Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Long Bean Pumpkin Rice (菜豆金瓜饭)

The hub is a Hokkien and his mum used to cook them long bean rice or otherwise known as Cai Dao Peng. She has not done so for quite a while and my sister-in-law is always asking when she can cook this childhood dish again.

I had some long beans left after I fried some long bean with minced pork the other day (my childhood dish!) as requested by the hub. So decided to let the hub reminisce his childhood dish, with a twist of course! I also wanted my children to try more of our childhood dishes so that the dishes will not be forgotten and can be pass down to their children in future.

Simple rice dish with long beans, I added sliced Taiwan sausages, pumpkin and chicken to make it more flavourful. In the end, the hub says the smell reminds him of Lotus Leaf Rice....sigh... but he did say he like it and he took double portions that meal!

Here's the recipe...

Long Bean Pumpkin Rice (Serves 5 - 6)

180g pumpkin, diced
25g dried shrimp, washed and soaked
5g dried baby scallops, washed, soaked and tear into small pieces
5 strands of long beans, washed and cut into small pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 shallots, sliced
1 toe-sized ginger, peeled and minced
1 boneless chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups of rice, washed
1 - 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Hua Diao wine
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
A few dashes of pepper

Spring onion for garnishing (Optional)


In a heated oiled wok, add in 1/3 of the garlic and fry until fragrant. Add in the long beans and stir-fry for a min. No need to fry the long beans until cooked. Dish out and set aside.

Add a little oil and fry the taiwan sauages until fragrant and slightly browned.

Shift it to one side and add in the ginger, garlic and shallot and fry until fragrant.

Add in the dried shrimp and dried scallops and fry for a min for it to be fragrant. Mix with the Taiwan sausages.

Add in the pumpkin, rice and chicken. Stir to combine.

Add the dark and light soy sauce, pepper and wine and mix to combine well.

Dish up into a rice pot and add water to just cover the rice. do not add too much water or the rice will be very wet when done. (I did mine slightly too wet, would be even nicer if it was a little drier) Put the rice cooker to cook the rice.

When the rice is almost done (At this time, steam has begin to come out of the rice cooker), add in the long beans and continue to let the rice cook.

When done, dish out and garnish with spring onion. (optional)


Hope you will like this dish as much as my family. And if you are a Hokkien, hope it reminds you of the wonderful childhood dishes that your mother or grandmother had cooked for you.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Braised Chicken with Peanuts

Since young, I have always loved my peanuts, especially braised ones. One can of braised peanuts is all the dish I needed to eat with my bowl ( or rather bowls) of porridge for lunch.

Oddly, this love for peanuts was not inherited by my kids. As mentioned earlier, I wanted them to open to a variety of food options so tried to come up with something that they love together with peanuts. And that's how this dish came by.

A really simple dish that warms your body and is best eaten with a bowl of steaming hot rice. I am using canned peanuts for this dish as I wanted it to be a quick dish. However, you can braised the peanuts from scratch.

Here's the recipe...

Braised Chicken with Peanuts (Serves 5 - 6 as a side dish)

1 can braised peanuts, with the sauce
12 drumlets
ginger approx 1", skin removed and sliced
4 - 5 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp black soy sauce
2 tbsp Hua Diao wine
50 ml water (may use more, depending on amount of gravy needed)
pepper, to taste

Spring onion for garnishing (optional)


In a heated oiled wok, use medium fire and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant.

Add in the drumlets and stir-fry a little then add in the whole can of peanuts together with the sauce.

Add the dark soy sauce, pepper and wine. Add water so that it just cover the chicken. Lower the fire and cover to simmer the chicken, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to wok. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender, approx 15 - 20 mins. If gravy is insufficient, add more water to simmer.

Dish up and garnish with spring onion. (optional)


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Mango Mushi-pan (Japanese Steamed Cake)

My kids like the steamed cake from Four Leaves and I have always wanted to replicate the cake. Looked around on the Web and Facebook and found that quite a number of people has already tried making the cake with success. Found the recipe from Bake for Happy Kids to be easy enough to follow and do not make a large quantity (which is great for me!) Saved it in my bucket list but never really got down to it...sigh

Cutting the story short, wanted to do something easy for the kids breakfast tomorrow. Because we did quite a bit of baking recently and with the recent bout of sickness, I wanted something less "heaty" and healthy as well. Also, the hub got me a new toy recently - a mini steamer. So the mushi-pan came to my mind!

