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!