Monday, November 30, 2009

Carrot Cake (Western Style)

Ok, if you are one of those who is wondering why I denoted the western style for this carrot cake, it's because the chinese version of it is very different. I did both version this weekend, so I thought I will post this up first.

This is again from one of my favourite website for baking recipes, but it can be a little too sweet so I've reduced it a little and I used lime zest instead of lemon as I didn't have any in the house then. It still turns out great though, do give it a try!

Carrot Cake (Western Style)

Adapted from Joy of Baking

1 cup (100 grams) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
200 grams granulated white sugar (the original was 300g, you can adjust it further if you like)
1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Note: For a moister carrot cake, I added 1 can of pineapple rings, which I blended it up and drained before adding to the batter, at the same time when I add the oil and vanilla extract. You may have to bake the cake a few minutes longer.

Note: This cake can be baked in a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (23 x 33 x 5 cm) pan. Just increase the baking time to between 30 to 40 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted (I think I will reduce this to 200g next time)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
finely grated lemon/lime zest of one lemon
I added a teaspoon of lemon juice as I found the frosting a bit too sweet from the icing sugar, but do adjust accordingly)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
  3. Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
  7. To assemble: place one cake layer, top side down, onto your serving plate. Spread with about one third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake, top of cake facing down, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 10 - 12.


In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

Read more:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spiral Curry Puffs

Tried this when I was at a Thai's friend's home and fell in love with it. She also gave me a special ingredient to make it more crispy. Lime paste or slaked lime or kapur sirih is also known as calcium hydroxide solution is used in Thai cuisines. You don't have to use a lot but you prepare the solution before hand and take the clear liquid, don't shake it when you are using it. I was quite curious and did some research on this, and this site explains it well. I suppose if you can't get it, you can omit it.

She also gave me a translation from two sites which are in thai, but the illustrations are very helpful. This is a long post, since I also wanted to document the process with pictures.

Sites: and this one which I tried using Google's translation tool, but you can see how some text don't really work ;)

Servings: 20 mini puffs

Water-based dough
120g plain flour
10g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lime paste clear water about 25 teaspoon (sorry I forgot to measure that in grams)
Cold water 2-5 teaspoon
Vegetable oil 25g
Mix all together till it comes together as a soft dough, it shouldn't be too dry so you should vary the amount of cold water according to the absorption rate of the flour you are using.

Oil-based dough
60g plain flour
25g vegetable oil
Mix together till it comes together. It should be a very soft dough.

1 medium potato, diced
1 onion, diced
100g of meat (chicken or pork, whichever is preferred), diced
A handful of frozen green peas
AAA Globe Brand meat curry paste, about 1-1.5 tablespoon
Fry the onions and potato first, add in the meat and green peas and add ready made curry paste and a little water, season with sugar and salt. The final result should be dry mixture. Let it cool before using.

  Oil based dough and water based dough
1. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions, the water based dough should be around 20g each while the oil based dough is about 8 g. Use a digital weighing machine, makes it much easier, otherwise, 'eye power!'

Wrap the oil based dough with the water based dough into a ball
2. Wrap the oil-based dough (8g) with the water-based dough (20g) and seal it well.

Flatten it
3. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough vertically

Roll up like a swiss roll
4. Roll it up lengthwise like a swiss roll

Lie it vertically long side up and flatten it again
5. Lay it long side up and flatten it again

6. Roll it up again and you should end up with a little fat swiss roll like this - cut it breathwise into half

See the pretty spirals
 7. You should be able to see the pretty spirals like this

It should slightly curved upwards like a little bowl, some flaking might occur but its ok
8a. Take one half and roll it out lengthwise and breath wise to get this puff skin. Some flaking might appear, but don't worry about it.

Flatten the spiral-ed dough again  
8b. It should naturally curved upwards, like a little bowl

 Pinch in the sides, takes practise but it should look like this
9. Pinch in the sides, this take practice but you basically pull a little bit of the dough out, then pinch it back inwards with the tip of your nails or finger tips. I took a bit of time to get it.

Fry it over medium heat in oil, which should be covering it
10. Take a small pot and fill it with enough oil to deep fry it. It should be able to 'float' while you are frying it so you can turn it round every now and then till they are a delectable golden brown colour. Use a low-medium heat, your oil should not be smoking hot but gently bubbling around the puffs.

