Friday, October 30, 2009

Hi … into hibernation mood again …

A simple Healthy & Nutritious Dessert - Red Bean N Mini Glutinous Rice Snow Balls
Feel like taking a long break again and into hibernation ….
Take care and happy cooking … 
cheers : ) 

Easy Shark’s Fin Melon Soup

I had some shark’s fin melon left after whipping up the Mock Shark’s Fin with Shark’s Fin Melon recipe. What I did was cut the Shark’s Fin Melon into thin shreds, together with carrot shreds, enoki mushroom, ginger and water (enough to cover 1cm above the ingredients in a pot) and threw them into a claypot.  Bring to a boil and simmer till the ingredients tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated mushroom bouillon. Garnish with few drops of fragrant oil and spring onion shreds and 1-2 slices of chilli (optional).

And here, a bowl of piping hot  -  Easy Shark’s Fin Melon Soup … 

Homemade Simplified Shichimi

Shichimi Togarshi is the Japanese spices mix that contains 7 ingredients.  For this version, I used black/white sesame seeds, 5 spices salt (or just salt and sugar) and dry chilli flake.  For a more spicier version, use more chilli flake …

Use it to garnish the dishes or as furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning) …

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Potatoes ‘N’ Veggie Salad with Paprika Mock Floss Furikake

Potatoes Salad with a different twis

As filling for Sandwiches ...
Paprika Mock Floss as always be used in Potatoes Salad to give it a new twist and you can also use it as filling for sandwiches! No Mock Floss for this furikake, just omit it! For children who do not take spicy food, omit the chilli flakes. This would be a good dish to introduce children to eat raw vegetables like celery, carrot and onion cut into tiny bits and by mixing them with cooked potatoes.

Preparation:      15 mins Cooking time:    15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
°         2 potatoes, peeled, cubed and steamed
°         2 stalks celery, chopped or diced
°         1 onion (optional), chopped
°         ½ carrot, peeled and chopped
°         mayonnaise/vegetarian salad cream or to taste
°         salt and pepper to taste
°         Paprika Mock Floss Furikake to taste 

1.       Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl and mix well. Serve chilled.

Paprika Mock Floss Furikake

Furikake is a type of Japanese Condiment that is usually used to sprinkle on top the rice. You can create your own style … 

The ingredients for the above Paprika Mock Floss Furikake is Mock Floss (i am trying to finish up my mock floss), Black Sesame, White Sesame and Dry Chilli Flake, Sugar and Salt (optional).  Quantity as per individual preference. Mix well and store in a container. Simple isn’t it?  Use it for rice, congee or salad! 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Porridge with Lettuce ‘N’ Mock Floss

Just a simple bowl of porridge, enhance it with some lettuce and Mock Floss …. The trick to having porridge or congee cooked in 10-15 minutes is here - Quick Congee

Thursday, October 22, 2009

French Bean N Mock Floss

Deep-fried French Beans with Mock Floss

Toasted French Beans with Mock Floss
Mock Floss, Vegetarian Floss, Pumpkin Floss …  Floss again?

Haha… I am not a big fan of Floss, just like other ingredients or recipes in this blog. I brought to create the recipe and now I still have half a bag of floss left. Therefore, thinking hard on how to finish them. Besides this recipe, there is another recipe using floss, yet to be post on the blog  … 

For this recipe is inspired by the Celebrity Chef – Sam Leong’s cookbook – A Wok Through Time. There is a dish -  Wok-fried Long Beans with Homemade XO Sauce, is  a green cylinder of long beans topped with a dry, fluffy XO sauce. The Dry homemade XO Sauce look like pork floss to me, therefore I substitute with Mock Floss for a vegetarian version.  A lot of time, by flipping cookbooks and those lovely pictures are a great source of inspiration, with little modification or improvising them, you get the vegetarian version and or maybe something totally new …   

 I used French bean and for a healthier version,  by mix ¾ teaspoon of oil with a pinch of salt to the French bean and toasted them in Toaster Over for 10 minutes instead of deep-frying.  Deep-fried or poaching in oil look much better in term of the colour. 

Next, arrange them on a plate and topped with mock floss. I added more sesame seeds (black and white) plus a pinch of dried chilli flakes as I don’t have shichimi togarashi.

So, here is the output! Does it look good? Do you feel like having some?

