Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to make Ratatouille

From The Star

Cooking and preparation time: One hour and 30 minutes.


1 onion, thinly sliced

1 green capsicum, thinly sliced and seeds removed

1 red capsicum thinly sliced and seeds removed

1 big eggplant, chopped into cubes

Fresh tomatoes, chopped into cube and remove skin and seed

Tomato puree (Chef Jean likes the alce nero brand)

2 zucchinis, chopped into cubes and sprinkled with sea salt to remove excess water

3-4 cloves of chopped garlic

1 small table spoon of fresh rosemary, chopped

1 small table spoon of fresh oregano, chopped

1 small table spoon of fresh basil, chopped

Brown sugar

Coarse sea salt


Olive oil

Optional: Black olives, saffron, smoked chilli, sun dried tomatoes.

1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the eggplant and cook until browned evenly on all sides. Set aside. Repeat the same process with the zucchini.

2. In a thick-bottomed or a cast iron pot, heat two tablespoons of oil and add in the onion.

3. Once soft, pop in the green and red capsicum. Toss in the chopped garlic and leave to simmer until soft before adding the zucchinis and eggplants. Add the tomatoes and mix well.

4. Add the chopped herbs, and brown sugar and cook uncovered on low heat for one hour for the flavours to blend.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

The dish can be kept in the fridge for four days and the taste gets better when reheated. And the bonus is you can eat it warm, or cold, which makes it perfect friend for barbecues.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Eggless Butter Cookies

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

100g butter or margarine

½ tsp vanilla essence

1 Tbsp UHT milk

50g castor sugar

20g nuts of your choice, coarsely chopped

Sift together

100g self-raising flour

50g plain flour

Lightly grease 2 baking trays and preheat oven at 180°C.

Cream butter or margarine, essence and sugar. Add milk and continue to beat until light.

Sift in flours, add nuts and mix. Form a dough using your hands. Roll the dough into small cherry-sized balls and place them well apart on prepared trays. Press down lightly with a fork to flatten the cookies. Bake for 15 minutes.

Steamed Prawns with Egg White

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

2-3 large freshwater prawns, cleaned and halved

3 egg whites

200ml evaporated milk

¾ tsp salt

dash of pepper

A little monosodium glutamate (optional)

1 tsp Shao Hsing wine

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp chopped spring onion

Arrange the halved prawns on a heat-proof dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper and monosodium glutamate over the prawns.

Combine evaporated milk and egg white in a bowl. Beat lightly with a fork until well combined. Pour the mixture over the prawns.

Steam over rapidly boiling water on high heat for 6-7 minutes or until prawns change colour and are cooked.

Remove the dish and add the wine and sesame oil. Add chopped spring onions and serve immediately.

Scallop and Fish Porridge

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

1 cup rice (150g), rinsed and drained

2 dried scallops, soaked

1.7 litres fresh chicken stock

150g fish fillet, sliced thinly

2 Tbsp shredded young ginger

1 Tbsp shredded spring onion

1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Marinade for fish

1 tsp sesame oil

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

Seasoning (B)

¾-1 tsp salt, or to taste

pinch of sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

dash of pepper

Bring chicken stock to the boil, add scallops and rice. When it boils, reduce heat and cook for 50-60 minutes. Keep stirring until the porridge gains a smooth texture.

Season fish with marinade and leave aside. When porridge is ready, transfer to a claypot and let it simmer. Add marinated fish. Stir well until fish is cooked. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Add ginger, spring onion and coriander leaves before serving.

Mini Sweet Potato Talam

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

50g cooked sweet potato

100g castor sugar

200ml thin coconut milk

75g rice flour

60g tapioca flour

100ml water

Purée sweet potato in a food processor with sugar and coconut milk.

Combine the rice flour, tapioca flour and water in a mixing bowl. Add the sweet potato purée to the mix.

Spoon the sweet potato batter into lightly-greased mini cups until half-full. Steam over medium heat for about 4–5 minutes.

Top Layer

2 Tbsp sago, soaked

30g rice flour

25g tapioca flour

50g soft brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

300ml thick coconut milk

Drain the soaked sago and bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the sago and cook until transparent. Drain and rinse under running tap water.

Combine rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, salt and thick coconut milk in a mixing bowl. Mix into a batter, then add the sago.

Cook the mixture over low heat for about 1 minute (warm the batter but do not overcook it). Pour it onto the sweet potato layer, to fill the cups. Steam over low heat for about 10–15 minutes or until set. Remove the kuih from the cups after it is completely cooled

Red Bean Talam Kuih

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

200g rice flour

1 Tbsp tapioca flour

1 Tbsp green bean flour (lok tau fun)

150ml water

100ml thick coconut milk

1/8 tsp rose pink colouring


150ml water

125g castor sugar

½ tsp salt

2 screwpine leaves, knotted

Combine rice flour, tapioca flour, green bean flour, water and thick coconut milk in a mixing bowl. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. Add colouring to mixture.

Put sugar, salt, water and screwpine leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and heat until sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup into the batter to mix. Add 2 tablespoons of cooked red beans to the batter. Cook the batter over low heat for 1 minute.

Red Bean Layer

60g red beans, soaked for several hours

100g rice flour

1 Tbsp tapioca flour

100ml water

50ml thick coconut milk


100g castor sugar

100ml water

1 tsp salt

2 screwpine leaves, knotted

Pressure-cook the red beans until soft. Drain the beans and set aside.

Combine rice flour, tapioca flour, water and thick coconut milk in a mixing bowl.

Put sugar, salt, water and screwpine leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a simmering boil and heat ingredients until sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup into the batter. Add remaining beans to mix. Cook the batter over a low heat for 1–2 minutes.

Lightly grease a 22cm square cake tin. Warm the tin in the steamer for 1–2 minutes. Pour in two-thirds of the pink batter and steam over medium-high heat for 8–10 minutes. After the batter has set, add the red bean batter. Steam for 10-15 minutes. Add remaining pink batter and continue to steam for 30–40 minutes over medium-low heat until the kuih is firm. Remove and leave to cool completely before cutting into slices.

Sago Layered Kuih

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

Green Layer (A)

200g rice flour

150g tapioca flour

500ml thick coconut milk

¼ tsp salt

1 Tbsp pandan juice


200g castor sugar

200ml water

2 screwpine leaves, knotted

Combine rice flour and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Add coconut milk and salt. Mix, then leave aside for 10 minutes. Strain the batter to remove any lumps.

Put sugar, water and screwpine leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a simmering boil – ensure all the sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Mix syrup and rice flour batter together. Add pandan juice to mix.

Sago Layer (B)

150g rice flour

80g tapioca flour

200ml water

250ml thick coconut milk

1/8 tsp lemon yellow colouring

30g sago, soaked


175g castor sugar

150ml water

2 screwpine leaves, knotted

Soak sago for 10–15 minutes until plumped. Drain and cook in a saucepan with 1 cup water for 1–2 minutes. When sago turns transparent, drain and rinse under running water. Drain and put aside.

Combine rice flour and tapioca flour. Add water and thick coconut milk, and mix well.

In a saucepan, bring sugar, water and screwpine leaves to a simmering boil for 2–3 minutes and heat until sugar dissolves completely. Strain and leave to cool slightly.

Add syrup into the batter to mix. Stir in sago and mix in colouring.

Heat a 22cm square cake pan in a steamer for 5–6 minutes. Pour in one ladleful of green coloured batter into the prepared pan. Steam for 4–5 minutes.

Add another ladleful of sago or yellow batter over the green layer. Steam for 4-5 minutes.

Alternate the layers until you come to the final green coloured layer. Steam for 30-40 minutes over a medium-low heat until the top layer is set. Remove and leave to cool completely before cutting into slices.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fish rice

2 tilapia (500g each)
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 thumb-sized ginger (sliced)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh turmeric
1 tsp chopped lemongrass
1 tsp garlic
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1½ cups oil for deep-frying
1 cup sweet basil (or daun kesum)
1 cup spring onions (cut into 2cm lengths)
½ cup water
1 slice of lemon

1. Clean the fish thoroughly, fillet it and cut into big chunks. Marinate the fish with 1 tsp salt and white pepper for 15 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a wok. Slowly put in half the fish pieces, and fry them over high heat for two minutes. Turn them over and fry for another minute, till they are brown. Repeat with the rest of the fish.

3. Drain the oil in the wok, leaving one tablespoon in it. Put the wok over medium heat, add chopped turmeric, lemongrass and sliced ginger, fry for one minute and add the chopped garlic. Brown these, then add the sliced button mushrooms. Stir fry for 1 minute; add a pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Add the fried fish to the wok and stir fry for one minute. Sprinkle with half the water, add spring onion and all the basil. Stir fry for one more minute and add the rest of the water, stir for another minute and dish out.

