28 February 2013

Steamed Vegetables Dumplings: baby boab tubers (Chai Kueh II)

I'm here in Melbourne for nearly 1.5 month now, my mind still couldn't stop craving for the Malaysia and Singapore street food.  This round is steamed vegetables dumplings or chai kueh. I try my best to look for jicama whenever I go market but I couldn't spot it anywhere, then I realised jicama is not a common food here. Even in the Asian Grocery Shop, is unusual for them to sell jicama!! Huh! another surprise for me!

One day, I purposely drove to Springvale market, it is far from where I live. I found something look like jicama in the market but the skin of the vegetable tell me it is not, I asked around what type of vegetable is that, but the sale girl at the shop didn't know what type of vegetable it is too. They place it together with purple beetroot. I want to try my luck, I bought a big one home.

The smell of this vegetable is a bit different from jicama when it is raw, but after shredded and cooked no one can tell the different. I google the name of this vegetable from Internet and found that it is called baby boab tubers, a good replacement of jicama.

I made 50 bite size pieces from this round of Chai Kueh making :) The dumpling skin as usual is easy to handle and the result is crystal clear soft dumpling skin.

Recipe for filling from Ah Tze's Kitchen Play

600g baby boab tubers, shredded
200g dried prawns, soaked and chopped
1 big carrot, shredded
4 tbsps sugar
2 tsp salt
2 medium bowl of water
cooking oil
80g chopped garlic
6 stalks of mushroom, chopped
some corriander, washed and chopped

1. Heat the oil in wok, stir-fry garlic until fragrant.
2. Add in dried prawns and fry until fragrant.
3. Add in jicama, carrots and mushrooms. Stir fry for 5 mins, add in water. Let it simmer until the vegetable is soft and cooked. Add corriander. Add in sugar and salt to taste. If you like me, prefer my vegetable to taste sweet to cover the raw smell of the boab tubers, you may add in more sugar. Let it cool for later use.

Recipe for dumpling skin adapted from Hot Favourites Kuehs and Pastries cookbook, with minor changes


300g wheat starch flour
300g tapioca flour
500 ml hot boiling water 
2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cooking oil

1. Place wheat starch flour, tapioca flour, and salt in a bowl. Make a hole in the centre and pour in hot water. (the water must be boiling hot) Mix well with a pair of chopstick, mix to form a dough. 
2. Add oil and knead to form a smooth dough. (make sure to knead well so to produce soft dumpling skin) Cover with wrapping film, set a side to rest for 30 mins.
3.Flatten the dough to a thin layer, use the ring cutter to cut out the individual dumpling skin. Roll dough to form a thin circle.
4. Wrap 1 tbsp of filling with each dough. Fold into semicircle and seal the opening by pressing the edges together.
5. Line steamer with non stick baking paper or a piece of banana leaves. Place the chai kueh on top and steam for 10~15 mins or until the dumpling skin turns translucent.
6. Remove the chai kueh and brush the surface with some oil. Serve hot.

Dumplings in the steamer ready for steaming

22 February 2013

Oven baked Barramundi: Asian Seabass

After a few weeks of doing my groceries shopping at the local wet market as well as the Asian groceries shops, I discovered some of the ingredients which we (Asian) usually need is selling at a very expensive price here. For instance, ginger, a common ingredient which is a must in my kitchen is selling at $18/kg at a farm market and the price is $20~$24/kg at some Asian groceries shop!!

With this expensive ginger, I better put every inch of it into good use! This round I try to oven baked barramundi or Asian called it seabass.

Place the tofu, slice tomatoes, and fish into the baking tray, cover it with slice ginger and spring onion from my garden. Add 3 tbsp of light soy source, 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 100ml of water. Cover the tray with aluminium foil and place into oven at 220C for 25 mins.

The meat of the fish will come out soft and silky like steamed fish, we golloped the fish once it it out from the oven...sorry forgot to take the photo of the cooked fish :)

18 February 2013

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year: Homemade Bak Kwa (Chicken) 雞肉干

Who can forget about the date of reunion dinner and the date of Chinese Lunar New Year?  This year I did. As my consignment was delay and it came just a few days before reunion dinner, my hubby and me were busy unpacking the 202 boxes until we totally forgot to buy anything to prepare for the reunion dinner. Luckily, my sister has a last minutes arrangement and we had a reunion lunch in restaurant instead. 

Hope this post is not too late to wish you a prosperous Chinese New Year and hope year of Snake bring you joy, good health and may all your wishes come true!  

I saw the Bak Kwa recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover blog, Bak Kwa in Australia is expensive if compared to Singapore or in Malaysia, so I decided to make one this year, however, I only have minced chicken in my kitchen, therefore I used chicken instead of the traditional pork. If got chances, I will want it to be the traditional Chinese Pork Jerky. Another disappointment about my Bak Kwa is... the top heat function of the oven in my renting place is not working fine, it only work well on the fan baking function :( Oh no, how am I going to do my future baking, sob, sob, sob...

Anyway, my sister family and my hubby said the Bak Kwa taste ok, for me the taste can be better if it is pork.