Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mustard Green Soup with Fish Balls

This is a very quick soup taught to me by my late grandpa when I was 9. In fact this is one of the earliest dish I 've ever cooked. Grandpa was the gourmet of the house and he taught my grandma and my mom how to cook. He passed away recently at the grand old age of 101. I still remember how he used to stand behind me in the kitchen and told me how to cook different dishes. Mustard Green is a very healthy veg, and has anti-cancer properties. The longer you boil mustard green, the sweeter the soup becomes. This is a kind of 'cheapo' soup, you get great tasting soup, and the fish balls and veg can be served as a separate dish.

Mustard Green (choose those without a lot of leaves, you can even just use the stems)1 big bulb
Fish balls (fresh or cooked)
Fish cakes, sliced
Ginger, 3 slices

1. Wash Mustard Green thoroughly, cut into big pieces
2. Soak fish balls and fish cake slices in water to remove some of the salt
3. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, add a little oil, add 2 ginger slices and fish balls and fish cake slices. Stir fry for about 3 mins. Remove
4. Fill soup pot with about 3L water, add mustard green chunks and remaining ginger slices, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins
5. Add fried fish balls and fish cake slices, simmer for 5-10 more mins
6. Scoop the mustard green and fish balls/cake out and serve as a separate dish

Mixed Mushroom and Tofu

We are a mushroom and tofu family. We have tofu 4 times a week and we love mushrooms. This dish oozes with the earthy aromas of mushrooms. I usually take a bunch each of each kind of fresh mushroom from the supermarket's mushroom shelf.


Mixture of fresh mushrooms
(shitake, shimeji, oyster, eringii, bai ling, button, maitake etc)
Tofu (for frying) 2 packets
Oyster sauce 2 tbsp
Dark soysauce 1 tbsp
Light soysauce 2 tbsp
Chinese wine 2 tbsp
Garlic, 3 cloves, chopped finely
Oil, 2 tsp
Chopped chinese parsley, chinese celery, spring onion, 2 tbsp for garnish

1. Separate or slice mushroom in to thick slices (remember they release juices and shrink after cooking)
2. Cut tofu into large cubes
3. In the wok over medium-high heat, pour in oil and garlic. Fry garlic until fragrant.
4. Put in mushrooms, stir fry quickly to avoid sticking.
5. Add Chinese Wine, Stir thouroghly, add the other seasoning(soysauce, oyster sauce)
6. When mushrooms juice start coming out, add tofu. Add a touch of water if necessary to cover 3/4 of all ingredients
7. Cover and simmer in low-medium heat for 5-7 mins. Adjust taste with salt/sugar
8. Sprinkle chopped parsley/celery/spring onion and mix well. Cover for 1 min more and serve!

- Experiment with difference mixture of mushrooms, I even add in soaked dry fungi like 'Cloud Ear', 'Snow Ear' etc. They give a crunchy texture to the dish

Tandoori Chicken

I have craving for Tandoori Chicken the past few days, and by chance, I found packeted Tandoori Masala Powder in my local Indian grocery shop. So I marinated the chicken for a night, and Grilled the chicken in the oven.... The aroma coming out from the oven was Subliminal!!! We served it with rice and some Japanese style veggie curry... Soul food!!

Tandoori Masala, 1 packet
Thick Yogurt, 1 medium tub
Chicken, 2 (skinned)
Salt (1 tbsp)
Red edible color (optional)

1. Make deep score on the chicken breasts, and thighs so flavours would go deep inside the meat.
2. mix the spice mix and salt with Yogurt, add red edible color if using to desired color.
3. marinate chicken in spiced yogurt, making sure the whole chicken is covered with the paste.
4. marinate chicken for 4 hours at least in the fridge or overnight.
5. Preheat grill to 220 degrees
6. Place chicken on grilling rack lined with foil, put under the grill for 20 mins.
7. Turn chicken and grill for another 20mins, baste with remaining marinate
8. Check that chicken is cooked through, Serve and enjoy!

Stir Fried Pork Slices with Young Ginger

This is a very fragrant and appetizing dish. The young ginger slices give out a beautiful warm aroma and pair wonderfully with pork slices.

