Crispy Crabstick Snack (酥脆蟹肉小吃)

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INTRODUCTION

My family members except me loves this crab sticks commonly sold in Singapore and Malaysia supermarket. It was usually sold in the frozen department and they were used to cook with vegetable dish or noodle dish…

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My East Malaysian relatives visited me last week and gave me a plastic bottles of these crispy crab meat that she bought from her Malay colleagues.. It was RM 3 per bottle, kids loved them and can’t have enough of them… They are fighting for the very last piece they have.. I gave it a try and promised them that I will replicate this for them..

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I knew that their version is the deep fried version, in fact slightly more fragrant that what I have prepared. However, I have chose to use oven baked in view of the current trend of healthier life style… I presumed air fryer will work extremely well for this snack too…

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • One packet of crabsticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder (optional)
  • Few curry leaves (fresh or dried) (optional)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 100 degree Celsius

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  • Cut the crab sticks into about 2 cm length..Roll it out and use a knife to slice it as thinly and as EVENLY as you can. (Uneven crabstick will make some of the crabstick become crispy but some are chewy). Put it in a plastic box, add the curry powder and add in chopped curry leaves. Close the lid of the plastic box and shake until the chopped crabstick are evenly coated with curry powder. Transfer to the baking tray as evenly as possible. Bake in the pre-heat oven of 100 degree Celsius until your desired crispiness. Occasionally, give it a stir to ensure even baking. Baking time will depend on the size of the chopped crabstick. For this illustration, it took about 30 minutes.  Store in an air tight container when cooled completely.

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CONCLUSION

This is a nice snack and I will endorse an occasional indulgence. It is especially good to serve to house guest during Chinese New Year or other major festivals. Remember that you can always do it using air fryer but I can assure all that deep frying using low to medium heat is the fastest and the most aromatic.. It is up to readers to decide base on your health objectives.

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This recipe was included in Page 45 and Page 46 of the following E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Nasi Tomato With Ayam Masak Merah (番茄饭)

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INTRODUCTION

Per Wikipedia on Malaysian cuisines, it was stated that Nasi tomato or tomato rice :

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“Nasi tomato – rice cooked with tomato sauce or paste, milk, dried spices, and a sautéed rempah base of garlic, onions, ginger. Nasi tomato is often paired with ayam masak merah.” (Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_cuisine)”

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The fact that I am putting the definition of this rice at the start of the post means that it is one of our traditional cuisines that are always served by our Malay and Indian brothers. However, apparently, not many Chinese or other races or city dwellers are aware of this special rice that was usually served during kenduri (feast) or buka puasa..It is not a common daily dish but only prepared for occasions. It was especially common in 1970s and 1980s.

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With the current craze of Japanese style tomato rice that was going in the Chinese and English Facebook Groups, I think it is timely for me to issue this post to let readers aware of our traditional cuisine. As a blogger who constantly promote traditional cuisine, I think it is my obligation to blog this as a respect to our delicious traditional cuisines..

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Looking at the ingredients list, one will know that this is an aromatic rice.. with butter, milk, spices.. It was usually served with ayam masak merah literally translated as chicken cooked in red sauce. Red basically refer to tomato and chilli. It is a chicken that have a sweet tangy gravy and goes well with the rice…

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 3 cups of rice (preferred basmati rice) – wash
  • 2 cm ginger, slice in big piece
  • 2 cinnamon stick *
  • 2 cloves *
  • 2 aniseed *
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 cups of plain water
  • 2 big tomato cut into small cubes
  • 1 big onion cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 5-6 tablespoons of tomato puree (not in picture)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee

* can be optional

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  • 1 medium sized chicken cut into big pieces
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 big tablespoons of dry chilli paste (chilli bo) (can be substitute with 10 dry chilli soaked and blend with herbs below)
  • 2 big tomatoes cut into small cubes
  • 1 lemon grass
  • 3 cm long of ginger
  • 10 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlics
  • 1 big onion
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

