Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Vegetarian Lontong

Lontong is pressed rice cakes serves with vegetables in coconut gravy or sayur lodeh. Serondeng (crispy spicy grated coconut with sambal chilli) is added. This malay dish is commonly enjoyed by all races in Singapore. This is a vegan version where hardboiled egg is omitted. Shallots can be added to the spice paste, if desired.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 small firm tofu/beancurd, cut diagonally into 4 section and deep-fried
° 80g long beans, cut into 5cm section
° 50g carrot, peeled and cut into 5cm section
° 80g yam bean, peeled and cut into 5cm section
° 80g white cabbage, cut into small pieces
° 375ml water
° 125-150ml coconut milk
° ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
° 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
° 300g pressed rice cake, steamed and cut into wedges

Spice Paste
° 2 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
° 2 red chilli padi (optional), seeded and chopped
° 1 stalk lemon grass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 7.5cm, chopped
° 2 candlenuts, chopped
° ½ teaspoons vegetarian belacan powder

Serondeng
° 50g grated coconut
° ½ teaspoon vegetarian sambal chilli
° pinch of salt
° ½ teaspoon sugar

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients for the serondeng in a bowl and bake in the toaster oven until golden and crispy. Set aside
2. Grind chilli, lemongrass and candlenut into fine spice paste. Stir in vegetarian belacan powder and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pot or wok, fry the spice paste for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the vegetables bean curd and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
4. To serve, divide rice cake between serving bowls. Ladle the gravy into individual serving bowls. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of serondeng on top and with some vegetarian sambal chilli at the side. Serve hot.

Satay Peanut Sauce

This is the vegetarian version of spicy peanut sauce, where shrimp paste is replaced by vegetarian belacan. Usually this recipe calls for shallots, however, in here it is omitted. This is a sauce that can be use for dipping Vegetarian Satay, whipping up Satay Beehoon and Gado Gado – Indonesian Vegetable Salad.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (makes 200g ±)

° 2 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
° 2 red chilli padi (optional), seeded and chopped
° 2 slices ginger, chopped
° 1 stalk lemon grass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 7.5cm, chopped
° 2 candlenuts, chopped
° ½ teaspoons vegetarian belacan powder
° 1 tablespoon carotino oil or vegetable oil
° ½ teaspoon tamarind/assam paste, knead with 150ml water and strained
° ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
° 2 tablespoons black sugar or palm sugar, or to taste
° 125g grounded peanut powder or finely crushed roasted peanut

Method
1. Grind chilli, ginger, lemongrass and candlenut into fine spice paste. Stir in vegetarian belacan powder and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pot or wok, fry the spice paste for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in tamarind liquid and bring to a boil.
3. Stir in the black sugar, salt, peanut powder and bring to a boil. If the sauce is too thick, add some water. To thicken the sauce, add a little bit more peanut powder. Set aside.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Indian Mee Goreng

Indian Mee Goreng is the result of intermingling of food culture, using Chinese yellow noodles, Indians spices and western ingredients like tomatoes sauce and potatoes. In this recipe, I had left out the potatoes, you can add in prior to stir frying tomatoes, if desired. Alternatively, you might add green peas to make it more vibrant.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g hokkien mee, blanched
° 100g beanspouts, tailed
° 1 onion (optional), sliced
° 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
° 1½ -2 tablespoons olive oil
° 1 tablespoon chilli powder
° ½ teaspoon curry powder
° 1½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
° 1½ -2 tablespoons tomatoes sauce
° 4 tablespoons water
° salt, to taste
° 1 fresh red or green chilli, sliced for garnish

Method
1. Mix the chilli powder and curry powder with a tad of water to form a paste.
2. Heat oil in a wok or pot, fry the onion for half a minute or until fragrant. Stir in the chilli paste and keep stirring over low heat to prevent burning.
3. Add the tomato, beansprouts and stir fry over medium heat for 1 minute. Season with salt.
4. Throw in the noodle, add the dark soy sauce, tomatoes sauce and mix well. Add in water if need for easier tossing.
5. Dish up, garnish with green chilli and serve immediately.

Monday, May 28, 2007

“Fish” Congee

Congee from the sea, in this recipe I made use of mock fish – vegetarian fish slice. To increase the flavour from the sea, dried kelps in knot can be used to boil the congee. Top with some finely shredded or small pieces of roasted nori. Don’t forget the pepper!

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins, plus 30 mins standing time

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g rice, washed and drained
° 1.2 litres water
° 6 thin slices ginger, finely shredded
° 2 (50g) vegetarian fish slices, diced
° salt, to taste
° light soy sauce, to taste
° sesame oil, to taste
° pepper, to taste
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

Method
1. Put the rice and water in a claypot or pot. Let it stands for 1 hour or more, if desired.
2. Bring the congee to a boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave it to stands for 30 minutes or more. Throw in the vegetarian fish and re-boil the congee for few minutes prior to serving. To thicken the congee, mix 1-2 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour with 4 tablespoons of water and stir into the congee, if desired. Season with salt, light soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper.
3. Ladle the congee into individual serving bowls, garnish with corianders leaves and serve hot.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Simplified “Yu Sheng” Salad

This salad is inspired by the raw fish salad which is commonly served during Chinese New Year in Singapore. This recipe calls for ingredients like the carrot and white radish shreds that are used for the dish. As for the dressing, oil is replaced by using water and salt is totally being omitted. The simplified combination of plum sauce, lime juice, water and sugar work just fine. Feel free to add any ingredients like green mango shreds etc to this dish to make up your own special salad.

