Flower Crab Tofu Soup (花蟹豆腐汤)

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INTRODUCTION

I am writing this post now in Johor Baru and I am having a short vacation in Malaysia.. While there are some free time, I searched for some simple recipe to share with all..

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I seldom cooked crabs at home since kids are still young and they still do not how to appreciate these type of shell crustaceans.. Since they are near 10 years old, I have decided it is time to introduce is this type of economy and softer shell crabs.. I bought 2 crabs at a very reasonable price of about S$10.00.

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As to how should these crabs be cooked, as I still cannot cook something that is very spicy like chilli crabs..the first thing that came into my mind is to “boil” into soup.. As the crabs are very fresh, they were not fishy and it was a very sweet soup… In order to further enhance the soup sweetness, I have added some fish stock that I prepared from fish head and fish bones.. However if you do not have any fish stock, you can always add chicken stocks or other seasonings that you are used to..

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As per Wikipedia:

“Portunus pelagicus, also known as the flower crab, blue crab, blue swimmer crab, blue manna crab or sand crab, and alimasag in Tagalog, is a large crab found in the intertidal estuaries of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (Asian coasts) and the Middle-Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The name “flower crab” is used in east Asian countries while the latter names are used in Australia. The crabs are widely distributed in eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia, Persian Gulf and New Zealand. The males are bright blue in colour with white spots and with characteristically long chelipeds, while the females have a duller green/brown, with a more rounded carapace. The carapace can be up to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) wide.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portunus_pelagicus)

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For readers who understand Mandarin:

“兰花蟹含有丰富的蛋白质、微量元素等,对身体有很好的滋补作用。蟹,自古就有“四味”之说。“大腿肉”,肉质丝短纤细,味同干贝;“小腿肉”,丝长细嫩,美如银鱼;“蟹身肉”,洁白晶莹,胜似白鱼。花蟹含有大量人体必需的蛋白质、脂肪、磷脂、维生素等营养素,营养丰富。功效性味:咸、寒、有小毒。养筋益气、理胃消食、散诸热、通经络、解结散血,对于淤血黄疸、腰腿酸痛和风湿性关节炎等有一定的食疗效果。(Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/296575.htm)”

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 4-5 adult servings

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  • 2 flower crabs
  • 1 box of tofu
  • 5 cm of ginger, sliced into big pieces
  • 2 sprigs of coriander leaves, cut into big chunks
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion, cut into big chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wines
  • 1 litre of fish stock or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • Pinches of salt

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Pluck the shell of the crab, take away the gills, rinse the shell and set aside.  Cut into big pieces (usually into half or 4 pieces). Crack the legs using some thing hard like a pastel. Set aside.

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  • In a pot, put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, sauté the ginger and spring onion chunks until fragrant. Add the crab, stir fry for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add the fish or chicken stock, bring to boil. Add the tofu, Chinese cooking wine, dashes of white pepper and pinches of salt. Let it simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Garnish with coriander before serving..Best served hot immediately after the preparation.

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Notes:

  • To take out tofu nicely from the box, invert the box, cut 4 small holes at the 4 corners of the box, your tofu can be easily taken out from the box…

  • Overcooked crab will make the meat tough and shrink..

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CONCLUSION

This belong to the Simple Household Dishes Series that aims to help new house chefs who may not know how to cook this type crabs.. Do give it a try and let me know if this suit your family’s taste buds.

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

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Lye Water Dumpling, Alkaline Dumpling, Kansui Dumpling (碱水粽)

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INTRODUCTION

As per Wikipedia, Kee Chang (碱粽)or lye dumpling or alkaline water dumpling are:

“Jianshui zong (碱水粽): Meaning “alkaline water zong,” these are typically eaten as a dessert item rather than as part of the main meal. The glutinous rice is treated with lye water (aqueous sodium hydroxide), or potassium carbonate, giving them their distinctive yellow color. Jianshui zong typically contain either no filling or are filled with a sweet mixture, such as sweet bean paste. Sometimes, a certain red wood sliver (shu mok) is inserted for color and flavor. They are often eaten with sugar or light syrup.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zongzi)

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My late mum is very good in wrapping Kee Chang , Her Kee Chang is very small, almost bite size and very springy.. Most of my relatives Kee Chang was prepared by her and in fact I did not like her prepared Kee Chang..

