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Archive for March, 2019

In my home country Malaysia, ‘kaya’ is a local jam that is made of eggs, coconut milk, sugar and pandan juice. All the local coffee shops have this jam available, and ‘kaya’ and butter is the default spread if you ask for a bread or toast.

What is Gula Melaka? It is coconut sugar that is locally made in Malaysia. It is dark brown color, always comes in cylinder block and in different sizes.Gula Melaka is usually used in making local desserts and delicacies. Gula Melaka has a unique sweet fragrance and thus adds the magic to the food. I bring Gula Melaka every time I come back from Malaysia because I haven’t seen it in Asian grocery stores here in U.S.– I found palm sugar, which is product of Indonesia and much light brown in color, but it’s not the same as Gula Melaka.

Anyhow, back to these rolls– given the store bought ‘kaya’ here is not as authentic, the flavor wasn’t as strong as I expected even I added toasted coconut. But hey I got to try new bread flavor, clean out some pantry items, and family got fed for breakfast… that’s good enough.

65C Coconut Jam 'Kaya' Rolls with Gula Melaka Glaze

65C Coconut Jam ‘Kaya’ Rolls with Gula Melaka Glaze

65C Coconut Jam ‘Kaya’ Rolls with Gula Melaka Glaze (makes 14 Rolls)

Ingredients:

Dough starter:
1/4 cup bread flour
250ml water

Dough:
1 egg– beaten
6 tbsp milk, plus 2 tbsp
6 tbsp whipping cream
4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter– melted and cooled

Coconut Jam ‘Kaya’– see note below
1/2 cup finely grated dry coconut– toasted and cooled

Gula Melaka Glaze:
1 medium cylinder block of Gula Melaka
2-3 tbsp water
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Method:

  1. Prepare dough starter: Combine bread flour and water in a small sauce pan. Blend well with a balloon whisk over medium low heat (whisk continuously). When the mixture thicken slightly, reduce to lowest heat setting while whisking continuously, until the mixture reaches 65 degree C. The consistency will be like condensed milk. Remove from heat and cool before using.
  2. While dough starter is cooling, beat egg in a bowl, then add in 6 tbsp of milk and whipping cream. Mix well.
  3. Pour in egg mixture to the bottom of bread machine loaf pan, followed by bread starter.
  4. Add flours to loaf pan.  Make an indent in the middle, and add dry yeast to the indent. Add sugar, milk powder and salt to different corners of the loaf pan.
  5. For Zojirushi bread maker (model Zojirushi BB-PAC20), press HOME MADE button and set timing as follow and press START: Rest: OFF–> Knead: 25 min –> Shape: OFF –> Rise 1: 45 min –> Rise 2: 30 min –> Rise 3: 1hour –> Bake: OFF –> Keep Warm: OFF
  6. 1-2 minutes after the knead cycle starts, add in 2 tbsp milk (the dough will be very wet– add more milk if needed). Add melted butter in 2-3 batches before knead cycle completes.
  7. When the final rise cycle is completed, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently roll out to 15 x 13 rectangle. Spoon a generous layer of coconut jam on the dough, follow by 5 tbsp toasted coconut. Spread evenly with a butter knife. Roll up the dough lengthwise to a log. Pinch dough to seal the end. Cut into 14 pieces. Place dough, cut side up, in a deep dish greased baking pan or glass pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise to almost double in size.
  8. Brush top with whipping cream, and bake in preheated 350F oven, middle rack, for 25-30 minutes. Remove rolls from the oven.
  9. While bread is cooling in the pan, prepare the glaze: dissolve Gula Melaka with water in a small saucepan at medium low heat, use the back of a spoon to smear if needed. Add a little more water if it’s getting thick. Mix in butter and cook until all blended. Spoon glaze over the top of the rolls, then sprinkle with remaining 3 tbsp of toasted coconut. Rolls are best served warm with glaze.

Regina’s Note:

  • Coconut Jam: can be found in Asian grocery store like 99 Ranch.
  • Don’t let the long steps scare you– most of the time it’s the bread machine that is doing the job. I program my bread machine for each cycle, but you can just follow a simple white bread loaf recipe.
  • For a slightly healthy version, substitute out 1 cup bread flour with 1 cup of wheat flour.
  • The rolls taste the best when it’s warm and freshly glazed as you can taste more flavor of the glaze.
  • Be creative with the filling– raspberry, strawberry, orange, chocolate…

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This dish has a very weird Chinese name; it literally translates as ants climbing up a tree… ?? I wonder if the ground pork is the ‘ants’ and noodles is the lines of a tree bark? Anyway, it’s delicious! That’s all matter!

Ground Pork Stir Fry with Clear Noodles 螞蟻上樹

Ground Pork Stir Fry with Clear Noodles 螞蟻上樹

Ground Pork Stir Fry with Clear Noodles (serves 4 people)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground pork
1 bundle clear noodles– soak in water to soften
2 cloves garlic– chopped
2 red hot peppers– chopped
2 tsp rice cooking wine
1/2 cups chopped Chinese celery stems– see note below

Seasoning:
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp chicken powder
1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Season pork with typical seasoning (salt, ground white pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch, water). Set aside.
  2. Heat up a wok on medium high heat. Sauté garlic and peppers until aromatic. Add in ground pork. Keep stirring to loose it up. Add in rice wine. Stir until wine evaporates.
  3. Add all seasoning ingredients. Stir to mix well. When it boils, add in noodles. Stir to mix well. Cover, and cook until noodles almost absorb all the liquid and turn transparent. Stirring a few times in between to make sure noodles don’t stick to the wok. Add a little more water if needed. Before dishing out, add chopped Chinese celery stems and stir a few more times. Serve hot immediately with rice.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chinese celery stems: I use Chinese celery stems for its crunchy texture and color. As with regular celery, always remove the fiber ‘strings’ before use.

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I had this salad when I was at my gym potluck party. Considering myself not a cole slaw fan I even got hooked from the first bite. So I asked my workout friend Kathy, who made this salad, for the recipe. The dish is easy to prepare, and the flavor is very light and refreshing. Since the cabbage is finely shredded, you won’t feel like eating big chunks of cabbage which really turns me off for raw cabbage.

Japanese Cole Slaw

Japanese Cole Slaw

Japanese Cole Slaw (serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:

1 small head cabbage–finely shredded/sliced(see note below)
2 stalks green onion– finely sliced
2 tbsp sesame seeds– toasted
2 tbsp almond slices or silvers– toasted
1 package Asian noodle snack– see note below

Dressing:
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp cooking oil or extra light EVOO
4 tbsp vinegar– see note below

Method:

Mix dressing well until all combined and sugar dissolves. Pour over salad before serving. Toss well.

Regina’s Note:

  • Cabbage: I use a knife to finely shred but you can also use mandolin or other shredding tools. The key is to shred as thin as possible.
  • Asian noodle snack: You can find this snack in Asian grocery store, in snack aisle. Depending on the brand, it comes in different form (crumbs, whole piece, balls) so crush it if needed. And choose original flavor.
  • Vinegar: I use apple cider vinegar.

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