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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Crab Curry

I couldn't resist these sea crabs at the market this morning, probably because  it has been ages since I cracked into one. The one dish  I always love making is this Spicy Crab Curry that never fails to burst our palate. 
I was told that the curry taste even better the next day but we never had the change to test that theory out.  In my house its good to the last drop as we serve, I'll be lucky to hope for any leftovers, so I can't vouch to that. 

2 kg of blue crabs - about 8 pieces
Shelled and cleaned. Cut into two.

3 tablespoons  oil
2 large red onions
5 cloves garlic - pounded
1 thumb peeled ginger- pounded (about 2 inches)
5 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
3 sprig curry leaves


5 cups of water
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tbs chili powder - add according to your taste
4 tbs fish curry powder
salt to taste
1 cup coconut milk3 medium sized tomatoes- quartered4 green chilies - slit 
1 brinjals - quartered

In a large wok, heat the oil and saute (A). Put the spices in first.
Saute till the onions are tender.

Add (B) and give it a good mix, lower the heat and cover the pot for about 10 minutes.
Add the crabs and mix well.  If the gravy has reduced,* top up another cup of water.  
Bring to a gentle simmer and add (C) cook till the vegetable are tender and check for seasonings.

If you like a thicker version then hold on to the * cup of water. I prefer the thicker version myself. 

Serve hot with warm rice and raita, (see below for the recipe). Do smuggle some curry to test  it out the next day.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Home-made Hot Dog Bun

I don't suppose anyone would bake their own hot dog bun when you can easily grab a bag from the stores. That's what my son told me when I told him I'm making one. 
He gave me a blank look and left. much for that.
For those of you who think it's not a silly idea, here's how to make a freshly baked hot dog bun. 

400g Bread Flour
20g Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbs Milk Powder
2 tsp instant yeast

250 ml water

30g Butter

In your mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook, add the water and A. Knead well until the dough is pliable. Add the butter and continue kneading for about 10 min.

Put the dough in a oiled bowl and cover for about an hour to proof.

In a well floured working table, divide the dough into 60g pieces and roll it into a ball.  or divide it into six portion. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Flatten the dough ball and roll it lengthwise, about 5in and place it in a baking sheet.  Placing the dough 3 in apart for each other.
Leave it to proof for another 45 min. 

Preheat the oven at 200 deg cel. Brush the top with some water and sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake for 15 min.

To serve, slit the bun lengthwise and spread some mustard sauce and mayonnaise. Place a Frankfurter on a bed of shredded lettuce. Squirt tomato ketchup and serve.  

From alex goh world of bread

Friday, 20 November 2015

Clear Chicken Broth

This clear chicken soup works wonders if one of us are down with flu or on a cold rainy day, like today. 
I normally buy a few chicken carcass on my wet market rounds and chuck it in the freezer for later use.  

If I am making chicken stock I would omit the coriander powder and the potatoes since it alters the taste of the stock. I freeze the strained stock in several small Tupperware for later use.

2 chicken carcass
3 shallots- pound
5 clove of garlic-pound
2 in ginger- pound
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs of coriander powder
4 cups of water
1 stick of celery - finely sliced

In a pressure cooker add all the above and boil in a low heat for 30 minutes.

Release the pressure and gently open the cover. 
Now add chunks of carrots and potatoes. (I leave the amount to you). Cover the lid and continue boiling for another 20 min.

Skim as much of the floating oil as possible. I use a loaf of bread to sponge off the oil.
You may want to strain the broth before serving.  To serve garnish with spring onions and slices of baguette.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Curry Noodles

Hubby is a good cook and it's been ages since he last cooked and we picked Curry Mee (Noodle) as 'a welcome back to the kitchen' dish for him. I must say he did a good job given that it's rather a tedious dish to prepare but he got Joel as his sous chef to help him out.

250g yellow noodles
125g rice noodles
100g bean sprout
3 cups thick coconut cream
5 fish cake - sliced
Dried bean-curd sheets -sliced
30 fish balls
6 cups of water
salt to taste
4 tbs oil

Blended ingredients
2 serai- lemon grass
1 thumb size lengkuas - galangal
6 buah keras - candle nut
2in kunyit- tumeric
thumbsize ginger
10 shallots
6 cloves of garlic
2in belacan - dried shrimp paste
20 dried chilies - soaked in water and softened
1/2 cup of water

Prawn paste
1/2 kg of prawn head

Wash the head and set aside. Heat 1/4 cup of oil and fry the prawn head till golden brown and crispy. Do be careful while frying as the oil splutters.
Remove and blend the fried prawn head fine.

