Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Braised Pork Belly With Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms And Potatoes And Carrots

I love mushroom of any sort....I mean edible ones LOL. I bought some fresh shiitake mushrooms from the supermart and it is locally grown .  I normally would have used the dried ones to make this dish but I can't wait to soak them soften for this dish. Thus , I used the fresh ones instead for this braised porkbelly.  It is easy to whip up and a dish full of flavors.  Hubby's favourite dish. For me I love the mushrooms and the flavorful potatoes which has the tasty gravy absorbed into it.  I added some carrots too.  Though the recipe is actually the chinese a pork dish  which the Hokkien called " Tau Yu Bak " whereby the porkbelly is used to braise with dark soy sauce, white pepper and garlic till the porkbelly has soften.  As usual , I would like to add in mushrooms, potatoes and carrot making this dish no longer the authentic dish but just a dish with lots of other stuff though the method of cooking is still the same.  1.5 hours of slowing cooking brings out the wonderful aroma of this braised porkbelly dish.  You can serve this dish with plain porridge or rice or even goes well as a dish for the sourdough bread I used to make.

Braised Pork belly With Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms Potatoes And Carrots


350 -  gm of pork belly - cut into 3/4 inch thick bite size
1 carrot - cut into 1/2 inch cube
12 pieces of fresh shiitake mushrooms - ,cut off the stem and drain drain
2 potatoes - cut into small chunks
1 head of garlic - crushed

1 tbsp of thick soy sauce
1 tsp of ground white pepper
1.5 to 2 cups of water to be added in gradually
1 piece of Maggi chicken stock
salt to taste


Heat up stainless steel pot under medium low heat , once the pot is hot , add in the crushed garlic and the pieces of pork belly , keep stirring till the meat is half cooked and the liquid has more or less dries off.  Add in the thick soy sauce and white pepper and give it a quick stir .

Once it is aromatic, add in half of the 1.5 cups water and cover with lid and let the meat simmer till the water has almost dried off. Add in the cut potatoes and carrot and the balance of the water. Cover with lid and continue to simmer till the potatoes and carrots are cooked and the meat are tender.  Add in the chicken stock  , the fresh mushrooms and continue simmering till the mushrooms are cooked and the gravy has thicken.  Add salt to taste.

Dish up and serve with rice, porridge or eaten with sourdough bread.



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pan Fried Homemade Pressed Tofu With Shichimi Seasoning

I have been making my own tofu since the day I learned from Angie Tee.  Gosh, it was really kind of her to share her knowledge on making tofu.  I am a tofu lover and I eat a lot of tofu in a month. Homemade would be best for me since I cook them very often. Free from preservative and the taste and texture is so good that I will not buy commercial ones anymore.  

I add them to my Miso soup, Korean Jiggae , steam it with lots of fried shallots and soy sauce and so many other dishes  that I can cook with tofu. Today, I just pan fried them . Simple yet delicious. All I did was coat them with rice flour and sprinkle Shichimi seasoning on them while they are still hot from the pan.  Crispy edges , soft on the inside and oh gosh I can just go on eating them leaving none for hubby if he didn't stop me "  helloo... keep some for me "  LOL!

You can hop over to Angie's blog Seasalt With Food , she has many wonderful recipes that she shares there.  This is the fifth pressed tofu I have made so far.

it is a joy to hold this piece of homemade pressed tofu

coat each piece of tofu with rice flour and salt
before pan frying them with a little oil
on a non stick pan..the oil helps to give the tofu pieces
the crispy edges, yet soft on the inside.
the moment the fried tofu are out of the pan,
sprinkle shichimi seasoning on them

