Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Baek-kimchi 백김치

This is my first time making Baek-kimchi , literally translated as white kimchi in English . It is not made with hot pepper flakes and gochujang paste, which is why it called white kimchi . And it is a Non spicy kimchi.  It is made with ingredients like chestnuts,jujubes, pine nuts and a whole range of vegetables. I omitted using salted fermented shrimp , so you can call this kimchi a vegetarian Kimchi. It has a lot of fresh flavors , and is incredibly refreshing and colorful too.  A great side dish to serve your family. I have two friends who shared my love for kimchi . After making this white kimchi, I gave them each a tub to try out and I am sure they will love this white kimchi .  Healthy side dish and easy to make too. 

* I did not follow Maangchi style of stuffing the vegetable fillings, I cut the napa cabbage into bite size pieces and arrange them alternately one layer of napa cabbage and one layer of vegetable fillings in a pyrex dish until all the vegetables are used up.

I am a great fan of Maangchi and I love all her recipes , I want to try out each and every one of her korean dishes that she shared on her official website . She always make me drool before sleeps take over :)

the vegetables used are carrots, radish, leeks, spring onions, red chilli and jujube

to ferment the kimchi - blend together korean pear, garlic, onions and ginger 
add the blended seasoning into prepared brine water. Let it sit for 30 mins

 sieve the blended seasoning and brine mixture before adding to the layers of napa cabbage and vegetable fillings

arrange them alternately ,one layer of napa cabbage and one layer of vegetable fillings

once all the vegetables are used up, pour brine 
onto the kimchi till it is all submerged

make sure all the vegetables are submerged in the the brine 

Cover and let it sit at room temperature until it starts fermenting, which should
be 1 1/2 days to 3 days depending on how warm your room is.
Keep an eye on the kimchi  and taste it now and then,
once the brine turns sour, it is fermenting
Keep in fridge and it will slow down the fermenting process.
It can keep for about 1 month. 

Baek-kimchi - Maangchi 's recipe


1 large napa cabbage
1/3 cup, 1 tbsp plus 2 tsps salt

1/2 pound korean radish ( daikon) cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup buchu ( Asian chives) cut into 1 inch  * I replaced with leeks and spring onions
3 jujubes, seeded, cut into strips
2 fresh chestnuts, peeled and cut inot thin strips * I ommited
2 tbsp pine nuts * I ommited
1/2 of red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips * I replaced with red chilli

1 medium Korean pear, peeled and cored
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup onion
1 tsp ginger


Salt the cabbage
1. Cut the cabbage in half, then cut a slit through the core 2 inches above the stem, so the leaves are loosened but still attached.

2. Rinse the halves under running water, or soak them in a basin for a few seconds until all the leaves are wet.

3. Put the halves in a large basin and sprinkle 1/3 cup of salt evenly between the leaves. Let them sit for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning them over every 20 mins.

4. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water a couple of times to get rid of any dirt or salt. Split each half under the running water, to divide the cabbage into quarters.  Cut out the remainder of the core. Drain and set aside.

Make the vegetable fillings:
1. Combine radish, carrot, jujubes, chives, chestnuts and red bell pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Make seasoning mix for brine
1. Blend pear, garlic, onion and ginger in a food processor until creamy. Set aside.

Make brine:

1. Mix 4 cups of water and 2 tbsp of salt in abowl with a wooden spoon. Stir it well until the salt is thoroughly dissolved.

2. Put the blended seasoning mix into a cotton pouch, or wrap it a couple times in cheesecloth and put it into the bowl of brine. Press it down with a spoon so the delicious blended flavors seep through. Squeeze it a bit and stir the brine for a while. Remove the pouch.

Make the kimchi
1. Spread the vegetable fillings between each leaf of the cabbage. Fold the stuffed cabbage quarters over and put them into a container, glass jar or korean earthenware pot.

2. Pour the brine over the kimchi so its submerged.

3. Cover and let sit at room temperature unti it starts fermenting, which should be between 1 1/2 to 3 days depending on how warm your room is. A warmer room will ferment faster. Just keep an eye o the kimchi and taste it now and then. When the brine turns sour, it is fermenting.

4. Move it to the fridge, which will slow down the fermentation process. It will keep for about 1 month. Serve cold.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chilli Crabs

Chilli mom's signature dish.  My siblings and I grew up eating crabs cooked in this manner.  And I copied cat my mom's signature dish.  I managed to get fresh mud crabs from the outside fish stall near my housing estate.  Normally , I have to get them from the UTC wet market and it is really pricey . I enjoyed cooking this dish but I did not enjoy killing them...oops I will not go into further details. I bought two meat mud crabs and two with roes.

