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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mee Yoke, Non Halal

                  Wao writing about this, brings me down the road where I meet so many, like me, who wanted to learn everything and I really mean everything possible in the field of BAKING and Cooking, and who subsequently through the passage of time became my very good and close friendsFriends who even went an extra mile.  I have one very good and close friend and before the festivities of Christmas and CNY she will make a bee line to a shop that was way too far my radar and buy alot of stuff there, things like green pea which she knows that I want also.  She not only buys the stuff for me, without the need for me to ask her to process it for me, she will process for me really fine like ground almonds and then pass it to meThank you Rosie, I really do love you so much.

                   Sorry for digressing but I find that somethings it is good to inject a little story/info to give a breath of "fresh air".  Many of us love eating Mee Yoke at open street stall and we will be sweating in the hot blistering sun either to eat there or tau pau.  Now I teach you how to make it yourself in the comfort of your own kitchen together with the sambal to go along with it.  So let's get on with it.

               Step 1
               Chill Sambal

               300 gm                 Chilli Boh
                 30 gm                  Belacan, untoasted
                 80 gm                  Shallots/small onions
                    5 Tabsp            Oil

               Do this step first. Blend the shallots and belacan then mix to the Chilli Boh.  Heat 5 Tabsp oil in wok & fry till fragrant about 10 minutes.  Cool it completely.  Do not add any salt or sugar as it will then spoil the flavour of the soup.  Presumably this sambal cannot be kept in the fridge too long as it does not have any preservatives.


               500 gm                 Yin Kuat
               350 gm                  Prawn shell & head
                                               Buy 1 kg prawns to get the *prawn
                                               meat & the required shell


               100 gm                      Rock Sugar
                   1 Tabsp                 Salt


                                                Yellow mee
                                                 Mee Hoon
                                                 Taugeh/Bean Sprout
                                                 Kang Kung
                300 gm                      *Prawn meat
                300 gm                      Yoke Ngan/Far Yoke, whole
                350 gm                      Prawn shell & head
                    6 litres                    Water
                    1 cup                      Oil

  1. Heat 1 Tabsp oil in a wok & fry 1/2 Tabsp of the prepared Chilli Boh & the 300 gm prawn meat for a Short While till prawn meat is Cooked.  Remove the prawns only onto bowl.  The *liquid put this in the stork [this gives the stock some more Colour & Sweetness.
  2. Fry the prawn shell & head with 1 cup oil till crispy & red.  Remove from fire & divide into two.
  3. Take 1 portion of the fried prawn shell & put in a #liquidiser & pour just enough water to cover the shells & liquidise.  Remove & set aside.
  4. Bring the 6 litres of water, the remaining portion of fried prawn shells [put in a muslin cloth], the *prawn liquid from No.1 above, the #liquidised prawn shell solution from No.3 above, the 500 gm Yin Kuat, 300 gm Yoke Ngan/Far Yoke & bring it to a boil.
  5. Once the stock has come to a boil, lower down the fire to medium low & simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove the ribs, yoke ngan/far yoke, slice the yoke ngan & prawn shell & add in "B" & simmer on medium low fire for another 10 - 15 minutes.  Most important, this stock CANNOT be boiled for more than 45 minutes as then your soup will be cloudy & You should Never use Chicken Bones for this stock  When doing the stock start with high heat then lower to medium when simmering.  The veg and mee of course you blanch.  You would thank me after doing this as this is a keeper too and for this, I have to thank the Chef profusely :).
                     Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, February 25, 2011

Salt Fish Pickle

                      A lot of us love to eat Salt Fish Pickle as it is very appertising, sometimes when no one is coming back for dinner and I feel lazy just to cook for myself, which I am sure is a feeling most wives feel :) I just fry a "runny" sunny side up egg as I love the yolk to be runny and not firm :) and just eat the egg with this acar and hot rice and I feel satisfied with just these two as they do jell together. This is something very easy to prepare.  The trick here is not to eat on the day you made it as the flavour will only infuse after a day or so.

                      Made this Salt Fish Pickle again.  I made a slight modification & increased the water.  I used 114 ml water + 34 gm Assam Jawa as I wanted it to have slightly more liquid when cooking same.  I also measured the Assam Jawa to 34 gm.


             300 gm          Salt Fish/Tanau Ikan Masin
               10                Dry Chillies
                2"               Ginger
           1 1/2"             Fresh Kunyit
                 6 pips        Garlic
              10                 Shallots/small Onion
            114 ml            Water                                             ) mix water & Assam
               34 gm           Assam  Jawa                                 ) Jawa together
                5                  Green Chilli
                2 teasp       Jintan Manis
                2 teasp       Jintan Putih
                1 teasp       Mustard Seeds
                4 Tabsp     Sugar
                1/4 cup       Vinegar
                1/4 cup        Oil


                      All measuring cups and spoons are cake measuring cup & spoons.
  1. Wash, drain, dry & fry sliced Ikan Masin.
  2. Blend dried chillies, ginger, kunyit, garlic, shallots, jintan manis & jintan putih.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in wok then fry the mustard seeds short while as soon as you see them popping about, add in the ground ingredients & fry till fragrant. [Mustard seeds burns easily]
  4. Add in the Green Chillies, sugar, assam water & vinegar & bring it to a boil.  Then simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Switch off fire & stir in the pre fried Salt Fish/Ikan Masin gently [as easy to break].
  6. Cool completely then store it in air tight bottle & refrigerate same.

