Friday, February 27, 2009

Asparagus with Special Plum Sauce Salad

Happened to attend the Yummy Veggie Vegetarian Cooking Demonstration at Peranakan Museum last Sunday. The Vegetarian Food Demo was by a Non-Vegetarian Eatery – Coriander Leaf. Due to no open fire allow, the session I attended show how to make simple salad. One of the salads is Asparagus with Plum Sauce – click here to see it ! The surprising thing is many non-vegetarians attend this cooking demonstration and so eager to learn. Could it be it was the Chef of Non-vegetarian eatery doing it? Or people in this conceptual age are more open minded, begin to realize healthier eating is important and vegetarian food is not that boring after all. I don’t know.

I decide to improvise it and omit some ingredients like mustard seeds, chilli oil and added some other things. I make used of
bamboo fungus net like formation, to hold the asparagus together, so it is easier to pick up. And the bamboo fungus also served as a sponge soaking the sauce to make the asparagus tastier. Give it a try, it isn’t difficult at all and in fact, just blanching and you can treat it as “doing art with food”. Add some fun ingredients into it, you will then enjoy …

I omitted the ice spa after blanching the veggie, as I have lesser veggie to do and I shorten the cooking a little bit to allow some buffer for ‘over-cooking process’. It is really simple and you can spend a little bit of time decorating it, it will looks fabulous, like some art piece or what being served in the restaurant ... Those little carrot bits are left over when I cut the carrot slices into flower shape and I throw them on the asparagus.

Preparation: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 4 asparagus, halved diagonally, blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds and drained well
° 4 bamboo fungus/bamboo pith, soaked and blanched in boiling water for 1 minute and drain well.
° 4 carrot slices (optional), cut into flower shape

° 1 tablespoon Chinese plum sauce
° ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
° ½ teaspoon light soy sauce
° ½ teaspoon sesame oil
° ½ teaspoon sugar
° ¼ - ½ teaspoon dried chilli flake, or to taste
° ¼ teaspoon roasted sesame seed (optional)

1. Put 2 sections of asparagus into each bamboo fungus. Arrange on a serving plate and garnish with carrot slice.
2. Combine all dressing ingredient in a bowl and mix well. Drizzle over the asparagus and serve.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dioscorea Root Soup

This is an easy-to-prepare clear and light soup. Fresh dioscorea root (淮山) can be easily purchased from the market or supermarket. It can be added to lotus soup, if desired. Dioscorea also helps strengthen improve lung function, benefiting the whole body. It is commonly used in formulations designed to relieve coughing due to weakened lungs. If you find this too plain, you can add some mock mutton or mock meat (some are vegan) or some wolfberries to add some lovely red colour to this soup.

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 150g fresh dioscorea root, peeled and cut into section
° 125g carrot, peeled and cut into section
° 1 corn on the cob, cut into section
° 8 seedless red date
° 1 slice ginger
° 750ml water
° salt to taste
° granulated mushroom bouillon (optional), to taste
° ¾ teaspoon freshly chopped spring onion or coriander leaves, for garnish

1. Place the dioscorea root, carrot, corn, red date, ginger and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes
2. Season to taste with salt and granulated mushroom bouillon.
3. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves and serve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stir-Fried King Oyster Mushroom with Basil Leaves

Basil leaves is often used to stir fry chicken. For this recipe, I replace the chicken with king oyster mushroom which had the texture of chicken meat. Remember to keep some basil leaves for garnish.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 125g king oyster mushroom, cut into cubes
° 5 dried chilli, cut into section
° 25g basil leaves
° 1 cloves garlic or 1 slice ginger
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° ¾ tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce, mixed with 1 tablespoon water

1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic or ginger, dried chilli, basil leaves and fry till fragrant.
2. Throw in the king oyster mushroom and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add in the vegetarian oyster sauce mixed with water. Stir fry for another ½ minutes or till well mixed.
3. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with some fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stir-Fried Zucchini with Fermented Beancurd

Well, Chow Vegan left a comment in one of the zucchini dishes I had. She said that she used fermented beancurd to stir-fry, so I gave it a try. This is another way to cook zucchini. I guess if I could get some green zucchini, this dish will be more colourful and just omit the spring onion. Freshly chopped chilli can be used to replace the dried chilli flake too.