This dish is easy to whip out and it tasted wonderfully delicious.  Hubby and I cleaned up every single drop of the flavorful gravy with bread. With each mouthful of the gravy, the flavors just burst in the mouth. So good that I can't stop licking up the gravy :)  everything is forgotten, the artery clogging roe from the crabs in the gravy making it so sweet , I felt transported to another part of heaven on earth!   So yummy delicious that I am happy to share the simple recipe with you guys :)  Try it to believe me !

fresh mud crabs...the cleaning up of the crabs
took up more time than the cooking itself :)


the chilli sauce consists of these ingredients
perserved sour plums, fermented bean paste, garlic, 
chilli paste, chopped fresh chilli, sugar

saute the prepared chilli mixture with rice bran oil till fragrant
and the oil surface to the top

add in the cut crabs and continue to cook till it turned red 
add in 3/4 cup of water and 3 tbsp of thickening
 and continue simmer till gravy thickened

dish up and served hot, garnish top with sliced spring onions

the best part of the crabs goes to hubby...he doesnt know how to eat the body
even that I have to crack the pincers for him ..he is spoilt by me :p

Chilli Crabs - My Mom's Signature Dish


4  medium sized crabs - removed shell, cleaned and cut into half
3/4 cup water - for simmering
2 tbsp of rice bran oil to saute the chilli sauce mixture
2 tbsp of thickening - ( 2 tsp corn flour and  1 tbsp of water )

chilli sauce mixture for 4 medium sized crabs

2 tbsp of chilli paste ( dried chillies , soaked and pounded )
5 cloves of garlic- finely chopped
3 perserved sour plum + 2 tbsp of the sour plum water
3 tbsp of fermented bean paste ( tau cheong )
1 tsp of sugar

sliced spring onions


Heat up 2 tbsp of rice bran oil in a wok, once the oil is hot, add in the chilli sauce mixture and saute till it is fragrant and the oil has surfaced on top.  Add in the cut crabs and stir fry till it turned red. Add in the water and thickening.  Cover wok with lid and simmer till gravy thickens and the crabs are cooked through.  Dish up and served hot . Garnish top with sliced spring onions.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Minty , Tangy Eggplant Appetizer

Eggplant can be cooked in many ways.  I prefer simple one like this...easy to prepare and doesn't take much time to prepare.  Homegrown eggplants are the best as they are not only organic but near at hand too...just pluck them when they are in season :p  Okay, back to making this simple yet delicious appetizer dish.  Minty, tangy and some heat from the bird's eye chillies made this dish so good that I have put in my to-make-again list :)

I learned from a cooking book that give tips on how to cook eggplant so that the inside wont turn dark color.  First ,lightly cook the eggplant as a whole in hot oil. Take it out, then boil in hot boiling water till cook.  I guess it worked as you can see the inside doesn't change color, making the eggplants looks refreshing. The eggplants,  mint leaves and calamansi are from my lil garden space . I whipped out a simple appetizer using homegrown stuffs :)   Hope you like this recipe too :)

first fry the eggplant in hot oil, then boil in hot water
so that the inside will not turn darker color, it works as you can see
the inside is refreshing and maintain its color :)

Add lightly sauteed chopped garlic to the eggplant
the minty, tangy plus the sauteed garlic really give
flavors to the bland eggplant and the chillies gives heat to the dish
what can I say, the flavors just explode in the mouth ...mmmm
excellent appetizer dish!

Minty , Tangy  Eggplant Appetizer


5 eggplants -wash and wipe dry
oil enough to fry the eggplant

3 cloves of garlic- chopped
3 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
2 bird's eye chillies - sliced
2 calamansi - cut into halves and squeeze juice
1 tsp of rice bran oil
1 drop of sesame oil

salt to taste


Heat oil in a wok and fry the eggplant till skin is lightly brown.  Dish out and put the fried eggplant in boiling water and cook till soft.   Dish out and let it cool down before removing the skin.  Cut into 1.5 inch length wise strips.  Place the cut eggplant in a bowl.

Lightly saute chopped garlic till lightly brown and crisps.  Dish out and leave aside.  Chop mint leaves and slice chillies . Cut calamansi into halves and squeeze juice into a small bowl.

