Monday, April 30, 2007

Curry Fried Rice

If you love curry, this is another curry dish, curry fried rice. It is easy, simple and anyone can just whip up without any problem. I prefer not to use overnight leftover rice for my fried rice dish, as I always feel that is not that healthy. I would rather cook the rice early in the morning or many hours before hands.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, cooked
° ¾ tablespoon vegetable curry powder
° ½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
° 4 sprigs curry leaves
° 100g frozen mixed vegetable
° 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
° salt, to taste

Method
1. Mix the curry powder and chilli powder with a tad of water to form curry paste.
2. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan, fry the curry leaves for half a minute. Stir in the curry paste and fry until fragrant over medium heat.
3. Stir in the cooked rice, mixed vegetables and season with salt. If it is too dry, sprinkle some water on it. Fry about 2-3 minutes or until rice is heated through. Serve hot.

Tip
1. Rice for frying must be cooked at least 2 hours in advance or the night before.
2. Oil for frying the curry paste should be heated to the right temperature and maintained at a steady heat until the curry spices have release their flavour, without burning.

Dried Wonton Noodle (Penang-Style)

Dried Wonton Noodle (Penang-Style)
Dried "Mee Bok" Flat Noodle (Penang-Style)


Dried wonton noodle tossed with a simple homemade sauce. Top with some blanched vegetables and crispy fried wonton or Wonton in Soup and serve with a small bowl of wonton soup and pickled green chilli.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 pieces (150g) fresh wonton mee
° 1.25 litres water
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 1 teaspoon vegetarian oyster sauce
° 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
° 100g Chinese flowering mustard (chai sim), cut into 5cm length

Method
1. Place the Chinese flowering mustard in a pot or wok of boiling water and blanched for 1 minute. Set aside.
2. Loosen and rub the noodle lightly with your hand to remove any excess flour coating.
3. Place the noodle (one at a time) in the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain the noodle thoroughly and place in a serving bowl. Add oil, salt, vegetarian oyster sauce, dark and light soy sauce. Toss well to mix.
4. Transfer to individual serving dish, top with Chinese flowering mustard, crispy fried wontons.

Tip
1. Only olive oil can be consumed as it is. To make ginger oil or garlic oil, heat the ginger slice or chopped garlic in vegetable oil until light brown.
2. Alternatively, cook the noodle following the packet instructions. Discard the water for cooking noodle if it turned “cloudy and starchy”, it will affect the texture of the cooked noodles.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vegan Oatmeal “Butter Prawn” Pasta

Oatmeal Butter Prawn is a popular dish in the restaurants in Singapore. And Pasta is a popular dish in the West. By matching and mixing them together, an “East Meet West” Dish is derived. Just cook the pasta, toss it with salt and olive oil. Add the Oatmeal “Butter Prawn” on top of it ( refer to the recipe Vegan Oatmeal Butter Prawn).

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 3)
° 150g pasta or angel hair
° 2 thin slices of ginger or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons olive oil
° 50ml water
° salt and pepper, to taste
° 6 Vegan Oatmeal Butter Prawns

Method

1. Cook pasta or angel hair according to packet instructions and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. Stir fry the ginger or garlic until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta. Season with water, salt, pepper and toss evenly.
3. Transfer to individual serving dish and top with the vegetarian pawns. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Soon Kueh Filling

This vegetarian version of Chinese Soon Kueh consists of simple ingredients such as yam bean, carrot and water chestnut, without any shrimp. The vegetable julienne cannot be too thick or thick, as it will affect the chewing process. To make soon kueh skin or wrapper, use soon kueh premixed flour (Soon Kuay Flour – SunFlower Band) from the supermarket and follow according to the packet instruction.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (fillings for 12 pcs or 24 mini pcs)
° 250g yam bean, peeled and shredded
° 50g carrot, peeled and shredded
° 4 water chestnuts, peeled and coarsely chopped
° 1 clove garlic or 1 slice ginger, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
° 80ml-120ml water
° ½ tablespoon sugar
° ½ teaspoon salt
° 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
° pepper, to taste

Method
To prepare filling

1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic or ginger and fry till fragrant. Add in all the vegetables and stir-fry briskly. Add the water, salt, sugar, light soy sauce and pepper. Stir fry over high heat for 1 minute, stirring occasionally and simmer until the vegetables is tender.
2. Transfer to a dish and let it cool.

