25 February 2018

Bak Kwa 猪肉干 (Pork Jerky)

Bak Kwa is the Hokkian word means grilled minced pork. A kind of Chinese style moist and grilled pork jerky. This was my third time making Bak Kwa and it is the first time having a satisfying end product. The meat is moist and tender, not over dehydrated and hard. Though it was hard work squatting in front of the oven relentless flipping the meat sheets. Homemade Bak Kwa without any colouring and preservatives is the best. ^^ 

I did some online research about the way others making Bak Kwa and the temperature used.  I'm referring to a YouTube by Lauren's Kitchen on how he made the Chicken Bak Kwa, combined with my own previous two experiments in the kitchen and conclude with the below recipe. Yes, the Bak Kwa needs to have certain thickness to taste better, don't roll it too thin. 

I love to eat my Bak Kwa sandwich between soft white bread! :p

Recipe: (Baking tray: 46 cm x 33 cm)
(1.5Kg Minced pork with fatty, yield around 0.9 kg Bak Kwa)
1.5 kg minced pork with fatty
200 g sugar
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1.5  tbsp fish sauce
3 to 4 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp five spice powder
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
3 heap spoons honey
1 tsp white peppers
2 tsp salts 

4 tbsp honey + 1 tbsp warm water, mix well

1. In a mixing bowl, place all ingredients, mix well with a pair of chopstick until the meat turn gooey. Pack into plastic zipper lock, press out thinly but leave a thickness of 5mm. I packed the minced pork into 5 plastic zipper lock. Keep it in the freezer overnight. 

2. Thaw the minced pork from freezer 30 mins before you need to use the meat. Cut the side of zipper lock to take out the meat sheet. (Mine didn't have any meat liquid, so I don't need to drain them) Transfer the meat to a lined baking tray. I used two meat sheets just right for one baking tray. Cover the meat with the plastic, gentle use a rolling pin to spread the meat to the side or cover the tray fully. Remember do not over pressing the meat! 

3. Bake in a preheat oven at 140C for 10 mins, flip the meat and bake for another 10 mins.

4. Leave the meat to cool down a bit, cut the meat into 6 square pieces or your desire portions. 

5. Turn the oven to grill function, apply a layer of glaze to both side of the meat sheet, grill the meat at between 160C to 170C on the wire rack, use the long food tong keep flipping the meat. Apply glazing again if necessary. Adjust the oven temperature if the grill char the meat too fast. Grill until the meat reach your desire red and cooked colour. Keep the extra Bak Kwa in the fridge, when need, take out and heat up in the microwave for 15 seconds, serve warm.

22 February 2018

Yu Sheng (Lo Hei) 鱼生

Yu Sheng, Yee Sang or Lo Hei, is a very popular dish during Chinese New Year among Malaysian and Singaporean as it is a symbol of abundance and prosperity. I love this dish not only because of its vibrant colour but the pleasure and ecstatic energy that bring people together when we do the prosperity toss.  

Yu Sheng usually consists of raw fish (or sometimes we used smoked salmon) mixed with shredded vegetables such as carrots, radish and cucumber; and a variety of sauces and condiments. Nowadays, many people have developed this Yu Sheng to suit their family taste buds. 

I love my Yu Sheng to have thin and long shredded vegetables. So this dish must use hand shredded tool to produce the beautiful long shredded vegetables. The plate on the photo is a 24 inches round diameter metal plate. The shredded vegetables pile up to about 12 inches high. It is ready to feed around 20 adults. :) I have made this dish many times, this year posted this dish to make my own note.


10 carrots, shredded
3 big radish, shredded
2 big cucumber, shredded
400g smoked salmon, cut into 2 inches slices
1 pomegranate,
1 pomelo, tear into small pieces  
1 orange, cut into small slices
300g ground peanuts with white sesame seeds
1 Yu Sheng's kit with the colour gingers and other condiments.

In a medium glass bottle, add 400 ml plum sauce, add 50 ml abalone sauce and squeeze in one small lime juice. cover the glass bottle with lid, shake well. set aside.

200 ml olive oil 

Place the shredded vegetables, smoked salmon, pomelo and orange in the middle or whatever way you like. Arrange the Yu Sheng's kit colours gingers and other condiments around the shredded vegetables. When is time to toss the shredded vegetables, pour the ground peanuts, white sesame seeds, plum sauce mixture and oil on top of the shredded vegetables. Toss the vegetables as high as you can and hopefully you can fish out the salmon! ^^ 

21 February 2018

Tang Yuan with Peanut Butter Filling 花生汤圆 (Glutinous Rice Balls with Peanut Butter Filling)

Tang Yuan, a Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour and usually served in sweet syrup. It is usually served on Winter Solstice Festival 冬至 and also a popular dessert for Spring Lantern Festival 元宵节 which is celebrated on the fifteen day of the first month in the Chinese calendar. It marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations.

