Thursday, August 25, 2011


I am submitting this dish STEAMED CARP AND TAUFOO IN BEAN PASTE SAUCE for the Heritage Food trail hosted by Edith Ng @ Precious Moments.

This is a typical Cantonese fare- you can taste the freshness of the fish, lightness of the soy in the taufoo and the saltiness of the bean paste- a very clean ("ching") taste and flavour.

My Mother used to cook this dish when we were small. She used the freshwater carp for this dish. Freshwater carp were cheap those days before they became sought after item for the Chinese Restaurant especially for the Yee Sang at Chinese New Year.

I recall that there was this elderly lady selling these freshwater carp in the Petaling Street Market. There was a big tank full of swimming fishes and she could catch one and hit it hard on the head to daze it before making the kill. The carp is then sliced into 2 pieces- one with the bone on and one without. She then smeared the blood on the fish (to show that the fish is freshly killed?) and laid them on the table. Nowadays these fish are still being sold the same way.

My mother could normally buy the piece without the bone for making fish soup- finely slices of fish seasoned with julienned ginger, soya sauce, pepper, sesame oil and dropped into boiling water, seasoned with salt and served with spring onions and celery-very clear and tasty soup. Again typical Cantonese style of cooking.

For this dish, she could buy the fish with the bone on and that's actually only half the fish. So remember to buy a bigger piece.


Fresh carp - wash and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Soft white taufoo -drain and rub with a pince of salt

Bean Paste-(taucheong) - mixed with brown sugar, sesame oil, minced ginger and garlic (I like to add some chopped red chili) (adjust seasoning)

1 pickled sour plum


1. Place fish skin side up on plate with the taufoo by the side

2. Top with the bean paste sauce and sour plum

3. Steam over boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of fish)

4. Garnish with spring onions and celery.

5. Serve immediately


Monday, August 8, 2011


As I had some leftover pastry from making the mooncakes, I decided to make some Chicken pie.
Getting the tarts ready for the filling. I wanted the filling to be dark and dry instead of the usual creamy chicken pie filling.

Filling: diced onion, chicken fillet, mixed vegetables in a sauce of worchester sauce, whole-grain mustard, oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, salt, sugar and black pepper and thicken with flour and a few cubes of butter.

Pastry is flaky and soft and it just complement the sweet/savoury filling.


Still trying out the Shanghai mooncake over the weekend. This time with salted egg yolk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The Muslim have started their fasting on 1/8/2011 which coincides with the 7th Lunar Month. That means that the 8th Lunar Month is just around he corner. It is time for mooncakes.

I had the opportunity once to get some coaching from my cousin, a "sifu" in making mooncakes and selling them every year. But she had prepared everything beforehand and I was told to mix this and that only. So in the end, I have been eating commercial produced mooncakes.

Now I have bookmarked the recipe for Shanghai Mooncakes since last year. So during the weekend, I finally made the effort to try it out and I found that it is not that difficult after all.

Mooncakes making requires precise measurements- from the dough to the paste itself so that you can get a perfect mooncake- one that is "thin skin and filling full". However, I prefer to eat the crust more than the filling itself as I find that the filling can be too sweet and too much calories! So this type of Shanghai Mooncake is just right for me-golden buttery and crumbly crust- yummy.

The pastry dough which is mixture of flour, custard powder, sugar, butter- to a fine breadcrumbs before binding together with eggs.

The cake speciality stores are already stocking up on the various types of lotus paste, pandan paste and red-bean paste. Time saving and convenient to use. Just have to weight them correctly.

Rolled them into balls with some pumpkin seeds for some bite as I did not insert any salted egg yolk here.

Next divide the dough into balls (again weighed them) and rolled out to disc.

Wrap the lotus paste with the dough. Make sure to seal the edges well. Use both palms to roll them into round tall shape.
Bake them in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

Brush with egg wash and return to the oven to bake for another 25 minutes or till golden brown.
This is an important step.

The paste is not too sweet and still moist after baking. The crust is crispy at the first bite but it turned crumbly in the mouth.

Enjoy them with a cup of hot fragrant Chinese tea.