To wrap Soon Kueh
1. Place a piece of flatten soon kueh thin sheet in front of you. Place some of filling in the middle and fold up to form a semi-circle. Pinch to seal. Arrange on a well-greased streaming.

To steam Soon Kueh
1. Steam for 15 minutes or until the soon kueh is translucent. Remove from the streamer and dizzle with garlic oil or olive oil. Cool slightly before serving with chilli sauce.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Vegan Oatmeal “Butter Prawn”


Vegan Oatmeal “Butter Prawn”
Vegetarian Prawn (Vegetarian Chai Har) made of mushroom, carrot, beancurd puff, chinese swede & seasoning

Oatmeal Butter Prawn is a popular dish in the restaurants in Singapore. By replacing butter with non-dairy margarine, prawn with mock prawn (made of beancurd skin, carrot and radish strips and mushroom), omitting the milk powder and egg, the vegan version is derived. If you find that deep-frying the mock prawns is not ultra-healthy, just brush some oil and bake it instead.


Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 6 (150g) vegetarian prawns
° 1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine
° 4-6 sprigs curry leaves, stalk removed
° 2-3 fresh chilli padi or 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and sliced
° 3 tablespoons instant oatmeal
° ½ teaspoon salt
° ½ tablespoon sugar
° pepper (optional), to taste
° oil, for deep-frying

Method
1. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Place the vegetarian prawns into the hot oil and fry until lightly golden brown. Remove the vegetarian prawns with a slotted spoon. Drain well on kitchen paper and set aside. Alternatively, bush some oil on the vegetarian prawns and bake for a healthy choice.
2. Mix the oatmeal, salt, sugar and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat the margarine in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Stir fry the curry leaves and chilli for 1 minute. Add in the oatmeal and stir fry until all the ingredients are crispy and aromatic.
4. Add in the vegetarian pawns and stir fry briskly. Dish up and serve hot.

Sweet Potatoes Soup


New Variant - with fresh lily bulbs and ginko nut added to Sweet Potatoes Soup


This is an easy home-made sweet soup. Besides, steaming sweet potatoes as a healthy snack, it can be used to boil to make a simple and delicious dessert. It is very nutritious, rich in dietary fiber as well as good source of vitamin A, C and B6.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 3)
° 150g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
° 4 pandan leaves (screwpine), tied into a knot
° 6 red dates (optional)
° 1 litre water
° 1 slice ginger
° 35g rock sugar or sugar, to taste

Method
1. Place all the ingredients except sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add in the sugar and bring to a boil again.
2. Ladle the dessert into individual serving bowls and serve.

Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder Soup

A quick cream corn soup with potato and cardoncello mushroom added.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 75g potato, peeled and cut into small dices
° 25g cardoncello mushroom/king oyster mushroom, cut into small dices
° 250ml water
° 1 pack (380g) cream style sweet corn
° 1 teaspoon tapioca flour or corn starch, mix with 1 tablespoon water
° salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. Place all the potato and mushroom and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
2. Stir in the sweet corn, corn flour mixture and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and light soy sauce.
3. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Creamy Cabbage with Mushroom and Soy Milk

A quick and easy to cook cabbage dish with creamy sauce, using soy milk instead of milk, which is suitable for Vegan.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 200-250g chinese cabbage (wong bak/bok choy), cut into broad strips
° ½ carrot, shredded
° 8-10 can mushrooms, thinly sliced
° 1 thin slice ginger
° 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
° 200ml unsweetened soy milk
° salt, to taste
° ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
° a pinch sugar (optional)

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown.
2. Add the cabbage, mushrooms and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Stir in the soy milk, season to taste with salt, black pepper and sugar. Simmer until the sauce is slightly dry or the vegetables are tender.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Tip
1. If the sauce is too much watery, mix ½ teaspoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water and stir in.
2. Vegetarian ham can be added, if desired.

