Harissa Sauce

It can be quite frustrating... when your mind is set to cook a one particular dish... then upon running through the ingredients and found that the dish require that certain something... sauce or some fancy fresh produce!!!
and equally frustrating when you drove all the way to the stores (be it Woollies or Coles or IGA) and they dont have it on the shelf... very frustrating indeed!!!
Have you had that "moment"... when you go aaarrrggghhh...?rolling eyes

I would include Harissa Sauce in one of my 'aaaarrrrggghhh' list...
I have come across many recipes that uses Harissa Sauce but I have yet to see them making their appearances on the shelves... well I can only speak about the stores around my place ... give and take 5 km in radius from my house... 

That's when I started my hunt for the recipe... on the superspeed cyber highway... and came up with this Harissa Sauce big grin

10 dried chilli -soaked
2 garlic - roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Mix everything in a food processor and process into a paste.

Cassava with Sweet Coconut Toppings


I had just finished writing Cassava with Sweet Coconut Toppings and about to publish this post today, when I received an email from H... attached with a link...  I watched the link ~ it gave me goosebumps... a lump in my throat... and near tears...
I decided to re -write ... and paste the video in my post instead.

This event took place on 12th February 2011 in Karrinyup Shopping Centre, Perth ...

Excerpt from the email I received:
The purpose of it is to raise money for the Queensland floods. Each time it is...clicked on, money is raised thru Google ads
If I can get at least one other person to click the video... Variety Club Youth Choir effort to raise funds towards a good cause will not go unnoticed... Bravo... applause

Note : I wish to spread the good work for the good cause... if there is any legality matters involved... I am unaware of...  please advice.. thanks.

And my thoughts and Prayers goes to everyone in Christchurch who has been affected by the earthquake...

Cassava with Sweet Coconut Toppings

1kg of tapioca or Cassava
100g sugar
Sweet Coconut Toppings
150g palm sugar or gula Melaka
100ml water
3 knotted pandan leaves
2 cups of dessicated coconut
2 teaspoon corn flour
200ml thin coconut milk
  1. Steam the tapioca for 40-45 minutes or until soft. Transfer to a bowl, add sugar and salt.. and mash while it is still hot... remember to remove the fibrous bit in the middle. Line a square or round pan with banana leaf. Pour in the mashed tapioca and compact evenly. Ensure that it is firm and level on top.
  2. Add palm sugar, water and knotted pandan leaves in a saucepan. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolve. Add in dessicate coconut , coconut milk with corn flour. Stir until thicken.
  3. Spread the sweet coconut toppings onto the compacted tapioca.
  4. Cut into bite size and serve.

Fish Congee


I was going through my "Food" folders in my hard drive and found these photos. I cooked and photographed this last month.

Whenever Miss E had her orthondontist appointment... and she had her braces tightened, she has to have 'Baby' food... she won't be able to chew anything at all for the next 2 to 3 days... not even bread....sad She didn't mind having plain rice porridge ...I refer to it as 'Moi'...  while the rest of us would have something not as plain and may be some spicy food...

I added some peas for some colour and crispy fried ginger...
Talking about GINGER!!!... the price of ginger has increased... It used to be around AUD$10-$15/kg ...and recently... the price skyrocket to AUD$40/kg... No more Chicken Rice, no more using fresh ginger for awhile... sad..crying.sad...

4 pieces of white fish fillets- cut into 2cm cubes
3cm of ginger - julienne
spring onion - thinly sliced
2 -3 tablespoon fish sauce
350ml of long grain rice - washed
1-1.5 litre of water
1 bowl of frozen peas - thawed
  1. Saute julienne ginger in 2 tablespoon of oil until golden and crispy. Dish out and put aside
  2. Fill up medium size stockpot with water and bring to boil. Add in rice grain. Bring to boil again and lower the heat into a simmer... for 1 hour or until the rice grain becomes mushy.
  3. Add water at this stage if necessary. Add in the ginger oil, fish sauce, and season to taste.
  4. Lastly add fish, peas and spring onion.
  5. Garnish with some of the crispy ginger. 
  6. Serve immediately.

Note : remember to add fish the last 5 minutes or so... if you are using rice cooker.

Mooli with Sesame Miso Sauce

Hurray!!!...My blog has turned 2 recently (9th February)... thumbs up Total posts posted = 300+ ...

Phew.... I thought that I would have lose 'steam' by now... but so far so good... and the best part is ~ I get to 'meet' wonderful  friends through blogging...
And as for writing? I always dreaded writing... I prefer churning figures than write... furthermore English is not my first language. I was brought up in a non English speaking family, went to non English speaking primary and secondary school... but I love reading English novels, embarrassing confession here ~ I was hooked on Mills n Boon...blushing ...  back in those days, okay...

So pardon me if my writing tend to go off tangent of all the sudden...or my post does not seems to 'gel'... 
You may think... what has all that gibberish above has anything to do with the dish below??? My answer would be ...NONE... hahaha....

Ok ... back to the dish....
Daikon or white radish... its not my favourite vegetable... It has this 'funny' smell and taste. I thought of giving it a second chance... with this recipe (adapted from a Japanese cookbook). 


1 medium Daikon or White radish - peeled the skin and cut into 2 cm thickness
15 ml white rice - washed
1 sheet nori sheet
  1. Wrap the rice grains in muslin cloth and tie it with strings... to resemble bouquet garni... leave some room for expansion. Place cut-up Daikon in a saucepan fill with water. Add the rice bag with salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. The rice is to keep the daikon white while cooking and to remove bitterness.
  2. Discard the rice bag... and drain.
  3. Place the nori sheet on a shallow pan and place the daikon on top.Bring to boil and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  4. Strain and reserve the stock.

