Monday, December 23, 2013

Coffee Spare Pork Ribs


500 g spare ribs, chopped about 3 cm long

 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2  tsp sugar
1/2  tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 egg
1 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50 ml water

60 g ~80 g corn flour

2 tbsp maltose
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp instant coffee powder
50 ml water

1) Wash and dry ribs.  Combine spare pork ribs with marinade ingredients and mix well.  Marinate at least  for 3 hours.

2)  Mix and toss corn flour till ribs are well coated. Deep-fry over moderately hot oil till light brown. Dish up and drain. Reheat oil,  re-fry ribs till cooked and golden brown . Dish  and drain.

3)  Pour sauce into a clean wok and cook till thickened.  Add ribs. Toss till well coated. Serve.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

QQ Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Happy  DongZhi to all of you.

Tomorrow is Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or called  "DongZhi" (冬至)which symbolises reunion and a year older by eating the tang yuan.

The main ingredient for the tang yuan that you normally have is glutinous rice flour and water only, just combine and knead into a dough.  But this year I give it a change.  I add bean curd and fruit jam into glutinous rice flour .  Very curious and interested to know the result of the end products? So do I!.So I without any hesitation, gathered all the ingredients to start it off.

The texture of the tang yuan is very smooth and fine, and  bouncy. Nice, nice. I like.


You can make many colourful tan yuan from the natural colouring  of vegetable and fresh fruits. It is a good news for those people who do not like artificial colouring. The method is very easy, just combine the ingredients and knead into  a smooth and fine dough.  Divide into small portion, roll round, cook them in a pot of boiling water.  When they are afloat on the surface, dish up and serve with sweet soup or syrup water.

Strawberry tang yuan: 
 30 g glutinous rice flour
10 ~ 15 g bean curd ,( eg. unicurd brand)
20 g strawberry jam

Mango tang yuan:
30 g glutinous rice flour
10 ~ 20g bean curd
20 g mango jam

Pumpkin tang yuan:
30 g glutinous rice flour
25 ~30 g bean curd
25 g pumpkin puree
5 g fine sugar

Black sesame tang yuan:
30 g glutinous rice flour
30 ~ 40g bean curd
1/2 teaspoon black sesame paste (from supermart)

Green Tea tang yuan:
30 g glutinous rice flour
30 ~ 35 g bean curd
1/4 green tea powder (dissolved with 1/2 tsp hot water)

And many others, you can go and modify yourself.

Serve tang yuan in sweet soup.

I adapted the recipe from this book.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Tree Bread 2013

Merry Christmas!

When I saw Veronica's ( Minty's Kitchen) beautiful Christmas tree bread, that inspired me I must give it a
try.  I adapted the Carrot Bread recipe from Carol (胡涓涓老师).

Here, I would like to wish all the food bloggers and my friends a Merry X'mas and a Happy New year

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chiffon cake - Why do I use more egg white than egg yolk?

Not too long ago, a reader posed this question to me - why do my Chiffon cake recipes mention using a larger proportion of egg white than egg yolk?

Ah hah, that is a really good question!

I am not an expert in Chiffon cake so may I humbly share that in my experience of baking cakes, there is no right or wrong to use different proportion of egg white to egg yolk. It is also common to find recipes that use the same amount of egg white and egg yolks. However, my personal preference is to use more egg white than egg yolk, for the reason that the cake will turn out more fluffy and 'springy'.

Why? This is because when egg whites are baked at high heat, they tend to expand/rise/increase in volume better than egg yolks. That said, egg yolks also have their benefit too; it will solidify faster and hence 'hold' the cake ingredients together. 

In summary, it is up to your preference the percentage of egg white to egg yolk for your cake recipes. For more explanation, please refer to the details I have attached below :)

Meeting my idol - Carol 胡涓涓老师 !

Yeah! Finally my turn!!

Carol whispering some food secrets to me.... ssshhh....

I reached the venue slightly late but fortunately managed to catch my idol  Carol  (胡涓涓老师) at Suntec City! She was invited by Popular Bookstore to hold a cooking demo cum meeting session on 14 Dec 2014.

I lugged along one of her recipe books all the way for the purpose of getting the author to endorse it! The interaction with her made me feel that she was very friendly and approachable - Carol made it a point to smile at and shake the hands of every person who came up to her.

