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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Avocado Pasta

I have read many times online regarding this interesting avocado pasta....ermmm at first I was not really keen to try it , but even if curiosity kills the cat, I have to try it out.  And since it is avocado season, and having some left after making guacomole, I gave this dish a try and I would say it is interesting. Flavourful creamy sauce coated every string of spaghetti, it is simply delicious. Yes, I would definitely cook this again.  Firstly it is delicious and secondly it is healthy.  The avocado sauce is creamy and every bite is so delicious with the basil flavor bursting in the mouth.  I have basil grown in my little space. All I need to cook is the spaghetti.  The rest is blended raw. A very healthy meal indeed.  I am surprised hubby WB loves it too.  Being a meat eater, this is really surprising! It must be darn good for him to partake this vegetarian meal :)

Avocado from the Philippines

seed of avocado is big so not a great buy after all

blends the avocado with basil leaves, garlic,black pepper, salt
and olive oil and a squeeze of lemon
blend till it emulsified

add to the spaghetti and give it quick stir till
every string of spaghetti is well coated with the
avocado sauce

served with avocado slices or cherry tomato
or any vegetables that you like

Avocado Pasta


spaghetti for two person  -  cooked till al dente
2 ripe avocados - halved, seeded and peeled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

1 avocado - halved, seeded and peeled - cut into slices
basil leaves 

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti till al dente, drain well.
2. To make the avocado sauce, combine avocados, basil, garlic and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow steam until emulsified; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine spaghetti and avocado sauce till spaghetti is well coated with the sauce.
4. Garnish with avocado slices and basil leaves.
5. Serve immediately. 


Monday, April 16, 2018


Guacamole is a dip made from avocados which originates from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahauti words - ahuacati ( avocado ) and molli (sauce).   To make a simple guacamole, you can just add salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to help balance the richness of the avocados. But, I love mine to have chopped tomato, cilantro, chilli and chopped red onion. These combination of ingredients really is a WOW! Can be addictive .  My daughter loves this and it is her all time favorites.  She will eat for supper too at times when she has to work late into the morning :)

I managed to get some Philippines avocados which are kind of small and have big seeds. Bland in taste but great for making Guacamole.  Great as a dip and side dish for my seafood meal.  I pan fried fish and fish roe and this flavorful guacamole was the perfect side dish for my seafood meal. 

these were on offer in Jusco
and I grabbed 6 pieces

 once the avocados has ripen, its time to make guacamole,
the combination of these ingredients turned
the guacamole into a flavorful side dish

I like my guacamole to have chunky bits of
everything...perfect as a side dish

 tip- prepare the guacamole last as the avocados will turn
slightly brown if you prepare them early



3 avocados
1 ripe tomato - remove seeds and diced
2 tbsp of chopped cilantro (stem and leaves)
2 tbsp of chopped red chillies
Some chopped garlic *optional
half red onion - diced
1 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste


1. Cut the avocados in half, remove seed. Score the inside of the avocado with a blunt knife and  scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place in a bowl.

2. Use a fork , roughly mash the avocado ( do not overdo it, the guacamole should be a little chunky)

3. Add in salt and pepper and mix well. Add in the rest of the ingredients except tomato and give it a quick stir. Wrap up with cling wrap and chill before serving. Chilling the tomato will hurt their flavor. Add in the chopped tomato just before serving.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Steamed Egg With Sea Clams (Vongole)

If you have been following me all these 10 years, you would have known me well enough to know that I love any kind of seafood.  Gosh, 10 years...that is like quite a long period of time to be blogging and sharing all the food that I have cooked these 10 years.  Blogging has taken a back seat ever since photography has taken a big portion of my time. For those of you who have been folowing my blogs these 10 years, I would like to say thank you for all your support and patience.  Your supports encourages me and have given me lots of happiness beside cooking and baking :)  My four kids (my Piggies)  and hubby (Wildboar ) are my supporters too.  Giving me a LIKE each time I posted my food photos on Instagram and Facebook :)

I shall not digress and here is what I had cooked for last night dinner.  Saw some very fresh and large sea clams or vongole, I bought home a kilogramme This is a dish that needs only a few clams but needed the broth for the steamed egg.  I steamed the 1 kg of clams and managed to get just 160 ml of broth. thick and sweet .  To make it more tasty , I added a dash of chinese cooking wine, a tsp of ginger juice to the broth .  This is a keeper and will make this dish again for sure.  Simply delicious and appetizing than the normal steamed egg.  Hubby needless to say, make more next time, maybe a pie dish each.  The size of this pie dish is 7inches in dia and 1 1/4 inch deep.  Perfect for this recipe for 2 persons.

