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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fried Chicken & Prawn Balls

                   This is lovely.  You can eat it as a dish or be simply wicket and eat it while watching TV. Two things have to be taken note first.  (1) Use Chicken breast as other pars of the chicken has too much tendons.  (2) The Proportion of chicken and prawns MUST ALWAYS be maintained; more importantly, (3) You CANNOT Substitute Pork for Chicken as, then the texture will be rough. These are tips that Chefs at classes "throw" our way and which I will quickly note down, sometimes in shorthand when too many tips are being given at too fast a rate and if my mind fumbles at a "foreign" word that my dear brain cant figure out how to write in shorthand as haha, my mind is more used to taking dictation from my boss of a legal nature, then my fingers will just scribble but I Make Sure that while in class I always try to comprehend what I wrote as then if I am not sure the Chef is there or ask my friends there rather than trying to decipher what I wrote at home, alone at my computer :) Ophelia

                    Fried Chicken & Prawn Balls


                   300 gm                         *Chicken Breast, minced
                   150 gm                          Prawns, minced [nett weight minus prawn shells]
                       3                                 Water Chestnuts, chopped
                       1 Tabsp                     Carrot, grated
                       1 Tabsp                     Corn flour, sieved
                       1 Tabsp                      Chinese Parsley/Yin Sai, chopped
                       1 Tabsp                      Spring Onions, chopped
                                                            Salt & White Pepper to taste


                         1                                 Egg, beaten


                                                            Bread Crumbs for coating

  1. Put "A" in a big bowl & mix in 1 direction only short while [that's the Chef's instructions and those of us from an era when our grandmother and mother ruled the kitchen.  I remember hearing this :) and the rule of thumb is to never overwork this].
  2. Then lift it up and bang hard onto basin a couple of times like making fish paste until a thick homogenous is formed.
  3. Make into uniform fish ball sizes.
  4. Dip the balls into the beaten egg then coat it in bread crumbs.
  5. Heat oil for deep frying.  Fry till golden brown.  Remove, drain excess oil & place on paper kitchen towels.
                        Eat them with homemade chilli sauce.  I have a recipe here in my blog for chilli sauce and I think it is together with my fried Prawn Fritters.

                         Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia


Thai style salted fish

           This is something very easy to prepare and a real appertiser. Ophelia

                 Thai style salted fish


                 200 gm             Tanau salted fish


                    1                     Bunga Kantan
                    2                     Limau Perut leaves
                  10                     Chilli Padi
                  10                     medium size small onions


                    6 teasp          Limau nipis juice
                    3 teasp          Sugar

  1. Wash salted fish, dab well with kitchen towel.
  2. Fry till fragrant and cooked.  Drain excess oil.  Cool then cut to small pieces.
  3. Prepare "B" & place in a bowl.
  4. Prepare "C" in a separate bowl & mix till sugar dissolves.
  5. Only mix everything together when about to eat.
                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Kuah Assam Pedas with Sting Ray/Ikan Pari

Kuah Assam Pedas with Sting Ray/Ikan Pari

              Of all Peranankan food, I love this The best with its spicy & slightly sourish taste, a natural appertiser.  Nothing beats eating this pipping hot with hot steaming rice, lovely comfort food and if I am eating alone, I Don't need any other things; just this with rice and I am satisfied.  This was what my MIL used to cook but alas back then there was no proper recipe for me to grasp at, so next best thing when I was queen of my own kitchen years later, I did alot of R&D with alot of trial runs over the years and have finally come up with something that I concocted myself and was pleased with my own result. Ophelia

                 Kuah Assam Pedas with Sting Ray


                  2 big handful       Dried Chillies


             Handful of                 Dried Prawns


               20                              medium size Shallots/small onions
                 6                              Garlic
               25 gm                         Belacan
                 3                              Serai
                 2"                             Fresh Kunyit
                 3 slices                     Lengkuas
                 3                              Daun Limau Perut, remove centre vein as bitter


                 1 sprig                    Daun Kesom [this is the umph factor]
                 2 long stripes          Sting Ray/Ikan Pari, cut
                 2                             Brinjals
                 3                             Tomatoes
                 8                             Ladies Fingers
                 2 handful                 Tamarind mix with water
                                                *Extra water, opt
                 1/2 Tabsp                Sugar
                                                 Sufficient SALT
                                                 Sufficient oil for frying rempah

