What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 30-5-2013


On 30-May 2013,

White rice served with:


1. Sarawak Laksa Chicken 砂朥越辣沙酱鸡
2. Pak Choi with Oyster Sauce 耗油上海青
3. Three mushrooms chicken soup 三菇鸡汤
4. Seaweed chickens 海带鸡片

Today, I have tried to use the home cooked Sarawak laksa paste to cook the chicken. Overall, the result is satisfactory. It is very much similar to the curry chicken except there were no turmeric in the dish. I have used a lot of coconut milk to cook this dish.

Because the kids don’t really eat the laksa chicken, therefore, I have prepare some seaweed chicken (in a way is a form of “compensation” for them.

The soup is called three mushroom soups because I have used 3 types of mushrooms namely enoki mushroom, shimeji mushrooms and oyster mushroom. As all these mushrooms are very easy to cook, I have used chicken instead of pork rib for the soup based. As usual, the kids are fighting for the mushrooms. Beside egg fanatics, they are mushroom fanatics also, all type of mushrooms…

Yesterday is quite a sad day for me because I have spend lots of time to summarize my dishes and it ended up that what I see is not what I get making the whole post quite “unreadable”. Obviously, I have to constantly remind myself that a lot of excel formats cannot work in HTML. I am still studying it how to best present myself in the internet. However, you can still download  an excel file in the here.

As promised in the post yesterday, I have posted all my dishes cooked in Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kengls under the following boards:

I hope all of you are able to benefit from these summary. Thanks and have a nice day.

Blogger Labels: White,Sarawak,Laksa,Chicken,砂朥越辣沙酱鸡,Choi,Oyster,Sauce,耗油上海青,Three,soup,三菇鸡汤,chickens,海带鸡片,Overall,dish,compensation,soups,pork,Beside,fanatics,dishes,HTML,Pinterest,Meat,hawker,foods,Thanks,rice,vege

WordPress Tags: Sarawak,Laksa,Chicken,砂朥越辣沙酱鸡,Choi,Oyster,Sauce,耗油上海青,Three,soup,三菇鸡汤,chickens,海带鸡片,Overall,dish,compensation,soups,pork,Beside,fanatics,dishes,HTML,Pinterest,Meat,hawker,foods,Thanks,vege,rice


Irregularity is also such a beauty!


What is this series – Series 21?

You will be surprised that there are no photographic effects. It is just some form of rearranging. I am really de-stressed when I completed this puzzle. It lights me up! Some natural things.

Series 20  answer can be found here.

Answer posted on 1-June-2013:


This is Rhoeo Discolor leaves when I washed it in the water before I brew the Rhoeo Drink. You can learned more about it here.

Are You Crazy? You Performed Month End Closing of “Home Dishes Cooked” Accounts?


While my ex-colleagues or classmates may have month end closing of accounts these few days, I too have the monthly closing of my meal plans. It is 30 days since I started this series and I am determined to continue no matter no many dishes have been repeated and just take your sweet time to come here to look at what I have cooked.


Being an accountant by background, I have the tendency to summarize data and analyzed the data. The raw data does not mean anything to the reader and a summary, in my humble opinion is deemed necessary for reader’s benefits.

Before I proceed, I have to highlight the following points which you have to take into consideration when referring to my meal plan.

  • My meal plan basically caters for 2 adults and 2 children aged 7 and 9.
  • My cooking objectives is to provide nutritious meals to the children since they are at their growing stage.
  • Usually, I will try to cook dishes that were liked by all the 4 family members.
  • All members in the family are supposed to eat the same dish, meaning, I would not cook a special dish just for any particular members of the family.
  • I will try to rotate the meals as long as possible as I do not want my children to be too picky in their food.
  • We have no special diet as to the type of food but I will ensure that what we have eaten are all in moderation. However, very soon I will start a one month vegetarian diet !
  • We seldom throw away food and we ate leftover foods. Perishable items will usually be consumed within the day and meaty items, if cannot finish will be kept for next meals. Usually, yesterday left over dishes will be “transform in another new dish” in the next day to avoid boredom. However, these overnight dishes were not included in my analysis below.
  • Spicy food is generally not cooked because of the children. I missed all those spicy food such as curry, belachan kangkong and etc. It is a pity that when my kid ate the curry, they have to dip the curry into some plain water before they put it in their mouth.
  • I preferred to dine in rather than dine out as my kids are quite a big eater and they generally preferred home cook food.
  • Generally, every meal shall include one soup, two fish, meat or tofu dish, one vegetable dish.
  • Meat dish and soup will usually cook in the morning and shared between lunch and dinner. Vegetable dish will be cooked prior to the dinner.
  • We don’t have a maid and all the work from dish preparation, cooking and cleaning was done by either my wife or myself.
  • Marketing were usually done once a week on Saturday to Sunday.