5. Serve with garlic rice. Squeeze lemon on the fish before serving. You could eat the fish with the raw herbs too.

Fish in herbs and DOM

600 gms white fish
50gm young ginger
4 pieces chuan xiong (Radix Ligustici Wallichii)
8 pieces ginseng
500ml water
2 tbsp Benedictine DOM

1. Put herbs in a pot with 500ml water. Boil for 20 minutes over slow fire.

2. Mix salt, water and DOM in a bowl and pour over the fish.

3. Steam for 10-15 minutes until fish is thoroughly cooked.

Fish fillet with salted radish

500g white fish fillet
50g young ginger, finely shredded
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

100 g preserved salted radish, soaked in water for a few minutes
1 chilli
4-5 bird chillies
4 cloves garlic
4 shallots

1 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp corn oil
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper

Spring onion and Chinese celery, finely cut

l. Clean fish and towel dry. Rub salt and pepper on the fish.

2. Place on platter with ginger. Allow to steam for 5 - 8 mins. Discard the fish stock.

3. In a saucepan, heat oil. Saute chopped ingredients till fragrant. Spoon in sugar and pepper.

4. Top onto steamed fish and sprinkle spring onion and celery.

- Contributed by reader Judy

Fish balls

600g fish meat, preferably wolf herring (ikan parang) or Spanish mackerel (ikan tenggiri)
1 tbsp tapioca flour
200ml cold water combined with
2 tsp salt

1. Fillet the fish and flake the meat with a metal spoon, making sure there are no bones.

2. Put the fish meat and tapioca flour into the blender and blend for half-a-minute.

3. Add ice-cold water with salt, a little at a time, and blend till the mixture turns sticky.

4. Turn the fish paste into a large bowl and slap the side of the bowl a few times.

5. Take up a bit of the paste and squeeze through the hole formed with your thumb and forefinger. Scoop the fish balls out with a spoon.

6. Boil some water in a pot and drop the fish balls into it. When they float, they are ready.

Eggplant with scallops in Szechuan sauce

500g eggplant
300g scallops
20g water chestnut
5g chilli, sliced
10g black mushrooms
5g garlic, chopped
5g spring onion, sliced
15g hot bean sauce
10g sugar
10ml soya sauce
30g tomato sauce
30g cornflour
300ml chicken stock
1 litre cooking oil

1. Blanch the scallops quickly in hot water and set aside.

2. Heat up cooking oil and deep-fry the eggplant. Put aside.

3. Saute all the ingredients with a little oil, add chicken stock, eggplant and scallops.

4. Thicken with cornflour and season to taste. Serve hot.

Eastern herbs-flavoured medallion of beef fillet with black vinegar sauce

240 gm beef fillet
30 gm black fungus
30 gm white fungus
60 gm ginger (shred finely)
10 gm kei chee
2 stalks Chinese parsley
250 gm black vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
Salt, pepper

1. Marinate beef with pak kei, kei chee, black peppercorns and coriander leaves for four hours. Soak black and white fungus.

2. Heat oil in wok and sear fillet until browned. Then bake in pre-heated oven at 250C for 8-10 minutes.

3. Deep-fry ginger until crispy. Set aside. Drain fungus and saute, seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Steam kei chee for five minutes. Heat black vinegar and thicken with cornflour.

5. Slice fillet into medallions. Arrange on plate and garnish with black and white fungus. Arrange ginger and kei chee on plate. Serve with vinegar sauce.

Dry wantan noodles

100g chicken breast, boiled and sliced
100g wantan noodles
5 wantan (dumplings)
100g mustard greens (sawi)
100g taugeh

For sauce:
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp sweet, thick soy sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic

For wantan:
½ carrot
1 boneless chicken breast
3 onions
8 prawns
½ tsp oyster sauce
½ tsp Knorr chicken stock granules
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
1 egg white

1. Blanch wantan noodles in hot water for about three minutes.

2. Blanch sawi for a minute and taugeh. Blanch wantan for two minutes.

3. Blend soy sauce, chopped garlic and sesame seed oil.

For wantan:

1. Chop finely carrot, chicken, onions and prawns.

2. Add oyster sauce, salt and sugar to taste, and chicken stock granules.

3. Marinate for an hour.

4. Spread a teaspoonful of filling on wantan skin.

5. To seal, apply egg white to the edges of the wantan skin and fold.

Making dumplings:

1. Lay wantan skin out flat and place a teaspoon of mixture on centre of skin.

2. Dab a little egg white.

3. Fold and press top corner to bottom corner. Press to seal.

4. For a wantan, pull the right and left corners up and stick together.


1. Stir noodles and sauce together and place on plate.

2. Arrange vegetables, chicken and wantan with the noodles.

Note: For soup noodles, make a light chicken stock and combine with plain noodles, vegetables, meat and wantan in a deep bowl.

Drunken chicken

8 chicken drumsticks (about 1kg)
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp ginger strips
1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper (optional)
1 bottle (640ml) Hua Tiao Chiew (Chinese wine)
1/2 cup chicken juice (from the steamed chicken)
2 tsps roasted white sesame seeds
2 Tbsps brandy (optional)

Carrot and cucumber salad:
1 cucumber (shredded)
1 carrot (shredded)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsps roasted white sesame (crushed)

1. Clean and dry drumsticks thoroughly, marinate with 2 teaspoons of salt and Sichuan pepper for 1 hour.

2. Add ginger strips on top of the drumsticks and steam over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Take out the drumsticks and place them in a casserole dish with cover. Drain the juice and put aside.

3. Add sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1/2 cup of chicken juice and pour it over the drumsticks. Pour in 1 bottle of ‘Hua Tiao Chiew’ and 2 tablespoons of brandy. The drumsticks should be submerged totally in the wine solution.

4. Cover the casserole and leave outside at room temperature for three hours before putting it in the fridge for two to four days. Take out the drumsticks and store the wine solution in an airtight container; it can be used again.

5. De-bone the drumsticks and sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on top. Serve with this carrot and cucumber salad.

Carrot and cucumber salad:

1. Mix balsamic vinegar, soya sauce, chopped garlic, olive and sesame oil together in a small bowl.

2. Whisk it for a few minutes to thicken, then pour over the shredded carrot and cucumber. Sprinkle over with crushed roasted sesame seeds.


Prepare the salad only when the drunken chicken is ready (after two to four days) to be served.

Double-boiled snow fungus in a coconut

1 pandan coconut (you can get this pre-prepared in the market)
1 tsp rock sugar
1 fresh sea coconut, shredded
1/2 rice bowl soaked snow fungus

1. Pour out a third of the coconut juice. Use some of it to melt the rock sugar in a saucepan.

2. Pour it back into the coconut, together with sea coconut and pre-soaked snow fungus. (Buy snow fungus that softens easily.)

3. Double-boil over a medium fire for three hours.

Double-boiled pigeon with Chinese herbs

1 pigeon (about 500 gms)
40gm kei chee
20gm wai san
10gm dried longan
1 slice ginger
400ml water

1. Clean the pigeon and scald in hot water for one minute.

2. Put in double boiler and add herbs, salt and water. Allow to simmer three hours.

Deep-fried pigeon a la chef

3 whole pigeons
1/4 tsp salt
1/5 tsp five spice powder

250gm light soya sauce
300 ml water
10gm star anise
10gm liquorice (kam chou)

Skin seasoning:
20gm malt sugar
100gm white vinegar
300ml water

1. Wash the pigeon. Pat dry and marinade overnight.

2. Boil water and add malt sugar and white vinegar. Use to brush over skin and hang to dry for three hours.

3. Heat one-litre oil in wok. Deep-fry pigeon until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Deep-fried and braised kai lan

400g local kai lan
2 garlic cloves
2 tsps dried baby scallops
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsps water
1 Tbsp Hua Tiao wine
3 Tbsps oil
1 tsp fish sauce
2 Tbsps oil
1 1/2 Tbsp silver ikan bilis

1. Cut the leaves off the kai lan after soaking in salt water for three minutes. Dry with kitchen towels and shred with a sharp knife to 0.3cm thick (or as thin as possible). Leave the leaves to dry a bit more naturally.

2. Cut the stems into 5cm lengths.

3. Soak the dried baby scallops in water for a few minutes to get rid of the salt.

4. Fry the whole garlic cloves in hot oil. Add in the dried scallops, then the kai lan stems. Season with salt and oyster sauce. Add water and braise till tender.

5. Turn on the heat in the wok and add in the wine. Dish out.

6. Heat oil in the wok till it smokes. Put in leaves to fry and crisp up. Drain and dish out and sprinkle with fish sauce.

7. Heat 2 Tbsps oil in clean wok till it smokes. Turn flame to low and add in silver ikan bilis. The oil must cover the ikan bilis. Fry them till there are bubbles round the oil. Turn on the high heat, for a minute. Dish out and sprinkle over crispy kai lan leaves.

DOM san bei chicken

8 chicken thighs
10 slices ginger
4 tbsp light soya sauce
3 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp pepper
4 sprigs mint leaves
10 slices carrot
6 tbsp DOM

2 tbsp ginger juice
2 tbsp soya sauce
3 tsp cornflour

1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and marinate with ginger juice, soya sauce and cornflour. Set aside at least 15 minutes.

2. Heat some oil in wok and fry chicken for two minutes. Drain.

3. Heat a claypot, add oil and fry ginger slices till fragrant. Add soya sauce and oyster sauce. Bring to the boil and add chicken. Add dark soya sauce. Cover and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked.

