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Green Tea Craze

Hope it has been a great start for the new year for all of u. I have looked forward to year 2012 and am glad that it has finally come and I am now happily embarking on my Project Life 2012 and finishing up my Dec Daily 2011. I hope to share about these 2 projects on the blog soon.

Recently, I have been on some ‘green tea’ craze.

Through the past months, I managed to whip up quite a few green tea desserts.

1. Green Tea Sable Cookies

I have never tried green tea cookies before (only green peas ones during Chinese New Year) and I thought this green tea cookies tasted really refreshing with a strong green tea aroma.

If you are keen to try, recipe is from “Okashi” by Keiko.

2. Green Tea Light Pound Cake

I came across this recipe by chance. Was reading some craft blogs and came across ‘cotton and cloud’ which is mainly a knitting blog and she posted this interesting green tea light pound cake recipe. I am not a butter fan and when I saw her non-butter and healthy version of pound cake, I knew I have to make this cake soon.

As the blog author has mentioned, this cake was light. It pairs well with some berries or jam.
For your easier reference, I post her recipe here:
Ingredients:
3 medium eggs
100g cane sugar
140 g sunflower oil
40 g soya milk
180 g self-raising flour
2 tsp maccha powder

Equipment:
Cake tin (the blog author used a cake tin 20 cm length, (12.5 cm width & 9 cm depth))

 

Preparation:
a. Turn on and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
b. Line the cake pan with grease proof paper
c. Sift the flour and maccha mixture once.
Step 1: Mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk for 10 min until white and fluffy.
Step 2: In a small jug, mix the sunflower oil and soya milk using a spoon so that you get a nice emulsion.
Step 3: Very slowly drizzle the oil and soya milk mixture to the batter made in step 1. If possible keep on whisking (if not, add a little, then mix – repeat this process).
Step 4: When you get a nice fluffy even mixture of eggs, sugar, oil and soya milk (wet ingredient), stop mixing. Sift the flour and maccha powder (dry ingredient) into the batter. Carefully mix using a scraper not to burst any air bubbles.
Step 5: When you have mixed the dry and the wet ingredients so that there are no powder to be seen in the mixture, pour the mixture into the cake tin.
Step 6: Even out the surface by lightly tapping the bottom of the cake.
Step 7: Bake at 180C for the first 8 min then reduce the temperature to 170C and bake for further 25-30 min or until the skewer comes out with small crumbs of cake (if it doesn’t then it is definitely cooked so take it out of the oven quickly to prevent it from drying)

3.Green Tea Chiffon Cake


Once again, recipe is from ‘Okashi’.


Do give this a try and make sure you also do the green tea cream frosting. And use a top grade green tea powder. You will be rewarded using better green tea powder.

I am not a cream lover for sure but I really love this cake with the cream. I have used what my hubby would usually not prefer, which is the non-diary whipped cream. But both he and Zachary love this cake a lot with the cream frosting.  Likewise for my boss who is a big time butter lover. As for me, I love this chiffon so much that I baked the chiffon thrice over 2 months period.

I used this cake for a mock up for Zachary’s birthday cake. He really love these ‘sheep’ cartoon characters a lot J And though it was a mock up, I lit up candles for him and he had fun time singing birthday songs and blowing off candles repeatedly (for countless times). Haha…

We also ate the cake with some azuki beans. Nice combination.

4. Green Tea Pudding


This is again recipe from ‘Okashi’.


Texture was nice but both me and hubby thought the pudding was bit too bitter for our liking. I am not sure why; maybe the syrup I used was not sweet enough? Needless to say, Zachary replied me ‘ok already’ after the first bite. I guess I will try to use honey instead for my next trial.

Do share with me if you come across any other fabulous green tea related recipes.

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My hubby had very kindly changed the tv channels subscription last month after seeing me so happily engrossed in watching the masterchef Australia. He subscribed for more cooking channels for me which he has now slowly started regretting doing so since it is at expense of not being able to watch his favorite sports channels at times.

I have learnt and gained more exposure by watching some of these cooking shows. And I have also tried cooking what I learnt from these shows. These are some that I came out with during the recent weeks.

1. Pizza – learnt from masterchef Australia

 

2. Fougasse – learnt from Laura Calder

My first time in bread making. Dear Zachary was very amazed by those holes in the bread and was using them to play ‘peek a boo’.

 

3. Chicken Stew With Fermented Soya Bean – learnt from chef Wan

My first time using the fermented soy bean paste which really adds lots of unique taste to peranakan dishes.

This is really a very aromatic dish. My only regret was not watching the pot diligently. The liquid which was a lot at start was reduced to quite minimal and hence not as much yummy sauce as I would like to have.

I have a colleague who only recently realized that she is actually a nyona. She has asked for this recipe from me and told me that she hopes to learn how to cook peranakan dishes. So, am attaching here the recipe to share with all.

