Saturday, December 31, 2011


Singlish Swenglish Acar

I remembered this time last year I was slaving over the stove, preparing a really elaborate dinner of shrimp bisque, beef wellington with truffle mash and lemon fool. This year, however looks to be a quiet one with just me, hubby and dog when plans were changed but today we are blessed with Chef Yaqian who is coming over to cook us a Chinese new year's dinner :). Blaming it on the pregnancy, I can't contribute much except making a White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake and this - acar! 

Acar is something you get as a pickled side dish when you are at a Nonya resturant, or some chicken rice places serve it along with the rice. I wasn't a big fan of it until recently because I find them too sourish. Making it on my own however, I was able to balance the flavours until it is to my liking.  I adapted this from Rasa Malaysia's recipe of Acar Awak, adapted mostly because I just wanted to keep it simple and also due to lack of ingredients. This works fine though (I feel) and I've made it like three times already.

1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1/2 pineapple, skinned and cut into quarters 
2 chili padi
1-2 shallots
2 candle nuts
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 teaspoons tamarind pulp

Singlish Swenglish Acar

  1. Add about a teaspoon of salt to the cucumber and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then squeeze off the excess water and set aside.  This also helps to give them a bit of saltish taste, which I like.  You can omit this step otherwise.
  2. Pound/process the shallots, chili and candle nut until they are pretty mashed up. Don't worry if it's a bit coarse, it will still work.
  3. Using a small pot or a pan, add a little oil and fry the pounded ingredients and turmeric powder until it is fragrant, this should take about 5-10 minutes over medium heat. 
  4. Add about 100-150ml of water to the tamarind pulp and 'lather' the pulp until you get the tamarind water and add it to the pot/pan. Remember to sieve out the seeds and pulp!

    Singlish Swenglish Acar

  5. Season with sugar and salt according to your liking, it should be sourish-sweet with a tinge of saltiness.  I add about 3-4 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt normally.  I like to taste my pineapples to see if they are sweet or sour and adjust the seasoning accordingly, and also remember if you have salted the cucumber, this will also come into play in balancing the flavors.
  6. Turn off the heat and add the cucumber, carrots and pineapples and mixed well.

    Singlish Swenglish Acar
  7. You can serve it immediately or let it cool and store in the fridge.  If you have ground peanuts, they add a nice touch when you topped it up when serving.

    And with that, the last post for 2011, I wish all readers a really blessed 2012 year ahead! 2011 has been really good for us and I know we are looking forward to new experiences, parenthood and abundant favor for the new year and I hope the same for each of you too!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

汤圆 Glutinous Rice Balls

汤圆 Glutinous Rice Balls Singlish Swenglish

I was reminded that its 冬至 (Dong Zhi/ winter solstice) today when I check Facebook and saw all the glutinous rice dumplings pictures posted by friends. Accordingly, it's to mark the arrival of winter, which didn't mean much while I was living in Singapore but now in Sweden where winter is declared if the average temperature falls below zero degrees Celsius for at least five consecutive days, the Chinese way seems better! ;)

There are plenty of ready-made frozen rice dumplings in Singapore filled with all kinds of sweetness around this time of the year, but making the traditional white and pink/red ones reminds me of how we used to do it with Mom. It wasn't a favorite dessert among the family, but it was a very important dessert we must eat no matter we like it or not because it symbolizes that the family who eats this together will stay together through the years.
Ingredients (makes about 24 small fish ball size rice balls)
1 cup glutinous rice flour (must be glutinous rice, not rice flour)
2 teaspoons fine sugar
100 - 150 ml water (to be used accordingly)
Food coloring (optional)

Sweet soup to serve rice dumplings in
2-3 Pandan leaves
1/2 cup sugar (or according to taste)
2 cups water

