Monday, March 30, 2009

Yummy Fish Steaks

Step into any fish market in Perth... you'll be spoiled for choice with its varieties ... Tasmanian Salmon, Snappers, Trouts, Trevally (equivalent to our ikan kembong), Barramundi...etc and its all fresh with its 'gooey' stuff still flowing from the gill!!
Our all time favourite is Hiramasa...its a Japanese fish - with its white flesh, quite firm and very... very sweet. Unfortunately its not easily available...
For this fast and easy meal...I used Swordtail fish steaks... it took less than 30 minutes, and its ready to eat...
Coriander Pesto
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tbspn vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 1 tbspn roasted peanuts
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 2 tbspn lime
Blend all the ingredients above into a paste. Brush fish steaks with half of the pesto. Cook fish on heated bbq or grill plate.
Serve fish with the remaining pesto, with salad, boiled potatoes or crusty bread.
~AWW - seafood

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Satays- faction.....

We were supposed to have satays last weekend... but due to the young man who was in great pain with his braces... the plan was brought forward...


Learning to 'cucuk' satays

Satays on skillets....miss the 'smokey- burning charcoal' satays!!!

Weekend Feast

Marinate:
  • agak -agak ...corianders and cumin seeds - grounded
  • Tumeric powder
  • sugar and salt
Chicken or beef... thinly sliced... Marinate overnight..
Peanut sauce :
  • 500g Roasted peanuts - grounded.
  • 1tablespoon Fennel - grounded.
  • 1 brown onion - blended
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass - blended
  • Tamarind juice
  • salt
  • sugar
  • 1/2 cup blended chilli (agak-agak)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk.
Heat up oil in a saucepan, stir in the blended onion, lemongrass and fennel until fragrant. Add chilli and tamarind juice. Leave it to boil then lower the heat and simmer. Once the oil has 'surface', add the peanuts.... season with salt and sugar... Add coconut milk to thin down the sauce...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lemony Tuna Pasta

When I am feeling lazy... or felt that we had too much 'meat' during the week, I'd go for this quick fix meal... may take about less than 1/2 hour in total time from preparation to the table...



  • 350 g spaghetti
  • 425g canned tuna in spring water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 2 tbspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 pine nuts
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup of parsley - chopped
  • salt and pepper
Cook pasta as per packet instruction. Roast the pine nuts until golden brown. Mix oil, lemon juice and zest in a jar, shake well. Place tuna in a bowl. Add pasta, the lemon oil, pine nuts and baby spinach to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
~sfi

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bubur Kacang or Mung Beans Sweet dessert...


This is for you, Salina aka Ms Red Hat... bubur kacang hijau....some would add ginger but this is my mum's version ....

Wash and soak the mung beans (kacang hijau) overnight. I prefer to cook the beans in a slow cooker as I am a lazy person to watch over the stove.

Fill up the slow cooker pot with water... up to the half mark (for at least 1 1/2cup of dried beans). Throw in a couple of daun pandan and a stick of cinnamon. Let it cook for 3 hrs until soft... watch out for the water level after your second hour as it could dried up. Add coconut milk, brown sugar and a bit of salt...

Ta...da...All ready for you to dive in....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alas!!....Chilli Garlic Mussels

Yes...finally... we get to eat mussels. After what it seems like ages to clean up its beard...until my thumb and fingers were numb... I get to put my feet up while Mr H did the cooking. If I were to cook.. I would hear comment like 'its overcooked' or 'its undercooked'.. so the best thing to do is - let the Master do the work....


Chopped up garlic, either use fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, chopped up chilli and basil.
Saute the garlic in olive oil, then add chilli and tomatoes. Add the yummy mussels. Cooked about 5 minutes, turn off the heat. Discard the unopen mussels. Add basil last.
Tip: fresh mussels are very salty, don't add salt!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spicy Salad aka Acar

This is one of our favourites 'salad'... We usually cook the acar in a big pot, dish out the amount required, and freeze up the rest. The acar will last about 1 month in the freezer.... and will still retain its crunchiness.Use any 'crunchy' vegetable you can get in the market.. like carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, french beans... Cut them up into bite size. Bring the water to boil in a big stock pot, add some vinegar, tumeric powder and salt. Blanch the vegetables(tip: blanch one type of vegetable at a time). Strain and drain the water.