Pork (lean pork or shoulder) 300gm, sliced
Young Ginger, medium, sliced thinly

Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Oil 1 tsp
Corn Starch 1 tsp
Light Soysauce 1-2 tsp

Oyster sauce 2 tsp
salt/sugar to taste

water 50-100 ml

1. Marinate Pork slices with marinate ingredients
2. In a frying pan over medium heat, pour in 1.5 tsp oil, tip the pork slices in and stir fry to about 5 mins until they have just turned color, place in a plate
3. Use just a little oil, stir fry the young ginger slices until fragrant. Add the pork slices back in. Season with oyster sauce, adjust taste with salt/sugar if necessary. Add in a touch of water, cover and simmer for 3-5 mins.
4. remove from frying pan and serve.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Clay Pot Tofu Crispy Pork

Crispy Pork is my wife's favourite, especially those from Hong Kong. Whenever I go to HK, I always bring back Crispy Pork for her as a treat! This is a very easily made dish and great to go with rice.

Crispy Pork, 1/2kg, cut into big pieces
Soup Tofu, 2 pack, cut into large cubes
Ginger, 3-4 slices
Spring onion, 2 stalks, cut crosswise into 4 pieces
Garlic, 5-6 cloves
Flat leaves parsley, 1 bunch, roughly chopped
Chinese Wine, 2 tbsp
Sugar, 2 tbsp
Light soy sauce, 2 tbsp

Water, 1.5 cup
Oyster sauce, 2 tbsp
Light soy sauce, 2 tbsp
Dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
2 tsp corn starch mix in 2 tbsp water for thickening

1. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in a wok, put in garlic, fry till golden, place ginger slices and spring onion pices in the work and fry till slightly golden colored, fragrant.
3. put in crispy pork and fry for about 1 min, season with sugar, light soy sauce, and chinese wine, stir and cover, cook for another 2 mins in medium low heat.
4. Pour in sauce ingredients, except corn starch water, mix well, bring to the boil and add tofu. Cover and cook for 5 mins.
5. mix the corn starch water well, add to the boiling sauce, cook still thickened to your liking. Add parsley and cover for 1 min.
6. For specially sizzling effect, transfer to clay pot, cover and bring to a boil. Just before serving, pour 1 tsp chinese wine over the gap between the cover and the pot. Serve while sizzling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Homemade Rosti

Rosti is my family's favourite potato dish ranked just below my signature mashed potato. The crispy crust and creamy interior works great with a dab of sour cream on the side and served with roast chicken, roasted salmon fillets, or with grilled sausages and sauerkraut(fermented cabbage).

Russet Potatoes, 1kg
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

1. Peel and wash potatoes, par boil them for 8mins. put it aside to cool
2. Grate potatoes on a grater using the large holes
3. Season grated potatoes bits with salt and pepper
3. In a non-stick pan, pour generous amount of oil. Once oil is hot, pile grated potatoes on the pan, pack it down evenly and shape into nice rounds with a turner.
4. fry gently for 10mins until nicely golden brown, using the turner, slide the rosti onto a plate, cover the rosti with another plate, and turn upside down. Slide the rosti with the cooked side up into the pan again.
5. Continue to fry for 10mins until nicely golden brown.

Peanut Root Soup

This is an interesting and yummy soup. My mum first heard of it from her neighbour and many parents believe that the roots of peanut help grow taller. I honestly don't know if this is true, but my research on the web makes me want to this soup for my family.

Peanut root, according to research, is full of the anti-oxidant, Resveratrol, usually associated with red wine, which helps protects the heart and lower cholesterol, and helps prevent cancer. The finished soup is full of peanut fragrance and my daughter loves the soup.

Peanut Root, 800gm to 1kg
Lean Pork, 500gm
Soup Bone, 500gm
Water, 4L

1. Place all ingredients in a soup pot, filled with 4l of water
2. Bring to the boil for 30 mins, then boil over medium-low heat for 2 hrs.
3. salt to taste

- To wash Peanut Roots, stripe off the top leaves, only leaving those near the bottom. The leaves would give the soup a biter taste. I usually wash it in a bucket, shaking the roots in the water like whisking, to loosen the soil and dirt.
- You can use Chicken instead of pork
- To increase the sweetness of the soup, you can also add 1-2 honeyed dates or dried figs

- From ""


〔記者余雪蘭╱嘉市報導〕國立嘉義大學分子與生物化學系教授邱義源所帶領的研究團隊,研究發現花生根含有高量的抗癌成分│白藜蘆醇,此項研究報告已於日前 經美國化學會刊登於在國際農業科技領域極具權威的農業與食品化學雜誌,預料將引發世界各地花生農與生化科技界的高度興趣。


 根據醫學研究,白藜蘆醇具有抗癌、抗氧化、防止血管粥狀硬化引起的心血管疾病,近年來科學家們在紅葡萄酒、葡萄皮及葡萄籽中發現它的存在,但含量並不 高,紅葡萄酒每公升含零點零零零一至零點零一五公克,而在邱義源等人的研究中,發現不同品種的花生其秋作花生根平均含白藜蘆醇每一公斤含量從零點零三到零 點九一公克不等。

- From ""

The French paradox is the strange phenomenon that the French people follow a high-fat diet and smoke a lot, and still have a surprisingly low level of heart disease, one of the lowest rates of heart disease in Europe.