I HAVE PREPARED SOME NICE EXCEL WORKSHEET IN HTML FORMAT BUT IT DID NOT WORK FOR SOME CATEGORY. I AM RATHER UPSET OVER THIS. THEREFORE, I HAVE ATTACHED AN EXCEL SPREADSHEET FOR YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND READ (WHAT I COOKED TODAY SUMMARY). I also have the difficulty to write any more thing as it is a big post and I cannot name the dish that I posted here, I therefore apologize for that also.


I have categorized my dish into the following broad categories

  • Soup dish – Soup is a must in my family. if the soup is to last for 2 meals, it will be cooked in the morning and if only one meal, I  will usually choose some quick soup made with fresh leafy vegetable.
  • Meat dish – This shall include pork, chicken and fish.
  • Tofu and egg dish – All the tofu relatives be it taukwa, tofu, taupok and etc. Egg dish is included in tofu dish since it’s nutritional value is quite the same. May also include dishes such as fish cakes, fish balls if it is a dish on its own. A good way to visualize this categorization is the items that you bought in the stalls that sell bean sprouts ……
  • Vegetable dish – This is another must have dish unless there are too many dishes.

Whether a dish is classified as a vegetable dish or a meat dish will depends on the portion of the raw ingredient in the dish. For example, for chicken braised with bamboo shoot, if I cooked the entire chicken and I use the bamboo shoot as a side ingredient, it will be considered as a meat dish. However, if I cooked the whole packet of bamboo shoot with some chicken slices, it will consider as a vegetable dish.


A must in the family. Soups were usually cooked in the morning for two meals. Sources of vegetables to cook soup can be:

  • All sorts of melons, gourds and those that will not turn “ugly” after you cooked for about 45 minutes and able to keep it for the next meals. Eg. Radish, sweet corns, bitter gourds etc.;
  • Most green leafy vegetables and usually these were quick soups which was prepared just before the meals for one meal. E.g. Chinese spinach, water cress, Bok Choy etc.
  • Beans and roots and soya bean products . It can be peanuts, black turtle beans. Roots can include lotus roots. Soya products include bean curd stick, bean curd, taupo etc..
  • Canned products – usually we used canned mushrooms and canned kernel corns.

The soup base can either be from pork or from chicken. As my kid do not like to eat the pork rib and I have to finish all the pork ribs, I have sort to buy the “big bones” – bones with no meat and boil the soup. Usually these soups will have other side ingredients like red dates (红枣), goof berry (枸杞),dried squid (鱿鱼干),dried scallop (干贝),anchovies (小鱼), honey dates (蜜枣) to make it tastier and provide more minerals and vitamins.



The picture are not that attractive. Please refer the number to the table as I have difficulty of typing the name


I don’t really cooked meat dishes on a daily basis as both my wife and my daughter are not keen to have meat (especially pork). For my son, he likes to eat meat but he is “extremely prosperous” now. As such, meat to us is secondary. As long as there are something that can be munch, that will be okay. Meat usually is alternated between pork, chicken and fish. As meat preparation can be quite time consuming and is difficult to cook a small quantity, we sometimes buy some ready made meat dishes like Yakitori satay etc. to add as the dish.

The proteins that the kids are getting are mostly from soup and other soya bean related products. If you looked at the fish that I cooked, I have intentionally include “commoner’s fish “ like ikan selat kuning, types of fish for nasi lemak. The main purpose is to expose my kids to have as many types of fish as possible and “train” them how to eat fish with bones. Believed it or not, they can;t even handled fish like fried black pomfret! For me, these fish are cheap and protein amount is almost the same. They can’t continue like a baby where we only use kurau, white pomfret, codfish(鳕鱼), salmon, black and red grouper etc..