11. Done! Drain it on kitchen paper

The filling of curry pork, potatoes, peas and onions
Filling of curry pork, potatoes, peas and onion

Pretty spirals
Pretty spirals

Really flaky and nice 
I think its pretty magical how this can be done with a few turns and twirls



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pizza not Piazza

Ham, Cheese and Mushrooms pizza

Been quite busy these few weeks with the Swedish lessons being stepped up a notch and going away for a short holiday in Rome, it is truly a land of history and grand artifacts, with pasta and pizza around every corner you turn.

Is the pizza better? I don't really know for sure, besides encountering on the first day at this snack pizza place toppings such as mushrooms and egg plants, I think I still prefer toppings I can decide.

We made this a while back, for we are kinda of sick of pizza now, but I think home-made pizza, besides being easy and cheap, allows you to decide the exact kind of topping you want. For me, that's the most important thing of all.

We tried this out using a pizza kit, but you can basically get a pizza base mix which you just add water and voila!

The toppings for my pizza came from Su Lynn's favourite combination from Rocky's pizza in Singapore. You really should be a fan of anchovies to try this.

Minced Beef with Anchovies, Onions, Ham, Mushroom, Cheese and chili flakes


Pizza dough - this is from Jamie Oliver, but if you find it easier to buy the pre-mix or ready dough, don't be shy to use it.
Pizza sauce - again from Jamie Oliver, but my quick cheat is using salsa sauce that comes in a bottle, especially those spicy one ;)
Mozzarella cheese
Minced Beef fried with onions and seasoned with salt and pepper
Anchovies, mashed
Chili flakes
Sliced ham

  1. Roll out the prepared dough, spread on the pizza sauce and top with your choice of toppings. This blog has some good pictures of the steps to prepare the dough. For the minced beef version, spread on top of the pizza sauce beef, anchovies, sliced ham and some jalapeno. After you have spread out the cheese over it, scatter the chili flakes over it.
  2. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 180-200 degrees.

Su Lynn's Favourite toppings
I call this Su Lynn's favourite toppings in honour of her introducing it to me

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bibimbap - Korean Mixed Rice

Korean mixed rice with condiments

I actually bought the Korean hot pepper sauce (it's usually the one in the red rectangular box) without knowing what I want to do with it, but I know it will come in handy. When my friend mentioned she makes it sometimes with her husband and Anne's food blog mentioned about it, I decided to give it a try.

As usual, I googled around for a reliable-looking recipe, which to me has a few criterias:
- pictures, preferably taken in stages
- proven recipes (having quite a few backlinks)
- I have all the ingredients! (Most important!)

So this one was what I found: and I've followed it word for word since it was the first time I was making it but here's some pictures of the steps I took, with my modified instructions for making it where applicable.

Ingredients - serves 2

The ToppingsUse 1/2 small dish bowl of each vegetable toppings for the rice.

marinated beansprouts with spring onions and sesame

Seasoned Bean Sprouts
About 1 can of beansprouts (drained)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon spring onion, julienne
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

If you are using fresh beansprouts, soak the sprouts in boiling water. If you like it with a bit more crunch, drain it after a minute or so.If you are using a canned version (it's cheaper in the canned version in Sweden), refresh it with some hot water too but only for about 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a bowl to mix with the salt, spring onions, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Set aside.

marinated carrots

Seasoned Carrot Salad
1/2 a large carrot or one normal size one, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchstick strips 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Heat the sesame oil in a pan on medium heat, add in the carrots and season with salt. Stir fry it for about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool when done.

marinated cucumber

Spicy Cucumber Salad
1/2 cucumber, julienne to about same thickness as carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Tangy Red Pepper Dressing 
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

In a mixing bowl, toss the cucumbers and salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the liquid from the cucumbers. Transfer to a serving bowl and combine it with the dressing and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Marinated baby spinach

Seasoned Spinach Salad
250 g baby spinach, rinsed and blanched in boiling water for about 2 minutes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain the spinach into a colander and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the water from the spinach and transfer to a bowl, add the seasoning and mix well. Set aside to cool.

minced beef

Seasoned Beef
200g minced beef
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Marinate the beef with the seasoning for about 15 minutes. Stir fry till cook for about 2 minutes and set aside.

egg and mushroom

Stir-fry button mushrooms (optional, this was my own addition)

About 4-5 fresh button mushrooms, sliced thinly.

