Feb 02 2014

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

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!

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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.

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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.

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Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 6-8 nos. Eggs
  • Cucumber
  • Toasted peanuts
  • Banana leaf – optional
  • Fried anchovies – optional

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Methods

  1. In a frying pan, toast the peanuts till cooked, cooled and remove skin.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add in the pandan leaves (tied into knot), smashed ginger and sprinkle some salt. Cook as per normal in your rice cooker
  5. Served hot with other accompaniments.

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Jan 08 2014

Cantonese Styled Pandan Egg Tarts

Who don’t like egg tarts raise their hands??? Geez, I can chomp 3 to 4 pieces in one go! Yikes! And my resolution for 2014 is to eat less food that will make me fat! Hell! I baked for the kids! :lol: Yes, the kids requested… :D

Personally I like Portuguese egg tarts as I like the flaky pastry and the cheat version is just so easy to whip up! But sometimes I just want to challenge myself to try other recipes so I can make a comparison. The kids, they will just whack anything the mommy cook or bake for them so there is no issues at all. If no takers, mommy whack all or make the poor daddy the trash bin. Heh!

It cost me AUD$1.50 for an egg tart sold at the Asian bakeries here. I baked 14-15 pieces for less than AUD$5 with this recipe. Don’t count labour cost okie… Else, just go to the shop and get your fix. I can’t afford that since I have 3 monsters that have super power digestive system (when it comes to food that is not classified as ‘proper meal’).

And since I have the egg tart moulds… the trial begin a few weeks back for a gathering. The crust is quite nice though I’ll still prefer those served at dim sum restaurant (flaky crust) but that will be for another day. Today, we’ll have the Cantonese styled ones…

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I adapted the recipe from Christine’s but I made some adjustment to the egg custard filling as I prefer a less sweet version. Also, I cut down on the amount of water since I have a lot of excess custard on my first and second trial.

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 225 gm Plain flour – sifted (I used cake flour)
  • 125 gm Butter – room temperature
  • 55 gm Icing sugar – sifted
  • 1 Egg – whisked
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla extract

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Custard

  • 3 eggs
  • 80 gm Caster sugar
  • 200 ml Hot water
  • 85 ml Evaporated milk*
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • A drop of Pandan leaf essence

* I do not have evaporated milk so I substituted with 85ml of milk mixed with 1 tsp of sugar and ½ tsp of corn flour and simmer in a saucepan but not boiling it

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Methods

  1. Use a electric mixer to cream butter and icing sugar till smooth and light in colour.
  2. Add in whisked egg half at a time and add in vanilla. Mixed well.
  3. Sift in flour (I pre-shifted so just scoop into the mixing bowl) and combine well and knead into soft dough making sure to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. Lightly floured your working surface and take out the dough and knead for a minute or two.
  5. If your place is warm, do wrap up the dough and chill it for a while (20-30 mins) before you start work on it as it can get really soft and difficult to roll.
  6. Roll out the dough with a roller to about 5mm thick and use a round cookie cutter that is slightly smaller than your tart mould to cut out. Place the cut dough in the middle of your tart mould (sprinkled lightly with some flour) and slowly press from the bottom up. Cut away excess dough. Place tart moulds in a baking tray.
  7. Preheat your oven to 200ºC and position your rack at the lower part of the oven.
  8. Heat up water and slowly stir in sugar. Mix till all sugar is dissolved.
  9. Whisked eggs with evaporated and vanilla. Pour in sugar water. Mix well.
  10. Sift the egg mixture to get rid off foam or other solids into a teapot or a mixing jug.
  11. Pour egg mixture into prepared tart moulds till almost to the brim (leave at least 2-3mm below the dough’s surface so it would not flow over when you move the baking tray)
  12. Baked at 200ºC for about 10 minutes or till the tart turned brown slightly. Bring the temperature down to 180ºC and continue to bake till you see the custard starts to puff up a bit.
  13. Keep your oven door’s ajar (2-3 inches) and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes till custard is cooked through (and to avoid getting your crust getting burned). You can test using a toothpick. If it stand upright, your custard is cooked.
  14. Switch off your oven but leave the tarts inside for another 5 minutes before you take them out to cool.

 

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Jan 06 2014

Air-Fried Honey Miso with Rosemary Wings

Just realised that I have not shared any of my cooking using my Philip Air-fryer here! Just can’t believe I’ve not posted anything cooked with the fryer as it has been one of my favourite kitchen gadgets the past few months!

And now that we are at it, this air-fried honey miso chicken wings is one of our favourite! I think I cook this every other weeks if not twice a week! :lol: My eldest girl just love eating these wings and at 4 she can clean all the meat off the bones all by herself! She thoroughly enjoyed them and I just have to ignore the mess she made while savouring them. >.<

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These wings are so delicious that you can polish off a kilo without even knowing! They are so good as entree for meals or as snacks. And by using the air-fryer you don’t have to worry about the excess oil. You don’t even need to use a single drop of oil to cook and at the end of frying, you’ll get at least a big spoonful of oil out of the wings! Can eat with less guilt! :D

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Ingredients

  • 1kg Wings (mid joint)
  • 1.5 tbsp Red miso paste
  • 3-4 pips Garlic (coarsely minced)
  • 2 tbsp Honey (I mixed honey with heavy syrup)
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • A dash of pepper
  • 1 sprig Rosemary (break into a few sections)
  • 1tsp Mirin (optional)

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Methods

  1. Clean the wings and pat dry with kitchen towels and place them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together in a medium bowl and marinade the wings for at least 4 hours. Best if leave overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temp before frying.
  3. Place wings into air-fryer baking pan (this is a separate accessory) till it filled half of the pan. Fry the balanced wings in the next round.
  4. Set temperature to 180°C and fry for 7 minutes. Turn the wings around and fry another 5-7 minutes or till brown.
  5. Alternatively you can place the wings on the net but do place a piece of baking paper underneath the wings so the skin will not stick onto the wire mesh during cooking time.

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Dec 08 2013

Sambal Ikan Bilis for Nasi Lemak

Don’t we all Malaysians love a hot plate of nasi lemak (coconut milk rice) with kick ass sambal ikan bilis (dried anchovies in chilies paste) on any given day??? I do! I must confess that nasi lemak is indeed one of my favourite dish and I must have it as often as I can! I used to wallop 2 packets a day during my pregnancies… which is highly dangerous! :lol: The fat content from the coconut milk is pretty high so it could cause a string of problems for preggers.

What make nasi lemak so irresistable is definitely the sambal. The sambal is the STAR… some like it mild but most like it HOT! Personally I like it HOT and SOUR! I am drooling now as I am typing this! :D

A box of nasi lemak here is selling for AUD$5.50 and only for one portion. With that amount… well, maybe around AUD$8, I can feed the entire family for 2 meals. The only thing is, it is pretty labour intensive. So, if I were to crave for nasi lemak but wanted to observe my health, I will cut away the coconut cream rice and just make do with the sambal. Just a dollop of a kick ass sambal is good enough for me to clean an entire bowl of rice!

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Ingredients

  • 200 gm Dried anchovies (washed and dried)
  • 2 medium Onions (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • ¾ - 1 cup Hot water (depending on your preferred thickness)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Blend

  • 10 pcs Red chilies
  • 4 pcs Dried chilies – soaked (I used more as I like it HOT!)
  • 4 no. Shallots
  • 4 pips Garlics
  • 1″ Roasted belacan (dried shrimp paste)

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Method

  1. Heat up 3-4 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the anchovies over medium fire till golden brown and crunchy. Removed from pan and let it soak on a kitchen towel.
  2. Blend red chillies, dried chillies, shallots, garlic and belacan in a blender till smooth.
  3. Using the same pan add another 2-3 tbsp of oil and saute the blended chilies till fragrant on medium fire.
  4. Add in the onion and continue to saute till onion is soft, toss in the fried anchovies and mix well.
  5. Use the hot water to soften the tamarind paste. Sieve the tamarind juice over a sieve into the pan little by little till the chilies and anchovies mixture is thicken over low fire.
  6. Sprinkle some salt to taste.
  7. Squeeze some lemon or lime over it for a tangy taste before serving.

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Sep 17 2013

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream

I hardly do much cupcake baking these days as the kids don’t take a lot of butter cakes or chocolate cake for that matter. They prefer the simple Swissrolls which is certainly more moist as easier to swallow.

Decided to bake some for Darrius’s friend and his family when he went over for a playdate a while back.

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Ingredients (yields about 12 cupcakes)

  • 125 gm Butter
  • 100 gm Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup Milk
  •  100g Dark chocolate

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Methods

  1. Mix butter and sugar and beat until light and creamy (use a mixer)
  2. Gradually add the eggs and mix well
  3. Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute or over a double boil.
  4. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat until combined
  5. Fold through the milk, stir in the dark chocolate and spoon the mixture into muffin pan.
  6. Bake at 320F or 160C for 12-15 minutes or till tooth pick comes out clean.

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Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup Thick cream
  • 2-4 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • Choice of coloring (optional)
  • Some strawberries halves for topping

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Whip all ingredients together in high speed with mixer till stiff peak.

 

 

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