Stir-Fried Tofu with Oyster Mushroom

Another quick and simple delicious tofu dish, yet it contains simple ingredients and is easy to get. Fresh shiitake mushroom or cardoncello mushroom or shimeiji mushroom can be used or added to this dish, if desired.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 1 pack silken tofu (300g), cut into cubes
° 150g oyster mushroom/abalone mushroom, sliced
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and sliced
° 1 thin slice ginger, finely chopped
° 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
° a stalk spring onion or fresh coriander leaves, cut diagonally

Sauce
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce
° 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
° 1½ teaspoons corn starch
° 6 tablespoons water
° pepper, to taste

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown. Add the mushroom stir-fry for less than a minute. Add in the tofu and stir-fry briskly. Stir in the sauce mixture, spring onion or coriander leaves, chilli and simmer until the sauce is thickened.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with rice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vegetarian Chinese Dumpling (Jiao Zi)

This vegetarian version of Chinese dumpling consists of vegetarian ham or vegetarian meat and chopped vegetables like Chinese cabbage, carrot, mushroom and water chestnut. It can be boiled or steamed or cooked in steamboat. A popular dish during Chinese New Year.

Preparation: 25 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (makes 30 pieces)
° 1 pack (200g) dumpling wrapper
° 100g vegetarian ham or vegetarian meat, coarsely chopped
° 100g Chinese cabbage, coarsely chopped
° 50g carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
° 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
° 4 water chestnuts (optional), peeled and coarsely chopped
° 1 clove garlic or 1 slice ginger, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sauce
° 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
° 1 teaspoon sugar
° 2 teaspoons cornstarch
° 6 tablespoons water
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil
° pepper, to taste

Method
To prepare filling

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic or ginger and fry till golden brown. Add in all the vegetables and stir-fry until tender. Stir in the sauce mixture and fry until dry.
3. Transfer to a dish and let it cool.

To wrap dumpling

1. Lay a dumpling wrapper in front of you. Place some of filling in the middle and wet the edge with some water (or water and flour mixture). Fold up. Work from right to left, press and shape the dumpling. Press and seal the dumpling’s opening with your thumb.

To boil dumpling
1. Bring 750ml of water to a boil in a pot or wok. Add the dumplings and return to the boil. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon when they float to the surface.
2. Transfer to individual serving bowls and garnish with one or two Chinese lettuce leaves. Ladle the hot soup into the bowl and sprinkle with some fresh spring onion.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Vegetarian Fish Curry

Vegetarian Fish Curry is simple vegetable curry with vegetarian fish added which can be optional. It is spicy and taste a bit sour and either served as a side dish or with rice as a light lunch.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 2-3 (100-150g) vegetarian fish slices, pan-fried
° 100g egg plant, sliced
° 2 tomatoes, quartered
° 4 lady’s finger/okra, trimmed and cut into section
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and cut into section
° 1 fresh green chilli, seeded and cut into section
° 4 small beancurd puffs (optional)
° 1 stalk lemon grass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 5cm
° 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
° 1-1½ tablespoon curry powder (fish blend)
° 1-½ teaspoon chilli powder
° 2 tablespoons oil
° 50ml coconut milk
° 250ml water
° ¾ teaspoon assam paste, knead with 1 tablespoon water and strained
° salt and sugar, to taste
° 1 shallot (optional)
° 1 clove garlic (optional)
° ½ teaspoon vegetarian belacan (optional)
° 2 candlenuts

Method
1. Grind shallot, garlic, vegetarian belacan, candlenuts into fine spice paste and set aside.
2. Mix the curry powder and chilli powder with a tad of water to form curry paste and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pot or wok, fry the spice paste until fragrant. Add in the curry paste and fry over medium heat until fragrant.
4. Add in the water, lemon grass, curry leaves and egg plant. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the eggplants are slightly tender. Add in tomatoes, chilli, beancurd puff, lady’s finger and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and assam juice. Season with salt, sugar and bring to a boil.
5. Lastly, add in the vegetarian fish slices and serve immediately with rice.

