Saturday, August 29, 2009

Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes

What happen to you when you learned that you are going to have visitors at your home in few hours? And you have nothing to serve them with tea? Of course I have to think of something to make quick with whatever I have at my house at that moment. I found some strawberry yogurts that I bought for my girls in the fridge and my mind was set. I whipped this up in as little time as possible as this recipe only required a hand whisk and a big bowl. The end result was some soft and moist strawberry yogurt cupcakes. This recipe gave me 17 cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Merdeka Open House 2009: My Sweet Malaysia: Red Bean Soup Dessert with Sago and Glutinous Rice Balls

It's the Merdeka Open House 2009 event hosted by Babe in the City again. She has been hosting this event for the past couple of years and I am glad to be a participant in this. This year the theme is My Sweet Malaysia and we have to cook up some traditional sweet dessert based on our ethnic group. I picked this red bean sweet soup with sago and glutinous rice balls. Red bean dessert has been very traditional but over the years lots of different ingredients have been added to make it a little different and here is my version.

This is a short read extracted from wikipedia on red bean soup:

In China, red bean soup is a popular dish. The soup is commonly thinner than the Japanese oshiruko version. It is categorized as a tang shui, (literally translated as sugar water), or sweet soup. It is often served cold during the summer, and hot in the winter. Leftover red bean soup can also be frozen to make ice pops.

It is one of the main desserts offered after Cantonese cuisine meals in restaurants at night. When served, it is plain most of the time. The fancier restaurants may offer red bean soup with sago (西米). The two types of sugar used interchangeably are rock sugar and sliced sugar (片糖).

Since the older generation of Malaysian Chinese were immigrated from China, this red bean soup had been adapted in Malaysia and became one of the traditional and common dessert nowadays.


1 to 2 cups red beans, soak overnight for fast cooking

1/4 to 1/3 cups Sago

1 cup glutinous rice flour + enough water to make a dough

Brown sugar or Rock sugar or Gula Melaka
to taste
1 piece of tangerine peel


Coconut cream (optional)


1. In a saucepan, boil it with water. When boiling, add in the amount of sago that you want (1/4 or 1/3 cup). Stir and let it boil for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover and let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until sago turned transparent. Rinse in a sieve under cold running water, set aside.

2. In another large saucepan, add water of your choice, boil it. When boiling, add in red beans and tangerine peel and let it simmer for about 2 hours or until soften. Then, dish out the tangerine peel and add in sugar of your choice to taste.

3. While waiting for the red bean to cook, can make the glutinous rice balls. In a bowl, add in the glutinous rice flour, add a little water at a time until a dough is formed. Pinch and roll the dough into small balls, set aside. Boil another saucepan with water. When boiling, add in the glutinous balls in batches. When float to the top, dish it out and place in cold water. Set aside.

4. When the red bean soup is done. Add in the sago and glutinous rice balls. Stir to mix well. Before serving, can add in a dollop of coconut cream, stir well and serve for thicker texture and fragrant. I omitted the coconut cream. Serve hot or at room-temperature. I won't recommend you to put it in the refrigerator as the glutinous rice balls will turn floury and hard (not a good eat).

Happy 52nd years of Independence Malaysia and please visit BabeKL's blog on August 31st for the round up of the highly anticipated event: My Sweet Malaysia. Thank you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rice Krispies Treats

Do you know how easy it is to make your own rice krispies treat? Most kids love rice krispies but the store-bought one can be quite pricey. I wanted to prepare some snack for Evy to bring to school so I thought of this. I added raisins for extra nutrition (you can add other dried fruit too). I cut and put them into individual snack bag so that I can just grab and put it in her backpack. It's easy for her to snack without her fingers being sticky and dirty as well. I think we can make a Cheerio version of this too. ;)

Packed down and let it cool.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Steamed Pandan Sponge Cake

I have some orange sugar and Eno salt and thought of making a rice flour steamed cake with these two ingredients. The fermentation of rice flour overnight with yeast didn't smell good at all. And the result of this steamed cake was bad, even though it had nice honeycomb effect, but it was hard, smell bad and tasted yucky. I had to give it all to Ms. trash can.

Then, I thought of using the 7-up to make some steamed cake because I remembered I once had a steamed 7-up cake and it was pretty good. This recipe has no butter and oil and the method is like sponge cake. The texture of this cake is spongy and not too sweet. For those who do not have Pandan extract, you can substitute it with pure vanilla extract.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guilin Vermicelli with Minced Pork

I loved this chewy noodle served at Lily's house. It was always a hit. I need to ask her for her sauce recipe. I tried to recreate this noodle at home but it was not the same because different sauce was used. Lily, if you are reading this, please e-mail me your sauce recipe you put in your noodle yeah. I used Guilin vermicelli for mine and stir-fried the minced pork with carrots and scallions until cooked before pouring it to mix with the noodle.