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

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 200g yellow zucchini, cut into slices
° 1 teaspoon salt
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 2 cloves garlic or 1 slice ginger
° 1 cube fermented beancurd, mashed with 1 tablespoon water
° ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes, for garnish
° ½ teaspoon freshly chopped spring onion or coriander leaves, for garnish
° some roasted sesame seed (optional), for garnish

1. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt to the zucchini, mix well and leave for 15-30 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 garlic or ginger and fry till fragrant.
3. Throw in the zucchini and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the mashed fermented beancurd and stir-fry till well mix.
4. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with dried chilli flakes, spring onion or coriander leaves and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter Melon Miso Soup

I felt so happy after making this soup and it looks beautiful and colourful – the pink flower, the green spring onion, the brown mushroom – the colour of the nature. Well, I got the idea of adding winter melon in miso soup after reading the post on Gastronomy Shojin Ryori is rather simple to make even without vegetarian miso at home, I can use soya bean paste for replacement. Just remember, you have off the heat prior to adding miso paste or soya bean paste. Add ½ teaspoon of sake or cooking wine to the soup, if desired.

The pink flower is optional. I have radish and beetroot at home, so I use those to make these pink flowers. If you have cookies cutting, it will be much easier to cut the shape of the flower. By soaking in beetroot slice and a bit of the juice, it make a lovely pink flower using natural colouring.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 75g sharkfin melon shreds
° few kelps shreds
° 2 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked
° 1 slice ginger
° 2 slices radish (optional), peeled and cut into flower shape
° 2 slices beetroot (optional)
° 500ml water
° ¾ tablespoons soya bean paste or miso paste or to taste
° ½ teaspoon chopped spring onion or some fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
° ¼ teaspoon roasted sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Place all the sharkfin melon, ginger, kelps shreds, mushroom, radish and water in a pot. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the radish slice and soak with the beetroot slices for 5 minutes to make pink flower.
3. Add the soya bean paste or miso paste to the soup.
4. Ladle into individual serving bowls, place the radish flower, garnish with sesame seed, spring onion or coriander leaves, and serve.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vegetable Coleslaw

Same ingredients as the Vegetable Sandwich Spread and Vegetable Dipping Sauce! By playing around with the amount of ingredients used, I now have another new dish – Vegetable Coleslaw!

Preparation: 8-10 mins

Ingredients (serves 1-2)
° 100g round cabbage, finely chopped
° 25 carrot, finely chopped
° 25g onion, finely chopped
° 25g red/yellow capsicum, finely chopped
° 25g Japanese cucumber, finely chopped
° 1 strawberry (optional), chopped for garnish
° 2 tablespoons vegetarian salad cream/ vegan mayonnaise
° 1 teaspoon sugar
° 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
° 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
2. Chilled and garnish with strawberry.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vegetable Dipping Sauce

Oh, if this look familiar. Yes, it is the same ingredients that I used for the Vegetable Sandwich Spread. By adding some roasted sesame seed which is optional, this Vegetable Sandwich Spread can be easily turn into dipping sauce for deep-fried items or Vegetable sticks.

Preparation: 8-10 minutes

Ingredients (makes ±50g)
° 1 teaspoon round cabbage, finely chopped
° 1 slice carrot, finely chopped
° ½ teaspoon or 1 slice onion, finely chopped
° ½ teaspoon red/yellow capsicum, finely chopped
° 1 slice Japanese cucumber, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons vegetarian salad cream/ vegan mayonnaise
° ¼ teaspoon sugar
° ½ teaspoon vinegar (optional)
° some roasted black and white sesame seeds (optional)

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
2. Garnish with some roasted sesame seed and serves.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vegetable Sandwich Spread

Wanted something to spread on bread, try this sandwich spread. You can omit any of the vegetables that you do not like. As for the portion, you don’t have to follow so closely, just make sure the vegetable don’t over power the vegan mayo, if not you will have Coleslaw instead.

