Sunday, February 28, 2016

Braised Pig Trotters with Nam Yu Beancurd 南乳花生燉豬手



My son's godmother sent me this braised pig trotters made by her mother in law during Chinese new year, it was so tasty that I had to ask for the recipe right away!

春节的时候俊宝的干妈给我送了一锅她婆婆做的的南乳花生发菜猪手,味道好的不得了,我马上把食谱问了来,老人家的手艺必须要学了保留下来哦!


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Multigrain Potato Buns




Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.
One a penny two a penny, Hot cross buns!

My son A has been into this song for days, so much so that he started asking for hot cross buns at home!

So I made this multigrain potato buns with custard "cross" on it, he was thrilled and had two in one day! It is a lot considering his petite appetite!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fish Head Noodle Soup【鱼头米粉】



Fish head noodle is a very common noodle soup back home, I can still vividly remember the image of my  ex-colleague Katherine having this as lunch almost every day for 3 months!

Well..... It is definitely a very tasty dish, a good blend of milky soup base, sourish vegetables and crunchy fried fish head! 

鱼头米粉是马来西亚一个很有名的汤粉,特别的鲜香。配上炸酥的鱼头块,淡奶,酸菜和番茄,味道很是丰富,让人吃了还想要吃呢!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stir-Fried Glutinous Rice 【生炒糯米饭】



Fried glutinous rice is a very famous dish in Chinese Dim Sum place, most restaurants now pre-cooked the rice and stir fry like the normal fried rice would to reduce cooking time.

The shortcut was created simply because the traditional way to make this dish is rather time consuming and tedious. It started with soaking the glutinous rice for hours and stir-fry it in a wok, the rice is then being cook slowly by adding sauces in batches until the rice is completely cooked, this method resulting in rice that retaining its shape and is much chewy and less gooey in texture.

If you have time, try making this dish the traditional way, you will find a brand new experience and may even fall in love with it!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Masala Arbi (Arvi/Colocasia) 【香辣芋艿 】



I was pretty surprised to see this small yam in India market when I lived there. I bought it to made yam rice but it didn't turn out to be the same like the normal yam will do.

I had this Arbi again at my mother in law's place later, it was made into Masala Arbi, it tasted really good and had since became one of my favorite foods.

芋艿在我家乡是中秋节煮了沾糖吃的,平时不怎么去做它,所以我一直以为它是中秋的应节食品而已。在印度居住时,第一次在菜市场看见它时我挺惊讶的,我还以为这东西只有中国人才有呢!

印度人做这个芋奶的方式跟我们完全不一样,他们把它做成香辣的菜肴,也很好吃喔!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Vegetarian Char Siu



Like I mentioned in my previous post of Vegetarian dish Longevity, it is a family tradition to eat only vegetarian foods on the first day of Chinese New Year. This vegetarian Char Siu is one of the dishes that is well loved in the family.

It was rather easy to prepare this dish back home, you can buy ready made Char Siu and fry it. Since I have not seen any ready made char siu here in the Asian supermarket, I decided to make it at home. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

【印式奶油鸡块】 Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhni)


印度奶油鸡块大概是很多人第一次接触印度菜时都会尝试的一道菜。它相对温和的味道,比起其他香辣的印巴菜更容易入口。
这道菜在家做也不难,是个请客时不错的选择噢!

Butter chicken is probably one of the first Indian/Pakistani dishes that many people encounter when they tried to experience Indian cuisine. Most likely to be one of the not so exotic ones compared to it's much spicier peers.

I was often asked about this dish and its recipe, it is about time to write one! I just love that when someone asked for it, I can just send out a link!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Longevity Dish (Vegetarian Steamed Chinese Cabbage)



It is a tradition in my family to have only vegetarian food on the first day of Lunar New Year. It was said that being vegetarian for this particular day will bring luck for the whole year. I had a feeling that it was just a nicer way to make us eat more vegetables after the feast on the New year eve.

It is also mandatory in our family to have Chinese Cabbage (Thng Pek) for Chinese New year meal, as it symbolize longevity, the cabbage has to be prepared without cutting it crosswise, it has to retain its shape and to be eaten whole.

