Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vegetarian Soup

Meatless Soup

1 medium-size green radish (cheng lor pak), cut into wedges

1 medium-size carrot, cut into wedges

250-300g burdock, remove the skin and cut into thin slanting slices

4 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked to soften

200g vegetarian chicken

15 Chinese red dates, seeded

20g kei chi

2 litres water

1 tsp salt or to taste

Bring water to the boil. Add in all the ingredients and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours. Add salt to taste and serve the soup hot.

Prune Muffins

300g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

105g caster sugar

50g pitted prunes, chopped

15g raisins

2 eggs

105g melted butter

210ml UHT milk

¾ tsp vanilla essence

Grease a 12-hole muffin pan and preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine melted butter, eggs, milk and essence in a small bowl. Put sifted dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add prunes and raisins. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix with a hand whisk until ingredients are well combined.

Spoon batter into the muffin moulds (it will fill only 10 holes). Bake for 25 minutes or until well risen and lightly golden.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oxtail Soup

Recipe By Amy Beh

Oxtail Soup

600g oxtail, chopped into sizeable pieces
2 litres chicken stock / water
1 whole bulb garlic, unpeeled
40g ginger, lightly bruised
100g onion, quartered
20g galangal, bruised
35g leek, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 coriander roots
100g carrot, cut into wedges
100g radish, cut into wedges

Ingredients (A)

2 star anise
5 cloves
4cm cinnamon stick
5 cardamoms
1 nutmeg, cracked
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp black peppercorns


1 tsp thick soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp rock sugar
½ tsp salt or to taste


Chopped coriander leaves and spring onions

Trim off any excess fat from the oxtail and blanch in boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Bring chicken stock or water in a deep pot to a boil. Put in ingredients (A) and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add oxtail, garlic, onions, ginger, galangal, leek, celery and coriander roots. Bring to a boil again then reduce the heat and simmer the soup over a gentle low heat for an hour.

Add carrot and radish and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste and dish out to serve immediately with the garnishing.

Tangy Thai Soup

Recipe by Amy Beh
Tangy Thai Soup

½ a kampong chicken (about 750g), chopped
¼ tsp salt
1 litre coconut milk
5-6 kaffir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, smashed
4cm knob galangal, lightly smashed
10 bird’s eye chillies, lightly smashed
½ tsp white peppercorns
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 shallots, peeled and keep whole
3 coriander roots
100g hon shimeji mushrooms, trimmed
100g abalone mushrooms, torn into pieces
50ml thick coconut milk


3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chicken stock granules
1 tbsp Thai tom yam paste

Lightly marinate chicken with salt. Arrange on a heatproof dish and steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Combine coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, bird’s eye chillies, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, coriander roots, and black and white peppercorns in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Add pre-steamed chicken and the stock to the soup stock. Add all mushrooms, thick coconut milk and seasoning. Stir well and cook for 4-5 minutes. Dish out soup into individual bowls and serve hot.

Stir-fried Pig’s Liver

200g pig’s liver
50g old ginger, sliced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oil
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 4cm sections
100ml water

Marinade (A)

½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp ginger juice
½ tsp sesame oil

Sauce (B)

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese rice wine
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
¼ freshly ground black peppercorns

Wash and slice liver into thick slices. Season with marinade (A) and leave aside.

Heat oil and sesame oil in a wok. Fry ginger until fragrant. Add water and stir in combined sauce (B). Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add marinated liver and stir-fry briskly for about a minute or until liver is cooked through. Splash in a little extra rice wine, then dish out, garnish with spring onion and serve immediately.

Roast Herbed Beef

Roast Beef
1.5-2kg beef fillet

½ tbsp salt
1½ tbsp coarsely cracked black pepper
1 bunch of oregano sprigs
2 bunches marjoram sprigs
Olive oil for brushing

Trim and truss the beef fillet. Brush the meat with olive oil, then roll in the combined salt and black pepper mixture.

Line a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper and arrange the oregano and marjoram sprigson it.

Place the beef fillet over the herbs. Roast in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30-35 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove and serve immediately.

Paddy Frog Congee

Recipe by Amy Beh

Paddy frog congee
200g rice, rinsed and drained
2 paddy frogs, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
50g deboned chicken thigh meat, sliced
20g young ginger, shredded
2.5 litres water or chicken stock

Seasoning (A)

½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp shallot oil

Seasoning (B)

Dash of pepper
1 tsp light soy sauce or to taste


Chopped spring onion and coriander
2 tbsp finely shredded young ginger

Combine water or chicken stock and rice in a pot. Add ginger and seasoning (A) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour or until rice is soft.

