Sunday, November 5, 2017

Banana Bread



What do you do if you have some overripe bananas?  You can bake a loaf of banana bread. Banana bread is not only easy to bake, it is healthy as well.  Mixer is not required.  You only need 2 big bowls, a whisk and a rubber spatula or wood spoon.  It is better to use overripe banana as it is softer and sweeter.

Banana Bread


Ingredients (loaf tin : 9 x 5 x 3 inch)

Dry

1.  230g all purpose flour
2.  150g sugar
3.  1 tsp baking powder
4.  1/4 tsp baking soda
5.  1/4 tsp salt (If you are using salted butter, omit the salt)
6.  1 tsp cinnamon powder

Wet



mashed bananas

1.  3 bananas (mashed)
2.  2 eggs
3.  1/2 cup (113g) melted butter
4.  1 tsp vanilla extract


Method

Preheat oven (180 degree Celsius)

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl.

2. In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.
3. Pour the combined wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and lightly fold the mixture with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Combine dry and wet ingredients
4.  Pour the batter into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper.

Ready to go into the oven.

5.  Baked for 55 to 60 min in 180 degree celsius oven or until the toothpick comes out clean after inserted in the center.


Delicious banana bread







Thursday, October 26, 2017

Matcha Castella Cake

My family and friends like my castella cake.   I bought matcha powder recently and decided to bake matcha castella cake.
I was proud of myself after baking it.  The texture was soft, moist and spongy.


Ingredients

Part A
1.  5 egg yolks
2.  1 whole egg
3.  50g condensed milk
4.  30 g fresh milk
5.  70g cake flour
6.  10 g matcha powder
7.  75 g oil

Part B
1.  5 egg whites
2.  1 g salt (slightly little than 1/4 tsp)
3.  65 g sugar

Method

Part A
1.  Heat oil in microwave for 2 mins.
2.  Sift cake flour and matcha powder into oil and mix well.
3.  Add milk and egg yolks and stir until batter become smooth
4.  Stir in condensed milk until no crumbs and shinny

Part B
1.  Add salt to egg white and beat until foamy
2.  Add sugar gradually and beat until stiff peak.

Part A + Part B
1.  Mix 1/3 of egg white to Part A
2.  Mix the rest of Part B to Part A
3.  Bake in a pre-heated 150 degree Celsius oven using the waterbath method for 60 mins or until the toothpick comes out clean.










Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spicy Shredded Meat 鱼香肉丝


Spicy Shredded Meat is a Sichuan dish.  In Chinese is “Yu Xiang,” (鱼香), which literally means “fish fragrance,” or “fish flavor.”  but there is no fish in this dish.  Shredded meat is used instead.  This is a versatile sauce as beef or eggplant can be used too.

There is a story behind the '"Yu Xian" sauce.
A housewife wanted to cook fish for her husband but discovered that there was no fish at home.  Since there was some sauce which was used for cooking fish left, she decided to use the sauce to cook several other foods.  Her husband liked the dishes she cooked with the sauce.  Gradually, her neighbours knew and learnt this cooking method and hence "Yu Xiang" became a popular delicious cuisine.

Ingredients

1)  200g shredded pork
2)  1 cup black fungus (shredded)
3)  1 stalk celery (shredded)
4)  1 carrot  (shredded)

Marinate for pork
1)  1 tbsp light soy sauce
2)  1 tbsp wine
3)  1 tbsp water
4)  1 tbsp cornstarch

Sauce for pork (1)
1)  1 tbsp minced green onion
2)  1 tbsp minced ginger
3)  1 tbsp garlic
4)  1/2 to 1 tbsp. hot bean paste

Sauce (2)
1)  2 tbsp. light soy sauce and water
2)  1/2 tbsp sugar and wine
3)  1 tsp vinegar and cornstarch


Method
1.  Marinate pork with light soy sauce, wine, water and cornstarch.
2.  Stir-fry shredded pork until cooked and set aside.
2.  Stir-fry black fungus, celery and carrot and set aside.
3.  Cook green onion, ginger, garlic and hot bean paste until fragrant.
4.  Add shredded pork, wood ears, celery and carrot to the wok and mix well.
5.  Finally, pour sauce (2) and mix well before serving.  Make sure all the ingredients are coated with sauce.



