Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)

One of my favourite comfort food for winter is this rich and hearty beef stew.  There is nothing more pleasing than to tuck into this tasty and flavoursome stew to keep you warm during the cold winter. 

The secret to the 'melt-in-your mouth' tender beef is in using the right cut of meat. This is my version of  the French classic Boeuf Bourguignon / Beef Burgundy / Beef Stew ...


600g chuck steak, cut into chunks
100g bacon, diced
2 medium brown onions, diced
350g portobello mushrooms, quartered
3 medium carrots, cut diagonally
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 can diced tomato (400g)
3 bay leaves
zest of 1 orange
2 cups red wine (Merlot)
2 cups beef stock
basil leaves
2 tsp cornflour + 2 tbsp water
freshly ground black pepper
about 1 tbsp butter (enough to cook the mushrooms)

  • In a large frying pan, sear meat until browned on all sides.  Transfer meat into a heavy based saucepan. 
  • In the same frying pan, caramelise onions, carrots and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add in bacon and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until bacon is brown. Transfer into the pot together with the meat.   Then add in bay leaves and the red wine. Bring to the boil.  Pour in the can of diced tomato.  Cover and turn down the heat.  Let simmer for at least 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms in the butter until soft and add to the stew after one hour of cooking. 
  • Stir in cornflour mixture to thicken the stew. 
  • Sprinkle chopped basil leaves before serving.

*  Serve with crusty bread or mashed potatoes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crispy Stuffed Tofu Puffs

This crispy and delicious dish makes an excellent appetizer or finger food during parties. I came across this recipe in one of the food blogs.  You can use your favourite stuffing like fish paste, minced pork, minced prawns or a mixture of seafood; the list goes on ....  


300g prawns, shelled, deveined
1 tsp cornstarch
1 egg white, beaten
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp finely chopped chinese parsley or coriander
salt &  pepper to taste

tofu puffs (blanched with boiling water to get rid of the oil) 

  • To prepare filling:  minced prawns and combined with all the ingredients.  
  • Squeeze the tofu puffs dry and make a slit in each of the puff.  Turn the puff inside out to make a small cavity.  Stuff the puffs with the prawn paste.  
  • Deep fry under medium heat until golden brown and crispy. Drain well.
  • Serve with chilli  sauce or mayonnaise or your favourite dipping sauce. 

Crispy Stuffed Tofu Puffs on Foodista

Monday, July 18, 2011

Carrot Cake


250g carrot (2 medium size) - grated coarsely
1 large Granny Smith apple (about 170g) - grated coarsely
200g caster sugar
3 eggs 
¾  cup oil
150ml milk
260g plain flour 
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
½ cup dessicated coconut
50g toasted brazil nuts (or walnuts) - chopped coarsely
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice 

  • Whisk eggs and sugar until creamy (takes about 5 mins).
  • Whisk in oil  and vanilla extract until blended.  Then add in milk.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mixed spice into the egg mixture and  whisk until well combined.
  • Fold in grated carrots and apple together with lemon juice,  nuts and dessicated coconut.
  • Pour into a loaf pan or muffin pan and bake until golden brown or cooked.


150g cream cheese
60g butter
5 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon

  • Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  
  • Gradually add in icing sugar and then lemon juice. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Walnut & Black Sesame Chiffon Cake



6 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar


6 egg whites
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

6 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
160ml milk
100g walnut & black sesame powder
pinch of salt
135g self-raising flour

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  • Stir walnut & black sesame powder into the milk until combined.
  • (A):  Beat egg yolks for 1 minute.   Gradually add sugar and cream of tartar and beat for about 5 minutes.  Then beat in vanilla extract and oil.  Then add  in walnut & black sesame mixture.  Beat until well combined. 
  • Sift flour and salt into  a mixing bowl.  Gradually whisk in the egg mixture in a slow and steady stream.
  • (B):  In another bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.  This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour/egg yolk mixture.  Fold until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased tube cake pan and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes.
  • Once the cake is out from the oven, invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Do not remove the cake until it is completely cooled. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Poppy Seed Cake

One day, my dear friend Mee Lan wrote and asked me "Can tumpang a place in Minty's Kitchen? I can refer to it without taking out my trusty old recipe book then".  

