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Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweet Coconut Idli (Steam Rice Cake)




I had a packet of frozen shredded coconut in the fridge for a long time, I bought it with the thought of making coconut chutney for idli, for some reason the chutney never materialized. One day I just started craving for Kueh Putu Piring, a kind of steamed rice cake with palm sugar filling that served with some fresh shredded coconut.

Since I had a batch of freshly fermented Idli batter in the fridge, I made this Sweet coconut Idli, soft and tasty. Quite close to what Kueh Putu Piring taste like, it took care of my craving and I was not the only one that feast on it, NS liked it too.

Trotter and ginger in sweetened black vinegar 猪脚醋(猪脚姜)



Vinegar trotter is traditionally eaten as a confinement food, there are various ways to prepare this delicious stew, the Cantonese would use only ginger, brown sugar and black vinegar.

But the Malaysian Chinese does it differently, we add some local ingredients that give this dish some tropical touch!

今天一早起来窗外飘着雪,已经都积有好几寸了。和朋友们的聚会因为这场雪取消了。我看着炉子上为了聚会炖上的猪脚醋,加热瓦罐,马上就满室的肉香。盛出一碗,对着厨房里的落地窗,看着缓缓飘下的白雪,一口一口地吃下暖胃的,家乡的味道。

食谱是我曾祖母教给我妈妈,我妈妈再教给我的。这个猪脚醋即使是在马来西亚,做法也很多,和原来广东的猪脚姜都差不多。来到马来西亚,却多了点东南亚的风味。味道更加醇厚了喔!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Red Vinasse Mee Suah (Wheat Vermicelli) 【红糟面线】




I made my own confinement wine when I was about 5-6 months pregnant. Mum told me that I would need 10-12 bottles for the whole month. So I made my wine in two batches, which yield around 8 bottles of wine and 4-5 boxes of Red Vinasse

I didn't have good appetite during my confinement and ended up using only slightly more than 3 bottles of the wine. Mum sure wasn't all too happy about it and thought I didn't take good care of myself during that crucial month. I was just too busy with the newborn clubbing severe sleep deprivation, it was just too hard to think about food!

This Red Vinasse mee suah was a typical confinement breakfast that mum used to made, sometimes if I could not finish the chicken mum cooked for lunch, I would request her to turn it into this mee suah for dinner.

Thinking about all the things that mother did for me during the first few months of my motherhood and having her around was the greatest gift and support a new mom could have. I was lucky and loved indeed.

As I write this, I am missing mum already and is also really excited to announce that mum will be here again next week, I can't wait!


怀孕5-6个月的时候,我给自己分两次酿了八瓶的红米酒,那是我妈要求的,她说我们家乡做月子至少要用上十瓶的红米酒和白米酒才算是把月子做好了。 结果我月子里只吃了三瓶多一点的酒,老妈几乎天天电话里都要跟我爸投诉说我一天连两个鸡腿都吃不了,身子没养好以后老了要吃苦。

平时在家都不必动手做家务的老妈,月子期间把我家所有家务都包揽下来了,每次钟点女佣来打扫她就犯嘀咕,舍不得我们多花钱。月子里她不让我沾水,宝宝洗澡也从来不让我动手。
想起月子里的点点滴滴就红了眼眶,那全是妈妈对我浓浓的爱啊!

酿酒剩下的红糟我分了好些给吃喝团的姐妹们,自己留了一罐子做菜吃。这款红糟面线是月子里我妈经常给我做的早餐/晚餐,是吃剩的红糟鸡很好的去处。

Friday, March 28, 2014

Khichdi (Indian Lentil with Rice)



As a Chinese, I always get to eat mum's porridge when I was sick as a child, and a bowl of hot porridge always comfort me and made me feel better.

For the same reason I always try to figure what comforts NS when he is not well... and I guess..... Kichdi is the answer!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Homemade Seafood Tofu



This tofu used to be something we ordered in the restaurant back home, I have not come to think about making it at home until last couple of weeks, when I saw some of my cooking mate posted their pictures on Facebook.

I didn't follow the recipes posted as I was a little lazy to go shopping for some of the ingredients (I was even out of soy sauce at that time!!). I tweak my version with whatever I have at home, it came out great and a perfect balance of crunchiness at the outside and softness inside. 

This will be a good starter for party and/or a good snack over cold afternoon.

Homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce



Many snacks back home are served with some kind of condiments or sauces. One of my favorites is a type of sweet and spicy sauce that normally goes with cucur udang (Prawn fritters) or stuffed tofu. 

I first discovered this Thai sweet chili sauce in England, the taste is as close to the kind we find back home as a pre-packed sauce could be. It is convenient, tasty and versatile, I used it in almost anything I could think of, from Spring rolls, to fritters ,to fried chicken to salads.