 seven steamed clams  to fit this into this pie dish

 make sure to use heat resistant cling wrap
to cover the dish before steaming

 for this recipe, time of steaming under med. heat
is 10 mins...set timer to get the correct smooth texture

love the smooth and wobbly texture and every mouthful
is simply heavenly

Steamed Egg With Vongole


For broth
1 kg sea clams - soak with salt water to remove mud and sand

7 large sea clams
2 large eggs - beaten
160 ml broth - you can use chicken stock ,but I used the broth from the steamed clams
1 tsp of chinese cooking wine
1 tsp of ginger juice
a pinch of salt - not too much as the broth from the clams has a bit of salty taste

sliced spring onions for garnishing


1. Soak and wash clean the clams for 30 mins, remove , drained off excess water.  Put the steamer to boil.  Place the clams in a deep dish and steamed for 10 mins or till the clams are half opened.  Take out 7 large sea clams . Drain the broth from the dish into a measuring cup.  The rest of the clams can be kept in a container and keep in fridge for other cooking. 

2. Beat the 2 eggs in a deep bowl.

3. Measure out 160 ml of broth and pour into the beaten egg , add in chinese wine, ginger juice and salt.  Sieve the mixture to get a smooth egg mixture.  Pour the sieved mixture into the 7 inches pie dish, add in the steamed clams and arrange the steamed clams to fit nicely on the egg mixture.  

4. Cling wrap the pie dish and put into the boiling steamer. Reduce heat to medium and steam the egg mixture for 10 mins.  Before lifting out of the steamer, tilt the dish and if the egg custard is firm , you can off heat and take out the dish.  It is ready for serving.

5. Remove cling wrap and garnish with sliced spring onions. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Braised Stuffed Potato With Sour Plum Sauce

Potato is the family's favourite food.  Today I want to share this easy to prepare dish, something very different from the usual way of cooking. It is braised stuffed potato with sour plum sauce and fermented bean paste.  Simply delicious.  The filling is made up of a few ingredients namely minced pork, chopped beancurd puffs, bonito flakes, chopped spring onions, chillies, cornflour, and sesame oil. I added the chopped bean curd puffs to the minced pork is to add character and keep the meat filling moist.  I will definitely make this dish again as braising the stuffed potato in sour plum and fermented bean paste truly allowing the bland potato to absorb the flavors.  I allowed the sauce to thickens and the sauce is enough to coats each stuffed potato . 

Slice the potato into 1 cm thickness, after which slice the 1 cm thick potato in the center but do not cut through. Stuff the filling into the potato like how you make Yong Tau Foo. 

fillings consists of minced meat,  bean curd puffs, spring onions
chillies, bonito flakes, sesame oil, cornflour - stir together
till the meat mixture is sticky

to prevent the potato from turning dark, soak in lightly salted water-
drip of excess water before stuffing in the filling

make sure to dust cornflour before stuffing in the fillings
so that it acts as adhesive or the meat fillings will drop off

deep fried the stuffed potato till cooked and lightly

lightly braised in sour plum sauce till the flavorful
sauce is absorbed into the potato

Braised Stuffed Potato With Sour Plum Sauce 


4 med sized Holland Potato -

Filling ingredients
250 gm minced meat - pork or chicken
2 bean curd puffs - chopped
1 tsp of soy sauce
some bonito flakes
some chopped spring onions
chopped bird's eye chillies - amount depends on individual taste
1/2 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of corn flour

extra corn flour  for dusting

1/2 cup vegetable oil for deep frying the stuffed potatoes

2 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 tbsp of sour plum sauce
1 tbsp of fermented bean paste ( tau cheong )
1/2 cup water

2 tsp of corn flour
2 tbsp of water

coriander leaves


1. Scrub , clean and peel potato. Slice them into 1 cm thickness.  Cut a slit in the center of the 1 cm thick slices but do not cut through. Soak in lightly salted water for 5 mins to prevent darkening. Pour off water and place the sliced potato in colander to drip dry while preparing the filling.

