Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ginger-Wine Chicken (姜酒雞)

[Serves 1]


1 (210g) chicken thigh , cut into bite size
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp light soy sauce
dash of pepper
100g young ginger, finely shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
3g wood ear fungus, re-hydrated
8g dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and sliced
1/2 tbsp goji berries, washed and drained
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp wine (Stone's ginger wine or cognac)

  • Marinate chicken pieces with cornstarch, light soy sauce and pepper.  Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan boil soaked wood ear fungus for about 10 minutes. Wash and drain, then cut into strips.

  • Heat sesame oil in a wok and stir fry ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add in marinated chicken and fry over medium high fire until chicken has browned slightly.  Toss in mushroom and wood ear fungus.  Fry for about 1 - 2 minute.

  • Add in water and bring to the boil.  Put in goji berries, covered; then simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  • Pour in ginger wine/cognac.  Allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

I prefer cognac as I find Stone's wine too sweet to my liking

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Purple Sweet Potato Ondeh-Ondeh


Recipe adapted from Joceline's Ondeh-Ondeh


100g purple sweet potato mash
150g glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tbsp oil
110g water

80g grated pure coconut sugar/gula melaka or palm sugar

Coconut coating:
100g grated coconut
pinch of salt

  • To make the dough, combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead into a wet dough.  
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil.  Pinch a small piece of the dough (about 20g) and drop into the boiling water.  Cook until it floats to the surface, scoop it out and knead the cooked dough into the wet dough until a smooth dough is formed. Add extra glutinuous rice flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover dough with clingwrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the grated coconut with salt and steam for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Divide the dough into portions of 15g each.  
  • Flatten the dough and fill with grated coconut sugar.  Seal the edges and roll into a ball.
  • Cook the filled dough in a pot of boiling water, once it floats to the surface, let it cook for a further 3 - 5 minutes to ensure that the sugar is melted.  
  • Remove the balls with slotted spatula and drain.  Roll in the steamed grated coconut to coat evenly.
  • Serve.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lamb and Vegetables Soup

Macaroni in Lamb and Vegetables Soup

There is nothing better than having a steaming hot bowl of homemade wholesome soup on a cold day, it warms you from the inside out! Throw in some cooked macaroni and it makes a perfect meal and it's an easy lunch or dinner to put together.


1 kg lamb forequarter chops, trim all excess fat
2 big brown onion, cubed
6 tomatoes, halved
3 large carrots, cubed
3 large potatoes, cubed
3 stalks celery, cut to chunks
a thumb-size piece of ginger, smashed
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
4.5 litre water
salt & pepper, to taste
coriander leaves, to garnish

  • Blanch lamb chops in boiling water for about 5 minutes, drained and rinsed with cold water.  Set aside.
  • Fill a large soup pot with water and bring to the boil.  Add in blanched lamb chops and all the ingredients (except salt & pepper) and bring back to the boil.  Simmer for 2 - 3 hours under low fire until meat is tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves before serving.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Purple Sweet Potato Xi Ban (紫薯喜粄)

 Xi Ban (喜粄)

Xi Ban (喜粄)

Recipe adapted from Bakericious


250g plain flour
250g glutinuous rice flour
130g caster sugar
150g purple sweet potato, mashed
6g instant yeast
200g 7-Up
110g water
30g oil

  • Dissolve yeast in 50g of  7-Up, mix well.
  • Combine flours, sugar, sweet potato mash and yeast mixture together in a mixing bowl.  Gradually knead in balance of 7-Up and water.  Knead until dough is smooth.
  • Then add in oil a little at a time, knead well.  
  • Cover dough and leave to proof until double in size.
  • Divide dough into 50g portions and shape into round balls.  Place balls onto square of baking paper.  Using your palm (which has been greased with some cooking oil), flatten the balls slightly.  Cover and proof again until they are almost double in size.
  • Steam over medium-high heat for 13 minutes.  Turn off fire and leave the xi ban in the steamer, with a little gap opened for about 3 minutes, then remove xi ban from steamer.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Grinding Your Own Pepper

Ground White Pepper
White Peppercorn
Ground White Pepper
Ground White Pepper
Ground White Pepper

The one spice that I must have in my pantry at all times is pepper, be it white or black.  I just love the aroma of ground pepper - but not the ground pepper sold in the supermarkets because they lack of taste and flavour!  For maximum flavour and freshness, I buy whole peppercorns and grind them myself.  It is easy to make your own ground pepper at home and it also allows you to skip undesirable additives that had been added to the pre-ground store-bought pepper.

Before grinding, rinse the peppercorns and drained thoroughly before toasting them lightly in a dry frying pan.  Toasting the peppercorns will heighten their flavour even further. Allow them to cool before putting them into a coffee or spice grinder (my coffee/spice grinder is dedicated solely to grinding pepper and other spices). Then sift the ground pepper through a fine mesh strainer to remove any coarser bits (which can be used to marinate meat or fish). Store the freshly ground pepper in an airtight container. Bear in mind that ground pepper only keeps its kick for about 3 months.  

