Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Sar Hor Fun ( Fried Noodles)

There is a saying in Penang about Sar Hor Fun, which I used to hear my mum teasing her friends when their daughter started dating, " you will never short of Sar Hor Fun every night" that is only Penang's I am sure--
Sar Hor Fun in Penang is called differently in Kuala Lumpur. When I was working in KL, I found out that the dish is called "Wat Tan Hor" there. The concept of the dish is the same, but it has a slightly different presentation and eggs are used in the gravy, hence the words "wat tan" which literally means "smooth eggs" in Cantonese.


  • 1/2 pack hor fun or flat rice noodles
  • 1/2 pack mee hoon or vermicelli
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 15 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12-15pcs thin pieces of pork meat
  • 15 thin pieces of fish cake
  • 7 stalks chinese mustard green/choy sum,cut into 2-inch length
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic,minced
Starch: 2 tablespoons corn flour mixed with 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nampla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 dashes white pepper powder

  • Salt to taste

Soak the vermicelli in warm water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and set aside.
Break the flat rice noodles off by peeling the layers. Set aside.
Heat up a wok and add 1 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Toss in the vermicelli and do a quick stir. Add 1/2 tablespoon of dark soy souce and 1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce and continue to stir the vermicelli until the soy sauce and kecap manis are well blended with the vermicelli. Continue to stir until the vermicelli are lightly burned or charred. Dish up and set aside.
Repeat the same for the flat rice noodles. Dish up and set aside.
Add some oil in a wok and stir-fry the minced garlic until fragrant.
Add in the pork, shrimp and fish cake and do a quick stir.
Add 1 1/4 cup of water immediately.
Add in all the seasoning and bring it to boil.
Add in the starch mixture to thicken the gravy.
Add in the mustard green, do a quick stir and turn off the heat.
On a plate, place the fried vermicelli and flat rice noodles equally.
Pour the gravy and toppings on the noodles and vermicelli. Serve hot.

Carrot Cake

The cream cheese frosting adds richness

Use 3 medium carrots for this recipe.


  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 cup (120g) chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped raisins
  • 21/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp mixed spice

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 30g butter
  • 80g cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 11/2 cups icing sugar


Grease 15cm x 25 cm loaf pan, line base with paper; grease paper.

Beat oil, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with eletric mixer until thick and creamy. Transfer mixture to large bowl, stir in carrots, nuts, raisins, then sifted dry ingredients.

Pour mixture into prepared pan, bake in oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, bake about further 45 minutes. Stand a few minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool. Top cool cake with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese frosting: Beat butter, cream cheese, rind and juice in a small bowl with electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar.

Chocolate cheese & walnut cake

  • 90g butter
  • 185g cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup milk


Grease a 20 cm baba pan.

Crean butter, cream cheese and sugars in a bowl with eletric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beat until combined. Transfer mixture to large bowl, stir in walnuts, then half the sifted flours and cocoa with half the mik, then stir in the remaining flours and milk.

Spread into prepared pan. Bake in oven at 190 degree Celsius for about 40 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes before turning on to wire rack to cool. Dust with sifted icing sugar before serving.

California Roll

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

You need:

  • some crab sticks, pull it into strings
  • avocado, sliced into strip
  • 5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
For the rice, please refer to the sushi roll method.


Cover the mat with plastic wrap. Here I use the cling film. (Refer to step 1)

Put a sheet of dried seaeed on top of the mat. Face the gloss side down as shown in Step 2.

Spread sushi rice on top of the seaweed and press firmly. (Step 3)

Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the sushi rice as in Step 4

Turn the sushi layer over so that the seaweed is on top (Step 5)

Place avocado and crab meat lengthwise on the seaweed as shown in Step 6.