                                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wao my most hit upload of the week.

               So just for an update my Simple but yummy Malaysian Salad, with all its simpilicity, has become my No.1 Hit and has overridden my First Blog on my Passion of Baking, which took so much of my time and effort to do and which has been the No.1 hit from the time I started this blog.   9.3.2011.


              And I say wao again.  I uploaded my Simple but yummy Malaysian Salad mid last month and I had so many hits just this week for that and it is becoming my third best overall hit.  It is now on par with my signature Banana Rum Cheese cake which I uploaded last year and I wouldnt be surprised by the end of today or probably sooner, it would overtake the placing of the Banana Rum Cheese cake because there must be alot of Malaysians overseas who are homesick for Malaysian food and hope you do this recipe, just to have make a simple comfort food :)  Thank you everyone and for those who are yet to see that; welcome and thanks for dropping bye.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.  25.2.2011 time 5 pm

               So I was not wrong in saying that by the end of today, it is now 9.30 p.m., the nite is not over yet and my Simple but Yummy Malaysian Salad has overtaken my Banana Rum Cheese cake and has now become the 2nd highest spot on my blog leaving my Banana Rum Cheese cake trailing 3rd place. Yay!!!

Gulai Ayam

                  My interpretation of Gulai Ayam is spicy and saucy chicken "curry" and this is something that is a staple at our dinner table and homemade and not something I learnt.

                                              Gulai Ayam


                 3                    whole Chicken legs, chopped
                 2 Tabsp          Oyster Sauce


            1 1/2 inch            Fresh Kunyit
                8 pips              Garlic
                1"                    Young Ginger
                2 stalks            Serai
                2 small             pieces Lengkuas
              20                      Shallots/small onions
                1 1/2 inch         Belacan


                 8                      Fresh Red Chillies, remove seeds [opt]
               12                      Dried Chillies, remove seeds [opt]


                2                       Big Onions, cut into rings
                2 sprigs             Curry leaves

                                         Salt to taste

  1. Marinade the chicken in the Oyster Sauce, put a cling film & marinade in the fridge for 3 hours.
  2. Blend all the ingredients in "A" finely first.  Remove onto a small bowl.
  3. Blend all the ingredients in "B" finely.  Remove onto another bowl.
  4. Remove the marinated chicken from the fridge and thaw it for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Heat quite a bit of oil in a wok then tumis "A" first on low medium fire for about 10 minutes stirring occassion to prevent burning of rempah.
  6. Add in "B" & tumis still on low medium fire for 10 minutes; stirring occassionally.
  7. Add in the marinated chicken, curry leaves, big onions and stir for a minute, then add in water [slightly above the level of the chicken] increase the fire to high and bring it to a boil.  Once it starts boiling, reduce the fire to medium and let it simmer for 20 minutes till meat is cooked. Taste and check for seasoning.


            (a)  Ingredients "A" and "B" are blended separately and fried as detailed above, as you first want all
                  the aroma from "A"  to come out and then only you fry "B".  I am a "celop" Nyonya i.e. married
                  into a Nyonya family and learnt all the ropes from my late mother in law;

            (b)  Before you add in the curry leaves [leave them on the stems] squash them hard in your palms to
                  release the full potential of its power :).  Further, when you add curry leaves in the beginning, the
                  aroma will not be as strong as when you add it somewhere towards the middle of
                  cooking.  I learnt this tip from a reknown Indian Chef.

           (c)  In my years of learning baking and cooking, I note down all that I observed as I always like to
                 reproduce what I learnt thus, if you have been following my blog, you will see that the recipes are
                 quite detailed as I add in my observations as well as in alot of the cases, the recipes are
                 sometimes quite brief and if I want to share my recipes, it is All or not share at all :)

           Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Saucy Egg Noodles, Non Halal

              A lovely "yat wok sok" dish to do for a lazy Sunday lunch. Ophelia

               Ingredients for Chicken stock

              650 ml                   Water
                  2                        Chicken carcass
                  2                        Carrots, cut quite chunky
                  1                        Big Onion, cut into 4

             Prepare the stock first.  Put everything together in a pot and bring it to a boil and once it's boilding reduce fire to low medium and simmer for 1 - 2 hours. Then you strain and remove impurities.

            The rule of thumb is whenever we put any vegetables to boil in the stock, if we intend to boil and then simmer the stock for long hours then we should cut the vegetables into chunky and, if possible, uniform size but if we intend to simmer for lesser than an hour, the size of the vegetables should considerably be smaller :)  *If you dont want to make this chicken stock, you can use 500 ml water.

