Sunday, June 28, 2009

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

Once in a couple of months, J and I would go to the local Korean restaurant to have some good Korean food. We certainly will get some bimbimbab, kalbi (J's fav!), seafood kimchi pancake and spicy seafood tofu soup (my fav!). Since we moved to the East side, we could not find a Korean place where we can grill our food on the table. We sure miss it!

Tonight, J grilled up some Korean BBQ short ribs for dinner. We bought some short ribs from the Mekong Supermarket a month ago. I marinated the ribs in the pre-made Korean sauce (time saving!) for a few hours before grilling. The grilled ribs were AMAZING! We had the ribs with steamed white rice and some home-made dumplings that I made this afternoon. What a satisfying dinner!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fig-Berry Ginger Cookies

I came across this delicious-looking cookies on the Cookin' Canuck's blog a couple of weeks ago and had been wanting to give it a try. I made a small batch of fig spread using the figs from our tree last month. This recipe was an excellent way to use some of the fig spread that we have. For the recipe, you can refer to Cookin' Canuck's - Berry Tea Cookies entry. :)

Sardine Puffs

I made some sardine puffs using pre-made roti paratha/canai dough this afternoon. Instead of making my own dough and wrap, I took a short-cut by using the roti paratha skins. You can find Kawan brand (made in Malaysia) Roti Paratha (Indian Flatbread) easily in the U.S, particularly at the Asian markets.

The puffs came out great. It was very flaky with savory ingredients. What a perfect snack in the afternoon! J was impressed by my sardine puffs and had 2 immediately! LOL

Makes 9 puffs
Roti Paratha - 3 pieces
Sardine - small can
Red onion - cube or slice
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Tomato ketchup - 2 tablespoon
Salt - a pinch
Pepper - a pinch

1) Cut 1 piece of roti paratha into 3 equal pieces
2) Spoon 1 or 2 tablespoon of sardine (mix with green peas, red onion, ketchup, salt and peper) in the middle of roti paratha
3) Seal the sides by using a fork or hand
3) Bake for 20 min at 350F

Enjoy this easy and savory snack!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip Muffins

My kitchen has been closed for the last two days since J went on a business trip. When he is not at home, I usually don't make any fancy food in the kitchen... coz you know? It is really hard to make food for yourself, and all the washing after that. Plus, it is good to have J around to try my food and give compliments. LOL

Tonight when I was checking out Aunty Yochana's blog, I came across this simple recipe for chocolate chip muffins. I had just bought some cocoa powder and chocolate chips yesterday and I thought to myself... why not? Let's make a small batch of muffins tonight. I can surprise J with my muffins when he comes home tomorrow.

The recipe that I used was adapted from Yochana's Cake Delight blog. I halfed the recipe posted to make a small batch. Thanks Aunty Yochanna for sharing your wonderful recipe! My muffins came out great. It was moist, chocolaty, bitter-sweet (I used dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips) and all the wonderful things!

Makes 9 muffins

125 gm. flour
1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

240 gm. castor sugar (I used 200 gm for less sweet)
a pinch of salt
15 gm. cocoa powder

60 gm. chocolate chips

125 ml. fresh milk
(I used fat-free milk)
1/2 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
40 gm. canola oil

Some extra chocolate chips for sprinkling


(1) Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda , chocolate chips, salt and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl.
(2) Pour in the wet ingredients: fresh milk, egg , oil and vanilla essence.

(3) Mix till just combined.

(4) Spoon into muffin cups, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top and bake at 355F for about 20 min

Tip: I used a spatula to mix all the ingredients together without my electric mixer. You just need to make sure everything is well blended. No need to mix them too much. :) Try it out! I am sure you will love it!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Char Kueh Kak (Stir-fry Radish Cake)

When I talked to my sister online last week, she asked me to try to make my own radish cake because the it is rather simple to make at home (even in the US). I have been craving for some radish cake dimsum or stir-fry for a while and decided to gather the ingredient to make one last week. When I was at LeeLee Supermarket last week, I accidentally came across this already-made radish cake in a package. It has radish, shrimps, mushroom, and seasoning in it. Instead of making my own, I just bought a pack of the ready-to-cook radish cake from the market.

