Friday, August 30, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I was drooling when I read the blog and told myself that I must cook this when I saw the recipe from The Kitchen Flavours - their monthly Cook Like a Star event. 
Its called Nigella Lawson's Georgian Stuffed Chicken.
Make some adaptions to the recipe but the result was great, truly a keeper. 

Heat butter and olive oil in pan.  Add half diced onion and saute till fragrant and transparent.  Add minced garlic and about 1 cup of  basmati rice (rinsed and drained). Fry till rice is well coated and add chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries.  Add chicken stock or water to cover the rice.  
Bring to a boil and cover the pan and on low heat let the rice cook - around 10 minutes.  Lastly throw in some chopped coriander or any other herbs. I like the way the rice looked- with the speckles of apricots and cranberries.

While rice is cooking, prepare the chicken. Mix softened butter(room temperature) with chopped herbs. Slowly and carefully spread the butter mix under the skin of the chicken.  Season chicken with salt and black pepper. Rub excess butter mix over the chicken as well.    
Stuff the cooked rice into cavity of the chicken and secure with toothpicks. If you cannot filled all the rice inside the chicken, its alright, you can serve them on the side.  

Place some onion,  lemons slices and cherry tomatoes in the baking tray.  Place chicken on the baking tray. Bake in pre-heated oven 160C for around 30-40 minutes. I only turn the chicken over once during the baking time, basting it with the juices from the tray.

Remove chicken from oven and rest it for a while before serving.
The rice is yummylicious both from the juices from the chicken as well as those  apricots and cranberries in the rice. As I bite into the rice, I can taste their sweet yet tangy favlour.
The skin of roasted chicken is crispy while the meat is moist and juicy.

My neighbour gave me a bag of these beansprouts from Ipoh again.  I simply stir-fry them with minced garlic.

This is  my version of  Ipoh's famous "Nga Choy Khai" (aka Chicken with beansprouts) D:

The leftover chicken was transformed into a soothing  pot of porridge 3 days later. Esther was not feeling, so I decided to boil some congee for her.  I  shredded the meat and set it aside and I just scraped everything, yes everything- even the lemons (which I forgot to take out) to boil.   Could you believe it, the porridge tasted so good - comfort food  at its best!  

Monday, August 26, 2013



I finally did it- made the pandan paste and baked a Pandan Chiffon Cake. 
Ever since I had some success in baking chiffon cakes, I had wanted to bake a Pandan flavour one.  But I was too "kiasu" and don't want to waste my money to get the pandan leaves from the market when there were plenty of these available for free around our houses.   Sadly, the pandan plants around my house does not belong to me and moreover so many people have been "stealing" them that they are like miniature plants now struggling to grow bigger!
I had meanwhile planted 1 in front of my house and hopefully it will flourish well.  So when I dropped my sister-in-law house and saw those BIG pandan leaves outside her house, I just cannot stop myself, dragging home more than I need.  
I only need about 10-12 pandan leaves to make this wonderful aromatic pandan paste. 
Wash and snip the leaves into smaller pieces.    Blend them with some water and strain them into a bottle.   Keep the bottle overnight (I kept it for almost a week).  you can see the thick residue at the bottom of the bottle.  Drain away the clear water and use only the paste. 
Whisk the egg white with caster sugar till stiff peak and glossy.

Mix the flour, pandan paste and egg yolks together.  Slowly add the meringue.

This was the first attempt.   Why was it  a different shade? Well, my itchy hands added a drop of green food gel to the mixture as I was not really liking the muted natural shade of green- like Chinese say "duck poo green" (pardon the direct translation). As a result, I got this jade green colour but ops! the batter deflated as a result of the mixing and here is a only 2" inches tall cake. 

The 2nd attempt yielded a much taller  and airy cake but as you can see the colour may not be all together look appetising.  However I was consoled by the fact that both cakes were light and soft and the pandan flavour was unmistakenly still there after baking. By the way the house smelled wonderful as they were baking. 

The rest of the unused pandan leaves were tied into small bundles and left around the toilet and in the car as well as to naturally  perfume the air with its uplifting fragance! 

Here again, I also baked some plain Kopitiam Milk Buns. Recipe from The Nasi Lemak Lover.

Wonderfully soft buns- best served with a slice of cold butter and hot coffee.

Friday, August 23, 2013



Early this morning, my sister and her family had flew back from Melbourne.  I am sure that they would be busy unpacking and resting from jet lag.  I did not bother them though I was very eager to know all about their trip and the wedding celebration. So I made these paus in the meanwhile.