For the video on how to made your own tofu
click the link below


Monday, October 1, 2018

Ikan Nenas Masak Lemak Chilli Padi

I have frozen fish in the freezer which had been sitting for a month there for a month and I am running out of ideas what to cook with them. I googled and saw this mouth-watering fish dish, cooked in coconut milk with fresh turmeric , shallots, lemongrass and bird's eye chilli...oh I am sure hubby would love this dish though he doesn't eat fish much unless I remove the bones for him. Spoon fed in other words :p  He loves pineapple, so I will add pineapple to the dish. And while I was cooking this dish, he could smell the wonderful aroma of spices and he came running into the kitchen ... "what are you cooking, smell good !"  hahaha and he ran out of the kitchen reminding me " cook more gravy and rice ya "  LOL  Of course ,his mom cooked better than me when it comes to this kind of dishes.  His mom was a Nyonya so definitely she cooked better than me :)

Okay, it was a Threadfin I found in the freezer and I cooked this dish with it.  It is the simplest form of cooking a dish that is spicy and tangy.   Every mouthful of the gravy has a combination of flavours bursting in the mouth and we both had to have extra helping of rice.LOL

other than the coconut milk, this dish is quite healthy
as no oil is needed

once the ground ingredients  are fragrant, add in the thin coconut milk
and let it simmer under low heat

add in the fish last when the gravy has thicken slightly
and continue to simmer till the fish is cooked

add a pinch of  salt to taste

serve with rice

Ikan Nenas Masak Lemak Chilli Padi

pound together the ingredients (A) with pestle and mortar
ingredients (A)
5 dried chilli - remove seeds, soak in hot water till soften
6 shallots
3 red bird's eye chillies ( chili padi )
1 clove of garlic
1 inch length of fresh turmeric

1 medium sized Threadfin - clean and washed, rub a pinch of salt over the fish , cut into 2 pieces
1 lemongrass crushed
1/4 pineapple - sliced
1.5 cups of thin coconut milk
2 slices of tamarind slices or 1 tsp of tamarind paste
1 tsp of sugar
salt to taste


Sauted (A) , lemongrass and pineapple over medium low heat in a non stick pan, once the pineapple and the ground ingredients are fragrant, add in the thin coconut milk and tamarind slices and simmer under low heat until the pineapple has soften and the gravy has slightly thicken and fragrant. Add in the fish pieces and cover with lid and let it simmer under low heat till the fish is totally cooked.  Add a tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt to taste .Dish up and serve with rice.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Thai Mango Salad

I was craving for some mango and bought home some. Found one that is not so ripe and thought it was a great idea to make a plate of mango salad to go with the roast chicken leg that I was going to roast for the hubby for dinner. He is a meat eater and I am more a salad person.  Googled for one that I like as there are many versions on the internet. This is not the authentic Thai Mango salad, just a close one though, I think, but whatever it is good.

Found one that we both will like and to make sure I have all the ingredients in the fridge.  The mint leaves was an after thought for garnishing. I knew it would go well with the salad. I pluck the tender ones from the garden. Pluck some calamansi to replace the lime juice and a few bird's eye chilli from the lil space.  I truly love my lil space as it provides me with lots of fresh herbs which is important for my kind of cooking.  This Thai mango salad is simple to prepare and packed with flavours. Serve as an appetizing side dish for any roast meat. Hubby loves it and that is most important cos I love cooking and he loves eating :)

Conversation between hubby and I while having dinner, with this dish served

Hubby: You know my mom made this dish very often when she was around. You should see how she chopped the mango.  She holds the mango on her palm and used the knife to lightly chop on the surface of the mango before she sliced off chopped part.  How dangerous it was and she will hide herself while doing this so that dad can't see her doing it.  

Me:  Oh , that was how I did it too but I did not put on my palm , I place the mango on the chopping board and goes chop chop chop while holding the mango with the other hand....

