Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stir-Fry Chayote with Black Fungus

I usually fry chayote with garlic and salt so when I saw this recipe here, I wanted to give it a try because I love black fungus!  However, I couldn't find the fresh black fungus at the supermarket so I replaced it with dried ones.

I personally prefer this version but my 2 elder kids hated black fungus.  I believe for every different kind of food introduced, the taste is acquired so I'm definitely going to cook this again next time.

Stir-Fry Chayote with Fresh Black Fungus
(Recipe adapted from Tigerfish's blog)
1 Chayote, peeled and thinly sliced (佛手瓜/合掌瓜)
dried black fungus, rinsed and sliced
salt and white pepper to taste
drizzle of sesame oil
2-3 slices of ginger

  1. Wash and soak black fungus in water till soften.  Slice thinly and set aside.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan. Add ginger and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add the chayote slices and fry briskly.
  4. Add the black fungus, fry and mix well with the chayote.
  5. Add 1-2 tbsp of water and allow to simmer at low-medium heat till chayote slightly softens.
  6. Salt and white pepper to taste and drizzle with sesame oil before serving.

Mango Lassi

I've been lazy and neglecting my blog.  I think blogging is very much like bread-making, when I bake bread, I bake almost every other day.  But once I stop, I stop for a long time!  I think I've not baked bread for at least 5 months!  Got to get my engine warmed up fast as I've got a pack of bread flour that's expiring soon.

With a small tub of mango yogurt expiring in just a few days time, I made mango lassi.  This is not the authentic mango lassi you get from Indian restaurants but good enough for us and a great way to clear off the ripen mangoes in my fridge ;-)

Simple ingredients: yogurt, milk, mangoes and ice (not in picture)

Dump everything into the blender and blend ;-)

A simple yet healthy drink :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creamed Corn Soup

This is one quick and easy recipe, and the ingredients are simple!

I like to add in some frozen vegetables :-)

Creamed Corn Soup
1 litre water/chicken broth
1 can of creamed corn
2 eggs
200g pork/chicken, diced/sliced/minced (optional)
1 cup of frozen vegetables (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring water/chicken broth and creamed corn to a boil in a pot. Stir to combine.
  2. Break eggs in a small bowl and beat lightly. Set aside for further use.
  3. Add additional ingredients into boiling stock.
  4. When boiling, pour in scrambled eggs slowing while stirring soup.
  5. Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Boil for another 5 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mango Panna Cotta

Mango season is here and I've got abundance of them sitting in my fridge so I used them to make Mango Panna Cotta.

I had wanted to add some mango puree on top but the kids couldn't wait so we just ate it on it's own.

The texture is soft and literally melts in your mouth.  Most importantly, my kids love this ;-)

2 tsp gelatin
3 tbsp of water
* mix together and set aside

480ml full cream milk
35g sugar (reduced from 50g)

1 ripe mango – cut into small cubes or puree

  1. Pour the milk in a pot and add  sugar.  Cook over medium low heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pot.
  2. Remove from heat and add in gelatin.  Stir till gelatin dissolves.
  3. Pour the mixture into six ramekins or cups. Add some cut mango and refrigerate until set or you can serve it with some mango puree.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Old Cucumber Soup (老黄瓜汤)

Old cucumber soup is one of my kids' favourite soup dish and I cook this often.

I prefer to remove the skin when I cook this so it's easier for the kids when they eat.

This is one with the skin intact and I've added some wolfberries towards the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Old Cucumber Soup (老黄瓜汤)
(Serves 4 - 5)

2 Chinese old cucumber (老黄瓜)
500g pork ribs
2.5 - 3 litres water
2 - 3 honey dates
15 - 20 red dates
12 - 15 dried scallops (optional)
2 pcs dried cuttlefish, cut into smaller pieces (optional)
a handful wolfberries (optional)
salt to taste

  1. Wash old cucumber and remove skin.
  2. Cut it in half, length-wise and remove the seeds. Cut into small pieces.
  3. Blanch pork ribs.
  4. In a pot, bring water to boil and add all the ingredients except old cucumber and wolfberries.
  5. Using medium fire, bring water to boil again and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, reduce to small flame and simmer for 1 - 2 hours.
  6. Add in old cucumber and cook for another 1 hour.
  7. Add in the wolfberries (optional) and let it brew in low fire for another 5 - 10 mins.
  8. Add salt to taste (optional) before serving.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lousy Wednesday

Date: 14 April 2010, Wednesday
Time: 11.55am
Venue: Children's room
Mishap 1: Glass broke


Time: 5.15pm
Venue: Kitchen
Mishap 2: Dustin fell and landed in my laundry basket (no picture as I was too devastated after the first mishap)

Time: 6.45pm
Venue: Kitchen
Mishap 3: Late dinner

Yummy pizza for dinner?  The crust turned out uncooked, returned to the oven to bake further but still uncooked after 30 minutes.