4. When done, add sesame oil, pepper and lastly, DOM. Stir quickly and dish up. Garnish with mint and carrot slices.

Crispy skin chicken

1 whole chicken (approx 900gm)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp sour plum sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp light soya sauce
4cm ginger
1 cucumber
1 stalk parsley

1. Clean chicken properly and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Rub the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Pound ginger and squeeze out juice. Mix ginger juice with sugar, light soya sauce and plum sauce.

(Use this to marinate chicken. Leave aside for one hour,
returning to pour marinate over chicken every fifteen minutes.)

3. Hang chicken to dry under hot sun for two hours or more.

4. Heat 5 cups oil in kuali. When very hot, lower the
chicken into the oil. The oil should cover the chicken

(Using a ladle, spoon hot oil to bast top half of chicken.
When underside is golden brown, turn chicken over. Continue to bast chicken with scoops of hot oil, paying
particular attention to the parts that are under-done.)

5. When done, allow to stand for 10 minutes to cool
slightly. Then chop up and serve immediately or the skin
will lose its crispiness.

Serve with sliced cucumber and chilli or plum sauce
if preferred.

- From the article No fowl-up with old formula by Je'n.

Crispy roast pigeons

10 pigeons
Oil for deepfrying


2 tsp salt
75 gms ginger juice
225 gms chicken stock 1/4 tsp five-spice powder
225 gms Chinese white wine
1 tsp malt syrup 2 kg water
1 lime (sliced)

1. Clean pigeons and pat dry. Mix well marinade ingredients and marinate pigeons overnight or for at least 12 hours.

2. Poach pigeons in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove.

3. Boil together malt syrup, water and sliced lime. Soak pigeons in malt and hang pigeons to dry in cool, airy place.

4. Heat oil in wok and deepfry till golden brown.

Crispy deep-fried nien gao

152 gm Hong Kong flour
0.38 gm rice flour
0.38 Amonia Pearce Duff
76 gm oil
228 gm water

Sift together the Hong Kong flour, rice flour and Amonia Pearce Duff.

Add a little oil and slowly add the water to mix into a batter.

Cut nien gao into 2cm fingers. Dip in batter and deepfry till golden brown.

Serve immediately.

Cold vegetarian noodles

400 gms dry Chinese noodles
1 small carrot
1 small cucumber
1 small green capsicum
5 cm young ginger
1 red chili

4 tbsp creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp honey

VEGETARIAN cooking need not be time-consuming. You can make a tomato cucumber sandwich for instance or toss a salad. Here is a recipe for a quick fix cold vegetarian noodle you can produce in minutes and that even children can make. It’s refreshingly lovely for hot sunny afternoons. I have used peanut butter which is easily available in most kitchens but for even better flavour, you can try using sesame paste. If you like it hot, add some chili flakes to the sauce. — TAN BEE HONG

1. Boil noodles till soft. Soak immediately in ice-cold water with some ice cubes.

2. Separately julienne (shred finely) the cucumber, carrot, capsicum and ginger. Set aside. Slice red chilies.

3. Mix well all the sauce ingredients.

4. Drain noodles and arrange in deep plate with julienned vegetables. Pour sauce over and serve. If desired, sprinkle with ground peanuts or roasted sesame seeds.

Serves four.

Claypot lap mei rice

150gm rice
1 waxed duck drumstick
2 liver sausages
2 waxed sausages
1/2 slice waxed pork
3 black Chinese mushrooms (soaked whole)
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 bunch Chinese mustard

1. Rinse waxed meats and wash Chinese mustard leaves.

2. Rinse rice and put in claypot. Add sufficient water and cook until water is almost absorbed.

3. Put waxed meat and mushrooms on top of rice and pour both light and dark soya sauce over it. Cover and cook two minutes. When water is fully absorbed, lower flame and allow rice to cook a further 6-8 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, steam or blanch Chinese mustard leaves. Arrange in middle of plate.

5. To serve, remove waxed meats and slice. Arrange on top of mustard greens together with mushrooms. Serve with hot rice.

Claypot lamb

1kg lamb (cut into large cubes)
200gm ginger (sliced thinly)
1 carrot (sliced)
200gm canned bamboo shoots (sliced)
50gm soaked wood ears (mok yee)
100gm Chinese mushrooms (soaked)
1 tsp garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
4 tbsp oil

1 tbsp salted red beancurd (nam yue)
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
1 tsp pepper

1. Drain mushrooms and reserve water.

2. Heat oil and sesame seed oil in a claypot. Fry ginger and garlic till fragrant. Add salted red beancurd and lamb cubes. Stir fry five minutes and add the seasonings and mushroom stock.

3. Bring to boil and add mushrooms. Simmer till tender and then add carrots, bamboo shoots and wood ears. Cook another 10 minutes.

4. Serve hot. Garnish with Chinese celery (kan choy), shredded scallions and red chillies.

- From the article Quick meals with lamb by Je'n.

Claypot fish and chicken with coriander leaves

350g garoupa or tenggiri fillets
230g chicken thigh meat, deboned and sliced
2 tsps light soya sauce and pepper for seasoning chicken
Oil for frying fish
1 heaped Tbsp taucheo or fermented bean paste
2 large onions, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
4cm knob of old ginger, smashed
3 pieces of asam keping
4 dried chillies, soaked in hot water, seeded and cut into two
1 large bunch of coriander or Chinese parlsey, cut into 4cm lengths
3 stalks spring onion, cut into 4cm lengths
170ml water
Salt to taste

1. Fry the fish fillets in hot oil in the wok and set aside.

2. Fry onions, garlic and ginger in 2 Tbsps oil till fragrant. Add the finely chopped fermented beanpaste, and stir for a minute. Add dried chillies and saute.

3. Put in the chicken and fry for a minute. Add asam keping and saute. Add water and stir.

4. Heat up a claypot, pour the contents of the wok into it. Let it simmer for just five minutes. Add the fried fish and taste before adding salt if needed.

5. Add in the Chinese parsley and spring onions and lift off the flame.

Note: You can also use thin slices of belly pork marinated in soya sauce, a little sugar and pepper and dry them first before adding to the claypot.

Claypot chicken wings in oyster sauce

500g chicken wings
2 stalks spring onions, cut into sections
1cm ginger, sliced thinly
5 chinese mushrooms, soaked till soft and halved
3 tbsp cooking oil

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
3 tbsp oyster sauce
Dash of ground pepper
1/4 cup water

Extra 1 stalk of spring onions, cut into sections

1. Cut chicken wings into 3 sections at the joints. Discard the tips.

2. In a pan, heat up cooking oil and fry spring onions and ginger slices until fragrant. Add chicken wings and mushroom.

3. Add Shaoxing wine and continue to fry. Meanwhile, heat up claypot until smoking hot.

4. Transfer all the contents into the claypot. Add water and the remaining seasoning, except the extra spring onions. Bring to a boil. Cover claypot and simmer over low heat until chicken wings are tender.

5. Before serving, add extra cut spring onions. Stir well and serve while still hot.

- Contributed by reader Jo

Chinese sambal belacan

Red chillies
Dried shrimps
Red onions

1. Grind red chillies, dried shrimps and red onions separately. Filter if watery.

2. Heat oil and fry belacan until fragrant.

3. Add in ground dried shrimp and fry until fragrant.

4. Add in ground red onions, followed by ground red chillies, and fry until fragrant. The dish should not be watery.

5. Add some salt to flavour.

6. Remove and serve.

- Recipe courtesy of reader Sook Yee

Cheong mang foo kwai

750g pumpkin (slice off a small portion of the top, scoop out the seeds, then wash clean)

100g chicken meat
100g prawns
75g sotong paste
75g waterchestnuts, chopped fine
2 tbsp chopped spring onions
2 tbsp Chinese yin-sai

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder (ng heong fun)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour

12 pieces black mush-rooms (soak, then bring to boil together with 1 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp sugar, pinch of salt, dash of pepper and 1 tsp sesame oil)
50g gingko nuts (peh koay) (shell, remove skin then boil till soft)
10 quail eggs, boil and remove shells
10g fatt choy (soak)

Carrots (shape into tortoise head, legs and tail)
Broccoli (scald in boiling water, with 1 tsp soda bicarbonate added in)

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
A dash of ajinomoto
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
tsp pepper
1 tsp Maggie chicken stock granules
1 tsp sesame oil

Mixed together:
1 tsp wheat starch
2 tsp water
2 tbsp cooking oil

Chopped fine:
2 pips garlic
2 slices young ginger
1 tbsp Shao Xing cooking wine
1/2 bowl of water or soup stock

1. Mix filling ingredients with the seasoning and chopped spring onions and yin-sai. Stuff this mixture into the hollow part of the pumpkin. Steam for 20-25 minutes or till cooked.

2. Remove pumpkin to a big serving dish. Decorate pumpkin.
Heat a wok with oil and saute chopped ginger and garlic.

3. When fragrant, add in the cooking wine, then water.

4. Mix in the vegetable ingredients and stir well. Add in thickening and bring to a boil.

5. Pour ingredients surrounding the assembled tortoise. Garnish as desired.

6. To serve, slice through the pumpkin together with the filling.

Note: This dish is appropriate for the Chinese New Year, especially with the tortoise which is symbolic of long life. Thus here you have longevity together with fatt choy and the other ingredients around that will bring
wealth and prosperity throughout the year.