* coconut milk can be added if desired

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a pan, melt the butter and saute aniseed, cinnamon stick, cloves, garlic and chopped onion until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes  followed by the washed rice. Add the tomato puree and tomato sauce. Stir fry a few minutes until all the aroma were well incorporated. Transfer to the rice cooker. Add 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of plain water.  Add seasonings of your choice (salt to taste and sugar). Stir and cook in the rice cooker . Fluff the rice before serving and garnish with additional chopped deep fried shallots and Chinese celery.  (Note: This is on the assumption that 1 cup of rice requires 1 cup of liquid. You have to refer to your rice packaging instruction for rice cooking instruction. If you are unsure, for 3 cups of rice, use 2.5 cups of water to avoid mash rice. The tomato rice should be soft but grainy)

  • If you are want a faster way of cooking by passing the sautéing of spices as above. Put everything (including soften butter)  in the rice cooker and cooked as per rice cooker instruction. If you think that there are too many ingredients required, most are optional except : tomatoes, tomato puree or sauce, milk, butter/ghee, seasonings). This will be the fastest fuss free version without the spices.

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  • In a blender , put shallots, onions, garlics, ginger and dry chilli (if dry chilli paste is not used). Add adequate water (about just enough to cover the ingredients) and blend until it form a fine paste. In a pot, add the cooking oil and sauté the garlic shallot paste until fragrant and aromatic.

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  • Add the chilli sauce, followed by tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to boil. Add in the chicken and cooked until the sauce dries up. In general, do not add water to the pot unless it is overly dry. Chicken when cooked will secrete meat juices. If too watery, it will take a long time to cook the dish until the desired thickness. It took me about 30 minutes to cook until the thickness that I want. Throughout the process, periodic stirring is required to prevent burnt in the bottom. Before off the heat, add sugar and salt to taste. Let it sit in the pot for at least 15minutes to half an hour before dishing up for serving.

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CONLCUSION

This recipe is a rather traditional recipe that command my due respect. I hope that this will give reader another choice of the so called “tomato rice” craze, aware and proud of our very own version of nasi tomato. Please also note that our Indian brothers also have another version of tomato rice.. Do give it a try and let me know if it suit your taste bud. This is a one pot dish on its own and need no other side dishes though it was usually paired with ayam masak merah.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Yorkshire Puddings (约克郡布丁)

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INTRODUCTION

I know it is still early but keep this post and you will be able to prepare Yorkshire puddings for your Christmas feasts.

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What is Yorkshire pudding? Yorkshire pudding in essence is a pancake that was baked at high temperature to obtain a special tall pancake that have a cavity… It was usually served during Christmas dinner together with main dish as a substitute to bread rolls  to absorb the meat juices in the Christmas feast…

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However, it can also be served as as dessert to go with ice cream. A good Yorkshire pudding should be rather light and thin, slightly chewy an a good absorbent of meat or sweet sauces..

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Per Wikipedia:

“Yorkshire pudding is an English dish made from batter consisting of eggs, flour, and milk. The dish is usually served with roast meat and gravy and is a staple of the traditional British Sunday roast. It may also be served as a dessert.The exact origin of the Yorkshire pudding is, as yet, unknown. The first ever recorded recipe appears in a book in 1737. Yorkshire pudding is cooked by pouring a batter made from milk (or water), flour and eggs into preheated, oiled, baking pans, ramekins or muffin tins (in the case of miniature puddings). A basic formula uses 13 cup flour and 13 cup liquid per egg.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_pudding)

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This recipe was prepared based on the definition of Wikipedia above. As Christmas dinner is yet to come, I have decided to prepare some mushroom soup for the kids to go with Yorkshire pudding as lunch… They love it.. and I do love it as well..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: about 6 medium size Yorkshire Puddings

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  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinches of salt
  • Adequate cooking oil for well greasing the tin (Lard can be used but not butter due to different boiling point of the fats)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a whisking bowl of standing mixer, add eggs, flour, milk . Mix until well combined with no lumps noted. Chill the batter in the refrigerator until the oven is ready.