Red wine , according to research, is at work here.

Red wine, which is consumed regularly in the French diet, is rich in antioxidants and has a high content of resveratrol, a plant compound, and other polyphenols, phytonutrients considered to stop the furring of arteries.

Scientists have found agents that combat both heart disease and cancer concentrating on the skin of grapes: this might explain why moderate intake of red wine seems to go with good health.

Peanuts, along with red wine and grapes, have been shown to contain resveratrol. Resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and can reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol in the arteries.

Antioxidants like resveratrol and vitamin E, also found in peanuts, are believed to reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart disease.

An ounce of peanuts contains about the same amount of resveratrol as almost 2 pounds of grapes. So, a handful of peanuts washed down with a glass of red wine sounds like a good idea and of simple implementation.

- From ""

Peanuts Contain Resveratrol - Implicated in Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

San Francisco, April 20, -- Peanuts are another dietary source of heart-healthy resveratrol. Dr. Tim Sanders from the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Raleigh, North Carolina presented a lecture on this and other phytochemicals at the Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Francisco.

Resveratrol, which was found in edible peanut kernels, is a naturally occurring plant compound or phytochemical that protects plants from disease. Present in red wine and grapes, one ounce of peanuts contains approximately 73 micrograms of resveratrol. In comparison, almost 6 cups (or 2 pounds) of grapes contain about the same amount of resveratrol. Red wine contains approximately 160 micrograms per fluid ounce.

While it is not yet known exactly how resveratrol functions as a healthful factor, resveratrol's presence in red wine has been previously associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and it has been credited as a factor in the "French Paradox" (despite a high fat diet, the French have a surprisingly low rate of heart disease).

Results from various research studies have shown that resveratrol may protect against atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation (or breakdown) of the LDL cholesterol in the blood. This oxidation of LDLs starts the deposition of cholesterol in the walls of arteriesleading to heart disease. Resveratrol may also prevent platelet accumulation in the arteries. This accumulation of platelets can form a clot which can cause a heart attack or stroke by getting stuck in the artery. If this occurs, blood flow is decreased to the heart or the brain.

More recently, research conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago using resveratrol extracted from grapes showed a reduced risk of cancer in animals by stopping the growth of damaged cells in the body. If these damaged calls were left untouched, they could grow out of control and cause cancer in the body. Resveratrol may work in a number of ways to stop this series of reactions within the body.

This finding on resveratrol in peanuts appears to support epidemiological studies from Loma Linda University, Harvard School of Public Health and University of Minnesota that show peanuts and nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease by more than half when eaten frequently in small amounts. There may be several factors in peanuts that contribute to this healthful effect. Peanuts are an excellent food source of vitamin E. They also provide approximately 2 grams of fiber per ounce, and have relatively high amounts of folic acid, thiamin, niacin, copper, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. They are high in plant protein and the fat content is primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization which supports nutrition research and develops educational programs that encourage healthful lifestyles.

Ginger Milk Custard

This is my favourite Cantonese dessert, the name literally means Ginger Milk Crush. You need full fat milk and freshly extracted ginger juice to appreciate the fragrance of ginger and the creaminess of the milk.

Full cream milk, 200ml
Ginger juice, 1.5 tsp
Sugar, 1.5 tsp

1. Gently heat up milk in low heat, add sugar to tastes
2. Bring the milk to gentle simmer, but not boiling. Take the milk off the heat and cool a little
3. In a bowl, spoon in ginger juice, and pour hot milk into the bowl,
4. Let the bowl stand for 3-5 mins till the milk set into tau huay firmness.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tom Yum Soup

This recipe was an accidental success. I made a large batch of prawn stock one day and after I have used some for Seafood Fried Noodles, I still have a quite a lot left.... It was a rainy day and I really feel like having some hot and spicy soup to perk myself up. Tom Yum Soup jumped into my mind.... The result was amazingly rich, spicy, sour soup thanks to the prawn stock...

