Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chicken 'Kou Ruo' Steamed Bun

I personally find that bao making is very challenging eventhough I've been making it so frequently. Though, it's just a simple white steamed bun. What makes it so challenging? The main problem is the colour of the bun. Yeah, WHITE is the name! I also came across that many blogger facing the same problem as well. Mostly ended up with a sloppy yellowish or brownish look or with spots all over the bun! What about bun which is hard as a rock! Again, NOT rising.... is the name, yeap! I had the same problems when I first making them but not anymore. These days I even make my own steamed buns with only all purpose flour. I don't need any special bao flour nor any whitening powder, and still manage to give you a nice and fluffy white steamed bun. But of coz, bao flour will provides better texture because it's the finest flour, lighter and whiter.

These are the buns I made with all purpose flour which only cost RM1.35 per kg, Bluekey brand. Does it look white and fluffy? Definitely, they are! Basically, all purpose flour is unbleached flour and it won't gives you snow white buns. Well, lets put it this way, bun making is fun. All you have to do is to know your friends better. For instance, yeast & baking powder. Both of them are a must for white steamed bun making. Mr Yeast has a few great buddies as well, like warm water, sugar and flour. Bun with starter dough will provide soft & fluffy bao skin. But remember, Mr Yeast hates hot water & salt. Dissolved baking powder in water will prevent spots on buns after steaming. Try to hand knead the dough if you don't owned a good dough mixer.

The following recipe was inspired by Cheah@ No Frills-Recipe. But I hand knead the dough instead of using a mixer or bread maker.

And here's what I did.

Ingredients for Bun Dough :
Starter Dough
100ml lukewarm water
2-1/2 tspn yeast
1 tbsp sugar
130gm flour

First, combine sugar, water and yeast together and mix well. Then stir in flour to form a sticky dough. Leave it aside for 10 mins or untill it started to rise. If the dough is not rising, please check the expiring date of the yeast. Or give it another 10 mins. If it's still not working, meaning the yeast is no more active. Make a new batch.

**Main Dough
370gm flour
100gm sugar
1/4 tspn salt

100ml water, room temperature
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn vinegar

2 tbsp shortening

**Method :
(1) combine ingredients (A) and place it in a big mixing bowl, make a well in centre.
(2) combine ingredients (B) and mix well.
(3) place starter dough in the centre of the flour, slowing push in the flour and knead.
(4) gradually, add in ingredients (B) to the starter dough and keep kneading untill a dough is form. It will look a little crumby, dry and yellowish but it's ok.
(5) then add in shortening and knead untill combined. You won't get a smooth dough yet but a nice non-sticky dough. Once the wall of the mixing bowl is all clear and shinny, meaning it's done.
(6) set the dough aside for 1 to 1-1/2 hour or untill double in size, make sure to cover it with a damp tower.
(7) by then, you will notice the dough became whiter (not snow white). Punch dough to release air and knead untill smooth. (see above 2nd picture)
(8) divide dough into 50gm each, cover with a damp towel to prevent dry skin.
(9) roll out each dough and place in the fillings.
(10) plead the edges and place it to a parchment paper, simply spray on a little water.
(11) set aside to rest for 15-20mins and then steam for 10-12 mins over high heat.
(12) off the heat, remove the lid a few minutes later to prevent shrinkage.

Do they look tempting to you too? All purpose flour steamed bun looks just as nice.

You can start making the filling while the dough is resting but still the best cook this a day before and keep refrigerated.

Ingredients for Quicky Chicken 'Kou Ruo' :
100gm chicken fillet, diced
100gm fried taro/yam, diced
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 cube 'lam Yue'/red fermented beancurd
2 tpsn vegetarian oyster sauce salt &
pepper to taste

*thickening : 1/4 cup water + 1 tspn corn starch

Method :
(1) preheat a frying pan with one tablespoon of oil.
(2) stir in onion, taro & chicken, simmer over medium heat untill cooked.
(3) add in fermented beancurd and oyster sauce, mix well.
(4) now, add in salt & pepper and then follow by thickening. Be sure the filling is not wet.
(5) off the heat, remove everything from the frying pan and leave cool before chilled in refrigerator for 30 mins.

Nice texture?

Hubby and the kids are not a big fan of char siew bao. So, this is something different for them to enjoy. I have to thank Cheah for her lovely ideas & delicious steamed bun recipes. They all sounded really tempting. Hopefully, I will have time to try out the curry filling steamed bun soon.

I'm sending this to Shaz @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event.

By the way, this is my number 400th post and I am celebrating my 2nd blogaversary at the same time as well. Just imagine how time flies.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Cake

It's always fun to explore in our cooking and baking with all kinds of new ingredients. Recently, I'm trying to make good use of my buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is very nutritious and easy to digest. And it's good for our tummy too. But buckwheat isn't something that is easily to work with, due to 0% gluten contained, unlike flour.