(You should see the expression on his face)

Hubby : For heaven sake , please stop doing that, we have a shredder at home ! 

tip: soak the mango shreds with ice water
to keep the mango shreds crunchy

the ingredients used
for the dressing

 mixed the ingredients together, then
add the dressing and stir till well combined
garnish with the mint leaves

served with any garnishing,
can be coriander leaves or mint leaves

Thai Mango Salad
1 unripe mango * mine was a bit ripe but still has a firm crunchy texture - juliened
(soak juliened mango in ice water )
2 shallots - sliced
coriander leaves - chopped
2 bird's eye chillies - chopped
1 tbsp dried shrimps - toasted and pound fine
4 tbsp of roasted peanuts - pound coarsely
1 tsp of toasted sesame seeds * I omit as I have no stock in the fridge
a  handful of mint leaves  * keep some for garnishing

mix the ingredients together till well mix

1 tbsp fish sauce * I use Korean anchovy sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp vegetable oil * I use rice bran oil
1 tbsp of calamansi juice


Toss mangoes, shallots, peanuts, cilantro, mint, dried shrimp, if using, sesame seeds, and dressing in a large bowl; season with salt. Garnish with some mint leaves.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Homemade Pressed Tofu

My most successful project this month is making my own pressed tofu. I was very inspired to make this pressed tofu by a dear friend whom I have known for many years and have met in person.  She is none other than Angie Tee of Seasaltwithfood.  We were chatting one day and she told me she is making tofu and I was, making tofu..I am game as I love tofu and what more it is much more safer to eat your own homemade ones.  Commercial ones , we really don't know what coagulant they used to set the soy milk.  After this , I will be making my own tofu . Homemade ones taste so much better than store bought. I am glad that I took up this challenge and did it. Even Angie's  " you did it ! " is so encouraging .  I cooked Miso Tofu Soup with my homemade pressed tofu. Taste so yummy good . Will be sharing on my next post. Stay tuned :)

Note: I could not get the tofu box so I improvished it with the tofu storage container from Daiso.  Drill a few holes for draining off the excess water .

 lined the tofu box with muslin cloth

before grinding/blending the soy milk
get the gadget set up first,
lined the tofu box with muslin cloth

strain the soy milk before bringing it to boil

while boiling, remove the scum floating on surface
then only add in the sea salt water,follow by
epsom salt water

once the curd is formed, off heat and remove excess water

use a slotted ladle spoon to  scoop the curd 
into the tofu box

cover .....

 I used a tupperware that can fit into the tofu box
place a heavy object ( I used 3 tins of can food ) on top of the tofu  press

once the tofu is pressed and no more excess water can
be seen dripping on the tray, the tofu is ready
take out the tofu and remove the muslin cloth 

I cut the tofu into 4 squares  and store in a tofu container filled 
with water and leave in fridge overnight. It will harden the tofu slightly

Homemade Pressed Tofu - adapted from Seasaltwithfood

(1 piece of 5 inch X 5 inch)


1 1/2 Cups (300 grams) Organic Soy Beans, soaked for 10 to 12 hours)
9 cups of filtered water
1 tsp Sea Salt with 1/2 cup of Warm Water
1 tsp Epsom Salt with 1 Cup of Warm Water

A Tofu Box
Stainless Steel Colander
Wet Cheese Cloth or Flour-Sack Cloth


1. Use a juicer or blender to grind/blend the soy beans.

2. Pour soy milk into milk bag,  squeeze the bag, Strain the soy milk into a big pot. Repeat process until all the soy beans are used up.

3. Bring soy milk to a boil ( medium heat to high heat)

4. Stir every now and then. When the soy milk boils, reduce to moderate heat and stir well. Stir for 12 to 15 mins.

5. After 15 mins, reduce heat to low heat,  add in sea salt water and stir, then add in the epsom salt water slowly, as you are adding the epsom salt water, keep stirring.

6. Once all the epsom salt water has been added. Stop stirring and let it sit for 5 - 8 mins still under low heat.

7. The curd should form nicely by now. Off heat and remove excess water. Use a slotted ladle, spoon the curd into the tofu box that has been lined with muslin cloth. Fill the curd to the brim of the tofu box.  Cover the shown in the video.

8. Place the tofu press over the covered curd. Place a heavy object on the tofu press .  After 20/25 mins, remove the heavy object and open up the muslin cloth.

9. Store the tofu  in a container filled with water and leave in the fridge . The cold water will further harden the tofu.