  1. Soak the Dried Chillies with hot water for 15 minutes.
  2. Pound the Dried Prawns separately. Remove to small bowl.
  3. Pound/Blend "C"  till fine. Remove to small bowl.
  4. Blend "A" ie the Dried Chillies till fine.  Remove to small bowl.
  5. Heat sufficient oil then fry/tumis the Dried Prawns till aromatic.
  6. Then add in "C"and fry/tumis for about 10 minutes. *Crush the Daun Kesom, just before throwing it into the pot, with the palm of your hand and add in & tumis.
  7. Then add in "A" ie the blended Dried Chillies and tumis for about 5 minutes till it pecak minyak [Do add extra oil if needed as frying rempah without sufficient oil would not get you the correct "taste".]
  8. Add in tomatoes, brinjals and saute it for 2 - 3 minutes in order for the rempah to infuse in it.
  9. Add in the Ladies Fingers, Fish & Tamarind Water solution [take note that the total liquid should be the level of the fish and veg.  If not enough Tamarind water add *Extra water and adjust this with Assam Keping if necessary] Sugar & Salt and bring it to a boil.  Check for taste, adjusting if necessary.
  10. Once it comes to a bowl off the fire as you dont want to over cook the fish.


             (a)  When I made it for dinner last nite, my daugther who told me that she would not be eating dinner at home, could not resist this with rice as my kitchen still had this heavenly smell at 1 a.m.

              (b)  You may be wondering why the rempah is pounded/blended Separately  and split into two parts?  Well in one of my cooking lessions, the Thai Chef taught us to split the rempah into 2 parts, the red part ie the Dried Chillies or Red Chillies then the other part, which he called "The White Rempah" consists of the small onions, garlic, serai, lengkuas, kunyit and he taught us to first fry the White Rempah then only the Red Rempah :) and ever since then whenever I cook I follow this method as I find it adds depth to my cooking :)

              (c)  Pounding it manually again gives volumes to your cooking.  Whenever I cook my husband will ask me whether I pounded or blended the rempah as he is of the opinion that things taste better when pounded and if I am not free, he will willing don an apron and pound for me and incidentally, HE is a good cook himself thus whenever I have cake orders and not free to cook, he will take over the kitchen and boy does his cooking rocks!!! I am truly blessed :)

               (d)  Finally, my MIL does not add Dried Prawns, I added it as I love the smell when I tumis.

               Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kuih Talam

                      Wao when I think those of us from the older generation who grew up at a time when Kuih Talam was something that was a signature kuih which was, more than likely, always on our menu for tea; back then Kuih Talam was at its height as practically everyone loved to eat this aromatic, light kuih and if you were to buy it then, it was dirt cheap.  Most of our grandmothers or mothers either knew how to make it themselves or bought it from a favourite stall vendor.  These days ppl do not have that much time to make this themselves as the rationale, "We don't have the luxury of the time or better still, ai yah why make lah when we can just simply buy it from our favourite shop?" and you really can't  blame them as they are spoilt for choice and the working enviroment now compared to our time is a totally different ball game; back then our prinsip was to work hard and everything will fall into place; money, promotions.  Now it is work smart

                       Making Kuih Talam yourself is something that needs a little practice but the unmeasurable joy it gives when you get it right, nobody can rob you of that feeling of insane happiness that beats store bought things [without prejudice] at most times, hands down, in terms of taste, freshness and the satisfaction of knowing what exactly is in it and the thought that you can personalise it by reducing slightly the salt and sugar to suit your own taste buds not to mention health reasons too as too much of something esp salt and sugar never did anyone much good and as we are not Chefs/Bakers by profession we cant, at our own whim and fancy, reduce them too much at once as they may be needed for structure esp sugar when making cakes thus the need to gradually reduce same.