             Ingredients for Saucy Egg Noodles

             500 ml                     Chicken stock or Water
             400 gm                    Egg noodles [the dried one]
             500 gm                    Minced meat
                 3 Tabsp               minced Tau Cheong
             100 gm                    Big Onions, cubed
             100 gm                    Char Choy, cubed
                                             Dark Soya Sauce
                                             Dash of Sesame Oil [a little goes a long way :) ]
                                             Salt & Sugar [to taste. While cooking check taste
                                             before adding salt as Tau Cheong & Char Choy are salty]

             *Light Corn flour solution for thickening [1/2 Tabsp Corn flour + 1 Tabsp water]

             Garnish:- Carrots, shred
                              Cucumber, shred
                              1/2 Tablesp of Sesame seeds
  1. Soak the Char Choy for a while [as it is salty] then cube it.
  2. Cut the vegetables for garnishing.  Set aside.
  3. Fry the Seasame seed in a wok WITHOUT OIL till golden brown & fragrant being careful as it burns easily. Dish out onto a small bowl.
  4. Mix the tau cheong into the minced meat.
  5. In a wok heat up some oil & saute the cubed Char Choy & onions till fragrant.
  6. Add in the minced meat & cook for about 3 - 5 minutes to allow all the flavours to infuse in the meat.
  7. Add in the prepared chicken stock & bring to a boil then simmer on low medium fire for 5 minutes.
  8. Add in the dark soya sauce, a dash of Sesame oil.  Taste and add salt & sugar if necessary.
  9. Thicken with a slightly thick*corn starch solution [the measurement on top is just a guide.  It is up to you].
  10. Boil the noodles with plenty of water.  Check whether al dante [not too soft, firm to the bite but not hard]. Strain.
  11. Dish noodles onto a large bowl or individual plates and pour the sauce on top with the shredded vegetables as garnish.
                 Do try this.  If  you have,  I would very much love to read your comment. Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia        

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nyonya Laksa with Prawns and Chicken

             Most Malaysians, love eating Laksa whether Nyonya Laksa or Curry Laksa  Most of us have grown up eating this either at street stalls/market or at home lovingly prepared by our grandmother, mum or mother in law and it was like a staple food for us.  My late Mother in law is a Peranakan and a fabulous cook to boot.  It was a real pity I didnt get to learn this from her however, my next best resort was to learn this as this is one of my better half's favourite and then to modify it to suit his taste bud and one of his penchant was, he loved to have his bowl of hot, steaming laksa, temptingly red in appearance though not necessarily to be firery hot/pedas so I would "lovingly" remove the seeds from the chillies but retain the membrane.  Just as a point of interest, if you were to remove the seeds; remember not to remove the casing sticking to the seeds as the heat comes from, not only from the chilli seeds, but also from the casing; so we are told at class :)

                                       Nyonya Laksa with Chicken and Prawns


                8                 Fresh Red Chillies, remove seeds
                5                 Dried Chillies, remove seeds
                3 stalks        *Fresh Lemon Grass/Serai
                2"                *Fresh Tumeric/Kunyit
                3 slices       *Galanga/Lengkuas
              10                  *Buah Keras, opt
              16                  Shallots/medium size small Onions


              50 gm            Dried Prawns, soak in hot water for 15
                                    minutes, wash then pound/blend separately


              500 gm          Yellow mee, blanch in hot water short while then drain

                  2 sprigs       PolygonumDaun Kesom
                  2                 wild Ginger Bud/Bunga Kantan
                  7                 cups Water [cake measuring cup]
               1 1/2              cups Fresh Santan [cake measuring cup]
                1/2                cup Oil [cake measuring cup]
                                     Salt to taste
               1/2 Tabsp      Sugar
              300 gm           Medium size Prawns
                10                 Medium size Chicken Wings, chopped into 2
               300 gm          Beans Sprout/Taugeh, blanch in hot water


                3 sprigs         Polygonum/Daun Kesom, sliced
                1                   wild Ginger Bud/Bunga Kantan, sliced
                1                   Cucumber, remove skin, centre & sliced
                3                   Eggs beaten make into thin ommelette & sliced
                                     Or make hard boiled eggs, halved
                2                   Red Chillies, sliced