For a more presentable look, you can tie the deep-fried French beans into a knot, arrange either one or few on a small serving plate and garnish with mock floss.  If you want to place them on a porcelain spoon, arrange the spoons in circle on a plate facing outward. Just play with it and explore …

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steamed Eggplant in Tangy Chilli Sauce

Steamed Eggplant with Tangy Chilli Sauce 

Steamed Eggplant with Chicken Rice Chilli N Tomatoes Sauce
This is an Indonesia Dish with I had in the 90s at an Indonesia Restaurant in Shenton Way for our monthly departmental lunch. It is known as Terong Balado –Baked Eggplant in Spicy Chilli Tomatoes sauce. I just discovered a quick and easy version, if you find the below too troublesome and want less cooking. For the Tangy Chilli Sauce, use the chicken rice chilli sauce ( and add tomatoes sauce (ratio 2:1) or to taste.  If you don’t consume any shallot and garlic, omit those and increase the ginger but not too much.
Preparation:      15 mins Cooking time:    10 mins
Ingredients (serves 2)
°         1 (200g) long slender eggplant, sliced
°         a small handful fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

Spicy Sauce
°         1 (125g) tomato, poached and peeled
°         25g ginger, sliced
°         25g shallot, peeled and sliced
°         25g garlic, peeled and sliced
°         2 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
°         1 tablespoon olive oil
°         1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
°         1 teaspoon sugar
°         1/3 teaspoon salt
°         1 tablespoon tomatoes sauce or to taste

1.       Arrange the eggplant in a heat proof serving plate and steam for 10 minutes or until soft.
2.       Put tomato, ginger, shallot, garlic in a blender and blend till smooth.
3.       Heat the oil in a wok and pour in the spicy paste, Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, add in the chilli and season to taste with vinegar, sugar, salt and tomatoes sauce.
4.       Pour sauce over the eggplant, garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Cup of Simple Crispy Shallot Rice

For Little Girl ...

For Little Boy ...
Super simple and delicious …

When I was a little gal, my late mother whipped up this Rice with Raw Egg for us. What she did was when the rice was cooked, threw in the eggs (raw), shallot oil, spring onion, crispy shallot, and season with salt, light soy sauce and then mix well.

Yesterday, I was making some shallot oil by deep-frying some freshly cut shallot in oil. It was aromatic and I decided to mix the shallot oil, crispy shallot and some chopped spring onion to the cooked white rice. Season to taste with light sauce and mix well.  Spring onion and shallot lends its unique flavour to the plain rice, making it real fragrant.

Then, to make it interesting for kid, I serve it in a round Tea Cup with cute little cartoon on it (freebie). It looks good and delicious, my boy finished up all the tasty rice very fast.

Visual impact is important to kid too! It helps to make the food look more appetizing. Try this, if you have a fussy eater at home. It does not need lots of time to churn out something simple yet delectable.

For a healthier version, use brown rice (those that are light brown in colour). Substitute shallot with ginger, spring oil with Chinese parsley if desired. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if preferred.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Steamed Eggplant with Mock Floss (aka Purple Eggplant 'N' Auburn Floss)

Want some? It looks good and tastes good too!

This dish is inspired from two non-vegetarian restaurants – Taste Paradise and Peach Garden. Taste Paradise has Crispy-fried Japanese Egg plant topped with Pork Floss. For Peach Garden is thin crispy fried egg plant strips fried in light batter and tossed with generous helping of pork floss and a touch of garlic.

Anyway, I haven’t taste these 2 dishes at all, pork floss isn’t vegetarian! Am I going to miss out delicious food, of course -  NO, I decide to whip up and share this with all Vegetarians and Vegan -  a simple and healthy vegetarian version – Steamed Eggplant with Mock Floss.

Here you go, just simple 3 steps where anyone can cook :-

·        Slice the eggplant (or cut into long thick strip), arrange on a serving plate and steamed for 8-10 minutes.  
·        Drizzle shallot/olive oil, little amount of light soy sauce (optional) over the eggplant.
·        Topped with generous amount of mock floss, garnish with coriander leaves and chopped fresh red chilli.

For a special feel – instead of chopped fresh red chilli – use shichimi togarashi (seven spice chilli mix) where you can get from supermarket.

Food presentation isn’t difficult at all, sometime, it can be labour intensive and time consuming but there are also some very simple and yet elegant that can be done up real fast. There is no fix rule, how edible food garnish should be placed, so loosen up and play with it. The more you do it, it just come naturally, without even having to think about it.

So, hurry grabs some eggplant, mock floss and cooks this …

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mock Shark’s Fin with Shark Fin Melon

Ready-to-cook Mock Shark's Fin 250g @ S$8.50
Another green Shark’s Fin dish which everyone can indulge in without hurting the environment. Mock Shark’ Fin soup is not that difficult to find in any vegetarian restaurant that serves Chinese cuisine.