Hop over to   and watch her demo video with step by step tutorial on how to make tofu (Easy)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fried Fish With Savoury Sauce

There are so many ways to cook a fish.  We can steam, pan fried, wrap in banana leave and baked in the oven, cook curry style many ways.  But sometimes , I am just too lazy, so I have the fish pan fried till the sides are crispy and cooked through, dish up and cook a simple savoury sauce to pour over the fried fish.  Hubby has no complaint as he doesnt eat fish LOL ! He will just take the sides of the fish ,where there are no bones, and the sauce. This is one delicious fish dish that is simple to prepare and yet taste delicious.

Fried Fish With Savoury Sauce

1 fish - scaled and wash clean
rub salt and pepper and a tsp of corn flour on the body of the fish

2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 tbsp of fermented soy beans
1 tsp of preserved black beans
1 preserved sour plum
2 chillies - sliced
2 tbsp of sliced spring onions
1 tbsp of cooking oil * I use rice bran oil


Add 1 tbsp of oil to a non stick pan ( I use Shogun Non Stick Pan ) , when oil is hot , put in the seasoned fish and pan fried till crispy and cook through.  Dish up.

With the remaining oil, put in all the sauce ingredients and sauted till fragrant.  Add in 1/2 cup of water and let the sauce simmer till thicken. Add in the sliced spring onions.Give  quick stir and pour the sauce over the fried fish.  Serve hot.

Note:  Using a Shogun Non Stick Pan doesn't use much oil. If you are using other non-stick maybe you need more oil to pan fried the fish.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Stir Fry Homegrown ' Di Huang Miao' With Garlic, Chilli And Belacan

I know I have been procrastinating the last few months and have not been blogging like I used to do.  I have been pretty busy testing out a few projects and I am glad to say one of them is my sourdough starter which is made from apple yeast water.  And that has taken a bit of time , after which I have started using the Sourdough starter for making Pita bread, Ciabatta, Pancake and recently Sourdough Banana Bread.   Sorry , I have side tracked , back to this delicious homegrown 'Di Huang Miao'(帝皇苗) English name is (Basella Alba) 
 A simple stir fry with garlic, chilli and belacan will bring this vegetable to a different level. Some prefers it plain just with garlic and salt, but for me it taste good with a bit of chilli and belacan added to it.

homegrown ones has its good points,
you can pluck the tender leaves to cook ,
pesticide free and so organic

Stir Fry Homegrown ' Di Huang Miao' With Garlic, Chilli And Belacan


a bunch of tender leaves of  'Di Huang Miao'
a few bird's eye chilli
2 cloves of galic -sliced
a tsp of toasted belacan (Shrimp paste)
a tbsp of vegetable oil * I used rice bran oil

Heat up a non stick wok with a tbsp of oil, once oil is hot, add in the chilli and garlic. Sauted till fragrant, add in the toasted belacan and stir fry for a second.  Add in the ' Di Huang Miao' and continue to stir fry till leaves has wilted and softened.  Dish up and serve with rice.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Indonesian Style Curry Prawns

I was flipping through my old handwritten recipe book last Sunday and I found an old piece of  folded newsprint. I opened it and saw this beautiful pictures of prawns cooked in 3 different style by Amy Beh. I used to keep recipes by her when she writes for The Star Nook's Corner. What caught my attention was this Indonesian Style Curry Prawns.  I knew I had to cook it.  I would have cooked it last Sunday if I had prawns in the freezer.  So when I finally bought some sea prawns , I gathered kaffir lime leaves, galanggal and curry leaves  from my lil space and cooked this beautiful dish.  The curry is so aromatic and so flavorful that hubby asked me to cook this dish again.  It is easy to prepare and I don't mind cooking this dish again.  This Indonesian style curry , you can can substitute crabs in place of prawns, it will taste good too. I am so gonna try cooking crab this style when I get some mud crabs.  This is keeper for sure.

ingredients for making this Indonesian style curry prawns

saute dried prawns, curry leaves and lemongrass 
with oil till fragrant

once the lemongrass , curry leaves
and  dried prawns are fragrant,
add in the ground spices and
stir fry till fragrant

add coconut milk and fresh milk to the spices,
then add in the sea prawns and cooked till the gravy thicken
 and the prawns are cooked....mmmm
it is so aromatic