IMG_3114 IMG_2758IMG_2356IMG_2173



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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 29-5-2013


On 29 May 2013,

White rice served with:

1. Old Cucumber Pork Rib Soup 老黄瓜排骨汤
2. Taukwa fried with Chinese celery 芹菜炒豆干
3. Bitter gourd braised with Chinese fermented bean 豆瓣酱炆苦瓜
4. Chinese spinach cooked with goof berry 枸杞子炒苋菜

Dish no. 3 is a vegetarian dish. This is the dish I used to cook when I am having my yearly vegetarian meals. It is bitter gourd braised with ginger and fermented beans, dark soya sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce. The aroma of ginger mixed with fermented beans is more than adequate to offset the bitterness of bitter gourd!

Dish no. 2 is a simple dish using Chinese celery to stir fry with taukwa (another version of bean curd but with lesser moisture contents). I have put some sweet sauce and dark soya sauce and it is just a nice dish to eat with white rice.

I have been posting what I cooked for exactly a month (from April 30 to May 29). In fact, it is quite a fun thing. Every time I looked at the food pictures that I took, I will feel hungry myself and my daughter have joked with me that may be in one of the meals, just print out some pictures and eat with the white rice!!

Do stay “tuned” as a summary of all the dishes will be released soon and I hope to receive feedbacks and comments from all readers.

Happy reading!

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 28-5-2013


On 28-May 2013,

White rice served with

1. Steamed white pomfret 清蒸白鲳鱼
2. Fresh Matrimony vine leaves meatball soup 枸杞菜肉丸汤
3. Fresh corns fried with pork slice 肉丝炒新鲜玉米
4. Blanched baby Pak Choy with minced pork 肉碎拌小奶白

Fresh matrimony vine leaves is also called Chinese goof berries leaves. It is a bit bitter and it is believed to be good for the eye sight.

The Plights of Kuey Neng Ko…The Traditional Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake…

IMG_3949 Chicken + egg + cake = Steamed Sponge Cake

Scenario 1

“Mimi, let’s have some “kuey neng ko” (“jidangao ( in Mandarin) or “Chicken egg cake” literally translated into English”) for breakfast! Yesterday is Chin Ming, your grandmother prepared a lot and gave one to us.”

Mimi replied, “Yuk! mum, you know that is not my cup of tea, don’t “hassle” me anymore! By the way, I am not hungry now and if I am hungry, I can buy some Swiss roll in Polar Cake Shop  or Ma La Gao in Tau Kee Pao Shop near my office!”

Scenario 2

In the office, “Mimi, I have bought some nice  mini cupcakes from a Japanese bakery shop in Vivo City. You want to try?’. “Of course. Um, it is nice, do you have another piece to spare me?”

Scenario 3

In a posh French Restaurant in Ann Siang Road, Mimi’s boyfriend Kaka asked, “Mimi, today is Christmas day, shall we have a slice of Bûche de Noël as dessert?’” Mimi nodded her head shyly and that was her nicest dessert she have ever had in years.



Kueh Neng Ko or “Jidangao (鸡蛋糕)” are traditional cakes prepared by the Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese for prayers usually to the ancestors or gods. In my childhood years, before any big festivals where offering to the ancestors or deities were required, my aunt would make this kuey neng ko, ang ku kueh and my mum will make another type of steamed rice cake called “huat kueh”. They will share with each other for the prayer sessions.


The picture shows the traditional egg beater, an old woman preparing the traditional cake; the traditional kuey non ko.

(Courtesy of : http://zuzu88.blog.sohu.com, http://frognme.blogspot.com, www.cookingvoyeur.com)

Mimi’s adverse reaction to Kuey Neng Ko is typical of many Malaysian teenagers where such traditional cakes were ignored and belittled. What Mimi did not know is that the famous Ma La Gao (commonly sold in Hong Kong Dim Sum restaurant) or Swiss Roll or Japanese cupcakes and the French Buche de Noel essentially have the same ingredients except slight differences in the ratios between the ingredients and its method of preparation.

