Assam Fish (阿叁鱼)

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INTRODUCTION

This is a recipe that I need no reference from other website. It is a common household dish that was cooked by my late mum since we are very young.

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When I started blogging, I have rejected sharing this type of simple home cooked dishes for fear that readers will not accept such recipes. Apparently, lots of blogger are blogging the dish and since i am cooking today, I will also share this recipe too.

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This is a recipe that can be as elaborate as you want in terms of herbs used. It can also be as simple liked what is cooked by my late mum. Being hailed from Sarawak where practically there are very few Peranakan community, most Chinese households also knew how to cook this dish . What is different from the West Malaysian version is the use of herbs that are not common in Sarawak such as Bunga kentan or daun kesom etc.. Whether these herbs add to the deliciousness of the dish in my humble opinion is a personal reference. I have a hard time to get use to these two herbs when I stayed in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore but are able to accept it now.

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Another reasons that I have excluded these herbs in today’s recipe because I found that a recipe that is overloaded with ingredients will deter readers from trying. Buying a pack of bunga kentan or laksa leaves and using only 10% of it obviously is wasting money .. But if readers insist that this is compulsory in the recipe, you can always add it to suit your taste buds.

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The picture in this post may not be as attractive as it should be . The main reasons is the fish used. In this illustration, ikan selar was used and that is what my mum used to cook ..Usually fish selection will based on fish that are fishy in nature after cooking and the concoction of herbs were used to musk such fishiness. Another common fish that we used to cook is ikan bawal hitam or black pomfret.

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Better fish such as threadfin, garoupa, batang or tenggiri all can be used but to me it is a waste to use these type of fishes to cook this dish. These better fishes can be steamed or grilled or pan fried to enjoy its freshness and sweetness without the need to use lots of herbs. Well, in my opinion, any fishes can be used and I will leave it for readers to decide.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 3-4 adult servings

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  • 4 ikan kembong or ikan selar
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste or assam mixed with 6 tablespoons of water and extract juices
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Pinches of salt

Rempah or spice mix ingredients

  • 2 small onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder (or 3-4 fresh chilli)
  • 1 tablespoon of belachan or shrimp paste
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 2 small turmeric roots (or 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder)
  • 2 small tomatoes (optional)

Optional ingredients – blended to rempah above

  • 1/2 bunga ketan or laksa flower
  • Some laksa leaves or daum kesom

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Put all the rempah or spice mix ingredients in a blender (except powder form), add adequate water just to cover 1/2 the height of the ingredients, blend until as fine as possible. Alternatively, you can pound these ingredients using traditional mortal and pastel.

  • In a wok, put about 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil, sauté the rempah or spice mix under medium heat until fragrant and until oil starts to separate out from the ingredients.  In this process, you will witness the colour of the rempah darkens and getting drier and drier. It took me about 15 minutes to get what I wanted.

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  • Mix 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste with 6 tablespoons of water and extract juices. Pour the assam juices into the rempah, stir until well combined. Add the fish and follow by the sugar, bring to boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Off the heat and let the fish rest in the assam gravy for at least 1/2 hour before serving. Timing will depend on type and size of fish, in general 5-10 minutes of simmering should be adequate. It is advisable to prepare this dish in the early afternoon and served for dinner to let the flavour develops for a few hours.

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CONCLUSION

I am unsure if this assam fish of mine do appeal to you but I have to clarify that this type of thick gravy assam fish will not have any vegetables. There is another type of assam fish which is more soupy and with lots of vegetable. That is very sour but this recipe is supposed to be sour and sweet  and it is an enjoyment to have white rice served with this delicious gravy.

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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 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.

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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.


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Red Vegetable Soup? -Russian Borscht Soup, Chinese Luo Song Tang (罗宋汤)

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INTRODUCTION

All Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese family will likely know a common household soup – “ABC soup” and the basic ingredients are potatoes, onions, carrots and pork rib though at times, other vegetables are added such as celery, sweet corns and capsicum etc.. Obviously , what I am sharing today may has some connection with this popular ABC soup though there is no direct conclusive evidence that it was linked.