Prawn Stock, 2L

Aromatic mix:
Galangal, 1 large piece, peeled & sliced
Lemongrass, 2, flattened with back of knife, cut into pieces
Kaffir Lime, 2, juice squeezed, zest grated
Kaffir Lime Leaves, a bunch
Tomatoes, 4, chopped into quarters
Water, 2 cups

Flavour mix:
Tom Yum Paste, 2-3 tbsp
Lime Cordial, to taste
Thai Fish Sauce, 3 tbsp for taste

straw mushroom, 1/2 can, sliced
prawns, allow 4 per person, shelled, de-veined
parsley, chopped for garnish

1. Place Aromatic mix(expect the zest of Kaffir lime) in a soup pot, pour in water, bring to the boil, then simmer in medium-low heat for 20 mins to release aromas.

2. pour prawn stock into soup pot, bring to the boil, then turn down heat to simmer for a further 20 mins for flavours to combine.

3. Adjust taste with Tom Yum paste for spiciness, and fish sauce for saltiness, simmer for a further 15 mins. Adjust acidity with lime cordial.

4. Reduce heat to low, gently poach straw mushroom slices and prawns in soup, sprinkle in zest of kaffir lime.

5. Ladle into bowls, garnish with chopped parsley and 1-2 dashes of fish sauce on top of soup for extra flavour.

- You can increase the richness by pour in a small packet of coconut cream towards the last 5 mins of cooking
- You can use chicken, fish, other seafood instead of prawns
- Kaffir Lime is limau purut in Malay

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fried Seafood Noodle

This fried noddle uses the homemade prawn stock recipe. You can add different aromatic herbs, and meat in this recipe instead of seafood. I suggest you prepare all the ingredients, and fry the noddles by serving just like in food courts. The result would be noddles drenched in flavourful sauce. Leaving already fried noddles in the wok for too long, all the lovely sauce would be absorbed by the noddles and make the texture softer


Prawn Stock, 500ml - 1L
Thick Bee Hoon, 500ml
Cooked Noodle(oily noodle), 500ml
Baby Bak Choi or Shanghai Green, 200gm chopped
Jiu Chai, 4-5 stalks, cut into 5 sections
Bean Sprout, 400ml
Squid 1 medium, scored and cut into pieces
Prawns, 15pcs, shelled, scored at the back and de-veined.
Fried fish cake, 50gm, sliced
Crab Sticks, 5, cut into triangular pieces
Onion, 2 small, sliced
Garlic, 4-5 cloves, chopped
Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
Chinese Wine, 2 tsp
Oil, 3 tsp

1. Heat a wok in medium-high heat, pour in oil when it's hot
2. Pour in the sliced onion and chopped garlic. When fragrant, stir in bean sprout, jiu chai, baby bak choi, sliced fish cake. Stir fry for 3 mins.
3. Add noddles to the wok, pour in prawn stock, add water if necessary to cover 3/4 of noodles. Cover and simmer for 7 mins.
4. When most of the soup had been absorbed, adjust taste with salt pepper, sugar, and chinese wine. Add crab sticks, squid pieces, prawns to wok, make sure they are covered with noodles. Cover and simmer for another 3 mins.
5. Lift the cover, stir occasionally so the soup is absorbed evenly. When the soup reduces to a thicker sauce, the noodle is done!
6. You can garnish the noodle with a little thinly sliced egg omelet

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Prawn Stock

I love recycling ingredients which normally would be discarded. Whenever I buy prawns from the market, I usually shell the prawns for noodles or fried eggs. I always keep and recycle the discarded heads and shell of prawns to make prawn stock. I use this flavourful prawn stock as an ingredient in my Fried seafood noodle, or as a soup base for my Prawn Noodle Soup or Tom Yum Soup. It's simple and easy to make. The stock is orange in color and full of prawn flavour from the layer of red prawn eggs floating on the top of the stock

discarded heads and shell of 1 kg prawns
Garlic, 3 cloves, chopped
Onion, 1 medium, sliced
Ginger, 2-3 slices
Salt and White pepper to taste
Fish sauce, 2-3 tsp
Oil, 2 tbsp
Water, 8 L
Chinese Wine, 2 tsp

1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat
2. Pour in oil, fry chopped garlic and sliced onions as well as ginger slices
3. When fragrant, put in heads and shell of prawns. Fry until slightly brown and fragrant. make sure to bash on the heads with a wooden turner to release all the flavours, splash in Chinese wine
4. Pour in Water, bring to the boil. Season with fish sauce, sugar, salt and white pepper
5. Simmer for 1.5 - 2 hrs until the flavour deepens
6. Strain off stock and store/use for cooking

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cypriot yogurt dessert

I'd spent some time working in Cyprus, and one night I had this creamy dessert after a meal of Meze at a little restaurant sitting under ripe juicy hanging grapes, breathing air scented by wild lavender and jasmine. I felt like I was in ancient Cyprus at the dawn of civilization. I returned again and again to the restaurant just for this dessert. It is so simple to make, yet great tasting!