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1)
° 100g carrot, peeled and finely shredded
° 100g white radish, peeled and finely shredded
° 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
° 1-2 tablespoons peanut power or finely crushed roasted peanuts

Dressing
° 2 tablespoons plum sauce
° 2 tablespoons water, boiled and cooled
° 1½ tablespoon (3 limes) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° pinch of Chinese five-spices powder, or to taste
° ½ teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Method
1. Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Put all the vegetables in a salad bowl, drizzled with the dressing. Add sesame seeds, peanuts powder and toss well. Serve immediately.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Vegetarian Mee Rebus

Mee Rebus is Malay dish which use Chinese yellow noodle with spicy sweet potato gravy. For this simplified version, I have omitted hardboiled eggs which are commonly serve with mee rebus. You can make this dish interesting by adding some red and green chilli. Mix some potatoes with the sweet potatoes to make the gravy, if desired.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 300g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
° 750ml water
° 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
° 2 teaspoons fine salted soy bean paste
° 200g hokkien mee, blanched
° 40g beanspouts, tailed and blanched
° 1 firm tofu/beancurd, deep-fried and diced
° 2 kalamansi limes
° 1 fresh green chilli, sliced
° 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (optional)

Spice Paste
° 4 dried chilli, finely chopped
° 2 slices ginger or galangal, finely chopped
° 1 teaspoon curry powder
° ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
° 1½ -2 teaspoons vegetarian belacan
° 1 teaspoon sugar

Method
1. Place the sweet potatoes and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove the sweet potatoes, mashed and set aside. Reserve stock.
2. Mix all the spice paste ingredient in a bowl and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok or pot, fry the spice paste for half a minute or until fragrant. Stir in the 500ml of stock, mashed potatoes and salted soy bean paste. Season with salt, bring to a boil and simmer till the gravy thickens
4. To serve, divide beansprouts, hokkien mee, beancurd between serving bowls. Ladle the gravy into individual serving bowls. Garnish with green chilli, lime and drizzle some dark soy sauce. Serve hot.

Vegetarian “Prawn” Noodle

Prawn Noodle is one of the popular local foods in Singapore. To create a vegetarian version of it, is very challenging, as one of the main ingredient of the stock made used of prawn shell that gives it a very unique flavour. However, to close the gap a bit, vegetarian prawn paste or belacan can be added. To serve, top with streamed king oyster mushroom slices or add a few vegetarian fishballs, mock lards crisps, crispy shallot. Don’t forget – a small plate of fresh red chilli with light soy sauce.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 800ml water
° 1 slice ginger
° 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
° 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm thickness
° 6 dried kelps in knot
° ½ teaspoon sugar
° 1- 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
° 1 teaspoon vegetarian belacan
° ¼ - ½ teaspoon chilli powder
° pepper, to taste
° salt (optional), to taste
° 1 teaspoon salt
° 200g hokkien mee, blanched
° 40g water convolvulus/kangkong, blanched
° 40g beanspouts, tailed and blanched

Method
1. Place the carrot, kelps, corn, ginger and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes to make the stock. Remove the ingredients with a slotted spoon and discard.
2. Season with sugar, light soy sauce, vegetarian belacan, chilli powder, pepper and salt.
3. To serve, divide beansprouts, water convolvulus, hokkien mee between serving bowls. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve hot.

Tauhu Goreng (Tofu Salad)

This is a street food, a salad that uses beancurd, shredded cucumber, beansprout and carrot, drizzle with spicy peanut sauce.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 (225g)firm tofu/beancurd
° 30g finely shredded cucumber
° 25g finely shredded carrot
° 30g beansprout (optional), tailed, washed and blanched
° oil, for deep-frying

Dressing
° 1 red chilli padi, seeded and finely chopped
° 1½ tablespoons peanut powder or finely crushed roasted peanut
° 2-3 tablespoons assam/tamarind paste, knead with 2-3 tablespoons hot water and strained
° ½ teaspoon sugar, or to taste
° ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
° ½ teaspoon roasted sesame seeds (optional)
° 1 kalamansi lime (optional), squeezed
° salt (optional), or to taste

Method
1. Heat oil over a high fire and deep fry the beancurd until golden brown. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a mixing bowl and mix well. Taste it, add more assam/tamarind liquid, sugar, salt, or lime juice, if necessary. If the mixture is too thick, add some water.
3. Cut the beancurd into squares and arrange on a serving dish. Top with shredded carrot and cucumber. Drizzle the dressing over the beancurd and sprinkle with some peanut powder and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

“Chicken Rice” Salad

This is an oriental salad inspired by the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Using the ingredients for the chilli sauce and vegetables commonly found in chicken rice. If you like, you may even add grilled, baked or toasted king oyster mushroom and deep fried firm beancurd to this dish to make it a meal on its own.

Preparation: 8 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1)
° 100g cucumber, thinly sliced
° 20g carrot, thinly shredded
° 1 tomato, sliced
° 4 chinese lettuce leaves, tore into small pieces

Dressing
° ½ fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
° 1 fresh red chilli padi (optional), seeded and finely chopped
° 2 slices ginger, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons olive oil
° 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
° dash of sesame oil
° 1 teaspoon (1 lime) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
° salt, to taste

Method
1. Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Put all the vegetables in a salad bowl, drizzled with the dressing and toss well. Serve immediately.

Caramelized Taro

Kids will love this caramelized snack - Taro coated with sugar. This recipe make used of simple ingredients and is easy to make. To have crystallized sugar coated on the taro, you can increase the amount of sugar used, otherwise, this is just fine.

