Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gula Melaka Agar Agar

Who knows that agar agar making can be so challenging!? I've actually attempted 3 trials before I succeeded in making this gula melaka agar agar @.@ The jelly actually separated into 2 even layers on its own after cooling down. The first two attempts I've used too thick coconut milk (different brands) resulting a thin agar agar layer forming or it did not separate at all! So frustrating but the taste still equally yummylicious :D 

I was too lazy to sieve the gula melaka mixture therefore the sediments were rather obvious :P Moreover I actually bought a wrong agar agar powder! hahaha I wrongly grabbed a pack of orange colour one. Only realised it  after I pour it into the silly >.< Luckily the colour blended so well into the gula melaka mixture, that's why my agar agar had a deeper tone. So don't be alarmed if your agar agar turned out lighter than mine :D

Recipe ref : Baking's Corner
  • 12gm agar agar powder
  • 750ml water
  • 200gm gula melaka (palm sugar)
  • 2 blade pandan leaves, knotted
  • 200ml coconut milk* + 2 tbsp water + 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Cut palm sugar into small pieces.
  2. Put sugar, water and pandan leaves into a pot and bring to boil. Cook over low heat till sugar is well melted. Sieve to remove any sediments.
  3. Add agar agar powder into the gula melaka mixture and bring to boil for 5 mins.
  4. Add in coconut milk and stir to mix evenly. Cook over medium heat till mixture comes back to a slight boil. Do not over boil. Remove from fire immediately.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 7" square pan or individual jelly mould. Leave to cool and set in room temperature. The jelly will separate into 2 layers as it cool. Chill well before serving!
* I used Ayam brand coconut milk

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sweet & Sour Pork with Homemade Sauce

This is a Taiwan version of sweet & sour pork compared to the sweet vinaigrette pork ribs I've posted yesterday. This version takes some effort to prepare as the sweet & sour sauce is made from scratch! I must say the process is all worthwhile as it tasted really refreshing compare to the usual commercial instant sauce! Give it a try if you are looking for a healthier and fruity version of sweet & sour sauce!

Making of sweet & sour sauce using fruits and haw flakes

Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • 200gm red plum, very ripe, deseeded and cut into small pieces
  • 100gm honey cherry tomato, cut into small pieces
  • 50gm haw flakes, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • pinch of salt

  1. Blend the plums and tomato until smooth. Strain thoroughly to get rid of the skin and seeds.
  2. Place the strained mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat.
  3. Add in minced haw flakes and seasoning.
  4. Cook until sugar and haw flakes are dissolved. Adjust taste according to your liking by adding more sugar or vinegar.
  5. Sauce to be kept in fridge up to 3 days.

Preparation of the actual dish, mixture of colourful vegetables & fruits and fried pork fillet

Sweet & Sour Pork
  • 250gm pork shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp chinese wine
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 50gm tapioca starch
  • Vegetable mix (all cut into cubes) : 1 red onion, 1/2 cucumber, 1 tomato, 1/2 slice tomato
  • 4 tbsp homemade sweet & sour sauce

  1. Marinate the pork pieces and chill in fridge for at least 30mins.
  2. Coat the marinated pork with egg then tapioca starch. Set aside for 5 mins till coating sets.
  3. Heat up oil in a pot over medium low heat. Deep fry the pork for a few mins until slightly browned, drain and set aside. Repeat till all pieces are fried.
  4. Turn heat to high, and deep fry the pork pieces the 2nd time until they turned golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper.
  5. In a frying pan, heat up oil over medium heat. Add onion and fry till translucent. Add in the rest of the vegetable and fry quickly. Toss in the sauce.
  6. Turn heat to high and add the pork pieces and toss quickly to coat the sauce. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Oh yes today is the 7th day of Chinese Lunar Year also known as 人日

Stir-fry 7-Vegetables with Fish Fillet

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sweet Vinaigrette Pork Ribs 糖醋排骨

This sweet vinaigrette pork ribs only require simple seasoning like dark vinegar, rock sugar, wine, soy sauce and salt! The taste is awesome, similar to vinegar pork trotter but this is more sweeter 'cos of the rock sugar added. 

