Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chicken Chop in Sweet And Sour Sauce

A few days ago. I went to Changi Point with my family. I intended to eat at Song Huat Bak Kut Teh where
my family went to dine at Indian Restaurant. When I walked towards the shop, I saw a long human queue in front of the bak kut teh reastaurant. As I did not want to waste too much time on queueing, so I turned to  my next alternative at Old Nan Yang cafe (老南洋). I ordered a set meal - Hainanese chicken chop rice and a cup of black coffee. While I was eating my chicken chop rice, a wave of memory rushed to my mind. This was a luxury dish when we were young. As compared to the kids nowadays, they have fast food at affordable prices, mobile phones at a very young age, other electronics and luxury comfort... times are so different back then when we would only have chicken or duck on special occasions.


Ingredients: (A)
1 kg chicken thighs, debone and trim away the excess fat from the skin

1 small egg
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 tablespoon self-raising-flour

Marinate chicken with the seasoning except self-raising flour for half an hour. Then add in self-raising-flour, mix well. Ready for deep fry.

 Ingredients (B) 
100 g cucumber, cut into small pieces
100 g pineapple, cut into small pieces
*100 g carrot, cut into small pieces  - blanch, dish up
1 big onions, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 red chilli, cut into big pieces as cucumber
1 green chilli,  cut into pieces as above

Sauce: combine in a big bowl except corn starch.
7 - 8 tablespoon tomato sauce
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 cup water (250 cc)
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
some corn starch mix with water to thicken the sauce -optional

1) Deep-fry the chicken thighs until golden brown and crispy. Dish up.
2) Saute chopped garlic until fragrant, add in big onions stir-fry for a while, add in the remaining ingredients B, stir-fry for a minute.
3) Lastly, pour in sauce ingredients  and simmer (do not cover with lid) for  few minutes. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch water if you prefer a thicker sauce.  Ready to serve.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baileys Coffee Butter Cake

Just look at the name of this cake, if you are hoping for a distinctive coffee flavour, I am sorry there is none. . . So, I will add coffee emulco or coffee granule in my next attempt if I am going to bake this again.

Recipe: source from " famous CUISINE issue 80, 2013"

250 g butter
200 g brown sugar (I used 100 g brown sugar and 100 g castor sugar)
5 eggs
250 g self-raising flour
2 tablespoon fresh milk
2 tablespoon Baileys liquor

1)  Preheat oven to 160 degree C. Line an 8" square or 9" square baking tray.
2)  Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3)  Fold in sifted flour and fresh milk, combine well.
4)  (a) Mixed 2 tbsp  of batter with 1/2 tbsp of baileys.   (b)The other mix into the remaining batter, mix well.
     (I skip this step).
5)  Pour half of the batter (b) into tin . Follow with (a) coffee batter. Then pour the remaining batter, level the surface.
6)  Bake in the preheated  oven for 40- 45 minutes or  until  a skewer  inserts in the center  comes out clean.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sri Lanka Style Curry Chicken

The weather has not been kind to us recently, with the heat, daze and the haze. It may not be the perfect conditions to whip up a heaty dish, but nothing is stopping me when my taste buds demand for something, and today, it is a pot of spicy, thick curry gravy.

This recipe is not my usual using A1 brand instant curry paste which is easy to prepare. This one requires much effort in  frying the dried chilli till crispy and dry, before blending them into powder form. Dried chilli + haze is a deadly concoction, I'm sure I must have coughed my lungs out while frying. 

There are many types of curry, such as Nonya , thai green curry... just to name a few. Sri Lanka style will suit those who prefer strong flavour with a thicker, spicy gravy. You would be surprised with the explosion of flavour once you sip some of it - the spices, the distinctive flavour of green chilli, and a tinge of sourness. Yes, it is slightly sour! Ah-hah, you wouldn't have expected that white vinegar is one of the culprits that will stimulate your saliva gland and yearn for more.