Preparation: 8 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g taro (yam), peeled, cut into 1.5cm thickness matchstick length
° oil, for deep-frying
° 30g sugar
° 15ml water

Method
1. Heat oil over a high fire and fry the taro until soft. Remove and drain well on kitchen paper.
2. Stir in water in a clean work and add in the sugar. Boil over low heat and keep stirring until the solution thickens. Throw in the taro and stir-fry until the taros are caramelized or coated with sugar crystals.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Curry Potatoes Noodle

Before I converted to a vegetarian, my mother used to cook curry chicken with potatoes and serve with noodle instead of rice. I like the curry gravy, the noodle and the potatoes. To satisfy my craving for my mom’s cooking, I recreated this dish – the vegetarian version. In fact, it tastes equally good without any meat or mock meat.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 25 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 150g-200g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
° 50g vegetarian meat or vegetarian stewed muttons
° 50g carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
° 15 curry leaves
° 2 tablespoons curry powder (meat blend)
° 1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
° ½ cinnamon stick
° 2 lemongrass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 7.5cm, bruised
° 150ml coconut milk
° 500ml water
° 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
° 1 teaspoon salt
° 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
° 200g hokkien mee, blanched
° 40g beanspouts, tailed and blanched

Method
1. Mix the curry powder and chilli powder with a tad of water to form curry paste.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, fry the curry leaves for half a minute. Stir in the curry paste and fry until fragrant.
3. Stir in potatoes, carrot, vegetarian meat, water, cinnamon stick, lemongrass and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Season with salt and sugar.
4. To serve, divide beansprouts, hokkien mee between serving bowls. Ladle the curry into individual serving bowls and serve hot.

Tip
1. To thicken the curry gravy, mashed one or two pieces of cooked potatoes and mixed well with the gravy. Alternatively, thicken with cornsflour mixture.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vegetarian “Chicken” Congee

I don’t know how to name this, a little headache. How to name this dish that resembles the taste of the chicken congee. I love this casual dish – “chicken” congee, it is just delicious. Again, I like to use shredded cardoncello mushroom to substitute chicken strips that is usually used in chicken congee.

Preparation: 10 mins ,Cooking time: 30 mins, plus 30 mins standing time

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g rice, washed and drained
° 1.2 litres water
° salt, to taste
° light soy sauce, to taste
° sesame oil, to taste
° pepper, to taste
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
° 150g-200g cardoncello mushroom/king oyster mushroom, shredded
° 25g ginger, peeled and finely shredded
° 2 tablespoons sesame oil
° ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Method
1. Put the rice and water in a claypot or pot. Let it stands for 1 hour or more, if desired.
2. Bring the congee to a boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave it to stands for 30 minutes or more.
3. Meanwhile, prepare shredded “chicken”. Place the cardoncello mushrooms and ginger in a heatproof serving plate. Drizzle 2 tablespoons sesame oil and salt over the mushroom and steam for 10 minutes. Set aside.
4. Re-boil the congee for 10 minutes prior to serving. Mix with steamed mushrooms. Season with salt, light soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper.
5. Ladle the congee into individual serving bowls, garnish with corianders leaves and serve hot.

Claypot Braised Mushroom and Beancurd

With this recipe, you can whip up a home cooked meal in minutes or when you are tired. There is not much works at all, just throw in the entire ingredient into a claypot and leave it to cook. By using claypot or corningware, you can transfer it from the fire to the table and reduce lots of washing to be done later. Again, this is an any one can cook recipe, it won't go wrong at all.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
° 2 firm tofu/beancurd (225g), cut into 4 or 6 sections
° 250ml water
° 4-8 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked
° 1 slice ginger
° 4 red dates (optional)
° 1 star anise
° 3 cloves
° 2cm cinnamon stick
° ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
° 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil
° 1 teaspoon cooking rice wine (optional)

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients into a claypot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serves hot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Green Mango Salad !

This is a vegetarian version of simplified Thai green mango salad. It is a healthy salad and is so appetizing. Any one can just do it, basically it is a no-cook recipe.

Preparation: 8 minutes


Ingredients (serves 1)
° 150g shredded young green mango, chilled
° 1 teaspoon peanut powder
° ½ teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

Dressing
° 1 fresh red chilli padi or green chilli padi, seeded and sliced
° 3 tablespoons (6 limes) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Method
1. Arrange shredded mango on a serving plate.
2. Mix the chilli, lime juice and sugar in a bowl. Add more sugar, or lime juice, if necessary.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the shredded mango and top with peanut powder and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Ice Jelly with Fruit Cocktails


An easy dessert isn’t it! I like to add a little bit of sugar to make the jelly, so that it does not taste so bland and using pandan leaves, to add a bit of flavor to it. If you like the jelly to be a little softer and wobbly, just increase the amount of water by 100ml – 200ml, although the suggested amount on the packet is 1 litre.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (Serve 10-15)
° 1 pack (25g) ice jelly powder (red man brand)
° 1 - 1.1 litre water
° 60g sugar (optional)
° 4 pandan leaves/screwpine (optional), tied into a knot
° 1-2 cans fruit cocktail, chilled
° 15 kalamansi limes

Method
1. Dissolve ice jelly powder in water in a pot. Add the sugar, pandan leaves and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pot from heat and pour the ice jelly mixture into the container and leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled.
3. To serve, scoop few tablespoons of chilled ice jelly into individual serving bowl. Top with fruit cocktail, ice cubes and kalamansi lime.
4. Serve chilled.

Monday, May 21, 2007

BBQ Corn on the Cob

Tasty and yummy BBQ corn! Cook this at the Barbecue Party. Spice up the corn with salt, margarine, pepper, chilli powder, spices or egg less mayonnaise.