IMG_3961       IMG_3966Cousins” of kuey non ko belonging to his uncle “Oven”

Swiss rolls, Buche de Noel and Japanese Cupcakes utilize the baking method, whereas kuey neng ko uses steamed method. Though both Ma La Gao and Kuey Neng Ko used the steamed method but Ma La Gao recipes uses fats (vegetable shortening, oils or butter) in the preparation but Kuey Neng Go have none.

Theoretically, Kuey Neng Ko should be a healthier choice than Ma La Gao and Swiss Roll but why is it outdated and failed to win the heart of youngsters nowadays?


Kuey neng ko is synonymous to “Sponge cake” in bakery terms and the best equivalent will “Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake”. Eggs  is omitted in the name because it is implicit in the word sponge cake. In Western Countries, steamed method of cooking are mostly limited to vegetables (of course there are some steamed cakes like steamed fruit cakes and puddings) but the Chinese have used this versatile method in preparation of its cuisines ranging from steamed meats (fish), dumplings, rice and the famous dim sum.


According to Wikipedia, sponge cake is defined as follows;

“Sponge cake is a cake based on flour (usually wheat flour), sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder which has a firm, yet well aerated structure, similar to a sea sponge.  …….

Making of a sponge cake. Using the weight of 3 eggs, weigh the fat, sugar and flour. A typical sponge cake is made by beating the eggs with sugar until they are light and creamy, then carefully sieving and folding in the flour (depending on the recipe, the flour may be mixed with a small amount of baking powder, though some recipes use only the air incorporated into the egg mixture, relying on the denaturing of the egg proteins and the thermal expansion of the air to provide leavening). Sometimes, the yolks are beaten with the sugar first while the whites are beaten separately to a meringue-like foam, to be gently folded in later.The mixture is then poured into the chosen cake tin and baked. Both methods take great care to incorporate air in the beating, whisking and sieving stages. This makes a very light product, but it is easy to lose the air by removing the cake before it has finished in the oven.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sponge_cake

Based on the above definition and descriptions, Kuey Neng Ko clearly is  a sponge cake. It has eggs, sugar and flour. It is firm and a rather well aerated structure.  In fact, the recipes stated in the above quotes are the same as what I have used to make the cakes.  I will not dwell into the details of the above definition until I finish sharing with you how to make the Chinese steamed sponge cakes below. Thereafter, we will go into detail analysis of the failure of our traditional cakes.



The ingredients are minimal as stated below:

  1. Eggs (1 cup – about 3 whole eggs);
  2. Self raising flour or just plain flour (1 cup);
  3. Granulated sugar (1 cup).
  4. Some coloring or flavoring- You can select strawberry essence for red color and the pandan paste or essence for green color. Of course, color is optional but in order to make the cake have a new look, I have decided to play with the colors of the cake.

Note that the ratio of eggs to flour to sugar is 1:1:1. It will speed up your preparation as you can use the same container to do all the measurements.


This picture shows certain cooking equipment that you have to get ready but all are substitutable.

  1. Some small cupcake cups;
  2. 3 glasses with a plastic bag each – If you do not want to color your cupcakes, you can omit this.
  3. A steamer – An electric steamer is not a must but the advantage of using it is you can ensure that your heat are consistent throughout the steaming process, just use the traditional bamboo steaming method.
  4. Some form of sieves to sieve the flour.




  • Crack 3 eggs into the mixing bowl (here 3 eggs is equivalent to one cup).
  • Pour in I cup of sugar and beat the eggs using high speed until the mixture is light, creamy and glossy. As this recipe did not call for separate beating of egg whites and egg yolks, the beaten mixture will be slightly yellowish and not as light as you beat the egg white alone. During the process, you will start to notice the volume will start to increase resulting from the air introduced to the eggs mixture during the process of beating. Use a spatula to slightly scrap some beaten eggs and see if it fall down. If it fall down, it means that you need further beating. If it just stick at the spatula, it means it is ready and you can stop the machine. On high speed, it take me only 5-10 minutes of beating to get such form. Alternative is to use the hand beaters and traditional they are using a coil to beat the eggs. (look at the 3rd picture)



  • Sieve the flour lightly into the beaten eggs and fold it gently using a spoon or a spatula. For me I have used the mixer of the mixing machine.
  • This process have to be done gently. You want your steam sponge cake to be soft that means that you are saying you want as many air as possible in your steamed sponge cake. Folding gently will ensure the air will continue be trapped in the beaten eggs until it was steamed. Too rough handling will push all the air out and your end products will be something like a pan cake.