Quickly cooked some macaroni, scooped up the ingredients and gave it a stir in the pot to mix.  Dinner was finally served at 7.45pm.  Completely exhausted...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My mother's braised pork belly (sweet version)

I love this dish!  Whenever my mom cooks this, the dish gets polish it up within minutes.

My mom cooks this without a recipe so I just cooked this with a phone call away to clarify the steps.  The end result didn't turn out as well as hers but my family loves it ^-^

Fry till you see oil oozing out.

Add black soy sauce and sugar, stir fry for a while then add in water to simmer.

Do not be deceived by its look, it taste really yummy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Matcha Chiffon with Chocolate Frosting

DH requested for a matcha (green tea) cake for his birthday but the kids wanted a chocolate cake.  So, I did a matcha chiffon cake with chocolate frosting and this was what I came up with.  I had originally wanted to do a chocolate ganache to cover the whole cake but I didn't prepare enough ganache and ended up with just a simple heart-shape ganache in the centre.

After so many frosting attempts, my frosting skills didn't seem to improve.  I had wanted to do a comb-effect to cover up the flaws but I couldn't find my comb scaper :-(

I used a heart-shape cookie cutter and placed it in the middle of the cake, then poured in chocolate ganache and sent it to the fridge.  When I tried to remove the cutter, the edges of the chocolate got disfigured and I had to cover up the mess with cream collon.  DD1 commented the cake looks better without cream colon and there's no reason to disagree with her.

I used a 3 eggs recipe instead of 4 eggs (as it's way too much for our family) and reduced matcha significantly as my kids don't fancy matcha cakes.  They do eat but wouldn't go for second helping.

As the cake was shorter than the usual cake, it was difficult to slice and I couldn't get even layers.  I should have sliced it into 2 layers instead of 3.

I can never apportion my cream correctly.  I was worried I may not have enough cream to cover the whole cake so I used it sparingly and ended up with some extras.  The same goes to the chocolate ganache.  Trying not to waste the ingredients, I baked a swiss roll to finish up the whipped cream and chocolate gananche.  I should have sliced the cake immediately after rolling it up as the skin was still intact but after chilling it in the fridge, the skin got stucked onto the parchment paper.  Argh!!

We had our cake cutting over at my inlaws and the cake was instantly wiped out!  Each child had 2 slices and my niece went for a 3rd helping.  In fact, she was eyeing the last piece (her 4th slice) but was stopped by my sister-in-law.

Matcha Chiffon Cake

3 egg yolks
20g castor sugar
pinch of salt

30ml corn oil
75ml warm water
1.5 tsp matcha (green tea powder)

75g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

3 egg whites
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
20g castor sugar

  1. Cream ingredients (A) with hand whisk till sugar dissolved.
  2. Add in ingredients (B) in the respective order and mix well before adding the next item.
  3. Sieve in ingredients (C) and mix till no lumps.
  4. Beat egg whites with electric beater till frothy, sprinkle in the cream of tartar. Beat till white in colour and add in sugar by thirds. Egg white should be beaten till stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into a 8" round pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
  8. Bake at pre-heated oven of 170 deg.C for 10mins.
  9. Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for another 20 - 25 mins.
  10. Reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for a further 10 to 15mins to brown the surface.
  11. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.
  12. Layer into 3 layers and set aside for further use.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chinese Tea Eggs (茶叶蛋)

I love the aroma of 茶叶蛋, pronounced as Cha Ye Dan (茶葉蛋, Chinese Tea Eggs, Chinese Marbled Eggs, Tea Leaf Eggs) and whenever I walk past some Chinese Medical Halls selling them, I never fail to buy a few.  It never occur to me that I could have made some on my own until I saw it here, here and here.