Add the mint leaves, chillies, a drop sesame oil and 1 tsp of rie bran oil to the cut eggplants.  Mix well together and add in salt and calamansi juice to taste. Add in the sauteed garlic as garnishing last.  Serve this appetizer cold  or warm

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stir Fry And Lightly Braised Hairy Gourd With Dried Shrimps

This is Wild Boar's all time favourite dish. Whenever we eat out at those Chap Fun shop, he will be looking out for this hairy gourd dish.  This is also my mom's signature dish. When I was young, my mom used to cook this for the family. I watched her cook this , I was fascinated by the beautiful color of this dish then.  And I watched every step taken to cook this dish.  My family grew up eating this and I am surprised that Wild Boar loves this dish too.

So today, I will be sharing how to cook this simple and easy and delicious stir fry hairy gourd with dried shrimps. The carrot gives the dish a refreshing and uplifting look.  The vermicelli or glass noodles is a perfect combination to this dish giving texture to the dish.  It absorbs the flavorful taste of dried shrimps , making this dish very sought after by my hubby.  I am happy when he said mine tasted better than the one from the shop.  The one sold has a more soggy texture whereas mine has more texture...reason being it was not overcooked and I added less water and giving it a quick stir fry and lightly braised:)

sauteed garlic and dried shrimps gave this dish
the aroma that makes this dish much sought after by hubby

add less water so that the vermicelli is not soggy

Stir Fry Hairy Gourd With Dried Shrimps - Mom's signature dish


1medium sized hairy gourd - pare off skin and cut into strips1 small carrot - cut into strips
1 small bundle of vermicelli/glass noodles - soak in water till just soft, drain off water

2 tbsp of dried shrimps- wash, clean and soak for 5 mins till soft
3 cloves of garlic- chopped
1 tbsp of rice bran oil

a pinch of salt
a shake of white pepper
1 tsp of oyster sauce

1/2 cup of water/ stock


Heat up wok with 1 tbsp of rice bran oil, when oil is smoking hot, add in chopped garlic and dried shrimps and sauted till fragrant.  Add in the carrot and hairy gourd strips and continue to stir fry tillthey soften slightly, Add in soften vermicelli/glass noodles and give a quick stir, add in water/stock and seasoning and give it 6 mins braise under medium heat till water has evaporate a bit. Dish up and serve with piping hot  rice.

Enjoy !

Friday, November 25, 2016

Keropok Lekor Terengganu

I can't believe I made Terengganu Lekor !!!  Inspired by Kathy of Small Kucing and Kristy of My Little Space....I took some from Kathy's and some from Kristy and guess what, I got a good combination and the lekor turned out wonderful.  I thought the making entails lot of work but actually it was the washing up that is tiring :)  but it was worth all the efforts.  It was really a delicious snack and what more homemade ones are much more healthier .  Homemade ones are not so fishy as to the one being sold by the traders, reason being those sold ones, they use all kinds of fishes thus giving them the unique taste and aroma :p  I suppose it is the unique taste and aroma that people prefers those sold ones.

I used Ikan Mambong thus my lekor doesn't have that unique fishy aroma but the texture is almost the same.  Infact I prefer the texture of my homemade ones...has a springy feel that is perfect for me and hubby.  Too chewy , it will be hard for us to chew on.  On the whole, I give myself 8/10 rating :p

For my overseas readers who have not heard of this Lekor, here is an excerpt taken from Wikipedia for your information.
Lekor or Keropok lekor is a traditional Malay fish cracker snack originated from the state of TerengganuMalaysia. It is also called fish sausage, fish stick, or fish fritters. It is made from fish and sago flour and seasoned with salt and sugar. It is slightly greyish in colour and tastes fishy. The fishy smell increases when it cools down. The origin of the word "Lekor" is said to be derived from Terengganu Malay which means "roll".
It is usually made by grinding fish or vegetables into a paste, mixing it with sago and then deep-frying it. It comes in three main forms: lekor (which is long and chewy), losong (steamed) and keping (which is thin and crispy). It is frequently served with dipping sauces.
There are two types of Keropok Lekor; Keropok Lekor Goreng and Keropok Lekor KepingKeropok Lekor Goreng is shaped into sausage size and tastes more chewy, whereas Keropok Lekor Keping is shaped into slices and has crispier texture. Keropok Lekor is eaten with Terengganu’s homemade chili sauce.

step 1 - remove guts , wash and  slice two sides of the fish

step 2:  use spoon to scrape off meat from the bone and fish skin

step 3:   place fish meat in blender, add in salt and pepper and a few pieces of ice
and blend into smooth paste, take out the fish paste and put into a mixing bowl
 add in the flour mixture and knead until the fish paste leaves the side of the bowl

step 4:  Divide fish dough into several portions 
roll them into rope shape and coat them with cooking oil ( I used rice bran oil )
arrange them on greased pan.

step 5:  Cook them in boiling water and once they float up, they are done,
coat with cooking oil to prevent sticking.  Frozen them for future use

You can eat them either boiled or deep fried.  I tried both method and 
it was GOOD eating them boiled or deep fried. 

crispy on the outside and springy chewy on the inside...YUMMZ!