Roll the bamboo mat forward, pressing the ingredients inside the cylinder-shaped sushi. Press firmly the bamboo mat with hands. (Step 7)

Remove the rolled sushi from the bamboo mat. Cut the california roll into bite-sized pieces.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Chicken curry


  • 750g chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 200g potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 small can of coconut milk
  • 4-5 tbsp oil

Ground ingredients (combine):

  • 5 dried chillies, soaked (reduce if you do not want it too spicy)
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, sliced finely
  • 6 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder ( jintan putih )
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder ( jintan manis )
  • 1 star anise ( bunga lawang )
  • 2 cloves ( bunga cengkih )
  • 2cm piece cinnamon stick ( kulit kayu manis )
  • 2 tbsp curry powder, make into a paste with a little thin coconut milk**


  • 1 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


Heat oil and saute cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves. Add in combined ground ingredients and stir-fry well. Add 2 to 3 tbsp coconut milk (if it is too dry) and fry over low heat until fragrant and oil separates. Add chicken and curry leaves and fry for a few minutes until meat is firm. Add potatoes and pour in the coconut milk. Simmer until chicken is tender and potatoes are cooked. Add in tomatoes and mix in curry powder paste. Stir well to mix. Add in seasoning and continue to cook until gravy is slightly thick. Served hot

**dilute 1 tbsp coconut milk with 11/2 tbsp water

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Lor Pak Koh (White carrot cake)

This is one of the tim sum dish. It can be eaten just like this or even fry it like the kuih kak style. I like to "goreng" the kuih.


  • 225g rice flour
  • 700g turnip, finely shredded
  • 70g dried prawns, finely chopped
  • 1 dried chinese sausage, chopped finely (optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 650–700ml water


  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil


Blanch shredded turnip for 2–3 minutes. Drain and squeeze off excess water. Put aside. Combine rice flour with seasoning. Pour in 500ml water and mix into a batter. Heat oil in a wok and fry dried prawns and sausage until fragrant. Add remaining water and bring to the boil. Stir in the prepared batter to mix until well blended. Turn out the mixture into a well-greased baking tin. Steam for 80–90 minutes until the kuih is firm. Leave to cool completely before cutting into slices.

Pan-fry the slices until golden and crispy, then drain oil. Serve with chilli sauce dip.

Seri muka

For bottom layer:
  • 300g glutinous rice, wash & soaked for 4-5 hours and drained
  • 200ml thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 to 3 pandan leaves
Green topping (top layer):
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 180ml thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp pandan paste or 4-5 pandan leaves,cut into pieces and blends with 100ml water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 40g plain flour
For the bottom layer:- Combine glutinous rice, salt and coconut milk in a 18cm round cake pan. Place the pandan leaves on top of the mixture and steam over rapidly boiling water for about 30-35 minutes or until the rice cooked through. Discard the pandan leaves. Fluff up the rice, then press rice firmly down.
For the bottom later:- Stir eggs, sugar, thick santan, 1/2 tsp pandan paste (or 1 tbsp pandan juice and add a drop of green colouring) and flour until sugar is dissolved. Add in the salt to mix then strain the batter.
Just before pouring the green batter scratch the lightly surface of the steamed ricw with a fork. Gradually pour the green batter over the rice. Steam over a medium to low heat for 12-15 minutes or until set.
Remove the kuih and leave a side to cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Tai Lok Mein (KL Hokkien Mee)

This noodle is different from the Penang Hokkien Mee. The noodles that used for this dish is a fat yellow noodles that very popular in KL and can only be found in KL. As we are unable to obtain this type of noodles, here I used the egg noodles. You may also used the udon noodles.

The style of frying these noddles, the darker the better. For this dish, pork fat rules and of course you could skip it and be healthy.


  • 350g egg noodles/udon noodles
  • 100g pork meat, cut into thin slices
  • 150g prawns
  • 100 g squid, cut into bite size
  • 250g of chinese cabbage, wash and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 100g pork fat, cut into cubes and fried till crispy (keep the oil)
  • 2 cups stock/water
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce(add more if not dark enough)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 pips garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp corn flour mixed with 1/4 cup of water
Season the prawns and squid with a dash of salt, sugar and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil or the lard (from frying the pork fat) and saute the squid and prawns. Dish out and leave aside. Add in 1 oil or 1tsp of lard. Heat until the oil is hot then add in the garlic. Saure the garlic until fragrant and add in the meat. Add in stock/water and bring to a boil. Add in the chinese cabbage and simmer for 10 minutes.
Then add in the noodles and the seasoning, mix well, cover wok with lid and simmer until noodles is tender. Add more dark soy sauce if the color is not black enough and simmer noodles till gravy is thick. Add in the cooked prawns and squid. Stir in the cornflour mixture. Turn the heat to high again and give noodles a quick stir. Add the crispy lard cubes before dishing up the noodles. Serve with sambal belacan

Hong Bak

  • 600g pork belly or lean pork, cut into 2.5cm x 2.5cm in size
  • 2.5cm cinnamon stick (kayu manis)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

Ground spice paste:

  • 1 inch cekur roots (sar keong)
  • 3 pips garlic
  • 6 shallots
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp tau cheong


Heat oil in a frying pan and put in the cinnamon stick. Add in the ground ingredients and tau cheong. Fry till fragrant. Add in water slowly.