Sauce: 1 stalk lemongrass, 10 shallots,5 cloves of garlic, 3 candlenuts, 3 tbspn coriander seeds, 2cm fresh (frozen or powder)tumeric, 2 slices galangal, 1 tbspn belacan (Maggi belacan is used).

Blend all these spices into a paste, and heat oil in a wok and fry the blended spice until fragrant. Add sugar and salt. Put it aside and let it cool completely before mixing it up with the blanched vegetables.

Add fresh pineapple or canned pineapple(in natural juice).

Add grounded peanuts and roasted sesame seeds at the end before serving.

Tip: do not add pineapple, peanuts or sesame seeds if you intend to freeze some.
~Nonya Flavours

Saturday, March 21, 2009

'Chiak' Moi ~ 'Chiak' Oats

Mr H Jr had his braces tightened last Thursday... He was told by the orthodontist that he'll be feeling uncomfortable, over a period of at least 3 to 4 days...
True enough... he is in pain, unable to eat his favourite vegemite toast... even soft bread is difficult to chew. Poor Chap...

He's able to have something soft (short of giving him baby food!!). So he 'chiak' moi (eat rice porridge) for dinner and oats for breakfast.... and that'll be his 'food' for the weekend....hmmmm
easy for me....
1/2 cup of quick oats with 1 cup of milk. Microwave for 90 sec. Top up with canned peaches or honey...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Miso Soup ~ Japanese Made Easy...

There are 2 types of Miso paste... white or red. White is supposed to be 'sweet' while the red is supposed to be 'salty'. Either one is OK ...depending on your preferences.

This is really easy peasy lemon squeezy.....

What you need is a packet of bonito powder, Miso paste, water, soft beancurd(cheaper to get it from Coles for the 500g packaging),dried seaweed or wakame (from Asian grocer or Jusco in M'sia) and some spring onion (optional).

Boil water in a pot. Add bonito powder and miso paste ... suggest that you try a little bit at a time of the miso paste.. like starting with 2 tablespoon: 250ml water.. and add on as desired. About 1 tablespoon of wakame. Once boiled, add in diced beancurd (diced as small or as big as you wish). Bring to boil again. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle with the spring onion.

Serve with Japanese rice (short grain).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Brekky ~ Banana Triangles

This is a great breakfast alternative for the kids...

Danial would go for his toasts with vegemite without fail... day in- day out, while Della is a bit picky; cereal, or baked beans on toast or sometimes just water..

This Banana Toasties would do just nice for both.... carbo + energy...to start the day...


Place the sliced banana on the bread, sprinkle with cinnamon and grill... until golden brown. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey...
Tip: to have a crusty slice... pre- toast the bread

Monday, March 16, 2009

Barbie??

Its not Barbie doll .. if that's what you are thinking... its barbeque.. Yes ..there are so many words that the Aussie just 'gobbled up'.

To name a few: docos for documentary, rego - registration, bowzer - petrol station, bikkie - biscuit, brekky - breakfast, dunny - outside toilet, rashies - the long sleeve swimming top, bathers - swimming suit, garbo - garbage collector, sheila - ladies, bruce - men and many more.... funny isn't it.... adding few more to my 'Aussie Slang' collection.

The weather was good ...I had nothing plan for weekend menu...so... we had a barbie ... nothing fancy.... just some sausages, steak, caramelised onion rings, salad, kumara and prawns....







Saturday, March 14, 2009

Red Curry Duck

Red Curry Duck... we must have some kind of affinity with our neighbour across the Northern Border. We just love... Thai Cuisine.... YUM!!

This was shown on tele many.. many... moons ago...
Thai chef was cooking Red curry Duck with Lychee... who would have thought that lychee, red curry and duck??