The first attempt, I over reduced the gravy and it became rather thick and dark, not saucy enough but taste not compromise.

This is my 2nd attempt! Added slightly more water and replaced the dark soy sauce with light soy sauce :) This time round more gravy to drench over warm white rice!

Caramelise rock sugar, add in ribs to coat the golden syrup, add in water and seasoning, cover and cook till ribs are tender and sauce reduce.

Which attempt look more appetising to you? hahaha actually I liked the dark version one though it looked less presentable than the 2nd attempt :P

  • 500gm prime ribs, chopped into bite sizes
  • 50gm dark chinese vinegar
  • 50gm rock sugar, crushed into small pcs
  • 1 tbsp hua tiao jiu
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in ribs and boil for 1 min. Drain away water and rinse well.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add crushed rock sugar and cook over low heat until caramelised. Using a spatula, stir the mixture till well dissolved and golden.
  3. Add in drained pork ribs and mix evenly to coat the sugar syrup.
  4. Add in about 3/4-1 cup boiling water, almost submerge the ribs, add in vinegar, soy sauce and wine, bring to boil.
  5. Lower heat, cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 35-40 mins until ribs are tender.
  6. When gravy has reduced to about 1/4, add in salt to taste. Turn on heat slightly and cook till gravy thickens.
  7. Dish up and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Char Siew by HCP

Think my 2 year old happy call pan is going to retire soon! Though it has been helping me churning out lots of nice foodies, I may or may not getting a new one to replace it ;) I still rely heavily on my beloved cast iron wok. Guess this may be the last post on a recipe using HCP ;) I've did homemade Char Siew using braising and oven method, cooking in HCP also turned out very well! Succulent meat and not over drying unlike baking in the oven. I loved how some section of the meat having some charred parts , giving it a smoky barbecue flavour :D yah I know it is very unhealthy to consume the 'burnt' section, just scrap them off before slicing them! 

Serve alone with some of the residue gravy....

Or whip up a simple Char Siew Wanton Noodle 叉烧云吞面!

  • 550gm pork fillet 
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rose wine 玫瑰露
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar

  1. Rinse and pat dry pork. Add in all marinades and chill overnight.
  2. Lightly grease and preheat HCP.
  3. Place in marinated pork, spoon over some marinating sauce, close the lid (locked), grill on low for 5 mins.
  4. Open pan, flip the pork, brush some of the reserved marinade over and cook for 10-15 mins with lid locked. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent over charring.
  5. After 15mins, flip the pork again and grill for another 5 mins or more until golden brown, with lid locked.
  6. Remove the char siew, rest and cool down before slicing. Scrape away any black residue if necessary. 
  7. Pour in the balanced marinate with some water into the pan, bring to boil. Strain the gravy and serve with the Char Siew!
Recipe reference :

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Reunion Dinner 2015

A sumptious steamboat dinner!

This is the first year my direct family and parent-in-law are having reunion dinner at my home! As my home is rather tiny to accommodate 2 families, therefore I arranged for 2 separate steamboat sessions within the same day :) Besides the usual steamboat food ingredients, I've also prepared a simple chicken rice with homemade ginger sauce and chilli garlic sauce! Glad that my pot of chicken rice is cleared by end of the day! ^0^

Wish all fellow friends a blessed 2015!

Monday, February 16, 2015

CNY 2015 吉祥蔬菜 Auspicious Vegetables

3 more days to 2015 Chinese Lunar New Year! While indulging on all the yummy goodies and food, remember to eat more greens too! Stay healthy while feasting out! ^0^ I've picked these 2 lovely looking vegetables as they are usually available during this festive period. No meat were added (great for vegetarians) into the dishes and only simple and minimal seasoning were added in order not to camouflage the natural sweetness from these greens :)

塔菜 (菊花菜)commonly known as 富贵菜 locally

  • 240gm 塔菜 (ta cai), trimmed & rinsed
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100gm enoki mushroom
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb size ginger, shredded
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • dash of fish sauce (optional)
  • dash of chinese wine

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan, add garlic and ginger and saute till fragrant.
  2. Add in vegetables and stir fry over medium high heat for 1 min till they wilted.
  3. Add in tomatoes and enoki mushroom and mix evenly.
  4. Add in all seasoning and toss evenly. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Romanesco broccoli...peculiar looking broccoli! But I loved the bright green hue and spiral flower buds :) A cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It tasted more crunchy and earthy then the usual broccoli. 