In a wok, heat some oil and pour the blended ingredients and the prawn paste and fry it until fragrant. Keep stirring to avoid being burnt.In another pot gently simmer the 2 cups of coconut cream and water. 
Pour the cooked pounded paste into the pot and keep simmering in a gentle heat, for about 15 minutes.

Now add the fish balls, fish cake and the dried bean-curd. Check for seasonings and add the rest of the coconut cream. Lower the heat and gently simmer (do not boil the gravy)

Boil some water in a pan and parboil the noodles. Put a little of each noodles into the individual serving bowls and pour the gravy over it. 
Add the fish cake and the fish balls to the bowl and serve.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Winter Melon Drink

I decided to find out or rather learn how to make this drink when I notice my boys and hubby kept buying this drink by the cartons and gulp it down in a second.

So when I served them my homemade version they were rather thrilled with the prospect of an endless servings they can have.

Give it a go folks.   A perfect thirst quencher.
You only need two ingredients and whole load of sugar, but no worries you can control the sweetness to your liking, besides the Loh Han Gua fruit  does contributes to the sweetness.

500 g winter melon
2 Loh Han Guo
Soft brown sugar
Dark brown sugar

Clean the fruit by scrubbing the skin well, then slice the fruit and discard the seeds. Cut into small slices. 
Crack open the Loh Han Gua fruit and scoop the filling out.

In a large bowl add all the ingredients and give it a good mix. I leave it to you to adjust the amount of sugar. I added about 200g of brown sugar and 100g of dark brown sugar.
Set aside for 20 min.

This is how a Loh Han Gua fruit looks like. (Image taken from the net)

See how the sugar extracted the liquid from the melon. Pour the whole  content into a slow cooker and switch it on. I left mine overnight.

I made a silly mistake of not snapping a shot the next morning. I will update it on my next round of making this drink.

Strain and discard the mushy fruit. You may add the flesh as it taste alright.( just cut off the skin). 

To serve, add 2 tablespoon of the winter melon syrup and top it up with some ice cubes and water. Or you may serve it warm.
I have to remind you that this drink is addictive and a fantastic thirst quencher... I say that again.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Mash and Mince Beef

One of my quick fix for dinner.
It did take me about a quarter of an hour but who's keeping the time!
Dinner was done ( I mean dinner was gobbled...mind you we were very hungry) within a fraction of a that was the quick part.

For the mince
I large red onion - cut fine
300g of mince beef
salt and pepper
2 tsp paprika
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 grated carrot
1 stick of celery - cut fine
handful of peas

In a pan,pour about 2 tbs of oil and saute the onion till tender. Add the mince and give it a good mix and cook for about 5-8 minutes till the mince is browned and shriveled.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the peas and give it a good mix. Cover with a lid and cook for another 8 minutes. Add the peas and remove from heat.

For the mash
5 medium size potatoes - skinned and quartered
1/4 cup milk
2 tbs butter
a squirt of mustard sauce
salt and white pepper
1 soft boil egg
Mayonnaise - I leave it to you, I used very little

Boil the potatoes in a pot with 1 tbs of salt.
Mash the potatoes and the egg add the rest of the ingredients and mix well till creamy. Check for seasonings.

For the Garlic bean
200g of french bean
3 Button mushroom - sliced
salt and pepper
6 pips of garlic
Dash of anchovies seasoning (or any seasoning)

In a pan pour a tsp of oil and saute the garlic till it turns golden brown. Add the mushroom and the bean. Add seasonings and cook till the bean is tender. Remove form heat and serve.

There you go, a quick and delicious dinner. Serve with baguette or any hard bread.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Light Fruit Cake

A perfect tea time cake with a cuppa.
It's time someone hide this cake from me...I must have eaten half of it. 
Something about this cake, I reckon the added ground almond gives this cake a nice nutty taste...probably why I just can't stop. 
Note to self: add a little more butter (I find the cake is a wee bit dry) and would add the fruits as well.

120 g candied mixed peel
100 g candied red or green cherries (cut into quarters)
40 g raisins
2-3 tablespoons  brandy

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) ground almonds (almond meal/flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt

Zest of one small lemon (outer skin)
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk 

In a bowl combine the dried fruits. Stir in the alcohol, cover, and let sit at room temperature at least two days. Stir occasionally.