  • chinese roast duck (from Luv-a-duck)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 tbspn red curry paste
  • 1 tbspn fish sauce
  • 1 tbspn lychee juice (from canned lychee)
  • 4 lychees or more
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • sweet basil
  • option: pea eggplant... I used 1 cup frozen peas instead..
Cut up the duck into bite size pieces. Heat up 1/2 of the coconut milk in the saucepan over medium heat. Add red curry paste and stir to combine. Add kafir lime leaves and cook for 5 minutes or until oil starts to surface. Add duck, fish sauce, lychee juice, lychees, peas and the remaining coconut milk. Cook for a few minutes and turn off the heat. Lastly add basil leaves...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beef Rendang

The Meat-O-Saurus...


Late February was MrH Jr's birthday...

As a birthday boy... he get to choose his favourite 'makan' for the day. So my little 'carnivore' chose...Beef Rendang, Red Curry Duck...and just to please me.. he wanted acar too (otherwise I'll nag him for not eating his vegetables!!).



Hurrah!! The little carnivore was appeased for the day!!

Red Curry Duck will be in Part 2....
Here is the Rendang.....
  • 1 kg gravy beef
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 3cm ginger
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 20 dried chillies (agak-agak)- soak and blended.
  • 4 candlenuts
  • 4-5 tablespoon kerisik
  • 2 knotted daun pandan
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • salt and sugar to taste
Blend the chillies, onion, ginger, candlenuts and lemongrass to a paste. Ground coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black pepper. Heat oil in a big pot. Add the blended and grounded spice. saute until fragrant. Then add diced beef, daun pandan and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to boil then let it simmer... Add kerisik... then stir...and stir... and stir.... it could take hours (easily 2 hrs) before the rendang thickens.... . Salt and sugar to taste.
Note: kerisik - pan fried or roasted grated coconut then pound or grind into paste.
Tip: Cheat Rendang - buy a packet of Rendang ready mix from Asian Grocer - improvise with spice and kerisik.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Late Summer Salad


As autumn is looming while summer has yet to say its farewell... this Beef, Chickpea and Feta Salad would do just nice as a light summer dinner in the backyard.. watching the sun set...
  • Beef Fillet -marinate with morroccan spice (from Masterfood)
  • Butternut pumpkin - cut into 3cm (chunky)
  • red capsicum- sliced
  • red onion - sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 canned chickpeas (drained)
  • 100 g reduced fat feta
  • baby spinach
Cook the beef on the BBQ or grilled for 3 to 4 minutes on each side(or longer). Slice up the beef thinly.
Pre heat the oven to 200C, in the roasting pan, mix the butternut pumpkin, red capsicum and red onion. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast about 20-30 minutes. Let it cool.
In a salad bowl, mix the beef, the roasted vegetables, chickpeas, baby spinach and feta. Serve with crusty bread...
~sfi

Monday, March 9, 2009

Too Hard Boiled Eggs

Janet sent me an email the other day... an interesting email....boiling egg in a rice cooker??...

Fascinating and I did try ....Blimey, it is easy... just wet the kitchen towel... placed the eggs on top of the wet kitchen towel, and press the 'cook' button. The 'hot steam' will 'boil' the eggs!!

But the only set back is with my rice cooker... the eggs were 'over-cooked'. The thing is with my rice cooker... it has so many features; just to cook 'white rice', it'll take 50 minutes...



This may be a brilliant idea for the 'Malay' wedding where they give out 'Bunga Telur'.
I remembered those days....my sisters' wedding... where 100s of boiled eggs were needed... and old folks would resort to every trick to avoid having lots of broken and damaged eggs... like wrapping the eggs up in a big piece of cloth and gently put them in a gigantic pot of boiling water.. but then the casualty rate was still high....eggs were broken and 'tak cantik'(not presentable)...

