Friday, March 27, 2015

Coconut Jam (Kaya)

My mother used to make everything from scratch, salted duck eggs, tempoyak (fermented durian), Chili Jeruk (pickled cili), pickled mangoes, serunding (beef floss)  and the list goes on. 

These days, its so much easier to buy something off the shelves and make do with the compromise in taste. If you were to make something from scratch, this breakfast favourite is a must have.

I have decided to keep up this tradition in our household because things taste way better home made!


4 egg yolks
50 g palm sugar (jaggery)
*40 g raw sugar (demerara or muscovado are good optios)

250 ml Kara Brand coconut milk or any brand coconut cream
2  pandan leaves washed & knotted

*Note: learn about the differences in sugars and their flavours here 


Chop up the palm sugar into finer pieces and add into a heavy based saucepan. I know some recipes actually uses the double boiler method but for me the simpler the cooking the better.

So add 200ml of the coconut milk into your saucepan, reserving the 50 ml to be mixed in with the egg yolks. 

Beat yolks and coconut milk until well blended and set aside.

Add pandan leaves into the mixture on the stove, keeping the heat low. Keep stirring until the mixture simmers and switch off the heat. Be careful if you are using a convection top, you may still have a strong residual heat so take it off the heat completely otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs in coconut milk.
Pour the egg (with the 50 ml coconut milk) mix into your saucepan and keep stirring.

Stir for a good two minutes and then switch your heat back on to low heat. Stir for another 6-8 minutes and your mixture will turn into a custard like consistency, may have to keep stirring longer depending on the heat settings of your stove.

Serve on chargrilled toast and butter and feel those warm memories of your childhood comes rushing back :) Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chicken dumplings (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Foodtube)

Wantan Skin
300g plain flour
220ml boiling water
Pinch of salt

300g minced chicken or beef
1/2t baking soda
1t corn flour
1.5t salt
1t sugar
Pinch of white pepper
3T cold water
1t dark soy sauce
1t light soy sauce
2T sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2t ginger, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced

1t sesame oil
2T light soy sauce
1t chilli oil

Mix the flour, salt and boiling water in a large bowl using a pair of chopsticks or fork. When the dough has come together into a rough ball shape, remove from bowl and knead for about 10 minutes knead until smooth. Divide the dough into two even pieces then use your thumbs to make a hole in the middle of each piece before stretching them out into bagel shapes with even thickness all around. Cover the ‘bagels’ with cling film and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Mix baking soda and corn flour, seasonings, and all of the liquid ingredients into the mince. Stir vigorously in one direction until all the liquid is absorbed and the mince begins to bind to itself. Mix spring onions, ginger and garlic.

Lightly flour your work surface. Divide the each piece of rested wrapper dough into 16 even-sized pieces. The easiest way to do this is to cut the ‘bagel’ in half so you end up with two sausages of the same size. Give the sausages a quick roll so they are about even in thickness along their entire length. Line the two long sausages up lengthways and make a cut in the middle to create four mini sausages. Now line the four mini sausages lengthways to form a roughly square shape, before cutting through all four sausages three times to form 16 small pieces of dough. This will ensure that each piece of dough is a similar size, leading to equal-sized dumplings.
Lightly toss the dough pieces in plain flour. Place a piece onto the work surface with its cut side down, and flatten with a floured palm. Roll each piece of dough into a thin disc, roughly 8cm in diameter.
Place a heaped teaspoon of filling into the centre of each wrapper. Fold over into a half moon shape. Cradle the wrapper in one hand and use the other hand to create pleats along the edge furthest away from you, pinching the two edges together after each pleat as you go, to create a crescent shape. Avoid getting any filling on the edges and be sure to pinch firmly as you pleat to create a good seal. 
Cook the dumplings in two batches of 16. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the dumplings flat side down for about 2 minutes until a golden crust forms on the bottom. Add the cold water and immediately cover with a lid (or a heavy plate if your pan doesn’t have a lid). Let the steam cook the dumplings for 8 minutes or until all the water has evaporated, before removing the lid and allowing the dumplings to cook for a further 1 minute until they lift off from the bottom of the pan easily. You might need a spatula to help them along if they are a little sticky, being careful not to break the wrapper. Repeat with the second batch.
While the dumplings are cooking, prepare the spicy soy sauce by mixing sesame oil, soy sauce, and chilli oil.

Serve the dumplings in a big pile, making sure to show off the golden bottoms. Drizzle the spicy soy sauce on top, or serve on the side for dipping.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Steamed Bun with Minced Filling

I must admit I am not a fan of MKR but having lived in Texas after I graduated university, I had to watch Robert and Lindzey cook up those big Texas meals and I love Robert's Texas drawl...(who doesnt?)

Anyway last night highschool sweethearts Annie and Lloyd made steamed bun with Madras curry beef cheeks. Although theirs wasnt a big hit but it made me long for st.eamed buns from my childhood days...pau as we call it in Malay.

Off I go searching for an easy recipe on the net for the dough and I am going to use my usual curried mince recipe for the filling.

Thankfully my attempt was better that Annie's and Lloyd and I was happy with the results, I will surely try this again with another favourite filler - red bean paste!

So lets get down to the recipe, y'all!!

You will need:

Ingredients for the dough:

500 gm flour
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup warm water

For the filling:

250 gm minced meat
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 small potatoes diced
1 onion, diced
80g curry powder
chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup water


For the filling:
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat
Add, onion, garlic and ginger and spices, saute until fragrant
add curry powder and saute for one minute
add minced meat & potatoes and water. and let cook until the potatoes are tender and fully.
Season with salt and add chopped coriander, simmer gently until the mixture is dry and let cool.

Now for the dough:

Dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water.
Mix flour and yeast in a bowl
Add vegetable oil
Pour sugar gradually into the flour dough and mix until dough leaves the sides of bowl
Remove dough and start kneading on a floured surface for 10 mins.
Divide dough into 15 pieces of 65 gm each and make into round balls.
With a rolling pin, flatten the ball and place a tbsp of filling onto the dough. Close the dough by pinching the ends, so you will end up with an enclosed bun.
Place these onto baking paper cut in squares brushed with a layer of oil
Leave these buns on the kitchen bench to prove for 30 minutes
Place in steamer for 15-17 minutes, (please dont remove the lid before the time is up)
Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Well I didn't really get a chance to let mine cool the whole 5 minutes, the family waited 5 seconds to devour these :)