Pumpkin & Applesauce Muffin

You’ll need:

  • 100g pumpkin, cubed
  • 50g of almond,chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamum
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar

Put pumpkin on a steamer and cook until tender. While that is happening, sieve all dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients with sugar so it can melt.

Mash the soft pumpkin pieces, it is fine to leave some still in chunk. Pour the dry ingredient into the wet, mix well. Stir in mashed pumpkin and almond pieces. Spoon the batter into six muffin paper and bake in 180C oven for 20min.

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Dried Clam Rice(蛤干饭)

This is just another delicious variation of Oo Peng(Yam Rice), simple enough, the main ingredient here is this dried clam(蛤干).I don’t know whether you come across to this, at first I thought these was some kind of mushroom, it’s actually clam flesh that is been processed and dried. It certainly got the most unique taste, well I am not very fond of it, or any kind of shellfish. But together with this dish, it is divine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice plus half cup of glutinous rice (pre-soaked)
  • handful of dried clam, half
  • 4 shittake mushrooms, cut into strip
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 100g of mince pork,
  • 2 dried bean curd, cubed
  • 6 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce
  • hot broth

In a hot wok, fried shallot and mushroom with oil. Tumble in pork and bean curd, fried everything to good golden brown. Ladle everything out, leaving excess oil to fried the dried clam, you will smell the faint fragrance from these.

Drain the rice and stir in. Drip over the soy sauce and just cover the rice with water. Put on a lid and wait the rice to absorb all the liquid, when it’s done, return the fried meat, mushroom, shallot and bean curd into the rice, mix well.

A Trip to Food Paradise- Penang

I went Penang with my friends for a holiday trip. And it is certainly the paradise of food, because you’ll always found plenty of hawker stalls lining along streets passed, and there are places to eat everywhere. Though we stayed for only a day (ya, it’s not enough!), but we did savor a lot of yummy delicacies.

This is the Penang Laksa I had at a stall near Ke Lok Si. Laksa at northern Malaysia is totally different than what we eat in southern area. At my place, the laksa is cook in curry, which is added with coconut milk to make it richer; the soup of Penang Laksa is much milder since the noodle draped with asam soup, but together with some strong-flavored ingredients likes mint, fresh shallot and shrimp paste. It’s really something I never tasted it before.

Penang is most famous for its Char Kway Teow, and you can see why because Char Kway Teow stalls are everywhere. I had this one at Gurney Drive, with Oyster Omelette(蚝煎).

The next morning we went for breakfast at a dim sum shop. It was most satisfying, we had fried radish cake, shrimp dumpling, char siew pau, egg tart, etc, and still very cheap.

My friend brought us to a chicken rice shop before we went back, it’s located at the inland, but I didn’t know where the exact place. Chicken rice might sound ordinary but this one was served with tom yam soup, very spicy and sour delicious, and other northern sidedishes. The chicken is fumed by the aromatic sesame oil and sauce, love it, a perfect end for the journey.

Chocolate Moist Cake

There was this particular afternoon that I craved for something dense and melt-in-mouth to eat. And I thought what could be better than a chocolate cake. Disappointed by my searching online and recipe book, in the end I went with my intuition, follows whatever that is in my mind. You know what, the cake turned out to be a blast, and my mum love it too.

Looking at the step I made the cake, it actually my adaptation of the recipe of Chocolate Lava Cake, where you got this gorgeous flowing chocolate sauce in the belly. I bake this version longer, so the “lava” inside firmed up a bit, making it melting and luscious.

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup ground almond
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy, add in egg yolk one at a time, beat well. Fold in cool melted chocolate, and stir in all the dry ingredients. Thin the batter with milk, this is going to provide soft texture to the cake.

In another bowl, whisk egg white to form firm peak. Stir to the batter half of the egg white to lighten the whole mixture. Fold the other half in and pour into a prepared tin. This goes to the 150C oven for 40min. You will noticed when it is done, where the top sinked, yet still moist in the center.