 



Sunday, October 8, 2017

酸辣湯 Hot and Sour Soup


Hot and sour soup is my number one favourite soup.  It is sourish yet spicy taste which I like.  Some places do have good hot and sour soup but some are just too diluted.  Many ingredients are used but it is not difficult to make.  The only time consuming part is to cut all the ingredient into thin strips. Although it is time consuming, I am always happy to see my family enjoy the soup.  



Ingredients
1)  1 box tofu
2)  1/2 carrot
3)  about 80 g meat (more if you like)
4)  2 eggs
5)  2 wood fungus (if it is the dried type, soak it in water to rehydrate it)
6)  3 dried mushrooms
7)  20g bamboo shoots
8)  1 litre chicken stock
9)  20 ml rice vinegar / apple cider  (more if you like to sour)
10)  2 tbsp. light soy sauce
11)  2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
12)  2 tbsp. hot bean paste
13)  1 tsp salt
14)  some pepper
15)  some sesame oil
16)  3 tbsp. cornstarch dissolve in 50 ml water

Method

1. Soak dried mushrooms in water to rehydrate them.
2. Cut wood fungus, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu and meat into thin strips.
3.  Marinate meat with about a tablespoon of egg and 1/2 tsp soy sauce.
4.  Heat pan with some oil.  Stir fry carrot for a few minutes to release beta-carotene. Add wood fungus, mushroom and bamboo shoots and continue to cook.
5.  Add chicken stock and water.   Bring it to a boil.
6.  Add meat and let it simmer.
7.  Once meat is cooked, add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, hot bean paste, salt, pepper and vinegar. (You might want to taste the soup to check if there is a need to add vinegar)
8.  Finally, add tofu into the soup.
9.  Pour in the cornstarch and give it a gentle stir to thicken the soup.
10.  When the soup returns to a boil, slowly pour in the beaten eggs. Do not stir the soup at this moment.  Let the egg set before stirring.
11.  Before serving, drizzle some sesame oil and garnish with some chopped spring onions.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Castella Cake 原味鸡蛋糕


I really enjoy castella cake.  It is very popular in Singapore now.  There is usually a queue at any bakeries selling it.  I like this cake because there is no cream of tartar or baking powder added to it and the texture is also moist and fluffy.





Ingredients

Part A
1.  6 egg yolks
2.  75 g oil
3.  60 g milk
4.  90 g cake flour

Part B
1.  6 egg white
2.  1g salt (that is approximately slightly less than 1/4 tsp)
3.  80 g sugar

Method
1.  Heat oil in a microwave for 2 mins
2.  Add sifted cake flour into oil


Mix flour with oil



3.  Add egg yolks and milk and mix well, then set aside.

Add egg yolks and milk



Part B
1.  Add salt to egg white and beat until foamy.
2.  Add sugar gradually and beat until stiff peak.


stiff peak

Part A + Part B
1.  Mix 1/3 of part B (Egg white) into Part A and mix well



Mix 1/3 egg white to batter
2.  Mix the rest of Part B to Part A.

Mix the rest of Part B to Part A
3.  Pour batter into baking pan (8 inch square pan)
4.  Preheat oven 150 degree Celsius.  Bake for on the lowest shelf using waterbath method for 60 mins or when a toothpick is insert into the center of the cake and it comes out clean with nothing sticking, the cake is done.   (my oven seems to be very hot, so I turn my temp down to 130 degree Celsius)
If the top of the cake is slightly brown, cover it with a piece of baking paper to prevent it from getting burnt.


Add cheddar cheese for extra flavor


Friday, September 8, 2017

Japanese Seaweed Chicken

Japanese Seaweed Chicken can be done within 15 mins.  It is sweet and savoury at the same time.







Ingredients
1.  100g chicken fillet
2.  some seaweed

Sauce
1.  2 tsp soy sauce
2.  2 tsp mirin
3.  2 tsp sugar

Method
1.  Cut chicken fillet.  Make sure it is almost the same size as seaweed so that it is easier to wrap.
2.  Wrap fillet with seaweed.


3.  Pan fry fillet until cook.


4.  Pour sauce over chicken.  Coat every chicken fillet with sauce and cook until sauce is absorb by fillet.




Cute Bento Boxes


My new hobby is creating cute bento boxes.  Creating bento boxes help me de-stress.  I am able to let my creative juice flow and come up with some cute or crazy ideas.  Some of the bento boxes were so cute...too cute to be eaten.  I wanted to give my gals a surprise by making different cute bento boxes for them.