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The original soup should be a beet root soup which is very common in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Europe. The name is borscht and it was served in most Russian restaurant. Yes, this is a very common soup  and  whenever i dined at Russian restaurant be it in Khabarovsk in Eastern Russia or Irkutsk  and Krasnoyarsk in central Siberia, it was always one the soups served. Sad to say that I always did not order because it was prepared using beef broth. However, seeing my Chinese companion enjoying the soup, I knew that it is a delicious soup.

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Initially, I planned to blog borscht recipe only but after due consideration, I do not think I have confidence to convince  my readers to try this bright red coloured vegetable soup and it reminds me of another soup that is very representative of Western soup served in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China western restaurants. This soup is called Lo Song Tang (罗宋汤)。 In these Asian countries, most of the older Western restaurants will serve this soup together with other popular soups such as mushroom soup and corn soup. There is no direct English translation for this soup and it is also called borscht.. I also did not have a chance to try because it was usually prepared using beef broth.

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Both these soups were  actually linked and most Chinese literature will tell you that the originality of luo song tang is borscht and it was called as such because the name “Soviet Union” ..

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Well the preparation are rather similar except that no beet roots was used in the soup in the Eastern version. Instead, tomato sauce or puree to colour the soup. That possibly is because beet root was not available in China then so tomato was used instead. In fact, I do not recall beet root being used for any Chinese traditional recipes..

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Since I can’t take beef, I have prepared these soup using pork. If you want the original taste, of course beef is preferred. If you are curious about the taste of the soup, it a bit tangy and slightly like more watery pasta sauce. To me, it is definitely delicious and it is second time that I have prepared the soup within  a period of 1 month.

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“Borscht is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is common in Eastern and Central Europe, especially in Ashkenazi Jewish,Belarusian, Lithuanian, Moldovan, Romanian, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian cuisine. In most of traditional recipes, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient. In some regions, tomato is used as the main ingredient, while beetroot may act as a secondary ingredient. Other varieties that do not use beetroot also exist, such as green borscht and white borscht. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht)’

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“罗宋汤(俄语、乌克兰语:Борщ,波兰语:Barszcz)是发源于乌克兰的一种浓菜汤。成汤以后冷热兼可享用,在东欧中欧很受欢迎。在这些地区,罗宋汤大多以甜菜为主料,常加入马铃薯红萝卜菠菜牛肉块、奶油等熬煮,因此呈紫红色。有些地方以番茄为主料,甜菜为辅料。也有不加甜菜加番茄酱的橙色罗宋汤和绿色罗宋汤。罗宋汤传到上海后,上海人按自己口味改良了罗宋汤,是海派西餐中著名的一道美食。

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“罗宋”这一名称据说是来自Russian soup的中文音译(罗宋即Russian,源自早年上海的洋泾滨英语,发音:[lùsóŋ]),Russian Borscht(Borshch)是另一常用的名称。罗宋汤在中国东北的一些地区也被称为“苏波汤”。 在十月革命时候,有大批俄国人辗转流落到了上海,他们带来了伏特加,也带来了俄式的西菜,上海第一家西菜社就是俄国人开的。这道汤,就是从俄式红菜汤演变而来,俄式红菜汤辣中带酸,酸甚于甜,上海人并不习惯。后来受原料采办以及本地口味的影响,渐渐地形成了独具海派特色的酸中带甜、甜中飘香、肥而不腻、鲜滑爽口的罗宋汤。这海派罗宋汤并非只是吃西餐时食用,就是学校、单位、家庭以及中式菜馆,也是屡见不鲜。久而久之,这汤又在上海形成了各种流派和分支,其中最具代表性的有“饭店派”、“食堂派”和“家 庭派”等。其中“饭店派”以淮海西菜社为代表,在当年推出罗宋汤后,经过数次改良,更新工艺,终于成为海派罗宋汤的领路人,而后,各家西菜馆乃至个别中菜馆,都纷纷仿效。“食堂派”又称“弄堂派”,汤往往用大面盆或是保暖茶桶盛装,不用蕃茄酱或是只放极少用以着色,那汤常常是“清汤晃水”的,飘着几丝红肠而已,蕃茄多不剥皮,反正与那西菜馆里的罗宋汤是大相径庭,奇怪的是,即使这样的“蕃茄煮水”,吃着也很爽口,至今还有许多中学生不愿意吃学校的饭菜,跑到校门口买一两元钱一碗的这种汤,加片面包以做午饭。“家庭派”的人,既无缘学到西菜馆的烧法,也不想如“食堂派”那样堕落,于是只能自行琢磨,研究出各式烧法,其中主要以牛肉代替红肠,并且欠芡为主。(Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/7499.htm