  • 150gm Romanesco broccoli florets
  • 100gm broccoli florets
  • 100gm cauliflower florets
  • 60gm sliced carrots
  • 150gm shimeiji mushroom
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp mushroom granules
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chinese wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch all broccoli florets and carrots for 1 min. Drain well and set aside. Reserve vegetable broth.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan. Add in garlic and saute till fragrant.
  3. Add in mushroom and fry briefly.
  4. Toss in blanched broccoli florets and carrots and stir fry for 2 mins until tender to your liking. Add in a few tbsp of reserved vegetable broth.
  5. Add in all seasoning and mix well. Dish up and serve.

This post is linked to the event, Cook & Celebrate: CNY organised by organised by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Slow Cooker Barbecued Ribs

When I first came across Diana's recipe on slow cooker barbecued ribs, I knew I got to try it out! The result of the bbq ribs is so awfully fantastic! Tender and succulent bbq ribs effortless prepared in slow cooker and lightly grilled in oven, this is a recipe which I will definitely try it out again and again ^0^

Pour in BBQ sauce, cover lightly with a parchment paper and cook on low for 3.5 hours in a slow cooker.

After 3.5 hours, carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker...yes is in fallen off bone stage! Brush generously with remaining gravy and grilled @220 deg cel for 10mins

Recipe ref :
with slight modifications
  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 1/8 cup paprika
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp korean chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup Korean bbq sauce

  1. Combine paprika, sugar, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to make dry rub.
  2. Rub spice mixture on all sides of the ribs. Place the ribs in a ziplog bag, sealed and chill in fridge overnight.
  3. Remove ribs from fridge 1hour before cooking. Place it into slow cooker against the sides and leaning in like a tent. Pour bbq sauce over the ribs. Place a piece of parchment paper over the ribs and cover with the lid.
  4. Cook in slow cooker on low for 3.5 hours or until ribs are cooked through and falling off the bone.
  5. Preheat oven at 220 deg cel. Carefully transfer tender ribs onto a pan. Set aside.
  6. Pour sauce from slow cooker through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 mins until thick.
  7. Brush the sauce on ribs and place into oven and grilled for 10mins until caramelised.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This is another awesome slow cooker recipe....this time round testing the slow cooker with beef chuck! I managed to get it right after the 2nd attempt. The first time I overcooked the beef as I under-estimated the heat of my slow cooker. For the next tried, I used low heat throughout the cooking process and the beef turned out soft and tender, oozing with sweetness! I've also added more carrots and onions as my boy requested for more of these!

Mix seasoning and vegetables together and placed into the slow cooker

Season the beef chuck evenly and place on top of the vegetables, cover lid and cook! 

Recipe ref : Martha Stewart
  • 1 tbsp cornflour 
  • 150ml chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 200gm small potatoes, cleaned and halved
  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 stick celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 kg beef chuck

  1. Dissolve cornflour with 2 tbsp chicken broth till smooth. In in remaining broth, tomato paste, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt & and pepper and toss well. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.
  2. Season roast with 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder,  1 tsp onion powder. Place on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours until roast is fork-tender.
  3. Transfer roast to a cutting board and slice thinly. Place vegetables in a serving dish. Sieve the remaining juice from the slow cooker. Serve roast with vegetables and drizzled with juice.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

This is a fuss free way of 'baking' a whole chicken in a slow cooker. I'm rather impressed with the result. Though not able to achieve the crisp and brown skin like baking in a oven, the texture is real good! The meat is so moist and tender (fallen bone stage) that I could not 'lift' off the whole chicken from the slow cooker. I did not marinate the chicken overnight yet it tasted flavourful enough. Thumbs up!

