Monday, 28 May 2012

Minced Garlic Meat Rolls

After trying Din Tai Fung's delicious minced garlic meat rolls, I wanted to try making it too. Verdict for my dish is yummy but somehow still cannot be comparable to Din Tai Fung's standard. I wonder how did they slice the pork belly so thin that even shabu is unable to match. Three cheers to Din Tai Fung for their delicated commitment on this particular dish.

My version of minced garlic meat rolls:

8 slices of pork belly shabu (to yield 16 rolls)
2 garlic cloves (minced finely)
Asparagus (garnishing)
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp Dancing Chef suki sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp crispy prawn chilli

1) Slice the shabu into halves, seasoned with salt and pepper.
2) Cut cucumber to the height of the shabu, remove seeds and cut into small strips.
3) Wrap each cucumber strip with a slice of shabu and place on steaming plate together with asparagus (optional).
4) Steam until pork is cooked. Set aside.
5) Put minced garlic, suki sauce, mirin and crispy prawn chilli in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 20 seconds.
6) Dizzle the sauce on top of the meat rolls and serve.

The proportion of sweet suki chilli and spicy crispy prawn chilli can be adjusted according to your preference for spiciness. The above ingredient is for those who can't take chilli well, very mild spicy only.

Thursday, 24 May 2012


Hijiki is green to brown in colour when found in the wild. A fisherman and a professional diver harvest the hijiki with a sickle at the time of the low tide of the spring tide of May from March. After collection, the seaweed is boiled and dried to be sold in the form of dried hijiki. Dried processed hijiki turns black. To prepare dried hijiki for cooking, it is first soaked in water then cooked with ingredients like soy sauce and sugar to make a dish.

Hijiki is normally eaten with other foods such as vegetables or fish. It may be added to foods that have been steamed, boiled, marinated in soy sauce or fish sauce, cooked in oil, or added to soup. Hijiki seaweed may also be mixed in with rice for sushi, but is not used as a wrap to prepare sushi. Article source from wikipedia.

I love to eat this with rice or porridge, I call this my comfort side dish ;)

10g dried hijiki
1/2 carrot
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 cup of dashi stock
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 tbsp sugar

1) Soak dried hijiki for 20mins until swell up.
2) Rinse with running tap water for about 3 rounds.
3) Shred carrot into thin and short strips.
4) Heat a pan with sesame oil and add in the carrot and well-drained hijiki.
5) Add in dashi stock and seasoning until the level covers the hijiki and carrot and bring it to boil.
6) Simmer in low heat and stew for about 20-30mins or until hijiki turns soft.
7) Adjust the taste and add in more seasoning if need to before serve.

Recipe modified from

Monday, 21 May 2012

Steamed Century Egg Tofu

Any century egg lovers? An acquired taste ingredient but it definately goes well with pork congee, don't you agree? Here's another dish to whip up using this ingredient.

1/2 century egg (sliced into small cubes)
1 egg tofu
1/2 of a small dong fen vermicelli
1 stalk of spring onions
Crispy garlic (garnishing)
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chinese rice wine
2 tbsp water

1) Cut the egg tofu into 6 pieces and place on steaming plate.
2) Cut dong fen vermicelli into shorter length and soak in water for 5-10mins before use.
3) Place dong fen on top of toufu follow by century egg cubes.
4) Mix all the seasonings and pour into your steaming plate.
5) Steam for 5-7mins on medium fire.
6) Sprinkle with spring onions and crispy garlic before serving.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Double-boiled melon soup with seafood 老黄瓜海鲜盅

A) Melon bowl
1 old cucumber (choose a fatter one to make broader bowl)
Salt water

B) Chicken broth
2 chicken thigh bones (can replace with pork ribs)
Old cucumber chucks
Handful of dried scallops
5 red dates
1 honey date
4-5 cups water

C) Seafood
2 prawns (remove shell and devein, with tail on)
2 slices of salmon (or other fish)
2 crabstick
2 small asparagus

1) Cut the old cucumber into halve, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Slice off a part at the base to make the melon bowl stands. Measure the height of the 2 melon bowls to make sure they fit into your steamer. Slice off extra height and cut into chucks to make the broth.

