Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade Hakka "Yong Tou Fu' @ Stuffed Bean Curd

My 6th out of the 10 dishes I made for my previous New Year party. This is 'Hakka Yong Tofu' or stuffed bean curd but my friends calling it as ' Ah Yee Yong Tofu'. haha.....They said it's my signature dish. So, they put my name on it. :P Hakka is one of the Chinese dialect other than Cantonese, Hokkien, Fok Chow....and many many more. They all speaks in different way and even cooked differently. My parents are both Cantonese so that makes me a Cantonese too. The funny thing was my dad prefer making western food and my mom only make simple meal. There's no particular or signature dish for them. As far as I know, Cantonese cooking is more to sweet flavouring and Hakka is more to salty.

And I have mine version here.

Ingredients :
500gm fish paste
5 pcs pressed tofu
10 red chilies
20 fried tofu puffs
1 eggplant, here

Ingredients for gravy :
3 cups water
3 shallots, roughly chopped
1 inch knob ginger, roughly smashed
1 tbsp fermented soy bean paste
3 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tspn light soy sauce
pepper to taste

Method :
(1) firstly, clean, cut & stuffs all the ingredients with fish paste then set aside.
(2) now, place all the gravy ingredients into a big pot and bring to boil.
(3) then switch to low heat, in another hand prepare another frying pan/wok with oil to fry all the stuffed ingredients.
(4) fry all the stuffed ingredients over low heat untill light brown and then transfer them to the gravy pot & continue boiling over low heat for about 20-30 mins.

* Only put in the stuffed chilies 10 mins before it's ready.

Of course, other than using bean curd, tofu puffs, eggplants & chillies for stuffing. You might as well use bitter gourd, ladyfingers, mushroom and bean curd sheet (for wu xiang).

Now, here's the 7th out of the 10 dishes. I'm trying to balance my menu with this special vegetarian dish by using vegetarian lamb meat. Basically, vegetarian meat is made of flour or soy bean and meaning pretty much tasteless. By making it in this way, it's a total winner. I have been quiet the whole night about this vegetarian dish, unless someone ask me about it. Well, they did! They started asking questions after their first bite on it. haha... They were surprised when I told them this is a vegetarian dish because it doesn't taste like one. The whole dish gone within a second. Well, you might as well use the real lamb meat by following the same recipe as given below. If the meat is too dense then add in a little extra water to simmer untill tender.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Creamy Curry Lamb :
500gm vegetarian lamb meat
500gm potatoes
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed & cut into 2
1-1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp kurma powder (corriander powder for replacememnt)
2 cups coconut milk

Blended paste :
1 large onion
1 inch ginger
5 cloves garlic
10 birds eye chillies

Method : Please refer here.
My Chinese New Year Party Menu Listed as follow :
(1) Chinese Chicken Meat Roll @ wu xiang
(2) Simple Stir Fried Spicy Fern Shoots
(3) Ikan Kembung With Pickled Mustard In Assam Soup
(4) Yu Shang @ Raw Fish Salad
(5) Baby Kai Lan In Braised Taro
(6) Hakka Stuffed Bean Curd @ Yong Tofu
(7) Vegetarian Lamb Meat In Creamy Curry
(8) Fragrant rice & White rice
(9) Roasted Black Pepper Chicken
(10) Desserts : Swirl Berry Cheesecake & 'Kuai Lin Go' Jelly

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cider Crumble Cake

Making cakes with cider is definitely something new to me. Just because of that, my curiosity drove me straight to the recipe which I found longgggg ago. So, I have finally made this during the Chinese New Year and gave them away as gifts. Since I have full supply of my homemade fruits cider, this is a pretty good time to make good use of them.

Ingredients for Crumble Topping :
40gm butter
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup roasted walnuts, chopped

Method :
(1) cream butter & sugar untill fluffy.
(2) fold in flour and mix to form a soft dough.
(3) add in chopped walnuts and mix combine.
(4) wrap dough with a plastic sheet and keep chilled for 15 mins.

Ingredients for Cake :
20gm butter, melted
2 tbsp golden syrup/honey
150ml homemade fruit/apple cider
2 cup all purpose flour
2 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn ginger powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
5 pitted dates, roughly chopped
5 pitted prunes, roughly chopped

Method :
(1) combine butter, cider & syrup in a big bowl.
(2) fold in flour, sugar, ginger powder & baking powder, mix well.
(3) stir in chopped prunes & dates and mix to combine.
(4) fill paper cups up to 70% batter and top with crumble topping.
(5) then bake at preheated oven 175'C for about 30 mins.

The cakes turned out looking great... soft texture, crunch topping with assorted sweetness!

I can even smell the aroma of cider, really inviting! The aging cider tastes even stronger and more to alkohol. Where the freshly made ones is more to fruity flavour. I will have to make another batch soon when my next batch of homemade cider is ready to use. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Kai Lan In Braised Taro

This is the 5th dish out of the 10 I made for the New Year party a couple weeks ago. This special dish was introduced to me by Elin. She had this at a restaurant for her pre Chinese New Year gathering lunch. It looks like a weird combination and seems so strange as well. I have never had anything like mixing up taro with other green vegetables in my cooking before. Well, never try never know, right! It's quite interesting though. And would love to give it a try.

