Friday, May 19, 2023

Korean Banchan - Octopus & Water Spinach

Korean side dishes aka banchan are quite popular in other parts of the world. Because of kdrama we are greatly influenced and now we always have banchan ready n the fridge . Like eh Mayak Gyeran, Spinach , Kimchi, Spicy Cucumber , and many more . 

I bought a packet of frozen Giant Octopus Tentacles from Aeon some time back and I had this craving of Korean Stir Fried Spicy Octopus and instead of stir frying, I made banchan instead. I  blanched the Octopus Tentacles and seasoned with Gochugaru, Gochujang paste, chopped garlic, Korean corn syrup , salt, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. Chill overnight and serve as a side dish. Very tasty ,delicious and appetising too. It is easy to prepare like the rest of the banchan I mentioned above. 

this dish is easy to whip up, blanch the octopus and water spinach and mix together with the seasoning ingredients 

Mix well till the blanched octopus and water spinach are well coated with Gochugaru, Gochujang paste, chopped garlic, Korean corn syrup , salt, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. 

harvested the water spinach from my balcony garden


octopus tentacles - blanched and sliced
water spinach- washed and blanched


Gochugaru, Gochujang paste, chopped garlic, Korean corn syrup , salt, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.

Measurement depends on how much octopus and water spinach. 
If you like it more sweet you add more corn syrup, if you like more spicy, add more Gochugaru. 


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Basic Italian Tomato Sauce

First time making tomato sauce from scratch. Being a Breast Cancer Survivor, I have to avoid canned food, thus no canned tomato which I used to buy to make my sauce. But now I have to use fresh tomato to make the tomato sauce for tomorrow Pasta. I googled to see how it is being made. The basic tomato sauce is quite easy to make actually. I tried it and no regrets. It was delicious. You can add seafood or meatballs to the sauce or just served as a stand alone sauce for vegetarians. My hubby is a meat eater so I added Meatballs for him.  The sauce can be prepared a day before.  The sauce can sit in the fridge for 3 days in air tight container or for a month in the freezer.

this is how I served it with beef balls. 
the meatballs are first cooked in the oven. Once they are cooked, add to the tomato sauce and simmer for a few mins under low fire.  
the roasted garlic and onions and dried Oregano brings out the aroma of the sauce and the sauce taste really good. I will not buy ready made sauce from now on.

simmer over low heat for an hour till sauce thickens
blend the fresh tomato and leave some chunks for better texture
choose ripe tomatoes for making the sauce

I added Sun Dried Tomato to further enhance the flavour of the sauce

Ingredients for this basic tomato sauce
for two persons

8 med size ripe tomatoes - dice and blend ( leave some chunks)
A few pieces of sun dried tomato in olive oil- chopped
4 med size red onions - diced
4 cloves of roasted  garlic - chopped
Olive oil - generous amount
1/2 tbsp of Dried Oregano
1tsp of dried mixed herb
1tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Saute garlic in olive oil till fragrant, add in the diced onions, stir fry till I
onions has turned translucent. Add in the blended tomato and simmer over med heat. Half way thru cooking ,add in dried Oregano and black pepper. Continue simmering the tomato sauce till sauce thickens, add salt to taste.

Note: You can add a tsp of sugar if you like but being a Cancer Survivor, I omitted sugar.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

No Sugar No Flour Oatmeal Cookies

I thought for a moment I can say goodbye to baking...since I can't eat sugar and flour goodies like all those sweet desserts, cakes, cookies, etc etc. I felt sad for the past few months but now knowing that I can bake cookies using almond flour and sugar free , my face lighted up again and happiness fills my heart. There are many cookies recipes that doesn't use sugar and flour has brighten up my baking world again. There is hope and light at the end of every tunnel. At least I got back my life.  I can bake healthy cookies after all.  So today I am sharing a recipe shared by YouTuber Moony Kitchen. No Sugar, No Flour Oatmeals Cookies. 
The cookies turned out great! 

the cookies are well baked....

sprinkle some rolled oats on surface after pressing the rolled balls down 
Using hand, roll the cookie dough into balls

No Sugar, No Flour Oatmeals Cookies

100gm Almond Flour
70 gm Rolled Oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp cinnamon powder
50gm unsalted butter - melted
1egg - beaten
70gm walnuts - chopped
50gm almond flakes
25 gm dried cranberries
20gm dried raisin

Mix ingredients (A) together till well combined.  Leave aside.
Whip ingredients (B) together till well combined. Add (B) to (A) slowly till a soft mixture is formed. Add in (C) till well combined into the soft cookie dough. 
Using hand, make round balls, (14 pieces) the size of a fifty cent coin. Press down  and sprinkle some rolled on top. Place on parchment paper liner on a baking tray. Bake at 175c for 17 mins or till light golden colour and cooked thru.


