Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mee Goreng

A spicy dish of fried noodles which is popular in Singapore & Malaysia.  I added prawns and cuttlefish together with the usual mustard leaves and bean sprouts.  One may spice it up, just add more chillies to the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4):
300 g fresh yellow noodles or cooked spaghetti
2 cakes firm tofu, to be halved and deep-fried until golden brown
300 g fresh or frozen prawns, to be thawed and deveined
2 medium-sized cuttlefish
200 g mustard greens
150 g bean sprouts
1 red tomato, to be cut into wedges
1 medium-sized onion, to be peeled and finely sliced
3 pips garlic, to be peeled and finely sliced
2 eggs
cooking oil

Blended Ingredients:
6-8 dried chillies, to be cut into lengths and soaked in hot water
4 shallots, to be peeled and sliced
4 pips garlic, to be peeled and sliced
1 tsp belacan (dried shrimp paste)

Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbsp soy sauce (kicap masin)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp black soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

4 calamansi limes (limau kasturi), for garnishing
2 spring onions, to be cleaned and finely sliced, for garnishing
fried shallots

Cut one side of cuttlefish and open it up with the inside facing up.  Using a sharp knife, lightly make diamond cuts.  Then, cut into 3 cm strips and cut each strip into 3.

Wash clean mustard greens and cut into the lengths.  Lightly smash the stalks a bit. Clean and de-tailed the bean sprouts.

Heat wok over medium heat and add 2 tbsp cooking oil.  Stir-fry blended ingredients for about 5 to 10 minutes until the sambal and oil are separated.  Remove to a small bowl.  Slice cooked tofu into strips and leave aside.  In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and leave aside.

Heat a clean wok over medium/high heat.  Add 2 tbsp cooking oil and stir-fry sliced onion and garlic until fragrant.  Add prawns and squids.  Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
Then, add tomato and mustard greens.  Stir-fry over high heat for about 1 minutes.

Add chilli paste and stir well.  Then, add the tofu strips, sauce ingredients and noodles.  Mix well and stir-fry over high heat for about 5 minutes.  Make a well in the centre and add 1 tbsp cooking oil.  Add eggs and scramble them until slightly brown in colour.  Mix all ingredients together.  Then, add bean sprouts and check seasoning.

Serve garnished with sliced spring onions, fried shallots, sliced green chillies (optional) and calamansi limes.  One may serve sliced cucumbers with tomato ketchup on the side.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ayam Pongteh

A classic nonya-style soyabean-based chicken stew with mushrooms and potatoes. An aromatic and savoury dish, popular in Singapore & Malaysia, which is normally served during festive season and celebrations.

1 kg chicken i.e. whole chicken or chicken legs, to be skinned and cut into portions
200 g shallots, to be peeled and sliced (original recipe uses 500 g but I used less as my son hates them)
3 pips garlic, to be peeled and sliced (original recipe uses 100 g)
2 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucheo)
2 tbsp thick soy sauce
5 pcs dried mushrooms, to be soaked until soft (to be left whole or sliced)
4 large potatoes, to be peeled and quartered
400 ml water
salt to taste
2 tsp palm sugar/brown sugar (optional)
5 tbsp cooking oil
a few sprigs of coriander leaves

Rub 1/2 tsp salt on chicken pieces and leave aside.  Pound shallots and garlic together.

In a pot, heat cooking oil.  Add pounded ingredients and stir-fry for about 12 to 15 minutes. Then, add soybean paste and stir-fry until fragrant.  Add chicken and mushrooms. Stir well.

Add enough water, thick soy sauce, palm sugar (if using) and potatoes.  Bring to a slight boil and put on lid. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes or until both potatoes and chicken are tender. The gravy will get thicker due to the amount of shallots.  Check seasonings again.

Note:  I used only 200 g shallots and the gravy was not thick enough.  So, I added a mixture of 1 tbsp of cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp of water to thicken the gravy.  Just for information, Peranakans do not use any starch in their cooking and I am not a Peranakan.

Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Mandelzopf (Yeast Bread with Almond-Marzipan Filling)

Another variation of the classical Hefezopf (Yeast Bread).  This time, I added an Almond-Marzipan filling for a change.  The dough recipe belongs to my dear sister-in-law, Maria.  Normally, milk is used to make this kind of yeast bread but I added warm water taken directly from the tap. Furthermore, I added flour type 550 instead of the normal plain flour type 405 and I found the texture much softer and better.  One may halve the recipe if one wishes.

