Saturday, 31 January 2009

Chicken Karaage with Ponzu Sauce

For those who like Japanese food, this little bite size fried chicken serves well as a starter. I would ask for second. Trust me, this dish is rather easy to prepare and one would love the simplicity of this dish.

Chicken Karaage with Ponzu Sauce
Ingredients (good for 2 persons)
  • 300 gm boneless and skinless chicken breast/thigh - diced
  • 2 tbsp ginger juice
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp sake (Japanese wine)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Corn starch to coat the chicken
  • Oil for deep frying
  • toasted sesame seed for garnishing
  • pickled radish for garnishing (optional)
Ponzu sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce (I use Kikkoman brand)
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar/lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • some ginger - shredded, to add some gingery taste to the sauce
  • some bonito flake
  1. Marinate the chicken cube in ginger juice, soya sauce, sake and sesame oil. Leave aside and let it marinade for an hour.
  2. Prepare the ponzu sauce. Add all ingredient (except orange juice) into a small sauce pan and let it simmer for few minutes. Drained and discard the bonito flake. Add in the orange juice and mixed well.
  3. Then in wok/fryer, heat up the oil. Coat the chicken pieces with corn flour and deep fry till golden brown and crispy. Drained with paper towel to remove excess oil. Served hot , garnish with sesame seed and serve with ponzu sauce.

And over here in Cambridge, one of the well known garden (Anglesey Abbey) is in for Snowdrop season. They're really pretty with their little white cup flowerheads that looks like snow cover the ground in the woodlands. They're pretty isn't it. :-)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Glutinous Rice Ball in Sweet Peanut Soup

This dessert is meant for the 15thday(the end of CNY), or better known as Yuan Xiao . It is delightful, after having this desserts, one(especially children) can add a year onto their age after the 15th day of CNY :-).

Peanut filled glutinous rice ball in sweet peanut soup

For glutinous rice ball
  • 150 g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 130 ml water

  • 100 g roasted peanuts
  • 75 g sugar
  • 25 g sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp warm water
Peanut soup
  • 150gm peanut soaked overnite in water to soften
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • 3 - 4 tbsp caster sugar (to taste)
  • 750ml water
  • one slow cooker
  1. Prepare the peanut soup by slowly simmering in slow cooker for at least 6-7hrs until the peanut melts in the mouth. Once you have reach this consistency, add in the sugar and stir. Ready.
  2. Mixed all the ingredients for filling and use a food processor and blend into a rough paste. Then knead it and divide it and roll into small ball. Leave aside.
  3. Add water sowly to glutinous rice flour and salt. Knead with hand, until a dough like consistency is achieve.
  4. Roll the dough lengthwise of 2cm in diameter. Divide the dough into small pieces. Take one pieces and press with finger on the plam to form a flat circular pieces. Take one filling and put it in the middle of the dough, then seal up and roll the ball. Repeat until you finish the dough/filling.
  5. In a pot boil some water, when it is boiling, throw in the glutinous rice ball and let it cook, once it's cooked, the ball will float on the surface.
  6. Scoop up and place in bowl and fill up with the sweet peanut soup.
Enjoy the warming dessert :-), I'm one year older now .

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce and Garlic Oil

I always planned to have green during Chinese New Year meal, and bok choy is one of them. It's simple to prepare and goes well with oyster and garlic sauce. It's good to have balance when the feast consist mainly of meat and seafood.

Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce and Garlic Oil
Ingredients (for 4 persons)
  • One bag of bok choy ( typically about 5-6 plants-sliced the plant in half)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand preferred)
  • 1 tsp of light soya sauce
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  1. Prepare the garlic oil by frying the garlic in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Fry till lightly brown and crisp.
  2. Boil water in a pot/wok. Add 1/4 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the water, this will help retain the nice green of your vegetable. Once boiling, blanched the bok choy quickly, don't over cook them. Drain in a colander and transfer the vegetable to a plate.
  3. Mixed well the garlic oil, light soya sauce and oyster sauce together.
  4. Then drip it over the bok choy and ready to serve.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Ngoh Hiang ( Chinese Five Spice sausage roll)

One of the dish I served during my Chinese New Year Eve dinner as a starter. This is very authentic to Singapore. You can easily find this is food court or hawker centre. This dish is authentically Hokkien.