Very happy to meet the real person behind the recipes that I absolutely adore. Hope to have more of such up close and personal sessions with other authors or food bloggers :D

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hakka "Yam Dumpling" - 客家芋仔粄

Hakka cuisine is not commonly found or heard of, that is why it is even more precious if you come across any e.g. Thunder Tea Rice, abacus seeds. This dish resembles abacus seeds, accompanied by an equally awesome chewy texture. The elder generation will love this dish.

Recipe: adapted from Famous Cuisine No. 75

Ingredients:( A)
500 yam , peeled and sliced
180 g - 200 g tapioca flour (木薯粉)
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 teaspoon salt

200 g minced meat
80 g mushroom (*about 4 mushrooms, soaked , drained and diced)
70 g preserved radish, diced (菜脯粒)
4 shallots (sliced)
150 ml water
2 tablespoon cooking oil

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1/2 teaspoon corn flour

2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 table spoon fried shallot oil

Fried shallots flakes
Spring onion, diced
Red chilli, sliced

1)  Steam yam till cooked, mash while hot.

2)  Combine all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, beat the mixture till a soft and smooth dough is formed.
(or use hands to knead till a pliable dough is formed). Add little water if the dough is too dry.

3)  To prepare filling:  Heat cooking oil in a wok, saute shallot over low heat until fragrant. Add in diced preserved radish and toss for few minutes. Add in mushrooms and minced meat, stir-fry till the meat is almost cooked, then add in water and seasoning, stir-fry over low heat till the sauce is thickened. Dish up and leave to cool for later use.

4)  Divide yam dough into 25 g each, make a hole with finger and stuff  filling into the cavity. Seal up properly and shape into cylindrical.

5)  Boil yam dumpling in a pot of boiling water over medium heat until cooked.  Dish up and arrange them on a  plate.  Drip on sauce and sprinkle with garnishing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chives Patties- 韭菜肉饼

It has been a long while since last ate chives . Saw some at the  market this morning and suddenly had the desire to make a snack for my family.


400 g minced pork
100 g Chinese chives (diced)
1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chicken granule (seasoning powder)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
some pepper to taste
1 tablespoon corn flour

1)  Wash Chinese chives, drained and diced.
2)  Combine all ingredients and seasoning in a big mixing bowl. Stir and mix well. Roll round and lightly flatten and form into  patties.
3)  Heat up oil in a frying pan, deep-fried or shallow-fried till cooked and golden brown.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nutty Pumpkin Bread

Is this too yellow?  It is  the natural pumpkin colour, no artificial colouring is added.

The bread is not well  done this time, The texture is quite rough.  Nevertheless,  its still tastes good and soft.

I am excited  to know that Popular Bookshop has invited Carol on 14th December 2013 at 3 pm - 4 pm to give a demonstration in making cream puff and a talk at Suntec City.   On that day I will bring  her books and ask for her signatures  if the organizer allows to do so.

Recipe: adapted from Carol 胡涓涓老师

200 g pumpkin puree  
280 g High  protein flour
3/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
15 g fine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
30 g olive oil

60 g mixed nuts ( walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), bake in a preheated oven at 150 deg C for 7 - 8 minutes.


1) Steam pumpkin till cooked and soft. Mashed and get 200 g puree.
2)  Making bread process please click  here

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Frankly speaking I personally don't quite like the taste of cinnamon.  Whenever  I come across any recipe that mentions "cinnamon", I will just skip or replace with other ingredients.  During my recent trip to Alaska, I got a chance to taste a good and fragrant donut at one of the cafes. Since then, I have changed my mind, if one uses an appropriate amount of cinnamon, the result of the end products can be rather delightful. I would say apple and cinnamon is a perfect combination, they blend so well together.

This cake is moist, fluffy and soft. The sourness of the green apple, the delightful hint of cinnamon, and the buttery butter... sedap.


Ingredients: Makes 18 - 20 cupcakes
250 g butter
180 g caster sugar
4  eggs (about 64 g- 65  g each with shell)
*250 g self-raising flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
2 green apples, peeled and cute into small cubes
  Note: * sieve together 2 x

Cream Cheese Frosting:
200 g cream cheese
100 g butter
160 g icing sugar
grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoon lime juice

1)  Cream utter and sugar until soft and creamy. Add in eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition.
2)  Fold in flour and mix well. Add apple and mix well.
3)  Spoon batter into paper cups till 3/4 full and bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 25 minutes and cooked. (*golden brown) Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
4)  Meantime, put all the cream cheese frosting ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until fine and smooth.
5)  When the cupcakes are cool, spoon the frosting mixture into a piping bag and pipe frosting on the cupcakes for decoration.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Curry Chicken with Pineapple - 黄梨咖哩鸡

Never in my many years of cooking experience could I imagine that pineapple cooked in curry chicken will be so delicious.  One is sour while the other is spicy and tangy, they are not compatible ingredients! ( I ever cooked  fish, prawns curry with pineapple but not chicken).  But the magic about cooking is that you'll never run out of recipes to experiment with.