Greek Yogurt
Honey (stronger tasting honey would be better)
toasted walnuts

1. Spoon a few spoonful of greek yogurt in the center of a soup plate
2. drizzle honey around the yogurt
3. sprinkle toasted walnuts on yogurt and serve!

Homemade Mango Yogurt

I am a Yogurt Fan, I also try out new yogurt brands in the market. However I always feel worried when the ingredient list in a small tub of yogurt looks like the it contains more chemicals than dairy produce. So I started making my own flavoured yogurt by mixing fresh fruits and plain yogurt. This recipe is refreshing and light, great for husbands who wants to impress their wives!


Greek Style Yogurt, 400ml
Fresh Mango, 2
Honey or Sugar for taste

1. scoop out the mango flesh, trim around the stone to remove bits of flesh.
2. In a blender, pour in yogurt, and the flesh around the stones, as well as flesh of 1 mango, blend until well mixed. Taste and sweeten with honey or sugar as desired.
3. slice flesh of remaining mango lengthwise into stripes
4. pour blended yogurt onto a soup plate, garnish with mango stripes fanned out.

- Use other fruits for different flavours: Strawberries, Oranges, Peaches, Bananas
- Greek Style Yogurt is thicker and creamier than normal yogurt

Steamed Fish with Chinese Herb Sauce

This is a simple, healthy fish dish with a tasty medicinal Chinese herb sauce. Almost all ingredients has medicinal properties. Red Dates, Wolfberries, are good for the eyes, and blood.

While fish fillets, 500gm, sliced
Fish marinate:
Light Soy sauce, 1 tsp
Sugar, 1 tsp
Chinese Wine, 1 tsp

Red Dates, 5-6, chopped
Wolfberries, 1 handful, soaked
Dried Mushroom, 5-6, soaked and sliced
Ginger slices, 4-5, sliced
Bean Paste, 1 tsp
Light Soy sauce, 1 tsp
Sugar, 1 tsp
Chinese Wine, 1 tsp
Corn Starch, 1 tsp
Soaking water from wolfberries

1. Marinate fish slices with fish marinate for 2 hrs
2. Mix together Sauce ingredients.
3. Mix together marinated fish slices into sauce ingredients
4. Steam in high heat for 10 mins

- White fish fillet you can use Dory, Snake Head, Cod
- Red Date (Jojoba)

  抗过敏 红枣治过敏性紫斑,每天吃三次,每次吃10枚,一般三天见效。近来日本科学家发现红枣中含有大量叫做环磷酸腺苷的物质,它具有扩张血管、抗过敏作用。同时还具有增强心肌收缩力,改善心肌营养的作用。

  护肝 每天吃20枚红枣可预防肝炎。对于急慢性肝炎、肝硬化患者及血清转氨酶活力较高的病人,每晚睡前服红枣花生汤(红枣、花生、冰糖各30克,先煎花生后入红枣、冰糖)一剂,30天为一疗程,能降低血清谷丙转氨酶水平。

  抗癌 红枣富含三萜类化合物和二磷酸腺苷。三萜类化合物大都具有抑制癌细胞的功能。所以常食红枣的人很少患癌症

Friday, August 3, 2007

Vegetable Stock - Western style

Vegetable is very easy to make, simply throw in some sweet tasting, aromatic vegetables and herbs and boil for 1-2 hrs until the taste infused in the broth. It can be used as stock base in soups and sauces. This picture shown has stalks of lemongrass in it as I was making lemongrass scented pumpkin soup. Usually I will put in a stalk of celery, a few bay leaves and a pinch of herb of provence for a proper vegetable stock and also whatever veg I could find in my fridge's veg section.