Ngoh Hiang
Ingredients ( for 5 rolls)

Ingredients for the filling:
  • 150g minced pork
  • 150g prawns - minced
  • 5 water chestnut, diced
  • 1/2 chopped big onion
  • 1 small carrot julienned
  • 2 stalks spring onion chopped
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • corn flour

  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder

Soya bean sheet (I rinse in warm water to dissolve the saltiness)


  • 2 tbsp plum sauce
  • 1/4 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic oil
  • some sesame seed
  • 2 tsp of water
  • 1 tsp of lime juice

  1. Mix pork, prawns, water chestnut, big onion, carrot, spring onion in a mixing bowl. Add seasoning and mix well.
  2. Add the beaten egg and corn flour. Mix well.
  3. Lay the bean sheet and cut to desired size for wrapping. Wrap the fillings in the beancurd sheets; compress the fillings to make it tight.
  4. In a steamer, steam the roll for about 10-15mins. Let it cool.
  5. Prepare a pan/wok for deep frying. Heat the oil on medium heat.
  6. Sliced the roll. Place and coat with corn flour before deep frying.
  7. Deep fry until golden brown.
  8. Serve with sauce.

Enjoy :-)

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Let's do the Loh Hei ( Yu Sheng)

Gong Xi Fa Cai. Been a wonderful evening sharing Chinese New Year dinner over at my place. It has been interesting to explain and exchange a piece of our unique Chinese New Year culture to my British friends. Some have heard of yu sheng, some not heard of it & not tried before. Yu Sheng is actually raw fish salad and typically had it during the 7thday of CNY (better known as Ren Ri or human birthday). This dish signifies all good fortune , prosperity, abundance, upward growth in business and etc. The belief is the higher you toss the better your good fortune and wealth will be....let's with excitement with loud voice says "Loh Hei" (toss upward) as you toss. The only time of the year where you can mess up the table :-). This dish is very popular with Chinese businessmen in Singapore/Malaysia. Nowdays we can have it anytime during Chinese New Year, and yes being in far and away from Malaysia/Singapore, my craving gets better of me :-).
A month ago, I asked my sis to buy me a vegetable slicer(mandolin) from CK Tang in Singapore specifically for yu sheng. I even googled for specific things to say while serving Yu Sheng :-). Enjoy and drool.

Yu Sheng (Raw Fish Salad)
Ingredients (serves about 8 people)

  • 200gm fresh salmon fillet or smoked salmon (thinly sliced)
  • 100gm carrot (julienned)
  • 200gm Chinese radish (julienned)
  • 20gm pickled ginger (pink color)-julienned
  • 20gm fresh ginger - julienned
  • 5 small pickled shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1 bunch of corriander (shred with hand)
  • 1 stalk of spring onion (take only the green part-julienned)
  • 2 dry sweeten kum quat(lime)-julienned
  • 1 lemongrass-chopped finely
  • 1 small apricot julienned
  • 1 small semi ripe mango julienned
  • 20gm yam/taro - colored it green and deep fry
  • 20gm yam/taro -colored it red and deep fry
  • half pink grapefruit
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed
  • 3 tbsp toasted peanut - grounded
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seed
  • 1 cup of crispy flakes (can use fried wanton skin)
  • 1/2 cup of garlic oil + 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp plum sauce (I use Yeos brand)
  • 1 dry sour plum grated and added to plum sauce.
  • 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee brand)
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder-place them in red packet(ang pow)
  • 1 tsp white pepper-place them in red packet
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  1. Place all other ingredients in a plate except salmon(I use 15inches in diameter plate), arrange nicely.
  2. Mix the sauces ingredient together in a small bowl.
  3. Place salmon in a small plate, squeeze juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tsp garlic oil and let it coat well onto the salmon.
  4. Add the salmon to (1). Drizzle sesame seed, roasted peanut, crsipy cracker, five spice, pepper and garlic oil onto (1)
  5. Pour in the sauce and get ready your chopstick and Loh Hei :-)

Saturday, 24 January 2009

May there be surpluses every year (Nian Nian Yu Yue)

