Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sweet And Sour Pork -咕噜香肉

咕噜肉, or sweet and sour pork, is one of the popular dishes served at every zichar stall. The tangy mixture of sweetness and sourness makes it appetizing and a favourite amongst children, who will almost definitely sit down obediently at the table and stop running around.

As simple as the dish may seem, careful efforts must be taken in order to use fresh ingredients like cucumber, pineapple and tomato, to ensure the right proportion of tomato ketchup, yet at the same time, preserve the crispiness of the pork dice.



200g pork belly

1/2 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon  Chinese cooking wine "Rose -wine" (玫瑰露酒)
1/2 tablespoon tapioca flour

100g pineapple - cut in to small cubes or diamond shapes
100g cucumber -  same as above
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 big onion - cut into small pcs

5 tablespoon white vinegar
4 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato sauce (ketchup)
1-2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (急汁)

(C) Thickening:
1/2 tsp tapioca flour add with 1/2 tbsp water

1)Cut meat into  small bite sizes. Marinate with seasoning for 10 minutes.
2)  Coat meat with some tapioca flour. Deep fry till cooked and crispy. Dish up.
3)  Saute garlic till fragrant, add in big onion and stir fry for a while,  then add in cucumber and tomato continue to stir-fry for few minutes. Pour in sauce and  thickening water, add in  (2)  toss well until the meat has absorbed all the gravy. Serve on a plate. 


Friday, June 29, 2012

Cranberry Milky Buns -蔓越莓奶酥面包

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

Ingredients for the filling:
80g unsalted butter ( I use salted butter) - room temperature
60g icing sugar
10g Parmesan cheese powder
80g full cream milk powder
15g egg  - beaten
30g cranberry

Bread dough:
270g High Protein flour
30g low protein flour
1/2 teaspoon instant dried yeast
50g egg (about 1 egg)
30g sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
150ml milk
30g unsalted butter

some dessicated coconut

Method for filling:
1) Beat unsalted butter till creamy.
2) Add in icing sugar continue to beat until well combine.
3)  Add in parmesan cheese powder and milk powder into (2) mix well with a spatula.
4) Add in egg, mix well to form a dough.
5) Add in cranberries, mix well.
6) wrap with cling-wrap,  chill in the fridge until use.

Method for the dough:
1) Put all the ingredients (except butter) into a mixing bowl, beat until a smooth dough is formed.
2) Add in butter and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3) Place dough into a lightly greased big bowl, cover with a piece of damp cloth or cling-wrap for first proofing  1-1.1/2 hours till double in size.
4) Scale dough into 8 equal portions (about 70g each), roll into round. Cover and rest for 10-15 minutes.
5)  While waiting, take out the filling from fridge, divide into 8 equal portions (about 33g each) roll into round. Leave aside.
6) Lightly flatten the dough with a rolling pin into a flat disc (about 12cm in diameter). Place a filling (5) in the center.  Gather edges and seal. Make sure the edges are seal nicely.
7) Arrange them onto a greased baking tray and spray water on the surface. Put inside the oven for final proofing for 50-60 minutes till double in size.. Take them out from the oven just 8-10 minutes before the ending of the proofing time. Preheat the oven at 170 degree C. 
6) Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with dessicated coconut. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes till golden brown.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ginger and Glutinous Rice Wine Chicken

800g chicken, cut into pieces
50g grated ginger or shredded
200ml glutinous rice wine
50ml shaoxing wine
10 pcs dried black fungus (small), soak 

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp pepper
salt to taste
spring onions and coriander leaves

1) Heat up wok with 1 tbsp oil, stir-fry grated ginger over low heat till fragrant and crispy.
2) Add in chicken stir-fry briskly till chicken meat has turned white. Pour in glutinous rice wine, black fungus, cover and cook over low heat for 10 - 15minutes until the chicken is cooked.
3) Add in Chinese cooking wine "Shaoxing wine", dish up.  Serve hot with rice or mee sua.

Creative colourful Kuih Dumplings


Do you like these colourful kuih dumplings?  They are actually Nonya Kuih Koci.  I merely transformed them by wrapping with bamboo leaves instead of banana leaves.  I used red bean paste for the filling. You can use your own favourite filling.


Ingredients: (makes 9)

 (A)15 pcs bamboo leaves (or more) , soak with boiling water for 2-3 hours  wash and wipe
~~  9 hemp strings x 35 cm length each

25g rice flour
100g water
25g corn oil

(C) 150g glutinous rice flour

(D) 90g coconut milk
~~25g  sugar
~~1/8 tsp salt

(E) 200g red bean paste , divide into 9 equal portions, roll into round
~~ green coloring (green tea powder); blue pea colouring and pink (strawberry emulco)

(F) 50g corn oil

1) Put ingredients (B) into a pot, cook over low heat, keep stirring till it forms a dough.
2) Combine glutinous rice flour with ingredients (D), mix well.  Add in (1) and knead till the dough is smooth . Scale them into 9 equal portions (add in colouring).
3) Roll one portion of dough mixture to a round ball, flatten, wrap in filling and seal up opening properly.
4)  Lightly oil your palms (ingredient F) and roll (3) into balls. Fold 1 piece of bamboo leaf into a cone, place the greased ball inside. Wrap and tighten with string. Repeat the same to the rest.
5) Steam over high heat for 15 minutes.

Glutinous Rice Dumplings

150g Bamboo leaves (soak in boiling water for 4 hours, Wash and drain)
20 hemp strings x @80cm length

(B) 3.1/2 - 4 tbsp chopped shallots and garlic (about 4 shallots and 4 pips garlic)

800 g pork belly (with skin), cut into 20 -24  pieces and marinate with the marinade for at least one hour.

(D) Marinade:
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon Five -Spice- Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp corn flour

20 pcs Chinese mushrooms (soak to soften, wash and drain)
20 pcs dried chestnuts (wash and soak with hot water, remove skin)

(F) 100g dried shrimps, wash and soak for 20 minutes, drain)

1kg Glutinous rice, soak for 4 hours and drain (add 1 tsp salt)
3.1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp Five spice powder
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil


1) Heat up wok with oil, saute 1tbsp chopped shallots and garlic till fragrant, add marinated pork belly stir-fry till fragrant. Add in mushrooms and chestnuts, add some water, simmer till semi dry.
dish up.

2) Heat up 1/2 tbsp oil and saute 1 tbsp chopped shallots and garlic, add in soaked dried shrimps stir-fry till fragrant, dish up.

3)  Heat up 2 tbsp oil, saute 1 tbsp chopped shallots and garlic, add in glutinous rice and fry till fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients (G) and stir-fry for few minutes till all mix well.

4)  Fold 2 pcs of bamboo leaves into a cone,  spoon in 2 tbsp of glutinous rice , dig a well in the centre, add in dried shrimps, 1 pc mushroom, a chestnut and one piece of pork belly.  Spoon 2 tbsp of glutinous rice on top. Wrap into a pyramid and tie with hemp string.  Repeat the rest till finished.

5) Put the wrapped dumplings into  pressure cooker, add water (must fully covered the dumplings ), add 1  chicken stock cube (Knorr brand), and boil (boiling water ,cook) for 45- 60 minutes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Purple Sweet Potato Kuih Talam - 紫色蕃薯打南

The main ingredients used in Nonya Kuihs is usually flour.  Add sweet potatoes into this traditional dessert not only enhance the natural colour and flavour of the kuihs, this fibre-rich root also makes them delicious and nutritious.

Recipe: (Makes about 50 small cups)

Ingredients: (A)
Sweet Potato Layer:
500g purple sweet potato, steam and mash
100g rice flour
100g tapioca flour
250g sugar
2pc pandan leaves
550ml diluted coconut (take 150ml boil with pandan leaves >  discard pandan leaves. You can skip this step if u think is too troublesome)

Coconut Layer: (B)
500ml thick coconut milk (boil 150ml with pandan leaves for few minutes > discard pandan leaves. you can skip this step if u think is too troublesome)
50g rice flour
25g tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves

1) Mix all the ingredients (A) together, strained.
2) Grease the small cups.  Fill 3/4 full of (1) each cup and steam for 8 minutes.
3) Mix all the ingredients (B) together. Strain.
4) Fill the cups to the brim of (2). Steam for 5 minutes.
5) Leave to cool then remove the kuihs from the small cups.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Braised Pork Belly With Sweet Preserved Mustard

This is my 2nd post of this dish. Not only did I make slight changes to the ingredients, I also now have more experience at preparing this dish - and yes, this time, the meat turns out to be a better shot than my previous attempt.



1kg pork belly with skin
1pkt sweet preserved mustard  (227 g =8 0z )
6 cloves garlic (lightly flatten)
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
800 - 1000 ml water

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 pc star anise (optional)
1 tbsp "Shaosing" wine (Chinese cooking wine)

1) Soak the sweet preserved mustard in water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out water, cut into fine pieces. Leave aside.

2) Cook the  pork belly into boiling water for 20 minutes about 70-80% cooked.  Remove from hot water, pat dry, prick hole over the skin only with a fork.

3) Rub dark soy sauce over the skin for 20 minutes.  Pat dry with kitchen towel or kitchen tissue paper.

4) Deep fry in hot oil, skin facing downwards until golden brown, dish out and soak into tap water (room temperature) for 20-30 minutes. Cut the pork belly into your desired thickness.  Leave aside.

5) Heat up a wok  (no oil). stir-fry the sweet preserved mustard until fragrant, push the mustard to the side of the wok. Pour in 2 tbsp of oil and when the oil is hot, saute garlic till fragrant and stir-fry the preserved mustard for 5 minutes, add in seasoning and water, simmer for 30 minutes.

I used this brand. It gives better flavour and taste.
4) Arrange the pork belly into a deep bowl or plate, skin face downwards, add (3) on top. Cover with cling-wrap. Steam for 60-90 mins. You may steam it for longer time depending on the softness of the meat to your liking.  Invert onto a serving platter. Bon appetit!