                Serve also with Sambal Belacan & limau kasturi

                Method for Laksa
  1. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 30 minutes
  2. Wash then soak the dried prawns in hot water for 15 minutes. Pound/blend the dried prawns separately. Split this into 2 equal parts; one to mix in the blended rempah & the other to fry in the oil to get the oil fragrant.
  3. Pound the Galanga/Lengkuas, Lemon Grass/Serai, Fresh Tumeric/Kunyit, Buah Keras slightly first as these 4 are quite tough and hard to get them blended finely.
  4. Blend the Galanga/Lengkuas, Lemon Grass/Serai, Tumeric/Kunyit, Buah Keras, dried chillies & red chillies until fine, adding a little oil if necessary to get the blades moving easily.
  5. Add 1 portion of the finely pounded dried prawns to the blended rempah.
  6. Heat the oil in a pot. When hot throw in the other half portion of the blended dried prawns & stir & fry short while till fragrant.
  7. Add in the blended rempah & fry till oil separates about 10 minutes.
  8. Add in the chicken, daun kesom, bunga kantan stir for a while then add in the water & bring it to a gentle boil for 15 minutes.
  9. Reduce fire to medium heat add in the prawns, sugar [opt], salt & Santan & simmer for 10 minutes [fire is medium as 1. you dont want to over cook the prawns and 2.  the Santan will curdle easily if fire is big and you will get a "biji biji" texture in the gravy :) ]
          Notes:- Prepare the ingredients for the Garnish and then place them in individual bowls and on a platter.  When I went for the class, the Chef placed all these individual bowls in a large platter and of course, when I came back, I had to do that too so hubby gamely took me, after all, all this is for him too, to a shop which specialise in selling all things and they supplied all these stuff to hotels too; so you see if they are too expensive then of course, it is off the budget then I will go down the road to another smaller shops where the things are cheaper but their range of things are smaller :(


               (a)  When I learnt this the dried prawns were added together with all the ingredients in "A" and
                      blended togetherI prefer to blend separately then split into two; put one portion
                      into the blended rempah and then fry the other portion in the hot oil.  My whole
                     kitchen smelt so lovely :)

               (b) The original recipe called for the prawns to be steamed.  I preferred to put them in the
                     gravy to be boiled so that all the sweetness will be in the laksa.

            Lastly if you are interested in the sambal belachan that I learn, here it is, you will see why I like it, shortly.

             Ingredients for Sambal Belacan

              10                Red Chillies, remove seeds
                4                Chilli Padi
                1                heaped tablesp Belacan [we were told no need to toast as
                                  all these will be cooked after pounding] but I toasted
                                  anyway as I feel more fragrant

                         Blend both the chillies and Belacan till fine.  Put them in a small pot; liquid and all, and cook till liquid vapourise about 3 minutes.  Then add in 1/2 Tabsp oil & cook for a further 2 - 3 minutes.  Add a little sugar if you want.

                         Serve with limau kasturi.

                    Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mother Sauce for Szechuan cooking [Non Halal as Chinese Wine is used]

                  Again I learnt this from a young Chef on 21.4.2001 who subsequently became a very close and good friend.  You may be wondering about the date, you see when it comes to dates and recording the comments of my family, I will, without fail, write them on the recipe itself to help me remember  when I learnt same, what my family loves to eat especially when it is food for the dinner table and whenever I twig them a little to suit our tummy cos it is very easy then for me to reproduce the dish which I twigged otherwise when I  do cook it again, I would most likely get the comment from my better half that, "It does not taste the same" as he is very astute and largely I record, date them whatever, is because of the training I had when I used to work in a law firm to record stuff!!
                 This Szechuan Sauce can be doubled or tripled & then stored in the fridge and the flavours will then develop more but bear in mind, Do Not keep them too long in the fridge as there are no perservatives. The recipes in my blog are things that I learnt over more than 2 decades and I am not a Chef by profession and the comments mentioned are my personal comments and observations during class.  Ophelia 

                                  Szechuan Sauce

           Ingredients for Mother Sauce

               3 Tabsp                   Light Soya Sauce
               2 Tabsp                   *Black Vinegar [Chit Choe]
               2 Tabsp                    Chinese Rice Wine
               1 Tabsp                    Oyster Sauce
               2 Tabsp                    Castor Sugar
               3 Tabsp                    Water

  1. Mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl. 
  2. Put in an air tight container; a jam bottle preferrably & store in the fridge.
  3. It would be best if you use it the next day to allow everything to infuse and for the flavour to develop.  Again this is what I usually do as I feel that it take better after a day or so.

            The Black Vinegar is the vinegar that accompanies Shark Fin soup.

            The following are cooked using the above Mother Sauce

            Stir fried Eggplant Szechuan Style

           200 gm                       Eggplant/Brinjals
             50 gm                       Minced Pork/Chicken
               3 pips                     Garlic
             40 ml                        Mother Sauce
             30 gm                       Spring Onion
               1 teasp                   Chinese Wine

                                             Oil for frying
                                             Corn flour solution for thickening [You adjust yourself]

  1. Skin off the Brinjals/Eggplant & cut into strips.  Set aside.
  2. Cut the spring onion into 1" lengths.  Set aside.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok & deep fry the brinjals till soft. Remove onto platter.
  4. Remove excess oil & leave just sufficient to fry the garlic & minced meat & stir fry for a few minutes.  Add in the pre cooked brinjals & mother sauce. Toss for 30 seconds.
  5. Thicken with corn starch solution then add in the spring onions, stir then dish out.