Contemplated what flavour to do for them and finally decided to do Mango flavour as I have a bottle of Mango essence at home.

The kitchen smells great during the steaming and when done, the hub couldn't wait to try one.

Verdict - Fragrant, soft and moist. The hub gave a thumbs up and gave me a woeful look when I say there isn't anymore to spare. Haha!

These steamed cake are so yummy and so effortless to make. I did not use double-acting baking powder as stated in Zoe's recipe but it still works beautifully!

Thanks Zoe! This recipe works wonderfully for me! It's a keeper!

Here's the recipe...

Mango Mushi-pan (Japanese Steamed Cake) (Makes 2 large cakes or 4 small ones)
Adapted from Bake for Happy Kids

75g cake flour
25g sugar
2 tbsp milk ( I used soy milk)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mango essence
1 egg, 60g


Pre-heat a steamer filled with water.

If you are using a frying pan to steam, you will need to cover the lid with kitchen towel to prevent condensation from falling onto the steam cakes. For me, I am using an electric steamer so this step is skipped. Just on the power to pre-heat.

Lined 2 - 4 ramekins (depending on the size of cakes you are making) with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg, sugar, milk, mango essence and oil until well combined.

Sift in flour and baking powder and mix until batter is smooth.

Pour the mixture into the pre-lined ramekins and place them in the steamer and steam for approx 15 - 20 mins (depending on cake size) or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Turn off heat and move the cakes onto cooling racks.

Serve either hot or room temperature.

Hope you will enjoy these cakes as much as I did!

Shogayaki (Pork Slices in Ginger Sauce)

My children always prefer to chicken over the red meats, but I wanted them to "open up" to other food options so I decided to try make this dish for them. My children always loved Japanese food and this is one of the common Japanese dishes you can see in restaurants or Japanese stalls in food courts.

As the hub likes onions, I added lots of onions to it. For this round, I'm using a store-bought sauce for the dish which I bought from Daiso. Cheap and nice. One of my most preferred store-bought sauce for meats.

I added extra grated ginger to enhance the taste but this is entirely optional and you can leave the grated ginger out if you don't want so much heat in the dish.

In addition, I did not have enough time to slice the meat so I bought pre-sliced pork meat.

This dish of sweet and tender pork slices goes perfectly well with a bowl of steaming hot rice and is wonderful to warm up the body on a cool evening.

Here's the recipe...

Shogayaki (Pork Slices in Ginger Sauce) (Serves 4 - 5)

300g sliced pork belly Sukiyaki meat
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger (any juice that comes out when grated also add in)
7 tbsp ginger sauce (bought from Daiso)


Marinate the meat with 1 tbsp of the ginger sauce for about 10 mins. Meanwhile

In a heated frying pan, fry the garlic and onion until fragrant.

Add in the pork and grated ginger. Stir-fry for a while until meat is almost cooked. As meat is very thinly sliced, do take note not to overcook it.

Add in the remaining ginger sauce and stir to mix well. Lower the fire to medium low and let meat simmer until fully cooked and has absorb the flavour from the sauce. If sauce is not enough, add a little hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired amount of sauce. Do not add too much as it will dilute the flavour.

Best served hot with rice.

My children surprisingly loved the dish and my elder son, who detest pork, ask me to cook this dish again. A simple and fast dish that the whole family will love!

Happy cooking!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Roasted Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks

This was initially not one of the post that I intended to do for the blog as the chicken was done quite impromptu, a last-minute decision as I wanted to have something nice for my elder son for being a good boy. Ingredients for the marinade also depended on what I had at home at that time. This is the reason why I have only one picture for this post. So sorry about that.

However, I received some requests for recipe when I posted pictures of the chicken on Facebook so I decided to type it out nicely. Took a while, as explained in my previous post, as my children and I took turns getting sick.

Surprisingly, results was a succulent chicken drumstick that has the nice fragrance of honey mustard together with the slight tangy feel. Coriander added to the delightful taste, making this dish a wonderful recipe to keep. I should experiment more with my spices!

My elder son and the hub loved the chicken. My son was a little disappointed that I didn't make more!

Here's the recipe...