2) Wrap the base of the melon bowls with aluminium foil in case it leaks and place on steamer. Fill the bowls with salt water to 3/4 full and steam for 15mins using low-med fire.

3) Combine all ingredients in B to make the chicken broth using a pot, I cook for about an hour. The water used is roughly doubled the amount needed for your melon bowls later.

4) When the broth is ready, remove all ingredients and set aside. Bring broth to boil, and add in ingredient C to cook. Off fire once cooked.

5) Throw away the salted water from the melon bowls and add chicken broth to 2/3 full, add in the seafood and steam using low fire for 15mins.

6) Add the dried scallops and a chuck or 2 of old cucumber if there's space to the melon bowl and serve.

You will notice there's practically no seasoning except for the salted water (thrown away after steaming), but the melon soup is very flavorful. The soup is more than what is required for the melon bowls.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cheesy Mayo Prawns in Cuppies

12 medium size prawns (deshell, devein)
Garlic powder, salt & pepper (seasoning)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
Dried mixed herbs
1 knob butter
Shredded cheese
6 springroll sheets
Butter to grease

1) Grease the muffin trays with butter and place the springroll sheets into the tray to form 6 cups.
2) Bake for about 10-15mins at 160-170 deg or until golden brown.
3) Season the prawns with garlic powder, salt & pepper.
4) Heat pan with butter, fry the prawns and mix in mayonnaise and dried mixed herbs.
5) Dish out and scoop 2 prawns into each baked cup, sprinkle shredded cheese and return the muffin trays of cuppies back to oven. Once cheese melted, serve

Mango Mousse Cake

I am so happy that this mousse cake turned out well, again had insomia for 1 night thinking of whether the cake will turn out successfully...hahaha.. Not bad, I had insomia for 3 nights when I baked the angry birds cake mainly thinking of the procedures to put up the whole project ideas. I baked this cake on Sat evening and cooled it, sliced it, applied syrup to prevent dryness and send to fridge to be continued the next morning. The next morning I woke up at 5am, those who know me will know how late I usually wake up on weekends. Started with the mousse and another 3 hours were spent before putting the cake into the fridge to set and wait for the final result. Luckily it was successful =D

Recipe References:
Molly Tay's mousse recipe, my MM mate (not available online yet)

Baby Shower Gift Again

This time is for baby girl so the theme is Pink & White, simply love these adorable cutters! Delicated to the number 6th kiddo in the family, Baby Angel!

To complete the look, I have managed to get some material for the gift packaging.
Very satisfied with the overall look of it.

To get started these are what we need, the so-called ingredient list in pictoral form:

1) Prepare a working area/mat/board to roll the fondant, dust the area and rolling pin with icing sugar.
2) Take out a piece of fondant, color it with coloring gel and dust with icing sugar to reduce wetness/stickiness.
3) Add coloring only a little at a time, use a toothpick to pick up color from the container. Knead the fondant until the color is well spread.
4) Roll the colored fondant flat & thin before placing cookie cutter (meant for fondant use) to cut out the shapes.
5) Place your ready shapes on a tray/container lined with baking paper dusted with icing sugar.
6) Air dry them so that they are not too soft, I normally use them the next day.
7) Prepare the "glue" using icing sugar and water until u achieve a gluey texture but easy to spread.
8) Glue the fondant shapes onto the cookies and you are ready to pack them.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Risotto alle Vongole

1 cup Aborio rice (unwashed, uncooked)
1 pack of white clams
1 king oyster mushrooms (sliced)
1/3 red onion (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup white cooking wine/ dry white wine
2.5-3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tbsp parsley (chopped)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 knob of butter
Dash of Pepper

Garnishes (optional)
Sliced red chilli
Black pepper
Mixed cheese (mozarella and cheddar)