              Stir fry Turnip/Sengkuang


            200 gm                    Turnip/Sengkuang/Bangkuang
            100 gm                    Chicken meat
               50 gm                   Mother Sauce
                                           *Black Fungus [see below for weight]
                                           Corn starch solution for thickening


         Black Fungus - You need a net weight of 50 gm after they have been soaked approximately about 2 long pieces.  Sorry :( as it is very easy to just agak agak but then you wouldnt get the right proportion!!!  This was what we were taught and I am always someone who loves to make sure that, even in cooking, there should Always be consistency and shouldnt be a case of hit and run ie today good, tomorrow too sour etc.
  1. Cut the turnips with a knife into long stripes [as alot of water would ooze if you shred].
  2. Cut the chicken meat and black fungus into long strips.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok.  Stir fry the meat.  Then add in the turnips & black fungus.
  4. Add in the Mother Sauce. Check taste.
  5. Add corn starch solution; stir fry for 2 minutes to allow the corn flour solution to cook/boil. Serve immediately.

                      Dry fried French Beans


          300 gm                  French Beans
            80 gm                  minced Pork/Chicken
              3 pips                Garlic
             50 gm                  Mother Sauce
               *1 Tabsp          Dried Prawns

              Garnish with Spring Onions

  1. Soak the dried prawns.  Then chop finely.
  2. Heat up some oil in wok and deep fry French Beans till cooked.  Remove onto plate.
  3. Remove excess oil.  Then fry the dried prawns till aromatic, add garlic fry for a while then add in the minced meat and stir fry for 2 mins.
  4. Add in the pre fried beans & Mother Sauce.  Stir fry for a moment then thicken with corn flour solution, stir fry short while for corn flour to cook then throw in the sprin onions.

              Fried Cuttle Fish

              250 gm                Cuttle Fish [BROWN Sotong]
                50 gm                Shallot
                  3 pips               Garlic
                  5                       Dried Chillies
                 20 gm                 Spring Onion
                 50 gm                 *Cashew nuts, roasted
                 50 ml                   Mother Sauce
                1 1/2 teasp            Black Soya Sauce
                                             Corn flour solution [adjust to yr liking]

  1. Fry/Roast *cashew nuts in a wok without oil.
  2. Cut the dried chillies into two & soak in boiling water till soft. Remove.
  3. Cut the cuttle fish into bite sizes.  Set aside
  4. In a wok fry the dried chillies till crispy then add in the shallot & garlic & fry till aromatic.
  5. Add in the cuttle fish & Mother Sauce, stir fry for a while then add in the cashew nuts.
  6. Thicken with corn flour solution & cook for a while.  Add in the spring onions.  Dish out
                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, February 14, 2011

Steamed Fish

                                 Steamed Fish


            700 gm                 White Prompet
               3"                       Ginger, shred
               3 pips                Garlic, dice


              150 ml                 Water
                 2 teasp             Maggi Chicken Concentrate stock
                1 Tabsp             Light Soya Sauce
             1/2 Tabsp             Light Soya Sauce
                                           Dash of Dark Soya Sauce
              1/4 Tabsp           Fish Sauce
                  1 teasp            Sugar
              1/2 teasp            Sesame Oil

           Thickening agent:- 1 teasp corn flour + 1 teasp water.

          Garnishing :-

              1 stalk                Chinese Parsley
              2                          Chilli Padi

  1. Place the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir to mix same.
  2. Place the thickening agents in a small bowl.
  3. Place fish on heat proof plate.  Sprinkle ginger & steam for 7 - 10 minutes [making sure you dont over cok the fish as fish steams fast].
  4. Meantime fry the garlic with a little oil.  Add the sauce & bring to boil.  Check for taste.  Stir the thickening agent & pour into the sauce and bring it to a boil. When fish is steamed, discard the fish juice & pour the hot sauce & garnishing over it.
                       Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Strawberry Semi Freddo with Orange Sauce

                 What is a Semi Freddo?  My simple explanation is that it is like a mousse ice cream but without any gelatine added. Ophelia


                                      Orange zest from an Orange
                90 gm            Castor Sugar

                                      Juice from 1 orange   ] total juice of both
                                      Juice from 1 lemon     ] should be 150 ml


                  75 ml           Water
                    1 Tabsp    Grand Marnier/Cointreau/Brandy, opt


                    5 B             Egg Yolks
                    5 Tabsp    Castor Sugar
               225 gm           Mascarpone Cheese
                   5 Tabsp      Orange juice
                   5 Tabsp      Grand Marnier/Controal/Brandy, opt

                225 gm           Nectarines/Strawberry
                    4 Tabsp     Orange Juice
                    2 Tabsp      Castor Sugar


                300 ml             Whipping Cream [eg Anchor Whipping Cream, Emborg, Shani]
                  1/4 teasp      Butta Vanilla 