This cake is best eaten after it’s been chilled in the fridge, because I found the cake is too soft when it is warm, though I could resist to take a few bite. The cake become much more denser and chewier after chilled in the fridge, and you could feel joy flow through your body when you sink the fork into it. And it just melt away in the mouth! It is fantastic as it is, but if you eat with some ice-cream, you are in heaven.

Rice Noodle Soup

This is the meal my family would have in those day when you are tired to think of the dishes to cook for lunch. It is extremely fast, all the ingredients get chopped up first, and when everything boil, you are ready to eat. I called it one-pot comfort food, whether you’re eating alone or feeding a crowd.

Ingredient:

  • 1 packet of rice noodle/vermicelli (soak with water to soften)
  • broth
  • shallots, sliced into rings
  • shittake mushroom, half (steep with warm water to soften)
  • pork, cut into thin slices
  • choy sum or bok choy
  • 2 tbs oil

(Note: I don’t give precise measurement for the ingredients because it depends on personal favor and amount of person eating.)

Fry shallot in hot pan with oil until golden brown, reserved some to sprinkle on soup later. Pour broth into the pan, and throw in the mushroom, season well. When the soup started to bubble, put in the remaining ingredients according to its cooking time, so pork goes in first, vegetable and finally the noodle. Cook for another minute and it is serve.

If you are not having it right away, prepared the soup ahead, so when you want to eat it, just reheat the broth and cook the rest. This recipe is pretty versatile, you could go with whatever in the fridge, or even change the flavor of broth if wished.

Plum Jam

I love experimenting with food, sometimes the idea on how to cook came from the show I watched on TV, most of the time it depends heavily on ingredients I had in the house. Well, not all time it turned out successfully, but there’s always try-and-error in learning. This plum jam however made huge success, and I don’t think anyone will fail because it is so simple.

Ingredient:

  • 3 plums, cut into dice
  • 2 tbs honey,
  • 2 tbs raisin,
  • 1/4 cup water,

Put everything in a saucepan and simmers away most of the liquid, leaving a thick syrup. You could puree it into jam now, but what I did is reserved some of the syrup for drizzling over pancake the next morning. Once the jam is cool, pour into jar and stash in the fridge. I didn’t like plum very much for it sourness, so turning it into sweet-sour jam is just perfect. Now I had something to dip for the crackers, and it going to be great on toast too.

Oo Peng (Yam Rice)

It started I had this paradigm shift, thinking instead of blogging the food I cook, why don’t I post the recipe that my grandma cook for the family. It is such a great way to learn how to make it, in a way also this help passes the legacy to me. And I can’t think there is a better thing to start with this delicious yam rice.

This for me is the ultimate comfort food, not least because it is easier for the cook, you could make it in the morning and then keep warm in the rice cooker until you want to eat it. Plus, rice is quite substantial, so you could make a huge pot and it can easily feed a lot of people even till supper.

Ingredient:

  • 2 cups of rice plus half a cup of glutinous rice (soak in water for 20 min before cook)
  • 4 small shallots, sliced into ring
  • 150g of sam zam bak(which is the pork belly, with layer of fats in it), cut into thin strips
  • 4 tbs oil
  • 1 liter of hot water
  • a small yam, cut into cube
  • 2 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1  tbs salt

You’ll need a big pan for this, it just easier to turn everything, if you got a wok that’s perfect. In the hot oil, fry the shallot and strip of pork belly till golden brown. Fish it all out into a bowl, and stir in the yam in the remaining oil.  Season with salt and pour over the dark soy sauce, this make sure the rice look more appealing and appetizing. Drain the rice and toss into the wok.

Always when serving this savory rice, my grandma would make soup with it. Before she starts with the rice, she bring a pot full of water to boil, then throw in some chunky pork ribs, this turns into the liquid to cook the rice. You don’t have to do that. And although having to give the amount of water, it isn’t that useful when come to cook rice, the idea is just to cover the rice with water about a centimeter high.

Put on a lid and cook the rice for about 20min. When the rice had absorbed all the liquid, return the crispy shallot and pork into the wok, mix well. Ladle all into the rice cooker to keep warm, job done. This amount of rice will feed up to 6-7 persons for the whole day, so there is no need to worry about dinner.