Monday, November 30, 2009

Ikan Masak Asam Kicap/ Fish in Sweet Tamarind Sauce

When we were young.....mom often cooked this nice and simple dish, ... Since there were so many of us, she would use ikan kembung (equivalent to Aussie Trevally), and deep fry the fish for the day's meal to eat with sambal belacan ....and any leftover, she'd cook this simple yet nice Masak Asam Kicap for the our next meal...
We never appreciate simple meal like this when we were kids... hmm...sigh...



Ikan-Masak-Kicap
  • whole fish - marinade with tumeric and salt
  • 2 tablespoon of asam jawa paste (tamarind)
  • 1 brown onion - thinly sliced
  • 1 inch ginger - julliene
  • kicap manis/ sweet soy sauce
  • Oil for deep frying the fish
Clean the fish and pat dry with kitchen towel. Season the fish with tumeric and salt. Set aside. Heat some oil in a wok...sufficient to deep fry the fish until golden in colour. Drain the oil and leave about 2 tablespoon in the wok. Saute the ginger until slightly golden brown, then add sliced onion. Saute until the onion is soft. Add the tamarind juice (add water) and lastly kicap manis. Season with salt. The final taste should be a little tangy with the asam or sour taste and sweet.....Enjoy....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Florida Key lime pie

Sharing with you ....of our first harvest of the Tahitian Limes....from our backyard...
The gorgeous Tahitian Limes...
Since the 'harvest' was quite good... I decided to try 'key lime' pie among other things...
First tasted the key lime pie when I was in KL few years back... baked by another wonderful friend, Sylvia....hence I started to rummage through my folders and... voila!! found the recipe for Key Lime Pie from an old 'Better Homes and Garden' magazine...

But for the crust... I use my trusted sweet pastry ...works all the time....

And for the filling:...
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 395ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 100 ml lime juice or more
Topping
  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoon of caster sugar
  • zest of lime
Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a bowl...whisk egg yolks and slowly add in the condensed milk followed by lime juice. Add more lime juice if required as the filling should be tangy.
Pour the mixture into the prebaked pie shell. Bake for 15 mins, and let it cool.
Whip cream and add caster sugar, whip until it is light and fluffy. Spread on the pie and sprinkle zest of lemon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Auntie Melinda's Chap Chai/ Chinese Mix vegetables

I was introduced to this lovely vegetarian dish by Melinda... I was 'hooked' eversince... it was like an addiction... can't get enough... So whenever we were in KL, and having one of our many get-togethers, my dear Melinda, will surely have this chap-chai on the table... I will indulge... not only second helping but many helpings...in other words... just pig-out!!...

And if Mr H were to cook chap-chai, here in Perth, surely, will have to cook in a big pot, then we'll freeze some, and only both of us will chow down the chap chai .... kids were not too keen....



  • chinese cabbage - sliced thickly
  • 2 bulbs of garlic - use whole
  • 2 cubes of 'Foo Yee' - mix with sugar
  • black fungus - sliced thickly
  • Foo chook - dried beancurd skins
  • Dried lily flowers - knotted
  • soo hoon - soaked
  • gingko nuts
  • chinese mushrooms - soaked and thickly sliced
In a large pot, saute the garlic. Add the Foo Yee mix then chinese cabbage, the stalk first... then add the rest. Keep stirring until everything is cook. Season to taste.
Note: The Chap Chai will taste better if kept overnight in the fridge

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beef Dhalca / Beef and Lentils Curry

This is the Northern Dhalca.... Dhalca means Dhal Campur or loosely translate - one pot meal of beef, lentils and vegetables.
This is my mom's recipe... which is as usual agak-agak (approximation) ...She would cook this Dhalca in one big pot and we would savour the dhalca for few days.... the 'mushier' the Dhalca... the better it tastes!! It goes well with Roti Canai too...


Beef-Dhalca
  • 700g gravy beef - diced
  • 1 cup of yellow dhal - soaked overnight
  • 4 tablespoon of meat curry powder
  • 300g of french beans or long beans - cut into 2 cm long
  • 2 carrots - cut into thick strips
  • aubergine
  • 4 potatoes - quartered
  • 1 brown onion
  • garlic and ginger - pounded
  • 3 asam keping (tamarind slice)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 400 ml coconut milk
Saute the onion, cinnamon stick, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the curry powder and then beef. Cook for awhile. Add about 1 cup of water followed by dhal, asam keping, potatoes and carrots. Transfer into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Add coconut milk and french beans. Salt to taste.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Janelle's Quick Pizza dough


We have graduated from using lebanese bread as our pizza base to using the real pizza dough.
As much as we love and adore Reinhart's dough ... but with Janelle's, we can have pizza anytime... its quicker and need not proof the dough overnight!!!