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  • Grease a muffin tray adequately with cooking oil . Grease the connecting part as well Put one tablespoon of oil in each muffin cup.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree Celsius together with the greased muffin tray. Once the muffin tray is ready (most likely you will see some smoke from the hot oil), take out the batter, use the mixer to beat again for 1 minutes. Take out the muffin tray and pour the batter on the hot muffin cups as full as possible. Transfer carefully to the oven, close the door and reduce the temperature to 200 degree Celsius. Bake for about 15 minutes and reduce the temperature to 180 degree Celsius. Continue baking for about 10 minutes or until the pudding puff up and turn golden brown. Off the heat, keep the oven door ajar by placing a chopstick in between the oven door and the oven. Leave it as such until the Yorkshire Pudding is cooled. The main purpose of the step is to prevent a certain drop in temperature that causes the Yorkshire pudding to deflate. Best serve warm as a side item with meat dishes.

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CONCLUSION

This is a nice pancake to go with meat juices. One thing that I can think off is to eat with curry chicken.. It sure is a delicious treat. Hope this post will benefit those readers who are looking for this recipe. Remember that It can be eaten with ice cream as well..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Crispy Roast Pork Or Sio Bak (脆皮烧肉)

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UPDATED POST 17-11-2014

Two days after my previous attempt, I decided to prepare another piece of roast pork.. As usual, I get a piece of “fattest” pork belly that the butcher had.. Apparently, this piece is thicker and have slightly more fats.

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I have decided to test my theory of hole poking.. I did change a bit of my procedures. After I clean the pork, I pat dry (without scoring the skin) and air dry under the hot sun for about 1-2 hours. I then leave it in the fridge uncovered for about 3 hours until I was free. The skin was rather dry then.

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I baked in the oven for about 15 minutes for the skin to get cooked. Once the skin get cooked, I used safety pin to start poking holes. It is rather fast because cooked skin are very tender. Even a needle can easily pierce the skin as compare to uncooked skin. For every 10 minutes, I took out and pierce until I can’t poke any more. Can’t pierce is because the skin have been cooked and become crispy.

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Readers must remember that as long as you can still use the needle or safety pin to poke, the pork is not ready. If you are concerned about the meat under the skin is not cooked, you can insert a thermometer inside the meat. As long as it reaches 80 degree Celsius, the meat is cooked. This attempt is rather fast, about 1 hour for such a big piece of meat.

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If your skin is chewy, your skin is not ready and as what I explained above, you should still be able to poke. You must poke until the needle can’t go any further. If part of the skin is chewy, it is likely that particular part is lower than the other.. If that is the case, you have to ensure that your roast pork is of the same level. Think of way to raise that part (usually in the middle of that piece of the meat). Otherwise, either one part is not crispy or all are crispy but some are burnt.

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Lastly, remember again this few pointer: “dry skin, poke many small holes, poke again during the baking for increase the number of holes, poke until the skin is so hard that you cannot poke”

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INTRODUCTION

My wife and son love roast pork. though I do not really like the commercially sold roast pork as it is rather salty and expensive..

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One year ago, I had an attempt to roast some pork belly but it created a phobia in me to have further attempts. Unsure of the reason of the failure of that attempt, while roasting the pork belly, there are lot of cracker like “pip – pop” sound  in the oven. Not only that, the whole oven was sprinkled with lard and it start to burn and smokes were rushing out of the oven… On the next day, I have the difficulty of cleaning the entire oven and since then I am not courageous enough to try. Until today, I am still unsure of the reasons for the previous failure..Well, let it be a mystery then..

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Roast pork is rather common among members of Facebook Group.. Most of them have some nicely roast pork with skin that looked very crispy. I told myself that I must give it a try again to complete my recipe list.