汤圆 Glutinous Rice Balls Singlish Swenglish

  1. Mix the glutinous rice flour, sugar, salt together in a bowl and add water gradually until you get a dough which should be pliable but not be sticky. The texture is a bit different from normal dough made with plain flour, which I quite enjoy.
  2. If you intend to color the dough, divide the dough accordingly to the number of colors you are going to use, but traditionally the dough is divided into half and only a little red coloring is used.
  3. Roll it out to a long sausage shape and pinch off dough portions big enough to form rice balls the size of small fish balls. You can start preparing the sweet soup by boiling up everything together, adjusting the sweetness level with the amount of sugar you use according to your taste.
  4. You can either boil the rice balls in the sweet soup itself until it floats up or separately in a pot of water before adding to the sweet soup while serving. The difference is that the clarity and starchiness will be affected if you boil it directly in the sweet soup. (I did it though because this is a small portion and I was lazy:)
    汤圆 Glutinous Rice Balls Singlish Swenglish
  5. Serve warm and enjoy eating this with your family!
    汤圆 Glutinous Rice Balls Singlish Swenglish

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Pork Doejibulgogi

Singlish Swenglish Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Pork Doejibulgogi

This is a super-easy Korean dish that goes very well with rice and the recipe is taken from She has recently done this Gapshida tour where she travelled around to meet her fans and she was actually in Copenhagen too. Too bad I wasn't able to make it but it was nice reading about the meet-ups and I really feel happy that a food blog has taken her this far :) Do check out her blog for more inspiring recipes.

I've used lean pork this time to make it but her recipe actually suggest using meat with some part of fats like pork belly or shoulder. I think this recipe is not only good for stir frying but if you are preparing to have a BBQ-steamboat at home over Chinese New Year, this would make a nice change from the usual marinade you would use for your BBQ meat.


600g pork, sliced thinly
1/3 cup hot pepper paste
1 onion sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
3 stalks green onions, chopped
1 green chili pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
2 teaspoon sesame oil
Roasted sesame seeds

Singlish Swenglish Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Pork Doejibulgogi

  1. Place the pork slices at the bottom of a pan large enough to contain all the ingredients and allow you to stir fry.
  2. Add all the ingredients  and then set the pan on high heat and start stirring so everything mixes well together.

    Singlish Swenglish Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Pork Doejibulgogi
  3. Continuing stirring it for about ten minutes until the pork is cooked through and the spring onions and onions are softened.
  4. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds before serving.

    Singlish Swenglish Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Pork Doejibulgogi

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spicy and Sour Stir Fry Potatoes and Black Fungus

Singlish Swenglish Spicy and Sour Stir Fry Potatoes and Black Fungus

The nice thing about going for potluck is you get to try cuisines cooked by others and get inspired to try it because it taste so good! This is one of those dishes, I didn't get a chance to ask the exact process or amount, so made up one myself and it's just the right amount of sourness and spiciness to whet my appetite nowadays.

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, cut into matchsticks sizes and soaked in cold water for about 15 minutes and drained
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 red paprika, sliced thinly
1 handful of black fungus, soaked and hard bits cut away
3-4 dried chili
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn
2 tablespoons Light soy sauce
1 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
1 teaspoon Chicken stock powder

Singlish Swenglish Spicy and Sour Stir Fry Potatoes and Black Fungus

  1. Prepare all the ingredients first before heating up the wok with about 3 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat. Add in the peppercorns and dried chili and fry until it is fragrant, but be careful not to burn them.
  2. Add in the onions and paprika next and fry until it is soften before adding the potatoes sticks. Mix well before adding the seasonings, adjust it accordingly to your taste.
  3. Fry until the potatoes are cooked but still maintain a bite, serve with rice.

    Singlish Swenglish Spicy and Sour Stir Fry Potatoes and Black Fungus

Ekströms Dessert Testing

Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mousse, and Panacotta, what do they have in common?

They do take some time to make (trials and errors included!) I remember however the first panacotta I tasted was made by Johan, from this Ekströms ready-made dessert products in Sweden. They are actually quite good, all you need mostly are milk and/or whipped cream, do some heating up and let it set in the chiller.

They are going to be introducing the above-mentioned dessert and is inviting people to be testers (I got tipped off by Sylvia of Peaches and Donuts because it's only for those living in Sweden) and have put myself up test their creme brulee. Now I just wonder if I would be able to personalise it by adding lemon grass as per my previous made-from-scratch attempt of the lemon grass creme brulee. Vi får se or we shall see as they say it in Swedish, if I am being picked to be a tester.