2 adults

Kitchen Art ceramic 20cm pot

  1. Soak clams with salted water to spit out the sand and grit.
  2. Steam the clams with white cooking wine until the shells are opened. Remove shells from the clams and set aside.
  3. Use a fine siever to remove any sand from the white wine gravy, set aside.
  4. Make the chicken broth hot but not boiling to standby.
  5. Heat the pot with olive oil and butter, saute onions and garlic till soft. Add in mushrooms and stir fry for awhile.
  6. Add in the rice and white wine gravy, stir until the gravy evaporates.
  7. Lower the flame and slowly add in the chicken broth, one cup at a time and stir.
  8. Cover the pot and let it simmer, give a few stirs occassionally and when the water level runs low add in the next cup of broth. Repeat until the rice reaches al dente stage.
  9. If the broth runs out before the rice is ready, just add in some hot water to continue cooking.
  10. Add in chopped parsley and pepper, give a few stirs and serve with the garnishes.
Aborio rice is Italian short-grain rice.When cooked the rounded grains are firm, chewy and give a creamy consistency due to its higher starch content. Do not rinse to retain the starch.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Water chestnut osmanthus cake

115g chestnut powder
250ml water

500ml water
120g sugar
1 tbsp osmanthus
2 water chestnuts (finely chopped)

1. Mix ingredients A together until no lumps, set aside. Sieve will be helping to obtain a smooth paste.
2. From ingredient B, bring 500ml water to boil and dissolve sugar. Off flame and add in the osmanthus to infuse for 2 mins. Add in the water chestnuts.
3. Slowly pour A into B and stir as you pour until you achieve a smooth paste.
4. Pour the paste into a lightly greased 7 inch tray.
5. Steam 10 mins over high flame and another 10 mins over medium flame.
6. Cool down totally before slicing.
7. Serve chilled.

Thai Basil Prawns

Thai basil gives a very strong aroma and can really enhance the taste of a dish. One of the popular dishes in Thai cusine is Chicken Basil or Gai Pad Gapow whereby minced chicken is used. For a change, I have substituted chicken with prawns. And since I can't really eat spicy food, I have also replaced the commonly used chilli padi to chilli.

10 medium prawns (de-shell but leave tails intact, devein)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/3 red onion (minced, optional)
3/4 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sweet black soy sauce
1 chilli (sliced)
1 bunch of Thai basil leaves

  1. Sautee onions and garlic till fragant.
  2. Add in prawns and stir fry till 75% cooked.
  3. Add in the seasonings and follow by chilli.
  4. Once prawns are cooked, throw in the basil leaves and give a few quick stirs until the basil aroma is noticed.
Recipe modified from

烘烤纸包鸡 Baked Paper Wrapped Chicken

A healthier version of paper wrapped chicken via baking instead of deep frying.

Applicance Used
HappyCall Pan

2 deboned thigh meat (make 8 parcels)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp rice wine
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2tbsp grated ginger
Dash of pepper
Shallot oil (or normal cooking oil)
Parchment paper cut into 8 pieces (approx 15cm by 15cm size, sightly bigger/smaller is fine)

1) Cut 1 thigh meat into 4 chunks, so 2 will yield 8 chunks
2) Marinate for at least 2 hrs
3) Prepare 8 papers and grease one side with shallot oil
4) Place one chicken chunk at the corner of the paper, I added a bit of fried shallots from the shallot oil. You may omit the fried shallots if you are using normal oil. Fold the paper into a parcel firmly.
5) Grease hcp and place all 8 parcels into the pan. Using medium fire, cook each side for about 7 mins.

The beauty of using paper to wrap up the chicken meat will lock the juice within the chicken and paper. After unwrapping, you will get to sample juicy and tender chicken meat.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Heavenly Portobello Mushrooms

Do you prefer your mushrooms to be juicy and cheesy or absolutely crispy? Portobello mushrooms taste heavenly no matter which method you are using. I have even tried BBQ-ing them and still they taste great. Here are two recipes for you to enjoy your portobello mushrooms.

Beer Battered Portobello

6-8 small-medium size portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 plate of cornflour
1 plate of breadcrumbs
1 spoonful of mayonnaise sauce
Sprinkles of mixed dried herbs

  1. Mix first 3 ingredients together until no lump seen.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms and rinse gently, pat dry.
  3. Dip mushrooms into batter.
  4. Coat with cornflour.
  5. Dip into batter again.
  6. Coat with breadcrumbs.
  7. Deep fry till golden brown and place on kitchen towel to absorb the oil.
  8. Serve with mayonnaise sauce and sprinkle some mixed dried herbs.
Recipe modified from Eda's, my MM cooking mate.