Indonesian Style Curry Prawns -  Amy Beh (Cook's Nook - 30March 2010)


400 gm freshwater prawns * I used med sized sea prawns - feelers trimmed
4-5 tbsp oil
1 Kafir lime leaf - shredded
100ml thick coconut milk
50 ml fresh milk

Spice Mix (A)
2 stalks lemongrass - smashed
2 tbsp dried prawns - soaked and coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 stalk curry leaves

Ground spices (B)
4 shallots
2 cloves garlic
3 red chillies - seeded
5 dried chillies, soaked
1/2 tsp turmeric powder * I used fresh turmeric
2 slices galangal
1 tbsp meat curry powder- mixed with enough water into a paste

1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar or to taste
1/2 anchovy stock granules

Heat oil and saute spice mix(A) until fragrant. Add ground spices (B) and fry until aromaltic and oil separates.  Pour in coconut milk and fresh milk, and add the prawns and seasoning. Cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until prawns are cooked and the sauce thickens. Dish out and serve with a sprinkling of shredded kaffir lime leaves.

Enjoy !

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Taiwan Gow Kei Soup With Dried Goji Berries

I made a simple soup for dinner. Homegrown Taiwan 'Gow Kei ' soup with Dried Goji Berries is good for hot season.  They are two types of taiwan 'gow gei' , one with white flowers and the other has purple flowers.  The one I grow in my lil space has purple flowers and the leaves when cooked are smooth and delicious.  Has a mild fragrant like the local gow gei and the leaves are much smoother than the local ones.  I do not know the botanical name for this edible but my friend who gave me the plant said it is called Taiwan Gow Gei in chinese.

 easy to grow and doesn't need much attention
except to water them often

I cut about 15 stalks for one cooking for 2 persons
use only the leaves

added dried goji berries to the chicken broth 

Taiwan Gow Kei Soup With Dried Goji Berries

(for 2 persons)

a bunch of Taiwan gow gei (15 stalks ) - take only the leaves
1 tbsp of dried goji berries
1 clove of garlic
700 ml chicken broth
salted duck egg yolk * optional
salt to taste


Put to boil 700 ml chicken broth in a soup pan. Once it boils, add in crushed garlic, goji berries . Add in salted duck egg yolk if using ( use a fork to break the yolk into small pieces.  Lower heat  and continue to boil till the egg yolk are cooked. Add in all the taiwan gow gei leaves. Increase heat. Add salt to taste. Once the soup boils, off  heat and serve hot.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pan Fried Japanese Pressed Tofu With Rich Minced Meat Sauce

Talk about tofu makes me happy, reason being I love tofu since young. My grandma prepared them in different styles and that was how I grew up liking tofu. There are two types of tofu that I like most, silken and firm/pressed tofu.  This CF Japanese pressed tofu is one of my favourite brand .   It is undoubtedly delicious and contains no preservative. I will normally buy 2 or 3 packs each time I visit Tesco, and hubby will always ask why so many packs !  Vacuum packed and they can keep for more than a month in the fridge. Yes, I add them to my kimchi stew, steamed tofu with sizzling soy sauce and crispy garlic , cube them and add into Miso soup and many other dishes I can whip up with this pressed tofu.  

I have prepared this pressed tofu dish in a simple manner, whereby I pan fried both sides of the tofu till golden brown. Cooked a rich tasty sauce with minced meat and diced carrots and pour over the pan fried  pressed tofu.  It was so good that hubby asked to cook this dish again, thus I have added it to my dinner menu list :)

My favourite brand CF Japanese Pressed Tofu

 season with salt,Shichimi chilli and
dust both sides with corn flour before pan fry
on non stick pan

pan fried till both sides are golden brown

 pour the rich tasty minced meat sauce over
the fried tofu , garnish with spring onion 
and serve hot . Eat with rice.yummz!