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 5-6 adult servings

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  • 500 grams of beef and other meats, cut into big chunks
  • 1 cup of potatoes , diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, diced
  • 1 cup of capsicum, diced
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small can of tomato puree
  • 1 small beetroot, shredded
  • 1/4 lemon, juice extracted
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour mix with 3 tablespoons of water (optional)
  • About 6-8 cups of beef broth or plain water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar (as required)
  • Pinches of salt
  • Dashes of black pepper
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

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STEPS OF PRPARATION

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  • If you are preparing borscht , you will need to start with the beet root preparation and followed by the other steps. If you are preparing the Asian version of borscht, you can by pass the beet root preparation.

  • Shred your beet root, squeeze 1/4 a lemon juice, mixed well . Transfer the beet root to a pot, add about 2 cups of beef broth or plain water and start boiling until the beet beef broth is soft.

  • In a frying pan, put the butter, sauté the onion until fragrant, add the meat cubes followed by diced tomatoes, capsicum, potatoes and carrots. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the flavour are incorporated.

  • Either transfer these meat to the pot of beet root soup or a new pot. Add the remaining beef broth or plain water.

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  • Add the tomato puree, bring to boil and let it simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Add the shredded cabbage and let it continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Before off the heat, add the tomato sauce, vinegar (if desired for a more tangy taste), sugar to taste, black pepper and pinches of salt.  If prefer a thicker soup, you can add the plain flour roux. Stir until well mixed, bring to boil and off the heat.

  • For serving, topped generously with preferred herbs such as parsley or Chinese celery. Best served as a standard soup in a Western set meal. For borscht, place a scope of the sour cream on top of the soup.

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CONCLUSION

Promoting a well known recipe but not popular here can be tougher that one can think. But I am very confident that you will like it, otherwise this soup will not be so popular for no reasons. What is shocking is most local Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese never heard of “luo song tang” but I have known this soup since i am very young because I am Chinese educated and it was always mentioned in Chinese literature and Hong Kong TV drama series. If you are running out of soup ideas, why not try this thick vegetable soup?

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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 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.

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Sisig Chicken? Philippines Mayonnaise Chicken (菲律宾美乃滋鸡)

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INTRODUCTION

My neighbour gave us some capsicum and I am grumbling that I do not really know how to cook capsicum.. My wife immediately thought of this mayonnaise chicken that we have eaten in one of the Filipino restaurants in Singapore..

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Well, I do not think the original recipe of this Filipino dish have capsicum but what we have tried did have these capsicums. The name of the dish is Sisig chicken but I do not called it as such as my recipe is not very authentic and I do not want to be bombarded by the Filipinos for providing wrong recipe of their well liked dish..Therefore, I have decided to call it mayonnaise chicken.

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Both my wife and my kids all remembered this dish is because it is a sinful yet delicious dish… It is tasty and one looked at the ingredients will know that this dish will be delicious. It has mayonnaise and butter and eggs that smoothen the meat dish.. It is very addictive and once you start, it is hard for you to stop eating this dish and it goes well with hot steaming rice.

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Traditional;y, Philippine’s Sisig dish is pork based. It was prepared using pig head meat, pig ear, pig liver and instead of mayonnaise, pig brain was used to smoothen the dish. Chicken sisig is a sub category and I was told that chicken liver is one of the most critical ingredients in the chicken version. However, due to current consumption style, all these exotic cuts were left out and what is used is just chicken meat and mayonnaise which is easier to be accepted by current foodies.