Making a good radish cake stir-fry takes some good cooking skills. Which, I haven't master. I just know that people have been saying that you need to use high heat to do stir-fry to get the 'heat' of it! I took this dish rather seriously as I already put myself up to a very high expectation and anticipation of a good plate of radish cake. I gathered all the necessary ingredients and gave it a try this evening. Viola! It came out great. J gave a pretty good compliment!

Radish cake (cut in cubes)
Garlic - 4 cloves
Chinese chives - 1 bunch
Chinese sausage - 3-4
Egg - 3
Shrimp - ~10
Salty radish (dry) - 3 tablespoon (finely chopped)
Dark soy sauce (to taste)
Chili paste - 1 tbsp
Cooking oil

1) In a wok/deep pan, saute garlic. Add sausage and salty radish and saute for ~3 minutes
2) Add shrimps to the wok, mix well with 1)
3) Add eggs to the wok, stir-fry for 1 minute
4) Add seasoning - dark soy sauce and chili paste and mix it well
5) Add radish cake (in cubes) to the wok (in high heat), stir well until everything is well-blended for a few minutes
6) Before serve, add chives into the radish cake and mix it well


Pandan Butter Cake

Growing up, we always have at least a pot or two of Pandan plants at our backyard. Pandan is a type of plant where you use the juice of the leaves to add color and fragrance to your bakery or cooking. You can also put a stalk of Pandan leaves in your dessert (or tong sui) to add some flavor to it. It is a very common Southeast Asian plant in cooking and baking.

It was a challenge to make anything with Pandan in the US. I wasn't able to find Pandan leaves until last week at LeeLee's Supermarket. Yipee! I was so thrilled when I found it at one of the frozen sections. Together with the Pandan leaves, I also bought a little bottle of Pandan flavoring (paste). Since I had everything on hand, I made a Pandan Butter Cake this afternoon. I refered to the Yochana's Cake Delight website for the recipe.

The cake came out fabulous! The smell of Pandan, butter and coconut was irresistable. Of course, the taste of the cake was excellent as well! We plan to make a cup of Vietnamese condensed milk ice coffee tomorrow with a slice or two of the cake. Yummy way to enjoy our weekend. ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Panko Chicken Breast with Couscous

TGIF! It is Friday again! I wanted to pamper ourselves tonight to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. Though it is just a regular 2-day weekend, it is better than none right?! ;)
I bought a bag of couscous on sale the other day and some panko bread-crumb from the Asian market. Panko fried pork or chicken was my favorite dish when I lived in Japan. It will be great to be able to make some at home.

Panko Chicken Breast
Chicken breast - 2 pieces (I used a small pan to pound the breast into a thin slice for easy cooking)
Egg - 1
Panko crumb - enough to cover
Salt - a pinch
Pepper - a pinch
Oil - enough to fry

Couscous - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/4 cup
Olive oil - 2 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves
Green peas - 1/2 cup

Making couscous
1) Boil water with 2 tsp of olive oil (you can substitute with butter), then put 1 cup of couscous into the boiling water
2) Stir the couscous to prevent sticking at the bottom of the pot
3) Immediately remove the pot with couscous away from the stove. Put the pot cover on
4) Let the pot with couscous sit for 5-10 minutes to absorb all the liquid
5) Use another pan, slightly saute garlic, broccoli and green peas for 5 minutes
6) Mix 5) into the couscous

Making pan-fried panko chicken breast
1) Dip chicken breast into the beaten egg with salt and pepper
2) Cover the chicken breast with panko crumbs (generously)
3) Use medium heat, slowly pan-fried the panko covered chicken breast for ~5-10 minutes
4) Cool it on a piece of paper towel after the chicken breast is done cooking

Viola! Another simple and delicious meal for dinner. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bun - roti

I made some buns today using My Kitchen's recipe. I actually divided my dough into two batches, one was just the plain bun, the other type was mixed with walnuts and prune. It came out soft and fluffy as expected. I used bread flour this time instead of the regular flour! Results was amazing.