600 g flour (type 550) or plain flour (type 405)
80 g fine sugar
1 egg white
1 tsp salt
40 g butter, to be gently melted
250 ml warm water (straight from the tap)
1 cube à 42 g fresh yeast, to be crumbled

Filling Ingredients:
100 g marzipan
100 g apricot jam
100 g chopped almonds
100 g raisins

Glaze Ingredients:
1 egg yolk, to be mixed with 1 tbsp fresh cream
100 g apricot jam, to be heated over low heat
100 g icing sugar
about 3 tbsp water
2 tbsp roasted almond slices

In a small bowl, mix marzipan and apricot jam until well blended.  Then, add chopped almonds and raisins.  Mix thoroughly.  If the mixture is too dry, add a little egg white in order that the mixture blends well.

In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, egg white, salt, melted butter, water and crumbled yeast.  Knead dough until it leaves the sides of bowl.  Cover bowl with a damp cloth and leave aside to let dough rise to double its volume.

Remove dough from bowl and knead on a floured worktop.  Roll out to a rectangular shape of 35 cm x 45 cm.  Add filling in the middle, about 8 cm in width.  By using a pizza cutter, cut as shown maintaining a width of 2 cm i.e. from top & bottom, towards filling and the dough strips.

Bring the top portion of dough over filling.  Carefully, bring the left strip over the filling and then, the right strip.  Repeat procedure until the end, then tuck the end part underneath as shown.

Leave to rise for about 30 minutes.  Then, brush with a mixture of egg yolk & milk all over.  Bake in a preheated fan oven at 160° C for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Once done, brush immediately with hot apricot jam and leave aside to cool down completely.

In a small bowl, mix icing sugar and water together.  Brush all over and sprinkle with the roasted almonds.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, 16 March 2014


A simple dinner on a windy and lazy Sunday evening.  This is another one of my quick pizza dough recipe topped with onion slices, turkey bacon and creamy sauce. A pleasant change from the normal pizza and it is definitely a hit with the kids.

Ingredients (serves 2 - 4 persons):
1/2 cube (21 g) fresh yeast
250 ml warm water from tap
400 g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cooking oil

80 g turkey bacon, to be cut into cubes
500 g onions, to be peeled and thinly sliced into rings
1 tbsp cooking oil

200 g Schmand (sour cream) - one may use crème fraîche instead
2 medium-size eggs
salt & ground pepper to taste

In a big pan, add 1 tbsp cooking oil and add bacon cubes.  Stir-fry until almost crispy. Remove to a plate and set aside.  Add onion slices to pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, keep stirring.  Then, return bacon cubes to pan and mix well.  Remove from heat and cool down completely.

In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, sugar and cooking oil.  In a small jug, crumble fresh yeast into warm water.  Then, pour into flour mixture.  By using the kneading hook, knead until the dough leaves the sides of bowl.  Cover bowl and leave aside for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl and knead on a floured worktop.  Roll out dough to a rectangular size of 35 x 30 cm on a large baking paper.  Place paper on baking tray and leave to rise for about 20 minutes.

In a bowl, mix Schmand (sour cream) and eggs together by using a hand whisk. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.

Spread onion mixture on top of dough.  Then, add cream mixture on top by the spoonful.  Bake in a preheated oven (fan:  175° C/conventional:  200° C) for 20 minutes.  Then, increase oven temperature to fan:  195° C/conventional:  210° C and bake for another 10 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Kuih Dadar/Kuih Ketayap

A traditional malay or nonya delicacy.  Pancake rolls filled with coconut filling which is known as inti kelapa. This sweet kuih is one of our family favourites.  This time, I purposely made them in pastel colours instead of making them dark as my two boys prefer them that way.

Ingredients (yields 20 pcs):
350 g plain flour
2 medium-size eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cooking oil
a few drops of green & yellow colouring (according to one's preference)

700 ml water
6 pandan leaves, cut into pieces

Filling Ingredients:
150 g sugar
200 g gula melaka (palm sugar)
1 grated coconut (skinned) - one can use dessicated coconut (Kokoraspel)
150 - 200 ml water
2 tbsp glutinous rice flour
1 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves, to be tied in a knot


In a pot, add sugar, gula melaka, pandan leaves and water.  Cook until both sugar and gula melaka are dissolved.  Drain through a sieve into another pot and return to stove.

Bring mixture to a slight simmer.  Then, add grated coconut, glutinous rice flour and salt.  Cook for a few minutes and mix thoroughly.  Remove from heat and leave aside to cool down completely.

Blend pandan leaves and water coarsely.  Then, drain through a sieve into a jug.

In a mixing bowl, add flour, oil, eggs and salt.  Pour in sieved pandan liquid and mix thoroughly. Pass through a sieve into another bowl.  Divide into two portions and colour each portion with green and yellow colour respectively.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush with a little oil.  Then, wipe surface of skillet with kitchen paper.  Pour a ladle of batter onto skillet.  Move skillet around in order that the batter is well spread into the shape of a big pancake.  Cook until cooked.  Remove to a big plate.

Add 2 tbsp of filling on one end and roll as shown:

Repeat procedure until the batter is used up.  Arrange kuih dadar on a large plate and serve.

Bon Appetit!