Monday, May 31, 2010

Steamed Toufu with Otah

I have a few packets of uncooked otah in the freezer - the ones I bought from JB some time ago. I decided to add toufu to it.

I used:

1 packet otah
1 packet silken toufu (I used Unicurd)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons coconut cream ( used Kara)
a little water to dilute
Sprigs of coriander leaves

What I did:

1. Thaw otah and mash.

2. Add egg, coconut cream and some water. Mix well. Put into plate for steaming.

3. Cut the toufu into cubes and arrange in the mixture.

4. Steam for 8 minutes or till otah is cooked.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves. Alternatively, laksa leaves or kaffir lime leaves can be used.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spicy Tamarind Fish (1)

There are about 8 fish awaiting in the freezer. They were the ones brought home by my husband when he last went fishing at Pulau Dayang.

Since I had the time this morning, I decided to cook 2 medium-sized snappers. I took them out to thaw and then proceeded to scale and remove the guts. I dislike doing it because I always end up getting poke in the fingers by their sharp fin tips. Don't suggest wearing gloves 'cos I can't work in them.

As I have mentioned before, I would usually prepare certain spices and store them in air-tight containers for future use. Well today is one of those days. Hmm.....Let me see what do I have..... buah keluak paste, ground galangal, green curry, ground dried prawns, stock and chilli sambal.
Now, what shall I cook?

It's spicy and tangy.......It's ikan masak assam pedas!

This is what I used:

2 medium-sized fish, cleaned and rub a little salt all over including the gut area

2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium-size onion, sliced

4 heaped tablespoon chilli sambal (I use this for nasi lemak)
1 heaped tablespoon buah keluak paste
1 teaspoon ground fresh galangal (lengkwas/ lam keom)

100g tamarind paste mixed with 500ml water and strain for the assam juice
1 can sliced pineapples, drain and keep the syrup for cooking (I did not have any lady's fingers or brinjal, so I used what I had in the cupboard)

some sliced lemon (I had some leftover from previous bake)
a few kaffir lime leaves (daun purut)

oil, enough to cover the pot base
sugar and salt to taste
water, if required to increase gravy

This is what I did:

1. Heat oil, and stir fry the spices, garlic and onion till fragrant.

2. Add tamarind juice, pineapple syrup, lemon slices, salt and sugar to taste and bring to boil.

3. Add in the fish and cover pan and cook for about 10 minutes or till fish is cooked (depends on size and thickness of flesh).

4. Remove fish to a dish. Add sliced pineapple and kaffir lime leaves into the gravy and bring to a boil.

5. Spoon gravy and pineapple slices over fish and serve with rice.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fried Bee Hoon

For lunch today, I had fried bee hoon. A favourite of mine but not for the rest.....
I use Tai Sun Chilli brand bee hoon because I like the texture. It doesn't break up easily even though it is stirred thoroughly unlike certain brands which break up into very short strands after frying.
Fried bee hoon has no specific recipe. Just add in any ingredients according to your fancy.

Here's what I did:
I used whatever I could find in my fridge or cupboard.

half a packet bee hoon soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
6 cloves or more garlic, minced
quarter of chinese cabbage, sliced
a medium-size carrot, coarsely grated
about 300g meat, sliced thinly (I used part pork fillet and chicken breastmeat. You can use prawns etc)
some button mushrooms, sliced
stock (chicken or prawn)
fish gravy
oyster sauce
light soya sauce
corn flour

For garnishing:

red chilli, sliced
coriander leaves
spring onions
fried shallots

1. Drain away water and put bee hoon aside.

2. Marinate meat with some light soya sauce, pepper, cornflour and a little water so that it easily mixed.

3. Heat some oil, about 25ml and fry garlic, carrot for a few minutes. Then add meat and mushroom and stir fry till meat is slightly cooked.

4. Add some seasoning to taste and the cabbage.

5. Pour in stock and add beehoon. Stir fry till the bee hoon and the ingredients are well-combined. Cover and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Dish out and garnish.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coconut Marble Jelly

This is for my dear husband. Any food cooked in coconut milk is a favourite of his. Not too long ago, he requested for a gula melaka jelly. But I think this one with coconut milk will do.