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I went to the wet market and requested for a piece of pork belly for the preparation of roast pork… I explicitly told the butcher that I needed a piece of meat with more fats for this purpose  …. He gave me a piece and told me that is the best he can offer me…

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In fact, I do not have much choices at all… all other stores are selling the same thing.. Trust me.. this is not the first time I encountered such a problem,  I am unable to secure pork of reasonable fatness to prepare some authentic Chinese cuisines like Dongbo meat and I was told that pork with more fats were reserved by restaurants and hawker stores . As far as I am concern, It is a joke to ask the butcher to reserve a piece of “fatty” meat!!! I gave up!

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As the pork is rather lean, this roast pork may not look as attractive as it should be.. Hope you can understand my situation in Singapore and bear with me this less than satisfactory lean roast pork.. By the way, it was all finished within one meal and what I can ensure readers is that the skin is very crispy.

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There are essentially no recipe for roast pork. as it was only marinated with salt, five spice powder and some Chinese cooking wine. However, they are some pointers that need to be noted when roasting the pork.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some pork belly
  • Salt to taste
  • Some five spice powder
  • Some Chinese cooking wine

Note: No quantity was listed as it will depend on the size of meat you used and your family’s taste bud. 

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STEPS OF PREAPARATION

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  • Wash the pork belly, scrub off any dirt and hair on the skin using a sharp knife. Use a knife with a sharp end, score the skin with as many holes as possible. You can also use a sharp pin or needle to do the task. Make sure that the pin or needle do not go beyond the whitish fat and go into the flesh. If it is too deep, juices from the meat will sip out from the holes and make it less crispy. (do not worry if you can’t score or poke many holes in the meat now, you can continue to poke the hole during the baking process) (Please refer to the beginning of the post for an updated faster procedure)

  • Season the underside of the pork belly with some salt, five spice powder and Chinese cooking wine. Use a kitchen towel to pat dry the skin and air dry the pork belly in the fridge or dry under the sun. It will take 3-4 hours or best overnight. Before roasting, the skin of the pork belly shall be very very dry..

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degree Celsius. Place the pork in a tray lined with aluminium foil. Roast the pork for at least one hour or when the skin become crispy. You can test the crispiness of the skin by inserting a needle into the skin. If you can pierce through, the skin is not ready yet and it will yield a hard and chewy skin.. A crispy skin is one that you can’t pierce through.. it will be very hard and crispy.  During the baking, you will see oil starts to sip out from the holes those “frying” the skin… Look out for area of skin that no oil flows out. Use the needle to pierce the skin again.

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Note:

  • When baked, the fats of the meat will sip out from the skin. It will “fry” the skin and force out the water in the skin. The result is a piece of crispy pork skin. The more holes you have, the better it is.. Feel free to open the oven door to poke holes in the skin at any time you feel like it and it will be much easier to poke when the skin is cooked.

  • Timing of the cooking will depend on the piece of meat you have.. It took me about 1 hours 15 minutes to get to my desired crispiness. Temperature can be lower if there are sign of burning, reduce the temperature turn on the grill mode to proceed. Keep an eye on the process .

  • I am using the big safety pin to poke the skin. There are certain kitchen needles that you can use to poke the skin.

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CONCLUSION

Essentially, there is no recipe for this famous roast pork.. All the ingredients are flexible and up to readers to tailor to meet your taste buds. Just remember these few words “dry skin, poke many small holes, poke again during the baking for increase the number of holes, poke until the skin is so hard that you cannot poke”….and you should come out a nice piece of crispy roast pork..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Quick And Easy Christmas Puddings With Brandy Sauce (圣诞布丁)

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INTRODUCTION

“Christmas, Christmas time is near, time for “food” and time for cheer, We’ve been good, but we can’t last……..”

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Yes, Christmas is around the corner though Thanksgiving 2014 is not over yet.. This year I will have 3-4 new Christmas recipes to add to my list of recipes last year….