Sesame Miso Sauce
100g miso paste
60ml Japanese vinegar or mirin
2 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoon white sesame seeds
Mix everything in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Add a bit of water if it becomes to thick. Remove from heat and add sesame seeds.
Serve daikon with sauce.

white-radish in sesame-miso-sauce

LOVE-ly Mini Red Velvet Cake for Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day... is just 2 sleeps away ... almost every blog I visited... there will be tributes to St Valentine. It tempt me to jump on the Valentine's bandwagon...

Since Valentine's Day falls in February (just in case... someone forgets... like my Mr H !!!) ... February is still summer in OZ... nearly the end of Summer... and Perth weather has the habit of turning up the heat to almost max before we could say Hello to Autumn... so I try not to use the oven as much... but ...

there is an exception for Valentine's Day this year... I baked 'Heart Shaped Red Velvet Mini Cakes'... actually I was trying out my new Heart Shaped silicon mould...

I was over the moon when my Red Velvet came out nice and moist... but  'sucks'phbbbbt at spreading the meringue icing!!!  experimented on few cakes ... and it turned out to be one BIG mess... eventually I gave up...  so I am left with big bowl of Vanilla Icing and Meringue Icing... most probably they are fated to meet Mr Bin...

will not showcase any close-up of my 'icing'ed velvet... embarassing!!!
I shall call this my 'Naked' Red Velvet Cake... just to add some naughty-ness on Valentine's Day ... and submitting this recipe to Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air (Feb 2011)

Recipe (adapted from Donna Hay)
125g butter at room temperature
165g castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
185g plain flour - sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder-sifted
25g cocoa powder-sifted
125ml buttermilk - at room temperature
2 tablespoon red colouring
Vanilla Icing
125g butter at room temperature
160g icing sugar - sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Meringue Icing
220g castor sugar
3 eggwhites
60ml water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Preheat the oven 160C.
  2. Cream butter with sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy.
  3. Gradually add the eggs and continue mixing...
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder buttermilk and food colouring, and beat until just combine.
  5. Pour into lightly baking tin or heart-shape muffin silicon tray.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool it on a wire rack.

Left: Split the cakes into 2 and spread with vanilla icing; Right: Vanilla Icing and Meringue Icing
Vanilla Icing: Cream the butter until pale and add sugar and vanilla. Beat further until light and fluffy.

Meringue Icing:
Mix sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small pot. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, using electric beater, beat the eggwhites until soft peak form. While motor is running gently pour in the sugar mix... continue beating until thick and glossy.

Assemble: Slice the mini cake horizontally, and spread the bottom layer vanilla icing, and top with the other half. Spread the outside with meringue Icing... which I failed miserably....sad

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day...

Emping / Rice Flakes with Grated Coconut

I have this picture hanging on my kitchen wall...  reminds me of my hometown...
I love looking at this picture ~ Its Paddy Harvesting season... my thought soon came to this one local snack that I loved, its made out of rice flakes called Emping.

Pipa Roast Duck


I bought frozen duck as I wanted to make Chinese Roast Duck (Siew Ngap) or Crispy Caraway Skin Duck from Norecipes click here... but somehow my plan was hijacked by Mr H, as he took over the kitchen (over the weekend). And he wanted to try out Pipa Roast Duck... a dish that he once had... long ... long  time ago.
Heavy hearted.... NOT!!!winking.....I gladly surrendered my duck to him... I did contribute to this lovely Pipa Roast Duck.. I washed and cleaned the duck.... gave it a good massage, pierced the skin... plus the taut skin effect... before the he took over....

Why is it called Pipa Duck?...
I could not understand at first.confused It looked nothing like Pipa (Chinese Musical Instrument)?? when it was lying flat on the benchtop nor when it was going through the cold basting process and hanging off the pole to dry!!!
But when Mr H inserted 2 chopsticks in the opened cavity (to make sure that the shape hold)...then I see the resemblance to Pipa...

Now ... it does have that Pipa shape... right??? isn't he clever????

Recipe: Serve 4-6

2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red food colouring
280ml warm water
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon Five spice
I whole duck

  1. Mix salt, honey, vinegar, red food colouring, water in a bowl. Stir until honey and salt dissolved. Put aside.
  2. Prepare duck~ wash and clean the duck. Lightly prick the skin... careful not to pierce the skin, give it a good massage. Place the duck in a heat proof container and gently pour boiling water all over the duck... you could see the skin tightened... Again carefully lift up the duck...
  3. Using kichen paper... wipe it dry. Tie the duck's neck with a string and hang in on a pole (with basin underneath... to catch the drip)...
  4. Use a brush and brush the honey mixture. Leave it to air dry before another layer is applied. Alternate brushing and air-dry for few hours... until the skin turn blushing red.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 250C.
  6. Split open the duck and rub Chinese Five spice and miso paste (on the inside). Insert 2 wooden chopsticks .. to maintain the shape.
  7. Roast for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200C.
  8. At this stage, you might want to wrap aluminium foil over the wings and the legs.
  9. Continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of the duck).
  10. Serve with plum sauce and hoisin sauce.

Cambodian Souvenirs Draw ~ Results

First of all I would like to thank everyone who participated...
I have run the numbers and am happy to announce the lucky winners.
You can view the listings in my Facebook... happy
Again Thank You.

Congratulations to :

Item 1 ~ Scarf
4 Angieapplause

Item 2 ~ set of chopsticks
11 Amandaapplause

Item 3 ~ Purse
18 Codrutaapplause

Timestamp: 2011-02-03 00:58:14 UTC

Please email me your details....