Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Salted Vegetable Seafood Soup

When I was working in Singapore, I used to like to 'tabao' or pack food back to the office so I can enjoy my lunch without joining the lunch crowd with a book. A little bit anti-social I must admit but lunch crowds in Singapore are quite a turn-off sometimes. One of my favourite item to tabao is a soup with some rice, and there was this stall in a coffeeshop at the end of Killiney Road that sells fish soup with rice that comes with a side of sambal and fried anchovies and egg. It was quite value-for-money too although the stall owner can be a bit 'cold' at times. So fast forward to life in Sweden now where there's no coffee shop to buy food from, this is a home-made version which is, besides knowing exactly what goes into the food is that you get to decide what 'liao' / ingredients to put in. And no extra charges for more vegetables or chilli!;)


Ingredients (serves 2 or a greedy one person)

1 block of tofu
1 tomato
Half a carrot
Half a packet of salted vegetable or 'suan cai'
Choice of seafood (prawns, fishballs, fish roll or fish cake)
Choice of meat (chicken or pork or fish slices)
A thumb size knob of ginger
1 preserved sour plum (left-most in picture, you use it for steaming fish or cooking salted vegetable duck soup too)
Half a cube of ikan billis stock with enough water for a big bowl of soup or use home-made stock if you have
Pepper and fried shallots for garnish


  1. Cut the tofu and tomatoes into quarters and slice the pork, ginger, carrots and salted vegetable.
  2. Bring your stock or water with stock cube to boil before adding all the ingredients and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all the ingredients are cooked through and tender. Adjust seasoning if required.
  3. As an alternative, you can turn this into a noodle soup by adding noodles or vermicilli into the soup. Otherwise, serve it hot with rice along with a side of chili padi.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Messy Baby Food

Some of you already know we had a son who is about 6 months + now and we have been letting him try new flavours and texture since he was about 4 months old. So here's a blog about what we've tried so far besides the normal cereal you can buy in powder form from the stores. But before that, here's a picture of him and a call for followers of this blog to help vote for him (the video is named 'Isac försöka sitta 4+ månader') in a Swedish baby product contest that's ending 4 September, daily votes are allowed, so thanks for your votes in advance! :)

2012-07-19 20.42.06

You can either click on this link if you are 

Despite all experience in cooking, when it comes to baby's food and taste, I must say I still feel like I haven't got the hang of making my own baby food. I especially want to introduce Asian flavours to him since it will be what I will be cooking most of the time.

Sometimes it feels quite discouraging when he just takes one or two spoonfuls and decided he doesn't like it. The rest of the meal time is then just spent cleaning up mess. Good that we have quite a tolerant and baby-food-loving dog in the house.  So far he really likes mangoes, avocados, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, pears and prunes. He doesn't like potatoes, carrots, rice porridge and peas. If you have any ideas, please share with me! One thing I picked up from the Swedish handbooks for baby food is using garlic press to purée food since I cook in small amounts and my one attempt at freezing a larger batch of food also went down the drain since he doesn't like defrosted food cubes.

2012-08-24 23.55.20
Carrot purée with rice cereal - score was 3/10 :/

2012-08-22 19.08.46
 Carrot, broccoli and pork purée with rice porridge - score was 5/10

2012-08-03 20.25.39
 Anchovies, dried scallops and chicken with rice porridge - score was 7/10 for first day, and then went down to 4/10 after that

2012-07-29 16.51.31
Broccoli and carrot mash - score was 7/10 

2012-07-27 17.05.32
How the garlic press is essential in making your own baby food

2012-07-15 20.37.23
I was using the fine sieve before that for the potatoes and broccoli mash...took me ages and he only ate a little

2012-07-09 18.36.13
My piggy peas ice cube..they only lasted once 

2012-07-22 00.27.07
Our messy eater :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sambal Tofu Goreng (Without tempeh)


I've always liked Malay food and this is one of those dishes I like to order when I am at any Malay store and I've never thought about making it myself since one of the ingredients - tempeh is not available here in Sweden. I've contemplated making my own and even got a sample of the starter from http://www.tempeh.info/, but I haven't got around doing it yet. I promise I will do it!

to grind
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
8 dried chilli, soaked in hot water
1/2 thumb size galangal

for the dish
1 block of tofu, cut into cubes and deep fried until golden brown
1 large onion, sliced
1 lemon grass, sliced
1 large thumb size tamarind paste 
1 green chilli, sliced
6-8 prawns
a handful of green beans (I used the frozen kinds which works well in this dish)
1 box/can of coconut milk, about 160ml
salt and sugar to taste 


  1. Blend the ingredients stated above until fine and fry it with 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pan over medium heat until fragrant.


  2. Add in the lemon grass, and the fried tofu until well mixed.


  3. Add in the coconut milk and let it simmer while you blend the tamarind paste with about 3 tablespoons of water, sieve to remove the seeds and add in to the pan.

  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the prawns and turn the heat down to low and let it simmer until it is almost dry.

  5. Add in the prawns before it's done and cook it through, adding salt and sugar to taste. It should be slightly sourish sweet and spicy, with a sticky sauce coating the ingredients. Serve with rice.