Saturday, May 30, 2009

Claypot Tofu

Yesterday I bought a new gadget for the kitchen….guess what? Yup, a new claypot ! :)) I find the price a bit pricey and the boss doesn’t want to give me a discount, but since I wanted one so badly, I guess I have to pay like a Duchess !

And….I also can’t wait to use it ^ * . I cooked tofu with it…a dish which is a favourite of the family… tofu , tofu , tofu . I can eat tofu everyday :) Simple and easy to cook and simply delicious…yum yum yummy . Serve it hot with rice…especially when it is still bubbling. This claypot retains heat well and will keep the tofu warm thru out dinner. I love this claypot…big enough for a family of five or six. It can be used for cooking many other dishes besides tofu.

I heart this claypot....

:)) I heart the lid too !

this is truly yummy......
I can eat two bowls of rice with juz this dish....

I stole some before dinner :P

Clayot Tofu


5 pieces of brown square tofu - cut into halves
1 tbsp of cornflour for coating the tofu
Oil for deep frying

8 shrimps
6 slices of lean meat
1 bundle of enoki mushrooms
8 pieces of button mushrooms- cut into thick slices
8 pieces of oyster mushrooms
1/2 a carrot - cut into slices
1/2 red capsicum - cut into strips
1/2 yellow capsicum - cut into strips
1/2 green capsicum - cut into strips
1/2 pkt of holland sweet peas
3 pips of garlic - chopped finely
1 shallots - slice thinly
1 slice of ginger

2 tbsp of olive oil

seasoning for the gravy:

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp thick soy sauce
1 tsp of chicken granules
1 cup of water
1 tsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of cooking wine


1 tsp of corn flour
3 tbsp of water


Cut brown tofu into halves and coat them with corn flour. Deep fried till golden brown. Drain off oil and leave aside.
Add into the claypot, 2 tbsp of olive oil, sesame oil and the chopped garlic, slice of ginger and shallots and saute over medium heat till fragrant. Add in the shrimps and lean meat, stir fry till the raw meat is cooked then add in all the mushrooms and the cut vegetables. Stir fry for another 3 minutes. Add in 1 cup of water and all the seasoning ingredients except the wine. Boil for 6 minutes, add in the fried tofu and add in the thickening and wine. Cover the claypot with lid and simmer for another 10 minutes. Off the fire and served it hot with rice.

* If you want more gravy add a bit more water.

Have a nice weekend.....


Friday, May 29, 2009

Century Egg With Homemade Pickled Ginger

This is a delicacy most Chinese will love .... in their porridge, steamed egg and or as a dish by itself eaten with slices of pickled ginger. Nowadays, they even wrapped them in beancured skin as spring roll - a dim sum delight!

I bought 10 century eggs @ RM0.80 each from my regular egg stall at the Central Market last weekend. Daddy and I had them as a side dish when we had our dinner the last few nights....:P it was so addictive especially the homemade pickled ginger tasted so awesome....the sweetness and sourness was just perfect...mmmm refreshing , eating those pickled ginger slices with the century egg! A perfect match for the century egg.... every mouthful was addictive.... my homemade pickled ginger being the main attraction for this hors d'oeuvre !!!! Truly , the best pickled ginger I have made and eaten thus far. I am delighted with the result of the pickled ginger. I kept the other jar for my Piggies ^ *

Text extracted from Wikipedia

Century egg, also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, and thousand-year-old egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice straw for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. After the process is completed, the yolk becomes a dark green, cream-like substance with a strong odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavour or taste. The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg from around 9 to 12 or more. This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavourful compounds.

Some eggs have patterns near the surface of the egg white that are likened to pine branches.

Century eggs can be eaten without further preparation, on their own as a side dish. As an hors d’oeuvre , the Cantonese wrap chunks of this egg with slices of pickled ginger root (sometimes sold on a stick as street food). A Shanghainese recipe mixes chopped century eggs with chilled tofu. In Taiwan it is popular to eat century eggs on top of cold tofu with katsuobushi , soy sauce, and sesame oil in a style similar to Japanese Hiyayakko. A variation of this recipe common in northern China is to slice century eggs over chilled silken (soft) tofu, adding liberal quantities of shredded young ginger and chopped spring onions as a topping, and then drizzling light soy sauce and sesame oil over the dish, to taste. They are also used in a dish called old-and-fresh eggs, where chopped century eggs are combined with (or used to top) an omelet made with fresh eggs.