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This dish was supposed to be served using a sizzling hot plate and as my home does not have one which I believed most family  does not have, I have use a pan for the picture taking. If you have one, this is one of the dish that you can use your sizzling hot plate.

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As per Wikipedia:

“Sisig also refers to Sizzling sisig, a Filipino dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. Lucia Cunanan of Angeles City has been credited with inventing sisig The Philippine Department of Tourism has acknowledged that her “Aling Lucing’s” restaurant had established Angeles City as the “Sisig Capital of the Philippines” in 1974. Cunanan’s trademark sisig was developed in mid-1974 when she served a concoction of boiled and chopped pig ears and cheeks seasoned with vinegar,calamansi juice, chopped onions and chicken liver and served in hot plates. Today, varieties include sisig ala pizzailo, pork combination, green mussels or tahong, mixed seafood, ostrich sisig, crocodile sisig(URBAN CAFE), spicy python, frog sisig and tokwa’t baboy, among others” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisig)

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As mentioned above, this is not an authentic recipe but a recipe that is tailored to suit Singaporean and Malaysian taste buds. I have prepared twice, once is one week after my first try and the second time is for today’s dinner. The difference between the two is one I have cooked with raw meat using chicken cubes whereas for today, I have pre-cook the meat, use a blender to blend until fine before stir frying. Another difference is adding mayonnaise in the cooking whereas the first version is just served with mayonnaise.  Both version uses capsicum and in my humble opinion is delicious.

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WHAT IS REQURIED

Servings: 3-4 adults

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  • 2  chicken drumsticks or breast, deboned
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white or black pepper
  • Some butter for greasing hot plate
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a pot, put the diced onions, sauté until fragrant. Add the dice chicken cubes, stir fry until the chicken exterior turn beige. add the diced capsicums. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes, add about 1/4 cup of water to the chicken and simmer until the chicken is soft.

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  • Add the seasons (black or white pepper, pinches of salt, sugar to taste, black soya sauce) and stir fry until well mixed. Push the chicken aside, crack the eggs and cook until the york is set. Transfer the dish to your serving plate and drizzle sparingly with mayonnaise. Best served hot with white rice and garnish with slice of calamansi plus green chilli .

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Method 2

  • Boil or pan fry the meat until cooked. Use a blender to blend until fine.

  • In a pot, sauté the onion with some cooking oil until fragrant. Add the capsicum and stir fry until the capsicum is soft. Add the minced meat followed by the seasonings (salt, black pepper, white sugar and black soya sauce).

  • Before off the heat, put two tablespoons of mayonnaise, Stir fry until well mix.

  • Heat up your hot seasoning plate, melt some butter and transfer to stir fry meat earlier to sizzling plate. Crack 2 eggs on top and let it simmer until the eggs are cooked to your desired consistency. Best served hot with white rice and garnish with slice of calamansi plus green chilli .

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CONCLUSION

Whether this is Sisig chicken or not is not important. What I can tell readers is that this is a delicious dish that family members are looking forward. I hope my picture will be able to convince you that this is a yummy dish.

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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 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.

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Pumpkin Huat Kuih (金瓜发糕)

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INTRODUCTION

This should be one of my very last recipe of Huat Kuih as I have at least more than 10 of them..

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The original recipe is called pumpkin steamed muffins and is from a very experienced blogger – Aunty Yochana.

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I did grumble with my Facebook Group that in English speaking group, huat kuih recipe is always not a welcoming recipe as it is viewed as superstition .. However, if the recipe is called a steamed muffins, more English Educated readers will try the recipe.. Is it not a funny phenomenon?

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Well, putting aside these grumbling, this is a nice huat kuih and I loved the yellow vibrant colour of the steamed cake. It can be as tasty as you want it to be and I do not have much thing to write about this recipe.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Yochana’s Cake Delight! : Steamed Pumpkin Muffin

Servings: About 6 huat kuih

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  • 100 grams of steamed pumpkin and mashed
  • 200 grams of self raising flour
  • 130 grams of white sugar
  • 150 grams of hot water or coconut milk or milk
  • 30 grams of cooking oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

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STEPS OF PRARATION

  • Get ready a steamer with water capable of steaming the Kuih for at least 20 minutes.