Stir fry in a pan with a little oil until it softens. Season with salt and black pepper, set aside.

hot pepper sauce

Tangy Red Pepper Dressing 
2 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (available at Korean grocery)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon apple juice or water 
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Whisk the ingredients together and set aside. You can make more of this if you like, the above portion was actually meant for 4 servings, but I used it to make two servings, including using it in the spicy cucumber toppings.

To Assemble
1 cup cooked white rice 
1 tablespoons sesame oil plus extra for drizzling 
1 fried egg, sunny-side up
3 tablespoons Tangy Red Pepper Dressing

1. Have the seasoned toppings, beef and fried egg prepared in individual bowls.

2. Place a cast iron skillet or a small pot on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil. Heat the oil for 1 minute. Add the rice and spread it around the bottom of the pot to form an even layer. Cook the rice for several minutes or until the rice begins to brown on the bottom. You will hear the rice sizzle.

Jasmine rice

3. Carefully arrange each of the seasoned salads on top of the rice grouping each one like the spoke of a wheel. Place the beef in the center. Continue heating for 2 minutes.

Bibimbap in a pot

4. Transfer the pot to a heatproof pad.

5. Before serving, mix together the egg, toppings, rice and 2 tablespoons of the Tangy Red Pepper Sauce. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to distribute that crunchy crust throughout the dish.

6. Serve in individual bowls topped with one fried egg per person with a drizzle of sesame oil and add extra Tangy Red Pepper Dressing as you like it. I added a lot more haha ;)

Topped with egg and Korean hot sauce

Korean Mixed Rice with vegetables and meat

Tom Yam Soup with Vermicelli - Tom Yam Soppa med Vermicelli

This is a classic thai dish and I recently had it at a friend's restuarant in Lund. She generously shared how to cook it with me, though I cook never achieve the same standard as hers, I think this comes pretty close to comforting my soul in this cold fall and my cold hands and feet.

I'm still working hard in perfecting my Swedish, so you will gradually see more and more Swedish popping up and I hope I will be able to post bilingual versions in my blog soon.

Tom Yam Soup with Vermicili
Tom Yam Soup with Fishballs
1 garlic clove, minced finely
1 onion, sliced into half moons
1 lemongrass, sliced into 1/2 cm pieces
2 chili padi, sliced
Cauliflower, sliced into florets (I really like them in tom yam soup and they hold their shape quite well. Somehow green leafy vegetables in tom yam soup is a no-no for me)
1 small canned of mushrooms
5 or more prawns
1-2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly
2-3 slices of galangal
1 coriander, including the root cleaned thoroughly
1 tomato, cut into quarters
1 tom yam stock cube
lemon juice and fish sauce to taste
Vermicelli (these are dried white thin ones made from rice flour, they are rounded, not flat, but I think you can use any kind of dried noodles you prefer)
About 3/4 bowl of water
3 tablespoon of coconut milk

Tom Yam Soup Ingredients

  1. Using about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, heat it up and fry the garlic till fragrant
  2. Add in the sliced onions, galangal, lemongrass and chili padi and stir fry for a few seconds
  3. Pour in the water and heat till it comes to boil. Throw in the cauliflower, tomatoes, lime leaf, mushroom and coriander root.
  4. When the vegetables are about to be done, add in the coriander leaves, tom yam stock cube, lemon juice, fish sauce, coconut milk, prawns and vermicelli. Bring to a boil again until the vermicelli and prawns are done.
  5. Before serving, adjust the taste with sugar, salt and lemon juice to your liking. If you like it spicier, you can add more chili padis. You can also add fishballs or chicken or other meat if you prefer. A friend suggested Swedish meatballs, I haven't tried it yet but I will let you know ;)
                            Tom Yam Soppa 
                          Tom Yam Soup with Prawns

                            Tuesday, November 10, 2009

                            Mince Your Meat - Wanton or Yuntun or Wonton or Chou Shou

                            I realize I haven't done a proper post on wanton even though I have been making it quite often. I used to make it just by mixing minced pork with some soy sauce and pepper, and wrap them in ready-made wrappers. However, I tried the method by Fushia Dunlop and I found it makes it much tastier. You can wrap all of them in one go and freeze them in small portions which can be used anytime you need an addition to your noodles or just by itself. This obviously is the main ingredient in wanton noodles and can be serve in the soup or fried and eaten with mayonnaise. I've included another version of just the wanton in a semi-dry version, without the noodles.