Century/hard-boiled eggs with fried ginger and dark Chinese vinegar

4 century eggs (cut into two)
3 hard-boiled chicken eggs (cut into two)
1 Tbsp chopped young ginger
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tbsps Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsps soya sauce
2 Tbsps chopped Chinese parsley
1 Tbsp chopped red chillies (optional)

1. In a serving plate, lay all the eggs, set aside.

2. Heat the cooking oil in a small shallow pan, brown the chopped ginger, turn off the fire and add dark vinegar, soya sauce and sesame oil.

3. Pour the sauce on top of the eggs; sprinkle chopped parsley, chilli and serve.


1. Century eggs in supermarkets are usually chicken eggs. I used the duck century eggs which can be bought from the Pudu wet market in Kuala Lumpur.

2. More black vinegar could be added for more sauce.

3. A little brown sugar could also be added to the sauce.

4. Instead of cutting the eggs into two, they can be cut into cubes too.

Catfish and black bean soup

500g black beans
3 litres hot water
1 kg catfish
1½ tbsps salt
1 tsp white pepper
10 seedless red dates
1.4 cm length ginger (sliced)
2cm length of dried mandarin orange peel
1 tbsp chopped spring onion

1. Soak the black beans in water for half an hour and change the water twice.

2. Put the soaked black beans in a soup pot and add the hot water, boil under medium heat for half an hour.

3. Wash and clean (take out the stomach and gills) the catfish, rub it with a tablespoon of salt and wash off the salt with water. Pat dry the fish. Cut the catfish into big chunks, marinate them with half a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of white pepper. Put aside.

4. In a non-stick pan, pan fry the catfish chunks and ginger slices with a little oil until they are light brown. Scoop out the fish and ginger slices and put aside.

5. Add the fish and ginger slices, red dates and mandarin orange peel to the black bean soup. Continue to boil the soup for 15 minutes and lower the heat to boil for a further 45 minutes.

6. Add salt to taste. The soup should look thick and yummy; serve with some chopped spring onion.

Cabbage rolls with fatt choy and dried oysters

12 dried oysters, soaked in water
40g fatt choy
3 Tbsps oil
6 cloves garlic
2 stalks spring onion, white part only
4 thin slices ginger
3 tsps premium grade oyster sauce
2 tsps light soya sauce
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
2 Tbsps Shiao Xing wine
6 cabbage leaves, blanched in boiling water
400 ml chicken stock (steeped from a chicken breast simmered in 1.5 litres water and 1 tsp sea salt)
1 tsp cornflour

1. Soak the oysters for two minutes in water.

2. Heat oil in wok. Fry whole cloves of garlic till golden and set aside.

3. Fry ginger and the sliced white parts of the spring onion. Add the dried oysters.

4. Splash with the wine and add the oyster sauce and soya sauce.

5. Add the chicken stock and simmer the oysters under low heat for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and simmer for another five minutes.

6. Add the fatt choy, stir and lift the wok off the flame.

7. Put two oysters, a clove of garlic and some fatt choy on a blanched cabbage leaf and roll up.

8. Steam the rolls for five minutes.

9. Heat the remaining gravy in the wok, add a little more salt if needed and thicken with cornflour mixed with a little water. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls.

Broccoli with mushrooms

200 gms broccoli
1 carrot
10 Chinese mushrooms
1/2 can button mushrooms (or straw mushrooms)
50 gms fresh oyster mushrooms
2 tbsp oyster sauce

1. Soak Chinese mushrooms. Wash vegetables and slice carrot into pretty shapes.

2. Cut broccoli into small florets and blanch in boiling water till cooked. Remove and arrange in circle on plate. Keep water for stock.

3. Heat one tablespoon oil in kuali and fry carrots for three minutes. Add mushrooms. Stir and add vegetable stock. Simmer five minutes. Season with oyster sauce and thicken with cornflour.

4. Scoop into middle of broccoli florets and serve. You can add prawns and meat to mushroom sauce if so desired.

Brinjals with taucheo

2 brinjals
10gm peeled prawns
1 tsp salted brown beans (taucheo)
1 red chilli
1 stalk spring onions
2 cloves garlic

1. Cut brinjal into two lengthwise and then each half into four pieces.

2. Fry in hot oil until soft and slightly brown. Dish aside and keep.

3. Deseed and slice chilli. Cut spring onions into 2 cm lengths. Slice garlic cloves.

4. Leave a little oil in wok and put in garlic and brown beans. Stir fry 1 minute. Add prawns and cut chillies.

5. When prawns are cooked, return brinjals to wok and stir fry two minutes. Add in spring onions and serve hot.

- From the article Cooling nature of egg-plant by Tan Bee Hong.

Braised fungus with bamboo pith and mushrooms

50gm cloud fungus (wan yee)
50gm snow fungus (suet yee)
100gm pea sprouts (tau miu)
10 black mushrooms (soaked)
10 fat Australian asparagus tips
10 pc bamboo pith (soaked)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

1. Soak cloud and snow fungus. Cut asparagus into 10 cm lengths. Blanch together with bamboo pith in boiling water one minute. Remove. Stick asparagus tips into bamboo pith.

2. Stir-fry pea sprouts one minute. Arrange in circle on plate. Stir-fry cloud and snow fungus in oyster sauce for two minutes (if preferred, do them separately) and arrange in middle of pea-sprout circle.

3. Braise asparagus and mushrooms in oyster sauce for two minutes.

4. Remove and arrange round pea sprouts. Add 2 tbsp water, sugar and cornflour to oyster sauce and pour over vegetables.

Braised duck traditional Teochew-style

1 duck, about 2 1/2kg

1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp salt
20g galangal (lengkuas), sliced
2 Tbsps oil
2 Tbsps brown sugar
2 Tbsps white sugar
100g rock sugar

For the spice pouch:
1 stick cinnamon
8g licorice (gan cao)
150g dried tangerine peel
5 star anise
2 cloves
10g white peppercorns, smashed
50g galangal
2 litres water
60ml Chinese rose wine or rice wine

1 Tbsp dark soya sauce (for colour)
4 Tbsps light soya sauce
3 Tbsps coarse salt or to taste

Garlic sauce:
Mix together:
2 Tbsps rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp sugar

Chilli sauce:
Mix together:
1 Tbsp bottled garlic chilli sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsps rice vinegar
1 stalk Chinese parsley for garnishing

1. Wash duck thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen towel.

2. Mix the marinade and rub into the duck cavity. Close the cavity using a bamboo skewer. Leave duck to marinate for an hour in the refrigerator.

3. Bring 125 litres of water to a boil in a wok. Turn off the heat and lower the duck in the water to wash it briefly (inside and out). Remove duck to a colander to drain.

4. Heat the oil in a wok and add the sugar to melt over a low fire. Stir continuously until it caramelises. Set aside.

5. Place the spices — cinnamon, licorice, dried tangerine peel, star anise, cloves, peppercorns and galangal in a cotton pouch. Secure.

6. In a wok big enough to fit the duck, bring 2 litres of water, rock sugar and spice pouch to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.

7. Add the caramel, duck and seasonings. Simmer for 2 to 2 1/4 hours, turning the duck every 20 minutes.

8. Turn off the fire and leave the duck to immerse in the sauce for another hour.

9. Cut the duck into pieces and garnish with Chinese parsley. Serve with chilli and garlic sauce.

Braised duck (from chef Fong Yau Meng, Restoran Szechuan)

1.8kg duck
3 onions, shredded and mixed with cornflour

4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp A1 sauce
1 tbsp HP sauce
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
a little thick soya sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp chilli sauce
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp Chinese wine (Hua Tiao Chiew)
3 spring onions
1 piece young ginger
5kg water

1. Clean duck and cut the back open. Baste the duck with both light and thick soya sauce.

2. Deep-fry until golden brown. Remove and place in pot.

3. Add seasoning and braise over medium heat for two hours.

4. Remove the layer of oil on the surface. Place braised duck on platter and pour the gravy over the duck when serving.

5. Fry shredded onions until crisp and aromatic. Sprinkle over the duck. Serve.

Boneless steamed fish fillet

200g Dory fish fillet
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of white pepper
2 Tbsps chopped young fresh ginger
2 tsps chopped garlic
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsps soy sauce
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion


1. Clean the fish fillet and pat dry it thoroughly with kitchen paper.

2. Place the fish in a plate (or tray) for steaming, rub the fish with the salt, add pinch of pepper on it, then sprinkle the chopped ginger on top.

3. Steam the fish fillet in a pre-heated wok for 7 minutes.

4. In a non-stick pan, fry and brown the chopped garlic with 1 tablespoon oil and pour the oil and fried garlic on to the fish when it is cooked.

5. Add soy sauce to the fish and sprinkle the chopped spring onion. The fish is ready to be served.

Note: Codfish can be used instead of dory. Add another two minutes when steaming.

Black sesame broth

150g black sesame seeds, washed. (Make sure there are no stones in them)
600 ml water
50g sugar (or to taste)
1 Tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 Tbsps water

1. Blend black sesame and water for three minutes.

2. Pour into a saucepan and boil over the fire.

3. Lift off the flame, and strain for a smooth texture.

4. Put back into saucepan, add sugar and stir under low heat.

5. Drizzle in the cornflour mixture and stir till it reaches the right consistency.

Note: You can serve it with a little evaporated milk and roasted walnuts.