Add chicken meat and paddy frogs. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until meat is cooked. Add seasoning (B) to taste. Dish out and serve with garnishing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Chocolate Mousse

175g dark chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces

1 tbsp Kahlua (liqueur)

4 eggs, separated

200ml whipping cream

Put chocolate into a heat-resistant bowl. Place it over a saucepan of gently simmering water until it melts.

Take off the heat and leave to cool, then stir in the yolks. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then gently fold the chocolate mixture through the whipped cream.

Whip egg whites until soft peaks form and lightly fold into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Spoon into individual serving dishes and refrigerate until firm.

Ginger Bread

Ginger Bread

175g butter

2 tbsp fresh milk

125g black treacle

210g self-raising flour

½ tsp cinnamon powder

3 eggs (Grade A)

1 egg yolk

110g soft brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla essence

1½ tbsp freshly grated ginger (squeezed for juice)

1 tsp grated lemon rind

Combine butter, milk and black treacle in a non-stick saucepan. Heat over low fire until butter melts.

Sift flour and cinnamon powder into a mixing bowl. Beat eggs, egg yolk, brown sugar and essence until creamy and thick.

Add ginger juice and lemon rind, and stir in butter and treacle mixture and mix until well blended. Stir in flour.

Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 1 hour or 1 hour and 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Cool the ginger bread slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.

Beef Serunding

Ground spices (A)

12 shallots

4 cloves garlic

3 slices ginger

4 slices galangal

1cm knob fresh turmeric

Spices (B) – mixed with a little water into a paste

4 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp pepper

500g topside beef, cubed

100ml water

45g tamarind paste (asam jawa) mixed with 100ml water and squeezed for juice

300g grated coconut (white part only)

6 tbsp oil


1 tbsp salt

3-4 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp palm sugar (gula Melaka), chopped

Put beef cubes, water and 3 tablespoons ground spices (A) and 2 tablespoons of spices (B) in a non-stick saucepan. Cook until meat is tender.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a clean saucepan and fry remaining spices (A) and (B) until fragrant. Add seasoning and tamarind juice and fry until aromatic.

Remove saucepan from the heat and stir in grated coconut. Heat remaining oil over a gentle low heat, then add the tamarind coconut mixture and precooked beef.

Fry until the meat is moist and gravy is thick and dry.

Cute Mickey and Minnie Mooncake Biscuits

Golden syrup

1.2kg sugar

1 litre water

1 lime, quartered and squeeze out juice, discard seeds and retain pulp and skin

1 tbsp maltose (mak nga tong)

Put all ingredients, except maltose, in a heavy-based pot. Boil until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and cook until syrup turns a light golden colour.

Turn off the heat and add maltose. Stir to dissolve and leave to cool completely.

Mooncake biscuit dough

300g superfine flour, sifted

Ingredients (A)

200g golden syrup

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¾ tbsp alkaline water

50g corn oil


300g lotus seed paste

100g chicken floss

Egg glaze – (combined)

1 egg yolk

1 tsp water

Pinch of salt

A little thick soy sauce (for colour)

Combine ingredients (A) in a mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and leave aside for 5-6 hours. Add sifted superfine flour to ingredients (A) and mix into a dough. Cover with cling film and rest for several hours.

Divide dough into small portions, flatten into a disk and wrap each around a small ball of prepared filling. Lightly dust balls with flour and press into figurine moulds. Knock out moulded dough and place on greased baking trays. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool slightly. Brush with egg glaze and bake again for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling: Wrap a little chicken floss in a small portion of lotus seed paste. Press into a small ball.

Mocha Mooncake

150g golden syrup

75g butter

1 tsp instant coffee granules

½ tsp alkaline water

1 tsp coffee paste

225g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


500g lotus seed paste

350g chocolate lotus paste

50g sultanas

50g chocolate chips

Glaze (lightly beaten)

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp water

Pinch of salt

Combine golden syrup and butter in a small saucepan over a very low and gentle heat. Once the butter dissolves in the golden syrup, take saucepan off the heat. Put instant coffee granules in a fine sieve and use a metal spoon to break up the granules into the hot syrup. Stir well to mix. Leave to cool, then add coffee paste and alkaline water to mix.

