Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mango Salsa

Mangoes ~ my all time favourite ... 'tired' of mango? Not me... never!!! We have a lot more fruits~  and its cheaper...this summer. 
I was at Wanneroo market... and saw this whole box of mangoes for $20... I was like 'Wow'... chose the best looking mangoes...Buy first and worry later where to store them....  Ray who was busy stacking the mangoes boxes up add few more mangoes into my box .... I was like... yay!! 'Good On ya, Ray'... :)...excellent...  50 mangoes in a box... Within a week... nothing left...we slobber over mangoes...yummy mangoes.... 

  • Ripe mango (not the mushy ones.... ) - skin off and diced
  • grape tomatoes - halved
  • red onion - thinly sliced
  • mint and coriander leaves - chopped
  • optional - thinly sliced chilli
  • salt
  • olive oil
Mix all in a mixing bowl and serve with grill or barbeque salmon steaks... :b...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vietnamese Beef Pho


Malaysia has 'Beehoon Soup' ~ vermicelli serve with beef broth, while the Vietnamese has Beef Pho, rice sticks (kway tiow) serve with beef broth as well. The difference would be in the spices used for the broth. 
Vietnamese Beef Pho has the tinge of sweet spices in clear broth, tender chunky beef, the tangy lime juice and crunchy fresh beansprout... and not to mention the chilli paste..and the hoisin sauce.
Beef Pho will definitely whet our appetite....

  • 1kg chuck bones
  • 500g gravy beef
  • 6 peppercorn
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion - cut into wedges
  • 5cm ginger - cut into 2 cm
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 2.5 litre water

  • 1 packet dried rice sticks or kuey teow - soaked
  • beansprouts
  • cut up chillies
  • hoisin sauce
  • chilli sauce or chilli paste
  • basil leaves - chopped
  • coriander leaves - chopped
  • spring onion - chopped
  • lime
Place the beef, chuck bones, fish sauce and ginger in a large stockpot with 2.5 liter of water. Bring to boil then simmer for 2 hours. Dish out the 'not nice looking bits that floats up'. Add the spices and keep on simmering for another 1 hour. Strain the soup. Set aside beef chunks for garnishing. Discard the spices.

Prepare the rice sticks ~ Bring water to boil in a pot... turn off the heat... place the rick sticks in and and leave in the pot for approximately 5 minutes or until the rice sticks is tender.

Divide the rice sticks among bowls... top with beansprout, fresh chopped herbs and beef, ladle the hot beef soup into each bowls... Serve with hoisin sauce and chilli and lime..

Monday, February 22, 2010

Watermelon, Feta and Mint

I was watching one of Nigella Bites episode on TV few years back... she made this mouthwatering watermelon, feta and mint in one her summer series...and decided to give it a try (few times eversince). The combination of the 3 ingredients is superb... every bite of the sweet juicy watermelon mix with salty~ish feta cheese and the refreshing mint...Amazing!!!
When I was younger, I used to enjoy my sliced watermelon with soy sauce (kicap)... don't know what 'Feta' is at that time, never heard off and definitely, not available in any shops!!!  Tease the palate with sweet taste of watermelon with salty taste of soy sauce... (I re-lived my childhood moment again...) 
Watermelons are abundant and much cheaper this year... so give it a try (Nigella version of course but no harm done trying my childhood version.. if you dare..hehehe).
You can also try this typical Malay dish using watermelon's skin... 
  • Cut up watermelons
  • chopped some mints
  • crumble some reduced fat Feta.
Mix all up....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

kuih keria/ sweet potato doughnuts


I thought of Kuih Keria (after enjoying so much  'rich' food... Chinese New Year is all about eating and visiting and eating again.. ~ 8days to Chap Goh Mei!! phew... kilos will pile on... diet will be next on my menu...). 
Kuih Keria will not make its appearance on this auspicious occasion...It is a humble not too rich kuih...   Made from mashed sweet potatoes... form into ring ... like doughnuts...deep fried and coat with caramelised/ crystalised sugar. A lovely afternoon snack or breakfast and serve with kopi-O (Malaysian local coffee)

The Dough:
  • 600g sweet potatoes -
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of flour
  • salt
Steamed or microwave the sweet potatoes, mashed and leave it to cool. Mix in the flour.... until the dough is not too sticky and able to form an 'O'. Careful not to add too much flour... you'll end up with a 'floury' taste kuih keria just like the one sold commercially in the market or pasar malam (night market!!). Deep dry until golden.... leave it to cool.