The ingredients  for  this dish are mainly cooked using fresh ingredients. It does not have spices like cumin powder, fennel, coriander powder and curry powder. Ha, never expected it too, did you? My family members liked it very much. A unique taste of curry.

Recipe: Adapted from Yum Yum issue No.79

*Ground ingredients:*
* 8 fresh red chillis
* 6 chilli padi
* 5 shallots
* 5 candle nuts (buah keras)
* 2 stalks lemongrass (serai)
* 2 cm lengkuas
* 2 cm tumeic
* 3 pieces kafir lime leaves

3 tablespoon cooking oil

3 chicken whole legs  (about 700 g), cut into pieces
400 ml diluted coconut milk
1 piece assam keping (tamarind slice)
3 springs daun kesom
1/2 pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
100 ml thick coconut  milk

1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp sugar
 1/2 tsp pepper

1)  Heat up 3 tablespoon oil in a wok, saute grounded ingredients over low heat until fragrant.
2)  Add in chicken and stir well. Add in diluted coconut milk, assam keping, daun kesom and bring to boil.
     Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until chicken meat is tender.
3)  Put  in pineapple, thick coconut and continues  to cook for 10 minutes.  Add seasoning to taste. Serve with rice.

Agar-Agar strips Bread - 寒天吐司

When I first browsed through this recipe, it caught my attention and my curiosity. What?? Agar- agar strips bread? It sparked off my momentum so without wasting much time, I gathered all the ingredients and decided to give it a go.

The bread turned out to be look like normal bread.  The interesting part is,  it gives a chewy bite because of the small bits of the agar-agar strips within the dough.

Recipe: Adapted from Carol- ( "322 Original Flavour")

Ingredients: (20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm baking mould)

6 g agar-agar strips
250 g high protein flour
30 g wholemeal flour
15 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon  instant dry yeast
15 g olive oil
190 c.c cold water  (keep 30 c.c. aside, gradually add in when the rough dough is formed.  If the dough is too wet, do not need to add all).


1)  Soak agar-agar strips in cold  water for 1 hour.
2)  Drain and cut into 0.5 cm in length.
3)  Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, beat until (or knead) a non sticky dough is formed. (please keep 30 c.c water when  the dough is formed then  gradually add in ).
4)  Continue beating till a elastic and smooth dough has achieved. Roll round and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and  ferment for 60 minutes till double in size.
5)  Punch out air and scale dough into 2 equal portions.  Roll round and cover with damp cloth or clingwrap for 15 minutes.
6) With the help of rolling pin, flatten the dough into a 20 cm x 30 cm rectangle.
7) . Fold both left and right sides of the dough inwards, so that they meet at the middle. Flatten again.
8) Roll up the dough from the bottom like a Swiss roll. Place dough in a lightly grease baking mould,, seam face down,   spray water on the surface of the dough.  Leave to proof  for 60 - 70 minutes.
9)  When the dough has risen to 90% of the height of the baking mould.  Cover the lid. Turn on oven to 210 deg C for 15 minutes.
10)  Bake in the preheated oven for 38 to 40 minutes.
11)  Take out from the oven and immediately remove the bread from the mould, and leave it to cool on the wire rack.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Traditional Steamed Cake - 鸡蛋糕

This recipe has been with me for many years.  I do not know for what reason i have kept it for so  long until today .

This steamed sponge cake reminds me of my younger days when I was in my home town.  There was a Hainanese coffee shop that sold very fragrant and very  fluffy  traditional jidangao (鸡蛋糕 i.e. steamed  sponge cake).  Almost every day in the afternoon, I could hear the sound tok tok... from outside when I passed by the coffee shop.  The coffee shop owner' eldest son  was beating the sponge cake batter with a heavy spiral whisk in a big metal bucket , This was really a tortuously and tiring work.  In those good old days,  a slice (in triangle shape ) went  for 15 cents only.