Stir-Fried Watercress with Vegetarian Oyster Sauce

This is a quick and easy to cook watercress stir-fried dish using inexpensive ingredients. Watercress is a super food that contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamins A and C.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g watercress
° 1 slice ginger
° ¾ tablespoon vegetable oil
° 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown.
2. Add the watercress and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Season to taste with vegetarian oyster sauce.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stir-Fried Tofu with Tomatoes Sauce

This is a simple and inexpensive dish. The cooking style is simple, quick, and easy to whip up within few minutes.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 1 tomatoes, cut into diced
° 1 pack silken tofu (300g), cut into cubes
° 1 slice ginger, finely chopped
° 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves or spring onion, for garnish

Sauce
° 2 tablespoons tomatoes sauce
° 1 teaspoon vegetarian oyster sauce
° 1 teaspoon sugar
° ½ teaspoon cornstarch
° 4 tablespoons water
° 1 teaspoon cooking rice wine (optional)
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the ginger and fry until golden brown.
3. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the tofu and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Stir in the sauce, continue to cook. Stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
4. Garnish with coriander leaves or spring onion, transfer to a serving dish, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Coconut Glutinous Rice Ball with Palm Sugar

This is a simple and easy kueh’s recipe, for the sweet tooth. You can choose to shape it like ball, flatten or make into a triangle shape.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (makes 8 balls)
° 200g glutinous rice
° 200ml water
° ½ teaspoon salt
° 2 pandan leaves (screwpine), tied into a knot
° 250g fresh grated coconut

Sauce
° 100-125g gula malaka (palm sugar), chopped
° 50ml water

Method
1. Wash the glutinous rice and place in a bowl with enough water to cover. Leave to soak for 3 hours or more. Drain thoroughly.
2. Place the glutinous rice, water, salt and pandan leaves into an electric rice cooker, mix well and turn it on.
3. When done, use your hand to shape the rice into 8 balls. Coat them evenly with the fresh grated coconut. Set aside.
4. Combine chopped gula melaka with water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Strain into a serving jug and set aside.
5. Serve glutinous rice ball with gula melaka sauce.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mock Lard Crisps

By deep-frying the fresh shiitake mushroom cubes coated with tapioca flour, it tastes almost like the real lard crisp and can be added to any dishes or noodles.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients
° 250g fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed, pat dry and cut into small cubes
° 80g-100g tapioca flour
° salt and pepper, to taste
° oil, for deep-frying

Method
1. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Add the tapioca flour, salt, pepper and mixed well.
2. Heat oil in a wok over high heat or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil brown in few seconds. Place the mushrooms into the hot oil and fry in batches until lightly golden brown.
3. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Drain well on kitchen paper and set aside.

Crispy Shiitake Mushroom

Deep-fried fresh shiitake mushrooms coated with tapioca flour can be a tasty snack by itself.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients
° 250g fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed, pat dry and sliced
° 80g-100g tapioca flour
° salt and pepper, to taste
° oil, for deep-frying

Method
1. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Add the tapioca flour, salt, pepper and mixed well.
2. Heat oil in a wok over high heat or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil brown in few seconds. Place the mushrooms into the hot oil and fry in batches until lightly golden brown.
3. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Drain well on kitchen paper and set aside.

Stir-Fried Mock Eel

This mock eel recipe makes use of the dangly strips of shiitake mushrooms which is deep-fried and then stir-fry in a sweet–sour ginger sauce. This dish can be served as an appetizer.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins


Ingredients (serves 2-3)

° 250g fresh shiitake mushroom, washed, pat dry and sliced or cut into dangly strips
° 80g-100g tapioca flour
° salt and pepper, to taste
° oil, for deep-frying
° 1 slice ginger, finely chopped
° 1-1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
° 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Sauce
° 100ml water
° 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
° 2 tablespoons black or brown sugar
° ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
° 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method
1. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Add the tapioca flour, salt, pepper and mixed well.
2. Heat oil in a wok over high heat or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil brown in few seconds. Place the mushrooms into the hot oil and fry in batches until lightly golden brown.
3. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Drain well on kitchen paper and set aside
4. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown.
5. Add the deep fried mushrooms and stir in the sauce mixture. Stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly dry.
6. Sprinkle sesame seeds, transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Stir-Fried Mushroom Noodle

This is a simple and inexpensive, fairly quick and easy to prepare dish, but looks and tastes very impressive. Serve with pickled green chilli.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 150g canton Yee mee(noodle)
° 50g carrot, peeled and shredded
° 50g cardoncello mushrooms/king oyster mushroom, finely shredded
° 4 chinese dried mushrooms or shiitake mushroom, soaked and shredded
° 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
° 2-3 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
° 300-350ml water
° 15 mangetouts/snow peas (optional), trimmed
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