Recipe (source : 1978 ’女友‘ 杂志,韩蒂夫人食谱)

A)~  1 kg chicken, cut into big pieces (I suggest using Kampong chicken, Sakura brand chicken or Royale brand chicken because the meat is firmer, good for cooking this type of curry).

B)~ Ingredients need to be fried and be grounded into powder form.
  * 10 dried chilies
  * 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  * 1 tbsp cumin seeds (小茴香子)

C) ~  4 cm length of fresh kunyit (turmeric) or 2.5 tsp. turmeric  powder
     ~  2 tsp lime juice or white vinegar
    ~  1 tsp salt

D) ~ 1 tsp fennel seeds (大茴香)
     ~  1.5 tsp mustard seeds
    ~  4 curry leaves
     ~  3 tbsp or more cooking oil
      ~ 2 big  onions, chopped
      ~ 4 slices fresh ginger, chopped
     ~  4 pips  garlic, chopped
     ~  4 green fresh chillies, cut into half  along its length
     ~  1 cup thick coconut milk (santan)  squeezed from one coconut . Then add some water to the coconut to get  1 to 1.5 cup of diluted coconut milk.
1)  Marinade chicken with ingredients in C.

2)  Use a damp cloth to wipe the dried chillis to get rid of  dirt and dust (you can wash but it must be dry before frying) .  In a hot and dry wok over low heat,  fry dried chilies until crispy but not burn. Dish out. Fry coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant. Dish out. Ready to be grounded into powder for later use.

3)  In a dry and hot wok saute curry leaves, fennel seeds and mustard seeds till fragrant. Then add oil and   add  the chopped ingredients (onion, ginger, garlic) , fry till brown.   Put in  chicken and stir fry for a minute.  Cover with lid, simmer for 1/2 hour at low heat  (the water content naturally contained within the chicken will escape for the simmering) and stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom.

4)  Combine grounded ingredients and green chilies with diluted coconut milk. Pour the mixture into step (3) and cook till the chicken is cooked. Now add in the thick coconut milk , continue to simmer (stir occasionally) until a layer of oil is formed on the surface. Add salt and  sugar to taste. Serve.


I am submitting my Sri Lanka style chicken curry for a little event at

 It is for Little Thumbs Up event hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders at this linkorganized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of my little favourite D.I.Y

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Prawn and Pineapple curry

Hi! I have been missing in action again for quite some time. I just came back from my 17 days Rockie and Alaska trip a week ago. Had been busy washing laundry, doing house chores and others. Until today, I finally have the time to settle down to cook something local which I have been desiring to whip up.

Recipe: Adapted  here.

Spice paste:*
*15 dried chillies, seeded, soaked until soft then squeezed dry
*10 shallots, peeled
*5 buah keras (candle nuts)
*2 cm length turmeric

1 tbsp belacan, crumbled
2 stalks lemongrass - use only 4 - 5 inches from bottom, bashed
2 thick slices galangal or lengkuas, bashed 
500 ml water
3 slices tamarind (assam keeping)
1/2  a ripe but firm pineapple, skinned, coredand cut into desired chunck size
600 g large prawns (I used medium size), deveined, left unshelled
1 to 1.1/2 tsp salt to taste
1 to 2 tsp sugar (add more if pineapple is sour, less if it's sweet)
Laksa leaves - optional

1)  Combine spice paste ingredients and pound or process to a smooth and fine paste.
2) Heat about 5 tbsp oil in a wok or pot stir-fry the belacan until crisp and no longer fishy smelling (moderate heat).  Add lemongrass and galangal and stir for about half a minute
3)  Add the spice paste and stir -fry until fragrant and mixture separates from the oil.
4)  Add water and tamarind and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add pineapples, simmer for 2 minutes.  Add prawns and simmer for another 3 -4 minutes or prawns are cooked through. Do not overcook or prawns will toughen up.
5)  Add salt and sugar to taste. If gravy is tangy enough, discard tamarind slices.
6)  Dish out, garnish, and serve hot.