Here are 4 of my creations.

Bees in the garden
Knock Knock Kitty
What's inside  :  Rice, Tamagoyaki, String Beans with carrots and Seaweed chicken


What's Up Bunny

What's inside  :  Rice, Sugar Snap Pea with Mushroom, Burger, Potato croquettes


Hello Polar

Hello Teddy

What's inside  :  Rice, Broccoli with Carrots, Tamagoyaki, Baked Pork Cutlet
Just Bento

What's inside : Pork belly with spring onion, cauliflower, Thai style tau kua (firm dou fu)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chili...Mr Baek's receipe


Mr Baek did it again!  I tried this chili recipe after watching Home Cook Rescue 3.  The pot of chili I made using this recipe was great.  Unlike the usual chili recipe, this recipe does not require beans or a lot of spices.  Yet, it was flavourful and we just can't stop eating it.
The second time I tried this recipe, I used pasta sauce instead of ketchup as I ran out of it.  It was equally good, if not better.


Ingredients
1)  2 cups onions (that is about 1 big onions, chopped)
2)  1 cup mince beef (about 200g)
3)  2 tbsp. chili powder
4)  1 tbsp. sugar
5)  2 tbsp. mince garlic
6)  1 tbsp. ketchup  (can replace with pasta sauce too)
7)  2 tbsp.worcestershire  sauce or soy sauce
8)  1/3 tbsp. butter
9)  1 tsp cumin powder

Method

1.  Cook butter, beef, chopped onions, mince garlic over medium heat.



2.  When onions turn transparent, add ketchup, chili powder and worcestershire sauce and stir well.


3.  Add 1 cup of water and stir occasionally.

4.  Finally add cumin.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until desire thickness. 














Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chocolate Castella Cake 古早巧克力鸡蛋糕


Castella cake is very popular currently.  There is always a long queue in the first ever Taiwanese Castella Cake Bakery at Tampines.  I was also introduced to a Japanese bakery, Oiishi Pan, at Toa Payoh.  When I went to get the cake at 11 am last week, the employee said that the cake will only be ready after 1 pm and suggested I placed an order as the cakes were usually sold out very fast.  I placed an order and did not regret as the cake melted in my mouth.

I did not want to queue for  another castella cake and decided to bake one myself.  After searching for the recipe, I was surprise  that the ingredients were all nature and wholesome.  In addition, sugar level is low.

I have tried the original favour and now I am sharing the chocolate flavor.  The cake texture was light and moist and it had became my family new favourite cake.



Ingredients (adapted from Steph's World)
8 inch square baking tin

Part A

1.  50g vegetable oil
2.  65g cake flour
3.  25 g cocoa powder
4.  90 g  milk
5.  5 egg yolks

Part B

1.  5 egg whites
2.  70g sugar

Part C
1.  Some chocolate chips

Method
Part A
1.  Heat vegetable oil
2.  Sift cake flour and cocoa powder.  Pour vegetable oil and mix well until no crumb.
3.  Pour milk into batter first, then add egg yolks and mix well.
Pour in milk
Add egg yolks

Part B
1.  Beat egg whites and gradually add sugar
2.  Beat until stiff peak
3.  Fold in 1/3 of Part B to Part A.

Fold 1/3 Part B to Part A
4.  Fold in the rest of Part B to Part A.
5.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into baking tin.  Sprinkle some chocolate chips.
6.  Pour the rest of the batter. Lightly coat some chocolate chips with flour and sprinkle them onto the batter.
7.  Bake in a water bath for about 40 mins (this is based on my oven.  The original recipe suggested 60 mins).  I prefer to place my baking tin on the lower shelf so that the top will not burn.


Sprinkle chocolate chips onto of batter







Soft and moist cake






Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pan fry Garlic Prawns


Prawns with garlic is surprising tasty although it only requires three ingredients.



Ingredients

1.  12 prawns
2.  3 garlic (slice thinly)
3.  3 to 4 dried chillies (cut into small sections)
4.  pepper
5.  1 tbsp. cooking wine


Method

1)  Shell and de-vine prawns ( leave the last segment attached)
2)  Marinade prawns with some pepper
3)  Heat pan with olive oil and sautee garlic until fragrant
4)  Add dried chillies and fry until fragrant.
5)  Add prawns and fry until prawns are cooked.
6)  Finally, add 1 tbsp. wine and cover lid for a while.