Method
1. Blanch the mangetouts in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown.
3. Add the carrot, mushrooms and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Add the water, vegetarian oyster sauce and yee mee, continue to cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the yee mee is tender.
4. Add the mangetouts, sesame oil and toss to mix. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mixed Vegetables Soup

This is an easy-to-prepare healthy clear vegetable soup, which is real yummy.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 25 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)

° 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
° 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm thickness
° 1 potato, peeled and diced
° 2 tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges
° 1 onion (optional), peeled and cut into 6 wedges
° 1.25 litres water
° 1 slice ginger
° salt, to taste
° pepper, to taste
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves (optional), for garnish

Method
1. Place all the ingredients and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper and light soy sauce.
2. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Tip
1. Vegetarian mock meat can be added, if desired.

Steamed Eggplant in Soy Sauce

This quick and easy steamed dish is using eggplant, aubergine or brinjal. Choose eggplant with smooth and unblemished skin. Normally, eggplants are not peeled as the skin preserves their texture, taste and shape.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 1 long slender eggplant, sliced
° 1 thin slice ginger, chopped
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
° 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
° 1.5 tablespoons light soy sauce

Method

1. Arrange the eggplant in a heat proof serving plate and steam for 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Garnish steamed eggplant with coriander.
3. Heat the oil in a wok and add ginger, chilli and stir-fry briskly until aromatic. Drizzle over the steamed eggplant.
4. Add light soy sauce before serving.

Tip
1. Peel the skin of eggplant, if desired.

Mashed Eggplants


Mashed Eggplants garnish with spring onion and crispy shallot
This recipe is easy to make, it can be prepared well in advance and when you are ready to eat all you have to do is heat up and add the seasoning.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 long slender eggplants
° 750ml water
° 1 thin slice ginger, finely chopped
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves or chopped spring onion, for garnish
° 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
° 1.5 tablespoons light soy sauce

Method
1. Place the eggplants in a pot or wok of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave eggplant to cool in the cooking water.
2. When it is cool enough to handle, remove and cut each eggplant lengthwise in halves. With a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skins and put in a serving plate.
3. Mash the scooped-out eggplant flesh well and garnish with coriander leaves.
4. Heat the oil in a wok and add ginger, chilli and stir-fry briskly until aromatic. Drizzle over the eggplant. Season to taste with light soy sauce before serving.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Stir-fried Taro with Red Fermented Beancurd

This is another Hakka cuisine – Yam with Belly Pork or Sandwich Yam and Pork. In this quick and easy vegetarian version, only yam is used and dried mushrooms are added. To substitute for the pork, uses deep fried firm tofu or beancurd slice, if desired.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

° 250g taro (yam), peeled, sliced into 1cm thickness and deep-fried
° 4 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked
° 1 thin slice ginger
° 2 pieces red fermented bean curd (2cm x 2cm cube), mashed finely
° ½-1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
° 1 teaspoon sesame oil
° sugar to taste
° 200-250ml water
° 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine (optional)
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves (optional), for garnish

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown.
2. Add the red fermented bean curb, Chinese five-spice powder, cooking wine and stir-fry briskly until aromatic.
3. Add the mushrooms, taros, sesame oil and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is slightly dry.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.

Tip
1. Taro can be deep-fried prior to be stewed, if desired.

Vegetarian Popiah - Fresh Spring Rolls

Popiah or fresh spring rolls are a popular street food, which is filled with stewed julienned yam bean, beansprouts etc and wrapped in a paper-thin crepe.

Preparation: 20 mins, Cooking time: 25 mins

Ingredients (makes 10-12)
° 20-24 pieces fresh popiah wrappers
° 100g sweet sauce

Chilli Sauce
° 6 fresh red chilli,
° salt and sugar, to taste

Yam Bean Filling
° 600g yam bean, peeled, shredded and drained
° 2 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked and shredded
° 50g carrot, peeled and shredded
° 2 tablespoons vegetables oil
° 1 thin slice ginger or 1 clove garlic or 1 shallot
° ½ tablespoon salted soybean paste
° 350ml water
° 1½ tablespoons sugar, or to taste
° 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
° 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
° 1 teaspoon vegetarian oyster sauce
° 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
° 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

Other Filling
° 12 chinese lettuce leaves
° 120g beansprouts, tailed and blanched
° 120g grounded peanut
° vegan ‘egg’ (optional)
° a small handful fresh coriander sprig

Method

To prepare chilli sauce
1. Blend the chill in a blender or food processor until it is a smooth paste. Season to taste with salt and sugar.