Carrots, 2
Celery, 1 stalk
Corn, 1 -2
flat leaf parsley, 1 bunch
onions, 1-2
bay leaves, 2-3 pcs
dried herbs, 1 tsp or bouquet garni

1. roughly chop up the vegetables
2. In a soup pot, add about 1.5 l of water, and vegetables
3. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 1-2 hrs.
4. Lightly season the stock with salt and pepper

- Do not over season the stock, it is better to season the finished products you use the stock for
- You can add chicken carcases to turn this into chicken stock

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Century Egg & Pork Porridge

This classic Cantonese porridge is so easy to make at home. My mom put the century eggs in half way during cooking, but since my daughter is still young, we add the century eggs last as garnish.


(for a 10l soup pot)
Soft Bone, 400gm
Soup Bone, 400gm
Medium dried scallop, 2-3pcs soaked
Small dried oyster, 4-5pcs soaked
Century Eggs, 2
Rice, 2-3 cups

1. Season bones and meat with 2 tsp of salt, marinate for 2-3 hrs or overnight
2. wash rice in soup pot, fill to 3/4 full, add in soaked dried scallop and oyster also the soaking water
3. wash the bones to remove excess salt, add to the soup pot. top up water to about 80% full
4. bring to the boil for 30 mins, simmer in low heat for 1hr, till rice 'open' up and porridge thicken
5. fish out the bones and stripe the meat off the bone, chop the meat and return to porridge
6. chopped century egg and add to porridge or use as garnish

- Soup bone has more meat and soft bone give more taste to the porridge
- When porridge start to boil, place 2 chopsticks underneath the cover to prevent spilling.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

This easy to make tomato sauce is healthy, and tasty. It is very versatile as a pasta sauce base, pizza sauce, or even as a soup base! I was motivated to make my own tomato sauce when I was horrified looking at the ingredients label on bottled pasta sauce.


Tomatoes, 1kg
onion, 1 medium
garlic, 2-3 cloves
herb mix, 2 tsp
salt, pepper and sugar to taste
tomato paste or puree (optional)

1. score a cross on the bottom of tomatoes, dunk them in boiling water for 30-50 seconds, the skin would slipt

2. peel tomatoes and chop into dice

4. in a deep saucepan, turn to medium high heat, pour in 1tsp oil, stir in chopped onion, garlic.

5. when onion is translucent, sprinkle in the herb mix, follow by chopped tomatoes, stir and cover, simmer for 30 mins in low heat.

6. salt, pepper and sugar to taste, pour in tomato paste if using.

7. liquidise with liquidiser or blend in a blender.

8. use as base in pasta sauce!

- If you can't find ripe tomatoes, use canned produce instead

- The basic sauce is perfect for babies/children, to spice it up, add in dried chili flakes or cayenne pepper powder/hot paprika.

- You can also use fresh herb like basil, rosemary, oregano etc.

Yummy Pancakes

This pancake recipe is so easy to make and my daughter Yasmin loves the orange scent. Babies would love to eat it plain. For adult, smear with butter, and drench them in real maple syrup or serve with our favourite Mark & Spencer jams.

Click here to see Yasmin helping me to make pancakes!


Self Raising flour, 2 cups
Milk, 2 cups
Eggs, 2
pinch of salt
Vanilla sugar 1 tsp (or 1tsp of sugar + 1tsp of vanilla essence)
oil 1 tsp
zest of 1 orange (optional)


1. Just mix everything up into a thick batter.

2. Heat up a fry pan in medium heat, pour just a dash of oil in the pan, then wipe evenly with kitchen papper.

3. Pour 1 laddle of batter in the middle of the pan slowly, forming a circle. when the edge is dry and the center bubbly, flip over and fry for a little while longer (1 mins??) serve!

If you child is ok with oranges, you can grate some orange zest into the batter and substitute part of the milk with orange juice for instant orange pancakes. You can also mash bananas in the batter, add blueberries etc... experiment!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Roast Chicken

This is a roast chicken recipe that's always evolving. I always change the seasoning a little bit, as it really depends on the taste I am imagining at the time I am preparing. But it serves as a base to add or subtract. The results is always enjoyable, tasty, juicy roast chicken that is quick and easy to make. Great when friends come over for dinner, it leaves you plenty of time to mingle. I usually serve with my creamy mashed potatoes.


