Gosh! It has been the longest time since I last posted here! I did not stop cooking but life have been really busy with kids’ school, kids’ activities and also mother’s duties! Cleaning is never ending!!!
Anyway, I have been experimenting with some Nyonya desserts the previous few months. One of them is the Nyonya Ang Koo kuih which is one of my favorite. I managed to eat some when I was back in Penang last September. Then when I got back to Melbourne, I thought I’ll just try my hand making some.
Well, it has been a success so I am sharing with all!
I have made some and shared with friends here and all of them like it very much. For the recipe, I adapted it from The Star’s Nyonya Flavours recipe book which you can get from major book stores in Malaysia.
- 300gm Mung beans (washed and soaked over night)
- 2 Pandan leaves (washed and knotted)
- 280 gm Castor sugar (I cut down from 300gm and used raw sugar)
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 1/8 tsp Orange-red coloring (I used Wilton color paste)
- 300ml Water
- 400gm Glutinous rice flour
- 150gm Sweet potato (peeled, steamed and mashed)
- 4 tbsp Castor sugar
- 2 tbsp Oil
- Banana leaves cut to sized
- Oil to glaze
- Extra glutinous rice flour for dusting
- Steamed the mung beans with pandan leaves over boiling water for 30 minutes or until soft and mushy. Discard the pandan leaves and leave it to cool. Blend in the blender if you find the beans are not broken up and soft.
- Heat up wok with oil and add in the steamed beans and sugar. Stir till everything combined under low fire and not sticky to the hands.
- Cool and shaped the filling into small balls (depending on the size of your mould). I measured mine around 24 gm each ball to fit into my medium ang koo mould. Keep covered so they will not dry out.
- To make the skin, first add in the coloring into the water.
- In another bowl, place the glutinous rice flour, mashed sweet potato, sugar and oil then slowly bring them together to form a dough. Knead till everything is well combined. Divide into small balls (I measured mine to 26 gm each) and covered with damn cloth.
- To assemble, take one dough and flatten into about 3-5mm thick and wrap the filling. Closed all seams, rolled into a ball and dust lightly with some glutinous rice flour and press into ang koo mould.
- Press lightly with your palm to make sure the whole ball fit into the ang koo mould before knocking the mould lightly on the table to loosen the ball and dislodge from the mould.
- Place completed ang koo onto cut and lightly greased banana leaf.
- Steam ang koo in bamboo steamer over high heat for 6-7 minutes and open the lid every 5 mins to check. Lightly brush steamed ang koo with oil and leave it to cool.
For everyone of us who loves to cook too have lazy days when we just don’t feel like labouring in the kitchen. Sometimes when I have too much too do, but still have to put food on the table, I will pick my speedy menus and one of it is this all time favourite, Chicken Rice in the rice cooker!
I used to cook Hainanese Chicken rice which has quite a few steps but taste wise is much better. However, my kids don’t really complain if the same ingredients are there so mommy do cheat a little once in a while!
The rice cooker can be so versatile these days especially those labelled as Smart Cooker. You can bake, slow cook and do a whole lot more in it but they don’t come cheap. For me, a rice cooker is just to cook rice
I so love this speedy chicken rice recipe that I cook at least once a week! Limited ingredients but packed a punch
My 10 cups rice cooker was in the ‘hospital’ so I have to use my 5 cups rice cooker hence I can only cook 3 cups of rice with half of a medium chicken.
- 3 cups Rice + Water
- ½ medium Chicken
- 2 Pandan leaves (screwpine)
- Ginger – thumb size (slightly smashed)
- 3 cloves garlic (slightly smashed with skin on) – optional
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- Salt to taste
- Sliced cucumber for garnishing
- Wash rice and fill with water per your regular white rice recipe (depending on your rice cooker) but remove about 2 tablespoon as the chicken meat will release juice into the rice.
- Marinade chicken with some salt and Chinese rice wine.
- Sprinkle some salt, add in the pandan leaves, ginger and garlic and mix inside the rice and cook per normal.
- When the water starts to bubbles, place chicken piece on top of the bubbling rice, cover.
- Once the rice is cooked, leave it for 10 more minutes before you remove the chicken pieces and stir the rice.
- Chicken rice is ready to go with cucumber and vinaigrette chilies paste!
Black bread? Gosh! It is such a turn-off! Some of the reactions from friends when I first posted my first loaf of Bamboo Charcoal Loaf on my FB page.
Bamboo Charcoal bread is nothing new especially in Asia. I first tasted it a few years back in KL which I bought from Lavender Bakery in Pavilion. I fell in love with their Bamboo Charcoal Mochi bread instantly! These black gems don’t come cheap! If I remember correctly, it cost RM3.40 a piece. It was so yummy that I must have it each time I am in KL.
Do you know that Bamboo Charcoal has some health properties? Though it don’t look that appealing but it’s functions is definitely what we need! Check it out here if you want to know more about this dark looking ingredient!
So, my parents will be visiting (that was in March!) and I took the chance to ask them to look for the Bamboo Charcoal powder since I can’t find it here in Melbourne. Well, probably I did not look hard enough. I did tried looking online but can’t seems to find the food grade ones. Was lucky that a baking supplies shop near my parents’ place sells it. It came in a few sizes but mom only bought the smallest bottle thinking I won’t be using much. Guess what? I only baked twice and I’ve already used up half a bottle!