Nazrul... if you are reading this... you may want to get your mum to try with 1 dozen of eggs .....for your sister's wedding end of the year!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

'Fridge Clearing' Quick Meal

This was a 'trying to finish whats-in-the-fridge' meal. I had feta cheese, a packet of salad and fresh pasta tortellini.... and whipped them all up ....it became....pasta salad.



  • fresh tortellini ~ I used spinach and ricotta for hearty vegetarian meal.
  • 2 garlic ~ crush. I used Italian garlic for its full flavour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 100g or less of feta
  • a premix salad in a packet
Mix garlic and olive oil in a jar, shake them well and put them aside. Cook pasta as per packet. Add in the garlic mixture and mix well. Add freshly ground pepper. Go easy on the salt as feta is salty. Add the greens... then top with feta...
For a little bit of oooomph, sprinkle chilli flake.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Off Track #1 - Holiday photos

We had our mini break last weekend.. We drove off to Margaret River and Augusta. It was a wonderful holiday with lots to see and do....



Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse - Augusta

Where the 2 oceans meet ~ Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean



View from the top of the lighthouse


Magnificent Jewel Cave

Karri Forrest ~ Margaret River


Lake Cave ~ Stalagtites.....fairies playground


Lake Cave ~ hanging columns with little brook running under



Mammoth Cave ~ Margaret River



One of the Margaret River wineries


~photos courtesy of Miss E

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rolling...Rolling...Sushi

This is one of the favourites for the lunch box... Rolled Sushi.

Mr H Jr and Miss E can 'chow' down these rolled sushi in record time....There'll be 'no bringing home' or 'can't finish my lunch' excuses!!


For the rice:
  • 1 1/2 cup japanese rice or short grain
  • 40 ml japanese rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
Cook the rice as per instruction. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt once the rice is cooked. Mix thoroughly. Cover the pot or bowl with dampen cloth..
For filling: anything that takes your fancy... here in my photo - I used smoked salmon. Cut carrots and cucumber into thinly strips. Or you can use smoked tuna (canned). Or teriyaki chicken etc.... Avocado if you wish...
Place the Nori sheet, rough side up on the bamboo mat. Spread the vinegared rice - leaving 1/2 inch uncovered top and bottom. Put the filling of your choice... and start rolling...rolling...rolling
Note: If the rice get too sticky ... just wet your fingers every now and then... (same goes to the knife, when you are cutting the sushi).
~ Japanese cookbook

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cute Little Taters

It's quite difficult to resist these cute little baby potaoes when they are in season; especially during hot summer months.

Baby Potatoes + Summer = Nice Cold Potato Salad.

This is no Einstein formula but it works wonders...




  • 1/2 to 1 kg of baby potatoes
  • 2 -3 boiled eggs
  • mayonaise
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of frozen peas (optional)
  • thinly sliced spring onion
Boil the potatoes (with skin - for additional fibre) with a little bit of salt until soft. Quarter the potatoes. Peel the eggs and mash them. Place the potatoes, peas and mashed eggs in mixing bowl, add mayonaise and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with spring onion

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wonton ~ The Heavyweight Champion


Yes it is the heaviest appetiser by name (and heavy to the waistline too!)... on the contrary... it is so easy to make.
This is not my 'forte' but Mr H...He'll whip it up in no time at all...especially when we have 'Pot Luck'. The measurement will be 'agak-agak' too..
  • 300g mince chicken
  • 1 carrot - if possible dice into a 3mm cube...
  • 1 can of water chestnut (from Asian grocer or supermarket) or in KL use fresh 'water chestnuts' - dice into small size
  • another option - chinese mushroom, presoak, and dice into small size too.
  • lite soya sauce
  • white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour and another 1 teaspoon to mix with water
  • sesame oil (agak-agak... not too much)
  • salt
  • oyster sauce
  • Wonton skin from Asian Grocer..
Mix them all up in a mixing bowl. Fill up the wonton skin with 1 teaspoon of the mix. seal up the edges with the cornflour mixture (act as a sealer), and shape into an 'old Chinese gold coin' during the Emperors era.

Then deep fry until golden in colour..... Crunchy and addictive!!