This recipe is an old favourite of mine. I have not made this for a very long time (more than 5 years). The recipe calls for agar agar strips and the amounts were given in ounces. I have converted to the metric measurements and instead of using agar agar strips, I used the powder form.

What you will need for Coconut Marble Jelly:

For the coloured part:

3 teaspoons agar agar powder (I used Rose brand)
half teaspoon gelatine powder 110g sugar
450 ml water
3 pandan leaves
Food colouring of choice

Here's how you do it:

1. Fill saucepan with water and sprinkle agar powder and gelatine powder.

2. Add sugar and pandan leaves and stir to mix.

3. Bring mixture to boil, stirring all the time. Add colouring and stir.

4. Remove leaves and pour into a 20-cm square tin and let it set.

5. When jelly is set, use a knife to cut it into strips and leave it in the tin.

For the coconut part:

3 teasp
oons agar agar powder
1 teaspoon gelatine powder
120g sugar
quarter teaspoon salt
250 ml water
200 ml thick coconut milk (I used Heng Guan pasteurised coconut milk)
100 ml milk (I used UHT milk)
4 pandan leaves

Here's how you do it:

Fill saucepan with water and sprinkle agar powder and gelatine powder.

Add sugar and pandan leaves and stir to mix.

3. Pour in the coconut milk (santan) and UHT milk and stir.

4. Bring mixture to boil for a few seconds, stirring all the time.

5. Pour the coconut mixture into the tin of coloured jelly strips. Stir lightly to mix the strips. Let it cool to set. Refrigerate and slice to serve.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Banana Loaf

Just had a slice of banana loaf fresh from the oven. Hmmmm..... Thinking of going for a second round....

There were 6 bananas over-ripening and beckoning me to do something. Well I was browsing Nigella Lawson's site last night when I chanced upon this recipe. I have many recipes that call for bananas but I wanted to try out this one because the comments rated it as a very moist loaf.

Recipe for Banana Loaf (from Nigella Lawson)

You will need:

100g sultanas (I used raisins)
75 ml rum (I used 50 ml rum and 25 ml water)

125g butter, melted and cooled
150g caster sugar (I used 125g )
half teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs

175g plain flour (I used 180g)
2 teaspoons baking powder
half teaspoon bicarbonate soda

300g bananas, mashed (I used 4 bananas which yielded 360g without skin)
2 bananas, sliced for topping (I added this)

60g walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

How it's done:

1. Bring raisins and rum to a boil. Remove to cool and let the raisins absorb the rum.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and soda together.

3. Cream melted butter with sugar, salt and essence.

4. Add mashed bananas and mix till combined.

5. Add flour, mix well and then add in the raisins and walnuts. Pour into a loaf tin and top with sliced bananas.

6. Baked at pre-heated oven 170 degrees C.
For loaf tin 23cm x 13cm x 7cm, bake for 1 hour.
I used 3 disposable loaf tins and baked them for 40 minutes.

Verdict: It is indeed very moist. Despite cutting down on sugar, it is still very sweet probably due to the raisins. I will definitely use this recipe again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

This is a double treat -nutella and chocolate chips cupcakes!

Just finished baking these cupcakes. They are for breakfast, my grandsons' breakfast. I once made orange cupcakes and they weren't so keen on eating them. They told me they preferred chocolate or chocolate chips. Well my dears, you have a double treat. Enjoy!

Ingredients :

140g butter
120g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon salt
30 ml buttermilk

200g plain flour sifted with 2 teaspoons baking powder
120g mini chocolate chips


1. Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
2. Beat in one egg at a time together with salt and essence at medium speed.
3. Add in the buttermilk.
4. Then add in flour and baking powder. Mix for 1 minute or so until well-combined.
5. Finally add in the chocolate chips.
6. Fill the cupcake cases halfway with mixture and then spoon 1/2 teaspoon nutella.
7. Then add more mixture up to 2/3 and top it with another 1/2 teaspoon nutella.
Use a toothpick to make a swirl.
8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 deg C for 20 to 25 minutes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fruity Fruit Jelly

I like to make the fuss-free kind of jelly. In other words, I am quite lazy to go the extra mile for jellies. I admire those who take a lot of pains to make fanciful jellies. But I don't mind eating them if someone were to make it. :)

Here's my very own fuss-free and easy to make jelly


1 packet plain agar agar powder (I use 'Rose' brand.)
1 can fruit cocktail
3 to 4 ripe mangoes
150g sugar
1 litre liquid (I use the syrup of canned fruit, mango puree and water to get the amount.)


