Friday, 23 March 2012

Tom Yum Soup Base


This recipe is the soup base for any type of Tom Yum. You can add shrimp, chicken or any type of seafood. It can also be used as the broth for steamboat. The best part is keep the broth and whatever leftovers you may have after the steamboat, add any noodles of your choice and you have another satisfying meal.


8 cups water

4 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)

3 inches galangal – cut into 1/4 inch slices

3 stalks lemongrass – lightly crushed

4 bird’s eye chili – lightly crushed

2 limes – juiced

3 pieces kaffir lime leaves – lightly bruised

3 pieces coriander root – lightly crushed (keep leaves for garnishing)

2 shallots – sliced thinly

2 tablespoon Mae Pranom Thai Chili paste


1). Bring water (or stock) to a boil.

2). Add nam pla, galangal, lemongrass, chili, shallots and coriander root. Simmer for 20 minutes.

3). Add kaffir lime leaves and lime juice, and Mae Pranom Thai Chili Paste.

4). This soup is ready to be used as steamboat broth or Tom Yum soup.


Note: Mae Pranom Chili Paste. Available at most Asian grocery stores. We need this paste for its sticky sweetness, dried shrimp flavour and fragrant chili oil.

Mapo Tofu


Szechuan Mapo Tofu is one of my favourite dish but it is too oily to eat all the time. I serve it at least once a week, so I’ve adapted this recipe to be lower in fat and easier to cook.. It’s just as tasty and will satisfy your craving for Szechuan food minus the guilt.


3 cubes (300g) tofu – cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 strips chicken tenders – minced

1 small leek – sliced

1 clove garlic – minced

1/2 teaspoon fermented black beans – mashed

1 tablespoon toban sauce (chili bean paste)

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

pinch of freshly ground Szechuan pepper

dash of sesame oil

cornstarch slurry ( 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

1 stalk spring onion – chopped



1). Blanch tofu cubes in hot water for 2 minutes and drain.

2). Marinate minced chicken tenders with soy sauce, ground Szechuan pepper and sesame oil.

3). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and saute garlic and leek until fragrant.

4). Add minced chicken and stir fry until the meat turns white.

5). Add fermented black beans and toban sauce, stir until the sauce looks shiny.

6). Add tofu, 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil.

7). Stir in the cornstarch slurry gently and simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce thickens.

8). Garnish with spring onions and the Mapo Tofu is ready to be served.

Mooi Choy Kau Yoke (Steamed Pork Belly and Fermented Greens)


This (mooi choy kau yoke) recipe that is an old school Hakka favourite that never fails. Easy to make, always impresses the guests with melts in your mouth deliciousness.


500g pork belly strip (3 inch wide)

250g mooi choy (there are a few types so be sure to ask your grocer for the sweet ones)

2 slices ginger

1 stalk spring onion

2 tablespoons Chinese Shao Xing wine

3 cloves chopped garlic


2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Chinese rose wine (optional)

sprinkle of sesame oil

pinch of white pepper



1). Soak mooi choy for 1/2 hour, rinse and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.

2). Bring 1/2 a pan of water to a boil, add ginger, spring onions and wine. Put in the pork belly and make sure all sides of the outer part of the meat is cooked and firm. Remove.

3). Pat pork belly dry with paper towels and rub with a bit of dark soy sauce.

4). Make small pricks all over the skin of the pork belly with a skewer.

5). Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a pan and gently place the pork belly skin side down. Fry for 5 minutes or until the skin is light brown.

6). Remove and rinse pork belly in running water and leave it to cool down.

7). Make 1/2 inch slices of pork and arrange in a 6 inch Chinese soup bowl.

8). Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan and fry chopped garlic until fragrant. Add mooi choy and stir fry until dry then add sauce ingredients.

9). Simmer for 5 minutes and pour on top of pork belly slices.

10). Cover bowl with aluminium foil and steam pork belly for 3 hours and it is ready to be served.


Mooi Choy


The bowl can be turned over a large plate for better presentation.

If you prefer thicker sauce, drain the sauce from the mooi choy kau yoke into a pan and heat it up with 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 2 tablespoons water. Pour sauce back on top of the mooi choy kau yoke.

Lovely when eaten with rice congee.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Baked Muesli


This is a recipe for tasty, easy to make muesli. Store bought cereals can be costly and contains too much fat, sodium or sugar.

It’s perfect as a guilt free snack or breakfast.


2 cups pre-cooked oats

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almond

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

3 tablespoons maltose

1/8 cup softened butter



Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Line oven tray with greased aluminum foil.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in softened butter. honey or maple syrup and maltose.

Spread the mixture lightly on to the aluminum foil lined tray.

Baked for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Store in air tight containers.


Dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins or apricots can be added.

Serve with milk or yoghurt to make a perfect breakfast.

Jars of muesli can make a nice gift.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Garbanzo Beans/ Kacang Puteh



Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) is popular known as kacang puteh in Malaysia. It is an healthy and delicious snack. I used to buy kacang puteh from Indian vendors, wrapped in a piece of white paper, but one could hardly find chickpeas sellers nowadays.

It is very easy to make your own kacang puteh at home.

Recipe :


Chickpeas / garbanzo beans

A pinch of bicarb of soda (the bicarb helps to soften the beans. If you don't add, you'll be soaking and boiling too many days.haha)


1. Soak chickpeas overnight with a pinch of bicarb of soda.

2 Rinse beans the next day with water

3 Put chickpeas in a pot and add water.

4 Boil 1 1/2 hours until soften

5 Drain and it is ready to serve.

p.s. Another name for this is kacang kuda.

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