Ingredients

° 1 ear corn on the cob per pax
° water
° non-dairy margarine
° live oil
° salt, to taste
° black pepper, to taste

Method
1. Place the corns and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, remove and drain.
2. Put the corns on the plate, use a brush to brush them with olive oil and put on the BBQ pit. Turn the corn occasionally. BBQ the corn until lightly coloured and tender. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
3. Serve hot.

Corn on the Cob

This is a healthy snack. How to cook corn on the cob? You can steam, boil, microwave, bake or grill. How do you like your corn on the cob? Butter, salt, pepper, chilli powder or just spread some vegetarian salad cream or egg less mayonnaise. You may even experiment it with other spices and discover something new.

Preparation: 2 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 ears corn on the cob
° 700ml water
° non-dairy margarine or olive oil
° salt, to taste
° black pepper, to taste

Method
1. Place the corns and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 minutes or until the corns are tender. Remove and drain.
2. Put the corns on the plate, use a brush to brush some margarine on it. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shanghai Green

Easy cooking, any one can do it. Just blanch shanghai green, drizzle the sauce over it and it is a delicious dish. This dish goes well with vegetarian “chicken” rice and dry noodle or dry wonton mee.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 stalks china shanghai green (bok choy), halved
° 500ml water

Dressing
° 1 teaspoon olive oil or garlic oil or ginger oil
° 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce
° 2 tablespoons hot water
° dash of sesame oil (optional)

Method
1. Bring 500ml water to a boil and blanch shanghai green for 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well and arrange on a serving plate.
2. Mix the all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and drizzle over the shanghai green. Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Simple Stir-Fried Petai with Eggplant

What is Petai? Petai is stink bean or twisted cluster bean which had pungent odor but have special healthy function. It is usually cooked with strong flavour food like garlic or sambal. In this recipe, I used fried crispy soy bean or soy bean paste with chilli. You can use vegetarian sambal chilli, if desired. To neutralize the pungent odor, eggplant or brinjal is the answer to it!

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 200g petai, halved
° 150g eggplant, cut into match stick length
° 1 slice ginger or 1 clove garlic
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 1-2 tablespoons fried crispy soy bean or spicy bean paste, or to taste
° 2 tablespoons cooking rice wine

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger or garlic and fry till fragrant.
2. Add the petai and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Throw in the eggplant. Stir in the cooking rice wine, fried crispy soy bean and stir-fry briskly for 4-5 minutes or until eggplants is tender.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Cranberry Bean Soup


I just love the colour and look of the Cranberry Bean (a.k.a Pearl Bean or Crab Eye Bean). Cranberry bean is sweet and nutty and can be used to make a good soup. It cooks quickly and become tender within 20 minutes.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
° 100g-150g cranberry beans
° 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
° 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm thickness
° 4 vegetarian stewed mutton (optional)
° 4 red dates (optional)
° 1 litre water
° 1 slice ginger
° salt, to taste
° pepper, to taste
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves (optional), for garnish

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

Healthy Fruit Juice Jelly

If your little one does not like fruit juice or fruit, here is a solution. Using fruit juice and adding finely chopped fruits to make delicious and healthy jelly for them. You can use any kind of fruit juice – apple, cranberry, pineapple, blueberry, mango, ribenna and the list go on and on. Milo flavour or Chrysanthemum Tea? Why not, if your little darling likes it. Get t little ones involved in the making of jelly and have some fun time together.

Preparation: 2 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (Makes 32 pieces)
° 12g agar-agar powder
° 500ml water
° 60g sugar, or to taste
° 1 litre fresh fruit juice
° fruit (optional), sliced or chopped

Method
1. Dissolve agar-agar powder in 500ml of water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pot from heat, stir in the fruit juice and mix well.
3. Pour the agar-agar mixture into the jelly mould and leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled.
4. Serve chilled.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bandung Agar-Agar

Bandung is a drink that used rose syrup and milk mixing with water. By using rose syrup and soy milk, adding to the agar-agar (jelly) mixture, you can now enjoy a beautiful pink jelly with bandung flavour. In here, soy milk is used to substitute milk to create a vegan version. If you prefer rose syrup flavour agar-agar, just replace the soy milk and with water, it is so simple! Here you go - cherry red agar-agar.

Preparation: 2 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (Makes 32 pieces)
° 12g agar-agar powder
° 500ml water
° 400ml-450ml rose syrup
° 600ml unsweetened fresh soy milk

Method
1. Dissolve agar-agar powder in 500ml of water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pot from heat, stir in the rose syrup, soy milk and mix well.
3. Pour the agar-agar mixture into the jelly mould and leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled.
4. Serve chilled.

Spicy Szechuan Tofu

A delicious home-style simple spicy tofu dish that is easy to cook. You may add some roasted cashew nuts, if desired.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 firm tofu/beancurd (225g), cubed and deep-fried or pan-fried
° 6-8 dried chilli, soaked and cut into 5cm length
° 1 slice ginger, chopped
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° black pepper, to taste

Sauce
° 80ml-90ml water
° 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
° 1½ teaspoon light soy sauce
° 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
° 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
° 1 teaspoon cooking rice wine
° 1 teaspoon corn flour
° 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

Method
1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger, dried chilli and fry till fragrant.
3. Add in the beancurd, sauce and stir-fry briskly for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce thicken.
4. Sprinkle some pepper, transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Quick Cream Corn Soup

This is the fastest cream corn soup that can be whipped up within 8 minutes.

Preparation: 3 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 1 pack (380g) cream style sweet corn
° 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
° 250ml water
° 1 tablespoon corn flour or tapioca flour, mix with 2 tablespoons water
° salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. Place the sweet corn, mushroom and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and stir in the corn flour mixture and simmer for half a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve hot.

Simple Stir-Fried Cauliflower with Celery

Simplicity is beauty – another easy to cook dish without using much commercial sauces, just light soy sauce.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g cauliflower, cut into florets and blanched
° 100g celery, sliced
° 25g carrot, peeled and sliced
° 1 slice ginger, chopped
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 1 tablespoon cooking rice wine (optional)
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° pepper or black pepper, to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and fry till fragrant.
2. Add the celery, carrot and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Throw in the cauliflowers. Stir in the cooking rice wine and stir-fry briskly for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with light soy sauce and pepper.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cabbage and Carrot Congee

I like this congee which I used to eat during school recess when I was a naughty primary school kid in the 70s. A bowl of cabbage and carrot congee with few salted peanuts cost me SGD 20 cents.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins, plus 30 mins standing time


Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g rice, washed and drained
° 1.2 litre water
° 2 slices ginger
° 20g carrot, peeled and finely shredded
° 25g Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
° 1 teaspoon sesame oil
° salt, to taste
° pepper, to taste
° light soy sauce (optional), to taste
° a small handful fresh spring onion or coriander leaves, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons lightly salted peanut (optional)

Method
1. Put the rice, water, ginger, cabbage and carrot in a claypot. Let it stands for 1 hour or more, if desired.
2. Bring the congee to a boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave it to stands for 30 minutes or more. Re-boil the congee for 10 minutes prior to serving. Season to taste with sesame oil, salt, pepper and light soy sauce.
3. Ladle the congee into individual serving bowls, garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves, salted peanut and serve hot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vegan Mango Pudding

This is a popular dessert in Singapore. Usually mango pudding recipe calls for milk, whipped cream, in this recipe it is using soy milk. You may add some mango dices in the pudding, if desired.

Preparation: 8 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins


Ingredients (makes 12 pieces)
° 6g agar-agar powder
° 250ml water
° 30g sugar, or to taste
° 250ml fresh soy milk
° 300g fresh mango puree
° yellow food colouring (optional)

Method
1. Dissolve agar-agar powder in 250ml of water in a pot. Add the sugar and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pot from heat, stir in the soy milk, mango puree, food colouring and mix well.
3. Pour the mango pudding mixture into the jelly mould and leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled.
4. Serve chilled.

Cranberry and Strawberry Agar Agar (Jelly)

This is an exotic and interesting sweet dessert, is easy to make and yet healthy. The recipe called for cranberry juice which is high in vitamin C and soy milk which is nutritious too. With a piece of strawberry, it just looks marvelous for this lovely pink jelly.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins


Ingredients (makes 16 pieces)
° 6g agar-agar powder
° 200ml water
° 30g sugar, or to taste
° 250ml cranberry juice
° 375ml fresh soy milk
° 8 strawberries, halved
° ½ teaspoon kiwi seeds/tukhmaria (optional), soaked and drained

Method
1. Dissolve the agar-agar powder in 250ml of water in a pot. Add the sugar and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pot from heat, stir in the cranberry juice, soy milk, kiwi seeds and mix well.
3. Place a piece of strawberries in the jelly mould and pour in the pudding mixture. Leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled.
4. Serve chilled.

Rojak … A Spicy Salad !

Rojak is a fruit and vegetable salad dish which is very popular in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is a popular street food which needs to be consumed immediately, before it waters out after a while. To create that exotic flavour, do not forget to add tamarind liquid, lime juice and torch ginger bud.

Preparation: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 4-5)
° 200g-250g pineapple, peeled and cut in bit-sized chunks
° 200g cucumber, cut in bit-sized chunks
° 200g yam bean, peeled and cut in bit-sized chunks
° 100g young green mango (optional), peeled and cut in bit-sized chunks
° 50g beansprout (optional), tailed, washed and blanched
° 1 chinese crullers, toasted and snip in bit-sized chunks
° 1 small torch ginger bud, finely shredded

Dressing
° 1 tablespoon assam/tamarind paste, knead with 3 tablespoons hot water and strained
° 2 tablespoons (4 limes) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
° 4-5 tablespoons vegetarian rojak sauce
° 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
° 4-5 tablespoons grounded peanut

Method
1. To make dressing. Mix assam/tamarind liquid, lime juice, sugar, rojak sauce in a large mixing bowl. Remember to taste it, it should be spicy, sweet, sharp and smoky. Add more assam/tamarind liquid, sugar, or lime juice, if necessary.
2. Throw in all the entire ingredients and toss well. Sprinkle in most of the sesame seed and grounded peanut and toss again.
3. Top with more grounded peanut, shredded torch ginger bud and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Soy Milk Agar-Agar (Green Tea)

Here is a simple yet nutritious dessert, by using soy milk. You can use calcium-fortified soy milk, or any other flavour (red bean, brown rice, plain etc) soy milk. It is a healthy dessert for children as well as adult. If you are making this for a party, pour the mixture into individual cocktail glass and top with some fruits (strawberry, longan, lychee, mint leave etc).

Preparation: 2 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients
° 12g agar-agar powder
° 500ml water
° 50g sugar, or to taste
° 1 litre soy milk (green tea flavour)

Method
1. Dissolve agar-agar powder in 500ml of water in a pot. Add the sugar and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pot from heat, stir in the soy milk and mix well.
3. Pour the agar-agar mixture into the jelly mould and leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled.
4. Serve chilled.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Simple Veggie Sandwich

This is a quick and easy veggie sandwich to prepare. Toasted the breads, it definitely taste better. If you like more veggies, add some fresh crisp lettuce and crunchy onions. Eggless mayonnaise or vegetarian salad cream can be used as spread or just squeeze some on the veggies and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on it.

Preparation: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 1)
° 2 slices breads
° non dairy margarine (optional), for spread
° 4 slices cucumbers
° 2 thick slices tomatoes

Method
1. Evenly spread margarine on one slice of bread.
2. Place the tomato slices, slightly overlapping and place the cucumber slices over the tomato slices.
3. Spread margarine on the second slice of bread and complete the sandwich.
4. Slice the sandwich diagonally and use sandwich toothpicks to hold the sandwich halves together.

Plain Congee

This basic recipe for congee (rice porridge) is more toward the Cantonese style where the water to rice ratio is 12:1 and usually take at least 1 hour to be cooked. In order to conserve energy, I like to use the claypot which help to retain heat and reduce the cooking time to half. If you prefer it thinner, just add more water. To thicken, you may add some cornflour solution or glutinous rice flour solution. It can be served with a variety of accompaniments, such as pickled turnips, salted peanuts, mustard greens etc.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins, plus 30 mins standing time

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g rice, washed and drained
° 1.2 litres water

Method
1. Put the rice and water in a claypot or pot. Let it stands for 1 hour or more, if desired.
2. Bring the congee to a boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave it to stands for 30 minutes or more. Re-boil the congee for 10 minutes prior to serving.
3. Ladle the congee into individual serving bowls and serve hot.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Muah Chee (Sesame Flavour)

This is another variant of Muah Chee by adding instant black sesame paste powder to the dough giving it another flavour.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 150g glutinous rice flour
° ½ sachet (25g) instant black sesame paste powder
° 280ml water
° 1 tablespoon sugar
° ½ tablespoon vegetable oil

Peanut Mixture
° 100g roasted peanuts powder
° 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Method
1. Combine the flour, sesame paste powder, water, sugar and oil in bowl. Mix well.
2. Grease a heat-proof ware, pour in the muah chee mixture and steam for 10-15 minutes or until it turn gooey.
3. Meanwhile, to make the peanut mixture, combine the peanuts, sesame seeds and sugar in a plate. Set aside.
4. Scoop out the cooked muah chee dough and use a pair of scissors to snip into small nuggets and coat it with the peanut mixture.
5. Serve warm.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice

This is a simplified version of the Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, omitting the egg, onion, meat and fish sauce which is common. Serve rice in pineapple skin shell, if desired.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins


Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, cooked
° 200g frozen mixed vegetables
° 100g pineapple, diced
° 1 vegetarian ham (optional), diced
° ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
° ¾ teaspoon curry powder
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 1 thin slice ginger, finely chopped
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
° salt, to taste
° sugar (optional), to taste
° ½ fresh red chilli (optional) , finely sliced or shredded
° 1 tablespoon roasted cashew nut (optional).

Method
1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ginger and vegetarian ham fry till fragrant.
2. Throw in the cooked rice, mixed vegetables and pineapples. Add the turmeric powder and curry powder. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until rice is heated through and well coated. Sprinkle some water if it is too dry. Season with to taste with light soy sauce, salt and sugar.
3. Garnish with chilli and cashew nut and serve immediately.

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

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Stir-Fried Mushroom with Sesame Oil and Ginger

This is another easy stir-fried confinement dish. Cardoncello mushroom or king oyster mushroom is used to substitute the chicken. Cardoncello mushroom contains minimal fat, salt and very little calories but with lots of vital minerals. For a change, vegetarian fish slice can be used to replace the mushroom.

Preparation: 8 mins, Cooking time: 7 mins

Ingredients (serves 1)
° 75g-100g cardoncello mushroom/king oyster mushroom, sliced
° 25g ginger, peeled and finely shredded
° 2 tablespoons sesame oil
° 2 tablespoons cooking rice wine or glutinous rice wine
° 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
° ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
° ¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)

Method
1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the ginger and fry till fragrant.
2. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Drizzle the wine over the mushrooms and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Season to taste with sugar, light and dark soy sauce.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mushroom and Black Fungus Congee

Congee is a type of rice porridge. This recipe is more toward the Cantonese style where the water to rice ratio is 12:1 and usually take at least 1 hour to be cooked. In order to save energy in cooking congee, I like to use the claypot which help to retain heat and reduce the cooking time to half. Just removed the mushroom, black fungus (wood ear), carrot, this recipe can be served as the basic congee recipe where other ingredients can be used or eaten as it is with other dishes.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins - plus 30 mins standing time


Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g rice, washed and drained
° 1.2 litres water
° 2 slices ginger
° 20g carrot, peeled and finely shredded
° 2 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked and finely shredded
° a small handful shredded black fungus, soaked and cut into smaller pieces
° 1 teaspoon sesame oil
° salt, to taste
° pepper, to taste
° light soy sauce (optional), to taste
° a small handful fresh spring onion or coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method
1. Put the rice, water, ginger, carrot, mushrooms and black fungus in a claypot. Let it stands for 1 hour or more, if desired.
2. Bring the congee to a boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave it to stands for 30 minutes or more. Re-boil the congee for 10 minutes prior to serving. Season to taste with sesame oil, salt, pepper and light soy sauce.
3. Ladle the congee into individual serving bowls, garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves and serve hot.

Old Cucumber Soup

Home-made soups make an excellent contribution to the vegetarian diet. Try this simple and yet delicious old cucumber clear soup. The texture of cardoncello mushrooms is quite crunchy, making the most suitable mushroom for cooking soup.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
° 250g-300g old cucumber
° 50g-100g cardoncello mushroom (king oyster mushroom), shredded
° 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
° 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm thickness
° 10-12 dried kelps in knot
° 4 red dates (optional)
° 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. Slice the old cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a small pointed spoon. Cut the flesh into 2.5cm pieces.
2. Place all the ingredients and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper and light soy sauce.
3. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

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

Ginger and Red Date Rice

This is an improvised special one-pot dish from Ginger and Red Date Tea, which is a common hot beverage to be taken during confinement. By using the same ingredients for the tea, it is added to cook the rice which gives it a new flavour. At the same time, it reduces the effort to prepare the tea separately. Sesame oil is used generously, as it is rich in calcium and is also one of main ingredients for confinement dishes. Just adjust the ginger and sesame oil used, if it cooks for a normal meal. Mix a little unpolished rice to the white rice, if desired.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, washed and drained
° 400ml water
° 100g ginger, peeled and finely minced
° 8 red dates
° 2 tablespoons sesame oil
° ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Muah Chee (A Traditional Sweet Snack)

Muah Chee, anyone? Muah Chee is a simple traditional snack or street food eaten throughout Southeast Asia. It is made of gooey rice dough cut into small nuggets and coated with finely crushed peanuts and sugar. In this recipe, I had added sesame seeds which may be grinded to be added to the peanut mixture. Usually, the cooked muah chee dough is keep warm and is coated with oil (shallot oil) to prevent it drying up. If you are to prepare it immediately, you can omit adding oil. Omit sugar in the muah chee mixture, if desired but it may be a bit bland.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 150g glutinous rice flour
° 250ml water
° 1 tablespoon sugar
° ½ tablespoon vegetable oil

Peanut Mixture
° 100g roasted peanuts powder
° 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
° 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Method
1. Combine the flour, water, sugar and oil in bowl. Mix well.
2. Grease a heat-proof ware, pour in the muah chee mixture and steam for 10-15 minutes or until it turn gooey.
3. Meanwhile, to make the peanut mixture, combine the peanuts, sesame seeds and sugar in a plate. Set aside.
4. Scoop out the cooked muah chee dough and use a pair of scissors to snip into small nuggets and coat it with the peanut mixture.
5. Serve warm.

Simple Stir-Fried Beansprout

Like something simple, this stir-fried beansprout may be another healthy choice if you consume onions and spring onion. It looks great with different colour from red chilli, purple onions, green spring onion mixing around with white beansprout. Take care not to overcook beansprout; it may look soggy and dull. Give it a quick stir-fry and dish up, it might look raw but it will be just nice when served.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins


Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 200g beansprout, tailed
° ½ onion, shredded
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and shredded
° 2-3 stalks spring onion, cut into 5cm lengths
° 1 slice ginger or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
° ¾ tablespoon vegetable oil
° ½ tablespoon cooking rice wine
° salt, to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger or garlic and fry till fragrant.
2. Add the onion and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Throw in the beansprout. Stir in ½ tablespoon of cooking rice wine and stir-fry briskly for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and add in the chilli.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Spaghetti with Curry Leaves and Chilli

Spaghetti with Curry Leaves and Chilli with a plate of steamed vegetarian prawn

Another one of my East meets West dish, this consists of simple blend of curry leaves and chilli tossed in olive oil. This is improvised version of the Pasta Aglio Olio, using curry leaves to replace garlic. To make it more exotic, sprinkle some curry powder on it. Use fresh red chilli if chilli padi is too fiery and use Angel Hair instead of spaghetti which requires much shorter cooking time.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins


Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g spaghetti or angel hair
° 2 tablespoons olive oil
° 2-3 red chilli padi, finely sliced
° 4 sprigs curry leaves
° salt and black pepper, to taste
° a pinch curry powder (optional)

Method
1. Cook the spaghetti or angel hair according to packet instructions.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Stir fry the curry leaves and chilli for 1 minute or until slightly crispy. Add in the spaghetti and toss evenly with salt and black pepper. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if it is too dry.
3. Divide between individual serving plates or bowls. Sprinkle curry powder and serve immediately.

Margarine Fried Rice


Quick and extremely simple fried rice with simple ingredients like frozen mixed vegetables and salt as the only seasoning. Dairy free and cholesterol free margarine spread is used, however you may change to olive oil, if prefer. You may even add some unpolished rice to the white rice.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, cooked
° 100g-150g frozen mixed vegetables
° 1 tablespoon dairy free margarine
° salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. Heat the margarine in a wok or frying pan, half a minute. Stir in the cooked rice, mixed vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
2. Sprinkle some water if it is too dry. 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.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Simple Eggplant Curry

Tired of steaming, stir frying eggplant (aubergine or brinjal) and at the same time want curry in a hurry. Here is a real simple recipe for you.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 300g egg plant, cut into 1 cm slices
° 1 sprig curry leaves
° 1-1½ tablespoon curry powder
° 1-½ teaspoon chilli powder
° 1- 1½ tablespoons oil
° 160ml water
° salt, to taste
° sugar (optional), to taste
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and cut into section

Method
1. Mix the curry powder and chilli powder with a tad of water to form curry paste and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pot or wok, fry the curry leaves until fragrant. Add in the curry paste and fry over medium heat until fragrant.
3. Throw in the eggplants and stir fry for 1 minute. Stir in the water, salt, sugar and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the gravy is thicken or the eggplants are tender.
4. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chilli and serve immediately.

