29 October 2009

Fried Bean Curd with Sweet Chilli Sauce

I made this way before I got inspired to be a food blogger and it’s possibly one of my early attempts at photographing food with a SLR camera. So do forgive me for the not so nice pictures.

Before this when I cook the thing that matters most would be the taste of the food, but after sitting at home thinking what to do aside from looking after a baby, slowly I learned about the art of food styling and photography. And I have my husband to thank for letting me play with his SLR :D
Anyway back to the dish, it’s quite easy to make and it’s great as a starter or appetizer even as light bites when you’re entertaining . It mainly consists of tofu, seasonings, flour and egg to bind everything together. You can put in minced meat, prawn, fish or diced water chestnut for crunchiness, chilli for heat, anything at all. Be creative :)

You need
1 piece soft bean curd(I usually use organic soy bean curd, will update with picture the next time I go for my grocery shopping)
1 stalk of spring onion, chopped
1/2 small carrot, julienned
1 small egg
2 tbsps of corn flour
flour for coating

½ tsp salt
1 tbsp of oyster sauce (omit this if you are on a vegetarian diet)
½ tsp pepper

Sweet Chilli sauce
4 red chillies, minced
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Rice vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice

How to
1. Mash soft bean curd in a mixing bowl and strain using a strainer to remove excess liquid. Add spring onion, carrot, egg, and seasoning. Mix and stir until well combined and lastly add in the corn flour. Mix well
2.Pour the ingredients into a lightly greased square tray. Steam for 15-16 minutes or until set and cooked. Set aside to cool completely.
3.Cut into squares or rectangular pieces then coat with flour. Deep-fry in hot oil until crispy and golden.
4.Dish out onto several layers of paper towels. Serve immediately with the chilli dipping sauce.

Sweet Chilli Sauce*
1.In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the chillies, sugar, water, vinegar, and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
2.Stir to dissolve the sugar and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the liquid reduces slightly and thickens to a light syrup.
3.Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce and lime or lemon juice. If you want a thicker sauce you can stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of corn flour mixed in with some water towards the end of the simmer.
4. Cool to room temperature before serving. Keep the cooled sauce in a tightly sealed jar.

* I’ve made the sauce a few days ahead to keep, hence there is no step by step tutorial for the sauce

Cooking tutorials

How to

28 October 2009

Sago Gula Melaka

Being a Malaysian, I find myself very lucky because there are so many types of food especially desserts thanks to it’s multi-ethnic population of Malay, Chinese Indian,Eurasian, Nyonya etc. And having a sweet tooth, this means I’m in heaven, heaven of yummy delectable desserts. And did I mention that I simply love anything that has santan (coconut milk) and gula melaka (palm sugar) so this dessert is the perfect one.

You need
200 sago, you can also use pearl sago
250 gram coconut milk (I used packet coconut milk which is available at supermarkets and hypermarkets, even grocery stores)
1/2 cup of hot water
4 pandan leaves, knotted
150 gram of gula melaka, crushed (but as you can see, I didn’t crush the gula melaka but it would take longer time to dissolve)
a pinch of salt
Yields 4
How to
1.Soak pearl sago in water for 5 minutes.
2.Bring 5 cups of water to boil in a large pot along with the pandan leaves*. Once the water boils, remove the pandan leaves then add sago and keep stirring till sago turns transparent. (Initially I only use 150g of sago and midway I realized it’s not enough and added the remaining sago. That’s why you see white dots amongst the transparent sago. Bad move)
3.Pour into a strainer and rinse under a running tap till cool.
4.Drain excess water and pour into a bowl. Mix well to prevent the sago from curdling and scoop into individual moulds to set. Chill in refrigerator.
5.Dissolve palm sugar with 1/2 cup of hot water in a saucepan together with pandan leaves*. Bring to boil and stirring in between to prevent the syrup from burning.Remove the pandan leaves, remove from heat and chill in refrigerator.
6. Mix the coconut milk with a pinch of salt and chill in the refrigerator.
7.To serve, spoon the palm sugar syrup and coconut milk over the chilled sago.
*I recycled the pandan leaves after scenting the pot of boiling water for the sago.

Cooking Tutorials
How To


23 October 2009

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Icing Glaze

I wrote earlier that I would be sharing the recipes of these delicious food for my next post but this recipe clearly takes the cake (no pun intended) and therefore should have the honours of being my latest post after a short break :D
Adapted from this recipe.

You need
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
250 grams of butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree*
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Icing Glaze
2 tablespoons milk
cups of icing / powdered sugar sifted
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
How to
1. Heat oven to 160°. Grease and flour a 8 inch cake pan*.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices; set aside. In mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly beat in dry ingredients. Continue beating on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Spoon into the prepared cake pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center.
3. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a rack; invert onto a serving plate to cool completely.
4. For the glaze, just mix the sugar with essence with milk poured in bit by bit until it’s well mixed and thickened slightly. Drizzle the glaze over cooled cake and set aside for 1-2 hours before serving or you can also dust the cake with powdered sugar instead
*To make pumpkin puree
I had a medium sized pumpkin sitting in my kitchen for sometime not knowing what to do with it as I’m not really a fan of pumpkin. After seeing a few friends’ pumpkin dishes, I googled for a recipe and I decided on making Pumpkin Pound Cake, which is something different as I’ve never tasted Pumpkin Cake before. So back to the puree making, I read many recipes that requires baking for at least 90 minutes! and I don’t want to overwork my oven and was on the verge on switching to another recipe when I stumbled upon this wonderful
site. To summarize, simply clean then half your pumpkin, scrap the seeds (they make really healthy and yummy snacks s don’t throw them away) and fibre. Next cut the halves in two and place the pieces (flesh facing down) on the roasting pan along with 1 cup of water. Bake them in a preheated 225° oven for 30 minutes or until it’s tender. Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop up the flesh into a bowl or food processor/blender to make a smooth puree. I skipped the straining steps though as the puree looks pretty smooth to me. I used all the puree about 21/2 cups in this recipe but it still turned out delish!

Taste                       :   5/5 I love it because it’s very fragrant due to the spices of course pumpkin
Preparation              :  4/5 the recipe’s pretty easy to follow, although I got confused on the butter stick part
Ingredients               :  5/5 available at hypermarkets, supermarkets & baking supplies stores    
Cooking time           :  3/5 due to the puree making and a long baking time, longer than 40 minutes.

Cooking Tutorials
Pumpkin Puree