And here's what I did.

Ingredients : (serve 10)
400gm baby Kai Lan
150gm taro, sliced
50gm dried shrimp
2 tbsp chopped garlic
4 scallion, sliced
a few slices ginger, chopped
1 pce red fermented bean curd
2 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
Method :
(1) firstly, fry the sliced taro till slightly brown, set aside.
(2) by using the same wok or frying pan, stir in ginger, shallot, garlic and dried shrimps.
(3) saute untill fragrant, add in red fermented bean curd & fried taro and mix well.
(4) add in water and let them boil over medium heat untill taro became soft & tender.
(5) now, stir in all the Kai Lan and let it cook for about 3 mins or till soft.
(6) finally, add in salt & pepper to taste and off the heat.
According to Elin's review, the restaurant is using dried shredded cuttlefish in this recipe but I replacing it with dried shrimp. The addition of red fermented bean curd is a plus. It flavoured up the whole dish instantly. Though, it's a weird combo......yes, it's awesome! It's something new for my guests and they're loving it. Hope you will like it too! Enjoy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Creamy Fragrant Butter Prawns @ 'Lai Yao Har'

I was checking on those huge prawns at the wet market the other day. It was so much cheaper after the Chinese New Year. The prices went down about 40%-50% depending on sizes. Just the right timing for me to get some for my family to enjoy especially my boy. His favourite!

And here's what I did.
Ingredients :
1/2 kg large prawns
handful of curry leaves
a few birds eye chilies, cut small
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1-1/2 tspn curry powder
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
Method :
(1) fry all prawns in few batches untill cooked.
(2) preheat non-stick frying pan with butter.
(3) stir in chopped garlic, curry leaves, curry powder & turmeric powder, saute untill fragrant.
(4) add in heavy cream & sugar and simmer untill thick & creamy.
(5) off the heat, stir in fried prawns & mix well.

This creamy butter prawns is one of the most popular seafood dish over here in Malaysia & Singapore. The sauce is so flavourful and tasty delicious. I bet you will never had enough of this. But before cooking, a proper cleaning need to be done to the prawns. Make sure you cut the back of the prawns about three quarter deep and pull out the intestine neatly. The deepness of the cut will gives a nice curl to the prawns after cooked. It's best to leave the head stick to it, unless if you're making stir fried. I'm sure this is something irresistible to all. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Frutti-Tutti Ice-Cream Pop & A Sundae

What's happening to the earth? All a certain, it turns HOT rapidly. I can only feel the warm air from my car fan which is blowing in high speed but not the air-cond. Sorry kids, it's not the air-cond fault. I think the air-cond is trying very hard to cool down the temperature in my car. The weather here became so warm eversince after the floods. Hopefully, there will be rain! *sigh* Yes, I am sure. We definitely need a little rain to cool down the temperature here. Besides of that....... an ice-cream will sure help. :o)

And not forgetting Penny @ Addictive & Consuming throwing an International Incident Sundae Party on this coming Sunday, 20th February. Make sure you're there.

Ingredients :
1L vanilla ice-cream (store bought)
2 cups homemade yogurt, half frozen
4 tbsp passiofruit
500gm mango, cubed
2 tbsp key lime juice
Method :
(1) combine all ingredient in a big bowl and beat till creamy.
(2) fill in the ice-cream pop container and keep frozen till set or overnight.
*For box ice-cream : keep in freezer after the first whisk untill almost set, then beat again for the second round untill smooth and freeze again overnight.

Let's see what we got here! Here comes my baby!

Hmmm..... Need I say more! And sure the children will love it especially during this hot season.

This is another simple mixed fruits & nuts sundae. I just fill 50% of the cup with green pear, plum, mandarin orange and some cashew nuts. Then top with frutti-tutti ice-cream and cherry. Quick & yummy! Hope you will all enjoy this recipe as it is just a simple quick whip. Have fun!
I'm sending this to Penny @ International Incident Sundae Party.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yu Sang @ Raw Fish Salad

Today is the last day of Chinese New Year. We calling it as 'Chop Goh Meh', the 15th day of Chinese New Year. I think I did mentioned it before, last year. It is also the Chinese Valentine's Day, where all the single men and women will be throwing mandarin oranges to the river for wishing good luck in their love lives. ^_^ And I'm posting the 4th dish out of the 10 today. 'Yu Sang' meaning raw fish salad and also a symbol of increase in abundance & prosperity throughout the year. We only having this once a year which is during the Chinese New Year.