Hokkien Mee with Tomato and Chilli Sauce

Anyone can whip this up easily without any problem at all. Basically, just blanching hokkien mee in boiling water for a minute, mixed with sauce and oil. It is simple yet delicious and goes well with a bowl of simple hot soup, which can be tofu and seaweed soup or any soup that you like.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g hokkien mee, blanched
° 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
° 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° a small handful fresh spring onion or fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

Method
1. Mix hokkien mee with tomato sauce, chilli sauce, olive oil and spring onion or coriander leaves. Toss evenly. To serve, divide hokkien mee between serving bowls and serves hot.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Angel Hair with Mushroom and Nori

This is an East meets West dish, mixing shredded nori with pasta. It is simple and quite straight forward to cook. You can use commercial shredded nori for convenience.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g angel hair pasta
° 100-125g cardoncello mushroom/king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
° 1 nori sheet, toasted and finely shredded
° 1 tablespoon white/black sesame seeds
° 2½ tablespoons olive oil
° 1 tablespoon water, boiled
° salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. Mix cardoncello mushroom with pinch of salt and dash of olive oil. Baked in toaster oven or oven for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
2. Cook angel hair pasta according to packet instructions. Toss pasta evenly with salt, water and olive oil. Divide between individual serving plates or bowls.
3. To serve, top with baked cardoncello mushroom, nori shreds and sprinkle some sesame seeds.

Angel Hair with Creamy Mushroom (Soy Milk Sauce)

If you find that pasta al funghi is a bit too rich and want something that is lighter, you may find this recipe just nice and healthy. This recipe calls for no dairy products and make it suitable for vegan.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 100g angel hair pasta
° 150g cardoncello mushroom/king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
° 3 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
° 1 thin slices of ginger or 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
° 1 tablespoon dairy free margarine
° 1 tablespoon cooking rice wine (optional)
° 250ml unsweetened soy milk
° 1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
° salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. Cook angel hair pasta according to packet instructions and set aside.
2. Heat the margarine in a wok or frying pan over low or medium heat. Stir fry the ginger or garlic until for less than 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle 1 tablespoon cooking rice wine and stir fry for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the soy milk and bring to a boil. Thicken the sauce with cornflour mixture. Add the angel hair or pasta, season with salt, pepper and toss evenly.
4. Transfer to individual serving dish and serve immediately.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Stir-Fried Bitter Gourd with Salted Black Bean and Chilli

Bitter gourd has a strong bitter taste, to moderate this to some extent is by salting and then washing the cut slices before cooking. Besides using salt black bean, soy bean paste with chilli can be used for stir-frying this dish.

Preparation: 5 mins plus 10 mins standing time, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 250g bitter gourd, seeded and thinly sliced
° 1 slice ginger or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
° ¾ tablespoon olive oil
° 1 tablespoon salted black beans
° 1 tablespoon cooking rice wine
° ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
° 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely shredded
° 2 teaspoons salt

Method
1. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt to the bitter gourd, mix well and leave for 10 minutes for the liquid to drain. Rinse and gently squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
2. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ginger or garlic and fry till golden brown.
3. Add the salted black bean and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Add the bitter gourd and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of cooking rice wine, sugar and fry for a moment.
4. Finally add the chilli and transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Simple Stir-Fried Okra (Lady’s Finger)

Anyone can cook this dish, it required no cooking experience at all and would not go wrong. If you like crunchy okra, just remember not to stir-fry for too long. Have a bite, to decide for yourself.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins


Ingredients (serves 2)
° 8-10 okra/lady’s fingers, trimmed and diagonally sliced
° 1 slice ginger or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
° ¾ tablespoon vegetable oil
° salt, to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger or garlic and fry till golden brown.
2. Add the okra and stir-fry briskly for a moment. Stir in ½ tablespoon of cooking rice wine or water if it is too dry. Season to taste with salt.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spicy Tom Yum Fried Rice

If you like spicy food and rice, this recipe is the combination of both. It is no fuss to cook.

Preparation: 3 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g rice, cooked
° 100g-150g frozen mixed vegetables
° 5 straw mushrooms (optional), halved
° 1 stalk lemongrass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 5cm, bruised
° 2-4 kaffir lime leaves
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 1 thin slice ginger, finely chopped
° 1½ tablespoon vegetarian tom yum paste
° ½ fresh red chilli (optional) , finely shredded
° 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, or to taste
° a small handful fresh coriander leaves (optional), for garnish

Method
1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ginger and lemongrass fry till fragrant. Stir in the tom yum paste and fry for less than ½ minute.
2. Add the lime leaves, cooked rice, mixed vegetables and season with light soy sauce.
3. Sprinkle some water if it is too dry. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until rice is heated through and well coated.
4. Mix in the chilli, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

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

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Carrot and White Radish Soup

This is a simple and delicious clear soup using dried kelps and red dates that add lots of flavor to the soup.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)

° 250g-300g white radish, peeled and cut into small chunks
° 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
° 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm thickness
° 10-12 dried kelps in knot
° 4 red dates (optional)
° 1.25 litres water
° 2-3 slices 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 30 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 and chinese wolfberries can be added, if desired.
2. Add some shredded nori (seaweed) before serving, if desired.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Green Bean and Holland Barley Soup

Another easy home-made sweet soup which very nutritious. If you prefer just green bean soup without the barely, just omit the barley. [Green bean in addition to being good for sore throat, it can quench thirst. Barley is good for soothing sore throats, long term consumption helps to promote healthy digestion and good skin.]

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 45 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
° 150g green bean
° 50g Holland barley or pearl barley
° 4 pandan leaves (screwpine), tied into a knot
° 1.6 litres water
° rock sugar or sugar , to taste

Method
1. Rinse the green bean and Holland barley. Place all the ingredients and water in a pot or claypot. Soak for one hour or more.
2. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the green beans are tender. Add in the sugar and bring to a boil.
3. Ladle the dessert into individual serving bowls and serve.
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