This year I made the triple colours Glutinous rice balls with peanut butter filling in ginger syrup. A bit different from my previous making of Tang Yuan with black sesame filling in sweet osmanthus syrup or the normal Tang Yuan without filling.

yield: 47 pieces
Peanut Butter Filling:
250g ground peanuts
4 tbsp fine sugar
4 tbsp peanut butter

Glutinous Rice Balls:

500g glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
~420ml water (200ml hot water, 220ml room temperature water gradually add) 
a drop of red food colouring
a drop of pandan paste


a few slices of old ginger (peeled the skin, then lightly pounded on the flat sides) 
150 g brown sugar
1 litre of water
2 screw-pine leaves/pandan leaves (tie them into a knot)


1. Prepare the filling: Mix the filling ingredients together, mixed well. Divide into the portion you desire and chill in the fridge before use.

2. Prepare the tang yuan: in a mixing bowl, add half of the glutinous rice flour (250g) and sugar. Add in 200ml of hot water, use a chopstick to stir it together, then use the hands to knead the dough until it comes together. Add the remaining flour (250g), gradually add the room temperature water, continue to knead the dough. You will notice the flour will absorb all the water, knead the dough until it is smooth. The dough should feel wet and smooth with hands. if the dough is too dry, gradually add a bit more water.

3. Boil water in a medium size soup pot, prepare a bowl of drinking water (room temperature) place beside. 

4. Divide the dough into three portion, one portion add a drop of red food colouring, knead until the colour mix well. Add a drop of pandan paste to another portion of dough, knead until the colour mix well. One portion of dough remain white.

5. Roll the three doughs into log and divide it into smaller balls. Roll it between palm to make it round, make an indention on the ball, fill it with a small ball of peanut butter filling. Wrap up the edge of the dough and seal, roll it between palm again to make round ball. Repeat until all dough is used.

6. Drop the balls into the boiling water pot in (3), when the Tang Yuan float on the surface, it means it is cooked, keep it in the boiling water for another 1/2 mins. Scoop the Tang Yuan out from the boiling water and place it in the bowl of drinking water. Let it be there until serving.

7. Prepare the soup: In a medium pot, add water, screw-pine leaves, a few slices of old ginger and brown sugar, bring it to boil. Set aside until serving time.

8. Serving: Scoop out three pieces of Tang Yuan to a serving bowl, place some ginger syrup in the bowl, serve warm. 

06 February 2018

Pineapple Tarts 2018 黄梨酥

Pineapple Tarts is another "must have" during Chinese New Year, it is one of my family favourite. I have to homemade the pineapple filling again this year as it is not available in Sydney. I'm using my previous recipe for the pineapple tarts pastry and filling with minor modification. 

With two big pineapples produced about 600g pineapple paste, standing in front of the wok for more than two hours is not an easy task especially have to endure the painful splatter from the boiling pineapple jam. However, the melt-in-mouth pastry will make you come back to bake this tart each year. :) The tip for a yummy pastry is using the best butter you can get, this round I'm using Golden Churn Pure Creamery Butter. 

Note: I hand made the pattern on each of the pastry using dough knife. 

Yield: 102 pieces (medium size tarts) 

Wishing you a Happy, Wealthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year! 


Ingredients for Pineapple Filling/Jam:

2 big pineapple puree, about 1.5kg (Blend the cut pineapple, no separation of pineapple juice with fibre)
2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
1 medium size lemon (wash and blend the lemon together with skin)
250g fine sugar (to taste, as some pineapple is very sweet and some may be a bit sour)
3 heap spoons maltose 

1. It is best if you have a big wok because the juice in the pineapple can dried off easily. Mix the pineapple puree with lemon puree, add ground cinnamon. 

2. Cook the pineapple-lemon puree on high heat until it is boiling, continue to cook for 30 mins before turning the heat to medium low. Add sugar, add maltose when the juice reduce to half. Continue to cook until the juice dried off and the pineapple jam turning very stiff (about 2 hours). Remember to stir the pineapple jam once in a while to prevent burning at the bottom. The pineapple jam has to fry until very dry so to produce a longer storage time for your pineapple tarts.
3. Cool down complete before keep in fridge for a day.
4. Roll into small balls, set aside for later use.

1. the cooking time may vary (mine is about 2 hours) as it is depends on the size of your wok and the juice contains in the pineapple.
2. The pineapple jam is not mean for spreading so the texture is a bit stiff so it is able to roll into a ball for the enclosed pineapple tarts. 