2. Put all the filling ingredients in a deep bowl and using a fork , stir them together till sticky and well mixed.

3. Take a sliced potato , open up the center slit, dust with cornflour and stuff with the prepared filling, like how you make Yong Tau Foo. Repeat the process till all the sliced potato are used up.

4. Heat up 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, gently add in the stuffed potatoes and deep fry them till cooked and slightly browned.

5.Dish up and keep aside . Pour out the oil into a bowl, leaving just  a tsp of oil in the pan, add in chopped garlic and stir fry over medium heat till fragrant, add in the sour plum sauce and fermented bean paste and continue to stir fry till well mixed. Add in water and give it a quick boil. Add in all the deep fried stuffed potatoes, cover with lid and let it braise under medium low heat for 15 mins.  Add in the thickening. Once the gravy has thicken and all the stuffed potatoes is coated with the thick gravy, Off heat and dish up. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Note: if you want  more gravy, adjust water and add another 1/2 tbsp of sour plum sauce, 1/4 tbsp of fermented bean paste .


Monday, March 5, 2018

Stir Fry Pork Tenderloin With Cincalok

Stir fry pork tenderloin with Cincalok is a Nyonya dish combining pork, cincalok ,a South Asian ingredient ( fermented small shrimp/krill ), tamarind paste , fried crispy shallots and chilli . All this ingredients comes together to make this dish with the right notes - full of umami flavour.  Though the smell of fermented krill can be offensive to some but it can be a delight to some.  Lucky for me , the family loves it and I use them in making kimchi and a condiment ( combine cincalok, slice shallots , slice chilli and lime juice )  for fried fish. 

We are not Nyonya but my grandmother and mom used to cook this dish when I was young and that is how I acquired the taste for this dish.  The deep fried crispy shallots adds oomph to the dish plus the cut chilli gives it a bit of heat. A very appetising dish indeed and hubby always look forward to this dish.  Looking back it has a been a while since I last cooked this dish :)  Hope you guys will be inspired to try out this recipe.

 Stir Fry Pork Tenderloin With Cincalok


600 g of pork tenderloin - sliced thinly- season with 1 tsp of soysauce and 1 tsp of cornflour
5 bird's eye chillies - sliced
6 shallots - sliced and fried till crispy
2.5 tbsp of cincalok
2 tbsp of tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 tsp of sugar
2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Method :

1.Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in wok, once oil is hot, add in the sliced shallots and fry till crispy and golden brown. Dish up and keep aside.
2.Using the same oil, add in cincalok, chillies and stir fry till fragrant, add in the seasoned sliced tenderloin and continue cooking till the meat is cooked.  Add in chillies , tamarind water and sugar.  Continue to simmer till the gravy has thicken . Add in the crispy shallots last.  Off heat and dish up. Serve with rice.


Friday, March 2, 2018

Stir Fry Roast Pork With Leek

What do you do with the leftover roast pork especially the home roasted ones?  After the CNY pre dinner we had some leftover roast pork belly and since I had some China leeks which I bought from Tesco, I decided to stir fry the roast pork belly with the leeks.  Simple to whip up and full of flavor.  We love the sweet aroma from the leeks.  A perfect pairing with the leek.  One can never go wrong with this pairing.  Ever since I learned how to make my own roast pork from home, having delicious meal at home is something hubby and I looked forward to everyday.  And recently, I read that roast pork is one of the top 10 most nutritious to have in our far it is true, we shall see. Whatever it is, Chinese roast pork is still one of the most delicious and sought after in every chinese family :) whether it is bad or good for health.  Because it is darn delicious on its own or stir fry like what I have whipped up a dish of roast pork and leek.

just this two main ingredients is good
enough to whet ones appetite

stir fry with chopped garlic and a slice of ginger
will give you a dish smelling good and taste yummy

you don't need any other dishes ..this is a well
balance dish.

Stir Fry Roast Pork With Leek


some roast pork belly - cut into slices
a few stalks of China leeks - sliced
a few cloves of garlic- chopped
a slice of ginger
a tsp of white pepper
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil


Heat up a tbsp of oil in a deep non-stick pan.  Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped garlic, ginger and stir fry till fragrant.  Add in the roast pork and continue to stir fry for a few minutes and as the roast starts jumping in the pan , add in the sliced leeks and continue to stir fry till well combine, add in white pepper and salt to taste.  Add a tablespoon of water.  Once the leeks has soften, off heat and dish up.  Serve with hot rice.


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