                            Ingredients for the Wanton - makes about 80 wonton

                            2-4 packets of 200g wanton wrappers
                            A 60g piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled
                            450g finely minced pork
                            1 egg, beaten
                            2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
                            2 teaspoon sesame oil
                            3/4 teaspoon salt
                            6-8 turns of a black pepper mill
                            100g cold stock

                            1. Crush the ginger and leave it to soak for a few minutes in 100ml of cold water.
                            2. Mixed the minced meat by stirring in one direction with your chopsticks with the beaten egg, wine, ginger soaking water (without the ginger), sesame oil, salt and pepper. Add the cold stock gradually, making sure it is absorbed before you add in more.
                            3. Put about 3/4 teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper in the middle of your palm, then just close your fist and bring the sides up together, like a little bundle. That's the easiest method to do it when your wrappers are thawed enough, as they are made with an egg base, so it shall hold well together without the need to seal the sides with water. If you feel a need to, then go ahead. There are other ways of wrapping it, so feel free to google it for videos.
                            4. Remember to lay each completed one seperately without touching each other, otherwise they will stick together.
                            5. To freeze it, make sure the skin aren't too wet or soft, otherwise chill it up first before freezing. You can use a cling wrap to portion up your portions.
                            Serving methods:

                            WanTan Soup
                            In wanton soup

                            Blanch the egg noodles till done, then cook up some stock, add in the wanton and some bak choy, when they are floating up, it is done. Assemble by placing the noodles in a bowl, pour the stock with wanton and vegetables over, and top with sliced char siew.

                            Wantan in Sour and Spicy Sauce
                            In a spicy & sour sauce

                            Cook the wanton in stock as before, in a separate bowl, mix one tablespoon of Chinese vinegar, one tablespoon of Lao Gan Ma chili sauce (haha, there's actually an appreciation group for this on Facebook), 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil and about 3 tablespoon of hot stock. On the side, add 1 tablespoon of hot oil over finely sliced spring onions, and sprinkle on top of the dish to serve.

                            Saturday, November 7, 2009

                            Mince Your Meat: Gyoza or Guo Tie or Pork Stickers or Chinese dumplings

                            We went to see Julie & Julia last night, and as Johan phrase it - it's a 'sasa' movie. Indeed!It was about a girl who decided to blog about her endeavor to try all the recipes from Julia Child's book about French cooking in 1 year.It's an entertaining film - wish I've thought about it too!

                            The following recipes all came from Fushia Dunlop's book, and this is probably the book I think I would have tried everything in her book if not for the difficulty of finding some of the ingredients and the fact that I don't fancy dishes made with innards too much.

                            I added minced cabbage to the recipe, this makes about 25-30 dumplings, you can freeze the extra and have them just as a meal by itself:

                            Guo Tie or Jiao Zi

                            For the pastry wrappers
                            250g plain flour
                            1/4 teaspoon salt
                            150ml boiling water

                            For the filling
                            20g piece of fresh ginger unpeeled, 1 spring onion with the white part only, both crushed and soaked in 50ml of cold water.
                            150g minced pork
                            60-70ml of cold chicken stock
                            1.5 teaspoon of Shaoxing wine
                            3/4 teaspoon of salt
                            1/2 teaspoon of white sugar
                            6-8 twists of a black pepper mill or a couple of pinches of white pepper
                            1-5 teaspoon of sesame seed oil
                            50g of cabbage, minced finely

                            Mix the pork with the soaked ginger & spring onion water, stirring in 1 direction only until it is absorbed. Do the same with the chicken stock, then the rest of the seasoning and the cabbage. It should be a loose mixture, so don't worry if it seems too watery.