Before cooking...

Recipe source : The Little Kitchen
  • 1 large chicken, clean thoroughly and trimmed away excess fats
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp italian mixed herbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced

  1. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
  2. Pat dry the chicken and rub the spice mixture all over including the cavity and under the skin covering the breast. Sprinkle chopped garlic all over the chicken and inside the cavity.
  3. Place all vegetables into the crockpot. Put the chicken on top of the vegetables, cover it, and turn it on to high heat. Not necessary to add any liquid.
  4. Cook on high for 2 hours. Turn to low heat and cook for another 1 hour, or until the chicken is falling off the bone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken

Have you tried cooking with slow cooker other than using it for brewing soup? After discovering how the slow cooker able to churn out amazing dishes other than soup, I'm hooked! Of course this dish you are able to cook over the stove but you need to take note of the liquid or else you will burnt the whole pot. That's the good part of using a slow cooker, just throw in everything and let it simmer on its own without constantly checking whether the gravy has dried up! End result is a pot of tender moist chicken breast, just shred it up and pile between toasted bread with side salad...yummy!

place chicken breast meat & all seasoning into slow cooker

remove from slow cooker after cooking, shred and mix with gravy

Recipe source :
  • 600gm skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup homemade bbq sauce 
  • 1/2 cup italian dressing
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock or water
  • additional bbq sauce if necessary

  1. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
  2. Whisk bbq sauce and italian dressing together.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Turn the chicken once or twice in between the cooking time to allow the sauce to coat evenly the meat pieces.
  4. Remove the chicken. Combine cornflour and chicken stock and add into the slow cooker. Cook till thickened for about 5 mins.
  5. Meanwhile, use 2 forks to shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and mix well with the gravy.
  6. Add more bbq sauce if needed and continue to cook on low for about 30mins.
  7. Serve with buns and salad.

Red Cabbage & Apple Salad
  • 300gm Red Cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 large Fuji Apple, peeled & cored
  • handful of raisins
  • handful of toasted sunflower seeds
  • 3 tbsp Apple Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper to taste

  1. Toss 1 tsp salt into sliced cabbage and mix evenly. Set aside for 5 mins. Rinse lightly and drained well.
  2. Slice apple and cut into matchstick size. Soak briefly in salted water. Drain well.
  3. Combine apple balsamic vinegar, olive oil and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Place cabbage, apple, raisins, sunflower seeds into a mixing bowl. Drizzle in dressing and toss well. 
  5. Cling wrap and chill well before serving.

Monday, February 9, 2015

CNY 2015 五福临门 Prosperity Cookies Platter

There are couple interesting cookie that caught my attention and I'm so tempted to try them out but I do want to be too ambitious this year. So I've finalised with this year CNY cookie baking, hereby presenting my five selection of cookies which I named them '五福临门' 饼干拼盘 Prosperity Cookie sPlatter! Nice? Adding on to the pineapple tarts were Melting Moments and German Cookies (Chicken Floss Seaweed).

German Cookies (Chicken Floss Seaweed) 

I can't wait to attempt this savoury version of German Cookies when I saw Cheryl of Baking Tai Tai's creation! Instead of using Korean seaweed as indicated in the original recipe, I've substitute it with crispy seaweed and it turned out well too. Something unique compare to the usual sweet cookies, thumbs up by my food tasters :D I've baked it rather small so that the kids can just pop the whole cookie into their mouth without creating any mess :D

Recipe ref : Baking Tai Tai
  • 250gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 50gm icing sugar, sifted
  • 250gm potato starch
  • 160gm cake flour
  • 50gm soft chicken floss
  • 30gm ready-to-eat crispy seaweed

  1. Combine chicken floss and crispy seaweed in a food processor and blend till fine. Remove and set aside.
  2. Using a electric whisk, cream butter and icing sugar till light and creamy.
  3. Sift in potato starch and cake flour in 3 batches, fold till well combined.
  4. Fold in chicken floss seaweed mixture.
  5. Roll dough into small ball about 10gm and place on lined baking sheet. Alternatively roll out dough evenly and cut out using a cookie cutter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 160 deg cel for 15-18 mins.
  7. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet for 5 mins. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing.