  • Separate the batter into 3 equal portions. I have put the batter into a cup with a plastic bag on it. This is because I need  to pump it into the small cups without the bags, it is rather difficult unless you are very meticulous and or other type of pumps.

  • Coloring is optional. If you are not keen to put in the coloring or flavoring, you can go directly to the next step.
  • I have used the red/strawberry flavor for one portion and the other portion, I have use the pandan paste. Use a spoon to mix it gently until the color is even. I have decided to use coloring because I want these delicacies to look different from its traditional looks.



  • In the steaming tray, line up all the cups nicely.
  • Take one portion and cut a small hole at one of the corners.
  • Pump in the cup at the design you desired.

In this illustration, I have used the smallest cupcake cups. When the batter is pumped into the cup, it will push it towards the side and that simply means that your batter is very soft and will lots of air and expect the final product to be slightly fluffy.



Steamed for about 10 minutes and your steam sponge cakes will be ready. Note as this is a very small cup cakes, therefore, it is rather fast to cook.


I have intentionally choose this size for the cupcakes as they are one bite size with attractive colors. As you can see, the small cutie is full of holes meaning it is very spongy. Of course this can be further modified by adding little bit of fats (like butter, vegetable oil), using flours with high gluten such as bread flours and shorten the beating process such that less air is incorporated. It is rather addictive and within about 2 hours of steaming it, we have eaten half of the cakes.

In another attempt to make sponge cakes, I have use 2 cups of flour, I cup of egg, 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of tonic water and the result are like this.


Therefore, The shapes looks much nicer but the texture is less spongy and compared to the 1st one. In a muffin size tin, the output resembles a muffin but is a healthier choice as it contains no fats.


In my humble opinion, the traditional Kuey Neng Ko is not attractive to a foodie because of the following reasons;

  • The quantity of flour in the batter. The Chinese believed that in order to pray to the God, the cake must “smile ‘meaning with some cracks in the shape of one cross shape. Only with this shape, the God will be happy and bring good luck to the prayers. However, in order to achieve this shape, the flour volume will accordingly be  bigger in order to support the structure. This in turns means that less air will be trapped in the cake making the cake denser.
  • No fats in the cake. As there are no fats in the cake, eaters will feel that the cake is rather dry and something will choke them if without a cup of drinks. Unlike Ma La Go, eaters feel the smoother feelings when they eat it. For Swiss roll, the combination of cream and various toppings have help to moisten the cake.
  • As the traditional Kuey Neng Ko have only eggs as the main ingredients, its fragrance is very monotonous. For other sponge cakes, the incorporation of fats such as butter will give the cake some buttery aroma whereas the usage of cream and other flavor enhancers such as vanilla will cover most of the eggy flavor.


  • Kuey Neng Ko is definitely a much healthier snacks as compared to all other cakes that I have mentioned here as it is non fat and utilizing the steam method of preparation.
  • In order to make this cake more acceptable to the taste of present society, one can consider to make the cake smaller and decorate it until it looks more appetizing.
  • Lowering the volume of the flour used and incorporation of fats will greatly enhance the texture of the cakes.

Lastly, it is hoped that readers will try to prepare this cake as it is relatively easy to prepare, healthier, tastier and more nutritional. The benefits of this recipe are:

  • The ratio of eggs:flour:sugar is 1:1:1 which make it easier to remember and assembling the ingredients;
  • Eggs:flour ratio of 1:1 will mean that the texture of steamed sponge cake will be softer than the traditional kuey neng ko;
  • No additional ingredients were required which saves you time and money;
  • Use of whole eggs instead of beating egg yolks and egg whites separately will shorten the preparation time;
  • Use of mini cup will shorten the steaming time;
  • Use of alternative colorings and flavors will make the cake more appetizing when compared to the traditional steamed sponge cake.