I made this vegetarian dish using whole cabbage leaves with some stewed gluten, it is very presentable and delicious. A good vegetable dish for Chinese New Year, and a good way to upkeep the family heritage!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

【传统鸡蛋糕】Traditional Steamed Sponge Cake/Kuay Neng Koh



在我还很小的时候,蛋糕在我家乡是奢侈品。只有在家里老人过生辰时才会买上大大的奶油蛋糕,一家人分了吃。每次我都舍不得吃被分的那一块,要一点一点慢慢地品尝很久。

平时过年过节的时候,我们吃的是这种传统方法做的“鸡蛋糕”(Guay Neng Koh),在电动搅拌机并不普及的时代,做蛋糕是一大家子轮班用大大的弹簧大力搅拌而成的。家里祭祀祭祖时,都要做这个鸡蛋糕,用村里人自己养的土鸡生的蛋,做出来的蛋糕分外香甜。

传统蛋糕的食谱都是家里老人口口相传的,我们家的食谱由外婆传给了舅妈,前几天给家人拜年时刚好舅妈也,我就赶紧把食谱要了来。说起这个食谱,也是非常好玩,传统的做法食谱也非常古朴。外婆传给舅妈的食谱是用饭碗来量的,我听了就问舅妈那是多大的饭碗啊?舅妈的答案居然是,就是吃饭的饭碗啊! 我当场就懵了,后来还是在视频里把我家吃饭的饭碗拿给舅妈确认了一下。

古法制作的蛋糕材料简单,口感轻盈又带着浓浓的蛋香,非常的可口,它有着我的童年和家乡的味道。 

Cake was a luxury item in my home when I was young, we will only buy cake on elders' birthday, the kids get a piece each and I will savored mine a little by little hoping that it would last longer. 

This Traditional steamed sponge cake/Kuay Neng Koh (Oven is not a common thing back home, even up till today) is what we usually eat during the Chinese New Year or festive season. Electric mixer was not popular in those days, this cake was made using a huge spring like whisk and was whisked manually for a long time with few people taking turn to do it. 

This recipe was passed on to my aunt by word of mouth from the elderly, my aunt was with my mother when I called on Chinese new year eve, so I quickly grasp the opportunity to get the recipe from her and made it the next day. As traditional as this cake could be, the recipe is also very interesting, it is measured using rice bowl rather than measuring cup. I had to showed my rice bowl on facetime to my aunt to confirm the size of bowl that she used!I did, though convert it into cup/weight for recording purpose. 

The ingredients for this heritage delicacy is very simple, it produced the fluffiest cake that I had ever had, it is very tasty and has the taste of home and my childhood.

Monday, February 8, 2016

BBQ Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) 【猪肉干/肉脯】


Bak Kwa, while growing up is something we get to enjoy only during Chinese New Year in Malaysia. I used to queue up for hours at Petaling street "Ngo Lei Ya" just to get a couple of packets of this BBQ meat...

This may sound like a crazy thing now, but the wait makes the BBQ meat all the more precious, so is the memory of celebrating Chinese New Year with families.

肉干是在马来西亚的时候过节必定要有节庆美食。记得有一年农历新年前,我到茨场街的我来也肉干行排队买肉干,居然排了三个小时,马来西亚人对肉干的喜爱程度,可见一斑。

这是我用自制的红糟制作的猪肉干, 颜色漂亮而且味道特别好,根本不需要色素哦!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Traditional Chinese New Year Cake/Nian Gao 【传统年糕制作】


My childhood was spent mostly in a small town in southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The "festive" atmosphere in small towns during and before Chinese New Year are so much stronger in comparison to cities.

The elderly in families will start making types of New Year cakes/Kuehs weeks before Chinese New Year. This Nian Gao/Sticky rice cake is one of them.

My grandma was the one that makes this cake for everyone in the family, she will stay up all night to watch the fire. Every step of making this cake is manual and rigorous.

Nian Gao is normally used for prayers in Chinese New Year, a well steamed Nian Gao can be stored for months without being refrigerated.

Even though there are many short cut recipes of Nian Gao circulating around the net nowadays.

I still find it imperative to preserve the traditional way of making it.

Though I can't stone grind my glutinous rice and steam cook using firewoods, I do manage to replicate the process as closely to the origin as I can with the aids of blender and slow cooker.

I have to say that I cannot be more pleased with the result!

Here I am, together with my family heritage -- Nian Gao, wishing everybody a prosperous and healthy year of Monkey!


年糕的主要功能是年除夕时祭祖和祭神时用的,一般会在年前好几周就提前制作好,制作的工序严谨繁琐,从铺垫器具,泡糯米,磨米浆,脱水,拌糖到蒸制全都需要人工制作,处理好入蒸笼之后还要在后院用大大的蒸笼蒸上12-16个小时,蒸年糕的过程需要有人不断的添材火,加热水,所以每年蒸年糕的时候,我阿嬤就会有两晚都没法睡觉,实在是一个爱意满满的糕点哦!现在虽然有了很多简易的年糕方子,但我仍觉得,阿嬤亲手做出来的糯米年糕才是最Q弹,最甜糯好吃的!