Ingredients for pastry: 
340g golden churn butter
80g icing sugar
4 egg yolks
4.5 tbsp ghee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
550g plain flour
50g custard powder
1 tsp baking powder

1 lightly beaten egg yolk for glazing

1. Cream butter, ghee and sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla extract and salt. Beat until fluffy. 
2. Fold in sifted flour ingredients and mix into a firm dough. Put dough on a work surface and lightly knead until the dough is smooth.
3. Wrap with plastic cling and place in the fridge for 30 mins. Let the dough rest and bind.
4. Roll the pineapple jam into small balls.
5. Remove dough from fridge, divide dough using a teaspoon and roll into balls. 
6. Flatten a piece of dough and place a piece of the pineapple jam ball in the middle. Bring the edges of the dough together and press lightly to seal. Roll the dough between your palms to shape it into a ball. 

7. Place the pineapple dough on baking tray lined with parchment paper. 
8. Making pattern on the dough balls is optional.
9. Brush the egg yolk on the pineapple ball. 
10. Bake in preheated over of 180C and for ~20 mins or until it turned golden brown. 

11. Cool on wire rack before store in airtight container.

Almond Cookies 2018 杏仁曲奇饼

I have to clear a few packs of superfine almond powder in my pantry and decided to bake this almond cookies for Chinese New Year. 

Yield: 100 pieces


250g superfine ground almond
100g icing sugar
230g self raising flour
180ml corn oil (depends on the flour, it could need more or less oil)

egg yolk for brushing

1. Sift together flour and icing sugar. Add in ground almond, mix well.
2. Mix in corn oil, mix well. Knead the ingredients to form soft dough.
3. Shape the dough into small balls using hands.
4. Brush the egg yolk on each of the dough balls.
5. Bake at preheat oven 170C for 15 to 20 mins.

Peanut Cookies 2018 花生饼

This peanut cookies is my family favourite, it is a must have for Chinese New Year. My hubby and son love it so much. I decided to post this year CNY baking so to update some of my recipes. We can't get the ground peanuts over here, so I toasted the blanched peanuts and blended it to fine. No egg wash for this cookies. 

Yield 140 pieces 


800g blanched peanuts
400ml peanut oil 
700g plain flour
300g icing sugar
2 tsp salt

1. Spread out the blanched peanuts in a baking tray, bake at 200C for 15 mins. After the peanuts cool down, place it in a food processor and blend it until fine. 
2. In a mixing bowl, sift in plain flour, add sugar, ground peanuts, salt and oil (add gradually) Mix the mixture with a spatula, then knead with hands until the dough is smooth and able to form a ball, if not add a bit more of oil. 
3. Shape the dough into small balls using hands and place the dough on the baking tray. Use the back of a chopstick to make the indentation on the top of each dough.
4. Bake at 180C for 15 to 20 mins. or until the dough is turning a bit pale. Take out the cookies tray and let it cool down for 5 mins before transfer it to wire rack to cool down completely before store in air tight container. 

No-Bake Blueberry Yogurt Cheesecake 免烤蓝莓优格芝士蛋糕

This baking was done in last year Oct. It was my beloved hubby birthday cake. Recipe using Ann's no bake blueberry yogurt cheesecake recipe with modification as I made the cake into two different layers, I love the pretty purple layer matching with plain white yogurt cheese layer. How about you? Will come back to recap the recipe if I have time. 

Coffee Swiss Roll 咖啡蛋糕卷

Finally come back to my own space again. Hubby just get me a new laptop, many new things to familiarise. This Coffee Swiss Roll was done more than two months ago :) 

Yield: 16 slices (baking tray 30cm x 40cm)

Rectangle baking tray 30 cm x 40 cm

egg batter:
4 egg yolks
20 g sugar
100 g cake flour
100 ml milk (adjust the liquid accordingly, the final batter has to be a bit thick and not too runny)
60 ml avocado oil
1 tbsp coffee powder mixed with 1 tbsp hot water (you can add more coffee powder if you prefer stronger coffee flavour)

4 egg whites
60 g sugar
a pinch of salt

400 ml thickening cream / whipping cream
20 g icing sugar

Prepare the baking tray: lay baking tray with parchment paper. 

1. In a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Beat it with hand whisk until pale and creamy. Add coffee powder mixture and milk, stir until combine. Add the sieved cake flour in batches and avocado oil, mix well.  

2. In a clean mixing bowl, using electric mixer, add salt and beat the egg whites until foamy, turn the kitchen aid mixer to high speed, add the sugar in three batches, beat until soft peak stage. 

3. Take 1/3 of the meringue, mix with egg yolk batter, mix well. Then fold in the remaining meringue to egg yolk batter.  

4. Pour the cake batter on to the lined baking tray, smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Tap the baking tray on the worktop to release any trap bubbles. Bake at preheat oven at 180C on the middle rack for 15 mins. 
5. When the cake is done. Take it out from the oven and flip the cake on a cooling rack, peel away the parchment paper from the cake. Flip the cake back to the top side up. Set aside to cool.

6. Using an electric mixer, whip the thickening cream or whipping cream with icing sugar until the cream double in volume. 

7. Spread the cream on the cold cake. Roll the cake up Swiss Roll style. Keep it in the freezer for at least 3 hours or until the filling is harden before cutting.