                              Kuih Talam

              Ingredients for Bottom Layer

             (A)  300 gm                Sugar
                     150 gm                Rice Flour [brand I like to use is, "3 Elephant"]
                       50 gm                Green Pea Flour/Lek Tao Hoon

             (B)   800 ml                Pandan juice [to be blended 
                                                                          FROM 175 gm of 
                                                                          Pandan leaves plus 
                                                                          780 ml Water]

                     1/2 teasp            Akaline water


           Ingredients for TOP LAYER

            90 gm                 Rice Flour [brand, "3 Elephant"]
            30 gm                 TAPIOCA flour
            1 1/4 teasp         Salt
           200                       Fresh Santan MIX with 460 ml Water

               Method for BOTTOM Layer
  1. ALWAYS Start first by measuring the ingredients for Bottom & Top Layer then separate them by putting them away in 2 separate trays & marking them.
  2. Blend pandan leaves with a little of the water mentioned above till very fine.  Mix the blended leaves with the balance of the water & squeeze the resides with the aid of two fine hole sievers one on top of each other :) 
  3. Put a pair of chopsticks about 7" apart in a steamer then Start by first boiling water in a steamer large enough to contain a 9" x 9" x 3" square tin.
  4. If water has been boiled and you have not got everything ready yet, reduce fire and let it simmer & 5 Minutes BEFORE you need to steam the kuih, INCREASE the fire to medium.
  5. Put sugar, rice flour, green pea flour in a saucepan.  Use a whisk & stir it once to incorporate same.  [Ok now increase your fire to medium fire].
  6. Put the Akaline water to the 800 ml Pandan juice, use a hand whisk & stir it once to incorporate the Akaline water to the pandan juice & pour it GRADUALLY to the saucepan & stir it short while.
  7. Place saucepan on medium fire & use the whisk to stir CONSTANTLY short while  till you can see that there is a Little starchy & transparent formation, straight away pour this mixture into the 9" x 9" x 3" square tin [NO need to grease this tin].
  8. Place the tin ON TOP of the chopsticks. Wipe the droplets off the cover of the steamer, Cover the steamer & steam the bottom green layer for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes open the cover & wipe droplets Again, cover steamer, reduce heat & steam for another 30 minutes. SIX Minutes before the Second 30 minutes is up, prepare the TOP LAYER so that you can pour this over the Bottom Green layer once the 2nd 30 minutes is up.
                     Method for TOP LAYER
  1. Put Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour & Salt in a pot. Use a whisk & mix it once to incorporate everything.
  2. Then add in the 660 ml Santan and Water solution GRADUALLY & use a whisk then gradually add the rest of the liquid solution.
  3. Put pot on LOW fire & STIR WITH A WOODEN Spoon short while about 2 - 3 minutes and the Consistency should be LIKE Evaporate Milk.
  4. Once the second 30 minutes is up, Quickly remove the cover [you dont want the water droplets to fall in the bottom layer], POUR the santan layer Gradually & gently over the green layer [this santan layer, the consistency should be like Evaporated Milk, and easy to spread].
  5. Wipe the cover for droplets & Steam on LOW heat for 10 - 15 minutes.  When it is ready, remove from steamer & let it set for 4 - 5 hours before cutting.


                 (a)  I have learnt this from many Sifu but personally, I feel that this is The BEST.  There are so many recipes in books and the net and one thing that is different is the timing here for steaming the Bottom Green Layer; most of them teach you to steam it for a shorter period and most recipes do not use so much pandan leaves.  Here we use 175 gm Pandan leaves.
                 (b)  I have taught this to my Best friend, an avid Baker herself, when she came down for the holidays from the United States many years ago and she was ever so grateful for it and endorse that this, to her, was also the best;
                  (c)  Timing here is Very Important & Crucial;
                  (d)  You should remove the cover with a quick flick of the hand and wipe the droplets off the cover as water droplets will "spoil" the appearance;
                  (e)  As the steaming here is quite long in total, TAKE CARE that your water level does not drop.  Me, I always have a kettle of EXTRA water boiling just in case;
                  (f)  The fire also Should not be too High otherwise you may have the level of the kuih like valley and ridges.  With the correct fire level, your kuih would be level.  If you should fail once, NEVER give up; Try and try again;
                   (g)  Finally when we go for classes, some times the recipes are quite brief and I am always ready with a clipboard, clip recipe on it and then write down all the tips that the Sifus throw our way and then coming back, retyping the recipes with my notes side by side when they are fresh in my mind and though you may find most recipes in my blog are long and in depth as I work Best in my kitchen, baking or cooking, when my recipes are in depth as old mind like mine can easily forget when no extra notes are taken during class But more importantly even years later when you want to make something which you have not done in a while, all the important things are there or what things to take note, to guide me along and going for classes and buying books are two completely different things.  Then things like actually seeing what the Sifus do for example using a whisk first and later changing to a wooden spoon are things most likely, without prejudice again, not in books and then again going for another class, unrelated to this Kuih Talam, and seeing the Sifu using 2 fine hole sievers and placing them one on top of the other and then straining the residue out and repeating again, these are definitely things that I pick up and applying them and then sharing with you the tips; these are things that bring me so much Joy, it is as though I am teaching in virtual space and hoping that ppl would learn from my own experience.