               Garnish with mint leaves & some extra nectarines/strawberry

  1.  In a small saucepan combine the orange zest & 90 gm of castor sugar & caramalize over medium fire, stir till it is lightly brown then add in the 150 ml combination of Orange & Lemon juice & water & simmer till this syrup reduces to half its original quantity.  Remove from fire then add in the brandy stir same & pour into a bowl ("syrup").  [This step is often referred to as "reduction" when you want to reduce the quantity of the liquid by evaporation which then results in an intense flavour].
  2. Place the egg yolks on a double boiler on medium heat [this is referred to as "bain marie"] & keep on whisking with a whisk & adding the 5 Tabsp Sugar gradually till it is light, fluffy & lemony in colour.  Then remove it from the fire & pour the mixture into a mixing bowl & whisk on a Kenwood machine with a whisk till ribbon stage i.e. when you lift the whisk, the batter will dribble like a ribbon.  Allow mixture to cool.
  3. In another bowl, combine the Mascarpone Cheese, stir it gently manually with a spatula & slowing adding the 5 Tabsp of Grand Marnier/Cointreau/Brandy & 5 Tabsp fresh Orange Juice & stor gently till it is smooth.  Then fold this mixture gently manually into the Egg Yolk mixture "This is the Semi Freddo mixture"].  Leave aside.
  4. Put 2/3 of the Strawberry/Nectarines into a bowl.  Add in 4 Tabsp Orange juice & 2 Tabsp Castor Sugar & mash the fruit gently with a fork.  Fold this mashed mixture into the Semi Freddo mixture i.e. Step 3 above.
  5. Put the 300 ml Whipping Cream in a bowl & whisk on the Kenwood machine until cream is 3/4 stiff probably 3 - 5 minutes ["soft peak"] to know is lift the whisk and if the tip of the whipping cream is bent/curled, it is soft peak, [be careful do not overwhip, otherwise it will be too stiff], add in the Butta Vanilla & fold it gently manually.
  6. Add 6 Tabsp of the syrup i.e. No.1 to the remaining 1/3 Strawberry/Nectarines & mix it then spoon some of this onto cocotail glasses.  Then top it with the Semi Freddo Mixture, cover the top of the glassed with a piece of foil & then freeze it overnight.
  7. To serve, garnish with extra sliced strawberry/nectarines & mint leaves.

                 (a)  You can prepare Step 1 ie the Syrup a day earlier, cool it completely, cover it then
                        refrigerate same.

                 (b)  Next day do Steps 2 - 6 & freeze overnight.

                  (c)  Next day take it out from the freezer & put in the chiller & let it "thaw" in the chiller for 2
                         - 3 hours then when anyone want to eat just take one out and if it has not thawed
                         properly; just thaw it outside for 10 - 15 minutes, it should have a moussy texture.

                  (d)  I usually like to put it in timbles, cover it with a foil or put them in little tupperware
                        and I love using Nectarines as the aroma from same is Truly unbeatable!!!

                   (e) When a recipe calls for Oranges and you add some orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or
                         Cointreau, it takes your dessert up another notch.

                   (f)  A double boiler is usually two small pots inserted together.  The bottom pot should
                         contain the water and the top pot is whatever you are doing. Just like how our grannies
                         make Seri Kaya.

                                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Prawns in Marmite, Honey & Chilli Padi

                    One only has to mention seafood, esp Prawns and more than likely, everyone will give a resounding word to describe their favorite Prawn dish and their are so many of them as Prawns are so versatile and just to eat them fried with black pepper & salt is also yummy. Ophelia

                                  Prawns in Marmite, Honey & Chilli Padi


              600 gm                 Prawns [Sea prawns best]
                  5 pips               Garlic
                  6                        Chilli Padi


                   1 Tabsp             Marmite
                   1 Tabsp             Sugar
                   1 Tabsp             Oyster Sauce
                1/2 Tabsp             Dark Soya Sauce
                   1 Tabsp             Light Soya Sauce
                  1/2                       bowl [rice bowl] Water


                   2 Tabsp             Honey is added last

  1. Wash, make a slit from head to base & remove the dirt, pat dry & trim the prawn head.  Do not remove the skin & head. 
  2. In a bowl add the Marmite, Sugar, Oyster Sauce, Dark Soya Sauce, Light Soya Sauce & water and stir. 
  3. Deep fry the prawns for a very short while, cannot overcook.  Remove onto plate.
  4. Remove surplus oil just leaving about 2 Tabsp of the oil.  Saute the garlic, chili padi then add in the sauce & bring it to a boil on medium fire.
  5. Once it comes to a boil Reduce fire to low medium and add in the pre cooked prawns; stir for 3 minutes.  Off the fire then add in the honey [honey burns easily] & a little of the oil that was used to fry the prawns earlier as the oil will give it lustre.
            Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crispy Fried Prawn

                  Many of us cannot say enuf about prawns especially fried crispy prawns.  When they are fried, they not only smell glorious but they taste good too especially if they are crispy :)

                             Crispy Fried Prawns

                  600 gm             Medium size prawns

                    A few tricks I learnt from the Chef:-  1.  After removing the shell, make 3 slight slits on the underside of the prawns.  This "allow" the prawns to be straight when frying and allows the prawn to appear longer. 2.  Retain the shells you can make a great stock with some Miropiox for a Seafood Chowder, Seafood Bisque Pasta.  3.  Lastly but certainly not the least, when you want to fry something "prawny" eg some veg, you can fry the shells with the oil to enhance the aroma and taste of your mixed vegetables.