Pineapple Prawn Stir-fry

Other than the Tomyam fish, I also stirred-fry some pineapple with prawns and yellow bell pepper tonight. The flavor was wonderful. You can taste the sweetness of the pineapple with the savory taste of prawns. It was an easy meal as well. If you want to save time, you can just use a ready-to-eat pineapple chunks from can.

Steamed Tomyam Fish

Craving for some seafood tonight... I made a steamed fish with tomyam paste, mushroom, red onion and some cilantro. It was suprisingly easy to put together all the ingredients. I steamed the fish for ~25 minutes on the high steam. Viola! A flavourful, easy and yummy steamed fish for dinner.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dark Soy Sauce Chicken with Sesame Oil

Dark soy sauce chicken (豆油鸡) is a very common dish in Malaysia. Usually my mom will make this dark soy sauce chicken dish at least once a month or so. Tonight, I made this soy sauce chicken dish with carrot and red onion. To add more flavor to it, I put a few drops of sesame oil and a big chunk of ginger. I also made a simple baby bak-choy stir-fry and steam rice to go with this chicken dish. ;) It was a good Monday night dinner!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Salmon Cheese Toast

I made some simple salmon cheese toasts using the left over bread from my fridge this morning... It was an experiment with everything that I could think of from my fridge - bread, salmon (in can), green peas, egg, and cheese!

The results was incredible. It was like eating a small pizza but instead of the pizza crust, it was with the toast. Very filling and satisfying snack on Sunday morning!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cashew Nut Cookies

I came across this cashew nut cookies recipe on the Y3K Free Recipes website today and decided to try it out! It was time to clean up my pantry anyway... I have so much left over nuts and dried fruits that needed to be consumed fast.

This batch of cashew nut cookies came out great with the buttery, salty, sugary, and nutty taste to it. It reminded me of the Chinese New Year peanut cookies.

Makes ~35 cookies
125g butter
100g sugar


2 egg yolks

½ tsp salt

175g plain flour

150g cashew nuts

25g tapioca flour

For glazing:
1 egg yolk


1. Beat ingredient A till creamy.
2. Add in ingredient B, beat till it is light and fluffy.
3. Put plain flour and cashew nuts of ingredient C into a food processor, beat till the nuts turn powdery. Remove it and add in tapioca flour, mix well.

4. Add no.(3) into no.(2). Mix well.

5. Remove the dough. Shape into cashew nut shapes. Put on a greased baking tray. Glaze with beaten egg yolk.

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 20 minutes till golden in color. Cool well before served.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shao Bao - 烧包

Inspired and tempted by Lydia's Siew Bao recipe from My Kitchen, I finally gave it a try this afternoon! Thanks Lydia for your explanation. I haven't had shao pao probably for at least 3-5 years. I can't remember when was the last time I had it in Malaysia!

Lydia's recipe came out great. My shao pao probably will be more 'flaky' and more layers if I roll the dough a few more times next time. Today is my day off from work. I had the shao pao just came out of the oven right before J came home from work. What a nice treat for him! ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Curry Laksa

I bought a few packs of Malaysian Curry Laksa paste (田师傅 brand) last week from our local Asiana Market. I didn't feel like making a big mess and spending a lot of time in the kitchen tonight so I decided to make a bowl of curry laksa for us.

The paste is super easy to use, and surprisingly YUMMY. I bought a pack of Vietnamese flat noodle last week from the market. I steamed the noodle tonight, thinly (~1cm width) cut into keow teow shape. We had the noodle with some meat balls and hard-boiled egg. Boy-oh-boy, what a delicious dinner! We felt like we were back in Malaysia's hawker stall. ;) Love the paste! You should give this brand a try!

Note: We have some left over curry for today's dinner. I simple put some mihun in the curry, some enuki mushroom and meatballs to complete a meal! ;)

Paste - 田师傅 brand (made in Malaysia), 200ml

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Inspired by Sweetiepie from 'What's For Dessert Today", I decided to try to make my own bread. I am very particular about getting the 'right' bread. I like my bread soft and fluffy inside. I followed the recipe from 'What's For Dessert Today', made a few small justification based on my personal taste and the results was wonderful. Thanks Sweetiepie!