Here's something I'm working on.

Ingredients :
200gm butter, melted
180gm sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tbsp sugar
100gm almond meal
100gm buckwheat flour
1 tspn cinnamon powder

Method :
(1) beat egg yolk and sugar untill fluffy pale.
(2) cream in butter untill combined.
(3) fold in almond meal, buckwheat flour and cinnamon untill well mixed.
(4) whisk egg white & 1 tbsp sugar untill foamy.
(5) fold egg white into flour mixture (in 3 batches) untill well combined.
(6) pour batter into 9" tray nicely coated with butter & buckwheat flour.
(7) bake at preheated oven at 175'C for about 35-40 mins or untill the cake tester came out clean.
(8) cool for 20 mins before slicing.

I have the top with icing sugar and also cocoa powder.

Oooo.... my kitchen smells heavenly! Did someone says buckwheat has WEIRD aroma & taste? Not at all ! I think it tastes great even without axtra cream and frosting. This is a very simple and delightful tea cake. I bet you'll never regret. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Schnitzel With Quicky Marmalade Kamquet Sauce

I went home to visit my parents last weekend. I hardly go out while I was there. I spent most of my time at home watching t.v. or sleeping. And eating ! Ooops... that's supposed to be my little secret. haha.... And I remember I watched this Iron Chef competition, the competition title of the day is all about pork. Both chefs have to make four different main course from the designated meat. One of the dish which had my complete attention, that is schnitzel pork with szechuan pepper sauce which the chef has the most compliment from all judges. And this should be something not to miss out. Since there's no szechuan pepper available at this moment, I'll have something else for replacement.

Here's my little quickie surprise.

Ingredients :
one whole chicken breast fillet, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup sesame seeds
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all purpose flour

Method :
(1) marinade sliced chicken fillet with salt & pepper.
(2) coat both side chicken fillet with flour and then dip into beaten egg.
(3) finally, coat with sesame seeds mixture.
(4) place the well coated chicken fillet to preheated frying pan and pan fry untill golden brown.

Ingredients for Marmalade Kamquet Sauce :
3 tbsp marmalade jam (I used lemon marmalade)
1/2 cup water
a pinch of salt
1 dried kamquet, sliced thinly
(combine all ingredients in a saucepan and let to boil untill jam is totally dissolved, then serve with chicken)

The sauce is quite light and refreshing. Interesting indeed! I bet I want to try the other sauce too... szechuan pepper sauce! Anyone willing to offer me your szechuan pepper??? :o)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Steamed Savoury Glutinous Rice @ 'Loh Mai Gai'

This is one of the must have dim sum dish, other than prawns dumpling @ Har Gao when having breakfast at dim sum restaurant. But I seldom go to our local dim sum place to have breakfast because mostly of their dim sum is made of pork. My kids not really fond of it. So, still making it at home is the best. I used mostly chicken meat even the 'Lap Cheong' @ Chinese Sausage also made of chicken meat (a product from Thailand).

Ingredients :
*2 sticks Chinese sausage, sliced
*some sliced mushroom (I used fresh ones)
1 whole chicken breast fillet, sliced
2 cups glutinous rice, clean & soaked for 3 hours

Seasoning for chicken :
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tspn dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine/shaoxing wine
1 tbsp ginger juice
1 tspn sugar
1/2 tspn white pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
(combine all ingredients and mix well with the sliced chicken & mushroom, then set aside)

Seasoning for glutinous rice :
3/4 cup water
1/2 tspn Chinese five spice
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tspn dark soy sauce
2 tpsn light soy sauce
1/2 tpsn white pepper
3 tbsp fried garlic oil
1 tspn sesame oil
(combine all and stir in to cooked glutinous rice and mix to combine)

(1) prepared 8 rice bowls and place in marinated chicken, mushroom & sliced sausage.
(2) fill in each bowl with cooked glutinous rice.
(3) then steam for 30 mins over high heat, and serve hot.

Note : Steam the soaked glutinous rice for 30 mins over high heat (without any addition of water). Then stir in the seasoning mixture once the rice is cooked.

These ready made foil packaging with cover can easily found at the specialty shop. So easy & convenient! We can keep them refrigerated as soon as it's done and then go straight to the steamer or microwave on the following day.
I'm sending this to Shaz @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mocha Brownie

I haven't had any chocolates for quite a while, did you notice that? Gee.... really missed those creamy indulging bittersweetness. I felt sorry that I have not had enough of it lately.... while someone feeling guilty. ha... Should we feel sorry for having too much? Oh well, sometimes ! When I can't put on my favourite dresses or skirts! Then I realized I have to stop giving myself excuses. And start up a better diet. So, this is a reward for being a good good girl. :o)

Ingredients :
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp instant coffee powder
1-2/3 cups sugar
300gm butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Method :
(1) combine flour, cocoa powder and coffee powder in a big bowl,.
(2) then stir in butter, egg and vanilla, beat untill well combined.
(3) fold in chocolate chips and mix well.
(4) pour batter to a 9x13" tray lined with parchment paper.
(5) finally, bake at preheated oven 180'C for about 30mins.

Chocolate glazing :
125ml heavy cream
250gm dark chocolate
1 tbsp coffee powder
1 tbsp kahlua
(combine cream, dark chocolate, coffee powder and kahlua into a sauce pan and melt everything over a boiling water without touching the water, untill the chocolate melted & combined. Cool slightly and spread over the brownies)

Nope, I'm not feeling guilty at all. It's my reward, right! :o) See.... what I mean, another excuse ! haha...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spinach & Tomato Sweet Bread

Now here, Kristy is making something crazy again! VEGETABLES loaf ! haha... I've seen blogger making spinach loaf and bread too but seldom I see tomato bread. This is definitely something I will never resist to try, won't I ! Today, I am honoured to present you this colourful soft bread loaf. I bet the kids or whoever hated the green thing is going to love this.

Ingredients for Spinach Dough :
300gm bread flour
1/2 tspn salt
3 tbsp spinach puree
100ml milk (mix with one beatened egg to make it 100ml)
2 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tspn yeast
2 tbsp corn oil/butter

Ingredients for Tomato Dough :
300gm bread flour
1/2 tspn salt
3 tbsp tomato paste
100ml milk (mix with one beatened egg to make it 100ml)
2 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tpsn yeast
2 tbsp corn oil/butter

Method :
(1) combine milk, egg, yeast, sugar and oil, leave aside for 5 mins.
(2) in another big mixing bowl, combine flour and salt, mix well.
(3) stir milk mixture into flour to form a soft dough.
(4) leave to rest for an hour or until double the size.
(5) go on with the other recipe with the same method separately.
(6) then punch dough to release air and place dough over a sloured working table.
(7) divide both dough into 6 portion, roll each into oblong shape.
(8) twist together a green dough and a orange dough, ended up with 6 pairs of them.
(9) place them to a 9" tray with butter coating. (mine is 8" tray)
(10) let it rest for another 40 mins or untill double in size.
(11) brush with egg glaze and bake at preheated oven 190'c for about 15-20 mins or untill brown.
(12) leave to cool for 10 mins before remove from tray.
The bread is so fluffy soft and looks jolly good. I think the tomato paste did such incredible job here. The colour is perfect and so does the spinach. doesnt' smell like a VEGETABLE at all. lol! haha....

I have some leftover dough after finishing the 8" tray pan. Again I divide each portion into 3 dough balls. Arrange them to a 3x6.5" tray. Let them rest untill double in size. Spread on some pesto and bake at preheated oven 190'C for about 15-20 mins or untill brown.

Pesto topping ! This is totally crazy. I can finish the whole loaf all by myself.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kam Heong Black Pepper Chicken

Another incredible Malaysian delicacies which my family loves very much. Even the name itself already tells you how good it is. 'Kam Heong' means the most fragrant & delicious, SO, do I need to explain more! Curry leaves are most frequently used in many Malaysian cuisines because of the incredible exotic aroma. Therefore, this recipe will not run without this special leaves. It simply lifted your taste bud instantly.

Ingredients :
3 chicken thigh meat, sliced
1/2 egg white
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tspn sesame oil
2/3 cup tapioca starch

Kam Heong ingredients :
1 tbsp chopped garlic
one bunch curry leaves
1/2 tbsp crashed black peppercorn
4 birds eye chilies, roughly chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tspn dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar

Method :
(1) marinade chicken with salt & pepper, sesame oil and egg white, set aside for 1/2 hour.
(2) stir in tapioca starch and make sure all the meat is well coated.
(3) fry untill golden and set aside.
(4) preheat wok/frying pan with just enough cooking oil.
(5) stir in chopped garlic, curry leaves and curry powder, saute untill fragrant.
(6) then add in the remaining seasoning included black pepper & chilies.
(7) simmer for a few seconds and stir in fried chicken meat, mix to well combined.
(8) and serve warm.

Other than cooking with chicken meat, this recipe is also widely used in cooking seafood especially crabs and prawns. The sauce is basically spicy sweet. And it's even splendid with a touch of crashed black pepper. Well, does it look addictive to you?
I'm sending this to Shaz @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event.
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