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  • Steam the pumpkin and mash into puree form. In another bowl, put hot water and add castor sugar, stir until sugar dissolved. Mix the syrup with the pumpkin puree and stir until well combined. If preferred, you can put into the blender and blend until fine.

  • Sift the baking powder and self raising flour into a bowl. Make a well and add the pumpkin solution in 3 stages, stir until well mixed. Transfer it to some cupcake cups and fill the cups with the batter until at least 95% full.

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  • Prior to steaming, lightly grease a scissor or a knife and cut a criss-cross on top of the batter. Steam in the steamer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre come out clean. It is best that the cupcakes cups be pre-steamed before filling of the batter. You shall use high heat in the entire process of steaming. Best served hot as a snack.

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CONCLUSION

Not a difficult recipe but taste is delicious. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste bud.

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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 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.


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Steamed Fruit Cake or Kek Kukus Buah (杂果蒸糕)

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INTRODUCTION

Being hailed from Sarawak, I have a chance to taste many Malay steamed cakes that are sinfully rich. These cake are delicious, slightly chewy and dense.

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If you have a chance to taste these cakes, you will definitely opt for it if there is a choice between baked and steamed cakes. These cakes are usually sold at a very high premium.. The reasons are simple, they are using very rich expensive ingredients and these cake usually take a long hours to steam to get that texture and well incorporated taste.. How long is long? It can range  from 1-2 hours to 3-4 hours of continuous steaming depending on the size of the cake.

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That is also the reason partially deter me from trying many delicious Malay traditional cake recipes.. Mind you, 4 hours of steaming is not a joke.. It takes lots of supervision and gas bills. But for this fruit cake, I have purposely looked for a steamed cake recipe since I already have a lot of baked recipe. The first thing that came into my mind is the Malay version or Kek Kukus buah buahan or fruit cake.

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Looking at the picture, one will be able to tell that the cake is very moist, almost crust less. It is dense and slightly chewy. It can be cut into very nice pieces and with a distinctive dark colour. These dark colour is specially made. Unlike western fruit cake that uses brown sugar or molasses to colour the fruit cake, the sugars are caramelized first to get the colour.

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Since this is a Malay recipe, very logically there is no alcohol being used. If you want , you can soak your fruit with rum or cherry wine or add a few tablespoons of rum to the the cake batter. After it is baked, spray alcohol on the cake.

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I must say this recipe is a keeper but the only thing that I am unsure is that it is not sweet to the my taste bud. I have reanalyse the recipe twice and I may have wrongly measure the sugar. Therefore, I will provide the original recipe and let reader try out. I especially loved the chewy texture and once you try this fruit cake, I am sure you will continue to prepare this.

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As discussed above, this fruit cake need 4 hours of continuous steaming for a 8”-10” tray. I do not have the patience or the kitchen gadget for the steaming. I can’t find any kitchen utensil in my house that can house an 8”-10” square pan and I will need to buy again. So what I did is to steam in a 6 inches diameter round pan. All the remaining , I put in a rectangular baking tin or 4” x 4” x 8” and i steamed bake it. Overall, it took me about 2 hours to steam this much smaller cake. and 1 hour to steam bake the other cake. Can you differentiate by look? Not really but texture wise, you will be able to tell that steamed version is much better than steamed bake. Steamed is still better than steamed baked.

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The round cake looked flatter and the rectangle cake seems to be fluffier. It is not true, it is my own mistake of the batter distribution. After first distribution, i found that my rectangle cake batter seems to be too little, I scoped some batter from the centre of the round tin and forget to to level it before steaming. However, for readers, you should not have this problem at all. Lastly I want to say thanks to the blogger who provided this recipe.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from:  masam manis: KEK BUAH KUKUS

Servings: Prepare an 8” x 8”  cake

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  • 500 grams of mixed fruits
  • 350 grams of plain flour
  • 300 grams of white sugar
  • 250 grams of butter
  • 50 grams or ml of hot water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice or nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly grease the your preferred baking tray. If you are steaming, get hold a steamer with boiling water and if steamed bake, pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius.