I am very glad indeed to do that;  so here it is - Mee Lan's favourite poppy seed cake's recipe:


1/3 cup poppy seeds ( soak in 3/4 cup milk for an hour)
185 g butter
vanilla essence
3 eggs
1 cup sugar (reduced to 200g)
2 cups self-raising flour  (310g)

Beat in medium speed for 3 mins. Fold in self raising flour.

Bake in 180 for 1 hour.

Keeping time :- 2 days.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Siamese Laksa

(Serves 4)


200g Angel Hair Spaghetti - cooked until al dente
1 litre water
400ml coconut cream
1 can (425g) sardine - mashed  (or fresh fish - steamed and flaked)
80g preserved chopped radish ('choy poh')
1½ tbsp tamarind paste
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste 

Pounded Ingredients: 
10 dried chillies, soaked to softened
100g shallots
18g garlic
7g tumeric
18g galangal
2 stalk lemongrass
15g candlenut
1 bunga kantan (Torch Ginger Bud)
3 kaffir lime leaves

1 cucumber, julienned
100g mint leaves
100g bean sprouts, blanched
1 small onion, sliced thinly
bunga kantan, sliced finely

  • Heat oil in a saucepan and fry pounded ingredients until fragrant.
  • Add in water, preserved radish and tamarind paste.  Add in coconut cream and bring to the boil.  Add in sardine and kaffir lime leaves.
  • Season with fish sauce, salt and sugar.
  • To serve, put spaghetti in serving bowls and garnish with blanched beansprouts, cucumber, onions, finely sliced bunga kantan and mint leaves.  Pour hot laksa soup over.  

Siamese Laksa on Foodista

Friday, July 8, 2011

Steamed Minced Pork With Dried Squid

A humble home-cooked dish ...


230g minced pork
1 dried squid (about 30g), washed and soaked until softened and cut finely
1 tbsp cornflour
1½ tbsp light soy sauce
¼ tsp sesame oil
¾ tsp sugar
½ tsp cooking wine (optional)
4 tbsp water

  • Combine everything in a heat-proof plate and steam over high heat for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
  • Served hot with rice.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

French Crepe

Recipe from  MasterChef.

These thin and delicate crepes can be served with a variety of fillings  - sweet or savoury.  I  had tweaked this  recipe a little to suit my taste ...

   As the afternoon was warm, the ice-cream was melting while I was taking  pictures ....   Sad smile
... instead of an orange sauce  I made a raspberry sauce to go with the vanilla ice-cream. 


150g plain flour
2 eggs
310 ml milk
25g butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
olive oil for cooking

  • Sift flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add eggs.  Whisk, starting in the centre and drawing in the flour. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking until batter is the consistency of thick cream.
  • Melt the butter until foamy and a little nutty then pour into the batter with a pinch of salt.
  • Heat a crepe pan (or frying pan) over medium heat, add a little oil to coat the base then ladle in crepe mixture, turning to coat the base completely. Cook 1-2 minutes until light golden.  Flip over and cook for 10-15 seconds. Remove to plate and keep warm. Repeat using the remaining crepe batter.

Note:  Leftover crepes can be frozen. Just layer some waxed or baking  paper between each crepe, then put in a zip-loc bag and freeze. 

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Bubur Cha-Cha


    150g yam
    150g purple sweet potato
    150g orange sweet potato
    40g sago
    400ml coconut milk
    1000ml water
    sugar to taste
    salt to taste
    pandan leaves

    • Peel and cut sweet potatoes and yam into cubes.  Steam separately until soft (about 5 - 7 minutes). 
    • Wash sago and rinse under cold water.  Cook until translucent and rinse under cold water again.  
    • Fill a saucepan with water and coconut milk.  Bring to the boil.  Add in pandan leaves and all the other ingredients.  Simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes.  Add sugar and salt.
    • Serve hot or cold as desire.