To prepare yam bean filling
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger or garlic or shallot and fry till golden brown.
2. Add the salted soy bean paste and stir-fry briskly until aromatic.
3. Add the yam bean, mushrooms, carrot and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in water, sugar, salt, light soy sauce, vegetarian oyster. Stir occasionally and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly dry. Season with sesame oil and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

To wrap popiah
1. Place 2 fresh Popiah wrappers overlapping each other on chopping board. Spread sweet sauce and chilli sauce on it.
2. Place a small Chinese lettuce leaf in the centre and top with yam bean filling, beansprouts, grounded peanut, vegan ‘egg’ and coriander sprig.
3. Roll up and cut into 4 or 5 pieces and serve.
Tip
2. A pinch of chinese five-spice powder can be added, if desired. Vegetarian Oyster Sauce and Light Soy Sauce can be optional.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Crispy Ginger

Old ginger and sesame oil are some of the commonly used ingredients in Chinese Traditional Confinement Recipes. It is believes that ginger would help to expel the wind and sesame oil promote blood circulation. Here is another way to consume ginger by frying shredded ginger with sesame oil, removing any excess oil by draining and use it as a condiment to any rice or dishes.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins


Ingredients
° 200g old ginger, peeled and finely shredded
° sesame oil, deep-frying
Method
1. Heat sesame oil in a wok over medium heat and fry ginger until lightly brown.
2. Remove the ginger with a slotted spoon. Drain well on kitchen paper.
3. Store the crispy ginger in a glass jar in a cool place.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vegan “Trotter” with Old Ginger and Vinegar

Pig Trotter with old ginger and black rice vinegar is one of the traditional Chinese confinement foods. For this vegan version, pig trotter is replaced by gluten fungus roll and eggs are omitted.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 45 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g gluten fungus roll, sliced
° 400g old ginger, peeled, cut into chunk, bruised and pat dry
° 250ml black rice vinegar
° 500ml water
° 1-1½ tablespoons sesame oil
° 60g brown sugar
° salt, to taste

Method
1. Brush some sesame oil on the ginger and bake in the oven or oven toaster for 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Place all the ingredients in a claypot, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
3. Ladle into individual serving bowl and serve.

Tip
1. This traditional recipe usually fries the ginger in sesame oil instead of baking. The sesame oil used is around 3 instead of 1 tablespoon.

One-Pot Pineapple Rice

An easy dish to prepare and makes a satisfying light meal. Just combine all the ingredients in a pot. By leaving out the stir-frying of the ingredients, it speeds up the cooking process and also reduces the amount of oil used.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, washed and drained
° 400ml water
° 75g pineapple, diced
° 1 stalk lemon grass, peel off outer layers, cut out 2 cm , bruised
° 2 pandan leaves (screwpine), tied into a knot
° 1 slice vegetarian ham, diced
° 2-3 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked and diced
° 1 star anise
° 1 tablespoon sesame oil
° 1 teaspoon salt
° ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
° ¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients into an electric rice cooker, mix well and turn it on.
2. When done, leave the cooked rice to rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

Tip
1. For pineapple preparation refer to http://www.hormel.com/templates/knowledge/knowledge.asp?catitemid=113&id=835

Steamed Cardoncello Mushroom

Photographer: Little JFThis is an easy steamed dish without much work at all. This dish can be used as a substitute for the poached chicken that goes with Hainanese Chicken Rice. Alternatively, just wrap a piece of lettuce leaf around a slice of cardoncello mushroom and dip with chicken rice chilli, to eat.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 150g cardoncello mushroom/king oyster mushroom, sliced
° 2 thin slices ginger
° 1½ tablespoons sesame oil
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

Method
1. Arrange the ginger and cardoncello mushrooms in a heatproof serving plate. Drizzle sesame oil and light soy sauce over the plate. Steam for 10 minutes.
2. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.