                         God bless you.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raspberry Delight

              After more than 2 decades of learning, then baking and subsequently selling my cakes, I decided it was an appropriate time for me to come out of the shadows of my many Mentors and be more creative and of late, I had been toying with the idea of "marrying" some parts of two different cakes and to come up with something of my own though the task at hand was not an easy one as one of the cake was 8" and the other was 10" and I had to do alot of calculations, and numbers is not my strong point, haha, to come up with a cake that was 9"; one aspect was the cake and the other was the mousse. 

              So when there was a cause for a celebration recently, I decided it was the right time to come out with this.  This time I was a bit more daring.  Normally I would do a few trial runs first before I gathered momentum but this time I had no time for trial runs as had a lot of cake orders before the said celebration and I told myself, " Just go for it, don't worry too much".

             With that I threw caution to the wind and decided to just go with the flow and this was what I came up with for dessert.

Raspberry Delight

                            Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fried Fish with a meaty spicy sauce

                 I remember very distinctly when I was growing up, my material grand mother used to cook tasty Chinese dishes I was, far too young then, and uninitiated in the art of cooking thus I didnt learn much from her :(  and this was one of the regular dish that she made.  So yesterday I dug deep trying to recall what was her predominant flavour?  I know there was ginger, garlic, chilli and tau cheong.  Then with pencil and note pad on the kitchen counter, I gave it my own take, jotting down my own creation as I went along, adding some daun limau perut leave, black beans, chilli padi, fish sauce [I like using the Fish Sauce from China as, in my humble opinion and expressed freely without malice and intent and expressed "without prejudice", as I like the taste and smell as they are subtle But the most important is a Dash or two of the delightful aromatic Sesame Oil which should be added at the Final stage of cooking to Enhance and Retain its flavour but not too much of Sesame Oil though as it is way too powerful and jotted down my version of it for my children, in the hopes that in the later years when they have more time to cook, they won't be fumbling on how to do a certain dish they liked.  As most of us would testify our parents and grand parents were all marvelous cook in their own way; each of them having their own signature dish but what they lacked was consistency as it was all a matter of a little of this and that.  Me? I prefer weighing things, thus exidous to classes both baking and cooking, as I always believe that it is good to always reproduce the exact taste unless of course I want to jiggle further with other ingredients, like the Daun Limau Perut Here and take it to a whole new level

                                Fried Fish with a meaty Spicy Sauce


                600 gm                Garupa/Mau Yau
                200 gm                minced Pork [for my Muslim friends, omit this or use minced Chicken]
                  10 gm                Young Ginger, slice
                    5 cloves           Garlic, dice
                    8                      Chill Padi, smash
                    8 gm                 Fresh Red Chillies, remove seeds
                   1/2 Tabsp          Finely ground Tau Cheong
                     2 teasp            Black Bean
                    1/8 teasp          Salt
                    1/2 teasp          Sugar
                     1 teasp             Fish Sauce
                                              Dash or two of Sesame Oil
                      2                      Daun Limau Perut, remove centre vein & slice thinly, opt
                                               Coriander leaves/Yin Sai

                 Thickening agent - 1 to 1 1/2 teasp Corn Flour mixed with 1/2 to 1 teasp water respectively
  1. Wash the Black Beans then chop.
  2. Deep fry the fish till crispy.  Remove & drain off excess oil
  3. Drain off excess oil from wok leaving just suffient for sauteing/frying the following.  Fry the garlic, ginger, limau perut leaves tau cheong, black bean, both chillies for 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the minced pork & stir fry for a while before adding water [just enough water to cover the level of the meat] then add the Fish Sauce & Sugar once boiling check for taste, adding salt if necessary.
  5. Add the Corn Flour solution to thicken & bring it to a boil.  Finally ADD a dash or two of Sesame Oil.
  6. Pour on the fried fish & garnish with Coriander/Yin Sai leaves.

