Itadakimasu! \(^=*)/

1 box of soft tofu
cooking oil for deep frying the tofu
60g of corn flour/potato flour or tapioca flour

Tofu sauce:
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp sugar
some bonito flakes
some spring onions, chopped

1. Take out the tofu from its box, cut it into 6~8 big pieces. Place it on a piece of kitchen paper, let the tofu dried for 30 mins. (or you may use more kitchen paper to pat the tofu dried)
2. Heat up a deep saucepan with oil, while waiting for the cooking oil to turn hot, place a piece of tofu on the flour, gently coat the tofu with flour, pat off excessive flour (or the tofu may have floury taste), slowly lower down the tofu to the oil. Deep fried for 2 mins or until the tofu turned slightly brown. 
3. Place the fried tofu on a piece of kitchen paper. 
4. To prepare the tofu sauce, add mirin, light soy sauce, warm water and sugar together, mix well. Place the tofu on the sauce and sprinkle with bonito flakes and spring onions. 

14 November 2013

Fried Rice with Salmon and Bacon

I have some leftover bacon and a big piece of fried salmon with teriyaki sauce from yesterday meal. I know my son well, he is not going to eat the reheated salmon anymore. So this is what I usually do, shred the salmon meat with the knife and add the salmon to the fried rice, shred salmon is actually very versatile, you can add it to noodles and make a well-rounded meal; the fried rice is delicious and the most important part is...my son will eat all the salmon!

13 November 2013

Sour Hot Soup

This week is a tough week as need to resist the temptation to snap photos on food (><)// while I'm packing up my stuff, I'm clearing the fridge as well. I'm dropping in to post this Thai Sour Hot Soup to support my friend Lena who is hosting the Asian Food Fest for Thailand. Lena is one of my blogger friend who is constantly encouraging me since I started to bake and cook. 

This hot soup is a simple dish, I have one lemongrass, one lime and lemon, one frozen ginger flower (yes, we can't find fresh ginger flower here, the frozen one bought from Mdm Kwong's Restaurant), a big pack of frozen prawns and a half pack of medium size squid left sitting in the fridge (actually there are still lot of stuff in the fridge( _ _;) ), when I saw this soup recipe in my mini Thai Cooking cookbook, I know this is the dish to clear some of my stuff in the fridge. Cooking and preparation time under 30 mins...and sour, sour, sour soup! \(^0^)/ 

28 October 2013

Fondant Butter Cupcakes : Happy Birthday WT

It has been sometimes since I last play with fondant. I was thinking whether to make a cake for WT since he is not in Melbourne, but my son said he wants to give his Dad a cake. We went to Coles and he picked up the animals icing and insisted that this should be in the cake decoration ... what I can say is, ok! Here we are, a fondant butter cupcakes!

This round, I only spend a morning molding the fondant as it is really easy to handle compared to my experience with it in Singapore. The weather here help a lot! No sticky and sweating fondant! The fondant harden so fast, I should do more fondant while I still have time in Melbourne, Lol! 

Love the end result, as you know I'm not good in cake decoration and my expectation on it is very low, this result already make me very happy. I didn't spend a bomb on buying tools for fondant making, never for this round too. I only have a pack of white rolled fondant, mixed the the pink and green myself. I used my existing cookies cutter, and bare hands to roll the flowers and leaves. And lazy me not even preparing any butter cream but used the strawberries jam to apply on the cake and da...da, the fondant sit firmly on top! 

Snapped so many photos this round, just to keep a good memories and to wish WT who is in Doha, a very happy birthday, my dear! 

25 October 2013

Ajitsuke Tamago (Lava Egg / Marinated Soft Boiled Egg) 溏心蛋

I make this Ajitsuke Tamago or Lava egg a day after I cooked my soya sauce chicken as there is a lot of leftover sauce after all chicken is gone. To make 溏心蛋 lava egg is easy if you know your egg well :D Haha ... Rule number one, leave the egg at room temperature. Rule number two, have a good control on the timing. That's it! 

In Masa's cookbook he has this dish but name it as 煮玉子 ahh...don't ask me why because this dish is more famous to be called 溏心蛋 or Ajitsuke Tamago. Recently Jessie of Jessie-Cooking Moments posted her beautiful lava egg, this really encourage me to try out this dish.

Open Sushi~ Avocado Prawn Salmon (AFF Japan)

I started to love Masa (山下胜)a Japanese chef cooking after I tried out a few of his dishes. In his recipe book, there is no pretty step by step photos non any lovely presentation but when you read his recipe book, you can feel he is with you throughout the cooking, he is "real", like us he also may face failures in the cooking ... you will laugh along with him when you see his cook book!  Respect him as a chef, entrepreneur as well as an author. 

23 October 2013

Soya Sauce Chicken 酱油鸡

Missed this type of Soya Sauce Chicken, when I saw Mich of Piece of Cake posted her Soya Sauce Chicken, I know I have to cook it! But...I know my son will not take any chicken if he see the chicken meat in a whole piece. He think he can't chew the meat! I have a whole chicken in the freezer, what should I do? I don't like the idea of chopping either... Can I cook the whole chicken?