Bitter gourd with prawns and beancurd puffs

1 medium-sized bitter gourd cut into thin slices
300g prawns, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
7 beancurd puffs or tow foo pok
1 red chilli, chopped
1 rounded tablespoon black bean with garlic (Lee Kum Kee)
1 tsp sugar
200ml water

1. Add a heaped teaspoon salt to the bitter gourd slices, stir and squeeze them with your hands. Rinse off with water, and drain in a colander.

2. Scald tow foo pok with boiling water, and drain. Cut each into two with scissors.

3. Heat oil in wok, fry garlic, add chilli and black beans. Fry till fragrant.

4. Add prawns and stir-fry till they are pink. Add bitter gourd.

5. Stir-fry, then add in water, tow foo pok and sugar. Cover and cook for five minutes.

Note: You could add salt if it is not salty enough.

Beef rice in egg skin (Ngow sung chao fun)

24g garlic
12g dry black mushrooms
120g topside beef
120g prawns
600ml water
45g frozen peas
45g canned button mushrooms
90g palm olein
60g palm olein (cooking oil)
12 portions of boiled white rice
27g oyster sauce
19g light soya sauce
13g black soya sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper powder
18g sesame oil
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

1. Mince garlic. Soak four black mushrooms in water and dice later. Dice button mushrooms. Mince the beef. Peel and slice prawns.

2. Bring water to boil. Blanch green peas and mushrooms for a few seconds. Take out and drain.

3. Heat wok, add 90g palm olein and fry minced beef for a few seconds.

4. Drain and put aside. Fry prawns.

5. Heat the second palm olein, add minced garlic and fry until golden brown. Add boiled rice and stir fry well. Add blanched mushrooms, green peas, sauteed beef and prawns.

6. Season with soya sauce, oyster sauce, black soya sauce and pepper.

7. Stir fry well until rice grains are loose and well coated by the seasoning.

8. Break eggs and beat. Heat a hot griddle and make a paper-thin skin of egg by pouring the beaten egg onto the griddle. Flatten and distribute with a spatula. Remove skin carefully from griddle and place in a bowl.

9. Pour fried rice into the egg skin. Put one egg yolk in the centre and fold skin together into a parcel. Place on a plate. Serve the parcel and cut open in front of guests.

- From the article Rice, Asia's favourite staple diet by Ruby Khoo.

Beansprouts and eggs

300g beansprouts
150g chives
150g fresh prawns
10g transparent vermicelli (so hoon)
4 cloves garlic
2 eggs
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp oil

1. Wash beansprouts and drain. Cut chives into 2.5cm lengths.

2. Cut beancurd into 2cm squares. Slice garlic and chop prawns. Soak vermicelli and when soft, cut into 5cm lengths.

3. Heat oil in frying pan. Fry garlic till slightly brown. Add prawns and beancurd and stir a little.

4. Add transparent vermicelli and stir. Add eggs and stir quickly. Add light soya sauce.

5. Make sure that beansprouts and chives are not overcooked.

Before serving, add vinegar or any sauce that is both sweet and sour.

Beancurd skin roll with huai shan

6 sticks of fresh huai shan, 1cm thick, 7cm long
2 teaspoons kei chi
1 chicken thigh deboned and cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps soya sauce
2 tsps ginger juice
2 tsps sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp Hua Tiao wine (optional)
Beancurd skin (fresh fu pei), cut into large long pieces
6 sticks of yam, 1 cm thick, 7cm long
3 Chinese mushrooms, soaked in water and cut into quarters
1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water

1. Marinate the chicken with the salt, soya sauce, ginger juice, sesame oil and wine and leave aside for 15 minutes.

2. Steam the chicken with the mushrooms and kei chi for 30 minutes over boiling water. Leave to cool.

3. Steam the sticks of yam on a separate plate till cooked. Ladle some chicken gravy over the yam.

4. Spread out the beancurd skin on a board. Put on it a stick of yam, a stick of huai shan, some kei chee, mushroom and chicken. Roll up. (It should have a double layer of skin. Repeat with the rest of the beancurd skin.)

5. Steam the rolls over boiling water for 10 minutes.

6. Thicken the remaining chicken gravy with cornflour mixture in a small pot over the fire. Drizzle over the beancurd skin rolls.

Bean sprouts with taukwa

200gm beansprouts
1/2 small carrot
100gm prawns (peeled)
1 pc taukwa
20gm kuchai (or spring onion)

1. Wash beansprouts. Tail if desired. Cut carrot into small strips. Cut kuchai or spring onion into 3cm lengths.

2. Fry taukwa on both sides and cut into strips.

3. Heat one tablespoon oil in kuali and fry prawns till cooked. Add in carrots and fry three minutes (or longer if you like carrots soft).

4. Add beansprouts and fry another three minutes. Add in taukwa and kuchai or spring onions. Stir-fry one minute and serve.

Baked herbal chicken wings

8 whole chicken wings, ends cut off

1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp light soya sauce
1/4 tsp thick soya sauce
1 Tbsp Hua Tiau wine
1 Tbsp cooking oil

10g tong kwai, chopped or powdered
20g tong sum, cut into 8 pieces
10g pak kei
10g yok chok
1 tsp kei chi
1 Tbsp Hua Tiau wine
8 greaseproof paper bags, large enough to hold chicken wings
Oil for greasing bags

1. Clean chicken wings and dry with a towel. Make a small slit under each section of the wings. Marinate with seasoning ingredients for at least an hour.

2. Meanwhile, rinse herbs and place in a bowl. Sprinkle Hua Tiau wine over, and steam over rapid boiling water for 12 minutes. Cool and stir into wings.

3. Lightly grease insides of paper bags and place a wing and some herbs in each bag. Fold opening and staple ends.

4. Place wings in the oven, preheated at 190C, for 20-25 minutes.

Baked chicken wings

Chicken wings
Soya sauce
Oyster sauce
White pepper powder

1. Clean chicken wing and drain dry.

2. Marinate chicken wings with all the ingredients and leave for 1 hour.

3. Put in the oven and cook over low fire for at least 1 hour.

- Contributed by reader Mary Liew

Beans fusion

1 cup lablab beans (available in Indian grocery shops and called Mochai Payeer)
3 tempeh
1 large onion
2 clove garlic
few curry leaves
3 tablespoon curry powder
oil for frying and cooking
black pepper

1. Boil the lablab beans with little salt until tender, strain and keep aside.

2. Cut the tempeh into small cubes and fry in oil. Keep aside.

3. In a separate wok, add little oil, saute the onion and garlic. Add the lablab beans, curry powder, salt and some water. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the gravy thickens.

4. Add the fried tempeh and mix well.

5. Add curry leaves and crushed black pepper. Serve hot with plain rice.

Note: Don't add the tempeh until the gravy has thickened, or else the tempeh will absorb the gravy and look soggy.

- Recipe courtesy of VBG.

Stradfort old bread pudding

45 slices of bread (cut all the sides)
1 can of eveporated milk
half a litre fresh milk
5 well-beaten eggs
1 cup of crushed walnuts
1 cup of crushed almonds
1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon bicarbonate soda

1. Grease a baking pan measuring 10 inches X 10 inches
(height 5").

2. Layer 9 slices of bread on the pan.

3. Sprinkle walnut, almonds, desiccated coconut and raisins on the bread pieces.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, till you get 5 layers altogether. On the last top layer, sprinkle all the walnuts and almonds.

5. Combine evaporated milk, fresh milk and eggs with baking powder and bicarbonate soda in a bowl and mix well.

6. Slowly pour the mixture into the baking pan till the bread layers are soaked.

7. Bake it in 170 Celcius for 30 minutes. Serve the pudding cold.

Chocolate tarre

200g hazelnut
200g walnut
200g dark chocolate (100g each bar)
250g butter, with some used to grease the baking dish
100g caster sugar
6 large eggs (separate the yolks and the whites)

1. There're two parts to this preparation. Start by whizzing up the hazelnuts, walnuts and a 100g of the chocolate until fine. That done, leave aside.

The only proper means in which a fine mixture may be achieved is by using a food processor. But if you don't have one, first roughly chop the nuts and the chocolate, and then turn to a mortar for a finer consistency.

2. Whiz butter and sugar, while intermittently adding the egg yolks, it should achieve a silky finish.

3. Now beat the egg whites. It has become customary that a pinch of salt is added, so that the composition of the eggs are broken down easily. Also, there are some who just grease the bowl with lemon. Either way, a fluffiness of sort should be the aim.

4. With a spatula, mix the two blended ingredients first, then slowly fold in the fluffy egg white. You are advised not to use the processor for this purpose, and you should not over-fold the egg whites in, as the purpose is to create a "marble" effect, also you want to preserve the fluffiness of the beaten egg whites.

5. Turn this mixture into a greased baking dish, preferably with a removable base. Finally crush the remaining dark chocolate into small chunks and bury the pieces randomly, pressing with fingers into the mixture.

Note: This cake is great served warm with French vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or warm heavy cream. It's also great with Hagen Daz's Bailey's ice cream.