How to clean the coffee/spice grinder:  Since the coffee/spice grinder cannot be washed, I whizzed a handful of uncooked rice in the grinder; then use a brush to clean out all the rice flour. Wipe with a slightly damp cloth before leaving it to air-dry.

Time to go pick up some peppercorns and take out your grinder?  Let me assure you that it's worth your while when you smell the robust aroma of the freshly ground pepper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thai Yellow Curry Roast Chicken

If you like the aromatic flavours of Thai cuisine, you would love this dish which was inspired by Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella's tempting Thai Red Curry Roast Chicken.  You can use store-bought paste if you wish but I prefer to make my own with fresh ingredients.  This dish is quite mild but you can ramp up the spiciness to suit your own taste.  The thing about curry paste is, if you change the ingredients you will get a different flavour and colour.  The lack of dried chillies in the paste would not give you red curry paste. And increasing the portion of turmeric will give you yellow curry paste. This is my version of yellow curry paste.


2 kg chicken drumsticks
10 cherry tomatoes (optional)
coriander leaves for garnishing

Curry paste:
30g fresh coriander roots
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
35g galangal, sliced
20g turmeric, sliced
100g onions, sliced
20g garlic
5 bird's eye chillies
3 - 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
30g roasted peanuts
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
zest of 1 lime
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
200g coconut milk
1 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste

  • Scrape the fibrous outer layer from the coriander roots, then soak them in water to remove grit.  Drain and chop finely.  
  • In a mortar and pestle, pound coriander roots, lemon grass, galangal, tumeric, onion, garlic, chillies, kaffir lime leaves, roasted peanuts and palm sugar into a fine paste.   
  • Transfer paste into a large mixing bowl.  Add in lime juie, fish sauce, coconut milk, oil and salt; mix well.
  • Wash chicken drumsticks and pat dry with kitchen towels.  Score underneath the skin by making two slits on the meat with a sharp knife.
  • Coat the chicken drumsticks with the pounded paste and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Arrange chicken drumsticks in a baking tray and pour all the marinade over the chicken.  Scatter cherry tomatoes over the chicken.  
  • Roast in a preheated oven at 220 deg C for about 45 minutes, basting halfway through with the paste.
  • Sprinkle coriander leaves over the chicken.


This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (April 2015 Event:  Chicken) organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fig, Almond & Lime Cake


125g unsalted butter, softened
80g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
80g chopped dried figs
120g sour cream
45g lime juice
220g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
90g almond meal
almond flakes, for topping

  • Line a 12.5 x 22.5 cm loaf pan.  Preheat oven to 170 deg C.
  • Combine sour cream and lime juice together; set aside.
  • Sift plain flour and baking powder together.  Then add in almond meal, mix to combine.  Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, salt and lime zest until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beat until well combined after each addition.  Add in vanilla extract.  
  • With the mixer on low speed, add in figs.  Mix to combine.
  • Then add in the flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately; beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake is cooked.
  • Stand for 5 minutes before turning cake onto a wire rack to cool.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Coconut-Cranberry Scrolls

Coconut-Cranberry Buns

Coconut-Cranberry Buns

After making the batch of super soft choc-chip hot cross buns using Victoria's recipe, I decided to make this Coconut-Cranberry Scrolls which was absolutely delicious, they are soft and buttery.  I know you won't say no to it ...

Ingredients:  [Makes 16 scrolls]

Started dough (prepare this the day before):
60g bread flour
5g caster sugar
42g hot water
24g butter

  • Place butter and hot water into a small saucepan and stir over low fire until butter has melted.  Turn off the fire.
  • Mix in flour and sugar and stir to form a soft dough.
  • Transfer dough into a container and keep it covered.  Chill in the refrigerator for 18 - 24 hours.

Main dough:
400g bread flour
100g plain flour
70g caster sugar
8g salt
8g instant dry yeast
60g egg, lightly beaten
50g thickened cream
250g fresh milk
125g starter dough
50g butter, softened

  • In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all ingredients together, except butter.
  • Knead until well combined and a soft dough is formed.  Add in butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and passed the window-pane test.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover with cling wrap.  Allow to proof until double in size.
  • Punch down the dough and divide  into 2 portions.  Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Take a portion of the dough and roll into a rectangular.  Spread coconut filling over the dough and sprinkle cranberries over it.  Roll up the dough into a log and cut into 8 pieces.  Repeat with the other piece of dough. 
  • Arrange the scrolls, slightly apart on a line baking tin.  Cover with cling wrap and leave them to rise until nearly double in size.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 180 deg C for about 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Brush the top of the scrolls with melted butter.

Coconut Filling:  (Mix everything together except the cranberries)
75g desiccated coconut
60g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
30g almond meal
75g butter, softened
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Seeded Bread


This recipe is based on Alex Goh's (Magic Bread) method of using both overnight sponge dough as well as gelatinised dough.  Both have to be prepared the night before as they need to be refrigerated for at least 12 hours before they are kneaded into the rest of the ingredients for the main dough.