Keropok Lekor Terengganu - from Kathy and Kristy


400 gm fish meat from1 kg of Ikan Mambong 

flour mixture
120 gm sago flour
60 gm tapioca flour
20 gm all purpose flour

2 tsp of salt
1 tsp ikan bilis granules 
1 tsp pepper

4-5 pieces of ice blocks ( 3/4inch X 3/4inch )


Please refer to steps from pictures above

Enjoy !

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Spicy Hot Balitong With Kangkung

Its been a long time since the last time I cooked this dish.  Saw the balitong ( sea snails ) being sold at the UTC market and who could resists it..of course I could not and bought home 1 kg with mud and all.  WB is against me eating but temptation is just too strong for me.  I failed when it comes to food. The glutton me , huffing and puffing away preparing this dish in the kitchen while the man of the house kept coming to the kitchen and nagged away. " dirty looking and bad for your health "  The woman of the house replied " No worries , don't we always ask God to bless the food before eating, sanctify it and make it good for our body? "  LOL !  That was part of the conversation recorded in my brain in my kitchen last Saturday :)

Eating these balitong reminded me of my grandma used to stir fry with hot fiery rempah :) and we had the  thrill of sucking out the meat from the shell :p And my grandma was the one who taught me how to suck out the meat from the shell.  Kids learn fast and when I first introduced to my daughter, she learns fast too and till today, she loves to eat these too.  My son doesnt like balitong ....too scary for him as in he doesn't know what is inside the shell  hahaha he is scared of worms :p

I tried to replicate this dish, Spicy Hot Balitong With Kangkung (water spinach ) that is being served in restaurant :)  And I know mine taste good :p   Serious !

Anyway , this is one of my favourite dish.   Homecooked ones are still the best :)

Here is another link for another balitong dish that I cooked some time back 

ingredients to make this flavorful and  delicious dish

love the aroma of the rempah and dried shrimps
wafting out from the wok while it is being saute

adding the water spinach makes the dish more complete

a kg all to myself :) 

Spicy Hot Balitong With Water Spinach

1 kg Balitong - wash off mud, wash and rinse until clean, 
                       chop 1/4 inch off end of shell with the back of a cleaver
                       and wash off the chippings of shell before cooking

a small bundle of water spinach - wash and pluck the tender leaves and stem for use, 

2 cloves of garlic - chopped
3 shallots - chopped
3 tbsp of dried shrimps - soak and  pound coarsely
3 tbsp of fresh rempah ( from the wet market ) * use 1.5 tbsp of fish curry powder if fresh rempah is                                       not available.
1 stalk of lemongrass - crushed
a tsp of sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp of rice bran oil


Heat up wok, add in oil. When oil is hot , add in the chopped garlic and shallots and saute till fragrant. Add in the fresh rempah and dried shrimps and saute till oil separate from the rempah. Add in the balitong and stir fry for 5 mins. Add 1/2 cup of water, sugar and salt to taste, cook with wok cover on over medium high heat.   Remove wok cover after 15 mins, add in the water spinach and stir fry until the water spinach is cooked.  Dish up and serve hot.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Okra And Tomato Salad

I collected only 4 okras from my okra plant at a time.  I pinch myself that I should have planted more :p  okay I can't cook anything fanciful with just 4 okras.  I decided to make a simple salad with some cut tomato.  Gosh...this is so good that I will definitely make this again.  So healthy and delicious.  I make a simple dressing of soy sauce , sesame oil, sugar and wasabi..yea you heard right!   Wasabi adds heat to the yummy that I had to share this simple to make and taste so good salad :)  
homegrown okra taste sweet and tender 

the moment the rice is cooked, just place the okras on top of the cooked rice
and leave it there till needed

 stir together the wasabi in soy sauce with a pinch of sugar and a drop of sesame oil
before pouring over the okras and cut tomato


Okra And Tomato Salad


4-5 okras - steamed over cooked rice, cut into halves
2 firm ripe tomato- deseed and diced

dressing:  stir the dressing ingredients in a sauce dish till well combined
1.5 tbsp of soy sauce
a drop of sesame oil
1/2 tsp of wasabi powder - mixed with 1 tsp of water
a pinch of sugar


Wash okras.. steam for 5 mins in boiling water or just place on top of cooked rice and cover lid till needed.  Cut steamed okra into halves and arrange on salad plate. Diced tomato into bite sized and placed in center of plate .  
Stir the dressing ingredients together in a small sauce dish till well combined
Pour dressing over the okra and diced tomato .