21 October 2013

Kimchiguk (Kimchi Soup)

Three weeks staying in Qatar, Doha was not sufficient for me to comment anything about their food. But I had tried my best to explore the whole city and what I can say is, city of Doha is in a super fast pace of developing. Well, there is not many Asian from Malaysia or Singapore, so they are lacking when come to Asian Groceries Shop... I still can't find any! May be, until I move there by end of the year, I can tell you more about the city. Every times when come to change no one like it, especially me. There are many mental hurdles which we need to push away to move forward. Are you brave enough? We are fearless when we know God has placed us where we should be.

I bought this 日本木炉 Japanese Hot pot to cook this Korean Kimchi Soup or Kimchiguk. The cast iron pot on top is so lovely, does it has a feel like eating in the Korean restaurant? ^_^ The pair of silver chopstick and spoon was a gift from friend.  

Kuih Kosui (Gula Melaka)

When everyone was on "Pandan" theme last month, I was so busy with family visiting and travel to Middle East for three weeks. Many blogger made this Kuih Kosui (Kueh Ko Swee) and I'm very keen in trying it out too because this is one of the kuih I grew up eating, I'm glad that I did so. While I was steaming the kuih, the fragrance of the gula melaka which I bought from Glen Waverley Asian Groceries Shop (shipped from Malaysia) is so intense. As usual, my kuih is done without the alkaline water and the texture of it still come out as chewy and springy as what i expected it to be. 

Talking about Melbourne, I have live here for nearly ten months, from the beginning of unfamiliar with the surrounding until love it vast varieties of shopping, it actually provides more than what I can find in Singapore, some of the daily thing just appear in many different forms. For instance you can get pandan and banana leaves in fresh or frozen; you can find kaffir lime leaves in fresh or in bottle. But some of the thing you will never get here are: green tea powder for baking, charcoal powder, etc. 

Not sure whether because I'm getting old, I tend to appreciate what I used to have when I was young, I will never buy this kind of Chinese teacups 蓝鱼大同杯 if I'm still in Singapore, but now, I tend to appreciate it very much and bought it at AUD0.99 per piece. Of course its function is more than making kuih :) Hopefully, my son will grow up recognize himself as Chinese and know the culture of his root is. 

Recipe adapted from TravellingFoodies 
130g gula melaka
2 tbsp granulated sugar
500ml water
2-3 pandan leaves, rinsed and tied into a knot
75g rice flour
35g tapioca flour
1 tsp alkaline water (Omitted)
50g grated coconutA pinch of salt
1. Combine gula melaka, sugar, knotted pandan leaves and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugars dissolve, about 10 mins. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool. Discard the pandan leaves.

2. Combine the rice flour and tapioca flour together in a bowl. Pour the flour into cooled sugar syrup saucepan. Using a wooden spatula, mix well together to form a smooth mixture. Put the saucepan onto low heat and keep stirring the mixture until the mixture thicken (not boiling)

3. Prepare your steamer, bring the water to boil. And arranged the empty Chinese teacups in the steamer and warm it up for about 5 mins.

4. Use a ladle to pour the mixture to fill each of the teacup to a level of three quarters in depth. Cover the steamer and cook the mixture for about 15~20 mins, the colour of the mixture will turn from light brown to dark brown.

5. While the kueh is cooking in the steamer, prepare the grated coconut, toss it with a pinch of salt and steam for about 2 mins. Remove and allow to cool.

6. To serve, use a fork to tip out the kueh from each teacup. Arrange the kueh on a plate and scatter the grated coconut to toss the kueh evenly.

19 October 2013

Steamed Custard Bun (Nai Huang Bao) 惜福奶黄包





10 September 2013

Piggy Mooncakes 小猪猪传统月饼

After seeing so many bloggers making this adorable piggy mooncakes, finally I'm also making one myself...Oops, not one but 2 batches all together 16 numbers! My first batch turned out having uneven patches after egg wash, after consulted Jessie, I decided to drop egg wash totally. I coated the second batch of piggy mooncakes with golden syrup and I think this is the end result which I love!  (no doubt, my piggy without alkaline water looks a bit "flat" after baking "@_@)

Is indeed such a joy to see the adorable piggy, when I was in the midst of making it, I was filled with joy, the joy of seeing such a cute creation as well as the joy of meeting family members soon! And all these cuties will be given to the kids who will be very excited to see and...eat it! My piggy is as small as the size of a tablespoon! 

Thanks Ann of Anncoo Journal for creating such a wonderful recipe in year 2011 for such a season. Ann has provided a detail step-by step video slides show on how to make the piggy mooncakes.

Oink! Oink! Ready to go into oven!

Does this type of big eyes make you think of someone?! Haha...

Family's photo time!

Showing his...tail (Pi Ku) Oink! Oink!

Recipe from Anncoo Journal
(x 2 of her quantities to make 11 piggy)
150g plain flour
90g golden syrup
3g alkaline water (omitted)
38g peanut oil 

Filling: - store bought red bean paste

 a round 1/8 tsp spoon, a skewer, a toothpick and a small piece of plastic sheet

Black beans for piggy eyes, rinsed and pat dry

Glaze: 1 tbsp pf golden syrup + 1 tbsp of water (mixed well)

Please refer to Ann video slides.

Store for 2 days before consume, this is to allow the pastry to turn "soft". (回油)

Note for myself:
1. I rest the dough for 40 mins. before knead to smooth.
2. Bake at 180C for 5 mins, take out let the piggy rest for 10 mins. Place back to oven again at 140C for 20 mins. Take out, glaze with golden syrup mixture and put back into oven for 2 mins.


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 
See you next month!