Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stir fried scallops with mixed vegetables

10 count scallops - sliced horizontally into halves
handful of sweet peas
handful of baby carrots
8 pieces of white mushrooms - sliced into halves
1/4 white onion - sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 shallot - sliced
1 tbsp huatiao wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Marinate the scallops with a little salt and pepper.  Coat with some cornstarch and blanch for a while. Set aside.
  2. Heat up oil in a wok.  Stir fry the onion, shallot, ginger and garlic until fragrant.  Add in mushrooms, carrots and sweet peas.  Add in huatiao wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, water and cook for a while more.
  3. Add in the scallops and cook for a few minutes.  Add some cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
  4. Dish up and ready to serve.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

recipe adapted from

1 pound chicken meat - cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium size onion – finely chopped
1 green onion - cut into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic - chopped
1” ginger- finely chopped
3 tomatoes - chopped coarsely
2 tbsp of plain yogurt
3 tbsp of Ghee or oil
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Make into paste with a bit of water
2 tbsp chili powder (depend on the spiciness you like)
2 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder

1. Heat the ghee or oil in a cooking pan. When oil is hot, add in the onions and fry until lightly brown. Add in the garlic and ginger. Continue to stir-fry until fragrant.  Add the bell pepper.

2. Add the mix spices paste for two minutes or until fragrant (add a bit of water if necessary). Add the tomatoes and continuously stir it for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

3. Add in the chicken cubes and stir fry until the chicken pieces nicely coated with the sauce. Add in about 1 cup of water; bring it up to boil, lower down the heat and covered. Stir the chicken occasionally. Add in sugar, salt and yogurt.

4. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Dish out and serve warm with rice or naan bread.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bak Chang (Rice Dumplings)

Mum's delicious dumplings when my family came here for vacation in 2007
Ingredients for bak chang
makes about 25 to 30 medium-sized bak chang
1 packet of dried bamboo leaves
3- 4 batches of reed tied in 10s each
7 cups of glutinous rice (rice cups)
1.5 lb pork belly 
1 cup peanuts (rice cup)
1 cup mung beans
12  pcs large dried shitake mushrooms
50-60 pcs dried chestnuts
1/2 cup dried prawns or dried oyster (if using oyster...just add a small piece)
10 cloves garlic
10 shallots
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

Marinade for pork
3  tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp white pepper

Marinade for rice
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

dried bamboo leaves and reed
boiling the leaves
boiling the reed
washing under slow running tap water
washed and trimmed leaves
some of the ingredients - peanuts, mushrooms and chestnuts
cooked pork belly
cooked mushrooms and chestnuts
setup for dumpling wrapping
my ugly dumplings ready to be eaten....

 my 2nd attempt in 2012 was better
i use the pressure cooker this time...for the small was faster than the traditional method


  1. Boil a large pot of water.  Put the leaves in the pot and blanch for a while  Put in the reed to blanch.

  2. Remove from pot and wash the leaves under slow running water with a cloth.

  3. When the leaves are cleaned, trim off a bit of the stem at the base to prevent leaves from breaking when wrapping.

  4. Wash the mung bean and drain excess water.  Add a little salt and sugar and mix well.  Set aside.

  5. Soak the peanuts overnight.  Put the soaked peanuts and water into a boiling pot and boil for 45 mins or until soft. Remove from pot and set aside.

  6. Soak the dried prawns in rice wine for 10 mins.  Drain off excess liquid.

  7. Wash and soak the glutinous rice for 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

  8. Boil a pot of water and add chestnuts. Remove from heat and soaked for a few minutes.  Drain excess water and remove any red skin on the chestnut.

  9. Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of water until soft.  Cut it into quarters.

  10. Parboil the pork belly for 5 minutes with some green onions, ginger slices and rice wine.  Remove and cut them into pieces.

  11. Heat up oil in a wok and stir fry the dried prawns until fragrant.  Remove from wok.

  12. With the remaining oil, stir fry the pork for about 5 mins until it is half cooked.  Add the minced garlic and quick fry for a while.  Add the dark soy sauce, rice wine, pepper and 5-spice powder.  Continue to stir fry until fragrant.  Add some water and mix well. Tranfer the cooked pork to a bowl.

  13. With the remaining oil in the wok, stir fry the mushrooms and chestnuts until fragrant.  Remove from wok.

  14. Add some oil in the wok.  Stir fry the minced shallots until fragrant.  Add in the soaked rice and continue to stir fry.  Add the dark soy sauce, salt, chicken powder and 5-spice powder and stir fry until fragrant.  Transfer to a bowl.

