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Posts Tagged ‘coconut milk’

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Love Letters 手工鷄蛋卷– two versions: roll up and fold up

Oh how I wish I could bring back an electric love letter maker from my previous trips back to Malaysia, but the voltage is different so the maker is useless here… 😦 Well, just saying… If I were to have one at home, then I wouldn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making these love letters manually. One by one, paying close attention to the stove heat, and take chances of not even browning or burnt pieces… One piece takes about 3 minutes to make, but 3 seconds to eat! Yeah… There’s a reason why I haven’t made love letters at home for a very long time. All because of Chinese New Year…

Love Letters 手工鷄蛋卷 Recipe (makes about 80 pieces)

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 large (400 ml) can plus 1 small (165ml) can coconut milk
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp white sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Sift rice flour, flour and tapioca starch in a large bowl. Add coconut milk and mix well to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add to the flour/coconut milk mixture. Blend well.
  3. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. Mix in sesame seeds.
  4. Preheat traditional love letter mold over gas stove on high heat for a few minutes. Then turn heat down to medium low (mark 4-5 on my stove). Brush the mold plates with a little oil. Spoon 1 tbsp of batter to the center of the mold and quickly swirl around with the back of a spoon. Carefully close and lock the mold. Cook on the stove until it is golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Each stove is different so you have to experiment the first few love letters to adjust the stove heat.
  5. Remove from the mold plate with a small knife. Then quickly roll up love letters or fold it in quarters. This has to be done fast while it it still hot as it will harden and turn crispy very quickly (and this is why I folded instead of rolling up). Cool completely before storing in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • Be sure the mold is preheated well or the love letters may stick onto the mold.
  • Stir the batter each time before pouring it onto the mold plate.
  • After adding batter to the mold plate, pay attention when closing and locking the mold– my experience is that if I close it too fast, the fast closing action will create a gasp of air that will squeeze out batter through the tiny gap between the two mold plates. If I close the mold a bit slowly then its not as bad. This is also why i don’t swirl the batter to the edge, giving it some room just in case the batter got squeezed out a little.
  • Use a small knife to scrap off any leaked batter around the outside of the mold.
  • If using two molds at the same time, pay close attention to the timing of each mold while cooking. When love letters starts browsing, they get very brown fast.
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These are traditional love letter molds that I used. I did it over my gas stove.

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Reminder to self: stove heat is between mark 4-5.

 

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Coconut Chocolate Muffins

Coconut Chocolate Muffins

Coconut & Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 eggs
1 small can (5.6 oz) coconut milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp golden rum

Fillings:
bittersweet chocolate chips (about 4-5 chips per muffin)

Toppings:
Sweetened shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt into a big bowl. Stir in shredded coconut.
  3. Combine eggs, coconut milk, oil and golden rum in a medium bowl. Mix to blend well.
  4. Pour egg mixture to flour mixture. Fold together with a spatula until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds, about 1/3 full. Add in chocolate chips (about 4-5 chips in each muffin mold), then cover with more batter. Sprinkle top with some shredded coconut.
  6. Bake at preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when gently pressed with a finger.
  7. Remove from muffin molds and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Regina’s Note:

  • Baking time: I baked for 22 minutes but found out the muffins were a little dry. So maybe 18-20 minutes?
  • Flavor: Full of chocolate flavor, not too sweet, but didn’t taste any rum nor coconut flavor other than from the topping.
  • Texture: the texture was okay, not super fluffy that I was looking for.

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“Rendang” is a type of stew that tastes like curry, but with a tangy flavor as tamarind juice is used to create that slightly sour taste. If you use chicken then it is called rendang chicken, use beef then it becomes rendang beef. I have made rendang chicken before with spice paste made from scratch. It was very delicious, except it took a good 30-45 minutes to cook the spices paste which kinda of drives me away sometimes when I just don’t have the time for it.

Now, the problem solved with the help of “bamboe” brand rendang instant spices paste. One of my Chinese drawing classmates made rendang beef with instant spice paste for our potluck gathering last year, and it turned out very delicious– the sauce was rich in flavor and the beef was very tender. I finally tried out the instant spice the other day; it was very easy indeed as per instructions. All you need are cut beef chunks, instant spice paste and coconut milk, nothing else– not even salt! And yet, the result is very promising restaurant style gourmet food that will impress everyone. Try it out for your next potluck.

Rendang Beef

Rendang Beef

Rendang Beef (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lb beef– see note below
2 packs “bamboe” Brand rendang instant spices paste– see picture below
2 cans (about 14 fl. oz. each) coconut milk– see note below

Method:

  1. Cut beef into bite size chunks. Boil beef in a large pot along with 3-4 slices of fresh ginger (optional– to remove any beef meaty smell). Be sure there is enough water to cover the beef during boiling. Cover and cook over medium heat for at least 1 hour, until the meat is tender. Remove beef and discard ginger.
  2. Put beef, instant spices paste and coconut milk in another pot. Stir the sauce to blend well. Cook over medium heat, uncovered and stir occasionally, until the sauce thickens to a gravy stage– at this point there will be oil forming from the bubbling sauce and the sauce looks like spicy oily mud (if you cook longer there will be more oil (from coconut milk) forming). Serves hot with steamed rice.