Add in sugar and dark soy sauce. When the mixture is aromatic, add in the meat. Simmer until the meat is tender.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Siew Pau (Seremban Siew Pau)

Some call this Seremban siew not sure which is which

  • 300g-400g pork, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • 11/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 11/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp corn flour}
  • 1/4 cup of water}combine well
  • 1/2 cup of frozen green peas

Water dough:

  • 200g flour, sifted
  • 60g shortening
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120ml water

Oil dough:

  • 160g flour, sifted
  • 100g shortening

Egg glazing:

  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp milk
  • a small drop of dark soy sauce (for colouring)


To prepare the filling: heat the oil in a non-stick pan, fry onion until soft then add in pork and seasoning. Cook until the pork is tender. Add in the corn flour mixture. Toss well to mix. Add in the green peas and mix well. Dish out and leave aside to cool before use.

Preparation for water dough: combine flour, shortening, sugar salt and water in a mixing bowl. Mix together to form a smooth dough. leave a side, covered with a tea towel for 10 minutes to rest.

Preparation for oil dough: put flour in a mixing bowl. Rub in the shortening to mix until a smooth dough is form. Leave as side to rest for 10m minutes.

Divide water dough into pieces about 30g each. Wrap a piece of oil dough about 20g in the centre. Roll out into a flat piece then roll up swiss roll style. Roll it out flat again. Then roll up swiss roll style for the second time. Lightly roll out flat again in circle. Wrap up with 1 tbsp of filling. (Refer the dough preparation in the spiral curry puff recipes as there are pictures to show the method )

Wrap and pleat into a pau shape. Place on a piece of round grease proof paper. Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius or until lightly golden brown. Remove pau from oven and while it still very hot, brush with egg glaze.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Acar Awak

This is the common dish that can be found in Penang in any festival, be it Chinese New Year, Cheng Beng or even at weddings. Ingredients:
  • 250g cabbage, cut 3cm in size
  • 1 whole cucumber
  • 150g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 150g carrots, cut into 3 cm lenghts
  • 100g french beans, cut into 3cm lenghts
  • some red and green chillies, cut to look like a flower and seeded
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For scalding vegetables:

  • 600 ml water
  • 300ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Spice paste (ground):

  • 20 dried cillies
  • 10 shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk serai
  • 2" lengkuas (galangal) sliced
  • 4 buah keras (candlenuts)
  • 20g belacan
  • 2 tbsp ketumbar powder (coriander powder)

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 10 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 100g peanut, roasted and coarsely pounded
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds


Quarter the cucumber lengthwise without peeling the skin and remove the core. Cut into 3cm long strips. Knead 1/2 tsp salt into the cucumber slices and leave aside for 1-2 hour. Wrap the cucumber slices in a clean towel ans squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Lay the cucumber slices on a tray and sun for 2-3 hours.

For other vegetables, sun them separatly in trays for 1-2 hour. If you are in UK and there is no much sun light, you can leave the vegetables over night as the air is dry compare to Malaysia.

Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar for scalding vegetables to a rapid boil. Blanch the dried vegetables one type at a time, 5 seconds for cabbage (suggest that you boil the thicker part of the cabbage longer) and cauliflower and 2-3 seconds for the rest of the vegetables. DO NOT OVERCOOKED the vegetables or they will loose their crunchiness. Drain the vegetables and set aside.

Fry the spice paste in hot oil until the oil rises and separate from the paste. Season with sugar and salt. Bring it to a boil. Stir in 3 tbsp of rice vinegar, turn-off the heat and set aside.

Add in all the vegetables, grounded peanuts and toasted sesame seeds and mix well. This dish is best to eat the next day. Keep it in a bottle and it will last you a while ( I hope!)

Friday, 21 September 2007

Tradisional Lotus Mooncake

The candle casts deep shadows on the screen,The Milky Way dims and morning stars fade.Chang-O must regret stealing the elixir,As she broods in loneliness night after night.- Poem by the great Tang poet Li Shang-yin (812-858 A.D.)

