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Archive for April, 2013

Malaysian Rojak Sauce

Malaysian Rojak Sauce

Malaysian Rojak Sause

Ingredients:
1 tbsp shrimp paste– see picture below. Available in Asian grocery stores, under South East Asia food section
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or tamarind juice
1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sambal chili
4-5 tbsp water

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and microwave to warm up slightly. Mix well and toss with other rojak ingredients (pineapples, cucumber, jicama, bean sprouts, water spinach, Chinese donut, tofu puffs etc…)

Malaysian style shrimp paste

Malaysian style shrimp paste

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I had 4 egg whites residuals sitting in my fridge for quite some time now. Finally I got tired of looking at it every time I opened my fridge, so this was what I made out of it. Typically this cake takes 4-6 whole eggs, but I only used 2 whole eggs plus the 4 egg whites leftovers. The cake turned out delicious with good amount of chocolate flavor. One thing though: after the cake cools down, the top of the cake starts to stick– to plastic wrap, to little fingers touching it… and leaving the top with ugly patches everywhere!! Why??? Can anyone help me here?…

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake (makes 1 sheet cake 9″ x 13″)

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter– melted and cooled
4 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup cake flour

Egg white mixture:
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degree. Line a rectangle 9″x13″x2″ cake pan with parchment paper. Combine cocoa powder and cake flour.
  2. In a big bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar with a ballon whisk until sugar dissolves and the mixture turns fluffy and pale color.
  3. To the yolk mixture mixture, add in melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well with the ballon whisk.
  4. Sift flour mixture over the yolk mixture in 3 batches, mix well after each addition.
  5. In a stand mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy, gradually add in sugar, one tbsp at a time. Continue whipping on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Scrapping down sugar on the side of the bowl with a spatula. Turn down to medium low speed and whipped until peak forms.
  6. Add 1/3 of whipped egg whites to e yolk mixture, whisk to mix well. Then gently fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches.
  7. Pour cake batter to the cake pan, smooth the top. Bake at preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool the cake in parchment paper on the rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • I noticed after the cake cools, the beautiful top gets stickier and stickier. Why?
  • This cake can be rolled up and becomes a chocolate swiss roll. I didn’t want to deal with whipping the cream for the filling, and my kids totally didn’t mind it at all!

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I like cassava, whether it’s plain and dipped in coconut cream/sugar or steamed cassava cake, or in this case, baked. In Malaysia, there are yellow flesh cassava which tastes more fragrant. However, the only fresh cassavas in the Asian grocery stores are always white flesh and coated with a thick coat of wax on the skin. Not sure if it’s true but I read somewhere on the internet that white cassava sometimes taste slightly bitter than the yellow ones.

Anyhow, back to my bake cassava cake– this cake is pretty easy to make. I strongly suggest grating a fresh cassava instead of those pre-grated frozen ones. It requires more work but you can really taste the cassava flavor if you use fresh ones. I love the crust of the cake and the buttery aroma.

Baked Cassava Cake 'Bingka Ubi' 木薯糕

Baked Cassava Cake ‘Bingka Ubi’ 木薯糕

Baked Cassava Cake ‘Bingka Ubi’ 木薯糕 Recipe– adapted from Table for 2… or More (makes 1 loaf pan)

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh cassava
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 water
4 tbsp butter
1 egg
80 ml (about half of a small can) coconut milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Peel off cassava skin (including the whitish inner skin). Grate cassava into a bowl and discard the inner fiberish core. Add a little and water and squish it with you finger. Squeeze out excess juice.
  3. Boil water and sugar in a small sauce pan until sugar dissolve, melt in butter. Pour butter mixture into grated cassava, mix well.
  4. Beat egg into coconut milk to blend well. Then pour coconut milk mixture into cassava mixture, stir to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Bake at preheated oven for about 1 hour, until toothpick test comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

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When I was making otak-otak #3 trial, I thought it was perfect already– until I made this version. I added an egg this time to make the otak-otak , and skipped tapioca starch and used less water. The result: the egg really makes otak-otak very tender. In terms of flavor, texture and color, this #4 trial is REALLY close to what I just had in my hometown in Malaysia over this past summer! And my two boys even can take the spice and start to love otak-otak. They were saying the other they want otak-otak for dinner!:-)