Let me know of what you think about our traditional cakes. Happy reading

Upadate on 15 August 2013

I have posted another steamed sponge cake recipe in  https://kwgls.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/my-steamed-sponge-cake-kuey-neng-ko-is-full-of-gas-%E6%B1%BD%E6%B0%B4%E9%B8%A1%E8%9B%8B%E7%B3%95%EF%BC%89/. You can follow the link to understand another way of making this steamed sponge cake.


I insist that I am beautiful even you want to chase me out of this house!


What is this Series ? – Series 20

No photographic adjustments of any kind is used to day. This item will be throw away after the photo taking. That’s why, they are complaining. Not that tough at all.

Series 19’s answer can be found HERE.

Answer posted on: 29 May 2013


These were the cupcakes cups that I used for making the mini Chinese Steamed Sponge Cakes as mentioned in the post “THE PLIGHTS OF THE KUEY NENG KO” HERE.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 27-5-2013


On 27 May 2013

White rice served with:

1. Steamed Egg with Fish Tofu 鱼豆腐蒸蛋
2. Blanch Tri-color Capsicum with Chicken Breast 三色柿子椒拌鸡柳
3. Fried Cabbage with glass noodles 包菜炒粉丝
4. Yam Pork Rib Soup 芋头排骨汤

Today, I continue to cook my vegetables without using any oil. This is the 4th meal I have blanched my vegetables. Apparently they can accept this way of preparation which is good for every body’s health. I will try as many types of vegetable as possible.

Today’s soup is rather special. Special in the sense that none of my circles of friends, including neighbors have ever eaten this soup before. My late father used to cook this soup once in a while and as far I can remembers, all my brothers like this soup and it is consider quite unusual if any one of us cook this soup. I am still trying hard to trace the origins. Obviously, the way of cooking and the ingredients appeared to be influenced by western cooking. Onion was used and starch or flour was added to make it slightly runny. It is totally different from the Chinese soup we used to have. It very much resemble the western style potato soup or creamy mushroom soup! If any readers have ever cooked this soup, please share with me and I am particularly keen to know more about it.


It had been almost a month and  I am in the process of preparing a summary of dishes cooked to facilitate reader’s reference and comments if any. As I have stressed many times, the purpose of this series is for reader’s reference and share with readers how I rotate my meal plan. Purely putting up what I cooked today with further analysis will not serve much a purpose. As such, I am compiling the data and preliminary analysis disclosed the following figures. I welcome readers to comment on the dish cooked and share with me if they are any areas improvement that I need to work on…


Number of cooking days from 30-4-2013 to 27-5-2013 = 23 days

Breakdown of dishes cooked comprises  


Meat (chicken and pork)






Noodles and rice (all except white rice)




  78 dishes

Hope you enjoy the series and for me, it is really a challenge and I am especially happy that I can maintain until today. I will continue and you will start to see the dish begin to rotate.

You can refer HERE. Click on the date in the calendar and you will be able to go that day’s menu..

What? Having Rice As A Dessert?–The nutritious black glutinous rice porridge


Yes, having rice as a dessert. This rice is even more nutritious than the white rice. It is black in color, it is sweet and it is sticky. The rice dessert is black glutinous rice porridge which is a popular dessert among the all races in Malaysia and Singapore. In Malay, it is called “Bubur Pulut Hitam”.


“Black rice is cultivated in Asia and is considered to be heirloom rice. The rice is unprocessed and appears black in its raw state. After it is cooked, it changes in color to a deep purple. Black glutinous rice or sweet black rice is a type of black rice which is short grained and viscous when cooked. Studies show that black rice health benefits even exceed that of brown rice.” (Source: http://www.diethealthclub.com/health-food/black-rice.html)



Black glutinous rice porridge (hereinafter refer to as “black glutinous porridge”) is a dessert that I loved since young. In Singapore, I don’t usually cook this dessert as the black glutinous rice that were sold here are mainly from China and Thailand of which its fragrance were different from the glutinous rice from Sarawak.