When ready to make the cake batter, preheat oven to 170 degrees C
Prepare a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the extracts. Add the dried fruits, along with any juices, and beat until incorporated. 
Beat in half the flour mixture just until incorporated. Then beat in the milk and then the remaining flour mixture.

Gently pour into the pan.
Bake for about 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If you find the cake is browning too much, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.) 

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

The cake does benefit from being stored a day or two before serving, as this softens the outer crust and allows the flavors to mingle. You can cover and store this cake for about a week at room temperature or it can be frozen. 
This does not apply in my case.

Enjoy your tea.... jue
recipe adapted from joy of baking

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Stir fry Pork Belly

I'm kinda stuck with this Stir fry pork belly dish, seem to be cooking this up every now and then. Time to move on to a healthier cut...perhaps a lean version stir fry!

1 kg of pork belly 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


3 large onion thinly sliced
2in ginger thinly sliced
5 pips of  garlic thinly sliced
1 each cinnamon, star anise


1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbs of chili powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of pepper
salt to taste

2 tbs thick (black)soy sauce
dash of Worcestershire sauce 

Slice the pork thinly and mix A well and set aside for 10 min.

Heat oil in a pan, about 2 tbs over medium high heat, place the thinly sliced pork  on the pan (do not over load  the pan) and fry till it's fat got a good crisp. Fry the rest of the slices and set aside.  

In the same pan, with the remaining oik, add B and fry on medium heat until it turns golden brown.  Add C and mix well for a minute, add a little water.

Bring the heat up a little and add the pork and stir it until well combined. You need it keep stirring it for two minutes before you bring the heat back down to medium. 

Add D and continue cooking, add a little more water if necessary.

After twenty minutes it should look like the picture above.   Serve hot with streamed rice.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Roll Oat Cookies

Can a cookie get any healthier than this? 
Okay, after tasting this cookie I would probably  lessen 10g off the sugar.
Then this would be a perfect Roll Oat cookie for an after breakfast snack.

I baked this cookie for about 25 min ( the recipe suggested 12 min) and got a super crunchy cookie which I like compared to the chewy ones. The choice is yours.

1 cup (110 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (210 grams) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups (260 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup  raisins 
1/2 cup white or chocolate chips (Optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). 
Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until incorporated. 

Stir in the nuts, oats, and raisins or chocolate chips.

I  use a small ice cream scoop for a medium size cookie and space the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. 
Then wet your hand and flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers.

Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges 
Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.


Makes about 40 medium size cookies

recipe from joy of baking

Monday, 12 October 2015

Beef Pie

I am literally the size of a house!
Pass me another slice...

 It may look rather daunting to make this pie but if you prepare the crust and the filling a day ahead, then assembling the pie would be a piece of pie.

For the filling

600 g beef (brisket, chuck or any other stewing steak)
4 medium size shallot
2 carrots 

2 sticks celery 
1 clove of garlic
1 large potato
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard 

500 ml beef stock 
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil 
salt to taste
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. 
1 cup of leftover red wine

Chop the meat into bite size cubes, 
then season the with salt & pepper.  Coat each cube in flour and  fry it ( Oil)  until it is browned on all sides. 

Do this in batches  and don't over crowd the pan else the meat will boil and not brown. Set aside.

Cut all the carrots, potato and  celery into a bite size pieces  and gently saute it in the same pan, not forgetting the shallots.

Transfer all the meat, vegetables and the rest of the ingredients  into a slow cooker with a lid for 3 hours, checking it every half an hour to make sure there is enough liquid (if it appears to be getting too low, just add some hot water). 

After 3 hours, remove it from the cooker. Drain all the gravy and cool it down so you don't get a soggy bottom. 


For the short crust pastry, please click below for the recipe.

I like to blind bake the crust first ( I hate soggy bottom), it up to you though.
Do make sure that the filling is strained of its gravy before you pour over the crust.
Sprinkle generously with the choice of your cheeses and bake the pie at 180 deg cel for 50 min to an hour.
recipe modified from Really Nice Recipe

Friday, 9 October 2015

Prawn Fritters...Cucur Udang

This savory snack is one of the many many favorite snack that we enjoy digging in. 
A well loved Malaysian snack know as Prawn Fritters aka Cucur Udang is best eaten warm out of the fryer dipped in hot chili sauce.

For the batter
2 cups of plain flour
1 shallot - finely sliced
1 red chili - finely sliced
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 cup of kuchai or chives - finely sliced
Water - accordingly 

Prawns - medium size (deveined) 

Add all the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The batter should be a fairly thick consistency drop, so adjust the water accordingly.