Recipe from chef Wan:

Ingredients

1 kg / 2 pounds / 3 oz Chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces
3/4 cup / 6 fl oz Vegetable Oil
30 Shallots (Red Onion), well pounded
15 Garlic cloves, peeled and well pounded
1/4 cup / 1 oz fermented Soy Bean Paste (Taucu or Tao-cheo), pounded
2 Tbsp / 1 fl oz Light Soy Sauce (Salty Soy Sauce, Kicap Cair)
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce (Kicap Pekat)
2 cm / 1 inch Ginger, sliced
4 Cloves
2 Star Anise
10 dried Black Shitake Mushrooms, soaked in hot water until soft
3 Potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cups / 24 fl oz water
2 Red Chilies sliced
2 Green Chilies sliced
2 Tbsp / 1 fl oz sugar
1 tsp grounded Pepper
Coriander (Cilantro, Chinese Parsley or Ketumbar) for garnish

Method

Heat oil in casserole dish, sauté the Shallots, Garlic till fragrant.

Add in Star Anise, Cloves and Ginger, and mix them well.

Add in Chicken and mix them well.

Add in Dark Soy Sauce, Light Soy Sauce, and fermented Soy Bean Paste (Taucu or Tao-cheo).

Add in water, Mushrooms, Potatoes and Coriander Leaves; add sugar and pepper to taste.

Mix well and stew chicken for half an hour.

Add in Red and Green Chilies, sugar and pepper and once again bring to boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for a further 20-25 minutes or till Chicken is tender and gravy is thick.

Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve.

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Some recipes to share

I am so so behind in my posting lately. Lots of drafted posts but just no energy to log on when home especially so when I am chasing after the masterchef australia and desperate housewives serials. Plus my laptop battery is spoilt. Ok, no further excuses and please let me share with you some food I made the past month.

The first one is this sesame crusted salmon with honey soba. Found this recipe from a local food blogger. Check out her blog for all the wonderful recipes she shared. Her yam cheesecake was been featured on newspaper too.

I really love the cold honey soba. Sweet and tasty. Sesame crusted salmon was also a combination that I tried for the first time; not bad at all.

Recipe extracted from maameemoomoo blog:

Sesame Crusted Salmon with Cold Honey Soba
(serves 4 small eaters)
300g soba
1 tsp sea salt
3 – 4 x 150g salmon fillet with skin on
1 tbsp white sesame seed
1 tbsp black sesame seed

(A)
5 tbsp soy with dried bonito extract
3/4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tbsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp honey

To serve
fried nori, optional
wasabi, optional
nanami togarashi, optional

Method
1. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Drain, return to the saucepan with ingredient (A) and toss to coat.
2. Refrigerate noodles for at least an hour.
3. 15 minutes before meal, marinate salmon with sea salt for 10 minutes.
4. Place the sesame seeds on a tray and mix to combine. Press salmon, skin-side down, into the sesame seeds to coat.
5. Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium heat and cook the salmon, skin-side down for 3 minutes or so. Turn and cook for a further 2 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
6. Top noodles with fried nori, salmon and scallions.
7. Serve with wasabi and nanami togarashi immediately.

Note : if you dislike your noodles cold, just skip the refrigerating bit and you’ll have warm noodles with your salmon.

And the second recipe to share here is the osmanthus jelly. I have been in love with this dessert when I tried it in Hong Kong this time. So since I came back, I started finding out how to make it. It is a truly very refreshing dessert and has very nice osmanthus fragrance.

Recipe:
10g Konnyaku Jelly Powder (I used Red man brand)
210g sugar (per  instruction of the powder packet)
950ml Water (per  instruction of the powder packet)
2-3 teaspoons dried osmanthus flowers
Wolfberry (optional)
Steps:

  1. Add osmanthus flowers to water. Using medium heat, wait for it to boil.
  2. Combine 210g sugar and 10g Konnyaku Jelly powder in separate bowl. Leave aside.
  3. When water is boiling, switch to a lower heat and drain approximately half of the osmanthus flowers (Do not discard, leave aside).
  4. Add in blended sugar and jelly powder gradually into the water and stir constantly to prevent lumps.
  5. When the entire portion of blended sugar and jelly powder dissolved, keep stirring till water boils again.
  6. Remove from heat and add in the flowers (that was removed in step 3 earlier on) and stir for a while.
  7. Put some wolfberry at the base of jelly mould if you like. (remember to soak them in water for around 20 minutes before use).
  8. Pour the mixture into mould.
  9. Wait for it to cool down a little before transferring into fridge.

And lastly, Heng Hwa Bee Hoon. I got the recipe from ‘Food and Travel Magazine’ may 11 issue. The extremely thin bee hoon and dried seaweed shreds are bought from ‘Pu tien’. I really love this dish although standard of which is still far behind that of ‘Pu tien’. If you are cooking up this, be mindful how much liquid these bee hoon will soak up.

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Hi hi, like to share with you a recent dish that I cooked. This dish was inspired by one I ate at a vegan store at Beach Road. I loved the dressing on the green soba noodle they used. I thought I tasted peanut and miso when I ate it and so I researched via internet to learn about dressing that used miso and peanut. This recipe that I am sharing here comes very close to what I have tasted earlier. And I added chicken slices and green veg to go with the dressing and the buckwheat noodle. Yummy and healthy food. 🙂

Peanut miso dressing

2/3 cup chicken stock

2/3 cup peanut butter

3 tbsp miso

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp ginger

1tbsp garlic

pinch of white pepper

Place all ingredients in food blender and blend for about 1 minute to form a smooth dressing. Can store in fridge for about a week and can use it for salad dressing too.