Thursday, May 4, 2023

Handcrafted Fresh Fusilli Pasta

I am a great fan of pasta, so definitely I will look into making fresh ones. I was introduced to watch Pasta Grannies on YouTube and from there I learned how to handcraft pasta. Of course my first handcrafted pasta would be fusilli. Watching how the Senior Italian ladies handcrafted the fusilli makes me want to try my hand in making them. By using my  Wooden Gnocchi board I was able to make quite good authentic looking fresh fusilli. Again my Wooden Gnocchi board is not another  white elephant :).
Before of health issue, I need to look into making wholemeal spaghetti as I read that wholemeal is a much healthier version of flour. It has low glycemic value and doesn't spike sugar level in the blood. Once I get hold of a good recipe , I will definitely be sharing with all of you. Eat healthy for now. Health is wealth.

Tip: dry the handcrafted fusilli to retain a firm pattern on the fusilli after cooking
Tip : using 70% Semolina and 30% '00' flour
gives a perfect chewy and springy texture
Tip: dust them with Semolina flour so that they don't stick to each other

Tip :  dry them in room temp for an hour before cooking or if keeping for storage, totally dry them before storing in air tight container
I love that rustic look... handcrafted fusilli has that rustic looks indeed
the more I look  at it ,the more I love it, making them I mean...very addictive to make them
press, twirl roll and press the cut out dough on the gnocchi board
So fun!
the Semolina flour and '00 flour' are the must have in the house 
Tip: one egg for every 100gm of flour 
70% Semolina flour and 30% ' 00 ' flour


( for One to two persons)

70 gm Semolina flour

30gm ' 00'  flour

1tsp sea salt

1egg (55gm)


Mix the Semolina flour and '00' flour and salt together. Make a well in the center and add  the egg in. Slowly mix in the flour until the egg is well mixed into the dough and has become a breadcrumb texture. Gently knead till it form a dough. ( 5 to 7 mins) Cover it and let it rest 30 mins. Take the dough out and knead till smooth. The longer the dough is rested ,the more pliable the dough is. Divide dough into few portions.  Roll into long rope . Thickness of your choice. The thinner the better.  Pinch the dough into required length ( depends how long you want your fusilli to be ) Press the short strand onto the Gnocchi Board. Starting from the top, press, twirl roll and press. Continue till you reach the end of the short strand of dough. 

Repeat till all handcrafted fusilli is done. Dust them with Semolina flour to avoid sticking.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Homemade Fresh Wonton Noodles From Scratch

I love noodles anytime compared to rice. So making noodle from scratch is a dream comes true for me. Making fresh pasta is also another wonderful thing I have learnt to made since COVID started in 2020.  Hubby loves Wonton noodles so I googled and found one that is good.
I have made several times and each time it turned out great. The only thing I don't like is that it uses lye water aka kansui in Cantonese . It helps makes the noodles chewy and springy at the same time. But on second thoughts it uses very little. 1/2 tsp to 240gm flour. Since I have the pasta maker at home, I will not let it sit in the cupboard as a white elephant. Making my own noodles from scratch has made the pasta maker useful again . I shall share the recipe taken from
Blogger Ginger And Scotch.

love the strand of Wonton noodles coming out from the pasta maker

the pasta maker is a useful equipment to have in the kitchen

using the press and fold method for a more chewy and springy texture

One recipe load of 240gm flour serves 4 person
so cut the dough into 4 portion before using the pasta maker to press roll and cut

resting the dough is very important, knead, press and fold 2 times , resting 30 mins in between for a chewy and springy texture

Recipe taken from Ginger And Scotch click to see the recipe and steps to make this noodles.

Dough Ingredients
240gm AP Flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1tsp lye water
1-2 tbsp water 

I readjusted the above recipe to suit my taste. I want it less eggy taste
150 gm AP flour
150 gm bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1egg - A size
1tsp lye water
4-5 tbsp water

Method click Ginger And Scotch 
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