Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Simple Pasta

Last friday nite Kenny suggested to cook some pasta for dinner, which reminds me that I have yet to try chef yong's tomato sauce. I did bought the canned tomato and bay leaves some time ago after reading the recipe in one of the issue of last year's 色香味 magazine but didn't manage to cook it. I just cook the sauce and pour it on the pasta, Kenny suggested that should have added some meat but I prefer it this manner..simple, and not heavy to the stomach...nice.

Basic Tomato Sauce


45g Tomato paste
400g Chopped can tomatoes, juice reserved (can use whole tomato from can to chop)
300ml Water
100ml Olive Oil
50g Onion- - finely chopped
50g Carrots- - finely chopped
50g Celery - - finely chopped
1 piece Bay Leaf
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic - - finely chopped

Pasta -- half packet.

Preparation Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the garlic until fragrant and add in the onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Saute until fragrant.

2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes until a bright red colour. (Use non-stick pan or heavy bottom pan otherwise will get burnt easily)

3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, juice and water, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt.

4. Bring a big pot of water to boil, add in desire amount of pasta, boil for about 10min, drain away the water. Place the pasta in a bowl and set aside.

5. Scoop some pasta on a plate, scoop some tomato sauce on it and serve warm.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dumplings/Gyoza - 锅贴

One of the dishes that I tried for the Chinese New Year was guo tie or gyoza. Its one of the main dish in some part of northern china during the CNY as it does symbol some auspicious meaning for the festive season if I'm not wrong, so make use of this opportunity to practise making some for last weekend dinner. Manage to pick up the trick of rolling the dough into a round disc but the dumpling skin was still too thick, the kids only like the filling but not the skin, have to do more practise on rolling the skin...



300g plain flour

140-160ml water

1 tbsp oil

pinch of salt


300g mince pork meat

chive -- chopped

2tsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp pepper

1tsp wine

1 tsp sesame oil

11/2 tbsp corn flour


1) Mix the mince pork meat with the sesaonings till well combined then add in chives(up to indiviual preference the amount used), leave it in the fridge to marinate for at least half hour.

2) Sieve flour on table top, make a hole in the center of the flour add in salt and slowly pour in a little water at a time, till a dough is form, continue to knead into a smooth dough. Use the oil to grease a bowl, leave the dough in it, cover with cling wrap and let it rest for 15min.

3)Roll out the dough into cross section diameter 2 inch long dough, cut into smaller pieces, roll into small balls, press the dough ball flat, roll into a diameter 4 inch flat and thin disc using rolling pin. Wrap some meat filling in it. Place on a plate.

4)Pour some oil in wok, place the dumplings in wok and let it fry a while. Pour in a cup of water and cover the wok, let the water boil till evaporate. Dish and serve the dumplings with some black vinegar mix with shredded ginger.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Year Cake-年糕 (步步高升)

Have tried to cook or make some dishes or cakes with auspicious name for this year's Chinese New Year, nian gao is one cake that I never thought will try to do but during one of the weekday last week sudden thought struck me to try it, the first one was not really like nian gao as it was too soft, so I try it another round after flipping thru some recipe books over the weekend and did some adjust with reference from another recipe and came up with this cake,the taste was ok but color was abit light, will add some dark brown sugar next time...


300g glutinous rice flour

60g wheat flour

400g brown sugar

400ml water


Stir sugar in water till sugar dissolve. Add in both flour and stir till well combined. Sieve the mixture then pour into well grease 8" mould. Cover the mixture with aluminium foil and steam for 45min-1 hour or until cook.

Braised Abalone

Bought a can of small abalone during a shopping trip before the new year, I don't really like eating the abalone straight from the can without cooking it, prefer to have some taste in it so I cook it slightly before dinner...


1 can small abalone (8 pcs)



1 tbsp oyster sauce

300ml stock ( I use the water from the can abalone)

1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

pinch of black pepper

a few drops of sesame oil


1. Saute oyster sauce with some oil, add in stock, dark soy sauce.

2. Pour in abalone and cook until the flavour infuse, add in sesame oil and pepper.

3.Boil broccoli in some water with pinch of salt, dish and drain away the water, arrange the broccoli on plate.

4.Place abalone in the center of the plate.

5.Thicken gravy with starch water and pour over abalone. Serve.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Braised Sea Cucumber with Fish Maw (生生不息)

There was some left over sea cumber and mushrooms from the reunion dinner, after flipping thru the recipe book 口福常满,saw this recipe and make a little change to the recipe according to the ingredient that's available in the fridge and the amount use.


300g sea cucumber - I didn't measure the amount I use for the sea cuumber and fish maw
100g fish maw
10 chinese mushrooms - I use about 3-4
15 sweet beans - 2 leaves of chinese cabbage
a few slices of carrot
2 clove of galic
1 tbsp ginger – stred thinly
500ml water - 1 cup of water

1 tbsp abalone sauce - 2 tsp chicken sesoning powder
1 tbsp cooking wine
dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

1. Rinse sea cucumber and cut into pieces. soak fish maw in water for 1 hour, drain and cut into pieces. Soak chinese mushrooms in hot water till soft, drain and remove the stems.
2. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil, fry mince galice and ginger till fragranta and remove. Put in sea cucumber, fish maw and chinese mushrooms, pour in water and seasonings, braise over low heat for 10 min.
3. Add in cabbage and carrot, thicken the gravy with a mixture of corn flour and 2 tbsp of water, stir-fry till fairly dry. Dish and serve.

Kuih makmur and Pineapple tarts

Only manage to make pineapple tarts, kuih makmur and 2 prune lapis for this year's chinese new year, and out of all only like the kuih makmur taste maybe due to my liking to peanuts. First time making kuih makmur using ghee, this round I use Anna Phua's recipe from her book, forgot to snap picture of kuih makmur cookies till a few days later, so the edges on the kuih may not look as sharp as when it was just out of the oven.

Kuih Makmur

150g peanut (roasted, peeled and chopped)
60g Sugar
1 1/2 tbsp shortening or peanut oil

125g butter
50g ghee
25g sugar
3/4 egg
few drops green food colouring
225g plain flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
some icing sugar for dusting ( I suggest u use snow powder)

1. Mix well the filling ingredients and set aside.
2. Cream butter, ghee and sugar well. Add egg and a few drops of green colouring. Mix well.
3. Add in flour, baking powder and salt and knead to make pastry dough. Set aside for 20 minutes.
4. Mould into balls of about 8g each. Press thinly and wrap filling. Fold into half and press into leaf-like design. Place on a baking tray.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree for 20 mins. Remove and dust with icing sugar immediately. Cool and store in airtight containers.