- Recipe courtesy of Aris Azman

Bread crumbs banana

Four slices of bread
One big ripe banana
One tablespoon rice flour
One tablespoon gram flour
Two teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

1. Cut bread into pieces and put inside a mixer. Grind the bread into bread crumbs.

2. Cut the banana into fine pieces, but don't mash them.

3. Combine the bread crumbs, banana and other ingredients, except the oil, inside a bow and mix well into a dough.

4. Make small balls from the dough and fry in medium hot oil. Serve for tea.

- Recipe courtesy of Chandravathani Sathasivam

Malaysian herb rice (Nasi ulam)

27g dry salted ikan kurau (salted fish)
6 bowls boiled white rice
small slice of turmeric leaf
sprig of curry leaves
4g galangal (lengkuas)
1 tsp ginger flower (bunga kantan)
5g lemon grass
sprig of daun pegaga
sprig of daun raja
sprig of daun kesom
5g daun kadok
large sprig of fresh mint leaves
1 kaffir leaf (daun limau purut)
sprig of fresh bay leaves
5g whole black peppercorns
1 salted egg
48g raw cucumber

1. Cut dry salted fish into cubes. Roast until golden brown, then mince fish meat finely.

2. Wash all herbs and chop fine.

3. Mix rice with fish flakes, chopped herbs and crushed pepper until the rice is loose and herbs well mixed. Season to taste.

4. Peel and slice salted egg. Slice cucumbers.

5. Serve rice with salted egg and cucumber slices.

- From the article Rice, Asia's favourite staple diet by Ruby Khoo.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Steamed Belacan Spareribs

400-450g spareribs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp belacan stock granules
1 tsp chicken stock granules
1 tsp Shao Hsing wine
1 tbsp cornflour
2-3 tbsp water

Combine marinade ingredients with chopped ginger, garlic and chillies. Mix well then add spareribs. Stir to mix and set aside for 1 hour.

Arrange the marinated sparerib pieces on a heatproof dish. Steam over rapidly boiling water for an hour or until meat is tender. Serve immediately.

Chinese Pancake with Peanut Filling

150g plain flour
225ml water
1½ tsp castor sugar
¾ tsp instant yeast granules

150g plain flour
150g high protein flour (bread flour)
375ml water
1 large egg
75g castor sugar
½ tsp baking powder

Filling (combined)
3 tbsp roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
1½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp coarse white sugar
pinch of salt

Combine flour, yeast, sugar and water in a mixing bowl. Mix well and cover with a damp tea towel. Seat aside to proof for 50-60 minutes.

Sift flour and high protein flour into another clean mixing bowl. Add the egg, sugar and water. Mix well and add baking powder and the proven batter. Stir well to mix. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave aside to proof for 40-45 minutes.

Lightly grease a pancake pan. Pour a ladleful of the batter. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles appear. Remove the cover and sprinkle a little of the filling ingredients. Remove with a spatula and fold the pancake into half.

Drunken Crabs

2 mud crabs (fairly large ones)
1 tbsp shredded ginger

1 tsp light soy sauce
400ml Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp marmite sauce

Clean the crabs, remove the shell and cut into half. Heat oil in a wok and deep-fry crabs for 1 minute. Dish out and drain.

Remove the oil, leaving only one tablespoon in the wok. Add ginger and fry until fragrant. Pour in the wine and add the remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring the sauce to prevent it from burning.

Add the crabs and stir briskly to coat the crabs with the sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Dish out and serve.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sweet Potato Mantou

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

500g sweet potato (yellow coloured variety or Indonesian species)

400g castor sugar

Corn oil (for brushing)


500g pau flour (Superfine, Superwhite flour)

1¾ tsp double-action baking powder

Steam sweet potatoes until soft and cooked. Remove the skin and, while they are still hot, blend in a food processor into a puree.

Combine sweet potato puree, sugar, sifted flours and double-action baking powder in a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix well until a dough is formed.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured tabletop and knead until the dough is soft and evenly textured. Shape into a ball.

Roll dough into 0.5cm thickness. Cut out into a big piece of rectangle (28x30cm). Brush lightly with corn oil and roll up – Swiss-roll style – and cut into sizable portions of 3.5cm thickness.

Gather the remaining dough and repeat the process.

Place each individual mantou on a small piece of cut-out greaseproof paper. Steam over rapid boiling water over high heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove and serve hot.


Original Recipe by Amy Beh

150g sago, soaked for 10-15 minutes

75g grated coconut (use the white flesh only)

2 tbsp castor sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp pure pandan juice

2-3 pandan leaves, cut into 3cm lengths

2 tbsp water

Cut out several banana leaf rounds of 18cm diameter


30g soft brown sugar

20g castor sugar

Process the pandan leaves and water in a blender. Pour out and strain to obtain pure pandan juice. Set aside.

Drain the soaked sago. Combine with grated coconut, sugar and salt. Toss well to mix, then divide into two equal portions. Leave one portion plain; to the other portion, add the pure pandan juice to mix.

Fold each piece of banana leaf round into half to form a semicircle. Fold again to form a cone. Fill the cone halfway with the plain sago mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of combined sugar mixture. Top up with a heaped tablespoon of green sago mixture. Fold down the banana leaf (to cover the cone). Let it stand on its base. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Steam the abuk-abuk over high heat for about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let it cool down completely before serving.

Fragrant Duck

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

1.75kg duck, cleaned and blotted with several pieces of paper kitchen towels.

Seasoning (A) (combined)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¾ tsp sugar

10-12 thin slices ginger

10 stalks spring onion

8-10 cloves garlic, crushed

4 star anise, break up the petals

Pound with a mortar:

1/8 tsp fennel seeds

1/8 tsp cumin seeds

1/8 tsp black pepper corns

Seasoning (B)

2-3 tbsp Premium light soy sauce

½ tsp Chinese five spice powder

Rub both the inside and outside of the duck with combined seasoning (A). Stuff the duck with half the ginger slices and half of the spring onion stalks.

Arrange the remainder of the ginger and spring onion, garlic, star anise and pounded fennel seeds, cumin seeds and black pepper on the base of a heatproof dish. Put the duck over and steam for 50-60 minutes or until duck is tender. Leave aside to cool.

Rub the duck all over with combined seasoning (B). Deep-fry the duck in hot oil. After turning the duck over, ladle hot oil over the bird to brown it evenly. Remove when done and cut into pieces before serving.

Black Pepper Crabs in Claypot

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

2 big crabs, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 stalks spring onion, cut into 3-4cm lengths

1 sprig coriander, cut into 3-4cm lengths

3cm piece ginger, shredded

1 tbsp coarsely-ground black pepper

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp oil

Ingredients (A)

½ tsp chicken stock granules

¼-½ tsp salt or to taste

Seasoning (combined)

6 tbsp chicken stock or water

¾ tsp sugar or to taste

1 tsp light soy sauce

Lightly season crabs with ingredients (A) for 10-15 minutes.

Heat oil and sesame oil in a claypot and add half portion of ground black pepper. Sauté until fragrant, then add in ginger and seasoned crabs. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add in combined seasoning ingredients and sprinkle over remaining black pepper. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crabs are fully cooked.

Garnish with spring onion and coriander.

Ginger Cookies

Original Recipe by Amy Beh

  • 55g butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 210g castor sugar
  • 2¾ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 165g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

    Put butter, golden syrup and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until mixture turns pale. Sift in flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar and add salt, ground ginger and nutmeg to mix. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

    Make small cherry-sized balls of dough and place them on lightly-greased trays, well spaced.

    Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Leave the cookies on the tray for 5-6 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool.

  • Green Pea Biscuits

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

  • 200g green pea flour
  • 40g flour
  • 20g rice flour
  • 95g icing sugar
  • 65g roasted almond nibs, finely chopped
  • 90g shortening

    Roast the green pea flour and sift into a mixing bowl. Sift in flour, rice flour and icing sugar. Add in finely-chopped almond nibs to mix. Add shortening and mix until mixture turns crumbly.

    Knead and lightly press until the dough clings together. Press a small portion into a wooden mould. Knock the mould against a tabletop to dislodge the biscuit. Arrange the biscuits on lightly-greased trays and bake in an oven preheated at 140°C-150°C for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Leave the biscuits on the tray for 5-6 minutes before placing them onto wire racks to cool.

  • Prawn Dumplings

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

  • 200g medium prawns, shelled and diced
  • 100g pork with a little fat, finely chopped
  • 3 water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and diced
  • 20-25 pieces wantan skins


  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Dash of monosodium glutamate
  • ½ an egg white
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp cornflour

    Combine pork, prawns, mushrooms and water chestnuts in a bowl. Add seasoning ingredients and stir with a pair of chopsticks until the mixture is well combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Take a piece of wantan skin and place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre. Fold into half and pinch the edges together, then gather the edges to form pleats. Leave the dumplings in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before boiling.

    Prepare your own soup stock and drop in the prepared dumplings to cook.

  • Friday, October 12, 2007

    Orange Sea-Coconut and White Fungus Soup

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    25g white fungus, soaked to soften and trimmed into small florets
    1 canned sea-coconut, well drained
    2 oranges, grated finely for the rind and squeezed for juice
    220g rock sugar
    2 screwpine leaves, shredded and knotted
    2 litres water

    Put rock sugar, water, white fungus, orange rind and screwpine leaves in a pot.