Vegan “Egg” Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice is a common dish in Chinese Restaurants in the West. This is a vegan version, substituted the egg with firm tofu/beancurd which easily resembles the scrambled egg used in the fried rice. The turmeric powder is added to derive the colour of the egg.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, cooked
° 1 small firm beancurd/tofu, pat dry and scrambled
° ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil
° 1-1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
° salt and pepper, to taste
° 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion (optional)

Method
1. Marinate the scrambled tofu with turmeric powder, salt and sesame oil. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat and fry scrambled tofu until lightly brown.
3. Stir in the cooked rice and season with salt and pepper. Fry about 2-3 minutes or until rice is heated through.
4. Add in the spring onion, mix well and serve hot.

Tip
1. Rice for frying must be cooked at least 2 hours in advance or the night before.

Friday, April 06, 2007

One-Pot Curry Rice

This is a quick and simple one-pot vegetarian rice dish recipe. Not much work is required and can be ready in just a moment.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, washed and drained
° 100ml coconut milk
° 300ml water
° 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into chunks
° 4-6 vegetarian meats
° 1 stalk lemon grass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 7.5cm
° 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
° 1-1½ tablespoons vegetarian curry powder or curry powder (meat blend)
° ½ teaspoon salt
° 10 curry leaves (optional)
° ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients into an electric rice cooker, mix well and turn it on.
2. When done, leave the cooked rice to rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

Tip
1. Carrot can be used to replace vegetarian meat, if desired.
2. Curry powder and chilli powder can be mixed with a tad of water to form curry paste, fry with one of tablespoon oil and then added to the rice.

Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar

This is a easily made party dessert.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (makes 8 pieces)
° 125g sago pearls, rinse and soaked with plenty of water for 15mins, drained
° 2 pandan leaves (screwpine), tied into a knot
° 1 tablespoon sugar
° 1.5 litres water
° food colouring (optional)

Sauce
° 100-125g gula malaka (palm sugar), chopped
° 50ml water
° 250 ml coconut milk
° ¼ salt or to taste

Method

1. Combine pandan leaves, sugar and bring 1.5 litres water to a boil. Stir in sago pearls and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until sago pearls are almost translucent with just a barest white fleck in the centre.
2. Pour the content of the pot a fine-meshed sieve and drain off excess water. Immediately, spoon sago pearls into the moulds or cups, pressing lightly to pack them in. Let it cool, and chill for 1 hour or until fully set.
3. Combine chopped gula melaka with water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Strain into a serving jug and set aside.
4. In a clean pot, bring coconut milk with salt to a boil. Alternatively, sprinkle salt to coconut milk. Chill and set aside.
5. Serve sago pudding with gula melaka sauce and coconut sauce.

Tip
1. Add different food colouring to sago pudding, if desired.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spicy Lemon Grass Soup (Tom Yum)

Spicy Lemon Grass Soup (Tom Yum)



Spicy Lemon Grass Soup (Tom Yum) with Tom Yum Paste, Tomatoes & Tofu

This delicious soup (Tom Yum) is one of the popular soups in Asia. Combining spicy and sour using mixture of herbs and seasonings is easy to make. The richness of the sour taste comes from the complement of the different citrus flavored ingredients.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
° 2-3 stalks fresh lemon grass
° 10-12 dried kelps in knot
° 4 slices fresh blue ginger (galangal)
° 8-12 straw mushrooms, halved
° 4-8 vegetarian fishballs
° 1.25 litres water
° 2 chilli padi, seeded and finely shredded
° 6-8 kaffir lime leaves, cut in half
° 3 tablespoons (5-6 limes) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
° pepper and sugar, to taste
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

Method
1. Peel off the outer layers of the lemon grass stalks, leaving the tender whitish centre. Cut into 5cm pieces and bruised.
2. Place the lemon grass, dried kelps, ginger and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon grass and ginger with a slotted spoon and discard. Add straw mushrooms, vegetarian fishballs, lime leaves, chillies, pepper, sugar, lime juice and simmer for 3 minutes. Lastly, stir in light soy sauce and coriander leaves.
3. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve.