After trying out this sponge cake, I am happy and satisfied with the end product. The cake tastes good,  and the texture is fluffy.  However, I find  the cake is a  bit too dry, I suggest add 1 to 2 tablespoon of corn oil into the batter would make it more moist.  If I have added in a drop of banana essence, it would be  very similar to  the jidangao of yesterday.

Recipe: Adapted from Sunday Times -"Ask the Foodie" by Chris Tan.

130 g Hong Kong flour
10 g potato starch      
1 teaspoon baking powder
220 g eggs  (weighed without shells)
140 g sugar
3/4 teaspoon vinegar
45 g condensed milk

1)  Line and grease a deep 18 cm or 19 cm round cake tin. 

2)  Mix Hong Kong Flour, potato starch and baking powder together and  then sift the mixture twice.

3)   Beat eggs, sugar and condensed milk on medium speed  until you see the volume at least quadruples.  When lifted out the bowl, the whisk should trail a thick ribbon of foam that stays on the surface for at least 10 seconds. It may take 5 - 6 minutes of beating to reach this stage.

4)  Beat in 3/4 tsp pf vinegar.  Sprinkle 1/2 the flour over the egg mixture.  Gently but thoroughly, fold it in with a large whisk - make the same over--and-under  folding motion as yo wold with a spatula.  When it is nearly mixed , sprinkle over the remaining flour and fold just until the batter is smooth.  Scrape it into the tin, and steam over high heat for 22 - 25 minutes.

Note:  Do not overcook or the cake will  be tough.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lemon and Pistachio Cupcakes


Ingredients: (makes 16)

3 large eggs (about 64 -65 g each with shell)
225 g butter , room temperature
220 g  caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
230 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
juice of 1/4 a lemon
zest of  half lemon

155 g icing sugar, sifted
225 g  butter, room temperature
1/2 cup pistachio

1. Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Line cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
2.  In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time. Beat well  before each addition.
3. Add milk, flour and vanilla, and stir  to combine.  Add pistachio nuts, lemon juice and zest, and combine.
4.  Divide the mixture evenly between the cake papers  Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until risen and firm to touch.  Allow to cool for few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.  Allow to cool fully before icing.

1.  Meanwhile, combine icing sugar and butter,  beat till light and fluffy.  Add lemon zest and pistachio nuts and mix through.  Spoon onto cupcakes in large, loose dollops.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Milk Toast Bread

This is my favourite toast bread.  The bread is fragrant,  it tastes so good and even can eat it by itself without spreading any jam or butter on it.

Recipe: Adapted from Carol's "The Second Book of Baking for Beginners"

You will need a 20cm x 10cm x 10cm baking mould.


320g high protein flour
1 egg ( about 50 g)
3/4  teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
20g fine sugar
100c.c. milk
50 g unsalted butter


1)  Knead the ingredients  except butter to a smooth dough. Add in butter knead till an elastic and smooth dough is formed.  Put in a lightly greased bowl, cover and rest for 60 minutes and double in size.

2)  After the resting time, punch out the air, divide dough into 2 equal portions (about 300g each). Shape to round. Rest for 15 minutes.

3)  Flatten and and roll like Swiss Roll. Rest again for 15 minutes.

4)  After resting, flatten the dough and roll again. Shape the loaves and place them in the greased loaf mould. Proof for 60 minutes.

5) Once the dough rises up to 80% of the height of the baking mould, preheat oven to 210 deg C.

6)  Once the fermented dough has reached 90% of the height of the baking mould, cover the lid (need to grease the lid also), bake in the oven for 38 - 40 minutes.

7)  Remove from oven, demould the loaf on the rack immediately.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tangzhong Milk Buns -牛奶汤种面包

Recipe:Adapted from " The second Book of  Baking for Beginners by Carol"

Ingredients: Water-roux Starter (tangzhong in Chinese)
250 g milk
50 g high protein flour

1)  Combine milk and high protein flour together, mix well.
2)  Cook and stir over low heat  till mixture has thickened , remove from heat.
3)  Cover with cling wrap . Make sure it is cool prior to use.  The balance can keep in the fridge  for 3 - 4 days.

1) 100 g water-roux starter
2)  250 g high protein flour
3)  50 g low protein flour
4)  1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
5)  50 g egg (about 1 egg)
6)  30 g fine sugar
7)  1/8 teaspoon salt
8)  80 c.c.milk or fresh cream
9)  30 g unsalted butter

white sesame seed and sun flower seeds

1 beaten egg,  for brushing

1) Combine dough ingredients, except butter in a mixing bowl.  Beat  or knead it to soft, smooth dough  until texture doesn't stick to hands.  Add butter, beat or knead dough to glossy, smooth,  non-sticky dough again.  Now it is ready for fermentation if you are able to stretch it out to a thin "membrane".