Preparation: 8-10 minutes

Ingredients (makes 4)
° 4 slices bread
° 1 teaspoon round cabbage, finely chopped
° 1 slice carrot, finely chopped
° ½ teaspoon or 1 slice onion, finely chopped
° ½ teaspoon red/yellow capsicum, finely chopped
° 1 slice Japanese cucumber, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons vegetarian salad cream/vegan mayonnaise
° ¼ teaspoon sugar
° ½ teaspoon vinegar (optional)

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
2. Spread the sandwich spread on one slice of bread and place another slice of bread on it to complete the sandwich.
3. Slice the sandwich diagonally and use sandwich toothpicks to hold the sandwich halves together if desired.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crystal’s Green Mango Salad

Salad mixed with dressing and ready to be eaten!

Healthy salad! A new twist to the common vegetarian Green Mango salad. You can add pine nut or some crispy stuff such as Yu Sheng Bok Chui Biscuit, if desired. See, we don’t have to stick to the non-vegetarian Thai Mango Salad, we can let our imagination run wild and come up with different ideas to make our vegetarian dishes exciting and interesting. Be a pioneer and dare to be different.

This salad can be served with Vegetarian Chicken Rice. You can make this salad one day in advance by mixing the dressing with green mango and carrot. Sprinkle peanut powder or grounded peanut, sesame and chilli flake prior to serving. Replace with freshly chopped chilli if dried chilli flake is unavailable or omit it.

Preparation: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 175g shredded young green mango, chilled
° 25g shredded carrot, chilled
° 1 teaspoon peanut powder or grounded peanut
° ½ teaspoon black and white sesame seeds (optional)
° ½ teaspoon dried chilli flake (optional)

° 1 tablespoon plum sauce
° 1 tablespoons (2-3 limes) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

1. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Arrange shredded mango and carrot on a serving plate.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the shredded mango and top with peanut powder, sesame seeds and dried chilli flake. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Otah!

Oh, I love this! It is 50 cents per pcs and ready to be eaten! Are you hungry now and want some?

Some vegetarian stalls do sell but very rare now. Where to get it? I bought it at Xin Yuan Vegetarian Food Trading at Fortune Centre (#01-25).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shell Pasta with Dried Chilli Flake

Simple and nice! Instead of using freshly cut chilli, I used of dried chilli flake, making this easier to cook and no worry if you run out of fresh chilli. Want some? It is real delicious, maybe I am happy or I am real hungry today that this pasta taste so delectable! Was doing marketing yesterday, I saw a packet of shell pasta which is gluten free – Rice Shell Pasta. It is translucent white.

For Buddhist Vegetarian, you may want to omit garlic and use some slice of ginger to fragrant the oil and replace spring onion with coriander leaves.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)

° 300g shell pasta, cooked
° 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
° 2 tablespoons olive oil
° 1½ teaspoon dried chilli flake, or to taste
° salt to taste
° freshly chopped spring onion (optional), for garnish
° some roasted sesame seed (optional), for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Stir fry the garlic for 1 minute.
2. Throw in the shell pasta and season to taste with salt and dried chilli flake.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds.
4. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 09, 2009

White Fermented Beancurd Soup

There was a post on Zen in Moonpointer and it led to the talk of Shojin Ryori Cuisine! After viewing the beautiful photos of this cuisine at Moonpointer, I was real hungry! I wanted Shojin Ryori Cuisine!
So I decide to make something like what was in the Photo – White Miso Soup with Tofu (I think). Well, I don’t have white miso at that moment, so what I did was to replace it with white fermented beancurd and added wakame seaweed instead of using kelps, for a real quick one.

Ok, you may ask what is Shojin Ryori Cuisine? Well, Shojin Ryori Cuisine is a Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine (Vegan, in fact) which originated in Zen Temples around 13th century in Japan. Now, it is rarely found even in Japan but if you want to have to experience what Zen Food is like , there is one and only one place in Singapore that serves this cuisine - Enso Kitchen, which isn’t a restaurant nor temple but a mobile food ‘experience’. They make use of the premises of a resident restaurant which is closed on Sunday to serve lunch. I guess you need reservation and check their website for more info.