                            1. Mix the flour and salt first and make a well in the middle of the pile while you add the boiling water in with a wooden spoon quickly.
                            2. When the dough mixture is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a work surface and knead it into a smooth dough.
                            3. Let is rest under a damp cloth for about 10 minutes, then working in a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 3 pieces.
                            4. Roll each piece to a long sausage strip about 2cm thick, and break them up into 15g pieces. You can use a weighing machine to be exact about this as this can determine how thick or thin the wrappers are, unless you are already a Jiaozi expert. I just break them up and weigh them on my digital scale, 1 piece is 15g, 2 piece is 30g etc, so you don't have to remove one to weight another one.
                            5. Flatten each piece with your hand or a small cylinder-shaped bottle and roll them into circles around 6cm in diameter. Cover the remaining dough with a damp cloth so they don't dry up.
                            6. Place about a teaspoon of stuffing into the center of each dumpling, and put the skin on the gyoza mould (which you can get from Daiso for SGD$2) and fold into half by pressing the two sides of the mould together.
                            7. Heat up a flat pan with enough oil to coat the surface generously and arrange the dumplings in neat rows in the pan when it is nice and hot. Drizzle them with warm water (about 2-3 tablespoons every 5 dumplings) and cover the pan with a lid to cook /semi-steam over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.
                            8. Remove the lid to allow the steam to escape, now drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of oil for every 5 dumplings, replace the lid and fry it for about 2-3 minutes until the bottoms are toasty and golden brown. Move the dumplings around as they cook to brown them evenly, serve them with the golden brown side up, with some julienne ginger in Chinese black vinegar.

                            Gyoza mould

                            Pot Stickers

                            Mince Your Meat - Steamed Minced Meat with Salted Egg

                            One of my favorite cut of meat is minced pork. Not sure why when people have been telling me that its cheap cut of meat they normally try to mix it in, but I'm ok with it! I find that it is versatile and can be transform into many forms, all of which I like :)

                            So here's my 'Minced Your Meat series', starting with my very own salted (chicken) eggs. I think duck eggs are difficult to find and to me, doesn't make that much difference, but I was very happy with the result of my first salted egg:

                            Salted egg


                            Salted Chicken Egg
                            Looks good right? The egg yolk is so different, but beautiful :)

                            I tried the dry method which is coating the egg with salt all over after wetting it with Shaoxing wine from Lily's blog, but somehow I couldn't make it stick, except if I wrap it round with cling wrap. To be safe for my first attempt, I went with the traditional method of making a saturated salt solution by boiling water and adding salt until no more can be dissolved. Add a dash of shaoxing wine and some sichuan peppercorns if you desire, but I think I do without it the next time.

                            Cool down the solution before you add the egg, which should be washed and dried. Put the cooled solution into a tall container enough to contain the number of eggs you want to salt. for me, I took a clean plastic ice cream tub and added 3 eggs, pour in the solution till full. Then, since you will notice the eggs tend to float in the solution, use a clean plastic bag and add it to the top before you cover it and leave it undisturbed for 21-27 days in a cool dark corner. The longer you soak it, supposedly it will be saltier. Mine didn't turn out so salty after 21 days, so I will try it a bit longer next batch.The plastic bag sort of acts like a stuffing to keep the eggs submerged, but if you have a better solution, go ahead and use it, I think this works fine :)

                            So for the minced pork with salted egg, its simple:

                            Minced pork, accordingly to portion. The ration should be around 2 eggs to around 50-80g meat. This can serve two people as part of the dinner dishes.
                            1 normal egg
                            1 salted egg (don't have to cook it first)
                            Dash of pepper
                            1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
                            2 tablespoon hot water with a little bit of chicken stock powder if desired


                            1. Mix everything together, mash up the salted egg yolk and placed on top of the mixture.
                            2. The addition of water makes the steam egg mixture softer, more tou-fu like.
                            3. Steam only when the water is boiling, for about 15-20 minutes or just place it over your rice cooker steamer when you are cooking rice.
                            4. Eat when its hot, the salted egg should make it taste just right.

                            Steam Minced Meat with Salted Egg

                            Monday, November 2, 2009

                            Salmon Teriyaki

                            Mirin, Sake & Salmon

                            Had a new classroom, new classmates at school today, one was from Yokohoma, her name is Akiko. So, thought I will post this up as a tribute to the Japanese food I miss! You should really try the resturant at the top of Orchard Central. I loved their rice with white bait, sesame and flavoured salt. OOhh...would be one of the first few things I eat when I return in February!

                            For this salmon teriyaki, its pretty simple to make the sauce, I got this site at Closet Cooking's blog, its the best one I've tried so far and I'm pretty sure it will work great on other meat or corn too!

