04 August 2018

Loh Bak (Five-Spice Pork Roll) 五香肉卷

Penang Loh Bak  (Five-Spice Pork Roll) 五香肉卷 is always mixed up with the Ngoh Hiang which is a very popular dish in Singapore because they have so much similarity in the ingredients as well as the way how the dish is being prepared. However, a true Penangite will know the different between Loh Bak and Ngoh Hiang. 

Loh Bak is always prepare using the pork strips with main ingredient such as yam (some, like my late-grandma and my mum prefer wrap the pork roll without yam), no steaming of the pork roll before deep frying it into golden brown meat roll. As for the Ngoh Hiang, it is prepare using the minced pork with ingredients such as fish or prawn paste in it, steaming of the pork roll before deep frying is require. 

I love both Loh Bak and Ngoh Hiang, but my siblings love only Loh Bak because that's how my late grandma and my mum prepare the festive dish, this aromatic five-spice pork roll is filled with pork strips with crispy crunchy exterior bean curd skin and flavourful filling. The fragrant of five-spice lingered in the kitchen after I deep fried the Loh Bak, this made me missed my hometown... a lot. 

yield 15 pork rolls 

a few sheets of dried bean curd skin, cut into smaller piece if require. 

800g pork belly fillet, sliced into thin strips with thickness of estimate 1 cm
500g yam, peeled, cubed and steamed until soft
some spring onions, cut into small rings
2 big onions, peeled and chopped into small
5 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder, add more if you love the taste
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Dipping Sauce:
Thai sweet chilli
1 lime juice

1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a  big bowl, mix with a pair of chopstick. Keep in fridge for 30 mins.

2. Place the dried bean curd skin on a flat worktop, clean it with a piece of clean wet kitchen towel, to remove the salt on the bean curd sheet. Spoon 2-3 tbsp filling on the bean curd sheet, fold the edge over the filling, fold in the left and right sides and roll up to form a log. Remember to roll up tightly. 
3. Prepare the wok for deep-fry the pork rolls. Turn the heat down to medium when the oil is hot, lower the pork roll into the hot oil, one or two at a time. Deep fry for 5-10 mins or until the bean curd skin is light brown and the filling is cooked. Drain the Lor Bak on a kitchen paper.
4. Serve it hot with the whole pork roll or cut into smaller pieces and serve with Thai sweet chilli-lime sauce. 

03 August 2018

Green Tea Choux Pastry 抹茶泡芙

These two weeks I have been baking a few batches of choux pastry, the result is satisfying.  It has been a while I didn't make any dessert and trying new recipe, but I realise that returning to bake and do what I always passion about and love make me happy, hiding my own passion doesn't work well for me. I can't forget how the ladies I met in Qatar always inspire each other to bake and cook lovely food. I love the time we experimented food in our own kitchen then shared the result to each other to discuss how we could do better next round. I also remember P was the one brought all of us together to bake or prepare food for the school charity events. The happy friendship there is always in my heart. A true baker will appreciate another baker, I remembered when I found other bakers how happy I was. Sadly I yet to find a company over here to do the same.

Last weekend, a batch of 10 pieces of choux pastry was served to my guests, I love how the pastry cream and the choux pastry turned out. The choux pastry rises up to it maximum height, with a lovely crispy crust and hollow centre in the puffs. The pastry cream is just the right consistency, not runny and able to hold in the shape.

Then I baked another two more batches, again, this batch of mini matcha choux pastry which truly loved by my family, my hubby was able to enjoy this dessert... a less sweet version of choux pastry. I made about 27 mini choux pastry and it was all gone in a day time. I think this will be a great dessert for an event or party, do let me know if you would like me to bake for you. 

yield 27 mini pastry

100g unsalted butter, soft
180ml water
125ml milk
125g pastry flour
5g caster sugar
3g table salt
5 1/2 eggs, lightly beaten (it depends on the absorption of the flour you use and also the size of your egg)

pastry cream:
200g whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
3 egg yolks
50g sugar
20g pastry flour, sifted
10g green tea powder

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a small saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat.
3. Using a wooden spatula, quickly stir in the flour until combined, and mixture forms a ball. Return to heat and keep stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
4. Add in the egg one at a time, make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
5. Test the batter by taking a scoop of it using a wooden spoon. When you coat the batter and hang it down, the batter should form a smooth triangular shape.
6. Pour the dough into the piping bag fitted with plain piping tip. Pipe out 5cm circles onto a lined baking tray and gently smoothing out the pointed peaks with a moistened finger.
7. Bake the choux puffs for about 25 mins at 200C, you will see the choux pastry puffing up then reduce oven temperature to 180C and continue baking for another 20 mins. (It may varies as it depends on your oven capacity)
8. Prepare pastry cream: 
Add milk, vanilla powder to a saucepan and bring to a boil. 
In a clean bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add flour and green tea powder, mix well.
Add hot milk to the egg mixture and fold well. Return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, stir constantly. Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth and glossy, remove the saucepan from heat.
Transfer pastry cream to a pipping bag, after cool down, keep in fridge. Take out from fridge 30 mins before use. 
9. Assemble: Slice off a part of the top of choux puffs, pipe in the green tea pastry cream. Decorate as desire.