  15. When all the ingredients are ready, do the setup for the wrapping.

  16. Place two pieces of leaves together and fold it into a cone shape. 

  17. Add 1 tbsp of rice.  Top it up with the other ingredients.  Add some more rice to cover the ingredients until it almost reaches the top of the cone.  Fold and wrap it up with the reed.

  18. When all the dumplings are wrapped.  Boil them in batches into boiling water.  Reduce the heat to medium high and boil for 2 hours or until the dumplings are cooked.

  19. If the dumplings are too bland, add a lot of salt into the boiling water and cook for a while more.

  20. Remove the cooked dumplings and hang to dry.

  21. Dumplings are ready to be eaten!

    Using Pressure Cooker
    Depending on the size of the cooker, place about 10 dumplings and add enough water to cover them.  Pressure cook for about 30 minutes and release the stream.
it is ugly on the outside, but tasty on the inside!

Pan Fried Cod Fillet w King Oyster Mushroom

1 lb cod fish fillet
2 pcs of king oyster mushrooms
1/2 tsp of chicken powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Marinate the cod fillet with sesame oil, chicken powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat up a frying pan and pan fry the mushrooms without oil until fragrant.  Add a dash of salt and pepper before removing from pan.  Place them in a serving plate.
  3. Add a little oil in the pan and fry the fillet until light brown.  Place the fillet on the plate.
  4. Garnish with a little parsley and ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stir Fried Beansprouts with Salted Fish

3 cups of mung bean sprouts (tail removed)
1/2 tbsp of dried salted fish
1 pc of fresh tofu (cut into thin slices)
1 tbsp of sliced scallions
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp of minced ginger
some sliced green onions
some red chilli (optional)

1/4 tsp of chicken powder (if desired)
2 tbsp of huatiao wine
1 tbsp of light soy sauce salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a wok. Add some salt to the cut tofu. Pan fry the tofu until lightly golden brown. Set aside.
  2. Add a little oil to the wok. Stir fry the shallots and garlic until fragrant.  Add the salted fish and green onions and continue to stir fry for a while.
  3. Add bean sprouts and fry for a minute longer or until vegetables are slightly tender but still crisp.
  4. Return tofu to the wok. Add seasonings to taste. 

Braised Pork Belly with Dried Beancurd Stick

1 lb pork belly - cut into big pcs
1/2 pkt of dry bean curd stick - cut and soak in water until soft
6 pcs of dried shitake mushrooms - soak and remove stems - optional
2 eggs - boiled and peeled - optional
1 whole bulb of garlic
2 star anise
3 dried chillies
4 slices of ginger
1 tbsp of sugar or a few pieces of rock sugar
1 1/2 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Marinate the pork with oyster sauce, soy sauce and dark soy sauce for abt 30 mins.

  2. Heat up oil in a pot.  Add in sugar and stir until it melted.  Add in ginger, garlic, star anise and dried chillies.  Stir fry until fragrant.

  3. Add in pork belly and mushrooms and continue to stir fry for a few mins.  Add enough water to cover the ribs and bring it up to a boil.

  4. Lower down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the dry beancurd stick. Continue to simmer until the meat is almost tender.  Add in the hard boiled eggs and continue to simmer for another 15 mins.

  5. Add salt or soy sauce to taste if necessary. Serve with warm rice.                         

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bak Kut Teh

1 packet of bak kut teh spices
1 clove garlic
6 pieces of fried tau kee
8 pieces of tau pok
1 king oyster mushroom/12 pc white mushrooms preferred
1 piece of ginger slice
6 pieces of yu zhu
2 tbsp of dark soy sauce

  1. Parboil the pork ribs.  Boil water in a pot and add the pork ribs and bak kut teh spices packet into the boiling water.
  2. Add the ginger slices, garlic, tau pok, mushroom, yuzhu and dark soy sauce into the pot.  Switch to low heat and continue to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. In another small pot, boil the fried tau kee for a few minutes or until it is slightly softened.  Drain and add the tau kee into the pot and boil for another 1/2 hour.
  4. Add salt to taste.Add some fresh lettuce and parsley to the soup before serving.
  5. Prepare some cut red chillies in dark soy sauce for dipping.