I had a wedge of pumpkin and decided to follow the recipe from Honey Bee to make this Pumpkin Pau with Char siew filling.   

Steamed pumpkin and mashed and mix with the pau flour to make a smooth dough.  
Prepare the started dough first: Mix 120g plain flour (I used pau flour) with 1/4 teasp of instant yeast, 70 ml of water and pinch of salt.  Leave to double in size (I prepared this the night before).
Main dough: 180 gm pumpkin (peeled, steamed and mashed) I used about 200 gm. Mix together with 100 gm started dough, 300 gm pau flour; 1/2 teasp instant yeast; 20gm milk powder (I replaced it with pau flour); 20 gm caster sugar, 20 olive oil (I used corn oil); 1/8 teasp salt.  If the dough is dry, add 1 tablesp of water gradually. Let dough rest for 1 hour until double in size.

I had cooked this Char siew filling earlier as I had intended to try the Baked Seremban Char Siew Pau.

Deflate dough and divide into 50 gm each and rest for 10 minutes.  

Shape each piece into round disc, add filling in the center before sealing.  I got these greaseproof papers from  Daiso.  Let the paus proof for another half hour before steaming.

Steam paus over medium low heat for 10-12 minutes. Be careful when you remove the cover, making sure that the water does not drip onto the paus.  Remove immediately on wire tray to cool.
The paus are soft and the pumpkin flavour is subtle. The pairing with the char siew filling is a winning combination. Thumbs up!

This is my adaption of the Chicken and Onions Bao from Nasi Lemak Lover's blog.
Normally when I use spring onions for cooking, I would reserve the  white parts.  As these parts are more pungent  I would dice them and use them as shallots.
Now with the collection getting larger, I decided to use them to make the Pork & Prawn Paus. 
Minced pork and diced prawns were quickly sauted together with the white spring onions.
I had pan fried the filling this time and I did not thicken the mixture with any cornstarch during the cooking process.  As you can see from the picture, the mixture became watery when it cooled down. 
The next time, I would marinate and season the meat mixture and no pre-cooking before steaming. It would then taste like the "siew loong pau"!  I did not add any hard boiled eggs as well.

This pau dough is fantastic- its a straight dough method, so easy to make and once steamed, it is soft and fluffy. Mix together 500 gm cake flour (I used pau flour); 1/2 teasp. salt, 2 teasp instant yeast; 80 gm caster sugar, 220 gm water and 40 gm corn oil.  Knead till dough is soft and smooth.  Rest to proof for an hour till double in size.     

I divide the dough into 60gm pieces each. Fill and wrap paus and leave for second proof for around half hour or until double.  Steam over high heat for 10-12 minutes.

 These are chillies not flowers which my sister brought back from Melbourne.
All these chillies were grown by my Vicky's mother-in-law- a charming and gracious Greek lady. 
Don't be mistaken they are not bell-peppers and very very hot and spicy indeed.

"Don't move or else you are dead!"

These 2 cats belong to my nephew. Whilst the family were away in Melbourne, my sister-in-law Evon had helped to take care of them.   The black cat, Salem ran away from home a few times and we were so worried that he had got lost or cat-napped. According to my brother in law, the minute the family arrived back at the gate, these cats came galloping home towards them and keeping meowing and rubbing against their legs as if telling them how much they missed the family! Believe it or not.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 22, 2013



The Raya holidays were still on-going and traffic was a breeze to Mid-Valley Shopping Mall.  There is no problem finding a carpark.

The K-pop dramas and music have been making huge waves across our country.  So to get to know  more about the country with its cultures and history we went for the Korea Day Exhibition.

The Korea Day Exhibition was held on 9-11th August.  This events promotes awareness of the multiple facets of Korea- its cuisine (most important to me) and its cultural heritage as well.
There were many food stalls set up and managed by young pretty Korean women and handsome young men.
Tteokbokki- spiciy stir fried rice cakes.

Korean bento 

Another Korean aunty frying pajeon- korean pancake.

This machine produces the snow flakes for the drink but I think these are mainly fruit syrups.

Mandu- korean dumplings. 

More pajeon - this is huge.
My favourite - Kimchi.  Bought 2 boxes and they are ineed very spicy and of course more authentic tasting than my own homemade ones. The handsome fellow told us that their products have no chemicals and are available in most of the supermarkets. 