    Bring to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved.

    Discard screwpine leaves and add orange juice and seacoconut.

    Dish out and serve in individual bowls. Serve hot or cold.

    Bean Medley Soup

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    100g red beans, soaked for several hours
    60g big red beans (or aduki beans), soaked for several hours
    50g chickpeas, soaked overnight until well plumped up
    75g candy brown sugar
    80g rock sugar
    2 litres water
    2 screwpine leaves, shredded and knotted
    1 small piece (the size of a 10 sen coin) dried mandarin skin

    Wash the soaked beans and drain. Combine the beans and chickpeas in a deep saucepan.

    Pour in water and add screwpine leaves and mandarin skin. Bring to the boil over medium heat for 5 minutes.

    Lower the heat and simmer for about one hour or until all the beans are tender. Add in the sugars and cook until they dissolve. Dish out and serve hot.

    Honeydew Melon Sweet Soup

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    700g golden honeydew melon
    100g big sago
    50g small sago
    300g castor sugar
    200ml fresh UHT milk
    500ml water
    2 screwpine leaves, shredded and knotted

    Skin the honeydew melon and cut out 100g. Shred the 100g melon and chill in the refrigerator.Publish Post

    Cut the remaining melon into cubes. Process the cubed melon with 200ml water in a food processor until pureed. Sieve the honeydew melon through a fine sieve.

    Soak big sago in boiling water in a small pot, covered, until it turns transparent. Drain and wash in cold water.

    Soak small sago in clean water for 10–15 minutes. Drain.

    Combine honeydew melon juice, sugar and big sago in a saucepot. Pour in remaining water and add screwpine leaves. Boil over medium low heat for 10–15 minutes.

    Add in small sago and cook until sago turns transparent. Turn off the heat and pour in fresh milk to mix.

    Discard screwpine leaves.

    Scoop out and serve the soup in individual bowls, topped with the chilled shredded honeydew melon.

    Huat Kuih (Fatt Koh)

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    400g rice flour
    200g castor sugar
    1 tsp ENO salt
    1 tsp double-action baking powder
    440ml water
    3½ Tbsp fermented yeast rice (see below)

    For the fermented yeast rice

    250g cooked rice
    2 tsp crushed wine yeast biscuit (chow paeng)
    1 Tbsp castor sugar
    2-3 Tbsp water

    Carrot Almond Cake

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    190g soft table margarine
    210g soft brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    3 eggs
    ½ cup grated carrot
    ¾ cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
    1½ tsp mixed spice


    100g plain flour
    90g self-raising flour

    Line and grease a 20cm square or round cake pan. Preheat oven at 180°C.

    Beat soft margarine, sugar and essence until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    Fold in grated carrot and chopped almonds. Add sifted dry ingredients and mixed spice.

    Turn out mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.


    Tips by Amy Beh

    Can you share some tips on how to choose passion fruits? How long do passion fruits keep in the refrigerator? Can they be used for cooking? – Chin Sui Foong

    Always look for a large heavy passion fruit, without soft patches. The skin will wrinkle as it ripens. Passion fruits can be stored at room temperature for up to one week. Kept in the refrigerator, they will last up to two weeks.

    The yellow pulp or flesh is sweet and juicy with lots of small edible black seeds.

    Scoop out the pulp and use it in sauces. It can be added to cakes too. Passion fruit can be served with ice-cream or used to make drinks.

    How do I prevent fruits from sinking to the bottom of my jelly? – Patricia Lau

    Chop the fruits into smaller pieces when you add them to the jelly or you can pour the liq uid jelly into the tray, then add the fruits gradually. Another way is to add the fruits when the jelly is about to set.

    MY TEENAGE daughter is starting to learn how to cook. One day she asked me how to remove the avocado seed from the fruit.

    Can you tell us how to do it? – Low S.G.

    Hold the avocado in one hand and use a sharp knife to cut it in half around the stone. Give it a twist to release it from the stone, then place it on a chopping board.

    Hit the stone with a sharp knife and twist the blade of the knife. The stone will come out of the avocado when you pull the knife away.

    Should the stone be stuck on the blade of the knife, just hold it with a thick tea towel and gently ease it off.

    WHAT is fennel? I was told that it can be used in salads or stews. – Farhana Abdullah

    Fennel is a member of the parsley family. It has a mild liquorice odour and taste.

    This is a roundish bulb and is white to pale green in colour. It consists of several overlapping broad stems with soft feathery leaves.

    Is it necessary to season a new non-stick saucepan before use? – Lim May Ching

    Non-stick pans don't need seasoning. Just wash the pan with a mild detergent and rinse with clean water. Do not use a metal scourer.

    What is canola oil and when do I use it? – Barbie Ooi

    Canola oil is obtained from rapeseed. It is monounsaturated and contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil responds well to high heat so it is suitable for all types of cooking.

    How do I poach eggs? – Julie Ong

    Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add a few drops of white rice vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water, then reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the water.

    Crack an egg into a small saucer (keeping the egg yolk intact). Use a large metal spoon to stir the simmering water to create a whirlpool, then tip the egg into the centre of the whirlpool. If you have an extra egg, repeat the procedure. Poach both eggs for 3-4 minutes or until just set.

    Use a slotted spoon to scoop the eggs onto a plate and serve with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

    Is there a special way to remove almond skin? – Normala Zakaria

    You can buy almonds that are already blanched, otherwise you can do it yourself. Put the almonds in a deep bowl. Pour boiling water over and leave aside for 4-5 minutes, covered, then drain the almonds in a colander. Leave aside to cool slightly. Pinch each almond between your thumb and index finger. The skin should slip off the nut.

    Please give me some tips on what meat to choose for making satay. – Angie Low

    For barbecue, use beef sirloin, rib eye, rump, fillet or T-bone steak. For lamb, select loin chops, cutlets, topside, fillet or backstraps.

    The perfect barbecue steak needs to be well sealed to ensure juiciness. Always start on a high heat and brush the pieces of meat with oil. Do not turn the steak over too often. The juices will appear on the uncooked side when the meat is ready to be turned. You may cook the beef or lamb cutlets for 2-3 minutes each side. Lamb loin, fillet and loin chops can be cooked for 4-5 minutes each side.

    For beef satay, use sirloin, rib eye, fillet, rump or topside. For lamb, choose eye of loin, fillet or topside. Cook the satay pieces over high heat for 2-3 minutes.

    Meat must be marinated for as long as possible to increase the flavours and tenderness of the meat when barbecuing.

    (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 25-30 minutes before using, to prevent them from burning during cooking. If you're using metal skewers, brush them with oil before use.)

    Fragrant Soy Sauce Chicken

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    1.5kg whole chicken, cleaned

    5 stalks spring onion

    3 slices ginger

    2 tbsp Shao Hsing wine

    4-5 tbsp sugar

    1 tbsp corn oil

    1 tsp sesame oil

    Fragrant spice light soy sauce mixture

    200ml good quality light soy sauce

    150ml water

    1 tbsp thick soy sauce

    2 star anise

    1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, lightly smashed

    10 cloves

    Combine light soy sauce, water, thick soy sauce, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns and cloves in a saucepot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fragrant soy sauce is reduced to half the amount. Remove and discard the spices.

    Heat wok until hot and add oil and sesame oil. Fry spring onion and ginger until fragrant. Dish out and stuff into the chicken.

    Pour the prepared fragrant spice soy sauce mixture and sugar into a clean wok. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmering boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the wine.

    Put in the chicken slowly, holding on to the head. Use a ladle to scoop up the sauce and pour it over the chicken repeatedly. Slowly slip the whole chicken into the wok.

    Use a metal spoon to scoop up the sauce and bathe the chicken with it. (Should the sauce evaporate slightly, add as much as ¼ cup water and bring to the boil again.)

    Leave the chicken in the sauce for 15-20 minutes. Turn the chicken over after 20 minutes, and allow the other side to seep in the sauce for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

    Take the chicken out and tip off excess liquid. Carve the chicken and serve with the cooked sauce.

    Sultana Cookies

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    120ml soybean oil (any brand)

    75g castor sugar

    1 small egg, lightly beaten

    ½ tsp vanilla essence

    30g sultanas

    50g instant oats

    170g self-raising flour

    Lightly grease baking trays and preheat oven to 180°C. Combine oil, sugar, vanilla essence and egg in a mixing bowl and beat well. Sift in flour and stir in oats and sultanas to the mix.

    Use two teaspoons to scoop out a teaspoon of dough, and shape it into a ball. Place the dough on prepared trays, spacing them well to allow room for expansion.

    Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave on the baking tray for 3-4 minutes. Remove onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Stewed Roasted Pig’s Trotter with Kai Choy

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    1 roasted pig’s trotter, chopped into smaller pieces

    4 pieces roasted chicken feet (buy from the chicken rice stall)

    2kg mustard green (kai choy) with longer stems, cut into 5-6cm lengths

    7-8 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and halved

    1 can button mushrooms, drained and halved

    1 carrot, cut into thin slices

    4-5 baby sweet corns, halved

    3 litres fresh chicken stock or water

    2 pieces dried tamarind skin (asam keping)

    3 limau kasturi, cut into half and remove seeds

    8-10 dried chillies, rinsed

    Salt and sugar to taste

    Put chicken stock or water, trotter and chicken feet into a deep pot. Bring to the boil.