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The main reason is that we are required to pick the jasmine rice grains in a pool of glutinous rice.and it may take days to pick the rice grains.. If the jasmine rice grain was wrapped together with the glutinous rice grain, the Kee Chang will not be translucent and it is very embarrassing to give others this type of Kee Chang . As free “child labour”, it is our responsibility to pick the grains during free time as early as 1-2 weeks before the actual wrapping..

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I remembered she said that wrapping Kee Chang cannot be too tight, if it is too tight, all the glutinous rice when cooked will expand and hence break the leaves.. Therefore, the right way of wrapping is that you have to leave some space during wrapping, after tying, you will need to shake the uncooked Kee Chang and hear if there is any sound .. If there are sound resulted from rice grain hitting the leaves, the batch will be consider as good.. Well, it sounds easy but it really need practises.. It does not mean that the less rice it is, the better it will be.. If your rice is not adequate , your Chang may not be compact enough and there is a tendency to stick to the leaves.. Hope this also answer readers who are asking why their Kee Chang stuck to the leaves after cooking.

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During her time, boric acid or 硼砂 or Peng say was used. These “food grade chemical” was used to enhance the binding and hence the texture of the Kee Chang. The Kee Chang will be springy and when you bite, it will not stick to your teeth and you felt like biting some fish balls.. Well, in olden days, boric acid was used in the preservation of seafood and also soaked cuttlefish to make them more springy. However, this chemical has been banned in Singapore quite a while back, therefore, there is no  Kee Chang of such texture.. Unsure about Malaysia, Singapore homemade Kee Chang will definitely not as springy as what you used to eat when you are young… The reason is very simply the lack of certain chemical in enhancing the binding and hence the texture.. We should have trust with the Government and I am definitely okay to forgo such traditional texture for the sake of better health..

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As per Hong Kong Centre of Food Safety,

“Boron is a non-metallic element which never occurs in nature by itself. It mainly exists in the form of borates, compounds formed after combining with other substances, in the environment. Boron is also an essential micronutrient for optimum growth in plants. However, little is known about the function of boron in humans. Boric acid and borax have long been used as additive in various foods. Since boric acid and borax are effective against yeasts, and to a much lesser extent, against moulds and bacteria, they can be used to preserve food products. In addition, both of these additives can be used to increase the elasticity and crispiness of foods as well as prevent shrimps from darkening. Animal studies indicated that excessive ingestion of boric acid over a prolonged period may cause adverse reproductive and developmental effects. Boric acid and borax are non-permitted preservatives in food in Hong Kong.” (Source: http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/multimedia/multimedia_pub/multimedia_pub_fsf_37_01.html)

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All Kee Chang recipe are rather simple, just some lye water or Kansu water or alkaline water and glutinous rice… Lye will provide colour and flavour for the dumpling. As for the lye component, it can be bottled alkaline or lye water sold in the bakery shop or it can be alkaline balls. For this recipe, I have used these type of alkaline ball which is very common during the Chang festival. You can easily get this orange balls in most supermarket or wet market at a very reasonable of price ..All you need is just one ball for about 1 kg of rice. However, I am unable to tell you how many tablespoons of lye water is needed. Too many tablespoons of lye water will make the Chang bitter with a weird taste..

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“A lye is a liquid obtained by leaching ashes (containing largely potassium carbonate or “potash”), or a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water producing caustic basic solutions. “Lye” is commonly the alternative name of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or historically potassium hydroxide (KOH)..Lyes are used to cure many types of food, including lutefisk, olives (making them less bitter), canned mandarin oranges, hominy, lye rolls, century eggs, and pretzels. They are also used as a tenderizer in the crust of baked Cantonese moon cakes, in “zongzi” (glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves), in chewy southern Chinese noodles popular in Hong Kong and southern China, and in Japanese ramen noodles. “(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lye)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 40-50 pieces of dumpling depending on size

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  • 1 kilograms of glutinous rice
  • 1 lye rock
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • At least 50 pieces of bamboo leaves
  • At least 50 pieces of reed strings

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a pot with boiling water, boil the reed string and bamboo leaves for 10-15 minutes until the leaves and string are soft. Drain and set aside. If you have time, you can just soak the reed string and bamboo leaves overnight and there is no need to boil the leaves and string. If the leaves and string float upwards, put something heavy on top of the leaves.

  • On the night before the wrapping, soaked the glutinous rice, lye ball and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Let it soak overnight . Prior to the wrapping, drain the rice and lightly rinse the rice with tap water to get rid of excess lye if any.

  • Take a bamboo leave and make it in a shape of a cone. Put one heapful tablespoon of rice. Lightly press down.  Press the tail of the bamboo leaves to cover the top portion and shape the tail like a swallow tail. Twist it side wards to follow the shape of the Chang. By now, your Chang should be in triangular shape and you should be able to hold the Chang in one hand. Take a string and loop around the Chang tie using a live knot. tie it firm. Shake the Chang likely ensure that you hear some rice grain hitting the leaves and if you find that it is too tight, try to adjust it now by loosening the string . After wrapping, cut off the excess leaves and check that there are no holes resulted from rough handling and there are small areas that are not covered with the leaves. 
  • When enough number of Chang are ready for boiling. boil some hot water. Put the wrapped Chang in the pressure cooker. Add in the hot water and ensure that the water cover the Chang. Close the lid and boil using the pressure cooker for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, release the pressure, take out one Chang immediately and open and see if it is already to the texture that you want. If not, continue to pressure cook for another 10 minutes. Add more hot water if desired.

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CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe that need practise.. One point to note is that you can only wrap the Chang to about 75% of cone and unlike Bak Chang where you need to be firm and compact. There are many alternatives to this basic recipe, you can add red bean grains, red bean paste and etc.. However, all these while, our family traditional way of servings are just as humble as dumping in white sugar or just eat as it is.

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

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Time To Prepare Savoury Rice Dumpling (Bak Chang) (咸肉粽)

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INTRODUCTION

I do not really like to issue this type of post as it can be rather long and every household will claim to have the best recipes of rice dumpling (Bak Chang).. I already have an elaborated post on Nonya Chang : The process of making Nonya Chang revisited…(Part II) (娘惹粽)and if you are interested, you can take a look at the post by clicking on the link above.

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I was grumbling with friends that this may be a redundant post.. A post that most will not try the recipe but I blog this as a respect and to keep a record on my humble blog. ..Those who know how to wrap the Bak Chang will have their own family recipe and there is no need to read this post.. Those who have never wrap the Bak Chang usually have fear of wrapping and decided not to wrap themselves.. There are many other reasons that may deter readers from wrapping such as family members do not like to eat this Bak Chang, it is laborious and etc..

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Well, I hope this post will help those who are serious and wanted to make an effort to learn the preparation. I can’t help much in your wrapping process as this need practises.. but who don’t start from somewhere? I learned to wrap by myself about 10 years ago using trial and error.. What I can show you is only this simple video:

Bak Chang Preparation

This is the first time I wrapped savoury Bak Chang.. All these while, i am wrapping Nonya Chang and I only occasionally eat savoury Bak Chang purchased from the stores mostly from the famous Kim Choo Kuih Shop in Singapore.

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Therefore, the recipe designed is more or less like what is sold by the shop but with addition of some Teochew element of having some sweet bean paste in the Chang.. In Teochew, this elaborate version of Bak Chang is called Suan Ping (双拼)that have some sweetness in the savoury Bak Chang.. But, I will leave it to the reader to decide what should be included in the Bak Chang per the type of Bak Chang that you are used to..

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Since it is not a recipe that I am used to, I have decided to create a recipe that is faster and less oily.. Suitable for those first timer who did not have a chance to learn from their parents or grandparents.. The taste is not too extreme and it should be widely acceptable by all.. I have also limited my selection ingredients to 6 major ingredients.. Of course, readers can add as many types of ingredients as possible..

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As to what can be included in the Bak Chang, well, if you go to the supermarket, there is usually one counter selling all the Chang ingredients and any things sold there probably will be commonly use for the Bak Chang.. Go to one big supermarket and you will be able to get all the Chang ingredients, bamboo leaves and etc. needed for the preparation.

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All the recipe quantities are for your reference and there is no fixed and fast rule as to how much each ingredient should be wrapped.. If you like a particular ingredient, do add more.. If you do not like the suggested ingredients, substitute with others.. Chang recipe quantities will never be able to be exact as there bound to have some spoilages and miscalculations due to changes along the way.. Sizes of each Bak Chang will also render the optimum planning of ingredients invalid.. Since this is homemade, there bound be some are bigger or smaller and that depend on the leaves also.. As a word of advise, if you are new to Chang wrapping, please do not be overly ambitious, wrap the size that you are comfortable rather trying to emulate the size of what is sold in the store…

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 20-25 Bak Chang depend on sizes

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  • 1 kilogram of glutinous rice
  • 3 tablespoons of deep fried shallot oil
  • 6 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of five spice powder

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  • At least 500 grams of pork belly , cut in chunks
  • About 30 chestnuts , soaked overnight
  • About 30 salted egg yolks
  • About 30 pieces of red bean or green bean paste of 15 grams each
  • About 30 pieces of medium size shitake mushrooms, soaked
  • 1 medium size rock sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of five spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking wine
  • 4 tablespoons of dark soya sauce

Others:

  • At least 60 bamboo leaves
  • At least 30 reed strings or cotton string or plastic strings

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Wash the glutinous rice, drain, add in all the rice marinating ingredients (five spice powder, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, fried shallot oil ).Stir until well mixed. Add in 1-2 cups of water and let it marinate for 3-4 hours.

  • In a wok, add 4-5 tablespoons of cooking oil, add in the marinated rice together with the water marinating the rice, if any. Stir fry for a few minutes until the rice dries up.  Off heat and set aside. This step  of stir frying is optional. The main purpose is not to waste the seasonings used for marinating the rice.

Note:

  • As boiling the Bak Chang will dilute the seasonings in the Bak Chang. Therefore, the above quantities is for your reference and you may have to adjust the seasoning to suit your taste buds. You will have to be HIGH HANDED to add seasonings. It is very important that you put some rice in your mouth and taste if it suits your taste bud. Make any necessary adjustments. Otherwise your whole batch of Bak Chang may be spoiled..

  • This is a recipe with very little oil. So the output will be much less oilier than the store bought..If you can accept such a texture, you will need not to stir fry with oil.. But it you prefer store bought version that are oilier, you will have to add more cooking oil.. Traditionally, lard is used to make the Chang more aromatic..

  • For the shallot oil, if you are going to stir fry the rice as suggested above, you can sauté the minced shallots first before adding the marinating rice, therefore, there is no such a need to add shallot oil during the marinating of glutinous rice.

  • If you are not confidence that your wrapping will be good, you may want to try to wrap the cooked rice like in the Nonya Chang post. Place the rice in the rice cooker, select sticky rice function and cook for one cycle. It will facilitate your wrapping and you will need to steam the Chang instead of boiling the Chang.

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  • Put the meat, rock sugar, soaked shitake mushrooms, chestnuts , Chinese cooking wine, dark soya sauce, five spice powder in a pressure cooker pot. Add adequate water just to cover the meat. Pressure cook the meat for at least 30 minutes or until the meat is soft.. If the meat is not soft enough, pressure cook for another 10-15 minutes until your desired texture. Set aside for later use.

  • Once cooled, put the meat, shitake mushrooms and chestnuts in separate container.

Notes:

  • You can prepare this the night before , It make sense that you prepare a big batch of pork belly, some can be eaten as dinner dish  and some can be kept for tomorrow’s Bak Chang wrapping. In addition, the meat will be much tastier in the next day.

  • Again, you have to taste the meat and also be high handed in your seasonings.. Remember boiling will dilute the taste of the meat inside. You can adjust the seasoning later.

  • I have decided to use pressure cooker for braising instead of stir fry the meat as it uses much less oil, it is faster and the meat is tenderer. If you do not like this idea, you can stir fry each and every individual item instead of braising. This is to facilitate those who are new to wrapping.

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  • In a pot with boiling water, boil the reed string and bamboo leaves for 10-15 minutes until the leaves and string are soft. Drain and set aside.

  • Before the wrapping, you should assemble all the ingredients together. Find a place where you can sit or stand and where you can hang the Chang.

  • The ingredients shall be put side by sides include : Braised pork, chestnuts, shitake mushrooms, salted egg yolk, red or mung bean paste, stir fried glutinous rice, reed strings and bamboo leaves.

Note:

  • If you have time, you can just soak the reed string and bamboo leaves overnight and there is no need to boil the leaves and string. If the leaves and string float upwards, put something heavy on top of the leaves.

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  • Please refer to the video above. Take two bamboo leaves and make it in a shape of a cone. Put one tablespoon of rice. Put a piece of braised meat, mushrooms, mung bean paste, salted egg yolk and chest nuts. Press hard and put another tablespoon of rice. Use the tablespoon to press down firm and level it. Press the tail of the bamboo leaves to cover the top portion and shape the tail like a swallow tail. Twist it side wards to follow the shape of the Chang. By now, your Chang should be in triangular shape and you should be able to hold the Chang in one hand.

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  • Take a string and loop around the Chang tie using a live knot. tie it firm and if you find that Chang are not really  in the shape you want, try to adjust it now.  Loosen the string or adjust the bamboo leaves to shape it to the desired shape. After wrapping, cut off the excess leaves and check that there are no holes resulted from rough handling and there are small areas that are not covered with the leaves. These are “loopholes” that will create problems for you. If you boiled it , the rice will flow out (not all of course) and all the seasonings will be diluted with the water. The Chang boiling water will also become sticky. JUST ENSURE THAT THERE ARE NO HOLES IN THE CHANG.

  • When enough number of Chang are ready for boiling. boil some hot water. Put the wrapped Chang in the pressure cooker. Add in the hot water. Close the lid and boil using the pressure cooker for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, release the pressure, take out one Chang immediately and open and see if it is already to the texture that you want. If not, continue to pressure cook for another 10 minutes. Add more hot water if desired.

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Note:

  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can boil over the stove using high heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Steaming is another alternative but timing can be as long as 1.5-2 hours.

  • Do not be overly greedy while wrapping the dumpling. Only experienced house chefs are able to wrap a big dumpling with 2 small leaves as they know how to position the leaves to get the maximum area to be used. If you are unsure, wrap small and this will enhance your chances of succeed. Big Chang have the tendency to break if you did not wrap properly.

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CONCLUSION

This is a very long winded post but I have tried my best to detail as much as I can such that readers will be able to succeed with the first attempt. It is my sincere advise that do not place overly high expectation on your maiden attempt.. Make provision for some ugly shape, loose strings.. It is very common .. If you are unsure, try to make 1/2 kg of rice first..

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As I have mentioned earlier, to boost your confidence of wrapping, try to pre-cook the rice using rice cooker , then, it will be much easier to shape than raw rice.. Lastly, remember that boiling will dilute the seasoning both for rice and fillings, so be prepare to be a bit high handed with your seasonings.

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

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Light Marble Cake (轻云石蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

I never like chiffon for 2 reasons:

  • It is very dry and airy and I tend to get choked when I am eating this.. It is too soft for my liking
  • It is very bland because most chiffon used normal cooking oil and I personally prefer butter cake

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Based on the above two reasons, I have decided to modify my black sesame chiffon recipe and hopefully it can come out with a buttery chiffon. Since I wanted a buttery chiffon, I replaced the cooking oil with melted butter.. As I want it to be moister, I have increased the butter amount by about two fold..

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Prior to the preparation, I “visualized” that it will be a tall  but moist soft and fluffy chiffon.. But based on my amended recipe, during the preparation, I found that the batter is slightly different from the chiffon batter.. It is slightly more watery.. I am worried about it’s outcome.. Since I have already prepared everything, I  continued to bake and see what it came out..

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Constantly looking at the oven door, I noted that my “chiffon” did not rise that much, a bit of rising and I told myself that it may be a fail attempt and be prepared to throw the cake away.. I continue to bake for 45 minutes and when I took out the cake, well, it did not look like a chiffon but a butter cake.. Unsure if it will contract too much, I still used invert cooling method to cool the cake..

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After the cake had cooled, I cut a piece and tried…. I like the cake for its special texture and buttery taste.. It is not soft and fluffy, It is not hard either. It is moist, slightly dense but with a fine texture. It taste like a hybrid between the normal butter cake and an ogura cake…

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I have a hard time of naming this cake because:

  • It is not a chiffon cake though it was modified from a chiffon cake recipe and bake in a chiffon tube pan because it contain much more oil than a normal chiffon cake.. In addition, chiffon cake do not use butter as butter is much denser and that hinder the raising of cake..
  • It is not really a butter cake because its butter content is very little, only 80 grams (44% of total flour used).. Normal butter cake will have about 100% or more of butter to total flour ratio..
  • It is not a sponge cake though there are 6 eggs used because sponge cake uses very limited amount of oil or no oil too..

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According to cake classification, this cake actually falls between chiffon and shortened cake classification. Unsure how to name it properly, I have decided to name it as “Light marble cake”

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepared a 19 cm chiffon tube pan light marble cake

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Ingredient A – For egg yolk batter portion

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75 grams of icing sugar
  • 180 grams  of sifted cake flour
  • 80 grams of melted butter
  • 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder
  • 50 grams of fresh milk.

Ingredients B – For egg white beating

  • 6 egg whites
  • 75 grams of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. of cream of tartar

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 STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Get ready a 19cm chiffon tube pan. PLEASE DO NOT GREASE THE CHIFFON TUBE PAN.

  • Pre heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.

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  • Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer until foamy. Add in 75 grams of icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites until stiff peak form. Set aside for later use.

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  • In another separate mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and pale. Gradually add in milk  and followed by the melted butter. Beat until well combined. Add in the sifted  cake flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed. Take out from the machine and fold in the egg whites in 3 stages as swiftly and as lightly as possible.

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  • Transfer 1/4 portion of the batter and sift in chocolate powder. Stir lightly and swiftly until well mixed. Transfer some beige batter to the chiffon tube pan followed by by the chocolate batter. Perform the same for the remaining.

  • Bake in the pre-heated oven of 170 degree Celsius for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Invert the chiffon tube cake pan during the cooling .

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CONCLUSION

 

I hoped my pictures will appeal to you and convince you to trying baking the cake. It has a unique texture that is worth trying. It is moist and can slice beautifully as party snacks..

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

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Stove Top Pizza or Skillet Pizza (煎锅比萨饼)

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INTRODUCTION

When I saw this video in Facebook from www.chefstoolbox.com above stove top pizza, I immediately have the urge to try preparing it. …It looks extremely easy and tasty and if you are interested to view the video in full, you can refer to the following link: https://www.facebook.com/TheChefsToolbox/videos/458019277713166/

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Today, I tried out the recipe and in general, I am satisfied with the recipe. It is fast and easy to prepare .. There is nothing much to complain about except the pizza base is not as fluffy as the recipes that require kneading and proofing..

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It took me only about half an hour to prepare this and I would think that my pizza base will be much better if my homemade pizza sauce are not as wet as the store bought.

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Though not as fluffy, the effect is not obvious at all. This is a 9” pizza and with so little flour, the base is very thin. Some part are rather crispy but some part is a bit dense.. Having said that, I would think this is a fun adventure and I will definitely be re=preparing it when there is a sudden urge for pizza. Well, the kids and me have finished all within minutes..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from:  https://www.facebook.com/TheChefsToolbox/videos/458019277713166/

Servings: Prepare a 8”-9” pizza

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  • 62.5 grams (1/2 cup) of self raising flour
  • 62.5 grams (1/2 cup) of plain flour
  • 177 grams of ml (2/3 cup) of lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon of instant yeast
  • Pinches of salt
  • Pizza topping of your choice*

*For this illustration, I have used mozzarella cheeses, mushrooms, canned pineapples, tomatoes and pasta tomato sauce.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Put all the pizza base ingredients on a non stick skillet. Stir until well combined, spread as evenly as possible . Add your pasta sauces followed by your desired toppings.

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  • Add the cheeses and place the lids on top of the skillet. Cook the pizza under medium to high heat for 15 minutes.

Note:

  • Original recipe called for 5 minutes with the vent in the lid off and another 10 minutes with the vent on.. As my skillet do not have such a function, therefore, I have let the vent on throughout the entire preparation.

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CONCLUSION

I will not say that this is the best pizza, weighing against  the amount of effort spend in the preparation, I personally think that this is a fast and easy pizza recipe worth trying, As the base is very thin, whether or not it is fluffy is of secondary importance, you will not feel it especially you have a huge amount of toppings.

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

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White Chocolate Cheesecake (白巧克力免烤芝士蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

I am rather busy and just felt tired these few days.. and I have not issued recipes last two days.. Don’t worry I am still on and I have many recipes that await for me to issue the post.. Some are lacking inspirations and some will be rather long winded..

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I promised this post will be as short as possible as this is a recipe of my own without reference to any other recipe.. I have this concept when I prepared my red velvet white chocolate ganache yesterday..

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I have experimented to use condensed milk, cream cheese, white chocolate and cream to come out with a frosting for the red velvet cupcake. The frosting was rather satisfactory and my family members loved the frosting very much..

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Then It struck my mind to design a cheesecake with slightly different proportion of the above ingredients.. It works very well and I am satisfied with this adventures as well.. The setting is rather fast even though it is a recipe without the use of gelatine.. Preparation is fast too, just cream and set..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare a 3” x 6” cheesecake

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Biscuit Base

  • 80 grams of non-sweeten biscuits
  • 50 grams of hazelnuts – optional or any other nuts
  • 50 grams of melted butter
  • 50 grams of castor sugar

Cheesecake

  • 300 grams of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 200 grams of white chocolate
  • 50 grams of condensed milk
  • 30 grams of heavy cream or whipping cream (optional)

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STEPS OF PREAPARATION

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  • Melt the butter either over the stove or using microwave to heat for about 1 minute.

  • In a food processor , blend all the base ingredients until fine.

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  • Pour the melted butter into blended biscuits, stir until well mix. Transfer the crumbs to a lightly greased tin (tin with detachable base preferred_ or line the 4 sides with baking paper. Press as firm as possible and chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the base has hardened.

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  • Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Alternatively, you can use melt the chocolate using double boil method over a stove.

  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, put the cream cheese, condensed milk and cream until light and fluffy. Add the melted white chocolate and cream. Continue beating until well combined. Transfer the cheese mixture to the baking tin. Level it and let it chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours or when set. You can also let it set in the chiller of the refrigerator for about 5-6 hour until it set. Serve directly from fridge.

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CONCLUSION

As this is a recipe that do not use gelatine, the firmness will not be as firm as those that use gelatine.  However, the cheesecake will definitely be firm enough for your cutting and if it serves out of your fridge. If you need to bring for outside setting, you can consider adding 2 tablespoons of melted gelatine to enhance the shape. Therefore, this recipe will be beneficial for those readers who do not like gelatine either from religion standpoint or health view point.. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste buds.

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

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Homemade Salted Eggs (家居咸蛋)

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INTRODUCTION

Chinese dumpling festival is approaching and I thought I want to try making some salted egg yolks for my dumplings.. If you are Singaporean, you will know that there are no fresh duck eggs being sold  in Singapore.. Don’t ask me the reasons but my egg supplier told me that it is a government regulation that no duck eggs shall be imported into Singapore.. She further disclosed that it was possibly due to the bird flu incidence many many years back… I did not testify such statement but I can only tell you it was not sold in Singapore at the time of issuing this report..

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Since there are no duck eggs, I have tried my luck to use chicken eggs after one Facebook friends referred me to Ms. Lily Ng’s website whom she also used chicken eggs in the preparation.. It is my fault that I did not follow her instructions and I come out with my own home version which have more wastage.. But such wastage is rather cost negligible because salt is relatively cheap and the saline solution can be reused many times.

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Is there any difference between the salted duck egg yolk and salted chicken egg yolk? In my humble opinion, there is not much difference at all, the only noticeable difference is that it is much smaller in size than than the duck eggs. In order to have the beautiful and orangey yolk, I have told my egg supplier that I want one that have an orange egg yolk if there is .. She gave me a box of 10 white colour shell kampong chicken eggs and the price is slightly higher at about S$2,70 for a box of 10 (normal is S$2 a box of 10).

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Though the original recipe called for 3 weeks, I found some of the yolks have refused to harden even after 4 weeks. That possibly due to the fact I did not follow the recipe closely initially as the osmosis did not took place..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some chicken eggs (“White” shelled kampong chicken eggs or duck eggs preferred)
  • Some Chinese cooking wine or any cooking alcohol
  • Adequate salt to cover the eggs (sea salt preferred)
  • A bottle to accommodate the eggs (Glass bottle preferred)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Rinse the eggs with the cooking wine. In a sterilized bottle, put some salt and arrange the eggs as compact as you can. Cover all with the salt. If there is any cooking wine left, pour inside the bottle. Pour adequate COOLED COOKED WATER to cover the eggs. Close the lid and let it sit inside the bottle for at least 3 weeks – 4 weeks.

  • After 3 weeks, take out an egg, crack and check if the yolk has harden. Otherwise, you will have to wait until all the yolks have harden.

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Note:

  • White colour kampong chicken eggs are preferred. Tell your egg supplier that you need yolks that are orangey. Duck eggs if available is still the best choice. Cooking wine will enhance the colour the egg yolks.

  • Check the eggs and ensure that there are no crack in the eggs.

  • If you are not willing to use so much salt, the basic ratio is 1 cup of sea salt to 4 cups of water. However, in this illustration, I have used about 1 cup of salt to 1 cup of water as I believed it will expedite the process. The salt did not dissolved in so little liquid. Overall salt that I used is about SS1.50.

  • In  this adventure, about 3 are not as hard as I wanted. Possibly  they are those that floated on top of the saline water.

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CONCLUSION

i am lucky that this adventure worked wonder for me and I will be using this batch for my dumpling.  I hope it works well for you too. I am preparing another batch using the same saline water and I will know in another 21 days. Should there be any new development, I will update the post.

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

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