Muar "Otak-Otak" #4 麻坡乌达

Muar “Otak-Otak” #4 麻坡乌达

Muar “Otak-Otak” # 4 麻坡乌达 Recipe (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
1 container (12 oz) fish paste– see note below
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp water
1 egg
1 small can (164 ml) coconut milk– stir well

Spice paste:
1 clove garlic– minced
1 shallot– minced
6 tbsp oil
3 tbsp sambal or chili paste
2 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Method:

  1. In a big sauce pan, fry garlic and shallot with 6 tbsp of oil until aromatic. Add in remaining spice paste ingredients. Stir to mix well. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Add all other ingredients into the sauce pan. Stir to blend well. Pour the mixture into a greased shallow pan, smooth the top. Steam on high heat for 10 minutes. Serve with steam rice.

Regina’s Note:

  • Fish paste: different brand of fish paste does make otak-otak taste differently. I prefer 佳发brand (see picture below)– it is frozen and can be found in Asian grocery stores. I tried 味全brand frozen fish paste, but found it is not good for making otak-otak. (1/31/12 update: I have bought 佳发brand frozen fish paste a couple of times later but they were bad both times, which was disappointing. I now use  港榮 brand fresh lady fish paste (see bottom picture). This brand is available at 99 Ranch Market, under packaged fresh seafood section.
港榮 brand fresh lady fish paste

港榮 brand fresh lady fish paste

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This is a peppery soup that for sure will warm you up during cold winter days. My mom taught me how to clean and prepare pig stomach– after cleaning, we partially cook in a dry wok until the surface is a little brown, and thus enhance the flavor. Usually restaurants don’t do the browning step, but it does make a difference in taste. If the pig stomach scares you, just use peppercorns with spare ribs or even chicken, and becomes peppery chicken soup.

Peppery Pig Stomach & Spare Rib Soup 胡椒猪肚排骨湯

Peppery Pig Stomach & Spare Rib Soup 胡椒猪肚排骨湯

Peppery Pig Stomach & Spare Rib Soup 胡椒猪肚排骨湯 (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
1/2 partially cooked pig stomach– see below for preparing method
1.5 lbs pork spare ribs– cut into chunks
2 tbsp white peppercorns– crushed
1.5 gallon water
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Add water and crushed peppercorns to a deep pot and bring to a boil. Let it boil for several minutes so the flavor of peppercorn comes out. Meanwhile, blanch spare ribs in a separate pot. Remove ribs and wash off any impurities.
  2. Add ribs to the deep pot. Cover and cook on high heat for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add pig stomach. Continue cooking for another 2- 2.5 hours. Add more water if necessary. The soup should look cloudy at this point. Add salt to taste. Before serving, cut pig stomach into strips.

Preparing pig stomach:

Pig stomach from the Asian grocery stores are cleaned pretty good  and not as disgusting, but still, it requires some extra cleaning at home to make it more enjoyable:

  1. Wash pig stomach briefly and trim off any fat.
  2. Sprinkle generous amount of salt all over pig stomach, rub it with your hands. Then sprinkle generous amount of corn starch/ tapioca starch and rub with your hands again. Then use a knife to scrap off the pig stomach inside and out. Pay attention to parts where there are folds and scrap it good. Rinse well. If after rinsing the pig stomach still feels very slimy then repeat this step. It’s okay though if it feels a little slimy. Make sure the inner side (the side that looks like skin and has folds) is facing out. Drain.
  3. Heat up a dry clean wok on high heat. With the inner side out, put pig stomach to the wok– it will make a very loud noise due to water contact with high heat but don’t worry. Liquid will start to draw out for the first few minutes. Discard the liquid so the wok remains dry. Brown the surface of pig stomach, pressing down with a spatula on the parts that have folds, to prevent shrinking and promote browning. Pig stomach will stick to the wok so move it around from time to time. Flip over and brown the other side.
  4. Wash pig stomach and scrap the “skin” with a knife again. At this point the pig stomach should not feel slimy at all. Drain and it’s ready to use or keep in freezer. Please note pig stomach is only PARTIALLY COOKED and requires further cooking.

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