                  (a)  Adding the daun limau perut gave it a Malaysian twist;
                  (b)  Take note that the Black Bean is salty.
                  (c)  Whenever you add any corn flour or any thickening agent like tapioca or potato flour, you must Always bring the dish to a Boil, then off fire otherwise you will get a floury uncooked taste.
                   (d)  Never add too much Sesame Oil as the aroma and taste is very powerful and this should be added at the final stage of cooking in order to preserve its aroma and taste:)
                    (e) For my Muslim visitors, omit the non halal meat mentioned here Or Try with minced Chicken Fillet it would be just as good or, if not, Better and I can bet that your family would love this dish :)

                   I am not a Chef though I have attended both Baking and Cooking classes for more than 20 years and they have both been my Passionate endeavours in my kitchen and I would like to share them with my visitors as I believe that FOOD is the Glue that keeps family together and a well cooked home food beats the crap of going out or buying food although of course there is more work for the "Chef" at home, haha.

                                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pucuk Paku with Prawns in a Spicy Santan Cream

Pucuk Paku with Prawns in a spicy Santan Cream
                My Mother in law used to prepare this and the first time I saw her putting this on the dinner table, my initial thoughts was that it was so beautiful and I was completely blown away because when she did it, she manage to cover the bed of veg and the sambal with this frost of white topping and what's more it tasted real good too!!! With one stroke, she managed to combine, both beauty and flavour.  That was my first thoughts when I first saw my Mother in law's creation more than 3 decades ago and it still  remains etched deep in my memory.  Thanks ma I had the BEST teacher in my formulative years and you were a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen and you laid the foundation for my culinary adventures and even your simple cooking was lovely and you certainly raised the bar!!!


                         80 gm              Fresh Red Chilli
                         80 gm              Shallots/Small Onions
                         20 gm              Belacan, toasted
                           2                    Daun Limau Perut, remove Centre vein
                         1/2 teasp         Sugar


                       100 gm                         Medium size Prawns
                        200 ml                          Fresh Santan
                         1/2 teasp                    Salt
                        600 gm                         Pucuk Paku
                            1 heaped teasp       Cornflour mix with 1 teasp Water


                      Fill a big basin with ice cold water
  1. Fry the Belacan without oil.  Blend "A".
  2. Fry the prawns with a little oil short while till it cooks.  Cut prawns into small pieces.
  3. Boil Santan with the salt; put in the fried prawns, stirring all the while [Do not over boil the santan otherwise santan will curdle and will have little "beads"/biji bijik.
  4. Boil water in a wok.  Place Pucuk Paku in a big siever & submerge it into the boiling water; turning it occasionally.  Do not over "cook".
  5. Once it is cooked immediately submerge in the ice cold water to stop cooking process.
  6. Lay the blanched Pucuk Paku on a platter.  Place the Sambal Belacan on top & pour the Santan Cream over.  Enjoy.
                          On a side note, you should "know" the belacan you used as some belacan are slightly more salty.

                                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Prawns and Avacardo Salad

                  This is something simple to prepare and tasty too.  Let's start with the dresssing first.

                   Ingredients for Dressing

                      2                  Avacardo
                      5 Tabsp      Mayo
                      1 Tabsp       Black Sesame seeds, toasted
                      1 Tabsp       Sesame seeds, toasted

                   Method for Dressing
  1. Fry both Sesame seeds Without Oil.
  2. Mix together all the Ingredients for the Dressing. 

                   Ingredients for Prawn Salad

                   600 gm                 Prawns, net weight after removing shells
                        1 teasp            Baking Powder
                     1 1/4 teasp         Salt
                     1/2 Tabsp           Sugar
                         1 Tabsp           Plain Flour, sieved
                     100 gm                 Tapioca Flour, sieved
                         2                        Egg WHITES

                    Method for Prawn Salad
  1. Mix well all the ingredients making sure they corporate well.
  2. Deep fry till golden brown.  Remove & drain excess oil.
  3. Mix the Avacardo Dressing and the fried prawns just before eating.

                    (a)  This is lovely to serve at parties.
                    (b)  I always look out for things that I can cook/bake using egg whites especially after doing either my Sugee or Indonesian Layered Cake when there are excess egg whites.

                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Glass Noodles with Seafood Salad

            This is good for days when you want to eat something light and may not be a very large portion.