Not many people may know that Sarawak do produce rice and in fact, Sarawak aims to be rice self-sufficient in year 2020. These rice were cultivated mostly by the Iban or Bidayuh tribes in Sarawak. When I was a kid, we were told that the harvest was from the shifting cultivation where forests were burnt in order to plant the rice. However, nowadays, most padi was planted on fixed plot of lands. Beside the black glutinous rice, Sarawak locally produce rice also include brown rice, red rice, white glutinous rice and not forget the famous Bario rice. In recent years, as the Sarawakian became more affluent and health conscious, the shift and focus now is on Sarawak  locally pesticide-free produce rice.

Two days ago, my mother in law who flew from Kuching gave me 1 kg of the black glutinous rice and I have decided to cook this traditional desserts for my guests and family members yesterday.


Black glutinous rice porridge is rather easy to cook and the ingredients are minimal. As usual, all the measurement units here are for reference and you can adjust it accordingly to suit your taste.


You will need:

  • Black Glutinous Rice (2 cups) – Most groceries shops or supermarket would have sold and usually in the dry goods section.
  • Coconut milk (200 ml) – Coconut milk is optional. If you are very health conscious, you can substitute it with evaporated creamer or don’t put any coconut milk at all. The role of coconut milk is to make the porridge creamier. By the same logic, of course cream can also be used.
  • Palm Sugar or White Granulated Sugar (1 cup) – Adjust to suit your personal preference
  • Sago balls (0.25-0.5 cups) –Optional again. Depending on the type of glutinous rice you bought. Some of the rice when cooked are not that sticky of vicious, therefore, adding some sago balls will help to make your dessert smoother. Just soak the sago balls in a cup for one two minutes and you will see that all the balls disappeared.
  • Pandan Leaves (1 bundle) – Optional. Personally, I strongly insisted on putting the Pandan. Pandan and coconut milk are two local ingredients that differentiate our (Malaysian and Singaporean or rather South East Asian Countries’) dessert from others parts of the world.




Well, the pictures are rather dull and let’s start cooking.

  • Wash your black glutinous rice in a pot of water. The water should be quite clear but the color will be dark and become purplish black.. The amount of water should be about 5 times your glutinous rice volume. Well this is an estimated volume and if it too liquid after you complete the cooking, add in more sago balls. If in the process of cooking, you noted that it is overly sticky and difficult to stir, add in more water.
  • Add in pandan leaves and bring to boil over high heat. Once it start to boil, you can switch to medium heat and let it boil for at least 30-45 minutes until the rice are cooked, soft and sticky. At this juncture, you can  add in the sago balls and sugar and let it boil for another 15 minutes.
  • If the texture are to  your satisfaction (meaning resembles the one that you have ever eaten before), add in coconut milk, pinches of salt and bring to boil and off the fire immediately.
  • Served when hot or cold. Drizzle a few table spoon of coconut milk before serving, if necessary.



Note that I have added the coconut milks before I off the fire and I let it boil for a while. This is the way my mothers used to cook. Most recipes would advised you to drizzle your fresh coconut milk over the cooked dessert. The same applies when you have  the dessert in the hawker stalls or posh restaurants.

I have to defend my ground that cooked coconut milk are more friendly to your gastro intestinal system and actually, a lot of people are not able to consume raw coconut milk. Secondly, when cooked, the coconut milk blends well with the dessert and easier to keep in the event you can’t finished the dessert. It is rather hard to keep a container of fresh coconut milk in Malaysia and Singapore’s hot weathers. For these two reasons, I will always have my coconut milk cooked in the black glutinous rice dessert and you can see the small bubbles in the dessert.



It is funny that you add pinches of salt to a sweet dessert. Do you  feel very bloated after you have a bowl of coconut creamed based dessert, be it this dessert or other desserts such as Bubur Chacha and rather reluctant to have the second bowl? Well the reason is simple, added pinches of salt will reduce the greasiness and bloated feeling of coconut oil (coconut cream will be come oil when cooked).



Glutinous rice are rather difficult to cook. There are three ways you can try. One is the one using open fire as mentioned in my recipe above.

Option 2 is using a rice cooker, . For those rice cookers where there are digital menu, select the “glutinous rice” or “porridge” options. In fact, in the picture above, I have selected the porridge option and let it cooked for one round (about 45 minutes also). Well, as not all raw ingredients are the same, in the event that after one round of cooking, your porridge is still not the texture that you are looking for, continue to cook for the second round. Always “visit” them and see how they transformed. You can just off the electricity in the middle of the second round as long as you feel it has been cooked to your preferences.