Sift flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into the cooled coffee syrup mixture. Mix well into a smooth dough. (Do not knead.) Leave aside to rest for 2-3 hours. Divide dough into portions of 40-45g each.

Roll out a portion of the dough into a thin circular piece. Put a piece of filling in the centre and wrap it round. Make sure that the filling is completely sealed.

Lightly dust a wooden mooncake mould with flour and tap out any excess flour. Press the ball of dough into the mould.

Tap out lightly to dislodge the mooncake. Place the mooncake on a greased baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven to cool for 6-7 minutes. Brush with glaze and bake for a further 10 minutes.

For the filling: Roll out lotus seed paste on a piece of plastic sheet. Roll out chocolate lotus paste the same size as the lotus paste. Place the chocolate lotus paste on top of the lotus paste. Sprinkle over with sultanas and chocolate chips. Fold in half and sprinkle with another layer of sultanas and chocolate chips. Fold in half again and sprinkle with a few more sultanas and chocolate chips. Fold over again and now there will be several layers. Cut into squares and mould each square into a round ball to be used as filling.

Lotus Seed Paste and Black Sesame Shanghai Mooncake

Shanghai pastry skin

300g superfine flour

40g custard powder

1 tsp baking powder

100g icing sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

60g shortening

60g butter


100g black sesame paste

50g peanut butter

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

500g white lotus seed paste

Egg glaze (lightly beaten and strained)

1 egg yolk

Pinch of salt

1 tsp water

Some black and white sesame seeds

Sift flour, custard powder and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Sift in icing sugar to mix. Add egg. Combine shortening and butter into the mixture and lightly mix in to combine (do not knead) until a soft dough is formed. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into portions of 60g each, and flatten into disks. Wrap a piece of filling in the centre and shape into a dome. Arrange on greased baking trays.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10-15 minutes. Remove the tray and leave aside to rest for 5 minutes. Brush the mooncakes with egg glaze and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

For the filling: Combine black sesame paste, peanut butter, salt and butter together. Make into very small balls of 25g each. Divide lotus seed paste into 75g each. Wrap a piece of black sesame paste mixture in the centre of the lotus seed paste ball.

Sugee Cake

50g crystalised winter melon strips (tung kwa), finely chopped
50g mixed peel, finely chopped
120g almonds, coarsely chopped
150g sugee (semolina)
100g castor sugar
300g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla essence
¼ tsp almond essence
50g self-raising flour, sifted
3-4 tbsp brandy
8 egg yolks
2 egg whites

Line 24cm cake tin with greased greaseproof paper.

Beat butter for 5-10 minutes, then add the semolina. Continue to beat for another 8-10 minutes. In another bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and light. Add this to the butter and semolina mixture. Add in the sifted flour to mixture and stir in essences, tung kwa, mixed peel and almonds.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the cake mixture. Stir in the brandy. Transfer mixture to the prepared cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for about 50-60 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Lemon Flavoured Meringues

180g castor sugar
4 egg whites
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
1/8 tsp lemon essence
½ tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 150°C.

Beat egg whites with an electric beater until soft peaks form, then add in sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Sift in the cornflour and fold in the vinegar, lemon juice and essence.

Line baking trays with parchment paper. Shape the mixture into rounds using a small spoon and place them on the parchment paper. Bake meringues in the preheated oven.

Once the tray is placed in the oven, reduce the temperature to 120°C. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the meringues to cool in the oven.

Vinegared Flavoured Spareribs

Recipe by Amy Beh

Spare ribs can be prepared in a jiffy.

600g spareribs, chopped
8-10 dried red chillies, cut into sections and seeded

½ tsp salt
¾ tsp sugar
1 tsp black vinegar (chit choe)
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp Shao Hsing wine
1 egg white

1 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tsp thick soy sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp HP sauce
1 tbsp sugar or to taste
2 tbsp black vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
4-5 tbsp water

Season ribs with marinade and leave for several hours, preferably overnight. Deep-fry ribs over medium heat until lightly golden. Remove and drain. Reheat the oil in the wok and fry the ribs for a second time until crispy and golden brown. Dish out and drain well.

Deep-fry chillies until crispy and fragrant. Dish out and set aside.

Heat one tablespoon oil in a clean wok and pour in the combined sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Add pre-fried ribs and dried chillies. Stir well and toss until ribs are coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.