                     50 gm              Glass Noodles
                       1 teasp          Ikan Bilis Granules
                       5                    medium size Prawns
                       5                    Mussels
                       3 cloves       Garlic
                       1                    Red Chilli
                       1                    Chilli Padi
                                             A little bit of Spring Onions & Yin Sai
                                             White Wine, opt
                                              Dash of Fish Sauce, White Pepper, Soya Sauce
                                              Lime juice

  1. Soak the Glass Noodles then blanch in boiling water.  Drain on siever.
  2. Heat oil & saute garlic then add in the mussels and prawns and a splash of White Wine and stir.  Remove & set aside.
  3. In a bowl mix the glass noodles, chilli padi, chilli, Spring Onion & Yin Sai.  Season with a little Fish Sauce, Salt, Soya Sauce if necessary.
  4. Lay a little mix salad on a plate.  Place the glass noodles on top then the fried seafood and a thin slice of Lemon.
  1. This is a good comfort food :)
  2. On a side note if you are into Balsamic Vinegar, put a little Balsamic Vinegar and a little chopped garlic in it and it can be a simple dressing for the salad.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Green Curry Chicken

               Learnt this from a Chef whose relative married a Thai and learnt quite a bit of Thai cooking from this Chef as I like his style of cooking and many of my recipes here are those I learnt from him.

              All measurements in my blog is with cake measuring spoons.

                      Green Curry Chicken

              Rempah to be blended finely

                 5                   small Onions/Shallots
                 1                   whole pod of Garlic
                 3 stalks        Serai/Lemon Grass
               80 gm             Lengkuas/Galangal
                 1 teasp         Black Pepper seeds
                 5                   Green Chillies
               12                   Green Chilli Padi
                 8 gm             Pudina/Mint leaves
                 8 gm             Local Basil


              800 gm             whole Chicken leg, chop and Remove skin
              100 gm             Baby Eggplant [small, round Eggplant normally in small bunches]
              200 ml              Fresh Santan mix with 400 ml Water
                 3                    Corriander/Yin Sai Roots, Smash it
                 3                     Daun Limau Perut, remove centre vein & cut thinly
                 5 Tabsp         Oil


              1 1/2 teasp        Ketumbar seeds/Coriander seeds
              1 teasp               Jintan Manis seeds
              3/4 teasp            Jintan Putih seeds


             1 1/2 Tabsp        Brown Sugar
                   8 Tabsp         Fish Sauce [Chef used the brand from China,
                                                                 "Han River Brand Fish Sauce First Grade"
                                                                 as it is not so salty and no fishy smell]

  1. *Wash, place on siever to dry completely "B" Separately. Then fry them separately Without Oil then blend separately too.
  2. Blend Small Onions and Garlic till fine.  Remove to bowl.
  3. Blend Serai, Lengkuas, Green Chilli, Chilli Padi, Black Pepper, Mint & Basil till fine.  Remove to a separate bowl.
  4. Heat 5 Tabsp Oil & fry the blended small Onions & Garlic mixture on Low Medium fire till fragrant for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the blended Serai mixture & fry on Low Medium fire for 15 minutes till aromatic.
  6. Add in the blended Ketumbar, Jintan Manis & Jintah Putih then add in the Santan and Water solution [retain about 100 ml of the Santan & Water solution], the Chicken, small brinjals, smashed Daun Ketumbar Roots, Daun Limau Perut and the Seasoning.
  7. Then add the balance of the Santan & Water solution.  [The cooking process after adding the chicken should not be more than 10 minutes]. Check for taste.

                  (a)  It is always very good to buy the Ketumbar seeds, Jintan Manis and Jintan Putih seeds and make your own Ketumbar, Jintan Manis and Jintan Putih powder as it is fresh and the smell lovely esp the Ketumbar powder.  Of course you can buy the powder but once you try making your own powder, you will be glad you did it.  I normally do a very small amount, put them in small containers and freeze them.

                   (b) As you can see the Chef has a different approach to cooking here; the garlic and small onions blended separately and fried separately then the rest of the rempah.

                Do try this and would appreciate your comments here after you have done it. Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ipoh Sar Hor Fun

                   This is specially dedicated to  all of you, especially to Malaysians staying/studying abroad and now you can Enjoy this feast. Ipoh Kueh Teow, something most of us cannot do without, is a lovely comfort food especially on cold, wet days/nites and slurping the soup, sorry, brings alot of satisfaction plus the added satisfaction that it is home made.