For a change, I decide to test out a slightly different way to present the Mock Shark’s Fin dish. Instead of cutting the melon in shreds, I cut them into a cube (just happened that I got ½ of shark fin melon @ S$1 today in the wet market, rare find). It is quite fun actually, if this is the dish for Chinese New Years, be extra careful with the “number” of ingredients used and ingredients that carry special symbolism in the Chinese culture. There are many different way to arrange the ingredients, like the Black Moss can be placed on the top, garnish with coriander leaves and a wolfberry. Or put a simple Japanese lucky knot made using carrot and daikon strands as garnish. 

Without a supreme broth, as usual I make use of granulated mushroom bouillon and mushroom. For a good classic shark’ fin dish, good tasty supreme broth can’t be compromised.

Preparation:      20 mins, Cooking time:    10 mins
Ingredients (serves 4)
°         200g Shark’s Fin Melon, cubed
°         few brown shimeji mushroom, based trimmed
°         some black moss hair seaweed (Fatt Choy)

Mock Sharks’ Fin
°         50g mock shark’s fin
°         1 teaspoon light soy sauce
°         ½ teaspoon granulated mushroom bouillon
°         pepper to taste

°         75ml vegetable/kelp stock
°         ¼ teaspoon granulated mushroom bouillon
°         1 teaspoon light soy sauce
°         ¼ teaspoon sugar

1.       Combine all the mock Shark’s Fin ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2.       Arrange the shark fin melon, brown shimeji mushroom, black moss hair seaweed, mock shark’s fin, and wolfberries on each individual serving plate.
3.       Mix all the ingredients for the broth well and ladle on each serving plate. Steam for 10 minutes or until the ingredient become tender and serve immediately. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mock Shark’s Fin Ramen

Ready-to-cook Mock Shark's Fin 250g S$8.50
After having the delicious Mini Pot Vegetarian Shark’s Fin at Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant in Singapore Chinatown, it strikes a chord - that Shark’s Fin itself is bland and it needs other ingredients and good tasty broth to enhance its soft gelatinous texture. Therefore, why kill Sharks for their fin, after all preparing Shark’s Fin is so labour intensive, so go for the mock Shark’s Fin which has its texture.

So, I bought 250g ready-to-cook Mock Shark’s Fin @ S$8.50 and decide to cook this noodle. However, a lazy person like me, who won’t spend time making good tasty broth, I used granulated mushroom bouillon and light soy sauce for the soup based, which of course lack the natural sweetness of good broth you would find in a good restaurant.

The mock shark’s fin itself is tasteless, I tried to cut short the progress by adding Vegetarian Oyster sauce, light sauce to it and steamed for 10 minutes. The amount of Vegetarian Oyster sauce should have been reduced, as it gives the mock shark’s fin a not so natural colour. The process should be changed to simmer instead. Since this should be a simple bowl of Shark’s Fin noodle and I decided to arrange the main ingredient - mock shark fin on top of the noodle.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
 2 Japanese Ramen, cooked

Mock Sharks’ Fin
 100g mock sharks’ fin
 2 – 3 teaspoons vegetarian oyster sauce
 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
 pepper to taste
 100ml water or vegetable stock
 2 teaspoons corn starch

 600ml water or vegetable stock
 2 chinese dried mushroom, soaked and sliced
 2/3 teaspoon granulated mushroom bouillon
 ¼ teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
 ¼ teaspoon shallot/olive oil

 some freshly spring onion or coriander leaves

1. Combine all the mock Shark’s Fin ingredients in a bowl and steamed for 10 minutes and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, place the mushroom and water/vegetable stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Season to taste with granulated mushroom bouillon, salt, light soy sauce, oil and pepper. Set aside.
3. Arrange the cooked ramen in each individual bowl and top with the mushroom. Ladle the soup into each individual serving bowls.
4. Place the mock shark’s fin on top, garnish with spring onion or coriander and serves immediately.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tempeh with Honey

A simple recipe which I don’t know what to write about! Writing is never my strong point and I find it difficult to express. Recently, reading some non-vegetarian cookbooks, they have short and sweet description of their recipes together with beautiful photo – informative, interesting yet entertaining, therefore, it leaves an impact on the reader. Something which I may want to achieve.