                            This makes enough sauce for two salmon fillets, just adjust accordingly if you are cooking for more or less.

                            Teriyaki Sauce

                            3 tablespoons soy
                            3 tablespoons mirin
                            3 tablespoons sake
                            1 tablespoon sugar

                            1. Heat in the soy, mirin, sake and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.

                            Cooking the Salmon
                            1. Marinate the salmon fillet with the sauce for at least 30 minutes. 
                            2. Drip dry before you pan fry it in a little oil. 
                            3. If you like toast some sesame seeds and add it as a topping to the salmon, along with shredded Japanese seaweed, over a hot bowl of Japanese rice. 

                            Chicken Briyani

                            Another recipe from Malaysian Delicacies. We finally got around buying some basmati rice as I've been having some craving for the yellowish rice. The curry chicken recipe is as what I've posted before in Singlish Chicken Curry, just skip the potatoes and use chicken thighs and wings like I did, and just add coconut milk for a denser consistency.

                            When I use to eat it in Singapore, some stalls used too much aromatics, but this recipe seems to do it just right, so hope you will like it too! The original one calls for mixed nuts and raisins, and toppings of fried garlic and shallots, which I also skipped.

                            Serves 3-4
                            2 bowls of basmati rice, washed and soak for about 30 minutes
                            2 1/2 bowls of hot water
                            1 chicken stock cube
                            1 cinnamon stick
                            4 cloves
                            4 cardamons
                            1 small piece of star anise
                            1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
                            2 tablespoon of margarine

                            1. Heat the margarine in the pot. Stir fry the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms, turmeric powder, star anise till fragrant. Add in the rice and stir evenly.
                            2. Pour in the hot water and add in the chicken stock cube. Cover it to bring to a boil, when the steam appears, reduce to low heat and cook for ten minutes.
                            3. When it is about ready, use a fork and fluff it up. Scoop the curry over and serve hot.

                            Sunday, November 1, 2009

                            Ban Mian or Mee Hoon Kway or Dough Noodles Soup

                            This used to be made by my mom when we were in primary school (that was about 20 years ago at least). We've always regarded this as a Xin Hua dish, and we never seen it in the foodcourts until about 5 or six years ago I think. Now, it's as common as fishball noodles soup. It's very simple to do, and thanks to Sylvia who had a craving for this, I satisfied my craving by making it - and only showing her a picture (Förlåt!)

                            Serves 2
                            100g plain flour
                            pinch of salt
                            cold water
                            1 egg, beaten and fried
                            A handful of ikan billies
                            1 knorr ikan billies stock cube or chicken stock cube
                            100g minced meat
                            1 Chinese mushroom, rehydrated
                            1 bundle of bak choy
                            1 shallot
                            1/2 clove of garlic


                            1. First, prepare the dough by mixing it well with the salt, and adding the cold water gradually, until the dough comes together without sticking to your hand. Cover with a damp towel to prevent from drying while you let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
                            2. Beat up the egg with some salt and pepper and fry it till it turns golden brown. If you prefer to cook it by boiling it in the stock before you serve like in the foodcourt, do that. Shred and set the egg aside.
                            3. Continue in the same pot, add more oil if needed to fry the washed ikan billies till its crispy. Take it out and set it aside, throw in the sliced shallots and diced garlic.
                            4. When they are fragrant, add in 1.5 bowls of hot water. Bring to boil.
                            5. Add in the stems of the bak choy first, as they take a bit longer to cook, then add in the minced pork balls.
                            6. The minced pork should be pre-prepared by adding 1 teaspoon of Shaoxing wine, 100ml of ginger infused stock, 1/4 teaspoon of salt,  dash of pepper and diced chinese mushroom. Keep it in the fridge for about half an hour. The loose pork mixture will give you a more tender bite to the minced pork balls.
                            7. When the water is boiling, turn down the heat so it is simmering, and take your dough and flatten it into a big disc using both hands. Stretch as thinly as you can before you tear out a bite size dough piece and drop it into the boiling stock. They should cook for about 5-8 minutes. Add in the leaves of the bok choy 1 minute before they are ready. You can add in a raw egg to cook if you prefer at this point too.
                            8. When serving, just top it up with the shredded fried egg and ikan billies. Serve with chopped chili padi!