Sugar coating
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • a little bit of water
In a wok, heat up sugar with a little bit of water until dissloved and bubbly... stir until the syrup thickened slightly... turn off the heat... and mix in the kuih keria and stir carefully until well coated ....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kerabu Perut/ Tripe Salad

We take a break from Chinese cuisine...

Kerabu Perut is a typical Malay side dish. Its an acquired taste... some may find it tasty and some may find it offensive... depends on which way you look at it... 
Nowadays, tripes sold in supermarket (in Malaysia) are washed, pre-cooked and ready to use, no doubt there are still 'uncooked' tripes available especially in smaller town wet market.
It is quite a task to clean the 'cow's stomach', one need to scrub and scrub then boil for quite a long time until it is tender.
The 'cooking' part is usually the one that will put you off... as the smell (of the boiling tripes in the pot permeates the whole house) ... can be really offensive to some... I will not describe it here... but to reduce the 'smell', just throw in galangal in the boiling pot...  that should solve any 'smelly' issues....
  • 2 cups of cooked tripe - thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts - give a quick blanch
  • 2 red chillies - grounded
  • Belacan Maggi granules
  • 2 cm ginger - jullienne
  • 1 onion - thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander
  • 3 tablespoon rice grains - pan toasted until golden brown and ground
  • 1/2 cup of dried shredded coconut - pan roasted and ground
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • fresh coriander for garnishing
Mix all the ingredients in a big salad bowl. Serve as a side dish with rice.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lor Ark / Chinese Braised Duck


Mr H thought of cooking something different this year...for our dinner on Chinese New Year eve. We still had our usual Steamboat and Sang Choy Bow. But this year, he wanted to try ... to cook a whole duck...
Mr H did all the cleaning, preparing and cooking Lor Ark or Chinese Braised Duck Teochew style... the way his mom used to cook for CNY...  I raised my 'white flag' as I have never cook duck...nor had my mom...(pre-cooked duck from IGA..did not count!!) and am clueless on this matter!!! I guess, its better to stay 'clueless'.... ignorant is a bliss...yay!! (... so I dont have to cook duck next CNY..sshhh)
My role... was to take photos... hmmm... that was the toughest part ... : p
  • 1 whole duck
  • 2 inch ginger - crushed
  • 6 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic- crushed
  • 3 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 3 pcs star anise
  • 3 teaspoon thick soya sauce
  • rock sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • cinnamon stick
  • oyster sauce
Wash, clean and marinate the duck with 5 spice powder for at least 2 hours .
Heat up the wok on high heat. Pour about 3 tablespoon of cooking oil. Saute the garlic and ginger. Add the rest of the seasoning with sufficient water to cover half of the duck. Bring to boil and leave it to simmer for at least 1 to 1 1/2 hour until the duck is cooked and the sauce thickened. Don't forget to turn the duck every 15 minutes...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bak Kua / Chinese Sweetmeat

Photo courtesy ~ Miss E

The first time I  had Bak Kua was 10 years ago in Kuala Lumpur....  Its the same as Beef Jerky but Chinese version of meat jerky... Its an acquired taste for me..
And for Mr H, its a delicacy that he had during Chinese New Year only (in his younger days)... as Bak Kua can only be found in Kuala Lumpur... It is the most popular items to be included in the 'Goodies Bag' to hand over as 'gifts' while visiting relatives...
Just to kick in the Festive Mood... we made some Bak Kua last Thursday... about 1 kg of chicken mince and 1 kg beef mince... Seems a lot...right??...But ~ It was all gone by the first day of Chinese New Year ... :)
  • 1 kg mince meat - chicken, beef or lamb
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 200g sugar
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 piece nam yu
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Optional :  1 1/2 tablespoon of chinese wine 
Preheat the oven 100C.
Mix all the seasoning well. Add to mince meat... again mix well. Lightly oil the baking tray (scones pan). Spread the seasoned meat thinly over the pan. Bake for 1/2 hour or until the edges can be removed from pan.
Cut up into preferable sizes.... Square or rectangle etc
Heat up the grill and place the cut up Bak Kua under the grill until the meat is thoroughly cooked (be careful not to burn the meat!!!)
~recipe courtesy ~ Janet

Chicken Bak Kua ~ lighter shade than Beef Bak Kua 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kuih Bangkit

Kuih Bangkit is one of many traditional Chinese New Year cookies. Some used tapioca flour in their recipe while others used arrowroot flour.
An excellent and good Kuih Bangkit will 'melt in your mouth' ... but it is not easy to achieve...