My love for this sauce subsided a little as I picked up more serious cooking later, I started making most of my condiments and sauces at home. 

Last weekend I made some Seafood Tofu for snacks and I can't think of any other sauce that serves better with the Seafood tofu than this Thai Chili Sauce.

Since I do not have the ready made version and saw that I have all the ingredients needed to make this sauce at home. So I did.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chole (Channa Masala) / Spicy Chickpea Stew




Chole/Chickpea is one of my favorite dishes to put on dining table when we have guest at home, it is presentable, tasty, and could turn into a few more dishes with leftover such as aloo tikki and vegetarian burger.

This was served with hot Bhatura this aftenoon, NS had to take a nap after lunch, it was heavy and satisfying.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Roll



Like I mentioned in my earlier post, we love Vietnamese spring roll. I bought this rice wrapper couple of weeks ago from a Chinese supermarket, it was sitting in the pantry for a long time. Every time NS opened the pantry door, he will ask me : "How long do you think this stuff will sit here?"

Its his way of requesting for a homemade spring roll. So one has to oblige because a happy husband with happy tummy makes happy home. Right?

This roll is fun to make and very healthy to eat! Feel free to change the filling to your diet need, my rule for spring roll is that whatever I can throw into my salad, it can go into my spring roll! LOL

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Peanut Spring Roll Dipping Sauce


NS and I both love Vietnamese spring roll, we always order one serving of spring roll whenever we dine in our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. We also almost always fight for the last bit of the dipping sauce. (Not so mature, I know.) .

Since we liked it so much I decided to clone this sauce at home. The sauce our favorite Vietnamese restaurant served is slightly different than the others that we have tasted, it has very prominent taste and fragrant of peanut, creamier in texture too.

I based mine on the Thai version of spring roll dipping sauce as I prefer having a hint of coconut flavor in my sauce.

Here is my version of spring roll dipping sauce.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Peanut Cookies (Biskut kacang tanah)





I have very fond memories of Peanut Cookies, when I was a little girl, I sometimes goes to the coffee shop a.k.a Kopitiam in my hometown for breakfast with my maternal grandpa, my cousin and I will asked for a treat after we finished our meal. There were these huge glass jars with red color cover that have all the goodies inside, the old time version of tidbits. Those see through jars are very self explanatory, they never needed labels or advertisement, everyone knows what is inside -- some fried peanut crackers, pickled papaya soaked in colored vinegar, long shape orange color crackers which name unknown to me up till today, coconut biscuit, and of course, this peanut cookies.

It cost 5 cents per piece for this cookie then, not sure about the price now, and not even sure if those coffee shops still carry them!

I got this recipe from a fellow blogger years back, recreating and tasting it made me miss grandpa so much. Those were the days.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Malaysian Chicken Curry 马来咖喱鸡



Many of my friends here in US like the Roti Canai and Chicken curry in one of the Malaysian restaurant here in NJ and have asked for the recipe to make it on several occasions. To a Malaysian taste buds, the curry in the restaurant is far from authentic. So I have been meaning to write a post about the kind of curry I grow up eating for a long time.

I brought with me some Malaysian Curry powder the last time I visited Malaysia, so here is my version of Malaysian Chicken Curry.


去过马来餐厅吃饭的人多数都吃过一道马来煎饼(抛饼)加咖喱鸡,煎饼是这道菜的灵魂,不过沾酱咖喱鸡也举足轻重。

这个咖喱鸡很多人会做,却很多人都做不好,即便是马来西亚人。主要是很多人以为做咖喱鸡就是把咖喱粉加洋葱炒好,下鸡肉块,然后调味加椰奶就行了。这个做法有个很大的缺点,就是粉类香料味道过重,而且咖喱汁不够浓,一入口都是粉粉的味道,我个人是非常不喜欢的。 
正统的马来咖喱鸡,是要有生辛香料搅拌成糊(传统是用石捣臼捣的)再加上八角桂皮之类的香料,咖喱粉倒是不必用得特别多的。 这三者之间需要达到一个平衡,咖喱的味道才会丰富温和。

注:这里还有一点要说明,咖喱粉牌子也很重要。咖喱粉其实就是好几个主要的香料粉根据不同的比例混合而成的,主要成分就是姜粉、孜然粉、辣椒粉、姜黄粉、芫荽粉等等。做不同的咖喱所用的咖喱粉比例会有所不同。很多人误解咖喱粉是一种单一香料,这个理解是不对的。  

喜欢“槟城”咖喱鸡的朋友,可以试试以下这个食谱,绝对更好吃。

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Toddler Meal -- Two-Berry Jam



Baby A likes his breakfast pancake with some jam and never turn down a jam sandwich before, I used to give him the wholefoods organic jam until lately when it was over and I was a little too lazy to travel 20 miles to Wholefoods again. Besides, though it should be somewhat healthier, I still think that the wholefoods' jam is way too sweet for a toddler.