Closed up of my Guilin vermicelli with minced pork. I ate this noodle with the XO sauce too, simply yummilicious. No recipe this time as the sauce is not perfected yet, wrong sauce for this noodle, perhaps I need to add some sugar.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cantaloupe Sago Summer Drink

I have been seeing this dessert circulating around the Web in recent years. I never make an attempt to make it mainly because some called for coconut milk. Then, some was made with evaporated milk but I hardly stock this in my pantry. And it just happen that I have some condensed milk in my refrigerator so "tada!", why not I used condensed milk instead, got some milky flavor and sugar in one. This drink indeed refreshing especially good during Summer when cantaloupe, honeydew and mango are at its cheapest. Very cool and refreshing drink to serve as a drink or dessert during the hot summer days. My girls and I loved it but not my hubby, he said why wasted a cantaloupe for this? *fume* <---me!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lemon Grass Shallots Soup

My mom cooked this soup for me during my confinement month. It left me with good impression as the shallots made the soup sweet and it had a hint of lemon grass. Now, I cooked this soup because I just learned that lemon grass is very good for our general health and anti-cancer. I added ginger just because it is anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. This soup definitely brings no harm to us so I will be cooking it more often, just for prevention and general health benefit. Best of all, it tasted great. You can eat the shallots with the soup as it will be really soft with a tint of sweetness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Steamed Tofu with Minced Meat

My initial plan was to bake some meat balls. Then, I saw a blog post at Babe in the City on this steamed tofu and thought why not since I had some soft tofu. I marinated my minced pork with ShaoHsing rice wine, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, garlic powder, chopped carrots, ginger and scallions and some cornstarch water. Then, I cut out the soft tofu, lay it on a steaming tray and used a melon scoop to scoop a hole in the middle of each tofu. The scooped out tofu I added them into the minced meat mixture (don't want to waste you see) and mixed it well.

Special Fried Shrimps/Prawns

When I made my Emperor Herbal Chicken dish the other day. I took 1 Tbsp. of the spices out for this dish which I made the next day. It was for the fun of experiment and my curiosity of how it would taste like. Glad to say it tasted great, flavorful with a hint of herbal taste and my two girls loved it. They were not into shrimps until recently, not sure what made them to like shrimps suddenly. But I am so glad that they liked shrimps, easy for me to prepare dinner for them. Just hope that the little one will start eating spicy food soon.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Vegetable With Tofu

Goodness in one plate again, well be another delicious vegetarian dish, protein and fiber combo. For this dish, I would recommend regular or hard tofu so that it can maintain its' shape. The vegetable I used for this is Chai Hsin (Asian green) and carrot. Again, another easy stir-fry dish using only oyster sauce as seasoning. Evy loved this, not only she ate the veggie but lots of tofu.

In a hot oil, add in chopped garlic, stir-fry for a while, add in the stems (harder part) of the veggie, fry for a little while, add in the greens, fry until soften. Add in a little water and tofu. Then season with oyster sauce, quick stir and serve hot. Quick and easy and I believe anyone can cook this.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Summer Fruit Cake

Summer time comes with abundance of peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, melons, etc. This is also the time when these fruits are cheap and at its' sweetest. I made a similar cake before and this is my other version. Not too pretty looking because some of the fruit sank but nevertheless it's still delicious. This time I used the sour plum and peach for my choice of fruit and thus I used 1 cup of sugar for my cake to counteract the sourness of the fruit. If your choice of fruit is sweet, you can use 3/4 cup of sugar. And remember to put this cake in the refrigerator as the moisture from the fruit will turn moldy if not.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Chai Hsin with XO Sauce

My friend gave me a big bottle of her homemade XO sauce recently. What a treat for me as I loved XO sauce but not willing to pay the price for it and yet too lazy to make my own. So, I was real grateful of receiving this gift from her, like a valuable treasure.

For this above dish, I cooked the Chai Hsin with XO sauce and season with a little salt and that was it. Easy, flavorful and delicious. I have since used the XO sauce to top the soft tofu and microwave for a minute and a dish is served. XO sauce not only used as condiment but in stir-frying dishes as well. The restaurant here used the XO sauce to stir-fry squid and rice rolls noodle too. What other creative way have you used your XO sauce with?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Emperor Herbal Chicken

I bought few packets of A1 Emperor Chicken Spices when I was in Malaysia. Today, I wanted to try something different with it instead of the usual baking or steaming the chicken. I simmered the chicken instead and added wood ear fungus and wolfberries/ Goji berries/"ke chi". I loved this version too, truly flavorful and delicious.