Medium Chicken 2pc, cut in half

seasoning mix:
Juice of 1 lemon (keep the lemon)
herb mix 2-3 tsp (I use herb de provence)
grated lemon peel of 1 lemon
salt 2 tsp
paprika 2 tsp
pepper 2-3 tsp
olive oil 3 tbsp
light soy sauce 2 tsp


1. In a big bowl mix seasoning together
2. Put chicken halves into the seasoning, coat evenly and put in the fridge to marinate for 2hrs.
3. Preheat oven to 200ºc
4. Line a roasting tin with foil, place the chicken halves on the rack skin side down so the oil can drip into the tin.
5. Roast in oven for 20 mins, turn and roast for a further 20 mins, basting regularly with marinating juices to keep the chicken moist
6. check that chicken is done by inserting a knife to the thickest part of the meat (the thigh, middle of the breast) to see the juice runs clear. If there's still blood in juice, roast for a further 5 mins and check again
6. Turn to grill mode, set in max temp. and brush a little honey on the chicken. Grill for and extra 5 mins to achieve a golden brown color and crispy skin

Homemade Char Siew

This is a very easy to make recipe. The result is moist, juicy, tasty Char Siew. The fat of the pork collar is mostly burnt away, so it's not fatty. My wife said it taste even better than store bought Char Siew, and healthier as I don't put any coloring to get the red color. The 'burnt bits' is so tasty and chewy I feel like burning the whole piece of meat!!


Pork Collar 2pcs , around 400gm per piece

seasoning mix:

Lee Kum Kee Char Siew Sauce 3 tbsp
Salt 2 tsp
sugar 2 tsp
Light Soy sauce 3 tsp

Ginger juice 2 tsp
Chinese Wine 2tsp
Dark Soy sauce 1 tsp


Clear honey 2 tbsp


1. Mix all seasoning and coat pork collar evenly. Leave to marinate for 3 hrs at least

2. Place Pork Collar on a roasting rack lined with foil

3. Place under hot grill (max 240ºc) for 20 mins, brushing regularly with marinating juices

4. Turn the meat over and grill for another 15-18 mins basting with the marinating juices

5. Mix 2 tbsp honey into the marinating juices and brush onto meat. Grill for another 5 mins each side till desired 'burnt bits' is achieved.

6. Reserve the meat juices from the bottom of the tray, skim off the fat. If you have any remaining marinating juices, mix it in, heat up and used as dipping sauce

Super Quick Corn Soup

This soup is really good, and healthy. It is a family favourite and is also great if you entertain guests. It is really quick to do. You can make the soup ahead of time and when ready to serve, reheat slowly and drizzle in golden ribbon of egg in the soup.

2 can cream style corn
1 can/cup corn kernels
3-4 pcs deep fried fish maw (optional)
50g smoked ham, chopped finely (optional)
1egg, beaten


1. In a soup saucepan, pour in cream style corn and corn kernels, add 1.5 - 2 cans of water, bring to the boil, simmer 10 mins. Salt and sugar to season
2. If using smoked ham, mix into the soup in the last 5 mins
3. If using deep fried fish maw, first soak in hot water to soften and remove the oil, then rinse in cold water, marinate with some ginger juice and chinese wine. cut into bit size pieces and add to the soup in the last 10 mins.
4. stir the soup in 1 direction, slowly drizzle in the beaten egg for the egg ribbon effect.
5. If the soup is too watery, mix 2tsp of corn starch with 4 tsp of cold water, add in soup and mix evenly


Some cream style corn are too sweet, I usually use Del Monte, Ice Cool. Do try and taste the difference. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chicken Wings with Red Beancurd Sauce

This is my wife's favourite and I usually make it for dinner on the day after we bicker. It really works pacifying her!! We usually cook more rice to go with this dish, the sauce is soooo great!!


Chicken Wings, 1kg (if using whole wing, cut into 3 parts)
Dark Soy Sauce, 2-3 tbsp (for color)
Light Soy Sauce, 2-3 tbsp

Red Beancurd, 2pcs
Chinese Wine (Rose dew/Hau Diew) 2 tbsp
Oil, 2 tbsp
brown sugar block(pin tong), 1/2 - 3/4 stripe
Ginger, 2 slices

1. Heat a wok in medium to high heat, pour in oil and when oil is hot, put in ginger slices

2. add red beancurd in the wok, mash it and let it crackle for 1-2 mins, don't burn it

3. add chicken wings, stir and coat chicken wings evenly with red beancurd

4. add chinese wine, give a few stirs

5. add dark and light soy sauce

6. add water till chicken wings are 3/4 covered,
and brown sugar block

7. Cover the wok and cook for 10mins stirring occasionally, when the sauce start boiling, turn to medium-low heat and cook for another 15mins, adjust seasoning for taste, cover and cook for a further 10mins

8. If the sauce seems watery, plate the chicken wings, turn up the fire and reduce the sauce to thicken to desired consistency, return the wings to the sauce to coat evenly, plate and serve!