             Remove the shell & the head of the prawns but do retain the tails as they add a bit more glamour when you are serving your food for the family, almost like eating at a restaurant.  Make a small slit from one end of the prawn to the other, remove the dirt along the slit. Wash & dry them well.  Then make 3 small slits on the underside of the prawns.  Place the prawns in a bowl. Put the following in a bowl:-


                 1 teasp          Salt
                 1/4 teasp       Ajinomoto, opt
                 1/2 teasp       Castor Sugar
                 1/4 teasp        Ground White Pepper
                 1/2 Tabsp       Egg White [whisk this till foamy]
                 1 Tabsp          Corn Flour, sieved

               mix this seasoning well & marinade with the prawns.  Then add in 1/2 Tabsp Peanut Oil, mix it well, cling film & refrigerate for 15 minutes.


                 180 gm            Self Raising Flour                     ]
                 120 gm            Rice Flour                                ]  sieve these
                     2 teasp         Double Action Baking Powder ]  3 together

                 300 ml              Water
                     2 Tabsp         Oil

              Method for Batter
  1. Put the sieved flour mixture in a big bowl.  Sprinkle the salt to this mixture, using a whisk stir same so that the salt is well incorporated in the mixture.
  2. Add in the water gradually & using the whisk stir it well short while till you have a smooth batter.
  3. Add in the oil & stir it short while.
  4. Heat oil in wok.  Before dipping the prawn in the batter, give it a small stir, dip the prawns into the batter and then deep fry till prawns are golden brown & crispy.
  5. Remove from fire & place on paper kitchen towels.
                Enjoy with some homemade chilli sauce.  Look at my Prawn Fritters recipe for same. Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Marinated Fruits with Mango Sauce

                This was one recipe I learnt more than 10 years ago and it is still fresh in my mind.  Ppl always say for something to linger  that long in your mind, it must have been good and personally, I was very happy to learn this as I am crazy when it comes to fruits and the riot of colours coming from the assortment of fruits is a sight for sore eyes and the aroma and flavour from the Passion Fruits and the imported Basil leaves, aaah leaves much to be desired.  I remember on my last trip to Australia, I brought home some Passion Fruits with this very recipe in mind.  I know I can get Passion Fruit in some of the big Supermarket here but somehow the thought of bringing back some fresh from Australia just excites me and then again we can find local Passion Fruits here in Malaysia but the full impact of its aroma & acidity cannot be compared to imported Passion Fruit I bought here nor the ones I brought back from Australia.

                 This recipe is specially for Esther and for those of you who live overseas where there is an abundance of these fruits and with the adundance the fruits, it definitely would not cost an arm and a leg there and I would urge you to give try this recipe for an ultimate dessert with fruits topped with whipped cream, mango puree & Vanilla sauce :) Ophelia

These are local Passion Fruits grown locally in Malaysia but personally I find that to compare same with those that I bought from Australia, the local ones loose out as the full impact of its aroma and acidity is not as powerful.  Just as a point of interest, the ones from Australia, the skin are pitch black.

Use a spoon to scope the yellow pulp and the seeds, the seeds are edible and are more often than not, used to decorate the Cream Cheese frosting

           Step 1 do the Vanilla Sauce first

           Ingredients for *Vanilla Sauce

           100 gm           Fresh Cream
              20 gm          Castor Sugar
              *70 ml          Low Fat/UHT Milk
              1/2 teasp      Vanilla [If you add Vanilla Pod, it would definitely enhance the taste]

              10 gm           Custard Powder [Do Not use Instant Custard]
              30 ml            Low Fat/UHT Milk   

                Method for *Vanilla Sauce

                (a)  Put the Custard Powder & 30 ml Low Fat/UHT Milk in a small bowl & mix to combine
                      [hereinafter referred to as "Custard Powder mixture"].

                (b)  Put the Fresh Cream, Castor Sugar & *70 ml Low Fat/UHT Milk in a small pot & bring it to
                       a boil on medium low heat.

                 (c)  Stir the Custard Powder mixture then add it to the (b) above & keep on stirring, on
                        medium low heat, with a whisk till thick making sure there are no lumps.  Remove
                        from fire then add in 1/2 teasp Vanilla essence, stir.
           Step 2
           Ingredients for Marinated Fruits with Mango Sauce

           150 gm              Strawberries
               3                    Peaches
               1                    Dragon Fruit
               3                    Golden Kiwi
               2                    Passion Fruit
               1 Tabsp         Fresh Basil leaves
               1 Tabsp         Balsamic Vinegar
               2 Tabsp         Honey or to taste
           200 gm              net weight of Mango Puree
           100 gm              Vanilla Sauce
           150 ml               ^Whipping Cream [see my notes at the bottom on this]

           Method for Step 2
  1. Wash, towel dry the fruits except for the Mangoes, & cut.  Put the cut fruits in a large bowl. Marinate the fruites with honey, basil & Balsamic Vinegar.  Cling film & refrigerate.
  2. Puree the mangoes & then mix it into the *Vanilla Sauce.
  3. Whip up the Whipping Cream till stiff peak.
  4. Place the marinated fruits into small individual bowls, drizzle with the Mango Sauce & Whipped Cream.
                 In respect of the ^Whipping Cream and examples of ^Whipping Cream are brands like Anchor Whipping Cream, Shani, Emborg.