There are several stories about the origins of mooncakes and the myths and legends behind the Mooncake Festival. One of the more romantic myths is that Chang-O, the most beautiful woman of Chinese mythology stole the elixir of life that her husband had obtained with great difficulty from the Royal Mother.
The story goes like this: Long ago, the earth was in a state of havoc because there were 10 suns in the sky, and these were the sons of the Jade Emperor. Rivers dried up, the land became barren, and many people died. Seeing the death and destruction caused by his sons, the Jade Emperor took this matter to the god Hou Yi. The Emperor asked Hou Yi to persuade his sons to rise up away from the earth to end the catastrophe.
When Hou Yi asked the suns to leave the sky, they refused. Made angry by their defiance, Hou Yi, a great archer, launched arrows at the suns, shooting them down one by one until his wife Chang-O pleaded with him to save one sun to keep the earth warm and bright.
Knowing that the Jade Emperor was furious at the slaying of his sons, Hou Yi and Chang-O were forced to stay on earth.

Chang-O was unhappy, so her husband tried to win back her favour by gathering herbs that would give them once again the power to ascend to heaven. Chang-O remained angry, however, and ate all the herbs herself. She flew up to the moon, where she remains alone, living in the Moon Palace. The Tang poet, Li Shang-yin wrote the above verse on Chang O's sad story three thousand years later, and the story of Chang-O's flight to the moon has persisted since among the people of the world. There are several versions of this story, but this is the more popular version.

On the 15th of the 8th lunar month every year (this year it falls on September 25), when the moon is at its brightest and loveliest, Chinese people around the world look at the moon and remember Chang-O and her legend. The occasions is celebrated as the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known asthe Moon Festival.

MooncakesMooncakes became part of the Mid-Autumn Festival because during the Yuan dynasty (1280 1368 A.D.) when China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (960-1280 A.D.) were unhappy at submitting to foreign rule, and set out to co-ordinate the rebellion without it being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing that the Moon Festival was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Packed into each mooncake was a message with the outline of the attack.
On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels succesfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.).
Today, mooncakes are eaten to commemorate this event.
For generations, mooncakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes, a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert.

LanternsChinese lanterns are also specialities for this festival. The most common are the paper folding type.However, there are many varieties of lanterns made of different shapes and materials. In Malaysia, kids like to buy the lanterns in animal or flower shapes which are sold in Chinese sundry shops, night markets or wet markets, or at the nearest shopping centre.

During the festival, parents allow children to stay up late, and take them to high vantage points to light their lanterns and watch the moon rise before eating their mooncakes.

For mooncake skin:
  • 400g golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp alkaline water (kan sui)
  • 100g peanut/corn oil
  • 550g flour, sifted
  • A few drops of dark soy sauce
  • 600g sugar
  • 400g water
  • 1/2 lime, sqeeze out the juice. Use only the skin
  • 1 tbsp maltose (mak ngah tong)
For the lotus paste:
  • 600g lotus seed
  • 1 tsp alkaline water
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 tbsp maltose
  • 400g groundnut oil
For the skin, mix sieved bicarbonate of soda, syrup, alkaline water and oil with a wooden spoon and allow to rest for 4-5 hours in a basin. Add the dark soy sauce, then fold in sifted flour gradually and mix evenly to form a smooth and soft dough. Let the dough rest for another 6-7 hours. Divide dough into even balls, each weighing 40-50g.

* When the dough is "well rested" after 5 hours, it hardens a bit and is more elastic. It is also easy to work with.
* The golden syrup is the key factor in ensuring that mooncakes keep longer and the skin does not turn mouldy quickly. The syrup is kept in a cool and dry place and left to mature. It can be made months ahead or kept up to a year.
* Freshly baked mooncakes should be left uncovered so that the free circulation of air around it will slowly soften the skin and help it to mature. This takes 2-3 days.
* Dark soy sauce is used for the pastry dough because it gives a darker shade to the mooncake skin after baking.
To make the syrup, put sugar, water and lime skin into a saucepan. Boil over a slow fire until golden brown. Discard the lemon slices. Cool sufficiently before use.
To make the lotus paste, Cover lotus seeds with boiling water and add alkaline water. Cover container for 20 minutes. Rub the skin off the lotus seeds, then drain and wash them in clean water. Cover the seeds again with water and boil until soft. Blend seeds into a paste. In a non-stick wok or saucepan, heat up 200g oil and 300g sugar and cook until mixture turns into the colour of golden caramel. Pour in lotus paste and continue stirring. Add the remaining oil and sugar. Cook until the paste thickens and doesn’t stick to the sides of the wok or pan. Add maltose and stir for a while. To test if the paste is ready, scoop a little into your hand and flatten it. If it doesn’t feel sticky, the paste is ready. Dish out the paste and leave to cool.
To assemble the mooncake, divide the dough into even pieces of 40g each. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten out with your hand. eigh the red beans/lotus seed paste. If you like the yolk of salted eggs, you can insert one in the centre. Place the filling in the middle of the flat dough and slowly wrap around it. Seal the edges and roll dough lightly between your palms until the filling is hidden. Dust mould lightly with flour. Press doughball into the mooncake mould. Knock the mould against the table to dislodge the mooncake. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ÂșC for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Brush on beaten egg glaze. Return to bake for another 10 minutes or till golden.

Note: Do not overbake mooncake otherwise filling will overflow and mooncake will lose its shape.

Pandan Ping Pei Mooncake

This is the unbake mooncake. The skin is made from cooked glutinous flour or also know as koh fun. I have attached the picture of the commercial/ready made cooked glutinous flour. You can but them from See Woo.
As I am in South West and going to See Woo is a long drive, I made myself the flour. Definately, it is not as smooth as the commercial one but overall, it taste the same.


  • 100g margarine
  • 300g "koh fun" (cooked glutinous flour)
  • 450g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp pandan paste
  • 240ml cold water


  • 600g red beans
  • 1 tbsp alkaline water (kan sui)
  • 450g sugar
  • 450ml cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp maltose (mak ngah tong)


To make filling, soaked the red beans overnight. Drain the overnight water an put in a fresh water and boil with the red beans for about 10 minutes. Add in the kan sui and continue boiling until the beans are soft. Drain and set aside to cool. Using blender, blend the red beans to a very smooth paste.

Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved completely. Keep cooking and stirring the paste until it is thick and dark brown and the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Add in maltrose and mix until it dissolved. Add in melon seed if required. Cool and use the red bean paste as required.

To make the dough, mix koh fun, icing sugar, margarine and pandan paste on low speed for 1 minute. Pour in cold water and blend until smooth. Take 50g of the dough and place 100g of filling in the centre, wrap up dough and form into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly floured mould. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

To make the koh fun yourself:
Steam the plain glutinous rice flour for 1/2 hour. Remove and put in a microwable glass bowl which has been lined with greaseproof paper. Microwave on high 1 minute at a time until rice is slightly brown(time depends on the amount of rice flour)

Mini Apple Pastries

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

This pastries can be made and baked the day before and reheat uncovered in a moderate oven for 10 minutes, if desired. However, I like them baked just before serving. Prepare pastries in the morning, cover, refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
  • some icing sugar for dusting


Combine apples with lemon juice and jam. In another bowl, combine almonds, flour and cinnamon, rub in butter, combine with the apple mixture.

Cut pastry into 4 even-sized squares. Place apple mixture along centre of each square. Make 8-10 cuts in the pastry on either side of the apple mixture. (Refer step 1)

Use the top and bottom strips of the pastry to enclose filling, divide remaining strips of pastry in half lenghtwise. (Refer step 2)

Place strips of pastry across filling in a criss-cross fashion. (Refer step 3)

Place on lightly greased oven tray, brush with milk and bake in oven at 180 degree Celsius for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar, serve warm with cream.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Blackberries Crumble

Decided to talk my son for a walk by the river side & those berries are calling me to pick them home. As I get carried away picking up too many of the berries, I decided to make extra & share it with another Malaysian friend.

Try a combination of stewed apple and rhubarb, or apricots or berries; they are all good.


  • 500g blackberries
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp water


  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 80g butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed


Grease oven proof dish. Wash & drain the blackberries. Combine water, sugar and the berries in a pan and cook in a low fire for 2 minutes. Spread into the prepare dish, sprinkle evenly with crumble mixture. Bake in an oven at 175 degree Celsius for 40-45 minutes or until lightly brown.

Crumble: Put sifted flour in a bowl, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the sugar and mix well.

Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream. Serve 4-6.

Chickpea Curry

This curry dish is suitable for vegetarian. It is best to serve with indian bread or even hot steaming rice.

  • 1 big tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 inch ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic., minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1-11/2 tbsp chilli powder, adjust to your own taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


Drain and wash the chickpeas.

Heat the cooking oil and add in onion, garlic and ginger. Fry until golden brown but not burnt. Add cumin seed, coriander powder, chilli powder and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds to release the flavours. Add tomatoes and stir fry until the oil separated.

Add chickpeas, stir and add in water. Add salt to taste and cook for 25 minutes over a medium to low fire. Use a spatula and mashed a few chickpeas to thicken the curry.

Take off the heat and sprinkle garam masala and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot immediately.

Monday, 17 September 2007


This is best for the summer BBQ. You can make the satay with chicken, pork, beef or even lamb.

  • 500g chicken, beef or pork, sliced into 2.5cm pieces and lightly scored to tenderise the meat

Marinade (combine in a bowl):

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (jintan putih)
  • 1 tsp fennel powder (jintan manis)
  • 1 tbsp lemon grass (serai), sliced and pounded finely
  • 3 thin slices galangal (lengkuas), pounded finely
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp pati santan


Mix meat with marinade and thread meat onto satay sticks or skewers .Allow to stand for more than an hour. For best result, leave it over ight in a fridge. While grilling, brush occasionally with oil.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Talam Suji (semolina)


Top layer:

  • 11/2 cups of coconut milk
  • 21/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup gula Melaka (brown sugar)
  • salt to taste

Bottom layer:

  • 1 cup of suji flour
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • yellow colouring (optional)


Combine bottom layer ingredients in a pot and stir over a low heat till thick but still runny. Steam for 5-7 minutes. My advice is not to use glassware as it will get burnt easily.

For top layer, mix all the ingredients and stir well until the sugar dissolved. Use a fork to score the bottom layer lightly so that the top layer will stick properly to the bottom layer. Then pour the top layer mixture and further steam for another 20 minutes.

Cool the kuih before cut into pieces.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Chicken Rendang

This dish is best compliment with nasi lemak or lemang.


  • 600-800g chicken, chopped into serving pieces
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut, dry fried for kerisik**
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 turmeric leaf, cut into two
  • 2 assam keping (assam gelugor)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
Spices (ground):

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked
  • 3 fresh red chillies, seeded
  • 8 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks lemon grass(serai)
  • 3cm piece galangal (lengkuas)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the ground spices until fragrant. Add in the chicken pieces and coat well. Pour in the coconut milk and ring to a low boil. After it has boiled, lower the heat and add in the leaves and assam keping. Simmer until the gravy turns thick. Keep stirring to prevent sticking. Add kerisik and mix well. Cook until meat is tender, gravy is thick and oil rises to the top. Add seasoning.

** to make kerisik, fry the dessicated coconut until golden brown. Pound/blend until fine.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Kuih Talam

I finally got hold of some mung bean starch flour or known in our region as "Hoen Kwe". Do not confuse this with mung bean flour. They are different.
The Hoen Kwe will make the kuih talam feeling spongy and not sticky. I once replaced the Hoen Kwe with corn flour, the texture of the kuih is not the same. You can buy this Hoen Kwe in big chinese supermarke. Those are from Thailand. The picture of the packaging is enclosed.


For bottom green layer:

  • 70g rice flour
  • 30g green bean flour
  • 300ml water
  • 225g sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1tsp pandan paste
  • 1/2 tsp alkaline water
For top white layer:(C):
  • 50g rice flour
  • 21/4 tbsp green bean flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 450ml coconut milk
To prepare the bottom layer:
Mix (A) and leave aside to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Cook sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Mix in the pandan paste and kan sui. Pour syrup into (A). Cook in microwave for 1 minute on high , stir continuously with a whick, keep cooking for 1 minute at a time on high until batter becomes fairly thick and translucent but still runny. Pour the hot batter into a greased 8 inch cake tin. If batter has turned too thick, you would have to smooth and level the surface with a plastic spatula. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.
To prepare the white layer:
Mix ingredients (C) together and soak for 10 minutes. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute on high, stir and then another more minute. Scratch the surface of the green layer with a fork before pouring in the top layer. Pour the topping layer over the cooked green layer. Steam for about 10 minutes. Cool the kuih well. Slice into small diamond-shaped pieces.
Instead of using microwave, you can also cook the batter over the stove.
(For cooking over the stove):
Cook sugar and water over low heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until batter becomes fairly thick and translucent. Pour the hot sticky batter into a greased 8" cake tin. Smoothen and level the surface with a plastic spatula. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes.
To prepare the white layer, mix ingredients (C) together and soak for 10 minutes. Pour the topping layer over the cooked green layer. Steam for about 10 minutes. Cool the kuih well. Slice into small diamond-shaped pieces.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Si Yau Kai