The bread came out just the way we like it! It was crusty outside, very soft inside. Oh... I just love the smell of fresh bread around the house when I was baking it! Once it was out of the oven, we cut a huge thick slice, slabbed some cream cheese and raspberry marmalade on it! Yum, a good way to have your afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or tea.

Ingredients: (adapted from 'What's For Dessert Today')

600g all-purposed flour
15g yeast
300ml cold water (enough to make a soft dough)
75g butter
50g icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1) Sift flour in a big bowl
2) Make a well in the middle of the flour, put yeast and cold water
3) Mix well yeast and water
4) Slowly form a dough
5) Let dough rests for 2-3 hour
6) After 2-3 hr, mix icing sugar, salt and butter in the dough
7) Knead for a few minutes until a soft and smooth dough formed
8) Put the dough in a loaf pan
9) Let the dough rests for at least 30 minutes or until it double its size in the loaf pan (cover the dough with a damp towel)
10) Bake the dough in the oven at 360F for 35 minutes

Enjoy! :)

Char Shao Pao - 叉烧包

I have been wanting to make my own char shao pao for a long time. Char shao pao that we got from dim sum restaurants or asia markets are not as fluffy, tasty or fresh as we were looking for! It is pretty expensive in the dim sum restaurants for 2 paos in one tray - ~$3.50!

After searching for a while for a recipe, I decided to give My Kitchen's Char Siew Pao's recipe a try! Thanks Lydia for sharing your absolutely amazing recipe!

It took us a while to find all ingredients needed, especially the different type of flours needed here (low protein flour and wheat starch). I made my own char sao as mentioned in my previous blog. The process was long but totally worth it!

Our paos came out tasty and fluffy! J had 4-fresh-steamed paos in a second they came out of my steamer! LOL

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Char Siu / Char Shao - 叉烧

Eating char siu (叉烧)and shao rou (烧肉) has always been my family's tradition back in Malaysia. You can eat your char siu with white steamed rice and/or other dishes on the dinner table. You can also find char siu in almost-everybody's-favorite wanton mee at home. I guess char siu is a type of familiar comfort food for a lot of us. I am a big fan of fatty and greasy meat, especially in pork and beef selection (hence... my cholesterol is out of control!). I am using fatty pork belly for this recipe. You can always opt for a leaner choice of pork.

1 lb pork belly
Lee Kam Kei (李锦记)Char Siu sauce (in bottle) - enough to cover all your pork in a bowl/container
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce - for color and flavor

1) Cut pork belly into 1 inch strips
2) Marinate in Lee Kam Kei Char Siu sauce & dark soy sauce overnight
3) Using BBQ grill, slowly grill marinated pork belly in low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes (if you like more 'char' on the outside, you can turn the heat up a little bit!)

Viola! Your homemade char siu is ready to be served! You can store the extra cooked char siu in the freezer. Enjoy!

Chinese Dumpling - 饺子

Chinese dumpling is a common food in the Asian eating. I had been buying dumplings from the Asian market in the last couple of years but the freshness and taste of the frozen ones often failed to delight J and I. We decided to make our own dumplings starting last year. After a few trials, we finally have pretty decent looking/taste dumplings of our own!

Makes ~65-70 dumplings
1 lb ground pork (preferred fatty pork)
15-20 medium size shrimps - chopped chunky
1 inch ginger (more or less depends on your own taste) - finely chopped
1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions (aka green onions)
4-5 dried shitake mushrooms - thin sliced or chopped
1/2 cup of green beans
1 egg white
2 tablespoon of corn starch
pinch of salt (up to your personal taste)
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 pack of Hong Kong wanton skin (round shape is preferred)

1) Mix all ingredients A together in a big bowl
2) Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour
3) Use a teaspoon to scoop the mixed ingredient in the middle of wanton skin
4) Fold wanton into half moon shape, use water or egg to wet the edge and seal
5) Ready to be cooked or stored away (can keep in the freezer for at least one month)