Super Juicy Portobello Melt
This is definately a quick fix which you can whip it up in 15mins.

6-8 small-medium size portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp mayonnaise sauce
Mixed dried herbs
1 slice of kraft cheese

  1. Preheat oven at 170-180 deg C.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms and rinse gently.
  3. Mix mayonnaise with dried mixed herbs and spread on the mushrooms.
  4. Bake for about 10mins or until mushrooms are cooked.
  5. Remove from oven, divide the slice of cheese into small pieces and place them on top of the mushrooms.
  6. Return mushrooms to oven and bake till cheese melted, it takes less than 2-3 mins to melt.
  7. Remove from oven and serve with some extra sprinkles of mixed dried herbs. Be very gentle with the mushrooms as now they are filled with juice to the brim.
  1. For easy cleaning, line your baking tray with aluminium foil. After baking, simply discard the foil and rinse your tray.
  2. Instead of kraft sliced cheese, you can also use mozzarella cheese. I use kaft because I only have that in my fridge ;)

Rockmelon Sago in a Boat

Roll roll roll your boat...

1/2 rockmelon
1/3 cup sago
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
60ml coconut cream (I used Kara brand)
1/2 tsp salt
Some atap seeds

 1) Boil 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water till sugar dissolves, set aside.
2) Boil sago in water using medium to high heat for 6-8mins until most sago turn translucent. Off fire and keep pot covered for 5 mins. Do not over cook the sago or the whole pot will become gluey mess.
3) Sieve the sago and rinse with cold/tap water.
4) Using a melon scooper to scoop out the rock melon in round balls or simply using a small spoon to scoop into semicircle shape. Using knife to cut into cubes also can.
5) After you have scoop out most of the flesh, use a spoon to dig out the balance of the flesh and use a masher to make puree. Do not dig too deep, we do not want the green skin portion.
6) Now your boat is almost ready, shave off a bit of the outer skin with knife for it to stand properly.
7) Pour puree, melon balls, sago, coconut cream, syrup and salt into a bowl and mix well. I used about half of the syrup I mixed, you can use more to your desired sweetness.
8) Chill for at least 1 hour.
9) Serve the dessert in the boat prepared earlier and top with atap seeds. You could also add ice cubes/ shaved ice.

You could add more coconut cream to this recipe so that more pax can share but the boat (1/2 rockmelon) can only take in about 60ml.

Pumpkin prawn 金瓜奶油虾

I tried this dish at a zhi-char stall and it was delicious but unfortunately the stall has moved. To curb my craving, I tried to cook this and it turned out pretty close to the taste I want :)

8-10 medium size prawns
1/4 pumpkin
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
handful of curry leaves
1 red chilli (cut into slices)
1 tsp of salt

1) Remove heads from prawns, use scissors to slit open the shell and flesh like how you did for butterfly prawns and devein.
2) Cut pumpkin into small cubes and steam until soft
3) Mash the pumpkin using masher and set aside
4) Heat up pan and melt the butter
5) Stir fry prawns with garlic powder and add 2tbsp of pumpkin mesh before prawns are fully cooked
6) Stir in evaporated milk and mix well
7) Throw in curry leaves, chilli and salt. Stir fry awhile and serve

I used only 1/2 of the pumpkin mesh, balance mesh I freeze for future use.
You can add more or less of evaporated milk depends on how concentrated you want the gravy to be. Pretty flexible here.

Who says gingerbread man must be bald?

Appetizer for X'mas party

Give them some hopes please, shredded cucumber is all it takes to make them look hairy ;)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Congratulations to the arrival of Baby Glen

I went through a lot for this project and so far the most painstaking one. I planned this probably a month ahead and started with purchasing cookie cutters from ebay. Well, one month the cutters should arrive by then but it didn't. It was lost :(

Sometimes things don't always turn out to be how you planned. A week before the baby shower, I sourced for another seller and and managed to get the cutters I want. heng ah!