Preparation: 3 mins, Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 1 teaspoon wakame seaweed
° 1 slice ginger
° 3 cubes preserved tofu or white fermented beancurd, mashed
° 500ml water
° few roasted sesame seeds
° ¼ teaspoon freshly chopped spring onion or fresh coriander leave(optional)


1. Place the ginger, wakame seaweed, water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Stir in the mashed preserved tofu and add it. Mix well.
3. Transfer to a bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions or coriander leave.
4. Serve hot.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Yusheng (Fruit, Mushroom and Vegetable version “Yusheng”)

In Singapore, Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is the time for “Yusheng” dish, which is created by our local chefs of Singapore in 1963. In the past, it is served on the 7th day of Chinese New Year which is also known as “ren ri” (every man’s birthday). But now, you can have it anytime from the 1st day to 15th day of Chinese New Year!

You can even buy the “Yuseng” mix (which is only available during Chinese New Year period) and get some shredded carrot, white radish, green radish and raw fish (Vegetarian raw fish) to have this dish at home. You toss and say auspicious phrase related to the ingredients like “da ji da li” , “tian tian mi mi”, “yi ben wan li”, … and “cai yuan guang jin”. Remember to toss this salad high, the higher you toss, the greater your fortunes will be.

I bought a pack of “Yusheng” mix (consist of lime/plum sauce, sliced yam, sesame seeds, peanut, pok choy, pickled papaya, vegetarian jelly fish, red & green ginger etc) and added carrot shreds, green mango shreds, white radish shreds, enoki mushroom.

I added enoki mushroom, as it saves me the time spend on preparing more vegetable shreds! I have omitted the vegetarian raw fish (as the mix come with it) and replace green radish with green mushroom shreds for this Fruit, Mushroom and Vegetable version “Yusheng”.

You can add whatever fruit (green papaya, strawberry, green apple …) you like to give this traditional Yusheng dish a new twist.

If you crave for this dish after Chinese New Year, you can also whipped up a simplified version “Yusheng” !

Vegetarian Roasted Squid !

Guess what I am doing now? Munching the vegetarian roasted squid (S$1.50) which I bought from a Vegetarian Shop near my place. It is spicy and yummy!

Going vegetarian does not mean you got to miss out a lot of food, there are many mock stuff, like this where you can get to stop your craving if any.

The above Vegetarian Roasted Squid is a product of Kawa Food. Website:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rock Melon Juice

Healthy homemade fruit juice is always better than fizzy drink! Cantaloupe or Rock Melon is another fruit that you can make wonderful highly nutritious juice - full of potassium, vitamin A & C for maintaining optimum health and weight loss.

Just like what I did to the watermelon, I just halve it and use a tablespoon to scoop out the flesh and dump inside a blender! Within a few seconds, all done. If you find it too thick, just add some water, sugar and stir thoroughly.

Good for kids who are not eating enough fruit or fiber. Another way to added healthy stuff to their diet by drinking it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

“Nian Gao” 年糕 roll with Grated Coconut

Celebrating Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year), “Nian Gao” 年糕 is a must-have traditional treat for each household, it represents the meaning of “going higher every year” implying progress in whatever one does (career, business, studies or status) in a new year.

“Nian Gao” is a type of steamed glutinous rice cake. The one in the photo is the traditional type steamed in a banana leave case rather than plastic wrapper. When it is just freshly made, it is very soft and you don’t have to put them in the refrigerator. Then, it gets harden and you can then cut it into slices and deep-fried with slice of sweet potatoes.

Last year, I have a special Samosa in Malaysia - Ipoh. Guess what, the filling of the samosa is not curry potatoes, is Nian Gao plus sweet potatoes. It is so creative, the Nian Gao and sweet potatoes were cut into little triangle and wrap with spring roll wrapper prior to deep-fried. When I picked up the Samosa and ate it, it took me a while before I can decipher what was in it.

Besides, deep-frying it, you can steam it again until very soft and roll in a plate of fresh grated coconut until it is evenly coated. Just like what I have in the photo.

As time goes by, lesser and lesser people like to eat traditional Nian Gao. Sometimes, people just buy them for praying or just for its symbolic meaning.

Some Vegetarian Restaurants come up with different Nian Gao for the modern generation. There are Yam or Radish or Water Chestnut added to the Nian Gao or Nian Gao made in the shape of fish for auspicious connotation, that come in beautiful gift box where it look so presentable as gift.

Nian Gao is only available during Chinese New Year, if you haven’t got any yet, hurry! quickly grab some before it is gone or you will have to wait till next Chinese New Year.
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