  • 500g chicken, cut into bite pieces
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, leave the skin on
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup good quality light soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp thick soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 30g mushroom, soaked to soften
  • 1 tsp corn flour mix with 2 tbsp water.


Heat wok with oil and sesame oil. Add in the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Put in chicken pieces and mix well. Pour in the light soya sauce, thick soya sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Coat well and add in water. Bring it to a boil for 3 minutes. Add the wine and mushrooms. Add salt according to taste. You may not need to add salt as some light soya sauce is slightly saltier than other brand.

Reduce heat and bring to a simmering boil until the chicken is tender. Add in the corn flour mixture and stir well. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Dish out and serve immediately with rice.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Banana Walnut Cake

  • 180g butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 240g bananas, mashed (without skin)


  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 60ml fresh milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 40g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 20g sultanas


Line a loaf tin with greased baking paper. Preheat oven to 190°C. Cream butter, sugar and essence until light and fluffy. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed bananas to mix. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Add in combined milk and lemon juice mixture, and stir in walnuts and sultanas to mix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven at 190°C for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 170°C and continue to bake for 25–30 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a wooden skewer.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Spiral Curry Puff

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

For water dough:

  • 300g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup luke warm water

For oil dough:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g shortening

For filling:

  • 400g potatoes, cubed
  • 150g big onions, cubed
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 50g dried prawns, soaked and pound finely ( can be replaced with fresh prawns)
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • water

To make water dough:
Place flour in a mixing bowl. Add in the water, salt and cooking oil. Knead into a smooth dough. Leave aside to rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 5 equal portions. (refer step 1)

To make oil dough: Rub shortening into the flour to form an oily dough. Divide into 5 equal portions. (refer to step 1)

To combine into pastry:
Wrap oil dough inside water dough. (Refer step 2)
Roll into a neat ball (Refer step 3)
Flatten the dough (refer step 4) and roll up like swiss roll (refer step 5).
Flatten the dough again (refer to step 6). Roll up the dough again. (refer step 7)
Cut the rolled-up dough about 1cm thickness (refer step 8).
Use a rolling pin to press it flat. Shape into a circle (refer to step 9).
Turn the flat dough over and add filling and seal the sides (refer to step 10).
Pinch the edges to form a scallop design (refer to step 11). Deep fry puffs in medium hot oil.

To make filling:

Heat pan with 2 tbsp oil. Fry onions and garlic until fragrant. Add in potatoes, driesn prawns, curry powder and curry leaves. Stir well to coat. Add in enought water to cover the potatoes. Add in salt and sugar to taste. Cook until the potatoes is soft and the gravy is dried up. Leave to cool before use.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Sushi Roll

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Making sushi rice

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar wine (rice seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt


Wash rice and drain well.

Place rice and water into a rice cooker, turn it on and wait wait for the rice to cook. Allow the rice rest for 20 minutes.

Combine vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and set over medium heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar dissolve. Do not allow it to boil.

Fold half of the vinegar mixture into the rice. It should have the pleasantly sweet acidic edge. If necessary, fold in more vinegar mixture.

How to roll into sushi roll:

You need:

  • a bamboo mat (makisu)
  • dried sea weed (nori sheet)
  • crab stick
  • cucumber, cut lenght wise
  • avocado, cut into strip
  • some mayo
  • wasabi

Step 1: Put a sheet of nori (dried seaweed) on top of a bamboo mat (makisu). Spread sushi rice on top of the nori sheet.

Step 2: Place fillings lengthwise on the sushi rice.

Step 3: Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder.

Step 4: Press the bamboo mat gently, shaping the sushi roll. Remove the bamboo mat.

Wipe a knife with a wet cloth before slicing sushi. Cut the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces. Serve the sushi roll