And here's what I did.
Ingredients :
300gm pomelo
200gm white radish, shredded
50gm carrot, shredded
100gm pickled scallion, sliced
50gm shredded candied nutmeg
50gm fried shredded taro
30gm cilantro, cut small
20-30 fried wanton sheets, crashed
50gm prawn crackers, crashed
20m roasted crashed peanuts
20gm roasted sesame seeds

Salad Sauce :
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup plum sauce
2 tbsp honey/golden syrup
3 tbsp kamquet oil
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 key lime juice + 2 calamansi juice
a dash chinese 5 spice & pepper
(combine all and mix well, change the amout according to taste as desired)
*100gm raw fish slices

(1) soak shredded radish in clean water for about 30 mins, to wash away the unpleasent taste.
(2) drained and squeeze out excess water then keep in a container & chilled.

(3) add a few drops of red food colouring into shredded taro and mix well.
(4) then fry the shredded taro untill crispy, set aside.
* I'm stealing this idea from Biren @ Roti & Rice. This is the replacement for red pickled ginger.

This salad bowl was given to me by my mom. It fits perfectly for 'luo sang'. For assemble, fill the base with pomelo. Then follow by white radish on top of it and top with carrot.

Next, arrange nutmeg, pickled scallion, fried taro and cilantro on both sides. Now, we have all the colours we need.... green, red, white and orange. Finally, top with crashed prawn crackers, fried wanton sheets, crashed peanuts, sesame seeds and salad sauce. Ta...da.... So, are you ready for this? Ok, everybody lets get a pair of chopstick and join in. Lets 'luo sang'! Woooohoooo........
*If you're planning to have the raw fish slices. Squeeze on the key lime juice and add in the spices & pepper.

Wishing you all a HAPPY CHOP GOH MEH !

Simple Spicy Stir Fried Wild Fern Shoots

This is the 3rd dish out of the 10. Again, I hated it.... I mean the cleaning job! I spent so much time in cleaning the shoots and cutting them. But it's all worth it though. Everyone enjoying this simple stir fry green vegetables alot. It's spicy but unlike those sambal belacan cooking style. I'm using the whole dried shrimps which gives you a nice chew between the shoots.
Ingredients : (serve 10)
3 big bunch of wild fern shoots
(get more than 1/2kg after cleaning)
60gm dried shrimp, soaked
3 scallion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
a few slices ginger, chopped
5 birdseye chilies, roughly chopped
salt to taste
Method :
(1) clean and pick the wild fern shoots and then rinse with clean water for several times.
(2) cook the clean fern shoots in boiling water (with 1 tbsp cooking) for 2 mins, drained & set aside.
(3) preheat frying pan or wok with 1/2 cup of cooking oil.
(4) stir in chopped garlic, ginger, sliced scallion and soaked dried shrimp, saute untill fragrant.
(5) add in salt (I used 3/4 tspn) then follow by chilies and cooked fern shoots.
(6) stir fry fern shoots untill well cooked.
(7) off the heat, and serve warm.
Don't you love the green on the plate! It looks so greenlicious. :o)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweetheart Torte

Happy Valentine's Day to all my dearest friends & readers! What a special day for all of us..... to express our feelings to the love ones. Valentine's Day doesn't just mean for lovers but to all the people we love dearly. And it doesn't even mean you need to spend a lot.... even a simple meal or bake will make the day too.

And here's a little something from me to all.

Ingredients for Biscuit Sponge :
5 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar

5 egg whites
3-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tspn lemon juice
1/4 tspn cream of tartar

150gm superfine flour

Method :
(1) beat ingredients (A) untill creamy pale.
(2) then slowly add in half of ingredient (C) untill well combined, set aside.
(3) whisk ingredients (B) untill foamy and stiff.
(4) now, fold mixture (B) into mixture (A) into 3 batches, alternately with the remaining flour.
(5) fill batter into pipping bag and squeeze batter onto baking tray lined with parchment paper.
(*can make four 8" trays or two 9x13" tray of sponge.)
(6) bake at preheated oven 160'C for about 30-35 mins or untill brown.

Ingredients for Coffee Cream :
90ml hot brew coffee
1/2 tbsp gelatine
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup thickened cream

Method :
(1) combine hot coffee and gelatine and cook over low heat untill dissolved, then set aside.
(2) beat egg yolk and sugar untill creamy.
(3) pour coffee mixture into egg yolk mixture and stir well.
(4) then slowly add in thickened cream and mix till combined.
(5) keep chilled for 15 mins or untill set/spreadable.
White Chocolate Ganache :
60gm white chocolate, chopped
40gm heavy cream
(melt chocolate and cream in a saucepan over boiling water)
*1/2 cup strawberry jam

(1) cut biscuit sponge with a heart shape cutter as many as you can.
(2) squeeze on the white chocolate ganache around the biscuit.
(3) fill biscuits with strawberry jam and then follow by coffee cream.
(4) then stack them up and decorate the top biscuit as desired.

I have the sponge and cream ready 2 days before. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with them at first. Well, it happened spontaneously this afternoon.... just a click! And ta...da..... here's my little sweetheart torte! Something sweet & lovely for myself and the kids. :o) Hope you will like it too.


I'm sending this to Martha @ Valentine's Party, Chaya @ Meatless Monday and Cuisine Paradise @ Aspiring Baker #4.

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