Thursday, 30 April 2009

Braised beef & Daikon

Braised Beef and Daikon

Braised Beef and Daikon

1 kg stewing beef – cut into cubes
1 daikon – cut into quarters and then into ½ inch slices
3 spring onions – cut into 1 inch slices
3 slices ginger
salt, sugar
1 tbsp rice wine
3 tbsp soy sauce

1, Marinate beef cubes with rice wine and 1 tbsp soy sauce,
2. Heat oil in wok, and when hot add ½ of the spring onions and ginger and fry till fragrant. Add beef and fry until colour changes.
3. add 3 cups water, daikon and the remaining soy sauce. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 – 1 ½ hours until beef is tender. Season with salt and sugar. Add remain spring onions and serve.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Ikan Chuan Chuan

The fish dish is a peranakan dish called Ikan chuan chuan. But I don't think I've seen it in restaurants before. Must be a home dish. Anyway, my mum used pomfret and fries it till crispy then adds the sauce over. Trying to be healthy, so instead of frying and because the pomfrets here are frozen and secondly, my darling hubby doesn't like fish with bones... haha ... I digress.. but anyway to continue... I steam the fish with the sauce instead.

Pomfret or fish fillets
2 tsp tau cheo (Preserved salted soy beans)
2 slices ginger - julienned

1. Steam fish.
2. Heat a little oil in a fry pan. When hot, add sliced ginger and tau cheo. Add a little water and simmer for 2 mins.
3. When it sauce is ready, pour over the fish.

Fried bean curd puff with mixed mushrooms

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Thought I'd make gyoza tonight as we haven't had it in some time. So in the afternoon, called Liana to take out the gyoza skin from the freezer to defrost. Came back to find that instead of gyoza skin, she'd taken out wanton skins to defrost instead. Oops... Gyoza skins are round while the wanton skins are square. How? No choice, had to use what was already defrosted.

But looking at the finished product and the pictures, I would say they look ok. Whew.. lucky!


1 pack gyoza skin
250 gm minced pork
250 gm minced beef
4-5 pcs Chinese cabbage – can be substituted for cabbage
2 sprigs - chopped spring onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
splash of sesame oil
1 tsp corn flour mixed with a little water

Dipping Sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
dash of la yu – chilli oil

1. Boil some water in pan and when boiling, add cabbage into pan until wilted. Remove from pan and dunk in cold water. Remove from water and squeeze out the water from the cabbage and chop finely.
2. In a bowl, add the 2 different kinds of minced meat, spring onions, cabbage and ginger.
Add the salt, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. Mix well.
3. Take a tbsp of the mixture and place on a gyoza skin. Dab a little of the corn flour slurry on the top half of the skin and fold into half. Pleat the skin. Repeat till all the meat has been used up.
4. Heat a little oil in a flat base frying pan. When hot, place the gyozas in the pan and leave for bottoms of gyozas to get brown. After 5 mins, add 150 ml water. Cover. Leave lid on for about 7 mins for gyoza to steam/fry. Remove lid and check to see that skin has become translucent. If not ready, add a little more water and cover for another 2 mins.
5. When gyozas are cooked, remove and place on plate with bottoms facing upwards.
6. Serve and eat with dipping sauce.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge April 2009

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Oooo... This month's challenge is cheesecake. Both my daughter and I love cheesecake but hubby's not that crazy about them. He has to have frosting on all his cakes. But this being the challenge and the challenge being a cheesecake... woooo... this is my chance to make one. hehe

Trouble is that there are so many variations - which do I make? So in the end, I settled for Banoffee cheesecake.

Cake just out from the oven

Covered with bananas

Pour toffee sauce over and ready to be eaten!

Here's the recipe:

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs1 stick
4 oz butter, melted2 tbsp.
24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 sticks of cream cheese
8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

Some variations from the recipe creator:
** Lavender-scented cheesecake w/ blueberries - heat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 2 tbsp of lavender flowers and stir. Let lavender steep in the cream for about 10-15 minutes, then strain the flowers out. Add strained cream to cheesecake batter as normal. Top with fresh blueberries, or make a quick stovetop blueberry sauce (splash of orange juice, blueberries, a little bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon - cook until berries burst, then cool)

** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel - take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (I usually find one on the food network website - just make sure it has heavy cream in it. You can use store-bought in a pinch, but the flavor is just not the same since its usually just sugar and corn syrup with no dairy).

** Tropical – add about a half cup of chopped macadamias to the crust, then top the cake with a mango-raspberry-mandarin orange puree.

** Mexican Turtle - add a bar of melted dark chocolate (between 3 and 5 oz., to taste) to the batter, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp.). Top it with pecan halves and a homemade caramel sauce.

** Honey-cinnamon with port-pomegranate poached pears – replace 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of honey, add about a teaspoon or more (to taste) of cinnamon. Take 2 pears (any variety you like or whatever is in season), peeled and cored, and poach them in a boiling poaching liquid of port wine, pomegranate juice/seeds, a couple of "coins" of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar. Poach them until tender, then let cool. Strain the poaching liquid and simmer until reduced to a syrupy-glaze consistency, then cool. Thinly slice the cooled pears and fan them out atop the cooled cheesecake. Pour the cooled poaching syrup over the pears, then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Some variations from Jenny (from JennyBakes):

**Key lime - add zest from one lime to sugar before mixing with cream cheese. Substitute lemon juice, alcohol, and vanilla with key lime juice.

**Cheesecakelets - put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.

The recipe called for 3 sticks of cream cheese - I used 1 stick of full fat and 2 sticks of low fat cream cheese and it still tasted good!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Cake deco equipment

Cake decorating equipment

Don has asked me to show her the equipment that I used during my cake decorating course. So here it is.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Braised pork in soy sauce

Braised pork in soy sauce

Was going to make beef with asparagus but thought would do a Roast Beef Dinner on either Sunday or Monday, decided to make braised beef and Fried Okra in Sambal instead.

Braised Pork

Sambal Okra

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Fried Shirataki

Fried Shirataki

Decided to go slow on carbs for the next 2 weeks, so made Fried Shiratki with mixed vegetables for dinner.

Shirataki in itself has no calories and no taste but like a sponge takes up whatever taste you cook it in. So cooked in soy sauce and mirin and then added vegetables for crunch.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Guests for dinner

Dinner - No Soy

We had guests for dinner but one of them had an allergy to soy - so I had to cook without using soy sauce. Well, Chinese cooking uses a lot of soy sauce, so I had to crack my head to think of things to cook without soy.

As there were only 4 of us, I only made 5 dishes:

Gado Gado - Indonesian salad
Sweet and sour fish
Ngor Hiang - rolled pork
Chicken marinated in Tamarind
Satay Babi - Pork cooked in Chilli coconut paste

Gado Gado

Sweet and Sour Fish

Tamarind Chicken

Satay Babi

Ngor Hiang

Dessert - Mascarpone Panna Cotta