The word 'Bangkit' in my Kedah slang would mean 'get up or arise or awake'. My mom used to say 'Kuih Tidur' (tidur means asleep) whenever we could not get it right... Her analogy makes some sense...'Kuih Bangkit' will awaken all your senses especially the palate while enjoying that 'melting' moment...
I had tried many times and this is the near 'success' batch... but still lack that utmost oomph ~ 'melt in the mouth'... so it is 'Kuih Tidur' for me too ... :( 

Anyone has a good recipe of Kuih Bangkit and willing to share his/her recipe with me (and my blog)?, email me....much appreciated... Thank You..
  • 400-450g tapioca flour
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150 ml plus 3 tablespoon coconut milk
  • optional: pandan leaves...
Dry fry tapioca flour (or with 3 pandan leaves cut into 3inch strips) on low heat until its light. It takes about 45 minutes. Leave it to cool completely ...preferably overnight. Sift the flour ...if dry fry with pandan leaves...
Beat icing sugar with egg yolks until its light and fluffy (nearly white in colour). Add in 150ml of coconut milk. Then gently mix in the tapioca flour. Started off with 300g of the flour first. Mix into a dough. If it is too crumbly add in coconut milk, tablespoon by tablespoon until it form a soft dough.
Cover and leave it to rest for at least 15 minutes. Dust the Kuih Bangkit mould with the remaining flour. and bake @180C for 20 minutes.

can someone tell me ...'What went wrong????'

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kung Pow Chicken

Food preparation for the 'Chinese New Year's Eve ... family gathering dinner'...   can be a laborious task...from preparation to cooking... variety of dishes ... plus so many things to do around the house... ie give the house a thorough cleaning from top to bottom (a simple task like sweeping the floor on the First Day of new Year is a big NO!! you'll sweep away the 'good luck' and many more do's and don'ts)...

Hence Kung Pow Chicken..might be an answer to a quick and tasty dish to serve.... 
  • 3 chicken breasts - diced into 2cm bite size and coat with 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 1 small leek - thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion - cut into wedges
  • 3 dried chillies - washed and cut into 2cm
  • sugar snap peas - cut into 2cm
  • 2 cm ginger - julienne
  • 2 garlic - crushed
  • 2 tablespoon lite soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • some sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup cashews (or peanuts)
Heat up the wok with 2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Stir the dried chillies until the 'chilli fragrant - makes you want to sneeze' , dish it out onto a plate. Toss in the ginger into the hot wok. Keep stirring until the ginger is nearly golden brown in colour. Add in garlic, onion and chicken. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the chicken is nearly cooked. Add the sauces, sugar and salt to taste. Keep on stirring so that the chicken will not be burnt!!.

Toss in the leek and snow peas until the vegetables are tender... and lastly toss in the cashews and the dried chilli again.. serve with rice.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Peanut Cookies

6 more sleeps to celebrate Chinese New Year!! The kids are excited and looking forward to Chinese New Year (CNY).... I think... they are really looking forward to 'what's in the red packet'... 'Red' packet from daddy is worth a lot more than from mom's!!...hehehe ....
Peanut cookies is one of the 'must have' cookies ... My late mother-in-law used to make these cookies every CNY.... now Mr H and Miss E took over ... and made these cookies yesterday for the forthcoming celebration....
  • 300g roasted peanuts - finely grounded
  • 200g castor sugar - more if you have 'sweet tooth'
  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g arrowroot flour
  • 200 ml canola oil (may require less than this.... )
  • eggwash (egg yolk - lightly beaten)
  • cut up peanuts for decoration
Mix the grounded peanuts, plain flour, arrowroot flour, sugar and half the oil in a large mixing bowl. Check the consistency of the dough... Add oil bit by bit until the dough is pliable and does not stick to your hand or the side of the bowl. Roll into a ball. Top with eggwash and cut-up peanut. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave it to cool before transfering to the rack....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ais Kacang/ Shaved Iced Dessert