Cooking is no longer just to fill the stomach, in this era, it is something more – it is a piece of Art without comprising the taste and quality of food or maybe it is even more than that, I don’t know! So is cooking my passion, in fact, it isn’t. Then, these must be the food that my family or my favorite dishes. Surprisingly, it isn’t too, what I really like could not really be found in here, it is a secret! So, the starting of this blog was never planned and it just grows. Now I treat this as a “Mandala” which is impermanent, therefore this blog can cease or exist depend on the "law of nature".

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
 2 (100g) fresh tempeh, diced
 1½ tablespoon honey
 Salt to taste (optional)
 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1. Mix the tempeh, honey, salt and sesame seeds a bowl.
2. Place them in the oven toaster and toasted for 10-15 minutes or till golden brown.
3. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Red Bean Soup

Red Bean Soup Dessert

Red Bean Ice Lolly
Red Bean is also known as Azuki beans. In Japan, it has a festive connotation due to its red colour which was believed to ward off evil and misfortunes and prevent diseases.

Lately, just learn the trick of how to cook red beans that is by soaking them in warm water but I used boiling water and placed them in a claypot. If you have thermal pot, it is not an issue at all. Usually, it is difficult to get real good red bean soup that is not so sweet and with lots of red beans. So you can cook more and serves as dessert or make them into ice lolly. For a more exciting dessert, you may add glutinous rice ball or chestnut or lotus seed or gingko nuts.

People always wonder is Vegetarian diet provide enough iron, calcium etc. Well, take more beans! Red beans good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They're also an excellent low-fat, low-calorie source of protein and dietary fiber. Red beans also contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. (source:

Preparation: 5 mins, Cooking time: 60 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)
 250g red beans
 1 litre water
 4 pandan leaves (screwpine), tied into a knot
 sugar to taste

1. Soak the red bean with 1 litre of hot water for 12 hours or more or overnight. Drain and rinse well.
2. Put all red bean, water and pandan leaves in a pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 45 -60 minutes or till the beans become tender. Adjust the water if desired. Add sugar and discard pandan leaves.
3. To serve, ladle the red bean paste into individual serving bowls. Serve hot.

Friday, October 09, 2009

No Cook Red Bean Ice lolly …

Vegan Ice Cream is not easier to find or the varieties are limited. If you are a vegan and want some healthy ice lolly with no cooking involved, you can still achieve this.  I bought a bowl of Red Bean Soup from the Dessert Stall as take away. As it is very difficult to get red bean soup with lots of red beans, I added silken tofu to make the ice lolly (250ml red bean soup with beans and 125g silk tofu).

Dump all in the blender and blend till smooth, put into the ice lolly mould and frozen it. Sugar, taste before adding, I find the dessert sweet enough and skip the sugar.

Another way, if time permit, cook the red bean soup and you can have lots of red bean in it. A healthy dessert serves in a different way and with lots of goodness …

Just a little question, do you prefer ice lolly, ice cream or sorbet?

Ice cream is too common, big tub of ice cream loaded with lots of calories and yet selling at a very cheap price are easily available at the supermarket. Of course, there is some real delicious high end ice cream too where people go for quality and not quantity.

As for calorie-counters, would you able to resist the temptation of the delicious ice cream or look for a healthier alternative yet special like sorbet which would cost more or do a simple homemade fruity ice lolly?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Cucumber Pickles

Cucumber is on offer lately at the wet market. So, I bought some and make this crunchy pickle.  Skip step 1 if desired, but double the amount of vinegar, sugar and salt. It would be less crunchy.   This sweet and sour cucumber pickles would pair well with spicy dishes.

Lately, I have been playing with few pickles recipes as these recipes are simple and easy to whip up at home yet it can be stored in the refrigerator for few days to a week (made in advance).  On busy weekday meal, these pickled vegetables can be use for ichiju issai (a simplest Japanese meal meaning ‘one soup’ and one-side dish’) consists of a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup and picked vegetables (konomono). For example, a simple yet healthy  ichiju issai for vegetarian can consist of a bowl of brown rice, simple vegetarian miso tofu soup with 3 side dishes (Nappa Pickles, Pumpkin Pickles and Cucumber Pickles).   

Preparation:      5 mins, plus 1-2 hours standing time

Ingredients (serves 2)
°         100g cucumber juluenne
°         1 tablespoon cider vinegar
°         ½ tablespoon sugar or to taste
°         ¼ teaspoon salt
°         Some  roasted sesame seed (optional), for garnish

1.      Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt to the cucumber, mix well and leave for 10 minutes for the liquid to drain. Rinse and gently squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
2.      Combine the cucumber, vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well.  Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
3.       Sprinkle some sesame seeds and serve.
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