Also, like share with you a mini bento box I prepared for Zachary during his school excursion to the zoo. This is a snack bento. You can get most of the stuff I used here from Daiso.

The Japanese really love doing  bento box for their kids but I guess in Singapore, bento making is not common and seriously, I doubt I can find time to make these for Zachary to bring school. But it is really rewarding to see his happy face when he received this bento box

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Kueh Kosui

 Recently,  i made another Malay Kueh, Kueh Kosui.

Love the Gula Melaka taste. I made this huge lot of kueh on the day of my mother-in-law’s birthday and they were almost all eaten up by her friends during the dinner. I am so glad that they enjoyed the kueh a lot.

Here’s the recipe. Have a try; they are really nice. I have searched and found several recipes and decided on this one adapted somewhere from internet but unfortunately, I have forgotten the link.

Ingredients:

(A)

50 g sugar + 3 tbsp water
500ml water
250 g Gula Melaka
1 tbsp santan powder
2 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces

(B)

100g tapioca flour
160g rice flour
20g glutinous rice flour
500ml water
1 tsp alkaline water

(C)

1/2 freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

1. Put sugar and water to caramelize. Add in the 500 ml water as soon as the sugar turned brown. (Be careful here as there would be splattering of the very hot liquid; I have experienced that; so try not to use too shallow a pot for obvious reason)

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients in (A ) and bring it to a boil to dissolve the gula melaka. . Strain for any lumps and leave aside to cool.

3. Mix everything in (B) together till a smooth batter is formed.

4. Add in the gula melaka syrup and cook over low heat till the batter is slightly thickened. (Make sure you must stir constantly)

5. Pour batter into mould and steam over boiling hot water for about 40 minutes (for the big bowl I used) and about 15 minutes (for the small chew kueh mould I used).

6. Cool the Kueh Kosui before you cut into pieces .

7. Coat them with the steamed coconut and serve.

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Jap Chae

Last weekend, we had home-cooked korean cuisine. The main course made was this Japchae. Very appetizing dish and I really love the texture of the Korean starch noodles (you can purchase them from the Korean supermarket).

This is an easy dish but it takes up quite a lot of time as you need to prepare and cook almost each ingredient separately before mixing them together.

And here’s the recipe:

Japchae  (Serves 4)

Ingredients:
250g Korean starch noodles
150g Minced pork meat
1 big bunch of Spinach

1 packet of ‘jin zhen gu’ mushroom
6 shitake mushroom

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 eggs

Seasoning:
2-3tbsp Soya Sauce
1tbsp Sesame Oil
1-2tbsp Sugar
1-2tbsp Roasted black sesame seeds

Method

  1. Blanch spinach and wash with cold water. Squeeze out the water and cut the spinach into 2 inches length and mix it with 1/2 tbsp soya sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil.
  2. Fry onion slices (cut into thin slices) till soft.
  3. Fry egg and cut into thin strips
  4. Fry chopped garlic, mushroom and mince meat together with some a pinch of salt and ½ tsp pepper. I used truffle oil to fry for this one.
  5. Boil the noodle for about 3 min till soft. Drain. (No cold water washing)
  6. Add the seasonings into noodle and mix quickly.

Mix in all other ingredients cooked.

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Ondeh Ondeh

Hubby was overseas last weekend for work. Had actually planned for a meet up with 2 of my close friends with their boys over at my place but it had to be called off at last minute. Luckily, my parents were free to come over and my mother in law and neighbor were fortunately around to help me eat the 40 over ondeh ondeh that me and Zachary has made.

 This little sweet treats are best eaten the very day itself as the grated coconut will just turn bad fast. I have attached the recipe here, adapted from seasaltwithfood blog. I have not used the pandan extract as the sweet potatoes I bought has a nice orange color.

Ingredients

500 g White Color Sweet Potato Flesh (3 Medium, about 720g)
150 g Glutinous Rice Flour
20 g All-Purpose Flour

2 Tbsp Pandan Extract (8 Pandan Leaves, pounded)
150 g Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar), finely chopped
150 g Grated Coconut

A Pinch Of Sea Salt

Method

Boil the sweet potatoes in a medium pot until tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes.

When cool enough to handle, mash the potatoes in a potato riser or masher. (If you are using a masher, you will have to peel the potatoes first)

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato with glutinous rice flour, all-purpose flour, and Pandan extract and with knead well to form a soft dough.

Mix the grated coconut with a pinch of salt and steam for about 2 – 3 minutes and let it cool completely

Bring a pot of water to boil. Pinch a small piece of dough (about 15 g each) and flatten lightly. Fill the center of the dough with palm sugar. Roll them in your palm to form a smooth ball and cook the ondeh ondeh in the boiling water. When the ondeh ondeh float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and shake off the excess water.

Coat the ondeh ondeh with grated coconut and serve immediately.

Makes about 40 balls   

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