    Put in the mustard green, Chinese mush rooms, dried chillies, tamarind skin and limau kasturi. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

    Add button mushrooms, carrot and baby sweet corns. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste, dish out and serve.

    Beef Rendang

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    700g beef, cut into 4cm cubes

    550ml thick coconut milk

    400ml water

    1 turmeric leaf, shredded and knotted

    1 piece dried tamarind skin (asam keping)

    2-3 kaffir lime leaves

    2 stalks lemongrass, crushed

    6 shallots, sliced

    3 cloves garlic, sliced

    4 tbsp white grated coconut, fried for kerisik

    3-4 tbsp oil

    Ground spice ingredients

    15 dried chillies, soaked

    5 fresh red chillies

    3 slices galangal

    3cm ginger

    1cm fresh turmeric

    1 tsp ground fennel

    1 tsp ground black pepper

    2½ tbsp ground coriander

    Salt to taste

    Season beef with ground spice ingredients for 10-15 minutes.

    Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepot and fry shallots and garlic until fragrant and soft. Add lemongrass and marinated beef. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add water and kerisik, and cook over medium low heat for 30-40 minutes.

    Put in turmeric leaf, tamarind skin and kaffir lime leaves. Pour in coconut milk and simmer over low heat. Stir occasionally so that the mixture does not stick to the pan. Add salt to taste and cook until beef is ten der and rendang is thick.

    Deep-fried Spicy, Crispy Enoki Mushrooms

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    150g white enoki mushrooms

    Flour mixture

    75g rice flour

    40g glutinous rice flour

    20g cornflour

    1 tsp double-action baking powder

    1/4 tsp salt

    1/4 tsp pepper

    1/4 tsp chilli powder

    1 tbsp sesame seeds

    Trim the ends of enoki mushrooms and separate them into individual strands. Rinse briefly, then spread out the strands on several layers of paper towel. Pat-dry and leave aside to air-dry for a while.

    Combine flour mixture in a plastic bag. Add the enoki mushrooms in batches. Tie up the plastic bag and shake briefly until the mushrooms are well-coated with the flour mixture. Remove onto a tray and leave aside. Coat them with flour mixture again.

    Heat wok with enough oil. When oil is hot, put in the mushrooms. Deep-fry until crispy. Remove with a wire sieve and drain.

    Reheat the oil and deep-fry the mushrooms again until golden and crispy. Dish out and spread onto several layers of paper towel. Serve immediately as a snack.

    Stir-fried Assorted Mushrooms

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    70g golden enoki mushrooms, trimmed

    100g Eryngii mushrooms, trimmed

    100g white button mushrooms, sliced

    50g fresh pak hup (magnolia petals)

    200g chicken, cut into bitesize pieces

    1 tsp Chinese cooking wine (optional)

    1 tbsp oil

    Marinade (A)

    1 tsp Premium oyster sauce

    ½ tsp light soy sauce

    A pinch of salt

    A dash of pepper

    ½ tsp sesame oil

    ½ tsp cornflour

    1 tsp egg white

    Sauce ingredients (B)

    1 tsp chicken stock granules

    1 tbsp abalone sauce

    A pinch of sugar

    ¼ tsp salt or to taste

    ½ cup water

    1 tsp cornflour

    Season chicken with marinade (A) for 20–30 minutes.

    Heat wok with oil, add chicken, then sprinkle in the cooking wine (optional). Stirfry briskly. Pour in sauce (B) and cover the wok. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

    Remove the cover and add assorted mushrooms. Toss for 30-40 seconds to combine. Add fresh pak hup to mix. Dish out to serve.

    Mushrooms in Black Pepper Sauce

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    150g chicken fillet, sliced

    1 tsp ginger juice

    ½ tsp Premium oyster sauce

    A pinch of pepper

    A pinch of sugar

    ½ tsp sesame oil

    ½ tsp cornflour

    75g Portobello mushrooms, sliced

    70g fresh cup mushrooms, sliced

    20g red capsicum, sliced

    20g green capsicum, sliced

    20g Bombay onion, sliced into rings

    1 tbsp grated ginger

    1 tbsp oil

    1 tsp sesame oil

    Sauce ingredients

    2 tbsp black pepper sauce

    1 tbsp Premium oyster sauce

    1 tsp light soy sauce

    ½ tsp pepper

    ¼ tsp sugar or to taste

    Salt to taste

    ¼ cup fresh chicken stock or water

    Season chicken with ginger juice, oyster sauce, pepper, sugar, sesame oil and cornflour for at least 20 minutes.

    Parboil chicken in hot oil for 1-2 minutes. Remove and drain oil.

    Heat oil and sesame oil until hot. Sauté gin ger until fragrant. Add chicken and onion. Stir briskly. Put in the rest of the ingredients and add sauce ingredients. When it boils, dish out and serve immediately.

    Braised Spare Ribs

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    700g pork ribs, chopped into 4-5cm lengths

    2cm knob young ginger, shredded

    1 tbsp chopped garlic

    100 ml water


    1 tsp salt

    2-2½ tbsp sugar or to taste

    2 tbsp light soy sauce

    2 tbsp premium oyster sauce

    7 tbsp tomato sauce

    5 tbsp chilli sauce

    1 tsp chicken stock granules

    3 tbsp lemon juice


    1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water

    Bring a pot of water to the boil, add chopped ribs and parboil for 4-5 minutes.

    Remove and rinse in clear water. Drain. Season the ribs with the combined marinade for several hours.

    Pan-fry garlic and ginger without oil until dry and fragrant. Place the marinated ribs in a heavy-based saucepan and add pan-fried garlic and ginger.

    Bring to a quick boil, add water and reduce the heat and simmer for 1-1¼ hours until the ribs are tender.

    Stir occasionally to prevent the ribs from getting burnt at the base of the saucepan. Thicken the gravy if necessary (if it is thick enough, omit the thickening).

    Dish out and serve immediately.

    Hong Kong-style Rice Roll

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    200g rice flour

    60g tapioca flour

    30g cornflour

    40g corn oil

    720 ml, or just enough, water

    For the fragrant soy sauce

    150 ml light soy sauce

    150 ml water

    45g castor sugar

    2 thin slices ginger

    2 stalks spring onion

    Dash of monosodium glutamate

    Combine rice flour, tapioca flour and cornflour in a mixing bowl. Add oil to mix, then pour in just enough water gradually, and mix into a smooth batter.

    Place a rectangular tray in a big steamer and steam over high heat for 3-4 minutes. When the tray is heated up, place a piece of damp fine muslin cloth over it.

    Pour in a ladleful or approximately 200 ml batter.

    Sprinkle some finely chopped char siu or shelled prawns along one side of the batter, if you like.

    Steam for 3 minutes over high heat.

    Lightly grease a marble top with corn oil. When the rice rolls are ready, flip over the piece of muslin cloth with the cooked rice roll.

    Lightly scrape off the rice roll and roll up.

    Serve with fragrant soy sauce and chilli sauce.

    Vegetarian Confinement Herbal Soup

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    250g vegetarian chicken (from the vegetarian grocery shop)

    800-900 ml hot boiling water

    Salt to taste

    Herbs (rinsed)

    10g pak kei

    10g tong kwai

    10g chuen kong

    30g tong sum

    20g kei chi

    10g dried longan flesh

    10-12 black dates, pitted

    8-10 red dates, pitted

    Combine all herbs, vegetarian chicken and water in a slow cooker. Turn on to low and cook for 4-4½ hours until the soup is fragrant.

    Season with salt to taste.

    Dish out and serve hot.

    Banana Cinnamon Rolls

    Original Recipe by Amy Beh

    250g high-protein flour, sifted
    70g superfine flour, sifted
    ¼ tsp salt
    15g milk powder
    85g butter
    80g castor sugar
    1 small egg
    7g instant yeast granules
    70g lukewarm water
    70g cold water
    40g black raisins
    15g almond flakes
    1 ripe banana, shredded

    10g butter, cut into thin slices
    4g cinnamon powder
    10g soft brown sugar

    1 egg, beaten for glaze

    Mix yeast with lukewarm water. Sprinkle a little sugar and flour over and leave aside for 10 minutes to froth.

    Beat butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in the egg. Add sifted flours, salt and milk powder. Stir in fermented yeast mixture and cold water. Mix into a dough.

    Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Put dough in a lightly floured bowl.

    Leave aside covered with a piece of cling film wrap for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

    Take dough out onto a lightly floured tabletop and roll out into 0.5cm thickness.

    Sprinkle over with cinnamon powder, brown sugar and arrange butter slices around. Spread the raisins and spread the banana liberally around.

    Roll the dough tightly (Swiss roll style) into a long fat cylinder. Cut into 5.5 cm thickness.

    Arrange pieces in a greased chiffon pan. Put the chiffon pan into a big loose plastic bag. Tie up and leave aside to proof for 35-40 minutes.

    Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle almond flakes over.

    Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 25- 30 minutes or until golden brown.