古法制作的年糕不容易变质,即使在没有冰箱的年代,年糕在室温下都能收藏半年,甚至一年之久。一般都是年后才会把年糕取来切块蒸软或裹上面糊炸了吃。

人在国外我没有条件石磨米浆和材火蒸煮,但在慢炖锅和电动搅拌机的协助下,相当大程度地复制了阿嬤制作的年糕味道。

带着我家乡的传统年糕,向私房的姐姐妹妹们祝贺,希望大家在新的一年里阖家安康,欢乐无限。

【闽南粕丸】Hokkien Pok Nyee (Minnan Style Meatballs)


小时候过年的前几天家里的大人们都会忙着制作各种不同的美食,古早味的年菜耗时又耗工,所以大家都忙得不亦乐乎。这款闽南肉丸子是其中一款我家祭祖必定有的菜,所以制作过程还历历在目。

我还记得,外婆和长辈们在大大的木砧板上把猪腿肉切细丁,然后用两把大刀,双手握紧均匀地把肉剁成肉末。因为制作的量比较大,剁肉的过程时间很长,需要好几个大人轮流着剁。剁肉的同时其他人会在边上忙着剥蒜剥红葱头,然后加入肉里一起剁碎。

剁好的肉末调好味之后,大人们就会把手洗干净,沾湿手后开始抛打肉丸,之所以说是抛打而不是搓肉丸,是因为这个肉丸子是取一小勺的肉末在手掌上左右手相互抛打而成的,这样抛打出来的丸子结实,有嚼劲,味道更好。

炸好的丸子直接就是一道很好吃的年菜,剩下的可以加上其他蔬菜烹制成各式美食,是一个很好配搭的食材。

When I was young, Chinese New Year preparation is a very lengthy and tedious process. The elderly in the family will have to start weeks ahead to make ingredients for cooking for the reunion dinner.

Bak Nyee/Meatball is one of the tedious ones, it requires mincing pork butt with a butcher knife on a huge chopping board slowly before adding other ingredients. A few people will have to work together to take turns to make sure the pork was well minced. When one works on mincing the meat, others will chip in to peel garlics and shallots, which will later be added to the pork to be minced together.

The minced pork will then be seasoned with spices and salt, together with some crushed soda crackers (for crunchiness). The seasoned meat will be made into small balls and being thrown with force between two palms, just like how you would with playing throwing of balls. Doing this for around 10 times will result in a very round and solid meatball, which is chewy in texture.

The meatball is a very good dish on its own after frying, the leftover could be make into different kind of dishes too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spring roll (Poh Piah)



The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣). Lìchūn (立春) literally: "start of spring") is the 1st solar term.

Traditionally we will eat something that grow in spring in the day Lichun falls. Typically stirred fried vegetables wrapped in a steamed sheet made from wheat flour, it is thus called "Spring Roll". Spring rolls could be eaten fresh or fried.

Mum used to buy fresh spring roll sheet from a local lady, with lots of different kind of vegetables, fried eggs, and this Mang Guang Char.

All the kiddos in the house were allowed to wrap our own spring rolls, that was more fun than eating it. My brother will stuffed his rolls with so much fillings that it could hardly roll up!

It was very fond memories and since it is Lichun today, I am making some spring rolls for the families to upkeep the tradition.

Mang Guang Char(Stir Fry Shredded Jicama)



Jicama is a very common fruit/vegetable in Malaysia, it could be eaten raw as fruit or cooked into different type of dishes. This Mang Guang Char is one of them, we eat it as dishes to go with rice or congee.

It is a very common vegetables to be wrapped in spring roll/Popiah, it can also be used as filling of steamed bun/pau.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Gingko Barley Soy Skin Sweet Soup



It suddenly got very cold this week here in the east coast of USA with more than 10 inches of snow. The air became very dry and cold, my lips crack and nose dried up, it's about time to make something that could help fight cold and dryness!

I saw the fresh bean curd skin and fresh Gingko at the Chinese supermarket today, it is perfect to make this sweet soup good to moist the skin and nourish the body!

How to make Phulka/Chapati & Puri (Video)





Phulkas (also known as Roti or Chapati in some regions in India) is a thin puffed flat bread made with whole wheat flour (Atta). It is a daily staple food for many people in India, especially the northern regions.

Rotis are traditionally cooked on tava (A flat iron skillet) and later place over direct flame to quickly puff it up.

Growing up as a Chinese girl in Malaysia, I have never come across any homemade bread until much later in my teenage let alone preparing it.

I started preparing homemade rotis when we moved to USA after marriage, I had to learn from scratch, took me months to learn how to knead the dough with right texture, another few more months to learn how to roll a somewhat presentable round rotis. My husband N had to eat so many failed attempts before it gets better.

I can now say that I make pretty good rotis and made a short video on it. It does gets better with practise, that is for sure.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ngoh Heang/ Lorbak




This meat roll in bean curd skin is a common Chinese New Year dish back home. There will be housewives making it at home and sell in advance weeks before chinese New Year, mom will buy from her friends and keep it in the freezer.

We will thaw a few of this rolls and fry it before reunion dinner, it takes a very short time to turn it into another good looking and delicious reunion dinner dish!