                           Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lamb Cutlets with Mushroom Rice

Aren't they pretty?

               I learnt this way back in 2001 and this year for CNY eve reunion dinner, I thought, instead of the tedious affair of cooking many Nyonya dishes and with hubby's "consent", I would make these instead and when I learnt them, the Chef didnot included smoked turkey to be fried in the rice but I thought to myself, I would add them for first, more taste in the rice but ultimately, it was for the colour that it would give to the rice.  One tip is that for picky children you could do the rice then put them in moulds, turn it onto a platter & I am sure the children would look the "dress up version" of an ordinary lunch/dinner :) Ophelia

                         Lamb Cutlet with Mushroom Rice

          Ingredients for the Mushroom Rice

          200 gm              Freshly cooked Rice
            50 gm              Smoked Turkey, dice into small cubes
            50 gm              Dried Black Mushrooms
             3 pips             Garlic
                                     Ground Black Pepper to taste
                                      Pinch of Salt
              1 Tabsp          Oil


                       As the portion for the Mushroom Rice is small, I could only get 3 moulds of rice as seen in the picture.

                   Wash the dried black mushrooms then soak them in hot water for 1 hour.  Then dice them into little cubes.

                    Heat the oil & saute the Garlic until light brown.  Add in the mushrooms, black pepper & smoked turney.  Stir fry for 1 minute then add in the cooked, cooled Rice; mix the rice well before adding the salt.  This process is done quickly. Remove onto plate & straight away while it is hot put them in little timbles & press it with a spoon to compress rice [If this is left to cool, it might be more difficult to compress same:) ] & then *turn it over onto plate.  Set aside.
                     Ingredients for Lamb Cutlets


              12                          Lamb Cutlet
                1 packet             Choy Tam
                1 packet              Young Corn
           200 gm                     Carrots
                3 pips                  Garlic
                3                           Shallots/small onions
            200 ml                      Red Wine [for my Muslim visitors, use Chicken stock
                                                 see below how to prepare same]
                2 Tabsp              Mint leaves, chopped
                                            A little fresh Thymn
                                            A little Butter
                                            Ground Black Pepper

                   Method for Lamb Cutlets
  1. Wash & dry the lamb cutlets with paper kitchen towel. Marinate with ground Black Pepper & crush some fresh Thymn to release its oil & place in the cutlets.  Cling wrap & let it marinade in the fridge for 2 hours. [Tip: Do not add salt at this stage.  Salt is only added just before you want to cook as by adding salt early, alot of juice will ooze out from the meat].
  2. Remove meat from fridge & let it thaw for 40 minutes.
  3. In the meantime cut & wash the vegetables & blanch in hot water short while till it is tender.  Remove & immediately place them in ice cold water for 2 minutes, to stop cooking process.  Remove & drain on a siever.
  4. In a pot boil the red wine/*chicken stock with shallots & garlic, let this reduce to half [this process is called "Reduction" in cook books] then add in whipping cream, chopped mint leaf, pepper, salt & butter.  Check for seasoning.  Leave this in the pot till it is needed
  5. Add the salt to the lamb cutlets & mix it well in order to incorporate the salt well into the meat.  Pan fry the meat till it is cooked.  [This you have to gauge yourself.  For me I like to pan fry in some oil then I like to grill it in the oven for a short while.  For me, the whole process of pan frying and grilling is approximately 8 minutes as you can over cook as it would then be tough].
               To assemble

               (a)  Warm up the red wine reduction.
               (b)  Warm up the Mushroom rice in micro oven;
               (c)  Place a mould of the mushroom rice on a plate;
               (d)  Arrange the vegetable round the plate; place the cooked lamb by the side of the rice;
               (e)  Drizzle the red wine reduction on the  cooked lamb.

                   This is specially for my Muslim friends & visitors.  To make the chicken stock just put 500 ml of water, 1 chicken carcass, chop the carcass, 2 carrots, 1 rib/stalk of Australian Celery, 1 Big Onion & bring it to a boil then reduce fire to medium low & simmer for 1 - 2 hours. Then use 200 ml of this chicken stock in place of the red wine.  Any excess of this stock, do not throw away you can freeze same and for those who are gungho like yours truly here to get an even more flavourful chicken stock, you can place on a tray lined with foil, the chopped carcass, the carrots, celery & big onion & bake it in the oven for 1 hour or slightly more than 1 hour and you can see that some of the veg have charred a bit, then remove from oven & place them all in a pot together with 500 ml of water, bring it to a boil.  Once it has boil, reduce the fire to medium low & simmer it for  1 - 2 hours. By baking them in the oven first & then boiling & simmering it, you will find that your chicken stock is more richly coloured & you will be rewarded with a stock ten times more flavourful & more deeply coloured.

                        Tralla, your meal is ready.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia