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Archive for February, 2012

I meant to make this cookies for Chinese New Year, but didn’t get to it until now. This was my first time making it, and they turned out pretty good. The mixing part was pretty easy, although spreading the batter to a thin layer took a little time. The cookies aren’t too sweet, and the toasted coconut flakes on the top added some coconut flavor to the cookies. Next time I make it, I want to coat the bottom with some dark chocolate sauce… yum!

Almond Crisps-- The thinner the crisper. Mine are about 2-3 cm thick.

Almond Crisps– The thinner the crisper. Mine are about 2-3 mm thick.

Almond Crisps (makes about 120 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter– softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg whites
2 cups flour
1/2 salt
6 oz (about 2 cups) sliced almonds

crumbled toasted coconut flakes for sprinkle

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 335°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and egg whites, mix to blend well. Sift in flour and salt, mix well. Stir in sliced almonds.
  3. Scoop some batter (about 1/2 tbsp for each cookies, leave some space between each) onto lined baking sheet. Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter to a thin layer (about 2-3 cm thick). Sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on the top.
  4. Bake at preheated oven for 10-13 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cookies). Remove from the oven and cool completely on rack. Store cookies in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • If the bottom of almond crisps is still a little soft, return to the oven and bake a little further.
Almond Crisps-- bottom side is golden brown.

Almond Crisps– bottom side is golden brown.

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Steamed Pork Belly with Taro

Steamed Pork Belly with Taro

Steamed Pork Belly with Taro Recipe (serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs pork belly (skin on)
1 lb taro

nam yee marinade (mix well):
3 cubes nam yee– mashed
4 gloves garlic– minced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1/8 tsp ground white pepper

pork belly marinade:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 of nam yee marinade

Method:

  1. Boil pork belly in a pot over high heat, until a chopstick can poke through the skin. Remove the meat and pat dry with paper towel. Let it cool slightly, then prick the skin all over (the more the better) with a fork.
  2. Trim off taro skin, and cut into pieces (about 2 inches by 1 inch, 1/2 inch thickness). Pan fry taro pieces, until aromatic and the surface is golden brown. Set aside and marinate in half of nam yee marinade.
  3. Use the same pan to fry pork belly skin (I first turn off the heat after frying taro, place pork belly skin down, add a little oil, turn heat back on medium high, and cover the pan with a lid). The purpose is to fry the skin to golden brown. During the frying process the skin will burst out oil and make lots of crackling sound, so be sure to cover the pan with a lid for safety.  When the crackling sound subsides, turn off heat and wait a while before checking the skin. If the skin is still not crispy and golden brown, turn heat back on and continue the frying process with a lid.
  4. Remove pork belly from the pan. When it is cool to touch, cut the meat to about the same size as taro pieces. Marinade the meat in pork belly marinade for 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare a steamer.
  5. Arrange pork belly pieces, skin faces up, in a deep dish plate. Drizzle pork belly marinade over the meat. Steam on high heat for 1 hour. Remove the meat from steamer, but keep steamer on high heat (add more water to steamer if necessary).
  6. Place a piece of marinated taro between pork belly pieces, and drizzle the marinade all over. Return to the steamer and steam on high heat for another 20-30 minutes.

Regina’s Note:

  • If you have a big piece of taro at home and you are tired of making steamed taro cake, this is a good way to use it up!:-)
  • This is my first trial and I found there’s very little sauce. I like it better if there is more sauce so I can thicken it up and drizzle back onto the dish (it’s good with the rice!). Next time I should make more marinade or add some water to it before steaming.
Taro pieces after pan frying.

Taro pieces after pan frying.

Marinate taro pieces in nam yee marinade.

Marinate taro pieces in nam yee marinade.

Pork belly-- after pricking the skin and before browning the skin.

Pork belly-- after pricking the skin and before browning the skin.

Steam pork belly pieces before adding taro pieces.

Steam pork belly pieces before adding taro pieces.

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Hand Pulled Noodles ‘Mee Hoon Kueh’

Hand Pulled Noodles ‘Mee Hoon Kueh’

Hand Pulled Noodles ‘Mee Hoon Kueh’ Recipe

Ingredients:

for the dough (please note the measurement is PER PERSON):
flour– 1/3 cup for small appetite, 2/3 cup for big appetite
enough water
pinch of salt
few drops of oil
1 egg (optional)

2-3 shrimps– shelled and deveined
2-3 fish balls or sliced fish cakes
2-3 sliced pork– seasoned with salt, pepper, sesame oil
2-3 sliced soaked Chinese mushroom
some green leafy vegetable such as “yu choy” 油菜

For the broth:
handful of dry anchovies 江鱼仔
water– about 2-3 cups per person, adjust according

Condiments:
fried crispy anchovies 炸江鱼仔
fried shallots 油葱酥
chopped cilantro & green onion

Method:

  1. Prepare the dough: combine all sought ingredients in a mixing bowl, knead until elastic and smooth. Cover the dough with a damped paper to prevent drying out, rest it for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the broth: boil anchovies and water in a pot over high heat for 5–10 minutes until the flavor of anchovies comes out. At this point you can opt to remove the anchovies, but I like to leave them in because I eat the boiled anchovies too.
  3. Add in pork slices, and boil until the meat is cooked. Remove the meat and transfer to a plate. Repeat the boiling step with mushrooms, fish balls, shrimps and leafy vegetable (I don’t like to cook everything altogether as each ingredient takes different time to cook, but feel free to do so if you’re in a hurry). Turn down to medium heat.
  4. Pull apart some dough and hold it in one hand, while use the other hand to stretch the dough thinner, pull apart a piece and drop it to the broth. Repeat this process until all dough is finished. Bring the soup to a boil then scoop up the hand pulled “noodles” (they gets mushy if they soak in liquid for a long time). Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble: put some hand pulled “noodles” in a bowl, top with some pork, mushrooms,fish balls, shrimps and vegetable. Pour in some soup, garnish with some chopped green onion, cilantro, fried shallots and fried anchovies on the top. And don’t forget the dipping sauce (chopped hot chili pepper plus soy sauce) that go with the noodles!

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This is one of my favorite baked buns in Malaysia. Otak-otak is a steamed spicy fish paste and is a very popular food in Malaysia. In my hometown Muar, Malaysia, there’s is a bakery that sells very good otak-otak buns. You have to be there early to buy these delicious buns as they sold out fast. I am glad that I finally know how to make otak-otak, so I can have these spicy buns fresh out from my oven any time. 🙂

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns Recipe 乌达面包 (makes 18 small buns)

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
125 ml water
1 egg
2 1/2 tbsp butter

Filling:
18 pieces of otak-otak (2 inch x 1 inch each piece, 1/4 inch thickness)– see picture below

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 5 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 18 portions. Roll out each dough and put a piece of otak-otak in the middle. Bring the dough on two opposite ends towards the center, pinch to seal.Place the buns, sealed side down, on greased/nonstick baking sheet, cover and rest for 45 minutes — 1 hour.
  4. Apply egg wash on top of the buns, bake at preheated 350°F oven for 15-17 minutes. Cool on the rack.
Home made otak-otak

Home made otak-otak

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Chinese BBQ Pork 叉烧 #2

Chinese BBQ Pork 叉烧 #2

I used a different recipe for my home made Chinese BBQ sauce for this recipe. It’s a little on the sweet side…

Chinese BBQ Pork 叉烧 #2

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs pork butt 梅头肉
5 cloves garlic– finely chopped — see note below
1/2  tbsp salt

Marinade Sauce:
6 tbsp maltose
6 tbsp honey
6 tbsp hoisin sauce 海鲜酱
6 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp rose wine 玫瑰露酒
1/8 tsp ground white white pepper
1 tsp five spice powder
2 tsp sesame seed oil
1/2 tsp paprika powder for coloring (optional)

Method:

  1. Prepare marinade sauce: combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, cook on medium low heat until all combined and the sauce slightly thicken. Stir constantly. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cut pork butt into 3/4– 1 inch thick pieces. Rub chopped garlic, shallots and salt all over. Pour in 1/2 of marinade and coat well. Marinate the meat overnight in the fridge. Save remaining 1/2 of marinade in the fridge for basting.
  3. Preheat oven to400°F. Remove excess marinade and roast meat on a rack in shallow pan for 30 minutes, until the meat is cooked. Transfer to the grill to char the surface, basting marinade sauce while grilling. Slice into small pieces. If you have extra sauce, brush over the sliced meat. Serve immediately.

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For this sauce, I used the base sauce ingredients from my Chinese BBQ Pork 叉烧 #1 recipe, but added some ketchup for a hint of tangy flavor.Personally, I like this sauce better than the original version.

Chinese BBQ Sauce

Chinese BBQ Sauce

Chinese BBQ Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
6 tbsp maltose
6 tbsp honey
6 tbsp hoisin sauce 海鲜酱
6 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp rose wine 玫瑰露酒
1/8 tsp ground white white pepper
1 tsp five spice powder
2 tsp sesame seed oil
1/2 tsp paprika powder for coloring (optional)

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, cook on medium low heat until all combined and the sauce slightly thicken. Stir constantly. Set aside to cool completely. When it cools it will thicken some more. Store the sauce in the fridge for months. It can be use as marinade for Chinese BBQ pork or basting sauce.

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