    Orange Marmalade

    Last week I bought 3kg of  Navel oranges from Coles which advertised  as SWEET & JUICY.  Much to my disappointment, they turned out to be so sour that no one in my family wanted anything to do with them. I was contemplating juicing them but then I would have to add a lot of sugar or honey to sweeten.  Finally, I decided to make marmalade instead - for the first time.  This is my version of Orange Marmalade -

    4 cups of chopped orange flesh (with the pith removed and guess what, not a seed to be found!)
    ¼ cup of orange peel - finely shredded  (I should have put in ½ cup)
    2 cups orange juice
    juice of 2 lemon
    3½ cups organic raw sugar

    • Put everything except the sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 1 - 1½ hour or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir occasionally.
    • Then add in sugar and stir until set *.
    • Pour hot marmalade into sterilised jars and close tightly. You will hear a popping sound as a vacuum seal is created.  

     * To test if the marmalade is set, put a  little onto a chilled saucer and let it cool in the freezer for a  little while. When you push it with a spoon or finger tip, it should 'wrinkle up' and feel firm.

      Monday, July 4, 2011

      Black Pepper Soy Sauce Chicken


      500g chicken thigh, cut into biteable size
      2 tbsp light soy sauce
      ½ tsp dark soy sauce
      ½ tbsp Mirin
      1 tsp sesame oil
      ¼ cup water
      a small knob ginger
      3 cloves garlic
      2 shallots
      ½ tsp sugar
      1 tbsp ground black pepper (adjust to your own taste)

      • Pound ginger, garlic and shallots together.
      • Marinate chicken pieces with light soy sauce, Mirin, sesame oil , black pepper and pounded ginger, garlic and shallots for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
      • Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken pieces until cooked.  Remove the chicken and add water, dark soy sauce and sugar into the pan and bring to the boil.  Return the chicken into the pan to coat evenly. 
      • Serve hot.

      Sunday, July 3, 2011

      Bittergourd & Salted Egg Omelette

      Inspired from here ....


      1 small bittergourd (about 250g) - cut into half and remove seeds
      3 chicken eggs
      1 salted duck egg
      1 small bird's eye chili, chopped finely
      2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

      • Place the salted egg in a small saucepan filled with water and cook for about  8 - 10 minutes.  When it is cooked, cut the egg into half and scoop out the egg yolk.  Mash the yolk and the white separately.  Set aside.
      • Sliced the bittergourd thinly at an angle.
      • Crack the 3 eggs into a large bowl and whisk lightly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then add in the mashed salted egg white.
      • Heat a little oil in a frying pan/wok, saute garlic until fragrant;  add in  mashed salted egg yolk and chili.  Fry until foamy.  Transfer to a plate.  
      • Add enough oil into the frying pan to stir fry the bittergourd until soft.  Transfer bittergourd into the egg mixture and stir to combine.
      • To make small omelette patties, place spoonfuls of bittergourd and egg mixture into a hot frying pan and sprinkle the salted egg yolk over the top of the omelette.  Cook until the base of the omelette is light golden.  Flip over and cook.   

      Bittergourd & Salted Egg Omelette on Foodista

      Saturday, July 2, 2011

      Shark's Fin Melon Soup (鱼翅瓜汤)

      Fancy having a bowl of steaming and flavoursome shark fin's (melon) soup without having to kill any sharks?   After an hour or so of slow cooking, the flesh of this melon will disintegrate into fine 'noodle-like' strands which resemble shark-fin. 



      3 litres water
      1.5 kg pork bones, blanched
      4 chicken carcasses, blanched
      1 knob of giner
      2 scallions

      • Fill a stock pot with 3 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Put in chicken carcasses and pork bones which have been blanched.  Add in ginger and scallions.
      • Bring it back to the boil and let simmer for about 2 hours or more.  
      • Strain stock.
      Note:  Stock can be stored in individual containers and freeze.  Convenient way for impromptu cooking - be it noodle soup or any other kind of soup.  

        Shark Fin's Melon Soup:

        1.5 lit stock
        about 170g shark fin's melon
        20g dried squid, washed and soaked
        15g goji berries (or wolfberries)
        20g dried shiitake mushroom, washed and soaked to soften
        25g dried honey dates (蜜枣) or red dates
        2-3 dried scallops, washed and soaked to soften
        2 small carrots, cut into chunks
        salt and pepper to taste

        • Cut melon into big chunks (without skin) and discard the seeds.
        • Bring the stock to the boil and put in all the ingredients.  
        • Simmer soup for about 60 - 90 mins.
        • Season with salt and pepper.
        • Serve hot.


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