So I made this two-berry jam with baby A's favorite berries -- Blue berry and Strawberry. 

No complaints so far!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup



NS was away for work past two weeks and reached home Friday morning just in time to see baby A woke up from sleep. The look on baby A's face when he saw his dad was priceless, it was a combination of surprise and great joy. Such a sweet thing to see that at this young age, he already manage to express very complicated feelings.

It was nice having NS home again, though my heart felt really heavy over the past few days for those on board MH370 and their families.

Since I wasn't in any mood to enjoy the weekends, as it almost felt wrong to me to feel happy while others suffered great pain. We turned down a few dinner and movie invitations and decided to just stay home and spend time together.

I made this soup for lunch on Saturday to go with some garlic bread, both daddy and son loved it. Baby A surprised me by finishing a whole bowl of the soup plus some bread. I saved some for his dinner and he happily chow down the remaining too! ( I did made his less salty though).

God! Please have mercy!


Please let them come home safely



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Vegetarian Seaweed Fried Rice



Many years back when I was still working in Asia, I had a colleague who is a very dedicated Buddhist, it was him who brought me into the Buddha's light association and later on to the Guan Yin (Avalokitesuarn) foundation where I plunged in to volunteering outside my work. Volunteering was one of the best memories of my young age, the joy of doing something for others and for bigger reason than just oneself is beyond description.  Something that I have full intention to continue whenever chances come by.

So come back to my ex-colleage, he then married one of our fellow volunteers and had a very nice vegetarian wedding reception. It was in that reception that I first tried this seaweed fried rice, the taste and image of it stays in my mind for so many years. 

A few days back when I was clearing up my pantry, I saw a packet of Japanese roasted seaweed that I bought for Baby A as snack, he wasn't too crazy about it and refused after a few attempts. Since I had some left over rice in the fridge, I made this fried rice with a little extra Chinese seaweed. It turned out just the way I remembered.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Toddler Meal -- Mini Vegetable Frittatas



I have always homemade baby A's foods ever since he started solids, we started with the good old avocado as his first solids, then progressed to cereal and different kinds of vegetables and fruits. He is always a vegetables and fruits lover, getting enough protein and carbohydrate is the challenge at the moment.

I liked that this recipe called for plenty of vegetable, eggs and cream, it is a high calorie (which is needed for toddler's development) and very well balanced food.

Baby A had two at a go, not bad for someone who doesn't particularly fancy egg dishes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Simple Chilli Paste (Chilli Boh)





If one go through recipes of Malaysian cuisine, one will definitely find the use of chili in many forms, evidence of the love of spicy food by the people. The other good indication of the love of chili is at the vegetable market (Pasar), be it wet or morning market, every stalls and even the so-called high end supermarket in big shopping malls will surely carry some Chili Boh -- a type of simple chili paste made with the common ingredients of Malaysian cuisine.

This Chili paste is highly versatile and could be used with many different kind of ingredients for different recipes.Being out of the country, I have no choice but to homemade everything (well... most of the things) I needed in order to make foods that I missed. So I do almost always have a box of this Chilli Paste in the fridge.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pongteh (Nyonya Soy Paste Braised Chicken and Pork)



The origins of Baba Nyonya can be traced back to centuries when the Chinese emigrated from China to the British Straits Settlement of Melaka, Singapore, Penang and also Java of Indonesia. These Chinese then married the local females and form a very unique culture. Their distinct background, cultures and customs blended together harmoniously and became what is called “Peranakan” culture.“Peranakan” means descendant in Malay. There is another local term for them. “Baba” refers to the male while “nyonya” means female.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken




I have been wanting to make this famous Indian BBQ dish for a long time. Not until last week that I had a chance to make it for a party. I used a secret ingredient to dye my Tandoori chicken, it is healthy and 100 percent natural. The result was stunning and I just love love how it looks!

Anybody know what is the secret ingredient used?

Chicken en papillote (Grill Chicken in parchment paper)

 


On weekdays when N goes to office and baby A goes to daycare, I only have to prepare lunch for myself.  At times I will cook once and boxed the remaining for next few meals.

Things change a little after we got our table top convection oven, as it requires less work to preheat and cook, I now like to prepare my meal in the oven.

This chicken in Parchment paper was my lunch today, using the Chinese Yim Kuk Gai (盐焗鸡)rub, it was easy and delicious, had it with a bowl of salad... very satisfying!
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