2) Shape round and place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and ferment for 60 minutes and double in size.

3) After the resting time, take out dough, punch out  the air, divide dough into 8 equal portions (about 70 g each), roll into balls. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.

4)  Shape to your desired  patterns.  Arrange them in a greased baking tray.   Proof  for 50 - 60 minutes and double in size.

5)  Gently brush the top with egg glaze, sprinkle with a little of toppings.  Bake in a preheated 170 degree C oven for 15 - 18 minutes till golden brown.  Remove from the oven.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ginger Duck - 姜芽鸭

Tasty and rich gravy reminds me of home-cooked food and when drenched on piping hot plain rice, gives the comfort and warmth of home. I love this dish. However it may not be favoured by many as the taste is quite exotic, but it is exactly this old-school taste which my taste buds love.

Recipe: (source from feminine magazine "Oriental Cuisine")

Ingredients: (My adaption in red)
1 naked duck
300 g young ginger - (sliced thinly)
5 pips garlic - (chopped)
2 pieces of fermented red bean curds
1 tablespoon fermented red bean curd sauce
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoon preserved soy bean paste (豆酱)
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce 

2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxin wine)

1)  Cut duck into pieces and blanch in boiling water, wash and drain.

2)  Heat up oil in a wok, saute ginger and garlic until fragrant, add fermented red bean curd, fermented red bean sauce, bean paste, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce. Stir fry for few minutes, then pour in duck and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

3) Add water (about 800 ml) and simmer over medium  low heat for 45 minutes and until the duck meat is tender.

4) Add in seasoning to taste. Serve hot with rice.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Custard Buns -卡士达面包

Recipe: Adapted from Carol's  "The Second Book of Baking for Beginners"


How to make custard:
A) 200 c.c fresh milk
     20g fine sugar
     1/2 tsp vanilla essence

B) 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
     20 g sugar

C) 50 c.c fresh milk
      10 g corn flour
      15 g plain flour

D) 10 g unsalted butter

1)  Bring A to a boil on low heat.
2)  Combine ingredients B and C and mix well.
3)  Gradually pour (1) into (2), stir and mix well. Strained.
4) Cook (3) on medium low heat, keep stirring till the mixture is thickened and smooth.
5) Cover with clingwrap, leave to cool for later use.

How to make the dough:
270 g high protein four
30 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
50 g egg (without shell)
30 g fine sugar
150 c.c milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
30 g unsalted butter  (cut into small cubes)

egg wash
some custard filling

1)  Beat ingredients except butter till a dough is formed.  Add in butter and continue to beat till an elastic and smooth dough is formed. Cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap.  Leave to proof for 60 minutes till double in size.

2) Punch out air and scale the dough into 8 equal portions, about 65 gram each. Roll to round balls, cover and rest for 15  minutes.

3)  Use a rolling pin to flatten the ball into a 12cm-wide disc, place appropriate amount of custard filling in the middle, seal and wrap.  Seam face downwards, arrange on the lightly greased baking tray.

4)  Leave to a final proof  for 50 - 60 minutes till double in size.

5)  Brush with egg wash and pipe custard filling on the surface.

6)  Bake in the preheated oven at 170 degree C for 18 - 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lemon Chicken

Tangy and sour lemon sauce on crispy, fragrant and tender chicken - children would fancy this dish because it is relishing and the sour lemon sauce whets their appetite. 

Recipe:  Source from Y3K (  Issue No. 74 , 9/10 - 213) with minor modifications of my own.

2 chicken boneless whole leg
1 egg  - lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 teaspoon custard powder
2 tablespoon water

For coating: (mixed together)
3 tablespoon self-raising flour
3 tablespoon tapioca flour

For Lemon Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon juice (squeeze from one lemon)
some lemon  pulp
1  tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of water

For thickening: (mixed together)
1 tsp custard powder
1/2 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp water

1)  Marinate chicken with the marinade for 1/2 hour.
2)  Dip marinated chicken into beaten egg and coat with flour. Deep-fry in hot oil until crispy.
3) Remove, cool, and cut into pieces. Place on plate.
4) Heat butter on a hot pan until it melts. Pour lemon sauce and bring to boil over medium fire. Add thickening sauce. 
5) Drench or drizzle no. 4 over chicken.