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I shall start with this simple Christmas Pudding and it is time for reader to get ready NOW and let it “mature” until the day of Christmas…By then, you will have a tasty and aromatic Christmas Pudding at your Christmas dinner table…

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Per Wikipedia:

“Christmas pudding is a type of pudding traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner. It has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding or Christmas Pudding or just “pud”, though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving dried fruit. Despite the name “plum pudding,” the pudding contains no actual plums due to the pre-Victorian use of the word “plums” as a term for raisins. The pudding is composed of many dried fruits held together by egg and suet, sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and other spices. The pudding is aged for a month or even a year; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_pudding)

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Traditionally, preparing Christmas Pudding is no easy matter, many ingredients will need to be assembled and it was usually steamed over the stove for 4-5 hours to get cooked..Many special precautions need to be done including covering the puddings with cloth during the steaming.

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But this recipe that I am sharing today is a fast and easy recipe…. If you are running of time, you may want to try microwave version of Christmas pudding. It took only 5 minutes to microwave the pudding …Of course if you do not have a microwave oven, you can always steamed the pudding until it is cooked…

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Traditionally, Christmas pudding usually served with sauces such as custard sauces and in recent year, some have served the pudding with ice cream. But the sauces that I have selected in this illustration is brandy sauce. I found that it blends especially well with the Christmas pudding..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: The perfect Christmas Pudding

Servings : About 4 

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  • 250 grams of mixed fruits (Note a)
  • 25 grams of butter
  • 25 grams of plain flour
  • 40 grams of fresh bread crumbs or biscuit crumbs
  • 12 grams of chopped lemon peel or orange peel
  • 50 grams of castor sugar or brown sugar
  • 50 grams of cherry wine or orange juices
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of treacle or molasses
  • 1/2 tablespoon of golden syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice

Note a – You can use equal weight of sultanas, dates, raisins, cherries and currants.

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  • 20 grams of butter
  • 20 grams of plain flour
  • 20 grams of castor sugar (not in picture)
  • 200 grams of ml of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy or cognac or rum

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased a microwaveable container of about 500 ml volume of your choice.

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  • Melt the butter in the microwave oven or over the stove. When cooled, add the egg, molasses, golden syrup, orange juice or cherry wine. Stir until well mixed.  In another mixing bowl, put all the dry ingredients on the bowl (mixed spices, sugar, mixed fruits, orange peel, plain flour and bread crumbs or biscuit crumbs). Stir until well mixed.

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  • Add the liquid mixture and stir the ingredients until well combined. Remember to make a wish when you make your first stir… Transfer the ingredients to the greased microwave container, cover with the container lid or loosely with some clingy wrap and cook in the microwave container for 4-5 minutes. Please do not over microwave the pudding as it will make the pudding very dry and you must position the pudding in the centre of the microwave oven to ensure even cooking. (It is considered as cooked when a skewer inserted comes out clean)

  • Leave it in the container for at least 10 minutes before dislodge from the container. You can sprinkle brandy or other preferred alcohol periodically (say once a week) to moisten the pudding and the pudding will develop a lovely flavour after a few weeks. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes before serving.

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  • Melt the butter in a pan over the stove. Add the plain flour and stir until it form a thick paste. Gradually add the milk and use a hand whisk to whisk until it form a sticky sauce. Add the alcohol and sugar, stir until the sugar have dissolved. Pour on top of the Christmas Pudding before before serving.

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CONCLUSION

If you run out of time, this will be a suitable recipe for you… I have not prepared Christmas puddings in previous year because of the timing of traditional method of steaming that need special care and long hours of steaming. This simple recipe will also yield a reasonable impressive pudding. The brandy sauce is definitely delicious and feel free to add more alcohol to suit your taste bud. Remember that you can prepare the pudding now and sprinkle the pudding with alcohol once a week to let it “ mature” and become tastier.. Lastly, don’t forget to make a Christmas wish when you first stir the batter.. Ha-ha

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


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

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Yes, having rice as a dessert. This rice is even more nutritious than the white rice. It is black in colour, 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 AND BLACK GLUTINOUS RICE DEFINED…

“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 colour 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)

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INTRODUCTION

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.


WHAT IS REQUIRED?

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.

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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.

PREPARATION STEPS

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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 colour 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.

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FRESH COCONUT MILK VS COOKED COCONUT MILK….

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.


WHY PINCHES OF SALT….?

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).


COOKING METHODS …ANY ALTERNATIVES?

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.

Option 4 is using thermal pot

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This way of cooking will shorten the timing significantly. Wash your rice, add adequate water, transfer to the thermal pot. Heat the stainless steel inner pot on the stove, bring the porridge to boil (depending on size of pot – about 10-15 minutes), close the inner lid, transfer immediately to the thermal pot. Close the outer lid and let it sit in the pot for at least 5-6 hours. For this illustration, I cooked this at 8pm and serve my glutinous rice at 7 am the next morning. In the morning, add sugar and coconut milk before serving.

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One of the main advantage of this method is the pot is very easy to wash as there are no boiling required. Unless other method, it can be quite a mess to wash the utensils.

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INGREDIENTS… ANY ALTERNATIVES?

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


BENEFITS OF BLACK RICE

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 contain numerous vitamins and minerals that are essential to the bodies. It contain high iron content and therefore it is good for those with anaemia. Chinese called this blood glutinous rice (血糯米)and believed that this dessert (without coconut milk) are 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 questioned 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 full faster rather than eating a bowl of ice cream!
  • Black rice for diabetics. Black rice contains low quantities of sugar and also contains beneficial plant compounds and fibre which are known to protect the body from diabetes and cancers.

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CONCLUSIONS

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 prepared in a certain prescribed manner.  So, you should be proud of your own version and share with us.

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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 delicious this dessert is to you, moderation is still the key! Consideration has to be taken about 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!

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

Double Chocolate Banana Quick Bread (巧克力香蕉快速面包)

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INTRODUCTION

Though the name of this recipe is a quick bread, it is more of a simple mix and bake type of cake…. It is quick because of its simple preparation..Mixing of dry and wet ingredients..If you want to read more about quick bread, you can refer to this post: A Healthier Alternative Than Cake – Passion Fruit Quick Bread

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I have never bake anything with chocolate and banana combo… But apparently it is very popular among members of Facebook Groups.  I am also rather curious about the taste of this combo..

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When I typed the chocolate and banana in the search engine, there are lots of recipes for this combo and I have choose one that is sinfully enough.. Double chocolate banana quick bread recipe…

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I cut a piece and gave the rest to my relative… Not that I do not like the quick bread but I have intention to prepare it as a gift… It is a very moist cake as both banana and chocolate are moisture retainer.. The small pieces of nuts give the entire piece of quick bread something to chew… The quick bread have both strong aroma of chocolate and banana..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: double chocolate banana bread | smitten kitchen

Servings: A loaf of 9” x 4” x 3” cake

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  • 200 grams (about 3-4 medium or 2 large over-ripe bananas), mashed
  • 120 grams of butter, melted
  • 120 grams of brown sugar or castor sugar (brown sugar preferred)
  • 150 grams of self raising flour
  • 120 grams of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 60 grams of cocoa powder
  • 50 grams of nuts of choice (optional and can be pumpkin seeds or walnuts)
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 grams of milk (optional only if batter too thick)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 165 degree Celsius. and lightly greased a 9”x4”x4” pull man tin or baking tin of your choice.

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  • Melt the butter in a microwave for about 1 minute and the chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir until well mixed. You can also heat the butter and chocolate over the stove under low heat until both melt.  Mash the banana, add egg, the butter and chocolate mixture, stir until well combined. Add sugar, nuts and sift in the baking soda and self raising flour. Use a spatula to fold until well combined. Transfer the batter to the greased baking tin and bake in the pre-heated oven of 165 degree Celsius for about 45minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before cut for serving.

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CONCLUSION

Do give it a try. An easy peasy recipe with great taste.. It is a piece of moist and aromatic quick bread.

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Hope you like the post today..Cheers and have a nice day..

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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