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  • In a pot, put the sugar and on to medium heat. Melt the sugar until it become sugar syrup and start to turn golden brown. Add the 50 grams of hot water and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Note:

  • The colour changes from transparent sugar syrup to golden syrup can be rather fast. So, always used medium to low heat. Too brownish or golden will make you cake bitter.

  • When you add the hot water, be careful as steams will rush out and some spilling may happen. So do it carefully at low heat.

  • The main purpose of this step is to get the colour, if you prefer lighter coloured fruit cake, you can add the water faster. If you prefer darker colour, add slightly later but make sure it did not become too dark and it will become bitter.

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  • Melt the butter in the hot sugar syrup follow by adding the mixed fruit. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes before off the heat. Let it cool until body temperature before proceeding the next step.

  • When cooled, sift in the nutmeg powder, baking soda and plain flour, fold until it become a sticky mass. Add in the beaten eggs, stir until a smooth batter is formed.

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  • Transfer the cake to your preferred greased or lined baking pan. Cover the baking tin with a piece of aluminium foil.
  • For baking, place a tray of water at the lower rack of the oven, bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the cake is set and a skewer test inserts at the centre of the cake comes out clean. Timing is for your reference and very much depends on the size and height of the cake. . At 45 minutes juncture, you can open the aluminium foil and do the skewer test.

  • For steaming, steam the cake at high heat for at least 2 hours and that depends on the size and height of the cake. For a 6 inches round baking tray, it took me about 2 hours. For an 8 inches baking tray, it is expected to be at least 3-4 hours. After 2 hour juncture, you can open the aluminium foil and do the skewer test. Watch out for the water level and you may need to refill the hot water. Set aside a kettle of hot boiling water for this purpose.

  • The cake will further develop its taste after resting 1-2 days.

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Note:

  • If you want to incorporate alcohol to the cake, you can either add a small quantities of fruit based alcohol to the batter before steaming and subsequently SPRAY  the alcohol to the cake when it is out of the steamer.

  • For keeping, it is recommended that once cooled completely, wrapped the cake tightly with an aluminium foil to prevent water loss, put in an air tight container in a freezer.

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CONCLUSION

I am unsure how long the fruit cake can be kept but experience shows that alcohol cake and long steaming fruit cake can keep very well in the freezer possibly up to year if not contaminated. Passion pays off and if you have never try a steamed cake, you should give it a go.. Lastly, remember that over caramelized sugar will give you a bitter cake. On the other hand, the right colour caramelized sugar with give you a special aroma that other fruit cakes will not be able to provide you.

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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 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.

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Chinese Rolled Meat Appetizer (水晶扎蹄)

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INTRODUCTION

When I worked in the corporate world, i travelled and entertained a lot..I remembered this is such a common cold dish served in the restaurant but I really cannot recall in which region.. Possibly in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore.

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I have tried to trace the origin of this dish and apparently all major Chinese dishes category (Sichuan, Cantonese, Teochew, Shanghainese ) have this dish listed in their cuisines.

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Well, whatever it is, i can assure reader that this is a nice dish a bit like ham. It was usually slice thinly and served with various type of sauces and what i am sharing today is a simple dipping sauce well liked by Teochew.

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I hope readers can recognise this dish and give this recipe a try. I have nothing much to say about this except it suits my taste bud. Preparation is very easy but you will need to pay a much higher price if you ordered from the restaurant. When you are hosting dinner like Chinese New Year eve, you can always prepare this dish to impress your guest.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 4-5 adult servings

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  • 1 medium size deboned pig trotter
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 liquorice
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

For dipping sauce

  • 1/2 red chilli, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • pinches of salt
  • sugar to taste
  • 2 tablespoon of dark or white vinegar

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Clean the pork trotter, drained, add salt, sugar and Chinese cooking wine. Rub thoroughly and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.

  • Wrap the pork trotter using a piece of clean cloth AS TIGHT AS POSSIBLE. You have to ensure that it is not loose, otherwise, the final meat slices will have lots of holes.

  • Put all other ingredients (ginger, star anise, cloves, liquorice, cinnamon and bay leaves) in a pressure cooker, place the meat and add water until the water cover the meat. Pressure cook the meat for about 30 minutes. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can boil the pork trotter over the stoves for about 1 hour.

  • Drain the pork trotter, cut open the strings and the cloth and let it cool completely before cutting. For best result, chilled in the fridge overnight before cutting.

  • To prepare the dipping sauce, put all the dipping ingredients together and stir until well combined.

  • Best served chilled with the dipping sauce as an appetizer in a typical banquet setting.

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Note:

  • When you buy the pork trotter in the wet market, you can request the store owner to debone for you. Otherwise, you will have to cook the whole pork trotter for a while until you can cut the meat and debone. From here you will proceed from the recipe here.

  • You can also have an additional step to smoke the rolled trotter and it will give you a smoky taste. You can refer to this post:  Zhao An (Chawan) Smoked Chicken (诏安熏鸡). Another variants you can use the braising sauce from braising duck etc. so that you have a dark soya sauce rolled meat.

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CONCLUSION

I am sorry I can’t tell you much about this dish.. My memory all mixed up throughout the year but I honestly believed it is very common in Teochew restaurant. Last, I am very surprise that Finnish does have a rather similar dish called RullaSyltty / Mausterulla and if you like you may want to Google the recipe though they are using pork belly meat instead.

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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 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.

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Kuih Abok Abok Sago (锥型西米蒸糕)

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INTRODUCTION

If you like kuih bronok or sago cake as in this post : Steamed Sago Cake–Kuih Bronok or Lapis Sagu(西米椰丝蒸糕,珍珠糕), I believed you will like this cake too.

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They are basically  the same type of cake but with slightly different presentation. While kuih bronok is more common in the east side of Peninsular Malaysia, this cake apparently is more common among the nonya society. However, it may not be exactly like what you saw in this recipe.

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The more common one is white or transparent coloured cone with some gula melaka oozes out from the sago balls or the green and red combination sago balls. I only discovered this after I prepared the cake. After I posted in some Facebook Group, apparently most members have never seen this pattern before.

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Well, I can’t claim that  this is my concept and when I googled recipe and this recipe popped out, i like the picture and so I followed the recipe. I have to thank the blog owner for such a detail creation : Colors of the Mountain ~ Lite Home. Apparently, this shape of preparation symbolizes a mountain and on the white signifying the cloud or snow, blue is the sky, green is the forest and brown is the earth or soil.

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If you asked me which type I preferred, I will say that it is cone shaped abok abok sago. This recipe add the shredded coconut to the sago and therefore the sago balls do not stick too tightly to each other and personally, I prefer this softer texture which is not overly chewy.

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Some abok abok sago added cubes of gula melaka inside the cone before steaming, I found that this method wasted a lot of palm sugar which tends to drip out form the cone and I personally prefer to add gula melaka syrup during serving. In fact, the syrup is rather optional as the sago balls have already been sweetened.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe inspired from: COLORS OF THE MOUNTAIN

Servings: About 6-8 Abok abok sago depends on size

Ingredients

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  • 200 grams of sago balls
  • 100 grams of shredded coconut
  • 30 grams of palm sugar (gula melaka or gula apong )
  • 30 grams of white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of concentrated bunga telang juice
  • At least 8 pieces of banana leaves with size of 15 cm x 20 cm
  • Some green pandan extract
  • Pinches of salt

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Wash the sago balls and divide into 4 portions. Portion A = 20 grams = white colour, portion B = 40 grams = add the bunga telang concentrate. portion C = 60 grams, add drops of green pandan flavouring, portion D = 80 grams , put the gula melaka. Stir until well mixed. add additional water such that it just merely cover the sago balls. Let them soaked for 1 hour before proceeding the next step. Do not add too much water, you can gradually add water along the way.

  • After one hour, drain away any excess water in each bowl. Divide the shredded coconut to the four bowls with about the same ratio. Add the castor sugar to the the 3 layers using the same ratio. Add additional palm sugar to the brown sago if desired. Stir until well mixed.

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  • Cut the banana leaves into 15 cm x 20 cm .Add drops of oil to the boiling water and blanch or scald the banana leaves until they are soft. drain and set aside.

  • Once cool, fold the cone with about 5 cm diameter at the base. Put some white sago balls, follow by some blue and green and brown colour balls.

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  • Use a table spoon to press firmly downwards and tuck the excess to the bottom of the cone. Seal with a toothpick  Steam under high heat for at least 15-20 minutes. Cool completely before open the parcel and can be served with additional gula melaka or shredded coconut.

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Note:

  • Please ensure that sealing is fastened and the banana leaves does not break, If you cone is too high, there will be a tendency to fall when steaming and sago may leaked out. If your cone is securely fastened, you can also lay down the cone during the steaming.

  • You can select your own colour like in my kuih bronok recipe. Some recipe call for single colour only instead of 4 in this recipe. You can also add grated gula melaka to the centre of the sago balls before steaming.

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CONCLUSION

I have to be frank that my wrapping need further improvement as it is not fasten enough. I told myself I will better myself in my next attempt.

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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 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.

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Malay Savoury Custard Cake–Kuih Bakar Berlauk (马来咸香烤糕)

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INTRODUCTION

At times, I did not have a chance to taste some Malay delicacies because it has beef that I do not consume and I knew I have missed out a lot of Malay delicacies.

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When there is a Malay wedding or important occasion, I always saw Malay members prepared this dish to bring to gathering or party. I am unsure if these was sold in the stores but apparently, it is a common item during Malay buffets. The colour captured my attention and it is very beautiful with patches of dark coloured meat.

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I goggled the recipe and after analysing the ingredients, I knew it will taste great and of course, I used chicken instead of minced beef. Well the taste is much better than my expectation. I especially love the cumin and curry flavoured savoury custard cake.

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Kuih bakar berlauk literally translated as a baked savoury dish cake.  Lauk means meat or vegetable dishes and therefore the dish is definitely savoury but there is also a sweet version version as well. My recipe called it kuih bakar pandan but some recipe called it kuih cara pandan.

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If you are interested to get the recipe of the sweet version of kuih bakar, you can refer to this post: Local Baked Custard? Kuih Bakar Pandan Or Kuih Kemboja (香兰烘糕)

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The difference is because of the type of mould one uses. Traditionally, both kuih bakar berlauk and kuih cara pandan was prepared using a big brass flower mould. However, some have also used the kuih bahulu mould for the preparation. Both these methods will require to cook the cake over the stove. Since I do not have the traditional mould, for this recipe, I have used egg tart mould and baked in the oven. It is much faster than over the stove.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 15 egg tarts size bakar berlauk

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  • 150 grams of minced beef or minced chicken or other meats of your choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of meat curry powder
  • 1 red chilli , sliced thinly
  • 2 sprigs of Chinese celery , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Sugar to taste
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dark soya sauce (optional but preferred if chicken is used)

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  • 200 grams or ml thick coconut milk
  • 200 grams of plain water
  • 150 grams of plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinches of salt
  • Pinches of turmeric powder

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a frying pan, put one tablespoon of oil, sauté the minced garlics and shallots until fragrant. Add the cumin and curry powder, stir fry for 1 minute, add the minced meat, stir fry until the meat is soft . Add pinches of salt, dark soya sauce, and sugar to taste. Stir until well mixed. Off the heat and keep aside.

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  • Heavily greased 12-15 cupcake cups or egg tarts cup and pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

  • In a bowl, sift in the flour, turmeric powder and put pinches of salt. Crack the eggs and stir until it form a thick paste. Gradually add the coconut milk and water until it forms a watery batter.

  • Pour some batter on the mould, put a tablespoon of the minced meat, some chilli and Chinese celery. Pour more batter until it reaches about 90% full. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 200 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.. Timing will very much depends on size of the mould and thickness of the batter. Note that it is common that the custard may puff up during baking and it will drop again when cooled.

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CONCLUSION

If you have never tried this delicious snack before, I strongly recommended you to give it a go. If personally you do not like cumin powder, just omit it and it will be equally delicious. Remember that the original recipe is beef based but if you can’t take beef, feel free to change to chicken or other meats.

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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 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.

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