Enjoy !

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Savoury Stir Fry Sea Clams Chinese Style

I have been indulging in seafood the last two months. I don't understand why I have this sudden cravings like a pregnant woman...thinking of seafood day and night.  I woke up early yesterday morning and I was still having this stupid craving for Lala ( sea clams ). I pestered Wild Boar to take me to the wet market (UTC building) and he was so kind.  We were there quite early and managed to get large sized Lala which costs us RM24 per kilogramme.  Bought half kilo back and I whipped out this delicious savoury stir fry clams.  Very chinese style and trust me, homecooked ones taste lots better than store bought ones.  My piggies and Wild Boar love my savoury stir fry. So appetizing and delicious and this really satisfied my cravings :)

simple and easy to whip out dish
the ingredients are fermented beans (tauchu), 2 pickled sour plums,
chopped garlic, bird's eye chillies and  julienned ginger
spring onions for garnishing

Savoury Stir Fry Sea Clams (Lala) Chinese Style
serves 2 persons


1/2 kilo sea clams ( Lala) - soaked in salt water for 10 mins - rinse and drain off water
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
3 bird's eye chillies - chopped
3 slices of ginger - julienned
2 pickled sour plums
1 tbsp of fermented beans ( tauchu)

a pinch of sugar
1/2 cup water
1.5 tbsp of rice bran oil

spring onion and coriander for garnishing


Heat up 1 1/2 tbsp rice bran oil in a wok , add in ingredients (A) and saute till fragrant.  Add in the sea clams and stir fry till it turned pinkish. Add 1/2 cup water and cover wok with lid and cook for a further 7 mins.  Open lid and when all the clams has opened up, add in a pinch of sugar. Dish up and garnish with spring onions and coriander leaves.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bacon Pumpkin Parcel

A simple and easy to whip up starter...Bacon Pumpkin Parcel .  It is just simply a few slices of japanese pumpkin wrapped in streaky bacon and pan fried till bacon turns crispy on the outside and pumpkin slices are cooked till tender.  A smooth and sweet pumpkin puree goes well with the bacon pumpkin parcels. I love the simple outlook yet full of flavors.  As the parcels are being  pan fried, drizzle rosemary infused oil on the gives out a beautiful aroma of the rosemary herb. I absolutely love every bite of it.  This is what I like to serve  my Wild Boar with.  A meat eater who does not really like pumpkin can give it a thumb up...that shows it is really good.  A keeper for sure...try it to believe me.  The Japanese pumpkin puree is so smooth and creamy...a good accompaniment for the bacon pumpkin parcels.

japanese pumpkin is best for the making of this starter
as it has a smoother texture and not  overly sweet 

place two slices of pumpkin  on top of two strips of streaky bacon
start folding from the left to  the right

tuck in the end part under and pan fried with the  tuck in end part facing down


now the parcels are ready for pan frying
use rice bran oil for the pan frying of these parcels

gently flip over when the bottom part has turned lightly brown
and cooked till the pumpkin slices are cooked tender 

make a pumpkin puree from the leftovers of pumpkin

 this is a perfectly pan fried bacon pumpkin parcel,
when the bacon is crisp on the outside and the pumpkin slices are  not overcooked

Bacon Pumpkin Parcel - for two persons

6 slices of streaky bacon
6 slices of 1/8 inch thick pumpkin slices - cut rectangle shape

To make pumpkin puree
1 cup steamed pumpkin - puree with a hand blender till smooth
strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces. For a smoother texture, add in 1/2 tsp olive oil

To make rosemary induced oil

a sprig of rosemary - coarsely chopped
a tsp of toasted ground black pepper
2 tbsp of rice bran oil

* heat up 2 tbsp of rice bran oil, off heat , add in  rosemary herb and black pepper and let it rest for 30 mins before using

To wrap the bacon pumpkin parcel

1. Lay out two slices of streaky bacon overlapping each other on a flat board  . Sandwich 2 slices of pumpkin together and place them on the left hand side of the layout streaky bacon .  Start folding them towards the right and tuck in the end. Repeat the process till all bacon and pumpkin slices are used up.

2.  Heat up one tbsp of rosemary infused oil on a non-stick pan.  Gently place the tucked in side facing down and pan fried the bacon parcels till it is crispy and golden brown.  Flip over the other side and as the bacon parcels are cooking drizzle the rosemary infused oil over the surface of the parcels till the pumpkin slices are cooked through.

3. Dish up and serve with the pumpkin puree.


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