Melting Moments

Actually this recipe has been hiding in my blog draft for many many years and I've forgotten where I got it from! This cookies tasted so good, melty and buttery that my kids could not get enough of it! I've packed some for gifting and balanced one are disappearing too fast from my cookie jar though I've already made a second batch! Looks like I may need to bake another tray soon.....

  • 250gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 100gm icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100gm self raising flour
  • 50gm cake flour
  • 150gm corn flour

  1. Combine, self-raising flour and corn flour together.
  2. Cream butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence and salt until light and creamy.
  3. Sift in flour in batches and mix into a soft dough.
  4. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a big star nozzle. ( I use wilton #2C) 
  5. Pipe rosette onto a lined baking tray. Add chopped cherries  on top of the rosette, if desired.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 160 deg cel for 15 to 18 mins. (depending on how large your rosette is). 
  7. Cool on baking tray for 5 mins before transferrring onto wire rack to cool completely before storing.

This post is linked to the event, Cook & Celebrate: CNY organised by organised by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

I'm linking this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies by Fion of XuanHom's Mom and co-host by Victoria Baking Into The Ether 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

CNY 2015 '喜洋洋' 黄梨挞 'Happy Sheep' Pineapple Tarts

Looking back my pineapple tarts baking over the past few years, I've yet to attempt any recipe with added milk powder into the dough. Therefore this year I've decided to try out this particular recipe from Cook.Bake.Love Using one recipe I've created into 3 different patterns of pineapple tarts! 

'Happy Sheep' Pineapple Tarts...This design is very popular whereby many bakers are using it for making the famous German Cookies! But I like it with filling embedded so I stuffed it with pineapple jam hahaha....

'Spring Blossom' Pineapple Tarts

'Golden Balls' Pineapple Tarts

Ingredient (approx. 95 pcs)
  • 250gm salted butter
  • 50gm fine sugar
  • 1 tsp condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 egg
  • 350gm plain flour
  • 50gm milk powder
  • glaze : 1 egg yolk mix with 1 tsp water
* for enclose tart : filling 1/2 level tsp, dough 8gm

  1. Sift flour and milk powder.
  2. Using a electric whisk, cream butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in condensed and vanilla.
  3. Beat in egg until well incorporated.
  4. Using lowest speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches until just combined. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl and fold in any remaining flour, do not overmix.
  5. Separate the dough into 2 portions. Cling wrap and chill for 30mins to firm it up. 
  6. Take a portion of the dough out from the fridge. You can choose to stamp out the dough using a cookie cutter or roll it into a ball.
  7. For open tarts, roll out dough evenly, stamp out dough using pineapple cookie cutter, arrange on lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 8-10 mins. Remove from oven, egg wash and place pineapple jam filling over. Return to oven and bake for another 8-10 mins until golden brown. 
  8. For enclosed tarts, pinch about 8gm dough and flatten it. Place in pineapple jam filling and roll into a ball. Arrange on lined baking sheet or use small paper case to hold it. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 10 mins. Remove from oven and apply egg wash evenly. Return to oven and bake for another 10-12 mins until golden brown.
  9. For little sheep pineapple tarts, proportion similar to enclosed tarts. Pinch 2 tiny dough  and roll into balls as hair, use 2 mini chocolate chips as ears and black sesame seeds for eyes. Bake in preheated oven at 160 deg cel for 20-25 mins till cooked.

Which is your favourite?

This post is linked to the event, Cook & Celebrate: CNY organised by organised by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

I'm linking this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies by Fion of XuanHom's Mom and co-host by Victoria Baking Into The Ether 

Related Posts with Thumbnails