Tip
1. Commercial tom yum paste, button mushroom, tomatoes, silken tofu can be added, if desired.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spicy Tofu with Golden Needle Mushroom

This recipe is inspired from “Ma Po” Tofu but with a slight variant. Enokitake is also known as golden needle mushroom.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 1 pack silken tofu (300g), cut into cubes
° 100g golden needle mushroom, trimmed and cut into small section
° 1 slice vegetarian ham, diced
° 1/2 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
° 1 clove garlic or 1 thin slice ginger, chopped
° 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
° a small handful spring onion or fresh coriander leaves

Sauce
° 1 tablespoon soy bean paste with chilli
° 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce
° 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
° ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
° ½ teaspoon corn starch
° 3 tablespoons water

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic or ginger and fry till golden brown. Add the mushroom, tofu and stir-fry briskly. Stir in the sauce mixture, spring onion or coriander leaves, chilli and simmer until the sauce is thickened.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with rice.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hakka Yam Abacus Beads

The Hakka Yam Abacus Beads used to be a festive dish in Singapore among the Hakkas. The main ingredients are taro or yam and tapioca flour, mixing together to form a dough and make into little abacus beads to signify wealth.

Preparation: 20 mins, Cooking time: 25 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 200g taro (yam), peeled and cut into chunks
° 100-120g tapioca flour
° 750ml water
° 50g Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked and diced
° 25g black fungus, soaked and shredded
° 50g carrot, peeled and diced
° 1 thin slice ginger, chopped
° ½ teaspoon salt
° ½ teaspoon sugar
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil
° 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
° salt and pepper, to taste
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves (optional), for garnish

Method
1. Arrange the yam in a heatproof serving plate and steam for 10-15 minutes or until soft.
2. Mash the yam in a container with a fork. Add the tapioca flour, salt, sugar and mix well to form dough. Knead until the dough is non-sticky. Divide the dough into 40 small pieces and roll each into a ball. Shape them into abacus beads by using the thumb and finger to make a slight indentation in the centre of each ball.
3. Bring 750ml of water to a boil in a pot or wok. Add the yam balls and return to the boil. Remove the yam balls with a slotted spoon when they float to the surface. Transfer to a bowl of cold water or coat with 2 tablespoons of oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
4. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till golden brown.
5. Add the carrot, mushrooms, black fungus and stir-fry briskly until aromatic. Season with salt, pepper, sesame oil and light soy sauce.
6. Add the yam balls and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Crispy Curried Potatoes Wonton

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients (makes 40)
° 2 packs (40 pcs) wonton wrappers
° 75g potatoes, peeled and finely diced
° 50g carrot, peeled and finely diced
° 50g onion (optional), finely diced
° ½ teaspoon salt
° ½ teaspoon sugar
° 1 tablespoon curry powder (meat blend)
° ½ teaspoon chilli powder
° 40 pieces curry leaves
° 150ml water
° 2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional)
° oil, for deep-frying

Method
1. Mix the curry powder and chilli powder with a tad of water to form curry paste.
2. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan, add the curry leaves and fry for half a minute. Stir in curry paste, fry until thickened and fragrant.
3. Stir in the potatoes, carrot, onion, water, coconut milk and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and sugar and cook till the gravy is slightly thickened. Set aside.
4. Lay a wonton wrapper in front of you. Place a bit of filling in the middle. Fold up the wonton diagonally, making sure the end meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal.
5. Heat wok with oil. Add wanton few at a time, sliding them in carefully and turning to make sure they are golden brown evenly.
6. Drain on paper towels and served as soon as possible to ensure they remain crispy.

Crispy Stuffed Beancurd

A quick and easy to prepare snack which are enjoyed by many at home and at the Night Market Street Stalls (Pasa Malam).

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
° 2 firm tofu/beancurd (225g), cut diagonally and make a slit at the base
° 4 slices cucumber
° 40g bean spouts, trimmed
° oil, for deep-frying

Method
1. Heat oil over a high fire and deep fry the beancurds until golden brown. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool.
2. Blanch the bean spouts in boiling water for 1 minute and drain well.
3. Stuff the beancurds with a slice of cucumber and some bean spouts. Serves with chilli sauce.
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