  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 sachet of dried yeast - 7g
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 80g finely grated of parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
Sieve the plain flour into a large bowl. Mix the yeast, warm water, sugar, salt and olive oil in a jug. Pour the yeast mix into the flour and mix well. Knead until smooth approx 8 minutes if you are using bread maker or dough hook (Kenwood etc). Half the dough and roll it out into a pizza pan. If deep pan pizza is desired... then leave it to rise for 45 minutes...
Spread your topping and bake at 220C for 15-20 minutes or until the base is cooked and the cheese melted...
Tip: if you are a first timer using pizza stone (in the oven and without the handy dandy pizza paddle )...like moi, my best advice is to prebake the pizza dough for 10 minutes.... before spreading pizza sauce and toppings.... otherwise your nice round shape ~ will be a rather odd, distorted looking pizza with topping spreading everywhere except the dough!!!!

nice crispy pizza...yum...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kuih Seri Muka / Glutinous Rice with Egg Custard...

One of my childhood favourite 'afternoon delite'!!! Kuih Seri Muka ....as for the Northerners ... it's known as Pulut Sekaya!



The base layer
  • 300g glutinous rice - soaked overnight
  • 300ml thin coconut milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 knotted screwpine leaves or daun pandan
Mix the above and place it in a square or round pan... and steam it for 20 minutes...
The syrup
  • 150g sugar
  • 100 ml water
Dissolve the sugar over medium heat ....leave it to cool
The custard...
  • 30g custard powder
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 300 ml thick coconut milk
  • 12 pandan leaves
  • 100 ml water
blend the pandan leaves with water and extract the juice.
Mix the coconut milk with the pandan juice, custard powder, tapioca flour and plain flour...Beat the egg and add to the coconut mix. Then add in syrup... strain the mixture....for a smooth custard top....
Once the glutinous rice is cooked, remove from the steamer, using either banana leaf or using the back of a wet spoon.... flatten and compact the rice....
Place the compacted rice in the steamer again....as the rice need to be hot before pouring in the custard....
In a saucepan, and over a very low heat, stir in the custard mixture until slightly thickened, then pour over the compacted glutinous rice...
Steam for at 20 minutes or until the custard has set...


Leave it to cool for 2 hours before serving....
Tip: alternative to steaming the custard ...one can bake at 180C until the custard top has set and slightly brown...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Baked Morrocan Chicken with Rice

I can imagine everyone's face when browsing through the ingredients and found that this recipe uses apricot jam ....well ... we were sceptical too... and it turned out to be a lovely dish to try...


  • 2 cups of long grain rice
  • 800g of chicken thigh fillets - cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 large tomato - chopped
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 3 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cup of chicken stock (Maggi or Campbells)
  • 1/4 lemon juice
Marinate the chicken with apricot jam, seasoning, salt and garlic. In a baking dish (deep Correlle or equivalent), add the rice, top up with chopped onion, peas, lemon juice and tomato. Pour in the chicken stock.... arrange the chickens on top. Bake uncovered at 220C for 40 minutes or until the chicken and rice is cooked.
~sfi

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Green Curry Chicken

Another easy meal to prepare, rather than prepare the green curry paste from scratch, I just use the bought paste from supermarket. This a lovely dish. You can substitute chicken with prawns..



  • 700g chicken breast - thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoon of green curry paste
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 brown onion - thinly sliced
  • 2 cup of cauliflower florets
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoon of fish sauce.
Saute the onion and the chicken. Add in the green curry paste. Cook until fragrant. Add in coconut milk. Squeeze in lime juice and fish sauce. Finally add in cauliflower. Serve with steam rice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aussie beef pie

Our 'love affair' with pies... pot pies, crusty pies, Aussie pies, sweet pies, savoury pies.. you name it we love it.... 2 years since I purchased one of my fave electrical gadgets~ my Sunbeam pie maker... its so unbelievably easy to make pies....

To create the filling...as the Aussie would say it 'No worries, mate'.... just add meat with any bottle ready spices like vindaloo, or satay or plain like the photo below.... not only kids love it... adults as well... adore these golden crusty pie....Yum!!



  • 500g thinly strips of beef - coat with 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 1 brown onion - diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of tasty cheese
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
Saute the onion until soft. Add the beef and stir for 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
Mix in tasty cheese.
Cut up the puff pastry and the shortcrust pastry accordingly.... shortcrust for base and puff for top. Place the shortcrust pastry in a piemaker, fill in the beef mixture and top with puff pastry. Cook until its golden .....
Serve with steamed vegetables.... or pack for kids lunch box the next day

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Strawberry, Passionfruit Pavlova

Need I say no more about Miss E lovely dessert??.....



To make pavlova....
  • 4 egg white
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar or 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon of cornflour
Pre heat the oven to 180C. Draw a circle on a baking paper with a pencil. Turn paper over.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites until fluffy, add cream of tartar(if using otherwise add the vinegar when you are about to add cornflour)). Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time by the count of every 30 seconds... until sugar dissolves. Keep on beating the egg white until stiff and glossy...
Spread the mix onto the circle.. and try to heave the side up....to resemble a 'wall'. Put in the oven and lower the oven temperature to 120C and bake for approximately...1hour 20 minutes. The pavlova should be dry to touch once its ready. Leave it to cool completely in the oven.
Cream: 300ml whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar....whip until peak....
Spread the cream on the pavlova nest.... decorate with strawberries and drizzle with passionfuit pulp...
~Donna Hay for meringue...