- Do not over season when cooking, the sweetness and saltiness increase when the sauce thickens

- I prefer red beancurd sold in pottery container, the quality seems to be better

- brown sugar block is usually sold as a block containing a few stripes, the appear layered. It is much more flavourful than caster sugar.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Carrot Soup

This wonderful Carrot Soup is scented with ginger, which enhances the carrot taste and making it light and wholesome. I made the vegetable stock used in this recipe by boiling celery stalks, leek tops, onions and garlic, carrot peels with some bay leaves. My daughter loves this soup so much that shecould finish a big bowl of the soup by herself!


Carrot, 1kg, peeled and cut lengthwise
Ginger, 1 pc, cut into small pieces
Onion, 1, chopped
Potato, 1, chopped into small pieces

Vegetable Stock, 2-3 cups


1. In a soup pot, fry onion till translucent, add carrot, potato and ginger for about 8mins

2. Add vegetable stock and cook for 30mins

3. puree it with a liquidizer, or in a blender. Add more stock to thin out to your preferred consistency.

4. Add sugar and salt to taste.


- Try other root vegetable like pumpkin, butternut squash

- Try roasting the carrots in the oven for a deeper flavour.

Steamed Man Tou

This fluffy, delicious steamed Man Tou is my daughter's favourite. I was worried about terms like stabilizer, flavouring on packaging of our store bought man tou. So I've decided to make our own.


Hong Kong Flour, 500gm
Instant Yeast, 6gm (1 tsp)
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Corn oil, 1/4 cup
Water, 1 1/4 cup


1. Mix Instant Yeast in to Hong Kong Flour in a large bowl

2. Dissolve sugar in the water

3. Mix sugar water and corn oil into flour, knead for 10 - 15 mins until the surface of the dough is smooth and shiny.

4. roll out dough into rectangular shape, and roll the edges in to swiss roll shape

5. cut into small equal size cylindrical shapes about 20pcs depending on the size of Man Tou you want to make

6. place each piece of dough on grease-proof paper

7. Allow to raise for 35 mins, then steam at high heat for 15 mins


- Try using Soy Milk instead of water

- Try using Milk instead of water

- Try mixing Cocoa powder into flour, and drinking chocolate instead of water

- Try mixing raisins, nuts etc into the dough

- Try using the dough to wrap seasons minced pork/chicken

- Try wrapping lotus paste/red bean paste into the dough

Wolfberries Omelet

This is our favourite dish at home. It is simple and easy to make and has high medicinal properties.


Wolfberries 1 small handful, soaked in a little water

Eggs 3, beaten with a little salt for seasoning

Ginger slices 5, cut into thin stripes


1. Strain wolfberries soaking water into the eggs

2. Heat up a fry-pan in medium heat, dry fry wolfberries and ginger stripes.

3. When wolfberries are a little dried, pour in 2 tsp oil, stir fry wolfberries and ginger stripes lightly

4. Pour in eggs and fry into omelet

A little on Wolfberries:

"Wolfberry is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum (Chinese: 宁夏枸杞; Pinyin: Níngxià gǒuqǐ)"

"Renowned in Asia as one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods, wolfberries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine over recorded history, some 2,000 years (Gross et al., 2006). Their undocumented legend, however, is considerably older, as wolfberries are often linked in Chinese lore to Shen Nung (Shennong), China's legendary First Emperor, mythical father of agriculture, and herbalist who lived circa 2,800 BC.

Since the early 21st century in the United States and other such industrialized countries, there has been a rapidly growing recognition of wolfberries for their nutrient richness and antioxidant[15]. Such rapid commercial development includes wolfberry among a novel category of functional foods called "superfruits"[16][17]." qualities, with 54 new product introductions worldwide during 2006
" 【藥名】  枸杞子 
【基源】  為茄科植物之成熟果實。 
【別名】  杞子、甘杞子、甘杞 
【性味與歸經】  味甘、性平。入肝、腎經。 
【功能】  滋腎、補肝、潤肺、明目、強筋健骨、補精血、滋養、強壯。 
【主治】  頭暈目眩、腰膝酸軟、消渴、肝腎陰虧、遺精、多淚、帶下、目赤生翳、日痛、日澀、目乾。 
【現代藥理】  1.增強非特異性免疫作用:能顯著增強網狀內皮系統吞噬能力,捉高吞噬細