Regina’s Note:

  • Beef: I like to use beef tri tip cut as it has some marble fat, but you can also use beef cuts for stew.
  • Coconut milk: Regardless of what brand I use, I always check the nutrition fact for the total fat content– the higher the percentage the better, meaning it has more coconut milk instead of water. One of the highest percentage I found is 27% (Yep, that is why rendang dishes is only a rare occasion treat due to its fat content ;-))
  • Spiciness: The spices paste is not spicy at all. I have to add 1-2 tbsp of homemade sambal chilli sauce to make it a little spicy.
Rendang Beef-- the instant spices paste

Rendang Beef-- the instant spices paste

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This is one of the popular dessert soups in Malaysia. I like to use coconut sugar “gula Melaka” 椰糖 for making this dessert; it does bring out the nice fragrant that is hard to describe. Unfortunately, I can’t find “gula Melaka” here in US and I have to bring some from Malaysia. I tried using palm sugar (available here in Asian grocery stores) but it just doesn’t taste the same. Also, the other ingredient to make this dessert soup fragrant is fresh pandan leaves. I can’t find any fresh pandan leaves (and I don’t want to use pandan juice/extract because I don’t want to turn it to a green soup), so I skip it.

Bo Bo Cha Cha

Bo Bo Cha Cha

BoBo ChaCha Recipe (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
1 lb taro– peel and cut into small cubes
1 lb sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes preferred)– peel and cut into small cubes
1 cylinder block  (2 inch diameter) coconut sugar “gula Melaka” 椰糖
1/3 cup + 5 cups water
3-4 pandan leaves
1/2 cup sago balls or tiny tapioca balls– soak for a couple of minutes then drain
2 cans (5.6fl oz/165 ml each) coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar

Method:

  1. In a small sauce pan, boil 1/3 cup water and coconut sugar “gula Melaka” until sugar dissolves. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cook sago balls in a different pot with enough water until sago is  transparent. Drain and rinse under cold water. Put cooked sago balls in a bowl with cool water so they don’t stick together.
  3. Boil 5 cups of water and fresh pandan leaves (if used) in a medium pot, cook taro for 5-8 minutes then add in sweet potatoes. Cook until taro and sweet potatoes are soft. Stir in coconut milk, coconut sugar syrup and sugar, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cooked sago balls. Serve hot or cold.

Regina’s Note:

  • Sago balls: soaking sago balls briefly will speed up cooking time and help cook through the center of the balls.

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Laksa is a spicy noodle soup with coconut milk used in the soup base. It is one of street vendor food commonly found in Malaysia whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are 2 types of laksa in Malaysia: Assam laksa uses tamarind juice. It is more common in Northern Malaysia. The one I’m making is laksa lemak, which uses coconut milk in the soup base and is more common in Southern Malaysia.

I forgot to take pictures again this time! 😦 I will try to remember to take some photos next time when I cook laksa. With all that extra laksa paste in my freezer, next laksa meal should be a breeze.

5/22/09 update: Doesn’t take me long to be back again with laksa does it? I did remember to take a pic this time… hehe 🙂

Laksa Noodle Soup

Laksa Noodle Soup

Laksa Paste

Laksa Paste

Laksa Noodle Soup Recipe (serve 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup laksa paste (recipe below)
4 stalks of curry leaves– remove the stems
1 littre chicken broth
1 littre thick coconut milk
cooked noodles (yellow noodles or rice noodles)
bean sprouts– blanched and drained
fish balls– cut in half and boiled for few minutes, drained
tofu puffs– cut in half and boiled for few minutes, drained
cooked chicken breast– shredded
egg omelet– cook it like you would with crepe, cool and cut into strips

Method:

  1. Heat up the pot with some oil and stir fry laksa paste with curry leaves until fragrant and curry leaves soak up the oil and turn dark green.
  2. Add in chicken broth, coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. (I like my laksa more spicy and slightly thicker broth, so I added in 2 tbsp of sambal chili, and half pack of coconut powder– use the laksa soup in the pot to dissolve the powder). The laksa soup base is ready for use.
  3. Fill another pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook noodles, bean sprouts, shrimps and fish balls separately.
  4. To serve, put some noodles in a bowl and arrange all ingredients on the top, pour some laksa soup over it and serve hot.

Laksa Paste Recipe (this recipe made 5 servings– 1 serving is for laksa soup for 4-6 people. You can freeze the extras for future use):

Ingredients:
20 shallots
2 garlic
3 stalks of lemon grass– use only the white part
1/2 inch galangal
6 buah keras or candlenuts
2 tbsp dried shrimp– soaked
2 tbsp ground coriander seeds
20 fresh red thai peppers
2 tsp balancan– roasted balancan preferred
3 tbsp sambal chili– for the color and extra kick

Method:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender with water until fine ( I use blender instead of food processor for more fine texture). Add more water if necessary to make blending easy.
  2. Heat up a wok and add 1/2 cup of oil, stir fry the mixture until water evaporate on medium high heat. Then continue to cook on medium heat until it gets thick like a paste consistency. Stir constantly to prevent burn. By now the aroma should come out and the paste is darker in color. Add salt to taste. . Dish out to cool.

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