Option 3 is using the slow cooker and let it “slowly cooked” over the night. But look out for the hardening of the top portion, just scope it away before serving.

Another way to shorten the cooking time is to soak the glutinous rice in advance for say 2-3 hours and you will be able to shorten the overall cooking by about half. But don’t throw away the water that you soaked, all the vitamins and minerals are there. Just use the same pot that you soak the glutinous rice for the cooking.



Almost all ingredients have substitutes and no two recipes are exactly the same, be it for steps of preparation or ingredients. This mean that there are no fix and fast rule on this dessert.  Therefore, just go ahead to cook it and when your guests comment, just say it is your own style..LOL

Main Ingredients

Variants  or substitutes

Black glutinous rice -quantity can be adjusted by varying the sago balls used
– Can be cooked with red beans or longan, both have high level of iron content
Sugar – brown sugar, rock sugar (too wasted), coconut sugar (gula melaka) or palm sugar (sugar atap?)
Coconut milk – Fresh Cream, evaporated milk or not milk based at all like in China restaurants that serves eight treasure porridge


It is not my intention that you come here solely looking for the recipe. We shall learn together and know what we eat. Do you know that black rice (in general) have the following health benefits:

  • Black rice contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential to the bodies. It contains high iron content and therefore it is good for those with anemia. The Chinese called this blood glutinous rice (血糯米)and believed that this dessert (without coconut milk) is especially beneficial to women who have monthly menstrual affairs. Some recipes have added dried longan (龙眼干)or red bean (红豆) to the dessert and believed that  it is extremely nutritious (很補!)
  • Black rice contain high level of antioxidants anthocyanin and is even higher than blueberries!
  • Black rice assists in weight loss!  Black rice is low in calorie content and made up of mostly of carbohydrates. One may question is it not these two statements are contradictory. Food high in carbohydrates are easier to make you full and does not mean that it is high in calorie content. Therefore eating a small bowl of black rice will make you feel full faster than eating a bowl of ice cream!
  • Black rice for diabetics. Black rice has low quantities of sugar and contains beneficial plant compounds and fiber which are known to protect the body from diabetes and cancers.



Black glutinous rice pudding is an easy but time-consuming dessert to prepare. It is high in nutritional value and there is no fix and fast rule that the dessert will have to be prepared in a certain prescribed manner.  So, you should be proud of your own version and share with us.

The purpose of this post is not only sharing with readers my style of preparing this dessert, but more importantly, to create an awareness of its nutritional values and share some “tips” that it might be of interest to you.

No matter how delicious  and nutritious this dessert is to you, moderation is still the key! Consideration has to be taken into its high sugar level content and the fact that glutinous rice is rather unfriendly to our gastro intestinal system, Therefore, eat moderately with caution!

For readers who are not residing in the South East Asia Region, you should be able to enjoy it in Malaysian, Singaporean or Indonesian restaurants. But keep it in your notes as a “must try” dessert when you visit the region!

Thanks for reading this long-winded post and have a nice day. Give me a like if you think that you have learn something from my post and please share with me any other areas that I have not mentioned. Cheers.


What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 26-5-2013


On 26-May-2013

White rice served with:

1. Lotus Root Pork Rib Soup* 莲藕排骨汤
2. Braised luffa/tower gourd with egg* 蛋汁炆丝瓜
3. Chicken fried with shredded ginger 姜丝鸡
4. Sweet and sour fish balls 酸甜鱼球

Well, from now onwards, my dish will start to repeat and  I consider it to be reasonable and logical. All what I have posted here is purely what I cooked based on my family’s preferences, market availability of raw material at reasonable price and the overall combinations of the dishes in a meal. Is it not what a household meal plan should be? Plain, routine, repetitive but nutritious…

I am in the process of providing a summary of all the dishes that I have cooked for reader’s reference. I am serious about this series and I have to stressed again that this will be a rather bored series but will be beneficial if you are interested to understand what others have cooked in designing your meal plan. Thanks for reading.