1. Drain canned fruit. Save the syrup to cook later.
2. Blend the mangoes and mixed with syrup in a pot.
3. Add water to make up 1 litre of liquid.
4. Add in sugar and mix in agar agar powder with a hand whisk.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring all the time. Remove from fire and add in the fruit and
6. Pour into a mould and leave to cool before refrigeration.

Time taken to make this jelly : 35 minutes

Hah! My better half has just requested for the Gula Melaka Coconut jelly. I promised him I would make it. It's just the question of 'When?'

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Chap Chye"

I Did It My Way - I cooked 'chap chye' or mixed vegetables the way it would be palatable and acceptable to my family.

There are many recipes to this dish. It all depends on which dialect group one comes from. When I was a kid, my grandmother would cook the Cantonese style chap chye. My mum was a Hokkien and she cooked her style of chap chye. I never got to cook their style of chap chye because I prefer the peranakan style.

Although a number of ingredients go into this nonya chap chye, my version omitted some of them like the black fungus, bean curd skin and mushrooms.


250g cabbage, sliced to preferred size
1 carrot, sliced
About 25 dried lily buds, soaked in hot water to soften
3 pieces sweet bean curd, cut ( see pic )
1 roll vermicilli (tang hoon), soaked in water

3/4 tablespoon mashed soya bean paste (tau cheo)
5 cloves garlic, minced
200 ml prawn stock
2 tablespoons cooking oil


1. Wash lily buds and nip off the hard tip. Soaked vermicilli and cut it shorter.
2. Heat oil and fry garlic and tau cheo for a couple of minutes.
3. Add drained lily buds and carrot. Stir fry till well-mixed.
4. Add prawn stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. If carrot is slightly soft, add cabbage and bean curd slices and simmer. Add water if required.
6. When cabbage is about done to preference, add in the vermicilli and some water. Vermicilli tends to soak up the water. Simmer for a few minutes and it is done.

You don't have to add any seasoning as tau cheo is salty and the carrot provides the sweetness.
You can also tie the lily buds into a knot before cooking to give it a nicer look.
Other ingredients such as tau kee, black fungus or mushrooms can be added.
Lastly, chap chye goes well with sambal belachan! Yum!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lemon Cake

LEMONS! Love it or hate it!
But I love it in this cake. I came across this recipe some time ago in one of our local newspapers. I have been wanting to try it out but couldn't find an excuse to bake. I have this problem of having nobody to eat the cakes. Sigh! I cannot simply keep on baking and eating every morsel myself - I'll become a balloon!!!! ( I still have half of the lychee butter cake in the fridge!)

Well, today being Mothers' Day, is the very excuse to bake myself a cake. And so I did!
The cake turned out well and soft. The lemon syrup drizzled over the whole cake moisten it and gave it a sweet tangy taste that I felt I could just finished the whole cake myself. It wasn't 'rich' or 'cloying'. It would go well with a scoop of ice-cream. Dessert anyone?

Recipe for Lemon Cake


200g butter
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g ground almond
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon ( 2 lemons would be more 'lemony' )

For the Lemon Syrup:

Juice of 2 lemons
80g sugar


1. Cream butter and sugar till pale and creamy.
2. Beat in one egg at a time.
3. Add in the zest, almond and juice. Mix well.
4. Lastly, mix in the sifted flour and baking powder. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
5. Bake in a lined and greased 10-inch (26cm) round tin at pre-heated oven 160 deg C for 30 to 35 minutes or when skewer inserted comes out clean.

6. While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon syrup by mixing the sugar and the juice over a low heat just to warm it. Remove from stove and stir till the sugar has dissolved.

7. When the cake is done, prick small holes on cake top and then pour all the syrup over it.
( I used a soft brush to dab on the syrup so that it is evenly spread.)