Perth's weather has been hot and sticky ... to have a bowl of Ais Kacang would be so 'heavenly'.
The 'goodies' in this dessert varies from State to State. Ais kacang in my hometown, Alor Setar, would be like that one in the picture below... The Penangites will have theirs with grated nutmeg and a lot more brown sugar syrup. Coconut milk is used (instead of evaporated milk) in Port Dickson. Some would serve with a scoop of ice-cream...Thanks to Sunbeam Avalanche Ice Shaver... we can enjoy Ais Kacang ...yay!!!eventhough the ice shavings is coarser than the Original Ais Kacang in Malaysia....Beggars can't be choosers ...
  • Ice cubes
  • grass jelly (black and green)-diced
  • creamed corn
  • evaporated milk
  • palm seeds - drained the thick syrup
  • red beans - soaked and boil with added sugar to make it sweet
  • Dark brown sugar syrup
  • syrup with red colouring
  • roasted peanuts
Grass jellies, red beans, creamed corn and palm seeds can be found in the Asian grocery shop.
Make the syrup in 2 separate pots (dark brown sugar and sugar plus red colouring respectively), bring to boil until slightly thickened.
Scoop each of the condiments into a bowl. Using ice shaver, shaved the ice cubes ...add shaved ice onto the bowl.. pour the syrups and evaporated milk... serve immediately..

the 'goodies' .....for ais kacang

Friday, February 5, 2010

Egg with Tangy Tamarind dressing

A very simple dish ...sneak peek at the ingredients ... manageable right? The only 'not so good' thing about this dish to deep fry the eggs....make sure the eggs are dry (use kitchen towels/paper), otherwise it'll splatter...and you'll ended up with extra work of cleaning up the mess....

  • 8 hard boiled eggs - deep fry until golden (optional: shallow fry)
  • Golden fried shallots
  • Fresh corriander leaves for garnishing
Tamarind dressing:
  • 3 tablespoon of tamarind extract
  • 2 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
Mix all in a small pan or saucepan, bring to boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Cut eggs in half and drizzle with tamarind dressing. Garnish with fresh coriander and deep fried shallots. Serve with steam rice or have it as entree...

~source 'Authentic Thai'

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mint and Garlic Prawns

    Our barbeque burner has to worked overtime during summer... comes winter it will go into 'hibernation' !!
    Our 'usual' BBQ spread will definitely have sausages and other meats... BBQ is not BBQ without the red meat  ~ according to the 'boys' in the house... the ladies aren't too keen on meat... so you can call this 'Ladies' choice' BBQ... marinated prawns (below), chicken lychee salad , fish cutlets and caramelised carrots....

  • 48 uncooked prawns
  • 2 tablespoon of fresh mint - chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic - chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 bamboo skewer - soaked overnight
Mix chopped mint, garlic and olive oil. Marinate the prawns with the mint mix. Add some salt and pepper. Leave it overnight. Cooked on the BBQ until prawns turned pink....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken, Lychee and Orange Salad with Ginger dressings

    Lychees (canned in my younger years and fresh lychees nowadays) always reminded me of Chinese New Year...not too sure why... it could be in those days.. we lived in a 'multi cultural' kampung (village). When our neighbours celebrated Chinese New Year, they would send 'Chinese New Year goodies' ... among other items - a canned of lychees...I love lychees.
    Needless to say that I love this lovely combination of sweet lychee, with a tinge of citrus and ginger taste salad. Had this salad with our 'usual' Barbeque.... a week before we left for Albany.
  • 1 cup cooked chicken - shredded
  • 1 canned lychee - drained the syrup
  • 1 orange - segmented (with a bowl underneath to catch orange juice)
  • 1 red capsicum- julienne
  • 1 yellow capsicum - julienne
  • cos lettuce
Ginger dressing: grate 2cm ginger into the orange juice. Add some olive oil.
Mix the salad with ginger dressing. Season to taste.