                      If you are new in my blog, welcome, just a note to say that in all the recipes in my blog if it mentions cup or spoons, THEY  are all cake measuring spoons, cake measuring cups and cake measuring jugs :)


                                         Kueh Teow
                                         Kow Choy/Ku Chai
                                         Prawns [Buy 1 kg prawns]
                  350 gm           Prawn Shell [for frying]
                       2                 whole Chicken Leg, cut, cook then shred the meat
                      6 Litres       Water
                    1/2 cup          Oil


                     6 pairs          Chicken Feet
                     2                    Chicken Carcass, cut into 4
                 100 gm              Tai Tow Choy [dont want the leaves.  Wash, slice it
                                                                       & soak in water for Short While as salty]

                  100 gm              Tai Tow Nga/Big Bean Sprout


                      1/4 teasp       MSG
                      1 teasp           Sesame Oil
                  100 gm                Rock Sugar
                       1 Tablesp       Salt + -


  1. Cut the Kueh Teow thinly.
  2. Blanch the Kow Choy/Ku Chai in hot water.
  3. Bring the 6 Litres of Water to boil.
  4. Fry the prawn shells and 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Boh with 1/2 cup oil till oil turns RED.
  5. Once the 5 litres of Water is boiling, Add in "A" & No.2 above shells & all.  Bring this again to a BOIL.  Once boiling lower to Medium fire & simmer it for 30 minutesOFF FIRE.
  6. Quickly Remove all the shells, chicken carcass & residue from the stock [AS IN TOTAL THIS STOCK CANNOT BE BOILED MORE THAN 1 HOUR] bring the stock to a boil, add in the Prawns, once cooked Remove prawns and then add in the cut Chicken & boil it for 10 minutes [Dont put the prawns and chicken together as prawns cook much faster] Cool the chicken then shred the chicken meat.
  7. Serve with the cooked prawns, shredded chicken meat, Prawn Wanton and not to forget, lots of Chilli Padi in Light Soya Sauce
                              PRAWN WANTON

                300 gm                    Small/Medium size Prawns [you have to buy extra prawns as It is Not
                                                                                                   part of the above 1 kg prawns]

                    1 Tabsp               Corn flour, sieved
                 3/4 Tabsp               Sesame Oil
                 1/2 teasp                 Salt
                 1/2 teasp                 White Pepper
                 1/2 teasp                  Castor Sutar

                                                    Wanton Skin for wrapping

            Method for Prawn Wanton
  1. Mix well all the ingredients for the Prawn Wanton & wrap in Wanton skin
  2. Boil water then add in the wrapped Prawn Wanton.  Once the Wanton floats dish out.
                       The Prawn Wanton is a real bonus.  For this Ipoh Kueh Teow NEVER ADD PORK as it will then change the concept of the soup. Good nite everybody.

                    Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sambal Grilled Fish

               This is something lovelllly where you either Grill Or bake the fish with this spicy Sambal.  My beloved Father in Law always used to say this when he enjoying an awesome meal lovingly prepared by my MIL.  He will say, while enjoying his meal, that even if his father walked behind him, he will not know and my Nyonya MIL, her cooking is simply awesome.  Missed hearing this Ah Kong :( May you both rest in the peace of the Lord.

               Blend very fine for Spicy Sambal

                  12                          small Onions [medium size]
                  10                          Garlic
                    1"                         Fresh Kunyit
                  40 gm                     Lengkuas [this gives the zing]
                    3 stalks                Serai
                    1"                          Belacan, toasted
                   10                           Dried Chillies, soak in hot water for easier processing
                   10                           Chilli Padi
                     6                            Fresh Red Chillies, remove seeds


                      2 teasp                Salt
                      2 Tablesp           BROWN Sugar
                      2 Tablesp           Fish Sauce
                  1/2 Tablesp           Maggi Chicken Stock Concentrate
                    30 gm                    Assam Jawa mix with 100 ml Water
                                  MIX ALL THE SEASONING INGREDIENTS IN A BOWL

               600 gm                      Kai Yoke Yee ["Chicken Fish"]

               250 ml                        Fresh Santan MIX with 250 ml Water

                   2                              Daun Limau Perut leaves, remove vein & slice thinly
                   1 sprig                    Daun Kesom
                   4 Tabsp                  Juice of LIMAU NIPIS