look at it...reminds me of a black gem

the homemade pickled ginger has turned darker pink :)

Eaten with my homemade pickled ginger yum yummy


TGIF...have a great weekend
and eat healthy :)))

Monday, May 25, 2009

Inche Kaybin

I know, I know, the weather was terribly HUMID and HOT the last few days but after reading the lastest issue of the Flavour magazine, I ignored the hot weather and cooked this mouthwatering fried chicken ... Inche Kaybin by Nigel Skelchy. It looks so appetizing ,I had to try it out..anything spicy and crispy is a treat for the family! After this, lotz of cooling tea for the Piggies of course. I cooked this for them before they went back last week :)

I added some curry leaves to it, to give it an extra fragrance. It turned out finger-licking good and the Piggies were oink-ing away ^ *

mmmm...yum yummy....spicy and crispy

my favourite part of the whole leg..the end part
chewy tendon....

Inche Kaybin by Nigel Skelchy ( adapted from the Flavour Magazine May-June Issue)


2 kg whole chicken cuts into pieces
or a combination of wings and whole legs


*1 sprig of curry leaves ( I add this for extra fragrance)
2 tbsp meat curry powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp chicken stock or brandy

oil for deep frying

dipping sauce:
5 shallots, finely sliced
2 large red chillies, finely sliced
zest and juice of 1 large lime
1 tbsp sugar
enough Worchestershire sauce to cover

To season the chicken:
Mix the marinade ingredients to form a paste. Toss chicken pieces in the marinade to coat well. Set aside to marinate for at least 2 hrs or overnight, in the refrigerator.

To fry:

In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 175º C. To test if the oil is hot enough, cut a cube of bread measuring 2.5cm and add to the oil. If it browns within 60 seconds, the oil is ready. Deep fry the chicken for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Do this in batches to prevent crowding in the wok. Remove and drain chicken on paper towels. Serve hot with the dipping sauce on the side.

To make the dipping:

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside for 1 hour to develop the flavours.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mother's Day Gift

Finally, I have found the time to sit down and browse thru’ this wonderful book and a precious gift given to me by my Piggies on Mother’s Day. A book full of many variation of pizzas and flatbreads….and full of beautiful pictures of mouthwatering food :)) and I have been drooling on them and earmarked the ones I am going to try out when they come back home for their breaks.

I heart this book, it teaches how to make pizza dough to calzone dough, tortillas to chapatti and bannock to sope, sweet flatbread to bliny. Wow…browsing thru’ the book makes me hungry :P The author of this book is Rebecca Baugniet and she is a freelance food writer living in Montreal with her husband and their three children. I have another book by her “ 500 Pies and Tarts ”.

And I also heart the verses the Piggies penned on the sweet they are , they wanted to give me something that I like and something that will bring me JOY knowing this Momsie is crazy over recipe books....this book will keep me company till they come back home....oh how wonderful and thoughtful of them! It is a joy for me to receive this book for baking is a passion that will live on in me.

:) :) :)


I have ear marked this recipe ....bliny, a Russian pancake
served with crème fraiche and smoked salmon or caviar

" Thank you so muchie ,Piggies, for this wonderful gift "
I am looking forward to baking more
yummilicious goodies for all of you :))


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Japanese Pickled Ginger - (1)

I have been wanting to try making my own pickled ginger for quite some time but kept postponing it. I thought it was hard work but surprisingly after having done it…it was not that laborous as I thought :)) 2 jars of nicely pickled ginger for sushi or as a condiment for boiled eggs / century eggs and salad !!! And finally now I can tell my Piggies…Momsie did it!!! Yayyyay…. and they will get to eat with the black century eggs when they are back and I can’t wait to eat it myself :P

This beautifully homemade pickled ginger is a thumbs up alright. The sweetness and the rice vinegar taste was just perfect , so if you want to try making your own pickled ginger, do follow this recipe to the dot. Foolproof and deliciously good. Though the color is not dark pink like those served in the Japanese restaurant , it has a tinge of pinkness and the trick is the ginger must be the very young ones. I will try again making it after the 2 jars finishes , this time I will try getting the young ones :))). some recipes say to put a drop of red coloring but I avoided it. I prefer the natural color.... I am a naturalist like stuff in their natural form...ooops :)))

Clean and skin the ginger, then slice it as thin as possible,
mine are a bit thick though :P
Rub 2 tsp of salt on the slices of ginger and
leave it rest for 1 hour....wipe dry with paper towels

Boiled the rice vinegar and sugar till the sugar dissolved,
put in the ginger slices while it is still boiling.
Turn off the fire and let the vinegar sugar mixture infused
into the can see the ginger turned slightly pink
at this stage...and when it has cooled down,
put into sterilized jars and keep in the fridge.

this can be served as an appetizer
or as a condiment for sushi and salad
Mmmmmm....mouthwatering pickled ginger!

You can sprinkle some toasted white sesame on it for
better flavor

Japanese Pickled Ginger


2 lbs of fresh young ginger (shin shoga)
3 cups of japanese rice vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 tsps of salt


1. Wash the young ginger and rub off skin.

2. Slice the ginger thinly and salt them. Leave salted ginger slices in a bowl for one hour.

3. Dry the ginger slices with paper towels .

4. Mix rice vinegar and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil.

5. Add the ginger slices to the mixture of vinegar and sugar . Off the fire and let the vinegar and sugar infused into the ginger slices.

6. Cool them. Pickled ginger changes its color to light pink. Put them in sterilized jars/bottles. Cover the jars/containers and store in the fridge.

(*If you are using old ginger, it might not turn pink naturally.) *Makes about 2 jars **


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Okonomiyaki -Japanese Pancake

I set my alarm to 5.30 am for the next morning and I double checked to make sure my alarm clock works coz I have an important assignment to do …making Okonomiyaki also known as Japanese pancake, for the Piggies before I go to work :) and to make sure I have enough time for my photography session too ^ *

I prepared the batter and fillings the night before and leave them to rest in the fridge. I read somewhere that it relaxes the gluten in the flour.

Actually, my Piggies are sick of eating out for breakfast most days, so I thought why not make them this okonomiyaki for breakfast….something different and it turned out a real surprise , for it looked and tasted like a pizza and a pancake…a Japanese pizza-pan….:P

I don’t know whether it was the thought of Momsie making this pancake that makes Piggy gal wants to wake up earlier than me…she is very excited each time I try sometime new. But just the same, I was happy she was there to help me get things done. Save a lot of time and I have a free worker :)) and she goes muttering… “ mmmmm.. smell nice, I am sure it will turn out delicious…” You know, I can’t help smiling to myself when I heard that. I asked her… “ you must be very hungry ” which she replied. “.Yesss.. I am ” . Haha, I don't named them my Piggies for nothing :P

Very easy to prepare and it tasted fantastic…. A pizza and a pancake together so you can imagine how delicious it is! When Piggy boy woke up after my photograph session, he asked “ What’s that nice smell…and I told him “ help yourself ” and he goes….” What’s ” He told the sister, this is darn good….. haha it really makes my day and you can guess, I went to work a happy lady, beaming the whole time and I can’t wait to put this up for someone special…(yes it is you… Piggy Cousin ) to drool :P ( for now juz droool... )

mmmm......these octopus so deliciously good on the okonomiyaki

bonito flakes on the hot pancake incites the hunger pang in us

a slice of heaven went to Piggy gal..of course :) she deserves it!

japanese mayo for those who loves it...Piggy boy doesn't like it :(

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake-a winner for sure

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake

Ingredient for the batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
2 eggs
a pinch of table salt
a dash of white pepper
2 cups of cabbage – chopped
2 scallions – chopped
½ cup carrot – shredded
1 small red bell pepper – julienne
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
½ cup bonito flakes
1 cup marinated baby octopus ( bought ready-made from Jusco)
japanese mayo
tonkatsu sauce /worcestershire sauce
nori flakes


Combine all the batter ingredients together till well mixed
Leave it in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hr ( I leave them overnight)
Add in the filling ingredients and mix well.

Heat up the cast iron skillet pan with some olive oil over medium heat until hot. Pour the combined batter mixture on the pan and level it evenly to ½” thick. Add in the octopus and lightly cover the octopus with the batter.

Allow this to fry till the bottom is set and lightly brown before you flip it over.Using a wooden spatula press it down . Repeat the flip action one more time till both sides are evenly browned.

Take it out and squirts the Japanese mayo and the tonkatsu sauce on the top of the pancake Serve it while it is still hot.

Enjoy !


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spicy Sea Snails aka Balitong

Balitong is a type of sea snails found in the muddy coastal river mouth in Malaysia and is known as ‘ siput sedut ‘ in the Malay language. It is one of the favourite seafood item that can found in most seafood restaurant in Malaysia. Most Malaysian love this sea snails /malaysian escargot. :P It has a crunchy texture and sweet taste.

Piggy gal and myself are the only one who know how to enjoy eating them. Daddy and Piggy boy will shun from them as these snails are covered with mud when purchased from the wet market. They are quite unsightly actually so I understand why these guys don’t like to eat them… Malaysians will know what I mean :))) They are sold at the wet market with the mud still on their shells at a price of RM 7 per kg.

I don’t cook them often coz it entails a lot of work . The snails have to be first soaked and rinsed in water many times until the snails are totally rid of the mud. Then using the back of the cleaver, chopped off the end part of the snail of about more than 1/4 inch , one by one . After that, I have to soak them once again in water to rid them of the chippings otherwise when we suck the meat out of the shell, the chippings will get stuck in our throat. After which drip dry them in a basket. Next, get all the spices ready for stir frying the snails and the final step ,heat up the wok and get our butts seated and enjoy a plate of mouth-watering stir fried spicy sea snails. Hehe... Piggy gal and myself will start our race of who manages to get the meat out of the shells first. And who can eat the most !
Another hard task. You have to suck hard at one end first then suck a few times from the front of the snail in order to get the meat out of the shell. Next, you have to remove a thin layer of shell like membrane from the front part of the body before you can start to chew on the crunchy sweet snail meat.....yummilicious no doubt...a night of sucking the snails....the sound can be quite errr...disturbing..... chut chut chutting away ( in cantonese it means kissing the snail ):)) For that reason , I don't order this dish at the seafood restaurant coz it can be quite embarassing if you have guest for dinner :P

Mouthwatering Stir fried Spicy Sea Snails

The art of eating this snails is to suck the end part
then the front....this is the only way to get the meat out
and you have to remove the round shell like membrane
before you can eat it :) Can you spot the shell like membrane
from the photo above???

the snail meat is crunchy and sweet!

Stir Fried Spicy Sea Snail/ Balitong


300 gm sea snails/ balitong- washed and cleaned
2 - 2.5 tbsp of olive oil/ vegetable oil
1 tbsp of dried prawn – soaked and pounded fine
1 sprig curry leaves

Spice ingredients:
1 tbsp chilli paste
2 shallots
2 garlic
1 tbsp of fish curry powder
1 tbsp tom yam paste

1 tsp of sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp of anchovies /ikan bilis stock granules
2 tbsp of water

Blend the spice ingredients in a food processor into a fine paste.
Blanch sea-snails in boiling water for a minute. Drain.
Heat oil in a wok and sauté dried prawns, curry leaves and blended spice ingredients until fragrant.
Add the sea-snails and fry well to combine. Stir in seasoning and bring to a quick rolling boil. Dish out to serve.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Homemade Granola

Granola is a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey and sometimes rice which is baked until crunchy. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast-cereal-type consistency. I used to buy them from the super mart ready made and it was quite pricey. I decided I am going to make my own granola and tada here is it….a tupper full of crispy goodness! I added in dried fruits like cranberries, sultanas, dried apricots and dark raisins after the granola cools down for extra flavor.

Good as a breakfast food and snacks for the family….and homemade granola can keep for several weeks in the fridge. Easy to make too and the rolled oats and nuts coated with maple syrup and flavored with cinnamon spice, when baked gave out a nice aroma. With the added dried fruits…it makes a complete breakfast diet. Full of fiber and vitamins ! You can eat with cold milk or alone by itself as snacks . A bowl of it a day keeps the doctor away !

Granola ingredients : Rolled Oats , pecan nuts, almond nuts,
walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.
Dried fruits : Cranberries, dark raisins, sultanas and dried apricots

rolled oats with all the nuts and seeds and
mixed with maple syrup mixture which consists of
melted butter/canola oil and ground cinnamon.
Baked at 165º C for 30-45 mins, stirring occasionally.

Cool them before adding in the dried fruits and mixed them well.

Store in airtight container.
Homemade granola can keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Homemade Granola


300 gms rolled oats
75 gms sliced or silvered almonds
50 gms raw sunflower seeds
50 gms raw pumpkin seeds
150 gms of assorted nuts - of your choice
( I used pecan, walnuts, almonds and walnuts )

120 ml maple syrup/honey
2 tablespoons canola oil or 28 gms unsalted butter (melted)
¼ tsp salt
½ tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup dried fruits of your choice
( I used cranberries, dried apricots, raisins/sultanas )


Preheat oven to 165º C and place rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, ground cinnamon and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together the oil/melted butter) and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the nuts, seeds and rolled oats are coated with the liquid. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 -45 mins or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so that the mixture is browns evenly. ( The browner the granola gets ( without burning of course) the crunchier the granola will be ). Place on a wire rack to cool. The granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while it is still warm. Once the granola has completely cooled, add in the dried fruits and mixed well . Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for several weeks.

Enjoy and stay healthy !


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

A Tribute To My Dearest Mother
A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

- Helen Steiner Rice -

To the woman I love most , who left me 3 years ago to be with the Lord Jesus.
Mother dearest, you will live forever in my memory...... your sacrifices and pain had given me HOPE, JOY and LOVE. Thank you for being a wonderful mother to me.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork

This is one very yummilicious meat dish that I would like to recommend to all of you who are meat lovers…yessss it's Gertrude's Vietnamese Caramelized Pork , I got hold of this recipe from her blog and I was immediately wowed by it and I told her I am going to cook this dish for dinner. I knew it would be a hit with the family too. Piggy gal, who doesn’t like pork was wowed by it.

As I was cooking it in my sanctuary kitchen , Piggy gal came out of the room and asked “ Wow, what is that you are cooking , mom ? It smell good ". I told her , it’s Aunty Gertrude’s Vietnamese Caramelized Pork . You can imagine how wonderful the taste is by juz looking at photos here on my blog :) Seriously, it was the most delicious pork dish I have ever cooked thus far. Even Piggy boy who is back for his sem break agreed that this dish is good. The marinade ingredients were well matched and infused into the meat and when stir fried with the caramel sugar , it brought out the most wonderful aroma ever.

Gertrude, thanks for sharing such a wonderful meat dish…easy to prepare and every bite was scrumptious. I added in some left-over sweet peppers from the fridge :) I have added this dish into my dinner menu :))

the meat remains juicy......mmmm
the fish sauce , ginger, garlic and black pepper blends well

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork - adapted from My Kitchen's Snippet
ngredients :

1 pound of pork – cut into thin strip
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
2 green chilies – slice thinly
2 tbsp sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
2 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam)
2 tsps ground black pepper

1. Marinate the pork with fish sauce and black pepper and set it aside for an hour.
2. Heat up about 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan on medium high and add in the sugar. Stir from time to time and make sure the sugar does not burn. When the sugar starts to turns into a darker brown color, remove the pan from heat and add in the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few second.
3. Place the pan back on heat and add in the slices pork. Let the pork cook for about 1 minute and turn them around to cook the other side. The meat will have a dark golden color from the caramel.
4. The meat will discharge some juice and create a sauce with the caramel. Once that stage is reached, cover the pan and let the pork/sauce mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. If the sauce dry up too fast, add about 1/4 cup of water to it and continue to simmer until the sauce thicken and the pork should dry up and caramelized. If that's not the case, increase the heat until the sauce dry up.
6. Check seasoning and add in green chilies. Serve with warm rice.

*           *           *

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Crispy Pizza with Back Bacon And Sweet Little Pepper

I came upon this pizza from Zen Can Cook which really whets my appetite and I knew I had to try out the pizza dough to see if it is really as good as the photo depicts and true enough the texture of this pizza crust is light and crispy... I have some back bacon and a packet of sweet little peppers and mozzarela cheese left in the fridge so I used them as topping for the pizza. I wanted something light for the Piggies' supper we know it is not good to have a heavy meal before bedtime :)) and this is just good for them. was so good that I had 2 slices myself :P Gosh... how to go to bed early??? So, while waiting for the delicious pizza to get digested, I might as well get this posted up before I go to bed :)

these sweet little pepper are sweet and crunchy

mouthwatering toppings ...esp the back bacon

Sprinkle some italian herbs and cajun spice
for extra flavor

this crispy pizza crust is one that I will definitely
make again ....especially for my piggy cousin..
whom I have just added to the piggy clan :P

Don't judge the is truly a slice of heaven ^ *

  • Basic Pizza Dough:
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water. Whisk 2 cups of flour and the olive oil and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in a warm place until doubled. About 1 hour. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead.. yes KNEAD! for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. It’s a good work-out! Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before rolling out or refrigerate

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