This seeded loaf is loaded with nutritious and scrumptious ingredients such as wholemeal flour and four types of seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds) that give a tasty crunch.  It makes a great toast  too.


(A)  Gelatinised/Scalded Dough:
80g wholemeal bread flour
75g boiling water

(B)  Sponge Dough:
100g wholemeal bread flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
75g water

(C)  Main Dough:
350g white bread flour
30g chia seeds
20g black sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
10g white sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
30g pumpkin seeds
30g sunflower seeds
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
20g honey
20g condensed milk
35g egg white
165g cold milk
30g Rice Bran oil

Egg wash & topping
beaten egg whites
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp black & white sesame seeds
2 tbsp poppy seeds

  • (A)  Add boiling water into flour and mix until well blended to form a dough. Cover and set aside to cool.  Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  • (B)  Mix yeast and water together.  Add in flour and mix to form a dough. Let it proof for 30 minutes; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all ingredients in (C) except oil together.  Then add in (A) and (B); knead until well combined.  Gradually add in oil.  Continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic and passed the window pane test.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingwrap.  Place it in a warm place to allow the dough to rise until doubled.
  • Once the dough has doubled, knock back the dough by gently kneading a few times.  Remember, you only want to knock out any large air bubbles; so too much handling at this stage will make the dough lose its lightness. Divide dough  into two equal portions.  Shape into balls, cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  • Flatten the dough into rectangle.  Fold both shorter ends into the centre and make a quarter turn, then flatten again into a rectangle. Starting from the short end, roll up tightly.   
  • Combine all the extra seeds (for topping) on a plate and roll the doughs in them.  
  • Place the two rolls into a greased loaf tin.  Using a sharp knife make a few diagonal slashes on the loaf, deep enough to open up slightly.  Cover and let it proof again until almost double.
  • Brush the dough with egg whites and sprinkle liberally to coat surface with mixed seeds.  
  • Bake loaf in a preheated oven of 180 deg C for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.  
  • Remove bread from the pan immediately to cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Nectarine Cake

My family only likes very firm and hard nectarines, so when I discovered that the nectarines sitting in my fridge were getting soft, I had to find other ways to enjoy these sweet and juicy nectarines. Thankfully I stumbled upon this recipe by Jillian Leiboff.  This is a truly delicious cake which everyone gave thumbs up after having a slice.  I've baked this cake three times in the last week and they are all gone!  


1 big nectarine
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
125g butter, softened
90g caster sugar
zest of 2 limes
2 eggs
116g self-raising flour, sifted
30g almond meal
50g lime juice
almond flakes

  • Preheat oven to 170 deg C.  Grease and line the base of an 18cm springform pan.
  • Cut nectarine into half, remove stone and cut into 10mm thick slices.  Place nectarine slices in a bowl and sprinkle sugar over.  Set aside.
  • Combine flour and almond meal together in a bowl.  Set aside.
  • Cream butter, sugar and lime zest until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time.  
  • Fold in flour mixture and lime juice.  Mix well.
  • Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Place a few slices of nectarine over the batter.  Top with the rest of the batter.  
  • Arrange nectarine slices on top of the batter and scatter some almond flakes over.  
  • Bake for about 1 hour or until cooked (I baked mine for 1 hour 15 minutes). Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Purple Tortoise Kuih / Purple Sweet Potato Ang Ku Kuih

Before steaming

Ang Ku Kuih literally means Red Tortoise Kuih/Cake.  What do you call the purple tortoise cake?  

[Makes 27 mini angku kuih]


90g split yellow mung beans, washed and drained
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
2 pandan leaves

  • Steam mung beans with pandan leaves over high fire for about 20 minutes or until soft.
  • Immediately place the cooked mung beans into a food processor together with sugar and oil.  Blitz until fine.
  • Press the mashed mung beans through a sieve to get a smoother texture (however, you can omit this step if you wish).  Set aside to cool.
  • When filling is cool enough to handle, roll into balls of 9g each.  (Adjust weight to suit the size of your mould).


150g purple sweet potato
120g glutinous rice flour
1/2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1.5 tbsp oil
40g hot water, or adjust accordingly

  • Steam sweet potatoes until soft and press through a sieve. 
  • In a mixing bowl, combined mashed sweet potatoes, glutinous rice flour, rice flour, sugar and oil.  Gradually add in hot water and knead into a soft dough.  Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into balls of 14g each.  Cover.

To shape Ang Ku Kuih:
  • Dust the mould with glutinous rice flour and knock out excess flour.
  • Flatten a ball of dough and place filling in the middle and seal the dough. Roll gently into a round ball and place into the mould. Press gently to flatten.  Then knock out the kuih from the mould and place on a square of bamboo leaf (since I don't have banana leaf).
  • Steam kuih over medium-low fire for 5 minutes.
  • Remove kuih from steamer and lightly brush oil over.  

I'm submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone March 2015 Event Theme: My Favourite Traditional Kueh organized by 
Fion of  XuanHom’s Mom and 

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