Googled for more recipes and a blogger added chinese five-spice powder too.  And since I have some sitting in my pantry, I added them too.

The eggs were cooked and simmered for 2 hours and left overnight to steep.  However, I find the eggs lack flavour.  If I were to cook this again, I'll add more herbs and spices to make it more flavourful and probably cook it longer.

Chinese Tea Eggs
10 - 12 Eggs
140ml light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons black tea (or 2 tea bags)
1 cinnamon stick (桂皮)
2 star anise (八角)
3 cloves (丁香)
2 pcs of Chinese Angelica, (当归, optional)
2 strips dried tangerine or mandarin orange peel (optional)

  1. Gently place the eggs in a pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Rinse the eggs with cold water till they are cooled.
  3. Using the back of the teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell all over. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. Do this with a delicate hand to keep the shell intact.
  4. Return the eggs to the pot and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, cover with lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fishcake with Enoki Mushrooms in Tomato Sauce

This is a spin-off from Tracie's.

2 - 3 pcs fish cake
1 packet of Enoki Mushrooms, (cut off the bottom of the cluster and gently rinse them to remove any dirt)
2 onions, cut into big chucks
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 -  3 tablespoon tomato sauce
some water
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add in minced garlic and onions and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add in mushrooms, tomato sauce and water.
  4. Cook the mushrooms in the sauce for awhile before stirring in the cooked fish cake. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Papaya Milk Shake

What do you do with overripe papaya?

Simply add some papaya, milk and ice cubes into a blender.

No hard and fast rules, just add whatever amount you desire.

There you have it, homemade papaya milk shake :-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Banana Muffins II

I've got this recipe for the longest time but never get a chance to make it.  This recipe was originally shared by Wink in a forum and modified by Hugbear.

The texture is soft and DD3 can't wait to try it.

250g all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

110g butter
70g white sugar
70g brown sugar

2 eggs
3 - 4 medium size ripe banana, mashed
90ml milk

  1. In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside. 
  2. In a separate bowl, cream butter and both sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time and mix well.
  4. Stir in milk and mashed banana, mix well. 
  5. Fold in flour mixture into the liquid ingredients until combined, do not overmix. 
  6. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds of the way full. 
  7. Bake in a preheated 170 degrees C oven for 25min.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Water Chestnut Soup

Another cough remedy recipe I adapted from Irene's blog.  The soup is mildly sweet and the kids love it :-)

Water Chestnut Soup
500g pork ribs
2 - 2.5 litres water
10 - 12 water chestnuts (马蹄)
8 - 10 red dates (红枣)
1 big or 2 medium carrots
Salt to taste (optional)

  1. Brush water chestnuts to remove all soil.  Remove the skin/shell by cutting off the top and bottom, then cut around the sides to remove all the skin.  Soak in a bowl of water and set aside.
  2. Remove skin of carrots and cut into smaller pieces.
  3. Rinse red dates and soak in water for 5 - 10 mins or till soft.
  4. Blanch ribs/lean meat.
  5. Bring water to boil and add all ingredients in a pot. Using medium fire, bring water to boil again and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, reduce to small flame and simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Add salt to taste (optional) before serve.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fa Gao 发糕 Encore

This is my 4th attempt on 发糕 using fermented dough, the result just got worst. Sigh...  The criss-cross I've made prior to steaming just disappeared!

Texture is still soft and fluffy.

I didn't want to waste more time and effort making my 5th 发糕 using fermented dough so I made one with a really simple recipe from our local DJ, Fenying's blog.

I get slight cracks on top but still not ideal.

This is fellow blogger, Hugbear's 发糕, using Fenying's recipe too but look how beautifully they bloomed!  This is what I'm hoping to achieve.  I'm not going to give up, will keep on trying.  Ganbate!!

Happy 101 award

Thank you Wendy of Table for 2 for passing me this award.

I'm happy

  1. watching my children having a great time.
  2. when my children finish their meals fast (within 20 minutes).
  3. when my bakes turn out well.
  4. going dreaming of an overseas holiday.
  5. watching my children dance and sing.
  6. simply watching my dog.
  7. going on a date with my girlfriends.
  8. instant messaging with like-minded friends.
  9. when readers/bloggers try my recipes and give feedback in comments.