Pan Fried Japanese Pressed Tofu With Rich Minced Meat Sauce


1 piece of Japanese Pressed Tofu
*optional  1 tsp of Shichimi Chili (japanese seasoning made of chili,chenpi,black sesame, poppy seed, japanese pepper and green dried seaweed )
1 tsp corn flour
1 tsp salt

3/4 cup minced meat (pork/chicken) seasoned with 1 tsp of light soy sauce and 1 tsp of corn flour
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 carrot - diced
1 red chilli -sliced
1 stalk of green onion - sliced

1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/8 tsp thick soy sauce
a dash of white pepper

thickening -  mix the two ingredients together
1/2 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp water

4 tbsp oil for pan frying tofu


1. Remove tofu from vacuum pack. Give it a quick rinse. Pat dry with paper towel. Season pressed tofu with salt,Shichimi chilli and corn flour. Leave aside.  Heat up non-stick pan with oil.  Once oil is hot, slowly put in the seasoned tofu and pan fried till both sides are golden brown.  Take out the pan fried tofu and place on a deep plate. Keep 1 tbsp of oil in the non-stick pan for later use and pour out the rest of the used oil into a bowl.

2. Season the minced meat with light soy sauce and corn flour. Let it sit for 5 mins.  Heat up the non-stick pan with the 1 tbsp of oil, add in chopped garlic and saute till fragrant. Add in the seasoned minced meat and continue to stir fry till minced meat is cooked. Add in the diced carrots and sliced chilli and stir fry till carrot has soften. Add in the chicken broth, oyster sauce, thick soy sauce and white pepper . Once the broth is starting to boil. Add in thickening.  Once the sauce has thicken, off the heat, and pour the rich minced meat sauce over the pan fried pressed tofu.   Garnish with sliced green onions.  Served hot.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Nasi Lemak With Dry Curry Prawns

When there is a craving for coconut milk rice, I will not hesitate to cook it for our lunch.  As there is no dried anchovies in the fridge, I took out a packet of frozen prawns from the freezer, run to the wet market and bought the fresh ground curry paste to cook this wonderful dry curry prawns to go with the coconut milk rice which our local called it Nasi Lemak.  Hubby's favourite dry curry prawns..mine too actually. I made some onions and carrot pickles to go with it. The sunny side up is cooked by the hubby.  He is a good cook too, at less he cook a sunny side up right.   I made it even more special by placing banana leaf on the plate before serving.  The banana leaf from my lil space :)

I cook the rice with coconut milk, slices of ginger
and screwpine leaves for a more fragrant nasi lemak

lessen water so that the rice is not soggy

banana leaf before plating

I made some onion pickles as a side to go with the nasi lemak

Nasi Lemak With Dry Curry Prawns

Nasi Lemak /Coconut Rice recipe
3 cups rice wash and change water 3 times, soak in water 30 mins
3 slices ginger, julienned
4 blades pandan leaves, knotted
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt

Add 2 cups water with rice, mix with ginger and pandan leaves, steam over medium heat for 20 mins. Add salt with coconut milk. Add 1/3 of coconut milk into rice, fluff rice with chopsticks. Continue to steam for 5 mins. Add in the balance coconut milk, continue to steam for 5 mins. Remove steamer from heat and set aside.

Dry Curry Prawns recipe
1/2 kilo large sea prawns- deveined but keep the shell and head
fresh ground curry paste specially for dry curry from wet market
( I asked the lady to give me enough for 1/2 kilo prawns )
1 stalk serai - crushed
3 to 4 tbsp of olive oil 
2 twigs of curry leaves
6 shallots - sliced
1/2 cup of coconut milk
Heat up wok . Add 3 to 4 tbsp of olive oil , add in the fresh ground curry paste , sliced shallots, crushed serai and currry leaves....saute till olive oil rises to surface and aromatic.  Add in the prawns  and continue to stir fry till the prawns are cooked and the curry paste coats the shell.  Add in 1/2 cup of coconut milk and continue to cook till the gravy thickens and the prawns are coated with the paste. Remove from heat and dish up.

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