With a butter cookie recipe, suitable cookie cutters, ready-made fondant, coloring gel, gift accessories I embarked on the project one day before the event. During the process of making the cookie dough, I realised my wooden rolling pin have molds. Arrggghhh just not my day, discarded the rolling pin and here's come my powerful and muscular arms. I manually rolled the dough and this dough was tough. Gosh it took me forever to roll the dough and cut their into desired shapes. My arms especially right hand started to shout for help but I couldn't stop. Finally I finished trays of cookies and they turned out very cute, don't you agree?

What did I say about things don't always turn out as what you planned? I put in the wrong amount of butter and the cookies were hard as rocks! No joke, I dropped one on the floor and it didn't break. Wow, it was shock-proof! How I wish these are my handphones, super robustic. Sigh, project failed. I was very upset looking at 70 cute and strong cookies, and at the same time my right arm was hurting me. I pasted ache-relief plasters on my arm and rested.

Did I mention that when you are down on your luck, everything just doesn't go your way? What could be worst than a painful arm right? Let me tell you, both arms! Soon the left arm also start to hurt and so painful that I couldn't move for the entire evening. I had no choice but to pop painkiller and go for an early night rest.

The next day.... I woke up feeling much better, although arms were still aching but at least I could move. The day before was really a nightmare, thought I might need to visit a doctor if the pain persisted. I walked into the kitchen and saw that 70 cookies again. Sigh, still hard as rocks! Stubborn rocks! Suddenly, a bulb appeared! A bright idea came from joking hubby "Just buy ready-made cookies loh...hehehe". YES! I have a box of cookies and I still have some time. Without delay I rolled out the fondant, colored them and cut into the patterns that I wanted. Needed some time to air dry them before sticking them to the cookies and wrap it up as gift. Weren't my arms still hurt, yes they were but I was glad that my project didn't fail entirely. At least I still manage to come up with a substitution and I love how the gift turned out to be.

My painstaking project ;)
The end!

Spinach in pumpkin sauce

It's a bird!
No, it's an egg!
No, it's a NEST!

Another day where I put on my creative hat, I love how it looks like a nest of eggs. I made used of a pack of frozen pumpkin puree which I did it previously for pumpkin prawns.

A pack of spinach
A slice of pumpkin (about 1/8 size of whole pumpkin)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
7 quail eggs
4 tbsp evaporated milk
Dash of salt
Cut chilli (ganishing - optional)

  1. Boil quail eggs and de-shell when cooled, set aside.
  2. Poach spinach in boiling water, drain the water and set aside the vegetables.
  3. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and steam. Once the cubes turn soft, remove from steamer and mash into puree form.
  4. Heat the pan and sautee the minced garlic till fragant.
  5. Pour in pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, dash of salt and stir for awhile.
  6. Dish out and arrange according to your preference.
Spinach when cooked will turn the water into greenish colour, for some dishes I will retain the water as gravy. But for this dish the gravy is pumpkin puree hence I omitted the water from the spinach.

Matcha Red Bean Muah Chee

This idea striked me on Saturday morning, a new flavour for muah chee using ingredients that I already have in my kitchen. My mind got busy after that to think through the process of making it works after I have decided on the flavour.

Here it is, my new flavour:

1 cup glutinous rice flour
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp baking green tea powder
About 3-4 tbsp red bean paste
1 tsp shallot oil
Peanut powder (with sugar) for coating

Appliance used
Happycall pan (hcp)

  1. Mix the first 3 ingredients in a cup or bowl until no lump.
  2. Roll the red bean paste into a long dough using cling wrap as long as the length of hcp, set aside. You could adjust the paste quantity according to your preference, but I would recommend a thin dough.
  3. Heat up hcp with shallot oil, slowly pour the batter and make sure it covers the entire pan.
  4. Once the batter sets from the sides, place the red bean paste on top of the batter and use tongs to start wrapping the paste.
  5. Once the batter is cooked, remove from hcp and coat with peanut powder.
  6. Cut the coated muah chee into small pieces and serve.
Pictures speak a thousand words, here are the photos taken during the cooking process:

Where to purchase the ingredients?
Red bean paste - I got mine from Phoon Huat at $7.50 for one kg. Too big a pack? Alternatively you could try Daiso for it's 200g pack.
Baking green tea powder - From Phoon Huat too, comes in a bottle.
Peanut powder - This is from supermarket, there are few brands to select from. Mine is Camel brand and it comes with sugar.