Heat a medium size skillet with 2 cups of vegetable oil. The oil should be hot but not too hot.
With a ladle, scoop a ladle-full of batter and place the prawns of top. Gently dip it into the oil.
Repeat  for the rest of the batter.. Place three fritters at a go.
Give a minute for each side or until the the fritter turns golden brown.
Gently remove and drain for excess oil in a kitchen towel.

Serve warm with your favorite chili or sriracha sauce.

Enjoy... Jue

Monday, 5 October 2015

Gingerbread House

I totally forgot about this gingerbread house that I built last year. 
I remember being really sick and my son Joel, helped me to finish putting the house up. 
The cookies were baked a day ahead and kept in an airtight  container. 

I used template from Sweetopia. Her template was just the right size I was looking for. Do check her blog.

For the cookie
800 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder *do not use baking powder if you do not want cookies to spread/rise
250 g unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses*

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy.

2. Mix in spices first, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low.

3. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and add to bowl; mix until just combined.

4. Wrap dough in a disc shape in saran wrap. Let it rest by refrigerating until cold, about 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 deg cel. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4-inch thick.

6. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters and place them approximately 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

7. Refrigerate until firm; at least 15 minutes to 1 hour.

8. Bake cookies until lightly golden; 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

For the Royal Icing

3/4 cup warm water
5 TBL meringue powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1kg of powdered sugar/sifted

Make sure all your tools are grease free, wipe all the  tools with a piece of paper towel and vinegar. Wipe dry with a clean towel.

Sift the powdered sugar

Mix using a whisk 5 TBL of meringue powder with warm water, until slightly foamy, add cream of tarter.

mix again and then add all the powdered sugar at once. Using your stand mixer, on the lowest setting, using paddle attachment, mix for 10 minutes, after 10 minutes you can add your flavorings.
Out the icing in a glass container and cover the icing tightly.

Outline the cookie and flood it with a medium consistency icing. Let the cookie completely dry for 8 hours or overnight before touching them.

Using a No.2  Wilton tip, fill the icing in a piping bag and glue all the parts. Begin with the four sides and let it dry for 2 hours. Then attach the roofs, use fruit tins/jars to balance the pieces and let it dry completely.
Lastly add the chimney and let it dry.

Decorate the house as you desire.

recipes from sweetopia and haniella

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Puff Pastry...Croissant, Palmiers

They say  that every baker should attempt to make puff pastry at least once. 
Granted it was a wee bit time consuming turning and rolling and chilling  the pastry, but I would say it was nerve wreakingly fun.

I suppose you should give it a go to get the hang of turning and rolling this pastry. 
I found a good You Tube video that I used as a guide to get me through the method and I used her recipe for the pastry, so give it a go. 

Here are some of the pastries I made for breakfast.

Chocolate Palmiers
Chicken Puff


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Coconut Creme Caramel

This is my kinda dessert, my comfort dessert.

I use to battle with this dessert, it was way too sweet and the eggy smell just drove me nuts. 
Problem solved. 

First I added some lemon juice in the caramel. You might wonder why, when the dessert is served the caramel puddles over and with each bite you get this nice tangy caramely pud instead of this eggy whiff.  
Next I added vanilla paste instead of extract, something stronger to overpower the already fallen egg. 

For the caramel
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbs lemon juice

For the custard
4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup milk
pinch of salt - optional
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

8 ramekins -small or 6 medium size

Place the  sugar and in a saucepan over low heat, do not touch the pot for the first two minutes. Gently push the pot around until you see the sugar began to dissolve. 

Cook, without stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes or until amber or light  golden.  Do not let the sugar  cook further. Remove from heat. Now gently add the lemon juice, please be careful as the sugar will bubble vigorously. 

Pour caramel into a ramekins. Set aside to cool and harden.

Prepare the steamer.

Place milk, coconut cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. 
Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until hot and small bubbles form at edge of pan. Remove from heat.                                                 

Whisk eggs and  sugar in a large bowl.  Slowly add  2 tablespoon of the cream mixture, whisking constantly to temper down the egg, gently add the rest in a slow stream. 
Strain mixture. Pour into the ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish. Pour boiling water into baking dish until halfway up sides of pan. Gently put the pan in the steamer and steam 
for 35 to 40 minutes or until firm and just set. 

Remove pan from steamer and water bath.  Set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, run  a thin knife around edge of custard.  Put the ramekin on a plate of hot water to loosen the pud and turn out onto a plate.