Friday, November 13, 2009

miso soup udon with tuna

Nice easy meal to prepare....



  • 1 sachet bonito powder
  • 3 tablespoon miso paste
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tablespon wakame
  • Udon - cook according to packet
  • Vegetables - steam julienne carrots and bok choy.
  • Tuna - can tuna in springwater.
Add bonito. miso paste and wakame into a boiling pot of water....Assemble all in a bowl and serve hot....
Note: can't recall the source...sorry.....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

beggar's chooks

It has been awhile since Mr H cooked this dish.... the beggar chicken can be steamed or baked as below....


  • 1 whole chicken
  • all kind of fungi - champignon, straw mushroom, chinese mushroom
  • water chestnut
  • sesame oil
  • chopped garlic
  • salt and pepper
Mix them all in a bowl (except the chicken of course!!).....Washed and pat dry the chicken, stuff the chicken's cavity with the stuffing... Wrap with aluminium foil then with dough. Bake for 2 hours at 200C.

For the dough: Mix flour and water and roll out into a pastry enough to wrap the whole chicken

The 'treasure' within

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chilli Crab

The yummy blue swimmers are here.... they are lovely, fleshy and sweet.. I'd be on the lookout for these crabs comes every summer... The prices per/kg has increased over the years... from $8.99/kg about 4 years ago to $15.99/kg !!! very pricey...
We could sit for hours savouring .....crunching and eating every last bit of the sweet fleshy crabs!!


  • crabs - cut into two
  • tomato sauce
  • chilli sauce
  • egg - beaten
  • spring onion
  • fresh corainder leaves
Saute the onion, add in sauces. Simmer for a while. Add in crab. Cover and cook until crab is cooked. Last pour the beaten egg in and stir. Salt to taste.
Note : measurement of the sauces - 'agak-agak' (approximate)......according to the number of crabs.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

cucur kodok ikan bilis/dried anchovies fritters

One can enjoy these fritters...either for breakfast or tea-time....


  • 1 bowl of ikan bilis (dried anchovies from Asian grocer) - soaked and roughly 'blend'
  • 1 brown onion - thinly sliced
  • 1 dried chilli - cut into thin strips
  • salt
  • chilli powder
  • tumeric
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • Oil for deep frying
Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add water and mix into a thick paste... Heat up the oil in a wok.... and fry until golden brown. Serve with chilli sauce.

Friday, November 6, 2009

chicken tarragon pot pies

I guess one could tell that we love our pies... come in any shape or taste... we just love pies...


  • 750g chicken breast - cut into 3cm
  • 250g button mushroom - sliced
  • 1/4 tarragon - chopped (alternative : 2 teaspoon dried tarragon)
  • 1 bunch spring onion - cut into 1 cm
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
Saute the onion in the melted butter in a saucepan. Add chicken and stir until it is slightly cooked. Add mushroom to the pan. Leave it for 5 minutes, then add in taragon leaves, chicken stock. Add the corn flour with a 2 tablespoon of water... mix it well. Pour the cornflour mix into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Leave it aside to cool.
Grease 4 ramekins, divide equally. Cover the top with puff pastry and bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
~sfi

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Asam Laksa Utara

Laksa (rice flour noodles in thick fish soup) will not taste the same without ginger flower or Bunga Kantan...I have been looking high and lo, either in the Wanneroo market or at the Asian grocer... but to no avail, until recently, Mrs Red Hat found the frozen ginger flower near her place in the city... bless her for the discovery.... hip-hip Hooray.....yay!!!!...
Fresh ginger flower could easily be found in the Eastern States especially Queensland, somehow the frozen ginger flower was imported from Penang.....hmmm food for thought..

  • 1 kg fish fillets - Ling fish fillet is used in this recipe.
  • 1 can of mackerel in tomato sauce
  • belacan
  • 10 dried chilli - soaked and grounded... use more chilli for extra ummph!!
  • 1 brown onion - blend together with the cooked fish ..separate the bone to flesh
  • 5 asam keping
  • 1 cup of daun kesom or vietnamese mint
  • 2 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 ginger flower or bunga kantan
  • Laksa Noodle - soak if using the dried noodles
  • Garnishing ~ cucumber, chili, mint, prawn paste, sliced red onion, thinly sliced ginger flower
Blend the fish together with the brown onion. Add sufficient water in a stock pot. Add blended chilli, vietnamese mint, ginger flower, lemongrass, belacan, mackerel, and asam keping. Bring to boil, add salt to taste. Gravy should be tangy and fishy...

Serve with laksa noodle and garnish...