                                                  Banana leaves

  1. Blend the rempah till Very Fine.
  2. Fry the blended rempah, Daun Kesom & Daun Limau Perut with sufficient oil on Low Medium fire; stirring constantly to prevent burning for 15 minutesAdd the SANTAN Mixture Gradually in 3 batches.
  3. ADD the seasoning, stirring and allow it to come to a boil.  Check for taste. OFF THE FIRE, then add the *Limau Nipis juice. ALLOW this sambal to COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE Marinading it on the fish.
  4. Wash the fish & remove the skin, make a few criss cross incisions on both sides of fish, not Too deep to allow the marinade to penetrate through.
  5. Marinade both sides of the fish & gently rub marinade through the incisions.  Cling wrap & refrigerate for 1 hour in the Fridge to allow the marinade to infuse the fish.
  6. Remove fish from fridge & let it thaw for 25 minutes.
  7. Place a Banana leaf on baking tray.  Grease it slightly with oil.
  8. Place the marinade fish on the banana leaf.
  9. EITHER BAKE the fish in preheated oven at 180 degrees Centrigrade for 20 minutes or until it is cook or GRILL the fish, yr choice.  When I did, I choose to grill as nothing beats grilling but be careful you do Not OVER BAKE OR OVER GRILL.

                   (a)  The texture of the Kai Yoke Yee is silky soft and truly lovely;
                   (b)  If you cannot get this fish, you can substitute it with Sting Ray/Ikan Pari BUT the
                          texture of the Sting Ray is different as the meat is Firmer :)

                   This dish is a class of its own And one of my children who is not really into fish, found this a lip smacking dish and Really glad I want for this class and it is something like an Ikan Bakar that you eat at stalls here back home in Malaysia.

                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

The Advantages of making Stock

                  I thought that I should blog on this as I am a great believer of Stocks and they are very versatile and takes you to another, whole new, level.  Many Chef advocate the advantages of preparing your own stock as it is simple and we get to reap the benefits as it adds dimension to your recipe repertoire and they are so many kinds of stock; chicken, lamb, veal, pork, vegetables and adding stock in your dish gives an extra depth of flavour.

                 It has always been drummed into our heads to make our own stock; be it meat stock or a vegetable stock and if you take it a step further by first roasting the bones and the Mirepiox/Vegetables and THEN you make the stock with the roasted bones & veg and all the drippings on the tray as the drippings are THE power house.  When I last made my stock, I also added Ripe but FIRM nectarine as the fragrance of a nectarine is to die for and it does give a fruity flavour and aroma to the stock. The reason why I like to roast the bones and vegetables before boiling and subsequently simmering the stock is that the colour of this stock is a deeper brown and definitely more tasty and if you just make the stock without roasting then the colour is a light brown.

Ingredients for my stock with a nectarine

.... and the chicken wings

                       Ingredients for making a Chicken Stock

                          6                       Chicken Wings
                      100 gm                 Big Onion
                        50 gm                  Carrot
                        50 gm                  Celery
                        50 gm                   Leek
                           1                        Nectarine, opt

                           2 Litres             Water


                     PRE HEAT oven at 130 degrees Centigrade for 15 minutes
  1. Lay the matt surface of a foil on a tray [matt surface of the foil Retains heat while shinny surface Reflects heat.  This tip is very useful especially when baking cakes].  Place "A" on the tray and bake for 1 hour in a pre heated oven at 130 degrees Centigrade.
  2. Remove & place the roasted ingredients in a big pot, scraping any residue & placing them in the pot too as this residue is the ump factor.  Add the 2 litres of water & bring stock to a boil.  Once it starts boiling Reduce to MEDIUM Fire & simmer for 1 1/2 hours; skimming the surface for scum/impurities.  Strain & cool completely before storing in freezer in Either small containers.

                 The last time I made my own sausages, I grilled some for dinner and after removing the sausages, I deglaze the pan by adding a little of the stock I made and then I jazzed the sauce with a little butter and thicken it slightly with a little corn flour & then I poured it on the sausages and served with fried Potato chips and a Prawn Salad with a Coriander & Lime Dressing.  Yum to both the sausages and the Prawn Salad recipe is in my blog.

The sausage and burgers I made

                              Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia