Lepat Pisang (蒸香蕉糕)

IMG_7483

INTRODUCTION

I have shared two recipes in the last two days – Kuih Bongkong or Kuih Jongkong (马来娘惹元宝/荷包糕)and Apam Berkuah (娘惹米糕). To be frank, these two recipes are not very well received because many readers have never seen such a kuih before and it is not commonly sold nowadays.

IMG_7580

In fact, I have prepared 3 kuih in that morning, and the last one is this kuih lepat pisang or mashed banana parcel. This shall be one the easiest among the three and should be more popular than the other two. It was still rather common in the kuih stalls.

IMG_7469

This is kuih that have many variations and hence it may not look the same in all pictures. If brown sugar was used, it will appear brownish and if white sugar was used, it is white. As for the fillings, usually sliced bananas are used. However, I have also eaten those who wrapped shredded coconut instead.

IMG_7471

As for the banana, you can used any type of banana though I will recommend reader to use cheaper banana that cannot be eaten raw such as pisang tanduk or pisang berangan.

IMG_7485

It is a rather tasty kuih, it is soft and wobbly. Preparation is extremely fast and chances of failure are near zero. In addition, the recipe can be substituted with mash sweet potatoes or mash tapioca.

IMG_7479


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 6-8 lepat pisang

 IMG_74181

  • 200 grams of banana
  • 80 grams of white sugar or palm sugar (gula apong or gula melaka)
  • 80 grams of plain flour
  • 50 grams of shredded coconut
  • At least 8 pieces of banana leaves of size 20 cm x 20 cm
  • 1 banana additional for filling cut into thick slice

STEPS OF PREPARATION

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Cut the banana leaves into 20 cm x 20 cm and scald in hot boiling water with drops of cooking oil for about 1-2 minutes to soften the banana leaves. Drain and set aside.

  • In a big bowl, mash the banana, add shredded coconut and sugar, stir until well combined. Sift in the plain flour and stir until well mixed.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Take a banana leaves, put 1 tablespoons of the mash banana batter at the centre, put a few pieces of banana and top with another tablespoon of the batter.. Fold up both sides and followed by tuck in the other two sizes under the parcel. Steamed at high heat for 10-15 minutes until the cake is cooked.

IMG_7489


CONCLUSION

An easy peasy recipe that you can even ask your kids to prepare. Do give it a try and see if this recipe suits your taste buds. Yes, remember you can use additional shredded coconut as the filling. If you have sweet potatoes or tapioca, you can use it to substitute the banana and become “lepak ubi” .

IMG_7477

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

IMG_7467


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.

pinterest[4]

If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.


IMG_7463

Kuih Bongkong or Kuih Jongkong (马来娘惹元宝/荷包糕)

IMG_7497

INTRODUCTION

In this region, there are many types of kuih or cakes and I can’t possibly tasted all of them especially if the kuih is regional and  has become less and less common. This is one of the many kuih that I have never tried before.

IMG_7521

I am eating a piece of the kuih while writing this post  and I should say I like it. It is a rice flour cake, soft and flavoured by palm sugar..It is rather addictive especially after it was chilled in the fridge.

IMG_7523

There are two names.. Malay called kuih bongkong and apparently, the Peranakan community called it kuih Jongkong. There is not much differences between the two version and there are basically the same . The nonya version usually added blue pea flower to the kuih whereas the Malay version is usually green (pandan) and yellow. ..I understand that this kuih is especially common in the state of Perak and Penang.

IMG_7666

Jongkong in Malay means ingot, it was called as such possibly because it look liked an ingot. I heard some Chinese colloquially called it “wallet cake” meaning the cake looked like a wallet. I have difficulty to find out any additional information pertaining to the cake.

IMG_7515

One of the distinct feature of the kuih is its wrapping into a parcel and I really felt a sense of achievement to be able to wrap it correctly. Such type of wrapping is definitely essential as the melted palm sugar will be collected by the “boat” made from banana leaves. Some of the Malay recipes have coconut milk being added to to the steaming too. But in this illustration, no coconut milk was being used.

IMG_7527

Well, don’t be deterred if do not know how to wrap. I saw some recipes prepared this is a cup without banana leaves and palm sugar syrup were poured on top of the rice cake. Any differences, not much differences except the lack of banana leaves aroma.

IMG_7668


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 8-10 kuih bongkong

IMG_74291

Rice Flour Batter

  • 125 grams of rice flour
  • 20 grams tapioca flour
  • 50 grams of castor sugar
  • 200 grams or ml of coconut milk
  • 500 grams of plain water
  • Pinches of salt

Others

  • 3 tablespoon of thick blue pea flower (bunga telang concentrate)
  • 100 grams of palm sugar (Gula apong or gula melaka) – cut into small pieces
  • 100 ml or grams of coconut milk (not included in this illustration to be put at the last stage).- optional
  • At least 10 pieces of banana leaves with dimension of about 20 cm x 24 cm

IMG_7664


STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Cut the banana leaves into 20 cm x 24 cm. Get ready a pot of boiling water, add a few drops of cooking oil,  blanch the banana leaves for 2-3 minutes until it is soft. Otherwise it will be very difficult to wrap and there is a tendency to break.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put the rice flour ingredients in a pot, stir until well mixed. Transfer the rice flour to a stove and heat under medium heat until it starts to thicken. Constant stirring is required as thickening can be fast. In the event that it thickens too fast, add a few more tablespoons of water to the batter. Slightly lumpy batter is acceptable.

  • Transfer 1/3 of the ingredients and add the bunga telang concentrate. Stir until well mixed.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Put a piece of the blanched banana leaves, put about 1 tablespoon of palm sugar (I use semi solid gula apong). Put about 2 tablespoons of white rice batter on top follow by about 1 tablespoon of blue rice batter. You can adjust the size of the kuih according to your preference.

  • Use your hand to pull the longer side together (24cm side).

PicMonkey Collage3

  • With one hand holding/pinching the longer side, use the other hand to fold the shorter side (20cm) equally and push these ends to the centre. Perform the same for the other side. Pierce a tooth pick to the centre of the leaves.

  • If you want to add the coconut milk, you will need to secure one side first before you can add the coconut milk. Slightly tilted one side such that the coconut milk will not flow out. You can then proceed to fold the other side.

  • Steam the kuih in a steamer with hot boiling water for at least 15-20 minutes. Best chilled before serving. If preferred, cooked coconut milk can be added.

IMG_7517


CONCLUSION

I do have difficulty to explain the wrapping part. You may want to Google “Kuih jongkong video” to have a better understanding. If you have never tried the kuih, please do try. If you are not confidence about the wrapping, just forget the wrapping, transfer the batter to the muffin cups, steam until set and served with coconut milk and palm sugar. Some stalls do sell in plastic mould instead of the traditional banana leaves.

IMG_7525

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

IMG_7670


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.

pinterest[4]

If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

IMG_7495

Apam Berkuah (娘惹米糕)

IMG_7564

INTRODUCTION

Unlike savoury dishes, I have not much to write kuih backgrounds.. Many kuih recipes are very similar with a little twist here and there by different races. Even within the same race, there are many variants to suit individual taste buds and in my humble opinion, none shall claimed the originality of a recipe since we are living in the same region. Cross cultural preparation method is inevitable.

IMG_7550

One of them is this apam berkuah . Apam is basically yeast leavened type of rice flour cake. Berkuah basically means it goes with some type of thick gravy and in this recipe, the thick gravy that was served was pengat pisang (banana in thick coconut milk).

IMG_7554

Chinese have its “apam” recipe and one of the most common type is this Teochew Huat Kuih as in this post: Teochew Huat Kuih or Ka Kuih (潮州发糕,潮州酵糕,米糕, 松糕)

IMG_2596

Malay have another version called apam beras or apam nasi, which is also using the same ingredients but usually in different shapes. If you are interested, you can refer to this post: Apam Beras (马来蒸米糕·)

IMG_7213

The Peranakan have the same type of rice flour cake but it was prepared in a very specific mould. It was much thinner and usually served with thick coconut gravy.  I have ever tasted this kuih in one of the famous nonya kuih stores in Malacca and it was such a disappointment especially the pengat pisang which is not fresh..

IMG_7548

If you looked closely the texture, the three kuih has similar texture. It is fluffy, springy, slightly tangy (if over proofed) and full of rice aroma. Since I have already two  recipes on rice flour cake leavened by yeast, for this recipe, I have designed my own recipe and confident that it will work beautifully. In fact, it worked as intended. The only regret that I have is I do not have the mould and that make the kuih looked less authentic. It is thinner and the airy structure are not as constant possibly due to different heat circulation that affected the kuih.  Well, I also do not intend to invest in a mould just for a particular recipe.

IMG_7566

Unlike most other recipes, I do not use coconut water and my proofing time is rather short. All this while for this type rice batter, I will precook it until thick to improve the chances of success. It will then be proofed and usually for this stage, proofing time will be fast to get until double in size. If I found the batter is too thick, I will just dilute with some more warm water and i am ready to do the steaming or in this case, pan frying..

IMG_7544

Again, this may not be the authentic Peranakan recipe but what  I can assure you is that this is the texture that was sold in the kuih stalls. It is springy  with rice aroma.

IMG_7562


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 30 Apam berkuah, depending on size

IMG_74451

Yeast starter

  • 6 grams of instant yeast
  • 50 grams of plain flour
  • 50 grams of lukewarm water

Rice Flour Batter

  • 250 grams of rice flour
  • 20 grams of glutinous rice flour
  • 200 grams or ml  of coconut milk
  • 250 grams of plain water
  • 50 grams of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of thick bunga telang concentrate

IMG_74521

Pengat Pisang

  • 2 medium size bananas
  • 80 grams of palm sugar (gula melaka or gula apong)
  • 200 grams or ml of thick coconut milk
  • 300 grams of plain water
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 6 pandan leaves, bundled

IMG_7540


STEPS OF PREPARATION

PicMonkey Collage1

  • In  a bowl, mix all the ingredients of yeast starter (lukewarm water, yeast and plain flour). Stir until well mixed. Set aside at a warm place for proofing.

  • In pan, put in the rice flour, glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and water. Stir until well mix. Place on top of a stove, cook under low heat until the rice flour slightly thickens. Constant stirring is required and thickening of the batter can occur rather fast. Once it thickens, set aside for it to cool until 25-30 degrees or it would not hurt your hand when you touch the sticky batter. (Note: If your batter is too hot, it will kill the yeast)

  • By now, the yeast should be frothy with  a lot of bubbles. If not bubbles are noted, do not proceed as your yeast may be dead. You will need to get some new yeast and do the dough starter again.

  • Once the thicken rice flour solution is lukewarm, pour the starter dough into the rice flour solution. Stir until well combined. Divide into 3 portion, add your preferred colouring, stir until well combined.  Let it proof in a warm place until double in size and cover with a wet towel. (Note, you can also take a few tablespoons of the rice batter and add bunga telang juices at this stage)

PicMonkey Collage2

  • While the rice batter is proofing, prepare the pengat pisang. Put all the ingredients (pandan leaves, plain flour, palm sugar, coconut milk and water) in a pot and bring to boil. Constant stirring is required as it can get thicken rather fast. If it is too thick, add some more water . Once it boils, add the freshly cut banana, off the heat and set aside for cooling.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • Once the rice batter has been proofed, take 3-4 tablespoons of the proof rice batter, add the bunga telang juice and stir until well combined. Note that this step can be done before proofing too .

  • Heat up a non stick frying pan using medium heat, put 1-1.5 tablespoons of rice batter and slightly smear it to form a circle. Quickly put a small quantities of the blue coloured rice batter on top of the white batter. Pan fry under medium heat until the top dries up.

IMG_7538

Note:

  • When you pan fry the first cake, if there is no holes or bubbles, it means that the batter is not ready. Stop and wait for a while. You may need to try a few to get a reasonable look of your rice cake.  Don’t get disheartened by your first cake.

  • If you cannot smear, it means it is too thick. Add a few tablespoons of water to make it more liquid. If it flow out too fast, it means it is too watery and you have to add 1-2 tablespoon of ‘PLAIN FLOUR”  to salvage. In this case, you have to let it proof for another 15 minutes before proceeding again.

  • Put the batter as thin as possible. Too thick batter will have difficulty to cook the top and produce airy holes since we are not using the specific moulds.

  • Your first cake is your yardstick whether you should proceed further. Do not proceed it does not look like what you are expecting. Do necessary adjustments as stated above.

IMG_7568


CONCLUSION

Well, I knew my recipe is rather different from other Peranakan recipe and I never claimed that mine is authentic.. What I can assure readers is that the output or the final “apam” taste like what I have purchased in Melaka this June. I dare to issue this recipe because I am satisfied with this method of preparation and be it Malay kuih or Chinese rice flour huat kuih (without eno and baking powder), they can all be used the same method of preparation.. Possibly, they all come from the same source. I do hope that readers will give this recipe a try and let me know if this is what you are looking for.

IMG_7542

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

IMG_7552


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.

pinterest[4]

If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

IMG_7560

Chestnut Chicken (板栗烧鸡)

IMG_7373

INTRODUCTION

When I was in Shanghai, my helper in Shanghai used to cook this dish. That is how I get to know this ..

IMG_7381

Over here, most chestnut was paired with pig trotters due to its long cooking hours. Pairing with chicken is something that I am surprised and it tastes so well. Well the challenge to cook the dish is to make sure that the chestnut maintain in whole yet is soft and melt in the mouth. The same is with the chicken. Chicken cooked rather fast, Therefore, certain treatment is need for the chestnut to shorten its cooking time..

IMG_7385

While I was doing some marketing yesterday, I saw some vacuumed packed chestnuts. It was priced reasonably at about S$4.oo. Immediately that comes to my mind is this dish. If you can’t get hold of the fresh vacuumed  packed chestnuts, you can always get the dried one and soak overnight, par boiled for 10 minutes on the next day to take off all the unwanted skins attached to the nut before cooking.

IMG_7365

Preparation is not tough and family likes it. My boy who ate chestnut for the very first time feedback to me that the nuts are soft and sweet. Yes, in fact, chestnut is very sweet in its self. 

IMG_7369

“板栗烧鸡,是一道汉族名菜,属东北菜川菜、湘菜等。主要材料为带骨鸡肉、板栗肉。这道菜的特点是补脾胃、强筋骨、止泄泻。一般人群均可食用,老人、病人、体弱者更宜食用。板栗烧鸡营养丰富,又有一定疗效。成品具有鸡肉鲜滑、板栗香甜、汁浓醇厚、色泽红亮、美观大方的特点。”(source:http://baike.baidu.com/view/118748.htm) 

IMG_7383


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 adult servings

IMG_73001

  • 500 grams of chicken drumsticks, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 250 grams of chestnuts
  • 2 cm of ginger , sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlics , sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour mixed with 3 tablespoons of water.

IMG_7367


STEPS OF PREPARATION

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put some water in a pan, bring to boil, add the chestnuts and let it boiled for at least 5 minutes under high heat. Drain and set aside.

  • In another frying pan, put some cooking oil and deep fry the chestnuts for at least 5 minutes under medium heat. Ensure that the chestnuts are properly drained before deep frying. Drain the chestnuts and keep the oil in the frying pan.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Deep fry the chicken cubes for 1-2 minutes. It is consider as done when the exterior turns beige. Drain and keep 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan.

  • Sauté the ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the chicken and chestnuts, follow by the dark soya sauce and Chinese cooking wine, stir fry until well mixed. Add about 1 – 2 cups of water, use medium heat to simmer the chicken and chestnuts until the chicken are soft. If water dries up too quickly, add more water. Add starches, white pepper, pinches of salt and sugar, once the starches turn transparent, off the heat and let the dish to sit on the frying pan for at least another 15 minutes before serving. Best served with steaming white rice.

IMG_7371


CONCLUSION

This Chinese household dish will be classified under simple home cooked food series. I hope via sharing more simple recipes, it will provide readers with more choices in the dinner table.

IMG_7379

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

IMG_7363


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.

pinterest[4]

If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

IMG_7377


Apam Beras (马来蒸米糕·)

IMG_7202

INTRODCUTION

Wait,  if you think this rice cake should have  a flowery shape, you can always refer to this post :: Huat Kueh- Chinese Steamed Rice Flour Cake–A Cake That Brings You Luck And Prosperity

IMG_35991

They are essentially the same type of rice flour kuih with different leavening agent. The picture above uses eno and baking powder whereas most Malay style apam beras uses yeast (both commercial or natural yeast (tapai))  and eno was recently added to have a flowery shape ..

IMG_7221

I have to be franked that I do not like eno flavoured huat kuih as it tends to change the taste of the this rice flour cake, therefore I have decided not to use eno as a leavening agent for this Malay apam beras. Well, for this recipe, whether it smile or not are not that critical . Chinese insists the flowering of rice cake to get an auspicious meaning. For our Malay brothers, there is no such believe and therefore , blooming of this kuih is not necessary and I do not want to add unnecessary agent to the cake to destroy the flavour.

IMG_7206

If you go pasar malam or night market, most are not “smiling” too. It was served with some shredded coconut which is very delicious. To complete my Malay and nonya kuih series, I must at least blog one of this apam recipes.

IMG_7235

This recipe is slightly different from other apam beras recipes:

  • This recipe uses commercial yeast and not tapai or wine yeast which can become rather sour if there is over proofing
  • This recipe does not really need very long hours of fermentation which most recipes called for at least 3-4 hours
  • This recipe does not used overnight rice. On the contrary it uses pre-cooked rice flour

IMG_7231

This is my own recipe and I am happy with the outcome. It tasted like what is sold in the night market though the preparation are much faster.

IMG_7225


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 20-25 small praying cup size Apam beras

IMG_2575

Yeast starter

  • 6 grams of instant yeast
  • 50 grams of plain flour
  • 50 grams of lukewarm water

IMG_2578

Rice Flour Batter

  • 250 grams of rice flour
  • 80 grams of white sugar
  • 250 grams of plain water
  • Colouring of your choice

Steamed shredded coconut

  • 150 grams of grated coconut
  • Pinches of salt
  • 3-4 pandan leaves

IMG_7213


STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased your preferred steaming cups

PicMonkey Collage1

  • In  a bowl, mix all the ingredients of yeast starter (lukewarm water, yeast and plain flour). Stir until well mixed. Set aside at a warm place for proofing.

  • In pan, put in the rice flour, sugar and water. Stir until well mix. Place on top of a stove, cook under low heat until the rice flour slightly thickens. Constant stirring is required and thickening of the batter can occur rather fast. Once it thickens, set aside for it to cool until 25-30 degrees or it would not hurt your hand when you touch the sticky batter. (Note: If your batter is too hot, it will kill the yeast)

  • By now, the yeast should be frothy with  a lot of bubbles. If not bubbles are noted, do not proceed as your yeast may be dead. You will need to get some new yeast and do the dough starter again.

PicMonkey Collage

  • Once the thicken rice flour solution is lukewarm, pour the starter dough into the rice flour solution. Stir until well combined. Divide into 3 portion, add your preferred colouring, stir until well combined. Transfer the batter to your greased steaming cups and fill until 50% full. Put the cups in the steaming tray and let it proof until it reaches at least 90% full.

  • Get ready a steamer capable of steaming at least 20 minutes and bring the water to boil. Transfer the proofed rice flour batter to the steamer and steam at high heat for at least 15 minutes or when a skewer inserts into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Steaming shall be at high heat throughout the whole duration. Timing will depend on size of your cups.

  • In a steamer, place the grated coconut, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pandan leaves. Steam in the steamer for about 10-15 minutes or until the pandan leaves are soft. Apam beras is best served with these shredded coconut .

IMG_7219

NOTE:

  • If you prefer the smiling Apam Beras, you will need to alter the procedures. Proof the three coloured batter separately, once it have been proofed until twice the volume and before sending for steaming, add 1/2 tablespoon of Eno fruit salt to each batter, stir until well combined, quickly transfer the batter to fill at least 90% of the steaming cups. Once done, steam at high heat for 15 minutes.

IMG_7217


CONCLUSION

This recipe is very fast as compare to the other recipe but the taste will not be much compromised.. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste buds. Possibly in my next attempt, I will add some Eno to the cake to let it flower. Having said that, it is very difficult to flower for this small cup, i would have to change to possibly muffin cup size .

IMG_7233

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

IMG_7210


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.

pinterest[4]

If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

IMG_7204

Chinese Cucumber Appetizer (凉拌小黄瓜, 蒜香拍小黄瓜)

IMG_7109

INTRODUCTION

Not all blogged recipes need to be complicated.. Some recipes are very simple but new house chefs may not know how to prepare it and I am targeting  at this group of readers who are new to the kitchen..

IMG_7099

To me, this is a very familiar dish in the Chinese restaurant but I can’t recall whether it is overseas of Singaporean restaurants. It is an appetizer that most diners will like.  Preparation are very simple though restaurant charged you a premium for this small plate of appetizer..

IMG_7105

What you need is just some firm and fresh cucumber and there are many variations to the recipe. You can add peanut powder if you want, some even added chilli soya beans but what I am sharing is the very basic version of this dish using very simple ingredients .

IMG_7111


WHAT IS REQUIRED.

Servings: 3-4 adult servings

IMG_70881

  • 2-3 medium size Japanese cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of dark or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 chilli , deseeded
  • 3 cloves of garlic

IMG_7103


STEPS OF PREPARATION

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Cut the chilli into small pieces. Chopped the garlic until as fine as possible and garlic paste is preferred if available. Set aside.

  • Wash the cucumber, cut 1-2 inches length. Cut open and take away all the centre soft pulp full of seeds. Use a big knife to bang on the cucumber until the cucumber break into smaller pieces. Transfer the cucumber to a plastic bag, add the chilli, garlic paste, sugar, salt and vinegar. Shake vigorously for 1 minutes  until well combined and transfer to the serving plate. Drizzle with sesame oil before serving and best served chilled and immediately after preparation.

Note:

  • This recipe used a bit of salt to maintain the crunchiness. Another alternative way is put more salt, rest for 30 seconds, immediately wash with cold water and proceed to the steps above.

  • For best absorption of flavour since we are not really marinate it for the sake of crunchiness,  garlic paste is advised instead of minced garlic.


CONCLUSION

This dish will be classified under simple house cooked dishes series and cooking restaurant dishes at home series .. The preparation looks simple but in my humble opinion, the taste is great. The cucumber are crunchy, a bit sour, sweet and spicy and most important of all, it will improve the diner’s appetite.

IMG_7097

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

IMG_7107


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂 to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can  post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.

pinterest[4]

If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

IMG_7101

Homemade Collagen Stock (胶原蛋白)

IMG_6876

INTRODUCTION

One of the most common comments received when you posted your pork trotter pictures is there are lots of collagen and it is very beneficial to the skin.. Well, this is a true fact minus the fats under the pigskin… If you keep the pig trotter broth in the fridge, the next day, your broth may become jelly like and if you re-heated it , it will melt and become the same soup again.. The same for the fish stock that you have prepared..

IMG_6950

If you Google “collagen for skin care”, you are likely to see that most major cosmetic companies will have such a product to enhance your skin complexion and reduce wrinkles.. Cosmetic surgery also uses this important ingredients.

IMG_6996

The health supplements will also want a share of this natural protein product by introducing collagen supplements..You can easily get it in supplement stores in Singapore and Malaysia.

IMG_6949

Of course restaurant owners will not be left out in this trends, they will sell you a pot of collagen pack hotpot at a huge price premium and customers believed that it will transform you into a beauty and hence the name beauty hotpot (美人锅) were used. Whether or not restaurant uses the top collagen ingredients is up to everyone’s guess.. I can also cheat the readers in this illustration  by putting some milk and gelatine powder to come out to some collagen look alike ingredients..

IMG_6914

Well, I did not cheat in terms of my ingredients but I cheated in terms of my preparation method. Traditionally to get a very concentrated collagen stock like in this illustration, one will need lots of pork big bones, chicken bones, fish bones, fish scales and etc.. In addition, you will need very long hours of stewing until all the collagen were being extracted.. So this recipe is different from most recipes that uses chicken bones and pork big bones. with long hours of slow cooking.. It uses pigskin..and food processor and effectively, it takes less than half an hour to prepare this natural gelatine.

IMG_6878

In fact it is a gelatine and if you are unaware, gelatines used in cheesecake or other jelly are actually animal based. Most of them are non halal and prepared using pigskin… Of course there are halal fish gelatine that sell in speciality cake shop and generally, vegetarians are not advised to eat gelatine set cakes..

IMG_6884

In my humble opinion, only this method can yields such concentrated collagen and mind you, over usage of this collagen stock will render your soup a sticky soup. That also explains why it is not transparent like what you saw in most pictures and it is solid white that can be cut into squares for usage..

IMG_6918

Well, collagen are not fats… There may be minute quantities of fats but in this recipe, it will be discarded and it should be unnoticeable.. Long term consumption of reasonable quantities of these stock is believed to be able to improve skin complexion and inhibit wrinkles formation.

IMG_6897

With such a bit pot of collagen stock, how shall we used in our daily cooking.. You will be surprised that there are many usages that can be used in our daily cooking…Usages of collagen in daily cooking includes

  • Act as a starch substitute to thicken a sauce – Sauce will be easily thicken without adding any starches.. The dish will be glossy and smooth
  • Act as a soup base for most soups such as ramen, hotpot, fish head beehoon and etc.. You can always add one portion to the soup at anytime you like it..
  • Provide liquid inside the dry fillings for an enveloped dough such as the minced pork steamed buns, xiao long bao,  soup dumplings (灌汤水饺)
  • Preparation of traditional meat Jelly such as pork trotter jelly (猪脚冻) but it need to be diluted first

IMG_6882

I do not know how much one pays for a collagen hotpot in Singapore, but I used S$3.50 to prepare this big tub of collagen and it can definitely be used for months. Adding about 100 grams inside my soup already make the soup look thick like the broth of the hot pot..

IMG_6902

As per Wikipedia:

Collagen /ˈkɒlədʒɨn/ is the main structural protein in the extracellular space in the various connective tissues in animals. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen, in the form of elongated fibrils, is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. It is also abundant in corneas, cartilage,bones, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs and the dentin in teeth. In muscle tissue, it serves as a major component of the endomysium. Collagen constitutes one to two percent of muscle tissue, and accounts for 6% of the weight of strong, tendinous muscles. The fibroblast is the most common cell that creates collagen. Gelatin, which is used in food and industry, is collagen that has been irreversibly hydrolyzed. Collagen also has many medical uses in treating complications of the bones and skin. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collagen)

IMG_6874


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 2 –3 litres of thick concentrated stocks that can be further diluted

IMG_68571

  • 1 kg of pigskin
  • About 3-4 times the volume of water

IMG_6880


STEPS OF PREPARATION

PicMonkey Collage1

  • In a big pot put the pigskin, add the water. The water volume shall be at least 2-3 times the volume of the pigskin. You can add water at any stage of your preparation. Bring the water to boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain the pigskin and keep the hot water.

  • Trim away all the fats under the pigskin if any. Cut into small pieces.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Transfer the cut pigskin to a food processor or blender. If using a blender, add some hot water from the pot and blend it until as fine as possible. You will witness the solution will turn whitish and that is essentially collagen. Transfer the blended solution back into the pot, let it boil for another 15 minutes.

  • Put a sift on top of a desired container, pour the hot whitish solution into the container. Collect the pigskin that are not fine enough. If dsired, you can re-blend these pigskin and boil again for the second time to maximize the recovery rate. Effectively, I have only threw away about 100 grams of the pigskin as i have blended a few time to collect more stock.

  • Cool completely and when set, cut it into small pieces for future usage. The firmness of your collagen stock will depend on the amount of water added. The more water it is, the softer it will be ..

PicMonkey Collage3

  • To use it, add your pre-cut collagen slices into soup or meat dishes. The soup will looked very concentrated and for meat dishes, it will be very glossy without the need to add starches.

IMG_6886

Note:

  • If you do not like it to be too thick, you can dilute with water before setting.

  • To wash all the cooking utensils, flush all the utensils with hot boiling water.

IMG_6906


CONCLSUION

As you can see, I have prepared two dishes using a small quantities of homemade collagen.. It is so satisfactory especially the shredded ginger chicken. It smoothen the meat without the need to add starches. In view of such thick concentration of collagen, it is likely that I will use it for noodle dishes. My own perception is a small quantity of additional collagen per day will replenish  the natural lost of collagen in the body and in the long run, I hope, I hope, I hope I  will have less wrinkles.. Lol

IMG_6888

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

IMG_6920


food bloggers[4]

Food paradize[8]

pinterest[4]

  • If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

IMG_6890