Saturday, July 15, 2017

Spicy Korean Style Chicken


What else can we do with soda besides drinking it.  I shared a recipe on Coke Chicken Wings previously.  Now it is time to share a recipe using 7-up (or you can use Sprite too).  The cooking method is somewhat similar to braising in this recipe.  Some people might feel that chicken will be tough if it is cooked again after pan frying.  Do not worry about it as 7-up will tenderize chicken.


Ingredients

1.  200g chicken (cut into bite-size)
Alternatively, you can use chicken wings too.  But remember to separate the drumette and wingette .
2.  Some spring onions
3.  Some sesame seeds (toasted)

Sauce
1.  200ml 7-up
2.  1 tbsp. gochujiang
3.  1 tbsp. light soy sauce
4.  some sesame oil
5.  1 tbsp. minced garlic



Mix all the ingredients for sauce in a bowl



Method

1.  Pan fry chicken pieces until brown.





2.  Pour in sauce and chopped spring onions and cover the pot. Allow it to cook for about 5 mins or until sauce evaporates.




3.  Before serving, sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped spring onions.





Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chicken with Pumpkin Sauce


The method I used to cook chicken with pumpkin sauce is similar to how I cook salted egg chicken.  I prefer using pumpkin as it is healthier than salted egg.  The recipe I share here is actually from the variety show '4 Chefs' (四大名厨).  I have replaced chili padi with dried chili as I did not have chili padi that day.  I also added some curry leaves.


Ingredients

Chicken
1)  150g chicken (cut into bite size)
2)  1/2 tsp salt
3)  1/2 tsp sugar
4)  1 tsp sesame oil
5)  some pepper
6)  1 egg
7)  6 tbsp. cornstarch


Pumpkin Sauce
1)  100g pumpkin
2)  2 tbsp. butter
3)  6 tbsp. evaporated milk
4)  2 to 3 chili padi (cut)
5)  1/2 tsp salt
6)  1/2 tsp sugar
7)  2 tbsp. water
8)  1 tsp minced garlic
9)  some curry leaves  (optional)

Method

Chicken
1)  Marinade chicken with salt, sugar, sesame oil, pepper and egg for 30 mins.
2)  Coat chicken with cornstarch and deep fried until golden brown and set aside.

Pumpkin Sauce

1)  Slice pumpkin and steam for about 15 mins or until soft.  Mash pumpkin (I use a fork to mash pumpkin).
2)  Fry minced garlic until fragrant.
3)  Add mashed pumpkin, butter, evaporated milk, salt, sugar, water.  Stir fry all these ingredients until they are incorporated.   
4)  Add chili padi and curry leaves and stir fry.


Pumpkin Sauce

5)  Add chicken and stir fry until chicken pieces are coated with pumpkin sauce.








Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pan Fry Pork Chop and Baked Potatoes with Herbs


Usually I would coat pork chop with bread crumbs and deep fry it.  This time, I did not want to use too much oil so I pan fry pork chop instead.  I topped with baked potatoes as I had some potatoes left and wanted to finished them.  Potatoes wedges will be soft inside and crunchy outside when wedges are steamed before baking them. 

Ingredients

Pork Chop

1)  300g pork chop (about 4 pieces)
2)  1/4 tsp salt
3)  1 tsp sugar
4)  1 tbsp cornstarch
5)  1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
6)  1/4 tsp baking soda
7)  1 tbsp. water
8)  1 tbsp. oil
9)  1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine


Baked Potatoes

1)  2 large potatoes
2)  1 tsp mixed herbs
3)  2 tsp salt (1 tsp salt for steaming, 1 tsp for baking)
4)  1 tsp black pepper
5)  1 tbsp. olive oil


Method

Pork Chop

1) Wash pork chop and pat dry.  Use meat hammer to tenderize meat.
2)  Marinade pork chop with all the ingredients for 20 minutes.
3)  Pan fry pork chop

Baked Potatoes with Herbs

1)  Peel and cut potatoes into wedges.
2)  Sprinkle 1 tsp salt on wedges and steam potatoes until soft. 
3)  Transfer potatoes to a baking tray.  Add olive oil and sprinkle mixed herbs, salt and pepper and mix it well.
4)  Baked for about 20 to 30 mins ( 160 degree Celsius)




 
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