As Chinese New Year is just round the corner, I went grocery shopping in my local Chinese supermarket. The lady boss convinced me to buy fresh whole sea bass for Chinese New Year as fish signifies abundance/surpluses. Well after all it's once a year kind of event and fish is a must..... :-)
My favorite style of cooking fish will be steaming it if it's real fresh. All needed is sauce to cook with. So I decided to do steam fish Teochew style. Been awhile since I had real good fish :-)

Steam Fish Teochew Style
Ingredients (serve two)

  • 1 sea bass (about 500-700gm)
  • ginger -size of thumb, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tsp garlic in vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of light soya sauce
  • 1 dry sour plum
  • corriander for garnishing
  • spring onion for garnishing
  • 1 bird eye chilli
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp pickled green mustard (I use cherry tomato)
  1. Clean the fish and remove the scale.
  2. In a dish, place the fish, top up with ginger, garlic, light soya sauce, chilli, sour plum, oil and tomato.
  3. In a wok, boil some water. When water start to boil, place the dish in a rack in the wok and close the lid and let it steam for 10-12mins on high heat. Alternatively you can use steamer.
  4. Once cooked, remove from wok and top up with corriander and spring onion.
  5. Served immediately. Goes well with rice or rice congee.
I finished the whole fish :-), it's so simple, fresh and yet delicious.

Wishing all my family & friends who celebrated Chinese New Year, Nian Nian Yu Yue and Gong Xi Fa Chai.

Stay tune to my blog for more Chinese New Year dishes :-) .

Sunday, 18 January 2009

"A Long Man" Kwan Lo Mee (Dry Noodle)

Recently had been feeling rather nostalgic, perhaps Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and me, yes me announcing not going back to Malaysia/Singapore this Ox year....
Even my recent dishes in a way has been linked to my growing up years in little village of Pekan Gurney ( named after Sir Henry Gurney as my dad told me) , after all Malaysia used to be under British ruling.
Once in awhile I will miss the food I grew up with in this little village. Tonite, I'm making dry noodle(kwan Lo Mee) , one of my favorite meal for anytime of the day-be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. One of my favorite noodle stall back home is "A Long Man" noodle stall. The reason for this nickname is that the original owner is a very tall man. This stall has been passed down through few generations. For my family , it's been 4 th generations that we had eaten there.

Secret to nice Kwan Lo Mee : pork fats, and the usage of minced garlic in rice vinegar that make "A Long Man" dry noodle uniquely his :-) .

Minced garlic in rice vinegar

A Long Man Kwan Lo Mee
Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 150 gm fresh egg noodles
  • some char siew pork (roast pork)
  • some book choy
  • some spring onion for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp pork lard
  • 1 tsp sesame
  • 1/2 tbsp black soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp premium oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic vinegar ( 5 cloves of minced garlic in 1 tbsp rice vinegar-let it pickled overnite)
  • 1 tbsp char siew gravy
  1. In a plate, add the sauce ingredients and mixed well.
  2. In a pot, boil some water, once water boiling, throw the noodle in, use a chopstick to stir so that noodle will not clump together. Once cooked the noodle will float. Remove the noodle and run it under cold running tap water. This will ensure the noodle will be springy.
  3. Once water is boiling again, put in the noodle back again to re-cook.
  4. Once cooked, drained, and put the noodle into the sauce and mixed well.
  5. Garnish with spring onion, bok choy and char siew pork.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Braised Pork in Rice Wine

This is as close as it gets to the famed Hangzhou Dongpo pork. I love the tenderness of the meat after simmering for about 2 hours in cast iron pot & the fat bit just melt nicely under your bite. Goes nicely with rice. :-)

Braised Pork in Rice Wine
Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1kg pork belly
  • 50gm ginger, sliced
  • 2 spring onions
  • 6 cup cold water
  • 1 Cup shaoxing wine
  • 3 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  1. Cut the pork into 1.5 inches thick. In a pot boil some hot water enough to cover the pork, throw the pork in and boil on high heat to remove the blood foam. Off the heat and drained the pork through a colander under cold water.
  2. In cast iron pot, add the wine, water, ginger and spring onion. Once boiling, add in the pork and let it boil on high heat for 5minutes, then turn to low heat and let it simmer for 1 hour. Check the pork by using a fork, at this time the lean part of the pork should be quite tender.
  3. Add in light soya sauce and let it simmer for another half an hour on low heat.
  4. After that stir in dark soya sauce and sugar. Simmer for another 10minutes or so. Off heat.
  5. Serve with rice.
I would say nice winter dish to keep one the winter fats :-)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Authentic Steam "Kampung" Chicken