It took me a while before I decided to bake my first loaf and I was glad I did as it was really soft and fluffy and believe or not, the kids love it! I first got a recipe from here but find that it is too small to fit my bread tin so I went to modified the entire recipe and it turned out even better and I have a tall loaf!
- 500 gm Bread flour
- 35 gm Cake flour
- 75 gm Sugar
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 8 gm Instant yeast
- 320 Warm milk
- 2 tsp Bamboo charcoal powder
- 50 gm Butter (room temperature)
- 30 gm Walnuts (break into small pieces)
- Pour warm milk and all dry ingredients into stand mixer bowl and using the hook attachment, knead all ingredient into soft dough on medium speed.
- Add in butter chunks and let it knead till all butter are absorb into dough which takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Let it continue to knead in the mixer for a further 5 minutes before you removed it onto a floured surface and knead with hands till smooth and shiny.
- Flatten the dough and spread the walnut pieces and wrap it up and knead a further 5-7 minutes. Once done, shape the dough into a ball and let it proof in a greased plastic or glass bowl for 1-1.5 hours covered with a piece of wet cloth in a warm place. (Iused my heated oven for this since it is winter here)
- Once the dough has doubled in size, removed from bowl and onto floured surface and punch the air out.
- Divide dough into 2 or 3 equal portions. Roll with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape. Fold the right into the centre and press in to seal then fold the left into the centre of the right and seal it by pressing the dough.
- Using the rolling pin, roll out again and make a roulette before putting into greased baking pan.
- Spray some water on the surface and let proof for a second time for another hour. Spray again just before you bake it.
- Bake in pre-heated oven of 200°C for the first 5 minutes and turn down to 160°C for another 25 minutes.
- Removed from oven and let it cool for a few minutes before you removed it out from the tin and continue to cool on wire rack.
Everyone loves a few good slices of butter cake once in a while. Though I am not a great fan of butter cakes but I have family members who do. Recently, my uncle came to Melbourne with my parents and knowing I love baking, requested that I bake him some.
It has been a long time since I bake the traditional butter cake. I do have some old recipes but wanted to try something new so I decided to try the famous Mrs SK Ng’s butter cake which is quite popular among some baking and cooking forums.
I adapted the recipe from here.
- 230 gm Pure butter
- 130 gm Castor sugar
- 4 no. Egg yolks (large eggs)
- 200 gm Self raising flour (sifted)
- 60 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 4 no. Egg white
- 50 gm Castor Sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 170ºC with middle rack.
- Cream butter with sugar till pale and fluffy with a mixer. Add in egg yolks one by one (still using mixer) till all well mixed. Add in vanilla.
- Slowly fold in sifted flour (the batter tends to be quite dry at this stage but don’t worry) using a spatula. When all flour is well combined, add in the milk little by little.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites till fluffy before adding in the sugar and beat till soft peak.
- Fold in egg white till well combined. Make sure there is no egg white lumps else there will be air bubbles inside when the cake is baked.
- Pour in lined cake tin (7″ or 8″ square tine preferred) and bake for 40-45 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean.
You can go and ask any Malaysian or Singaporean and I can bet with you none will not like a good plate of Nasi Lemak! I think Nasi Lemak is so Malaysian and it should be the national food! I can tell you, I crave for nasi lemak almost everyday! Too bad I can’t have it everyday since it is not widely available here in Melbourne! Even if it does, the price tag is ridiculous! A small box selling at the Asian grocer cost AUD$5.50 a box and if you go and eat at the Malaysian style restaurant it can easily cost a shocking AUD$15 a plate!
However, it is not that difficult to make (the coconut rice itself) but it is certainly time consuming! Why so? The coconut rice is pretty straight forward but it is the accompaniments that is time consuming to prepare if you like to have a plate full of different taste and texture!
Some like to have just the plain sambal (fried chili paste) but I like to have my nasi lemak with sambal ikan bilis (anchovies) which is a MUST. Some will like to have some curry sauce so they will add curry chicken or rendang but I prefer it to dry so I will normally have fried chicken or turmeric chicken pieces which is easily whipped up using my air-fryer.
Normally when we cook nasi lemak, we love to share with friends as it is a kind of ‘Muhibbah’ or togetherness… just like a plate of nasi lemak… different things on a plate and every item compliment each other.
- 6 cups Rice (best to use AAA Thai Jasmine rice)
- 1 can Coconut Milk (400ml)
- 2 pcs of Pandan leaves (screw pine leaf)
- 1 pc Old ginger (1″) – gently smashed
- 6-8 nos. Eggs
- Toasted peanuts
- Banana leaf – optional
- Fried anchovies – optional
- In a frying pan, toast the peanuts till cooked, cooled and remove skin.
- Put all the eggs in a sauce pan filled with water and let it boil under small flame for a few minutes covered. Leave them in the hot water for 30 mins at least. Removed from hot water and soak in cold water before putting in a cup and shake one at a time to easily remove the shell.
- Wash rice and drain all the water. Add in the coconut milk and then add in enough water but less ½ cup then you normally cook your regular rice. The rice must not be too mushy but rather be a perfect single grain each.
- Add in the pandan leaves (tied into knot), smashed ginger and sprinkle some salt. Cook as per normal in your rice cooker
- Served hot with other accompaniments.