Korea hand-painting fans

Hand painting designs for aprons.

There were also Korea traditional games for children to try and to win prizes- the korean instant noddles!
There were booths promoting travel and holidays packages as well.

Are you ready for some Gangnam style dancing? 
These robots did a very good imitation job!

Lastly, there was a wedding booth featuring Korean make-up artists, 
international photographers and weddings gowns from Korea.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013



What a hectic weekend it has been.   I loved these long weekend  as it gave me so much time to try out recipes which I have bookmarked.
It was also time to get the pasta machine which had been collecting dust from the shelf to work. 
Making  fresh pasta: the ratio: 100 gm of the pasta flour to 1 egg and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Rest the dough for 1/2 hour.  Rolling out the fresh pasta sheets.

Drying the fresh pasta - no proper place so just drape them over the rails. You only need to rest them for 10 minutes otherwise if they are too dry they will break during cooking.

Spanish Chorizo - gift from my sister May, Melbourne.  I only use one.

 Charred bell peppers - I just loved the flavour of these roasted peppers. When cool enough to handle, just wash away the charred skin and remove the seeds and julienned them.

The rest of ingredients: sliced garlic and chili flakes.

Pan fry the chorizo till it render out some of  the oil. Dish up and set aside.
Meanwhile start boiling the fresh pasta. It only needs less than 5 minutes to cook.

Into the same pan, add more olive oil, garlic and roasted peppers. Return the chorizo to pan and add drained pasta. Toss well and lastly add the chili flakes. Adjust seasoning to taste. 

This "tong sui"  was the dessert that I served with the  pasta.  Double boiled "sharkfin" melon also known as "spaghetti melon"  with red dates.

The cherry tomatoes were fresh and cheap at the market and I bought 1 kg of them. Even though, both Sarah and myself like to nibble these as snacks, we were unable to finish all of them.  So I oven-baked some of them. Simply slice into half and squeeze out the seeds.  Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil and also some mixed herbs. Slow bake them in oven at 150C till soft - around 45 minutes to an hour.
Such beautiful knobs - make sure that you save all the oil and juices in the pan as well or  I prefer to use some bread to mop up all the juices- scrumptious!  These keep well in the fridge and I  use these to replace any call for sun-dried tomatoes.

Bon appetit!

Monday, August 19, 2013


It is the Hungry Ghost Festival today. 

Paraphernalia bought and to be burnt for the after-world.  
We have already attended to the festival on the weekend.  
Our pot-luck dishes for the festival:-

My "1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Spareribs".  This is a dish which I saw on the TV programme.  
It is a very easy dish to prepare but it really taste amazing. You just need to remember this ratio: 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 2 tablespoon of rice vinegar; 3 tablespoon of sugar; 4 tablespoon of light soya sauce and 5 tablespoon of water. Blanch the spareribs in boiling water. Remove and place in cooking pan.  Add the sauce and let it simmer on medium-low heat till spareribs is tender. 
When ready to serve, bring to high heat and reduce the sauce till thicken and caramelize the spareribs.
No other flavouring/seasoning is necessary.
I made some pickled cucumber, carrot and radish to serve on the side.
This is more or less like the Vinegared Spareribs- a popular Shanghainese dish.
My sister Yoke deep fried some of these chicken nuggets.

She also prepare this Kerabu chicken feet- delicious.

My sister-in-law Serena's mother (aunty) cooked this yummy Sambal Prawns with Petai and eggplant- really flavourful. Aunty also cooked a tender spicy Braised Pig Trotters with dried chillies.

My eldest sister-in-law cooked this Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk.  By the way, we are happy to welcome a new addition to the Chan family.  My niece missed the dinner as she was admitted for delivery her baby that night.  However, the little baby girl was delivered yesterday evening.    

My brother Chuan bought the Roasted Pork - the best from Sungai Long.
There were 2 roasted duck which my sister Jennifer and sister-in-law Evon bought too.

I also baked Pandan Chiffon Cake and kopitiam milk buns for tea-time. (will post later).

Everyone was punctual as it is back to school the next day as well as back to the early hours and traffic jam!.
But we had a good time- discussing our family tree.   My sister Vicky in Australia is doing up the  family tree and the list is at the 4th generation now.  Our counsin Lee Choong Sing,  before he passed away in Guangzhou had also forwarded to my eldest brother the Chan Clan Name List, starting from my grandfather's generation only, no traces of the generation before, sad.
So let's hope that the present family tree will be continued by the future generations.