Been feeling under the weather for the past week. Some of my friends thought I am superwoman whom will not fall sick. Well, well I'm just a human being subjected to harsh elements just like everyone else during this cold winter snap. I've been down with cold and on top of that my neck ache/migraine has been bothering me for the past few weeks. All I had for the last few days were oat porridge with dried fruits for breakfast, light sandwiches and salad for lunch and rice porridge or soup for dinner. At least I still had my balanced 3 meals a day.

I started to crave for some substance/solid food. Just went grocery shopping to fill up my empty fridge and saw free range corn fed chicken on the meat shelf. Oh nostalgic.....reminded me of my growing up years in Malaysian villages ("kampung" in Malay) . My mom used to rear free range chicken in our back yard, and frankly speaking the chicken tasted so sweet compared to the caged chicken. Mom typically used Chinese herbs to cook them as these chicken deemed to be more nutritious/healthy than their caged counterparts. She also steamed the chicken for yet a simple and delicious dish during Chinese festivities. Steaming the chicken retained the tenderness and sweetness. Yum yum to my steam "kampung" chicken.

Steam Kampung Chicken
Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 free range chicken thigh (remove bone)
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger oil/garlic oil
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1/2 cucumber for garnishing
  • spring onion for garnishing
  • garlic chilli sauce to serve
  1. Clean the chicken and pat dry. Rub salt and sesame oil onto chicken.
  2. In a wok/sauce pan, boil some water for steaming the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken in a ceramic plate/dish and steam in the covered wok/saucepan for 12-15minutes till just cook. Off the heat and let it cool in the wok/saucepan for about 10minutes.
  4. Removed and sliced with a sharp knife and placed in a plate. Drizzle with the juice from steaming, garnish with light soya sauce, garlic/ginger oil, cucumber and spring onion.
  5. Served with rice.
I am asking for my second helping :-) .

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy New Year 2009

To all readers and fellow bloggers, my best wishes for New Year 2009. Some might wonder again of my dissapearing act (yes AGAIN). So what's been happening? With Ann we went to Scotland a week before Christmas for sight seeing then back to Cambridge and then head south to London after Christmas till New Year. Am still recuperating from running about :-)

So excited to be back food blogging again. I made pai tee (top hats) for my guests during my Christmas gathering. I wanted to introduce this lovely nyonya delicacy to my friends who had not known what pai tee was. How lovely these mouthful delights to wow your guests. It was a pleased I were.

As pointed out earlier in my blog, Ann brought me a pai tee mold all the way from Malaysia, else am not able to make this lovely nyonya snacks from Malaysia. Thanks Ann.

Pai Tee ( Top Hats)

Ingredients ( roughly make 40 pieces )
For pai tee casing

  • 50 gm rice flour
  • 20 gm corn flour
  • 20gm plain flour
  • 1/2 small egg
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100ml water
  • 1 pai tee mold


  • 1 cup turnip julienned
  • ½ cup carrot, julienned
  • 2 dry shitake mushroom soaked and thinly sliced(optional)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • Coriander/parsley for garnishing
  • Chilli sauce to serve
  • some cooked prawns , diced for garnishing
  • Vegetable oil to deep fry pai tee casing

  1. Mix all ingredients for pai tee casing into a bowl until all flour is nicely mixed. Leave for about an hour
  2. Heat oil in a wok with the mold in the oil. Put on medium to low fire.
  3. Once hot, dip the mold about 3/4 into the batter mix and slowly transfer into the heated oil for frying, Jiggle the mold and use a fork to gently remove the case from the mold. Fry till golden brown and drained on oil paper. Repeat for more cases. Tips: If it's a new mold ensure that you dip the mold in oil overnight before using it.
  4. For the filling, add some oil into a wok. Stir fry the shallots until light brown. Add in french beans , mushroom and carrots and season with soya sauce, pepper, oyster sauce. Add in turnip and cook until dry.Leave to cool.To serve, fill the cases with the filling, and serve with chili sauce.

This is my first attempt on Pai Tee....turned out lovely isn't it?