Roasted Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks (Makes 3 drumsticks)

3 medium-sized drumsticks
1 tbsp honey mustard sauce
2 tsp dried coriander leaves
A pinch of salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

In a medium sized bowl or a deep plate, marinate the chicken with all the ingredients and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours. Best result if marinate overnight in the fridge (cover with a cling wrap before putting into fridge). I like to use a fork and give my chicken some "massage" by poking them for the flavour to get in better, but this is optional.

Bake the chicken in the oven for 40 - 45 mins, turning sides when it's about 20 mins. Chicken is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Happy cooking!

Milo Nestum Muffins

This is one of the very long overdue posts as I was caught up with work, events, children and myself getting sick, etc. Finally able to sit down in front of my computer to properly type out this recipe. I apologised for the delay.

Came up with this recipe as I wanted to make some muffins for the children's breakfast on the morning of my sister's wedding day. Elder son requested for something with Milo since it was ages I made Milo-flavored food. I wanted something easy to eat and to bring around as the day will be a very busy one. So this was it!

This time I used condensed milk to replace sugar as I wanted to replicate the taste of the usual Milo that we drink in the coffeeshops. The response from my children was a big thumbs up!

The only negative comments was that I was too stingy on the almond bits! Hmph!

Here's the recipe...

Milo Nestum Muffins (Makes 8 - 9 muffins)

150g self-raising flour
35g nestum cereals
60g cooking oil
100ml milk (I used full cream UHT milk)
4 tbsp milo powder ( I used the big packet type, not the 3-in-1)
4 - 5 tbsp condensed milk (depends on how sweet you want your muffins)
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
Some almond bits (to sprinkle on the top of muffins)


Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Pre-lined the muffin tray with paper liners or set aside the muffin paper cups if using.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the oil, condensed milk, eggs and milk until well combined.

Sift in the flour and milo. Add in the nestum cereals and mix until just combined. It is usual to have some lumps. Do not overmix.

Pour the mixture into the pre-lined muffin trays or the muffin cups until about 90% full.

Sprinkle the almond bits onto the muffins. Bake the muffins for about 20 mins or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

When done, set on cooling rack to cool.

This is definitely a recipe that Milo lovers will like. I hope you do too!

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Chicken in Creamy and Spicy Tomato Sauce

Thanks to all my readers, my blog has crossed the 10,000 page view on Saturday. Though this blog was opened last year, it was only May this year that I started active blogging. So being able to cross the 10,000 mark in such a short period of time (about 3.5 months) feels remarkable and I am sincerely humbled and touched by all the support from all of you. Especially seeing successful attempts of my recipes by readers keeps me motivated to continue blogging.

A big THANK YOU to all of you! Muaks!

Wanted to do up a sweet and innovative huat kueh to celebrate but the end product was rejected by my chief tester, the hub...sob! 

So today, I decided to cook up something to spice up our lunch since the hub is on leave at home and he was especially nice yesterday. He volunteered to look after the kids for the whole day and asked me to go pamper myself. Love him to bits!

Since I bought some boneless chicken thighs, I decided to make this dish. It is a tomato-based stir-fry chicken with a spicy feel to it. Previously I have always cooked this sauce with prawns but wanted to try it with chicken. The milk added gives the dish a creamy feel and helps in thickening the sauce.

End results - the hub and son gave me thumbs up. The hub finished up the whole thing till the last drop. He even asked if I need to take a picture of the empty plate! LOL!

Please do adjust the chili sambal amount according to your intended level of spiciness as I was cooking for the kids as well so I didn't want to make it too spicy.

Here's the recipe...

Chicken in Creamy and Spicy Tomato Sauce (Serves 4)

2 pieces of boneless chicken thigh (approx 400g), cut into 1-inch thick pieces.
1 red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp tomato sauce
3 tbsp full cream milk
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 - 1 tbsp sambal chili (I used bottled sambal chili)


Heat up a wok and add a little oil. When oil is heated up, add garlic and onion and fry until fragrant.

Add chicken pieces and stir well, letting the chicken to be cook.

Add in tomato sauce, chili and and mirin and mix well. Let chicken simmer for a few minutes. At this point, if the sauce is not enough, you can add a little water or stock, 1 tbsp at a time as too much sauce will dilute the taste.

When the chicken is almost cooked, add in the milk and milk well. Allow to simmer until chicken is fully cooked.

Serve with rice.

A very simple and fast dish that you can serve with rice. Hope you will enjoy this dish! Happy Cooking!