Mushroom Cabbage Rice

1 cup rice - washed and drained
1 cup of water for cooking rice
1/2 white onion - chopped
2 shallot - sliced
50 g dried shrimp
50 g fatty pork
1 chinese sausage - sliced
200 g cabbage - sliced
10 fresh white mushroom
4 tbsp light soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

  1. Heat oil in wok.  Fry onion and shallot until translucent and add dried shrimps, fatty pork, mushrooms, light soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir fry for another 2 mins until fragrant.  Remove from wok.
  2. Add sliced sausage to the wok and fry for 1 min or until it is lightly browned.  Remove from wok.
  3. With a little oil in wok, add the rice and cabbage and stir fry for a few minutes. 
  4. Add the other cooked ingredients into this rice mixture and continue to fry for a while longer to mix well.
  5. Transfer mixture to a rice cooker, add water and cook normally.
  6. Garnish with parsley and fried shredded cuttlefish and serve war, as a a one dish meal.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pan Fried Mackerel Steak

3 pieces of mackerel steak
2 pieces of ginger slices
1/2 tsp of seasame oil
1/4 tsp of chicken powder
some flour for coating
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Marinate the fish steak with salt, pepper, seasame oil and chicken powder for 30 mins or more.
  2. Coat the fish with some flour before frying.
  3. Heat up oil in a pan and fry the ginger pieces until golden brown.
  4. Remove ginger slices from wok.
  5. Put fish in the wok and pan fry the fish slices until golden brown.
  6. Serve fish steak with cut red chilli in soy sauce for dipping.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tofu with Bell Peppers

recipe from "quick & easy simple chinese"  cookbook
I lb of fresh tofu
2 cloves garlic - crushed
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
6 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion - sliced
1 red or green bell pepper - deseeded and diced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp green onion - chopped


  1. Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces.  Place tofu in a shallow  dish.

  2. Mix together the garlic, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce and drizzle over the tofu.  Toss well to coat and leav to marinate for about 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil in a large preheated wok.

  4. Add the onion to the wok and stir-fry over a high heat until brown and crispy.  Remove the onion and set aside.

  5. Add the tofu to the hot oil and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

  6. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the oil form the wok.  Add the bell pepper to the wok and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

  7. Return the tofu and onions to the wok and heat through, stirring occasionally.

  8. Drizzle with sesame oil. Transfer to a serving plate.

  9. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately.

Papaya Peanut Soup

1 cup of peanuts - washed and soaked for 3 hours or more (preferably overnight)
4 pcs of pork ribs
2 large dried scallops or 1 small pc of dried squid
2 cloves garlic (unpeeled and lightly smashed)
2 slices of ginger
1 medium ripe small papaya - peeled and sliced into big cubes
3/4 pot of water
salt to taste
  1. Parboil the pork ribs with a little salt.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Add water in a pressure cooker.  Add in the pork ribs and all other ingredients except papaya and salt. 
  3. Cover and boil on high heat until pressure in cooker builds up, then switch to medium heat and boil for another 15 mins.
  4. When the pressure has been released and it is safe to open the lid, add in the cut papaya pieces and boil for another 10 mins.
  5. Add salt to taste and serve hot.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blanced Gailan with shredded cuttlefish

1 bunch of gailan
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 pot of water
1/4 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp shredded cuttlefish
cooking oil

1)Heat up a pot of water and bring it to boil. Add two small drops of cooking oil, salt and sugar into the water. Drop your vegetables into the boiling water and quickly blanch them for about 1 minute or longer (depends on the quantity). As soon as they turn slightly wilted, transfer them out and drain the excess water off the vegetables. Arrange the vegetables on a plate.

2)Cook the shredded cuttlefish in a microwave oven for 30 seconds or until they turn  lightly brown and crispy.

3)Add the oyster sauce to the blanced gailan.  Sprinkle the cuttlefish on top and serve immediately.

Wuxi Spareribs

1 lb spareribs

Marinade for spareribs
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

2 slices of ginger
2 stalks spring onion (cut into 2-inch pieces)
1 red chilli (sliced into 1 inch pieces)
1/2 tbsp rock sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp black vinegar
2 whole star anise
2 cm cinnamon stick
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 cups water
cooking oil

  1. Marinate the spareribs for 2 hours or more.
  2. Heat oil in a frying wok. When oil is hot, deep fry the spareribs until cooked.  Remove from wok and set aside.
  3. With some oil in the wok, add rock sugar and stir until it dissolved under low heat.
  4. Return the fried spareribs to the wok.  Add the ginger slices, green onions and red chillies and continue to stir fry for a while.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce and quickly stir fry to mix well.
  6. Add enough water to cover the spareribs.  Add in the star anise and cinnamon. Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and salt to taste.
  7. Cover with lid and reduce heat.  Continue braising until gravy is thick. 
  8. Add black vinegar and continue to cook for a while more or until the gravy almost dries up.
  9. Serve hot with rice and cucumber slices.